Monday, October 23, 2017
Blog

I am sorry to say that Henry Hyde, the former US representative from Illinois, has died at age 83. As a cub reporter, I was given the opportunity to spend some time with this kind, stately and honorable congressman working on a profile. And what a profile--his, I mean: memorably sharp and chiseled.

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At a closed-door session during the Munich Conference--I mean, the Annapolis Conference--Condoleezza Rice spoke of the empathy she feels for both Palestinian Arabs and Israelis due to her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama "at a time of separation and tension" in the segregated South. According to the Washington Post, Rice's remarks went like this:

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Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to give a talk at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, about my book, The Death of the Grown-Up. It was particularly nice event given that it was moderated by Heritage's Helle Dale who, back in the days when she, as they say, "helmed" the editorial page of the Washington Times, invited me to contribute a column to the op-ed page, thus beginning my incarnation as a weekly columnist. That was in 1999. She later hired me as an editorial writer as well, a job I much enjoyed before leaving it in 2002, basically, to settle down a little to try to write The Death of the Grown-Up...

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Every story about Saudi Arabia's participation in the Munich Conference--I mean, Annapolis Conference--reports the fact that the Saudis have pre-emptively trumpeted their refusal to shake hands with the Israelis. Well, who wants to shake hands with the Saudis? It's not only that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, that most of the foreign fighters in Iraq are Saudi, that its state-run mosques regularly demonize Jews, Americans and other infidels. It is a barbaric country, where freedom of conscience and equality before the law are denied, and where mercy and compassion have no place.

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Michelle Malkin runs down Mike Huckabee's open borders record here. Oh well. It's still a good quotation.

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Quote of the day from GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee: "Every time we put our credit card in the gas pump, we're paying so that the Saudis get rich - filthy, obscenely rich, and that money then ends up going to funding madrassas," schools "that train the terrorists," said Huckabee. "America has allowed itself to become enslaved to Saudi oil. It's absurd. It's embarrassing."

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Had a chance to catch "The Awful Truth" the other night for maybe the third time over the years. The 1937 screwball comedy with Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Ralph Bellamy (aces-high-larious as the Oklahoma oil man) still delights and would make a fine Thanksgiving weekend entertainment, although it's definitely not children's fare. We often assume that all "old movies" should be rated G for their lack of nudity, bad language, etc., etc., but the subject matter--in this case, infidelity/divorce among the black-tie-and-cocktails set--isn't for kids, even when leavened with witty dialogue (which also isn't really for most kids). Have some fun and watch a bona fide "adult" comedy.

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Read this if you want to find out how truly fortunate we all are that manners have been junked; "ladylike" eradicated; manliness smashed; and humanity makes a pen of pirahnas look like the lads of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

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As it plans to insert Israel into the meat-grinder at Annapolis next week and pull out a "legacy" on the other side, the Bush administration is sounding increasingly desparate in its rhetoric of justification for this perversely villlainous political act. The New York Times explains the Annapolis conference rationale: "The all-out push essentially speeds to the end of the now dormant 2003 `road map' for peace by insisting that the big issues once relegated to later discussion, like the status of Jerusalem and the return of Palestinian refugees, be addressed immediately, even before the Palestinians begin to dismantle terrorist groups and networks."

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Granted, "Dhimm-information" is a bit of stretch when it comes to neologisms. But we need a new term for melding the concept of disinformation with the promotion of dhimmitude. Here is an example of how it works--or, rather, how it is working. First, here are the facts. Writing at the Counterterrorism Blog, Jeffrey Imm ruined my breakfast--I mean, reported on an upcoming Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal conference to be held in the United Arab Emirates (site of the new Ethipia-shaped home of Brangelina.

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Benazir Bhutto's niece, whose parliamentarian father was mysteriously assassinated while sister Benazir was prime minister, gives us a something to think about before awarding Benazir the democracy halo.

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Flash! Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have just bought a manmade island of the coast of Dubai in the shape of Ethiopia. News accounts tell us they plan to use the reclaimed piece of land to showcase....Guess what? The Dubai boycott of all things Israeli? The quaint effects of sharia law? The homey haunts of what Rep. Pete King once memorably called "Al Qaeda heartland"?

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...on "Lou Dobbs This Week" at 6 pm, and in Indiana tomorrow, speaking about The Death of the Grown-Up to a group at Ball State University.

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Thank you, Roger Kimball.

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As Russia, Iran and Venezuela join the Arab Middle East as wealthy oil powers, it should become panic-makingly obvious that without energy independence, we will have no independence. Period.

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While we wrangle over supporting Musharraf or supporting democracy in our dealings with Pakistan, there's another question to consider: Are we, the US, in a war, or aren't we? There is an air of unserious surrealism to our struggle to neutralize the blackmailing threat of terrorism emanating from the Islamic world--something the crisis in Pakistan exposes all too clearly. In my column this week, I noted the deeply pro-sharia sentiments of Pakistanis, as consistently revealed by periodic polling and news analysis.

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All too many of the trials our courageous forbears underwent in facing down the tyrants of the past are lost to us--comfortable, forgetful, irresponsible heirs that we are. But failing to appreciate and understand their sacrifice puts our own liberty at risk.

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Tomorrow's column takes a look at the conservative split on Pakistan: the Support the Lesser Evil (Musharraf) crowd vs: Democracy Is the Answer crowd. With every day a reminder of Jimmy Carter's catastrophic abandonment of the Shah of Iran in 1978--thus unleashing jihadism in the region (and, not incidentally, empowering Ayatollah Khomeini, a far more repressive leader than the Shah ever was), I go with the Lesser Evil crowd--particularly after watching ballot-box diplomacy yield nothing but gains for radicalism across the Muslim Middle East.

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One phrase that always sticks in my craw is "the Saudi monarch." What monarchy is that--the House of Crude? The Kingdom of Jihad? If we called "King" Abdullah "the Saudi oil-igarch" instead of "the Saudi monarch" would we continue to bow and scrape and generally prostrate our nations before this barbarian?

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Because Israel has spent its entire modern history in a state of siege, surrounded by enemies who seek its destruction, what we tend to think of as "culture wars" over identity and point of view have a dire connection to reality in Israel that our own culture wars have traditionally not had. (For an explanation of how the so-called culture wars in this country became "The Real Culture War" after 9/11, see Chapter 8 of The Death of the Grown-Up.)

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WorldNetDaily,com reports: "Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, has taken thousands of dollars in cash donations from Islamists under federal investigation for terror-financing, money laundering and tax fraud." If this is the Clinton campaign's idea of how to make us forget about all the Other Crooked Donors So Far--Abdul Rehman Jinnah ($30K, Norman Hsu ($850K Chinatown ($380K, etc., I think they think we're pretty stupid. Are we?

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Brig. Gen. Paul W. Tibbets passed away yesterday. He was 92. Having served his country in the military for three decades, he is famous for one day in particular: August 6, 1945, when, piloting the Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress bomber, he dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The single blast killed tens of thousands of people. Japan refused to surrender. On August 9, President Truman order a second nuclear strike on Nagasaki, a mission piloted by Maj. Gen. Charles W. Sweeney, who passed away in 2004. That explosion killed tens of thousands more.

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..on "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer at about 7:30 p.m.

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In a way, "Oklahoma!" exemplifies the perfect melding of different aspects of America. With music and lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein, the show transforms the idiom of the Great Plains into a soaring, folkloric Broadway musical. It is a testament not only to that rich idiom, but also to the genius of the show's creators. They, of course, did not belong to land that was grand, but rather were extremely urbane New Yorkers--Rodgers coming from a prosperous Jewish family, and Hammerstein, of Jewish and Scottish descent, from a prominent theatrical family.

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