How Could The Times Not Realize That It Is A Laughingstock?

At the New York Times yesterday, they devote the entire space for unsigned editorials to one piece.  You could guess the headline without my having to tell you.  It’s “Trump Imperils the Planet.”   From the sub-headline:  “[T]he administration is taking the country, and the world, backward.”   Yes, it’s not only that nobody is doing as we say on reducing emissions to “save the planet,” but IT’S ALL DONALD TRUMP’S FAULT!!!!!!.

[The recent UN climate conference in Poland] was a hugely dispiriting event and a fitting coda to one of the most discouraging years in recent memory for anyone who cares about the health of the planet — a year marked by President Trump’s destructive, retrograde policies, . . .  

But hadn’t Pravda assured us that the rest of the world would never be tricked into following Trump’s lead, but rather was going to put this retrograde idiot in his place? . . .

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Three Generations In Greenwich Village

Three Generations In Greenwich Village

My kids seem to get a laugh out of watching some of the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies during the holiday season. And then last week I got talking to a guy on the city bus, and he turned out to be working as one of the producers of the series. So I thought I should read up on the phenomenon. Next thing you know, I find out that these movies have a standard plot, one of the elements of which is young woman “leaving the soulless big City” to go to a small town and find love.

Soulless?? . . .

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"Prestigious" Prizes And Awards: How Progressives Buy Tribal Loyalty

Pulitzer Prizes. Nobel Prizes. Academy Awards. These are just a handful of examples of the many, many “prestigious” prizes and awards out there, given out supposedly to award achievement and excellence at the highest level in fields like journalism, literature, science, and film.

Or are most of these awards just completely fake scams that are really given out without regard to merit or fact-checking to those who produce work that most perfectly channels the favored progressive groupthink of the moment? I’ll let you be the judge. But consider some recent events.

On December 19 an outlet called Medium published a long article with the headline “Der Spiegel journalist messed with the wrong small town.” The authors of the Medium piece are Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn, two residents of the small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It seems that the German magazine Der Spiegel — the largest circulation current-affairs magazine in Europe — published a major piece in 2017 by a guy named Claas Relotius on the subject of Fergus Falls, with the headline “Where they pray for Trump on Sundays” (probably behind pay wall). The gist of Relotius’s Spiegel piece was that the residents of Fergus Falls are stupid small-town yokels, thus of course explaining their overwhelming support for Trump in the 2016 election. Anderson and Krohn took their time putting together what is one of the most incredible take-downs of a piece of journalism that I have ever seen. The result is an article organized as a “top eleven” list of total whoppers and demonstrably false statements from the Relotius piece — everything from whether Fergus Falls is in “a dark forest that looks like dragons live in it” (it’s actually on the prairie), to whether the City Administrator is a “virgin” who has “never [been] together with a woman” and “never seen the ocean” (Anderson/Krohn include a picture of the guy with his girlfriend at the ocean), to whether a certain guy has hands that are “always black” from working on a farm next to a coal power plant (the guy in question, identified by Relotius by the wrong name, actually works for UPS and does not have black hands), and on and on. Anderson and Krohn conclude: . . .

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New York City Housing Authority: Can Anyone Do Socialism Better?

Readers of this blog know that you don’t have to travel to Venezuela or North Korea to watch socialism failing. Right here in New York City, we have the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), run in a classic socialist model consisting of public ownership, most costs covered by taxpayer subsidies, and absolutely no one who ever gets an extra nickel in their paycheck for keeping the place from falling apart. Result: costs go up and up and up, and the place is falling apart. For a few of my previous posts about NYCHA, see here, here and here.

In February 2017 I asked the eternal question, “Which Will Collapse First: North Korea Or The New York City Housing Authority?” Close to two years later, they’re still running neck and neck.

If you’re wondering if NYCHA is really falling apart, the daily newspapers will give you plenty of evidence. As just one example, here’s a report from ABC News on November 24, headline “NYCHA tenants living without heat fed up, want answers.” Excerpt:

The tenants in the Grant Houses in Harlem are suffering, and it is not even winter yet. They have frigid tap water and cold, dead radiators. "I have a right to expect heat, I have a right to expect hot water. If I have a complaint, I expect for it to be repaired," says resident Barbara Stevens. Tenants are outraged, and they're not alone. At one time or another last month, tens of thousands of apartments in the city's public housing system were without heat, hot water or both - and thousands more in the past few days alone. Comptroller Stringer is demanding answers. "This is a citywide disgrace!" he said. . . .

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Progressive Hypocrisy At The Highest Levels: The Case Of Paul Weiss

Progressive Hypocrisy At The Highest Levels:  The Case Of Paul Weiss

A core mission of this blog has been making fun of sanctimonious progressives who demand that others be forced to take actions and make sacrifices that the progressives themselves would never make in their own lives. The climate follies provide nearly infinite examples. Almost as many examples can be found in the realm of “diversity, equity and inclusion.” This week we have an example of a progressive icon at the very highest level caught with its pants down in “diversity” hypocrisy.  Oh, what fun!

Have you heard of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, sometimes known just as “Paul Weiss”?  If you haven’t, you should have.  It is one of those New York-based firms at the very pinnacle of the U.S. legal firmament.  It has around 1000 lawyers and about 200 partners, plus or minus.  The firm represents a who’s who of corporate America in corporate transactions and litigation.  According to the American Lawyer, in 2017 the partners at Paul Weiss earned an average of over $4.5 million per head.  That is not a typo.  Expectations are that profits for 2018 will be up substantially.

In a post way back in June 2014 titled “Is Lack Of ‘Diversity’ At Big Law Firms A Crisis?” I summarized some of the strange history of the New York legal practice, particularly the long-time division of the profession into Jewish and non-Jewish firms.  From the late 19th through mid-20th centuries, thousands of Jews, many the children of recent immigrants, flooded into the legal profession, in numbers far exceeding their percentage of the overall population; but the then-prestigious “white shoe” firms nakedly discriminated against the Jews.  As a result, many Jews formed their own start-up firms, some of which then grew to become powerhouses by the late-20th century.  Today, many of these firms continue to have substantial pluralities of Jews in their ranks of attorneys, and even more so at the top levels of leadership. . . .

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Is It Fair To Describe Land Acquisition By Jews In East Jerusalem As "Ethnic Cleansing"?

Several days ago a friend brought to my attention a December 2 article from something called “The National,” with the headline “How Palestinians in Jerusalem are being targeted in a campaign of ethnic cleansing.”  If you haven’t heard of it, The National bills itself as “the Middle East’s leading English-language news service,” and is produced in the UAE.

Now, “ethnic cleansing” is a rather charged term.  I first heard that term used in the 1990s in the context of efforts by the Serbian army to remove Muslims and Croats from certain areas of Bosnia.  Here is a description of what that “ethnic cleansing” consisted of from Wikipedia:

The ethnic cleansing campaign that took place throughout areas controlled by the Bosnian Serbs targeted Muslim Bosniaks and Bosnian Croats. The ethnic cleansing campaign included unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery, and inhumane treatment of civilians; the targeting of political leaders, intellectuals, and professionals; the unlawful deportation and transfer of civilians; the unlawful shelling of civilians; the unlawful appropriation and plunder of real and personal property; the destruction of homes and businesses; and the destruction of places of worship.

The worst single event in the Bosnian ethnic cleansing occurred in and around the town of Srebrenica in 1995.  From the same Wikipedia article:

The events in Srebrenica in 1995 included the killing of more than 8,000  Bosniak("Bosnian Muslim") men and boys, as well as the mass expulsion of another 25,000–30,000 Bosniak civilians, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

I have also seen the term “ethnic cleansing” used in connection with the events in Rwanda, also in the mid-1990s, that included the 1994 killing of an estimated 500,000 to 1 million members of the Tutsi tribe by members of the Hutu tribe.  The term “genocide” is also frequently used to describe these events.Now, is it remotely accurate to describe current events in Israel using this highly charged term “ethnic cleansing”?  The article from the National particularly focuses on developments in a neighborhood of East Jerusalem known to Palestinians as Silwan, located in a steep valley immediately south of the walled Old City of Jerusalem.  In recent decades the area has been inhabited mainly by Palestinians. Jews often refer to the same area, or at least part of it, as the “City of David,” based on a belief that this was the location where King David first established the city and built his palace back around 1000 BC.  Apparently there is substantial archeological evidence to support this belief, but I have not personally evaluated that.  When I visited Israel in 2017, there was a large archeological dig going on in some of this area, which you could look into from the adjacent higher ground; and there are plans to turn the archeological site into a visitors’ center.  Clearly, if there had previously been homes on this spot, they had been removed.

So how have Jews or Jewish organizations obtained control of this area to conduct their archeological dig? . . .

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