Day: October 12, 2017

Inner-City Murders and the NFL


Now even the sports world is no longer immune to vulgar political discourse, and Donald Trump’s recent intemperate criticism of professional athletes protesting what they deem social justice issues only serves to elevate Colin Kaepernick to cult hero status — even if he never again plays quarterback in the National Football League.

After an August 2016 exhibition game, Kaepernick, addressing a question about white cops shooting blacks, stated: “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” As a military veteran I defend his right to kneel during the national anthem. The larger issue, however, is the inability of young Kaepernick and others to pierce the veil of emotion regarding the race issue and view events from an equipoised, dispassionate level of objectivity.

By September 2017, Chicago had recorded 500+ homicides — lots of bodies, primarily in minority community streets. The general assumption in regard to high inner-city homicide rates is that the killers are caught, tried in the criminal justice system, and punished for their crimes. That’s not accurate. In “As Chicago killings surge, the unsolved cases pile up” the Chicago Tribune reported that no more than 20-30% of murders are ever solved, because “snitches get stitches.”

Against this backdrop the Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 25th posted its annual “Crime in the U.S.” data for calendar year 2016, and it’s sobering. Last year blacks committed 4,935 murders and non-negligent manslaughters. While comprising merely 12.6 percent of the country’s population, blacks accounted for 52.6 percent of these crimes in 2016 and are overrepresented in all thirty crime categories.

The proposition that repetitive crime stats influence the perception law enforcement has vis-à-vis minority communities is not racist in itself. Yes, white supremacists cite black crime rates to “prove” that one group is so inferior as to be perpetually prone to criminality. Others, regardless of race, are concerned and troubled with the stigmatization of an entire community guilty by virtue of association with street predators. NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown recently stated: “We need a lot of concentration on the black community, because the homicide rate is too high. It’s embarrassing. It’s hurtful.”

Whether long-term solutions include better schools, increased job opportunities, or more two-parent households, life plays out in the present, and the victims of these crimes deserve relief now. The carnage doesn’t end simply because “social justice warriors” won’t discuss it.

The blue wall of silence protecting rogue and racist cops is crumbling, and minority communities require police protection — not officers refusing to engage for fear of someone labeling their departments bastions of white supremacy. E.g. the Justice Department’s report regarding its investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson concluded that he did not have his hands raised in an effort to surrender. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was a lie, but it helped propel Black Lives Matter into the nation’s collective consciousness, and so here we are.

As if BLM-inspired, Patheos.com blogger Andy Gill recently displayed his self-styled prophetic consciousness in “On Lynching Colin Kaepernick”: “Inevitably, assuming Kaepernick continues to push the issue, the bigotry of our nation will lynch him in attempt to silence, set an example, scare away others… as fear, it’s a very powerful tool.”

Kaepernick is not the mixed-race victim in question, however. A pack of white teenagers hanged an 8-year-old biracial boy in Claremont, New Hampshire in August, taunting him with racial slurs and pushing him off a picnic table with a rope around his neck. He swung from his neck three times before being able to remove the rope. He was rushed to the hospital, treated for neck injuries and released. This was no childish prank, and the culprits should receive the maximum punishment allowed by law.

Social media, though, is teeming with progressive critical race theorists denigrating the notion of multiracial self-identification — a stance that repudiates the notion of white racial purity — instead of solely with the minority race. Employing the hackneyed guilt trip “To the white man, you’ll always be a n*gger,” they shamefully use this lad’s tragedy to inject racial identity politics into the discussion.

Race-consciousness, the concept of “the other” and considerations of superiority and inferiority have been around for centuries. There is validity to the idea, however, that the political left’s obsession with monoracial identity politics over the past eight years unwittingly helped facilitate what many perceive, rightly or not, a new-era white nationalism emerging from the shadows.

Charles Michael Byrd, a freelance opinion writer whose pieces deal with racial identity politics and religion, is of white, black and Cherokee heritage. He lives in Queens, N.Y. @ChasbyrdM

Now even the sports world is no longer immune to vulgar political discourse, and Donald Trump’s recent intemperate criticism of professional athletes protesting what they deem social justice issues only serves to elevate Colin Kaepernick to cult hero status — even if he never again plays quarterback in the National Football League.

After an August 2016 exhibition game, Kaepernick, addressing a question about white cops shooting blacks, stated: “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” As a military veteran I defend his right to kneel during the national anthem. The larger issue, however, is the inability of young Kaepernick and others to pierce the veil of emotion regarding the race issue and view events from an equipoised, dispassionate level of objectivity.

By September 2017, Chicago had recorded 500+ homicides — lots of bodies, primarily in minority community streets. The general assumption in regard to high inner-city homicide rates is that the killers are caught, tried in the criminal justice system, and punished for their crimes. That’s not accurate. In “As Chicago killings surge, the unsolved cases pile up” the Chicago Tribune reported that no more than 20-30% of murders are ever solved, because “snitches get stitches.”

Against this backdrop the Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 25th posted its annual “Crime in the U.S.” data for calendar year 2016, and it’s sobering. Last year blacks committed 4,935 murders and non-negligent manslaughters. While comprising merely 12.6 percent of the country’s population, blacks accounted for 52.6 percent of these crimes in 2016 and are overrepresented in all thirty crime categories.

The proposition that repetitive crime stats influence the perception law enforcement has vis-à-vis minority communities is not racist in itself. Yes, white supremacists cite black crime rates to “prove” that one group is so inferior as to be perpetually prone to criminality. Others, regardless of race, are concerned and troubled with the stigmatization of an entire community guilty by virtue of association with street predators. NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown recently stated: “We need a lot of concentration on the black community, because the homicide rate is too high. It’s embarrassing. It’s hurtful.”

Whether long-term solutions include better schools, increased job opportunities, or more two-parent households, life plays out in the present, and the victims of these crimes deserve relief now. The carnage doesn’t end simply because “social justice warriors” won’t discuss it.

The blue wall of silence protecting rogue and racist cops is crumbling, and minority communities require police protection — not officers refusing to engage for fear of someone labeling their departments bastions of white supremacy. E.g. the Justice Department’s report regarding its investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson concluded that he did not have his hands raised in an effort to surrender. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was a lie, but it helped propel Black Lives Matter into the nation’s collective consciousness, and so here we are.

As if BLM-inspired, Patheos.com blogger Andy Gill recently displayed his self-styled prophetic consciousness in “On Lynching Colin Kaepernick”: “Inevitably, assuming Kaepernick continues to push the issue, the bigotry of our nation will lynch him in attempt to silence, set an example, scare away others… as fear, it’s a very powerful tool.”

Kaepernick is not the mixed-race victim in question, however. A pack of white teenagers hanged an 8-year-old biracial boy in Claremont, New Hampshire in August, taunting him with racial slurs and pushing him off a picnic table with a rope around his neck. He swung from his neck three times before being able to remove the rope. He was rushed to the hospital, treated for neck injuries and released. This was no childish prank, and the culprits should receive the maximum punishment allowed by law.

Social media, though, is teeming with progressive critical race theorists denigrating the notion of multiracial self-identification — a stance that repudiates the notion of white racial purity — instead of solely with the minority race. Employing the hackneyed guilt trip “To the white man, you’ll always be a n*gger,” they shamefully use this lad’s tragedy to inject racial identity politics into the discussion.

Race-consciousness, the concept of “the other” and considerations of superiority and inferiority have been around for centuries. There is validity to the idea, however, that the political left’s obsession with monoracial identity politics over the past eight years unwittingly helped facilitate what many perceive, rightly or not, a new-era white nationalism emerging from the shadows.

Charles Michael Byrd, a freelance opinion writer whose pieces deal with racial identity politics and religion, is of white, black and Cherokee heritage. He lives in Queens, N.Y. @ChasbyrdM



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What's Progressive about Abortion?


It used to be that supporting abortion as a member of the Democratic Party was in style, but according to Tom Perez, the Democratic Party chairman, it is now compulsory.  He has said pro-life Democrats are not welcome in the party.  Whatever happened to diversity?  This abortion stance is so rigid that it is beginning to look like their raison d’etre.  But in the collectivist mindset, how can this unsavory practice be doing the most good for the most people?  Let us explore some issues.

 

For more than two thousand years, some women have wanted to terminate their pregnancies.  Terminating a pregnancy belies the real truth that one is terminating a fetal life.  In the ancient world, a surgical abortion would have been impractical and dangerous.  There would have been a high incidence of hemorrhage and fatal septicemia.  Some women allowed their abdomens to be beaten to enhance a pregnancy loss, but this ran the danger of uterine rupture or abruptio placenta, both fatal before modern surgery.  So most women resorted to abortifacients, and most were herbal.  There is no verifiable evidence that these nostrums and potions had much efficacy.  One reads about using the oil of pennyroyal, or tansy, or the now extinct silphium, but there is no real data.  A lot of anecdotal success probably relied on the natural spontaneous abortion rate of at least 20-30%.  In extremis, some women swallowed doses of turpentine or mercury.  Most women who did not want the baby carried it to term rather than succumb to these horrendous methods.

 

The ancient Greeks and Romans had another solution for the unwanted life: infanticide.  To be sure, they did not call it that, but it was a passive form of murder.  Unwanted infants were left exposed to the elements to die of hypothermia, starvation or predation.  The paterfamilias held the ultimate power and decided which boys were not fit and which girls were just too many girls.  The Spartans had a more institutional system.  The father brought the newborn to the ruling elders, and they decided which were to be exterminated.  The other Greek city-states were appalled by the Spartan tradition, but not because of the infanticide.  The Spartan system eliminated the father’s right to choose.  (Does that sound familiar?)  So the cradle of Western civilization had no compassion for the occupants of the cradle.  The exceptions in Europe were the Etruscans and ancient Germans.  They raised all of their children.

 

But starting about two thousand years ago, Western Europe began to go topsy-turvy over its attitude toward children and the unborn.  This revolutionary change was the adoption of Judeo-Christian values.  From its earliest history, the Jewish nation abhorred child sacrifice.  This is one of the reasons why the Canaanites were considered an abomination worthy of extermination.  They sacrificed infants and children up to the age of four to the god Moloch.  The children were burned alive. 

 

But it goes beyond the proscription of child sacrifice.  It was understood that the child in the womb and the born child were part of the same continuum.  There were not separate words for “fetus” and “child.”  A woman was pregnant with child, not pregnant with fetus.  The Ten Commandments do not condemn abortion because they already condemn murder.  Both David and Jeremiah were told that God knew them in the womb.  God would not speak of knowing a lump of lifeless flesh.  This dovetails completely with the Jewish tradition of taking care of widows, orphans, and the poor.

 

Christianity continued this ethic and was probably a greater influence because of its adoption throughout the entire Roman world.  Christians also recognized human life in the womb.  Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth shortly after she was informed she was pregnant with Jesus.  Elizabeth’s baby in utero, John the Baptist, jumped for joy at the recognition of Jesus in Mary’s womb.  Like the Jewish tradition, this confirms personhood.  And there was another dimension.  Jesus told his disciples to bring the children to him, and he exhorted them to be more childlike.  For the first time, children were cherished for being children and were allowed to have a childhood.  And children were safe in the womb, with few exceptions, for almost two thousand years.  This, it would seem, was real human progress.

 

Everything changed in the twentieth century.  With advances in surgery, one could have an abortion procedure and hope to survive.  Although abortion was illegal, many self-proclaimed visionaries began promoting it as part of the program of family planning.  Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, paved the way for abortion throughout the United States.  She leaves a complicated legacy.  Her apologists insist she was a champion of women’s rights, especially the poor.  Her detractors rightfully point out the she was a leading figure in  American eugenics.  She believed in racial purity and that all misfits should be sterilized.  It is difficult to put a positive spin on her own statements.  In the journal The Birth Control Review, in 1919, she published an article entitled “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.”

 

Many American eugenicists were irked by Hitler commandeering their movement.  He also believed in racial purity.  And the left now has a very short memory of ever supporting such notions.

 

Then, in 1973, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion on the nonexistent constitutional principle of a right to privacy.  In the last 50 years, 1.5 billion – I repeat: billion – abortions have been committed around the world.  The enormity of this is staggering.  In America, 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 abortions have been done.  A full 12.5% of American women have had abortions, but there are 233 induced abortions per 1,000 live births.  That means that some women are using abortion as primary birth control.  Between 2007 and 2010, in America, 36% of abortions were against black babies and 21% Hispanic.  These two groups make up less than twenty percent of our population.  It sounds as though Margaret Sanger’s descendant minions are working on her goals of racial purity.

 

Considering the Judeo-Christian tradition of the recognition of the fetus as fully human, one well versed in this tradition will not acknowledge a “right” to choose the fetus’s death.  The fetus was not given a vote.  You are free to choose any other surgery or life choice that does not infringe on others.

 

There is one subset of women who are pro-choice (pro-abortion) who don’t really care if the fetus is human.  In true collectivist fashion, it is an inconvenient life and must be exterminated.  It does not fit the collective.  Curiously, this is the only instance in the collectivist mindset where individuality is honored.  But what if the collectivist state decides it wants to increase the birth rate and outlaws abortion?  There goes the vaunted right to choose.  Collectivism is not a very friendly bed partner.

 

I would contend that most women who have an abortion are not flippant about their choices.  They need to find a rationale to assuage guilt and to not feel like despicable people.  The problem is that every mental construct has a plausible refutation.  Some feel that a zygote is not human because he does not look like one.  But he has a complete and uniquely human and individual genome.  The zygote is a cornerstone, with a complete blueprint of a human,  and just needs the Carpenter to finish building.  Some feel that the fetus is not human until he can be felt in the womb at 16-18 weeks.  That is an ancient notion of quickening.  But we now know that the fetus is moving less than four weeks from conception and can be seen by ultrasound.  Some say the fetus is not human until he can live outside the womb.  That means that a 30-week baby in utero in 1950 was not human, but a 24-week baby in utero today is.  Some say the fetus is not human until he is born and takes the first breath.  But that requires some magical thinking.  Why would a single breath of air suddenly imbue one with all the attributes of humanity?

 

And the law is schizophrenic on the subject.  If the fetus is not human, how can you be charged with a double homicide if you kill a pregnant woman?  If you do a 24-week partial-birth abortion and rip the fetus in pieces, it is just an abortion.  If the child is delivered spontaneously alive during an abortion procedure and you strangle him, then it is murder.

 

All in all, the abortion debacle is a hot mess.  One can trace it to the rejection of Judeo-Christian principles, especially promulgated by the collectivist left.  We are in the midst of a new Dark Age as regards to respect for all human life.  Abortion may be part of the progressive agenda, but it is not progress.

It used to be that supporting abortion as a member of the Democratic Party was in style, but according to Tom Perez, the Democratic Party chairman, it is now compulsory.  He has said pro-life Democrats are not welcome in the party.  Whatever happened to diversity?  This abortion stance is so rigid that it is beginning to look like their raison d’etre.  But in the collectivist mindset, how can this unsavory practice be doing the most good for the most people?  Let us explore some issues.

 

For more than two thousand years, some women have wanted to terminate their pregnancies.  Terminating a pregnancy belies the real truth that one is terminating a fetal life.  In the ancient world, a surgical abortion would have been impractical and dangerous.  There would have been a high incidence of hemorrhage and fatal septicemia.  Some women allowed their abdomens to be beaten to enhance a pregnancy loss, but this ran the danger of uterine rupture or abruptio placenta, both fatal before modern surgery.  So most women resorted to abortifacients, and most were herbal.  There is no verifiable evidence that these nostrums and potions had much efficacy.  One reads about using the oil of pennyroyal, or tansy, or the now extinct silphium, but there is no real data.  A lot of anecdotal success probably relied on the natural spontaneous abortion rate of at least 20-30%.  In extremis, some women swallowed doses of turpentine or mercury.  Most women who did not want the baby carried it to term rather than succumb to these horrendous methods.

 

The ancient Greeks and Romans had another solution for the unwanted life: infanticide.  To be sure, they did not call it that, but it was a passive form of murder.  Unwanted infants were left exposed to the elements to die of hypothermia, starvation or predation.  The paterfamilias held the ultimate power and decided which boys were not fit and which girls were just too many girls.  The Spartans had a more institutional system.  The father brought the newborn to the ruling elders, and they decided which were to be exterminated.  The other Greek city-states were appalled by the Spartan tradition, but not because of the infanticide.  The Spartan system eliminated the father’s right to choose.  (Does that sound familiar?)  So the cradle of Western civilization had no compassion for the occupants of the cradle.  The exceptions in Europe were the Etruscans and ancient Germans.  They raised all of their children.

 

But starting about two thousand years ago, Western Europe began to go topsy-turvy over its attitude toward children and the unborn.  This revolutionary change was the adoption of Judeo-Christian values.  From its earliest history, the Jewish nation abhorred child sacrifice.  This is one of the reasons why the Canaanites were considered an abomination worthy of extermination.  They sacrificed infants and children up to the age of four to the god Moloch.  The children were burned alive. 

 

But it goes beyond the proscription of child sacrifice.  It was understood that the child in the womb and the born child were part of the same continuum.  There were not separate words for “fetus” and “child.”  A woman was pregnant with child, not pregnant with fetus.  The Ten Commandments do not condemn abortion because they already condemn murder.  Both David and Jeremiah were told that God knew them in the womb.  God would not speak of knowing a lump of lifeless flesh.  This dovetails completely with the Jewish tradition of taking care of widows, orphans, and the poor.

 

Christianity continued this ethic and was probably a greater influence because of its adoption throughout the entire Roman world.  Christians also recognized human life in the womb.  Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth shortly after she was informed she was pregnant with Jesus.  Elizabeth’s baby in utero, John the Baptist, jumped for joy at the recognition of Jesus in Mary’s womb.  Like the Jewish tradition, this confirms personhood.  And there was another dimension.  Jesus told his disciples to bring the children to him, and he exhorted them to be more childlike.  For the first time, children were cherished for being children and were allowed to have a childhood.  And children were safe in the womb, with few exceptions, for almost two thousand years.  This, it would seem, was real human progress.

 

Everything changed in the twentieth century.  With advances in surgery, one could have an abortion procedure and hope to survive.  Although abortion was illegal, many self-proclaimed visionaries began promoting it as part of the program of family planning.  Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, paved the way for abortion throughout the United States.  She leaves a complicated legacy.  Her apologists insist she was a champion of women’s rights, especially the poor.  Her detractors rightfully point out the she was a leading figure in  American eugenics.  She believed in racial purity and that all misfits should be sterilized.  It is difficult to put a positive spin on her own statements.  In the journal The Birth Control Review, in 1919, she published an article entitled “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.”

 

Many American eugenicists were irked by Hitler commandeering their movement.  He also believed in racial purity.  And the left now has a very short memory of ever supporting such notions.

 

Then, in 1973, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion on the nonexistent constitutional principle of a right to privacy.  In the last 50 years, 1.5 billion – I repeat: billion – abortions have been committed around the world.  The enormity of this is staggering.  In America, 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 abortions have been done.  A full 12.5% of American women have had abortions, but there are 233 induced abortions per 1,000 live births.  That means that some women are using abortion as primary birth control.  Between 2007 and 2010, in America, 36% of abortions were against black babies and 21% Hispanic.  These two groups make up less than twenty percent of our population.  It sounds as though Margaret Sanger’s descendant minions are working on her goals of racial purity.

 

Considering the Judeo-Christian tradition of the recognition of the fetus as fully human, one well versed in this tradition will not acknowledge a “right” to choose the fetus’s death.  The fetus was not given a vote.  You are free to choose any other surgery or life choice that does not infringe on others.

 

There is one subset of women who are pro-choice (pro-abortion) who don’t really care if the fetus is human.  In true collectivist fashion, it is an inconvenient life and must be exterminated.  It does not fit the collective.  Curiously, this is the only instance in the collectivist mindset where individuality is honored.  But what if the collectivist state decides it wants to increase the birth rate and outlaws abortion?  There goes the vaunted right to choose.  Collectivism is not a very friendly bed partner.

 

I would contend that most women who have an abortion are not flippant about their choices.  They need to find a rationale to assuage guilt and to not feel like despicable people.  The problem is that every mental construct has a plausible refutation.  Some feel that a zygote is not human because he does not look like one.  But he has a complete and uniquely human and individual genome.  The zygote is a cornerstone, with a complete blueprint of a human,  and just needs the Carpenter to finish building.  Some feel that the fetus is not human until he can be felt in the womb at 16-18 weeks.  That is an ancient notion of quickening.  But we now know that the fetus is moving less than four weeks from conception and can be seen by ultrasound.  Some say the fetus is not human until he can live outside the womb.  That means that a 30-week baby in utero in 1950 was not human, but a 24-week baby in utero today is.  Some say the fetus is not human until he is born and takes the first breath.  But that requires some magical thinking.  Why would a single breath of air suddenly imbue one with all the attributes of humanity?

 

And the law is schizophrenic on the subject.  If the fetus is not human, how can you be charged with a double homicide if you kill a pregnant woman?  If you do a 24-week partial-birth abortion and rip the fetus in pieces, it is just an abortion.  If the child is delivered spontaneously alive during an abortion procedure and you strangle him, then it is murder.

 

All in all, the abortion debacle is a hot mess.  One can trace it to the rejection of Judeo-Christian principles, especially promulgated by the collectivist left.  We are in the midst of a new Dark Age as regards to respect for all human life.  Abortion may be part of the progressive agenda, but it is not progress.



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France and Israel: They'll Be Together Again


On April 13, 2010, when chestnuts were in blossom amid the charm of spring, the Israeli politician Shimon Peres, accompanied by the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, unveiled the David Ben-Gurion Promenade in the 7th arrondissement of Paris in front of the Musee du Quai Branly on the bank of the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. The Promenade is dedicated to the memory of Ben-Gurion, who was, according to the mayor, a true friend of France as well as being a man who worked for peace and the primary founder and the proclaimer of the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, and the first prime minister of the state.

At the ceremony, Peres, the lifelong associate and disciple of Ben Gurion, who had appointed him at age 29 Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in 1953, naturally praised his mentor for the contribution to the creation of Israel, but he also praised France, which he considered not only a country but also a culture, and one that was crucial for Israel. Peres expressed gratitude that France, right after the Holocaust, did not adhere to the embargo of arms to Israel but sent aid in the form of tanks and weapons, and saved the State of Israel from destruction by Arab forces.

It is timely that in his last book, No Room for Small Dreams, completed a short time before his death on September 28, 2016 at the age of 93, Peres reminded readers not only of this valuable aid given by France to Israel in its early years but also of France’s role in building the Israeli nuclear reactor, and of the close relationship between the two countries.

Shimon Peres in 1934 came from a shtetl in Poland to the land of Israel at age 11 and with large dreams held all the Israei major political offices, president, prime minister twice, foreign minister and many other ministries, and was amember of the Knesset 1959-2007. He was a Francophile who appreciated many aspects of French life and culture. In November 2013 near the end of his life, he was delighted to meet Charles Aznavour, the famous French singer dubbed France’s Frank Sinatra, in Tel Aviv and sang the words of the star’s song “She” during Aznavour’s performance.

Shimon Peres was a complex human being, in both personal and political terms, whose major achievement was to link Israel and France and to make a major contribution to the Israeli military strength, defense, aviation, and nuclear industries.

Peres was a curious mixture, dreamer and pragmatist, poet and art lover, political intriguer and statesman. He was an early hawk and nuclear pioneer who became, if not a dove, a man of peace, chief architect of the Oslo Accords and advocate of peace with Palestinians. Peres was brilliant, a knowledgeable, cultured, well-read man of the world, but also self-centered, obsessed with himself, sometimes vindictive, a man who sought and wanted power.  Many admired him but he was seen by some, as insincere and by his rival Yitzhak Rabin as a “tireless schemer.”  If he favored Israeli settlements in the West Bank, he was also friendly with Palestinian leaders.

The rendezvous of Peres with France began in the 1950s. In the early 1950s France was selling light weapons and then tanks to Israel. He and Prime Minister Ben Gurion realized that Israeli security could only be obtained by nuclear technology. In 1954 they understood that the arms Israel had been previously getting from Czechoslovakia were insufficient to ensure that security, and that aid was not forthcoming from Britain or from the U.S. under President Dwight Eisenhower. Peres understood there was an “emotional connection with the French.”

Three factors drove the relationship between the two countries. One was the mutual dislike of the threatening policies of Colonel Abdel Nasser, directly against Israel. and indirectly against France because of his support of the Algerian FLN (Algerian National Liberation Front) at war with France since 1954.

The second was the fact that this was the moment in France when the Radical Party was in power, some of whose leaders had been members of the Resistance during the Vichy era or been in concentration camps.  French and Israeli scars and the anguish both sides suffered were caused by the same evil.

The third was the secret alliance between Britain, France, and Israel over Suez. For various reasons the countries wanted to regain control of the Suez Canal, to reopen the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, to stop terrorist raids from Egypt, and to remove then-Colonel Nasser, who had nationalized the Canal on July 26, 1956, from power.

France had been supplying Israel with long-range cannons, then other arms, and with fighter aircraft, including the Mirage, France’s best combat aircraft. The initial step towards nuclear agreement was agreed on Sevres in October 1956 following the Protocol, the secret agreement between France, UK and Israel reached on October 22-24, 1956.  At the same time, Shimon Peres approached French foreign minister Christian Pineau and Maurice Bourges-Manoury, then defense minister, for help in building a nuclear capability, a reactor.

Peres was able to persuade the two French politicians, particularly Bourges-Manoury, who had become prime minister, to approve, and get the French Atomic Energy Commission to agree to the nuclear deal, though Bourges-Manoury resorted to a trick to do so the day after he fell from office. Construction began that led to Dimona, the Negev Nuclear Research Center, supposedly to obtain water desalination, since Israel lacked access to fresh water, and to make up for Israel’s lack of oil.

This was Peres’s moment of glory, his most important achievement. France, at the time Europe’s most advanced country in nuclear research, agreed to supply uranium and technical help to build the nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes at Dimona. For Peres followed Ben-Gurion in holding that Israel’s existence was guaranteed only by a deterrent: nuclear material is the first step to deterrence which was the first step on the path to peace. If Israel produces fissile materials, uranium and plutonium, for nuclear purposes, it is Peres who should get credit.

The entente between France and Israel has not always been cordial, with political changes and developments in international affairs.  Perhaps the lowest point was the policy of President Charles de Gaulle on November 27, 1967, and in March 1968 who wanted to free France from the “very special and very close ties to Israel.” For a variety of policy concerns, his desire to increase closer relations with Arab countries with the end of the Algerian war, and personal pique at Israel’s ignoring his advice not to attack Egypt, he imposed an arms embargo on June 2, 1967, stopped selling supplies of uranium to Israel, then called for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities. Paradoxically, this then led to a closer alignment of Israel with the U.S., and the decision of President Lyndon Johnson to sell Phantom fighter jets to Israel.

Differences between France and Israel still exist, especially on West Bank settlements, and France is still interested in hosting a peace conference on certain conditions. But Gaullist animosity is over. It is well to remember that former prime minister Nicholas Sarkozy has said,” France will never compromise on Israel’s security.”

On April 13, 2010, when chestnuts were in blossom amid the charm of spring, the Israeli politician Shimon Peres, accompanied by the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, unveiled the David Ben-Gurion Promenade in the 7th arrondissement of Paris in front of the Musee du Quai Branly on the bank of the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. The Promenade is dedicated to the memory of Ben-Gurion, who was, according to the mayor, a true friend of France as well as being a man who worked for peace and the primary founder and the proclaimer of the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, and the first prime minister of the state.

At the ceremony, Peres, the lifelong associate and disciple of Ben Gurion, who had appointed him at age 29 Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense in 1953, naturally praised his mentor for the contribution to the creation of Israel, but he also praised France, which he considered not only a country but also a culture, and one that was crucial for Israel. Peres expressed gratitude that France, right after the Holocaust, did not adhere to the embargo of arms to Israel but sent aid in the form of tanks and weapons, and saved the State of Israel from destruction by Arab forces.

It is timely that in his last book, No Room for Small Dreams, completed a short time before his death on September 28, 2016 at the age of 93, Peres reminded readers not only of this valuable aid given by France to Israel in its early years but also of France’s role in building the Israeli nuclear reactor, and of the close relationship between the two countries.

Shimon Peres in 1934 came from a shtetl in Poland to the land of Israel at age 11 and with large dreams held all the Israei major political offices, president, prime minister twice, foreign minister and many other ministries, and was amember of the Knesset 1959-2007. He was a Francophile who appreciated many aspects of French life and culture. In November 2013 near the end of his life, he was delighted to meet Charles Aznavour, the famous French singer dubbed France’s Frank Sinatra, in Tel Aviv and sang the words of the star’s song “She” during Aznavour’s performance.

Shimon Peres was a complex human being, in both personal and political terms, whose major achievement was to link Israel and France and to make a major contribution to the Israeli military strength, defense, aviation, and nuclear industries.

Peres was a curious mixture, dreamer and pragmatist, poet and art lover, political intriguer and statesman. He was an early hawk and nuclear pioneer who became, if not a dove, a man of peace, chief architect of the Oslo Accords and advocate of peace with Palestinians. Peres was brilliant, a knowledgeable, cultured, well-read man of the world, but also self-centered, obsessed with himself, sometimes vindictive, a man who sought and wanted power.  Many admired him but he was seen by some, as insincere and by his rival Yitzhak Rabin as a “tireless schemer.”  If he favored Israeli settlements in the West Bank, he was also friendly with Palestinian leaders.

The rendezvous of Peres with France began in the 1950s. In the early 1950s France was selling light weapons and then tanks to Israel. He and Prime Minister Ben Gurion realized that Israeli security could only be obtained by nuclear technology. In 1954 they understood that the arms Israel had been previously getting from Czechoslovakia were insufficient to ensure that security, and that aid was not forthcoming from Britain or from the U.S. under President Dwight Eisenhower. Peres understood there was an “emotional connection with the French.”

Three factors drove the relationship between the two countries. One was the mutual dislike of the threatening policies of Colonel Abdel Nasser, directly against Israel. and indirectly against France because of his support of the Algerian FLN (Algerian National Liberation Front) at war with France since 1954.

The second was the fact that this was the moment in France when the Radical Party was in power, some of whose leaders had been members of the Resistance during the Vichy era or been in concentration camps.  French and Israeli scars and the anguish both sides suffered were caused by the same evil.

The third was the secret alliance between Britain, France, and Israel over Suez. For various reasons the countries wanted to regain control of the Suez Canal, to reopen the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, to stop terrorist raids from Egypt, and to remove then-Colonel Nasser, who had nationalized the Canal on July 26, 1956, from power.

France had been supplying Israel with long-range cannons, then other arms, and with fighter aircraft, including the Mirage, France’s best combat aircraft. The initial step towards nuclear agreement was agreed on Sevres in October 1956 following the Protocol, the secret agreement between France, UK and Israel reached on October 22-24, 1956.  At the same time, Shimon Peres approached French foreign minister Christian Pineau and Maurice Bourges-Manoury, then defense minister, for help in building a nuclear capability, a reactor.

Peres was able to persuade the two French politicians, particularly Bourges-Manoury, who had become prime minister, to approve, and get the French Atomic Energy Commission to agree to the nuclear deal, though Bourges-Manoury resorted to a trick to do so the day after he fell from office. Construction began that led to Dimona, the Negev Nuclear Research Center, supposedly to obtain water desalination, since Israel lacked access to fresh water, and to make up for Israel’s lack of oil.

This was Peres’s moment of glory, his most important achievement. France, at the time Europe’s most advanced country in nuclear research, agreed to supply uranium and technical help to build the nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes at Dimona. For Peres followed Ben-Gurion in holding that Israel’s existence was guaranteed only by a deterrent: nuclear material is the first step to deterrence which was the first step on the path to peace. If Israel produces fissile materials, uranium and plutonium, for nuclear purposes, it is Peres who should get credit.

The entente between France and Israel has not always been cordial, with political changes and developments in international affairs.  Perhaps the lowest point was the policy of President Charles de Gaulle on November 27, 1967, and in March 1968 who wanted to free France from the “very special and very close ties to Israel.” For a variety of policy concerns, his desire to increase closer relations with Arab countries with the end of the Algerian war, and personal pique at Israel’s ignoring his advice not to attack Egypt, he imposed an arms embargo on June 2, 1967, stopped selling supplies of uranium to Israel, then called for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities. Paradoxically, this then led to a closer alignment of Israel with the U.S., and the decision of President Lyndon Johnson to sell Phantom fighter jets to Israel.

Differences between France and Israel still exist, especially on West Bank settlements, and France is still interested in hosting a peace conference on certain conditions. But Gaullist animosity is over. It is well to remember that former prime minister Nicholas Sarkozy has said,” France will never compromise on Israel’s security.”



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The NOAA Database and Global Warming


NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) publishes a temperature database for 7280 worldwide meteorological stations. It is called the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN.) The database consists of six files, three (maximum, minimum, and average) for ‘Unadjusted’ and three for ‘Adjusted’ values. The Unadjusted was formerly called ‘Raw’ data. For this short essay only the average-value data set is under consideration.

The Unadjusted is ‘as received’ data from agencies/centers from around the world that collect the respective Station data. For the United States there are six collection centers known as NOAA’s the Regional Climate Centers. Supposedly the Unadjusted data are ‘as measured’ values, but the NOAA-NCEI advises on its GHNC web page “…it is entirely possible that the source of these data (generally National Meteorological Services) may have made adjustments to these data prior to their inclusion within the GHCNM.” NOAA-NCEI then makes its own adjustments, primarily a lowering of the temperature values of land stations in the earlier part of the temperature record. The Adjusted data are used to determine global temperature trends, the results of which are the basis of the claim that global temperature is rising at a significant and concerning rate, the cause of which is primarily attributed to human activities. Numerous scientists, engineers, and others have challenged this, asserting that NOAA-NCEI’s adjustments cause a temperature increase that is artificial. But this “adjustment” issue aside, there is at least three more fundamental issues with the GHNC database. They may be found by inspection of the GHNC Unadjusted average-temperature database.

The first issue pertains to NOAA-NCEI’s categorization of the stations’ locations. For the categorization of the stations used for the V2 database, the same as used for the V3 database, NOAA-NCEI categorized 7220 of the 7280 Stations according to whether they are in Urban, Suburban, and Rural locations. The agency then further divided the stations in each of the three locations into whether or not they were at airports. The first issue is that if the longitude and latitude values attributed to each of the stations are correct, then some of the stations said to be at Rural locations are not at what should be termed “rural.” Such errors may well be human, so perhaps they do not warrant too much complaint if the number of them are not excessive. Then again, rooting out errors and correcting them is a good engineering/scientific practice.

The second issue is more significant and pertains to stations involving airports. At least some of these stations began reporting data decades earlier, when it is highly unlikely there was an airport at that location. Thus, at dates earlier than when the V2 database was created, those stations are incorrectly biasing the data and should be in the ‘not at an airport’ category. Another aspect this issue is that for the Rural stations, NOAA-NCEI designates as being at airports the yearly average temperature jumps approximately 2 degrees C at about the year 1950. Some, if not all, of this discontinuity is due to the stations reporting before 1950 and those reporting after 1950 are entirely different stations at entirely different locations. This particular temperature discontinuity and the inaccurate categorization of stations at an earlier time being at airports when they were not carries over to data from all 7220 stations. The net effect is a temperature trend interpreted as an indication of a rise in global temperature, when instead the cause is documentation of station location that does not take into account when stations at airports actually began to be at airports. There should be some indication in the database when the host airport actually went into operation. Clearly, this adds to NOAA-NCEI’s report burdens, but as said earlier, rooting out errors and correcting them is a good engineering/scientific practice.

The third issue is perhaps far more significant than the first two. The durations stations report temperature varies from as little as 8 or 10 years to nearly, if not all, years for a timeframe, say 1900-2016. To exacerbate matters, some stations report data for only a few years in one portion of a timeframe and others, which are at entirely different locations, report for only a few years in much different portions of the timeframe. So for a particular timeframe station-reporting ‘pops in and out’ causing the averages to increase or decrease depending on the location. If a required reporting percentage of the timeframe is imposed, say 25, 50, or 75 %, then the temperature trend for the timeframe changes. For the cases of Urban and Rural locations, each at and not at an airport, a larger required reporting percentage results in a smaller value temperature trend for the timeframe. So the issue is that the important ‘quality-of-data’ factor is being overlooked in NOAA’s assessment of global temperature trends.

The question is whether or not NOAA is prepared, or even able, to address these three issues. Solving these alone will likely make for a significant change in the assessment of global temperatures. The reality may be that politics are much more significant issues. I have written a technical report on these issues. 

Edward R. Long is a retired NASA physicist who from time-to-time succumbs to the urge to inspect temperature and other databases. 

NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) publishes a temperature database for 7280 worldwide meteorological stations. It is called the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN.) The database consists of six files, three (maximum, minimum, and average) for ‘Unadjusted’ and three for ‘Adjusted’ values. The Unadjusted was formerly called ‘Raw’ data. For this short essay only the average-value data set is under consideration.

The Unadjusted is ‘as received’ data from agencies/centers from around the world that collect the respective Station data. For the United States there are six collection centers known as NOAA’s the Regional Climate Centers. Supposedly the Unadjusted data are ‘as measured’ values, but the NOAA-NCEI advises on its GHNC web page “…it is entirely possible that the source of these data (generally National Meteorological Services) may have made adjustments to these data prior to their inclusion within the GHCNM.” NOAA-NCEI then makes its own adjustments, primarily a lowering of the temperature values of land stations in the earlier part of the temperature record. The Adjusted data are used to determine global temperature trends, the results of which are the basis of the claim that global temperature is rising at a significant and concerning rate, the cause of which is primarily attributed to human activities. Numerous scientists, engineers, and others have challenged this, asserting that NOAA-NCEI’s adjustments cause a temperature increase that is artificial. But this “adjustment” issue aside, there is at least three more fundamental issues with the GHNC database. They may be found by inspection of the GHNC Unadjusted average-temperature database.

The first issue pertains to NOAA-NCEI’s categorization of the stations’ locations. For the categorization of the stations used for the V2 database, the same as used for the V3 database, NOAA-NCEI categorized 7220 of the 7280 Stations according to whether they are in Urban, Suburban, and Rural locations. The agency then further divided the stations in each of the three locations into whether or not they were at airports. The first issue is that if the longitude and latitude values attributed to each of the stations are correct, then some of the stations said to be at Rural locations are not at what should be termed “rural.” Such errors may well be human, so perhaps they do not warrant too much complaint if the number of them are not excessive. Then again, rooting out errors and correcting them is a good engineering/scientific practice.

The second issue is more significant and pertains to stations involving airports. At least some of these stations began reporting data decades earlier, when it is highly unlikely there was an airport at that location. Thus, at dates earlier than when the V2 database was created, those stations are incorrectly biasing the data and should be in the ‘not at an airport’ category. Another aspect this issue is that for the Rural stations, NOAA-NCEI designates as being at airports the yearly average temperature jumps approximately 2 degrees C at about the year 1950. Some, if not all, of this discontinuity is due to the stations reporting before 1950 and those reporting after 1950 are entirely different stations at entirely different locations. This particular temperature discontinuity and the inaccurate categorization of stations at an earlier time being at airports when they were not carries over to data from all 7220 stations. The net effect is a temperature trend interpreted as an indication of a rise in global temperature, when instead the cause is documentation of station location that does not take into account when stations at airports actually began to be at airports. There should be some indication in the database when the host airport actually went into operation. Clearly, this adds to NOAA-NCEI’s report burdens, but as said earlier, rooting out errors and correcting them is a good engineering/scientific practice.

The third issue is perhaps far more significant than the first two. The durations stations report temperature varies from as little as 8 or 10 years to nearly, if not all, years for a timeframe, say 1900-2016. To exacerbate matters, some stations report data for only a few years in one portion of a timeframe and others, which are at entirely different locations, report for only a few years in much different portions of the timeframe. So for a particular timeframe station-reporting ‘pops in and out’ causing the averages to increase or decrease depending on the location. If a required reporting percentage of the timeframe is imposed, say 25, 50, or 75 %, then the temperature trend for the timeframe changes. For the cases of Urban and Rural locations, each at and not at an airport, a larger required reporting percentage results in a smaller value temperature trend for the timeframe. So the issue is that the important ‘quality-of-data’ factor is being overlooked in NOAA’s assessment of global temperature trends.

The question is whether or not NOAA is prepared, or even able, to address these three issues. Solving these alone will likely make for a significant change in the assessment of global temperatures. The reality may be that politics are much more significant issues. I have written a technical report on these issues. 

Edward R. Long is a retired NASA physicist who from time-to-time succumbs to the urge to inspect temperature and other databases. 



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Progressivism and the Seven Deadly Sins


It’s a brave new world, progressives proclaim, and the old rules no longer apply. From the Russian Communists’ New Man to the mantra of “That’s not who we are” from Obama, it’s always different this time.

But is it? Has mankind, after millennia of contemplation, perhaps discovered eternal verities about human nature? One historical test is that when a culture denies the wisdom of the ancients, it eventually fails; those remaining must pick up the pieces and start anew.

“Wisdom of the Ancients” and “eternal verities” are abstractions, of course. But there is a short list going back to Socrates and St. Augustine that is a handy pocket guide to human pitfalls and frailties. It is called “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

Let’s go through the list one by one and see if we can recognize any these in modern American progressivism, in its social, cultural, and political forms. Note that all humans are prone to the Seven Deadlies, progressives and conservatives alike. Normal people just don’t make a movement out of them.

Gluttony

Contrary it what you may think, this is not the sin of getting fat and obese. Rather, it is focusing on food for other reasons than substance. In the case of progressives, food snobbery is a basic part of the class distinctions that sets them apart and above the masses. Of course, one can be a foodie and not be a progressive, but the correlation of Blue ZIP codes and Whole Foods is no coincidence. You are what you eat, be you Woke or Deplorable. Free range chicken or KFC? Indian Pale Ale or Bud? Eating “organic” can be objectively shown to not affect the taste or nutrition or wholesomeness of food, in most cases. It does affect the price and social cachet and is too often a matter of pride to progressives (See more at “Pride” below.)

Lust

The recent news of the passing of Hugh Hefner is a timely reminder that sex has its place and has to be balanced within an honorable person’s life. While I’m not as critical of the Playboy philosophy as other conservatives, seeing it as a somewhat reasonable response to technological change and affluence, sex remains at its core about making children and the next generation. A young playboy could be expected to settle down, marry, and have children – even Hefner tried it, three times.

The current glorification of purely non-reproductive sexual behavior like homosexuality and transgenderism is surely a huge mistake — pure, unbalanced lust leads nowhere for the individual nor for society. Worst, the disdain many progressives show for “breeders” leads to demographic replacement as Mark Steyn has explained repeatedly.

Sloth

To a hardworking man coming home exhausted after a long day, sloth might sound like an idea pretty close to heaven. But work builds true self-esteem. One is contributing and in return one earns a paycheck.

Progressives facilitate sloth as a matter of policy in at least two ways. Welfare is of course the most serious and destructive. With rules that favor single mothers and absent fathers, the State rewards the destruction of the family and the production of rudderless young men and women. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” is another eternal verity. Useless men are not free.

A new wrinkle is the legalization of recreational marijuana in many U.S. states. One can reasonably argue that the medical consequences of freely available pot are trivial compared to alcoholism, drunk driving, etc, and so a free people should be able to put in their bodies what they chose. What is seldom mentioned is that a major consequence of smoking a lot of pot will be a big increase in sloth in the smoking population – been there, done that!

Greed

This one is really simple. Working to build personal and family wealth is not greed. Keeping it is not greed. Stealing that wealth earned and accumulated by others is. Who is for high taxation to “redistribute the wealth”? Who wants confiscatory inheritance taxes? Progressives, of course, especially if that wealth passes through the hands of a government controlled by progressives.

Envy

What progressive political movement hasn’t relied on a tactic of playing to envy as a path to power? Lately, progressives invented the notion of “white privilege” and harp on it incessantly to excite envy in “people of color” and to isolate them from mainstream American culture. As a historical example, Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned against the “malefactors of great wealth” in his presidential run in 1932 during the Great Depression. Envy of the success of conservative talk radio was the motivation for a call for a return of the “Fairness Doctrine.”

Wrath

What a sinful pleasure it is to wallow in self-righteous wrath! Even better is to physically hit, kick, smash, burn, and shoot. Rioting by Black Lives Matter in some of our cities was justified as wrath over police “brutality.” Rioting and mass assaults against conservatives by Antifa is called protective wrath to suppress all sorts of imagined evils. James Hodgkinson attempted a mass assassination of Republican congressmen in wrath over the election of President Trump.

And what is contemporary feminism about but wrath against men?

Pride

St. Augustine considered pride to be the source of all other sins, much as Aristotle considered courage to be the foundation of all virtues. A modern progressive must reek of pride to declare himself wiser than either. To claim to understand more about gender than Schopenhauer or about politics than Machiavelli or about economics than Smith is neither humble nor plausible.

Even worse, based on that prideful claim of greater understanding than the great thinkers of Western Civilization, progressives claim the right and duty to impose their mission on others, using government or street coercion as handy tools.

But What of Progressive Virtue?

Just as there is the Seven Deadly Sins, there’s the Seven Cardinal Virtues. To be fair, I should task myself to analyze progressivism against them. They have Hope and Faith that their cause will do good. But is “social justice” true Justice? Is Charity served with other peoples’ money collected by taxation? Prudence and Temperance? To experiment with the fate of Western Civilization expecting human behavior to change simply because progressives want it to is both risky and radical. They do have the Courage of their beliefs, I must grant.

Conclusion

Vices and virtues arise in the heart of the individual. But society reflects the character of its people and in turn molds the individual. Progressivism is waging war on the West by extolling and justifying the Seven Deadlies.

Normals, as Kurt Schlichter so accurately calls us, are in no ways immune from and innocent of the Seven Deadlies. We just recognize them as pitfalls on the way to the life well lived that we should recognize and strive to resist. Progressives seem to embrace them as tools for achieving the social, political, and economic change they imagine is the next step to Utopia.

It’s a brave new world, progressives proclaim, and the old rules no longer apply. From the Russian Communists’ New Man to the mantra of “That’s not who we are” from Obama, it’s always different this time.

But is it? Has mankind, after millennia of contemplation, perhaps discovered eternal verities about human nature? One historical test is that when a culture denies the wisdom of the ancients, it eventually fails; those remaining must pick up the pieces and start anew.

“Wisdom of the Ancients” and “eternal verities” are abstractions, of course. But there is a short list going back to Socrates and St. Augustine that is a handy pocket guide to human pitfalls and frailties. It is called “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

Let’s go through the list one by one and see if we can recognize any these in modern American progressivism, in its social, cultural, and political forms. Note that all humans are prone to the Seven Deadlies, progressives and conservatives alike. Normal people just don’t make a movement out of them.

Gluttony

Contrary it what you may think, this is not the sin of getting fat and obese. Rather, it is focusing on food for other reasons than substance. In the case of progressives, food snobbery is a basic part of the class distinctions that sets them apart and above the masses. Of course, one can be a foodie and not be a progressive, but the correlation of Blue ZIP codes and Whole Foods is no coincidence. You are what you eat, be you Woke or Deplorable. Free range chicken or KFC? Indian Pale Ale or Bud? Eating “organic” can be objectively shown to not affect the taste or nutrition or wholesomeness of food, in most cases. It does affect the price and social cachet and is too often a matter of pride to progressives (See more at “Pride” below.)

Lust

The recent news of the passing of Hugh Hefner is a timely reminder that sex has its place and has to be balanced within an honorable person’s life. While I’m not as critical of the Playboy philosophy as other conservatives, seeing it as a somewhat reasonable response to technological change and affluence, sex remains at its core about making children and the next generation. A young playboy could be expected to settle down, marry, and have children – even Hefner tried it, three times.

The current glorification of purely non-reproductive sexual behavior like homosexuality and transgenderism is surely a huge mistake — pure, unbalanced lust leads nowhere for the individual nor for society. Worst, the disdain many progressives show for “breeders” leads to demographic replacement as Mark Steyn has explained repeatedly.

Sloth

To a hardworking man coming home exhausted after a long day, sloth might sound like an idea pretty close to heaven. But work builds true self-esteem. One is contributing and in return one earns a paycheck.

Progressives facilitate sloth as a matter of policy in at least two ways. Welfare is of course the most serious and destructive. With rules that favor single mothers and absent fathers, the State rewards the destruction of the family and the production of rudderless young men and women. “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop” is another eternal verity. Useless men are not free.

A new wrinkle is the legalization of recreational marijuana in many U.S. states. One can reasonably argue that the medical consequences of freely available pot are trivial compared to alcoholism, drunk driving, etc, and so a free people should be able to put in their bodies what they chose. What is seldom mentioned is that a major consequence of smoking a lot of pot will be a big increase in sloth in the smoking population – been there, done that!

Greed

This one is really simple. Working to build personal and family wealth is not greed. Keeping it is not greed. Stealing that wealth earned and accumulated by others is. Who is for high taxation to “redistribute the wealth”? Who wants confiscatory inheritance taxes? Progressives, of course, especially if that wealth passes through the hands of a government controlled by progressives.

Envy

What progressive political movement hasn’t relied on a tactic of playing to envy as a path to power? Lately, progressives invented the notion of “white privilege” and harp on it incessantly to excite envy in “people of color” and to isolate them from mainstream American culture. As a historical example, Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigned against the “malefactors of great wealth” in his presidential run in 1932 during the Great Depression. Envy of the success of conservative talk radio was the motivation for a call for a return of the “Fairness Doctrine.”

Wrath

What a sinful pleasure it is to wallow in self-righteous wrath! Even better is to physically hit, kick, smash, burn, and shoot. Rioting by Black Lives Matter in some of our cities was justified as wrath over police “brutality.” Rioting and mass assaults against conservatives by Antifa is called protective wrath to suppress all sorts of imagined evils. James Hodgkinson attempted a mass assassination of Republican congressmen in wrath over the election of President Trump.

And what is contemporary feminism about but wrath against men?

Pride

St. Augustine considered pride to be the source of all other sins, much as Aristotle considered courage to be the foundation of all virtues. A modern progressive must reek of pride to declare himself wiser than either. To claim to understand more about gender than Schopenhauer or about politics than Machiavelli or about economics than Smith is neither humble nor plausible.

Even worse, based on that prideful claim of greater understanding than the great thinkers of Western Civilization, progressives claim the right and duty to impose their mission on others, using government or street coercion as handy tools.

But What of Progressive Virtue?

Just as there is the Seven Deadly Sins, there’s the Seven Cardinal Virtues. To be fair, I should task myself to analyze progressivism against them. They have Hope and Faith that their cause will do good. But is “social justice” true Justice? Is Charity served with other peoples’ money collected by taxation? Prudence and Temperance? To experiment with the fate of Western Civilization expecting human behavior to change simply because progressives want it to is both risky and radical. They do have the Courage of their beliefs, I must grant.

Conclusion

Vices and virtues arise in the heart of the individual. But society reflects the character of its people and in turn molds the individual. Progressivism is waging war on the West by extolling and justifying the Seven Deadlies.

Normals, as Kurt Schlichter so accurately calls us, are in no ways immune from and innocent of the Seven Deadlies. We just recognize them as pitfalls on the way to the life well lived that we should recognize and strive to resist. Progressives seem to embrace them as tools for achieving the social, political, and economic change they imagine is the next step to Utopia.



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Did Trump Break His Promise on Jerusalem?


President Donald Trump said Saturday he will not go ahead with his campaign promise to move the American embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, until after he pushes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Saying” I wanna  give it a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem. “

First, President Trump should know that there is exactly zero chance for any so-called “peace deal” to be forged while the Palestinian Authority monetarily compensates terrorists who kill Jews and names squares, streets, schools and summer camps after these so-called martyrs. Second, the Palestinian Arabs desire East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, to be their future capital in any peace deal, despite the fact that Jerusalem has never been the capital of any state other than a Jewish one. Trump must be informed that for 19 years from 1948 to 1967, Jews have already witnessed and experienced what Arab rule in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will bring to the Jewish state and it was not peace.

In 1948, the day after the British left and Israel declared its independence, five Arab armies invaded the newly declared Jewish state. As a result, the British-led Jordanian Army conquered the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem which housed the Jewish quarter and Jews’ holiest sites, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount. In the end, the 1400 Jews who lived in the Jewish Quarter within the walls of the Old City had to negotiate their surrender to the Arabs and their expulsion to western Jerusalem which the Israelis held onto.

Consequently, 35 ancient synagogues in the Old City were destroyed, desecrated, and razed by the Jordanians and their interiors used as hen houses or stables filled with dung heaps, garbage, and carcasses.  The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was in complete disarray, with tens of thousands of tombstones broken into pieces to be used as cheap building materials while large areas of the cemetery were leveled to provide a short cut to a new hotel. Jews were not allowed to be buried or to visit there. Hundreds of Torah Scrolls and thousands of holy books were plundered and burned to ashes. For the first time in 1000 years not a single Jew or one synagogue remained in the Old City. 

Although the Jordanians had signed an armistice agreement in 1949 guaranteeing Jews the right to visit and pray in their holy sites, including the Western Wall, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and Rachel’s Tomb, not one Israeli Jew was ever permitted by the Jordanians to do so. Moreover, the Western Wall became a slum and was transformed into an exclusively Muslim holy site named Al Buraq Wall. 

Prior to 1967, as a child, I used to visit my grandfather, who lived on Mamilla Street in Western Jerusalem, very close to the no-man’s land outside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City. It is hard to believe that from May 27, 1948 through June 7, 1967, Mamilla was Israel’s frontline and the border of Israel with Jordan. The western three-quarters of Mamilla were held by Israel and the eastern quarter became a no man’s land of barbed wire and concrete barricades between the Israeli and Jordanian lines. At the time, Jordanian snipers stood on the top of the Old City walls and tried to shoot Israelis in west Jerusalem down below.  As a four- to seven-year-old kid, I used to crawl out of my grandfather’s house to avoid being randomly shot by snipers for being Jewish.  

On June 5, 1967, after Arab leaders declared their intentions to destroy the Jewish state, Israel was forced into a war against the combined armies of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, and the Six-Day War began.

Miraculously, the Israeli Army defeated the combined Arab armies, conquering the entire Sinai from the Egyptians, the Golan Heights from the Syrians, and the Judea and Samaria hills of the West Bank from the Jordanians.  Eventually, paratroopers captured East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall from the Jordanians. After 2000 years, we were again free to pray in Jerusalem.  

I was eight when I visited the Old City for the first time, as did hundreds of thousands of other Jews and Israelis following the Six-Day War. I still remember how exciting it was to step on that holy ground, walking in the steps of our high priests and Jewish Kings from thousands of years ago, and freely praying. We touched and kissed the Western Wall and climbed to the Temple Mount where the two Jewish Temples stood. We visited the burial place of our ancestral mother Rachel on the road to Bethlehem a mere five-minute drive from the Old City, and lastly the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron, the city where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are buried.

As an Israeli who witnessed the horrors of Arab rule in east Jerusalem, I choose a united Jerusalem controlled by the Jewish state over a piece of paper called “peace.”

Shoula Romano Horing an Israeli born and raised attorney. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com

President Donald Trump said Saturday he will not go ahead with his campaign promise to move the American embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, until after he pushes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Saying” I wanna  give it a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem. “

First, President Trump should know that there is exactly zero chance for any so-called “peace deal” to be forged while the Palestinian Authority monetarily compensates terrorists who kill Jews and names squares, streets, schools and summer camps after these so-called martyrs. Second, the Palestinian Arabs desire East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, to be their future capital in any peace deal, despite the fact that Jerusalem has never been the capital of any state other than a Jewish one. Trump must be informed that for 19 years from 1948 to 1967, Jews have already witnessed and experienced what Arab rule in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will bring to the Jewish state and it was not peace.

In 1948, the day after the British left and Israel declared its independence, five Arab armies invaded the newly declared Jewish state. As a result, the British-led Jordanian Army conquered the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem which housed the Jewish quarter and Jews’ holiest sites, including the Western Wall and Temple Mount. In the end, the 1400 Jews who lived in the Jewish Quarter within the walls of the Old City had to negotiate their surrender to the Arabs and their expulsion to western Jerusalem which the Israelis held onto.

Consequently, 35 ancient synagogues in the Old City were destroyed, desecrated, and razed by the Jordanians and their interiors used as hen houses or stables filled with dung heaps, garbage, and carcasses.  The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was in complete disarray, with tens of thousands of tombstones broken into pieces to be used as cheap building materials while large areas of the cemetery were leveled to provide a short cut to a new hotel. Jews were not allowed to be buried or to visit there. Hundreds of Torah Scrolls and thousands of holy books were plundered and burned to ashes. For the first time in 1000 years not a single Jew or one synagogue remained in the Old City. 

Although the Jordanians had signed an armistice agreement in 1949 guaranteeing Jews the right to visit and pray in their holy sites, including the Western Wall, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and Rachel’s Tomb, not one Israeli Jew was ever permitted by the Jordanians to do so. Moreover, the Western Wall became a slum and was transformed into an exclusively Muslim holy site named Al Buraq Wall. 

Prior to 1967, as a child, I used to visit my grandfather, who lived on Mamilla Street in Western Jerusalem, very close to the no-man’s land outside the Jaffa Gate in the Old City. It is hard to believe that from May 27, 1948 through June 7, 1967, Mamilla was Israel’s frontline and the border of Israel with Jordan. The western three-quarters of Mamilla were held by Israel and the eastern quarter became a no man’s land of barbed wire and concrete barricades between the Israeli and Jordanian lines. At the time, Jordanian snipers stood on the top of the Old City walls and tried to shoot Israelis in west Jerusalem down below.  As a four- to seven-year-old kid, I used to crawl out of my grandfather’s house to avoid being randomly shot by snipers for being Jewish.  

On June 5, 1967, after Arab leaders declared their intentions to destroy the Jewish state, Israel was forced into a war against the combined armies of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, and the Six-Day War began.

Miraculously, the Israeli Army defeated the combined Arab armies, conquering the entire Sinai from the Egyptians, the Golan Heights from the Syrians, and the Judea and Samaria hills of the West Bank from the Jordanians.  Eventually, paratroopers captured East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall from the Jordanians. After 2000 years, we were again free to pray in Jerusalem.  

I was eight when I visited the Old City for the first time, as did hundreds of thousands of other Jews and Israelis following the Six-Day War. I still remember how exciting it was to step on that holy ground, walking in the steps of our high priests and Jewish Kings from thousands of years ago, and freely praying. We touched and kissed the Western Wall and climbed to the Temple Mount where the two Jewish Temples stood. We visited the burial place of our ancestral mother Rachel on the road to Bethlehem a mere five-minute drive from the Old City, and lastly the Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron, the city where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are buried.

As an Israeli who witnessed the horrors of Arab rule in east Jerusalem, I choose a united Jerusalem controlled by the Jewish state over a piece of paper called “peace.”

Shoula Romano Horing an Israeli born and raised attorney. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com



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