The Bookworm Beat 2-19-15 — A few links for your reading pleasure

Woman writingI’m still away from my blog, so I’m not blogging in real time, but in un-real time. I lined up this post several days ago and, for all I know, world events shifted so dramatically, everything here is entirely obsolete. Still, FWIW, you may enjoy these stories:

Roger L. Simon has been on fire lately. I’ve always liked his writing, but lately I’ve loved his writing. His riff on the murders in Cophenhagen is a fine bit of snark aimed at people at home and abroad who deny Islam’s role in terrorism, not to mention antisemitism’s role in Islam.

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If you read just one article today about ISIS, read Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants”

Why is militant Islam Like EbolaI can’t imagine that you’ve traveled anywhere across the conservative internet today without coming across a link to Graeme Wood’s “What ISIS Really Wants.” It’s a long article, but so informative and important that it would be a good thing if everybody took a few minutes out of their day to read it.  Indeed, I’d make everyone in Obama’s administration read it often enough to have it memorized.

A lot of what Wood has to say is familiar to all of us who haven’t been pretending that ISIS is just a JV Team of malcontents taking the name of Allah in vain. Wood destroys any claim that ISIS isn’t Islamic:

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The Bookworm Beat 2-6-15 — the “Fearless Friday” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingObama’s adversarial relationship with Christianity

What did we expect already from yesterday’s Prayer Breakfast? Obama long ago put the world on notice that he’s going full Bulworth (i.e., after six years in office, he intends, finally, to stop lying and speak the truth).

While before Obama just let out peevish little trickles of animosity, anyone paying attention could tell that:

(a) he’s profoundly ignorant about history — not just American history, but any history, including Muslim and Christian history;

(b) he hates Christians and Christianity;

(c) he hates America, no matter that this nation twice elected him as president (with a little help from the IRS, of course); and

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A pox on moral relativism — we’re fighting the good fight; ISIS is not

ISIS is escalating its death cult antics, so the usual suspects are decrying the fact that King Abdullah of Jordan is leading his troops to battle against ISIS.  I think it’s time for a little moral clarity:

What ISIS fights for v what the West fights for

And yes, I’m fully aware that Jordan lives in a twilight area between Middle East and West, but it’s clear that Jordan, from King Abdullah on down, fully understands the existential battle being waged near its borders.  Moreover, unlike Western nations that shelter behind moral relativism to ignore the Islamists’ sadism, slavery, and slaughter, Jordan has chosen to stand against the ISIS death cult and fight for what is, in the Arab Middle East at least, a fairly enlightened political system.

The Bookworm Beat 2-4-15 — The “Obama’s not sad” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingIt’s been pouring paying clients lately, which is a good thing but, as always, it cuts into my blogging time.  I’ll skip the preliminaries and throw myself in the round-up.

It’s a bad thing when our president is happy

My Mom, in commenting on the state of the world today, said “Everybody’s unhappy.” I disagreed. “Obama is happy,” I said. “So is Iran.”

Why are these two happy? Because Obama is working on a grand plan that will hand the Middle East over to nuclear Imams from Iran, that’s why. Victor Davis Hanson carefully breaks the Obama strategy down. You should definitely read VDH’s post, but be prepared to be depressed for hours or even days afterwards.

As for those Sunni outposts that Iran cannot reach or does not want to control, there’s always Obama’s good friend The Muslim Brotherhood.

And that’s why Obama’s happy.

The Jordanian pilot’s immolation is even making Progressives scared . . . except for Obama

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How many ISIS fighters should we kill?

Get ISIS to focus on climate changeToday, a liberal friend said, “You know, these ISIS guys are really bad.  I think we should kill more of them.”

I concurred, adding my own two cents.  “We’ll know we’ve killed enough ISIS members when all of them are dead.”

I said that before having read about ISIS’s boast that it burned alive the Jordanian pilot it had captured.

Maybe it will take a group as appalling, savage, immoral, and sadistic as ISIS to shake Progressives out of their belief that the worst thing facing the world today is that the climate is doing what it has always done:  changing a bit.

The Bookworm Beat 2-2-15 — A quick rundown before Monday really kicks in

Woman writingThe expression that “when it rains, it pours” has taken on a bit of significance in my life. As you know, after a hiatus from working, brought about in part by the recession hitting my clients and in part by the demands of an elderly parent and a household, I took a break from legal work. I went back to work last month when my oldest and favorite client needed my help. Then, on Saturday, two clients from whom I haven’t heard in years (2008 and before) both called me looking for help. Since I have the self-employed person’s ethos of never saying “no” when work comes calling, I said yes.

Before I dive in mountains of rather dull legal work, here are some interesting links:

The bar is set very high for being called an Islamic radical

In a biting post, Sultan Knish points out that it takes a lot to be called an Islamic radical. And when I say it takes a lot, I mean an awful, awful lot — because, for the most part, the radicals engage in precisely the same behavior one sees in Islamic nations around the world that aren’t considered “radical” at all. And then, when a group such as ISIS pushes the envelope, going beyond even what UN member states would do, Obama and Kerry insist that these groups aren’t Islamic at all. As Humpty Dumpty understood, whoever controls the definitions of words wins.

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Eradicating totalitarianism; or I love it when Huffington Post makes a point for me

Hiroshima

Hiroshima

Huffington Post leans Left.  It is not a media outlet that believes that the only way to destroy the jihadist mindset is to wipe it out from top to bottom.  Instead, HuffPo’s editorial policy makes clear that, in keeping with most major media outlets, it’s very certain that, somewhere out there, there’s a peaceful resolution to our problems with jihadist Islam — and one, moreover, that does not involve HuffPo writers getting shot or beheaded.  The HuffPo collective believes this despite daily news reports demosntrating that the jihadis have world domination as their goal, and that they intend to achieve it through the purifying force of hundreds of millions of deaths.

Even Qatari-owned Al Jazeera is slightly further along the path of jihadist discovery than is the American media.  It is Al Jazeera, after all, that took the time to interview Jurgen Todenhofer, a German journalist who managed to embed with ISIL and return alive. Todenhofer, as is true for so many European (and American) Leftists, seems to have gone in assuming that the bad press about ISIS, much of which ISIS promulgates itself, just couldn’t be true. Imagine his surprise to discover that ISIS is even worse than we imagined:

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ISIS and an antisemitic Europe: Looking for the good news buried in the bad

Muslims praying on Paris streets

Muslims praying on Paris streets

Sorry for the blog silence, but for the past few days, everyone has wanted not just a piece of me, but several pieces of me.  I’m telling myself that this was just an end-of-the-year frenzy and will have no impact whatsoever on the year to come. As it is, though, I’ll be glad to see the last of 2014 and am hopeful that 2015 will be better. Nevertheless, I’m mindless of something that Robert Avrech says: “[W]e try to remain optimistic. However, after six years of Obama, this state of mind becomes increasingly difficult to maintain.”

Okay, in that spirit of optimism, here’s some blood-thirsty, rather weird good cheer for you. I have a friend who is very Jewish and very conservative. He is rooting for, of all things, ISIS. Why? For starters, he thinks of Europe as the Amalekites. The Amalekites were intractably hostile to ancient Israel.  Their perpetual war against the Jews ended only when David finally annihilated them. The takeaway lesson, which is something Jews are reminded of every year, before Purim, when they read the chapter, “Remember what Amalek did unto thee” (Deut. xxv. 17-19), is that when you have an enemy dedicated to your destruction, your only hope for survival is to destroy that enemy first.

For a 60 year period after WWII, we deluded ourselves into thinking that WWII had, once and for all, wiped antisemitism from the European map. As the last few years have shown us, that was a false hope. Antisemitism in Europe is roaring back with ferocity. They turn on Jews on their streets and they turn on them in Israel.

It’s no excuse, either, to say that Europe’s renewed antisemitism comes from the Muslims in Europe. Even if one says the problems started with Muslims, the fact remains that Europe has embraced, rather than rejected, the Muslim approach to Jews and Israel. For Europe, antisemitism is bred deep in the bone.

To my friend, both the Europeans and the Muslims are Amalekites. The only way to deal with either is to see them destroyed. Right now, with ISIS and radical Islam ascendant, it looks as if radical Islam is on its way to destroy Europe. And as my friends said, ISIS’s escapades show that radical Islam has no compunction about destroying its enemies root and branch.

I protested, asking “What about the innocent?” My friend said “There’s nothing stopping them from leaving as they see Europe slipping back into genocidal antisemitism. They stay. They accept the consequences.”

“Okay,” I said, “but even if Europe as we know it is gone, we in America are still facing radical Islam, as is Israel.”

My friend wasn’t too perturbed. First, he said, we all know what happens when a nation goes fully Muslim: it becomes a third world entity, which makes it less of a risk to a nation such as America that still has the trappings, despite six years of Obama, of a first world nation. Second, he said, ISIS is currently on the bottom of the list of Israel’s worries. Israel is infinitely more worried now about America under Obama, Iran, and those Hezbollah missiles aimed at her. She’ll deal with ISIS when the time comes — and, if ISIS and Iran are busy fighting it out, she might not need to worry at all. In other words, don’t trouble Trouble until Trouble troubles you.

I did warn you that my friend’s view was blood-thirsty. His point, though, is an old one: Our enemies are on the verge of engaging with each other. Let them.

The Bookworm Beat 12/24/14 — A few quick links for Christmas Eve

Woman writingThese links aren’t related to Christmas Eve. They are simply interesting things that came my way today, as I was getting my family ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (To those new to the blog, although I’m Jewish, I was raised celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah in entirely secular ways. That means trees and menorahs, and gifts of course.)

Understanding what cops deal with and what they can do

Given that rioters ran riot again today, this time because a cop shot a teenager who can be seen on video pulling a gun on the cop, this seems like the perfect time to bring two things to your attention. The first is the best “what it’s like for the police” post I have seen since the whole Ferguson thing became a cause celebre for the Left. I posted it on my real-me Facebook page and I urge you to share it with your friends in whatever way you do share posts that are chock-full of accurate, relevant data relating to major events (and the race/Leftist riots rocking major urban areas in America are major events).

Once you’ve read that post (which is fascinating from first word to last), then check out the following Facebook post. Be sure to stick to the instructions and watch the video — one or two or more times, if necessary — before you read the post. After reading the post, watch the video again:

Distilling “political correctness” to its essence

Snoopy the Goon, my friend and fellow Watcher’s Council member who blogs at Simply Jews, has what may be the definitive post when it comes to defining “political correctness.” Even better, it has a perfect illustration at the end.

Will the Middle East end with an ISIS versus Israel stand-off

During my lunch yesterday with my wonderful, intelligent, and conservative friend (he’s the one who helped lead me across the Rubicon from Democrat to conservative), my friend said that ISIS is the future in the Middle East. Because ISIS has the passion, the oil money, and the brutality, all Arabs and Muslims in its path will either join up or be slaughtered. This is so because of two factors about Arab/Muslim fighters:  First, while they are vicious in pursuit, they are craven in retreat.  That means that they’re lousy defensive fighters.  When they lose, they are either slaughtered en masse by the even more violent victor or, because (as bin Laden knew) they are drawn to the strong horse, they desert their side in the fight and join the victorious army.

Indeed, even as we speak, it looks as if Israel will find itself facing off against ISIS very soon, since ISIS  is pressing it from both north and south. Nor should Israel expect much help from Saudi Arabia, at least according to my friend. He theorizes that, to the extent the Saudi decision to drop oil prices (an act aimed at American fracking) is devastating the Russian economy, Putin will retaliate by siccing Muslim extremists into the heart of Saudi Arabia.

I have no love for the Saudis, whose petrodollars are largely responsible for the radical Islamist rise around the world.  Nevertheless, to the extent the Saudis have suddenly realized that they created a monster, and are cautiously edging over to Israel’s side, I have this peculiar feeling I will regret it if Putin succeeds in destroying them from within.

My prayer for this holiday season, in addition to seeking victory and protection for all of the innocents in ISIS’s path — whether Christian or Muslim, old or young, male or female — is for Israel to have the wisdom, the strength, and the courage to see this thing through, and emerge unscathed and stronger than ever.

Israel’s long ties to the land continue to be revealed

One of the most pernicious lies to come out of the Muslim world, and it’s a lie that the Christian Left embraces fervently, is that Jews have no ties to the land, and that it’s Palestinians who are Jesus’s true people. That’s why I celebrate every time archaeologists discover yet another sign that Jews’ ties to the Holy Land run back longer and deeper than those of any other people in the world:

Archaeologist Limor Talmi was minutes away from wrapping up her excavation of an ancient garbage pit last Thursday, when a piece of 1,600-year-old glass was brought to her, bearing imprints of menorahs.

The timing was fortuitous, not only because she was readying to close up shop but because it was also the second day of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday most closely associated with the seven-branched candelabra.

In the same vein, God bless David Bernstein for instantly ridiculing and destroying the suggestion that, if Joseph and Mary were alive now, they’d run afoul of Israeli checkpoints:

Seriously, this sort of historical revisionism, treating ancient Jewish Judeans as if they were Palestinian Arabs, and then analogizing modern Israel to the oppressors of Jesus and his family, a common trope in the UK, would be laughable if it were not so pernicious. Pernicious not simply because it’s a ridiculous distortion of history, and not simply because it’s often accompanied by a large dose of anti-Semitism, with Palestinians playing the role of Jesus and the Israelis being the foreign oppressors crucifying him. But pernicious because it goes to the true heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict–the failure of the Arab side to recognize that the “Zionists” are not the “European settler-colonialists” of Third Worldist imagination, but a people with a three thousand year plus tie to the Land of Israel, whose religion was born there, who ruled two separate kingdoms there, who have prayed toward Jerusalem for two thousand years in their ancient Hebrew language, and so on.

Sadly, the Left ignores the fact that the truth shall set you free — no doubt because, so far, lies have served them so well.

Was it really the Norks who went after Sony?

Sony has announced that it will screen The Interview online, so I’m not going to take any more pokes at it, at least not for now.  Indeed, it’s decision has led some at the conspiracy-oriented InfoWars website to wonder whether this whole thing wasn’t a marketing scam.

Others are wondering whether the Norks were involved at all. Marc Rogers, who describes himself as “the director of security operations for DEF CON, the world’s largest hacker conference, and the principal security researcher for the world’s leading mobile security company, Cloudflare,” has a different theory:

All the evidence leads me to believe that the great Sony Pictures hack of 2014 is far more likely to be the work of one disgruntled employee facing a pink slip.

Rogers provides a detailed analysis to support his thesis. Since I am currently less than enthralled by federal agencies, I think it’s entirely feasible that the FBI is wrong, wrong, wrong, and that Rogers is correct.

The history of Jews’ Christmas Day love affair with Chinese food

It’s a longstanding joke: on Christmas, Jews eat Chinese food. In an article originally published in The Atlantic, Adam Chandler says that this is no joke and explains how it came to be.

Apropos Chinese food, if you’re in San Francisco’s Chinatown, I have a Chinese restaurant to recommend. I have never recommended a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. In my experience as an SF native, the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown are always either (a) too geared to tourists; (b) too dirty, along with having horrible greasy, gristly food; or (c) too Hong Kong style, which means bland flavors and lots of offal. The other day, though, we ate at a wonderful Chinese restaurant called Hunan Homes. It’s one block from the affordable Portsmouth Square garage, which makes it relatively easy to get to. In addition, the restaurant is very clean, the service is excellent, and the food is affordable and delicious.

Cirque du Soleil plug

Since 1984, when it first burst on the international scene, I’ve seen every Cirque du Soleil  show except for “O” which was closed for repairs when I was in Vegas. For the last ten years, I’ve found the shows boring — muddled, contrived, and stale.

With Kurios, however, Cirque’s most recent show, Crique has redeemed itself. The show’s theme is Steampunk, which is a sort of futuristic Victorian theme. The costumes were gorgeous, the sets imaginative, the music charming, and the acts were simply wonderful. Our group, which ranged in age from teenagers to late middle age fogies, all enjoyed every minute.

The Bookworm Beat 12/12/14 — Grabbing at headlines edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI was talking with a friend of mine about the totally false alleged rape epidemic on America’s college campuses. While the epidemic may be false, the destruction wrought on young men is very real. Moreover, as false accusations crowd out the real ones, those young women (and men) who are genuinely raped are going to have an infinitely harder time getting taken seriously.

Thinking about this, I told my friend that past generations were probably wise to insist that sex wait until marriage and that, before marriage, young women should be chaperoned, rather than left alone with young men. It wasn’t just to protect the women’s virtue, it was also a way to protect the men’s honor. After all, since time immemorial, the truth about what happens between two people tends to be a mystery.

My friend had a better idea. Harking back to Obama’s recent insistence that all police have body cams, he suggested that all college students have body cams! I liked that idea.  Moreover, if the students can’t have a body cam, perhaps the next best thing (certainly for young men who don’t want to be falsely accused of rape) is the “Good2Go” app that makes explicit consent as easy as participating in an Instagram conversation.

We live in strange times. But as I often say, strange and difficult times make for good writing — so I’ve got a lot of good writing to bring to your attention:

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An utterly shattering video about the moral depravity of students at UC Berkeley

Israeli flagCal is my alma mater, something that I find to be a perpetual embarrassment.  It was bad in the 1970s and 1980s.  It’s infinitely worse in the second decade of the 20th century.  Watch what happens when a man waves an ISIS flag on campus and then compare it with the reactions when he waves the Israeli flag.

You know that expression “I spit up a little bit in my mouth,” which people use to give a graphic image of their disgust? I didn’t do that. After seeing this video, I wanted to do the full vomit:

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