Monday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesFamily took precedence this weekend. I was able to read stuff while I waited here and there for various family members, but I never got to my computer to post anything. I therefore have a huge backlog of articles and posts that I found interesting and would like to share with you:

One of the most toxic parts of the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the United Nation’s insistence that Palestinians should be unlike all other refugees.  Ordinarily, refugee status is given only to the actual refugee.  For Palestinians, however, the UN extends refugee status to descendants too. A Jewish lawyers and judges group would like to change this. I doubt the UN will change anything (it’s too controlled infested with antisemites), but if we promote this cause, we might be able to educate the public about this travesty.


One of the worst things that’s been happening this spring is the rise of the heckler’s veto at college campuses across America. In each case — with the most famous being Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a black woman who speaks out against toxic aspects of Islam, and Condoleeza Rice, a black woman who was Secretary of State during the Iraq War — only a very small cadre of protesters (sometimes numbering in the two digits, just like their IQs) was sufficient to cause college administrators to rescind invitations to commencement speakers. One of the replacement speakers used his time at the podium to lash out at “immature” and “arrogant” protesters, words that got him a standing ovation.

I have a couple of comments to make. First, I would do away with commencement speakers altogether. Graduation ceremonies are long and boring enough without larding them with yet another speaker. Of course, I skipped my Berkeley graduation, so I’m not terribly invested in those ceremonies.

Second, this is one of those rare occasions where I think it’s important for conservatives to behave as badly as Leftists. Writing at DartBlog, Joseph Asch (class of ’79) says that conservatives should politely let Angela Davis speak. For the youngsters reading this blog, during the 1960s, Davis was a hard Left radical. Among other things, she arranged to get a gun into a Marin County court room, resulting in a judge and three other men being murdered. Davis, like Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, has since become an establishment figure. She has never backed off from her hard Left views, nor has she shown any remorse for her active complicity in the murder of four people.

In theory, Asch is right that we should demonstrate tolerance to the hard Left and let Davis speak. The problem, though, is what flows from that tolerance. The Left demonstrates intolerance, and no one gets to listen to an accomplished conservative. Conservatives demonstrate tolerance, and hundreds of malleable students get to listen to a murderous Lefty. We have to shut off the Leftie spigot — if students don’t get access to conservative speakers, they shouldn’t get access to Leftist speakers either.


The Anne Frank Museum has a gift shop. There, one can buy copies of her diary in various languages, books about her life, and other limited written materials about tolerance. I’ve noted that I think the Anne Frank Museum suffers too much from moral relativism and says too little about the Holocaust, but it’s classy. The newly opened 9/11 museum in New York is unhindered by classiness. In a store directly on top of the display about a murderous attack on American soil, as well as over the last remains of hundreds who died there, there is a cheesy gift shop, complete with myriad stupid, disrespectful tschotkes. What were they thinking?


Every day, it becomes more clear that bureaucracy is the last refuge of the stupid, the cowardly, and the morally infirm. In Germany, bureaucrats are insisting that a house that a German Jewish woman built in 1939 as a refuge (it failed her), and that a German woman recently remodeled, must be torn down entirely because, back in 1939, the Jewish woman didn’t fill out the proper paperwork. I don’t ascribe this rank bureaucratic stupidity to antisemitism. As far as I can tell, it is what it seems: rank bureaucratic stupidity. (Hat tip: Earl.)


A group called the Explorers, which is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, is teaching teenagers what the Explorers thinks will be a useful skill in the coming decades: armed warfare against terrorists, illegal immigrants, and increasing border violence. Looking at today’s headlines, who can argue with that?


When it comes to the Boy Scouts, that organization daily is forced to move further and further away from its origins. Having successfully forced the group to admit gay scouts, the same agitators are now pressing for gay scout masters. In a masterful example of logic, Selwyn Duke explains why, if we allow that, there’s nothing stopping us from having men in charge of Girl Scouts, or boys in Girl Scout tents.  In other words, pretty soon the Boy and Girl Scouts of America will resemble college dorms, with no distinction between the sexes (including in the shower room), and all of the resulting licentiousness that flows from that — except this time, it will involve children and young adolescents, not young “adults.”


Michael Oren uses facts to excoriate and destroy those who claim that Israel is an apartheid nation.


This is what happens when you read only the New York Times: The incoming FBI director is surprised to learn that terrorism against America and Americans is still an issue. I guess he believed it when Hillary and Barack tried to define Islamic terrorism away by claiming that all sorts of self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist groups weren’t actually Islamic and that they weren’t really terrorists at all, but were, instead, misunderstood people suffering from the root cause problem of 1st-world-induced poverty.


The meme is building when it comes to the Obama administration: With Obama’s second term nearing the halfway mark, more people are realizing what you and I already figured out, which is that this is a shockingly immature, narcissistic administration, supported by a Democrat party that’s just as bad. Kevin Williamson puts it beautifully:

Imagine, if you can, the abjectly juvenile state of mind necessary to contemplate the hundreds of Nigerian girls taken into slavery by a fanatical Muslim anti-education militia — whose characteristic activity beyond slave-taking is setting fire to children — and, in the face of all that horror, concluding: “You know what this situation really calls for? A cutesy picture of . . . me!”

Keep in mind, please, that we’re not talking about selfies from people in quiet suburban homes or walking down city streets. We are talking about selfies from people at the heart of power, everyone from the First Lady to the State Department.


The Democrat party is grooming a new Vice Presidential candidate for 2016.   By that time, he will have had two jobs:  a stint as the mayor of San Antonio (a ceremonial position) and two years heading HUD (if his nomination to that post is successful). Remember when they said that Sarah Palin was too inexperienced to be vice president? Back in 2008, a few of us also pointed out that, if Palin was too inexperienced for vice president, then Obama was certainly too inexperienced to be president. Leftists are untroubled by hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, though.


The push for raising the minimum wage isn’t limited to the U.S. The Swiss recently were smart enough to vote down a $25/hour minimum wage. Teenagers in Switzerland should be very, very grateful — at least if those teenagers are looking for a job.


I’ve been saying these things forever (about books and studies and education generally being boring for boys), but they sound better when Christina Hoff Sommers says them, especially because she’s got the data to back herself up:

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  1. JKB says

    I don’t see how these “elite” students can justify the carbon footprint of graduation ceremonies.  All that travel, heck even the commencement speaker’s travel is a lot. All that air conditioning and those one use caps and gowns.  Don’t they care about the Earth?  Don’t they want to do their part to halt CAGW?
    Just say no!  to graduation ceremonies and get your diploma by the US Mail.

  2. Libby says

    I have mixed feelings about the 9-11 memorial, because part of me would have liked them to rebuild the towers to be even taller as a big F-U to the terrorists. However, the museum and gift shop are just ridiculous. Instead of paying $24 admission + commemorative gifts, people should just watch the movie “Flight 93″ and/or read the 9-11 Report. I found an illustrated version of the 9-11 Report for my son, who was interested in the truther version of what happened (
    Also noticed that the gift shop has minimal swag that says “never forget” or “let’s roll,” which seems odd. Guess they’d rather we “always remember” the victims rather than get angry at the terrorists, as has been done with the Boston Marathon bombing.

  3. JKB says

    I used to run the logic on the new norm after homosexuality become officially accepted.  I worked government research ships, we weren’t subject to DADT.  So really bunks should have been assigned by job position.  Otherwise to keep with the justifiable separation of sexes, sexual attraction, we’d need to bunk hetero males with hetero males, hetero females with hetero females, homosexual males with homosexual females and the bloody bisexuals we’d have to give a room to themselves.  If you knew the luxury of even a tiny room to yourself on a long cruise, you’d know 10 minutes after instituting that policy, everyone would be bisexual.  Really, some body differences even the smallest child can see on TV routinely is no justification for separate facilities.  I await the discrimination lawsuits for forcing individuals to bath and use the bathroom with individuals that are sexually attracted to their gender.

  4. Charles Martel says

    One of the things that confuses me about the BSA’s decision to allow troops to admit openly homosexual boys is how does a 10 year old know he’s homosexual? If he does “know,” does that mean he’s willing to act on his impulses and look to express himself in the traditional ways (fellatio, sodomy)? Obviously, being surrounded by other boys, he will be sorely tempted to try something at some point. In a way, BSA will have handed him a great tactical advantage: The hetero boys will not at all be attracted to one another, whereas he can be attracted to some or many of them without a bit of competition. 
    Why would BSA set up hetero boys to be hit upon and homosexual boys to be able to see their peers as away-from-our-parents’-prying-eyes opportunities? I used to support the local Scouting movement (my son was a Scout), but no more. Pretending that put hetero and homo boys together and expect nothing to happen is ludicrous.  

  5. says

    How anyone can not see the picture of Michelle Obama with her hashtag as being the very epitome of progress is beyond me.
    Boka Haram? Reactionary purveyors of vicious black on black violence.
    Michelle Obama takes that and immediately  reduces it to black on black apathy.
    Hope and Change is a beautiful thing.

  6. MacG says

    Re Scouts.  Not only is it unwise as the author put it, I made similar points in the past but also this one: The privacy of the 10-18 year olds in the scouting program.  How do the girls feel about sharing bathrooms with adult men? In today’s world many a gay will just announce it, so how would a buff eagle scout, or the insecure scout feel about being alone with one who may be attracted to him?  So privacy is a key reason I am against it.  The other reason is testosterone is testosterone whether one is gay or hetero and the one whose veins it courses through is subject to its pressure against the best of intentions.

  7. lee says

    I don’t recall any commencement speaker at my first two college commencements. I went to a friend’s some year s later and the cheap skates just had the new, incoming president speak. Yawn. My first master’s, I don’t recall who the speaker was, but he was very interesting. (The undergrads had Cathy Guiswhite, and bitched up a storm about it.) I didn’t bother going to the commencement for my second masters.
    I don’t have a problem with the existence of a gift shop, it’s just it is this brightly lit, regular retail mall store, which is inappropriate. I have visited churches and cemeteries that had “gift shops” (These were places where saints were buried or where there were relics.) They were small. Unobtrusive stalls where one could buy prayer cards, or a candle, or leave a donation. A small so where one could by the secular equivalent of a prayer card, would be… comforting. Sometime, when I visit new York again, I’d like to go the museum. I worked at WTC for awhile. I’d’ve preferred they had rebuilt the towers to look like the ones that were destroyed. (With different engineering, of course.) 

  8. says

    The story of the Jewish lady in Germany is worse than it sounds here!!
    This lady didn’t build the house originally – she only bought it in about 2005.  It’s been bought and sold multiple times since 1939 and the State never brought up the little issue of no proper building permit…not even when the Jewish lady BOUGHT the property.  
    It wasn’t until a JEWISH lady owned the property and wanted to SELL it, that suddenly it MUST be demolished, because of the lack of a proper building permit – a building permit that has been missing for over 75 years.
    Pardon me if I smell anti-Semitism……

  9. lee says

    Re: War on Boys
    One would THINK that most all of that is common sense, but I tell you, if I had kids today, especially if I had boys, I would home school. It’s crazy! And the War on Boys isn’t just in elementary school–it continues on into college. (Uh, “Dear Colleague” letter is all about screwing over young men in college.
    When I was in elementary school… First through third graders had THREE recesses per day. (Well, one was not technically a “recess” since class had not started yet, but our day started a little later, and we played before class began.) Fourth grade was when the morning playtime was eliminated, but, PE was added. (Though not every day.) We read a mixture of stuff interesting to boys and stuff interesting to girls. For every “Charlotte’s Web,” there was a “Chacuro.”
    If I had kids, not only would I want to home school them, but if I had a son, when it was time to go to college, I would sit him down, and say, “Son. I don’t just tell you this to be an overprotective mother, but SERIOUSLY: wait until you get married to sleep with someone. Sure, love and all that. But college is full of CRAZY girls, and she may seem nice when you meet her, and maybe for a month, but then POW! A month later, she will change her mind, and you will be so screwed.
    Another thought, to: If I had kids, I would consider getting seriously involved in religion, though not to cult-level seriousness. While my husband and I have good morals and all that, the community of a church or synagogue, would help reinforce that. And also make it easier to seek a similar community of like-minded people once the child went off to college. 
    Not unrelated: When I was in high school, they split up English classes into advanced, standard, and remedial-ish. And one of the teachers who taught the remedial-ish got big push back against an idea he had. He used themes for his classes: cars, sports, sci-fi, and found REAL literature for them to read. (MOST of the students who took the remedial-ish classes were boys.) He used some chapters of “Moby Dick.” He had them reading Ernest Hemingway. He had them reading high school level stuff, while other teachers just copied magazine articles, or easy reading level material.

  10. says

    “Looking at today’s headlines, who can argue with that?”
    Sounds like something I would have come up with, Book. That just goes to show how insane the West’s so called Pax Americana truly is. If America can’t protect American kids… what the hell is the rest of the world relying on US power for?

  11. says

    “In other words, pretty soon the Boy and Girl Scouts of America will resemble college dorms, with no distinction between the sexes (including in the shower room), and all of the resulting licentiousness that flows from that — except this time, it will involve children and young adolescents, not young “adults.””
    You forgot to include the explicit condemnation of this as intentionally grooming child molestation victims for Leftists, like putting homos into the Catholic CHurch. In 15 years, you can go back to your investment here and write “I told you so”. Not like it would matter any more.


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