Oliver Stone made Gordon Gekko and his famous quote “Greed is Good” into everything that was wrong with capitalism. A quarter of a century later, liberal politicians like Obama and Bill de Blasio are still running against Gordon Gekko while pocketing his contributions and doing special favors for him.

Their class warfare is as nakedly greedly as Gordon Gekko shouting into a brick of a cell phone. Class warfare is the greed of the con artist playing on the stupid greed of his mark who wants to steal from someone else, but lacks the skill and daring to do anything but sign on to someone else’s scheme.

The only way to get conned is to get greedy. The con artist plays on his mark’s desire to get something for nothing. That’s why every piece of advice about not getting conned begins with “If it’s too good to be too true…”

When Obama promised Americans that if they liked their health plan, they could keep their health plan, that everyone would somehow get more while paying less, it should have triggered all those “If it’s too good to be true” alarms.

You can’t get something for nothing. Insurance companies are not about to go out of business or even take a serious hit to their profits. So where was all that extra free stuff going to come from?

The mandate was another element of the con. Those who had health insurance assumed that forcing lots of healthy people into paying for policies they didn’t want and wouldn’t use would cover the costs for those who did. But that was a distraction. The only way that the numbers would really work was by cancelling policies and hiking premiums.

The loud outcry from those who supported ObamaCare only to discover that their policies are gone is that of the greedy mark who thought that he was cheating someone else, only to discover that he was the one being cheated all along.



Just when you though there wasn’t enough bad news to fill the day, Syria amid its civil war now has a suspected polio outbreak. On Oct. 19, the World Health Organization reported [1] that it had received information about a cluster of “hot” cases of accute flaccid paralysis, some of which could be positive for polio, in Syria’s Deir Al Zour province. Now UNICEF and the World Health Organization are taking this seriously enough to announce that they plan to vaccinate millions of Syrians against polio (good luck with that…). In neighboring Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands of Syrian’s have sought refuge, authorities are planning a similar campaign for children under five.

The source of the outbreak is not yet clear. CNN reports that outside of Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan, polio has been largely eradicated, with fewer than 300 cases reported worldwide last year. CNN further reports [2] on speculation by public health experts that this disease might have been brought to Syria by Islamic militants from Pakistan, who came to join the opposition to Syria’s Assad regime: “There are signs that the polio strain is from Pakistan.” This Syrian outbreak could easily be an awful but unintended result of the civil war that began in 2011.

But even if this outbreak is entirely a matter of unintended, horrific collateral damage, it does bring to mind the dangers posed by Syria’s biological weapons program. So, for that matter, does the locale, if only by association with another form of WMD — Deir Al Zour being the Syrian province where President Bashar Assad with North Korean help was building a clandestine nuclear reactor, until the Israelis destroyed it in 2007 with an air strike.



After a government semi-shutdown, the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov and the looming budget crisis coming again in January, you’d think the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate would reserve his limited time and resources to focus on fixing these critical issues the federal government has already messed up.

You’d be wrong.

Senator Richard Durbin, the second most powerful man in the Senate, will hold a special hearing this week on state self-defense laws and the death of Trayvon Martin. (PJ Media has extensively covered the Trayvon Martin incident. See, “Justice for Trayvon, Race Hustler Style,” or Bill Whittle’s fantastic revelation about Purple Drank and what the media have never reported.)

Dick Durbin represents Chicago, which the FBI reported in September surpassed New York City as the murder capital of the United States, with 500 murders in 2012.

It sounds like Illinois should look into adopting some self-defense laws.

The Chicago Tribune reported that during the 2011-2012 school year 319 public school children were shot, and, sadly, 24 of those students died. But what’s worse is that these 24 dead school children represent an improvement from Chicago’s previous school year, when 28 children were killed.

Contrast the number of deaths in Chicago to the FBI and Department of Defense totals for the war in Afghanistan. Between 2001 and 2012, 2,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, whereas more than 5,000 Chicago residents were killed in the same time period.

Where was Senator Durbin when his 24 school-aged constituents died? Where was Senator Durbin when 5,000 of his own residents were killed?

When was his hearing to examine Chicago gun laws and their impact on the 500 homicide victims and families in 2012 alone?

Race played a prominent role in the media coverage (or mis-coverage) following Trayvon Martin’s death. Why aren’t hundreds of dead black children in Chicago worth the same amount of attention given to a single black teenager in Florida?

We know the reason. Calling attention to the cesspool of Chicago will draw too much inconvenient attention to too many failed ideas and Democrat policies.

The dirty little secret is that gun-violence protesters and anti-gun politicians like Senator Durbin will ignore gun deaths that don’t fit their gun-control narrative. Race doesn’t matter if it doesn’t help their agenda.


His cadences soar on, through scandal after fiasco after disaster.­ http://www.nationalreview.com/article/362404/obama-still-president-victor-davis-hanson We are currently learning whether the United States really needs a president. Barack Obama has become a mere figurehead, who gives speeches few listen to any more, issues threats that scare fewer, and makes promises that almost no one believes he will keep. Yet […]


“As a consequence, we build institutions on quicksand. We persuade ourselves that there is a way to fix the problem by defining it in a manner that satisfies our basic instincts. It is hard to imagine a religion that values death over life. There is an unwillingness to concede the underlying imperial desire in Islam is to spread caliphates across the globe using any means necessary. The definitions speak to us as tranquilizers. It simply feels better to deny the truth. Unfortunately the truth does not disappear like soap bubbles. Its ugly face appears and reappears.”


It has become fashionable among the cognoscenti to distinguish between Islam and Islamism. In fact, the Quilliam Foundation, focused on religious freedom, has promoted the distinction along with many quite reputable analysts of Islamic behavior. Presumably the latter believes in the imposition of faith over society by violence or law; while the former rejects violence conducting itself as any other religion might. This distinction has a hopeful ring to it since one may embrace the faith and abandon the ideology, thereby stabilizing presently unstable societies.

But suppose this is a distinction without a difference. After all, the Islamist is willing to die in order to spread the faith, his death a testament of his religious devotion. Most people would say this is fanatical, but from the Islamists’ perspective this is a tactic that intimidates religious rivals driving them to appease or convert. Without having to utter a threat, Jews and Christians know that any criticism of Islam, even mild criticism, could lead to retributive violence. This is what gives Islamism its advantage.

Islam, by contrast, is regarded as benign, a pathway to Allah like any other religion. But is this true? Admittedly most Muslims are not violent, yet it is also the case that violence perpetrated against infidels is clearly suggested in the Koran. Koranic dogma indicates there is only one true religion and its adherents have an obligation to spread the faith.


http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/obamacare-whodunit Michelle, in the Oval Office with a candlestick?….. Guess whose college chum landed the no-bid contract for the ObamaCare website software, acing out three other aspirants? On, now to Kathleen Sebelius: Please, please–PUH-LEEZ!–keep her, Mr. President.  She is the perfect exemplar of all ObamaCare represents: pray that Sebelius KEEPS her job.  She is part […]

The Great Bagel(ing) Mystery Has Been Solved! True Story of How a Tasty Noun Became an Odd Verb as in to “Bagel” Someone



Not every column sees a mystery cleared up so quickly. Two weeks ago I appealed to you for help regarding the origin of the expression “to bagel” in the sense of subtly letting someone know you are Jewish or ascertaining whether he or she is. One of several responses received comes from Montreal-born human rights activist Hillel Neuer, executive director of the organization U.N. Watch. He writes:

“The expression ‘to bagel someone’ was created by my best friend David (Doodie) Miller in Montreal, circa 1992. Popularized by our group of friends via word of mouth, it was first documented in print by Jessica Levine Kupferberg (wife of my other best friend from Montreal, Dr. David Kupferberg) who wrote up the matter in 2007, on the website Aish.com.“What happened was this. As one of the few kippa-clad students on his university campus in Montreal, Doodie — who studied Theater and Political Science at Concordia University — couldn’t help but notice the recurring phenomenon of Jews eagerly seeking to communicate their Jewishness to him in various ways. As he related it, a fellow student in a classroom who showed no obvious signs of being Jewish would suddenly motion to him and whisper, ‘The teacher reminds me of my zayde.’ A few minutes later, the same student nonchalantly let out a krechtz and groaned in a faux Yiddish accent : ‘Oy! My back!’ And again, turning toward Doodie: ‘This class? It’s lasting longer than my Pesach seder.’”

“Doodie would regale us with these and other real (and embellished) incidents. Our group of Modern Orthodox friends immediately recognized the phenomenon from our personal experience and offered our own stories in return. I shared my account of an unknown woman on campus who, standing next to me as we waited for an elevator, randomly asked me, ‘How was your fast?’ (I’m not even sure that this was right after Yom Kippur.)”

“Doodie’s theory of all this was that when Jews on campus and elsewhere would see our kippas, they would instinctively want to identify, reach out, and connect. Montreal, after all, is a Jewishly traditional community. Doodie called this ‘The Bagel Theory of Judaism.’ ‘There I was in class,’ he would say, ‘and this guy starts to bagel me.’”

Response to “Evangelicals and Israel” :Robert Nicholson-Fervent Friends, or Fickle Ones?


“Despite what some of my respondents say, something fundamental is changing inside the evangelical movement, and it bodes ill for Israel.”

In setting out to write an open letter calling for a strategic partnership between American Jews and evangelicals in support of Israel, I was aware that I was venturing into troubled waters. Though many Jews and Christians recognize the link that binds them, many more, and for many reasons, remain hostile to any prospect of cooperation. I braced myself for an inbox of emails decrying my naiveté or blasting my motives.

What I received instead was a cornucopia of letters from Jews and Christians who welcomed my message, posted thoughtful comments about it on Mosaic and elsewhere, and disseminated the essay widely in social media. I’m enormously grateful to every reader who took the time to participate in this discussion. Indeed, what I’ve seen makes me hopeful that Jewish-Christian relations in the U.S. may be turning a corner.

Most welcome of all were the responses from Elliott Abrams, Wilfred M. McClay, Gertrude Himmelfarb, and James Nuechterlein: four thinkers whom I deeply respect and who endorsed the main substance of my argument while simultaneously highlighting aspects that I either minimized or left out. Elliott Abrams calls for full-scale Jewish-Christian collaboration. Wilfred McClay, riffing on Irving Kristol, stresses our disparate loyalties to “what we were born with” while simultaneously calling on Jews and Christians to contemplate the possibility of a partnership beyond mere pragmatism. Gertrude Himmelfarb uses the fascinating story of the indefatigable 19th-century British Zionist Lord Shaftesbury to underscore the historical roots of American evangelical Zionism but also to raise the concern that maybe, just maybe, inflamed Gentile zeal for Zion is not always good for the Jews. James Nuechterlein points out that Bible-based support for Israel, however admirable, isn’t the only kind of support there is.



Hillary Clinton is going to run for president in 2016. Granted, she is exhibiting even more coyness than most presidential prospects, and yes, the media are filled with those asking “Will she or won’t she?” But the only real question is: How could she not run?

How can someone who has spent a life in politics and who sees a clear path to becoming president not run? Mrs. Clinton started her career four decades ago, working with the House Judiciary Committee staff during Watergate. She served as first lady in Arkansas, as an active and highly visible first lady in Washington, as a U.S. senator and as secretary of state. She may have the most diverse political experience of any nominee for president in the last 20 years.

How can a feminist icon not run when she has a solid chance to become the first female president of the United States? Mrs. Clinton surely knows how close she came in 2008. Had she won the Democratic nomination, she would have almost certainly ridden a feminist wave to a victory over John McCain, and she’d likely be in her second term now. She recognizes the election of a female president would mean something for future generations.

Her husband seems to want her to run, and there is no indication their daughter is against it. Eight years will have passed since 2008, and at close to 70, she’d be older than recent nominees other than Mr. McCain. But assuming her health does not deteriorate, she should seem fit for office. She’s certainly tough enough. The 2008 nomination process and her sometimes rocky tenure as first lady would lead one to think there is no new scandal or embarrassment—involving her or her husband—that could come to light between now and 2016 and be large enough to derail a campaign.

It is difficult to think of any possible Democrat opponent who could best Mrs. Clinton for the nomination. A recent poll of likely Democratic voters in the important primary state of New Hampshire shows Mrs. Clinton with 64%, more than four times as much support as the next four names combined. True, it’s doubtful many people saw Barack Obama as a nomination threat in 2005, and it is possible some very strong candidates will emerge between now and 2016. But Mrs. Clinton starts with quite an advantage.


http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304200804579163631669139434?mod=Opinion_newsreel_8 As Congress honors Britain’s leader, you have to wonder what he’d make of today’s isolationists and leakers. In January of 1941, Winston Churchill dined at a Glasgow hotel with his physician, Sir Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran ), and his secretary of state for Scotland, Tom Johnston. The other member of the party was […]