The Bookworm Beat — Hanging with Neo Neocon edition

Woman writingNot to boast — okay, never mind, I’m boasting — but the reason I didn’t write more this afternoon was that I met up in the City with Neo Neocon. It was, I must say, a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Neo is, as you would expect, thoughtful, informed, amusing, warm, and just a genuine mensch. This was our second get-together, and it felt as if I’d known her forever and only saw her last a few weeks ago, not a few years ago.

Thinking about it, ithout exception, when I’ve met in the flesh people I first got to know through my blog, I’ve never been disappointed.. Each person has been as attractive in three-dimensions as they were when they were only words on the computer screen. If you’re a blog regular whom I’ve gotten to know over the years, and you find yourself in the Bay Area, let me know. Time permitting, we may get a chance to meet for real.

And now . . . to the round-up!

Firing people in Affirmative-Action-Land

One of the things Neo and I touched upon was the disincentive to work resulting from affirmative action hiring followed by the impossibility of firing.  (This is a subject I discussed at length once with the kids.)  The bottom line for those minorities who are paying attention to perverse incentives is “Why work hard if the system is set up so I can’t be fired?”  Roslyn Chavda was one of those employees and was so shocked when she was fired, that she sued for discrimination despite lacking any evidence that anyone had discriminated against her.  If you want to find out how that suit went, go here.

The war between Israel and Hamas has a profound moral dimension

This article by Gen. James Conway, former Commandant of the Marine Corps is a little bit out of date (it was published on July 24), but the point Gen. Conway makes is so important — about the deep moral chasm between Israel and Hamas — that it’s worth reading at any time.  On my real-me Facebook, I’ve been countering Hamas supporters by challenging them to look beyond the number of bodies (many of which Hamas created through its tactics) and to look instead at the nature of the two sides.

This is not just a ground war.  It is an existential war, and there is no middle:  you are other for a Judeo-Christian society that values individual liberty and pluralism, or you are for an Islamic society that demands complete fealty to the Quran, with all its vile prejudices, or mandates death.

There is no truth for those living in a totalitarian regime

A few days ago, I posted the video of a mother who got her deathly ill son from Hamas to Israel, where he was treated.  While there, an Israeli interviewed her.  With cheerful, smiling almost apologetic mien, she explained that she gave from a death cult that was willing to sacrifice everything to get to Jerusalem.  (And even though it’s my own blog, I can’t find the darn link.)

Neo and I talked about that video, and it occurred to Neo that the woman’s apologetic behavior could have been because she didn’t believe what she was saying.  She was voicing those terrible thoughts to protect herself and her family from Hamas’s wrath upon her return to Gaza.  That actually made sense.  In a totalitarian society, no one is allowed to speak the truth.

Anyway, I thought of that when I saw this video of agitated Gazans blaming Hamas for the death surrounding them:

Complaints such as that are courageous acts that can lead to execution.

More evidence keeps emerging to support Israel’s claim that Hamas hides its weapons among children

This morning,  I blogged about a French24 reporter openly acknowledging that Hamas was firing videos from civilian areas, and inviting Israeli return fire.  Just to reinforce that point, here’s a video of Hamas fighters firing rockets in front of what looks like a captive audience of children:

America has a grotesque record when it comes to Iraq’s Kurds

It’s not really a surprise that Obama is abandoning the Kurds. George Bush Sr. did it too, something for which I’ve never forgiven him — nor have I ever forgiven Colin Powell, who apparently gave Bush Sr. the advice to abandon the Kurds. What is interesting is that, on my real-me Facebook, stalwart Obama supporters are grumbling about this base behavior. I don’t think the love affair with Obama will ever end for most of them, but I have to believe that some of them are beginning to realize that their idol has feet of clay. Perhaps with that realization, the cognitive dissonance that makes up their Progressive lives will start to become overwhelming and shatter.

In Europe, it’s 1938 all over again, and too few American Jews care

Is it because I’m too sensitive altogether, or am I correct that American Jews are not sufficiently upset about the rising tide of active, ugly, Nazi-esque anti-Semitism sweeping through Europe.  When I’ve mentioned it to some, they’ve just brushed it off as “Oh, well, Europeans do that occasionally.”  I can’t seem to convince them that, the last time “Europeans did that occcasionally,” 6 million Jews died, not to mention tens of millions of everybody else dying too.

Thinking Leftists realize that Hamas is insupportable if you have even some morals

I sometimes feel sorry for The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg.  He’s a really bright guy, who definitely gets that Israel is the morally correct country, but can’t shake his allegiance to the Left sufficiently to take that thought to its logical conclusion — which is that those who oppose Israel are wrong, and that they may be wrong about their other believe systems, including statism and Obama-love.  Because he’s bright, Goldberg often asks the right questions.  This time, he asks, “What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?” (Hint: He gets the right answer.)

Israel did surprisingly well this time around putting her case before the world

This war has been a very troubling one for Jewish Israel haters. A perfect example of this is an open letter from Peter Schwartz — a self-identified liberal, pacifist, Israel-hating Jew — who has reluctantly been forced to conclude that (a) the Palestinians mean it when they say they want to kill all the Jews and (b) Israel is not unreasonable to defend herself, nor has she defended herself unreasonably.

Schwartz’s anguished, conflicted letter, one in which he strives for moral relativism but realizes that, this time around, Israel’s in the right, reflects something very important about this latest war: Israel fought it not only on the ground, but in the realm of ideas. The world would be a different place if she’d started doing so in the 1970s, but at least she’s doing so now.

Had Israel not been so aggressive in using social media to get out her message, all we would have seen would have been the usual lies, some driven by ideology, and some driven by a media too cowardly even to admit that its coverage is grossly skewed thanks to threats and other intimidation from Hamas.

ISIS’s Iraq takeover has the potential to affect (badly) the world’s oil supply

When I think about the ISIS takeover in Iraq, I think about the Christian slaughter and the horrors of hardcore Sharia rule. In other words, I feel compassion for the Iraqis trapped by those appalling totalitarian savages. I should, however, spare a thought for myself too: Noah Rothman reminds us that if ISIS takes Iraq, it also takes Iraq’s oil. That should scare all of us — and, if Obama was rational, force him finally to approve the Keystone pipeline.

Obama’s telling silence about Maj. General Harold Green’s assassination

I admit that between morning errands and afternoon socializing, I haven’t heard today’s news. As of yesterday, though, Barack Obama hadn’t said a damn thing about one of his generals (he is, after all Commander in Chief) getting assassinated in Afghanistan. The general was Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in Kabul. I don’t know about you but, if Obama was as silent today as he was yesterday, I think that’s awful. It’s not that a generals life is more valuable than any other man or woman killed at enemy hands. It’s that protocol says that a Commander in Chief is supposed to speak out when enemies attack the command structure.

The Stars and Stripes Forever

A little patriotic music for you to enjoy:


Thanks to Caped Crusader for these great posters:

Israel damaged hamas

The men from Illinois

Who's the racist

Hillary's foreign policy experience

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  • lee

    I was in Israel in 1982 when they went into Lebanon. (Similar reason–constant shelling from up there.) Young men I knew my age died. Young men who were eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-one… It was awful and it was terrifying. Maybe because it was so long ago… But somehow, looking at the pictures of the soldiers who died this time around, it seems to make me sadder. Thirty odd years ago, I cried over the ones I knew. Now I am ready to cry over all of them. Maybe because now they seem sooooo young (because I am now old enough to have a child that age.) It’s a terrible loss. I hope that soon Israel will have the opportunity to truly live in peace….

    But I’m afraid it won’t be in my life. The others teach their children to much hate… It’ll be a long time before their hate for down.

    One small aside. I notice my lefty Israel friend is pretty much keeping his mouth shut on Facebook. He’s actually over here now. Normally, being outside of Israel wouldn’t have stopped him from his yapping on his Lefty rants. (Not sure if this was a planned trip from before or if they ran away for awhile.)

  • Ymarsakar

    The conspiracy meetings grow, I see.

  • JudithL

    I love the picture of two of my favorite bloggers meeting for lunch. As a former lefty I feel great affinity with both of you.

    • Bookworm

      And you would have been very welcome with us, too, JudithL.

  • Libby

    Bookworm & Neo Neocon – two of my favorite bloggers!

    * * * *
    Sad but not surprising that Obama has said nothing about Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene. He’ll make a public statement mourning the loss of Whitney Houston but not the passing of the men & women who serve him. It’s not only insulting to them, but it’s also telling to our enemies (similar to our non-response to the Benghazi consulate attack). I’m sure he’s emboldening our enemies and putting further lives at risk.
    * * *

    Back in the 70’s my family participated in a program with the local university to serve as a local family for foreign graduate students. Since air travel was expensive, we served as a home away from home for celebrating holidays, joining the occasional Sunday dinner and as a connection to the community (helped them find a doctor, etc.). One student we had, Mohammed, was from Iran – and he was such a kind, considerate guy. He told us horror stories about life under the Shah and showed us how every book included a photo of the Shah on the first page (there was no escape from him!). We hosted a Thanksgiving dinner that included Mohammed as well as another neighborhood family and the husband & wife Iranian students that they were sponsoring. All three of the Iranians freaked out! The couple was scared to death that Mohammed would be reporting what they said back to government authorities and vice versa. The couple left early because they were so uncomfortable. Mohammed then explained to us that he didn’t even feel comfortable speaking freely with his own father, when it was just the two of them in a room, for fear that what he said would be reported. It’s hard to imagine how awful it is to live under such a regime. Sadly, Mohammed went home early to participate in the revolution (and we do wonder if he became one of the radicals), but the Iranian couple remained in the US and have become US citizens.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Libby, I was a university student during those turbulent days of the Iranian revolution. I had several very close Iranian friends of the Leftist bent who were in high dudgeon over the terrible excesses of the Shah and all very supportive of the Revolution. They would go on and on about how the Shah’s SAVAK would imprison, torture and kill his opponents (fellow Leftists, of course). I commiserated with them until, one day, I happened to ask them what they would do with the Shah’s supporters once they took power. They replied, “well, we need to kill them…”. At that point, my sympathy for their “plight” simply evaporated.

    • Ymarsakar

      Ironically, Khomeini ended up killing, wiping out, purging, and exiling most of the Leftists that helped put down the Shah of Iran.

    • Libby

      Yeah, I was maybe 10 at the time, and he was by far the nicest student we ever sponsored, but his hatred of the Shah was intense. I think it’s hard for many of us Westerners to fathom that someone can be so kind in one instance, and so bloodthirsty in another. Think this is why so many still don’t understand the threat of Islam.

  • MacG

    On The Last Comic Standing a comic was complaining about how she was unbelievably fired after nine years on the job. “My Boss burst into my office, woke me up, and said he don’t need me no mo’. After nine YEARS!”

  • Mike Devx

    So Jimmah Carter says Hamas is a legitimate state actor.The UN and Obama are sending harsh words to Israel All are demanding “peace”.

    No surprises in what I think…

    Ok, I’ll bite: Hamas **IS** a legitimate state actor. That means they must be treated like a legitimate state actor. And when a legitimate state actor fires missiles, digs terror tunnels, and declares that they are going to wipe a neighboring country off the map and kill its 6 million citizens – an act of murderous genocidal frenzy… If a soveriegn state does and says these things, then you must take tnat sovereign state seriously. You go to war against it. And that is legitimate.

    If Hamas is a legitimate state actor, then it must be treated like one.

    IF the military forces of a legitimate state hide among its civilians, by the rules of war the forces remain targets, and the civilians unfortunately and horrifyingly are at risk – placed at that risk by THEIR OWN MILITARY, not the other, attacked, country.

    A thought question: If Mexico were firing hundreds of missiles from the middle of the crowded city of Tijuana into San Diego, I wonder what the response of the US would be? If Mexico said they were going to take every southern-border California county for their own, and would murder every non-Mexican they found there… I wonder what the US response would be? Throw in some 30-odd terror tunnels dug across the border into San Diago, invasions and kidnappings and murders of American citizens via those tunnels… and what would the US do? I bet those of us here in Book’s domain are in complete agreement on our answers to these questions.

    If Hamas is a legitimate state actor, then it must be treated like one.

    They have declared war on Israel, and until they stop, there can be no peace. Period.

    • jj

      We know what the US response is. Mexico’s already said all that stuff – except they want ALL of California and ALL of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, not just the border towns – and President Jugears, strange visitor from a galaxy far, far away, said: “dawk…?”

  • bizcor

    Bookie some day I am going to fly out to bizzaro world simply to meet the one sane person who lives there.

  • bizcor

    And by the way kudos on J’Accuse.
    I still come and read.. just don’t comment as much as I’ve been very busy.