I’m back on the day of President Trump’s inauguration. I’m also jet-lagged and still regrouping — but how could I remain silent on this exquisite, significant day? So, sort of as a warm-up, may I present the Inauguration Day illustrated edition:
Kerry is an incredibly stupid, evil man. Only stupid people cling to the “two-state” idea given that the Palestinians have already walked away three times from offers giving them everything they asked for and, instead, have doubled down on their genocidal fury. The Palestinians keep the “two-state” solution alive as chum for morons.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement about Kerry’s malevolent, ill-informed speech:
In light of that speech, is it any surprise to learn that Kerry and Obama are working to submit a proposal to the UN that unilaterally recognizes a Palestinian state and gives half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Please remember, as you read the following, that the last time Arabs controlled Jerusalem, Jews were banned from their ancestral capital. [Read more…]
Weird year at the Bookworm Room and beyond. My year was bookended by the deaths of my mother and my mentor. Out in the bigger world, people are coping with the deaths of icons and, if they’re Progressives, the collapse of their fantasy political world.
To me, there are really only two big stories for 2016: Trump’s victory and Obama’s despicable, craven attack against Israel. Moreover, I agree that Obama’s not done yet. He’s been waiting eight years to destroy the Jewish nation and exact revenge against Netanyahu who has, consistently, revealed Obama to be a petty little antisemite.
Sudden silence on the Left. Now that Obama has outed himself as a full-bore antisemite, I’ve noticed that the Left has suddenly stopped claiming that Trump, the most openly philosemitic president in American history, is an antisemite. Before Obama’s perfidy revealed itself, Roger Simon wrote a post saying that, when Trump was initially able to block the anti-Israel resolution, suddenly Trump’s failing was being too pro-Israel. Not enough “tough love,” you know. I wonder how all those Progressive Jews are feeling now.
Obama betrayed an ally. You know how you know that what Obama did to Israel was a betrayal? He did not come out and openly support the resolution, which he would have done if he’d been an honest man. Instead, like the sewer rat he is, he hid behind New Zealand and Senegal, trying to hide the fact that it was he who was leading the attack against Israel. Jed Babbin does a nice job of articulating just how bad Obama’s sneak attack against Israel was.
So as not to run afoul of copyright issues, I no longer reprint political posters or cartoons from syndicated artists. Instead, I only reprint posters from anonymous posters makers or from named people who want their images to be shared. And the cool thing is that, looking to these sources, I manage to have so much brilliant material, combining wisdom and laughter about today’s political and cultural scene. I know you’ll enjoy these as much as I did. (Special thanks to Caped Crusader for his help.)
WOW! Magazine, like the Watcher’s Council itself, is a collaborative effort. That means we all publish — and we all publicize. The latter task is a pleasure because I like the thought of sharing with you all these wonderful posts by my fellow Council members. It’s an especially great pleasure on a day such as today when I got calls from so many friends and family members that I didn’t make it to my computer until quite late in the afternoon. Knowing there are people who value my company offsets the stress for me — compulsive writer that I am — of not blogging.
- Barack Obama: Dangerous Transformation
- No Guns For You!
- Unarmed, of course does not mean what the Cult of Gun Control thinks it means
- Hillary Allows Kids To Ask Her Questions — At $2,700 apiece!
- One More Great Reason Not To Buy Anything Here Ever Again
- NYC: J’Ouvert, West Indian Parade Violence leaves 2 Dead, 5 Wounded.
- Obama Judicial Appointees: ‘Murder Jews, No Harm, No Foul’
- Of Course! Obama Gives Thumbs UpTo 49er Kaepernick’s ‘Protest’
- Why yes, I did do my part to increasing gun sales this past month
And again, the current plan is to add to the site a section in which we link to articles by non-Council members that we think you would enjoy.
Unlike Rand Paul, who is standing for a filibuster against the Patriot Act, my “standing” has to do with the fact that, after a long afternoon of shopping and doctors with my mother, I am still upright and reasonably coherent. His feat is the more admirable one or possibly the more lunatic — I can’t decide. While I think that one over (and please feel free to chime in with your opinions), I offer the following for your reading pleasure:
Bruce Kesler, retired Marine extraordinaire, has a message of immediate concern to veterans and their supporters. Check it out here.
I know this is going to surprise those of you used to my usual output of posts, but I’m suffering from writer’s block. The last few weeks have been so chaotic, my opportunities to write so random and infrequent, and the news of the world so overwhelming that, now that I finally have time to sit down and write, I’m frozen. After sitting her for a while, I decided that the best thing to do would be to clear my spindle. I know some of the contents are outdated, but they may still be of interest, and getting through the backlog may help spark my dormant (I hope, rather than extinct) yen to write.
Obama fiddles with Iran while the Middle East burns and Israel is forced to go it alone
All eyes may be on Obama and his desperation to get a deal with Iran (despite the fact that, in a sane world, the smaller, weaker, poorer Iran would be desperate to get a deal with Obama), but the fact is that the entire Middle East is a flaming disaster thanks to Obama’s habit of alternately meddling in and abandoning Middle Eastern affairs.
Bret Stephens explains that, thanks to Obama’s policies, it is now impossible for Israel to walk back the way in which he’s abandoned and isolated it:
I went to get my hair done today, which is usually a relaxed and peaceful time. Today, as usual, my hairdresser and I were talking about our respective children, when he suddenly stopped and said, “Have you been swimming?”
That question sure came out of left field. “No,” I responded. “Why?” The answer was a surprise: “Because all your gray hair is green.”
What?!!!! I hadn’t noticed that because I seldom look at myself that closely in the mirror. No one in my family had noticed it because they seldom look at me at all. But there it was: a bilious shade of green in place of my normal skunk stripe, as well as all the other swathes and patches of gray decorating my hair. I have no idea why this happened, but it did.
Gray hair doesn’t bother me; green hair does. I do not like having green hair. Its presence explains why my face had looked peculiarly flushed lately — the green highlighted the red tones in my usually pale face. Just as green is not a good hair shade for me, parboiled isn’t a good color for my face.
After much debate with his colleagues about the best way to handle this unusual problem, my hairdresser decided to go darker, because a tint would cover the green without turning my hair into over-processed straw. The result is that I have sort of reddish-brown hair that’s too dark for my tastes but that I have been assured will fade rather rapidly while at the same time (everyone hopes) still hiding the green.
The whole thing took way too long, although the haircut, as always, is perfection. This matters, because I have hair that can prove challenging to hair stylists. Finding one who is a really nice person and a superb stylist means putting up with an unexpectedly long time in the chair.
My plan today was to get home around midday, call a client, work on several legal projects, and blog. That didn’t happen. After the endless hair appointment, I had to rendezvous with the kids to take care of all sorts of unexpected “we must do it today” chores. It’s 4:15 and I’ve only just walked in. Still, I have much that I want to share with you, so you’ll get a good Friday evening, instead of a good Friday midday, read.
We can kill our way to victory against Islamists
This is an older Daniel Greenfield post, but one that I think still deserves reading. Greenfield’s point is a simple one, which is that it is possible to defeat an enemy by killing so many of his troops that there is no one left to fight, or no one left who is willing to fight (which probably means the same). Anybody, of course, can state a simple principle. Daniel Greenfield’s gift is that he can expand upon it with facts and analysis in a completely compelling way.
Can the MSM stifle Ted Cruz?
One of the most frustrating things about being a conservative is that conservative politicians tend to be inarticulate. Part of this is because conservative ideas don’t yield easily to the hysterical bumper sticker politics that the Left favors. Part of it is that the media twists the message. And part of it is that the conservatives who get into politics seem to be tongue-tied.
I mention this because of a post Rod Dreher wrote after talking about RFRA to a deeply-closeted conservative law professor. It was the professor who made the point about the absence of a standard-bearer for conservative ideology:
On the conservative side, said Kingsfield [not the professor’s real name], Republican politicians are abysmal at making a public case for why religious liberty is fundamental to American life.
“The fact that Mike Pence can’t articulate it, and Asa Hutchinson doesn’t care and can’t articulate it, is shocking,” Kingsfield said. “Huckabee gets it and Santorum gets it, but they’re marginal figures. Why can’t Republicans articulate this? We don’t have anybody who gets it and who can unite us. Barring that, the craven business community will drag the Republican Party along wherever the culture is leading, and lawyers, academics, and media will cheer because they can’t imagine that they might be wrong about any of it.”
The one person who is emerging as an incredibly articulate spokesman for conservative thinking is Ted Cruz. He’s unafraid and, rather unusually for a man as academically brilliant as he is, capable of being pithy. Cruz can bring in the money quotation:
I first published a Passover post in March 2010, when Iran was in the news because of the Green Revolution. (By the way, Obama’s peculiar inaction then — that is, his unwillingness to side with the ordinary people against the Mullah’s tyranny — takes on a whole new meaning in light of the events of the past few weeks, doesn’t it?) I’m republishing that post here, although I’ve modified it substantially, especially at the end, to reflect today’s events:
An antisemitic Jew I know, rather than seeing the Passover ceremony as the celebration of freedom (the world’s first and for a long time only successful slave revolt), and of justice and morality (the Ten Commandments), derides the whole ceremony as the unconscionable and immoral celebration of the genocide of the Egyptian people. What troubles him so much is the fact that, after each plague, when Pharaoh seems about to soften and let the Jews go, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, leading to the necessity of yet another plague, culminating in the death of the first born. God, clearly, is a psycho killer who toys with Pharaoh the way a cat does with a mouse.
Some people have tried to explain away this part of the story by saying that it is simply dramatic license, meant to increase the tension and danger of the Jew’s escape from Egypt. After all, if it had been easy, it wouldn’t have been much of a story. You know, Moses asks, “Hey, Pharaoh, can we go?” and Pharaoh answers “Sure.” That’s not a narrative with much punch or heroism, and God’s involvement is minimal or, at least, lacking in divine punch. It’s much more exciting to have an escalating series of plagues, with the audience on tenterhooks as to whether those pesky Jewish slaves will actually be able to make a break for it.
This reasoning is silly. There’s a much more profound purpose behind the ten plagues, and that is to remind us of the tyrant’s capacity for tolerating others’ suffering, as long as his power remains in place.
What Pharaoh discovered with the first nine plagues is that life can go on, at least for the ruler, despite an increase in the burdens placed upon his people. A blood filled Nile River may, at first, have seemed appalling, but the red receded and life went on. Pharaoh still held together his government. The same held true for each subsequent plague, whether lice or boils or wild animals or frogs, or whatever: As long as Pharaoh could maintain his power base, he was okay with the incremental decimation visited upon those he ruled.
Sheltered in his lavish palace, Pharaoh might worry about a populace starving and frightened, but that was irrelevant as long as that same populace continued to fear and worship him. The people’s suffering, ultimately, was irrelevant to his goals. It was only when the price became too high — when Pharaoh’s power base was destroyed because his citizens were destroyed and death stalked his own palace — that Pharaoh was convinced, even temporarily, to alter his evil ways.
Human nature hasn’t changed much in 3,000 years. Think, for example, of both the Nazis and the Japanese at the end of WWII. For the Nazis, it was apparent by December 1944 (the Battle of the Bulge) that the war was over. Hitler, however, was a megalomaniac in the pharaonic mold, and his high command, either from fear or insanity, would not gainsay him. Rather than surrendering, Hitler and other Nazi leaders, secure in their protected homes and bunkers, were perfectly willing to see German overrun and its citizens killed. Only when the death toll became too high, and it was apparent that nothing could be salvaged from the ashes, did the war on the continent finally end.
The same held true for the Japanese. Truman did not decide to drop the bomb just for the hell of it. Even the possibility that it would impress the Soviets was an insufficient reason for doing so’; Truman was, after all, a moral man. What swayed Truman was the fact that his advisers told him (credibly as it turned out) that the Japanese Bushido culture would not allow Japan to surrender even when surrender had become the only reasonable option. Instead, the military warned Truman that, although the Americans would inevitably win the war, if Truman didn’t take drastic action, victory would take another year, and cost up to 100,000 American lives and at least that many Japanese lives (including Japanese civilians).
Truman therefore had two choices: another year of war, with the lost of 100,000 Americans and many more than 100,000 Japanese; or an immediate stop to the war, with no more American casualties and at least 100,000 Japanese casualties. Put that way, the choice was a no-brainer. The outcome would be the same for the Japanese, but Truman would save the lives of more than 100,000 Americans, British, Australians and Dutch. (One of those Dutch, incidentally, was my Mom, who was on the verge of starving to death in a Japanese concentration camp.) The Japanese high command was Pharaoh. No amount of smaller plagues could stop the command from its chosen path. Only a large plague would swiftly lead to the inevitable conclusion.
But what about the innocent lives lost as a result of Pharaoh’s, the Nazi’s, and the Japanese high command’s intransigence? As the Japanese tale shows only too well, the innocents were always going to die, with the only question being whether they would die quickly or slowly. The same holds true for the Germans, whom the Nazis had long ago designated as cannon fodder to support their intensely evil regime. That’s the problem with an evil regime. If you’re unlucky enough to live under that regime, whether or not you support it, you’re going to be cannon fodder. Pharaoh will let you die of plagues, and the Nazi and Japanese leadership will let you be bombed and burned — as long as they can retain their power.
Iran is no different. Although the people bleed and cry under the brutish regime, no plague, including rioting in the streets, has come along that is bad enough to break the back of that tyranny. The people continue to die by inches, and the regime threatens everyone within bombing distance.
This year, for the first time, we have to recognize that the reign of tyrants exists not just abroad, but at home too. For more than 200 years, we’ve felt comfortably insulted from tyranny because of our Bill of Rights. That exquisite document doesn’t spell out the few limited rights citizens have if they’re lucky enough to have a merciful government. Instead, it establishes that, barring those necessary powers that a government needs in order to provide a safe, stable haven in which life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can thrive, citizens have a broad range of inherent rights that are inviolate. Our constitutional government doesn’t give them, and it cannot take them away; they’re ours.
But what happens when we have a leader who refuses to recognize the Constitution? A leader who complains that the Bill of Rights limits him? A leader who ignores Supreme Court opinions curtailing his power grabs? A leader who refuses to execute those laws that Congress passes, but instead drafts and executes his own laws? A leader who spies on his people, while amassing a growing number of secrets around himself and his cronies? A leader who relentlessly uses Leftist shibboleths to undermine our constitutional military? A leader who single-handedly, without help even from his own political party, hurls America into an alliance with an apocalyptic, tyrannical theocracy that is dedicated to annihilating the world’s only Jewish nature and driving America to her knees? A leader who has a compliant media that takes upon itself the job of destroying his enemies and promoting his aggregation of power?
What happens then? The answer is that you cease to have a constitutional system predicted upon individual liberty arising from natural rights. And slowly at first, but with increasing speed, like a snowball gathering mass as it rolls downhill, you suddenly find that you’re the one laboring on the pyramids under the overseers’ lash, while Pharaoh Obama and his cronies, having insulated themselves from the wrath of the people, take your sweat and your blood as their natural due. And believe me, a few red-running rivers or locust-clogged fields are not going to stop the Obamites, even on that unlucky day when Iran’s hordes flow through America’s already open borders.
But it needn’t be all doom and gloom. Denial is powerlessness. Recognizing danger and reacting to it is strength. Don’t be cowed. Know your principles, state them with clarity if need be (and my real-me Facebook friends know that I do that with increasing frequency even here in Marin), and never give up hope because, without hope, we are nothing but base animals, lacking the divine spark that makes us human.
With that, I’d like to wish all of you a Happy Passover. Whether Jewish or not, I hope that the Pesach celebration serves as an occasion for all of us to remember that, though the price may sometimes be painfully high, our ultimate goal as just and moral human beings must be freedom. So please join with me in saying, as all Jews do at this time of year, “Next Year in Jerusalem.”