New Prager University Video: The UN vs. Israel

From Prager University: 
Which country has the ugliest record of human rights? North Korea? Syria? Iran? Nope. In fact, if you went by what the United Nations says, the most abusive country in the world is also the only free society in the entire Middle East. The UN, the supposed best hope for world peace, condemns Israel more than any other country. The UN Human Rights Council routinely singles out Israel for criticism.
In the newest Prager University course, “Israel vs. the UN,” scholar Anne Bayefsky clearly proves that the UN has an anti-Israel bias. Why is this? That’s for another video, but in short, since the 1940s, the UN has moved from a pro-Western orientation to an anti-Western and anti-Israel orientation.

New from Prager University: Aznar on Europe, America and Israel

The latest from Prager University:

Do you want to know how Europeans think? Why not ask one of the most prominent Europeans in the world, former Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar? That’s what just we did. The conversation — his thoughts on Europe, America and Israel — is both fascinating and profound. 

The MSM Finally Starts Vetting Ron Paul. And It Ain’t Pretty.

Be careful what you wish for, Paulites. Now that people are paying attention to your Messiah, they’re paying attention to the whole story.

Having made my objections to Ron Paul abundantly clear—see, for instance, here,  here, and here—I don’t need to rehash them. Here, a quick roundup of the latest developments will suffice.
  • December 14: The Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein highlights Paul’s habit of not only slandering Israel, but doing so on Iranian state TV.
  • December 16: After getting smacked down by Michele Bachmann the night before, Paul retaliates by smearing her: “She hates Muslims. She wants to go get ‘em.”
  • December 17: In the Weekly Standard, James Kirchick follows up on his original expose of the newsletters, reviewing the vile content, the money Paul made off of them, and Paul’s cozy relationship with raving lunatic Alex Jones.
  • December 18: former longtime Paul aide Eric Dondero tells the American Spectator that Paul didn’t write those bigoted, conspiratorial newsletters, “but he did read them, every line of them, off his fax machine at his Clute office before they were published. He would typically sign them at the bottom of the last page giving his okay, and re-fax them to Jean to go to the printer.”
  • December 20: Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid reports on Paul’s vocal support for cyber-anarchist “whistleblower” outfit WikiLeaks and their source, Bradley Manning, whom Paul calls a “hero” and “patriot” for indiscriminately leaking classified information.
    December 20: At Townhall, John Hawkins highlights 12 quotes that render Paul unelectable.
  • December 20: RedState’s Leon Wolf compiles the evidence that Paul is a 9/11 Truther.
  • December 21: RedState’s Leon Wolf reveals Ron Paul’s wildly anti-libertarian 2008 presidential endorsements, including Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader.
  • December 21: Paul loses his cool in a CNN interview about the newsletters, complaining that he’s addressed it so many times everyone should be satisfied with the (non-)answers he’s already given, flatly claiming he didn’t write them, never saw the bigoted content, “and that’s it.” He denies that he made nearly a million dollars on them (“I’d like to see that money”). When the interviewer says it’s a legitimate question because “these things are pretty incendiary,” Paul shoots back, “because of people like you,” takes off his microphone, and walks out.    
  • December 21: Jonah Goldberg finds 1988 video of Ron Paul claiming federal drug prohibition is a ruse to keep drug prices high to help the CIA fund its operations through drug trafficking. In the video, Paul also suggests electing George HW Bush, a former CIA chief, to the presidency would be the equivalent of the Russians putting an ex-KGB official in office.
    December 22: Video surfaces of Paul in 1995, promoting the newsletters he supposedly knew so little about: “Long term, I don’t think political action is worth very much if you don’t have education […] I also put out a political type of business investment newsletter that sort of covered all these areas.  And it covered a lot about what was going on in Washington, and financial events, and especially some of the monetary events.”
Let’s cut to the chase: making Ron Paul the Republican nominee would guarantee that Barack Obama gets a second term. We all know how Democrats love to tar their opponents as cranks and racists, even when there’s no evidence to support the smear; what do you suppose they could do with a candidate that does have such baggage, and lots of it?

We’d see the newsletters’ greatest hits—such as the ode to David Duke, the ranting about “terrorists” that “can be identified by the color of their skin”, the warnings to bar gays from restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva”—saturate the airwaves and printed page. We’d get a refresher on every conspiracy & crackpot Paul has ever flirted with. We’d even see the president who killed Osama bin Laden credibly cast himself as a tougher wartime leader than the guy who opposed the operation.

And most importantly, all of this poison and insanity would be used not just to torpedo a presidential candidate, but also to discredit the principles of limited government and constitutionalism he claims to speak for. Every libertarian and conservative principle Paul allegedly embodies would be linked in the public’s minds to racism, paranoia. Make no mistake: the Right would be set back years, if not decades.

I gave up on expecting morals and good sense from libertarians a long time ago, but conservatives surely aren’t going to hand the Left victory on a silver platter. Are we?

New on NewsReal – Sarah Palin Visits Israel. What’s In It For Her?

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is in Israel right now, which for some reason is perplexing to some in the chattering class back home. Taking the most cynical approach, Newsweek Jerusalem bureau chief Dan Ephron takes to the Daily Beast to explore what Palin might stand to gain politically from the visit:

For the former Alaska governor, the trip offers a chance to distinguish herself as more pro-Israel than other American politicians and, perhaps, to make amends for her “blood libel” gaffe in January that angered many Jews. Palin has already pointed out that President Obama has yet to visit Israel during more than two years in office. At a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, she was expected to distance herself from the position of some fellow Tea Partiers—chiefly Congressman Rand Paul—in favor of cutting aid to Israel.

Leftists and left-wing groups which claim to speak for Jews complained about the “blood libel” nonsense at the time, but a.) that doesn’t necessarily translate to “many Jews,” and b.) I doubt Palin took that line of attack too seriously, considering the frequency with which both sides have used the term in the past. Attempting to compare favorably to Obama’s inattentiveness (and worse) to Israel is more likely, as is the idea that she’s distancing herself from Paul’s stances on that front, especially considering that she supported him.

Read the rest on NewsRealBlog.

Conservatism Can’t Survive Without the Pro-Life Movement, Part II

In Part I, I argue that it would be politically foolish for the Right to further backpedal or abandon the pro-life cause. Here I want to make the case that the right to life truly is inseparable both from core conservatism and from any meaningful effort to advance conservative ideas—that, in fact, pro-abortion tendencies actually endanger the prospects of those who value limited government, the free market, and strong national defense.

As I explained on June 15, abortion is an affront to the Declaration of Independence. As the unjust taking of a human life, it is wrong for the same reason slavery, theft, assault, honor killings, rape, eminent domain abuse, and individual health insurance mandates are wrong: they are all violations of human liberty and natural rights.  Accordingly, society justly protects its citizens from them via law for the same reason.  As long as conservatism still “holds these truths to be self-evident” that all men have “certain unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and as long as conservatism still accepts that “governments are instituted among men” for the purpose of “secur[ing] these rights,” then philosophically-consistent conservatives have no choice but to oppose legalized abortion. Nobody can support abortion in good conscience without either honestly confronting this conundrum head-on, or asking himself what definition of “conservatism” he’s been operating under all this time.

That pro-choice views are an egregious exception to conservatives’ and libertarians’ pro-liberty rhetoric should be obvious. What may be less obvious—but is no less true—is that such dubious thinking cannot help but undermine other core conservative principles and efforts. Continue reading

Helen Thomas is Helen Thomas. Film at Eleven.

Yep, Helen Thomas has been saying ugly things about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  I’m with Johan Goldberg:

But beyond that, can we do away with all of the shock and dismay at Thomas’ statement? Spare me Lanny Davis’s wounded outrage. Everyone knows she is a nasty piece of work and has been a nasty piece of work for decades.

And when I say a nasty piece of work, I don’t simply mean her opinions on Israel. She’s been full-spectrum awful. I’ve known a few people who knew her 40 years ago, and she was slimy then too. One small example can be found in James Rosen’s excellent book on John Mitchell, The Strong Man. Mitchell’s wife Martha was a mentally unstable alcoholic who would call reporters to vent sad, paranoid, fact-free theories and diatribes. At first, many reporters were eager to hear her out, but over time it became obvious that Martha Mitchell was not well and it was cruel to exploit her. Obvious, that is, to nearly everyone butHelen Thomas who continued to milk Martha Mitchell for damning quotes and nonsense

[…]

All of these condemnations, equivocations, repudiations, and protestations are all fundamentally silly because they are part of a D.C. Kabuki that treats the last straw as if it was wholly different than the million other straws everyone was happy to carry.

Yawn.

Shame of the Vatican

Sadly, organized religion is more supportive of the Left than many conservatives are willing to admit.  Now, perhaps the most disgraceful example:

The Pope on Wednesday said attacks such as one on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which killed at least 20 international activists and injured hundreds others, would not resolve disputes.

Excuse me?  So Israel doesn’t have a right to keep deadly weapons out of its enemies’ hands?  Last time I checked, the Catholic Church did recognize the concept of just war, and the Gaza blockade isn’t even a full-blown war, but a security measure.  Would the Holy Father lecture police officers for “failing to resolve disputes peacefully” every time a suspect is injured or killed while evading arrest, or is killed by a cop in self-defense?

“Once again I repeat with heartfelt spirit that violence does not resolve disputes, but generates more violence,” the pontiff said, according to DPA. “I invite you all to join me in prayer for the victims and their families and for all those who suffer.”

Actually, sometimes violence does resolve disputes.  Sometimes it’s blind devotion to negotiation or dialogue without regard for reality that gets people killed.

The coastal sliver has been under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007. The deteriorating life conditions in Gaza took a new level after Israel’s 22-day long military offensive against the strip in 2008, which left at least 1,400 Palestinians dead.

Benedict, meanwhile, urged those “with political responsibility,” to find “just solutions through dialogue,” and to guarantee the people of the Gaza Strip better life conditions.

Last time I checked, the Pope was supposed to be a source of truth and moral guidance, not lazy platitudes that fail to make distinctions between good & evil or aggressor & defender, and that indicates little to no understanding of what’s actually going on in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  Simply disgraceful.