The Corner


1) I see that President Obama has been conferring with Al Sharpton again. You may remember a little something — Steven Pagones does: Sharpton accused Pagones, then a young assistant DA, of raping a girl named Tawana Brawley. As Pagones held a press conference, Sharpton entered and bellowed, “Your accuser has arrived!” For ten years, Pagones pursued a defamation case against Sharpton — and won. Sharpton, who calls himself a “reverend,” has never apologized for his evil lie.

Consider: If there were an equivalent of Sharpton on the right, and a conservative president conferred with him and a conservative TV network employed him, would that be all right?

2) Readers of NRO are familiar with Guillermo Fariñas, the Cuban independent journalist. He won the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament. Last week, he was meeting in his home with some fellow dissidents. An agent of the state broke in and stabbed four of them. Two of the victims — members of the Ladies in White — were seriously injured.

And, as the indispensable Mauricio Claver-Carone tells us, “not one Havana-based foreign journalist has investigated or reported on this violent attack.” Governments around the world have been largely silent, too. As always.

Many years ago, I wrote a piece called “Who Cares about Cuba?” When I raised this issue with Jeane Kirkpatrick, she said that indifference to Cuba is “both a puzzling and a profoundly painful phenomenon of our times.”

Worse than indifference, of course, is support for the regime, or excuses for it.

President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles, as in his unilateral amnesty. “I just took an action to change the law,” he boasted. Some think that his next action will be the normalization of relations with the Castros’ dictatorship. Our Left is egging him on. He can do a lot of damage in his remaining two years, in multifarious ways. And, like Clinton, I believe, he will keep the pedal to the metal until noon on Inauguration Day.

3) WFB (William F. Buckley Jr.) once said of Paul Johnson something like this: “He is so routinely excellent, we can take him for granted. We must not.” I feel the same way about Heather Mac Donald. I don’t pause to praise every piece she writes, and thank her for it. But maybe I should.

Here is her piece, on this website, yesterday. It is about the Ferguson nightmare. Thank you, Heather Mac. A keeper (another one).

4) A lady I know asked, “Could you explain something to me? As soon as the first rock was thrown — as soon as the law was first violated — why didn’t the authorities put a stop to it? I mean, isn’t that what law-enforcement authorities are for? You can’t just go break the law, can you?”

I’m afraid that much depends on the law-breakers. Does anyone believe that, if skinheads or anti-amnesty protesters had begun to riot, the authorities would not have swooped in immediately? The president could have ordered an Air Force strike on the rioters, and the New York Times would have cheered!

(Forgive the hyperbole — but that is part of life, and editorializing.)

5) Yesterday, I had a quick note on this blog about Christmas — the verbotenization of the term. (A box of Christmas cards was labeled “Holiday Cards.”) Now I want to tell you this:

Last night, I was on Columbus Avenue (Manhattan), near my home. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Carolers, lined up and ready to sing. They were young people, probably in their twenties. They sang — not “Santa Baby” or something semi-acceptable — but “Silent Night.” Just like it was Peoria in 1962 or something.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is damn near a miracle. Merry Christmas, early!


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