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Roger L Simon

Roger L. Simon is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, novelist and blogger, and the co-founder of PJ Media. His book, Turning Right at Hollywood and Vine: The Perils of Coming Out Conservative in Tinseltown, was re-released in an updated edition in 2011.

Climate Change to the Rescue?


Samuel Johnson had it wrong when he famously said that “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels!”

Global warming is the last refuge of scoundrels!”

(Or “climate change” or “extreme weather” or “bad storms” or whatever the euphemism du jour happens to be.)

Of course, the good doctor can be excused, opining as he did in the late 18th century, long before Al of Gore emerged from a massage parlor to warn of us of impending ecological doom if we didn’t mend our ways (and start some lucrative carbon offset funds that would net him millions, or is it billions, before they disappeared in a haze of corruption somewhere in the bowels of a Beijing bank, so help me Al Jazeera).

But never fear — climate change is back, this time on the back of our president, who has emerged not from a massage parlor but from the golf course — where else? — to guide us into the promised land of clean energy.  According to — where else? — the New York Times:

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

Without ratification from Congress?  No way! They wouldn’t do something like that, would they?  This is a democratic republic.  We have a Constitution.  (Okay, kidding.)

And what’s wrong with cooking all this up on a golf course anyway, even if the sport is a bit iffy on the eco front? What’s a little extra water in Rancho Mirage between friends and future property owners? And perhaps all those conversations with Alonzo Mourning on the back nine have been about “ARCUS sea ice predictions” and the latest on “solar wind fluid” and not about whether Kobe can come back this year or whether he’ll end up on the JV  (oops, bad reference).  The president is informed, I say.  He knows his science.  Didn’t you see those great chemistry and physics grades he got at Occidental and Columbia? Oh, wait…

Posted at 9:31 pm on August 26th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

Time for Libertarians to Put on Their Big Boy Pants


I have always had a certain sympathy for libertarianism and it has only grown during the Obama administration. Who could believe in big government living under the fiasco of this man’s presidency?

And I am certainly not alone.  Libertarianism, if we are to believe none other than The New York Times, has become quite chic.

But paradoxically, during this same time frame, it has become perhaps even more evident that one of the apparent tenets of libertarianism — a kind of neo-isolationism — is, well, to put it bluntly, insane.  In the era of the Islamic State (not to mention a dozen other similar murderous,  increasingly global organizations we could name or are being invented as I write), anyone who believes we can roll up the gangplanks to create the perfect libertarian state and everything will be just ducky is living in dreamland.

But a fair number of libertarians are.  As an example, one of the leading spokesmen for the movement (I’ll be gracious by not naming him, because he’s probably embarrassed at this point) was quoted as likening the problem of Islamic terrorism to herpes — I guess he meant an annoyance you can live with if you find the right partner (who doesn’t behead you).

Do those same isolationist libertarians think that one Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, current leader of the Islamic State, was kidding when he said “See you in New York” when let out of detention camp in Iraq in 2009?  If not, what do they propose to do about it?  Wait until he is in New York?  Maybe Eric Holder will arrest him.  Or maybe he’ll blow up the Stock Exchange and sink the free market.  Or one of his now thousands of minions will. Do you want to sit back to wait to find out?  And what about all the unknown unknowns lurking out there?

Posted at 8:53 pm on August 24th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

Build the Border Fence Already!


Most of us, even many Democrats these days, are beginning to acknowledge the complete  foreign policy failure of our president (for an overview see Bret Stephens’ The Meltdown in Commentary),  but we still have to deal with over two years of Obama and we have a serious problem that needs to be handled immediately.

We could die.  Not all of us but a lot of us.  And our society as we know it could be destroyed.

Sound apocalyptic and a little overwrought?

Well, it is apocalyptic, but not so overwrought.

Surely you saw the Islamic State video with that journalist’s head being lopped off, not to mention other videos with people being shot in the back and dumped in open pits. You know too that the jihadi who beheaded the journalist was British.  And indeed the Islamic State is comprised of violent religious fanatics from all over the planet who are well armed, virtually a terror army, and rich.  They have explicit instructions to return to their home countries and wreak havoc for the glory of a coming global caliphate.  Also, they have allies from North Africa to the Philippines who more or less seek the same thing under various names.

It’s not just Houston that has a problem now.  It’s Western Civ!

So what are we going to do about it? Well, there’s a lot that can be done militarily, though much of that will probably have to wait for a new president,  but just as importantly we must…

Build a fence across our entire Southern border and do it now.  Make it as secure as we can.  Spare no expense.  Add whatever high tech accoutrements deemed necessary.

Posted at 9:52 pm on August 21st, 2014 by Roger L Simon

The Real Villain of Ferguson


It’s hard to have sympathy for anyone in the Ferguson affair — the cops, the demonstrators, the pontificating politicians, the exploitative media or we its pathetically loyal audience that keeps tuning in.  The whole event plays out like the umpteenth rerun of the famous quote from Marx about history repeating itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

By that accounting we should all be at Aristophanes, Moliere or Groucho (pick your favorite farceur) times ten by now.

Unfortunately, however, it’s farce with virtually no comedy, no humor.  The Ferguson affair is a grim business indeed, particularly grim watching the latest nightly edition — the eighth one! — on television Monday evening.  On and on it goes, the roundelay of police and demonstrators,  tear gas and bloviation.  We even have the old standbys from the O.J. trial (Dr. Baden Baden Baden) making an appearance for the second of who knows how many autopsies to be conducted.  Where is Marcia Clark?  And there must be someone Alan Dershowitz can represent?  Admittedly, the good professor has hands full with the Israeli-Palestinian conflagration, but he has retired from Harvard Law so he should have some free time to multi-task.  And most of all — where’s Geraldo?  It’s hard to believe he’s not on the scene by now, flagellating us all about  America’s perpetual racial crisis.

(To his credit, Fox’s Shepard Smith wondered aloud Monday whether the media was actually exacerbating the situation and might help things by going home.)

By now you’re thinking, what’s Simon doing making light of this?  Okay, it’s a media circus but an eighteen-year old kid died here, even if he was a bit of stoned thug who liked to beat up clerks in convenience stores just to make off with a box of cigars. He didn’t deserve to die.

No, and neither did several hundred — or is it thousands — or even tens of thousands — who died in a similar time frame.

But, you say, this was a white-on-black crime. An o-fay cop offed a brother. (Never mind that brothers can butcher brothers like it’s going out of style, this pig had white-skin privilege.)  Well, yes, and we don’t yet know the circumstances, but even accepting the narrative of, say, the Huffington Post that the cop was the reincarnation of Bull Connor and that the “youth” was a “gentle giant” on the way to a contract with PBS as the next Mr. Rogers, the event is basically a charade.  Everyone knows we’ve seen it before and everyone knows we’ll see it again.  In fact, many parties don’t want it to go away.  The beat must go on.  It has to go on or their very personalities will disintegrate.  And I will tell you why — what caused it.

Posted at 10:24 pm on August 18th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

The Star Chamber Comes to Texas


The old saying goes that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.  In reality, it’s worse.

Forget innocuous sandwiches, with or without Russian dressing.  In Texas, at least in Austin’s Travis County, you can indict the state’s governor, Rick Perry, for doing the job any intelligent citizen would want him to do — trying to get rid of an absolutely atrocious public official.

That official was District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a dimwitted  and abusive drunk driver who ran that county’s — wait for it — “Public Integrity Unit.” Perry threatened to veto funding for said unit as long as Lehmberg was in control.  Maybe he had a little actual concern for public integrity — not that the good burghers of Austin would care.  Perry’s fortunate Lehmberg wasn’t found guilty of DUW (driving under weed) rather than alcohol, as she was.  Given the preferred lifestyle thereabouts, they would have erected a statue to her and summarily sent Perry off to Guantanamo without trial to be swapped out  for the last remaining al Qaeda maniacs.

(In case, you’re one of the 12 people left who hasn’t seen the video of Lehmberg’s DUI booking, it’s an eye-roller.  You can find it here.  Even more of an eye-roller are these dashboard videos of the DA’s arrest.)

Oh, Orwell, where art thou?

Scratch that — Orwell was far too subtle a writer to populate Animal Farm with  nincompoops on the level of Lehmberg, the “special prosecutor” operating a rinky-dink Star Chamber at her request or even the know-nothing hypocrites in a local watchdog group defending her with that equally Orwellian name “Texans for Public Justice.”  (Doesn’t that just sound like it’s from the wrong side of High Noon?)

But wait.  Nothing’s ever as bad as it seems — i.e.,  we’re in the last scene of  Dr. Strangelove and Slim Pickens has just climbed atop the bomb.

Already David Axelrod, of all people,  has taken to Twitter to defend Perry, writing “Perry indictment looks pretty sketchy.” (I’ll say!)  Since Axelrod is Obama’s chief campaign honcho, what’s up with that?

Well, it’s one of two things.  Either Axelrod has recently had a lobotomy or the Democrats are worried  the Travis County clowns have overreached and are fouling things up for 2016.  I’ll go with the latter. In fact,  I’ll go so far as to say they overreached big time and handed both Perry and Republicans in general a club to hit them with.

Posted at 5:40 pm on August 16th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

How the UN Oppresses the Islamic World


The first taste of victimhood is free…

People reading the title of this article should be excused for doing a double-take. To most of us the United Nations has been — especially in the last few decades — a debating society dedicated to the promulgation of anti-Semitism. It seems all the organization does is pass resolutions condemning Israel, that is when they’re not launching investigations of the same country via their Human Rights Council, a latter-day branch of the Wehrmacht, led by posturing Third World bigots, that usually meets at beachfront resorts.

Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has been a tiny bit perturbed of late by the orgy of Jew-hatred emanating from the organization he heads. Forget Boko Haram and ISIS, forget 170,000 dead in Syria — it’s the Jews that are the problem.

But this has all been going on for so long and with such idiotic single-mindedness that it has become a joke. Hardly anyone with half a brain would take it seriously — except perhaps a member of the Brandeis faculty, and they absolutely do have half a brain.

And Israel, if you haven’t noticed, is doing pretty well as one of the world leaders in everything from microchips to medical research, possibly the world leader for their size. Most recently, they’ve come up with a way to diagnose cervical cancer with a smartphone. An Israeli tech company, Mobileye (a purveyor to Tesla), was able to break a record for one of their nation’s companies with an 890 million dollar IPO last week right in the midst of the Gaza conflagration and a global stock meltdown.

As you may also have noticed, the Islamic world hasn’t been having a lot of tech IPOs lately. They’ve been too busy killing each other — and everybody else — for a long time.

What’s the cause of this? Well, there are many that are not the subject of this article, but the United Nations is — and the United Nations has been a principle enabler of Islamic decline for decades.

Posted at 9:54 pm on August 12th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

Obama’s Border Plans and Some Guys Named Al


In a lust for Latino votes and voters — and, oh yes, great compassion for the children of Central America, etc. — Obama seems poised to act unilaterally on immigration, granting a massive amnesty to illegal aliens while doing little or nothing about border security.

In two words, this stinks. It stinks not because of the children, good or bad, justifiable or not, invading our border, or the nice or not so nice people currently here, or even the drug cartels, murderous as they are. Those are problems — in many cases bad problems. But they can be handled in a variety of ways with a variety of solutions, including some compromises that may or may not make you happy, but, you know, that’s life. It’s not perfect, in case you haven’t noticed.

This stinks for a far more important reason on which compromise would be suicidal — some guys named Al. I’m talking about al Qaeda, al Nusra, al Shabaab, Ansar al Islam, Al Umar Mujihadeen, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, etc., etc. Okay, they’re not all named Al, but you get the idea. They all would be delighted to cross our border to kill us, maybe destroy our civilization into the bargain.

In fact, another Al, a newly celebrated one, Al Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, now the Islamic State, told our soldiers he’d see them in New York when he was released from an Iraqi jail. We’ve see what’s happened since then — mass killings in open graves, heads on stakes, Christians in forced conversions, etc. Holocaust stuff. And just the other day they made a video pledging to wave the black flag of Muhammed over the White House.

Were they kidding? Was Hamas kidding? Al Qaeda? Hezbollah? The Taliban? Whatever avatar of the Muslim Brotherhood pops up tomorrow or next Tuesday?

Can you imagine what would happen if these people got into our country and blew up a handful of shopping malls in Texas or… or… well, we’ve all made up the scenarios and they’re not very farfetched. They’re just as real as those 40 monstrous Hamas tunnels shooting out into Israel from Gaza.

Who knows how many are already here? According to one report, immigrants from over 75 countries entered this country illegally in the last four years. No, they weren’t all Scandinavian.

Yes, an open U.S. border is suicidal these days. More than that — it’s nuts! Any president who really cared for the American people would set border security as priority number one.

Ours hasn’t, obviously. He has other plans — vote-getting plans, “compassionate” plans. But I wonder if he ever wakes up at night, wondering who’s riding those endless jet skis crossing the Rio Grande. If something really bad is about to happen. If he doesn’t, there’s something really wrong with him.

Posted at 10:58 pm on August 6th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

Welcome to the 1930s


When I was a kid, I mean a little kid, my favorite nurse in my father’s office — he was a doctor — was Mrs. Mindus. I’m not sure how old she was or even how she spelled her name — I was about six and the year was 1950 — but she was a sweet woman and very welcoming to me when I visited the radiology office. She used to bring me crayons and a coloring book and sometimes candy as if I were her own child. The only other things I remember about her were that she spoke with an accent and she had a string of numbers tattooed on her arm.

I wondered what the numbers were. I had never seen anything like that on a grownup’s arm. She explained to me she had been in a concentration camp — Auschwitz — and felt lucky to have gotten out, maybe guilty as well, because the rest of her family had been gassed. My father told me about it too — about Mrs. Mindus’ dead husband and their dead children and so forth. I think he wanted me to know about it.

This was, as you might imagine, hard for a six-year old boy to wrap his mind around. But those macabre numbers on Mrs. Mindus’ arm had a profound effect on me. I thought of them frequently growing up and I think they had some influence on what I did in life, joining up with the civil rights movement at the age of twenty and then later making some movies about the Holocaust.

Often, however, as with many memories, Mrs. Mindus faded from my mind as I enjoyed my life, living la vida artistica, writing novels and films, traveling abroad. Those horrifying events were in the past. It could never happen again. Even when Israel was at war in 1967 and again in 1973 I never really worried. (Later histories by Michael Oren and others have taught me otherwise.) Anti-Semitism was, for the most part anyway, a thing of the past, of concern only to the Anti-Defamation League and similar organizations. They could take care of the rare outbreaks.

How naive I was!

Now more than ever in my life I am haunted by Mrs. Mindus. The tatooed numbers spook me, not because I expect to see friends and family being carted off to the camps, but because I see a world of anti-Semitism metastasizing so quickly across the globe there might not be time for that. From Paris to Caracas, from Brussels to Bangkok we hear chants of Jew-hating as loud, ugly and perhaps even more wide-spread than we did in the 1930s. Paris has even had a new Kristallnacht. And in dear old Blighty, “Hamas! Hamas! Jews to the gas!” goes the cry on the London streets with Jewish Labor Party leader Ed Miliband for all intents and purposes leading the band himself!

Posted at 9:40 pm on August 3rd, 2014 by Roger L Simon

Gaza Continued: What Do We Do About the UN?


Word came Tuesday that now a third UNRWA school in Gaza was housing rockets for Hamas. (How the missiles were never noticed before was unclear — maybe they were stacked beneath the erasers and paper clips or hidden under student spitballs.) From the Jerusalem Post:

Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, did not name who was responsible for putting weapons in the school, but quickly criticized whoever was at fault.

Gunness added that a UN munitions expert was called in to dispose of the weapons, but could not get to the site due to fighting on the ground.

Further, is reporting:

This week, UNRWA supplies and building materials had been found in Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, which has been used to smuggle weapons and carry out attacks on the State of Israel.

How’d that get there? More of that pesky teenage pilfering when teacher turned his back? Or was it something a bit more intentional? No wonder The Algemeiner is asking: Are UN Agencies Fighting for Human Rights or Supporting Terrorism? It notes:

None of this is new and seemed only to be surprising to UNRWA itself. The group has a long-documented history of terrorist ties, something UNRWA’s former Commissioner General Peter Hansen openly admitted in 2004 to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation stating, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll … and I don’t see that as a crime.”

Mr. Hansen may not, but some of us may feel differently about a psychopathic terror organization on the UN payroll — a payroll which, by the way, is roughly 25 percent financed by the American public. ISIS has a right to complain. Why aren’t we financing them too? Aren’t they just as vicious as Hamas? Hamas may have murdered hundreds of their children building the terror tunnels, but hasn’t ISIS proved themselves by lopping off the heads of every Shiite they could find?

Never mind. Insanity rules and we’re all lying in the gutter.

Nevertheless, some time or other this war will end and the world will have to figure out what to do with what’s left of Gaza. The usual moral hypocrites, terrorist sympathizers and great humanitarians like Nancy Pelosi, who seems to think Hamas is a Levantine branch of the Salvation Army while mixing up Qatar with Denmark, will want to bring the UN back to pay its conventional “peacekeeping role.” That organization — whose real name should be the Fraternal Order for the Global Promotion of Anti-Semitism (FOGPAS) — would be better off — at least from the point of view of poetic justice — on the business end of an Israeli drone.

But failing that, they should be kept as far away as possible from the “peacekeeping role” anywhere in the world and, from we’ve learned in the past, any women between 12 and 64. The question is how.

I have been ridiculed by readers here for suggesting a congressional investigation. Everybody already knows how horrible the UN is, they say. The problem is those readers are wrong. Few know. Many Americans don’t even know who the vice president is. (Okay, maybe that shows good judgment.) But most people don’t like to be ripped off and we are all being ripped off by the UN — morally and financially. If this were made public — and one can only imagine what extraordinary UN treachery might be uncovered with a serious investigation of Gaza — there might be an outcry. Then again, there might not. But what else are we going to do? Sit back and let the UN collude yet again with another terror organization?

All of which is why these rockets are “suddenly” being discovered, for fear that Israel will uncover them first and embarrass the UN.

(Artwork created using multiple images.)
Posted at 8:39 pm on July 29th, 2014 by Roger L Simon

Israel’s Most Dangerous Enemy


Barack Obama is apparently very angry with Bibi Netanyahu.

We have known for some time, via hot mike and other methods, that neither he nor his secretary of State much care for the Israeli prime minister. But — perhaps exacerbated by a multiplicity of foreign and domestic policy failures, plus atrocious poll numbers, one this weekend showing Romney beating him handily were the election held today — Obama seemed more irked than usual.

He needed someone to beat up since the world was beating him up. And the Israelis had just hugely embarrassed his secretary of State (and by extension him) by pointing out their absurd bias in favor of Hamas in ceasefire negotiations, so absurd in fact that they outraged even Israel’s most famous liberal/left politician, Tzipi Livni, who would normally do almost anything for a chance for peace. (Ironically, the details of the pro-Hamas negotiations in which Israeli security concerns — the tunnels, demilitarization, etc. — were ignored were exposed by Barak Ravid in Israel’s most liberal newspaper, Haaretz.)

Further, they had outraged the Egyptians, who were dumped from the negotiations by Obama and Kerry in favor of Turkey and Qatar. Our administration seems to have a preference for the more extreme Islamist/Muslim Brotherhood societies, although you would think, given their professed loyalty to women’s and gay rights, these cultures would be anathema to them. Never mind. Obama is an equal opportunity narcissist and everything’s fine, unless you cross him.

Which, according to sources in Israel, is where Netanyahu found himself when the American president called Sunday to admonish him about Gaza. Obama reportedly used or implied the threat of withholding the resupply of weapons — don’t know if this includes the Iron Dome itself — if Israel didn’t fall into line and stop attacking Gaza immediately.

What Obama is doing, in effect, is saving Hamas. It’s almost mind boggling to think, but it’s true.

Posted at 9:36 pm on July 27th, 2014 by Roger L Simon