A small sampling of the good stuff on the internet today

Victorian posy of pansiesIf you read one thing today, it’s this Ace of Spades post, in which Gabriel Malor spells out every incident in which the media tried, wrongly, to pin a shooting on the Tea Party.  Reading the list, you begin to realize what the problem is with mass shootings:  it’s not the guns, which are inanimate objects, it’s the Democrats who are using them.  This is perfectly analogous to car accidents, where it’s not the cars, which are inanimate objects, it’s the drunks driving them.  With both guns and cars, people handling them can make mistakes, but if there’s one particularly toxic class handling these objects, it’s Democrats with guns or drunks with cars.

Was Terry Loewen a psychopath who found Islam, or did Islam turn him into a psychopath?  Keep in mind what my cousin, a prison chaplain, said about prison conversions to Islam:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

Andrew McCarthy spells out precisely what kind of man Nelson Mandela was — and it’s not the type of man who should inspire hagiographies.  Still, no matter  his motives or the pressure put upon him by outside forces (such as the Zulu), he did preside over a remarkably bloodless transition from apartheid state to failing state.  OIf course, the nature of an African failed state is that we can expect the blood to flow with increasing force and frequency as the state continues its slide.

And while we’re on the subject of guns, Caped Crusader forwarded me an email that is making the rounds.  I can’t vouch for the number of dead, but I do know that it is true that the murder rate in a few Democrat-run, gun-controlled cities do, in fact, grossly skew America’s gun-death statistics:

Black deaths in America

ALSO:

The United States ranks 3rd in Murders throughout the World.

But if you take out Chicago , Detroit , Washington DC and New Orleans, the United States is 4th from the Bottom for Murders.

These 4 Cities also have the toughest Gun Control Laws in the United States.

All 4 are also controlled by Democrats.

It would be absurd to draw any conclusions from this data ………………. RIGHT….RIGHT?

The Mandela funeral fiasco inspired Mark Steyn to new heights

Obama hamming it up at Mandela memorial

Everyone’s been having fun with the Mandela funeral fiasco, whether they’ve been talking about selfies or sign language.  It was an event made for Mark Steyn’s writing:

[H]ow heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. In the movie version—In the Sign of Fire—grizzled maverick Clint Eastwood will be the only guy to figure it out at the last minute and hurl himself at John Malkovich, as they roll into the orchestra pit with Malkovich furiously signing “Ow!” and “Eek!” But in real life I expect they’ll just double the motorcade to 240 vehicles and order up even more expensive reflector shades.

[snip]

Speaking of enjoying themselves, back in the VIP seats President Obama, Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and British prime minister David Cameron carried on like Harry, Hermione, and Ron snogging in the back row during the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup presentation. As the three leaders demonstrated their hands-on approach, Michelle Obama glowered straight ahead, as stony and merciless as the 15-foot statue of apartheid architect Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd that once stood guard outside the government offices of the Orange Free State. Eventually, weary of the trilateral smooching, the first lady switched seats and inserted herself between Barack and the vivacious Helle. How poignant that, on a day to celebrate the post-racial South Africa, the handsome young black man should have to be forcibly segregated from the cool Aryan blonde. For all the progress, as Obama himself pointed out, “our work is not yet done.”

Give yourself a Saturday treat and be sure to read the whole thing.

Mandela: communist antisemite

I’m still honest enough to give Nelson Mandela major kudos for electing not to turn South Africa into a racially-charged bloodbath when he became president.  He could easily have chosen another tactic, and it speaks well of him that, for whatever reasons, he elected to go the way of peace rather than the way of war.  But….

While I knew that Archbishop Desmond Tutu was an anti-Semite who attacked Israel, I did not realize that Mandela too, like all good Communists, was the worst kind of anti-Semite.  I find that unforgivable.  That is, I can admire and applaud the good Mandela did, but that doesn’t give him a pass on the evil fomented.  A man who embraces Arafat is a bad man, plain and simple.

Oh, and speaking of embracing Arafat:

Clintons and Arafat

Although, after all these years, one could ask, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”  Well, it makes a big difference, but that’s for another post.

Nelson Mandela, RIP

nelson-mandela

I didn’t like Nelson Mandela’s communism, but in all other ways he was a truly admirable, dignified, and iconic figure, who stared down a tyrannical system, mouldered for decades in prison and, through the strength of his personality, ensured that South Africa transitioned fairly peacefully from an apartheid nation to a nation that, at least in the law books, considered all citizens equal regardless of skin color.

My very limited understanding of events in South Africa today, though, is that the peace he achieved was very tenuous, and that white South Africans are feeling increasingly less secure.  Indeed, from what I’ve read, many are bracing themselves for race riots now that he’s gone.  In other words, it appears that his legacy will not outlast him.

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.