JONAH GOLDBERG: THE HOLLOW CORE OF OBAMAISM Longtime readers of mine will recall that one of my bugaboos is the liberal obsession with the “moral equivalent of war.” Ever since William James coined the phrase, liberalism has essentially become a cargo cult to the idea. The core idea, expressed in myriad different ways, is that normal democratic capitalism is insufficient. Society […]


Obama and the Arrow 3 debacle

For all its ineptitude, the Obama administration has proved itself capable of closing ranks where lies and cover-ups are concerned. The three major scandals in which it is currently embroiled — Benghazi, the Justice Department, and the Internal Revenue Service — are the major cases in point. But other examples abound.

Such fiascoes aside, Israel has been counting on Washington’s penchant for the “covert” these days, as Iran sails toward nuclear armament and the rest of the Middle East is in the throes of radicalization. Though U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry keeps making trips to the region to pressure Israel and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate a two-state solution, the assumption on the part of those who believe that the White House “has Israel’s back” is that there is much behind-the-scenes military cooperation going on that we don’t know about.

Imagine Israel’s dismay, then, when Uncle Sam pulled a stunt of truth and transparency this week at the worst possible juncture for the Jewish state.

As was reported by McClatchy’s Sheera Frenkel on Monday, the Israeli defense establishment is in an uproar over U.S. government revelations of an American-Israeli project that was supposed to be kept top-secret.

Israel’s outrage is warranted.


Seven dead as prohibition leads to moonshine illnesses
Seven deaths and 300 illnesses have been reported after Iranians brewed homemade alcohol in the southern city of Rafsanjan

Seven people have died, several been made blind, and over 300 have been reported sick after ingesting illegally brewed alcohol in Iran’s southern city of Rafsanjan.

Local hospitals have reported a high number of patients complaining of loss of vision adn other symptoms consistent with alcohol poisoning, according to a recent New York Times report.

The victims were all young men. “All those who died were men under the age of 27,” said Dr. Hamid Najmedin of the Rafsanjan Medical Science University, the Ebtekarnews website reported Sunday.

Seventy-five patients in Rafsanjan and 109 sickened in other parts of Kerman province underwent dialysis, but were later released from the hospital, the Associated Press reported.

Local doctors say the victims drank concoctions containing high levels of methanol — a simple alcohol used as an antifreeze and also for biofuels — mixed with energy drinks.

MICHAEL DOUGLAS M.D. ON THE CAUSES OF THROAT CANCER 0 inShare inShaActor Michael Douglas taught the world at least one thing Monday: oral sex can sometimes cause cancer. In an interview published in the Guardian newspaper, Douglas appeared to blame his own battle with throat cancer on oral sex – although that interpretation was later disputed by one of his representatives. The Guardian […]


In the digital pages of the New York Times, Ezekiel Emanuel, Obamacare whiz kid and brother of Rahm, has a modest proposal to lower suicide rates by ending the sale of Tylenol in bottles. From now on there will be just be small packages of Tylenol blister packs as a kind of seven day waiting period for committing suicide.

Emanuel is no great humanitarian looking to save lives by making it slightly harder for Pete, who has been laid off work because his company found it easier to do business in China than spend an extra twenty million a year dealing with the regulations endorsed by people like Emanuel, to commit suicide. The truth is he doesn’t care about Pete at all. He isn’t looking to save Pete’s life. He’s looking to lower suicide rates.

The two might seem like they are one and the same. And it’s an easy mistake to make. Politicians make it all the time. If there is any single great error at the heart of Obamacare, it’s that conflation of saving individuals and tinkering with statistics.

In support of his proposal to ban Tylenol bottles, Emanuel cites a British ban in 1998 that he claims significantly lowered Tylenol overdoses. But while Pete, the British edition, may have become slightly less likely to down a bottle of Tylenol in Blighty, overall suicides remained fairly steady, and male suicides have spiked significantly with the economic downturn.

Treating Pete like a child and taking away his Tylenol didn’t stop him from committing suicide. And perhaps treating him like an overgrown infant under the care of an idiot nanny state that can figure out how to ban Tylenol from pharmacies, but not how to keep Somali drug dealers from overrunning London, made him feel more helpless and more determined to assert what control he could over his life.



On May 13, the Stockholm police received calls from the blighted immigrant suburb of Husby. Residents were frightened by a 69-year-old man who was wielding a kitchen knife. Following a standoff that is currently under investigation, the elderly Portuguese immigrant was shot dead.

One week later, the police were called to Husby once more. This time, residents reported that masked men were torching cars with gasoline and Molotov cocktails. When the police and firefighters arrived, they were greeted with a barrage of rocks.

Each morning the following week, Sweden awoke to fresh images of arson and rioting. Rumors of racism and police brutality ignited riots in other immigrant suburbs already ripe with resentment toward Swedish society. The police managed to quell the riots only after calling in reinforcements from other Swedish cities.

The extent of the material damage was some 200 cars set on fire, in addition to a number of burned schools (including a nursery) and cultural centers. This toll does not include the psychological cost of a bruised Swedish self-image.


Tongue-Twister: Germany Seeks a New Longest Word


Call it linguistic precision engineering. The German language permits the creation of words of endless length, many of which refer to laws. Now the country has lost its longest official word following the repeal of a complex law regarding mad cow disease — and is seeking a new one.

The search is on for the longest word in the German language after the following 63-letter monster was taken out of use last week:

If you keep repeating it out loud, it gets easier to pronounce. Loosely translated, the word means “law on the transfer of monitoring duties for labelling beef.”

It was in the regional statute book of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania until last week, when the regional parliament suspended it. Referred to as the RkREÜAÜG for the sake of simplicity, it was introduced in 1999 to protect consumers from BSE mad cow disease.

It was 18 letters longer than the longest English word in the Oxford English Dictionary, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a lung disease.

RkREÜAÜG became defunct because the European Union proposed abandoning BSE tests of healthy cattle, but that is beside the point. What matters now is that Germany no longer has an official longest word.

Limitless Words — An Example

Technically, there is no limit to word length in German because, like Finnish and Hungarian, it allows words to be joined together to create compound nouns at will. Supersonic jet is Überschallgeschwindigkeitsflugzeug. If a football team makes it to the World Cup, it’s a Fussballweltmeisterschaftsendrundenteilnehmer. Admittedly, many words of such length are often used in jest.

Here’s a brief example of the endless possibilities:

A ballpoint pen that belongs to a captain could be called a Kapitänskugelschreiber.

If the pen happens to belong to a captain of the Danube Steamship Company, it’s a Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskugelschreiber.

Let us now refer to the ink used in that pen. This is the Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskugelschreibertinte.

And, please bear with us, there could theoretically be a shop specializing in such ink. In that case we have a: Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskugelschreibertintenfachgeschäft.

That store would presumably have a manager, the: Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänskugelschreibertintenfachgeschäftsführer.

Long Words in Legal Texts

That’s 81 letters. And we could go on. But for a word to be officially recognized, it must be in genuine use and must have been referred to in published texts.

Germany’s love of complex laws and regulations has spawned an impressive array of mammoth bureacratic words like the Grundstücksverkehrsgenehmigungszuständigkeitsübertragungsverordnung, a 67-letter property law that had the honor of being the longest word until its repeal in 2007 made way for RkREÜAÜG.

“Most of the really long words come from legal texts,” Professor Anatol Stefanowitsch, a language expert, told the DPA news agency. Some chemical terms are also impressively long.

“Now it’s up to other regional states to come up with a long word,” a spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania agricultural ministry told DPA.

The Duden, the German equivalent of the Oxford English Dictionary, has stricter rules and never recognized RkREÜAÜG as a bona fide word because it wasn’t in common use. The longest word in Duden is: Kraftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung, meaning auto liability insurance. It has a paltry 36 letters.

ROGER SIMON’S BLOG FROM ISRAEL DAY 3 Barry Rubin [1]is a first-rate writer, scholar, and person, but no one would ever mistake him for Mario Andretti [2]. He’s the kind of guy you might want with you as a partner on Jeopardy, but maybe not if you’re trying to find your way out of the Istanbul bazaar. This is all by […]

KAREN LUGO: FEDERAL CONTEMPT FOR FREE SPEECH Where “We the People” are sovereign, the press has a responsibility to investigate government, and the people have a duty to know the issues and speak their minds. The Founders did not just see these roles as opportunities, but knew that government by popular will could only succeed if the levers of accountability were […]


American Petroleum Institute Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman warned that new ozone regulations currently under review by the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency could put “nearly the entire country” out of business.

“Such strict standards are not justified from a health perspective and are not needed to continue air quality progress,” Feldman said Thursday on a conference call with reporters.

“The potential of significant national economic harm with stricter standards at or below naturally occurring levels is real. Our map shows that nearly the entire country could effectively be closed for business should EPA move forward with this proposal,” said Feldman.

API released a map [1] detailing the possible effect of new ozone regulations.

“Note that the current ozone standards are 75 parts per billion. For ozone standards of 60 parts per billion, which EPA could propose, 97 percent of the population would live in places out of compliance and subject to new emission reductions requirements,” he said.

“With potential strict standards that approach or are even lower than naturally occurring levels, virtually any human activity that produced emissions could ultimately be restricted or affected. In some cases, new development simply would not be feasible or permitted.”