Saturday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI pulled up my usual morning reads and found some excellent stuff I’d like to share with you.  American Thinker gets four shout-outs this morning.  Really.  Its content today was that good.

***

Maybe I’m imagining it, but I do think James Lewis has put together a must-read summary about the state of modern Europe . . . and about Russia’s potential role as its savior.  I hear you ask “Saving Europe from what?”  The answer is depressingly easy:  Saving it from a complete Muslim takeover.  If Lewis is right, our children and grandchildren will live in a broken-down, vulnerable “Fortress America” that peers fearfully at a Eurasian continent controlled either by the Ummah or an imperial Russia.  Neither bodes well for America’s future.

***

Some Brits are trying to counter Europe’s fall by forming their own Tea Party (and yes, I’m alive to the historic irony). The problem these Brits will have is the same problem the American Tea Party has had since its formation. The Tea Party adherents are arguing in factual and ideological terms. Their opponents ignore these substantive arguments and, instead, paint them as Satan. No one wants to think of himself as being part of the party of Satan. Dale Carnegie had already figured this one out in his classic How To Win Friends and Influence People. The very first chapter of his book is given over entirely to the principle that people want to view themselves in the best light, and will lie about who they are and what they do in order to maintain what’s often a self-serving illusion.

Conservatives have to start arguing in ways that snatch this moral high ground away from the Left. A good way to learn about both offensive and defensive techniques for decimating Leftist emotion-based screeds is to read Ben Shapiro’s How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them. To get a free copy, just register for free at Truth Revolt (another site I’ve added to my morning reading list).  You’ll then be able to download Shapiro’s short, pithy book spelling out techniques for challenging Leftist dominance of the mental airspace. (And here’s another example of this emotional dominance: the Leftist take-over of the AP exams, which includes the usual savage, fact-free, emotion-based attacks against America’s founding and exceptionalism.)

***

Dean Kalahar tracks the decline and fall of the African-American family and, with it, the decline and fall of African Americans.  The last time I saw these statistics compiled so nicely was in John McWhorter’s Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America (which, interestingly, is not available on Kindle, although his other books are). Both Kalahar and McWhorter point to the same culprit: white guilt and the resulting welfare state, a toxic combination that removed black men’s centrality to family and financial well-being and, instead, made them extraneous.

***

While conservatives have been enjoying the Leland Yee story because it so perfectly illustrates the Left’s hypocrisy (Lee preached gun control in the California legislature while engaged in gun running for profit), the Left has been quiet. There are two different types of quiet going on: at the bottom level (the information consumers) the quiet arises because they don’t know about Leland Yee or, if they do, they only know that a politician of unknown party was indicted for unknown acts. This ignorance arises from the second type of quiet: Outside of California, the MSM refuses to talk about Yee’s arrest. It’s “three monkeys” coverage: when it comes to Democrats, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. The Left will not cannibalize its own, ever.

***

Kevin Williamson suggests that conservatives might want to do a little less cannibalizing — that is, they might do less if they want to win:

Republicans now have the opportunity to effectively bring the Obama administration’s legislative program to an early end this November by eliminating the Democrats’ majority in the Senate, which would also give them a much stronger hand in keeping the worst of his appointees out of office, safely quarantined in whatever dank recesses of academia currently housing them. And while one should never underestimate the Republicans’ ability to blunder their way into missing a political opportunity or the fickleness of our bread-and-circuses electorate, there is a very good chance that that will happen. (Knock wood, salt over the shoulder — pick your own prophylactic.) But conservatives all too often seem to have failed to learn the lesson of the heavy losses we have suffered during the Obama years: The differences among us are minor compared with the differences between us and them, which are fundamental.

***

It turns out that there are problems with fracking, but they’re not the environmental menace problems that have the greenies’ heads spinning in replays of the Exorcist. Instead, the problems result directly from the greenie head spinning, which makes it impossible to optimize the bounty flowing from beneath American soil.

Reading this reminded me that we survived the Carter years because he lost his reelection bid, so that he was unable to consolidate his failures. I still question whether we will survive eight years of Obama.

***

I always like Andrew Klavan. I especially like him when he looks at the way in which the Left uses a war on language to wage a war on freedom.

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  • jj

    I apologize in advance for annoying the hell out of everybody, but I think this crap is absolutely emblematic of everything that’s wrong.   In fact this commercial could stand as the live-action pin-up poster of Obama/Sebelius f***-ups.
     
    The Washington health-care finder thing, the flannel-shirt wing of the Obamacare gang, filmed a whole series of these commercials, which are an obvious (if not painfully transparent) attempt to make it look ‘hip,’ or ‘down with’ or whatever they suppose it takes to connect with young people – without whom they’re dead – and the end product is, as you can see, an excrescence. 
     
    But here’s the part that just typifies them.  Wraps them up perfectly.  Note the green jacket worn by the singing hippopotamus.  Note that through the entire commercial, (this is just one of a series),  NONE OF THESE GENIUSES NOTICED that the emblem on the front of his jacket was either obscene, promoted something, featured nudity, or was otherwise disqualified from being shown on TV.  Wherefore, in post, somebody had to blur his goddam emblem.  NOBODY NOTICED THIS while they were filming, and said: “take it off, whale; put something else on.”  Some little engineer in post, probably completely a-political and totally uninterested in Obama or any other kind of care, had to look at these captains of smart and say something like: “uh… fellas?  Can’t do that… the FCC will be so far up our asses they’ll be coming out our noses.”  And he had to blur it.
     
    I don’t know about for you guys, but for me, that kind of brain-dead oversight just perfectly sums up the  whole Obama/Sebelius operation.  Just sums it up perfectly, and establishes that indeed, they cannot do anything right. 
     

  • Matt_SE

    I am sooooo tired of having to read these pieces from “mainstream” or “moderate” Republicans about how “we’re all in this together.”
    Bullsh*t.
    If we’re all in this together, why are TP/conservatives being openly attacked by McConnell, Bohner, Chamber of Cronyism, et al.? Why are we the ones who have to suck it up and take one for the team?
    The party needs to be cleaned up. Otherwise, it will do us no good to retake the Senate. This is the long game, and won’t be achieved overnight. No more RINOs from red states…we can do better. We need to get rid of a couple per election.
    I may have linked it before, but in the context of the budget shutdown here’s an article that explains it brilliantly: http://www.redstate.com/2013/10/18/the-budget-shutdown-was-about-ideology-not-tactics/
     

  • Mike Devx

    we conservatives are all up in arms over Obama’s and the Democrats’ wealth redistribution.  To poor people.
     
    We ought to be much angrier at our elite’s wealth redistribution to rich people.
     
    The national debt is nothing more than that:  wealth redistribution to the world’s rich people.  We’re all crazy insane over redistribution to poor people.  We’re all ho-hum, whatever, over wealth redistribution to the rich.  That’s bias.
     
    The latest estimate I’ve seen is that by 2024, at least 1/3 of our GDP will be required to pay the INTEREST alone on the debt.  One-third of our economy will be devoted to taking money out of everyone’s wallet to redistribute to the very rich.
     
    Another huge chunk – another third? – will go to entitlement programs, some to the poor, some to the rest of us, the middle class.  (The middle class is the beneficiary of a lot of government redistribution as well…  that’s why we don’t really scream bloody murder there, either.)
     
    There’s no way an economy can survive this scenario.
     
    It’s turtles all the way down, everywhere you look.
     

    • http://bkivey.wordpress.com/ bkivey

      Huh. I’ve never been offered a job or a contract from a poor person.

    • Mike Devx

      The article I read was wrong that the Interest payments on our debt would total 33$ of GDP by 2024.  That’s just not possible.  What I am sure they meant to say was that our interest payments would total 33% of the national budget.
       
      Aside from that, bkivey, I stand by what I said.  When all we do is pile on more debt – and we have no intention of EVER paying this debt – the resulting interest payments are nothing more than redistribution of wealth.
       
      Temporary debt, and its interest, are fine.  Permanent and ever-escalating debt, with ITS interest, is a monstrous game, a crime against future generations.  WHO IS RECEIVING these interest payments that are going to be never-ending, and ever-larger?
       
      It is redistribution of our wealth.  I like to think that past generations – more mature and responsible generations – would have shuddered in horror at the notion of America being a permanent debtor nation.
       
      By 2024 we will be approaching paying ONE TRILLION dollars of interest every year, without every paying down a penny of the ever-escalating debt.  Someone is taking one hell of a lot of free money from you and me, from us.   I will not join in with those who think this is acceptable, who think this defines anything that could be called a great country.

      • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

        Fiat currency generally begins to allow ever increasing amounts of debt, which is as you noticed, another form of redistribution.
         
         

  • Charles Martel

    jj, you’re correct that The Gelding and his minions can’t do anything right. But look at the dunderheads they’re directing their propaganda at: College “educated” kids who can’t find India on a map or who think the cervix is a fast African land mammal. Besides, any intricate machinery in the hands of inept, incompetent morons can be destroyed just as thoroughly as it would at the hands of intelligent saboteurs.

  • jj

    Fast African land mammal?  Oh, come on – who doesn’t know the cervix is a close cousin of the ibex, and they’re both Alpine goats?  Fast African land mammal, forsooth!  We don’t teach anybody anything anymore.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    They’re teaching zombieness pretty well I think.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Left will not cannibalize its own, ever.
     
    They’re still having for dinner aborted children, pre and post birth ones. Watch out when the zombies run out of easy meat… stock up on that ammo and landmines.

  • Charles Martel

    Ymarsakar, statists eating aborted babies has actually happened. I remember reading reports out of China in the late 90s or early 00s of Party functionaries dining on aborted children to show their solidarity with China’s one-child policy. If there is a depth some think is too low for anybody to sink to, a dedicated statist will find a way.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Of course it has happened. It’s the Left isn’t it?
       
      Those who think the Left have good intentions or won’t do certain things… don’t really understand the nature of evil. They lack imagination, which even the cavemen had painting their prey.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    What Matt_SE said!!
     
    I’m tired of being told that “conservatives all too often seem to have failed to learn the lesson” that we shouldn’t be attacking each other!!  Tell Kevin Williamson to take that song and sing it to Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and the rest of those RINOs in D.C. 
     
    When the party leadership stops attacking the conservative base and those who stand up for them, get back to me about “party unity”.
     
    Until then, STFU with your “stop cannibalizing your own”!  Because I’ve stopped listening, thanks.

  • Mike Devx

    Charles Martel,
    Your March 29 3:27 pm comment was brilliant and hilarious. Thank you!   (and I wish comments were still numbered…)

  • JKB

    The James Lewis piece puts a good bit of Putin’s motivation in perspective.  When I read Kaplan’s ‘The Revenge of Geography’ he did a good job showing the Russian trait of paranoia was well founding in their geography.   With no natural defensive borders, they were always wary of being overrun and historically, the area was.  The Eastern Bloc (occupation) by the Soviet Union was the barrier that was historically sought after.  
     
    With maritime Europeans letting themselves be consumed by not individuals who are Muslims but Islamists, naturally Russia, through Putin, is looking to regain that buffer.   Being in the EU is probably putting the central European countries at risk since they have no way to implement policies to stop the EU move to becoming an Islamist controlled area, even though such policies would be valuable to their domestic tranquility and reassure Russia.  
     
    That may be how the EU breaks up as central European countries leave in an attempt to save themselves from Islamist or Russian takeover.  And what will the EU do, send their meager military forces to occupy secessionists?  Who probably could meet such a force domestically but if not with the aid of invited Russian units?  And remember, Germany bridges the divide between maritime Europe and continental Europe.  
     
    As an aside, it never dawned on me that Western Europe was maritime Europe, it is on a peninsula.  If you see this, you see the historical political divides in the geography.

  • Mike Devx

    Take a look at how our leftist friends are perveting the Advanced Placement US History course.  (via American Thinker)
     
    http://americanthinker.com/blog/2014/03/a_quiet_coup_ratchets_up_the_propaganda_quotient_in_education_with_advanced_placement_exams.html
     
    And, yes, when it comes to Common Core… it’s a mess.  I’ve seen some of the ‘New Math’ examples that people are circulating, and it’s true, the focus is horribly misplaced.
     
    But when you see and hear that Common Core advocates the “Whole Word” approach to teaching our children to read, you know they’re off in la-la land.  English is a phonics language (sound it out), not a Chinese ideogram or ancient Egyptian hieroglyph language (both where words themselves are represented by symbols).  Yes, English may be too complex phonetically, but the “Whole Word” approach is, and has always been, a complete disaster.  Shame on them.
     

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      It’s merely a transition into Common Humanity. If you aren’t Common, you’ll be purged.
       
      As for symbols, it makes it easier to say ambiguous things such as the meaning of is is. It creates fuzzy thinking and facilitates it more. Also certain characters in Asia are so powerful visually, that it can serve as propaganda and hypnotic triggers. This is the preparation for the Zombie Horde, aka psychotic killer Leftist army, they are building.

    • JKB

      The “whole word” along with the new math techniques.  Oh and lack of emphasis on comprehension in reading comprehension.
       
      It’s almost like they don’t want people to be able to break things down to get at the meaning.  Well, not almost.

  • JKB

    Just saw this over at Joanne Jacobs from a book showing kids with their favorite toys around the world.  She uses two photos, one kids in a poor Zambia village use plastic sunglasses that fell off a truck.  They play market, buying and selling them to each other.   Ah, capitalism.
     
    The other is a 5-yr old boy in Kiev.  His favorite things are guns.   I suspect it is a comment on his countrymen and that they won’t be overrun so easily in areas that don’t welcome Russian domination.  I doubt Putin is willing to start a slaughter to end a guerrilla war.   I think his plans need popular support to meet his goals.
     
    A few of my favorite things

  • Charles Martel

    Regarding JKB’s comments above about what motivate Russia’s eternal sense of insecurity and search for borders pushed as far away from its heartland as possible: I could see Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Austria forming a counter-EU to resist Russian expansion on its eastern flank and the wussification/Islamization on its west. It would be ironic if Germany and Poland were to make common cause, but the  pressures building from Mecca and Putinland could plausibly push them in that direction.
     
    Given the huge push toward nuclear proliferation that Obama has given the world, nukes in German hands would seem to be an inevitability. So the further irony would be that Germany, once an oppressor, would now be the guarantor of Central European independence with its own nuclear umbrella.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I don’t really care about Europe.
     
    East Asia however… that presents a problem.
     
    Europe’s nukes were already going to go to Islamic Jihad in the future. If Russia wants to take a piece of that pie, they are more than welcome to it. It’s not like we can stop them.
     

  • Alasdair

    I think that the description of “The British Tea Party” fits UKIP far better than it does this new party.
     
    Paul Weston the leader of LibertyGB has extremely unpleasant political associations, both with the Neo-Nazi BNP and the criminal, thuggish EDL. I am deeply ashamed to say that he was formerly a member of UKIP although thankfully he has been on the receiving end of a UKIP purge.
     
    I really enjoy reading your blog, but it is embarrassing both that American Thinker published that article and that you linked to it. I also think that my fellow commentators greatly overestimate the “islamization” of Europe.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “weapons of mass deception.”-Klavan
     
    that’s kind of funny. Because I’ve used that phrase before.