Sunday, June 28, 2015

Trying to Solve the Wrong Problem

June 22, 2015

Today, many people who do not accept the politically correct positions on race in America feel the need to state the obvious when discussing the issue to help defend against unfounded accusations of being a racist. So, let me start with my disclaimer. The white murderer in Charleston, South Carolina is the scum of the earth. The lowest of the low. The black victims were innocent people who, at the time of their murder, were engaged in peaceful Bible study in their church. One cannot help but to feel the pain and mourn their loss along with their families and friends and the Charleston community. People of all races and ethnicities should acknowledge and support the black community in this case. People of all religions should acknowledge and support members of the Christian faith. There should be nothing controversial here. Any decent person should feel the same way. I recognize that not everyone will agree with the last part of my disclaimer, which is that South Carolina has the death penalty and I believe it should be used in summary fashion. There is no chance of killing an innocent person with the death penalty in this case. Arguments about too many layers of appeals in death penalty cases only show the deficiencies in our legal system. None of the standard arguments against the death penalty should be used to prevent the white, racist murderer from being erased from the face of the earth.

In response to this atrocity, people have commended the way the members of the Charleston community, blacks and whites, have united and conducted themselves. They have contrasted the peaceful behavior of the people of Charleston to the violent reactions witnessed in other controversial events that centered, or were made to center, on race in other American cities, such as Baltimore and Ferguson. But truth be told, while the Charleston model is no doubt the better model, what will come of it? What will change in this country as a result of this latest round of senseless killings?

The sad answer is that nothing will change and that is because we are trying to solve the wrong problem. For there to be a change, the country needs to address the real problem and to do so honestly. But nothing good can happen given the dishonest climate we are in. Instead of focusing on the traditional perspectives of good vs. evil and right vs. wrong, we are focusing on black vs. white. We are consumed by the false narrative of "Black Lives Matter". False not because black lives don't matter (they absolutely do), but rather because all black lives matter, not just those black lives lost with blood on white hands. Equally important, all lives, not just black lives, matter. For there to be change in this country, change considered proper based on Biblical, historical, civilized and jurisprudence standards, we need to try to solve the right problem and protect all innocent people, regardless of their color, from all violent criminals, again regardless of their color.

President Obama was visibly upset in reacting to the terrible news of the murders in Charleston. He was emotional. He was angry. You want that type of reaction from the leader of our country. But, as usual, as he continued talking he went on to politicize and preach on certain issues. He used the murders to once again lecture on gun control. I think most Americans would support new, sensible gun control regulations. Obama, however, has done nothing but politicize the issue. This problem will not be solved easily. Guns cannot be outlawed in this country. You cannot take away the rights of innocent Americans to legally obtain guns. The obvious reason is that there are just too many guns in our communities. If a bad guy really wants to do harm to innocent people, he can readily obtain guns and other weapons to do so. He would just do so illicitly. Does anyone really believe that gang members, drug lords and violent criminals all fill out the necessary paperwork to legally obtain their weapons? Does anyone even acknowledge the use of weapons by criminals? No. Instead, the left, as is typical, looks to overreach and punish all innocent people to address a problem caused by a disproportionate minority, while at the same time ignoring the real problem of weapons in the hands of criminals. One only needs to look at Obama's reflexive response to try to federally restrict the weapons used by law enforcement. The left also dodges the fact that if innocent people were armed perhaps the criminal could be stopped sooner in any given situation. There is always that "what if" that gets asked in these terrible cases.

There was something even more troubling for me though in Obama's response. As mentioned above, Obama gave a heartfelt, emotional response to the Charleston murders. This was the typical Obama response involving real anger whenever a black person is killed by a white person, whether or not justifiably. Obama also portrayed the tragic events as being emblematic of white racism against blacks in America today. He linked the Charleston murders to the haunted history of America's past when black people truly were oppressed by white people. Such statements from a sitting black president are both foolish and ignorant.

One should not question or doubt the sincerity of Obama's emotion in addressing the Charleston tragedy, or Baltimore or Ferguson for that matter. His anger is both real and palpable. We also have seen Obama's passion on display when he addresses matters pertaining to Muslims. His Cairo speech, bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia, warm outreach wishing Iranians a happy new year and continuous lambasting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel while openly siding with the Palestinians are but several examples. But these real displays of emotion by Obama help to prove who he really is and what he really is about. Because in contrast, it is hard to get him to say anything about attacks or violence on people who are not black or Muslim. When he does, it is clear that he is mouthing empty words. When viewed in comparison to when he addresses an issue he is passionate about, the difference could not be more stark.

Robotic Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton immediately latched onto the continuing white racist problems of America. Apparently she too does not believe that America has progressed on the issue of race. The New York City Mayor with a one-track mind, Bill DeBlasio, spoke of racial terrorism. Interesting, as liberals cannot seem to acknowledge terrorism when committed in the name of Islam.

Listening to these leaders, as well as the leaders of the overall black community, a person who does not know better would get the impression that whites are severely oppressing blacks in America. One also would be led to believe that white violence against blacks is the only violence suffered by blacks. It is as if there is no such thing as black on black violence and blacks do not commit any violent crimes against whites. But we do know better. These notions are utterly false and belong only in the realm of fantasyland. Just over the last few days, a black man killed a police officer in New Orleans. Another black man killed a police officer in Cincinnati. There were two mass shootings at block parties in Detroit and Philadelphia resulting in deaths and injuries to many people, including children. Following the Michael Gray incident in Baltimore, the murder rate there has skyrocketed. Murders in Chicago are out of control, as they are in other black communities in America. Violent crimes committed by blacks are disproportionately high. These are facts.

Leaders like Obama are dreadfully and deceitfully silent as to these facts. They do not address black on black or black on white violence. The most you get is the typical mouthing of a few empty words, but rarely even that. Passion and emotion are nonexistent. Instead, speaking out only against violence committed by whites on blacks fits much better into his and their overall narrative that America has been and still is a racist country. On this issue, Obama is passionate and he makes it very easy to feel his anger. He also is very successful in dividing and inciting the country and setting back race relations to where he claims them to be.

But this distorts the real problem. Leaders like Obama lack all credibility when they compare American society today to how it was decades ago. In a country with well over 300 million people, they latch onto isolated incidents, some like Charleston which show nothing but pure evil, to make the claim that all of America is racist. They also pretend there is no such thing as violence or racism by blacks against whites. The problem is that Americans know better, on both fronts.

The real problem in America, as in any democratic country, is violent crime, and how to prevent it and punish it when it does happen. It is not and should not be made into an issue exclusively about race, or, more specifically, only white on black violence. Especially not when violent crimes in this country are committed disproportionately by blacks. Nothing will be achieved focusing only on part of the problem because, unfortunately, in a country of this size, there will always be crazy and racist people. You cannot stretch the vile acts of some people, an extremely small minority, to apply to an entire country. We still struggle with a high rate of violent crime in this country. The entirety of the problem should and needs to be addressed. All evil needs to be fought. All good people need to be protected. Right must triumph over wrong. All lives matter. Race is irrelevant. Only when we accept this can something be achieved. I am not optimistic with the dishonest leaders we have. But this too can change.

May G-d bless the souls of the innocent victims of Charleston and may G-d bless America.

The Audible

June 12, 2015

Apparently, the radical, far-left, politically correct, anti-Israel team has realized that it lacks credibility when it continues to spew certain age-old lies about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. How can anyone with any common sense believe that if only there was a resolution to that conflict there would be peace in the Middle East and the world would be full of sunshine and roses? Don't get me wrong, you still hear many of these same old lies, but the global PC team has called an audible and appears to be touting a new line of propaganda. 

President Obama, the quarterback of the PC team, and leaders of the the many European countries on that team have deftly switched the narrative to the all too familiar page from the broader radical liberal playbook of "we are better than that". Only in this case, the "we" they are imposing their far-left ideology on is Israel. It is Israel that they, now admittedly, expect more of and that they hold to much higher standards. Only Israel, not its neighbors, must live by a higher set of moral values. People can debate all they wish as to whether the PC team is motivated by Anti-Semitism. I believe that it quite obviously is, but regardless, the bottom line is that the radical liberal playbook continues to jeopardize Israel's existence.

Let's unravel this latest bogus narrative. To begin with, the savagery and barbarism being committed by Israel's neighbors, the Palestinians included, should make it impossible for the leaders of the PC team to use this page of the radical liberal playbook. But that has not stopped them from starting to call the audible and running this play, somehow with a straight face. They may believe that they are fooling everyone, but here too they have a real credibility problem. Anyone possessing an ounce of common sense understands that Israelis are not targeting innocent Palestinians or any other people for death. They are not beheading anyone or putting people in cages and setting them on fire. They are not committing acts of terrorism anywhere. Palestinians are not being attacked by Jews in Jerusalem; Palestinians are committing terrorist acts against Jews in the Holy City. Arabs govern the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Jews, incredibly, are forbidden to pray there. Israel grants freedom to all religions to pray at its holy sites while Islamic militants are destroying such sites all across the Middle East. Israelis are not invading other countries and they are not threatening to annihilate or to wipe any countries off the map. Israel's neighbors cannot make the same claims.

Israelis are not firing rockets and missiles into any neighboring countries, other than as a matter of self-preservation. They are not trying to deliberately kill innocent Muslims. While Hamas' goal was to kill as many innocent Israeli civilians as it could during the war it provoked with Israel last summer, Israel took extreme measures to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza, endangering the well-being of its young military personnel. While Hamas used its own people as human shields, including women and children, Israel warned those same Palestinians of impending military strikes targeted against Hamas terrorists. Hamas sacrificed young Palestinian children to build its tunnels of death, and Palestinians indoctrinate their children with violence and a hatred of Israel and Jews. Israel, by contrast, promotes peace, education and well-being for all of its children. Jews mourn the deaths of their children and the deaths of their fellow Jews. Unlike with the Palestinians, they do not promote senseless acts of terrorism so that they can glorify their children as martyrs. 

It is amazing how Obama and the PC team want to impose "Jewish values" and "Western values", as they define them, on Israel. As if Jews in the Holy Land need a lesson on Jewish values from the PC team. Newsflash to Obama and the leaders of the European countries--Jewish values, real Jewish values, do not require Israel to sacrifice the lives of its citizens to fundamental Islam. Nor do true Western values, which are the Judeo-Christian values the United States was founded upon. To require a free country to sacrifice the safety and security of its citizens so as not to insult the terrorist enemies determined to kill them is nothing more than an ideology. A far-left, radical, politically correct ideology that Obama and other liberals are trying to twist into Western values. 

Obama and the rest of the PC team are doing enough damage to their own countries. Fundamental Islam has spread so aggressively in Europe that many experts fear for the future of the continent. More and more terrorist attacks are being carried out successfully or are thankfully being thwarted in both of the United States and Europe. Anti-Semitism is dramatically escalating around the globe. It is particularly on the rise in Europe. Jews in universities, even in America, are under siege from Muslims and Palestinians. The deceitful Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement resorts to violence and intimidation. Obama and the rest of the PC team should be more concerned with protecting their own Jewish citizens. But perhaps their understanding of Jewish and Western values requires innocent Jews around the world to just accept the violence and hostility directed their way. Another newsflash to Obama and the leaders of the European countries--look up the Jewish value of "Never Again". 

A clear and unequivocal message to Obama and the rest of the PC team--Jews are better than radical Muslims. They prove that each and every day. That could not be any more obvious. The contrast between good and evil, right and wrong, civilized and humane behavior versus savagery and barbarism, could not be any more stark. The newest page from the radical liberal playbook is as deceptive as the other pages. This will hopefully be a very short lived theme as it is incredibly arrogant, obnoxious and dangerous. Of course, the PC team could burn the radical liberal playbook, eliminate Anti-Semitism and develop a sincere moral conscience. Knowing better, I will await the next deceitful audible from the PC team. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hindsight and the Present--Both 20/20

June 11, 2015

Unlike with certain prior world calamities, we will not have to wait for historians and scholars to explain how we missed the current threat to humanity--radical Islam. There are plenty of experts on the Middle East, politicians, journalists, bloggers, talk show hosts-the list goes on and on-who  see the obvious and warn each and every day of this clear and present danger. Yet we continue to proceed on our very ominous path.

The world today is faced with many related challenges that threaten its future. There is not one, but several severe threats posed by radical Islam. Chief among these are a nuclear-armed Iran and IS, each of which is striving to establish an Islamic caliphate. These threats are being allowed to metastasize by President Obama and his far-left, pro-Muslim policies. The international community also is suffering from liberal dementia. In short, political correctness has run amok globally. At the very time that the international community should have an intense urgency to combat radical Islam, it is instead obsessed with righting the many perceived wrongs of Israel. I am afraid that this unfortunate confluence of factors will have tragic consequences.

So with a June 30th deadline on reaching an agreement with Iran on its nuclear capabilities right around the corner, what is brewing with the negotiations? Why so quiet? Are we waiting for a big July 4th announcement? There is no bigger story in the world today (no, not even Bruce Jenner), yet the media coverage is shamefully non-existent. There are exceptions, such as when the leaders of Iran claim that the framework of the agreement is built on the lies of the United States or that Iran has no intention of complying with its terms. Of course, these statements from Iran come in between its chants of death to America and death to Israel. And even if the deal lives up to the best of expectations, Iran stands to legitimately obtain nuclear weapons over time and cash in on an estimated $150 billion. This windfall will allow Iran to really let loose with its global terrorism and aggression, its favorite pastimes. Iran has been the best in the world in these vile activities even with a poor economy. Just think of the pain, suffering and misery it will be capable of causing once the world begins funding its terrorism and belligerence. But aside from that, what's the problem?

Then there is IS. Obama just announced that he still has no strategy to combat that savage terrorist group. Actually, he also said that he is waiting for a strategy from the Pentagon. Military officials were reportedly outraged the last time Obama threw them under the bus with the same statement despite the fact that they had sent him more than one strategy for his consideration. Just the fact that he can tell the American people that he does not have a strategy at this point in time, regardless of the reason, is unjustifiable.

But what people fail to realize is that Obama has more pressing concerns for world order. Putting the imminent threat of global climate change aside, Obama has made his priority, more like his obsession, Israel and all of the harm it is causing the world. For Obama and many far-left liberals the world over, it is not Iran obtaining nuclear weapons and threatening to destroy civilization or IS beheading innocent civilians in the name of Islam that has to be stopped first and foremost. Rather, it is Israel trying to survive on a daily basis that tops the charts of egregious and immoral  behavior.

Obama has stated outright that he has to rethink his strategy with Israel based on the fact that Israel's Prime Minister voiced his concern and doubt over the likelihood of a two-state solution with the Palestinians in the near future given their lack of commitment to peace and the current turmoil in the Middle East. To Obama, it is irrelevant, despite his few empty words to the contrary, that forcing Israel into a two-state solution jeopardizes its existence. For him, developing a new harsher and one-sided strategy against Israel appears to take precedence over formulating a strategy to combat IS. Just because Obama says the Palestinians are a good peace partner does not make it so. The harsh reality, also ignored by Obama, is that even if Israel had a real partner for peace in the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, that government would be toppled in a flash as part of any "peace" deal. (That may happen at any time no matter what.)

Radical Islamic terrorist groups are multiplying at a rapid pace. One needs a scorecard just to keep track. Anyone who does not believe that the PA would be ousted need look no further than Gaza, where there are reports that IS is now in a struggle with the terrorist group Hamas. According to IS, Hamas is not violent and aggressive enough against Israel. Can you imagine?There should be no doubt that if Israel was to leave certain parts of Judea and Samaria, the void would be filled with radical Islamic terrorists, whether Palestinians or others. That poses an existential threat to Israel and puts at risk the lives of innocent Israelis. Yet Obama has the audacity to claim that Israel has a credibility problem in not wanting to achieve peace with the Palestinians. The lack of credibility is something that Obama should know all about, but instead of deceitfully discrediting Israel, he should look in the mirror and at the Palestinians. One has to wonder why Obama gives the Palestinians a free pass while leveling all of his criticism against Israel.

Obama and the international community have done nothing about the escalation of global Anti-Semitism. There has been a dramatic rise in reported abuse and intimidation, physical and verbal, by Muslims against Jews on college campuses across America. But there has not been any condemnation by Obama or his Administration on this. In Obama's constitution, Muslims are a protected class, Jews are not. The BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, built on propaganda and lies, is spreading at a fast pace globally. The growing worldwide hatred of Jews is being fanned by radical Islam and the political correctness and far-left policies of Obama and the international community. Puzzling too is that Christians in the international community are allowing their innocent brethren to be slaughtered by radical Islamists and direct their animosity against Jews and Israel. We are living in dangerous and disgraceful times.

Hindsight is 20/20, but on the threat posed by radical Islam, so is the present. In fact, I am not sure how much clearer it could be.