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OPINION

MY SAY: # MARTIN LUTHER KING MATTERS

In his magnificent speech “I Have a Dream” delivered on August 28, 1963 Dr. King stated:

“But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ignited a movement in America that culminated in the landmark Civil Rights Act , that outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Alas, he did not live to see its implementation and the effects of ameliorative policies. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee by a racist criminal James Earl Ray.

Since his death, many hucksters have tarnished his legacy… among “preachers” such as Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, to name only a few, and among thugs such as the old and new Black Panthers and the current racists of the #Black Lives Matter movement.

Dr. King would be appalled that under the administration of America’s first Black president, race relations in America are worse and introspection on both sides has diminished and been replaced with hardened prejudice.

His words matter more than ever……rsk

Triggering: A Sharia State of Mind : Edward Cline

Is it my imagination or are today’s college students establishing a kind of secular Sharia, sans a mystical deity, without possessing an inkling of knowledge of Islamic law?

This column can be deemed Trigger Warning-worthy because it t mocks trigger warning addicts and others dependent on post-adolescence pacifiers.

Short of declaring reality off-limits, the number of things being declared persona non grata by college students seems to be multiplying.

However, is it my imagination or are today’s college students establishing a kind of secular Sharia, sans a mystical deity, without possessing an inkling of knowledge of Islamic law? It could go under another name most college students would be horrified by but unable to refute: Fascism. Historically, Fascism as a collectivist movement, relied on physical force to propagate and impose its various statist agendas, from Hitler’s racist supremacism, to the Perons’ class warfare against the upper and middle classes.

Sharia is a code of Islamic “law” that defines acceptable behavior and “codifies” do’s and don’ts for the average, gullible, brain-stunted Muslim. By its nature, and because of its purpose, it is totalitarian; it prescribes and governs virtually every action, decision, and choice of an individual.

Like Nazi ideology (and it is no coincidence that Islam is compatible with Nazism [National Socialism], and vice versa), Islam erases the individual, requiring him to live, breathe, and eat for Allah in across-the-board submission. It even prescribes his bodily functions and behavior in the bathroom.

In the totalitarian regimes, as the Germans found out after only a few months of Hitler’s rule, every detail of life is prescribed, or proscribed. There is no longer any distinction between private matters and public matters. “There are to be no more private Germans,” said Friedrich Sieburg, a Nazi writer; “each is to attain significance only by his service to the state, and to find complete self-fulfillment in his service.” “The only person who is still a private individual in Germany,” boasted Robert Ley, a member of the Nazi hierarchy, after several years of Nazi rule, “is somebody who is asleep.”

Your life purpose and goal as a Muslim is to join the Ummah, or the whole collective of Islam, around the globe, and you can join it by advancing the spread of Islam. (I’ve always nicknamed it “The Borg.”)

Dissent Is Fashionable Again If fashion designers can refuse service to the Trumps based on principle, why can’t bakers and florists follow their own principles? By David French *****

There’s nothing quite like a change of power to expose hypocrisy. Yesterday, the Washington Post ran a long and flattering discussion of fashion designers who are just in anguish that their artistic talents could be abused in the service of a cause they despise. In other words, they don’t want to “dress” Melania or Ivanka Trump.

In an open letter rejecting the idea of working with the Trumps, designer Sophie Theallet said, “We value our artistic freedom, and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious, and ethical way to create in this world.” She said, “As an independent fashion brand, we consider our voice an expression of our artistic and philosophical ideas.”

Post fashion critic Robin Givhan doesn’t just report on this choice, she goes out of her way to justify and explain it:

Like other creative individuals, Theallet sees fashion as a way of expressing her views about beauty and the way women are perceived in society. Fashion is her tool for communicating her world vision. In the same way that a poet’s words or a musician’s lyrics are a deeply personal reflection of the person who wrote them, a fashion designer’s work can be equally as intimate. In many ways, it’s why we are drawn to them. We feel a one-to-one connection.

You see, “clothes are commodities, certainly, but they also have an artful point of view that is distinctly personal.” That’s why, Givhan says, refusing to dress the Trumps “is not the equivalent of refusing service.” And so, Givhan concludes, “for those designers for whom fashion serves as their voice in the world, they should not feel obligated to say something in which they do not believe.”

I agree with Givhan. Don’t make anyone “dress” political figures they don’t like. Don’t make any artists use their talents to advance viewpoints they find offensive. There are designers who are happy to work with Trumps. Others aren’t. Big deal. Life goes on.

But if there is a single person who thinks that Sophie Theallet, Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, and others have a right to refuse to dress the Trumps, but also believes that Christian bakers, photographers, and florists have to use their talents to celebrate gay weddings — there’s a word for you: Hypocrite. Indeed, you’re likely worse than a garden-variety hypocrite. You’re almost certainly malicious and elitist to boot.

Consider the parallels. Photographers, bakers, and florists are using their individual artistic talents not just to document but to celebrate an event. Many of them enter their profession to express their own views about “beauty” and do their work to glorify God. Their art is their best tool for “communicating their world vision.”

But all too many on the Left just don’t care. All that matters is that they refused to use their artistic talents for a gay couple. And aren’t LGBT people protected from discrimination? But wait, aren’t Melania and Ivanka also women? And aren’t women a protected class under nondiscrimination law also?

Getting It Right By David Solway

I like to joke that I am never wrong, then correct myself: oops, yes I was wrong once, that was on March 25, 2008, around ten in the morning. Nonsense, of course. But I do want to say, however arrogant it may appear, that I have been generally right in my political predictions. The point is not to assume a peculiar form of dispensation, but to show that being right requires only a little practice.

Here are just three examples.

1. Terror. Returning to London from a literary symposium at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in mid-June 2005, I entered the Tube station at King’s Cross on the Piccadilly Line and immediately saw that this would be an ideal place for Islamic terrorists to strike. Considering the growing Islamization of the U.K., the atmosphere of threat, the wariness of authorities to move against Islamic supremacism or even to name it, the proliferation of terror preaching imams at radical mosques, and the fact that a heavily trafficked, unsecured public transport site is a perfect venue for urban mayhem, King’s Cross seemed an obvious target. I wrote as much in the then-in-progress manuscript of The Big Lie. The attack occurred shortly afterward, on July 7, 2005. My editor Malcolm Lester had me cancel the passage prior to publication lest readers assume I had inserted it retroactively to surreptitiously affirm my prescience.

2. Obama. I wrote to my Jewish friends — some of them prominent figures in literature and journalism who were ecstatic over candidate Obama’s comforting July 23, 2008 Sderot address to the Israeli people — that the man was not to be trusted and would assuredly go back on his word. Although he was riding a wave of popularity and goodwill, I predicted that despite his syrupy phrases and consoling manner he would eventually show his true colors as Israel’s devoted enemy and would do everything he possibly could to harm the Jewish state. All that was needed to arrive at this conclusion was a modicum of research into Obama’s history, his mentorship by Marxists and Muslims reflexively sympathetic to the Palestinian victimhood narrative, and a close reading of body language and exaggerated inflection. My colleagues were amused and not a few disturbed by my evident cynicism. “Israel has a true friend in Obama,” one well-known commentator opined. To another I wrote: “Nothing this fellow says can be believed, not a single syllable. He is a liar from the womb. How can you not see that?” His reply was to accuse me of advanced paranoia.

My debate with Alan Dershowitz, hosted on FrontPage Magazine a few years later, followed the same pattern. Proud of his president for having visited the embattled Israeli town of Sderot and for having Israel’s back, he fell for every lie that escaped Obama’s lips. (As I write this, Obama has perfidiously refused to use the once-reliable American veto in the December 23, 2016 U.N. Security Council resolution against Israeli so-called “settlements,” doing major damage to the Jewish state.) As with many of my Jewish friends, Dershowitz could not admit he was wrong, but merely kept repeating a series of flabby clichés and fixed talking points, never once addressing my arguments showing that Obama was a hypocrite and an enemy-in-friend’s-clothing. It is only quite recently that the redoubtable Dersh has reversed himself, but that is always easier after the fact. “Experts” like Dershowitz, shackled to belief and convinced of superior insight, are people who learn late what was obvious early — assuming they learn at all. Thinking is harder than rethinking, which is why they are almost never right.

Kellyanne on Fire By Marilyn Penn

Up until this morning, Kellyanne Conway seemed to be the coolest head advising Donald Trump and re-interpreting him for public consumption. No matter which t.v. channel she appeared on, she had that relaxed smile and even-toned voice that seemed to indicate moderation above all. She reminded us of how he modified some of his rashest statements to indicate that once a winner, he was after all, capable of self-reflection. We began to believe that he was sincere in his desire to bring Americans together after a blistering and polarizing campaign.

And now comes the news that Kellyanne will be the first sitting White House official to address the Anti-Abortion march in person, in Washington at the end of this month, a mere week after the president takes office. Is there a more inflammatory issue for American women? No one would deny Kellyanne the right to support whatever cause she believes in but is this public endorsement a sign of good judgment? After hearing Mike Pence state categorically that whatever his personal beliefs were, Roe v Wade is the law of the land and not likely to change in the near future, is this really a smart way to start bringing democrats and republicans together? Isn’t this the most specifically self-defeating preface to getting confirmation for Supreme Court nominees? Now that Trump has been elected, it’s hard to see who benefits from this unique and aggressive demonstration of total partisanship.

Since there’s no chance that Kellyanne accepted this invitation without Trump’s approval, it’s more than disappointing to the many women who voted for him and were both impressed and swayed by her judicious persona, that this is their opening salvo to the majority of women in our nation. I suspect that I speak for many others when I confess that they have just begun to lose me at “hello.”

NO THANKS TO YOU MRS. ROBINSON: MARILYN PENN

Am I the only one who was taken aback at our president’s gaffe? There were Michelle, Malia and Michelle’s mother Marian Robinson seated together wiping their tears as Barack Obama proceeded to laud the women in his life at his farewell speech. First came his wife to whom he offered a beautiful tribute to her performance as First Lady, as mother to their children and as best friend to him. Then came Malia who, along with her absent younger sister Sascha, also was treated to superlative praise for growing up so perfectly in a difficult, hothouse environment. And then the camera briefly panned to Mrs. Robinson, First Grandmother of the United States (FGOTUS), the 79 year old mother-in-law of our president and the woman who relocated to the White House in order to facilitate the first couple’s ability to raise their young children while still performing the myriad duties their jobs entail. Awkward moment as the camera quickly moved away and no presidential gratitude was expressed at that public finale.

The president then went on to thank many more people who assisted in his eight year reign, from cabinet level down to the interns. Marian Robinson’s name still was never uttered. As a grandmother myself, I offer these famous lyrics to this gracious, unselfish , dedicated mother-in-law whose efforts are reflected in her graceful, intelligent and poised teen-aged granddaughters – no greater proof is needed.

And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know, wo wo wo
God bless you please Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey
hey hey hey

We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
We’d like to help you learn to help yourself
Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes
Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

Coo coo ca-choo, Mrs Robinson
Jesus loves you more than you will know, wo wo wo
God bless you please Mrs. Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey
hey hey hey

Of interest, Paul Simon originally wrote this song for Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman who was an activist for women’s rights and black rights. It seems entirely fitting that they be applied to a senior citizen who not only helped to raise her granddaughters locally but had the energy and will to accompany them on their international travels. Too bad that no one thought to have Obama sing these stanzas to her, urging the audience to join in He missed an opportunity that would have given proper credit to this woman’s extraordinary loving service – it would have been a memorable addition to his family’s place in American history.

JEWS WITHOUT MEMORY BY RAEL ISAAC

Professor of Jewish History Yosef Yerushalmi observed that “Zakhor!” “Remember” is enjoined in the Bible 169 times.

Tragically, the behavior of most Jewish leaders reveals that they remember nothing of relevance to a Jewish future. They have forgotten that modern Zionism arose in response to an anti-Semitism that showed itself impervious to the so-called European “Enlightenment.” They have forgotten that it soon became apparent that only Palestine, the ancient homeland of the Jews, could provide the motivation for even secular Jews to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve a state. They have forgotten how prescient the early Zionists were, for their worst forebodings were realized: millions died for lack of the state that could have offered them refuge from their murderers. They have forgotten how, in the wake of the UN’s vote for partition, the reborn state of Israel held on against what seemed impossible odds and went on to create a vibrant, free, prosperous, innovative state in a region mired in chaos and despair. They have forgotten that an umbilical cord attaches them to Israel. They have forgotten—if they ever knew–the extent to which their standing in the United States depends on Israel’s existence, and how vulnerable they will be if Jews once again become a people without a land.

In the early 1970s, historian and rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, as President of the American Jewish Congress, anticipated some of this “forgetting.” He believed that Israel would soon achieve peace with its neighbors and at that point the divergence of Israel’s interests from those of diaspora Jews would become obvious and Israel would lose much of its salience for Jews abroad. Hertzberg did not foresee what has in fact happened: that far from reconciling themselves to Israel’s existence, Arabs would spearhead an increasingly successful world-wide movement to delegitimize her. Nor did he foresee that a plethora of Jewish organizations would emerge, not simply indifferent to Israel but actively hostile to her interests (J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, Ameinu, the New Israel Fund among others). Nor did he foresee that for the most part mainstream Jewish organizations would transfer their enthusiasm to a variety of trendy left-wing causes, from climate change to gay rights to abortion to gun control, with Israel a distant fifth or sixth on the agenda, if that.

Take the Anti-Defamation League, the organization originally established to fight anti-Semitism. Jonathan Bronitsky has written an informative report on the ADL from the “inside.” Selected to participate in the ADL’s Glass Leadership Institute, a ten month program for a select group of young professionals to be closely involved in the organization, he was unsettled to discover that “the ADL has dedicated itself more and more to matters of social justice in America (e.g. immigration, women’s reproductive health, economic privilege)…[to] advance political agendas that have nothing to do with defending the Jewish people.” When he merely raised questions, says Bronitsky, “the wrath that I encountered, time and time again, was stunning. Are upper middle class, highly educated American Jews so isolated from non-liberal thoughts that even the slightest contestation of their most firmly held beliefs is enough to trigger landslides of emotional chaos?” Bronitzky found the intellectual dishonesty, the pretense that the organization did not tout the Democratic party agenda, particularly disheartening. “It is difficult to convey just how intellectually insulting, how patronizing it was to be told by winking staff members that their organization is nonpartisan.”

The ADL, like most Jewish organizations, is willfully blind to the growing distancing of the Democratic Party, as it marches left, from Israel and Jews. The favorite among Democrats to head the Democratic National Committee has been Keith Ellison, for many years an acolyte of Louis Farrakhan, of “Judaism is a gutter religion” fame. Interestingly it was not Ellison’s hostility to Israel that bothered ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt (who initially supported him). It was Ellison’s suggestion in a 2010 speech (that belatedly came to light) that Jews dictated American Mideast policy that Greenblatt found “disqualifying”—anti-Semitism focused directly on American Jews struck too close to home.

Sydney M. Williams Thought of the Day “Aleppo”

There is, perhaps, no better metaphor to describe the failure of the West in terms of a Middle East foreign policy than the tragedy that is Aleppo, its consequence for the people of Syria, and the refuge crisis it unleashed on Jordan, Turkey and Europe. It opened the door for Russia, emboldened Iran and further divided and already divided Middle East between Sunnis led by Saudi Arabia and Shiites by Iran.

The bombing ceased in mid-December, but atrocities continued as Bashar al-Assad’s forces swept through former rebel strongholds in the eastern part of Aleppo. The battle for the city began a month before President Obama proclaimed on August 20, 2012: “…that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” Thirteen hundred tons of chemicals were subsequently removed, but not before Syrian helicopters launched at least two attacks using Chlorine gas, a chemical first used as a weapon by the German army in the First World War during the Second Battle of Ypres. We allowed that “red line” to become a sea of blood.

Syria’s civil war masked the arrival of ISIS. Distinguishing between rebels who wanted out from the oppression of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial control and ISIS fighters whose aim is a despotic caliphate is difficult. That confusion aids ISIS. The year 2011 gave rise to the “Arab Spring.” Democratic-leaning forces (or, rather, different totalitarian forces) toppled the heads of Libya, Yemen, Tunisia and Egypt that spring. In March of that year, peaceful protests began in Syria. President al-Assad responded by imprisoning thousands and killing hundreds of demonstrators. Nevertheless, by July military defectors had formed the Free Syrian Army, whose aim was to overthrow the Syrian government. Civil war had come to Syria.

Aleppo is an ancient city, located in northwest Syria near the Turkish border. Before the First World War, it was the capital of Aleppo Province, which then bordered the Mediterranean. Prior to the current civil war, it was Syria’s largest city, with 2.3 million people (more than 10% of Syria’s pre-war population), and it was the country’s commercial hub. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, dating back thousands of years. Excavations at Tell as-Sawda show the area was occupied 3000 years before the birth of Christ. The city was a strategic trading center between Mesopotamia (Iraq) and the Mediterranean, which lies 75 miles to the west. The Province was the western terminus of the Silk Road, which passed through central Asia and Mesopotamia, on its way to the Mediterranean. With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, trade was diverted to the sea and Aleppo began a long decline in terms of its commercial significance.

EDWARD CLINE: TRIGGER WARNINGS

The ultimate earner of a Trigger Warning is having to read a column that mocks trigger warning addicts and others dependent on post-adolescence pacifiers.
Doxing and dwelling on the progressive gangrene of Western society, the topic here is “trigger warnings.”

There have been so many reports lately of the implementation of “trigger warnings,” especially in universities, that one might well ask oneself: Why bother putting police scene-of-crime tape around a particular animus? Why not declare everything off limits, reality in fact. Everywhere a snowflake turns anymore he seems to encounter something troubling, unsafe, and perilous to his piece of mind – or did I mean “peace” of mind? No sooner is the issue raised, then some industrious guidance counselor or an academic can be heard hammering and sawing as he or she builds a “safe space” for the uninitiated college snowflake.

Cashing in on their prenatal Progressive upbringing, and on their potty-training, modern educators patronize and encourage the bewildering universe of the modern college student, who learn that nothing is real and that therefore reality is anything you want it to be and if you think it’s dangerous or offensive, you deserve a “safe place” from it, and more, that you should be warned of its proximity and that steps should be taken to expel it from reality.

But is there a “safe space” from reality, from facts? From “A is A”? but that statement is racist. “A” standing for a dead white male, Aristotle. Snowflakes must be protected from it.

No. You may as well try to find fresh air on Titan or Mars.

The cultural hypochondriacs have nowhere to hide, nowhere to cower and lick their wounds, hug their puppies, and open their Cry-on Crayons.

Don’t say trigger in front of snowflakes! Guns have triggers, and guns make them nervous, they make them feel unsafe! Trigger was also the name of Roy Rogers’s horse, and they’re against animal exploitation, too; it makes them feel queasy and nauseous!

Good Morning America By Marilyn Penn

Lyrica, Xeljanz, Latuda, Brilinta, Entyvio, Vedolizumab, Toujeo, Prevagen, Xarelto – these are but a sampling of the words I learned while watching television news between 6 and 7:30 a.m. Some, like Lyrica or Brilinta might be new baby names for girls; some might belong to bellicose monsters – Vedolizumab and Xarelto; others have a tentative connotation – prevagen. All carry warnings of severe side effects, some including possible death, for which final effect seems a more fitting adjective. I wondered who names these drugs and whether that is a discrete profession or the product of a staff party with too much alcohol. Are these names with their strange letter combinations the substitute for the unreadable handwriting all doctors previously used to exclude us from their special knowledge? In our digital-happy world where prescriptions must be wired instead of written by the doctor, we may soon no longer need the pharmacists who were trained to decipher those heiroglyphics. One can only wonder at how frequently the wrong medication was previously procured and whether or not that made any difference.

After all, medical protocol tends to reverse itself every decade or so. We now “know” that peanuts should be offered to babies as early in their infancy as six months. Of course you must be certain that your baby won’t go into anaphylactic shock by feeding them – I use that ungrammatical pronoun so as not to offend any infant who might have a gender preference different from their visible nether-parts – an egg and seeing what happens. Babies who die from eggs wil not do well with peanut butter either.

Back to the inscrutable and often unpronounceable names for drugs – my second theory is that their expense necessitates a name that is rare and exotic and never encountered before. None of has ever seen an actual entyvio so we can imagine that its obscurity implies difficulty to harvest or even create in a test tube, making its astronomical price tag more justified. If, for example, you have to send couriers to the steppes of Kalookistan on Mongolian horses to search for entyvio leaves, of course it will cost a lot more than a drug that has only five letters in its mediocre name – advil, for one. While it’s true that the lengthy phenobarbitol is still not overpriced, that illustrates the difference between polysyllabic words and completely unrecognizable ones. We can make out pheno, a common prefix, and there’s that friendly barbi at the end. Try parsing vedolizumab for anything familiar and you’ll get my point.

I am grateful that I don’t need to ask for any of these drugs out loud and in full disclosure, I have to add one more word that did appear in the morning time slot and was not related to big pharma – trivago. Though I would have guessed it was a misspelled acronymic cure for vertigo, it’s actually a website for checking comparative hotel prices. Well, at least you don’t need a prescription for it so it’s safe to just forget it until they come up with a more ingenious name that you might actually remember – like hotelprice.com.