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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.