The only difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism is semantics — the former is simply the latest manifestation of the world’s oldest hatred.
As the posters in my illustrated edition show, when it comes to New York Times antisemitism, it’s 1933 all over again (plus many other interesting posters).
The government shutdown, anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party, abortion, and a mad, bad media — no matter I busy my day is, I must blog about them.
Did you know that a chicken without a head made it into an early edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not? It’s true. The story goes back to 1945:
In a task he had done countless times before [i.e., lopping chickens’ heads off], [Farmer] Lloyd was caught completely off guard. Rather than succumbing to the fate of the cooking pot, this rooster without a head continued to “peck” the farm grounds for food.
And so, farmer Llyod began feeding this rooster who he named Mike. He fed him grain and gave him water through an eyedropper.
Over the next 18 months, Mike grew to an incredible size. He started out at as a solid two-and-a-half-pounds and flourished into a hefty eight-pound rooster.
Poor Mike died when he choked on some food but it is rather inspiring that, even without his head, he kept going and going, kind of like a headless chicken Energizer Bunny.
I don’t know whether people use the expression “running around like a chicken without a head” nowadays, but it’s definitely how I felt today. I’m planning for a trip and there’s so much I need to do before I leave. If I think about everything I need to do, I get a little panicky, but if I just put my head down (and yes, I do still have a head) and do one task after another, I can actually see myself make headway (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Anyway, that’s why I haven’t blogged today before now.
Headless chicken or not, I have been thinking about President Trump’s decision to suspend the government shutdown for three weeks. The usual members of the conservative chattering class (aka NeverTrumpers and their weak sisters) are saying “We told you he’s a poseur,” while the usual members of the hard Left Proggie class are saying, “Pelosi’s the real alpha in America and Trump’s a weak, pathetic moron.” I think they’re both wrong.
Trump doesn’t look like a loser; he looks like a reasonable man trying to strengthen American security without destroying federal workers. Never mind that the Proggies had no tears for the coal miners whose lives they gleefully destroyed nor do they ever have compassion for private sector people whose lives Big Government destroys.
Incidentally, with Buzzfeed and HuffPo laying off pathetically whining Proggies, many conservatives are engaging in pleasurable schadenfreude by suggesting that these newly unemployed workers learn computer coding. One of the thin-skinned Lefties who got laid off was so upset with my pointing out that she was a bathetic whiner that she blocked me. Woo-hoo!
Optimally, despite Pelosi ignoring the Constitution to say she really doesn’t see why there has to be a State of the Union speech, during the next three weeks Trump will (I hope) stand before the House and make his pitch to the American public. If there’s no deal in three weeks, Trump can then more freely than he would now exercise his emergency powers to build the wall. After all, if Obama could fund the murderous Mullahs, Trump can build a wall. Alternatively, if there is a deal, that’s good too, although I suspect the DACA kids will be here permanently. I hate that fact, but I’d still rather have a wall — and a deal would probably preclude years of litigation in the Ninth Circuit.
Also, remember that blame — and blame there is — doesn’t fall on Trump. It falls on lying Leftists who once ostensibly supported a wall, but walked away from the idea when they realized that, having abandoned America’s middle class and blue collar voters, they need votes from illegal aliens. Also, blame Paul Ryan who worked hard to keep the wall from coming to a vote during his tenure as Speaker. Ryan is a real piece of work, and there’s nothing good about that.
A few other points: [Read more…]
Foul-mouthed, antisemitic Rashida Tlaib is the avatar of an incoming class of Leftist congresswomen that needs to be taken seriously in the realm of ideas.
Rashida Tlaib, the Palestinian-identifying woman who got herself elected to the American House of Representatives, gained instant notoriety when she excitedly announced that her single most important goal in Congress was to impeach President “Mother****er.” Then, one of her aides “jokingly” erased Israel from the map, renaming it “Palestine.”
While I don’t agree with her sentiments, I appreciate Tlaib’s honesty. At least she and her fellow freshman, women such as Ilhan “I married my brother” Omar, and Alexandria “Let’s turn America into Venezuela” Occasional-Cortex aren’t hiding the ball — which separates them from more seasoned, and dishonest, Leftist political operatives. They are openly letting American voters know what comes with electing them.
The Left is gloating about the attention conservatives are giving these women, which indicates that they think this attention does the women and their ideas an advantage. My instinct, therefore, is to ignore them, on the principle that this will deny them that advantage. After all, in politics, isn’t the saying that (unless you’re actually indicted) there’s no such thing as bad publicity? I’ve also seen conservative arguments that we shouldn’t be paying attention to Tlaib and her ilk because we’re giving them unnecessary oxygen.
Having thought the matter through, though, I’ve concluded that ignoring these women (and the Leftist men trailing mostly silently in their wake) is a mistake. What we’re currently doing, especially with Occasional-Cortex, is focusing solely on the abysmal ignorance that characterizes this new generation of Leftist politicians. That’s valid. They deserve to be called out on stupidity, and ridicule is a powerful weapon. [Read more…]
I went overboard in this Bookworm Beat, covering the border wall, Syria, Antisemitism, Europe’s fall, science, Michelle and Melania, media bias, and much more.
Good walls make good neighbors. Trump did it — he got the House to include $5 billion in the budget bill to build the border wall. I was actually worried that he wouldn’t fulfill a core promise he made both to get elected and to put Chuck and Nancy in their place by saying he’d shut down the government before walking away from the wall.
Yay, Trump! Of course, now I’m worried what the execrable Jeff Flake will do in the Senate.
If you want a reminder about why the Left is fighting the wall with everything it has, despite voting for it some years ago, and strongly criticizing illegal immigration at the same time, Victor Davis Hanson explains: Put simply, a wall destroys the Democrats’ base.
Federal judge opens borders. It’s great that Trump got funding for the border wall. It’s not so great that, just yesterday, Judge Emmet Sullivan, the same guy who erroneously excoriated Lieut. Gen’l Flynn as a “traitor,” decided that America has no borders:
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan — who a day earlier had excoriated former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — ordered the government to allow migrants with iffy claims to be given a full chance to make their case for asylum.
And he ordered the U.S. to un-deport plaintiffs in the case who already had been ousted under the new policy, saying they deserve to be brought back and allowed to claim asylum.
His decision overturns a move by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had tried to block asylum claims of migrants who said they faced gang violence or domestic abuse back home.
I am sorry that, for so many people, the world is a terrible place. I know that I’m singularly fortunate that sixty years ago my parents, after waiting patiently for years to get visas, legally immigrated to America allowing me to be a citizen of and grow up in this great country.
I also know that life is unfair and that we don’t make it more fair by destroying ourselves. The Leftists are demanding that we import into America the pathologies that have plagued Latin America for hundreds of years. I’m not willing to be a part of that suicide pact — although I don’t know what I, personally, can do to take away the gun the Left is figuratively placing in America’s mouth, with its finger on the trigger.
On withdrawal from Syria, I’m conflicted. Although I suspect a lot of Americans didn’t even realize we still had around 2,000 troops in Syria, it’s proving to be a hot button issue now that Trump has announced a troop withdrawal. His stated reason is that he promised we’d be in Syria to defeat ISIS and, having defeated ISIS, it’s now time to leave.
I think this was a good decision for a few reasons. First, Trump did what we keep asking our leaders to do, which is to state a clear objective and then, when that objective is achieved, to announce “victory!” and to withdraw. No quagmires for President Trump.
Second, as I noted, I bet a lot of Americans didn’t realize we even had troops in Syria. In other words, this was not a war that the nation supported. It was an “action,” the purpose of which was not obvious to most Americans. I firmly believe that you cannot endlessly demand that a nation send its blood and treasure to foreign shores without being able to articulate why. Without ISIS, no one was articulating a why, so Trump did the right thing by pulling our troops out.
Third, as long as the Western world refuses to tackle the problem of Islam head on, and without an imminent threat from a concerted non-government army such as al Qaeda or ISIS, these far-away battlefields are just band-aids. It makes no sense to send young men to die in Syria or Afghanistan to kill people who our leaders refuse to acknowledge are terribly dangerous. Again, without a clearly articulated purpose, why are our boys and men being sent to die?
Fourth, outside of Israel, which is a beacon of light, freedom, and innovation in a backwards, benighted region, I think the whole of the Middle East can go to Hell. I want them to leave us alone and I want them to leave Israel alone, but otherwise I don’t think we should be doing business there. Trump, by unleashing America’s energy sector, has cut the tie that bound us — namely, oil dependency.
Fifth, to the extent Iran is a threat, let the Sunni nations fight it. We can provide support for those nations (weapons, advice, etc.), but they should be their own front line. Making them the front line also forces them to make nice with Israel, because, as the Muslims say, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
After a manic weekend, I got the chance to put my all into this Bookworm Beat, which covers politics, homelessness, immigration, antisemitism, and more.
Oh, my gosh, but do I have a lot to share with you — and tonight I’ve got the time to do so. Go get a nice cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a few cookies or a little ice cream, find a comfortable chair, and let’s get going.
I should warn you before you begin that these snippets aren’t in any particular order. I’m writing them down in the order in which I first read them. It’s a little chaotic, but consider it a challenging brain teaser.
Trump is not a show-boater about his patriotism. Saturday was “Wreaths Across America” day, a day on which volunteers descended on military cemeteries all over America to decorate veterans’ graves with wreaths. Without fanfare, Trump showed up at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen. I’ll leave you with a few photos of this present and a past president:
By the way, I know that Obama sometimes carried his own umbrella and that gateways can be tough. Still, there was something about Obama and umbrellas…. [Read more…]
Tweets between Dean Cain and Princeton Professor Kevin Kruse about debating controversial ideas exemplified academia’s intellectual vacuity and arrogance.
My years at Berkeley left me with tremendous disdain for academics — and keep in mind that this disdain set in almost 40 years ago, before the current insanity of identity politics and hard Leftism. Cal was Left, but it was just a warm-up act for what was to come.
I won’t deny that, while at Cal, I had a few good teachers, and I am grateful for them. Most, though, were tenured hacks who considered the students who funded their paychecks an unpleasant evil interrupting their pleasant lives. And I do mean pleasant. Even as they preached Marxism from the classroom pulpit, they lived in elegant hillside homes complete with Japanese gardeners and Hispanic housekeepers. Additionally, every seven years they got a year-long paid vacation, again courtesy of the taxpayers and students they thought so contemptible.
That little polemic is by way of stating the inherent bias with which I read a Twitter back and forth between Dean Cain and a Princeton professor. Cain is not just a courageously open conservative in Hollywood, he’s also a Princeton grad, which, at one time, had a certain cachet. It’s questionable whether that cachet still exists, which gets me to that Twitter conversation Cain had with an unusually arrogant Princeton prof.
It all started with a tweet from Dinesh D’Souza, the man the hard Left prosecutor in the New York’s federal court system went after for a small-dollar campaign donation violation that had never been the subject of a full-bore criminal prosecution:
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) December 7, 2018
In the video, D’Souza says that his leading critic is Princeton historian Kevin Kruse, and that he’d be more than willing to debate him. D’Souza explains that he offered to debate Kruse at Princeton and that Kruse refused the offer, because debate is “not the proper format” for addressing the issues.
Dean Cain thought a debate was a good idea:
— Dean Cain (@RealDeanCain) December 8, 2018
Kevin Kruse thought it was a bad idea, and responded by personally attacking Cain and D’Souza, as well as raising all sorts of arguments we associate with the climate change debate, most notable of which are the fact that D’Souza’s scholarship is the equivalent of “Holocaust denial” and that “the facts are settled.” But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me begin at the begin with Kruse’s tweet in response to Cain’s delight in the thought of a good debate: [Read more…]
Taking a hard look at the American Left’s fascism (its silencing speech, antisemitism, and moral depravity), with room for some fun and uplifting news too.
The Flynn sentencing memo shows collusion. No, I haven’t gone crazy. Instead, I agree with Joel Pollak, who says the memo highlights that the real collusion, which took place between the media, the Deep State, and the Obama administration:
In fact, the most explosive piece of information in the sentencing document is not about collusion with Russians, but about the collusion between the media, the intelligence services, and the outgoing members of the Obama administration.
The document begins its recitation of Flynn’s offenses by citing information that had appeared in the Washington Post from a leaked, classified surveillance transcript in which Flynn’s name had been “unmasked”:
Days prior to the FBI’s interview of the defendant, the Washington Post had published a story alleging that he had spoken with Russia’s ambassador to the United States on December 29, 2016, the day the United States announced sanctions and other measures against Russia in response to that government’s actions intended to interfere with the 2016 election (collectively, “sanctions”). See David Ignatius, Why did Obama Dawdle on Russia’s hacking?, WASH. POST (Jan. 12, 2017).
That information, the document suggests, led the FBI to interview Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017 — the conversation in which he did not (according to Comey) lie to them, but which landed him in trouble.
The government had the surveillance transcripts, and it knew what Flynn had told the Russian ambassador. But the Post‘s intervention was crucial in setting the trap in which to ensnare Flynn and turn him into a government witness.
Mueller’s sentencing document does not mention the fact that the information published in the Post was illegally leaked to the press by the intelligence services. And the reason that happened was that the outgoing Obama administration changed the rules on the sharing of classified surveillance among government agencies, weakening privacy protections, probably intending that such information be more difficult to keep secret, and easier to leak.
Moreover, someone in the Obama administration — we do not yet know who, though it had to be someone senior — “unmasked” Flynn’s name to make sure he was exposed.
So while we do not yet know Mueller’s next moves, what the Flynn sentencing document reinforces is the that the Russia collusion investigation was tainted from the start by a crime committed against Flynn himself — with the collusion of the media, the deep state, and Obama’s loyalists.
Read the whole thing here.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Weingarten reminds us, again, that while Inspector Bob “Javert” Mueller took Flynn down for unintentionally lying about something he’d forgotten, which the FBI knew because of illegally unmasking, people guilty of massive, intentional perjury go completely free. After detailing how Clapper blatantly lied to Congress with no repercussions, as compared to the full-bore attack against Flynn, Weingarten discusses D.C. perjury: [Read more…]
Another Bookworm Beat looking at the daily news, including the daily propaganda from former news outlets, all of which is endlessly fascinating
It’s not Trump’s foibles, but the media’s failures, that account for his low numbers. NeverTrumpers, looking at the chasm between Trump’s out-sized positive accomplishments in areas that matter to conservatives and to ordinary Americans, are inclined to blame Trump’s out-sized personality for his poor ratings. I disagree. The problem is definitely the media. In the old days, media outlets led with news: the economy did this, this happened overseas, the president struck this trade deal, etc. It was solid stuff of the type that’s boring to children and adolescents, but that kept the American public generally informed about their country’s health.
In the Trump era, the news is “mean girl” stuff aimed straight at children and adolescents. Whether on TV or in the print/online media, front page news has almost nothing to do with old-fashioned reporting and everything to do with breathlessly maligning Trump for saying this or that. His grammar, his clothes, his stumbles, his past . . . all are reported with breathless enthusiasm, as if any of that matters to the heartbeat of a nation that once stood astride the world like a colossus.
Because ordinary people — the ones who scan the front page and aren’t wedded to information the way we political junkies are — hear only the mean-girl bitch gossip, and are entirely unaware of the actual news, they’re incapable of judging Trump on his accomplishments as president. All that they can do is judge him by the carefully calibrated, low, extremely vicious standards of adolescent gossip.
The Founders venerated a free media, one that they envisioned having outlets representing all sorts of political views, because they thought this freedom and intellectual variety informed the citizenry and stood as a bulwark against government tyranny. They could never have imagined a monolithic, one-party media machine that turned its back on actual reporting and confined itself entirely to savage personal attacks on a political figure. [Read more…]
When I read that a man screamed “Heil Hitler” and “Heil Trump,” I knew he was a Proggie, but a Proggie I know still insists the man was a Trump supporter.
Yesterday, the media was filled with stories about an outburst at a Baltimore theater. The Baltimore Sun first reported on the event — and please note that it immediately identifies the man as a Trump hater (emphasis mine):
A man shouting “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump” during a performance of “Fiddler on the Roof” in Baltimore smelled of alcohol and told police he was motivated by his hatred of President Donald Trump.
Anthony M. Derlunas, 58, told an officer he “had been drinking heavily throughout the night” before the outburst at the Hippodrome Theatre on Wednesday night, according to a police report.
But before details of the police report became public in the early evening, the incident rattled many already anxious about a recent spike in anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Maryland and nationwide.
Audience member Rich Scherr said the outburst, which happened during intermission, sparked fears of a shooting like the one in a Pittsburgh synagogue last month that killed 11 people.
The man, later identified as Derlunas, had been seated in the balcony and began shouting “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump.”
What’s so fascinating about the story is that I knew instantly, without having to read the bolded language, that the man hated Trump. There were several clues. First, Neo-Nazis tend not to buy tickets costing upwards of $70 for an event at an upscale downtown historic venue. If you pay attention to the facts outside of the media narrative, you know that Neo-Nazis tend to be very angry bottom-feeding people who hang with other angry bottom-feeding people endlessly revisiting their real and imagined injuries (these two videos — one and two — are my favorite looks at the white supremacy issue). That any genuine Neo-Nazi would bother to spend the money to see Broadway’s version of a shetl just to raise a ruckus is a near zero likelihood.
The other thing that tipped me off is that the only people in America who liken Trump to Hitler are . . . Progressives. While it may be true that America’s microscopically small, sector of pathetic, low-life white supremacists throw their lot in with Trump, they do so, not because they worship him as another Hitler, but because their former home in the Democrat Party has gone away.
The Democrat Party that once was home to America’s white supremacists is still pathologically race-obsessed, but it’s switched from the old model (whites on top, everyone else on the bottom) top a new model (whites on the bottom, everyone else on the top). You could say it’s gone from being a “white lives matter” party to being a “black lives matter” party.
Evicted from their former ideological home, those foul excrescences who label themselves “white supremacists” figured out that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and latched on to the GOP. Again, they don’t worship Trump; they just have nowhere else to go.
All of this was instantly obvious to me without the necessity of the man’s confession that he hates Donald Trump. [Read more…]
It’s not losing seats that bothers me, it’s the fact that post-election counts and recounts invariably favor Democrats, which is banana republic stuff.
Post-election recounts and miscounts and discounts and God alone knows what else. I’m not actually going to blog too much about post-election recounts, despite using them as part of my post title today. The topic is just too depressing. You can kid yourself as much as you want about living in a constitutionally guided democratic republic, but if 27 of the last post-election counts and recounts miraculously favored the Democrats, if Democrats are openly registering illegal aliens, if Democrats coincidentally win in regions with more voters than residents, if the dead are walking and voting, and if many “voters” were alive during the Spanish-American War, you don’t have a constitutionally guided democratic republic; you simply have a banana republic with nice cars and XBoxes.
Look at Arizona: Either there’s voter fraud going on there or Arizona citizens willingly elected a woman who loathes them. Blech! Having said that, Ron Coleman points out that it might not have been a Democrat win so much as a shameless and unnecessary Republican loss:
Consider this before embracing conspiracy. https://t.co/vLrvCHIkiV
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) November 13, 2018
Consider the effect of John McCain on the Arizona GOP… and on the makeup of the electorate in that state as a whole.
Bastard got the last laugh after all. https://t.co/8vCoXQuyqE
— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) November 13, 2018
Can American Jews be more stupid? When I grew up, my parents were so proud of Jewish brains. Einstein? Jewish. Hedy Lamar? Not only a Jewish brain, but gorgeous. A disproportionate number of Nobel Prize winners in the sciences? Jewish. Kissinger? Even if you didn’t like him, he was one smart Jew. Israel? A whole nation that’s smart and Jewish.
I attended an academic high school and, while Asian students were quickly becoming dominant in the school, we still had enough smart Jews for a joke: “If Chinese New Year and Yom Kippur fell on the same day, they’d have to close the school.”
This year, though, as in years past, Jews voted disproportionately for Democrats — 75% is what I heard. If you ask these Jews about their unswerving loyalty to the Democrat party, they’d give two reasons. First, Republicans are evil and Democrats are the party of kindness, empathy, and the lack of all nasty -isms (racism, sexism, etc.). That last, of course, would lead to the second, core Jewish vote issue: Jews insist that Republicans are the party of antisemitism and Democrats are not.
To believe that, Jews have to be stupid. Really, really stupid.
The Republicans are the pro-Israel party. The Republican president’s most beloved child is Jewish, as are her children, and she’s married to one of his chief campaign advisors. One of his closet friends is Jewish and is now ambassador to Israel. Israelis who aren’t marinated in Leftism view him as one of the most pro-Israel politicians ever. Heck, Trump finally acted on past presidents’ promises and moved the American embassy to Jerusalem. [Read more…]
The horrific shooting at the Pittsburgh Synagogue suggests that America, by being a peaceful haven for American Jewry, is actually helping to destroy it.
I haven’t commented about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. I actually don’t think there’s much to say about the shooting itself. A rabid anti-Semite acted on his rage and did what anti-Semites have done since the Middle Ages: he killed Jews. He’ll face judgment in this life and, I’m quite sure, an infinitely worse judgment in the next. The End.
In this post, I want to blog about something else I noticed. Something everyone must have noticed: All of the congregants who died (may their memories be a blessing) were oldish to really old:
Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland; Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township; Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood; Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill; David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill; Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg; Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg; Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill; Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, and Irving Youngner, 69, of Mount Washington.
According to reports I read, Saturday morning service was always the synagogue’s busiest day each week and the shooter had 20-30 minutes alone in that room before the police finally entered. (Shades of Parkland School there….) While oldish and really old people are obviously going to be the least agile in scattering and hiding, one would think that a busy service and a gunman with a lot of time on his hands would have resulted in a broader age spectrum of victims. The fact that it didn’t suggests that Tree of Life has an aging congregation. That got me thinking.
I went and looked at the synagogue’s website and saw that it offers two slightly different descriptions of itself. Here’s the first, on the home page:
Tree of Life * Or L’Simcha Congregation is a traditional, progressive and egalitarian congregation based in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
We offer a warm and welcoming environment where even the oldest Jewish traditions become relevant to the way our members live today. From engaging services, social events, family-friendly activities and learning opportunities to support in times of illness or sorrow, we match the old with the new to deliver conservative Jewish tradition that’s accessible, warm and progressive.
And here’s the second, which substitutes “conservative” for “traditional”:
Tree of Life Congregation was founded more than 150 years ago, Or L’Simcha about 5 years ago. In 2010, the two Pittsburgh congregations merged to form Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha. As a conservative Jewish congregation, Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha remains true to traditional teachings, yet is also progressive and relevant to the way we live today. From our warm, inviting and intellectually stimulating atmosphere to our fun adult, children and family programs, it’s the perfect environment to grow a strong faith rooted in tradition.
For those of you wondering about the importance of the words “conservative” and “traditional,” let me explain as best as I can. Although I was raised without a synagogue, I’m Jewish enough in orientation to have picked up a few things. [Read more…]
There’s no doubt about it: the dominant thread in this round-up is insane Leftists who are unmoored from reality and want America to fall with them.
Before I begin, I want to remind you about What Business Thinks, a website that tracks the way businesses today, watching a divided America, are selling ideology, rather than their goods and services. On the main page, you’ll find a searchable database. There’s also a new, but growing blog that tracks daily news stories about businesses staking out ideological positions (both accidentally and on purpose).
Okay, with that out of the way, it’s time for the round-up:
Sasse’s extraordinary primer on the separation of powers. Ben Sasse used the occasion of the Kavanaugh hearings to deliver a short, superb lecture about the separation of powers and a scathing indictment against Congress for its laziness. America would be a better place if more people watched his statement (which begins about five minutes into the video):
In the same vein, I recommend Jonathan Turley’s essay about the dangers lurking behind the trend to turn Ruth Bader Ginsburg into a celebrity. While I disagree with Turley’s kind words about her jurisprudence (I’ve always found her to be opaque, intellectually dishonest, and often completely wrong, a fact that helped my journey from Democrat to conservative), I agree with his premise, which he develops with deserved digs at such conservative luminaries as Scalia and Thomas too:
Whether it is the commercials for the film “RBG” over the last year or the nonstop CNN ads for the network premiere of the documentary Monday night, the airways are full of all things Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was recently shown to be the best known of the Supreme Court justices and, at this rate, she could end up bigger than The Supremes. She even has her own action figure. To someone like me, who has long praised Ginsburg and considers her to be one of the strongest intellects on the bench in the last century, the saturation coverage might seem welcome. After all, why not pay homage to a jurist instead of a reality television star?
The answer is we should not and, before you burn me in effigy for such sacrilege, allow me to explain. For years, I have criticized what I call “the rise of the celebrity justice.” Justices once avoided public speeches beyond the most mundane graduation or dedication events. Justices believed they should speak through their judicial opinions and avoid even the appearance of seeking popular or political following. This tradition developed after early years of partisan figures on the courts.
The real meaning behind yesterday’s Kavanaugh theater. Michael Goodwin looks at what went on yesterday in the Senate and it’s not pretty. I recommend the entire article, but I especially liked this point:
Because the actual hearing eventually got underway and Republicans look to have the votes for confirmation, it’s easy to dismiss the theatrical hijacking as nothing more than politics as usual. But that would be a mistake because, with apologies to Shakespeare, in this case the sound and fury signify something.
It marked the moment when there was no longer a meaningful difference between the aim of elected Democrats and their unelected supporters in the audience. They were united in their determination to shut down the process because they both believe that if they can’t win, the game should be canceled.
Trump has forced modern Democrats to show themselves for what they really are. It’s never been about constitutional governance; it’s always been about raw power. [Read more…]
Thanks to the European decision to invite in the Islamists, not only won’t we always have Paris, we won’t have the rest of Europe either. Europe is dying.
Bruce Bawer, a gay American man who moved to Europe only to be mugged by Islamic reality, is a clear-headed thinker and a marvelous writer. Today, FrontPage Magazine published an essay he wrote about the change in thinking about Islam amongst European elites. Back in 2007, when Bawer was invited to speak to these elites about rising concerns on the ground regarding the growing Islamic presence in Europe, the elites were shocked — and greatly offended — that some little upstart would insinuate that their pro-Muslim policies might change Europe’s face:
It’s easy to read an audience. As I spoke, I could feel the snappily dressed, self-impressed-looking crowd growing restive. When I was done and they were invited to ask questions, I didn’t get questions but incredibly condescending razzes, remonstrations, and reproaches. A German envoy reacted angrily to my account of some recent incident – I don’t remember what – that had taken place in her country. Her colleagues from a couple of other countries had similar bones to pick. “These are just anecdotes!” one diplomat thundered dismissively. I tried to engage them in a reasonable give-and-take, but they weren’t having it.
What made the experience especially striking was that over the course of the previous year or so I’d given a number of talks about the same subject in Europe and North America. The audiences had been composed not of credentialed foreign-policy experts but of ordinary citizens. All of them had recognized that what I was saying was true. During the Q&A sessions, they’d been eager to express their gratitude that someone was talking about these matters, eager to recount their own horrific experiences with the consequences of mass Muslim immigration, and eager to vent their frustration at political leaders who refused to listen to them, to care about their sufferings, or even to acknowledge the plain objective facts.
In sum, in 2007, Bawer was a mean-spirited and stupid racist to think that Islam could affect Europe in any way.
Fast forward to 2018: [Read more…]
Trump revoked John Brennan’s security clearance and Proggies went insane — and of course, they went stupid, too. All that and more in this Bookworm Beat.
Apparently “honesty” and “integrity” have a different meaning inside the beltway. I was one of the millions who appreciated Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech at the University of Texas a few years ago, when he spoke about life lessons he’d picked up as a SEAL. Indeed, ever since then, I make my bed every morning. As he said, you’ll start your day with an accomplishment and, if it’s been a bad day, you come home to a nicely made bed. Those are two solid reasons to make a bed.
Just because I like McRaven’s homespun military wisdom, though, doesn’t mean I have to like his politics. Nor do I have to like the loopy Leftist logic that he reveals thanks to his politics. For example, in a much touted op-ed in the WaPo, McRaven actually called John Brennan “a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question….”
It just goes to show that, in both Dem world and D.C. world, “integrity,” “honesty,” and “character” have different meanings than they do in the real world. After all, in the real world, no one would say it shows honesty, integrity, or character to lie repeatedly to Congress, but that’s what Brennan did.
By the way, I’m not even talking about the most recent go-round of lies. I’m talking about the lies in 2014, when Brennan was still living in the wonders of Obama-world. Back then, the lies were wrapped around the illegal activity of the CIA spying on our own government:
As reports emerged Thursday that an internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general found that the CIA “improperly” spied on US Senate staffers when researching the CIA’s dark history of torture, it was hard to conclude anything but the obvious: John Brennan blatantly lied to the American public. Again.
“The facts will come out,” Brennan told NBC News in March after Senator Dianne Feinstein issued a blistering condemnation of the CIA on the Senate floor, accusing his agency of hacking into the computers used by her intelligence committee’s staffers. “Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate,” he said.
After the CIA inspector general’s report completely contradicted Brennan’s statements, it now appears Brennan was forced to privately apologize to intelligence committee chairs in a “tense” meeting earlier this week.
Brennan was so bad that, back in 2014, the same WaPo that now has McRaven leaping to Brennan’s defense because Trump yanked Brennan’s security clearance, had its own opinions editor (not a guest) demand that Obama fire Brennan:
An apology and an internal review board might suffice if this were Brennan or intelligence leaders’ first offense, but the track record is far from spotless. In 2011, Brennan claimed that dozens of U.S. drone strikes on overseas targets had not killed a single civilian. This remarkable success rate was not only disputed at the time by news reports — even supporters of the drone program called it “absurd” — but as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the New York Times both reported later, President Obama received reports from the very beginning of his presidency about drone strikes killing numerous civilians. As Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser at the time, Brennan would have received these reports as well, so either Brennan knew that his claim was a lie, or he is secretly deaf. Similarly, Brennan denied snooping on Senate computers six weeks after Feinstein first made the accusation to the CIA in private, which means either that he was lying, or he had ignored a serious charge against his agency for six weeks, then spouted off about it without any real knowledge — hardly the behavior expected of an agency director.
And last year, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to Congress when he told Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and the Senate Intelligence Committee that the National Security Agency did not collect any kind of data on millions of Americans, a claim later disproved by documents leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. Despite Clapper receiving criticism from both sides of the aisle, the damage to Clapper’s and the White House’s credibility on intelligence and civil liberties issues and, well, the fact that lying to Congress is a crime (though one that’s difficult to prosecute), Obama has not disciplined Clapper in any way.
Brennan is a bad apple and has always been a bad apple, going back to his communist days. Once upon a time, the Left understood this, but Leftists are so infected with Trump Derangement Syndrome that, as many have said, if Trump figured out a way to cure cancer, the Leftists would demand he stop hurting cancer.
Oh, and to the extent McRaven, in the WaPo piece, asked to have his security clearance pulled too, I think Trump should oblige him. First, security clearance is a privilege, not a right, and one that operates to benefit the U.S., not the security holder. Which leads me to the second point, which is that McRaven has shown that his years at the Pentagon have warped his values, common sense, and ability to understand the common meaning of words. That’s not a good man to possess to valuable a privilege. Anyway who can look at the hysterical, dishonest Brennan and think he’s a safe man to trust with a security clearance has proven himself too lacking in sense to have his own clearance.
Incidentally, the current crop of lies against Trump don’t stop with denying that Brennan lies. Just in case you read the defense of Brennan that he was the point man on the bin Laden raid, he wasn’t:
#FakeNews MSM is calling Brennan the “point man on the Bin Laden raid.”
He wasn’t. He wasn’t even working for CIA then. He was WH Homeland Security Advisor. He was simply a non essential body in the Situation Room watching the raid.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) August 16, 2018
If the Left says something, the rule isn’t “trust but verify.” It’s “don’t trust; verify everything.”
I’ll give the last word on the subject to Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who issued a scathing indictment against Brennan and supporting Trump’s decision: