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6/10/2010
ISRAEL’S CRITICS AND HOLLOW LIES
CATEGORY: FrontPage.Com

My latest article is up at FrontPage.com where I examine what it is Israel’s critics want the Jewish state to do to protect itself.

A sample:

In the aftermath of the Gaza flotilla incident, we have witnessed a tsunami of virulent, over-the-top criticism of the state of Israel for its actions in interdicting the so-called “peace activists” before they could dock at the port of Gaza.

Reasonable people can argue whether the decision on the methods used to stop the ships was the correct course for the Israeli government to take. Indeed, there is a healthy debate within Israel itself over this very issue, including questions about intelligence, tactics, and whether the propaganda victory handed to pro-Palestinian activists could have been avoided while still maintaining the blockade.

Even the efficacy of the blockade itself is being discussed in Israel, as it has been since the quarantine was intensified nearly 3 years ago. For these internal critics, and those elsewhere who do not wish to see the state of Israel or its people destroyed, it is much too glib to ascribe their opposition as anti-Semitic or even anti-Israeli. But we can certainly put a reasonable question to these critics that never seems to get answered amidst the bombast and posturing from both the Jew haters and genuine “peace” seekers alike.

What is it you would have the Israeli government do to protect itself?

Indeed, what marks the critic of Israeli policy is a disconnect between the perilous reality of Israel’s exposed position vis-a-vis the Palestinians and those nations that support them. They hold a pie-in-the-sky belief that if Israel would only remove the irritants the Palestinians suffer on a daily basis, that the animosity felt by Israel’s enemies would magically disappear.

You can certainly oppose the policies of the Israeli government without standing accused of being an anti-Semite. But at the same time, I believe that even these “peace” critics of Israel are hardpressed to come up with alternatives that would accomplish the same goal - namely, protecting Israel from enemies who wish to destroy her.

The Fence is no doubt a burden on Palestinians. But it has reduced attacks on Israel civilians to near zero. Are critics suggesting that the Israeli government do less than everything within their power to protect their citizens? As long as there are thousands of Palestinians willing to blow themselves up just so they can take a lot of innocent Israelis with them, I would posit the idea that it is a moral imperative for the government to construct a barrier between the fanatics and the innocent.

Since neither Hamas or Fatah have any intention of reining in suicide bombers and those who fire rockets into Israeli villages, what moral stricture should Israel follow to ease the blockade, or tear down the Fence? That it is better to die than allow your avowed enemy to suffer? I don’t follow the logic of these critics which makes me more convinced that the disconnect they suffer is a moral was well as a logic trap. They appear to me unable to make a leap beyond their obvious concern for the burdens under which Palestinians live and see the issues from the standpoint of Israel reacting to efforts to destroy her.

Why this singular fact should receive less moral weight than Palestinian suffering is a mystery to me. If someone could explain it, I’d be grateful.

By: Rick Moran at 8:59 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

6/8/2010
THE RICK MORAN SHOW: DECISION 2010

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Monica Showalter, Rich Baehr, and Stephen Green for a look at today’s primaries and a discussion about November’s mid terms.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

THE FINGER OF GOD
CATEGORY: PJ Media

On Saturday night at 8:52 PM local time, a tornado ripped through my hometown of Streator Illinois, touching down just a couple of hundred yards from my house.

My PJ Media article today is about my brush with nature unbound:

The twister tore through the southern part of town, wreaking a path of destruction 400 yards wide. It didn’t sound like a freight train - the usual description you read in the newspapers. Freight trains don’t roar like a wild beast and beat holy hell against your windows seeking to get in. The rattling, clacking, and shaking of my brick house was augmented by the rending, tearing sounds of tree limbs snapping, the popping of transformers (sounding just like old-fashioned flash bulbs exploding), and a strange, terrifying high-pitched whine that made it sound as if all the furies in the world had been unleashed and were circling my home in anticipation of its destruction.

Then, a huge cracking sound and a thump. Half our elm tree in the backyard had split and fallen lengthwise across the lawn, brushing against the sliding doors in the dining room. Another couple of feet and it would have crashed through. Then there was another tremendous ripping noise followed by a crash as a section of our fence tore away and smashed into the AC unit.

Where was I when this occurred? I was standing at the top of the stairs to the basement in the kitchen with legs so weak that I knew if I tried to go downstairs, I would have fallen and broken my neck. So I stood there, not two feet from our large kitchen window, too terrified to move to safety, mesmerized by the scene outside that was now being lit up constantly by lightning. The trees were bending to near 45 degree angles. The small twigs and branches that were banging into the window were competing with the constant, driving, sideways rain that was almost as loud as the wind.

Most people who die in tornadoes are hit by debris from their own house. It was monumentally stupid to stand next to a window with the wind blowing near 100 miles per hour, but clear thinking is not possible when witnessing nature unbound. In retrospect, it has made me appreciate the ancients a little more who worshiped the power of the natural world, named weather events for gods, and though superstitious to a fault, had a healthier respect for what nature could do than I (and probably many people living today).

I am getting it in the comments from people who say I acted like a coward, that I should “grow a pair,” that I am “childish.” Well, OK. I will gladly give you the three minutes I lived through when that tornado was roaring through the neighborhood. I am sure that these big, brave he-men would spit in the twister’s eye while waddling down stairs to the basement trying to keep their huge balls from scraping the steps.

The truth is, we have an unfinished basement with no banister on the stairway so that even when there is no emergency, going down the steps is an adventure. I would have made my way downstairs earlier except trying to corral three terrorized cats proved to be a difficult proposition. By the time they were all downstairs, the National Weather Service was telling people to take cover immediately so I grabbed my laptop, my carton of cigs, and my wallet. Just when I turned to go, the power went down, the wind came up, and terror took over.

I daresay that anyone - especially those critics in the comments who are poster children for why I don’t allow comments on this site anymore - would have felt exactly as I did.

I feel kind of ridiculous explaining myself but a record had to be made somewhere. I couldn’t include all of this in the article - it would have been way too long and detracted from the narrative.

Regardless, I have to give props to Com Ed who restored power in about 36 hours - power came on 5 minutes before the Hawks game on Sunday night. I understand that even now, there are hundreds of homes and businesses without electricity so I feel pretty lucky.

Two years ago it was the flood in Algonquin. Now a tornado. God seems to be going down the list of natural threats he can throw against me so I guess earthquakes might be next.

They’ve been expecting the Big One along the New Madrid fault for a while. That will probably be my next travail. Better lay in supplies because the way Obama handles disasters, it might be a year before I see any help.

By: Rick Moran at 10:53 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (1)

6/5/2010
THEN: RUN TO DAYLIGHT. NOW: WHINE TO OPRAH
CATEGORY: PJ Media, Sports

My latest article is up at Pajamas Media and I have to brag a little and say that it will be a record setter in the number of people who will disagree with me.

In it, I take to task pitcher Armando Galarraga, umpire Jim Joyce, and Commissioner Bud Selig for trying to damage the history and integrity of the game by contemplating overturning Joyce’s missed call that cost Galarraga a perfect game the other night:

Joyce’s reaction to all this has been unbelievable. He is being praised from one end of the country to the other for his “honesty” in admitting his mistake. He should be fined, suspended, and prevented from working either the postseason or the All-Star Game. Not for missing the call but for undermining his and every other umpire’s credibility by actually talking to the press about it in the first place, and then not having the courage to stand by his decision made in real time on the field. Instead, he blubbered like a two-year-old about being sorry for ruining Galarraga’s moment.

Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga, and Bud Selig are not more important than the game itself. And each of those gentlemen has done a disservice to baseball by elevating themselves and a single play over the integrity of the game. Blown calls are a part of baseball. They are part of the history of the game, and will continue to be a part of baseball as long as human beings are used to make the judgments necessary to maintain a fair outcome — or as fair as it can be made given the limitations and lack of perfection in all of us.

If Joyce had to talk to the press, he could have said that he called it as he saw it and pretty much left it at that. It doesn’t matter if replays show a different outcome to the call. Umpires make their decisions and, right or wrong, that’s that. Rare is the umpire’s call that is overturned. If it is, the call is reversed by the crew chief usually after a huddle of all the umpires to determine if any of them saw the call another way.

Treating this one call any differently than the thousands of others he has made in his career is an error in judgment far worse than the missed call he made at first base. Rather than the focus being on the game, and the still-brilliant pitching performance of Galarraga (he pitched a 3-0 shutout), attention shifted to the umpire and his media mea culpa. Umpires should never be the the center of attention in baseball. That’s not their job, although some modern umpires don’t seem to understand that. In fact, Major League baseball just took the nearly unprecedented step of fining an umpire for bringing attention to himself in the aftermath of an incident in Chicago. Joyce should be fined for the same reason, regardless if he was “honest” or not.

Meanwhile, Galarraga is receiving kudos for his “sportsmanship” in not holding it against the umpire. Holy smokes, fella. Act like a human being (or at least a baseball player) rather than some Oprahfied dishrag of a professional athlete. In an age where parents discourage their kids from competing, where every kid who participates gets a reward, where there is less emphasis on winning and losing, Galarraga becomes a poster boy for modern American sports. I will take the attitude of a Vince Lombardi any day of the week over Galarraga and his milquetoast, touchy-feely sensibilities. I’d rather see him break his hand against the clubhouse wall by hitting it in frustration and anger following the game than smile like an idiotic gnome and play the role of national priest in forgiving Joyce his sin.

It is out of fashion today to love baseball - its history, it’s myths, and its former place in American society. I can’t believe that my take on this is that unique; that there are those who love the game as I do and view with alarm this breach of baseball etiquette, seeking to have a call made in good faith on the field overturned because the umpire got it wrong.

Are we now to retroactively award glory to those robbed of it because of a call that might have been incorrect? Are we to overturn the results of games because an umpire called a home run foul rather than fair, or a player safe at home with the winning run instead of calling him out? Where does it end?

It’s a can of worms - and that includes expanding the use of instant replay. Football, a game that doesn’t honor its past half as much as baseball, had no qualms about instituting a ridiculous “challenge” system for replay. That’s because football refs are amateurs compared to baseball umpires. They weren’t paid a decent wage for their work, necessitating second jobs to augment their meager salary. In a game that generates billions in revenue, football officials were a joke. The age of instant replay exposed the amateurish nature of football officials and thus, the almost desperate necessity to rectify their idiotic mistakes on the field.

Not so Major League umpires who have a grueling route to the top, spending years in the minors with no guarantee of a call up. They are still the best in pro sports, despite a significant drop in quality as a result of unionization that granted job protections to some who in the past, might have been sent back down for more seasoning or even relieved of their duties outright. As a group, their performance is head and shoulders above football, hockey, and basketball refs despite the fact that, during the course of a game, they must make many more judgments than their brethren in other sports. (International soccer refs are far and away, the absolute worst in sports as we shall see during the World Cup that begins next week.)

I did not make these criticisms lightly. Something important has been lost with this incident and I fear for the future integrity of baseball, and mourn the disrespect the aftermath of this incident has given to the history of the game.

By: Rick Moran at 8:57 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)

6/1/2010
THE RICK MORAN SHOW: THE GAZA INCIDENT

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jeff Dunetz of Yid with a Lid, Jazz Shaw, and AT’s James Lewis as we discuss the incident in the waters off of Gaza.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 3:02 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (0)

24 HOURS ON: WHERE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?

It’s too bad America’s best ally in the Middle East has to deal with this empty suit in the White House. With the entire rest of the world in full throated outrage over the terrorist ambush - and it has been for more than 24 hours - we have yet to hear from the man who is ostensibly the Commander in Chief and has been constitutionally delegated to make our foreign policy.

Where the hell is the President of the United States?

Sure, he’s on vacation and all - must recharge the batteries after all those exertions on behalf of - well - some of the people anyway. But you would think that even Barack Obama could find the time between pick up basketball games and pleasant naps on the holiday weekend to personally issue a statement on a matter of war and peace - especially one involving an ally he swears he supports.

Ominously, the reason for this dearth of presidential interest may, in fact, be a not so subtle message that the US is about to turn on its beleaguered ally and join most of the rest of the world in ignoring the facts and pretending that Hamas has any legitimate claim to being an aggrieved party, and that the organization that funded these “peace” activists was a designated terrorist outfit.

Meanwhile, our State Department didn’t take the holiday off - although judging by the pablum they put out on the incident, perhaps they should have:

The United States deeply regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident today aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We are working to ascertain the facts, and expect that the Israeli government will conduct a full and credible investigation.

The United States remains deeply concerned by the suffering of civilians in Gaza. We will continue to engage the Israelis on a daily basis to expand the scope and type of goods allowed into Gaza to address the full range of the population’s humanitarian and recovery needs. We will continue to work closely with the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, along with international NGOs and the UN, to provide adequate access for humanitarian goods, including reconstruction materials, through the border crossings, while bearing in mind the Government of Israel’s legitimate security concerns. However, Hamas’ interference with international assistance shipments and work of nongovernmental organizations, and its use and endorsement of violence, complicates efforts in Gaza. Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by governments and groups that wish to do so. These mechanisms should be used for the benefit of all those in Gaza.

Ultimately, this incident underscores the need to move ahead quickly with negotiations that can lead to a comprehensive peace in the region.

But on the White House website ? Not a whisper. Not a blog post. Nothing. This is to be expected. It takes time to craft a statement that stabs your best ally in the back without making it appear that you are doing so.

UPDATE

Jake Tapper is reporting that “there won’t be any daylight between the US and Israel in the aftermath of the incident on the flotilla yesterday…”

I will believe that when I see it. In fact, the administration is hanging their hat on the Security Council statement released late last night. Sources are bragging to Tapper how they diluted the statement so that blame for the incident is vague. But the statement still makes no mention of the reason for the blockade - that, what the Council demands as far as the “unimpeded provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza…” would result in Hamas receiving an avalanche of arms from their friends in Tehran and Damascus. One need only look at the Hezballah resupply following their war with the Jewish state under the noses of UNIFIL to understand the Israeli’s concern.

And the statement makes it clear that it is setting Israel up for another “Goldstone Moment” where Tel Aviv’s own investigation of the incident will be declared invalid and another, “impartial” investigation undertaken by the UN will no doubt finger the real culprits in the incident.

Who do you think that might be?

This blog post originally appears on The American Thinker.

By: Rick Moran at 6:35 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (5)