Today: The Defeat of ISIS, The Dutch beat the English at Dungeness, 1st Notice of the Holocaust, Royals behaving badly, Christmas Music, . . .
AND MORE [Read more…]
Today: The Defeat of ISIS, The Dutch beat the English at Dungeness, 1st Notice of the Holocaust, Royals behaving badly, Christmas Music, . . .
AND MORE [Read more…]
A look at some of the history, holidays, and observances on November 14
Feast of Saint Nikola Tavelic — a 14th century Franciscan friar who, after evangelizing and converting tens of thousands to Catholicism over a dozen years in Bosnia, traveled to Jerusalem to continue his mission. Evangelizing among the Muslims of Jerusalem, St. Tavelic was arrested by Muslim authorities who gave him a choice between converting to Islam or being executed for blasphemy. St. Tavelic was executed this day in 1391.
1851 – Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick
Moby-Dick is the iconic American tale of a ship’s captain whose all consuming obsession for revenge against a whale leads him to ruin and death. “Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. . . .” Melville, having sailed on whaling ships, gave detailed and accurate descriptions of life aboard ship on a whaler. The book only sold 3,200 copies during Melville’s lifetime. It did not gain recognition or status as a classic of American literature until the early 20th century.
1910 – Naval Aviation is Born
The potential for combining air assets with naval vessels was apparent from the start of the Aviation Age. Seven years after the Wright Brothers’ first achieved flight, on this day in 1910, Aviator Eugene Burton Ely executed the first takeoff from a ship, the USS Birmingham, in a Curtiss Pusher. By the time of WWII, aircraft carriers and special planes adapted to launch and land aboard ship had revolutionized naval warfare.
1941 – The Holocaust: Mass Murder of Jews In Slonim, Belarus
Slonim was a small town in Belarus whose population had swelled with Polish Jews escaping the Nazi invasion of Poland. By 1941, the population of Slonim had swelled to about 30,000 people, some 70% of whom were Jews. In 1941, Germany launched the invasion of the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, and in June, 1941, took control of the city. They herded the Jews into a contiguous ghetto and took a detailed census. Einsatzgruppe B, under the command of Arthur Nebe, rounded up over 9,000 of Slonim’s Jews this day in 1941, convoyed them out of the city and executed them.
1960 – Ruby Bridges becomes the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana. She was immortalized in a 1964 painting by Norman Rockwell, The Problem We All Live With.
1967 – American physicist Theodore Maiman is given a patent for his ruby laser systems, the world’s first laser.
1650 – William III of England, Prince of Orange, King of England, Scotland and Ireland. He came to power upon invitation of the British Parliament in 1688 in the Glorious Revolution that deposed the Catholic King, James II. William III was offered the Crown conditioned on his assent to to one of the most significant documents in Anglo political history, the English Bill of Rights of 1689.
565 – Justinian I, an ambitious and ruthless sixth century Byzantine emperor famous for partially restoring the Roman Empire in Europe.
1687 – Nell Gwyn, an extremely popular woman in Restoration England, “pretty witty Nell” was a one time prostitute, then a comic actress, and finally the favored mistress of King Charles II.
Jexodus (or Jexit) asks Jews to leave an increasingly anti-Semitic Democrat Party, something I’m trying to facilitate with tweets to my #DearFellowJews.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news of late, you can’t have missed stories about anti-Semitism. For example, for many years now, France has periodically been roiled by grotesque anti-Semitic murders, including one that happened in connection with the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, in January 2015.
I mention that massacre specifically, because it was an event that lifted for Leftists American Jews, even if ever so slightly, the veil hiding the anti-Semitic rot at the heart of the Democrat Party. As you may recall, in January 2015, Islamists committed a mass murder at the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo because it had dared to mock the eminently mockable Mohamed. Two days later, a member of the same radical Islamist community entered a kosher market in Paris, took hostages, killed four people, and injured nine.
The massacre did not occur because anyone in the Hypercacher market had mocked Mohamed. No one had, of course. The only reason the Hypercacher massacre happened was because Islamist murderers always use the opportunity of a massacre to include a few Jews. Thus, when Islamists committed the exceptionally bloody Mumbai massacre, they wasted resources deviating from their central massacre just so that they could torture to death a rabbi and his wife who had a small Chabad House in Mumbai.
In a way, this Muslim massacre technique (a big massacre that includes, as a sideline, brutally killing a few Jews) is comparable to Hitler’s Holocaust: For Hitler and Germany, the primary goal was world conquest. However, just as was the case with the Islamists, Hitler’s anti-Semitism was so all-encompassing that he willingly diverted resources from the main goal to accomplish a secondary goal that was neither ancillary to nor necessary for world conquest. Indeed, it lessened the chances for world conquest, but Hitler couldn’t stop himself.
But I digress. This is not a post about rising anti-Semitism around the world. It’s just a prelude to a post about rising anti-Semitism in America and, more specifically, about the anti-Semitic rot at the heart of the Democrat Party . . . which brings me back to the purposefully anti-Semitic attack on Jews in the Hypercacher market in Paris. [Read more…]
The world is indeed going crazy — but mixed in with the Left’s bad stuff, this Bookworm Beat also has things that are both interesting and good.
We need to take federal funds out of America’s colleges and universities. Exhibit A for this proposal is a long, long, utterly fascinating article that Milo Yiannopoolos has written about the war that the hard-Left, identity-politics driven, social justice warriors are waging within the confines of medieval studies. While medieval studies may sound arcane, the reality is that the article describes in microcosm the vicious, Marxist battles taking place in every college and university — all of which are taxpayer-funded.
This Leftist academic coup needs to stop, which is another reason to vote Republican in the fall. I doubt a Republican Congress will stop the funds, but they’ll still be better than Democrats, who are open in their demands that all colleges be free and that this Marxist crap get full taxpayer funding.
A spirit stronger than the Holocaust. Anyone who survived the Holocaust has an amazing story. Menachem Z. Rosensaft’s father has a more amazing story than most.
I’ve often said that those of us whose parents experienced WWII first hand are the last of the WWII generation. When we go, there is no one left to remember, whether first hand or second hand.
Brennan’s CIA and the attack on Trump. A friend insisted that I read Michael Isikoff’s and David Corn’s Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump. If those names are familiar to you, it’s because they were part of publicizing the Steele dossier so that the FBI, in making its FISA application, could claim two sources to justify the application to spy on Carter Page, not just one. David Corn is also a long-time writer associated with Mother Jones and The Nation, so that gives you an idea of his political orientation. Isikoff is the man who sat on the blue dress story lest it embarrass Bill Clinton.
I’ve only read the book’s introduction and the first chapter so far, but I’m finding it hard to keep a straight face as I go. It’s an amalgam of gossip, innuendo, insults, and meaningless anecdotes, all aimed at creating an aura of “badness” around Trump. What makes the book especially ludicrous is that, since its publication, we’ve learned more about the FISA application, we’ve had all sorts of admissions that Obama knew what was going on and did nothing lest it harm Hillary’s candidacy, we’ve seen Trump use his carrot and stick approach to many leaders he finds hostile to America’s well-being, and we’ve seen him make life more difficult for Putin than any other past leader, especially Obama.
Five years ago, I reported that the Left was erasing Anne Frank’s Jewishness. Since then, the Left has begun using her to support Israel’s destruction.
This is a post that started back in 2013, when I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam for the first time in 23 years. Although I was impressed by the way in which the museum had been remodeled to make traffic flow more easily, I was distressed by the fact that the exclusively Jewish nature of Anne’s martyrdom (for that was what it was) was almost invisible.
The museum consistently downplayed the fact that Anne wasn’t killed by random “hate.” Instead, she was killed very specifically because of the oldest, and extremely targeted, hatred — antisemitism. This is what I wrote in 2013:
The museum around the house focuses in tightly on Anne, her family, and her friends. It makes the Holocaust very personal but, by doing so, fails utterly to educate people about the Holocaust or fascism.
At the end of the museum, there’s a room with very short videos, many of which are about special interest demands against a greater European culture that is not bowing to their dressing, immigration, or marriage requirements. The videos begin by focusing on a fictional young person with needs, and then, having personalized that need, gives a brief, shallow, fairly even-handed look at the issue, whether it’s veils in schools, forcing Christian civil servants to perform gay marriages, or allowing people to serve in the military while wearing religious garb.
Having started each video with the personalization, everyone knows what they’re supposed to think. None of the videos delves into the deeper issues. For example, are the veil-wearing girls embracing Dutch culture, or undermining it? (E.g., are they fifth columnists, like Maj. Hasan, or multicultural patriots?) If the veil is a symbol of religious faith, that’s one thing. If it represents the thin edge if the wedge for sharia, it’s another. By simplifying and personalizing the matter, the Anne Frank museum manages to say that a country’s desire to protect certain laudable institutions against a self-professed form of religious fascism is tantamount to Nazis killing Anne Frank.
I watched about ten or twelve videos, and the only nod to antisemitism was in the video about Holocaust Denial on YouTube.
As I said, the de-judaization was five years ago. In just the last year, the Left has gone from erasing Anne’s Jewishness to using her image and memory to advance explicitly antisemitic, genocidal goals. And no,I’m not kidding.
A little over a year ago, I learned about the Marxist takeover of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York, which Anne Frank’s father, Otto, founded in 1959. It’s an extremely long post, which I think is worth reading in its entirety, but I’ll quote it only selectively here: [Read more…]
Did the Holocaust’s shadow give Progressive Jews such a fear of dying that they cling to a political ideology promising (but not delivering) peaceful death?
A theory that popped into my mind yesterday that may help explain the mystery of the Progressive Jew, a person who clings desperately to the Democrat party despite the party’s escalating hostility to Jews and Israel. I wonder if it’s all tied into the way in which the Holocaust weighs on Jews of my generation.
I got started on this line of thinking because an old, although not terribly close, friend of mine died yesterday. When I say “old,” I don’t mean chronologically old. He was my age — mid-50s — which I consider to be on the slightly younger side of middle-age. (Perhaps that’s wishful thinking.) His death was also not entirely unexpected, because it was a recurrence of a problem he’d had before and was fighting for years.
My friend is not the first of the increasingly frequent brushes with mortality that are intertwining with my life. The older generation — parents, relatives, colleagues, all in their 80s and 90s — are passing away with relentless frequency. That’s to be expected. What’s more disturbing for me is the number of people, such as my deceased friend, who are my age and succumbing to cancer, heart disease, the effects of substance abuse, and other ills that start chasing us as we age.
What I’ve noticed is that my religious friends face death differently than my non-religious friends. They’re not resigned, which indicates a lack of hope, but they’re philosophical and that philosophy melds with the hope, allowing them to focus on the treatment process without too much fear. They see themselves as part of a greater plan, with God as their partner. If this plan denies them recovery, Christians look to the promise of Heaven; Jews put their faith in the final resurrection.
In contrast, my atheist friends have nothing to hang on to. The Grim Reaper is threatening them without rhyme or reason and then, at the end, there’s nothing.
I think, though, that there’s an added twist for many contemporary secular Jews when they consider death. By the way, when I say “secular,” I’m including non-Orthodox Jews who follow the outward form of worship in reform and “lite” conservative synagogues. They belong to a Temple, they attend on the High Holy days, and they probably send their kids to Sunday school . . . but they don’t believe in God. For them, these are rituals that tie them to their childhood communities, that fulfill a long for tradition, and that are a strong part of their Jewish identity. [Read more…]
Leftists’ elevating theory over facts destroys everything, whether climate issues or, as now know (and are thankful for), Hillary’s political campaign.
Do you remember the old Rodney Dangerfield movie, Back To School? Dangerfield plays a self-made industrialist millionaire who follows his son to a fancy Ivy League school. Some of the movie’s best humor comes from the culture clash between the real (or “normal” as Kurt Schlichter would say) Dangerfield and the poncy, disconnected professor who lives in a world of theory, unrelated to facts.
In the pivotal culture class scene, Dangerfield schools a business professor who prefers to deal in widgets rather than facts and, indeed, who thinks that his theories are the equivalent of facts:
Hurricanes are normal, but Trump Derangement Syndrome obscures that fact. Of course, those subject to TDS are deranged in other ways as well. Just look….
Before I get to the meat of this post — or, because it’s a round-up, the various meats of this post — I want to remind everyone that America has always been subject to ferocious hurricanes. They just seem worse today because we have more population in a hurricane’s path, especially when it’s an Irma-like hurricane, and because we have a 24 hour media that makes everything seem local.
In other ways, though, we’re better off when faced with hurricanes because we can prepare. In 1900, Galveston, Texas, residents did not see their Cat 4 hurricane coming. It killed 6,000 – 12,000 people, making it the deadliest natural disaster in American history. For a list of other major hurricanes in the last 400 years, the bulk of which predate “climate change” and struck out-of-the-blue, go here. You’ll see that America was especially hard hit in the 1700s, long before CO2 was an issue.
Obviously, I don’t mean to downplay our two latest hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, both of which are or will be responsible for staggering property damage and, always, the loss of too many lives. I just want to amp down the usual climate change hysteria that’s accompanying this latest display of Nature’s normal.
And with that, let me turn my attention to all the other interesting things I’ve gathered, many of which reflect poorly on those most deeply lost to TDS.
Hillary admits her incompetence. Hillary has been on the warpath with her new book, blaming everything and everybody for her loss. She’s also admitted that she was incapable of speech on election eve because she was so devastated and that it was male advisers who caused her to react less strongly to both Trump and Bernie than she thinks in retrospect that she ought to have done. (Oh, and Trump “creeped” her out.)
So Hillary has just admitted that she’s incompetent in a crisis and incapable of standing up to men. Most of Hillary’s opponents at home and abroad would have been men, men like Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, or Bashir al-Assad. Her latest book is just another reminder that we dodged a serious bullet when Trump won.
Europe’s Muslim future. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, sees which way the wind is blowing and he understands that, not only is Eurabia fast approaching, but that Western Europe leaders are hastening its inevitability:
Europe’s leaders seem to have neither the will nor the means to oppose the incoming waves of millions of Muslim migrants from Africa and the Middle East. They know that terrorists are hiding among the migrants, but still do not vet them. Instead, they resort to subterfuges and lies. They create “deradicalization” programs that do not work: the “radicals,” it seems, do not want to be “deradicalized.”
Europe’s leaders try to define “radicalization” as a symptom of “mental illness”; they consider asking psychiatrists to solve the mess. Then, they talk about creating a “European Islam“, totally different from the Islam elsewhere on Earth. They take on haughty postures to create the illusion of moral superiority, as Ada Colau and Carles Puigdemont did in Barcelona: they say they have high principles; that Barcelona will remain “open” to immigrants. Angela Merkel refuses to face the consequences of her policy to import countless migrants. She chastises countries in Central Europe that refuse to adopt her policies.
European leaders can see that a demographic disaster is taking place. They know that in two or three decades, Europe will be ruled by Islam. They try to anesthetize non-Muslim populations with dreams about an idyllic future that will never exist. They say that Europe will have to learn to live with terrorism, that there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Pat Condell is another prophet who is being ignored:
Meanwhile, Britain prepares its citizens for dhimmitude. Several of my gay Leftist Facebook friends proudly posted a WaPo op-ed announcing that all the grim prophecies preceding legalizing gay marriage failed to come true. It is true that heterosexual marriage is cratering at pretty much the same rate as before, so one can’t say that same-sex marriage killed it. The article also essentially claims that America is better than ever because Christian bakers are being put out of business.
It’s that last point, of course, that’s the giveaway about the real target of gay marriage. Gay marriage, as I’ve said over and over, was never about competing with straight marriage and it was unlikely to affect straight marriage. What it was about was undercutting traditional values, especially if those values came from the church. Kill the traditional church (and the synagogue) and you kill the West. It’s heart goes out of it.
(Before I go further, let me say again, that I have no trouble whatsoever with same-sex civil unions. If states want to legalize same sex partnerships, that’s fine with me. I support people who enter into stable relationships. It’s the way the whole issue was framed as gay “marriage” that disturbs me deeply. Doing that made these unions the basis for a concerted attack against traditional Western values as a whole.)
If you really want to see where gay marriage leads, check out this Australian Spectator article detailing the way in which gay marriage has been used to attack core Western values, not to mention to destroy the integrity of our biological selves. I’ll focus on the gender and children sections, but you should read the whole thing: [Read more…]
For those caught in its toils, communism has been every bit as evil as Nazism, except with a greater scope. No wonder, given that they’re the same ideology.
I have written thousands of words about the fact that communism and Nazism are siblings, in that they are both variations on socialism. It’s easy to figure this out because both of their names give the game away: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National-Socialist German Workers’ Party) and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Both were predicated on total state power.
Hitler differed from the Soviets only in that he was willing to maintain an industrial class, which could derive profits from that industry, provided that the industrialists ceded ultimate control and management to the state. Call it crony capitalism, if you like.
To the extent the Nazis fought with the communists within Germany’s borders during the 1920s and 1930s, that was a form of internecine warfare, with both parties struggling to obtain total control. Because they are both totalitarian ideologies, neither Nazism or Communism can suffer a pluralist government. All battles are zero sum games with only one party emerging to hold all power within the state.
Once Hitler obtained total control in Germany, he was in a position to negotiate an alliance with Stalin. These two socialist nations were now fellow totalitarian travelers, at least for as long as Hitler needed Stalin’s aid and military passivity to retain power and aid his war effort. Once Stalin ceased being useful — and once Hitler desperately needed the Soviet Union’s oil fields — Hitler just as easily snapped back into his earlier adversarial posture. It was always about power and never about core ideological differences.
In America, before Hitler attacked the USSR, communists did not support the war. They had no desire to go to war against a socialist state. Their goal, after all, was to see America become a socialist state. If Stalin could tolerate Hitler, so could they. [Read more…]
This Bookworm Beat has all shades of Progressive insanity (fake data, attacks on free speech, Chelseamania), complete with links and my trenchant comments.
Keep circling that drain. Before I get into the meat of this post detailing the worst emanations from the Democrats and their fellow travelers on their Left, I want to lead off with Kurt Schlichter’s article begging the Democrats not to change their current trajectory and tactics:
Look, Democrats, speaking sincerely as your friend, understand that everyone who says you need to take a deep look at yourselves is a racist, sexist, homophobe who won’t even ask about your preferred pronoun. Whatever you do, don’t you ever change.
The problem isn’t you. It’s those stupid idiots who won’t obey you because they’re stupid idiots. How can those idiots be so stupid?
Who knows? But what’s clear is that it’s not your fault. It’s theirs. So when the going gets tough, and you aren’t making progress – in fact, when you’re moving backwards – what’s the smart play? Double down!
Hey, the dealer’s showing an ace in a face-heavy deck and you’ve got a six, what do you do? Double down!
Can I boast? I had the pleasure of meeting Kurt a couple of weeks ago and he’s every bit as smart, funny, and personable as his writing. Lord, but I do envy a brain like that.
Statistically illiterate accusation that Trump voters are racist. You know all about American colleges and universities by now. They’re the places in which self-regard exceeds accomplishments, feelings trump rational thought, antisemitism is great than that found anywhere else in America (except, probably in Dearborn and the DNC), and the First Amendment is subordinate to students’ feelings (provided, of course, that those feelings are consistent with the Democrat Party platform).
Thomas Wood, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, has emerged from this sewer to announce that Trump voters are racists. He thought perhaps they were mere Nazi-style authoritarians but it’s worse — they’re racists. He knows this because he’s got charts.
Why are Trump voters racist? Because Wood specifically defined racism in such a way as to apply to Trump voters. That’s how they do it at universities nowadays:
To test this, I use what is called the “symbolic racism scale” to compare whites who voted for the Democratic presidential candidate with those who voted for the Republican. This scale measures racial attitudes among respondents who know that it’s socially unacceptable to say things perceived as racially prejudiced. Rather than asking overtly prejudiced questions — “do you believe blacks are lazy” — we ask whether racial inequalities today are a result of social bias or personal lack of effort and irresponsibility.
In other words, if you believe that only government can save perpetually hapless and helpless minorities, you’re not a racist. However, if you believe that minorities are rational, sentient beings who respond to incentives and disincentives in the same way as everyone else, and that they therefore deserve to be respected as our equals and not demeaned as perpetual wards of state, you’re racist!
You always win the game if you get to write the rules after the play is already run. Woods is a perfect example of why I keep saying that the best way to get America back on a track dedicated to individual liberty, free enterprise, and constitutional governance is to take every bit of federal money out of American “higher” education.
Trump made it simple: antisemitism is bad and it needs to stop so, of course, Stephen Goldstein, a Jewish Leftist hiding behind Anne Frank attacked him for not doing enough.
I know President Obama was here for the museum’s opening last fall, and I’m honored to be the second sitting president to visit this great museum.
Today and every day of my presidency, I pledge to do everything I can to continue that promise of freedom for African-Americans and for every American, so important, nothing more important.
This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance, and hatred in all of its very ugly forms. The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.
Given that he was at the African American history museum and not the Holocaust Museum, I thought the brevity was appropriate. I also appreciated his nice, polite. little reminder to African Americans who are, sadly, amongst the most antisemitic people in America, that they need to stop being that way.
Steven Goldstein, the director of the Anne Frank Center in New York, took it upon himself to respond on behalf of all Jews and said that Trump’s denunciation failed because he hasn’t policed his own administration (which is full of people who are Jewish or adore Israel). This denunciation has gotten wide play in the mainstream media and on social media.
Oh! Did I mention that the center’s full name is the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect? Given Goldstein’s ill-informed and nasty attack, I guess someone forgot to read his own promotional material.
And just who is Steven Goldstein and what is this “Center for Mutual Respect”? Well, it turns out that, a few years ago, the Anne Frank Center deviated from its Holocaust mission and has turned into a social justice institution focused on intersectionality, , with an Executive Director who made a name for himself as a hardcore social justice warrior:
Beginning on September 11, 2001, and with increasing speed since January 2009, I’ve had a very strong sense that the world — not just America, but the whole world — is unraveling. At home, venerable and often cherished institutions and ideas are falling into disrepair or being perverted beyond all recognition. Abroad, the Pax America that stabilized the world for so many years, with America acting not as a conqueror but as ballast, has broken down. I’m afraid of the world into which I’m launching my children. The dystopian future that become a stable of countless young adult novels seems to have become the dystopian present.
In many ways, the worst thing about watching the passing spectacle is that I’m helpless to do anything. Sure, I blog, but I recognize (and I don’t mean this with any disrespect, dear readers) that I’m mostly preaching to the choir. I’d be delighted if my words changed one mind, swaying one person from unthinking Progressivism to thoughtful conservatism, but I’m pretty sure that the best I can do is offer comfort and comradeship to people who share my values and my concerns. There’s nothing wrong with binding people together, but I don’t see what I’m doing as effecting any real change.
I’ve also tried to help my children understand that the Leftist political pieties forced upon them in their schools and through their media are false. Mostly, I’ve been successful — my children, when they’re willing to think at all about politics, seem to have absorbed my conservative world view, one that fears big government, believes in strong borders and self-defense, and is fanatic about a free market and the virtue for able-bodied people of self-reliance. I don’t know, though, if I’ve done them any favors. Their values clash with the world they’re entering and put them at odds with their generation. Maybe they could face their socialized, possibly Islamic, future with some equanimity if they didn’t believe in the alternative.
On my Facebook page, I politely tweak my Leftist friends by subtly inserting conservative ideas into their Feeds, but I’m not kidding myself. Even the most open-minded of them are open-minded only to the extent that they don’t “un-friend” me or get nasty. I can practically feel the pity radiating across the feed as they think “She was smart once. What the heck happened? Early dementia perhaps?” None think, “She has always been a really smart, well-informed person. Maybe she’s on to something.” Sigh.
Faced with a domestic scene that saddens me and an international scene that frightens me, I’ve come to a necessary conclusion if I’m to continue functioning — and I must continue functioning. After all, even as things come down around my ears, I still have meals to prepare, laundry to wash, bills to pay, and people (and dogs) dependent upon me for their care. I can’t allow existential anxiety to make me useless.
So here’s my philosophy: To the extent I can bring about change, I’ll fuss and try to come up with solutions that make a difference. However, when there’s nothing I do or say to make a damn bit of difference, I’m going to sit back and get whatever pleasure I can out of the show. I’ll only make myself crazy if I continuously bang my head against walls to no effect.
My lemonade-out-of-lemons philosophy applies strongly to Europe. If there were any way I could save it from its present existential collapse, I actually believe I would. However, because there is absolutely nothing I can do, I’m opting for the pleasures of Schadenfreude as I watch Europe’s passing parade.
At the end of 1945, my mother, who spent the war years in a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia, was repatriated to her former home in Palestine at the end of 1945. (Her story is here.) Once her health recovered, she joined the Haganah and was assigned the job of helping to bypass the British blockade stopping Holocaust survivors from coming to the renewed Jewish homeland that the British had promised them.
Some of these survivors were utterly alone in the world. Others had family that had already arrived in Palestine, either before or after the war. My mother’s job was to deliver this second class of survivor to those relatives.
Mom, who had spent almost four years witnessing and experiencing Japanese atrocities, was left utterly shattered by one of these encounters. She knew that she was taking a young Polish man to his mother. Because of the language barrier, however, my mother did not know that the man’s mother, like her son, was herself a camp survivor who had arrived in Palestine only a short time before. This woman therefore fully understood what happened in the camps, and had resigned herself to the fact that she would never again see her family. Had Mom had this information, she might have been able to soften the impact that seeing her living son had on the woman.
My Kondo-mania continues unabated. The task I’ve assigned myself now is to get rid of all but the most necessary papers in my house. And of those, unless the paper itself has some historic, emotional, or legal value, to scan what remains. I’ve been sorting and shredding all day, and am only taking a break now because my son refused to believe me that our little home shredder would jam if he fed in more than three pages. He stuffed in nine, and is now using tweezers to clean out the shredder. Meanwhile….
The bloodless Muslim takeover of Europe
Daniel Greenfield’s article about the Muslim invasion is best summarized in this paragraph:
Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its shrinking birth rate by working and paying into the system so that its aging population can retire. The Muslim migrants however expect Europe to subsidize their large families with its welfare state while they deal some drugs and chop off some heads on the side.
Mr. Bookworm, incidentally, couldn’t understand my dismay when I learned he’d donated $100 to help the refugees. He tried to analogize the situation to Jews fleeing Nazis, and castigated me for being the person who wouldn’t help the Jews. He couldn’t understand what I meant when I said that these refugees, by virtue of being Muslims from hard-core Muslim countries, are Nazis fleeing worse Nazis. I don’t want to help either group.
Rebutting the lies about Israel
If everyone read Ron Dermer’s Ten Deadly Lies About Israel (and kudos to Politico for publishing it), the world would be a better place. Israel would be treated as a nation among nations, and the Palestinians would be unfunded and unfriended. An example:
Ninth: The reason the conflict and the violence persist is because the Palestinians don’t have a state.
False: The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to accept a nation-state for themselves if it means accepting a nation-state for the Jewish people alongside it. In 1937, the Palestinians rejected the Peel Commission report that called for two states for two peoples; in 1947, they rejected the U.N. partition plan that did the same. In 2000 at Camp David and again in 2008 the Palestinians rejected new proposals that would have created a Palestinian state. The Palestinians rejected peace both before and after the creation of Israel, before Israel gained control of the territories in 1967 and after Israel vacated Gaza in 2005. The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict remains the persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders.
Armed Jews would have made a difference during WWII
Ben Carson may have been a little too optimistic when he said that, if Jews had been armed, they could have stopped the Holocaust. What is certain, though, is that Jews would have been harder to capture and less yielding had they been able to challenge the Nazis — and the Nazis knew this because the first thing they did when they decided to destroy world Jewry was to disarm all Jews within reach (as all tyrants do when they’re ready to destroy their chosen victims). William A. Levinson explains what the Nazis did and how important small arms are to partisan resistance (something for Americans to consider in the fight to grab our guns).
If you attack cops, you’re likely to die
Trust Thomas Sowell to cut through the Leftist shower of fecal matter about police shootings, starting with a teenager’s recent death after the teen went crazy during a routine traffic stop:
”He was only a kid” is an almost automatic reaction of the parents and the media. “He didn’t deserve to be killed” over a traffic violation, or because he didn’t drop a toy gun when ordered to, or some other minor infraction.
Are we so addicted to talking points and sound bites that we can’t be bothered to use common sense? If you are killed by a teenager, you are just as dead as if you had been killed by the oldest man in the world.
It doesn’t matter how minor the law violation was that caused the young guy to be stopped. He wasn’t shot for the violation — which could have been jay-walking, for all the difference it makes. He was shot for attacking the police, after having foolishly escalated a routine encounter into a personal confrontation.
Irrational statements by the young man’s parents may be understandable when they discover that their son is dead. But for media people to make such mindless statements to a nationwide audience is just grossly irresponsible.
Income inequality is not an economic issue
The Democrat presidential candidates were obsessed with economic inequality. They are obsessed, of course, because it gives them permission to rob from a smaller class of Americans and give to larger class of Americans, thus ensuring them perpetual power. Dennis Prager, however, points out that, while the Dems are giving themselves a political and financial power card based on their “inequality” rallying cry, inequality is actually a moral, not an economic, problem:
It depends, first of all, on the economic status of the poorer members of the society. If the bottom percentile of society has its basic material needs met, then the existence of a big gap between its members and the wealthiest members of the society is not a moral problem.
But if the members of the bottom rung of society are in such an impoverished state that their basic material needs are not met, and yet there is a supremely wealthy class in the same society, then the suffering of its poorest class renders that society’s inequality a moral problem.
And what most matters in both cases is whether the wealthiest class has attained its wealth honestly or corruptly. If the wealthy have attained their wealth morally and legally, then the income gap is not a moral problem.
Second Amendment links
America is not the top Western nation for the number of people per capita killed in mass shootings. You’d be surprised which countries are higher up the list.
Gun free zones are nothing more than honey pots for people crazy enough to kill, but not crazy enough to want to be stopped before they’ve had a good long time with their victims.
Obama — America’s greatest warmonger — and the Left doesn’t care
With Obama being the greatest warmonger ever to occupy the White House (wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, not to mention all those drone strikes, mostly on civilians), there have been only minor exceptions to the anti-War Left’s eerie silence since 2009. Noah Rothman posits that maybe, just maybe, they never were an anti-War Left. Instead, they were an anti-Bush Left and, to the extent the wars were framed as serving America’s needs, an anti-American Left — which is what we here said all along.
Speaking of which, someone has gone to the effort to imagine what it would be like if Romney stood in Obama’s blood-stained combat boots.
Israel needs to ignore the world and do what’s necessary
If you’re going to be damned if you do and damned if you don’t, and if doing benefits you, just do! Evelyn Gordon explains that, despite yielding constantly to demands from the US, Europe, and the Muslims, Israel is in no better shape than she would have been had she gone ahead with her preferred actions vis-a-vis settlements and other issues. That being the case, Israel should just stop trying to be the best little nation in the world, and do what she and her citizens need her to do.
For a brief while, I was trying to be a bankruptcy attorney. It turned out not to be my cup of tea. I did learn, however, that it’s often very useful for a business to declare bankruptcy, shed most of its debt, restructure, and start again. Kevin Williamson suggests that the U.S. may have to benefit from this procedure. I just doubt whether the world can weather a bankrupt America shedding most of its debt.
Viewing Muslim men with appropriate caution
One of the aides at my Mom’s care facility is trying desperately to break away from her Muslim husband. I don’t know the details, but I do know I’ve heard countless stories of Western women being charmed by romantic Muslim men, only to discover that there’s a big difference between a Muslim boyfriend and a Muslim husband. The latter tends to like to assert his cultural and sharia prerogatives, usually with the children as his hostages in some lovely country like Qatar or Saudi Arabia. That’s why, rather than being outraged by the young lady in this video, I thought she was pretty wise. Unless you’re certain that your Muslim guy is someone like the amazing and wonderful Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (or like a completely Westernized Muslim man I know, who is an utterly dear person), you need to know very clearly what you’re getting into — and a street pick-up isn’t the way to do it.
What the media means when it dismisses Jewish injuries as “moderate”
This is how it looks when the media tell you a Jew has been “moderately injured” in a Palestinian stab attack! pic.twitter.com/juSoqgMP0c
— I Support Israel (@isupportisrael_) October 19, 2015
Netanyahu wasn’t wrong when he talked about the Mufti and Hitler
Netanyahu stirred up a hornet’s nest when he suggested that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who got Hitler going on the idea of a Holocaust, as opposed to exiling or enslaving Europe’s Jews. Some people think that Hitler got the idea from Stalin, after his troops saw how effectively Stalin liquidated his own people. But there’s no reason to believe Netanyahu was wrong. The Mufti enthusiastically supported liquidating Jews and there’s no doubt that he and Hitler had a common fanatic hatred for the Jewish people. Certainly, my mother ended up in Indonesia because, when she was living in British-mandate Palestine, British officers told her father that, if they couldn’t hold out against Rommel (and they were dubious that they could), every Jew in Palestine would be slaughtered. Both Nazis and Arabs would participate, with each group egging the other on.
Anyway, Melanie Phillips has lots more data about the Mufti, who was by any measure an exceptionally evil man and Hitler’s soul mate.
I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”
I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.
Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.
I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.
And now to a few things that caught my eye:
If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill
I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.
Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.
But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people. If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.