Actual Answer: "Because We Want You To Know How Virtuous We Are"

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An op-ed appeared in our local paper, Foster's Daily Democrat headlined Why we chose civil disobedience and arrest in Dover. Attributed to five "guest columnists": Amy Antonucci, Em Friedrichs, The Rev. David Grishaw-Jones, Janet Simmon, and Janet Zeller. It goes from Zero to Insufferable in the very first paragraphs:

On the Friday before Mothers’ Day, the five of us were arrested at Congressman Chris Pappas’ Dover office for refusing to leave when asked by the congressman’s staff. Our group included a farmer, two women in their 80s, an ally five-months pregnant, and a local pastor. We grounded our action—every breath, every request, every non-compliant choice—in the nonviolent practices of Martin Luther King, Jr., Desmond Tutu and Cesar Chavez. It was King himself who famously said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." Our Mothers’ Day action was our witness to justice and love—as tools of social change and peace.

It wasn’t our first visit to Congressman Pappas’ office. With the NH Coalition for a Just Peace in the Middle East, we had been there on ten previous occasions—twice a month since mid-November—asking our elected representative to support a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, humanitarian aid for the Palestinians who suffer there, and an end to lethal military aid for Israel. That aid has fueled catastrophic destruction in the last seven months alone: 35,303 Palestinians in Gaza dead; 79,261 injured; and an emerging crisis of starvation and disease across the Gaza Strip.

(If you click over, there's a picture of the group. Hint: the "ally five months pregnant" is the one with "PREGNANT" scrawled across her t-shirt.)

Could I suggest someone buy five of our Amazon Product du Jour and send out one each to Amy, Em, David, Janet, and the other Janet? I'm sure they'll be able to make room on their vehicle bumpers.

You may recognize some of these names; I noted Grishaw-Jones as the pastor of the Community Church of Durham (NH), which has been hostile to Israel for (apparently) decades.

They have a bone to pick with their, and my, CongressCritter, Chris Pappas. Who has been unabashedly pro-Israel; they list a litany of his sins. (Apparently they were unimpressed by his weaseling out of condemning Biden's "pause" in arms transfers to Israel.)

Is it just me, or can you just smell the combination of disappointment and smugness in this paragraph?:

In choosing to risk arrest, the five of us recognized that we would be inconvenienced and possibly treated roughly, and jailed for our action. As it happened, Dover police treated us fairly and carefully, cited us for trespassing and issued each a summons to appear in court next month. But our willingness to face the consequences of civil disobedience is a message to Congressman Pappas and his colleagues in Congress. If we can choose an uncomfortable path, a risky one, so can you. Often, the pursuit of justice means the sacrifice of a safer, politically expedient way. Sometimes, peacemaking means giving up on a relationship that ties you to a policy that is grim, deadly and no good for Palestine, Israel or New Hampshire.

Observation 1: Usually in these screeds, there's at least some perfunctory mention of the horrors of October 7. (Which you may remember occurred during the previous "ceasefire".) Even that is absent here.

Observation 2: It would be kind of neat if Amy, Em, David, Janet, and the other Janet got the same treatment the January 6 US Capitol invaders got.

Also of note:

  • Hey, kids, what time is it? Lawrence W. Reed wonders: Is It Time to Hold a Convention of the States to Address the Debt Bomb?

    “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt,” warned Thomas Jefferson in 1816. To him, burdening ourselves and future generations with debt should be rare in frequency and minor in magnitude. It may be defensible for long-term capital projects like roads, but for little else.

    Massive, uncontrollable debt to finance current consumption spending was unthinkable to Jefferson. He would undoubtedly see it as a reflection of a nation’s moral and economic decline that could ultimately destroy our liberties.

    Reed's path to fiscal sanity is expressed in his headline: an Article-V specified Constitutional Convention. Bypassing Congress is fine, but any amendments generated still require three-fourths of state legislatures to ratify.

    It would be a lot less work just to elect CongressCritters dedicated to cutting spending. But that would be the job of … voters.

  • It's nice to dream. Kevin D. Williamson fantasizes: Back to the Debate Stage.

    All right, you maniacs, welcome to the 2024 presidential debates moderated by me, your favorite correspondent, Kevin D. Williamson of The Dispatch. You know the drill: The candidates have electrodes attached to their sensitive bits—thanks to Stormy Daniels for hooking those up—and every time one of them tries to pawn off the usual dishonest, stupid, cowardly bulls–t non-positions they retail to their low-rent, cheap-date partisans in our audience tonight, my wingman, Mitch Daniels is going to switch on the juice and those electrodes are going to light them up like Clark Griswold’s house at Christmas. Thanks to our sponsor, AmeriLectric Energy, for supplying 1,200 megawatts of clean, climate-friendly electricity from their just-opened nuclear facility here in Muleshoe, Texas.

    For some reason, the Democrats wanted President Joe Biden to do this before the Democratic convention in Chicago. I can’t imagine why. But paramedics are standing by. Yes, they’re drunk. No, they aren’t really paramedics. And I’m not Jake Tapper.

    No quarter, no mercy.

    I'd watch that.

    But my slightly more serious idea (I've mentioned this before) is a quiz show, roughly based on Jeopardy!, where the candidates are tested on their knowledge of history, science, economics, Constitutional law, and … rudimentary math. Like: "Our national debt is approaching $35 trillion. If a $100 bill is 0.0043 inches thick, and it is, how tall would a stack of $100 bills worth $35 trillion be? Calculators allowed."

    Mouse-select between the brackets to reveal the answer: [23,753 miles].

  • A Worthy Suggestion. And Samuel J. Abrams makes it at AEI: Let’s Remember David Foster Wallace.

    In this month of college and university graduations, I often like to revisit one commencement speech which struck a nerve many years ago. Back in 2005, the late David Foster Wallace spoke at Kenyon College and delivered an address entitled “This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.” Today, I recommend all of my incoming first year students read or listen to his words at the start of, and throughout, their collegiate careers.

    Foster Wallace’s words are so critical today because he makes a centrally important point about human nature that many on campus often forget: We have choices about how we choose to react to the world around us. In his words, “. . . our [natural], default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth” is that we are “self-centred” and operate far often “on the automatic, unconscious belief that [we are] the centre of the world, and that [our] immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world’s priorities.” This leads people to “see and interpret everything through this lens of self” and, by extension, be habitually angry and aggressive toward others and the world around us. But, Foster Wallace argues, if we choose “to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting” of selfishness, we can find not only meaning in life but also connection to others by “being able truly to care about other people.”

    Foster Wallace argues that we as individuals have control over our reactions and behaviors; specifically, we can choose to become more empathetic and understanding of others. While this idea is not entirely new and, in fact, appears in many religious teachings, an increasing number of students claim no religious affiliation. Foster Wallace offers this idea outside of a traditional religious framework with the potential to serve a countless number of students. Yet, it is practiced by far too few.

    That link in the first paragraph goes to a page containing both transcript and audio of DFW's address. If I ever gave a commencement address, I'd steal DFW's. Maybe get ChatGPT to disguise it somehow…

  • Yes, those are handclap emojis. So I couldn't resist linking to Sarah Rose Siskind's Free Press article: Apply 👏 the 👏 Social 👏 Justice👏 Playbook👏 to 👏 Jews.

    Folks, it’s time to step up. It’s time’s up to do better. It’s not enough to “not be antisemitic.” We have to be actively anti-antisemitic. Anyone who is not actively anti-antisemitic is antisemitic.

    We’ve seen the stunning success of similar online campaigns for Women, Black People, and Trans Folk in completely eliminating all prejudice and elevating mental well-being. It’s time to apply the same social justice playbook to Jews. There are specific ways to perform your support that all Jews are guaranteed to appreciate since Jews, like all other marginalized groups, can be treated as a homogenous people who famously agree on everything.

    Here are ten ways to be an Ally to Jews:

    Support Jewish-Owned Businesses

    Forget DuckDuckGo: support businesses like “Google,” an impressive technology company based in Mountain View, California. Both founders of this quite large company are Jewish! Or financially empower companies like “Goldman Sachs,” an investment company founded by Jews 150 years ago. Can you say #ChaiAchiever?

    Don’t forget to support Jews in STEM! This past summer, Universal released a film celebrating the national Yid-spiration, J. Robert Oppenheimer. However, we have to call out the film for portraying this Jewish icon with a non-Jewish actor. The Jewish community famously hates that, given the critical failures of productions like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Maestro, Golda, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Life Is Beautiful.

    You don't have to be Jewish to laugh at this, but it would probably help.

Last Modified 2024-05-22 6:23 AM EDT