Mid-day Monday round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSince I am currently still a little bit too incapacitated to resume martial arts, I’m looking for new ways to keep fit, aside from physical therapy. Today, I tried Pilates. It was a very nice class — good facility, good teacher, pleasant fellow fitness enthusiasts. Also, for someone who likes the dynamics of martial arts, it was staggeringly dull. I will go again because it’s good for me . . but yech! Anyhoo, I hope that today’s round-up is more interesting than Pilates.

***

I’ve been reading scads of posts about Bowe Bergdahl, so here’s a little round-up of those I found most interesting:

The New York Post does a neat retelling of Bergdahl’s anything-but-ordinary journey from soldier to POW in Taliban hands.

Based upon his viciously anti-American emails before he vanished, Bergdahl’s comrades in arms believe that he deserted, rather than was kidnapped. Indeed, I heard on the radio that, shortly after he disappeared, Taliban forces attacked targets they couldn’t have known about without Bergdahl’s help. Of course, it’s equally possible that (1) these targets were more vulnerable than anyone thought, (2) Bergdahl was tortured to give out that information, or (3) the timing of the attacks vis a vis Bergdahl’s disappearance was a coincidence.

No one is thrilled about the five Taliban prisoners handed over in exchange for Bergdahl. It sends a dangerous signal that the Taliban can get their most precious assets back by kidnapping troops. And Allen West points out something really interesting about this whole prisoner thing:  The Taliban is usually a take-no-prisoners outfit, preferring to torture people to death. Why then did they hang on to Bergdahl for so long?

Is it just me or is it peculiar that Bergdahl’s dad claims that, after five years in captivity, Bergdahl can no longer speak English? I’ve never heard of something like that, unless Bergdahl suffered a brain injury or his father is given to exaggeration.  Bergdahl Sr. is a peculiar character, to say the least.  Not only did he offer a Muslim prayer on the White House lawn (allegedly because of Bergdahl’s English language deficiency, Pamela Keller has a tweet allegedly from Bergdahl Sr. talking about his efforts to free all Gitmo prisoners and celebrating the thought of American soldiers paying for the death of Afghan children.

Daddy dearest sounds a tad . . . um, unfriendly to the U.S. Really suspiciously so. It seems petty to remind him that it’s almost certain that more Afghan children have died from Taliban medievalism than from American bullets or bombs.

John Fund has a good summation about all that was illegal in Obama’s conduct when he unilaterally handed over to the Taliban some of the most dangerous prisoners America holds. (With my question being, can we impeach him now? But no.  I know we can’t, because it’s politically impossible to impeach the first black president. Obama also knows this, so he understands that he is operating, and can continue to operate, without any Constitutional constraints).

Black Five has the most temperate, well-rounded, comprehensive look at the whole Bergdahl story, covering whether he was a traitor or a victim, whether Obama broke the law or not, whether the deal is good or bad for America, and whether there was anything at all coincidental about the fact that, just as he’s coming under fire for treating vets like garbage, after having promised way back at the beginning of his presidency to save them, Obama magically produces America’s one POW.

Finally, because climate change is connected to everything, Duffel Blog explains the confluence of Bergdahl and bad weather.

And now on to other stuff.

***

This headline sounds like a hoax: “Belarus plans to bring back serfdom.” It’s the kind of thing you expect to read at the Duffel Blog humor site, and not at the stodgy Financial Times. But the FT is exactly where you’ll find it:

Alexander Lukashenko is living up to his reputation as Europe’s last remaining dictator. The president of Belarus has decided to bring back serfdom on farms in a bid to stop urban migration.

Lukashenko has announced plans to introduce legislation prohibiting farm labourers from quitting their jobs and moving to the cities. “Yesterday, a decree was put on my table concerning – we are speaking bluntly – serfdom,” the Belarus leader told a meeting on Tuesday to discuss improvements to livestock farming, gazeta.ru reported.

Just yesterday, before hearing this story, I mentioned to my sister that one of the terrible shocks about WWI was that, up until then, Western Europe believed that human kind was progressing in one direction, and that was away from its barbaric, animalistic roots. That dismay got worse when Germany went from being a warrior culture (which was okay) to becoming genocidal in a single generation.  This was all a terrible shock to Englightened sensibilities. Now, almost 70 years after WWII ended, we continue to be surprised at how minimally we have moved forward from barbarism, and how easy it is to slide backwards.

***

I predicted that gay marriage, as opposed to civil unions, would lead to a clash between First Amendment religious rights and newly discovered gay marriage civil rights. I’m not going to beat that horse again, except to say that, in today’s PC climate, the First Amendment goes out the window. I just have to celebrate a perfect headline at the The Federalist: “Make Them Bake Cake.”

Yes, we are laboring under the lash of a new aristocracy, aren’t we?  I assume serfdom’s in the future for us too.

***

San Francisco State University has long been one of the most radical “educational” institutions in America. That the faculty supports Islamo-fascist terrorists goes without saying. What needs to be said, though, is that at least one seems to have done so on the taxpayers’ dime.

***

We flat-earth, luddite, troglodyte conservatives have long been saying that biofuels are expensive, dirty, and deadly insofar as they divert food crops away from the poor or raise foodcrop prices, which amounts to the same thing. It seems that the rest of the world is finally deciding the same thing, so I guess we’re all flat-earthers now.

***

It’s worthwhile reading Daniel Botkin’s testimony about climate change before the House challenging the IPCC 2014, because he speaks in English, not scientificese. The core point is that of course the climate is changing, because it always changes.  What needs attention is the fact the IPCC relies on omission, distraction, uglification, and derision to exaggerate the effects of climate change and to lay the blame on human kind — or, more accurately, on the West.

To which I’ll add, “If we’re going to blame human kind, let’s blame the correct human kind”:

China is the world's worst polluter

***

I forgot to celebrate earlier that a federal judge — an Obama appointee no less — gave short shrift to the IRS’s many and spurious arguments to the effect that Z Street, a pro-Israel group, should not be allowed to sue it based upon Z Street’s claims that the IRS deliberately discriminated against it because it conflicted with Obama’s less friendly stance towards Israel. The discovery flowing from this ruling should be interesting insofar as it intersects with the other IRS scandal, the one that saw the IRS, in 2012, right before the election, try to shut down conservative organizations.

***

In 1996, California voters said “No!” to affirmative action. UCLA thinks the voters are idiots and that it, being an educational institution comprised of the best Progressive minds in the world, doesn’t need to abide by the voters’ desires or the law. The masses are so yesterday (they were only interesting from 1968-1974) and law is, as we all know, for the little people. UCLA has systematically been engaging in affirmative action, something one of its own professors discovered and exposed.

***

Andrew Bolt has fun with the fact that the British government believes that drought . . . no, wait, rain . . . uh, no, that’s not what we meant, we meant drought is the result of anthropogenic climate change.

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William A. Levinson says that we have to stop arguing with the Left. Instead, we have to out-propaganda them. I think Quin Hillyer is ready to climb on board with that one, since he’s thrown PC out the window and is calling things as he sees them. It’s quite refreshing, really, and it reminds us that one of the reasons conservatives cannot sell their ideas is because the Leftist thought police have deleted their vocabulary. (Orwell knew this all along.)

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Equally refreshing is the way in which Heather MacDonald eviscerates the feminists who have tried to own the narrative flowing from the blood bath created by the pathetic, crazy, UCSB killer.

***

And finally, a couple of pictures, one of which should make you cry and the other should make you laugh:

Bergdahl's Dad offers Muslim prayer

I meant to behave

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Comments

  1. says

    I thought torture was supposed to be unreliable, Book?
     
    “And now on to other stuff.”
     
    Thank God.
     
    “That dismay got worse when Germany went from being a warrior culture”
     
    The Prussians or people like Bismarck were the warrior class/culture. Germany itself had decayed from its Germanic roots. “Varus, give me back my legions!” Those legions were eaten up by Germanic tribal ambushes, if I recall.
     
    “Now, almost 70 years after WWII ended, we continue to be surprised at how minimally we have moved forward from barbarism, and how easy it is to slide backwards.”
     
    Europe’s Enlightenment was destroyed in WWI. All you saw afterwards were merely the death screams.
     
    The only place of progress after that was North America, Australia, and Japan. And the US took care of the British colonies in Africa, converting Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, and South Africa to a black rapist’s paradise.
     
     
    “I’m not going to beat that horse again”
     
    It’s not a “horse” you need to beat, I remind you. It’s a Demon Rat.
     
     
     
    “I assume serfdom’s in the future for us too.”
     
    What do you think welfare and Jim Crow were.
     
    “insofar as they divert food crops away from the poor or raise foodcrop prices, which amounts to the same thing. It seems that the rest of the world is finally deciding the same thing, so I guess we’re all flat-earthers now.”
     
    Only idiots in the West would consider converting their life blood, the food that feeds the people, into fuel to burn in Al Gore’s jets, a good thing.
     
    “It’s quite refreshing, really, and it reminds us that one of the reasons conservatives cannot sell their ideas is because the Leftist thought police have deleted their vocabulary. (Orwell knew this all along.)”
     
    Haha. Very witty, Book. But to fight propaganda, one must know something of propaganda. And how much do the Westerners that think themselves “educated” truly know about this subject? Far less than me, I assure you.
     
    “Equally refreshing is the way in which Heather MacDonald eviscerates the”
     
    I prefer real eviscerations, not rhetorical eviscerations.
     

  2. says

    “I think Quin Hillyer is ready to climb on board with that one, since he’s thrown PC out the window and is”
     
    I can’t read that article because the link goes to the wrong site.
     
    “Equally refreshing is the way in which Heather MacDonald eviscerates the”
     
    Although, notice how it fails as a psychological warfare op in that it fails to demonize or hurt feminists nor does it call into question the motivation of the Left. This is rather weak sauce if one wants to fight a war. Win a debate, perhaps. Fight a war? No.
     
     

  3. says

    “it was staggeringly dull. I will go again because it’s good for me . . but yech!”
     
    Reading the wiki, it seems like it is the German version of chi gong. But Pilates isn’t trade marked, so anyone can claim to offer it. Just like martial arts.
     
    Chinese arts combined slow movement with martial applications. That’s so that people don’t become bored of doing something for health, while gaining no martial benefits, and vice a versa.

  4. JohnC says

    It’s true.
     
    AP – “U.S. concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl walked away”
    A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.
     
    http://news.yahoo.com/us-concluded-2010-bergdahl-walked-away-185047684–politics.html

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