The AP reports that Munich-based Constantin Film will be producing a movie based on German author Timur Vermes’s bestselling novel about the Nazi Dictator. In Er ist Wieder Da, Adolf Hitler “…awakens in modern-day Berlin and becomes the star of a TV comedy show.” No word on whether this “comedy show” will mirror the contemporary Asian game show trend of finding humor in putting fellow citizens in odd, even purportedly life-threatening situations. The film is set to be released in 2015.
Despite Hitler being a “touchy subject” for many Germans, the novel has sold over 1.3 million copies since its debut in 2012. English speakers, have no fear. A translation of the book, titled Look Who’s Back, will be released in April of next year.
In other Hitler satire news, Hitler Rants Parodies (featured above) recently celebrated five years on the web. BothVermes and Constantin Film have as much to do with the YouTube sensation as the psychotic mass murdering dictator has to do with having a laugh. One thing we can confirm: the authors of Er is Wieder Da and Hitler Rants Parodies both know how to humorously kill a conversation.
No word yet on when the satirical biopic about Soviet leader Josef Stalin (working title: Hitler Always Said I Should Laugh More) is set to hit the silver screen. According to several unconfirmed reports, the studio involved is having trouble obtaining a finished draft of the script that isn’t covered in trace amounts of polonium-210.
Last week, Leslie Loftis hit the ball back into my court in our ongoing discussion on the future of feminism. Her conclusion is simple, but profound: ”Abroad we need action. At home we need to bury the hatchet.” How many on the right would be willing to agree?
“I was troubled to see some comments on my original post wondering why we should care about feminism’s woes. Feminism, the term, or the Marxist influences hidden inside it, true, those will not be missed by the right.”
The boorishness of the comment my counterpart is referring to did, in part, motivate my response to her first piece. Simplistic right-wing criticism of cultural Marxism has become like flatulence riddling otherwise productive conversation on this side of the political spectrum. It’s all well and good for commentators to disavow socialism in the political sphere. It is even more important for those with first-hand experience of Marxism to tell their stories publicly. But for the average reader to dismiss every single aspect of American cultural life as the bastard child of the liberal lie is, quite frankly, defeatist. And, as Loftis so eloquently points out, by dismissing feminism as so much Marxist claptrap, critics of today’s feminism are dismissing every woman born after Steinem as well:
“But despite its modern reputation as a leftist faction, most modern women’s lives are guided by feminism. …The lives of modern women are built upon feminist ideas. As feminism collapses, we need to worry about what comes after.”
The time for silver-tongued lashings has passed. If anything, a real critique of feminism requires the reclamation of classical liberalism from the clutches of contemporary socialism’s PR machine. This begins with the embrace of feminism’s powerful history. In an era nostalgic for social revolution we would be wise to ditch Steinem’s vaginal definition of female inferiority in favor of Mary Wollstonecraft‘s drive for gender equality through education. Put simply: We must re-frame the debate in terms of brains, not boobs.
“In 1968, the KGB was able to manueuver a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a conference in Medellin, Colombia. …The official task of the conference was to help eliminate poverty in Latin America. Its undeclared goal was to legitimize a KGB-created religious movement dubbed ‘liberation theology,’ the secret task of which was to incite Latin America’s poor to rebel against the ‘institutionalized violence of poverty’ generated by the United States. …The Medellin Conference did indeed endorse liberation theology, and the delegates recommended it to the World Council of Churches for official approval.” Having already “come under the control of Soviet foreign intelligence,” the WCC ”endorsed liberation theology and made it part of the WCC agenda.”
Liberation Theology, it would seem, was to be the perfect marriage of the intellectual and the religious classes. According to Reverend Robert A. Sirico, “The intellectual power of the liberation theology movement derived from its attempt to justify a traditionally atheistic Marxist movement within a framework that would appeal to religiously minded Latin Americans.” The Acton Institute founder details,
“The theology was not complicated. It combined Marxian economic doctrine with a misrendering and politicization of Christ’s moral injunctions to help the poor. In this respect, it was easily refuted through simple economic logic. The ‘structures of oppression’ that so outraged the liberation theologians were not capitalism but traditional mercantilist policies in which a government-connected elite used the state to inhibit free competition for land and capital and sought trade policies that would benefit large landholders at the expense of craftsmen and small farmers. The ‘liberation’ that these faith-based Marxist ideologues sought could only be found in the overthrow of mercantilist economics and the invigoration of a business economy that would spread economic opportunity and prosperity.
Uprooting the theological error was more complicated. Formal political and theological criticism came from the Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II. Having lived under the totalitarian socialism of both Nazism and communism, he saw the grave dangers that seemingly naïve misunderstandings of economics, combined with religious zeal, could pose for societies. He used his personal influence among Latin American bishops to weigh against the teaching of the liberation theologians, and he directly confronted leaders of Marxist political and ecclesiastical movements for their distortions of traditional Christian teaching. At issue, he said, was not only the danger that liberation theology would lend moral support to would-be totalitarians; he also rejected the attempt to thoroughly politicize Christ’s message on behalf of the poor.”
When Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, worked as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1981-2005, he enforced Pope John Paul II’s anti-Liberation Theology policy by speaking out against the ideology and sanctioning priests who supported the Marxist ideal. However, Pope Francis’s affirmed (ironically first appointed by Pope Benedict) prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Muller, is not as wary of Liberation Theology as his predecessor. Then again, perhaps the new Pope isn’t, either.
See the previous parts of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s blogging on Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation:
Susan Sontag, who characterized the KGB’s disinformation play about Pope Pius XII as “an excellent theatrical idea,” spearheaded the transformation of the intellectual movement in the 1960s. New York Magazine described Sontag as “the last significant member” of the New York intellectual crowd (which included the likes of Lionel Trilling) and the source of its demise. What Irving Howe would come to define as “the new sensibility” would usher in the conquest of high culture in the name of pop and the metamorphosis of the intellectual class from theological Marxists into a nihilistic oligarchy.
While Sontag was by no means alone in her endeavor, as an academic she pioneered the already closing gap between high and popular cultures by essentially defaming Matthew Arnold, the Victorian father of modern literary criticism. Arnold defined culture as “a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world.”
Susan Sontag declared this notion “historically and humanly obsolescent.” According to art critic Hilton Kramer,
“The Matthew Arnold notion of culture,” she wrote, “defines art as the criticism of life – this being understood as the propounding of moral, social and political ideas.” This was deemed abhorrent on several grounds. It took literature, with “its heavy burden of ‘content,’ both reportage and moral judgement,” as a model, and this would no longer do.
Sontag embraced late 19th century aestheticism. Beauty would no longer be the source of moral value; according to Sontag’s stylistics, beauty — or, rather, the pleasure one received from viewing or listening to a piece — would be the only way to value a piece of art. Arnold’s concept of content as character building was thrown out the window along with Arnold’s definition of art. Kramer details,
The people no longer had an interest in distinguishing between Arnold’s implicit high and low cultures. Rather, as Sontag wrote, “the feeling (or sensation) given off by a Rauschenberg painting might be like that of a song by the Supremes.”
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7
Being Jewish, my relationship to graven images has been vicariously lived out through my gentile Christian counterparts. My one friend’s grandmother always believed that Jesus spoke English, because that’s the language her Bible was written in. Another friend (who mistakenly drank the holy water in Rome thinking the font was a public water fountain) balked when she babysat for an African American Catholic family who had a black Jesus crucifix in their kitchen. Of course, most folks with a basic understanding of Biblical geography can reason that Jesus wasn’t the blonde haired, blue-eyed guy they stared at every week in Sunday school, but thanks to a lot of abuse on the part of religious leaders throughout the centuries, our culture still has a hard time comprehending exactly how “racially cool” God really is.
Take these examples of racial and ethnic diversity in scripture listed by the American Bible Society:
- Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On (Heliopolis), wife of Joseph and mother of Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 41:45, 51, 52; 46:20), whom Jacob claimed and adopted. (Genesis 48).
- Moses’ Cushite wife (Numbers 12:1). She was probably Zipporah of the Kenite clan of the Midianites (Exodus 2:21-23). If Moses’ Cushite wife is indeed Zipporah, then her father, Jethro, (also called Reuel), would also have been an African. Since Jethro was the priest of Midian (Exodus 2:16; 3:1; 18:1) and the mountain of God where Moses was called was located in Midian (Exodus 3:1; 18:5), and Jethro presided at a meal where Aaron and the elders of Israel were guests (Exodus 18:12), the Kenites may have been the original worshipers of God by the name of the LORD, that is Yahweh (YHWH). Jethro also instructed Moses in the governance of the newly liberated Israelites (Exodus 8:13-27).
- The “mixed multitude that accompanied the Israelites when they left Egypt undoubtedly included various Africans and Asian peoples (Exodus 12:38).
- The unnamed Cushite soldier in David’s army. He bore the news of Absalom’s death to David, and, in contrast to Ahimaaz, had the courage to tell David the truth about Absalom (2 Samuel 18:21, 31, 32).
- Solomon’s Egyptian wife. She was an Egyptian princess and by his marriage to her, Solomon sealed an alliance with Egypt. (1 Kings 3:1; 11:1).
- The Queen of Sheba. She ruled a kingdom that included territory in both Arabia and Africa. When she visited Solomon, she was accorded the dignity and status of a head of state (1 Kings 10:1-13).
According to Better Homes & Gardens, Thanksgiving is the number one holiday for wine sales. Following their list of recommended varietals, here are some New Jersey wine selections that should grace your Thanksgiving table this year.
For a fine Sparkling Wine, look no further than Valenzano Winery’s Cranpagne. The effervescence of this sparkling Jersey cranberry wine ushers in the holiday spirit like no other, making it the perfect sweet-tart traditional flavor to toast the autumn chill, fall foliage and hearts full of thanks.
If you love cranberry but aren’t as crazy about the bubbly, check out Sharrott Winery’s Cranberry Wine. Made from 100% New Jersey cranberries (think: Ocean Spray) this delightful elixir is the perfect compliment to your turkey-led feast. Leave the cranberry sauce for the kiddies and sip away at this bright red delight.
Red Wine drinkers will give thanks for two beautiful dry reds from Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill, NJ. A fruit farm that has been family owned since the Civil War, Heritage began wine making in the 1990′s and has cultivated a reputation as one of the Garden State’s best wineries. Their 2010 BDX Reserve, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Sav, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot aged in French oak, was the highest ranking Jersey red in the infamous Judgement of Princeton. Richly balanced, the 2011 version of the BDX will inspire many a good conversation at this year’s table. Prefer the spice of a Syrah? Heritage’s Estate Reserve 2010 Syrah is one of the most complex and balanced versions of the grape in the state. Both reds are round with a flavor that dances across the palate and promises to make a partner out of any holiday meal.
With all the ugly Christmas sweaters going around, we Jews need to catch up with the trend of bad-taste giving. Sure, you could go for a Menurkey in honor of Thanksgivukkah, or one of the other memorably odd menorah choices, but in the era of heightened European anti-Semitism, Putin’s Syrian intervention, and negotiations with Iran these simple, silly pleasures seem rather passe. Trendy tacky giving requires matching the spirit of the season as well as cultural vogue. With that in mind, I present to you the Top 5 most timely, tacky, and totally tasteless Hanukkah gifts for 2013.
Great for those American kids who still have the privilege of checking “Decline to Respond” next to questions about racial and ethnic identification, Papers Please is a video game that’s sure to please the tech geek on your list this holiday season. This cheap downloadable PC game’s pixelated animation will hark back to the days of Oregon Trail sans the Donner Party madness. In Papers Please the evil is clean-cut; no need to rape a street whore and throw her out of the car for extra points. As the bureaucrat you simply refuse entry to those in need.
Kindness is the killer in this game, a “dystopian document thriller” about the evils of government paperwork. The perfect training ground for a nation of future bureaucrats, Papers Please is a testimony to Stalin’s axiom, ”Bureaucracy is the price we pay for impartiality.” Perfect for the little Schindler in your life.
A Ukranian website whose servers are located in Berlin has cultivated a Twitter following among Russian-speakers who love playing Nationalist Simulator – Defend Ukraine. This is the perfect gift for that friend with Eastern European proclivities who just can’t stomach Russians, gays, Americans, and, of course, Jews.
“The objective of the game is to shoot the rainbow flags, Russian flags, American flags, red balls and Jews, who are represented by orange circles adorned with yarmulkes and sidelocks.” Perfect for the self-loathing among us, Russian-speaking Twitter user Denis Goldman (ethnic/religious persuasion unidentified) asked, “God, why had no one come up with this amazing game?”
Given the implied hatred of Russians, I’m guessing the picture of Putin riding a bear implodes if you can get past all those pesky Jews, gays, and Yankees.
See the previous parts of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s blogging on Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation:
“The first Soviet tsar, Vladimir Lenin, killed thousands of priests and closed most of Russia’s churches so as to make Marixsm-Leninism the country’s sole religion. Stalin, who continued that bloody rampage, transformed Lenin’s new religion into Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism, and used it to portray himself as a Soviet saint in order to keep his famished, oppressed population quiet.”
In his book Disinformation, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa supports a wealth of evidence with a first-hand accounting of the Soviet empire’s war on Judaism and Christianity. Stalin’s purpose in attacking both religions was simple:
“… atheistic communism’s very existence and expansion required that it discredit and demonize its chief competitor”
Consequently, Stalin followed the tsarist suit, employing Russia’s historic anti-Semitism (think: Protocols of the Elders of Zion) to portray America as “a Zionist realm owned by Jewish money and run by a greedy ‘Council of the Elders of Zion’.” According to Pacepa, Stalin “…transformed his Georgian anti-Semitism into a national and international policy.” As a result, the Soviet dictator, ”labeled Zionism as the main tool used by the United States to undermine the ‘socialist camp,’ and he committed unlimited Soviet political, military, and financial support to Israel’s historical enemies, its neighboring Arab states.” Simultaneously, Stalin purged his party and the Soviet nation of millions of Jews “…allegedly to preserve the ‘purity of Eastern European Socialism’.”
Stalin also played on post-World War II global fears of European anti-Semitism to discredit his number one enemy: The Pope of the Catholic Church. As the number one religious leader of the western world, the Pope was tapped by President Truman in his “Campaign of Truth” against the expansion of communism, “the mortal enemy of religion – of all religions.” The Catholic Church had a history of railing against Communism since the days of Marx. Now, legitimized by the Western World, Stalin the Nobel Prize winner decided it was time to make his move.
If this two-pronged attack on Western religion sounds confusing, don’t worry. It’s supposed to be. As Pacepa explains, the “nature of disinformation” is that of “a sophisticated, complicated, long-term, multifaceted campaign of pure lies and smears.” When the seeds of pure lies planted by Stalin in 1945 finally flourished, they contributed to the creation of an intellectual and spiritual cataclysm in the West.
It should come as no surprise to anyone with even the vaguest sense of mid-20th century American history that Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union at the time, wanted President John F. Kennedy dead. After learning of the naval blockade Kennedy ordered during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev located the highest ranking American businessman in Moscow, Westinghouse Electric President William Knox, and “summoned him to the Kremlin ‘for three hours of threats, complaints, and peasant jokes’” – threats Khrushchev hoped would reach the ears of Kennedy himself.
In his new book Disinformation, PJ columnist Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa details Lee Harvey Oswald’s Soviet connections and the litany of evidence indicating that he was, in fact, a defector and Soviet agent. Pacepa also addresses Jack Ruby’s Cuban connections and the evidence that Castro himself was informed of the plot to assassinate Kennedy. He then unravels the disinformation scheme known as the Dragon Operation created by the KGB to throw the American government off the Soviet trail, a plan that socialist intellectuals, some of whom were paid KGB agents, pounced on. I.F. Stone, his sister Judy Stone, Joachim Joesten, and Mark Lane cultivated Soviet disinformation into the conspiracy theories. Thanks to modern leftist propagandists like Oliver Stone these lies continue to assault the American psyche to this day.
Having been assigned to the Dragon Operation, Pacepa writes:
“Now, in late November 1963, a special KGB courier notified the management of the DIE [the Romanian intelligence counterpart to the KGB] that within the Dragon Operation we should include mention of a jealous President Johnson as the instigator of the CIA plot, which he, allegedly, had personally arranged to take place in Texas on his home turf. By December, as part of the plot, the KGB added the ‘sharks’ of the ‘American military industrial complex’, who were allegedly furious at Kennedy for wanting to cut back on the American military presence abroad and therefore on arms spending (and the sharks’ profits).
The Dragon Operation has become one of the most successful disinformation operations in contemporary history. According to JFK, a 1991 movie made by Oliver Stone, the assassination of President Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy at the US government’s highest level, implicating members of the military-industrial complex, the CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Mafia and Lyndon Johnson. The movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards and it won two. According to a later Gallup poll, between two-thirds and three-quarters of Americans believed there had indeed been a CIA conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy.”
This past week, Leslie Loftis provided a keenly written summation of the aftermath of Second Wave Feminism when she asked the question, “Can We Rebrand Feminism?” Her conclusion, that”…many women will continue to disavow ‘feminism’ as the label for a life of work. As women plan for more in their lives, the term will diminish and fade, an ignominious end to a once-powerful historical label,” is far more nuanced and thought-provoking than most conservatives would permit in their black-and-white world of Left versus Right. Which is exactly why feminism must remain a part of the conversation.
Loftis is fully correct in her observation that feminism has become the property of “wealthy, elite-educated,white women, who are closest to perfect [boardroom] parity”. But, to turn our collective back on the real oppression of women that exists in this world because of the ideological failures of Barbie-esque dilettantes is as effective as throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In a post-denominational era where religion has been replaced by cause and community has gone from neighborhood to global, better to rally effectively than disperse into isolationism. What feminism needs isn’t dissolution, but evolution out of the boardroom and into the real world.
While American feminists engage in Dunham-esque debates over their penny-ante problems, over 500 girls in Britain are “estimated to have undergone the procedure of female genital cutting” common in African culture. According to a recent BBC report, “It is estimated about 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.”
In her book They Must Be Stopped, Brigitte Gabriel explains:
“One of the most devastating practices to young girls in the Islamic world is female genital mutilation. Young girls have their clitoris removed without anesthesia to eliminate their sexual drive and preserve them for a life of sinless purity. As so much rides on a woman’s honor, including the livelihood and community standing of every member of her extended family, the practice is a kind of insurance policy. Female genital mutilation ensures that honor will be preserved because the girl will not have any sexual attraction to boys. It will also ensure that the girl, who is considered a financial burden to the family, will be prime property on the marriage market as a virgin.”
The abuse of language has got to stop. …We cannot condemn as bigotry everything that we don’t agree with. Words like bigotry have to go. …That’s what you do. You destroy meanings, you anesthetize people, and you turn people off. You turn the mind off. You kill the brain. We cannot have this. We cannot have this abuse of language going on.
Sarah Milstein knows a thing or two about abuse of language. Just check out her advice to fellow white women at the Huffington Post on how to confront their inner-racist:
2. If you feel defensive when talking about race with a woman of color or reading about race in a piece written by a woman of color, assume the other person is saying something especially true. That is: use your defensiveness as a Bat Signal, alerting you to your own biases. Sure, yes, of course, the other person may have said something insensitive or unreasonable. But if you want to change the dynamics of the world (reminder: you’re a feminist, so you do), assume your discomfort is telling you something about you, not about the other person.
3. Look for ways that you are racist, rather than ways to prove you’re not.
4. Listen to people of color, even if you don’t know many. …You can also do a ton of thoughtful listening on Twitter — a medium that gives you legitimate access to the thoughts and conversations of people you may not know.
No, Ms. Milstein doesn’t write for Saturday Night Live, although her advice does play like a really bad joke penned by a socially insulated upper middle class white woman. One who probably spends her weekends trolling Hell’s Kitchen with her yuppie boyfriend going, “Look, honey, The Other – aren’t we so racially cool?!” before heading back to Williamsburg for some sustainable vegan yoga.
For every liberal feminist who hates Paglia, there’s a moronic Milstein out there proving her right. There is real racism within feminism and every other -ism that values a human being in terms of minority/majority status. However, instead of focusing on this inherent ideological discrimination, the lingo fascists of feminism have grossly abused language to suit their own politically correct agenda. In doing so, they trivialize the historic connection between modern feminism and eugenic racism, replacing it with a pastiche of ignorant expressions of pseudo-guilt. If feminism truly sought to confront racism within its ranks, they’d start by confronting the racist reality of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.
In his book Disinformation, Ion Mihai Pacepa recounts the story of the Ukranian folk singers known as lirniki and banduristy. In the mid-1930s Stalin’s government announced the First All-Ukranian Congress of Lirniki and Banduristy. These folk singers, mostly blind men who wandered the countryside,
“…came to the Congress from all over the Ukraine, from tiny, forgotten villages. There were several hundred of them at the Congress, they say. It was a living museum, the country’s living history. All its songs, all its music and poetry. And they were almost all shot, almost all those pathetic blind men killed.”
Americans fail to grasp socialism because, to Americans, the political is simply one aspect of culture. To the socialist, however, the political defines culture. Everything is political. And that is why pro-Stalinist liberal American intellectuals justified rewriting history to defend Stalin, the ruthless murderer of millions including blind music men, as a revered left wing icon.
The American Liberal love affair with Marxism is rooted in the social justice movement of the late Victorian era. Turning to government to solve social and economic issues paved the way for welcoming socialism into the intellectual fold. According to early 20th century liberal intellectual Diana Trilling:
“If we can say, as I think we can, that before this century the source of all political idealism was (however remotely) religion, I think we can also say that in our own century the source of all political idealism has been socialism, and, since the Russian Revolution, specifically the socialism of the Soviet Union.”
Yet, even liberal progressives championing socialism from the safety of American shores could not fully weather the storm caused by Stalin’s Moscow Trials. One ice-axed Leon Trotsky later and the American socialist movement was up in arms, divided over Lenin versus Stalin, arguing that the Georgian dictator was perverting Marx’s perfect plan.
When I began researching pimp/prostitute culture in feminism I had no idea the white feminists would be trying so hard to be the pimps. To understand the race war inherent in modern feminism, look no further than the battle over Beyonce. The music icon’s self-proclaimed feminist identity has been intensely scrutinized by white feminists questioning everything from her costume choices and dance moves to the title of her latest tour, “The Mrs. Carter Show.” Comparing the feminist criticism of Beyonce with the feminist praise of Lena Dunham, Lily Bolourian rightly concludes:
“Beyoncé is a legend and Dunham a “voice of a generation,” yet Beyoncé’s sexuality is deemed as unacceptable or overbearing. Dunham’s sexuality, on the other hand, is accepted and praised. Why the distinction? Dunham has been seen naked often and even in sexual positions in much of her work. Beyoncé wears clothes that show off her legs and bust, along with half of the populace, but still she has never been seen fully naked. I’m still waiting for an explanation on how this makes her the Anti-Feminist.”
In commenting on the Beyonce contradiction, black feminists highlight the long history of grotesque stereotypes surrounding black female sexuality, stereotypes they feel have a continued impact today on the way white critics, feminists included, receive expressions of black female sexuality in pop culture. Perhaps the most insightful critique regarding the white interaction with black female sexuality is in the African American reaction to Miley Cyrus’s infamous VMA performance. While most critiques focused on Cyrus’s offensive twerking, Jacqui Germain at Racialicious took even deeper offense to “the black woman Cyrus smacked on the bottom during her VMAs performance and then casually dismissed—quite literally reduced to a faceless, body-less prop.” For Germain, black feminists “are fighting to remove the hyper-sexual assumption” from their bodies. A hyper-sexual assumption that pays off big, at least where the skinny white chick is concerned.
It’s a Girl!
Hamas’s new spokesperson, Isra al-Modallal, is 23, fun and feisty in a traditional Islamic sort of way. The former correspondent for Iranian television will be Hamas’s new mouthpiece to the West.
Planning to put a motherly face on international media relations, the divorced mother of one said: “I will make the issues more human, and even if [Palestinian] officials do not understand this language, I know Western people will.” She added: “The West does not understand religious discourse the same way they do human discourse.”
Careful to avoid religiously-fueled discourse, Modallal also remarked,
“Most people in the world recognise that Palestinians are humans too so the world will understand our message as refugees and people who live under siege.”
“She said she was conscious of the great responsibilities of the role, especially given her age, but insisted her gender was not an issue. ‘Palestinian women take an active role in the street, in organisations, in the media. I have not found any difficulties being a woman. We have all the freedom we need.’”
Modallal was ambiguous, however, when it came to her personal freedom to speak to the Israeli media.
“Modallal said she would not have any dealings with the Israeli media as representatives of the occupying force in Palestine. “There is no way we can talk to them.”
“The new Hamas spokeswoman said she did not have a problem with talking to Israeli media, in contrast to the policy currently followed by the ousted government and by many leaders of Hamas, though she stressed that she would only do so with official permission.
“If I am given permission, I personally have no problem,” she said.
The Hamas government does not allow journalists in Gaza to deal with Israeli media sources, and many officials refuse to talk to Israeli journalists.”
Modallal does, however, “plan to launch Twitter and Facebook campaigns in the near future to promote Hamas and its policies.” No word yet on whether or not Israelis will be blocked from following these social media sites.
This week will mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, a 2 day anti-Jewish pogrom that swept through Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. ”Instigated by the Nazi regime, rioters burned or destroyed 267 synagogues, vandalized or looted 7,500 Jewish businesses, and killed at least 91 Jewish people. They also damaged many Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes as police and fire brigades stood aside.” Kristallnacht is commemorated, not only for those who have lost, but as a “turning point in Nazi anti-Jewish policy that would culminate in the Holocaust.”
Today the Holocaust education community faces many challenges including the implementation of Common Core and the passing of the last generation of Holocaust survivors. One of the most striking challenges, however, remains to be the sheer lack of Holocaust knowledge among today’s youth. Recently, one Pennsylvania educator took her state to task via YouTube. Rhonda Fink-Whitman, a second generation survivor, trekked the campuses of Temple University, Drexel University and Penn State in search of PA high school grads with a basic knowledge of the Holocaust.
The results were frightening. Visibly caught off guard, the best most students could muster was, “I don’t know,” to most of the questions asked. When one student was asked what other groups, besides the Jewish people, were targeted by the Nazis, she guessed “African Americans” because the “whites especially..American people used to put them aside.” When Fink-Whitman clarified that she was inquiring about Nazi persecution in Europe the student reverted back to, “I don’t know.” These best and brightest couldn’t identify the purpose (or location) of D-Day, either.
Near the end of the video, Fink-Whitman finds one student who possesses substantially more knowledge about the Holocaust than her peers. This student attended high school in New York State, one of five states in the country that has a mandated Holocaust education program.
In a recent Tablet Magazine article, Michelle Goldberg wrote of a revived interest in Marx among the newest generation of intellectuals: “For those too young to remember the Cold War but old enough to be trapped by the Great Recession, Marxism holds new appeal.” Goldberg’s thesis revels in progressive shibboleths about evil, greedy capitalists and ”privileged young people” disappointed that their leftist president couldn’t even score them a job. The interesting angle she brings to the discussion highlights the discussions regarding Marxism in intellectual circles. This is not a new relationship by far; Marxism has been the plaything of the intellectual elite since its inception, lending much-needed credit to an otherwise incredible notion that morphed into the guiding force behind the 20th century’s most murderous regimes.
What Goldberg chronicles, “Meanwhile, the end of the Cold War has freed people—especially those too young to remember it—to revisit Marxist ideas without worrying that they’re justifying existing repressive regimes,” isn’t anything the Economist didn’t observe of Western Marxist thinkers back in 2002:
“People in the West, their judgment not impaired by having lived in the system Marx inspired, mostly came to a more dispassionate view. Marx had been misunderstood, they tended to feel. The communism of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was a perversion of his thought. What happened in those benighted lands would have appalled Marx as much as it appalls us. It has no bearing on the validity of his ideas.”
Only the intelligentsia would have the cojones to rewrite history to suit their own needs. These Marxists learned well from their master.
In the Journal of the History of Ideas, Shlomo Avineri concisely details Marx’s definition and position of intellectuals within the otherwise proletarian revolution:
“It is the task of the revolutionary intellectuals to furnish critical and analytical faculties, understanding of the historical process, comprehension of the actual economic and social conditions, so as to have a better chance of timing the ultimate coup de grace correctly with precision and finality.”
My recent article “Chicks Dig Porn” garnered a series of interesting comments. The one quoted above stands out, not only as a Top Rated comment among the bunch, but as a clear (if anecdotal) illustration of precisely how ignorant the feminist West truly is regarding female success that falls outside the boundaries of standard feminist narrative.
Spurred on by Cloudbuster, I Googled “African women, politics, feminism” and my first hit provided rather keen insight into the racial gap apparent in modern feminist thinking. Titled “African women are blazing a feminist trail – why don’t we hear their voices?” the Guardian article detailed some amazing statistics:
- 64% of Rwandan parliamentary seats go to women, who have held the gender majority in parliament since 2008
- Both Malawi and Liberia have female heads of state
- Senegal recently elected its first female Prime Minister, Aminata Toure
- The current African Union chair is female
The bottom line: African women are organizing for and securing their own political success. This reality flies in the face of Third Wave Feminist notions regarding the impact of patriarchy and post-colonialism on racial identity. Perhaps this is why we are more comfortable discussing Miley Cyrus’s twerking and Lena Dunham’s lack of black friends; their stories better suit the narrative of inherent white racism that has informed feminism since the 1990s. In America, it is an accomplishment when white and black feminists can unite over hairstyles. Celebrating female political leaders abroad, well, that’s a bit much, don’t you think?
Check out the previous installments in Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Ann Coulter series:
October 26: My 5 Favorite Ann Coulter Columns
The thesis of Ann Coulter’s latest book, Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 – Especially a Republican is simple: Republicans do a great disservice to themselves every time they try to play along with liberals. Given the latest infighting between the Tea Party and the French Republicans (as Mark Levin calls them) Coulter’s book couldn’t have been published at a more opportune moment. Thanks to Ann, we now have a study guide for getting it right in 2014.
But, to overcome a problem, you must first acknowledge it. So here are the five major ways Republicans are screwing over the Right. The fix is simple: Stop accepting, rewarding, and emulating this behavior if you want to get liberals out of office.
5. Expecting Politicians to be Gods.
A few critics of Ann’s seem to be blown away by the fact that, at one point, she backed the Chris Christie. How could Ann back a RINO? Poser! Fraud!
And you’ve never made a wrong decision in your life, let alone changed your mind.
As Ann wrote, “No elected Republican will do everything you want.” Neither politicians nor pundits are gods; if we thought they were, we’d be lefty socialists. So, let’s give up the notion that every politician on our side needs to back our individual political philosophy with every vote they make and start approaching politics for what it is: a team sport where a serious level of rationality is required to cultivate and follow a winning strategy. Instead of devolving into implosion mode at the instigation of the bloodthirsty MSM, reconvene with the goal of winning. It really is that simple.
Sex has seeped into our culture to such an extent that we can no longer accurately define pornography. It used to be simple: Selling sex for money. Nowadays we Clinton the definition, questioning what is sex versus what is sexy, all the while wondering whether we’re artsy or just plain perverted. As a result, we not only question what constitutes pornography, but we question whether or not individual interaction with pornography is acceptable. For the sake of this discussion the latter is, of course, the more valuable question, simply because to the God who granted us free will, the choices we make are what ultimately matter to our relationship with Him and each other.
So, when it comes to drawing lines regarding porn and porn-related behaviors, the first question anyone needs to ask themselves is: What do you define as pornography and, more importantly, why?
The common definition of pornography involves “obscene writings, drawings, photographs or the like”. ”Obscene” is defined as “offensive to morality or decency; causing uncontrolled sexual desire.” Biblically speaking, there is no direct commandment proclaiming pornography evil. Yet, there are several commandments regarding acceptable and unacceptable sexual behaviors. And, in relation to writings, drawings and photographs, God prohibits us from making graven images to worship.
When approaching any graphic material we must ask ourselves if we are in any way submitting ourselves to that image. In the case of pornography, are we submitting to uncontrollable desire when we confront an obscene image? Conversely, are we ascertaining authority from our relationship to that image? In either case, how will our relinquishing or claiming of control impact the choices we go on to make?
Porn advocates would argue that as long as a porn user remains “in control” of their porn usage, there is no harm being done. In a recent conversation, my editor relayed two stories to me. The first involved an older, fairly observant Jewish man who found Playboy harmless because his own father, a loyal family man, had a lifetime subscription. The second involved an Orthodox man announcing in front of his wife that he’d be going with his buddies to a strip club to celebrate a friend’s bachelor party, to which his wife didn’t bat an eye. Both are examples of the “no harm, no foul” theory at work.
For all of you still intent on complaining about Miley Cyrus, just remember: It was her choice (not that of those 70-year-old Jewish men who she claims run her industry) to brand herself as a naked, tongue-wagging sex kitten.
Earlier this month, Acculturated ran two stories back to back on the same day. In one, a Christian photographer debated the use of the female form as art. The other article examined the lack of mainstream media outrage when Republican women are sexually smeared (think Miley as Michele on SNL). Pondering why some of the greatest European and African nations have powerful females in government, the author of said article concluded: “Maybe the reason America doesn’t have more women in public life is because here we are all sluts….” Whether we’re objets d’art or whores, women have lost their cultural standing as human beings in America.
And considering there’s way more of us than men in America, I’m tending to think a good chunk of our bad rap is our fault.
We’re the demographic who turned a porno fanfiction into a record-breaking blockbuster hit overnight. Yep, you can’t blame those fantasy weirdos anymore for skewing reading stats: Fifty Shades of Grey has outdone the Harry Potter series in sales thanks to female readers.
50 SOG has become such a media phenom that I’ve even seen women—and it’s always women—unabashedly reading it in paperback in Starbucks, showing off its distinctive black and white cover. It’s the fact that it’s a media phenom that makes this OK, of course. …Still, you won’t see people, or men, cracking open “The Story of O” or “Penthouse Forum” in public anytime soon. With 50SOG, you can still claim you’re reading it for ironic hipster reasons.
Postmodernity has allowed us to pseudo-intellectualize anything in pop culture. Of all the things today’s ladies could’ve gone for, they decided submissive S&M was hip. And if you think women are keeping their porn classy by sticking to softcover fiction, thanks to E.L. James’s Twilight ripoff:
Ann Coulter is brilliant because she possesses the unique ability to eviscerate hypocrites with thorough research and quick wit. Her brilliance is further proven by the fact that the most her detractors (notably the ones commenting on my review of her latest book) can ever do is criticize her appearance — after all, why not make grossly sexist remarks about someone you just don’t like when they happen to be a woman? Needless to say, it was quite a challenge to cull my top 5 favorite columns from Never Trust a Liberal Over 3, Especially a Republican. Somehow I managed to rise to the challenge — albeit with a few notable runner-ups for good measure.
5. America Nears El Tipping Pointo (December 5, 2012)
Runner-ups: Romney Doing the Job Republican Establishment Just Won’t Do and If the GOP Is This Stupid, It Deserves to Die
In this keen look at voter statistics, Ann reveals that Romney won the majority of the vote among 18-29 year olds … who are white. “Even the Lena Dunham demographic — white women under thirty — favored Romney,” she quips. At this point, liberals would be reeling with accusations of racism and Romney’s obvious membership in the KKK. However, those bold enough to read on will not only receive a valuable comparison of voter stats from Reagan to Romney, they’ll also learn something their public education failed to teach them: the practical fiscal and electoral impact of Ted Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act.
One of the many articles that highlight the patronizing racism of liberals, “El Tipping Pointo” details the difference between honest and manipulative immigration over the course of the last 40 years. Drawing a sharp comparison between America as “the land of opportunity” and the land of “the soulless rich who want cheap labor,” Ann illustrates exactly how liberal pundits and elite Republicans take advantage of “phony ‘family reunification’ rules” to bloat the welfare system and liberal voting rolls while presenting a stereotypical image of hardworking Hispanics (versus the “recent Hispanic immigrants who …are the poorest of the world’s poor”) to gain public support for policies that bankrupt America and keep real change from ever happening in D.C.
Taking David Swindle up on his invitation last week, I’m about to dive into the ongoing interfaith theological discussion happening at PJ Lifestyle in order to address a number of related topics being discussed at the site. My purpose is simple: To draw attention to the similarities interlacing these discussions in order to bring greater clarity to what I believe is the ongoing battle between God and Satan (Good and Evil, if you will) currently masquerading as the fight between Judeo-Christianity and the forces of Socialism and Islamofascism.
As a self-defined Biblical Jew (basic definition being: one who does not need a third party to read and interpret the Bible for them) I have no desire to get into deep-seated theological discussions. Rather, I prefer to understand theological points of view in order to comprehend how a person’s worldview is being influenced. Therefore, the comment that inspired me to voice my opinion in this discussion was political in nature:
“I think conservatives of the previous decades fighting the Cold War misdiagnosed the nature of the Soviet Union.”
If David is right, and the conservatives did, indeed, “misdiagnose” the nature of the Soviet Union (a theory with which I am inclined to agree, if only because they allowed Uncle Joe to be framed as an ally and, therefore, hero in our history) it is because they did not have a Biblical understanding of the role of the Jewish nation of Israel in the equation.
Stalin murdered more Jews than Hitler, yet generations of Americans operate under the twisted notion that Joe McCarthy was a raging lunatic instead of a one-man army fighting against the Soviet infestation of our government. I highly doubt this is due to the fact that God and Man at Yale wasn’t required reading among the Marxist university elite. American conservatives did not comprehend the true nature of the Soviet Union because they did not comprehend the true purpose of socialism’s number one enemy: the nation of Israel.
This is a two part statement that raises two important questions: Why is the nation of Israel the enemy of Socialism? Why wouldn’t American conservatives of the Cold War era clearly understand this fact?
To bluntly answer the former: The existence of Israel’s God is a threat to any ideology that preaches human perfection. Why do you think so many Kings and Emperors ordered Jews persecuted, murdered and banished? Why would such a minority as the Jews be seen as such a threat to Hitler, Stalin, or Ahmadinejad’s power? (As for the Marxist root of the subject, I would refer you to Richard Wurmbrand’s Marx & Satan as well as Paul Johnson’s chapter on Marx in t. I also look forward to reading Disinformation by the highest ranking Soviet defector, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa his co-author Prof. Ronald Rychlak, per David’s suggestion and Instagram previews.)
Now, to the latter question, more imperative to this discussion: Why would American conservatives fully convinced of the Soviet socialist threat to the West not comprehend their Marxist-rooted hatred of Israel? Raised in post-Victorian churches, this generation of conservatives was largely exposed to the notion that God was done with the Jews. This latent anti-Semitism, now known and denounced as replacement theology, has plagued the church since Constantine. If second generation conservatives could not comprehend the fact that Israel continues to play a vital, Biblically prophesied role in the world today, they could not possibly understand the true nature of Israel’s enemies, let alone defeat them.
I don’t have many role models — living ones, anyway. I tend to avoid idolizing celebrities. As for the few I do admire, I make it a point never to glimpse behind the curtain and into their personal lives, lest the spell be broken.
And then there’s Ann.
As extremely private as she is, Ann Coulter reveals another dimension of her heart in her latest book, Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 –Especially a Republican. A massive compilation of her best columns ranging from gun control to Sandra Fluke, the book’s last chapter contains her eulogies of her father and mother. Only Ann could manage to weave together comic one-liners about liberal attitudes towards Islamofascism with warm, heartfelt remembrances of the two most powerful influences on her life:
Your parents are your whole world when you are a child. You only recognize what is unique about them when you get older and see how the rest of the world diverges from your standard of normality.
Divergence is the theme of Ann’s latest tome, and it plays out in a variety of ways. Agreeing with much of the conservative blogosphere, Ann is quick to criticize the failures of Republicans more focused on their ego than party success, while arguing for Republicans to embrace liberal tactics in order to beat liberals at their own game.
We need to adopt the Democrats’ merciless enforcement techniques without the ideology. Is that so hard? Instead, we keep getting all the passion with none of the discipline.
“If we were actually interested in looking at how boys are “taught” to expect sex, we might consider asking a few of them. But instead, we treat them like mute forces of nature, incapable of empathy when given access to sexting. We assume that men exploiting women is inevitable the moment we let girls onto the internet or out of the house.”
It was a blip of an argument buried in a thesis against blaming social media instead of the “misogyny and hatred it reflects” when it comes to sex-related crimes and bullying among teens. What the author did not fully address is the misandry inherent in any discussion relating to teenagers and anything remotely associated with sex. Ironically, I hadn’t ever heard the term “misandry” until I began researching modern feminism. “The hatred or dislike of boys or men” is quite common in the feminist world, often expressed through a series of Steinem-esque stereotypes that define the male sex as inherently oppressive of women and sexually perverse.
“I feel like I’m a rapist,” one male college student once told me. “I go into my film theory class and suddenly I’m just some perverted white guy who wants to have sex with anyone and is going to attack them to get it. I feel disgusting.” His wasn’t the only liberal arts experience laced with misadronisitic notions. I faced my own battles with feminist professors who taught quack phallocentric theories about (white) men controlling money, dominating their wives, and forging an aggressively abusive path through life.