Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Forum: Does Faith In G-d Bring Common Sense?




Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Does Faith In 
G-d Bring Common Sense?

Doug Hagin:Maybe it takes a healthy amount of common sense to have faith in God? Common sense often requires not over-thinking things, and accepting simple truths. many Atheists have that problem it seems. So, does faith bring common sense? Or is it required before faith? Hmmmmm


Patrick O'Hannigan:I do think that faith in G-d brings common sense, and although I haven't heard Dennis Prager's argument for that, he's a man who does his homework. The question reminded me of an old book by Catholic apologist Frank Sheed. After 50 years of streetcorner preaching (among other endeavors), he wrote "Theology and Sanity," which was first published in 1946, and is luckily still in print. If I remember his thesis correctly, Sheed said that it took sanity (for our purposes here, common sense) to recognize a higher power.

Mainline Christian theology teaches that the Holy Spirit is one of three divine persons in the trinity that is G-d, and ascribes to that generous personage (often described as "the love between the Father and the Son") seven gifts. Those gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord) read like common sense writ large.



Rob Miller: I have to say, I like Laura's approach a great deal as always. Before you can say whether faith in G-d brings common sense, you need to define what common sense is, n'est pah? Her definition of it as rational thought or right reason is excellent but it seems it works only so far. After all, look at what passed for common sense even a short time ago and how that has changed 180 degrees now to the point that many of us might find it ludicrous. How many times have you heard people of a certain political persuasion use the words 'everybody knows' as a serious argument or a means of ridiculing or demeaning others they disagree with? As someone whose name I can't recall once said(Cal Coolidge? Will Rogers?) the thing about common sense is that's it's very uncommon. My point is that common sense is a loaded term that means different things to different people. Just as everybody imagines they have a sense of humor, they also imagine they have common sense, no matter how inane their opinions and actions are. Bookworm's erudite example of 'Gaia Worship' in our universities is a fine example of how 'common sense' ain't what it's cracked up to be.

So in trying to peel this particular orange, my first thought is that belief in G-d can give you a kind of common sense, but that depends on how you approach it. Some hideous things have been done and continue to be done in the name of faith. The adherents of belief systems that that tolerate and even promote such behavior as showing 'faith' certainly consider what they're doing to be common sense. The proof that it isn't common sense can be seen in the retribution and end results of such behavior. There are numerous examples.

On the other hand, if you have faith in G-d and it means that you adopt a moral code that demands you respect and attempt to act with decency towards all people and even the animals G-d created, not just the members of your particular denomination, that is very different. If you also acquire a desire to live in accordance with His Divine Plan and do so to the best of your ability out of respect and gratitude for His blessings, then I'd say you're truly on the way to...yes,right reason and common sense! But the moral code I spoke of is imperative. It gives us a roadmap towards successful and happy living, which of course, is the ultimate in common sense, yeah?


Bookworm Room:What an interesting question. I'll try to avoid simply repeating Dennis Prager, whose marvelous exegesis of Exodus I just read.

The Bible spells out an ordered world, with a single ordered intelligence behind it. This differs radically from all other faiths (at least the ones of which I'm aware), which are predicated on chaos. Think of the Greek, Roman, Druid, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian pantheons, all of which have irascible, child-like, selfish, divine beings randomly creating and destroying their way across the universe. Likewise, all animist faiths are predicated upon assigning little chunks of meaning to everything and, again, endowing their many divinities with some of humanity's worst traits, including a striking lack of logic.

The same lack of logic applies to the Gaia worship that now controls so much of the Left. At its worst, it's simply animism and paganism all over again, with an angry Mother Nature continuously punishing humans. In that vein, while I though Disney's Moana was a visually gorgeous movie and Lin-Manuel Miranda's music lovely, it too preached the most primitive, unscientific Gaiaism to children.

Even when Gaia worship purports to be scientifically based, it lacks any common sense or logic. The fact that the whole climate change theory functions only by falsifying data bothers no one, because the data is merely a prop for the faith, in much the same way chicken or goat entrails would be for the pagan seer. Understanding that also explains why, no matter how often the data is proven false, the faithful are undeterred. "Global warming" doesn't work? Then "climate change" will? With that kind of divinity in charge, every thing -- heat, cold, wet, dry, etc. -- proves that the climate change divinity is firmly in control. That kind of thinking is downright hostile to common sense.

Today's hard science also defies logic, at least when it comes to our universe. I believe in evolution and the Big Bang to the extent that hard facts, and intelligent inferences, indicate that they are reasonable theories. I don't believe in them as matters of faith. And most importantly, I don't believe that the Big Bang is truly the beginning, because common sense says that something had to precede the Big Bang. For a long time, though, science insisted, against all common sense, that nothing preceded the Big Bang.

That lack of common sense has become too painful, however, so scientists are now positing all sorts of things such as endlessly repeating universes, black holes reborn, etc. Occam's Razor says that the simplest answer is the best and, ironically enough, common sense seems to say that, given the vastness and complexity of the universe, and given that humans are hardwired for God, may God is the answer.

I've sort of wandered around here, but I do believe that a book (that is, the Bible) with a completely coherent vision about the universe, about man's place in the universe, and about man's relationship to God and to other men, is a necessary foundation for logical thinking -- and common sense, after all, is nothing more than baseline logic. All other theories of the world are predicated upon the random and the magical, both of which are the antithesis of common sense.


David Schuler: G. K. Chesterton said that the first effect of not believing in God is to lose your common sense but I'm not sure that's quite right. He also called tradition "the democracy of the dead". We are not the only people to have lived, indeed, our little lifespans are only a tiny slice of the entirety of human experience. When you don't believe in God you cut yourself off from the vast trove of traditional wisdom, the distillation of that experience.



Laura Rambeau Lee:Let’s define common sense as rational thought; or right reason. Humankind existed thousands of years before the written word allowed us to communicate with one another beyond our families or tribes. If one believes in the Biblical tale of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they lived in a paradise where everything was provided for them. They wanted for nothing. But they did the one thing G-d told them not to do. Eve was tempted by the serpent (Satan) and she ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Becoming fully aware and conscious she convinced Adam to partake of the fruit so he too would become aware. This consciousness is the spark of divinity we have all been endowed with by our Creator. This was the true beginning of mankind’s relationship with G-d. Whether one believes in the story or not, at some point we became sentient beings. And so in our conscious state we innately understand right from wrong and good from evil. Over time and out of trial and error and experience arose common sense. By the time G-d gave his commandments to Moses and his people they were already understood even if they were not commonly practiced. Common sense is right reason and is how we bring order out of chaos. It is how we structure our lives and our societies. But taking the next step, if we know right from wrong and good from evil, we have to question what makes us choose to be a moral and honest person and live our lives seeking a path of virtue, honesty, and goodness. Of what benefit is it to us? The answer is G-d. Our better selves strive to please our Creator. Perhaps the question should be does common sense bring faith in G-d? I believe it does.



Well, there it is!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Forum: Have You Ever Had A Dream Come True?



Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Have You Ever Had A Dream Come True?

Doug Hagin: I have been in love and, well am still single, so that sums up how those dreams turned out. I would add, however, that my niece has been a blessing which is unmatched. So, no complaints.

Puma By Design: Have I ever had a dream come true?

Let’s see here. Where do I begin?

My response is likely not in the sense that the question may have been posed but yes, I have had dreams come true, a few of which I wished would not have.

There was a time that I would rather not see what’s coming until I accepted the fact that God has a way of preparing us in advance for what is heading our way, good or bad. Acceptance, faith and prayer diminished the dread and may have even played a role in how events later transpired.

Since today is Mother’s Day, what continues to come to mind is a dream that I had nearly 40 years ago.

While sleeping, imagine suddenly finding oneself sitting up in bed in a room surrounded by light and clouds (no I wasn’t drinking). A door opens, two strangers enter each holding a child swathed in white cloth. In the background, one hears the melody, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

It is at this point that one of the strangers turning toward me hands me a baby bundled up in a light blue blanket with the shape of a lion made of blue satin sewn into the blanket. I recall thinking to myself, “A baby boy. This is my son.”

The following morning, I told my husband about the dream and that we were going to have a baby. This would be our first. Several months later, that dream would become a reality. Cool right? Except God forgot to warn me about the 5 ½ months of morning sickness. Ugh!

I told everyone for nine months that I was having a boy. People thought I was nuts or assumed I had a sonogram. I did not and when I looked upon my son for the first time, I recognized him as the baby in my dream.

I never discussed the blanket or the melody in my dream but when we arrived home from the hospital, my sister gave us a musical baby lamb that she had purchased from Hallmark. When wound up, the musical lamb, as it slowly moved its head from left to right and back again, played a soft melody of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

A few weeks later, my husband’s aunt gave us a beautiful baby blanket. It was blue and had a lion made of blue satin sown into the blanket.

I gave the lamb to my sister some years later when she had her first child. As for the blanket, my son brought my grandson home from the hospital 12 years ago wrapped in the blue blanket.

I can’t end this without saying that my son was the first male born on my side of the family in 28 years and the first male born on my husband’s side of the family in 32.

Today is Mother’s Day, one of those holidays during which I reflect on such moments.

David Schuler: No. My dreams have all fallen flat.

Despite so many ordeals, my advanced age and the nobility of my soul make me conclude that all is well.

Rob Miller: Yes, definitely. Although sometimes not exactly the way I expected! Case in point...my dream from the first time I picked up a guitar (I was maybe 10 years old) and heard that lovely sound was to be a musician, and given the times, that progressed to the dream of being a real rockn'roll star.

Well, that one came true, sorta. I learned to play pretty well, was able to make a decent living playing, got to tour and to experience that life style and indulge in some of the usual fantasies guys have about that sort of thing to a certain degree. I also met a number of wonderful people as well as some real jerks, and like that old country song says, I've got my stories to tell. But the catch was that I had to put up with playing music I didn't particularly care for the majority of the time. I was, in effect, a hired hand which was not exactly what I had dreamed of. Eventually it got pretty stale.

I also dreamed of having a true love, a woman who would love me for myself and be my life's partner. That one happened, although not in the way I expected and certainly not at a time when I was looking for it. I'm still married to my beloved today, and she also gave me wonderful children, another dream I had that came true.

My dream of having my own business and being independent came true as well. After I got sick and tired of playing on commercials for used car lots, supermarkets and such, I went through a series of jobs and experienced what a lot of people do, that feeling of being tied down and under someone's thumb without making the money I wanted to. After getting fired from the last of these, I befriended an Israeli contractor who was working on my house and got him a couple of jobs. He referred me to another Israeli friend of his who had a mortgage business and told me it was commission only, but maybe I could make some money. Real Estate and mortgages was the last thing I planned on doing, but after I closed my first deal and got that first commission check, I realized that I could make a living at it and that Israeli broker became one of my mentors, teaching me the business.After 3 years with him I realized it was time to take my shot, got my broker's license and set up my own RE business. As nervous as I was in the beginning, it worked out quite well.

Were there dreams I had that didn't come true? You betcha. But overall, the Almighty has blessed me and given me what I really needed and seen to it that I didn't obtain the stuff I thought I wanted that wouldn't have been so good for me at all. I'd be embarrassed to tell you what some of that was! And He also blessed me by having me work for what I wanted.

Bookworm Room: I have never had a dream come true but, as I get older, I’ve learned to view the blessings in my life as if they were dreams come true — which is pretty much the same thing, isn’t it?

Laura Rambeau Lee:Interesting question since as far back as I can remember I’ve not been much of a dreamer. To be honest I never had much time to dream. Becoming a divorced single mom of a two year old daughter at the age of twenty-five, I set my sights on raising my daughter and improving our lives setting one goal at a time, meeting that goal, and setting the next. I had attained a modicum of success in my career, my daughter had graduated high school and was attending college, and I had resigned myself to the possibility of remaining single for the rest of my life. Then I met my future husband, who had been widowed at the age of forty-two. We are truly soul mates and I feel blessed to have found such a good man to spend the rest of my life with. Our life together is a dream come true of a dream I never dared to dream.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it



Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Trump Nukes The Iran Deal!!!



It’s about time. The Iran Deal has to be one of the most maliciously stupid foreign policy moves in American history.The president’s move was not unexpected by yours truly.
President Trump was quite clear that this was a one sided deal, and as we’ve recently learned, not one Iran was following anyway. The president said that he would re-impose all of the sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 deal by Obama, not just the ones facing an immediate deadline. And President Trump also signaled clearly that he is dropping the big one as far as sanctions go …heavy sanctions on Iran’s central bank in a move that would seriously effect all those juicy trade deals the EUrines made with the ayatollahs as well as Iran’s oil exports. Basically, it would mean countries have to make a choice of dealing with Iran or dealing with the US. The EUrines will moan, complain and stamp their feet angrily, but they will eventually have to comply. They simply have too much to lose otherwise.
Iran’s President Rouhani knows exactly what this means, especially given Iran’s already struggling economy. Appearing today in Tehran, he said that Iran will “continue to seek engagement with the world.”
“It is possible that we will face some problems for two or three months, but we will pass through this,” Rouhani said.
What Rouhani fears is regime change by the oppressed Iranian people, and what he  is counting on is that the EU will make some sort of separate deal with Iran that will keep trade relations going. In fact, France’s Macron, the UK’s Theresa May and of course,Germany’s Angela Merkel held a private conference after Trump’s announcement. They all still think they’re dealing with Barack Hussein Obama, apparently. President Trump is more than capable of applying sanctions on any company trading via Iran’s Central Bank and making it stick, and I’m certain that either the president or Secretary Pompeo are going to make that quite clear to the parties concerned.
Our president inherited two major national security problems from his spineless 3 predecessors. He’s already started to clean up North Korea. Iran will be next, although I doubt they’ll be smart enough to do it peacefully, through negotiations. And anyway, why trust the Iranian Regime after the repeated lies we’ve been told? They simply aren’t to be trusted, as they’ve proved over and over again.
Iran deleda est, at least the current regime.






Monday, May 07, 2018

Forum: Was Kanye West Correct In Saying 400 years of Slavery Sounds Like a Choice?




Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Was Kanye West Correct In Saying 400 years of Slavery Sounds Like a Choice?


Don Surber:Hahaha.

No.


Rob Miller: For once, I and the always scintillating Mr. Surber disagree!

I actually dealt with this issue here and anyone who questions the following statements is welcome to read the article itself.

First of all, slavery in America was primarily white slavery until the mid to late 1700's for reasons I clearly explain. Importing slaves to America from Africa was prohibited and essentially over in 1804. And black slaves in America were freed at the end of the civil war in 1865, so that makes the period of black slavery at most 100 years or less, not ‘400 years.’

Second, !865 to 2018 works out to 153 years, but blacks were not subject to slavery during those years. And I utterly reject the stance that bigotry or even segregation constitutes ‘slavery.’ Most ethnic groups have gone through similar challenges and overcome them, just as many blacks have.

Physical slavery is obviously not a choice. But embracing a slave mentality, where the mind embraces certain concepts that keep people dependent and unfree certainly is a choice. That's exactly what Kanye West was talking about. He wasn't wrong.


Laura Rambeau Lee: After his initial Tweet Kanye West clarified his comments, saying he knows "slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will." His greater point is why are blacks still talking about slavery in America today? And why do so many blame their problems on the suffering of their ancestors? Sadly we know they have been manipulated by progressives and Marxists, mostly in the Democrat Party, to feel victimized over this American “shame”. Our public education system does not permit slavery to be taught in a proper context; in American history or in the global history of humankind. Many of our ancestors have been slaves, or serfs, or indentured servants, whether Black, White or Asian; Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they understood that the intention of the Founding Fathers was to end slavery in America within a generation of winning its independence from England? Wouldn’t it be eye opening to realize that America is the only country in human history that engaged in a Civil War for the purpose of ending slavery? And wouldn’t it be enlightening if African Americans saw the Democrat Party for what it is; the party of the Ku Klux Klan and Woodrow Wilson’s segregation laws in 1914; the party of Lyndon B. Johnson whose Great Society created so much of the misery we see in black communities today; and the party that fought every civil rights act our country passed.

If West’s words caused one fan to open their eyes and really try to understand the history of slavery in America, how it began and encompassed all races of slave and slave owners, then good for him. It is going to take African Americans to reach other African Americans. Today we are seeing many more speak out and challenge the narrative of those who seek to keep African Americans from knowing the truth and giving them a chance to reach their full potential as free individuals. So many people on the left, in government and in the media, are calling him derogatory names and saying he is mentally ill. These personal attacks are straight out of the progressive playbook and should be called out as such. Although I am not a fan of Kanye West, this conversation will hopefully continue and for that he deserves our support.

Well, there it is!

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Forum: Should The AG Prosecute Clapper, Comey and Brenner?




Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Should The AG Prosecute Clapper, Comey and Brenner?

Patrick O'Hannigan:Yes! Rule of law should mean something, and even from what is public knowledge, those bureaucrats have quite obviously violated the public trust. That they justify their arrogance in bureaucratese or weasel-speak publicly (and more crassly in private, you can be certain) does not excuse it. Similarly, "prosecution fatigue" brought on by selective journalism about Robert Mueller's never-ending fishing expedition ought not shield Clinton cronies,Obama sycophants, and "deep state" operatives (but I repeat myself).

Rob Miller: Now, let's not get carried away here, shall we? After all, all they did was to leak classified material to their Democrat pals in the media, lie to congress about it under oath and use a fake dossier paid for by the Clintons to get a FISA warrant issued under false pretenses to spy on the opposing campaign during an election year. And oh, I almost forget, conspire to let Mrs. Clinton off the hook for numerous felonies committed while she was Secretary of State.

Now everybody makes mistakes, after all. So why ruin these distinguished Obama lackey's umm, public servant's lives?

Actually, the real culprit here is someone I genuinely used to like and respect, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Along with leaving swine like Comey, McCabe and the rest of the gang in charge after he took over, Jeff Sessions was one of Trump's biggest beginner's mistakes. What was needed in the current climate was the president's own version of Eric Holder,someone who would support him every step of the way and laugh in the faces of his critics in congress and the media. Instead, he picked someone who recused himself for no reason at all from the fake Russia probe, and who pretty much was asleep until very recently.




Trump would have been far better off leaving him in the Senate and picking someone like Rudy Giuliani or maybe even Tom Fitten or Trey Gowdy. So to answer the question, yeah, these creeps ought to be prosecuted and jailed. And Jeff Sessions ought to get the boot if he doesn't start waking up and and doing what he was appointed to do. Heck, fire him anyway. Just because.

Laura Rambeau Lee:By now it should be obvious that Comey, Clapper, Brennan, and so many others conspired with the Democrat Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign to make sure Hillary won the 2016 presidential election. They were certain she would win and in doing so would favor those who helped her politically, so they were eager and willing to be a part of this inner circle. A Clinton win also would assure none of their illegal activities would be discovered. Trump’s win exposed their activities, so they turned their focus on destroying Trump by falsely asserting the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to win the election. We have spent the last year and a half wasting time and money on a witch hunt. There was never any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. What these purely political actors committed was treason against our country. At times like this I like to think what the Founding Fathers would do. I believe they would all be tried, convicted of treason, and summarily executed.

Yes the Attorney General should prosecute these three, along with the other major and minor players who aided them either actively or by not disclosing what they were doing. No one should be above the law. The actions of these people were so egregious they must be punished and made an example of. We are not a country if we do not apply the rule of law to every individual equally. Treason should be punished with death.


Well, there it is!

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Why We Can Be Cautiously Optimistic About North Korea





North Korea has been a major problem for world peace and a major security threat to the U.S and its allies for some time. But some recent developments suggest this may be changing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un did something totally unprecedented when he crossed the border to talk peace, a formal end to the Korean War and the denuclearizing of the Korean peninsula with South Korean President Moon Moon Jae-in.And a formal meeting with President Trump appears to be upcoming.

The President himself mentioned it at a rally in Michigan on Saturday night, saying,“I think we will have a meeting over the next three or four weeks,” he said. “It’s going be a very important meeting, the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. But we’ll see how it goes. I may go in, it may not work out, I leave.”

Needless to say, there have been a fair amount of skeptical and cautionary statements about this development. Some of them are justified, others are simply based on partisan hatred of this president. And while I'm not prepared to schedule the party quite yet, I'm cautiously optimistic. Here's why.

Kim Jong Un has finally realized he isn't dealing with Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, but with a far different personality, someone who is committed to solving this problem whatever it takes. President Trump responding to Kim's threats by saying that "the button on my desk is bigger and it works" obviously had an effect. No one has ever talked to the North Koreans in quite that way, ever. Instead, they've be cosseted, bribed and simply ignored. Kim knows that President Trump is not going to respond to a missile fired over Japan by simply shrugging his shoulders and saying 'there's nothing we can do' as the Obama Administration did. And he's also had a number of incidents occur to let him know that things have changed.

North Korea's main trading partner is China, who have always been fond of having a pit bull on their border to distract attention from China's doings when they needed it. President Trump ended that by pressuring China to enact sanctions on the Kim regime that cut the trade by an estimated 90 percent. Apparently the Chinese have realized that North Korea has gotten out of control.

Another 'mysterious' incident involved North Korea's main nuclear testing area under Mantapsan Mountain. It was mostly destroyed when the entire mountain collapsed. While some people are calling it an earthquake caused by too much underground testing or too much tunneling, there's also a fair amount of evidence that the incident was man made and could very well have been a message from either the Chinese or the U.S. that it was time to get serious about dismantling the Nork's nuclear weapons program...or else. Kim Jong-Un is already saying that he will shut down all of his nuclear testing and research areas publicly, in front of foreign experts. So it looks like a case of message received, so far.

And finally, President Trump has surrounded himself with intelligent and savvy team members. John Bolton is one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on nuclear proliferation and non-proliferation, and our new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is no fool either, and Kim Jong-Un knows it. We're not talking about dealing with the likes of  Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or Madeline Albright here.

Finally, like most dictators, Kim Jong-Un is quite concerned with face and his personal prestige, especially with his oversized military. I doubt he would be risking that by making these gestures and saying what he's saying if it weren't a matter of sheer personal survival.

So for the above reasons, I'm cautiously optimistic. And if President Trump actually pulls this off, he does indeed deserve the Nobel Peace Prize...certainly far more than his predecessor Barack Obama.


Selah.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Forum: Is It Time To Forget About The Holocaust?




Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Is It Time To Forget about the Holocaust?

Bookworm Room
: Holocaust Memorial Day is a perfect example of the O'Sullivan principle: " Any institution that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing over time." I realized last year that the whole concept of using government to memorialize the Holocaust had been destroyed when Obama managed not to mention Jews even once in his Holocaust remembrance statement:

In a departure from predecessors on both sides of the political aisle, President Trump’s statement Friday marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention the deaths of six million Jews — a lapse the head of the Anti-Defamation League called “puzzling and troubling.”

In the three-paragraph statement Friday, Trump said: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”

“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent,” he continued, again referring only to “the innocent.”

“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good,” he concluded. “Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”

As I pointed out in my post about Anne Frank, the Left is not only taking the Jews out of the Holocaust, it's putting the Holocaust into the service of the Palestinians whose deepest desire is to massacre every Jew in Israel.

Israel should continue to honor Holocaust Memorial Day. Jews should continue to honor Holocaust Memorial Day. People of good will should continue to honor it. But for goodness sake, it's time to get governmental institutions out of the Holocaust Memorial business, because government (at least lately) is inherently Leftist endeavor. Obama was just the visible thin edge of the wedge. The professional Left will continue to do whatever it can, not only to despoil the memory of the Six Million, but to use the Holocaust against the Jews. We need to take that opportunity away from them.

Rob Miller: Well, why not?According to Gavin McInnes, those Jews harping on the Shoah (the Hebrew name for the Holocaust) is turning him into a anti-Semite. Although to be honest, McInnes has always had a certain attitude towards Jews and Israel. I won't link to the You Tube video concerned (you can find it, I'm sure), but he voices all the usual things said on both the hard Left and the  extreme Right about the subject:

'Oh the Jews think the Holocaust is so special. There are plenty of genocides, so why bother making that one a special case? Time we all moved on, especially the Jews. They've milked it enough already.'

' Holocaust deniers aren't really saying it didn't happen, they just say no gas was used and the death toll wasn't anywhere near six million.Oh, and most of those died because the Germans lacked enough food to keep them alive.'

'Oh, no one in the allied countries knew about the Holocaust. That's why Auschwitz was never bombed.'

'Hey, Jewish commies were responsible for the Ukrainian genocide, the Holdomor and others as well, so they have nothing to say when it comes to victim hood.'

Every one of these cutesy opinions is either a lie, deliberate bias or the result of extreme ignorance.In McInnes's case, I'd say all three.

'Jewish commies' didn't make any decisions about the Holdomor. The one who did that was Stalin. Were some people of Jewish birth involved? You bet. But remember, the Soviet Union was about not having any religious affiliation, which is why a lot of Jews on the Left gave up any connection with the religion or ethnicity in order to become communists. They figured that if they had no religion, there would be no reason to hate them anymore, and lots of them, like Famous German Jewish communist Rosa Luxemburg said as much.

Any number of Holocaust deniers, especially the more recent ones have indeed said that no gas was used, and the death toll was far less. Of course, they have no explanation of all those Zyklon B cans that were found when the camps were liberated. Or the 'shower rooms' where pieces of the cement were literally clawed away by people desperate to get out of them once the gas was released. Or Zyklon B's manufacturers, IG Farben's company records which show why the gas was developed in the first place, and who requested it. Or the records of what was shipped to the Nazi government and where it was shipped.

Oh, and the Allies didn't know what was going on? Their leaders certainly did. Any thinking human after Kristallnacht knew what the Germans had in store for the Jews. But the leaders knew first hand.

Second Lieutenant Jan Karski was smuggled out of Poland with full documentation and pictures of what was going on. Starting in 1942, Karski reported to the Polish, British and U.S. governments on the situation in Poland, especially on the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Holocaust of Polish Jews. He had also carried out of Poland a microfilm with further information from the underground movement on the extermination of European Jews in German-occupied Poland. The Polish Foreign Minister Count Edward RaczyƄski provided the Allies on this basis one of the earliest and most accurate accounts of the Holocaust. It led to no action whatsoever.

Karski was finally given an audience with FDR on July 28, 1943. Roosevelt heard him out, but essentially ignored him.

There were others who took huge personal risks to report to the Allies what was happening, like Witold Pilecki, who reported pretty much the same thing. The Allies simply weren't interested and took no steps to halt the carnage, not even to the extent of simply bombing the railroad tracks leading to the camps to slow down the slaughter.

Ah, well.

Finally, was the Holocaust was unique in modern history? Please read what follows and then you tell me:

1) Total extermination of an entire ethnic group as a policy goal

The entire idea behind the Final Solution was just that. To massacre every Jewish man, woman and child. In 1915, if Armenians escaped from the disgusting genocide that was inflicted on them by the Turks and managed to flee to Iran, the Levant, Egypt, Russia or the western world, there was no major effort by the Turks to pursue them and murder them outside Ottoman borders.

Not only that, but many Armenians, especially women and children survived even if they were captured by the Turks. During what amounted to a death march to the Syrian Desert, not only were a number of women and children kidnapped along the way, but many were sold into slavery by their Turkish captors. They lived in misery as slaves, but they lived. Extermination wasn't the goal.

In contrast, Jewish women and children were marked for death and the Nazis enjoyed nothing more than sterilizing Jews without the benefit of anesthesia.

2) Total extermination of an entire group as a policy goal where no threat existed or was believed to exist:

While there have been many examples of genocide and mass killings in history, total extermination is rare, especially on an industrial scale, and especially when absolutely no threat existed or was even thought to have existed. Except for the Holocaust, there was always a political and/or territorial goal, even if 'the danger' was largely in the minds of the perpetrators.

The Ottomans believed the Armenians were trying to carve out a separate nation. The Pakistanis, who carried out a disgusting attack that included mass rape on what is now Bangladesh back in 1970 were trying to retain territory for themselves after 'West Pakistan' broke away and to impregnate enough women to dilute the Bengali part of the population. Pol Pot murdered something like a million of his own people who he felt endangered his psychotic regime, The Janjiweed who attacked Darfur had the same goal as the Pakistanis.

There's no genocide existing where there was no real or construed territorial or political threat...except the Holocaust, which was launched against people who were literally defenseless and no threat whatsoever.

3) In-gathering

Normally mass killings are confined to a certain area, territory or national border, and there's no attempt to urge or coerce other countries to participate or to turn over members of the targeted group to the killers...except in the Holocaust.

The Nazis had no problem encouraging their allies and even governments of countries they didn't occupy to turn over their Jews and in many cases, even to actively participate in either killing them themselves or shipping them to the camps. While the Germans took the primary blame, they were actively assisted by Vichy France, Croatia, the Ukraine, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria and the Baltic countries, just to name a few. Oddly enough, Germany's allies, Italy and Hungary were harsh in their treatment of Jews, particularly Hungary, but they didn't round up their Jews and turn them over for the Nazis to take to the camps until a retreating German army occupied the countries. Finland, who had a sort of alliance with Germany against the Russians refused to even consider cooperating, Denmark's story is well known, and the Bulgarians were also pretty adamant about the matter.

That kind of in-gathering, especially for people who posed no threat of any kind is unique in history.

There are other things about the Holocaust that are unique but who cares? Let's just forget about it, OK?  We've gotten over it, why haven't the Jews?

Well, let it never be said I can't consider another point of view. But I do want a few things in return. And I think it's appropriate to consider the motives of the people who really want the Holocaust mostly buried in the memory banks.

*******************************************

The Germans at least considered the matter honestly and paid reparations, but to be honest they got a real bargain because Israel was a broke, brand new country swamped with refugees from both the camps and the Arab world and Ben-Gurion needed the money badly. The monetary amount had nothing to do with the property, businesses, bank accounts and personal property looted from Germany's Jews, but at least it was something.

But the same thing happened all over Europe, and aside from some pro forma apologies, no one else ever paid a dime. Is some cases, it took decades before these countries even acknowledged that they'd been more than a bit eager to round up their Jews ship them off and cash in. Naturally, they're eager to bury this part of the past! Not only that, but in a number of shall we say, culturally enriched countries the Holocaust isn't even taught in public schools anymore 'because it clashes with what our Muslim students are taught at home and causes problems.'

That's an actual quote from a UK school head master when questioned about the matter.

Fine by me. Don't teach about the Shoah, especially your part in it. Faggetaboudit. But in exchange, pay for what you stole from the Jews in today's money. We can negotiate the terms, perhaps, but you owe the Jewish people big time. And that, by the way is why that feeling of guilt so annoys you.

As far as I'm concerned, that specifically includes the UK. Having your anti-semitic Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain close off Palestine to Jews in violation of the League of Nations Mandate in 1939 when millions of Jews were desperate for a haven cost quite a few lives that could have been saved otherwise. It's about time you acknowledged that and paid up. Pay up...not that it will ever excuse the cruelty of what your government did and the human suffering it caused. But as our part of the deal, you can placate the UK's Muslims all you want. And I'll throw in a sweetener...we'll even forget about you arming the Arabs to the teeth in 1948 and even officering the Arab Legion when you knew very well their announced intention was genocide of every Jew living in Israel.

The other group that really wants the Holocaust forgotten is a significant part of the Muslim world, except when they're at the mosque or talking among themselves in Arabic.

Well, I think we can deal here too, Tzadik. After 1948 almost a million Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Arab world simply because they were, you know, Jews. The Arab countries took their cue from the Nazis, and the price for the Jews was the same it was in Germany during the 1930's...everything they owned for an exit visa, their businesses, bank accounts, homes, personal property, everything.

The most conservative estimates of what was stolen come to just over a trillion dollars in today's money. That shouldn't be too hard to raise, should it, with all that oil money and overseas investment? And in exchange, you can buy all the copies of Mein Kampf you want, rant and quote the Qur'an about how evil the Jews are, and we'll forget all about the Holocaust and how many of you openly supported the Nazis. And the Israelis will even help you with your Iran problem. That, of course, applies to the Arab 'refugees now living high on the uh...camel, that's it camel... on Western dole money.

Let's make a deal, shall we?

If not, stop your whining and face up to what you did, at least.

Laura Rambeau Lee:The only chance we have to avoid repeating the horrors of the past is to never forget the Holocaust and the millions of innocent people Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich coldly and systematically exterminated during the 1940s. We must understand and convey to new generations the methods of indoctrination and propagandizing that can cause seemingly normal people to believe that the unspeakable evils they are committing against their fellow human beings are for a greater good. I have visited Dachau. I have seen the gas showers and the crematoriums. This didn’t happen long ago; this is recent history. Many today try to deny any of this ever happened even though we still have some survivors of these concentration camps and others who witnessed these atrocities living among us.

In Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos he writes:


“Memory is not a description of the objective past. Memory is a tool. Memory is the past’s guide to the future. If you remember that something bad happened, and you can figure out why, then you can try to avoid that bad thing happening again. That’s the purpose of memory. It’s not “to remember the past.” It’s to stop the same damn thing from happening over and over.”


This is true on a personal level and on a collective level. Only by remembering can we have any hope of keeping these horrors from happening again. We must make it a point to observe Holocaust Memorial Day, to talk about it, and to never forget.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.








Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Forum: What Happens Next In Syria?




Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Happens Next In Syria?



Don Surber: I posted my answer.

I told readers on Thursday, "My money is on a lot of rockets red glare while the Saudis quietly take care of business. You need them to go in because they can tell the difference between an actual Syrian rebel and an Islamic State terrorist. Obama never realized that.

"Besides, it is their land, not ours. Let them defend it. No American president wants to send in ground troops. Had we fought the Gulf War this way, that New World Order thing may have worked."

Now hindsight is 20/20 on the Gulf War. The Gulf states lacked quantity of troops necessary. But on the other hand, they would not allow Western soldiers enter Baghdad. What a mess.

27 years later, we provide the bombs, the Saudis provide the ground troops.

The Saudis have the bombs but couldn't bomb Syria without drawing return fire from Russia. That would have led to a war no one wants.

So we provided cover, and brought along Britain and France. With China siding with Russia, the five permanent members of the UN are split with three on the side of good, and two on the side of Assad.

Trump will bring the shock and awe, and maybe keep a few troops on the ground.

But the Gulf states are doing the heavy lifting, just as they are doing in Yemen where there is another proxy war between the Arabs and Iran.

The Syria strike is the Trump Doctrine at its best. We provide the backup to our friends involved in regional conflicts. Korea is another example. We are enabling South Korea to negotiate with the North directly, for the first time in 68 years.

Trump also severed our foreign policy to the human rights restriction that Jimmy Carter imposed.

Why not? Obama ignored it in Cuba and Iran.


Rob Miller: I pretty much explored this here.

Whether the recent gas attack on Douma was Assad's work or a false flag photo op by the rebels is irrelevant. This is simply the norm when it comes to war in this part of the world. Nor does it really have much to do with ISIS as far as I'm concerned. What is important is not allowing Iran to have a strategic bloc extending to Mediterranean and not allowing them to neutralize our allies...the Kurds and their Christian and Yazedi partners.

History shows us that a power that allows to be wiped out because it's inconvenient to get involved or more convenient to simply sell them out to appease a hostile power always suffers the consequences, and those consequences can be very significant.

We have 2,000 or so boots on the ground in Syria embedded with the Kurds and they serve a significant purpose of actually preventing an escalation as well as protecting our allies. Israeli PM Netanyahu has already told Putin that Israel will not allow a significant Iranian presence in Syria.That's a red line Israel will not allow to be crossed. And Putin not only understands it, he's likely quite willing tocontinue the status quo as long as Russia continues to have access to the warm water ports and there are no Russian casualties.

Putin and Netanyahu have a fairly good relationship, and Putin has been happy to look the other way when the Israelis (or who knows who?) bomb Syrian,Hezbollah or Iranian facilities to destroy weapons shipments or other strategic objectives as long as no Russians were killed. But if Iran becomes more insistent on establishing bases, missile launching sites or other military presence in Syria, the war will definitely escalate, and if Russia comes in as part of a proxy war, so will we. Putin understands that too.

Since Russia can't afford a war financially or logistically, it would suit both parties to simply settle for a stand off.

While Russia has promised 'consequences' for the recent missile strikes and has a small armada of ships headed towards Syria, rest assured that Putin won't risk war with the U.S. directly. Instead, the attempt at 'consequences' is almost certain to be made by Hezbollah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, both of whom lack real air power. That pretty much determines that their efforts won't succeed, unless Russia intervenes...which it won't.

Syria itself has always been something of a failed state. It has a couple of trading cities in Aleppo and Damascus, but there's little or no trade happening now. Half of it is desert, and there's little else except some agricultural land and a couple of good ports on the Mediterranean. It doesn't even really matter if Assad stays in power or not. No one has really been able to make much of Syria...not the Seleucids, not the Mongols, not the Ottomans, and certainly not the French or the Arabs.Assad himself admits it will likely take $400 billion dollars to fix Syria's infrastructure and get its economy even close to functioning on the limited level it was before the war. The Russians certainly don't have it, Iran doesn't either and Syria has nothing like oil to interest the Chinese. The only thing Assad has to offer anyone is warm water ports, Putin's chief interest. And a closer striking point aiming at Israel, which is what the Ayatollahs want, along with a land link to their other Mideast colony, Lebanon.

Our best bet is to stay the course, keep a presence in Syria and continue to arm and train the Kurdish Persh Mergah.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Getting Serious About Syria



The bleeding orifice known as Syria has once again erupted, due to a chemical weapons attack in Douma that took a number of civilian lives, or so it seems.I say this because media has become a weapon in modern warfare, the Sunni Syrian rebels are more than capable of rigging something up and as the self inspecting Iranians would tell you about the pictures and videos they send to the IAEA as 'compliance,' such things are very easy to stage.

President Trump has promised 'a high price' for the attack, referred to Syria's dictator as 'that animal Assad,' (why slander animals?) and actually took the opportunity to cite Putin as responsible. I suppose that was just for domestic politics.

To date there was one very successful air raid on a Syrian regime airbase east of Homs which was crawling with Iranians. Putin reportedly says it was the work of the always effective Israeli air force, but my Lil' Birdies in Israel just gave a wry chuckle when I tried to confirm this. My guess is that it very well might have been, given the Iranian connection, but if it was, the IDF likely had other reasons rather than retaliating for the gas attack. One of them was probably to send a direct message to Iranian President Rouhani, who's been doing some chest pounding lately that Israel is not prepared to let them turn Syria into another Gaza or Lebanon.

Meanwhile, a second guided missile U.S. destroyer, the USS Porter has been sent to the Syrian coast to join the USS Donald Cook, a similar ship already there.

What happens next is anyone's guess.

Needless to say, the whole assortment of isolationist paleo cons, pro-Iran leftists and Israel haters in general are screaming bloody murder. They want us out of Syria yesterday. John Bolton being named National Security Advisor made them particularly insane.

But no matter matter what happened or didn't happen in Douma, pulling out of Syria would be a huge strategic error and a bad mistake. Here's why.

Syria was where ISIS got its start emerging from a group of 'moderate' Sunni rebels who were mostly al-Qaeda, its affiliates like al-Nusrah or other Islamists and salafists. Obama, along with his BFF Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Qatar armed, trained and financed these people, bypassing congress in the process.

As he was leaving, our now ex-president was careful to drop the mess into other hands, stating that it would take years to defeat ISIS and take back the territories they help in Syria and Iraq. President Trump said it could be done in a matter of months and did exactly that. Our allies in that effort were the Kurds. The Iraqi army that dropped their weapons and ran from ISIS before were mostly useful in mopping up afterwards.

When Obama was president, he gave the Kurds just enough ammo and supplies to barely hold their own. The Israelis, with long time close connections with the Kurds were able to supply some more. And When Donald Trump came in and put US air, naval and ground forces into the equation, the Kurdish Persh Merga played a key role in destroying ISIS on the ground and driving them out of their Iraqi and Syrian strongholds.

Their reward was to have the Shi'ite Iraqi government steal the oil rich city of Kirkuk, violating the original Iraqi federation agreement and making a Kurdish state even within the federation financially impossible. And for the Turks to attack them and seize Kurdish territory in Syria's northern border region.

Here's the present situation. The Turks have retreated after being 'urged to do so' by Iran's President Rouhani. The U.S. still has about 2,000 ground troops in Syria, mostly embedded with Kurdish forces, which also include Yazedi and Christians as well as civilians.

Aside from the certain bloodbath, if we leave we hand Iran a major victory, a land passage between their colony in Iraq and their colony in Lebanon. And we give them access to the Mediterranean. Also, we would give Iran yet another reason to consider the US an easy foe who is afraid of them.

Finally, it would mean that the Kurds, our true allies would be destroyed.

History gives us numerous examples of what happens to world powers who allow their allies to be neutralized and liquidated. Or even worse, co-opted to fighting on the other side.

Czechoslovakia in 1938 had a strong, well trained and well armed military, excellent border fortifications and protective terrain in the mountain passes and dense forests bordering Germany. They even had a major arms manufacturer in Skoda, comparable to Krup. Hitler could never have attacked the west successfully with that on his borders, because it would have meant a two front war, something he and the Germans dreaded and weren't ready for.

When Britain and France sold out the Czechs, not only did they ensure that Hitler would attack them when he was ready, but that Britain and France were so frightened of war that they would do anything to prevent it. And it also sent a message to Stalin, who had been talking earnestly to Britain and France about an alliance or mutual defense pact to keep the Germans at bay that a non-aggression pact with Hitler was a far better bet.

At the start of the Punic Wars, Carthage allowed its allies in Sicily to be destroyed simply because a war might cost two much money. Sicily's resources and manpower were denied to them, as were its ports, shipyards and its strategic position within easy sailing range of Carthage heading south and close to Rome heading Northeast. While the Carthaginians won (or tied, depending on how you see it) the first Punic War, they lost the others once Rome had a navy. Had they backed their Sicilian allies, Hannibal might have invaded from the south in easy distance to Rome instead of having to leave from Spain, travel the Alps and lose a portion of his men and war elephants in the process before he ever was able to fight in Italy.

There are numerous other examples.

But what about the Russians?

Putin's main interest in Syria is twofold. The main thing for him is the warm water ports at Tarshish and Latakia. Secondary is appeasing his Iranian allies. And when it comes to Iran, Putin's position is by necessity somewhat ambivalent. The U.S. pulling out of Syria is not really in Russia's best interest.

He understands that the Israelis will simply not allow Iran to put missile or air bases in Syria. If a hot war breaks out, Russian personnel will be caught in the middle of it, and if Russia intervenes and is involved in a proxy war on Iran's side, the U.S. will do the same with Israel, and Russia can't afford a war just now. Or really, to alienate Israel, with whom Russia still has relatively cordial relations.

As I pointed out previously, during the Obama years Russia and Israel put together an actual hotline between the Kremlin and it's equivalent in Tel Aviv. The idea was to avoid conflicts and any casualties for Russian personnel. And part of it involved Russia agreeing to turn a blind eye to Israeli attacks on Hezbollah or Iranians or weapons shipments going to these parties as long as no Russians got killed. The agreement has worked well so far. Even though Putin claims the Israelis bombed that air base and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov called it “a very dangerous development” Putin hasn't done anything about it, nor would it serve him or Russia to do so.

Even less to Russia's liking, President Trump is not Obama and might just decide to fix America's Iran problem once and for all.

So given some access to the ports and actual negotiations with the president on settling the Syria question, Putin would likely be willing to cut a deal...given the alternatives.


As for Syria's ultimate destiny, I'm ambivalent as long as Iran is kept out of the picture, which is vital for U.S. interests. Just rebuilding its infrastructure after the war is going to take billions, which I see no reason for the American taxpayer to shell out...no nation building, please. If anything, Syria should become the new Kurdistan, at least a decent piece of it. They're owed at least that much, at least.






Monday, April 09, 2018

Forum: Trump Vs. Mexico...Who Wins?



Every Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Trump Vs. Mexico...Who Wins?

Don Surber: Never bet against Donald John Trump.
OK?

How many times must I tell people this?

The Trump Effect is real. Even Pope Francis knows this.

Mexico called off the caravan, and is fixing to sign off on a revamped NAFTA. Everybody wins.
By the way, Rocket Man will surrender to the Dotard in May. We de-nuked him while nobody was looking. But Kim Jong Un is smart. Well, smarter than Rosie O'Donnell and all those other losers who fought The Donald (and The Donald won). Kim gets to keep his life and maybe his regime.

Closing question: What if Trump is the anointed one?

Bookworm Room:I'm with Don -- Trump wins because Trump wins. While his early efforts in 2017 might have been a bit rocky, he was still learning the ropes about politics versus business. Trump, though, is a fast learner, and he's since been entirely successful in getting things done. I have no doubt that he's got an effective long-term plan here, both as to trade and border security.

Mind you, what I'm saying is not the result of blind faith, but of paying careful attention to events since the day Trump declared his candidacy. He's got such an excellent track record that, unless he stumbles seriously and repeatedly, I'm betting on him every time.

Rob Miller: Let's look at this logically. Mexico makes money mostly from the following items...agricultural products, oil, some NAFTA manufacturing at maqiadora factories on the border, tourism, drugs and reparations to Mexico from Mexicans living here, many of them illegally. The U.S. can do without their tomatoes, we no longer need oil from PeMex, the NAFTA manufacturing is heavily weighted in Mexico's favor and tourism is way down because the country itself has gotten so corrupt and dangerous. I say that with a twinge, remembering the wonderful times I had there back when, but it's simply how things are now.

That leaves drugs and reparations from expatriates here in America. Building a border wall cuts way back on both sources of income. Is it any wonder the Mexican government is so bent on continuing the status quo? And renegotiating NAFTA would not be in Mexico's interest either, since it has made Mexico the country we have the second biggest trade deficit with, after China. Even more to the point, stopping illegal migration to the U.S. means closing off a social safety valve that has allowed the corrupt Mexican government to avoid spending its money on helping its people for years.

There's no way Mexico wins this. China might buy its oil, but the price might not be to Mexico's liking. The world has a lot of oil right now, Iran, Burma and the Middle East are a lot closer and cheaper to import from, and desperate failed states like Venezuela would probably undercut them. If the NAFTA manufacturing goes bye bye and Trump does something like putting a 10-15% excise tax on reparations from the U.S., Mexico really will be in dire straits.

They would be far better off renegotiating NAFTA and making a real commitment to police their side of the border and not colluding in allowing illegal migrants to cross into the U.S.


Laura Rambeau Lee: In the battle between President Trump and Mexico, President Trump – and the American people who voted for him – will win. We have already seen this week the annual trek of illegals into America (this year a caravan of people from Honduras, the most violent country in the world) has been halted in Mexico because Trump threatened action against NAFTA. It’s about time our elected leaders make good on their campaign promises. The America people are waking up to the realization that our “trusted servants” only seek to gain and keep power. The left has found a new voting base and no longer needs to keep up the pretense of advocating for the underserved minorities. They’ve got their votes but it’s become apparent it is not enough as they’ve experienced significant losses in the elections since 2010, when the Tea Party organized in protest of Obamacare and the alarmingly progressive agenda of the Democrats. American citizens are beginning to realize the Democrat agenda has nothing to do with protecting them and everything to do with the destruction of our laws, culture and society in a desperate effort to advance progressive policies and fundamentally transform our country. President Trump will win because he has the support of the majority of the American people even if the media says otherwise.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Forum: : What Is Your Favorite Foreign Cuisine?



Every week, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:What Is Your Favorite Foreign Cuisine?


Fausta Rodriguez Wertz: French, and Catalonian, in that order, in-country.
Wonderful cooking, best found in small restaurants favored by locals: The sort of places where the cook (the cook, yes) posts the daily menu on a chalkboard on the sidewalk.


Doug Hagin:Tough choice, but I have to say Italian. Garlic, extra virgin olive oil two of my favorite things. From Lasagna, to all the other incredible pasta dishes, great breads, cheeses. Oh Bruschetta, in so many varieties, Scallopini! Marsala! So many ways to go with great sauces and pastas.

Rob Miller: I have to divide my faves into three categories...stuff I ate before I observed kashrut (Kosher dietary laws), stuff I eat now and stuff I cook. We didn't really cook much in my house when I was a kid, so I taught myself, using cookbooks like Julia Child's classics, Dan Beard's and a couple of others. I did it because I wanted to, shall we say, maximize my social life, which it definitely did. Besides, it was fun! And now that I keep kosher, there's a lot of stuff I can't eat unless I make it.

The first foreign cuisine I ever really ran across was Mexican food, which is way different and much more diverse than most of what we see here. It gave me a hot tooth that still exists. I can't really eat the stuff in the restaurants anymore because a lot of them use lard, but I can make killer enchiladas, refried beans from scratch (including tomatillos, nopalitos and chilies) Pollo con mole, Pollo Anchiote (from Yucatan) and stand up chili at home.

I'm also decent at some of what the French call 'cuisine bourgeoisie' sort of what we'd call home cooking. Stuff like onion soup (no cheese in my version, since it uses beef broth) Poulet Marengo, Poulet Dijon, Bouef Borguignion, Bouef Flamande', stuff like that. I can also make decent pasta dishes and basic sauces like bolognese and yer basic tomato sauce with mushrooms and herbs from scratch, as well as fondue, beef stroganoff(sans sour cream) and a decent Hungarian goulash without the sour cream they osmetimes use. I rate myself as a decent amateur cook.

While I like the continental stuff, my out and out favorite is has always been Thai food, a delightful combination of Indian food (another fave), Chinese and Southeast Asian influences...they even have curries like Musselman Curry, which I now make at home. The food is fresh, spicy, inventive and exotic. One of my favorite Thai dishes is larb, a delightful sort of salad made with beef or chicken, rice noodles, cabbage, chilies, fresh mint and lime juice. I never tried making it myself but my beloved makes a wonderful version of it, so I don't have to.

I like Vietnamese food as well, which combines French influences with Chinese and southeast Asian. One dish I absolutely love is Pho, a wonderful beef soup with a heavenly aroma. I haven't had it in a long time since the beef they use isn't kosher, but one day maybe I'll take a shot at making it. I've been told it ain't easy.

Israeli cuisine is a fave. To me there's nothing like a good felafel with Israeli style salad, pita, fresh tahini and a little shuk to top it off. They also make great shawarma, a distinct kind of couscous, a wonderful egg dish called shakshouka, labna, hummus, burekas, kibbeh (bulgar with meat and vegetables) and delicious lamb, chicken and beef. It's basically a melting pot for the entire Middle East, because the Jews who were ethnically cleansed from the Arab world brought their food with them. And there's also Ethiopian food, eaten with the right hand and with the aid of a spongy bread called Injerah. Rich wats (stews), spicy vegetables and delicious thickened sauces. There's an Ethiopian community near where I live and some really nice restaurants, some I which I used to go to. But unlike the Ethiopian places in Israel, none of them are kosher, so....another culinary challenge awaits!

Patrick O'Hannigan:I guess "foreign" would be a subjective measure. When they were small, my children (one of whom is Korean) saw a movie with an Asian character in America whose most memorable line was about some kind of rice-based dish that she identified as "food of my people." For awhile, that line was a family joke.

All things considered, I'd have to say that my favorite cuisines are Italian (I'm a "pasta head") and Korean (Bibimbap! Beef bulgogi!).


Scott Kirwin:I can’t pronounce the dishes, and half the time I don’t know what I’m eating, but I’ll go with Indian.

I used to work with an Indian-American and we would hit the Indian restaurants around Wilmington Delaware for lunch. We found this one place that served authentic Punjabi cuisine at a little hole in the wall in a neighborhood of questionable virtue.

We both would eat so much at the buffet that we’d be struggling to make it back to the office without exploding.

There’s something about the cuisine that just works for me, and I’m not sure why because I didn’t grow up with it at all.

I’m hoping to travel to India just to eat.


Laura Rambeau Lee:The one food I crave if I haven’t had it for awhile would be Mexican. I love a spicy carnitas (pork) with verde sauce served with refried beans and rice and flour tortillas. And of course crispy tortilla chips and salsa and a refreshing glass or two of Sangria. Muy bueno!

Thanks for the easy question this week Rob. Now I’m craving Mexican. LOL!


Dave Schuler:Tough question. I like everything. Let's start by assuming you mean "cooking" rather than "cuisine". A cuisine is an organized system for for cooking and there are only a few of them: French, Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese. There is Swiss cooking but no Swiss cuisine. It's a cuisine paysanne. That's true of Mexican food, Greek food, and many others.

Well, obviously French. I'm a French cook and I don't exaggerate in claiming that I'm probably the best French cook you'll ever encounter who isn't a professional chef. You know that exercise in the book/movie Julie and Julia? I did the same thing thirty years previously: taught myself French cooking by making every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I had an advantage in that I came from a cooking family, had worked as a short order cook, had cooked for crowds as large as 500 people on a regular basis, I even catered a little.

In addition to French, I particularly like Hungarian food, Japanese food, and I'll admit to a fondness for British pub food.

Bookworm Room:My two favorite cuisines are Chinese food (from the Northern region, not Hong Kong style) and Middle Eastern food. Growing up in the Bay Area, Chinese food was a given.

Because my parents grew up in the Middle East, they were good at finding the best Middle Eastern restaurants around. In those days, back in the late 1960s and 1970s, before the average Arab on the street had become hyper-politicized, we were greeted warmly in those restaurants. Now, I seldom eat Middle Eastern food, because when I walk in, I'm usually faced with pro-Palestinian, anti-Israeli propaganda on the walls. Those things make me lose my appetite.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Forum: Who Wins The War Between Trump And California's Sanctuary Policies?



Every week, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:Who Wins The War Between Trump And California's Sanctuary Policies?

Dave Schuler:Honestly, I have no idea. I think that while it's possible for the federal government to win the fight it's likely that California will. It's also possible that California's politicians will overreach, make a misstep, the president will invoke the Insurrection Act, and California's state government will be removed.

I think it's clear that California is presently an outlier in an number of ways ranging from politics to demographics to economy. Under the circumstances just about anything can happen.

Rob Miller : First, it's important to look at the real issue here. And it isn't some kind of humanitarian 'immigration' issue. It's about ethnic politics and political power.

Over the past three decades or so, the state's population has largely been deliberately replaced, especially in the coastal areas where the population is. It was done using open borders, sky high taxes, massive and complex 'regulations' on businesses and punitive laws favoring illegal migrants and 'takers' rather than makers.

Well funded political organizations like MeCHA, La Raza and MALDEF based on creating and exploiting ethnic grievance also played a role. As things rolled along, laws making it easy for voter fraud to occur and for illegal migrants to vote have exacerbated things. Meanwhile, small business owners, new college graduates, and many working families have simply left because of the artificially created high cost of living and doing business. Large corporations are also starting to leave the not-so-Golden State, because of the high taxation, strangling regulations and the difficulty in attracting employees because the high cost of housing and daily living. Even Silicon Valley has started to move to places like Boise, Idaho,Texas, Phoenix and Colorado among other places.

My point is that this is a political issue that has nothing to do with immigration or humanitarianism.

So who wins? Well, the Constitution says plainly that immigration is one of those powers the Federal Government has reserved for itself, like coining money or issuing postage stamps. Since California's sanctuary laws are in violation of federal immigration laws, it would seem that once this gets to the Supreme Court, if it does, that President Trump wins this one. However, since a lot of appellate judges, especially Obama's appointees seem far more concerned with political posturing rather than the law, it's likely to be a real cobra vs. mongoose battle.

One thing the president could do to bring things to a head is to send federal marshals to Oakland to arrest the mayor, Libby Schaaf for obstruction of justice (a felony) prosecute her, and sentence her to a jail term. Ms. Schaaf is the mayor who warned illegal migrants of ICE activities that she was informed of in advance by ICE. Because of her actions, an estimated 800 illegal migrants with felony convictions are still running around loose. I believe that putting a few examples like Ms. Schaaf in prison would do a great deal to end this standoff, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if President Trump does just that. If I were placing a bet, I'd put it on President Trump to win this one.

Image result for Trump Smiling


Fun fact: It's no secret that one of the Supreme Court justices is planning to retire this summer, and the name that keeps being mentioned is 81-year-old Anthony Kennedy. A Trump nominated justice definitely affect how this goes.

Laura Rambeau Lee: The majority of Americans understand we have a very real problem with illegal immigrants who have entered and are continuing to enter our country. They are undermining the fabric of our society; driving down wages for low income and mostly minority workers; and bankrupting our states with the additional costs expended for education, medical care, and other government entitlements paid out to them. It seems daily we are hearing reports of illegal immigrants committing crimes against American citizens and getting away with them. All too often our system is protecting the criminals and not delivering justice to the victims.

This battle being fought between the Justice Department and the State of California presents a constitutional crisis for our country. California has officially become a sanctuary state and recently passed three laws which the Justice Department says violate the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a son of legal Mexican immigrants, not only refuses to comply with federal immigration policies, he recently asserted his department would prosecute any business that willingly complies with federal law by allowing federal immigration officers on their property.

Putting an end to illegal immigration was the primary issue of Trump’s campaign and the reason he won. We know the majority of Americans are behind him and his efforts to build the wall, end illegal immigration, and find an acceptable solution to deal with the illegal immigrants already living here.

The federal government must win this war.


Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.






Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Forum: Is Europe Doomed?




Every week, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Is Europe Doomed?

Can it survive the Muslim migrant invasion? Will the EU separate into different factions? Will relations with the U.S. deteriorate? Will it collapse financially
?

Patrick O'Hannigan: Yes to all of the above. Europe can survive the mass Muslim migration into its borders, but not with its heritage intact. The Brexit vote in England and the more recent results of elections in Italy both suggest that the continent is split by different factions already. Relations with the United States will deteriorate if and when your prism for analyzing bilateral relationships between countries depends exclusively on the longstanding prejudices of career diplomats and "community organizers." For a more hopeful outlook, you have to talk to people not in the upper echelon of politics (as President Trump seems to understand, and Marion Le Pen of France made clear in a rousing speech at CPAC this year).

I don't follow European economic news as closely as some of my friends do, but as far as I know, the EU still depends on Germany to be its economic engine, and Germans are increasingly tired of subsidizing Greek pensions (for example).

When the truth-tellers in Europe realize that Western patrimony is worth preserving, and courageous politicians push assimilation into Western ways rather than suicidal accommodation with people who don't care for European culture but have made their way into its sphere of influence for economic reasons, then we'll all be better off. There are hopeful signs of developments like that in places like Poland, although you have to read past charges of "insensitivity" and "xenophobia" in the mass media to intuit as much.

My guess is that the people who think Europe should roll over are the same people who would have faulted Saint Patrick for taking the Druid priesthood of his adopted country to task, back in the fifth century.

Bookworm Room: Can Europe survive the Muslim migrant invasion? No. If Europe does not put a stop to the Muslims pouring in from Africa and the Middle East, Europe as we know it will be gone in a few decades. Just look at Sweden. Things are so bad there that even the New York Times can no longer pretend that Sweden is still the sweet, crime-free, gender-equal, completely Progressive country it once was. Already ten years ago, British people were telling me that vast areas of Northern England had turned into no-go zones. Indeed, one of the things the Muslims did was deliberately settle into Jewish neighborhoods and then harass them into leaving. One only has to look at the constantly rising antisemitism in France to see how that works once the Muslims reach a comfortable critical mass.

This is not racism on my part, because Muslims are not a race. This is "ideology-ism" because Islam is a mindset, just as Naziism was -- and it's as foul a mindset as Naziism was. I won't belabor the obvious commonalities here. The only real differences between the two are that the Nazis saw themselves as a race, which, as I noted, Muslims do not; and that the Nazis were fairly supportive of female equality. Otherwise, in terms of their approach to the greater world (rather than the sufferings they visit on their own acolytes), they are the same: antisemitic, anti-Christian, anti-free market, totalitarian, hungry for world domination, excessively violent and cruel. No wonder Hitler greatly admired Islam and Islamic leaders.

No nations can survive the sustained physical and cultural invasion Europe is experiencing, especially because European leadership, not only resolutely refuses to fight back, but is encouraging the invasion. Keep in mind that Europe rebuffed Hitler for two reasons only: Britain (through Churchill) and America. Today, though, Britain is in the forefront of cultural Islamisization and, over the protests of the ordinary people, importing more Islam. Meanwhile, America would be a fool to step in if war breaks out in Europe between Muslims and a few stalwart remaining traditional Europeans. It would be like Afghanistan, only much worse. The Wilson doctrine of saving an ungrateful world is finally over. Under Trump, America is appropriately interested in saving herself. The only reason for America to intervene, therefore, would be if one could credibly believe that, if the Muslims take over Europe, America is next.

Will the EU separate into different factions? It should, but inertia says it won't. As we see in England, despite the Brexit vote the British government is doing so much foot dragging it's unlikely that it will ever really separate. Slightly more than 50% of British voters hate this fact, but they seem incapable of addressing it. The EU has inextricably intertwined itself into British law, culture, and politics. The same will hold true for the rest of Europe excepting, perhaps a few Balkan nations. Unfortunately, both Poland and Hungary, having started the "emotional" process of separating from the rest of Europe, are falling back on their old friend antisemitism.

Will relations with the U.S. deteriorate? As Europe becomes more and more Muslim, yes, relationships will deteriorate -- that is, as long as we have Trump or other true conservatives in the White House. If we get Obama Part II, the U.S. will reach out to Islamic Europe and attempt to recreate the same scenario in America.

Will Europe collapse financially? Yes. As Linda Sarsour foolishly boasted, the great thing for everyone if sharia comes into play is that we'll no longer have to pay interest on loans or credit cards. She's too dumb to realize that part of what powers the Western World's economic engines is the ability to borrow money and buy on credit. If that system is abused, both lender and borrower suffer. If it's mostly a functioning system, though, it provides the capital necessary to keep the economy moving and growing. The only reason that Muslim nations in the Middle East have succeeded financially over the past decades is oil money. Take that away and there's nothing left. They have a little bit of trade, but that's it. Bring that Muslim economy to Europe and in a few short years, Europe will look like Zimbabwe or Yemen.

Rob Miller: The answer to the above is, it depends on who you're talking about. Donald Rumsfeld, one of our most underestimated and unfairly maligned public servants had it exactly right when he talked about 'new Europe' and 'old Europe.'

'Old Europe' largely consisted of the traditional Western and Northern European states. Thanks to the American taxpayer paying for their defense and America's willingness to incur trade deficits, these countries slacked off on spending any money for defense and gradually put together socialist welfare states instead. 'New Europe', placed under Soviet domination experienced communist barbarism, brutality and real socialism.'Old Europe'has gradually has let its liberties, its individual sense of nationalism and freedom slip away as it embraced the EU and became more hardcore socialist. 'New Europe,' freed in the 1980's has become more nationalistic and far more insistent on its freedoms.

Like Muddy Waters once sang, you can't miss what you never had.

So, will Europe survive the Muslim migrant invasion? Most countries probably will, some may not. The countries of 'New Europe' likely will, because they have simply refused to respond to Mutti Merkel and Brussel's arm twisting and take the Muslim migrants she insisted on bringing to Germany off her hands. Denmark, Norway and Switzerland (the country that outlawed Minarets and refuses to grant citizenship to migrants on welfare) will likely survive as well, since all three are fairly independent minded by nature and aren't really letting Muslim migrants enter in large numbers...nor are Norway or Switzerland EU members by choice. The Norwegians have actually been deporting a number of their Muslim migrants and if memory serves me, have built a border wall on their northern border with Sweden. Austria and Italy look promising, having changed their governments recently after having numerous incidents with the migrants that horrified the electorate in both countries.

France, I think, will survive, but it will not be without bloodshed or a change in government. The French still have a strong sense of nationalism, albeit diluted by the always pernicious French Left...merde a la Gauche! On the plus side, France actually has an army (most of which is deployed in her cities) and now that the general public realizes how badly they were fooled and lied to by the socialist Macron, we may see things changing for the better.

The major countries most in danger, IMO are Sweden, Germany and the UK, with Belgium and the Netherlands not far behind. Sweden's story is so well known that it needs scant retelling here. We are talking about a country where grenade attacks by Muslim gangs have become commonplace and Sweden's National chief of police is begging the government to mobilize the military to help restore some kind of order. The Swedes are actually being moved out of their homes by government order to provide houses for the increasing number of Muslim migrants, and the already high taxes need to be increased to pay for their welfare benefits.

Germany's situation is dire, since Merkel has now resumed the chancellorship in a coalition with the Socialists in a successful bid to keep the right leaning, euroskeptic and migrant critical AFD Party out of government. Merkel's government is so well, anti-German as to go out of its way to promote sexual relations and Muslim conversion for young teenage German girls with adult Muslim males, and to give Muslims coaching on how to pick up young German females. The end result of many of these relationships is quite forseeable.

Germany has other problems as well. For one thing, the Bundeswahr is a joke and incapable of fending off any major threats from within or without.  And many of the migrants, instead of working and paying taxes the way Merkel and her friends planned are simply living the good life on welfare and assorted freebies while making German cities increasingly dangerous, especially for women. There are some signs the peasants are revolting...AFD's strong showing, certain cities that have defied the government and refused to take in migrants and general unrest in Catholic Bavaria, where the bringing in of Muslim migrants is far from popular. So we'll see.

The UK is also in major trouble. The population is disarmed, Scotland Yard admits there are thousands of jihadis with British citizenship back from Iraq and Syria they can't account for, no go areas in London abound and the government, under the fatuous Theresa May is far more concerned with curtailing free speech and keeping anyone even remotely critical of the current state of affairs banned from entering the UK. 

London itself is ruled by Mayor Saddhiq Khan, a man with Islamist ties who after the slaughter on London Bridge famously said that London needs to get used to terrorist attacks every so often.

Britain's birth rate is down except among Muslims, the country has nothing like the leadership it will need to survive as it is and things show few signs of changing. Even the defiance of Brexit seems muted these days, largely because of Theresa May's opposition - she was a staunch remainer.

Another cheery wild card when it comes to who survives in Europe is Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan, who has the largest conventional army in Europe...and Muslim outposts like Kosovo en route along the old Ottoman path of conquest, not to mention Muslim supporters embedded in Europe's cities. So again, we'll see.

Will the EU fragment? It already has, as I described above. The EU has at best another five years left. And the finances are, yes, a part of it. The entire EU bureaucracy basically was designed to benefit Germany and allow them to export in euros rather than higher value Deutsche marks.  At this point, what was once a profitable scam has now backfired, with German taxpayers paying for Greek and Spanish pensions...along with all those migrants. That can't last much longer. And President Trump's long overdue tariffs are going to hurry the collapse of one of the most illegitimate attempts at 'unity' in history.

Relations with America will likewise vary, depending on the country.  A look at the British and German press and their hostility to President Trump and American policy generally doesn't seem to forecast close relations in the future. Nevertheless, particularly when it comes to the UK and France, America might once again step in to save their sorry behinds, if for no other reason than to keep their nukes out of unfriendly hands. Our eastern European allies are likely to be quite a different story, with good relationships with America, especially the Visograd countries.

Laura Rambeau Lee : In the mid 20th century many European countries encouraged Muslims to immigrate as they needed low skilled, low wage workers. Over a couple of generations while their numbers were low these Muslim immigrants appeared to assimilate into Western culture and improve their social status. While their populations were small these countries did not have to deal with the cultural differences they are experiencing today. As their populations have increased the cultural disparities are becoming alarmingly evident. What we are seeing is civilization jihad, where young Muslims have been groomed to become bankers, businessmen and lawyers and run for political office. The city of London, along with several other cities in England and in Europe, has elected a Muslim mayor.

In more recent years the influx of young Muslim men into Europe seems more like an invasion. They have not been exposed to Western culture and are intent on transforming their newfound country into a Muslim dominant society controlled by Islamic law. They have become more brazen and violent against non Muslims as we have seen in the sexual grooming of young girls, and the violent attacks and gang rapes of young women in recent years. There are some areas in large cities where local police will not venture and Islamic law is practiced. Non Muslim girls and women dare not leave their homes for fear of being attacked and raped. And strict gun control laws prevent them from protecting themselves.

Europeans who do not want their countries and culture destroyed by Muslims are called intolerant, racist, and white supremacists – all to intimidate and silence them while the Muslim population grows large enough to take control through democratic processes. They are using Western laws to overthrow Western governments.

The leaders of these European countries willingly opened the floodgates to allow hordes of Muslim males invade their countries with no concern for the consequences of their actions. It will get worse and it looks like there will have to be a new crusades to drive Islam out of Europe. Does Europe have the determination and will to drive out the Muslim invaders? That is the real question isn’t it? It seems inevitable that a continued tolerance of non-Western cultures will be the death of Europe.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.