Monthly Archives: June 2011

Bagels With Barry

Israeli columnist Caroline Glick on American Jewish liberals:

This week we have been witness to [a] transparent attempt… to sell liberal American Jews a bill of goods. And from the looks of things, [the attempt was] successful.

[This] instance of liberal American Jewish credulity this week unfolded Monday night in Washington. At a five-star hotel, eighty Jewish donors shelled out between $25,000- 35,800 to attend a fundraiser with US President Barack Obama.

As has become his habit, Obama opened his remarks by talking about his commitment to Israel’s security. And as has become his habit, Obama went on to say that it is his job to force Israelis to bow to his demands because he knows what is best for Israel.

Speaking of his ongoing efforts to force Israel to concede its right to defensible borders before entering into negotiations with the Hamas-Fatah unity government, Obama said, “There are going to be moments over the course of the next six months or the next 12 months or the next 24 months in which there may be tactical disagreements [between the US and Israel] in terms of how we approach these difficult problems.”

Obama went on to say that he expects his American Jewish supporters to take his side in his attacks on Israel.

As he put it, the quest for peace between Israel and the Hamas-Fatah government is, “going to require that not only this administration employs all of its creative powers to try to bring about peace in the region, but it’s also going to require all of you as engaged citizens of the United States who are friends of Israel making sure…that you’re helping to shape how both Americans and Israelis think about the opportunities and challenges.”

And how did the Jewish donors respond to Obama’s presentation? They loved it. They were, in the words of Obama donor Marilyn Victor, “reassured.”

Speaking with Politico, New York businessman Jack Bendheim said, “I think he nailed and renailed his commitment to the security of the State of Israel.” Other attendees interviewed in the article echoed his sentiments.

Imagine how they would have swooned if Obama had confessed a secret love for bagels and lox.

What does Obama have to do for these liberal American Jews to accept that he is no friend of Israel’s?

Apparently the answer is that there is nothing Obama can do that will convince his many American Jewish supporters that he is not Israel’s friend. They will never believe such a thing because doing so will require them to choose between two unacceptable options. The first option is to admit to themselves that in voting for Obama, they are voting against Israel.

The self-righteousness shared by many of Obama’s Jewish supporters makes this option unacceptable. These are people who demonstrate their goodness by embracing every politically correct liberal cause as their own. From abortion to socialized medicine to free passes for illegal immigrants, to opposition to the Iraq war, liberal American Jews are ready to go out on a limb for every cause the liberal media supports.

But ask them to support anything that in any way compromises their self-image as do gooders and liberals and they will shut you out. Consider their willingness to turn a blind eye to Obama’s twenty-year association with his anti-Semitic preacher Jeremiah Wright. Just this week Wright was back in the news when he delighted a crowd of thousands of African American worshippers in Baltimore by libeling Israel saying, “The State of Israel is an illegal, genocidal … place. To equate Judaism with the State of Israel is to equate Christianity with [rapper] Flavor Flav.”

During the 2008 presidential campaign liberal American Jews attacked critics of Obama’s long-standing devotion to his Jew hating preacher as McCarthyites who were spreading allegations of guilt by association.

And now, when Obama has made supporting Israel a socially costly thing for his supporters to do, rather than pay the price, his self-righteous American Jewish supporters refuse to admit that Obama is not pro-Israel. They attack as a liar anyone who points out that his policies are deeply hostile to Israel…

Aside from being morally inconvenient, the other problem with admitting that Obama is anti-Israel is that it requires his Jewish supporters who are unwilling to consciously abandon Israel to contemplate the unattractive option of voting for the Republican nominee for president. And this is something that their liberal conceit cannot abide…

Bad Benny, The Heretical Jew

Melanie Phillips on the excoriation of apostate leftist Israeli professor Benny Morris:

The Israeli historian Professor Benny Morris is currently spending time in Britain doing research for a new book. Morris has earned the unusual distinction of becoming a target of ire from both sides of the political divide. Once excoriated as a ‘New Historian’ for allegedly distorting the early history of Israel, in recent years he has become a hate-figure for the left. This is because, since the 2000 intifada, he has come to believe that the single most important reason for the Middle East impasse is that there is no Palestinian ‘partner for peace’, and that instead the Palestinians show by every word and deed that they want to wipe Israel off the map.

He remains committed to a ‘two-state solution’; he still believes the Israeli ‘settlements’ are an obstacle to peace (although not the obstacle, which is Palestinian rejectionism); in no way can he be described a man of ‘the right’. Maybe it is for that reason that he sustains such vicious abuse from the left; nothing drives them more crazy than being confronted by an apostate upon whom they cannot pin the lazy label that automatically consigns him or her to exile beyond the pale.

Whatever; the fact remains that Morris displays considerable courage by bluntly and implacably telling the brutal truth as he sees it – that there is no real difference between Abbas and the Hamas, and that a Palestinian state that doesn’t accept Israel’s right to exist will be a staging post for the elimination of Israel. To those on the left – including Jews – this is a heresy that is simply impossible to acknowledge without provoking in themselves an existential political and moral meltdown. And the fact that one of their own is voicing it means that he must therefore be banished to the third circle of hell, aka ‘the right’.

Last year, the Israel Society at Cambridge University cravenly cancelled a proposed talk by Morris after a Facebook campaign whipped up complaints against him of ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘racism.’…

The Dyke Of Damascus

Yes, yet another Mark Steyn gem:

Funny, You Don't Look Like A Lesbian.

Last week was a great week for lesbians coming out of the closet – coming out, that is, as middle-aged heterosexual men. On Sunday, Amina Arraf, the young vivacious Syrian lesbian activist whose inspiring blog “A Gay Girl In Damascus” had captured hearts around the world, was revealed to be, in humdrum reality, one Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old college student from Georgia. The following day, Paula Brooks, the lesbian activist and founder of the website LezGetReal, was revealed to be one Bill Graber, a 58-year-old construction worker from Ohio. In their capacity as leading lesbians in the Sapphic blogosphere, “Miss Brooks” and “Miss Arraf” were colleagues. “Amina” had posted at LezGetReal before starting “A Gay Girl In Damascus.” As one lesbian to another, they got along swimmingly. The Washington Post reported:

“Amina often flirted with Brooks, neither of the men realizing the other was pretending to be a lesbian.”

Who knows what romance might have blossomed had not “Amina” been arrested by a squad of Baath Party goons dispatched by Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. Tom MacMaster then created “Rania,” a fake cousin for his fake lesbian, to try to rouse the world to take up the plight of the nonexistent Amina’s nonexistent detention.

A “Free Amina!” Facebook page sprang up.

“The Obama administration must speak about this,” declared Peter Beinart, former editor of The New Republic. “This woman is a hero.”

On June 7 the State Department announced that it was looking into the “kidnapping.”

Now consider it from Assad’s point of view. Unlike “Amina,” “Rania” and the “three armed men in their early 20s” who “hustled Amina into a red Dacia Logan,” you have the disadvantage of actually existing. You’re the dictator of Syria. You’ve killed more demonstrators than those losers Mubarak, Ben Ali and Gadhafi combined, and the Americans have barely uttered a peep. Suddenly Hillary Clinton, who was hailing you as a “reformer” only 20 minutes ago, wants to give you a hard time over some lesbian blogger. Any moment now Sarkozy or Cameron or some other Europoseur will demand anti-homophobic NATO bombing missions over your presidential palace. On CNN Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper will be interviewing each other back and forth all day long about the Gay Spring sweeping the Arab world. You’ll be the first Middle East strongman brought down by lesbianism. You’ll be a laughingstock at Arab League Where-Are-They-Now? nights.

Who needs it? “Release the lesbian bloggers!” commands Assad.

“Er, what lesbian bloggers?” says his vizier. “This is Damascus, remember?”

“Oh, yeah.” And he spends another sleepless night wondering if this is the most devilish CIA dirty trick of all, or if one of their satellite drones merely misinterpreted the grainy footage from the Col. Gadhafi Lookalike round of “Syrian Idol.”

The pretty young lesbian Muslim was exposed as a portly 40-year-old male infidel at the University of Edinburgh with the help of “Paula Brooks,” shortly before “Paula” was exposed as a 58-year-old male construction worker from Ohio. “He would have got away with it if I hadn’t been such a stand-up guy,” the second phony lesbian said of the first phony lesbian. As to why stand-up guys are posing as sit-down lesbians, “Paula” told the Associated Press that “he felt he would not be taken seriously as a straight man.”…

Indeed. A century ago, a British Army officer went to the Levant and reinvented himself as Lawrence of Arabia. Now a middle-aged American male college student goes to the Internet and reinvents himself as Florence of Arabia. It would be nice if “Amina Arraf” existed. As niche constituencies go, we could use more hijab-wearing Muslim lesbian militants and fewer fortysomething male Western deadbeat college students. But the latter is a real and pathetically numerous demographic, and the former is a fiction – a fantasy for Western liberals, who think that in the multicultural society the nice gay couple at 27 Rainbow Avenue can live next door to the big bearded imam with four child brides at No. 29 and gambol and frolic in admiration of each other’s diversity. They will proffer cheery greetings over the picket fence, the one admiring the other’s attractive buttock-hugging leather shorts for that day’s Gay Pride parade as he prepares to take his daughter to the clitoridectomy clinic.

Yes, yes, I stereotype. But stereotypes become stereotypes because they’re grounded in observable reality. “Amina Arraf” is grounded in nothing more than a fetish fantasy as preposterous as those lipstick lesbians in porn movies who can’t wait for some hot straight guy to jump in and make it a threesome.

It would be statistically improbable for there to be no women attracted to other women in Damascus. But “Amina Arraf” is nothing more than the projection of parochial obsessions on to distant lands Western liberals are too lazy to try to figure out. In 2007 in The Atlantic Monthly, Andrew Sullivan, not yet mired up Sarah Palin’s birth canal without a paddle peddling bizarre conspiracy theories about the maternity of her youngest child, announced that, never mind his policies, Barack Obama’s visage alone would be “the most effective potential rebranding of the United States since Reagan.” As he explained:

“It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees this man – Barack Hussein Obama – is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. … If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close.”

For crying out loud. The assumption that “a young Pakistani Muslim” in Lahore or Peshawar shares your peculiar preoccupations is the most feeble kind of projection even by the standards of Western liberal navel-gazing. If doting progressives stopped gazing longingly into “Obama’s face” for just a moment, they might notice that in Benghazi “democracy activists” have been rounding up Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. In Bahrain “democracy activists” have attacked hundreds of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, ripping the tongue out of one muezzin and leaving him brain damaged. What’s so “multicultural” about the pampered middle-aged narcissists of the West’s leisurely “activist” varsity pretending that the entire planet is just like them?

You can learn a lot from the deceptions a society chooses to swallow. “Amina Arraf” was a fiction who fit the liberal worldview. That’s because the liberal worldview is a fiction.


Nauseating is the only word to describe the panel of women Christiane Amanpour assembled on her talk show last Sunday to “analyze” why guys like Anthony Weiner do the dumb stuff they do.

Jay Carney’s wife Claire Shipman, former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke, and Sarkozy’s ex-wife did some deep thinking and brought forth this oldie but goody: testosterone poisoning. Or: The world would be so much better if only women ran the place.

It's the Testosterone, Stupid!

I’m not a big fan of Rush Limbaugh, but I suspect his explanation is as good as any other:

…“Here’s the thing – I wonder why is it that Anthony Weiner turns out to be the kind of guy he is?” Limbaugh said. “If we’re going to bring this stuff up folks – let’s talk about it. Let’s bring it up. Who, what kind of women has Anthony Weiner been around his whole life? He has been around a bunch of these kinds of women that have been attacking testosterone, who have been attacking traditional male roles. He has been around women who the idea of a real guy is some metro-sexual. Is it any wonder ladies and gentlemen – I wonder if it occurs to Claire Shipman or Torie Clarke that Weiner did what he did because he’s been surrounded with women like them for his whole adult life?”…

“How do these men turn out that way?” Limbaugh said. “Who makes them that way? Because that is not their natural state. I mean look at what happened to Weiner. We cannot blame what happened to Weiner on testosterone. We’re looking at a guy here who is kitty-whipped. If you want to get down to brass tacks on this, we’re looking at somebody who has been hanging around this kind of woman and he’s doing anything he can to break out. He’s doing anything he can to break out. He’s doing everything he can to step out and get away from their control. This is Anthony Weiner being a guy. He’s not allowed to be a guy hanging out with a bunch of liberal women. “

And Victor Davis Hanson, writing from Europe, tries to explain the inexplicable:

…It is wise to navigate through the news and elite wisdom through two landmarks: anything that Barack Obama says will be airbrushed, improved, or modified to fit facts post facto; anything Sarah Palin says or does will be contextualized in Neanderthal terms. Teams of Post and Times volunteers now sort through Sarah Palin’s email; not a reporter in the world is curious about what Barack Obama once said about Rashid Khalidi [the Palestinian professor at whose farewell party from the University of Chicago Obama spoke and the tape of which the Los Angeles Times refuses to make public] or the Columbia University GPA that won him entrance to Harvard Law School. Accept that asymmetry and almost everything not only makes sense about these two cultural guideposts, but can, by extension, explain the 1860-like division in American itself…

The White Elephant, The Shark, And The White Whale

Clearly, we have reached the economic equivalent of the collapse of Communism. The government entitlements that fuel the power of the Democratic Party have become, in the now fashionable term, unsustainable.

In the short term, the Democrats may indeed win elections by appealing to voters’ fear that the Republicans will take away the programs to which they have become hopelessly addicted. But in the long run, the Democratic Party’s appeal of providing people with more and more “free” goodies will hit the brick wall of bancruptcy and debt.

Historian Walter Russell Mead explains how we and the Europeans got into this situation:

…Jumping the shark, as many readers know, is an expression from the wonderful world of TV. When the original premise of a show has gone stale, producers try to recapture audience interest by putting familiar characters in outlandish settings where strange things happen to them — notoriously, when Fonzie literally jumped over a shark as Happy Days moved into its sunset years. When something jumps the shark, the death spiral has become irretrievable; the show has nowhere to go but down.

The progressive ideal of the last 100 years is reaching that point. In its day the progressive ideal was a revolutionary and even a noble one. A bureaucratic and professional elite would mediate social conflict between rich and poor, improving the lives of the poor while engineering the best possible administrative solutions to pressing social problems. Keynesian macroeconomic management would ensure lasting prosperity; progressive taxation would spread the benefits of prosperity as widely as possible. Levels of education would rise as more and more Americans spent more and more years in school.

Progressivism held out the hope that capitalism, democracy and history itself could all be tamed by competent professional management. Victorian capitalism had been brutal, disruptive, competitive. Society became more unequal even as living standards gradually rose. Democracy was irresistible, but the masses were uneducated. The modern progressive era was born at times of great violence and upheaval. World War One, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, the rise of fascism, World War Two, the invention of nuclear weapons and the start of the Cold War: it was against this background that progressives sought to turn modern life into something safe and tame.

I cannot blame four generations of progressive intellectuals for trying to make life a little less brutal and unpredictable, nor should we overlook the successes they had. Nevertheless, the Fonz has left the building; the progressive paradigm today can no longer serve as the basis for sound national policy…

[Let] us look at the stages of life in a progressive government program.

In the first stage of a government program, there’s a terrible social problem that has people wringing their hands. Not enough kids are going to college. Middle class families can’t get home mortgages. The river keeps flooding the town. Sick old people who have worked all their lives are eating cat food in the hobo jungle.

The government offers a solution that will fix the problem at a relatively modest cost. It is the hero cutting the heroine loose from the railroad tracks as the train approaches. It is the Lone Ranger riding into town to fix the bad guys. The government program in this early stage is the Great White Hope: once we get it up and running, people believe, life is going to get better.

Often it does, and a well established and functioning government program makes itself very popular in the next phase. Retirees are cashing Social Security checks, and the cost to those still working is very low. More creditworthy families are building homes because federal market makers are enabling banks to lend more; more homes make for more construction jobs. Life is getting better — and as most people count them the benefits clearly outweigh the costs. In this second stage of life, the Great White Hope becomes the Great White Father in Washington, benignly scattering benefits among an adoring population.

The government program addresses the need it was intended to fill, and the citizens look to their representatives with gratitude and affection. Farmers pocket their subsidy checks, poor parents use their food stamps to feed the kids, first time homeowners get low rate mortgages for pennies down, and old people bask in the glow of Medicare. All is well.

Unfortunately the cycle continues.

In the third stage, the law of diminishing returns sets in. The Army Corps of Engineers has built all the really useful flood control dams, but there is a large bureaucracy committed to building more — and there is a large private sector lobby of dam construction firms that want new business. Perversely, as the value of new projects diminishes, the political forces pushing new projects grow stronger. Bureaucrats rewrite the guidelines, cost-benefit analysts start fudging the numbers to make bad projects look good, and the dam lobby pressures Congress to keep that money flowing regardless of those whiners and complainers mewling about environmental problems and other drawbacks.

At this point the program enters the third stage of life: it is now a Great White Elephant. It is a large and expensive program that does less and less good at a higher and higher cost. Fannie Mae stops helping creditworthy borrowers get affordable mortgages through simple and straightforward processes. Federal housing policy becomes increasingly complex as new layers and levels of subsidy and promotion are tacked on. As the incentives become increasingly misaligned, the country begins to over invest in housing; consumers start buying more house than they need because government support makes housing an attractive investment.

The Elephant process takes place in many ways. Health care programs become inflated with bells and whistles; programs originally intended to provide basic medical care gradually swell into huge and expensive monstrosities. Shouldn’t chiropractic care be covered? Psychiatric care? Acupuncture? And since government is paying for the care shouldn’t it regulate who provides the care through licensing procedures? Costs go up, procedures become more complex; efforts to control costs lead to more red tape.

As life expectancy exploded in the last sixty years, Social Security has morphed from a modest little program aimed at helping people get through the last few years of life with a little bit of dignity into the idea that twenty years of healthy ease should be a social entitlement. Medicare covers more and more treatments for more and more people over longer and longer stretches of time.

Little by little, mission creep sets in. A powerful cluster of interests organizes around the government program. The real estate lobby looks for ways to extend Fannie Mae’s guarantees to more people. Programs and subsidies become steadily more complex, less comprehensible. Successive waves of ‘reform’ generally make things worse as the special interests focus with increasing power and skill on warping the programs to meet their needs and goals.

The fourth stage of life comes when the Great White Elephant morphs into a Great White Shark: a man-eating terror of the deep that ruthlessly attacks anyone who gets in its way. At this stage the government program has moved beyond being wasteful and has become unsustainable…

Please read the rest of the article to learn how the process ends.

A Tale of Two Transgressions

At first the Anthony Weiner story was funny; now it’s sad because of what it must be doing to his reportedly pregnant wife.

Rand Simberg makes an obvious but almost never mentioned point: If true that, as former Virginia governor and head of the Democratic National Committee Tim Kain says (among others), it is inexcusable for an office holder to lie to his constituents, why didn’t Democrats similarly call for Bill Clinton to leave office?:

…Am I the only person who thinks [the demand from many high profile Democrats that Weiner resign]… a little bizarre?

Can someone explain to me what Anthony Weiner did that was so much worse than what Bill Clinton did that he is being asked by his fellow Democrats to resign?

For those unfamiliar with the history, let us review the two men’s transgressions, in context.

Anthony Weiner allegedly and admittedly communicated with young women on social media and sent them photos of his unmentionables, and then lied about it for a week or so before coming clean.

Bill Clinton had actual sexual relations (and yes, folks, “oral sex” is sex — look at the second word) with a young woman in his pay, in the Oval Office, during working hours, sometimes while discussing troop movements with members of Congress on the phone. He sometimes held up meetings with government officials so that said young woman could have the proper time to service his needs, which included (to put it as delicately as possible) using her tongue to function as toilet paper.

Then, when threatened with this becoming public knowledge as a result of a civil lawsuit over his sexual intimidation of a state employee brought to him by his personal state-police detail in Arkansas, he obstructed justice by intimidating and bribing witnesses to suborn perjury both personally and via third parties. When put on the stand himself, he repeatedly perjured himself, despite having taken an oath to defend the Constitution and uphold the law of the land.

These were all federal felonies. In the midst of this, he went on the air and lied to the American people, pointing his finger at us to rebuke us for the crime of even imagining that he was being less than truthful. The only reason that he eventually came clean was because the young woman (on the advice of an older woman, who was the only person in the affair who told the truth, and had her family threatened if she wouldn’t perjure herself, and was vilified for it, including jokes in the Clinton-supporting media about her physical appearance) held on to the evidence in the form of a blue dress with remnants of his perverse passion on it.

Not only did he do all of these things, but he enlisted his friends and employees to trash the young woman’s reputation, as well as that of other women whom he had similarly mistreated.

With the sole exception of Senator Joe Lieberman, I don’t remember the outrage from his fellow Democrats then that we are hearing now about Anthony Weiner. Pat Leahy [My addition: who now calls for Weiner’s resignation] not only didn’t demand Clinton’s resignation, he (like all other Senate Democrats) voted to keep him in office, even though it would have been a boon to his party to remove Clinton, because it would have made Al Gore president, and almost certainly assure his election in 2000.

So I’m scratching my head. Why throw poor Tony under the bus, when the party went all-out to defend a much worse case, even against its own political interest? Can someone, anyone, explain it to me?

Where Rape Is Not A Crime

Christopher Hitchens de-constructs our outrageous and stupid relationship with Pakistan:

Salman Rushdie’s upsettingly brilliant psycho-profile of Pakistan, in his 1983 novel, Shame, rightly laid emphasis on the crucial part played by sexual repression in the Islamic republic. And that was before the Talibanization of Afghanistan, and of much of Pakistan, too. Let me try to summarize and update the situation like this: Here is a society where rape is not a crime. It is a punishment. Women can be sentenced to be raped, by tribal and religious kangaroo courts, if even a rumor of their immodesty brings shame on their menfolk. In such an obscenely distorted context, the counterpart term to shame—which is the noble word “honor”—becomes most commonly associated with the word “killing.” Moral courage consists of the willingness to butcher your own daughter.

If the most elemental of human instincts becomes warped in this bizarre manner, other morbid symptoms will disclose themselves as well. Thus, President Asif Ali Zardari cringes daily in front of the forces who openly murdered his wife, Benazir Bhutto, and who then contemptuously ordered the crime scene cleansed with fire hoses, as if to spit even on the pretense of an investigation. A man so lacking in pride—indeed lacking in manliness—will seek desperately to compensate in other ways. Swelling his puny chest even more, he promises to resist the mighty United States, and to defend Pakistan’s holy “sovereignty.” This puffery and posing might perhaps possess a rag of credibility if he and his fellow middlemen were not avidly ingesting $3 billion worth of American subsidies every year.

There’s absolutely no mystery to the “Why do they hate us?” question, at least as it arises in Pakistan. They hate us because they owe us, and are dependent upon us. The two main symbols of Pakistan’s pride—its army and its nuclear program—are wholly parasitic on American indulgence and patronage. But, as I wrote for Vanity Fair in late 2001, in a long report from this degraded country, that army and those nukes are intended to be reserved for war against the neighboring democracy of India. Our bought-and-paid-for pretense that they have any other true purpose has led to a rancid, resentful official hypocrisy, and to a state policy of revenge, large and petty, on the big, rich, dumb Americans who foot the bill…

Everybody [knows] that the Taliban was originally an instrument for Pakistani colonization of Afghanistan. Everybody [knows] that al-Qaeda forces were being sheltered in the Pakistani frontier town of Quetta, and that Khalid Sheikh Muhammed was found hiding in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistani Army. Bernard-Henri Lévy once even produced a damning time line showing that every Pakistani “capture” of a wanted jihadist had occurred the week immediately preceding a vote in Congress on subventions to the government in Islamabad. But not even I was cynical enough to believe that Osama bin Laden himself would be given a villa in a Pakistani garrison town on Islamabad’s periphery…

Depraved But Not Deprived

On his television show today, Fareed Zakaria referred to a new report on what causes people to become terrorists. Zakaria noted all the money we give to Pakistan that goes toward development to eliminate poverty which liberals like to claim is the “root cause” of all kinds of bad behavior.

But here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the report I think Zakaria referred to:

…terrorism resembles a violent form of political engagement. More educated people from privileged backgrounds are more likely to participate in politics, probably in part because political involvement requires some minimum level of interest, expertize, commitment to issues and effort, all of which are more likely if people have enough education and income to concern themselves with more than minimum subsistence…

I would go further than that: Modern education teaches disaffection as a normal reaction to allegedly racist, unjust and imperialistic societies. So an intellectual is by definition a political activist and often sees himself as a revolutionary compelled to bring down the present order “by any means necessary.”

The root causes theory (poverty) is the intellectuals’ conventional excuse for urban crime perpetrated by mostly poor minorities. But when asked why they engage in violent crime, the urban criminals often spout the same liberal platitudes as their intellectual apologists: Violent crime is a rational reaction to racism and poverty. Or as Stephen Sondheim wrote in the song “Officer Krupke” from West Side Story: “We’re depraved on account of we’re deprived!”

Tweet On, MacDuff!

Mark Steyn thinks congressmen and congresswomen ought to tweet more and “work for the American people” less:

…For the benefit of the few remaining American coeds Rep. [Anthony] Weiner isn’t following on Twitter, the congressman’s initial position when his groin Tweet went viral was that his Twitter had been hacked. Could happen to anyone. From last Thursday’s edition of The Daily Telegraph:

“British intelligence has hacked into an al-Qaida online magazine and replaced bomb making instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.”

True. If MI6 can break into a Yemeni website run by Anwar al-Awlaki and infect it with home-baking favorites from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” I don’t doubt that the same spooks could easily hack into Anthony Weiner’s computer and Tweet his cupcake to that poor college girl in Seattle.

But Congressman Weiner then retreated from the sinister hacking line, and protested that all this fuss about a mere “prank” involving a “randy photo” (his words) was an “unfortunate distraction” from real issues like raising the debt ceiling. Like Bill Clinton in the Nineties, Rep. Weiner needs to “get back to work for the American people.”

It’s the political class doing all this relentless “work for the American people” that’s turned this country into the brokest nation in the history of the planet, killed the American Dream and left the American people headed for a future poised somewhere between the Weimar Republic and Mad Max. So, if it’s a choice between politicians getting back to work for the American people or Tweeting their privates round the planet, I say, Tweet on, MacDuff. Tough on our young college ladies. But, as Queen Victoria advised her daughter on her wedding night, lie back and think of England. Download and think of America…