Back in the saddle and ready to blog

Victorian posy of pansiesLong, long day.  Really long.  I spent it with my mother, an experience that always exhausts me.  Age has sucked everything but the life out of her.  There’s no vestige anymore of the person she once was.  That saddens me, even though I know it’s the way of things.  A day spent with her is no longer a day with Mom, which used to be my delight, but is, instead, a day spent with a very frail, very slow, somewhat confused, usually grumpy, very passive-aggressive, lovingly narcissistic, obsessive compulsive person.

I don’t regret the time.  I still love the person she was, so I care deeply for the person she is, but I always arrive home completely drained.  It takes energy for me to slow down to her speed (which is the same reason I never enjoyed toddlers) and it takes even more energy for me to deal with her relentless negativity and to track, and respond appropriately to, her often obscure conversation.  I’m a grumpy person myself, so I’ve told both the kids to kick me in the tuchus if, when I’m old, I whine endlessly.  I’ve told them to feel free to threaten me with their absence if I don’t clean up (or cheer up) my act.

Thankfully, I’ve now had a couple of hours to decompress.  My husband took my daughter and her friends to the movies, the dogs are washed and resting nearby, and the mouse is making music on its creaky little wheel.  Everything is peaceful.  I like peaceful, since it gives my brain freedom.  And with that mental freedom comes the urge to share my thoughts.  Here goes:

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Upside down nazi salute quenelleThe new Nazi salute rises in Europe.  Its practitioners say it’s a joke, because they angle their stiff arm downwards, not upwards.  Their claim that it’s a joke is a lie, of course.  They pair this neo-Nazi salute with the same venomous anti-Semitism that led the Nazis to create the gas chambers.  Also, it’s very bizarre to see black men do this salute, since the Nazis believed firmly in black racial inferiority  Hitler, as many recall, was livid when Jesse Owens swept the races during the 1936 Munich Olympics.  How dare he prove false one of the Nazi’s racial theories.

***

Bloody fingerprints in BenghaziAndrew McCarthy has penned one of his best posts.  In addition to shredding the purported facts in the now-infamous New York Times whitewash of Benghazi history (which I won’t dignify with a link), McCarthy zeroes in on the real purpose behind the story — and it’s not just to salvage Hillary’s reputation:

[T]he objective of Kirkpatrick’s novella is not to persuade; it is to shrink the parameters of newsworthy inquiry to a punctilious debate over nonsense: The cockamamie trailer and the dizzying jihadist org chart.

[snip]

Coherence and historical accuracy are not what the Times is after. The aim is to drag our consideration of a jihadist act of war down a rabbit hole of nitpicking over which jihadists did what. Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s derelictions before, during, and after the massacre — the matter of greatest consequence — remain studiously outside this wearying crossfire.

Remember, the Times-Clinton tag team has run this play before. Start with a president using a young intern to turn the Oval Office into a brothel and then perjuring himself over it. Ought to be a removable offense, right? But the next thing you know, after some epic media investigation dictated by Democratic talking points, we find ourselves kvetching over whether it was really sex; whether she was of consenting age; whether he really lied; whether the lies were really “material”; whether a president’s Oval Office trysts are really part of his “private life”; and “what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

See? None of the ever tinier questions or answers matter. The idea is to exhaust the American attention span until enough people are persuaded that it’s time to — all together now — move on.

McCarthy ends his post with dozens of the big questions, the ones that need to be asked.  The tragedy of those questions, a tragedy in many ways greater even than those four lonely, violent deaths in Benghazi, is that no one will ever ask them.  The media surrounding Obama and Hillary doesn’t want to know the answer to those questions, and Obama and Hillary will be careful to avoid every coming into contact with the people willing to ask them.

***

Behead those who insult IslamCaroline Glick sees a silver lining to that same New York Times article.  She believes that the Times, while trying to whitewash Obama and Hillary, accidentally admitted an important truth:  Radical Islam, which is a worldwide phenomenon made up of many groups and individuals, is the problem.   Al Qaeda is just one tiny drop in the Islamist ocean.  This reality runs counter to Obama’s own narrative.

Since bin Laden’s death, as you know, Obama has been boasting that al Qaeda is dead, meaning that America no longer need fear massive terrorist attacks or global warfare.  With that fiction in place, Obama has felt free to pal around with Iran, the Taliban, the Turkish government, etc.  The New York Times just blew that fiction to smithereens.  Either al Qaeda was the main actor in Benghazi, which means that Obama lied when he said it was defeated, dropped the ball in Benghazi, and lied after the fact; or al Qaeda didn’t commit the Benghazi massacre, which means that Obama lied when he said al Qaeda was the only Islamic enemy, and that he’s been exposing America to terrible danger by refusing to acknowledge terrorists other than al Qaeda.

I agree with Glick in principle, but believe that only a small subset of Americans will appreciate these subtleties.  Either they support Obama and Hillary or they don’t.  Nothing else matters.

***

UCLAJonathan Marks writes a brilliant take-down of the antisemitic American Studies Association.

And speaking of the travesty that is modern academia, if you can get behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, please check out Heather MacDonald’s masterful exposure of the rot at the heart of UCLA’s English literature department.  Shakespeare is out and now English majors must take “a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing.”

It sure sounds as if the English Lit department has been transformed into the Marxist Social Issues department.  The students will learn how not to think.  Well, they’re actually learning how not to think in every department at every major American university.  (In years past, I might have excluded the sciences from that blanket statement, but the sciences’ impassioned embrace of the global warming hoax reveals that academia is tainted in toto.)  Worse, these English majors will never learn learn about the beauty of their mother tongue nor will they be exposed to big ideas about human kind.  Instead, their prose, and the thoughts underlying that prose, will be like this:

At its most intimate, colonization involves bodies, altering how subjects experience and conceive of desire, hunger, touch, comfort, pleasure, and pain. This panel seeks participants from all disciplines engaged with the objects of early American studies to contribute to a discussion of method and theory for understanding early American carnality. In particular, it is concerned with the intersection of bodily sensation with evolving understandings of empire, nation, encounter, and resistance. How was colonization effected through and affected by sensation? How do theories of affect and intimacy impact current early American historiographies, and vice versa? How might Americanists reconceptualize our understandings of the significance of empire and colonization through attentiveness to early American sensation? Proposals that consider race, gender, and/or sexuality dynamically or that explore economic status, religion, local conditions, or ethno-cultural identities as part of carnality strongly encouraged (though naming some themes is not meant to exclude other possibilities).

Each panelist will present a 10 minute paper and be paired with a respondent who will provide prepared comments. Respondents will ideally be non-early Americanists in order to foster temporal interdisciplinarity.

Mr. Bookworm doesn’t understand why I’m resistant to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to send my children to big name colleges. It’s not just that they’re rife with antisemitism and anti-Americanism.  It’s because major universities such as UCLA are neutering and Marx-icizing their English departments, meaning that the universities’ ultimate goal is for America’s “best and brightest” (or at least, her “A” and “B” students) to be taught to think and write in the way of American academics.

***

Nuns caring for the sickEverything you need to know about the Obama administration:  It frees from prison Lynne Stewart, an unrepentant Communist who actively aided Islamist terrorism against the US, even as it gets ever-more-deeply involved in a down and dirty fight with nuns who refuse to let  the government force them to violate their religious conscience.  My money is on the nuns.  Obama may have a rigid ideology on his side, but the nuns are members of God’s army, and they will not give up the fight.  Fortunately, the Archdiocese of New York is not playing nice but is, instead, telling the world exactly what the Obama administration is doing — and what it’s doing is discriminating against traditional religion.

***

Bradley KasalMary Tudor (1516-1558) lost Calais, the last English outpost in France.  She found that loss so horrifying that she said, “When I am dead and opened, you shall find `Calais’ lying in my heart.”  Barack Obama has lost Fallujah, the city that American troops, especially Marines, bled and died for, probably in greater numbers than in any other geographic site in our decade long battle against Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He hasn’t said a single word about this terrible loss, nor does he seem to care that he’s allowed ten years of hard-fought military victories to vanish in the blink of an eye.  When Obama dies and is opened, not only will no one find ‘Fallujah’ lying in his heart, no one will find a heart.

***

Obama looking stupidTom Blumer details the five myths people have to believe in order to accept the Obama presidency as anything other than a disaster.  Two involve the economy, one involves Obamacare, one involves climate change, and the last is about national security.  2014 may well be the death of all these myths, but we’ll still be saddled with two more years of Obama.

***

Kennedy girls 1960The Democrat party used to have genuine liberals in its numbers — people with a broad, classic education who envisioned a world that was better with America, not a world better off without America.  They may have been useful idiots who were unaware that they represented the pretty front of hardcore Leftism, but they were real.

These old-time liberal Democrats were the people who believed in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.  They believed that men and women were different (and viva la difference), but that women were entitled to equal treatment under the law.  They would have scoffed at the notion that men, and all their biological impulses, are dangerous and  perverse, and should therefore be destroyed.  They believed wholeheartedly that blacks were their brothers and sisters, and deserved full standing under the law.  They would have been shocked to hear that the blacks were to be treated economically as marginally intelligent infants and sexually as uncontrolled adolescents.  That’s how the KKK and Jim Crow viewed blacks, and true liberal Democrats fought against those demeaning stereotypes.

Old-time liberal Democrats believed that Israel was a feisty nation, rooted in the Bible, burnished in the terrible crucible of the Holocaust, and to be applauded for fighting against the forces of Communist and Arabist darkness.  They would have been unable to comprehend a world in which their party mouthpieces bellowed loudly that Jews are the new Nazis, simply because they are trying to protect their whole country and their individual citizens from being overrun by genocidal, anti-Christian, misogynistic, homophobic, medieval minds.

Those old-time liberals Democrats, who did truly exist, are gone now.  To those of you like myself who were once Leftists, but now identify as conservatives, you’re not imagining it:  the political party you left beyond has truly gone ’round the bend.  They’re all Marxists now.

***

When seconds count, the police are always minutes (74 minutes in this case) away.  Thank God for legal guns.

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Comments

  1. Matt_SE says

    The principals in Obama’s scandals will never talk, but the modern bureaucracy always has plenty of peons who are in the know. (In this sense, it resembles Rome where slaves were thought of almost as furniture. The “elite” tend not to notice the ants around them.)
    I wonder, could the Secret Service be compelled to divulge Obama’s whereabouts and activities on the night of Benghazi? After all, it is their primary job to always know where he is.
     
    Once again though, I’m brought back to the fact that Harry Reid is the lynchpin for Obama’s defense. Although the House can investigate on its own, it cannot act without the Senate. If Republicans take back the Senate, we can start getting answers from Benghazi witnesses. Anyone who tries to block that (*cough* Holder *cough*) would be under danger of retaliation. (I don’t know if Congress has the power to impeach anyone other than the President…does it?)

    • Matt_SE says

      Oh, and yes…McCarthy is wonderful.
      Not only is he reasoned, thoughtful and erudite, but he is (as far as I can tell) an actual conservative. And he specializes in calling Jihadists and sympathizers what they truly are, with no PC. I’ve heard many other commenters complain about the squishy nature of NRO writers, but McCarthy doesn’t seem to be on their list.
      He stood up for Steyn during the recent Duck Dynasty-related dust up, and that’s not the first time I’ve read him criticize other “mainstream” NRO writers.

  2. Matt_SE says

    On the Little Sisters thing, I believe I’ve said before that we need civil disobedience against this lawless administration.
    The irony of using the tactics of Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., and 60′s radicals (!) against Obama’s overreach would not be lost on the non-rabid left. Let the Little Sisters march on Washington. Let them be joined by thousands of the faithful and sympathizers. Let them be cheered on by the Pope!
    I’d love to see Obama try and weasel his way out of that.
     
    And on a more serious but related note: too many “Christians” talk the talk, but civil disobedience is walking the walk. Let the faithful stand up and be counted. Time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  3. Matt_SE says

    On Fallujah:
    Obama and Biden failed to secure a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) at the end of the war. It’s rather easy to assume they intentionally “failed.”
    If we’d had a SOFA, there would be US troops in Iraq in force today. The reversion of Iraq to jihadi space might not have happened. At the least, it would’ve been much harder for Iran to funnel aid to Syria.
    Or, maybe the Maliki government was being intransigent. I’m not sure.
    The fall of Fallujah may represent an opportunity to reestablish a presence in that country, if the Iraqi government wants our help…and it very well might.
    That presence could serve as a springboard for future operations against Iran.
     
    Of course, this will require a new administration in the US.

  4. Matt_SE says

    On leftists:
    I’m old enough to remember conservative Democrats, like Scoop Jackson. They’re all gone now, replaced by Marxists as you say. If it were just the leadership, that would be bad enough. But the unnerving thing to me is how deeply and broadly the rot goes these days.
    It seems even the lowliest peons on the left spout party propaganda like true believers.
     
    This would be a serious problem, except that I believe the phenomenon is skin-deep. I think the lower echelons are manned by people who have been conditioned to fear any alternative, and cannot think critically, but aren’t wedded to hard leftism as a way of life. They have their (wrong) beliefs, but in this land of plenty have never had those beliefs challenged; they are coddled.
     
    I’ve also said before that “socialism is its own cure.” This is true because whatever hold leftism has on the mind, it cannot compete with reality. It cannot make you unsee what you have seen, unfeel what you have felt. It cannot erase the cancellation notice of your insurance. It cannot make you feel better-off, when you know that you’re having trouble these days just making ends meet. It cannot get rid of your student loan debt, let alone find you a job for your (useless) degree.
    Millions of years of evolution has optimized us for recognizing reality, more-or-less. A hundred years of Marxism cannot compete with that. Which is why even at the height of the Soviet Union’s power, the common man knew it was a lie. The proof of that can be seen in the persistence of those old Soviet jokes.
     
    So take heart. The abject failure of leftism is at hand. We conservatives should make sure to drive a rhetorical stake through its heart this time by being relentless in our truth-telling.

  5. Ron19 says

    They’re all gone now, replaced by Marxists as you say. If it were just the leadership, that would be bad enough. But the unnerving thing to me is how deeply and broadly the rot goes these days. It seems even the lowliest peons on the left spout party propaganda like true believers.
     
    For your reading pleasure:
     
     
    100 Things You Should Know About Communism – Committe On Un-American Activites
     
     

  6. Ron19 says

    They’re all gone now, replaced by Marxists as you say. If it were just the leadership, that would be bad enough. But the unnerving thing to me is how deeply and broadly the rot goes these days.  It seems even the lowliest peons on the left spout party propaganda like true believers.
     
    For your reading pleasure:
     
    100 Things You Should Know About Communism – Committe On Un-American Activites
     
     
     
     

  7. Mike Devx says

    Book, you say:
     
    Also, it’s very bizarre to see black men do this salute, since the Nazis believed firmly in black racial inferiority
     
    It doesn’t surprise me at all, Book.  In fact, I am surprised when people *do* take a general principle (such as the racism behind the Nazi salute) and succeed in applying it to themselves.
     
    You see it most often in the polls, where Americans in general believe the government is too large and they are taxed too much; but then as soon as you propose reductions in government that affect *them*, they scream bloody murder.  It’s always somebody else’s fault.
     
    Or an American slaveowner from an earlier century: A committed Christian who believes in the sanctity of the individual, that we are all made “in God’s image”, worshipful of Jefferson and Madison and the economic theories behind the free market and individual liberty and sovereignty…  how can he possibly justify keeping a fellow human being in chains?  It is actually quite simple:  That fellow human being is not a man, he is property.  Born (and birthed) the same way, yet somehow not made “in God’s image”, the slave, being property not human, shares more in common with a table or an ax than the slaveowner.
     
    Which led to racial categorization and segregation, to separate the slave-worthy from the slaveowner-worthy.  As they looked at the “racial worthiness” of different peoples, it must have gotten a little uncomfortable.  You’d examine your average Frenchman, Greek, Spaniard, Turk, Arabian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Libyan, before proceeding down into Saharan and sub-Saharan countries and territories of the time, it must have gotten really difficult to define the differences.  So, they didn’t “look”.  But it must have been one nervous Egyptian landowner who stepped off the schooner into a southern American state in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  
     
    Which might lead you to thoughts on restrictions covering who will be allowed to participate in our civic institutions such as voting.  (Ban the free-loaders?)  Some used to be believe that only property-owners should be allowed, but that doesn’t fly, it can’t fly today.  A reasonably successful businessman in Dallas today might own a home with land worth $300,000, but have property and capital investments elsewhere worth $2,000,000.   Another of equal worth might buy a condo instead; he owns no land!  Another might rent a house or condo; he doesn’t even own the structure built upon the land!  Yet they all have accumulated the same amount of property by value…  So if restrictions based on “owning property”, meaning “owning land”, can’t work, then can you apply the same analysis to other schemes that advocate the restriction of civic voting rights?  We *all* receive a variety of government benefits, some more obvious than others, and the schemes based on who is receiving which forms of government benefit can get delightfully arcane and convoluted, in a very humorous Rube-Goldberg-builds-a-better-mousetrap manner.
     

  8. says

    “I’ve told them to feel free to threaten me with their absence if I don’t clean up (or cheer up) my act.”
     
    I’ve heard the Japanese recommendation for bitterness and loneliness in old age is to have fun experiences with the people you love when you are in high school (and later). Going on school vacations, summer vacations at the beach, romance, etc. All can form memories that last until one’s end times.
    Negative emotions are very strong. If a person gets old and they start thinking about their negative memories, things will proceed naturally. As you saw.

  9. says

    <B>When Obama dies and is opened, not only will no one find ‘Fallujah’ lying in his heart, no one will find a heart.</b>
     
    It is important to hate an enemy, because human civilizations that refuse to hate their enemy, tend to get buried by the enemy sooner or later. People will not do what is necessary until they are motivated by something either external or internal. So unless people want to be made into slave soldiers to fight the Left, they’re going to have to find their own motivation. Hate, like any other strong motivator, is as good as anything else. I personally don’t care what motivates people to kill the Left. Just git it done, is really what I care about.
     
     

  10. tripper says

    Speaking as one who was educated by nuns in elementary school and college (went to a public high school), I can tell you that nuns NEVER lose!  It was impossible to win an argument with them.  So I have money on the Little Sisters…these women will fight to the end and ultimately win, even if they die.

  11. Danny Lemieux says

    “When Obama dies and is opened, not only will no one find ‘Fallujah’ lying in his heart, no one will find a heart.”
     
    Your connection to Mary Tudor and Calais here was absolutely perfect. Impeccable writing!

  12. says

    “Old-time liberal Democrats believed that Israel was a feisty nation, rooted in the Bible, burnished in the terrible crucible of the Holocaust, and to be applauded for fighting against the forces of Communist and Arabist darkness.”
     
    You’ll have to go back further than Richard Nixon then to find those peeps. Since Nixon knew the Jews would vote against him in a super majority block, but Nixon would be the one that would send Israel crucial arms in their war. Nixon knew he wouldn’t be thanked by the Democrat Jews. Even at that time, due to the Communist infiltration of the US political circle starting before 1930, Democrats would toe the party line no matter the costs. No matter the costs to Israel. No matter the costs to the US.

  13. Libby says

    Re: Obama vs. the nuns – The pro-abortion activists really are ghouls. Saw a brief story on this on CNN, and representing the Obamacare side was Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards (her mom Anne must be so proud!). She said something vague, similar to Obama’s statements (the mandate is flexible enough, the nuns needn’t be so concerned), but it was the little smiles she made while saying this that gave me chills. A lot of the violent attacks on churches in non-Islamic countries (Spain, France,  Germany, Argentina) are being carried out by rabid, pro-abortion women (Femen).
     
    Also wish someone would check in with Bart Stupak and the other pro-life congressman snookered into voting for the ACA with a pledge from Obama that it wouldn’t cover abortions. This is just as big a lie as the others for which Obama’s been called out.

  14. says

    Reading through all your comments, I can only say I’m impressed.  You know I’m someone who regularly counts her blessings, and I do feel blessed that so many people visit my site and join in the conversation.

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