Harvard University recently awarded the dictator of Belarus an alternative Nobel prize for mad dictatorial behaviour. That was before he banned school kids from clapping as a “dissident” activity

Fresh from receiving a Harvard University “idiocy” award, as the beleaguered Belarusian opposition billed it, for extraordinary behaviour, the dictator of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has gone one better, this time in a decree against schoolchildren.

Earlier in September, Harvard gave Lukashenko the so called Ig Nobel Prize for prosecuting a one-armed man for clapping disrespectfully against the regime.

Dissidents and student groups opposed to the regime have taken to using ostensibly legal means to express their dissatisfaction so as to avoid jail. This has included Facebook organised group clapping exercises as well as eating ice cream in public places. Both types of activities have attracted violent reprisals from the secret police, still known in the former Soviet republic as the KGB.

Thus far, this has only applied to adults.

However, according to the semi-independent news agency Belapan and opposition sources, last Friday schoolchildren in the town of Zhlobin were given strict instructions, against the threat of arrest, by the KGB not to clap during an end of Harvest Festival parade, for fear of offending Lukashenko who was due to visit the town the next day.

Belapan reported that KGB agents and riot police had taken up residence ahead of the event in classrooms which had been cleared of children. The children were allowed to wave Belarusian flags and the event passed off without incident.

Lukashenko, long decribed as Europe’s last dictator, has murdered numerous political opponents and imprisoned thousands more.

Harvard’s Ig Nobel Prizes are parodies of the originals, with Ig standing for “ignoble.

Putin vs. the Arctic Sunrise By Kim Zigfeld Following the pattern established by the USSR, the despotic regime of proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin has declared war on every aspect of society that does not conform to Putin’s bland, homogenized orthodoxy. Homosexuals, artists, opposition political leaders, and environmentalists have all been jailed following disgraceful neo-Soviet show trials designed to purge Russia of […]

Serving Our Government Masters Posted By Daniel Greenfield There was a time when even the highest government officials lived simpler lives. President George Washington made do with Tobias Lear, who not only served as his secretary, but also doubled as a diplomat and even measured his body for burial. President Thomas Jefferson made do with Meriwether Lewis as his personal secretary and […]


In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu provided a dose of much-needed realism and clarity on the Iranian nuclear issue.

After some rhetorical flourishes about Jewish history, Netanyahu began with the “charmer,” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Why a poker-faced Holocaust denier was found charming by so many people is a good question, but charming they found him, and there probably wasn’t a single mainstream news outlet that didn’t call President Obama’s brief phone chat with him “historic.”

So Netanyahu reviewed some hard facts about Rouhani that reality-oriented commentators have been noting for a few months now. In the past he was a sinister terror chief, head of Iran’s National Security Council in the years of the Buenos Aires bombing and the Khobar Towers bombing, which killed 85 mostly Jewish civilians and 19 American servicemen, respectively.

He’s also a seasoned con man, proud of having duped the West in the past on Iran’s nuclear program. “While we were talking to the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in Isfahan,” Rouhani wrote in 2011 about his 2003-2005 stint as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator—Isfahan, as Netanyahu clarified, being the facility where Iran turns uranium ore into uranium for the bombs it will soon be producing en masse unless something is done about it.

Still more material on Rouhani has surfaced in an overview by Steven Ditto of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It turns out, for instance, that Rouhani blamed 9/11 on the “wrongs and mistakes of American policies,” and said Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, was “shot down by the U.S. Air Force.”


Some 14 million Chinese died in World War II, a conflict that was never strictly one between totalitarianism and freedom.

‘Who lost China?” is a question that echoes quaintly down from another age. It refers to the victory of the Communists in the Chinese Civil War that followed on the heels of World War II and set the Middle Kingdom up as an adversary of the West in the decades ahead.

The question has always been preposterous on one level: China was never realistically anyone’s to lose in the first place. Indeed, the thrust of several decades of Chinese history before the outbreak of war between Nationalists and Communists in 1927 was a struggle to free the country from domination by outside powers, the U.S. included.

Rana Mitter’s “Forgotten Ally” is an important and compelling history of China’s World War II experience. It makes the who-lost-China question fresh again by closely examining Beijing’s role in the Allied war effort, the heavy and often thankless price paid by the Chinese in their fight against Japan, and the impact of China’s wartime traumas on the country’s postwar development.

“For decades, our understanding of that global conflict has failed to give a proper account of the role of China,” the author writes early on. “If China was considered at all, it was as a minor player, a bit-part actor in a war where the United States, Soviet Union, and Britain played much more significant roles.”

The Next Mayor of New York Will Have to Collectively Bargain Some 152 New Union Contracts:Daniel Disalvo From an op-ed by political scientist Daniel Disalvo in the New York Daily News, Sept. 29: All of the city’s unions are working under contracts that have expired. They have been waiting out [Mayor Mike] Bloomberg in hopes that a Democrat will end up at City Hall. The next mayor will therefore have to […]


Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 Stealing Home: The Mystery of Moe Berg. 7:00pm  Center for Jewish History 15 West 16th Street New York, NY 10011   Members of the Actors Studio will perform a reading of “Stealing Home,” a groundbreaking play about Moe Berg. A truly historic American figure, Berg was a professional baseball player, a scholar […]


Why I Am Cancelling My Documentary on Hillary Clinton

In late 2012, CNN Films approached me about directing a documentary. We discussed a number of potential subjects, and eventually settled on Hillary Rodham Clinton. The film would be ambitious, controversial, and highly visible. But I felt that it was important, that I was qualified to do it, and that I could be fair. CNN gave me complete control (“final cut”) over the theatrical version, and a generous budget.

And then the fun began. The day after the contract was signed, I received a message from Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s press secretary. He already knew about the film, and clearly had a source within CNN. He interrogated me; at first I answered, but eventually I stopped. When I requested an off-the-record, private conversation with Mrs. Clinton, Merrill replied that she was busy writing her book, and not speaking to the media.

Next came Phillipe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s media fixer, who contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor (as nearly all documentaries and news organizations are). When I contacted him, he declined to speak with me. He then repeated his allegations to Politico, which published them.

CNN and I decided to publicly confirm the film project to clear the air. Immediately afterwards, the chairman of the Republican National Committee announced that the Republicans would boycott CNN with regard to the Republican presidential primary debates in 2016. Shortly afterwards, the entire RNC voted to endorse this position. This did not surprise me. What did surprise me was that, quietly and privately, prominent Democrats made it known both to CNN and to me that they weren’t delighted with the film, either.

Next came David Brock, who published an open letter on his highly partisan Democratic website Media Matters, in which he endorsed the Republican National Committee’s position, repeating Reines’ conflict of interest allegations and suggesting that my documentary would revive old, discredited Clinton scandal stories. Coming from Mr. Brock, this was rather amusing. David Brock began life as an ultraconservative “investigative journalist,” quotation marks very much intended, spreading scandal with little regard for truth. He first attracted attention with The Real Anita Hill, his nasty (and factually wrong) hatchet job on the woman who, during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings, said that Thomas had sexually harassed her. Years later, he apologized and switched to the Democrats.

When Brock published his letter about my film, I got in touch with several prominent Democrats who knew Hillary Clinton. I told them that this campaign against the film and against CNN was counterproductive. They conveyed this message to Mrs. Clinton personally, along with my request to speak with her. The answer that came back was, basically, over my dead body.

None of this deterred or even greatly bothered me. I flew to New York and had a two hour meeting with CNN’s President Jeff Zucker and his senior staff. They were great. They asked me how I was holding up — I said fine. They pledged their support, expressed dismay that things were so nasty, and told me to go forth and make my film. I did so.

In June, I attended a dinner for Bill Clinton, which was educational. Clinton spoke passionately about his foundation, about African wildlife, inequality, childhood obesity, and much else with enormous factual command, emotion, and rhetorical power. But he and I also spoke privately. I asked him about the financial crisis. He paused and then became even more soulful, thoughtful, passionate, and articulate. And then he proceeded to tell me the most amazing lies I’ve heard in quite a while.

Christine Williams: Palestinian Propaganda Invades the Arts in Canada The Toronto Palestine Film Festival uses the arts to demonize the State of Israel. The event is promoted by the Canadian Arab Federation, which has been condemned by the Canadian government for its support of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Palestinian propaganda has been ramped up a notch, using the prominent Toronto Film Festivals, in […]

DAVID SOLWAY: A TRIBUTE TO PAM GELLER AND ROBERT SPENCER Recently I attended a symposium featuring the notable conservative writers and anti-Jihadists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Titled “The Dangers of Islamic Extremism and Western Complacency,” the symposium was held at the Toronto Hilton and hosted by the Jewish Defense League (JDL). (Event video available here [1].) Earlier on, the Islamic organization CAIR-CAN, now […]