At Large

At Large

Moral Turpitude in Turtle Bay

By 4.26.16

Last month, the United Nations condemned only one country in the world for violating women’s rights. Singling out Israel with specious accusations of harming Palestinian women is a popular annual ritual in Turtle Bay — scapegoating democratic Israel while willfully ignoring the many states with actual, well-known egregious policies toward women. Just because the UN repeats this accusation every year does not make it true. The hypocrisy and institutional bias are mind-boggling.    

At Large

Tunnels, Mayhem, and ‘Misguided Cowards’

By 4.20.16

On Monday, a Palestinian terrorist set off a bomb in a packed Jerusalem bus during evening rush hour. At least 21 people are reported to be “injured.”

“Injured” doesn’t begin to describe the mayhem. Jerusalem resident Racheli Dadon was on the bus with her 15-year-old daughter. From her hospital bed, she described the aftermath. “Everything was dark and smoky, I looked for my daughter and she was all burned. After the explosion I collapsed. Her face was all black, you couldn’t see her.”

As is their wont after a gruesome murder of innocents, Palestinians celebrated by honking their horns and passing out candy in the streets, with the candy representing the sweetness of the moment.

At Large

Bernie and the Two Popes

By 4.15.16

Last week’s news that presidential candidate and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders would be attending a Vatican conference on economic and social issues was a bombshell for a number of reasons, revealing not only incredible political tone-deafness from Church officials but also a highly partisan reading of Catholic social teaching.

At Large

Headlines of the Day

By 3.25.16

From the Bild (Germany), sort of their NY Post:

Warum wir den Kampf gegen ISIS gerade verlieren!

From a local paper:

Obama finaliza su histórica visita a Cuba

From Paris, some gems from Le Monde (their official paper), such as a commentary on the need for every citizen to be vigilant… but also an interesting wake up call: Après l’attaque de Bruxelles, l’example israélien examiné de près. You get the drift, the Israelis defend themselves, hadn’t thought o’ that!

At Large

The Better Angela of Her Nature

By 2.25.16

While Americans focus on a troubling presidential election, a broader contest for the West’s future is now playing out from Izmir to Berlin.

Amid the prospect of British exit, the European Union continues to grapple with its unresolved migrant crisis. On March 6 Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to meet with Turkey, which she sees as the key to reducing the flow of refugees.

Merkel and her senior ministers need to assure German voters they have the year-long migrant crisis under control, which they do not. They face three big state elections on March 13.

Germany would like in principle to rid the country of free loaders, criminals, and possible jihadi, as would several other EU nations, but they barely have the will and legal power to do it. Meanwhile, large numbers of undocumented aliens are interned, in hiding, or free to roam in passport-free Europe’s underworld. And more are on the way.

At Large

Altruistic Evil in the West Bank

By 2.8.16

Hussein Abu Ghosh, 17, and Ibrahim Yusef Allan, 23, both students at the West Bank’s Bir Zeit University, climbed over the fence at the Jewish village of Beit Horon intent on achieving martyrdom by killing innocent Jews.

In a well-planned attack in a busy village grocery, the assailants first scuffled with a middle-aged man who managed to fend them off with a grocery cart. Then the “heroes” found two defenseless women to stab, one of whom, Shlomit Krigman, 23, later died from her wounds.

Their plan included detonating three pipe bombs, but security guards shot the killers dead before they were set off.

There will be inevitable denunciations from Sweden and the Arab nations that the “students” could have been taken alive. After all, they only had knives and homemade pipe bombs.

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Australia’s Islamophilic Prime Minister

By 12.21.15

Australia’s new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who gained power over the Liberal (i.e. conservative) Party and government by a dishonorable intra-party coup, is continuing to delight the left and disgust the conservatives of his own party.

He has done conservatism in Australia enormous damage. In the damage he has also done to standards of honorable behavior in public life, he rivals or perhaps surpasses Bill Clinton.

Australia’s major conservative party has had some disappointing leaders — Holt, Gorton, McMahon, even perhaps Turnbull’s politically assassinated predecessor Tony Abbott. But none were actively hostile to fundamental Liberal Party principles, and to the ways of thinking that might generally be called conservative.

To his nauseating praise of Mao Tse-tung (he called history’s greatest mass murderer the man who made the Chinese people stand up, even parroting a phrase in Chinese to do so), Turnbull has now given forth an at least equally emetic paean to Islam and, as a corollary, denigration of the achievements of Western science and other cultures, such as the Hindu achievements in numerals, mathematics and navigation.

At Large

An Imam’s Rise Down Under

By 11.23.15

A new page in Christian civilization’s prolonged moral suicide note to the world is under consideration in Australia. It is a small symbolic matter, with much weightier matters behind it.

The Australian Army is removing the 102-year-old motto “In this sign conquer” from the hat badges of army chaplains, apparently because it is offensive to Muslims.

The move comes after an imam approved by the Grand Mufti was appointed to join the… Religious Advisory Committee to the Australian armed forces in June.

Oddly enough, none of the other ethnic groups such as Vietnamese (many of whom are Buddhist) serving in the forces have ever complained. Perhaps they are of the opinion that what Christians want to do is their own business. After all, they are not obliged to attend Christian services or seek out Christian Chaplains.

While the motto was adopted by the Australian Army in 1913, it is associated with a vision of the cross said to have come before a battle in 312 A.D. to the Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Emperor to legalize Christianity and to receive baptism himself. It thus predates Islam by several centuries.

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The Past and Future of the Refugee Crisis

By 9.8.15

The refugee crisis in Europe is one of those human tragedies for which there are no real solutions, despite how many shrill voices in the media may denounce those who fail to come up with a solution.

Some options may be better than others, but there is nothing that can honestly be called a solution. Nevertheless many countries, including the United States, could do a lot better.

The immediate problems are the masses of desperate men, women, and children, fleeing from the wars and terrorism of the Middle East, who are flooding into Europe. But the present crisis cannot be dealt with as if it had no past and no future.

The future is in fact one of the biggest constraints on what can be done in the present. Anyone with a sense of decency and humanity would want to help those who have been through harrowing experiences and have arrived, exhausted and desperate, on the shores of Europe. But the story will not end there, if they do.

At Large

A Tale of Two Societies

By 8.26.15

How many of us could walk through the desert to sit outside of school because we had such a thirst for knowledge? Gaze through a hole in a mud schoolhouse with a tin roof? Stare at a chalk board covered in symbols, seeing letters for the first time? Walk home for several hours? And then be beaten upon arrival for resisting a predetermined destiny to be a shepherd?

The man who did all of this and more is Mohed Altrad, the son of a Bedouin girl in Syria who was either 12 or 13 when she was first raped by his father, the leader of their nomadic tribe. Into these horrific circumstances Mohed and his elder brother were born. Altrad says he does not remember his mother’s name, but he does know that she died giving birth to him.

His elder brother was eventually murdered by his father, leaving Mohed to be raised by his maternal grandmother just outside Raqqa, which like many towns and cities in Syria is now controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS). Back then it was the place he called home.