The UCSB Solipsists

A sociopath runs amok—and kills more men than women—and feminists ride their hobbyhorse.

Over 77 percent of all U.S. murder victims in 2012 were male; targets of non-lethal shootings are even more disproportionately male. Four of the six homicide victims of Elliot Rodger, the lunatic narcissist who went on a killing spree in Santa Barbara in revenge for female rejection, were male. And yet the feminist industry immediately turned this heartbreaking bloodbath into a symbol of America’s war on women. The mainstream media and the Internet quickly generated a portrait of America where women walk in fear simply “in order to survive,” as a Washington Post blogger put it, adding that the shootings were merely an extreme example of the “abuse and anti-woman violence” that American women face every day. “If we don’t talk misogyny now, when are we going to talk about it?” a global-studies major at the University of California, Santa Barbara, asked the New York Times. The episode has provoked “a call to end misogyny, inequality, and violence against women,” reports the Huffington Post. Females allegedly have to walk a daily gauntlet of leers, gropings, catcalls, and condescension, simply in order to go about their business, according to the New York Times and posts on #YesAllWomen (as in: Yes, all women experience sexual hatred and violence).

These females are apparently living in a different world than mine. Leave aside the fact that the Santa Barbara killings were clearly the actions of a madman. Rodger’s every gesture and word bespoke monomaniacal, self-pitying delusion, amplified in the hermetic echo chamber of his own deranged narcissism. There is no pattern of gender-based rampages in this country; there is an emerging pattern of rampages by the untreated mentally ill. But the fundamental premise of the feminist analysis of Rodger’s massacre — that the U.S. is “misogynist” — is patently absurd. To the contrary, ours is a culture obsessed with promoting and celebrating female success. There is not a science faculty or lab in the country that is not under relentless pressure from university administrators and the federal government to hire female professors and researchers, regardless of the lack of competitive candidates and the cost to meritocratic standards. Wealthy foundations and individual philanthropists churn out one girls’ self-esteem and academic-success initiative after another; boys are a distant runner-up for philanthropic ministrations, even though it is boys, not girls, who are falling further and further behind academically and socially. (The Obama administration’s flawed initiative to help young minority males succeed has drawn predictable criticism for leaving out girls. No one complained, of course, about the White House Council on Women and Girls or the endless female-empowerment projects that roll forth from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.) Girls hear a constant message that “strong women can do it all,” including raise children on their own. Any female even remotely in the public realm who is not deeply conscious that she has been the “beneficiary” of the pressure to stock conference panels, media slots, and op-ed pages with females is fooling herself. Corporate boards and management seek women with hungry desperation. And even were this preferential treatment to end tomorrow, females, especially the privileged, highly educated ones who make up the feminist ranks, would still face a world of unprecedented, boundless opportunity.

Women “face harassment every day,” a double global-studies and feminist-studies major told the New York Times. (“Global studies” appears to be a previously overlooked arena of left-wing academic propaganda, joining postcolonial studies and other concocted fields.) This portrait of a public realm filled with leering, grasping men may have described 1950s Italy and perhaps some Latin American countries today, but it bears no resemblance to contemporary America. Construction workers have largely been tamed. Groping on subways is thankfully rare — and it is committed by perverts. No one condones such behavior. It is on the very margins of our social lives, not at the center.


Will Congress stop Obama’s lawless material support to Hamas?
The problem with writing a book about President Obama’s lawlessness, as I have just done in Faithless Execution (which will officially be published Tuesday), is that eventually the author has to stop writing so the book can be printed. The administration’s illegal conduct, by contrast, rolls right along — so by the time the book comes out, I find myself several impeachable offenses behind.

At the moment, we are still processing the latest executive malfeasance: the president’s release this weekend of five senior Taliban jihadists in exchange for a U.S. soldier who is alleged to have abandoned his post in 2009 after complaining that “the horror that is America is disgusting” (and whose father is on a campaign to free all anti-American terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay).

Some lawmakers have pointed out that the release, which flouts American policy against negotiating with terrorists (Obama is a recidivist offender on that score), also violates federal law. Specifically, the president must give Congress 30 days’ notice before transferring detainees out of Gitmo, in addition to explaining how the threat to the United States has been mitigated so that the release is justified. Obviously, the president disregarded the law because complying would have made it clear that the transfer exacerbates the threat to the United States, sparking public and congressional protests that would have scotched the deal. It is a swap that the administration, which is delusionally courting the Taliban in hopes of an Afghan peace settlement, has been trying to make for years. So Obama did what Obama does when the law is against him: He ignored it, claiming not to be bound by it if he concludes the circumstances are “unique and exigent,” as a White House spokesman put it.

The swap, it should be noted, also violates federal laws prohibiting material support to terrorism. The Obama administration may think it can sidestep this inconvenience by its longstanding refusal to designate the Afghan Taliban as a terrorist organization. Federal law, however, bars giving support — including providing personnel, as Obama has done here — not only to formally designated terrorist organizations but to groups known to engage in terrorist activity, whether the State Department gets around to designating them or not. (See Sections 2339A and 2339B of Title 18, U.S. Code.) There is no doubt that the U.S. government knows the Taliban and its confederates engage in terrorist activity — it has been telling us for 13 years that this is why we must have thousands of American troops in Afghanistan.


Pelosi and Dems are pushing a bill that could kill a bipartisan effort to help the seriously mentally ill.
As a result of politics in Washington, we are likely to see more events like the killing of seven in Santa Barbara, Calif., by Elliot Rodger, a young man who had serious mental illness.

Before the killings, Rep. Tim Murphy (R., Pa.) proposed the transformative “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” (HR 3717). It ends wasteful mental-health spending and focuses the savings on getting treatment to the most seriously mentally ill — those most likely to become a headline. Murphy, who is a practicing psychologist, crafted a bill that earned 56 Republican and 31 Democratic co-sponsors, an amazing accomplishment in Washington’s toxic political environment.

Unfortunately, while well-intended, Representative Ron Barber (D., Pa.) was misled by the mental-health industry into introducing a competing bill, the “Improving Mental Health in Our Communities Act” (HR 4574). It gives the mental-health industry more money without requiring them to serve the seriously mentally ill. It languished with hardly any support until May 2, when Nancy Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told The Hill that Pelosi wants a bill “that actually has the support of the mental-health community.” On May 24, Elliot Rodger killed four men, two women, and himself — causing 35 Democrats to sign on as co-sponsors to this industry-sponsored bill so they can be thought of as “doing something.” But unbeknownst to them, what they’re doing is feeding the industry, not helping the ill.

The Barber bill encourages mental health among the citizenry at large, perhaps all of whom would like their mental health improved, and it may help some of the 20 percent of adults over 18 who have a diagnosable mental-health issue. But it does little for the 4 percent who have a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or severe bipolar disorder. This is part of a trend. Until the early 1960s, virtually all mental-health expenditures were spent on the most seriously ill in psychiatric hospitals. Today — at the request of the mental-health industry — dollars are instead spent improving the mental health of all citizens including people without any mental illness. As a result, 164,000 mentally ill are homeless and more than 300,000 incarcerated.

John Fund: Obama’s Illegal Prisoner Swap

Reagan regretted breaking the law to rescue prisoners — Obama is now in the same dangerous waters.
If there is one constant about U.S. policy in the Middle East, it is the law of nasty unintended consequences. That’s something the Obama administration disregarded when it recently chose to ignore the law that requires the president to consult with Congress before releasing or transferring any prisoners from Guantanamo. Flouting the law, Obama swapped five hard-core terrorists for Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. The Taliban terrorists are now in Qatar, whose government claims it will restrict their movements to inside Qatar for one year. And then what?

“These are the hardest of the hard core,” Senator John McCain, a former Vietnam POW, told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. “These are the highest high-risk people, and others that we have released have gone back into the fight.”

Susan Rice, Obama’s national-security adviser, appeared on the Sunday-morning talk shows in full-spin mode that was reminiscent of her Benghazi appearances. “This was an urgent and acute situation,” she insisted, citing Bergdahl’s health as a reason for evading the legal requirement. Other Obama officials claim that the law wasn’t violated because U.S. diplomats went through a third party — Qatar — in arranging the release. George Stephanopoulos of ABC News summarized the administration’s justifications as follows:

This was moving so fast, they couldn’t talk to the Congress. But they also say the president, when he signed this law, said he had the constitutional authority not to live by it, that he had the constitutional authority to go around Congress and simply do what he needed to do to get the detainees back to their home countries.

The humanitarian aspects of Bergdahl’s release aren’t in dispute. Everyone is very glad he is back home. But there is real question as to whether he is a hero or a deserter. Significantly, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pointedly declines to say whether he believes that Bergdahl was attempting to desert the Army or go AWOL when he suddenly left his unit in Afghanistan in 2009 and disappeared. E-mails he sent prior to his capture surfaced in 2012 in Rolling Stone and indicated that he had been considering desertion.

Interview: Amity Shlaes and Artist Paul Rivoche Discuss the New Graphic Novel Edition of The Forgotten Man Posted By Ed Driscoll

So you’ve written a best-selling book that has cast an event that everyone in America thought they knew into an entirely new light, but you’d still like to get it in the hands of more readers. What do you do? If you’re Amity Shlaes, the author of the 2007 New York Times bestseller The Forgotten Man, you turn it into a graphic novel. Why not? Lefties have been doing it for years; Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of American Empire is also available in graphic novel format.

Shlaes turned to veteran Batman writer Chuck Dixon to consult on the script, and then brought in artist Paul Rivoch to craft the illustrations. The result is The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition: A New History of the Great Depression, now available from Amazon.com and your local bookstore.

During our nearly half-hour long interview, Amity and Paul will discuss:

● Who was the “Forgotten Man” of the 1930s?

● How was new graphic novel’s visual look created?

● How did Paul research the visual details of the 1920s and 1930s?

● Every comic needs a hero and a villain. Who plays those roles in The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition?

● What is the real story behind Dorothea Lange’s iconic “Migrant Mother” photo from 1936?

And much more.

Egypt at the Brink: My Contribution to a New Book on the Sunni States Posted By David P. Goldman

The London Center for Policy Research (www.londoncenter.org) has just released a short book on America’s allies in the Sunni Arab world, titled, The Sunni Vanguard: Can Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia survive the New Middle East? Former Hudson Institute President Herbert London and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin wrote the essays on Turkey and Saudi Arabia, respectively; I contributed a section on Egypt. The introduction to my section is below.

The United States faces a unique challenge in Egypt: state failure in Egypt would unleash problems orders of magnitude greater than the collapse of Libya. Yet avoiding state failure is especially difficult because Egypt’s economy is in utter ruin after sixty years of “Arab socialist” mismanagement. It is a banana republic without the bananas, a mainly rural country that imports half its food, the host to a vast jobless proletariat living off a state bread subsidy.

With the U.S. increasingly withdrawn from Egypt, we have seen three countries involved in Egypt. The first is Saudi Arabia, which is lending the country enough money to keep the bread subsidy intact, and preventing actual starvation. The second is Russia, which has stepped in to sell Egypt arms after the United States foolishly withdrew. The third is China. Chinese companies are constructing a north-south rail line and have undertaken to build a national broadband network.

U.S. policy should seek to minimize Russian influence, which can only grow at America’s expense. We should maintain our strong ties to Egypt’s military, the only source of stability in a situation bordering on state failure. Despite our vigorous (and well-founded) objections to Chinese foreign policy elsewhere, we should cooperate with China in investment in Egypt: here China’s influence is economic rather than strategic, and its investments represent no threat to American interests. We have a uniquely difficult challenge in salvaging Egypt’s economy, and China’s willingness to invest in the country is a net positive.

The first paragraphs of my esssay from the London Center book and its conclusion are on the next page.

The so-called Arab Spring in Egypt began in January 2011 with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, an American ally of thirty years’ standing, and ended in November with the restoration of the country’s cold-war alliance with Russia. America’s determination to depose Mubarak’s military-backed regime and to lead the most populous Arab country towards democracy had nearly unanimous bi-partisan support, with the Obama administration vying with the Republican mainstream in its zeal to sweep out the old regime erred and foster a Western-style democracy. The drive for a new democratic Egypt was buoyed by a wave of popular sentiment, and serenaded by rapturous media accounts of young, hip revolutionaries toppling a sclerotic dictatorship.

Cruz’ing the Tea Party/Republican Divide — on The Glazov Gang

Cruz’ing the Tea Party/Republican Divide — on The Glazov Gang
by FrontPage Magazine
Bill Whittle, Karen Siegemund and Mell Flynn shed light on the GOP’s discomfort with grassroots conservatism.



How some of pre-World War II France’s most influential writers, besotted with fanaticism, turned the full power of their eloquence against democracy—and the Jews.

The Embrace of Unreason: France, 1914-1940 by Frederick Brown (Knopf)

Dancing with the devil is an old pursuit among French writers. Even such a stalwart of the Enlightenment as Diderot created a fictional character (the seductive Nephew of Rameau) who could remark, “If there is any genre in which it matters to be sublime, it is evil, above all.” From Diderot through de Sade and de Maistre, Baudelaire and Huysmans, down to Michel Houellebecq and Jonathan Littell, a powerful tradition within French writing has challenged the bounds of conventional morality, loudly defied the dictates of Enlightenment reason, and expressed an abiding fascination with blood. It is as if the culture that, perhaps more strongly than any other, celebrated reason and geometrical order, also provoked within itself a deep, wild, and willfully primitive reaction, a return of the repressed par excellence.

Never in French history did this cultural impulse prove more pernicious than during the troubled decades of the Third Republic (1870–1940). In this period, some of France’s most talented writers gazed longingly into the abyss, and then turned the full power of their eloquence against the institutions of parliamentary democracy. Even as the frail Republic lurched from scandal to scandal and crisis to crisis, writers on both the left and the right subjected it to endless, pitiless mockery and abuse. Robert Brasillach, one of the most brilliant writers and critics of his generation, likened it to “a syphilitic old whore, stinking of patchouli and yeast infection.” Charles Maurras, an enormously skilled polemicist, endlessly denounced it as “the Jew State, the Masonic State, the immigrant State.” Such attacks did much to drain French democracy of legitimacy precisely at its moment of greatest peril. They made it all too easy for a portion of France’s elites to treat the crushing defeat of 1940 as history’s judgment on a corrupt and senile society, and therefore to embrace Hitler’s grotesque New Order rather than to struggle against it.

Frederick Brown, an accomplished literary biographer, has emerged as the leading English-language chronicler of this appalling but fascinating French story. In his book For the Soul of France, he examined the fin de siècle, with particular attention to what he called the “culture wars” between left and right. He centered his account on the Dreyfus Affair, in which the trumped-up conviction of a Jewish army officer on treason charges unleashed a political firestorm that came close to bringing the Republic down. Now, in The Embrace of Unreason, he has taken the story through the interwar period. This time no single “affair” dominates the landscape, but the specter of Vichy looms on the horizon, as the final destination at which so many of those who “embraced unreason” eventually arrived.

What Macy’s Wrought : Joshua Gelernter ****

Of computers and the convergence of minds.

In 1882, Louis Bamberger bought the stock of a bankrupt dry goods store and used it to open a store of his own in Newark, New Jersey. By 1928, it was one of the largest and most profitable businesses in the country: Bamberger’s department store had expanded from a rented storefront to a million square feet and 3,500 employees. For customers, it boasted a toll-free telephone number and a no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee; for employees, it offered job security and an on-site lending library. The eight-story flagship had its own radio station and launched what would become the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, when Bamberger decided to retire and sell his store to Macy’s.

Bamberger was childless; so was his sister and business partner, Caroline. They decided to give a million dollars of the Macy’s sale profit to their longest-serving employees and use the rest to start a school of higher learning. For their school, the Bambergers had two requirements: It had to benefit the state of New Jersey, which had been good to them, and it had to be a refuge for Jewish students being turned away from the many institutions with Jewish quotas.

A New Jersey-based medical school seemed like just the ticket. The mathematician Oswald Veblen and education reformer Abraham Flexner caught wind of the idea and thought they had a better one: not a medical school but a school for advanced study in every field. They pitched their plan to the Bambergers, who were suitably impressed. In 1930, the Institute for Advanced Study was founded.

As the institute laid its cornerstone in Princeton, the Nazis were taking over in Germany—a catastrophe that worked out well for the institute: “The Nazis launched their purge of German universities in April 1933, and the exodus of mathematicians from Europe .  .  . began just as the Institute for Advanced Study opened its doors,” writes George Dyson. The institute quickly stocked up on the biggest names and best minds in European scholarship: Their first hire was Albert Einstein; their second was John von Neumann.

Everyone knows who Einstein was, but von Neumann might have been the greatest mind of the 20th century. He was born in Budapest to a secular Jewish family. By adolescence, he was fluent in five languages and had started working independently on “the deepest problems of abstract mathematics.” Said the physicist and Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner: “Whenever I talked with von Neumann, I always had the impression that only he was fully awake.” The mathematician Herman Goldstine once said that von Neumann’s lectures made complex problems so perfectly clear that students didn’t need to take notes. When von Neumann obtained his doctorate in 1926, his oral examination featured a single question: “Pray, who is the candidate’s tailor?” Von Neumann was also a snappy dresser.


There is an urgent need to overcome profound ignorance in a world fast succumbing to a false Arab narrative that would leave ancestral Jewish land deserted and in the hands of thieves. The time is long past due for Israeli sovereignty in Area C.

“Then said Satan: This besieged one, how shall I overcome him?
“He has courage and ability, he has weapons and imagination.

“So he said: I shall not take his strength, nor muzzle nor bridle him.
“Nor soften nor weaken his hands, only one thing I shall do;

“I shall dull his brain and he will forget that he is in the right.”

So wrote the Israeli poet, Natan Alterman, in his poem, “Gone like a Dream”. He was expressing his deep anxiety over the weakening resolve of Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora to support the reconstituted Jewish state. This inevitably led to the fateful abandonment by so many Israeli politicians and successive governments of the need to include within the reconstituted Jewish state every inch of sovereign ancestral Jewish land from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan.

For 47 long years since the liberation of biblical Jewish Judea and Samaria from illegal Jordanian occupation – territory the world grotesquely prefers to call the “West Bank” – the beloved Jewish heartland has remained in a political limbo and not been fully or even partially annexed.

Israel’s foolish failure to take sovereign control of its own historical, physical and spiritual heartland has allowed a hostile world to thus assume that Israel itself does not believe it has legal sovereignty in the territory. Like Moshe Dayan’s calamitous decision to give away the keys of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf, this betrayal of the Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria has become a living nightmare for Israel.

Both acts of searing stupidity could so easily have been avoided, but the seeming need by so many on the left in Israel to appease and placate the international corridors of power has had tragic consequences for the Jewish state.