Thursday, 30 April 2015
Corrections
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by Richard Kostelanetz (May 2015)
 

I.  Virgil Thomson’s “Antisemitism”

In a recent issue of the ultra-Jewish weekly Forward, the music writer Benjamin Ivry (b. 1958) thinks that he discovered an unacceptable quality in America’s most important writer-composer Virgil Thomson (1896-1989). Initially Ivry focuses upon Thomson’s intense love-hate relationship with Aaron Copland, who was a New York Jew just as Thomson was a Kansas City WASP, and so, to no surprise, regarded each other as belonging to those categories. (Both were also homosexual, but that’s another matter.)  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 10:13 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
The Essay Jonathan Franzen Should Have Written
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by Lorna Salzman (May 2015)


The whole American birding community, which numbers in the millions if you count backyard bird feeder watchers, has its collective knickers in a twist over a recent New Yorker essay by novelist Jonathan Franzen, a recent acolyte to birding and simultaneously a critic of the movement to curb climate change.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:55 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
A Whisper in the Wind - An HBO Scenario
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by Geoffrey Clarfield (May 2015)


“An Imaginary Event”

Home Box Office-HBO. When we all thought TV was on its way out, along came the many Home Box Office created series, soap operas and cliffhangers designed for the intelligent, college educated viewer of 20th and 21st century North America. These offerings have included Deadwood, the Sopranos and a host of other series whose characters are now part of our imaginative universe and, who reflect who we are, where we thought we came from, and where we think we might be going. Perhaps the most popular of all is, or was, the Sopranos, which can be summarized as “the Godfather comes to the suburbs.”  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:51 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
A Case Study in Cultural Decline: Rock Music
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by Bradford Tuckfield (May 2015)


Many people, especially cultural conservatives, are concerned about what they perceive as the decline of Western or American culture. However, since it is very hard to define or measure either “culture” or “decline,” discussions on the topic are always difficult and are frequently non-starters. In order to avoid an abstract discussion of ill-defined topics, I suggest that it is worthwhile to do a case study of one particular instance of cultural decline. I am inspired in this undertaking by Edmund Burke, who avoided discussions of the abstract notion of liberty, saying “abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Liberty inheres in some sensible object.” I echo him and say that abstract decline is not to be found except when it inheres in some sensible object.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:47 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Victims of “Affirmative Action”: Bam, Tom, & Dubya
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by Richard Kostelanetz (May 2015)


The principal problem with this short-sighted policy commonly called “Affirmative Action” is that, in the interests of equal results rather than equal opportunity, it victimizes its individual beneficiaries into thinking that they are better than they are or otherwise might be.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:40 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Mr. And Mrs. Macbeth, And Their Secretive Cash Cow And Foundation
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The Clinton Canadian Foundation, which few even knew about,m did not disclose the names of 1100 donors. In that case, the Clintons could claim that Canadian law supposedly prevented disclosing those names. But what excuse do they have for the just-reported similar lapse by the Clinton Boston Foundation?

The latest in the series of Clinton scandals that have arisen from their insensate greed and o'erweening sense of entitlement, here.

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Overwhelmed By The Numbers, Gilles De Kerchove Can Think Of Nothing But "Prioritizing" Cases To Prosecute
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Here.

Gilles De Kerchove seems to think that the governments of Western Europe are obligated to admit back into their midst those who have gone to fight, or otherwise help, the Islamic State. He can't even consider, can't even raise as a matter for general discussion, the members of the EU deciding not to re-admit any such people, at the very least, and possibly to strip them, and all supporters of the Islamic State who may never have left Europe, of their citizenship.

It's a failure of imagination, a failure of intelligence, a failure of nerve. He seems to think some things are simply "unthinkable." They are not. They are perfectly rational and, if presented correctly, will be acceptable to most people.

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:31 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Stemming the Surge of Deadly Illegal Migration Across the Mediterranean
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by Jerry Gordon (May 2015)


The EU is in the midst of another refugee crisis in the Straits that separates Sicily from North Africa. The flash point of the humanitarian crisis is the Island of Lampedusa 297 kilometers offshore of Tripoli, Libya. 168 kilometers north of Lampedusa is the Island Republic of Malta which is also in the crosshairs of this crisis. more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:32 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
ISIS Threat to America: an Interview with Erick Stakelbeck
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by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (May 2015)


When we reviewed Erick Stakelbeck’s latest book, ISIS Exposed: Beheadings, Slavery and the Hellish Realities of Radical Islam, we wrote:

Tens of thousands of young Muslims across the ummah from Minneapolis in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and even China have been drawn like bees to the holy beehive of the self-declared Caliphate which espouses Islamic purification through ethnic and religious cleansing.

Stakelbeck addressed an important question about why the large unassimilated Somali émigré community in Minneapolis has become the US hub for Al Qaeda and now ISIS recruitment.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:27 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and The World It Made
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a review by Ron Capshaw (May 2015)


 

Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and The World It Made
by Richard Rhodes
Simon & Schuster, 2015
320 pages

 

Which 20th century war involved the gang rape and castration of POWS? Massacres of villages from the air? Desecration of churches? Military revolts? Communist backing?

The immediate answer would be Vietnam. But the actual one is the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), whose "good war" connotations are second only to World War II's.   more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:18 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
The Other Forgotten International Brigade
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by Norman Berdichevsky (May 2015)


The Left in all its various shades – Marxist, New, Romantic, Dogmatic, Innocent continues to wistfully pine in nostalgic innocence over the memorabilia and songs of the Spanish Civil War. This was supposedly “THE Good Fight” of all time pitting the good guys of the Republican Left against the evil forces of reaction in the Spanish Catholic Church, General Franco, the Spanish Falange Movement and military aid from both Hitler and Mussolini.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:13 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and the Polish Jew Who Criminalized It
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by Jerry Gordon (May 2015)


Pope Francis chose Sunday April 12, 2015 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by Young Turks of the waning Ottoman Empire. He called it "the first genocide of the 20th Century.” The AP reported, that Turkish President Erdogan called the Pope’s remarks “hateful “and “unacceptable.” He immediately ordered the recall of their Ambassador to the Holy See and had the Foreign Minister invite in the Papal Ambassador.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:05 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
Hillary’s Jewels
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by G. Murphy Donovan (May 2015)


“If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilised morality to savage morality.” – C.S. Lewis

You might think of political assets like the family jewels, things inherited but not necessarily merited. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a virtual hope chest, an endowment like no other politician in American history. Her first gift was the coat tails of a priapic husband who was twice elected President courtesy of Ross Perot. Her second windfall was a cabinet post, a kind of consolation prize after she lost the 2008 Democrat Primary to Barack Obama.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 9:02 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
The Bloom Is Off the Clinton Rose
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by Conrad Black (May 2015)


The Hillary Clinton campaign is off to a surprisingly, and in some respects reassuringly, slow start. It has never been entirely clear what the source of the Clinton magic was, but it isn’t very lively right now.  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 8:56 AM by NER
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Thursday, 30 April 2015
After Failing to Preempt: Israel, Iran and Nuclear War
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by Louis René Beres (May 2015)


Back in January 2003, the Project Daniel Group advised prime minister Ariel Sharon on the issue of Iranian nuclearization. In its then-confidential final report to Sharon, titled “Israel’s Strategic Future,” the group underscored a significant core conclusion: allowing Iran to become a nuclear power can never be construed as an acceptable option. To further support this position legally, as well as strategically, the group referenced a very basic or “peremptory” national right under international law. This prerogative, we counseled, is known formally as “anticipatory self-defense.”  more>>>

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Posted on 04/30/2015 8:52 AM by NER
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