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The Fringe Festival’s Real Oddballs



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Brent Bozell tells the story of “how a straightforward religious message can send the self-consciously hip artistic evaluators, who think they are tolerant of everything, screaming into the streets.”

Idealism, Badly Defined



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Ken Shepherd showed me how Aaron Brown greeted the latest resurfacing of the Sixties Wednesday on CNN:
“Kathy Boudin, in a way, represents the darkness of the ’60s, that young idealists could turn into monsters. Her supporters say she’s done her time, realizes now the wrong that she’s done, and channeled a good part of her idealism into work in prison. Many family members of the victim still see a monster, and monsters, they say, belong in prison.”
This, as a whole, is quite balanced (Brown also quoted a relative of someone her gang killed hoping she’s truly reformed.) But I really choke at the use of the word “idealism,” that radical leftists who wanted to overthrow the U.S. government, shred the Constitution, and give us some Lumumba-worshiping Marxist regime can be defined as “idealists.” The media too often use it as a synonym for liberalism or radicalism, but rarely use it to define the well-grounded idealism of the Founders.

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Gay Night Out On Nbc



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In an update on an earlier post, CBS’s “Amazing Race 4″ ended last night with the gay male couple, Reichen and Chip (always accompanied by the graphic “Married”) won the contest as it ended in Phoenix. What followed was lots of preaching about the triumph of Americans “who happen to be gay” showing they can compete. As if someone said they were incapable of running, swimming, driving, and booking airline tickets. Anyway, another cultural bookend for the umpteenth re-airing of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” on NBC.

Web Briefing: August 20, 2014

Important News For Jonah



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Animal House cast reunion, here.

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Israel Must Go It Alone



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Not a day passed after the horrific murder of Israelis, including babies and young children, when a State Department official announced that, in essence, the so-called Roadmap to Peace was still on track. This was followed with an opinion piece by former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, coldly insisting that the U.S. continue with its peace process. Unfortunately, no amount of slaughter or mayhem unleashed against the Israeli people distracts our diplomats or Israel-bashers like Scowcroft from their efforts to sellout Israel.

It’s time for Ariel Sharon to do the unthinkable. It’s time for him to tell President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell that he will do whatever he must to save the lives of Israeli babies, including, if necessary, the toppling of the terrorist regimes in Iran and Syria that are waging war against Israel through their Palestinian surrogates.

It’s time for Prime Minister Sharon to look President Bush in his eyes–leader to leader–and tell him that the lives of his citizens are every bit as precious as the lives of American citizens, and that the perpetuation of a double standard, where the U.S. practices preemption and Israel is forced to practice restraint, is no longer acceptable. It’s time for Sharon to tell Bush that he, as President of the United States, wouldn’t tolerate the almost daily massacre of American babies, and he won’t tolerate the massacre of Jewish babies, either. They’re all God’s children.

It’s time for Sharon to look Powell in his eyes–former general to former general–and tell him that the national security of his nation is every bit as important as the national security of the United States or any other sovereign, democratic state. And that Israel will not surrender any more of its land in exchange for false promises of peace. Indeed, Sharon should challenge Powell to help hundreds of thousands of Jews reclaim land throughout Europe that was stolen from them during the Holocaust, and stolen by Arab regimes over the last 50 years.

It’s time for Sharon to tell his own people that Israel’s very survival is in doubt unless they are prepared to go it alone. And that means a willingness to risk the loss of substantial financial and military support from the United States, which has been used by successive American administrations to bully Israel into capitulation.

It’s time for Sharon to accept the unfortunate fact that the last president to act as a true friend to Israel was Richard Nixon. And that despite all the representations that the U.S. will ensure Israel’s security, the fact is that U.S. policy–has made Israel less secure and less capable of defending itself.

Sadly, as long as America seeks to be an “honest broker” rather than a reliable ally, and as long as the State Department places a moral equivalency on Palestinian terrorists targeting and killing Jewish babies with Israeli acts of self-defense in targeting and killing terrorist leaders, Israel, for its own sake and survival, must go it alone.

Re: Can This Be Legal?



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Rod, pro-choicers and the Left love those kinds of laws (it’s hard to argue how that doesn’t reek of “No Catholics Need Apply,” isn’t it?). Hospital mergers and the Catholic Church is a bit of an obsession of many pro-choice groups (see here, too), especially. And that Gray Davis is Catholic makes it so much better, from a Left point of view–very much like the wonder of Ted Kennedy Dick Durbin vs. Jeff Sessions and Orrin Hatch debating Catholic theology on the Senate floor during the (still ongoing Pryor debate); you know what side the former pair were on.

Schwarzenegger Comes Through



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Since I devoted the last ten days to whining and caterwauling about Der Arnold, urging him–begging him–to take a few positions that could be at least loosely described as Republican, it seems only fair to note that I thought his press conference yesterday was mighty impressive. If you missed his performance, here’s Schwarzenegger on the two critical issues in this campaign:

On taxes:

“I feel the people of California have been punished enough. From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet they’re taxed. When they go get a coffee they’re taxed. When they get in their car they’re taxed. When they go to the gas station they’re taxed. When they go to lunch they’re taxed. This goes on all day long. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax.”



On spending:



“Before you promise anything to anyone right now, I think stop. Stop, stop, stop with the spending.”



Schwarzenegger went on to argue for a constitutional amendment that would cap state spending along the lines of the amendment that then-Governor Reagan proposed back in 1973.



The most important parallel between Schwarzenegger and Reagan? That’s still developing.



When Reagan was elected president in 1980, there was no consensus on what should be done-but there was a consensus that something had to be done. As I argue in a href=”http://www.nationalreview.com/redirect/amazon.asp?j=0060523999″>How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, Reagan recognized that this consensus, this willingness to consider dramatic changes in policy, presented him with an enormous opportunity-and he seized it. Likewise California today. As 10 Californians how to fix the state and you’ll get ten different answers. Ask them if the state needs fixing and every last one of them will stare at you in blank disbelief that you even had to ask. Will Schwarzenegger seize this opportunity? That press conference yesterday wasn’t a bad start.



Fellow conservative Californians, what did you think? Did Arnold win you over? Feel free to send me an email-and be sure to place “Arnold” in the subject line. I’m count up the pros and cons and post the results tomorrow.

Can This Be Legal?



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Mark Sheapoints to a California law recently signed by Gov. Gray Davis that forbids non-profit hospitals from being sold if a provision of their sale limits the services that could be provided there. In other words, the state explicitly wants to keep Catholic hospitals from being sold to buyers that would honor in the contract the Church’s prohibition on abortion and sterilization. Gray Davis assures the public that he’s a good Catholic. He’s something, all right, but I’m not sure it’s printable on a fambly blog. Anyway, how can this be legal? Isn’t there a First Amendment problem here?

The Face of Socialism?



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From the Independent:

Officials said 85 per cent of all public and private retirement homes in France were permanently understaffed. At holiday times, staffing levels fell even further.

Thanks, Rod



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A reader advises: “FYI…a Google search for ‘marxist granola’ yields a link to NRO as its first result. Thought you might like to know.”

Speaking of Savior...Michael Novak On Gibson’s Passion



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If you haven’t read it, read it here. Here’s a taste:


It is the most powerful movie I have ever seen. In the days since watching that rough cut, I have not been able to get the film out of my mind. Although I have read many books on the death of Jesus, and heard countless sermons dwelling on its details, I would never have believed a human being could suffer as much as Gibson’s Christ does. Seen through the perspective of the mother of Jesus, as this film allows the viewer to do, the suffering is doubly painful–for with her, we watch the unbearable scourging, gustily delivered by the Romans at Pilate’s orders nearly to the point of death. The pillar to which Jesus is chained is less than waist-high, so that his back is bent while he must keep himself on his feet. When he is dragged away, blood lies pooled and splattered on the white marble floor. The soldiers’ laughter echoes again at the moment of the awful downward push when he is crowned with thorns. And then there are the thundering falls of the scourged Christ upon his flailed and bleeding back, under the impossible weight of the cross.

Savior Clinton, Save California!



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A Corner reader in Los Angeles notes a letter in the L.A. Weekly:


Well, here we are in election hell with several unbearable candidates.
But, who has the power, intelligence, charisma and lifestyle to be
governor of this state – and needs a job? Bill Clinton! I can only
encourage Bill to buy a small apartment in Lodi and come out here to
save us from ourselves.

What a Way to Run



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Howard Dean wants your money back.

That’s Our France!



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Today’s Times reports on the massive human catastrophe in France, in which thousands upon thousands of people, mostly elderly, died from the heat. Two things stand out about the story. First, it seems that quite a few French people refused to interrupt their vacations to come home and bury grandmere; they had her put on cold storage until they got home. Second, the head of the country’s nursing home association says the answer to what ails France isn’t more freon, but — you knew this was coming — more socialism!

Real Blackout From Space Photos



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Thanks to all who sent these links: here and here.
(And here’s the whole country at night, on a non-blackout night.)

Recalling Bush



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A Dem PAC (“Fair and Balanced”!)—with headliners like Joe Lockhart—move to get President Bush recalled—or get some PR, at least (sorry for helping that effort).

No More Ceasefire



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In other words, doublespeak is temporarily scrapped.

Those Are Some Expensive Spoons



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According to this hilariously serious interview in an Egyptian newspaper , Egyptian lawyers in Switzerland and legal scholars in Egypt want to sue all of the world’s Jews for the gold and kitchen utensils “stolen” by the Hebrews when they fled Egypt. The sum owed to Egyptians by Jews is somewhere just shy of infinity-plus-one dollars, also known as a super-blajillion dollars. Here’s how one of the scholars preparing the suit explains it:

“If we assume that the weight of what was stolen was one ton, [its worth] doubled every 20 years, even if the annual interest is only 5%. In one ton of gold is 700 kg of pure gold – and we must remember that what was stolen was jewelry, that is, alloyed with copper. Hence, after 1,000 years, it would be worth 1,125,898,240 million tons, which equals 1,125,898 billion tons for 1,000 years. In other words, 1,125 trillion tons of gold, that is, a million multiplied by a million tons of gold. This is for one stolen ton. The stolen gold is estimated at 300 tons, and it was not stolen for 1,000 years, but for 5,758 years, by the Jewish reckoning. Therefore, the debt is very large…

You can say that again. Of course, if we’re going to play this game, the Egyptians owe the Jews some shmundo too. After all, they held Jews in bondage for generations. The average, say, Jewish accountant or surgeon, makes a very nice living these days. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, $100,000 a year. Multiply that times the number of Hebrews forced to make bricks from straw, times the number of generations in bondage, including overtime and paid vacation – plus night work – compounded over 5,758 years and we’re not talking baklahvah either. Plus, what about the Jews cut of Egypt’s tourism industry? Since the Jews built a lot of that stuff – without compensation – shouldn’t they get a cut of all that too?

Anyway, remind me not to hire an Egyptian lawyer anytime soon. And good luck if you want my antique Egyptian dinnerware.

Tonight’s Tv



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Bill Pryor fans can see him tonight on CNN with Paula Zahn in the 8 PM hour.

PBS also promises: “Tonight on the NewsHour, Media Correspondent Terence Smith gauges Americans’ response to the rising attacks on U.S. troops, and whether the Bush administration should seek more help from the United Nations” with his roundtable of editorial writers from across the country, including Bush-hater John Nichols from the People’s Republic of Madison’s Capital Times. I thought the United Nations would be seeking more help from the United States after leaving their HQ utterly unprotected….

The Silvio Menace



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Tonight, the PBS show “Wide Angle” (co-hosted by former Clinton State Dept. spokesman Jamie Rubin) takes on how dastardly Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi is hampering press freedom in Italy by owning the largest private media outlets and running the public media outlets. If you have any doubt it’s a typical PBS approach, please note it’s been hailed by Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times.

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