Sunday, April 21, 2024

Boredom and Gratitude

Are you bored? Do you find life boring? Do you find your friends and family to be insufferable bores? 

Perhaps you are simply depressed, detached and feeling down. At the least, you are not connecting with others and feel like you lack purpose. Besides, you do not feel like you desire much of anything and do not gain any pleasure from pleasurable activities.


Well, psycho researchers have found a solution. You can overcome boredom by putting yourself on a gratitude drip. An infusion of gratitude will help you to overcome boredom and will render your life more meaningful.


I will confess that I agree wholeheartedly with the gratitude side of this equation, but that I find the appeal to concepts like meaningfulness to be vapid. No one really knows what it means to have a meaningful life. 


When you are bored, you will feel like whatever you are doing is a waste of time. You will feel numb to stimulus and will feel disengaged from other people. As I noted, it seems to be another term for depression.


Vladimir Hedrih reports on the recent research for PsyPost:


Boredom is defined as “the aversive experience of wanting but being unable to engage in satisfying activity.” It is a negative emotion associated with a perceived lack of stimulation, interest, or engagement in one’s environment or activities. Boredom often accompanies feelings of restlessness, dissatisfaction, and a desire for change or novelty. It can arise from repetitive tasks, a lack of challenge, or a mismatch between an individual’s interests and their current situation.


Boredom is often intertwined with feelings of meaninglessness and is associated with various adverse psychological outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, or stress. 


It sounds bleak and depressing. The researchers recommend curing it with gratitude:


Gratitude, which is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful in life, can potentially mitigate feelings of boredom by shifting focus from what is lacking to what is present and positive.


As noted the studies glom on to the concept of meaning.


Similarly, boredom is inversely related to the meaning in life. When individuals perceive their activities and existence as meaningful, they are less likely to experience boredom. A sense of meaning in life provides a sense of purpose and direction, which can counteract the feelings of emptiness and disinterest that characterize boredom.


As I said, I find this to be blather. As for what it means to find meaning in life, the therapy world tends to recommend that you turn your life into permanent psychodrama. Live out a story and you will not be bored. You might become insufferable, but it beats boredom.


The important issue is not that you feel gratitude. It is-- that you show gratitude. If someone does you a favor you should return the favor. That shows gratitude. 


If your heart is brimming with gratitude and other positive emotions toward the other person, and you do not return the favor, and do not even say thank-you, you are an ingrate. 


That is, you engage in an adult transaction, one where you are both giving and receiving, interacting with another person, connecting with him. The point is not what you are feeling but what you are doing. You will notice that the researchers seem not to have considered this possibility.


Individuals feeling more gratitude tended to feel much less bored (Study 1). Individuals feeling more gratitude also tended to experience more meaning in life. Statistical analysis suggested that gratitude might increase the experience of meaning in life, which, in turn, reduces boredom (Study 2a). This link between gratitude, meaning in life, and boredom remained even after controlling for the positive and negative emotions one feels (Study 2b).


I defy anyone to tell me how you can find more more meaning in life. And yet, when I speak of the moral obligation to return favors, to engage in exchanges with other people, you will know exactly what I mean.


True gratitude requires you to engage in a constructive exchange. It is transactional. Your feelings are only incidental to the process. At the least, your consistent practice of the proper exchanges will cure your boredom.


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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Saturday Miscellany

First, is the tide turning? Columbia University called the police to remove pro-Hamas, anti-Israeli demonstrators who had camped out on the college green.

The New York Post editorialized:


We’re glad to see [Columbia President] Shafik stand up that vow; clearly, Congress deserves some credit for putting educrats’ feet to the fire on this issue.


Academia has been handling anti-Israel demonstrations with kid gloves, sending a clear message that they’re fine even when they feature rabid antisemitism.


Students need to see administrators stand up and make it clear that antisemites don’t get a free pass to violate school policies just because they’re on the left.


And yet, the next day they were all back, accompanied by no other than an anti-Semite named Norman Finkelstein.


Describing the October 7 massacre, Finkelstein said this:


… it warmed every fiber of my soul.


Now we know where his soul is going to be spending eternity.

Second, slightly more than two dozen Googlers occupied executive offices to protest Israel’s defensive actions in Gaza. The company decided that enough was enough. It fired the protesters.


Perhaps the tide is turning.


Third, over at Hobart William Smith College, faculty member Jodi Dean celebrated the October 7 Hamas atrocities. The college suspended her for the rest of the semester.


Lisa Schiffren has the story at The College Fix. She quotes Dean’s remarks:


The images from October 7 of paragliders evading Israeli air defenses were for many of us exhilarating. 


Who could not feel energized seeing oppressed people bulldozing the fences enclosing them, taking to the skies in escape, and flying freely through the air?


Now she has been disciplined. Again, perhaps the tide is turning.


Fourth, the next time you hear about all of the innocent civilians who have been killed in Gaza, keep in mind that most of them support Hamas. Many of them assisted Hamas in their October 7 attack.


Alan Dershowitz explains:


Among the so-called innocent "civilians" who Hamas claims have been killed by Israel, there are thousands of guilty and complicit civilians without whose assistance Hamas could not have succeeded in their barbarisms….


All in all, the number of absolutely innocent Gazans — babies, children and adults who are not complicit in Hamas crimes — is a fraction of those claimed by Israel's enemies, including so-called human rights groups.


Fifth, meanwhile in New York City, we are seeing more and more empty storefronts. This is what happens when organized retail theft becomes the order of the day. And it is what happens when weak prosecutors do not enforce the laws.


The New York Post editorialized:


Vacant storefronts are both a sign and a cause of economic distress — and they’ve nearly doubled in the city since the pandemic.


Per the city Department of Finance, more than 11% of Big Apple storefronts now sit empty, discouraging nearby commerce and attracting disorder.


“They are creating havoc because there is homeless, garbage, and the business next door hurts,” City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, whose Upper West Side district has been hit hard by the vacancies, told The Post.


But her fellow progressives seem pretty clueless about their own responsibility here.


It’s hard to keep a retail shop running when city and state lawmakers micromanage what you have to pay workers and how you can schedule shifts, and even mandate benefits.


Not to mention the high taxes they impose and the get-out-of-jail-free cards they issue to even chronic shoplifters.


Sixth, this description of diversity politics feels rather harsh, and it would be harsh, unless, of course, it is true. From the Twitter account of SleepForever 33:


Facts, there's an epidemic of DEI hires in every almost every business sector who are unqualified for their positions. Even worse, we've also created thousands of fake positions with substantial salaries for these people who contribute nothing to society.


Seventh, Canada has seen an increase in the number of assisted suicides. Apparently, Canadian psychiatrists have decided that it is cheaper to allow patients who are depressed to kill themselves, than to treat them.


Not to be outdone UCLA medical school is now promoting self-immolation as an act of revolutionary suicide.


From the Washington Free Beacon:


UCLA medical school’s psychiatry department hosted a talk earlier this month that glorified self-immolation as a form of "revolutionary suicide," raising concerns from prominent doctors and deepening a public relations crisis that has embroiled the elite medical school.


The talk, "Depathologizing Resistance," was delivered on April 2 by two psychiatry residents at UCLA, Drs. Ragda Izar and Afaf Moustafa, under the auspices of the department’s diversity office and UCLA’s Health Ethics Center, according to slides and emails obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.


The talk reflects the erosion of what was until recently a bedrock medical norm: from the American Psychiatric Association to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, all professional mental health bodies warn against glorifying self-harm, lest it inspire others to harm themselves.


That norm has weakened with the rise of activist doctors and their capture of medical organizations. Pediatricians got a vivid taste of the brave new world in 2022 when Morissa Ladinsky, in an address at the American Academy of Pediatrics’s annual conference, praised a transgender teenager, Leelah Alcorn, for "boldly … ending her life" and leaving a suicide note that "went viral, literally around the world."


At UCLA, Izar and Moustafa, who are practicing psychiatrists, argued that self-immolation is a reasonable response to geopolitical events and that the taboo against it serves "the interests of power." By "perpetuating the stigma of self-immolation," they said, psychiatrists "discredit" resistance to "power structures" like "colonization," "homophobia," and "white supremacy," framing legitimate acts of protest as signs of psychiatric dysfunction.


Nothing quite so reasonable as self-immolation. And this from the medical school of a major American university.


As I write this post, I remark sadly that a man immolated himself in downtown Manhattan. His name was Max Azzarello and he called himself an investigative researcher. He was from Florida.  I suspect that he did not attend the meeting at the UCLA Psychiatry department.


Surely, he needed psychiatric care, but apparently did not receive it.


At the least, we know that he hated both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Is that a consolation?


Eighth, the University of Southern California canceled their student graduation speaker, apparently because she was an outspoken Israel hater.


As for the backstory, Nellie Bowles reports it in the Free Press:


USC canceled their outspoken, anti-Israel graduation speaker, saying it was “necessary to maintain the safety of our campus and students.” The speaker, the student valedictorian, believes that Israel should be abolished, and that there should be only one majority-Muslim Palestine. This, of course, means the death of Jews and whatnot. But USC didn’t cancel the speech because the content was going to be hateful. They canceled it for “safety” reason, which is how people now wiggle out of many hot situations. 


As with most things, this one is complex. As a friend of Free Press put it: “A faculty committee picked this student out of a group of 100 precisely so that she could turn USC’s graduation ceremony into a Nuremberg rally. And we’re supposed to be ashamed that a grown-up figured out what was happening and shut it down? The two most famous USC students are OJ and Aunt Becky’s daughter. And that’s okay!”


Ninth, every time Joe Biden opens his mouth he sticks his foot in it, but not in the cannibalistic way. So, Biden recently announced to the world that his uncle Finnegan had been shot down in the Pacific during World War II, and had been eaten by cannibals in New Guinea.


It made for a compelling story, especially if you are on a diet.


Anyway, a serious academic in Papua New Guinea took some exception to the story. The Daily Mail explains:


Outraged Papua New Guinea academics have slammed President Joe Biden for his 'unacceptable' suggestion that his uncle was eaten by cannibals in the country after his plane was shot down during World War II.


Biden implied on two occasions Wednesday that his maternal uncle 2nd Lieutenant Ambrose J. Finnegan had met a grisly end at the hands of cannibals after his plane was shot down by the enemy over New Guinea in 1944. 


But the White House and official defense records confirmed that Finnegan died when the military plane he was in experienced engine failure and crashed into the Pacific Ocean, not over land.


Michael Kabuni, a political science lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea, told The Guardian cannibalism was previously practiced by some communities in very specific contexts and that locals 'wouldn't just eat any white men that fell from the sky'.


Other analysts branded Biden's claims as 'unsubstantiated and poorly judged', especially during a time in which the US has been trying to strengthen its ties with Papua New Guinea. 


Tenth, married special needs teacher Jessica Sawicki was caught in flagrante delicto with a seventeen-year old. Now, she has been released from jail in order to take care of her two children, aged five and two.


Are you outraged by the injustice of it all?


It used to be called courtly love. Now it’s a felony.


Eleventh, on the transmania front, some good news from France.

BillboardChris reports:


Yet again, I have to share good news. It just won’t stop! The Senate in France has proposed a ban on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender surgeries on minors. 


Gender-affirming care — the euphemism for childhood sex changes carried out by deranged cultists who have infiltrated our medical system — is dying all around the world. What a beautiful sight.


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Friday, April 19, 2024

Who Is Katherine Maher?

By now you are fully informed about the saga playing itself out at the National Public Radio. A senior editor, named Uri Berliner denounced the station on The Free Press for having become a propaganda organ.

He exposed an inconvenient truth. The station has dedicated itself to promoting leftist and extremist propaganda and has become an activist organ, dedicated to damaging one Donald Trump.


You might say that you did not need Uri Berliner to tell you that, but still, he fired a shot across the bow of NPR. 


The powers that be, that would be President Katherine Maher was seriously aggrieved. So she suspended Berliner for five days, and threatened him with expulsion. He responded by resigning. 


The net result has been increased scrutiny for the mind of Katherine Maher. One uses the term “mind” cautiously, because Maher is an obvious imbecile, worthy of a political party that extols Kamala Harris and Karine Jean-Pierre.


At a time when a twit named Katie Couric is denouncing Trump supporters for being anti-intellectual, I dare you to mention one person who has ever thought of Katie Couric as an intellectual, as a serious thinker.


In the meantime, Maher’s newfound public prominence has shined a spotlight on her archive of nearly 30,000 tweets. For her pains she has now been critiqued by one Christopher Rufo. That is to say, she has been Rufoed.


Maher’s usings are as bad as you would expect. In a world that considers the dimwitted pseudo-thinker a great thinker, once you examine her acolytes in the feminist intelligentsia, you are appalled at the level of stupid that some people attain, all the while, thinking of themselves as serious thinkers.


Rufo calls Maher an archetype, and, frankly, one wishes that it were not true. And yet, alas, it seems to be more than true.


An archetype of what, you will ask? Rufo responds: 


… an affluent white female liberal—many of whom now sit atop our elite institutions.


If you were wondering what the world would look life if strong empowered feminists were in charge, the example of NPR will offer a cautionary note.


And yet, it’s worse than that. Maher is also the product of our most esteemed institutions of learning. She is what you become when you major in Women’s Studies or Ethnic Studies. You become a living, breathing caricature.


Rufo is correct to say that she descends into self-parody, only she does not believe that she is making a complete fool of herself. She thinks she belongs to the elite intelligentsia. Apparently, Maher sprinkles leftist buzzwords throughout her tweets.


Rufo collected some of them. One gets the impression that Maher spends her off hours picking through Judith Butler’s trash:


… “structural privilege,” “epistemic emergency,” “transit justice,” “non-binary people,” “late-stage capitalism,” “cis white mobility privilege,” “the politics of representation,” “folx.” She supported Black Lives Matter from its earliest days. She compares driving cars with smoking cigarettes. She is very concerned about “toxic masculinity.”


On every topic, Maher adopts the fashionable language of left-wing academic theory and uses it as social currency, even when her efforts veer into self-parody. She never explains, never provides new interpretation—she just repeats the phrases, in search of affirmation and, when the time is right, a promotion.


This suggests that she does not know how to think, and that she certainly does not know how to consider both sides of an argument.


Consider this nugget, gleaned from a TED Talk that Maher gave:


Our reverence for the truth might be a distraction getting in the way of finding common ground & getting things done.


How else can you find common ground if not in your reverence for an objective truth? The point of searching for the truth is to find facts and realities that everyone can agree upon, because they do not, by definition, promote the interest of one group over another.


Maher has evidently not thought about what she is saying. This is characteristic of someone who is not very smart but who is good at pretending that she is.


Rufo explains:


Maher understands the game: America’s elite institutions reward loyalty to the narrative. Those who repeat the words move up; those who don’t move out.


More importantly, the intellectually deficient Maher does not want to debate issues. As Justice Holmes once said, in the free trade of ideas, people eventually arrive at the truth. And yet, if you have nothing but your jejune beliefs and your ideological fanaticism, you are more likely to refuse to debate or discuss. You will be happier censoring:


As CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, Maher made censorship a critical part of her policy, under the guise of fighting “disinformation.” In a speech to the Atlantic Council, an organization with extensive ties to U.S. intelligence services, she explained that she “took a very active approach to disinformation,” coordinated censorship “through conversations with government,” and suppressed dissenting opinions related to the pandemic and the 2020 election.


Given her disdain for the truth and her inability to debate and discuss, Maher has found her place in a world where people do not compete, but where they beg for charity. She does not want to subject herself to the verdict of the free market but prefers to impose herself, bloated ego and all, on the rest of the world. 


Maher is no aberration. She is part of a rising cohort of affluent, left-wing, female managers who dominate the departments of university administration, human resources, and DEI. They … value safety over liberty, censorship over debate, and relativism over truth.


The new CEO of NPR, then, is a left-wing ideologue who supports wide-scale censorship and considers the First Amendment an impediment to her campaign to sanitize the world of wrong opinions.


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Thursday, April 18, 2024

"Take the Win"

Now that it might have discovered that its one-word deterrence has yet again failed, the Biden foreign policy team has lit on a new slogan, this time three words-- “Take the win.” At least they are sticking with monosyllabic words. 

You have to wonder how it could happen that these seasoned foreign policy hands to confuse infantile inanities with policy.


The Biden team was addressing itself to the Israeli war cabinet, working now on how best to respond to the Iranian drone and missile attack of last weekend. It was telling them to do nothing in response to the Iranian attack. It was counseling restraint. 


In reality, Israel had succeeded in shooting down the incoming missiles, with some help from its friends, but that does not constitute a victory. 


“Take the win” reminds one of the Vietnam War, when some anti-warriors recommended that we declare victory and go home. Strangely, they seemed incapable of differentiating between saying you win and actually winning.


For Israel, and perhaps even for us, the question is deterrence. To deter an adversary, you have to make them pay a price for their first attack and you have to show them that the price is very high indeed.


Surely, you do not want to assert that your defenses will always succeed.


Consider this. The Iranians attacked Israel in order to save face. They had seen their Syrian consulate incinerated and had lost some of their most important commanding officers. 


They ignored the simple fact that the Israeli attack on Syria officers was retaliation for October 7. Unfortunately, it was not sufficiently costly for Iran. They were undeterred.


Iran financed and approved of the October 7 attack on Israel. And yet, when Israel attacked Gaza, Iran could do nothing to defend its proxy forces. Iran had not counted on an Israeli counterattack that would cripple Hamas and turn Gaza into rubble.


Perhaps that will be sufficient deterrence. If not, the solution, as the Israelis have suggested, lies in destroying Hamas-- which is beyond deterrence.


Last Saturday Iranian subjects were cheering the attack on Israel, for a simple reason. For once their country seemed to be asserting itself. It was saving face, so to speak.


And yet, even if the attack had succeeded, it would have provided a false sense of price. You do not gain pride from destroying what others have built. You only gain pride from building something yourself.


That is the overarching lesson from the experience of Israel. That is the point that sticks in the terrorist craw.


As you know, Iran has hegemonic ambitions. It supports proxy forces throughout the region and seeks to damage its opponents, first Israel, second America, third certain Arab states. 


While the Trump administration, with the Abraham Accords, began establishing a counterforce to Iran, the feckless Biden administration decided that it wanted to return to the Iranian nuclear deal. It took the proxy Houthis off the terrorist list and chose to absorb countless attacks by other pixies on American outposts in the region. 


Over a hundred unanswered attacks on Americans in the region sends a message-- and that message is not: take the win.


And yet, if Israel fails to react to the Iranian aggression, why would Iran not consider that a sign of its own victory? It would have shown Israel to be a paper tiger. The Jewish nation needs now to make Iran pay a price for its bluster and its flagrant attack. It needs to expose Iran as a weak regional bully.


Walter Russell Mead explains this aspect:


What the president appears not yet to understand is that Iran has become so powerful, and America’s reputation as a source of sound policy and reliable support so weak, that only resolute American backing of our allies can turn the tide.


In many ways the worst impression Israel could give would be to appear to be tools of the feckless Biden foreign policy team. If it did so, it would lose face.


Israel needs also to show itself to be a stalwart ally of the Arab nations with whom it signed the Abraham Accords. 


From an Arab point of view, there are two things that make Israel valuable at a time of diminished confidence in the U.S. First, Israel sees the common fight against Iran as part of its own fight for survival. It will be a reliable ally because it has no choice. Second, Israel offers the mix of strength and relentlessness without which Iran cannot be stopped. At a time when liberal opinion in the U.S. was elegantly wringing its hands about Israeli ruthlessness in Gaza destroying any possibility of Arab-Israeli cooperation, Jordan and Saudi Arabia leapt to Israel’s defense against the Iranian attacks. The fastest way for Israel to lose friends in the Middle East would be to start thinking like American liberal foreign-policy hands.


To be more precise, the fastest way for Israel to lose friends in the Middle East would be to appear to be taking orders from the Biden administration. Thus, it is honor bound to reject the counsel of restraint and to make Iran pay a severe price for attacking it.


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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wednesday Potpourri

First, while our intelligentsia is agonizing over misinformation it has largely failed to see that the Biden administration has mismanaged foreign policy, especially in the Middle East.

It takes a special level of stupidity to think that the word “Don’t” constitutes a policy or especially a deterrent.


And yet, Biden keeps mouthing this word, while seeing that no one, from Vladimir Putin to the ayatollahs in Iran, takes him seriously.


In Martin Gurri’s words:


So we said "Don't" to the Iranians and they did. So we said we stand with Israel but we also said we condemn Israel. So we called the ruling prince in Saudi Arabia a "pariah" the we begged him for more oil production. Is there a plan anywhere in here?


On the Powerline blog, Scott Johnson had this to say:


Biden and his team have forfeited every element of deterrence against the Iranians. Rather, they have showered the mullahs with money and love while they have financed and accommodated the regime’s activities. They have communicated nothing but fear of the regime. The Biden administration seems not to understand that the regime cannot be appeased.


Now Biden seeks to hedge the Israelis in from responding to the massive Iranian attack. The attack, by the way, targeted Jerusalem among other areas throughout Israel. The Dome of the Rock escaped unscathed thanks to air defenses, but destroying an Islamic holy site and killing Muslims are A-Okay in pursuit of the genocide of the Jewish people. They have their priorities in order.


Second, while the Biden administration helped the Israeli military defend against the Iranian attacks, the truth is, the administration policy, consisting in constantly carping about Israeli military tactics, encouraged said attacks.


And, constantly criticizing Israel while forgetting about the atrocities committed by Hamas, must have given the Iranians the wrong ideas.


Third, after sending its military to help the Israelis, the Biden administration, notably speaking out of both sides of its mouth, immediately told Israel that it would not support a counterattack.


By now, however, the Israelis no longer take the Biden administration’s word very seriously.


It is worth noting a point that everyone else has been noting, namely, that Israel is the only country that is constantly being told to restrain itself, and to accept being attacked violently.


Fourth, one cannot fail to remark that the governments of Jordan and Saudi Arabia contributed to the Israeli effort. One understands that they both have publicly supported the Palestinian people, but, as I have had occasion to remark, the Saudis in particular have no affection for Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. 


Fifth, meanwhile in Bidenland, Morgan Ortagus reminds us that Biden had been doing his best to revive the Iran nuclear deal, through a policy of appeasement. In her words:


Reminder: Biden allowed the UN sanctions on Iran's drones and ballistic missiles to expire less than six months ago. The very same drones and missiles en route to Israel right now.


Sixth, Richard Grenell reminds the world of what it all looked like before Biden took office.


In his words:


Donald Trump had Iran broke. Joe Biden gave the Iran Regime hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, credit and cash. Iran is now attacking Israel with Joe Biden’s money.


Seventh, Victor Davis Hanson has also taken the measure of Biden’s foreign policy mismanagement. Here are some of the points he sees as contributing to the mess in the Middle East:


On the eve of the October 7 massacres, National Security Advisor bragged in an essay that his Mideast portfolio was “quieter than it has been for decades”.  Now we are on the verge of a multifront Middle East war. How did Joe Biden inherit a decades-long regional calm and turn it into a precursor to a gargantuan war?


1. Talk loudly and carry a twig. Issue hollow Obama-like “redlines” or serial Biden threats to aggressive enemies like the vapid “Don’t!” Witness a U.S. President who works a 3-day week, struggles to read a teleprompter, and shouts more at conservative Americans than at America’s enemies.


2. Destroy hard-won deterrence. Abruptly pull out of Afghanistan. Abandon $50 billion in weapons to terrorists. Abandon a new $1 billion embassy. Abandon a $300 refitted air base. Abandon thousands of NATO allies, thousands of U.S. contractors, and thousands of Afghan allies. Lose 13 Marines in a horrific scramble to get out, while killing collateral Afghan civilians in a supposedly “righteous strike”. Call the entire American humiliation an impressive withdrawal.


5. Coddle terrorist Iran. Seem eager to resume the Iran Deal. Lift sanctions. Allow $100 billion in oil profits to flow into Iranian coffers. Restore aid to the terrorist Palestinian authority and Hamas. Ignore Hezbollah’s terrorism. Remove the terrorist designation of the Houthis. Mostly ignore over 120 Iranian attacks on American installations. Transfer suspended funds to Iran at the rate of $1.2 billion for each American hostage it took.


6. Pressure Israel not to destroy Hamas—and not to reply to missile and drone attacks on the Israeli homeland. Threaten to cut off military aid to the only democratic government and longest U.S. ally in the Middle East should it finish off Hamas. Signal the Middle East that there is growing distance between

Israel and America. Try to subvert if not overthrow the elected government of Israel. Transfer U.S. weapons stocks from Israel to Ukraine. Ignore thousands of missiles launched by Hamas and Hezbollah, and 100,000 Israelis internally displaced from their homes.


7. Run up the U.S deficit by $1 trillion every 100 days through reckless spending for entitlements, massive green subsidies, and DEI initiatives—while neglecting American shortages of munition stocks, arms, ships, and planes.


8. Recalibrate the U.S. military by substituting DEI criteria for past meritocracy. Accuse white males of being suspect white supremacists, then investigate them, then find no such evidence—and then suffer a shortage of a record 41,000 recruits. 


Lose the confidence of the American people in the military, so that less than half the population polls high confidence in the armed forces. Render the Uniform Code of Military Justice a mere construct.


Eighth, the Jerusalem Post reports that Iran had informed Turkey of the pending attack on Israel and that Turkey informed the United States. 


Iran informed Turkey in advance of its planned operation against Israel, a Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters on Sunday, adding that the US conveyed to Iran via Ankara that its operation must be "within certain limits."


Obviously, this has been strenuously denied. I report; you decide.


Ninth, your tax dollars at work, supporting National Public Radio. As you know, one Uri Berliner, a longtime editor at NPR has denounced the station for having become a left wing propaganda machine.


To which NPR President Katherine Maher took serious exception. It turns out that Maher is a pathetic flake herself. Being white and blond she has still bought into all the anti-white supremacy noise:


I mean, sure, looting is counterproductive. But it’s hard to be mad about protests not prioritizing the private property of a system of oppression founded on treating people’s ancestors as private property.


Evidently, NPR must be defunded. It has every right to hire a certifiable imbecile as President, but there is no reason for the taxpayers to foot the bill. 


Late news has it that Uri Berliner has been suspended from the network without pay for a few days. If he does not toe the line, he risks being fired.


Tenth, remember the good old days when armies of overpaid consultants declared that remote work was the future.


I have to give myself some credit for having pointed out that this  fairy tale was destined to fail. Now, the New York Post reports on the most recent study, from the University of California, at Berkeley. It tells us that working remotely is career suicide:


A new study co-authored by Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, highlights its repercussions on fleeing professionals. Moretti’s research reveals that leaving major cities can cripple career prospects….


Moretti’s findings challenge the notion that remote work heralded an era of geographic flexibility in living and working, stressing the enduring importance of urban hubs in career advancement.


“The big takeaway is that market size matters,” Moretti told Insider. “It’s clear that larger markets improve the quality of the match.”


The pandemic-induced migration might have lured many with promises of lower costs and spacious homes, but it came at a cost. Living in industry hubs fosters professional networks and serendipitous knowledge exchanges, fueling innovation and productivity.


Eleventh, as the DEI mania recedes another university-- this time Harvard-- is returning to merit, that is, to standardized tests:


Harvard University announced last Thursday that it would be reversing its “standardized testing-optional” policy for applicants to the Class of 2029. This change in course — Harvard dropped the SAT/ACT requirement for applicants four years ago — comes on the heels of announcements by fellow Ivy League schools Dartmouth and Yale in February that they would be doing the same.

  

… it represents a setback for the continuing effort by left-wing academics to redirect higher education away from the pursuit of excellence and toward the pursuit of an ideological agenda.



Twelfth, a word from New York City politician, Maud Maron, regarding the way illegal migrants are displacing American citizens.


It is not very large, as these matters go, but it is certainly relevant:


Yesterday my eldest son’s soccer team could not play one of their scheduled games because migrants refused to leave the field the league had permits for, even after the cops came and told them they needed to leave. Finally the ref said it was too late to start the game and left. Two teams of high school boys, in uniform, with their coaches present. and a valid permit, could not play a soccer match in NYC because our city has become lawless. Not the biggest issue or problem, but so ugly and so diminishing to the quality of life.


I am happy to inform you that I now have some free consulting hours in my coaching practice. If you are interested, contact me at StuartSchneiderman@gmail.com.