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On the Death of My Father

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

My father, Max Prager, died last week. Here are some thoughts on the death of a parent. 1. Longevity Parents who live long are very lucky. Not only for their longevity, and not only because they get to see their children grow into adulthood, and not only because they may see grandchildren, but for all those extra years to reconcile with their children. Had my father died when I was a teenager, we would not have had the decades since then to get closer. 2. Age at death My father was born on July 18, 1918 and died on August 16, 2014. He was 96. When people are told that someone’s parent...

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Lancet: a Home for Evil’s Useful Idiots

Tuesday, Aug 5, 2014
Lancet

Two weeks ago, the British medical journal, Lancet, considered to be one of the world’s leading medical publications, published “An open letter for the people in Gaza.” Signed by four European doctors on behalf of 20 others (17 from Italy and three from the United Kingdom), the letter had virtually nothing to do with medicine. Rather, it was a grotesque attack on Israel. Some excerpts: “We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression.” “Israel’s behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as...

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The Genocide Libel

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
genocide

In order to justify killing Jews, Jew-haters throughout history made up libels about the Jews that were so awful that they justified, at least for the Jew-hater, the mass murder of Jews. The charge that the Jews of every age — not just some Jews at one time — killed God Himself was used by medieval Christians to justify mass murdering of Jews. Then came another grotesque libel — what is known as the blood libel. Also prevalent in the Middle Ages, this charged Jews with kidnapping Christian children, sacrificing them and using their blood to bake matzo (the unleavened...

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Is There a Russian Conscience? A European?

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014
Russia

When I was a graduate student at Columbia University’s Russian Institute, there was a great debate: Was the communist Soviet Union an organic Russian development or was it largely a cancer imposed on it? Those who held the organic view argued that the change from czar to commissar was only one of degree. Both were tyrannies, the latter more tyrannical than the former. I agreed with the second view, that communism was something radically new, not a logical, let alone inevitable, Russian path. The czars were autocrats, not genocidal totalitarians. I have to admit that in recent years, I...

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The Jewish State in a Morally Sick World

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014
Israel Flag

Let’s drop the names “Hamas” and “Israel” and make a list of the characteristics of two imaginary warring entities. We’ll call them Entity A and Entity B. Entity A: Declares that its raison d’etre is to annihilate Entity B. Sends missiles to explode in the most populated parts of Entity B in order to kill as many civilians as possible. Uses families and individual civilians as human shields to protect its own leaders from attack. Tortures and kills domestic political opponents. Has no political or religious freedom and has no freedom of speech,...

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America Won’t Be Good without God

Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

On page 563 of his latest biography — John Quincy Adams: American Visionary — author Fred Kaplan (biographer of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Gore Vidal among others) cites this insight of the sixth president: Christianity had, all in all, he believed, been a civilizing force, “checking and controlling the anti-social passions of man.” That insight is pretty much all an American needs to know in order to understand why the American Founders considered religion — specifically ethical monotheism rooted in the Hebrew Bible — indispensable to the American...

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Why the Left’s Preoccupation with the Redskins?

Tuesday, Jul 1, 2014

Given how much evil there is in the world; given how many signs of moral, intellectual and economic decline there are here in America; and given the increasing irrelevance of America to world events, it is fair to ask why the American Left is preoccupied with the name Washington “Redskins.” The Washington Redskins have been in existence for 82 years. For about 80 of those years, virtually no one, including the vast majority of American Indians, was troubled by the name. Yet, it is now of such importance to the American left that the majority leader of the United States Senate has...

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LA Mayor Exemplifies America’s Decline

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014

Last week, during the official celebration of the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, told a jammed Staples Center that “there are two long-standing rules for politicians . … They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big f—–g day,” he said, holding up a bottle of Bud Light. You read that right. In front of 18,000 people at Staples and hundreds of thousands of others watching on television — many of them, of course, children — the mayor of the second-largest...

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Pope Francis: Pets Can’t Replace Children

Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

Pope Francis said something so important last week that it will either be widely ignored or widely disparaged. The pope criticized “these marriages, in which the spouses do not want children, in which the spouses want to remain without fertility. This culture of well-being … convinced us: It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside; you can be carefree. It might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the...

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Who’s Racist?

Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014

No day passes without a Democratic politician, a left-wing commentator, or, if I may be excused a redundancy, a left-wing academic labeling Republicans and conservatives racist. Given the power of repetition, one consequence is that many Americans, especially young ones, believe that one side of the political spectrum — the right — is racist. Having been involved with conservatives for about 30 years, I have long known that this isn’t true. In fact, the charge of conservative racism is so easily refuted that it is difficult to imagine anyone without a vested interest in...

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