How the Supreme Court should have ruled on the gay marriage question

Supreme CourtAs we all know to America’s cost, when confronted with the question of gay marriage under the Constitution, Justice Kennedy found the right lurking in the heart of the Constitution, right between the Amendments about unicorns and leprechauns.  In other words, he made it up out of whole cloth.  

The correct ruling, of course, would have been to say that the Constitution is silent on all marriages, let alone gay marriage, but is quite loud about religious freedom. Therefore, to the extent that “marriage” is inextricably intertwined with religion, the answer isn’t to add gay marriage to the Constitution but, instead, to take all state-sanctioned marriage out of the Constitution, reserving it solely for religious institutions. The states would have to be content with issuing licenses for “civil unions.” These unions would be subject to each state’s determined about what is best for the state’s (and its children’s) overall well-being. End of story.

Of course, the sad truth is that not a single one of the Leftists on the Supreme Court (and that includes Justice Kennedy) is either as intelligent or as principled as I am. ;) That’s a shame too, because we’re going to have one Hell of a mess in this country in the coming years (as I predicted long ago) thanks to the Supreme Court’s inevitable bow to political correctness and delusional takes on reality.

The Bookworm Beat 6-29-15 — the “house divided against itself” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My dog woke me early, which bothered me at the time but now seems like a good thing, since I can get a little blogging in before the work day begins. Without further ado, a few posts I think are worth you time:

On Democrats and racism

If you read one thing today, you have to read Jeffrey Lord’s open letter to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz asking her when Democrats are going to confess to and apologize for the fact that racism is their legacy to America — and one that they pursued aggressively for more than a century.

After you’ve read it, if you won’t turn yourself into a pariah amongst family and friends, share it around. After all, two can play at the Alinsky game, but for conservatives, the Alinsky game is one in which each individual conservatives must be an activist, because there won’t be a media/Hollywood conglomerate around to do the heavy lifting.

[Read more...]

Something peculiar about that #LoveWins hashtag

Pulsating heartAm I the only one who keeps thinking “Do you really need the Supreme Court’s and the United States Government’s permission to love?”  That certainly seems to be the message implicit in the #LoveWins hashtag.  While marriage at the personal level is aided by love, at both the civil and religious level it’s never been about love.  It’s always been about pragmatic things such as procreation, child support, wealth distribution, and religious imperatives.  Love has nothing to do with marriage — except for the married couple’s own emotions, which exist irrespective of church and state.

Of course, I understand the propaganda value in pretending that love is the only thing that matters but I’m confused about the sales pitch.  I love despite government, not because of it — as I think is true for most people.

But perhaps if you’re a Big Government Leftist, you really do need Big Brother’s permission for anything and everything, including affairs of the heart.

Oh, and just a reminder that gay marriages aren’t like other marriages and that gay sexual practices aren’t consistent with “cisgendered heteronormative” monogamous relationships.

#LoveWins — A Supreme Court Romance *UPDATED*

Justice KennedySometimes the best romances come from unexpected sources.  There are frustrated souls, living desiccated, dull lives who, through their writing, can explore their deepest unrealized fantasies. Such is the case with Justice Kennedy’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.  It is littered with burning, passionate phrases that transform an ordinary Supreme Court opinion into an unexpected romance.

Of course, the confines of a Supreme Court decision mean that the true import of those burning phrases is hidden from most Americans.  I therefore have taken it upon myself to pen the actual romance Justice Kennedy so clearly wanted to write.

I have made some changes, of course.  First, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve been forced to write from a completely cisgendered heteronormative perspective, because that is all I know.  Second, not only am I not the best romance writer, I’m experiencing Justice Kennedy’s passions second hand, so this brief romantic vignette is slightly stilted and sterile, when it really should be something that could be recited to the throbbing, romantic music from that racist, Confederate flag-based movie, Gone With The Wind.

My apologies for my limitations. I invite other, better writers to try their hands at writing Justice Kennedy’s #LoveWins romance.

(All text in red comes directly from the Supreme Court’s decision.)

Corinna stood at the side of the crowded ballroom, watching longingly as dozens of other couples swirled about the room, keeping perfect time to the lilting rhythm of the latest waltz. She felt terribly alone, the only wallflower in the crowd.

Of course, she knew it wasn’t true that she was the only lonely one. Just a few paces away from the delicate gilt chair on which she sat, her voluminous lilac-colored skirts spilling gracefully over the side, stood a young man only a few years older than she was.

From his posture, Corinna could tell that the man was feeling as awkward as she was. Even though he affected a casual slouch, his posture was so rigid it was obvious that he was practically holding up the wall against which he leaned. His face was still, but his blue eyes blazed under straight black brows.

Looking at him, Corinna knew that this man felt as she did. Indeed, her soul understand that, though they’d never met, she knew this man with every fiber of her being.  She understand that, despite the cheerful, crowded room, both felt the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.

Corinna’s sense of fellowship with the young man was so strong she couldn’t stop herself, and giving into a most basic human need, she disregarded the precepts bred into her that a young lady never approached a strange gentleman. Standing up resolutely, Corinna turned his way.

For a moment, Corinna paused, afraid. Like all other young ladies, she had those yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express[] our common humanity. If she got a reputation for being “fast,” would she suddenly find herself socially isolated, an outcast, unmarriageable, never able to be one who learned experienced first-hand the transcendent importance of marriage?

No. Something drew her to that lonely stranger, with a force stronger than her fear. Gathering her courage, Corinne patted the exquisite flowers bedecking her golden curls, and went up to the young man, bit her already-rosy lips, and walked resolutely towards the stranger. Placing herself in front of him, Corinne’s courage failed and she was suddenly at a loss for words. She stared at him; he stared back at her.

“H-h-hello,” Corinna finally choked out. “I’m Corinna Merryweather. Have we met before?”

The man smiled at her, revealing even white teeth. Corinna blinked in surprise. He was more handsome than she had realized. She smiled back, her clear gray eyes twinkling.

“No, I don’t believe we have,” he replied in a deep, velvety voice. “I’m Sebastian, Lord Abermarle. Now that we’ve introduced ourselves, may I ask you to dance?”

“Oh, no!” Corinne exclaimed. “I mean, I would love to dance, but since we haven’t yet been formally introduced, I’m afraid we cannot. But perhaps we can sit together and . . . and speak.”

Lord Abermarle’s sable eyebrows rose, but he immediately led Corinne towards two empty chairs, seating her in one, and taking the other for himself. They were silent for a moment.

Corinne took a deep, gulping breath. “Forgive me, Lord Abermarle, for what I am about to say. My family and friends often tell me I am too forward and fanciful, but I could not help but believe that we may be sharing the same feelings, feelings that separate us from the others in the ballroom.”

“Go on, Ms. Merryweather,” he said encouragingly.

“I do believe that those choices people make can shape an individual’s destiny. I believe too in soul mates. I believe that some of us are lucky enough to find the person for whom we were destined. “

Corinne stopped, panting slightly from the emotional stress of speaking to a stranger about matters that went far beyond the polite banalities of the ballroom.

Lord Abermarle remained silent, his gaze moving between her sparkling eyes and her heaving, white bosom. Corinne wasn’t sure what she saw in his eyes, but as it was neither anger nor disdain, she plowed onwards.

“When we are among the lucky ones to find our soulmates,” she said, “two people become something greater than they once were. Even people lacking in spiritually, who shy away from the concept of a soul, know that this coming together is still a unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm.

“Why are you telling me, a stranger, all this, Miss Merryweather?” asked Lord Abermarle, his deep voice suddenly husky.

“I know not,” Corinne replied. “No, that’s a lie. Years ago, I went to a gypsy who told me that, when I saw the face of my future husband, I would recognize him immediately. I laughed at her. I was a giddy fifteen and never wanted marriage for I feared I would be tied-down, like my mother, trapped in a loveless union that, every year, drained away her warmth and joy.”

“You speak truly,” said Lord Abermarle. “We in the ton have less freedom than the simplest country couple. We marry for property and title. We most certainly to not marry for love, and no dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. That bliss is the commoners’ lot, not ours.”

Corinne nodded gravely, speaking to this man as if she had known him years, not mere minutes. “Yes, that’s what I thought too. But the gypsy promised me that there are some lucky ones who find the person who is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations. When I saw you, I knew that I was one of those lucky ones.”

Lord Abermarle looked down at her. “And you believe that I am your soul mate?”

“Yes,” said Corinne resolutely. “Yes, I do. I know this sounds as if I’m fairy-touched, but I do believe that, were we to marry, ours would be a marriage that embodies a love that may endure even past death.”

Corinne stopped speaking, horrified by her boldness, but feeling that magical pull that told her she had done the right thing.

“I would scoff,” said Abermarle, “but I cannot. The moment I walked into this ballroom and saw you, I knew that you were my destiny. I have spent the entire evening fighting the impulse to gather you into my arms, sweep you out of this room, and escape with you to Gretna Green so that we can be joined together swiftly and forever.”

He paused a moment, gently stroking her soft, white cheek with his strong, lean hand.

“I should have known Fate wouldn’t allow me to turn away from this gift. Even as I resisted, you came to me. I thank God for your forwardness. Were it not for that, my failure to accept my destiny would have condemned [me] to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions — forever denied that enduring bond that ensures that two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.

Swift, happy tears rose to Corinne’s eyes. Lord Abermarle again lifted his hand to Corinne’s cheek, this time gently wiping away the traces of those tears.

“Come, my love,” he said. “Let us go find your parents so that I may ask for your hand. This is the moment of transformation — strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together.

Lord Abermarle stood, extending his hand to the now-radiant Corinne.  The two of them, still holding hands, plunged resolutely into the crowd, searching for her family, secure in their loving, transcendent future together, one that would be celebrated by all regardless of the fact that none could understand the strange dynamics that brought these two loving people together.

THE END

UPDATE: David French makes a more serious and worrisome point about Kennedy’s unseemly passion.

Thoughts about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision and an open thread *IMPORTANT UPDATES*

Supreme CourtAs you all know, the Supreme Court this morning issued a 5-4 decision, authored by Anthony Kennedy, finding a hitherto hidden right to same-sex marriage in the American Constitution.  I have not yet read the decision, but nevertheless I have a few points to make regardless of the reasoning that necessitated 103 pages to explain.

This ruling may be the most consequential ruling ever to issue from the Supreme Court. Why? Because the Left will use it to destroy all religions except Islam (which they’re afraid to touch). They’ll use a magical new right to destroy one of the bedrock First Amendment rights.

This is not speculation, incidentally. We’ve already seen the playbook in action with the attack on Christians who politely refuse to provide their services to same-sex weddings. In a free society, the gay patrons would go down the block to find a bakery that will serve them. In the coming totalitarian society, the gays will use the machinery of the state to destroy working class Christian people. The Supreme Court’s ruling will provide the full arsenal they need to stop focusing on an individual here and there and, instead, to wage all-out war on any religious conservatives who get in their way.

More profoundly, this is the weapon gays need to complete their assault on religious institutions (rather than just upon religious people). Up until the Court’s ruling, traditional religious institutions had the First Amendment to protect them: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . .”

Now, however, the Supreme Court has bypassed the prohibition against Congressional action and found buried in the bowels of the 14th Amendment a brand new right to gay marriage. (And who else finds it ironic that, just the other day, the Supreme Court concluded that Congress’s intent trumps everything in interpreting a statute, but today the Supreme Court entirely ignores the fact that the sole intended purpose behind the 14th amendment was to give black people full civil rights?)

What we have now is a terribly dangerous clash of constitutional rights: The explicit right to the free exercise of religion (which reaches right up into every religious institution’s right to follow its core doctrines) versus the magical new right for same-sex couples to marry. In today’s environment, want to bet which right wins? Obama’s “Justice” Department will come down like a ton of bricks on any religious school that preaches traditional marriage or any tax-exempt church that refuses to marry a gay couple.

Again, I know this for a fact because the gays and their fellow travelers on my Facebook feed have already been demanding that the feds repeal the tax exempt status given to religious institutions. (In this new dawn of “freedom,” the faithful will be forced to give up their faith.) What these people fully understand is that the reason religious institutions are tax-exempt is to ensure that the government cannot destroy any or all houses of worship by taxing them out of existence.

Nor is this a situation analogous to abortions, which upset religious conservatives, but didn’t destroy them. Religious institutions and Pro-Life people don’t perform abortions. Religious institutions and traditional marriage people do, however, perform marriages, whether in a church, temple, or mosque, or in a courthouse. They will be attacked and destroyed. (Again, don’t just take my word for it. Look at France.)

The situation also isn’t analogous to the short, ugly interlude in America when Southern states barred interracial marriage. Irrespective of skin color, heterosexual couples of whatever race have the necessary biological equipment to procreate: Tab A inserts into slot B. That is how Mother Nature intended human joining to occur. Not to deny gay couples the pleasures they find in bed, but Nature had nothing to do with Tab A has fun with Tab A or Slot B romps with Slot B. They are not two halves of the same whole. They are the functional equivalent of two Left shoes (pun intended).

Thomas Lifson has the right of it (pun intended, again), when he notes that the decision will also open the door to lots of other things that will be very problematic:

I have not read the entire decision but wonder if there are any grounds in it on which polygamy can be ruled anything other than a fundamental right. And after that, incest and every other marriage taboo. Once marriage becomes a matter of personal gratification, the doors seem wide open.

It will be very expensive once we’re required to recognize polygamy. Living as we do in a welfare state, we’ll find ourselves in the same position as those European countries that recognize all the wives their newly immigrated Muslim citizens bring in. Welfare won’t be limited to a nuclear family. Instead, it will include Ali Baba, his 40 wives, and his 200 children — and in the next generation, those children’s families too.

Finally, to all the people on my Facebook page trumpeting ” love wins”: You are morons. Marriage is not about love. It’s about religion, money, parenting, and social structure, all of which are intended to protect society as a whole. Love is just a pleasant byproduct and one can love without the state’s imprimatur.

By the way, you know how you can tell that this is a made-up right? The 103-page opinion. If this were a real right, it wouldn’t take anywhere near that long to explain it. When you’re telling a legal lie, though, you have to add a lot of detail to hide the empty center. That’s why Leftist Supreme Court decisions are invariably longer and more complex than conservative ones: they’re making it up as they go.

For more on the terrible problems with the decision, including a lengthy (and extremely intelligent statement from Roberts’ dissent), go here.

And what do all of you think of the decision?

UPDATE:  Had I read Scalia’s dissent, I would have seen that he too understands that the florid, overwrought, extremely long brief is something that is full of sound and fury in an effort to hide the reality, which is that nothing lies at its heart:

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? . . .

I’ll say it again: Leftist opinions (that is, opinions that advance Leftist causes, rather than just opinions written by Leftist judges) are always excessively long because they are making it up as they go.

UPDATE 2: Ace has a remarkably good riff about the fact that states recognize marriage for pragmatic purposes (mostly raising children), not LOVE. He’s absolutely right, and spells that point out in much more detail than I did.

UPDATE 3:  In April 2015, Trevor Loudon wrote about the Left’s real agenda with gay marriage.  It bears re-reading now:

The Left uses “rights” agendas to wrap itself in the mantle of righteousness and seize the moral high ground, tactically putting us on the defense in the process. But they couldn’t care less about the actual issue except in its ability to facilitate their path to power.

The agenda is never the agenda for the Left. And this is especially true for gay marriage. Homosexual marriage is a Trojan horse tactic. The true agenda is to establish the primacy of homosexual rights over the First Amendment’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion. Our nation was founded on this principle, and the gay marriage movement seeks to destroy it.

Consider that Annise Parker, the lesbian mayor of Houston, Texas, demanded to review pastors’ church sermons before public outrage forced her to back off. We have already seen how small businesses have been singled out and attacked for refusing to provide certain services to gays.

What is less known is that these gay couples are frequently part of the movement. They deliberately seek out businesses known for their Christian owners. They deliberately demand a service they know in advance will be refused. When the inevitable happens they use it as pretext to destroy the business and savage its owners. Doesn’t it amaze you how quickly legal groups immediately materialize to assist in the attack? The fact that they got unexpected push back through a spontaneous crowd sourcing campaign to support one pizza shop will not dissuade them from future efforts. If gay marriage is adopted, their current bullying behavior will look like child’s play compared to what’s coming.

This is a highly organized, nationwide campaign of vilification against Christians. But even Christians are not the ultimate target. If the First Amendment can be challenged this way; if a certain group’s “rights” can trump the U.S. Constitution, and if the Supreme Court can actually issue an edict making it so, then the entire Constitution has become meaningless. This is the Left’s true agenda and it always has been. This is the Cultural Marxists’ endgame. The issue is not the issue. The issue for them has always been destroying our country to impose socialism — with them in charge, of course. In order to do that they have to strip America of its culture, its traditions, and most importantly, the most important law of the land, the U.S. Constitution.

The Bookworm Beat 6-8-15 — the “heat wave” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Thanks 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.

[snip]

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.

[snip]

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.

[snip]

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.

[snip]

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!

The Bookworm Beat 5-22-15 — the “no more doctors, please!” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My post title notwithstanding, I am well, I have been well, and I expect that I will continue to be well. It’s just that I’ve spent between five and fifteen hours every week for the last few weeks in doctors’ offices thanks to my mother and my kids, all of whom are well, but who needed a variety of maintenance appointments. I’m all doctored out. Politics, however, still interest me:

Obama’s ego is all that stands between Israel and destruction

Obama sat down for an interview with his go-to Jew, Jeffrey Goldberg. Goldberg worships at the Obama altar, but periodically manages to sound as if he cares about the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people. I used to be fooled. I’m not anymore.

In any event, James Taranto caught Obama in a fascinating narcissistic moment in that interview. First, here’s what Goldberg wrote:\

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The Bookworm Beat 5-14-15 — “Just another busy day” edition and Open Thread

Woman writingAnother day where life got in the way of blogging. Hope these interesting articles compensate for the long silence.

What’s she got to complain about?

It’s already old news that Michelle Obama — Princeton and Harvard grad, highly paid (but still useless) lawyer; and jet-setting President’s wife — thinks herself very poorly used by the American system. To hear her tell it, she’s been chewed up and then spit out on a filthy sidewalk, where crude, rude, KKK-type white people have ground her remnants into the dust. I just have a few links about this and a comment.

Link One: Writing at Allen West’s site, Michele Hickford has the perfect commentary about Ms. Obama’s whines.

Link Two: Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin (and yes, it’s funny that the whiner and the skewerers are all named Michelle) neatly deconstructs all the lies behind Michelle’s complaints.

Link Three: Wolf Howling points out that Ms. Obama is just one weapon in the race hustlers’ arsenal.

Wolf Howling also alludes to an important, and extremely sad, point: Ms. Obama may be lying about her facts, but she’s not lying about her emotions. This Ivy League-educated,  spoiled, pampered, private-jetted darling genuinely feels as if she is a victim. It turns out that the only thing worse than having to listen to Michelle Obama is actually to be Michelle Obama and to live within that unhappy, resentful, beleaguered brain.

Hollywood wants you — but you shouldn’t want it back

Early this week, I wrote about all the horrid, distasteful people who populate my TV screen lately. Robert Avrech, who is someone with a much greater understanding of Hollywood’s inner workings made the same point in an article he wrote last December:

Sadly, most series on the air and in development are unsubtle messages formulated by postmodern Holly wood writers, producers and executives. This is no longer mere propaganda, but a clarion call for a new national morality. It is a world where women do not need husbands to raise children, as in Playing House, where the most anticipated marriage on TV is between two men, as in Modern Family and where the ties that hold a family together are murder, rape and plunder, as in Vikings. The protagonists of The Americans, a Cold War drama, are a ruthless but attractive Soviet couple working as spies against America. In the hit Netflix series House of Cards, a Washington D.C. power couple, played to silkily sinister perfection by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, lie, cheat and murder their way into the White House. Blessedly, these repugnant American Borgias have chosen not to have children. But the show’s writers would have us believe that theirs is a glorious union.

In the new Hollywood lexicon, the family is a unit held together not by traditional family values, but by gangster ethics.

Read the whole thing.

Global warming is real — provided you ignore all the facts proving that it isn’t

The global warmists are getting increasingly shrill in their insistence that the earth is on the verge of boiling us all to death, and that anyone who denies it is a flat-earther who, in a just world, would be burned at the stake for heresy (if only burning at the stake didn’t increase the atmosphere’s already deadly carbon load). Being ignorant, these hysterics do not understand that, historically, global warming has always been a blessing for mankind, increasing available water and crops, and allowing people to focus on cultural advancement. Global warming would be a good thing.

Of course, there is no global warming. More likely, there is going to be global cooling, thanks to a very quiet sun — and global cooling has always meant famine. We in America might be able to weather a famine (especially if we can agree that humans matter more than Delta Smelt), but more fragile economies are going to be in desperate trouble.

By the way, if a warmist challenges you about the assertions I just made (no warming, probable cooling), you could point that person to 22 inconvenient facts about our climate.

Oooooh, Luuuuucy!

Another piece of old news is Mark Halperin’s embarrassingly racist questions as he tried to prove to Hispanics that Ted Cruz is really a coconut — brown on the outside, but totally white-racist-male-chauvinist-pig on the inside. However, even if it is old news, if you haven’t read Fausta’s response to Halperin’s nonsense, you’ve missed something fine.

Halperin, faced with attacks from the Left and the Right, did an “I’m sorry you’re offended” apology. And Cruz, cleverly avoiding his reputation for snarkiness, responded with an extremely gracious “you have nothing to apologize for.”

The First Amendment’s death continues apace

Victor Davis Hanson keeps getting better — which is impressive when one considers how good he was to begin with. The whole time I was reading his article about the Left’s steady deconstruction and destruction of the First Amendment, my head kept bobbing up and down, like one of those nodding dog toys you used to see in the windows of cars. If you read it, you’ll nod too:

Apparently there is no longer a First Amendment as our Founders wrote it, but instead something like an Orwellian Amendment 1.5, which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press — except if someone finds some speech hurtful, controversial, or not helpful.

Cowardice abounds. When artists and writers mock Mormonism in a Broadway play like the Book of Mormon or use urine or excrement to deface Christian symbols, no Christian gang seeks to curb such distasteful expression — much less to kill anyone. Every religion but Islam knows that its iconography is fair game for caricature in the United States; none sanctions assassins. Jihadists seek to make this asymmetry quite clear to Western societies and thereby provide deterrence that gives Islam special exemption from Western satire and criticism in a way not accorded to other religions. And they are enabled by Westerners who prefer tranquility to freedom of expression.

When will Kirsten Powers realize she’s a conservative?

For many years, as I slowly realized that I was no longer aligned with Democrats, I still thought of myself as a Democrat, albeit a smarter, more informed one. It took a while for me to figure out that my values were completely inconsistent with today’s Democrat party and that, rather than honoring myself by remaining a Democrat, I was demeaning myself.

Kirsten Powers still considers herself a Democrat, but I suspect that, as she looks at toxic Democrat-led policies on America’s college campuses, she may eventually want to leave that identity behind too:

The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone—almost always a liberal—has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled. If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups— such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group—even better.

Self-identified “moderate” Muslims sound surprisingly extreme

I was talking with a friend today about American blacks and the way they resolutely refuse to involve themselves in their own salvation, preferring to blame white people and then to look to the majority-white government system for succor. Every time I spoke broadly about “blacks,” my friend reminded me that the majority of American blacks are just like me: hard-working, honest, and decent. It’s only the noisy ones who are engaged in black-on-black killings, drug use, single motherhood, and rioting.

My friend, as usual, is correct.  Thinking through my rhetorical laziness, I realized that the reason I keep lumping all blacks together, as if the disgraceful minority represents the completely ordinary and respectable majority, is because whenever the minority acts up, the majority, instead of castigating those self-destructive behaviors, supports the behaviors, joining in the constantly repeated chorus of “It’s not our fault; it’s whitey’s fault; now give us money.”

My friend then reminded me that speaking up isn’t that easy. Blacks who step off that plantation are subject to vicious racist attacks that would do the KKK proud — except that these attacks come from Democrats. (Oh, wait!  The KKK was also Democrat, wasn’t it?  It seems as if the Democrats, no matter where they stand politically vis a vis blacks, always keep a closet full of disgraceful racist taunts at the ready.)  As a closet conservative in my community, I know precisely how difficult it is to stand against your community, especially when you’re raising children.

This is all by way of introduction to the concept of “moderate” Muslims. Those who speak out sound remarkably like the fanatics. And those who don’t speak out . . . well, it’s difficult to know whether they agree with the fanatics and so-called moderates, or if they’re simply scared to death.  After all, an ISIS sword is even more devastating than a Democrat’s racial slurs.

Our profoundly weak economy

Progressives I know insist that the American economy is in great shape and invariably point to the stock market as proof. They seem incapable of understanding that years of low interest rates, steady money printing, and quasi-fascist crony capitalism have disconnected the stock market from the economy. The stock market no longer proves anything at all, except that those who know how to operate the political system can still get rich.

Given how weak our economy is, and how dangerous the money policies are that drive the illusion of prosperity, it’s small wonder that a well-known economist says that the next recession — and there will be a next one — will be devastating.

Our Leftist Pope

A few years ago, I said that Pope Francis, no matter how nice a person he is, is a hardcore Leftist product of Liberation Theology.  Sadly, recent events prove that I do not stand corrected.

You can tell she’s a Christian because….

Barronelle Stutzman, the gal whom Washington State has been intent upon destroying because she refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, got a chance to have her say in the Washington Post. You know how you can tell that she’s a Christian? It’s not just that she makes a compelling case explaining how she can be friends with gays while still standing behind her freedoms of speech, religion, and association when it comes to being forced to provide her artistic services for a ceremony that runs counter to her mainstream faith.

No, the real reason you can tell that Stutzman is a true Christian is that, when she speaks of the man who turned her over to the Nazi branch of the Washington State political correctness police, she still calls him her “friend.” Stutzman either has her tongue firmly in cheek, or she is a woman who takes seriously the Christian notion of turning that same cheek.

Anyway, please read Stutzman’s article. The conclusion sums up what every American should understand about freedom:

In Washington, Rob and Curt have the right to get a marriage license. But that doesn’t mean that the state should be able to force people in the creative professions like myself to create expression celebrating the ceremonies. We all have different viewpoints about how to live our lives. One thing I’ve loved about our country is that we protect the freedom of artistic expression and the right to disagree over these kinds of issues without one side being threatened by the government over it.

But whatever the state says and however they want to try to punish me, they can’t change my faith. What happens in my business or my life is in God’s hands. Having a clear conscience means much more to me than any amount of money or my business. Rob and Curt have their beliefs about marriage and aren’t being stopped by the state from living them out. I only ask for the same freedom.

The Bookworm Beat 5-5-15 — the Cinco de Mayo edition and open thread

Woman writingOnce again, my post caption is misleading. This post has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. It just has to do with all the fascinating stories I’ve read in the last few days. These are in no particular order, so you’ll have to read all the way down to make sure you’ve gotten to all the good stuff.

The Leftist media lies and then lies some more

Often, what’s even more insidious than a flat-out lie is a statement that is a partial truth. It’s so much easier to deconstruct a total lie than to try to explain to someone where truth ends and deceit begins.

This week offered two posts that highlight the problem for those people unfortunate enough to get caught in the Leftist web of lies. The first is Sean Davis’s meticulous deconstruction of a “fact” checker’s desperate effort to cover for the Clintons after Davis, relying on tax returns, made the completely factual statement that

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants.

Those numbers, drawn from the Clinton Foundation’s own returns, are absolutely correct. For Progressive PunditFact “fact checker” Louis Jacobson, the ultimate conclusion (i.e., that the Clintons are scam artists) was unbearable, so he retreated to the Lefts’ favorite redoubt when in danger: “truthiness” or that other stand-by “fake but accurate,” with its necessary corollary “accurate but false.”

In an unsolicited April 28 e-mail to me, PunditFact author Louis Jacobson told me unequivocally that the demonstrably factual claim he was examining was “clearly accurate” and “technically true.” But today, Jacobson declares, that fact is suddenly “Mostly False.”

Davis woodsheds Jacobson so thoroughly that, if Jacobson hadn’t proven himself to be an amoral political hack, I might have felt sorry for him. As it is, he had it coming:

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[VIDEO] All the arguments you’ll ever need against the fascism behind the gay marriage movement

Gay marriage wedding cake photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto, 26-1-2008.Ben Shapiro outdoes himself in this one.  It is the perfect distillation of everything you need to know to understand why the gay marriage movement isn’t about ending homophobia and is about ending traditional religion in America.  (And without any humility, I’ll remind everyone that I saw this coming a long time ago.)

Muslims aren’t the only ones engaged in an all-out War against Christianity

Weyden_DepositionReligion is in the news a lot lately. All around the world, in what I’m sure is just a bizarre coincidence, masses of people who just happen to be Muslim (and proudly say so) are busily decapitating people, shooting people, raping people, burning people, and stoning people — all of whom, I’m sure coincidentally, happen to be Christian. In the same way, I’m sure we shouldn’t make anything of the fact that these same Muslim co-religionists have developed a nasty habit of throwing men who are allegedly gay off the tops of buildings and then, should these men survive the fall, stomping them to death. In the Venn diagram of faith and behaviors, are intellectual masters in the media repeatedly warn us that we shouldn’t read too much into the fact that Islam has a near perfect overlap with psycho-sexual murder and sadism.

In yet another bizarre coincidence, America’s Progressives have also engaged in a religious war and they too have targeted Christians. You see, Christians have this freaky idea, rooted in who knows how many totally useless and forgettable tens-of-thousands of years of biology, that men and women somehow complement each other, and that faith and society thrive when they support that complementary quality.

Clearly, this pathetic Christian attempt to tie together science and faith is a bad idea. These Christians should leave the science to Progressives, who understand complicated things like Climate Change — and silly skeptics have to understand that it requires superior mental skills to engage with a scientific principle that has as a defining characteristic the fact that none of the data supports any of the predictions. It takes a real scientist to make sense of this mess and to elevate the predictions over the data. (Shhhh! Don’t tell the Progressives, but that belief system sounds remarkably like . . . faith, and a pretty shoddy faith at that.)

Anyway, the Progressive war against Christians in America thankfully hasn’t yet reached the level of beheadings, rapes, and crucifixions. It seems stuck on a remarkably powerful form of stupid. Normally, stupidity shouldn’t be that powerful, but the Progressives have an arrow in their quiver that doesn’t exist in the massacred Middle East, not to mention large swaths of Africa. The secret weapon here is the Christians themselves, many of whom have obsequiously load pulled the rope to raise the blade in the guillotine in the hope that, when that blade finally falls, their necks aren’t the ones in its path.

I have the perfect exhibit today to illustrate that Christian appeasement principle. It’s a sign on a church in Mill Valley. The picture quality is poor, but I think you get the drift:

Marin Church supports gay marriage

“Jesus had two dads and he turned out just fine!”

You really have to think that through a couple of times in order to appreciate it: In one of the most affluent, educated communities in America, the argument for gay marriage is that “Jesus had two fathers.” Really? This is the best that America’s Leftist theologians can do? They reduce the entire Old Testament to a statement that Jesus is the product of a same sex marriage — and wow! He was the Son of God. Who knows what’s going to happen once gay marriage is legal? Obama had better start worrying about having competition for his messiah status.

But why stop at attacking the church just because it has this old-fashioned idea about the sanctity of the biologically complementary male-female relationship, and its role in the perpetuation of humankind?  In an article that passed under my radar when it first came out in December 2014, Salon’s resident anti-religion writer, Valerie Tarico, explains what really powers Christianity —   rape.

Powerful gods and demi-gods impregnating human women—it’s a common theme in the history of religion, and it’s more than a little rapey.

[snip]

Though the earliest Christians had a competing story, in the Gospel of Luke, the Virgin Mary gets pregnant when the spirit of the Lord comes upon her and the power of the Most High overshadows her.

[snip]

The impregnation process may be a “ravishing” or seduction or some kind of titillating but nonsexual procreative penetration. The story may come from an Eastern or Western religious tradition, pagan or Christian. But these encounters between beautiful young women and gods have one thing in common. None of them has freely given female consent as a part of the narrative. (Luke’s Mary assents after being not asked but told by a powerful supernatural being what is going to happen to her, “Behold the bond slave of the Lord: be it done to me . . .”)

Although Tarico is careful to prove her intellectual bona fides by talking about all sorts of rapes in Greek, Roman, and Hindu mythology, Salon’s editors provided the appropriate illustration so that readers would fully understand that the article is meant to be an attack on that most rapey of all modern religions — Christianity:

Salon article illustration of Virgin Mary

Salon article illustration of Virgin Mary

(Keep in mind that, even as Salon made sure Americans knew that Christianity is the rapey religion, the real rapes, the ones involving actual violent sexual penetration against children and women, were taking place everywhere that ISIS and Boko Haram and other misbegotten fundamentalist Christians sects were on the move.)

One can’t help wonder whether that Marin church boasting about Jesus’s two dads fully understood that one of them — the divine one — was a wild-eyed rapist, probably indistinguishable from that wild-eyed, and of course totally imaginary, group of rapists at UVa a couple of months ago.

Jews and Christians are in the cross hairs good and proper.  The Muslim war against Jews is reaching peak ferocity in its battle against Israel, which has spilled into virulent anti-Semitism around the world, of the type not seen since the years before WWII.  Meanwhile, the companion Leftist war against Christians seems to be concentrating itself on the gay marriage issue, because the Left obviously feels that it has leverage on this issue.

I’ve quoted myself before on this subject and I’ll quote myself again.  This battle is not about whether, as a matter of civil law, states can decide what type of individuals can join together to get the benefit of various laws encouraging people to pair up.  If that were the case, the agitators would be working to do away with state issued “marriage” licenses and, instead, to have all state-sanctioned partnerships became “civil unions,” leaving marriage solely to the faithful.  I could live with that.

The various states could becoming laboratories, testing which unions best benefit society as a whole and, more specifically, the children raised within these many and varied unions.  (American black’s dire economic plight, combined with their propensity for violence, would seem to indicate that the current approach — 73% of black children are born out of wedlock — is not a good one.)  But that’s not the war the Left is fighting.  Its war is intended to bring down religion in America.

Back in March 2009, long before gay marriage got to the Supreme Court, I wrote:

As you know, one of my main reasons for supporting Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, was because I believe that move to redefine marriage has the potential to put the State and religion organizations — especially the Catholic church — into a head-on collision.

Liberals, when confronted with this notion, will often argue that, while the Catholic Church objects to abortion, that’s never created a constitutional crisis.  What they ignore is the fact that, while the church is not in the business of providing abortions, it is in the business of providing marriages.  It also ignores the fact that abortion is a legal right, not a constitutional one, while gay marriage proponents have been framing it in the opposite way:  they say gay marriage as a constitutional, rather than a mere legal right.

Keep in mind that, for Catholics, marriage isn’t just a white dress, cake and Mendelssohn’s wedding march.  Instead, it’s a sacrament.  A basic tenet of the religion is the joining of man and woman before God.

So imagine this scenario:  Two men go to the local Catholic parish and demand that it marry them.  The priest, sympathetic to their love for each other, nevertheless states that he cannot, at a purely religious level marry them.  The men turn around and sue the Church for violating their Constitutional rights.  Suddenly, the judicial system is called upon to examine doctrinal issues to determine whether they mesh with Constitutional issues.  It’s a scary scenario for anyone who takes seriously the principle that government may not interfere with religious doctrine.

Let me throw in one more recent Leftie poster to drive home the point that this is an all-out war against Christianity, and it’s one that too many so-called Christian churches in America are unable or unwilling to fight. Keep in mind as you look at the poster below that we already know from the IRS’s battle against conservative and pro-Israel groups, that the power to tax is the power to destroy — which is precisely why our Founders and previous American generations understood that the state cannot get its greedy financial talons into America’s churches, synagogues, temples, and, provided that they don’t abuse their First Amendment freedoms by preaching mass murder and treason, her mosques too:

Taxing churches

The Bookworm Beat 4-28-15 — the “I’ve got a job” edition and open thread

Woman writingFor the next few weeks, I’m helping out at an actual office. This means that, as was the case today, I may not get to my computer until later in the day. You might want to consider my blog the place to go for afternoon and early evening reading. I’ve got a few articles saved from yesterday, and I’ll share them here before I start reading today’s material:

The Supreme Court and Gay Marriage

Traditionally, Supreme Court justices have worked on being inscrutable. It’s been part of the mystique. Even during oral argument, their questions aren’t necessarily an indicator about which way any given justice will decide a case. This is important, because it creates the appearance of impartiality and fealty to the Constitution, rather than to personal bias.

At least, that used to be the case. When it comes to gay marriage, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the worst writer on the Supreme Court, has also abandoned all pretense of impartiality of obeisance to the Constitution. Consider her an enthusiastic “yes” vote for gay marriage.

VDH outdoes himself analyzing the Clintons’ peculiar brand of utter corruption

Sometimes Victor Davis Hanson has an almost oracular quality, when his writing transcends ordinary opinion pieces and goes into some transcendent outer zone. He’s done it today with his take on the Clintons’ epic immorality:

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