Monday at dusk round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesThere’s a study out saying that owning a dog will make you look 10 years younger. I’ve got two dogs. Does that mean I look 20 years younger? I doubt it, but I know that owning dogs makes me at least 20 years happier than the next person. 😉

** 1 **

We’ve long suspected that Washington, D.C. is so disengaged from the rest of America as to be a separate country. The TSA has now made that suspicion official: at least one of its agents refused to recognize a D.C. driver’s license.

** 2 **

Even as Hamas places its weapons caches and launchers in schools and hospitals, and tells its citizens to ignore the fliers that Israel sends out before bombing a terrorist location, this is what the Israeli Defense Forces do:

IDF soldiers protecting a child with their bodies


An Israeli women shared this online saying that on her way back home she heard the rocket sirens while sitting in her car. When she got out, soldiers from an IDF vehicle nearby gathered around the woman’s son and protected him with their own bodies.

This is the true face of the Israel Defense Forces – protecting and preserving life.


** 3 **

Hillel Neuer has put together a very simple test so that you can determine whether you’re truly interested in human rights or, instead, are just a garden-variety anti-Semite (or, as Neuer more politely phrases it “anti-Israel”).

I think Obama falls in the second category:

** 4 **

My Watcher’s Council comrade-in-arms, Snoopy the Goon, writes from the front lines in Israel, where the bombs are falling. It seems as if Israelis are finally saying “Enough! We must fight to win, not just to give Hamas time to re-arm.”

Snoopy also caught what may be the most blatantly, stupidly anti-Israel headline the British Guardian newspaper has ever published.  It’s as if the Guardian was trying to out do Dry Bones without understanding that Dry Bones is satire:

It won't be a big deal until Israel fires back

** 5 **

The world has become very surreal when you find yourself periodically nodding in agreement with an Egyptian talk show host’s assessment of Hamas:

** 6 **

My sister and I got around to talking about the changing nature of sex and sex crimes on college campuses. It used to be that boys and girls lived in separate facilities, their events were chaperoned, nice girls didn’t drink, and nice boys didn’t get drunk around nice girls. Now, they share bathrooms and shower stalls (go to 2:20 in this video, for example), sleep in the same rooms, get blotto drunk at parties, and hook up with just anybody. Then, when a girl has Sunday morning regrets after a drunken debauch on Saturday night, it’s the boy who gets in trouble (or maybe the boys). As the mother of a future male college student, I think this stinks.

In criminal law, a person’s drunkenness doesn’t excuse bad acts. That is, you can’t say “I didn’t have the proper criminal intent because I was drunk.” If you freely drank yourself to drunkenness, that decision to leave your rational mind behind is itself evidence of criminal intent.

I think that same standard should apply to women who willingly drink to the point of incoherence, only to discover later that they slept with someone they didn’t like or, worse, that a bunch of equally drunk (although presumably still functional) guys had sex with her while she was unconscious. They should all be kicked off of campus, the whole drunken lot of them, rather than treating the woman as the victim and the men as the criminals. Once you start ejecting all of them, I bet the campus drinking culture will dry up pretty quickly.

But the campus is what it is now, which led me to say, half-jokingly, to my sister, “God help me, but I feel my son would be safer at college if I told him ‘If you need to have sex, invest in condoms and go to a high-priced hooker. At least she probably won’t scream rape the next day.'” I’m exaggerating, of course, because I find prostitution inherently demeaning and exploitative. Moreover, if the FBI has its way, prostitution will also be more dangerous than it needs to be.

** 7 **

Rolling Stone has uploaded a post identifying “The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America.” The post itself is too stupid to click through. What makes it worthwhile are the comments. Here’s a sampling:

I can play the headline/no substance game too.

Top 5 Most dangerous Bears to watch out for this Summer

1.) Bears with teeth
2.) Bears with claws
3.) Large bears
4.) Small bears
5.) Medium sized bears

“Popular among handgun-owners, pistols are defined by their built-in barrel and short stock.”

Oh man this sentence was hysterical. It seriously doesn’t even make sense. Popular among handgun owners? They are handguns! Build in barrel? The barrels are removable, but I don’t even think that’s what you’re referring to. Short stock? Pistols don’t have a stock. If you were talking about cars, it would litterally read, “Popular among automobile owners, cars are defined by their built-in tires and short flatbeds.”

Ignorance is required to write something this glaringly stupid.

Hey Kristen,
maybe you can do and article on the 3 most dangerous dog breeds.
1. Large
2. Medium
3. Small

Really…The article can simply be summed up with one sentence:
“Kristen Gwynne thinks guns are icky, because potato”

I’m glad to see Rolling Stone is hiring special needs writers.

I could do this for hours. Tons of the 1000+ comments are brilliant.

** 8 **

We’ve talked for years about the “hate speech” laws in England which are, instead, censorship laws. Those laws are moving to America. In Maryland, graffiti opposing illegal immigrants (without ever mentioning race) is being investigated as hate speech. I consider graffiti vandalism, but this is not a hate crime.

** 9 **

Obama’s love-affair with himself is escalating. He is the hero in his own drama, with Americans alternating playing the roles of villainous foils or adoring fans. Ron Fournier suggests that this self-aggrandizing pose is unpresidential.

** 10 **

Aside from the occasional maudlin, belligerent forays into self-love or subject-specific Republican-hate, when it comes to Obama’s speeches, when you’ve heard one, you’ve heard them all :

** 11 **

The Obama administration has tried to claim that the refugee crisis on our Southern border is because of some vague, inchoate violence somewhere down south there in that far-away Latin American place. This surprisingly indescribable, unspecifiable violence is apparently so bad that these children have to trek through several Latin American countries, all the way to Texas, in order to escape it. That’s what the administration says. Will you be surprised to learn that this is untrue?

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  • Charles Martel

    Regarding the Guardian’s Pythonesque headline, it occurs to me that anti-Semites in general are rather stupid people. I don’t say that to be insulting, just observational. You have to be stupid to write a headline like that and not see its absurdity. Upon such stupidity O’Brien and the Party were able to build the ultimate dictatorship in “1984.”

    Now stupidity does not bar cunning. You can be cunning like Lenin, or Stalin, or Hitler in terms of acquiring power and figuring out how many people you have to murder to retain it. The stupidity comes in when, as stupid people are wont to do, you begin killing those around you who are smarter than you. The Nazis drove the world’s most brilliant physicists (Joooooos!) to America, while Stalin executed his most brilliant military people lest they actually exercise their intelligence. In both systems—left-wing to the core in outlook and exercise—blind adherence to, respectively, doctrines of racial purity and proletarian dictatorship led to a reign or morons. Destructive, murderous morons, to be sure, but absolute dolts nonetheless.

    When you look at the idiots who form the current regime in Washington, it’s easy to detect the same low level of higher intelligence. Who says “Planet of the Apes” is a fantasy?

  • Charles Martel

    “reign or morons” should read “reign of morons.” (Martel, “Physician, heal thyself.”)

  • Texan99

    I’ve got so many dogs I shouldn’t have been born yet.

  • JKB

    Hillary Clinton on the Daily Show was just talking about how we, America, don’t get our story out there, for the world and for the young. That we were better back during the Cold War. And that we needed to get better at our PR.

    So, she just came out against the whole DemProg undermining of the teaching of American history. The whole DemoProg Journolist effort to undermine the US at ever turn.

    It’ll be spun but it seems even Hillary sees that the all negative on the US, all the time is a turn off. We may see a surge in interest in American history and America’s founding documents. People are just tired of all the negativity and running down of America. Especially as the world is now on the verge of flames.

    • Ymarsakar

      America hasn’t even seen the real negatives, which the Left covered up.

  • JohnC


    That article was so stupid it hurt my feelings.

    • lee

      But some of the comments are priceless.

      The “in” gag at this point seems to be listing the five most dangrous whatevers, with the fifth being a “Derringer Whatever”:

      The 5 Most Dangerous Diseases.
      1. Diseases that have killed you.
      2. Diseases that will kill you
      3. Diseases that might kill you
      4. Diseases that won’t kill you
      5. Derringer’s Disease

      The 5 most dangerous foods:
      1. food you eat
      2. food you swallow.
      3. food you digest.
      4. food you crap.
      5. derringer food.

      Five most dangerous cannoli:
      1. Cannoli left behind in the car Paulie Gatto is driving (because the fingerprints lead right to Pete Clemenza).
      2. Cannoli that get taken, but that someone later chokes on.
      3. Cannoli that are misspelled as canolli.
      4. Cannoli filled with Derringers
      5. That last, poisoned cannoli (cannolo?) in the economy box of a dozen cannoli given to Don Altobello by Connie. (Next time, have Connie taste-test the last one, not the first one).
      (The Derringer move up to spot four in this list.)

      Top 5 musicians you’ve never heard of:
      1. Rock and Roll
      2. Blues
      3. Country
      4. Hip Hop
      5. Rick Derringer

      Top 5 things that WILL kill you while walking.
      1 Walking on the sun
      2 Walking off a cliff
      3 Space walking without a suit
      4 Walking the plank
      5 Walking near Kristen Gwynne as she is walking and chewing gum at the same time with a Derringer

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s like the Egyptian media is realizing all their Jihadi leaders are Obamas instead.

  • JKB

    As I mentioned in an earlier open thread, I’m reading ‘The Invention of the Modern World’ by Alan MacFarlane. As I read, I can’t help but get the sense that the entire DemProg project is geared, knowingly or not, to repeal modernity. All the elements that make a modern country seem to be what they are against. Below, is an excerpt from the origins of capitalism. To me, the DemProgs want the wealth but seek the pre-modern times of the European cities of the 15th to 17th centuries.

    Do not be deceived into thinking modernity is a natural progression. We could easily slip back into a pre-modern state. Much of the world has not been modern that long. Many only gaining the freedom to access it in the 1980s. MacFarlane states that most of the Middle East and much of Africa are still pre-modern (it is not governed by technology but by separation of spheres of influence.). Israel is, of course, a modern nation in a sea of pre-moderns and must fight tooth and nail to retain their modernity in the face of invasion.

    Here is the bit on the origins of capitalism. I think you will agree that Obama and the DemProg policies seem to be directly arranged to attack the roots of capitalism, namely seeking profit, saving and reinvesting with an eye toward the ever expanding pool of profit vice the fixed pie to be distributed.

    “AT THE HEART of capitalism there is an attitude towards profit maximization and the saving or spending of wealth. Max Weber pointed out that while the great cities of Italy, Spain or France in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries were full of wealth, luxury, money, consumerism, yet they were in their essential spirit ‘pre-capitalist’. Meanwhile, in the rural backwoods of America, Benjamin Franklin and his friends showed in their attitudes to time, money, investment and saving, a capitalist ideology.

    “In other words, the Weberian ‘Protestant Ethic’ is there in England, certainly after the Protestant Reformation, but also well before. The legal cases, the literary sources, the village records, none of them indicate a sudden watershed or move from a pre-capitalist ethic to a capitalist one. The acquisitive, wealth-pursuing, rational and dis-embedded accumulation is there in Chaucer and the legal records of England from the fourteenth century onwards.

    “It is this ethic which found its expression in the austere, saving, calculating world of English Puritanism, but it was also there much earlier. And it is, as Weber noted, the engine that drives that capital accumulation, the re-investment for profit, which gradually leads a country to become richer.

    “In most societies, temporary success in accumulation is normally used for consumption, display and gifts, for fear that it will be grabbed by the powerful or destroyed through war. On the contrary, the ‘Protestant Ethic’ enjoined hard work, time and labour saving, re-investment for profit. All of this is a feature which distinguished England from most countries, though the Dutch, as Simon Schama points out in Embarrassment of Riches, had the same tendency. It was not just the forms but also the spirit of capitalism which was early present in England.

    “The outcome was a constant striving for more – as my school motto put it, ‘Striving for the sun’. There was not, as in most cultures, a fixed limit. There was always extra profit to be made, or fears of ruin to be allayed.”

    • JKB

      Underlying all this is secure property rights to the individual, which seem to be becoming less and less secure all the time these days.

    • Texan99

      If you want to gauge how likely a society is to start growing economically and alleviate the misery of its poorest members, find out how it feels about usury. There’s a long depressing history of believing that it’s wrong to charge money for the use of money. There’s also a long depressing history of societies secretly concluding that it makes total sense to charge money for the use of money, and of assigning the task to the Jews, then vilifying them for performing the assigned task. In fact, you can usually find out how receptive a society is to capitalism–and therefore modern material progress–by finding out how it feels about its Jews.

      I don’t think it’s an accident that the Middle East, apart from Israel, is mired in crazy economics and poverty at the same time that it’s seething with hatred for Jews, as well as for any other country with a modern, capitalist, successful economy. They envy the wealth, but (like American leftists) they indulge in the childish fantasy that they can appropriate the wealth while preserving an idyllic pre-modern village culture in which each person is assigned a secure task with a lifetime supply of basic necessities.

      • JKB

        Interesting, your observation about giving the money lending over to Jews then treating them as dishonorable. Seems in England, lending at reasonable rates was common. However, in the more tribal/familial societies, where lending was on the edge of the social group rather than a part of it, high, usurious rates of up to 100% were the norm. I wonder if we could correlate anti-semitism to this?

        There is, of course, a lot of cross contamination in our experience as continental and English habits have co-mingled.

        I was intrigued to learn that share-cropping was essentially unknown in England, having disappeared before the Middle Ages. This made me curious where the practice came from when it was instituted the Democrats in the South after the Civil War.

        Purely, my own speculation, but I’m starting to see the South as pre-Modern up until the abolition of Jim Crow. Not completely but in a broad enough spectrum to influence the culture. Also, the Ante-Bellum South was more aligned with continental Europe than England in habits and economics. Of course, having thrown off the limitations of apartheid and been freed from the tyranny of the Democratic party’s paramilitary arm (KKK), the Southerners embraced modernity quite well.

        I’ve been wondering about the oft repeated mass migration of Southern Democrats to the Republican party after the Civil Rights Act. I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t those held under threat of violence by the Democratic party’s paramilitary arm finally being free to vote their conscious, which for many years meant not voting Democrat given who ran the Southern part of the Democratic Party. Of course, they swung back Democrat for Carter but that didn’t work out to well.

      • Ymarsakar

        Usury was against Church law, JKB, thus Jews who weren’t Christians, didn’t have to adhere to that law. And that church law probably did come from aristocrats, who had money, charging 100% interest to peasants.

      • Ymarsakar

        There’s also the example of Jesus Christ over turning the tables of the money changers and driving them out of the city with a whip. That’s because the money changers were defrauding people using crooked scales, balances, weights, etc.

        • Ron19

          Your proof?

          Which Bible translation are you using?

          • Ymarsakar

            You never read that particular story?

          • Ymarsakar


            These days we have the internet. You might want to start using it. It’s not that hard.

          • Ron19

            I’ve read similar stories, but never the version that you seem to be referring to.

            Yamar, an ad hominem attack is not an answer to a legitimate question.

  • Libby

    Gun control advocates being so clueless about that which they would ban is the gift that keeps giving. I’m surprised that writer didn’t include nerf, potato, and pop-tart guns in her list, too.
    * * *
    One of the best illustrations of the difference between the Israelis and the Palestinians I’ve read is this story relayed by actor Larry Miller:

    Hard to wrap your head around this kind of soul-killing hatred.

  • raymondjelli

    Ready made headlines for the Guardian

    Racist Coppers called by racists angered by random drive by shootings in their neighborhood

    Gun owners mostly likely to use lethal bullets in self defense

    Jews. What’s the deal with that?

    Moderate Moslems use Mild Explosives

    Fears of Big Brother Allayed By Establishment of Caliphate in England

    There are extremists on both sides. Some are extremely violent. Some are extremely dead. So there!!!