STEVEN PLAUT: ASSIMILATIONIST LIBERALS REAP WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN The recent study of U.S. Jews by the Pew Research Center reports that 58 percent of American Jews marry non-Jews. Since few of those who intermarry are Orthodox, the percentage rises to 71 percent when Orthodox Jews are taken out of the equation. The fact is, American non-Orthodox Jews are intermarrying their way into […]


The most outrageous yet?

Below is the horrendous, Uncle-Sam-shameful story of tourists who happened to be visiting Yellowstone as the shutdown took effect. Ordered out of the park (the tour bus guide had paid $300 the day before to enter), ordered not to stop (even at restrooms) along the road out of the park, ordered mid-snap not to take pictures of a herd of bison — Stop “recreating,” said the armed ranger — they were then locked in under armed guard at The Old Faithful Inn, ajacent to the famous geyser — around which the feds erected barricades to prevent them even from seeing it!

What I want to know is how it is that the park rangers slip so easily into thug-fascist-mode? And, more important, When do we say stop? I wish I had a boat to join the flotilla that retired Navy Capt Ross who is trying to organize to reopen the waterway Obama illegally closed in Florida.

As the tour guide put it: “The national parks belong to the people. This isn’t right.”


It’s a story straight out of 2010: A conservative candidate is challenging a long-time Republican senator in the upcoming Senate primary.

Dr. Milton Wolf, a distant cousin of President Barack Obama, announced last night that he would challenge Pat Roberts (R., Kan.), a three-term senator who had previously served eight terms in the House.

“Now Pat Roberts wants a fourth decade in Congress,” Wolf said in his announcement speech. “I’m sorry, no one should be in Congress for four decades. No one. Not even Moses himself should be in Congress for four decades.”

Wolf, like Liz Cheney in her Wyoming bid against Senator Mike Enzi, is pushing the argument that it is not enough to have a GOP senator who votes correctly most of the time: Instead, Republican voters must demand politicians who will actively and publicly promote their beliefs. “We need more senators like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee,” Wolf declared, depicting himself as a similar figure.

Wolf isn’t the first to make this argument: Cruz himself made it in his own primary against the Texas establishment’s favorite, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Few doubted that Dewhurst would vote as a conservative on most issues. But since
Cruz took office, he has proven his point: It is inconceivable that Dewhurst would have spent his August recess pushing to tie the defunding of Obamacare to the continuing resolution, or would have stirred up the kind of ire that has caused Cruz to encounter questions such as “What’s it’s like to be the most hated man in America?” as Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked him earlier this week.

Wolf has already proven his bona fides as an outspoken conservative: He has made appearances on Fox News, among other outlets, and is a columnist and blogger. In his announcement, he railed against the same targets that Sarah Palin and other top conservative activists have taken on: He attacked “career politicians” and poked fun at “high-priced Washington consultants,” saying, “I thank the consultants for their advice, but I’m still the same guy I was growing up in Lyons [Kan.]: I don’t beat around the bush; I don’t ask for A to get to B, and I don’t apologize for telling the truth.”

Roberts’s record in Congress is fairly conservative, according to the relevant scorecards: He has an 89 percent rating from Heritage Action (the average for a Republican senator is 67 percent), and the American Conservative Union gave him a 72 percent rating in 2012. The fiscally oriented Club for Growth, however, ranked Roberts in 36th place in 2012, putting him behind such senators as John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).


In 1990, New York City suffered 2,245 murders. By 2012, that number had been reduced by more than 80 percent, to 419 — a proud record of achievement.

A primary factor in this reduction was the police program known as “stop and frisk.” Under that program, mostly used in high-crime neighborhoods, if a policeman has “reasonable suspicion” of possible criminal activity, he may stop a person and then, “for his own protection, may conduct a patdown to find weapons that he reasonably suspects” may be there. Given that the Supreme Court has long held that “the primary function of government . . . is to render security to its” people, and that it specifically employed the quoted language in its 1968 approval of “stop and frisk” in another state, one would have expected a judge to have quickly rejected the lawsuit, commenced in January 2008, attacking New York City’s stop-and-frisk program.

But District Judge Shira Scheindlin last month issued a 198-page opinion in the case of Floyd et al. v. City of New York declaring the city’s stop-and-frisk program unconstitutional — as involving unreasonable searches and seizures — and discriminatory against blacks and Hispanics. If that decision is not reversed, we can expect the return of the high murder rate that preceded stop-and-frisk.

This is not simply a case of an erroneous decision. Rather, the facts establish that this judge, known to be hostile to efficient and successful law-enforcement tactics, ignored Supreme Court precedent and logic to follow instead her personal, politically correct agenda. Moreover, on the case’s filing, she grabbed it for herself, violating the district court’s rule requiring random selection of the assigned judge. Significantly, she then took five and a half years to announce her decision — a delay that may preclude appellate review. Finally, her opinion, holding this program unconstitutional, is unsupportable.

Scheindlin is one of over 40 sitting judges in the Southern District of New York. To implement the basic principle that our courts apply the rule of law — not the rule of man or woman — that court’s rules mandate that the judge for every case “shall be assigned by lot.” That was not done here. Rather, Scheindlin endorsed the plaintiffs’ avoidance of the lottery assignment rule, by asserting that this new 2008 case was “related” to a case, Daniels et al. v. City of New York (on which she had been the judge), commenced in 1999 and settled and closed in 2003.

The court’s rules do permit the assignment of a new case to a judge sitting on an earlier case if the two are related, but only “when the interests of justice and efficiency will be served,” and if “(i) a substantial saving of judicial resources would result; or (ii) the just efficient and economical conduct of the litigations would be advanced; or (iii) the convenience of the parties or witnesses would be served.” The rule also specifies that the presence of “a congruence of parties or witnesses or the likelihood of a consolidated or joint trial or joint pre-trial discovery” would indicate the new case is “related.”


So far, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s peace ruse is still bearing some fruit. President Obama was eager to talk with him at the United Nations — only to be reportedly rebuffed, until Mr. Obama managed to phone him for the first conservation between heads of state of the two countries since the Iranian storming of the U.S. Embassy in 1979.

Mr. Rouhani has certainly wowed Western elites with his mellifluous voice, quiet demeanor and denials of wanting a bomb. The media, who ignore the circumstances of Mr. Rouhani’s three-decade trajectory to power, gush that he is suddenly a “moderate” and “Western-educated.”

The implication is that Mr. Rouhani is not quite one of those hard-line Shiite apocalyptic theocrats like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who in the past ranted about the eventual end to the Zionist entity.

Americans are sick and tired of losing blood and treasure in the Middle East. We understandably are desperate for almost any sign of Iranian outreach. Our pundits assure us that either Iran does not need and thus does not want a bomb, or that Iran at least could be contained if it got one.

No such giddy reception was given to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In comparison with Mr. Rouhani, he seemed grating to his U.N. audience in New York. A crabby Mr. Netanyahu is now seen as the party pooper, who barks in his raspy voice that Mr. Rouhani is only buying time from the West until Iran can test a nuclear bomb and that the Iranian leader is a duplicitous “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Why does the unpleasant Mr. Netanyahu sound to us so unyielding, so dismissive of Mr. Rouhani’s efforts to dialogue, so ready to start an unnecessary war? How can the democracy that wants Iran not to have the bomb sound more trigger-happy than the theocracy intent on getting it?


Virginia’s Democrats want to preserve ineligible-voter rights

Democrats in Virginia are stopping just short of opening polling places in the graveyards to make sure every ineligible voter is counted. The state Democratic Party last week asked a federal judge in Alexandria for an injunction to block state and local election officials from deleting the names of ineligible voters. When the roll is called up yonder, in the updated hymn, the dead Democrats will still be here.

Election officials have compiled a list of 57,000 names of Virginians thought to have moved and put down roots elsewhere in the country. Election officials want to cross-check the names of nonresidents against the voter-registration lists and cross off the names of everyone who shouldn’t be voting in Virginia.

Terry McAuliffe is obviously polling well among the dearly departed because his party tells the court that “the need for relief is urgent.” The lawsuit argues that “the [State Board of Elections] is rushing to complete the purging in time to have the desired effect on the upcoming election.” The appropriate “desired effect” is to make sure that those who no longer live here don’t vote here. Every vote cast illegally cancels a legal vote.

The 13-page lawsuit warns on several pages that “the harm to the [Democratic Party of Virginia] and its members,” if the purge is allowed to continue, would be “irreparable.” This suggests that Democrats can’t win without the help of the temporarily dead.

Lunch Lady Accused of Stuffing Bra With Kids’ Cash — $1.8M in 8 Years : Cheryl Chumley


This is hardly the lunch lady of Adam Sandler lore.

A former Rialto, Calif., school district accountant with access to kids’ lunch money was reportedly captured on video stuffing her bra with bills and charged with ultimately racking up $1.8 million of stolen food fees over the span of eight years.

San Bernardino County prosecutors filed 16 felony counts, from embezzlement to falsifying records, against Judith Oakes, 48, CBS reported. She was initially arrested in August and released on $50,000 bond.

Ms. Oakes is now due for an arraignment hearing on Thursday.

She was responsible for depositing the students’ lunch money into the school’s bank account. School officials because suspicious when they noticed the account balance seemed a little low — by about $3.1 million. Ms. Oakes is suspected of being responsible for about a third of that, CBS said.

If found guilty, Ms. Oakes could be sentenced to 11 years in prison.


Legendary English rocker Roger Waters, born in 1943, cofounded the iconic group Pink Floyd in 1965 and stayed in it until 1985. Since then, while sometimes reuniting with other Pink Floyd members, he’s mainly pursued a solo career.

Waters is a pop star on a gigantic scale. Pink Floyd, for which he was the main songwriter, has sold over 250 million albums across the globe. Waters’s worldwide tour The Wall Live, which he began in 2010, sold over 1.4 million tickets in the first half of 2012, making it the international leader for all categories of concerts.

Like many pop stars, Waters has taken up causes. In 2009 he called the Israeli security fence in the West Bank an “obscenity” that “should be torn down.” He never got around to criticizing the waves of Palestinian suicide bombings and other terror attacks, which killed 1500 Israelis and wounded many thousands more, that prompted the building of the fence in the first place.

In 2011 Waters announced he had joined the anti-Israeli Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Consisting of Palestinian NGOs and leftist supporters, BDS favors a “one-state solution” whereby Israel would cease to exist.

Waters has been quite active in BDS. In a November 2012 speech to the UN he accused Israel—a member of the exclusively democrat OECD and rated a “Free” country by Freedom House—of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid,” and “international crimes.” Last August he published an open letter calling on other musicians to “declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” citing Stevie Wonder’s cancellation of a concert in Israel as a success story.

Waters, it goes without saying, does not call for a boycott of any other country on the globe. He has recently played concerts in human rights beacons like Russia, China, and Turkey without raising a peep of protest. Does all this—not least the scurrilous claim of “apartheid”—qualify him as an antisemite? In general, the Jewish world gave him the benefit of the doubt and refrained from making that charge.


Even in today’s interconnected world, a lot of news is bundled by region — and so it often works with rogue states and their neighborhoods. The past few months have been an especially lively period for wayward states in the Middle East, where by diplomatic sleight-of-hand the regimes of Damascus and Tehran have been transformed from terrorist-sponsoring WMD proliferators into erstwhile or potential partners of the U.S. in nonproliferation. In August the big focus was on Syria, the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and the ensuing deal — in which Russia’s President Vladimir Putin translated Assad’s nerve gas into a bargaining chip for re-expanding Russian influence and a dwindling role for the U.S. in the Middle East (in which Secretary of State John Kerry is now praising Syria’s President Bashar Assad [1]).

September brought the Iranian regime’s “charm” offensive, in which President Hassan Rouhani traveled to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, snubbed President Obama’s offer to meet in person, and lectured the world on Iran’s right to enrich uranium. He was rewarded with a presidential phone call, the return to Iran of a million dollar griffin-shaped silver drinking cup [2] and plans for nuclear talks next week in Geneva.

While that’s been going on, Americans have had plenty of distractions on their home turf, between news of the federal shutdown, debates over what’s actually been shut and footage of news anchors trying unsuccessfully to log onto the new government healthcare web sites.

Amid all this, there hasn’t been a lot of focus on North Korea. It’s been eight long months since Pyongyang’s third nuclear test — way back in February. It’s been three years since North Korea advertised to the world that along with its plutonium path to the bomb, it had installed at its Yongbyon complex a uranium enrichment facility (which on satellite imagery appears to have since doubled in size). Given the tempo of the modern news cycle, that’s prehistoric.


In The Grand Jihad, my book about the Muslim Brotherhood, I noted the Brothers’ affectation of non-violent moderation when, in reality, their ideology preaches, prepares for, and practices forcible jihad. How, I rhetorically asked, does the Brotherhood pull this trick off? Well, it is pretty easy in the West, where the Brothers have the fortuity of dealing mainly with appeasers who are desperate to believe their lies. But for the most part, I argued, “the answer, very simply, is extortion.”

When not pretending to distance themselves from flat-out terrorist outfits like al Qaeda (the better to have Kool-Aid gulpers at the White House regard them as “moderates”), the Brothers leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihad to advance the stealth jihad. Where necessary, the Brothers — while piously disavowing violence — will stoke the violence themselves. Remember, the Hamas terrorist organization is the Muslim Brotherhood — the global organization’s self-proclaimed Palestinian branch whose support has been a top priority of the Brotherhood’s international franchises (very much including in the United States) since Hamas’s inception.

For the most part, though, the Brothers exploit the mass-murderous proclivities of other Islamic supremacist organizations, essentially finishing the job for them. The job? Yes, it is all one job — sharia.

We would grasp this if we were not so mulishly uninformed about the enemy’s ideology. Islamic supremacists do not engage in wanton violence; they brutalize in order to advance sharia, Islam’s societal framework and legal code. Even if they occasionally disagree on tactics, al Qaeda and the Brotherhood are in complete harmony on the ultimate goal of imposing Islam on societies. To focus myopically on the tactical disagreements, as the West’s moderate-mania does, is to miss the forest for the trees. The Brotherhood is like the well-dressed mafia capo who knocks on your door — and whom you pay the loan-shark vig in the hope that the next visitor won’t be the al Qaeda button-man who breaks your knees before torching the place.