Legal work precluded me from blogging today, but I have some ideas for the rest of the evening. Meanwhile, as a warm-up act, a few clever political posters.
Legal work precluded me from blogging today, but I have some ideas for the rest of the evening. Meanwhile, as a warm-up act, a few clever political posters.
That title is correct: I’ll give you a brief rundown of Dinesh D’Souza’s Hillary’s America, an abortion panel, and a military panel. Things happen quickly on a National Review cruise and if I miss a bit of blogging, I’m seriously behind the eight ball.
Hillary’s America. Because Hillary’s America showed only briefly in Marin, I missed it. Fortunately for me, the movie’s two writers and producers were on the cruise and hosted a special showing yesterday.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s quite a good movie, as it is well-researched, well-written, and very professional produced. The movie begins with Dinesh’s sentencing for a campaign donation crime that, when it is a small, first-time infraction, as was the case with Dinesh, is invariably treated with fines and other minimal punishments.
Dinesh was special, however, for at the time the Justice Department got him in its sights, he was the writer and producer of the scathing (and prescient) Obama’s America, a documentary that ranks immediately behind Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine when it comes to popularity and revenue. Not only was Dinesh prosecuted with the full force of federal law, he had the misfortune to appear before a Democrat-appointed judge who sentenced him to time-served, plus two years of sleeping in a supervised facility, five years probation, mandatory public service, and court supervised therapy.
The first four items were the normal punitive stuff one would expect from a corrupt government. The last punishment was purely Orwellian punishment for “wrong thinking.”
Each of the linked articles in this post has something interesting to say about the upcoming election. If you’re interested in what’s going on, you could do worse than spending some time reading them or just glancing through them.
My take: At worst, Trump is not a very nice person — and that opinion depends to whom you speak.
On the other hand, Hillary, at best, is an unpleasant person and a deeply corrupt politician — and you’re not dependent on different people’s opinions for that. The objective facts speak for themselves. That Hillary is not already in prison doesn’t mean she’s innocent of the things the facts prove; it just means that she is the prime beneficiary of a corrupt system that has abandoned the rule of law, which is reason enough to keep her out of the White House.
As the stench from Hillary grows, #NeverTrumpers stand down. Even before the FBI’s announcement radically changed the game, Derek Hunter had already concluded that Hillary must go, not just because of her issues, but because her election further empowers a media that’s run amok:
Bias has always been a factor in journalism. It’s nearly impossible to remove. Humans have their thoughts, and keeping them out of your work is difficult. But 2016 saw the remaining veneer of credibility, thin as it was, stripped away and set on fire.
More than anything, I can’t sit idly by and allow these perpetrators of fraud to celebrate and leak tears of joy like they did when they helped elect Barack Obama in 2008. I have to know I weighed in not only in writing but in the voting booth.
The media needs to be destroyed. And although voting for Trump won’t do it, it’s something. Essentially, I am voting for Trump because of the people who don’t want me to, and I believe I must register my disgust with Hillary Clinton.
It’s not just the media or the Supreme Court that follow Hillary into office. Deroy Murdock reminds us that, from the top down, Hillary will take the agencies that Obama has already turned into partisan monsters, and reinforce their worst, most crooked, most bullying instincts:
A President Hillary Clinton would nominate hundreds of people to top positions that require Senate approval. She would hire hundreds of thousands of others and unleash them to perpetrate Hillaryism — a toxic blend of lies, elitist nannyism, secretive paranoia, and snarling contempt for the law. These people would enjoy police powers, fat salaries, mouth-watering benefits, and bullet-proof job security — at taxpayer expense.
Is Comey a good guy or a bad guy? Was he a bad guy in July but he’s a good guy now? Or is it the other way around? Scott Adams suggests that Comey is a good guy:
When it comes to Progressives, even if they’ve been forced to back down on all other issues, they will take their stand and die on the hill of unlimited, legal abortion. As Nancy Pelosi said of late-term abortions — the ones done on a viable, sentient fetus — the fact that she is a practicing Catholic gives her the right to say that such abortions are “sacred ground.” On the Left, unlimited abortion is a right so inviolable that nothing should derail its legality — including God.
One priest, the Very Rev. John Lankeit, has had the courage to stand up and say what all faithful Catholics know intuitively: abortion is inconsistent with Catholic doctrine and morally wrong. Furthermore, once you accept this doctrinal truth, you have to accept that you cannot vote for the political party and the presidential candidate who will not only preserve abortion but will expand it and make taxpayers fund it.
Father Lankeit does more than just invoke God’s Word. This is important because it means he reaches out to those who are not Catholic, or Christian, or even believers. He tackles the arguments that pro-abortion people routinely raise against those who oppose abortion and shows how hypocritical and shallow their arguments are. These are words that everyone should hear. And once having heard them, people (Catholic or not) need to decide whether they accept that Father Lankeit is speaking the truth. And if they decide he is speaking the truth, they need to ask themselves whether they can still support the Democrat party and the Democrat candidate:
Samantha Bee, who has a half-hour “comedy news” show, made headlines when she did a segment viciously attacking Catholic hospitals around America. Her premise is that there are too many Catholic hospitals in America, which is a bad thing because the celibate men in charge are guilty of extreme misogyny insofar as the hospitals will not perform abortions or sterilization procedures. Here, see for yourself (WARNING: Extremely vulgar language and savage abuse of men in the Catholic hierarchy):
I won’t bother to address the doctrinal charges Bee makes, or the facts missing from her narratives, because Alexandra DeSanctis already did it for me. The one thing DeSanctis’s post doesn’t address to my satisfaction is Bee’s claim that the Church really believes that it’s better to see both mother and baby dead than to sacrifice the baby (who would die anyway) if it means saving the mother. That really doesn’t sound right. If you have different, or more complete, information I would appreciate hearing it.
Pushing aside the doctrinal questions, the core problem that I see with Bee’s narrative is her failure to address why there are suddenly so many Catholic hospitals (around 600) throughout the United States. Knowing the answer to that question, I understand why Bee ignored it. You see, the answer is — Obamacare. Beginning shortly after Obamacare went into effect, hospitals (the ones that Obama promised people could keep) could not function in the marketplace:
As I’ve said before, the real war isn’t between the candidates, it’s a culture war, one that pits against each other conflicting visions of America. The media is relentlessly attacking Trump because the Left understands that, when Americans see what’s happened to America in the last decade or more, they won’t like what they see. Here are a few examples of the ugly outcomes of America’s culture war, along with one little corner of hope plus, as an added bonus, a thoughtful analysis about American gun crime:
Federal court strikes a strong blow against religious freedom. Sweet Cakes was the Oregon bakery that objected to baking a cake specifically for a lesbian wedding because the bakery’s owners are Christians who believe marriage is only between a man and a woman. The couple seeking the cake, instead of simply depriving the bakery of their custom, turned them over to Oregon’s fascist government, which proceeded to destroy the bakery financially, driving it out of business.
Please understand that what happened to Street Cakes wasn’t about lesbians getting their wedding cake. If those lesbians wanted a cake in Oregon, they could have enriched God-alone-knows how many different bakeries. Instead, this was about destroying Christians’ right to withdraw voluntarily from a competitive marketplace in order to protect their religious sensibilities.
A recent lawsuit against an orthodox Jewish practice was more blatant about its goals:
A Progressive friend is relentlessly pushing “Trump is awful” stories on me. I, a conservative, invariably counter by pointing out that Hillary’s list of sins and failures is infinitely worse.
I realized yesterday that my arguments are irrelevant. My friend will never vote for someone who is not 100% pro-abortion, pro-socialized medicine, or pro-open borders. Given a choice between a rotting dead body that is pro-Abortion and a genuine angel from Heaven that is pro-Choice, he’d vote for the rotting body every time.
Even as we endlessly talk down the other side’s candidates (because few people are really comfortable talking their own candidate up in this bizarre election year), what really matters is the ideological divide underlying this election. The following list might help you decide on which side of that divide you live. Once you decide, do remember that you will never get people to accept your candidate, no matter how flawed their own candidate, until you get them to accept your ideology.
The miserable sexism of Hillary’s supporters. I’ve agreed with myself to disagree with Jonah Goldberg about Donald Trump, while still greatly respecting and deeply appreciating Goldberg’s take on just about everything else. In the wake of Hillary’s 9/11 collapse, followed by her dehydration, followed by the media castigating as sexist anyone who dared suggest the woman is ill, followed by her “oh, it’s just pneumonia,” followed by the entire media admiring Hillary for the strong female way in which she “powered through” things, Goldberg had this to say:
But here’s the thing. After weeks of bleating that it was sexist to raise questions about Hillary’s health, the immediate response from the very same people was an irrefutably sexist argument. Men are just a bunch of Jeb Bushes, low-energy shlubs laid low by a hangnail. But women are the Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Bangas of the species. (For non-longtime readers, this translates from the original Ngbandi, “The warrior who knows no defeat because of his endurance and inflexible will and is all powerful, leaving fire in his wake as he goes from conquest to conquest.”)
This raises a subject of much fascination to “news”letter writers who are fascinated by it. I don’t want to go too far out on a limb, because you never know if you’ll fall into raging torrent of angry weasels, but I gather that the word “sexist” is supposed to have a bad connotation. That was the sense I got taking women’s studies courses at a formerly all-women’s college. I’ve also drawn this conclusion from a fairly close study of routine political argle-bargle.
The problem is we don’t really have a word for observations and statements that simply acknowledge that men and women are . . . different. Not better or worse. Just different. If I said that dogs aren’t the same as cats, no one would shout, “Dogist!” Everyone would simply say, “Duh.” In fact, if I said to about 90 percent of normal people, of either sex, that men and women are different, the response would be “duh” as well.
The frustrating thing is that feminist liberals like to have it both ways (and not in the way that Bill pays extra for). Women are “different” when they think it means women are “better,” but when you say women are different in ways that annoy feminists — for whatever reason — they shout, “Sexist!” Lena Dunham rejects the idea that women should be seen as things of beauty, and then gets mad when she’s not seen as a thing of beauty. Women should be in combat because they can do anything men can do, but when reality proves them wrong, they say the “sexist” standards need to change. And so on.
Hillary Clinton is like a broken Zoltar the Fortune Teller machine shouting all sorts of platitudes about being the first female president, cracking glass ceilings, yada yada yada. She openly says that we need a first female president because a first female president would be so awesome. But she also wants to say criticisms that would be perfectly legitimate if aimed at a man are in fact sexist when directed at a woman. That is a sexist argument.
No campus safe spaces for Jews. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m happy to report that when it comes to the aggressive special snowflakes on America’s college campuses, consistency is never a problem. You see, it turns out that the whole thing about safe spaces and microaggressions and triggers and political correctness doesn’t apply to Jews:
But little has been said about how the idea of “intersectionality” — the idea that all struggles are connected and must be combated by allies — has created a dubious bond between the progressive movement and pro-Palestinian activists who often engage in the same racist and discriminatory discourse they claim to fight. As a result of this alliance, progressive Jewish students are often subjected to a double standard not applied to their peers — an Israel litmus test to prove their loyalties to social justice.
You and I have been tracking this problem for years, but I’m hoping that Jewish parents will start realizing that there’s a problem on American campuses. As it is, in today’s world, I would have to say that the single biggest reason that American Jews are so hard left is that they are so likely to go to college, which they get exposed to the pernicious disease that is Leftism. This has been going on for at least 40 years — I was exposed in Cal, although I was eventually able to build an immunity — but it’s gotten worse of late.
No wonder 1984 is no longer required reading in high schools. One of the Little Bookworms, after a summer of sloth, decided to read something noteworthy before returning to school. Her choice was George Orwell’s 1984, which I would include in any top 25 or even top 10 reading list.
Despite how wonderful 1984 is, both in terms of style and content, my Little Bookworm managed to pass all the way through a very highly rated public school without any exposure to Orwell at all — no 1984, no Animal Farm, no The Road to Wigan Pier, and no Politics and the English Language. George Orwell is persona non grata in our local high school.
My Little Bookworm did give me some insight into why public schools are loath to teach one of the greatest writers and thinkers in the English language. When we asked what her takeaway was from the book, she had this to say: “That whole Thought Police thing Orwell wrote about — it’s just like Political Correctness. There are no clear rules, but you have to think correctly or you get into trouble.”
Islam, the rapey religion. Not all Muslim men are rapists. Indeed, most Muslim men are not rapists. But when we look at the vast increase in rapes in countries such as Sweden or Denmark, or when we see sexual assaults across Germany, or when five-year-olds are raped by a group older boys here in America, it’s not a coincidence that a disproportionate number of these rapists and assaulters were raised in the Muslim tradition. As Robert Spencer explains, rape is hardwired in Islam.
Blacks and Muslims should be angry at their criminal cohorts, not at us. In the context of an article about political correctness, Andrew Klavan said something I’ve been struggling to say for some time. He acknowledges that blacks are on the receiving end of much more police activity, something frustrating and insulting to law-abiding blacks, but that’s because the black community’s bad eggs commit a disproportionate amount of American crime. Likewise, because children have big mouths, perfectly nice Muslim kids in school find themselves being called terrorists, reflecting the fact that acts of mass violence all over the world come primarily from their co-religionists. That’s certainly not nice, but Klavan says that law-abiding blacks and Muslims are putting blame in the wrong place:
It seems to me if you are an innocent black person being troubled by the cops, if you are an innocent Muslim under suspicion from your neighbors, the people you should be angry at, the people to blame, are not the people acting on rational suspicion. The people at fault are the bad guys who have drawn that suspicion unfairly onto you.
A black man targeted by the police shouldn’t be angry at the police. He should be angry at the thugs and criminals who look like him and make his race a target. And before Muslims blame non-Muslims for the prejudice against them, maybe they ought to look to — and openly condemn — those Muslims who have given their religion a very bad name indeed.
The problem is prejudice, yes. But it’s the tribal prejudice that says we should blame others before we blame “our own.” “Our own” are the good guys, no matter what race or religion we are.
Someone should read those words out loud at the Republican Party Convention. They’re very important.
Thankfully, it’s not the kind of migraine that has me rushed off to the ER, or that sees me sunken into abject misery in a darkened room. I’m just lethargic, hence the fact that this Open Thread opened at almost 7 p.m. Pacific Time. Still, migraine or not, I’ve got good stuff to share, and if it’s too late for you to read tonight it will still be good tomorrow:
American colleges — un-educating our children. Or is it “dis-educating?” I really don’t know because we in America have never before had an educational system that strips kids of knowledge and analytical abilities. I have a few posts I want to share with you on that point. The first looks right into the dark heart of the new academic methodology, which claims to teach kids “critical thinking” but, instead, teaches them emotional reaction and group thinking as a substitute for actual analysis and thought.
The second is an article you may already have seen floating around the internet today. Written by Nathan Heller at The New Yorker, it takes a sympathetic look at activist students attending Oberlin. Sympathetic, though, should not be confused with appealing. These are extremely damaged young people and a sympathetic look doesn’t make them any more pleasant. His special focus is on those students who can claim some victim identity status, whether racial, gender mixed-up, handicapped, or anything else that isn’t a white, heteronormative cisgendered male.
Heller has an interesting observation about the bind the universities have created for these students thanks to their obsessive focus on diversity combined with their desired end-product of sameness:
Yes, it’s tax day, and what better day could there be to talk about all the distressing, expensive, and scary foolishness in the world?
Ripping off taxpayers with climate change craziness. Today has been a “suffer the climate change” day for me, so it’s appropriate to open with a riff about California’s infamous — and incredibly expensive — high-speed train to nowhere. The Independent Institute, a great libertarian think-tank located right here in the Bay Area, has this to say:
California’s “bullet train” is nowhere near completion, but already the high-speed rail system is taking the state’s voters and taxpayers for a ride. The gulf between the glowing promise and the gloomy reality is gargantuan. For this reason, the agency that manages the voter-approved project, which lacks transparency but not arrogance, has just won the California Golden Fleece Award, a prize Independent Institute gives each quarter to a state or local agency, official, or program guilty of egregiously fleecing taxpayers, consumers, and/or businesses.
When voters approved a $9.95 billion bond measure in 2008 to help fund a high-speed bullet train connecting the San Francisco Bay Area with Southern California, they were promised nonstop service from S.F. to L.A. in 2 hours and 40 minutes, at a total cost of $45 billion—all without taxpayer subsidies. Since then the California High-Speed Rail Authority has planned on dropping nonstop service, changing to non-dedicated tracks, and raising the travel time to almost four hours—changes that would cut ridership and revenue while raising total costs, now estimated at $64 billion.
Read more here and do think about subscribing to the Independent Institute’s newsletter.
And while I’m on the subject of climate change. A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a bunch of kids can continue their climate change lawsuit against the United States government and the Fossil Fuel Industry. If this insanity is not nipped in the bud, the Fossil Fuel Industry will be bankrupted, and all of us will be re-living the wonders of the pre-industrial era, complete with windmill power, Hobbesian mass starvation, and life expectancies in the 30s.
The gift of an “imperfect” child. This segment probably deserves its own post, but I’ll try to pack it in here. I was in a restaurant the other day and saw something one never sees any more in Marin, or anywhere in the Bay Area for that matter: a young child who had clearly been born with Down Syndrome.
There are certainly older people around with Down Syndrome. That the young people are missing isn’t because they’re being cured; it’s because, thanks to amniocentesis testing, they’re being destroyed in utero.