Thanks to global warming, we didn’t have our usual heat wave in May this year but, instead, had a series of extremely cold, often foggy and windy, days. Also, thanks to global warming, we didn’t have our usual three-day long heat wave in the first week of June this year, with the weather instead continuing to be extremely cold, as well as foggy and windy. Today, however, we had a hot day, so I guess that damn global warming is backing off a little.
I spent my day writing legal documents, and shlepping my mother to various appointments. I would have preferred to recline at my computer, reading and writing, while taking sips of a cool ice tea. Still, I am singularly blessed to have paying work and a living mother, so I can’t complain too much. (Or more accurately, I shouldn’t complain too much. Sadly, my temperament being what it is, I’m always capable of complaining.) I’m still working away, making up for work time spent with Mom, but there’s so much I want to share with you, I’ll just sneak in a few minutes of blogging here.
Captain Picard supports embattled British gay bakers
Considering that Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Picard from Star Trek : The Next Generation, is a good, card-carrying British Lefty, I almost fell out of my chair when I read this:
Patrick Stewart has weighed into the ‘gay cake’ debate, saying that he supports the right of the Christian bakers to refuse to ice messages they find offensive.
Ashers Bakery lost a court case after refusing to make a cake with the words “support gay marriage” above a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.
The McArthur family who own the bakery were found guilty of unlawful discrimination and fined £500.
While many celebrated the ruling as a blow for equal rights, Patrick Stewart said that he backed the bakery.
Talking on Newsnight, the actor said: “Finally, I found myself on the side of the bakers.”
Stewart argued that nobody should be forced to write specific text that they disagreed with.
“It was not because it was a gay couple that they objected, it was not because they were celebrating some sort of marriage or an agreement between them,” said Stewart. “It was the actual words on the cake they objected to. Because they found the words offensive.”
He continued: “I would support their rights to say no, this is personally offensive to my beliefs, I will not do it.”
Make it so, Captain Picard! Make it so!!!
Netanyahu goes on the offensive against the world
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is going on the offensive, not just against the Muslims raining rockets down on his country, but against a world that sits silent while this happens, only to speak up when Israel dares to respond to these deadly attacks:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the international community on Sunday morning for failing to condemn Gaza rocket fire at southern Israel.
“I did not hear a single member of the international community condemn the attack, and the UN did not say a word,” Netanyahu said. “I’m interested to see if the silence will continue when we act in self defense.”
“It should be clear: the hypocrisy that is sweeping the world will not chain our hands from defending the citizens of Israel,” he added.
Caroline Glick has also noticed that Netanyahu is taking on the world, and she too thinks it’s a good thing:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government is less than a month old, but it’s already apparent that it is different from its predecessors. And if it continues on its current diplomatic trajectory, it may do something that its six predecessors failed to accomplish. Netanyahu’s new government may improve Israel’s position internationally.
The flagship of the diplomatic war against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Participants in the movement propagate and disseminate the libelous claim that Israel’s use of force in self-defense is inherently immoral and illegal. Over the years BDS activists’ assaults on Israel’s right to exist have become ever more shrill and radical. So, too, whereas just a few years ago their operations tended to be concentrated around military confrontations, today they are everyday occurrences. And their demands become greater and more openly anti-Semitic from week to week and day to day.
The time has come, then, for Israel to take the wheels off the wagon.
For the past dozen years or so, pro-Israel activists in the US in particular have been fighting an uphill, lonely battle against the organizations promoting the BDS movement. Among their top complaints has been the constant refrain that the Israeli government has undermined their actions by standing silent or denying what was happening or treating Israel’s defenders as the moral equivalents of its adversaries.
All the while, Israel’s diplomatic standing has gone from weak to incapacitated.
Against this backdrop, statements and actions by the new Netanyahu government are encouraging because, unlike its predecessors, it seems to have stopped playing the fool.
At the outset of this week’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu spoke out angrily and specifically against the BDS movement and warned that Israel must not blame itself for the BDS haters’ assaults against it.
As he put it, “The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred. We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred. We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy.”
It’s high time Israel stops making nice with her enemies worldwide and, instead, starts calling them out on their gross and blatant hypocrisy. Meanwhile, Israel lives up to her standards by doing everything she can to protect those Druze citizens living in Syria.
Stay classy, United States Air Force
I’m ambivalent about Air Force General Hawk Carlisle’s decision to call an ISIS fighter a “moron.” As all those great cartoons and movies from WWII show, there’s a lot to be said for ridiculing the enemy. However, I think that ridicule somehow works better coming from the public sector, rather than from a high-ranking officer. It seems to diminish his rank, more than it ridicules the enemy.
Be that as it may, I think it’s also bad to boast about using social media to target terrorists. Armed with this knowledge, I suspect that next time the terrorists will be more careful.
Here’s some good WWII social satire:
A boxer remembers his tough, tough grandfather
Dustin Fleischer is an up-and-coming Jewish boxer training at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn. He comes by his toughness honestly:
Fleischer, who grew up in Monmouth Beach on the Jersey Shore, can recount his grandfather’s tale of survival in dark detail: how he hid in the attic while the Nazis murdered his family; how he was shot three times while trying to escape a concentration camp; how the gun jammed and he was left to die in the heart of winter; how he miraculously survived and slept between horses to stay warm; how he joined the Jewish resistance.
“As far as a fighter, it gives me so much strength in the ring to have his bloodline run through me,” Fleischer says later. “To know that he could survive something like that. It pushes me to reach my goal of becoming a world champion.”
Incidentally, as the same article explains, Jews have periodically made a name for themselves in the boxing world, going all the way back to the late 18th century in England.
A victory in King v. Burwell could unshackle the economy
I wrote here the other day about the fact that a lot of Republicans are worried that, if the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare, Republicans will be in trouble because they’ll be viewed as having destroyed the subsidies that so many Americans have come to know and love. Richard Pecore, however, points to an upside that could and should make all those petty subsidies irrelevant:
Without subsidies, the employer mandate is toothless, because employers are only fined if their uninsured workers go to an exchange and get a subsidy.
Employers who have been struggling to keep their workforce under 50 (where ObamaCare kicks in) and use part-timers (who aren’t subject to ObamaCare) won’t have to worry any more.
Nullifying the employer mandate is likely to ignite a hiring boom.
According to the US Chamber of Commerce, that looming mandate has caused 21 percent of small businesses to reduce workers’ hours, 41 percent to delay hiring and 27 percent of franchises (such as fast-food restaurants) to replace full-timers with part-timers.
People facing a penalty for being uninsured will also come out ahead. Without subsidies, most will be exempted from the penalty, saving them $2,000 on average next year.
Despite Democrats’ dire warnings, the poor won’t be hurt. An amazing 89 percent of people who are newly insured because of ObamaCare are on Medicaid, which won’t be affected.
Thank you, Mr. Pecore, for that cheering reality-check.
“I defaulted on my student loan because I’m an entitle s**thead.”
Lee Siegel has a New York Times opinion piece in which he explains why he defaulted on a student loan secured by the taxpayers of the United States of America. The short version is “I’m an entitled s**thead who chose an expensive college that I couldn’t possibly afford and then, when the bill came due, which would have forced me to take a real job to pay it, I stared deeply into my navel, and decided that, being an entitled s**thead, I could do whatever I wanted and leave the bill to working and middle class Americans.”
If I had my way, the Siegel’s of the world would be prosecuted and, ideally, imprisoned for fraud and various types of theft. Back in the day, I did something weird: I went to colleges I could afford, so I required minimal student loans and, when I left college, I worked hard and spent little so that I could pay off those loans.
Bruce Jenner will always be a mere simulacrum of a woman
D.C. McAllister has an interesting point, which is that being a woman isn’t simply about the proper chromosomes, boobs, vagina, hormones, etc. — instead, it’s about the sum total of our life experience growing up female, which mostly means our life experience going through puberty. Just as boys had the dubious delights of cracking voices and uncontrollable erections, girls got embarrassing in-your-face boobs (or equally embarrassing non-existent boobs) and periods with all the pain, inconvenience, and inevitable embarrassment.
Those experiences are part of who and what we are. We didn’t go to a grocery store to buy the bits and pieces we need, or to have cut off the parts we no longer want. We developed along with our sexual identity.
Incidentally, if you haven’t yet read Mark Steyn’s brilliant post on what it use to mean to be a transsexual, and how the Left has managed to pervert even that experience, drop everything and read it. Here’s the core idea but, as always, Steyn develops it so well, at such length, and with so much elan you must read the whole thing to appreciate it fully:
The coronation of Caitlyn is ultimately not about the right to choose which of the two old teams you want to play on. It’s about creating a cool new team. The “T” was always the relatively sleepy end of LGBT, and didn’t ostensibly have much in common with the other three-quarters of the acronym. The company it keeps only makes sense if the object of transitioning is not to “pass” but to create a new assertive identity group in and of itself.
Feminist Elinor Burkett is irritated by something else, which is that everyone who celebrates Jenner’s coming out party is also reinforcing the old-fashioned, 1950s-style stereotypes of women as emotionally-sensitive bimbos obsessed with clothes and make-up.
Kevin Williamson shreds the NYT’s attack on Marco Rubio’s driving record
If you haven’t read Kevin Williamson writing about the NYT’s attack on Rubio’s driving record, you must. I’m running out of time, so let me just repeat that: read it!