In the post immediately below, I wrote about the fact that Obama in this past week seems to have abandoned reality regarding Ukraine and the Middle East and opted, instead, for a fact-free fantasy. This chart summarizes some of what he’s missing:
Mano 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:
Democracy Freedom Secularism Liberty Human Rights Amnesty UN ARE OPPOSITE TO Islam Shari’ah Khilafah Jihad Quran Sunnah Divine rights
— Anjem Choudary (@anjemchoudary) March 2, 2014
If you don’t recognize Choudary’s name, Jim Hoft fills you in:
In 2008 Choudary gloated over the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
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.
It’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.”
As 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.
The 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):
Being a fan of someones show and the way they still hold a family together doesnt mean i am ok with all they say.
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 18, 2014
Oh my god can someone literally not be a fan if a show without bring labeled WTf I bought dinner the other day it made a news story — Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 19, 2014
I can’t do anything without being judged u try that and write about it
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 19, 2014
And I know I’m playing into your hands writing these tweets but I’m sick of stupid stories it’s time you all grow up
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 19, 2014
And write about things that actually matter not what im gunna have for dinner tomorrow or who I’m a fan if real stories
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 19, 2014
All those tweets are aimed at journalists and bloggers not fans
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 19, 2014
Sick of all this bull il be back again when the freedom of speech law is back and people don’t believe to much into the bulls#!t they read
— Liam Payne (@Real_Liam_Payne) January 19, 2014
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.
Just 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.
What 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:
When 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.
My 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).
Palestinians 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:
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.
Who is Private Eden Atias? He’s a 19-year-old who died today, the latest victim in Israel’s endless war with practitioners of the Religion of Peace. Israel is not an anomaly. She is the front line in the war between civilization and barbarism. Every time one of her citizens dies, we die a little too.
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.
[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.]
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“?
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.
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.