FROM DR. JOHN A: The corollary to the article (see link below) in regard to taking care of the truly poor and unfortunate in a free market, small government economy is —- reinstate the authentically liberal, classical education values ie private charity, altruism , courtesy, civics, moral fibre, self pride, honour, duty, noblesse oblige, shame, chivalry, community volunteerism, competition, team spirit, etc…
And eliminate statism — victim psychology, utopianism, egalitarianism, central control, sometimes (benignly intended) totalitarianism — all the ‘feel-good’, ‘guilt and self-hatred assuaging’, but ‘dont-work’ ideologies behind socialism, mixed with its waste, inefficiency, corruption, crony capitalism abuses, gaming the system, and, above all, the potential for the insidious growth of a police state…JA

If you have a taste for Schadenfreude (and who doesn’t, especially in this holiday season?), you’ll enjoy Anemona Hartocollis’s article in the New York Times of December 14. Here’s the opening paragraph:
Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.

The article goes on to detail the Obamacare-induced travails of members of New York’s “creative classes” (a phrase the Times fails to put in quotation marks) and concludes:
“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.
“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

Ms. Sweeney’s statement-and-question says it all. It’s the voice of liberalism in the age of Obama. She’s for Obamacare, but didn’t know what it was. Now, Ms. Sweeney realizes (sort of) that she’s been mugged by reality. But she’s not quite ready to come to grips with reality. She’s not quite ready to press charges against Obama, or against liberalism.
But at least she’s asking a reality-based question.
In 2014, it’s the job of conservatism, and of the Republican party, to answer Ms. Sweeney’s question. It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to explain the reality of Obamacare—that it’s bad for health care, bad for jobs, and bad for freedom. It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to offer escapes from Obamacare, to the extent possible (see the piece by Jeffrey H. Anderson and Spencer Cowan in this issue). It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to set forth workable alternatives to Obamacare for the future, as Paul Ryan and others intend to do early in the new year.

And it’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to press charges. It’s their job to make the case against Obamacare on the broadest possible terms, as an example—as the example—of unintended-consequences-producing, rule-of-law-undermining, freedom-denying, big-government, liberal social-engineering. Obamacare embodies liberalism’s fatal conceit. It’s the job of conservatives and Republicans to make it liberalism’s fatal overreach.
So, to answer Ms. Sweeney’s question: The reality of it is that Obamacare is a disaster. And it’s a disaster because, as Margaret Thatcher put it, “The facts of life are conservative.”

If conservatives and Republicans can explain the facts of life in a language intelligible to contemporary Americans, the year 2014 could be an inflection point in the saga of modern American liberalism, modern American conservatism, and modern American politics. It could be a moment of genuine hope and positive change. Perhaps, to adapt a rhetorical flourish, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the nanny state began to slow and our nation began to heal. It could be the moment when we regain our footing and find our way back to the always difficult but ultimately rewarding path of individual liberty, honorable self-government, and national greatness.


American progressives like to think of their country as backward and reactionary compared to Europe. And they have never been more right than now when Europe and the rest of the First World have gone right while America under Obama has been left back.

In America Alone, Mark Steyn envisioned the United States as a beleaguered hope in a dying West. Seven years later, American politics are much less healthier than those of the rest of the free world.

America does stand alone. It stands alone in embracing the rule of the left.

Recently Australia, Japan and Norway welcomed in conservative governments. Tony Abbott, Australia’s new prime minister, is a former heavyweight boxer who attended Oxford and is putting a spoke in the wheel of the Global Warming ecohoax. Japan is casting off its pacifism and standing up to the People’s Republic of China and Norway gave its left-wing government the boot and moved in “Iron Erma” in a coalition with the libertarian Progress Party which opposes taxes and immigration and supports free enterprise.

Australia, Japan and Norway are not outliers. The majority of First World countries now have conservative governments.



NEW YORK (AP) – Bill de Blasio will be sworn in as mayor of New York City by former President Bill Clinton.

The Democrat will be inaugurated as the 109th mayor of the nation’s largest city during a ceremony Wednesday on the City Hall steps.

His transition team announced Saturday that he will be sworn in by the former president. De Blasio worked in Clinton’s administration in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Clinton will use a Bible once owned by another former president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The de Blasio transition team says former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also will attend the New Year’s Day ceremony.

De Blasio managed her successful 2000 Senate campaign.

De Blasio is succeeding Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is leaving office after three terms.


Peter C Glover is a contributing editor to The Commentator and co-author with Professor Michael J. Economides of the bestselling Energy and Climate Wars

“Other than food, no commodity is as important to the world as energy. Yet, because of angst-ridden theoretical speculation – not empirical science – the modern green agenda has effected an intellectual disconnect”

It has the power to ruin economies, impoverish countless millions and leave many of us, quite literally, in the dark and cold. We are not talking about alarmist theories of what the future climate may do. We are talking about what the current and ubiquitous green agenda is doing.

Other than food, no commodity is as important to the world as energy. Yet, because of angst-ridden theoretical speculation – note: not empirical science – the modern green agenda has effected an intellectual disconnect. It is a disconnect that has seen eco-theories eclipse energy realities such that national leaders, industry executives and even reasonable people are not engaging in rational debate let alone action.

Pitted against each other in what can only be considered as almost war-like entrenchments are environmentalists or “greens” on one side and economically-driven pragmatists on the other.


Just four days after Christmas 1940, Hitler turned London into earthly hell. December 29 was London’s longest night, the night Hitler tried to burn London down and incinerate the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral.

At sunrise the dome of St. Paul’s stood, though surrounded by a smoldering warscape of total destruction. The salvation of St. Paul’s Cathedral from the inferno uplifted British spirits and is a Christmas story worth retelling seventy-three years later.

By December 1940, nearly all the democracies of Europe had fallen to the Nazi menace. Germany itself started the process in 1933 when an enlightened democracy suffered the sudden concentration of power into an ideologically driven central state. Mania followed. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, France, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands all fell to Hitler.

By Christmastime 1940, Britain stood alone against the evil which had consumed Europe.

Hitler aimed to break England’s will. He wanted England to be content with Nazi control of continental Europe.

On December 29, 1940, fire was his weapon of choice.

The Luftwaffe’s air war over England had raged for months. Londoners had grown accustomed to the wail of air raid sirens and nights sleeping underground in tube stations. The Blitz first focused on military targets, then strategic targets, and then conventional bombings which affected civilian areas.

But on the night of December 29, Hitler attempted to terrorize and eradicate the civilian population of London with a gruesome deliberateness he would also employ against continental Jews.

MOCK EVICTIONS AND MORAL BLINDNESS: EILEEN TOPLANSKY You cannot get a good education if your instructor is telling you only half the story. The following was found in an English composition classroom at a university where I teach. Hundreds of “eviction” notices were slid under Rutgers dorm and apartment doors the night of October 6. The notices [had] a municipal code […]


In June 1967, Israeli paratroopers entered Jerusalem’s Old City after Israel’s miraculous victory in the Six-Day War. The Old City had been under Jordanian control for nineteen years, an era of wanton destruction of synagogues and of ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the Old City. The paratroopers made their prayerful way to the Temple Mount, the holiest piece of ground in all Judaism, site of the First and Second Great Temples and, by tradition, the ark itself. Three paratroopers climbed to the top of the Dome of The Rock (built atop the former Second Temple) and unfurled the Israeli flag for the first time. Four hours later, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered the flag taken down. Then, in one of the most incomprehensible acts in Jewish history, Dayan handed over the entire Temple Mount to the Muslims, to be administered by the Waqf, the Jordanian Muslim religious trust. And thus it remains.

Dayan told his critics that he committed this act of ignominy to protect against the building of a Third Temple, which pious Jews indeed pray for. Of course, the likelihood of either the Messiah or the Third Temple arising would seem to be microscopically tiny at this time, a fact that doesn’t stop Muslim clerics from expressing their suspicion that “the Israeli occupation and its executive arms are making increasing efforts…to hasten the building of the alleged third Temple in place of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque….” (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 4, 2011)

Meanwhile, and not surprisingly, in the Muslim grand scheme to erase Jews from all of Jerusalem, since 1967 things have steadily gotten worse at the Mount. Jews are allowed only limited access to the Mount, and are strictly forbidden to pray there. If a Jew is seen so much as moving his lips while there, he runs the risk of being attacked, pelted with rocks and other missiles, and will very likely be arrested — by the Israeli police. In spite of constant Israeli assistance, however, just last week the Jordanian Information Minister demanded the removal of the police station and its surveillance cameras.


Dear Dr. MacEoin ( )

I received from both a friend and Jerusalem Posts, a copy of your recent letter (pasted to the foot of this letter) to St. James Church and in particular, Rev.’s Meader, Winkett and Valentine.

I expect you have already received tremendously favorable comments for your eloquently powerful letter damning them for their having “constructed a mendacious (anti-Israel) wall on its premises in order to make an ignominious political point”.

Metaphorically speaking you have employed both a surgeon’s scalpel and a sledgehammer to cut away and shatter the illusory façade these church leaders have erected for themselves to hide the truth that their real motives for erecting this wall are antisemitic which motives mark not just them, but their church.

Redemption for St. James Church and Rev.’s Meader, Winkett and Valentine can only come if they open their eyes to the ugly sin of their antisemitism that flies in the face of the best of what Christian teaching offers.

That redemption can only be complete if in seeing the antisemitic ugliness within them, they embrace the word and spirit of the best of Christian principles that their antisemitism denies and with that, admit their sin, renounce their antisemitism and tear down the mendacious anti-Israel/antisemitic wall they have built for all to see.


Denis M. MacEoin (born 1949, Belfast, Northern Ireland) has been editor of Middle East Quarterly since June 2009. A former lecturer in Islamic studies, his academic specialisations are Shi‘ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá’í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. MacEoin is also a novelist, writing under the pen names Daniel Easterman and Jonathan Aycliffe
Dear Revs. Meader, Winkett and Valentine,

The last time I was in your beautiful church was for a memorial service for my dear friend Patricia Parkin, a leading literary editor and my own editor for a great many years. Thbe service was a thing of great beauty, with some wonderful music, as one might expect from your church. My attention was drawn by the magnificent Grinling Gibbons carvings on the font and reredos. Having recently read David Esterly’s lyrical account of his restoration of Gibbon’s carvings, my appreciation of the quality of your specimens has much increased. You are very welcome to visit my parish church, St. George’s in Jesmond, which is widely thought to be the most beautiful church in the North of England.

The welcomes you extend to LGBT people, the homeless, refugees, and innovative approaches to the liturgy and beyond (as in your Zen group) have always interested. My own background is in Persian, Arabic and Islamic Studies (especially Shi’ite Islam), on all of which I have written extensively. The bulk of my academic work has centered on the Baha’i religion and its precursors. I am very conscious of the plight of the Baha’is still living in Iran, where they have been and are being persecuted with great severity. I don’t know if you include them in your prayers, but perhaps I can ask you to.

Compassion for those who suffer is necessarily an automatic response of Christians, given the emphasis Christ placed on love for one’s fellow man.

For myself, my earliest encounter with true suffering came through a teacher at my drama school in Belfast, Helen Lewis (née Katz). I had heard that she had been imprisoned in a concentration camp, but it wasn’t till one day when she rolled her sleeve up and I saw numbers tattooed on her arm that her plight came home to me. She had spent a long time in Theresianstadt (Terezin), where she saved her life because she was a professional ballet dancer: the Nazis used Terezin as a Potemkin village with dancers, musicians, actors, painters and writers to impress the Red Cross and others with their kindly treatment of inmates (while thousands died behind the scenes). Helen’s husband died in Auschwitz.

A Controversial New Movement Wants to Cooperate More Closely With the Jewish State

As Christmas neared, an 85-foot-high tree presided over the little square in front of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. Kindergarten children with Santa Claus hats entered the church and listened to their teacher explain in Arabic the Greek inscriptions on the walls, while a group of Russian pilgrims knelt on their knees and whispered in prayer. In Nazareth’s old city, merchants sold the usual array of Christmas wares.

This year, however, the familiar rhythms of Christmas season in the Holy Land have been disturbed by a new development: the rise of an independent voice for Israel’s Christian community, which is increasingly trying to assert its separate identity. For decades, Arab Christians were considered part of Israel’s sizable Palestinian minority, which comprises both Muslims and Christians and makes up about a fifth of the country’s citizens, according to the Israeli government.

But now, an informal grass-roots movement, prompted in part by the persecution of Christians elsewhere in the region since the Arab Spring, wants to cooperate more closely with Israeli Jewish society—which could mean a historic change in attitude toward the Jewish state. “Israel is my country, and I want to defend it,” says Henry Zaher, an 18-year-old Christian from the village of Reineh who was visiting Nazareth. “The Jewish state is good for us.”