Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Leftie Who Saw the Light. By Melanie Phillips.

Why the Left hates families. By Melanie Phillips. Daily Mail, May 3, 2013.

A Lefitie who saw the light. By Melanie Phillips. Daily Mail, May 5, 2013.

My immigrant family were proud to assimilate. By Melanie Phillips. Daily Mail, May 7, 2013.

An elegy for England. By Melanie Phillips. MelaniePhillips.com, April 17, 2013.

Phillips, elegy:

What was so moving, in the end, was that Baroness Thatcher was buried as a simple Christian. Borne on a gun-carriage to St Paul’s cathedral as a great warrior statesman, Margaret Hilda went as a humble human soul to meet her ultimate fate, as must we all. But what a faith she had, blazing out in those magnificent, soaring hymns and readings that she had apparently so carefully chosen.

The funeral ceremonial was pitch-perfect, solemn but beautiful and uplifting, and choreographed and staged with flawless precision. This after all is what Britain still does so well. So much so that some foolish folk have allowed themselves to get carried away and claim that this shows Britain essentially still remains the same great country it always was.

What a short attention span such individuals must have. Sure, the protests that had been threatened for the funeral, by people whose gross disrespect for the dead suggests an equivalent and alarming contempt for the living, were kept at bay or drowned out by the many who made a point of standing up for elementary decency along the route.

But Britain is now a country where behaviour that was once unthinkable is now routine. Where the mob is unleashed every minute on social media to make vile remarks, to bully and intimidate. Where reasoned argument has been substantially replaced by vilification and insult. Where so many have been moronically parroting the conformist whine of the day, that Mrs T had been a divisive figure -- as if any true leader does not create argument and controversy.

Where young people are so devoid of compassion or respect for another human being, so convulsed by hatred as a result of their narcissistic incredulity that there can be any viewpoint other than their own, that they actually gloated and danced in the streets over the death of a frail 87 year-old who had lost her mind. And then they and those who shared their point of view of Lady Thatcher actually accused her of making Britain selfish and uncaring!

It is indeed becoming a selfish, brutalised, uncaring society. But this is the result of fundamental social and cultural changes – like the fragmentation of the family, the refusal to transmit a common culture through education, the balkanisation of Britain through multiculturalism, the victim culture which gives a free pass to certain privileged groups for their bad behaviour.

All these changes flowed from the tremendous onslaught by the left upon the Judeo-Christian values of the west, and the replacement of the bonds of duty which keep a society together by a rampant hyper-individualism and group rights which break it apart on the rocks of selfishness.

Margaret Thatcher’s flaw was to view everything through the narrow prism of economics, and thus fail altogether to appreciate the need to shore up those bonds of tradition, custom and informal obligation which could not be fitted into the model of the free-market. She left the battleground of the culture war all but undefended.  Those politicians who came after her took a culture that was already beginning to smash against the rocks of individualism and delivered, in many different ways and under different political banners, the coup de grace.

What has also been gradually eroded in this tragic process are virtues associated specifically with England – not with Britain, but with England or Englishness, the dominant culture within Britain: those knightly qualities of gentleness and tolerance, lion-hearted decency, stoicism and emotional self-restraint, innate fairness and a passion for order.

Does Dan Hodges, who apparently finds this argument so ludicrous, really think we shall ever have another leader prepared to defend the Britain that embodied those values? Our leaders have spent years not defending but wilfully destroying the bedrock characteristics of British national identity, based on that dominant English culture, in order to replace it with something entirely different.

Yes, we still do these great events incomparably well. Yes, there are still the decent British who turn out in great number to demonstrate their attachment to what Britain once represented.  But they are being replaced by younger generations who in their uneducated ignorance don’t even know what has been lost, let alone care, and who can no longer even think for themselves to go against the deadening consensus.

That’s why I felt it wasn’t just Lady Thatcher being buried in London today.

College Grads: It’s a Different Economy. By Charles Hugh Smith.

College Grads: It’s a Different Economy. By Charles Hugh Smith. Zero Hedge, May 4, 2013. Also find it here.

College Grads: Heads Up! By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, May 7, 2013.

A Different Economy for College Grads. By Helen Smith. PJ Media, May 5, 2013.

“Jews a Race” Genetic Theory Comes Under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert. By Rita Rubin.

“Jews a Race” Genetic Theory Comes Under Fierce Attack by DNA Expert. By Rita Rubin. The Jewish Daily Forward, May 7, 2013.

Jews Are a “Race,” Genes Reveal. By Jon Entine. The Jewish Daily Forward, May 4, 2012. Review of Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People. By Harry Ostrer. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 288 pp.

A Case for Genetic Jewishness. By Ivan Oransky. Tablet, May 15, 2012. Review of Harry Ostrer, Legacy.

Is There a Jewish Gene? By Richard C. Lewontin. New York Review of Books, December 6, 2012. Review of Harry Ostrer, Legacy. Review of The Genealogical Science: The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology. By Nadia Abu El-Haj. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

The Chosen Genes. By Josh Fischman. The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 15, 2012.

Who Are the Jews? Genetic Studies Spark Identity Debate. By Michael Balter. Science, Vol. 328, June 11, 2010. Also here.

Common Genetic Threads Link Thousands of Years of Jewish Ancestry. NJBR, April 28, 2013.

It’s almost impossible to be calm or objective when it comes to Israel and the Jews. Israel and the Jews push too many hot buttons for too many people—positive and negative, religious, historical, cultural, psychological, and political.

How the Palestinians Trap Themselves and Drag the West Along. By Barry Rubin.

How the Palestinians Trap Themselves and Drag the West Along. By Barry Rubin. PJ Media, May 5, 2013. Also find it here.

British officials predicted war – and Arab defeat – in Palestine in 1948. By Richard Norton-Taylor. The Guardian, April 25, 2013.

British Archives Dispose of the Palestinian Narrative. By Michael Curtis. American Thinker, April 28, 2013.

Telework Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely. By Walter Russell Mead.

Telework Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely. By Walter Russell Mead. Via Meadia, May 7, 2013.

Working Alone, Together. By Alex Williams. New York Times, May 3, 2013.

The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown About Telecommuting: Meta-Analysis of Psychological Mediators and IndividualConsequences. By Ravi S. Gajendran and David A. Harrison. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 92, No. 6 (November 2007). Also find it here.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Ireland’s Public Sector. By Eoghan Harris.

The good, the bad, and the ugly of our public sector. By Eoghan Harris. Irish Independent, April 7, 2013.


Beyond bad there is ugly. Last Thursday, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland became the first academic union in Europe to call for an academic boycott of Israel. The motion, passed unanimously, referred to Israel as an “apartheid state.”

The aim of calling Israel an “apartheid” state is to smear it with the same brush as South Africa. But as someone who strongly supported the Irish Anti-Apartheid Association I can categorically state there is not the slightest comparison between South Africa and Israel. Passing this motion simply peddled propaganda.

That’s because the motion conflated two separate groups. First, Israeli Arabs who form one-fifth of the population of Israel and have full civil rights. Second, Palestinians who live in Gaza under Hamas and who get a hard time for many reasons, including sending rockets into Israel.

South African non- whites under apartheid were separated by law. They could not vote, form parties or serve in government. The notion that a non-white woman could give birth in the same hospital as a white south African woman would be literally beyond the imagination of anyone in apartheid South Africa.

By contrast, Israeli Arabs, who make up 20 per cent of Israel’s population, are full citizens. They can vote, form parties, hold government posts, become civil servants and lawyers. The judge who sentenced a former Israeli prime minister for sexual transgressions was an Arab. Some apartheid.

From birth there is no apartheid in Israel. Jewish and Arab babies are born in the same delivery room, looked after by the same doctors and nurses. Jewish and Arab mothers recover side by side in adjoining beds. Some apartheid.

To call Israel an apartheid state is an attack on truth. As wrong as teaching that 2+2 makes 5. It confirms my belief that there are a lot of good teachers out there, but you won’t find them at conferences.

The Struggle for Syria. By Majid Rafizadeh.

The struggle for Syria. By Majid Rafizadeh. Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2013.


My cousin, Ramez, was dead before the echoes of the gunshot that killed him stopped ringing. His 4-year-old daughter, Zeynab, watched him fall on a narrow street in Damascus, but she never heard the shot because she is deaf. She held onto his lifeless hand until a second bullet tore into her chest. She survived.

I tell this story to make it clear that my family and I have experienced the civil war firsthand. Ramez was just one of several family members who lost their lives in the battle against Bashar Assad’s police state. My mother, sister and brother, alongside millions of other war-torn Syrian refugees, were forced to flee to Lebanon and then on to Baghdad.

But despite the seriousness and severity of the situation, I don’t believe that the United States should intervene militarily in Syria. Any direct or indirect intervention by the U.S. would exacerbate Syria's internal conflict and increase the number of people being displaced and killed.

. . . .

Another argument for intervention holds that it could pave the way for a democratic system of governance in Syria, which would then be strategically and politically allied with the United States. But those who make this case should more carefully consider the sociopolitical fabric of Syrian society, as well as the process by which democratization happens in the Middle East.

It is unlikely that intervention would lead quickly to the creation of a democratic government. If regime change came about because of U.S. intervention, Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Arab gulf states would feel a need to exert their influence more strongly as well, in order to protect their own geopolitical interests. The country could well become the battleground for an international proxy war in a way the world hasn’t seen since Vietnam. In addition, fundamentalists and Al Qaeda-backed groups would view U.S. intervention as a call to arms and would capitalize on the instability and insecurity to advance their fight against the West.

The sources of strife in Syrian society emerge from not just religious differences but also ethnic ones, and there’s no way of imposing an outside cure for those divisions. Religious sects within Syria include not only Alawites and Sunnis; there are Christian, Druze and Shiite populations as well. Tensions between different ethnicities, such as between Arab and non-Arab, would add fuel to the battle. There are Syrian Kurds who are Sunni, but there are also Syrian Alawite Kurds. The complexities make it extremely difficult for the United States to have a positive role in the conflict.

The Benghazi Scandal Is Not Over. By Peter Wehner.

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three of his colleagues were killed in an attack on the consulate in the eastern Libyan city by Islamists outraged over an amateur American-made Internet video mocking Islam. Stevens died less than six months after being appointed to his post. STR/AFP/Getty Images.

The 2012 Election Is Over; the Benghazi Scandal Is Not. By Peter Wehner. Commentary, May 6, 2013.

The Return of Clintonian Politics. By Seth Mandel. Commentary, May 6, 2013.

Benghazi Bullchips. By Jed Babbin. The American Spectator, May 6, 2013.

The Benghazi Talking Points. By Stephen F. Hayes. The Weekly Standard, May 13, 2013. Also find it here.

Lt. Col. Ralph Peters On Benghazi: “How Much Evidence Does It Take?” Video. Real Clear Politics, May 7, 2013.

Face the Nation transcripts May 5, 2013: Benghazi and gay athletes. Face the Nation. CBS News, May 5, 2013.

Clinton sought end-run around counterterrorism bureau on night of Benghazi attack, witness will say. By James Rosen and Chad Pergram. FoxNews,com, May 6, 2013.

U.S. Military in Tripoli Ordered Not to Go to Benghazi. By Stephen F. Hayes. The Weekly Standard, May 6, 2013.

Diplomat: U.S. Special Forces told “you can't go” to Benghazi during attacks. By Sharyl Attkisson. CBS News, May 6, 2013.

The NRA and the Intensity Gap. By Jonathan S. Tobin.

The NRA and the Intensity Gap. By Jonathan S. Tobin. Commentary, May 6, 2013.

The (Plastic) Key to Understanding Iranian Martyrdom. By Kevin Sullivan.

The (Plastic) Key to Understanding Iranian Martyrdom. By Kevin Sullivan. Real Clear World, May 3, 2013.

The martyr state myth. By Matthew Duss. Foreign Policy, August 24, 2011.

Pious Populist: Understanding the rise of Iran’s president. By Abbas Milani. Boston Review, November/December 2007.

Who Will Be Master in Europe? By Theodore Dalrymple.

Who Will Be Master in Europe? By Theodore Dalrymple. Real Clear World, May 1, 2013.

American Exceptionalism, Colonial Cannibals, and Starving Goats. By Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

Colonial cannibals and African Goats. By Glenn Harlan Reynolds. New York Post, May 5, 2013.

Private Property Saved Jamestown, And With It, America. By David Boaz. Cato Institute, May 14, 2007.

The Mexican War, America’s “Forgotten War,” South of the Border. By Mo Rocca.

General Winfield Scott’s Entrance into Mexico City, September 1847, by Carl Nebel. Wikimedia Commons.

America’s “Forgotten War,” south of the border. By Mo Rocca. Sunday Morning. CBS News, May 5, 2013.

The War Between the United States and Mexico Illustrated. Plates. Wikimedia Commons.

Mo Rocca’s Dead Serious, Low-Info CBS News Report: Greedy America Stole Half of Mexico in an Unjust War. By Rush Limbaugh. RushLimbaugh.com, May 6, 2013.