The President’s Public Enemies
Forget ISIS and Putin; Obama has identified the real enemy—the Republicans.

Barack Obama went on the attack late last week. The president delivered blistering speeches at a Democratic fundraiser in Westchester County, N.Y., at the Seafair mansion in Newport, R.I., and to unionists in Milwaukee on Labor Day.

Mr. Obama’s purpose in these three similar speeches was to leave his audiences with one thought, one takeaway. The following two quotations are from the speech at Seafair, where some 60 people paid up to $32,400 to hear the president talk about the world. Herewith a pop quiz for readers who couldn’t be there: Who did President Obama identify as the greatest threat to mankind?

“Internationally, we’re going through a tumultuous time. And I don’t have to tell you, anybody who has been watching TV this summer, it seems like it is just wave after wave of upheaval, most of it surrounding the Middle East. You’re seeing a change in the order in the Middle East. But the old order is having a tough time holding together and the new order has yet to be born, and in the interim, it’s scary.”

Now this:

“The reason government does not work right now is because the other party has been captured by an ideological, rigid, uncompromising core that ignores science, is not particularly interested in facts, is not particularly interested in compromise, but is interested in having its own way 100 percent of the time—and that way, in large part, includes dismantling so much of what has created this incredible middle class and this incredible wealth here in America.”

As is his habit, Mr. Obama answered the question himself: “So the answer to our challenges is actually pretty simple—we need a better Congress.” That’s right, the greatest threats to America today are . . . Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Looking at events the past five years, we’d say Mr. Obama has cut Vladimir Putin more slack than he has the Speaker of the House.

OJ Simpson Converting to Islam:Lori Lowenthal Marcus

O.J. Simpson may find Islam appealing as it apparently forgives all prior sins for those who convert. Simpson will remain in prison for many years.

It is not hard to imagine why a religion that promises to forgive all previous sins upon conversion would be attractive to someone sitting in a prison cell with no hope for release any time in the foreseeable future. And perhaps that is why former football great but convicted felon O.J. Simpson is converting to Islam.

Simpson has been imprisoned in Nevada for the past six years. He’s there because he was convicted of armed robbery of a Las Vegas hotel and casino during which sports memorabilia was taken from the Palace Station hotel. He received a 33-year sentence for the robbery and a kidnapping conviction.

The 67-year-old former darling of the sports and entertainment worlds lived a glamorous California life as a sportscaster and all-purpose celebrity. That ended abruptly when his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were found stabbed to death in 1994. Although acquitted of the murder charges by dint of an incredible stable of legal talent, a many Americans believed Simpson was guilty of the two murders.

Kerry’s Eulogy for Decapitated Journalist Gilded With Empty Claims: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Kerry’s eulogy for decapitated journalist was stirring, but his claim that the U.S. will always hold accountable those who murder U.S. citizens abroad is simply – tragically – not true.

By now most sentient beings are aware that ISIS – currently the world’s foremost bloodthirsty Islamist terrorist gang – has beheaded yet another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff. Cue Foggy Bottom, and right on time an eloquent eulogy for Sotloff is issued under Secretary of State John Kerry’s name. The prose in praise of Sotloff fairly sings:

Steven Sotloff’s reporting was as empathetic as his killers are evil. He focused on the stories of average people trapped in war, and documented their day-in and day-out struggle for dignity. Like Martha Gellhorn, he chronicled humanity in the face of inhumanity, and he told the story of enormous generational events as if they were happening to someone you knew from your own life.

And the condemnation of the evil warmongers is unsparing: Sotloff was “taken from us in an act of medieval savagery by a coward hiding behind a mask.” Not only that, but the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL) members practice “unfathomable brutality”and are “terrorist murderers.”

Who could disagree?

But then Kerry, or one or several of his writers had to muck it all up. They had to veer off from eloquent eulogies and deserved denunciations onto a path of self-congratulatory braggadocio, of no-Americans-left-behind posturing that is tragically false.

Kerry could not pass up the opportunity to make the ludicrous claim that the United States did everything in its power to try and bring home Sotloff and also James Foley. Foley, of course, was also brutally decapitated by ISIS and the video of that murder, using sophisticated techniques and equipment, was shared with the world just last week.

In his Sept. 3 statement, Kerry claimed both that the U.S. did everything in its power to save the lives of kidnapped Americans, and that it will hold accountable every barbarian who has murdered Americans abroad, no matter how long it takes.

The U.S. Government has used every military, diplomatic, and intelligence tool we have, and we always will. Our special operations forces bravely risked a military operation to save these lives, and we’ve reached out diplomatically to everyone and anyone who might be able to help. That effort continues, and our prayers remain – as they always are – with the families of all hostages who remain trapped in Syria today. Barbarity, sadly, isn’t new to our world. Neither is evil. We’ve taken the fight to it before, and we’re taking the fight to it today. When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took. And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.

Another Beheading: Can Jon Stewart Change the Channel? Evacuate to where, Israel? Jack Engelhard

Must be great living in a place where you can simply tune out when something comes along that makes you cringe. We should all be so lucky.

Precisely, we should all be as lucky as Jon Stewart who feels that he’s taken enough backtalk as the result of his anti-Israel slant on his Daily Show.

The criticism keeps on coming. Stewart does not find it funny.

At the height of the recent Gaza war, Stewart chided Israel for its so-called disproportionate response to ceaseless rocket-fire from Hamas.

Israel routinely advised Gaza civilians ahead of time to seek shelter from incoming retaliation. Stewart felt that Israel’s gesture was insufficient. “Evacuate to where?” he quipped. I added my own critique of Stewart in a July 17 column along these pages titled “Want Proportionality? Give Israel 22 Countries.”

Moreover, I did not know what Stewart did last summer.

He was busy making a movie. I learned this just today from reading the Hollywood Reporter. I will skip that part since Stewart needs no help from me to promote that flick. However, during a wide-ranging interview with the Reporter, Stewart (originally named Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) touched on his Jewishness, or lack of it, leading to this response about his critics as follows:

“If there is something constructive in what they’re saying, hopefully I’m still open enough … to take it in and let it further inform my position. But I’m pretty impermeable to yelling. As soon as they go to, ‘Your real name is Leibowitz!’ that’s when I change the channel.”


Moderate Islam is Our New Religion

I have been searching for moderate Islam since September 11 and just like a lost sock in the dryer, it was in the last place I expected it to be.

There is no moderate Islam in the mosques or in Mecca. You won’t find it in the Koran or the Hadiths. If you want to find moderate Islam, browse the newspaper editorials after a terrorist attack or take a course on Islamic religion taught by a Unitarian Sociologist wearing fake native jewelry.

You can’t find a moderate Islam in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but you can find it in countless network news specials, articles and books about the two homelands of their respective brands of Islam.

You won’t find the fabled land of moderate Muslims in the east. You won’t even find it in the west. Like all myths it exists in the imagination of those who tell the stories. You won’t find a moderate Islam in the Koran, but you will find it in countless Western books about Islam.

Moderate Islam isn’t what most Muslims believe. It’s what most liberals believe that Muslims believe.

The new multicultural theology of the West is moderate Islam. Moderate Islam is the perfect religion for a secular age since it isn’t a religion at all.

Take Islam, turn it inside out and you have moderate Islam. Take a Muslim who hasn’t been inside a mosque in a year, who can name the entire starting lineup of the San Diego Chargers, but can’t name Mohammed’s companions and you have a moderate Muslim. Or more accurately, a secular Muslim.


My son is a senior at a relatively small Catholic school. He is on the tennis team that rents courts at one of the three middle schools of a large public school district. Our private school lacks funding for such things as courts, football field, etc. The tennis complex we use has eight excellent courts and I noted at the first match last week that the fencing around them was freshly painted. This school district recently constructed a beautiful new high school. It has two basketball annexes, with four courts each, running track and exercise rooms. These annexes are in addition to the schools’ regular athletic facilities. No expense (actually debt at $122 million) is too much for our common core kidlets. The citizens of this district (my family included) really exemplify the civil society our Founders foresaw. While living our lives none of my peers have any awareness that America, Europe, Japan etc. are insolvent. We are still painting our tennis court fences every year like we have unlimited digital currency.

Through little fault of our own we have been encouraged to live way beyond our means, and we have obliged. 70 percent of GDP is consumer spending and political and financial leaders (sic) have cheered us on. Whether spending our own funds or the government-dependent groups spending collectivist bucks, we have made these leaders very happy. But this party is coming to an end.

While the popular- themed Federal Deficit amount is an “astounding” $17 trillion, this isn’t even close. Including all of the unfunded obligations, the true amount of debt is more than $100 trillion. Every so often a figure close to this wanders into the MSM and is quickly surrounded and attacked, like a bacteria. Usually two points are made to remove the scare from $100 trillion. First, this amount will be needed over many decades, so no problem. Secondly, we owe it to ourselves. Nothing to see here, just keep driving to the mall.

“I Have Measured Out My Life With Coffee Spoons” By Marilyn Penn

In all likelihood, T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock” is no longer part of the canon of English Literature, if one still exists. So the title quote may not resonate with people under 40, but it seems poetically accurate as to where our society is drifting and to which minutiae we are giving our judicial attention.

Two news items today fall into the category of small issues, affecting a tiny percentile of our population which have gained national attention and the court’s valuable time. The first concerns the rights of prisoners to sport beards for religious reasons, despite the strictures of penal institutions that the possibility of hiding razors and other sharp objects in beards poses security concerns. Nevertheless, the case of Gregory Holt, an Arkansas inmate aka Abdul Maalik Muhammad has now come all the way to the Supreme Court. Mr. Holt/Muhammad is serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery, an innocuous term for slitting his ex-girlfriend’s throat and stabbing her repeatedly in the chest. The real question that the court should address is whether after attempted murder, one deserves the right to ask the state to worry about one’s religious rights. Should the state be involved in offering religious succor to people who made every effort to kill?

The second case involves a 16 year old “gender-nonconforming” boy who insists on the right to wear full makeup for his driver’s license photo. The South Carolina Dept of Motor Vehicles stipulates that makeup on a boy is a form of disguise and that it has a formal policy regarding requirements for the license photo. The mother of the boy is suing the DMV for gender discrimination. Should a minor be allowed to determine that he is a different gender than his biological one for the purpose of official documents? Shouldn’t that be subject to the attainment of adult status? More significantly, should we be encouraging young people to insist that society/government bend to every phase they go through and every idiosyncratic feature they possess or should we be stressing that for bureaucratic simplicity, people follow the simplest norm and reserve their individuality for their personal lives. This is not about sitting in the back of the bus or not being allowed into school – it’s about conforming to the rules of the state at least until you’re an adult. It’s common for young people who claim to be transgender to change their minds during and after adolescence so why not agree that decisions affecting legal documents be postponed until adulthood.


The only difference between acts of barbarianism shown by Islamic extremists today and those exhibited by German and Japanese soldiers seventy-five years ago is that today we see them in real time. What the Germans did to the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s was every bit as barbaric as what ISIS is doing to Jews, Muslims and Christians today. At Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Treblinka, and at least 65 other concentration camps in Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Croatia and Ukraine Germans cold-bloodedly murdered between six million and seven million Jews, Roma and the mentally and physically disabled. They gassed them, shot them and dashed the brains out of small children. In the French town of Oradur-sur-Glane, German soldiers locked all the women and children in a barn and then set it afire.

While the videos of the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff incense us (as they should), Japanese soldiers regularly decapitated prisoners. In February 1942, on the Indonesian Island of Ambon, Japanese soldiers randomly selected Dutch and Australian prisoners and executed them via beheadings and bayoneting. In December 1944, on Palawan Island in the Philippines, Japanese guards, wrongly assuming the Allies had arrived, drove their American prisoners into makeshift air raid shelters where they burned them alive. Examples of such cruelties are legion. But reading about such atrocities is not the same as watching them.

Yet today, 69 years after surrendering unconditionally, Japan and Germany are among our strongest allies, with free, democratic governments. From the ashes of that War, they have sprung, Phoenix-like, to become the third and fourth largest economies in the world. But, would that have happened if the United States had not militarily occupied their countries for decades, providing protection and defense, allowing them to concentrate on rebuilding? We still have 50,000 troops in Japan and 40,000 in Germany. Would those countries have achieved that success if the United States had not been instrumental in helping them design new constitutions and governments? Would that have happened had any country, other than the United States, been the conqueror? Has any other country in history been so generous to others with its purse and with the blood of its youth? Can any German or Japanese living today argue that the United States is not a force for good? While no one can hide from the horrors of World War II, no one can deny the success of the peace that followed.


Harry S. Truman

In this radio address to the American people after the signing of the terms of Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, Truman praises the sacrifice made by so many American soldiers as well the dedication to the war effort by Americans on the home front. The President credits the Spirit of Liberty, the freedom of the individual, and the personal dignity of man as the forces which led to victory but also warns the difficult peace that lay ahead.

The thoughts and hopes of all America—indeed of all the civilized world—are centered tonight on the battleship Missouri. There on that small piece of American soil anchored in Tokyo Harbor the Japanese have just officially laid down their arms. They have signed terms of unconditional surrender.

Four years ago, the thoughts and fears of the whole civilized world were centered on another piece of American soil—Pearl Harbor. The mighty threat to civilization which began there is now laid at rest. It was a long road to Tokyo—and a bloody one.

We shall not forget Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese militarists will not forget the U.S.S. Missouri.

The evil done by the Japanese war lords can never be repaired or forgotten. But their power to destroy and kill has been taken from them. Their armies and what is left of their Navy are now impotent.

To all of us there comes first a sense of gratitude to Almighty God who sustained us and our Allies in the dark days of grave danger, who made us to grow from weakness into the strongest fighting force in history, and who has now seen us overcome the forces of tyranny that sought to destroy His civilization.

God grant that in our pride of the hour, we may not forget the hard tasks that are still before us; that we may approach these with the same courage, zeal, and patience with which we faced the trials and problems of the past four years.

Our first thoughts, of course—thoughts of gratefulness and deep obligation—go out to those of our loved ones who have been killed or maimed in this terrible war. On land and sea and in the air, American men and women have given their lives so that this day of ultimate victory might come and assure the survival of a civilized world. No victory can make good their loss.

We think of those whom death in this war has hurt, taking from them fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and sisters whom they loved. No victory can bring back the faces they longed to see.

Only the knowledge that the victory, which these sacrifices have made possible, will be wisely used, can give them any comfort. It is our responsibility—ours, the living—to see to it that this victory shall be a monument worthy of the dead who died to win it.



Simon and Garfunkel sang about “the sounds of silence,” that moment when you want to shriek in the face of conspicuous silence. Alas, we are experiencing this condition as the West intentionally reverses its gaze from the horrors committed in the name of Allah and cannot summon the voice to say “no.” We are reliving the late 1930’s – 1940’s when the world refused to acknowledge the bloodshed foisted by every step of jack-booted Nazis.

The cover story of an American journalist beheaded by an ISIS adherents prompts an automatic response. I observed a middle aged man looking at the photos of the assassination shaking his head and saying to no one in particular “this makes me sick.” It makes me sick as well.

I am filled with rage over the death of a man I do not know. What I do know is that he is an American and I know, as well, that we in this nation once defended Americans.

In Africa, Boko Haram kills with impunity. ISIS sports the heads of victims like bowling balls. This is a part of the world gone mad. Or perhaps we are mad for being silent over these monstrous acts. There is a naïve but pervasive belief among Americans that most people are like us, what I call “mirror imaging.” However, it should be patently evident that is not true. We value life; they, the purveyors of destruction, value death. We believe in rational judgment; they accept only mystical dogma.

An Arab women burned to disfigurement after an Israeli attack in Gaza sought assistance in a Israeli hospital that specializes in skin grafts. For hours Jewish doctors worked to restore her skin never asking or even thinking that she was an enemy combatant. Several days after her release she returned to the hospital. This time wearing a belt of explosives designed to destroy the very same hospital and doctors that virtually saved her life.

What does this incident convey? There isn’t any gesture of gratitude; there isn’t the slightest sense of humanity on the part of this Arab woman. In fact, we in the West find ourselves baffled by the level of intolerance and hatred. We don’t get it!