I have categories for saving images. Two are “stupid Leftists” and “silly stuff.” Sometimes I can’t tell them apart. This post illustrates that fact.
I have categories for saving images. Two are “stupid Leftists” and “silly stuff.” Sometimes I can’t tell them apart. This post illustrates that fact.
I went overboard in this Bookworm Beat, covering the border wall, Syria, Antisemitism, Europe’s fall, science, Michelle and Melania, media bias, and much more.
Good walls make good neighbors. Trump did it — he got the House to include $5 billion in the budget bill to build the border wall. I was actually worried that he wouldn’t fulfill a core promise he made both to get elected and to put Chuck and Nancy in their place by saying he’d shut down the government before walking away from the wall.
Yay, Trump! Of course, now I’m worried what the execrable Jeff Flake will do in the Senate.
If you want a reminder about why the Left is fighting the wall with everything it has, despite voting for it some years ago, and strongly criticizing illegal immigration at the same time, Victor Davis Hanson explains: Put simply, a wall destroys the Democrats’ base.
Federal judge opens borders. It’s great that Trump got funding for the border wall. It’s not so great that, just yesterday, Judge Emmet Sullivan, the same guy who erroneously excoriated Lieut. Gen’l Flynn as a “traitor,” decided that America has no borders:
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan — who a day earlier had excoriated former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — ordered the government to allow migrants with iffy claims to be given a full chance to make their case for asylum.
And he ordered the U.S. to un-deport plaintiffs in the case who already had been ousted under the new policy, saying they deserve to be brought back and allowed to claim asylum.
His decision overturns a move by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had tried to block asylum claims of migrants who said they faced gang violence or domestic abuse back home.
I am sorry that, for so many people, the world is a terrible place. I know that I’m singularly fortunate that sixty years ago my parents, after waiting patiently for years to get visas, legally immigrated to America allowing me to be a citizen of and grow up in this great country.
I also know that life is unfair and that we don’t make it more fair by destroying ourselves. The Leftists are demanding that we import into America the pathologies that have plagued Latin America for hundreds of years. I’m not willing to be a part of that suicide pact — although I don’t know what I, personally, can do to take away the gun the Left is figuratively placing in America’s mouth, with its finger on the trigger.
On withdrawal from Syria, I’m conflicted. Although I suspect a lot of Americans didn’t even realize we still had around 2,000 troops in Syria, it’s proving to be a hot button issue now that Trump has announced a troop withdrawal. His stated reason is that he promised we’d be in Syria to defeat ISIS and, having defeated ISIS, it’s now time to leave.
I think this was a good decision for a few reasons. First, Trump did what we keep asking our leaders to do, which is to state a clear objective and then, when that objective is achieved, to announce “victory!” and to withdraw. No quagmires for President Trump.
Second, as I noted, I bet a lot of Americans didn’t realize we even had troops in Syria. In other words, this was not a war that the nation supported. It was an “action,” the purpose of which was not obvious to most Americans. I firmly believe that you cannot endlessly demand that a nation send its blood and treasure to foreign shores without being able to articulate why. Without ISIS, no one was articulating a why, so Trump did the right thing by pulling our troops out.
Third, as long as the Western world refuses to tackle the problem of Islam head on, and without an imminent threat from a concerted non-government army such as al Qaeda or ISIS, these far-away battlefields are just band-aids. It makes no sense to send young men to die in Syria or Afghanistan to kill people who our leaders refuse to acknowledge are terribly dangerous. Again, without a clearly articulated purpose, why are our boys and men being sent to die?
Fourth, outside of Israel, which is a beacon of light, freedom, and innovation in a backwards, benighted region, I think the whole of the Middle East can go to Hell. I want them to leave us alone and I want them to leave Israel alone, but otherwise I don’t think we should be doing business there. Trump, by unleashing America’s energy sector, has cut the tie that bound us — namely, oil dependency.
Fifth, to the extent Iran is a threat, let the Sunni nations fight it. We can provide support for those nations (weapons, advice, etc.), but they should be their own front line. Making them the front line also forces them to make nice with Israel, because, as the Muslims say, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
After a manic weekend, I got the chance to put my all into this Bookworm Beat, which covers politics, homelessness, immigration, antisemitism, and more.
Oh, my gosh, but do I have a lot to share with you — and tonight I’ve got the time to do so. Go get a nice cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a few cookies or a little ice cream, find a comfortable chair, and let’s get going.
I should warn you before you begin that these snippets aren’t in any particular order. I’m writing them down in the order in which I first read them. It’s a little chaotic, but consider it a challenging brain teaser.
Trump is not a show-boater about his patriotism. Saturday was “Wreaths Across America” day, a day on which volunteers descended on military cemeteries all over America to decorate veterans’ graves with wreaths. Without fanfare, Trump showed up at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen. I’ll leave you with a few photos of this present and a past president:
By the way, I know that Obama sometimes carried his own umbrella and that gateways can be tough. Still, there was something about Obama and umbrellas…. [Read more…]
You’ll find it all in this Bookworm Beat: Airbnb, antisemitism, Women’s March madness, Obama madness, gender madness, climate madness, and so much more.
My children are grown and off to college, but some days they still need their mother. I’ve spent quite some time on the phone today with both of them, which limited blogging. Here are some interesting links, though. I’m racing the clock for this post, so I won’t even make a pretense of proofreading. I apologize in advance for typos and incoherent sentences.
I’m boycotting Airbnb. I have never yet used Airbnb, because I don’t trust its quality control, but now I can assure you that I never will use Airbnb:
Airbnb has fueled the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by announcing on Monday that it will cease to list Israeli homes in the West Bank.
In singling out Jewish West Bank homes for boycott, Airbnb’s disgraceful decision not only promotes anti-Israel charges but will work to further strengthen Palestinian intransigence and the larger war to delegitimize the Jewish state.
Airbnb said the company “concluded that we should remove listings in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.”
It made the decision after a fierce campaign waged against Airbnb by the extremist BDS movement and its anti-Israel allies.
In its statement, Airbnb refers to the West Bank, areas where Jews have had an historic presence for thousands of years, as “occupied territories,” implying that Israel stole the land from the Palestinians.
Israel opposes the “occupied” label, and has referred to the land in international forums as disputed. The framework for all previous peace proposals (each of which was rejected by the Palestinian Authority) never called for an entire Israeli evacuation from the West Bank.
Palestinians never had a state in the West Bank and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authorities in those areas. Jordan illegally occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967.
I urge you to read the entire article from which I’ve quoted, because it explains how ignorant Airbnb is when it comes to supporting the BDS movement. Airbnb, of course, is not boycotting any other homes in disputed territories around the world. Only the Jewish ones:
Smells like antisemitic hypocrisy to me.
England, once the cradle of liberty, summarily imprisoned Tommy Robinson for his daring to report on the trial of accused Muslim sex groomers.
I have an unhealthy weakness for Britain’s Daily Mail, a crazy amalgam of news, gossip, and human interest. Right now, there’s a story playing out in England that ought to be on the Daily Mail’s front page, with the 26 point headline . . . but it’s not, and the Daily Mail’s silence is part of the story. Its silence perfectly symbolizes that liberty is an endangered species in the West. To understand quite how bad things are, though, I need to take you through two preliminary discussions, one talking about England as the cradle of American liberties and the other talking about Tommy Robinson, a familiar name in England if not in America.
We Americans like to think that we originated the liberties embodied in our Bill of Rights. You know the ones I mean: No state religion nor any prohibitions against practicing our chosen faiths, speech free from government constraints, a free press, the right to peaceable assembly, the right to petition government, the right to bear arms, the right to due process of law, and so many more rights.
The truth, though, is that these core rights of individual liberty originated in Britain. They were part of a long process beginning with the Magna Carta and culminating with the English Bill of Rights of 1689. That document was limited to Protestants and had other constraints our Founders jettisoned, but it was the Founders’ inspiration inspiration. Other inspirations came from British writers and thinkers such as John Locke and Adam Smith. Indeed, up until the Revolution itself, all of the Founders would have called themselves Englishmen, both free and proud.
So it was that our Revolutionary War came about, not because Americans had discovered new rights, but because they were protesting the British government’s policies denying them their old rights. It is no exaggeration to say that England is the cradle of American liberty — although I would argue that the infant liberties nurtured in that British cradle came to glorious maturity in America.
Meanwhile, back in England, those liberties have slowly been stifled in the cradle and have now begun to rot. The stifling began back in the 18th century. It was then that, to strike back against the nascent America rebellion, the British announced that any limitations on government power set out in the 1689 Bill of Rights applied only to the crown (which has steadily decreased in power and authority until now it’s nothing more than a glorified wedding theme park), and placed no limitations at all on Parliament, the fount of all English law.
Despite Parliament’s position, for almost two centuries the British still believed in those rights. That’s why both Parliament and the Courts kind of, mostly acted as if the English people had inherent rights to freedom of worship, speech, press, assembly, arms, etc.
Beginning with the socialist takeover after WWII, and continuing with accelerating, exponential fury since then, those rights have vanished from England. The same identity politics that American Progressives started with Obama and hoped to finish with Hillary (hence their rage at Trump’s victory), are ascendant in Britain. Any speech that is not pro-Islam, pro-LGBTQWRSTUV, pro-third wave feminism, or pro any of the other shibboleths of the ascendant Left is considered hate speech and criminalized. All of England is like some giant Ivy League campus, except for the addition of the power to arrest and imprison anyone who violates those totalitarian norms.
One need only look to recent stories out of England to understand how far gone that country is. The government imprisoned a man for the stupid prank of teaching a dog to do a Nazi salute on command, convicted a man for giving the finger to a traffic camera, and arrested a woman for saying “Have a gay day.” While the British are busy policing any thought deviations, the flip side is that their police did nothing for decades as Muslim gangs all over Great Britain groomed and pimped thousands of non-Muslim children (see, e.g., Rotherham, the most famous, but not the only example). The police also sat on their hands despite knowing that thousands of highly placed British officials and entertainers had been engaged in vile, widespread acts of pedophilia for decades.
In a nation in which only the government carries guns, acid attacks and knife attacks have spiked so much . . . that the government responded by banning sharp objects in London. Meanwhile, an elderly man who wrested a screwdriver from a robber threatening him in his own home, and who killed the robber in the ensuing struggle, was arrested for murder. An Englishman’s home is no longer his castle; it’s the antechamber to a government prison. The streets are prisons too, for Britain is watching its citizens’ every move with millions of close-circuit cameras. [Read more…]
I toyed with calling this Bookworm Beat the “May Day” edition, but because it was the ideology behind May Day that killed little Alfie Evans, just . . . no.
A busy morning has prevented me from blogging (so far), but I’ve got two must-read posts about Islam to recommend to you.
An Open Letter to Britain and the British People: My friend Rob Miller (aka JoshuaPundit) wrote this incredible post about the threats facing modern Britain, especially the government’s pervasive and craven preemptive surrender to Islamist forces. I can’t recommend this post highly enough.
The Betrayal of the Holocaust: It’s not just that current generations know increasingly less about the Holocaust, it’s that the world is so blase about inviting in the same Muslims who eagerly await, and plan to carry out, another Holocaust. This is still more true in Europe than it is at home, reminding me of the timeless saying that Europeans have never forgiven the Jews for Auschwitz, but as hardcore Marxism becomes a stronger force in America, we’ll see the same trend here.
Hurricanes are normal, but Trump Derangement Syndrome obscures that fact. Of course, those subject to TDS are deranged in other ways as well. Just look….
Before I get to the meat of this post — or, because it’s a round-up, the various meats of this post — I want to remind everyone that America has always been subject to ferocious hurricanes. They just seem worse today because we have more population in a hurricane’s path, especially when it’s an Irma-like hurricane, and because we have a 24 hour media that makes everything seem local.
In other ways, though, we’re better off when faced with hurricanes because we can prepare. In 1900, Galveston, Texas, residents did not see their Cat 4 hurricane coming. It killed 6,000 – 12,000 people, making it the deadliest natural disaster in American history. For a list of other major hurricanes in the last 400 years, the bulk of which predate “climate change” and struck out-of-the-blue, go here. You’ll see that America was especially hard hit in the 1700s, long before CO2 was an issue.
Obviously, I don’t mean to downplay our two latest hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, both of which are or will be responsible for staggering property damage and, always, the loss of too many lives. I just want to amp down the usual climate change hysteria that’s accompanying this latest display of Nature’s normal.
And with that, let me turn my attention to all the other interesting things I’ve gathered, many of which reflect poorly on those most deeply lost to TDS.
Hillary admits her incompetence. Hillary has been on the warpath with her new book, blaming everything and everybody for her loss. She’s also admitted that she was incapable of speech on election eve because she was so devastated and that it was male advisers who caused her to react less strongly to both Trump and Bernie than she thinks in retrospect that she ought to have done. (Oh, and Trump “creeped” her out.)
So Hillary has just admitted that she’s incompetent in a crisis and incapable of standing up to men. Most of Hillary’s opponents at home and abroad would have been men, men like Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, or Bashir al-Assad. Her latest book is just another reminder that we dodged a serious bullet when Trump won.
Europe’s Muslim future. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, sees which way the wind is blowing and he understands that, not only is Eurabia fast approaching, but that Western Europe leaders are hastening its inevitability:
Europe’s leaders seem to have neither the will nor the means to oppose the incoming waves of millions of Muslim migrants from Africa and the Middle East. They know that terrorists are hiding among the migrants, but still do not vet them. Instead, they resort to subterfuges and lies. They create “deradicalization” programs that do not work: the “radicals,” it seems, do not want to be “deradicalized.”
Europe’s leaders try to define “radicalization” as a symptom of “mental illness”; they consider asking psychiatrists to solve the mess. Then, they talk about creating a “European Islam“, totally different from the Islam elsewhere on Earth. They take on haughty postures to create the illusion of moral superiority, as Ada Colau and Carles Puigdemont did in Barcelona: they say they have high principles; that Barcelona will remain “open” to immigrants. Angela Merkel refuses to face the consequences of her policy to import countless migrants. She chastises countries in Central Europe that refuse to adopt her policies.
European leaders can see that a demographic disaster is taking place. They know that in two or three decades, Europe will be ruled by Islam. They try to anesthetize non-Muslim populations with dreams about an idyllic future that will never exist. They say that Europe will have to learn to live with terrorism, that there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Pat Condell is another prophet who is being ignored:
Meanwhile, Britain prepares its citizens for dhimmitude. Several of my gay Leftist Facebook friends proudly posted a WaPo op-ed announcing that all the grim prophecies preceding legalizing gay marriage failed to come true. It is true that heterosexual marriage is cratering at pretty much the same rate as before, so one can’t say that same-sex marriage killed it. The article also essentially claims that America is better than ever because Christian bakers are being put out of business.
It’s that last point, of course, that’s the giveaway about the real target of gay marriage. Gay marriage, as I’ve said over and over, was never about competing with straight marriage and it was unlikely to affect straight marriage. What it was about was undercutting traditional values, especially if those values came from the church. Kill the traditional church (and the synagogue) and you kill the West. It’s heart goes out of it.
(Before I go further, let me say again, that I have no trouble whatsoever with same-sex civil unions. If states want to legalize same sex partnerships, that’s fine with me. I support people who enter into stable relationships. It’s the way the whole issue was framed as gay “marriage” that disturbs me deeply. Doing that made these unions the basis for a concerted attack against traditional Western values as a whole.)
If you really want to see where gay marriage leads, check out this Australian Spectator article detailing the way in which gay marriage has been used to attack core Western values, not to mention to destroy the integrity of our biological selves. I’ll focus on the gender and children sections, but you should read the whole thing: [Read more…]
In 1975’s Fawlty Towers, it was funny to say “don’t mention the war” to Germans. In England today, it’s no joke that you can’t pair Islam with violence.
After John Cleese left Monty Python, he and his then-wife, Connie Booth, went on to create and start in Fawlty Towers. In it, Cleese plays Basil Fawlty, the perpetually angry, extremely inept, always inappropriate and outspoken proprietor of a Cornish inn. The cast regulars surrounding him are his wife, Sybil, who rarely gets off the phone, stopping only to scold Fawlty for his stupidity; a Spanish waiter and all-around dogsbody who’s never mastered much English beyond “Que?”; a somewhat senile old major and a couple of wittering old ladies; and Polly (Connie Booth), the maid and waitress, who is the only decent, sane person in the establishment.
Fawlty Towers is not to everyone’s taste because it is anarchic, angry humor. However, for those who watched the show, one of the best episodes focuses on a group of Germans coming to stay at the inn. When this episode was made, in the mid-1970s, WWII had ended a mere 30 years before and lived on in all adult memories. Therefore, to ensure a pleasant stay for the German guests, the inn’s mantra was “Don’t mention the war.”
This mantra proved to be too much for Basil, especially after he sustained a blow to the head. I’ve included two links here. The first is to the entire brilliant episode. The second, for those who will never watch it or have already watched it, is to the key scene with the Germans. After you’ve watched the episode or refreshed your recollection, I’ll get to my point about modern England: [Read more…]
Showing how far it’s sunk, following the latest Islamic attack, England celebrates a coward with his beer as a sign of the nation’s “defiance.”
1. Dregs, the sediment of liquids; lees; grounds.
2. Usually, dregs. the least valuable part of anything:
the dregs of society.
Seldom can the dual meanings of one word so aptly sum up a decayed, defenseless nation. It popped into my mind when I saw that England has managed to latch onto a single image from last night’s Islamic massacre — at the iconic London Bridge — that they believe sums up their “spirit” and that I believe sums up how the dregs of drink reflect the dregs of England, i.e., the end of a nation.
Being a fast reader, I find it hard to watch longer videos, which unfold at the video’s speed, rather than mine. Occasionally, though, there’s a long video that’s so compelling I can’t take my eyes off of it. Yesterday, I watched one of those videos: Brexit: The Movie.
Clocking in at a little more than an hour and detailing every single reason the British should vote to leave the European Union, Brexit: The Movie should be the kind of video that makes your eyes glaze after five or ten minutes. This compelling video, though, is never dull or confusing. Instead, clearly and often amusingly, it walks the viewer through the EU’s labyrinthine bureaucracy, the fundamentally anti-Democratic nature of the EU, the damage the EU has done to the British economy, and the way economies can roar if freed from the EU’s bureaucratic rot.
An especially compelling segment graphically counts some of the seemingly innumerable regulations that govern every aspect of life in the European Union. Oh, and the video does all this with a lot of people strutting fantastic English accents from all regions and classes.
Regarding the economic points, the video is also an accessible primer about free trade versus government-controlled trade and damaging trade barriers. If a country’s people are freed to build lots of better mousetraps — whether we’re talking computers, toasters, steel, solar panels, cheese, or anything else — the world will beat a path to its door. Moreover, consumers at home and around the world will get the best quality everything for the lowest cost.
I urge you to carve out some time and then, armed with popcorn and a drink that makes you feel happy, settle down to enjoy Brexit: The Movie:
Before I dive into my round-up, I wanted to discuss with you a poster that a very liberal friend of mine put up on Facebook. It’s the Leftist version of various posters you’ve seen here discussing Leftist logic (e.g., as Dixon Diaz says, “A liberal is someone who lives in a gated community but says that a border fence won’t work,” or “A liberal is someone who thinks that Fox news lies, but Obama doesn’t.”). The Leftist version of this logic comparison involves voter ID and gun purchases:
Superficially, the comparison makes sense. I mean, ID is ID after all. Why should it be required in one place and not in another? Only a second’s thought, though, makes it clear that this is a bit of prestidigitation, meant to make us look in the wrong direction.
What we should be looking at is the fundamental right we’re trying to protect. In the case of voting, the fundamental right is the right to cast a vote that is not canceled out by an invalid vote from someone who, as a matter of law, cannot vote, whether because that person is actually dead, or is an illegal alien, or is a felon, or just hasn’t bothered to register. Demanding identification protects the integrity and weight of my legal vote.
The opposite is true for the requirement that one must show identification at a gun show. The right to bear arms is the fundamental right at issue. Putting government regulations between an individual and a gun is a burden on the exercise of that right. This is not to say that the state may not place that burden, but the state had better have a damn good reason for doing so.
So — is anyone out there skilled enough to reduce my argument to a poster that will counter the poster above? For the life of me, I cannot figure out an easily digestible way to counter a fallacious, but superficially appealing, argument.
Guns save lives
It seems appropriate after discussing the fundamental right to bear arms to lead off with a news report about an Army vet, carrying a licensed gun, who used his gun to save both his girlfriend and himself from a frightening attack by a deranged individual. Here’s the takeaway quotation:
“I firmly believe that in order to maintain a free society, people need to take personal safety into their own hands,” he said. “You should walk around ready and able to protect yourself and others in your community.”
Modern Islam flows from Saudi Arabia and Iran, and both are barbaric
Daniel Greenfield pulls no punches in “The Savage Lands of Islam.” With a focus on Saudi Arabia (along with nods to Iran) he explains that Islam, as practiced in the countries that are its heartlands, is an utterly barbaric religion that debases human beings. He also warns that Islam exists, rather like a parasite, to take over other countries and reduce them to precisely the same debased status. Or as I once said:
England continues voluntarily to plunge itself into the moral abyss
By a vote of 60 to 1, the student union at Goldsmiths College in London voted to discontinue all Holocaust commemorations. The reasons given were grotesque, starting with that given by the “education officer,” a gal named Sarah El-Alfy, which I read as an Arab name. According to her, Holocaust commemorations are “Eurocentric” and “colonialist.” Sadly, El-Alfy sounds marginally intelligent compared to students who opined that “The motion would force people to remember things they may not want to remember,” while another said that because the Union was (apparently appropriately) anti-Zionist, commemorating the Holocaust was impossible.
Honestly, I think the only time in modern history that a once civilized country so swiftly and completely debased itself was Germany, in the years between the end of WWI and the start of WWII. And, to England’s shame, Germany at least had the “excuse” of having been utterly destroyed, socially and economically, by having lost WWI. England’s slide into this abyss has no excuse, following as it does the fat years that Margaret Thatcher introduced and that continued through the 1990s.
England’s not alone: all of Europe is just as immoral
England didn’t sink into this moral black hole alone. All of Europe is there (with American Democrats tugging anxiously at the leash, desperate to plunge into the hole themselves).
How do we know this? Because Europe, England included, has decided to recognize the Palestinian state, despite the fact that there’s nothing state-like about the West Bank. Well, there’s nothing state-like unless you redefine state to mean “a dysfunctional terrorist organization, with no infrastructure, no rights for women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or gays, and that has no ability to generate revenue but simply funds itself with hand-outs from the international community, most of which end up lining the pockets of those clinging with tyrannical fervor to ‘leadership’ positions.”
And if that sentence was too packed to make sense, you can and should read Caroline Glick on Europe’s disgraceful move to recognize a Palestinian State.
When it comes to moral black holes, let’s not forget The New York Times
As part of the Left’s desperate effort to emulate Europe’s moral abasement, the New York Times is leading tours to Iran, no Israelis allowed, and all Jews and homosexuals seriously discouraged from coming along:
The New York Times is offering a pricey, 13-day excursion to the “once-forbidden land of Iran,” one of a series of its Times Journeys tours. However, if you’re an Israeli, joining the “Tales of Persia,” trip, “once-forbidden,” is still forbidden, and letting anyone know you’re Jewish, or gay, isn’t particularly recommended, either, a representative told The Algemeiner on Monday.
How very 1938 of the Times. Can’t you just see exactly the same tour being given to Nazi Germany by the Progressives at the Times, all of whom would be overflowing with admiration for a powerful state that gives universal healthcare, discourages smoking, and designs fuel-efficient cars?
Did you know Hitler was a meth head?
This may be old news to some of you (indeed, I remember vaguely reading it somewhere), but it’s still a shock to read about the scope of Hitler’s doctor-approved drug abuse:
According to a 47-page wartime dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence, the Fuhrer was a famous hypochondriac and took over 74 different medications, including methamphetamines.
He was initially prescribed a drug called Mutaflor in order to relieve the pain of his stomach cramps.
He was then prescribed Brom-Nervacit, a barbiturate, Eukodal, a morphine-based sedative, bulls’ semen to boost his testosterone, stimulants Coramine and Cardiazol, and Pervitin, an ‘alertness pill’ made with crystal meth-amphetamine.
One has to wonder how much all these drugs contributed to the paranoia and monamania that killed 40 million people, including 6 million Jews, in just six years.
No wonder conservatives are feeling apocalyptic….
The last couple of days have seen several conservative writers writing gloomy posts about America’s and the world’s slide into chaos, all under Obama’s aegis.
Roger L. Simon asks “Can It Possibly Get Any Worse?”
Stephen F. Hayes looks at the “Failure Upon Failure” of the Obama presidency. In theory, the article should make for satisfying reading for those of us who figured Obama out on the first day but it’s actually just terribly depressing, because Obama’s failure is America’s failure.
Ed Driscoll notes that the Left is getting downhearted too, in “The ‘Bam Who Fell To Earth.”
America’s campuses go full kangaroo court
Heather MacDonald is pleased about what she sees as neo-Victorianism on college campuses, by which she means the fact that colleges are starting to turn away from the hook-up culture and obsession with perverse sex that has characterized them for so many years. As the mother of a girl heading off to college one of these days, I’m delighted to learn that the sex saturated culture is finally drying up. However, as the mother of a boy who will also be heading off to college one of these days, I’m distressed that the change is coming about, not by demonizing the casual and perverse sex culture, but simply by demonizing boys and men.
As long as men leave the toilet seat up, why marry?
There must be as many reasons for the decline in marriage as their are non-married people. A female University of Washington professor thinks the decline in marriage is a good thing because men just aren’t very nice people to marry.
In keeping with her attack on men, I’d like pick up on a theme I touched upon years ago, when I first started blogging. Looking at the people I know, the couples I know, and the blogs I’ve read, I’ve concluded that liberal and conservative men are very different in their approach to women.
Liberal men applaud women in the abstract — calling them equal or superior, bowing before their right to do anything they damn well please, and feeling the need to apologize all the time for being men. Given all this, perhaps it’s not surprising that, except for the sex part, liberal men don’t seem to like actual women very much. If you constantly have to abase yourself before someone, it’s kind of going to kill the fun. Certainly, in my world, the harder Left men are politically, the meaner they are to the real women in their real lives.
Conversely, while conservative men believe in equity feminism (equal pay for equal work, equal access to opportunities on a level playing field), they view women as different from them and special in their own way. I’ve never seen a respectable conservative male blogger denigrate women, just as I’ve never seen one pretending there’s no difference, that women are superior, or that all men must perpetually apologize for erroneous opinions that men in past generations held about women. Conservative men have a better handle on the fact that, in a pre-industrial, pre-scientific era (that is, everything before about 1850), there was no way in Hell to pretend that men and women were fundamentally equal. Conservative men also seem not just to love the women in their lives, but truly to respect them.
So it seems to me that, amongst the Left, which is still driving the culture, marriage is less popular because feminism has made it reasonable for men to dislike women, and therefore to treat them disrespectfully, which in turn leads women to dislike men.
Andrew Klavan gives the American media a well-deserved shellacking
Still, there is beauty….
Adilyn Malcolm describes herself as follows:
Hi, I’m Adi! I’m 11 years old and I love dubstep! I have NEVER taken a dance class in my life………I learned from watching (YouTube) videos!! I have been dancing for about 6 months. I am actually a motocross racer but when I’m not on my bike, this is the next best thing! I hope you enjoy my videos. Thanks for watching!
Although the following is only her second video, she already has 2,421 subscribers and 2,005,997 views. You’ll see why she got so popular so fast when you watch her dance:
And a few pictures in lieu of thousands more words
And, from Sadie (who provided the caption):
This week, when it comes to the top stories, all is not as it seems. What struck me as I read through report after report, and opinion piece after opinion piece, is that we’re surrounded by a swirl of optics that belie the truth. Evidence to support this statement follows:
College student opts to illustrate optics of rape by toting around a mattress
The mainstream media is filled with a bit of performance art by Emma Sulkowicz, a senior at Columbia. Sulkowicz claims that three years ago, on her first night in the student dorms, a senior raped her. Sulkowicz eventually reported the alleged rape to the college, which opted not to expel the senior, despite the fact that other female students eventually charged him with rape too. Three years after the fact, Sulkowicz, a performance art major, has come up with a senior thesis that, as I said, has garnered a good bit of attention from the MSM:
Beginning this week, Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz has vowed to carry her mattress around at all times until her alleged rapist is expelled from school. The performance, which doubles as Sulkowicz’s senior thesis, instantly went viral and has been splashed internationally across Facebook, Twitter, and even the Today Show as the latest chapter in the ongoing conversation on how colleges handle sexual assault cases.
Sulkowicz, a visual-arts major, says she was raped by a classmate in her dorm bed sophomore year, and when she reported the incident to Columbia administrators they botched the report, the investigation, and the hearing. In April, Sulkowicz filed a Title IX complaint with 23 other students alleging Columbia has mishandled sexual assault cases.
The MSM, understandably, is terribly excited by the optics here. Sulkowicz explains:
Over the summer, I was lucky enough to get into the Yale Norfolk Residency, and I worked on a video where I had to move a mattress out of the room. The idea of carrying a mattress got stuck in my head the way a song gets stuck in your head, and I unpacked why carrying a mattress is an important visual for me. I thought about how I was raped in my own bed at Columbia; and how the mattress represents a private place where a lot of your intimate life happens; and how I have brought my life out in front for the public to see; and the act of bringing something private and intimate out into the public mirrors the way my life has been. Also the mattress as a burden, because of what has happened there, that has turned my own relationship with my bed into something fraught.
What’s singularly missing from the articles I looked at (and I looked at 7 or 8) is any information about the rape. Was she asleep in her bed only to wake up to the feel of a knife pressed against her throat (as happened to a friend of mine who sports a large scar on her face that she received when fighting of her attacker)? Or had Sulkowicz invited the alleged attacker into her room and into her bed? Was Sulkowicz drunk or sober? Was her alleged attacker drunk or sober? The only detail Sulkowicz discusses is her claim that the attacker had anal sex with her. It’s still unclear whether they had any consensual traditional intercourse before the senior engaged in an act at which Sulkowicz drew the line or whether it was indeed a stranger rape or a rape without any preliminary consensual behavior.
Another interesting thing about Sulkowicz’s whole rape narrative is that Sulkowicz immediately decided not to report the rape to the police: “I didn’t report it at first because I didn’t feel like dealing with the emotional trauma.” Okay, I get that, but you can’t eat your cake and have it — unless, I guess, you’re an American college student. In that case, you can claim that you were the victim of a genuinely criminal act, but bypass entirely the criminal justice system (which as built-in rights for the accused) and, instead, simply complain to your college. Then, if the college refuses to follow the usual politically correct path of destroying the male student’s life, you take to the media, so he can again be tried without due process.
I’m sure something happened that night in Sulkowicz’s bed. I just can’t escape the feeling that what took place was something called “gray rape,” which boils down to a scenario in which a girl agrees to sex and then, feeling guilty about what she did, later cries rape. The media, of course, doesn’t care.
The media’s credulity regarding Sulkowicz’s very self-serving claims (after all, she now has a performance art thesis that’s garnered her fame throughout the Progressive world) may come about in part because of the media’s readily apparent statistical ignorance. After all, the whole “rape culture” (as in “1-in-5 college women will be raped”) is in itself totally untrue:
MYTH 4: One in five in college women will be sexually assaulted.
FACTS: This incendiary figure is everywhere in the media today. Journalists, senators and even President Obama cite it routinely. Can it be true that the American college campus is one of the most dangerous places on earth for women?
The one-in-five figure is based on the Campus Sexual Assault Study, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and conducted from 2005 to 2007. Two prominent criminologists, Northeastern University’s James Alan Fox and Mount Holyoke College’s Richard Moran, have noted its weaknesses:
“The estimated 19% sexual assault rate among college women is based on a survey at two large four-year universities, which might not accurately reflect our nation’s colleges overall. In addition, the survey had a large non-response rate, with the clear possibility that those who had been victimized were more apt to have completed the questionnaire, resulting in an inflated prevalence figure.”
Fox and Moran also point out that the study used an overly broad definition of sexual assault. Respondents were counted as sexual assault victims if they had been subject to “attempted forced kissing” or engaged in intimate encounters while intoxicated.
Defenders of the one-in-five figure will reply that the finding has been replicated by other studies. But these studies suffer from some or all of the same flaws. Campus sexual assault is a serious problem and will not be solved by statistical hijinks.
Fundamentally, though, statistics and other icky facts just don’t matter to the Left. What matters is control, something perfectly exemplified in an opinion piece in Britain’s Guardian. The author, Jessica Valenti, accepts as true the overwhelming horrors of a campus “rape” culture (hyperlinks omitted):
Her performance may be singular, but the deep frustration voiced by Sulkowicz is being echoed by survivors across the United States. Despite increased efforts to curb campus assault and hold schools accountable – the FBI has changed its once-archaic definition of rape, a new White House task force wants answers, and schools like Harvard and Dartmouth have promised new policies – the nation’s university administrators are still failing young people in their care. In the last year alone, 67 schools have had students file federal complaints accusing their own colleges of violating the Clery Act or Title IX.
Oh, the outrage! College is a dangerous place for your daughter! Keep her at home, perhaps in a burqa. Oh, wait. Valenti isn’t saying that last bit. She just wants to control speech more and more (links omitted):
Late last week, the first state bill to require colleges to adopt an “affirmative consent” model in their sexual assault policies passed the California senate unanimously. The legislation, which is headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval by the end of this month (his office declined to comment), effectively requires the presence of a “yes” rather than the absence of a “no” – or else withholds funding from the nation’s largest state school system.
The legislation additionally clarifies that affirmative consent means both parties must be awake, conscious and not incapacitated from alcohol or drugs – and that past sexual encounters or a romantic relationship doesn’t imply consent. The California bill also, importantly, specifies that “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent”.
It seems like a no-brainer to only have sex with conscious and enthusiastic partners, but detractors say the standard “micromanages” sexuality. The truth is that a “yes means yes” policy “helps to create a shared responsibility, instead of the responsibility falling on women to say ‘no’,” says Tracey Vitchers, chair of the board at Safer (Students Active for Ending Rape). Anti-violence activists are clearly excited about the bill, which – if all goes well – could be adopted by more states with large public university systems.
Pardon me for cynicism, but I don’t believe there’s a “rape culture” at college campuses. I believe that there is a “sexually-saturated, morality-free culture” at college campuses, brought about in large part by Progressive pressure on those same campuses to abandon the role of pater familias. Once upon a time, boys and girls lived in separate housing, and they were not allowed to take a person of the opposite sex to their rooms. Even when co-ed dorms first came into being, boys and girls occupied separate floors. Then, that changed so that they occupied the same floors, but had separate bathrooms. Now, they share everything — including copious amounts of drugs and alcohol that numb the smart parts of their brains.
My verdict based on the evidence available: Without more information, Sulkowicz definitely gets an “A+” for performance art and self-promotion. I’ll reserve judgment on the rape claim until there’s a full trial, complete with due process, a defense, and testimony under oath.
Obama — he of the Greek columns — explains that optics are hard
On Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press show, Obama finally deigned to explain why he went on a chortling, fist-thumbing golf game within minutes of announcing to the world that ISIS had decapitated an American citizen, something ISIS proudly filmed and then boasted about in a widely disseminated video. According to Obama, it’s just so hard to remember that the world is watching you. Somehow it’s unfair that the world’s eyes should be on the person who still bears the title of Most Powerful Man In The World, never mind that he’s reduced that power to the point where America’s weight in the world is no greater than any other little tin pot dictatorship’s world power.
Obama’s disingenuous claim that political theater is “not something that always comes naturally to me” unleashed a marvelous outrushing of tweets, some of which focused on his more egregious acts of political theater (faux Greek columns, speeches at the Brandenburg Gate) and others of which focused on his more embarrassing acts of visual ineptitude. Legal Insurrection has assembled some of these tweets.
Here are a few more for your enjoyment and delectation:
— Mike Werner (@mwerner89) September 8, 2014
— E-Du (@ezradulis) September 7, 2014
— Klown 2.0 (@realmyiq2xu2) September 7, 2014
— Jenn Jacques (@JennJacques) September 7, 2014
I’ll also add my favorite umbrella optic:
Commenting on Obama’s risible statement about his deep feelings on learning of Foley’s death (feelings so deep that he was giggling on giggling on the golf course just a few hours later), Scott Johnson had this to say (emphasis mine):
In this case, the photographs suggest that Obama wasn’t all that choked up about the beheading of James Foley. They document that whatever emotion he felt, if any, dissipated very quickly. On that day, the photographs belied the theater. You might conclude that Obama is something of a phony on a matter of great concern to ordinary Americans. Thus Obama’s irritation.
One is struck both by the falsity and the petulance of Obama’s comments. I think Obama lies even to himself.
I disagree with Johnson’s last sentence, insofar as it implies that Obama, when he speaks of his deep feeling, knows that the opposite is actually true, and that he’s a shallow, self-involved, unfeeling man. Instead, I would argue that, when Obama told Chuck Todd that he was really quite shattered, and simply forgot that mere Americans wouldn’t understand the visuals of a man so sophisticated that he could go from shattered to silly within minutes, he was telling the truth . . . his truth. After all, the first rule of malignant narcissism is that the narcissist never lies. Since the truth is defined by his needs, when he makes a statement in accord with those needs, he is telling the truth or, more accurately, he is telling his truth.
The Gaza optics reveal that at least one of the dead wasn’t an innocent child
Elder of Ziyon examined the case of one of those poor, innocent civilians who died in Gaza as a result of Israel’s “unconscionable” Protective Edge assault. He found some damn interesting stuff too.
The optics of Britain’s dissolution are infinitely worse than the reality
A new YouGov poll makes it seem very likely that, after more than 300 years of being a United Kingdom, England will be disunited from Scotland: A majority of Scots suddenly seem inclined to go it alone as their own nation. Traditionalists who are moved by centuries of union, are horrified to think that they might live to see the day when Scotland and England part ways.
One could argue in opposition that what we’re seeing here is a necessary Scottish “reconquista,” as Scotland shakes off the shackles of a mere few hundred years of joinder with England in order to return to its more natural state, which was almost a thousand years of independence. That’s a silly argument, though.
John Fund makes a more serious and impressive argument when he says that, beneath the “it’s all falling apart” optics of dissolution, a Scottish vote in favor of disunion would be a good thing. Currently, Scotland sends a disproportionate number of Leftist members to the British parliament. Getting rid of them would give Tories (who are vaguely conservative) a majority. Additionally, once unanchored to the British treasury, hard Left Scotland might find it economically unfeasible to pursue socialist policies. Sadly, with the older generations dead and gone, I doubt that there’s any possibility that Scotland could revert to the hard-headed, self-reliant Scotland that gave America and the free world some of her greatest supporters of independence.
Scotland, of course, is banking on its oil revenue to keep it afloat, while England will mourn the loss of that same revenue. Again, though, oil may not be all its cracked up to be. As the Saudi countries show, oil money too readily props up otherwise broken, ineffectual economies. And as Venezuela shows, when a government becomes too socialist and broken, even oil money won’t help.
Optics and truth when it comes to American economic health under Reagan and Obama
I’m crowd-sourcing here. A Forbes opinion piece makes a compelling argument that Obama’s recovery economy is much stronger than Reagan’s was, with a better stock market, better corporate health, and better labor participation. I suspect jiggery-pokery here.
The argument I would make, and that many in the comments to that same article make, is that the stock market is propped up by government-printed money that doesn’t have actual wealth backing it; that the labor market is worse because more people have dropped out of the labor force and because the majority of jobs created are part-time or low pay; and that the federal debt and deficit mean that, to the extent we’re completely overextended, even the slightest economic tremor could trigger a massive economic collapse that will make 2008 look like the good times in retrospect.
I would value your input on this one. Both collectively and individually, you guys are better at economic data than I ever will be.
There’s so much good stuff out there, I’m just going to spill it all here, a la Instapundit.
Jonathan Tobin doubts that Obama’s upcoming three-week long “Sham-Wow” commercial for ObamaCare will miraculously turn around the public’s perception that the program is a failure and the president a liar.
The success of the president’s snake-oil show is especially doubtful given that the narcissists in the White House are now blaming the public for the website’s manifest failings.
Oh, and Obama junket will also have dubious success because news is leaking out that the Obamacare site is a hacker’s wet dream.
Right now, it looks as if Obama has finally been unable to fool all of the people all of the time, at least when it comes to Obamacare.
After Chief Justice Roberts resuscitated Obamacare, I find it hard to imagine the courts dismantling that monstrosity. Still, it’s possible.
For people who want to see the inevitable graveyard of Obama’s anti-capitalist, anti-freedom, redistributionist policies, they need look no further than Venezuela, where the country has gone from stable to basket-case in a decade.
If you want to renew your driver’s license in Oregon, you’d better come in prepared with every bit of proof known to man showing that you are who you say you are. Interestingly, though, you don’t need to show any ID to vote in Oregon. Just sayin’.
I was reading Glenn Reynold’s article explaining why we should abolish the TSA, and I was nodding so hard in agreement, I looked like one of those bobble-head dolls in someone’s car.
I could dig up the zillions of posts I’ve done about the way in which the welfare state destroyed the black community because it was rational for blacks to put forth less effort. I won’t though. Thomas Sowell makes the same point, only he does so brilliantly in his article about test scores.
When you’re George Bush and increase AIDS aid to Africa, you’re reviled; when you’re Hillary Clinton and you decrease AIDS aid to Africa, you get a reward from the AIDS Foundation. It’s not what you do, it’s whether there’s an “R” or a “D” after your name.
Regarding Iran, here’s the good news: Obama’s an idiot, but the Iranians aren’t necessarily that smart (although, so far, their madman chess is a lot more successful than Obama’s amateur basketball).
On Passover, Jews the world ask “Why is this night different from all other nights?” When it comes to Islam, if you still find yourself “Why is this religion different from all other religions?”, you’re not asking that because you’re engaging in a timeless religious ritual. Instead, if you still have to ask that question you, like our President, are an idiot. Islam is indeed different from all other religions and that difference lies in the fact that it’s utterly barbaric as written and as practiced.
No, Obama is not Hitler. (He’s more Neville Chamberlain, with a large dollop of the Hugo Chavez school of economics.) Nevertheless, the Dems couldn’t have been more tin-eared when they came up with “White House Youth” or WHYouth (to which I either want to answer, Why not? or I want to do an endless bullet-point list explaining why you’re not getting good public policy if you look to young people as your guide).
I’m sure there’s someone in the British government who could be dragged to a microphone to say, “Hey, some of my best friends are Jews.” Nah! Not really. Because there’s no one left in Britain who could say that with a straight face, why Britain was able to ban Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from entering England in part on the ground that they were pro-Israel.
Is it the Onion or is it just an ordinary Progressive news report about businesses in America?
And finally, if you’re a veteran and you can’t get a gun, Dom Raso has some helpful practical advice.