Not to boast — okay, never mind, I’m boasting — but the reason I didn’t write more this afternoon was that I met up in the City with Neo Neocon. It was, I must say, a delightful way to spend an afternoon.
Neo is, as you would expect, thoughtful, informed, amusing, warm, and just a genuine mensch. This was our second get-together, and it felt as if I’d known her forever and only saw her last a few weeks ago, not a few years ago.
Thinking about it, ithout exception, when I’ve met in the flesh people I first got to know through my blog, I’ve never been disappointed.. Each person has been as attractive in three-dimensions as they were when they were only words on the computer screen. If you’re a blog regular whom I’ve gotten to know over the years, and you find yourself in the Bay Area, let me know. Time permitting, we may get a chance to meet for real.
And now . . . to the round-up!
Firing people in Affirmative-Action-Land
One of the things Neo and I touched upon was the disincentive to work resulting from affirmative action hiring followed by the impossibility of firing. (This is a subject I discussed at length once with the kids.) The bottom line for those minorities who are paying attention to perverse incentives is “Why work hard if the system is set up so I can’t be fired?” Roslyn Chavda was one of those employees and was so shocked when she was fired, that she sued for discrimination despite lacking any evidence that anyone had discriminated against her. If you want to find out how that suit went, go here.
The war between Israel and Hamas has a profound moral dimension
This article by Gen. James Conway, former Commandant of the Marine Corps is a little bit out of date (it was published on July 24), but the point Gen. Conway makes is so important — about the deep moral chasm between Israel and Hamas — that it’s worth reading at any time. On my real-me Facebook, I’ve been countering Hamas supporters by challenging them to look beyond the number of bodies (many of which Hamas created through its tactics) and to look instead at the nature of the two sides.
This is not just a ground war. It is an existential war, and there is no middle: you are other for a Judeo-Christian society that values individual liberty and pluralism, or you are for an Islamic society that demands complete fealty to the Quran, with all its vile prejudices, or mandates death.
There is no truth for those living in a totalitarian regime
A few days ago, I posted the video of a mother who got her deathly ill son from Hamas to Israel, where he was treated. While there, an Israeli interviewed her. With cheerful, smiling almost apologetic mien, she explained that she gave from a death cult that was willing to sacrifice everything to get to Jerusalem. (And even though it’s my own blog, I can’t find the darn link.)
Neo and I talked about that video, and it occurred to Neo that the woman’s apologetic behavior could have been because she didn’t believe what she was saying. She was voicing those terrible thoughts to protect herself and her family from Hamas’s wrath upon her return to Gaza. That actually made sense. In a totalitarian society, no one is allowed to speak the truth.
Anyway, I thought of that when I saw this video of agitated Gazans blaming Hamas for the death surrounding them:
Complaints such as that are courageous acts that can lead to execution.
More evidence keeps emerging to support Israel’s claim that Hamas hides its weapons among children
This morning, I blogged about a French24 reporter openly acknowledging that Hamas was firing videos from civilian areas, and inviting Israeli return fire. Just to reinforce that point, here’s a video of Hamas fighters firing rockets in front of what looks like a captive audience of children:
America has a grotesque record when it comes to Iraq’s Kurds
It’s not really a surprise that Obama is abandoning the Kurds. George Bush Sr. did it too, something for which I’ve never forgiven him — nor have I ever forgiven Colin Powell, who apparently gave Bush Sr. the advice to abandon the Kurds. What is interesting is that, on my real-me Facebook, stalwart Obama supporters are grumbling about this base behavior. I don’t think the love affair with Obama will ever end for most of them, but I have to believe that some of them are beginning to realize that their idol has feet of clay. Perhaps with that realization, the cognitive dissonance that makes up their Progressive lives will start to become overwhelming and shatter.
In Europe, it’s 1938 all over again, and too few American Jews care
Is it because I’m too sensitive altogether, or am I correct that American Jews are not sufficiently upset about the rising tide of active, ugly, Nazi-esque anti-Semitism sweeping through Europe. When I’ve mentioned it to some, they’ve just brushed it off as “Oh, well, Europeans do that occasionally.” I can’t seem to convince them that, the last time “Europeans did that occcasionally,” 6 million Jews died, not to mention tens of millions of everybody else dying too.
Thinking Leftists realize that Hamas is insupportable if you have even some morals
I sometimes feel sorry for The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg. He’s a really bright guy, who definitely gets that Israel is the morally correct country, but can’t shake his allegiance to the Left sufficiently to take that thought to its logical conclusion — which is that those who oppose Israel are wrong, and that they may be wrong about their other believe systems, including statism and Obama-love. Because he’s bright, Goldberg often asks the right questions. This time, he asks, “What Would Hamas Do If It Could Do Whatever It Wanted?” (Hint: He gets the right answer.)
Israel did surprisingly well this time around putting her case before the world
This war has been a very troubling one for Jewish Israel haters. A perfect example of this is an open letter from Peter Schwartz — a self-identified liberal, pacifist, Israel-hating Jew — who has reluctantly been forced to conclude that (a) the Palestinians mean it when they say they want to kill all the Jews and (b) Israel is not unreasonable to defend herself, nor has she defended herself unreasonably.
Schwartz’s anguished, conflicted letter, one in which he strives for moral relativism but realizes that, this time around, Israel’s in the right, reflects something very important about this latest war: Israel fought it not only on the ground, but in the realm of ideas. The world would be a different place if she’d started doing so in the 1970s, but at least she’s doing so now.
Had Israel not been so aggressive in using social media to get out her message, all we would have seen would have been the usual lies, some driven by ideology, and some driven by a media too cowardly even to admit that its coverage is grossly skewed thanks to threats and other intimidation from Hamas.
ISIS’s Iraq takeover has the potential to affect (badly) the world’s oil supply
When I think about the ISIS takeover in Iraq, I think about the Christian slaughter and the horrors of hardcore Sharia rule. In other words, I feel compassion for the Iraqis trapped by those appalling totalitarian savages. I should, however, spare a thought for myself too: Noah Rothman reminds us that if ISIS takes Iraq, it also takes Iraq’s oil. That should scare all of us — and, if Obama was rational, force him finally to approve the Keystone pipeline.
Obama’s telling silence about Maj. General Harold Green’s assassination
I admit that between morning errands and afternoon socializing, I haven’t heard today’s news. As of yesterday, though, Barack Obama hadn’t said a damn thing about one of his generals (he is, after all Commander in Chief) getting assassinated in Afghanistan. The general was Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, deputy commanding general of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in Kabul. I don’t know about you but, if Obama was as silent today as he was yesterday, I think that’s awful. It’s not that a generals life is more valuable than any other man or woman killed at enemy hands. It’s that protocol says that a Commander in Chief is supposed to speak out when enemies attack the command structure.
The Stars and Stripes Forever
A little patriotic music for you to enjoy:
Thanks to Caped Crusader for these great posters: