As August ends, from time immemorial, Jews begin to discuss the advent of the Jewish high holidays, which vary because they are always observed on the Jewish calendar. They are either early in September or they go into October.
On the Gregorian calendar holidays are on fixed dates every year, but somehow it increasingly feels as if December 31 comes earlier with every passing year. I wish you all a happy, healthy, successful and safe new year. rsk
Heather MacDonald: Today, I’m going to talk about the mass illegal immigration and its effect on American society. This summer the nation experienced a horrible murder in San Francisco. A young woman, Kate Steinle, was fatally shot by an illegal alien who had been deported five times already for various felonies. I wanted to deport him a sixth time, but was foiled in doing so by the San Francisco Sheriff, who alleged that this murderer should be let out.
As the country was trying to digest this information and what it meant for our immigration policies residents of Los Angeles, if they relied exclusively for their information from The Los Angeles Times, would have been largely clueless. Because The Los Angeles Times barely covered it. Only several days after Donald Trump had brought this to the national attention did the LA Times get around reporting what had happened and the underlying policy of sanctuary cities that led to it.
The unwillingness of The Los Angeles Times to report on this murder honestly is emblematic of how mass illegal immigration is distorting our cultural discourse and resulting in a whole series of taboos about what can be said in polite discourse.
Islamophobia is everywhere. Literally everywhere.
Like the mosque vandalized in Fresno on Christmas.
Fresno police say a lone suspect vandalized the Islamic Cultural Center in Northeast Fresno on Christmas morning. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says it is clear the incident is a hate crime which is why the FBI is also investigating this case.
Except the Islamophobic incident turned out to be the work of… Asif Mohammad Khan, who had “posted on social media that Osama bin Laden was the “most inspirational person in his life.”
But surely the Islamophobic Houston mosque Christmas fire had to be real. It just had to be.
Mustafaa Carroll, who is the executive director for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on law enforcement to investigate, citing a recent spike in vandalism to mosques that have prompted hate crime investigations.
“We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this fire,” he said in a statement.
Eric Holder once called the United States “a nation of cowards,” when he claimed that Americans are largely afraid to have an honest discussion about race. He was partially correct: Leftists like Holder are fearful of discussing race in any manner that depicts African Americans as something other than the perpetual, pathetic victims of white bloodlust and simpleminded bigotry. The meek responses that Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Hillary Clinton recently bleated out when confronted by some of the aggressive racists in the Black Lives Matter movement, were classic illustrations of this cowardice.
Equally pitiful has been the Left’s propensity for turning two blind eyes to the very obvious problems posed by Islam and the value system inherent in its scriptures. For the most part, leftists are content to simply depict anyone who’s willing to have a substantive conversation about those problems, as a dimwit, a Nazi, or both. Thus, when Donald Trump recently suggested that it would be advisable to temporarily stop Muslim immigration into the U.S. until the government is able to get its woefully deficient vetting process in order, he was instantly ridiculed and excoriated by a conga line of glib, self-congratulating know-nothings. Hillary Clinton, for instance, called Trump’s remarks “reprehensible, prejudiced and divisive.” Dawud Walid of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations characterized Trump’s proposal as “fascist.” Martin O’Malley called Trump “a fascist demagogue.” CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen saw, in Trump, “the traits of a proto-fascist.” And White House spokesman Josh Earnest informed us that Trump’s remarks “disqualif[y] him from serving as president.”
“While the Hizballah-loving Jeremy Corbyn has won the leadership of Britain’s Labor party, Sahra Wagenknecht, one of two leaders of Germany’s hard-left die Linke party, recently made headlines by equating the aerial bombing campaign against Islamic State with the group’s own barbaric deeds. Her opinions are shared by her fellow party members, as Benjamin Weinthal reports:
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has a socialist doppelganger in Germany. Her name is Sahra Wagenknecht and she serves as co-chairperson of the largest opposition party in the German Bundestag—The Left Party.
Her remarks blanketed the German media on Tuesday because she equated Islamic State terrorism in Paris with Britain’s aerial campaign designed to help destroy the terrorist organisation in the Syrian and Iraqi theatres of war.
‘Of course it is no less a crime to murder innocent civilians in Syria with bombs than it is to shoot them in Parisian restaurants and concert halls. One is individual terrorism, the other state-sponsored,’ Sahra Wagenknecht, an admirer of the now-defunct East German communist state and Stalinism, told the Bundestag on Monday.
The attitudes of Wagenknecht’s Left Party mirror in many respects the enthusiasm of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn for Hamas, Iran’s clerical regime and Hezbollah. Moral conflation and a bottomless level of cultural relativity dominate the thinking of both hardcore left-wing leaderships. For Wagenknecht, Corbyn brought ‘movement into the sleeping social democracy of Europe’.
The Left Party is a formidable force in German politics. Germany’s Parliament has 630 members, of which the Left Party has 64 seats. This amalgam of West German leftists, trade unionists and East German communists (including many former Stasi officers) catapulted itself into the largest opposition bloc in the 2013 national election.
The campaign to deny the murder and shooting spike in many American cities continues apace. The latest effort is a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, which the press has hailed ecstatically as a refutation of what I and others have dubbed the “Ferguson effect”—the phenomenon of officers backing off of proactive policing and thereby emboldening criminals. In fact, the report confirms the Ferguson effect, while also showing how clueless the media are about crime and policing.
The Brennan Center researchers gathered homicide data from 25 of the nation’s 30 largest cities for the period January 1, 2015, to October 1, 2015. (Not included were San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, El Paso, and Nashville.) The researchers then tried to estimate what 2015’s full-year homicide numbers for those 25 cities would be, based on the extent to which homicides were up from January to October 2015, compared with the similar period in 2014.
The resulting projected increase for homicides in 2015 in those 25 cities is 11 percent. (By point of comparison, the FiveThirtyEight data blog looked at the 60 largest cities and found a 16 percent increase in homicides by September 2015. On Monday, the Brennan Center revised its own estimate of the 2015 murder increase to 14.6 percent.) An 11 percent one-year increase in any crime category is massive; an equivalent decrease in homicides would be greeted with high-fives by politicians and police chiefs. Yet the media have tried to repackage that 11 percent increase as trivial. They employ several strategies for doing so, the most important of which is simply not disclosing the actual figure. An Atlantic article titled “Debunking the Ferguson Effect” reports: “Based on their data, the Brennan Center projects that homicides will rise slightly overall from 2014 to 2015.” A reader could be forgiven for thinking that that “slight” rise in homicides is of the order of, say, 2 to 3 percent. Nothing in the Atlantic write-up disabuses the reader of that error. Vox, declaring the crime increase “bunk,” is similarly discreet about the actual homicide jump, leaving it to the reader’s imagination. Crime & Justice News, published by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, coyly admits that “murder is up moderately in some places” without disclosing what that “moderate” increase may be.
Since Hillary announced that her husband would be joining her on the campaign trail, people have been debating whether or not it’s fair for the GOP to attack Bill’s sexual misdeeds in order to indirectly attack her.
This makes sense. After all, we’re talking about a guy who has been accused of the sexual assault of more than ten women. Think about it: How is her appointing him really any different than if she’d appointed Bill Cosby?
But here’s the thing: The real issue isn’t whether or not to attack Bill to indirectly attack Hillary — it’s about directly attacking Hillary for how she herself treated the women involved.
Hillary Clinton claims to be pro-women, yet has actively worked to ruin lives of so many of them. She’s running on a “feminist platform” — she’s even dared to say that sexual-assault survivors have a “right to be believed” — despite the fact that what she did to the women who accused Bill went far beyond not believing them.
She attacked them.
When allegations of sexual misconduct emerged during Bill’s 1992 presidential run, she’s reported to have said “Who is going to find out? These women are trash. Nobody’s going to believe them.” Multiple people also report that she called the women “sluts” and “whores” — you know, for daring to be raped. A private investigator named Ivan Duda claims that, after Bill lost his second governor’s race, Hillary told him: “I want you to get rid of all these b****** he’s seeing . . . I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control.”
The news reports about the National Security Agency snooping on foreign leaders show a White House intent on abusing NSA capabilities for political purposes. As a veteran of the George W. Bush White House, I’m persuaded that had we done this, the Democrats in Congress would have called it a major scandal and held endless hearings designed to attack the administration.
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument — and in order to avoid disclosing any classified information — that the United States has the capability to monitor telephone conversations and emails of foreign leaders. There are at least two kinds of communications that we should not monitor.
The first would be communications of our close allies — people like British prime minister David Cameron, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and top leaders of countries such as Japan, Australia, Canada, France, and Israel. To snoop on them is a betrayal of trust, of the assumption that we are dealing with each other directly as close allies. Because they are close allies, if we want to know what they are thinking and doing, we should ask them — not spy on them as a matter of course.
Political realignments are long in gestation, face huge obstacles to their achievement, and are easy to divert or subvert. All mainstream parties have needed to do is offer some modest concessions to the forces of discontent and they dissipate. Ross Perot’s support evaporated when Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton (in that order) got control of spending and undercut Perot’s signature issue: the runaway budget deficit. Perot shrank faster than the deficit. That little episode explains why American third parties are known as the wasps of political history: They sting and they die.
So why are realignments suddenly galloping to fruition throughout the Western world?
The Economist magazine has no doubts on the matter. (Does it ever?) Anti-immigrant populist parties are exploiting fear, mostly about the current surge of migrants into Europe, to rise in the polls. The British magazine brings together Donald Trump, France’s Marine Le Pen, and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban on a sinister sepia-tinted cover to illustrate the dark threat of “populism.” The Economist has finally found a moral panic it likes.
Alas, the magazine’s explanation is too simple by half.
Earlier in 2015, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he found it difficult to understand what Russia was doing in Syria, since “it does not even border Syria.”
By that logic, Turkey should not be “doing anything” in the Palestinian territories, Somalia, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan or any of the non-bordering lands into which its neo-Ottoman impulses have pushed it.
In a 2012 speech, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, then foreign minister, predicted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days in power were numbered and that he would depart “within months or weeks.” Almost three and a half years have passed, with Assad still in power, and Davutoglu keeps on making one passionate speech after another about the fate of Syria.
Turkey’s failure to devise a credible policy on Syria has made the country’s leaders nervous. Both Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have lately resorted to more aggressive, but less convincing, rhetoric on Syria. The new rhetoric features many aspects of a Sunni Islamist thinking blended with illusions of Ottoman grandeur.
On December 22, Davutoglu said, “Syrian soil is not, and will not be, part of Russia’s imperialistic goals.” That was a relief to know! All the same, Davutoglu could have been more direct and honest if he said that: “Syrian soil will not be part of Russia’s imperialistic goals because we want it to be part of Turkey’s pro-Sunni, neo-Ottoman imperialistic goals.”