Snapshots of insanity

North Korea assumes presidency of U.N. arms control conference

http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/29/north-korea-assumes-presidency-of-u-n-arms-control-conference/#ixzz1Ql1gXN44

“Bare months after the U.N. finally suspended Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi from its Human Rights Council, North Korea wins the propaganda coup of heading the world’s disarmament agency,” the executive director of UN Watch Hillel Neuer said in a statement protesting the move. “It’s asking the fox to guard the chickens, and damages the U.N.’s credibility.”

Damages the U.N.’s credibility? What credibility is there left to damage?

(h/t Weaselzippers.net)

Britain: Iran Testing missiles with nuclear capability

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=227120
Iran has been carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Wednesday.
He told parliament the tests were in clear contravention of UN resolution 1929.

Again, the credibility of the U.N.? But then, after the attack on Libya by (largely) the U.S. and Europe, it’s doubtful that any country would ever give up its nuclear weapons programs.

(h/t Weaselzippers.net)

To think that once it was once only lunatic fringe groups like the John Birchers who were claimed to be crazy for advocating that the U.S. get out of the U.N. Can anyone provide cogent reasons for the U.S. to keep subsidizing this vile organization’s budget today?

 

The nuclear cat is out of the bag and, unfortunately, it appears to be leading to its inevitable conclusion. It feels like mid-1930s deja-vu all over again, with the inevitability of world war looming and significant parts of the world either enables it or remain powerless to stop it.

 

 

The circumcision ban on the San Francisco ballot is driven by blatant antisemitism

I often say I’m shocked by something that crosses my computer screen, but that’s not really true.  I mean, I probably sort of shocked insofar as I’m surprised that someone has behaved according to type, but in an extreme way, or that something I’ve long assumed would happen actually did happen (or, in a surprising way, didn’t happen).  But I’m very seldom shocked to the core of my being.  Today, though, I was shocked, shaken really, by an email Zombie sent me.

Zombie has gotten hold of some of the campaign literature from those supporting the circumcision ban that made its way onto San Francisco’s November ballot.  I am not kidding when I say that the material is indistinguishable from something the Nazis would have prepared:

Go, read the whole thing, and prepare to scrape your jaw from the floor.  It’s horrifying, nasty, awful, evil stuff.  I read a headline today (and can’t, for the life of me, figure out where), stating that antisemitism is resurgent today in a way not seen since the eve of WWII.  This kind of garbage makes that claim — a claim I don’t doubt is true — resonate with real force.

My last word on the subject is that, in the 1930s, as now, socialism was politically dominant in the Western cultures that supported antisemitism, and Islam was (as has been the case for centuries) politically d0minant in the Middle Eastern cultures supporting antisemitism.

Antisemitism is a vile, virulent plague that will not die.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

[This post has been amended from its original publication to include an image, and to remove the throwaway line that the San Francisco Chronicle failed in its investigative duty.  It didn't.]

Other people’s thoughts on Obama’s Israel speech *UPDATED*

I agree with the following thoughts, and pass them on to you for what they’re worth.

From Peter Wehner, giving the historical context that makes Obama’s position appalling:

To be specific: Is Obama aware that Israel has been willing to “act boldly to advance a lasting peace” since before its existence, when Israel accepted a U.N. proposal to establish two states in the region—one Jewish, the other Arab? We know that Arab states rejected that plan, which granted Israel land that constituted one-sixth of one percent of what was known as the Arab world, and five Arab armies invaded Israel the day after its independence was declared in order to annihilate her.

Is the president aware that from 1948 through 1967 Jordan and Egypt controlled the West Bank and Gaza—and during that time neither nation lifted a finger to establish a Palestinian state? Or that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), whose declared purpose was the elimination of Israel, was founded in 1964—three years before the West Bank and Gaza fell under Israeli control? Or that in 1970 King Hussein of Jordan announced a war on the PLO, his army’s slaughtering tens of thousands of Palestinians and eradicating the PLO from Jordan? Or that when the PLO moved to Lebanon and created a state within a state and that by 1975 Lebanon—once known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East”—was ruined?

Is President Obama aware that the land Israel won in 1967—including the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai desert and the Golan Heights—was the result of a war of aggression by Arab states against Israel? Or that after its victory in the so-called “Six Day War” Israel signaled to the Arab states its willingness to relinquish virtually all the territories it acquired in exchange for peace—but that hope was crushed in August 1967 when Arab leaders met in Khartoum and adopted a formula that became known as the “three noes”: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, and no recognition of Israel.

Does the president realize that in 1978 Prime Minister Menachem Begin submitted an accord with Egypt to the Knesset that won overwhelming bipartisan approval—and as a result Israel returned to Egypt the strategically crucial and oil-rich Sinai desert—territory three times the size of Israel and more than 90 percent of the land Israel took control of in the 1967 war? Is Obama aware that in the summer of 2000, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered up an astonishing set of concessions to Yasir Arafat, including having Israel withdraw to virtually all of the 1949-1967 boundaries, so that a Palestinian state could be proclaimed with its capital in Jerusalem? And that Arafat not only turned down the offer but responded with a second intifada?

I wonder, too, if President Obama is aware that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally and entirely withdrew Israel from the Gaza strip, only to watch as the militant group Hamas took control and began to shower Israel with rocket attacks.

From Ace, summarizing an NRO article, both regarding Obama’s double standards:

It’s all pretty neat, but these word-choices matter: These words have been chosen carefully. Including the passive/active voice and declarative or commanding tenses. This is essentially a publicly-delivered diplomatic cable.

There are other neat things, but the best observation, to me, is the fact that when Obama speaks of Israel, he speaks in terms of concrete demands that he, Obama, is laying upon Israel.

When he turns to the reciprocal concessions most urge on Palestine, however, he stops speaking in the command tense, stops speaking of demanding this or that, and simply says that Palestinians will do better if they stop killing Jews.

Not that they must stop killing Jews, mind you, like Israel must stop building settlements; just that hey, it would be better, you know? Or not, you decide.

For contrast, the writer quotes Bush, who was pretty command-tense with Palestinians: They must crack down on terror and dismantle the terror infrastructure.

Perceptive. Obama makes demands on Israel, but makes promises to the Palestinians. Tells you pretty much where he’s coming from.

From Lee DeCovnick, expressing a complete lack of surprise regarding Obama’s almost naked hostility to the Jewish state:

The citizens of the United States elected a President who attended a strict Muslim madrassa (parochial school) for two years. Our current Commander-in Chief, while an impressionable young boy between 6 and 10 years old, bowed down toward Mecca five times a day while praying to Allah. He studied the Koran, including Sura 7:166, Sura 2:65, and Sura 5:60 and its repeated calls for the transformation of Jews into apes and swine. Barry Soetoro was   indoctrinated, as were millions of young Muslim boys, in the  same anti-Semitism that has always been taught in the Muslim madrassa’s for the past thousand years.  Let’s be very clear, Barry Obama surrounds himself with anti- Semitic advisors who relish the elimination of the Jewish state, attended a church for 20 years where the clergy spewed anti-Semitic hate, and now bows, scrapes and sends millions of US taxpayer dollars to Muslim countries and terrorist groups such as Hamas, who are the most lethal anti- Semites on the planet.  So where exactly does Barack Obama stand on life and death issues important to world Jewery, since almost all of his public actions toward Israel and the Arab world strongly reinforce this notion?

From Jonathan Tobin, explaining why those who don’t like Obama won’t like Mitch Daniels (include me in that list):

According to Politico, Daniels had this to say about Obama’s demand that the 1967 lines be the starting point for peace negotiations in the future:

What is going on in the Arab world these days has little or nothing to do with Israel or Palestine, it has to do with tyrannical regimes which have really stifled prospects for their people who are now restless for a better life. . . . I don’t think right now it pays very much of a dividend to try to cut the Gordian Knot of Israel and Palestine.

Daniels is right that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with the Arab Spring. But he failed to note how Obama had tilted the diplomatic playing toward the Palestinians or the significance of the 1967 lines for efforts to re-partition Jerusalem (a point that Pawlenty highlighted). Nor did notice, as Bachmann and Romney did, the fact that this was clearly intended as an insult to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who arrives in the United States today for a visit.

[snip]

Daniels has always been something of a cipher on foreign policy. As for his support for Israel, the sum total of proof provided by his friends of his affection for the Jewish state was one speech given at an ADL dinner. On the other side of the ledger, there was his recent appearance at a dinner given by the Arab-American Institute, a left-leaning anti-Israel group that honored him because the Indiana governor’s grandparents came from Syria. While his heritage means nothing in this discussion, his reaction to the president’s speech does tell us he doesn’t appear to have strong feelings about American support for the Jewish State

And once again, Benjamin Netanyahu, beating the horse pucky out of Obama with exquisite politeness:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

UPDATE: From Stanley Kurtz, a little more on what those of us paying attention knew was Obama’s big lie, namely, his claim that he was a friend of Israel:

The Los Angeles Times has long refused to release a videotape in its possession of a farewell dinner, attended by Obama, for scholar and Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi. Obama spoke warmly of his friendship for Khalidi at that event. Unfortunately, the continuing mystery of that video tape has obscured the rather remarkable article that the LA Times did publish about the dinner — and about Obama’s broader views on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. In light of the controversy over Obama’s remarks on Israel in his address yesterday on the Middle East, it is worth revisiting that 2008 article from the LA Times.

The extraordinary thing about “Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Obama” is that in it, Obama’s supporters say that in claiming to be pro-Israel, he is hiding his true views from the public. Having observed his personal associations, his open political alliances, his public statements, and his private remarks, Obama’s Palestinian allies steadfastly maintain that Obama’s private views are far more pro-Palestinian than he lets on.

Having pieced together Obama’s history, I make much the same argument about Obama’s broader political stance in my book, Radical-in-Chief. Obama’s true views are far to the left of what he lets on in public. Yet it’s striking to see Palestinian activists making essentially the same point — not in criticism of Obama, but in praise.

Notice also that, in this article, Rashid Khalidi himself claims that Obama’s family ties to Kenya and Indonesia have inclined him to be more sympathetic to Palestinians than other American politicians are. That sort of claim often gets ridiculed when conservatives make it.

The point of all this is not that, as president, Obama is going to make policy exactly as Rashid Khalidi might. Obviously, no American president could take such a position and survive politically. Rather, the point is that Obama’s stance is going to tilt more heavily toward the Palestinians than any other likely American president, Republican or Democrat — just as Obama’s Palestinian allies argued in that LA Times piece.

And from me, a little finger wagging, directed, not at Jerry Seinfeld, but at Obama:

UPDATE II:  Ronald Reagan, of course, understood.  Here he is, speaking on September 1, 1982:

In the pre-1967 borders, Israel was barely ten miles wide at its narrowest point. The bulk of Israel’s population lived within artillery range of hostile armies. I am not about to ask Israel to live that way again.

Hat tip:  Rob Long, who heard it from Richard Miniter

Oh — and Barry Rubin noticed a . . . hmmm . . . let’s call it a telling factual misstatement.

I can’t help but say, “I told you so” regarding the entire Andrew Sullivan/Jesse Kornbluth thing

In the past week and a half, I’ve had a couple of vigorous go-arounds with Jesse Kornbluth regarding his sycophantic Andrew Sullivan article in the Harvard Rag, er, Mag.  My take was that Kornbluth either carelessly missed or, worse, actually supported Sullivan’s shoddy journalism.  Kornbluth, as you may recall, anointed Sullivan as the world’s “best blogger.”  In his defense, Kornbluth threw his own resume at me (and, although I can’t recall right now, might have thrown Sullivan’s resume at me too).  He did not defend his failure to do deeper research into the myriad factual failings behind Sullivan’s coy, dishonest, and slanderous attacks on Sarah Palin, Trig Palin and the Tea Party.

After that whole go-around, I feel someone vindicated in my position (and totally disgusted, I might add), to learn that Sullivan, trying to defend Tony Kushner, relied on a radically antisemitic site to find a completely vile quotation falsely attributed to Yitzhak Shamir.  (For those who haven’t already heard, CUNY was originally going to give an award to Kushner, but was talked out of it when the depth, breadth and depravity of his antisemitism was exposed.  The usual suspects, Sullivan included, immediately sprang to his defense.)

For information about Kushner’s antisemitism (and don’t forget his anti-Catholicism), go here and here.

For the full story of Sullivan’s unsurprising dive into the antisemitic abyss, go here.

Carrying old grudges

“Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.”  — Deuteronomy, 24:16.

One of the things that always struck me as bizarre about old-fashioned Christian antisemitism was how anachronistic it was.  Present day Christians persecuted present day Jews because of events that happened hundreds of years before either those Christians or Jews were, as my father used to say, “even a twinkle in their daddy’s eye.”   Despite Deuteronomy’s strictures, Jews were persecuted as if they had personally laid their hands on Jesus.  Fortunately, Christianity has, for the most part, abandoned that bizarre little foible.

Sadly, though, it lives on in Islam.  Fifteen hundred years ago, Mohamed had a tiff with the local Jewish community, which not only led him to massacre them, but led him to command his followers to massacre all Jews into perpetuity — in its convoluted, archaic way, when it comes to Jews, the Koran basically boils down to “Fathers shall . . . be put to death because of their children [and] children be put to death because of their fathers.”

This approach to a racial group (because Mohamed’s hostility had nothing to do with specific religious practices, which he actually admired), is both logically and morally bankrupt.  It’s one thing to say that, to the extent Group A routinely does X, as long as they do X, they’re our enemy.  It is another thing entirely to say that, because Group B is descended from some people we hated fifteen hundred years ago, let’s exterminate them.

All of which leads me to Barry Rubin’s astute (as always) commentary about Obama’s misuse of the Passover story to support uprisings in the Middle East that have, as one of their stated aims, the extermination of the Jews:

I think the greater problem here is the endless universalizing of specifically Jewish experiences that are never seen as sufficient in their own right, as well as the basic opportunism of making Passover into an event backing Obama Administration policy.

Race-hating should not be the type universal experience derived from Holy Books, an “experience” that the books’ followers then use to justify their turning to ancient feuds and behaviors into current genocides.

I freely admit that Rubin’s excellent post, which is the actual useful lessons that one should draw from the Passover story, is not quite on point with what I’m discussing here.  However, to the extent it touches upon the universality of Holy Books, I really like the way he reminds us that, while the morals of the Good Book’s stories are universal, one should be very careful when dealing with ancient specifics.

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The new face of antisemitism

Actually, it’s not a new face at all — it goes back to Mohammed himself, and his paranoid, resentful rants when the Jews refused to accept him as a prophet.  What makes it new is that, thanks to the modern age and the Leftist media, these messages, which used to be confined to backward desert regions, are all the rage, all over the world:

 

New Trends in Arabic Anti-semitism from Henrik Clausen on Vimeo.

It’s that kind of crap (pardon my language), that allows Reuters to write this kind of crap:

Police said it was a “terrorist attack” — Israel’s term for a Palestinian strike. It was the first time Jerusalem had been hit by such a bomb since 2004.

Or that allows Obama to use only passive voice in speaking of Palestinian terrorism, passive voice so extreme he doesn’t even do the usual passive voice technique of waiting until the sentence’s end to include the noun that did the verb.  Instead, he manages never to include any actor in the sentence at all.  He’s not the only one, of course.

Anti-American, anti-Semitic NPR fundraising executives punked *UPDATED*

I’m actually grateful to NPR.  It was its unbelievably biased Israel coverage that helped me make the break with my reflexive liberalism and take a long, hard look at my political beliefs and party affiliation.  Nevertheless, it irks me no end that my taxpayer money funds NPR, PBS and local affiliates.  There is no reason in this day and age to have government media, especially government media that is hostile to more than half the American population and wants to roll around naked in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood.

If you don’t believe me about NPR’s beliefs and desires, you must read this Daily Caller article and take the 11 minutes to watch the video that is a part of the article.  It’s disgusting but it’s also wonderful, because it shines sunlight in an area the Progressives have tried to keep shady.  Considering that the NPR executive who got punked said it would be best for NPR to lose its federal funding, my response is, let’s give the guy what he wants.

UPDATE:  I like NPR’s defense which amounts to this:  since we didn’t immediately accept their phony bribe, we’re “appalled” by Schiller’s comments, and Schiller got another job, get off our back.

“The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept.

“We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for.

“Mr. Schiller announced last week that he is leaving NPR for another job.”

It doesn’t seem to occur to the NPR folks that the video shows Schiller desperate to get a steady stream of income from a Muslim Brotherhood organization that wants to give a platform to Hamas and Hezbollah, two terrorist groups.

Brilliant Israeli satire

Caroline Glick is the Andrew Breitbart of Israel, since it was she who founded Latma, the group that uses comic skits and music to lambaste Israel haters.  As an Abba fan, I especially enjoyed this one:

I’m also becoming a really big fan of the guy doing the singing.  He’s one of the main Latma performers, and he’s always entertaining.

The Obama administration at the U.N.

I’m so upset about what happened at the UN today, I can’t speak (or write).  Hot Air explains what happened:  after casting a veto against the Security Council’s vote on Israeli settlements, the U.S.’s Ambassador, Susan Rice, launched into a vitriolic attack that would have come easily from the lips of the Syrian or Iranian representative.

Omri Ceren wonders what Rice was trying to accomplishment.  While Rice and Obama may be confused in a hate-filled way, J.E. Dyer explains that the Islamic totalitarians in the Middle East understand that Rice just fired the starting gun in the race to Jerusalem.

And lastly, Jennifer Rubin points out that, whether because they were blinded by the Obama shell game (diddle around with the vote and then give an ugly speech) or because they’ve got their heads buried in their derrieres, Jewish groups in America haven’t made a peep about Rice’s appalling speech.  (By the way, Rubin notes the silence; I editorialized about the heads going where the sun don’t shine.)

I’m just sick about this.  I warned every Jew I knew what they could expect from Obama, but did they listen?  No!  Next to blacks, they were the largest single group to cast the majority of their votes for him.  Idiots!  Idiots!

But of course, if the semi-oil rich Middle East goes rogue on Obama’s watch, we all suffer, not just the Jews.

Idiots!

Muslim (and Obama administration) antisemitism

If you want a good lesson in the depth, breadth and virulence of Muslim antisemitism, Andrew Bostom provides it.  Then think long and hard about the fact that the current administration is siding with these Muslims at the United Nations.  I’m still struggling to come to terms with the appalling nature of the administration’s decision, and can’t quite decide what to write.  Others, though, have written about it:

Omri Ceren

John Podhoretz

Abe Greenwald

Rick Richman

Rick Moran

Guy Benson

Maetenloch at Ace of Spades

Jennifer Rubin (twice)

Jay Nordlinger

Bryan Preston

Bottom line:  the Obama administration is engaging in a noxious blend of appeasement (and we know how well that works) and the wonderful opportunity to slam Israel for the “disgust” it feels towards that nation.

TIME Magazine — not your parents magazine anymore

Almost thirty years ago, just after college, I got a summer job in a hospital administrative office, filling in for a gal who was on maternity leave.  One of the guys in charge of that office looked, to my fevered young eyes, just like Tom Selleck.  He wasn’t very nice, he wasn’t very educated, and he wasn’t very bright, but he sure looked good.  Naturally, I was always delighted when he joined in a conversation to which I was a party.  I remember that about him.

And I remember one other thing.  I was talking to an office mate, and I mentioned an article in TIME Magazine, a copy of which was always lying around my parents’ house.  (My dad got discount subscriptions through the teacher’s union.)  The Tom Selleck look alike turned to me with something approximating a sneer twisting under that big 80s style mustache, and said “TIME Magazine?  That conservative rag?  You need to read Newsweek.”

Looking back, the first thing that makes me laugh is that someone would think he was showing his intellectual chops by boasting that he read Newsweek, not time.  Such is life, I guess, when you’re the male equivalent of a dumb blond. The other thing that’s laughable is that he considered TIME “conservative.”  Of course, this was San Francisco in the 1980s so, even for guys pretending to be Tom Selleck (a true conservative, bless his heart), TIME was untenable.

The thing that’s really weird, though, when I resurrect that memory, is to realize how completely things have changed.  Back in those days, every middle and working class family I knew (except for the Chinese ones, because of the language barrier) had TIME or Newsweek, or both.  Those magazines shaped the middle class view of the political scene in ways its almost impossible to comprehend nowadays.  Every week, those magazines told us what to think, complete with great pictures.  TIME had occupied that role for roughly 50 years, and Newsweek for almost that long.

Today, Newsweek, after being sold for $1, is a small little opinion magazine that no one reads.  And TIME is still struggling on as a regular sized opinion magazine that (a) tries to pretend it’s actual journalism and (b) that no one reads.  Fine.  That’s business.  You ignore your market, you die.

But what makes TIME’s decline truly execrable is that, as it sinks into the bottom tier of the media muck, it’s garbed itself in the one garment to all Left wing bottom feeders:  antisemitism.  This antisemitism, typically, is masked as anti-Israel sentiment, but we all know the difference.  When you relentlessly demonize a state that is functionally equal to or much better than most other nations, you have to look at what makes that state stand out from the nations being given a pass.  And if the one unique feature is that state’s Jewishness — well, bingo!  There’s your answer.  TIME is working on replacing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as profitable reading material.

The Ivory Tower gets further sullied; and by the way, Sarah Palin was the victim of a blood libel

Ivory Tower used to be a compliment.  Now, just as ivory has degraded in social standing (the whole death of elephants thing), so too has the Ivory Tower’s star fallen (the whole death of logic, common sense, morality and actual education thing).  This morning, I posted about UC Berkeley’s buffoonish Chancellor (paid by taxpayers, both state and federal), who waded in on behalf of lunatics everywhere by opining that the insane, vaguely Leftist Loughner was a manifestation of the conservative movement.  Oh, yeah!

My friend Zombie now alerts me to the fact that — and this is true — since 2009, Berkeley has played host to a “scholarly,” taxpayer-funded, “academic” center that focuses on right wing movements.  No, really.  It’s true.  Really.

As Zombie says, “Students can now get a Bachelor’s degree in TEAPARTY=NAZI with a minor in OMGREDNECKS!”

What Zombie further discovered was that — no surprise here — one of the center’s scholars in residence has given his scholarly opinion (Did you get that?  This whole thing is scholarly, so you have to take it seriously) that the Tucson shooting is all the fault of American conservatives.  Zombie comments amusingly (as always) on the fact that this academic freely admits that there is no connection between Loughner and the right wing but, res ipsa loquitur, he still concludes that right wingery must be Loughner’s motivating force — because, after all, what else could be?  (Hint:  Loughner hears voices in his head.)

Aside from the rank intellectual dishonesty behind that scholarly conclusion (and that’s the nicest thing I can think to say), what really impressed me was the way in which it was written.  Since these opinings are the product of a modern academic, the writing is turgid, polemical, cant-filled, and barely intelligible:

Unlike in the case of Oklahoma City, where the perpetrator was explicit in his insurrectionary aim and managed to pull off his catastrophe, in Tucson there is enough ambiguity about the perpetrator that radicalism on the right is unlikely to feel the need to abate. In the absence of, as it were, a smoking gun—the perpetrator himself assuming responsibility in the name of the movement—the impact of Tucson is likely to be an amplification rather than any amelioration of the fierceness of our political climate.

This unintelligibility is, of course, the product of Leftist education. When I was at Berkeley 30 years ago, I drove my professors bonkers when I kept asking them to explain their Marxist claptrap. I was sufficient naive that, at the time, I didn’t know it was Marxist claptrap.  As a grammarian and lover of the English language, I simply knew that it was impossible to understand the arcane words, bizarre sentence structure and illogical ideas I routinely heard and read in my classes. You couldn’t parse those sentences for love or money.

So, respectfully, I kept asking them — teachers and fellow students — to explain. And they couldn’t. They couldn’t because (a) they had no idea what the phrases they were parroting meant and/or (b) they understand that there was no meaning behind those phrases.  (As for choice “a,” I will forever lovingly recall the desperate student who wrote, regarding The Picture of Dorian Gray, the Oscar Wilde’s descriptions of flowers throughout the text were “meant to represent the phallic symbolism of the female sexual organs.”  Ooo-rah!)

Just to show that I’m not making this up (or that I wasn’t too stupid to understand my teachers and their texts), here is an actual prize-winning example of bad writing from UC Professor Judith Butler:

“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relationships in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”

Take that, oh ignorant Sarah Palin, who has the temerity to communicate using familiar words, organized in logical fashion, adding up to understandable ideas. How dare she?

And speaking of “how dare she?,” somehow all this ties into Palin’s newest (alleged) rhetorical crime, which consists of using the phrase “blood libel” to describe what the chattering classes aimed at her in the wake of the Tucson shooting. Many (well, make that the New York Times) are upset about this. The paper of anti-Israel record is horrified that one of the most philosemitic politicians in America would dare to use a phrase associated with Jews.

Color me limited (and Jewish), but it seems to me that she used the perfect phrase.  You see, a blood libel, such as the one aimed for centuries at Jews (still aimed, by the way) is a statement that, without any proof whatsoever, accuses someone of having  . . . yes, innocent blood on his or her hands.

In today’s news context, to savage Palin for accurately describing what was being done to her as a “blood libel” is the equivalent of a high tech lynching.  Whoops!  Did I use another metaphor that is only allowed for certain races?  Silly me.  I thought language in America was a vehicle for communicating ideas, not for isolating (or slicing and dicing) races, classes, and victims.

Our universities have a lot to answer for.  In the 1960s, craven administrators, embarrassed by their possible  complicity in racism, collapsed before the student revolts.  Worse, in the coming years, they took those students into the fold as academics themselves, nursing the viper to their collective breasts.  The result is a generation of Marxist, antisemitic, statist, incoherent people who use their academic credentials and bombastic, unintelligible writing to flim-flam the masses and, worse, to try to control the intellectual tone in this country.

A small thing to do to counter an attack against Israel

Greg Gutfeld calls it “Students Against Hummus, Not Hamas,” which is a very funny description of something that’s not funny at all:  Anti-Israeli students at Princeton, offended that two Israeli companies are provided the hummus sold in school-run stores, are making a lot of noise about “expanding” the hummus selection.  The point, of course, is to defund Israeli companies.  The larger issue is “BDS,” which stands, not for Bush Derangement Syndrome, but for the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement that is trying to use economic forces to destroy Israel.

At Brain Droppings, Bill C has a suggestion for a small way that you can provide big support for the Israeli hummus companies.  Also, feel free, when you’re in a store selling Israeli-made goods, to buy those products.  I don’t recommend Israeli chocolate (call me a chocolate snob) but, really, you can’t go too far wrong buying other Israeli-made products.

New memes and old facts when it comes to the oldest hatred

Lately, Mr. Bookworm has been obsessed with Glenn Beck, and he keeps attacking my conservativism by saying that Beck is the “most dangerous man in the world.”  The genesis for this theory is a series of Jon Stewart shows that skewered Glenn Beck shows, in which the latter attacked George Soros.

Soros, of course, is genetically Jewish, although he was raised as a Christian, assisted the Nazis with collecting Jewish property (an experience he describes as one of the best in his life), and is implacably hostile to the State of Israel,  a hostility he backs by funding all sorts of anti-Israeli groups and causes.  Nevertheless, because Soros is sort of Jewish, Stewart argues, and Mr. Bookworm believes, that Beck’s attacks on Soros are the television equivalent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The “Beck is an antisemite because he’s attacking George Soros” meme is spreading.  Mr. Bookworm was very excited this morning to read a New Yorker opinion piece making precisely the same point:  Beck is an antisemite because he’s pointing out that Soros is an antisemite.  What’s really funny is that Beck quotes Soros directly, while the New Yorker labors mightily, using only its own words, to construct a narrative of Soros as victim, rather than an antisemitic sociopath who happened to have Jewish ancestors.  Some spin.

This Soros/Beck focused meme is that it cleverly manages to ignore the real antisemitism out there — and that antisemitism, with the exception of a few universally ignored paleocons, comes from the Left.  A case in point is the way in which liberal churches are allying themselves with the Palestinian “underdog,” merely because Palestinians are underdogs.  The churches seem blind to the fact that these “underdogs” promote homosexual murder; the enslavement, torture and death of women; the genocide of Jews, the “wrong” Muslims and Christians; etc.  For liberals, all that matters is that they’re underdogs.  ‘Nuff said.

Likewise, these same churches are advocating the pernicious “replacement” theology, the same theology authorized the anti-Jewish atrocities that characterized the Middle Ages and, in Eastern Europe, managed to stay alive all the way through World War II.   Currently, this “replacement” theology is especially foul because it’s being used to deny the Jews’ ancient and continuous ties to the Holy Land.

Others on the Left, blinded by their hated for George Bush (who has always supported Israel) and by their reflexive and ignorant affiliation with “underdogs” who are struggling against the U.S. and Israel (never mind that the underdogs are indistinguishable from Nazis, or worse, in their beliefs), are equally hostile to Israel and, by extension, to the Jews.  JoshuaPundit has noted on two occasions that Andrew Sullivan, the intellectual darling of the Left, makes pronouncements that could easily have come from any old Jew hater — not that you’d ever hear them from Beck, who hates only Soros, but not the Jews.

Funnily enough, neither Jon Stewart nor the New Yorker, nor any other liberal (and liberal-Jewish) people and publications, seems to have a problem with the blatant antisemitism emanating from the Left.

British politician claims Israel is the root cause of world wide terrorism

Yes, you read that post caption correctly.  British Liberal Democrat Jenny Tonge, in a speech in the House of Lords, claims that terrorism around the world is Israel’s fault, because Israel treats the Palestinian’s badly:

On the issue of world conflict prevention, Tonge then said: “It is a disgrace to us all that problems such as Kashmir and Palestine are still alienating Muslims all over the world.

“The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is held up as an example of how the West treats Muslims,” she said, “and is at the root cause of terrorism worldwide.”

You have to check out the JPost article to get the full flavor of her delusional rant.

How does one talk to someone like this, someone who, moreover, has quite the bully pulpit to articulate her particular brand of insane poison?  It doesn’t seem to occur to her that, even if one assumes that her premise is true, and that Israel doesn’t treat Palestinians well, that’s scarcely an explanation for the Muslims’ worldwide terror spree.  If not being treated well explains worldwide terrorism, we should be on the receiving end of terrorism from Israelis, who are treated badly by the surrounding Muslims; from Kurds, who are brutalized by the Turks; from Christians, who are brutalized everywhere in the Muslim world; from expatriate Cubans, whose compadres are prisoners in their own country; from Tibetans, who are on the receiving end of totalitarian, often genocidal treatment from the Chinese; etc.

But that’s logic, and logic doesn’t work in crazy land.  This is a woman who has convinced herself that jihad has nothing to do with Islam itself, and everything to do with victim status.  Well, it’s time for the Jews to start claiming victim status, then.  Maybe that will turn around her lunacy.  Or maybe not, because what we’re really seeing here is hardcore antisemitism, of the type that knows no logic or rationality.

And I thought I just disliked him because his films are boring and pompous

I never liked Jean-Luc Godard movies.  I go to movies to be entertained, not bored.  He failed my simple test.

Aside from being (in my mind) a boring film maker, it turns out that he is, as well, a deep, blatant, vicious antisemite.  Of course, if you’re a New York Times consumer, you’d never know that.  And what’s really bad is that the New York Times doesn’t avoid Godard’s antisemitism because the Times is itself ignorant of Godard’s ugly side.  Nope, the Times is well aware of it.  It’s approach, therefore, is to gloss over, explain away, and excuse his depravity.

I doubt anyone, with a straight face, can disagree with me when I say that the Times would have responded differently if evidence ever emerged that Godard had said “I dislike gays/blacks/Asians/Hispanics/Muslims/other victim group that suits the Times’ criteria.”

“I am Spartacus-berg”

At Rhymes with Right, Greg tells about a peculiar interaction he had at a Democratic-themed blog, where his argument in favor of free speech earned an attack against him based upon his Jewishness.  Although Greg was flattered, he isn’t actually Jewish.   He concluded, that the claim that he is Jewish was meant to be an insult, and was aimed at deflecting the whole notion of free speech as something peculiarly (and evil-y) Jewish.

Scott Kirwin, who blogs at The Razor, left an excellent comment:

I take that [being called a Jew] as a compliment. Ever since Daniel Pearl said it before he was murdered, I view it as an act of defiance.

In other words, saying “I am a Jew,” whether or not one is, is giving an upraised finger to the forces of totalitarianism and tyranny.

Naturally, this led me one step further:  Just as the Danes (wasn’t it the Danes?) once upon a time, before they turned into a Muslim nation, deflected the Nazi’s genocidal attacks against their Jewish citizens by all proudly donning the yellow star, shouldn’t all of us, as free people, say “I am a Jew?”

Yesterday, I suggested that all of us, men and women alike, confess to affairs with John Boehner, a la the “I am Spartacus” scene in the eponymous movie.  Today, I suggest that we all say “I am Spartacus-berg” because, in the face of the oncoming darkness, we must all stand as Jews or accept the death of liberty.

Is Europe trying to save itself?

I don’t have a link yet (it was tweeted), but it appears that the Swedes elected a center-right government.  I see this as a good thing, although I haven’t lost sight of two facts:  (1) Europe is so far Left that, as we know from England, even center-right is Left; and (2) the cancer of antisemitism has managed to permeate most of Europe, irrespective of Left and Right.  Only if/when the Europeans realize that, in their efforts to preserve their culture against Islam’s latest assault, they are on the same side of the battle lines as the Jews will they be able to eradicate this vile disease.

The difference between active and passive antisemitism — and why TIME falls on the wrong side of the line

One of the dominant PC d0ctrines is that you’re not allowed to dislike people based upon race, religion, creed, country of national original, sexuality, gender, etc.  This is one step beyond federal law, which merely says that you cannot discriminate against people on those grounds.

I heartily agree with the federal law.  In a free, democratic society, your skin color or religion (or whatever else), standing alone, should not subject you to discrimination.

(Please note that I said “standing alone.”  I do believe that, if your religion requires you to engage in certain practices that are inconsistent with a job, its reasonable for the employer not to hire you, since he is discriminating based on conduct, not religion.  Neither the orthodox Jewish woman nor the conservative Muslim woman should be applying for a job at Hooters, and Hooters is right to refuse them employment if they refuse to wear the Hooters’ costume.  Likewise, considering that fire fighters carry tons of gear and drag people out of burning buildings, I don’t think a 5′ tall, 95 lb gal should get the job because it would be “discriminatory” not to hire her.  In the event of a fire, I want to be rescued, as opposed to burning to death in the glorious consciousness that I have sacrificed my life to political correctness.)

PC, though, cannot change the fact that, within our own heads, we may well dislike a specific group.  I happen to dislike one group.  I don’t like their language, their culture, their food or their music.  BUT I DON’T WISH THEM ILL.  I wish them every success, I want them to enjoy the full benefits of our country’s wealth and freedom, and if a family from this group moves into my neighborhood, I will welcome them with open arms, provided that their desire is to blend with my neighborhood, not to change it.  Are you my feelings irrational?  Absolutely.  Are they invalid?  No, I don’t think they should be.  Because I DON’T WISH THIS GROUP ILL.

The same holds true for what I’ve long called “active” versus “passive” antisemitism.  Kelly LeBrock may have whined for years that one shouldn’t hate her because she’s beautiful, but I’ve always come at it from the other side, which is that you don’t have to like me just because I’m Jewish. You see, in a healthy society, we don’t force people to like each other, but we do prevent them from harming each other based on those dislikes.

A perfect example, to my mind, of passive antisemitism, is Dorothy Sayers’ first book, Whose Body?, written in 1920s England, during the height of England’s passive antisemitism.  It has as its centerpiece a manifestly Jewish corpse (presumably because of the never-explicitly-stated circumcision), which allows for all sorts of references to Jews being money-grubbing and clannish.  That’s passive antisemitism.  Sayers doesn’t get Jews and doesn’t much like them.  Fine.  By this time, no laws discriminated against Jews, and its manifest that Sayers does not wish them ill.  She just doesn’t want to hang with them.

Active antisemitism is different, because it adds to the hostility a desire for Jewish destruction.  We saw this with the Nazis, and we see this with the Muslims.  It is not enough to say “I don’t like Jews.”  This antisemite must take it to the next level of physical suffering and death.

Of course, as with everything, there’s a continuum.  The Time Magazine cover story claiming that Jews don’t care for peace shows a magazine on the move to the ugly side of that continuum.  On its face, the article seems to be passive antisemitism, in that it simply repeats ancient, ugly tropes about Jews being amoral, money-grubbing animals.  Fine, Time doesn’t like Jews.

But there’s a subtext here, which is the fact that the article is written as part of the coverage regarding yet another round of Israel/Palestinian talks.  And what the article doesn’t acknowledge is that the Palestinians have been very open about their active antisemitism:  they want Jews dead, very, very dead.  And so when Time writes an article like this, it is working to hasten Israel’s destruction by empowering the Palestinians in a sham “process,” that has as its ultimate goal Israel’s destruction.  TIME WISHES JEWS ILL.  And that is the type of antisemitism that is as active as it gets.

Helping American Jews learn to give Sarah Palin the love she deserves

Israel has no greater friend than Sarah Palin.  She has shown repeatedly that she has a deep and abiding respect for the Jewish state, and that she understands the existential stresses under which it survives.  Benyamin Korn gets this and, despite incredible derision from Jewish Democrats, has begun working to build a Jewish coalition recognizing Sarah’s myriad virtues vis a vis Israel.

As part of Korn’s effort, he has started a blog site called Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.  The website needs a bit of polishing, especially since the newest posts seem to be appearing at the bottom, not the top, which makes the site look stale, rather than vital.

That’s cosmetic stuff, though, and easily fixed.  What matters is the substance here, which is that Korn is trying to get American Jews past their superficial prejudices (“she’s from Alaska;” “she speaks funny;” “she didn’t go to an Ivy League college;” “she belongs to a fundamentalist Christian sect;” etc.) and instead to look at the woman’s substance.

I don’t know whether Sarah is ready to be president, whether she is electable (given how much the Left’s hatred permeates society, infecting people who are casual about their politics), or whether she is actually presidential material.  Only time will tell.  What I do know about Sarah is that she is a truly admirable American, many of whose values resonate with me and with most Americans (even those prejudiced Jews); that she is a bone-deep philosemite, whose appreciation for Jews extends to the state of Israel; and that she is a political powerhouse who cannot and should not be ignored.

So, please, check out Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.  Help make it a vital, much-read website.  American Jews, how have long been on the receiving end of unthinking prejudice, need to expand their minds.  They need to leave behind a Left that is increasingly, and openly, antisemitic, and they need to look to their true friends.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News