I sometimes wonder if my family’s entered into a secret compact to keep me away from my computer. I’ve gone from having five hours or so to myself every day from Monday to Friday to having perhaps two hours to myself for the entire week. It’s hard to think sometimes.
Of course, my week’s gone a whole lot better than Sony’s week. It isn’t every day, is it, that a whole studio is forced to cave to blackmail and threats? While I don’t think Sony should have caved (more on that in a minute), I think much of the blame for today’s end game belongs with news outlets that should have assiduously ignored the hacked information. By paying attention to it, they signaled to every hacker in the world, whether individual, NGO, or government, that hacks can be used to blackmail institutions, because the media will gleefully participate in the hack by disseminating stolen information.
I might have posted this Pat Condell video three years ago, when it first came out, but if I didn’t, it’s timeless and, if I did, it’s still worth watching again. If more of us had Condell’s passion for truth and individual liberty, the world would be a much better, safer place.
This is clearly a good day for brilliant videos:
Sorry for the downer title, but the news is anything but good, wherever one looks. At the home front we’ve had flat tires, broken bones, and dead phones. (The broken bone belongs to my exchange student, who is disappointed, but not too terribly damaged, thank goodness.) The past few day’s headlines haven’t done anything to cheer me up, either.
Because I like to share, I’m passing my temporary existential despair on to all of you. And just to make you feel a little worse, let me add that our current administration, rather than trying to pull the rip-cord on the parachute so that we don’t hit bottom, is instead trying to cut the parachute’s suspension lines.
How bad is Obama? So bad that even Democrats view him as toxic
Republicans didn’t run away from Bush until 2008. Here it is, only 2014, and Democrats are treating Obama as if he’s radioactive. (The link is to a Wall Street Journal article. If you can’t read the article, try googling the title for an accessible link.)
Michael Dolan explains how Obama got what he wanted: A partnership with Iran
Obama came into office promising to work with Iran. It turns out that, as is true of all the promises he made that were deleterious to America’s well-being , he kept this one. (It’s a useful yardstick, incidentally: Promises about things that will help Americans? Obama breaks. Promises about things that will hurt Americans, America, and America’s allies? Obama keeps.)
Michael Dolan, who is a senior fellow of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and was both a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council, has been looking at Obama’s conduct since ISIS appeared on the scene and figured out Obama’s game-plan: Obama is using ISIS as a way to partner with Iran.
Obama is engaging in this de facto partnership with Iran, even though, as Dolan also explains, doing so allows Iran to go nuclear. A nuclear Iran destroys any balance of power in the region, not to mention threatening Israel and Europe. Moreover, it’s worth remembering that as a Shia state, Iran doesn’t just believe in the apocalypse, it believes that it has a mission from Allah to bring about the Apocalypse itself. (In this, Iran is quite distinct from Christians who believe in an Apocalypse, but who dread it and do nothing to cause it.) There’s nothing like a nuclear bomb to get a little Apocalypsing started.
To go on, Obama partners with Iran even though it means turning our backs on the Saudis who, while horribly rotten, are less horribly rotten than Iran and have been our allies for a long time. He does even though partnering with the mullahs is a slap in the face to those Iranians who are yearning to breathe at least a little more free (just as Obama ignored them during their attempted Green revolution). He does even though Iran has been funding the worst kind of terrorism — much of it aimed at America — for decades. And he does this even though Iran has made it clear that it still has as its goal the destruction of Israel and America, and the establishment of a world-wide Islamic caliphate.
Obama is Iran’s useful idiot, helping it to make sure that any caliphate the emerges isn’t Sunni and ISIS-controlled, but is instead Shia and Iran-controlled. Put another way, Obama isn’t just another Leftist ideologue; he’s a truly evil man who affirmatively seeks out the devil as a dancing partner.
Media ghasties and ghoulies
If you want to get your scare on before Halloween, watch Andrea Mitchell trying to save Abortion Barbie from her tasteless, desperate, sleazy attacks in Texas on Greg Abbott. You know what I was thinking when I watched that? I was thinking “Mommy, make those mean, scary ladies go away!”
The New York Times uses Britain’s embrace of Hamas as a reason to chastise Israel
When does a media outlet cross over from being partisan and become evil? I actually think the New York Times just rolled across that line with its latest editorial about Israel.
As you may recall, the British Parliament voted endorsing the idea of recognizing a Palestinian state. A media outlet with a decent moral compass would have attacked England for supporting a “state” that has nothing state-like about it: It’s government is run like a mafia institution, it has no economy and no infrastructure, and its idea of “human rights” is to deny women, Jews, Christians, and homosexuals status as humans. Anyone of common decency would recognize that it is a disgusting reflection on modern England that its Parliament would side with a grotesque, corrupt, tyranny with only murder on its mind.
But the Times knows who the bad guy is in this case and it’s Israel — for daring to build more Jewish homes in historically Jewish neighborhoods. Or as the Times editorial board puts it:
The vote is one more sign of the frustration many people in Europe feel about the failure to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement despite years of promises.
Funnily enough, the editorial makes no mention of the fact that the Palestinians have contributed exactly nothing to peace talks, negotiations, and compromise. In Times-land, this one is all on the Jews.
I used to say that the Times was good only for lining bird cages. It’s dropped in my estimation. It might, just might, be useful as a repository for the blood, vomit, and diarrhea of an Ebola patient, but I suspect it would perform even that most basic waste-collection function badly.
The New York Times also brings its evilness to the subject of chemical weapons in Iraq
When the Iraq War was Bush’s war, the New York Times led the charge of those claiming that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. Now, without even a blink at its volte face, it’s leading the charge to claim that Bush is evil because he exposed American troops to Saddam Hussein’s store of chemical weapons — i.e., weapons of mass destruction — in Iraq.
I’m not letting the Times perfidy blind me to the fact that American troops have suffered because the Bush Pentagon left them ill-prepared to come across WMDS. After all, if you’re claiming a war to wipe out WMDs, you should probably have systems in place to protect your troops. The Pentagon’s failings, though, don’t make me any less disgusted with the Times.
Let me count the ways in which the Democrat party is the party of death
Democrats may get all teary eyed when cold-blooded murderers meet their makers in a gas chamber after due process, but they’re pretty cavalier about most other deaths. They don’t mind a steely-eyed Obama sending drones to attack Pakistani and Yemenite civilians. They’re okay with grandma being sidelined by the Obama death panel. They assume that the vets who died on the VA’s watch were probably baby killers. They’re copacetic with suicide if life is just too tough.
Oh, and one more thing: abortion is empowering. Not just a necessary evil, which is an argument many Americans might support, but empowering and a “social good.” I’m betting that’s exactly the way Heinrich Himmler felt when he organized the Holocaust.
If you ever wondered why knowing geography matters….
Marin General Hospital had an Ebola scare because its staff confused the Middle East with West Africa. The country’s in the very best of hands….
Pigs are flying because I agree with Paul Krugman
Don’t worry, I don’t agree with Krugman about anything substantive. I do, however, think he’s correct when he says “Obama, although clearly not the natural politician, he is a consequential president.”
Where Krugman and I part ways is that Krugman thinks Obama is consequential in a good way, whereas I think Obama’ss consequential status relates to the fact that he’s inflicted such terrible damage on our once-thriving capitalist, constitutional, sovereign nation that we may take decades to recover, assuming we ever can. There’s no saying, after all, whether it’s possible to recover from a wrecked economy, socialized medicine, destroyed borders, a dysfunctional military facing an existential threat, and diseases that resist modern medicine, especially when such medicine is ineptly administered.
The Washington Post says Ebola isn’t really all that bad
Trying to strike an optimistic tone, the Washington Post says that Ebola isn’t as bad as it could be. It notes that (so far, at least), not everyone who came into contact with the Liberian who brought the disease to Dallas has gotten infected, and we definitely have better ways to treat symptoms than they do in West Africa. Still, even though the WaPo is trying to make lemonade from lemons, our broken borders and the Democrats’ funding priorities (which did not include focusing on plague-like infectious diseases) all mean that I’m not sanguine.
When it comes to Ebola and the media, I agree with Benjamin Shapiro
To follow-up on my point about the WaPo’s peculiar optimism, Benjamin Shapiro sums up the media’s relationship to Ebola, which is that it matters only when it affects the media itself. His starting point is media personality Nancy Snyderman’s decision to get herself some soup, despite the fact that she was technically quarantined, along with a crew member:
It’s one thing for Liberian citizen Thomas Eric Duncan to carry around an Ebola-ridden woman, get on an airplane to Dallas, walk into a hospital with symptoms, and then walk out again. Such behavior can be attributed, at least in part, to ignorance. It’s another thing entirely for a highly educated medical professional to endanger those around her for some miso.
But that’s the world of the media, where the proper response to the possibility of contracting Ebola is, “Don’t you know who I am?” Double standards abound here; media members lather Americans into a frenzy over the threat of a disease that has, to date, claimed a grand total of one life in the United States. Then they go out for lunch in public after being told that they could be carrying the virus.
The Snyderman story is truly part of a broader egocentrism in the media. The media didn’t give one whit about the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative non-profit applicants — but they went absolutely batty over the Department of Justice targeting reporters. The media don’t seem to care very much about demands for transparency from the Obama administration by the American public — but they’re fighting mad about the Obama administration’s refusal to let them photograph him golfing. After all, it’s one thing for normal Americans to get stiffed, and quite another for our betters to feel the effects of government’s heavy hand.
Canada’s Supreme Court says quoting the Bible re homosexuality is a hate crime
Yes, the Bible is not nice about homosexuals. Indeed, it’s so not nice that Canada’s Supreme Court has determined that someone who cites to the Bible in opposition to homosexual conduct is guilty of a hate crime.
Here’s the acid test, though: Would the Supreme Court reach the same ruling if it was asked to determine whether someone quoting from the Quar’an in opposition to Jews is also guilty of a hate crime? Somehow I doubt it, but maybe I’m just too cynical for my own good.
Paul Kengor is right that conservative radio is committing suicide by greed
I only listen to conservative talk radio when I’m in the car . . . but lately I’m never able to listen to conservative talk radio when I’m in the car. The reason for my inability to listen is because I’m usually in the car for short hauls and, when I tune in to the local talk radio stations, all I get is advertisements.
From the top of the hour until seven minutes past the hour . . . advertisements. From nineteen minutes past the hour until thirty-five minutes past the hour . . . advertisements (including the show’s host saying “Welcome back, and now for a word from our sponsors.”) The same pattern applies in the second half of the hour. Because I usually need to be at places on the hour or the half-hour, I invariably find myself tuning in to those fourteen or so minutes of advertising at the top or the bottom of the clock face. So lately, I haven’t even bothered to try. I just listen to music or call my sister.
And why are we in this terrible situation? Greed, says Paul Kengor:
Why so much junk? To pay the costs, of course. But more specifically, to pay the gigantic, unsustainable fees these shows demand.
Of course, it’s a free market. Rush and other hosts are free to earn whatever they receive. But also because it’s a free market, their stations and listeners are free to bolt. What surprises me is the degree to which some conservative hosts are willing to let their stations and listeners bolt, even as they rake in piles of money. I’m especially surprised at how these hosts are willing to allow their excellent product to be diluted and damaged by an intolerable stream of annoying advertisements.
It seems to me that these conservative hosts—champions of the free market—are not listening to the free market. In my local market, Rush and Hannity and Glenn Beck have lost a 50,000-watt blow-torch in favor of a vastly inferior 7,000-watt signal that will be heard by far fewer listeners.
I love Rush, but even he’s not worth listening to ten minutes of commercials during a 15 minute drive.
I leased an electric car, so oil prices dropped
I’m never kidding when I say that the moment I enter the stock market the market drops and the moment I pull out the market rises. I just have that kind of timing.
My timing means it’s no surprise to me at all that, now that I’ve leased an electric car so as not to run up huge gas bills driving a minivan around for local errands, oil prices are plummeting. At our nearest ARCO, which sells the cheapest gas in Southern Marin, prices have dropped by about 20 cents per gallon in the past two weeks. That’s huge.
Power Line wonders if the Saudis are doing this on purpose in an effort to undercut America’s booming oil business. Could be. I’m not sure, though, that the Saudis have the oil resources to play this kind of price-cutting game. I recall from a discussion at my blog many years ago someone who worked in the oil industry saying that Saudi wells are finally running try. It seems to be a perilous game to drop prices when you’re running out of product to sell.
Will all these oil and electric cars soon be obsolete anyway?
Remember how, in Back to the Future, Doc perfected time travel using the energy from nuclear fusion? Well, we may soon be doing a little time travel ourselves, because Lockheed says the future is now (or at least just ten years from now):
Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.
Anything that will break the back of the Muslim oil nations and silences the stupidity of the environ-mental-ists can’t come soon enough for me.
Lovely Lena leans . . . and so do several other old-time Hollywood beauties
Robert Avrech isn’t just a brilliant writer and thinker. He’s also extraordinarily knowledgeable about old Hollywood — the Hollywood of the Turner Classic Movies I watch with so much love.
Avrech recently wrote a beautifully illustrated post about the leaning boards that Hollywood’s leading ladies reclined upon to get the weight off their feet without ruining costumes so tight or elaborate that the actresses were often sewn into them. In a comment, I contributed my mite by pointing out that, in Singin’ In The Rain, Lena Lamont, the lovely lady with the horrible voice, and a personality that was even worse, was seen leaning on one of those boards. Robert, bless his heart, went out of his way to update the post to add a picture of the lovely Lena leaning.
At the most recent Watcher’s Council forum, the Watcher asked us, if we could be a superhero, which one would we be? Because my weekend passed in an alcoholic stupor (except without any alcohol, but only the stupor part), I completely missed the forum. If asked, I would have said Superman, simply because he’s always been my favorite superhero. Tune in here to see what other Council members had to say.
I’m confused — Who are the real Palestinians?
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Born 21 October 1949 in Tel Aviv, Israel (formerly Mandate of Palestine)
EHUD BARAK, Born 12 February 1942 in Mishmar HaSharon , British Mandate of Palestine
ARIEL SHARON, Born 26 February 1928 in Kfar Malal , British Mandate of Palestine
EHUD OLMERT, Born 30 September 1945 in Binyamina-Giv ‘ at Ada , British Mandate of Palestine .
ITZHAK RABIN, Born 1 March 1922 in Jerusalem , British Mandate of Palestine .
ITZHAK NAVON, Israeli President in 1977-1982. Born 9 April 1921 in Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine.
EZER WEIZMAN, Israeli President in 1993-2000. Born 15 June 1924 in Tel Aviv, British Mandate of Palestine .
ARAB “PALESTINIAN” LEADERS:
YASSER ARAFAT, Born 24 August 1929 in Cairo, Egypt
SAEB EREKAT, Born April 28, 1955, in Jordan. He has the Jordanian citizenship .
FAISAL ABDEL QADER AL-HUSSEINI, Born in1948 in Bagdad, Iraq .
SARI NUSSEIBEH, Born in 1949 in Damascus, Syria .
MAHMOUD AL-ZAHAR, Born in 1945, in Cairo, Egypt .
So, Israeli leaders, who were born in Palestine, are called “Settlers” or “Occupiers,” 2hile Palestinian Arab leaders who were born in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Tunisia are called “Native Palestinians”???!!!
Palestinians smear their fallen enemies’ blood on their hands, dangle bodies outside of windows, and have candy-strewn parades celebrating the bloodshed when their enemies fall into their hands. Israelis teach their enemies to walk again. (I apologize for the long commercial before the video, but you may want to wait it out, because the video really is worth seeing.)
The above video is from Time Magazine online which lately has been doing something very peculiar: publishing a handful of fair and balanced articles and videos. I don’t know what’s going on there, but I hope it’s a trend, not an anomaly.
Here’s an old joke:
An established comedian invited a friend to join him at a very exclusive “comedian’s club.” The guest instantly noticed something peculiar. In the main room, a person would periodically stand up and shout out a number. “57,” one would say, and a few people in the room would chuckle. After a moment’s silence, someone would holler, “18,” and be rewarded with a chorus of good-natured “boos.”
This pattern continued for a while, until someone shouted out “77.” While a few people let out a short bark of laughter, one guy in the corner was utterly beside himself. He roared with laughter, until tears were rolling down his face.
The guest turned to his host and asked, “What gives? What is it with these numbers?”
“Well,” the host explained, “it’s like this. We’re all professional comedians here and, to be honest, there are only so many jokes around. It got tiring and boring for someone to tell a joke that everyone already knew, so we started assigning them numbers. It’s kind of like a joke short-hand. People still laugh — if they want — but it definitely saves time.”
“Okay,” said the guest. “I get that. But what about that guy in the corner who collapsed with laughter when someone shouted out ’77’.”
Oh, him,” answered the host. “I guess he hadn’t heard that joke before.”
Yes, it’s a surreal joke, but it also explains why I’m having problems blogging lately. When I read a story about Obamacare, I can’t add much to posts I’ve written going all the way back to 2009. I predicted then what would happen now. “You’ll find that in posts 384, 943, 6749, and 34052.” Events in the Middle East? I foresaw those too, including Obama’s love affair with Iran, and Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s entirely predictable coming together against that common enemy. “See posts 3489 and 9492.” Government data manipulation? We covered that too, as we did with gun control, amnesty, foreign policy, etc.
I’ve moved out of fresh and into “I told you so.” As a writer, “I told you so” is boring. It’s also especially boring for all of you, because you were right there with me, making the same predictions. We all saw all of this coming.
The only thing that’s kind of newsy now is watching the oh-so-smart Leftists figure out that they’ve been had. It’s not actually real news, of course, because we all saw this coming too, but it’s still fun to watch. As to these Obamabots, it’s not just that a specific politician has “had” them. Their entire ideology is disintegrating in front of their eyes. Most, of course, will plunge into frenetic denial. That’s old stuff too. For 100 years, communists have been saying that communism is perfect; it’s the implementation that’s flawed. When today’s Leftist’s rant against the president, the party, and the people, they’re foll0wing an old script.
A few Leftists, however, will draw back and say, “We were wrong. We were wrong about everything.” That’s been done too. They’ll be joining David Horowitz, Michael Medved, Thomas Lifson, David Mamet, Sally Zelikovsky, the Power Line guys, and scores of other people who already had their Road to Damascus moment when they realized that Leftism isn’t poorly implemented; it is, instead, fundamentally flawed. I certainly won’t think as highly of these new converts as I do of the older generation. The older generation didn’t need to see America’s economic collapse and her fade into international irrelevance to see which way the wind was blowing.
Since everything seems to be “same old, same old,” except even more so, what would be new and exciting news for a blase blogger in the next twelve months?
1. Obamacare’s repeal, although unscrambling that egg will be virtually impossible. Even if they wanted to, huge institutions such as heavily-regulated insurance companies and hospitals cannot turn on a dime. The somewhat functioning market will have been destroyed, which nothing lined up to take its place. Worse, we know that Republicans politicians are incapable of using the headwinds of repeal to revitalize the free market. (Remember: Democrats have bad ideas and effective politicians; and Republicans have good ideas and brain-dead cretins in office.)
2. A groundswell of popular support for Obama’s impeachment. Of course, that would leave Biden in charge, which is not a pretty thought. The likelihood is that, if he could, he’d move Elizabeth Warren into the Veep seat to stymie Hillary. It would be amusing, but just as bad for America as Obama himself.
3. Israel’s alliance with the Gulf States to launch a devastating attack against Iran’s missile systems and nuclear centers. With strong American leadership, this could actually have a good outcome, freeing Iranians from decades of appalling Islamist repression and destabilizing tyrannies in a way that leads to genuine freedom throughout the Middle East. With our current leadership, a leadership that will have made such an attack necessary in the first place, one can only imagine that the Middle East, the entire Middle East, will manage simultaneously to implode and explode. The human costs will exceed imagination and, because of oil, those costs will encompass the entire planet. Canada, Brazil, the US, and other places may be coming up as major oil producers, but losing Middle Eastern oil in a single day would have incalculable consequences on modern life.
4. The 2014 elections resulting in a Republican sweep the likes of which has never been seen in America. In a way, though, coming as it would midway through Obama’s so-far disastrous second term, this would also be ho-hum news, even if both House and Senate changed hands. What would be more interesting would be to see places such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco jettison their Democrat ruling class. I’m not holding my breath on that one. The residents in those cities routinely use elections to double down on failure.
5. Obama comes out of the closet. (And, come on, you know he’s in there.) That wouldn’t affect anything politically, but it would make for great headlines, especially if Hillary refuses to be one-upped and comes out too.
6. Schadenfreude here, but I will enjoy watching New York in the first year of the de Blasio administration. I should start running a pool taking bets as to how long it will take de Blasio to reduce New York to its 1970s status. We all know that it’s easier and faster to tear down and destroy something than it is to renew and revitalize.
7. The New York Times will declare bankruptcy. I see that as inevitable, although would actually be surprised if it happened in the next twelve months.
8. People definitively reject anthropogenic global warming. As with the New York Times’ bankruptcy, this is inevitable. I just don’t see it happening in only 12 months.
9. Oprah recants and announces that she’s no longer calling for the genocide of “racist” people who don’t support Obama.
10. Palestinians lay down their arms. The previous nine hoped-for headlines all have a possibility, even a small one, of coming true. This one does not, but it sure would be great news, and it would snap me completely out of my writer’s doldrums.
And, for those joining me in ennui, some music:
UPDATE: Hmmm. A James O’Keefe tweet suggests that tomorrow may bring some news we haven’t already heard before.
These posts are completely unrelated. They both came through my inbox, though, and both intrigued me.
The first is from David Swindle, explaining why he hates Game of Thrones. I couldn’t agree more, both with the comment from “Recovering Lutheran” that David quotes at the top of his post and with David’s own take on the show. It’s typical HBO fare, and HBO leans to the left of Left. It’s Pravda TV, aimed at using “documentaries” and movies to undermine basic American beliefs and values.
The second is about the Arabs’ long game against Israel, with their anti-Zionist message, which hides a push for Jewish genocide, gradually triumphing in the world’s mind over Israel’s push for freedom and her existence as the sole democracy in a world of Muslim tyranny.
[UPDATE: I should clarify here that, while Fish regularly writes opinion pieces for the Times, and while his beliefs and the Times' beliefs harmonize more often than not, Fish is not a salaried employee of the Times. I've changed the title of this post to add the phrase "guest columnist" in order to reflect that fact.]
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been an appropriate uproar about the fact that Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department, along with the usual Leftist suspects in American academia, were sponsoring a much-publicized forum advocating in favor of BDS. For those who do not closely follow Leftist political attacks on Israel, BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.”
BDS is a political movement aimed at isolating, demonizing, and bankrupting Israel. Please take the five or so minutes to watch this video, which explains what BDS is — and mentions its goal, which is to “wipe out Israel”:
In other words, then, the BDS crowd seeks Israel’s destruction. I am hard put to find a context in which it is appropriate to use a publicly funded college to serve as a forum for the destruction of a democratic nation that, at least for now, is an American ally? (There’s no saying what Commander-in-Chief Obama will decree in the coming years.)
In respect to Mayor Bloomberg’s formulaic “I hate what you say, but I’ll fight to the death to let you say it” stance, Jonathan Tobin explains why it is so heinous to support BDS conclaves:
But contrary to the mayor’s typically highhanded formulation, this is not a free speech issue. Using a public university to promote hate speech in which the one Jewish state in the world is hypocritically singled out for isolation and destruction is not a matter of tolerating a diversity of views. What is so frustrating about the debate about BDS is the willingness of even those who do not support it to treat as a merely one among many defensible views about the Middle East or, as the New York Times referred to it in an editorial on the subject yesterday, a question of academic freedom whose advocates do not deserve to be spoken of harshly. As I wrote last week about a related controversy at Harvard, the BDS movement is not motivated by disagreement with specific Israeli policies or the issue of West Bank settlements. It is an economic war waged to destroy the Jewish state and is morally indistinguishable from more traditional forms of anti-Semitism that do not disguise themselves in the fancy dress of academic discourse.
As Yair Rosenberg noted today in Tablet, the BDS movement has as its declared goal Israel’s destruction via implementation of the Palestinian “right of return.” This is consistent with their overall rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a separate Jewish state and their opposition to any means of self-defense against Palestinian terrorism.
It needs to be understood that those who take such a position are, in effect, denying the Jewish people the same right of self-determination that they support for every other nation on the planet. That is a textbook definition of bias and such bias when used against Jews is called anti-Semitism. That is why the various members of the City Council and New York State legislature who have spoken out on this issue are right to try to exert pressure on Brooklyn College to cancel the event and the Times and Bloomberg are wrong to defend the decision to uphold it.
I couldn’t have said it better myself (which is why I quoted Tobin at such length).
Despite these protests, the forum went ahead and Stanley Fish, at the New York Times is thrilled. To him, using American taxpayer dollars to fund a convention aimed at destroying the world’s sole Jewish nation (which also happens to be the sole democracy in the otherwise Muslim, totalitarian Middle East) is the essence of free speech (emphasis mine):
Among the cultural institutions a boycott might target are those Israeli universities that are judged to be either actively in league with the government’s policies toward the Palestinians, or complicit with those policies by virtue of remaining silent while they are being implemented. To the charge that a boycott of academic institutions is a violation of academic freedom, B.D.S. supporters reply that because the state of Israel abrogates the academic freedom of Palestinian professors and students (by denying them funding, access and mobility), it is an affirmation, not a derogation, of academic freedom to refrain from engaging in intellectual commerce with Israeli universities. You can’t invoke academic freedom, they say, when you’re denying it to others. So the lines of battle are set with both sides claiming to be academic freedom’s champion, and it is easy to see why a college might be thought to be an appropriate venue for a discussion of the matter.
Doesn’t Fish’s formulation remind you of such famous phrases as “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” “Ignorance is Strength,” or even “Arbeit macht frei“?
Fish is either a fool or a fellow traveler. BDS has nothing to do with academic freedom and everything to do with nation killing. Do I need to mention here that, while Palestine is Judenrein, Israeli universities (see video, above), its government, its military, and even its sports associations have Arab and Palestinian members who, provided that they avoid advocating or agitating for Israel’s imminent destruction, have the same rights as Israel’s Jewish, Christian, atheist, and whatever else residents?
Only a perverse Orwellian doublespeak would pretend that BDS — which aims, as I said, to achieve Israel’s isolation, economic collapse, and her ultimate destruction — is simply a tit-for-tat about academic freedom. If academic freedom was the real issue, this would be a cat fight about speaking gigs at various universities. One doesn’t challenge economic malfeasance by targeting the only Jewish nation in the world for complete destruction.
I won’t deconstruct the rest of Fish’s endlessly long article. Suffice to say that it is as rotten as the foundation on which it’s built.
The New York Times is an increasingly foul publication. I don’t use that word — “foul” — lightly. Even during the Duranty years, it aimed for some semblance of objectivity. Those days are gone. Its slobbering fervor for Barack Obama and the Democrats; its unrelenting hostility to Israel, George Bush, Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians; and its amoral and immoral attacks on all religions but for Islam, which PC dictates be shielded behind a Teflon coating despite its institutional misogyny, homophobia, and antisemitism, all make the Times too foul for fowls. Birds, being smart, deserve something a little classier to line their cages.