ROBIN SHEPHERD: THE ROOTS OF OUR WESTERN ANGST There is nothing so paralysing as a fear borne of fatalism. When our power, as at all our greatest moments, is generated primarily by a confidence in our values, then the failure any longer to believe in those values is capable of shutting us down Do we know what we want? Can we get […]

JONAH GOLDBERG: OBAMACARE’S SILENT INSURERS When will the insurers revolt? It’s a question that’s popping up more and more. On the surface, the question answers itself. We’re talking about pinstriped insurance-company executives, not Hells Angels. One doesn’t want to paint with too broad a brush, but if you were going to guess which vocations lend themselves least to revolutionary […]


The poor and the middle class are falling behind, and it has nothing to do with the 1 percent.

President Barack Obama gave a very silly speech in which he affirmed that economic inequality is to be the centerpiece of his remaining time in office. He has made similar suggestions about other issues — global warming and gun control, notably — and, President Obama being President Obama, it is very likely the case that his laser-like focus will consist of a series of speeches and very little else. The politics of the moment will determine which issue actually gets his attention, though he could go with his admirers at Washington Monthly, who contend that some of them are the same issue: Mass shootings, Daniel Luzer argues in a particularly batty piece of connect-the-imaginary-dots, has “everything to do with the distribution of wealth in America.”

It is difficult to take President Obama seriously on these issues, but it is difficult to not take seriously Josh Barro and Paul Krugman, both of whom have offered what seem to me to be inconclusive arguments, Mr. Barro under the headline “Sorry, Libertarians, Inequality Does Matter,” Professor Krugman under “Why Inequality Matters.” Strangely, neither of these erudite gentlemen quite manages to establish that inequality matters.

Mr. Barro writes: “Economic growth is not the same thing as well-being. The point of economic growth is that it leads to improvements in standards of living. If the gains from economic growth are not broadly shared, but instead accrue disproportionately to people already at the top of the income distribution, then a lot of economic growth will only generate a little improvement in living standards for most people. For this reason, rising inequality is a problem even if it does not hold back GDP.” This is true in a sense, but it reverses cause and effect: Incomes among the bottom half of earners are not stagnating because of increasing inequality; inequality is increasing because incomes among the bottom half of earners is stagnating. It could have been the case that incomes among the bottom half of earners were stagnating while incomes for the top half were absolutely crashing, in which case you would have a situation in which there was less inequality but everybody was worse off, or at least no better off. Conversely, we could have an economy in which the poor and the middle class see strong gains in their income and their wealth, but the very well off experience twice those gains, which would mean a society of increasing inequality in which everybody is better off. I have encountered progressives who state their preference for the outcome in which we are all poorer but more equal over the outcome in which we are all richer but less equal, which puzzles me.

MARK BRILLIANT: KANGAROO BOYCOTT -Speak Truth to Folly: Boycott the American Studies Association ****

By a two-thirds margin of the third of its 5,000 members who cast ballots, the American Studies Association (ASA) has passed a “Resolution on Academic Boycott of Israel,” joining the Association for Asian American Studies as the second U.S. academic professional association to boycott Israeli academic institutions for their complicity in the “Israeli occupation of Palestine” and various injustices related to it. Next up the Modern Language Association. The ASA has made its decision, to paraphrase that great perpetrator of American-settler colonialism, Andrew Jackson, and now Israeli universities need to figure out what just what exactly they can do so that the ASA might one day rescind its enforcement.

Unfortunately, the ASA provides little clue. Though its members would presumably object to a system of crime and punishment that delineates neither the terms of the crime, nor the length of the punishment, nor the means to achieve restitution for it—indeed, presumably that’s one of the many features of the “occupation” the ASA finds objectionable, as well it should—they have nevertheless enacted a measure that does just that.

“What is required for an Israeli university to no longer be subject to the boycott?” Well that, the ASA’s response begins, is a “difficult question to answer.” More difficulty ensues. “The boycott is designed to put real and symbolic pressure on universities to take an active role in ending the Israeli occupation and in extending equal rights to Palestinians. The international boycott, divestment, and sanctions [BDS] movement has called for a boycottto be in effect until these conditions are met.”


They can’t blame the Muslim men. Obviously. That would be passing judgement on their culture. Blaming Israel though is always the right answer.

Frequent Israeli military attacks have left a large number of women in Gaza on their own to raise their families. Pal-Think for Strategic Studies estimates that in just the aftermath of the 23-day Israeli military operation called “Cast Lead” in 2008-2009, more than 800 new widows were created. These widows suffer from insecure incomes and constant feelings of threat and insecurity, high levels of anxiety and concern about lack of access to education and other services for them and their children.

Wait… but why did the evil Zionist war machine kill men rather than women? Is it possible that these tragic victims were really terrorists .And even when the terrorists survive, they start divorcing their wives. Because Israel.

A result of these growing tensions is a rise in the divorce rate (perceived as increasing by 24.6 per cent of the interviewees)

“Aisha, I am divorcing you.” “But why, Mohammed?” “Because of Zionism.”

…and violence against women and girls. More than half (58.9 per cent) of the women in the study said they believe domestic violence is a growing problem in Gaza, and an even larger proportion (61.3 per cent) think their children are more at risk.

Gaza is run by Hamas, which hews to a more “traditional” Islamic view of the female sex. That may have something to do with it. But no, it’s obviously Israel.

It’s unknown why Muslim men in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia beat their wives. But it’s also probably Israel’s fault.

The Progressive Reality Is Here Posted By Bruce Thornton The Republicans are feeling confident these days. The slow-motion debacle of Obamacare promises to keep that albatross around the necks of the Democrats at least through next year’s midterm elections. The IRS, NSA, and Benghazi scandals are still simmering, and any day new information may emerge that puts them back on the front page. […]

The Direction of Health Care if ObamaCare Persists — on The Glazov Gang

This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by Ann-Marie Murrell, Monty Morton and Dwight Schultz. The Gang gathered to discuss The Direction of Health Care if ObamaCare Persists. The dialogue occurred in Part II and examined the damage that is in store to Americans’ healthcare if Obama gets his way. The segment also shed light on: Does a $17 Trillion Debt Really Matter? In Part I, the Gang shed light on Mandela and Double Standards (see Daniel Greenfield’s article The Mandela Myth). The episode also focused on “Elian Gonzalez Leaves Cuba For First Time,” “Obama’s Handshake with Raul Castro,” and much, much more. See both parts of the two-part series below:


Secretary of State John Kerry was in Israel yet again on Thursday and Friday. Upon arriving, he went straight from Ben-Gurion Airport to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas—but had to cut the visit short and hurry to Jerusalem because rare blizzard conditions were developing.

Kerry managed to meet with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu after that, however, even as the presumably harried Netanyahu was also dealing with emergency problems of downed power lines, perilously stranded cars, and the like.

Kerry, however, pronounced himself buoyant and optimistic about the peace talks as always. Before leaving Israel for Vietnam he told reporters that Israel and the Palestinian Authority were on track to iron out all their disagreements by April, and that:

The core framework, if you want to call it that, which we are discussing with respect to this, centers on the critical issues…. Borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem, mutual recognition and an end to conflict and to all claims.

STELLA PAUL: OBAMACARE MAY DEVASTATE THE TRAVEL AND REAL ESTATE INDUSTRIES Americans are among the most mobile people on earth, but ObamaCare may soon start freezing them in place. Millions are losing their health insurance policies and being forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, where most plans only provide local medical coverage. As Americans realize they must pay for all non-emergency medical care when they leave […]


In the same week that Pope Francis was named Time’s Person of the Year, word arrived of the charitable contributions made by the Jane Fonda Foundation. Grand total for the years 2007 to 2011: zero dollars. The last time Ms. Fonda’s Foundation made a charitable gift, reports the Smoking Gun website, was in 2006, to the tune of $1,000.

The Foundation itself has $800,000 in assets. Ms. Fonda’s representatives insist she’s made larger gifts, particularly through her family foundation, which in 2011 made about $350,000 in contributions from $7.2 million in net assets. But even that’s not quite 5%, the legal minimum required to remain a private foundation.

Ms. Fonda isn’t exactly the world’s first cheapskate limousine liberal: Think of Bill Clinton claiming a tax deduction for donating his underwear, or the $353 Al Gore gave to charity in 1997. But the contrast between Francis and Fonda is worth pondering as liberals cheer—and conservatives try, uneasily, to explain or ignore—the pope’s recent denunciation of economic concepts championed by this newspaper.