Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Why Jews should take Israel more seriously

Many American Jews seem to think that they will always be safe in America and that they therefore have no need of Israel. I hope they are right but I fear that they are wrong.

American tolerance and British tolerance are basically the same beast of the same ancestry so as one goes so should go the other in time. But the attitude to Jews in Britain is undoubtedly getting worse. If the dovish Shimon Peres can come out and accuse Britain of antisemitism, surely it is time to sit up and take notice.

The BBC's coverage of Israel is probably all you need to see that Peres got that one right but if any doubt remains see here and here and here and here and here

I know that there are counter-arguments to say that America does not always march in the same direction as Britain but I think that it mostly does eventually. The recent enactment of Obamacare despite the appalling example of Britain's "National Health Service" should give everyone pause for thought.

It is true that the enmity towards Israel and Jews generally emanates mainly from the British Left but, as in America, the Left are enormously influential regardless of whom the people elect to government. How? Because, as in America, the Left control the education system and the bureaucracy. Gramsci's long march is nearly complete.



Does anybody reading this know what "USSR" represents? I doubt that younger readers do, such is the state of modern education -- but no doubt some of my older readers recognize it as the name of the old Soviet Union -- centred on Russia.

But what does "USSR" actually stand for? Now we're getting tricky! I'm guessing that only a subset of those who know what the USSR was remember what the term "USSR" actually stood for. It stands for "The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics". And I won't embarrass anyone by asking what a "Soviet" was.

But now comes the really hard bit: Why did the USSR in fact always refer to itself as the "CCCP"?

Give up? It's because "CCCP" looks like it's in the Latin alphabet that we use but it is not. It is in the Cyrillic alphabet. St. Cyril adapted the Greek alphabet to represent the sounds of Slavic languages and Slavic countries use it to this day. So "CCCP" transliterated into the Latin alphabet would be "SSSR", which stands for the "Sodality of the Soviet Socialist Republics".

So now you have to be au fait with both "Soviet" and "Sodality" to be fully knowledgeable about the matter! If you want to be ...

Another way in which Cyrillic can be confusing has been noted by almost every recent visitor to Russia. They learn by experience to look out for a sign that says PECTOPAH. Why? Because the Cyrillic PECTOPAH is pronounced as "Restoran" (Restaurant)!

Update: The actual Russian word behind the first C in CCCP is "soyuz". Russian dictionaries give a variety of translations for it but I chose the rather obscure "sodality" in order to preserve both the meaning AND the initial letter sound.


Paycheck Fairness Act would mandate equal pay for unequal work

The Obama administration wants to force employers to pay some people equal amounts for doing unequal work, through a deceptive bill known as the Paycheck Fairness Act. “Male supermarket managers with college degrees couldn’t be paid more than female cashiers if the college degree for the manager wasn’t consistent with ‘business necessity,’” says economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth in a July 23 column in The Washington Examiner. The bill would also radically increase damage awards for what it labels as “discrimination.”

As I noted in a July 27 letter in response to her column,
Diana Furchtgott-Roth was right to criticize a bill that would require some people who do unequal work to be paid equal amounts. The perverse ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ is indeed a bad idea. But her column understated the case by suggesting that ‘now,’ an employer found guilty of discrimination is only required to pay ‘back pay,’ not ‘punitive damages.’ Actually, employers already have to pay not only back pay but also damages up to $300,000 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The so-called ‘Paycheck Fairness Act’ would eliminate the cap on punitive damages in gender-based pay discrimination cases, leaving the sky as the limit. Other provisions in this perverse bill could force employers to pay people who do nasty, dangerous, unpleasant jobs as little as those who do nice, pleasant ones, if the unpleasant jobs are performed mostly by members of one gender, and the pleasant ones mostly by the other gender. (Examiner, Pg. 20)

The supporters of the bill falsely claim it would simply treat gender-based pay discrimination the same as other pay-discrimination cases. Lazy journalists sometimes parrot this claim. But it is simply false, as I noted earlier.

The falsehoods may well succeed. In 2009, another bill known as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed Congress based on false claims about what the Supreme Court held in a pay discrimination case known as Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007). In signing the bill into law, Obama himself misstated the facts and holding of that Supreme Court decision, and broke a campaign promise dealing with transparency in the process.



America has moved beyond race, and the president should, too

By Victor Davis Hanson

Weren't we supposed to enter a new age of tolerance with the election of President Barack Obama? His half-black, half-white ancestry and broad support across racial lines suggested that at last Americans judged each other on the content of our characters — not the color of our skin or our tribal affiliations.

Instead, in just 18 months of the Obama administration, racial discord is growing and relations seem to have been set back a generation.

Black voters are galvanizing behind Obama at a time of rapidly falling support. White independents, in contrast, are leaving Obama in droves.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has claimed that the loosely organized Tea Party includes "racist elements." The National Council of La Raza has ripped the state of Arizona for its new anti-illegal alien legislation. Jesse Jackson characterized aspects of the multimillion-dollar bidding war to acquire basketball superstar LeBron James in terms of masters and slaves. Pundits are arguing whether the fringe racist New Black Panther Party is analogous to the Klan.

In turn, a number of Americans want to know why some national lobbying organizations still identify themselves by archaic tribal terms such as "colored people" or "La Raza" ("the race") when it would be taboo for other groups to adopt such racial nomenclature.

Indeed, race seems to be the subtext of almost every contemporary issue, from the soaring deficit and government spending to recent presidential appointments and the enforcement of existing immigration law. In times of growing deficits, white people are stereotyped as being angry over supposedly paying higher taxes to subsidize minorities, while minorities are stereotyped as being mostly on the receiving end of entitlements.

Why the escalation of racial tension in the supposed postracial age of Obama?

First, Obama's reputation as a racial healer was largely the creation of the media. In fact, Obama had a number of racially polarizing incidents that probably would have disqualified any other presidential candidate of the past 30 years.

His two-decade apprenticeship at Trinity Church under the racist and anti-Semitic Rev. Jeremiah Wright has never been adequately explained. Obama indulged in racial stereotyping himself when he wrote off the white lower-middle class of Pennsylvania as clueless zealots clinging to their guns, religion and xenophobia.

Obama also characterized his grandmother as a "typical white person" when he implied that her supposed fear of young black males symbolizes the prejudices of the entire white community. Michelle Obama did not help things when, in clumsy fashion, she indicted America as "just downright mean" — a nation she had not been proud of in her adult life until it embraced the hope and change represented by her husband's candidacy.

Recently, Obama appealed to voters along exclusionary race and gender lines — not traditional political allegiances — when he called upon "the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008."

Yet the country passed the old white/black divide years ago. In a world of conservative Cubans and liberal whites, race is no longer necessarily a guide to politics.

The more the president appeals to his base in racial terms, the more his appointees identify themselves as members of a particular tribe, and the more political issues are framed by racial divisions, so all the more such racial obsession creates a backlash among the racially diverse American people.

America has largely moved beyond race. Tragically, our president and a host of his supportive special interests have not.




If President Obama carries on like this, he will be a lame duck: "The president hasn’t grown into the job — all that’s needed to beat him is a serious Republican, says Simon Heffer in New York. Simon Heffer of the Daily Telegraph of England finds President Obama and his administration interested in their philosophical agenda at the expense of good governance. He writes: ‘This immediate proof of mismanagement adds to the cumulative feeling on so many other fronts that Mr. Obama and his team simply don’t understand governance.’”

Let them eat cake: "According to news reports, Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to investment banker Mark Mezvinsky on July 31 is costing papa Bill $3,000,000. According to the London Daily Mail, the total price tag will be about $5,000,000. The additional $2,000,000 apparently is being laid off on US Taxpayers as Secret Service costs for protecting former president Clinton and foreign heads of state …. let us wonder aloud where a poor boy who became governor of Arkansas and president of the United States got such a fortune that he can blow $3,000,000 on a wedding.”

Newsweak sold to old guy: "Sidney Harman, the 91-year-old founder of audio equipment maker Harman International Industries, has agreed to buy Newsweek. Newsweek has been struggling to find a profitable niche amid poor economic conditions and a flood of online competition. Declines in circulation and advertising led to a nearly $US30 million ($33m) loss in 2009. Newsweek expects to lose money again this year. In a statement, Post Co chief executive Donald Graham said Mr Harman has pledged to keep most of the magazine's staff. [A bad move]

New US sanctions aim to dry up North Korea’s cash sources: “Washington’s new sanctions seek to cut off North Korea’s illicit moneymaking sources by freezing the assets of those who help the regime fund its nuclear weapons program, a senior U.S. envoy said Monday, describing a blacklisting tactic aimed at further isolating Pyongyang financially. The U.S. will publicly name institutions and people accused of helping North Korea make money illegally in the next few weeks, Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, said in Seoul.”

Judge: Virginia can challenge ObamaCare: "Virginia can challenge in court the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, a judge has ruled. … The state argued the law’s requirement that Americans purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. … The Obama administration has argued the requirement is structured like a tax on those who do not purchase insurance and that the federal government has broad constitutional authority to design tax policy.”

Soaking the rich?: "The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of this year, which means a big tax hike in 2011. Tax rates for all brackets will increase, the double tax on dividends will skyrocket from 15 percent to 39.6 percent, the child credit will shrink, the death tax will be reinstated (at 55 percent!), the marriage penalty will get worse and the capital-gains tax rate will jump to 20 percent. Higher taxes in 2011 will be unwelcome news for taxpayers. But equally troubling are the indirect costs to the economy.”

On reforming the British welfare system: "The current system is a nightmare, that it is complex, bureaucratic and riddled with perverse incentives that mean it often makes more sense for a person to be on welfare than in work. No one would ever ha[ve] designed such a system intentionally — it is just the result of one political initiative being piled on top of another, until you’re left with a Byzantine mess that makes no sense whatsoever. Given that the current system is so bad, Duncan Smith is absolutely right to want to tear it up and start again.”

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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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