Catching Up on 5 Recent Issues and Controversies - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Catching Up on 5 Recent Issues and Controversies

I publish twice weekly, so I necessarily cannot comment on all issues. Ukraine comes before Will Smith. Today I catch up.


It is striking that a war between Russia and Ukraine has not devolved into anti-Jewish pogroms, massacres, and slaughters. Google “Chmielnicki,” “Kiev pogrom (1881),” “Kiev pogrom (1905),” “Odessa pogrom,” or just-plain “pogrom.” Putin is the first Russian leader in history who is not an anti-Semite. He did not bomb the Babi Yar memorial, despite fake news to the contrary. And the heroic Ukrainian patriot, Volodymyr Zelensky, is a Jew. So Ukrainians have to contemplate that.

Putin’s invasion is not “genocide.” More than one million Armenians were murdered during the Medz Yeghern Turkish genocide that exploded on April 24, 1915. Between 1.5-2 million were murdered by Pol Pot and the Marxist-Socialist (“Communist”) Khmer Rouge during the 1975-1979 Cambodian genocide. Stalin murdered millions of Ukrainians during the 1932-1933 Holodomor famine-genocide that New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty covered up. Yet another Marxist-Socialist, Mao Tse-tung, murdered more than 2.5 million during his “Great Leap Forward” 1958-1962 genocide. And of course, the Shoah, the Nazi Holocaust, was the quintessential genocide.

Therefore, though painful to say, the vile and evil butchery the world just has seen in Bucha, Ukraine cannot reasonably be called “genocide.” Words must be used honestly so as not to reduce the historic evil of true genocides. Still, if facts are confirmed, as I assume they will be, that the Bucha street photos were not staged by Ukrainians, then the Russian perpetrators have committed “war crimes.” Any Russian officers and soldiers who perpetrated these acts should be tried, as was done after WWII at Nuremberg, and if convicted should be executed.

I am not convinced that Putin gave these orders. If he did, he also deserves a neck rope or maybe just a poke in the back from an umbrella. But if these excesses were not done with his approbation, justice must be blind. Still, if he gave general instructions to use mass killings and similar terror to intimidate Ukrainians to surrender, he may well be complicit.

Putin certainly tailored this war to Joe Biden. It will end on January 20, 2025, just as the Ayatollah released all hostages the day Jimmy Carter gave the White House keys to Ronald Reagan. Putin will lay siege and starve Ukrainians, systematically will reduce cities like Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine to rubble, and will occasionally bomb areas around Kyiv and elsewhere. NATO countries will continue funding Putin’s Ukraine war by buying his oil. So far, they have paid Putin 35 million euros ($38 million) since the war began. The sanctions are a joke. They do not stop Iran’s evil as Ayatollahs continue financing Hamas, Hezbollah, and Yemenite Houthis. In January 2025, Putin will apologize, and the Europeans will fold like beach chairs, resuming the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Biden will remain transfixed to the Squad’s Green New Deal and Green Energy. If I could save the life of one American serviceman or woman by ending all windmills and solar panels and resuming American oil and gas independence as it was under Trump, I would do so in a heartbeat. Sen. Joe Manchin has that power, as did Queen Esther in Chapter 4 of her eponymous Biblical book. He just has to tell Biden that the Keystone XL pipeline must be approved, Alaska National Wildlife Refuge exploration must be reopened, drilling permits must be issued to leaseholders, and that Biden’s anti-oil-and-gas-industry regulations all must be rolled back — or Manchin will vote against Ketanji.


Since anthem-kneeling extended beyond Kaepernick, I no longer watch the NFL. I likewise have not watched an awards program for years. I loved the Tonys but got sick of their homosexual agenda. The Grammys? I had departed long before Miley Cyrus twerked and still never had heard of Cardi B, truly human trash, until someone sent me the “WAP” lyrics. I do not need to be lectured about social justice by Emmys and Oscars MCs and award winners. The Academy Awards have lost 80 percent of their audience, drawing 10-15 million viewers. In 1998 they drew 55 million. Do the math.

Not only are the celebrities dwarfs compared to Bogart, Bacall, and decades of Hollywood giants, but Norma Desmond was right: the pictures got small. Consider what one single year — 1939 — produced: The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Gunga Din; Good-bye, Mr. Chips. Compare that to today’s preachy garbage. Yes, there are one or two quality films each year: The Artist, The King’s Speech, Argo, 12 Years a Slave, Spotlight, The Departed. But mostly junk. So we stream the best of episodic TV and older film classics. Plenty to see.

In Orthodox Judaism, we are not allowed to shame people purposelessly. There are 31 speech-related laws in the Torah. The Torah regulates more that leaves our mouths than the kosher food that comes in. We may criticize and even mock evildoers. But there are enormous restrictions. We may not tell public jokes mocking others — not their names, appearances (unless meant pedagogically), or other characteristics. The idea of making fun of women celebrities who now are seniors but struggling to retain their physical appeal or otherwise mocking the aged is particularly pernicious.

Under the “rules of Hollywood,” Chris Rock’s “G.I. Jane” joke about Will Smith’s wife’s hair was par for the course. Not only par but pareve — neither here nor there. Moreover, Rock did not know she suffers from alopecia. And the rest of us did not know until after the incident that she and Smith have an “open marriage.” Some wife. When there’s a Will, there’s a way.

But a proper person does not make fun of a woman’s hairstyle. And you don’t mock a woman when her husband is sitting alongside her. Maybe OK for Hollywood, not for a Torah-values lifestyle.

Then, when a man’s wife is mocked — even if she initially “laughed” at the joke — the man must defend his wife’s honor. In 1806, attorney Charles Dickinson publicly challenged the morality of Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel. As a consequence, the (SPOILER ALERT!) future president challenged the defamer to a duel. Jackson shot the defamer to death, cementing his shotgun marriage. Compare that to a slap.

I contemplate: With all Hollywood’s LGBTQs, imagine if Rock were gay and got slapped. Wow! Smith would be attacked alternately for homophobia and for not punching him “like a man.” What if one of the two were holders of Systemic White Privilege? Can you imagine — a White guy punching or slapping a Black at the Oscars? Black Lives Matter! But now that Hollywood is Woke, at least that is safe: toxic masculinity on display.

As for Smith, for years he cultivated an image as a sweet guy. Instead, he is consumed by out-of-control anger-management issues. He throws his fists when angry; we never knew. A truly great actor, Oscar-worthy.

In my universe, we use our fists only when physically threatened with hurt or when called an anti-Jewish epithet — fighting words. My record is 4-0, all by K.O. and nosebleed. But in all other matters, we either “suck it up” and proceed with life. Or we sue.


We only can hope. Too often, public figures disappoint, promising positive results but failing. Musk is made of other material, but time will tell whether conservative voices and opinions reappear uncensored on Twitter. Yes, Tucker Carlson’s “Amadeus giggle” is insufferable, a right-wing variant on Kamala’s cackle. But he is great, as when he exposes George Soros or warns regarding population voting replacement. His voice belongs on Twitter, as does Trump’s. The ban on the New York Post Hunter Biden laptop story underscores the lowest point in social-media history. Will Musk really bring substantive change, now that he sits on the Twitter board and is its largest equity holder? We shall see.


Hunter’s corruption and deviances are widely known. The laptop merely provides hard evidence. We begin the journey to learn where the evidence leads, as we “follow the money” to the “Big Guy.”

Even if Joe did not get his 10 percent cut, despite his name and political position providing Hunter’s access to cash tied to corrupt powerbrokers in Xi’s China, Putin’s Russia, and Burisma’s Ukraine, this drama now finally is launching. It is shameful that the narrative was frozen during the last month of the 2020 presidential elections and until both the New York Times and the Washington Post finally conceded the veracity. But now it is kosher to pursue.

The timing of the validating assures that Hunter Biden’s corruptions will be the meat of news coverage into the November elections. Sweet. And we soon will get to know Joe’s brother, sweet baby James, as the investigations into the Biden family ensue towards the “Big Guy.” In mere days, we now have learned that the Big Guy wrote a college-admissions reference for the son of a shady Hunter Chinese cohort. This, despite the Big Guy on video record denying he ever knew anything about Hunter’s foreign connections.


We can say or do very little. Our constitutional system accords the president vast authority to nominate Supreme Court justices. All he needs to confirm for life is 50+1 votes in the U.S. Senate. He has that because: (i) Manchin has his limits, even though Ketanji will prove a disaster for West Virginia once she gets her hands on legal challenges pertaining to coal, oil, gas, family values, race, public schools, crime, and illegal immigration; (ii) the GOP should have won but lost those two precious U.S. Senate seats in Georgia; and (iii) Kamala breaks the ties. If Manchin had shifted, Susan Collins would have, too. Her behavior in the Kavanaugh vote was her template. When the GOP needs her, she is there. When not needed, she votes Democrat to shore up her credentials back home, where Republicans otherwise rarely win U.S. Senate seats. OK with me. She’s got it pegged.

Just for the record, though: Ketanji is a terrible nominee. The first Black woman on the High Court should have been the blazingly intelligent Janice Rogers Brown, but the Democrats filibustered to death her nomination to the D. C. Circuit court. Ketanji is not “brilliant,” does not follow the constitutional structure of judges interpreting the law but instead invents the law as she goes along. She is a perfect bookend balancing the shelf with Sotomayor. And this nonsense that she has a “judicial temperament”? What does that mean? That she would not slap Chris Rock?

She is a public liar. She cannot define “woman”? She needs to be a biologist? So what does that mean? She cannot define “car” because she never built one? Can’t define “book” because she never bound one? If she cannot define “Woman,” how can Biden be sure he actually selected a Black woman to nominate? Maybe Ketanji is a man? A Martian? A Venusian? And with Kamala, Ketanji, and Biden’s U.N. ambassador all Black women, one wonders about society’s place for the forgotten Black male. Like Will Smith.

So Ketanji shamelessly hid her Woke agenda. She believes gender is fluid. Her Democrat supporters, with little else to say, emphasize that she is the first public defender named to the High Court. Hmmm. Why d’ya suppose no other president in two centuries went that direction? Maybe because it is an irrelevant qualification, like being the first SCOTUS justice to have had prior experience as a bassoonist. I clerked in the United States Court of Appeals. The skills needed for appellate jurisprudence are very different from those utilized by public defenders and judicial fact finders.

Everyone deserves a fair trial and proper vigorous legal representation. But to defend Gitmo terrorists by calling President George Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “war criminals”? Wow. And when her time in the field initially ended, she voluntarily signed up for another tour of duty, eagerly representing such murderers. That is what speaks to her soul. Not to mine.

Manchin is up for reelection in 2024. In 2018, he won by 49.57 percent to 46.26. They’re gonna love Ketanji in West Virginia.

Dov Fischer
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values (comprising over 2,000 Orthodox rabbis), was adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools for nearly 20 years, and is Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before practicing complex civil litigation for a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms: Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. He likewise has held leadership roles in several national Jewish organizations, including Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Federalist, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit. Other writings are collected at
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