Everyone is running to the fainting couch- shocked, shocked that Iran has given medals to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who recently captured and humiliated American sailors.

The act is heinous and they’ll probably get more millions from Obamakerry, but where is the outrage or at least some empathy when Palarabs enabled and encouraged by Abbas name streets in honor of terrorists who kill Israeli civilians including women, and children and infants swaddled in their cribs?

And these are the terrorists with whom Israel is asked to negotiate and treat as partners for peace by the Eurotrash and our media and State Department…..rsk

The Month That Was January 2016 Sydney Williams

Despite rallying the last couple days of the month, world stock markets lost about $7.5 trillion in January, amid fears of global recession. According to analysts, China’s economic growth has slowed to the range of six percent. Keep in mind, however, statistics from authoritarian regimes are suspect. What we do know is that the Shanghai Index is down 22.6% year-to-date. Emerging markets have been battered by falling commodity prices. The MSCI Index is, so far, down 14.9 percent. Brazil and Russia are in recession, if not depression. Europe’s economy is flat-lining, which comes as no surprise given the role of the state in the economy. Economic growth in the U.S. has been anemic – growing at two percent – since the end the “Great Recession” in early 2009. In fact, U.S. GDP growth has not exceeded 2.7% for ten years. Last Friday’s preliminary report on fourth quarter GDP showed growth at 0.7 percent. Free markets have been hamstrung by state intervention (i.e., healthcare, higher taxes, extraordinary low interest rates and increased EPA regulations). It has led to a loss of confidence, and a reduction in forward visibility.

Not even the 2800 delegates to the World Economic Forum in Davos (who, incidentally, flew in on 850 private jets) could lift expectations. Curiously, the theme of this year’s conference, which went from January 19th to the 23rd, was that the world is on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution. It is generally acknowledged that the first industrial revolution began in England in the late 18th Century and extended into the second half of the 19th. The second, most would agree, began with Henry Ford’s development of the assembly line in early 1920s America. The third, according to The Economist in an April 2012 cover story, is the one we are currently in – artificial intelligence, genetics, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, robotics, etc., the same drivers mentioned two weeks ago in Davos as the fourth. It was not made clear if the business, banking, government and media elites who descended on Davos pulled a Rip Van Winkle, but world economic conditions suggest they haven’t been paying attention. Something is wrong.

Why the Left Can’t Understand Islam Learning the truth about Islam would destroy the Left. Daniel Greenfield

The left’s greatest intellectual error is its conviction that the world can be divided into a binary power struggle in which both sides agree on the nature of the struggle, but disagree on the outcome.

For leftists of a certain generation, it was class. Marx began the Communist Manifesto by laying out a primal class struggle throughout human history. For Marxists, everything in the world could be broken down to a class struggle with the wealthy oppressors on one side and the oppressed on the other.

It didn’t matter that this model didn’t fit a reality in which Communists leaders came from wealthy backgrounds and their opponents were just as likely to be poor peasants. To the left, everything is defined by the model. Reality is an inconvenience that is suppressed with gulags and firing squads.

Today the variable is identity politics. Everything must be intersectional. There are those who stand on the right side of history, in favor of abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration. Everyone who isn’t on board is a racist, even if they’re black or Latino, a sexist, even if they’re female, or a homophobe, even if they’re gay. Once again, reality doesn’t matter. The binary struggle is the model for everything.

Manhattan Blues (The Cyrus Skeen Mysteries) (Volume 14) Paperback – by Edward Cline

It is March, 1929. Cyrus Skeen is called to New York by his father, Garnett Skeen, to attend to some trust fund affairs. Skeen’s detective agency is subsidized by a trust fund his father set up years before, but his mother, Eleanor “Nellie” Skeen, wishes to set up her own trust fund for her son. A daughter of an Oklahoma oil magnate, she is “very well situated” in terms of wealth. Skeen’s parents, however, are driving to Nags Head in the Outer Banks of North Carolina to spend the rest of the winter. The elder Skeen tells his son that he must prove his existence for a new bank officer who will be administrating the new trust fund; therefore, Skeen must travel to New York City. In New York, he meets an alluring and tempestuous opera singer, Brianna “Ginger” O’Quill. During one of her performances at the Metropolitan Opera, he goes backstage and kisses the diva’s hand. She interprets the gesture as an invitation to pursue him, which she does even though she knows he is married and in love with his wife, Dilys. But a rival for her attentions is jealous and attempts to murder Skeen – or O’Quill…or anyone.

Hope is not a strategy Since Israel is going to be attacked no matter what it does, we might as well do things that advance our interests. Caroline Glick

Our government is playing games with itself. And losing.

On Wednesday Chaim Levinson reported in Haaretz that for the first time in nearly two years, last week the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria approved new building plans for a small number of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Levinson also reported that last month Jerusalem’s municipal planning and building commission gave final approval to plans to build nearly 900 housing units in the southern neighborhood of Gilo. Initial approval was granted back in 2012.

But in the intervening three years, the commission refused to allow them to go forward.

From the report, we learn that the government’s critics in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria who claimed that it was barring Jewish building were right all along. Despite the government’s denials, the fact is that for at least the last year and a half, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers maintained an undeclared freeze on construction for Israeli Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

During this period, Jews have only been permitted to build in these areas either on the basis of plans that had received final approval before the unofficial freeze took effect, or in cases where refusal to approve building would have involved admitting that a freeze was in effect. So, for instance, in areas where the rights of Jews to their property in Judea and Samaria have been challenged before the Supreme Court by EU-financed Israeli NGOs like Yesh Din, the government has defended those rights and so given permission for Jews to exercise their property rights.

The government opted to enact this unofficial building freeze, and so trample the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, in the hopes of convincing the Obama administration to protect Israel from Palestinian efforts to pass anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council.

The Problem with Jewish Museums Ours is an era of museums celebrating the identity of nearly every group and ethnicity. But something else takes place when the identity in question is Edward Rothstein

In more than a decade of writing about museums, first for the New York Times and now for the Wall Street Journal, I’ve reviewed history museums, science museums, political museums, and museums created by eccentric collectors. I’ve visited two museums devoted to neon signs and one to ventriloquists’ dummies, a creation-science museum and a science-fiction museum. I’ve seen human mutations preserved in glass jars and coffee beans sent to Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, a mummified cat and a fragment of Jeremy Bentham’s skin. But I haven’t seen anything quite so strange as the ways in which various Jewish communities in the United States, in Europe, and in Israel have come to depict themselves in museums.

From the Skirball Museum in Los Angeles and the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Spertus Museum in Chicago, from the Jewish museums in London, Vienna, Berlin, Istanbul, and Israel to Holocaust museums in more cities than that, there are peculiarities in interpretation and advocacy that demand close examination. The objects on display at such institutions may range from a baseball signed by Sandy Koufax to the important Old Yiddish journal kept by a woman in 17th-century Germany, an excavated London mikveh from the 13th century (just before Jews were expelled from England), and fragments of parchment buried two millennia ago in Dead Sea caves. But all of these disparate instances disclose a surprisingly consistent self-image—one revealingly distinct from anything else in contemporary museum culture.

Before going farther, it is worth thinking briefly about origins. The great museums of the 18th and 19th centuries—the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (1891), the British Museum in London (1753), the Louvre in Paris (1792), the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg (1764), and many others—were encyclopedic in scope and ambition. Born, in part, of an imperial impulse, they aimed to demonstrate the geographical and intellectual range of great national powers by becoming repositories of some of the most precious objects on earth. Simultaneously, they were shaped by the Enlightenment conviction that both the natural and human worlds could be understood and even mastered by subjecting their diverse offerings to scientific analysis and discerning the universal laws at work in the midst of miscellany. The Enlightenment museum tried to answer great human questions: where did we come from? what is the significance of what we see? how have we come to be its overseer?

The Hills Beyond How an Appalachian range became the Catskills. | By Jay Weiser

Stephen Silverman and Raphael Silver offer a boisterous, colorful history of New York’s Catskill Mountains, but like the tummlers of yesteryear, once they depart, it’s hard to remember what the noise was about. The Catskills have always been at the edge of the American experience—a hinterland of New York City. Unlike William Cronon’s classic Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, which examined how 19th-century Chicago transformed the Midwest’s ecology and economy, The Catskills offers loosely linked stories where the Big Apple is forever popping up to take over the narrative.

As the authors note, only in the last two centuries have people even called the Catskills a single mountain range. Despite heroic efforts to unify the story, the book is really about three regions: the Hudson Valley, at the center of American history and culture from 1750-1850; the remote, central Catskills, forever wild by statute and the primary source of New York City’s water supply; and the southern Catskills, famed for their 20th-century Jewish resorts.

The problems with the Catskills-as-autonomous-region start at the beginning. The Hudson River was a water highway in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, but the theater’s key events took place far south, in Manhattan, and far north, in the region’s Lake George-Lake Champlain extension. The authors somehow discern George Washington’s tactical genius from his string of New York military disasters in 1776, but it hardly matters: Washington never fought in the Catskills.

They turn to Washington Irving’s short stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” which satirize the vanishing Dutch world of the Hudson Valley and the disconcerting changes in postrevolutionary society. Irving was actually a New York City and Europe-based writer—though like his antihero Ichabod Crane, he later resided in the Hudson Valley on the opposite bank from the Catskills. Fortunately, two of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, which similarly contrast the vanishing Native American culture with that of the European-descended frontiersmen, are actually set in the Catskills.

The Hudson River School painters also contrasted the vanishing rural world with the booming 19th-century economy. Even as the Hudson Valley bustled with tanneries, factories, and bluestone quarries providing the paving for New York City’s sidewalks, painter Thomas Cole and his fellow Romantics found the sublime in Katterskill Falls, setting nature’s untamed magnificence against civilization’s distant encroachments. Lacking an eye for art—or, perhaps, adequate search skills in Google Images—Silverman and Silver contrast the Hudson River School painters with the allegedly “cold” landscapes of England’s J. M. W. Turner, which were far more melodramatic exemplars of Romanticism.

Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth: How Europe’s exiled intellectuals ended up on a Belgian beach By Adam Kirsch

In choosing to take up this story in the summer of 1936, Weidermann finds a moment of relative calm and normality in the émigrés’ lives.On 3 July 1936, a Czechoslovakian Jewish journalist named Stefan Lux entered the general assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva, shouted “C’est le dernier coup”, and shot himself with a revolver. Lux wanted his suicide to be a warning cry against anti-Semitism and Nazi militarism. But if he thought that even such a public sacrifice would serve as the “final blow” against fascism, he was tragically mistaken. Two years after Lux’s death came the dismemberment of his country in the Munich Agreement and the Germany-wide pogrom known as Kristallnacht. The following year
brought the Second World War and the beginnings of the Holocaust. All that Lux’s death accomplished was to confirm the very powerlessness it was meant to protest. Nor did he even win the posthumous thanks of posterity, given that today his name and his deed are practically unknown.

Lux features in an offstage cameo role in the non-fiction chamber drama that is Summer Before the Dark. The German journalist Volker Weidermann has devoted this short, elegiac book to the German émigré writers, most of them Jews, who congregated in Ostend in the summer of 1936, mainly because they had no place better to go. At the centre of this unhappy cenacle were two writers who shared Lux’s fate. Stefan Zweig’s journeys took him all the way to Petrópolis, Brazil, before he gave up hope and took an overdose of barbiturates (with his wife, Lotte) in 1942. Joseph Roth’s death also deserves to be called a suicide: he died in Paris in May 1939 after years of acute alcoholism. (His final crisis was precipitated by yet another suicide, that of Ernst Toller, the communist playwright, who had killed himself in New York City a few days earlier.)

The effects of exile on Zweig and Roth had been immediate and dramatic. When Hitler came to power in 1933, each man was at the peak of his literary career, though that success took very different forms. Roth was a long-time star correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung, and had just written the novel that was his masterpiece, The Rad­etzky March. Zweig, who lived in splendour in Salzburg, Austria, was a writer of sensational novellas and digestible works on the history of ideas, books that were immensely popular in Germany and beyond. Their close friendship endured despite the evident differences in their temperament – Zweig was a moderate bourgeois, Roth a romantic bohemian – and, trickier still, in their abilities: Roth was a writer of genius, while Zweig knew he had only talent.

The CDC is brushing off the Zika virus Betsy McCaughey

“Scientists are trying to stop Zika by destroying the main type of mosquito that carries it. They’ve genetically engineered a male mosquito whose offspring automatically die. But environmentalists are whining about eradicating a species.”

The Zika virus causes horrible birth defects – and it’s coming here. Will US authorities let ideologues stop them from wiping out the mosquito species that carries this horror?

The biggest danger is to pregnant women, whose babies are at risk of being born with abnormally small and damaged brains. Already, nearly 4,000 Brazilian newborns have been affected. Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia and El Salvador are urging women to delay getting pregnant for up to two years, and countries are being encouraged to lift their abortion bans. Zika is also linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes paralysis and nerve damage in men and women.

For now anyway, Americans have only a small worry – contracting Zika from a mosquito bite while traveling to the Caribbean or Latin America. But the World Health Organization warned on Sunday that mosquito-borne Zika will soon spread to all countries in the western hemisphere except Canada and Chile.

Unbelievably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has no intention of helping communities in the United States eradicate mosquitoes, even though it’s immersed in the same fight against mosquito-borne disease in other countries across the globe.

Will the EPA Cause a Zika Pandemic? DDT could stop the horrific disease, but environmental zealots won’t consider it. By Robert Zubrin

The world is facing a public-health emergency. According to the World Health Organization, the Zika virus, a horrific disease that causes malformation of infants, is now “spreading explosively.” If decisive action is not taken quickly, Zika will proliferate to every continent, become widely and deeply embedded in populations, and cause millions of babies to be born brain-damaged every year for generations to come.

​A cure for Zika is not known, and it could take decades to find one. But there is something that can be done now to stop the epidemic. Zika is spread by mosquitoes, which can be exterminated by pesticides. The most effective pesticide is DDT. If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.

Some history is in order. DDT was first employed by the U.S. Army to stop a typhus epidemic in Naples that had been created by the retreating Germans through their destruction of that city’s sanitation system. Subsequently, Allied forces used it in all theaters to save millions of disease-ravaged victims of Axis tyranny, and after the war employed it to wipe out malaria in the American south, southern Europe, and much of south Asia and Latin America. The benefits of these campaigns were unprecedented. As the National Academy of Sciences put it in a 1970 report:

To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase of agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable.

The role of DDT in saving half a billion lives did not positively impress everyone, however. On the contrary, many environmentalist leaders were quite upset. As Alexander King, the co-founder of the Club of Rome, put it in 1990, “my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” Of course, such reasoning would carry little appeal to the American public.