The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, April 19, 2024

In Defense of Spanking

When I was a young tyke, I'd occasionally disobey my mom or dad, sometimes in ways that were sufficiently egregious to warrant immediate consequences. In my day, that meant a gentle spanking—sudden, just a tiny bit painful, and short. The parent involved would accompany the spanking (lasting no more that 5 or 6 seconds) with a quick verbal explanation of what I did to warrant it and why what I did was unacceptable. It was over in a flash.

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By modern standards, this was akin to "child abuse," but I beg to differ. Spankings taught me, rather quickly, that bad or unacceptable behavior had consequences, and that I has the agency—even as a small child—to moderate my behavior in order to avoid consequences I didn't like. Over the many decades that followed, I matured but never forgot the lessons learned. BTW, those rare spankings did absolutely no psychic damage—none.

Unfortunately, some coddled young adults today (those in the 18- to 30-year old bracket) have never really learned that actions have consequences. Rather than being punished for poor behavior, far too many have been protected and defended by parents and other authority figures. As a consequence, these 'children' are entitled and fragile, ignorant and aggressive, obnoxious and self-important—all at the same time.

Over the past six months, a small but very vocal subset of coddled, leftist young adults have decided to display their ignorance and aggressiveness in ways that are not only obnoxious, but borderline evil. The referenced subset pretends it is pro-Palestinian, when in fact, it is anti-Israel, implicitly pro-Hamas, and now, overtly anti-Semitic.

Up until this week, the authority figures at institutions that coddle these ignorant, aggressive young leftists have essentially protected them. University administrators allowed them free reign to spew anti-Semitic vitriol, threatening Jewish students—no consequences. Police and politicians in blue cities allowed them to block traffic, close down bridges and otherwise inconvenience thousands. In their abject ignorance, they claimed to be against hallucinogenic claims of genocide by defending the actual genocidal psychopaths who want to rid the world of Jews.

This week was different and oddly satisfying. At Columbia University, 108 anti-Israel students were arrested for trespassing when they refused to leave university property when asked to do so. A few were suspended. Consequences. 

At Google, 28 anti-Israel employees were fired for occupying business offices and demanding that Google cease doing business with Israel. Consequences. 

These are small events and probably don't mean much. But nonetheless, they're an encouraging lesson that actions have consequences for those who are entitled and fragile, ignorant and aggressive, obnoxious and self-important . 

I suppose it's never too late to initiate a spanking, particularly for a group that so richly deserves it.


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

NPR

The media members of The Big Five are shocked, just shocked(!), at the allegations of bias, dishonesty, and censorious intent leveled again a darling of leftist media, NPR. In a long critique published in The Free Press, 25-year NPR senior editor, Uri Berliner, makes those accusations and a lot more. 

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NPR, like almost all leftist media, did absolutely no introspection to examine whether Berliner's critique had merit. Instead, it suspended Berliner without pay. 

Among the thousands of words NPR published after Berliner's critique are these:

Conservative activist Christopher Rufo is among those now targeting NPR's new chief executive, Katherine Maher, for messages she posted to social media years before joining the network. Among others, those posts include a 2020 tweet that called Trump racist and another that appeared to minimize rioting during social justice protests that year. Maher took the job at NPR last month — her first at a news organization.

In a statement Monday about the messages she had posted, Maher praised the integrity of NPR's journalists and underscored the independence of their reporting.

"In America everyone is entitled to free speech as a private citizen," she said. "What matters is NPR's work and my commitment as its CEO: public service, editorial independence, and the mission to serve all of the American public. NPR is independent, beholden to no party, and without commercial interests."

It's actually amusing to see NPR's CEO champion free speech. Her fellow travelers among media members of The Big Five have done everything possible to limit the free speech of anyone who opposes their worldview. Working in conjunction with the current regime in Washington and with many agencies within the deep state, they have worked to censor opposing views (via de-amplification, omission, shadow-banning or outright censorship) on everything from public health in the U.S.to support for Islamist doctrine in Gaza, if those views conflict with the Left's preferred narrative. 

The CEO's praise of the "integrity of NPR's journalists" might be tempered with the simple reality that those same "journalists" are irreparably biased, live in a world where advocacy journalism is the norm, and work aggressively to propagandize their audience on a daily basis.

That might be marginally acceptable if NPR was a private company, but it is not. Tax dollars are used to support at least some of its cost.

 

 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Iran and Proportionality

Here's my proposed text for a speech Bibi Netanyahu should make this evening:

Iran’s attack on Israeli population centers has failed. More than 300 kinetic weapons– drones, ballistic and cruise missiles – were launched from inside Iran and its proxies against Israel. 99% of them were neutralized and the few that did get through caused relatively little damage, and with the exception of 7-year old Bedouin girl, no serious human casualties. I would like to thank those countries that assisted us in intercepting Iran’s kinetic weapons. We are grateful for your support against an Iranian theocracy that subjugates its own people and foments Islamist terror throughout the Middle East and the world.

Our war cabinet met last night and developed strategies for both offensive and defensive moves against Iran at a time and in a manner of our own choosing.

I am certain that there will be calls from the United Nations and many western leaders for Israel not to respond, so that efforts at diplomacy can be attempted. It’s worth noting that those efforts have failed miserably over the last 40 years. Iran’s leadership is driven by hatred. They are violently anti-Semitic, and have little tolerance for any religion other than Islam. It is unlikely that the words of diplomacy will change their hateful position. But try if you must.

I am also certain that if and when Israel does respond, there will be demands that our response be "proportional." It may surprise many of these leaders that we wholeheartedly agree with the second condition.

 

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For many years now, Iran has used proxies to attack Israel. During that time, those proxies have launched well over 10,000 missiles into Israeli territory, almost always targeting civilian population centers and killing or wounding hundreds of our citizens. Iran proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have attacked American coalition troops, launched missiles against Israel, and attacked international shipping. In their unprecedented strike last night, Iran launched over 300 airborne weapons against our sovereign state. In addition, Iran’s proxy, Hamas, murdered, raped, and mutilated over 1200 mens, women, and children and kidnapped over 200 others.

We have known that Iran was behind all of those acts of terror. Last night proved that to be the case beyond any reasonable doubt.

Given all of this, we promise that our proportional response will not exceed the bounds of the attacks plan, funded and coordinated by Iran over all of these years. We will not launch more than 10,300 airborne weapons against the state of Iran. We will never purposely kill any Iranian civilians, even though Iran's proxy, Hamas, did exactly that to over 1200 Israeli citizens just six months ago.We will not kidnap Iran's civilians.

The hateful leadership of Iran has come out of the shadows, and now shown its true nature. The people of Iran, on the other hand, are not our enemy. Our proportional response, when and if we decide to implement it, will not target them. But rest assured that the hateful leadership of Iran will pay a steep price for their actions. That price may come tomorrow, next week, or month, or next year. It will be hellaciously proportionate. 

The choice is choices ours.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Information laundering

Strong language is sometime necessary to counter malevolent lies, even when those lies are amplified by virtually every leader in the West (including our cognitively-disabled President), the UN and WHO (no surprise) and our left wing propaganda media (think: New York Times and WaPo, among many, many others). We're told that 30,000+ women and children have been wantonly slaughtered by Israel's war against the Islamist terror group, Hamas. We're told that the resultant humanitarian crisis is "unprecedented" and that "genocide" is on-going. 

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Now for the strong language—every one of those claims is Hamas propaganda, giddily reported by leftist leaders, organizations, and media without verification or investigation. Those claims are patent bullshit.

David Adesnik dissects the propaganda when he writes:

The [Gaza (Hamas) health] ministry says its casualty counts include two types of fatalities: those recorded by medical facilities and those reported by “reliable media sources.” In its March 31 report, the ministry attributes 15,070 of the dead, or 45.9%, to news reports. From which outlets? The ministry never says.

Its choices are limited, since Gaza has no independent media. It has networks like al-Aqsa that are extensions of Hamas and other armed factions. It has Al Jazeera, the Qatari state network that describes the atrocities of Oct. 7 as an “incursion” and denies that any “widespread and systematic” sexual assault took place. Western outlets report from Gaza, but they rely on the ministry for their casualty data ...

... Gabriel Epstein, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, did this [analyzed the data] soon after the ministry published its first statistical report in December. He found that the deaths attributed to “reliable media sources” consisted almost entirely of women and children. Of the 6,629 fatalities attributed to media, 1,941 were women, 4,678 children and only 10 men.

Amazing ... only 10 men were killed!! I've heard of "smart" bombs, but bombs that are smart enough to kill ONLY women and children are ... well ... unbelievable—in the literal meaning of that word.

Of course, facts and logic mean nothing to leftists who WANT to believe that Israel is indiscriminately killing innocents. The reason: it allows those useful idiots to draw a false moral equivalence between the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7th and the response by the Israelis—a response that every responsible report indicates is unprecedented in its attempt to warn civilians to get out of harm's way.

Of course, the casualty figures are but one of dozens of malevolent lies that have allowed the palestinians to construct their "pyramid of lies" (see here and here).  Adesnik continues:

Over time, media reports have accounted for an ever larger share of the ministry’s data. Of nearly 11,000 fatalities reported between Jan. 1 and March 31, the ministry derived 77.7% from media reports. [emphasis mine]

In reality, this is similar to money laundering, except its "information laundering." Hamas lies are published by Hamas controlled media. Those lies are then laundered through supposedly respected Western media and then quoted as fact by everyone from Joe Biden to the UN. At each step in the laundering process the propaganda is amplified—often knowingly by news outlets that are anti-Israel). The consequence is a false narrative that goes viral and ultimately gets translated into government policy. 

Despicable ... but effective.

 

Monday, April 01, 2024

The Big Five

People often ask how the Left's fantasy ideas, nutty narratives and insane public policies have pervaded almost every major institution in the West. It didn't happen overnight, and it will continue to become more and more prevalent as time passes. But why?

I try to answer that question in my new book, Normalizing Insanity, when I write:

... the Left has captured virtually all modes of mass communication using entities and organizations that I call “The Big Five:”

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Mainstream media. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, Reuters, AP, the BBC, Sky News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and many, many others are decidedly Left in their editorial content and in their hard news reporting.  Ideological capture has been on-going in mainstream journalism. A study of 1600 journalists by Syracuse University found that only 3.4% identify as Republicans while 36.4% identify as Democrats.

Social Media and Google. The management and technologists who populate the workforce of all major social media companies (Twitter 1.0, Facebook, Instagram, Tic Toc, YouTube, and others) lean decidedly Left.  Google, the dominant search engine, biases its search results with content that supports ‘approved’ narratives, all promoted by left-leaning followers. Evidence uncovered over the past five years clearly indicates that these private companies worked to suppress narratives that threatened left-leaning political candidates or tried to amplify viral narratives  that had widespread support among progressives ... 

Academia. Fantasy ideas (e.g., Critical Theory and its derivatives) are often hatched by academics in a university setting. At many universities, left-leaning faculty outnumber their right-leaning counterparts by a ratio of 7 to 1. In addition, those same academics are teaching (indoctrinating?) undergraduate students. The result is a set of contradictions and outright hypocrisy that is very concerning. For example, “pro-Palestinan” protests on college campuses at the end of 2023 had students and faculty espousing blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric. Those same professors and students roundly condemned anyone who used incorrect pronouns only months earlier. Two narratives, two different sets of rules. 

Entertainment. The entertainment industry has always leaned left, but in recent years, virtually all of it has been captured and turned into a megaphone to promote approved narratives and defend against any critique of insane policy ... 

Organizations within the Deep State. The term “deep state” is a catchall phrase for all unelected federal officials and agencies in the massive federal bureaucracy that often establish the policies and mandates derived from viral narratives. Although politicians and lobbyists define the broad strokes, it is the bureaucracy that addresses the minutiae that makes the difference between an effective policy and an insane one ... 

The Big Five work to amplify narratives that are promoted by left-leaning follower groups, including many that are based on fantasy ideas. At the same time, they work to criticize and de-amplify those narratives that voice opposition ... 

There are countless examples of The Big Five at work, but the most insidious is their continuing attempts to censor opposing opinion that conflicts with their preferred narrative. A recent example illustrates this.

With the singular except of 9/11, The Big Five has had a way of quickly memory-holing mass casualty terror attacks conducted by Islamist terror groups (e.g., Hamas or ISIS-K) throughout the West. They're warned by Islamist front groups like CAIR, that investigating such attacks keeps them in the public eye, and that leads to "Islamophobia." The Big Five complies by burying the attacks ASAP.

In 2021, Frontpage Magazine published a retrospective entitled, "Remember the San Bernadino Five." It began this way:

On December 2, 2015, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik drove up to the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, and began firing automatic rifles while still outside on the grounds. The American-born Muslim Farook and the Pakistani-born Malik, then barged inside where a holiday party was in progress.

There Farook and Malik gunned down Robert Adams, Isaac Amianos, Bennetta Betbadal, Harry Bowman, Sierra Clayborn, Juan Espinoza, Aurora Godoy, Shannon Johnson, Larry Daniel Kaufman, Damien Meins, Tin Ngyen, Nicholas Thalasinos, Yvette Velasco, and Michael Wetzel. The pair then fled in a black SUV and fired more than 100 rounds at police, wounding one officer.

Police took down the terrorists and inside their SUV found a trigger device to detonate bombs the Muslims had planted at the Regional Center. Had the bombs exploded, many others would have perished.

Because of that article and others critical of islamist terrorists, Google decided that Frontpage was not eligible for its Google’s AdSense advertising program. Okay, I suppose Google can choose who it works with. But it gets worse ... much worse. Daniel Greenfield writes:

The article, “Remember The San Bernardino Fourteen” by Lloyd Billingsley, like a lot of our articles, is blocked in Google Search. The Front Page article doesn’t come up when you type in its name. It doesn’t even appear when you do a site search for the exact title in quotation marks that has been entirely limited to the Front Page Magazine site. That means that Google likely specifically excluded it. And it’s far from the only one of our articles banned by Google.

It’s an extraordinary act of censorship for a company that claims to want to collect all the information in the world and make it easily available for everyone to find. But it’s also a silent act of suppression that is hard to confirm and easy to blame on technical factors or errors.

But now here it was, Google flagging “Remember The San Bernardino Fourteen” as “dangerous” and “derogatory” content, not to mention guilty of “unreliable and harmful claims”.

What’s dangerous, unreliable and harmful about “Remember The San Bernardino Fourteen”?

Published on Dec 3, 2021, around the anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attack, it contains fairly little editorial commentary and a great deal of uncomfortable facts.

When you ask how it is that the Left controls the narrative, just think back to this one case of outright censorship and them multiply it a thousand ... no, likely a million times. Frontpage is undoubtedly a conservative publication with a masthead comment from its publisher  that goes like this: "Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out" —David Horowitz.

Google's actions in censoring and suppressing free speech demonstrate that truism rather nicely.



Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Wrapping Fish

For decades, we've been told by the very best people that the New York Times (NYT) is the pinnacle of journalism, that its reporting and opinion shape the nation, that along with the Washington Post and other legacy media outlets, it guides the nation on a moral course. No matter that the NYT (along with its left-wing counterparts) is a mendacious propaganda sheet, that its reporting is not only dishonest and strongly ideologically-biased, but that it omits important stories that don't fit the prevailing narrative and actively promotes known hoaxes that amplify the ignorance of its readers.

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And then there's the New York Post (NYP), always characterized as a blue collar tabloid that is pap for the masses. Yet over the past few years, it's the NYP that has done real reporting, broken important stories, and offer truth when the NYT offers propaganda. In a way, it's kind of funny. The newspaper of the elites is a rag, and the newspaper of the masses does actual journalism and offers opinion that might anger the Red Guard but otherwise accurately reflects the heart of our nation.

In today's NYP, the editors comment on the Biden administration's attempt to help Hamas survive. They write:

Remember: Hamas is at fault for the ongoing war. Not Israel.

The terror group could’ve ended the war months ago by returning the hostages it has instead chosen to keep.

Hamas could have avoided the war in the first place by not committing the worst slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

The onus is not now somehow placed on Israel to simply give up a necessary battle for survival in order to appease the global left.

That Washington has joined this farce shows that the rot has fully infected the highest levels of the executive.

There’s now clearly no hope of a cure without political change in November — which means defeating Biden and the Democrats who enable him is now a moral and geostrategic necessity. 

I just hope that the many supporters of Israel, both Jews and non-Jews, remember this—along with open borders, $20 happy meals, an Afghan exit that left the Taliban (Hamas' kindred spirits) with $80 billion in armaments, billions in bribes for the Mullahs in Iran, lawfare that is both despicable and unprecedented, leftist DAs who allow violent criminals to be released on zero-cash bail, the COVID debacle that had Democrats defending the closure of schools, and a President suffering from the early stages of dementia—when they go to the polls in November.

Of course the NYT will encourage its elite readership to forget all of that and vote for the Democrats. After all, what could go wrong with a leader who will only go from bad to worse and a backup who is even worse (if that's even possible).

Someone on X once posted a meme that went like this: No self-respecting fish would allow itself to be wrapped in a page torn from the New York Times. That sums things up rather nicely.

UPDATE (03-27-2024):

Roger L. Simon provides additional insight into the Biden administration's strategy to neuter Israel's attempt to rid the world of Hamas as a fighting force and terror organization:

[I]n essence what the administration is recommending the Israelis ... allow a terror organization whose ideology has included death to all Jews, even so far as to add at one point something called “Jewish trees,” to exist alongside them. These are the same people who parade near-naked Israeli women hostages in their town squares for all to gawk at and revile.

And yet the Biden administration is now “objectively pro-Hamas,” giving them a pathway to survival.

The Biden administration is also holding rearmament over the Israelis heads, particularly in the area of the ammunition.

From here on in, it will most likely be “Israel alone.”

In thinking about the atrocious behavior of Biden's people, I've decided that calling out his Team of 1s is insufficient. Where are the voices inside the Democratic party leadership who oppose this travesty? Why is it that AOC is allowed the absurd and mendacious claim that Israel is committing "genocide" without push back from within the Democratic party? Why are Democrat congress people not expelled for promoting pro-Hamas propaganda? Why was Senate leader Chuck Schumer chartered (by Biden?) with the job of suggesting that the democratically elected PM of Israel should be removed from office with little if any push back from within the Dem party? 

The "Why" is pretty obvious. The Democrats have evolved (first slowly during the Obama years and then suddenly during the Biden era) into the anti-Israel party. They joined the hard-left base in adopting the deluded Marxist view that Israel is an "oppressor."

And for that, the Democrats MUST pay a price for their mortal vacuity on the Israel-Hamas war and their anti-Israel stance. That price should be a massive election loss in November. I hope that is exactly what happens.


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Waiting ...

Like all terror attacks, the attack in Russia in which over 100 innocent civilians were murdered is a tragedy. U.S. Intelligence attributes the attack to the Islamist terror group ISIS.

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I'm waiting for the Biden administration, other world leaders, the U.N., and most of the Democratic party leadership to:

  • insist that we all understand the Muslim suffering that precipitated the attack;
  • demand an immediate cease fire;
  • request that Russia provide food and medical assistance to the families and relatives of the ISIS terrorists;
  • suggest that Russia is responsible for the attack because it did not recognize the ISIS Caliphate.

And, of course, accuse Russia of "colonizing" the Caliphate and being generally racist.

Oops ... almost forgot. Where are the faculty and students at Harvard and other Ivies? It's been 24 hours since the terror attack and yet, there aren't any demonstrations asking us all to condemn colonialist Russia and support ISIS in their struggle to establish a Caliphate.

Waiting ... waiting ...

Oh ... but making those demands of Russia—the country that suffered the terror attack—would be absurd, wouldn't it?