All posts by Vladka Peltel

He’s anything but a “well-regulated” writer

It seems that one Adam Gopnik, a distinctly artsy-craftsy type, has himself a long-time sinecure at the New Yorker.

It also seems he now considers himself qualified to sling bombast to the effect that “the second amendment is a gun control amendment.”

Further, it seems is absolutely obvious that he feels free to pontificate without any knowledge of what the words “well-regulated” meant to the 18th century writers of the Bill of Rights. AND he pompously blats his fetid opinions without even having a sufficient grasp of grammar to realize that the words “well-regulated” in the amendment don’t refer to firearms, but to the militia.

Must be nice to get and hold such a plumb job with such a high-status publication without actually having to know anything about your topic, or even about how to read a simple English phrase.

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No surprise, the killer hated Jews, too.

Sheila already covered part of this in yesterday’s powerful post, but it bears repeating and re-emphasizing as a glimpse of how a racist murderer sees his potential victims. As the New Yorker notes about the manifesto posted by the Charleston, SC racist murderer (bolding mine):

The manifesto reflects a stark and twisted obsession with minorities and race, particularly African-Americans but also Jews and Hispanics. It is drenched in white-separatist racial solidarity; mordant self-pity; and conspiracy thinking. The text moves from blunt hatred (“Niggers are stupid and violent”) to a kind of lunatic auto-didacticism: “In a modern history class it is always emphasized that, when talking about ‘bad’ things Whites have done in history, they were White. But when we lern about the numerous, almost countless wonderful things Whites have done, it is never pointed out that these people were White. Yet when we learn about anything important done by a black person in history, it is always pointed out repeatedly that they were black. For example when we learn about how George Washington carver was the first nigger smart enough to open a peanut.” (I’ve left all of the grammatical and spelling mistakes uncorrected. It seems the least one could do.)

The anti-Semitism in the text is such that it is a wonder the killer did not make a stop at a local synagogue on the way to Emanuel A.M.E. Church with his .45-calibre handgun. (“Just like niggers, most jews are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on.”)

Vulnerable populations + vicious loons + “gun free” zones = a welcome mat for murder.

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Assassinating evil

This week marks the 73rd anniversary of the death of one of the most evil men who ever lived. He was also the only high Nazi official ever assassinated.

He was Reinhard Heydrich. Hitler called him the man with the iron heart.

He had an iron fist, too. Immediately after being installed as “protector” of two eastern European regions, he ordered 400 people slaughtered just so he could enjoy some quiet space. Four hundred was nothing to him, though. “Disappearing” political opponents was one of his jobs. He was the architect of Krystallnacht and a planner of the Holocaust. He chaired the infamous Wannsee Conference.

British-trained Czech and Slovak assassins hit him on May 27, 1942. It took him eight well-deserved days of misery to die.

Of course, the Nazis retaliated. First there was Lidice. Then Operation Reinhard, the code name for the truly final part of the Final Solution. (That would have happened anyhow; but it was named in grotesque “honor” of Heydrich.)

One of the favorite libertarian mental games is “would you go back in time and assassinate Hitler if you knew it would save millions of lives and prevent a war?” Of course even if you could travel backwards, you couldn’t know what the outcome would be. With Heydrich, we do know the outcome. At least we know the outcome of assassinating him after he had grown to full monsterhood and woven himself deep within the deadly fabric of Nazi officialdom.

There’s a man who should have been strangled in his cradle. Or if not that, been given the death penalty by his first intended victim.

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ETA: Be sure to watch the video Y.B. posted below! It brings the brave story of the resisters to life.

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Capturing Eichmann

This week is the 55th anniversary of the capture of Adolf Eichmann. It’s a story worthy of a Hollywood thriller.

Many people know its outlines. But did you know that after the war but before the Mossad decided to capture Eichmann alive and put him up for trial, there was an armed Jewish group called The Avengers that handled Nazis more directily?

At first they handed over the SS men to the Allied authorities, but many of the SS men “escaped in the chaos that followed the war or were released.” At one point the Russians released two Nazi Germans who had been turned over to them by the Jews. The Germans walked out into the street, laughing at their release. But not for long. The Avengers “cut the men down with a burst of sub-machine gunfire.”

From then on the Avengers simply tracked down and killed former Nazis. Perhaps 1000 Nazis were tracked down in this way after the war.

It seems that, following the war, allies had a habit of letting Nazis escape — not surprising when you consider how much some high-ups among the allies despised Jews.

It was also revealed a few years back that the West German government knew where Eichmann was hiding nearly a decade before the Israelis dragged him from Argentina.

Did the Israelis violate international law in conducting their unauthorized arrest of Eichmann? No doubt they violated many laws. But the keepers of the laws were busy either protecting or ignoring Eichmann — who (after the Nuremburg trials) was the only still-living senior official responsible for the Holocaust.

Eichmann was hardly the bland, colorless bureaucrat some have portrayed him as being. He was the chief administrator of genocide and a dedicated Nazi who continued to dream of setting up a new Third Reich in South America. His bureaucratic apparatus made mass murder possible. His lies persuaded hopeful Jews to believe they were merely being “relocated to the east” instead of being relocated to misery and death. His methods made mass murder go smoothly, with least resistance from the victims.

Before his trial, a lot of politicians and thinkers believed the best course was just to forget the Holocaust. Stop talking about it. Let it fade into history as quickly as possible. The trial of Adolf Eichmann ended all that and started an examination of the process of state-perpetrated evil that continues to this day — more than half a century after his capture.

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“Kapo for Kristallnacht” presents award to Giffords

Good one from David Codrea:

Designer Diane von Furstenberg’s DVF Foundation presented former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords with its Inspiration Award at the United Nations Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The $50,000 prize will be given to the Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation, a group Giffords founded with husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, to promote efforts to pass additional “gun control” edicts.

Von Furstenberg is a curious, but not unexpected admirer of a state monopoly of violence. Having married into an aristocratic German family and enjoying the title of “Princess” until her divorce, she is the Belgian-born daughter of European Jews, her mother being an Auschwitz concentration camp Holocaust survivor. As such, one would think that she would have special sensitivity to the terrible consequences of disarming citizens. Instead, from her position of sheltered insider privilege, she has chosen to be what my late friend and founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Aaron Zelman, called “bagel-brained,” and what I have termed being a “kapo for Kristallnacht.”

And a bonus from Bob Owens: The Brady Campaign may be close to going under. If so, it will have been suicide by frivolous lawsuit. The most recent judge didn’t like what they tried and walloped them with legal fees.

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Jews (and threats against Jews) in the News

In all the noise about “Je suis Charlie” earlier this month, less attention was paid to the related deadly attack on a Kosher market in Paris. Defense of free speech against ideological thugs is a vital world issue, but given what happened the last time European ideologues unleashed their historic hatred of Jews, nobody should be ignoring that danger, either.

Jews should also remember that last time around most of the world’s governments turned a blind eye on their fate. It’s fashionable to mourn the Holocaust now, but nobody cared very much when there was still time to do something to prevent or stop it.

Here’s a small sample of how things are turning in Europe. In Malmo, Sweden a pair of journalists don Jewish symbols and take a walk. Here’s what happened.

The Washington PostCharles Krauthammer wonders (as well he should), if anybody actually means “never again.” He says:

The rise of European anti-Semitism is, in reality, just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.

The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!” Berlin, mind you.

Finally, some Jews and Jewish leaders are coming around to the idea self defense by definition has to be performed by the SELF. Some of them are reluctant and wimpy about it, but they’re getting there. Benjamin Brafman writes, as if he’s startled by the revelation, “In light of recent events, however, I am convinced that Jews everywhere are now targets of terrorists intent on killing us. Accordingly, I am leaning closer to changing my mind on this issue as I come to grips with the realization that no police force, however superb, can always be everywhere. It is really that simple. When skilled, armed police are not on site, should we as Jews allow ourselves to be slaughtered, or do we take precautions that will give us at least a fighting chance?”

Others are still a long way from getting the reality. One Israeli hair stylist has invented an invisible kippah so that men can still be observant while looking less Jewish. Although (according to that article) rabbis have sanctioned foregoing the kippah if wearing it could be unsafe, this clever dodge dodges the real issue.

In the 1947 book and movie “Gentleman’s Agreement” a Gentile American journalist, Philip Green, does what those Swedish journalists did but for a longer time. He pretends to be Jewish to observe how he’s treated. At that time in the U.S., even after everybody had seen the horrors of Hitler’s death camps, Jews were still looked down on, excluded, and denied a lot of opportunities. It was mostly done without overt sneers and insults and certainly without violence, at least among polite adults. Green (played by Gregory Peck in the film) has a young son, though, and the boy comes home in tears one day because a gang of local bullies has called him a kike or a “dirty Jew.”

Green’s clueless, social climbing fiancee who feels threatened by the whole experiment comforts the boy by saying (I’m going from memory so this is the gist, if not the exact words), “It’s alright! It’s alright! You’re not really Jewish!”

Green, of course, gives her righteous hell. She has wretchedly missed the point and implied that if the kid was Jewish, somehow the insults and bullying would be okay.

You can pretend to be Jewish in Europe and see what it gets you. You can pretend not to be Jewish by wearing an invisible yarmulke and see if it makes you feel safer. But you’re missing the point if you can’t also see that Jew hatred is rising and that the only defense against violent thuggery is being prepared to deliver violent, life saving righteousness in return.

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Since Hanukkah I’ve been nursing a little gripe about the lack of respect given to Jews, compared with members of some other religions. Fellow Zelman Partisan Y.B ben Avraham had sent me a link to an article about restaurants contributing pork latkes, yes PORK latkes, to a Haunkkah contest.

If they’d contributed pork to any traditional Muslim festival, editorial writers the world over would be indignant about it. If they’d contributed watermelon to a Martin Luther King Day celebration, we’d have been treated to endless rants about how racist we all are (even we who had nothing to do with it). But pork to a Jewish festival? No problem. Even if it’s a festival commemorating a rebellion against oppressors who, among other things, tried to force pork on the ancient Jews.

While I thought about what to say, I collected other examples of thoughtlessness toward Jews, like Hallmark’s horrible Hanukkah wrapping paper (which could have been a mistake, but still) and Zara’s kiddie concentration camp shirt complete with yellow star. No way could that have been a mistake, just a slap in the face to the six million dead and all who care about the horrors inflicted by the Nazis.

ZelmanPartisans_ZaraNaziShirt

I was feeling indignant. I wanted to say something about how dangerous it is to casually disrespect Jews and Judaism in a world that’s increasingly antisemitic.

Then Islamic terrorists murdered 12 people because an irreverent French magazine didn’t give them and their religion the respect they thought they should have. That put a whole new aspect on things.

Charlie Hebdo didn’t respect any religion. They pilloried Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with equal crudity and disrespect. One cartoon they published showed Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, and the Buddha in bed together after an orgy. But these days only Muslims feel entitled to kill anybody who doesn’t agree with them or who won’t give them artificial, fear-driven “respect.” Other religions take mockery and criticism in stride. There have already been a lot of powerful comments on the slaughter, with people seeing it rightly as an attack on everyone’s freedom of speech and western freedoms in general. Others have dared to point out that these murders are on a spectrum with the new grievance culture. I couldn’t say it better.

But I’ll say right now that if you think your religion can’t be mocked, that’s a sure sign it deserves and needs to be mocked.

If you think people who don’t respect your religion deserve to die, then your religion isn’t worthy of respect, and neither are you. Respect has to be earned.

I’m supposed to interrupt myself here and say that Islamic terrorists don’t represent all Muslims, which is true. They are, however, a growing and increasingly powerful strain within Islam, and there seems to be far too little serious opposition to them within the Muslim world. This is scary, and combined with the increasing insults to Jews, even scarier.

On the other hand, there’s also a positive side to the lack of respect for Jews. I’m not saying there are positives to real violence or real antisemitism, just positives to some of the casual disregard we sometimes see. It means that Jews are accepted as people who can “take it,” people who can roll with life, people who don’t have to be handled with kid gloves, who aren’t going to go nuts if everybody doesn’t kowtow all the time.

In fact, while so many young Muslim men feel entitled to murder anybody who mocks their beliefs, Jews have long been noted for mocking themselves. About 75 percent of America’s stand-up comedians have historically been Jewish, and modern stand-up comedy was nurtured in the Borscht Belt resorts of the Catskills, where dozens of comedians who were soon to be nationally famous told jokes to Jews and about Jews. From the satiric songs of Allan Sherman to the quips of Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld, self-mockery has always been part of Jewish culture. Jews have to be wary of many, and increasing, real threats. But one thing’s for sure; Jews don’t have to fear humor.

Perhaps a lot of young Islamic men would do well to take a lesson from that. You can’t earn respect by cutting somebody’s head off or shooting them in cold blood. You might get farther by accepting that respect comes to those who earn it and acceptance comes to those who understand that world doesn’t owe them anything.

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Is Gottlieb’s “new” JPFO about to get in trouble with the IRS?

That’s interesting.

Yesterday Dave Workman, the Seattle Gun Rights Examiner and frequently a proxy for Alan Gottlieb, announced that Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) has been added as a sponsor of a planned January 15 rally in Olympia, Washington, to oppose Bloomberg’s tragically successful Initiative 594. This rally is already supported (and apparently largely spearheaded) by Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, JPFO’s new owner.

This is interesting on two counts.

Why try to undermine the December rally?

First, the Gottlieb-promoted rally is clearly intended to steal thunder (and attendance) from another rally planned for this Saturday, December 13. Saturday’s rally has had tons of support from the day it was announced and will feature Mike Vanderboegh, Sheriff Richard Mack, and Ammon Bundy as speakers.

Gottlieb’s complaint against the December rally seems to be only that the legislature won’t be in session then. (Although the idea that Saturday’s rally is expressly for disobeying the law also seems to set a certain “conservative” element to tsking — as if we should obey tyrants as long as tyranny is imposed by vote.) So, just in advance of the December rally, he sets out to undermine it.

You’d think he would learn. In this year’s state elections, instead of opposing Bloomberg’s ghastly plan with all his efforts, Gottlieb set up his own competing initiative, I-591, and put all his energies — and money — into that.

So a million dollars that could have gone to fighting I-594 went down the drain of I-591 instead. (I-591 lost.)

Yes, you’d think Gottlieb would learn that “divide to win” isn’t good electoral or legislative strategy. Yet Workman’s article drips with contempt for Saturday’s effort and goes out of its way to point out reasons why attendance might be low.

That’s the first count on which the Gottlieb-supported January rally is “interesting.”

Doesn’t Gottlieb understand what JPFO is?

The second count is JPFO’s involvement.

The stated purpose of the January rally is to be “the first 2015 Legislative Rally against I-594 and other bad gun laws.” Note well: it’s a legislative rally. Workman elaborates: “[T]he Jan. 15 rally – when the Legislature will be in town – will allow citizens a chance to personally lobby lawmakers.” Note well: it’s for lobbying. Following the public portion of the rally, citizens will even be escorted to legislators’ offices. Note well: That’s an integral part of the event.

And JPFO is supporting this?

But JPFO is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. It is absolutely forbidden to engage in lobbying or any other form of “political” activity. It cannot oppose or advocate for any specific laws. It can’t take any electoral stance. It’s forbidden by its very nature from even saying something like, “Write to your legislator to demand the repeal of …”

JPFO’s only legal role is educational. It can shout to the rooftops about why the state’s new law is stupid and dangerous and a violation of fundamental rights. But lobby legislators or even encourage others to do so??? Let alone sponsor a rally whose sole, stated purpose is to connect gun owners with legislators. This is totally outside of what the IRS allows JPFO to do. (That link also claims that JPFO has only recently “expanded their mission to include research and education.” Which is as silly as it is bogus. Research and education has been JPFO’s sole mission from the beginning.)

Don’t get me wrong. I think I-594 should be fought with everything Washington state gun owners have to give. I don’t oppose the January rally. Let there be rallies, letters, lobbying, protests, and defiance aplenty until I-594 is stomped into the Pacific Northwest mud. But organizers of the January rally shouldn’t be trying to undermine the December event with the timing of their announcements or their subtle sneers.

And after lying fallow for months following Gottlieb’s take-over (other than continuing daily email alerts, there’s been no sign of activity from JPFO), JPFO’s first public mission should not be to destroy itself by participating in lobbying.

This will only put JPFO in the IRS’s eye and risk destroying everything Aaron Zelman worked to build.

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Elections: I got those I wish I didn’t care but I care anyway blues

You know what they say about elections. “No matter who you vote for, the government gets elected.” Or “If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.”

It’s also been said that elections are advance auctions of stolen goods and (unlike the legitimate acts of self defense and justice described by Ilana and by commenter Tahn) that voting is a form of violence because it’s trying to force our will on others.

So true. I try not to think of elections as anything more than a team contest, sort of like the Super Bowl or the World Series, but for people with less talent. This month I care very much, though. Mostly I care in the same way I might care about who wins the SuperBowl. It might be dramatic or suspenseful to see if the R’s beat the D’s for the Senate as most oddsmakers are saying, but life and freedom probably won’t depend on whether Joni Ernst grabs that Senate seat from Iowa (though I like her) or Mary Landrieu has to go into a runoff election in Louisiana (though I’d like to see that political biotch driven back into the bayous, never to be seen again).

The thing I really care about this month has nothing to do with politicians and everything to do with common people and our rights. I’m talking about initiative 594 in Washington state. Even for people who don’t live in or near Washington this is a big one.

Since you’re reading gunblogs I suppose you already know that I-594 is the anti-gunners’ dream this year. Under the pretense of being ‘only’ a universal background check bill (common sense, you know!), it would criminalize nearly all transfers of firearms, including the most helpful, innocent, and momentary. Loan a gun to a friend in need? Felony. Instructor hands a gun to student and student hands it back? TWO felonies. So on so on so on.

Because this is just about the only victim disarmament measure on the ballot anywhere in the U.S. this year, the Billionaire Brigade has poured money into it by the millions. Of course Washington state has quite a few homegrown anti-gun billionaires like Microsofties Bill Gates and Paul Allen, plus Nick Hanauer (a Jew who ought to come here and read some of the posts by Ilana and Y.B. if he thinks leaving people helpless is what Judaism is about), but naturally Bloomberg is in for his million, too.

The pro-gunners are way out spent and, according to every poll, also outnumbered. The NRA came in late with its anti-594 money and Washington’s biggest homegrown (supposedly) pro-gun activist, Alan Gottlieb, proved his true intentions once again by getting another measure on the ballot (I-591) that appears to protect rights but in fact doesn’t “give” anybody anything they don’t already have and sets the stage for later federal UBCs. So another million or so that could have been spent to fight 594 got diverted into supporting 591.

The big reason the fight against 594 matters even to people who live elsewhere is that if Washingtonians can kick 594 to the curb, it’ll be the best sign ever that bigoted billionaires should spend their money on something other than disarming the common people. On the other hand, if 594 wins, it’ll just encourage them to keep hammering at us and our rights.

The polls all say 594 is not only going to win but win big. They may be wrong. They’ve been dead wrong about gun rights in Washington before. (For a blue state, it has decent gun laws.) They’ve been polling registered voters, not likely voters. I’ve also got to wonder how much of the polling covered only the Puget Sound urban area (already leaning anti-gun and the place where the billionaires have been pouring all their ad money). If the pollsters have missed a lot of likely rural and eastside (that is east of the Cascades) votors, they’ll be dead wrong.

So this year I’m watching and caring and I’d even say if you live in Washington state get the heck out and vote against that awful thing.

There’s also the possibility that both 594 and 591 will pass and then the championship game of gun rights, or at least the NW Regionals of gun rights, will go into some long and probably pretty weird overtime.

Free people will keep their rights no matter what. The Billionaire Brigade and their useful idiots can’t vote them away, but we shouldn’t even give them the illusion that they can make a successful try.

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I don’t want to hear “Never again!” ever again

You hear it all the time in writings or speeches about the Holocaust: “Never again!”

This is spoken as a war cry, a cry of defiance and determination. Yet how many of the people raising their figurative fists to the sky and shouting that there will be no more Holocausts are actually doing anything to prevent future disaster?

Damn few. Shouting, “Never again!” doesn’t do one real thing to prevent disaster any more than pink ribbons (which my town is festooned with every October) cure breast cancer. The shouts and the ribbons are both fine if they lead to lifesaving action, but without that, they’re meaningless.

One writer referred to the cancer ribbon campaign as “relentlessly pink optimism”, which can actually be very distressing to women whose cancer has metastasized. “Pink optimism” could lead to greater awareness, but on the other hand it could create false hope, divert research from even deadlier cancers, or end up making people feel less concerned about the problem because their attention eventually blanks out from too much bombardment with those ribbons.

Similarly, “Never again!” creates the impression that something’s being done to prevent Holocausts when there’s little or no action. Since Hitler’s Holocaust, there have been genocides in China, Uganda, Cambodia, Rwanda, and other places known and perhaps others unknown.

The “Never again!” people have done an excellent job of reminding the world of what Hitler did. (My nymsake, Feigele “Vladka” Peltel Meed was one of the earliest to make sure the world wouldn’t forget.) Sadly, though, they’ve also helped create the impression that Hitler was some unique monster and his genocide was the one and only. Yet just as there have been genocides since Hitler, there were also genocides before him. We now know that Stalin probably outdid Hitler when it came to killing his own people and his genocides were well under way when Hitler was barely getting started.

That’s the first big mistake of “Never again!” If you see only one genocide and see it as unique, you’ll always fail to understand the nature of genocide. You’ll look forever at Hitler and Germany, trying to figure out how they were different than everything that came before them and everything after them, which means you’ll fail to understand the full pattern of genocide. You’ll never really understand the attitudes, conditions, and laws that create genocide and you won’t see the next one coming.

One big, vital thing you’ll miss is the role that victim disarmament plays in genocide after genocide. You can’t kill millions of people until you’ve eliminated their ability to fight back. Of course “gun control” is only part of disarming people. It’s part of a package that includes destroying their spirit of resistance, getting them to trust authority even when authority intends to kill them, and other things. Taking away their resistance tools is complicated, but it certainly means keeping the victims less well armed than the perpetrators.

That’s another reason I don’t ever again want to hear “Never again!” Too many of the people shouting those defiant words are working for the very thing that leaves victims unable to defend themselves. How many people who cry, “Never again!” are enthusiastic advocates of “gun control”?

How many of them will tell you that only police and soldiers, the very agents who carry out genocides on behalf of homicidal governments, are the only ones who should have firearms?

No, I don’t want to hear “Never again!” ever again, unless it’s coming from the mouths or the pens of people who really mean it. The way to mean it is to educate people about the wide history of government murder of citizens. Don’t just pretend Hitler was some anomaly. The way to mean it is to stand up for the second amendment, to own firearms, to teach children to shoot and teach them why, to encourage a spirit of resistance, and to understand individual rights and freedom.

Do that and I’ll believe you mean it when you cry, “Never again!”

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