Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with ISRAEL; fight against those who fight against ISRAEL!
Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for ISRAEL'S help! Draw the spear and javelin against ISRAEL'S pursuers!
Monday, November 13, 2023
Morning Jolt: San Francisco Finally Cleans Up Its Drug Markets and Encampments — for Xi Jinping’s Arrival
Xi Jinping did more to get the city government of San Francisco to clean up the streets than any
Thanks to Dominic Pino for filling in for me Friday.
On the menu today: For advocates of every kind of cease-fire, Hamas doesn't want peace, Russia's Vladimir Putin doesn't want peace, and Xi Jinping only wants peace on his own terms. Still, to give credit where due, in one visit, Xi Jinping did more to get the city government of San Francisco to clean up the streets than any American could.
Elsewhere, Tim Scott departs the Republican presidential primary; anti-American visa holders ought to be deported immediately; wondering what we non-Jews can do to reassure America's Jews that we outnumber the antisemitic yahoos; a reminder that there's still a big bipartisan consensus in support of helping Ukraine; and National Review is hosting a book event for Zelensky! Okay, a Zelinsky.
Xi Jinping, Street Sweeper
Apparently, the city of San Francisco can indeed clear out the tent cities of homeless, remove the human feces and hypodermic needles from the sidewalks, and make the downtown look sparking clean and shiny in just a matter of days. All it takes is sufficient motivation — like hosting a visit from Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.
Even the New York Times can't deny the irony that the arrival of Xi and a plethora of overseas leaders is spurring efforts that, presumably, could have been started and carried out at any point with enough motivation:
On Market Street, the city's main thoroughfare, maintenance workers resurfaced uneven sidewalks and installed plywood over empty tree wells.
Nearby, a crew gave a long-derelict plaza a makeover by turning it into a skateboard park and outdoor cafe with ping-pong tables, chess boards and scores of potted plants. Elsewhere, workers painted decorative crosswalks and new murals, wiped away graffiti, picked up piles of trash and removed scaffolding to show off a refurbished clock tower at the Ferry Building. . . .
Perhaps the most obvious change has been seen at the Speaker Nancy Pelosi Federal Building at the corner of Seventh and Mission Streets, less than a mile from the conference center.
Before we go any further, can I just point out how infuriating it is that we live in a country with so many genuinely heroic, inspiring, and under-recognized figures, and yet we name things after politicians whose greatest achievements were bringing back a lot of federal funds to their constituents? I realize in the state of West Virginia, that statement is blasphemy.
In other words, the official assessment of the federal government is that the Nancy Pelosi Federal Building is not a safe place for anyone, which strikes me as a heavy-handed metaphor.
Anyway, back to the Xi-driven cleanup:
For two years, a stubborn fentanyl market at the corner and a sprawling homeless encampment across the street became neighborhood fixtures. People regularly used drugs in an adjacent alley.
Most have seemingly disappeared in a poof.
"Come on! Pack it up," a security guard repeatedly told a few stragglers on Monday who were hunched over scraps of foil, which have become common drug paraphernalia.
It's almost like the city government of San Francisco perceives Xi Jinping as the boss it needs to impress, instead of the voters whose exorbitant taxes (including an 8.625 percent sales tax!) pay city employees' salaries. If the city is worth making safer, cleaner, and more attractive for a visit by Xi, President Biden, and a whole bunch of diplomats . . . why isn't it worth making safer, cleaner, and more attractive for the full-time residents?
Then again, the city appears to be just moving the homeless out of the neighborhoods of the conference, not caring where they end up, as long as they're off camera. The local CBS affiliate reported, "The [San Francisco] Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing is not opening any special shelter capacity for APEC." Ah, feel the compassion! It's in a moment like this that you can tell that a city run by progressive Democrats is just better run than your hometown, because the city government cares so much.
If you're wondering who paid the $20 million to cover the costs of hosting the APEC summit, the major donors include: "the Pritzkers, the Fishers, Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Apple Inc.," and Graton Casino & Resort, which is owned and operated by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.
Vaya Con Dios, Tim Scott
Tim Scott, you'll go back to South Carolina and still be a popular and well-liked senator for as many terms as you like. A lot of presidential candidates don't have that at the end of their endeavors.
Just about every cycle, we see some presidential campaign that seems to be faltering and then quietly canceling ad purchases. Just about every cycle, that presidential campaign insists the ad cancellations are just a "strategic repositioning" or some other combination of buzzwords, and not a sign that the candidate will soon quit the race, and the campaign gets irritated at news coverage that suggests the end is near. And just about every cycle, a short time later, that presidential candidate then quits the race.
Being Here Is a Privilege
Noncitizens caught on video ripping down American flags from public places ought to be deported immediately. Under U.S. immigration law, a green-card holder can be deported back to their country of origin for a variety of crimes, including "crimes of moral turpitude," which are generally (but not exclusively) defined as fraud, larceny, or intent to harm persons or things, including "malicious destruction of property." If you are climbing public flagpoles and tearing down American flags put up there by the local government, that strikes me as an ipso facto "malicious destruction of property."
If you're tearing down American flags, you clearly don't want to be here. Let us help you by putting you on the first flight back to your country of origin, and permanently barring you from ever returning to the U.S. It's like they say: What unites us is so much more important than what divides us. You hate being in this country, and we hate you being here, too.
How Do We Demonstrate That We Outnumber the Antisemitic Cretins?
This next segment is for all my gentile brethren. Jews are allowed to read, of course, but this is about how we gentiles can make you Jews feel better, safer, more appreciated, and more loved in a country that is every bit as much yours as it is ours.
You don't have to look far to find cries of "Hitler should have finished the job" at these antisemitic rallies across the country — oh, I'm sorry, "anti-Zionist" rallies, wink, wink.
Yes, I understand why the Jewish people felt the overwhelming need to establish the state of Israel, and to never be dependent upon some non-Jewish authority to protect them ever again. I grasp why they feel like they can't count on anyone else to watch their backs and make sure they don't turn into the scapegoats of the hateful.
But as a gentile American, I can't shake the feeling that they shouldn't have to do that. This is America. We don't have pogroms. Everybody was supposed to leave that crap over in the old country. Jews have been here since the beginning. We might well have lost the Revolutionary War if it hadn't been for the financial support of Haym Solomon — and he ended up dying penniless. Four of the Medal of Honor recipients in the U.S. Civil War were Jewish, as well as four from World War I, three from World War II, and 18 total in U.S. history. The story of America is wrapped up in figures such as Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, Joseph Pulitzer, Louis Brandeis, the Marx Brothers, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Stan Lee, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Steven Spielberg. "God bless America" was written by Irving Berlin. There's a reason many of us describe the country as being founded on Judeo-Christian ideals. I cannot emphasize this enough, Jews have been here since the beginning, this is their country too, and we're not going to let some snot-nosed punks on college campuses think they can goose-step around and echo the Nazis and intimidate our friends. I don't care whether you're wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh or wearing a polo shirt and marching with a Tiki Torch, nobody's bullying our Jewish friends while we're around. You want to get to them? You're going to have to go through us first.
Sure, American Jews can stand up for themselves. But maybe we ought to give our Jewish friends a breather on this one, because there are a whole heck of a lot of American gentiles mad as hell about these open expressions of antisemitism, ready to throw down if somebody wants to pick this fight.
That Quiet, Large, Bipartisan House Majority Backing Ukraine Aid
Congress can boost Ukrainian morale and military performance by passing a large economic and military aid package in the coming weeks, sufficient to avoid stop-start disruptions in the year ahead. Despite the reluctance of some House Republicans, there remains a sizable majority in both chambers for such a package.
As I've written before, when you add up all forms of assistance, Europe is more than pulling its weight and is contributing roughly $2.22 for every dollar of aid that the U.S. sends to Ukraine. Nonetheless, if the U.S. wanted to say, "Hey, Europe, you guys prioritize the economic aid, we'll prioritize the military aid," that would strike me as an appropriate division of the burden. If Americans are worried about U.S. financial aid being spent inappropriately, then let's focus on sending the Ukrainians the weapons they need. (Remember, the inspector-general offices of the Pentagon, State Department, and U.S. Agency for International Development have, collectively, more than 160 personnel tracking aid and, at least as of March, "Investigations related to the Ukraine response have not yet substantiated significant waste, fraud, or abuse.")
You would not know that "a sizable majority in both chambers" still supports arming Ukraine, from the tone of the discussion on social media, which makes GOP opposition to Ukraine sound overwhelming and uniform.
The last House vote on Ukraine aid was at the end of September, just 46 days ago. Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona offered an amendment to strip $300 million in Ukraine aid from the annual defense-authorization bill; 104 out of 221 House Republicans voted for the amendment, meaning 117 voted to keep the funding in place. Then, Representative Matt Gaetz offered an amendment prohibiting security assistance for Ukraine. That one went down, 93-339, with 93 Republicans voting for it and 126 Republicans voting against it. Interestingly, another amendment from Gaetz barring the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine also failed, but had more support; 85 Republicans and 75 Democrats supported the measure, while 132 Republicans and 137 Democrats voted against it.
Vote on final passage was 311-117 — 101 Republicans and 210 Democrats voted yes, and 117 Republicans voted no.
Unless something dramatically changed in the past six weeks or so, the House Republicans are about evenly split on Ukraine aid, and House Democrats are uniformly in support of Ukraine aid. With the GOP majority so narrow, this adds up to about three-quarters of the House supporting continuing assistance.
ADDENDUM:National Review is hosting a reception for Zelinsky! Er . . . no, not Volodmyr Zelensky. This is Misha Zelinsky, a war correspondent for the Australian Financial Review, celebrating the publication of his novel, The Sun Will Rise. The event is November 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please RSVP to email@example.com.
New from the New York Times
bestselling author Brian Kilmeade!
Dive into this vivid account of a little-known episode in American history. Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade brings to life the story of Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington's unlikely alliance in the fight for racial equality. Makes a great gift!