Wednesday afternoon quick hits (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesIt’s raining!!!  In California, that’s cause for celebration.  Rain in Marin doesn’t mean it’s raining elsewhere, but it certainly matters to use Marin-ites — we have our own reservoir system, so we’re wholly dependent on local rainfall.  Ironically, the rain is slowing down our major yard renovation, and we have to get that renovation down before April 1, when rationing kicks in (and rationing will happen unless we get enormous amounts of rain).  Sigh.  To ever silver lining, there seems to be a cloud.


Since I’m on the subject of weather, here’s a two-fer about the grand hoax that is climate change. The first, from American Thinker, provides compelling evidence that every single carbon centered computer model about the climate has proven to be wrong. Not just sort of wrong, mind you, but absolutely, completely, super-duper wrong. Climate theorists are now blaming volcanoes for the warming failure, but they’ll blame anything, won’t they? If you have a non-falsifiable doctrine, you can always blame external forces for your doctrine’s inevitable failure.


I’ve also got three great articles about Israel. The first looks as all the wonderful things going on in Israel despite the world’s efforts to squash that tiny, brilliant nation. The second looks at the grotesque hypocrisy that sees gay rights advocates champion Palestinians at the expense of Israel. The third looks as the fact that Israel stands poised to save Syrians, the rest of the Middle East, and perhaps the whole world, from the unfathomable danger of a nuclear Syria.


Traditionally in America, a state attorney general is sworn to uphold the laws of the state. After all, if the AG doesn’t do that, what’s his purpose? He’s there to represent and ensure the stability, reliability, and credibility of the law.  If he doesn’t carry out that task, he just becomes another functionary in a banana republic. And that banana republic status is precisely what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder dreams of, for he has instructed state AG’s to ignore any law that supports traditional marriage.


I’ve written here frequently about the lunacy that is the modern American college or university. This is a subject that exercises me a great deal because I have two children heading towards college in the next few years. As many Americans do, I’m deeply offended by the cost of college, especially the cost of the once prestigious liberal arts colleges back East. It’s insane to spend or borrow $250,000 so that your child can move into your basement and become a barista. In a changing world, colleges have actually changed in the wrong direction.  They’ve turned away entirely from educating young people to become useful and productive citizens.

What colleges have done, instead, is train youngsters to become lunatics, which is my second reason for being upset about modern American higher education. Last week, Bruce Bawer warned about a lunatic Leftist at Harvard. This week, Chicks on the Right warns about a whole cadre of potentially violent lunatic Leftists as Dartmouth. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this collection of young people expensively unmoored from reality comes from deep within the fever swamps of the gay rights movement.

I’ll say here what I always say: I believe that the government should stay out of people’s bedrooms. I believe that gay people should be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, etc. I believe that the heart loves where it will. But let’s get real here: These loony-toonz aren’t about gay rights.  They are about using the gay agenda as a wedge issue to destroy America as a free-market, individual-centered society, and to replace it with a hard-core centralized government and a socialized economy. I wonder if these “idealists” have any inkling that, when/if they’ve finally achieved their agenda they’ll meet the same fate that leading-edge revolutionaries always experience, whether in 18th Century France, or Russia, or China:  The new statist government identifies them as troublemakers and kills them first.


My sister lives in Oregon, a state that has as its primary goal the creation of happiness. We’ve talked before about the fact that a state can impose “happiness” only if it first has the right to define “happiness.”  The reality, is that there’s only a slender likelihood that the state bureaucrat’s idea of what constitutes “happiness” is the same as your idea.  Moreover, if not everyone is happy — and no one can ever be — the situation is ripe for constant revolution. Still, Oregon tries. The libertarians on the Eastern side are constantly besieged by the statists on the Western, coastal side, who have turned Oregon into one of the most heavily regulated, and least economically successful, states in America. (For more on happiness, at a deep, philosophical level, rather than at a pop-culture, “everything is free” level, check out Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.)


And finally, knowledge that I gleaned in my youth catches up with the present. I’ve written before about my years at Berkeley, when I socialized with ultra-Leftist professors who lived in lavish houses in the Berkeley hillside, all of which seemed to be tended by Hispanic maids and Japanese gardeners. These effete, armchair revolutionaries enjoyed their Marxism because they lived on the straining back of the servant class.

That was a long time ago, but one modern-day Leftist has finally admitted that, yes, needing servants is precisely why the Leftist idle rich are so gung-ho about illegal immigrants:

As a friend of mine said after watching that, “If a conservative of any stripe were to insinuate undocumented workers were all gardeners, landscapers, and hotel workers the race card would have been played before he could even finish the sentence.”

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    “If you have a non-falsifiable doctrine, you can always blame external forces for your doctrine’s inevitable failure.”
    And if that doesn’t work for them, they can always fall back on the ever-handy…Any week that has a Tuesday.


    “What colleges have done, instead, is train youngsters to become lunatics …”
    This student excels at lunatic level. She can graduate with full honors in UNHINGED.
    A UCLA student burst into tears and launched into a mostly incomprehensible anti-Israel rant on Wednesday after her fellow students voted to defeat a student council resolution aimed at divesting from the Jewish state.
    UCLA’s student council defeated the boycott resolution by a vote of 7 to 5 following an all-night session, according to the blog Legal Insurrection.


  • Danny Lemieux

    SADIE, your link just confirms for me that we have an entire nation run by spoiled, self-entitled college sophomores. 
    With regard to volcanoes and global warming, Book, I believe that that link has long been recognized by the Lefty Progs . The only missing ingredient has been the sacrifice of Christian Republican “deniers” to the Volcano gods but I have no doubt that, too, shall come to pass.

  • Call me Lennie

    I have a slightly different take about the fate of the leading edge Marxist revolutionaries.  They are the word-smart narcissist intellectuals who succeed in turning all things upside down.  In so doing, they wipe out all semblance of law and order and morality and restraint.  Inevitably, they get rubbed out in the second wave of the revolution by true psychopaths a la Stalin and Sadaam Hussein — who didn’t have the intelligence to initiate the first round of revolution, but have no problem at all disposing of the intellectuals like so many yapping poodles

  • Libby

    Re: That Dartmouth story – In the past several weeks our local morning news has reported on the following:
    * Girl writes letter to Lego complaining there are not enough girl-specific choices.
    *Girl writes to Disney complaining there aren’t any plus-sized princesses.
    * Girl makes video request to American Girl doll co. asking them to have a differently-abled doll that she can relate to.
    Leads me to believe that these special snowflake  activists are being actively trained and indoctrinated to make these demands long before arriving at Dartmouth.
    While I could rant about how disgusting this need is to have every outlet cater to your particular needs or new found right to not be offended, I think sci-fi writer ‘Vox Day’ has already written a great comeback in his “Letter to a young engineering student” in response to female reader offended by his blog writings:
    Now I’m going to teach you a hard, but very important lesson.  You see, I don’t care you how feel.  I really don’t.  More importantly, neither does anyone else.  Only about 200 people on a planet of 7 billion actually care about your feelings, and that’s if you’re lucky.  The sooner you grasp this lesson, the better off you will be.  And since almost no one gives a damn what you do, say, think, or feel, appealing to your feelings when you encounter differences of opinion is not only illogical, but useless.”

    • lee

      I think one thing is that kids don’t have imagination any more.
      When I was a kid, lego has no “humanoid” is peices. In my imaginary world, the “one-ones” where people, the square ones of which were men/boys, and the round ones of which were women/girls. Legos where just BLOCKS, with SOME windows, and SOME roofing material. You made whatever you imagined. There were no “kits”
      When I did get dolls, I named whatever *I* wanted to name that–and I did not stick with the manufacturers’ names. My land of counterpane could be a desert or a snowy wasteland for the dolls. My dad helped me build a doll house out of on TV cabinet. My mom bought dollhouse furniture. But I made them into whatever I wanted to make them.
      Several years ago, when my neice was still a child, I learned that girls didn’t do that anymore. I see that Legos come as kits, no imagination needed. No one has an imagination. Kids are not allowed to cultivate them, for whatever reason…
      It’s sad…

  • Ymarsakar

    America’s experiment was designed to let the people rule themselves, assuming the people had the education and independence of kings and nobles.
    But what we have today are a bunch of serfs, nobodies, welfare queens, and slaves. That’s not going to cut it.

  • jj

    As previously noted: Eric Holder is far from the brightest bulb on the tree, and he doesn’t understand the job.  He continues under the misapprehension that somewhere in the description it says: “required to think,” and the rule of law – not to mention all of us – suffers when he tries to do so.  AG is just about the simplest of government jobs: no thought necessary.  It’s spelled out and you run pretty much on rails.
    Rush is convinced these people, from Obama on down, are Machiavellian.  I don’t know Obama or Holder – except through their actions – as it happens I do know Kerry, and I’ve met Sebelius in her governor days.  In the history of humanity I don’t think “stupid” gets nearly enough credit.  People aren’t always “up to something;” far too often they’re just “stupid.”  John Kerry is stupid.  Holder’s actions and attempts to testify cogently here and there indicate he’s stupid.  Sebelius requires a keeper when out in public – you see what comes out of her mouth without one.  She’s stupid.  Obama without a teleprompter: stupid.
    Niccolo Machiavelli is somewhere wetting his pants, he’s laughing so hard. 

  • Charles Martel

    jj’s riff on Kerry and Sebelius reminds me of one my favorite movie acting performances, Ned Beatty’s portrayal of Lex Luthors’ hopelessly and helplessly stupid sidekick in the 1978 “Superman.”
    You can see the gears grinding behind his eyes as he struggles to understand what Luthor is explaining to him. He perceives that something wonderfully smart is unfolding, but can’t quite grasp what the hell it is. Now Kerry has one advantage that Beatty’s character didn’t, which is a patrician, Ivy League gloss that fools the credulous (much the same way Piers Morgan’s Brit accent fooled some into thinking he was intelligent).
    Another Kerry advantage—and this is a big one—America’s Number One Gigolo has no conscience and plenty of guile. As stupid as Beatty’s character was, at least one could see an elemental sense of right and wrong in him struggling to express itself. Kerry? Nah.

    • jj

      “I cannot believe that brain generates enough electrical energy to keep those legs moving.”  Or words to that effect, I’m probably imprecise with the quotation. 
      But that, I assure you, is Kerry.  You look into that face, into those eyes, and… nothing.  There’s nothing going on.  There’s nothing alive in there.  I once watched him cross a crowded room, I forget where the hell we were, but he ran up against a solid knot of people talking, most of them with their backs to him.  And there he stood, frozen in place, frowning, unable to move.  (I swear you could smell wood burning, kind of like a SF trolley car.)  Finally one of his aides had to step around him, tap someone on the shoulder and say: “excuse us, the senator would like to get through.”  I have never been able to escape the feeling that if the aide hadn’t done that he would have stood there all day, maybe would still be standing there, brain trying desperately to generate “excuse me,” and get it sent to the mouth for articulation.  I have tried to have conversations with this man, it’s an uphill slog.  I know I’m easy to dismiss because I’m in pretty permanent disagreement with the man – and don’t much admire any part of how he’s lived his life – but I assure you, folks: this is a guy with a forty watt bulb where most people have hundreds.  It’s depressing!