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…]

#GOPDebate — one person’s score card on the candidates’ debating chops

CNN GOP DebateI was in the hospital taking care of a sundowning mom, so I forgot about the debate entirely. My anonymous friend, though, watched and sent me some impressions. Please note that he was remarking upon their debate performance and not on each person’s general merits as a candidate:

I’ve been watching the debate. As a threshold matter, I find that I prefer Jake Tapper to the now thankfully absent Candy Crowley.

Fiorina looked really good. She’s gotten the big applause lines on several issues and she was loaded for bear when Trump brought up her time as CEO of HP. Jake Tapper treated her pretty poorly actually, repeatedly cutting her off more so than he did with the other candidates. She also brought up a point I didn’t know. Trump has declared bankruptcy four times. Wow. And yet the bastard is a billionaire. He really is slimy.

Dr. Carson . . . not too good on foreign policy. He sounds quite weak.

Rubio . . . very strong foreign policy chops and good on gun laws / 2nd Amendment.

It was slimy watching most of them try to claim some special connection to 9-11 to burnish their commander in chief / foreign policy chops. As I left the room for a moment, I swear that I heard Trump claim that his time at a military high school gave him more military experience than all of the other candidates. I’ll check later whether I imagined that line.

Mike Huckabee looked real good when he got a chance to speak.

Cruz is not getting asked enough questions. He sounds good when he answers but he could stand to be a bit more aggressive and interrupt more.

The Bookworm Beat 9-8-15 — the “busy world” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My apologies for my blog silence yesterday. I hope to make up for it now with a substantial round-up, some of which I compiled, and some of which comes from a friend who insists on remaining anonymous:

Your daily “Hillary is toast” report

As you know, Hillary did a national interview — fairly softball really — with Andrea Mitchell, who has long been a Hillary fan.  Mitchell has now published her post interview take on it all (emphasis added):

MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell said Tuesday she was concerned the Hillary Clinton campaign would have cut off her interview with the candidate if she asked too many questions about Clinton’s private email server at the State Department.

Clinton sat down with Mitchell on Friday and the main topic from the start was her use of a private, unsecured server as secretary of state, which has caused serious problems for her campaign with questions about her honesty, trustworthiness, and handling of classified material. While other presidential candidates have made dozens of media appearances, Clinton has given just threenationally televised interviews since her campaign began.

“We were told we had a 15-minute interview,” Mitchell said. “I asked more than 12 minutes on emails before I felt, out of concern that they would cut it off, obviously, that I had to move on, so I couldn’t ask everything that I did want to ask, but I think we did get a good chance to ask a lot of questions and discover that she did not have an answer for why she did the personal server in the first place.

Even members of the drive-by media are shaking their heads that Hildabeast has not come up with a believable lie for why she ran a personal server.  There is only one obvious reason, but they claim to be mystified.

Meanwhile, Hildabeast spoke at a Labour Day event that included this gem:

“We’re going to go back to enforcing labor laws,” Clinton said. “I’m going to make sure that some employers go to jail for wage theft and all the other abuses that they engage in.”

She has apparently gone full Lenin and business owners are the new Kulaks.  That said, there are two things Hildabeast should not be doing at this point: one is wear an orange jumpsuit, the other is use the word “jail.”

At NRO, Shannen Coffin has a great deal of fun with Hillary’s latest excuse for her private email, private server and numerous email shenanigans, that she simply “wasn’t thinking.”  My but she took a lot of actions unconsciously.

It seems the Hot Air crowd has reached the same conclusion that my friend did as soon as he saw the second review panel’s determination of the top secret information Hillary had on her server.  The argument had been that possibly they were discussing information that had somehow become available through public sources, such as a foreign news report.  That is no longer at issue.  It is now beyond question that Hillary committed multiple crimes and the DOJ cannot ignore it without applying a clear legal double standard:

The FBI and the Department of Justice will have to take some kind of action at this point. A federal grand jury will get them off the hook politically, at least for a short period of time, and that may be their best option under the weight of a presidential campaign.

Oh, one more thing:  Since it’s from the National Enquirer, we know it’s true that Hillary really is a lesbian (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Donald Trump exaggerates his tough guy capabilities

Donald Trump, who has the same military record as Obama, Hillary, Hildabeast, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, says in an interview “I always felt that I was in the military. . . . Trump said that his five years at the New York Military Academy provided him with “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.”

If you want to anger millions of Americans who have actually been in and understand the challenges and sacrifices, eh, couldn’t think of a better way to do it.  Having experienced an extremely tough military training, followed by actual infantry service at the front lines, my anonymous friend can assure you, there is only the tiniest of comparisons between even the toughest military college and the actual infantry — plus there is that tiny bit about not having people shoot at you or engaging in training events that could claim your life.

One can only imagine what the Iraq and Afghanistan vets are feeling.  Oh, and to put this in perspective, Trump got four deferments from the Vietnam Draft.

There’s nothing green about “green energy”:

I’ve been sounding the drumbeat for years — green energy is a resource hog.  In order to get to market, green energy products suck up fossil fuel, coal, food crops, and vast tracks of land — and that doesn’t even touch upon the tax payer dollars green energy gobbles up.

It is unlikely that solar power, wind power, or biofuels will ever compete with traditional energy sources.  Until we are willing to rely on nuclear power or until cold fusion is a reality, we have to figure out how to use existing energy sources in a more clean and efficient way, rather than wasting our time with the other stuff.

Anyway, that’s my story, and at the very least, Professor A J Trewavas, who represents Scientific Alliance Scotland, agrees with me:

Renewables use sun, water, wind; energy sources that won’t run out. Non-renewables come from things like gas, coal and uranium that one day will. But unless electricity and motorised transport are abandoned altogether, all “renewables” need huge areas of land or sea and require raw materials that are drilled, transported, mined, bulldozed and these will run out. Wind turbine towers are constructed from steel manufactured in a blast furnace from mined iron ore and modified coal (coke). Turbine blades are composed of oil-derived resins and glass fibre. The nacelle encloses a magnet containing about one third of a tonne of the rare earth metals, neodymium and dysprosium. Large neodymium magnets also help propel electric cars.

Currently China provides 95 per cent of rare earths; proven reserves of dysprosium will likely run out in 2020. Processing one tonne of ore generates about one tonne of radioactive waste, 12 million litres of waste gas containing dust concentrate, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide, sulphuric acid and 75 thousand litres of waste water. Baotou, in China, mines and processes much of the rare earth ores. The town abuts a five-mile-wide, toxic, lifeless, radioactive lake of processed wastewater. Local inhabitants have unusually high rates of cancer (particularly in children), osteoporosis, skin and respiratory disease. This unseen environmental destruction may be far off but no less damaging.

Read more here.

You may also enjoy watching Ted Cruz school two greenies who try to play gotcha with him.  They’re somewhat handicapped by the fact that their combined IQs don’t equal his.  It’s also rather scary to watch them stick to message like two cheaply programmed robots.  It’s quite obvious that Cruz’s straightforward, easy-to-understand information does not penetrate their sealed-off brain chambers.

Notes on Islam and the refugee issue

If you have only one article you can read today about Europe’s suicidal approach to the stream of Muslims storming her borders, read David P. Goldman’s “The Price of Europe’s fecklessness“:

In Luis Bunuel’s eponymous 1961 film, the young postulant Viridiana leaves her convent to claim her uncle’s rural estate, and creates a refuge for local beggars. They ransack her house in a bachannalia staged to lampoon the Last Supper, and a couple of them rape her. The classic film should be mandatory viewing for European officials caught up in refugee euphoria. This is going to end very, very badly.

The Europeans, to be sure, are a pack of cynical hypocrites. If they had cared about Syrians, they might have sent a couple of brigades of soldiers to fight ISIS. But not a single European will risk his neck to prevent humanitarian catastrophe. The last time European soldiers got close to real trouble, in Srebrenica in 1995, Dutch peacekeepers stood aside while Bosnian Serbs massacred 8,000 Muslims.

The horror has now piled up on Europe’s doorstep, thanks evidently to the skill of Turkish gangs who have turned the Turkey-to-Balkans smuggling route into a superhighway. Europe said and did nothing while the global refugee count exploded from 40 million in 2010 to 60 million in 2014, according to the UN High Commission on Refugees, but was shocked, shocked to find such people on its doorstep.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, although I’m not feeling the love for Hungary lately because its antisemitic elements have been growing strong, credit must go where credit is due: Hungary seems to be the only European nation that’s figured out that taking in massive numbers of Muslims, especially young men of military age, is not a good idea:

One of the few European voices of sanity comes from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (here, here) He has identified the issue with clarity, so, therefore and of course, he is being called right-wing, nationalist, and–wait for it–fascist. Orban has written that,

We must acknowledge that the European Union’s misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation. . . . We shouldn’t forget that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture. Most are not Christian, but Muslim… That is an important question, because Europe and European culture have Christian roots . . .

Daniel Greenfield, meanwhile, reminds us that the Syrian refugee crisis is not our problem because much of what we’re seeing is an illusion:

The Syrian refugee crisis that the media bleats about is not a crisis. And the Syrian refugees it champions are often neither Syrians nor refugees. Fake Syrian passports are cheaper than an EU politician’s virtue and easier to come by. Just about anyone who speaks enough Arabic to pass the scrutiny of a European bureaucrat can come with his two wives in tow and take a turn on the carousel of their welfare state.

Or on our welfare state which pays Christian and Jewish groups to bring the Muslim terrorists of tomorrow to our towns and cities. And their gratitude will be as short-lived as our budgets.

The head of a UNHCR camp called Syrian refugees “The most difficult refugees I’ve ever seen. In Bulgaria, they complained that there were no jobs. In Sweden, they took off their clothes to protest that it was too cold.

In Italy, Muslim African “refugees” rejected pasta and demanded food from their own countries. But the cruel Europeans who “mistreat” migrants set up a kitchen in Calais with imported spices cooked by a Michelin chefdetermined to give them the stir-fried rabbit and lamb meatballs they’re used to. There are also mobile phone charging stations so the destitute refugees can check on their Facebook accounts.

It had to be done because the refugees in Italy were throwing rocks at police while demanding free wifi.

This is the tawdry sense of entitlement of the Syrian Muslim refugee that the media champions.

I will add only that some Americans do bear moral responsibility for what’s going on, because they elected Obama, and it is his Middle Eastern policies — from his kowtowing to Iran, to backing off from his Syrian red line (in deference to Iran), to failing to support Iran’s Green revolution, to ousting Egypt’s Mubarak, to backing the Muslim Brotherhood, to destroying Qadaffi’s stable Libya — that created the utter chaos that is today’s Middle East.  I think these Americans should do penance, but that penance does not include inviting the Middle East’s murderous chaos into our borders.

There are some other lying liars, the ones who defamed Israel, which is the only stable, true democracy in the Middle East, and created false martyrs out of the murderous Muslims surrounding them, who also need to do everlasting penance for their negative impact on the Middle East.  But first, they need to be educated.  This video might enlighten them about the nature of the “concentration camp” they claim Israel created in Gaza (soundtrack is NSFW; images should be mandatory viewing for everyone in America and Europe):

Name-calling aside, it’s not conservatives who are racists

This PragerU video is almost a year old, but it’s been making the rounds again.  I gather that the combination of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the usual election-time slanders thrown at conservatives have renewed interest in the topic of alleged conservative racism versus actual Leftist racism. Here’s some intellectual ammunition for you as the Leftist rhetoric heats up:

Money laundering for the Left

A friend of mine points out that much of what the Left does is set up programs that launder tax payer money and then send it to Leftist coffers. Here are a couple of links that support that premise.

First, Labor Day is now yesterday’s news.  Starting today, let’s really do something for the working stiff.  Get rid of public sector unions.

Second, watch Obama’s un-elected administrative bureaucracy grow and grow and grow:

In 2014, 3,291 pages of new laws were passed by Congress – the branch of government with the constitutional authority to…

Posted by United States Senator Mike Lee on Monday, January 26, 2015

(If that FB post/video didn’t load, you can see it here.)

For an infinitesimally small minority, transgenders sure make a lot of noise

As a society, we are currently being asked to turn ourselves inside out for transgenders. Cops need to be trained to identify dead trans bodies in a non-offensive way:

The training comes two months after a Tampa transgender woman’s murder — and law enforcement’s handling of it — captured national attention.

After 25-year-old India Clarke’s body was found in a Tampa park July 21, law enforcement identified her by the name and gender she was born with even though she had identified as female for years. Backlash from across the country followed, surfacing a discussion about how law enforcement handle the identities of transgender people.

Officers can’t rely on anatomy or what is on a person’s driver’s license to identify them and generally they should use pronouns based on a person’s outward appearance — or avoid them if unsure.

You see, even when investigating murder — a particularly fact-based activity — ideology must trump reality.

Also, at a San Francisco school, all bathrooms are now unisex. I especially love the quotation that the school’s principal attributed to one parent:

“There’s no need to make them gender-specific anymore,” he said, adding there has been no pushback from parents. “One parent said, ‘So, you’re just making it like it is at home.’”

I don’t know about you, but my home bathroom doesn’t have stalls around multiple toilets, with the stalls open at both top and bottom for prying eyes. It makes you wonder what’s going on in San Francisco homes.

A friend of mine had the perfect solution: If you’re going to have group toilet facilities, you need to have one facility for those humans with penises and one for those without. End of story.

But I opened this by saying that we’re turning upside down for a very small group. How small? Well, I’m too lazy to research it, but I can tell you that even uber-Leftist Harvard, which must be lusting after trans students in the same way it once lusted after Fauxcahontas (boasting rights, you know), has only 6 students, or one-half of one percent of its entering class, identify as “transgender.”

Keeping those teeny-tiny numbers in mind, it’s one thing for us not to discriminate actively against people who are different (a type of prejudice Muslims feel comfortable engaging in); it’s quite another thing to turn our institutions upside down and inside out for people whose numbers as a proportion of the overall population probably hover around 1%.

The future is nearly here and it’s scary

This is an eye opening article on the capabilities of 3D printers to manufacture not merely guns, but eventually WMD.  It will mean that anyone having a bad day and access to a 3D printer, likely to become ubiquitous over the decades, will also potentially be able to kill a lot of people on that day.  I suspect the article it is a bit over-done as to the nuclear, since it would require many specialized materials not likely to be available on the open market, but perhaps not as to the bio and chemical.  And the DNA sequence for small pox is in fact openly available on the web.

Just so you understand what’s really going on with our immigrants

The illegal immigration movement in America and La Raza are not about making sure legal immigrants get equal treatment under the law, which would be a reasonable thing to do. There’s a different agenda at play.

When politics still involved intelligence and class

Nowadays, the premier Democrat candidate (that would be Hillary) is corrupt and clueless, and just wishes the American public weren’t so stupid. Meanwhile, the Republicans have arrayed themselves in their usual circular firing squad, using up all their ammunition on each other rather than challenging Leftist in politics, media, and society.

Once upon a time, though, pundits on both sides had a bit more to say — even though, already then, Alinsky tactics were the Left’s favorite approach to destroying the opposition. Never argue issues; always destroy people.

Incidentally, if you’d like guidance on standing against the Left’s Social Justice Warriors and their Alinsky tactics of personal destruction, check out Vox Day’s SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police. Except for the fact that it’s absolutely horrifying to read about Social Justice Warriors, it’s a great book, and one that every conservative should read. After all, none of us know when we won’t be the SJW’s next target.

And some fun stuff that’s NOT POLITICS

On the lighter side of the news . . .  a massive great white shark catching its lunch has Aussie tv presenters swear off swimming in the ocean:

The “Un-Strike”; or, the case for ICE agents to ignore Obama and enforce immigration laws

Illegal not a race a crimeThe Third World is moving in on the First World in numbers that probably haven’t been seen since the barbarians made their moves against Rome. In Europe, there’s a race to see which nation can commit suicide faster. Here at home, Donald Trump has become a single issue candidate, but what an issue: America, he states firmly, needs to start enforcing her own immigration laws by deporting illegal immigrants. A recent poll indicates that almost 60% of Americans agree with Trump:

The latest IBD/TIPP Poll asked 913 adults coast to coast if they “support or oppose mandatory deportation of illegal immigrants in the U.S.” Not surprisingly, 87% of Trump supporters back the proposal.

What’s surprising is that 59% of the overall public does as well. Mandatory deportation gets majority support in all age groups except 18-24, every income group, among both women and men, at every level of educational achievement, and in rural, urban and suburban regions.

More interesting still is the fact that 64% of independents and 55% of moderates support deportation.

Even among Hispanics, the poll found 40% backed mandatory deportation — although the sample size is too small to make much of that number.

It’s no wonder Americans are upset. Last summer, tens of thousands of children poured across America’s southern border, and the Obama administration, rather than returning them to Mexico and allowing that nation (which has singularly stringent immigration laws) to deal with them, quickly dispersed them — and their contagious diseases and gang members — throughout America. The administration showed a blatant disregard for the statutory immigration scheme that Congress, which rumor has it represents the American people, has enacted.

This year a young woman named Katie Steinle, while walking in San Francisco, which has styled itself as a “sanctuary city” (meaning that, with federal connivance, it blatantly flouts immigration laws), was shot to death by an illegal alien. Not only was he an illegal alien, but he was a five-time deportee who had actually been in custody, but was on the streets because of the City’s and the federal government’s “catch-and-release-back-in-the-U.S.” program. Steinle’s family is now suing San Francisco’s uber-Leftist Sheriff, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and The Bureau of Land Management.

The Steinles’ decision to include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) in the lawsuit really started me thinking about the rank-and-file agents in ICE, including what they are supposed to do, what they actually do, and what they want to do. According to ICE’s own website, the agents in Enforcement and Removal Operations (“ERO”) have an explicit mandate to serve as the police force carrying out the nation’s immigration laws against those who enter or remain in this country in violation of those same laws.

ICE’s self-described mission, and the specific tasks underlying that mission are quoted in full below although, if long government paragraphs bore you, you can skip most of it. The gist is that ICE agents are supposed to apprehend bad guy aliens, stop manifestly illegal aliens at the border, and to catch and get rid of illegal aliens already in the country. Priority goes to the seriously bad aliens, but everyone is theoretically on the “if you’re not here legally, you need to leave” list:

To identify, arrest, and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts. Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) upholds America’s immigration laws at, within and beyond our borders through efficient enforcement and removal operations.

Means of effectuating the mission:

ERO enforces the nation’s immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. It identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the United States.

ERO prioritizes the apprehension, arrest and removal of convicted criminals, those who pose a threat to national security, fugitives and recent border entrants. Individuals seeking asylum also work with ERO.

ERO transports removable aliens from point to point, manages aliens in custody or in an alternative to detention program, provides access to legal resources and representatives of advocacy groups and removes individuals from the United States who have been ordered to be deported.

FY 2014 ICE Immigration Removals

In addition to its criminal investigative responsibilities, ICE shares responsibility for enforcing the nation’s civil immigration laws with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). ICE’s role in the immigration enforcement system is focused on two primary missions: (1) the identification and apprehension of criminal aliens and other removable individuals located in the United States; and (2) the detention and removal of those individuals apprehended in the interior of the U.S., as well as those apprehended by CBP officers and agents patrolling our nation’s borders.

In executing these responsibilities, ICE has prioritized its limited resources on the identification and removal of criminal aliens and those apprehended at the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States. This report provides an overview of ICE Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 civil immigration enforcement and removal operations.

The flood of illegal immigrants at the border; the blind-eye that’s turned on people who are here illegally, whether because they sneaked in or overstayed their welcome; and the catch-and-release practice that led to Katie Steinle’s death all seem to indicate that rank-and-file ICE agents are slackers. In fact, they’re not.

The reality is that ICE agents on the ground want to do their jobs. When they apprehend illegal aliens in the act of crossing the border, they want to turn them right around. When they discover that the driver who just rear-ended a little old lady is here illegally, they want to send her back to her country of origin. When they know that the Mexican or Saudi student has overstayed his visa, they want to kick him out. But they can’t.

As Chris Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council (118) of the American Federation of Government Employees testified before Congress, that orders from above — that is, the orders from the Obama administration — are that ICE agents must refrain from carrying out their duties under the law. Unlike the website blather above, Crane’s February 5, 2013, testimony, much of which I’ve excerpted here, deserves to be read at length. I’ve added to the testimony only by inserting bracketed references to the federal laws that the administration is forcing the agents to violate:

However, ICE agents do believe in law enforcement and the rule of law. Most Americans going about their daily lives believe that ICE agents and officers are permitted to enforce the laws of the United States. However, ICE agents and officers would tell America a much different story.

The day-to-day duties of ICE agents and officers often seem in conflict with the law as ICE officers are prohibited from enforcing many laws enacted by Congress; laws they took an oath to enforce. ICE is not guided in large part by the influences of powerful special interest groups that advocate on behalf of illegal aliens. These influences have in large part eroded the order, stability and effectiveness of the agency, creating confusion among all ICE employees. For the last four years it has been a roller coaster for ICE officers with regard to who they can or cannot arrest, and which Federal laws they will be permitted to enforce. Most of these directives restricting enforcement are given only verbally to prevent written evidence from reaching the public.

Most Americans would be surprised to know that immigration agents are regularly prohibited from enforcing the two most fundamental sections of United States immigration law. According to ICE policy, in most cases immigration agents can no longer arrest persons solely for entering the United States illegally [in direct contravention of 8 U.S. Code §§ 1225 and 1227]. Additionally, in most cases immigration agents cannot arrest persons solely because they have entered the United States with a visa and then overstayed that visa and failed to return to their country [in direct contravention of 8 U.S.Code § 1227]. Essentially, only individuals charged or convicted of very serious criminal offenses by other law enforcement agencies may be arrested or charged by ICE agents and officers for illegal entry or overstay.

In fact, under current policy individuals illegally in the United States must now be convicted of three or more criminal misdemeanors before ICE agents are permitted to charge or arrest the illegal alien for illegal entry or overstaying a visa, unless the misdemeanors involve the most serious types of offenses such as assault, sexual abuse or drug trafficking [in contravention of 8 U.S. Code § 1227]. With regard to traffic violations, other than DUI and fleeing the scene of an accident, ICE agents are also prohibited from making an immigration arrest of illegal aliens who have multiple convictions for traffic related misdemeanors.


DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which prevents the deportation of many aliens brought to the U.S. as children, is for the most part applied by ICE immigration agents to adults held in state correctional facilities and jails pending criminal charges. News has spread quickly through illegal alien populations within jails and communities that immigration agents have been instructed by the agency not to investigate illegal aliens who claim protections from immigration arrest under DACA. ICE immigration agents have been instructed to accept the illegal alien’s claim as to whether he or she graduated or is attending high school or college or otherwise qualifies under DACA. Illegal aliens are not required to provide officers with any type of proof such as a diploma or transcripts to prove that they qualify before being released. Even though the immigration officer generally has no proof that the alien qualifies under DACA, officers may not arrest these aliens unless a qualifying criminal conviction or other disqualifier exists. As one immigration agent stated last week, “every person we encounter in the jails now claims to qualify for release under DACA.”


Also important to understand, pressures from special interest groups have resulted in the majority of ICE agents and officers being prohibited from making street arrests. Most officers are only allowed to work inside of jails hidden from public view, and may only arrest certain individuals who have already been already been arrested by police departments and other Federal agencies. As a general rule, if ICE agents or officers are on duty in a public place and witness a violation of immigration law, they are prohibited from making arrests and from asking questions under threat of disciplinary action.


In Salt Lake City, Utah, three ICE agents witnessed an individual admit in open court to a Federal Immigration Judge that he was in the United States illegally. ICE agents waited until the alien left the hearing and then politely asked him to accompany them, never using handcuffs in the course of the arrest. An immigration attorney and activist called the ICE Field Office Director in Salt Lake City verbally complaining that ICE officers had arrested an illegal alien. The ICE Field Office Director responded by ordering that all charges against the illegal alien be dropped and that the alien be released immediately. While the ICE Director ordered the immigration violator to be set free, the Director also ordered that all three ICE agents be placed under investigation for no other reason than arresting an illegal alien.

The administration, of course, contends that it’s just allocating resources. The ICE agents’ complaints, however, make it clear that they are ready, willing, and able to carry out their mandate, but are being instructed not to do so — and that their jobs are on the line if they refuse to slack off.

ICE agents are so frustrated about their inability to protect America’s sovereignty (i.e., her ability to control her borders and make her own decisions, even misguided ones, about the level of legal immigration she wants) that several of them filed suit against the Obama administration begging to be allowed to do their jobs, at least as regards those phony DREAMers. Sadly, the suit failed:

In an Order issued July 31 (full embed at bottom of post), the Judge agreed with the government on the jurisdiction issue, finding that although the government violated the law, these plaintiffs could not bring suit and the court therefore lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ claims.  The Court dismissed the case “without prejudice,” meaning that the dismissal was not binding and that some person not bound by CSRA could raise the same issues as to which the Court found illegality. . . .

The current situation when it comes to ICE and the Obama administration can be summed up as follows:

1. Congress has passed laws empowering the federal government, through its agents, to

a. Block manifestly illegal immigrants as they cross the border;

b. Deport people who entered the country legally but overstayed their right to be here and who cannot prove that they are subject to an exception, such as the DREAM Act; and

c. Deport manifestly illegal aliens in the country who have been caught engaging in any type of criminal conduct, above and beyond the baseline criminal act of being in the country illegally.

2. ICE agents believe themselves capable of carrying out these statutory mandates. That is, they believe their abilities extend beyond merely apprehending the worst behaved criminal illegal aliens.

3. Both directly and indirectly — through explicit mandates, oral orders passed through the chain of command, and pressure regarding job security — the Obama administration blocks ICE agents from carrying out their statutory responsibilities.

4. Representatives for ICE agents have tried both through lawsuits and Congressional testimony to change the administration’s ukase on enacting the immigration laws, but with no success.

When I discussed this situation with a friend, I threw in the off-the-cuff remark that “the agents should strike.” This is an impossibility, of course. Federal agencies are barred by law from striking, something Ronald Reagan established definitively in 1981 when he fired the air traffic controllers following a walk-out.

But if ICE agents can’t “walk off” the job, can they “walk on” the job, so to speak? That is, does concerted ICE agent action constitute a strike if the agents insist on carrying out their duties when the administration insists instead that they violate the law? I did a little research and it seems entirely possible that the agents do not run afoul of strike laws if they ignore executive orders and insinuations that they cannot perform their jobs in accordance with Congressional mandates.

The controlling authority here is 5 USCA § 7311. That statute provides in relevant part as follows:

An individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia if he—


(3) participates in a strike, or asserts the right to strike, against the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia. . . .

In the context of § 7311(3), the word “strike” is a term of art with a very specific meaning. It doesn’t mean just “oppose the executive branch.” Instead, it means to refuse to work, whether by slowing down or stopping altogether. Anything else is not a “strike” as contemplated by the statute:

These concepts of ‘striking’ and ‘participating in a strike’ occupy central positions in our labor statutes and accompanying caselaw, and have been construed and interpreted many times by numerous state and federal courts. ‘Strike’ is defined in § 501(2) of the Taft-Hartley Act to include ‘any strike or other concerted stoppage of work by employees * * * and any concerted slowdown or other concerted interruption of operations by employees.’ On its face this is a straightforward definition. It is difficult to understand how a word used and defined so often could be sufficiently ambiguous as to be constitutionally suspect. ‘Strike’ is a term of such common usage and acceptance that ‘men of common intelligence’ need not guess at its meaning. Connally v. General Construction Co. [269 U.S. 385, 391, 46 S.Ct. 126, 127, 70 L.Ed. 322 (1926)], supra, at 391, 46 S.Ct. at 127.


We stress that it is only an actual refusal by particular employees to provide services that is forbidden by 5 U.S.C. § 7311(3) and penalized by 18 U.S.C. § 1918.

United Federation of Postal Clerks v. Blount (D.D.C. 1971) 325 F.Supp. 879, 884 aff’d, (1971) 404 U.S. 802 [92 S.Ct. 80, 30 L.Ed.2d 38] (emphasis added).

The above definition appears to be the last, best word on the subject. As far as I can tell, at least in the context of § 7311(3), no other federal court has challenged United Federation of Postal Clerks regarding this definition.

What this means, at least in theory, is that ICE workers can do an “un-strike.” They can challenge the administration by doing their job. Sure, it’s risky. If only five agents do that — if they proactively turn illegal aliens back at the border rather than housing and distributing them throughout America — not only will they be fired, their protest-by-actually-doing-their-job won’t make the newspaper.  They will be martyrs without a cause.

However, if the vast majority of ICE agents take a public stand by actually carrying out their jobs, the administration has a problem, especially because a significant majority of Americans support deporting illegal aliens. Moreover, if the administration tries to discipline or fire thousands of agents for actually doing their jobs it will find itself in the midst of a PR firestorm, not to mention that it will lack any authority whatsoever to fire employees for doing their job.

Just imagine the administration trying to defend its decision to fire agents who are actually working. To date, the administration’s rationale for ignoring huge sections of the federal immigration scheme is that the executive has the right to allocate limited resources. According to Obama & Co., ICE resources are so limited that just about the only thing ICE can do is get rid of violently criminal illegal aliens. That statement will fall part if the administration is seen trying to block agents who say that they are easily able to enforce immigration laws other than those limited to violent felons. At that point, the administration either has to fall in line with the ICE agents or think really fast to explain why it’s ordering its employees to violate federal law.

Anyway, that’s my theory. I’m not an immigration lawyer, so what I don’t know far exceeds what I do know. I would appreciate anyone who can educate me further about whether I’m on the right track here or have derailed completely.

Obama the strong leader, Trump the unpredictable one, and the possibility of a non-strike by federal immigration workers

This is a portmanteau post, with several ideas that seemed to flow together.  It begins with today’s news that the Democ-RATS today gave Obama the veto power he needs to override the Senate’s overwhelming disapproval of his Iran Deal. This news meant that a poster that Caped Crusader sent me yesterday resonates more strongly than ever:

Obama a very effective president

I agree with everything in the poster except the last line. Although you know I get disheartened at times, if I agreed with the last line I would stop blogging, sell my house, and, with the proceeds, buy a remote island somewhere in the Pacific on which would construct a very deep bomb shelter that I would then stock with ten years worth of survivalist supplies. I still have some hope that a strong conservative in the White House can turn things around.

Sadly, I don’t believe Trump is the strong conservative we need. Trump is a man without fixed principles. Dig down on any subject, and you’ll  discover that positions reflect whatever thoughts happen to be passing through his mind at a given moment. Some of those thoughts have merit, as with his objection to an unprincipled administration that is blatantly violating our nation’s immigration laws or with his refusal to play the media and political correctness games. I strongly applaud him for both those stands. On other matters, though, it’s apparent (a) that he hasn’t thought about them, which someone aiming for the executive office would do well to do and (b) that he doesn’t have a strong principle driving his governing philosophy.

It’s that last — the absence of an ideological basis — that has me worried. I want a doctrinaire conservative, one whose guiding belief is that the government’s role should be limited at home, while maintaining a strong national security focus abroad (and, within constitutional limits, at home too). Trump is an unguided and uninformed missile who is capable of doing anything and of too easily losing his way when situations become complicated. He may have refreshing insights, but to the extent that his principles are defined by his navel and not by any fixed points, he is very likely to become a loose cannon demagogue.

Indeed, even on his key issue of illegal immigration, one has to wonder if his position even rises to this level of thought:

Illegal immigration

By the way, one of the most disturbing aspects of President Obama’s willingness to disregard American law is the fact that people working in Immigration enforcement seem to have gone along so willingly with his order to them to stand down from their statutorily defined responsibilities. With this thought in mind, I jokingly said to a friend that, if they don’t agree with Obama’s open borders policy (a policy that directly contradicts standing laws in the federal code), they ought to strike. My friend reminded me that federal workers cannot go on strike — something made very clear when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.

Thinking about it, though, I wondered if there’s not an exploitable wrinkle here for concerted action by federal workers. It’s commonly understand that a strike occurs when a worker refuses to do his job in the hope of improving his position through better work conditions or more moneys.  Thus, Black’s Law Dictionary ties a “strike” to a work stoppage as a means of coercing concessions from an employer:

The act of a body of workmen employed by the same master, in stopping work all together at a prearranged time, and refusing to continue until higher wages, or shorter time, or some other concession is granted to them by the employer. See Farmers’ L. & T. Co. v. Northern Pac. R. Co. (C. C.) 00 Fed. 819; Arthur v. Oakes, 63 Fed. 327, 11 C. C. A. 209, 25 L. R. A. 414; Railroad Co. v. Bowns, 58 N. Y. 582; Longshore Printing Co. v. Howell, 26 Or. 527, 38 Pac. 547, 28 L. It A. 401, 40 Am. St. Rep. 640.

The question is whether federal employee action is still a “strike” when the workers insist on doing their statutorily defined job in the face of an order from the executive branch insisting that the worker violating federal law by refraining from working.  Wouldn’t that be the opposite of a strike?  And if it’s the opposite of a strike, does 5 USC § 7311, the federal no-strike statute, apply?

An individual may not accept or hold a position in the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia if he—


(3) participates in a strike, or asserts the right to strike, against the Government of the United States or the government of the District of Columbia;

I’m just playing around with an idea here, and have not researched it in any way. What do you think (or actually know as a fact) on this subject? Is it a “strike” if the employees, rather than stopping work, continuing to work in the face of an illegal executive order requiring them to stand down in violation of existing federal law?

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.

The Bookworm Beat 7-25-15 — the Lazy, but interesting, edition

Woman-writing-300x265As you may have gathered from the number of things we did every day on our recent trip to Virginia and environs, ours was not a restful vacation. I capped off the fatigue with a cold and, since our return, have been having a very hard time motivating myself to do anything. My theme song for the week has been Irving Berlin’s Lazy, although I’d have to add fatigue and inertia to the laziness mix:

Still, despite my laziness, I have managed to peel myself off the couch and find my way to the computer occasionally, so I do have some posts to share with you:

Made You Laugh

Before I get to the depressing stuff — and, lately, all the news seems to be depressing — I wanted to tell you about a weekly column my long-time friend Gary Buslik is starting at The Blot. I first introduced you to Gary a few years ago when I reviewed his outrageously funny book Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood. I’ve since read, though shamefully neglected to review, his delightful travelogue, A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean: A Grump in Paradise Discovers that Anyplace it’s Legal to Carry a Machete is Comedy Just Waiting to Happen. In both books, and in the various travel articles of his published in anthologies, Gary’s voice is true: erudite, wry, mordant, snarky, self-deprecating, Jewish, and very, very funny.

Since Gary just launched his weekly column, there’s only one week’s worth of writing, but I think you might enjoy it: The Great Jewish Dilemma.

Yes, Martin O’Malley’s link between ISIS and climate change is crazy

Democrat presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley came in for a good deal of derision for saying that ISIS’s rise can be tied to climate change. The obvious reason this is a laughable point is because the most direct tie to ISIS’s rise is, of course, Obama’s retreat, which created a giant ISIS-sized vacuum. My friend Wolf Howling sent me an email which I think nicely summarizes the Obama/ISIS link:

A fascinating article in the NY Review of Books states that it is the Iraqi organization originally founded by Zarqawi, the utterly sadistic terrorist we sent off the mortal coil in 2006. The movement obviously survived him, and this really throws into stark relief the wages of Obama and the Left cutting and running from Iraq in 2010. ISIS is like a bacteria that survives a stunted course of antibiotics. Had we stayed in Iraq, there is no possible way that ISIS could have had a rebirth.

The author of the article tries to make sense of the rise of ISIS. You can read his ruminations. My own theory is two-fold: One, ISIS is preaching the true Salafi / Wahhabi purist doctrine that makes of the world a thing of black and white, where all things that support Allah are pure, while everything that does not is evil and can be dealt with without regards. Thus it is a draw to young Arab men. If you want to see how, here is a fascinating article by Tawfiq Hamid, a doctor who became a terrorist, who discusses the lure of Salafism / Wahhabism and all its deadly toxins.

Two, the ISIS ideology is a draw because it is utterly without bounds in its sadism or cruelty. This also is a draw to a particular segment of Arab men. It is the Lord of the Flies. It is going into a scenario where you will have the power of life, death, and pain with virtually no restrictions.

The fact is that ISIS should not be around today. My word, but Obama has so totally f**ked us in the Middle East . . . . He makes Carter look like Nixon by comparison.

I only wish I’d written that, but at least I can share it with you. So yes, O’Malley is an ignorant moron.

Still, never let it be said that the Left doesn’t protect its own, so The Atlantic has tried to throw a life saver to O’Malley: Martin O’Malley’s Link Between Climate Change and ISIS Isn’t Crazy. The article’s premise is that there’s a connection between drought and unrest. To which I say, “Well, duh!”

Any student of history knows that in primitive societies (and Muslim Middle Eastern countries are extremely primitive when it comes to food production, due to natural limitations, societal factors, and the transfer of food crops to biofuels) anything that interferes even marginally with food production has devastating effects, with war one of the most common ones.

However, as my reference to “students of history” makes clear, droughts have always happened. O’Malley wouldn’t have been a moron if he’d said “the drought they’re experiencing in the region no doubt was a contributing factor to unrest in the Syria – Iraqi region.” But instead, he had to throw in “climate change” — and what makes that so laughable is that we’ve come to the point  which climate change is responsible for everything. I’m awaiting the day when we get an article saying that Caitlyn Jenner’s unfortunate transgender habit of dressing like a male chauvinists’ dream 1950s pin-up girl is also due to climate change.

[Read more…]

A way for both Romney and Obama to give millions to a Hurricane Sandy charity

The Ohio Democratic Party Chairman, knowing that Mitt Romney is a wealthy man, who might have some extra millions lying around, has suggested that Romney give those dollars to a charity that helps Hurricane Sandy victims:

Mitt Romney should have donated $10 million to the Red Cross instead of ‘taking advantage of a tragedy’, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman has said.

‘I think Governor Romney ought to be focused on things he could do and say on behalf of the victims, rather than going to Dayton Ohio – the most important swing state in the country – and taking advantage of a tragedy,’ said Chris Redfern according to the Washington Post.

‘Look, I’m a partisan. I’ll let others judge this. But I think someone of Governor Romney’s wealth could have just written a check for $10 million to the American Red Cross and then spent today with his family. He chose to do something much different. He chose to politicise this.’

That’s almost a good idea.  Here’s the really good idea:

Obama has waiting for him a $5 million check made out to the charity of his choice.  With that money out there, Mitt should make Obama a deal. Obama’s obligation under the deal is to produce his academic records and passport application, by Friday afternoon.  He can do this easily enough by authorizing Occidental, Columbia, Harvard and the State Department to release the records on an expedited basis. For something this big, those organizations should be able to act quickly.  If Obama gets the records released by Friday afternoon, Mitt will donate another $5 million to that same charity.

I think that’s fair, don’t you?

Does Trump’s endorsement matter?

Trump has played coy this morning, leaving people with the impression first that he was going to endorse Newt, and then with the fact that he endorsed Mitt.  He still has time to change his mind.

My question for you:  Does Trump’s endorsement matter?  Are there still people out there who look to the man for political guidance?