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In the battle of ideas, Midge Decter was a fearless warrior. She had little patience for fence-sitters and heaped special scorn on those who made themselves out to be victims.
Yet Decter’s death last week, at 94, was met with glowing obituaries that reflected qualities beyond her brilliance in intellectual combat. Even The New York Times and Washington Post saluted her impact, not a small matter given that Decter was a founding mother of the neoconservative movement those papers love to hate.
Writer, author, editor and organizer, she was far ahead of her time in identifying what we now call the culture wars. She wrote “The New Chastity and Other Arguments Against Women’s Liberation” in 1972, which contained this provocative paragraph:
“Women’s Liberation does not embody a new wave of demand for equal rights. Nor does its preoccupation with oppression signal a yearning for freedom. The movement on close examination turns out to be about . . . the difficulties women are experiencing with the rights and freedoms they already enjoy.”
Three years later, she followed with “Liberal Parents, Radical Children,” an insight proven by the leftist bullies on social media and college campuses.
Love of country and gratitude for its liberty fueled Decter’s passion and she and her prolific husband, writer and editor Norman Podhoretz, made a powerful pair in eviscerating foes. For them, America’s glass was not half empty.
They would adopt a similar attitude toward Israel’s enemies.
Their son, John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary and a Post columnist, said in his eulogy he and his three siblings wondered about the source of their mother’s intellect and spirit.
“My parents met in 1946 on a registration line at the Jewish Theological Seminary, where my show-offy 16-year-old future father was trying to make time with a girl and misquoted T.S. Eliot — whereupon the 18-year-old with a thick Midwestern accent turned around and corrected the quotation,” Podhoretz recounted, adding:
‘Join side you’re on’
“How had she come to T.S. Eliot? There had been barely a book in my grandparents’ house. My dad says that when he met her Midge had already read Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Proust. Proust! And yet this was a woman who spent her life regretting the fact that she never graduated from college.”
I first met Decter a decade ago at a small dinner of conservatives. The others knew her, and one asked about an observation she had made earlier, that “you have to join the side you’re on.”
The words were new to me — and a lightning bolt in my head. I don’t remember much else about the dinner, except I instantly understood the clarity those words could bring to any difficult decision.
For Decter, the decision had been about her relationship to the Democratic Party. She, her husband and a few others had been feeling estranged over a bizarre fondness for communism and an equally bizarre animus toward America itself.
Finally, after realizing they had become critical outsiders instead of critical insiders, they reached a breaking point and endorsed Richard Nixon.
The blowback from former allies was intense, with some relationships never repaired. But there was no going back, and all these years later, no regrets about the decision.
(Norman told me she never used those words in writing, but that he did, quoting her! Such was their marriage that a mutual friend tells me Decter once noted that “I bring him coffee and he brings me courage.”)
I have often quoted her gem because the lesson is as current as today’s cancel culture. The left’s demand for total conformity even as its policy ideas grow more radical is creating millions of Midge Decters.
Parents who object to racial and gender indoctrination in elementary school are likely to join the political side they’re on. So are liberal-minded urban residents who fear the rise of violent crime, then must listen to Democrats call them racists for wanting police protection.
Indeed, the political revolution happening today in America can be seen as a continuation of what Decter and others started six decades ago. It has spread to growing numbers of blacks and Latinos, among the most reliable Dems, who are pulling away from the push for open borders, abortion on demand until birth and an ever-more powerful government.
Those who make the decision to switch sides often pay a price in lost friends and family harmony, and perhaps financially.
But joining the side you are on is more than simply having an argument with friends. Ultimately it’s about being honest with yourself and matching your actions with your convictions.
There is one other thing about Midge Decter I came to know, and that is how kind she was. I wasn’t alone in recognizing her generosity of spirit.
This side of her is best captured in the Washington Free Beacon, where Mary Eberstadt wrote of gatherings where Decter would spend hours talking to young people:
“Not once did it occur to us that this formidable woman, anchor of so many communities, might have better things to do than entertain our conservative junior league members, some of whom were only recently out of braces. Then again, how would we have known we were imposing? She treated one and all as if nothing mattered more than our company.”
To those lucky enough to know her, Midge Decter’s memory is already a blessing. May she rest in peace.
Joe out to lunch on baby formula
And babies, too?
Yes, babies, too.
Chalk up another example of where the sclerotic slowness of the Biden White House led to a crisis that could have been prevented.
The case at hand is the shortage of baby formula, caused by the closure of an Abbott Nutrition plant in Michigan and a subsequent recall of products, including Similac, after two infants died of a bacteria that might have come from the plant.
That happened in February, and by early May, formula supplies were reportedly 43 percent below normal. Since then, stories of parents desperate to find food for their babies have dominated much of the media. Apparently having no other sources of information, the White House now says it’s on the case.
A better, more energetic president would have admitted the slow start and pledged to move heaven and earth to fix it. That’s what leadership looks like.
That’s not the president we have. Instead, Biden and his crew are beating up on private industry by warning about price gouging while defending the bureaucracy that has kept the Abbott plant closed and keeps imported formulas off the market.
To top it off, outgoing press secretary Jen Psaki effectively accused Abbott of murder in the infant deaths, saying, “There were babies who died from taking this formula,” a link that has not been proven.
All and all, just another day in the ongoing collapse of a presidency.
By: Ny Post
Naomi Campbell supports Kate Moss after Johnny Depp testimony
Naomi Campbell will always have Kate Moss’ back.
The model took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday to praise her pal for taking the witness stand on behalf of Johnny Depp and his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
“YES WAGON TELL IT !! @ katemossagency,” Campbell, 52, wrote, using the nickname she has used for Moss, 48, for years.
Campbell’s words were accompanied by a screengrab of an article recapping Moss’ statements in court, in which the model denied Heard’s claim that Depp pushed her down a flight of stairs during their ’90s romance.
As previously reported, Moss was called as a rebuttal witness for Depp, 58, in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, 36. The trial is now in its sixth and final week in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
“He never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs,” Moss said over video from Gloucester, England.
Moss told jurors that she fell down a flight of stairs and injured herself during a rainy night in Jamaica at the GoldenEye Resort.
“Johnny had left the room before I did, and there had been a rainstorm. And as I left the room, I slid down the stairs and hurt my back,” she testified.
“I screamed because I didn’t know what happened to me and I was in pain. And [Depp] came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”
Depp’s attorney Ben Chew then asked Moss, “Did Mr. Depp push you in any way down the stairs?”
She asserted, “No.”
Moss was 20 and Depp was 31 when they dated from 1994 until 1997. Following their split, the actor moved on with now-ex Vanessa Paradis. Depp and Paradis, 49, share kids Lily-Rose, 22, and Jack, 20.
Though Moss once described her breakup with Depp as a “nightmare,” she has remained resolutely supportive of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
“There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me,” Moss told Vanity Fair in 2012. “Johnny did for a bit.”
By: Ny Post
Ari Emanuel to marry Sarah Staudinger in St. Tropez this weekend
Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel will seal his latest deal this weekend.
Sources confirmed to Page Six that Emanuel — the hard-charging inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on the HBO hit “Entourage” — will tie the knot with designer Sarah Staudinger in a star-studded ceremony in St. Tropez, France.
Conveniently, the nuptials will coincide with the end of the nearby Cannes Film Festival.
Insiders told Page Six that guests are already headed to the wedding location for the upcoming festivities.
While the guest list currently remains under wraps, Emanuel is known to rep A-list names including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Christian Bale, Whoopi Goldberg, Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Larry David and Joaquin Phoenix. He also previously represented Donald Trump in his “Apprentice” days.
On the family side, his brothers are former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel.
Meanwhile, Staudinger’s fashion line, Staud, has celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner, Lizzo, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie.
Page Six exclusively revealed last May that Emanuel and Staudinger got engaged. They started dating in 2018, after he and his first wife, Sarah Addington, filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage. They reportedly separated in 2014, and have three kids together.
Emanuel, 61, and Staudinger, 33, broke up in 2020, then reconciled around the start of 2021. He popped the question after his company, Endeavor, debuted on the stock market, a source told us at the time.
The Brentwood, Calif., home he shared with Addington went on the market last year for $25.9 million, while he bought a 2-acre Beverly Hills estate for $27.5 million in October 2020.
A rep did not comment.
The Wrap was first to report on the Emanuel wedding.
By: Ny Post
Heat trapped by greenhouse gases reached highest level yet in 2021, scientists say
Greenhouse gases emitted by human activities trapped much more heat in 2021 than they did three decades ago, according to scientists.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an update to its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index on Monday. The index is used to provide a measurement of the amount of heating greenhouse gases are causing.
In 2021, the index reached a value of 1.49, which is 49% more than 1 value that is assigned to 1990 – the year of the Kyoto Protocol, one of the earliest binding climate change agreements signed by 192 countries. The value of 0 is assigned to the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1750.
Carbon dioxide levels
According to scientists, carbon dioxide is the most abundant of the green greenhouse gases and grew by 2.6 parts per million last year. The level has risen by 61 ppm since 1990, and accounts for 80% of the increased heat shown in the AGGI.
“CO2 is the main player because it stays in the atmosphere and oceans for thousands of years and it is by far the largest contributor to global warming,” said Pieter Tans, senior scientist at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory.
Methane sources still not clear
Methane, or CH4, is another greenhouse gas that drives climate change, but scientists are still trying to understand what is causing its increase.
Scientists said CH4 levels grew by 16.9 parts per billion in 2021 – the fastest observed increase since the early 1980s.
The nature of its increase is important to understand because it warms the earth 30 to 90 times more than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. However, it stays in the atmosphere a much shorter amount of time than CO2 – decades compared to millennia.
According to scientists, the increased methane may be coming less from fossil fuels and more from wetlands, agriculture and landfills.
“We should absolutely target man-made methane emissions — especially those from fossil fuel — because it is technologically feasible to control them,” said Xin Lan, a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “If wetlands are giving off more methane because of warming and changes in global precipitation caused by rising CO2 levels, that’s something we can’t control directly, and that would be very concerning.”
Other gases being monitored
There are a total of 19 greenhouse gases that are monitored by scientists. While carbon dioxide and methane make up the bulk of these gases in the atmosphere, another one called nitrous oxide, or N2O, comes in third.
According to scientists, N2O levels are primarily the result of the use of fertilizer for agriculture.
“We can find alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels, but cutting emissions associated with producing food is a very difficult task,” said Stephen Montzka, the GML scientist who leads the AGGI report each year.
The remaining 16 greenhouse gases make up about 4% of heat that has been trapped since 1750, according to scientists.
By: Ny Post
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