Buttigieg wants to be President of the US but can’t even run South Bend, Indiana!

US Political News and Analysis     

Pete Buttigieg and ‘Virtuous Capitalism’

I Redacted from an article by James Freeman

Wall Street Journal Feb. 12, 2020

  Mayor Pete Is the Man to Beat

So why don’t his rivals press him on the specifics of his record in South Bend?

II Redacted from an article By William McGurn

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“Even as Pete Buttigieg savors a second-place finish just shy of a win in New Hampshire’s presidential primary, the road ahead looks much more challenging,” reports the Journal’s John McCormick. Voters may be wondering if the former mayor’s economic policy would be even more challenging for America than it’s been for South Bend, Indiana

Rounding out the eight-year Buttigieg era of mediocrity, the South Bend area posted a higher unemployment rate in December than other Indiana locales including Elkhart, Evansville, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

Mr. Buttigieg’s presidential agenda could be even less conducive to job growth than the policies he pursued as mayor. 

…Twenty years ago, the young Peter Buttigieg won a prize for an essay lauding America’s most famous Marxist. Wrote Mr. Buttigieg:

Americans who treasure their lives and their liberty can only hope that communism will remain a dirty word. Freedom-loving voters have noticed that even as a relative moderate in the current Democratic field, Mr. Buttigieg is backing multi-trillion-dollar tax increases, the creation of a new government-run health plan, the end of the Electoral College and a restructuring of the Supreme Court among other “progressive” changes.

But perhaps he’s not willing to go full Bernie. Those hoping that Mr. Buttigieg no longer admires unapologetic declarations of socialism may be comforted by a 2005 piece he co-authored for the center-left Truman National Security Project. The future Mayor Buttigieg co-wrote a call for a regulated economy, not an open economy. But at least he acknowledged that some sort of market should exist:

We believe that a free and fair market is the best system for creating and distributing wealth—and that our economy functions best when its members create wealth virtuously and conscientiously. Profits and principles are not mutually exclusive. And prosperity does not require exploiting workers, deceiving the public, or eroding resources. 

 Democrats understand that injustice will undermine growth, and think our society works best when opportunity can be actualized and resentment is dissolved in hope. Thus, we support discrete policies such as labor rights and workers’ protections out of our belief in the value of mutual responsibility to our fellow Americans.

II  Mayor Pete Is the Man to Beat

So why don’t his rivals press him on the specifics of his record in South Bend?

Redacted from an article By William McGurn

Wall Street Journal Feb 11, 2020

Opinion: Mayor Pete’s South Bend Record Catches Up With Him

As Pete Buttigieg’s popularity has increased in the Democratic primaries, so too have the number of attacks on his record as mayor of South Bend.

After Pete Buttigieg’s surprise win in Iowa, you’d think his rivals would be searching for his weak spot. The irony is that it’s right out in the open where it’s always been: his record as mayor of South Bend, Ind.

Mr. Buttigieg faced few hard questions about it until Friday night. That’s when ABC correspondent and Democratic debate moderator Linsey Davis refused to let him wiggle out of answering why, under his mayorship, “a black resident in South Bend was four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white resident.”

Mr. Buttigieg first tried to evade the question by saying the “overall rate” of marijuana arrests for South Bend was lower than the national rate. But Ms. Davis’s point was the racial disparity, and she stuck to it. In the end, the Buttigieg campaign issued a “fact sheet” that didn’t deny the disparity but cited other numbers to say marijuana and drug possession arrest rates were lower in South Bend than the average for Indiana.

The telling thing about the encounter was not the particular statistic. The telling thing was the deer-in-the-headlights look on Mr. Buttigieg’s face provoked by a simple factual question about what happened while he was mayor.

It seems to be a pattern, with Mr. Buttigieg, that he’s unable to give clear answers to specific questions, especially those regarding South Bend’s black community. For example:

  • “I couldn’t get it done.” This was Mr. Buttigieg’s response when asked why the percentage of African-Americans on the police force fell to 6% from 11% during his mayorship. The population of South Bend is 26% black.
  • “I was slow to realize” that schools in South Bend were segregated, he told an audience in North Carolina in December. A former Rhodes Scholar who lectures America about “structural racism” was shocked, shocked to find that schools in his own city were not happily integrated.
  • Earlier that Saturday, Joe Biden took his own swing at Mr. Buttigieg. The former vice president’s campaign released an ad comparing Mr. Biden’s record of accomplishment with Mayor Pete’s.

Plainly the idea was to lay out a Biden record of big achievements (or appropriate the Obama one) against a Buttigieg list of small ones. Thus the Affordable Care Act was paired against river lighting for South Bend’s bridges, the Iran Nuclear Deal against municipal regulations making it easier to use computer chips to track pets, the rescue of the U.S. auto industry against the upgrading of South Bend’s downtown sidewalks.

One Democrat in a position to launch an effective attack on Mayor Pete’s record is Michael Bloomberg. When Mr. Bloomberg was sworn in as mayor in 2002, New York was reeling from the deadliest foreign attack on American soil in history. During his 12 years in office, he proved one of New York’s most consequential mayors, taking on the failing educational bureaucracy, turning a $4.7 billion deficit into a $2.4 billion surplus, bringing crime to lows once thought impossible, returning his city to prosperity.

A Bloomberg vs. Buttigieg matchup over mayoral leadership would be illuminating. Unfortunately, by apologizing for the NYPD’s use of stop, question and frisk, which helped drive violent crime to record lows, Mr. Bloomberg has probably neutered himself on the argument. If so, Mr. Bloomberg has effectively given his rival Mr. Buttigieg a pass on his greatest vulnerability: the surge in violent crime in his city.

Going into Tuesday, Bernie Sanders remains the favorite to win New Hampshire. But Pete Buttigieg’s post-Iowa mojo makes him the man to beat. So where’s the Democrat who will put the obvious to Mr. Buttigieg: “Are you really telling us the model for America is South Bend?” (Huh?)

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Summary of the Attempted Trump Impeachment

Political News and Analysis  

Lamar Alexander’s Finest Hour

By The Wall Street Editorial Board

Feb. 2, 2020 4:50 pm ET

Senate Republicans are taking even more media abuse than usual after voting to bar witnesses from the impeachment trial of President Trump. “Cringing abdication” and “a dishonorable Senate” are two examples of the sputtering progressive rage. On the contrary, we think it was Lamar Alexander’s finest hour.

The Tennessee Republican, who isn’t running for re-election this year, was a decisive vote in the narrowly divided Senate on calling witnesses. He listened to the evidence and arguments from both sides, and then he offered his sensible judgment: Even if Mr. Trump did what House managers charge, it still isn’t enough to remove a President from office.

“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation,” Mr. Alexander said in a statement Thursday night. “But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.”

The House managers had proved their case to his satisfaction even without new witnesses, Mr. Alexander added, but “they do not meet the Constitution’s ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ standard for an impeachable offense.” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse told reporters “let me be clear: Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us.”

This isn’t an abdication. It’s a wise judgment based on what Mr. Trump did and the rushed, partisan nature of the House impeachment. Mr. Trump was wrong to ask Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, and wrong to use U.S. aid as leverage. His call with Ukraine’s President was far from “perfect.” It was reckless and self-destructive, as Mr. Trump often is.

Nearly all of his advisers and several Senators opposed his actions, Senators like Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson lobbied Mr. Trump hard against the aid delay, and in the end the aid was delivered within the fiscal year and Ukraine did not begin an investigation. Even the House managers did not allege specific crimes in their impeachment articles. For those who want the best overall account of what happened, we again recommend the Nov. 18 letter that Mr. Johnson wrote to House Republicans.

Mr. Alexander’s statement made two other crucial points. The first concerns the damage that partisan removal of Mr. Trump would do to the country. “The framers believed that there should never, ever be a partisan impeachment. That is why the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction. 

Yet not one House Republican voted for these articles,” Mr. Alexander noted. “If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist. It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party.”

Does anyone who isn’t a Resistance partisan doubt this? Democrats and the press talk as if removing Mr. Trump is a matter of constitutional routine that would restore American politics to some pre-2016 normalcy. That’s a dangerous illusion.

Democrats and their allies in the media have spent three years trying to nullify the election their candidate lost in 2016. They have hawked false Russian conspiracy theories, ignored abuse by the FBI, floated fantasies about triggering the 25th Amendment, and tried to turn bad presidential judgment toward Ukraine into an impeachable offense. Yet Mr. Trump’s job approval rating has increased during the impeachment hearings and trial.

Our friendly advice to Democrats and the impeachment press is to accept that you lost fair and square in 2016 and focus on nominating a better Democratic candidate this year. On the recent polling evidence, that task is urgent. In the meantime, thank you, Lamar Alexander.

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Apropos of the current President Trump impeachment proceedings!

YES, I CAN

Book review by Mark Tapson  (MT)

January 20, 2020

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Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who rose to president of an NAACP chapter by pretending to be black. 

Jussie Smollett, the black actor who blamed a fake hate crime on MAGA hat-wearing white rednecks. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who parlayed a false claim of Native American heritage into acceptance at Harvard Law School.  

These are just a few of the most controversial recent examples of Democrats attempting to dupe the public in order to further their careers and/or their radical agendas.

That’s the theme of the new book, Yes I Con: United Fakes of America by FrontPage Mag contributor Lloyd Billingsley, author of Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced the American Film Industry in the 1930s and 1940sBill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield, and more. 

In Yes I Con, Billingsley presents several exhibits of evidence of the left’s habitual fraudulence and self-deception, including Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Barack Hussein Obama, Somali-born Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and stolen valor perpetrator Sen. Richard Blumenthal, purported gay rights icon Harvey Milk and the aforementioned Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren, and more. He also indicts the left-leaning media’s complicity in covering up or turning a blind eye to these duplicities.

I asked Billingsley some questions about his new short book for FrontPage Mag.

Mark Tapson: Lloyd, you open with a quote from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire about the conscience going silent in the “middle state between self-illusion and voluntary fraud.” Do you think the leftist deception you recount in the book stems more from self-delusion, outright fraud, or a combination? In other words, have leftists simply normalized and justified their deceit in their own minds?

Lloyd Billingsley: It’s a combination and a process. Self-delusion can remain a personal problem until the person deploys it to deceive others. That requires the deluded party to silence the conscience in the progression to outright fraud. 

For example, no harm if Elizabeth Warren fancies herself a Cherokee, but it takes some doing to make that claim the basis of a career, more so to maintain it after the fraud has been exposed beyond any doubt. That’s what Gibbon was on about.

MT: The foreword to your book is titled, “The Syndrome Beyond Satire.” What is the syndrome beyond satire?

LB: It’s all about subjunctive mood, which used to give me trouble until a French professor nailed it as the sense of irréalité. Under today’s dictatorship of the subjunctive mood, unreality prevails. 

Examples: The world will end in twelve years, Green New Dealers warn. Hillary Clinton proclaims Army veteran Tulsi Gabbard a “Russian asset.” MAGA-hatted rednecks attempt to lynch Jussie Smollett in Chicago. And so on. It’s all “unreal,” as we used to say in the sixties.

LB: Milk was something of a ne’re-do-well who managed to get elected in San Francisco. He’s billed as the first “openly gay” candidate but never outed as the pederast (A man who has sexual relations, especially anal intercourse, with a boy.) he definitely was. 

MT: One of your chapters addresses murdered – some would say “martyred” – San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, who has been lionized by the left and immortalized on film as a gay rights champion. What’s the truth about Milk?

Milk was not, as he claimed, kicked out of the Navy for being gay. His murder was all about [fellow SF supervisor] Dan White trying to get his job back, as Dianne Feinstein said at the time, and had nothing to do with homosexuality. To say the least, his martyr status is much in doubt.

MT: One of the lesser-known figures you cover is San Diego congressional candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar, whose Palestinian grandfather was one of the terrorists who killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Can you elaborate a little on what he might be concealing?

LB: After the Israelis took out his grandfather, Ammar’s father was on the run across the Middle East, so Ammar could be concealing any role his father played with the Black September terrorists. 

Campa-Najjar claims his father wanted to come to the United States and that the USA “wanted him” as an immigrant. It remains uncertain if Ammar’s father ever came to the United States, but he is an official with the Palestinian Authority, and boastful of his father’s role in the Munich massacre. If Ammar has any documentation for these moves he might be hiding it.

Ammar says he moved from San Diego back to Gaza, then back to San Diego again. Ammar compares the 9/11 attacks with the vandalization of his Islamic school in San Diego. 

In 2012 he gets a job with the Obama administration!, then in 2018 he runs against a vulnerable Republican. All very convenient, and mysterious.

MT: Much of the book focuses on Barack Obama. Why do you describe his purported autobiography, Dreams From My Father, as “historical fiction”?  

LB: I’m quoting the ex-president’s official biographer, David Garrow, the Pulitzer Prize-winner who in the 2017 book Rising Star: The Making of Barack 

Obama proclaimed the Dreams book a novel and the author a “composite character.” In Yes I Con, I cite reasons why even the casual reader back in 1995 would see it that way. 

The fictions jump right off the page and Garrow cites reporters who say the composite character’s story is “not entirely true” and something he and [former Obama advisor] David Axelrod cooked up. 

As we know, the composite character became president of the United States! — a development of some importance.

MT: What is the left-leaning news media’s role and responsibility in all this “self-illusion and voluntary fraud,” from Franklin Delano Roosevelt all the way through Elizabeth Warren?

LB: FDR demanded that reporters take no photographs of him in a wheelchair and the reporters obeyed. The White House laid down the rules and reporters essentially protected the president. 

It took nearly half a century for the “splendid deception” story to emerge in any detail. This is a case of what Julien Benda called la trahison de clercs, or as Roger Kimball puts it, the treason of the intellectuals.

In similar style, the establishment media, “presidential historians” and such accepted Dreams From My Father as authentic autobiography and attacked skeptics as “birthers,” racists and so forth. 

This continues after David Garrow proclaimed the Dreams book a novel, the author a composite character. As Saul Bellow said, a great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.

The establishment media failed to challenge Campa-Najjar’s unbelievable story but did better exposing Warren’s false claims and Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s fakery about serving in Vietnam. 

On the other hand, neither resigned from the Senate and Warren seeks the presidency of the United States. The dictatorship of subjunctive mood is bad news for those committed to facts, truth and reality. The cons, fakes and frauds never have to say they’re sorry.

Mark Tapson is the Shillman Fellow on Popular Culture for the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

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President Trump announces Israeli/Palestinian Peace Plan of Jan. 28, 2020

A heart-warming ceremony with team Trump and team Netanyahu

(See video below)

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Condensed Summation of Plan

President Trump, unlike all previous US Presidents, fully recognized Israel’s need to have secure borders. His peace plan reflects that.

In the past he has moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Under the new peace plan, Jerusalem is formally declared the undivided capital of Israel.

The Palestinians will be given a capitol of their own in East Jerusalem

President Trump previously recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He now recognizes Israel’s  sovereignty over all the small and large Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.

He also recognizes Israel right to control the Jordan Valley.

The plan does not allow the removal of any people, Israeli or Arab, from their established homes.

The status of the Temple Mount shall remain the same with Jordan having control of the area but all peoples given the right to visit the holy sites.

President made a major commitment to securing Israel’s security with his abrogation of the Obama Nuclear Deal with Iran followed by additional economic sanctions on Iran to bring it to the peace table and stop its military nuclear ambitions.

President Trump announced his plan to set aside land for the Palestinians to have a state of their own promising intense economic development to create one million jobs, reduce the great poverty level and develop self-sufficiency where huge donations from other nations would no longer  be necessary. 

The US and Arab nations of the area are to contribute 50 billion dollars to this development, if the Palestinians agree to the peace plan.

There is to be a four year grace period wherein no further territorial changes are made thus giving the Palestinians time to demonstrate their desire to allow the development of the peace plan.

In the meantime, the Palestinians are to take action against the terrorist warfare of Hamas on the Gaza border and Islamic Jihad throughout the area.  

There is to be no Palestinian compensation to Islamic terrorists within Israeli jails or anywhere else.

President Trump announced the acceptance by many Arab nations for the plan. Present at the ceremony were representatives from Oman and Bahrain. It is also believed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are supportive of the peace plan.

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke after President Trump and called him the best US President the Israelis had ever had. Yes, there had been many previous presidential gestures of support but most often ended as empty verbal rhetoric. 

In President Trump  Israel had a genuine friend who took direct action to guarantee Israel’s security. He specifically thanked him for ending US participation in the Obama Iran nuclear plan that PM Netanyahu had vehemently warned against while addressing the US Congress, March 3, 2015.

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And Congress Shall Be King — According to Pelosi/Nadler/Schiff

Political News and Analysis 

The House claims it, and only it, can define executive privilege.

By The Editorial Board – Wall Street Journal, Jan. 24, 2020

Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler on Thursday summed up the case for ousting President Trump this way: “Simply stated, impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a king.” 

Which brings us to the case Democrats made Friday for their second article of impeachment charging “obstruction of Congress.” This would make Congress a king. He cited executive privilege to direct nine “vital” Administration officials not to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry.

“President Trump thus interposed the powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, and assumed to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the ‘sole Power of Impeachment’ vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives,” the House declares in its impeachment resolution.

Shorter version: The House has the unilateral power to define executive privilege, and a President has no constitutional authority to resist. If he does resist, the House can throw him out of office.

This is contrary to the design and intention of the Constitution’s separation of powers, which establishes three co-equal branches. It is contrary to any previous understanding of Congressional subpoena power and the ability of a President to protect his power to deliberate with advisers. And it is contrary to Supreme Court precedents on the tension between Congress and the executive.

Start with U.S. v. Nixon, which Democrats like to cite as their main justification for impeaching this President. In that case the Supreme Court rejected President Nixon’s sweeping claims of privilege and ordered that the White House tapes be delivered to Congress. Nixon then resigned.

But the Court also said explicitly in that case that a narrower claim of privilege might well be justified. The unanimous opinion said that a “President and those who assist him must be free to explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately. These are the considerations justifying a presumptive privilege for Presidential communications.”

As a letter from 21 GOP state attorneys general to the Senate this week adds, the Nixon Court also noted that communications involving “military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets” might be entitled to even more protection from Congressional or public exposure.

The communications Mr. Trump is trying to protect relate to Ukraine, which is precisely in this more protected category of military aid, diplomacy and national security.

The proper path for the House would have been to seek documents, and the testimony of individuals, by challenging Mr. Trump’s privilege claims in court. That’s what the House did in the Nixon case, and it won. That’s also what independent counsel Ken Starr did in the Bill Clinton case, and he won.

The House might well have won some of its claims in this case too, especially for lower-level aides who might not have interacted closely with Mr. Trump. If Mr. Trump had then resisted a court order—something he hasn’t done as President—the House would have had adequate grounds to impeach.

On the other hand, the House probably would have lost an attempt to call John Bolton, the former national security adviser, or Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. That may be why the House never formally sought their testimony, and why it withdrew its subpoena to call Mr. Bolton’s deputy. None of those names appear on the list of nine officials in the House’s second impeachment article.

Instead, the House asserted that it alone can determine what is privileged and what isn’t. And now Democrats are demanding that the Senate call Mr. Bolton as a trial witness when the House refused to do it. But Mr. Trump’s privilege claims don’t vanish simply because the House has impeached him.

We recount all this because impeachments set precedents even when they result in Senate acquittal, as this one likely will. If the Democratic House prevails in its claim of unilateral power to define executive privilege, then that privilege is essentially dead. Any President who invokes it will risk impeachment, especially Presidents who are down in the polls or loathed by the opposition party.

The President becomes a vassal of king Congress. This is another reason for the Senate to repudiate this House impeachment as its own abuse of power.

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“This is CNN”

Hysterical, obsessive, self-important and biased.

Redacted from a informative detailed article by Charles C.W.  Cooke 

National Review, December 31, 2019

As a child, I was aware of CNN in part because its introductory bumper featured the sinister voice of Darth Vader, and in part because it was both the prototype and the stereotype of the 24-hour news channel. CNN showed up in movies, either as itself or in parodies that imitated its role. It was on in the airports and the hospitals and the hotel lobbies, and in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. When something bad or exciting was happening, you would tell your friends, “Turn on CNN.” 

CNN was careful and self-consciously nonpartisan—or, at least, it was keen for viewers to believe that it was. 

Its slogans were “This is CNN”—well, yes—and “The most trusted name in news,” and it cultivated its position within the firmament in much the same way as does Wikipedia today. It could be sensationalist and intrusive at times, but it was sensationalist and intrusive in the way that the paparazzo is rather than in the way that protesters who bang drums in your face and insist that you give up gasoline. 

It is difficult to convey in words just what the candidacy and then presidency of Donald Trump have done to CNN, but one can organization that has largely maintained its sanity: the New York Times. 

In short, it was what it said it was: a news network. It is no longer that. These days, CNN is a peculiar and unlovely hybrid of progressive propaganda outlet, oleaginous media  apologist, sexless cultural scold, and frenzied Donald Trump  stalker blog. When news breaks, it is no longer useful or appropriate to tell someone, “Turn on CNN,” because if he did, he  would be as likely. to be presented with a wall of advocacy and obsession as with the headlines of the hour.

The first column of CNN’s homepage, by contrast, featured—in order: “77 lies and falsehoods Mueller called out”; “What’s in the try to defend the indefensible”; “Barr gave his version of the report. Then we read it”; “Democrats ramp up Trump financial probe, make new hire”; “Prosecutors seek to block Stone from seeing un-redacted portions of Mueller’s report”

To find some actual news—that there had been an uprising in Venezuela—one had to go all the way over to the third column. April 30 was twelve days after the release of the Mueller report. This has been typical of the network’s monomania. 

On August 14, the New York Times ran with the news that protesters had taken over Hong Kong’s airport; that Nicolas Maduro was torturing his foes in the Venezuelan military___sometimes to death; and that the White House was delaying its proposed tariffs on China. 

With the possible exception of the hallucinatory MSNBC, no other institution in American life spent more time and effort indulging the false idea that President Trump was quite obviously guilty of treason, collusion, and bribery, and insisting that the impending Mueller report would not only reveal this guilt, but would prompt Trump’s removal from office and, possibly, his arrest. 

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The Secrets of Jewish Genius

Political News Opinion and Analysis

The New York Times 

Dec. 27, 2019

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By Bret Stephens

Opinion Columnist

(First:  The New York Times Apology over having published Brett Stephens politically incorrect but unvarnished truth praising the amazing history of intellectual achievement by the Jewish people.  

Below is the  New York Times explanation of the part they left out, evidently for fear of alienating the Jew-haters and the scared shtetl Jew apologists of the world who prefer to hide in the woodwork for fear of increasing the century’s-old Jew-hatred, based on envy, that permeates their every environment.)

Jerome S. Kaufman    Jan. 13, 2020

www.israel-commentary.org

New York Times Editors:

An earlier version of this Bret Stephens column quoted statistics from a 2005 paper that advanced a genetic hypothesis for the basis of intelligence among Ashkenazi Jews.

After publication Mr. Stephens and his editors learned that one of the paper’s authors, who died in 2016, promoted racist views. Mr. Stephens was not endorsing the study or its authors’ views, but it was a mistake to cite it uncritically.

The effect was to leave an impression with many readers that Mr. Stephens was arguing that Jews are genetically superior. That was not his intent. He went on instead to argue that culture and history are crucial factors in Jewish achievements and that, as he put it, “At its best, the West can honor the principle of racial, religious and ethnic pluralism not as a grudging accommodation to strangers but as an affirmation of its own diverse identity. In that sense, what makes Jews special is that they aren’t. They are representational.” We have removed reference to the study from the column. 

(The New York Times thus used the usual cop-out to eliminate anything they did not want to hear or read. They called it “racist views” because it did not conform to bizarre globalist concepts which have never met the requirements of hard evidence and is, in itself, counter to our own best interests.) jsk

(Back to the courageous, politically incorrect Brett Stephens article)

Brett Stephens:

An eminent Lithuanian rabbi is annoyed that his yeshiva students devote their lunch breaks to playing soccer instead of discussing Torah. The students, intent on convincing their rav (rabbi) of the game’s beauty, invite him to watch a professional match. At halftime, they ask what he thinks.

“I have solved your problem,” the rabbi says. “How?” 

“Give one ball to each side, and they will have nothing to fight over.”

I have this (apocryphal) anecdote from Norman Lebrecht’s new book, “Genius & Anxiety,” an erudite and delightful study of the intellectual achievements and nerve-wracked lives of Jewish thinkers, artists, and entrepreneurs between 1847 and 1947.  Sarah Bernhardt and Franz Kafka; Albert Einstein and Rosalind Franklin; Benjamin Disraeli and (sigh) Karl Marx, etc, etc, etc

How is it that a people who never amounted even to one-third of 1 percent of the world’s population contributed so seminally to so many of its most pathbreaking ideas and innovations?

The common answer is that Jews are, or tend to be smart. But the “Jews are smart” explanation obscures more than it illuminates. Aside from perennial nature-or-nurture questions, there is the more difficult question of why that intelligence was so often matched by such bracing originality and high-minded purpose. 

One can apply a prodigious intellect in the service of prosaic things — formulating a war plan, for instance, or constructing a ship. One can also apply brilliance in the service of a mistake or a crime, like managing a planned economy or robbing a bank.

But as the story of the Lithuanian rabbi suggests, Jewish genius operates differently. It is prone to question the premise and rethink the concept; to ask why (or why not?) as often as how; to see the absurd in the mundane and the sublime in the absurd. Where Jews’ advantage more often lies is in thinking different.

Where do these habits of mind come from?

There is a religious tradition that, unlike some others, asks the believer not only to observe and obey but also to discuss and disagree. There is the never-quite-comfortable status of Jews in places where they are the minority — intimately familiar with the customs of the country while maintaining a critical distance from them. 

There is a moral belief, “incarnate in the Jewish people” according to Einstein, that “the life of the individual only has value [insofar] as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.”

And there is the understanding, born of repeated exile, that everything that seems solid and valuable is ultimately perishable, while everything that is intangible — knowledge most of all — is potentially everlasting.

“We had been well off, but that (having been) was all we got out,” the late financier Felix Rohatyn recalled of his narrow escape, with a few hidden gold coins, from the Nazis as a child in World War II. “Ever since, I’ve had the feeling that the only permanent wealth is what you carry around in your head.” If the greatest Jewish minds seem to have no walls, it may be because, for Jews, the walls have so often come tumbling down.

These explanations for Jewish brilliance aren’t necessarily definitive. Nor are they exclusive to the Jews.

At its best, the American university can still be a place of relentless intellectual challenge rather than ideological conformity and social groupthink

At its best, the United States can still be the country that respects, and sometimes rewards, all manner of heresies that outrage polite society and contradict established belief. 

At its best, the West can honor the principle of racial, religious and ethnic pluralism not as a grudging accommodation to strangers but as an affirmation of its own diverse identity. In that sense, what makes Jews special is that they aren’t. They are representational.

The West, however, is not at its best. It’s no surprise that Jew hatred has made a comeback, albeit under new guises. Anti-Zionism has taken the place of anti-Semitism as a political program directed against Jews. 

Globalists have taken the place of rootless cosmopolitans as the shadowy agents of economic iniquity. Jews have been murdered by white nationalists and black “Hebrews.” Hate crimes against Orthodox Jews have become an almost daily fact of life in New York City.

Jews of the late 19th century would have been familiar with the hatreds. Jews of the early 21st century should recognize where they could lead. What’s not secret about Jewish genius is that it’s a terribly fragile flower.

Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.

Composed by Jerome S. Kaufman

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Hostilities With Iran Began in ’79

Image result for Iran war image jpg free

Political News Opinion and Analysis

By establishing a credible deterrent, the killing of Soleimani should restrain Tehran’s aggression.

By Eric S. Edelman and Franklin C. Miller

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 9, 2020

The American media and political class worry that the U.S. is on the verge of war with Iran. It isn’t. The war has been under way for 40 years. 

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Largely using surrogates or proxy forces, Iran has killed hundreds of Americans by shooting down civilian planes, bombing U.S. embassies and military barracks, and supplying munitions for attacks on American soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere. 

With the exception of a brief naval engagement in April 1988, the U.S. responded to Iranian aggression by attacking surrogates rather than dealing with the source of the problem.

Now, with the killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Washington has sent Tehran an unambiguous message that it can no longer attack Americans with impunity. For the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the U.S. has taken important initial steps to establish a credible deterrent.

Deterrence is effective when an enemy is convinced that the cost of an action will outweigh the gains.

Until now the Iranian leadership has suffered no losses to its own valued assets as a result of killing Americans. Soleimani’s habit of taunting U.S. officials during his travels around the region was testimony to his belief that he could act against the U.S. without consequences. The ayatollahs had evidently concluded they had a free hand to harass American troops.

Soleimani’s death is the first time the regime has lost something it valued in its conflict with the U.S. The Trump administration was right to make clear that America will impose significant costs on the regime until its state-sponsored hostage-taking, murder and other forms of terrorism cease. 

There’s no need to threaten a ground war, or to respond rashly to Iran’s Tuesday attacks on U.S. military facilities in Iraq, which did minimal damage. The U.S. has the military capacity to inflict severe damage on Iran without an invasion.

Some say that attacks like the Soleimani strike will encourage Iran to hit soft targets in the American homeland. But that risk already exists. And if Tehran still believed Washington would respond to a deadly terrorist attack on American soil only with strikes against peripheral targets, then the risk of such an attack would probably increase.

The sole previous direct American response against Iranian state assets—the 1988 naval rout, in which the U.S. sank two Iranian ships and destroyed a Persian Gulf oil platform being used to harass Western shipping—caused Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to agree to a cessation of hostilities. 

Deterrence works, but only if the threats are credible.

Soleimani was a state actor, carrying out a national policy of terrorism to murder Americans. U.S. recognition that it has been and remains engaged in a war with Iran and its proxies is long overdue.

The Trump administration’s goal should be to make sure the regime and its surrogates understand that nothing good can come from attacking Americans, American facilities or our allies.

Mr. Edelman was undersecretary of defense for policy, 2005-09, and is counselor at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. 

Mr. Miller served as special assistant to the president and senior director for defense policy and arms control on the National Security Council staff, 2001-05, and is a principal of the Scowcroft Group.

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Jews in Poland?

As guest speaker at our synagogue last Shabbat, we had the rabbi of Krakow as representative of the chief rabbi of Poland. He is involved primarily in re-invigorating the Jewish presence there.  Below is a picture of one of the final homes of near 3 million Holocaust Polish Jews.

By Jerome S. Kaufman

Here is a redacted version of his inaugural speech Sep 26, 2013 upon assuming the position:

“My first reaction when hearing about the position was a typical Jewish North American one – “Why would anyone want to go back to that graveyard?”

I had been unaware of the strides taken both by the Jewish community of survivors and by the Polish government over the past several decades. I learned of the remarkable resurgence of Judaism in Poland in general and Krakow in particular. 

In Krakow the The Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland has maintained synagogues, services and Jewish connection to the past, while at the same time the new Jewish community center has re-invigorated Polish Jewish life, paving the way for a stronger Jewish future. Old and new are gathering daily and are re-introducing themselves to Judaism.

To be sure, the numbers are paltry compared to Polish Jewry’s glorious past – but considering the history of Poland’s Jews, any resurgence at all seems to me miraculous. 

As guest speaker at our synagogue last Shabbat, we had the rabbi of Krakow. He was the representative of the chief rabbi of Poland involved primarily in re-invigorating the Jewish presence there.

This change is taking place despite the fact that while the Nazis (with enthusiastic Polish support) eliminated 90 percent of the Polish Jewish population of 3 million Jews that had been there for 800 years. The remaining Jews were then subjected to Communism that lasted for 40 years beyond the Holocaust and strove to erase whatever Jewish consciousness remained.

Some Jews survived by assimilating, hiding their Jewish identities and never speaking of their Jewish roots.

In the past 20 years, thousands of Poles have been confronted with new information about their roots. Rabbi Michael Schudrich, who has been serving the Jewish community in Poland since 1992 and has been its chief rabbi since 2004, described just a few of the stories of revelation in a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) address. Jews came forward who had been given away to non-Jews and others came forward who had, for various reasons, not been aware of their Jewish identity.

A speech by then-president Aleksander Kwasniewski at Yad Vashem underscored the official position Poland has taken in recognizing its difficult past and attempting to build avenues for reconciliation and Jewish-Polish rapprochement: 

“Efforts are currently being made in Poland to preserve the material heritage of the vibrant world of Polish Jews for future generations, and to commemorate their history for the benefit of all visitors to our country. 

A Museum of the History of Polish Jews testifying to over 800 years of Jewish presence in Poland is being built with the support of public and private funding on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. We can rest assured that it will be a unique, world-class institution, a remarkable site of remembrance and meditation, like the memorial opened a year ago on the site of the former Nazi death camp at Belzec.”

Dialogue, better understanding and closer ties between Poles and Jews are bearing the desired fruit. Thanks to the multitude of projects involving Polish-Jewish history (such as the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow or the activities of the Shalom Foundation), we in Poland are now happy to witness a growing interest in Jewish culture, especially among the younger generation.

The rabbi then presented the re-assurances of previous and current Polish presidents and other Polish representatives that great efforts were being made to eradicate anti-semitism and encourage new Jewish institutions. Some have even gone to Israel, visited Auschwitz-Birkenau and develop a meaningful relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

Commentary: Jerome S. Kaufman

How grand! How very impressive and noble —even a museum built over the site of the infamous hell hole of the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were penned up like pigs waiting their turn to be slaughtered.

Maybe the Rabbi is not aware of what the Polish government has done in real time outside the glorious rhetoric and apparent achievements of both the Jewish community and the Polish government? What has followed since the rabbi’s initial optimism of just 6 years ago and the work he and his fellow rabbis have done trying to increase the Jewish presence and observance.

On February 2, 2018 Poland’s Senate approved a bill that makes it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust.

The bill was signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda, who had previously expressed his support. Violations were to be punished by a fine or a jail sentence of up to three years.

Five months later due to much opposition, the right-wing prime minister changed the law from a criminal offense to a civil offense.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the bill “baseless,” saying: “One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied.”

At least three million Polish Jews and 1.9 million non-Jewish citizens were killed during the Holocaust, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Apologists said, “The government is trying to present itself as a defender of Polish dignity,”  “It’s part of the government’s agenda to appeal to people, to present itself as a defender of the Polish nation.”

jsk Terrific! So where does that leave Polish Jews who are living examples refuting the veracity of the new declaration and insulting “Polish dignity? It leaves them once more as a despised minority and a source of Polish embarrassment. 

Also, maybe the rabbi did not see the Nov. 22, 2019 statistics?

In Poland, anti-Semitic attitudes were present in 48% of the population, up from 37% in 2015, when the last survey was conducted. 

IN EUROPE The Mindless Scourge of Anti-Semitism (Jew-Hatred) Continues Unabated 

Wall Street Journal (Nov. 22, 2019)

24.6% of  Europeans holds strongly anti-Semitic views, according to a poll by  a Jewish anti-hate organization. 

Among European Muslims in Western Europe, the incidence of such views was, on average, higher than the general population, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s study. 

jsk: Then why encourage further Jewish existence in Europe at all?  Should we not be extending our every effort to encourage Jews to prefer Israel? Should it be that hard?

Most authorities would say that Jews prefer to live in Poland and Germany rather than Israel because of economics. They are also aware of the daily terrorist incidences against Jews in Israel itself and the now frequent missile attacks that are becoming more and more accurate.

If we want to have any chance of changing this situation, it is up to Israel.  They must clean up their act. They must use the muscle that Hashem has given to them and punish their enemies severely so as to eliminate the terror and the missiles. 

Israel must also clear up all its domestic political problems. They must make housing affordable with more units and open the territories to Jewish development. They must make it possible to make a decent wage. 

When all this is addressed and corrected, European Jews will flock to Israel rather than remain in countries where mindless hatred increases exponentially despite the Jews’ usual effort to be compliant patriotic citizens. 

So, What else is new? How’s the family?

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