Structure and Assimilation

A commenter on a blog I follow talked briefly about this as part of a larger comment. The thrust of the aside concerned the ink spilled arguing about government structure, but that while structure is important, what’s at bottom is “an increasingly complex and heterogeneous society” that’s hard to manage.

I think that proceeds from a false premise.

The John Kerry-Barack Obama Plan

The guy who sits in the Secretary of State’s chair laid it out in his Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday.

Put simply, we are building a global partnership against violent extremism.

That’s so vapid and empty it doesn’t deserve comment. I include it only as an illustration of the depth of thinking and the level of importance Kerry attaches to this as sum and total of this Plan.

And this:

A Journalistic View of the Importance of Truth

This is what too many journalists are saying about NBC’s Brian Williams’ lie about being on a helicopter in Iraq that was forced to land after being hit by an RPG. They’re making these statements, too, while eliding Williams’ subsequently discovered lies concerning his…reporting…in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and in Israel, before that, during Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah. First up is Howard Kurtz, author of the piece from which the rest of the quotes below are taken:

What’s been striking to me is how many people are willing to end what has been a pretty solid career because of this one admittedly horrible mistake.

Free Speech and Imagery

French film industry body ARP, made up of writers, directors and producers in France, reacted to the tragedy by praising the publication’s “historical courage” and declaring that threats will not “interfere with freedom of expression and freedom of creation.”

How many images of Mohammed are you printing today, guys?  APNew York Times?  Anyone?  At least the National Journal has the courage.  Such things are going up on social media; why are you guys not participating? What is it you fear so badly? Your responsibility? Or your loss of comfort?

Here are a couple, courtesy of Charlie Hebdo. Because, as Charlie says

Terrorists in the Courtroom

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said late Tuesday that the state of Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, a high-stakes move that will enable the Palestinians to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel.

That’s what the AP is reporting (I’ll elide the AP’s cynicism in referring to this organization as a “state”).

Keep in mind, which Ban seems to have chosen not to do, that the terrorist gang based in Gaza, Hamas, merged with the Palestinian Authority into a Unity Government to “govern” both Gaza and areas of the West Bank under the PA flag. Shortly after that merger, the PA last summer launched its 50-day terror war against Israel.

The PRC’s Territorial Aggrandizement

This is an example of the People’s Republic of China’s practice of Rule by Law, rather than Rule of Law.

Among other moves and countermoves involving the PRC’s attempts to seize and annex the South China Sea, here at the expense of the Republic of the Philippines, the latter haled the former into arbitration under the UN’s Law of the Sea Convention. The proximate case was the PRC’s military aggression against the RP over Scarborough Shoal, a collection of islands and rich fishing waters well within the RP’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Do We Want To Do Business with Racist Europe?

That’s a bit polemic, but this is an important matter.

Leicester City Council in England last month voted to boycott goods made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. All services run by the council will be free of any product or technology made in any of the settlements. The motion “condemns the Government of Israel for its continuing illegal occupation of Palestine’s East Jerusalem and the West Bank” and resolves “to boycott any produce originating from illegal Israeli settlements.”

And more “Zionistfrei:”

John Kerry’s Crocodile Tears

Motorboat skipper, accuser of the American military as war criminals, and Secretary of State John Kerry had this to say about the recent Palestinian terrorist attack on an Israeli synagogue in Jerusalem:

“Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue,” Kerry said, his voice quavering [quavering!]. “They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms.

Civics in Education

A great part of what ails our country is ignorance of our history and so of who we are—how the US came to be, how we got where we are today, the nature of our culture and ethnicity. This hasn’t been taught with any seriousness since the middle of the last century, beyond a couple of semesters of civics-like courses in high school and a once-over lightly few units of American and European history in grade school and junior high. Throughout the current century, civics, American history, the form and style of American governance, and the like almost are not taught at all. Symptomatic of this is the growing emphasis on identity politics and the differences among those who live in the US, rather than our share culture. Too often, we African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Chinese- or Japanese-Americans, etc. There’s too little thought given to the concept that we’re all Americans, full stop. American, albeit some of us might have African heritage, some of us might have Hispanic heritage, some of us might have Chinese or Japanese heritage, etc.