Friday afternoon round up (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesLots of good stuff today, so I’m going to dive right in.  As always, these aren’t in any particular order, so you may find interesting things buried halfway down the list.

I’ve made the same point before, but I still like to see it come from Daniel Hannan and Jonah Goldberg:  Nazis came from the Left, not from the right.  Incidentally, I still like the way I phrased it, which was that we should get rid of the archaic Left/Right or Fascist/Communist/Capitalist language and, instead, look at political systems in terms of Statist versus Individualist forms of government.  The world’s most famous bad guys, no matter the name they gave themselves, land on the statist side.  America, before Obama, was more individualists, as she was when she went around the world freeing people from statists calling themselves Communists, Fascists, Nazis, Military Juntas, Muslim Fundamentalists, etc.


One of the things that distinguished George Bush was that he was a good manager — proving that he got something useful out of his stint in Harvard Business School. He surrounded himself by efficient, knowledgeable people who reflected well on this country’s competence, even if one didn’t agree with its policies. The opposite is true for Obama. He is a terrible manager who surrounds himself with people who know as little as he does.

Obama’s conduct is typical for an insecure person. He needs to surround himself with ineffective sycophants who say nice things to him and who don’t threaten him with their greater talents and skills. Obama gave the game away a long time ago when he announced, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” Genuinely smart — and mentally healthy — people don’t actually say things like that.


One of the things that drives me crazy about the Left’s insistence on bypassing parents to give young girls access to the birth control pill is the fact that it’s not just about sex (and the Left uses sex to bribe girls away from the nuclear family). It’s also about how high risk pills are. California kids can’t get their ears pierced without permission, but girls can easily get pills that are associated with strokes, blood clots, breast cancer and, now, multiple sclerosis. The Pill is a very dangerous medicine, but it’s so wrapped up in Leftist feminist politics, no one is willing to say “no” simply on safety grounds.  The fight about the Pill on moral grounds is a good fight.  The fight about the Pill on health grounds should be a winning fight — but nobody’s doing battle there.


Two excellent views about Putin’s escapades: Terresa, at Noisy Room, harks back to the Nazi notion of Lebensraum.  Paul Rahe, at Ricochet, thinks Putin is a fool, trying to relive the glory days of the Cold War but, in fact, reaching far beyond Russia’s actual, very limited, economic abilities, not to mention exposing Russia to the very real risk of a Chinese takeover. Fool or madman, the one thing we know with certainty is that Putin’s policies will destroy many lives, both inside and outside of Russia.


My sister lives in Oregon. After the millions it spent on its Obamacare exchange, she ended up signing up the old-fashioned way: by paper. The only question is how long the media can keep the prestidigitation going, so that people don’t realize that they’re on the losing end of a shell game.


Colleges across America: “Due process? We ain’t got no due process. We don’t need no due process! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ due process!”


Jonah Goldberg nicely analyzes something that we’ve been talking about here, which is the speed with which the gay marriage debate has gone from the fringe to “you’d better accept it or else.” As many famous people have learned to their cost, one of the most effective techniques for moving the debate forward without regard to the merits is the GLAAD & Friends tactic of “nice little place/career/life you’ve got here. . . . Shame if something happened to it.”


Roger L. Simon issues a call to arms: Take back Hollywood. It drives culture and, to the extent conservatives jumped off the entertainment bus, we’ve left the lunatics in the driver’s seat.


The IRS scandal continues unabated. Those who think it’s been addressed and repaired have been flim-flammed yet again. Moreover, if you follow the money to public servant corruption, that may go a long way to explaining why our bureaucracy, which is supposed to be studiously apolitical, has thrown its immense power to the Democrats, the political party owned by the government workers’ unions.


I really, really like Allen West. Here he is with a vivid, but emotion-free, summation about both Common Core’s academic weaknesses and the madness of Obamacare mathematics.


My bet without doing any research is that, if you studied political identity in the military, you’d see that the military is still more conservative than the population as a whole. What you’d also see, though, is that every subsequent new batch of enlistees is more liberal than the one that came before. Remember, the new enlistees are young and Democrats have marketed themselves successfully to the young.

We know that young people in the general population are souring on Obama as job prospects dim.  Military enlistees have a job, but there’s still the possibility that they too will sour.  To the extent that Senate Democrats refused to increase veteran’s benefits, the very minimal chatter I’ve seen amongst the few young enlistees who are Facebook friends is that they are feeling hostile to the Dems right about now.

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  • Ymarsakar

    You know what else Obama is better at than his subordinates? Killing people.
    Most people in the 3% would know what that is about.

  • David Foster

    An interesting description of the fundamental principles of Naziism–nationalism, socialism, a workers’ party, and anti-Semitism–written by Joseph Goebbels in 1929.

  • JKB

    I would expect that it would be less the vet benefits and more the trend to underfund and thus under-equip that will transform the young away from Obama.  Obama tries to act not responsible for the actions of the agencies, but, in the military the line of responsibility is clear.  Not, at least, fighting for the defense budget is a very strong command signal.  
    I wouldn’t give up on Hollywood but I would seek to go around it.  I do sometimes see a more individualist theme in TV, sometimes movies.  It is subtle and it is usually buried behind more alarming upfront PC.  It may be intentional on some part or it may simply inadvertent, such as how Archie Bunker and  Alex P. Keyton were suppose to be punching bags but turned out to have much better character strength.   I think ‘Firefly’ got its rabid fan base because of its individualist theme.  
    I wonder about Anna Faris.  A comedic actress in the new show Mom.  I’ve seen her in a few things, of which I believe she was involved in producing.  They had a rather socially conservative message although brought in sideways. The show ‘Mom’, is about generations of recovering drug/drunk moms.  They’ve left out the welfare angle but still.  When the teenage daughter turned up pregnant in episode 2, the abortion option got barely a passing mention.   

    • Ymarsakar

      It’s more convincing for Leftist propaganda to appear moderate, while dragging people from the entry gate.

  • Michael Adams

    My wife, an IRS employee with less than nothing to do with tax exempt status of organizations, nor with audits, is in her second week of training this year in ethics.  IRS is the quintessential bureaucracy, whose motto is,  “Someone’s watching us, look busy!”   After the Extra Child Credit fiasco, they had weeks of training in how to uncover fraudulent applications for Individual Taxpayer Identity Numbers, but no mechanism was established  for rejecting actual fraudulent applications, nor one for prosecuting fraud.
    So, they are certainly looking busy.