Often, TED talks are pompous leftist bloviations. Sometimes, though, they’re charming, imaginative introductions to something you may not have known. This falls into the latter category:
- The Noisy Room – Bloody Jihad Comes To Oklahoma
- The Independent Sentinel – Mexican Woman Sues to Strike Down US Immigration Law
- Joshuapundit-Obama Soils Himself At The UN With Weakness, Appeasement And Israel Bashing
- Simply Jews – Idle thoughts on Scottish independence and whether it’s good for the Jews (of course)
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Jihad By The Book
- The Razor – Pill Heads in the Waiting Room
- Nice Deb – Jonathan Karl And Josh Earnest Spar Over Obama’s JayVee Comment: “He Clearly Was Talking About ISIL”
- Bookworm Room – Is it time to dig out the bullets packed in pig grease? (And let’s identify the real Islamophobes.) *UPDATED*
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Will School ‘Heckler’s Veto’ Ruling Get Shot Down by the SCOTUS?
- The Glittering Eye -Care
- Rhymes With Right – Speaking Of Racist White Democrats
- VA Right! - Hanover Schools Teaching Students to Blame America for 9/11 With Classroom Video
- The Right Planet – What’s a Khorasan?
- Ask Marion – William Deresiewicz on the Disadvantages of an Elite Education
- The MidKnight Review – First beheading in the US because of a newly converted Muslim?
- The Pirate’s Cove – How Often Has Obama Missed His Daily Presidential Briefing?
- The Elder of Ziyon – Arabs terrorize Jewish kids next to Mount of Olives (video)
- Mark Steyn –Winning Heads And Minds submitted by The Noisy Room
- Sultan Knish –It’s time to kick ISIS members out of here submitted byThe Independent Sentinel
- The Weekly Standard – Allah And Woman At Yale submitted byJoshuapundit
- Mick Hartley – Just Happen To Be Muslim submitted by Simply Jews
- Joel Kotkin/Orange County Register – Choosing fortune over freedom submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- National Journal –Obama’s Pass-The-Buck Presidency submitted byThe Razor
- Camille Paglia -The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evilsubmitted by Nice Deb
- National Review/ Matt Continetti-Journalists for Hillary Clintonsubmitted by Bookworm Room
- Douglas Ernst – Neil DeGrasse Tyson gets caught lying by The Federalist; disciples at Wikipedia go full-Orwell submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- JustOneMinute – Border Security Begins (Or Ends) At Homesubmitted by The Glittering Eye
- Outside The Beltway – Ben Carson: ‘Strong Likelihood’ I’ll Run For President submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Media Research Center – Over 300,000 Face Deadline to Prove Eligibility for ObamaCare Subsidies; Nets Omit submitted by VA Right!
- The Federalist – Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the Science of Smug Condescension submitted by The Right Planet
- Amity Shlaes/NRO – Progressives Enthroned submitted by The Watcher
- Dennis Prager/Townhall – What The Arab World Producessubmitted by The Watcher
I had a peaceful day planned, one that included a lot of blogging. Then real life intruded. Things started off well enough when I got a lovely hair cut, which is always a happy experience in my day. Then, my Mom asked me to take her to a doctor we saw a couple of weeks ago. As I discovered later, I ought to have inquired further.
I picked Mom up at her home, which is always a slow process, and got her to the doctor’s office, which is another slow process. The receptionist was surprised to see us. It turns out Mom’s appointment isn’t for another six weeks. I knew about the six week appointment, but when Mom called and told me she had to go to this doctor today, I just assumed that she’d made herself another appointment because that’s what my mom does. It was no harm, no foul, just a bit of lost time for me.
What was fascinating, though, was watching my mother deal with this problem. First, she denied the error, until she was shown the appointment screen on the office computer. Then she denied that she could have made a mistake entering it. When I suggested that her failing vision might have caused the error, she conceded that this was a possibility. During the car ride home, though, she said it was also possible that the receptionist wrote the date down wrong when she gave Mom the original appointment reminder slip. I agreed that this too was possible. By the time I got Mom back to her home, she stated with certitude, “It was those girls. They gave me the wrong information.”
Wow! How we got from possibilities to certainties, I do not know, but Mom quite obviously needed the psychological comfort of being far removed from the error.
When I got home, my daughter got me in a stranglehold and said “You have to drive me to my internship interview because the traffic’s really bad and I don’t know where I’m going and I don’t know where to park and I’m scared to drive to a new place for the first time when I don’t know where I’m going and I’m going to be late.” I’m Germanic about punctuality and I understand the new driver’s nervousness about a new location on a short clock, so I agreed. The round-trip was unexciting, but time-consuming.
Homeward to dinner preparations and eating. I was then again besieged: “You need to help me with my homework!” My kids refuse to believe me when I say that, having been through high school once myself, I really don’t wish to relive it again. Or more accurately, while I’d love to have the youthful part back, I don’t want to re-live the homework part. Still, I wouldn’t be a middle class Marin helicopter parent with high expectations for my children’s academic careers if I didn’t pitch in. True to type, I pitched.
So, here it is, 10:00 at night, and I’m finally ready to call it quits. I’m too tired to blog and I keep getting called away, since one of my kids is dealing with a social crisis that, from an adult’s perspective is “meh,” but from a kid’s perspective is “Oh, my God. This is awful!” I remember that teenage perspective so, once again, I abandon my keyboard and heed the “Mooommmm” bleat.
I’ll be back tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise or the earth shake. In the meantime please feel free to amuse yourselves — and keep me informed, enlightened, and entertained — with an Open Thread.
Let me preface this by saying that I have a super-smart, really well-informed cousin. He’s the one who used to be a prison chaplain and, based upon that experience, came up with a profound insight that I use over and over (most recently regarding the terrible beheading murder in Oklahoma):
It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.
My cousin was brilliant all over again this morning, when I posted on my Facebook page an image showing that, while everyone focuses on the small number of Palestinians who refused to assimilate into Israel, the world ignores the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Arab and Muslim nations from 1948 onward:
Here’s my cousin’s incredibly erudite, off-the-cuff comment about immigration and assimilation in the Middle East:
The main difference between Israel and the Arabs is a question of humanity toward refugees. Israel was in dire poverty in the era of Mizrachi (i.e., Sephardic immigration from 1948-57). No UN relief money was given to Israel to assimilate 900,000 Mizrachi refugees, who arrived with no money, and no possessions, but with plenty of medical problems (especially eye infections).
The existing Ashkenazi leadership in Israel was horrified by the Mizrachi refugees’ medical problems, lack of language skills( a specially bad problem with Yemenite refugees), and domestic violence. Impoverished Israel first settled the Mizrachi refugees in tent camps, then in hastily constructed settlements on the frontiers.
Within three generations, the results of assimilation are overwhelmingly obvious. Israeli is a homogeneous country, bound by a single Israeli culture and is one of the most educationally and economically successfully nations in the world.
The exact reverse happened with the Palestinians. They have been afforded UNRWA refugee status for 66 years. This contrasts with the UN’s behavior to all other refugees after WWII, who were only given refugee status for 5 years. The Arabs’ recurrent wars against Israel are partially facilitated by UNRWA, especially insofar as it provides safe houses for terrorists and their weapons and produces “educational” curriculum that features genocidal, virulent hatred of Jews.
The Palestinian refugees, rather than making their way to a new, safe land, retreated 10 to 20 miles at most from the homes they abandoned. This contrasts with the thousands of miles that the Mizrachi Jews had to traverse to find safety.
The Arabs have waged an anti-Israel propaganda war based upon the continued existence of these UNRWA supported Palestinian “refugees.” Because of their peculiar status, one that encourages them to think of themselves as perpetual victims and displaced people, the Palestinians have been their own worst enemy. A good example is the fact that Kuwait expelled 400,000 Palestinians after Yassir Arafat openly supported Saddam Hussein’s war on Kuwait. (An act that provides that another good example of Arab/Muslim support for ethnic cleansing!)
Guillory’s explanation for his decision to switch party affiliations ought to be seen by every black person — heck, by every person — in America. Because Guillory’s views about politics, about the relationship between citizens and government, and about the crushing burden the welfare state has placed on blacks are so beautifully developed, I was delighted to learn that he’d formed a PAC: Free At Last
Acting through his PAC, Guillory has just released a new video attacking Mary Landrieu. This, however, is not an ordinary political attack ad. Instead, Guillory asks Louisiana blacks the same question Reagan asked Americans: “Are you better off now?” In 1980, Americans, after looking back at four years of Jimmy Carter, answered “no.” Guillory asks Louisiana’s blacks to look back at eighteen years of Mary Landrieu and answer “no” too.
The only problem I can see with Guillory’s most recent video is one of dissemination. I have no idea whether Free At Last has developed a sufficiently good communications network to get this video in front of those black voters who, like sheep, keep sending a Democrat to Congress, no matter that their lives degrade, as she lives ever higher on the hog. This video will certainly appeal to and be seen by those blacks who have already recognized that the Democrat party thrives only when blacks wither, but will it be seen by the withering blacks?
All we can ask is that as many people as possible share this video through social media. The six degrees of separation that is all social media might just be enough to put Guillory’s words in front of those who need to hear them most: American blacks suffering under the jack-booted rule of Democrat overseers who keep them in servitude so as to harvest their votes.
Hat tip: American Thinker
Just a nice song, but lyrically and musically:
I got an email from the Media Research Center that I’d like to pass on to you. I don’t usually pass these things on, but this harmonizes closely with what my sister-in-law and I have been saying for years: Conservatives need to entertained people into supporting conservative values, just as Leftists successfully entertained people into supporting Leftist values. (Ben Shapiro ably describes how this has worked in television from the 1960s through to the present day.)
Most people, when they think of Genesis, remember that God created everything, told Adam and Eve to leave the tree of knowledge and, when they didn’t, kicked them out of Eden. What few remember is Genesis’s insistent focus on the importance of naming things. In the first chapter, God no sooner creates something, than he gives it its rightful name (emphasis mine):
- In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
- And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
- And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
- And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
- And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
- And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
- And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
- And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And so it goes, with God systematically creating the world and naming it as he went.
In the second chapter of Genesis, God designates to Adam the primary task of assigning the proper name to each of God’s creations (emphasis mine):
- And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
- And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
- And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
- And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
- And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
- And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
What Genesis establishes is that identifying things is essential to understanding their function. Only when Adam had named the animals, properly classifying them as any modern-day scientist would, did he and God determine that Adam had no mate. And once God created that mate for Adam, Adam again had to give her species a name, one that he chose in relationship to his own species: “she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Leftists are fully alive to the importance of naming things. For example, when Obama came into office, “terrorism” was out; “man-caused disaster” was in. Man-caused or not, “disaster” has such a such a pleasantly accidental connotation. You have your earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes on the one hand, and on the other hand you have your men who cause disasters. That these men happen to be devotees of a cult committed to spreading violence and death wherever it goes is as incidental as the precise wind speed during a hurricane or the decimal valuations on the Richter scale separating one big quake from another.
And yes, Bush created the abstract “War on Terror” designation rather than the more accurate War on Radical Islamists, but at least he was acknowledging that those pesky man-causers were actually trying to instill terror. It was the Obama administration that found even that definition too raw and real.
ISIS’s rise has given Obama plenty of opportunities to try to define away problems. Having unsuccessfully described the nascent ISIS army as a “JV team,” Obama decided to define ISIS right out of Islam. ISIS he opined, is un-Islamic, because a good God wouldn’t countenance its appalling violence.
Well, maybe a good God wouldn’t countenance appalling violence, but it’s a historical reality that a certain prophet would. Mohamed was very clear when it came to demanding that each good Muslim wage war to spread Islam, behead non-believers, and enslave those who were not beheaded (with sex-slavery being the chosen outcome for surviving women).
Intriguingly, the Qur’an, which is normally a very straightforward book when it comes to describing a binary world of peace under Islam and war as a precursor to Islam, also does a little fudging with labels itself. For years I’ve seen Muslim-apologists claim that the Qur’an, at 5:32, explicitly disavows violence. For example, this poster crops up periodically:
It doesn’t seem to occur to any of the apologists that other chapters and verses in the Qur’an, with their litany of punitive acts that must be committed against Mohamed’s many enemies, make it plain that non-believers, especially Jews, are not innocents. Likewise, apostate Muslims aren’t innocents. And of course, Christians and Hindus aren’t innocents. Oh, and devout Muslims who practice the “correct” form of Islam, but somehow run afoul of Mohamed’s dictates, even if they do so unintentionally or through ignorance, are also not innocents.
Indeed, once one gets down to it, it’s clear that the only “innocents” among us are those who practice the “correct” version of Islam, and who do so without ever committing an error — and really, there’s just no reason to kill them in the first place according to the Qur’an. Let’s just say that, if I were the lawyer advising Mohamed regarding all the many acts of violence, rapine, and murder that he demands of his followers, I would recommend that he insert just such a meaningless paragraph as an “out” should he ever be called upon to defend this blood-thirstiness.
But getting back to things here in America….
Jonah Goldberg is so disturbed by the “naming” problem that’s infected the early 21st century that he’s penning an entire book on the degradation of names for very important things under Obama’s watch. Taking a page out of Confucius, Goldberg is working on the “rectification of names.” According to him, “society goes ass-over-teakettle (to borrow a phrase from the academic literature) when names no longer describe the things they are assigned to.” Exactly.
And now I’ll explain to you what got me all heated up about this “naming” thing. It may surprise what did not excite my ire today. Today, I’m not upset that our political class, from the White House down to the police department in Oklahoma City, refuses to admit that, even if a killer is acting alone, when that killer shouts “Allahu Akbar” or beheads people or openly dedicates his life to jihad, while his violence may occur in the workplace, we are not seeing “workplace violence.” We are, instead, seeing a pernicious type of Islamic violence that needs to be named, shamed, and destroyed.
Nope, what worked me up was something entirely different. Yesterday I spoke with a physician who was saying that his health care group is running into very specific problems when treating people who have had sex change operations. It all goes back to the computer systems that Obamacare insists all doctors and hospitals have.
At least for this doctor’s health care group, when it comes to assigning a person’s sex in the health center’s computer system, the health center’s policy, after a sex change operation (whether or not the health center performed that operation), is to assign to the person that person’s “preferred” sex. What this means is that, if Jane Smith comes to the hospital, has her breasts sliced off, has excess flesh shaped into a simulacrum of a penis and testicle sac, and begins taking hormones to coarsen skin, create facial hair, and develop male-pattern baldness, the fact that Jane now identifies herself as John Smith means that the health center must change her sex in the computer system from “female” to “male.”
The problem is that, for all the superficial changes Jane went through to become John, the biological reality is that she’s still Jane — she has a uterus and ovaries (unless she joined a hysterectomy with the rest of her surgery). That biological reality explains how you can end up with flesh-and-blood oxymorons such as a “pregnant man”:
At the hospital level, the political correctness of letting patients identify with their cosmetic sex, as opposed to their birth sex, means that they don’t get treated for diseases unique to the sex embedded in their DNA (XX or XY). This problem is different from things such as the male-to-female transgender who, once he takes female hormones, becomes prone to breast cancer. Instead, this problem lies with core matters of self-identification versus real identification — people aren’t getting the health care their DNA demands.
Our hypothetical “John Smith,” for example, isn’t going to get annual notices that “he” needs to get a pap smear. If John doesn’t go to an OB/GYN, because John is a “man,” John’s at higher risk of uterine and ovarian cancer — both of which are treatable if caught early, and both of which are expensive and, sadly, fatal if caught late. Likewise, if John has a friend who once was Paul, but is now Paulina, when Paulina goes to the doctor, there’s a good chance “she” won’t be getting her prostate checked nor will she be getting appropriate checks for heart disease. Both John and Pauline are at greater risk of entirely preventable problems because they have demanded that the hospital ignore what’s going on beneath their cosmetically- and hormonally-altered appearance.
Here’s where I stand on the matter should I ever meet John Smith: In all social settings, I will be completely willing to acknowledge his chosen identification as a male. That will probably be true too in most work situations. But I will not ever allow myself to believe that he’s actually male. He is pretending. If it makes him happy, I’m good with it. But I won’t delude myself that it means that I should enlist him in the military and pretend that he is, in all respects, a male. Likewise, when I meet Paulina, I’ll call her “Ms” if she likes, but I won’t allow her to get into a Mixed Martial Artist cage with me in the women’s class.
Moreover, at home, I’m not going to tell my children that a transgender person has magically been transformed into the sex of his or her choice. What I will do, though, is tell them that, whenever possible, they should accord that person respect, they should never bully that person or discriminate against that person, and they should use the pronouns and honorifics that the person prefers to have applied to himself or herself. And that’s it. Naming things matters and, until we acknowledge what something really is, rather than what we want it to be, we will be, as Goldberg says, a society that is “ass-over-teakettle.”
Blogging is a challenge today, because the high-speed internet for the whole neighborhood has a problem. Comcast is working on the problem, and believes it will fix everything by 6 p.m. For now, though, the internet comes and goes quite randomly, so I’ll try to squeeze in something quick while I can. Posters seems quick:
Many thanks to Caped Crusader and Sadie, who sent me all of these wonderful posters.
Those of you who don’t watch Dancing With The Stars might not know this, but one of the contestants is 17-year-old Sadie Robertson, of the Duck Dynasty family. She is an absolute delight as a dancer. Although she’s never danced before, she turns out to be a natural, from the tips of her fingers to her always well-placed toes. Although the judges didn’t agree, I thought she turned in the best performance last night:
And I was sad to see ” target=”_blank”>Randy Couture get sent home. I knew he wasn’t going to last, because he’s not a good dancer, but there was something appealing about him. In addition to his good looks, I like that he served his country for six years (retiring with the rank of sergeant) and that he’s a kick-ass fighter.