Chris Christie — Obama’s ideological heir when it comes to Israel

Chris ChristieWhen Chris Christie burst upon the scene, I admired him for being willing to do what no other American politician would:  tackle the teacher’s union head on.  He was articulate and unafraid.  I still admire him for that.  But as time went by, we learned a bit more about Christie.  It began to seem that his willingness to stand up to the teacher’s union wasn’t necessarily a principled stand, but was a bully’s attack on an entity with which he didn’t wish to share power.  Conservatives were also put off by his open embrace of Barack Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a piece of over-the-top theatrics that exceeded even what a Democrat governor might be expected to do.

And worst of all, from my viewpoint, we learned — over and over and over — that, when push comes to shove, Chris Christie will always side with Islamic and Saudi interests against American interests.  At first, those stories sounded like nasty rumors.  They then piled up enough to present a picture of a man who’s made a decision about which side he prefers in the America v. Islam debate, and it’s not the side I choose.  Should you have any further doubt about that, Daniel Pipes details how Christie has bought the Palestinian “occupation” narrative hook, line, and sinker.

In other words, it looks as if any Christie presidency would be an Obama redux:  bullying, corruption, and antisemitism.  I can do without that, so Chris Christie, the man who once seemed to have so much promise, is hereby knocked off my list of potential presidential candidates.

Wednesday round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’ve commented before that “sayings” from the Victorian era and before (e.g, “a stitch in time saves nine,” “idle hands are the Devil’s playground”) may have gone out of style, but their deeper truths remain constant.  Listening to Obama’s crude gloating about the alleged 7.1 million Obamacare enrollments reminded me of yet another old saying:  “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  I confidently predict that signing people up under duress will prove to have been the easy part.

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When I got my new dog, I did a Cesar Milan (“the “Dog Whisperer”) refresher course by going out and reading his book, Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems.  One of the main points Milan makes is that dogs are not our babies or, if they are our “babies,” that’s the last part, not the first part.  First, dogs are animals; second, they’re the genus dog; third, they’re the specific breed; and only fourth are they our little snookums. You can say the same about people:  First, people are animals….

When people are animals first, without having been trained into morality, sometimes you have to treat them non-verbally just as you would any other animal, right? Or as the friend who sent me this link asked, “Imagine how this story would have played out if the victim had successfully defended himself with the use of force? Once again, talking it out with your attacker doesn’t seem to solve the problem.”

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Not that God’s the gloating kind or anything, but I do think that God, who made circumcision the physical embodiment of His covenant with the Jewish people, might be inclined to gloat about a study saying that one of the best things we can do for a boy’s health is to circumcise him. This is a nice counter to those in Europe (and San Francisco) who seek to marginalize Jews by making circumcision illegal.  Oh, another study also said that meat eaters are healthier than vegetarians and that runners put their health at risk.  I confidently expect the study announcing that anthropogenic global warming isn’t happening.

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Palestinians are again pushing the UN to recognize them as an official nation. Rick Richman has 12 good questions that, when answered honestly, indicate that the Palestinians aren’t a state. If I were categorizing them, I’d say they’re more along the lines of a criminal organization, like the mafia, only more violent.

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David Goldman approves highly of Caroline Glick’s proposal that Israel unilaterally implement a one-state solution encompassing some of the contested territories. It’s time, Glick and Goldman say, to align reality with the fact that the Palestinian population is not growing exponentially (all propaganda lies to the contrary), and that the territories are so terribly mismanaged that they cannot possibly be partners in a two-state solution. My friend Rob Miller, however, is not convinced that Glick’s plan is workable. He proposes an alternative one-state solution: “Israel should forget about the mythical two state solution, and simply delineate the borders it needs unilaterally,” presumably leaving fractious Palestinians on the other side of the border rather than bringing them back within Israel’s borders.

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John Scalzi, a Democrat, is struggling to figure out why he should vote for Matthew Guyette, who is the Democrat running opposite John Boehner. According to Scalzi, Guyette’s internet presence says nothing about Guyette or his positions.  Instead, his entire campaign consists of insulting Boehner and Republicans. I admire Scalzi’s principled stand. I’m also a little bewildered as to why he’s asking that question at this particular junction. After all, in 2012, the greater part of Obama’s reelection campaign consisted of turning Mitt Romney, an imperfect candidate but, by all accounts, a very decent man, into a monster who strangled dogs with his bare hands, kept women captive in binders, engaged in gruesome homophobic attacks when he was a teenager in the 1960s, and left former employees to die in the streets from loathsome diseases.

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My father got his masters at San Francisco State University back in the 1970s. While it was an academically marginal institution then (as I believe it still is now), it was on the cutting age of campus antisemitism. My father, a veteran of two wars, wasn’t cowed by the violence and invective, but already then Jewish students responded to the Palestinian/Leftist aggression by falling silent. Stella Paul details how SFSU’s poisonous amalgam of PLO antisemitism and garden-variety Leftism has spread to campuses throughout America, infecting formerly genteel campuses that were once incubators for America’s society women. If you’d like to counter this dangerous trend, I recommend donating to StandWithUs.

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The Secret Service has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. It hasn’t been applauded for protecting the president and his family. Instead, it’s been highlighted for drunkenness and debauchery committed while on the job. Dan Emmett, a former Secret Service agent, says the problem isn’t that these guys are helpless alcoholics who are more to be pitied than censured. Instead, he says, the rot begins at the top with “weak leadership. There are too many incompetent managers who want the title, pay and perks of management while performing no duties of leadership. The problem is not bad Secret Service agents but bad leaders of Secret Service agents.”

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Some time ago, I wrote about the new “racism” nonsense called “cultural appropriation.” The theory is that it’s racist for white Americans to emulate other cultures, even if they do so admiringly. I came across that story because an Asian friend of mine posted it on Facebook, along with the opinion of a prominent Asian friend of hers holding that cultural appropriation is a bad thing. She and her Asian friends were all offended. Funnily enough, though, in a new Facebook thread, this gal and all of her Asian friends have examined their navels and concluded that there was nothing offensive about Stephen Colbert stooping to use cheap Asian stereotypes to make an anti-Republican political point. Michelle Malkin is not so forgiving, since she points out that Democrats are the party of anti-Asian racial stereotypes which they routinely use, not for satirical purposes, but to score points against Asians.

Please, please tell me that the Asians will be smarter than my fellow Jews and that they will soon turn against the Democrats and embrace small government conservativism.

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Based on his guest line-up during his inaugural weeks, I assumed Jay Leno’s successor, Jimmy Fallon, was a garden-variety Democrat shill.  I may have to rethink that.

Is it really only Tuesday? Round-up and Open thread

Victorian posy of pansiesFor those of us who believe in free speech, the antidote to bad speech isn’t censorship, it’s good speech. The problem for France, which is trying to censor an antisemitic, pro-Nazi “comic”, is that it has no good speech to counter the antisemitism that is breeding in France’s toxic stew of Islam and Leftism. That’s always the problem in socialist countries. They have no good to counterattack the bad — usually because they created the bad in the first place.

It was the French Left that opened the door to unlimited Islamic immigration to atone for sins in North Africa. The North African Muslims come, bringing their antisemitic culture with them, and there’s no one in France brave enough to challenge their culture or philosemitic enough to speak for the Jews.

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Lee Smith argues that Israel fails to understand the Obama narrative about the Middle East, and is therefore failing to make the winning arguments to the Obama government vis a vis Iran’s attempt to ship major supplies of Syrian weapons into Palestinian hands. He’s right. He is also right insofar as the article implies that, to the extent that Obama’s goals are now antithetical to Israel’s continued existence, there is no winning argument Israel can make to Obama.

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Must-read about why Palestinians are not American blacks living under Jim Crow.

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As the mother of a teenage girl, I find incredibly amusing the latest feminist campaign to ban the word “bossy” in relationship to girls, or at least to pretend that it’s not a derogatory word. While we’re at it, let’s just ban the word “wet” in relationship to “water,” or at least pretend it has an entirely different meaning.

Bossy is exactly what little girls and teenage girls are. Boys (both little and teenage) have their own sins, but bossiness is not one of them. It’s girls who are certain that they are right and that they have the power to order everyone else around.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that girls are bossy.  Gender-deniers notwithstanding, little girls model on their mother and, within the home, Moms are the bosses. To a young girl’s mind, this means it’s the female’s role to make and enforce rules. End of story — and changing labels will not change that reality.

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A matched set about Obama’s megalomania: From Ron Fournier (who has decided that there is no bloom left on the Obama rose), an indictment of the preening self-righteousness that leaves Obama blind to any information inconsistent with his sense of reality. And from Jeffrey Folks, another indictment of Obama’s “great man syndrome,” one that leaves him believing that he must make things happen, no matter how bad they are.

Winston Churchill thought he was special too (“We are all worms, but I believe that I am a glow-worm”), but he didn’t make the mistake of believing he was a god, or even the God. Perhaps that’s because he was raised within a religious tradition and, even if he was not devout, he knew that there was a divine presence bigger than he was. The problems begin when you have a man who believes, quote erroneously, that he really is a god (or, given the messianic language he and his followers use[d] about him, the God).

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Writing in the L.A. Times, Jonathan Turley, a left-of-center law professor again expresses concern about the way in which Obama is usurping Congress’s powers, and the way in which Congress (both Democrats and Republicans) meekly lets it happen. I put it on my Facebook, and my Leftist friends assiduously ignored it.

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HBO and SHO are increasingly trafficking in nude women, while Hollywood generally is delighting in the joys of lesbian lip locks, especially between actresses who deny being lesbian. Ed Morrissey talks about the sexual exploitation of women driving the trend. Julie Blindel, an open lesbian who comments on “lesbian chic,” adds her bit, which is that Hollywood cares little about advancing LGBTQ rights, and is infinitely more interested in catering for profit to the same male demographic that buys Penthouse. And so a culture sinks ever lower.

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Apropos low-sinking culture, I caught a millisecond of Rush today. He was talking to a 57-year-old man who is deeply depressed about America’s ability to recover from the low point she now faces (economically, national security, etc). Rush asked him if there was another time in his life when things were this bad and the man pointed to the end of the Carter presidency and beginning of the Reagan presidency. The difference, he felt, was debt, which is infinitely worse now. Rush, however, expressed an inchoate optimism that had him believing that an up-and-coming young generation will have had enough and fight back.

I disagree with Rush and side with the caller, although for a different reason than he expressed. What both the 57-year-old man and Rush ignored is the sea-change in American culture since the last really bad time in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Before the 21st century, no matter how bad things were, America had a huge, strong middle, ranging from working class to upper middle class.  This middle group was traditional: patriotic, hardworking, able to recognize external enemies, family-centric, capitalist. It was the middle class as America’s backbone.  Since then, that middle has been culturally destroyed.  The young ones, the ones upon whom Rush is relying, have no knowledge or understanding of an other, better, way to do things. This HBO demographic is incapable of either a 1950s or a 1980s social and economic comeback.

Think of it this way:  When George Orwell created Newspeak, his point was to show that, when you contract language, you contract ideas.  And without ideas, people cannot rebel against a status quo, because they are incapable of thinking of an alternative.  That contraction of ideas is precisely what has happened in the last 30 years.  Unless we can introduce ideas again, about patriotism, family, hard work, etc., nothing will change because the young generation lacks the mental landscape to envision change.

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A perfect example (from one of those benighted young people I spoke of) of “stupid is as stupid does.

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Leftist states vote for Obama. Leftist states have the worst income inequality. Hmmm. Could it be that tax and spend policies, rather than making everyone have access to economic success, concentrate wealth amongst a favored few cronies, leaving everyone else out in the cold? It’s certainly true in California’s basket-case, Democrat-run economy, where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class flees the state.

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Michelle Obama is taking her girls (and mother) on another un-frigging-believably expensive, taxpayer-funded vacation, this time to China. Even Marie Antoinette didn’t have it so good. She just got to head off to the Petite Trianon — and she still had her head cut off, a fate that (thankfully) will not await anyone in this administration, no matter how much they abuse the People’s good will.

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Yeah, we know that the IRS’s Lois Lerner is a bad girl. She’s also the face, the front-man, the scape-goat, the tip of the iceberg. It is ludicrous to believe that she was acting alone. The question remains whether her superiors, her peers, and her subordinates will also be called to account for turning the IRS, the most feared branch of the American government, into a partisan arm of the Obama administration.

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The Left lives in an alternate reality. The real reality is that the biggest spenders in American government by far, both state and local, are leftist unions. The first Republican-leaning donor doesn’t even hit the list until 17 donors down.

The Leftist reality is that the libertarian Kochs, who rank 59th on the donor list and who share many of the Left’s favorite liberal shibboleths (e.g., legalized pot), are the evil geniuses who control American government and they must be destroyed. That’s why the New York Times is applauding Harry Reid’s deeply disturbing attacks against the Kochs.

That a man with his hands near the levers of American power would deliberately target two individuals and try to destroy them has . . . yes, I’m going to say it . . . a Nazi feel to it. This is revolting. It’s not even McCarthy-esque. Sen. McCarthy at least went through the motions of having hearings, creating a simulacrum of Due Process.

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Speaking of unhinged from reality, here’s a good cartoon at Director Blue showing yet two more examples of the disconnect.

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All I can say is that, if this flight story happened with a modern Brit in the cockpit, the squeals coming out over the intercom would have drowned out the passengers’ cries.

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The Connecticut government is coming for its citizens’ guns. There’s a line being drawn here. Just as Obama is obliterating the line between his executive limitations and Congress’s role, Connecticut is seeing what it can get away with in terms of eviscerating the Second Amendment. I hope the state backs down, for this will not end well otherwise.

Does Obama’s interview about Israel reveal a president who has finally broken free of reality?

Young Obama Young Bibi and Bib NetanyahuMano a mano, I’d bet on Netanyahu against Obama every time.  Nation to nation, though, Bibi has the misfortune to be facing off against a spoiled, Leftist, anti-Israel, pot-smoking adolescent who nevertheless controls the world’s greatest military and economic power.  I’m still betting on the Israelis, but it’s not a no-brainer — especially because Obama appears to have reached his conclusions by ignoring stubborn facts and, instead, substituting data that is entirely unrelated to any facts on the ground.

I bring this up because, although the headlines are about Ukraine, no Jew who cares about Israel can have missed Obama’s truly dreadful interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. In it, he made clear that, as far as he’s concerned, the only thing stopping Middle East peace is Israel’s peculiarly stiff-necked intransigence.

To reach this conclusion, Obama shows that he is as delusional about the Muslim Middle East as he is about the rest of the world.  In Obama’s world, Israelis have no interest in peace.  It is, instead, the Palestinians (who strongly support terrorism, who voted for Hamas when they had the chance, who celebrate Jewish genocide, who have never complied with past “peace” agreements, who openly demand a world without Israel, and who have refused to negotiate without preconditions by which Israel gives up her nationhood) who are chomping at the bit to get to the negotiating table.

Don’t take my word for it about Obama’s twisted view of the Middle East.  After you’ve read his own words, check out John Podhoretz’s masterly deconstruction of Obama’s fantasies — as well as his take on Obama’s threats.  It remains to be seen whether Obama’s fact-free preemptive strike against Israel bear fruit in the complacent media.  (I can’t believe I said that.  Of course they’ll bear fruit.)

Caroline Glick, a strong, logical, fearless voice for conservative Israelis, hitback swiftly, telling Obama that his threats cannot frighten a nation that has seen much, much worse.  She also took the time to expose some of Obama’s more reality-challenged statements.  Sadly, I don’t think anyone in the White House is paying attention to Glick.

I don’t expect the administration to pay attention to a Jew.  The administration likes only deracinated Jews who have replaced obedience to God with obedience to the Democrat party.  But maybe the Obama administration should listen to one of Islam’s most prominent spokes people.  Anjem Choudary is clear about the existential inconsistencies between Islam and the West:

 

If you don’t recognize Choudary’s name, Jim Hoft fills you in:

Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary blamed Lee Rigby’s murder on British foreign policy.

In 2008 Choudary gloated over the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

[snip]

Anjem Choudary is a British-Pakistani, who lives on social welfare funds and supports jihad. Choudary takes in a reported sum of £25,000 ($37,770) per year from the British welfare program while soldiers earn only $24,000 a year. Something is wrong with the system.

I used the words “delusional,” “fact-free,” and “reality-challenged” to describe Obama’s approach to the Middle East and even included a link to a Washington Post editorial calling his approach to Ukraine a “fantasy.”  Up until this past week, I would simply have said that Obama has long lived in a Leftist bubble, which has guided his practical and moral approach to the world.  Those weren’t delusions, but grave ideological errors.  This past week, though, we are seeing Obama trading in his foul ideological glasses (which distort everything on which they focus) for actual delusional facts.  Has the bubble gotten so thick about him that our president is literally becoming deranged?

Pot can do that to you, so I’ll leave you with the very surprising words that came out of Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown of California, when asked about  his enthusiasm for legalizing pot in California (emphasis added):

Well, we have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work. The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay, but there is a tendency to go to extremes, and all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? World’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we needed to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the pot heads might be able to put together.

Wednesday afternoon quick hits (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesIt’s raining!!!  In California, that’s cause for celebration.  Rain in Marin doesn’t mean it’s raining elsewhere, but it certainly matters to use Marin-ites — we have our own reservoir system, so we’re wholly dependent on local rainfall.  Ironically, the rain is slowing down our major yard renovation, and we have to get that renovation down before April 1, when rationing kicks in (and rationing will happen unless we get enormous amounts of rain).  Sigh.  To ever silver lining, there seems to be a cloud.

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Since I’m on the subject of weather, here’s a two-fer about the grand hoax that is climate change. The first, from American Thinker, provides compelling evidence that every single carbon centered computer model about the climate has proven to be wrong. Not just sort of wrong, mind you, but absolutely, completely, super-duper wrong. Climate theorists are now blaming volcanoes for the warming failure, but they’ll blame anything, won’t they? If you have a non-falsifiable doctrine, you can always blame external forces for your doctrine’s inevitable failure.

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I’ve also got three great articles about Israel. The first looks as all the wonderful things going on in Israel despite the world’s efforts to squash that tiny, brilliant nation. The second looks at the grotesque hypocrisy that sees gay rights advocates champion Palestinians at the expense of Israel. The third looks as the fact that Israel stands poised to save Syrians, the rest of the Middle East, and perhaps the whole world, from the unfathomable danger of a nuclear Syria.

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Traditionally in America, a state attorney general is sworn to uphold the laws of the state. After all, if the AG doesn’t do that, what’s his purpose? He’s there to represent and ensure the stability, reliability, and credibility of the law.  If he doesn’t carry out that task, he just becomes another functionary in a banana republic. And that banana republic status is precisely what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder dreams of, for he has instructed state AG’s to ignore any law that supports traditional marriage.

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I’ve written here frequently about the lunacy that is the modern American college or university. This is a subject that exercises me a great deal because I have two children heading towards college in the next few years. As many Americans do, I’m deeply offended by the cost of college, especially the cost of the once prestigious liberal arts colleges back East. It’s insane to spend or borrow $250,000 so that your child can move into your basement and become a barista. In a changing world, colleges have actually changed in the wrong direction.  They’ve turned away entirely from educating young people to become useful and productive citizens.

What colleges have done, instead, is train youngsters to become lunatics, which is my second reason for being upset about modern American higher education. Last week, Bruce Bawer warned about a lunatic Leftist at Harvard. This week, Chicks on the Right warns about a whole cadre of potentially violent lunatic Leftists as Dartmouth. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this collection of young people expensively unmoored from reality comes from deep within the fever swamps of the gay rights movement.

I’ll say here what I always say: I believe that the government should stay out of people’s bedrooms. I believe that gay people should be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, etc. I believe that the heart loves where it will. But let’s get real here: These loony-toonz aren’t about gay rights.  They are about using the gay agenda as a wedge issue to destroy America as a free-market, individual-centered society, and to replace it with a hard-core centralized government and a socialized economy. I wonder if these “idealists” have any inkling that, when/if they’ve finally achieved their agenda they’ll meet the same fate that leading-edge revolutionaries always experience, whether in 18th Century France, or Russia, or China:  The new statist government identifies them as troublemakers and kills them first.

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My sister lives in Oregon, a state that has as its primary goal the creation of happiness. We’ve talked before about the fact that a state can impose “happiness” only if it first has the right to define “happiness.”  The reality, is that there’s only a slender likelihood that the state bureaucrat’s idea of what constitutes “happiness” is the same as your idea.  Moreover, if not everyone is happy — and no one can ever be — the situation is ripe for constant revolution. Still, Oregon tries. The libertarians on the Eastern side are constantly besieged by the statists on the Western, coastal side, who have turned Oregon into one of the most heavily regulated, and least economically successful, states in America. (For more on happiness, at a deep, philosophical level, rather than at a pop-culture, “everything is free” level, check out Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.)

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And finally, knowledge that I gleaned in my youth catches up with the present. I’ve written before about my years at Berkeley, when I socialized with ultra-Leftist professors who lived in lavish houses in the Berkeley hillside, all of which seemed to be tended by Hispanic maids and Japanese gardeners. These effete, armchair revolutionaries enjoyed their Marxism because they lived on the straining back of the servant class.

That was a long time ago, but one modern-day Leftist has finally admitted that, yes, needing servants is precisely why the Leftist idle rich are so gung-ho about illegal immigrants:

As a friend of mine said after watching that, “If a conservative of any stripe were to insinuate undocumented workers were all gardeners, landscapers, and hotel workers the race card would have been played before he could even finish the sentence.”

Did Phil Robertson pave the way for a free speech rebellion amongst the most unlikely people?

Phil-Robertson-813x1024As everyone in the world now knows, Phil Robertson said in a magazine interview that he didn’t understand the attraction of gay sex.  Even worse, he added that, while he wouldn’t presume to judge sexual behavior (or, rather, misbehavior), he had no doubt that God will do some judging.  His words created a thought-police firestorm.  Leading the charge was GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

It’s important to understand that GLAAD is not an advocacy group for LGBTQ rights.  Advocacy groups are valued players in a free society.  GLAAD is, instead, a thuggish organization that works by destroying people’s livelihoods if they fall afoul of its party line.  Robert Oscar Lopez describes how GLAAD uses its tactics of blackmail and intimidation against anyone who suggests that there are downsides to the gay lifestyle or to the social and political agenda the gay lobby pushes.  One doesn’t have to agree with Lopez to be shocked at GLAAD’s truly McCarthy-esque tactics.  So again, the problem isn’t what GLAAD stands for; the problem is its bullying.

As part of its mission to purge people guilty of anything it deems a thought-crime, GLAAD monitors American speech for any statements about gay and lesbians. If this speech isn’t unabashed cheer-leading about the LGBTQ lifestyle, GLAAD instantly declares it “hate speech.”  Then, instead of countering this so-called “hate speech” with more speech, GLAAD leads the charge to destroy the speaker.  Up until last year, when GLAAD attacked a high-profile person or institution, its efforts resulted in one response and one response alone:  craven retreat and abject apologies from the speaker.

Phil Robertson, however, refused to play GLAAD’s game, even when his employer, A&E, immediately caved and fired Phil.  Ranking his God higher than GLAAD’s outrage, he didn’t even bother to mumble an apology for the fact that someone had hurt feelings.  Instead, he stood firm and his family backed him up.  It was A&E, rather than Robertson, who was forced to back down.

The Phil Robertson episode marked the first time that anyone in the public eye refused to let a Leftist thought-control organization bully him.  At the time, I wondered whether, by doing so, Robertson would inspire others to take a stand — and perhaps he did.  In first month of 2013, two stars have stood up to Leftist censors.

Liam Payne One DirectionThe first one to do so was Liam Payne, who belongs to the massively successful pop group One Direction.  He sent out a tweet saying “@williebosshog huge love to you/your family huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold. big fan”  GLAAD and its media followers (meaning everyone in the MSM) predictably moved in for the kill, essentially telling Payne that his career was at stake for daring to support the homophobic Robertson clan.

Payne launched an aggressive counterattack against the media for trying to police his speech (slight language alert):

As you can see, Payne’s fight with the thought police happened almost two weeks ago. So far as I know, his career continues to thrive.

Sodastream1Just this past week, yet another superstar found herself in the speech police’s cross hairs. This time, the target was Scarlett Johansson, the voluptuous blonde actress who signed on to become a spokeswoman for SodaStream. SodaStream is a very successful Israeli company that has a factory in a West Bank settlement. It employs Palestinians and Israeli’s alike, paying them equal wages, providing good working conditions, and creating an environment within which Jews and Palestinians can see each other as people, not stereotypes. This is an especially good deal for the Palestinian workers, who usually live in heinous economic circumstances, even as their leaders squirrel away in private accounts the billions in foreign aid that the world’s nations send annually to the Palestinians.

Naturally, the Left can’t have that. You see, for all its talk, the Left has no interest in seeing Palestinians have a decent quality of life. Instead, the Left shares with the radical Islamists the goal of seeing Israel — a capitalist liberal democracy — wiped from the face of the earth. The best way to achieve this is to keep Palestinians living in execrable conditions so as to stoke rage against Israelis.

Put another way, keeping the Palestinian masses in the ghetto is a win for everyone except the Israelis and the Palestinians: the Arab leaders in surrounding nations get to have an excuse for the fact that their people are the impoverished residents of tyrannical rulers; the mullahs and imams get to maintain their control by directing credulous Muslims to engage in an endless Holy War against the Jews; and the Left gets to continue its efforts to destroy the sole liberal democracy in a medieval, tyrannical region.

Enter Oxfam. I learned about Oxfam when I was living in England back in the early 1980s. As a student, I had no money, so my friends told me to check out Oxfam for things I needed. I therefore went to an Oxfam shop, prepared to find that it was something like a Goodwill or Salvation Army store. I didn’t make it past the front door, which was liberally decorated with pro-PLO literature. That is, it was supporting, not just the Palestinians, but the terrorist arm of the Palestinians. I never went near an Oxfam’s again.

Scarlett Johansson, however, probably didn’t realize that Oxfam has always supported terrorists. When she agreed to be an Oxfam representative, she was probably responding to its claim that it works to empower poor people around the world:

One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty.

Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. We save lives and help rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. And we campaign so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them.

We work directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

In all we do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

Scarlett-Johansson-Smile-01What Scarlett Johansson just discovered, though, is that when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, Oxfam does not work “to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.” Instead, its anti-Israel, antisemitic ideological bias is so overwhelming, that it works overtime to keep the Palestinians mired deep in poverty, rather than allowing them to achieve economic success through work with an ideologically liberal Israeli corporation.

In the normal course of things — i.e., in the pre-Phil Robertson days — once the speech and thought police got on her case, Johansson should have been expected to break her contract with Israel and go crawling back to Oxfam. She didn’t, though. Instead, she made a public statement disassociating herself from Oxfam:

While I never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance as part of my affiliation with SodaStream, given the amount of noise surrounding that decision, I’d like to clear the air.

I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine. SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights. That is what is happening in their Ma’ale Adumim factory every working day. As part of my efforts as an Ambassador for Oxfam, I have witnessed first-hand that progress is made when communities join together and work alongside one another and feel proud of the outcome of that work in the quality of their product and work environment, in the pay they bring home to their families and in the benefits they equally receive.

I believe in conscious consumerism and transparency and I trust that the consumer will make their own educated choice that is right for them. I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam as an Ambassador for over 8 years. Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two state solution in the near future.

Major kudos to Johansson for resisting the coercive pressure from the Left.  It turns out that there’s a beautiful personality behind that beautiful face.

Did Phil Robertson’s refusal to back down to GLAAD have anything to do with Payne’s and Johansson’s willingness to withstand pressure from GLAAD and Oxfam?  I don’t know.  I just know that sixty years ago, it took just one speech to destroy the apparently unlimited power that Sen. Joseph McCarthy had wielded for so many years in the United States Senate:

Tuesday tidbits

Victorian posy of pansiesWhen I lived in England, though I neither smoked nor drank, I enjoyed hanging out in pubs.  They were congenial places where one could get a good game of darts (good for me, especially, because of that not-drinking bit).  Apparently pubs aren’t that much fun anymore, and the Brits can thank Labor for that.  Frankly, there are a lot of things that the Brits can “thank” Labour for, including the fact that the most popular boy’s name in England is Mohamed — and Mohameds aren’t known for hanging out in pubs making friends with the locals.

***

I was speaking with a neighbor today about Common Core.  It’s so bad in Marin that, between the bullying (yes, peaceful Marin middle schoolers, especially those from the most liberal enclaves, are fearful bullies) and the curriculum disaster, she’s now home schooling her middle schooler.  I know she wouldn’t read what Ace wrote about the disaster that is Common Core, because she still thinks she’s a liberal, but she’d certainly agree with him if I could get her to read it.

***

If you’re wondering what happens as Leftists make ever greater inroads into every facet of American culture, you need look no further than this story telling the terrible fate of a journalist who dared to point out that a transgender ex-man, current sort-of woman was also a liar.

***

When I was a young lawyer, a study came out about the fact that plaintiffs in mass disasters (such as a bus or plane crash) had different outcomes depending upon the speed with which they settled (or didn’t settle).  Those who settled immediately got less money, but recovered quickly and got on with their lives.  Those who insisted on going to trial got more money, but recovered slowly and badly, and couldn’t get on with their lives.  These results were the same regardless of the relative severity of their injuries.  That is, a severely injured person who settled quickly would still do better than a less injured person who insisted on going to trial.  I thought of this study when I read about the perpetual victim status of the so-called Palestinian refugees who have been refusing to settle since 1948, and who live in abysmal conditions for that reason.

***

And speaking of the perpetual Palestinian victims, the problem really isn’t Israel; it’s the Arabs (and Muslims).  Their fanatic antisemitism is a symptom of deeper dysfunctions and an excuse for refusing to confront them.

***

When I took First Aid classes, I was told never to use a tourniquet.  Two recent wars have now taught us that this rule should only apply when there will be a long period between on-the-scene treatment and actual treatment.  Otherwise, why yes, tourniquets are a good thing.

***

Let’s see:  Wendy Davis lies (although it’s sexist to point that out); Wendy Davis doesn’t understand the First Amendment and has a low threshold for criticism; and Wendy Davis thinks that she, whose only “hardship” was a young marriage and early divorce, understands suffering in a way that her Republican opponent doesn’t.  Or, as she says, he can’t speak about her lying and paranoia because he “hasn’t walked a day in my shoes.”  She’s right too.  Greg Abbott hasn’t walked a day in anybody’s shoes — because he’s a paraplegic.  Neo-neocon has more, much more, on what this says about Davis and modern feminism.

***

Keith Koffler nails everything that’s wrong with the super-secret, star-studded, self-indulgent birthday party that Moochelle Obama threw for herself.  When I turned 50, I bought myself some chocolate Haagen Daaz and a good book, got extra kisses from my kids, and took my Mom out to lunch.  It was a good day.

***

Finally, I want to introduce you to a website that you’ll like:  Election Projection, which is Scott Elliot’s baby.  He does a great job of analyzing probable election outcomes and, as he can prove, predicts them with remarkable accuracy.

A little flotsam and a little jetsam

Victorian posy of pansiesMy husband was working on a Word document that needed to have paragraphs and subparagraphs numbered.  As I’m sure you know, if you start inserting paragraph numbers without creating distinct styles, Word takes on a life of its own, and starts generating multiple styles.  Eventually, every paragraph in my husband’s document was numbered either 4 or 5, and each numbering had a different format.  Since I enjoy word processing, my husband asked me if I could fix it.  He confidently expected it would be a three or four minute job.  Thirty-minutes later, I was still working on it.  It turned out that the document was so horribly coded I couldn’t fix it.  Instead, I had to strip it to basic text and then re-code.  The point of this is that some things cannot be fixed.  They are so profoundly ill-conceived or damaged that they have to be scrapped and started from scratch.  So it is with Obamacare:  It is so dreadful, corrupt, and dysfunctional at every level that it cannot be fixed.

I was raised by a narcissist and can tell you, both from my experience and from having read up on the subject, that narcissists lack a sense of privacy.  Or, more accurately, they lack a sense of your privacy.  Their sense of their own privacy is highly developed.  But if your parent is a narcissist, you are not allowed any physical or mental realms into which they are barred from intruding.  They own you.  To the extent that Leftist ideology has a great deal in common with malignant narcissism, it’s scarcely surprising that Leftists don’t have a problem with turning you inside out and making you their own.  You are not a stand-alone individual; you are a subset of the narcissist’s own grandiose sense of self.

Dennis Prager says most of what needs to be said about the appalling judicial decision in Colorado that threatens to send a man to prison for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

Do you remember Lee Iacocca?  Dan Akerson, GM’s CEO does not.  Pity.

Let’s be clear.  The historical St. Nicholas, on whom Santa Claus is based, was as a Greek from the region that is now Turkey.  He was Caucasian, although he probably had a swarthy complexion.  That’s fact.  Santa Claus is a 19th century American construct.  He’s pretend, so people can pretend him to be whatever the heck color they desire.  My imaginary Santa Claus is a pleasant turquoise, just because I like it that way.  This whole debate is as ridiculous as the notion that Jesus is a fair-haired, blue-eyed Northern European.

Spengler talks about what “land for peace” really means in the Middle East (or anywhere, for that matter).

A small posy of interesting things

Victorian posy of pansiesPalestinians only destroy.  Israelis not only create, they resurrect.  It’s amazing to see sophisticated plumbing emerge from the earth after 12 centuries.

Even the New York Times is being forced to tell the truth about those new Obamacare policies — they’re really expensive.  In isolation, high deductibles might not be a problem because, absent a chronic illness, they’re not a sure thing, they’re a maybe, and people will gamble on maybes.  The problem is high deductibles paired with high premiums, all for a smaller pool of doctors and hospitals.  Of course, you do get birth control for that money, but I’m not sure that the average family, facing thousands more in premiums and deductibles is going to appreciate that, thanks to Obamacare, they’ll no longer be out a couple of hundred annually in birth control payments.

Barry Rubin, who knows as much about Islam as any man living, looks at the West’s failure to understand that Islam is made up of two houses:  one of peace (for those who have bowed down to its tyranny) and one of war (for those who have not).  This world view has no room for compromise.  Those who do not fight have already lost.

Time Online, of all publications, unearthed the fact that, back in the 1990s, ACORN sued California to be exempted from minimum wage laws.  Its reason:  “[P]aying its workers more would require the group to reduce headcount and would make its workers less sympathetic to the poor.”  Yeah, it’s funny how that works:  if you force employers to pay more, they hire fewer people, and these hard workers, surprisingly, seem to become less sympathetic to those who are sitting around, often for generations, collecting the dole.  I told one of my Little Bookworms yesterday that the laws of economics are as unfailing as the laws of physics.  When you first jump off a cliff, you may think you’re flying, but you’re really falling.  And when your government distorts the marketplace, the short team benefits invariably give way to real world wealth loss.  (Hat tip:  Tom Elia.)

In most people’s minds, Quakers and pacifism are inextricably intertwined.  That’s not the case anymore, as Quakers have become one of the staunchest supports of Palestinians.  These Palestinians:

Palestinians proudly display bloodied hands from murdering Jews

Palestinians proudly display bloodied hands from murdering Jews

A civilian bus after a Palestinian homicide attack

A civilian bus after a Palestinian homicide attack

The aftermath at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva Massacre

The aftermath at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva Massacre

I said in an earlier post, and I’ll say again here:  The Left makes inroads into institutions, while conservatives abandon them.  Theirs is the better tactic.  Or, as I’ve also said before, Leftists have horrible ideals and great tactics; conservatives have great ideals and horrible tactics.

Two stories about guns, each showing that the issue is how they’re used, rather than their existence

First, from the NRA, a really solid video about women and guns:

The point, of course, is that guns without people are simply inanimate objects.

Second, an article about the use to which Palestinians put guns — training their children to kill Israelis.

Guns aren’t the issue. Culture is.

Catharsis versus celebration — pictures of the corpse

If you’re not squeamish, you might want to wander over to Dan Riehl’s blog, where he has posted a very graphic picture that is alleged to be of Tamarlan Tsarnaev’s bloodied corpse, complete with a gaping hole in the side put there by doctors trying to save him (or, perhaps, to hasten the inevitable).

The picture’s interesting, but what’s more interesting is what the Boston police had to say about it:

The image of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dead and naked on a slab, snapped by an unknown person, was e-mailed repeatedly by law enforcement officers Friday.

“Suspect 1” was written above the gruesome picture.

Seeing a photo of one of the Marathon bombing suspects dead was cathartic, said one law enforcement official who saw the picture.

Passing it around was a rare chance “to revel” while other officers searched for Tsarnaev’s brother, Dzhokhar, the official said. “Mission accomplished. We’re halfway there. Justice is served.”

I sympathize completely with the police.  They are experiencing the warriors’ subdued, albeit cathartic, pleasure in seeing dead someone who planted a bomb that, mere days before, killed three people and horribly wounded dozens of others, and who hours before had killed one of their own (correction:  killed two of their own).

In this regard, I believe that the police’s response, and their covert circulation amongst themselves of something that’s not quite a war trophy, but is a proof of success, is completely distinguishable from the Muslims in Gaza (a place that Boston liberals strongly support) who danced in the streets and handed out candy to celebrate the death of an 8-year-old boy among others.  Wildly, joyously celebrating an innocent’s death, even if the death occurs in what you perceive as a war, is barbaric.  There’s no other word for it.

A civilized nation will do what it needs to do to win a defensive war, but it never loses sight of its morality.  It mourns the innocents, even as it acknowledges that their deaths may be necessary.  Having said that, though, I think any law enforcement or military that has engaged in a fierce battle is entitled to have proof positive that its direct enemy — the one firing bullets and throw bombs at it — is actually dead.  That’s cathartic, not immoral or barbaric.

NYT’s guest columnist Stanley Fish engages in Orwellian doublethink to justify BDS speakers at Brooklyn College *UPDATED*

[UPDATE: I should clarify here that, while Fish regularly writes opinion pieces for the Times, and while his beliefs and the Times' beliefs harmonize more often than not, Fish is not a salaried employee of the Times. I've changed the title of this post to add the phrase "guest columnist" in order to reflect that fact.]

BDS and terrorism

BDS is a movement perfectly aligned with genocidal anti-American and anti-Israel organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been an appropriate uproar about the fact that Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department, along with the usual Leftist suspects in American academia, were sponsoring a much-publicized forum advocating in favor of BDS.  For those who do not closely follow Leftist political attacks on Israel, BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.”

BDS is a political movement aimed at isolating, demonizing, and bankrupting Israel.  Please take the five or so minutes to watch this video, which explains what BDS is — and mentions its goal, which is to “wipe out Israel”:

In other words, then, the BDS crowd seeks Israel’s destruction. I am hard put to find a context in which it is appropriate to use a publicly funded college to serve as a forum for the destruction of a democratic nation that, at least for now, is an American ally? (There’s no saying what Commander-in-Chief Obama will decree in the coming years.)

In respect to Mayor Bloomberg’s formulaic “I hate what you say, but I’ll fight to the death to let you say it” stance, Jonathan Tobin explains why it is so heinous to support BDS conclaves:

But contrary to the mayor’s typically highhanded formulation, this is not a free speech issue. Using a public university to promote hate speech in which the one Jewish state in the world is hypocritically singled out for isolation and destruction is not a matter of tolerating a diversity of views. What is so frustrating about the debate about BDS is the willingness of even those who do not support it to treat as a merely one among many defensible views about the Middle East or, as the New York Times referred to it in an editorial on the subject yesterday, a question of academic freedom whose advocates do not deserve to be spoken of harshly. As I wrote last week about a related controversy at Harvard, the BDS movement is not motivated by disagreement with specific Israeli policies or the issue of West Bank settlements. It is an economic war waged to destroy the Jewish state and is morally indistinguishable from more traditional forms of anti-Semitism that do not disguise themselves in the fancy dress of academic discourse.

As Yair Rosenberg noted today in Tablet, the BDS movement has as its declared goal Israel’s destruction via implementation of the Palestinian “right of return.” This is consistent with their overall rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a separate Jewish state and their opposition to any means of self-defense against Palestinian terrorism.

It needs to be understood that those who take such a position are, in effect, denying the Jewish people the same right of self-determination that they support for every other nation on the planet. That is a textbook definition of bias and such bias when used against Jews is called anti-Semitism. That is why the various members of the City Council and New York State legislature who have spoken out on this issue are right to try to exert pressure on Brooklyn College to cancel the event and the Times and Bloomberg are wrong to defend the decision to uphold it.

I couldn’t have said it better myself (which is why I quoted Tobin at such length).

Despite these protests, the forum went ahead and Stanley Fish, at the New York Times is thrilled.  To him, using American taxpayer dollars to fund a convention aimed at destroying the world’s sole Jewish nation (which also happens to be the sole democracy in the otherwise Muslim, totalitarian Middle East) is the essence of free speech (emphasis mine):

Among the cultural institutions a boycott might target are those Israeli universities that are judged to be either actively in league with the government’s policies toward the Palestinians, or complicit with those policies by virtue of remaining silent while they are being implemented. To the charge that a boycott of academic institutions is a violation of academic freedom,  B.D.S. supporters reply that because the state of Israel abrogates the academic freedom of Palestinian professors and students (by denying them funding, access and mobility), it is an affirmation, not a derogation, of academic freedom to refrain from engaging in intellectual commerce with Israeli universities. You can’t invoke academic freedom, they say, when you’re denying it to others. So the lines of battle are set with both sides claiming to be academic freedom’s champion, and it is easy to see why a college might be thought to be an appropriate venue for a discussion of the matter.

Doesn’t Fish’s formulation remind you of such famous phrases as “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” “Ignorance is Strength,” or even “Arbeit macht frei“?

Nazis boycott Jewish stores

The original BDS movement — Nazis boycott Jewish goods

Fish is either a fool or a fellow traveler.  BDS has nothing to do with academic freedom and everything to do with nation killing.  Do I need to mention here that, while Palestine is Judenrein, Israeli universities (see video, above), its government, its military, and even its sports associations have Arab and Palestinian members who, provided that they avoid advocating or agitating for Israel’s imminent destruction, have the same rights as Israel’s Jewish, Christian, atheist, and whatever else residents?

Only a perverse Orwellian doublespeak would pretend that BDS — which aims, as I said, to achieve Israel’s isolation, economic collapse, and her ultimate destruction — is simply a tit-for-tat about academic freedom.  If academic freedom was the real issue, this would be a cat fight about speaking gigs at various universities.  One doesn’t challenge economic malfeasance by targeting the only Jewish nation in the world for complete destruction.

I won’t deconstruct the rest of Fish’s endlessly long article.  Suffice to say that it is as rotten as the foundation on which it’s built.

The New York Times is an increasingly foul publication.  I don’t use that word — “foul” — lightly.  Even during the Duranty years, it aimed for some semblance of objectivity.  Those days are gone.  Its slobbering fervor for Barack Obama and the Democrats; its unrelenting hostility to Israel, George Bush, Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians; and its amoral and immoral attacks on all religions but for Islam, which PC dictates be shielded behind a Teflon coating despite its institutional misogyny, homophobia, and antisemitism, all make the Times too foul for fowls.  Birds, being smart, deserve something a little classier to line their cages.

Monday already? Well, there’s good stuff out there.

William Kristol and Peter Wehner, even though using the polite language of statesmen, have delivered a scathing indictment against our absent commander in chief.  Considering that Obama is indeed the CIC, court-martial for dereliction of duty doesn’t seem unreasonable.  Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll even get impeachment.

I know that, for many, the Constitution these days is just passé.  (I mean, if the leader of the House Dems can’t understand it, who can?)  David Rivkin and Andrew Grossman try to resuscitate that vital document in the context of the Left attack on the right to bear arms.

Roger Simon deftly ties together Dr. Benjamin Carson and the racism that still poisons the heart of the Democrat party.

Upon hearing the Pope Benedict is retiring, CNN has leaped into the fray with inchoate conspiracy theories and claims that the child abuse scandal is driving Benedict out.  I have absolutely no doubt, though, that the Pope spoke the truth when he said his health, mental and physical, is the reason he is retiring.  One of the things I’ve seen watching my Mom and her friends age is that, just as the first 18 or so years of a person’s life are a time of incredibly rapid change, so too are the years after 80 for most people (and Benedict is 85).  For my mother, her 80th birthday was like stepping off a cliff — within months, she went from vital elderly, to decrepit old. And it’s not just my Mom.  It’s the norm at her retirement home.  Just as the very young grow up at warp speed, the very old age at warp speed.  I think that Benedict is wise to arrange for an orderly transition and, even more important in these times, is making sure to have a say in the Papacy’s future direction.

Had it been an injured Israel, the Palestinians would have ripped him to shreds and bathed their hands in his blood.  Because it was an injured Palestinian, the Israeli Defense Force acted rapidly to save his life.

If Wolf Howling writes it, it’s good.  So when he turns his eye to the subject of the Obama administration’s war on children and family, with ammunition supplied by ObamaCare, you know it’s a post you’ll want to read.

Have you guys come across anything interesting?  This is an Open Thread.

Is it the end of the world as we know it, or just a new phase in the battle for America’s soul?

I’ve had the same ten tabs open in Firefox this entire day.  I feel like a madman, trying to create order out of the chaos in my mind.  I’m convinced that there’s a thread tying together these articles, but I can’t figure out precisely what that thread is.  Maybe it’s just that each is another indicator that we’re starting to slide very quickly down some slippery slope, and I don’t think that we’re in for a soft landing.

Here are the articles, which I present in the order the presented themselves to me as I read through my normal websites and my email today.  If you can catch the elusive thread tying them together, please let me know.

***

I admire Jack Cashill greatly.  He’s a smart man and a superb investigator.  Nevertheless, I’ve long thought he had something of a bee in his bonnet with his insistence that TWA Flight 800 was anything more than a tragic disaster.  Now that I’ve had the dubious pleasure of watching the Obama administration work with the media to cover up events in Benghazi in order to salvage his reelection, however, I’m much more inclined to believe Cashill’s theory about the 1996 plane explosion — namely, that it was a terrorist attack, possibly of Iranian origination, and that Clinton and the media covered it up in order to secure his reelection.

***

I know this sounds callous, but I think that the only way to save America is to let Obama take it off the cliff.  Here’s my thinking regarding the “fiscal cliff” talks:  The Republicans have three choices:  (1) compromise; (2) stonewall; and (3) walk away.  If they compromise, they’ve lost, as a smugly victorious Obama clearly is not in a compromising mood.  He knows that, once the Republicans are a party to any economic plans, no matter how minimal or reluctant their participation, they will get the blame when things inevitably go wrong (or, in the unlikely event things go right, Obama will get all the credit). The Republicans will be irreparably smeared and become irrelevant.

If Republicans stonewall, the exact same thing will happen:  the media will blame them for anything that goes wrong, and give Obama credit for anything that might stay right.  And as this election showed, Americans listen to the media, despite knowing that it lies and conceals.

The only thing left for Republicans is to tell both Obama and the American voters, “The voters wanted Obama and his economic plans, so they shall get them.  We wash our hands of this.”  If things go well, then Republicans will have to accept that their policies are wrong.  If things go badly — and I suspect that they will, and quickly too — Republicans will finally have a convincing platform from which to sell true fiscal conservativism, rather than once again being enablers for Progressive profligacy. That platform, I believe, is the only thing that can return America to her status as a light of freedom and constitutional prosperity.

***

California health insurance rates are skyrocketing.  The usual suspects are blaming the insurance companies for having the temerity to want to earn enough money to pay their employees, pay-out to their insureds, and have money for stockholders (who are, after all, the ultimate owners of these companies).  You and I knew that this was inevitable under ObamaCare, since people no longer need to buy insurance when they’re healthy, but can wait until they’re sick.  And we knew that the media would blame the insurance companies — just as we know that, if there’s a single Republican fingerprint on any budget plan, the Republicans will get the entire blame for any failures.  Being a Progressive means never having to acknowledge that you’re culpable.

***

Speaking of the appalling, biased media, the IDF provides a detailed glimpse into the way the media and the Palestinians work hand-in-hand to destroy Israel, both in the battlefield and in the war for hearts and minds around the world.

***

It’s official:  Harvard will have a student society dedicated to S & M (that’s “sadism and masochism” for the innocents among you). Please remind me why Harvard is still considered a respectable educational institution, worth the millions of dollars taxpayers that send to it, both by funding direct federal grants and by picking up the costs of all the taxpayer-guaranteed loans its students conveniently forget to pay upon graduation.

***

Yes, Susan Rice is every bit as bad as you think she is — and it has nothing to do with her skin color and everything to do with her personality, political ideology, and ugly track record.

***

One of my high school friends calls himself a life-long conservative, something I did not know about him back in high school.  I think, though, that he could more accurately be summed up as a libertarian, since he is not at all a social conservative.  To that end, he’s expressed dismay with the increasingly high profile of fervently religious candidates in the Republican party.  He’s wondering if he can twist himself around to believe in the Democrat party, which he sees as non-religious.  I countered his concerns by sending him Dennis Prager’s article explaining that socialism is not just a religion, it’s currently the world’s most dynamic religion.  I recognize that the Republican party can be weak and pathetic, and that it is too often made up of RINOs or true ignoramuses who hide behind religion to excuse that ignorance.  Nevertheless, my friend needs to understand that the alternative is worse.

***

One of my long-time peeves (and one of the things that turned me to conservativism) is the way that Progressives mangled Title IX, which was, in relevant part, supposed to remove hurdles to women’s participation in college sports.  Equality of access?  It’s a good thing.  What Progressives have done, though, is to demand perfect equality of numbers.  Because college women have stubbornly refused to participate in college athletics at the same rate as college men, the only way to achieve this artificial parity is to slash men’s athletic programs.  James Taranto explains here, and makes us fully aware of yet another travesty inflicted on America thanks to Progressive politics.

***

And finally, it wasn’t your imagination that, for the first time in America, the 2012 election was openly predicated upon socialist class warfare. Just to make it official, a top Democrat political action group (conveniently working with George Soros funds) has started a website explicitly dedicated to class warfare.

***

So, was I right?  Is the common thread to these links the dissolution of America at every level?

I’m sorry if I sound bipolar.  Yesterday I was enthusing about the possibility of an American Margaret Thatcher and today I’m talking about imminent Armageddon.  The latter is how I feel; the former is how I want to feel.

In any event, I’m not sure one can ever fight a battle unless one simultaneously fears the opponent and feels optimistic about ones own abilities. In other words, success requires an honest assessment of the forces arrayed against you, as well as the belief that it is possible to prevail.  Without that belief, why bother to fight?

This and that, from here and there — the good and the evil from today’s news

There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing someone slice and dice Paul Krugman’s latest idiocies.  Randall Hoven does a magnificent job.  The only sad thing about it is that he’s preaching to the choir.  The ones who really should read his article — namely, the ones who think Krugman is actually smart and honest — will resolutely turn their eyes away from anything that doesn’t bear the liberal media’s imprimatur.

***

I’ve been feeling smug because, next month, I’m going into San Francisco to hear Stephen Moore speak about his new book, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America. I’m feeling even more smug now, because the inestimable Thomas Sowell gives it the highest possible praise:

If everyone in America had read Stephen Moore’s new book, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America, Barack Obama would have lost the election in a landslide.

Now I’ve added excitement to my previously existing smugness.

***

There’s something wrong with America when it’s Germany that leads the way in announcing that it will not back the formation of a Palestinian state at the UN.  Germany’s absolutely right, of course.  The Palestinians, despite getting Gaza to themselves, have done nothing to create even a semblance of a state.  They have no civil structure, no law, and no economy other than handouts from other nations.  All they’ve got is a thriving genocide-centered terrorism industry.  I wonder when Susan Rice, who currently does occupy the position of the U.S.’s ambassador to the UN, will get on board with this one.

***

Speaking of Rice, Republicans on Capitol Hill, and those few RINOs to whom the media grants access, are again allowing themselves to be silenced by the strident Progressive/Democrat bleat that they are “racist” for opposing Susan Rice’s possible nomination to be Secretary of State.  As for me, I hadn’t realized Rice was black.  I’ve seen her pictures, but I just assumed she was darker of complexion than I am.

Frankly, everyone is darker of complexion than I am.  When I was a baby in my stroller, my mom stepped onto an elevator that already held a woman and her young child.  The woman took one look at me, and then pulled her child towards herself, saying “Say away from that baby, Amanda.  She’s a very sick baby.”  I was not sick.  That was me in the pink of health.  I just assumed that Rice was really healthy.  That she self-identifies as black actually surprised me.

But back to the topic at hand, which is the real reasons Rice is unqualified for the post of Secretary of State.  (Although I will say that anyone who takes on the job from Hillary Clinton is in the fortunate position of having  very little shoes to fill.)  For those who lose their brain power every time the word “racist” comes from the Democrat party, Joel Pollak has assembled a list of the top ten substantive reasons to oppose her nomination.  Because I wasn’t really paying attention in the 90s, I didn’t realize that her habit of lying to protect the Democrats is an old habit:

9. Refused to call Rwanda genocide a “genocide,” for political reasons. According to Obama advisor Samantha Power, Rice urged the Clinton administration not to call the Rwandan genocide what it was, for fear of the political impact on U.S. congressional elections in 1994. She and others worked to sanitize references to the genocide, scrubbing government memos to remove words such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.”

The other facts in the top ten list are equally damning.  It’s not Rice’s dark skin that means she’s not fit to serve.  It’s her absence of any sort of moral compass.

***

And finally, while we’re on the topic of people lacking a moral compass, here’s a short primer on all of the photo and video fraud that Hamas and its media enablers were able to propagate during a conflict that lasted a mere seven days:

***

Consider this an Open Thread, and feel free to add your own interesting comments and links.

When the combatants are morally unequal, it is immoral to treat them in the same way

One of the really icky things about the Left is that it lacks a moral compass.  There is no good or evil.  There are only evil haves and victimized have-nots.

In a sane moral universe, cultural arbiters would readily be able to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys in the Middle East.  The good guys are the ones that give equal rights to all religions, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Bahai, or Atheist.  The bad guys are the ones that impose horrific burdens on those who do not follow the bad guys’ faith, with those burdens ranging from increased taxes, exile from the land of their ancestors, beatings, and mass murder.

The good guys are the ones that do not torture or kill people because of their sexual orientation.  The bad guys are the ones who routinely torture and hang gay men.

The good guys are the ones who acknowledge that women are fully equal to men, and are therefore entitled to both respect and civil rights.  The bad guys are the ones who view women as inherently evil, lascivious, stupid, and dangerous and, to that end segregate them; dehumanize them through clothing; institutionalize pedophilia; mutilate them; deprive them of basic freedoms, liberties, and rights; and turn any of their infractions, whether criminal or social, into capital crimes.

The good guys are the ones who put into place a defense system that allows them to suffer through thousands of rocket attacks before making the decision to retaliate and who, when they retaliate, will abort solid attacks against known targets if they realize that children are in the line of fire.  The bad guys are the ones who take land for peace, only to break their bargain immediately and rain rockets down upon the opposite entity in the exchange.  And the bad guys are the one who view children as both targets and shields, because they care more about propaganda than lives.

In a sane world, if these two entities went to war because the good guys got tired of years of being the bad guys’ target practice, coverage would be much like the news was in the years leading up to and during WWII:  the good guys would be praised and supported, while the bad guys would be excoriated.  Back in those days, the media knew that the Allies had some bad individuals amongst them and that there were Axis soldiers who were forced to fight and hated what they did.  The media understoid the fundmentak difference, though, between the Axis powers and the Allies — the latter was a healthy society fighting against a sick one before the sick society’s cancer could spread.

Those days of sanity are over.  The media hasn’t gone quite so far as to pretend that the bad guys — the Palestinians, the Iranians, and the Islamists — are actually fighting a good fight.  They do something much more insidious, because only people who pay attention are aware — as Dennis Prager explains, they pretend that the two sides are the same:

[A]n evil entity made war on a peaceful, decent entity, and the latter responded.

How has the New York Times reported this?

On Friday, on its front page, the Times featured two three-column-wide photos. The top one was of Gaza Muslim mourners alongside the dead body of al-Jabari. The photo below was of Israeli Jews mourning alongside the dead body of Mira Scharf, a 27-year-old mother of three.

What possible reason could there be for the New York Times to give identical space to these two pictures? One of the dead, after all, was a murderer, and the other was one of his victims.

The most plausible reason is that the Times wanted to depict through pictures a sort of moral equivalence: Look, sophisticated Times readers! Virtually identical scenes of death and mourning on both sides of the conflict. How tragic.

If one had no idea what had triggered this war, one would read and see the Times coverage and conclude that two sides killing each other were both equally at fault.

The Times technique works only too well.  Just today, one of the women in my mother’s retirement community said that none of this would happen if the Israelis would just give Gaza back to the Palestinians.  She was surprised when my mother told her that Israel had already done this years ago, only to be rewarded with a barrage of rockets.  The MSM, which this lady watches assiduously, failed to make that point clear.

Prager’s conclusion, after giving more examples of the Times inability to understand moral absolutes, is the same as that with which I started this post:

As the flagship news source of the Left, the New York Times reveals the great moral failing inherent to leftism — its combination of moral relativism and the division of the world between strong and weak, Western and non-Western, and rich and poor rather than between good and evil.

Mosab Hassan Yousef — a portrait of moral clarity and raw courage

Yesterday, I wrote about those rare individuals who can rise above fear in a terrorist state to become part of the solution, rather than a mere victim of the problem.  With perfect timing, a friend sent me an article from the Times of Israel, about Mosab Hasson Yousef, a young man of unusual moral clarity and admirable courage:

Mosab Hassan Yousef has a knack for controversy. The son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, he has already broken every taboo in the Palestinian book. He has worked for Israeli intelligence and converted to Christianity. Now he is developing a new film which is sure to be no less sensational: a biography of the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

Yousef, 33, broke ranks with Hamas in 1997 and began working for the Israeli internal intelligence service Shin Bet. Ten years later, after helping Israel thwart dozens of terror attacks and arrest many members of his former movement, Yousef left for the United States where he sought political asylum and later converted to Christianity.

Today, he says, he is back in Israel for the first time on a personal visit “to inspire a new generation of Palestinians.”

“I love Israel because I love democracy,” he told journalists in Jerusalem Tuesday. “I am here to protest religion’s absolute control of people’s lives.”

Please read the whole article.  It’s very inspiring.

The truth about Palestinian refugees

Another powerful Danny Ayalon video.  Watch it, then, please, please, please share it with people.

(Or view it here if it doesn’t load on my webpage.)

Incidentally, will it make you feel better to know that Danny Ayalon, reciting just the facts set forth in the above video, is causing some embarrassment for the UN, which is incapable of addressing the charges?  It certainly made me feel better.

Question:  I just wanted to ask a question about comments that were made by Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, before the Human Rights High Commissioner for Refugees’ ministerial event in Geneva last week.  He basically said that the cause of the Palestinian refugee issue was not so much the dispossession of the majority of Palestinians from their homeland by Jewish militias during the 1948 war and refusal of Israel to enable their right to return under resolution 194.  He said rather that it was the establishment of UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] which has perpetuated the refugee status by applying unique criteria to it.  And I just wonder whether either the Secretary-General or UNRWA has made any response to this statement.

Associate Spokesperson:  No.  We don’t go into the lengthy history of how the refugee crisis started.  As you know, the historians may have differing interpretations of what brought on the refugee crisis.  UNRWA, it should be stressed, was established in response to the refugee crisis.  And, as you know, the presence of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency throughout the region is designed to deal with the number, the very large number of Palestinian refugees throughout the region.  If the situation can be resolved and the situation of the Palestinian refugees can be addressed fairly, then UNRWA’s work will have been done, but at this stage, we are not there.  It has a lot of work in a lot of countries with, as you know, tens of thousands of people.

Question:  Excuse me, is there no response to the statement by [Deputy] Foreign Minister Ayalon that UNRWA is perpetuating the status of the refugees?

Associate Spokesperson:  I wouldn’t react to specific comments.  Over the years people have disagreed and have had their own interpretations of…

Question:  This is not just a personal comment, this is on the Israeli Government official website, his statement is made.  And he is a minister in the Israeli Government.

Associate Spokesperson:  Like I said to you just a second ago, the creation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency was in response to the refugee crisis.  It is there to handle the situation, the very large situation of refugees across the region that had erupted.  And its existence over the decades is testament to the fact that, throughout this time, the situation of the Palestinian refugees remains to be resolved.  Yes?

Hat tip:  Sadie

Facts are stubborn things . . . but Leftist ideologues are even more stubborn

“Facts are stubborn things.”  — John Adams.

“Ideologues are even more stubborn than facts.”  — Bookworm

A few nights ago, Mr. Bookworm watched the movie Shattered Glass with the children.  It’s a fairly good retelling of the way in which Stephen Glass, a young feature writer at The New Republic, wrote a series of fraudulent articles.  I was a TNR subscriber at the time, and I vividly remember what might have been his most famous article, the one describing orgies of sex, drink and drugs at a young conservative convention.  The article was a perfect fraud because it so deftly fed into liberal prejudice about conservatives:  there was no way, we liberals thought, that conservatives could actually live up to the standards they sought to impose upon ordinary Americans.  Because we didn’t believe in those lifestyle values, we assumed that young conservatives were hypocrites — and Thank God for true journalists like Stephen Glass who were out there exposing this hypocrisy to the world.  Except, of course, for the fact that every word Glass wrote was a lie.

At the end of Shattered Glass, the movie informs the viewer that Glass went to law school and is working as a paralegal.  (I won’t even try to figure out why a highly respectable law school such as Georgetown would allot one of the valuable spaces in its freshman class to a conscienceless con man.)

My children were perplexed.  “A lawyer?  Why a lawyer?”  Mr. Bookworm knew the answer:  “Because lawyers lie.  That’s their job.  The better the liar, the more money they make.”

As a lawyer whose lies have never gone beyond social white lies (“That dress is lovely!” “I’m so sorry, but I’m already booked that night.”), I took umbrage at that statement.  “Good lawyers never lie!  They simply advocate.  I take the facts and put them together in a coherent, honest narrative that ties in with applicable law.  If my client has no case, I say so.  My integrity, and the integrity of my friends and colleagues, demands no less.  I’ve known lying lawyers, but they’re bottom feeders and viewed with disdain by decent practitioners.”

The fine line between advocacy and lying was a struggle for the children.  Imagine a car accident, I said.  A car traveling in excess of the speed limit passed through an intersection, and shortly thereafter struck a pedestrian.  If there was a subsequent lawsuit, there would be two ways to describe that car’s journey through the intersection.  If I represented the car’s driver at trial, I would never say anything other than that he “drove” through the intersection.  This would be a completely correct statement.  I would be implying, of course, that the defendant’s speed wasn’t so excessive that it could lead to an accident.  In the same trial, the attorney for the pedestrian would invariably say that the defendant “sped” or “raced” through the intersection, implying that he was out of control by the time he hit the pedestrian.  Again, since I’ve posited a speed above the speed limit (although I haven’t said by how much, whether two miles above or twenty miles above), that too is a truthful statement.  Both lawyers are being completely truthful, but both approaches are spin aimed at persuading an audience (the jury) to reach one of two antithetical conclusions.

I think the kids understand me.  Mr. Bookworm — well, I’m not so sure.  He is, after all, a man of the Left, and if there’s one thing a lifetime on the Left has taught me, it that my blog’s motto is accurate:  “Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts.”  To the Left, fact and spin are indistinguishable.  Truth isn’t a construct based upon irrefutable and stubborn facts.  Instead, truth is an ideological conclusion, sustained by whatever means necessary.

Interestingly, the day after I had this instructive conversation with the kids, the blogosphere was suddenly saturated with stories of stubborn ideologues, relentlessly intertwining conclusions and facts.  Unfortunately for public discourse, these ideologues are journalists.

The most well-known post is Mark Hemingway’s Lies, Damned Lies, and “Fact Checking.  In it, Hemingway takes aim at the proliferation of “fact checking” articles from major media outlets.

Fact checking can be useful, of course.  Going back to my car example above, the speed at which the driver traveled is a fact.  If he was going twenty miles above the limit, but his advocate claims he was only going two miles above the limit, that claim is a lie and a fact checker should call him on it.  In the world of liberal fact checking, however, the fact checkers confuse their spin (i.e., the advocacy of their ideology) for objective facts.  They would be challenging the lawyer they’re hostile to over his honest, albeit emotionally loaded, word choice (e.g., “drove” versus “sped”).

Here’s Hemingway’s conclusion, one he reaches after offering several egregious examples of the way Leftists confuse ideological “truth” with facts:

While it was always difficult in practice, once upon a time journalists at least paid obeisance to the idea of reporting the facts, as opposed to commenting on “narratives”​—​let alone being responsible for creating and debunking them.

But today’s fact checkers are largely uninterested in emphasizing the primacy of information. Accordingly, this is what happens when the media talk about fact checking: The Washington Post pats the AP on the back for questioning the veracity of a media-created narrative ex post facto, then cites a brazenly partisan blogger as proof that the effort to smack it down was successful.

What’s going on here should be obvious enough. With the rise of cable news and the Internet, traditional media institutions are increasingly unable to control what political rhetoric and which narratives catch fire with the public. Media fact-checking operations aren’t about checking facts so much as they are about a rearguard action to keep inconvenient truths out of the conversation.

Hemingway deservedly got attention for this brilliant deconstruction of ideological advancement dressed up as fact-checking, but he wasn’t the only one.  At the same time,  James Taranto caught the AP “fact checking” Newt’s debate promise that he will move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  The AP says that this “fact” — one that most of us would see as a promise of future action — is “false” because other presidential candidates have made the same promise to no effect.  Taranto understands what’s going on, and it’s not that Newt was lying:

To be sure, some things about the future are known with sufficient certainty that they are indistinguishable from facts. If Gingrich claimed to be immortal, the AP would be justified in running a “fact check” refutation even if it was not also an obituary. Likewise if he said tomorrow’s sunrise would occur at 3 p.m. on the East Coast, we could be sure he was wrong.

But the idea that Gingrich’s pledge is contrary to fact because other politicians have failed to keep the same promise is beyond ludicrous. Did the AP in 2008 run a “fact check” rebutting Barack Obama’s promise to enact “heath-care reform” because so many previous presidents have futilely attempted to do so?

[snip]

It would not have been hard to recast this story to make it journalistically sound, though it would have entailed a bit more work. Gearan could have begun by reporting the Gingrich promise, then put it in historical context by noting the record of other presidents. The arguments for why such a move is a bad idea could have been aired, too–not in Gearan’s own voice, but by interviewing diplomats or scholars who think it’s a bad idea. It might also have been worthwhile to seek a follow-up interview with Gingrich or a spokesman to ask why voters should expect him to keep this promise when past presidents haven’t.

Instead, the AP published what is essentially an opinion piece, and a rather lazy one at that. If we may borrow Gingrich’s favorite word, to label that a “fact check”–as if it had some greater authority than actual reporting–is fundamentally dishonest.

Taranto is correct that, if one actually cares about objective, verifiable facts, AP’s conduct was “fundamentally dishonest.”  I wonder, though, if he makes the mistakes of thinking that liberals actually care.  (I suspect that Taranto is to savvy to make this thinking error.)  To liberals, the only truth is ideology, and if one cares about ideological truth, “facts” are merely tools to be manipulated.

I am not about to call the AP or American journalists Nazis, because they’re not, but I can’t help but be struck by the way the parallelism between their belief that ultimate, ideological truth trumps verifiable fact, on the one hand, and Goebbels’ understanding of the propaganda necessary to bring German citizens to Naziism, on the other hand:

That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result.  It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.

Or, as he more famously said:

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

Given that too many American journalists (both as individuals and as institutions) seem comfortably wedded to a Goebbel-esque view of truth, is it any surprise that they rate so low in the public’s estimation when it comes to assessing their ethics and honesty?  While poll results show that they still rank above lawyers, lobbyists, politicians and used car salesmen, the margin is awfully small.

(As an aside, looking at that “ethics by profession” chart to which I just linked, is it any surprise that the military ranks so high?  It isn’t to me.  For years, we’ve watched our military put itself on the front line to defend America, both her people and her ethos.  We know that when our troops take that oath — a serious oath that America’s First Sergeant analyzes beautifully here — they mean it.  They say it, they mean it, they do it.)

As I mentioned above, journalists do manage to cling to an honesty position slightly above that held by politicians.  That’s not a surprise either.  After all, Eric Holder, who is both a lawyer and a politician, managed to state perfectly the Leftist (and, incidentally, the narcissist) approach to truth and lying:

Still unsatisfied, Sensenbrenner followed up again. “Tell me what the difference is between lying and misleading Congress in this context?,” he asked Holder.

Holder responded that whether a statement is a lie or misleading comment depends on what the person making it is thinking at the time.

“If you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind, and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that can be considered perjury or a lie,” Holder said.

I know that what Holder meant to say is that ones ability to tell the truth is necessarily going to be limited by the universe of factual information available. If my boss has kept me sequestered from his side job as a drug dealer, I am telling the truth when I testify that he doesn’t deal drugs. However, Holder’s phrasing, which focuses on the speaker’s intent, rather than his fund of knowledge, manages to be the perfect Leftist/narcissist paradigm: truth is what you need to say at the moment.

Holder’s not the only lying politician.  I’ve repeatedly document at this blog Obama’s Leftist/narcissist approach to the truth.  (See here, here, here, here and here, for example.)  Three years into Obama’s presidency, more and more people are catching on to Obama’s distant relationship to stubborn facts.  Indeed, an audience member at a well-attended military briefing (upwards of 200 people), told me that a civilian who attended the briefing interrupted the speaker to say, “C’mon, don’t give me the Barack Obama answer, give me the real answer.”  The room’s response was telling:  silence, followed by titters.  No anger, no hissing, no booing.  Admittedly, given Obama’s approach to the military, it’s not surprising that a military venue wouldn’t take umbrage at this statement, but it is nevertheless impressive that Obama’s very name is becoming synonymous with lies.

Obama, of course, didn’t help his case with his recent Osawatomie speech, which was a truly magnificent example of ignorance, ideological spin, and blatant factual dishonesty.  Needless to say, the media didn’t fact-check the speech, since it advanced their ideology.  The fact that it was ideologically true satisfied the media, despite the egregiously wrong objective facts.

I’ll wrap this post up with two more points, one about a really big lie and one about a surprising truth.

The big lie:  climate change.  I’m not sure I need to say more.  We now know from a huge onrush of facts — actual, objective facts, such as the Climategate emails — that those advancing AGW have been systematically fudging data, omitting data, asserting falsehoods, substituting beliefs for facts, and stifling dissenting voices.  (Only today, Charlie Martin notes that our own DOJ is doing things that might be construed as stifling dissent, but he hastens to add — with a rigid adherence to truth — that the facts are currently too unclear to make that conclusion.)  Indeed, the whole environmental movement, not just the AGW side of it, has abandoned itself to an orgy of ideology, one that sees scientists, who should have a rigid adherence to scientific truth based upon verifiable data, happily abandoning data in favor of ideology.  (This post offers a two-fer, with both a corrupt scientist and a corrupt attorney.)

And here’s the surprising truth:  Newt’s courageous willingness to state that the Palestinians are an “invented” people.

Discussing the origin of the state of Israel in the 1940s, Mr. Gingrich said: “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places.”

On objective facts, Newt is completely, absolutely right.  That the Palestinians have since coalesced into a coherent group identity separate from other Arabs is true too, but it doesn’t erase the truth of Newt’s statement.  Newt’s statement matters because understanding the truth behind Palestinian identity makes it clear that it is Goebbel-esque propaganda about the Palestinian’s imaginary past that places the Israelis in an unflattering, and dishonest, light, as apartheid colonialist land-grabbers:

One might ask why this should matter: Regardless of when either Jews or Palestinians arrived, millions of both live east of the Jordan River​ today, and that’s the reality policymakers must deal with. But in truth, it matters greatly – because Western support for Palestinian negotiating positions stems largely from the widespread view that Palestinians are an indigenous people whose land was stolen by Western (Jewish) interlopers.

Current demographic realities would probably suffice to convince most Westerners that a Palestinian state should exist. But the same can’t be said of Western insistence that its border must be the 1967 lines, with adjustments possible only via one-to-one territorial swaps and only if the Palestinians consent. Indeed, just 44 years ago, UN Resolution 242 was carefully crafted to reflect a Western consensus that the 1967 lines shouldn’t be the permanent border. So what changed?

The answer lies in the phrase routinely used to describe the West Bank and Gaza today, but which almost nobody used back in 1967, when Israel captured these areas from Jordan and Egypt, respectively: “occupied Palestinian territory.” This phrase implies that the land belongs to the Palestinians and always has. And if so, why shouldn’t Israel be required to give back every last inch?

But if the land hasn’t belonged to the Palestinians “from time immemorial” – if instead, both Palestinians and Jews comprise small indigenous populations augmented by massive immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the West Bank and Gaza becoming fully Judenrein only after Jordan and Egypt occupied them in 1948 – then there’s no inherent reason why the border must necessarily be in one place rather than another. To create two states, a border must be drawn somewhere, but that “somewhere” should depend only on the parties’ current needs – just as the drafters of Resolution 242 envisioned.

Newt’s willingness to state truths is one of the more attractive things about his candidacy.  He can be unfiltered, which is worrisome, but that unfiltered quality is what allows him to trample over established Leftist political orthodoxies, and make statements that cut through the cognitive dissonance that affects anybody who lives in a world dominated by a statist media.  I hope that, whether Newt makes it to the White House or not, he sticks with this honesty.

Right now, Newt’s refreshing factual honesty makes me think of the first half of the I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy, in inveterate liar, makes a bet that she can tell the truth for 24 hours.  One of the funniest scenes in TV history has Lucy sitting down for a bridge game with three of her friends and abandoning all her social lies in favor of the truth, as she sees it, about their clothes, their children, their decor, and their personalities.  (Sadly, I can’t find a clip of that on the internet.)  In a lesson Newt would do well to heed, when Lucy gets the chance to achieve her heart’s desire — a show business gig — truth goes out the window, landing her in a hair-raising, but naturally quite funny, situation.

There’s nothing new about lying.  It comes with our lizard brains and can serve a very useful purpose, whether one is a spy, a prisoner of war, or a husband whose wife asks “Does this dress make me look fat?”  However, in the world of politics and journalism, lies have vast and significant consequences for nations.  When those who need to tell the truth routinely lie, not just to save face, but to advance underlying, and often disguised, ideological goals, we as a nation are in great danger.  Thankfully, we have an alternative media now that helps suss out the truth, but it only benefits those who willingly pay attention.

Why Gingrich said something important when he talked about an “invented” people

Others have said it, but I like best the way Evelyn Gordon said it.  After confirming the historic accuracy of Newt’s claim (namely, that Arabs moved into the land at the end of the 19th century, rather than having lived there since time immemorial), Gordon goes on:

One might ask why this should matter: Regardless of when either Jews or Palestinians arrived, millions of both live east of the Jordan River​ today, and that’s the reality policymakers must deal with. But in truth, it matters greatly – because Western support for Palestinian negotiating positions stems largely from the widespread view that Palestinians are an indigenous people whose land was stolen by Western (Jewish) interlopers.

Current demographic realities would probably suffice to convince most Westerners that a Palestinian state should exist. But the same can’t be said of Western insistence that its border must be the 1967 lines, with adjustments possible only via one-to-one territorial swaps and only if the Palestinians consent. Indeed, just 44 years ago, UN Resolution 242 was carefully crafted to reflect a Western consensus that the 1967 lines shouldn’t be the permanent border. So what changed?

The answer lies in the phrase routinely used to describe the West Bank and Gaza today, but which almost nobody used back in 1967, when Israel captured these areas from Jordan and Egypt, respectively: “occupied Palestinian territory.” This phrase implies that the land belongs to the Palestinians and always has. And if so, why shouldn’t Israel be required to give back every last inch?

But if the land hasn’t belonged to the Palestinians “from time immemorial” – if instead, both Palestinians and Jews comprise small indigenous populations augmented by massive immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries, with the West Bank and Gaza becoming fully Judenrein only after Jordan and Egypt occupied them in 1948 – then there’s no inherent reason why the border must necessarily be in one place rather than another. To create two states, a border must be drawn somewhere, but that “somewhere” should depend only on the parties’ current needs – just as the drafters of Resolution 242 envisioned.

Read the rest here.