After 2 years of big nothings, reasonable Leftists should abandon the Russia theory, but the Putin-Trump confab recharged the Left’s conspiracy mania.
After 2 years of big nothings, reasonable Leftists should abandon the Russia theory, but the Putin-Trump confab recharged the Left’s conspiracy mania.
If Trump is crazy, he’s crazy like a fox. As for members of the media, they are stupid — not stupid in a smart way, but genuinely, truly stupid.
I’ve been mentally composing a post in my head today about Trump’s negotiating tactics with Putin, not to mention his other clever moves, all of which are aimed at cutting through the garbage of diplo-speak or at engaging in functional relationships with un-nice people who nevertheless share planet earth with us and with whom war would get very ugly, very quickly. So, I had all these inchoate ideas and arguments, when suddenly I had before me Dov Fischer’s masterful Everyone is Smart Except Trump.
Having read it, I feel as if all the best ideas, arguments, and jokes I had in my head, all of which were blending in an incoherent (at worst) and dull (at best) mess, got sucked out of me and incorporated into an article that had me saying after every sentence, “Gosh, I wish I’d written that.” Here are some select gems from Fischer’s article, but you’re denying yourself both a pleasure and a learning experience if you don’t read the whole thing: [Read more…]
I am beyond excited to introduce you to Ido Kedar’s In Two Worlds, a beautifully written, powerful novel about life with non-verbal autism.
Some months ago, I teased you by telling you that I was helping edit an extraordinary novel and that I would let you know as soon as the book was published. Today is that day. I am incredibly excited to introduce you to In Two Worlds, by Ido Kedar. It’s currently available only in hard copy, but I understand that it will soon be available in e-book form too, both on Amazon and Smashwords.
In Two Worlds tells the story of Anthony, a boy with non-verbal autism. When the book begins, seven-year-old Anthony is completely locked-in: He understands everything around him, but is unable to communicate and has only limited control over his body. His loving parents are doing everything they can for him, but only Anthony knows what the expert advice and programs fail to comprehend — and therefore to treat — which is that there is a complete human being buried under the compulsions and trapped in the silence. Meanwhile, Anthony’s behaviors upset the balance at home and keep him trapped in an education program aimed at children who are incapable of learning.
Over the next 300 or so pages, this elegantly written book takes the reader through the next decade in Anthony’s life, as he struggles against his own physical limitations and the systemic constraints under which he’s forced to operate, and then, at long last, as he is introduced to a new program that brings him out of the world of Autismland and places him firmly in real life. In Two Worlds is beautifully structured, because as Anthony’s world expands, the reader’s view of his world expands too. That is, while the book is almost invariably written from Anthony’s viewpoint, as he matures and begins to see and understand what other people are doing and experiencing we, the reader, also begin to understand what drives those around him.
Each character in the book is exquisitely delineated. Even though it’s apparent that some characters exist to represent a point of view within the world of autism (autistic children, educators, family members, experts), all are well-rounded individuals, rather than cardboard ciphers. In this regard, it’s important to appreciate that Ido hasn’t written a preachy polemic; he’s written a rich, full, well-rounded novel — although don’t be surprised if you come away having learned important things about autism and about the world in which Americans with disabilities, and their loving, frustrated, frightened families, function.
I’m actually scared to give away too much of the plot, lest I spoil some of the wonders of this first-time novel. Instead, I’ll finish this review by introducing you to the book’s author, Ido Kedar, and by focusing on the book’s stylistic beauty, which is both a by-product of Ido’s physical limitations and a testament to his skill as a writer. [Read more…]
Justice is supposed to be blind. That is not the case in America today and President Trump is partly to blame.
[Update: This today from the Daily Caller:
President Donald Trump chose to have the indictments of 12 Russian hackers announced before his Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a Tuesday Bloomberg report.
Trump wanted the indictments announced ahead of the Monday summit to give him leverage over Putin, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave Trump the option of having the indictments released before or after Helsinki, according to the report.
Rosenstein cited national security concerns to allow him to share details of grand jury proceedings with Trump.
A portion of this post was based on incomplete information and thus has been edited to reflect the above, that the timing of the indictments was at the behest of Pres. Trump. The thrust of the original argument remains.]
After today’s meeting between Trump and Putin, Leftists have ratcheted their Russia hysteria up to level 12 out of 10. Do ordinary Americans care?
I’m so old I can remember when Teddy Kennedy, the revered lion of the Senate, during the height of the Cold War asked the Soviets to intervene in the 1984 presidential election.
I’m so old I can remember when Democrats constantly castigated conservatives for being paranoid about Soviet interference into world and American affairs.
I’m so old I can remember when Democrats and their fellow travelers brushed off stories about Soviet atrocities as mere Cold War propaganda.
I’m so old I can remember when we were told Communism is just another type of government and we should be more open to the Soviets and that the Cold War was a sorry relic of a fascist American past.
I’m so old I can remember when Obama sent Hillary Clinton off to meet the Russians with a big red reset button.
I’m so old I can remember when Barack Obama met with Putin and had these nice things to say:
“I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people … as president, but in your current role as prime minister,” Obama said during a breakfast meeting at Putin’s country home on the outskirts of Moscow. “We think there’s an excellent opportunity to put U.S.-Russian relations on a much stronger footing.”
I’m so old I can remember when Hillary authorized selling 20% of America’s uranium to a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin in exchange for a massive cash infusion into her private slush fund.
I’m so old I can remember when Mitt Romney said Russia was our greatest geopolitical foe and President Obama sneeringly replied that “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years.”
I’m so old I can remember when Barack Obama, during a meeting with outgoing Russian President Medvedev, was caught on a hot mic asking that Medvedev tell incoming President Putin that Putin needed to “give me space” so Obama could betray former Soviet bloc countries on missile defense and promised “more flexibility” after the 2012 election. [Read more…]
With the California Democrat Party having disavowed Dianne Feinstein, it’s time to shake things up with a Travis Allen write-in campaign for U.S. Senate.
News broke today that Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who has represented California in the United States Senate for 26 years, is no longer the darling of the California Democrat party. The problem is that DiFi, although she’s been trying to keep up with her party’s shift to the Left, still has some vestigial common sense. There’s no place for that in today’s “democratic socialist” Democrat party. It therefore shouldn’t have come as a surprise to DiFi that the party ditched her:
The California Democratic Party issued a stunning rebuke of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Saturday by decisively handing its official endorsement to state Sen. Kevin de Leon, her longshot Democratic challenger.
In backing de Leon, a majority of the party’s 360-member executive board ignored Feinstein’s calls to stay neutral in the race. Her allies had warned an endorsement would only further divide Democrats.
The final vote margin was lopsided: A total of 217 delegates voted for de Leon, of Los Angeles, or nearly 65 percent of the delegates. Meanwhile, only 22, or 7 percent, cast ballots for Feinstein and 94, or nearly 30 percent, voted for no endorsement.
Sadly, because of California’s rejiggered “open primaries,” this slight to DiFi won’t affect her place on the ballot. That is, despite the fact that her party rejected her, she’ll still be on the ballot facing off against de Leon, rather than having de Leon facing off against a Republican candidate.
Why? Because there is no Republican senatorial candidate on the ballot. I explained this disgraceful, anti-democratic situation years ago, when California turned the November race into nothing more than a run-off election: [Read more…]
Germany, both past and present, is an object lesson in the way that treating Jews well allows a country to thrive and treating them badly kills a country.
I’ve long said that the most successful countries are those that treat their Jews well. It’s not that Jews work some bizarre magic on those places that let them live and worship freely. It’s simply that individual liberty tends to improve the standard of living within a country. Even if, by modern standards, a country would not be considered liberal today, the fact that it was more liberal than the rest of the countries around it, as evidenced by allowing Jews to live freely, was always enough to power its innovation and, by extension, its economy.
Take England, for example. It started its trajectory to ruling most of the world after 1660, when Cromwell invited Jews back into England. Or take America, in which Jews were always allowed to live freely. No one, no matter how much they dislike America, can deny its economic success.
The flip side, of course, is that countries that particularly loath Jews tend to be economically stagnant, with Poland and Russia as good historic examples. And of course, there’s Germany.
There hasn’t always been a Germany. Indeed, modern Germany is a recent phenomenon. Between Napoleon and 1871, that region now known as Germany it was a loose confederation of Germanic states. Before Napoleon, the region wasn’t even a loose confederation. It was simply a patchwork of duchies and principalities, all blessed with productive land and hard-working people, and all cursed with tyrannical monarchs or aristocrats. Prussia, which morphed into the dominant German kingdom, making it the core of the eventual German nation, was a monarchial and military dictatorship.
Long before there was a German nation, and even long before there were all those ratty or rich little nation states, there were Jews in that part of Europe now known as Germany. They entered the barbaric German forests when the Romans did and stayed.
In the early Middle Ages (before the 12th century or so), German Jews were considered ordinary citizens. A few centuries on, though, Germans had embraced wholeheartedly medieval Christianity’s most ferocious antisemitism. This didn’t just include personal revulsion, a la “I don’t want anything to do with them.” Instead, one petty German state after another enacted laws making it virtually impossible for all but a few “court Jews” to survive at anything above the most minimal subsistence level. And of course there were the mass slaughters, inspired by crusades and plagues, and whatever else the German mind could invent. [Read more…]
If you haven’t seen this short video, it’s worth watching because it shows Strzok channeling his inner “Evil Dennis the Menace.” No normal adult should ever be caught making those faces or doing that body shimmy, whether inside or outside of a Congressional chamber:
— Holly Bowie (@Hollybowie) July 12, 2018
A lot of people have been comparing Strzok to Hannibal Lecter. To me, it’s more Joker from The Dark Knight.
Whether or not Strzok is lying about his ability to be impartial (and I think he is), shouldn’t the appearance of impropriety be enough to end his farce?
I’ve watched bits and pieces of Peter Strzok’s appearance before the House. I’m disposed to dislike him, so I ran what he had to say through that filter. I didn’t like his self-servingly spotty memory and I didn’t like his wrapping himself in the flag when called to testify about facts that were easily within his purview. I also didn’t like how smug he was. I’m inclined to agree with those who say that this kind of smugness, rather than denoting a clear conscience, has a sociopathic edge.
Rather than comment on the whole hearing, though, I want to comment on a single issue, which is Strzok’s contention that, his texts notwithstanding, he was as impartial an investigator as one could find in the FBI. Let’s pretend that this is not a risible claim. Let’s pretend that one really can grossly insult Trump and Trump voters, and promise a lover that “we’ll stop” Trump, and still be sea-green incorruptible.
Even if Strzok is that amazing human being who is capable of rising above his prejudices, should that be the standard? I’d like to walk you through my history as a lawyer to explain the idea I’m trying to develop here. [Read more…]
I owe an apology to anyone whose comments haven’t been showing up. I’ve been keeping track of comments that Disqus had held for moderation. What I haven’t been paying too much attention to, though, was my spam folder, which usually catches such spam-worthy things as excessive links, obscenities, offers to help out with erectile dysfunction, etc.
What came as a shock to me today was learning that, for some inexplicable reason, for the last month Disqus has been catching in spam comments from regular commentors (commenters? I’m never sure how to spell that word) — and, moreover, comments that don’t have a scintilla of anything spammy about them.
I’ve cleared most of those trapped comments from spam now. I apologize to those of you who saw perfectly innocuous — and usually very interesting — comments go nowhere. I’ll try to stay abreast of that more often.
Roe v. Wade needs to be overturned. Abortion is not a Constitutional right. If the left wishes it to be, they need to follow Article V.
The proggies are in a full court press to defeat Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. According to the DNC website:
WHAT’S AT STAKE
A vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade . . .
Are they right? If Kavangugh is the originalist that his record suggests, then quite likely.
In any event, let’s hope they are right. Who controls our country, we the 310 million people through our elected representatives, or five unelected judges ruling at their whim like a politburo, facing no consequences for their assault on our Constitution?
No decision has done more to skew our politics over the past half century than Roe v. Wade. The decision was as pure an act of judicial activism as we’ve ever seen. It was at least as much an act of judicial activism as the obscene homosexual romance novel crafted by Justice Kennedy in Obergefell. It was obscene not in a prurient sense, but rather in its assault on the Constitution.
When I say “judicial activism,” I mean a judicial invention of a new right declared from the bench in complete contravention of Article V of the Constitution. Let’s go through this step by step.
An originalist looks at the time frame in which the Constitution or a particular Amendment was passed. Question one they would ask is whether, when a particular principal was announced, a particular condition existed? So, when the 14th Amendment was passed, were abortions known to society? If so, then the next question is whether there is any evidence that the condition was within the contemplation of those who drafted, debated, or voted upon the Amendment? If the answer is no, that answers the Constitutional question in the negative.
If anyone wants to change that answer — if they wish to change the Constitution or add a new right in its Amendments, then their recourse is not to the Courts. Per Article V of the Constitution, an Amendment to the Constitution can only be done by a Constitutional Convention or 2/3rds ratification by federal and state legislatures. Neither involves the Courts. Not even wise Latina justices full of empathy. Period.
My father suffered from terrible arthritis. My sister and I were told that this came about because of malnutrition while he was being raised in an orphanage in Weimar Germany and heavy labor on two kibbutzim after he managed to escape from Nazi Germany. My sister and I were both well-nourished as children and we have never done heavy labor (although I guess my years of martial arts might count). We both got arthritis in our 50s. We are our father’s daughters.
My father suffered terribly from the heat. Whenever San Francisco’s fog abated even slightly, he turned red as a tomato and start perspiring heavily. I was told that this was a result of years of smoking — or more accurately, I was told this was the fallout from quitting. He was a three-pack-a-day man until I was 13, when he finally quit smoking. By then, his cardiovascular system (or so the story went) could not handle the abrupt transition from smoking to non-smoking, leaving him unable to cope with heat.
I’ve never smoked. When it’s hot — as it has been for the past week — while I don’t turn red as a tomato, I do start perspiring heavily and suffering mightily. I’m not helped by the fact that my house is not equipped for heat, as we don’t have A/C nor do we have curtains or shades in half the house (my husband is obsessed with openness). Hot flashes, the bane of older women, also don’t make this problem easier, especially since I cannot handle hormone treatments.
My father was very nearsighted. I am too.
My father burned at the slightest hint of sunshine. I do too.
In many ways for the worse, I am my father’s daughter.
But it’s not all bad. Here are the better things I inherited from him: [Read more…]
The 82nd Airborne’s beautiful recording of Irving Berlin’s God Bless America, reminds us that reverence for liberty is at the heart of American patriotism.
Irving Berlin’s family came to American in 1893, when he was five, leaving behind forever the ethnic, genocidal pogroms that destroyed his family home in Russia. His only memory of his time in Russia was of hiding in the woods as Russians torched his family home for the “crime of being Jewish.”
Berlin’s family settled in New York’s Lower East Side, which was then the most densely populated spot in the world. At 13, his formal education ended when Berlin became a singing waiter to help support his family. The rest, of course, is American musical history. I’ll just note here that he was one of the few members of the great American Songbook who wrote both music and lyrics.
I happen to love Irving Berlin’s music. The melodies are accessible, but not simplistic, and the lyrics are incredibly sophisticated, all the more so when you consider the “English-as-a-second-language” and “almost-no-formal-schooling” issues in Irving Berlin’s life. Look at the vocabulary choices and the internal rhyme schemes in this verse from Lazy:
Under that awning
They call the sky
Stretching and yawning
And let the world go drifting by
I want to peep
Through the deep
’til I sleep
Like a child would
With a great big valise full
Of books to read where it’s peaceful
By way of contrast, here are some lyrics from Child Gambino’s This is America: [Read more…]
No surprises here, but it’s still a good video:
The June Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a strengthening economy, particularly good for minorities. The DNC calls it “reckless.”
After eight years of a moribund economy under Obama, an eight year stretch that was particularly hard on minorities, it is indeed good to see an increasing number of people returning to the workforce. So June’s jobs report from the BLS: over 600,000 people returned to the workforce; 213,000 new jobs added; minority unemployment at record lows. As always, for a complete analysis, visit Tom Blumer’s Bizzy Blog.
We still have a long way to go to recover from the damage done by eight years of Obama and the Democrats sub-prime nuclear explosion in our economy. On the first month of Obama’s presidency, in Feb. 2008, the Labor Force Participation Rate stood at 66.0%. In the last month of his Presidency, Dec. 2016, it stood at 62.7%. Now, with people returning to the workforce in an improving economy under Trump, that number is slowly going back up. It stands in June at 62.9%.
From IBD: The U.S. Colorblind Jobs Boom Continues
It may be a surprise, but President Trump is nowhere near as unpopular among minority voters as the biased mainstream media suggest. Why is that? In a word, jobs.
Trump, it turns out, has been the most consequential president in history when it comes to minority employment. In June, for instance, the unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos 16 years and older fell to 4.6%, its lowest level ever, from 4.9% in May. The previous all-time low was 4.8%.
African-American unemployment bounced up from its all-time low of 5.9% in May to 6.5% in June. But that 6.5% still represents the second-lowest unemployment reading ever for Black Americans.
As for Asian-Americans, unemployment similarly bounced off its all-time low of 2.1% in May, rising to 3.2%. And that’s still 0.6 percentage point lower than when Trump entered office.