You and I, people who pay attention to facts, know that Israel does not discriminate. This is a polite, helpful video for the fact-challenged.
Illustrations about free speech: NFL owners and players are free to disrespect flag and country — and Americans are free to vote with their wallets.
If the NFL wants to let its employees use their unique bully pulpit to take a knee when the flag flies and the national anthem players, even while barring other players from honoring police officers who died on duty, that is the NFL’s right. And if millions of Americans decide that there’s more to life than seeing extremely well-paid men whine . . . well, that’s their right too. That’s how free speech is supposed to operate, with people speaking out and accepting how the marketplace metes out non-violent consequences that flow from their words.
A couple of things before I get to the images:
First, it was the Obama administration that heavily funded the NFL being overtly patriotic:
There’s something incredibly cynical about being paid to be patriotic and even more cynical about the NFL’s scrapping that patriotism with the end of Obama’s presidency.
Second, employers make speech rules all the time. Believe me, if I, as a young lawyer, had stood up in court and told the judge what I really thought (usually some variation of “you’re an idiot”), not only would I have been held in contempt, I would have been fired. On my own time, though, provided that I did not embarrass the law firm, I was free to exercise my First Amendment rights.
Regarding that freedom to speak when off the job, it’s the Leftists who fire people for pretty damn mainstream after-hours opinions, as they did to Brendan Eich. This programming genius, who was a prime mover behind Firefox, privately gave of his own money to help support traditional marriage and got fired for doing so.
Third, being president of the United States does not mean that one no longer has First Amendment rights. While President Trump cannot mandate that NFL players be fired, as that would be unconstitutional, not to mention tyrannical, he is perfectly within his rights as a citizen to say that, in his opinion, they should be fired.
Trump is also within his rights to play the NFL, both owners and players, like a cheap violin. He knew that his statement that the NFL should fire those “sons of bitches” who disrespect the flag and the national anthem would result in today’s rash of player and owner insults to the flag and, by extension, to ordinary Americans.
As best as I can tell, with the NFL getting attacked from the Left because of the game’s inherent violence and the damage flowing from it, and from the Right, because of the player’s whiny disrespect, it’s entirely questionable whether, a few years from now, the NFL will be a “thing” anymore.
Herewith, some images about the NFL today, both the good and the stupid:
Leftists’ elevating theory over facts destroys everything, whether climate issues or, as now know (and are thankful for), Hillary’s political campaign.
Do you remember the old Rodney Dangerfield movie, Back To School? Dangerfield plays a self-made industrialist millionaire who follows his son to a fancy Ivy League school. Some of the movie’s best humor comes from the culture clash between the real (or “normal” as Kurt Schlichter would say) Dangerfield and the poncy, disconnected professor who lives in a world of theory, unrelated to facts.
In the pivotal culture class scene, Dangerfield schools a business professor who prefers to deal in widgets rather than facts and, indeed, who thinks that his theories are the equivalent of facts:
There’s a lot of unintentional humor in What Happened, as Hillary Clinton cluelessly reveals that she is a foolish, deceitful, entitled, nasty woman.
I’m still slogging my way through Hillary’s turgid tome, What Happened. The more one reads it, the more one realizes how accurate the joke in the post to the left: What Happened [by] Hillary Rodham Clinton really is a book that has both the question and answer on the front cover.
Hillary, working hard to sell herself, comes across as just an awful woman or, on second thought, an awful simulacrum of a woman. There’s no there there. Instead, there’s a narcissist defined by her core emptiness.
Two recent reviews perfectly sum up everything that’s wrong with the book. If you ignore the usual Trump-bashing that is required from all Progressives, you cannot do better than to read this review from the Huffington Post. It is vicious and entirely on point. Also, Kyle Smith’s review perfectly articulates my thoughts as I slog my way through the book.
Given the quality reviews already out there, this post is not going to be a book review (especially because I’ve only read 30% of the book so far). Instead, I’ll share with you those passages that I found hilarious (Hillary-ous?) although Hillary did not mean them to be so. I’ll also throw in a few ironies, some sarcasm, and the occasional moment when common sense runs into Hillary’s self-serving arguments.
To begin with there’s the endless name-dropping from someone who keeps insisting that she’s just an ordinary person, completely tuned in to the lives of ordinary people around her. Here’s a representative passage, describing her idea of some R&R during the campaign:
One beautiful summer evening, Jimmy and Jane Buffett hosted a concert for us at their home in the Hamptons on Long Island. I was the first presidential candidate Jimmy ever endorsed, and he wanted to do something special for me. So he, Jon Bon Jovi, and Paul McCartney played a set in a tent full of twinkly lights, and everyone danced on the lawn under the stars. It was magical. (Clinton, Hillary Rodham. What Happened (Kindle Locations 1379-1382), Simon & Schuster edition.)
I don’t know that I’ll ever feel the same again about Jimmy Buffett. I already lost interest in Paul McCartney because of his Bush bashing.
One of the points critics have made about both Hillary and her book is that she’s the ultimate “Progressive as micromanaging expert.” There really is no big political picture. There’s just Hillary’s “I know what’s best” attitude, one that sees her following every meeting with a “regular” person by announcing that she has a new policy initiative in her bag of tricks. For example, she took on bullying:
Many kids asked what I would do about bullying, which made me want to become President even more. I had an initiative called Better Than Bullying ready to go. (What Happened (Kindle Locations 1387-1388).)
First of all, this is really not a presidential issue and a presidential candidate shouldn’t be wasting time on it. Second of all, the lack of self-awareness is hysterical. After all, this is the same First Lady described as a monster of abuse when it came to Vince Foster: [Read more…]
The Independent Institute’s Vicki Alger educates Americans about the fact that the Department of Education burns money without actually educating anyone.
Although the San Francisco Bay Area isn’t know for its conservatives, it’s home to two phenomenal conservative think tanks: The Pacific Research Institute (PRI) in San Francisco and The Independent Institute in Oakland. It’s the latter the concerns me in this post and that really deserves to be celebrated today.
The first reason the Independent Institute concerns me today is because it’s celebrating its 30th Anniversary tomorrow night with a splendid Gala for the Future of Liberty. It’s going to be a fun and intellectually stimulating event. The honorees are Yeonmi Park, who escaped from North Korea; Vernon Smith, an economist and Nobel Prize winner; and Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. P.J. O’Rourke will emcee the event. I’m lucky enough to be attending. Yay! I love a birthday party that’s more about great ideas, which expand my mind, than about cake, which merely expands my waistline.
The second reason to celebrate the Independent Institute is because the thinkers in this think tank have realized that there’s an up-and-coming generation of young people who are ready to break free of the stifling Leftist orthodoxies with which they’ve been raised. While older Millennials may be too deep into Progressivism and the Social Justice Warrior ethos to reach, the younger end of the Millennial generation and the post-Millennial generation are trending conservative. This means that they might be open to new ideas.
With that in mind, the Independent Institute put together a clever, entertaining, and thought-provoking set of videos in which a Big Gov guy cheerfully, and in the name of love, stalks, obsessively controls, and completely stifles a bright young woman. The series is appropriately called “Love Gov.” You can find all the videos here, but this one is my favorite — and it’s especially relevant now that the Democrats are lining up behind fully socialized medicine:
The third reason to celebrate the Independent Institute is that I haven’t forgotten how, three years ago now (or was it four?), Mary Theroux, an Independent Institute Board Member and Senior VP, gave a talk about the fact that the US government was spying on everything we said and storing it away in warehouses for later mining should it decide to focus its gimlet eye on us for some reason. Because I deeply respect Mary’s knowledge and intelligence, I knew she was telling the truth. And yet a small part of my brain kept saying, “That can’t really be happening, can it? That’s just to banana-republic-ish and Orwellian.”
Well, time has shown that this small part of my brain was an idiot. It is really happening — the government is listening and the Obama administration did weaponize the data it collected for political purposes both before and after last year’s election. That’s how it came about that Samantha Powers, a UN Ambassador who would never have any need to unmask the names of American citizens talking with foreigners, was unmasking American names at a rate sometimes exceeding one request per day.
The fourth reason to celebrate the Independent Institute is because it arranged for one of its fellows, Vicki E. Alger, to come talk to a luncheon group with which I’m involved. Vicki’s specialty is education — more specifically, federal involvement in American K-12 education — and that is a very hot topic now. After all, when a fifth grade teacher in Tallahassee sends a note home with students explaining that the teacher is to be addressed as “Mx Bressack [sic]” and that, in an appalling attack on grammar, Bressack further demands that the children call Bressack by the plural pronouns “they, them, and their,” you know American education is veering wildly off course. [Read more…]
Episode 2 of Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War was like Episode 1: an almost honest presentation of facts subtly shaped by a strong Leftist world view.
A few days ago, I offered my impressions about the new Ken Burns documentary, The Vietnam War. Since then, two things have happened. First, I watched the second episode and have a few points I’d like to make about it. (I haven’t yet watched the third episode, which is cued up on the DVR.) Second, I got some fascinating insights in my comments section. This post will have my new observations and some of the material my readers submitted.
Episode 1 of The Vietnam War focused primarily on the French role in Vietnam and the way in which the French — especially de Gaulle — inveigled America into opposing the Vietnamese nationalist movement. I commented that the episode seemed to admire Ho too much and that it pretended that Vietnamese history started with the French. That last point seemed to me to ignore tribal differences and cultural expectations that may have existed long before the French came along.
Episode 2 took the focus off Ho. To the extent he appears in this episode, he still comes across as a saintly nationalist who was, coincidentally, a Moscow-educated communist who wanted to throw his lot in with the communist bloc and who slaughtered his own countrymen en masse. There’s even appreciation for his understanding of optics — he purposely looked older than he was in a country that revered age, and he made much of his childless state in a country that revered family, so as to highlight his sacrifices on behalf of his countrymen.
Ho aside, the bulk of the episode focused on South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngô Đình Nhu. The brothers come across as an unsavory, corrupt, and extremely stupid duo. Catholics in a majority Buddhist country (70% Buddhist, 30% Catholic), they attempted to impose severe restrictions on the country’s Buddhists, especially the priests. The result was that they gave birth to martyrs in the form of Buddhist priests who willingly and calmly self-immolated on the streets of Saigon to protest discrimination: [Read more…]
As Progressives continue to implode before our eyes, political posters keep getting better and better. I have the proof right here.
Trump Derangement Syndrome at the Emmy Awards revealed that in Hollywood, as in the USSR or North Korea, it’s dangerous to deviate from the party line.
I didn’t watch the Emmy Awards. In fact, I haven’t watched the Emmy Awards in at least 20 years.
I don’t watch the Emmy Awards in part because, with a very few exceptions, I don’t watch television. Those exceptions are: Dancing With The Stars (I know, I know, but I do love the “getting it right” aspect of the show), Supernatural (funny, imaginative, and two handsome guys), and whatever old movies on TCM take my fancy (most often musicals). I’ll also watch the occasional British costume drama, such as Downton Abbey. Otherwise, the TV in our house exists for the family’s pleasure, not mine.
Even if I watched more television, though, I doubt I’d watch the Emmy Awards show. During the Bush years, the Bush Derangement Syndrome was painful. Watching the show was akin to the embarrassment I might feel if a manifestly crazy person started stripping in the subway. Even though the crazy person makes it a public act, the craziness really ought to be in private, so I avert my eyes.
With Trump in the White House, though, those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome have doubled down. BDS made them crazy. TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) has turned Hollywood into something remarkably akin to Stalin’s Russia or today’s North Korea.
What we’re seeing is no longer virtue signalling for the sheer arrogant, condescending pleasure of doing so. The TDS shenanigans at the Emmy Awards are starting to resemble the madness of a people who are afraid not to spout the party line. I’ll explain this with two videos from the Emmy Awards and two videos from historic events. [Read more…]
Trump’s superb speech at the United Nations asserted American sovereignty, defended American security, and straightforwardly attacked America’s enemies.
I loath the United Nations. It’s a forum that gives a ridiculous amount of power to tin-pot tyrants, especially of the Muslim variety, and that exists in large part to destroy Israel and demean the United States (while still taking its money). UNICEF has turned into a scam with a strong element of pedophile and sexual exploitation trailing in its wake. WHO too often exists to force socialized medicine into the world.
Donald Trump earned huge gratitude from me when he sent Nikki Hailey into that den of thieves, thugs, and antisemites with marching orders to defend American values and to support Israel. He earned even more gratitude from me today when he stepped before the United Nations and made a speech defending American values, honoring American sacrifices, promising to put America’s needs first without denigrating anyone else, attacking uncontrolled immigration, directly challenging the Iran deal, putting North Korea on notice about the existential peril it is courting, and otherwise saying what needed to be said in a body that, for too long, has abandoned truth and moral decency.
All the usual suspects were offended, which tells me that every word he spoke was gold. This is the kind of thing that sees me forgiving him for weaseling around the DACA issue (and we all knew he was never going to support the optics of sending back to Mexico children raised their whole lives in America, just as we knew that the wall might be more of a metaphor for enforcing immigration laws, rather than an actual brick-and-mortar wall).
Here’s a video of his speech. It is a reminder that Trump is a polished showman and perfectly capable of giving a statesmanlike speech:
And here’s the full transcript. I’ve highlighted the parts that delighted me most, whether substantively or simply because they were lovely oratory: [Read more…]
Ken Burns’ documentary about the Vietnam War is beautifully crafted and visually stunning, but very subtly sides with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.
I watched the first episode of Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War, a 16 hour documentary on PBS. It is, as is true for all of Burns’ documentaries, visually beautiful, factually dense, and meticulously crafted.
When it comes to the Vietnam War, I have a smattering of knowledge — my childhood memories of the nightly news, a recent trip to Vietnam, random articles and shows about the war, conversations with vets, and my personal convictions about communism. I definitely do not have a sufficiently wide body of knowledge to intelligently critique the show’s substance. Still, that’s never been enough to stop me from having opinions and here, in no particular order, are mine:
1. The French were as nasty a bunch of colonialists as you could ever hope to find. After a video montage, the documentary begins in earnest with the French invasion of “Indo-Chine” in the mid-19th century. This was imperialism pure and simple, practiced at the tail end of the imperial age. Unlike the British, which gave its former colonies a civil structure that enabled all of them to thrive as relatively free societies, at least when compared to similarly situated geographic regions, the French turned the country into a large plantation run for France’s benefit.
Unsurprisingly, the Vietnamese people found their French overlords offensive. A nationalist movement came into being, aimed at driving the French out. The French responded with unbridled cruelty.
When we visited the infamous Hanoi Hilton in January, the prison is primarily a museum honoring the Vietnamese who were imprisoned there because of their efforts to expel the French from Vietnam. The French piled on a variety of tortures, both physical and psychological.
(Despite American tourism, the Vietnamese had torn down that part of the prison in which Americans had been imprisoned, leaving only two rooms in which the Vietnamese could explain how marvelously well-treated the Americans were. I’m not kidding. Here’s a video someone took of the video that plays on an endless loop in one of those two rooms.)
After WWII, when England was recognizing that colonialism’s day was over, the French still fought viciously to retain their hold on Indochina. These brutal fights were both on the battlefield and off. The most significant “off” battlefield fight was the one that de Gaulle waged against Eisenhower, who wanted to disassociate himself from Indochina while nominally supporting its independence movement.
Charles de Gaulle used blackmail to keep the Americans engaged there: Either you support us in Vietnam or we’ll “probably” throw in our lot with the Soviet communists. And willy-nilly, there we were, back in a toxic, no-winners mix of French colonialists, Vietnamese nationalists, and Vietnamese and International communists. [Read more…]
Hillary Clinton’s sore loser behavior is a direct attack on American democracy. Trump’s tweeting a golf ball meme is an appropriate and mild response.
The media arm of the Democrat party, also known as the mainstream media, is in an uproar because President Trump retweeted a very funny gif that The People’s Cube created, one showing one of his golf balls knocking Hillary down:
Starting this Sunday morning and all day afterwards the world’s most serious and respectable newspapers and magazines (see the impressive list below) have been having conniptions and reaching for smelling salts. Why?
Because Donald Trump retweeted our silly animated GIF.
If you are a regular here at the People’s Cube, you may have seen this meme, which is only a funny metaphor of last year’s elections.
The image is obviously a joke. More importantly, it’s a deserved response to Hillary’s latest authorial effort, What Happened.
Reading the book (or listening to anything Hillary has said since November 9, 2016), it’s apparent that Hillary has never about America’s “gracious loser” tradition. This tradition is not a mere formality. It’s an important part of handing over power in a representative democracy.
Democracies retain their character only if people believe in them. (It’s sort of like clapping your hands if you believe in fairies.) Once people become cynical, the people’s party is over and tyranny steps in. So again, the good loser tradition is not mere symbolism; it is important and meaningful.
Hillary, however, is a very, very bad loser. Here are representative quotations from just the first couple of chapters in her book: [Read more…]
Sally Quinn is convinced that she killed three people. Wouldn’t it be nice if an enterprising prosecutor indicted her based on her murder confession?
Sally Quinn, the widow of deceased WaPo executive editor Ben Bradlee, has been boasting about the fact that she murdered three people. Really:
Thanks to her just-released memoir, however, we now know the truth, that far from being an agnostic, Quinn was not only a true believer in the occult, black magic, and voodoo, she practiced these dark arts in the most wicked ways imaginable.
In fact, Quinn believes in the dark arts to a point where is certain she possesses the ability to murder people through the power of a hex, and on three occasions, with murder in her heart, she used that power. In her own mind, she is responsible for the deaths of three people whose only sin was offending her in some way.
John Nolte, from whom the above quotation comes, wants to highlight for people the fact that, for years, Quinn lied about her beliefs. In profiles and articles, she characterized herself as a mainstream Leftist atheist, with vaguely formed spiritual beliefs. She was, in her own words, a “learner,” whatever the heck that means.
The way I see it, though, Sally Quinn isn’t a “learner,” she’s a “murderer.” She may not have used guns or knives or poison, but she is absolutely clear in her own mind that she intended to kill three people, that she took steps to ensure their death and that, as a result of her efforts, those people died.
I’m not quite sure where Quinn lives, whether in D.C. itself (unlikely, but possible), a pricey Virginia suburb, or the Hamptons. In fact, her actions could easily have taken place in any of those jurisdictions. And in each of those jurisdictions, knowingly and intentionally causing someone’s death, without any self-defense at issue, is murder. [Read more…]
Free speech is meaningless if the government can nevertheless force you to say things that conflict with your values. But Leftist governments persists…
This Bookworm Beat doesn’t have a huge collection of illustrations but what it has are damn fine. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh some more.
I’ve been paying bills and taxes, and plowing through Hillary’s What Happened? — and I’m really not sure which task is most distasteful. All I do know is that I managed to miss one of Hillary’s best moments in the early chapters of her book. You see, when she started in on literary analysis, my brain said “Academic virtue signaling,” and promptly guided my eyes to the next paragraph. Had I focused harder, I would have caught this gem of totalitarianism:
And while I’m at it, here are two more Hillary gems, followed by several other amusing and insightful posters and cartoons:
Here are the seven simple rules that have greatly improved my life (and made my children happier). Do you have simple rules that guide you?
Politics disgusts me today and I don’t want to write about it. Instead, inspired by a lunchtime conversation I had with a friend, I’d like to hear from you the simple rules (if any) that helped re-frame how you viewed your world or your conduct in a way that made your life better, happier, more productive, and of more value to those around you.
The reason I ask this is because, over the years, a few simple rules have appealed to me. They’ve helped me break out of bad habits and form good ones. They did so, not by micromanaging my conduct, but by providing me with principles that changed how I viewed myself and the world. That’s the re-framing I’m talking about. None of these rules or principles are complicated; none require micromanaging; and all apply to myriad situations, although I originally brought them to bear on specific issues that vexed me.
Here are mine:
“Few rules, but unbreakable.” I got this from R.F. Delderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days, a novel about life in a small English public school from the end of WWI to the beginning of WWII. It’s a wonderful rule, whether one is raising children or overseeing a project. Micromanaging is exhausting and demoralizes the people being managed. Making clear what’s important — and just how important it is (unbreakable) — gives people freedom to move forward while keeping intact the things that matter most to you, the rule maker.
“Catch them being good.” This was perhaps the best piece of child-rearing advice I ever received. I wrote a whole post about it, which I won’t repeat here. Suffice to say that, if you honestly praise good behavior, instead of focusing obsessively on bad behavior, not only will your children behave better, but you will feel better about them. And of course, it’s not only children who value honest praise. Dale Carnegie wrote a whole book about that. [Read more…]