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Roger L. Simon

Trotsky’s Curse: BHO Goes to War

September 22nd, 2014 - 7:12 pm

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“You may not be interested in war,”  Comrade Trotsky supposedly said (but probably didn’t), “but war is interested in you.”  And right he was, as Barack Hussein Obama, the American president least interested in war in most of our lifetimes, possibly ever, has found himself plunged half-heartedly in the middle of it,  going to war, bombing Islamic State territories within Syria, a country he at first warned would itself be bombed for its use of chemical weapons.

Now he’s bombing on that Syrian regime’s side and also acting in behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a nation we are supposedly trying to prevent from obtaining nuclear weapons, but there you have it.  The brutalities of ISIS, ISIL, the Islamic State, call it what you will, trumped all.

Quelle ironie, mon vieux.

No doubt Obama would have rather been marching with “climate” demonstrators in New York, but that’s the way things turned out.  Trotsky’s curse prevailed.

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We evil climate deniers often enjoy comparing the current uproar over the weather with Stalin’s misuse of science by Trofim Lysenko.  But I think the devotion to extreme climate, or whatever today’s catch phrase may be, is far more in the realm of magic and metaphysics than real physics — Lysenko was, after all, a genuine agronomist — and is much more akin to the story of Sabbatai Zevi, the 17th century Sephardic rabbi many Jews believed was  the long-awaited Messiah but who ended up ridiculing his supporters and converting to Islam.

Climate armageddon is a messianic cult based almost entirely on religion and faith and very little on science.  And, like the Sabbatean movement where many adherents remained devoted to Zevi no matter what he did or how he behaved,  it’s still thriving, somewhat, despite the many blows that it has taken lately — no warming in the last fifteen years, Antarctic ice cap bigger than ever, more polar bears than ever, all kinds of leaks of fraudulent figures and fudged graphs, etc., etc.   The list, available at www.wattsupwiththat.com by scrolling backwards, is almost comical in its extent.   It’s amusing to read the myriad theories for why the ice cap is bigger, motivated, for the most part, by panic on the part of the scientists involved that they might have their stipends cut.

Nevertheless,  your United Nations, at the the behest of your president, is on the case.  On September 23, they are convening a UN Climate Summit.  From their website:

Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.  But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

There is a sense that change is in the air. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action.

Problem is most of those leaders aren’t coming.  Maybe they realize the whole thing’s a shuck.  From Newsweek (apparently back in print — go figure):

But the U.N. Climate Summit, set for September 23, is likely to be hampered by the failure of leaders from the U.N.’s three largest member nations—China, Russia and India—to attend. China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will represent the country at the summit, as well as the September 24-30 General Debate, instead of President Xi Jinping, and the Russian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation. The top leaders of China and Russia won’t be coming because their schedules are too demanding, Think Progress reports.

So what, pray tell, is going on here?  In a word:  distraction. Although the UN secretary general has pronounced climate “the defining issue of our times” (Obama and Kerry have made similar remarks), everyone with an IQ in triple digits knows that it isn’t — and has for some time. What we do know is that the UN Oil-for-Food scandal was a monumental example of corruption, as was and is the UNRWA housing missiles and other weapons for Hamas, not to mention the possibility that they cooperated in the building of the terror tunnels.

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Barack Obama’s Biggest Lie

September 14th, 2014 - 10:40 pm

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There’s a lot of competition for Barack Obama’s biggest lie. The man who could assure the American public with a straight face over thirty times that they could keep their doctor under his health plan, when he knew that to be completely false, is one hellluva fibber.

But execrable as that serial prevarication may have been, it doesn’t hold a proverbial candle to his most recent whopper — that the Islamic State is not Islamic — not to mention its corollary, or perhaps subsidiary lie, that real religions do not indulge in murder.  Islam has been doing that pretty much straight through for fourteen centuries, both outwardly toward Christians and Jews, and inwardly in its unresolved pathological conflict between its Sunni and Shiite strains that continues, as the world well knows, to this day and undoubtedly into the foreseeable future, spewing an uncountable number of corpses as it goes.

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The Nowhere Man Goes to War

September 10th, 2014 - 9:41 pm

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Pity Barack Obama.  Our hapless chief executive must be suffering from a cognitive disorder the size of Alpha Centauri.   The poor guy grew up on the anti-imperialist mouthings of lefty poet Frank Marshall Davis, schoolboy revolutionary Bill Ayers and later anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi, not to mention the well-known anti-American excrescences of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and now he has to go to war — as an imperialist — against the very Third World people he was told again and again we colonized and destroyed.  His head must be about to explode.

No wonder he insisted in his Wednesday night speech that the Islamic State is not Islamic — what is it? Hindu?  Zoroastrian? A lost tribe of Hasidic Jews? — and that we are fighting an amorphous “terrorist group” (the Irish Republican Army?  Basque separatists perhaps?), not the jihadism whose violent ideology has so obviously metastasized across several continents under many guises during his administration with no end remotely in sight.  He dares not name our enemy, although it’s almost impossible to imagine how we could win without doing so.  He cannot say anything that’s true because he doesn’t know what is true or, perhaps more likely, is terrified to know and then have to admit it.  If he did, everything would unravel, not just the jejune Marxism of Frank Marshall Davis.  Everything.

But he does know what his poll numbers are and they aren’t good.  So we are where we are. Half way in and half way out. Forget Winston Churchill.  Forget Douglas MacArthur. The USA is going to war with a nowhere man who no longer knows what he stands for — and who originally stood for very little more than widely discredited and tired left-wing drivel masquerading as hope and change.  Now even that’s gone, a distant memory.

We all remember the Beatles’ lyrics:

He’s a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his Nowhere Land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Two days ago, according to reports,  Obama was still reluctant to do anything about the beheaders of ISIS, but was finally driven to act because of those disastrous polls and broad hints from some of his party members that he was leading them to electoral disaster.  Others in that same party were mortified he might actually go to war, so, being Barack Obama, in other words a nowhere man, he split the difference — no boots on the ground (except for a piddling 475 advisers — let’s hope there won’t be any “mission creep”).

Welcome to nowhere war waged by a nowhere man.

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It’s the Border Security, Stupid

September 8th, 2014 - 9:30 pm

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Almost  everyone knows James Carville’s famous dictum that propelled  Bill Clinton into the White House — “It’s the economy, stupid!”  And there’s no denying that his pronouncement continues to make great sense, given the condition of our society.

But I have another suggestion that may be even more important for the Republicans to rally around in the next two elections — “It’s the border security, stupid.”  After all, even a booming economy doesn’t mean much if we all go boom.

And we very well could.  From the rise of ISIS to the idiotic and useless nuclear non-negotiation with Iran, we’re closer to it than we ever were.  As James O’Keefe has shown us with his videos, our borders are so permeable they make a pair of thirty year old sweat socks half-filled with holes seem like the Iron Dome.  Just about anybody can get in any time he or she wants from Mexico or Canada — and O’Keefe hasn’t even gotten to those more than six million shipping containers entering our ports annually, nor has he dealt with the hundreds or thousands of passport-holding American and British nationals now volunteering for the Islamic State and chomping at the bit to come home and wreak havoc.

So I suggest the Republican Party coalesce around the issue of border security, which is obviously tied intimately into foreign policy, in a big way.  Make it a cause célèbre because, in truth, we don’t have a choice, unless it’s self-immolation.

This has the further advantage of being something that is simple and clear and that a large percentage of the public will support. Americans are on edge — and for good reason.  If I were a Democrat, I would absolutely dread a terror attack at this time because it would literally sink my party, Obama et al having been so feckless, even deliberately so in some quarters, in dealing with the threat.

Also — and this is important — ALL Republicans should be able to agree on this issue, except perhaps the most orthodox “open border” libertarians whose extreme ideological rigidity trumps common sense.  (It usually does.)  All the usual disagreements between the various wings of the party would pale by comparison — during an EMP attack the definition of marriage will seem rather trivial to say the least — and they should be able to get together on border security with little rancor.

Republicans have a strong hand here and they should play it. Stand tall to protect our country and our civilization.  Don’t back down.  Obama’s recent tabling of amnesty is just one indication that the other side is running scared on this issue.

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My Joan Rivers Story

September 4th, 2014 - 8:31 pm
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Joan Rivers at the at the 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Century City, California, November 4, 2001. Photo by Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com.

Everybody’s sister, brother, brother-in-law and third cousin twice removed is telling his or her Joan Rivers story today, so I might as well log in with mine.

It’s the very early eighties and, as it goes in Hollywood, I’m in one of my intermittent hot periods, having just written Bustin’ Loose for Richard Pryor, ergo the powers that be thought I could be funny. (I’m not altogether sure they were right.)  I got what was then a dream job, writing a script for Lily Tomlin.  The premise was that Lily would play a “psychic detective” based on an Italian-American woman in New Jersey who was then doing clairvoyant investigations for the police.  I met the woman. Lily told me she wanted me to write her as if she were Al Pacino. Cool, I thought.

So I wrote this script.  I don’t remember much of it, except that Lily had a parrot that was, naturally, a wisenheimer.  Lily seemed to like my screenplay, as did her agent, the late Sam Cohn, who was a big deal in those days. He said it would be Lily’s next movie and, if Sam said so, that was good enough for me.

Until I got a phone call. Lily had been fired.  What, I thought?  Screenwriters were used to being fired, even the best of us, but Lily Tomlin? The producer, a fellow named Mark Trabulis, told me the studio didn’t think Lily was commercial.  They wanted Joan Rivers.

Double what,  I thought?  Joan Rivers?!  In those days, I thought Joan was an unfunny crass vulgarian best left to second-tier Vegas lounges. (That wasn’t the only thing I was stupid about in those days.) Would I do the next draft for Joan?  By then I had become friends with Lily and felt guilty about betraying her.

But I bit the bullet and, being as crass as I had considered Joan, agreed to meet her with Trabulis.  We went to her house in Beverly Hills where I was also introduced to her husband Edgar (sadly later a suicide).  Suffice it to say, the meeting did not go well.  I was probably having a hard time hiding my disappointment about Lily and I don’t think I made much of an impression on Joan. After some rather pointless chitter-chatter in which I gathered she wanted the script rewritten entirely from page one and retooled for her, Joan turned to the producer and asked to speak to him alone.

I knew the end was nigh.  I sat in the car until Trabulis joined me.  ”It’s over,” I said.  He nodded.  ”What did she say?” I asked.  ”She said you’re a depressed Jew,” said Trabulis.

Joan, as we know, was ever direct and, in this case, she was probably right.  At that point in my life, I was fairly depressed.  I’m not now.  Part of the reason is that I’m more like Joan Rivers these days.  I’m more honest, with myself and others. I mean — what’s to lose?  That’s what Joan taught us, not to mention life itself.  It was also the root of her humor.

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My ISIS Strategy

August 31st, 2014 - 7:46 pm

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I noticed with dismay — though almost no surprise — that Barack Obama does not yet have a “strategy” of how to deal with the notorious terror organization ISIS, alternatively known as ISIL or IS.

He is, no doubt, studying the matter, and receiving the best of advice from the likes of Valerie Jarrett and John Brennan, but, since folks are being beheaded and raped and so forth, and IS is well on its way to establishing a caliphate, converting young Americans and Europeans and preparing global jihad while cooking up weapons of mass destruction and infiltrating our Southern border, etc., in the interest of speeding things along, I would like to offer my help with an ISIS strategy.

Yes, I do have a strategy, even though I suspect the president may reject it because, alas, I am an Islamophobe.  More precisely, I am an Islamodespicio because I despise Islam far more than I fear it. (It’s the only religion on Earth I feel that way about.)  I despise a religion that, other than Comrade Putin, is the source of virtually all the large scale violence in the world and has been for decades. I also despise it for its treatment of women, homosexuals, children (putting machine guns in their hands at the age of seven and teaching them to kill non-believers), for its complete intolerance of other religions and secular systems and for the consistent dishonesty with which it  treats the rest of the human race.  I despise it in its Shiite and Sunni forms (even though they despise each other), as well as its murderous subsidiaries like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, al Nusra and on and on.

So I don’t have much question about what to do about ISIS.  Obliterate it.  Put as few of our people in harm’s way as possible to accomplish that, but if it’s necessary to do so, it’s necessary.

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Climate Change to the Rescue?

August 26th, 2014 - 9:31 pm

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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…

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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?

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Build the Border Fence Already!

August 21st, 2014 - 9:52 pm

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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.

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