Reward the Guilty

The Federal Government forbids US airlines from flying to Tel Aviv. Fair enough; there are or may be real security issues involved. If it failed to issue such a prohibition and someone died, the Obama Administration would be criticized for it.

Yet, yet, the closure is a political victory for Hamas a a slap in Israel’s face.

And how about the old-fashioned notion of punishing those who created  the conditions of insecurity in the first place? That would be the government of Gaza, the Hamas Party, that makes no mystery of its launching a thousand rockets into Israel, many much before the current hot phase of the conflict. One of its rockets landed close to Ben Gurion Airport. Hence, the US  closure.

And how about the tunnels Hamas proudly proclaimed it dug into Israel. Are those for grocery shopping on the other side of the border? For peace delegations?

The Obama administration is about to give Hamas some of my tax money instead of retribution for starting this fight. (OK, it won’t give it directly to Hamas.)

The mounting number of Palestinian victims excites compassion, of course. Contrary to most press report though, the Palestinian people of Gaza are not all or mostly innocent victims of Israeli strikes. They are rather less innocent than the hundreds of thousands of Germans who died in Allied bombings in World War Two.

What the press keeps forgetting to report is that the Gaza government is this rare thing in the Middle East: a freely elected government, one elected while international observers were monitoring.  It was a hotly disputed election. When the good people of Gaza gave Hamas a comfortable majority, Hamas made no mystery of its program. Hamas is a very clearly spoken organization.

The Hamas program does note explicitly include a plan to massacre Israeli Jews as is often mistakenly reported. Rather, after eradicating the state of Israel, Hamas intends to divide Israeli Jews into two categories. Those without roots in the Middle East according to Hamas’ own criteria will be deported to parts unknown, perhaps Poland, or Russia. Those who are locals according to Hamas will be given the option to stay under Islamic rule. This means permanent second-rate citizenship, special discriminatory taxes, severe limitations on religious expression. Those who convert to Islam however, will go scot-free.

If you don’t know what Islamic rule means, look up the recent treatment of Christians in the part of Iraq now under the control of the so-called Islamic Khalifate. To make a short story even shorter: Convert to Islam, or agree to paying ruinous taxes and stay, or leave for good, or die. If you leave, you can take nothing with you, not even a change of clothes. Note: There have been Christians in that part of the world ever since there has been a Christianity, more than six hundred years before the birth of Islam. The Islamist rulers dynamited three days ago one of the oldest churches in the world. Well, nobody is perfect, seems to say the liberal press.

The debacle of the Obama presidency continues. I keep not finding many former supporters willing to say Oops!

There is recrudescence on the web of questions regarding  Mr Obama’s birth place and the confusing state of his personal documentation. Myself, I am still curious about his undergraduate grades. I can’t believe, especially now after these many years as president, he is simply ashamed  of the low grades he may have obtained thirty years ago. There is something else that would be divulged if he opened his grade records, I think.

Having just produced my autobiography (see; “New excerpts….” on this blog) I am newly intrigued about some minor aspects of Mr Obama’s life: Did he have part-time jobs in college? What jobs? Why don’t his former employers come up and say what a good kid he was, or what a little rat? I know if I became famous, both kinds would pop up from my long-ago past.



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The World under Obama’s Reset

There have been mass demonstrations all over the world to protest the deaths of Gaza Palestinian civilians killed by the Israeli armed forces. There were demonstrations in Paris and London, of course but also as far as Chile where the Arab population must be small. The media don’t seem to have reported much by way of protest in the Palestinian West Bank though. It’s only thirty miles from Gaza. There have not been comments that I know of in the press about this absence of what you would expect to be a normal reaction when your own close cousins are the victims.

As I write, it seems that 250 Gazans were killed in the new conflict with Israel. Somewhere between more then 100,000 and a little less than 200,000 wee killed in Syria. Think of it as a ratio:


There were no demonstrations to protest the deliberate mass slaughter in Syria. The Islamist extremists who are taking over Iraq assassinate at one sitting several times the number killed by Israelis in several days. The reason for the disparity of treatment by politically correct world opinion is clear:

Arabs killed by Israelis are much more dead that Arabs killed by Arabs; they are more deeply dead. (I know I am repeating myself; no problem.)

Incidentally, I don’t blame the current armed conflict on Sec. of State John Kerry’s months of negotiations with Palestinians and Israelis. I am convinced they  had no effect, one way or the other.

Let me simplify: Someone shot a passenger plane out of the sky above or near Eastern Ukraine. There are only three possibilities about who did it: The Ukrainian armed forces, the Russian-speaking Ukraine separatists, the Russian military. No one accuses the Ukrainian armed forces. The separatists are unable to left a finger without active Russian military help. Therefore, the party responsible for the mass assassination of civilians is? Tough deduction!

All the continued media coverage is unnecessary. This is a simple story. Cowardice, that of Western governments and that of public opinion is what keeps this story on the front page. There is no court of law involved here such as exists in civilized societies. No one needs proof beyond any reasonable doubt except those who prefer inaction in the face of brutal aggression.

Much of the verbiage I hear on conservative radio and even in the mouths of elected Republicans about the new border crisis makes me wince. No, gentlemen, ladies 50,000 or 60,000, or even 100,000 children breaching our southern border are not going to sink the Republic. The practice must be discouraged for two reasons. First, the practice is dangerous and inhumane for the children. Second, it encourages more and the flood is potentially endless. In the short run, those who are here have to be taken care of well. That’s what this country is about. Caring for defenseless children is more central to the integrity of this nation than an impenetrable border (a pipe-dream any way). There, I have said what many are thinking.

Republican politicians who insist that the way to solve the unaccompanied children invasion crisis is to send the National Guard to the border are not thinking or they are criminally misinformed. The children don’t swim across the Rio Grande, they are delivered to the border. (Yes, there is such a thing as being criminally misinformed. I am thinking of the many leftist leaders who speak as if Israel were currently occupying Gaza, had been for the past few years.)

No one in the US press has yet to do the obvious: Send a reporter to ride the death train with the illegal immigrants between Mexico’s southern border and its norther border, its border with us. It’s another gross dereliction of duty.

This Republic turns out to be more of a monarchy than I would have thought: When the King is weak-kneed, there is a tendency for other parts of society to stumble.

My book:

 I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography

is available from me by email : Please, send me $17 so I can buy fishing bait. Please, add $1.50 for taxes and $4 to help support the US Post Office. Total: $22.50

This is cheap for much entertainment and a little bit of enlightenment. The book contains many items of esoteric high-brow trivia you will be able to use to make yourself sound brilliant at cocktail parties (Marin County) and at barbecues (elsewhere).

The electronic version is also available in the Kindle Store at:

On reading devices other than Kindle: August 2nd

The electronic version costs only $7. (Every time you buy one I can afford another cappuccino with my share of the proceeds.)

Other unimportant news: My slim collection of stories and essays in French will be on Amazon (electronic only) soon. It’s entitled: Les Pumas de grande-banlieue.

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Bombing Neighbors

I live in Santa Cruz, California. It’s a reasonable prosperous town. It’s white except for the cooks and the leaf blower jockeys. Forty minutes by car south from here lies the town of Watsonville. It’s mostly Latino and considerably poorer than Santa Cruz. It has a notoriously corrupt city government and a much bigger gang problem than does Santa Cruz. Roughly, my town is mostly law-abiding, Watsonville is largely lawless. There is little by way of movements of population between the two towns except that some people from Watsonville commute to low-level jobs in Santa Cruz.

I am trying to figure what I would do if the Watsonville city government encouraged or even if it failed to stop explosive projectiles from flying from its town into mine. What if some group in Watsonville – its municipal government or anyone else – bombed me, however ineffectually? I imagine it might destroy a tree one day, blow up some windows another day, kill a dog the next day, and ended up grazing a child’s leg the next.  Then, quickly, I would think: Next week their competence is going to improve, or they will simply just get lucky, and they will kill my granddaugher. How long would I stay still, I ask myself?

The answer is: not long, days at best.

I hope my better, reasonable side would take over. I hope that I would not demand a bloodbath on the shooters. If I were moderate, I would look to a promise to drain the swamp for good. I would give the authorities in the other town a small number of days to stop the aggression. Then, I would proceed to take many measures to empty that town of its population. One way would be to simply stop as much as I could both necessities and luxuries from reaching the town. I would probably not kill anyone not caught weapons in hand. (I would kill everyone of those on the spot that I could.) Instead, I would seek to make life there extremely unpleasant by every other means. Cutting of the water would be fine, power, even better. I would seek to trigger an exodus. To my mind, it wouldn’t be “collective punishment” but prevention.

Being a pragmatist, I would also consider given the residents of that other town economic incentives to leave: Go away and remain reasonably well off or chose to stay and your life will be hell. The old stick and carrot, in that order. Most of them are innocent except that they elected exactly those who seek to do me harm. When they were elected, the elected promised to do me harm. No surprise there.

I would not stop until the only people left in that other town would be the non-mobile abandoned by local government, and the shooters themselves. The fate of the first, I would say would be morally the responsibility of that other town’s government. I would use every lethal weapon against the others until they died or surrendered unconditionally.

I see it coming: What if there were many people in Watsonville who hated you, or your fellow Santacruzans for a good reason, because you did them much harm in the past that you never repaired? What if that’s why they are bombing you?

Same thing. It’s my moral duty to fix what I broke, however far in the past. But I want a reasonable certainty that the hateful actions against me will stop if I do fix things. My worst case scenario is one where I do all the necessary repairs and the bombings continue. This involves both a strategic and a moral guess.

Now, what if the other guys said, “We will bomb you whatever you do”? “We will no stop until you are dead,eradicated, gone”? In that case, I would feel zero compulsion to seek a peaceful solution. I would also pay no attention to the people in some other, third town, say in San Francisco – not at risk at all – advising me to exercise moderation . I would ignore such advice as much as I could.

How about you? What would you do?

Another thing: The fastest way to peace is not “proportionate response,” it’s crushing victory. It may even be the most humane way, sparing the lives even of people on the other side.
Postscript: There is nothing wrong with Watsonville, California. No one from there has bombed Santa Cruz. It was just a tale.

Update: I read on Facebook that Israel provoked the current hot crisis. I wonder what it did. I am open. Use the Comment section, please.

An excerpt from the Hamas Covenant:

Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam.” (Bolding mine.)

The Hamas Covenant, Article thirty-one.

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Gaza: The Moral Issue

It’s 1938, Poland’s economy is 1/8th of the economy of Germany next door. Poland has a democratically, properly elected government but an authoritarian one. Supporters of the Polish ruling party assassinate three German teenagers. The Polish government fails to condemn the deliberate killing of defenseless young civilians. It does not do anything to apprehend the assassins. Soon, German vigilantes waylay and assassinate a Polish teenager. The democratic German Government condemns this last assassination in clear terms. Soon, it arrests three suspects. The German nation goes into mourning for all four teenagers.

Poland has in its constitution the goal of eliminating Germany altogether. This fact makes many Germans angry and many more uneasy.

Less than a week later, Poland fires massively on a Germany it knows to be armed to the teeth. Its fire is technically such as to guarantee that it cannot hit military targets inside Germany. It’s purely terror bombing aimed at inducing panic among civilians. Germany attempts to stop the Polish firing by launching airstrikes against important Polish military leaders and firing sites. It precedes each strike with several warnings to civilians to vacate the area. In spite of this extreme precaution, German strikes cause 200+ deaths in collateral casualties. Or, the Polish government claims it does. One German dies from Polish fire; several are critically wounded.

World public opinion fails to wonder at the reasons why German strikes can be so precise without benefit of land-based aviation strike specialists.

After a week of punishment, Poland reluctantly agrees that it might consider stopping its inaccurate firing at Germany in return for the release of 100 of its politicians (from the governing party) the Germans detained at the beginning of the short conflict.

Russia offers to mediate the conflict. The Russian political elite hates equally the Poles and the Germans.

Where is the morality issue in this work of historical fiction?

Where is the rationality?

PS I am not Jewish, never have been, never will be. I am not either one of those born-again Christians who are pro-Israel because they think it will hasten the Second Coming of Christ. I just don’t become confused easily.

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A Question to Rational Feminists

I am leisurely today and reading the excellent Review section of the Wall Street Journal that includes a commentary on one of the most famous poems in the English language. Then, the question hits me, coming from an unknown region of my brain:

Why does it seem that there are so few women poets?

Here is how not to answer this serious question: “Girls are discouraged from any accomplishment from the earliest age.”

First, it’s a boring answer because it’s absurdly overused. Two, it’s patently untrue: Knitting, for example is easily dominated by women. Then, in every Western society, for several centuries, young upper-class and middle-class women were actively encouraged to pursue poetry, more so than were boys, I think.

And, by the way, when I swim in the cold Pacific Ocean, as I am going to  this afternoon, there are invariably more women than men in the water alongside me. (There are always few of any sex. It’s not difficult to ascertain that four is more than two.)

Next, if you are going to answer that publishers actively  discriminate against women rather than pursuing the prestige and profits that come from literary success, you had better give some evidence, some sort of evidence.

And no, writing poetry does not require upper body strength.




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TV5, l’ignorance et la constitution americaine

Hier, le 9 Juillet, aux Information de TV5, la chaine francophone internationale, le presentateur a mentionne le fait que les grands supermarches Target invitaient leurs clients a ne plus entrer dans leurs magasins armes. Cette information est correcte.

Ne voulant sans doute pas rater l’occasion de dire une betise, le presentateur en question a ajoute, “Bien que ce (cette invitation) soit contraire a la Constitution.” Cette remarque est absurde. La Constitution n’a rien a dire sur la maniere dont les commercants conduisent leurs affaires. La function de la Constitution  federale des Etats-Unis est exclusivement de limiter les pouvoirs du gouvernement.

Si les grands magasins Target decretaient que seuls les clients portant du bleu seraient servis aucune objection constitutionelle ne serait possible.

Si je vivais en France, la vie ne serait pas possible, ce ne serait pas une vraie vie car je passerais tout mon temps a corriger les conneries des medias.

Je m’etends sur ce sujet dans un essai  faisant partie d’un recueil de mes modestes oeuvres en Francais que je vais placer prochainement sur l’Internet. Cela s’appellera:

“Les pumas de grande-banlieue: histoires d’emigration.”

Je regrette le manque d’accents et de cedilles ce coup-ci. Mon recueil aura tout cela et tout le barda.

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Illegal Child Immigration: the Trap (Updated)

Democrats laid a trap, they dug a big hole in the Southwestern Desert desert, and Republican honchos are lining up to fall into it! I refer to the invasion of thousands of underage illegal immigrants, of course.

The media are doing a piss-poor job of covering these events. An example: They describe the young illegals as “children.” Yet, it matters a lot how many of these “children” are, say 17, how many are six or under. I could have moved to another country when I was sixteen, on the one hand; I would have been capable of doing it competently, I think. On the other hand, any six-year old who is really unaccompanied is a tragedy, with other, even greater tragedies waiting to happen. The media don’t want to know, I think. I suspect they are complicit in a conspiracy.

My scenario is that some Democrats encouraged the mass migration from Central America. (I doubt the president himself was involved. He is too detached from is office and too attached to his golf game.)
The relevant immigration legislation has been in place for a long time. There was no announcement of change in immigration policy right before the exodus of young people across Mexico and through our southern border. It’s not difficult to encourage people discretely to take great risks if their living conditions are bad enough, dangerous enough, if they are poor enough, if they are close enough to illiteracy. Well-placed rumors often repeated will do the trick:

If you ship your kids to the US, the Americans will take care of them and you will eventually be able to join them.

Incidentally, the last part of the rumor is not really false. Family re-unification provides the bulk of our legal immigrants year in and year out. It works in accordance with a ranking of priorities. Re-uniting parents and minor children is right at the top of the list.

The way the Democrat organizers see it, nothing moves Americans faster than the spectacle of suffering children. As it turns out, President Obama’s plan for wholesale immigration reformed is blocked. Rather, it’s blockaded by Republicans in Congress. Just about everyone agrees that our current immigration system does most things badly. It does not please any group, except, perhaps, some labor unions. I am not revealing any secret here. You would be hard put to find a single elected Republican willing to say publicly, “It’s just fine, leave it alone.” The problem is that Republicans in Congress don’t want the specific reform package Mr Obama has been trying to cram down their throat . (See my essay on this blog:

If he wants something done, the president has to negotiate with the Republican Party, or at least, with some Republicans. If he does, he will end up with less than he wants. The “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants so dear to left-Democrats might just fall off the table, for example. But, there is another way to go, more to Mr Obama’s style anyway, a path increasingly popular in the left wing of the Democratic Party: Create a crisis of huge proportions in order to make an executive order acceptable for that which should constitutionally be achieved only through legislation. (There are famous historical precedents for this kind of political behavior. Think about them.)

The intended effect is simply to be in a position to declare: “This is out of control, the problems caused by our inadequate immigration system have become intolerable. The whole shebang has to be reformed, top to bottom.” Now, it’s difficult to make this argument coolly, rationally; you have to appeal to intense emotions to get away with it. With enough emotion, it’s relatively easy to simplify, like this: The Republicans are so heartless that even the spectacle of abandoned, defenseless children does not move them, not even little kids.

If the ploy fails completely, there are still considerable benefits for the Democratic Party to garner. Let me explain.

People are busy with their lives, their children, their mortgages, their church services. Even those who are fairly well off see their attention drafted by daily life such as taking kids to and from the game and the mechanical task of paying bills. The very large number of growing parents simply don’t have any free time, as a rule. Many people are just too tired after work to do anything but watch entertainment on television. Many have brains that are chronically overcrowded. Many are simply lazy.

Hence, for a vast fraction of the population, such things as hard-to-understand slow growth statistics, the failures of Obamacare, economic cronyism, sicking the IRS on political opponents, spying on American citizens, half-truths, distortions, outright lies, even lying about a terrorist attack, may not leave a durable impression. In the tumult of daily life, I speculate, there is not much that has traction.

In principle, I see two exceptions to the general principle of no-traction. First repetitive offenses may leave in many minds like tracks in the mud. Second, imagery that generates deep emotions tends to become seared in people’s minds. An invasion by helpless, poor children qualifies. Pictures of illegal immigrant children in refuges are beginning to seep into the media as I write.

Digression: I say “seep” because the Obama Administration got caught in its own contradictions. On the one hand, it would serve well the purpose of creating a crisis to show many beleaguered, probably crying children in poor shelters. Yet, showing such images would demonstrate anew the administration’s gross incompetence – about everything. You can be sure more pictures are coming our way.

Come the next partial election, and even the next presidential election, Mr Obama’s many sins will be a distant and therefore vague memory in many voters’ minds. The poor children won’t be. That’s ineradicable.

Even harder to forget will be pictures of an angry crowd of conservatives turning back in the night a busload of defenseless children, as happened in Murietta, California. That is is never going to dissipate. The crowd looked for all the world like a lynch mob, even to me. That episode could not have been better staged by one of Hollywood leftist directors to serve as a centerpiece of future anti-Republican propaganda. I am betting it will be used over and over again. Because of the intemperate and mindless reaction of some Republicans, the “War on Children” is soon to join the “War on Women” in the fallacious Democratic Party narrative.

As a result, Democratic voters will be more motivated to vote, including those who are newly disenchanted with the Obama overall performance, independents will be swayed, some Republicans will feel shame and make it a reason for not voting the next time. This is the stuff of which elections are made. The beneficiary will be Hillary “Benghazi” Clinton.

Often , in morality as well as in politics, it’s important to think of the short term first. Often, what’s right is simply what’s humane. What you must do with children, including children who were cynically sent across danger unaccompanied is clear: You feed them, you give then shelter, you supply them with medical attention, you arrange for toys and basketballs. There is no other way. That’s what America does; that’s what it has always done. We will settle accounts later with those criminals who sent them and with those who encouraged those who sent them.

As I write (July 9th 2014) not a single Republican leader has pronounced these obvious truths. We will pay dearly for this lapse of sanity, this shortfall of humanity.

Update July 10th: President Obama is asking for four  (4) billion dollars to deal with this particular crisis.  Predictably, Republican voices are raised to ask for an offset, for reducing federal expenses somewhere else. A Republican tin ear again! This is not the time, this is not the place. Instead, the Republican House leadership should grant the funds requested and demand that 3/4th be earmarked completely, integrally for the care of  the illegal immigrant children. They should dare the administration to argue that these money would be better spent for other purposes.

Folks, that’s about $25 (twenty-five US dollars) per working American. Isn’t this ridiculous?

Bill O’Reilly and  some conservative voices are clamoring for an ill-defined “militarization” of the border. They probably envision the National Guard standing shoulder to shoulder on our endless  border with Mexico. Way to go, friends: Machine gun the little bastards!

Many Republicans are currently giving Republicans a bad name; this time we come close to deserving it.

PS I am an immigrant, my wife is an immigrant. I write often on immigration. There is a link on the face of this blog to my article in the libertarian Independent Review (co-authored with fellow-immigrant Sergey Nikiforov) : “If Mexicans and Americans Could Cross…

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