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24 Days? Secret Side Agreements? What the Hell?

Two things are most definitely WRONG with the proposed Iran Nuclear Deal.

First, the “inspection regime” is ludicrous. A 24-day delay before an inspection? Whatever happened to Obama’s insistence on “anywhere any time” inspections?

As comedian Jackie Mason puts it, “New York restaurants face tougher inspections than Iran. We’re not protected from a bomb, but we’re protected from bad quality tuna fish!

Envision the situation if food inspections in your town were run on the “Obama/Iran trust” basis.

Food Inspector: “We’ve had reports of unsanitary conditions and spoiled food, specifically bad tuna salad. I’m here to inspect your kitchen.”

Restaurant owner: “Show me the evidence, and I’ll consider your request for inspection.”

Food Inspector: “All right, here is the signed complaint.”

Restaurant owner: “Very well. I will analyze the complaint. Stop by in 24 days and I’ll let you inspect.”

Food Inspector (returning after 24 days): I’m here to inspect your kitchen.”

Restaurant owner: All right. I can’t let you into the kitchen, but here are some random samples of my tuna. As you can see, it is very fresh.”

Food Inspector: “OK. You have satisfied the inspection requirements of the ‘Montana Restaurant Inspection Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.’ Thank you for your compliance.”

NOTE: These inspection rules are contained in “Side Agreements” which are confidential, according to our government. The question is from whom are they being kept secret? The Iranians (and Chinese and Russians) know about them, and (presumably) the Obama Administration knows about them. The only folks who can’t see them are the citizens, press, and Congress of the United States. Why the secrecy?  Why 24 days?  What the hell is going on?

The other thing wrong is the whole absurd idea of Iran pursuing peaceful uses of nuclear power, or any Iranian nuclear program that is NOT military. Consider these facts. Iran is a significant exporter of oil and gas. Car gas sells for under a dollar a gallon. Their electricity costs a tenth of US rates. And yet Iran has spent hundreds of billions of dollars building nuclear infrastructure. Why? Are the Mullahs that worried about global warming? Are they planning for widespread use of electric cars?

Or could it have something to do with their bizarre vision of an anti-Western Islamic Apocalypse?  Their “Death to America” thing?

This thing looks so bad that Neville Chamberlain wouldn’t have bought it.

Senators: This deal should be opposed until we have a lot more satisfactory answers.

Not Giving Up Yet!

I was ready to give up this morning. How often can you say the same things over again?

The elites of America and Europe are so hostile to their own history and values that they bow their heads obediently to every challenge, even as the most barbaric form of Islam advances on every front.  Our president leads the way by refusing to name or acknowledge those waging war against us. Europe cowers in fear before the attackers, hoping the Islamist crocodile will be satisfied with devouring the Jews.  Antisemitism, appeasement, and denial rule the day.

Some commentators are consistently able to shed new light on this awful betrayal of everything good in us. I must speak especially of MARK STEYN. This guy is the most perceptive observer of our daily decline writing today. His Blog, steynonline.com, provides the best commentary around, and he manages to deliver the worst news in the funniest way; I laugh and cry at the same time (not out loud, of course, but you know what I mean) while reading it. I am tempted to turn my blog into a simple re-posting site for his stuff. Today, he writes “Living History”, about leftists who would rather talk (confusedly) about past history while ignoring the poor schnooks who are on the receiving end of Islamist butchers who are Making History today. In the past week he wrote “Who Would Be an American Ally” (when all we give our allies is criticism) and “Who Ya Gonna Believe? Us or your Own Severed Head?” (about our elites responding to beheadings and burnings-alive and sexual slavery with pious clichés and pouty hashtags).

I should also mention his books, in which he goes into detail about such things as the collapse of Europe (America Alone: 2008); he is undoubtedly the only writer to make a tale of demographic catastrophe both readable and funny. His sequel, After America, 2011, is also excellent, demonstrating how quickly America (the Brokest Nation in History) is catching up. Needless to say, his gloomy predictions were and are dismissed out-of-hand by the elites, when they aren’t simply ignored (hard to do with books that top the Best-Seller lists). But then, “Quem tum vates Cassandra moveret”, as Virgil put it: “Who ever listened to Cassandra?”

Anyway, I was on the verge of giving up blogging altogether when I happened to check my readership statistics. I was surprised to see that in one day I had 13 visits from readers in China! Now this could mean one of several different things.

  1. An English teacher in China had assigned her class to google some American cartoon characters, and that accidentally led them to me; or
  2. The Chinese government has decided that I am safe for their citizens to read (???); or
  3. I’ve been hacked. Unlikely, but, as the Oscar losers say, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”

Anyway, to my new readers, Huanying!  And visit Mark Steyn NOW.

Me and My Pal Ben

Two recent posts from my colleague and friend Ben Finiti have gotten me thinking, even more than he usually does.

First, he posted a rebuttal (Dec. 13) to my post The “BDS” Movement: A 3-Question Test for Antisemitism ).  In it, I proved (to my own satisfaction) that the BDS Movement folks, while claiming to be unbiased human rights advocates, are nothing but a gang of Jew-haters.  Ben agreed in part but dissented in part, as the jurists say.  He noted that the uniqueness of Israel’s West Bank occupation is not just that it is being done by Jews, but also that it is being done by…an ally of the United States!  As he writes, Russia’s occupation of Ukraine and Crimea, like Turkey’s of Cyprus and China’s of Tibet, are conducted by nations distinctly unfriendly to us.  Therefore, he concludes that anti-Americanism is at least equal motivation for Western leftists to oppose Israel.  Now I don’t like being rebutted any more than anyone else, but Mr. Finiti once again has hit the target. Acu rem tetigisti, as Jeeves would say.

So we have the wonderful situation where Arabs hate America for supporting Israel, and the left hating Israel for supporting America. 

The other recent post by Ben is a philosophical reflection on the collapse of Western civilization (“Sophists, Therapists, and Politicians, Oh My…God!”).  My resolution, after reading it, is to read up on philosophy. Fortunately, Ben has supplied an excellent reading list which is sure to enlighten and depress me at the same time.

Thoughts on Police Killings

Three thoughts inspired by the recent assassination of two NYPD officers:

First, the assassin was named Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley.  As the name suggests, he was a Muslim. His website had pages from the Koran, justifying revenge.  Yet the major media reports NEVER mentioned the Islamist issue.  They decided that the narrative was Black American rage over Ferguson and other police shootings.  Again, for the media, “Islam” is considered mentionable only in regard to supposed victims of anti-Muslim American bigots.

Second, some interesting Statistics from the FBI’s detailed file, “Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed”.

Over the past 6 years, 292 police officers were murdered in the US, for an average of 49 every year. This does not include those killed in accidents. Most are killed by gunfire.   In 2014, 59 were murdered. Of these, 47 were shot, 10 were victims of vehicular assault (run down when they got out of their cars), and 2 died from non-gunfire assaults. You may remember reading about a handful of cases, but most were only local stories.

An average of 49 per year equals about .01% of the half million or so officers in America. Depending on your perspective, one one-hundredth of a percent may not seem like many.

Far more startling are the numbers of officers assaulted in the line of duty: over 50,000 most years, for about 10%. Every police officer in America knows that there is one chance in 10 that someone will attack him this year.   In the course of a career, the odds in the cop’s favor decrease steadily.

You may never have heard these facts. But most police are well aware of the general risks, even if not the precise statistics. They must face every interaction with a suspicious or misbehaving person, even every traffic stop, as a potential assault in the making. And whenever an assault appears to be developing, the cop must wonder if he or she is about to be the next of the 49.

These are the facts that the haters and race-baiters like Al Sharpton, and even the presumably well-intentioned (?) police critics of the media, fail to recognize or acknowledge.

Third, anyone who advocates the withdrawal of police officers from assertive law enforcement should read this analysis (in the excellent City JournaI) by the NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton, “Why We Need Broken Windows Policing: It has saved countless New York lives—most of them minority—cut the jail population, and reknit the social fabric.

The “BDS” Movement: A 3-Question Test for Antisemitism

“BDS” (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) is an international movement of Western leftists, primarily university faculty and students, claiming to be human rights activists protesting Israel’s illegal occupation of lands claimed by Palestinians. The land was occupied in a series of three wars begun by Israel’s enemies, of course. And Israel has given back occupied lands in the past, when the other party (Egypt) agreed to cease making war against Israel.

Israel’s enemies never quite say what Israel must do to be accepted back into the community of non-boycotted nations. Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and much of the rest of the region (including the “moderate” Palestinian Authority) have a clear answer: they want Israel to cease to exist. “Please commit national suicide, and we will drop the boycott.”

But still, if Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian lands against the wishes of the inhabitants, isn’t it simple fairness to protest? Shouldn’t we give the BDS-ers the benefit of the doubt as to their good, non-racist intentions?

If you meet one and want to find out for yourself, ask them these questions.

1) Are you also proposing a boycott of Russia over its illegal occupation of Ukrainian national territory (Crimea), in violation of Russian-signed treaties; or its incredibly brutal occupation of Chechnya? If not, why not? (25 words or less, please.)

2) Are you proposing divestment from Chinese companies over China’s particularly brutal and illegal occupation of Tibet?

3) Are you working to impose sanctions on Turkey over its illegal occupation of half of Cyprus, not to mention Kurdistan?

If you want to drag this out, you can ask them about Serbia’s occupation of North Kosovo, or Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, or countless other cases.

No, the BDS Movement has no interest in China or Russia or Turkey or Serbia or Morocco. There seems to be something missing from those situations, some element that makes them somehow not particularly objectionable to those folks. What could it be that makes Israel’s unwilling occupation so especially awful?

The answer is: JEWS!

QED: BDS is straight-line Antisemitism.   Any denial is just BS.

Criticism, Self-Criticism, and Antisemitism

[My friend Ben Finiti has posted yet another interesting piece. Check out his other stuff at benfiniti.com.]

—————————————

A common thread of modern leftist anti-Israel antisemitism is the claim that Israel has only itself to blame for Jew-hatred. If only they had been “nicer” to the Arab armies and terrorists committed to their annihilation! A preposterous but familiar excuse for leftist racism.

But in another sense, antisemitism does indeed have roots in Jewish history. For Israel, in addition to discovering monotheism and the concept of a meaningful history, also invented self-criticism. The first references to Jews as a stiff-necked, materialistic, ungrateful people may be found in the words of the prophets of ancient Israel, quoted in the Jewish (and Christian) bible.

In a PBS series on Jewish history, host Simon Schama (a respected historian) cited as proof of St. Paul’s anti-semitism his claim that the Jews had often slain their own prophets. Schama seemed unaware that Paul was quoting Jesus, and Jesus was quoting the Prophets Nehemiah and Elijah, criticizing Hebrew ingratitude:

“They were disobedient and rebelled against Thee, and cast thy laws behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.” (Nehemiah 9:26)

“They children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword.” (1 Kings 19:10, quoting Elijah)

The prophets lambasted their own people in order to turn them to repentance. When Christian antisemites began seeking excuses to hate this strange “other” people, they found plenty of ammunition in their shared holy books.

In a similar vein, Protestants criticized the Catholic Church in order to purify and save it. The Enlightenment took the Protestant critique and used it to overthrow all of Christianity.

And it may be noted that some Jewish critics of the state of Israel, both on the left and right, find themselves perilously close to this danger point. Their well-intended (in some cases) criticisms of Israeli government policy are immediately embraced by those who openly seek the annihilation of the Jewish state. They are touted as especially valid because they come from the Jews themselves!

Conclusion: Honest self-criticism (or acceptance of the criticism of others) is a risky business. It will invariably empower one’s enemies, so it must be approached in the most serious spirit and with only the highest purpose, as was the case with the Prophets. And one must always consider the likelyhood of intentional misuse of one’s words.

The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Monument at Brandeis

[The Death Throes of Western Civilization, Part 98]

By now, most of you (unless you get your news from PBS or CBS, who seem to have missed it) will have heard of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the courageous battler for women’s rights who was “disinvited” by ultra-liberal Brandeis University as its 2014 commencement speaker.

Her story is an amazing story of courage in the face of oppression, brutality, murder, cowardice and hypocrisy.  Brandeis’ shunning of her in deference to Islamist pressure is the most shameful chapter in the history of this Jewish institution founded as a place of post-Holocaust tolerance.

After fleeing her Somali homeland for refuge in Holland, she became a feminist leader and was elected to the Dutch parliament. She wrote the script for a movie critical of Islamic repression of women (Submission); the filmmaker (Theo Van Gogh) was brutally murdered by an Islamist assassin, and a note threatening Ali was pinned to the dead man’s chest – with a knife. You can read the note here. (Scroll down for the English translation, which begins “Open letter to Hirshi Ali: In the name of Allah – the Beneficent – the Merciful…”.  I guess it really IS a religion of peace!)

The Dutch government – of which she was a member –  encouraged her to resign from parliament and to flee to the US. The late Christopher Hitchens wrote about her here.

She is a black woman, a battling feminist, and an atheist. You would think she would be the toast of Brandeis.  But Brandeis president Frederick Lawrence explained that some of her statements about Islamic treatment of women were “inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” (Past honorees and speakers include retired terrorist Bill Ayers and Israel-hater Tony Kushner.)

So know we know what Brandeis’ “core values” consist of: “Speak no evil of Islam.” Is this from pro-Islamism, or from sheer cowardice in the face of Islamist violence?  Does it really matter which?

Here, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, is the speech that she would have delivered to the Brandeis commencement, if she had not been silenced by the Islamist/PC thought police.  You ought to read it. School children ought to be reciting it (if such things were still done in schools).

In fact…

A Proposal: On a location as close as possible to the Brandeis campus (perhaps within sight of the Brandeis/Roberts MBTA station on South Street in Waltham, Mass.), a monument should be erected to this great, brave lady.  On the base, her speech should be inscribed in full.  Along with that statement about Brandeis’ “core values”.

If somebody is already working on it, I will contribute my retiree’s mite.  And I’ll serve on the fund-raising committee.

 


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