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Roger L. Simon

The Star Chamber Comes to Texas

August 16th, 2014 - 5:40 pm


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.

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How the UN Oppresses the Islamic World

August 12th, 2014 - 9:54 pm

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.

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Obama’s Border Plans and Some Guys Named Al

August 6th, 2014 - 10:58 pm


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.

Welcome to the 1930s

August 3rd, 2014 - 9:40 pm


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!

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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.)

Israel’s Most Dangerous Enemy

July 27th, 2014 - 9:36 pm


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.

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Amidst news the Israelis have turned down secretary of State Kerry’s latest, apparently Qatar-inspired, ceasefire, not to mention the other day’s nauseatingly familiar anti-Israel fusillade from the mega-Orwellian UN Human Rights Council, comes word that Hamas had been planning a gigantic attack on Israel this September via its dozens of tunnels.

From the Gatestone Institute:

Hamas had apparently been preparing a murderous assault on Israeli civilian targets for the coming Jewish New Year Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, which begins on September 24, according anonymous sources in the Israeli security services, as reported today by the Israeli daily Maariv.

The Hamas plan consisted of what was to be a surprise attack in which 200 fighters would be dispatched through each of dozens of tunnels dug by Hamas under the border from Gaza to Israel, and seize kibbutzim and other communities while killing and kidnapping Israeli civilians.

Assuming this to be true–and Hamas has already used the tunnels for a similar attack last week–questions arise. Why didn’t Israeli and U.S. intelligence know about the extent and dangers of these tunnels earlier — if they didn’t? And if they did, why didn’t they do something about it?

Well, we don’t know. But at least the Israelis are doing something about it now, even with resistance from the Americans.

Meanwhile, another culprit waits in the wings, perhaps the greatest enabler of all of Hamas terror — the United Nations. I strongly suspect the UN has not just been consistently biased and hateful toward Israel, it has also — at the very least — looked the other way as mass murder and kidnappings (sedatives and handcuffs have been found in the tunnels) were being planned against Israel’s citizens.

We already know that Hamas hid missiles in at least two UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) schools in Gaza. Ban Ki-moon claimed to be shocked, but I predict he will be really shocked if a full investigation were made because there is far worse.

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Congressional committees have a lot on their plate these days with the IRS, Benghazi, the VA fiasco, etc., but recent events dictate they must add one more — the role of the United Nations in Gaza.

The United States provides more financial support to the UN than any other country. As Claudia Rosett wrote in Forbes in 2011 (“Magic for U. S. Money for the United Nations“): “The U.S. is by far the biggest donor to the U.N., bankrolling 22% of the U.N.’s core budget, and roughly one-quarter of its far larger and murkier system-wide spending (estimated at somewhere upward of $25 billion).”

In other words, the UN takes a bucket of your cash and mine at a time when many people in our country are suffering.  It therefore behooves Congress to make sure this money is being spent for good, or at the very least benign, purposes.

Unfortunately, evidence developing from the ongoing conflagration between Israel and Hamas appears to suggest the reverse.  The UN — specifically the UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency), but other agencies as well — may have  been actively supporting terrorism and terrorists in the Gaza Strip, even aiding with the storage of Hamas weaponry (missiles), whether deliberately or accidentally is unclear.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman decreed in a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that not only were rockets found in UNRWA schools in Gaza, but also that UNRWA then turned them over to Hamas, rather than to Israel.

UNRWA admitted itself on two different occasions since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge began 16 days ago that they discovered rockets in their facilities.

Liberman said Israel was very “troubled” by these developments. “UNRWA schools were established to educate children in Gaza, but instead they are providing a hiding place for rockets meant to kill children in Israel,” he said.

Just what were those missiles doing in the UN schools and why did Hamas suppose that would be a good place to store them? The UN denies their culpability and says this was the “first time” such a thing has happened. But is that true?

This is not a new story. Israelis have been claiming the UNRWA has been assisting terrorists for years.

From a report by the Center for Near East Policy Research (it’s worth reading the whole thing) on the UN refugee camps:

Hints of the radicalism that pertained in the camps were provided by 1997, if not sooner, with reports such as that of the Washington Jewish Week. vii This included photographs of UNRWA schools decorated with Hamas and PFLP graffiti, and a map of “Palestine” that ran from the Jordan to the Mediterranean and was covered with pictures of machine guns. It is doubtful that anyone was paying attention back then.

Broad scale exposure came in the spring of 2002. In response to the terrorism emanating from UNRWA refugee camps in Judea and Samaria as part of the “Second Intifada,” Israel launched “Operation Defensive Shield.” At that time, the IDF went into the camps and laid bare the facts regarding the refugees’ connection to terrorism.

Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, was in Jenin in April 2002 as a consultant to the IDF and himself witnessed presence of shahid (martyr) posters on the walls in the homes of UNRWA workers. “It was clear,” he said “that UNRWA workers were doubling as Hamas operatives.’”

It’s not a long leap from that to stowing missiles.

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You know you’re living in mundo bizarro when Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sounds (and is!) more reasonable than the U.S. secretary of State and the UN secretary general.

But that’s the way it is in this best of all possible worlds with John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon rocketing to Cairo to bring about a ceasefire in the latest Gaza War before Israel does something so rash as finally obliterating the murderous religious psychopaths of Hamas.  Heaven forfend!

El-Sisi undoubtedly knows better, as do numerous relatively more silent types like the Saudis and the Jordanians, all — or anyway most — of whom would like to see Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood-Iran allies brought low, not to mention IS/ISIS and the rest of the mad Sunni branch. The people who live there — the semi-normal ones anyway — know that the Middle East is in serious need of a swamp draining and the only ones capable of doing it are the Israelis.  The Americans  under Obama are so out to lunch that they might as well be opening a McDonald’s franchise on Alpha Centauri.

Undeterred, John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon will be doing their level best to make sure that doesn’t happen — the swamp draining, that is.  So why the urge to preserve Hamas? In Ban’s case he represents an organization so anti-Semitic it makes the Wehrmacht seem like a lost branch of Hadassah.  The UN wouldn’t interrupt its endless and relentless anti-Israel attacks if the North Koreans were dropping a hydrogen bomb on Rikers Island.

As for Kerry, well, as we all know, he’s a man of peace and opposed to such thugs as the late Genghis Khan (pronounced Jen-giss, as in Little Richard’s “Jenny, Jenny“) but always wishes to reason with them first.  After all, a fella might win a Nobel Prize.  Or failing that, get the Democratic Party presidential nomination over Hillary, whose book isn’t selling.  Second time’s lucky.

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If you’re looking for a reason for the supposed impoverishment of Gaza, look no further than the maze of tunnels – some of them miles long — Hamas has built under their territory and beyond their borders into Israel.  It’s the jihadist version of Boston’s “Big Dig.” The construction is so extensive that nearly every able-bodied man must have been employed in the occupation of tunnel-building, not to mention the huge diversion of funds, much of it donated by the West,  for material like concrete originally trucked into Gaza by the Israelis and others for “humanitarian purposes.”

A huge complex is reported to have been built under Gaza City that houses the wealthy Hamas leadership, including Ismail Haniyeh, who is said to be a multi-millionaire. He is undoubtedly a “strong” critic of “income inequality,” along with the Hamas capo di tutti cappi Khaled Meshal, said to be a billionaire and currently residing in a luxury hotel in Qatar safely out of harm’s way.

(For those, like most members of the MSM, who are unaware, Gaza before Hamas was considered one of the more opulent areas of the Arab world and was frequently used by Egyptians as a honeymoon spot.)

Although the tunnels have been employed for smuggling of some consumer goods, their main purpose, of course, was and is transporting and storing arms and killing or kidnapping Israelis. (I was going to be blunt and say “killing Jews,” but Hamas appears not to be quite so discriminating, as they lob missiles over Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron, areas filled with Muslims.  What would happen if one of their missiles hit the Dome of the Rock?  I don’t even want to go there.)

This obsession with tunnel-building, driven as it is by a rancid cocktail of hate and envy leavened with religious fanaticism and the psychotic lust of a death cult, is clearly not commercially productive.  It is also only one aspect of a rapidly metastasizing global phenomenon, replete with beheadings and crucifixions, that is unlikely to end and may only be at its beginning unless someone puts a genuine stop to it.

Obama, Kerry and the rest of the flaccid moral narcissists who govern our country or the creepy disingenuous bureaucrats who represent “the international community” obviously don’t have the gumption to do it — or even the inclination.

Perhaps because it is already a life or death matter for them, the only people with the will or the ability literally to save the precarious civilization we all take for granted are the Israelis.   Israel alone is defending the West.

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