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December 2013

Comrade Isaac and Sir Isaiah Posted By Vladimir Tismaneanu ****


It is hard to find two more strikingly different intellectual personalities than the author of Trotsky’s classic biography and one of the “Russian Thinkers.” Comrade Isaac (Deutscher), as he was called by like-minded left-wing thinkers, was enamored with grandiose Hegelian-Marxist generalization and worshipped great men (a category in which he included Lenin, Stalin and Trotsky). Sir Isaiah (Berlin) was by nature skeptical, suspicious of utopianism, abhorred radicalism of any shade, and valued, more than anything else, the sense of reality. Deutscher was committed to monistic determinism, Berlin cherished agonistic pluralism.

During the Cold War years, these two thinkers, both born in the Russian empire to Jewish families with long rabbinical traditions, both émigrés (at different ages, to be sure) to England, both magnetized by Russian culture, came to embody incompatible visions of politics, history, and morality.

One important distinction needs to be made from the very outset: whereas Deutscher joined the underground Polish Communist Party in the 1920s, Berlin was never a member of a Leninist sect. True, comrade Isaac broke with the Stalinists and became an independent Marxist, an influential journalist and an acclaimed historian, but he never jettisoned a romanticized vision of early Bolshevism as a fountain of revolutionary hope. He admired intransigence, arduous pursuit of an ultimate revolutionary dream meant to fulfill a secret plan of History. For Berlin, this was nonsense. He abhorred any grandiose teleology and admired Alexander Herzen, a Russian thinker who opposed reckless radicalism. Like Herzen, in many respects his intellectual hero, Berlin refused to believe that history (not capitalized) develops in accordance with an esoteric libretto. Whereas he acknowledged, without sharing, Karl Marx’s philosophical insights, he regarded Lenin not only as a delusional Jacobin, but also as the founder of a despicable totalitarian experiment.


http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/obama-is-too-smart-to-fail/print/ We all know that George W. Bush was a moron. And we all know that Obama is a genius. We have been told by Valerie Jarrett, by his media lapdogs and even by the great man himself that he is just too smart to do his job. And it’s reasonable that a genius would […]


http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/bruce-bawer/swedens-march-into-oblivion/print/ Sweden is self-destructing, and more and more people are writing about it – but, with very few exceptions, still not in the mainstream Swedish media, where denial continues to reign supreme. Indeed, even as concerned observers abroad (especially in neighboring Denmark and Norway, where the elites still look to their larger neighbor as a […]


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/366809/ladies-man-kevin-d-williamson President Barack Obama has never been a man’s man, or, more precisely, a men’s man. In 2008 he failed to win a majority of men’s votes, and in 2012 he lost men decisively. Hostility toward the president is not distributed evenly among men: He does fairly well among Hispanics and enjoys nearly unanimous support […]



The outrage over a “reality” star’s comment smacks of artificiality.

So rednecks need to be politically correct now? Wait, before the National Association of Rednecked Persons attacks me, let me be clear that I don’t mean “redneck” as an insult. Indeed, Redneck Pride has been on the rise ever since Jeff Foxworthy got rich informing people they “might be a redneck.”

(Some clues: if your school fight song was “Dueling Banjos”; if you’ve ever raked leaves in your kitchen; if your boat hasn’t left your driveway for 15 years; if birds are attracted to your beard, etc.)

Redneck reality shows have been all the rage: Rocket City Rednecks, My Big Redneck Vacation, Hillbilly Handfishin’ and, of course, Swamp People.But the gold standard is Duck Dynasty, which follows the Robertsons, a family that struck it rich selling duck calls. It’s like a real-life version of The Beverly Hillbillies. All of the men look like they stepped out of the Hatfield–McCoy conflict to smoke a corncob pipe.

What all of these — and countless other — reality shows have in common is their shock value. And guess what? Sometimes the shock is manufactured. If the cameras weren’t on, the silicone life forms on the various Real Housewives shows probably wouldn’t be throwing wine in each other’s faces as much as they do. TLC’s awful reality show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo tries its hardest to turn an uncouth Southern white family with a children’s beauty-pageant fixation into the sort of genetic and cultural horror show that sparked the progressives to advocate eugenics. And everyone everywhere mugs for the camera.



The wrong Christmas message

Shame on the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, for taking the occasion of his annual “Christmas message” to blame Israel for the plight of Christians in the Middle East. It is precisely at this juncture — when the persecution of Christians in the Muslim-Arab world is not merely increasing at a frightening rate, but is becoming more blatant and bloodier — that the chief Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land should be warning against the religious war being waged against his brethren.

After all, churches in every Islam-dominated country are being destroyed; Christian women (including nuns) are being raped, men (including priests) are being beheaded; and the property of those who would escape this fate is being confiscated.

Meanwhile, liberal Christians in the West have been looking the other way. Fearing accusations of Islamophobia, they prefer promoting “interfaith dialogue” to protesting the abominations being perpetrated against their own. There is also an element of “out of sight, out of mind” at work. Those “other” Christians live in faraway lands and speak foreign languages. This makes it easier to forget about them and go about the business of decorating trees, shopping for gifts, stuffing stockings and singing carols.

But there is no excuse for “His Beatitude” Archbishop Twal — a Jordanian-born Palestinian responsible for the tens of thousands of Catholics living in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Gaza, Jordan and Cyprus — to view the victimization of his fellow Christians as anything other than a concerted effort on the part of radical Muslims to subjugate, convert, banish or wipe out his co-religionists.

Nevertheless, he cloaked his holiday message in diplo-speak, based on false premises.



The left lives from social crisis to social crisis. Now it is leaping nimbly away from its last mess, the great crisis of the uninsured (who have decided to stay uninsured despite Obamacare’s fines) over to the great crisis of income inequality.

If you believe the left, the leading economic problem that Americans face today is not a lack of jobs
or the cost of living, but a crisis of CEO salaries. If only the great beast of government slumbering in the chilly waters of the Potomac would bestir itself to raise taxes on the rich some more we could move on from those $4 trillion government budgets we can’t afford to $6 trillion government budgets that we really can’t afford.

The crisis of income inequality, in which some people make a lot more money than everyone else, is irrelevant in an economy where the problem is not that incomes aren’t high enough, but that they don’t buy enough, and that on the second term of the man who claimed to be able to lower the water level of the oceans, there still aren’t enough jobs at minimum wage or any other wage.

A look at why the price of food or used cars have risen so sharply under Obama would raise all sorts of troubling questions that that the left has no interest in exploring. Like O.J. Simpson, it already knows who the guilty party is. It’s the smug face looking back at it every morning in the mirror.

Justice Department Inspector General Pushes Holder on Misconduct Reported by PJ Media Posted By J. Christian Adams

http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2013/12/19/justice-department-inspector-general-pushes-holder-on-misconduct-reported-by-pj-media/?print=1 Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz has published a memorandum to Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole about “challenges” facing the Justice Department. Among the list of challenges: misconduct and malfeasance by DOJ employees and units which PJ Media has been reporting about for years. That these instances of […]



We liked our doctor. A lot. We invested time and effort in finding him. He spent time getting to know his patients. And when our health insurance premiums skyrocketed not so long ago — and, yes, they soared — we told ourselves that at least, when we need medical care, we have a good doctor.

But here it is. A letter arrived. As the perspicacious predicted (though not as the American public was promised), we are losing our doctor. Oh, he is not yet entirely unavailable — there are physician’s assistants in his old office who may still be able to see us, for at least a little longer, and if necessary consult with him by phone. But he has moved to a different job, in which he may be better able to surmount the paperwork and continue to support his family.

No surprise. Apart from physicians who cater to Hollywood-celebrity levels of wealth or Washington-elite levels of power, how can any doctor with a private practice find time to deal with individual patients? The new prime imperative imposed by law requires that a doctor spend most of his or her time and energy toiling to comply with a regulatory burden so titanic that even those who issue it can’t keep track of it. I have no criticism of our (former) doctor, who invested years in mastering his profession, but has now been effectively commandeered as a serf of the federal bureaucracy. He is behaving pretty much the way Obamacare (dis)incentives would have him do.

It makes me sad. Not only because I really did like our doctor, and what clearly lies ahead is a path of rising costs, dwindling choice and lengthening queues. But because what lies ahead for this country is not good medical care for all, but gray standardization in which we are not only forced to pay for things we don’t need, but deprived in a crisis of the medical care that we really do need. Federal regulators, not doctors and patients, will make the decisions.

Dr.Ben Carson in His Own Words By Ann Kane & M. Catherine Evans please read this whole column


After five years of President Obama, we want a dynamic conservative candidate who we can believe in to take us to 2016. With names on the horizon like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, and Nikki Haley, we have some promising politicians; and another name has risen to the top: Dr. Ben Carson.

Ben Carson is the latest potential presidential candidate to be anointed by conservatives. Less than a year after his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, the 61-year old neurosurgeon, known for his deeply held religious beliefs as well as his determination to live the American Dream, has gained support from many conservative organizations like the Tea Party, right-to-life groups, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and David Horowitz’s Freedom Center .

Carson’s post-election entrance onto the national stage at the 2013 Prayer Breakfast gave despondent conservatives new hope. The famous surgeon criticized the President’s signature health law and mocked political correctness while the President sat stone faced. Carson’s boldness made headlines from MSNBC to far-right alternative blogs.

The decidedly political speech, different from his 1997 Prayer Breakfast address, was a triumph and made him an instant hit with stalwarts on the right. Glenn Beck actually said “I love you” during an interview when Carson told him his favorite person in history was George Washington. Rush Limbaugh thinks Carson “has everybody in the Democrat Party scared to death.” Mark Levin and Sarah Palin have lauded Carson on their sites.

Now, as a Tea Party favorite with aspirations to run for president, and a self-proclaimed convert to conservatism, Carson has an obligation to explain himself when his words at times don’t match conservative views on sacrosanct issues.

Just this week, gun rights reporter Kurt Hofmann writing for the St. Louis Examiner, wrote a column with the title: “When It Comes to Guns, Dr. Ben Carson Still Doesn’t Get It.” In his piece, Hofmann revisits an interview Carson had with Glenn Beck back in March when the doctor suggested keeping guns out of the hands of city dwellers; thereby treating the bearing of arms as a “licensing” issue, not as a “fundamental right.”

But Dr. Carson’s forte is medicine, not gun rights, and he has written extensively on healthcare and has been interviewed about the topic countless times. He now has a regular gig on Fox News and a column in the Washington Times. This past week, Carson appeared on GretaWire on Fox News. Greta Van Susteren asked Dr. Carson if he was surprised doctors were getting out of the business because of Obamacare regulations, and he said he wasn’t surprised.