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Ruth King

Review: A Bounty of Troublemakers While mutineers succumbed to half-clad Tahitians, Capt. Bligh performed a navigational feat—and convicts began populating Australia. A. Roger Ekirch reviews ‘Paradise in Chains’ by Diana Preston. By A. Roger Ekirch

Historians and novelists, no less than Hollywood producers, have long been drawn to the mutiny on the Bounty in 1789, notwithstanding its dubious historical importance. For compared with British naval mutinies in the 1790s—at Spithead and at Nore, both off England’s coast, and aboard the Hermione in the West Indies—the rumpus on the Bounty was a tame affair. No lives were lost. The mutiny did not erupt in wartime or endanger the homeland. Nor did it lead to naval reforms.

Yet the tale of the Bounty, set against the backdrop of the South Pacific, in time became romanticized, at the expense of the “tyrannical” captain, William Bligh, and to the advantage of young Fletcher Christian, a target of his ire, who as a petty officer led the uprising. It is well known that many of the crew, including Christian, had by then succumbed to the amorous appeal of half-clad Tahitians. Less emphasized in most accounts was Bligh’s epic feat of seamanship upon being cast adrift after the mutiny: navigating a cramped launch with 18 loyal sailors before finding a safe harbor in the Dutch East Indies. In 48 days, they had traveled more than 3,600 nautical miles.

The author of 10 earlier books on such disparate topics as Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Boxer Rebellion, the historian Diana Preston revisits the mutiny in “Paradise in Chains: The Bounty Mutiny and the Founding of Australia.” Grounded in a familiar assortment of printed manuscripts and secondary sources, the book is comprehensive in scope, cogently written and amply detailed. In addition to the Bounty’s factious crew, we encounter an intriguing cast of indigenous personalities, including the Tahitian queen Purea, who years before the Bounty’s mutineers came to her island had seduced the famous naturalist Sir Joseph Banks.

Yet for the most part “Paradise in Chains” offers neither new insights nor fresh information. Ms. Preston acknowledges Bligh’s navigational skill and bravery, but she blames his short temper and narcissism for triggering the mutiny, giving insufficient weight to Caroline Alexander’s painstaking evidence, presented in “The Bounty” (2003), of a concerted campaign in England to tar Bligh’s reputation by the prominent families of Fletcher Christian and Peter Heywood, a fellow mutineer. Not to be minimized, in addition to Christian’s inflated sense of entitlement, was the reluctance of some crewmen to return home once they had seen Tahiti.

The Hague Aims for U.S. Soldiers A ‘war crimes’ inquiry in Afghanistan shows the danger of the International Criminal Court.By John Bolton

For the first time since it began operating in 2002, the International Criminal Court has put the U.S. in its sights. On Nov. 3, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda initiated an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan since mid-2003. This raises the alarming possibility that the court will seek to assert jurisdiction over American citizens.

Located in The Hague (alongside such dinosaurs as the International Court of Justice, which decides state-versus-state disputes), the ICC constitutes a direct assault on the concept of national sovereignty, especially that of constitutional, representative governments like the United States. The Trump administration should not respond to Ms. Bensouda in any way that acknowledges the ICC’s legitimacy. Even merely contesting its jurisdiction risks drawing the U.S. deeper into the quicksand.

The left will try to intimidate the White House by insisting that any resistance to the ICC aligns the U.S. with human-rights violators. But the administration’s real alignment should be with the U.S. Constitution, not the global elite. It would not be “pragmatic” to accept the ICC; it would be toxic to democratic sovereignty.

The U.S. is not party to the Rome Statute, the treaty establishing the ICC’s authority. Bill Clinton signed it in 2000, when he was a lame duck. But fearing certain rejection, he did not submit it to the Senate. The Bush administration formally “unsigned” in 2002 before the Rome Statute entered into force. That same year, Congress passed supportive legislation protecting U.S. servicemembers from the ICC, a law that was decried by hysterical opponents as the “Hague Invasion Act.” The U.S. then entered into more than 100 bilateral agreements committing other nations not to deliver Americans into the ICC’s custody.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice later weakened America’s opposition to the ICC. Barack Obama manifestly longed to join but nonetheless did not re-sign the Rome Statute. Thus the U.S. has never acknowledged the ICC’s jurisdiction, and it should not start now. America’s long-term security depends on refusing to recognize an iota of legitimacy in this brazen effort to subordinate democratic nations to the unaccountable melding of executive and judicial authority in the ICC.

Proponents of global governance have always wanted to turn the U.S. into just another pliant “member” of the United Nations General Assembly or the ICC. They know that America’s exceptionalism and commitment to its Constitution were among their biggest obstacles, but they hoped to cajole Washington into joining one day. The new Afghanistan investigation demonstrates why that vision needs to be confronted now and conclusively defeated.

Sexual Harassment––Puhleeze! Joan Swirsky

I have a vivid memory of putting on my mother’s high heels and covering my head with the veiled hat she wore on special occasions. All decked out, I made my way up The Boulevard in New Haven to our neighbor’s home about four houses away.

And on that sojourn, I have an equally vivid memory of a man sitting on his porch and stopping me in my tracks with his comments. “Well well well, Missy, don’t we look pretty! And where would you be going today looking so beautiful?”

It was a single moment in time, but in that instant, I knew that it felt very good to be noticed and called attractive.

Where was leftist lawyer Gloria Allred all those years ago to represent me and accuse Mr. Porch Guy of sexual suggestiveness, intimidation, even harassment?

She was nowhere because even as a little girl I knew the following:

I dressed up fancily precisely so people would notice.
I enjoyed the fact that people––in this case, Mr. Porch Guy––noticed.
I continued all my life––and to this day––to attend to my appearance because the feedback (from both women and men) is so affirmative and so sweet.

Of course, that puts me in the same category as the multimillions of people around the world who spend multibillions of dollars on cosmetics and clothing and hair and nail care for exactly the same reason––to appear attractive and by doing so to inspire people to smile at them, accept them, hire them, promote them, flirt with them, or approach them with romantic interest.

It’s called human nature. It’s hard-wired into our DNA. And it’s been going on since the Garden of Eden when I’m sure Eve squeezed berry juice on their cheeks and lips and Adam bedecked himself with that famous fig leaf.

Veteran Broadcaster Charlie Rose Suspended After Sexual-Harassment Allegations CBS suspends Mr. Rose while PBS and Bloomberg suspend distribution of his show By Maria Armental

Longtime television journalist Charlie Rose has been suspended by CBS and his trademark interview show pulled from PBS and Bloomberg following allegations published by The Washington Post that he sexually harassed several women.

Mr. Rose, 75 years old and best known for longform interviews, is the executive editor and host of “Charlie Rose,” which has appeared nightly on Public Broadcasting Service stations and in prime time on Bloomberg Television. He also co-hosts the CBS Corp. morning show “CBS This Morning” and is a contributing correspondent to CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

PBS and Bloomberg LP said Monday they were suspending distribution of the “Charlie Rose” show in light of the allegations. CBS said Mr. Rose was suspended while the company looked into the matter.

The Post said the women either worked or aspired to work for Mr. Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011.

“I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” Mr. Rose said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”

Companies across industries are reassessing policies following a wave of allegations of workplace sexual misconduct, including accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has apologized for his past behavior with colleagues but denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Rutgers President Defends ‘Academic Freedom’ of Three Professors Blasted for Comments on Israel, Jews by Shiri Moshe

The president of Rutgers University in New Jersey defended the free speech rights of three faculty members who have recently come under intense criticism for their comments on Israel and Jews.https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/20/rutgers-president-defends-academic-freedom-of-three-professors-blasted-for-comments-on-israel-jews/

Speaking in a town hall sponsored by the Rutgers student government on Thursday, President Robert Barchi noted ongoing media attention focused on Michael Chikindas, a microbiology professor who published multiple antisemitic, homophobic and misogynistic social media posts; Jasbir Puar, a women’s studies professor whose latest book accuses Israel of injuring Palestinians “in order to control them”; and Mazen Adi, an adjunct professor of international law who accused Israeli officials of trafficking children’s organs while serving as a spokesperson for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Barchi began his address by illustrating the difference between free speech and harassment, noting that placing “a swastika on the side of a building on campus” would not be a violation of the First Amendment, even if it might breach university policies against vandalism.

His argument drew an objection from a woman in the crowd, who said to applause, “it is not free speech.”

Trump: The Art of the Insult A new documentary shows exactly how Donald Trump took the White House. Mark Tapson

A full year after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the left is still trying to comprehend – as Hillary Clinton titled her post-mortem book – what happened. How did the matriarch of the Clinton crime syndicate – er, political dynasty, riding the promise of an historic victory as the country’s first female president, lose the White House to a brash, unpolished, shoot-from-the-hip reality TV mogul with no political experience? For that matter, how did the upstart Trump, whom the media and his competitors dismissed early on as an unserious candidate and fraudulent conservative, emerge as the party nominee from a field of seventeen established Republican politicians to challenge Hillary in the first place?

The answer lies in filmmaker Joel Gilbert’s latest documentary, Trump: the Art of the Insult, the title of which is an obvious nod to Trump’s 1987 business advice book, The Art of the Deal. Gilbert’s previous work includes Dreams From My Real Father, which presents the case that Barack Obama’s real father was Communist propagandist Frank Marshall Davis, and There’s No Place Like Utopia, in which Gilbert sets off across the country in search of the Progressive dream.

In his newest work, the filmmaker has compiled an hour and a half of campaign and interview footage of Donald Trump using a verbal flamethrower to lay waste to the media landscape, to the other Republican presidential candidates, and to Democrat opponents Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on his way to a stunning election victory.

The film includes no commentary or narration – Gilbert simply lets Trump speak for himself. And speak he does. Trump has no politician’s filter, as one interviewer says of him, which freed him to hurl insults relentlessly at targets unaccustomed to dealing with an opponent on that level of discourse. Trump went after competitors who were used to polite, orderly policy debates, and instead of engaging them on that level, pegged them with demeaning nicknames and called them schmuck, idiot, stupid, nuts, nut job, doofus, loser, clueless, incompetent, and lacking enough charisma to intimidate other world leaders. The implication was that Trump was everything they were not – especially a winner.

Border agent killed, another wounded at Texas border By Rick Moran

A border patrol agent was murdered in the Big Bend sector of the US-Mexican border yesterday. His partner was severely injured.

Agent Rogelio Martinez, 36,died of injuries while responding to reports of “activity” near Interstate 10 in the Van Horn Station area. His unidentified partner was taken to an area hospital where his condition is listed as serious.

Martinez is the second agent killed this year.

Fox News:

President Trump pushed the need for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall Sunday night following the incident, tweeting: “Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!”

Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, released a statement Sunday calling Martinez’s death a “tragic event.”

“Earlier this morning, I was notified that Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died as a result of serious injuries suffered while on patrol in the Big Bend Sector of our southern border in Texas. Agent Martinez was responding to activity while on patrol with another agent, who was also seriously injured,” the statement read.

“We are fully supporting the ongoing investigation to determine the cause of this tragic event. On behalf of the quarter of a million frontline officers and agents of DHS, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Agent Martinez and to the agent who is in serious condition.”

Records show the Big Bend sector of the border has been relatively quiet:

Border Patrol records show that Big Bend accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017.

The region’s mountains and the Rio Grande make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

A recent audit by the GAO showed that the border patrol is short about 2000 agents and is losing them faster than they are being hired.

More than 900 agents leave each year on average but the Border Patrol only hires an average of 523 a year, the Government Accountability Office said in a broad survey of staffing and deployment challenges at the key border law enforcement agency.

The law requires the agency to have a minimum of 21,370 agents on board, but it had just 19,500 agents as of May.

That’s an even bigger problem when stacked up against President Trump’s call for hiring 5,000 more agents, to reach a workforce of 26,370.

Turkey Is No Ally By Brandon J. Weichert

Turkey has turned its back on the West. To be fair, we in the West didn’t do much to prevent it.https://amgreatness.com/2017/11/19/turkey-is-no-ally/

When Turkey sought entry into the European Union, other members balked and resisted—though not without reason. Many Europeans were alarmed by the rise of Turkey’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP). The AKP sought to undo the reforms that made Turkey a modern, secular nation upon its independence in 1923. Up to that point, Turkey had been the seat of power for the Ottoman Empire—the last, great Islamic empire—and was dismantled after World War I. From 1923 onward, the country was ruled by a secular autocracy and became an integral component of NATO’s southern flank during the Cold War.

Now, Turkey is becoming fast friends with Russia and pushing the West away.

The move away from the West in Turkey began around 2002. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Party burst onto the political scene, taking advantage of deep divisions within Turkish society. Erdogan supplanted the autocratic, secular junta that had ruled the country for decades.

Once firmly ensconced in power, Erdogan’s Islamists began methodically enacting “reforms” to make Turkey comport with traditional Islamic values. In the intervening years, Turkey has banned the sale of liquor, cracked down on any form of political opposition, and instituted a requirement for Turkish women to wear a headscarf—not exactly the stuff of European liberalism or Western freedom.

Today, Turkey is strengthening ties with China, as the Chinese carry out their One-Belt-One-Road-Initiative to link Eurasia as never before (under Beijing’s control, of course). In fact, President Erdogan has repeatedly said that Turkey’s future lies to its east, with the Turkish population in China and Central Asia, rather than in Europe and the West.

Turkey is currently purchasing Russian S-400 air defense batteries instead of Western-made systems, such as the U.S. Patriot missile, thereby complicating NATO’s collective defense measures. The Turkish government insists that it is only buying Russian-made air defense systems because Western governments balked at selling Patriot missiles to Ankara in 2015. That’s true. The reason is Turkey has a long history of doing illicit business with Iran and funding jihadist terror groups operating in Syria, including ISIS. The United States doesn’t want some of its best weapons falling into Iranian or jihadist hands.

Turkey Islamizes Denmark with More Mosques by Judith Bergman

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly sees Turks living in the West as a spearhead of Islam.

“Yes, integrate yourselves into German society but don’t assimilate yourselves. No one has the right to deprive us of our culture and our identity”, Erdogan told Turks in Germany as early as in 2011.

This assessment of Milli Görüs, however, does not seem to bother Danish authorities, who appear to see no problems with their cities becoming Islamized by the Turks. How many more mosques will it take?

“Islam cannot be either ‘moderate’ or ‘not moderate.’ Islam can only be one thing,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 9. “Recently the concept of ‘moderate Islam’ has received attention. But the patent of this concept originated in the West… They are now trying to pump up this idea again. What they really want to do is weaken Islam…”

Erdogan is working on strengthening Islam in the West, something he does, among other ways, by building Turkish mosques in Western countries. It is hardly surprising that he does not want the West to “weaken Islam”, but at the moment there seems little risk of that happening. The establishment of Turkish mosques in Western countries appears to be proceeding apace with very little opposition. Conversely, building Western churches in Turkey is inconceivable.

Erdogan clearly sees Turks living in the West as a spearhead of Islam. “Yes, integrate yourselves into German society but don’t assimilate yourselves. No one has the right to deprive us of our culture and our identity”, Erdogan told Turks in Germany as early as 2011. This year, he told Turks living in the West:

“Go live in better neighborhoods. Drive the best cars. Live in the best houses. Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe. That will be the best response to the injustices against you.”

When Was the “Palestinian People” Created? Google Has the Answer. by Jean Patrick Grumberg

All people born in British Mandatory Palestine between 1923-1948 (today’s Israel) had “Palestine” stamped on their passports at the time. But when they were called Palestinians, the Arabs were offended. They complained: “We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews”.

After invading Arab armies were routed and the Arabs who had fled the war wanted to return, they were considered a fifth column and not invited back. The Arabs who had loyally remained in Israel during the war, however, and their descendants, are still there and make up one fifth of the population. They are known as Israeli Arabs; they have the same rights as Christians and Jews, except they are not required to serve in the army unless they wish to.

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese.” – PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen, interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, March 1977.

In an op-ed in the Guardian on November 1, 2017, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas called on the UK to “atone” for the century of “suffering” that the document allegedly wrought on the “Palestinian people.” Abbas reiterated the claims he has been making since 2016, to justify a surreal lawsuit he has threatened to bring against Britain for supporting the “creation of a homeland for one people [Jews], which, he asserted, “resulted in the dispossession and continuing persecution of another.”

“Palestinians” were the Jews who lived, along with Muslims and Christians on land called Palestine, which was under British administration from 1917 to 1948.

All people born there during the time of the British Mandate had “Palestine” stamped on their passports. But the Arabs were offended when they were called Palestinians. They complained: “We are not Palestinians, we are Arabs. The Palestinians are the Jews”.

Bernard Lewis explains:

“With the rise and spread of pan-Arab ideologies it was as Arabs, not as south Syrians, that the Palestinians began to assert themselves. For the rest of the period of the British Mandate, and for many years after that, their organizations described themselves as Arab and expressed their national identity in Arab rather than in Palestinian or even in Syrian terms.”

When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, five Arab armies joined up to try to kill the infant nation in its crib. After they were routed, some of the local Arabs who had fled the war wanted to return, but they were considered a fifth column and most were not allowed back. The Arabs who had loyally remained in Israel during the war, however, and their descendants, are still there and make up one-fifth of Israel’s population today. They are known as Israeli Arabs; they have the same rights as Jews, except they are not legally required to serve in the army. They may volunteer if they wish to.

Israeli Arabs have their own political parties. They serve as members of Knesset and are employed in all professions. The moral is, or should be: Do not start a war unless you are prepared to lose it — as the Arabs in and around Israel have done repeatedly, in 1947-48, 1967 and 1973.