Among the handful of non-anti-Serb Balkans-observers in America, all eyebrows raised last month when the leftist ivory tower New Republic outdid its own famous fabulist Stephen Glass with two new ones. A pair of Eastern Europeans named Vera Mironova and Maria Snegovaya, who penned an opinion article clunkily headlined “Putin is Behaving in Ukraine Like Milosevic Did in Serbia.”
It is hard to imagine two more unwelcome, uninvited visitors to Israel in the middle of a war against Palestinian terrorists than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry. But even more unwelcome is that they are working together.
It amazes me that more than 5 years into Barack Obama’s presidency, otherwise-intelligent people are still wondering who he is, what he believes and why he’s doing what he’s doing. It’s not a mystery. It’s never been a mystery. Although he made a somewhat half-hearted attempt to dress up his leftist extremism when he first ran for president in 2008, his radicalism was apparent to anyone paying the slightest attention.
The 20th century job description of the United Nations was “to maintain international peace and security” based on “the sovereign equality of all its members,” and to do “nothing [to] impair the inherent right of self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the UN.”
The greatest thing about movies is their ability to conflate reality with illusion, not just regarding special effects but in convincing us that actors are the characters they portray on screen. Movies made us believe that John Wayne was a war hero though he never served a minute in combat; we believed that Vivien Leigh, a neurasthenic, fragile British beauty was a southern belle with enough pluck to get her hands dirty in Tara’s soil; we believed that Rock Hudson was the ultimate lady’s man who enjoyed the many love scenes that he played with the screen’s sexiest women.
Dean Peter Richards of London’s St. Mary’s Medical School was a world-renowned expert in teaching medical students to become doctors. One of his key counsels was, “All doctors must continue to learn, and not only about new advances but to appreciate the limitations of all knowledge.”
With sweltering summer heat and long lines, no one can be happy about the latest Transportation Security Administration edict on powering up cellphones (and other devices) before heading to the gate at some overseas airports.
A stranger named Dr. Alpert entered my dentist’s waiting room this morning and sat down. The answer to your obvious question of how I knew this stranger’s name is that as soon as she sat down, she pulled out her cell phone and listened to her voice mail messages on speaker. One was from a woman who sounded distraught and wanted Dr. Alpert to call back immediately; two others were less distinct. Dr. Alpert did not return the first call but she did call someone else- perhaps an adult child or a close friend - to chat cozily and loudly about how the play was coming along. As she did, the other woman in the waiting room and I faced each other with increasing discomfort, neither of us brave enough to say what we wanted: Lady, there’s a sign on the wall asking you to please turn off your phone - dammit, just do it!
“With the help of some former inmates convicted of rape, sodomy, child sexual abuse and other crimes, Martin raised a gray-block chapel in a rural patch of central Alabama in 2010, and parked old campers and recreational vehicles behind it to house the men. More than 50 convicted sex offenders have lived there since,” it says.
For one thing, the horrible murder of the Palestinian teen, thought to possibly have been done in retribution for the murders of the three Jewish teens, prompted an immediate condemnation from the White House — something it took nearly three weeks to get in the first case.
Indeed, over the past decade and particularly since 2009 when President Obama sent his letter to Ayatollah Khamanei as a prelude to engagement with the Islamic Republic, voices in Washington and in Brussels have asserted that the Khomeinist regime is strong domestically and is the only option available to the West for stabilizing the region.
Before 91 veterans of World War II board a jet at Midway Airport early Wednesday, before the Southwest pilot powers up the engines and the tower clears the plane for takeoff to Washington, D.C., where they will be heaped with honor and visit a monument to themselves that most have never seen, Lindi Strobel has to answer their questions, calm their fears and coax them aboard that plane.
“….You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught.” (rodgers and hammerstein, South Pacific)
I have said repeatedly that the IRS scandal is the most dangerous scandal in U.S. history for one simple reason: in the past, when the IRS had been abused for political reasons, it was always elites vs. elites. That is, it was the Kennedys using the IRS as a political weapon against Richard Nixon, or Lyndon Johnson using it the same way against Nixon, or Nixon’s mere suggestion of using it to go after a certain political opponent (which he never did, by the way, and yet it was enough for the Democrats to make it the second Article of Impeachment against him). It had always been elites using the IRS as a political chainsaw against other elites whom they perceived as political enemies.
The kids from Brooklyn were unquestionably the greatest husband and wife songwriting team in American history, and he had top billing. Yet when Gerry Goffin, first husband and lyricist for Carole King, died recently, the Washington Post noted, “King became a household name as a solo star while Mr. Goffin receded into the background.” It was part of his personal tragedy.
Viewing today’s news through the prism of Jewish history, things aren’t looking so good.
For instance, what is likely the biggest thing going on in Israel right now — the fact that someone (presumably Hamas) has kidnapped three kids and the army is out in force searching for them in the Palestinian-occupied areas — did not make it onto the agenda for a conversation Wednesday between President Barack Obama and outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Despite the U.S. President and first lady each having weighed in on the unconscionable abduction of some 200 school girls, some weeks ago by some other Islamist thugs in Nigeria, the silence on the missing Jewish boys, one of whom is American, is conspicuous by in absence.
So, the whole state of Israel and Jews worldwide are praying for these boys’ safe return even as the Boko Haram barbarians reportedly kidnapped some 90 more Nigerian children, some as young as 3. This is what the world is dealing with — a mindset in which kidnapping children is a cause for celebration.
An Associated Press story notes that Obama and Peres discussed Iraq, Iran and Mideast peace, but not a word about the missing teens.
Meanwhile, even as Jews are reportedly fleeing France in droves, that country’s true colors came shining through on Wednesday with an A.P. report that government officials are “warning companies trading with Israeli settlers in the West Bank of the legal risks stemming from doing business in the settlements that it says are ‘illegal under international law.’”
A boycott no less odious than the ones with which the Nazis began their reign of anti-Semitic terror or the one the Presbyterian Church recently adopted hoping, obviously, to spark a similar episode. Why else would they follow the Nazi path?
A statement posted on the French foreign ministry website this week also urges anyone considering doing business in the settlements — areas that would be described as neighborhoods anywhere else — to “obtain appropriate legal advice before proceeding,” according to the story.
And, even as Francestan makes clear its position vis-a-vis Israel and the Jews, and the country careens toward Judenfree-ness, the Arab/Muslim world toward which it’s tilting also made its position clear, also on Wednesday, when A.P. reported an attack near Iran’s western border with Iraq killed three Iranian border guards. Also Wednesday, four near-simultaneous explosions went off in subway stations and outside a court building in Cairo, wounding three people and an explosion blamed on Islamic extremists rocked a shopping mall in Nigeria’s capital, killing at least 21, A.P. reported.
At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Mideast nations against “taking new military action in Iraq that might heighten sectarian divisions, after Syria launched airstrikes across the border and Iran flew surveillance drones over the neighboring country,” A.P. reported.
A senior Iraqi military official confirmed that Syrian warplanes bombed militants’ positions and that Iraq’s other neighbors — “Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — were all bolstering flights just inside their airspace to monitor the situation.”
This comes just days after fire from Syria killed an Israeli Arab teenager inside Israel and Israel responded with tank shells and airstrikes.
American officials said the more resent strikes appeared to be the work of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, A.P. reports, saying the target is believed to be this uber-nuts Islamist group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is trying to “carve out a purist Islamic enclave across both sides of the Syria-Iraq border,” which is clearly what the world needs now (like a hole in the head).
Meanwhile, “Afghan security forces fought back against a fierce Taliban onslaught by about 800 militants in a key southern province Wednesday as clashes that have killed dozens of people, including at least 35 civilians, stretched into a fourth day,” and “a suicide bomber blew himself up in his room at a Beirut hotel Wednesday as Lebanese security forces raided the premises,…” A.P. reported.
Does anyone else detect a pattern, here?
The blood-thirsty insanity is not limited to the Arab world and the parts of Europe in transition into Muslim countries.
A.P. also reports that the wife of Greece’s far-right leader was placed under house arrest pending trial for allegedly running a criminal organization.
This Greek lawmaker and her husband are part of a scary shift to the Nazi-like right that country appears to be taking.
Their “Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party” — once marginal — is “now Greece’s third most popular.”
The story doesn’t say this, but my guess this is another example of humanity’s age-old progression from terrible financial crises to searching for someone to blame, to finding a convenient scapegoat in “the Jews,” even if no actual Jewish people are living anywhere near by.
By my count that’s a lot of extra weight on the Nazi/Islamo-Fascist side of the international ledger.
My passport is current; is yours?
Mr. President: You authorized and led a military operation in Libya that led to the overthrow and death of that country’s leader, Moammar Qaddafi, based on the possibility of a murderous rampage by Qaddafi’s crew and a resulting humanitarian crisis…that never materialized. And yet, you chose not to act when the Iranian government killed scores of its own people in 2009 or when the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad began killing scores of his own people, in some cases with chemical weapons, which you had described as a “red line” which, if crossed, would prompt U.S. action. You did nothing. Those slaughters and humanitarian disasters are very real, unlike the one Qaddafi never launched—and you didn’t lift a finger.
As Israeli soldiers desperately search Hebron for the three Jewish teenage boys assumed kidnapped by terrorists, Palestinians protested after weekly Muslim prayers, using the popular new three-finger gesture — one for each missing teen — “in a sign of their support for the abduction,” according to the Associated Press.
I’ve heard so many people–on the left and the right—say that Obama’s goal has been to “end” the wars in which the United States has been engaged since the Islamic terror attacks against us on September 11, 2001. I think they believe that that is a sensible use of the word “end.” But a one-sided end is…surrender. The enemy gets a vote as to whether a war has “ended.” They get a veto over that concept. And unless and until they are thoroughly vanquished, the war—from their side—is not over. When they vote to continue the war, and we vote to “end” it, it’s a surrender.
Hillary Clinton, bathing in the glow of her new “memoir,” told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and Bill were “dead broke” upon leaving the White House. It’s funny: the evil 1% have a different definition of “dead broke” than the rest of us.
To borrow a phrase from John Updike, there can be a “tissue-thin difference” between defeat and victory. This week, Chicago hockey fans learned that painful lesson. Perhaps to assuage the pain, some characterized the recent Blackhawks’ elimination at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings as “a choke”. This does a profound disservice to the Hawks’ effort; they lost to a veteran and talented opponent by the narrowest of margins, in overtime of the seventh game. But for a fluke shot, the outcome might well have gone the other way.
As the Obamacare enrollment numbers moved from so horrible that the White House had no details to sufficiently tolerable that details were suddenly everywhere, supporters of the Affordable Care Act began to make a provocative assertion.
The first hour of “The Immigrant” is stunning in its cinematography that’s both gritty and glowing, its set-up of the plot, its immediate insights into the main characters and its perfect rendition of the look and texture of the lower east side of New York in 1921. Marion Cotillard plays Ewa, a young Polish woman escaping to America with her consumptive sister and hoping to be met at the ship by her aunt and uncle. Instead, the sister is remanded to the Ellis Island infirmary for six months, no one shows up to greet them and Ewa is scheduled for a hearing prior to being deported for low moral behavior on the ship. Cotillard is an actress whose face, even in repose, conveys all sorts of emotional undertones and this is a part that gives her free rein to express the full range of human responses - disappointment, gratitude, fear, anger, shame, love and forgiveness. She manages to do all this with unusual restraint, considering the drama of her situation. Joaquin Phoenix plays Bruno Weiss, an oversized character who is both burlesque impressario and pimp, and though he isn’t averse to using his stable of women, he also genuinely cares for them and pays them a fair share of their earnings. He first appears at Ellis Island and rescues Ewa from the line for rejects, paying off the immigration agents to remand her to him and bringing her into the double-edged quagmire of protection at the price of degradation.