It's been a while since we've done one of these, but before we get into it, I would just like to mention that Glenn Beck will be at the Freedom Center's Restoration Weekend. As will a far humbler figure, me.
THE HIPPIE, HIPSTER, HOMELESS OCCUPATION CONTINUES
You can't smell Zuccoti Park from uptown, but if you're unlucky enough you can spot the occupiers making their way there. The Hipsters/Hippies/Homeless ratio has made for very poor hygiene and a fantastic opportunity for the rats to make a comeback in Lower Manhattan.
The weather is turning chilly. This morning the temperature was in the 40's and even though tents have been allowed, the hippies and hipsters are about to start discovering how the other third lives. The ones who actually are hopeless.
Hipsters may live in walk ups, but they like to have the heat on and there's a reason hippies usually prefer warmer weather and many of the city's guests from the other side of the coast are about to discover how quickly temperatures here can change and how uncomfortable even mild Northeastern weather can be when you're used to warm air.
Lower Manhattan is a giant heatsink of skyscrapers owned by corporations, and human and automobile traffic from employees of people doing business there. That heatsink is the only thing keeping the three H's from experiencing the weather that they would encounter if they headed over to Long Island.
The irony that the companies and cars they hate so much are keeping the weather warm enough so that they can lounge around in their piles of garbage without freezing would be lost on them. All those winds coming off the water broken by the massive collection of downtown skyscrapers, the sheer mass of people, cars and carbon that lets them pose as revolutionary activists without their teeth chattering are lost on them too.
The left has organized and funded Occupy Wall Street, but it's doing a poor job of controlling it. Its activist chains of command don't flow all that smoothly with the increasing number of homeless people who see it as another encampment and many of the hippies who can't focus long enough to follow the rules.
The problem with OWS is that it attracts people who want to do their own thing without realizing that they're walking into someone else's campaign. The Great Drum Circle Debate which pits the professional activists who understand that getting into fights with local residents will take them down against the hippies who just don't care. Or the Hygiene Hellish standoff with the homeless.
OWS' "innovative" idea of making the protest into a permanent round the clock entity was timed to boost the Obama campaign, but the weather is going to have something else to say about it.
It's also worth noting that while Bloomberg has pussyfooted around OWS, the minority mayors of black cities have taken them on. Mayor Kasim Reed in Atlanta and Mayor Jean Quan in Oakland have been much more forceful about dealing with the OWS trash, while Bloomberg and Menino, white, Jewish and Italian, have pandered to them.
Next up appears to be Mayor Villaraigosa in LA.
SHUT UP AND KEEP QUIET
We begin the roundup with the ADL and AJC's proposed "pact of silence" on Israel in the guise of the usual "don't make Israel into a partisan issue." The ADL/AJC's "National Pledge for Unity on Israel" is actually a call for silence by the Jewish community in an election year. I don't recall any other community being told that it must shut up and not make their issue into a wedge issue.
The Foxman-Harris contention that Israel has bipartisan support is untrue, as Foxman himself knows. While there isn't as great a gap between the two parties as many would like to think, the gap is very real and it is there. Furthermore an administration that has brought an ugliness to those ties as part of a program of disastrous pandering to Islamists in the Middle East should absolutely be held accountable for its shameful conduct.
Do Foxman-Harris really believe that remaining silent is a good strategy? If so why then do the ADL and AJC fill my inbox with bulletins almost every other day warning that they are all that stands between us and the deep blue sea? Their silence is a strategy and it favors only one side.
We have an adversarial political system that benefits from competition. That means every issue is a wedge issue. If it weren't that way, then we wouldn't need issue based elections at all.
Do Republicans and Democrats disagree on Israel? Absolutely. Should that be treated as some dirty little secret? I don't see why. The "National Pledge for Unity on Israel" is nothing more than "Sha Shtil" politics dressed up in colorful bunting and backed by a marching band. The FDR administration is a tombstone memorializing "Sha Shtil" politics. So is the situation in the Jewish community in France.
DEBATING THE DEBATES
There's not much you can say about the debates except that they have been insubstantial exchanges of talking points that have shown most of the candidates at their worst.
Perry has taken the most damage from the debates and his talk of pulling out is reasonable enough, but at the same time his clumsy performance is an image that most people are not going to get out of their heads. And whoever does win the nomination is still going to have to debate Obama.
The debates have teetered between candidates being unsure about attacking each other and then doing nothing but attacking each other. I doubt undecided voters came out of the Romney-Perry exchanges with much affection for either of the two men who have done a great job of providing video that Democratic strategists are feverishly reviewing for weak points on their laptops.
Cain and Gingrich are rising as a reaction to the lack of ideas and the careerist acrimony on stage. Romney and Perry don't come off as two men angry at each other because they both believe in these ideas, but as two men who want the same job and will strangle each other to get it. That's politics but it's also deflating to anyone who thinks in terms of public service.
But Cain and Gingrich have their own problems. Cain is electable on personality and on beliefs, but weak on ideas. Gingrich is electable on ideas, but not on personality. If you somehow blended the two men and combined Cain's breezy manner and Gingrich's wonkiness, you might come out with a perfect candidate. But that's not happening either.
Cain's casual campaign is not about winning. Cain doesn't expect the nomination, he expects to be Romney's VP and his odds are excellent. Gingrich is also aiming for the VP spot, ready to give heft and credibility to whoever the nominee will be.
Cain and Gingrich would be better presidents than Romney and Perry, but they're not likely to get that chance and even if they did, their odds of beating Obama and his praetorian press bodyguard aren't too good either.
But the bigger game at this point may not be the White House, but getting as many principled conservatives into congress as possible. It's a safe assumption that the Republican nominee will not be a principled conservative. The only thing left to do is checkmate him with principled conservatives.
When Bush tried to run the immigration numbers, opposition from congressional Republicans stopped him. If we do it right, Perry will be frozen the same way. And Romney can be checkmated as well. All the complaints about Republican extremism are a good thing. They show the party core is gaining strength and becoming a revolutionary party again. And while it will not be a Tea Party White House, it can be a Tea Party Congress.
But if the race continues to degenerate into the kind of pathetic displays we saw at the last debate, then the competition will be over who will lose to Obama.
COME ONE, COME MUSLIM MEN
A Muslim group in Denmark has launched a campaign to turn parts of Copenhagen and other Danish cities into "Sharia Law Zones" that would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic law.
The Danish Islamist group Kaldet til Islam (Call to Islam) says the Tingbjerg suburb of Copenhagen will be the first part of Denmark to be subject to Sharia law, followed by the Nørrebro district of the capital and then other parts of the country, the center-right Jyllands-Posten newspaper reported on October 17.
500 years ago this would have been a matter of straight up conquest, but today the invaders aren't coming on longboats, they're arriving on planes and benefiting from social services.
BUT SHE EXPLAINED
After Deborah Orr at the Guardian penned a bizarre bigoted column accusing Jews of racist arrogance for trading a 1000 terrorists for an Israeli POW, she offered an even more ridiculous explanation.
Last week, I upset a lot of people by suggesting Zionists saw themselves as “chosen”. My words were badly chosen and poorly used, and I’m sorry for it. But accusations of antisemitism have also been intemperate.
Zionism has nothing to do with being the "Chosen People", Judaism does.
Orr is lying through her teeth and she's doing it in a way remarkably similar to that done by Muslim spokesmen who use classical Anti-Semitic terminology and then explain that they mean Zionists not Jews.
Append the usual gibberish about Israel's creation harming the Pallies and we're off to the races.
Then Deborah Orr doubles back perversely to claim that, "it would be absurd to believe that Jewish people are any more or less capable of making geo-political miscalculations than anybody else:"
Like most Muslim spokesmen, Orr tries to pretend that she means Zionists not Jews, and then turns around and says Jews anyway.
The Guardian has become a kind of half-assed PC Der Sturmer, trading in Anti-Semitism and then making up the weakest excuse that it can to pretend that it didn't say what it obviously did.
NAKED APES OF WALL STREET
Edward Cline offers his thoughts on OWS at Rule of Reason
Picture a protester, fully dressed, armed with his cell phone, iPod, perhaps with a poncho rolled up in his backpack along with toiletries and other necessities.
Take away his cap – his shirt and tee-shirt – his watch – his jacket – his backpack and all is contents – his sweater or sweatshirt – his cell phone – his camera – any other gizmo he has become dependent on to communicate with his pals or to see what else is happening on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other social sites – his wallet – his pants – his underwear – his socks – his shoes – his shaving instruments – his deodorant (if any) – his hair cut (if he has had one) – his pill box, nasal spray, inhaler, chap stick, or whatever else enables him to breathe without difficulty – his childhood inoculations – his cigarettes – his lighter – his plastic packet of whatever else he may smoke – his glasses or contacts – his tent – his sleeping bag.
Take away his cardboard sign and the length or wood or plastic it may be affixed to, if it is affixed to anything. Take away the marker or pen or spray that printed the words on it.
No Starbucks. No Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. No Zuccotti Park-cooked pasta and stir-fried veggies. Maybe cockroaches. Or silverfish. Or dead rats. But nothing prepared in defiance of Mother Earth. No Poland Spring water. No plastic water bottles at all.
And what have you? You have a naked ape. A protester against corporate greed, an advocate of expropriating wealth and the means of production.
Read it all.
THE UNFAIRNESS DOCTRINE IS COMING
Well it is.
In other words, just in time for the 2012 elections, the FCC will help accelerate license challenges against "uncooperative" radio stations: namely, those stations that feature conservative talk radio.
Operation Rushbo II is a go.
WE ARE THE %100
101 if you count it right
What's going on in Argentina? Nothing good. (Via Western Rifle Shooters and Arctic Patriot.)
THAT'S ONE WAY TO SELL BOOKS
The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama.
Now if the State Department starts buying them and returning them, it can really go up the bestseller lists. Wouldn't surprise me too much if that was happening.
Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the weekend.