PowerLine -> John Hinderaker — Do Millenials know of the Holocaust?

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker — Do Millenials know of the Holocaust?

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Millenials Haven’t Heard of the Holocaust: True Or False?
  • The Disgrace at CUNY Law School
  • Has McConnell finally had enough of Democratic obstruction?
  • Nuking the Iran deal
  • Does the ACLU know about this?
Millenials Haven’t Heard of the Holocaust: True Or False?

Posted: 12 Apr 2018 04:47 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany commissioned a polling firm to conduct a “comprehensive national study of Holocaust knowledge and awareness in the United States.” The results are getting quite a bit of media attention.

The survey finds a relatively widespread lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, especially among young people. 22% of millennials say they have never heard of the Holocaust, or aren’t sure whether they have heard of it. That is rather shocking, but the ignorance isn’t confined to Millennials: 11% of all respondents gave the same answer.

49% of millennials couldn’t identify any concentration camps or ghettos. That seems appalling, but 45% of all respondents couldn’t name any, either. Two-thirds of millennials can’t say what Auschwitz was. I think at least part of what is happening here is that American high schools are so obsessed with social justice, race, etc., that they don’t teach much about actual facts. Like history.

Most survey respondents say that there is anti-Semitism in the U.S., which of course is true. But many Americans vastly over-rate, in my judgment, the number of neo-Nazis. 34% of respondents say there are “many neo-Nazis in the U.S.,” while 17% say there are “a great deal of Neo-Nazis in the US.” These are people, I suspect, who have been systematically misled by the education system and the news media. Some of our high schools seem to devote much of their efforts to combat neo-Nazis, notwithstanding that in all likelihood, no one associated with the school has ever seen one.

As usual, when such questions are asked in polls, the lack of support for free speech rights is discouraging. Only 15% of respondents agree that “People should be allowed to use Nazi slogans or symbols.” I wonder what the response would be if people were asked whether people should be allowed to use Communist (or socialist) slogans or symbols.

It is rare to read poll results that make one feel better about the American public. This survey is no exception.


The Disgrace at CUNY Law School

Posted: 12 Apr 2018 04:06 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Following up on Tuesday’s dispatch about the recent disgrace at Beloit College, today comes news of an even more disgraceful outrage at CUNY Law School. Josh Blackman of South Texas College of Law, a fine legal mind, and author of many excellent legal articles as well as cogent popular articles for National Review Online and elsewhere, was invited by the CUNY Federalist Society chapter to speak on free speech. The Federalist Society was unable to find anyone from the faculty to comment or offer a rebuttal to Prof. Blackman (the Federalist Society’s usual practice is to invite someone from the faculty of the host school to offer a different opinion). This is not unusual in my experience. The leftist faculty is increasingly unwilling to have their views contested in public.  (Someday I’ll have some of my own stories about this to share.)

Instead, Prof. Blackman was greeted with a protest that was off the chart even on the usual scale of infantile campus protests. Go see his own full account and pictures of the event at his website. Among other offenses, Blackman had written that the Trump Administration was legally correct to rescind DACA because it exceeded the President’s authority. But Blackman supports enacting DACA through proper congressional legislation. This was apparently not sufficient for “law” students at CUNY Law. Such a view—once held by none other than Barack Obama before he decided he could get away with it—makes Blackman a “white supremacist.” Here’s some of his description:

The protestors called out: “Shame on You.” “I don’t understand how CUNY allows this.” “There are students that are directly affected by this hate speech.” “Legal objectivity is a myth.” “You still have an opportunity to leave.” As the President began my introduction, the protestors heckled him. “This is not okay.” As he said my name, someone called out “He’s a white supremacist.” Others booed. “I don’t understand how CUNY law allows this.” One of the protestors observed, “He’s filming us. Just so everyone is aware, he is filming us.” I told her, “I am.” (New York is a one-party consent recording jurisdiction.)

A few students in attendance clapped as I began to speak. “Well thank you very much to CUNY for having me,” I said. In unison, they yelled out, “CUNY is not having you.” “You are not welcome.” Another shouted out something about “white men and those who support white supremacy.” An African-American student who was attending the event replied, “I am not white.” A protestor, holding a sign that said “Josh Blackman is not welcome here and neither is the Fed Society” asked, “then why are you here? Why aren’t you with us?” . .

A student shouted out “Fuck the law.” This comment stunned me. I replied, “Fuck the law? That’s a very odd thing. You are all in law school. And it is a bizarre thing to say fuck the law when you are in law school.” They all started to yell and shout over me.

Read the whole thing if you have time. Here’s just one pic of the caliber of future “lawyers” at CUNY:

And here’s a complete video of Josh’s talk—over an hour long, but you may wish to sample it.

P.S. For what it’s worth, I have at last been implicated as a “white supremacist” at Berkeley as of yesterday, so I’m finally making progress!

And note to self: I’ll try to get Josh on the Power Line podcast sometime soon.


Has McConnell finally had enough of Democratic obstruction?

Posted: 12 Apr 2018 08:53 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally displayed a sense of urgency in getting President Trump’s nominees confirmed. Earlier this week, he warned Senate Democrats that, if necessary, he would force senators to remain in session on Friday and possibly during the weekend to confirm a slate of six Trump nominees. The slate includes a nominee for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board, for the number two job at the Department of Labor, for a key post at the Environmental Protection Agency, and two nominees for district court judgeships.

McConnell’s new found aggression seems to be working. Today, the Senate confirmed Pat Pizella as Deputy Secretary of Labor. Pizella, a good pick, prevailed via the traditional Trump-era landslide vote — 50-48.

McConnell needs to use the same tactic, or stronger ones, to break the logjam on nominees the Democrats have created. At the Justice Department, for example, most top positions remain unfilled.

This is anti-Trump resistance, pure and simple. The Democrats don’t want the president to populate his administration. They want to maximize the degree to which left-wing bureaucrats maintain control over policy throughout the government. Ideally, from their perspective, key nominees would still be languishing when the year ends and, quite possibly, the Democrats take control of the Senate.

The Dems’ tactics are unprecedented, certainly in degree, but their desire to obstruct and resist is understandable. Less understandable is McConnell’s unwillingness, until now, to counter them.

Perhaps this week marks the end of that unwillingness.


Nuking the Iran deal

Posted: 12 Apr 2018 08:26 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)The Iran deal comes up for recertification by President Trump on May 12. Last time around, this past January, Trump vowed to “terminate” the agreement unless the participating European allies agreed to strengthen it. “This is a last chance,” Trump said. “[E]ither fix the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.” It’s a hot subject in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the confirmation of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State this morning.

Those fixes — they’re basic, if inadequate, but they’re not going to happen. The “disastrous flaws” Trump for which Trump demands a remedy are suggestive of the absurdity of the deal. Trump seeks a “follow-on agreement that addresses Iran’s development or testing long-range missiles, ensures strong IAEA inspections, and fixes the flaws of the ‘sunset clause.’” At National Review, Fred Fleitz recently identified several more of the deal’s basic flaws in this column (highly recommended).

Even if Trump’s proposed fixes fall short of what would be necessary to make the deal meaningful, Trump has the big picture right. If it’s not “the worst deal ever,” as he says, it’s up there.

On the merits, Victor Davis Hanson recently included it among “Five catastrophic decisions.” His assessment: “It was a disaster precisely because a) it was unneeded, given the ongoing strangulation of the Iranian economy due to tardy but finally tough sanctions, and b) it was embedded within so many side deals and payoffs, mostly stealthy, that it became a caricature, from nocturnal hostage ransom payments that helped fuel terrorists to whole areas of the Iran nuclear project exempt from spot inspections.”

The Obama administration prevented Israel from undertaking a military strike to destroy the infrastructure for Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Michael Oren’s memoir Ally reveals Obama’s duplicity to Israel on this score. Given the nature of the threat Iran poses to Israel, Israeli intelligence has continued to monitor Iran’s efforts. The Times of Israel provides Yossi Cohen’s assessment in “Mossad chief ‘100 percent certain’ Iran still seeks nuclear bomb.”

Cohen is on the same wavelength as Hanson. He called the nuclear deal a “terrible mistake,” saying it allows Iran to keep key elements of its nuclear program intact and will remove other restraints in a few years. “Then Iran will be able to enrich enough uranium for an arsenal of nuclear bombs,” Cohen reportedly said.

He added: “As head of the Mossad, I am 100 percent certain that Iran has never abandoned its military nuclear vision for a single instant. This deal enables Iran to achieve that vision.”

Consistent with Cohen’s assessment, A. Savyon, and U. Kafash draw on public Iranian sources to analyze the state of the deal in the MEMRI update “In Advance Of Iran’s April 9 ‘Nuclear Technology Day’: Developments in Iran’s nuclear program deviate from deal.” They focus on steps taken by the Iranian regime to maintain and further develop its nuclear capabilities—steps that deviate from the framework of the deal and that in some cases even blatantly violate it.

Do these observers have it wrong? Jeremy Bernstein is a theoretical physicist and the author, most recently, of A Bouquet of Numbers and Other Scientific Offerings, a collection of essays. Over at the New York Review of Books he warns 
“If Trump blows up the deal, Iran gets the bomb.”

It’s an interesting column. Before giving a brief lesson in nuclear weapons physics, Bernstein notes in his first sentence that the Iran deal “was signed in Vienna on July 14, 2015[.]” I’m not impressed by an expert who gets a basic fact wrong in the first sentence of his analysis. The Iran deal was never signed. Permit me a digression on this point.

In a letter dated November 19, 2015, to then Rep. Mike Pompeo, Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield wrote that President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the deal and further stated the deal is not “legally binding[.]” Whether or not the deal is legally binding, it was never signed.

Joel Gehrke broke the story on Frifield’s letter in this column for National Review. Gehrke quoted Frifield’s letter: “The [Iran deal] is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document.” Although the letter is no longer accessible online, it was widely reported at the time.

Back to Bernstein. His object, he says, is “to try to review what will be lost if the [Iran deal] is not renewed…” Bernstein leads off with this critical point. “The first thing I would like to point out does not involve any physics,” he writes. “The first paragraph of the agreement says that ‘Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons.’ Note the ‘ever.’ There is no sunset clause here.” Toward the end of his piece, Bernstein argues that Iran is capable of developing a nuclear bomb in “a matter of months[.]” Yet Bernstein’s critical point suggests that we can skip the physics in between and write him off as a fool.

Like Neville Chamberlain, Bernstein holds faith in the supernatural power of words written on a piece of paper. The remainder of his column reveals no ground for his faith. In the tweet below, Michael Oren draws on current events to blast the faith of Bernstein (and Obama and Kerry and all the rest). In this case, brevity is indeed the soul of wit.

Just like the Syrian chemical weapons deal, the Iranian nuclear deal will fail. Both based on belief in the word of Syrian and Iranian rulers and limited int’l inspections. Syria’s use of chemical weapons can be punished but what if Iran gets atomic bombs? Fix or nix the deal now

— Michael Oren (@DrMichaelOren) April 10, 2018


Does the ACLU know about this?

Posted: 12 Apr 2018 07:43 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)On Tuesday, the University of Alabama football team visited President Trump at the White House. Trump honored the team for winning another national championship.

The visit featured an impromptu prayer:

Shortly after President Trump delivered his remarks, a group of players approached him and, after exchanging a few words, began to pray. The huddle showed the president bowing his head while a player placed his hand on Trump’s shoulder as he prayed for him.

Star punter JK Scott initiated and led the prayer:

Standing in the risers on the White House south lawn, Scott said he was overwhelmed with compassion when Trump took the podium.

“It had nothing to do with him being the President of the United States,” Scott said. “It had everything to do with him being a man, just being a son. It went from praying for the president to a place of truly praying over this man because God wants to touch him and God wants to show him he loves him.”

It required some quick action for the two-time Ray Guy Award finalist working to be drafted later this month. Trump was shaking hands with a few players after leaving the stage.

“And he looked right at me,” Scott said.

Stepping forward to shake his hand, Scott made the request.

“I said ‘Hey, Mr. Trump, would you let me pray over you,” Scott recalled. “He said ‘Yeah, come on.”

From there, Scott put one hand on Trump’s shoulder and the other on his chest.

“And I prayed literally what the lord was saying in my heart,” Scott said.

Teammates joined the impromptu circle. . . .

When it was over, the president had a message for Scott.

“He said ‘Thank you so much. That was so beautiful,’” Scott said. “Then he gave me a hug.”


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