Why Natalie Portman’s Holocaust Comments Are Deeply Disturbing

By 8.24.15

In an interview with the British newspaper The Independent, actress Natalie Portman made several comments about the Holocaust. 

Portman was interviewed to promote her directorial debut A Tale of Love and Darkness, a Hebrew language adaptation of Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel about the birth of the State of Israel. She is best known for her appearances in the Star Wars prequels and would later earn a Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan. In the interview, Portman questioned Jews for overemphasizing the Holocaust to the exclusion of other acts of genocide, specifically the Hutu massacre of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994:


Bernie Sanders, Weirdo in Chief

By 8.14.15

Senator Bernie Sanders tops former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 44-37 in a poll of likely Democratic voters in the New Hampshire primary. A proud socialist in the driver’s seat in a state where they inscribe “live free or die” on the license plates speaks to what a long, strange trip it’s been.

Socialists normally run for president. They rarely call themselves socialists. The novelty of “Bernie Sanders for President” stems from his truth in advertising. But some truths one never prefers to advertise.


The Grotesquery That Is Donald

By 8.10.15

My God, has it come to this? I’m pole-axed that there are serious people who take Donald Trump seriously for a New York minute.

Trump is an arrogant, self-satisfied, crude, and pompous windbag and bully who grossly overestimates his competence, his knowledge, his successes, and, not least, his charm. If this grotesque showman is the guy a plurality of the Republican base prefers, then that base is baser than I thought it was.

The man is hideous. He is not a serious human being. He is not a serious candidate. He is a blister on the bum of the Republican Party (to which his loyalty is so minimal as to be unmeasurable) and a serious threat to help install Clinton 2.0 at 1600 in 2017. It’s undeniable that a weak Republican establishment has been less than forceful on the issues that need to be engaged if America is to become America again. But this un-seriousness does not justify support of an even less serious Donald Trump. Trump may be a symptom of conservatives’ frustrations, but he damn sure isn’t a cure for them.


Ego Central

By 8.5.15

As Jon Stewart signs off later this week as host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show after 16 years, the mainstream media is giving him the sort of reverence it normally reserves for President Obama.

Steve Almond of Salon.com writes, “[T]he consensus that has formed around him is that he’s a national hero, an intrepid truth teller, a kind of secular prophet in an age of folly, and the first Jew perhaps worthy of canonization.” Daily Beast columnist and CNN contributor Dean Obdeidallah thinks Stewart should succeed Obama and run for President. If that were to come to pass it would be like Obama never left office.


Privilege: The White Man’s Burden

By 7.23.15

The Washington Post recently ran a story that illuminated something about Millennials that had previously escaped me. Those who claim the mantel of “white privilege” are not expressing guilt, but superiority. A privilege is an advantage, and claiming it because of one’s skin color is not much different than claiming it as a result of one’s athletic or mental prowess. It says you are better when compared to others who lack your privilege.


Cardinal Sins

By 6.26.15

Have you heard about the awful Cardinal hack scandal? It brings shame and obloquy upon a respected organization which has spent many years building up its good name. How could moral myopia prevail at such a critical time? What manner of insensitivity and obtuseness would lead to such unconscionable behavior?

What’s that you say… the Saint Louis Cardinals hacking into the Houston Astros scouting reports…?

Oh, no, no, not about baseball at all. I was referring to the Cardinal of Cuba, Jaime Ortega, revealing himself to be a shameless political hack. Yes, it is true. The cleric, in Spain for a conference, was asked by reporters about the conditions of political prisoners in Cuba. His response: THERE ARE NO political prisoners in Cuba. Mercifully he stopped right there and did not treat us to a treatise about the exemplary democracy of the island nation, thriving merrily under the avuncular gaze of those benevolent Castro brothers.

So, I suppose, Yippee! Castro’s prisons are empty now, leaving extra space for other uses. Perhaps they can open more of those wonderful medical schools Michael Moore featured in his documentary. A Castro Convertible, as it were.


The Activist America Deserves

By 6.18.15

Rachel Dolezal — the former Spokane NAACP head who falsely, and with remarkable assertiveness, claimed to be African-American before her actual parents emerged last week — has already outlived the limitations of the six-hour news cycle.

Her behavior is so bizarre, her history so variegated, and the mélange of hesitance and stubbornness she projects in interviews so hard to pin down, that she’s only gathering steam as her story plays out. Nothing she does really matters, but everything she does is intensely interesting. Monday saw, among other news items, a media frenzy over what appeared to be a Dolezal sighting at the Spokane airport.


Bye, George!

By 5.15.15

Fate has a nasty sense of humor sometimes. The single most engaging person in show business today at any level is Ali Wentworth (Schmoopie to Seinfeld devotees), former host of Yahoo’s Daily Shot, the best original production in the history of the Internet. I defy any honest viewer to see any episode of that show, or any of her public appearances, and not find her immensely likeable. In particular, I would recommend her coffee klatsch with Jerry Seinfeld on his new show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

And who does this absolutely delightful human being choose as a spouse? None other than the penultimate creep George Stephanopoulos (the title of “ultimate creep” is taken during Charles Schumer’s lifetime.) If that match was made in Heaven, it might have been through connections his father cultivated on high in his quarter-century as Dean of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral.

Well, there is no accounting for tastes. Personally I never baste lamb but I would not lambaste people who do. Hopefully we can keep liking Alexandra while heaping scorn upon her husband.


Mosby Continues Her Raid

By 5.13.15

Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore City state’s attorney who has filed charges against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, is a left-wing activist first and a prosecutor second. She couldn’t have made this clearer last weekend when she turned up at Prince’s rock concert in Baltimore. She not only attended the de facto anti-police political rally but appeared on stage with the performer.

The concert was called a “Rally 4 Peace,” which served as a rally for railroading the police officers. Revealing the ideological character of the event, Prince spoke of Michael Brown as a victim of police brutality, a position that Mosby evidently holds too, despite the fact that even Eric Holder’s Justice Department concluded that the police officer who shot Brown did nothing illegal.


Former UN Chief: Americans Should Eat Insects to Fight Global Warming

By 5.7.15

Marie Antoinette may or may not have said “Let them eat cake” at the outset of the French Revolution 200-plus years ago, but former United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan just made Marie Antoinette’s alleged dictate seem downright magnanimous. Pointing his finger at America and other Western democracies, Annan this week said Americans should begin eating insects to do our part to address the fictitious global warming crisis.

Complaining about a “rapidly growing middle class,” Annan told the Guardian that more people being able to afford beef and chicken is causing “a major threat to the climate” because raising livestock produces global warming emissions. “There are alternative sources of protein,” said Annan. “Insects have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat.”

Annan criticized people in Western democracies for not embracing insect food sources linked to poverty in developing nations.