Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues : Bari Weiss

The cultural critic on why ignoring the biological differences between men and women risks undermining Western civilization.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303997604579240022857012920

‘What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide,” says Camille Paglia. This self-described “notorious Amazon feminist” isn’t telling anyone to Lean In or asking Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. No, her indictment may be as surprising as it is wide-ranging: The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead. And that’s just 20 minutes of our three-hour conversation.

When Ms. Paglia, now 66, burst onto the national stage in 1990 with the publishing of “Sexual Personae,” she immediately established herself as a feminist who was the scourge of the movement’s establishment, a heretic to its orthodoxy. Pick up the 700-page tome, subtitled “Art and Decadence From Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, ” and it’s easy to see why. “If civilization had been left in female hands,” she wrote, “we would still be living in grass huts.”

The fact that the acclaimed book—the first of six; her latest, “Glittering Images,” is a survey of Western art—was rejected by seven publishers and five agents before being printed by Yale University Press only added to Ms. Paglia’s sense of herself as a provocateur in a class with Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. But unlike those radio jocks, Ms. Paglia has scholarly chops: Her dissertation adviser at Yale was Harold Bloom, and she is as likely to discuss Freud, Oscar Wilde or early Native American art as to talk about Miley Cyrus.

MARY ANASTASIA O’GRADY:Mandela’s Message Didn’t Make It to Cuba

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303799404579284731933788614

In Havana a small white clique rules a majority black nation.

Did Barack Obama bow to Raúl Castro when the two shook hands at a memorial for Nelson Mandela in South Africa earlier this month? It sure looked that way in a South African Broadcasting Corporation photo.

On the other hand Castro is a diminutive dictator. That may explain what seemed to be presidential stooping to the level of the tropical totalitarian. Let’s hope so. After all, the Cuban military dictatorship, run by a white junta, held and tortured the black political prisoner Eusebio Peñalver for 28 years—one year more than Mandela endured.

The world barely noticed when Peñalver died in exile in 2005. If he had enjoyed the kind of international support Mandela had, things might have turned out differently for him and for Cuba’s predominantly black population. Government statistics in Cuba are unreliable but according to a 2009 report in the Inter Press Service News Agency, “most Cuban academics estimate that between 60% and 70% of the population is black or ‘mulatto.'”

Cuba was thrilled with the Obama encounter. A Dec. 19 commentary under Fidel’s byline, published by the state media, congratulated Raúl for “his firmness and dignity” when the two met.

CLAUDIA ROSETT: IRAN-UN AUTHORITY ON VIOLENT EXTREMISM

http://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/iran-un-authority-on-violent-extremism/

The United Nations has yet to agree on a definition of terrorism. That makes it especially problematic for the UN to actually do much about terrorist groups, or UN member states that happen to sponsor them. But when it comes to homing in on “violent extremism,” the UN is on the case, led this month by — of course — Iran. With a nod from the U.S.

Earlier this month, Iran introduced a resolution in the General Assembly on “A world against violence and violent extremism.” Coming from a country that the U.S. State Department has called the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, this was one of many resolutions the UN ought to file in a titanic trash bin labeled “Orwell Out-Takes.” Instead, the General Assembly on Dec. 18 approved it by consensus. That tells us the U.S., erstwhile leader of the free world, did not even call for a vote. Thus did Iran’s PressTV trumpet Iran’s success in persuading the UN, “overwhelmingly… to adopt a resolution based on President Hassan Rouhani’s proposals for a World Against Violent Extremism (WAVE).”

To be fair, while not actually making any attempt to vote against the resolution, the U.S. delegate did make a statement (scroll down to page 5). The UN’s notes on the meeting record that the U.S. delegate protested “the clear resurgence in recent years of Iran’s State-sponsored terrorism” and said Iran “must halt” this behavior. But that formulation out of the way, the U.S. delegate went on to say that Iran’s President Rouhani had outlined “peaceful aims” at the UN in September, and that the U.S. hoped that “his vision would soon be reflected in practical steps.”

ROGER KIMBALL: THE NEW YORK TIMES VS. THE TRUTH

http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2013/12/29/benghazi-the-new-york-times-vs-the-truth/

They never give up at the New York Times.If at first they don’t succeed in twisting the truth to fit the Newspeak fit to print, it’s try, try again. Their latest exercise in mendacity is “A Deadly Mix in Benghazi,” an elaborate essay that substitutes a plethora of irrelevant details and animated graphics for historical truth. The long essay takes up an event which, in a rational world, would have led the to resignation of former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the impeachment of President Barack Obama. I mean the terrorist attack on our consular facility at Benghazi, Libya.

You remember Benghazi: a U.S. ambassador and his security detail were ambushed by Islamic radicals and, after an hours’ long firefight, Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were brutally murdered. By Islamic radicals.

The cataract of misinformation that gushed out of the Obama administration about that event, a mephitic current of lies and half truths streaming from the cloaca maxima in Washington, D.C., was stunning even by the low standards of “the most transparent administration in history.” I wrote about the events here several times, as did several of my PJM colleagues.

The administration’s line was that the savage ambush that left four Americans dead was part of a “spontaneous uprising” by adherents of the Religion of Peace, goaded to murderous fury because of a hitherto obscure internet video that portrays Mohammed as a corrupt sexual predator. It’s a silly film. But, however silly, however offensive to Muslim sensibilities it may be, is it grounds for mayhem and murder? And, more to the point, did it in fact have anything at all to do with the events in Benghazi of September 11, 2012?

The short answer is: No. The internet video had nothing to do with that terrorist attack. The date, however, — September 11 — probably had a lot to do with the timing of the attack.

According to the New York Times, the perpetrators of the attack were not elements of al-Qaeda and kindred radical groups but disaffected members of the Arab street who were distraught by Innocence of Muslims, the sophomoric internet video on which President Obama and Hilary Clinton blamed the attack. My own view is that if a group of people is so criminally puerile that they can can be roused to murder by a video, then they deserve to be treated as mental incompetents. But in this case, the question doesn’t really arise because the Times offers no evidence that the video had anything to do with the murderous attack.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: CRASHING AND BURNING IN 2013

http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/crashing-burning-2013/ Recent polls suggest Barack Obama has become a turn-off. Why? In part, all presidents wear on Americans. Their presence has become as ubiquitous in our lives as the busts of the emperor Augustus dotting the Mediterranean world. So who wouldn’t annoy after speaking and appearing on our screens 24/7 for five years? But in […]

THE SOLAR SWINDLE: NORMAN ROGERS

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/the_solar_swindle.html

Solar electricity is growing, promoted, and most importantly, heavily subsidized. The promoters of solar electricity claim that it is close to being competitive with conventional sources of electricity. That is a fantasy.

Solar electricity is expensive and impractical. If it weren’t for government subsidies, some explicit and some disguised, the solar industry would collapse. The many claims of competitiveness are always based on ignoring subsidies provided to politically correct renewable power, ignoring the costs associated with unreliability, and ignoring the cost of backup fossil fuel plants.

An example of a hidden subsidy is the California Renewable Portfolio Standard that mandates utilities to obtain 33% of their energy from so-called renewable sources by 2020. This mandate forces utilities to contract for expensive sources of energy, such as solar. The cost is passed on to the utility customers with the connivance of the government. Although the motivation behind the California scheme is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, politically incorrect sources of CO2-free electricity, such as nuclear and large-scale hydroelectric, can’t be counted as renewable.

People whose knowledge of electricity production ends at their wall outlet are dictating national energy policy. Magical thinking by hopelessly ignorant political activists permeates the alternative energy universe.

Kay Wilson St James’s Church, I Hate Your Hatred

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/an-open-letter-to-st-james-church-london/

A true story…
“And it came to pass that in December 2010, two Palestinian shepherds left their little town near Bethlehem and set out to walk ten miles across the Judean Hills. There in the forest, they kept watch by night. The following day, at about the 6th hour (3pm) the shepherds saw two women walking along the Israel National Trail. With great fervour they took out their knives and attacked the women. Their serrated blades glinted int he sun, shining all around as the shepherds held the girls and pinned them to the ground. With knives to their throats, the women dare not move.

“‘Fear not,’ said the men – for mighty dread had seized the women’s troubled minds – ’we bring you good news that will cause great joy for our people.’ What could these glad tidings be? Rape, a robbery, a beating? Anything was better than death the women pondered in their hearts. And so it came to pass that near the seventh hour, the shepherds said, ‘behold, let us go forth and kill these Jews like Allah has told us to do.’

“The shepherds gagged the women, removed their shoes and bound their hands. They forced one woman to her knees, covered her head and pushed her neck forward. The woman knelt, and prepared herself to be beheaded. Suddenly she saw a great light – the blade of his knife glinting in the sun. The Jewish woman whispered, ‘Hear Oh Israel.’ The Islamic host cried, ‘Allah HuAkbar,’ and the Christian screamed ‘Jesus,’ the name of a Jew born in David’s town.

“Thirteen times the shepherds thrust their knives into the women, breaking bones, tearing flesh, even impaling one to the ground. As the Jew played dead, she watched her Christian friend hacked to death before her very eyes. The shepherds returned home glorifying and praising Allah for all that they had seen and spread the word of what had they had done. ‘Today near the town of David two Jews have been slaughtered,’ they declared. They plotted and schemed, boasting to their neighbours, ‘this will be a sign, they will find two of their own, all meanly wrapped in bloody clothes and in the bushes laid.’”

ALL ABOUT JACK ENGELHARD FROM BOOKS OF EXCELLENCE

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bonnie-kaye/2013/12/30/books-of-excellence
Subject: Books of Excellence Radio Show – Jack Engelhard Special Guest

We are ending the year 2013 with a very special guest and friend, author and journalist Jack Engelhard. Jack has an amazing life that started in Toulouse, France. His family consisting of his parents and sister escaped when the Nazis invaded France realizing that the Jews were be part of Hitler’s extermination plan. The family tried to come to America but instead settled in Canada because America closed its doors to Jewish refugees. Ten years later, his family was granted permanent residence and become citizens of the United States.

Most people know Jack from his novel-turned-major motion picture Indecent Proposal. This film is remembered years after it debuted with Robert Redford and Demi Moore. Ironically, when I first spoke to Jack last year, I think I was the only person in this country who hadn’t seen the movie which is why I was excited about reading his book. I never expected to be so impacted by a story like I was by this one. The movie was commercialized but the book was the pure tale. The book made me think–maybe too much–about how one moment can change your life forever.

I admit I have become an “Engelhard Junkie.” Before reading Indecent Proposal, I first read his Escape From Mount Moriah based on his family’s escape from Nazi France and the obstacles they faced as new immigrants to North America. I could see why one of the short stories in the book was made into a short film selection for Cannes Film Festival. There are 18 short stories about the families story from riches to rags and learning to adapt in a strange world in the midst of poverty. There were many humorous parts in the book, but it also showed how hard it is for people to lose everything and have to start over. My only complaint about this book is that it ended. I wanted to read more. I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it. This is a short book that is a quick read, but every word flows so beautifully.

MELANIE PHILLIPS: A CHURCH OF HATE

https://www.embooks.com/blog/single/a-church-of-hate

An open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Justin Welby.

Dear Archbishop,

I read with interest your Christmas Day sermon, in which you said:

‘The Christian meaning of Christmas is unconditional love received, love overflowing into a frequently love-lost world.’

I wonder how you reconcile this with the fact that that one of your churches, St James’s Piccadilly, chose Christmas to turn itself into a church of hate?

As I am sure you know only too well, this church spent eight months preparing its Christmas stunt, the erection of an 8 metre-tall, 30 metre-long replica of the Israeli ‘wall’ that it claims surrounds Bethlehem and imposes ‘desperate hardship’ on the town’s inhabitants.

Although the church acknowledges in passing that the original purpose of this ‘wall’ was ‘to protect Israeli citizens from terrorism’, it suggests instead that its only result has been to oppress and harass innocent Palestinians. The inevitable effect of this wholly mendacious and malevolent travesty will be to incite hatred against Israel and all who support its defence against the war of extermination being perpetrated against it.

St James’s has put out a pious statement that it

‘… opposes all forms of racism including antisemitism and supports the right of the State of Israel to exist with secure internationally recognised borders’.

YORAM ETTINGER:The Palestinian Refugees – a Reality Test (part 2)

http://bit.ly/1h67mML

The Palestinian refugee issue has been dramatically misrepresented, distorting circumstances and numbers, in order to de-legitimize the Jewish state.

The Root Cause Then and Now

According to the German Middle East expert, Fritz Grobba (Men and Powers in the Orient, pp. 194-7, 207-8, Berlin, 1957), the 1948 Palestinian leadership, headed by the Grand Mufti, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, wanted to apply Nazi methods to massacre Jews throughout the Middle East. In1941,the Mufti drafted a proposal requesting that Germany and Italy acknowledge the Arab right to settle “the Jewish problem” in Palestine and the Arab countries in accordance with national and racial Arab interests, similar to the practice employed to solve “the Jewish problem” in Germany and Italy. On Nov. 24, 1947, Acting Chairman of the (Palestinian) Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Al-Husseini, threatened: “Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood,” if the Jews get any part of it. On April 16, 1948 Jamal Husseini told the UN Security Council: “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight.”