Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is it possible the president is unwell? What else could explain this? While I oppose almost all his policies, I want him healthy, and not just because the alternative is President Biden. Here's hoping that nothing's amiss, and it was only a brief, bizarre lapse of attention.
At Hudson New York, Guy Millière describes the return to Europe of toxic anti-Semitism:
Hatred towards Israel is now the most widely shared sentiment among Europeans, whatever their place on the political spectrum. . . .

[A]n increasing number of Europeans seem quite ready for another Holocaust: one that would be the annihilation of Israel.

If sacrificing Israel allowed non-Muslim Europeans to see Muslim anger disappear, they would be willing to make the sacrifice immediately. If, in order to accept the sacrifice with a clear conscience, non-Muslim Europeans have to caricature Israel ignobly, they will -- and do. . . . The Israeli army is often compared in European media to the Nazi army. The comparison is fully playing its role: if the Jews are Nazis today, it means that the Europeans did the world a favor in killing six million of them, and that the Europeans are not really guilty.
Millière's analysis reminds me of a point Thomas Sowell has made often, for instance here, about slavery in the pre-Civil-War US:
If all men were created equal, as the Declaration of Independence proclaimed, then the only way to justify slavery was by depicting those enslaved as not fully men. A particularly virulent form of racism thus arose from a particularly desperate need to defend slavery against telling attacks that invoked the fundamental principles of the American republic.
To reconcile slavery with American principles, its supporters had to make and defend the absurd, reprehensible claim that blacks were less than human. And now, to render another Holocaust morally acceptable, Europeans need to perform (in Melanie Phillips's term) the moral inversion that turns genocidal Muslims into victims and civilized Israelis into barbarians. It's a shameful tide of thought, if such can be called thought, and it deserves relentless and unstinting condemnation.

And in case you think I'm likening Western enemies of Israel to antebellum proponents of slavery: Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing. Glad you've caught on.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nice free track at Amazon today: "Circling," by Gretchen Parlato.
A distressing insight from Kenneth Anderson: Though Democrats' national-security policy is worse than Republicans', the country may be better off, in national-security terms, with Democrats in power. The reason is that while Republicans will always vote to defend the country, Democrats might not do so unless Democrats are in charge. When Democrats are out of power, they'll often block national-security legislation for tactical, i.e. political, reasons, thereby leaving us less safe. So we may have a better chance of seeing crucial national-security legislation pass when they're in control.

Not a happy thought.
Spengler: Catastrophe nears in Egypt.
Jack Dunphy on the Los Angeles Police Department's mediocre higher-ups, a group he calls "the Club":
When they graduate from the police academy and have worked the streets for some time, members of the Club learn that they . . . simply lack the skills that mark the best police officers. What they find they are skilled at, however, is learning the esoterica of the police bureaucracy and taking tests by which such knowledge is measured. And in the Los Angeles Police Department, the term “esoterica” is stretched to almost unfathomable lengths. For example, there once appeared on an LAPD promotional exam a question about how long the lights should be allowed to be kept on in an unoccupied room. (Yes, there is a section in the LAPD manual that governs such things.) You wouldn’t want to work for the person who got that question right.
Note her pride. (Via Legal Insurrection.)
Two good ones from The Onion: "Hostages Trapped Inside Walmart Insisting They Never Shop At Walmart" and "Report: Area Woman Has Best Friends In Whole World." (Some profanity in the second link.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bing West calls for "focus[ing] on one overarching goal" in Afghanistan:
Place a reasonably confident Afghan army at the front, costing $12 billion per year for the next decade, and replace our combat battalions with a U.S. adviser corps of about 25,000. Provide these advisers with incentives (extra pay or promotion) to undertake a frustrating job. No strategy is risk-free, either in the stock market or on the battlefield. But on balance, it’s time to begin a quiet withdrawal of our combat units. It’s not our war to fight if the Taliban are not a threat to the U.S.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Daily Caller is often too snarky for my tastes, but whoever writes the newsletter [Later: Jim Treacher] does a good job of mocking leftist media. From today's edition:
Tina Fey is the star of a low-rated workplace situation comedy and has written a book about herself. In addition to these accomplishments, she has learned how to make her voice sound vaguely like that of an Alaskan woman. Did she do so when she hosted Saturday Night Live this week? Of course she did. Here's what FeyPalin had to say: "It's just so great to be back on Fox News, a network that both pays me and shows me the questions ahead of time. And I just hope that tonight the lamestream media won't twist my words by repeatin' 'em verbatim... But the important thing for everybody to know is that I'm gonna be runnin' for president every 4 years for the rest of my life. It's my Olympics and I intend to win a whole buncha silvers." It was funny the way she said it, honest! Fey is also visibly pregnant, which is a wonderful thing for any woman to be, as long as she doesn't publicly disagree with liberals.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

David Bernstein makes an excellent point:
[I]f you can’t get the leftist Europeans, NGOs, etc. behind a surgical strike on Osama Bin Laden, they are hardly going to approve of much broader Israeli military action in Gaza or Lebanon.
A lesson the years have taught me: In the view of the Left, victory is morally suspect, and the victor tends to be morally inferior to the vanquished.