Thursday evening round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSorry for the long silence today. I had a standard-issue medical test done on me this morning and, while I passed with flying colors (I’m such an overachiever), the procedure knocked me off my pins and I’m only now getting back to something akin to normal.

I haven’t yet had the chance to read today’s news (which I think looks sort of like yesterday’s news, right down to yet another air tragedy), but I have a ginormous backlog of links I gathered yesterday that I’d still like to share. So, fasten your seat belts and . . . we’re off!

** 1 **

Just an observation about Israel’s efforts to rout Hamas in Gaza: Many, myself included, think that this is Israel’s moment in Gaza. The ones who are openly supporting her incursion are all Israelis (as opposed to merely some Israelis), most Americans, European heads of state, the EU (!), and citizens of good will the world over. Heck, even the notorious anti-Israel Washington Post has another editorial denouncing Hamas and insisting that it must be disarmed before Israel gives up the fight.

The ones who are tacitly supporting her incursion are heads of state all over the Arab world who, scared by both Iran and ISIS and, as in Egypt’s case, deeply hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood, are keeping silent or even castigating Hamas. The only ones who are opposed to Israel having the chance, once and for all, to destroy one of the world’s most malignant terrorist organizations, are Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the hate-ridden Muslim and hard-Left rioters in European and American citizens.

** 2 **

At the end of my conversation with Sol Giggleweed, I added that, in a comparison between Hamas the Nazis, the Nazis are actually better than Hamas insofar as they revered their own women. My sister added another Nazi virtue that Hamas lacked: the Nazis did not use their own women and children as living, breathing defense systems.

Apropros this reverence for life, check out this Facebook post.

Indeed, even canine life comes in for care (in stark contrast to the Muslim world, which hates dogs and, at least in Pakistan, tortures them for fun):

Israelis care for dogs

 

** 3 **

Arabs, Muslims, and Leftists keep agitating for a return to Israel’s pre-1967 borders. Rhymes with Right agrees in principle, but differs somewhat as to precisely which pre-1967 borders Israel should be returned.

** 4 **

I don’t understand why America’s multiculturalists aren’t more up in arms about ISIS’s blatant disrespect for Christian culture in Iraq. (And yes, I’m being very, very, very sarcastic there.)

** 5 **

Yet another article about the U.S. State Department’s absolutely disgraceful failure to bring over to the U.S. the Afghani interpreters who now sit in the Taliban’s cross hairs.

** 6 **

Yes, it’s true. The University of Wisconsin at Madison is planning to move to race-based grading: Teachers are required to add a separate (and impliedly lower) bell curve for grading for non-whites. You’d think things such as this would bring non-whites to the realization that the Left thinks they’re really stupid.

** 7 **

HBO no longer makes any pretense of hiding its hardcore DemProg credentials. Even its obscene, sex-obsessed vampires are DemProgs so, when they get the opportunity, they apparently used an imaginary Ted Cruz fundraising as the opportunity to engage in some foul-mouthed Republican and women bashing. Ted Cruz and his aide Amanda Carpenter, however, elegantly and easily show why mental midgets shouldn’t tangle with people infinitely smarter than they are.

** 8 **

You know what happens to a socialized manufacturing sector? Nothing. It doesn’t innovate, grow, or create wealth. Instead, as Venezuela has demonstrated for the umpteenth time, socialized manufacturing sectors collapse very badly. (Article is behind a Wall Street Journal pay wall.)

** 9 **

Should you be able to get behind that Wall Street Journal pay wall, you should also read Daniel Henninger’s scathing denunciation of a president who is just too bored, busy, and important to deal with the crises popping up all over the place. He’s not even trying to play crisis whack-a-mole. He’s just walking away and looking for the next fundraising party.

If you can’t get behind that pay wall, you can still read Mark Steyn on Obama’s vanishing act, played across the backdrop of the endless rewind and replay in the Middle East.

** 10 **

Britain is mad at Russia because of the fact that pro-Russian fighters in Ukraine, armed with cutting edge Russian weapons, shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. Of the almost 300 people who died, many were British subjects. Britain is so mad, in fact, that it’s reviving the case of Alexander Litvinenko, a Putin critic who died very painfully in England from polonium poisoning.

** 11 **

One of my tawdry media indulgences is the Daily Mail, which is a combination of sleaze, trash, eccentric wonders, and actual cutting-edge news from all over the world. One of the things I’ve noticed lately in the Daily Mail is the number of young to middle-aged bankers who have been killing themselves or dying of mysterious circumstances. Zero Hedge has noticed too and obviously wondered whether it’s just a coincidence that we’re aware of because of world wide reporting or if something really weird is going on.

** 12 **

Planned Parenthood continues to teach Americans young women about sexual perversion. Says Ed Morrissey:

Planned Parenthood gets millions of dollars for sex education and other programs from the federal government, and the education they provide is exactly what those parents predicted. No 15-year-old needs instruction on how to let herself get handcuffed or tied to trees by her boyfriend as part of rational education about health and sex. If a 15-year-old even hinted that her boyfriend was pressing her to try these kinds of activities, that calls for an intervention, not a how-to for submission. The advice to watch pornos for further sex education threatens to distort the teen’s sexuality for a lifetime, from a healthy expression of love and pleasure in the context of marriage to decades of being someone else’s rag doll for exploitation.

This isn’t education. It’s indoctrination, and the cultivation of Planned Parenthood clients for the next 20 years. Planned Parenthood can continue to offer sex education, but it shouldn’t get tax dollars to do so.

** 13 **

Jonathan Turley, a Barack Obama voter and law professor, has made a name for himself of late by speaking out against the expanding administrative state. He sees the D.C. Circuit’s Halbig decision, which confines Obamacare subsidies to state-established exchanges per the laws explicit language, as a very important one and contrasts it favorably against the 4th Circuits King decision, which ignored the statute’s explicit, unambiguous language in favor of a “well, I think the legislature really wanted to do this” analysis:

At the heart of the conflict is a fundamentally different view of the role not just of federal courts but also of federal agencies. I have long been a critic of the rise of a type of fourth branch within our system. The Framers created a tripartite system based on three equal branches. The interrelation of the branches guarantees that no branch could govern alone and protects individual liberty by from the concentration of power in any one branch.

We now have a massive system of 15 departments, 69 agencies and 383 nonmilitary sub-agencies with almost three million employees. Citizens today are ten times more likely to be the subject of an agency court ruling than a federal court ruling. The vast majority of “laws” in this country are actually regulations promulgated by agencies, which tend to be practically insulated and removed from most citizens.

** 14 **

The government is still doing a fancy dance around Obamacare. Separate from the fact that the administrative branch went all legislative and re-wrote the statute to suit the Democrats’ political purposes, the fact remains that the Exchange’s only measurable success is getting people onto the exchange. Everything else . . . well, not so good.

** 15 **

Hundreds of California taxpayers and professors are upset about the fact that San Francisco State University used taxpayer funds for terrorist outreach. I agree with their anger. I’m only sorry that we don’t live in a country that actually supports the rule of law. Since Hamas is a designated terrorist organization, in a law-abiding country, the federal government would have come down on SFSU and the errand faculty like a ton of federal bricks.

** 16 **

Back in the 1930s, the primary difference between Soviet Communism and German and Italian fascism was that the former nationalized businesses while the latter allowed them to exist (and profit), provided that they subordinated themselves to the government agenda. Jonah Goldberg, in talking about Elizabeth Warren’s efforts to subordinate American business to the federal government DemProg agenda, never mentions 1930s era fascism, but I couldn’t help noticing the structural similarities.

** 17 **

And while we’re speaking of that cozy relationship between business and DemProgs, here’s more on the federal government’s policy of privatizing corporate profits (if they make a profit overseas, they keep it) and socializing their losses (if they lose money, taxpayers suck up the loss).  You don’t need to look overseas, of course.  Obamacare is one big gift to the insurance industry.  That makes it something everyone can hate:  conservatives hate it because it brings health care under federal government control and socializes costs; Leftists hate it because these socialized costs are all funneled into the insurance company’s pockets.

** 18 **

There’s an old saying that, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. When it comes to the Obama White House and its efforts to hide all of its agents’ emails, mails, documents, texts, etc., there’s a new old saying:  Where there’s neither smoke nor fire, there’s a cover-up. The most recent one involves Shirley Sherrod.

** 19 **

Trey Gowdy continues to be IRS Commissioner Koskinen’s worst nightmare:

Gowdy must have been one hotshot trial lawyer.

** 20 **

Andrew Klavan takes a satirical look at one of the real security concerns flowing from the Obama-manufactured border (border? what border?) crisis:

** 21 **

Moral high ground

How Iron Dome works

10582974_10153402711377316_4172125262382870378_o

Taking cover in a war zone

Carpenter Ants

Ask what you can do for your mother

The round-up I meant to do yesterday

Victorian posy of pansiesI got so taken up yesterday with my post asking if Obama is truly deranged that I never got around to sharing with you all the great material I found. Some things, however, only improve with age, so here they are.

** 1 **

When I was in Norway last summer, part of me really liked it, because it’s exquisitely beautiful and has fascinating museums commemorating its history (especially the Viking museum and the Open Air Museum). The other part of me, though, couldn’t forget that a stroll through Norway is kind of like a stroll through Nazi Germany in 1935 — not everyone’s a vile anti-Semite, but enough are to make it reasonable for you to view all with suspicion.

** 2 **

JoshuaPundit noticed something missing from Pew’s poll about American’s attitudes towards other religions: It conveniently “forgot” to ask Muslims how they feel about other religions. Could it be that Pew didn’t want the ugly truth about Muslim intolerance to leak out?

** 3 **

A 42-year-old, single, working man is at his peak: Physically and mentally mature, earning money (in theory), and still capable of fathering children. A 42-year-old, single, working woman is staring at the end of the line: She’s old in a youth-obsessed culture (when it comes to women), her career is her whole life, and she is unlikely ever to be a parent. Feminist promises about men and fish and bicycles were lies. No wonder she’s unhappy.

** 4 **

Brandeis doesn’t want Ayaan Hirsi Ali to say mean things about the Muslims who mutilated her, brutally murdered her friend and colleague, and continue to hunt her down.  It’s not always so sensitive, though.  The university named after the first Jewish Supreme Court justice is all good with having rabid anti-Semites on its faculty. More on the subject here.

** 5 **

While the world is weeping for the Gaza residents that Hamas has turned into cannon fodder, Gaza residents are actually fine with the whole thing. They’re especially sanguine when their own bombs kill them. It’s all part of the “glorious martyrdom for TV package.”

** 6 **

If you read only one thing about the evil that is Gaza and Hamas, and the complicity of a Western world that sides with terrorist monsters, read Charles Krauthammer’s latest opinion piece. It could easily be titled “Here Be Evil.”

** 7 **

“It’s for the children” is the Leftist cry . . . except when the mother of two young children is a law-abiding citizen who owns a perfectly legal gun to protect her safety in dangerous situations. In that case, “throw her butt in jail” becomes the cry from the anti-gun cadre.

** 8 **

In Detroit, though, at least one person is wising up. The Police Chief there credits gun-owning homeowners with a substantial reduction in that broken city’s crime rate. God bless the man!

** 9 **

It appears possible that the Left overreached itself with the border invasion. Of course, that doesn’t mean that America’s demographics haven’t been permanently changed in Democrats’ favor. Or . . . maybe not.  It turns out that Obama’s own Democrat politicians (outside of the Pelosi/Reid claque) aren’t so happy with what’s happening at the border either.

** 10 **

My mother’s San Francisco Jewish friends all raved about Ari Shavit’s book The Promised Land : The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. My Mom therefore read the book, which described many events she personally experienced or that her friends personally experienced.  She concluded that the book’s view of events before and during the Israeli War of Independence was a lie.

Martin Kramer looks at just one of those events — the claimed Lydda massacre — and clarifies just how much of a lie it was. Everything is explained when you learn that Shavit was a Ha’aretz writer. Ha’aretz is Israel’s Leftist paper, which is dying on the vine as Israelis realize how greatly the Left betrayed them.

** 11 **

Two videos from two brilliant political and cultural commentators:

Is Obama’s constant, inappropriate laughter a sign that he is suffering from a mental disorder? *UPDATED*

Obama looking stupidOne of the classic signs of serious mental illness is “inappropriate affect.” In this context, “affect” is the emotional face we present to the world. To the extent that a narcissist’s only emotional fixed point is his own need, most of a narcissists affects are actually faked, but that doesn’t mean they’re inappropriate.

The narcissist knows that it would harm his best interests if he were to giggle uncontrollably at a funeral or pick a fist fight with a patient in hospice. Normal people wouldn’t even think of doing such things (outside of the comedy universe), but a narcissist might want to do both, only to stop himself for fear of breaking cover.

Sometimes, though, narcissists, and other sick people, are so disconnected from reality — including their reality of their own best interests in a given situation — that they can no longer stop themselves from presenting an entirely wrong emotional face to the public.  That completely disconnected emotional presentation goes by the shorthand title of “inappropriate affect.”

One of the major subsets of inappropriate affect is “inappropriate laughter.”  There are seldom any good excuses for behavior.  Here’s one short, computer-generated, somewhat repetitive list of some of the major causes behind inappropriate laughter:

Causes of Inappropriate laughter:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Inappropriate laughter. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

Common Causes: Inappropriate laughter

Some of the possible common medical causes of Inappropriate laughter may include:

Other Causes: Inappropriate laughter

Some of the less common causes of Inappropriate laughter may include:

I don’t mean to write a psychological treatise here. I freely admit I’m not qualified to do so, other than having the dubious pleasure of knowing over the years people suffering from narcissism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, dementia, etc.  Instead, this information is a set-up to the fact that Barack Obama has been behaving very peculiarly lately, with the most obvious manifestation of this peculiar behavior being inappropriate laughter.

Think back to his meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry regarding the tens of thousands of children storming the border.  This flood of humanity has been overwhelming resources and bringing both crime and disease in its wake (and that’s not even counting the crimes visited upon the children themselves, especially sexual crimes).

Even if Obama’s ideology means that he is celebrating the breakdown of America’s border, a high-functioning narcissist would recognize that the public doesn’t want to see the American president laughing about a man-created disaster our southern border. Laughter, however, is precisely what the president offered to the American people:

Obama thinks the border is a joke

Obama thinks the border is a joke 2

Looking at that picture, the first thought a mentally healthy person would have is “There’s something very wrong going on there.”  (As for the laughter from Obama’s entourage, we know he surrounds himself by “yes” men, so it’s not unreasonable for those same “yes” men to laugh when the boss laughs, no matter the absence of actual humor.)

It would be easy enough to pass off what happened in the Texas meeting if it weren’t for the fact that Obama was at it again just today. This morning, news broke that Malaysian Airlines, which already lost a plane with all its crew and passengers just a few months ago, once again lost a plane.

This time, if reports are accurate, pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine deliberately shot down a passenger jet traveling from Amsterdam to Malaya. All 295 people aboard the plane died, including 23 Americans.

No matter how one looks at the crash, it’s no laughing matter. There’s the human tragedy of so many deaths, there’s the national tragedy of so many American deaths, and there’s the international concern of Russian forces shooting down planes. Putin may have bitten off more than he can chew with his Ukraine adventure, but the fact remains that it’s a big deal when the Russian military kills close to 300 people, many of them Americans, and apparently does so intentionally.

So what does Obama do in the face of this big and serious deal? He gives the event a cursory 40 second salute and then, as if by the click of switch, reverts to his prepared remarks, smiling and cracking jokes:

The videos currently available don’t quite capture Obama’s bizarre emotional transition. It remains to the press, many of whom are or have been Obama supporters, to paint a picture of his emotional distance:

Even Piers Morgan (Piers Morgan!!) was shocked by Obama’s cavalier attitude towards a human tragedy and international problem:

Singer Josh Groban added his own two cents to Morgan’s comments:

Obama’s bizarre quips and laughter have also surfaced in connection with an increasingly voiced concern that he has created a serious constitutional crisis by ignoring Congress’s laws and creating his own.  The preceding 43 presidents, if they were challenged on the ground that they violated their constitutional oath, would strike back with carefully prepared remarks justifying their conduct and pointing to authority.

That’s not what Obama has done.  Instead, as Rich Lowry details, he’s once again engaged in peculiar and inappropriate flights of “humor”:

President Barack Obama styles himself a wit, and some of his best material lately has to do with his abuse of his powers.

“Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff,” Obama told a crowd on the Georgetown Waterfront on July 1. “So sue me.” Hilarity ensued.

He cracked them up in Austin last week. “You hear some of them,” he said, referring to Republicans, “‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job?”

[snip]

It takes a truly blithe spirit to play the constitutional deformation of his office, and the ensuing congressional reaction, for laughs.

Once again, rational people must look at Obama’s misplaced jocularity and think to themselves “There’s something very wrong happening there.”

Going back to that laundry list, above, detailing the most common reasons for inappropriate laughter, it seems to me that there are only a few we can discount immediately, such as Tourette syndrome, Angelman syndrome, tic disorders, etc.

Others raise themselves as real possibilities.  Take substance abuse, for example.  Given Obama’s youthful problems with marijuana and cocaine, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that, as the stresses of his office pile up (including the stress attendant upon setting up an imperial presidency), Obama is self-medicating.  There are also perennial rumors that both Obamas, Michelle and Barack, drink too much.

If there’s no substance abuse, Obama’s bizarre behavior could stem from an organic disorder.  This disorder could run the gamut from dementia and schizophrenia to a brain tumor.

Or, of course, and perhaps most likely, we could just be seeing the grandiose stylings of a malignant narcissist drunk with power.  Surrounded by his flunkies and acolytes, enjoying the permanent job security that comes with his race, and delighting in the downfall of a country he hates (his own, as it happens), Obama may perceive himself as a man without any of the limitations that confine ordinary people.  Nothing can touch him.

Regardless of the cause, when the president of what still is, just barely, the most powerful nation in the world begins to behave abnormally in public, people have to start worrying.  Whether our president is under the influence, crazy, ill, or just power mad, we Americans are suddenly finding ourselves in exactly the same position as Europeans of old who suffered through the madness brought about by hereditary monarchs in the grip of megalomanias that resulted from everything from inbreeding, to syphilis, to the mental corruption of absolute power.

UPDATE: I know I’m on the right track when I discover that Iowahawk is on the same track:

Midday Monday round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesLots of places to go and things to do, so this will be a brief, but still meaty, round-up of interesting things:

** 1 **

If you’d like to see Obama fisked, read this.

** 2 **

Netanyahu abandons platitudes and says what need to be said: He will not be bullied into a two-state solution as long as the Palestinians are dedicated to Israel’s annihilation and the rest of the Middle East is going up in flames.

** 3 **

Netanyahu might have had in mind David Goldman’s article about Israel’s future when he drew that line. Goldman says that when one combines Muslims’ falling demographics and Israel’s growing demographics with the complete collapse of nations and the possibility of endless war in the Middle East, little, besieged Israel will be the last man standing.

** 4 **

Richard Fernandez argues that Israel’s and America’s besetting sin isn’t their conduct, it’s their wealth. I recall making the mirror image argument — that the Left excuses poor people of any sin — a few years back.

** 5 **

I’ve noted before that fewer people have died in Israel under Hamas’s attack than were killed in Chicago in a single week. According to the Left, this is a bad thing — and by “bad thing” I don’t mean that gun-controlled Chicago residents are dying like flies; I mean that Israel has the temerity to defend her citizens effectively against hundreds of rocket attacks.

** 6 **

A poster that I couldn’t resist making after I read this article about the swarms of border crashers being flown to the Bay State:

Spreading infections 2

 

** 7 **

The Watcher’s Council forum offers suggestions for dealing with the refugee crisis that Obama invited into our country.

** 8 **

To the drive-by media’s surprise, legal immigrants in this country aren’t thrilled to see their economic standing diluted and their patience in complying with the law rendered worthless by the influx of illegals:

** 9 **

There’s a metaphor in here somewhere. See if you can come up with a good one after watching these dogs bark at each other through a fence that, mere inches away, is completely open:

** 10 **

Is the IRS union the missing link in the IRS scandal?

** 11 **

William Jacobson pulls together evidence showing that the Boycott Divest Sanction movement is motivated, not by tears for the Palestinians, but by the usual toxic antisemitism from Muslims and Leftists.

** 12 **

Alan Dershowitz explains precisely how evil the BDS movement is:

** 13 **

Bravo to the Toronto Sun for its full-throated denunciation of Obama’s malevolent little Ha’artez opinion piece.

** 14 **

Musically, I was never a Ramones fan. When it came to their political courage, though, I admired them greatly . . . and now they’re all gone.