“You mean I have to pay for that?! Obama said it would be free.”
I love Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I grew up watching TV repeats of the
1695 1965 version, own the DVD of the original 1957 version (with Julie Andrews), and can even sort of tolerate Whitney Houston’s 1997 version. That show had very PC, rainbow-colored casting and — the worst sin — a bland Brandy in the lead role, but it nevertheless respected the source material.
There’s a new Cinderella on Broadway now, and it got a very interesting review from Ben Brantley at the New York Times. I actually had to read the review twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.
Brantley gives the production kudos of visual eye-candy (although it seems somewhat overdone) and speaks approvingly of the performers. The surprise is that Brantley speaks slightingly of the way in which Douglas Carter Beane, who wrote a new book for the show, and Mark Brokaw, the director, couldn’t resist turning this classic little gem into a politically correct parable:
But a lot has been added and deleted. (Extensive revisions, by the way, have been made in every version of this “Cinderella” that followed its inception.) Some lesser-known songs from the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalog have been jimmied in (including “Now Is the Time,” a rousing call for social change that was cut from “South Pacific”).
There’s been a whole lot of fiddling with the plot too to give it politically progressive substance and those mandatory messages about self-esteem and self-empowerment. The prince’s parents (played by Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon in 1965) have been eliminated, replaced by a devious and manipulative regent figure, Sebastian (the droller-than-droll Peter Bartlett), who tricks the naïve prince, called Topher, into signing bills that repress and rob his people.
So when Cinderella finally gets the chance to talk to her dream date at that immortal ball, instead of whispering sweet nothings, she says, “You need to open your eyes to what’s happening in your kingdom.” (Maybe she should be renamed Che-erella.)
Like the reinvented cartoon fairy-tale heroines of the past several decades, from Disney’s “Little Mermaid” onward, this Cinderella is no passive damsel waiting for a rescuing knight. She takes charge of her destiny, so much so that she doesn’t lose that glass slipper; she hands it to the prince. It’s a conscious choice, see; she controls her narrative. And, by the way, the prince must undergo a similar process of re-education, which will allow him to conquer his self-doubts and introduce democracy to his kingdom.
Brantley acknowledges that this PC update has a bit of a knowing “wink and a nod” quality to it, but acknowledges that many in the audience seemed to miss the knowingly self-referential tone of the PC add-ons.
Cinderella is inherently a retro story, a sort of Patient Griselda for the modern era. When I was a child, I adored the story, the Disney movie, and, as I said, the TV show but, when I look back at them now, I do wonder if they encouraged in my a passivity that always had me assuming that, if I didn’t like my life, some prince would come and rescue me. Gail Carson Levine addressed that passive female problem rather nicely in her imaginative Ella Enchanted a delightful book that was turned into the extremely popular movie with Anne Hathaway. (The movie deviates wildly from the book, but I try to view it as a stand-alone product and enjoy the movie on those terms.)
I think we’re all inclined to sit back and enjoy variations on the Cinderella theme, and it’s okay when the new versions remind little girls that they no longer have to sit and wait. Taking a classic musical, however, written by two of Broadway’s greatest geniuses, and tacking on a whole bunch of extraneous PC stuff above and beyond a little Cinderella empowerment seems wrong, though — wrong enough, incidentally, to see a New York Times reviewer sneer at the artistic and entertainment merits of political correctness.
I live in an affluent community. One of the constants in this neighborhood is that, if a family can afford it, the mom retires to take care of the kids. This is true even if the mom’s salary was comparable to the dad’s. Often, this isn’t the mom’s preference; it’s the children’s. Our neighborhood children adore their Dads, but their mother is the pivotal figure in their lives. The formerly working mom in an affluent neighborhood really intends to go back to work, but it’s hard. The children want mom to feed them, they want mom to cuddle them, they want mom to cheer on their after-school sports, and they want mom to make them better when it hurts. They love their dads, but they want their moms.
I know that there are exceptions to what I just wrote. I know two dads who have been their children’s primary caregivers while mom worked, and they’ve both raised spectacular kids in a very happy way. These are successful families no matter how you define what constitutes successful parenting.
Nevertheless, you just can’t get by the mom-thing: Mom carries the baby, gives birth to the baby, feeds the baby, and parents the baby in a different way than even the most loving dad does. The fact that women are different from men (Viva la difference!) brings a different quality to their relationship with their children. The fact that a rich community, one with the luxury of choice, opts for the traditional female parenting model, tells you something about the bond between mother and child. Although intelligent, loving, willing people can come up with different relationships, Mother Nature hardwired moms to be the nurturers.
That’s what I say. The Obama administration, in a brief supporting same-sex marriage that it submitted to the United States Supreme Court, says different:
The Justice Department presented its conclusions about parenthood in rebutting an argument made by proponents of Proposition 8 that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, was the ideal place, determined even by nature itself, to raise a child.
The Obama administration argues this is not true. It argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers is just as good as having one of each.
“The [California] Voter Guide arguably offered a distinct but related child-rearing justification for Proposition 8: ‘the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father,’” said the administration’s brief submitted to the court by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.
“As an initial matter, no sound basis exists for concluding that same-sex couples who have committed to marriage are anything other than fully capable of responsible parenting and child-rearing,” the Department of Justice told the court. “To the contrary, many leading medical, psychological, and social-welfare organizations have issued policy statements opposing restrictions on gay and lesbian parenting based on their conclusion, supported by numerous scientific studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.”
“The weight of the scientific literature strongly supports the view that same-sex parents are just as capable as opposite-sex parents,” says the administration.
To support this argument, one of the documents the administration cites is a “policy statement” by the American Psychological Association. This statement claims that some studies indicate same-sex parents might be “superior” to mother-and-father families, but then concedes there is little actual data on the results of raising children in two-father households.
“Members of gay and lesbian couples with children have been found to divide the work involved in childcare evenly, and to be satisfied with their relationships with their partners,” says this APA policy statement the administration cited to the court. “The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation.”
“Studies of other aspects of personal development (including personality, self-concept, and conduct) similarly reveal few differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual parents,” says the APA policy statement. “However, few data regarding these concerns are available for children of gay fathers.”
The Obama administration further argues that because California law already permits domestic partnerships in which same-sex couples are allowed all the “incidents” of marriage–including the right to adopt children and be foster parents–that Proposition 8 only denies same-sex couples the use of the word “marriage” and does not change the status of child-rearing in the state.
“Moreover, as the court of appeals determined, ‘Proposition 8 had absolutely no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to become parents or the manner in which children are raised in California,’” says the administration. “As explained, California law, both before and after Proposition 8, grants registered domestic partners the same parental rights and benefits accorded to married couples. And Proposition 8 does not alter California’s adoption, fostering, or presumed-parentage laws, which ‘continue to apply equally to same-sex couples.’
“In light of California’s conferral of full rights of parenting and child-rearing on same-sex couples, Proposition 8’s denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry bears no cognizable relation, let alone a substantial one, to any interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing (however defined),” says the administration. “Indeed, because a substantial number of California children are raised in households headed by same-sex couples.”
Children can absolutely survive without mothers. In the pre-modern era, the risks of childbirth saw enormous numbers of children orphaned. Children are resilient. They’ll survive a parents’ death; they’ll survive both parents’ deaths; they’ll survive good foster homes and bad; and they’ll survive in a two-father family, a two-mother family, or a non-traditional family where dad stays home. But to pretend that a stable two-parent home with a loving mother providing a feminine role model and a loving father providing a masculine role model is unnecessary and passe is something that could only happen in a post-post-deconstructionist world, one in which a boy can announce that he is a girl and, voila!, that makes it so.
We 21st century first worlders have an enormous arrogance, one that sees us thinking that we can successfully ignore our biology and human nature as a whole. Just a few examples show how wrong that hubris is. We think that we control the entire earth’s atmosphere, rather than just have the ability to pollute or keep clean our immediate internment; we think that we can control disease, only to see our antibiotics become ineffective, with viruses such as AIDS sneaking past our “civilized” defenses, and traditional scourges such as TB coming back in new and ever more virulent form; we think that we have reached an apex of civility that overrides the cruel animal in us, only to witness unspeakable atrocities in every corner of the world, in every decade of every century; and we think that we can use our superior abilities, not just to constrain biology, but to ignore it entirely.
Please understand that I do not intend to say here that non-traditional households cannot succeed and that they are unable to create a loving, nurturing environment for children. I’m just saying that, if history has taught us anything, it’s that it’s utterly foolish to pretend that Mother Nature doesn’t usually get the last word — making it quite wrong and dangerously foolish to create public policy based upon the pretense that Nature doesn’t exist.
I wrote earlier today that something good had happened. I won’t go into too much detail, because I don’t want to ill wish myself at this stage in the game, but I can tell you a little.
I’m trained as a lawyer, and I’ve worked as a lawyer — writing and researching — for more than a quarter of a century now. During my first four years as a lawyer, I just hated it. I had no idea what I was doing, and did not find mentors to help me out. To make it worse, imbued as I was with a whiny mid-1980s feminism, I was not a cheerful employee. Despite the fact that they were paying me ridiculous amounts of money for my negligible skill level, I felt that they owed me something, rather than the other way around.
After those first four years, I found a mentor (who, incidentally, helped pave my way intellectually for becoming conservative) and began to enjoy the intellectual chase. Finding just the right case law to help a client, and then writing a compelling, elegant brief was very satisfying. Eventually, though, I got jaded. Bay Area judges are moved as much by liberal navel gazing as they are by the law itself. Eventually, I didn’t want to keep banging my head against that wall.
Meanwhile, I had children, and my energies first dissipated and, when they returned, they had shifted. As my children grew up, I discovered that I was fascinated by politics and that I love writing about politics and social issues. Honestly, it’s an incredible pleasure to write when the worst that can happen is that someone points out that you made a mistake. In all my years as a lawyer, I’ve never gotten over the fear that I may make a mistake that results in my client being terribly damaged and in me being sued for malpractice. The fact that I never have made such a mistake has not taken the edge away. In fact, in some ways it makes things worse, because I fear complacency.
Once I started my blog, and certainly after I’d honed this craft for a while, I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up: become a paid writer. Not a paid legal writer, but just a paid writer. Probably to your great irritation, I’ve been trying to monetize this blog for years, but if I make enough to pay for one airplane ticket to the East Coast per year, I’m doing exceptionally well with my writing.
Things changed for me Friday. I got an email out of the blue asking me if I wanted to provide content for someone’s blog. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t remember this guy’s name, even though we’d been in touch a couple of times several years back. Embarrassed, but not surprised. I have a chiaroscuro memory, dappled light and dark. I remember the copyright year of almost all the books I’ve read, I can list all the kings and queens of England from Edward III to the present day, I know the lyrics to an insane number of songs from the 30s and 40s, I’ll remember if you have children and what they do, but I won’t remember your name. I’ve humiliated myself on more than one occasion with this gaping hole in my memory, and my response to this man’s email was no different. “Excuse me, but who are you?” Fortunately, he wasn’t offended by my memory failing or, if he was, he didn’t let it get in the way.
He has an up-and-coming website and, as he said, he needs help with content. He’s a truly gifted salesman with a wide and deep understanding of how money flows in the blogosphere. He’s been able to create crazy traffic levels, but writing is not his thing, and he’s exhausting himself trying to keep up with traffic flow.
This weekend was by way of an experiment. I wrote stuff for him to see if I could match my style to his needs, and he posted my work to see if it kept his readers happy. So far, all is good.
My husband was a bit worried that I was providing all this content for free (asking, with reason, “How do you know that he won’t stiff you?”), but I explained (a) that I didn’t think this man would stiff me and (b) that my work was a loss leader and those can be risky. Since I like writing, it was a financial risk, but not a painful one. Here’s the irony: After my husband and I finished this discussion, I opened my email to find out that the man had sent money, nice money, to my PayPal account. I like it when my gut is right and my risks (which are usually small, because I’m not a gambler) are rewarded.
This weekend ended up being a bit chaotic, because I was fulfilling both the new blog’s needs and my family’s needs (which were very time-consuming this weekend). Weekdays will be smoother because, in a way and for the first time in years, I’ll have a real job. (That is, assuming this grand experiment works for both me and the other guy.)
Don’t worry, though, that I’ll give up this blog. I may do some cross-posting (the posts I do for him cross-posted here, not vice versa), but mostly I want to keep Bookworm Room going because I’m so happy here. The work I do for him is news reporting type stuff. The work I do here is a conversation between me and you about wonky political issues, hot news topics, foreign policy, national security, social issues, education, etc. Leaving here would be like walking away from my life’s party while I’m still having fun.
Still, I’m really, really happy. I’ve always had this feeling, irrational though it seemed for many years, that all my blogging was leading somewhere. I wasn’t getting paid, I was writing when I should have been doing that gosh-danged laundry, I ignored my kids a bit (benign neglect, of course), but this work seemed important to me. I’d like to think that it was preparing me for a project that is good now and has the potential to get very much better.
Wish me luck, please. With this guy’s enormous sales, marketing, and internet talents, my writing chops, and your wishes, something good might be happening here.
I have lots to share with you guys — but I can’t right now, because I am a body in motion. Every single member of my family has legitimate demands on my time today (except the dog, who makes no demands at all). If you see a figure whipping by you today at something approaching warp speed, it’s probably me.
I’ll be back at my computer around 3:30 or 4 (my time). Until then, here’s an Open Thread. I learn so much from what you all say here.
Having babies used to be biologically inevitable. If you were a woman who had sex, the possibility of pregnancy increased automatically with every act of sexual intercourse. People have always had birth control (withdrawal, the rhythm method, vinegar-soaked sponges, primitive condoms, etc.) but their success rate was random and limited.
Then came modern birth control — pills, diaphragms, IUDs, quality condoms, etc. — and, for responsible women, sex stopped leading to pregnancy unless they wanted it to happen.
The societal assumption when birth control use surged in America was that women who used birth control would invariably have children. They’d simply do so on their own time-table, rather than on Nature’s. Some women waited too long (or just had problems with conception), but science had an answer there too, with increasingly successful fertility treatments, implants, and even complex surrogacies, using a combination of egg, sperm, and womb.
What no one predicted was that, given the choice, women simply wouldn’t want to have children. This isn’t just because they’re Malthusian environmentalists who are afraid that children will destroy the world. It’s because they don’t see children as part of their happy (and sometimes selfish) life plan:
“I don’t know if that’s selfish,” says Jordan, the daughter of an Ecuadoran and an Ohioan who grew up in the South Bronx, explaining her reasons for a decision increasingly common among women across the developed world, where more than half of the world’s population is now reproducing at below the replacement rate. “I feel like my life is not stable enough, and I don’t think I necessarily want it to be … Kids, they change your entire life. That’s the name of the game. And that’s not something I’m interested in doing.”
I totally get that. As I hit my 30s, I was living the lush life: good job, good income, nice apartment, quality boyfriend and, when the long work hours were over, a lot of “me” time. I had no biological clock ticking away. I didn’t want children. In general, I’m not that fond of them. Yet here I am today, completely defined by my status as “Mom.” What the heck happened?
What happened was that my boyfriend (now husband) wanted children and I wanted him. The other thing that happened was that I took a long, considering look at all of the older childless couples I knew, who voluntarily stayed childless, and I didn’t like what I saw. Without exception, these people were more affluent than their peers, they were well-traveled, well-dined, and well-groomed. They were also rigid, humorless, thin-skinned, and unable to deal with even the most minor crises. I realized that it’s not just that (g00d) parents are good for children, it’s that children are good for parents.
I hated the baby and toddler years, and they definitely accelerated my aging (chronic sleep deprivation did not agree with me). I also hated the schlepping, the endless frustration of dealing with toddlers, and the chaos in my once-quiet house. I don’t like irrational creatures and there is no creature more irrational (from an adult perspective) than a toddler. Toddlers, of course, function in a completely rational world, defined by their immediate desires, limited understanding, and somewhat magical thinking.
It got easier as the kids grew up, and now I’m in a really great position where I’m optimizing the benefits that come with being a parent. I enjoy my teenagers, a great deal. They’re intelligent, loving, funny people and, while I like it when I’ve got my house it myself, I certainly don’t dislike it when they’re around. I like their friends too, and am very happy to have (no kidding) the most popular house in the neighborhood. My son, bless his heart, told me that all his friends like to be here because I’m the easiest-to-get-along-with parent they know. I’m not a pushover — it’s just that, as with politics, I’m laissez faire. I have a few fixed rules but otherwise, if the kids are not hurting themselves, each other, my dog, or my house, I leave them alone.
Meanwhile, they keep me young. I hope I’m not mutton dressed as lamb, but I know the games, music, movies, language, clothing (which I don’t copy), and the general culture of youth. I am not calcified and I am not rigid. I don’t get hysterical if there’s no blood or vomit involved in whatever crisis arises — and I don’t even get hysterical about blood or vomit. I just move a bit more quickly to cope with it.
My point is that the selfish person should want to have children. I believe that my children benefit from my selfishness, which leads me to a benign neglect that keeps them from trying to grow under the shadow and endless wind of a helicopter parent, and I get to stay young, agreeable and adaptable. It’s a good deal for me, even though the upfront costs (two miserable pregnancies followed by years without sleep, rest, or privacy) were high.
Women voters, terrified by the Todd Akin bogeyman and promised a lifetime of free birth control, put Obama over the top in the 2012 election. Now many reap what they sowed:
Frey’s situation reflects a trend in which women in the United States have been losing the government jobs they dominate even as the private sector has added positions. Women have lost 454,000 federal, state and local government jobs, compared with 267,000 by men, since the 18-month recession ended in June 2009, Bureau of Labor Statistics records indicate.
The gap has widened in the past year even as government job losses have slowed. Government payrolls cut about five times as many women as men in 2012, and the pattern is continuing. In January, women surrendered 8,000 positions compared with 1,000 for men.
State and local governments have done the majority of firing as their revenue plummeted and are poised for a rebound as the economy picks up. Yet the imbalance could persist if Congress doesn’t avert the automatic federal spending reductions scheduled to begin this month, said Harry Holzer, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington and former chief economist at the Department of Labor.
I don’t think I need to add any further commentary. Frankly, I’d rather read what you guys have to say, because I always enjoy your clever and informed comments.
When the recycling truck heads down our street, collecting people’s glass, cans, and paper, interesting things occasionally float out of the truck and onto the street. (Which should be a reminder to everyone to shred important documents. Sometimes the wind is the greatest document thief of them all.)
This morning, I found a crumpled, college-lined piece of paper with childish handwriting on the sidewalk in front of my house. These were the opening sentences:
I’m writing to tell you how I feel about Gun Control. Gun control kills tons of people each year. [Sic.]
Despite this auspicious beginning, the rest of the document was actually a childish plea for more gun control. This is, after all, Marin. That second sentence, though, was such a perfect Freudian slip — out of the pencils of babes, so to speak — that I had to pass it on.
If ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise — especially when the subject is Islam.
Today is the day that Obama (at extraordinary cost) flew all over the country to hype as Armageddon. I got out of bed this morning, looked up, and saw the sky right where it belonged. “Wow,” I said to myself. “The sky didn’t fall. I think someone lied to me.” Krauthammer thinks the same. The Dems were on to something with their “never let a crisis go to waste” policy. Where they erred was in thinking they could use that policy effectively by faking crises. That might have been a mistake for them — and I hope it was a big mistake.
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Mia Farrow inadvertently said something very important. “Bob Woodward burned his cloak of impartiality.” What did Woodward do to start this conflagration? Acting as an actual investigative journalist, he reported that Obama lied about the sequestration. In other words, “impartiality” means “the Obama party line.” I have a friend who loves Jon Stewart. He cannot understand when I say that, aside from finding Stewart too puerile and crude to be funny, I don’t like his biased humor. “Bias? There is no bias,” says my friend. According to him, the impartial truth is that, 90% of the time (per Stewart) conservatives are stupid, mean, and wrong, while that’s only true (maybe) about 10% of the time for Democrats.
I couldn’t agree more with this article urging that schools have children read the Bible, not as a religious book, but as literature. The King James Bible is, without doubt, one of the most beautifully written books in the English language, and one that enriches our speech every day. And if a little morality rubs off along the way, well, who’s to say that’s a bad thing?
Who knew that Michelle Obama had so much in common with ancient Sparta? Following her fitness program is now a “patriotic obligation.” Considering that Sparta was a, well, spartan, warlike, slave state, I’m not sure I like this. It’s one thing if people want to be physically fit (as I do). It’s quite another thing when the state makes it a civic obligation that, ultimately, as a civic obligation, will be enforced using all the state’s power.
One of my long-time blog friends, and one of the smartest women in the conservative blogosphere has a fascinating post up at PJ Media about the transition from liberal to conservative — one that sees many of us following a Churchillian political trajectory. I think many Bookworm Room readers will recognize themselves in her post. I certainly see myself.
Also at PJ Media, David Goldman brings some of his always interesting insights to bear on the warped, and definitely pre-modern, mental life of Obama’s favorite political leader, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan, as you may recall, is the Muslim political leader who just the other day called Zionism a “crime against humanity.”
When Whitney Houston, the pathetically drug addicted diva, died in her bath, Obama paused in his busy campaign to acknowledge her passing. To date, Obama has said nothing about Chris Kyle, a man who fought ferociously in the military that Obama heads, given his constitutional status as Commander in Chief. Keith Koffler rightly calls Obama out on this revolting silence.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say as the day rolls on, but this is a start.
Today’s the day! I get to vote! Yay! Here’s what I’ll be voting on:
- The Colossus of Rhodey – Question of the Day
- The Noisy Room – An Islamic Coup in India – Mughalistan
- Joshuapundit-Why Europeans Will Never Forgive The Jews For Auschwitz
- The Political Commentator – In death, how do you measure a life?
- GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Iwo Jima Day
- Simply Jews – Pakistan: where it’s a blasphemy to be against the blasphemy laws
- The Razor – The New Scientist Admits Political Bias
- Rhymes With Right – HuffPo Columnist Calls For Obama Dictatorship!
- Bookworm Room – The Oscars — a fitting celebration for a vulgar culture
- VA Right! - CPAC’s Skewed Priorities: Progressive Liberal RINO Bob McDonnell Invited – GoProud Shunned
- The Right Planet – CNN Freaks Out Over Draconian Sequester Cuts, Like the Asteroid Video
- The Glittering Eye -The Incidence of the Corporate Income Tax
- The Mellow Jihadi – My Jihad, Now Improved with Flowers
- Crazy Bald Guy – My review of “Tron: Legacy”
- Ask Marion – LaPierre: ‘Gun Registry Will Be Used to Confiscate Your Guns’… As DOJ Memo: ‘Outlaw and Confiscate All Guns’ Surfaces
- Right Truth – ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ stars support release of jailed doctor who helped U.S. find Usama Bin Laden
- The Pirate’s Cove – Sequestration In Context: US Borrows Cost Of Sequestration Every 28 Days
- Tablet – A World Without Jews submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Walid Shoebat –Prophecy: What Lies Ahead submitted by The Noisy Room
- Andrew McCarthy – Are We Still At War? submitted by Joshuapundit
- International Liberty -Debunking Sequester Hysteria from the Big Spenders in Washington submitted by The Political Commentator
- Battleland/TMP Barnett –About China’s Hacking Army submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- The Whited Sepulcher – Quotes from The Reality Based Community submitted by Simply Jews
- Zero Hedge –Two Cows: The Infographic submitted by The Razor
- Col-lege In-sur-rection – Millenials rejecting race-based admissions preferences submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Doug Ross-Hitler Finds Out About the Nationwide #DayOfResistance Rallies submitted by Bookworm Room
- Town Hall – Obama’s Paycheck Will be Exempt from Sequester submitted by VA Right!
- American Thinker – The Marxist Heart of Darkness submitted by The Right Planet
- Steve Hess/The Diplomat – Why Wasn’t There A Chinese Spring? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion –San Diego Sheriff’s spokeswoman stereotypes bloggers as 800-pound disabled man that cant get out of bed and be a journalist submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Forbes/Peter Schweizer – As Oscar Nominated Hollywood Moguls Bag Tax Cuts, They Seek To Raise Yours submitted by The Watcher
- The Commentator – Exposing the UN’s dirty little secrets submitted by The Watcher
Just for laughs:
I’m ambivalent about Taylor Swift. I’ve liked that she stayed classy when it came to clothes and not doing the drinking, drugging, partying scene. Given that the teenage girls in my neighborhood like her music, I’m glad she hasn’t been a slut.
What I don’t like about her is her whiny songs. More than that, I don’t like the way she dates immature young men and, having gotten material for a new whiny song, dumps the young men and then publicly “outs” them as immature young men. There’s something very mean-spirited about her approach to men (or really, boys) and music.
There’s a big hoo-hah in Colorado, because a 6-year-old boy feels like a girl. His parents, out of respect for his feelings, are raising him as a girl. The school district was not impressed. It stated that, for bathroom purposes, if you have a penis, you have to use the boys’ room.
I can actually see both sides. To the extent this kid marches to the beat of his own drummer, he’s at serious risk of being attacked during (or because of) trips to the boys’ room. The school, however, is correct that, as long as the boy’s bodily functions are channeled through male body parts, they risk push-back and lawsuits from allowing a boy in the girls’ room.
Perhaps the parents should think about homeschooling, which can be an excellent solution for square pegs who don’t fit in the public schools’ round holes. Although the Left would like to deny it, there are some problems the government can’t fix, and some situations that are incapable of equal outcomes.
But why I am telling you this? The Monty Python crew dealt with precisely this issue about 25 years ago:
Washington’s Birthday was a busy day for me (it was also my Mom’s birthday), so I never got around to posting last week’s Watcher’s Council winners. I’m posting them here and now, along with a link to the Council members’ fascinating forum discussing how far American states can go in banning sharia.
- *First place with 3 votes! The Right Planet –So, You Bought a Gun, Huh?
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room – Obama and the Leftist Infiltration of Israeli Media
- Third place with 2 votes – The Razor-The Elephant In The Room -– Having Kids Out-of-Wedlock Culture
- Fourth place with 1 2/3 votes – Bookworm Room-Dems are troglodytes about women and self-defense, and they’re selling this as a virtue for the next election
- Fifth place with 1 1/3 votes – The Political Commentator-Another Obama snow-job: Sequestration = Republican-owned recession!
- Sixth place with 1 vote – Joshuapundit-State Of The Union?
- Seventh place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi-1 Billion Rising and the Qu’ran
- Seventh place *t* with 2/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – Sen. Dan Patrick Moves To Dumb-Down Texas Graduation Requirements, Eliminate Government And Economics Requirement
- Eighth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! –Gluttony – Big Government’s Deadly Sin
- Eighth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey - Heaven forbid! A conservative comics writer is against gay “marriage”
- Eighth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Glittering Eye –Multi-Tasking the 2013 State of the Union
- Eighth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Simply Jews –Guardian – confirming the obsession
- First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Sultan Knish-It’s Not Easy Being Red and Green submitted by The Noisy Room
- Second place with 2 votes – Amity Schlaes –The Coolidge Lesson on Taxes and Spending submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Sarah Palin –#SOTUGottaBKiddingMe submitted by The Watcher
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes -Victor Davis Hanson-Obama’’s Hypocritic Oath submitted by The Razor
- Fourth place with 1 vote The City Journal -The Pension Fund That Ate California submitted by The Political Commentator
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote - Zombie/PJ Media –1 billion rising San Francisco & submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote - Penelope Trunk –Universal pre-K is bad for everyone submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote -Max Fisher/World Views – Is Israel the only U.S. ally in the Middle East? An answer in map form submitted by grEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -The Sad Red Earth –The Israeli-Palestinian Textbook Study Fraud submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote -Sister Toldjah – #GunControl: Washington State Democrats forget a little thing called the 4th amendment submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Right Turn – The right to an awful defense secretary? submitted by Gay Patriot
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -The Examner –New study confirms economy was destroyed by Democrat policies submitted by The Right Planet
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Amil Imani –Interview with Amil Imanisubmitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote -Khaled Abu Toameh –What Is Really Blocking the Peace Process? submitted by The Watcher
Yesterday, regarding Bob Woodward’s openly stated claims that Obama’s White House bullied him and that Obama’s conduct amounts to madness, I made this prediction:
Woodward is very much mistaken if he thinks the current generation of media types will support him in the long run, if he continues to attack Obama. If he doesn’t step back and start to toe the party line, the Obamabots in the media will shred his reputation, blackmail him (if they can), and generally reduce him to Sarah Palinesque pariah status.
Honestly, it wasn’t that impressive a prediction because it falls in the same category as predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow in the east or that water will . . . wait for it . . . flow downhill. Still, to the extent I made a prediction, I’m pleased to report that I was absolutely correct.
Obama “senior advisor” David Plouffe went on Twitter to say that Woodward has become too old to matter. Other current generation reporters, the ones who confuse sycophantic propaganda with old-style investigative reporting, were equally vicious and/or dismissive of this one-time journalism icon.
Though no one’s disputed Woodward’s reporting, the media’s Cult of Obama began pushing back against the Watergate legend even before he dropped the bomb last night that he had been threatened by a top White House official.
But when that news hit, many in media immediately chose to protect Obama by ridiculing Woodward, questioning his motives, and/or dismissing his reporting.
Meet the members of the Cult of Obama…
Politico White House reporter Glenn Thrush:
Wonder if Woodward has humped up his book sales from GOPers, ie Amity Schlaes
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) February 28, 2013
BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith:
Wish I could claim credit for this observation by a friend: “In which Bob Woodward shows he too can master the new media landscape”
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 28, 2013
Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg:
Hezbollah is intimidating. Gene Sperling writing, “I think you will regret staking out that claim” is not intimidating. cc: @buzzfeedben
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) February 28, 2013
The above is just a small sampling of the media push back against once of their own who “went rogue.” You really need to read all of them to understand how quickly a Democrat icon can become Sarah Palin if he is deemed a heretic. (And I use the word “heretic” deliberately, with all its religious connotations, because what we’re seeing here is a religion, with Obama as the God-head.)
Oscar Pistorius — the Blade Runner — was indicted for murder in South Africa, after he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, by firing four shots from his bedroom through the bathroom door. Pistorius claimed he was acting in self-defense. The prosecution contends that he and his girlfriend had a violent argument, that he beat her head with a cricket bat, and that he then intentionally shot her to death (although firing shots through the door seems like an inefficient way to do it). Presumably a trial will help reveal a truth, if not the truth.
In any event, Joe Biden has clearly been following Pistorius’ killing career closely, because Biden has now stamped his imprimatur on the Pistorius school of self-defense (emphasis mine):
F&S: What about the other uses, for self-defense and target practice?
V.P. BIDEN: Well, the way in which we measure it is—I think most scholars would say—is that as long as you have a weapon sufficient to be able to provide your self-defense. I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, “Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there’s the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself.”
I said, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” Most people can handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semiautomatic weapon in terms of both their aim and in terms of their ability to deter people coming. We can argue whether that’s true or not, but it is no argument that, for example, a shotgun could do the same job of protecting you. Now, granted, you can come back and say, “Well, a machine gun could do a better job of protecting me.” No one’s arguing we should make machine guns legal.
Wow, Joe! How can you be wrong on so many levels? First, the shotgun has a much harder kickback than the AR-15, so people, especially lightweight people (such as women), can’t handle it better than the alternative. Second of all, firing a gun into the air as he advises is illegal. And third, shooting through the door means you’re shooting blind.
Obama is proving to be quite the chess player (especially because he’s got the media to help him cheat . . . er, play the game). Meanwhile, Republicans are still trying to figure out the intricacies of Chutes and Ladders.
Obama is also showing his Chicago-political roots. Woodward, moving very slowly, is beginning to understand that Obama cares nothing about leading the nation, but is, instead, concerned only with gamesmanship. Fortunately, Woodward has a big reputation and a bully pulpit, so his doubts are making waves. However, Woodward is very much mistaken if he thinks the current generation of media types will support him in the long run, if he continues to attack Obama. If he doesn’t step back and start to toe the party line, the Obamabots in the media will shred his reputation, blackmail him (if they can), and generally reduce him to Sarah Palinesque pariah status.
In Chicago, the people die in the streets, but the politicians keep riding in their gilded coaches. Obama is bringing that same model to the states as a whole. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t become deadly on a national scale.
To be honest, I have no proof whatsoever that a singer named Morrissey has ever done drugs. But to the extent he’s a brainless wonder, I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, drugs explain this:
Never shy to make a controversial comment, “Bigmouth Strikes Again” singer Morrissey has claimed that “homosexual men would never kill other men”.
The 53-year-old singer, made his claims in an interview with an online magazine for teenage girls. While discussing war, he suggested that if there were more gay men, there would be fewer wars.
“War, I thought, was the most negative aspect of male heterosexuality,” he said. “If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men.”
Apparently Morrissey isn’t big on reading papers. If he was, he might know about Jeffrey Dahmer, who not only killed men, he also ate them.
Just the other day, the tabloids reported on a gay killer who preyed on gay men.
If you have the stomach for sordid, you can easily find examples of gay relationships that ended with violent death.
Gandhi is revered because his policy of peaceful resistance brought down the British Empire’s century’s old rule over India. It’s true. It did. But what few are willing to acknowledge is that this tactic worked only because he was using it against a moral nation, one that had been financially and emotionally depleted by two world wars in quick succession and that was increasingly removed ideologically from the concept of Empire. Had he been dealing with an aggressive, hungry imperial nation — England in the 18th century, Stalin, Hitler, etc. — the outcome would have been very different.
My point is that we achieve our victories, not just because of our own efforts, but because of our opponents’ make-up. And this is where AIPAC comes it, for it has suddenly discovered that it has no say in Washington. As Lee Smith pointed out, AIPAC hasn’t gotten much done lately:
This weekend, more than 10,000 pro-Israel activists, Jews and non-Jews alike, will gather at the Washington convention center for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference. These friends and supporters of the U.S.-Israel bilateral relationship will hear from members of Congress and the executive branch who will all testify to the singular influence that AIPAC, as the pillar of the pro-Israel community, wields in the capital of the free world.
But just how powerful is AIPAC if a man who refers to it as the “Jewish lobby” and has defiantly claimed that he is not an “Israeli senator” is slated to be our next secretary of Defense? And, most significantly, how much influence does the lobbying organization actually exercise if it can’t carry the day on the single issue that’s been at the very top of its agenda for over a decade: stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.
Despite an operating budget of more than $60 million, on the most crucial issue facing Israel’s security, AIPAC has lost the policy debate. The winners include those who believe you can’t stop a nation from getting the bomb if it’s determined to do so, those who think the Iranians have a right to nuclear weapons, and those who argue the Iranians can be contained—among them, our new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
(Read the rest here.)
Smith blames AIPAC’s deafening silence regarding both the Hagel and the Brennan nominations. He considers this a tactical failure. I believe, though, that AIPAC’s inability to have a say in the debate about Hagel goes beyond tactics and represents a much deeper problem for Israel and her friends in America.
Up until 2008, AIPAC was accustomed to dealing with a very specific government model: bipartisan support for Israel. AIPAC never took sides in a debate because its sole role was to be a non-partisan voice for Israel. Whether it was dealing with Democrats or Republicans, it simply had to offer these politicians information about Israel.
AIPAC assiduously avoided partisan or controversial stands because its moral weight rested upon the fact that it was not a party organ but, instead, was always a conduit for information and good-will to flow between Israel and Congress as a whole. In other words, AIPAC could be Gandhi, because it was dealing with an “opponent” (if you consider the government as a whole as being in a slightly adversarial stance to lobbyists) that wasn’t actively hostile. Indeed, it was often quite friendly to and supportive of AIPAC’s goals.
Things are very different in Washington now, and AIPAC hasn’t caught up to that fact. The party that holds power in Washington is openly anti-Israel and increasingly antisemitic. This puts AIPAC in a bind. It’s one thing, after all, to advocate for Israel. It’s another thing to take a stand against the Democrat President’s cabinet choices — something that smacks of the partisanship AIPAC has always avoided.
Until AIPAC acknowledges that the old world is gone and that it’s dealing with a very different one (Dems will continue to be anti-Israel long after Obama has left the building), her voice will remain muted and ineffectual. What Hagel mistook for a nefarious “Jewish lobby” was, in fact, an organization that worked with politicians who already supported Israel, either for moral reasons or for Cold War reasons.
AIPAC didn’t control those politicians. It was their servant, not their master, since it enabled the politicians to carry out their own goals. With the Cold War over and the morality leeched out of public life, Washington, D.C., no longer has any use for AIPAC and the so-called “Israel lobby” is being kicked to the curb.
Obama is demagoguing the sequester like mad. David Angelo provides a pleasant breath of common sense:
Incidentally, to the extent Obama says that the sequester will result in federal prosecutors having to abandon cases, that may be a very good thing. The news lately has too many stories about federal prosecutors run amok. Here are just a handful of links:
US attorney Carmen Ortiz strikes yet another sleazy deal.
Prosecutor aids DEA as it tries to seize a $1.5 million building over a $37 pot deal.
Oh! Carmen Ortiz is in the headlines again for prosecutorial overreach.
And then there’s the corruption….
(Thanks to Earl for all these links. He has been appropriately concerned for years about prosecutorial abuse.)
Hagel’s been confirmed. As Sean Hannity keeps saying, “Elections have consequences.”
The Democrats did what Republicans never do, which is to march in lockstep formation behind their leader even when he chose as Secretary of Defense a man with an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a management history that proves his role model was the Pointy Haired Boss from the Dilbert cartoons.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The Democrats’ world outlook is collectivist, and they behave collectively. They have given their fealty to Obama. If he ordered them to drink Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid, jump off a cliff, or retire from politics en masse, they would obey. It doesn’t speak well of them that they subordinate their Creator-given gifts to party politics, but it does make them effective.
And then we have Republicans.
The problem with Republicans is that they’re individualists. Trying to get them to work together, even when pulling apart means sure death, is about as easy as herding cats. What’s worse is that they’re not cool, sophisticated, self-assured cats. Instead, they’re the dumb cats that John Hawkins describes:
Can you teach a cat to sit? To roll over? To come when it’s called? No, because cats are stupid. Granted, dogs are stupid, too, but they’re probably on the same level as your two-year old. A cat is closer in intelligence to a geranium — if a geranium had claws and a certain feral cunning it could use to track, torment, and kill smaller plants for its own amusement.
Hawkins had his tongue firmly in cheek when he wrote that. As for me, when I apply those words to the flailing Republicans in Washington, my tongue is nowhere near my cheek. Republican politicians are dumb. Really, really dumb.
I have a few words for these dummies. I applaud them for having the courage to run but that doesn’t make up for the fact that, once they get to Washington, the collapse in a spineless puddle the moment the drive-by media turns it sights on them.
Here’s the deal, doofuses (doofae?): Because the media will play everything and anything to make Obama look good and you look bad, stop trying to look good. You are the geeks in high school, the losers at the work place, the dork at the dance. No matter what happens, you will look stupid — in the short run.
But we smart people (and that group does not include you guys in D.C.) know that those high school geeks who stuck to their geek guns made smart decisions that made many of them rich and famous. We know that the smart losers in the work place left their cubicles behind and became successful consultants. And those dance floor dorks? They’re the ones who managed to avoid the vapid blonde with STDs and, instead, find pretty young women of substance.
You idiots. . . . Sorry, I mean you Republican politicians think you’re playing a long-term game that goes like this: “If we bend here, bow here, and scrape there, the new mandarins, especially in the media, will finally give us credit and the voters will support us.” Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
What you should be doing is stand up, vocally, for core conservative principles. If those reporters ask you about rape, ignore them. If they ask you about gay marriage, ignore them. Right now, the media is making these pressing issues only doing so is a cheap and easy way to appeal to people’s emotions and deflect attention from the fact that we, as a nation, are going broke. And you guys (and gals) let them get away with this shoddy tactic, simply because you’re so pathetically desperate for New York Times‘ approval.
If you were lucky enough to be a Republican who made it to (or stayed in) Congress, voters elected you pretty much for one reason: Fiscal responsibility. Even if the Tea Party candidates weren’t quite ready for prime time, it was the principles they asserted that created the wave that got you guys into office in 2010, and that kept some of you there in 2012.
So what should you be doing? You should be harping on fiscal responsibility. You should be screaming to the rafters at the way Obama is punishing ordinary citizens (e.g., releasing previously-arrested illegal aliens; threatening to make the TSA even worse; and threatening old people and children). You should be reminding them that Obama is lying about the sequester. It was his idea and it doesn’t cut past spending, but merely slows future spending.
Be loud in your conservative beliefs. Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, WaPo, NYT, NPR, and CNN are going to ream you a new one regardless. Stop making conservative bloggers do all the heavy lifting. All we can do is preach to the choir. If enough of you in Congress start making a loud noise, the media will have to report it. At the very least, do yourself the favor of going down like a man, or a woman, not a sniveling coward.
And speaking of sniveling cowards, those Republicans who cast a yea vote for Chuck Hagel are exactly that. Senators have a Constitutional duty to protect American citizens from a president who chooses a cabinet member who is manifestly unsuited for the post. Hagel’s testimony and the information that started surfacing about him established conclusively that he is mean-spirited and dumb as a rock.
Hagel is anti-Israel, even though Israel is our ally; pro-Iran, even though Iran is our enemy; hostile to the American armed forces, even though he’ll now be in charge of them; antisemitic, even though his baseless canards have their roots in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, rather than the real world; devious, as was shown by his prevaricating about his past and his refusal to release documents; and really, really, really stupid.
I guess it’s that last factor — his rank stupidity — that proves that, all of his other qualities to the contrary, Hagel can still call himself a Republican. Dems have turned on Israel, look longingly at Iran, hate the military, have a festering antisemitism in their ranks, and routinely lie about and hide information that Americans should know. But when it comes to butt-numbing stupidity, Republicans win, hands down. I guess you could call Hagel the double threat, seeing as he has the worst qualities of both parties.
I’m always a bridesmaid in these things, and never a bride, but I’m still beyond thrilled that John Hawkins included me as a nominee in the 11th Annual Blogger Awards for CPAC. I’m right there under “Best Kept Secret Award.” Indeed, right now, I’m so secret that the link is to my old WordPress blog. I sent a note to John about that, though, so I know it will be fixed soon.
I was also delighted to see that a lot of my blog friends got nominated too. I was especially happy to see The Mellow Jihadi as a People’s Choice nominee. Navy One has been a friend of this blog since before he started blogging, and he’s become one of my personal friends as well. I’m so delighted that he’s getting this kind of recognition.
Having acknowledged myself and my friends, let me say that John is spot-on in all of his selections. Each of the blogs named is a high quality blogs that deserves recognition for providing a true form of alternative media. If you blog, please consider broadcasting this list of nominees, since the more readership they get, the less believability the drive-by media gets.
The last thing left for me to do is to figure out how to lobby the CPAC voters for this one. I’ve got their beer and party favors all lined up….