Thursday, August 30, 2012

The death of a Jew-hater

There is a lot of outrage on the net today over an Israeli court giving the "wrong" verdict over the death of a pro-Palestinian protester, Rachel Corrie, in March, 2003. She was run over by an Israeli bulldozer while trying to be a "human shield" to protect a Palestinian terrorist site. The IDF has always held that the driver of the bulldozer did not see her before he ran over her. He was driving a large and heavily armored bulldozer with small slits for vision. The court upheld the driver's account.

The interesting thing to me is the close-up picture that accompanies many of the stories. It portrays her as a quiet and serious young woman in what could be a studio portrait (though even in a studio portrait they could not get her to smile). You can search high and low on the net to find a picture that gives any other impression of her. Being an old guy, however, I have certain records and one of them has produced a picture of her that is what the bulldozer driver would have seen if he had been looking down. A picture is worth a 1,000 words, I think. The stock picture followed by the "forgotten" picture below. The forgotten picture shows her at a rally shortly beforehand.

Even in the above picture she looks rather angry

A face of hate

If anyone is to blame in the matter it is the parents who indoctrinated her with their Leftist hates. May their grief help them to repent. The love of Christ would not have led them into the Devil's kingdom.


More inspissated ignorance from the Left

They don't even know what conservatism is (Or they don't want to know)

The term “conservative” is used elastically these days, normally to indicate something that the author using the term dislikes. And while many such writers tend indeed to dislike conservative ideas, the objects of their dislike are rarely conservative in any sense a conservative would recognize.

A few years ago, the late Christopher Hitchens spoke of fringe elements in Jerusalem seeking the expulsion of Arabs as “Israeli conservatives” – surely a surprise to Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, and other groupings that comprise the vast bulk of Israeli right-of-center politics.

Reuters thinks Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a “conservative,” and the New York Times even headed its report on his election as president with the title “New Conservative President Takes Power in Iran.” Actually, Ahmadinejad is a radical among radicals in the Iranian hierarchy, with a penchant for Holocaust denial and harping on erasing Israel from the page of history. But then, the Associated Press regards him as “ultraconservative,” so the Times appears measured by comparison.

Now, David Greenberg at Slate thinks the recently deceased writer Gore Vidal was a “conservative.”

Vidal was neither insecure nor stupid, but if he can be described with a straight face as conservative, then just about anyone else can be as well. If conservatism comprises respect for custom, institutions, religious faith, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and limited government, Vidal was as anti-conservative as one could be. He regarded monotheism as “the great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture.” He despised Ronald Reagan and supported the Democrats across the decades, even once running (unsuccessfully) as a Democrat for congressional office in New York. But that was altogether too mainstream for him. For two years (1970-1972), he chaired the People’s Party, a short-lived grouping that promoted legalizing marijuana and instituting such decidedly unconservative devices as a minimum wage and even a maximum wage.

In 2004, he supported the presidential candidacy of far left Democrat Dennis Kucinich.

In short, Vidal was a political crank of the left. He was also an avid and perennial peddler of conspiracy theories. He believed that Winston Churchill was a malefactor who helped infiltrate “little Englander” film directors and producers into 1930s Hollywood to valorize Albion and to incite the American public out of neutrality and into the war. He believed to the grave that Franklin Roosevelt deliberately provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor so as to facilitate U.S. entry into the war. Vidal’s isolationist stance was all of piece with that of Father Charles Coughlin — a thorough-going radical, though one also often deemed conservative by those who should know better — and like Coughlin’s, was thoroughly laced with anti-Semitism. Vidal also befriended through correspondence the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Greenberg is too well-read not to have known all this, and his piece shows that he has no illusions about Vidal being a paragon of immoderate bigotry and nastiness. How does Greenberg connect this blighted record to conservatism? On inspection, the connection rests on the exceedingly slender reed of Vidal having once said “I think of myself as conservative.” But then perhaps Vidal was, by his own lights — a conserver of patrician aloofness, avuncular unpleasantness, and drawing-room bigotry, all of which were going out of fashion in his lifetime. But as a lucid estimate of his political pedigree? Obviously Greenberg found it too tempting to tar conservatives with the brush of nastiness that was the bread and butter of progressives, whom leftists today would prefer be remembered as something they were not.

The procedure of discovering new “conservatives” seems to rest in transferring to fictitious conservatives all the ugly traits, vicious sentiments, and rancid rancors that have disfigured actual leftists.

This procedure has been going on since at least the time of the Soviet Union’s terminal phase, when Western journalists, inebriated with Gorbymania and the prospect of a hip, glastnosted, and perestroikaed Soviet Union, labeled the Bolshevik hardliners in the Kremlin old guard who looked on askance at all this as “conservatives.” An odd label when one thinks that these same people mounted the 1991 coup in an effort to keep old-style Bolshevism alive.

Unless diehard Marxist-Leninism or Stalinism has something to do with the thinking of Edmund Burke, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the Marquess of Salisbury, Michael Oakeshott, Elie Kedourie, or William F. Buckley, the promiscuous abuse of the term “conservative” debases language and ideas to irreverent ends.



The Shame of the Manhattan-Beltway Media Elites

Hugh Hewitt

When I asked Paul Ryan Wednesday night for his reaction to the news that the major television networks won’t carry a minute of the opening night of the GOP convention, he responded that he wasn’t surprised and that this is just the media terrain the GOP faces in the 2012 election cycle.

Ryan is right not to be surprised, and while he doesn’t have time to be angry, every American –left, right, center, undecided or simply indifferent—ought to be furious. The hypocrisy of anyone bemoaning the loss of civility in American politics who doesn’t also denounce the Manhattan-Beltway media elite’s dumbing down of American political coverage is large.

The conventions feature speeches. Speeches make arguments and they do not rely on soundbytes. Conventions aim to persuade, and it is a rare chance for both parties to make their case directly without the interruption or overlay of the chattering class (which of course on thee networks is overwhelming left.)

The ratings are not huge, but neither is voter turnout. If the future of a country in crisis is significant, so too is the opportunity for the voters to make a change or confirm a course.

But the suits have decided to cut the already drastically reduced coverage by 25%.

This of course helps the Obama/[?] ticket, because the president has nothing to sell and nothing to defend, and it is harder to attack, attack, and attack when you are the incumbent with a record to defend.

The president is fine with reduced coverage. He’d rather everyone be watching anything except the news and people discussing the news. As the ruins of his years in office continue to smoke, he’d like nothing more than to have everyone tune into a repeat of the Olympics.

The Manhattan-Beltway media elite knows this, and giving yet another nudge to the Obama forces is fine with them. They’ll deny that motive of course, and say they are driven simply by greed and that the cable channels will carry the proceedings anyway. (Interesting how when PBS funding is on the line we hear about the millions of Americans without cable, but when the lefty media brass want to put a finger on the scale for Obama that “public interest” argument goes out the window.)

This is a pattern, one that is so stark that it is more amusing than shocking.

Recall the coverage given to the New York Times-Quinnipiac state polls showing an Obama lead in Florid and Pennsylvania a couple of weeks back? The sample was overweighted to Democrats, but it ran and ran and ran without explanation or caution.

This week new polls show Romney/Ryan ahead by 15 points in Florida and almost 4 in Michigan! Now, that poll’s sample overweights GOP voters in my opinion, but no caution is needed because MSM simply hasn’t reported these results.

See the game?

Or how about the University of Colorado study employing the same methodology it has used since 1980 to predict elections? Have you heard that headline on the television? Probably not, because the study predicts a Romney/Ryan landslide.

Then there is the photo of President Obama from Ohio, where he posed in the famous Ohio State spell-out wherein four people make the O-H-I-O with their bodies.

Except the president and his three friends misspelled OHIO and form instead O-I-H-O.

What would be a front page photo were George W. Bush to have made the mistake –and the cover of all weeklies, and probably twice, if Dan Quayle had been involved—is posted on a few conservative websites like mine.

Like Ryan said, it is predictable. The GOP has to work around it.

Which is why I wrote last week’s column on talk radio and the opportunity it offers Romney/Ryan.

Yesterday I got eight minutes with Paul Ryan, and at the risk of sounding ungrateful to a dedicated campaign staff that found the slot on a crowded schedule, it should have been 80 minutes. He is a terrific candidate, and like Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan charms and persuades. The more time he spends in conversation with serious talk show hosts the better the campaign will do in every conceivable way.

I devoted my time with Ryan to biography (a half dozen previous interviews in the past two years have been about policy), and would have spent much more time on his early years had I been there for the simple reason offered by Ulysses S. Grant:

“I read but few lives of great men because biographers do not, as a rule, tell enough about the formative period of life. What I want to know is what a man did as a boy.”

That time is available to both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, but not from the television networks that won't even cover the opening night of the convention.

So the candidates have to take up the offer of talkers across the country and invest the time. Not every show should get get a visit from Mitt Romney and/or Paul Ryan, and certainly not the goons and the pots-and-pan bangers.

But since the MSM is very eager to spin and slant, cover up what hurts the president and spend endless amounts of time on what they think will hurt Romney/Ryan, the GOP team simply has to use the opportunities available to them.

I did interviews with Romney senior advisors Lanhee Chen on Wednesday and Robert C. O’Brien on Tuesday (those transcripts will be found here) and these far outweigh in substance and detail anything MSM or cable has done with any advisor from either side. The key people are available. They will do the interviews. The Manhattan-Beltway media elite simply isn’t interested in serious argument about the peril facing the country.

This past week I have covered the loss of just four of themany heroes who have died in the past fortnight: Army Major Tom Kennedy, Air Force Major DavidGray, Marine Corps Captain Matt Manoukian, and Navy SEAL Davey Warsen. I did so because personal circumstances brought each man’s story to my attention, and the loss of four amazing men from the four branches along with the dozens of other casualties in the past few weeks has impressed on me that MSM finds war coverage as inconvenient as coverage of the convention.

How does a great nation remain great when its media crumbles this way? Remarkable. Shameful. Brave men and women sacrificing their everything and the American media can’t spare the political parties that guide the country an hour a night for four nights.




Risky Business

Thomas Sowell

Insurance is all about risk. Yet neither insurance companies nor their policy-holders can do anything about one of the biggest risks -- namely, interference by politicians, to turn insurance into something other than a device to deal with risk.

By passing laws to force insurance companies to cover things that have nothing to do with risk, politicians force up the cost of insurance.

Annual checkups, for example, are known in advance to take place once a year. Foreseeable events are not a risk. Annual checkups are no cheaper when they are covered by an insurance policy. On the contrary, they are one of many things that are more expensive when they are covered by an insurance policy.

All the paperwork, record-keeping and other things that go with having any medical procedure covered by insurance have to be paid for, in addition to the cost of the medical procedure itself.

If automobile insurance covered the cost of oil changes or the purchase of gasoline, then both oil changes and gasoline would have to cost more, to cover the additional bureaucratic work involved.

In the case of health insurance, however, politicians love to mandate things that insurance must cover, including in some states treatment for baldness, contraceptives and whatever else politicians can think of. Playing Santa Claus costs a politician nothing, but it can cost the policy-holder a bundle -- all of which the politician will blame on the "greed" of the insurance company.

Insurance companies are regulated by both states and the federal government. This means that, instead of there being one vast nationwide market, where innumerable insurance companies compete with each other from coast to coast, there are 50 fragmented markets with different rules. That adds to the costs and reduces the competition in a given state....

Too many political "solutions" are solutions to problems created by previous political "solutions" -- and will be followed by new problems created by their current "solutions." There is no free lunch. In the case of health insurance, there is not even an inexpensive lunch.

Health insurance would be a lot less expensive if it covered only the kinds of risks that can involve heavy costs, such as a major operation or a crippling disability. While such things can be individually very expensive, they don't happen to everybody, and insurance is one way to spread the risks, so that the protection of a given individual is not prohibitively expensive.



My identity: jonjayray. I have deleted my old Facebook page as I rarely accessed it. For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena

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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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