The Bookworm Beat – Not quite the end of the world edition

Woman writingI’m sneaking in a few minutes between appointments and telephone calls. It’s been a crazy day with appointments, endless telephone calls, contractors, and a house full of my family members (and, of course, the kids’ friends). Down time happens sporadically and I have problems focusing. I’ve got tons of good stuff here, though, so I’m ignoring my phone, telling the family to wait, and sharing things with you.

** 1 **

From where I sit, today’s big news is the fact that Hamas broke the cease fire practically within minutes of its going into effect. Two more young Israeli men have died. Worse, 23-year-old Hadar Ben Leiah has been kidnapped.

Why is Hadar’s kidnapping worse even than death? Well, first, Israel now proceeds with the knowledge that, whatever steps they take, Hamas will claim that Hadar’s eventually fate will be on Israel’s head. Second, in the midst of a hot war, everyone in Israel understands that Hadar’s fate will be unpleasant. If there’s one thing at which Arabs excel, it’s unpleasant fates.  He is in my prayers.

Small wonder then, that Gershon Baskin, Israel’s top negotiator regarding Hamas, tweeted out an uncompromising message to the world:

** 2 **

What do you bet, though, that the Obama administration will continue to push for an outcome entirely favorable to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, with no regard for Israel’s security concerns?

Sure, the administration is making big noises about an “unconditional release,” and sounding upset that “individuals” broke the ceasefire. The fundamental fact, though, is that, in this relationship, little details like broken promises, murder, and kidnapping won’t dissuade a Leftist administration that views Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood with the starry-eyed awe of a teeny-bopper getting her first look at a teen idol. The fact that the teen idol is untalented, dissolute, and vicious won’t affect her. This is love — stupid, naive, credulous, doormat-like love.

While most pro-Hamas people are useful idiots (witness the Hollywood types who can’t resist weighing in), there are those in the Left who have a deep, abiding love for Hamas. David French knows what this love is: Evil. I agree. After all, Hamas is not shy about trumpeting its genocidal ambitions.

** 3 **

If you want to see what Obama’s trajectory is, just look at the UN. Even as it condemns Hamas for violating the ceasefire, it’s urging another ceasefire and telling Israel to lay down her arms. Worse, it’s castigating Israel for refusing to share her Iron Dome defense system with the terrorists who are lobbing thousands of rockets at her civilians.

Believe it or not, though, when it comes to the Iron Dome defense, Obama is going one better than the UN. Although I can’t find the link right now (when I do, I’ll update this), the same system that saved Israel is also becoming a stick with which Obama can beat it. It turns out that, while Israel has the Iron Dome, an agreement with the U.S. means that only America has the rockets the Iron Dome uses — and Obama is trying to attack conditions to resupply the Iron Dome arsenal, which is nearly depleted.

Einstein famously defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Frankly, though, I don’t think what we’re seeing here is insanity, because the presumes a certain naive, ineffective good will behind the effort. What we’re seeing here is systemic support for evil. The UN and Obama may pay lip service by disavowing especially visible bad acts, but the fact is that they don’t expect different results because they like these results.

** 4 **

There is no doubt anymore in my mind, though, that Hamas must be utterly destroyed. Yes, something worse may fill the vacuum, and then Israel will have to destroy that something worse. In the meantime, though, Israel can no longer function with this blood-thirsty predator in her airspace and under her land.

Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that Hadar’s kidnapping was the final straw for the Israelis. They are 100% behind destroying Hamas utterly.

** 5 **

And maybe if Hamas goes, then Israel can work on getting rid of UNRWA, a UN agency dedicated to the care and feeding of Palestinians to the Nth generation. Of course, even that isn’t simple. As The Times of Israel explains, if UNWRA pulls out, Israel suddenly becomes entirely responsible for a people made helpless by more than 60 years of ceding their independence and power to terrorists and bureaucracies.

** 6 **

Here’s one possibly good thing, though: I’m hearing from others who have observed what I’ve observed, which is that, this time around, barring the usual media bias towards Israel and the usual idiotic celebratory bloviating, there’s a different feeling in the air.

On my “real me” Facebook page, those who support Israel (Republicans and conservatives, of course), are flooding their feeds with pro-Israel information. Meanwhile, the DemProgs I know are totally silent. There are no posts explaining why Gazans are victims. There’s just . . . crickets. Danny Lemieux has also noticed that, at his place of worship, the usual reflexive anti-Israel feeling is lacking.

Have any of you noticed the same?

** 7 **

England was never philo-Semitic, but it used to be only kind of passively anti-Semitic. The Brits would make remarks about “dirty Jews,” but they wouldn’t do anything about it.

How Political Correctness and the unending influx of Muslims has changed that. England’s largest grocery store chain is boycotting Israeli goods. As if that’s not enough, its movie chains are barring non-Muslims. If there are any sane people left in Britain, I urge you to find a place to shop other than your local Tesco. It was never a very good store anyway. And you might want to think about abandoning the movies too.

** 8 **

From Obama’s point of view, there are probably several good things about the Israel-Hamas war: He can bully Israel; Jews are dying; he has the opportunity to advance the Muslim Brotherhood cause; and no one is paying attention to Obamacare. If they did, they’d notice that it is, as its critics promised it would be, an absolute disaster. At enormous cost, and with tremendous upheaval, it is decimating the middle class by depriving it of insurance as prices rise and insurers pull out of the market. Yes, some previously uninsured are now covered, but there were always less costly and destructive ways to make that happen.

At least you can amuse yourself learning about Obama Golf.

** 9 **

The only good thing coming from the utter chaos Obama has ushered in during this, his second term, is the fact that voters are seeing Republicans as a good, even necessary, alternative.

The bad thing, of course, is that our Congressional morons are a bunch of spineless wimps, as is perfectly demonstrated by the border bill fiasco. Back in the old days, Republicans actually deported massive numbers of illegal aliens — and weren’t ashamed of that fact. They put Americans first and considered borders sacred.

** 10 **

Meanwhile, even as the world goes up in flames around us, our borders collapse, and bad actors flex their muscles, the Obama administration continues working tirelessly to render our military ineffective and, as to those troops serving in this dangerous world, helpless.

** 11 **

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a moron, and a sexist one at that. (If you’re blocked by the WSJ pay wall, I understand that you can do a Google search for this and other WSJ articles, and access the article through the Google link.)

** 12 **

Is Joe Lieberman the last honest Democrat? Reading him take the Obama administration to task for its massive failings abroad, including its betrayal of all of America’s traditional friends, one suspects that he is.

** 13 **

We’re now in the sixth year of the Obama Depression. Although his administration likes to point to some increases in employment numbers. These increases, however, are not good news. Labor market participation is at its lowest ebb in 40 years; the major beneficiaries of the uptick in employment are recent immigrants, not long-time Americans, and most of the jobs are in the minimum wage sector. Keep that last item in mind as you read how the Obama National Labor Relations Board is trying to destroy the franchise system that provides employment so many workers at McDonald’s and other chain franchises.

** 14 **

The thought of Joe Biden — Mr. Grope Every Woman I See — skinny-dipping is just revolting. No wonder the female Secret Service agents aren’t happy. Interestingly enough, just today I received an email with images of animals that have seen their owners naked. I can only imagine how much more extreme the response would be if they saw Joe Biden naked:

Naked animals 1

Naked animals 7

Naked animals 6

Naked animals 5

Naked animals 4

Naked animals 3

Naked animals 2

** 15 **

And a handful of more serious pictures….

Isn't it weird

Profiling weapons

Just because he's black

We finance terrorists

Guilty as charged

Meaning of Palestinian

What would Jesus do

Most interesting sentence

Monday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesFamily took precedence this weekend. I was able to read stuff while I waited here and there for various family members, but I never got to my computer to post anything. I therefore have a huge backlog of articles and posts that I found interesting and would like to share with you:

One of the most toxic parts of the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the United Nation’s insistence that Palestinians should be unlike all other refugees.  Ordinarily, refugee status is given only to the actual refugee.  For Palestinians, however, the UN extends refugee status to descendants too. A Jewish lawyers and judges group would like to change this. I doubt the UN will change anything (it’s too controlled infested with antisemites), but if we promote this cause, we might be able to educate the public about this travesty.

***

One of the worst things that’s been happening this spring is the rise of the heckler’s veto at college campuses across America. In each case — with the most famous being Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a black woman who speaks out against toxic aspects of Islam, and Condoleeza Rice, a black woman who was Secretary of State during the Iraq War — only a very small cadre of protesters (sometimes numbering in the two digits, just like their IQs) was sufficient to cause college administrators to rescind invitations to commencement speakers. One of the replacement speakers used his time at the podium to lash out at “immature” and “arrogant” protesters, words that got him a standing ovation.

I have a couple of comments to make. First, I would do away with commencement speakers altogether. Graduation ceremonies are long and boring enough without larding them with yet another speaker. Of course, I skipped my Berkeley graduation, so I’m not terribly invested in those ceremonies.

Second, this is one of those rare occasions where I think it’s important for conservatives to behave as badly as Leftists. Writing at DartBlog, Joseph Asch (class of ’79) says that conservatives should politely let Angela Davis speak. For the youngsters reading this blog, during the 1960s, Davis was a hard Left radical. Among other things, she arranged to get a gun into a Marin County court room, resulting in a judge and three other men being murdered. Davis, like Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, has since become an establishment figure. She has never backed off from her hard Left views, nor has she shown any remorse for her active complicity in the murder of four people.

In theory, Asch is right that we should demonstrate tolerance to the hard Left and let Davis speak. The problem, though, is what flows from that tolerance. The Left demonstrates intolerance, and no one gets to listen to an accomplished conservative. Conservatives demonstrate tolerance, and hundreds of malleable students get to listen to a murderous Lefty. We have to shut off the Leftie spigot — if students don’t get access to conservative speakers, they shouldn’t get access to Leftist speakers either.

***

The Anne Frank Museum has a gift shop. There, one can buy copies of her diary in various languages, books about her life, and other limited written materials about tolerance. I’ve noted that I think the Anne Frank Museum suffers too much from moral relativism and says too little about the Holocaust, but it’s classy. The newly opened 9/11 museum in New York is unhindered by classiness. In a store directly on top of the display about a murderous attack on American soil, as well as over the last remains of hundreds who died there, there is a cheesy gift shop, complete with myriad stupid, disrespectful tschotkes. What were they thinking?

***

Every day, it becomes more clear that bureaucracy is the last refuge of the stupid, the cowardly, and the morally infirm. In Germany, bureaucrats are insisting that a house that a German Jewish woman built in 1939 as a refuge (it failed her), and that a German woman recently remodeled, must be torn down entirely because, back in 1939, the Jewish woman didn’t fill out the proper paperwork. I don’t ascribe this rank bureaucratic stupidity to antisemitism. As far as I can tell, it is what it seems: rank bureaucratic stupidity. (Hat tip: Earl.)

***

A group called the Explorers, which is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, is teaching teenagers what the Explorers thinks will be a useful skill in the coming decades: armed warfare against terrorists, illegal immigrants, and increasing border violence. Looking at today’s headlines, who can argue with that?

***

When it comes to the Boy Scouts, that organization daily is forced to move further and further away from its origins. Having successfully forced the group to admit gay scouts, the same agitators are now pressing for gay scout masters. In a masterful example of logic, Selwyn Duke explains why, if we allow that, there’s nothing stopping us from having men in charge of Girl Scouts, or boys in Girl Scout tents.  In other words, pretty soon the Boy and Girl Scouts of America will resemble college dorms, with no distinction between the sexes (including in the shower room), and all of the resulting licentiousness that flows from that — except this time, it will involve children and young adolescents, not young “adults.”

***

Michael Oren uses facts to excoriate and destroy those who claim that Israel is an apartheid nation.

***

This is what happens when you read only the New York Times: The incoming FBI director is surprised to learn that terrorism against America and Americans is still an issue. I guess he believed it when Hillary and Barack tried to define Islamic terrorism away by claiming that all sorts of self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist groups weren’t actually Islamic and that they weren’t really terrorists at all, but were, instead, misunderstood people suffering from the root cause problem of 1st-world-induced poverty.

***

The meme is building when it comes to the Obama administration: With Obama’s second term nearing the halfway mark, more people are realizing what you and I already figured out, which is that this is a shockingly immature, narcissistic administration, supported by a Democrat party that’s just as bad. Kevin Williamson puts it beautifully:

Imagine, if you can, the abjectly juvenile state of mind necessary to contemplate the hundreds of Nigerian girls taken into slavery by a fanatical Muslim anti-education militia — whose characteristic activity beyond slave-taking is setting fire to children — and, in the face of all that horror, concluding: “You know what this situation really calls for? A cutesy picture of . . . me!”

Keep in mind, please, that we’re not talking about selfies from people in quiet suburban homes or walking down city streets. We are talking about selfies from people at the heart of power, everyone from the First Lady to the State Department.

***

The Democrat party is grooming a new Vice Presidential candidate for 2016.   By that time, he will have had two jobs:  a stint as the mayor of San Antonio (a ceremonial position) and two years heading HUD (if his nomination to that post is successful). Remember when they said that Sarah Palin was too inexperienced to be vice president? Back in 2008, a few of us also pointed out that, if Palin was too inexperienced for vice president, then Obama was certainly too inexperienced to be president. Leftists are untroubled by hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance, though.

***

The push for raising the minimum wage isn’t limited to the U.S. The Swiss recently were smart enough to vote down a $25/hour minimum wage. Teenagers in Switzerland should be very, very grateful — at least if those teenagers are looking for a job.

***

I’ve been saying these things forever (about books and studies and education generally being boring for boys), but they sound better when Christina Hoff Sommers says them, especially because she’s got the data to back herself up:

The Left tries to reframe our expectations

Teacher affirmationIn September 2011, I wrote a post about the way teachers constantly present themselves as the hardest working, most underpaid people in America.  I have a great deal of respect for teachers and, to the extent I deliver my kids to their care, I want them to be decent, knowledgeable, skillful, hardworking people — and that’s not something that can be had for free.  Nevertheless, I don’t see them as the martyrs that they see looking back from their mirrors.

I touched upon that subject again just this past September, after I’d gotten deluged by Facebook posts from teacher friends, all of them reminding us in a cute way that no one works harder in America than a teacher or for less money compared to their work output.  Again, with all due respect for teachers, I think many people, including the troops, would quibble with this.  I contrasted the Democrats’ deification of teachers and compared it with their denigration of doctors, something expressed obliquely through Obamacare.  Doctors train for years in their profession, work heinous hours, and truly hold people’s lives in their hands — and Obamacare is intended to increase their work load and cut their compensation.  My conclusion was that socialism prefers propagandists, something that teachers are perfectly situated to do, over providers.

And speaking of socialists and the way they value different categories of workers, Daniel Hannan has written about the British deification of its National Health Service, a system that is above reproach.  It’s not above reproach because it’s so wonderful, mind you.  It’s above reproach because no one is allowed to reproach it.  Hannan notes that there are two classes that speak well of the system:  those who work in it or are ideological supporters of socialized medicine, and those who are loudly grateful to have received decent treatment from it.  Hannan makes two points about this second category.  First, they’re amiable followers of the more strident ideologues.  Second, their gratitude that the system works is itself an indictment of the system’s myriad failings:

What of the wider constituency? What of the undoctrinaire people who say, with conviction, “the NHS saved my grandmother’s life”? Well, to make a rather unpopular point, she was saved by the clinicians involved, not by Britain’s unique prohibition of private finance in healthcare provision. In a country as wealthy as ours, we should expect a certain level of service. We can be grateful to the people involved without treating the whole process as a miracle.

When else, after all, do we become so emotional? Do we get off planes saying “I owe my life to British Airways: they flew me all the way here in one piece”? Of course not: that’s what is meant to happen. Our assumption doesn’t insult the pilots any more than expecting a certain level of competence in healthcare “insults our hardworking doctors and nurses”. On the contrary, it compliments them.

The elision of the “hardworking doctors and nurses” with the state monopoly that employs them is what allows opponents of reform to shout down any criticism. People who complain are treated, not as wronged consumers, but as pests. People who argue that there might be a better way of organising the system are treated, not as proponents of a different view, but as enemies.

Naturally, the above passage made me think of the obeisance we’re expected to pay to America’s teachers.  The demand that we recognize what wonderful martyrs they are is a tacit acknowledgment that too many of them are government drones who are, quite rationally, milking a system that gives itself up for milking.  This doesn’t mean we should denigrate teachers or take them for granted, but there’s a strong element of a “methinks we all do protest too much” mindset when it comes to the ritual demand that we acknowledge that teachers are society’s new martyrs.  After all, as Hannan said, they have a job to do and they should be doing it.

Incidentally, while Hannan doesn’t address the issue of teachers, he does point out that our being bullied into expressing exaggerated surprise and appreciation when there’s competence in a public sector area isn’t limited to Britain’s NHS.  His other example is the UN, which you all know I believe is one of the most vile, evil, antisemitic, child exploitative, anti-American, money-wasting institutions on earth, as well as a few other institutions that, coincidentally, are also usually anti-American and antisemitic:

Any organisation that is spared criticism becomes, over time, inefficient, insensitive, intolerant. It has happened to the United Nations. It has happened to the mega-charities. It happened, for a long time, to the European Union (though not over the past five years). The more lofty the ideal, the more reluctant people are to look at the grubby reality.

Cheers to Hannan for stating that, while the Emperor isn’t precisely walking around naked, his clothes are scarcely the golden, bejeweled garments that his sycophants claim he’s wearing.

Out of the mouths of . . . interpreters? UN interpreter accidentally speaks the truth

Hillel Neuer writes in the Times of Israel about an accidental moment of moral clarity at the UN:

Thursday a United Nations interpreter, unaware that her microphone was on, uttered words of truth in reaction to the General Assembly’s adoption of nine politically-motivated resolutions condemning Israel, and zero resolutions on the rest of the world.

Under the mistaken impression that she was speaking only to a colleague, the interpreter uttered the following words into the headphones of every UN delegate, and before a live webcast audience worldwide:

“Isn’t it a little weird? There are nine or ten resolutions against Israel. And I know there’s a problem with the Palestinians. But there’s other bad shit going on and they’re spending so much time on this.”

Laughter erupted among the delegates. “The interpreter apologizes,” said the unfortunate truth-teller, moments later. I sincerely hope she won’t get fired.

Because the one who should really apologize today is the UN. Founded on noble ideals, the world body is turning the dream of liberal internationalists into a nightmare.

For by the end of its annual session next month, the General Assembly will have adopted a total of 22 resolutions condemning Israel—and only four on the rest of the world combined. The hypocrisy, selectivity, and politicization are staggering.

Read the rest here.

The UN’s ugly obsession with Israel

I don’t believe there is anyone in the world who knows more about the UN’s ugly obsession with Israel than Anne Bayefsky.  In this short video, she nicely sums it up.  Almost none of this is new to me, but I appreciate her calm, objective, organized approach to the information.  The only thing that I had sort of known, without ever thinking about it, is how radically different the UN’s make-up is now, as compared to its make-up in 1949.

Just as the Democrat party is no longer my Dad’s Democrat party, so too is the UN no longer my parents’ UN.  If you’ve washed your hands of this loathsome institution, it’s not because you’re betraying it, it’s because it has changed beyond recognition and is betraying you.

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

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.

Israel needs to reframe the debate to win the battle

Over the years, I helped win at least two major cases because I re-framed the debate.  In one case, a will contest case, the opposing party claimed that our client, a housekeeper, had committed fraud and elder abuse in order to inveigle a little old lady into leaving the housekeeper a substantial chunk of the old lady’s estate.

In defending against the charges, we spent an inordinate amount of time trying to prove the negative proposition — namely, that our client hadn’t in the privacy of the lady’s house, bullied and manipulated the old lady into changing her will.  It was only as I was re-reading the case documents for the umpteenth time that I suddenly had an insight:  one of the contestants’ primary pieces of evidence, a letter the old lady wrote that they claimed showed she was under the housekeeper’s thumb, actually showed something quite different.  It showed that the little old lady really, truly hated those family members who were now suing.  More than that, if one took the letter at face value (“I hate you, because you tried to take me away from my beloved house”), instead of assuming that it might have been the product of the housekeeper’s behind the scenes manipulation, many previously disparate bits and pieces of evidence suddenly fell into place.  Suddenly, after a very difficult case during the pre-trial phase, at trial, we won, and we won big.

On another case, a construction law case, the opposing party accused our client of having installed a door so badly that the building lobby routinely flooded.  I spent forever analyzing and arguing about the construction agreement and the building plans in an effort to prove that our client had done precisely what the building owners asked.  It was only when I was reading the security guard’s logs, logs that recorded all these floods and that were a chief piece of evidence against us, that something jumped out at me:  the dates.  What the heck was the guard doing noting major flooding in July?  It never rains in San Francisco in July.  I managed to get hold of weather records for the relevant year, and proved that defective construction could not have been the cause of the flooding because there was no rain.  It turned out that the city’s street cleaning trucks were driving by and shooting high powered jets of water into the building, something that had nothing to do with construction defects.

I mention these cases because each involved taking existing facts and re-framing them so that we were in a strong offensive position, instead of a weak defensive position.  Caroline Glick makes the same suggestion with regard to Israel’s current defensive position at the UN.  Benjamin Netanyahu can make all the incredibly wonderful speeches he likes (and his speech before the UN was great), but that’s not going to change the game.  Glick says that Israel has to bypass the UN garbage entirely:

As for Israel’s allies in the US Congress, they have responded to the PLO’s UN statehood gambit with two important legislative initiatives. First Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill calling for the US to end its financial support for the Palestinian Authority and drastically scale-back its financial support for the UN if the UN upgrades the PLO’s membership status in any way. Ros- Lehtinen’s bill shows Israel that there is powerful support for an Israeli offensive that will make the Palestinians pay a price for their diplomatic aggression.

Ros-Lehtinen’s bill is constructive for two reasons. First, it makes the Palestinians pay for their adversarial behavior. This will make them think twice before again escalating their diplomatic warfare against Israel. Second, it begins an overdue process of delegitimizing the Palestinian cause, which as is now clear is inseparable from the cause of Israel’s destruction.

Were Israel to follow Ros-Lehtinen’s lead and cut off its transfer of tax revenues to the PA, and indeed, stop collecting taxes on the PA’s behalf, it would be advancing Israel’s interests in several ways.

It would remind the Palestinians that they need Israel far more than Israel needs them.

Israel would make them pay a price for their diplomatic aggression.

Israel would end its counterproductive policy of giving the openly hostile PA an automatic seal of approval regardless of its treatment of Israel.

Israel would diminish the financial resources at the PA’s disposal for the advance of its war against Israel.

Finally, Israel would pave the way for the disbandment of the PA and its replacement by another authority in Judea and Samaria.

And this brings us to the second congressional initiative taken in anticipation of the PLO’s UN statehood gambit. Earlier this month, Rep. Joe Walsh and 30 co-sponsors issued a resolution supporting Israeli annexation of Judea and Samaria.

While annexation sounds like a radical formula, the fact is that Israel already implemented a similar move twice when it applied Israeli law to Jerusalem and to the Golan Heights. And the heavens didn’t fall in either case. Indeed, the situation on the ground was stabilized.

Moreover, just as Israel remains willing to consider ceding these territories in the framework of a real peace with its neighbors, so the application of Israeli law to Judea and Samaria would not prevent these areas from being ceded to another sovereign in the framework of a peace deal.

And while not eliminating the prospects of a future peace, by applying Israeli law to Judea and Samaria, Israel would reverse one of the most pernicious effects of the 18-year-old phony peace process: the continuous erosion of international recognition of Israel’s sovereign rights to these areas.

The above quotation is just a small part of a much longer article.  You would probably enjoy reading the whole thing.

Yes, there is an Obama doctrine

Ed Morrissey has put together a very useful post summarizing various liberal media attempts to understand the Obama doctrine.  Morrissey concludes at the end that, try as hard as one likes, “There really is no doctrine.”

Morrissey is correct that there is no doctrine if one is looking for a verbally articulated doctrine.  Obama says everything, and Obama says nothing, and Obama says it all as boringly as possible.

The mere fact that the greatest communicator since Abraham Lincoln (that’s sarcasm, by the way) is incapable of articulating a doctrine, though, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one.  Indeed, if one buys for one minute into the whole greatest communicator shtick, it’s pretty clear that, as I said in my earlier post, that Obama intentionally obfuscates in his speeches because he doesn’t want people to know what the doctrine is.

Fortunately, because actions speak louder than words, we can arrive at the Obama Middle Eastern doctrine without any actual verbal help from Obama.  Here goes:

America can no longer selfishly engage in wars that directly affect (i.e., improve) her national interests.  To prevent her from doing so, she must always sublimate her sovereignty to the U.N.  A small number of U.N. players, most notably Europeans who are dependent on Libyan oil, have decided that Qaddafi must go.  Even though the number is smaller than the number that joined with Bush on Iraq, they’re the “in” crowd, so Obama must follow where they lead.  Hewing to the popular kid theory, these “cool” U.N. players matter more than the American Congress, which is made up of rubes and hicks, who lack that European savoir faire, even the useful idiots who hew to Obama’s political ideology.

A subset of this Obama doctrine is that, while America must never mine or drill her own energy resources, it is incumbent upon America to dig into her pockets to enable other countries to get to their energy resources, which America will then buy back at a premium.  This is American charity at its best.  If you want to feed a man for a day, buy him a fish.  If you want to feed him for a lifetime, teach him to fish, buy all his fishing equipment, stock the lake with trout, break all your fishing equipment, make it illegal to fish in your own lakes, and then buy that man’s fish back from him at the highest possible price.

And whatever else you do, make sure you kick Israel around . . . a lot.  That will make the cool kids (e.g., the Euro-trash and the Mullahs) happy.  It never pays to lose sight of your true constituency.

A link to spread around as much as possible, please *UPDATED*

This is the public outreach YouTube site for the Israel Defense Forces.  Bookmark it, send it to your friends, check it often.

Here is the latest IDF real time video from the ship boarding, showing the “peace” activists in full fury:

The West is being played — although perhaps that’s the wrong thing to say.  The West is joyously joining in the game.

Seraphic Secret understands what’s really going on, especially at the UN.

UPDATED:  The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has set up a website that explains Israel’s basic security needs.  The outlines won’t surprise you all, but the details, of course, are illuminating.  Everything would be a surprise, though, to the West’s credulous, useful idiots.  (h/t Bruce Kesler.)

A good friend of mine has suggested that Israel, before releasing the useful idiots, take them on a tour of Israel, showing both her freedoms and the horrors inflicted on people through rockets and bombs.