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August 2015


Dear e-pals,

2016 is looming and in every single state and every single district every single congressman is running for re-election. In many states Senators are either retiring or running to keep their seats. In 2014 I researched every election, listing the achievements and promises and “hot button issues” of all incumbents as well as challengers for Family Security Matters. All these votes count as we see now when Congress may thwart the ruinous and duplicitous Iran Nuclear deal.

With that in mind, I am embarking on the same voter information guide for Family Security Matters. Stay tuned and stay vigilant….rsk

Britain: The “Struggle of Our Generation” by Samuel Westrop

“We’ve got to show that if you say ‘yes I condemn terror — but the Kuffar are inferior’, or ‘violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ — then you too are part of the problem. Unwittingly or not, and in a lot of cases it’s not unwittingly, you are providing succour to those who want to commit, or get others to commit to, violence.” — Prime Minister David Cameron.

In a series of religious rulings published on its website, the Islamic Network charity advocated the murder of apostates; encouraged Muslims to hate non-Muslims; stated that when non-Muslims die, “the whole of humanity are relieved;” and described Western civilisation as “evil.”

The Charity Commission’s solution, however, was to give the charity’s trustees booklets titled, “How to manage risks in your charity,” and warn them not to do it again.

What You See When a Rock Gets Turned Over By Jay Nordlinger

When I was growing up, anti-Semitism was usually portrayed as a phenomenon of the Right. But, in my lifetime, the Left has made a strong claim to be the locus of such prejudice and hatred.

I’ve thought about this today when reading about Daily Kos and others, and how they have howled against Chuck Schumer. Have you seen this cartoon? And people are saying that Schumer wants war with Iran, because, you know, that’s what Jews do: start wars with other countries, or get big, Gentile countries to do their warring for them.

In 2011, I did an hour-long interview with Ed Koch. The whole thing is interesting and entertaining — Koch was one of the greatest interviewees ever — but, today, I wanted to find a particular spot, and did: starting at about 47:55. We talked about anti-Semitism and the Left.

Modern Middle East Studies vs. Scholarship By Andrew C. McCarthy

It would be a mistake to say Middle East Studies have been corrupted. For the program’s very purpose has been to serve as a corrupting agent. Specifically, it puts the essence of study — the objective pursuit of knowledge — in disrepute.

Here, of course, I am referring to the modern incarnation of Middle East Studies: an amalgam of leftist and Islamist political dogma that masquerades as an academic discipline. By contrast, the actual study of Middle Eastern history, like the intimately related study of Islamic civilization, is a venerable and vital pursuit — and is still pursued as such by, to take the best example, ASMEA, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. Alas, in our hyper-politicized society, the traditional notion of study seems quaint: a vestige of a bygone time when the designations “Orientalist” and “Islamist” referred to subject-matter expertise, not political activism, much less radicalism.

Netanyahu and Trump: The Soldier and the Shopkeeper By Kevin D. Williamson

On days when the political headlines contain both the names “Netanyahu” and “Trump,” one risks whiplash just opening the newspaper.

This may seem like a strange thing for an adult not resident in a psychiatric institution to write, but in my ideal world, there would be a lot more Donald Trumps and a lot fewer Benjamin Netanyahus. Netanyahu spent much of his youth as a soldier, serving in an IDF special-forces unit in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War, and has spent much of his political career trying simply to ensure that his lonely little country will survive, beset as it is by hostility on all sides. By way of contrast, Trump’s career in business has from time to time constituted an assault against creditors and good taste both, but Trump’s life has been the sort of life that is possible only in nations blessed by peace and prosperity. Napoleon scoffed that the British were a nation of shopkeepers, but even while we honor the courage and sacrifice of the fighting man, a nation that spends more of its time and energy keeping shop or, God forgive us, developing casino resorts is a happier nation than the one whose men and women are obliged to spend their time soldiering.

It is naturally very difficult for us Americans to understand the domestic political realities of Israel. Israel is not a party to the pending U.S.–Iran nuclear deal, but Israel has more of a stake in the outcome than does the United States, at least in the near term. All honest parties acknowledge that some portion of those unsequestered Iranian funds are going to find their way into financing terror operations, and that may be of some direct concern to the United States at some point down the road; it will be a critical concern for Israel the day after the funds are released. The prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon being lobbed into Tel Aviv is much closer than that of one being lobbed into San Francisco.

Trump the Teenage Bully By John Fund

As much as I’ve slammed The Donald for his inconsistent and incoherent policy views, I’ve always praised Trump’s intelligence: “He is the P. T. Barnum of American politics, a brilliant self-promoter who knows exactly what he’s doing and who changes his opinions constantly to match what he thinks audiences want to hear, much as Barnum used to switch out circus acts between towns on his tour.” A liberal defender of Trump, former CNN host Piers Morgan, agrees: “He’s a smart, cunning, alert showman who knows what it takes to win.”

In the wake of last Thursday’s debate and his infamous “blood feud” with Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly, I have to say I was wrong. His swift, heady rise in the polls has brought out the inner Donald Trump, someone who could have stepped out of Animal House.

How Hatred of the Jewish State created the Red-Green Alliance : Joseph Puder

The nexus of genocidal Islamists and hypocritical leftists.

The Jerusalem Post headlined the following in its culture section on July 12, 2015, “Irish Dance Competition canceled due to BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Pressure.” The Israeli “feis” (Irish Dance Competition) website was attacked by a radical political group called Irish-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) led by Raymond Deane, Kevin Squires, and Amanda Crawford. The first-ever Irish dance festival set to take place in Tel Aviv, Israel was cancelled due to a campaign of terrorist–like threats to performers, the school, students and parents. The IPSC website proudly featured a congratulatory message from Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian co-founder of the BDS movement.

The Profs Who Love Obama’s Iran Deal : Cinnamon Stillwell

Meet the Mullahs’ academic cheerleaders.

Who supports the Obama administration’s increasingly unpopular Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed ostensibly at curbing Iran’s nuclear program? Many of its strongest proponents come from the field of Middle East studies, which boasts widespread animus towards the U.S. and Israel along with a cadre of apologists for the Iranian regime determined to promote ineffectual diplomacy at all costs.

University of California, Riverside creative writing professor Reza Aslan concedes that his generation of Iranian-Americans “feel[s] far removed from the political and religious turmoil of the Iranian revolution” before falling in line with the Iranian regime’s propaganda: the deal will “empower moderates in Iran, strengthen Iranian civil society and spur economic development,” and create “an Iran that is a responsible actor on the global stage, that respects the rights of its citizens and that has warm relations with the rest of the world.” “Warm relations” are the least likely outcome of the increase in funding for Iran’s terrorist proxies Hamas and Hezbollah that even President Obama admits will follow the easing of sanctions.

Flynt Leverett, an international relations professor at Pennsylvania State University, whitewashes these terrorist groups as “constituencies” and “communities” which the Iranian regime “help[s] organize in various ways to press their grievances more effectively,” effective terrorism being, for Leverett, a laudable goal. Characterizing the regime as “a rising regional power” and “legitimate political order for most Iranians,” he urges the U.S., through the JCPOA, to “come to terms with this reality.”

Bruce Thornton: Thoughts on the Debate

Why a lot of progressive received wisdom was exploded in Thursday’s GOP battle.

Last week’s Republican primary debates have quickly become a cultural and political phenomenon. Even progressive pundits have been forced to acknowledge the high quality of the Fox News moderators, the toughness of their questions, and the sheer entertaining excitement of the shows. Contrary to the usual soporific political debates, with robotic recitations of prefabricated talking points, this one had fireworks and substance. Let’s hope this new paradigm for presidential debates carries through all the way to next year’s presidential debates.

But there’s another value to the debates. A lot of progressive received wisdom was exploded last Thursday night. First is the notion that Democrats are smarter and better informed than Republicans, who are typically dismissed as badly educated, anti-science, stuck in the racist and sexist past, and tools of capitalist hegemons. The great variety of candidates, the intelligence of their answers (with, in my view, the exception of Donald Trump), the freshness of their ideas, and the range of personal experience and achievements, exploded that cliché, and all contrasted starkly with the other side’s anointed candidate.

Hillary Clinton, an old pol well beyond her sell-by date, cannot stand comparison to the fresh, young best of the Republican field. She is the quintessential Washington insider and operative, without a fraction of the achievements of Carly Fiorina or Dr. Ben Carson or any of the governors on the stage, or a particle of the charisma of Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. She is a grotesquely hypocritical class warrior, a denizen of the 1%, as shrewd a financial manipulator and piratical capitalist as the Wall Street fatcats she routinely demonizes––and who contribute to her campaign. She talks only in vague ignorant bumper-sticker slogans like “income inequality” and “war on women.”

Victor Davis Hanson: Hillary the Reactionary?

Amid the Trump psychodramas, the public has forgotten not just Hillary Clinton’s latest contortions over her emails, but Mrs. Clinton herself. Hillary has assumed the position of a tired vice president in waiting, without any of the perks that might accrue from a lame-duck president to his dutiful VP.

Ostensibly Clinton’s candidacy is to be a continuation of her boss’s eight years. The problem, however, is that for all Obama’s iconic status, the president polls well below 50% in approval ratings. He lost both the House and Senate, and the majority of state governorships and legislatures are now Republican, if not solidly conservative.

His signature legacies — Obamacare, the Iran nuke deal, open borders, and massive deficits — poll poorly. Is borrowing another $8 trillion Clinton’s agenda? Cutting another 25% from defense? No one believes that Obama’s liberal boilerplate — more government regulation, zero interest rates, higher taxes, bigger deficits, smaller defense, more illegal aliens, greater racial hyphenation — is working.