Saturday, December 3, 2011

Comments on reads 12/3

Panetta urges Israel to ‘reach out’ to Turkey, Egypt and Palestinians

U.S. Defense Secretary says Obama has not ruled out using military force on Iran, but warns of unintended consequences of an Israeli, U.S. strike. U.S.

FP: US policy is in the hands of idiots (see next): (1) They signal to enemies that the US is deterred (2) They signal to Israel that it relies on the US at its peril (3) They make it clear that in defiance of reality they deem Israel responsible for Arab rejectionism and genocide and that, if Obama is reelected they will throw Israel to the Islamist wolves as a bribe to the Islamists, whose takeover of the ME they, in their idiocy, facilitated and supported.

The Latest LATMA - Cutting Edge Israeli Satire!

FP: When it comes to Israel, satire turns into reality.

Martin Kramer

Highlights of The Washington Institute's session with Rashid Ghannouchi:
Q: "There is a record of your referring to the Hamas government in Gaza as a model of democracy. Do you still believe that?"
Ghannouchi: "I do not remember making such comments about Hamas. But what cannot be denied is that Hamas was democratically elected, and so it is a legitimate government."
I refresh his memory.

الغنوشي و العراق و أفغانستان
Ghannouchi (in Arabic): "Gaza, like Hanoi in the '60s and Cuba and Algeria, is the model of freedom today."

JoshuaPundit: Krauthammer: "Arrogant Amateur" Obama Has Done More To "Undermine" Israel Than Predecessors

President Obama made an incredibly egregious remark about Israel the other day at a Manhattan fundraiser attended by a number of servile Jews at th ehome of Obama donor Jack Rosen,the chairman of the American Jewish Congress, who threw th epreisdent a softball, saying "it would be remiss for me not to say there are many in the Jewish community who are concerned" about the relationship between Israel and the United States.

I simply can't imagine how much more plain the president's feelings on Israel could be. Have people like Jack Rosen forgotten the calculated insults towards Israel and its government, or how this president trashed previous agreements with Israel, told them they have no right to their religious shrines , threatened an aid cutoff, and instituted what amounted to a de facto arms embargo ?
Are they unaware of how the Obama Administration is supported Islamist governments in the Middle East, or how the Administration is funding a 'Palestinian' Authority now allied in a unity agreement with the genocidal Hamas?

There are obviously some Jews to whom the right to kill Jewish babies in the womb in America is more important than standing with living ones in Israel.

FP: Diaspora Jews in general and American Jews in particular (well, nominal Jews really) have not learned the lesson of the Holocaust: they still assume that servility to anti-Semites will protect them; that bad things cannot possibly happen to them. The European Jews are now experiencing an invalidation of these assumptions and Kristal Nacht cases in the US so do American Jews. But I suspect that worse shocks are required for them to internalize a reality of which they are in denial.

Michael Lewis: California and Bust

The smart money says the U.S. economy will splinter, with some states thriving, some states not, and all eyes are on California as the nightmare scenario. After a hair-raising visit with former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who explains why the Golden State has cratered, Michael Lewis goes where the buck literally stops—the local level, where the likes of San Jose mayor Chuck Reed and Vallejo fire chief Paige Meyer are trying to avert even worse catastrophes and rethink what it means to be a society.

The succession of financial bubbles, and the amassing of personal and public debt, Whybrow views as simply an expression of the lizard-brained way of life. A color-coded map of American personal indebtedness could be laid on top of the Centers for Disease Control’s color-coded map that illustrates the fantastic rise in rates of obesity across the United States since 1985 without disturbing the general pattern. The boom in trading activity in individual stock portfolios; the spread of legalized gambling; the rise of drug and alcohol addiction—it is all of a piece. Everywhere you turn you see Americans sacrifice their long-term interests for short-term rewards.

What happens when a society loses its ability to self-regulate, and insists on sacrificing its long-term interest for short-term rewards? How does the story end? “We could regulate ourselves if we chose to think about it,” Whybrow says. “But it does not appear that is what we are going to do.” Apart from that remote possibility, Whybrow imagines two outcomes. The first he illustrates with a true story, which might be called the parable of the pheasant. Last spring, on sabbatical from the University of Oxford, he was surprised to discover that he was able to rent an apartment inside Blenheim Palace, the Churchill family home. The previous winter at Blenheim had been harsh, and the pheasant hunters had been efficient; as a result, just a single pheasant had survived in the palace gardens. This bird had gained total control of a newly seeded field. Its intake of food, normally regulated by its environment, was now entirely unregulated: it could eat all it wanted, and it did. The pheasant grew so large that, when other birds challenged it for seed, it would simply frighten them away. The fat pheasant became a tourist attraction and even acquired a name: Henry. “Henry was the biggest pheasant anyone had ever seen,” says Whybrow. “Even after he got fat, he just ate and ate.” It didn’t take long before Henry was obese. He could still eat as much as he wanted, but he could no longer fly. Then one day he was gone: a fox ate him.

The other possible outcome was only slightly more hopeful: to hit bottom. To realize what has happened to us—because we have no other choice. “If we refuse to regulate ourselves, the only regulators are our environment,” says Whybrow, “and the way that environment deprives us.” For meaningful change to occur, in other words, we need the environment to administer the necessary level of pain.

FP: The American triumphalists over the fall of the USSR was shortsighted. All dominant powers decline, it’s inherent in being dominant.

JESS BRAVIN: Schools Get Advice on Race, Admissions

While the Obama administration moves to promote racial diversity, a petition pending at the court seeks to invalidate a race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin. If the justices agree to hear the case, it could provide an opportunity for the court's strengthened conservative majority to narrow or even overturn Justice O'Connor's 2003 opinion.

"The Department of Justice appears to be stretching an outdated doctrine which only encourages school administrators to use racial classifications and preferences to achieve racial proportionality," said Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation, an advocacy group that sponsors lawsuits targeting race-conscious policies, including the pending Texas case. "Eventually, the law will forbid this never-ending abuse of equal protection," Mr. Blum said.

FP: In the circumstances of decline that the US finds itelf in, caused in part by the destruction of education (by replacing it with training and indoctrination), do we want to progress the knowledge and reason of the societally handicapped, or do we want to handicap the society further by pretending we progress them without truly educating them?

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