With the election over, thank God, I thought pesky telephone polls would subside. But if anything, they’ve increased. Not the “Who has your vote?” polls, or what I call “Slur Polls” — questions designed not to collect answers but to deliver attacks; polls that start out normal and then slide into insinuation: “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most disgusted, and 1 being not as disgusted as you ought to be, how revolted were you to learn of the secret slush fund of Rep. Peckinsniff …”)
Those who are certain that numbers don’t lie and that the 15 women who have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and molesting/raping them stand as evidence of truth should be reminded that 37 people claimed to be afflicted by witches in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. This doesn’t mean that Bill Cosby is innocent of the charges but it does mean that this isn’t a class action suit and that the details of each of these experiences may differ significantly enough to not be proof of anything. As of now, we are listening to women tell about events that happened as far back as four decades ago, a long enough time for anyone to forget or re-interpret the past. Some of these women accepted money from Cosby, often over a long period of time. Some, like Janice Dickinson, made a career out of bedding famous men and bragging about that in interviews and books. Many of these women admitted that they were hoping for acting jobs on Cosby’s popular tv show. There was never a shortage of female groupies who considered sexual experiences with entertainers as trophies for their collection or women who aspired to careers in show biz who were perfectly comfortable with the requirements of the casting couch.
You wouldn’t guess that Stephen Hawking’s inspiring and dramatic life would need embellishment by withholding pertinent information and distorting facts, yet that is precisely what occurs in the film “The Theory of Everything.” Based on his first wife’s book (”Travelling to Infinity”), Jane Hawking is portrayed as a fresh-faced, forever young martyr who manages to take care of a completely paralyzed man and three children while working on her Ph.D and vacuuming the house - all unassisted. Since we have already witnessed that once Stephen required a wheelchair, he needed to be lifted and carried to his next location, we know that it just isn’t possible that they lived without additional help yet we don’t see a nurse enter until the children are fairly grown. In truth, as of 1974, a student always lived and traveled with the Hawkings to help with Stephen’s extraordinary health care needs.
The most remarkable thing about Foxcatcher, a movie about two seriously damaged protagonists, is its refusal to offer anything resembling a psycho-babble interpretation for the unusual circumstances we have witnessed. There is no over-arching tying up of unraveled cords as frequently occurs in movies when the creators don’t trust their audience to parse the subtext accurately. Instead, the screenwriters, director and cast have all done their jobs so expertly that we have understood what the characters have thought and felt without any verbal explanations.
History will sort out whether the bitter, right-wing hatred of Barack Obama was significantly greater than the bitter, right-wing hatred of John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt or any previous president.
In early 2009, newly minted President Obama invited Republican leaders to the White House. In the spirit of good will, the GOP offered ideas about how they could work together. Mr. Obama offered a sharp rebuke: “I won.”
Two of New York’s grandest and most important landmark buildings - The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The New York Public Library - have now been trashed by commercial food and tchochke vendors. According to their mandate, The Landmarks Preservation Commission is charged with being “responsible for protecting New York City’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark status, and regulating them once they’re designated.” The officers of the commission deserve impeachment for their dereliction of duty in what are undoubtedly, the two most significant examples of great civic architecture and cultural purpose in our city.
Though it is unclear as I write this if or how the Obama Administration is going to react to the rash of murder-by-car terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, but as much as it may want to downplay them as “traffic incidents” or the work of lone nut jobs, this is clearly the Jihadis’ new tactic.
A week or so ago, a terrorist ran down a bunch of people at a light train stop in Jerusalem, killing an American baby and a young woman from South America in an act of terror the U.S. Administration called a “traffic incident,” and which barely even made the news. This was the same week that a similar attack took place in Canada, followed by another terror attack there not involving a vehicle.
The fact that the U.S. Government and the intentional press chose not to see the terror-driver attack in Israel as terrorism may be keeping authorities worldwide from connecting the dots; understanding this new tactic and addressing it.
There can be no doubt with these three terror-by-vehicle attacks in Israel — two in one day — that this is the savages’ new thing. This might be made slightly more difficult if the U.S. and international press continue to insist that there is no such thing as terrorism if the victim is Jewish or Israeli, but at this point, even the stupidest, anti-Semitic ignoramus has to get the picture.
And this time, Hamas is “taking credit” for the most recent attack, unlike the last one, in which it only glorified the baby-killer as a “martyr.”
Hamas said this second attack, was meant to “protect the city’s most sensitive and sacred site” the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.”
The third terror-by-car attack was in the West Bank, later the same day, “when a Palestinian motorist drove into a group of soldiers, wounding three in a suspected attack,” according to the Associated Press.
Bear in mind that these attacks appear to be motivated by a call by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for his minions to protect Judaism’s holiest site from Jews coming to pray there, because, somehow, the site is “defiled” by the presence of Jews.
There has been an attempted assassination and calls by Jordan for the Jews to be kept away from this Jewish holy sites so Muslims may pray there undesturbed by the presence of Jews.
If anyone uttered that same sentence with the roles reversed, the resulting worldwide righteous indignation would be epic.
But Antisemitism is cool these days.
It’s not just Jews under attack, however. There were the two attacks in Canada, the ax attack against some cops in New York and the beheading of a woman in Oklahoma — each of which has radical Islam in common. So, no matter what our government tries to say, these are not random, unrelated attacks.
So, now that we know the loony-toon Islamists have taken to using their cars as weapons, wouldn’t it make sense to deny them legal access to vehicles?
I know I’m going to be called names for making this suggestion, but under any other circumstances, it would be clear that this group should be made to turn in their drivers licences and all motor vehicles registered to them should be confiscated. And I don’t just mean in Israel and the Palestinian-Arab occupied territories — I mean everywhere there are radical Islamists — which is, basically, everywhere.
Israeli police said they plan to set up barricades near train stops to prevent the attacks, but we could be more effective by removing the temptation to drive into people by removing the vehicles from the terrorists.
Hamas, the A.P story says, praised the violence as a “glorious operation” and called for more, because attacking a bunch of unarmed, unsuspecting people waiting for a bus really makes you a man. Murdering infants is terribly taxing. Right.
All this murder and mayhem by the Arabs, which has drawn no international condemnation whatsoever, is taking place while the U.S. and the European Union are bent all out of shape over Israel’s announced plans to build housing in East Jerusalem.
In this world, construction brings condemnation, cold-blooded murder does not. Apartments “seriously call into question Israel’s commitment to peace,” A.P. reports — as opposed to the Palestinian’s slightly more violent approach. That’s just fine, I guess.
Nothing shows commitment to peace like mowing down pedestrians with a minivan.
I can’t seem to shake the feeling that we’re all down the rabbit hole.
I vote at P.S. 6 on the upper east side of Manhattan, in a neighborhood with no bodega in sight between 5th and 2nd avenues yet the posters outside the school and all along the block said Vote Here and underneath, Vote Aqui. Below that, in fainter type was the same information in Chinese. In other words, we no longer expect Hispanic voters who use the same alphabet as English to understand the four letter word “here” even when used in context on Election Day at a polling station. This is even worse than translating SALIDA when EXIT is universally printed in bold red above a door frame. Mayor De Blasio has just designated a $150 million appropriation to improve some of New York’s ineffective schools but Vote Aqui is a prime example of one of the causes of failing in school - the patronizing soft bigotry of lowered expectations for minorities.
Tucked inside the first section of today’s WSJ (11/4) on page 7 is the followng headline: “For Ebola Survivors, Sex Carries Added Risk.” In the article we discover that the virus can live in sexual fluid for as much as 90 days after people are cured of the disease. We learn that Doctors Without Borders warns discharged patients to use condoms and other African clinics give survivors certificates that emphasize NO SEX FOR 90 DAYS in capital letters. Apparently, here in our own country the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued similar warnings. Why has the general public not heard of this? The NYTimes devotes two full pages to a discussion of ebola in its Science Section today - not a mention of this topic; nothing about it on the tv talk and magazine shows.
Sometimes, the truth of a situation appears in small details before the big picture emerges. Poker players learn to scrutinize their opponents for their “tell,” the reflexive movement or twitch that an individual isn’t even aware of making. So, Disgraced, the Pulitzer prize-winning play now on Broadway, opens onto a set of an expensive, upper-east side penthouse apartment with French doors leading to the terrace, a coffered ceiling with expensive lighting and a corridor leading to the rooms beyond. This is clearly a classic Park Avenue apartment yet everyone who comes to visit knocks on the door as if this were Jerry Seinfeld’s apt on the upper west side. What, no doorbell? Even in a building with a doorman buzzing upstairs to announce a visitor? Even dinner guests dressed for a formal evening? Knocking?