After a polite traffic stop, a young black man was moved to comment that people are people, regardless of color, and that civil behavior goes a long way to smooth out differences:
I haven’t commented on the whole Starbucks’ kerfuffle regarding forced “race” harangues from baristas who have liberal arts degrees from expensive universities and, not being educated in real world things such as the inevitability of economics, can’t understand why they’re pushing overpriced coffee, instead of decorating faculty lounges across America. I mean, really, what is there to say?
However, I did find this little gem, which seems to be the perfect coda to the whole embarrassing affair (which may take a few seconds to load):
UPDATE: And the perfect cartoon to go with it:
Today is showing signs of being every bit as challenging as yesterday was (work ended in the wee hours of the morning), so this will be a round-up marked by brevity. Still, there are things I’ve saved that haven’t become stale, old yesterday’s news and that I very much want to share with you.
America’s Sergeant Major has a new home
One of my favorite milbloggers is America’s Sergeant Major, whom I first met when I discovered his post about Tabata drills. Having done Tabata drills myself, it resonated. I also just loved the sense of humor and sense of responsibility that infuse his writing:
Simply thrashing a group of Marines into the ground is pretty easy and not a method of instruction I prefer. If they are simply getting their doors blown off without learning anything then I figure I’ve passed up a great training opportunity.
I like to ask Marines why we PT at all. Their answers are inevitably: “To be in shape.” “Be fit.” My personal favorite is: “To look good naked 1stSgt!” I appreciate the honesty.
The bottom line is we conduct PT in order to make our bodies harder to kill. Never mind the idea of being fitter and stronger than your enemy. Fit, healthy bodies tend to survive being shot, blown up, infected, and other rough treatment. It’s only natural the Corps would develop a culture of physical fitness within its ranks.
The Tabata quotation is from an older post, but you’ll find that America’s Sergeant Major hasn’t lost his edge. The only thing that’s changed is that he’s got himself a shiny new site. It’s really gorgeous. Please check it out.
I can’t remember if I’ve fulminated here about California’s drought. My shtick, which I’ll share with anyone who’s listening, is that California’s horrible drought was foreseeable and preventable.
No, it’s not climate change. It’s a completely predictable cyclical drought that comes along like clockwork every few decades.
“Ah,” says the wise climate changista, “but it’s worse now because global warming.” No! It’s worse now because of insanely stupid water management practices, including minimal reservoir upgrade and increase, despite the fact that California’s population has more than doubled since 1961. And of course that the enviromentalists in California government have the bright idea, in the middle of a massive drought, to flush away millions of gallons of water to protect that little Delta Smelt.
Anyway, don’t take my word for it; take Victor Davis Hanson’s.
Over at Power Line last week, John Hinderaker ask plaintively “Does anyone fact-check the president?” The short answer is “no.” Hinderaker provides the latest example of the long answer.
Incidentally, I want to know what the word is for tyranny by media, because that’s what we’ve got. The media tyranny explains why we have people in government so grossly dishonest — intellectually, historically, politically — with nary a word allowed to be said against them in the outlets that control most of America’s air time.
Are we suffering under a “media-archy”?
The bad decisions of the effete
Effete is not a word one hears often any more. It’s a good word, though, and one that well describes huge swaths of 21st century America:
1. lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society.
2. exhausted of vigor or energy; worn out: an effete political force.
3. unable to produce; sterile.
Scott Locklin builds a whole political argument around difference between those who engage with real life and todays effete, enervated Americans: Never trust anyone who hasn’t been punched in the face — and he means really punched, not just metaphorically punched.
I’ll just note the historic truism that Rome fell when its prosperity left people unwilling and unable to defend themselves. (I’ve also heard that they got that way from drinking their wine from cups made of lead, which may be true too, but they were drinking that way long before the empire’s slow, dismal decline.)
Who has abortions? Men do, that’s who!
No, that title is not a joke. Thanks to our brave new world of fluid genders, Katha Pollitt argues vigorously that we’re being sexist in denying that men have abortions:
Who has abortions? For most of human history, the answer was obvious: women have abortions. Girls have abortions. Not any more. People have abortions. Patients have abortions. Men have abortions. “We must acknowledge and come to terms with the implicit cissexism in assuming that only women have abortions,” wrote feminist activist Lauren Rankin in July 2013 in truthout.com. She went on to criticize as exclusionary slogans like “the War on Women” and “Stand with Texas Women.”
Apparently Katha needs a little biology lesson: Abortions require pregnancies; pregnancies require a uterus; and a uterus is by definition female. You can take a woman, stuff her full of hormones so she gets good and hairy on her face and chest, and has a nice deep voice; slice off her breasts; and create a fancy new dangling dongle for her, but at the end of the day, that’s all cosmetic. When she gets pregnant, it’s because under the cosmetics, she’s still a woman with a uterus and the accompanying hormones.
But don’t listen to me; listen to Monty Python:
Any surprise that he’s a former Marine?
Meet retired Marine Corps. Sergeant Patrick Maxwell, who’s off with the Kurds fighting against ISIS:
“I’m very libertarian in my beliefs and I don’t think we need to be committing U.S. boots to the ground to do another long war like that, ” he says. “But myself as a private citizen – if I want to go take a vacation and shoot some terrorists in the process, that should be my own business.”
It would be different, of course, if Maxwell wanted to join up with terrorists to shoot Americans. But as long as he’s not harming American interests, while it’s not my idea of a vacation, I sure can’t quarrel with him.
If you’ve been wondering who supports Jeb Bush….
The GOP establishment’s love affair with Jeb Bush is mystifying, because he can’t win. Barring a handful of RINO bazillionaires, nobody, and I mean nobody, wants a third Bush in the White House. He’s too Bush-like for Democrats, and too Bill Clinton-like for conservatives.
Wait. I take that back. Garth Kant has an idea about what might be driving this Jeb furor.
A coda to the off-duty cop murdered in Philadelphia
It’s been a couple of weeks since two brothers murdered Officer Robert Wilson III in Philadelphia. I have three comments to make based upon an article about Wilson’s last moments and about his killers.
First, Wilson died incredibly bravely. Second, take a look at the picture of his murders. Look closely. Notice anything interesting about their foreheads? (The forehead thing is supposition, by the way, so I’ll be interested in seeing if it’s true or someone just had a very large zit that popped in a visible spot.) Third, please note how the brothers have different last names, suggesting a dysfunction in their home life going back to their births.
Two things you should read about Eric Holder’s “disparate impact” crusade
The Obama government has told America’s school districts that they need to stop punishing black kids more than they do white kids. In Democrat-led cities, that’s exactly what the schools have been doing, with entirely predictable results:
Convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites, New York City’s Department of Education has in all but the most serious and dangerous offenses replaced out-of-school suspensions with a touchy-feely alternative punishment called “restorative justice,” which isn’t really punishment at all. It’s therapy.
“Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through…restorative practices,” advises the city’s new 32-page discipline code.
Except everywhere it’s been tried, this softer approach has backfired.
What’s more, the movement — which is driven by new race-based anti-discipline guidelines issued by the Obama administration — is creating friction between teachers unions and the liberal mayors they otherwise support.
That last paragraph I quoted is a reminder that revolutions always eat their own.
Anyway, it’s a long, good article and you should read the whole thing. Then, when you’re done, go here, to Stately McDaniel Manor to read how Eric Holder wants to bring to crime fighting the exactly same “disparate impact” logic that’s turning America’s public schools into “Lord of the Flies” environments.
And now, back to work….
I didn’t watch the SOTU. Aside from finding Obama a boring, inelegant speaker, I was helping a client with trial prep. Today, the trial got continued for a few months so, before settling in for a nice 12 hour sleep (I wish!), I can blog — and share with you, among other things, a couple of my favorite SOTU analyses. I’ve got a lot to say, so I’ll just start saying….
My two favorite SOTU wrap-ups
As I admitted above, I did not watch the SOTU, so I can’t actually say if these wrap-ups are accurate. I can just say that I liked them.
But Obama long ago concluded that the best defense is a good offense. He has never had to face the consequences of his failures. He has been able to fool most of the people most of the time, at least when it counted. He has skated past disaster after disaster, and gotten away with lie after lie. The biggest repercussion he’s been met with—the 2014 Democratic defeat in Congress—may not stop him. Republicans are somewhat toothless, in part because they are divided among themselves but also because Obama has veto power that will be difficult to override. He’s also got that phone and that pen, and the will to use them. He has successfully transformed the US into a second-rate power and allies into enemies (or at least, into abandoned and confused ex-allies). And he has turned enemies into, if not allies, then gloating and stronger forces in the world for whatever evil they’ve got in mind.
It’s actually worked out very well for Obama. So why not brag?
This is not meant to be a whiny post (except when it comes to the bag bans, which still make me see red every time I go shopping). It’s just meant to be an observation about declines in life quality over the course of my middle-aged life.
When I grew up, our phones had stable connections. Now, thanks to the miracle of cell phones, my phone hangs up on me about as often as that fancy 1910 phone once hung up on my grandparents.
When I grew up, we kept our house at 72 degrees during the winter. With the 1974 oil embargo, we lowered it to a chilly 68 degrees. Nowadays, with utilities more expensive than ever, we keep our house at a frigid 62 degrees. Of course, when I say “we,” I’m not including Obama. Thanks to taxpayers, he’s always at a toasty 75 during the winter.
In one generation, we went from this:
But my experience at Harvard over the past couple of years tells me that the environment for teaching rape law and other subjects involving gender and violence is changing. Students seem more anxious about classroom discussion, and about approaching the law of sexual violence in particular, than they have ever been in my eight years as a law professor. Student organizations representing women’s interests now routinely advise students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence, and which might therefore be traumatic. These organizations also ask criminal-law teachers to warn their classes that the rape-law unit might “trigger” traumatic memories. Individual students often ask teachers not to include the law of rape on exams for fear that the material would cause them to perform less well. One teacher I know was recently asked by a student not to use the word “violate” in class—as in “Does this conduct violate the law?”—because the word was triggering. Some students have even suggested that rape law should not be taught because of its potential to cause distress.
However, according to today’s women of color, not all rapes are equal, and shouldn’t even be considered part of the rape spectrum:
Which means that today’s “feminists” are weaker than this:
And meaner and more racist than this:
You’ve come a long way, Baby
This gal identifies herself as “Honestly Speaking” and, boy, does she speak honestly. She tells “her people” that she’s not a “race traitor” for demanding that black people listen to their best angels, rather than their worst demons. She also explains, with great detail, why she’s a Republican. I wish there where millions of this lady all across America:
Hat tip: Navy One
The longer I’ve lived as a conservative — which still doesn’t equal the number of years I spent as a younger person on the Left — the more I’ve come to realize that one of the gaping chasms between conservatives and the Left is truth or the absence of truth. Conservatives construct their narratives around facts. Leftists eschew facts and focus entirely on the narrative. And really, if you don’t have any fealty to the truth, it’s a smart thing to do: Unfettered narrative is always going to be the more entertaining and accessible, because it’s expressly created to capture the audience’s interest.
As Ben Shapiro explains, the Left’s Ferguson narrative perfectly illustrates the fact v. narrative divide between conservatives and the Left:
1. The Washington Post article about the Ferguson rioting contains this interesting passive voice statement:
Derryck Green, of Project 21, makes a point that all of us here already know, which is that conservatives treat members of other races like human beings, while Leftists (no matter whether they call themselves liberals or Democrats or Progressives) treat them like slightly stupid children who can be bribed in exchange for votes. What makes this video worth watching, considering that we already agree with the ultimate point, is the clarity with which Green makes his argument:
Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the South African parliament, and someone who spent a large part of his life under true apartheid, understands that this lie not only slanders Israel, but wrongly diminishes the terrible suffering of South African blacks who experienced true apartheid: