It’s a satirist’s delight that Biden announced he would beat up anyone, including Trump, for groping women. All that and more at the illustrated edition.
It’s a satirist’s delight that Biden announced he would beat up anyone, including Trump, for groping women. All that and more at the illustrated edition.
Events in South Africa today reveal that the Progressives’ adored Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a moral and constitutional moron, not a brilliant Leftist avatar.
Progressives adore Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom they fondly call “Notorious RBG.” Indeed, in 2015, a book entitled Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg hit the New York Times bestseller list. The Times review of the book was adulatory, not just of the book, of course, but of “RBG” herself:
For 80 of her 82 years, the Supreme Court justice was known for being brilliant, reserved and a little dry.
Notorious R.B.G. refers to Notorious B.I.G., the young rapper who was killed in 1997. The unlikely comparison gave Ginsburg’s fans the perfect vehicle for turning her precise lawyerly voice into a cultural roar. Along with her Brooklyn-Jewish origins and five-foot-tall stature, Ginsburg supplied a vociferous dissent, in a 5-to-4 decision that dismantled a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. Tossing out the law’s protection against discrimination when it was working, she wrote, “is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” It’s the kind of plain-spoken analogy that makes the work of the court come alive. Ginsburg offered another pithy one-liner, in the same term, when she criticized the government for treating same-sex marriage as “skim-milk marriage,” by denying gay couples federal tax benefits.
Did you get all that? Brilliant. Principled.
In 2014, the Supreme Court issued its Hobby Lobby decision, in which it held that closely held for-profit corporations can be exempted from regulations on religious grounds provided that there is a less restrictive way to further the law’s goals. Needless to say, Progressives were not happy with the decision, but they took comfort from Ginsburg’s “brilliant” dissent, even while going in for the kill about her selfish careerism:
[I]f you’re determined to find the silver lining, you could find some comfort that the latest landmark ruling from the court’s conservative majority gave Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg another chance to solidify her position as a liberal hero with another fiery dissent.
Yet while the growing cult of the Notorious RBG is a well-deserved testament to her brilliance as a jurist and talent as a writer, it ignores an uncomfortable reality about this current moment in the politics of the Supreme Court. Namely, the celebrations of her brilliance fail to recognize that the best thing Ruth Bader Ginsburg could do for the liberal movement right now is, arguably, to call an end to a sterling and trailblazing legal career and step down from the court.
Again, note those adjectives: “hero,” “brilliance,” “talent,” “sterling,” “trailblazing.” RBG is “da bomb.” [Read more…]
Muslims have recently escalated killing Middle Eastern Christians. Robert Spencer explains the deep historic roots behind this new slaughter.
One of the family jokes is that, when the kids used to ask me for help with their history homework, no matter the historic subject at issue, I’d always say either “You need to go back to the Romans” or “You need to go back to the Bible.” Sometimes those answers were exaggerations. As often as not, though, I’d mean it.
It is impossible to understand the present without looking back and understanding what brought us here. To the extent that American and Western European history is an amalgam of the end of Rome and the ongoing influence of the Old and New Testaments, understanding both explains a great deal.
I thought of my commitment to the past as a necessary component to understand the present when I watched Robert Spencer explain the way in which Middle Eastern Christians, who had lived for centuries — indeed, millennia — relatively unmolested in the Muslim world (although always of lowly status), have found themselves the object of a full-scale jihad in the past few years. This bloody jihad has resulted in the destruction of many Middle Eastern Christian communities dating back to Jesus’s time. According to Spencer, the answer isn’t just written in the Koran, it’s written in the past, both the Middle Eastern and European past:
A powerful HBO documentary about the beginning and end of using children as camel jockeys highlights the difference between Islam and Biblical morality.
One of HBO’s better shows is Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It has a 60 Minutes format which sees it have three relatively “in-depth” stories per hour of show. Since I don’t follow sports, the stories are often new to me, so I learn from them. Some of them tremble on the line between pathos and bathos, but overall they’re interesting and humanist without tumbling into political correctness.
And sometimes, it turns out, a story can change the world. Just recently, I learned about one such story.
The story I’m about to tell you actually began in 2004. That was when Real Sports aired an expose about camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates, a deeply Muslim country. Someone has that expose on video and, while the picture quality is poor, I recommend watching it:
If you do not have the time to watch, the ability to watch, or the desire to watch, I’ll sum it up quickly: At the time this video was made, in both the UAE and entire the Arab Peninsula, the ubiquitous camel races that are integral to these desert societies relied on child jockeys to ride the camels in the races. The trainers, with the knowledge and complicity of the fabulously wealthy sheikhs who owned the camels, would kidnap or buy young boys from the poorest places in the world to train as jockeys.
When I say “young boys,” I do not mean ten- or twelve-year olds. I mean two-, three-, or four-year olds. These enslaved children were then housed in compounds where they would do endless menial labor caring for the camels, were systematically starved and drugged to stunt their growth, and slept in the outdoors on the dirt, because the inner buildings of the compounds were used for corporal punishment (whipping and hanging in chains) and for rape. [Read more…]
If the internet keeps being awash in stuff supporting the Second Amendment, I’ve got to go with it — but there’s lots of other good material here too.
Before going on to the next set of posters (the ones about things other than the Second Amendment), here’s a wonderful video. Although it comes from 2013, the Vietnamese-born man challenging gun grabbing has some impressive points to make about the Second Amendment (plus a nice little dig about illegal immigration). It’s less than 5 minutes so please take the time watch it — and pay attention special to his point about the difference between the state and government because it’s that good a point: [Read more…]
Civil Disobedience is powerful because those engaged it in willingly accept the penalties the law imposes. That’s not how Proggies play the game, though.
About a year into my “career” as a blogger, the debate about the Solomon Amendment got me thinking about civil disobedience and the Proggie habit of eating its cake and having it. I think it’s worth quoting that old post in full:
The current debate [current, that is, in December 2005] about the Solomon Amendment, which is now being played out in the Supreme Court in the case of Rumsfeld v. F.A.I.R., had me thinking about modern civil disobedience. To catch you up, the Solomon Amendment, which was passed in the early 1990s, states that in order to receive Federal funding universities must allow military recruiters to have equal access to their campuses, along with other recruiters. If one branch of the campus refuses this access, the Federal government, in theory, is supposed to pull the entire financial plug on the University.
In recent years, certain law schools, dismayed by the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy — which, I hasten to add, is the law of the land — have refused to allow military recruiters equal and convenient access to their student populations. Having allowed their law schools to take this stand, the relevant universities are now quite upset that the government wants to deny funding, and they have attacked the Solomon Amendment. In other words, the Universities find it just horrible that, having taken a stand against a valid law with which they disagree (the “Don’t Ask” policy), they’re now being forced to take the consequence (giving up money).
This scenario made me think about civil disobedience, which used to mean something very specific. Although civil disobedience has always been around, it was Henry David Thoreau, in the mid-19th Century, who best articulated the doctrine we now recognize.
Thoreau objected to a poll tax, because he felt the money was being improperly spent to support slavery and the war with Mexico. Rather than paying the tax, he took a principled stand, refused to pay the tax, and went to prison. His single night in jail [before his friends bailed him out] inspired him to write an essay about a citizen’s obligation to strike out against unjust laws — and to demonstrate the law’s invalidity through each citizen’s personal martyrdom.
In his essay, Thoreau ruminated about irritating laws versus unjust laws, and about vehicles for protesting the latter (e.g., the ballot box or a refusal to comply with an unjust law or a tax that supports something unjust). Significantly, Thoreau felt that such a principled stand gained weight from an attendant sacrifice, which is usually imprisonment:
Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less despondent spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race should find them; on that separate but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her–the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor. [Emphasis mine.]
The Twentieth Century saw two men, on different continents, who understood that, when a government acts unjustly, the strongest protest is to put yourself in the path of that unjust law, and have yourself punished: Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Had each not been willing to accept imprisonment, thereby demonstrating the manifest unfairness and immorality of the laws against which each struggled, neither would have even appeared as a footnote in the history books.
Nowadays, though, people break laws with impunity and to applause. I was most strongly reminded of this when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, in February 2004, suddenly announced that he was going to ignore California’s laws against same sex marriage, and have the City issue marriage licenses to all gay couples desiring them.
Newsom was a fifteen minute wonder. The Press oooh’ed and aaah’ed about his bravery. But, really, what was so brave? He wasn’t running any risks politically in San Francisco, where a critical mass of voters approve his step. He wasn’t running any risk of humiliation or ostracism, because he became the media’s darling. No one even mentioned prosecuting him for breaking the law, or impeaching him for violating his official obligations. It was a media stunt, but it wasn’t civil disobedience, because we didn’t get the spectacle of a righteous man felled by an unjust government.
The situation is the same with the various universities’ stand on the Solomon Amendment. If the Universities (and their faculty and staff) really wanted to draw attention to the problems with Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, they’d take the financial hit, and make themselves martyrs to the cause. Indeed, those liberal university professors could sacrifice their six digit salaries and three day work weeks to help the universities run without help from the federal trough.
That kind of public spectacle, that martyrdom to “tyranny,” would be effective, and would put umph behind the current preening. As it is, though, they want it all: they want to violate a U.S. law, but God forbid they should be denied access to U.S. money. This isn’t principled at all. This is sheer opportunism, without either moral and practical weight.
That’s what I wrote back in 2005. It’s relevant today because of the Proggie’s horrified reaction to the fact that a Missouri school district marked as truant those students who skipped class to attend an anti-gun protest: [Read more…]
As long as the hard Left media keeps obsessing about destroying the Second Amendment, I’ll keep having Second Amendment illustrated editions.
Uhmmmmmm Donald Trump’s place of work is one of the most heavily armed facilities in the world.
These students need to spend less time in the streets and more time in the classroom. pic.twitter.com/4jYEvy9zDo
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) March 15, 2018
A tweet from the young man the media ostentatiously ignored:
Wait, so guns aren’t actually the issue? https://t.co/Hp27bLsTZK
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 15, 2018
Mary Theroux, of the Independent Institute, offers a creative and thought-provoking solution to America’s intrusive and liberty-destroying security network.
Back in 1971, when I was ten, our whole family was glued to the TV every Sunday night, watching Masterpiece Theatre’s Six Wives of Henry VIII. It was that series that sparked my passion for British history. I suspect that, if I were to see the series today, I would find it rather primitive compared to the historic TV spectacles we’re used to today, which rely to good effect on CGI and amazingly large budgets. Back then, though, I thought the six-part series was the most lush and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Sitting here now, though, and looking back over the decades, only one thing about that show stands out in my memory. In the episode about either Anne Boleyn or Kathryn Howard, both of whom Henry had executed based upon the claim that they cheated on him (Anne probably didn’t; Kathryn definitely did), we saw spies at work. Anne or Kathryn would be in her private chamber, pouring her heart out to a confidant (or, in Kathryn’s case, perhaps locked in a treasonous embrace), and the camera would then reveal that there was a peephole behind the ornate paneling in her room through which Henry’s agents peered. Considering that this spying led to each woman’s death, I found it a surprisingly oppressive image, which is probably why it’s lingered in my memory for so long.
I mention this memory for two reasons. The first is that even a child (which I was) understands how dangerous it is when a government that has over you the power of life, imprisonment, and death, covertly watches you. The second is as a reminder that spying is as old as government. Some of the earliest correspondence from the ancient world concerns monarchs and their spies. Elizabeth I’s famous adviser Robert Cecil was also her spymaster. Cardinal Richelieu had spies throughout France to weed out dangerous Protestants. George Washington had such a good spy network that it likely was a pivotal part of his ability to fight the British to a standstill.
Governments and spying go together like brass knuckles and thugs’ fistfights. It’s not a pretty combination, but it’s pretty much an inevitable one.
Outside of America’s Civil War, during which each side spied on the other, America first set up its official spying apparatus with the Espionage Act that Wilson signed off on in 1917, when America entered WWI. No surprise there, as Wilson was an early fascist and sought to accrete as much government power as possible to create a “perfect” nation, ruled by experts. White experts, of course, as Wilson was a notorious white supremacist and the president who officially segregated the federal work force.
While the accompanying Sedition Act, passed in 1918, was repealed in the early 1920s, the Espionage Act hung around, and was augmented over the years to deal with new threats and new federal government powers. Of course, the next big change was the Patriot Act, passed follow the attacks on 9/11. And that’s where this post really starts.
I attended a talk today by Mary Theroux, the Senior Vice President at the Independent Institute. The Independent Institute is dedicated to true constitutional liberty and focuses on ways to educate the public about the virtues of extremely limited government.
The Institute shares with the late, great Andrew Breitbart the belief that politics is downstream from culture. Rather than lobbying politicians, the Institute seeks different ways to introduce Americans to the very idea of liberty. One of the best, most clever, approaches is a series of five 5-minute videos called “Love Gov.” They feature a young millennial woman, her friend Libby, and her boyfriend, Gov, who insists that he will protect her but invariably ends up making her life worse. Here’s the first episode: [Read more…]
It seems appropriate, with Hillary going to India to share her hatred for America, to lead off with her in today’s illustrated edition.
The good me feels sort of bad when Hillary Clinton falls down steps.
— Mike (@Fuctupmind) March 13, 2018
Quick analysis on #PA18:
– You never heard of the two candidates before 4pm today.
– District shape looks like if Idaho got drunk and passed out.
– The “PA” stands for Pennsylvania.
— jon gabriel (@exjon) March 14, 2018
Non-stop phone conferences and writing projects today, so no blogging. The evening is then non-stop family, so more no blogging. Thankfully, Paul Joseph Watson is back with a video I highly recommend:
I loved my year in England. I love British history. Modern Britain, though? No love, and for exactly the reasons PJW states in the above video.
Paul Joseph Watson reveals how the media’s vicious attacks against Trump supporters are destroying families and threatening lives.
I blogged the other day about a Leftist friend who dumped me because Trump won and his candidate lost. Even though my views were the same during the years 2008 through 2016, it was apparently okay for him to be friends with me because he was on the winning side. Once he was one the losing side, though, I, along with all the other Trump supporters in his life, suddenly became persona non grata.
What a putz. Good riddance to bad rubbish, because life is too short to spend time with people like that.
What happened to me was nothing, though, compared to the heartrending tweets Paul Joseph Watson received when he asked people to let him know if they have been shunned because they are Trump supporters:
The difference with my situation is that almost my entire family became conservative when I did and joined me in being Trump supporters. Also, when we became conservative, the fact that we’re decent human beings meant that we continued to engage in all ways with the few family holdouts who cling to their Progressivism. We may all be frustrated with each other, but family matters more. [Read more…]
UC Davis is a microcosm, demonstrating how the Proggie “diversity” racket discriminates against people based upon their race, sex, and sexual orientation.
For the past many months, I’ve been working with my son on college applications. He is a decent student with good test scores and a somewhat interesting back story. Like many of his sex, he plans to major in a STEM subject. And when I say “of his sex” I mean it — in this gender fluid world, he’s a genetic male who knows he’s male and who likes girls.
In normal times, my son would have been a shoo-in for a pretty broad spectrum of American colleges, especially the University of California system, which California taxpayers fund and, once-upon-a-time, was meant to give priority to California residents. We do not live in normal times, though.
My son’s experience with UC Davis provides an interesting insight into just how bad things are for straight white males in America. Davis has been on my radar for decades. Back in the early 1970s, my sister’s high school boyfriend went there (ending forever their young romance) and loved it so much that he never left. Tim and his wife met there, got married there, and have since worked and raised their family in the town of Davis, outside of Sacramento.
In the decades forty years after Tim’s experience (ending around 2004), I’d frequently speak to students who attended, or who had just graduated from, UC Davis and they all had the same thing to say: They loved it. They liked the academic experience, they liked the social experience, and they liked Davis’s small-town feel, with the added perk that they could as easily travel to cosmopolitan San Francisco as to the majestic Sierras. It seemed to avoid the Leftist insanity at places such as UC Santa Cruz or UC Berkeley, the antisemitism of UC Riverside, and the economic elitism of UCLA. I always hoped that one or both of my kids would go there.
My older child had no interest in going there and is happy at an unnamed school my readers know as OELAC — the Obscenely Expensive Liberal Arts College. (You can read my posts on the subject here, here, here, and here.)
My son, though, was interested in UC Davis. He applied knowing that his GPA and test scores exceeded the averages of those admitted to UC Davis and, as I said, he has an interesting back story. He felt he had a reasonable chance of getting in.
As was the case with every single college to which he applied, my son had to write several essays as part of the application process. A significant number are aimed at eliciting from the student his or her place in the victim identity hierarchy. Here are some examples of questions that explicitly or implicitly ask students to describe themselves as members of a victim class. (My knee-jerk response to each question was “I was born a poor black child….”) [Read more…]
For almost a year now, LACMA (aka the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) has been pushing illegal immigration propaganda at taxpayer expense.
Los Angeles County taxpayers cough up $29 million a year to cover operating costs for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, aka LACMA. I wonder if anyone asked them if they approve of the museum’s newest installation: Carne y Arena (literally: meat and sand). The installation is intended to give the average museum goer (who’s willing to sign a waiver) the illegal immigrant experience. Here’s how the museum describes the exhibition, which opened last July and ends at the beginning of this July:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s conceptual virtual reality installation CARNE y ARENA (Virtually present, Physically invisible) explores the human condition of immigrants and refugees. Based on true accounts, the superficial lines between subject and bystander are blurred and bound together, allowing individuals to walk in a vast space and thoroughly live a fragment of the refugees’ personal journeys. An immersive installation that reunites frequent collaborators Iñárritu and Emmanuel Lubezki alongside producer Mary Parent and ILMxLAB, CARNE y ARENA is centered around a 6 ½-minute virtual reality sequence for one person that employs state-of-the-art immersive technology to create a multi-narrative light space with human characters.
“During the past four years in which this project has been growing in my mind, I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing many Mexican and Central American refugees. Their life stories haunted me, so I invited some of them to collaborate with me in the project,” Iñárritu says. “My intention was to experiment with VR technology to explore the human condition in an attempt to break the dictatorship of the frame, within which things are just observed, and claim the space to allow the visitor to go through a direct experience walking in the immigrants’ feet, under their skin, and into their hearts.”
That’s a pretty bland, abstract description. A pro-illegal immigration Proggie friend of mine, though, went and was blown away by the wonder of it all. I’ve restated his glowing description in my own less glowing words, but the substance of what he said is still there.
The exhibition is meant to have you experience through virtual reality (it’s hot and sandy in the exhibition) what a Honduran, El Salvadoran, Merxican or Guatemalan experiences as he or she journeys north through the Sonoran desert to enter America illegally through Arizona. After you’ve signed a waiver, lest the good folks at LACMA make you uncomfortable, and taken off your shoes, your adventure begins.
Thrill to the experience of having border guards surround you with helicopters and vans to arrest you. Then, having gotten yourself (as promised) hot and covered with sand, you get to see videos of real illegal aliens reenacting their experiences for the camera. (I assume it’s some form of PTSD psychotherapy for illegal aliens.) [Read more…]
The economic news out on Friday provides a ready-made slogan for Republicans going into the 2018 midterm campaign this Fall.
Trump, keeping yet another one of his campaign promises, has given us an “unexpected” booming economy (except that those of us who believe in low regulation, low taxes, and high optimism were not surprised at all). His combination of economic optimism, deregulation (which is happening despite the Left’s attempt to block it through the courts), and lower taxes have had their inevitable effect:
The economy added 313,000 jobs in February, crushing expectations, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent, according to a Labor Department report Friday that could help quell inflation fears.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payroll growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a point to 4 percent.
An increase in the labor force participation rate to its highest level since September helped keep the headline unemployment number steady, as the number of those counted as not in the workforce tumbled by 653,000 to just over 95 million.
The total counted as “employed” in the household survey surged by 785,000 to a record 155.2 million.
A separate measure that takes into account those out of the workforce and the underemployed — sometimes referred to as the “real” unemployment rate — held steady at 8.2 percent.
Stocks surged following the report, with the Dow industrials up 375 points Friday afternoon after being slightly negative before the news.
You realize, of course, that the 2018 midterm campaign slogans now write themselves: [Read more…]
Progressive policies prove a proposition about lawless government: “You cannot have law-abiding citizens if you do not have law-abiding government.”
Three days ago I posted about trickle-down lawlessness in California, in the form of sanctuary city and state laws:
The fish rots from the head. At the very uppermost echelons in California, we see an unprecedented degree of lawlessness. And what’s unusual about this behavior is that those violating the law aren’t even trying to hide their conduct. They’re proud of it. They boast about it. They urge others to break the law, to “resist,” to fight on the streets, and all the other inflammatory rhetoric aimed at destroying respect for legal norms.
Yesterday, I distilled that long(ish) post into a Tweet:
Regarding California: How can one expect law abiding people when we have a lawless government?
— Bookwormroom (@Bookwormroom) March 9, 2018
And then I saw this Tucker Carlson tweet:
Chicago has announced that CityKey cards, designed for illegal aliens, can be used for voter registration. In other words, non-citizen illegals will be able to vote in Chicago, including in federal elections. That’s illegal. But the city is encouraging it. #Tucker @FoxNews
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 28, 2018
You cannot have law-abiding citizens if you do not have law-abiding government.