BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Category: Culture (Page 2 of 4)

National Review: The Rise and Fall of the New York Mets, and America

I was honored and privileged that National Review invited me to write an article about my beloved pennant-winning New York Mets for my debut in that seminal publication.

Below is a representative sample from my paean to the Amazin’ Metropolitans:

The fates of the Mets and of America were joined, embodied in the Mets’ new ballpark, Citi Field, which opened in 2009. This characterless McMansion of a stadium — largely devoid of defining Mets-ness, save for a steroid-injected apple — was so titled thanks to a naming-rights deal effectively underwritten by the taxpayer. Like much of America’s housing stock, the Mets’ home, Citi Field would remain largely uninhabited during miserable years to come. The edifice literally rusted before it even saw its first game.

As the American economy slogged along, so too did the Mets, who found creative ways to fail en route to six straight losing seasons. Supposedly minor injuries festered and led to lost years. Management claimed it had funds to acquire talent, while continuously cutting back. The Mets’ debt ballooned as it serviced existing debt.

Early in 2015, the team’s imprudent and miserly majority owner was named the head of Major League Baseball’s Finance Committee. Was “failing upward,” as in politics, a new rule in MLB?

Then, just in time for Opening Day, Steve Kettmann’s book Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets was published. How could anyone have the temerity to argue that the Mets’ general manager, who had not overseen a single winning Mets team, had revived the Metropolitans?

Demoralized, some Mets fans even put up billboards above the chop shops near Citi Field, urging the Mets’ owners to sell the team.

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Allah and Man at Yale

Here’s a taste of my latest at The Federalist, in which I question why Yale University is taking $10 million from a jihadi-tied Saudi billionaire to build an Islamic (read: Sharia) Law center that propagates an ideology under which Yale itself could not exist:

While America remains financially and militarily the mightiest nation on Earth, it is losing the war Islamic supremacism is waging against her because it is chiefly an ideological one. We have the strength to defend ourselves, but we lack the knowledge and the will to defeat our enemies. We are morally relativistic and therefore unable to acknowledge that different peoples are different and that not all ideologies are equal or seek the same ends.

But people like Saleh Kamal surely understand us. In the conquest ideology inherent to Sharia—Islam compels Muslims to extend the Islamic sphere, the ummah, over all the world—America has found an enemy able to best take advantage of our deeply held freedoms. Sharia explicitly calls for the use of the very tactics against which America is most vulnerable.

As a consequence of our willful blindness (contrasted with Islamic supremacists’ comparable clarity), we are constructing Islamic law centers, inviting Muslims to immigrate by the hundreds of thousands without recognition that Hijra is a form of jihad, and, 14 years after 9/11, our top military minds are arguing that we back al-Qaeda against ISIS—that is, the newly “good jihadists” against the “bad jihadists.” For the coup de grace, we are actively aiding, abetting, and enabling Iran’s Twelver jihadist regime in its quest for nuclear domination of the Middle East and beyond.

Read the whole thing here.

Featured Image Source: YouTube Screengrab/Firing Line.

Does the Arc of History Bend Towards Tyranny? An Excerpt from Michael Walsh’s ‘The Devil’s Pleasure Palace.’

Michael Walsh’s new book The Devil’s Pleasure Palace is pivotal in its explication of how poor and purely evil ideas have subverted America, and eaten away at the pillars of Western civilization.

While we often hear the refrain “ideas have consequences,” too frequently we attribute the decline of the American system to politics or particular political figures, while giving the power of ideas short thrift.

The Devil's Pleasure Palace

But as Walsh’s important work illustrates, ideas are everything, and if you lose the war of them you lose all of the other battles too.

One such idea that has trumped to date deals with “History” — which you would not dare be on the wrong side of — as if some metaphysical Berlin Wall.

Here is what Walsh has to say on the matter:

Progressives like to throw around the phrases “the arc of history” and “the wrong side of history.” Martin Luther King Jr., quoting the abolitionist Theodore Parker, formulated it this way: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But when you stop to think about this, it’s simply a wishful assertion with no particular historical evidence to back it up. Such sloganeering emerges naturally from the Hegelian-Marxist conception of capital-H History. The only teleology they can allow has to do with abstract, ostensibly “moral” pronouncements of a chimerical, ever-receding horizon of perfect “justice.” The moral universe must not and will not ever admit of amelioration in our lifetimes, or indeed any lifetimes, they insist. It is a Faustian quest, at once admirable and yet a fool’s errand; no means will ever suffice to achieve the end.

Isn’t it interesting that there can be some form of moral judgment in a morally relativistic, largely if not entirely amoral secular progressive system?

Walsh has some questions for the arc-ists too:

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What Happens When We Coexist Instead of Assimilate? An Answer From California.

“You can’t have a court hearing without having your client understand it correctly,” said Protima Pandey, a staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid.

I wholeheartedly agree.

But the answer for Californians it turns out is to provide “free” interpretation services for litigants in all cases both criminal and civil by 2017.

Despite being gratis, it will actually cost California taxpayers more than the $92 million currently appropriated for administering its court interpreter program.

Naturally, as noted in the Associated Press article about this policy, California is extending services under pressure from that great purveyor of justice during the Obama era, the DOJ.

Merits and particulars of the policy aside, it is important to note that a common language is essential to a cohesive nation.

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Economist Walter E. Williams Discusses America’s Contempt for Liberty

Full Interview

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End of Discussion: Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson on Totalitarian Speech Enforcers in America

Full Interview

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¡Adios, America!: An Interview With Ann Coulter on Our Nation’s Immigration Insanity and 2016

Full Interview

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Former Fed Prosecutor Andrew McCarthy on Islam and Free Speech, the Patriot Act and Foreign Policy

Full Interview

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A Conversation with Dennis Prager on the Ten Commandments and the Fate of the West

Full Interview

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Charles C.W. Cooke’s Conservatarian Manifesto

Full Interview

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