Saturday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSaturdays just slip away from me. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. Suddenly, it’s 1:30, and I’ve accomplished nothing more than making another batch of haroset, which I’m trying to eat in lieu of ice cream. There are things, though, that I’d like to share with you:

The first thing is a plea from the Media Research Center asking for funds to help offset the invaluable assist the Obama administration is getting from a complicit media.  As you know, but too many Americans don’t, the media pretends to the American people that it’s independent, even as it shills and covers for the President. The deadline for this particular fundraiser is tonight, which is why MRC gets top billing here.


Speaking of valuable organizations asking for money, the NRA is taking very seriously Michael Bloomberg’s promise to spend $50 million to undermine the Second Amendment in America. The NRA has put together a great fundraising video (see below), and you can donate here if you feel so inclined:


Andrew C. McCarthy is one of those guys who has a binary effect on me. Either I love what he writes or I hate it. This time it’s love, as he talks about the way in which Obama is using his pardoning power to nullify drug control legislation. It’s a typical Leftist move, of course. If you’re a Leftist and don’t like legislation or constitutional rights, you don’t go through Congress to repeal or amend them; instead, you simply announce that you’re the Magic Negro, the man who defines what sin is (“being out of alignment with my own values”), the new messiah . . . and you avoid implementing the law and, if so inclined, actually undo its effects.


It’s not often that you read in just one article a straightforward, commonsensical, easy-to-understand, comprehensive take-down of the global warming scam. You especially don’t expect to see that kind of thing from a world-renowned emeritus professor and former NASA scientist talking to the Yorkshire Evening Post (a paper I read a lot back in the days when I lived in England).


I’ve mentioned before that I had Elizabeth Warren as a professor back in the day. I went into her class ignorant, and came out still ignorant, but also frustrated and confused. Whatever else she was, she was a very poor communicator, which is why I find it so peculiar that the Left considers her a spokesman for their Progressive economic causes. Back in the day, speaking in her breathy, elliptical, somewhat telegraphic way, she managed to say nothing at length.

With those memories in my mind, my metrics say Warren would be a dreadful presidential candidate, so I can understand puckish conservatives urging her to run. Of course, should she run, what will actually happen is that she’ll still be better than Hillary, whom people dislike, and she’ll win the primary.  As the first female Democrat presidential candidate, the press will anoint her and that will be the end of it for any Republican opponent. (On that point, please see again my first item, above, regarding the MRC’s plea for funds to de-fang the press.)


Peter Wehner has disturbing RINO tendencies, not to mention the arrogance of his class when it comes to Palin. Nevertheless, he’s an extremely lucid commentator when it comes to honing in on Obama’s failings. I both enjoyed reading and was depressed by Wehner’s elegant laundry list of Obama’a serial failings in every area of presidential endeavor.


You know that I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about narcissists. One of the most dangerous things about them is the way their emotional armor means that they are incapable of acknowledging themselves at fault but must, instead, always deflect blame onto others. This tendency is especially destructive when it exists, not at an individual level, but at a societal level.

Take, for example, Islam: No matter where one looks around the world, once Islam is in charge, the economy collapses, violence increases, freedom disappears, and women, Jews, Christians, gays, and other Islamically disfavored groups are attacked, enslaved, and destroyed. This is a society that is ripe for introspection but, because it’s predicated on narcissism, the only thing it can do when it confronts its disastrous existence is . . . blame the Jews.


We’ve already talked here about the fact that those environmentally friendly wind farms puree birds, while the solar farms barbecue them. That’s not why I’m linking to this PowerLine article. I’m linking because I love the title: MICROWAVES OF THE DESERT; CUISINARTS OF THE SKY.


Cliven Bundy, a private citizen, makes an inarticulate, but arguably valid point that American blacks are as enslaved by the Democrat party now as they were in the antebellum South. The media mangles his argument, and destroys him as a “racist,” making toxic his entirely valid argument that past due monies owed to the government do not justify the Bureau of Land Management showing up at his farm with full military force, slaughtering his cattle, destroying his water lines, and aiming snipers at his home.  Think about it.  If Bundy were an IRS employee (lots of back taxes there), he would have gotten a bonus, and if he were Al Sharpton (even more back taxes), he’d be palling around with Obama and Holder.

No matter the government’s “right” to the land (which is separate from the justice of its claiming that right), Bundy stands for the increased tyranny of the federal government, one that sees it viewing itself as master, not servant.  Indeed, one can argue that, although the government is acting according to the laws it’s made, its laws and procedures have become so fundamentally flawed that, per the Declaration of Independence, our government has invalidated itself:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

But I digress. I actually just wanted to talk about Bundy now being toxic, thereby invalidating ideas unrelated to the subject matter that made him toxic.  It’s different if you’re on the Left.

If you’re on the Left, no matter what you do outside of politics, you’re never toxic. Take Paula Poundstone, for example, a convicted child molester. That fact isn’t preventing the Marin Jewish Community Center from opening its arms to her. I don’t know whether Poundstone has reformed or repented, something that makes a difference to me, because I’m a big believer in both. I just know that, if Poundstone was a conservative, not a Progressive, she’d never be forgiven for her sins, and would be persona non grata in perpetuity, as to all matters.


And finally, maybe we are at last seeing small cracks in the damned dam that is political correctness:

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  1. says

    I feel left out, they haven’t called me a racist. But if Bundy wants the glory, and the drone death bombs, more power to him.
    But I think you’re a lot more tractable to his line of thoughts mostly because 1. this isn’t the first time you’ve seen it argued and 2. you’ve had way more time than Bundy to consider slavery=welfare issues, and 3. Most Americans aren’t like you and they aren’t like Bundy either.

  2. says

    Also, trigger control on the video (it’s not very funny though). There is no trigger control. Even with airsoft guns, you don’t randomly navigate your trigger finger into the trigger just because you feel like it. That guy will not be able to do CQB shooting of crazy people at less than 21 feet, against bull rushers, nor can he shoot from the hip or with two handed stance. The lack of muscle control argues against it except in some very lucky circumstances.
    So first, trigger control if you want to be alive during the Zombie apoc. Control the finger, then the wrist, then the forearm, then the shoulder, and supreme accuracy will then be obtained once the transition to hip shooting comes later with the level up.

  3. JKB says

    Regarding global warming.  Matt Ridley had this today
    We can’t wreck the climate unless we get rich, but if we get rich, we won’t wreck the climate 
    “These IPCC and OECD reports are telling us clear as a bell that we cannot ruin the climate with carbon dioxide unless we get a lot more numerous and richer. And they are also telling us that if we get an awful lot richer, we are likely to have invented the technologies to adapt, and to reduce our emissions, so we are then less likely to ruin the planet. Go figure.”

  4. lee says

    I make a tasty Yemenite haroset– dates, figs, ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, pomegranate syrup, almonds… So thick, you need a trowel to spread it! Yummy!

    • says

      If any country advances the utilization of robotics for civilian affairs, it would be the Japanese. But the US will be the first to use robotics for military affairs, which has already been done.

      • JKB says

        Perhaps but I was struck by how in these two situations, the robot was more able than humans.  In the first, the cow gained the freedom to be milked when they wanted to be milked.  In the second, the robot didn’t try to push the child toward the desired interaction.  Again, the child is freed from the tyranny of other people’s schedules/agenda.

  5. Mike Devx says

    Robots – robot technology of all sorts – are wonderful tools.  But just like the cotton gin or the McCormack reaper, they are disruptive.  People whose livelihoods are threatened by a change caused by technological advancement will often advocate outlawing the change.
    There’s been a debate ever since Toffler’s “Future Shock” in the 70s that we humans cannot handle change that is too rapid and too broad.  It’s an interesting parlor-room or bar-stool debate.  To this point the evidence indicates to me that we are remarkably adaptable.  We’re doing just fine; no need to use the Power of the State to slow down “change”.  (Why are there always so many people want to use the Power of the State against the rest of us, to force their “good ideas” on the rest of us???)

    • jj says

      I’ve occasionally thought that Toffler wasn’t really paying attention.  To, for example, his own father.  Or else his father was really maladjusted.
      Mine was born in 1900, and grew up – quite literally – with horses and buggies.  When he was young the farm required a gang of horses and men to get the fields ready for spring planting.  By his middle age a kid, (me), could do more of it in an afternoon on a tractor than ten full-grown men and horses used to  be able to in a week.  (Nobody ever thinks about what an insane revolution tractors were.)  In his youth he read by the light of a lamp or a candle.  It was the gas-light era, but the gas companies stayed in the towns and cities where they could get some bang for their buck: nobody was running a mile of pipe out to one farmhouse.  When their turn came the electric companies weren’t real quick off the mark to do that, either: fifteen poles and a mile of wire to pick up one customer?  Forget it.  I don’t know exactly when telephones arrived, but he was of voting age when it happened.
      He stopped being a farmer pretty young, and only resumed later, when he was amusing himself, but every minute of his life from 1900 to 1987 must have been redolent of what Toffler came to call ‘future shock.’  I can only imagine the stuff he saw, and to which he had to – and did – adjust.  I think he spanned the era when things – tangible things, things you could see, like tractors, jets, and the entire world on my desk (a Mac Quadra)- changed in larger and faster increments than either before or since. 
      Didn’t seem to bug him that in 1930 it took him five days to get to England, and in 1970 it took him five hours.  Even though he was older he was apparently very adaptable.  (Except he disliked the chaos that is Heathrow, and far preferred the boat train from Southampton to London.  I’ve only done Heathrow which, come to think of it, I pretty much hate, too.)
      I agree, Mike: on the evidence we’re hugely adaptable.  We’ll work it out, and do what we must, generally cheerfully.

        • Mike Devx says

          “Hey, My Grandpa has one of these!”  (the headphone part)
          “I’m trying to figure out how many tapes you would need!”  (One iPod holds, what, 1000 playlists?)
          These kids have no idea what a cassette tape is.  What year did you buy your first CD?    Who was it?   I’m trying to remember what year I gave up and just chucked all my old cassette tapes in the trash.  Hundreds of ‘em.  1995?  2000?  Was it before or after I threw all my 3.5″ floppies in the trash?

        • says

          Reminds me of Legend of Kyrandia series, which I spent several months trying to solve as a kid. When I redid the puzzles there, I solved them using some kind of meta logickal feat. The greater experience of life provided all kinds of ideas, even though the gross learning rate of kids are higher than adults.

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