It turns out the Iran nuke deal is a lot like the guy or gal you spy across the room at a dimly-lit party who from afar seems quite alluring — that is, until you get closer and realize the object of your affection isn’t what you had hoped for.
Phoenix, the name of a cabaret in post-war Berlin, serves additional duty as a metaphor for the protagonist’s rebirth and for the beginning of Germany’s national resurgence. Nina Hoss plays Nelly, a Jewish concentration camp survivor whose face was shot and shattered and whose post-war plastic surgery has rendered her difficult to recognize. This is a plot point that pivots the movie’s action and character revelations and unfortunately, it’s too unbelievable to sustain the set-up. Nelly reconnects with her husband who, believing her dead, doesn’t recognize her, even though her face shows all the surgical bruises and scars that suggest exactly what has happened to her. He hatches a scheme to dress and style her as if she were the “real” Nelly so that the two of them can claim the money owed her by the German government. During this crash coaching, it becomes clear that this woman has not only uncannily mastered Nelly’s handwriting but miraculously, fits into Nelly’s shoes. This last Cinderella factor is too over the top for us to continue suspending credulity in the husband’s failure to see the obvious. Imagine the prince, upon seeing Cinderella’s foot glide effortlessly into the glass slipper, simply scratching his head and saying “that’s strange.” It takes the most obvious symbol of the camps for the husband to have his “aha” moment which comes at the movie’s end.
when Michael Bloomberg tried to limit the size of soda to 16 oz cups in an effort to combat the national epidemic of obesity, he was reviled for his arrogant attempt to micro-manage people’s personal decisions regarding their appetites and health. Now the NY State Education Department has released new guidelines about how schools should treat transgender students. Among other questionable tactics is one that seems pregnant with the possibility of lawsuits over parental rights. Schools are advised to maintain student privacy about their gender identity at school - even to the point of withholding that information from parents if deemed necessary. So a school that needs parental consent on file in order to give Johnny an aspirin may decide not to tell his legal guardians who are totally responsible for his health and welfare that Johnny is registered as Janey, uses the girl’s bathroom and refers to himself as she.
We’ve seen the demolition of free speech on college campuses where concern for student sensitivity is so great that in addition to speech codes, we now have trigger warnings to give students time to prepare for the trauma of the words that are about to appear in their readings. (Think nigger in Huckleberry Finn) We’ve seen free speech die the death of politically correct sanctimony as one public figure after another has been forced to apologize for uttering a remark hurtful to some group under the liberal protectorate. Now, with Donald Trump’s offensive comments about Mexican illegals and John McCain, we are seeing the voluntary, pre-emptive surrender of large companies and corporations such as Macy’s and various network and cable channels to media-generated pressure. What connection could Macy’s possibly have with Trump’s remarks? Does it even sell the hair-product that keeps his comb-forward from toppling into his eyes? Hispanics who are offended by Trump would logically not vote for him were he to ever get the nomination, but would they favor Macy’s over Walmart because of Macy’s boycott of him? Surely most people shop where the prices and service are best, not where the corporation makes vain, unnecessary gestures of disapproval towards political wannabes.
One of the most troubling elements of the Iranian nuclear deal is the financial lifeline it throws to Tehran by lifting the punitive economic sanctions slapped on it because of bad behavior on atomic affairs.
If you’ve been reading the NY Times for the past month, you’d be forgiven for believing that transgender people have been living in North Korea instead of in America. There has been little or no mention of the numerous transgender people who are doctors, teachers or professors living solid upper middle-class lives with little distinction from the lives they lived prior to their sex change. The poster girl the Times picked for their nearly full-page editorial - “The Struggle of Transgender Workers,” (july 9th) is a masculine Puerto Rican man dressed as a woman in what looks like a Halloween fright wig and a dreadful dress. The Times mentions that Elaine Mendus, as she calls herself, studied at Indiana University in Pennsylvania but not that she has a degree, so the fact that she has difficulty in finding a job is understandable on many levels. If a hetero man without a college degree chose to wear a tee shirt and jeans when he went for job interviews, we wouldn’t classify his failure to get hired as discrimination. Similarly, a man who has not begun any medical transitioning, dressed as weird-looking woman might not be hired even by a transgender employer who took pride in her own appearance and that of her employees. An employment coach gave Ms. Mendus good advice to go on interviews as a man using the name that corresponded with her other papers; somehow this is reported as if it showed a lack of insight instead of a constructive attempt to be helpful.
Websites affiliated with Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the recent spike in terrorist attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and encouraged further violence, the Middle East Monitoring and Research Service (MEMRI) reports.
Not since Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, “In the Night Kitchen,” where Mickey gets thrown into the baker’s batter has baking assumed center stage as a plot device - until now, when extreme reactions have pitted small family owned businesses against the wrath of the LGBT lobby and some unfortunate interpretations of anti-discrimination law. In Oregon, a couple who own a small bakery were fined a hefty sum for declining to go against their religious beliefs by baking a cake for a gay wedding. For a moment, let’s put aside the question of their religion and pose some opposite scenarios: a gay couple declines to bake a birthday cake for a Catholic priest who has been outspoken against gay marriage; a black caterer refuses to do a party for the KKK; a Jewish holocaust survivor won’t print the invitations for a reunion of Nazis in America. Would these positions rankle State Divisions of Human Rights? Would these small businessmen be fined or forced to undergo “anti-discrimination” training for themselves and their employees? Wouldn’t public reaction more likely be to find another merchant who doesn’t have strong feelings about who pays him for his service instead of forcing every American to do work that is anathema to her conscience?
Like millions of other Americans, I spent last Sunday night watching the U.S. Women’s Soccer team show Japan — and the rest of the world — how it’s done. Our talented, gutsy women trounced Japan in the World Cup Final, 5-2, with superstar Carli Lloyd scoring an unbelievable three goals in the first 16 minutes. As the clock wound down, I was literally off my couch, jumping with pride as I watched our team hoist high the American flag in celebration. The women radiated pure joy, which was so contagious I could feel it in my living room.
One recurring theme over the past two years of the Crimea affair has been the invocation of Kosovo by reporters and pundits who barely remember the word. Surprisingly, Geraldo Rivera — despite having flown a helicopter for America’s terrorist allies the KLA — invoked Kosovo in the proper context last year on “The O’Reilly Factor,” saying, “Like it or not, Kosovo was the precedent for this.”
Let’s recall what made the United States exceptional from the start. It was designed as a nation of laws, not of men, built on the concepts of individual liberty and equal justice before the law, with freedoms ranging from speech to worship, and rights from gun ownership to assembly.
With the deadline pushed off until July 7, I’m betting that an Iran nuke deal actually will be trumpeted over the July 4 holiday weekend, since the best time to put out controversial news in Washington, D.C. is near or over a break.