Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Predictions Stink

Michael L.

Kate Mc Kinnon as Hillary
SNL's Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton
Just in general - just in life - it is better to admit one's mistakes rather than deny them or try to cover them up.

I have recently made two mistakes, live and in public, that I need to own up to... not that anyone really cares, but what the hell?

The first is that at the beginning of this horrendous political season I predicted a Clinton / Bush fight to the death.

In my sexist imagination, I presumed that Hillary Clinton, as played by Kate McKinnon, would scratch Jeb Bush's eyes out.

I was wrong.

What I did not foresee was Jeb's actual disinterest in the job... his laziness and boredom. He seemed to wake up maybe a month ago with some tough-punching TV ads, but it is far too little and far too late.

Jeb is as uninteresting as a bucket of warm porridge sitting on the side of the road with nowhere to go.

Nobody cares more about the political future of Jeb Bush more than does Jeb, himself, which is apparently not very much. One of the few things that I liked about George W. is that when he finally left office he knew to shut the hell up. The problem with Jeb is that he shut the hell up before he even started running for the position.

Most Americans aren't any more interested in the name Bush than they are in the name Clinton.

But, in any case, I got that one wrong in August of last year with Michael Burd on Melbourn's J-AIR.

My second misprediction, which I expressed on a recent podcast, was that The Donald would win Iowa.

Not so much!

This is probably for the best. Whoever eventually wins the presidency, I do not want to see Trump's trembling finger above the button. I generally prefer to judge candidates on their positions, rather than on their looks or personality, but Trump is a bit scary.

I mean, once in real power, G-d only knows what the guy would do. I don't think that I want a gentleman who believes that he is above regular social standards to be among the most powerful people in the world.

Do you?

By the way, I apologize for continuing to promote this SNL skit, but it slays me.

Kate McKinnon is just brilliant as Hillary and Larry David as Uncle Bernie is spot-on.

I am telling you guys that I can easily see him sitting around my mother's dining room table eating her ruggelach and kvetching about whatever.

I don't make this stuff up... other people do.

The Unabashed Zionist

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

I am a Jew (2)Remember Professor Andrew Pessin?

Anyone who follows the Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East knows about the harassment of vocal pro-Israel professors on western university campuses, including in the United States.

As I wrote in a piece last summer:
Professor Andew Pessin is a Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College.  He studied at Yale and earned a PhD at Columbia University.  He is the author of five books, including most recently Uncommon Sense: The Strangest Ideas From The Smartest Philosophers.  He is also friendly to the Jewish State of Israel and in opposition to political Islam for reasons having to do with social justice and human rights.
Pessin, as you will recall, took a beating on his home campus for daring to disparage Hamas. Meanwhile, at San Francisco State University, professors Rabab Abdulhadi and Trevor R. Getz have partnered with what is perhaps the most racist university in the entire world, An-Najah National University, in the Palestinian Authority controlled town of Nablus. and nobody even blinks.

The ADL has this to say about An-Najah National University:
An-Najah University, in the West Bank city of Nablus, has been a flashpoint in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians since at least 1980, when violent anti-Israel protests led the Israeli military to close the school intermittently. Today the student council of An-Najah is known for its advocacy of anti-Israel violence and its recruitment of Palestinian college students into terrorist groups. The council, almost completely controlled by factions loyal to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, glorifies suicide bombings and propagandizes for jihad against Israel. Hamas has described An-Najah as a "greenhouse for martyrs." 
Yet San Francisco State University supported Abdulhadi, while Connecticut College turned its back on Pessin. Is this the sad condition of American campuses these days? Supporting a genocidal organization like Hamas is A-OK from a progressive-left viewpoint, but supporting the lone, sole Jewish-democratic country in the entire world is verboten and considered illiberal?

Well, I am pleased to see that Professor Pessin, is well-liked by most of his students, one of whom wrote this:
actually the best professor at conn. intensely passionate about the subject matter and works exceptionally hard to make sure his wording is precise and his arguments are clear. will go out of his way to help, he read 8 drafts of one of my essays. take pessin's classes if you want to learn rigorous (real) philosophy.
Aside from garnering the support of some very well respected colleagues at nearby universities, such as Richard Landes of Boston University, and successfully high-lighting the issue of anti-Jewish support for genocidal terrorists on American college campuses, he has also started up his own venue which he calls The Unabashed Zionist.
"Because an unabashed Zionist is better than a bashed one."
I could not agree more.

In a recent piece by Noah Beck of the Algemeiner we learn:
A pro-Israel professor won’t be on campus at Connecticut College when classes start Monday, missing the second straight semester since his 2014 Facebook post criticizing Hamas led to death threats and ostracism.

Andrew Pessin “requested and received a sabbatical for the Spring semester to continue his studies in Jewish philosophy and Israel studies,” Connecticut College spokeswoman Pamela Serfes said in an email last week. “He has been and continues to be a valued member of the Connecticut College faculty.”

The vague and misleading response glosses over the intensity of the campaign against Pessin — he first took a medical leave last spring as a smear campaign against him was at full throat. The controversy exposed an administration unwilling to enforce its own honor code to protect a professor against anti-Israel activists and a student journalist responsible for covering the very controversy she had joined.
It seems to me that those of us in the pro-Jewish / pro-Israel community need to stand up for this guy... which is why I am writing this piece.

Check out The Unabashed Zionist and lend your vocal support to Professor Pessin who did nothing more than disparage Hamas, an organization in great need of disparagement from decent people everywhere.

In the Hamas Charter we read:
Within the circle of the conflict with world Zionism, the Hamas regards itself the spearhead and the avant-garde. It joins its efforts to all those who are active on the Palestinian scene, but more steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war.
The next round with the Jews.

This document is nothing less than a call for the genocide of the Jewish people within living memory of the Holocaust, yet Pessin gets called to the carpet for strongly disagreeing.

I have tended to be critical of San Francisco State University because it is one of the most racist universities in the entire country, but Connecticut College made an exceedingly bad decision when that administration refused to stand up for Dr. Pessin.

May he find greener pastures elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Enough is Enough: Hadar Cohen, Rest in Peace

Michael L.

Times of Israel Staff and Judah Ari Gross tells us:
Hadar CohenA border Police officer succumbed to wounds suffered during a shooting and stabbing attack near Jerusalem’s Old City Wednesday, after efforts to save her life at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus failed.

The woman was identified as Hadar Cohen, 19, from Or Yehuda.

Cohen was rushed to hospital in critical condition after she was wounded in the attack shortly after 2 p.m. local time. Paramedics who treated her at the scene said she was fighting for her life.

Hospital officials said she was shot in the head. “We succeeded in stabilizing her condition for a time, but her head wound was so severe she never had a chance,” a hospital spokeswoman said.
Enough is enough, as my dear old mom used to say.

Israel needs to behave like a normal nation, a normal people, and fight back when their own children are under assault.

The basis of the conflict is nothing other than long-standing Arab-Muslim prejudice against the Jewish people. That is all that it is. The Arab people living under Jewish-Israeli rule in that small country enjoy greater civil liberties and greater opportunities for personal and financial advancement than do their own brothers and sisters throughout the rest of the Arab-Muslim Middle East.

The problem that Israeli-Arabs have living under Israeli rule is fundamentally the same problem that French and German Arabs have living under French and German rule. For reasons primarily of religion, Muslims in Europe are reluctant to assimilate and therefore sometimes create highly inhospitable neighborhoods ("No-Go Zones") for those of the ethnicity of their host countries and are managing to actually create al-Sharia courts in European cities.

Within Israel, Arab children are raised from birth to regard Jews as an Eternal Enemy that Allah enjoys the murdering of.

It is Arab-Muslim religious bigotry that is driving this conflict and until the West recognizes this fact it will go on and on and on. But, as we know, the never-ending war against the Jews in the Middle East serves the political purposes of the Arab governments. The Arab invention of a Jewish Demon serves to distract the uneducated Arab masses from their abuse by their own governments. Furthermore, the western governments have every reason to pander to Arab-Muslim anti-Jewish bigotry because there are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world compared to 13 or 14 million Jews.

Anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitic violence, as Ruth Wisse reminds us, is political.

This young woman was murdered by a Palestinian-Arab for no other reason than that she was Jewish.

When vicious western-leftists imply that Arabs have good reason for killing Jews, due to the "Occupation," what they are really saying is that Jews have no rights to live in the Jewish heartland of  our ancestry, Judea and Samaria. This is precisely what UN chief, Ban Ki-moon, suggested just the other day.

When Arabs seek to murder Jews for political reasons, it is resistance.

When Arabs seek to murder non-Jews for political reasons, it is terrorism.

The real question is what should Israel do about this third intifada?... and, make no mistake, this is very definitely a third intifada, the Stabbing Intifada... the Car Ramming Intifada.

If Israel gets tough, the EU, the UN, and the Obama administration will come down upon it like a ton of bricks.

If Israel does not get tough, then violent Palestinian-Arab racists will continue to kill their children.

What would you do?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iowa 2016

Michael L.
The Donald 

Donald duckTrump blew it... primarily because he is something of a scowling asshole.

I enjoyed his campaign for the same reason that I occasionally watched The Apprentice. I read an article a few days ago - G-d only knows from where - which compared the Trump campaign with Sanders and Rubio that I thought was very interesting. The writer suggested that Trump and Sanders had more in common than might appear on the surface.

Both are backward-looking guys.

Trump wants to return to the American "greatness" of the 1950s. He wants international American dominance and prosperity without the Jim Crow laws. He wants the America of his childhood back, without the down side, as do many millions of others.

He is not out of the running, but I think he blew his golden opportunity. Trump shot from the hip and many people applauded him for it because, even though they may have disagreed with him, they appreciated his apparent honesty and courage to call things as he sees them. The problem is that he can also be remarkably obnoxious in ways that cross the sexism and racism lines.

I agree with him that the United States government should put a near halt to immigration from the Arab-Muslim world - given their general tendency toward anti-Semitism, misogyny, and authoritarian al-Sharia, not to mention the probable infiltration of Jihadis - but he really lost me when he disparaged Fiorina's looks.

It made me want to punch him in the nose.


Cruz

It is a little hard to imagine, but Dershowitz once claimed that Ted Cruz was the most intelligent student that he ever had. Really? Even more intelligent than Barack Obama? 

That is very impressive.

I barely even heard of the guy before this election cycle and just figured him for yet another Texas redneck, more or less in the mold of George W. The truth, obviously, is that Cruz is turning out to be far more formidable than many of us assumed at the start of the race. He has a sort-of hang-dog look to him that many people from my New York and New Englandy neck-of-the-woods will generally not find appealing. 

But I am willing to give the guy a chance. I am going to oppose whoever the Democrats put up this year, even Uncle Bernie, and may just sit this one out. But I am still enough of a political junkie to want to hear what candidates, including Cruz, have to say.

The real problem, from my point of view, is the Jewish / Evangelical divide. Cruz is a Tea Party kind of a guy and although the Tea Party folk are friendly with Israel - and thereby generally friendly with the Jewish people - they are not very friendly toward Gay people and often hold retrograde viewpoints on the roles of women in the world.

Whether this view of the Tea Party is accurate, or not, it is what puts a screeching halt to American Jewish support for that political movement and, thus, for Cruz.

Besides, most Jews would rather rip their left arm from its socket and beat themselves silly with it before they would pull the lever for a Republican.


Rubio

He is such a handsome and intelligent young guy. He could almost be a Latino JFK. 

Rubio is still in the race because he exceeded expectations with 23 percent of the Republican vote.

This makes it a three-way race on the Republican end and I suspect that Rubio may be the candidate best able to knock Hillary off of her high horse.

Of all the viable candidates in the field Rubio, along with Cruz, would probably be a good friend to Israel. Nonetheless, I see the guy as primarily Vice Presidential material. I wish him well, but we shall see. New Hampshire might shake things out a little.

If he gets the nomination, however, I suspect that he will get my support.


Uncle Bernie and Hillary

Yes, I think of him as "Uncle Bernie."

What can I tell you? My father is from Brooklyn and my mother is from the Bronx. This definitely makes him Uncle Bernie.

That accent is the accent of the adults of my youth. I can easily see him - or Larry David - sitting around our dining room table, eating my mother's ruggelach, and kvetching about whatever.

Nonetheless, if Trump wants to return to 1954, Uncle Bernie wants to go back to the fun-filled days of 1968.

I have to say, part of me is proud to see a Jewish American take a shot at the Presidency. G-d knows that if by some miracle Sanders were to actually get there the anti-Semites would go entirely out of control. I mainly concern myself with progressive-left racism but under the circumstances of a Sanders presidency the right-leaning variety would definitely stand up in the United States and make themselves heard.

Who knows? Maybe we'd even see the fourth incarnation of the Klan.

My assumption from the beginning - just like all of yours - was that Hillary would be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 2016. In the beginning almost no one saw Uncle Bernie ride his Jewish Socialist horse into the ring. 

As of the figuring at this moment, Hillary took 49.9 percent of the Democratic vote in Iowa and Sanders took 49.6 percent. Good for Sanders. I cannot imagine that he could win the general election, but it gives me deep joy to see him annoy Hillary Clinton.

Will he take New Hampshire?

I haven't even looked at those polls, but one need not be a magician to predict that he will.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Podcast # 11 - the Iowa Caucuses and the Failures of Progressive-Left Zionism

Michael L.

This one is about 10 minutes long and is concerned with today's US presidential caucuses in Iowa and a few thoughts on the mistakes of the pro-Israel Jewish Left.