A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

‘Diversity’ in Action

By 1.20.15

Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, and European governments’ counter-attacks are more than just a passing news story.

Europe is currently in the process of paying the price for years of importing millions of people from a culture hostile to the fundamental values of Western culture. And this is by no means the last of the installments of that price, to be paid in blood and lives, for smug elites’ Utopian self-indulgences in moral preening and gushing with the magic word “diversity.”

Generations yet unborn will still be paying the price, whether in large or small installments, depending on how long it takes for the West to jettison Utopianism and come to grips with reality.

Meanwhile, in the United States, no one seems to be drawing any lessons about the dangers of importing millions of people from fundamentally different cultures across our open border. In America, “diversity” has still not yet lost its magical ability to stop thought in its tracks and banish facts into the outer darkness.

Perhaps here, as in Europe, that verbal magic can only be washed away in the blood of innocent victims, many of them yet unborn.

A Further Perspective

Goodbye Charlie

By 1.16.15

Eighty years ago, a Jew approached the saintly rabbi of the Gerer Hassidic dynasty and asked him for spiritual guidance. “Rabbi, where can I go to find true fear of sin?”

“Paris,” answered the rabbi.

“Why Paris?”

“Because so many good people have left their fear behind in that city.”

Paris has earned a sleazy reputation over centuries. It represents the notion that luxury and style can be achieved without restraint. In many ways London and Paris were opposing symbols in this regard. The English capital stood for the principle that humanity achieves its greatness through limiting indulgent impulses while the French capital scoffed at that assertion. As a general rule, London emerged stronger in head-to-head battles and its empire ranged further and lasted longer.

A Further Perspective

After Paris Attacks, ‘Experts’ Say All Religions Are Violent

By 1.16.15

Two events recently transpired that forced mainstream media to address a question they habitually dodge: Is Islam intrinsically violent? First, on New Year’s Day, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi—a world leader, and a Muslim—did the unthinkable when he publicly asserted that Islamic texts and thinking have made the Muslim world a scourge to humanity. The MSM ignored it until, as if to prove his point, Muslim gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed a dozen people in its attack on the offices of a satirical newspaper in Paris.

Two separate editorials—by the New York Times and CNN—responded by purportedly tackling the question of whether Islam is inherently violent in the context of the Paris attack and Sisi’s speech.  Both quoted me as responding in the affirmative—and both instantly dismissed my partially presented views in “straw-man” fashion.

A Further Perspective

Je Suis Charlie et Je Suis Juif

By 1.12.15

The theme of this past weekend was one of solidarity. 

On Saturday, I went to the French Cultural Center of Boston where I attended a tribute to the journalists and cartoonists from Charlie Hebdo who were murdered on January 7. The tribute took the form of a slideshow featuring the work of the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists as well as cartoons that have been drawn in their honor in the days following the attack.

On Sunday, I made my way to Boston Common where I attended a rally sponsored by the Consulate General of France in Boston. The rally coincided with the one that took place in Paris which was attended by an estimated 1.5 million people featuring 50 heads of states (President Obama not among them).

A Further Perspective

After the Charlie Hebdo Murders

By 1.9.15

The puckish French newspaper Charlie Hebdo was attacked by Islamic thugs on Wednesday, and the West’s reaction brought to mind the spirit of NATO: an attack on one is an attack on all. There was a hiatus in the usual Internet slashing as nearly everyone was united in a commitment to liberal values. The hash tag “#JeSuisCharlie” was devised to show solidarity with the murdered journalists.

The translation is “I am Charlie,” which seems both excessive and fitting. Excessive because even most of us who work in media are not Charlie Hebdo; we’ll never be mutilated by gunfire over something we write. And yet fitting because what Charlie’s assassins were trying to snuff out was a value we all hold dear: freedom of expression, even if that expression is deemed offensive.

A Further Perspective

Are Facts Obsolete?

By 12.31.14

Some of us, who are old enough to remember the old television police series Dragnet, may remember Sgt. Joe Friday saying, “Just the facts, ma’am.” But that would be completely out of place today. Facts are becoming obsolete, as recent events have demonstrated.

What matters today is how well you can concoct a story that fits people’s preconceptions and arouses their emotions. Politicians like New York mayor Bill de Blasio, professional demagogues like Al Sharpton, and innumerable irresponsible people in the media have shown that they have great talent in promoting a lynch mob atmosphere toward the police.

Grand juries that examine hard facts live in a different world from mobs who listen to rhetoric and politicians who cater to the mobs.

During the controversy over the death of Trayvon Martin, for example, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus said that George Zimmerman had tracked Trayvon Martin down and shot him like a dog. The fact is that Zimmerman did not have to track down Trayvon Martin, who was sitting right on top of him, punching him till his face was bloody.

A Further Perspective

Here’s the Real Case for Normalizing Relations

By 12.24.14

In his move to normalize relations with Cuba, some conservatives complain that President Obama has thrown a lifeline to the enemy—in this case, potentially prolonging the life of a tyrannical regime that is careening toward a richly deserved bankruptcy.

As a strong believer in the potency of what the execrable Paul Krugman calls “free market fundamentalism,” I am all in favor of ending the 54-year U.S. embargo against Cuba as quickly as possible. I believe this would be much more likely to hasten rather than delay the demise of the Castro regime.

I only wish that Obama—in one more didactic if wrong-headed display of his progressive biases—had not presented such a misleading and (from the U.S. perspective) self-damning picture of the relationship between the two countries.

An end to the embargo—requiring Congressional approval—would not mean an immediate end to Cuba’s isolation from the rest of the world (excluding communist or terrorist states) for the simple reason that Cuba’s isolation is not the result of the U.S. embargo. Rather, it is self-imposed.

A Further Perspective

An Ideological Victory Over the Castro Brothers Is Not Enough

By 12.23.14

It is quickly becoming an article of faith among those who favor ending the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba that their opponents are economic illiterates. The more we can penetrate our long-time Caribbean adversary with iPhones and other technological marvels, the sophisticates patiently explain, the more Fidel Castro’s communism will cease to appeal.

Ending the embargo is really “a Trojan horse for democratic capitalism,” they say.

But suppose what the opponents of economic reconciliation intuitively understand is that the problem with Cuba is not communism, an ideology whose popular appeal collapsed almost two decades ago with the Berlin wall, but gangland rule. Suppose that what they recognize in the Cuban leadership is a ruthless regime which has no trouble with the erosion of its professed ideology as long as the final result is greater power, more wealth, and the appearance of legitimacy.

A Further Perspective

The IRS’s School Bond Dodge

By 12.22.14

There was a time when many a school board threatened to cancel the football season or disband the school band when its members sensed the voters might vote against the latest school bond measure. The threats were usually idle ones, but they often galvanized enough voters to put the issue over.

Voters are probably more savvy now and don’t fall this trick, but the head of the Internal Revenue Service, Commissioner John Koskinen, apparently doesn’t think so. When Congress last week, by way of the “Cromnibus” budget bill, reduced the IRS’s budget by $346 million (to a measly $10.9 billion), Mr. Koskinen wrapped the old School Bond Dodge in new clothing and announced that the budget cuts could very well result in delayed mailing of income tax refund checks. Not only that, but taxpayers who call in with questions will probably be dealt with by automatic telephone messages instead of human beings. (You know that drill: “All of our agents are busy with other customers.”)

A Further Perspective

A Thankless Task

By 12.17.14

No doubt a fear of accusations of “Islamophobia” explains the astonishing fact that the Sydney jihadist was not on any terror watch list, an omission that baffled the country’s prime minister. An open jihadist from Iran, Man Haron Monis had committed a series of offenses before this week. “How can someone who has had such a long and checkered history not be on the appropriate watch lists and how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community,” said Tony Abbott. “These are questions that we need to look at carefully and calmly and methodically.”

Australia’s security knew he was a threat but gave him a wide berth anyways, which is what one would expect in a political climate that punishes public figures for viewing the problem of radical Islam too clearly.

Abbott has been criticized for not taking “attacks on Muslims” in Australia seriously enough. Almir Colan of the Islamic Council of Victoria told the press in recent months that Abbott, despite his assurances to Muslim Australians that they belonged to “Team Australia,” needed to show greater sensitivity to them.