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    Jews Should Use Alinskyite Tactics Against Anti-Semites

    Posted by Jonathan on 30th October 2014 (All posts by )

    Caroline Glick makes good suggestions for Jewish student groups contending with campus anti-Semites:

    Educational efforts are of little value in contending with thugs. But this doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be done. Groups like Block the Boat for Gaza, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voices for Peace, Adalah, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center and Direct Action for Palestine need to be investigated.
     
    Where does their money come from? Who are their leaders? What are their ties to terrorist groups? What are their ties to organized labor? What are their ties to politicians? What is their tax status and what do their tax returns say? If members of various groups are intimidating Jewish students then there should be restraining orders against them. Criminal complaints should be filed against them. Their tax-exempt status should be challenged.
     
    Jewish students should be demanding that Students for Justice in Palestine be expelled from their campuses along with other hate groups, like Jewish Voices for Peace. Jewish alumni should be organizing to withhold all donations from universities that permit anti-Semitic groups to operate on campus. And Jewish lawyers should be filing lawsuits against universities and other institutions that enable the operation of anti-Semitic groups on their premises.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Current Events, Israel, Jewish Leftism, Political Philosophy, Politics | 19 Comments »

    “Why Partyism Is Wrong”

    Posted by Jonathan on 28th October 2014 (All posts by )

    This is one of David Brooks’s better columns.

    Politics is obviously a passionate activity, in which moral values clash. Debates over Obamacare, charter schools or whether the United States should intervene in Syria stir serious disagreement. But these studies are measuring something different. People’s essential worth is being measured by a political label: whether they should be hired, married, trusted or discriminated against.
     
    The broad social phenomenon is that as personal life is being de-moralized, political life is being hyper-moralized. People are less judgmental about different lifestyles, but they are more judgmental about policy labels.
     
    The features of the hyper-moralized mind-set are all around. More people are building their communal and social identities around political labels. Your political label becomes the prerequisite for membership in your social set.

    There is much to this, though I would disagree that “people’s essential worth is being measured” by their politics. It would be more accurate to say that among nonreligious people politics is becoming a substitute for religion, an idea not unfamiliar to readers of this blog.

    Where Brooks falls flat is in eliding the easily observable fact that the social politicization he discusses is much more characteristic of the American Left than of the Right. But there’s an election coming and the Democrats are set to lose big, so it’s time to anticipatorily attribute the outcome to societal problems rather than the policies of the losing party. Still, he makes good points and his column is worth reading.

    Posted in Deep Thoughts, Leftism, Morality and Philosphy, Political Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society | 8 Comments »

    How To Read This Blog

    Posted by Jonathan on 26th October 2014 (All posts by )

    Chicago Boyz has been around since 2001 (2003 in its current form) and has thousands of archived posts on all kinds of topics from an unusually diverse and thoughtful group of contributors. Many of these archived posts are still worth reading.

    The problem is that the blog format is poorly suited for organizing information. Once it’s off the front page it tends to disappear. Information may want to be free but first you need to be able to find it.

    What to do? Manually creating, updating and occasionally reorganizing a table of contents is more work than I want, and I don’t think there’s a good way to automate it. Some of our contributors occasionally re-post outstanding examples of their own older posts, for which many thanks (and please keep doing it). Categorization of posts helps a bit. There’s a Google search box that works pretty well as an index if you know what you are looking for. I maintain a list of links on the blog’s right sidebar to a very few of our most interesting discussions. There’s also this new post that I have permalinked on the upper right sidebar where I hope readers will see it.

    Maybe there are additional things that we can do to make the gold in archived Chicago Boyz posts more accessible. Please feel free to chime in in the comments if you have any thoughts.

    Posted in Announcements, Blogging | 7 Comments »

    Buy Ebola, Sell the Fed

    Posted by Jonathan on 24th October 2014 (All posts by )

    The stock market began to recover from its recent selloff as initial ebola fears abated. Meanwhile bond markets remained strong.

    Conclusions? The fed-fueled bubble bull market in stocks isn’t over. Ebola won’t kill us all. Future Ebola outbreaks will have to be much more severe to generate market reactions of similar magnitude. (Corollary: The next Ebola-inspired market selloff will be a buying opportunity, and thus may not happen.)

    Caveats. Watch for a govt bond selloff, perhaps as a result of unexpected events. The entire financial world has been watching for this for the past several years. It could happen in two weeks or two years, but it will happen eventually.

    —-

    Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. You would be crazy to listen to me and probably shouldn’t even be reading this, as I have predicted twenty of the last 2 bear markets in bonds.

    Posted in Current Events, Ebola, Economics & Finance, Markets and Trading, Predictions | 7 Comments »

    Received Cynicism is a Bigger Problem than Anti-Americanism

    Posted by Jonathan on 24th October 2014 (All posts by )

    Rush Limbaugh was speculating today about the causes of anti-American sentiment in disaffected young people like the NYC hatchet jihadi. He attributes the anti-Americanism to leftist ideas and historical ignorance endemic to our schools. I think this is correct to some extent.

    However, the jihadis and other violent anti-American Americans are extreme outliers. The vast majority of people on the Left are not nearly so hostile to American institutions and culture, though they tend to hold grievances against this country and its political system and culture that conservatives do not. Limbaugh makes the typical culturally tone-deaf conservative error of attributing to anti-Americanism that which could better be attributed to cynicism and ignorance.

    The USA is a political, economic and cultural wonder, but you need some history to appreciate this fact and our schools no longer teach it. If you don’t know much history, facile cynicism and the tendentious explanations of people who really don’t like the country become plausible. It’s difficult for someone who understands the origins of this country’s institutions and traditions to become a jihadi. It’s even more difficult to become a jihadi if you also understand the intellectually convoluted roots of modern Islamism.

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, Current Events, Deep Thoughts, Education, History, Leftism, Political Philosophy, Rhetoric, Terrorism | 28 Comments »

    Canyonlands

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st October 2014 (All posts by )

    Early morning view from the top of Mesa Arch to the surrounding desert lowlands, Canyonlands National Park, Utah. (© 2014 Jonathan Gewirtz / jonathan@gewirtz.net)

    Posted in Photos | 11 Comments »

    Miami Street Photography Festival

    Posted by Jonathan on 20th October 2014 (All posts by )

    This is a cool event that runs concurrently with the big annual Art Basel art show in Miami Beach in early December. (The MSPF is hosted by a gallery in the Wynwood arts district, which is near downtown Miami rather than Miami Beach and is a fun area to visit during Art Basel.)

    The street photography festival is a recent event and has been growing by leaps and bounds, perhaps reflecting the renewed popularity of this type of photography and the fact that there are no other events quite like it. There is a lot of great work on display if you are into this kind of thing — check out the 2012 and 2013 finalists galleries for a sample.

    Other street-photography links:

    iN-PUBLiC

    OBSERVE

    Urban Picnic

    Street Photographers

    Street Photography London

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Diversions, Photos | No Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 17th October 2014 (All posts by )

    on if not of the beach

    When heading for the hills doesn’t cut it Chicagoboyz head for the beach.

    Posted in Photos | 2 Comments »

    What Chicago Boyz Readers Are Reading (September 2014)

    Posted by Jonathan on 9th October 2014 (All posts by )

    Below is a list of the books, ebooks, music and videos ordered in August 2014 by Chicago Boyz readers via Amazon links on this blog. (A cumulative list of Chicago Boyz readers’ Amazon book purchases is here.)

    Your book and non-book Amazon purchases help to support this blog via the Amazon Associates affiliate program. Chicago Boyz earns a percentage on all of your Amazon purchases as long as you enter the Amazon site via the Amazon links on this blog (even Amazon links other than for the products you are buying).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Announcements, Book Notes | 3 Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 9th October 2014 (All posts by )

    fluffy fishy

    The “South Beach” pink fluffy fish pen is the official writing instrument of the Chicagoboyz blog.

    Posted in Product Reviews/Endorsements | 4 Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 4th October 2014 (All posts by )

    forbidden pleasures

    Chicagoboyz know temptation.

    Posted in Photos | 9 Comments »

    Tablet Shopping

    Posted by Jonathan on 30th September 2014 (All posts by )

    Everyone is doing it.

    selfies 1

    selfie 2

    Posted in Photos | 6 Comments »

    Shana Tova / שנה טובה

    Posted by Jonathan on 24th September 2014 (All posts by )

    5775. Best wishes for a sweet and healthy year to all Chicago Boyz contributors and readers.

    shana tova

    Posted in Holidays | 4 Comments »

    What You Say

    Posted by Jonathan on 23rd September 2014 (All posts by )

    Posted in Music | Comments Off

    Chicagoboyz Sells Out to Big Candy!

    Posted by Jonathan on 22nd September 2014 (All posts by )

    Kit Kat® crisp wafers are the official crisp wafer of the Chicago Boyz blog.

    candy is dandy

    Addendum:

    P.S. Apologies for the tacky exclamation mark, but SUGAR.

    Posted in Product Reviews/Endorsements | 4 Comments »

    “Scottish referendum: A useful lesson in the limits of fiery activism”

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st September 2014 (All posts by )

    Janet Daley:

    As it turned out, virtually all of the polling in recent weeks had been wrong. In the end, the vote wasn’t very close: it was a clear and decisive No. Whatever poll respondents had said – or been afraid to say – about their intentions because they felt coerced or intimidated by the aggressive tactics of the other camp, when it came to it, they were free to do as they pleased.
     
    This is a salutary lesson in the limits of militant political activism: you can bully people in the street, shout them down at public meetings and dissuade them forcibly from displaying posters or banners you don’t like. You can, with the help of your friends and comrades, create what seems to you, inside the bubble of mutual congratulation, to be an unstoppable momentum.
     
    But making people afraid to voice contrary opinions just reinforces the delusion into which political tribes so easily fall when they are waging war. And, even more dangerously, it leaves them utterly out of touch with the slow-burning resentment they are creating in the opponents they are so determined to crush. The inviolable privacy of the polling booth puts paid to all that: the ordinary citizen, who may well have had his anger and resolve strengthened under fire, gets his revenge.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Britain, Civil Society, Political Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Predictions, RKBA | 9 Comments »

    “Stop foreign governments from buying American think tanks”

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st September 2014 (All posts by )

    Matthew Continetti:

    It is one thing if Tom Steyer gives money to further causes that would harm his opponents and benefit his allies. Steyer is, I regretfully admit, an American. But it is another thing entirely when a foreign government self-interestedly enters policy debates—and does so in secret.
     
    Many of the countries giving to think tanks are American allies like Norway: NATO powers, Japan, South Korea, France. They would have to comply with my beefed up FARA as well. And yes, haters, so would Israel, should Israel actually donate money to U.S. think tanks, which it does not.
     
    But these allies have nothing to fear from transparency. They already have constituencies in the American political system. Many of them have treaty guarantees. And Israel has a broad, deep, and thriving community of supporters both Jewish and Christian. There will always be an Israel “lobby” because of the ethnic and religious and ideological connections between our two countries. There is no Qatari lobby without Qatari money.

    It makes sense to require US political nonprofits to disclose foreign monetary contributions.

    (Via Instapundit.)

    Posted in Current Events, International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments »

    New! – Talk Like A Pirate Day XXXIX

    Posted by Jonathan on 19th September 2014 (All posts by )


    The new face of 4GW.

     
    Yes, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day again.
     
    In response to severe military cutbacks, Jim the Pirate has been hired to police our southern border and, as resources allow, the entire Middle East.

    We are hoping that his health is up to the task as he has recently been seen working off the coast of Liberia and looks a bit wan in this photo.
     
     
    —-
    Previous Talk Like a Pirate posts:
    2011
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    Introducing Jim the Pirate
     

    Posted in Humor | 8 Comments »

    “How Gangs Took Over Prisons”

    Posted by Jonathan on 18th September 2014 (All posts by )

    This article describes a situation that is similar to what happens in a neighborhood controlled by the Mafia. Monopolies and cartels raise the prices of the products they sell by restricting supply. This is usually a bad outcome. However, when the product is crime or violence there are benefits to restricting supply.

    (Via Instapundit.)

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Economics & Finance, Tradeoffs | 6 Comments »

    J. Christian Adams: “‘CATALIST’: Obama’s Database for Fundamentally Transforming America”

    Posted by Jonathan on 18th September 2014 (All posts by )

    This is a must-read. It describes how the Democrats have very successfully used technology to get out the vote, perhaps decisively, from far-left constituents who otherwise would not have voted. The key points are 1) an understanding that if a party can identify members of its base it is much cheaper to convince them to vote for the party’s candidates than it is to convince uncommitted moderates, 2) effective cooperation among Democratic operatives and politicians at all levels to gather and share contact and demographic data about as many voters as possible, and 3) the application of modern analysis techniques to those data, and the subsequent targeting of the most-likely Democratic voters for GOTV efforts. This is part of how Obama got himself reelected in 2012 despite his exceptionally weak record. Meanwhile Republicans have futilely attempted, at great cost in money and in support from members of their conservative base, to win over indecisive moderates.

    Posted in Obama, Politics, Tech | 13 Comments »

    Chicagoboyz Present…

    Posted by Jonathan on 17th September 2014 (All posts by )

    Un juego muy bueno:

    Posted in That's NOT Funny, Video | 6 Comments »

    What Chicago Boyz Readers Are Reading (August 2014)

    Posted by Jonathan on 5th September 2014 (All posts by )

    Here is a list of the books, ebooks, music and videos ordered in August 2014 by Chicago Boyz readers via the links on this blog.

    Please make your Amazon purchases via the links below or elsewhere on this blog. Chicago Boyz earns a percentage on all of your Amazon purchases as long as you enter the Amazon site via the Amazon links here (even Amazon links other than for the product you are buying).

    A cumulative list of Chicago Boyz readers’ Amazon purchases is here.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Announcements, Book Notes | 5 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on 4th September 2014 (All posts by )

    Richard Epstein, Rand Paul’s Fatal Pacifism:

    There is nothing in libertarian theory that justifies dithering at home as conditions abroad get worse by the day.

    This point has been one of the main differences among people who consider themselves libertarian. Libertarian isolationism in response to threats of aggression from overseas is like a self-defense strategy in which you let an assailant shoot at you before you think yourself justified in shooting back. In reality you sometimes have to take preemptive action if you want to survive. Life isn’t a court of law where you have the luxury of due process before deciding if you are justified in punishing the accused. An individual, group or nation that behaves in a way that reasonable people see as threatening should have no expectation of being left alone by potential victims.

    Posted in International Affairs, National Security, Political Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, War and Peace | 64 Comments »

    New! – Your Chicagoboyz Annual Labor Day Haiku Sale

    Posted by Jonathan on 1st September 2014 (All posts by )

    Time to say the words
    That all women yearn to hear:
    Make me a sandwich

    —-

    Wasted three-fifty
    On crummy Chinese loofa
    Caveat emptor

    —-

    New taste sensation!
    Herring poached in Mountain Dew
    Hey, where you going?

    —-

    Learned something today
    Schools don’t teach cursive writing
    Man do I feel old

    —-

    My dog has no nose
    Where have we heard this before?
    Conspiracy talk

    —-

    Waiting-room TV
    Like Harrison Bergeron
    Can’t think for the noise

    —-

    The dreaded message:
    “Windows can’t stop your device”
    Time to pull the plug

    —-

    (Feel free to add your contributions in the comments.)

    Posted in Poetry | 4 Comments »

    Blog Outage

    Posted by Jonathan on 30th August 2014 (All posts by )

    Chicago Boyz was down for a while between around 6:00 and 7:00 PM CST due to a problem at our hosting company. Apologies for the inconvenience.

    Posted in Announcements | Comments Off