Archive for Aunt Agatha

The Casual Antisemitism Of The Vice President Of The United States

Shylocks, anyone?

Vice President Joe Biden “should have been more careful” in a speech when he used a term that some consider anti-Semitic, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday.
At a conference marking the 40th anniversary of the Legal Services Corporation, Biden recalled anecdotes from his son’s experience serving in Iraq and meeting members of the military who were in need of legal help because of problems back at home.

“That’s one of the things that he finds was most in need when he was over there in Iraq for a year,” Biden said, “that people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being...I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of, um, these women and men while overseas.”

ADL National Director Abraham Foxman issued a mild reprimand later Tuesday.
“When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden, uses the term ‘Shylocked’ to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service men and women, we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society,” Foxman said in a statement, first reported by Yahoo News.

Who is Shylock?:

The name “Shylock” derives from the name of the antagonist in Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice.” Shylock, a Jew, was a ruthless moneylender in the play, and he’s remembered for demanding a “pound of flesh” from the merchant Antonio if he failed to repay a loan.
“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day,” Foxman said. “The vice president should have been more careful.”

Let me give you a quick timeline of Shylock. In 1290, all of the Jews of England were expelled. Why? Due to Medieval Christian laws, they were not permitted to own property or to farm; instead they were required to loan money with interest, so that the King could take whatever he wanted (or felt he needed) from the interest charged. Christians were not allowed to loan money, only Jews. So, prior to the expulsion, the Jews were necessary to running the economy, but eventually the Kind needed everything that they had, and so they were expelled. (This dynamic occurred in the Hitler era. See Gotz Aly’s great study: Hitler’s Beneficiaries.) For a good overview of the economy surrounding the expulsion, check out the wiki link.

In 1657, 350 years later, Oliver Cromwell allowed the Jews to return to England.

Think about the years the Jews were absent from England – 1290 to 1657. And when, Gentle Readers, was the Merchant of Venice written? Scholars date it to 1596-1598. This means, of course, that neither Shakespeare nor anyone living during his time had ever met a Jew. They just hated because that’s what Christians did, that’s what Brits did, think about it as you will.

And today we read about our deeply ignorant and cynical Vice President blaming the housing crisis on Jews.

– Aggie

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Jewish Kids Banned From Sports Direct Store In London

I waited to post this until I saw the name of the store, but here it is. I couldn’t believe it at first:

A Sports Direct security guard has been sacked and is now the subject of a police investigation after he allegedly barred a group of Jewish schoolboys from entering the store and told them: “No Jews, no Jews.”

The two 11-year-olds were in their first full week of school at Yavneh College in Borehamwood, but the boys’ families say their “lasting memory” will be of the alleged antisemitic incident at the sports retailer’s Hertfordshire branch.

According to Professor David Rosen, a solicitor and the father of one of the boys, they were singled out and refused entry while wearing their school uniforms. Other pupils, with their uniforms covered, were allowed in.

Writing on Facebook, Professor Rosen said he would have been sure his son had “misheard” the guard’s alleged use of the phrase “No Jews, no Jews,” had it not been heard and reported by other boys to their parents as well.

“The matter has been taken extremely seriously by Sports Direct at the highest managerial level,” Professor Rosen said.

“The Area Manager, in the first instance, acted swiftly to remove the security guard for the offensive remarks, who in turn, no longer works for the security company.”

I betcha this is the tip of the iceberg. Europe is becoming more and more comfortable with their roots.

– Aggie

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On The Road Again…

Will try to post from afar, but if not, back in a week.

– Aggie

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And Another Big Surprise!

Obama has decided to delay executive action on immigration until after the November elections

President Obama will not take any executive actions on immigration until after November’s elections, a White House official confirmed to CNN on Saturday.

The decision to postpone means any political repercussions for such action would come after the congressional midterm contests.

Obama, who has been weighing ways to change the immigration system on his own after congressional action on the issue stalled, decided to delay any move to “take this issue away from those who would use it to score points as a kind of grandstanding issue,” the official said.

“It’s too big of an issue to allow it to be used as a tool for people trying to get votes,” the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It isn’t about votes for any particular candidate; it’s about dealing with this issue in an environment that avoids the grandstanding we’ve seen in the past.”

Let’s try to count the lies there, one sentence at a time: “take this issue away from those who would use it to score points as a kind of grandstanding issue,” the official said. [Obviously not true. He promised to give amnesty this summer, he ran into the very strong possibility that democrats would lose the Senate, and he correctly concluded that the American public is so stupid, that if he just holds off until after the election, the dems can hang on.]

“It’s too big of an issue to allow it to be used as a tool for people trying to get votes,” [another lie, of course politicians use issues to garner votes and all issues are "tools"] the White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“It isn’t about votes for any particular candidate; it’s about dealing with this issue in an environment that avoids the grandstanding we’ve seen in the past.” [The biggest lie of all ... or is this true? It isn't just about the female Senator from Louisiana, it is about a lot of Senators who might lose their jobs. But we're splitting hairs, aren't we BTL?]

Reportedly immigrant groups are pissed but they shouldn’t be. He’ll take care of you on the first Wednesday of November.

And one other thing – I was dead set against this amnesty until I had a conversation with a Loopy Liberal this morning. He informed me that he had voted for Obama during the last round because he took an early retirement – no official income – and he wanted cheap health care. And I decided that I’m all for bringing in cheap labor to compete with all the kiddies of the Leftists who think this way. Sorry yoga teachers – there are immigrants who will do this for less. Ditto baristas and child care providers. I am well and truly fed-up.

– Aggie

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Health Care Costs

Obama claims that health care costs are dropping. This guy says they are rising dramatically and will negatively affect the mid-terms. Which is correct?

When the supermajority of Democrats in the Senate passed the ironically named Affordable Care Act in 2009, one of the chief requirements of the bill was to force health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and health care centers to share in the staggering $2 trillion cost over the next decade. But once made law, President Obama pushed off the cost until well, just later — certainly not before the 2012 election.

That later is now, or Sept. 30, to be precise. Remember when the president said the 10-year cost for his health care reform would be $850 billion and that no one would pay an additional penny in taxes? Ha. Insurers will have to pony up some $8 billion on the last day of September, and guess where they’re going to get the cash? Straight from your wallet, your purse.

Here are some numbers, straight from my own checkbook register. In October 2011, before the start of Obamacare, I was paying $386 a month. Yes, fairly reasonable, but less so when you factor in my $10,000 deductible (and two teenage children who keep falling off things). The following October, the premiums rose 23 percent to $474.

In October 2013, my monthly rate rose again, nearly 32 percent, to $623. Same exact coverage, just more money. Then, this year, come Sept. 30, my new premiums will be $1,097. That’s a 76 percent increase from the previous year, and, all told, my premiums have risen 184 percent in just three years.

But that’s not all. My deductible has also jumped to $12,000 (but my out-of-pocket expenses are, under some complicated formula my Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield health adviser couldn’t really explain, going to be higher than that, maybe substantially so).

Now, in order to get a break on my costs (a federal subsidy paid, of course, by other taxpayers), I’d have to make less than $62,000 for a family of three. That means someone making $62,001, which means about $46,500 a year or $3,875 a month after taxes (if he’s lucky), will be shelling more than a quarter of his money for health care.

And back to why. Although Mr. Obama said he would hold those bad old insurance companies accountable and make them pay, pay, pay, there are no mechanisms within the law to keep providers from doing just what they’re doing now — passing the cost on to you in the form of new, much higher premiums.

What’s more, after Mr. Obama uttered what Politifact called the “Lie of the Year” — that if you liked your insurance, you could keep it — implementation of many of the more onerous parts of the law were delayed. Now, though, all those so-called “subpar” insurance policies are being eliminated.

That is putting Obamacare right back on the front burner for this midterm election, just as it was in the 2010 midterms. Then, voters mobbed summer town halls to vent, and Republicans went on to trounce Democrats, pulling off the largest seat swap in any midterm since 1948.

Right about now, across the country, Americans are either getting their monthly bills for drastically higher premiums, or they’ve already got them and are beginning to shop for new insurance in preparation for the coming open-enrollment season this fall. But they’re no doubt finding that the new policies mandated by Obamacare are raising costs sky-high — there’s nothing cheaper.

And there’s more. But here’s a question: Which experience have you had – the one where your costs go down or stay about the same, or the one where they skyrocket? In our household the monthly went up about 20% and the deductible more than doubled (only possible in Massachusetts because of the federal plan; our previous state law kept it to something like $4000 per year for a family). BUT, our co-pay dropped from $40 per visit to $35 per visit. Sweet!!!!

So tell us what you think. I am hoping that the writer is correct, that Americans will move to the Right, but I am not counting on it.

– Aggie

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Big Surprise

Cuban agents recruiting academics in the US

This is from an internal FBI report:

The academic world—primarily defined as schools, colleges, universities, and research institutes— provides a fertile environment in which foreign intelligence services can operate. Consequently, the Cuban intelligence services (CuIS) are known to actively target the US academic world for the purposes of recruiting agents, in order to both obtain useful information and conduct influence activities.

More at the link. And I won’t even bother to rant; do it yourself. But do go to the link to read about how agents are identified, recruited, possibly blackmailed, etc.

– Aggie

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Bat-Shit Crazy

Listen to this:

Wednesday at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry said it was the United States’ Biblical “responsibility” to “confront climate change,” including to protect “vulnerable Muslim majority counties.”
Kerry said Scripture, in particular the Book of Genesis, make clear it is our “duty” to protect the planet and we should look at Muslim countries “with a sense of stewardship of earth,” adding, “That responsibility comes from God.”

Seriously, you must go to the link to see this astounding video. We have always claimed that Global Warming is a religion, but who knew that it was Judaism.. or Christianity.. or even Islam? Did you know that?

One serious comment: The Obama administration would not be doing this if they didn’t assume that we are so stupid that our national IQ is undetectable.

– Aggie

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Mad Muslim™ Or Crazy CopyCat™?

You decide

One of the problems with Mad Muslims™, such as ISIS or Hamas, is that they inspire Crazy CopyCats™ or garden variety nut jobs. So what happened in London today?

A woman has been beheaded in a back garden after being attacked with what is thought to be a machete.
The victim was found at an address in Nightingale Road, Edmonton, north London, just after 1pm today.

Scotland Yard gave few details but said that a man has been arrested. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a man with a machete in the area.

There is no suggestion that the killing had any terrorist motive.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “Police were called to an address in Nightingale Road at 13.07pm today to reports of a stabbing incident.

“On arrival officers discovered a female collapsed in a garden area.
“A man has been detained and remains in custody.
“At this very early stage we are not in a position to give further details.”

So it is a Mad Muslim™ or a Crazy CopyCat™? Hard to say…

– Aggie

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Captain Obvious To The Rescue

We’ve all been made aware of the social science research which claims that conservatives are stuck in rigid ways of thinking, always support authority, blah, blah, blah, whereas liberals are oh-so-open-minded, right?.

Those of us who are conservative, but reside in very liberal parts of the country, know this to be nonsense. Just attend a single cook-out in Cambridge, MA and see if you can express yourself when the conversation turns to: Obama, Health Care, Bush, Israel, the economy, school choice, conservatives, the Tea Party, Christians, Muslims, hate speech, etc. You can compliment the host on the food, though.

Anyway, now there is research that highlights the obvious:

Conservatives are conservative because they’re authoritarian and resistant to new ideas. Everyone knows that, right? There’s a bunch of social-science research that even proves it. If only conservatives were more open and less dogmatically attached to their tribe and their traditions, the world would be a much better place.

A lot of smart people endorse some version of this story. And yes, research surveys show that conservatives do express a much stronger affinity for obedience, authority and in-group loyalty than do liberals.

But there’s a question those surveys can’t answer: How does what people say translate into what people actually do? Jonathan Haidt, one of my favorite social scientists, studies morality by presenting people with scenarios and asking whether what happened was wrong. Conservatives and liberals give strikingly different answers, with extreme liberals claiming to place virtually no value at all on things like group loyalty or sexual purity.

One of Haidt’s most memorable questions involves a man who has sex with a frozen chicken, then cooks the chicken and eats it for dinner. Is this wrong? he asks. Philosophy-class enlightenment values pretty much give one answer: No one was harmed, so it can’t be wrong. And yet: I’m willing to bet that most of the folks who say that it’s A-OK would still be weirded out if they found out this is what their spouse had prepared for a special anniversary feast. Or that this is how a co-worker spends every Monday night.

In the ultra-liberal enclave I grew up in, the liberals were at least as fiercely tribal as any small-town Republican, though to be sure, the targets were different. Many of them knew no more about the nuts and bolts of evolution and other hot-button issues than your average creationist; they believed it on authority. And when it threatened to conflict with some sacred value, such as their beliefs about gender differences, many found evolutionary principles as easy to ignore as those creationists did. It is clearly true that liberals profess a moral code that excludes concerns about loyalty, honor, purity and obedience — but over the millennia, man has professed many ideals that are mostly honored in the breach.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who had questions about the prevalence of conformity on both sides of the political spectrum:

The way I saw it, this slavish obedience to authority and tradition on the part of conservatives was the true source of the culture war between liberals and conservatives over foreign war, abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, and racial inequality. They way I saw it, conservatives clung to old, near-sighted ways of thinking and fell in line with the dictates of the “man in charge.” If only conservatives would think for themselves — like liberals do — the war would be over and we could get on with life, governance, and progress. Or so I thought.

Then, in 2012, I went on a cycling trip around Cuba.

Jeremy Frimer, the author of the piece, noticed that socialists seemed unable to tolerate even mild questioning of Che Guevara’s eminently questionable legacy. Frimer is a researcher at the University of Winnipeg, and he decided to investigate. What he found is that liberals are actually very comfortable with authority and obedience — as long as the authorities are liberals (“should you obey an environmentalist?”). And that conservatives then became much less willing to go along with “the man in charge.”

Frimer argues that conservatives tend to support authority because they think authority is conservative; liberals tend to oppose it for the same reason. Liberal or conservative, it seems, we’re all still human under the skin.

Here’s a question: Can the average liberal bumbling through Harvard Square even understand the nuance here?

– Aggie

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Hah! Israel Less Worried About ISIS Than Hamas

Former intel chief blasé about ISIS

Yadlin appeared to try to quell heightened concern following the gruesome murder of the journalist Steven Sotloff, who held dual American-Israeli citizenship.

“There is no real reason to be afraid. ISIS is an expert at PR and intimidation. They murder their prisoners in a shocking way and thereby gain media attention,” Yadlin said at an event held by the Ashkelon Academic College.

While the insurgent terrorists have captured territory in nearby Syria and Iraq as part of their stated objective to reinstate an Islamic caliphate, Yadlin stated that “they only succeed in areas that no one wants to go to – the neglected Sunni areas of northeastern Syria and the deprived areas of Iraq.”

According to the former military intelligence chief, Islamic State insurgents will face superior armed forces if they reach Shi’ite-majority cities that are motivated to protect main population centers like Baghdad and Karbala.

Yadlin claimed that the Islamic State would be easier for the IDF to eliminate than Hamas terrorists who he said were hiding in hospitals in Gaza.

However, Britain is freaking out. This tells us that the British jihadis are a real threat to their country, just as Hamas and Fatah threaten Israel. Hmm. Perhaps we need to show restraint, talk to these guys, see if we can give them what they want in return for peace?

There Will Be Peace In Our Time.

– Aggie

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Candlelight Vigil

What you you say, guys? Do we need some good old-fashioned candlelight vigils for all the folks who’ve had their heads chopped off? Maybe a nice big candlelight vigil in DC? We can all sing Kumbayah or We Shall Overcome or some other suitable bit of drivel.

– Aggie

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Obama Had Been Briefed About ISIS For A Year

And ignored it.

A JV team, eh? Obama, you are such a dolt.

President Obama was given detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of the Islamic State as part of his daily briefing for at least a year before the group seized large swaths of territory over the summer, a former Pentagon official told Fox News.

The official — who asked not to be identified because the President’s Daily Brief is considered the most authoritative, classified intelligence community product analyzing sensitive international events for the president — said the data was strong and “granular” in detail.

The source said a policymaker “could not come away with any other impression: This is getting bad.”

Obama, unlike his predecessors who traditionally had the document briefed to them, is known to personally read the daily brief. The former Pentagon official, who has knowledge of the process, said Obama generally was not known to come back to the intelligence community with further requests for information based on the daily report.

I honestly blame the well-to-do, arrogant, political Left in our country for giving us such an inept President as this one. Do you know that the current leftist strategy for dealing with this is? They have simply stuck their heads in the sand. They have stopped following the news. They plead ignorance. Obama is clearly stupid, but not all of his minions are. And they bear responsibility for this unfolding worldwide chaos.

– Aggie

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