Watcher’s Council nominations for the end of February 2013

Today’s the day!  I get to vote!  Yay!  Here’s what I’ll be voting on:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Taylor Swift and the screaming goat

Just for laughs:

I’m ambivalent about Taylor Swift. I’ve liked that she stayed classy when it came to clothes and not doing the drinking, drugging, partying scene.  Given that the teenage girls in my neighborhood like her music, I’m glad she hasn’t been a slut.

What I don’t like about her is her whiny songs.  More than that, I don’t like the way she dates immature young men and, having gotten material for a new whiny song, dumps the young men and then publicly “outs” them as immature young men.  There’s something very mean-spirited about her approach to men (or really, boys) and music.

Today’s reality was yesterday’s satire

There’s a big hoo-hah in Colorado, because a 6-year-old boy feels like a girl.  His parents, out of respect for his feelings, are raising him as a girl.  The school district was not impressed.  It stated that, for bathroom purposes, if you have a penis, you have to use the boys’ room.

I can actually see both sides.  To the extent this kid marches to the beat of his own drummer, he’s at serious risk of being attacked during (or because of) trips to the boys’ room.  The school, however, is correct that, as long as the boy’s bodily functions are channeled through male body parts, they risk push-back and lawsuits from allowing a boy in the girls’ room.

Perhaps the parents should think about homeschooling, which can be an excellent solution for square pegs who don’t fit in the public schools’ round holes.   Although the Left would like to deny it, there are some problems the government can’t fix, and some situations that are incapable of equal outcomes.

But why I am telling you this?  The Monty Python crew dealt with precisely this issue about 25 years ago:

Watcher’s Council winners for February 22, plus the Forum

Washington’s Birthday was a busy day for me (it was also my Mom’s birthday), so I never got around to posting last week’s Watcher’s Council winners.  I’m posting them here and now, along with a link to the Council members’ fascinating forum discussing how far American states can go in banning sharia.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Color me prescient — Woodward in the crosshairs

 

Fortune teller

Yesterday, regarding Bob Woodward’s openly stated claims that Obama’s White House bullied him and that Obama’s conduct amounts to madness, I made this prediction:

Woodward is very much mistaken if he thinks the current generation of media types will support him in the long run, if he continues to attack Obama.  If he doesn’t step back and start to toe the party line, the Obamabots in the media will shred his reputation, blackmail him (if they can), and generally reduce him to Sarah Palinesque pariah status.

Honestly, it wasn’t that impressive a prediction because it falls in the same category as predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east or that water will . . . wait for it . . . flow downhill.  Still, to the extent I made a prediction, I’m pleased to report that I was absolutely correct.

Obama “senior advisor” David Plouffe went on Twitter to say that Woodward has become too old to matter.  Other current generation reporters, the ones who confuse sycophantic propaganda with old-style investigative reporting, were equally vicious and/or dismissive of this one-time journalism icon.

Though no one’s disputed Woodward’s reporting, the media’s Cult of Obama began pushing back against the Watergate legend even before he dropped the bomb last night that he had been threatened by a top White House official.

But when that news hit, many in media immediately chose to protect Obama by ridiculing Woodward, questioning his motives, and/or dismissing his reporting.

Meet the members of the Cult of Obama…

Politico White House reporter Glenn Thrush:

Wonder if Woodward has humped up his book sales from GOPers, ie Amity Schlaes
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) February 28, 2013

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith:

Wish I could claim credit for this observation by a friend: “In which Bob Woodward shows he too can master the new media landscape”
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 28, 2013

Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg:

Hezbollah is intimidating. Gene Sperling writing, “I think you will regret staking out that claim” is not intimidating. cc: @buzzfeedben
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) February 28, 2013

The above is just a small sampling of the media push back against once of their own who “went rogue.”  You really need to read all of them to understand how quickly a Democrat icon can become Sarah Palin if he is deemed a heretic.  (And I use the word “heretic” deliberately, with all its religious connotations, because what we’re seeing here is a religion, with Obama as the God-head.)

Biden and the Oscar Pistorius school of self-defense

Oscar Pistorius — the Blade Runner — was indicted for murder in South Africa, after he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, by firing four shots from his bedroom through the bathroom door.  Pistorius claimed he was acting in self-defense.  The prosecution contends that he and his girlfriend had a violent argument, that he beat her head with a cricket bat, and that he then intentionally shot her to death (although firing shots through the door seems like an inefficient way to do it).  Presumably a trial will help reveal a truth, if not the truth.

In any event, Joe Biden has clearly been following Pistorius’ killing career closely, because Biden has now stamped his imprimatur on the Pistorius school of self-defense (emphasis mine):

F&S: What about the other uses, for self-defense and target practice?

V.P. BIDEN: Well, the way in which we measure it is—I think most scholars would say—is that as long as you have a weapon sufficient to be able to provide your self-defense. I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, “Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there’s the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself.”

I said, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.Most people can handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semiautomatic weapon in terms of both their aim and in terms of their ability to deter people coming. We can argue whether that’s true or not, but it is no argument that, for example, a shotgun could do the same job of protecting you. Now, granted, you can come back and say, “Well, a machine gun could do a better job of protecting me.” No one’s arguing we should make machine guns legal.

Wow, Joe! How can you be wrong on so many levels? First, the shotgun has a much harder kickback than the AR-15, so people, especially lightweight people (such as women), can’t handle it better than the alternative. Second of all, firing a gun into the air as he advises is illegal. And third, shooting through the door means you’re shooting blind.

Barack Obama — political strategist (and Chicago thug)

Obama is proving to be quite the chess player (especially because he’s got the media to help him cheat . . . er, play the game). Meanwhile, Republicans are still trying to figure out the intricacies of Chutes and Ladders.

Obama is also showing his Chicago-political roots.  Woodward, moving very slowly, is beginning to understand that Obama cares nothing about leading the nation, but is, instead, concerned only with gamesmanship. Fortunately, Woodward has a big reputation and a bully pulpit, so his doubts are making waves.  However, Woodward is very much mistaken if he thinks the current generation of media types will support him in the long run, if he continues to attack Obama.  If he doesn’t step back and start to toe the party line, the Obamabots in the media will shred his reputation, blackmail him (if they can), and generally reduce him to Sarah Palinesque pariah status.

In Chicago, the people die in the streets, but the politicians keep riding in their gilded coaches.  Obama is bringing that same model to the states as a whole.  Let’s just hope that it doesn’t become deadly on a national scale.

Proof that doing too many drugs will destroy your brain

To be honest, I have no proof whatsoever that a singer named Morrissey has ever done drugs.  But to the extent he’s a brainless wonder, I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, drugs explain this:

Never shy to make a controversial comment, “Bigmouth Strikes Again” singer Morrissey has claimed that “homosexual men would never kill other men”.

The 53-year-old singer, made his claims in an interview with an online magazine for teenage girls. While discussing war, he suggested that if there were more gay men, there would be fewer wars.

“War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality,” he said. “If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men.”

Apparently Morrissey isn’t big on reading papers.  If he was, he might know about Jeffrey Dahmer, who not only killed men, he also ate them.

Just the other day, the tabloids reported on a gay killer who preyed on gay men.

If you have the stomach for sordid, you can easily find examples of gay relationships that ended with violent death.

For AIPAC, trying to function in a world with entirely different rules

Gandhi is revered because his policy of peaceful resistance brought down the British Empire’s century’s old rule over India.  It’s true.  It did.  But what few are willing to acknowledge is that this tactic worked only because he was using it against a moral nation, one that had been financially and emotionally depleted by two world wars in quick succession and that was increasingly removed ideologically from the concept of Empire.  Had he been dealing with an aggressive, hungry imperial nation — England in the 18th century, Stalin, Hitler, etc. — the outcome would have been very different.

My point is that we achieve our victories, not just because of our own efforts, but because of our opponents’ make-up.  And this is where AIPAC comes it, for it has suddenly discovered that it has no say in Washington.  As Lee Smith pointed out, AIPAC hasn’t gotten much done lately:

This weekend, more than 10,000 pro-Israel activists, Jews and non-Jews alike, will gather at the Washington convention center for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference. These friends and supporters of the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship will hear from members of Congress and the executive branch who will all testify to the singular influence that AIPAC, as the pillar of the pro-Israel community, wields in the capital of the free world.

But just how powerful is AIPAC if a man who refers to it as the “Jewish lobby” and has defiantly claimed that he is not an “Israeli senator” is slated to be our next secretary of Defense? And, most significantly, how much influence does the lobbying organization actually exercise if it can’t carry the day on the single issue that’s been at the very top of its agenda for over a decade: stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

Despite an operating budget of more than $60 million, on the most crucial issue facing Israel’s security, AIPAC has lost the policy debate. The winners include those who believe you can’t stop a nation from getting the bomb if it’s determined to do so, those who think the Iranians have a right to nuclear weapons, and those who argue the Iranians can be contained—among them, our new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

(Read the rest here.)

Smith blames AIPAC’s deafening silence regarding both the Hagel and the Brennan nominations.  He considers this a tactical failure.  I believe, though, that AIPAC’s inability to have a say in the debate about Hagel goes beyond tactics and represents a much deeper problem for Israel and her friends in America.

Up until 2008, AIPAC was accustomed to dealing with a very specific government model:  bipartisan support for Israel.  AIPAC never took sides in a debate because its sole role was to be a non-partisan voice for Israel.  Whether it was dealing with Democrats or Republicans, it simply had to offer these politicians information about Israel.

AIPAC assiduously avoided partisan or controversial stands because its moral weight rested upon the fact that it was not a party organ but, instead, was always a conduit for information and good-will to flow between Israel and Congress as a whole.  In other words, AIPAC could be Gandhi, because it was dealing with an “opponent” (if you consider the government as a whole as being in a slightly adversarial stance to lobbyists) that wasn’t actively hostile.  Indeed, it was often quite friendly to and supportive of AIPAC’s goals.

Things are very different in Washington now, and AIPAC hasn’t caught up to that fact.  The party that holds power in Washington is openly anti-Israel and increasingly antisemitic.  This puts AIPAC in a bind. It’s one thing, after all, to advocate for Israel. It’s another thing to take a stand against the Democrat President’s cabinet choices — something that smacks of the partisanship AIPAC has always avoided.

Until AIPAC acknowledges that the old world is gone and that it’s dealing with a very different one (Dems will continue to be anti-Israel long after Obama has left the building), her voice will remain muted and ineffectual.  What Hagel mistook for a nefarious “Jewish lobby” was, in fact, an organization that worked with politicians who already supported Israel, either for moral reasons or for Cold War reasons.

AIPAC didn’t control those politicians.  It was their servant, not their master, since it enabled the politicians to carry out their own goals.  With the Cold War over and the morality leeched out of public life, Washington, D.C., no longer has any use for AIPAC and the so-called “Israel lobby” is being kicked to the curb.

Trying to understand the sequester

Obama is demagoguing the sequester like mad.  David Angelo provides a pleasant breath of common sense:

Incidentally, to the extent Obama says that the sequester will result in federal prosecutors having to abandon cases, that may be a very good thing. The news lately has too many stories about federal prosecutors run amok. Here are just a handful of links:

US attorney Carmen Ortiz strikes yet another sleazy deal.

Prosecutor aids DEA as it tries to seize a $1.5 million building over a $37 pot deal.

Oh!  Carmen Ortiz is in the headlines again for prosecutorial overreach.

And then there’s the corruption….

(Thanks to Earl for all these links.  He has been appropriately concerned for years about prosecutorial abuse.)

Chuck Hagel — a litmus test for Republican weakness and stupidity

Hagel’s been confirmed.  As Sean Hannity keeps saying, “Elections have consequences.”

The Democrats did what Republicans never do, which is to march in lockstep formation behind their leader even when he chose as Secretary of Defense a man with an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a management history that proves his role model was the Pointy Haired Boss from the Dilbert cartoons.

We shouldn’t be surprised.  The Democrats’ world outlook is collectivist, and they behave collectively.  They have given their fealty to Obama.  If he ordered them to drink Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid, jump off a cliff, or retire from politics en masse, they would obey.  It doesn’t speak well of them that they subordinate their Creator-given gifts to party politics,  but it does make them effective.

And then we have Republicans.

Herding cats

The problem with Republicans is that they’re individualists.  Trying to get them to work together, even when pulling apart means sure death, is about as easy as herding cats.  What’s worse is that they’re not cool, sophisticated, self-assured cats.  Instead, they’re the dumb cats that John Hawkins describes:

Can you teach a cat to sit? To roll over? To come when it’s called? No, because cats are stupid. Granted, dogs are stupid, too, but they’re probably on the same level as your two-year old. A cat is closer in intelligence to a geranium — if a geranium had claws and a certain feral cunning it could use to track, torment, and kill smaller plants for its own amusement.

Hawkins had his tongue firmly in cheek when he wrote that.  As for me, when I apply those words to the flailing Republicans in Washington, my tongue is nowhere near my cheek.  Republican politicians are dumb.  Really, really dumb.

I have a few words for these dummies.  I applaud them for having the courage to run but that doesn’t make up for the fact that, once they get to Washington, the collapse in a spineless puddle the moment the drive-by media turns it sights on them.

Nerd

Here’s the deal, doofuses (doofae?):  Because the media will play everything and anything to make Obama look good and you look bad, stop trying to look good.  You are the geeks in high school, the losers at the work place, the dork at the dance.  No matter what happens, you will look stupid — in the short run.

But we smart people (and that group does not include you guys in D.C.) know that those high school geeks who stuck to their geek guns made smart decisions that made many of them rich and famous.  We know that the smart losers in the work place left their cubicles behind and became successful consultants.  And those dance floor dorks?  They’re the ones who managed to avoid the vapid blonde with STDs and, instead, find pretty young women of substance.

You idiots. . . . Sorry, I mean you Republican politicians think you’re playing a long-term game that goes like this:  “If we bend here, bow here, and scrape there, the new mandarins, especially in the media, will finally give us credit and the voters will support us.”  Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.

What you should be doing is stand up, vocally, for core conservative principles.  If those reporters ask you about rape, ignore them.  If they ask you about gay marriage, ignore them.  Right now, the media is making these pressing issues only doing so is a cheap and easy way to appeal to people’s emotions and deflect attention from the fact that we, as a nation, are going broke.  And you guys (and gals) let them get away with this shoddy tactic, simply because you’re so pathetically desperate for New York Times‘ approval.

If you were lucky enough to be a Republican who made it to (or stayed in) Congress, voters elected you pretty much for one reason:  Fiscal responsibility.  Even if the Tea Party candidates weren’t quite ready for prime time, it was the principles they asserted that created the wave that got you guys into office in 2010, and that kept some of you there in 2012.

Sequestration

So what should you be doing?  You should be harping on fiscal responsibility.  You should be screaming to the rafters at the way Obama is punishing ordinary citizens (e.g., releasing previously-arrested illegal aliens; threatening to make the TSA even worse; and threatening old people and children).  You should be reminding them that Obama is lying about the sequester.  It was his idea and it doesn’t cut past spending, but merely slows future spending.

Be loud in your conservative beliefs.  Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, WaPo, NYT, NPR, and CNN are going to ream you a new one regardless.  Stop making conservative bloggers do all the heavy lifting.  All we can do is preach to the choir.  If enough of you in Congress start making a loud noise, the media will have to report it.  At the very least, do yourself the favor of going down like a man, or a woman, not a sniveling coward.

And speaking of sniveling cowards, those Republicans who cast a yea vote for Chuck Hagel are exactly that.  Senators have a Constitutional duty to protect American citizens from a president who chooses a cabinet member who is manifestly unsuited for the post.  Hagel’s testimony and the information that started surfacing about him established conclusively that he is mean-spirited and dumb as a rock.

Hagel is anti-Israel, even though Israel is our ally; pro-Iran, even though Iran is our enemy; hostile to the American armed forces, even though he’ll now be in charge of them; antisemitic, even though his baseless canards have their roots in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, rather than the real world; devious, as was shown by his prevaricating about his past and his refusal to release documents; and really, really, really stupid.

I guess it’s that last factor — his rank stupidity — that proves that, all of his other qualities to the contrary, Hagel can still call himself a Republican.  Dems have turned on Israel, look longingly at Iran, hate the military, have a festering antisemitism in their ranks, and routinely lie about and hide information that Americans should know.  But when it comes to butt-numbing stupidity, Republicans win, hands down.  I guess you could call Hagel the double threat, seeing as he has the worst qualities of both parties.

 

The 11th Annual Blogger Awards

I’m always a bridesmaid in these things, and never a bride, but I’m still beyond thrilled that John Hawkins included me as a nominee in the 11th Annual Blogger Awards for CPAC.  I’m right there under “Best Kept Secret Award.”  Indeed, right now, I’m so secret that the link is to my old WordPress blog.  I sent a note to John about that, though, so I know it will be fixed soon.

I was also delighted to see that a lot of my blog friends got nominated too.  I was especially happy to see The Mellow Jihadi as a People’s Choice nominee.  Navy One has been a friend of this blog since before he started blogging, and he’s become one of my personal friends as well.  I’m so delighted that he’s getting this kind of recognition.

Other friends of mine (meaning that I a lot of email correspondence with them) who have been nominated are YidWithLid, The Jawa Report, and Doug Ross,

Having acknowledged myself and my friends, let me say that John is spot-on in all of his selections.  Each of the blogs named is a high quality blogs that deserves recognition for providing a true form of alternative media.  If you blog, please consider broadcasting this list of nominees, since the more readership they get, the less believability the drive-by media gets.

The last thing left for me to do is to figure out how to lobby the CPAC voters for this one.  I’ve got their beer and party favors all lined up….  ;)

Joe Biden doesn’t just advocate illegality, he advocates stupidity

We already know that Joe was telling women to break the law with his advice to fire a double-barreled shotgun in the air to frighten about bad guys.  Would it surprise you to learn that his understanding of shotguns and AR-15s is also fatally, stupidly flawed?  No, I didn’t think it would surprise you guys, but I bet you’ll still enjoy this video:

Kerry says we have the “right to be stupid” and then proves his intellectual “disconnect” in the very next sentence.

You’ve already heard about Kerry’s imaginary country, so I won’t work that one to death.  You’ve also heard that Kerry said (correctly) that Americans have the right to be stupid.  But did you catch what he said immediately after that?

‘In America, you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be,’ he said. ‘And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. And we tolerate that – we somehow make it through that.’  (Emphasis mine.)

Let me repeat: “[Y]ou have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.”  In what world does that even remotely make sense?

Bush pronounces “nuclear” the Southern way and is ridiculed for the next 12 years.  Kerry says something completely meaningless and all you hear are crickets.

If you’d like to counteract that cricket sound, please feel free to share this poster on your blogs, in emails, and through Twitter and Facebook:

John Kerry's Right To Be Stupid

 

 

The courage of our convictions — NOT

In one of the comments to my earlier post about Ted Cruz, Mike Devx noted that Cruz is attractive because he has “the courage of his convictions.” That particular phrase tied in with something I’ve been thinking about for the last few days, regarding freedom of speech, or rather the lack thereof, when it comes to Islam and Leftism.

The starting point for my thoughts was this Topher video, in which he focuses on the importance of free speech:

As you can see, Topher structured the video around the argument that so much of what we accept as true today started out as highly unpopular speech that the majority tried to quash through censorship both official and informal.

We tend to think of censorship as something that arises because we fear the power of “the Other’s” ideas.  Certainly that is the animating purpose behind all those hate speech laws throughout Europe, and the hate crime laws in America. Both are predicated upon stamping out the overwhelming temptation of an enemy’s words or acts.

Here’s the thing, though:  If we trusted in ourselves we would not be so afraid of the Other. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case if Islam, which includes as core doctrine the requirement that its practitioners must stamp out any opposing speech, ideas, or religion. A self-confident ideology would not be so paranoid about potential opposition.

The same is true, of course, when it comes to Leftism. Marx didn’t make censorship a core ideological demand, but Leftism invariably leads to censorship.  This is true whether we’re talking about government ukases or about the social strictures of Political Correctness. Leftism knows, because history has shown, that when people start to speak out against Leftism, Leftism falls by the historic wayside.

What’s so deeply depressing in today’s political scene is the fact that conservative politicians are so desperately afraid that their own ideology is too weak to compete.  Rather than taking the Islamic or Leftist tact of imposing censorship on others, they preemptively impose it upon themselves.

America’s conservative politicians have Stockholm Syndrome.  Despite recognizing that the opposing party is their enemy, they have become so cowed that they seem truly to believe that there’s something wrong about equal treatment under the law (as opposed to the affirmative discrimination the Left encourages), about the virtues of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and about other common conservative and libertarian principles.

In some ways, I know I’ve just stated the obvious — the more you believe in yourself, the less scared you’re going to be of the other guy.  Nevertheless, we need to remind Republican politicians that there is no virtue in preemptive surrender to the other side.  If you’re going to die anyway, at least die fighting, with your own banner bravely flying.

If I were in charge of CPAC, I would ignore the Democrats entirely.  Instead, I would spend the entire time educating conservatives about conservativism.  They need to believe affirmative, rather than passively, that to the extent the American people want freedom, equality under the law, and affluence, conservative ideals are the ones that are going to take them there.

Getting a post ready Open Thread

Sorry for the long silence today.  I hit the ground running a little over 8 hours ago, and this is the first time I’ve sat down since then. I’m a little tired, but I’m also quite pleased with what I accomplished.  The days I hate are the ones that see me running hither and yon without actually getting anything done.  Today, I got things done.  I’ve got several hours more stuff to do before I can call it quits (including an MRI see what’s making my knee such a pain in the . . . knee), but I needed a little sit down — and for me, sitting invariably involves either reading or writing.

Today it’s writing.  I’m working on a mildly substantive post about strong and weak ideologies.  It should be up in about 20 minutes.  I actually dictated most of it to my iPhone 5 while I was running errands, but I need to polish the content and correct all of the iPhone 5′s intelligent, but completely wrong, guesses about my dictated vocabulary choices.

I’ll be back here as soon as I can.

The UN’s ugly obsession with Israel

I don’t believe there is anyone in the world who knows more about the UN’s ugly obsession with Israel than Anne Bayefsky.  In this short video, she nicely sums it up.  Almost none of this is new to me, but I appreciate her calm, objective, organized approach to the information.  The only thing that I had sort of known, without ever thinking about it, is how radically different the UN’s make-up is now, as compared to its make-up in 1949.

Just as the Democrat party is no longer my Dad’s Democrat party, so too is the UN no longer my parents’ UN.  If you’ve washed your hands of this loathsome institution, it’s not because you’re betraying it, it’s because it has changed beyond recognition and is betraying you.

There’s something either unpleasant or fishy about Michelle’s setting for delivering the Best Picture Oscar *UPDATED*

[UPDATE:  Okay, I knew my theory was way too wacky to be true, although I had fun writing it up.  Although the White House didn't list it on the official schedule (because Thomas Lifson checked), I should have remembered that the Obama's were hosting the annual Governor's dinner -- the one at which Chris Christie got the royal treatment and Obama kicked out reporters when things got interesting (and I'm sure they exited peacefully baa-ing, as one would expect from Obama's sheeple media.

Incidentally, if something fish is going on with Michelle, this might be it.]

Many have commented upon Michelle Obama being beamed in to present the Best Picture Oscar.  It’s certainly a cheapening of the dignity of the White House, not to mention that it’s yet another creepy chapter in the Obama cult of personality.

What I noticed was that Michelle is surrounded by a military entourage.  What’s with that?

I’m not the only one who thought Michelle’s military setting was peculiar.  Over at American Thinker, Thomas Lifson is also trying to figure that one out:

Speaking of that venue, who were those young men and woman wearing uniforms with braids, framing Mrs. Obama?

I don’t know much about uniforms, but they look kind of military to me. If that’s the case, what kind of event was going on at the White House that night? The President’s schedule doesn’t include any mention of a formal event at the White House.

By the time the program was over, it was almost midnight, so I am pretty sure the president wasn’t out playing golf. I wonder what was going on in the First Family’s residence that night?

I agree — there’s something weird going on here.  Was the White House having its own private Academy Awards party?  A lot of people do that, but what’s with dragging the military into it?

Here’s a bizarre thought, one that undoubtedly proves that I’ve had too much chocolate this morning:  The Academy makes a huge deal out of the fact that results are unknown right up until the very minute the presenter reads them out loud.  Is it possible that this was staged, and that Michelle actually filmed this statement hours or days before?  After all, this is a make-believe presidency working closely with the chief city of The Land of Make Believe.

Of course, my little theory would require that those young men and women in uniform (Marine and Navy, I believe) either to be complicit in a fraud or, perhaps, be fraudulent themselves — that is, be actors playing dress-up in uniforms.  In other words, my little theory is a very big stretch.

It certainly would be a good scandal, of the type that would directly affect Hollywood, if it turned out that this was a fake.  I’ll admit that, while trickery is unlikely, it’s still incredibly distasteful to see the American military serve as a backdrop to Hollywood.

The Oscars — a fitting celebration for a vulgar culture

Oscar

Old Hollywood, which was owned and operated by foreign-born or first generation European Jews had aspirations. What may surprise some is that these aspirations did not usually include Art (note that capital “A”).

The aspirations — or the absence of low behavior — came about in part because of the Hayes Code and the Catholic League, both of which insisted that Hollywood movies refrain from sullying innocent youth and womanhood. This meant that movies were clean or, if they weren’t as clean as one would wish, the vulgarity was subtle or the bad girl either died or repented at the end.

Because Art since the beginning of the 20th century seems to require human degradation, it was hard for Code-bound Hollywood to head in that direction. These proscriptions, of course, were gone by the late 1960s, which meant that both middle-aged and modern Hollywood leapt upon the opportunity to plumb the depths of depravity.

But it’s too simplistic to say that Old Hollywood controlled itself solely because of the Codes. These newly wealthy immigrants also wanted to belong to the country clubs. They wanted to have social polish. They wanted people to admire how far they’d come and the best way to do that was to ape the classy, high-society manners they portrayed in their own films.

Being human, few of them could live up to their own standards, but they certainly tried. And when they or their stars deviated from these “classy” standards, they had legions of employees whose sole purpose was to keep these forays into vulgarity out of the public’s eye.

The Oscars used to reflect these aspirations. They weren’t interesting, but they were upright. Bob Hope made his clean jokes, the stars wore their fancy clothes (which used to be G-rated too), and the entertainment segments weren’t particularly entertaining, but they weren’t offensive either.

This year’s Oscar show would have appalled the Louis B. Mayers, Samuel Goldwyns, and Bob Hopes. Seth MacFarlane looked like a clean-cut, 1950s boy-next-door type, and his jokes (including the shtick with William Shatner) were as unfunny as Oscar jokes always are, but that’s the only thing the show had in common with the old days. This opened as a tawdry, vulgar, nasty, mean-spirited production (including a paean to various actresses “boobs”), made worse by being broadcast during the family hour throughout large parts of America.

I have to admit that I don’t know whether the show managed to rise up slightly after the first half-hour or if it sank even lower (assuming that was possible). I would have walked out in any event because I was bored. Instead, I double-timed out, because I was both bored and disgusted. Old Hollywood would have applauded me.

The way the media designates heroes and villains *UPDATED*

The Koch brothers are the Leftist media’s arch enemies.  Because they donate money to free market think tanks, media coverage routinely vilifies them.  If Satan got the kind of negative press the Koch brothers do, even Satanists would abandon him.

The media’s articles make it appear that the Koch brothers’ sin isn’t in holding their political views but, rather, in using their ill-gotten gains to fund those views.  How dare they use money acquired from capitalism to advocate for their personal causes?

It’s quite a different story, of course, when ill-gotten gains from rampant capitalism end up funding Leftist causes.  Today’s San Francisco Chronicle ran a hagiographic article about Tom Steyer and Kathryn Taylor (whose money comes from investment banking) and who now devote their time and fortune to fighting climate change — never mind that the climate will change with or without them, as it has always done.  What Steyer and Taylor are really doing is ensuring that nobody else gets the chance to be as rich as they are, since all climate change efforts are fundamentally directed at limiting wealth acquisition in the First World, while transferring some measure of wealth to the economic sinkhole that is currently the Third World

Incidentally, I am not saying that the Third World doesn’t have vast economic possibilities.  As much as anything, it’s a sinkhole because of a toxic combination of homegrown corrupt and/or totalitarian governments and religions, on the one hand, and NGOs and Leftist billionaires, on the other hand.  These two forces work together to keep Third World citizens mired in picturesque squalor.

This is insidious propaganda.  The media doesn’t overtly take a position — it simply vilifies those who stand for principles the media opposes, while swooning over those who invest money in the media’s favorite causes.  The low-information readership doesn’t realize that the article’s targets are ideologies.  They simply start having a Pavlovian response when an ideological position rolls around.

UPDATE: This post makes my point perfectly about the vitriol poured on the Kochs.

The Forbidden History of Terrible Taxes

JKB was worried that he’d hijacked an earlier thread by introducing us to Australian Topher Field’s “Forbidden” histories.  JKB needn’t have worried.  I’ve become an overnight Topher Field’s fan.

I’m including here Topher’s Forbidden History of Terrible Taxes.  You should watch his other “Forbidden” video as well, which is about free speech. As far as I can tell, he’s also working on a video about the dangers of bureaucracy, which he funded using crowd sourcing.

Dan Bongino’s understandably viral, off-the-cuff, pro-Second Amendment speech

It’s a pleasure when someone can encapsulate complex and important ideas in a short, accessible speech.  Dan Bongino, whom Maryland voters rejected as a Senatorial candidate last fall, came back roaring in January to speak about our un-infringable right to bear arms:

I especially appreciate his opening point:  It’s not gun control, it’s people control.  “When they own the language, they own the argument.”