This Ramirez Cartoon Caricature …

[Terrorist Lives Matter]

… does not bear a close physical resemblance to the Pastor of the Community Church of Durham (NH), the Rev. David Grishaw-Jones. However the moral resemblance seems spot on, based on the Rev's op-ed in today's (online only) edition of my local paper.

Around the world and across the political spectrum, decent people are vigorously debating who’s to blame for the horrific violence visited this month upon Palestinians in Gaza, and whether that violence is in any way justified by the equally horrific murder and kidnapping of Israelis on October 7. While Hamas bears obvious responsibility for the terror that day, and while the Israeli government bears its own responsibility for collectively punishing all of Gaza in the days since, I want to suggest that it is the inaction of American politicians, and the indifference of the American public, that allowed this grim cycle of violence and oppression to advance so sadly to this point.

The Rev's criticism of Hamas is perfunctory. And the notion that the current "violence" is "equally horrific" to the barbarism and terror of October 7 is morally obtuse. The remainder of the op-ed is the usual one-sided Israel-only criticism, excusing Palestinian terror as completely understandable. It amounts to a demand that America stop supporting Israel, and that Israel effectively commit national suicide.

He ignores reports like this:

A senior Hamas official said in an interview aired last week that the October 7 attack against Israel were just the beginning, vowing to launch "a second, a third, a fourth" attack until the country is "annihilated."

There's really no alternative for Israel than to destroy Hamas. And for decent people to cheer them on.

I previously noted in an aside a couple days ago the church's anti-Israel attitudes expressed on their website. But I said that I didn't notice any "explicit Hamas-cheerleading". I will need to update that observation.

Also of note:

  • A better idea. And it comes from Matthew Continetti at the Washington Free Beacon: Let Israel Win.

    Less than a week has passed since Israel launched a ground campaign in the Gaza Strip, and already there are calls for a ceasefire. Not only should these calls be ignored. They should be denounced.

    Why? Because calls for a ceasefire reward barbarism. The usual double standard is hard at work: Hamas terrorists spent years planning the murder of more than 1,400 Jews on October 7, and Hamas terrorists continue to hold hundreds of captives, including Americans, while shelling Israel with indiscriminate rocket fire. Yet it is somehow Israel's responsibility to exercise self-restraint.

    I note that this morning's Wall Street Journal had the feel-good headline of the day:

    Netanyahu Rebuffs U.S. Call For Pause in Strikes on Gaza

    If Bibi's looking for advice, I can't think of a worse bunch to ask than the folks who designed the pullout from Afghanistan.

  • And does Betteridge's Law of Headlines apply? Katherine Mangu-Ward wonders (in the latest print Reason): Is Chaos the Natural State of Congress?

    What if the federal government was reduced to its essential functions? What if thousands of federal workers were sent home without pay? What if citizens were forced to examine the real role that the federal government plays in their lives and Congress was confronted with hard questions about spending? What if Americans got a chance to see what life was like in the absence of the hundreds of ways, large and small, that federal spending changes incentives all around them?

    Alas, government shutdowns aren't nearly as exciting as they sound. It turns out there's a lot of daylight between a government shutdown and actually shutting the government down. Yet they remain an oddly powerful threat in American politics, with an anticipated shutdown playing a starring role in exciting events taking place on Capitol Hill as this issue goes to press.

    Shutdowns are largely theater. Even one of the longest ones in recent memory—a solid 35 days of partial shutdown in 2018—didn't make much of a dent in overall spending. The battle was over a federal tab that eventually clocked in at $4.4 trillion for the year. Of that, about $18 billion ended up getting delayed, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That's less than half of a percent of the total. And $18 billion isn't even the real savings, since about half of it was pay owed to federal employees, which they received when the government reopened.

    I miss the sob stories surrounding "government shutdowns".

  • Atlas Shrugged Moved to Florida. That's the novel title just waiting for an Ayn Rand wannabe. Based on real life, as reported by the Tax Foundation: Jeff Bezos Move Undercuts Proposed Washington Wealth Tax.

    Jeff Bezos announced a move to Miami, and somewhere, a Washington state revenue official was probably moved to tears.

    Bezos sold about $15.7 billion worth of Amazon stock between 2020 and 2021, according to news reports. If we assume that Bezos—who, other than the symbolic purchase of one share last year, has not purchased any shares of Amazon in decades—had held onto these shares since the IPO, he saved nearly $1.1 billion in taxes by selling those shares before the new state capital gains tax went into effect. Whether or not it was a motivating factor, relocating to Florida ensures that future sales won’t be subject to Washington’s new capital gains tax, either.

    You coulda moved to New Hampshire, Jeff. I don't think the problems mentioned in our next item would cause you too much worry.

  • Fortunately, I'm not looking to relocate. But Mitchell Scacchi of the Josiah Bartlett Center reports an issue for some who are: New Hampshire leads the nation in home price growth in 2023 (so far).

    It seems like it’s every week that there’s some new concerning statistic about the New Hampshire housing market.

    This time it comes from CoreLogic’s U.S. Home Price Insights. At 9.4%, New Hampshire saw the highest home price growth in the country from August 2022 to August 2023.

    The top 10 states with the highest year-over-year increases in their home prices include four other New England states. The rest of the top 10 are Maine (8.9%), Vermont (8.9%), Rhode Island (8.4%), New Jersey (8.1%), Connecticut (8.1%), Wisconsin (7.0%), Missouri (6.7%), Indiana (6.6%), and Ohio (6.0%).

    Mitchell points his finger of blame at "onerous land-use regulations". And he probably has a point. But…

  • We should also pay attention to increased demand. Chuck McGee of lovely Moultonborough NH responds to the WSJ editorial that we mentioned here a few days back, describing Life in the Greater Taxachusetts Area.

    Real-estate values in New Hampshire reflect the result of “The Return of Taxachusetts” (Review & Outlook, Oct. 31). Here in the lakes region, entry-level housing is almost nonexistent thanks to demand created by new residents fleeing high-tax states. Entry-level jobs go unfilled due to a lack of affordable housing. Yet Massachusetts voters continue to elect progressive candidates who support higher taxes, driving taxpayers out faster.

    It's complicated! But I'd bet (without doing any research myself) that Moultonborough has those "onerous land-use regulations" that Mitchell Scacchi referred to.

Last Modified 2024-01-28 2:59 AM EDT