A small posy of interesting things

Victorian posy of pansiesPalestinians only destroy.  Israelis not only create, they resurrect.  It’s amazing to see sophisticated plumbing emerge from the earth after 12 centuries.

Even the New York Times is being forced to tell the truth about those new Obamacare policies — they’re really expensive.  In isolation, high deductibles might not be a problem because, absent a chronic illness, they’re not a sure thing, they’re a maybe, and people will gamble on maybes.  The problem is high deductibles paired with high premiums, all for a smaller pool of doctors and hospitals.  Of course, you do get birth control for that money, but I’m not sure that the average family, facing thousands more in premiums and deductibles is going to appreciate that, thanks to Obamacare, they’ll no longer be out a couple of hundred annually in birth control payments.

Barry Rubin, who knows as much about Islam as any man living, looks at the West’s failure to understand that Islam is made up of two houses:  one of peace (for those who have bowed down to its tyranny) and one of war (for those who have not).  This world view has no room for compromise.  Those who do not fight have already lost.

Time Online, of all publications, unearthed the fact that, back in the 1990s, ACORN sued California to be exempted from minimum wage laws.  Its reason:  “[P]aying its workers more would require the group to reduce headcount and would make its workers less sympathetic to the poor.”  Yeah, it’s funny how that works:  if you force employers to pay more, they hire fewer people, and these hard workers, surprisingly, seem to become less sympathetic to those who are sitting around, often for generations, collecting the dole.  I told one of my Little Bookworms yesterday that the laws of economics are as unfailing as the laws of physics.  When you first jump off a cliff, you may think you’re flying, but you’re really falling.  And when your government distorts the marketplace, the short team benefits invariably give way to real world wealth loss.  (Hat tip:  Tom Elia.)

In most people’s minds, Quakers and pacifism are inextricably intertwined.  That’s not the case anymore, as Quakers have become one of the staunchest supports of Palestinians.  These Palestinians:

Palestinians proudly display bloodied hands from murdering Jews

Palestinians proudly display bloodied hands from murdering Jews

A civilian bus after a Palestinian homicide attack

A civilian bus after a Palestinian homicide attack

The aftermath at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva Massacre

The aftermath at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva Massacre

I said in an earlier post, and I’ll say again here:  The Left makes inroads into institutions, while conservatives abandon them.  Theirs is the better tactic.  Or, as I’ve also said before, Leftists have horrible ideals and great tactics; conservatives have great ideals and horrible tactics.

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  1. JKB says

    I’m so glad someone dug up that ACORN quote.  That was the first time I’d heard of ACORN when I read an article that used their “logic”.  
    Your comment to the little bookworm regarding the laws of economics vs physics reminded me of an article I read long ago in Physics Today that had analyzed the movements of dancers.  They illustrated how the seemingly horizontal leaps are an illusion caused by the dancer adjusting their extremities.  Their center of gravity, however, moved in an arc as the laws of Physics demand.  For all the hand (and foot) waving, they couldn’t overcome reality, only the appearance. 

  2. lee says

    One of he big shapers of AFSC thought was Landrum Bolling. He headed up some study group way back when for then, and the report they study group wrote was published in 1970 by AFSC. He was Jimmy Carter’s go-to guy to chat up Yasser Arafat. I heard him speak 30 years ago, and I cannot recall EXACTLY what he said, but it made my blood boil. He was of the “Evil-Israelis-Poor-Palestinians” school of thought. I don’t know why, where, or how he decided to hate the Jews, but he did. The old coot is 100 this year. Ther’re having a big to-do. Ugh.
    In a certain irony, the Womyn’s Studies department the school where he was on faculty for a million years is housed in a building named for him. He allegedy fooled around on his wife. A lot. (This according to my mother, (A”H), who was tuned in to the gossip mill very well. I trust her sources–they would DEFINTELY know.)

  3. Charles Martel says

    I once had great respect for the Quakers, based on reading about their bravery in standing up to royalty and willingness to sacrifice to uphold their pacifist principles.
    Now they’re just a collection of whiny, politically correct cowards who know that they won’t be arrested for their Potemkin displays of pacifistic grit, nor be called upon to acknowledge the debt they owe to far braver men and women than they in defending the world against the likes of the Palestinians.
    The Quakers are among the progenitors of the Age of Cheap Grace. It is not a proud distinction.

  4. says

    The Quakers were funny even in the old days. They relied too much on God the authority to save them. Whereas others thought of their faith as God helps those who help themselves.
    The thing is, if you rely on an authority such as God for everything, it is easy to slide into the Leftist Totalitarian pap where you rely on them for everything of luxury on Earth. Very easy.

  5. says

    The thing I loved about Breibart and his cadre of independently funded and run propagandists is that they were endlessly and always poking the Left in their self righteously evil eye. All the freaking time.
    If it wasn’t this it was that other thing, and it hurt, it really hurt the Left’s image. It wasn’t an argument. They weren’t making debate points or talking about “conservative” policies or values.
    They were just outright attacking the Leftists and their weak points. I loved it.
    In martial arts, a lot of people use defenses and blocks and thus spend way too much time reacting. The proactive way is to disrupt the enemy’s balance, that way they can’t store up an attack even if they wanted to.

  6. Charles Martel says

    I had a dream where the left sent its biggest, baddest muthafluke-uh up against conservatives’ baddest badass in an ultimate fight to the finish.
    The fight card was a simple one: Ted Nugent in our corner; Rachel Maddow in theirs.

  7. says

    Apparently, the “Quakers” are really “Leftists”…..because when you’re a Leftist, that’s the defining identification.  Everything ELSE is subordinate….so, “pacifism”?  That was a leftist characteristic, but only so long as it was “useful”. 
    Now, it takes second place to the leftism, and leftism demands Jew-hatred and Pali-solidarity.  Regardless of any of the real merits of the case…..
    It makes me sad to learn this about them.  What on earth would Nixon say!?

  8. Gringo says

    My father’s mother had Quaker ancestry- there is a street in Philadelphia named for one of her ancestors. One summer during college my father drove a great-aunt across the country to visit Quaker relatives in California. He said that the Quaker relatives used “thee” still.
    It took some backbone back in the 17th Century to be a Quaker in England, and to cross the ocean to Pennsylvania.
    From  some Quakers at my high school, I got the impression that it wasn’t difficult to predict latter day Quaker views. While they labeled themselves as individualists, it was rather that they were mirror images- thus predictable.

  9. Gringo says

    Lee, I liked that story about Landrum Bolling. I wonder how many of the Womyns’ Studies faculty are aware of his  history of “proselytizin.g”
    As the little Bookworms aren’t so little anymore, perhaps they should have an alternate name.
    Bookworm Jr.
    Bookworm the Younger
    Young Bookworm
    Bookworm II, III
    Hip Hip Bookworm  :)
    Second Generation Bookworm

  10. says

    ” I told one of my Little Bookworms yesterday that the laws of economics are as unfailing as the laws of physics. ”
    Should call them “Novel” or “Romance Story” or “Short story” now.

  11. jj says

    A long discourse coming: brace yourselves.
    I would raise a small beef with a blanket indictment of Quakers, or for that matter a blanket endorsement thereof.  They’re like most religions (in fact they’re like all religions, bar Catholicism): there is no single voice.  As I’ve noted before – and it hasn’t changed – the Catholic Church is the only one with a Head Boy, who can claim to speak for everyone; everybody else pretty much flies on their own.  There is no Head Jew who speaks for Judaism; there is no Head Muslim who speaks for Islam; there is no Head Episcopalian who speaks for that religion.  (Well, there sort of is, but since clinical insanity is a requirement of the job, the Archbishop of Canterbury is (a) rarely listened to, and (b) even more rarely taken seriously.)  And – there is no Head Quaker.  They do not speak with a single voice, which makes it problematical for anyone to accurately aver: “well, the Quakers say…”  There is no ‘the Quakers,’ who speak for all and say much of anything.
    Long Island, New York, where I spent the first thirty years of my life, would be, along with perhaps, Philadelphia, (I say ‘perhaps’ because I’m quite sure Long Island had – and has – a larger Quaker population than Philly did or does), Quaker headquarters in this country.  My best, closest, and oldest friend, whom I’ve known since I was seven months old, is a fifth-generation American Quaker, and is (for about the eighth time) serving as Clerk of the Jericho Meeting, which is about as close as any individual congregation gets to speaking with one voice: when their elected Clerk talks.  And he speaks for them, (sometimes, most of ‘em), and only them: not anyone else.
    Long Island was largely settled by Quakers, and is one of the amazing places in this country because so many of the original families are still there.  There is a fair amount of laughter these days about Long Island, the ‘Lon’ Guyland’ accent, etc., etc. – but all of that’s a recent development, and all happened as new people moved in post WWII within my lifetime.  I grew up on a farm, in an old Quaker farmhouse, the original part of which was built in 1668.  It was added to in 1724, (they kept records), and again at least three more times – thank God.  (Thank God because this additional work compromised its architectural purity, rendering it not a splendid example of colonial anything except various people’s needs of the moment.  We never had preservationists telling us what we could do with it, what color we had to paint it, or whether or not Dad could sell it when he was in his eighties and done with Long Island.  We were in a bit of an enclave, and two of our neighbors, kids we grew up with, (both Quaker families) were unable to sell their homes when the time came. They were old farmhouses too, and much purer architecturally than ours, and the Town of Oyster Bay captured both of them as historical whatevers, and parks.  I suspect the town did not pay market value in either case.)
    If you look at a map of Long Island you will see some dead giveaways as to Quaker presence.  Long Island probably has more ancient Indian names – within fifty miles of Times Square – than any other place in the country.  This is because the Quakers were recognizers and respecters of other people’s traditions, and if a place had been called something for a thousand years before they got there, they tended to leave it that way.  (They also tended to name places for people they admired, of whatever race.  The county seat of Nassau County is Mineola.  Mineola was Chief Montauk’s daughter.  You may or may not have heard of Mineola; you probably are aware of Montauk.)  They also named places biblically – I grew up in Jericho.  The town down the road was Hicksville, not because it was a bunch of boonies, but because the community considered Quaker patriarch Valentine Hicks an admirable man.  The Hicks family has been living within five miles of where they originated for nearly four hundred years.  (He eventually moved up the road from Hicksville to Jericho, and built himself a splendid house, which you can find online if you google the ‘Main Maid Inn.’  It would take me about 25 minutes to get there, walking past the barn and across one of our own fields, then across our neighbor Willets Underhill’s fields [the Underhills were an original Long Island Quaker family, a fair amount of Long Island is named for them, too], across a corner of one of the Malcolm’s fields [more old Quakers, their farm was one of the ones captured by the town when they moved to Vermont - they couldn't sell it but they preserved a life-right in it, which continues through my generation of Malcolms], and I’d be standing in the ‘Maid’s’ parking lot.
    Along the way I’d pass a landmark in the middle of Underhill’s fields.  An odd-shaped hill, sticking up all by itself, and crowned with locust trees.  I don’t know if any of you know what a locust tree is, but it’s basically an iron spike.  It’s an extraordinary wood, it does not rot, and it was used by our ancestors for ship’s masts and fencing.  Most of the northeast was fenced in by locust post and chestnut rail fences.  Some of the locust posts in Underhill’s fields have been standing there for hundreds of years.  So when locust trees died, they just stood there like, as I say, iron spikes.  On top of the hill there were half a dozen dead ones standing there, basically poles.  I don’t know how long they’ve been standing there – they still are, I haven’t seen them in 35 years but they’re there – but they made the profile of that hill instantly recognizable, day or night.  Which was good, because that instantly recognizable landmark had been known as ‘Nigger Hill’ by generations prior to my own.  It was a gathering place on the Underground Railway.  The Quakers were enormously active in the Underground Railway, and you knew if you got to that hill in the middle of the field, day or night, it could be recognized, you could see anyone pursuing you in all directions – and you were within a mile of Valentine Hicks’ house, with it’s false walls, sliding mirrors, hidden rooms etc., built for the concealment and succor of runaway slaves.  The hill was the landmark you made for: due east was safety.  (The Main Maid, Valentine Hicks’ house, no longer an inn, has also now been land-marked by the Town of Oyster Bay.)
    Behind the Hicks house/Main Maid was the Jericho Meeting, and Quaker cemetery.  It was one of seven meeting houses within ten miles of my home.  I went to  nursery school at the Westbury Meeting, and I went through the 8th grade of school, (before I went away for the 9th grade onward), to Friends Academy in Locust Valley – also available by Google, which is chiefly interesting because part of the school was the Matinecock Meeting.  I spent the first however-many years – thirteen, I guess – buried up to my ass in Quakers, if I may gracefully put it thus.  After college and the first trip through grad school in Boston, my father, fed up with house sitters, said: “you’re living and working in New York, so come live in the house and be a commuter.  It’s free and you’ll be doing me a favor.”  So I did, and spent five years and two more trips through grad school back home, surrounded by Quakers, again.  (Same ones, too – they never get old!)
    So I am not ignorant of Quakers.  And I don’t know, really, what Quakers ‘stand for.’  For example I know, like everyone else does, or thinks they do, that they’re opposed to war.  Except Willets and Sam Underhill, as well as Jimmy Malcolm and Phoebe-Alice Smith’s father – whose name I can never remember – all fought perfectly cheerfully in WWII.  (Or maybe not perfectly cheerfully, but all four of them came home with medals, so they at least fought pretty well.)  I am also aware of several who didn’t, and did other things as part of the war effort.  On Long Island, in the days of WWII, a lot of people were excepted anyway because they were farmers, and because the island always hit well above its weight in food production.  (You never saw such great soil in your life – now all paved over.  Except maybe the soil of central New Jersey – now also paved over.  One of these days this idiot waste of land is going to bite us in the ass.)  So a lot stayed home, but a bunch went, too.
    And that, I guess, is the point.  It’s hard for me to put the arm on Quakers in general for anything, because in my experience there aren’t ‘Quakers in general.’  They’re not a flock: they don’t all move together.  They don’t take orders from a Quaker pope.  And anybody who claims to speak for them, doesn’t.  Every congregation is its own thing, so far as I can see – and I’ve been watching for a lifetime.  Your Long Island Quaker is pretty conservative by nature and upbringing, and would not, I venture to say, be likely to be a fan of the Palestinians.  I find it odd to assert that they are, and I admit I’m compelled to doubt it.   

  12. says

    A strong community in one geographic area merely means that once a leader is elected, that leader can bend the community to the will of foreign influences. As we’ve seen already with other cultures, nations, and peoples.

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