To the Left all human lives are equal but some lives are less equal than others

Premature baby feetThe anti-Second Amendment Left was feeling very smug the other day (as my Facebook feed attested) because they think that The Daily Show’s new hack, Trevor Noah, hit one out of the park in attacking the sheer inhumanity of the crazed pro-Life gun holders on the Right:

The point is, if pro-lifers would just redirect their powers toward gun violence, the amount of lives they could save would reach superhero levels. They just need to have a superhero’s total dedication to life. Because right now they’re more like comic book collectors. Human life only holds value until you take it out of the package, and then it’s worth nothing.

There’s your logic for you:  All those people who claim to be pro-Life but support the Second Amendment are gross hypocrites; while the pro-Abortion crowd that wants to use government force to disarm the American public is all about “life”!

I have just a couple of numbers to share with you, both from 2011, because I found reports for that year that I could easily compare.  I doubt the numbers have changed significantly since then:

Number of abortions performed in 2011 in the United States:  1,100,000

Number of homicides using guns in 2011 in the United States:  8,583

The only way for the Leftists to think they win when comparing pro-Lifers who support gun rights to pro-Abortion types who want to ban guns is if the Leftists do not believe that a fetus is human.  Of course, every woman who’s carried a baby to term knows, if only in her heart of hearts, that this is a lie.

To hold that those fetuses are not human, so that their deaths cannot be counted when compared to crime victims’ deaths, is possible only when a belief system has turned into a death cult.  The Nazis did this when they convinced themselves that Jewish lives weren’t human lives; and the Left has done it when it comes to fetal lives.

The problem, always, is that once a culture starts deciding which groups among it, no matter how human they appear, aren’t really, truly human, then that culture inevitably slides into mass genocide.  This is especially so when resources become scarce, whether through natural causes (droughts, floods, volcanoes), or through unnatural science that declares, all evidence to the contrary, that humans are so destructive to Gaia that they must begin to erase their presence from Planet Earth.

First they came for the fetuses, and I said nothing because I was no longer a fetus….

Why Leftists are wrong when they compare having an abortion to buying a gun

Woman's right to choose gunsMy Progressive Facebook friends — and I have many because I’ve spent almost my entire life in the San Francisco Bay area — have a new meme that’s got them terribly excited. Here, in all its glory, is what Progressives think counts as intelligent argument both to support abortion rights and destroy Second Amendment rights:

Stupid liberals on guns and abortion

Because I hate dense paragraphs — they’re very hard to address — let me break the above risible effort at logical argument down into its component parts:

Women who want to terminate a life (provided that life is within them, which is legal and known as abortion, as opposed to a life that is not within them, which is illegal and known as murder), must take all or some of the following steps, depending on their age and the state within which they live:

Wait 48 hours before proceeding with the requested abortion

Get permission from a parent if the female is under the legal age of consent.

Have a doctor’s note explaining that the doctor is intentionally carrying out an abortion.

Watch a video about the results of an abortion (i.e., a fetus will be vacuumed out of the womb or disassembled to remove it from the womb).

Have an ultrasound so that the woman sees the life she intends to abort.

Further, because some states do not like abortion, the woman opting to go ahead with the procedure might have to:

Travel a great distance to find an abortion provider.

Take time off of work to travel that distance (and, probably, to recover from the procedure).

Stay overnight in a strange town.

See strangers holding graphic pictures of what happens to the fetus she will abort, with the same strangers pleading with her not to act.

It’s unfair that women should have to suffer this information overload, inconvenience, and indignity to have an abortion.  Therefore men who intend to buy a gun should be subject to the same level of inconvenience.  Men should therefore suffer too.  The rationale:  “No woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?”

Where to begin?

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Five reasons that the benefits that flow from guns far outweigh the risks inherent in guns

American revolutionariesWith the shooting at Umpqua Community College having reanimated the Progressives’ demands that we withdraw guns from citizens’ hands and leave them solely in the hands of government operatives (a strange demand from the BLM-supporting crowd if you think about it), it’s time for me to rehash my five-point argument explaining why, the risks of guns notwithstanding, we are much safer with guns than without them.  I originally published this post in June 2014 and have made only a few changes to enhance clarity:


God forgive me, but I used to be so anti-gun that I donated to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. I know. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Since that time, I’ve done a complete 180 and become a fervent gun supporter and a proud member of the NRA.

This change did not come about because I suddenly became a psychopathic killer, with guns as my weapon of choice. I do kill (spiders, fleas, and ticks) and I do eat dead bodies (cows, pigs, chicken, and fish), but I’m scarcely Hannibal Lecter.

Instead, my reversal on guns came about because I realized that gun’s are a predicate requirement for individual freedom and security.  I’ve created five principles that justify this conclusion.  These principles are:  (1) Armed citizens are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) I am a Jew; (3) I am not a racist; (4) a self-defended society is a safe society; and (5) the only way gun-control activists can support their position is to lie.

I develop each of these principles below.


A. Armed Citizens Are The Best Defense Against The World’s Most Dangerous Killer: Government.

1.  Progressives fear individuals, who kill only in small numbers; Second Amendment supporters fear government, which kills in the tens of millions.

a. Mad or predatory individuals, ideologically motivated groups, and mean or careless corporations have never succeeded in using guns to achieve more than a few thousand deaths in any individual act.

Progressives and conservatives alike share the same concerns: they don’t want killers to have guns. It’s just that Progressives haven’t quite figured out who the real killers are. Their obsessive focus is on individuals and corporations. Let’s humor their fears and look at the number of deaths those particular killers have achieved, both with and without guns, from the beginning of the 20th century through to the present day.

Individual Killers Who Did Not Use Guns:

The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did not use a gun: Gameel al-Batouti. On October 31, 1999, he cried out “Allahu Akbar” as he piloted a plane full of passengers into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.

The worst ideologically driven collective of mass murderers who did not use guns: The 19 al Qaeda members who, on September 11, 2001, used box cutters to hijack four planes, crashed those planes into three buildings and one into a field, and killed 2,996 people in a matter of hours.

The worst corporate mass murderer that did not use guns: In December 1984, the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally released toxic gas from its facility, killing 3,787 people.

CONCLUSION: When dedicated mass murderers use something other than guns, they’re able to achieve deaths that range from a few hundreds dead to a few thousand dead.

Individual Killers Who Used Guns:

The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did use a gun: Anders Behring Breivik who, on July 22, 2011, shot and killed 69 people in Norway – mostly teenagers. This rampage came after he’d already set off a bomb, killing 8 people. Norway has strict gun control.

The worst ideologically driven collective mass murderers who did use guns: Given Islamists’ tendency to use all weapons available to shoot as many people as possible in as many countries as they can, this is a tough one to call. I believe, though, that the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 is the largest ideologically driven mass murder that relied solely on guns. Throughout the city of Mumbai, Islamic terrorists engaged in a coordinated attack that killed 154 people. Even the unbelievably bloody and shocking mall shooting that al Shabaab staged in Kenya killed only 63 people.

The worst corporate mass murder that did use guns: I can’t find any. To the extent that numerous workers died in any given 19th century labor dispute, those deaths occurred because state government, siding with management, sent out the state’s militia to disperse the strikers. For example, in November 1887, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the state militia killed between 35 and 300 black sugar plantation strikers. The 20th and 21st century did not offer such examples.

CONCLUSION: To the extent Progressives fear individual killers or small groups of killers with guns, their fears are misplaced.  Guns simply aren’t that effective in these contexts, especially when compared to those who use planes or bombs. Moreover, when it comes to corporations and guns, outside of crazed Hollywood movies, the corporations vanish from the scene entirely.

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Destroying the arguments Progressives make when demanding gun control

Guns good people helpless does not equal bad people harmlessAlthough mass shootings are too anomalous to be predictable, what is predictable is that the Progressives, from Obama on down, will instantly use the occasion of a mass shooting to demand gun control.  Obama has already had his little say about the shooting at Umpqua Community College, and my  Facebook feed is rapidly filling up with links to Progressive publications, all insisting that gun control is the answer, and all pointing to Europe and Australia to justify this demand.

Rather than write a brand new post countering these old arguments, I’m going to recycle a post I first wrote in February 2013, when my son’s high school English teacher, for no good reason whatsoever, handed out New York Times anti-gun propaganda to the students.

As you read the following, the only thing I ask of you is that you remember that Europe has changed a lot in just the last few weeks.  I suspect that all those people who so willingly handed their guns over to the government when they were good little Englishmen, or good little Germans, or good little Dutchmen, will soon be wishing that they had an armory in their homes.

What I’d like to write to my child’s teacher about his gun control advocacy in class

Just yesterday, my son came home from high school and shared with me two New York Times articles that his English teacher had distributed to the students.  One article was by Elisabeth Rosenthal and the other by Nicholas Kristof.  Each advocates a significant increase in gun control.  The teacher was unable to explain to the students why he believed those articles were in any way relevant to the book they were studying.

[I wrote the teacher a letter, which I share here with you.]

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The Bookworm Beat 10-1-15 — the “clearing the spindle” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed and wounded at Umpqua Community College today. I have only three things to note: Obama immediately demanded gun control; the campus has a “gun free zone” policy; and the shooter started to ask people their religion, but started shooting before they could answer.

Without more information, I have nothing else to say nor conclusions to draw.

What it’s like to experience an Islamic terrorist attack

Foreign Policy has a truly horrifying minute-by-minute timeline of what happened during the horrible Islamic attack on the Nairobi’s Westgate Mall two years ago.  The article pieces the story together based on conversations with survivors and Kenyan officials, as well as information derived from mall security tapes.

My two takeaways are that Islamic terrorists are monstrous people by the standards of any place and any time in world history; and that when seconds count, the authorities are not only minutes or hours away, they seldom have enough information to handle the crisis in any event.  The front-line defendants, if any, are those people who, through sheer happenstance, find themselves at the center of a terrorist attack.  If they are armed, the attack is more likely to be limited in scope.

When all guns in private hands are outlawed (which is President Obama’s most devout hope), only outlaws and terrorists will have guns.  The rest of us will have targets painted on strategic parts of our bodies.

Dirty organic food

Marin County is fanatic about its organic foods. Perhaps, as with so many things, Marin is on the wrong track:

The permitted “organic” pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article: “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones. No matter what anyone tells you, organic pesticides don’t just disappear.”


Organic foods are highly susceptible to it. According to Bruce Chassy, professor of food science at the University of Illinois, “organic foods are recalled 4 to 8 times more frequently than their conventional counterparts.” This is hardly surprising. Aside from the presence of pathogenic bacteria, organic grains are particularly susceptible to toxins from fungi. In 2003, the UK Food Safety Agency tested six organic corn meal products and 20 conventional (non-organic) corn meal products for contamination with the toxin fumonisin. All six organic corn meals had elevated levels—from nine to 40 times more than the recommended levels for human health—and they were voluntarily withdrawn from grocery stores. By contrast, the 20 conventional (i.e., non-organic) products averaged about a quarter of the recommended maximum levels.

Obamacare — more people should read my blog

Over at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog there’s a conundrum:  Why don’t 33 million people have health insurance in this glorious Obamacare era?  There are some easy answers to that question according to FiveThirtyEight:  To begin with, around 4 million of those “Americans” without insurance are, in fact, illegal aliens.  Another three million are immigrants and Medicaid gap people who don’t have coverage.  Take away that crowd, and one is still left with 29 million uninsured people.  You can then peel away the 7.7 invincible or unemployed young, who view insurance as unnecessary or too costly, especially given that they’re propping up Obamacare.  Even after that, you’re still left with around 14 million uninsured Americans, 75% of whom are adults who ought to be Obamacare subscribers.

At this point, FiveThirtyEight is baffled:

It’s hard to say why these 14 million people weren’t insured, but the administration will have to figure that out if it wants to come close to the universal coverage the law intended.

May I suggest that the FiveThirtyEight people stop thinking like the middle class and start thinking like the lowest class? Once again, I turn to my friend who, though coming from a middle class background, lives amongst the poorest of the poor, many of whom are second or third generation members of that class:

[My friend] and her husband, the only middle class people in a sea of poverty, are the only people she knows, amongst both friends and acquaintances, who have signed up for Obamacare.  The others have no interest in getting health insurance.  Even with a subsidy, they don’t want to pay a monthly bill for health insurance.  Even a subsidized rate is too onerous when they can get all the free health care they need just by showing up at the local emergency room.  Additionally, the ER docs are usually better than any doc who’s willing to belong to whatever plan they can afford.  Nor are these people worried about the penalties for refusing to buy Obamacare, since none of them pay taxes.

Not only are the people in my friend’s world refusing to buy Obamacare, they resent it.  According to my friend, someone she knows abruptly announced that she’s getting involved in local politics, something she’s never done before.  Until recently, this gal was one of those people who just floated along, getting by.  Now, though, she’s fired up.

The reason for the sudden passion is unexpected:  She’s deeply offended by a law that forces people to buy a product they don’t need — never mind that she might benefit from the product, that she would pay far below market value for the product, or that she’s too poor to be penalized for ignoring this government diktat.  The mere fact that the diktat exists runs counter to her notion of individual liberty.  Her view of government is that, while it’s fine if it hands out welfare checks and food stamps, it goes beyond the pale when the government uses its power and wealth to coerce activity.

Our ideologically blind, narcissistic president

Barack Obama’s appalling speech at the UN resulted in several very good articles about his delusions. My favorite is Bret Stephens’ An Unteachable President:

Finally, Mr. Obama believes history is going his way. “What? Me worry?” says the immortal Alfred E. Neuman, and that seems to be the president’s attitude toward Mr. Putin’s interventions in Syria (“doomed to fail”) and Ukraine (“not so smart”), to say nothing of his sang-froid when it comes to the rest of his foreign-policy debacles.

In this cheapened Hegelian world view, the U.S. can relax because History is on our side, and the arc of history bends toward justice. Why waste your energies to fulfill a destiny that is already inevitable? And why get in the way of your adversary’s certain doom?

It’s easy to accept this view of life if you owe your accelerated good fortune to a superficial charm and understanding of the way the world works. It’s also easier to lecture than to learn, to preach than to act. History will remember Barack Obama as the president who conducted foreign policy less as a principled exercise in the application of American power than as an extended attempt to justify the evasion of it.

Elliott Abram’s thoughts about Obama’s “surreal” speech are also well worth reading.  He contrasts each statement Obama made, about the Middle East, Cuba, or anything, with the facts on the ground.  Obama is either a delusional fabulist or he really thinks everyone in the world is as stupid as his Progressive fans.

The camera never lies, at least not when it comes to Putin and Obama

Recent headlines make it obvious that Putin is running rings around Obama and positioning Russia as the new world power.  I’m actually not sure how long Putin can keep this dominance going.  Back at home, his country is being weakened by an utterly corrupt government; a weak, oligarchic economy; rising AIDS and alcoholism; and a declining population.  Putin is definitely ready to lead, but may eventually have too few followers and too little money.  If he’s forced to retrench, though, we know he’ll leave havoc in his wake.

But back to Putin and Obama.  If you want to know what’s going on, check out this chart.

A handy-dandy guide to rebutting BDS lies about Israel

YNet has published an article that provides actual facts to counter the lies the BDS movement relies on in order to further its antisemitic goals.  For example:

The Lie: “Palestinians who live in Israel are second-class citizens.”

The Truth: Israeli Arabs are citizens with equal rights. Arabs serve as Members of Parliament, as judges in courts, including the Supreme Court, as professors and doctors. In the past there were incidents of discrimination, and sometimes there still are. But according to any objective measure, the condition of Israeli Arabs is far better than that of Muslim minorities in Europe.

The head of the panel of judges who sent former Israeli president Moshe Katsav to jail, for example, was an Arab judge. The chairman of the Central Election Committee in 2015 Elections was also an Arab. There are numerous examples of the ways in which Israeli Arabs are integrated in the culture, art, economy and academia of Israel.

A handy-dandy guide to the Planned Parenthood videos

Meanwhile, at the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway summarizes the contents of the various undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in human bodies.  One doesn’t even have to watch the videos to find the contents extremely disturbing.

That Republicans are still funding this utterly corrupt organization — one that launders money for the Democrat party, spends taxpayer funds on boondoggles for high ranking employees (something only Fox seems willing to report),  and derives profit from selling body parts — is a disgrace.  Planned Parenthood is not the only game in town for women’s health care, and it’s time for us to stop pretending that it is (especially in this age of Obamacare).

Someone on a closed Facebook group to which I belong had a good observation:  How can Planned Parenthood (and other lefties such as the execrable Bill Nye, the un-science guy) claim that before birth a fetus is not human, while at the same time harvesting those same fetal body parts for sale as “human organs”?

Well, you know what they say:  If Leftists didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

Found it on Facebook : Don’t ban guns, ban Democrats

Obama on guns and cops and killersI believe that at least the majority of the statements in this Facebook meme, which are current only through 2013, are factually accurate (I’m not in a place where I have enough internet to cross-check):

In 1865 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States – who later died from the wound.

In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.

In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.

In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

In 1986 Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.

In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX.

In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.

In 1999 Larry Asbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.

In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the U.S.

In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung – Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech.

In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.

In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school in Newtown , CT.

As recently as Sept 2013, an angry Democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard.

*Not one *NRA member, Tea Party member, Republican, or Christian conservative was involved in any of these shootings and murders.

The Bookworm Beat 9-1-15 — the “doggone it days of summer” edition and open thread *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265There’s no rain in sight for the next fifteen days, but with August at an end and September beginning, this still feels like the last of the summer to me. Even as summer ends, though, the crazy goes on, and I’ve got the links to prove it (and many thanks to a friend who wishes to remain anonymous for his help assembling some of these links):

Not that the Left will listen to Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney is weighing in on the Iran “Deal,” saying the obvious, that it makes war more, not less, likely.  Unstated is the 1930’s lesson, that the costs of waiting for war until Iran is far better armed and has nuclear weapons will make the cost in blood and gold rise exponentially.

Hillary reduced to name calling and insults

James Taranto’s BOTW today is a great one analyzing Hildabeast’s decision to begin making outlandish accusations and allusions to terrorists and Nazis.  She is flailing:

“Terrorist groups” and “boxcars” do not appear to be mere gaffes. If you watch the videos of Mrs. Clinton’s comments, you will note that both inflammatory utterances are preceded by pregnant pauses, suggesting that she chose the words deliberately—that her intent was to inflame. Why?


Is the ugly rhetoric really necessary? Maybe so. In an interview with the Register, Democratic strategist Steve McMahon offers this explanation for the Sanders surge: “Voters right now are flocking to the angry, authentic outsiders and moving away from the cautious or calculating establishment insiders.” (One might add that also describes Trump and the Republicans.) Mrs. Clinton is no outsider and will never be described as authentic, so she has to try extra hard to appeal to anger.

And it’s nothing new for her. When Bill Clinton was president, Mrs. Clinton played Agnew to his Nixon. She, not he, blamed his sex scandals on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Until last week, her campaign rhetoric had been decidedly bland, and it’s hardly surprising she’d feel the need to spice it up. But as Jonathan Haidt observes in “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion”: “You can’t have a cuisine . . . based primarily on bitter tastes.”

Higher education continues to sink ever lower

This from Elizabeth Foley at Instapundit on the latest from a college that needs to be burned to the ground and the earth salted:

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The Bookworm Beat 8-26-15 — the “gruesome GoPro” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265The revolution will be televised — thoughts on the shooting in Virginia

Back in 1969 or 1970, during the height of the 1960s era upheavals, Gil Scott-Heron wrote a poem/song claiming “the revolution will not be televised.” The lyrics implied that the media would be so anodyne that, while revolution was on the streets, those watching their TVs would see only pabulum. What Scott-Heron couldn’t perceive was that, thanks to technological advances, the revolutionaries would create their own television spectacles. We see that most dramatically with ISIS, which enjoys filming and televising its trail of murder, rapine, and destruction, as well as with the American activists who turn life’s frictions into catalysts for riot and revolution.

And today we saw something that managed to have roots both in a protest against life’s friction and in ISIS’s sadistic voyeurism: It turns out that Vester Lee Flanigan, the man who murdered TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, and seriously injured Chamber of Commerce representative Vicki Gardner, (a) committed the murder in part because Parker allegedly made racist comments before Flanigan and Parker ever worked together and (b) GoPro’d the murder:

Murderer's eye view Flanigan Parker

The revolution will be televised, and it will be the revolutionaries, especially the sadistic voyeurs, doing the televising.

Oh, and because the usual suspects have used this horrible murder as ammunition in their war on the Second Amendment, you might want to have as your own talking point the fact that gun crime has dropped 49% since 1993, something the vast majority of Americans do not know.

Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos

I do not like Trump. I do not believe he’s a conservative. I do believe he’s a megalomaniac. I sincerely hope he burns out soon, so that more serious candidates (my current faves are Cruz and Fiorina) can get their rightful place in the limelight.

Having said that, I totally understand why people are so enthusiastic about Trump’s demagogic candidacy. Part of it the support comes from people’s sense that a lawless administration needs to be reined in about illegal immigration.

Incidentally, I just made an important point, if I do say so myself. Contrary to Leftist claims, those who support Trump are not xenophobes, trying to lock Hispanics out of the country. They are, instead, ordinary lawful citizens who are horrified by the fact that the current executive branch in this country is willfully violating laws that Congress passed to preserve this country’s sovereignty. It’s not racist to ask your government to enforce its own laws. But back to Trump….

What people like about Trump is his absolute refusal to play by the PC rules that Leftists have long used to stifle conservative speech and action. Ramos was out of line to use his Hispanic heft to muscle into a speech at the Donald’s press conference, and the Donald rightly put him in his place. Then, when Ramos played by the rules and waited his turn, Trump again put him in his place by answering in straightforward fashion questions about the border, pnce again blogging Ramos’s speechifying.

Leftists are bullies who work hard to control speech and thought through whatever means are available. In Trump, they’ve met an even bigger bully than they are.  While I’d hate to see Trump in the driver’s seat at the White House, it’s a pleasure to see him out bully the Left on the campaign trail.

Daniel Pipes on the possibility that Tehran rejects the deal

To those of us watching Obama work hard to hand billions of dollars and unlimited nuclear capacity to the Iranians, it seems inconceivable that the Iranians might reject the deal. Moreover, if that were to happen, I think most of us would have, as our instinctive first response, the thought that it’s good to see Obama humiliated in such a way.

Daniel Pipes, however, argues that the possibility is real that Tehran could reject the deal and that, absent some careful groundwork, if it were to happen, it could have unpleasant ramifications, not for Obama, but for Israel and other opponents of the deal:

Leaders of fanatical and brutal government such as Khamenei’s invariably make ideological purity and personal power their highest priorities and he is no exception. From this point of view – its impact on the regime’s longevity – the deal contains two problems.

First, it betrays Ayatollah Khameini’s vision of unyielding enmity to the United States, a core principle that has guided the Islamic republic since he founded it in 1979. A substantial portion of the leadership, including Khamenei himself, hold to a purist vision that sees any relations with the United States as unacceptable and bordering on treachery. For this reason, Tehran has long been the world’s only capital not seeking improved relations with Washington. These rejectionists disdain the benefits of the deal; they refuse it on grounds of principle.


Second, Iranian opponents of the JCPOA worry about its eroding the Islamist values of Khameini’s revolution. They fear that the businessmen, tourists, students, artists, et al., perched soon to descend on an newly-opened Iran will further tempt the local population away from the difficult path of resistance and martyrdom in favor of consumerism, individualism, feminism, and multiculturalism. They despise and dread American clothing, music, videos, and education. Khamenei himself talks of the U.S. government seeking a way “to penetrate into the country.” From their point of view, isolation and poverty have their virtues as means to keep the Iranian revolution alive.


Back in the West, opponents of the deal will, of course, rejoice if Khamenei rejects the deal. But his doing so also presents them with a problem. After claiming that Obama has given away the store, they must confront the awkward fact that the Iranian leadership turned down his offer. As Obama emerges as an apparent hard-liner who protected American interests and out-bargained the bazaar merchants, their argument collapses. His accusation about their “making common cause” with the Iranian rejectionists will look newly convincing and terribly damning. Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, currently in Obama’s dog house, is especially at risk of being dismissed as foolish.

To avoid this fate, the deal’s opponents must immediately prepare for the possibility of an Iranian “no.”

Read the whole thing here.

The 14th Amendment is not intended to extend birthright citizenship to people who are here illegally

The 14th Amendment’s reference to birthright citizenship was intended to give American blacks citizenship. Blacks did not come to America voluntarily. Whites brought them here forcibly, and then kept them captive. The least America could do was make them and their children citizens of this country.

The 14th amendment was not intended (a) to provide an incentive for people to make a voluntary illegal journey here and then to use the subsequent birth of their children as an anchor to stay in perpetuity or (b) to entice monied people to come here solely for their child’s birth, before returning to their own country. It’s not complicated; it is, instead, a grotesque perversion of our Constitution to hold otherwise.

I actually have thought a fair bit about birthright citizenship because my father was the child of a German Jewish woman and a Polish Jewish man of Romanian decent. His mother had been in Germany for centuries and was a German citizen. His father was a legal immigrant in Germany, but retained his Polish citizenry. My father, although born in Germany in 1919 to a German mother, was a Polish citizen. That’s why, when he and my mother sought to immigrate legally to America in the 1950s, it took him years to get a visa — America wasn’t thrilled at the time about getting more Polish residents. I always thought it was unfair to my father, that he was born in Germany to legal residents, but was a Pole.

The same does not hold true in my mind for people who should not be here in the first place. They weren’t invited, they weren’t forced here, and they didn’t follow the legal process to get here. They are, to my mind, non-people under American law and they should not get any of the benefits that either the law or the constitution extend to people born here, invited here, forced here, and legally welcomed here.

Of course, the media is doing its best to hide from everyone the fact that birthright citizenship is not the reward for every cheat who enters this country.

Yet another blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt

Okay, the story below isn’t really a blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, because a media that (a) worships Roosevelt and (b) isn’t going to let Americans get a glimpse into the sordid side of Roosevelt’s personality and presidency will never cover it.

The fact is, though, that Roosevelt was either a racist or an exceptionally petty man — or both. Certainly Roosevelt didn’t care that Jews were being slaughtered. He didn’t integrate the WWII military. And he refused to congratulate Jessie Owens in 1936:

Back home, ticker tape parades feted Owens in New York City and Cleveland. Hundreds of thousands of Americans came out to cheer him. Letters, phone calls, and telegrams streamed in from around the world to congratulate him. From one important man, however, no word of recognition ever came. As Owens later put it, “Hitler didn’t snub me; it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send a telegram.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, leader of a major political party with deep roots in racism, couldn’t bring himself to utter a word of support, which may have been a factor in Owens’s decision to campaign for Republican Alf Landon in the 1936 presidential election. FDR invited all the white US Olympians to the White House, but not Jesse.

“It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close,” Owens once said about athletic competition. He could have taught FDR a few lessons in character, but the president never gave him the chance. Owens wouldn’t be invited to the White House for almost 20 years — not until Dwight Eisenhower named him “Ambassador of Sports” in 1955.

The gay rights movement is not the same as the civil rights movement

I have to admit to being surprised (rather pleasantly) to see the New York Times run an op-ed from someone pointing out that the gay rights and civil rights movement are not the same. John Corvino is a philosophy professor, so his writing made my eyes role into the back of my head (I could almost see my brain), but I appreciate his careful effort to explain that, while the movements share similarities, they are not the same and that it’s an error to impose draconian government speech restrictions on those who, for reasons of faith, aren’t anxious to embrace gay marriage. Indeed, Corvino makes an argument I’ve been making for years, which is that the civil rights movement saw individuals protesting government conduct while the gay rights movement is using the government to enforce private conduct:

When civil rights laws were passed, discrimination against blacks was pervasive, state-sponsored and socially intractable. Pervasive, meaning that there weren’t scores of other photographers clamoring for their business. State-sponsored, meaning that segregation was not merely permitted but in fact legally enforced, even in basic public accommodations and services. Socially intractable, meaning that without higher-level legal intervention, the situation was unlikely to improve. To treat the lesbian couple’s situation as identical — and thus as obviously deserving of the same legal remedy — is to minimize our racist past and exaggerate L.G.B.T.-rights opponents’ current strength.

Leftists are so damn smug

I’ve had the link to this video on my spindle for about a week now. In the elapsed time since I first tagged it, but didn’t get the chance to write about it, it’s gone viral, even to the point of Ellen Degeneris sending out a tweet. In it, a father videos himself celebrating the fact that his little boy got a “Little Mermaid” doll at the toy store.

Why did I tag it to bring to your attention? Because the father is so smug. Smug is not the right response to a personal family decision. Instead, it’s apparent that this guy knew precisely what kind of traction this video would get and desperately wanted his 15 seconds of fame.

Leftists are so damn greedy

You’ll know without my comments what to make of a lawyer saying that blacks and other oppressed people should steal from big retailers, because the fact that retailers have insurance means that it’s not a crime. Separate from the immorality and racism of what he says, he needs an economics lesson courtesy of Bastiat.

Even Israel supports sharia law

One of the hallmarks of a free society is free speech. One of the hallmarks of a sharia society is that, whether through word or deed, you’re not allowed to criticize any aspect of Islam, especially the pedophile prophet. Yet in Israel, a free country chronically under attack by the pedophile’s followers, the government enforces sharia on Islam’s behalf:

Israeli police arrested a fourth person for calling Mohammed a pig. Avia Morris, the first person arrested described being taunted with cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “Kill the Jews” along with signs of support for ISIS. But it only became a legal matter when the twenty-year-old woman retorted, “Mohammed is a pig.”

Daniel Greenfield has a great deal more on Mohammed’s piggishness and on Western government’s enthusiastic willingness to become an arm of the sharia police when speakers point out Mohammed’s many, many failings:

The response to Muslim violence has been greater extremes of censorship. There is a direct connection between the amount of protective censorship imposed on any criticism of Islam and Islamic violence. The Clinton administration rant about Tatiana’s cartoon took place after the World Trade Center bombing. And yet it would have been unthinkable then to lock up a Mohammed filmmaker, as Hillary and Obama did after the Benghazi massacre. Each new atrocity creates new momentum for censorship.

The Israeli police behave the way they do because the authorities are desperate to keep some kind of peace and it is always easier to censor, arrest and control non-Muslims than Muslims. That is also why the authorities in European countries are far more willing to lock up those who burn the Koran or criticize Islam than the Salafis who patrol the streets as Sharia police and call for a Caliphate.

This is not tolerance. It’s appeasement. It’s cowardice and treason.

Need I point out that these are the same governments that are entirely comfortable with Christs in urine, Marys in elephant dung, and horribly antisemitic pictures of Jews?

No matter how nice Obama makes with Cuba, Cuba is still a nasty place

We have diplomatic relationships with all sorts of nasty regimes. What’s disgusting about Obama and Co. is that they’re pretending that Cuba isn’t a nasty regime. Cracked, of all sites, points out that the Left is lying — Cuba’s a bad place, let by ugly, violent people.

Income inequality and poverty are not the same thing

Writing at Forbes, Harry Frankfurt makes a very important point in response to hysterical screams about income inequality, all of which end up with demands for government mandated wealth redistribution:

It isn’t especially desirable that each have the same as others. What is bad is not inequality; it is poverty. We should want each person to have enough—that is, enough to support the pursuit of a life in which his or her own reasonable ambitions and needs may be comfortably satisfied. This individually measured sufficiency, which by definition precludes the bur­dens and deprivations of poverty, is clearly a more sensible goal than the achievement of an impersonally calibrated equality.


It is not inequality itself that is to be decried; nor is it equality it­self that is to be applauded. We must try to eliminate poverty, not because the poor have less than others but be­cause being poor is full of hardship and suffering. We must con­trol inequality, not because the rich have much more than the poor but because of the tendency of inequality to generate unac­ceptable discrepancies in social and political influence. Inequality is not in itself objectionable—and neither is equality in itself a morally required ideal.

Ben Shapiro and my sister sort of agree

My sister is a rather indifferent libertarian who pays as little attention to the news as possible. However, we had a conversation when I spoke about the fact that voters cannot make informed decisions when the media deliberately hides data. My example was the Planned Parenthood videos showing Planned Parenthood facilities engaging in the sale of human body parts in a way that (a) appears to show them violating laws against profiting from that sale; (b) appears to show them failing to notify the women having the abortions what will be done about those body parts; and (c) makes it clear how revolting the traffic in fetal body parts really is.

When I described the videos to her, my sister was horrified. Libertarian she may be; secularist she may be; government out of my womb she may be — but she understands that there is a moment when that fetus is a viable life and at that moment she believes, as do most Americans, that it’s murder to vacuum it out of a woman’s body and kill it without a damn good reason for doing so. Although she won’t watch it, she would find herself agreeing with Ben Shapiro’s video:

More climate lies

Just in case you wanted to know, NOAA committed the usual acts of climate-based scientific fraud with Oklahoma temperature data.

If you need some inspiration today…

Corporal Todd Love will inspire you.

Dubai — impressive or disgusting?

I’m not a fan of conspicuous consumption, so I find Dubai’s excess disgusting. Having said that, it’s disgusting in a kind of fascinating way.

Did any Leftist initiatives ever actually benefit the poor people, women, and minorities?

good-intentionsMy son has a hard time waking up in the morning and, over the years, I’ve fallen into a bad habit: When he doesn’t emerge from his room, I head up the stairs to remind him to wake up. Last Friday, I got my exercise heading up those stairs five separate times. This morning, I thought to myself, “My God! I’m acting precisely like a Leftist, depriving my child of the opportunity to take responsibility for himself.”

When I woke my son up, I said “This is the last time I’m coming upstairs this morning. If you fall back asleep, I will not wake you up and, when you’re finally ready to head to school, you’ll walk there with a note from me to the office explaining that you overslept.”

“Really?” he asked incredulously.

“Really,” I answered.

My son came down to breakfast in record time.  It turned out that by allowing him to rely on me, I’d preventing him from being able to rely on himself.

Thinking about the inadvertent damage I was doing to my son with my well-meant efforts to get him off to school in time, I then started thinking about Leftists, who claim to act for and represent the other 99%: the poor, the people of varying colors and sexual indentities, women, etc. And what I asked myself was this: “Do any current Leftist initiatives actually benefit the people Leftists claim to serve?”

So far, my answer to that question is “no.” As of my writing this, I’ve come up with the following list of Leftist cause célèbres (which is not in any particular order), and the deleterious effects they have on the Left’s claimed constituency:

1. The anti-GMO movement

As the Left phrases it, they are saving the world from Frankengrains and other foods that will destroy the earth, all in the name of Monsanto’s enrichment. In fact, the historical ignorance behind the movement is staggering, since humans have been messing with animal and plant genetics since the beginning of human kind.

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The Bookworm Beat 6-24-15 — the “midnight ramblings” edition

Woman-writing-300x265I should be heading for bed, as it’s after midnight, but I’m so thrilled to have a moment to myself that I can’t resist a little blogging. I’m feeling especially smug (and tired) tonight because my heroic 1:30 a.m. efforts yesterday were the difference between success and ignominious failure on a big motion. Damn it all! I deserve some time to write.

Anything you can be I can be better….

My favorite military humorist, Lee Ho Fuk has taken the Rachel Dolezal mantra — “anything you can be I can be better” — to a whole new level:

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Awesome gun rights victory in . . . wait for it . . . Marin County

Gun as a portable life saverI’ve been following the story of a retired Marin doctor and gun collector who was the target of an aggressive Marin county prosecutor in connection with the doctor’s self-defense shooting (see here and here). I’m too tired to write at length about it, but there is a happy ending, both for the man who defended himself and his wife, and for all people in Marin County who believe in their constitutional right to armed self-defense:

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The Bookworm Beat 6-6-15 — the “I’m still standing” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’m sorry for the long silence, but to quote Granny Clampett, “I was just plumb tuckered out.” Between escalating work demands and the usual family demands, I haven’t had either spare energy or spare time. It was only two days ago that I stopped being in denial and accepted that, for the time being at least, I have a 3/4 time legal job that requires a heightened level of commitment and organization. (Incidentally, I’ve found that, for managing large projects, Microsoft’s One Note, when combined with a good calendaring program, is very helpful.) I still intend to blog, but I just need to buff up my time management skills a bit.

And that’s it for the excuses. On to the post itself:

It’s not such a wonderful life

Victor Davis Hanson has scored another home run with his post examining at Obama’s new world order as another Pottersville:

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