sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

May 27, 2011

B****-Slapping Obama

Filed under: Israel, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 5:37 am

Actually, I’m going to post a serious video about Israeli borders first.  It’s from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

And now, Gene Simmons of the Kiss doing the b-slapping referred to above:

H/t to Mr. Breitbart for both videos.

UPDATE: More of that b-slapping: Lech Walesa will not meet with Obama.  H/t Mr. Reynolds.

Also, Yelena’s early b-slapping of POTUS.


The State of Feminism in San Francisco Bay Area

A while ago I promised to write a response to King Shamus and No One’s post about feminism and motherhood.  Their proposition is that the Left would be far more dangerous if feminists would not insist that women work instead of raising children because the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.  I love both blogs, but I don’t think either one of them had the data when it comes to contemporary feminism or left-leaning women.

I’m surrounded by liberal Bay Area mothers.  Most of them are middle class middle age white women born in the United States.  Almost everyone is married, and their husbands are usually middle-class and middle age, white and born in this country.  Men and women spent their twenties and typically a part of their thirties in school, pursuing white-collar careers and/or being an artiste.  Not every mother around here chooses feminist as her primary identity marker, but if asked if they are feminist, most would say yes.  I don’t think any of them would have anything negative to say about NOW.

I’d say that a little more then half of women in my neighborhood are stay at home moms, and the ones who work wish they didn’t have to.  The cost of living around here is high, so many women have to return to work full time after maternity leave runs out.  Women with relatively wealthy husbands and/or trust funds, as many liberals are, stay home.  Unless they have truly illustrious careers, which, by definition, few do, there is no point.  Who wants to go back to that associate position, putting in 80 hours a week, while pumping and freezing and worrying herself silly about that diaper rash?

In the 1970s feminism took a certain mothering-friendly turn.  The 70s “visionaries” encouraged women to go to the woods and have painless, erotic childbirth without the evil male doctor and his evil male science.  Hippie and now yuppie women breastfeed their babies, sleep with them, wear them in slings (preferably over one shoulder, Bjorns are dad carriers, apparently) and in some cases homeschool, although I don’t think the last one is any longer hip, for obvious reasons.  This kind of motherhood is considered “natural”.  Because they all worship Dr. Sears, sometimes, if I’m in a feisty mood, I’d say something like “Do you know that Dr. Sears is a big Christian?”

"Natural" childbirth gets feminist stamp of approval.

One reason this is happening is because Marx trumps Friedan and Drerida trumps all.  Instead of being a cog in the capitalist system, mother gets to stay home, do something crafty on her spare time, and maybe sell it on Etsy.  She can take up a new hobby like photography, gardening or blogging.  One or more of these hobbies applies to someone you know.  Gourmet cooking for her family is another option, and, again, since the 70s, lefties have been very much into gourmet cooking.  One of the really nice things about living in the Bay Area (and you won’t catch me saying that often) is food.

This is not to say that those women embrace traditional gender roles.  They have cartoonish ideas about traditional gender roles, actually.  Many times I have heard it said: “I’m not your typical housewife!!! I read books!!!” as if that is anything new.  Bay Area mothers have something to prove.  If she’s selling her knits on Etsy, it’s because she’s still an artist.  Many remain career-minded overachievers at heart who view their children as projects and always try for extra credit.  For instance, when Yelena was born the extra credit was potty training at birth.  That particular initiative, although environment-friendly, didn’t square well with Doc Sears theories, though.

Stay at home mom is very much in synch with the environmentalist calls to return to the middle ages.  She cooks locally-sourced organic food from natural ingredients.  She does her linens in a front-loading washer in cold water.  She prefers “natural” parenting (see above).  She buys expensive organic cotton onesies.  Most importantly, she teaches her kids to recycle and to turn off the lights as well as other received liberal wisdom, such as never using skin color to describe a person’s appearance.  This is how she raises a moral child.  OK, I’m exaggerating.

Another reason why stay at home liberal motherhood is possible is difference feminism championed by Carol Gilligan that teaches that men and women are different, and that women are better.  Difference feminists will say that men should strive to be womanly, and that girls deserve special attention.  Therefore our society has to work to accommodate women’s careers while respecting our choice to raise kids.

Around here we no longer attempt to accomplish raising boys and girls the same.  That experiment was undertaken in the 70s, and it flopped.  From time to time a genderless hold out pops up, and then there is a stray lesbian couple, but there is no movement to raise boys and girls alike because few people want to set themselves up for a disappointment.  Now we are merely raising kids who are not too excited about becoming either men or women.  A case in point is the insistence on the part of quite a few moms that their sons pee sitting.

What this all amounts to is that women take maybe a half a decade to a decade off, and that our husbands help with housekeeping.  Women around here take it for granted that somebody out there lobbies on their behalf, so that when we return to work, our careers take minimal damage.  If we don’t quit work, we expect generous maternity leaves and flexibility from our employers.  I’m mystified by the number of visibly pregnant women who, in this economy, were able to score lucrative positions.

Me, I consider myself a feminist in Christina Hoff Sommers vein.   I can’t imagine what it would be like to leave my child in daycare and head to work.  I know my professional life will take a beating, and that’s just the price to pay for having this amazing stage in my life.  I don’t ask anyone to lobby for longer maternity leaves on my behalf, and while I will want an understanding employer in the future, I don’t expect to be compensated as generously as single women or fathers.  Above all, I want to raise my son to be a gentleman, and my daughter — a lady.

May 23, 2011

Where Is Obama from?

Filed under: politics, society — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 11:19 pm

So Obama is visiting Ireland, and I got the following essay by Bill Whalen from Ricochet:

I won’t bother asking if you think O’Bama is “Irish”.

But I am curious as to what you consider to be his genuine “home” — not a mailing address or what he files on his tax returns, mind you, but his true “old sod”.

Is it the White House, which at best is eight years of temporary lodging?

Is it the house back in Chicago that he and the family seem to rarely visit (something I find curious, given he has two daughters who were removed from their friends and neighbors).

Now that we’ve put the birther controversy to rest, is Hawaii the President’s real home?

Or is “home” the one place, anywhere in the world, where this President seems most at home — and that’s sately nestled behind a TelePrompter.

I believe this partly explains why some Americans aren’t comfortable with Obama as their leader — and never will be.

It’s not about philosophy, or practice, or presentation. Rather, it’s the idea that Obama is the first modern American president without a tangible, palpable anchor in the American soil — other than the keynote address as the 2004 Democratic National Convention and the presidential campaign trail ca. 2007.

Because he doesn’t come across as either deeply rooted in or noticeably enriched by Americana, this President at times sounds more like a detached observer of the people he leads, rather than one of them.

By European standards all Americans are rootless.  I’m curious to see, though, where he’s going to move in 2013 once he vacates the White House.

It’s Jewish American Heritage Month, Look Who We Are Not Celebrating.

Filed under: politics, society — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 8:43 pm

In a previous post, I mentioned that May is Jewish American Heritage Month:

Not that American Jews need a heritage month.  Every day is a Jewish American heritage day, because not a day goes by without hearing about our achievements in science, literature, arts, economics […]

I wrote it and said to myself: “Hmmm…  Jewish American Heritage Month…”  So I did a little research to confirm my suspicion.  On the Library of Congress website for the Month, the following individuals were highlighted: a very excellent artist and illustrator Arthur Szyk, Hannah Ardent, Aaron Copland, Abraham Schwadron, Lawrence Marwick, Emile Berliner, Felix Mendelson (really?  He’s not an American), Leonard Bernstein, Florence Kahn, Albert Einstein, Betty Friedan, Jack Benny, Ed Koch, Paul Simon, Golda Meyer (who gave up her citizenship) and Holocaust survivors.  The Heritage Month official website had it’s own entertainer-heavy list:Albert Einstein, Emma Lazarus, Levi Strauss, Sandy Kaufax, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Estee Lauder, Isaac Mayer Wise, Edna Ferber, Louis B. Marshall, Louis Brandeis, Betty Friedan, Barbra Streisand, Molly Picon, Uriah Levy, Jonas Salk, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Joachim Prinz, the Florence Prag Kahn, Manischewitz Family (don’t laugh), Ida Cohen Rosenthal, Ruth Mosko Handler, Ann Landers, Garrett E. Reisman and Sophie Tucker.

And so I confirmed that one person not featured was Milton Friedman.  I find it a bit peculiar considering that there is so much grassroots interest in his ideas at this moment, and no other Jewish American economist is highlighted.  Organizers made space for a  congressional widow from over a century ago, a washed-up pop star and several fashion designers.  When I look at the list of people featured on the websites, I get a feeling that the curators are trying to either “discover” an important but overlooked Jew and failing or don’t know many Jews who accomplished a great deal.  If there was a resurgence of popular interest in a liberal thinker, and an opportunity would come up to celebrate his achievement, would that person be celebrated?  Would an occasion like a heritage month be used to solidify his legacy?

Milton Friedman: Looks pretty Jewish to me.

Jewish American Heritage Month is the brainchild of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz and disgraced former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, both liberals.

…If I’m not making any sense, it’s because I had a glass of Chilean wine (Santa Carolina sauv blanc) in honor of Chilean miracle.

May 22, 2011

How Much Sense Does MSNBC Make?

Filed under: Israel, journalism, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:33 pm

None, but many thanks to Richard Engel for sounding out an alarm about the “Arab Spring”:

Engel: In a single statement, President Obama went to the core of Arab-Israeli conflicts, Israel’s 1967 border.

Eloquent, I know.  Except that there is no internationally recognized 1967 border, only 1949 armistice line.  Also, if the “1967 border” is the core of the conflict, how come wars were fought before then?  Well, that none-core issue war had something to do with throwing Jews into the sea, which is something the 1967 war was all about as well.

Engel: The issue remains emotional in Israel where many see returning to 1967 borders as putting Israel’s very existence at risk.

An Israeli Man: The 67 borders are something that is fragile.

Silly Jews!  They get so emotional, and then they wave their hands in the air.

Engel: On the other side of the divide, Palestinians feel without enough land they’ll never be secure either.

A Palestinian Man: We will not be enthusiastic about anything until we see a real change in the future.

Hello listening comprehension!  This man on the street didn’t tell Richard Engel he doesn’t feel secure, at least not in the segment he cropped.  The man said, vaguely, that he wants more.

Engel: In 1967 Israel expanded dramatically.  In six days they captured Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank and West Jerusalem from Jordan.  Israel returned the Sinai in exchange for the peace with Egypt.  Arabs have long argued that the rest needs to follow in return for more peace.  But Israel had argued that it needs Golan for water and West Bank for settlements and security and it will not compromise Jerusalem.

Israel needs Golan for security.  On a clear day, the whole country can be seen from the Golan Heights.  Besides, whether or not Israel needs territories should be irrelevant because Israel captured them in a defensive war.  Jerusalem, which from 1949 to 1967 was a backwater Jordanian town, happened to be the Israeli capital.

Engel: So for years there’s been deadlock until this happened.  The Arab street has been mobilized unleashing pent-up anti-Israeli sentiments.  Last weekend in Cairo protesters tried to storm the Israeli embassy.

What “deadlock”?  There’s been Madrid accords, Oslo accords, multiple negotiations and concessions on the part of Israel met with Palestinian promises and terror campaigns.

What “pent-up anti-Israeli sentiment”?  The Arab street’s been burning Israeli flags and storming embassies (on rare occasion there was one in the country) since Israel was founded.  In fact,  the Arab dictatorships have been encouraging virulent anti-Semitism to deflect from their own failings.

Engel: After revolution in Egypt and the ongoing protests across the Middle East, people in the Arab world feel empowered and say that they are no longer willing to accept dictatorship and most say they are no longer willing to accept a peace process they say favors Israel.  Egyptians expect that Arab demands on Israel will only grow as the Arab Spring revolutions mature.

An Egyptian Man: The Arab people, they have the self-confidence.  They’re not afraid of Israel.

Sounds like an argument for retaining as much land as possible, if not all of it.

Engel: For the United States, it’s a politically risky balance to protect an ally but also to embrace the changing Middle East.

Our President needs to do less embracing and more leading.  Completely absent from this talk of free and confident Arab people ready once again to rise against their oppressor Israel is the issue of Iran, who is filling the vacuum of power left by Arab despots, with Iranian proxies.

Factually incorrect, hastily put together and shallow: Who needs this “journalism”?

May 21, 2011

So Much to Learn, so Little Time (Only a Year and a Half)…

Filed under: Israel, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 5:27 am

I would hate to be Barack Obama too.  Thrusted at the peak of his ignorance to the position of enormous power, he thought he was going to part the oceans, but now he’s being lectured by some man from a tiny country in the middle of nowhere.

Yeah, I would hate to be Barack Obama too.  I certainly resent being governed by him, in part because his feeble and inconsistent foreign “policy” brought shame on our great country, and will sure to cost us human life and treasure.  Oh, and given how Nethanyahu ushered in very successful free market reforms in Israel during his first stint as a Prime Minister in the 1990s, perhaps he can do us all a favor and explain our President a few things about domestic policy as well.

UPDATE: Uppity Canadians.  (Via an Ace comment.)  Maybe Obama should go to Canada and give a speech.  That will change everything.

May 20, 2011

It’s Jewish American Heritage Month, and I’m Offended!

Not that American Jews need a heritage month.  Every day is a Jewish American heritage day, because not a day goes by without hearing about our achievements in science, literature, arts, economics — what have you.  But since that’s the language our President understands, I’m going to declare myself offended.  Why did he have to pick the month of May to announce his plan to divide our Jewish capital, Jerusalem?

Oh, and did you know that East Jerusalem Arabs prefer Israel to a Palestinian state.  As they say, LOL!  In any event, there was always a large Jewish community in East Jerusalem — until Jordan occupied it and forcibly expelled all Jews in 1948.  So yeah, lets now call it “Arab East Jerusalem”.

And while our dear President wants Arab “right of return” to be a part of the final settlement — a major diversion from classic American policy — what about the Jewish refugees?  If “Arab Spring” is worth anything at all, why not ask the presumably newly free Arab countries to compensate Jews they were so happy to kick out  a half a century or so ago?  In fact, why not make compensation for Jews kicked out of East Jerusalem a part of bilateral negotiation?

Obama’s on thin ice with Jewish voters.  I’m sure he’s still going to get the majority, but not 78% majority, and many will sit out the election.  He can count on fewer donations, too.  He’s scheduled to deliver speech to AIPAC on Sunday, apparently.  They should boo him.

Oh, and Assad heard Obama’s call of liberalization, and fired on protesters.  Killed 9.

…Actually, I’m not offended.  I’m absolutely outraged and scared.

UPDATE: Damage control already.

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