Since the Roaring Twenties Hollywood has been fascinated by gangsters, for the most part depicting them as glamorous, pinstriped rogues, if not quite lovable not altogether horrific. Consider the screen treatment of Al Capone, where at one time or another, some of the cinema’s most formidable talents including Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Edward G. Robinson, Rod Steiger, Jason Robards, and Paul Muni have all played Scarface or at least a character loosely based on him. Yet some unwritten Hollywood decree must hold that no matter how great the actor, shameless overacting in that particular role is mandatory, since each of those greats abandoned his craft and chewed the scenery when it came to the Chicago crime lord.
There’s terrorism and there’s state terrorism. We must finally admit that the real threat to our freedom and civil rights is not from Muslim extremists or Communist fanatics but from our democratically-elected government operating under a shroud of secrecy, and in conspiracy with private industry.
Something must happen to sound judgment at high altitudes. In Colorado, the state’s civil rights division has ruled that a six year old boy who dresses as a girl must be allowed to use the girl’s bathroom The state ruled that “compartmentalizing a child as a boy or a girl based solely on their visible anatomy, is a simplistic approach to a difficult and complex issue.” This is an interesting conclusion which can be rephrased as stating that a six year old’s personal evaluation of his own gender and sex is more accurate than the biological evidence of same. Even more to the point, it implies that the willingness of parents to give in to the demands or supplications of a very young child, or for them to shape those demands willfully or unconsciously, must be valued above biological facts. In the photograph accompanying the news story in the NYTimes of Jan 24th, the mother is wearing pants that are several inches longer than her legs. Perhaps her own dysmorphic disorder has her believing that she is six feet tall and needs to dress accordingly; is this someone whose judgment about how to dress her own son should be automatically trusted?
Team Obama’s on-again, off-again red line on the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its people and the reported decision to provide some additional military support to rebel forces isn’t only about the use of ghastly nerve agents.
Fame is not fair. The names of bank robbers of the 1930s, for instance, still roll off our tongues: John Dillinger; Bonnie & Clyde; Pretty Boy Floyd. Crude thugs in souped-up Packards bursting into small town banks, waving guns and fleeing with a couple hundred dollars. Still they are immortal.
The Obama administration is all about failing up. If you have lied to the American people, overseen policies that resulted in the deaths of American citizens, created other policies that have undermined American law and interests, screwed up royally, and covered up your actions, then you are primed for position and promotion in the Obama administration.
The recent death of Ray Manzarek of The Doors recalled one of the 1960’s great legacies - the music. That small fissure in time was a creative period where an astonishing, and unprecedented number of young men (and some young women), primarily in their teens and early twenties, wrote and performed songs celebrated worldwide five decades later and featured today in movies and on television.
I find it most interesting that when they didn’t realize anyone was listening, Egyptian politicians recommend spreading lies about its foes to influence public opinion and rile up the crazies to do their dirty work for them.
According to the Associated Press, politicians in Egypt, meeting with its president on the issue of Ethiopia’s threat to build a massive dam over the Nile River, suggested action against that country.
Evidently unaware that the meeting was being televised live, these politicians’ suggestions included backing rebels and carrying out sabotage, to stop it from building the dam, the AP reports.
To me, Egypt’s water issue is less interesting here than its tendency, exposed to outsiders for maybe the first time, to intentionally lie to the world to sway public opinion — something the Arab/Muslim world has been doing to Israel for decades to disturbingly effective success.
One leader of an ultraconservative Islamist party in Egypt reportedly said the country should back rebels in Ethiopia or, as a last resort, destroy the dam. A liberal politician proposed “spreading rumors about Egypt obtaining advanced warplanes to scare the Ethiopians,” according to the AP report.
Get it, now?
This is what they do.
So, a review by Germany’s Finance Ministry on the agency’s behavior during the Holocaust, shows it was used to “strip Jews of their money and possessions.”
The timing of this investigation couldn’t be better for use as an object lesson for Americans and others on what happens when a powerful government bureaucracy adopts an agenda outside that for which it was intended.
The release of the results, a book called “Bureaucracy and Crimes” by historian Chrisiane Kuller, will also be helpful in combating historical revisionists, which already deny the Holocaust even while eye witnesses still live, and promises only to become worse and more prevalent when they’re all gone.
According to the Associated Press, the first part of an independent commission’s investigation into the ministry’s Nazi past, shows “civil servants played an important role in Hitler’s anti-Semitic agenda.”
It found that though the functionaries within the department, when questioned after the war, claimed merely to have been “following rules and regulations they were given,” Kuller said she found “the long-term employees used their knowledge with ‘high efficiency’ to apply existing regulations ’systematically in a racist way.’”
Nothing at all like the United States’ Internal Revenue Service targeting groups whose politics aren’t in lock-step with the current administration, right?
I suggest a trip in the near future to the passport office to make sure that thing’s up to date. If you start to notice bonfires of certain types of books, or people goose-stepping down the street, it’s too late.
So the state has imposed a new evaluation system for NYC teachers in which 20% will depend on their students’ test scores. If a teacher happens to work in a marginal neighborhood where students start school already years behind in their vocabulary, their grasp of basic concepts, their attention levels, their ability to sit still and follow instructions - the teacher will be held responsible as soon as these same children start being tested and fail to produce adequate results. Our politically correct society refuses to place the blame for school failure where it most squarely belongs - in homes lacking a father, lacking parental attention to children’s needs, lacking economic security, structure, consistency, monogamy, lacking the maturity and responsibility that are the sine qua non for parenthood. Blaming the teacher for a student body coming from homes that are damaged and deficient is just blaming the messenger for bad news.