Here, I’m happy to say, it’s raining! Considering that Marin is constantly hovering just a few gallons away from water rationing during this drought, rain is always good news. Equally good is the fact that it’s supposed to rain for another day, and then rain again in five days. Woo-hoo!!!
As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve spent a bit of the past two days doing housecleaning at my site: I’ve upgraded the comments feature (for the better, I hope) and I’ve rebooted the “read more” feature so that posts are truncated, requiring less vertical scrolling, but can easily be expanded and contracted without having to leave the home page. I’ve also done housecleaning in my house, with a much-needed pantry clear-out. Now, I’m cleaning out my inbox, ’cause there’s a lot of stuff in there that’s interesting. Who says spring cleaning can only take place in spring?
So, if you’re interested in this portmanteau post, click “read more” and you’ll see it unfold before you.
When I watch Dancing With The Stars, I never watch the Rumba. Invariably, there’s no line between sexy and sleazy, so I always feel like a peeping Tom, watching a bedroom ritual. Certainly there’s never room at all for elegance and romance. That is, until Sadie Robertson does the Rumba, which Mark Ballas choreographed beautifully with respect for Sadie’s strong religious and moral beliefs. Fred and Ginger could have done this without embarrassment:
Since I’m not an Oprah fan, I skipped that part of the video. Hearing her talk about the different prosthetics, though, and watching her and Derek dance was a delight:
Yes, I continue to be impressed by Amy Purdy’s turn on Dancing With The Stars. What she is able to do despite having two prosthetic legs is a testament to so many things: modern prosthetics, Derek Hough’s superb choreography, Purdy’s innate physicality and, most of all, her will power and optimistic personality.
This is one of those days where my day totally didn’t go as planned . . . but for good reasons. How often can one say that? Plans or no plans, though, the news marches on and there’s so much interesting stuff I want to share with you.
When Rep. Louis Gohmert (R.) pointed out to Eric Holder that Holder seemed remarkably unfazed by the fact that Congress had held him in contempt, Holder, showing remarkable contempt for Congress, snapped ““You don’t want to go there, buddy! You don’t want to go there, okay.”
If it were me, I’d hold Holder in contempt just for that — that is, for the gross disrespect with which he spoke to a Congressman while actually appearing before Congress. Certainly, if this had been a courtroom and Holder had spoken that way to a judge, Holder would instantly have been cooling his heels in a jail cell. Holder also seems to have forgotten that Holder’s an appointee (a mere employee), while Gohmert is a representative of the people.
Aside from the obvious crude, vulgar conduct, what’s noteworthy is that Holder insists that, while he’s personally pained that he was held in contempt for refusing to turn over Fast and Furious documents, he still has no intention of turning over the documents. Holder’s arrogance tells you a lot about the state of Washington, D.C. today. Holder knows that, because he and his boss are black, Congress will do precisely nothing to force him to abide by Congress’s demands and his constitutional obligations.
May I speak frankly? John Kerry is a brainless, cowardly, dishonest, antisemitic cancer infecting the American body politic. To the extent he’s also Secretary of State, I’d say that his particular disease is widespread in American politics and comes from the top. Just sayin’.
I already heard from a reliably Leftist friend why we shouldn’t believe data showing that health insurance premiums have skyrocketed since Obamacare went into effect: Because insurance brokers are facing competition from Obamacare, the sampling of 148 insurance brokers must be discounted on the presumption that those queried were lying when they provided insurance pricing information. The friend implied that a larger sampling would have made a difference, but that’s a sop to the stupid. If he thinks brokers are inherently dishonest because they don’t like Obamacare, then it’s irrelevant how many one surveys.
I see things a little differently. I’m pretty damn sure that, if you force everybody to buy over-the-top insurance that exceeds what most people want, and make half of the purchasers pay for the other half, premiums are going to go up quickly and frequently.
Still on the healthcare front, this is exciting news: four men with severely damaged spinal cords are able to move their legs again thanks to electrical stimulation that may be retraining both brain and spinal cord. That’s just totally freakin’ amazing and I hope it’s something real and not just anomalous.
I had a whole bunch of links and arguments lined up to discuss the ironic news that the CEO of OKCupid, the company that started the witch hunt against Brendan Eich, is on record as having donated to a pro-traditional marriage politician (more than one, in fact, if you count his 2008 donation to Barack Obama). Then I read Ace and realized I didn’t have anything to add to the subject.
Dennis Prager explains why the Mozilla boycott is important and, more than that, necessary to preserve American liberties (emphasis mine):
As Princeton professor Robert George warned on my radio show, today the Left fires employees for opposition to same-sex marriage. Tomorrow it will fire employees who are pro-life (“anti-woman”). Then it will be employees who support Israel (an “apartheid state”).
The reason to boycott Firefox is not that it is run by leftists. Nor is the reason to support the man-woman definition of marriage. It is solely in order to preserve liberty in the land of liberty.
If Mozilla doesn’t recant and rehire Eich as CEO, McCarthyism will have returned far more pervasively and perniciously than in its first incarnation. The message the gay Left (such as the Orwellian-named Human Rights Campaign) and the Left in general wish to send is that Americans who are in positions of power at any company should be forced to resign if they hold a position that the Left strongly opposes.
And right now that position is opposition to same-sex marriage.
Think about that. In the United States of America today, the belief that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and woman is portrayed as so vile by the Left that anyone who holds it is unfit for employment.
The battle over Firefox is the most important battle in America at this particular moment. If you use Firefox, uninstall it, and use Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, or Safari. For Windows, try Pale Moon, which is based on the Firefox engine and will import all of your bookmarks; for mobile devices, you can try Puffin.
America can have liberty or it can have Firefox. Right now, it cannot have both.
Victor Davis Hanson details how, in just five years, Obama has destroyed the world order as it existed since 1942, one that saw America use a variety of strategies to encourage countries that support individual freedom and to isolate, weaken, and perhaps destroy those that don’t. Obama has not retreated to the isolation America embraced after WWI, when it left the world alone and asked the world to leave it alone. Instead, Obama is very deliberately cultivating or encouraging freedom’s enemies, while manifestly abandoning freedom’s (and America’s) allies.
Funnily enough, Obama’s official foreign policy on behalf of the United States of America precisely tracks the legal definition of treason (18 U.S. Code § 2381):
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Allow me to channel Elmer Fudd: “Be afwaid. Be vewy, vewy afwaid.” And as Fudd wouldn’t have said, the Pax American is officially over; let Armageddon begin.
Obama and his minions are gloating about Obamacare’s 7.1 million enrollments. They seem to have lost sight of the fact that forcing people into a government program is entirely separate from the government program’s actually functioning. Michael Ramirez hasn’t forgotten that little detail.
Maybe none of this is surprising considering that the mayor’s name is “Outlaw”:
One-thousand “brothers in blue” came to pay their respects this afternoon to Officer Alexander Thalmann, 22, killed in the line of duty in New Bern, N.C., last week.
Thalmann’s partner, Officer Justin Wester, 23, is recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg from the shootout that left convicted felon, Bryan Stallings, 35, dead.
The incident happened March 28, in the housing projects known as Craven Terrace.
The town’s grief was made even more painful by the local administration’s handling of events following the young officer’s death.
For unknown reasons, newly elected, Mayor Dana Outlaw chose to attend Thursday’s funeral of the career criminal.
Adding insult to injury, last night’s planned memorial for local citizens to say “goodbye” to Alexander Thalmann was cancelled by the mayor’s office.
It was alleged that two of the city’s aldermen had invited relatives of the killer to attend the vigil. Rather than rescind the invitation, the city chose to cancel the event.
You actually don’t have to go any further than the title to Daniel Greenfield’s post to know that he’s written something good and important: Islam Is What Happens When Civilization Loses.
I’ve mentioned before the main reason an Ivy League liberal I know refused even to consider Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential candidate, despite reluctantly conceding that (a) she had more governing experience than Barack Obama in 2008 and (b) she would have been an apprentice, if she won, not the main player. That was all irrelevant. What matter was that Palin, unlike prep school, Ivy League communist Obama, “is not one of us.” I thought of that liberal when I read about Kathleen Parker’s unconscionable snobbery.
Have you registered yet for American CurrentSee, a free online magazine that seeks to give a voice to conservative American blacks? I hasten to add here that the magazine is not limited to black writers or black issues. In other words, it’s a magazine that’s truly diverse, rather than a monolithic magazine that simply pays lip-service to some abstract “diversity.” The magazine examines politics and social issues that affect blacks, but that also affect all of us who want a strong, unified, freedom-loving country. So far, I’m pleased that I signed up.
And finally, I continue to be completely impressed by Amy Purdy’s turn on Dancing With The Stars (this time with a new partner for the week):
I continue to be blown away by Amy Purdy, who is the embodiment of courage and grace. Mix in Derek Hough, the man who may well be the best choreographer in America today, and you get something pretty special:
Maybe I’m overestimating the difficulty of doing a fast swing dance with two prosthetic legs, but all I can say is that, when I watch Amy Purdy, I am beyond impressed. She’s the one who caught meningitis when she was 19, lost both legs below the knee, and went on to become a champion paralympic snowboarder. Now, she’s trying to become a Dancing With The Stars champion.
I don’t know that Amy will win, because there are some better dancers on the show, but it’s not always clear on DWTS that dancing is what it takes to win. Last season, Amber Riley won, even thought she wasn’t the best dancer. She was good enough, but Corbin Bleu was an extraordinary dancer — but she won. Amber’s strength was facial expression and upper body movement. Purdy has all that . . . plus she can dance. (And it doesn’t hurt that she’s working with Derek Hough who is quite possibly the best choreographer working in America today.)
I’ve mentioned here before my fondness for Dancing With The Stars. I really enjoy watching people learn a new skill, and I enjoy watching ballroom dancing. This season, I was completely blown away watching Amy Purdy do the cha-cha:
Nice cha-cha, right? If you were paying close attention, you might also have noticed something about Amy Purdy: she was dancing on prosthetic legs. She caught meningitis when she was 19 and had both her legs amputated below the knees. She just won a snowboarding bronze at the Paralympics in Sochi, and now she’s on Dancing With The Stars.
Derek Hough is the perfect partner for Amy. He’s probably the best choreographer in America today, as well as being one of the best dancers. That combination will enable him to come up with all sorts of wonderful ways to work around her prosthetics. I look forward to watching Purdy for however long she lasts on this season’s show.
Because I am a pedant, I instantly used Amy to remind my children that attitude isn’t everything, but it’s almost everything. We all come into the world with certain gifts — academic intelligence, athletic abilities, artistic sensibilities, organizational abilities, etc. — but they are meaningless if we do not put any effort into cultivating those gifts, and it’s our attitude that enables us to do the hard work of cultivation.
I believe I’ve mentioned before that I have a weak spot for Dancing With The Stars. It’s the only reality show I watch and there are two very specific reasons for that. The first, shallow, frivolous reason is that the show is eye candy. The professional dancers move so beautifully, it’s just a pleasure to watch them. (I wish the show’s band and singers were as good.) They also all have such lovely bodies. I envy the women and as for the men . . . to say I lust after them is wrong, because it certainly doesn’t go that far. I think the better thing to say is that, being a red-blooded female, I enjoy watching them. Lots.
The second, less frivolous reason for my liking the show is the incredible pleasure I get from watching people improve and grow. The people who come on the show moving well and continue in that vein are certainly enjoyable to watch, but the really fun ones are the people who start of woodenly stiff and, by the time they get voted off, have learned how to move. They’ll never be great dancers, but they’ve worked really hard and it shows. It’s like a glittery, glimmery little Horatio Alger fable each week — commit to what you’re doing, keep your spirits up, and work really, really hard, and you shall be rewarded. Since only one “star” goes on to get the mirror ball, some might say the others aren’t rewarded, but they are. Their reward comes from the virtuous feeling of having worked hard and gained a new skill.
Isn’t it fun to see Jacoby Jones, a phenomenal football player, take to the floor and hold his own after a couple of professionals have danced first?
Incidentally, for those who’ve heard that this season’s opener was the best ever, that’s no hype. With the exception of Martina Navratilova and Melissa Gilbert, both of whom were stiff and colorless dancers, everyone else ranged from good to really, really good.
I happen to like DWTS, not just because I enjoy watching ballroom dancing, but because I like the trajectory. Over the season, people get better. I find that inspiring. It’s a reminder that we are not stagnant and that, no matter where we are in life, we can still learn and grow. I therefore hold out hope that both Martina and Melissa will prove to be pleasant surprises, even if they only last for the first couple of weeks.