DAVID BROOKS ON PASSOVER, LAWS AND OBEDIENCE

Monday night was the start of Passover, the period when Jews celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery into freedom.

This is the part of the Exodus story that sits most easily with modern culture. We like stories of people who shake off the yoke of oppression and taste the first bliss of liberty. We like it when masses of freedom-yearning people gather in city squares in Beijing, Tehran, Cairo or Kiev.

But that’s not all the Exodus story is, or not even mainly what it is. When John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin wanted to put Moses as a central figure on the Great Seal of the United States, they were not celebrating him as a liberator, but as a re-binder. It wasn’t just that he led the Israelites out of one set of unjust laws. It was that he re-bound them with another set of laws. Liberating to freedom is the easy part. Re-binding with just order and accepted compulsion is the hard part.

America’s founders understood that when you are creating a social order, the first people who need to be bound down are the leaders themselves.

The Moses of Exodus is not some majestic, charismatic, Charlton Heston-type hero who can be trusted to run things. He’s a deeply flawed person like the rest of us. He’s passive. He’s afraid of snakes. He’s a poor speaker. He whines, and he’s sometimes angry and depressed. He’s meek.

The first time Moses tries to strike out against Egyptian oppression, he does it rashly and on his own, and he totally messes it up. He sees an Egyptian soldier cruelly mistreating a Hebrew slave. He looks this way and that, to make sure nobody is watching. Then he kills the Egyptian and hides his body in the sand.

Famed Jewish Architects Slam RIBA Anti-Israel Motion

The most renowned Jewish architects in the world are coming out to protest a motion to suspend Israeli architects from the International Architects Union, the UK’s Architect’s Journal reported on Thursday.

The sector magazine featured statements from Daniel Libeskind, who designed both the Berlin and Copenhagen Jewish Museums; Richard Meier, who created the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center and the Getty Center, both in Los Angeles; and Rick Bell, executive director of AIA New York who worked in the public sector before heading the AIA national staff association, CACE, and representing it on the AIA national board.

The architects were protesting a motion approved by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and condemned last month by Jewish human rights group The Simon Wiesenthal Center for allowing “itself to become the victim of an extremist group of spoilers that use tactics redolent of the Nazis’ 1930s boycott campaign, ‘Kaufen Nicht bei Juden‘ – ‘Do Not Buy from Jews.’”

The motion, proposed by Angela Brady, RIBA’s former head, is against the Israeli Association of United Architects — comprising over 7,000 Jewish and Arab Israeli members — because members of the association work as architects in Judea and Samaria, known as the West Bank. The RIBA motion is being criticized for punishing architects who have no say in the outcome of Israel’s political affairs.

On Thursday, Architect’s Journal quoted Libeskind as saying, “I am disappointed to learn of this action, especially from such a well-regarded institution as the RIBA. This decision seems to be completely counter to the mission of the RIBA; these actions are short-sighted and appear to be an attempt to simplify a very complex issue.”

Bell, executive director of AIA New York, which has 5,200 members, described the motion as “absurd,” and said, “I wish this had not happened and, on behalf of the AIA New York, I wish it would go away.”

Where Does Naomi Wolf’s Hypocrisy End, Or Does It? By Jamie Glazov…..see note please

The last time Naomi Wolfe made news was when she was hired by “Beta Male” Al Gore to look more “Alpha Male” While the entire world waited for her advice she pronounced that he needed more “earth tones.” Wow! rsk

Naomi Wolf has joined the Hamas chorus by attacking feminist hero Phyllis Chesler with being a Zionist agent. How facilely Wolf has adopted the language of Jew-haters the world over — an even more bitter irony coming from someone who has written an entire book comparing democratic America to Nazi Germany.

And Chesler’s sin? To have dared to challenge the Left’s party line of defending the Islamic mutilators of adolescent girls, and practitioners of gender apartheid. But then again, this isn’t anything new for Wolf, seeing that she is on the record as finding the burqa sexy.

In her recent article, “Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment,” Phyllis Chesler criticized Brandeis’ phony feminists for their complicity in the University denying an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In a response on her Facebook page, Wolf joined the anti-Semites of the Mearshimer-Walt-Blumenthal set, claiming that Chesler has no mind of her own but is merely a puppet of the organized Jews:

“She is funded these days by pro-Israel advocacy organizations that support journalists and writers to advocate ‘the party line’ in terms of hardline anti-Islam and right-wing policy outcomes regarding Israel.”

This is pretty crude even for a brain-dead Marxist.

UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism by Samuel Westrop

In the West, the Arabization of Muslim communities has occurred with government assistance, which, through imposed policies of multiculturalism in the name of diversity, has effected the destruction of South Asian culture.

Britain’s multiculturalism policies have imposed Islamist leadership upon Britain’s Muslim communities and brought about the destruction of South Asian culture.

British suicide bomber and jihadist, Abdul Waheed Majeed, in his last moments before ramming a truck laden with explosives into a Syrian prison, posed in a white Islamic tunic and black scarf for the cameras. Asked by the cameraman to say a few words in Arabic before his “martyrdom,” Majeed replied: “Sorry? I can’t speak. Everyone asks me that and … I’m not a very good speaker.”

Abdul Waheed Majeed (left), of Crawley, England, poses for photographs moments before driving a truck-bomb into a prison in Aleppo, Syria. (Image source: Jabhat al-Nusra video)

Majeed, like a large number of British Muslims, was not an Arabic speaker. He was of Pakistani heritage. About 70% of British Muslims are, in fact, South Asian. A mere 6.6% are believed to be of Arab descent. And very few British Muslims can actually speak Arabic.

Nevertheless, British Islam is firmly focussed on the Middle East. The poet Hamza Beg, writing in the journal of a taxpayer-funded organization, Asfar, noted: “Since 1999, Pakistan, for example, has had a military coup, a purported return to democracy, and the assassination of the leader of the opposition, Benazir Bhutto. However, an entire generation of British-born Pakistanis have been more interested in Israeli incursions into Lebanon, the occupation of Palestine, and the war on Iraq. How has this occurred and what does it mean?”

British Muslims, Beg continued, have rejected “their parents’ cultural understanding of Islam as a religion. British-Pakistani Muslims have become Muslims first, and are losing patience with the Pakistani practice of the religion embedded in Sufi traditions.”

IN MEMORIAM- RICHARD “RICKY ” GREENFIELD-APRIL 19, 1942- APRIL 16, 2014

Ricky Greenfield, publisher of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger from 1994 until this year died on April 16, 2014. He was my dear and treasured friend for decades- a man whose wisdom, kindness, wit, cheer and affection enlivened every conversation. We spoke every week and the last time I saw him in the late fall we had a three hour lunch at the Second Avenue Deli.

Ricky was the most unusual man. His love of Israel, Zionism and Jews knew no bounds. He was guided by the strictest principles of devotion to family, empathy for all people’s suffering, generosity without demands, integrity, unshakeable loyalty and humility.

Jewish tradition holds that every generation has thirty six saints (“lamedvavniks”) on whose piety, justice and kindness the world depends.

On April 16, 2014 there were only 35 left- a vacancy that must be filled by someone like Ricky who left such giant footsteps.

I offer my deepest condolences to his beloved wife Karen and his son Jason. May sweet memories light the dark days.

With deep regret,

RSK

HILLARYOUS NON LEGACY-Hillary Clinton’s Legacy Issue By Roger Aronoff

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/hillary-clintons-legacy-issue?f=puball
When recently asked what she was most proud of from her time as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton replied that the office was like a “relay race.” “When you run the best race you can run, you hand off the baton,” she said. Mrs. Clinton was unable to cite any specific achievement, though she did make the rather dubious claim that “I think we really restored American leadership in the best sense.”

Even some of her most ardent admirers couldn’t figure out a good answer to the question about her greatest achievement, during a discussion on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air noted, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard raised the question of what accomplishments make Hillary the most qualified Democrat to be the next president. John Heilemann said he would wait for her next book to come out to help inform him how to answer that question, while Chuck Todd rambled on about Secretary Clinton’s reticence to get publicly involved in controversial issues, and playing a quieter role, thus preventing her from being able to claim any great achievements.

But the legacy of Hillary Clinton is turning out to be one of incompetence, bungled efforts, chicanery and outright scandal. Her most famous words have become, “What difference at this point does it make?” referring to how the four brave Americans died in Benghazi in September of 2012. And a number of other scandals have followed her, both from before and during her tenure as Secretary of State. The latest is about $6 billion in contract dollars that the State Department lost track of over the last six years.

According to the Inspector General report:

There was a lack of paperwork: of 115 contracts sampled from the U.S. Mission in Iraq, 33 could not be produced.
There was missing documentation: the Bureau of African Affairs couldn’t provide complete files for any of the eight contracts requested.
There were conflicts of interest: a $52 million contract was awarded to a “company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee performing as a Contract Specialist for the contract.”
Payments were sent when they weren’t supposed to be: $792,782 was sent to a contractor “even though the contract file did not contain documents to support the payment.”
Contracts were even hidden: “The related contract file was not properly maintained and for a period of time was hidden…This contract was valued at $100 million.”

Judicial Watch Obtains IRS Documents Showing Lerner in Contact With DOJ about Potential Prosecution of Tax-Exempt Group

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/judicial-watch-obtains-irs-documents-showing-lerner-in-contact-with-doj-about-potential-prosecution-of-tax-exempt-groups

Judicial Watch today released a new batch of internal IRS documents revealing that former IRS official Lois Lerner communicated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether it was possible to criminally prosecute certain tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) after the agency refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May 2013.

The newly released IRS documents contain an email exchange between Lerner and Nikole C. Flax, then-Chief of Staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller discussing plans to work with the DOJ to prosecute nonprofit groups that “lied” (Lerner’s quotation marks) about political activities. The exchange includes the following:

May 8, 2013: Lerner to Flax

I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s -saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs.

I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…

May 9, 2013: Flax to Lerner

I think we should do it – also need to include CI [Criminal Investigation Division], which we can help coordinate. Also, we need to reach out to FEC. Does it make sense to consider including them in this or keep it separate?

Barack Hussein Obama and Harrison J. Bounel By Jason Kissner- Why do they Both Have the Same Social Security Number?

Who is Harrison J. Bounel, and might the name suggest something about possible Obama ID fraud?

To be sure, healthcare.gov’s failure to verify Obama’s identity implies nothing whatsoever as to whether ordinary citizens should question it.

Undoubtedly, the system glitch represents nothing more, and nothing less, than yet another instance of racist computers conspiring against Obama.

The Harrison J. Bounel controversy revolves in part around the fact — contested by no one — that a personal information database, housed in yet another presumptively racist computer, linked Obama’s Hyde Park Chicago home address and SSN with the name “Harrison J. Bounel.”

So what’s going on?

In order to maximize the prospect of arriving at the truth, let us turn to the decidedly non-racist Snopes folks for the answer, since they are surely the premier debunkers of “crazy” conspiracy theories related to Obama’s identity:

An item from February 2013 resurrected the claim that Barack Obama was using someone else’s Social Security number, this time a SSN supposedly belonging to one Harrison J. Bounel:

Who is Harrison J. Bounel? According to the 2009 tax return submitted by President Barack Obama, he’s the President of the United States….

This claim stems from nothing more than the observation that a search of a personal information database back in 2011 showed that the name “Harrison J. Bounel” had been mistakenly cross-indexed with Barack Obama’s home address and Social Security number. (This type of error is common in such databases and has since been corrected.) Aside from that temporary erroneous entry, there is no evidence whatsoever that Barack Obama ever used the name “Harrison J. Bounel” as an alias, or that Barack Obama’s Social Security number was originally issued to someone by that name.

OVERRATED AND TRAITOR: EDWARD SNOWDEN BY PAUL LUCAS

Snowden and his allies threaten to bring about the greatest peacetime defeat in the West’s history. His is not a noble crusade. It is sabotage and treason

Anyone who has seen The Bourne Identity, or the many similar Hollywood films, finds the Edward Snowden saga familiar. A heroic fugitive insider is hunted by a rogue government agency. As the credits roll, our man on the run is vindicated, thanks to a combination of media coverage and belated congressional scrutiny. He gets the girl. The villains go to jail.

It is easy to go along with that narrative, particularly for journalists. We instinctively side with David, not Goliath. We thrill to the idea of disclosing secrets. We flinch at any constraint on press freedom. We may have little chance of winning the Nobel Peace Prize (for which Snowden has been nominated) but we certainly cheer his chances.

I disagree. Snowden is at best a self-indulgent “useful idiot” and at worst a traitor. His theft and publication of secret documents is anything but heroic.

His accomplices deserve censure and probably prosecution. The applause they have received reflects astonishing naiveté and hypocrisy. A whistleblower needs to show clear and convincing evidence of abuse, and limit his breach of confidentiality to matters that concern it. Snowden did not.

The documents published do not show the National Security Agency as a rogue agency. He has not found a single deliberate breach of Americans’ privacy. Like other bits of government, the NSA makes mistakes and chafes against its constraints. It is in need of reform. But Snowden has shown no sign of systematic, gross wrongdoing, or of contempt for judicial, legislative and political oversight, by the NSA.

The Snowdenistas, as I call them, say they have sparked a vital debate. It is good to discuss how electronic meta-data should be stored (by governments and by companies). But this is a limited benefit. It does not justify the catastrophic damage done to our intelligence agencies and diplomacy.

The Snowdenistas have published material which has no

DEAR LORD: PROTECT US FROM “THE EXPERTS”ON GLOBAL WARMING AND THEIR OVERDOSE OF ARROGANCE- PETER SMITH

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing in itself, but an overdose of arrogance makes it infinitely more so. Doubt that? Just lend an ear to the oracular pronouncements on global climate by those whose greatest skill is not comprehension but a talent for hogging the microphone.

Quadrant Online contributor Steven Kates passionately set down the dichotomy between those who create and those so riven by envy that they would bring it all down. True enough, but how did we get to this point? It is hard to be definitive but, leaving aside the fanatics, I think so-called experts have played a part in warping the minds and feeding the prejudices of those who in normal course would have relied on their common sense to guide them.

Unfortunately these days experts abound and are vocal. The common man and woman are intimidated lest they commit a faux pas by disagreeing with the received wisdom of experts. Take evolutionary theory. How many children, now adults, have been exposed to that diagram showing man emerging by serendipity through numbers of incarnations from his ape-like ancestors? Now don’t get me wrong. Evolution seems beyond much question except, perhaps, to religious nuts who think the Earth is 6000 years’ old. But, but … evolution based on sheer chance; on random mutations and natural selection? It simply doesn’t pass the sniff test. Only very clever people could believe it in that form without there being much more compelling evidence.

Climate change is the latest tablet of stone. Tell us again, experts, why the warming between about 1975 and, say, 2005 was attributed absolutely to man-made CO2 when it warmed by nearly as much between 1910 and 1940? And why did it cool between 1940 and 1975, when CO2 was rising, and why has the global temperature remained broadly constant since around 2000? I don’t get it.

Those who engage in purely academic debate can remain aloof. Those who want to turn our economic life upside down because of their theories have a duty to get down and dirty on our terms and explain (and re-explain) their case ad nauseam.

Many economists have a theory. They, too, have turned economic life upside down; literally so. The theory, originating with Keynes, is that spending money creates wealth. That’s curious. You might say, with your powers of common sense, ‘it has never worked for me.’ Put that aside and follow the theory and see where it leads.