I'm coming out of a week-and-a-half of sub-par health, and playing catch-up on the last few days' news. Much of it is just new trees in the same old forest: the remorseless retreat of American power in the world - ie, "Yemen Rebels Seize U.S. Embassy Vehicles As Diplomats Flee".
But some of it is almost too cute. In Paris, the street artist Combo has been beaten up by four "young people" who objected to his "Co-Exist" poster:
Combo declined to discuss the identity of his assailants. "It would only add fuel to the fire," he told the French newspaper...
During a residency in Bayreuth, he grew his beard and started wearing the traditional Muslim dressâ€”not because he was increasingly attracted to a more fundamentalist version of Islam, but, again, to disrupt established codes. To his friends asking him whether he was "going to jihad" in Lebanon, he answered, "I'm going to ji-art."
"First I thought I was French, but I quickly understood that I was Arab, then beur (French slang for second and third generation North African), now I'm told I'm Muslim," Combo continued, talking of the French des-integration.
Reclaiming the djellaba, the artist's inclusive messages have cropped up all over Paris. One asked "did you know that Muslims finish their prayers with 'Amen,' like Jews and Christians?" Another read "In France, 50,000 Muslim soldiers protect our country."
But they beat the crap out of him anyway. They don't know much about "ji-art", but they know what they don't like.
~Still, it could have been worse. Yesterday it was confirmed that yet another Islamic State hostage is dead: Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old "aid worker" from Arizona. Time magazine hails Miss Mueller as "a role model for her generation":
She's the role model we really need... Mueller represented the best qualities of the millennial generationâ€“our idealism, our optimism, and our love of our familiesâ€“without the troublesome ones.
Sure. But what does youthful "idealism" mean in this context? Well, she volunteered for the International Solidarity Movement - as in solidarity with the "oppressed" Palestinians. From Kayla Mueller's blog:
Oppression greets us from all angles. Oppression wails from the soldiers' radio and floats through tear gas clouds in the air. Oppression explodes with every sound bomb and sinks deeper into the heart of the mother who has lost her son. But resistance is nestled in the cracks in the wall, resistance flows from the minaret five times a day and resistance sits quietly in jail knowing its time will come again.
Resistance lives in the grieving mother's wails and resistance lives in the anger at the lies broadcasted across the globe. Though it is sometimes hard to see and even harder sometimes to harbour, resistance lives. Do not be fooled, resistance lives.
If "idealism" is defined as taking the side of the Palestinians against the Israelis, Kayla Mueller was super-idealistic. That's her right, of course - the right to choose which side she was on. And then she took her "idealism" and "optimism" off to Syria. And, even though she was on their side and believed as they do that "resistance flows from the minaret five times a day", to ISIS she was just another high-value infidel. So they kidnapped her and killed her.
Kayla Mueller didn't deserve to die, anymore than her fellow victims in the vast mound of corpses piled up by the Islamic State deserved to die. But an "idealist" is just a rosy-hued evasion for a dupe.
That "Co-Exist" sticker? If it weren't for the Islamic crescent in the "C" you wouldn't need a sticker at all. Maybe in Paris the street artist Combo, recovering from his wounds, is beginning to figure that out.
But Miss Mueller was way beyond "Co-Exist". "Resistance flows from the minaret," she enthused. And a fat lot of good it did. In the end, she was no less an infidel than Rumsfeld or Cheney. And she is dead because her "idealism" prevented her from understanding that.
Combo has a busted arm, Kayla Mueller is dead, yet another US embassy has been abandoned, and its Marines' weaponry is in the hands of the Houthi... For "Co-Exist", try "Submit" - or die.
But don't worry: as the President says, it's all very "random"...
~Meanwhile, back in "Christendom":
Number Of Muslim Children In Britain Doubles In A Decade
As I wrote in America Alone almost a decade back: The future belongs to those who show up for it.
~On Thursday, I'll be returning to The Hugh Hewitt Show, live coast to coast across America at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific. Hope you'll tune in.