Russia collusion is still roiling the Left, to the great amusement of sane Americans. Indeed, thanks to Leftists, there’s a lot of silly stuff to laugh at.
Russia collusion is still roiling the Left, to the great amusement of sane Americans. Indeed, thanks to Leftists, there’s a lot of silly stuff to laugh at.
Thanks to President Trump, it’s mostly good news out there, which is great for America (yay!), but limiting for a blogger. What do you think?
Scott Adams made an excellent point the other day, which is that, now that the media can no longer waffle on about Russian collusion (at least those in the media who retain some vestiges of sanity), there isn’t much news going on. After all, news tends to follow the “if it bleeds it leads” principle or, alternatively, “if it creates panic it leads” principle.
Thanks to Trump, Adams notes, all the panic points within America are gone. Trump is building the wall and threatening to give sanctuary cities what they asked for; North Korea seems to be pacified; the Mullahs are feeling pressure from reinstated sanctions; the economy is roaring, people haven’t died in droves since the Trump administration and the courts clipped Obamacare’s wings; Israel has a real ally in the White House; ISIS is militarily gone; Saudi Arabia is moderating, etc.
Moreover, Adams believes that even anthropogenic climate change (whether one believes in it or not) is going to become a non-issue, not because of Occasional-Cortex’s Green Nude Eel, but because of something called Generation Four Nuclear Fusion. If you haven’t heard about Generation Four Nuclear Fusion, Adams touts it as a system that’s not only safe, but that also burns up all that dangerous used nuclear material from old-style reactors.
All I know about Generation Four Nuclear is what I hear from Scott Adams, so I can’t tell you any more about it. Perhaps you can tell me more. Adams claims, though, that it will cleanly and safely produce electricity all over the world, rendering climate change hysteria moot.
Of course there’s still stuff in the news. The fire at Notre Dame was a true headline maker. The post-fire stories are interesting too. As best as I can tell, because Notre Dame belongs to the state, not the church, all the usual suspects on the Left are pleading for it to be re-built in modern ecumenical fashion, without all that nasty religious messaging that hangs about the old church. Imagine a multi-cultural Notre Dame, complete with a Muslim prayer complex, a Wiccan room, an LGBTQ workshop, and all the other accouterments of modern faith movements.
What surprised me most was the speed with which the government pronounced that the fire was just a workplace accident. Considering that a 900 year old church went up in flames, you’d think they’d want a little longer to investigate before coming up with a conclusion.
Nothing special to see in this illustrated edition — except for myriad Leftist follies blowing up in their faces and exposing them to deserved ridicule.
There’s nothing like trying to find a good synagogue to teach you that, when religion seeks meaning in pop culture not God, it no longer serves mankind.
Would any of you argue with me if I opened this post by saying that traditional religion is under attack in the West? No, I didn’t think so. Some religions, though, or at least some branches of the Judeo-Christian faiths, didn’t wait to be attacked. They just surrendered. They thought that, by surrendering, they’d stay alive, but they merely hastened their deaths. I have a few examples, and then I’ll see if I can use those examples to help prove my point.
On April 19, 2019, just as the sun is setting, Jews around the world will begin to celebrate Passover. According to tradition, Jews have been celebrating the Exodus story, and their escape from slavery, for more than 3,300 years. Even if one doubts tradition, it’s certain that they have been celebrating it for over 2,500 years.
As with all serious rituals, Passover follows a strict form. For thousands of years, in Israel itself, in Europe, in the Americas, in Asia, in Africa, and in the Middle East, in Australia and New Zealand, in whichever part of the world Jews have settled, they have taken seriously the admonition that they must commemorate the Exodus story. It’s a story that began when Moses, on behalf of an enslaved people, faced down the most powerful monarch in the world, a feat he accomplished because God was at his side and had his back. In different countries, there will be differences in food, language, clothes, furnishings, and music, but the core ceremony is always the same. Whether I go to a traditional seder in England or Argentina or Israel, I will feel at home.
Regular readings know that I grew up in a non-religious, yet highly Jewish, household. My father grew up in an orthodox German orphanage and then, having escaped the Nazis, spent the next two decades in British Mandate Palestine/Israel. My mother grew up the child of a mixed marriage, but from the age of 13, interrupted only by her years in a Japanese concentration camp, lived in British Mandate Palestine/Israel. For both, Jewish education and observance went without saying.
When my parents moved to America, though, they still thought that “being Jewish” went without saying. They were wrong. In America, if you want your kids to know Judaism, you must belong to a synagogue. It never occurred to them, though, to join one and, given my Dad’s long-standing communist tendencies, he would have resisted if my Mom had suggested they join. Moreover, given that my Mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas (remember that mixed marriage, right?), a wholly Jewish lifestyle wasn’t going to happen.
Nevertheless, in an interesting way, my childhood still managed to be wholly Jewish. Despite my Mom’s mixed DNA, she identified 100% as Jewish, as did my Dad. Having both been in the Israeli military during the Israeli War of Independence, they identified 100% as supporters of the world’s only Jewish state. With only one or two exceptions, all their friends were Jewish. My parents were steeped in Jewish history, values, and culture, which inevitably found its way into my psyche. Even in silly ways, we knew we were Jews. As kids, my sister and I could identify every old-time Hollywood star who was secretly Jewish (Leslie Howard, Lauren Bacall, June Allyson, John Gilbert, Edward G. Robinson, Theda Bara…. I can still list most of them).
Most importantly, although we did not observe the High Holidays (that would have involved paying to belong to a synagogue, plus Mom would never fast because, as she said, “I have low blood sugar”), we did celebrate Passover. Oy, did we celebrate it! [Read more…]
An illustrated edition focusing on the Dems’ weirdly ecumenical transition from anti-Black (slavery, Jim Crow, ghettoization) to untrammeled anti-Semitism.
(Plus other examples of the myriad threats socialists pose to America, and the way Trump is a bulwark against those threats.)
Before getting to the posters, a short video I urge you all to watch:
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is a Jewish member of Congress, explains why he did not vote for the Democrats’ resolution condemning hate
This is a must watchpic.twitter.com/Kocwj1WPZm
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) March 8, 2019
We now return to our regularly scheduled illustrated edition
Democrats and Muslims have come together with anti-Semitism because it is their ideological destiny — and Leftist Jews are too indoctrinated to see it.
One of the fascinating things about the world in which we live is the alliance between Leftists and Muslims. At first glance, it seems as if they have nothing in common. Leftists tout women’s rights; Muslims tout women’s burqas. Leftists tout LGBTQ rights; Muslims tout homosexual hangings. Leftists purport to hate slavery; Muslims have slavery as a core doctrine. Leftists hate rape; Muslims have rape as another core doctrine.
Given these profound differences, one way to account for the Leftist/Muslim alliance today is to look to the old Arab adage stating “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” (Or, as Aristotle said first, “a common danger unites even the bitterest enemies.”) Both the Left and Islam are united in a fight against Western civilization. And significantly, the thing they are fighting against most fiercely is what lies at the core of Western civilization: The value of the individual.
Here’s the thing: Despite their superficial differences, Leftists and Muslims have something very profound in common, which is that both are completely totalitarian ideologies. Each envisions complete control over all people around the world. Individualism is anathema to them. It is this common vision that binds them in the short term. In the long term, of course, each assumes that its ideology will be victorious and that, like the Borg, the winning ideology (whether Islam or Leftism) will either assimilate or destroy the losing ideology (whether Leftism or Islam).
Oh, I almost forgot. There’s another thing that binds them and that is their abiding hatred for Jews. (They hate other religions too, don’t get me wrong, as we can see from the murderous purge of Christians across the Muslim world as well as the softer effort to purge Christians in America. But there’s something about the Jews….) [Read more…]
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…]
Usually, I give these illustrated edition posts names that emphasize something; today, not so much. This is a delightful hodge-podge of idiocy and wisdom.
Billy Porter’s Scarlett O’Hara attire at the Oscars thrilled fashionistas and depressed me, so it’s the lead entry in tonight’s illustrated edition.
Abortion extremism, not a 35 year old disgusting racist photo, is what should drive Ralph Northam out of office — posters on that point, plus many more.
Anti-Semitism in the Democrat party represents a pragmatic confluence of socialism, African-American anti-Semitism, and Islamic anti-Semitism.
My sister, who is fairly apolitical, asked me why the Democrat Party is becoming openly anti-Semitic. I’ll give you the same primer I gave her:
Antisemitism is baked into the socialist cake because (a) Karl Marx, who come from a family of converts, was a self-loathing Jew and (b) Marx’s writings permanently connected Jews with the capitalism that socialism seeks to overthrow. It did not matter to him that the vast majority of the world’s Jews were not capitalists. There were visible Jewish capitalists and that was sufficient.
Antisemitism is also baked into the socialist cake because socialism is all about collectivism, not about the individual. The Bible, however, is about individualism: Each human is important because each is made in God’s image. That viewpoint is the antithesis of collectivism. That’s another reason to hate both Jews, who are the people of the book and started the whole Bible thing, as well as to hate Christians.
The Democrat party started as a racist party. It has always been about race. No matter the political winds, it obsesses about race. It just substitutes different races at different times for liking and loathing.
The Democrat party, first under Wilson and then with increasing enthusiasm under FDR, became a socialist party. Initially, though, it was a soft socialism, one that did not affect the ordinary voter’s deep love for America. This was a soft socialism that promised, not to destroy America, but to speed the working classes’ assimilation into the American dream.
The Democrat party learned to “love” Jews in during the 20th century because Jews associated the Democrats with (a) beating the genocidal Nazis and (b) recognizing the state of Israel. In the 20th century, this Jewish fealty still mattered to Democrat victories in key states.
Jewish allegiance to the Democrat Party became locked in from the 1960s forward because Jews almost always go on to higher education. As we know, colleges and universities since the 1960s have been staffed almost entirely by Democrats at both the administrative and faculty levels. Moreover, these colleges and universities have become petri dishes for increasingly radical socialism, always under the umbrella of the Democrat party. As a result, Jews will vote for Democrats even if the Democrats go full bore national socialism and march them into the gas chambers. For a smart people, Jews are appallingly stupid. [Read more…]
Progressive unanimity can seem enviable because of the strength it projects, but it can also lead the way to madness and systemic collapse.
If you’re old enough, you can remember back to 1981 when the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City suffered America’s deadliest, non-terrorist caused structural collapse, which killed 114 people and injured another 216. The disaster occurred when the hotel was holding a tea dance in the lobby and two walkways suspended above the lobby collapsed on the dancers.
Subsequent investigation showed that the design plan was horribly flawed and would support only 60% of the minimum load requirement under Kansas City building codes. The contractor noted the flaw . . . and proposed an alternative that was even worse because it didn’t correct the original problem but, instead, melded with and augmented it. The problem — as is the case with so many horrific disasters — was failed communications between the parties responsible.
I remember the disaster, not just because it was awful, but because it introduced me to a new concept. Before the investigation revealed the myriad engineering and communication failures, a lot of people speculated that the dancer’s feet, all tripping lightly to the beat, caused the collapse. You see, it’s long been known that, if soldiers march in step across a bridge and trigger the bridge’s natural frequency, the bridge can collapse:
In April 1831, a brigade of soldiers marched in step across England’s Broughton Suspension Bridge. According to accounts of the time, the bridge broke apart beneath the soldiers, throwing dozens of men into the water.
After this happened, the British Army reportedly sent new orders: Soldiers crossing a long bridge must “break stride,” or not march in unison, to stop such a situation from occurring again.
Structures like bridges and buildings, although they appear to be solid and immovable, have a natural frequency of vibration within them. A force that’s applied to an object at the same frequency as the object’s natural frequency will amplify the vibration of the object in an occurrence called mechanical resonance.
Sometimes your car shakes hard when you hit a certain speed, and a girl on a swing can go higher with little effort just by swinging her legs. The same principle of mechanical resonance that makes these incidents happen also works when people walk in lockstep across a bridge.
If soldiers march in unison across the structure, they apply a force at the frequency of their step.
If their frequency is closely matched to the bridge’s frequency, the soldiers’ rhythmic marching will amplify the vibrational frequency of the bridge. If the mechanical resonance is strong enough, the bridge can vibrate until it collapses from the movement.
So — I’ve now offered you a little physics and a little engineering, but what does this have to do with politics and, more specifically, with Progressives?
As I see it, we conservatives often have cause to complain about our lack of unanimity. While Leftists/Progressives will almost invariably present a united front, getting conservatives to agree on things is like herding cats. [Read more…]
The Schumer and Pelosi meme is alive and well at the Bookworm Room, along with lots of immigration posters and other cool and interesting political posters.
It’s unquestioned that IQ scores are dropping in the West, but I think there’s more to it than screen time. Educational trends and culture matter too.
The West is losing IQ points. Daniel Hannan points to a disturbing reality in the modern world – we’re getting more stupid. Western IQ scores are dropping (and keep in mind as you read Hannan’s words and mine that IQ tests measure a very specific type of academically-based, analytical intelligence):
The fall in IQ scores in the West is perhaps the most under-reported story of our era. For most of the twentieth century, IQ rose by around three points per decade globally, probably because of better nutrition. But that trend has recently gone into reverse in developed countries.
You hadn’t heard? I’m not surprised. Journalists and politicians won’t go near the subject and you can see why. Consider the theories offered by neuroscientists for the decline. Some argued it had to do with the rising age of motherhood, because the children of older mothers tend to have lower IQs, other things being equal. No one likes to say this, because it can come across as “older moms have dumb kids,” which is not true. (My wife and I were 44 when our youngest child was born, and my own parents were also elderly, but that didn’t make me too thick to grasp the concept of statistical distributions.)
Other theories were even more explosive. For example, that unintelligent people were having more kids, or that the fall in average scores reflected immigration from places with lower IQs.
But a new study from Norway, which examines IQ scores from 730,000 men (standardized tests are part of military service there) disproves all these ideas, because it shows IQ dropping within the same families. Men born in 1991 score, on average, five points lower than men born in 1975. There must, in other words, be an environmental explanation, and the chronology throws up a clear suspect: the rise in screen-time.
I’m sure that Hannan is correct that screen time matters. It’s not just that people spend a lot of time playing mindless games. It’s also that answers are now at everyone’s fingertips. People no longer need to engage in the hard mental work of figuring out the right question, tracking down the data, and then, if the data doesn’t spell out the answer explicitly, reasoning through to a response to the question.
I think, though, that it’s too facile just to blame screen time for the fact that Westerners are showing less academic acumen. Instead, I think there are several factors at play, from dumbed-down education, to academia’s focus on indoctrination over academic rigor, to the growth of populations that do not value traditional educations. [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.”