Thursday evening round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSorry for the long silence today. I had a standard-issue medical test done on me this morning and, while I passed with flying colors (I’m such an overachiever), the procedure knocked me off my pins and I’m only now getting back to something akin to normal.

I haven’t yet had the chance to read today’s news (which I think looks sort of like yesterday’s news, right down to yet another air tragedy), but I have a ginormous backlog of links I gathered yesterday that I’d still like to share. So, fasten your seat belts and . . . we’re off!

** 1 **

Just an observation about Israel’s efforts to rout Hamas in Gaza: Many, myself included, think that this is Israel’s moment in Gaza. The ones who are openly supporting her incursion are all Israelis (as opposed to merely some Israelis), most Americans, European heads of state, the EU (!), and citizens of good will the world over. Heck, even the notorious anti-Israel Washington Post has another editorial denouncing Hamas and insisting that it must be disarmed before Israel gives up the fight.

The ones who are tacitly supporting her incursion are heads of state all over the Arab world who, scared by both Iran and ISIS and, as in Egypt’s case, deeply hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood, are keeping silent or even castigating Hamas. The only ones who are opposed to Israel having the chance, once and for all, to destroy one of the world’s most malignant terrorist organizations, are Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the hate-ridden Muslim and hard-Left rioters in European and American citizens.

** 2 **

At the end of my conversation with Sol Giggleweed, I added that, in a comparison between Hamas the Nazis, the Nazis are actually better than Hamas insofar as they revered their own women. My sister added another Nazi virtue that Hamas lacked: the Nazis did not use their own women and children as living, breathing defense systems.

Apropros this reverence for life, check out this Facebook post.

Indeed, even canine life comes in for care (in stark contrast to the Muslim world, which hates dogs and, at least in Pakistan, tortures them for fun):

Israelis care for dogs


** 3 **

Arabs, Muslims, and Leftists keep agitating for a return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Rhymes with Right agrees in principle, but differs somewhat as to precisely which pre-1967 borders Israel should be returned.

** 4 **

I don’t understand why America’s multiculturalists aren’t more up in arms about ISIS’s blatant disrespect for Christian culture in Iraq. (And yes, I’m being very, very, very sarcastic there.)

** 5 **

Yet another article about the U.S. State Department’s absolutely disgraceful failure to bring over to the U.S. the Afghani interpreters who now sit in the Taliban’s cross hairs.

** 6 **

Yes, it’s true. The University of Wisconsin at Madison is planning to move to race-based grading: Teachers are required to add a separate (and impliedly lower) bell curve for grading for non-whites. You’d think things such as this would bring non-whites to the realization that the Left thinks they’re really stupid.

** 7 **

HBO no longer makes any pretense of hiding its hardcore DemProg credentials. Even its obscene, sex-obsessed vampires are DemProgs so, when they get the opportunity, they apparently used an imaginary Ted Cruz fundraising as the opportunity to engage in some foul-mouthed Republican and women bashing. Ted Cruz and his aide Amanda Carpenter, however, elegantly and easily show why mental midgets shouldn’t tangle with people infinitely smarter than they are.

** 8 **

You know what happens to a socialized manufacturing sector? Nothing. It doesn’t innovate, grow, or create wealth. Instead, as Venezuela has demonstrated for the umpteenth time, socialized manufacturing sectors collapse very badly. (Article is behind a Wall Street Journal pay wall.)

** 9 **

Should you be able to get behind that Wall Street Journal pay wall, you should also read Daniel Henninger’s scathing denunciation of a president who is just too bored, busy, and important to deal with the crises popping up all over the place. He’s not even trying to play crisis whack-a-mole. He’s just walking away and looking for the next fundraising party.

If you can’t get behind that pay wall, you can still read Mark Steyn on Obama’s vanishing act, played across the backdrop of the endless rewind and replay in the Middle East.

** 10 **

Britain is mad at Russia because of the fact that pro-Russian fighters in Ukraine, armed with cutting edge Russian weapons, shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Of the almost 300 people who died, many were British subjects. Britain is so mad, in fact, that it’s reviving the case of Alexander Litvinenko, a Putin critic who died very painfully in England from polonium poisoning.

** 11 **

One of my tawdry media indulgences is the Daily Mail, which is a combination of sleaze, trash, eccentric wonders, and actual cutting-edge news from all over the world. One of the things I’ve noticed lately in the Daily Mail is the number of young to middle-aged bankers who have been killing themselves or dying of mysterious circumstances. Zero Hedge has noticed too and obviously wondered whether it’s just a coincidence that we’re aware of because of world wide reporting or if something really weird is going on.

** 12 **

Planned Parenthood continues to teach Americans young women about sexual perversion. Says Ed Morrissey:

Planned Parenthood gets millions of dollars for sex education and other programs from the federal government, and the education they provide is exactly what those parents predicted. No 15-year-old needs instruction on how to let herself get handcuffed or tied to trees by her boyfriend as part of rational education about health and sex. If a 15-year-old even hinted that her boyfriend was pressing her to try these kinds of activities, that calls for an intervention, not a how-to for submission. The advice to watch pornos for further sex education threatens to distort the teen’s sexuality for a lifetime, from a healthy expression of love and pleasure in the context of marriage to decades of being someone else’s rag doll for exploitation.

This isn’t education. It’s indoctrination, and the cultivation of Planned Parenthood clients for the next 20 years. Planned Parenthood can continue to offer sex education, but it shouldn’t get tax dollars to do so.

** 13 **

Jonathan Turley, a Barack Obama voter and law professor, has made a name for himself of late by speaking out against the expanding administrative state. He sees the D.C. Circuit’s Halbig decision, which confines Obamacare subsidies to state-established exchanges per the laws explicit language, as a very important one and contrasts it favorably against the 4th Circuits King decision, which ignored the statute’s explicit, unambiguous language in favor of a “well, I think the legislature really wanted to do this” analysis:

At the heart of the conflict is a fundamentally different view of the role not just of federal courts but also of federal agencies. I have long been a critic of the rise of a type of fourth branch within our system. The Framers created a tripartite system based on three equal branches. The interrelation of the branches guarantees that no branch could govern alone and protects individual liberty by from the concentration of power in any one branch.

We now have a massive system of 15 departments, 69 agencies and 383 nonmilitary sub-agencies with almost three million employees. Citizens today are ten times more likely to be the subject of an agency court ruling than a federal court ruling. The vast majority of “laws” in this country are actually regulations promulgated by agencies, which tend to be practically insulated and removed from most citizens.

** 14 **

The government is still doing a fancy dance around Obamacare. Separate from the fact that the administrative branch went all legislative and re-wrote the statute to suit the Democrats’ political purposes, the fact remains that the Exchange’s only measurable success is getting people onto the exchange. Everything else . . . well, not so good.

** 15 **

Hundreds of California taxpayers and professors are upset about the fact that San Francisco State University used taxpayer funds for terrorist outreach. I agree with their anger. I’m only sorry that we don’t live in a country that actually supports the rule of law. Since Hamas is a designated terrorist organization, in a law-abiding country, the federal government would have come down on SFSU and the errand faculty like a ton of federal bricks.

** 16 **

Back in the 1930s, the primary difference between Soviet Communism and German and Italian fascism was that the former nationalized businesses while the latter allowed them to exist (and profit), provided that they subordinated themselves to the government agenda. Jonah Goldberg, in talking about Elizabeth Warren’s efforts to subordinate American business to the federal government DemProg agenda, never mentions 1930s era fascism, but I couldn’t help noticing the structural similarities.

** 17 **

And while we’re speaking of that cozy relationship between business and DemProgs, here’s more on the federal government’s policy of privatizing corporate profits (if they make a profit overseas, they keep it) and socializing their losses (if they lose money, taxpayers suck up the loss).  You don’t need to look overseas, of course.  Obamacare is one big gift to the insurance industry.  That makes it something everyone can hate:  conservatives hate it because it brings health care under federal government control and socializes costs; Leftists hate it because these socialized costs are all funneled into the insurance company’s pockets.

** 18 **

There’s an old saying that, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. When it comes to the Obama White House and its efforts to hide all of its agents’ emails, mails, documents, texts, etc., there’s a new old saying:  Where there’s neither smoke nor fire, there’s a cover-up. The most recent one involves Shirley Sherrod.

** 19 **

Trey Gowdy continues to be IRS Commissioner Koskinen’s worst nightmare:

Gowdy must have been one hotshot trial lawyer.

** 20 **

Andrew Klavan takes a satirical look at one of the real security concerns flowing from the Obama-manufactured border (border? what border?) crisis:

** 21 **

Moral high ground

How Iron Dome works


Taking cover in a war zone

Carpenter Ants

Ask what you can do for your mother

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  • JKB

    An amusing look at Hollywood’s history with a rerun of the 1987, Robocop on one of the out there sat channels. I just watched a bit but saw two interesting side snipes that proved to be so very wrong.

    At the start of the movie, they have the “news” setting the scene. One report is of the President giving a from-orbit speech on the new Star Wars platform, which embarrassingly had a power failure. Later toward the end, another “news” scene reports a misfire of the platform on start up hitting California, and killing the ex-President living in the Santa Barbara area. Hmmm?

    But, of course, Iron Dome is a derivative of the missile defense system work of the 1980s. And it seems to be paying off quite well.

    Funny thing, when the movies started doing anti-American propaganda, they don’t age that well. Or at least parts become comedic.

  • taboo

    Just a note. The Wall Street Journal allows access directly from google searches.
    So, if you follow the link, then google the headline….you can then link straight in to the full article.

  • qr4j

    To Jews, what I am about to say may sound odd. I certainly don’t intend it to be rude or insulting. Here ’tis: One of my goals in life is to become an honorary Jew.

    Why honorary and not converted? Well, a man called Jesus (not to mention his mother) gets in the way of that.

    Why the goal? First and foremost, God through the Jewish people gave me Jesus, the person around which all my life has revolved. I owe a great debt to Jews for this immeasurable gift. Closely tied to that is a second reason — a theological one: The Hebrew scriptures teach us that we human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. While all creation is special and precious, humans are even more so. Therefore, human life must be respected in order to respect God. One cannot respect God without respecting human beings; the two are inextricably linked.

    Another reason for the goal: Jews have suffered greatly for who they are. As a Christian, I am called to share the burden of others and do what I can to relieve their suffering. The Jew I most admire — a man who lived in Palestine some 2,000 years ago — shared my burden even to the point of suffering a violent, unjust execution. As his disciple, I am called to follow the path where he walked.

    Moreover: Today Jews are being attacked from all sides — even by so-called friends — despite the fact that the Jewish state is the only state in the Middle East who respects human life. Elsewhere in the world, Jews suffer hatred and acts that stem from such hatred.

    There’s an old gospel hymn with these lyrics: “Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No, there’s a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me.” Substitute “Jews” for “Jesus” and think about that in light of Jewish history and current situation. Must Jews bear the suffering alone? Or will the rest of us stand with them? Will I stand with them? How can I do my part?

    • lee

      One small thing: Jesus was from Judea. The Romans didn’t change the name to “Palestine” until after they crushed the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135.

    • Bookworm

      No offense taken, qr4j. Your sentiment explains why I don’t fear America’s conservative Christians. I fear only the Leftist ones whose Christianity seems more closely aligned to the Democrat party platform than to the Bible

      • Caped Crusader

        Bookworm, which explains why most churches are only shadows of their former selves. They have abandoned their true calling to preach truth and morals, and instead a gospel of liberalism and no moral truths or roots; same goes for most synagogues; so the people have no correct teachings upon which they can build their lives.

        Black churches with their many self anointed “reverends” are merely extensions of the Democrat party and would vote for the Devil himself as long as he was a dem.

        I realized over 30 years ago that the faith in the pews was much stronger than anything in the pulpits. At class reunions most with whom I attended services no longer bother to go. The loss of faith being only in the churches and not in their belief.

  • JKB

    An interesting letter to his senator by a university professor calling for a removal of the illegal tax exemption for critical ethnic studies whose sole and stated purpose if political advocacy, for their BDS support.

    “Such support is already illegal under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, which prohibits the use of tax-exempt money for political and ideological purposes.”

    Well, that certainly shines some light on why the DemProgs are going after the 501(c)(4)s but not the (3)s. Controlling the universities, the DemProgs are violating the tax laws with their campus political advocacy.

    • Bookworm

      It always boils down to money, doesn’t it? I mean, the ultimate goal is power, of course, but the political manipulation is to fund that power.

  • Libby

    Ted Cruz gets what Andrew Breitbart meant when he said the Right needed to engage the popular culture. The conservative artist Sabo created a poster of Cruz in response to HBO:

    I would be concerned that he included Michelle, except it’s come out that HBO attempted to get Sarah Palin to appear in this episode – to ambush her, really, in that they didn’t tell her the episode was to mock Cruz (whom she supports) and conservative women. That’s low.
    * * *

    I don’t know of this is a difference or a similarity, but compare Hitler’s T4 eugenics program to the muslim terrorists (which may include Hamas?) who use disabled and mentally disabled children as suicide bombers. Just sick.

  • David Foster

    qr4j…your comment, and especially the hymn you cited, reminded me of an eloquent piece of writing by Peter Drucker (Austrian by birth, lived in German until 1933), in which he described three men he knew who became at various levels Nazis or Nazi enablers:

    –Reinhold Hensch (“the Monster”), who came from a working-class family, became an SS officer. He summed up his motivations to Drucker thusly: “Now I have a party membership card with a very low number and *I am going to be somebody*.”

    –Paul Schaeffer (“the Lamb”) became editor of a major newspaper, believing he could influence the regime toward moderation. He disappeared when the front that he provided was no longer needed.

    –An un-named professor, a distinguished biochemist and a “great liberal,” was expected by many to raise objections at the faculty’s first meeting with their newly-appointed Nazi watchdog. His main concern was about maintaining the level of research funding.

    Interestingly, Hensch had a Jewish girlfriend…he advised her to leave the country and asked Drucker to help her when they both went abroad.

    Knowing these people led Drucker to object to the Hannah Arendt “banality of evil” formulation:

    “Evil works through the Hensches and the Schaeffers precisely because evil is monstrous and men are trivial…Man becomes the instrument of evil when, like the Hensches, he thinks to harness evil to his ambitions; and he becomes the instrument of evil when, like the Schaeffers, he joins with evil to prevent worse…I have often wondered which of these two did, in the end, more harm–the Monster or the Lamb; and which is worse, Hensch’s sin of the lust for power or Schaeffer’s hubris and sin of pride? But maybe the greatest sin is neither of these two ancient ones; the greatest sin may be the new twentieth-century sin of indifference, the sin of the distinguished biochemist who neither kills nor lies but refuses to bear witness when, in the words of the old gospel hymn, “They crucify my Lord.””

    • Bookworm

      “Evil works through the Hensches and the Schaeffers precisely because evil is monstrous and men are trivial…”

      That’s absolutely correct and explains why Arendt’s analysis never quite worked for me.

  • Mike Devx

    It troubles me that our news reporting concerning Hamas has been rather superficial, naive, and infantile.

    It’s becoming clear that Hamas’ huge tunnel-building operation into Israel has been wholly funded and planned by Iran. The enormity of the effort, and its sophistication, makes Iran’s direct involvement obvious in retrospect.

    Iran is reportedly very upset at Hamas for starting this war AT THIS TIME. They wanted the tunnel threat – and the overall Hamas threat – from the south to remain in place. With a huge threat from Hamas to the south, Hezbollah to the North, and Iran from the east, Iran’s ability to overwhelm Israel would have given Israel daunting consideration as the Israel-Iran conflict heats up (which it will).

    And this explains why Isael is now taking the Hamas military threat – and especially the tunnels – VERY seriously. This is not really about Hamas at all; it’s about Iran, a much more serious, terrifying enemy.

    Israel is going to neutralize Hamas as a serious military threat, if it can. The rat-bastards of Hezbollah would likely be next. Then the stage will be set: Iran’s desire to achieve a functional nuclear program for the purpose of threatening to destroy Israel (and other Arab countries and the West), vs Israel’s determination to not let Iran destroy them.

    We will all be better off if this can be kept relatively quiet and stable until that feckless pile of wet-paper mush named Obama is safely out of office. If someone – and I don’t care who – can set back Iran’s nuclear program by just three years, it would manna from heaven.

  • raymondjelli

    If the news wasn’t always naive, superficial and infantile Obama could never have been elected. Even worse the media is willfully naive, superficial and infantile.

    • Caped Crusader

      “Even worse the media is willfully naive, superficial and infantile.”

      I will never be happy until everyone understands it is none of this; but true, despicable, unfettered, unvarnished EVIL. and call it out as such, regardless of who supports it! Even if it is someone you know! Until this is understood by all of us we are on the losing side. due to our timidity and lack of force of will. Shape up gang and call EVIL by its name.

  • qr4j

    I love what Joan Rivers says about Israel and Hamas, comparing the situation to New Jersey and New York. It is classic! Love this:

    I hope I did the website citation correctly. I’ve not done that before.