With her denials that any classified information was sent or received on her smart phone, one can reasonably ask: So, how did Sec. of State Hillary Clinton get her classified messages? How did she discuss matters of highest national security?
One often hears New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before one sees him. His booming voice precedes his physical presence, announcing his arrival with the self-assurance of a seasoned executive. He will never be mistaken for a church mouse.
Liberals applaud the new contract designed to protect women on campus from rapacious men by insisting on consenting signatures for every step of the mating dance. They applaud the trigger warnings that have been implemented in our educational institutions to warn the young and innocent that politically incorrect words may appear in some of our greatest works of literature and traumatize them. Yet when it comes to thrusting the young into the midst of topless hustlers in a part of town that abounds in stores and entertainment designed specifically to attract children, liberals are strangely blasé. In the SundayTimes lead editorial of Aug 22nd, the writer opines: “….being shirtless in the city is perfectly legal….the people who flock around the painted women in Times Square do not seem terribly offended. And those who are can walk away.” Columnist Michael Kimmelman labels the mayor’s statement that he finds this exhibitionistic hustle inappropriate for one of the busiest squares in NY as “prudish grandstanding.” And, in an interesting twist reversing the emphasis of who is being victimized, Ginia Bellafante informs us that the painted ladies of Times Square are part of an old NY tradition: “The people soliciting there with their clothes off…are mostly immigrants. Many speak little English….The women didn’t fear getting kicked out of Times Square necessarily: they feared getting deported.”
In what appears to be an attempt to soften the terribly frightening developing enmity between the state of Israel and the United States over the latter’s insistence on going forward with the badly flawed “Iran deal,” a recent Associated Press article seriously downplays the danger posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Jewish state and the rest of the world.
When Carly Fiorina speaks, people lean in to listen. It’s not just because she speaks in measured, almost soft, tones. It’s because she projects an extraordinary calming presence, even when discussing the most dangerous threats and vexing problems facing America today.
From the truncated shots of the actors in the opening scenes, we know we are in the hands of a director who believes that pretentious cinematography is a signifier of deep thought. We have been alerted that Israel, the mise en scene of this movie, is a fractured society comprised of many polarities: military culture vs poetry; Ashkenazi vs Sephardi (the Israeli version of racism); marriage vs divorce; innocence vs perversion - all of which will be played out during the course of the film.
Given my hobby as a connoisseur of really bad Republican candidates — I once wrote a prayer, begging God to allow milkman Jim Oberweis to run for office yet again, and it worked — I could not pass up the chance to handicap the field of Republican presidential hopefuls. Only 10 will be onstage at the first Republican debate in Cleveland this Thursday. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t examine them all.
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.
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.
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.
Dana Dusbiber, an English teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, has come not to praise Shakespeare but to bury him. She won’t teach him to her students, she recently explained in a depressing op-ed screed in the Washington Post.
“Testament of Youth,” the movie based on the memoir by Vera Britain who served as a volunteer nurse during World War I, might have been made in the ’50’s - so dated are its characters, its setting, its cinematography and its music which never fails to swell. In glorious Technicolor, there are more close-ups of the lovely Alicia Vikander than a family album - most with that same determined look that signals she is a person to be reckoned with. The dialogue is replete with such trenchant and insightful lines as ‘I want to write,” and “You must write!” uttered to our heroine after reading one of her youthful poems. The personal conflict consists of whether this feisty young Edwardian woman will get to go to Oxford and whether she will allow herself to fall in love after proclaiming that she has no wish to marry - ever. You will guess the answers to both without bothering to buy a ticket but in fairness, the movie draws us into the beautiful English countryside, the comfortable world of the affluent and the extremely photogenic actors with their perfectly clipped British accents. It then zeroes in on the newspaper headline of the Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination and we know where we are headed.
Most leftists operate in a haze of hypocrisy, blinded by a total lack of self-awareness. They preach sanctimoniously to the rest of us about how we should lead our lives, usually without a compulsion to lead their lives in similar fashion. The “rules” they generate and enforce through intimidation, fear and often the force of government, are for the rest of us suckers. Case in point: Democrats trying to stick us with the horrors of Obamacare while demanding exemptions for their political cronies — and for themselves.
On Friday, May 22, the front page of the Times had the story of yet another promising young black man killed in a gang shootout in N.J. and an article on the head of the Boy Scouts calling for an end to their ban on gay leadership. On page 14, after pages of articles on shifting views about reporting sex abuse in Britain, extended talks between the US and Cuba, dogs splitting from wolves earlier than previously thought - finally, came the story of a young family and their housekeeper tortured, slaughtered and set afire in their home in Washington, D.C. The headline said “Arrest is Reported in Washington Killings,” and the article reported that the case was cracked by finding the killer’s DNA on a slice of pizza he had ordered while the massacre was underway.
News Item 5/5/15: At Rancho High School in Las Vegas, during an immigration roundtable, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “believe it or not, when I was growing up in the Chicago area, it was farm fields as far as the eye could see.”
Competing with the WSJ’s coup in first publicizing the Asian Tiger Mom, the Times has captured Wednesday Martin, an anthropologist whose subject has been the super-rich slender mothers of the upper east side. She has also covered the same demographic in London but for the interest of their local readers, the Times has focused on the “Poor Little Rich Women” of the upper east side who have been coined by Ms. Martin with the cliche’d acronym Glam SAHMS - glamorous stay at home moms. (SundayReviewNYT5/17) From the pictures on her website, we see that Wednesday has obviously learned a thing or two from her life among the savages - the best place to get her hair colored, where to buy de rigeur high heels and brightly colored sleeveless dresses and how to get a professional make-up job before embarking on a public relations campaign. Despite her insistence that she was up front with her subjects about writing a book, she clearly felt the need to look just like the women she was preparing to eviscerate.
Tens of thousands of deleted emails. Eighteen-and-a-half minutes of missing tape. As one who worked closely with former President Nixon during the last years of his life, I find the comparisons between him and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be insulting — to Nixon.
The well-worn adage goes “History is written by the victors”. That is, the nation that wins a war provides the facts that compose the history books. But the Vietnam War is an exception. In this case the loser, the United States, provides posterity with most of the information about the 1964-1975 conflict that cost 56,000 American and 1.5 million Vietnamese lives.
Back when Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani threatened to cut off municipal funds to the Brooklyn Museum for an exhibition that included, among other controversial works, a collage of the Virgin Mary made by Chris Ofili from pornographic magazine images and shellacked clumps of elephant dung, the NYTimes ran several columns defending the freedom of art to offend. This is from Michael Kimmelman’s Critic’s Notebook: Cutting Through Cynicism in Art Furor (NYT9/24//99): “In the end, there can be no underestimating the genuine pain that works like those in “Sensations” can cause people, most particularly Christians who may find the art world’s refined justifications for Mr. Ofili and his colleagues inadequate, if not callous. Roman-Catholics, Italian-Americans and white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, among others, sometimes argue that they are treated by artists as acceptable targets while certain other groups are taboo. And it is a fair question: would the defenders of art react the same if the offending image were of Rosa Parks rather than the Virgin Mary? But no race or issue is actually untouchable in the arts.”
Baltimore is a city with a black mayor and black police chief making one pause at the notion of municipally ordained police brutality against black men. Perhaps because of this, racial activists, politicians (our president included) and the liberal media have quickly shifted the issue of criminal behavior - looting, arson, violent attacks against police - to what is characterized as its underlying cause - poverty and unemployment in their city. Although both are serious problems in Baltimore, it’s time to question whether violent rioting and criminality are inevitable consequences of economic deprivation.
In David Brooks’ hortatory sermon on what parental love should be, he preaches that “it is supposed to be oblivious to achievement. It’s meant to be an unconditional support - a gift that cannot be bought and cannot be earned. It sits outside the logic of the meritocracy, the closest humans come to grace.” (Love and Merit, NYT 4//24/15) In his essay, he refers to current trends in child-rearing involving greater praise and greater honing, compared with an earlier generation that stressed greater obedience. He might have stretched his imagination further and realized that as far back as recorded history, there have been different modes of parenting and few (if any) considered unconditional love a necessity or even a factor. Open favoritism figures prominently in the Bible from Abraham’s preference for Isaac over Ishmael to Isaac’s preference for Esau over Jacob to Jacob’s love for Joseph over all his brothers. Cultural outlooks produce very different modes of parenting as well; the tiger mother considers it a sign of the greatest love to push her child to excellence so that child’s life will offer more rewards that come with personal achievement.
During the latter years of President George W. Bush’s presidency, I remember watching a petite wisp of a woman step to the podium of the White House briefing room and answer the pointed barbs and hostile questions of a profoundly belligerent press corps. I admired her poise as she faced the daily barrage — and the deep loyalty she so obviously felt for her boss. As one who had worked with an equally reviled former president, Richard Nixon, I felt an affinity with Dana Perino, so I am delighted to now call her a colleague at Fox News — and a friend.