Friday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesHave I got a lot of fascinating information to pass on to you. Without further ado:

You already know that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has finally left the building, so that’s not news. What you might enjoy, though, is Deroy Murdock’s post explaining why Obama’s default setting — “It’s all George Bush’s fault” — shouldn’t and probably won’t fly here. I also think that, because Obama has now spent five-and-a-half years in office, all but the true believers are going to think that it’s time he owns the troubles on his watch.


The tyranny of DemProg censorship on campuses has become so extreme that even former New York mayor Michael “Don’t touch that drink” Bloomberg has spoken out against it, at Harvard no less. Interestingly, America’s self-styled “best and brightest” were not impressed by his exhortations to open their minds, according him only tepid applause.

(For those new to this site — yeah, you, the one over in the corner — DemProg is my new shorthand for Democrats and Progressives. Progressives used to be the left wing of the Democrat party. Now they are the party, so I’ve blended the terms for my convenience.)


From the lies, damn lies, and statistics file, Thomas Lifson catches the New York Times pretending that Asians are white, so that it can promote allegedly damning statistics about Silicon Valley.


Meriam Ibrahim didn’t just give birth in a Sudanese prison cell, where she and her toddler are living pending her execution in two years (after the newborn is weaned) for the “crime” of refusing to renounce Christianity. She gave birth while chained to the floor! Both the State Department and America’s establishment Christians continue to evince, at best, only minor interest in her plight.

I keep posting away about this on my real-me Facebook, and I hope everyone else continues to do so. Since the drive-by media won’t publicize this, we have to.


Evelyn Gordon points out one more time that Israel does an abysmal job of showing the way in which the “helpless” Palestinians are constantly planning deadly raids against Israelis. Instead, Israel just waits until yet more poisonous propaganda comes out against it, and then weakly tries to make its case, sort of.

How is it that Israel, a nation of really smart people, still hasn’t figured out that many of the battles in ongoing war between Israel, on the one hand, and Muslims, Palestinians, the UN, Leftists, and Europeans, on the other hand, don’t occur on the ground but, instead, in the world of the mind?


When I was in my 20s, I had emergency abdominal surgery. I was a wuss, but I was also unlucky enough to have a Nurse Ratchet, who refused to give me my pain medicine the first night after surgery, because she found me irritating. I therefore have some insight into abdominal pain.

What I experienced, however, cannot equal what happened to a British woman unlucky enough to find herself in the unloving hands of a National Health Service facility. She writhed in pain, finally dying after three days, suffering and death that apparently came about solely because the staff just couldn’t be bothered with treating her.


We’re heading for the double part in our long-expected double-dip Recession, kind of like what happened to America when, having weathered the 1929 crash, Americans found themselves heading into the 1937 economic abyss. In both cases, these economic disasters happen[ed] because of Keynesian economic policies.

We know how the 1930s ended. Let’s hope the teens of the 21st century have a better outcome. (See this too for more info about America’s lost generations.)


Thomas Lifson says that Obama’s West Point speech shows a presidency in terrible trouble. I agree. I just wish a troubled presidency didn’t also mean a troubled nation.


Rule No. 1 in American politics: It’s okay if a Democrat does it.

Today’s example is a Democrat who said that a Hispanic Republican should be sent back “wherever she came from.” Only after the dog whistle applause died down, did the DemProg add “I think it’s Texas.”


Jonah Goldberg makes an important point, which is the fact that DemProgs want to remake our entire country to stop a few insane killers. Saying this isn’t meant to diminish the tragedy of those caught in the deranged killers’ paths. It just acknowledges that, even if we erase who we are, we’ll still have deranged killers.  They’ll just be responding to different cultural triggers.

One of the profound differences between DemProgs and conservatives is that the former think we can use government power to erase all risk from the world, while the latter believe that individuals have the responsibility to behave reasonably to reduce risk. Harking back to my crosswalk sting, that’s why I won’t win in court: I behaved reasonably to avoid an unreasonably behaving pedestrian, which is what the statute requires. Our local courts and law enforcement, however, believe that there are absolute (and unwritten) codes of behavior that we must all observe in order to prevent the risk of hurting even one irrational adult. (Children, of course, are a different matter, because we presume they’re irrational around cars.)


Regarding Benghazi, it appears that Hillary genuinely believes that she can run on “What difference, at this point, does it make?” At least that’s the feeling one gets from her new autobiography. It will be a true “shame on America” moment if her belief is proven correct.


DemProgs, though, do get away with murder, literally. At Ace of Spades, you can see Nancy Pelosi’s differing reactions to deaths in battle, depending upon which administration is in charge and which party will be most damaged by outrage or the lack thereof.


Is it really important to gay rights that our National Parks go out of their way to include gay history? What am I saying? Of course it is! This is the year of everything gay.

The one good thing about this kind of spasm of enthusiasm is that it cannot sustain its momentum. Eventually, gays (and the whole LGBTQ spectrum) will go back to being ordinary citizens, just like everyone else.


Buriram City in Thailand takes very seriously violence during its New Year celebrations. So seriously, indeed, that the city has come up with a novel, and probably very effective, way to deal with thug eruptions.


Poor, poor Gwyneth Paltrow. You know how sometimes people tweet out mean things about her privileged life and snotty attitude? That stuff is tough. It’s just like being at war. Or perhaps, as a Green Beret explains, to her NOT. I especially like the very last line of his open letter.


When we comment about the damage the DemProg welfare system does to blacks, we’re dismissed as racists. When a black man does it, the DemProg media infrastructure dismisses him as an Oreo or Uncle Tom.

Be that as it may, Andrew Klavan says that Jason L. Riley, a black man, has bravely stepped forward to explain, chapter and verse, how damaging DemProg policies are to blacks. One can only hope that blacks are more receptive to stubborn facts when they come from an Oreo than when they come from a racist.


The Left is trying to excuse the government’s disgraceful passivity with regard to Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a Marine hero, imprisoned in Mexico for accidentally getting stuck on the wrong side of the border with his legally-owned guns. Tahmooressi faces 20 years in Mexican on gun charges but we know what the State Department is saying to itself: “The only way guns are going from the U.S. to Mexico is if they’re unmarked, illegal, and funneled through Operation Fast & Furious. Everyone else can go to Hell.”

But about that attempt to smear Sgt. Tahmooressi. What the smears say is that there were big signs showing he was coming to the border so that, contrary to his version of events, he could have avoided entering Mexico — except that’s not so. The road Tahmooressi was on when he made his 911 call to try to avoid leaving the U.S. is built so that it’s one way, no exits.

I have an idea, though, how this Marine can save himself: He just needs to announce that he’s gay. In that case, President Obama will fly to Mexico personally to rescue him.


Obama travels with the largest entourage of any leader in the Western world. He throws himself lavish parties in the people’s White House and his family goes on two or three multi-million dollar, taxpayer-funded vacations annually. He and Michelle are doing what they can to live the high life on the People’s dime.

Not so Jose Mujica, president of Uruguay, who is called “The World’s Poorest President.” He didn’t earn this sobriquet because of poor performance. He earned it because he recognizes that he is the people’s servant, not their master, and he lives his life accordingly, with a large dollop of altruism and charity thrown in for good measure.


And finally, two videos. The first shows national reporters finally figuring out that maybe, just maybe, the Emperor has no clothes. I will forever be mad at these ideologues for collaborating to get Obama elected twice, but maybe their openly expressed disdain will slow any political momentum Obama still has:

And Bill Whittle, who needs no introduction:

Just as a preview of Whittle’s brilliance, this is how he begins:

One of the complaints leveled against Conservatives by Progressives is that we’re always looking backwards. Why always so locked in the past? Why so obsessed with history? Why always looking behind us? Why not look forward?

There’s actually a very simple explanation for that. You see, the past exists. And the future doesn’t. Not yet, anyway. That’s why progress isn’t always good. We could be progressing forward off a cliff. Or into the room where the murderer is hiding. Or out into the water where the shark is. And since we can’t know where we are going, the best we can do is to see if we can learn anything from where we have been.

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  • Ymarsakar

    “The only way guns are going from the U.S. to Mexico is if they’re unmarked, illegal, and funneled through OperationFast & Furious. Everyone else can go to Hell.”
    That’s so sharp a tsukomi that even I felt a twinge as it went into the Left’s eye. I’ll be sure to remember and practice that the next time a Demon rat starts talking about Bush lied, people dying.
    As for the homosexual thing, that’s not as far fetched as people may think. Same with claiming to be Islamic.

  • jj

    The world of the mind is the toughest arena in which to win, and I’m unsurprised that the Israelis don’t really get it.
    This’ll seem like a weird analogy, but I recall when Ralph Houk. very successful field manager for the Yankees, was made General Manager of the Yankees in 1964.  The Yankees won the pennant in 1964 (yeah, yeah, what else is new?), but they were outdrawn in New York by the still-very-new New York Mets.  The Mets were still new, and still startlingly inept on the field – but they outdrew the Yankees by half a million people in the seats at the ballpark, and absolutely buried the Yankees on television.
    Ralph Houk could not understand this.  Indeed, no one in the (fairly humorless but ruthlessly efficient) Yankee organization, from ownership on down could understand it.  The Mets set records for inefficiency, but they were colorful, and (I suppose, though I never found them so) lovable.  Houk used to end press conferences saying things like: “But we still win on the field, and that’s all that really counts, isn’t it?  Well… isn’t it?  Isn’t it…?”
    He never got it.  Show me a man who operates entirely on what his logic, his belief in the point of what he’s doing, and every brain cell he owns tells him should be true, instead of what plainly is true, and I’ll show you someone who will not only fail, but will wear that failure proudly as proof of his own worth and integrity.
    That’s Israel.  They are solid in their belief in their own rectitude, they are solid in the rightness of their cause (and why not – they are right), they are solid even in their attempts to help out those Palestinians with whom they come in contact, they are ruthlessly efficient – and they have no friends.  The stupid, inept, falling over themselves, lying, jackass Palestinians are somehow… well, “lovable” is a stretch for the murderous and entirely worthless bastards the sons of bitches truly are – but they do seem to have figured out how to get themselves felt sorry for by the world.
    It helps the Palestinians that the world is largely run by jackasses, of course, but knowing that doesn’t do Israel any good: it always has been.  The last European “leader” genuinely worth talking to was probably Marcus Aurelius.  The ones there now are sufficiently dumb that they can be played by morons, which is what the Palestinians are, and murderous morons at that.  The Israelis seem clueless about how to approach this.  They take pictures of themselves patching up wounded Palestinian kids, getting them clean water and medical care, etc., etc. – they’re piling up points with God, but not here on the ground.
    This is a very tough arena, the arena of the mind and the world’s perception.  And they’ve gotten themselves dug in pretty deep.  I have no brilliant advice for them.  Maybe the best thing for Israel to do would be appear weak and helpless – humanity loves an underdog – but that would be far too dangerous for them.  If they did that they would very quickly be be up to their eyes in assholes yelling “allahu-la-di-da-baloney-sandwich-at-the-bar!” or something.
    It’s about perception, not reality.  They believe in reality, and that really does them damage in how they’re perceived.  They can’t afford to screw around, when they get attacked they have to hit back and get it over with quick, but that makes them unsympathetic.  Ruthless efficiency doesn’t play with the masses, as Ralph Houk could tell you.  I wish Israel well and will help out where I can but, like you, I have no ready answer for them.   


    Regarding Benghazi, it appears that Hillary genuinely believes that she can run on “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
    So, it’s no accident that she hired, Peter “dude, that was two years ago” Vietor to work with her.

  • Charles Martel

    “Maybe the best thing for Israel to do would be appear weak and helpless.”
    jj, please remember you’re talking about Jews. If Israel were to appear helpless, Jew haters like Kerry, Hillary, The New York Times, Muslims, Palestinians, liberal Protestants, Max Blumenthal, and the Europeans would sniff blood in the air and joyfully move in for the kill.

    • Bookworm

      So, Charles Martel, am I following you correctly that Jews are damned if they do and damned if they don’t?  

      Yeah, that sounds about right.  But jj, as always, has hit the nail on the head about the Jewish/Israeli consciousness that keeps that country from fighting the propaganda battle head on.

      • Ymarsakar

        They don’t have to do a doomsday fight against the propaganda. They can START by not releasing Palestinian death riders for dead Israeli bodies. How about starting there?

  • JKB

    So now the National Park Service is streaming ‘Deliverance’ at the welcome centers?  That’s a big story about gays in the woods.  

  • Matt_SE

    Wow. That’s a lot of ground you covered there, Book. Another great post.
    And at the end: Bill Whittle is always a show-stopper.

  • Charles Martel

    Regarding the national park recognition of gays doing something or another at whatever place that’s being memorialized: Will the plaques or display cards say something like, “Despite constant attacks from Native Americans, so-and-so built the first trading post on this site. Every day, after closing at 5 p.m., he would retire to his humble cabin and sodomize or be sodomized by his same-sex partner.” 
    Wow, we all really need to know that. It’s such an important datum. 

  • shirleyelizabeth

    My representative, Matt Salmon, is in Mexico now to meet with Tahmooressi and plead his case. Here’s hoping something is accomplished.
    ( Matt Salmon is the one whose gay son refused to speak of him or his politics negatively when baited on talk shows.)