Sunday night round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesJust a few things to round out the weekend.

** 1 **

Yesterday, I went to an exhibition soccer game — Real Madrid versus Inter Milan. The game, held in UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium, was sold out. Despite that, it was a surprisingly lackluster game.

I think that flat feeling arose from a combination of factors. First, it wasn’t a real game, with real consequences. The players, mostly B-List players for both teams, looked more as if they were practicing than competing. Second, the mellow fans were generally enjoying the exhibition quality of the game, so they were cheering both sides equally. While this was very polite, it sucked the energy out of the stadium. In a real competitive game, you want some passion from the audience, as well as from the players.

And third, we were in the nosebleed section. I’m not complaining. It was lovely up there (albeit a little hot), especially since the field was spread out before us. I felt like an eagle. I also realized looking down on the field that soccer reminds me of WWI.

This is not as crazy an analogy as you might think. The players endlessly cycled back and forth over a few yards, constantly getting near each other’s goal and then being repulsed. Although each team played fluidly together, the nature of soccer meant there weren’t any set plays.

Watching it from up high, I thought that, in a way, this would have been what WWI’s trench warfare would have looked like to an alien being perched on a far-away planet, watching the war play out. The two sides faced off against each other and, up until the Americans came along, just endlessly pushed each other back and forth over the same 8 miles.

American football strikes me as being more like traditional American warfare. The battalion, or division, or unit, or whatever, comes up with a strategy and then charges ahead. Ideally, it gains ground and holds it. Less ideally, it gets pushed back and has to regroup. The discipline, though, requires unified forward motion, rather than an endlessly fluid back and forth.

When my kids played, I loved soccer because it made them run, which kids need, and I enjoyed watching my little darlings compete. Without one of my own kids on the field, I definitely like American football better than soccer.

** 2 **

In my earlier post, I said Hamas is worse than the Nazis were. One of the reasons I said that is that the Nazis valued their own (not their enemy’s, but their own) children.  Hamas, however, has decided that its children’s greatest utility is to act the role of corpse — and the younger the Palestinian child, the more enthusiastically Hamas tries to turn it into a dead body.

It turns out that Hamas’s disdain for its children exists independent of an active war with Israel. By its own admission, Hamas used its children as slave labor to build the many tunnels under Israel. One-hundred-sixty of those children died.

** 3 **

Joshua Muravchik is a wonderful writer. One of my favorite of his books is Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, which I highly recommend.  He’s just published another book, which is definitely going on my reading list: Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel.

I know I’m going to like the book because it touches upon a subject I’ve long blogged about, which is the death of the Jew in American culture. Jews no longer exist in American culture.  That marks a sea change from the situation in most of the 20th century.  From the 1910s through the 1970s, Jews were omnipresent, acting, singing, writing, producing, directing…. They made us laugh, cry, and think. That’s all vanished now.  The decline of American Jewry’s role in American life has mirrored Israel’s rise and fall in the eyes of the world.

** 4 **

Antisemitism is a completely irrational hatred. In Islam, antisemitism is predicated upon the words of a 7th century “prophet” who resented the fact that the Jews refused to abandon their faith in favor of his newly created one. For those thankfully few Christians who still hew to old-time antisemitism, their hatred for all Jews in the present day is because, 2,000 years ago, a very small group of Jews aided Christ to his destiny by turning him over to the Romans. For Leftists, hatred of Jews was born out of a 19th century hatred for those few Jews who were visibly capitalist, and now arises from the fact that, until Obama, Israel was seen as inextricably intertwined with America, the bastion of capitalism. None of the preceding justifications for hating Jews springs from a rational source.

Because antisemitism is irrational, it leads to truly stupid outcomes, revealing brains so steeped in hatred they are incapable of thought. Exhibit A is the BBC’s insane, inane tweet about Hamas’s unilateral breach of one of the cease-fires:

Read more at Twitchy.

** 5 **

Speaking of the BBC, the BBC likes “trigger warnings.” I know this, because I’ve seen clips from BBC news shows that use trigger warnings. Such warnings are really, really stupid.

** 6 **

Sarah Palin makes a good case for impeachment. Those who are opposed to immediate impeachment don’t look at President Obama’s conduct but, instead, look at the dynamics of impeachment: It makes for incredibly bad optics if Republicans impeach the first black president, especially right before an election. This means, of course, that Republicans are damned if they do (bad optics) and damned if they don’t (unconstitutional loose cannon in the White House).

Palin makes the point that, if we want to shift that dynamic, we need to educate the public so that more than 33% of them support impeachment:

Let’s go back to that poll I cited showing 33% of Americans agree with me on impeachment. It’s clear from the way these polls are conducted that most Americans aren’t aware of what constitutes impeachable offenses.

The Constitution says “high crimes and misdemeanors” are the basis for this serious remedy. The Framers used that term to mean a dereliction of duty, and the first duty of the president is to enforce our laws and preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution.
Alexander Hamilton described impeachable offenses as “the abuse or violation of some public trust.” He called them “political” offenses because they “relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”


Impeachment isn’t necessarily for ordinary criminal acts, nor is it for bad political decisions or differences in opinion. We’re not saying, “Impeach him because his stimulus failed; he coddles Wall Street while dissing Main Street; he recklessly spends our tax dollars on skewed priorities, etc., etc.”

We’re saying he must be impeached for overstepping his Constitutional authority. Here are some examples: he broke the law in changing the Obamacare law by fiat, and he issued amnesty for illegal immigrants by fiat, and he committed fraud on the American people by lying that we could keep our health care if we like our health care, and he refused to secure our borders or halt this border crisis he caused. The list of abuse is long. Allowing any president to continue this lawlessness sets a precedent for future presidents that can allow destruction of our nation.

We’re acknowledging that there’s only one recourse in holding government accountable when led by a president who breaks the law. Remember the Constitution holds the president directly responsible for the executive branch. He can’t just vote “present” and keep feigning ignorance of all the scandals rocking his administration, any more than a mob boss can claim innocence because he didn’t personally do the hit. The buck stops with the guy at the top.


Impeachment is the Constitution’s answer for a derelict, incompetent presidency, as well as for a lawless imperial presidency. Both describe the unprecedented problem we have with Obama.

** 7 **

AJStrata isn’t opposed to impeachment. He just says that it must wait until after the November election. In the meantime, he sees Obama as someone who is buying more than enough rope to hang himself. After all, executive actions are ephemeral, and can be undone as easily as they were done in the first place.

AJ thinks that Obama is trying to force impeachment before the election in the hope that it will hand Democrats a victory in November. The whole calculus changes — dramatically — if the Republicans sweep both House and Senate.

So, patience, everyone (including you, Sarah Palin). Patience is a great virtue and, as the next story shows, the lack of patience can be profoundly damaging. (Although in the case of the next story, thank God for impatience.)

** 8 **

I’ve pointed out in previous posts that, had Hamas been able to restrain itself from firing rockets into Israel, it would probably have successfully used its tunnels to invade Israel on Rosh Hashanah, killing thousands and kidnapping hundreds. Clarice Feldman makes an even better point:

The reason Hamas couldn’t resist firing rockets was because Israel was turning over every stone in an effort, first, to locate Eyal Yifrach, 19; Gilad Shaar, 16; and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and then, once it was known they were murdered, to find their killers. (Incidentally, did I miss it or was President Obama completely silent about the brutal antisemitic murder of an American citizen? After all, Fraenkel held dual citizenship.)

So the real reason that Israel was able to deter a terror attack that would have rivaled in scope the 9/11 attack on Israel was because three young boys died at Hamas’s hands. I don’t know if it can, but I still hope that this knowledge brings some comfort to the boys’ families.  In a weird way, it means that the boys did not die in vain, since their deaths almost certainly saved thousands of lives.

** 9 **

When I took my daughter to a college fair, I ended up talking to a young woman from Austin, Texas, which is a lovely city despite a Leftist insanity rivaled only by Berkeley and Ann Arbor. I commented, as I always do when I talk about Texas, that I loved it there, but that the heat was killing. The woman told me earnestly that it’s much worse now thanks to global warming. I spared my daughter the embarrassment of calling that young woman on her uninformed lunacy. I bet the woman also thinks Austin is both wetter and dryer before — two assumptions that are completely wrong.

** 10 **

Deroy Murdock tries to help people understand the Israel/Hamas situation by asking them to imagine a violent Mexican terrorist organization south of California.

** 11 **

Just so you can get a feel for what the United States would look like if Progressives were completely in control, check out the insane San Francisco landlord scene. To call what landlords own there “private property” is an extraordinary misnomer. It’s “private property” in name only:

Landlords are challenging San Francisco’s latest move to discourage evictions from rent-controlled apartments, an ordinance requiring them to pay displaced tenants the difference between their current rent and the amount needed to rent a similar unit at market rates for two years.

** 12 **

Hamas treats Jews and its own people like disposable objects. Israel treats Palestinians like human beings:

Israel treats Gazans

** 13 **

Bless the Marines

Howard Stern

The cost of tunnels

Name changed ideology

Hillary disses women

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  • RTsquard

    The 160 children who died working in the tunnels were those as of 2012 when the report was published. How many more have died since then? Maybe SOS Kerry knows.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    2. If there were reports about child labor in tunnels, how does Israel claim to not have known about them? This is odd to me. Also, $3 mil per tunnel, 30 tunnels so far….how much of that money came from the good ol’ USA?

    And it drives me crazy how reporters and politicians are claiming a country should value the lives of its enemies children over that of its own.

  • lee

    Some jack ass was trying to make the point that:

    A) The kids weren’t murdered by Hamas so Israel is overreacting–at best–by sending trips into Gaza. (There was also an implication in this jackass’s article that be sending trips into Gaza, Israel was the “aggressor.”)

    B) Since Hamas didn’t actually kill the kids, Israel should’ve just said, “Oh, well, it wasn’t Hamas, then everything s fine. Carry on.”

    C) That Hama’s missile attacks were understandable in light of Israel’s “overreaction” to the boys’ murders.

    I think he might have been with the BBC. (Surprise, surprise!) It had to have been one of the dumbest things I’ve read in awhile.

  • qr4j

    This past Friday, I saw a clip of Joan Rivers in which a reporter asked what she thought of the Hamas-Israel situation. She compared it to New Jersey and New York: If Jersey were lobbing bombs into New York and building tunnels and so forth, New York would LEVEL Jersey.

    This Thursday evening (31 July 2014), I will attend a prayer service at Sinai Temple here in Champaign, Illinois, to demonstrate solidarity with Israel and to pray for peace. A friend of mine — a member of that congregation — invited me.

    When I was a kid, I saw the movie “The Hiding Place.” It depicted the life of Corrie ten Boom and her family, who hid scores of Jews in their home to save them from the Nazis during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. She and her family were arrested. Her father died waiting for medical treatment. Her sister, Betsy, died in a concentration camp. Corrie was released due to a clerical error — which she called a miracle — and lived as a “tramp for the Lord” (her words), telling the gospel of Jesus’ love: “No pit is so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” Corrie had lived through hell and she knew God’s love — so she knew what she was talking about.

    Anyway . . . that movie had a profound effect on me. I feel as though I should wear a Star of David just as Corrie’s father did, even though he was not a Jew.

    Just some Monday morning thoughts . . .

  • Tara S

    I think I’d have to see a firm definition of “trigger warnings” before deciding how I feel about them. On the one hand, I always appreciate content warnings on posts with gory pictures, pics of animal abuse, etc.; also, people generally claim that trigger warnings are meant to help people avoid things that might trigger panic attacks, such as a rape victim seeing a graphic news story about a rape. If people have truly been spared from panic attacks due to trigger warnings, and if people decide of their own free will to warn for things they feel some people might like to avoid for their own mental health, I don’t really see a problem with it.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen trigger warnings for things like “discussion of racial slurs,” “mentions of death,” and even for images of bare skin or eyes (which was the first time I’d ever heard of scopophobia). It seems like people who might get panic attacks from seeing such things shouldn’t be freely browsing the internet. Well, no, let me amend that: if there is anyone who is genuinely harmed by seeing things like those, they really can’t expect people to accommodate them. It’s nice if people are willing to, but warning for, say, a picture of a flower, on the off-chance that someone with anthophobia will be triggered by it, is entering the realm of the ridiculous.

    • Ymarsakar

      The LEft is experimenting with hypnotic triggers. Thus the warnings are part of their experiment.

      Notice how John Scalzi writes rape fiction glorifying his Democrat politics, while posting trigger warnings.

      Read the entirety, if you can, and then read the comments under Scalzi. The Democrat women support this kind of thing. Trigger warnings? That’s for people who don’t want to be rape victims. People in the Democrat party, love the idea of the power behind being a victim.

    • Bookworm

      Tara S: You’re right about the common courtesy of warning people about extremely gross or disturbing stuff. You’re also right that trigger warnings are for phobias that affect incredibly small and often eccentric minority groups.