Work day round-up

Victorian posy of pansiesWork and family call, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sneaking quick peeks at articles that I can then share with you.

Is the global warming tipping point nearing?  It will inevitably happen, but far too late to save the billions of dollars wasted, the lives lost in revolutions it fomented (e.g., Egypt’s tumultuous years were caused, in significant part, by rising food prices attributed to shortages as Egypt’s food was diverted to America’s biofuel), and the generation of children raised in apocalyptic fear.

My bet is that New York’s going to revert to savagery very quickly under Mayor de Blasio, and I have no sympathy for the more than 70% of New Yorkers who voted for him.  I have the deepest sympathy for the small remainder who are about to face Progressive Armageddon.  The Clintons, however, are banking on the hard-Left’s success in New York.

Speaking of de Blasio, he’s auditioning for the role of “bad guy” in a remake of Bless the Beasts and Children, since his first policy initiative means killing off animals (in this case, horses).

It’s Obama versus the Church, with Obama claiming to know more about Church doctrine than the Church does itself.  Hubris plays out in interesting ways.

The disaster that is America’s adoption system.  The dreadful numbers — hundreds of thousands of children languishing in foster care — are directly attributable to the Democrat’s racial agenda, which bars adoption “miscegenation” (meaning that whites are barred from adopting non-whites).

Lebanon is getting sucked into Syria’s civil war.  Expect human casualties on a massive, hitherto unseen-in-the-Middle-East scale.  Obama will wring his hands and then side with whichever strongman he can find to give him cover.  Currently, those strong men reside in Moscow and Tehran.  This will not end well — although it may give Israel something of a respite as Muslims take a break from trying to kill Jews — ultimately these internecine battles between Sunni and Shia spill over all sorts of borders.

I’m with Jonathan Last:  2014 will be the year Obama’s chickens come home to roost.  Or as another Illinois politician once said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

Keith Koffler is always interesting, so I enjoyed his analysis of the Duck Dynasty versus GLAAD match-up.

And if you were wondering where Bloomberg played Nanny in New York, here’s the list.

If you’re in the mood for a mind-bending experience, read about Michael Totten’s visit to Hezbollah’s Disneyland

Michael Totten is a true journalist — an endlessly curious, extremely brave, open-minded but opinionated man who doesn’t just sit in a field office taking information from locals who have an agenda.  Instead, he goes out there and investigates.

Totten’s most recent foray took him to Hezbollah’s very own theme park, an homage to Hezbollah’s fight against the “evil Zionist entity.”  The description of the theme park reads almost like parody, except that the parodists have guns (and possible WMDs), and aren’t afraid to use them, preferably (from their point of view) in a genocidal fury against Jews.

All the news that’s fit to print *UPDATED*

Palestinians and Hezbollah are wildly celebrating the release of a great Lebanese hero, Samir Kuntar, from Israeli prison.  Their excitement matches that felt in South Africa when Nelson Mandela was finally released.  Nelson Mandela, of course, was a principled man who spoke up against apartheid and was imprisoned for exercising his freedom of speech against that terrible regime.

If you’d like to know what Kuntar did to earn his countrymen’s adulation, here’s the story, as described by an eyewitness, Smadar Haran Kaiser:

It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border.

Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer.

As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. “This is just like what happened to my mother,” I thought.

As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her. (Emphasis mine.)

You can tell a lot about a culture by its choice of heroes, can’t you?  I’m suddenly less embarrassed by the American propensity to elevate to hero status basketball players and rock stars.  At least they don’t have children’s blood on their hands.

As for the caption for this post, it comes from the way in which the New York Times, reporting on Kuntar’s release, decided to educate its readers about the crime that resulted in his imprisonment:

Perhaps Israel’s most reviled prisoner, Samir Kuntar, will return to a hero’s welcome when he crosses into Lebanon this week, 29 years after he left its shores in a rubber dinghy to kidnap Israelis from the coastal town of Nahariya.

That raid went horribly wrong, leaving five people dead, a community terrorized and a nation traumatized. Two Israeli children and their father were among those killed.

I hope you appreciate the way in which the Times used passive voice there.  It was just a dreadful coincidence that, without any human intervention, two kids and their dad were dead.  In Times-land, the raiders have no moral connection to the fact that a 4-year old’s father was shot in front of her and then her head was smashed against a rock.  While the Times can spare endless space to report on the horrors of kids accidentally killed because the Palestinians encourage them to play on rocket launchers, it suddenly finds itself incapable of explaining to its readers just why the average Israeli might be a tad distraught about the Olmert government’s latest decision.

I guess you can also tell a lot about a country, or at least a political ideology, based on the way its free media spins a story.  And this does embarrass me.

Hat tip: Best of the Web

UPDATEAnd all that Israel got in exchange was two bodies.

I should add here that, insofar as I have an extremely limited knowledge of Jewish tradition, the body is very important.  Religious Jews don’t cremate their dead because an inviolate corpse is the preferred condition for the end of the world.

A friend once explained to me that this prohibition against any violation of the body was a reaction to the pagan practice of sacrificial deaths and corpse desecration.  (In the same way, the Jewish practice of speedy burial was both an attempt to protect Jewish bodies from pagans and a practical response to a hot climate.)  This prosaic origin, however, morphed into a spiritually significant practice.

Despite the religious importance Jews impart to an intact body, though, I still have a problem with a nation doing what Israel did for the sake of those two bodies.  After all, I have great faith that, at the end of days, God will be able to sort things out, and that those two poor boys will be given their due in the afterlife.  In that same vein, I have no doubt that the souls of those who were incinerated in Auschwitz will readily find their way to God.  Perhaps some things are better left to God, and the Israeli government would have done better to leave this one alone, family anguish notwithstanding.

More Obama stupidity *UPDATED*

Not that they were ever really on, but when it comes to Obama, my gloves are off. I’ve concluded that the man is not just a liar and an ideologue, he’s stupid. With regard to the situation in Lebanon (where Hezbollah is using terror to topple the power of the democratically elected government), Obama has once again revealed that he is too dumb too live: except that, of course, he will live; it’s innocents in the Middle East (and the rest of the world, frankly) who will die. Richard Landes, at Augean Stables, has a great round-up of the various comments about Obama’s latest stupid foray in foreign policy.

UPDATE:  Not just stupid, but both actively corrupt and complicit in corruption, Chicago-style.  (H/t:  American Thinker)