The terrifying nihilism behind Leftists’ desire for socialized medicine

Premature baby feetI was recently brought face to face with the nihilism that underlies the Left’s desire for socialized medicine, which they’re sure will bring with it the perfect statistics that routinely gladden socialist nations when the UN or WHO or some other Left-leaning world body compares healthcare statistics in various parts of the world. Invariably, those comparisons always show the U.S. health care system in a poor light. Who cares, of course, that the statistics are utterly bogus? They’re so beautiful to the statist eye.

My insight into this nihilism came during an evening with some friends and neighbors.  The story is a bit long but, I think, worth it. It all began when my son expressed dismay at data from his AP Environmental Science text-book:

In 1900 the U.S. infant mortality rate was 165. In 2011 it was 6.1. This sharp decline was a major factor in the marked increase in U.S. average life expectancy during this period. The United States ranks first in the world in terms of health care spending per person, but 54th in terms of infant mortality rates.

(G. Miller, Scott Spoolman, Environmental Science, p. 100.)

My son didn’t want to believe that America, which he thinks is a great country, could rank so low in something as basic as infant mortality. As it happens, I knew that those numbers were wrong, so I immediately spoke up. I got as far as saying “Those numbers are wro…” when a far-Left physician in the room literally shouted me down.

“This is not political. We don’t need to hear any of that right-wing crap. You’re going to turn this in a political argument. This is science.” The other guests looked stunned.

I tried again. “I’m not talking politics. This is about statistics. You need to know that….”

Again, the Leftie physician cut me off. “Little Bookworm, don’t listen to her. She’s just going to go on with her political crap. The problem is with the U.S. medical system.”

I tried again. “Let me finish. This is a statistical problem.”

Leftie cut me off again. “No, don’t go there.”

I ignored him and went there anyway. “Stop!!!” I hollered at the top of my lungs. The room fell completely silent. I finally had my say.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 10-29-15 — the spindle overload edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265So much to share with you (23 separate articles at last count) and so little time. I’ll therefore get right down to business and you might want to give yourself some time to review all these fascinating articles at your leisure:

Another pundit figures out Cruz might be the man

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I support Ted Cruz, and have done so since he took a stand on Obamacare. Ross Douthat (whose writing I respect) has suddenly realized that those of us who support Ted Cruz might be on to something.

Ted Cruz makes sense on taxes

Certainly Ted Cruz’s flat tax plan ought to help people realize that he’s offering genuine change for the better, not just platitudes and painful socialism. Heck, you’d think that all Americans would support a candidate who wants to deep six, or at least severely de-fang, the IRS and, in doing say, make our tax system fairer and make doing business in America more tempting for both American and foreign corporations.

Daniel Greenfield waxes eloquent on the heckler’s veto that is Islam’s stock in trade

After clearing his throat about the Obama administration’s despicable pandering to Palestinian terrorists, along with its sickening chastisement of Israel (this from an administration that would never dare blame the victim if a drunk woman walked naked through a biker’s bar), Daniel Greenfield gets to the real point, which is the fact that the West lets the mere threat of Islamic anger paralyze it.

The world’s one billion Muslims, whose delicate emotions are always infuriated by something, enforce an Islamic status quo in which no non-Muslim dares to violate the Muslim superiority complex.


Some might say that the billion Muslims are just looking for things to get angry at… but that would just make a billion Muslims angry.

When buildings fall or buses blow up, when people are stabbed, shot or exploded by the unofficial representatives of the bilious billion, we go right past the crime to the anger that motivated it. “Why do they hate us?” becomes the question and Muslim anger becomes the pivot of national security policy.

Since Muslim anger causes violence, we stop terrorism by tiptoeing around anything that might make them angry. Minor things mostly like freedom of speech or freedom of religion. If you’re a Coptic Christian who makes a YouTube video about Mohammed, you can be sent to prison when some of the moderate Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda locals murder four Americans while shouting, “Allahu Akbar.”

After weeks of brutal Muslim murders, Kerry has gotten Israel to reinforce a ban on Jews praying at the holiest site in Judaism because it offends Muslims. Next up, maybe Jews will be restricted to the seventh step of the Cave of the Patriarchs again. Because that was the “Status Quo” under the Muslim conquest.

As my lengthy quotation in this “quick hits” round-up reveals, Greenfield’s article falls into the must-read category.

[Read more…]

Found it on Facebook — What passes for insightful commentary on the Left (part 3, the abortion edition)

Dunce capFinally, here’s the third and last part of a three-part series in which I attempt to deconstruct the lies, misstatements, and illogical conclusions of posters popular amongst the Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed. Part 1 has a longer introduction about my goals, and analyzes a painfully misleading and quite vicious post about Paul Ryan. Part 2 tackles stupid gun control posters

And now it’s time for part three, the abortion edition. As always, I put the poster up first and then add my commentary:

Demand to defund churches

Excuse me Ms. Leftie, but do you understand that the government does not fund churches?  Yes, it’s true that churches don’t pay taxes.  This comes about because the power to tax is the power to destroy,n or at least to discriminate against something.  The First Amendment prevents our government from doing that.

Do you also understand that churches don’t have a political say over your body? That is, unlike a theocracy (say, Iran), the church does not run the government. Instead, it’s the parishioners who, applying religious doctrine as they understand it, use their rights as citizens of a representative government to vote for representatives whose views align well with theirs? No?  I didn’t think you knew that.

Having exposed your ignorance about religion and government in America, perhaps you can explain to me why we fund Planned Parenthood in the first place?  If Planned Parenthood really is just about women’s health,why do we fight over it with every budget rather than paying the same money to other neighborhood clinics that provide only women’s health care without also providing abortions?

Could it be because the real nudge-nudge, wink-wink going on is that everyone knows that those federal funds aren’t really for generic women’s health care but, in fact, meant to subsidize abortions? Keep in mind, little lady, that money is fungible. (Fungible is a fancy word meaning that one dollar can readily be substituted for another.) The fact that Planned Parenthood ostensibly applies its federal funds to manual breast exams — since the clinics don’t offer mammograms — and other basic health care means that the money saved on those breast exam appointments can be applied to other services . . . such as abortions.

[Read more…]

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

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

Stupid liberals on guns and abortion

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

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

Wait 48 hours before proceeding with the requested abortion

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

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

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

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

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

Travel a great distance to find an abortion provider.

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

Stay overnight in a strange town.

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

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

Where to begin?

[Read more…]

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

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

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

What it’s like to experience an Islamic terrorist attack

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

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

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

Dirty organic food

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

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


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

Obamacare — more people should read my blog

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

At this point, FiveThirtyEight is baffled:

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

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

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

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

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

Our ideologically blind, narcissistic president

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A handy-dandy guide to rebutting BDS lies about Israel

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

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

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

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

A handy-dandy guide to the Planned Parenthood videos

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

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

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

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

The Left rejects science, logic, and morality to stake out an absolutist position on abortion

Premature baby feetPETA famously produces ads comparing animals to humans.  These ads work because PETA understand that people feel incredible compassion for animals, especially if they’re cute animals.

Additionally, the people most likely to feel this incredible compassion for animals are those who spring from the Leftier side of the political spectrum.  I’m sure that are conservative vegetarians, but I haven’t met any.  We may adore our dogs and cats, but we’re not averse to a nice steak or roast turkey.

The vegetarians I know are all Progressives.  Eating animals is cruel and bad, they say.

Funnily enough, this Leftist sensitivity doesn’t extend to humans when they look like animals.  Two posters illustrate this.  I found the first on the Facebook page of a Leftist friend; the second I found on the internet while searching for images of fetal development:

Abortion for the left

Which embryo is human

Certainly, at two-and-a-half weeks, human embryos are indistinguishable to the untrained eye from other mammal embryos. But isn’t the Left always lecturing us about b eing inhuman if we don’t care for the animals. Well, unsurprisingly, it turns out that in modern Leftist world, when all animals are equal, it’s the human animal that’s less equal — and less deserving of protection — that others. As a friend always says of the Left, if they didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

To take this whole thing a step further, I have two more posters for you. The first shows fetal development in the first trimester:

Carnegie stages

After eight weeks pass, that fetus looks pretty damn human to me. Could my Facebook friend — who’s a biologist — not project just a month ahead to understand that the little wormy thing that she can’t conceive of as a potential human is just weeks away from becoming recognizably human? The second shows how swiftly that fetus begins to look like the baby who turns into the boy in that first poster:


For more about the unscientific thinking of those on the Left, this article attacking Bill Nye’s logical fallacies and scientific errors is useful.

Again, I’m not hardcore pro-Life. I recognize that there are certain situations in which abortion has a place. What I’ve come to hate, though, is the Left’s deliberate moral and scientific blindness, and most of all I hate the Left’s death cult when it comes to abortion. It is these profoundly disturbing attitudes that keep driving me further and further into the arms of the pro-Life crowd.

The Bookworm Beat 9-27-2015 — the “things that make you think” edition and open thread


Boehner was merely an effective manager, rather than an effective conservative

Andrew Klavan is kind enough to point out that Boehner was in some measure a very effective House Majority Leader:

I can’t help but notice that under Boehner — and largely because of Boehner, because Boehner outsmarted President Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations — federal spending has declined over a five year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. And because of this, as the economy has struggled to a sputtering recovery despite Democrat mismanagement, the deficit has been sharply reduced…

Also under Boehner — and also largely because of then-minority leader Boehner (and the likewise much-maligned-by-conservatives Mitch McConnell in the Senate) — the disaster of Obamacare is 100% attributable to the Democrats. It hasn’t got a single Republican fingerprint on it.

As Klavan sees it, Boehner’s fall came about solely because he wouldn’t engage in a head-to-head fight with Obama over Planned Parenthood.  Boehner believed (and still believes) that fight will destroy chances for a Republican victory in 2016.  I have two points to make.

First, if Boehner’s right that the fight will fail it’s in part because he refuses to engage in the fight at the intellectual level.  Carly Fiorina is the first prominent Republican to frame the fight in non-religious terms, and boy did she make the Left squirm when she did so.  In other words, part of why Boehner can’t win the fight is because, even though he’s pro-Life, he has absolutely no idea how to fight against abortion at anything other than a monetary level.

Second, speaking of that monetary level, the fight really boils down to something James Taranto said three years ago, and it’s about the difference between checkbook Republicans and ideologically-driven conservatives.  The context was the fact that Paul Ryan seemed to understand a conservative vision of small, not big, government:
[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 9-25-15 — the “bon voyage, Boehner” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’m doing something that’s a little more fun than the legal work that usually comes my way: I’m working on a project for Fleet Week to help welcome sailors and marines to our fair City. My work is editorial, which suits me to a “T.”

I haven’t been ignoring the news, of course. I know that Boehner is on his way out. Democrats on my Facebook thread are shuddering in horror that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him.

Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, while more ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.

I think Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or be a spokesman for conservative ideas.

And now to a few things that caught my eye:

If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, I’m Winston Churchill

I admire Winston Churchill tremendously. He had his faults — big ones too — but he was an extraordinarily brilliant man, a tremendous communicator, a dynamic leader for a country under siege, and for a long time the only world leader to stand up to the Nazis.

Admiring Churchill, though, does not mean I am Churchill. Even if I gained weight, shaved my head, started smoking cigars, drank a lot, and went around giving speeches in a British-accented bulldog rumble, I would not be Churchill. In the same way, none of those Elvis interpreters in Las Vegas are actually Elvis, and that’s true no matter how many may secretly believe they’re his incarnation.

But in modern America, Bruce Jenner, with his male skeleton and musculature, his fake breasts and his apparently still-intact penis, and with a complete absence of female sexual organs, is now identified as a woman as a matter of law. Leftists will say that this is every bit as reasonable as holding — as we in America do — that corporations are legally people.  If that’s true, they argue, there’s no reason Jenner can’t be a woman.

[Read more…]

Are these really “badass” defenses of women’s reproductive rights?

16_week_ultrasound_3dSeveral ladies of the Leftist persuasion posted on their Facebook pages an article entitled “7 Badass Defenses Of Reproductive Rights To Explain Why A Woman Should Have The Right To Choose.” I looked at them and had my doubts about their badassery, so I thought I’d fisk the article just for a little Sunday afternoon fun.

As is often the case with fisking the Left, a short Leftist statement takes a lot of work to break down, because everything is flawed, from the facts through the underlying premise through the argument based on the erroneous facts and premise. The structure below is that I first quote the “badass” pro-abortion arguments and then counter with my own thoughts.

1. Male Lawmakers Sometimes Don’t Get It

Who could forget Rep. Todd Akin’s cringeworthy “legitimate rape” comment back in 2012? Unfortunate as the statement was, it highlights a larger problem in the argument to restrict reproductive freedom: Men, who are often out-of-touch with the problems that women face, are more often in positions to make decisions than women. For instance, Tina Fey dropped this truth bombin 2012 while speaking at the Center for Reproductive Rights Gala:

If I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a two-dollar haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m gonna lose my mind.

Fey’s point of view drives home the point that too many people who make decisions about reproductive rights are out of touch with the actual impact that their decisions have.

Some male law makers are morons.  So are some female lawmakers.  The reality, though, is that we don’t insist that all women shut up because some are stupid.  In our Bizarro World of sexism, though, the stereotype of an out-of-touch male is applied to all men, who are told that they should remain immured in the wood shop and no longer bother their female overlords (overladies?).

Moreover, this line of argument, which I see frequently on Leftie Facebook pages, denies that men have any interest in fetuses, babies, or children.  In fact, men have two very strong interests:  First, if the fetus/baby/child is a man’s, that man has the same interest in it as the mother, and that is true even though she is the vessel in which it is nurtured for the first 40 weeks from conception forward.  In a moral world, the fact that so many fathers walk away from their children is a disgrace — and, one must say, an inevitable byproduct of a socialist government policy that, through welfare, makes father’s economically unnecessary, at least for those who were raised in and consider normal a fairly marginal economic existence.  Fathers who express an interest in their biological child from conception onward should be praised, not told to shut up.

Imagine if this argument had been around in mid-19th century America.  Famed white, free abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ward Beecher, or Harriet Beecher Stowe would have been shouted down before they even began their arguments about the morality of slavery:  “You’re not qualified to speak about slavery because you’re not a slave.  So shut up.”  Morals are not tied to race, sex, or creed; they exist irrespective of those petty human dividers.

Second, men have just as great an interest as women in a healthy culture.  To the extent that the Left’s sacrament of abortion is focused on death, not life, all members of our society have a say in the matter.  I’ve long contended that the Left’s fetishistic  obsession with abortion is a death cult.  The videos showing abortion centers engaged in organ harvesting hasn’t changed my mind.  Indeed, the whole thing is eerily reminiscent of other cultures that engaged in organ harvesting, allegedly for the greater good:

Aztec human sacrifice

Every moral citizen, male or female or fluid or whatever, has a say in preventing our society from going Aztec.

2. Reproductive Freedom Is About Trust

Mark Ruffalo has become a strong supporter of reproductive rights and a particularly vocal male advocate because of his mother’s traumatic experience with an illegal abortion years ago. At a rally in Mississippi in 2013, he reminded us that to take away a woman’s reproductive rights is to take away her ability to make decisions for herself.

I actually trust the women I know. I trust them with their choices, I trust them with their bodies, and I trust them with their children. I trust that they are decent enough and wise enough and worthy enough to carry the right of abortion and not be forced to criminally exercise that right at the risk of death or jail time.

If this doesn’t make you want to throw up a “preach” emoji, I don’t know what will.

I misread that last sentence.  I thought its comment on the Ruffalo post was “If this doesn’t make you want to throw up get a ‘peach’ emoji….”  I wasn’t sure what the “peach emoji” reference, but I was actually on board with the “I want to throw up” concept.  Re-reading it, though, I realize that the “badass” post’s author was applauding Ruffalo.

Full disclosure here:  I can’t stand Mark Ruffalo as an actor.  There’s something about him I find creepy, so hearing him go on about trusting women with their choices sounds smarmy, not supportive.

Once again, this “trust” argument is predicated on the fallacy that all women are wise.  They’re not.  Who can forget the woman who had a “selective pregnancy reduction” (i.e., aborted the overage resulting from her IVF procedure) so she wouldn’t have to shop at Costco?  That decision showed a whole lot more class snobbery than wisdom.

I know a woman who had eight abortions before she tried, unsuccessfully, to become pregnant.  Apparently after abortion Number 8, her body, Mother Nature, or God decided that she couldn’t be trusted with a baby.

In any event, the whole trust argument pretends that there isn’t another life involved here.  What Ruffalo is arguing is that he trusts all women to be impartial arbiters capable of intelligently exercising the role of judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to the life they carry.  Frankly, I don’t “trust” anyone to have that much responsibility, especially when there is self-interest at play.

3. Nobody Thinks Abortion Is Fun — But It Should Be An Option

Let’s get one thing straight here: No one is saying that abortion is a great thing, but it’s important that women have the power to make that choice themselves. Being pro-choice doesn’t mean you’re pro-abortion. That’s the point Whoopi Goldberg seemed to make on a 2007 episode of The View.

Very few people want to have abortions. … Most people do not want to have abortions. Most women do not have them with some sort of party going on. It is the hardest decision that a woman ever has to make, so when you talk about it, a little bit of reverence to the women out there who have had to make this horrible decision.

Is it just me or this observation irrelevant to whether our society should continue to allow wholesale abortion rights up to and even after the moment the infant is born?  Whether a decision or action is hard doesn’t address whether it’s moral.  The fact that I might find it a bit physically or emotionally challenging to off my mother doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

Morals exist outside of our own perceptions of easy or hard.  Either it’s wrong to have a culture that has killed more than 51 million people since 1973, with special weight on the deaths of African Americans, or its wrong to have that culture.   Whether some of the people doing the killing are sad when they do it doesn’t make it more moral.

Premature baby feet4. Reproductive Freedom Means Privacy

Abortion, birth control, Plan B — they’re all often considered taboo things to talk about in public, particularly around men. Yet some politicians have no problem criticizing women for trying to make their own decisions about reproduction in a personal setting. Ultimately, Ruth Bader Ginsburg summed up this train of thought excellently.

The emphasis must be not on the right to abortion but on the right to privacy and reproductive control.

As if we needed another reason to love RBG.

Ah, the reductio ad Ruth Bader Ginsburg argument.  You see her come up a lot in abortion discussions.  Just as I dislike Ruffalo, I really dislike Bader.  Even when I was a Leftie myself I disliked her.  Reading her Supreme Court decisions is torture.  Her writing is awful, and her arguments, which always involve making sure the state wins, are convoluted, turgid, confusing, and often incomprehensible.

Turning conservative didn’t make me like Ginsburg more, especially when the woman sworn to protect the Constitution voiced a gem such as this:

“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” Ginsburg said in an interview on Al Hayat television last Wednesday. “I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, have an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done.”

Ginsburg is so over that whole notion of individual liberty and limited government.  The best Constitution is one that micromanages individuals for the good of the state.

(An aside:  When I first heard the term “living Constitution” I couldn’t understand why conservatives had their knickers in a twist about it.  You see, I assumed it meant that our Constitution is a “living” document because it states overarching principles that transcend time and place.  It lives, because it is applicable at all times to all people in all places. I was shocked when I discovered that, to the Left, a “living” constitution is one that can be rewritten to the point of meaninglessness or, worse, to the point at which it is used in a way to destroy individual liberty and limited government.)

But back to Ginsburg’s statement about “privacy and reproductive control.”

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S.Ct. 705, 35 L.Ed.2d 147 (1973) is a most imperfect vehicle, having found an imaginary “right of privacy” to justify abortion.  Even subject to this imaginary right, though, that past generation of Supreme Court tyrants . . . er, justices recognized that when there is more than one life at issue, the state has an interest in both lives.

Contrary to most people’s assumptions about Roe v. Wade, that case does not create an unfettered right to abortion. Instead, it established a delicate balancing act over the entire length of the pregnancy between the State’s interests and the woman’s interest in the fetus.  In the first trimester, when the fetus is not viable outside the womb, the balancing favors the woman’s right to choose how she wants to handle her pregnancy. In the second trimester, as the fetus nears viability, the balance begins tipping in the State’s favor. And, in the third trimester, when the fetus is viable, the State’s interests may triumph:

With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. at 163, 93 S.Ct. at 732.

A lot has happened since 1973, of course.  Ultrasounds and imagery have established that, in the first trimester, the fetus is already a recognizable baby; while advances in medicine have made it entirely possible to save an infant born early in the second trimester. At the same time, the Supreme Court has continued to expand each lone woman’s decision-making power over the fetus, while decreasing the state’s interest.

The new Leftist position, which Ginsburg articulates, is that the state has no interest at all in protecting the unborn — a woman’s “privacy” right trumps all.  While the Supreme Court may have worked its way to this position, that most certainly doesn’t mean that my right to privacy is a justification for my killing another human being.  Imagine if Jeffrey Dahmer could have used this defense:  “That search in the freezer violated my absolute right to privacy.  Just as the Supreme Court recently found a new right to gay marriage dignity that wipes out the First Amendment right to religious freedom, that new right to personal privacy wipes out the Fourth Amendment’s implication that the government can engage in search and seizure activity for the greater societal good.  The Fourth Amendment no longer exists.”

I guess the bottom line is that just because the Supreme Court has stretched its own inane constitutional holding to a point justifying unlimited abortion, that doesn’t make this a good, let alone a “badass” argument.

5. It’s A Socioeconomic Issue, Too

Just as the fight for reproductive rights is about more than abortion, it’s also about more than gender discrimination. It’s about equality in all aspects: race, socioeconomic status, gender, and more.

We will never see a day when women of means are not able to get a safe abortion in this country.

Leave it to Ginsburg to deliver two great one-liners about reproductive rights.

This is not an argument.  It’s as meaningless as trying to counter that stupid campaign slogan of “the future starts today.”  And Ginsburg is still awful.

6. Whatever Happened To Work-Life Balance?

No matter how much you love your job or your boss, it would probably feel weird if he/she tried to control your personal life. Again, decisions about reproduction, contraception, etc. should be made on a personal level, not a professional level. A representative from Nevada, Dina Titus made a compelling case for reproductive freedom from employers.

Employers should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on female employees, ignoring their individual health decisions and denying their right to reproductive care. Bosses belong in the boardroom, not the bedroom.

This is a re-hash of the whole “ObamaCare allows government to force businesses to provide birth control” argument, and it was fully developed during the Hobby Lobby debate, which is whether the government can force corporations to provide birth control.

In 1993, a Democrat Congress passed, and a Democrat president signed, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (“RFRA”). RFRA holds in relevant part that the federal government may act in a way that substantially burdens the exercise of religion only if it can establish that its action is the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling government interest. Nothing in the Act distinguishes between individuals and corporations.

The administrative rule at issue is the edict from Health and Human Services (“HHS”) mandating that all corporations affected by Obamacare must provide their female employees with unlimited access to all contraceptives available on the market.

Hobby Lobby is a closely-held, family-run corporation. The Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, has a strong Christian faith, and is open about the fact that it runs its company in a way that is consistent with the family’s religious beliefs. These beliefs affect every aspect of the way in which Hobby Lobby is run, whether it’s the fact that even the least of Hobby Lobby’s employees gets paid an hourly amount that’s almost twice as much as minimum wage, or the fact that many of the store’s craft products come complete with little crosses attached to them.

Hobby Lobby has long provided comprehensive insurance for its employees. As part of this insurance, it makes available to its employees 16 different types of contraceptives. Moreover, Hobby Lobby has never said (a) that it would stop covering contraceptives entirely or (b) that contraceptives should be outlawed in America. Instead, it made a very narrow protest to the HHS mandate:  It objected to the fact that the mandate would force it to offer, not 16, but 20 contraceptives to its employees.  The additional 4 contraceptives are or can be used as abortion-causing agents.  The Green family’s religious faith means that it is adamantly opposed to abortion, which it considers murder.

The HHS mandate put Hobby Lobby in an impossible position: It could either use its own money to pay directly for abortifacient drugs or it could pay $475 million a year in penalties. It was this dilemma, it argued, that constituted a substantial burden on its exercise of religion under RFRA. Put another way, Hobby Lobby argued that it faced a Hobson’s choice:  directly fund something it opposes on core religious grounds or go bankrupt.  On these facts, the Supreme Court agreed that Hobby Lobby had satisfied the “substantial burden” requirement under RFRA.

There was something else that the Supreme Court accepted as given: For purposes of the ruling, the Supreme Court accepted as true HHS’s claim that forcing corporations to pay for their female employees’ contraceptives (simply because the Obama administration says it’s unfair not to) serves a compelling government interest.

(As an aside, I was thinking about this “unfair” point. According to my Progressive friends, the demand that corporations pay for contraceptives arises because it’s not fair that women have to shoulder these costs, while men don’t. Let’s put aside the fact that the Progressive can’t explain why it’s fair that corporations must bear contraception costs.  The really important point is that, if the reason to force corporations to shoulder the burden is so that women don’t have to pay more in costs related to their unique biology just because they are women, corporations should also be required to pay for tampons, sanitary pads and, most importantly, chocolate, all of which are costly menstrual necessities that burden women, not men.  Additionally, corporations should be entitled to learn which employees have gone through menopause, so as to scale back on those uniquely feminine costs.  And now back to the Hobby Lobby case…)

With the Supreme Court having accepted that Hobby Lobby had proved that it was being significantly burdened and that HHS had proved a compelling government interest, the sole issue before the Court was whether HHS was using the least restrictive means to advance its compelling interest. Based on this single, limited issue, the Supreme Court concluded that HHS’s birth control mandate did not meet the RFRA test. The Court had a very simple metric for proving this conclusion: HHS itself handed the Court proof that there was a less restrictive way to serve this compelling interest.

HHS created this less restrictive contraception mandate when religious non-profit organizations objected to paying directly for contraceptives and abortifacients. HHS said that religious institutions could avoid the mandate by signing a document stating that their religious beliefs prevented them from complying with the contraception mandate. With this document, the onus shifts to the insurance company to apply the mandate.  (The Little Sisters of the Poor are challenging this workaround on the ground that it cannot apply to self-insured entities.  Likewise, even if the religious entity has a third party insurance company, the insurance company will simply increase its rates, with the result that the money for the contraceptives and abortifacients will still come from the corporation that has religious objections.  The Supreme Court’s eventual decision should be interesting.)

With HHS having already figured out a less intrusive method for getting “free” contraceptives to women, the Supreme Court held that the same workaround that applies to religious non-profits can apply equally well to closely held corporations if the owners have a sincere belief in a core religious issue. And that’s it. That’s the whole Hobby Lobby decision — and nothing in this allegedly “bad ass” argument counters it.

Newborn baby seconds after delivery

7. Religion Can Be Part Of A Pro-Choice Country

Regardless of your politics, it should be pretty clear that no discussion of reproductive rights is complete without mentioning Hillary Clinton. This quote, in particular, is important because it raises the point that faith can still be involved in the conversation about contraception and abortion if pro-choice policy is the law of the land:

These Democrats will never shame and judge a woman for decisions that are complex and deeply personal, decisions that belong between a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor; not with her boss or a politician.

In other words, if your faith or belief system prevents you from getting an abortion, then by all means, don’t have one. But don’t let your belief system make the decision for a woman you don’t even know.

Again, this is a non-argument.  It simply says that if I want to have an abortion, there’s nothing you can do to stop me.  The fact is, every member of a society has a say in what kind of society they want.  One that is dedicated to life or one that is dedicated to death.

Incidentally, those reading this may think that I’m totally anti-abortion and pro-Life.  I’m not.  Like a lot of Americans, I recognize that different circumstances call for different approaches.  Like most Americans, I think a third trimester abortion is murder, unless the mother’s life is in imminent danger.  Second trimester abortions are pretty damn iffy at a moral level, given that we can keep alive babies that are only 22 or 24 weeks old.  First trimester abortions — well, they should be discouraged, but it’s possible to imagine situations in which they’re reasonable.

I should add here, as I always do, that having children changed my mind.  Being pregnant and giving birth forced me to acknowledge that the zygote is a fetus is a baby — and at all times, that zygote, that fetus, and that baby is a fully-realized person.  Killing a fully realized person is murder.  And just as we recognize degrees of murder when it comes to the deaths of already born people (killing an enemy in war, manslaughter, second degree murder, first degree murder, etc.), we can do the same with those who are not yet born.

But that’s not what the Left wants.  It wants wholesale slaughter in the name of feminism.  And that’s just wrong — and we all have a say in that.

[VIDEO & POSTERS] The paralyzing effects of Leftist speech codes

censoredShould I apologize for the number of videos about free speech I’m sending your way today?  It’s just that there are so many good ones that friends have sent me that I feel compelled to share them.  Take, for example, Colin Quinn’s short, pungent, hysterically funny riff about the way in the Leftist speech police make ordinary conversation impossible:

I found the video especially relevant today because a friend of mine (nice gal, but very Left) posted two cartoons in the last two days, both of which she thought very meaningful and both of which are intended to shut down speech entirely:

[Read more…]

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

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

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

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

Murderer's eye view Flanigan Parker

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

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

Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Pipes on the possibility that Tehran rejects the deal

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Read the whole thing here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet another blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leftists are so damn smug

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

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

Leftists are so damn greedy

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

Even Israel supports sharia law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Income inequality and poverty are not the same thing

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

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


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

Ben Shapiro and my sister sort of agree

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

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

More climate lies

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

If you need some inspiration today…

Corporal Todd Love will inspire you.

Dubai — impressive or disgusting?

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