Wednesday, July 19, 2017

London's Acid Test of Diversity

Things are going smashingly well in Londonistan.

The City of London has the highest murder rate in the land. While the authorities launch investigations into pork being left at a mosque or a hijab supposedly being torn off, crime continues to rise.

Gun control has worked so wonderfully well that gun crime in London rose 42%. When gun control advocates insist that we should be more like the UK, London’s 2,544 gun crime offenses probably aren’t what they have in mind.

But gun control does work in London after a fashion. Those gang members who can’t lay their hand on a firearm must make do with a sharp blade. Knife crimes in London rose 24% to 12,074 recorded offences. 60 people were stabbed to death last year.

Why? Here’s a hint from the Metropolitan Police’s assistant commissioner. “There are complex social reasons why more young people are carrying knives and this cannot be solved by the police alone.”

Those complex social reasons would seem to involve stabbing other people. But like Islamic terrorism, stabbings in London are one of those things that can’t be solved by the police. Unlike people saying mean things about Muslims on Facebook and Twitter which the Met cops are well equipped to solve.

Still the authorities have been doing their best to tackle stabbings with a knife ban. Carry a knife without a “good reason” and you can get four years in prison. Good reasons for carrying knives include using it as a prop in a production of Romeo and Juliet, taking it to a museum or “religious reasons”. The ban, which covers “sword-sticks”, samurai swords and “zombie knives” that are sold to fight zombies, isn’t working.

But it’s working well enough that many of the gangs responsible for the violence are turning to acid.

Acid attacks in London rose from 162 in 2012 to 454 last year. There have already been 199 acid attacks this year. Five acid attacks just happened in London in the space of little more than an hour.

And so the obvious new solution is drain cleaner control.

The push is on to “license” corrosive substances while banning anyone from carrying drain cleaner unless they have a good reason. When the public is banned from buying drain cleaners, then finally everyone in London will be safe. It’s worked for guns and knives. Bound to work for acid. And being stuck with a clogged toilet, like Allah Akbar car rammings, is the price we must all pay for diversity.

It’s easy to blame and ban inanimate objects. And it avoids any discussion of the perpetrators.

Newham is the London borough with the highest number of acid attacks. It also has the second highest percentage of Muslims in the UK. 398 acid attacks occurred in 5 years in the area named as “the most ethnically diverse district in England and Wales”. 33% of Newham consists of non-UK passport holders.

But surely that’s some sort of random coincidence.

Except that the place with the third highest number of acid attacks is Tower Hamlets. Tower Hamlets is a Muslim no-go zone. It has one of the smallest native British populations in the country. 35% of the population is Muslim. Most of those are Bangladeshis with a healthy sprinkling of Somalis.

There were 84 acid attacks in what has been dubbed “The Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets”.

Also, entirely by coincidence, Bangladesh has the highest rate of acid attacks in the world. But if anyone suggests that these two statistics are related, the Met police will investigate them for hate crimes.

The second highest acid attack location in London was Barking and Dagenham, a growing Muslim enclave which elected its first Muslim mayor whose plans include holding an Islamic festival “for the whole community—regardless of religion”.

Barking is a wonderful place where you have the choice to be Muslim or Muslim. Regardless of religion.

The native British population made up 80% of Barking in 2001. Now it’s fallen to less than half. According to the 2011 census figures, "All religious groups have increased except for Christian and Jewish religions". This was where Islamists brandished signs reading, “British soldiers go to hell”.

Now why in the world might Barking be a haven for acid attacks?

Fifth on the acid list is Redbridge where the native British population fell by 40,844 in a decade. The last census showed British and Irish natives fleeing Redbridge while Pakistanis and Bangladeshis stormed in. The Christian and Jewish population fell while the Muslim population rose 11%. So did the acid attacks.

Pakistan has one of the highest rate of acid attacks in the world. It lags behind Bangladesh. But fortunately Redbridge boasts a diversity of both Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. And acid attacks.

But surely this is yet another unfathomable coincidence. Like 2 + 2 equaling 4.

Hackney, sixth on the list, was where a Sharia patrol pal of the Muslim beheaders of British soldier Lee Rigby, posted videos boasting “British people will never be safe on the streets of London.”

They certainly aren’t safe in Hackney.

At 14%, Islam is the second largest religious group in Hackney. The indigenous British population has fallen to 36%. That’s down from 44% in 2001. And, according to officials, it’s “reflective of Hackney’s increasing diversity which currently marks it out as the 6th most ethnically diverse borough in London after Newham, Redbridge, etc…”

Sixth in diversity and sixth in acid attacks.

Of the remaining four on the list, three, Croydon, Ealing and Hilingdon, were white minority or bare majority areas. Meanwhile Kensington and Chelsea, which have a decisive majority, have the lowest rate of acid attacks. So naturally the media has tried to blame the attacks on British natives.

But the numbers don’t lie.

London is experiencing a splash of the acid test of diversity. That burning feeling on your face is the thrilling sensation of corrosive multiculturalism eating away at British communities.

Banning guns, knives, drain cleaner, plungers and ostrich feathers won’t address the problem. The fallacy of gun control, knife control and acid control is that inanimate objects don’t kill people.

Guns don’t shoot themselves. Knives don’t unsheathe in broad daylight and stab pedestrians. Bottles of acid don’t knock on cars and then splash the occupants when they roll down the window.

Immigration imported acid attacks to the UK the way that it imported gangs of Muslim men stabbing waitresses in eateries while shouting, “This is for Allah”.

Allah and acid are both imports from the Muslim world.

Murders in London, like murders in most major American cities, are driven by gang violence. Behind the shootings, stabbings and acid attacks are gangs. Many of those gangs are made up of first and second generation migrants and settlers from the Muslim world. The UK’s prisons bulge with Muslim convicts. And these criminal gangs naturally feed recruits into Islamic terrorism as they do in Iraq and Syria.

Banning drain cleaner won’t stop acid attacks. Drain cleaner control is no solution. Migration control is.

Immigration from violent societies prone to terrorism is the acid that is eating away at Europe. Migration advocates have splashed acid on Britain, on America, on Australia and on Canada. The bombings and stabbings, the child rapes and acid attacks, are the burning sensation of the attack.

But the corrosive acid does its work in less sensational ways. When Britons no longer feel at home in their own communities, when mosques replace churches and synagogues, when Sharia patrols march through the streets, when English is drowned out by Urdu and Arabic in the streets, that is also the acid of immigration eating away at the flesh and bone of a nation.

Acid attacks don’t immediately kill. They maim and disfigure. Newham, Barking, Tower Hamlets and so much of London have been left maimed and disfigured so that longtime residents no longer know them.

Britannia has had acid splashed in her lovely face. Her clear features have been scarred and mutilated. Now, from London to Manchester, from Birmingham to Bradford, she suffers and burns.

Monday, July 17, 2017

ISIS Isn’t Going Anywhere

ISIS has been defeated. That’s the official word out of Iraq. But don’t count it out just yet.

We beat ISIS twice before. Once in its previous incarnation as Al Qaeda in Iraq and in its even earlier incarnation as Saddam Hussein’s regime whose Sunni Baathists went on to play a crucial role in ISIS.

Each time it was reborn as another murderous monstrosity.

We don’t know what the next incarnation will look like, but considering Saddam Hussein’s rape rooms, Al Qaeda in Iraq’s love of suicide bombings and ISIS taking public torture to a new level, it will be bad.

We beat Saddam, Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State. But it keeps coming back because we don’t understand what it is. And we don’t get it because we don’t understand what Islamic terrorism is.

Islamic terrorists are not a “tiny minority of extremists” who “pervert Islam”. They are Islam.

ISIS keeps coming back because it’s rooted in the local Sunni Islamic Arab population and the religion of Islam. The Sunni link is why ISIS keeps popping back up. Bush suppressed Al Qaeda in Iraq by allying with Sunni tribes. Obama made a deal with Iran and let its Shiites dominate Iraq. Sunnis flocked to ISIS’ ex-Baathists who promised to bring back the good old days of Saddam’s supremacy for Sunnis.

As long as the Sunni-Shiite tensions in Iraq and Syria, not to mention those between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen continue to play out, ISIS will stick around in some form waiting to make a comeback. The cycle of Sunnis turning to Al Qaeda/ISIS to beat the Shiites and then to the US to beat ISIS will continue.

Critics who accuse the US of creating ISIS by bombing Iraq miss the point. ISIS is the latest embodiment of Sunni supremacism and historical nostalgia for the Abbasid Caliphate. Both Saddam and the Caliph of ISIS capitalized on that nostalgia the way that Hitler did on Charlemagne. We didn’t create it. And it isn’t going anywhere. We can’t defeat it without breaking the historical aspirations of the Sunni population. That is what we are up against.

We’re not just fighting a bunch of ragged terrorists. We’re fighting against the sense of manifest destiny of a large Muslim population, not just in Iraq and Syria, but in London, Paris and every state in America.

The Islamic terrorist groups of the Middle East are especially dangerous because, as ISIS did with its Caliphate, they can closely link

themselves to crucial epochs in Islam. Al Qaeda leveraged its Saudi face to form a visceral connection with Muslims worldwide. ISIS repeated the same trick with its Iraqi link. And large numbers of non-Arabs and converts to Islam rallied from around the world to the Jihad. ISIS is now the new Al Qaeda. It may not be able to run Mosul, but it has become an international terrorist organization that is even more dangerous than Al Qaeda. And that may be what it wanted.

Like the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups, the Islamic State was never very good at running things. The PA won’t make peace with Israel for the same reason that Hamas won’t make peace with the PA: statehood is a compelling imperative, but requires hard work in reality. It’s much easier to send off a few useful idiots to blow themselves up and then collect the Qatari checks.

Civilizations manage societies. Barbarians have more fun destroying things than taking out the garbage or cleaning the streets. That is why ISIS lost and why the Jihad will finally succeed only if civilization implodes too badly to resist its incursions or through the unstoppable force of brute demographics.

The original Islamic conquests wrecked the societies and cultures they overran the way that barbarians always do. They wouldn’t have succeeded if civilization had not been in a state of collapse. Today’s Islamic conquests are a similar reaction to our civilizational decline. But as long as we can send jets and drones to wreak havoc on Islamic terrorists anywhere in the world, the conquests can only work on a demographic, not a military level. ISIS claimed that it could win a military showdown: it was wrong.

But the demographic conquest is going very well. Just ask the frightened natives of Paris and London. The Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy of political and demographic invasion, sneered at by ISIS, may be less glamorous, but it has equally close echoes in Mohammed’s tactics against his non-Muslim foes.

The challenge for Islamic terrorists is turning that demographic growth into military strength. ISIS emerged as the Uber of Islamic terrorism by unlocking the key to turning Muslims anywhere into terrorists with no training or recruitment. While Al Qaeda had pioneered the strategy, ISIS made it work.

Dismissing the terrorists who have been killing for ISIS in the West as “lone wolves” misses the point.

The Islamic terrorist who goes on a stabbing spree in London or a shooting spree in Orlando is no more a “lone wolf” than an Uber driver who picks up a passenger is just some random eccentric. They’re parts of a distributed network that is deliberately decentralized to better fulfill its central purpose.

CVE and other efforts to tackle “online extremism” fight messaging wars that ignore the demographics. But our targeted strikes on ISIS ignore demographics in the same way. We keep looking at the trees while missing the forest. But the forest is where the trees come from. Muslim terrorists emerge from an Islamic population. They aren’t aberrations. Instead they represent its religious and historic aspirations.

ISIS and Islamic terrorists aren’t going anywhere. Defeating them through patronizing lectures about the peacefulness of Islam, as Obama’s CVE policy proposed to do, was a futile farce. Bombing them temporarily suppresses them as an organized military force, but not their religious and cultural origins.

As long as we go on seeing Islamic terrorism as an aberration that has no connection to the history and religion of Islam, our efforts to defeat it will be pinpricks that treat the symptoms, but not the problem.

Only when we recognize that Islamic terrorism is Islam, that the crimes of ISIS and countless others dating back to Mohammed were committed to achieve the goals of the Islamic population, will we be ready to face the war that we’re in and to defend ourselves against what is to come not just in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in America, Australia, Canada, Europe, India, Israel and everywhere else.

We are not fighting a handful of Islamic terrorists. We are standing in the path of the manifest destiny of Islam. Either that manifest destiny will break against us, as it did at the Gates of Vienna, or it will break us. The attacks were once yearly. Now they are monthly. Soon they will become daily.

Every attack is a pebble in an avalanche. A pebble falls in Brussels, in Fresno, in Dusseldorf, in New York, in Munich, in London, in Garland, in Paris, in Jerusalem, in Mumbai, in Boston and in more places than anyone can count. We are too close to the bloodshed to see the big picture. We only see the smoke and hear the screams. We see the boats bringing armies into Europe. We see refugees fill our airports.

Those are the trees, not the forest: the pebbles, not the avalanche. Those are the battles, not the war.

The Islamic State is not going anywhere. It’s not a name. It’s an Islamic imperative. And it’s here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

America is Not a Nation Ruled by Judges

When President Trump tweeted that his measure to protect Americans from Islamic terror was a “travel ban” and that it should never have been watered down, he was right.

Calling it a pause hasn’t appeased a single of the radical judges abusing their authority. It doesn’t matter what the lawyers call it, when courts insist on referencing President Trump’s campaign rhetoric instead. Watering down the ban achieved nothing. The judicial coup can’t be appeased with a “moderate” ban.

Stripping Iraq from the list of countries undermined the effectiveness of the measure considering that the vast majority of refugees being investigated for terror links in this country are Iraqis.

Most of the rest are from the other countries listed on the travel ban.

And the failure to protect Middle Eastern Christians by prioritizing them as refugees is a left-wing war crime. The lawyers, activists, media bosses and judges responsible for it have blood on their hands. Even as they mouth hollow platitudes about compassion, they have become complicit in Islamic genocide.

Waiting on the Supreme Court didn't work. The temporary compromise measure violated presidential authority while giving the left the room it needed to continue its judicial coup by expanding "prior relationship" to mean anything while unconstitutionally undermining the refugee cap.

There are legitimate debates about the limits of presidential authority in every administration. It’s fair to question whether any president, of any party, should be able to engage in military action without Congress because the Constitution grants the legislative branch the authority to declare war. But there can be no doubt whatsoever that President Trump is acting within his legal authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act which grants him the authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants” for as long as he thinks it’s necessary.

Obama made use of this power to temporarily halt Iraqi migration. So have other presidents in the past. Immigration is in the hands of Congress and the White House. It is not up to judges to decide who can come to America.

Our entire system of immigration “discriminates” based on religion and national origin. It allots visas and refugee status based on national origin and membership in persecuted religious groups.

If the judicial coup succeeds, elected officials will lose their authority over immigration. And that means that the American people will lose all control over immigration.

The implications go far beyond the travel ban.

Judge Derrick Watson, an Obama pal, didn’t just go after the ban, but asserted that he had the authority to decide how many refugees should be allowed in. The Supreme Court chose to split the difference there. It’s a short hop and a skip from there to judges deciding that they have the constitutional authority to set the annual number of refugees and immigrants to prevent “discrimination” by the elected branches.

If you want to imagine the end of America, that’s a good place to start.

Federal courts have been unconstitutionally treating states like this for far too long, intervening in everything from elections to prison populations, but now they’re using the general anti-Trump hysteria to assert judicial supremacy over the elected branches of government.

If this judicial coup is allowed to stand, anything that any White House official or member of Congress says at any time in the past, can and will be used by Federal courts to seize control over any policy.

And then we will be living under a permanent reign of judicial terror.

This was the nightmare loophole that opened up when we declared that preventing discrimination was such a compelling interest that it could be used to override nearly everything else. Now the legal butcher’s bill might be coming due. And when it arrives, the Bill of Rights will cease to exist and the elected branches of government will wither under the shadow of black robes and falling gavels.

That is what is at stake here.

President Trump isn’t just defending us against Islamic terror. It’s up to him to defend government of the people against two political coups; one that seeks to reverse the results of the election with a manufactured scandal based on a Hillary conspiracy theory and the other that aspires to make elections irrelevant through a judicial ruling class.

A civil war is underway. Trump, like Lincoln, isn’t just fighting an elitist Democrat ruling class embedded in secessionist enclaves of gated communities surrounded by political plantations of minority poor.

Both Republican presidents had to face off in a civil war against judicial supremacy.

During the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln asserted that the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case did not suffice to “have the citizen conform his vote to that decision; the member of Congress, his; the President, his use of the veto power”.

Lincoln then quoted Thomas Jefferson’s warning that, “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions” would be “a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy”.

And that is exactly what judicial supremacy has done.

Thomas Jefferson cautioned that judges have "the same passions for party, for power" and "their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control."

He stated firmly, "The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign with themselves."

Both the first Democratic-Republican and the first Republican presidents rejected judicial supremacy. They did so because it undermined a government of the people and imposed a judicial oligarchy.

What of the first Democrat president? In his veto of the Bank of the United States, President Andrew Jackson affirmed Jefferson’s “co-equal” and “co-sovereign” principle stating that, “the Congress, the Executive and the Court must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution.”

Jackson’s portrait now hangs over President Trump in the Oval Office. It is up to Trump to defend Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln’s understanding of the Constitution against judicial supremacy.

For too long the conservative position has been that we must defend the Constitution from judicial activism by putting the right sort of men on the Supreme Court. This approach has been somewhat successful. But trying to solve the abuse of judicial authority with judicial authority is like plugging a leak with water. Conservatives seek judicial saints who will never overstep the boundaries of their power while the left merely needs to find judges who will have no compunction about abusing their authority.

That is the judicial coup which has placed us in a political stalemate. Conservatives hope that the Supreme Court will follow the Constitution. And if it doesn’t, a whole new “law of the land” appears.

Even if the Supreme Court does the right thing, the challenges won’t end. And the judicial coup will have proven that its members can freeze any presidential policy for the better part of a year while the administration runs a gauntlet of political appointees who deliberately humiliate and undermine it.

And they won’t stop now.

Conservatives should continue seeking judges who will respect the Constitution. But truly respecting and protecting the Constitution means rejecting judicial supremacy. And the battle against judicial supremacy can’t be fought and won in the courts. Only the White House can defy the courts.

The Civil War was fought over the supremacy of the Constitution. Then, as now, the Democrat secessionists privileged the Supreme Court’s interpretation over the written text of the Constitution.

In his inaugural address, President Lincoln opposed judicial supremacy, warning that if government policy for the entire country is “irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court... the people will have ceased, to be their own rulers.”

During the Civil War, he rejected a decision by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney and arrested Judge Richard Bennett Carmichael. Judge William Matthew Merrick, an Associate Justice of the D.C. Circuit Court, was placed under house arrest and had his salary suspended. Merrick, like today’s secessionist Democrat judges had attempted to undermine the war effort through legal obstructionism.

The Civil War should have settled the question of judicial supremacy. But Democrats snuck their judicial fetish through the back door until it has become the greatest threat to our rights and our freedoms.

And it must be defeated again.

Lincoln and Jackson defied judicial supremacy by rejecting its illegitimate authority. President Trump must do the same. The travel ban is within his authority. No serious legal challenge has been made to that authority. It is the legality of his motives that has come under constant attack, but the President of the United States is not obligated to justify his motives to a paternal court to exercise his authority.

By ignoring the courts, President Trump will restore respect for his authority, for the separation of powers and for the power of the people to rule themselves.

And he will be following in the tradition of Jefferson, Lincoln and Jackson.

The majority of Americans support his policy. The law, in both the legislative text and judicial precedent, supports his actions. As the death toll in Europe mounts, they are waiting for him to do the right thing.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

You’re a Bad Man, Governor Brown

Charlie Brown has been down on his luck before. But he’s never been targeted by an entire state. What insane dictator could possibly hate the lovable Peanuts character? Kim Jong-Un? No, Governor Brown.

Good grief!

Art by Bosch Fawstin
Governor Jerry Brown, who despite having slightly more hair than Charlie, is much less popular than Schultz’s beloved creation. And Brown (the one who makes small children cry) is at the top of an insane leftist political system so out of touch with reality that it makes Snoopy’s fantasies seem down to earth.

The blockheaded Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1887. It wasn’t the craziest thing to come out of the California legislature. That would be the time that the California Senate passed a universal health care bill costing $400 billion a year with no way to pay for it. That’s a tricky proposition since California’s budget is over $100 billion. Foiled again! By 2 + 2 = 4 and the notorious right-wing bias of mathematics.

Still Assembly Bill 1887, by Assemblyman Evan Low, who represents Silicon Valley causing it to be dubbed the “Silicon Curtain”, led directly to banning travel to Kentucky because of Charlie Brown.

The “Silicon Curtain” travel ban was also backed by Nancy Pelosi and the ACLU.

Governor Brown can travel to the People’s Republic of China with its forced abortions and death camps. But a California official can’t travel to Kentucky because he might encounter a Charlie Brown Christmas.

Why do Pelosi, Low, Brown and the ACLU hate Charlie Brown? Maybe their miserable childhoods made them into the miserable adults they are today. And the transformation of California from a democracy into a banana republic run by loony lefties leads to lots of bills with unintended consequences.

Assembly Bill 1887 was passed to ban travel to “anti-gay” states. How did Charlie Brown turn anti-gay?

The story begins with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” when the W.R. Castle Elementary School in Johnson County, Kentucky deleted Linus reading passages from the New Testament. The ACLU took an anti-Charlie position. The Charlie Brown Bill was introduced to protect the religious freedom of students in Kentucky schools. The ACLU again objected. The bill passed over furious Democrat opposition.

Lefty publications dubbed it an anti-gay bill even though there was no mention of homosexuality anywhere in it. Then California included Kentucky on its list of banned states along with Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. That’s eight states compromising some 70 million people whom California officials aren’t allowed to visit.

A quarter of the United States of America now officially has California cooties.

The state-funded travel ban was a lunatic proposition when it merely targeted states over gay rights. But it’s escalated to targeting states with various religious freedom measures.

13 more states have religious freedom laws on the books of the kind that California would object to. At that rate, the People’s Republic of California will be boycotting 21 states and 150 million people.

That’s half the country.

The only two border states that California can still feel safely comfortable with are Oregon and Mexico. Not New Mexico, Mexico.

Good grief, indeed.

The travel bans don’t just affect politicians like Brown and Becerra, but the University of California. It means football, basketball and other sports teams will have trouble competing outside California. Becerra is “mulling” over whether the ban applies to coaches traveling to games in banned states.

The last time this happened, Soviet athletes were being preventing from competing overseas because they might defect to the free world. Is Governor Brown afraid that California football players, like California businesses, will defect to Texas if they’re allowed to leave the Silicon Curtain?

California is becoming a banana republic with lavish mansions and sports cars, but no personal freedom. Its masters live in terror that its public officials might visit a free state where they can experience an unexpurgated Charlie Brown Christmas or take their groceries home in a plastic bag.

Becerra and Brown are building Berlin Walls against a quarter of the country. And if they insist on outlawing any state with religious freedom, it will quickly become half the country. In China, Governor Brown insisted that California was a nation state that could make its own foreign policy. And declare war on the other states that reject his radical secessionist agenda.

The great irony of this latest assault on freedom is that Evan Low was formerly the Mayor of Campbell: the site of the Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins free speech case. But freedom has been foiled.

“The ACLU is proud to stand with our partners and Attorney General Becerra, and do our part to make freedom and justice a reality,” declared the Organizing Director of the ACLU of Northern California.

And how better to make freedom a reality than with travel bans to prevent Californians from experiencing what real freedom is?

These travel bans are cutting off California from America in absurd and illegal ways.

Becerra’s assault on Kentucky is actually in violation of the text of AB 1887 which requires sanctions on states that affirmatively take action to authorize discrimination against homosexuals. The Charlie Brown Law does no such thing. The Kentucky ban is a violation of the law that it’s based on.

But banana republics don’t have laws. They have whims.

"Our country has made great strides in dismantling prejudicial laws that have deprived too many of our fellow Americans of their precious rights. Sadly, that is not the case in all parts of our nation," Becerra has said.

It’s certainly not the case in California where recall elections are being suppressed, freedom of speech is met with violence and prejudicial laws impose a Silicon Curtain to cut off California from the free world.

Not to mention, a Charlie Brown Christmas.

In the spring of ’46, Winston Churchill visited Fulton, Missouri where he warned that, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”

From Sacramento to San Francisco, from Los Angeles to San Diego, a silicon curtain has descended across California. There’s no room for religious or political freedom under that curtain.

And Missouri has also come under fire from the ACLU over its religious freedom. It may not be long before the location of Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech becomes the latest target of the Silicon Curtain.

Today Texas and Kentucky, tomorrow Missouri. And, before long, the rest of America.

And then the People’s Republic of California can get to work building its light rail to Cuba or North Korea. Both of which are the only other places on earth to have banned the Peanuts gang.

We always knew that the California left hated America. But who would have believed that even its hateful fanatics, steam coming out of their ears and foam from their mouths, could hate Charlie?

You’re a bad man, Governor Brown.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

CNN's Fake News Machine

In April, media types were crowing that CNN had brought in Eric Lichtblau who had been, in the Washington Post’s words, at “the forefront of the New York Times’s reporting on the relationship between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.” It was “an investment in investigative reporting and the sprawling Russia story”. It didn’t take long for the investigative investment to sprawl badly.

Lichtblau has resigned from CNN in a growing scandal over a Fake News story about a Trump associate.

"Eric will guide our coverage and thinking," Lex Haris, executive editor of CNN Investigates, had boasted. "And when he’s onto a investigation, he’ll still be reporting and writing too.”

Not for long. And Haris has joined Lichtblau on the unemployment line after the Fake News scandal.

CNN Investigates had been announced after President Trump’s inauguration. Its hit pieces had followed the same pattern as the Scaramucci attack that would be its undoing. Go after a personality tipped for a job with the new administration. CNN Investigates had previously targeted Monica Crowley and Sheriff Clarke with plagiarism accusations. But this time around, CNN’s anti-Trump unit had made a big mistake.

Unlike K-File’s petty harassment of Trump associates, the Scaramucci hit piece came from the heavier hitters poached by CNN from mainstream media papers who were supposed to bring down Trump.

The men behind the disaster were no lightweights. Thomas Frank had been nominated for a Pulitzer. Eric Lichtblau had shared a Pulitzer for bashing the Bush administration over, of all things, surveillance. Their names were all over CNN hit pieces tying to tie Trump to an impeachable Russian scandal.

That was what they had been hired for.

CNN claimed that Lichtblau had been “reporting on Comey for more than a decade.” And Frank was busy rolling out fresh grist for the Trump-Russia mill. One Frank article on CNN breathlessly claimed, "One week, three more Trump-Russia connections." CNN was riding the impeachment train to Moscow.

And yet Lichtblau’s tenure at CNN quickly became troubled. An early June piece denied that Comey had told President Trump that he was not under investigation.

“Comey expected to refute Trump," was the headline. The headline didn’t hold up. An awkward correction was appended conceding that its premise had been discredited by Comey’s testimony.

The sources were, as usual, anonymous. The Fake News story was full of "a source tells CNN" and "another source said" attributions. Seventeen of them.

The hodgepodge of anonymous sources read like a bizarre fairy tale or mystery novel.

Was "the source said" the first anonymous source? Was "a source adds" the second anonymous source? Or a third anonymous source? Was "a source" the same as "one source" who claimed to be “familiar” with Comey's thinking?

"This source" seemed to be different than "one source." But what about "another source"? And the "sources"?

This wasn’t journalism, it was gibberish. But building news stories out of conspiratorial insider fairy tales like these had become routine at the big city papers of record. The New York Times got its readership boom with anonymously sourced conspiracy theories just like these. CNN knew what it was getting when it lured Lichtblau in. It wasn’t looking for journalism, but breaking fake news scandal theater.

It was riding the same boom as the Washington Post and the New York Times. As CNN supervising producer John Bonifield admitted in a Project Veritas video, it was about the ratings.

“It’s mostly b___t right now,” he conceded.

“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords,” Bonifield said. “And the CEO of CNN said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.”

Why Russia? It was a popular conspiracy theory. CNN, like its dead tree competitors, was exploiting the paranoia and anger of the left for big ratings and profits. But it also carried more risk. The Times and the Post had crossed the twilight zone into publishing anonymously sourced conspiracy theories. It had become sufficient to build a link connecting a few people or organizations in the loosest and most casual way possible and then pad that out with anonymously sourced insider gossip about an investigation.

The anonymously sourced insider gossip was the only difference between many of these conspiracy theories at the Times and the Post and any random fringe ravings on leftist blogs. That and the credibility of its authors who could boast a Pulitzer and insider connections that just had to be real.

That was the business that CNN had gotten into with its “investment in investigative reporting and the sprawling Russia story”.

The end came with yet another anonymously sourced gossip hit piece trying to link Anthony Scaramucci, a Trump adviser, with the Russia investigation. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation referenced in the piece turned out not to exist. CNN’s legal people never cleared the piece. Heads rolled.

The heads included Eric Lichtblau’s noggin, as well as Thomas Frank’s dome and Haris’ noodle.

Russia stories will now receive extra scrutiny at CNN. Why Russia, rather than Trump? Because CNN has accurately identified Russia as a major failure point in the reporting. Most in the media know very little about Russia. And the reporting isn’t being done by former bureau chiefs in Moscow, but by the usual media types who get their insight from search engines and insider gossip. Loose connections are drawn and then transformed into major stories based on a casual meeting between someone who knows Trump and someone who knows Putin. There’s an endless appetite for such stories on the left, not because of their content, but because they reaffirm the left’s conviction in Trump’s downfall.

No one actually reads through the latest story about how a guy who once shook hands with Trump might have run into a Russian who was once photographed with Vladimir Putin and is now being investigated by the Senate double secret probation committee meeting in someone’s imagination.

They just share it on social media. That’s why the viral hit pieces are popular and profitable.

It’s how the New York Times and the Washington Post found themselves in the black. And why CNN is suddenly in big trouble. The dirty business of conspiracy theories is a dangerous one. It depends on walking a fine line by implying things without saying them out loud or actually stating falsifiable facts.

That’s why Comey madness was so useful. But there was only so much mileage that could be gotten out of him. And as the media turned back to splicing together conspiracies about real people, the bell rang.

CNN’s hit team had made their big mistake with Scaramucci. After all the money spent on buying BuzzFeed’s pranksters and big city paper hitmen like Lichtblau, Trump is the one claiming the scalps.

Conspiracy theories die hard. Fake news is very profitable. But what happened at CNN should be a lesson to the rest of the industry eager to cash in on the irrational fear and loathing of the left.

A few months after the Post’s Eric Wemple had touted CNN’s hire of Lichtblau, he was forced to report on his resignation. CNN has taken a beating. The two titans of anonymously sourced Trump hit pieces, the New York Times and the Washington Post, are next.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Illegalophilia and Islamophilia

When Nabra Hassanen was killed by Darwin Martinez Torres, the media rushed to blame Islamophobia and Trump. The truth was simpler. It was the left’s own Illegalophilia that killed the Muslim teenager.

Torres, an illegal alien from El Salvador, had no interest in Hassanen’s religion. He got into an altercation with her friends. Hassanen happened to be the one he caught when her friends left her behind.

The murder happened in Fairfax County.

Earlier this year, Fairfax County Chief of Police Ed Roessler had assured illegal aliens that they had nothing to worry about. The police were not going to do anything about them until they killed someone.

“We’re not targeting someone on the street that we may or may not know is here unlawfully,” Deputy County Executive David Rohrer soothed.

Cecilia Wang, the Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU, demanded “accountability” for Hassanen’s death. That’s easy enough. The Virginia ACLU had pressured Fairfax County to go further in not cooperating with immigration authorities. Wang can demand “accountability” from the ACLU for Hassanen’s death.

Fairfax County’s refusal to investigate illegal aliens made it a magnet for a rising illegal alien population. Its jails have nearly 2,000 illegal aliens and the area has become a magnet for the El Salvadoran MS-13 gang. It’s unknown whether Torres was an MS-13 member, but his behavior matches the extreme brutality and fearless savagery that the group, which has been lethally active in Fairfax, is known for.

13 MS-13 gang members were convicted of dismembering and burying their own members in a park.

“This problem is horrible,” Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler had commented at the time. “This is four murders in this park.”

This year, ICE busted 11 MS-13 members in Fairfax County for, among other things, drug trafficking, weapons smuggling, human smuggling and murder. Ten were arrested for the murder of a 15-year-old girl who had been threatened by MS-13 members. The adults in the case were illegal aliens.

Maybe if she had been a Muslim, the media might have cared.

MS-13 sharply increased its presence due to Obama’s policy of open borders for “unaccompanied minors”. Meanwhile United We Dream, a Soros backed left-wing group passed out leaflets in Fairfax County urging illegal aliens not to open the door to immigration authorities and to “Fight Back”.

The left-wing group was protecting illegals like Darwin Martinez Torres from Trump.

Sharon Bulova, the Democrat serving as the chair of Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors, had been critical of immigration enforcement efforts by law enforcement elsewhere in Virginia.

“Fairfax County is a very, very diverse community,” Bulova had argued. "In Fairfax County we celebrate diversity; we consider it an asset... We, in this county, have chosen not to create what could be a poisonous atmosphere for our diverse community, a community that we value.”

After the Hassanen murder, Bulova stated, “A horrific tragedy like this should never ever happen in our community.” It didn’t have to happen. Shielding illegal aliens was a choice that Bulova had made.

In Loudoun County, where Darwin Martinez Torres lived, some efforts had been made to crack down. But there’s only so much good that one county cracking down can do when another acts as a magnet.

Fairfax County is indeed “diverse”. Around a third of it is foreign born. The media had notably little interest in crimes committed by illegal aliens in Fairfax County until Muslims were affected.

In April, Oscar Perez Rangel was arrested for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl. Rangel was an illegal alien from Mexico who had already been arrested in the past for attempted robbery and the use of a firearm during a felony in Fairfax County. He was sent to prison and deported. He returned and was arrested again and deported. And then he popped up back in Fairfax County and abused a little girl.

Since the victim wasn’t Muslim and the perpetrator was one of those wonderful “undocumented immigrants” whom the media, along with Fairfax County Dems, was dedicated to celebrating and defending, the story did not receive a fraction of the attention that the Nabra Hassanen case did.

Even though the failures by the authorities were far more outrageous and egregious.

The left has only itself to blame for Nabra Hassanen’s murder. It makes a fetish of diversity. But there are rational limits to diversity. You can champion Muslims and illegal aliens against Trump. But eventually members of one group will kill another. And it won’t be Trump’s fault. It’ll be yours.

The utopian society that the left is building is as unstable and unsustainable as a nuclear meltdown.

Nabra Hassanen was one of the many victims of the left’s illegalophillic sanctuary crimes. Most of these victims never became national figures. They died unmourned except by their friends and loved ones.

If only they had been fodder for Islamophobia accusations, someone on the left might have cared.

The media has tried to hide behind accusations of Islamophobia. Even after the police made it clear that it was road rage, the worst of the mainstream media’s outlets tried to keep its old lie alive.

The Washington Post, which keeps digging a deep hole to an alternate reality, suggested that Nabra Hassanen, who was Egyptian Arab, was really attacked because she was geographically black. “African-Americans wondered whether this is another instance of them being targeted because of their race.”

Maybe the illegal alien killer hated the entire continent of Africa, regardless of race, and as a student of ethnography was able to recognize exactly which Arab country Hassanen’s father had come from.

Or maybe the media has exited reality and lives in its own matrix of lies and conspiracy theories.

The Post's Petula Dvorak, who has scribbled numerous defenses of illegal aliens, had insisted that it might still a hate crime because "hitting a 17-year-old girl with a bat and dumping her body in a pond would be an act born of hate." As opposed to most murders which are motivated by love.

Maybe we should prosecute all murders as hate crimes. Or only those that fit the media’s agenda.

"Nabra was killed by some kind of toxic mix of hate and rage, there's no doubt about that-- even if it doesn't meet the legal definition of a hate crime," Petula protested.

Nabra Hassanen was killed by the left’s love for illegal aliens. Hate and rage are abstracts. Letting a dangerous El Salvadoran gang set up shop in your community really does kill.

The left likes pretends that it’s all about love while its mean opponents represent fear and hate. Its love however is very narrow and specific.

And often lethal.

The left’s illegalophilic love for illegal aliens killed Nabra and many others. And it will go on killing.

Fairfax County’s safe space for violent El Salvadoran illegal alien thugs accidentally became national news when the media’s desperate search for Islamophobia briefly lingered on one illegal alien killer.

After some frantic efforts to obscure the identity of the killer, the lights, cameras and agendas will move on. But unless the law trumps the left’s illegalophilic love, the illegal alien killings will continue.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bernie Sanders: Capitalist Pig

When Bernie Sanders first came to Vermont, he bought a shack with a dirt floor with unemployment money. Last year, Bernie joined the company of Vermont’s 1% and bought his third home.

The money that Bernie used his way to break the $1 million mark and buy his way into the 1% came from the $27 donors he touted during his campaign. Other campaigns were funded by billionaires. But the folks paying for Bernie’s private Delta 767 with its menu of herb crusted lamb loin, chocolate ganache, fine cheeses and white wine were ordinary people who would never be allowed to fly on it.

Bernie could live large on their donations, but he couldn’t directly pocket their money. Not unless he figured out how to sell them something of his own. And that’s how Bernie joined the 1%.

Our Revolution, Bernie’s book, which was also the name of his new organization, sold for $27. According to Bernie, that was the average size of his donations. The actual number was $86, but truth and Bernie have always had only the loosest of relationships. And Bernie supporters were no longer giving $27 to subsidize a campaign, a cause, Bernie’s jet and his consultants, but his wallet and his summer home.

Bernie sold his supporters for $27 a head to a multinational corporation in exchange for $795,000. His book is named after Our Revolution, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization that he set up to influence elections and which can accept unlimited amounts of money from donors without disclosing them.

According to Our Revolution’s former organizing director, it was set up that way to "take big checks from billionaires."

Bernie Sanders can’t legally be involved in running his own organization. But he can cash in on a book which has the same name as that organization. The distinctions are bound to be lost on his supporters just as they didn’t understand what it meant when Bernie didn’t cap the commissions of his consultants.

There’s nothing with making a lot of money. Unless you’re Bernie, in which case you make money by insisting that it’s deeply immoral for other people to be making money. Especially the evil 1 percent.

But that $1 million puts Bernie over the 1% in Vermont. Entry level for the 1% in Vermont is $299,259.

Bernie made three times more than the people he has been denouncing up and down the country. Many of those dreaded 1 percenters are professionals who, unlike Bernie, work for a living, and also unlike him, don’t own three homes or fly private chartered jets around the world to meet the Pope

Bernie made more than the $735,607 average 1% income in Vermont. He didn't just join the 1%. He joined the 0.5%. And he did it by monetizing his supporters. When he tells them that he’s fighting for the little guy, he neglects to mention that he means only one little guy named Bernie.

The average income in Burlington is $54,810. Bernie could buy and sell those little guys.

“The problem is that the great wealth and potential of this country rests with a handful of people,” Bernie ranted in ’71.

That’s still his theme all those years later. The 1% owned too much. Everyone else owned too little. But now he’s a member of that 1% which “takes home 13.8% of all the income in Vermont.” And he isn’t about to voluntarily redistribute any of it.

As Bernie told attendees at a United Way event back in his days as Burlington’s top dog, “I don’t believe in charities.”

The only charity Bernie believes in is his own “social welfare” organization that his book is named after.

According to Bernie, government should be giving poor people money. Not Bernie. But don’t expect Bernie to give the government money either. He and his wife, who is under FBI investigation over the destruction of Burlington College, paid a total of $27,653 in taxes on $205,271 in income for an effective tax rate of 13.5%.

Bernie is an expert on what people who aren’t him need and don’t need. “You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants," he bloviated during the campaign.

"How many cars do they need? Give us a break. You can't have it all," he tweeted after the campaign.

But Bernie can have three homes. He can put his name on a book, give little to charity and pay little in taxes.

The Socialist politician keeps his finances as opaque as possible. His summer home purchase was hidden behind the Islands Family Trust. He released as little tax information as he could get away with and dodged filing FEC campaign disclosures. Behind the rhetoric about wealth redistribution is a greedy little man who is expert at extracting money from government jobs and political dupes.

“I never had any money my entire life,” he once claimed. That’s still the image he likes to cultivate.

It just happens to be a lie. Bernie is lazy and greedy. That’s a bad combination. And it’s the source of his resentment. Those furious speeches aren’t outrage, they’re entitlement.

Now Bernie is finally a member of the 1% he has made a career of denouncing. But as a good Socialist, he knows that the real question is who did the work.

"I come from the white working class," Bernie Sanders told CBS last year. But how can you be in the working class when you’ve never actually worked for a living?

Bernie was kicked out of a hippie commune for “sitting around and talking” about politics instead of working. He bought his dirt shack with unemployment money. And he doesn’t remember what job he was collecting unemployment for.

His only real paying work has been in politics. And the “work” part is still a misnomer.

Bernie’s rate of missed roll call votes was more than double the Senate average. He sponsored three pieces of legislation that actually became law. Two of them involved renaming post offices.

But Bernie did write a book. And he made a lot of money. You can’t take that away from him.

Or can you?

Outsider in the House, Bernie's old memoir, was "co-written" with Huck Gutman. Besides being Bernie's Chief of Staff, Gutman is an English professor. And likely did the actual writing.

The book was written in 1997. And when Bernie ran for president, the same old book was dusted off and renamed Outsider in the White House. That’s exactly what you expect from a guy who got kicked out of a hippie commune and whose legislative accomplishments mainly involved renaming post offices.

Bernie’s millennial fans were a little confused by all the rants about Gingrich and the Christian

But Outsider in the White House was at least somewhat honest about its authorship. Our Revolution, the tome that made Bernie a 1 percenter, lists no author. Like other politicians, you’re supposed to assume that Bernie wrote it in his own voice. Numerous reviews praise its authenticity.

Did Bernie break a lifetime’s habit and actually do some work? Or, like everything about him, is it a lie?

Our Revolution lists no co-author. But the website of Kevin Anderson & Associates, a ghostwriting firm, claims that copyediting on Bernie’s book was done by Thomas Cherwin. Cherwin is listed as a “Ghostwriter & Editor”. Did Bernie just happen to go to a ghostwriting firm for some editing or for some writing?

It doesn’t really matter. And we’ll never know for sure. But it would be fitting if Bernie joined the 1% only through someone else’s work.

Isn’t that the essence of Socialism?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Anger Privilege

If you want to know who has privilege in a society and who doesn’t, follow the anger.

There are people in this country who can safely express their anger. And those who can’t. If you’re
angry that Trump won, your anger is socially acceptable. If you were angry that Obama won, it wasn’t.

James Hodgkinson’s rage was socially acceptable. It continued to be socially acceptable until he crossed the line into murder. And he’s not alone. There’s Micah Xavier Johnson, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Dallas, and Gavin Long, the Black Lives Matter cop-killer in Baton Rouge. If you’re black and angry about the police, your anger is celebrated. If you’re white and angry about the Terror travel ban, the Paris Climate treaty, ObamaCare repeal or any leftist cause, you’re on the side of the angry angels.

But if you’re white and angry that your job is going to China or that you just missed being killed in a Muslim suicide bombing, your anger is unacceptable.

If you’re an angry leftist, your party leader, Tom Perez will scream and curse into a microphone, and your aspiring presidential candidate, Kirsten Gillibrand, will curse along, to channel the anger of the base. But if you’re an angry conservative, then Trump channeling your anger is “dangerous” because you aren’t allowed to be angry.

Not all anger is created equal. Some anger is privileged rage.

Good anger gets you a gig as a CNN commentator. Bad anger gets you hounded out of your job. Good anger isn’t described as anger at all. Instead it’s linguistically whitewashed as “passionate” or “courageous”. Bad anger however is “worrying” or “dangerous”. Angry left-wing protesters “call out”, angry right-wing protesters “threaten”. Good anger is left-wing. Bad anger is right-wing.

Socially acceptable displays of anger, from Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter riots to the anti-Trump marches to the furious campus protests, are invariably left-wing.

Left-wing anger over the elections of Bush and Trump was sanctified. Right-wing outrage over Obama’s victory was demonized. Now that left-wing anger led a Bernie Sanders volunteer to open fire at a Republican charity baseball practice outing. And the media reluctantly concedes that maybe both sides should moderate their rhetoric. Before listing examples that lean to the right like “Lock her up”.

Why were chants of “Lock her up” immoderate, but not Bush era cries of “Jail to the chief”? Why were Tea Party rallies “ominous” but the latest We Hate Trump march is “courageous”? Why is killing Trump on stage the hottest thing to hit Shakespeare while a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask was hounded by everyone from the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri to the NAACP?

Not all anger is created equal. Anger, like everything else, is ideologically coded. Left-wing anger is good because its ideological foundations are good. Right-wing anger is bad because its ideology is bad.

It’s not the level of anger, its intensity or its threatening nature that makes it good or bad.

And that is why the left so easily slips into violence. All its ideological ends are good. Therefore its means, from mass starvation to gulags to riots and tyranny, must be good. If I slash your tires because of your Obama bumper sticker”, I’m a monster. But if you key my car because of my Trump bumper sticker, you’re fighting racism and fascism. Your tactics might be in error, but your viewpoint isn’t.

There are no universal standards of behavior. Civility, like everything else, is ideologically limited.

Intersectionality frowns on expecting civil behavior from “oppressed” protesters. Asking that shrieking campus crybully not to scream threats in your face is “tone policing”. An African-American millionaire’s child at Yale is fighting for her “existence”, unlike the Pennsylvania coal miner, the Baltimore police officer and the Christian florist whose existences really are threatened.

Tone policing is how the anger of privileged leftists is protected while the frustration of their victims is suppressed. The existence of tone policing as a specific term to protect displays of left-wing anger shows the collapse of civility into anger privilege. Civility has been replaced by a political entitlement to anger.

The left prides itself on an unearned moral superiority (“When they go low, we go high”) reinforced by its own echo chamber even as it has become incapable of controlling its angry outbursts. The national tantrum after Trump’s victory has all but shut down the government, turned every media outlet into a non-stop feed of conspiracy theories and set off protests that quickly escalated into street violence.

But Trump Derangement Syndrome is a symptom of a problem with the left that existed before he was born. The left is an angry movement. It is animated by an outraged self-righteousness whose moral superiority doubles as dehumanization. And its machinery of culture glamorizes its anger. The media dresses up the seething rage so that the left never has to look at its inner Hodgkinson in the mirror.

The left is as angry as ever. Campus riots and assassinations of Republican politicians are nothing new. What is changing is that its opponents are beginning to match its anger. The left still clings to the same anger it had when it was a theoretical movement with plans, but little impact on the country. The outrage at the left is no longer ideological. There are millions of people whose health care was destroyed by ObamaCare, whose First Amendment rights were taken away, whose land was seized, whose children were turned against them and whose livelihoods were destroyed.

The angry left has gained a great deal of power. It has used that power to wreck lives. It is feverishly plotting to deprive nearly 63 million Americans of their vote by using its entrenched power in the government, the media and the non-profit sector. And it is too blinded by its own anger over the results of the election to realize the anger over its wholesale abuses of power and privileged tantrums.

But monopolies on anger only work in totalitarian states. In a free society, both sides are expected to control their anger and find terms on which to debate and settle issues. The left rejects civility and refuses to control its anger. The only settlement it will accept is absolute power. If an election doesn’t go its way, it will overturn the results. If someone offends it, he must be punished. Or there will be anger.

The angry left demands that everyone recognize the absolute righteousness of its anger as the basis for its power. This anger privilege, like tone policing, is often cast in terms of oppressed groups. But its anger isn’t in defiance of oppression, but in pursuit of oppression.

Anger privilege is used to silence opposition, to enforce illegal policies and to seize power. But the left’s monopolies on anger are cultural, not political. The entertainment industry and the media can enforce anger privilege norms through public shaming, but their smears can’t stop the consequences of the collapse of civility in public life. There are no monopolies on emotion.

When anger becomes the basis for political power, then it won’t stop with Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders. That’s what the left found out in the last election. Its phony pearl clutching was a reaction to the consequences of its destruction of civility. Its reaction to that show of anger by conservatives and independents was to escalate the conflict. Instead of being the opposition, the left became the “resistance”. Trump was simultaneously Hitler and a traitor. Republicans were evil beasts.

James Hodgkinson absorbed all this. The left fed his anger. And eventually he snapped.

Anger has to go somewhere.

The left likes to think that its anger is good anger because it’s angry over the plight of illegal aliens, Muslim terrorists, transgender bathrooms, the lack of abortion in South Carolina, the minimum wage at Taco Bell, budget cuts, tax cuts, police arrests, drone strikes and all the other ways in which reality differs from its utopia. But all that anger isn’t the road to a better world, but to hate and violence.

Millions of leftists, just like Hodgkinson, are told every day that Republicans are responsible for everything wrong with their lives, the country and the planet. Despite everything they do, all the petitions they sign, the marches they attend, the donations, the angry letters, the social media rants, Republicans continue to exist and even be elected to public office. Where does that anger go?

Either we have a political system based on existing laws and norms of civility. Or we have one based on coups and populist leftist anger. And there are already a whole bunch of those south of the border.

Leftist anger is a privileged bubble of entitlement that bursts every other election. Its choice is to try to understand the rest of the country or to intimidate, censor, oppress and eventually kill them.

James Hodgkinson took the latter course. His personal leftist revolution ended, as all leftist revolutions do, in blood and violence. The left can check its anger privilege and examine its entitlement.

Or his violence will be our future.

Monday, June 19, 2017

No Allah Please, We're British

"In the name of Allah, the merciful," Omar Mateen told the police. "Praise be to Allah, and prayers as well as peace upon the prophet of Allah. I let you know, I'm in Orlando and I did the shootings."

Allah is missing from the hundreds of media stories about the Pulse attack which all mention homophobia. But Omar never spoke of gay people during his talks with police. He called himself an “Islamic soldier” and described the attack as revenge for the death of Abu Waheed; a senior ISIS leader.

The media accounts ignore the actual Islamic motive of the attack and they substitute an imaginary one. Reducing the Pulse attack to homophobia because the target was a gay bar is as misleading as treating 9/11 as an attack on the financial services industry. The victims were targeted because of what they weren’t, not because of what they were. They were murdered because they were non-Muslims.

The Washington Post managed to do an extensive article on the Pulse attack without ever mentioning Omar’s name or Islam. The Orlando Sentinel headlined its coverage as, “Pulse gunman's motive: Plenty of theories, but few answers”. The Daily News also wants to know, “What was Mateen’s full motive?”

A year later, it’s still unclear what the motive that the terrorist stated at length might actually be. After an initial attempt at censorship, the full transcripts of Omar Mateen’s conversations were released.

And they changed absolutely nothing. Instead the media doubled down on the whitewashing.

The most extensive connection between the Pulse attack and Islam comes from a USA Today network local paper which claims that the Islamic terrorist attack created “a culture of fear of Muslims” who “fear for their lives”.

Muslims never exist as perpetrators. Only as victims.

Another USA Today local paper has a feature story about a Muslim who spent more time going to Omar’s mosque which, besides Omar, had already been linked to another Islamic terrorist.

It’s not just the Pulse attack in America. The situation is even worse in the UK.

When a nursery worker was attacked in the UK by Muslim women shouting, “Allah will get you”, slashed with a knife, kicked and punched, the BBC carefully trimmed out the Allah part.

No Allah please, we’re British.

In the London attack, three Muslims shouted, “This is for Allah” and “This is for Islam”. Meanwhile a man hiding from the attackers was lectured, “It’s not Muslims”. In North London, a man shouting, “Allah, Allah. I’m going to kill you all” in a Jewish neighborhood was blamed on mental illness.

Commander Mak Chishty, who heads outreach for the London Metropolitan Police, read a statement from Muslim community groups claiming that terrorism "masquerades as Islam.”

And it’s been carrying on this brilliant masquerade ever since the days of its murderous founder.

Allah is that unique deity whose designs are every bit as mysterious as having a knife shoved in your chest. Allah’s followers take great pains to communicate the link between the knife and Allah in extremely obvious ways such as shouting, “This is for Allah” and “Allah will get you” while stabbing you.

And they still continue to be tragically misunderstood.

Omar Mateen declared that he had killed 49 people in “the name of Allah”. But the search for his real motive is still ongoing a year later. HRC, the country’s biggest gay rights lobby, featured “Ramadan reflections”. A sensible Ramadan reflection might have noted the link between Ramadan and Islamic terror. The Islamic State had urged Ramadan attacks calling it, “the month of conquest and jihad.” Instead HRC celebrated Ramadan; the reason for the season that massacred the patrons of a gay bar.

It even ran a post suggesting that “Each of Us Is A Door to Allah”.

Omar Mateen opened a door to Allah and to the Pulse nightclub on June 11, 2016. The door to Allah in Orlando stayed open for three hours. It closed only when a SWAT team took him down.

Doors to Allah keep opening up all over the world. And bodies fall through them. When you hear shouts of “Allahu Akbar” followed by screams of pain, you know that a door to Allah just opened near you.

On 9/11, several doors to Allah opened. The passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 forced their particular door to Allah shut with their bodies. The last sounds on the plane’s flight recorder are, “Allahu Akbar”. In Fort Hood, Nidal Hasan opened a door to Allah and shouting, “Allahu Akbar” began his killing spree. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev opened his door to Allah on his computer. His password was "Allahu Akbar 1".

Allahu Akbar is a little too obscure for most non-Muslims. So to clarify things, Muslim attackers have begun to yell things like “This is for Allah” and “This is for Islam” assuming that can’t be misinterpreted.

But of course it can be and will be.

HRC links the Pulse attack to transgender bathrooms and gun control. It signed on to a statement which links the attack to claims that a “backlash against the American Muslim community led to hate speech and violence, shootings, and mosque vandalism that claimed even more victims”. And so a year later the only suspects in the Pulse attack are abstractions like “gun violence”, “mass shootings” and “bigotry”. No amounts of confessions and definitive statements are ever enough.

Muslim terrorists continue to be very clear about their motives. Our authorities continue to be hopelessly obscure about theirs. Allah is mistranslated as god. Or it’s left out entirely. And tired of being misunderstood, Islamic terrorists will seek some further way to clarify what they are doing and why.

It’s hard to see how they can get any more obvious than “This is for Islam”, but no doubt we’ll find out.

Meanwhile from London to Orlando, there will be the usual tired narrative of vigils against a vague “hate” and for an even vaguer “love”. We will be told to celebrate the diversity of the victims while ignoring the uniformity of the killers. There will be renewed calls for bans on guns and knives. And then perhaps cars. A mythical Muslim backlash will be bemoaned and Muslims will be inducted in as victims.

And then another attack will follow. And another one. And another one after that.

All these attacks will have a common Allah denominator. From Orlando to London, these Islamic terrorist attacks are being carried out for Allah. They are being committed as part of a religious mission.

When the Times Square bomber was being sentenced, Judge Miriam Goldman-Cedarbaum lectured him, “I do hope that you will spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people.”

The Muslim terrorist’s reply was straightforward. “This is but one life,” he said. “If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah, fighting this cause, defending our lands, making the word of Allah supreme over any religion or system.”

These words didn’t come from a YouTube video. They were a paraphrase of the Koran.

Muslim terrorists don’t have to think about whether the Koran wants them to kill a lot of people. They just have to read it. They know what Allah and the Koran want of them. Our leaders choose not to know.

There’s no Allah in London or Orlando. Just mysterious deaths whose motives remain a mystery.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Defending Israel and Fighting Anti-Semitism - My Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture

I was honored and privileged to be asked by Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret to undertake the Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture in memory of his son Ariel, who passed away at an early age.

Robert and Karen are incredible people who have managed to transmute their loss into a search for meaning. And it was a great responsibility to be part of that and to follow speakers like David Horowitz and Larry Elder who have delivered the lecture in the past. It was also a pleasure to meet up with fellow bloggers from Bookworm Room and Rob from Joshuapundit, as well as having colleague Mark Tapson and Kyle Kyllan, producer of The Enemies Within. And thank you also to those who came from as far away as Marin County and Orange County. I was happy to meet everyone and privileged to be able to participate in this event.

The following is the text of my remarks. You can see the video above. My speech begin after opening remarks by Robert, Karen and a friend of Ariel's who shared some beautiful memories of him with us.

Year after year has passed and once again we are gathered here to remember an incredible young man. I have participated in these memorials remotely by watching them from afar. It’s an honor and also a great responsibility to stand here and to speak to you.

This day is a tribute to the impact that Ariel Avrech had on his community and that his parents continue to have on all of us.

Sooner or later we all pass on. The day will come when we all have a tombstone in some quiet place. When we are only a memory. We live on in two ways.

We continue on in the spiritual realm in the presence of G-d. And we live on here in the memory of our friends and our loved ones. And in the positive impact that we make through them.

The conversations you have with your children will echo in the conversations they have with theirs. The wisdom you learned from your parents is a faint echo of men and women whose names have been forgotten, but who were your ancestors thousands of years ago stretching back all the way to Sinai.

One day, hundreds of years from now, a descendant you will never meet, will pass on an echo of yours into a distant generation. And a part of you will live on in his words and the impact that they make.

As Jews, we know that we are a people of the book. But before much of the Oral Torah, the Torah she’Baal peh was set down, it was passed on through word of mouth.

We are a people perpetually in conversation with each other. Thank you for coming to join us in this conversation. There are many kinds of conversations. And there’s a saying.

Small minds talk about people. Great minds speak about ideas. It is a tribute to Ariel and to his parents, Robert and Karen, that their conversation is about ideas. And that Ariel’s conversations, the words that echo, are of ideas.

“Look in the Thesaurus under greatness — you get importance magnitude fame, size, immensity. Such are the values of our culture.” That was a quote that Ariel carried around with him.

We know how different his values were. And those values live on through the way that we remember him.

Ariel is no longer with us. But he is changing the world. And he is changing all of us. In his honor and memory, I want to speak about a world that he never saw. But which, through us, he is having an impact on.

Our world of today.

When Ariel passed away, the world was on the verge of the major challenges we face today.

Since then things have gotten much worse.>

Anti-Semitism has hit unprecedented levels. Defending Israel is harder than ever. But why is that?

It's 2017. Gay marriage is legal. Everything is more multicultural than ever. Everyone is tolerant of everything. Except the things they're intolerant of.

If Anti-Semitism were just a garden variety bigotry, then things should be better.

And if Israel is being attacked because of the so-called Occupation, then its situation should be much better than it was since 1967. Look how many peace deals Israel has made and how much territory it's given away.

Israel should be much more popular now. It should be much easier to be pro-Israel now than it was after the Six Day War.

So why doesn't it work that way? Why instead does it seem as if the more tolerant society gets, the more intolerant of Jews it becomes? Why are Jews fleeing some of the most multicultural cities in Europe? Why is Berkeley a safe space for everyone except Jews?

Why is the anti-Israel movement much stronger after all of Israel's efforts to make peace than it was when Israel refused to negotiate with the PLO?

Why is everything backward for the Jews?>

When we try to do the things we’re supposed to do, when we work for a more tolerant society, when we try to appease our enemies, things get worse instead of better.

What we’re doing isn’t working.

The fact that it’s 2017 and I’m giving a speech about how to fight anti-Semitism and defend Israel shows it isn’t working.

The strategies we learned have failed. And we need to talk about why they failed.

And, taking a page from George from Seinfeld, I’m going to suggest that what we should be doing is the opposite of what we think we should be doing.

And for the same reason.>

Instead of doing all the things that we think will make people like us, we should be true to ourselves. And then we might actually be liked. And more importantly, we’ll deserve to be liked.

I’m not going to devote this speech to going on about how terrible those who hate us are. If you’re sitting in this room, you already know that. I’m not here to talk about the enemies of the Jews. I’m here to talk about the Jews.

We’re a minority. That means we’re other directed. We’re insecure. We’re neurotic. We’re self-conscious. We care what everyone on the outside thinks of us.

And when we talk about anti-Semitism or Israel, we focus on them. Not us.

Why do they hate us? Why don’t they like us? Why is the world so unfair to us?

Those are good philosophical questions. But we can’t change the world. We can only change ourselves.

Anti-Semitism has existed since there were Jews.

The Jewish people come into being at the beginning of the Book of Exodus. Shemos.

Two verses, after they come into being, Pharaoh comes on stage and announces to the Egyptians, We have a Jewish problem. We’ve got to wipe them out.

Anti-Semitism comes into being 19 words after the Jewish people do.

If history is any guide, anti-Semitism isn’t going anywhere. In different countries and times it can get better or worse. But we are never going to wake up one morning in a world without anti-Semitism.

We have two options. The same options every minority group has. We can try to make the world like us. Or we can learn to like ourselves. The greatest anti-Semitic threat we face today is Jewish participation and collaboration in anti-Semitic movements. It’s Jewish insecurity, self-hatred and psychological trauma.

Yes, Iran wants to nuke us. But who campaigned in support of Iran’s nukes. Who provided aid to every effort to stop Israel from bombing Iran’s nuclear program?

Scratch the BDS movement and you find Jews eager to be out front

But most Jews don’t knowingly collaborate with genocidal anti-Semitism. Instead they spend so much time being afraid of what the anti-Semites might think of them that they never resist them.

They worry about how to be liked. They’re insecure. They want to be nice.

Being nice is nice. Except when you’re too nice to defend yourself. When you’re so nice that you give up everything, including your self-respect, just so your enemies will like you.

And then, to add insult to injury, they hate you even more.

Let’s talk about a coat. That’s right a coat. The story of the coat comes from the Gemara, the Talmud.

It’s one of the most basic parts of Jewish legal scholarship.

When I stood in Ariel’s room, I was awed by the number of seforim, of Jewish scholarly books, that he studied. And Ariel would surely have been familiar with the famous Mishna in Baba Metzia. It’s the story of two men and a coat.

Shnaim Ochizin be’Tallit. Two men are fighting over who owns a coat.

A coat??? What does a Talmudic coat, some moldy old garment that was being argued about, have to do with our modern problems today?

It’s part of that eternal conversation I mentioned. We become immortal through our conversations. Even an argument about a coat from thousands of years ago shapes our lives today.

What’s the argument about a coat?

One man says it’s my coat. The other says, no it’s my coat. They come to court still playing tug of war with the coat. And a Jewish court in a Solomonic decision, says they have to split it. But if one man says, the whole coat is mine. But the other man is willing to compromise. He says, we can split the coat. I’m only going to ask for half the coat.

You would think he’s being reasonable. He should be rewarded for it. But… no.

The one who claims the whole coat gets 3/4s of the coat. The man who claimed only a half gets half of what he claimed. One quarter.

We are brought up to value compromise so that seems wrong to us. Being reasonable should be rewarded. But let’s look back at the original Solomonic decision. Two women come to King Shlomo with a baby. Both claim the child. He declares that the child will be cut in half and half will be given to each woman.

The true mother turns out to be the woman who won’t compromise and cut her child in half. Because when you truly value something, you won’t compromise on it. Compromise can be good in some areas. But when there are compelling issues at stake, it shows a lack of conviction.

Two peoples walk into the court of international opinion. One says that the entire land of Israel, which is really Palestine, is mine. The other says that while the Jewish people do have a great historic attachment to the land, this was where our kings once ruled, where our temple once stood, from which we were exiled and desperately sought to return to for thousands of years, et cetera, yadda yadda, but we’ll be nice guys and take half the baby, the land and the coat.

Is it really that hard to see why we’re losing the argument? Why a terrorist organization that only came to its current position that it has the right to Yehuda and Shomron after the Six Day War, which can’t point to a single historic Palestinian state, king or dog catcher, has its demand widely accepted, while we, whose claim is recorded in the holy books of most of the world, can’t seem to convince anyone of it.

We can’t convince anyone, because we haven’t convinced ourselves.

On the wall of Ariel’s room, I saw a map of Eretz Yisrael. Many of us have maps like that. But how many of us have the conviction that goes with it.

The other side has made it abundantly clear that they won’t compromise. From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free. You can hear that chant at terrorist rallies and at University of California campuses. We announce as often as we can that we are eager to compromise. Take half the coat. Take 51% of the coat. Take our baby. See we’re the nice guys.

And then we wonder why everyone blames us for the lack of peace. Don’t they see that we’re willing to cut the baby in half?

But are we really nice guys? Why are we really compromising?

The other side believes that we’re compromising because we know we’re in the wrong. We’re that guy coming into court clinging to a coat who doesn’t dare lay claim to the entire coat, but who at least tries to get some of it. We’re more willing to make peace because we’re wrong. The other side is unwilling to make peace because it knows it’s right.

That’s not the truth. But if you want to understand why we’re losing the argument, it’s a good place to start.

A compromise is still a negotiation. To negotiate successfully, you have to do it from a position of total conviction. And we lack conviction. Why do we lack conviction? Because we are afraid that they won’t like us. Who won’t like us? Everyone. We’re a minority. We’re outsiders. And we desperately want to be liked. We have always wanted to be liked.

There are two types of nice guys. There are those who are genuinely nice. And those who are insecure. Who want you to like them because they don’t like themselves.

That is who we are as a people. We lack conviction because we don’t value ourselves. We can give religion to the world, win impossible battles, invent, create, paint and transform history.

And we still go around needing everyone to like us.

We need to be liked so badly that we’ll argue against our own interests. That we’ll cut our own baby in half just to show we’re good people. There is a good reason for that inferiority complex. Jewish history is a history of persecution. Our calendar is covered in cemeteries, burning towns, destroyed cities and the daily grind of being told that we’re bad people by the majority.

And we’ve been told it so often that we believe it.

How many of you know the Yiddish phrase, Shande fur di goyim. Let’s go back to the first time in history that it appears. Long before Yiddish, German and the European galut. Let’s go all the way back to ancient Egypt.

G-d sends Moshe to free the Jews. They have a talk with Pharaoh. He reacts badly. The Jewish overseers come to him and plead with him. He throws another tantrum. And then the overseers see Moshe and Aaron. And they blame them. What do they say to the Prophet of G-d and the future High Priest of the Jewish people?

Heibastem et Reheinu. Literally, you made us smell bad to Pharaoh. Before, while Pharaoh was murdering Jewish babies, he enjoyed our fragrant sandalwood and vanilla aroma. Now he kicked us out of there as if we hadn’t taken a shower in a week.

Look what you’ve done to our image with Pharaoh. Now he doesn’t like us anymore.

Now let’s get into our time machine and go forward. Not too far ahead. Just to the next parsha.

Why did our first conquest of Israel fail?

Moshe sends in the Meraglim, the spies, to Caanan in the upcoming parsha. They’re good leader. But when they come back, they’re angry and hateful toward Moshe and G-d.

What transforms them? We hear it in their climactic argument. Against entering Israel VeNihye Beineinu KeHagovim, when we looked at the Caananites, we saw ourselves as nothing more than insects. Little insects. VeKein Haayinu Beeineichem.

And that’s how we appeared to them.

The spies came back seeing the Jews from the perspective of those who despised them. And they adopted that perspective. They were filled with anger and hatred for the Jews.

Sound familiar. It’s a capsule history of Jewish anti-Semitism that continues today. Now let’s go forward in our Tanach time machine.

Before his passing, Ariel was studying Tanach. There are some who study Gemara but neglect Tanach. And some who study Tanach but neglect Gemara. Ariel studied both. And both are important because they tell us who we are.

And now we’re going back to one of the most pivotal and forgotten moments in Jewish history.

Ancient Israel just got its first real king. But Shaul doesn’t have much of a kingdom.

The Philistines are running the country. And they have spear control. They have tight spear ownership regulations in place. No Jews except Shaul and Yonatan and some of those around them have managed to get their hands on a spear because the Phlistim don’t allow the Jews to have any blacksmiths. If you want to sharpen your kitchen knife, you have to go to a Philistine blacksmith.

The Phlishti commissioner who really runs the land sits on Har HaElohim, on the Mountain of G-d. When the prophets go to the Mountain of G-d, they have to be aware that above them sits the idol worshiping representative of the enemy.

And many of the Jews are in league with the occupation. Some work in the lands of the Philistines. Others might even carry weapons for them the way that Jews did for Antiochus and for the Roman invaders. And the Tanach uses a specific name for them. They’re Ivrim. Hebrews. They’re not Am Yisrael because they’re not really part of the Jewish people. They’re just different. They carry the old name that reflects the Ever HaNahar, they’re members of a people different from the rest of the world. But they’re not proud of that. They’re ashamed of it.

And Jonathan, King Shaul’s son, he goes up and he kills the Philistine commissioner squatting like a toad on the mountain of G-d. And Shaul blows the Shofar, he blows the horn, and he sends a message to the Ivrim, to the Jews who have gone so far off the derech that they are in the camp of the enemy. And the wording used is, Ivrim Yishmau, let the Hebrews here.

And now that Prince Yonatan struck the first blow for Jewish independence and the Shofar is blown, what do the Ivrim do? What is their first reaction. A shande fur di goyim.

VeGam Nivash Yisrael Ba’Pelishtim. The Hebrews were saying the same thing as the Jewish overseers. This Jonathan guy made us seem disgusting to the enemy whose respect we want so badly. What will they think of us now?

And now. We’re still doing the same thing. How often do we respond, internally or externally, with, “What will they think of us now?”

If we don’t compromise, we’ll seem disgusting to them. Warmongers. Oppressors. Occupiers. We point to a Jewish scapegoat. If it wasn’t for him or her. If it wasn’t for the settlements. If it wasn’t for the time that Israel took out a terrorist and killed his son. If it wasn’t for the existence of Israel… they would like us. But now… hevashthem reheinu. What will Pharaoh think? What will the Phlishtim think? What will the world think?

The world would love us if we hadn’t shot first in the Six Day War. It would love us if we had compromised harder before declaring independence. It would realize that the lack of peace isn’t our fault if it wasn’t for all those settlements that are making our odor disgusting in the eyes of the world.

That is not negotiating from a position of strength, but weakness. Moral weakness. We lack conviction. And so we give up the strongest position on every argument in our own defense.

The Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, wrote, and let me quote, “The time for apologies is over.

“...We think that our continual readiness to subject ourselves without a murmur to searches, to turn out our pockets, will finally convince humanity that we are honorable people. We are constantly saying, “Look at us! We are such gentlemen! We have nothing to hide!’”

“But that is an outright error. Real gentlemen will never allow anyone to search their apartments, their pockets, or their souls for any reason whatsoever.”

That means not allowing anyone to dig through the pockets of your coat. Or your soul.

Moral authority, real moral authority, doesn’t come from accepting the moral authority of your enemies, but from rejecting it.

That is why we are losing the argument. The enemy rejects our moral authority. We accept theirs. And when you accept the moral authority of your enemies, when you accept the premise of their arguments but argue about the details and interpretation, it’s over.

The Two State Solution accepts the moral authority of the enemy. We thought that it would make our claim to the land stronger. Instead it destroyed it. It didn’t neutralize anti-Israel sentiment. Instead hatred of Israel is bigger and more widespread than ever in countries that were once friendly to Israel.

Why? Because we admitted we were wrong. Every argument we’ve made since then suffers from that same fatal flaw. Jews are smart. We’re reasoned people. We think that we can prove anything. But the most important things in life can’t be proven. They’re a matter of inner conviction.

The reason that we believe in G-d is a matter of conviction. It can’t be proven in a court of law. The love of parents for their children isn’t logical. The love that leads us here to this lecture, of parents keeping their son’s memory alive year after year, can’t be studied under a

microscope. The deepest and greatest parts of ourselves are not subject to scrutiny.

They express who we are as individuals and as a people. Nations and peoples don’t exist because they have a valid argument. No one comes to Norway and asks the Norwegians if they have a good reason for existing. No one walks up to a parent and demands that they present a good reason for loving their child.

Our best arguments for Israel and against anti-Semitism can’t be put down on a page. We’ve tried to do it and we failed. Our best arguments are who we are.

When we try to be reasonable, when we compromise our convictions, then we stop being certain of who we are. We begin to think that maybe we should be someone else.

Maybe our enemies have a point.

You express conviction by refusing to argue some things. You don’t get into a discussion about cutting your baby in half.

It’s always unacceptable.

When we talk about a two state solution, we show a lack of conviction. If Israel was really our baby, we wouldn’t be talking about cutting her in half.

It may seem paradoxical, but the best argument we can make for ourselves is living by the conviction that we are right. Anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel, is inversely proportional to our confidence in ourselves.

There’s a reason that bullies pick on some kids. It’s not the fault of a child that he becomes a target. But there’s something about him that draws the bully. Two things.

1. He’s better than the bully in some way. He’s smarter. He’s more talented. He has qualities that the bully lacks and despises.

2. He lacks the strength and self-confidence to fight back. Sound familiar?

There’s anti-Semitism in a nutshell. We can’t and don’t want to do anything about our good qualities. Minimizing them doesn’t work. Just as it doesn’t work in the schoolyard.

Abandoning our religion didn’t work. Endless philanthropy didn’t do it. Insisting we’re no better than anyone else to anyone who will listen has achieved exactly zero.

But on the second matter, we found the strength to once again fight back.

After thousands of years, we went to the gym and we discovered muscles we never knew we had. But we still don’t have the inner strength of self-confidence.

Having armies isn’t enough. You can be strong and be bullied.

When we’re strong, the bullies turn from physical bullying to moral bullying. They tell us that we’re bad for defending ourselves. And then, when we’ve been morally bullied into not fighting back, they punch us in the face.

Moral bullying uses our need for acceptance against us. It says that if you’re really such nice people, you’ll prove it by not fighting back when the terrorists kill you.

You’ll prove it by giving up your country and committing suicide.

You can be the strongest country in the world and still be morally bullied. America experiences it all the time.

You need inner strength. You need the conviction that you are right. And then when you are nice, it’s because you choose to be. Not because you’re afraid not to be.

Jews have a long history of exile. That taught us to be non-threatening. To give in. And sometimes that’s a necessary survival mechanism. But there’s a price to pay for that.

A price in honor, in dignity and in credibility. After a while the survival mechanism becomes your identity.

And then instead of being the people of the book, we become the people who are willing to see the other side more clearly than we see our own side.

Our conviction becomes that the other guy has a better point than we do. That he has a better claim to the baby, the coat or the country than we do.

Being a victim of abuse risks developing a perverse empathetic link to the abuser. That’s what the survival strategy means. You try to keep yourself safe by becoming sensitive to what the guy who might attack you is thinking. You try to get inside his head.

Because you don’t want to set him off.

And the risk of that kind of thinking is that you begin to identify with him. That’s Stockholm Syndrome.

This is where so many Jews are. We identify with the guy punching us in the face.

It’s a survival strategy that we learned in exile, in Galut. Because you have to know where the next pogrom or the Holocaust might be coming from. But if you do that long enough, you start to think that maybe the people killing us are right and find ways to part ways with the Jews.

That’s our message to the wicked son at the Seder who separates from us. Ihlu haya shom lo haya nigaal. It’s the message of Mordechai to Esther. Revach ve’hatzala yaamod la’yehudim mimakom aher. And as we’ve seen it goes back all the way to Egyptian slavery. We sometimes call identifying with the guy punching us in the face. Rachmanut. Mercy. It’s more accurately, Rachmanut shel Tipshim. The mercy of fools.

We all know the elementary principle, Kol HaMerachem AlHachzorim, he who has mercy on the cruel will eventually be cruel to those whom he ought to have mercy on. The principle is derived from Shaul, who had mercy on the leader of Amalek, yet went on to slaughter an entire city of Kohanim. Why are the two necessarily intertwined? Isn’t it possible to be nice to everyone? Or is there something in that desire to be nice to evil that reveals how we identify with evil?

Is mercy toward evil itself a seed of evil growing in our own hearts? Was Shaul’s mercy toward Amalek a foreshadowing of the atrocities he would commit against Jews?

Are those Jews who empathize with Islamic terrorists actually growing in cruelty toward other Jews?

Let’s get in our Tanach time machine one more time.

King Ahav and his worse half, Izevel or Jezebel, are ruling in the Kingdom of Israel. You probably know both of them from another story.

But that’s not the story we’re going to talk about now. Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, decided to throw his weight around. So he sent a message to Ahav. Your gold and silver belong to me. Your wives and even your favorite sons are mine.

And Ahav said, “Sure boss, whatever you say.”

So Ben Hadad, like a good bill collector, followed up. And he told Ahav, I’m going to send some of my people around tomorrow and they’re going to look through all your stuff. And everything that is precious to you, they’re going to take away.

And Ahav said, “Uh-oh, he really means it.”

So Ahav talked it over with his advisers. And they said, “Don’t do it.” And Ahav sends word back to Ben-Hadad, “Can’t we be reasonable about this.”

And Ben Hadad offers a 300 moment. He threatens Ahav. The dust of the Shomron won’t be enough to cover all my armies.

Ahav takes his shot at a comeback. And it’s weak. Just like him, “The guy putting on his armor shouldn’t brag like the guy who’s taking it off.”

Ben Haddad doesn’t even bother answering back. Instead he invades.

Ahav is afraid. He’s a coward. When he finally dies later and the dogs lick his blood at the end of that story you probably know, it’s because he tried to disguise himself in the next war against Aram and exposes the King of Yehuda, Yehosophat, to the arrows of Aram. He’s afraid of Ben Hadad. He wouldn’t protect his wives or sons against him. But a prophet shows up and tells Ahav, it’s going to be okay.

Ben Hadad and his kings get drunk in their tents. While they’re getting drunk, 7,000 Israelis attack this huge army, over a hundred thousand men, and smash it to pieces.

Ben Hadad runs away. But his advisers have a great plan.

“Don’t worry,” they tell the Aramean king. “We only lost because the G-d of the Jews is the G-d of the mountains. But next time we’re going to fight them in the valley.”

Also we’re going to get rid of the whole drunk kings command structure. We’ll have a professional army. And we’re going to invade and win.

And Ben Hadad goes for it. Round 2.

The Israelis are vastly outnumbered. The Arameans are everywhere. And G-d sends another message to Ahav through the prophet. “Thus says the Lord, because the Arameans said that G-d is a G-d of the mountains and not of the valleys, I'm going to give this entire horde into your hand. And you will know that I am G-d."

The men of Israel don’t just win. 7,000 Jews kill 100,000 enemy soldiers in one day.

Ben Hadad escapes with 27,000 men. He still outnumbers the Jews 4 to 1. And then a wall falls on all his men. He has no army left.

This is a bad situation. The Aramean king hides in his room. And his advisers, who got him into this mess, come up with their first good idea.

Hinei no Shamanu, we heard, Ki Malchei Beit Yisrael ki Malchei Chesed Hem, that the kings of Israel are merciful, they're nice people. Let's beg for mercy.

And Ben Hadad's advisers carry a message to Ahav. Let me live. Don't kill me.

And how does Ahav respond to the tyrant who wanted to take his wives and his children. "He's my brother."

And Ahav brings Ben Hadad into his chariot. And they make a peace deal. Ben Hadad leaves. The prophet finds Ahav and says to him, You idiot.”

G-d wanted Ben Hadad dead. You spared his life. And now Aram is going to kill you and instead of Aram being defeated, Israel will be defeated.


We think of this kind of thing as medieval. We all know that Ahav did the right thing. He extended a hand in friendship to a defeated enemy. He made a peace deal.

Ahav knows it too. But G-d seems to disagree.

And Ahav is unhappy. And this is where the story that we know about him begins.

What does Ahav do to cheer up when he’s down in the dumps? He plants a herb garden. That’s kind of strange, but let’s not be judgmental. But the herb garden he wants to plant is in the vineyard of a guy named Navoth. Navoth won’t sell the vineyard. Ahav and his worse half, Yezevel, have Navoth killed.

And Eliyahu HaNavi comes to Ahav with a message. Where the dogs licked the blood of Navoth, they’re going to lick your blood.

In the next war, an Aramean archer kills Ahav and the dogs end up licking his blood.

And Melachim Alef, Kings 1 ends.

But how are the two incidents, the war with Aram and the vineyard of Navoth, related?

Is G-d punishing Ahav for not killing Ben Hadad or for killing Navoth?

The answer is both.

When Ben Hadad’s advisers said that the kings of Israel were merciful, what did they really mean?

Omri, Ahav’s dad, got the job of king by attacking Zimri who set the palace on fire and died. Zimri got the job by wiping out the entire family of Baasha. Baasha got the throne by killing the previous king.

You get the idea.

How did Ben Hadad’s advisers look at this succession of murders and think the kings of Israel sure are a merciful bunch?

Did they really mean that Ahav and the rest of the gang were nice guys?

Ben Hadad’s advisers meant that they were weak. Ahav let Ben Hadad push him around. And the advisers were betting that Ahav was still weak even when the Aramean king had no armies left.

Why was Ahav weak?

His dad Omri despised Israel. He brought in the Phoenicians and married his son off to Yezevel. He drove out Judaism and replaced it with the worship of Baal.

But he still had a problem. He was the King of Israel. And Israel was inferior in his eyes.

That was why Ahav was so insecure, why he couldn’t stand up to Ben Hadad. He wanted to be like Ben Hadad. He wanted Ben Hadad to like him. And when G-d beats Ben Hadad for him, when Ben Hadad begs him for mercy, Ahav raises him up to “Brother”.

Does Ben Hadad call Ahav brother? No. Ben Hadad despises him.

Like Pharaoh’s overseers, Ahav desperately wants Ben Hadad to like him. He senses that foul odors of Jewishness on himself and rejects the G-d who brought him victory.

Is Ahav merciful? Shortly afterward he kills a Jewish man over an herb garden. But he calls the monster who demanded his wives and children as trophies, Brother.

Ahav is evil, but also pathetic. He’s despicable in the unique way of Jewish anti-Semites who aspire to be loved by those who hate them. Who call enemies brothers and murder their true brothers.

It wasn’t Ben Hadad who was the real problem. It was Ahav who wanted to be Ben Hadad. It’s the Ben Hadads sitting inside our own heads.

It’s how flattered we feel when an enemy seems to be willing to give us the time of day. And how we resent those Jews who proudly stand up for themselves. Who aren’t nice to the enemy.

What we want isn’t really peace. It’s what Ahav wanted. Acceptance.

Think about Kastner praising Kurt Becher. Or the Jews who met with Arafat and now meet with Abbas.

The tragedy of Jewish history is not that we are hated. It is that we have absorbed that hatred. That we have learned to hate ourselves. We don’t love our enemies because we are virtuous. We do it because we despise ourselves. The foul odor is not in the nose of Pharaoh of the Philistines, is it in our own noses.

Anti-Semitism, here or in Israel, isn’t going anywhere. It’s up to us how we respond to it. When we are insecure, it gets worse. When we are on the defensive, we will be bullied. The more excuses we make, the worse the attacks will become.

It’s wonderful that Israelis are incredibly inventive. But the Hasbara that emphasizes it is the same old defense that Jews have always put on against anti-Semitism.

Look how many Nobel prizes we have and how many diseases we cured.

But that doesn’t dissuade those who hate us. It’s one of the reasons why they hate us.

The more we keep dishing out reasons not to hate us, the more we’ll be hated. If we really want anti-Semitism to end, we have to stop worrying about it.

I know that’s paradoxical and a little insulting. Caring about persecuted Jews is important. But being sensitive to hatred is self-defeating. It invites us to fall into Stockholm Syndrome. To start trying to see ourselves as our enemies see us and to change so we are less offensive. And then to find Jewish scapegoats for anti-Semitism whom we will accuse Heivasthem et Reiheinu. You make us look bad.

The answer to self-consciousness is to stop worrying what everyone thinks of you. And to live as your best self.

That is what we must do as a people. Not because it will make us liked. But because we can. We should never stop fighting for our rights, individually, religiously or nationally. But we should never do it from a defensive position. And we could never surrender an inch of moral authority to those who hate us no matter what we did or did not do.

We must never apologize for our existence.

The best forms of resistance to hatred of Jews and Israel are pride, dignity and success.

It is not the politicians and presidents who will determine our worth. No president will move the embassy to Jerusalem, not Obama or Trump, until we decide that it is our eternal capital, in deeds, not just in lip service. Their policies will not change until we change ours.

No president will save us from ourselves. Terrorism against Israel will not end until we stop tolerating it. Anti-Semitism will not go away with a clever new gimmick. This 30 second video will not stop support for BDS from growing on college campuses.

We make great efforts to get others to believe in our worth. No one will believe in us, in our right to be free and to live, until we believe in ourselves.

The State of Israel was reborn because we worked for it. And we believed that we could do it because we had a right to it. That right hasn’t gone anywhere. Only our conviction in it has faltered.

President Trump’s visit to Israel was surrounded by drama over whether the administration would recognize that the Kotel, the Western Wall, was in Israel. We parsed every administration utterance. Yes they admitted, the Wall was in Jerusalem, but did they mean that it was in Jerusalem, Israel.

There was widespread disappointment when this administration, like almost every previous administration, promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. And then didn’t do it.

But that’s the way it’s always going to be. No one is going to recognize Yerushalayim as our capital until we do it 100 percent. Until we make it clear that no part of our holy city is on the table.

If we lack conviction, why would we expect any other country to have more conviction than we do?

We keep waiting for a new Pharaoh to come around who will know Yosef, a new administration that will finally recognize the truth and be pro-Israel and save us.

And then we’re disappointed when the new Pharaoh, no matter what he promised during the campaign, still doesn’t know Yosef. And we go on playing the same game.

What’s the current strategy?

We show how nice we are by cooperating in the peace process. We impose freezes, we make concessions and then surely Trump will see that Abbas and the PLO are the ones who don’t want peace.

This strategy has been tried for decades with different presidents. It has never worked. Why do we think it’s going to work now? When we are more willing to make concessions than the terrorists, we don’t prove that we’re the good ones.

Instead we show that we’re the easiest to pressure, that diplomats can get the most results by shaking us down, and that we are the most willing to compromise because we’re wrong.

We are never going to prove that we deserve the whole coat by being willing to take half. And we are not going to win the respect of President Trump by making more concessions.

The strategies we’re following have been discredited over and over again.

We aren’t following these strategies because they work. But because we want to be liked. Because we’re afraid to be hated.

We’re still waiting for someone else to believe in us when we don’t believe in ourselves.

We’re waiting for President Trump to give us permission to have our capital in Yerushalayim. We’re waiting for someone else to take care of Iran. To recognize that we have a right to our own country. That we have a right to exist. But that’s not how it works.

Even when a temporary recognition happens, it’s quickly withdrawn.

The Balfour Declaration was followed by the White Paper. Partition in the UN was followed by a long string of condemnations and Zionism is Racism.

The Jewish reliance on the British for a homeland ended with an invasion of Jerusalem by Muslim troops under British officers. Israel’s golden age of alliance with France ended with Cherbourg.

Israel doesn’t exist because the British or Truman handed it to us. It doesn’t exist because of Czech arms, the United Nations or anyone else. Those were factors that occasionally aligned in our favor and occasionally against us. Israel exists because Jews worked for it, prayed for it, wished for it, lived for it, fought for it and died for it.

The patron theory of the existence of Israel holds us back.

Other peoples invent independent founding myths. We invent dependent founding myths. We have Israel because Eddie Jacobson was Truman’s friend.

The reality is that Truman did as little as possible for Israel. And his reasons for doing so had nothing to do with Eddie and everything to do with the Jewish vote in an election that he was worried about.

But we like the story about Eddie and Harry. Even though Harry Truman was an anti-Semitic bigot who never allowed a Jew into his house.

Because we like to think that we got Israel because a president liked us. On some level, we would rather be Eddie than King David.

The fact of the matter is that Truman gave us nothing except a throwaway vote, no de facto recognition, and an arms embargo to a country he expected to see destroyed by the Arab invaders.

It was the young men and women who held out in small numbers in small villages, it was the Holocaust survivors fresh from the DP camps with a rifle and a tattoo on their hands, who made Israel possible. It was G-d who gave us the land and gave us the ability to fight for it, as he did to Moshe and even Ahav.

Israel doesn’t exist because anyone liked us. It exists because enough Jews realized that the Communists, the French who wanted Dreyfus’ head, the British, the Arabs and so many others would never like us.

Israel’s independence represents the end of that need to be dependent, to be a minority dependent on the goodwill of the majority. Some thought that creating Israel would end anti-Semitism.

It didn’t.

But, more importantly, it did not end Jewish insecurity.

Israel is unfairly treated by the world in the same way that the Jews are treated unfairly. Anti-Zionism is a symptom of anti-Semitism. But the great thing about anti-Zionism is that Jews get to play. They get to participate in anti-Zionism since it seems to be only a national critique. And self-hating Jews can pretend that it’s not about them. It’s about Israel. If we all turn around and go back to Egypt or Europe, Pharaoh will like us again.

Israel is treated unfairly by the world. But it sets itself up for it because it cares about what the world thinks. Israel was strongest in its Um Shmoom days when it dismissed the UN. When it didn’t allow itself to become dependent on any single country. When it acted first and apologized later.

99 percent of the world does not care about being liked.

The French do not sit around worrying what the world thinks of them. Neither do the Belgians, the Nigerians or the Easter Islanders.

The more we demand recognition, of Jerusalem, of Israel, of our right to exist… the less likely we are to receive it.

The more concerned we are about anti-Semitism, the more of it there will be.

Searching for approval won’t win us friends, only invite critics, enemies and foes. Only conviction in our cause and living our best lives will. Im tirtzu, ein zo agada. If you desire it, if you have the conviction, it is no dream.

That is the life that Ariel lived. It was a short life, but also a glorious one. He confronted challenges as if they weren’t there. He followed his dreams.

That is also the story of the Jewish people at our best. At our best, our talents are astounding. Ariel had the belief that he could anything. That is what we often lack.

We lose faith in G-d. And then we lose faith in ourselves. We become contemptible in our own eyes. And then in the eyes of our oppressors. And then G-d redeems us out of our exile.

But the exile isn’t just around us. It’s inside us.

When we lose the certainty of our divine origins, we become exiled from the first and founding source of our greatness. Oppression destroys our confidence and our identity.

Our eternal identity is built on faith. We carry it with us wherever we go. It is our conversation of millennia. By taking part in it Ariel, became immortal. He lives on in the Jewish people. When we take part in it, we also become immortal.

Physical exile alone cannot kill us. Gas chambers and bombs cannot destroy us. Only when we forget who we are, that we are the sons and daughters of kings, do we lose our part in the conversation and die.

My speech is ending, but the Jewish conversation must endure. The faith that we pass down in words, must be lived in deeds. Resistance to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel attacks begins with the conviction that we pass down to our children, as Robert and Karen passed down to Ariel. It ends with the pride that we take in our G-d, our people and our country.

Ariel had always wanted to visit Israel, but he never had the opportunity. Late in his life, there was a plane ticket, but he could no longer fly.

We can fly. Part of paying tribute to someone who has passed on is living their dreams. Ariel’s dream is part of that great mass of Jewish dreams that began with Avraham’s dream. It is a dream of a people in a holy land forever close to G-d, to our past, our present and our future. It is easy to lose sight of that dream. That is what happens so often to us in exile,

But our best defense is still not in our arguments, in the Hasbara that we try to assiduously teach, but in passing down the passion and conviction of that dream to our children.

Anti-Semitism in the world at large may never end. But let Jewish self-hatred end among the Jews. As much as we like to argue, we cannot argue ourselves into existence. But we can dream tomorrow into existence by living in the past, present and future, in this world and the world to come, in the secular world and in the Torah world, in exile and in Israel.

And when we straddle both worlds, our world and the world of G-d, we are immortal. Not only in the face of death, but in the face of evil as were the Chassidim who sang and danced into the gas chambers, and in our worries about what Pharaoh and the New York Times think of us. We are lifted above hatred and self-hatred.

We become the immortal Jewish nation we were meant to be.