The Bookworm Beat (9/30/14) — Illustrated edition, and Open Thread

Blogging is a challenge today, because the high-speed internet for the whole neighborhood has a problem. Comcast is working on the problem, and believes it will fix everything by 6 p.m. For now, though, the internet comes and goes quite randomly, so I’ll try to squeeze in something quick while I can. Posters seems quick:

Marine negotiating warning

Obama lacks intelligence

Catch 22 with Islamic extremists

Instant gratification race

Your respectable gun carrying customer

Liberal logic on abortions

Obama's priorities re terrorists and citizens

If only the duck guys were in charge of security

No spending problem

Blame the Republicans

Fair taxes in America

Michelle and Obama voluntarily surrendered their law licenses

West on Blacks welfare and slavery

Andrew Tahmooressi unable to get into America from Mexico

Obama's rules of engagement

D'Souza v Ayers

ISIS wants a Bergdahl deal

If you teach a liberal how to fish

Many thanks to Caped Crusader and Sadie, who sent me all of these wonderful posters.

The Bookworm Beat (9/29/14) — The unpacked portmanteau edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI’ve got a lot of open tabs with all sorts of random, but useful and interesting, information. Here goes….

Whither Eric Holder?

The Watcher’s Council has a new forum up, this one examining Eric Holder’s resignation and his future plans. I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say that none of the forum participants believe Holder retired because he needed a break from the job.

Is it real or is it a satire?

When a friend sent me this link about Obama’s plans regarding ISIL, it took me a few seconds to decide whether it was real or satire. Now it’s your turn to spend a few seconds answering that question for yourself.

Men without women are dangerous

For years I’ve been harping away on what a very wise friend told me, which is that Islam’s fundamental quarrel with the West is about women: Islam wants to control women, and the West refuses to get with the program. Roger Scruton adds another dimension to the problem Islam has with women, which is that the women are being locked away from the young men who need them most. Between the whole burqa/locking up thing, and the polygamy that gives old men lots of young women, while leaving young men with nothing, the Muslim world has produced a huge population of young men with an enormous amount of unresolved sexual tension.  Combine this tension with the promise of its full resolution in the afterlife provided that you first kill non-Muslims, and you’ve created a whole lot of nascent murderers.

Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries?

It’s different because Obama’s crony capitalism has ensured that any benefits derived from the recovery have gone primarily to the rich people encircling his White House throne.

The Leftist dream about Common Core

The Leftists are slowly letting the cat out of the bag. It’s not that they believe that Common Core will educate children better; it’s that they believe that it will educate them equally. A lot of parents, though, are getting very worried that Common Core will leave children all equally uneducated.

By the way, when I watched the video at the link, I thought of this poster that I culled long ago from a Leftist Facebook friend:

Equality and Justice

A wonderful paragraph from Jonah Goldberg’s post about the endless feminist sense of grievance

Goldberg’s whole post is worth reading, insofar as it seeks to explain why American feminists, despite succeeding beyond any woman’s wildest dreams at any previous time in history, still complain bitterly about their victimization. I especially liked the following paragraph, though, about the way in which feminists discount objective facts merely because men state them:

Maybe it’s true that pointing out that women are doing much better today according to myriad measures somehow solidifies my rank in the cult of Priapus, but I’m at a loss to figure out how. And, even if it did, even if pointing out there is no rape epidemic on college campuses earned me an extra round of martinis at the men’s club with Mr. Monopoly and the Koch brothers, I cannot for the life of me see how that makes the facts any less factual. If I slapped my wife’s name on my column instead of my own, would the facts therein suddenly be more true? (“Hey don’t use ‘slap’ and ‘wife’ in the same sentence or they’ll compare you to Ray Rice.” — The Couch)

Note to Jonah: Logic is also part of the male hegemonic structure aimed at excluding women from power.

Matthew Continetti lets loose against journalists for Hillary

Continetti unleashes a wonderful stem-winder against a journalist class that can report no wrong when it comes to Hillary Clinton. This will give you a taste of his tour de force:

I am not entirely without sympathy. Mainstream journalists are under pressures that we are not. They have to pretend for example that David Brock is a serious person. They are implicated in the liberal Democratic project through family or sympathy or ambition. They have to take angry calls from the White House and congressional Democrats and candidates. One of Alana Goodman’s scoops involved a meeting at the D.C. bureau of the New York Times at which Hillary Clinton’s top lieutenants complained about the paper’s coverage of their boss, saying it was too intrusive and critical and that Clinton is not a public figure but an expectant grandmother. Leave Hillary alone, she’s under a lot of stress right now, she still has to wear those glasses at night, we have long memories, all she wants to do is swim, she hasn’t made up her mind about 2016, she’s putting the finishing touches on her book, dinner last Saturday was a lot of fun we should do it again sometime, she’s really a private person and doesn’t like all of this attention, why do you have to be so mean to her, I’m not going to write that recommendation letter for Sidwell Friends, Chelsea’s afraid the bad press may affect the baby, yes I’ll be at Hilary Rosen’s on Friday, we are totally uninteresting and unaffected and blameless and prosaic and apolitical but cross us and we’ll cut your f—ing knees off . . . Could you have been at that meeting and not laughed?

The Bookworm Beat (9/29/14) — the Illustrated edition, plus a lighthearted video

Charles Manson photo that media would use

Obama defines things

Why do atheists care if others pray

Michelle and the US Marine in Mexico

Obama lied about insurance premiums

Malcolm X on media power

Obama's idea of war

George Orwell on society that drifts from trutyh

The difference between immigration and invasion

Firearms are a girl's best friend

The truth about the media

As always, my thanks to Caped Crusader for all of the wonderful posters above. Also, I’ve got one from Sadie. My only complaint about this cartoon is that it’s unfair to Granny Clampett:

Separated at birth

Lastly, a video showing what happens when you ask Texas A&M students to dance for five seconds, without music, and then put the results to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” My sense is that A&M students are good sports, and that there’s some surprising talent — including one really surprising talent — at Texas A&M.

The Bookworm Beat (9/26/14) — Friday wrap-up edition and Open Thread

Woman writingMy sister summed me up in a sentence: “For an incredibly neurotic person, you’re very normal and easygoing.” I know what she means. All my neuroses are turned inwards. They drive me crazy, but they don’t interfere with anyone outside of my brain. If you meet me, I’m friendly, good-humored, and well-mannered. I rarely take offense, and I’m always happy to help out.

I’m the living embodiment of the reminder to judge people by their deeds, not their thoughts. Unless of course, you think the deeds and the thoughts reflect on each other, magnifying each . . . which leads to me to:

The Obama latte salute

A military friend of mine had this to say:

What I find comical about this is the outrage. You’re surprised by this man? This is par for the course. And technically, he has no obligation to salute them back. A military officer not in uniform is only obligated to acknowledge a salute with a proper verbal greeting. My understanding is saluting the Marines of HMX-1 started with Reagan.

I think there are more important things to address about him like having absolutely no plan in Syria. This is comical considering the whole “what is our exit strategy?” nonsense during the Bush admin. We don’t even have an entry strategy here.

My friend is quite right, but I couldn’t resist reminding him about that outlook/action connection I mentioned at the start of this post:

I know that Reagan started it (and did you know that Reagan, whom the Left always castigated for not going to war, was in the Army Reserve as of 1937, and was barred from active duty during WWII only because of his vision?), so it’s not deep tradition, and I know that it’s not militarily necessary.

The thing is that, if it was clear that Obama really supported the military, and wanted to fight war in a way that’s not only ethical (which is a good thing), but that also keeps our troops alive and effective (another good thing), no one would have given a flying whatsit even if he’d hollered “Howdy, guys!” and blown soap bubbles at them. The optics mattered only because they were such a perfect visual representation of which we all know he actually thinks: “Blech!  Marines again! And now I have to figure out how, and how many, of those baby killers to ship overseas this time….”

And my friend, who is a gentlemen down to the marrow of his bones, shot back:

I agree, we already know how he feels about the military. Saluting is what we call a military courtesy. Failing to simply be courteous says something about character.

I have such interesting friends.

Regarding the worsening mystery virus affecting children, when does correlation equal causation?

We’ve been hearing for a couple of months now about a serious respiratory virus affecting children across America. It’s been so bad that hospitals have been turning them away.

Well, here’s some more news guaranteed to make you unhappy: the virus just got worse. According to AP, children are now showing up with a paralysis that seems to be in the polio family and that may be related to the mystery enterovirus. So far, only nine cases have shown up in Colorado, but there’s no telling where paralysis problem might end up.

The AP’s not the only one paying attention to the virus. The New York Times has a long article about its effects on children across America (emphasis mine):

An outbreak of respiratory illness first observed in the Midwest has spread to 38 states, sending children to hospitals and baffling scientists trying to understand its virulent resurgence.

I love that line about “baffled” scientists. It reminds me of a wonderful Lord Peter Wimsey remark in Busman’s Honeymoon, when he and his new bride find a dead body in their honeymoon cottage. Being famous, the Wimseys are immediately besieged the press, one of whose members, Salcombe Hardy, is an old friend (emphasis mine):

“Can I say you’ve got a theory of the crime?”

“Yes,” said Peter.

“Fine!” said Salcombe Hardy.

“My theory is that you put the corpse there yourself, Sally, to make a good headline.”

“I only wish I’d thought of it. Nothing else?”

“I tell you,” said Peter, “the evidence is destroyed. You can’t have a theory without evidence to go on.”

“The fact is,” said Harriet, “he’s completely baffled.”

“As baffled as a bathroom geyser,” agreed her husband. “My wife’s baffled too. It’s the only point on which we are at one. When we’re tired of heaving crockery about we sit and sneer at one another’s bafflement. The police are baffled too. Or else they confidently expect to make an arrest. One or other . You can take your choice.” (Sayers, Dorothy L., Busman’s Honeymoon, p. 242 (Open Road Media, Kindle Edition)).

I feel a little like sneering at some bafflement too — in this case, the bafflement of those scientists trying to figure out how a rare virus that is connected to polio managed suddenly to enter the United States and infect American children.

I know that correlation is not causation, but I also know that not everything is pure coincidence. Isn’t it at least possible that the headlines about a bizarre virus striking down American children for the past two months might have something to do with the headlines from the end of July informing Americans that tens of thousands of Latin American children, many of them sick with diseases not seen in American children, were crossing the border? And isn’t it also possible that this baffling respiratory and occasionally polio-like illness might have to do with the fact that the Obama administration popped these children on buses and airplanes and then sent them all across the United States?

Again, I’m not saying that there has to be a connection, but I’d at least like to see some scientist say, “We’ve considered the possibility that this virus came with the immigrant children, but rejected it because….”

But they’re not saying that. Instead, the MSM just pretends the children’s crusade from Latin America never happened — so much so that it won’t even assure is that there’s no connection.

The country’s in the very best of hands (a song that’s never been more timely, I think)….

The media keeps its message consistent no matter the subject

The fact is that the American media is well-trained and it follows the Democrat playbook no matter the subject. A case in point involves doggies that have been Trayvon Martinized.

About that poor woman beheaded in Oklahoma

We know a few useful things about poor Colleen Hufford’s horrible death: She was beheaded, her murderer was an ex-con Muslim convert who had just been fired for arguing that women should be stoned, and another woman was saved from a similar fate when a company official with a gun shot him.

The police are trying to play this as just another case of workplace violence, and that may be true. But even ordinary violence reflects a zeitgeist. A former convict (which is what Alton Nolen, aka ‘Keem Yisrael, is), who converts to Islam in prison, will have two seeds planted within him: violence and jihad.

As always in these cases, please remember what my cousin, the retired prison chaplain, said about those prison converts:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

(Roger Simon has more on prison conversions to Islam and Caleb Howe has more on the lifelong anger and violence in Nolen that found its home in Islam) In other words, Nolen’s criminal history made him the kind of person who would commit murder — but his Islamic conversion made him the kind of person who would elevate this murder to the level of a jihad killing, complete with the sharia-compliant death of choice, namely beheading.

So yes, workplace violence or not, his religion mattered.

And what also mattered is that Nolen was stopped short by a gun. Jihad in America would be stopped pretty damn short if all of us were armed.

As for the shooting death of John Crawford in a Ohio Wal-Mart

John Crawford’s death is another one about which we know little, but it does look as if police were trigger-happy. Crawford was in a Wal-Mart aisle, someone called in a 911 because he was holding what looked like a gun, and the cops shot him. The video seems to show the cops firing instantly, without warning and, given how still Crawford was standing and the fact that his pop gun was pointed to the floor, they also shot without provocation. The cops, though, claim that Crawford was being threatening, something that might have been obvious outside of the silent film.

Radley Balko offers a great analysis of the bizarre intersections of so many societal issues in Crawford’s death: race, police malfeasance, societal paranoia about mass shootings, mental illness, etc. Something bad happened in that Wal-Mart, and two children lost their father.

I’m very interested in further facts. If Crawford’s behavior was frightening, so be it. But if trigger-happy cops killed an innocent man, let justice be done.

No, the Obama economy is not thriving

A few weeks ago, I asked for help rebutting a Forbes opinion piece claiming that the Obama economy is thriving, and that it puts the Reagan boom to shame. Just the other day, Forbes itself published an opinion piece rebutting that earlier, pro-Obama effort, and it’s a humdinger:

With the stock market cruising at all-time highs and the unemployment rate sitting at quaint levels, a fashionable new argument is making the rounds. Barack Obama is better at economic recovery than Ronald Reagan ever was.

The numbers make the case. Dow Jones Industrial Average the day President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009 was 7950; today it stands at 17,000. Unemployment in his first full month, that February: 8.3%, versus 6.1% today.

Ronald Reagan could not quite touch this standard. The Dow began his presidency at 950 and chugged to 1800 after five-and-a-half years. A 90% gain is nice, but short of the 115% gain since 2009. Unemployment over that span went from 7.4 to 7.1%—welcome enough, but overmatched by the post-2009 record.

And all the while under Reagan, there was double the consumer price inflation as under the comparable Obama period (26% vs. 13%). Interest rates were higher. Prime was at 7.5% in September 1986, in contrast to today’s 3.3%.

Whatever crisis, whatever “stagflation” Reagan faced as he swept Jimmy Carter from office in 1980, the results that came in well into his presidency pale in comparison to what the nation would put up under the leadership of Barack Obama.

This argument has glaring flaws, the most obvious of which (from a statistical point of view) is that the labor force participation rate has collapsed under Obama, while it surged under Reagan, rendering any kind of comparison of unemployment rates inoperable. The bald economic growth numbers, for their part, are double in the Reagan (20.3%) than in the Obama (9.7%) case.

Read the rest here.

By all means, let’s have over the counter birth control

To me, even the smallest dose of birth control pills acts like poison on my system. For most women, though, today’s low-dose birth control pills have few serious side effects, if one discounts the fact that they’re messing with women’s entire hormonal and reproductive systems.

Given all the other stuff that’s sold over the counter, there’s no reason for the Pill not to become an OTC drug too. This will lower women’s health care costs dramatically, both by increasing competition at the purchase level and by doing away with the perfunctory, but costly, doctor’s visit that precede prescribing the pill.

Obamacare supporters, of course, are incensed that conservatives believe the Pill should be an OTC drug because that would strip away large parts of their argument about imposing costly and ethically troubling Obamacare “women’s health” regulations on every employer and insurance company in America.

Could this be the reason race hustlers do what they do?

The retirement of Eric Holder, Attorney General of the US and race hustler extraordinaire, resulted in one of Roger Simon’s best posts. Simon begins with Holder’s extremely sleazy history: The same man who prosecuted Dinesh D’Souza for a $20,000 act of stupidity was the federal prosecutor who enabled the disgraceful pardon of Marc Rich, an exceptionally corrupt man who dealt with Iran during the hostage crisis and was lined up for 300 years in prison.

From that disgraceful beginning as an unprincipled party hack, Holder went on to become a hatchet man for the racism racket who turned the Justice Department into a purely political office advancing Obama’s hard Left, anti-constitutional, race-based domestic policies. That history leads Simon to this interesting thought:

Now I have a theory about the etiology of Holder’s fixation on race. When you know deep down you’re a dishonest person, when you have had to eat the bitter pill of your own corruption who knows how many times (even Clinton finally admitted that he had gone too far pardoning Rich and damaged his own reputation), you have to invent a narrative for yourself to justify your activities. So over may years Holder developed what I have called elsewhere a “nostalgia for racism.” No matter that racism was diminishing in our culture, he had to keep racism alive, believe it was alive. If racism were going away, he would no longer have a raison d’être, an excuse for his biased behavior, an excuse, as it turned out, to go beyond the law, act unilaterally and punish political enemies.

Why, yes. That sounds just right.

Think of Syria as you read this bumper sticker

It took me a couple of seconds to figure out the message behind this bumper sticker, and then I thought “That’s excellent.”

Arm tomorrow's enemies

If you’d like one for your car, you can buy it here.

You can put lipstick on a male pig, but it’s still a male pig

With self-selected sex transmutations dominating headlines lately (“Lift ban on transgender military members“), I keep harking back to what I’ve said since the headline about a “pregnant” man (i.e., a woman who had her breasts surgically removed, and took hormones to grow facial hair). At the end of the day, when the surgically-adjusted, cosmetically-mutated, chemically-altered soft tissue is gone, and the bones are all that is left, what’s left is . . . the original sex.

To hold otherwise — to say that person who made this change is now actually a man or a woman, just because he or she wants to be — is a bizarre cultural delusion we’re fostering. On the great bell curve of biology, men are men and women are women, and that’s true regardless of surgery, make-up, hormones, and magical thinking. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t accord the person the respect, when possible, of treating him or her as s/he wishes to be treated, but it does mean that we have to accept biological reality.

Case in point: Mixed martial arts. There, a man who went through the surgical, chemical, cosmetic process of appearing like a woman insisted that he be allowed to compete as a woman. The outcome was not pretty, as his opponent Tamikka Brents, who was born female, ended up with a massively broken eye socket and a concussion. Brents explained what happened to her:

In a post-fight interview this week, she told Whoa TV that “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”

“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right. ”

His “grip was different,” she added. “I could usually move around in the clinch against…females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch.”

I’m not a doctor either, but I’m pretty sure that, men have different bone structure and heavier muscle mass. Even if a man is taken female hormones, if he’s in the world of MMA training, he’s pushing those still-male muscles to the max. He’s going to be a muscle monster, with the weight of a man’s heavy bones behind him. At the end of the day, biology will not be denied.

Views from the climate change gala in New York

Power Line has a wonderful photo gallery from last weekend’s climate change extravaganza in New York. It’s got everything from the mounds of garbage left behind to the hypocritical celebrities to the hard Left people behind the climate change movement. Check it out. Laugh. Cry.

Then, if you want to laugh and cry some more, please enjoy Jeff Dunetz’s 48-item-long list of all the bad things that happen, according to the change-istas, because of climate change. Reading that list, I keep thinking of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, when Brian’s followers see everything he says as a sign of something insanely stupid:

Lies, damn lies, and British crime statistics

Since banning guns, Britain has become the most violent country in the first world. Certainly, the police are conflicted about the whole crime-fighting thing.  After all, the God of political correctness tells them that they shouldn’t fight crime if the criminals are blacks or Muslims.  The police have therefore figured out creative ways to massage the (non)crime-fighting numbers — they lie:

The culture of fiddling crime statistics is ingrained within the upper echelons of the police service where target-chasing has led to the under-reporting of serious crimes including rape, according to a report by MPs out today.

The MPs said a delay by Scotland Yard in addressing claims that rape figures were skewed was a “damning indictment of police complacency, inertia and lack of leadership”.

In attacking Rush, it appears that the female of the species is deadlier than the male

Rush Limbaugh went on the offensive to smoke out the small group of people trying to destroy his radio show through email and social media attacks against advertisers. What I noticed immediately is that, of the nine people engaged in this conspiracy, six are female. You’ll never have a 50/50 split in a group of nine people, but it’s telling somehow, that the group is heavily weighted on the women’s side.

I can’t decide if this is because women are indeed more vicious, or if it’s because the Sandra Fluke kerfuffle managed to turn Rush into a slayer of women in the deranged feminist mind, or if it’s simply random that in such a small group, there would be twice as many women as men. The fact seemed noteworthy, regardless of the reason.

No wonder women are raping as much as men are

Feminists have insisted that the definition of rape must be expanded far beyond the traditional definition, which pretty much was limited to a man using his penis to penetrate a woman vaginally, orally, or anally. Nowadays, every man’s touch, look, or verbal bullying is included in the definition of sexual assault, at least on college campuses. In this way, women can claim (and the Democrat party can campaign on) the canard that 1/5 of women on campus will be sexually assaulted.

Relying on the feminists’ own definition of sexual assault, Glenn Reynolds makes the compelling and convincing argument — supported by data — that women commit sexual assault every bit as often as men do. I believe this completely. If you read the trashy but informative Daily Mail on a regular basis, as I do, you’ll quickly discover that several times a week, and sometimes every day, there’s a story somewhere in America about a female school teacher forcing a sexual relationship on an underage male (or, sometimes, female) student. One comes away feeling that America’s students are taught by an army of nymphomaniacs.

Step back, puny mortals, and let the wind take over

One of the problems I’ve always had with the whole climate change theory is the centrality it gives humans. Humans have indeed shown themselves perfectly capable of trashing the local environment. From prehistoric man driving mammoths to extinction, to the Aztecs destroying every bit of protein in their region (hence the need for human sacrifices, which were later eaten), to the Soviets turning lakes into acid puddles, to American manufacturers doing their damndest to destroy our own lakes (until capitalism saved them), to the California Gold Rush stripping off sides of mountains, we are a destructive species. But there’s a quantum difference between making a terrible, and too often lasting, mess here and there, and altering the entire climate around the world, all the way until we touch outer space. That simply didn’t (and doesn’t) make sense to me.

What makes a lot more sense is a new theory that says that shifting wind patterns account for the changing climate along the Northwest. I find it especially intriguing giving the close connection between wind and sun (and I’m not just talking Aesop’s fables here).

I’m glad the New York Times had the integrity to report on this new climate theory, but I had to laugh at the opening sentence (emphasis mine):

A new and most likely controversial analysis of Pacific Ocean weather patterns concludes that a century-long trend of rising temperatures in the American Northwest is largely explained by natural shifts in ocean winds, not by human activity.

It must have choked the writer, Michael Wines, to concede in the next paragraph that the theory didn’t arise from the fetid swamps of whacked-out deniers but, instead, appeared in “the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences….” Oh, yeah!

America’s topmost colleges accept robots and turn out morons

Okay, I’m exaggerating for effect in that subtitle. There is no doubt that America’s top colleges get to take in America’s best and brightest students and that they turn out products with a certain sheen.  I contend, though, that these new graduates are actually more indoctrinated than educated, but that’s just my opinion.   Or maybe it isn’t….

While they do not say that America’s premier colleges are turning out mindless Leftist drones, two Ivy League instructors have come out lately to that in their pursuit of the best and brightest, these institutes of higher education are producing boring, timid robits who will not take any chances, thereby stifling their own brilliance.

At The New Republic, you can read William Deresiewicz’s Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League, which has been shared on Facebook more than 191,300 times.

And at First Things, you can read Michael J. Lewis’s Children Who Never Play, which picks up where Deresiewicz left off.

In bureaucracies, the perfect is the enemy of the good

I credit Philip K. Howard with helping me move from mindless Left-liberalism to thinking conservativism. His book The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America, which I read shortly after it was published in the early 1990s, was an eye-opener because it made me realize that government not only is not the answer but that it can never be the answer.  It took me another decade to complete my journey across the Rubicon, but I definitely couldn’t have done it without him.

Just recently, Howard authored a piece for The Atlantic explaining how the Stimulus got wasted, not because of any specific corruption, but because the money vanished into the bureaucratic crevices created by a million rules:

Modern government is organized on “clear law,” the false premise that by making laws detailed enough to take in all possible circumstances, we can avoid human error. And so over the last few decades, law has gotten ever more granular. But all that regulatory detail, like sediment in a harbor, makes it hard to get anywhere. The 1956 Interstate Highway Act was 29 pages and succeeded in getting 41,000 miles of roads built by 1970. The 2012 transportation bill was 584 pages, and years will pass before workers can start fixing many of those same roads. Health-care regulators have devised 140,000 reimbursement categories for Medicare—including 12 categories for bee stings and 21 categories for “spacecraft accidents.” This is the tip of a bureaucratic iceberg—administration consumes 30 percent of health-care costs.

And finally, some marvelous photographs and a joke

Nope, not my usual set of posters but, instead, links to two wonderful sites. The first explains why you won’t see Israeli women in burqas anytime soon, while the second is a panoramic photograph taken shortly after San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake. If you click on the image, you can zoom in to a specific spot; then, click again to zoom out.

Since I try to end on a laugh or uplifting note, here’s a delightful joke that a friend sent me (slight language warning), clearly in honor of Ezekiel Emanuel’s announcement that he, and everyone else, should try to die by or before age 75:

I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, she said I was doing fairly well for my age. (I am past seventy-five). A little concerned about that comment, I couldn’t resist asking her, ‘Do you think I’ll live to be 80?’

She asked, ‘Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor?’

‘Oh no,’ I replied. I’m not doing drugs, either!’

Then she asked, ‘Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?’ ‘I said, ‘Not much … My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!’

‘Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?’

‘No, I don’t,’ I said.

She asked, ‘Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?’

‘No,’ I said.

She looked at me and said, ‘Then, why do you even give a shit?’

The Bookworm Beat (9/25/14) — Illustrated edition, and Open Thread

Getting my act together.  In the meantime….

I had to look twice at this one and then I thought “Wow, that’s clever!”

Obama For War

I don’t know that I’ve heard such a pithy analysis before about the fundamental incompatibility between socialism and the American way:

America founded on individual rights not group rights

As for the rest, I don’t have any specific comment. They speak for themselves. I’ll just add that all of these came courtesy of Caped Crusader:

Nancy Pelosi and the end of civilization

Birkenstocks on the ground

Fundamental transformation

Sowell on the most basic question

Islam and contributions to humanity

Chick-Fil-a and Saudi Arabia on gays

Everything in 2014 is less

The Bookworm Beat (9/23/14) — Obama is a scary dude edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI’ve been in continuous domestic goddess mode since 6:30 a.m. That’s a ten-hour day of domestic goddess-hood. My house sparkles, my refrigerator is full, my closets bulge with clean laundry, my bills are paid, my correspondence (most of it) put in the “done” file and, except for the fact that I haven’t even had a chance to bathe today (yes, please hold your nose), I’d look exactly like June Cleaver if you’d dress me in a cute frock with a lace collar and pearls. Just for today, this should be my “Bookworm Beat” picture:

Another day in paradise housewife homemaker

Now, though, for a few minutes, I can throw off my housewife’s garb and be “Super Blogger.” I’ll be quick about it, so my apologies for the “dictated but not read” level of errors you might find:

Baron Münchhausen lives!

The Diplomad takes a look at Obama’s rich fantasy life, all of which would be funny if he didn’t occupy the once-upon-a-time most powerful office in the world.

A permanent Democrat majority?

A lot of astute thinkers believe that’s precisely what most of Obama’s policies are directed towards achieving: not just a Leftward shift in American governance, but a permanent Democrat majority to keep it that way. You can now add Ed Lasky to the list. He explains why here.

Obama makes ISIS look even scarier

Let’s see, now — we’ve got an avowed enemy that’s soaking the Middle Eastern desert sands in blood from thousands of severed heads and that promises to bring the war home; we’ve got a military that’s being shrunk down to pre-WWI size; and we’ve got a commander-in-chief who knows nothing about warfare but refuses to listen to the generals and admirals who will have to fight this enemy using their shrunken (but appropriately feminized, gay, transsexual, and transgender pre-WWI army. I don’t know about you, but I find this a frightening scenario.

Oh, and the ignorant president also disrespects the military, something proven yet again with the salute now known as the “semper latte salute“:

The Marines will lay down their lives for him, he is their commander in chief and the living emblem of the nation for which they fight, and he can’t be bothered to return the sign of respect they send his way.

Obama makes ISIS look even scarier, Part II

And let’s not forget the fact that Obama’s every speech has shown his affection for Islam and, when he’s not constrained by Congress or overwhelming public opinion, his every act has too.

Obama makes everything look scarier

Bret Stephens wraps it all up by explaining that Obama’s profound, all-encompassing ignorance is the most scary thing of all.

Obama is a scary dude

Thomas Sowell points out that Obama truly believes that, if he just doesn’t call it war or doesn’t go to war, the bad guys will respect his decision:

Barack Obama has done more than anyone else to promote the dangerous illusion that we can choose whether to have a war or not. But our enemies have already made that choice.

Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis said: “No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it’s over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.”

Of course, it’s not just Obama

The ignorance about radical Islam doesn’t stop with Obama. VDH points out that this obdurate blindness emanates from every nook and cranny of our governing class.

And yeah, everybody’s lying to you

You know what I think of when I hear that Ebola’s spread is way worse than any authorities are admitting? I think of this:

There is some good news

The two men who killed Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach (whose tragic, early deaths may have saved Israel leading to revelations about the terror tunnels) died in a shoot-out. On a comment thread I saw, one person said it was a shame they died and didn’t suffer the rest of their lives in jail.

Others disagreed. They said it was great the murderers were dead, because if they were alive, there was always the risk they’d be set free in some exchange forced upon Israel by the U.S. The U.S. ought to think about a policy that leads ordinary people to believe that something equivlant to vigilante justice is really the only justice.

More to follow? I don’t know. I have a town meeting to go to tonight. If I still have energy upon my return, I’ll try to write a little more.

The Bookworm Beat (9/22/14) — Everything and the Kitchen Sink edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingAll day today, I kept heading up to my computer to read and blog, and every time I neared my office, a powerful domestic and/or maternal and/or social tractor beam pulled me away. At last, though, I broke free of the tractor beam and I’m here, trying frantically to impart to you all the cool things I read in the last hour or so:

A few climate change issues

Reason took a camera to the Climate Change parade in New York this past weekend. It was not a pretty sight, nor did the people interviewed show any signs of intelligent life:

Byron York tackles the hodge podge of hard-Left issues folded under the global warming/climate change banner at the parade. As I read it, he concludes that the virtue of climate change is that, like Mary Poppins’ carpet bag, it’s big enough to hold everything.

The people and groups Reason and York examine are fanatics, often without a smidgen of common sense to back up their fervent beliefs:

New York Climate march

Given their insane fanaticism, one has to wonder why they’re so comfortable with marching behind celebrities who are responsible for huge amounts of carbon pollution. Some of the celebrities, though, are completely in sync with the Left’s demand for punitive totalitarianism.

Oh, and one more thing: One of my intelligent, rather open-minded, but still quite Leftist friends on Facebook linked to an article that announces “Eight Pseudoscientific Climate Claims Debunked by Real Scientists.” Considering that one of the Left’s favorite “real scientists” is a serial liar (that would be Neil DeGrasse Tyson), I’m not sure I should accept these debunkings at face value. I am, however, not in a position for the next several days to drill down into the debunkings. I wonder if any of you have the time and inclination to do so. If these “debunkings” really do challenge the arguments made by those of us opposed to climate change hysteria, I think we ought to know.

Let’s talk Islam

It was incredibly heartening today to speak with a friend of mine, a liberal, who is one of the kindest, least violent, most gentle, most faith-filled people I know. To her, war is been anathema. But as she told me, she’s been following ISIS closely, it’s terrifying, and she thinks we ought to wipe it out swiftly and entirely. I can’t say that I disagree.

One of the problems with wiping ISIS out, along with other radical Islamist groups, is that wiping out one Islamic pathology seems to lead to another one. You know, get rid of Saddam Hussein . . . open the door to ISIS. Here are a few links about repeating Islamic pathologies:

1.  Gazans are finally admitting the truth of what Israel said all during Operation Protective Edge: Hamas was using Gaza civilians as targets for propaganda purposes.

2.  The Arab world is terribly, dreadfully sick, and it’s neither the West’s nor Israel’s fault. (I consider this a must-read article, and urge you to share it with friends through social media.)

3.  James Lewis makes an incredibly important distinction about ISIS and the other radical Islamic groups: they’re not psychopaths; they’re sadists:

What’s the difference? It’s very simple: psychopaths don’t feel guilt about hurting other people, but sadists take active pleasure in committing horrors that civilized people can’t even look at. In his pornographic novels the Marquis de Sade wrote about taking sexual pleasure from torturing and even murdering innocents. That is where we get the term “sadism.”

The fascination with sadism in our world has been a long time coming, Lewis writes, but it’s reached its apogee with the radical Islamists.

ISIS is a sadistic war cult. It attracts people who take joy in torturing women and children. You can easily see the difference in their facial expressions. Psychopaths have “flat” expressions, like Vladimir Putin. Sadists show a kind of demonic joy when others are suffering. They are the classic face of human evil.

Also, it’s important to note Islam isn’t always the only problem in a region.  Some parts of the world are so desperately dysfunctional that you can’t possibly distinguish the good guys from the bad. For example, Boko Haram is one of the most evil organizations in the world . . . and, to no ones surprise, it’s Islamic. Except that it seems that the Nigerian military troops sent out to fight it may be just as evil. (Was it only yesterday that I said Africa must be one of the most accursed places on earth, suffering every plague man and nature can devise?)

Lies, damn lies, and polls

We tend to have incredible reverence for polls. Polls, however, are like any other data driven thing: garbage in, garbage out. That’s why you should view with some skepticism the poll that has a plurality of Americans thinking individual business proprietors who have deeply held religious beliefs opposing gay marriage should nevertheless be forced at the point of the state’s gun to provide their services for those weddings.

Lies, damn lies, and women’s studies

Christina Hoff Sommers looks at the lies that the women’s movement promulgates as it tries desperately to denigrate the incredibly high status and freedom women enjoy in America:

Prince Charming turns into Prince Harming

As Earl Aagaard said when he sent this to me (and I’m paraphrasing), wouldn’t it be great if there were more ads like this one?

Pot-providing reporter who fires herself on air reveals deep problems with media

You’ve probably all heard about, or even seen, the video of the reporter in Alaska who did a story about an election battle over legalizing pot. The story was manifestly slanted in favor of an Alaskan “medical marijuana” provider that argued that, even though medical marijuana is allowed in Alaska, the proposed bill would harm people who benefit from medical marijuana. After doing this report in full “news” mode, the reporter then announced that she owned the medical marijuana club in question and, mouthing obscenities, quit the job.

Aside from being quite a story, Ace points out what a terrible indictment it is of the ordinary newscasts all of us are used to seeing.

Virginal purity bodes well for a happy marriage

A new study says that the more chaste you are before marriage, the more happy you’ll be once you’re married. There are a lot of people in unhappy marriages who are problem saying to themselves “I wish I’d known this sooner and hadn’t bought into the bill of goods sold by our sex-saturated, values-free society.”

Drive responsibly

A charming, moving little commercial reminding people to drink responsibly:

There is still good in the world

Sometimes people are too paralyzed with shock to do the right thing. If they get nudged in the proper direction, though, people (especially American people) can be incredibly brave and good.

Pictures (thanks to Caped Crusader and Sadie)

Bill de Blasio and his wife at the Mermaid Parade

If that pirate looks vaguely familiar, it’s New York mayor Bill de Blasio at the Mermaid Parade, along with his wife.

Syria v Detroit

Immigrants demand change

Why term limits are smart

Gun control activists

Whites don't riot

The rich are deadbeats

Global warming causes crime rate

The Bookworm Beat (9/21/14) — quick links before Monday hits, and Open Thread

Woman writingI can feel the demands of Monday creeping up already, so I thought I’d rush through a few things that people (mostly the wonderful Earl Aagaard) were kind enough to send me. Here goes:

Why do American Muslims love Obama, while non-American Muslims hate him?

Here’s a conundrum: Obama is hugely popular with American Muslims, but deeply disliked by Muslim’s in the Middle East. What gives? Richard Fernandez offers a very credible explanation.

Why do we keep inviting our executioner into America?

Here’s how it works: Muslims make their own countries unlivable, slaughtering each other by the hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands. Whichever is on the losing side of a given country’s religious civil war (either Shia or Sunni) looks understandably pathetic, especially because so many of the victims are children.

American Christians, who are very good people, feel a moral obligation to reach out to the pathetic losers in a given country’s civil war. Part of this outreach includes inviting these poor, victimized Muslims into America. What the Christians don’t realize is that there’s a pecking order in the Muslim world. When you’ve established your sect’s dominance in a territory, the next in line to dominate are the Christians.

Imam Obama wrong

Obama is a lousy president. He’s also a lousy Imam. When he insisted that Islam is inconsistent with ISIS, he was flat-out incorrect in interpreting Islamic doctrine.

Study finds gross and pervasive antisemitism at UCLA

It seems as if every American university’s Near East Studies department has been co-opted by Leftists and Islamists whose primary goal is to institutionalize anti-Israel and antisemitic sentiment. UCLA is just the latest on the list.

I wish there was a way for us taxpayers to opt out of funding these dreadful institutions of lower education. Oh, wait! There is a way. We could stop electing Democrats and Republicans, and start electing conservatives.

Raquel Welch — Are you ready to die?

iOwnTheWorld.com notices that Ezekiel Emanuel’s pronouncement that American’s should be patriotic and die at 75 might affect at least one famous person who doesn’t look at all ready for the grave.

If only we could get Emanuel, who’s basically Jack Kevorkian with political power, to absorb some of the Right’s deep humanism on this subject. I recommend starting with Mike McDaniel’s post.

Who’s going to be at fault if Republicans don’t win the Senate?

Laura Ingraham knows who’s going to be a fault if Republicans are unable to win the Senate despite Obama’s other and Democrats’ deep unpopularity. Actually, we all know — it’s the damn Republican establishment that’s at fault, because it manifestly cares most about friends in Washington and about cheap labor to make the Chamber of Commerce types happy . . . never mind the rest of Americans who watch the benefits of a weak recovery go primarily to immigrants, many of them here illegally.

I elaborate on this point at the Watcher’s Council forum, as do several Council members and honored guests.  All The Right Snark also has a pretty good idea about what’s wrong.

Moonbats on parade

The climate changistas had their today, and the pictures make you want to laugh until you realize how these lunatics have gained almost complete control over the Western world’s political bodies.

Yes, terrorism is a default setting

From its inception at the beginning of the 7th century until 1683, when the Ottoman Turks were stopped at the Gates of Vienna, Islam functioned through terrorism. After this thousand-year run, Islam spent 290 years somewhat dormant.  It caused local problems (resulting in Churchill’s famous set-down of the religion, a set-down now illegal in England), but it stopped aiming at the West’s heard.

Islam’s enforced passivity changed in the 1970s, when violent Islam became resurgent (think: PLO, followed by Iran). That’s why, when the Milt Rosenberg show tackled the question of whether terrorist mass murder is now the default setting for radical Islam, my answer has to be “yes.” Barring that 290 year hiatus, mass terrorism was a system that worked very effectively for the Muslims for about 1,000 years.

Calvin & Hobbes shows that Common Core’s been around for a while now

Just go and enjoy!

The problem when people with secrets make the rules

You gotta love this one: After two-year-old emails embarrassed the Los Angeles School Board, the Board decided that, rather than clean up its act, it would simply order that, henceforth, emails are to get destroyed after one year. Apparently the school board is a big fan of the IRS.

Africa is a truly benighted continent

I’m sorry, but there’s some curse over Africa. It’s not just that Ebola is the latest disaster to hit that continent. It’s that in the uproar, the Africans are starting to kill each other as fast as the Ebola does.

When you add to this newest plague the other plagues that blight Africa — chronic malaria, AIDS, droughts, famines, tribal wars, Muslim v. Christian wars, Muslim v. Muslim wars, black v. white wars, Communist v. ordinary people wars, madmen wars, etc. — you have to believe that long ago, when early man first emerged from the jungle in Africa, he must have done something so dreadful that God laid a curse on the land to last in perpetuity.

Americans don’t force religion on people

I don’t have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance, even though it mentions the dreaded word “God.” I have a problem with atheists trying to erase God from public life, which is not something the Founders envisioned. However, I, like Greg at Rhymes With Right, also have a problem with schools trying to bully atheist children who opt to sit quietly and unobtrusively during the pledge.

I know I posted this one before, but it deserves posting again.

I know I posted this one before, but it deserves posting again.

The Bookworm Beat (9/21/14) — Illustrated edition

I’ve managed to cross only half the items off my to-do list today, and I’ve been at it non-stop since 7:30 this morning.  I keep waiting for things to slow down, but they never do….

Still, the good thing about my own Facebook page (which has lots of Israel-friendly links) and about good friends like Caped Crusader (who provided the bulk of the illustrations you see below) is that, even when I’m too backed up to write anything interesting, I still have wonderful content for you.  I am assuming, of course, that you like these posters as much as I do.  I very much enjoy it when complex ideas can be reduced in an intelligent and amusing way to a single sentence or two.

Who's killing Muslims

Minimum wage workers

Marines get the terrorists to God

Capitalism v socialism

The Crusades weren't so stupid after all

More horrified by Merry Christmas than beheadings

Racist to recite facts re obamacare

The TSA versus securing our borders

Who knew Obama was an Islamic scholar

Obama administration defines war and not war

Who was Karl Marx

Democrats slaves and illegal immigrants

Clinton gets away with hitting women

Obama needs to be held up to same standards as a white president

Clinton and Obama tell the big lies

The US traded for Bowe Bergdahl but not James Foley

Opportunity is disguised as hard work

Voter ID laws are not racist

Arming the good Syrian rebels

What people are willing to stand for

Islam doesn't promote real God

Obama voters idiots or traitors

How coexist really works

Batman on what's Islamic

Military casual Friday

The idea that evil deserves a fair chance

Charlie Daniels on the MSM

Change who you send to Washington

Madison on complicated laws

Hillary born a poor black child

Hillary is morally bankrupt

Rushing out the door Open Thread

Thought-Bubble-White-Board_8296556I was in perpetual motion yesterday, driving teenagers all over the place, to both sports and social activities. My day ended at 11:30 at night, by which time writing was no longer an option. Today is moving in the same direction. I’m leaving now for several hours of rec soccer and shopping, all of which are 40 miles from home. Still, I wanted to share a few things with you and leave you with some music.

Thing 1: As the Middle East gets worse and worse, with President Obama saying that he’s going to be, not just Commander in Chief, but the only commander, Leon Panetta breaks his silence to say that it was Obama’s idea — against the military’s best advice — to pull completely out of Iraq, creating the vacuum that the Islamic State has now filled. The only good thing I can think that’s coming from the current situation in Iraq is that, with Muslims from the world over answering the Islamic State’s siren song, destroying self-styled the Islamic State should be like shooting fish in a barrel. Too bad our military leader, instead of blowing up the whole damn barrel at once, plans to extract each individual fish with tweezers.

Thing 2: As the Democrats hammer away at the meme that American colleges and universities are more dangerous for women than South African slums, Glenn Reynolds has the answer:

The real problem, which the Democrats having created wish to ignore, is that parents and taxpayers are still funding colleges and universities that have abandoned their in loco parentis role. An 18 year old doesn’t have the sense to be released into the world without some oversight. Universities once gave that oversight. Now they just promote the myth that one in five women are going to be raped, without changing their anarchic culture of co-ed dorms, male and female binge drinking, and an administration that springs into action only after the fact, when it can persecute and, without due process, prosecute young men.

Thing 3: Beautiful, spooky, mystical pictures from panorama shots gone awry.

Music 1: A rock song with a country lyric: “I used to be love drunk; now I’m hungover.”

Music 2: A classic, from Harry James and Helen Forrester:

The Bookworm Beat (9/18/14) — The Non-Islamic Edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingYet another day where I start with an apology for not writing more or writing sooner. I had what I think is a fairly severe arthritis flair-up, loaded myself up with anti-inflammatory meds, and took a long nap. Thankfully, I’m feeling better and moving easier, so it’s time to write! Here goes:

Jonah Goldberg on Obama’s slo-mo rush to not-war

After years of hiding his head in the sand, Obama has suddenly realized that there are dangerous people out there, and they’ve got their guns aimed at us. He’s now desperately trying to rush us slowly into something that looks like war, acts like war, and talks like war, but isn’t actually war, and he’s not going to listen to any advice from old fogies like generals or admirals. Jonah Goldberg suggests that, given Obama’s ignorance, reluctance, denial, and ineptitude, Obama might want to slow that “rush” down a little:

We are through the looking glass when it is okay to say that opposition to requiring elderly nuns to pay for birth control is part of a “war on women” but airstrikes and coordinated ground attacks by allied militias aren’t like a “war” on terrorists.

Although we shouldn’t forget that there is one man brave enough to step up and say there is a war go on — John Kerry! Yes, John “Jen-jis Khan” Kerry, has announced that there is a indeed a war going on, between ISIS and . . . not not the United States or the West. (Fooled you!)

Instead, John “yes, there is a war” Kerry has announced that ISIS is at war with Islam. No wonder the folks at Power Line are wondering whether John Kerry is actually a GOP agent, working hard to discredit the Democrats.

Also on the subject of not-War, you can’t afford to miss Daniel Greenfield’s “Don’t Mention the War.

The horrors of war by lawyer

When I reviewed Bing West’s One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War, I said:

[I]f the Marines sought to engage in any more than a running skirmish in response to shots fired while they were out on patrol, a battalion, not of fellow warriors but of lawyers, had to review the proposed fight plan first to make sure that it didn’t violate the ROEs.  Even knowing about this bureaucratic, legalistic twist on warfare, reading about it in One Million Steps is still a shock.  It’s just mind-boggling that lawyers were calling the shots in a genuine ground war (as opposed to the lawyer’s usual field of battle — a courtroom). Wars are fluid, dynamic situations; lawyers are stolid, cautious, and risk-averse. To make fighters in the war dependent on lawyers is insane.

It’s not just on the battlefield that the lawyers’ innate caution is bolloxing things up with it comes to fighting a fast-moving, deadly, and determined enemy. Daniel Henninger explains that way up the line, at the Obama command level, lawyers are also interfering with what should be battlefield strategies (emphasis mine):

The complex elements of modern American warfare include not only sophisticated ground-based troops but air power, unmanned drones, electronic surveillance, and the capture and interrogation of enemy combatants. Every one of those elements of U.S. military power has become a litigation battleground.

[snip]

However intellectually interesting these disputes over our rights and values, each adds another thicket of legal consideration before, or even during, military action. There are now 10,000 lawyers in the Department of Defense. The legal staff assigned to Gen. Dempsey alone could fill a law firm. No one goes to war in this country until those DoD lawyers—plus lawyers at the Justice Department and White House—define in detail the parameters of battle.

The U.S. military has become a giant Gulliver wrapped in a Lilliput of lawyers.

Indeed, the White House has just announced the our nation’s top lawyer himself — that would be Harvard Law Review editor Barack Obama — will have to sign off on every single strike in our not-war against Islam:

The president hasn’t yet given the green light for an attack on Islamic State militants in Syria, but the U.S. military campaign against the group there is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control–going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes.

Do you remember Jodi Kantor, in The Obamas, telling about Obama’s devotion to his own skills:

Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” (p. 66.)

Now we can add something new to Obama’s list: In his own estimation, Obama is a better military adviser than people who have actually studied and gone to war.  This is what happens when a man of few distinguishing qualifications starts believing the media’s PR about him.  He’s not just a “black Jesus,” he’s also the second coming of Alexander the Great.

Funny illnesses cropping up all over

I mentioned at the top of this post that I might have had a serious arthritis flare-up. It’s entirely possible, though, that I’m actually getting sick. A lot of wacky illnesses are circulating, not the least of which is the hitherto “unknown in America” mystery virus hospitalizing kids all over the place, which is not a common “back to school” feature.

A Power Line reader has suggested what we’re all thinking: Is this a byproduct of the sick, illegal kids the Obama administration has been shipping all over the US? Perhaps what we’re seeing here is the indigenous people’s revenge: after 300-400 years, they’re going to wipe us out as surely as Europeans did back in the 16th and 18th centuries, when they exposed vulnerable indigenous populations to diseases that had become tolerably endemic in European cities.

The Israel yardstick

I told my mother that an ideology’s approach to Israel tends to be an extremely accurate way to measure whether it’s a good ideology or not. Look anywhere in the world, and wherever you find Israel-haters, you’ll find racism, totalitarian impulses, homophobia, misogyny, a fondness for euthanasia against any vulnerable populations, etc. Knowing this, it’s worth thinking about the implications flowing from the Democrat party’s ever-increasing hostility to Israel.

More evidence that, when he scratch a Leftist, you find an antisemite

Etsy.com, an online sales collective for artists, recently banned the sale of any goods that reference the Washington “Redskins” on the ground that the team’s name and logo are so offensive it would pollute the site to carry them. Etsy, however, is perfectly happy marketing swastikas. Read all about Etsy’s peculiar biases and preferences here.

I’ve never shopped at Etsy, nor had I planned ever to shop there, so I can’t make a statement by boycotting the site. But if I did shop there, I’d immediately stop doing so.

One Leftist anti-Semite just got the recognition she deserves

Over at the Watcher’s Council, council members have voted for this week’s weasel, a Leftist anti-Semite and all around idiot. You’ll have to visit the site to see which specific Leftist, antisemitic idiot won, though.

Jewish gun organization surviving in different form

I believe every Jew should own, or at least know how to fire, a gun. (I also believe all Jews should know self-defense.)

I only recently learned that there was a Jewish pro-Second Amendment in the US, called Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership. Unfortunately, through a disastrous combination of ill-health and health-related fatalities, the JPFO looked as if it was going under. Fortunately, though, those still able to manage the group realized that they needed to reach out for help. The JPFO is now merging with the Second Amendment Foundation, a forty-year old organization with 650,000 members. Yay.

More evidence, if you needed it, that climate change is faith, not science

We’ve discussed here before the fact that, because climate change is a non-falsifiable theory, it’s religious in nature, not scientific. If you’d like further evidence of the fact that climate change must always be accepted as core truth, no matter how the data changes, get a load of this AOL news headline: “Global warming likely to cause colder and snowier winters, scientists say.” And yes, the “news” story attached says just that: global warming means global cooling — Praise be to Gaia!

The scientific consensus was wrong AGAIN

I’ve never liked artificial sweeteners, since I think they taste nasty. Also, while I’m not one of those people who insists on all-natural, all-organic food, I viscerally felt that the body handles real sugar better than fake stuff. In my mind, it was better to eat real sugar in smaller amounts, rather than to load up on artificially sweetened food.

A doctor acquaintance of mine ridiculed me. His argument? If you ever go to a medical conference that offers both sugared and artificially-sweetened soda, the doctors will all go for the artificially sweetened stuff.

Well, in another blow to conventional wisdom amongst scientists, it turns out that artificial sweeteners mess with the body’s chemistry, contributing to obesity and diabetes among other things. Let’s just say that I’m not surprised, either about sweetener’s dangers or about the scientific community being wrong again.

The Orwellian nature of campus “free speech” zones

You and I like this poster:

America's first amendment area

Over at Penn State, however, the campus authorities wouldn’t like anything about that poster. Although they have a “free speech” area, it turns out that they only allow such speech as they’ve previously vetted and permitted to occur in that area. And we wonder why American college students come out dumber than they went in, despite their glossy patina of Marxist catch-phrases.

A lost America

Caped Crusader sent me the link for a beautiful elegy for an America lost:

We, largely rural kids of the small-town South, represented without knowing it a culture, an approach to existence, and a devastating principle: You can’t impose decency, honesty, good behavior, or responsibility. They are in the culture, or they are not. If they are, you don’t need laws, police, and supervision. If they are not, laws won’t much help. And this is why the US is over, at least as the country we knew.

Read the whole thing here.

I should add that the kids in my community have a good culture too. They don’t run to gangs, they work hard in school, and, except for drugs and alcohol, they’re generally law-abiding. But rather than seeming like the face of America, they often seem like an aberrant group, peeled out of the 1950s, with a stop-over in the 1960s to pick up on the drug culture.

Andrew Klavan takes on Obama’s contention that ISIS/ISIL/IS is not Islam

This isn’t one of Klavan’s best, and I’m not surprised. The administration has cut itself adrift from reality, and it’s hard to parody lunacy. Nevertheless, Klavan gives it the old college try and it’s still a fun video: