Queen Meghan

Prince Harry did what was needed to keep the British Royalty alive, he married a divorced American commoner.  And furthermore she is half-Black and a pretty TY star, what could be better. In fact, the whole wedding was so contrived that it seems to  have been scripted in Hollywood (remember “Capricorn One,” and ” Wag the dog“).  The Royal family is mired in privilege and is distant from the common people and perhaps it’s supposed to be that way.  But, anyone with any sense would advise them to become more relevant or be doomed to follow the Royal families of the rest of Europe to obscurity.

I foresee a TV drama series, a soap, that would star Meghan Markle (or the Duchess of Sussex) in the role of a new American member of the Royal family.  But, she discovers that her husband is only sixth in line to the throne, so in the fashion of “Game of Thrones” and countless real live stories, she schemes and maneuvers her way to remove the obstacles that stand in their way (remember Alec Guinness in “Kind Hearts and Coronets”).  If this means bumping off a few Royals, so be it. Assassinations can be carried out without her being suspected (look how Princess Diana died).  Until finally her husband Harry becomes King.  Then she schemes to replace him.  Long live Queen Meghan!

She could then make a move to become Queen of America, although Oprah Winfrey is already primed for that role.  Well, anyway she had her fairy tale wedding to the Prince.  Meghan’s Mom was supposed to pay for it, I wonder if she at least made a contribution.  All the wedding dress aficionados and hat fetishists will be happy for a while.  The rest of us can get back to reality.  What’s for dinner, Mum?

 

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Ignorance by Stars

The rapper Kanye West made a serious mistake when he stated that if slavery for Blacks lasted for 400 years then it must have been by choice.  Slavery a choice?  Yes, he really said that.  Of course, there was a quick and extensive reaction and he issued an apology.  But, this highlights the phenomenon of pop stars and movie stars who believe their name recognition gives them the right to sound off on all sorts of cultural and political issues, about which they are ignorant.

Another case in point is Natalie Portman, the Israeli-American actress who has starred in many movies.  She was to have been given the Israel Prize, a very prestigious and valuable award.  She had accepted the nomination, but then withdrew her acceptance wen she found that PM Netanyahu was going to speak at the award ceremony.  She said she did not want her presence to be considered as an endorsement of his views and policies.  Now let me ask you, would you think that if she got the award and he spoke that that was in fact an endorsement by her of his policies.  Nonsense.  The real reason she with drew is because her friends in the Hollywood left are anti-Netanyahu (and even anti-Israel) and it would have hurt her chances of getting further parts and support in Hollywood if she had appeared on the same stage as Netanyahu.

We give far too much attention to the uninformed and irrelevant opinions of actors, actresses and popstars.  Who cares what they think about the state of the economy, the issue of gun control and the Middle East situation.  As far as I am concerned Natalie Portman crossed the line and she doesn’t deserve the Israel Prize and she should stick to trying to act.

International Women’s Day

There is no doubt that women have been discriminated against, hence the need for a day to focus attention on this issue.  In the West, the main current complaints are first inequality of pay, in general women are paid from 50-80% less for the same job done by men.  For certain tasks women seem to be better suited for the job, such as computer work, including computer assisted design, and anything requiring dexterity, careful thought and flair.  Such jobs become more available as computers and the internet expand.

The other complaint is of course sexual harassment and intimidation.  The Harvey Weinstein case has blown the lid off Hollywood exploitation of young women, as if we didn’t know.  The #metoo phenomenon has caught fire and many wealthy stars are now giving money to a fund to support legal expenses for young women who are being sexually exploited.  However, one must admit that this form of male domination is as old as man himself and it will be very difficult to stamp it out.

In the East, the plight of women is much, much worse.  In most Muslim countries, women are considered as chattel, property, to be bought and sold, more or less as slaves.  They have no rights, no education (most are illiterate) and their views are not considered.  They cannot own property, they cannot travel without the consent of their husband, they cannot even go out and shop without being accompanied by a male relative, usually a son.  In Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Salman has recently introduced two reforms, allowing women to drive by themselves, and allowing women to attend football matches and other public sporting events.  In this respect the Muslim world is about 200 years behind the West.  Also, with regard to marriage, Islam allows men to marry several women and often an older man will take a younger second or third wife, who has little or not say in the matter.  For a good example read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini.

I have always wondered why liberal women in the West, including many Jewish women, take great exception to the way Israel treats the foreign Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens (no worse than the US treats illegal Mexicans), yet almost completely ignore the constant extreme mistreatment of women in Muslim lands.  For example, why is there no women’s movement in the West against the wearing of abominable head to toe burkas for women in many Muslim countries, which by the way is not a religious requirement of Islam.  Also why is there no movement against multiple marriages.  They prefer to join the antisemitic focus against Israel alone.

If women had more say in life and politics in the Muslim world it would not be such a  violent and uncivilized place.  That is not to say that all women are against all exploitation and war.  For example, Marie Antoinette (“let them eat cake”), British PM Margaret Thatcher (the Falklands War) and Israeli PM Golda Meir.  But, generally women have a calming and civilizing influence on men and society.

Detroit and Churchill

In the evenings I often watch movies and most of them are disappointing, especially sequels such as “Blade Runner 2049” and “Jumanji,” both of which I stopped watching.  But, a few movies are worth watching, such as “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and the amazing “Loving Vincent.

I recently watched two movies that have partly a common theme, namely racism in the USA.  “Suburbicon,” is a recent movie that shows the hypocrisy of the bland facade that was projected in the 1950’s of the supposed “American dream.”  The worst features of racism came violently to the fore and played themselves out until they exploded in the 1960’s.  The movie that had most impact on me was “Detroit” a detailed supposedly accurate retelling (in 2017) of the massacre at the Algier’s Hotel that occurred in Detroit during the race riots of 1967.

This strips away the facade off the supposed democratic process that is based on the concept that “all men are created equal.”  Even in the vaunted USA, individual policemen and even whole departments, were institutionally racist.  Policemen, who are supposed to be the protectors of the public, who pay their salary, become the judges of life and death of people of whatever color, sex or religion they dislike.  Even in the courts justice was not done, and even today the beating, shooting and killing of innocent blacks by police is common in America.  What a terrible reality.  Nevertheless, I oppose such violent movements as “Black Lives Matter.”  What really matters is to have more Black attorneys like Thurgood Marshall, as exemplified in the excellent movie  “Marshall.”

Two other movies that I watched, “Darkest Hour” and “Dunkirk” each in its own way shows how in May, 1940, the future of mankind dangled from a thin thread.  It is the merest coincidences of history that saved us.  Yet, in “Churchill” Winston is shown as opposing the D-Day invasion of France because he feared another “Gallipoli,” that he was considered responsible for, another massacre of troops on a beachhead.  Yet in “Darkest Hour” he was the mainstay of those who argued for resistance to the Nazi invasion.  How he fought Beaverbrook and Chamberlain who wanted to come to terms with Hitler is a stirring story.  Gary Oldman is excellent in the role of Churchill in this movie.  I thoroughly recommend “Darkest Hour.”

 

Primitive Islamic Societies

I noticed an item in the media that two female volunteers were tortured and murdered in Pakistan because they were administering polio vaccinations to children.  The report said that the Taliban stated that it was “unislamic” to vaccinate children.  A few months ago a Ghanaian doctor at a hospital in Karachi was shot dead for similar reasons.

In Afghanistan, apart from attacks on health workers, women are unable to run any form of business without threats by the Taliban and need constant bodyguards.  One older lady who ran a bakery in Kunduz that employed only women, swore that she would not give in, but soon was forced to flee.  Now men work in the bakery and keep guard on it too.   You might think that because the Taliban no longer control Kunduz or Afghanistan that this is only a problem of the extremists, but interviews with men on the street (women are fully covered in burkas and cannot talk to strange people) showed that most of them agree that according to the Koran women should not be allowed to run businesses.  Note also that in Afghanistan, after the supposed defeat of the Taliban, schools for girls are regularly fire bombed and female teachers are regularly murdered.

This is not only a problem for those supposedly backward societies, but these kind of attitudes permeate all Muslim societies, with only a few allowing “westernization” or “modernization.”  Saudi Arabian schools and universities are completely gender segregated, with only teachers of the same gender allowed, or they can teach via remote media.  Even in supposedly secular societies, such as Turkey, the current trend is back to Islam rather than accept foreign western influences.  I am always amused by the TV ads for Doha and Dubai that show them as so modern, yet away from the cameras the same restrictions on women apply.  It is a traditional part of Islamic culture to keep women in their place, under control.  They are about 100 years at least behind the West and they are losing the incredibly valuable input of half their population.  It keeps their societies more violent, less civilized and backward.  Why don’t the liberals of the BDS movement campaign about this?

Black freedom

When I see you hanging around on street corners, or taking drugs in run-down hovels, or walking down the street at night in gangs, I am frightened, and disappointed.  What has become of you, the black men who were freed from the shackles of slavery and blatant persecution and exclusion.  My people, the Jews, believed in civil rights, not only because it benefited us, but because it was the right thing to do.  Many people, including mostly white people, combined to help overcome the barriers to your freedom.

When I hear jazz and the music of Benny Goodman (who had the first integrated band), it is joyous music.  When I hear the melodic voice of Ella Fitzgerald I am happy.  But, where are the many Black scientists and leaders we expected.  Yes, it takes effort and competition, yes, it is hard, as we Jews well know.  But, it is necessary and it is worth it.  Don’t use excuses like it’s a “white man’s world” or it’s “white culture” to explain the lack of success.  Science and technology are international and objective.

Through the 70’s and 80’s I had a lab in a major institution in the US.  I waited for the Black students to come, but they never did.  There were plenty of Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, but no Blacks.  When I worked at a major grant-giving scientific institution we were ordered to give minorities (Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans) special consideration, but they never came up to the standard required.

Yet, when movements like “Black Lives Matter” develop, what is one of their major themes, anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitism.  Without really understanding the background to the situation, without knowing that Jews were the indigenous people of the region and the Arabs were the imperialists, without taking into account that we had to fight for nearly 100 years against incredible odds to make a place for ourselves in the world, these Black activists are against us.  They buy the crude bias of the BDS movement, they become our enemies.

Yet, I suppose if we had to do it all over again we would still support the civil rights movement, because it was the right thing to do.  But, spare me your sniveling and leftist propaganda, we have made a successful start-up nation here by our own efforts.  When you have achieved something like this, then you can deign to give us advice.

MeTooism

I have been watching ice dancing and figure skating  tournaments from Japan and Helsinki on the TV.  I love it when the man picks up the woman or girl and throws her twirling in the air and catches her and then she twists around him and he puts her back on her skates.  You never see the woman throwing the man in the air and catching him.

It set me to thinking about the current tsunami of exposures of prominent men in TV and showbiz who have been accused of improper conduct, molesting or even rape of women.  It started with Harvey Weinstein and includes such luminaries as Bill Cosby, Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Affleck, Oliver Stone, James Toback, Kevin Spacey and on and on…

All these men share in common the ability to affect the career of any young woman who is looking for a job.  It is clearly is a case of power and control as much as sex.  Certainly this has been going on since time began and definitely it is wrong, especially if force was used.  But, men are weak creatures, they cannot resist the temptation, they cannot use restraint, especially if they think that the chances of getting away with it are great.  Maybe that won’t be the case in the future.   Careers have been destroyed and fortunes lost because of these “outings.”

Men are at a disadvantage compared to women because they never know how a woman will react to a “pass” or approach.  However, if a woman says no or if there is no earthly reason why she should want such an approach, then the man is making a big mistake.  Let’s face it, gender is destiny, and men have to get used to the idea that their position should not be used to determine the destiny of the other gender.  I always hope that the male skater will safely catch the female skater.  That’s his destiny.