Two weeks ago, President Obama took time out of his busy schedule of “fundamentally transforming the nation” to do the wave with the Reds at a baseball game in Cuba. This week, socialist Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary resoundingly in Wisconsin, the birthplace of progressivism. Not a coincidence.
The crowning indignity to Kitty Genovese’s memory is the half-page obituary and celebrity photograph afforded to her killer, Winston Moseley.( NYT 4/516) A close runner-up is the leniency shown to him by our justice system which did not execute this multiple rapist/murderer, but instead allowed him the privilege of a college education while in prison. To read the details of this man’s heinous and barbaric deeds and then chew on that last fact is perhaps an approximation of the angry frustration many American voters feel about how our government orders its priorities.
Do Bill and Hillary Clinton sense a breakdown in whatever deal they may have struck with President Obama to protect her presidential ambitions? Is whatever negotiation they may have been conducting over her email server problem and any inside information she may have on him now imploding? Or have the Clintons “won” the negotiation with Mr. Obama, freeing them to hit him publicly to get her elected?
If you need a memory refresher or a super Moment of Zen, try watching this video, “(Super) Men of Steel.” It incorporates most of the Supermen discussed here into a Smashup of epic proportions. It’s edited by Robert Anglim and stars Edd Hall (“The Tonight Show”) as the voice of Jor-el. Plus, it’s funny…
It’s understandable to put a laser-like focus on the horrific bombings in Brussels that resulted in more than 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries to innocents, including Americans, at the hands of Islamic State terrorists.
Jeez, if Frank Underwood, the evil protagonist of the Netflix award-winning series, “House of Cards,” were on today’s Illinois presidential primary ballot, some of us would have a tough time deciding between him and the rest of the field. (Spoiler warnings!)
The radical left will never tolerate a disruption to its revolution to “fundamentally transform the nation.” When leftists detect pushback that threatens its grand project, they attack. And now, following their successfully orchestrated assaults on the Tea Party movement, Mitt Romney’s 2012 candidacy and conservative principles more generally, they are putting the band back together for another national tour.
When feminists fought to de-segregate all-male schools and allow women entry to the privileged world of the Ivy League, the argument was that girls were just as bright and ambitious as boys and deserved the opportunity to compete fairly in the most elite arenas. This was an argument based on women’s strength. Now we have colleges and universities acceding to feminist demands that women need special protection. Even though they have freedom to engage in sex, to visit boys’ rooms, to spend the night - they must be protected against the trauma (and alleged stigma) of facing the person they are accusing of forced sex. So the American right of the accused to challenge his accuser is subsumed under the rubric of shielding “victims of rape.” It will be interesting to see whether this rule applies in accusations of same-sex rape as well.
In Roger Cohen’s article on “Anti-Semitism From the Left” (NY 3/8/16), he issues the following imprimatur: “The oppression of Palestinians should trouble every Jewish conscience.” How sad that he didn’t issue these more relevant thoughts: The deliberate murder of innocent Jewish civilians, including pregnant women and children, should plague the conscience of every Palestinian instead of being the source of perverted celebrations and rewards. Muslim imams commanding their faithful to kill Jews everywhere with anything within their reach - knives, can openers or cars - should be condemned world-wide as brutal murderers, no different from Charles Manson who instigated a massacre without soiling his own hands. The collateral damage of killing American tourists can not be tolerated by our own government whose passport is meant to be protective of its citizens. American aid to Palestinians will be withheld until these policies of random stabbings and killings are forbidden by the Muslim clergy, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
No one becomes fully delusional overnight. It usually begins with a small, manageable delusion that then mushrooms into bigger ones, resulting in a chain-reaction escalation of self-deception. In the worst cases, it ends in institutionalization.
As Lady Gaga’s voice soared with emotion while performing “Til It Happens to You,” her song from “The Hunting Ground” (co-written with Diane Warren), masses of young women along with some men strode out on-stage with their forearms extended to reveal words of victimhood imprinted on them. Most disturbing was the word “survivor” recalling the term commonly associated with victims of the holocaust. Possibly lost on under-educated people below the age of 60 was the symbolism of that forearm, the site of numbered tattoos forcefully stamped on prisoners of Auschwitz and other concentration camps by Nazi exterminators. Tears could be seen in the eyes of the sensitive audience and defiance in Gaga and her gang as they represented the latest p.c. special interest group - Victims of Campus Rape. But there is zero similarity between that experience and the horrific plight of holocaust survivors subjected to starvation, torture, sadistic experiments and the most brutal modes of murder.
A disturbing trend in fostering American-Muslim “otherness” can be seen in Simon & Schuster’s decision to create a new imprint called Salaam Reads. Targeted at age groups from early readers to young adults, it will present Muslim characters, stressing their own customs and ways, presumably to highlight their integration into our culture, not to stress Islamic theology or doctrine. If that last disclaimer is to be believed, we have to wonder why there is a necessity for a separate imprint with a guaranteed minimum of nine books a year - does Simon & Schuster have one for Catholic , Jewish or Buddhist Americans? What happened to the idea of America as the place that welcomed immigrants from all over the world so that they would have the freedom to believe and achieve what they wished, no longer bound by the strictures of birth or class structure. Are we now reverting to the notion that a Muslim child growing up in America must see her exact counterpart represented in story-books before she can feel comfortable in her own skin? According to Zareen Jaffery, the hyphenated Pakistani-American who heads the new imprint and remembers her own childhood: “I didn’t see myself reflected in books back then.” (NYT 2/25/16). Lest we forget, we are now living in the age of social media and selfies.
There are certain people so deeply entrenched in the national consciousness that their immortality is sort of assumed. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was one of those figures. He was a larger-than-life man of such towering intellect and commanding influence that it never really registered that he might, someday, pass from the scene.
Perhaps Donald Trump’s irreverence reached over to the dog eat dog world of Westminster. Even former Best in Show, Uno, was thrown out of Madison Square Garden this year. The Champion Beagle was “undocumented” according to MSG security.
Never has an “art film” been so mismatched with its Manhattan venues as “The Witch” at the two popular multiplexes where it can be seen. This is a very small movie, dark both literally and metaphorically, difficult to hear and even more difficult to comprehend both literally and metaphorically. Most of the scenes are shot in obscure and candle-lit interiors; most of the dialogue is either muffled, whispered or foreign-sounding enough for American audiences to have benefited greatly had there been sub-titles. We are in the 17th century with a Puritan family that has been banished from the community plantation for the father’s sin of being prideful and apparently holier than thou. The father is determined to create his own farm at the edge of the woods and since we have already been told that this is a New England folk tale, we know what that portends.
With five candidates grouped within a 10-point bracket well behind New Hampshire winner Donald Trump, it might be tempting to say we have a newly widened field with potential for a crowded race toward — and even beyond — Super Tuesday, March 1.
Name a black American politician, academician or celebrity who has publicly condemned the atrocities of Boko Haram, Al Shabab or Al Qaeda Affiliates. When did you see a protest march by Black Lives Matter in solidarity with their murdered Nigerian sisters and brothers? Has there been any black voice from any black group concerning the 219 schoolgirls who are still missing from the original 276 black girls kidnapped in Nigeria in 2014? Has Oprah organized a campaign to raise awareness of this ongoing crime among all school-children here and in So. Africa where she has created her own school? Have there been any demonstrations on American campuses concerning the targeting by Boko Haram of black Nigerian students - killing boys and kidnapping, raping and impregnating girls? Which academic groups have organized to pressure our government or the UN to take action to stop the slaughter of thousands of Nigerian civilians, their villages burned by the vicious Muslim group whose name translates as “Western Education Forbidden.” Point to a lead op-ed in the NYTimes written by Cornel West, Alice Walker, Al Sharpton or Spike Lee in the last year that has drawn world attention to the horrific slaughter led by Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Al Qaeda Affiliates or Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa.
Did you know that since a will is considered a court document, anyone, regardless of connection to the deceased, can request a copy of it and for a fee, become privy to that person’s most intimate and final decisions regarding legacy and heirs? An article in the Times of Jan 30th reveals the full names of David Bowie’s beneficiaries including his widow, children, personal assistant, children’s nanny, business manager, lawyer and executor. It includes the exact amounts of these bequests so if any criminals scan the obituary pages for new marks, The Times will have facilitated their search. It further specifies the location of some of the real estate bequeathed to heirs. If the legatees had won the lottery, they would be entitled to withhold their own identities and remain private citizens in matters that concern no one but themselves. But the thoughtful act of responsibly providing for our loved ones before dying comes with the penalty of stripping us of our fundamental right to privacy.
An ISIS video instructs Muslims to kill infidels wherever they are, all over the world, using any device at hand from can openers to cars. Sheikh Muhammad Salah in the Gaza Strip holds up his knife and exhorts his followers to stab the Jews and cut them into body parts. He extends his fatwa to the Americans, allies of the Jews, infidels of the Great Satan who stand as a rebuke to Allah’s will. Since then, incidents have happened throughout Europe, some thwarted heroically, some ending in tragic massacres. In Israel, the knife intifada has taken the lives of almost thirty people, including too many young women.
It was still dark in San Francisco on the predawn morning of April 19, 1906, when the ground began shaking. For nearly a minute, the tremors intensified, streets cracked and buildings began sliding down landfills. Deadly fires broke out, caused by toppled street lanterns and exposed gas lines. With the city’s major water mains severed, firemen were virtually helpless as they confronted a three-day conflagration larger than the 1871 Chicago Fire.
I turned off “Billions” a minute after its opening scene of a bound, chained and muffled Paul Giamatti engaged in some S & M sex. My beef is not with what consenting adults do to each other in the game of arousal - it’s that since I don’t consider victimless perversions any of my business, I similarly choose not to watch or be implicated in them. I subsequently heard that the episode which involved burning and urination turned out to be between husband and wife. Instead of softening my reaction, this reinforced my resistance to being a voyeur of other people’s masochistic fantasies. Though the creators of Billions beg the issue of pushing boundaries between porn and regular tv by making the participants a happily married couple, the viewer is the one being exploited. This belief was sustained after watching the second episode of Billions in which all the characters - male and female - sprinkle their dialogue with heavy doses of language similar to the gangsters on The Sopranos.