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The British comedy writing duo who brought us Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son met as teenagers in a tuberculosis sanitarium and bonded over their shared love of American comedy on the American Forces Network -- "Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Don Ameche."
Simpson: "Sometimes we'll reminisce. Some of my fondest memories are from the Hancock days. He was a dream to work with - one of those rare performers who could read something perfectly first time. He had his problems and was never a great party man, but he was funny. When we had readings with Hancock, Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Bill Kerr - some of the biggest laughers in the business - they would be on their knees roaring, eyes watering. It was incredible, and Ray and I would stand there like kids thinking, 'We did that.'"
One cafe hides its electrical outlets and, between 11 am and 4 pm, cuts off wifi. Another eliminated wifi completely, only to have to reverse its course a few weeks later. Yet another cafe is leasing out a basement as a co-working space. How does a coffeehouse cultivate loyal customers without encouraging table hogs?
A couple techniques I've observed: Printing a unique wifi key, good for two hours, on the customer's receipt. Offering bandwidth priority to customers who spend above a certain threshold. Seems like it would be simple to grant a DHCP lease with the duration proportional to the amount of money spent on food and drink.
Workshop Cafe in San Francisco's Financial District has a small free wifi space, but most of the coffeehouse is reserved for people who pay $2 to $3 per hour. In exchange, customers get faster wifi, outlets, access to printers, scanners, and large screen displays, private phone booths, and ergonomic chairs. Members can order drinks and food from their seats, can reserve a specific spot using the app, and can optionally share their info with other members, opening the door to collaboration. I am not a tax expert, but it seems the money paid specifically for a place to sit would be deductible as a business expense, while the money you spend in a conventional coffeehouse on coffee and paninis to justify your continued occupancy of a table would not be.
The first part of the speech focuses on Israel's rising reputation in the world, as the nation builds deeper ties with more nations, as nations seek Israel's advice in counterterrorism, water conservation, agriculture, and other fields. Netanyahu looks forward to the day when UN ambassadors stop passing resolutions against Israel because their governments back home have strong, positive relationships with Israel.
Netanyahu reviewed the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and identifies its root:
"But this conflict has never been about the settlements or about establishing a Palestinian state. It's always been about the existence of a Jewish state, a Jewish state in any boundary....
"Had the Palestinians said yes to a Jewish state in 1947, there would have been no war, no refugees and no conflict. And when the Palestinians finally say yes to a Jewish state, we will be able to end this conflict once and for all."
Netanyahu went on to contrast official Palestinian applause for violence against Israelis with official Israeli crackdowns on anti-Palestinian extremists.
"Now here's the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.
"I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I'll call him Ali. Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis.
"At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.
"When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he'd detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas's adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here's a quote, 'to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.' Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas's Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a 'heroic act'. On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, 'We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.' Direct quote.
"Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here's what she tells him. She tells him he'd be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he'd get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority....
"We in Israel don't do this. We educate our children for peace. In fact, we recently launched a pilot program, my government did, to make the study of Arabic mandatory for Jewish children so that we can better understand each other, so that we can live together side-by-side in peace.
"Of course, like all societies Israel has fringe elements. But it's our response to those fringe elements, it's our response to those fringe elements that makes all the difference.
"Take the tragic case of Ahmed Dawabsha. I'll never forget visiting Ahmed in the hospital just hours after he was attacked. A little boy, really a baby, he was badly burned. Ahmed was the victim of a horrible terrorist act perpetrated by Jews. He lay bandaged and unconscious as Israeli doctors worked around the clock to save him.
"No words can bring comfort to this boy or to his family. Still, as I stood by his bedside I told his uncle, 'This is not our people. This is not our way.' I then ordered extraordinary measures to bring Ahmed's assailants to justice and today the Jewish citizens of Israel accused of attacking the Dawabsha family are in jail awaiting trial.
"Now, for some, this story shows that both sides have their extremists and both sides are equally responsible for this seemingly endless conflict.
"But what Ahmed's story actually proves is the very opposite. It illustrates the profound difference between our two societies, because while Israeli leaders condemn terrorists, all terrorists, Arabs and Jews alike, Palestinian leaders celebrate terrorists. While Israel jails the handful of Jewish terrorists among us, the Palestinians pay thousands of terrorists among them."
"What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking "clerks" and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think... and 5) who to vote for....
"Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren't even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism -- in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science. (For instance it is trivial to show the following: much of what the Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types -- those who want to "nudge" us into some behavior -- much of what they would classify as "rational" or "irrational" (or some such categories indicating deviation from a desired or prescribed protocol) comes from their misunderstanding of probability theory and cosmetic use of first-order models.) They are also prone to mistake the ensemble for the linear aggregation of its components as we saw in the chapter extending the minority rule....
"The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn't understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are "red necks" or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term "uneducated". What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: "democracy" when it fits the IYI, and "populism" when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club."
"The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line.
"On late-night television, it was once understood that David Letterman was beloved by coastal liberals and Jay Leno more of a Middle American taste. But neither man was prone to delivering hectoring monologues in the style of the 'Daily Show' alums who now dominate late night. Fallon's apolitical shtick increasingly makes him an outlier among his peers, many of whom are less comics than propagandists -- liberal 'explanatory journalists' with laugh lines.
"Some of them have better lines than others, and some joke more or hector less. But to flip from Stephen Colbert's winsome liberalism to Seth Meyers's class-clown liberalism to Bee's bluestocking feminism to John Oliver's and Trevor Noah's lectures on American benightedness is to enter an echo chamber from which the imagination struggles to escape.
"It isn't just late-night TV. Cultural arenas and institutions that were always liberal are being prodded or dragged further to the left. Awards shows are being pushed to shed their genteel limousine liberalism and embrace the race-gender-sexual identity agenda in full. Colleges and universities are increasingly acting as indoctrinators for that same agenda, shifting their already-lefty consensus under activist pressure.
"Meanwhile, institutions that were seen as outside or sideways to political debate have been enlisted in the culture war. The tabloid industry gave us the apotheosis of Caitlyn Jenner, and ESPN gave her its Arthur Ashe Award. The N.B.A., N.C.A.A. and the A.C.C. -- nobody's idea of progressive forces, usually -- are acting as enforcers on behalf of gay and transgender rights. Jock culture remains relatively reactionary, but even the N.F.L. is having its Black Lives Matters moment, thanks to Colin Kaepernick."
"As we wandered around in our Buckeye regalia, you greeted us with 'Welcome to Norman, we're glad you came.' You asked if you could help us find anything. You offered advice on where to park on game-day. You suggested restaurants we might enjoy. (We tried Blackbird Gastropub and enjoyed it so much that we returned to it on Saturday.)...
"We returned to the Blackbird, where we enjoyed more Norman hospitality. Our server even remembered us from the day before. As we were enjoying a drink and waiting for our meal, a gentleman approached our table with yet another 'welcome.' During the conversation, he recommended a restaurant in OKC that we might want to try after the game. As he was singing its praises, I jokingly asked if he was a stockholder in the place. He replied that, no he wasn't. He said, 'I'm a local legislator and I like to promote the area.' He later came back to the table and offered to take a group photo of us with one of our phones. We took him up on the offer. During the afternoon he sent beer to our table. Twice. I wish I had asked his name so I could thank him publicly....
"As game-time approached, we wandered across your campus, taking in the festival atmosphere that you are obviously very good at creating. As we passed tailgate parties, we received more welcomes.
"After the game, you proved to be very gracious over the loss of a great football game between two of the most storied programs in the country. Many of you told us that you are looking forward to going to Columbus for the game next year. I hope we can be the hosts that you were."
I've only visited five: the Met, the Art Institute of Chicago, the British Museum, National Air and Space Museum, and Yad Vashem.
Ephemera can capture history that newspapers and textbooks miss. David Dean has photographed and uploaded his collection of concert posters going back into the late 1950s, but with a special focus on the '70s and '80s. Most of the photos are from Tulsa venues, but you'll also find Oklahoma City, Norman, Wichita, and other regional cities represented. Many are for events at Cain's Ballroom.
"How often have you heard sexual progressives claim that those of us who hold to traditional sexual morality and marriage are 'on the wrong side of history?'
"But as one new book points out, it's the proponents of the sexual revolution who are embracing a sexual morality that history left behind millennia ago--in the dusty ruins of the Roman Forum....
"It's precisely in times like this that we need some historical perspective. Which is why Lutheran pastor Matthew Rueger's new book, Sexual Morality in a Christless World, is a timely godsend. In it, Rueger shows how Christian sexual morality rocked the pagan world of ancient Rome. The notions of self-giving love, sexual chastity, and marital fidelity were foreign, even shocking to the people of that time."...
"Folks, we can't look away and ignore this unholy revival of pagan sexuality and its cheapened view of human beings. But we also can't wring our hands in fear or throw them up in defeat. As Rueger points out, Christ and His Church radically transformed a far more sexually cruel and chaotic world than ours.
"Look to those ancient believers who went before us: Rather than succumbing to or accommodating the spirit of the age, new converts in the early Church came to understand, as Rueger writes, that 'Christian morality is based on Christ's all-encompassing purity and self-emptying love...Christians could no longer live as the Greeks or Romans. Their worldview and self-view was distinctly different. They were now one with Christ in heart and soul.'
"Now, their distinctiveness, as Rueger writes, 'would not spare them from suffering; it would invite suffering.' It's pretty clear now that the same holds true for us. Will we bend the knee to this revived pagan sexuality, or will we hold out to a needy world the freedom of God's plan for human sexuality?"
You want change? Sing the National Anthem. David Brooks explains how patriotic ritual reinforces social cohesion, which is essential for producing the kinds of societal change that the protesters say they want:
"Sitting out the anthem takes place in the context of looming post-nationalism. When we sing the national anthem, we're not commenting on the state of America. We're fortifying our foundational creed. We're expressing gratitude for our ancestors and what they left us. We're expressing commitment to the nation's ideals, which we have not yet fulfilled.
"If we don't transmit that creed through shared displays of reverence we will have lost the idea system that has always motivated reform. We will lose the sense that we're all in this together. We'll lose the sense of shared loyalty to ideas bigger and more transcendent than our own short lives.
"If these common rituals are insulted, other people won't be motivated to right your injustices because they'll be less likely to feel that you are part of their story. People will become strangers to one another and will interact in cold instrumentalist terms."
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