As always, the revamped Watcher’s Council, which is now WOW! Magazine, a collaborative magazine with posts from Watcher’s Council members and their friends, is worth checking out. If you were to go over there now, you’d find the following recent posts (and Lord alone knows how much time you could spend reviewing past posts from this informed and prolific crowd):
He’s informed, he smart, he’s disciplined, and he’s wise enough not to slime people when all he has to do is stand aside and let them slime themselves:
Oh, and about that 97% study, it’s so bogus.
I am open-minded about most of the Republican candidates, but I’ve moved beyond that with Ted Cruz. I really, really like Ted Cruz, and have done so for some time. Watching him oh-so-politely destroy the President of the Sierra Club when the subject is the actual science between climate change is . . . well, delightful:
Incidentally, more astute political observers than I have come to the same conclusion that I came to a few weeks ago: namely, that Ted Cruz is practicing a slow and steady strategy to the White House.
I recently finished reading a delightful book about medieval history — Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives. What makes it stand out a bit from other history books is that the Terry Jones in the book’s title is the same one you may remember from Monty Python. As it happens, he was a medieval history scholar at Oxford and that has always remained his passion.
The book is organized so that each chapter looks at different figures in medieval society: kings, knights, entertainers, alchemists, clerics, etc., and gives a brief summary of the development of those roles over the length of the medieval era from the so-called Dark Ages before the 13th century, all the way through the Renaissance. It’s quite obviously not a deep history, but its organization is useful in seeing the trajectory of an institution or idea over the centuries.
The chapter on the initial purity and resulting corruption of the medieval church, which eventually and inevitably led to Reformation and Counter Reformation, struck me as being peculiarly familiar. It wasn’t just that I’ve read so many medieval history books over the decades that most things ring a bell. That is, for me there are very few new ideas or facts in a history book about medieval Europe; instead, there are familiar ideas and facts presented in new and interesting ways. But with the clergy chapter, there was something more than just the usual “Oh, I know that historic tidbit” feeling. Instead, I felt as if I were reading something very modern.
And then it struck me. The trajectory of the modern church matches with eerie precision the trajectory of modern science. In its early years, when it was separate from government, the Christian church was a remarkably pure institution, devoted to developing each individual’s relationship with Jesus Christ. There were different ideas and approaches floated, as well as battles within the Church (think of the gnostic heresy), but the faithful and their clergy were remarkably untainted by worldly considerations.
Science, too, up until the mid-20th century or so, had an austere honesty. Men and women of passion and conviction devoted their lives to research. There were stupid mistakes and prejudices along the way (everything from the denial of germ theory to the denial that bacteria cause ulcers) but these were internecine battles, dedicated to preserving science’s intellectual honesty and purity.
The early church was attractive because it promised relief from the darkness of paganism, with its human sacrifice and the many rules it had, rules that obscured the fact that paganism generally lacked underlying and, if you’ll pardon me for the word play, overarching moral principles. In the same way, science, from the Enlightenment through the mid-20th century, promised relief from the darkness of Hippocrates’s and Galen’s ideas about the four humours and the crazy (and often terribly painful or dangerous) medical ideas that flowed from the Ancient Greeks’ approach to medicine.
In the case of both institutions — that is, the medieval Catholic Church and science — as they gained popularity, they attracted the attention of power and money. Royalty tried to integrate the church into its power structure (and, in the case of Henry VIII, succeeded magnificently), while the wealthy plied churches, monasteries, and nunneries with money in an effort to preserve their immortal souls. The result was that the medieval church became fabulously wealthy and began to devote its time to managing money, not shepherding men’s souls, while too many churchmen were unable to resist the earthly temptations that came with wealth and power.
Science followed precisely the same trajectory. After WWII, governments began to fund scientists, most notably in connection with America’s space program. It became apparent to anyone paying attention that, if a government, an organization, or an individual invested enough money into a scientist or scientific institution, the scientists or institutions would reliably produce outcomes, some real and some imagined, that followed that money.
By the 15th century, the medieval church, while it had clergy who still played by the Bible’s rules, was a disgraced institution, embroiled in war, debauchery, financial corruption, murder, sloth, and just about every other vice attendant upon too much money and too much power. The Reformation was inevitable and quite necessary, even if it did at times go too far. But reformation is a bloody business, as the Thirty Years War and all other Renaissance era religious wars demonstrate.
Modern science is the equivalent of the medieval church. Indeed, like the church, it even has its faithful who, its faults notwithstanding, insist upon its infallibility and are ready to burn at the stake anyone who denies its righteousness.
The Church of Science has sacraments that cannot be questioned and must be followed:
- Abortion, which can never be tempered by such considerations as the child’s life versus the woman’s;
- Anthropogenic climate change, which long ago parted ways with scientific principles and is now an irrefutable dogma that answers all human and natural phenomena, even if the answers ought to be conflicting, and that treats all questioners as heretics fit for excommunication or even death;
- Hostility to genetically modified food, despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that this food is dangerous and a great deal of evidence, as is the case with golden rice, that it can save the lives of impoverished children; and
- The mutability and, indeed, irrelevance of biological sex differences because, as modern scientific dogma holds, human feelings trump sexual genetics and biology (unless of course one is “born gay,” in which case biology is immutable).
Not only has the Church of Science become as intellectually corrupt as the medieval Catholic Church once was, it’s become as practically corrupt. Today’s scientific monks don’t break their vows by having sex; instead, they ignore true scientific doctrine by publishing false studies, and by doing so in ever increasing numbers.
I have to head out now but, since you are all usually much smarter and more insightful than I am, I bet that your comments can help develop my idea. I’d love to hear from you.
The party of “Government, get out of my bedroom!” invades New York bedrooms
When it comes to teenage sex and abortion, or just plain old sex and abortion, the Left’s rallying cry for decades has been clear: “Government, get out of the bedroom.” That’s why I find it incredibly amusing that Blue State New York is planning to join Blue State California and invade the bedroom of every college student under its aegis:
The bill requires “affirmative consent” at each step of the way when two students have sexual contact. Amazingly, that means punishing students who fail to ask “May I unbutton your blouse?” and “May I kiss you?” and wait for the answer. On May 20, Cuomo said there has to be “clear, unambiguous and voluntary agreement” before any “specific sexual activity.”
There are, of course, a couple of problems with the bill. First, absent a signed writing or disinterested witnesses, it’s still going to be a “he said, she said” kind of thing, with a malevolent female perfectly capable of claiming that no words were used or that she said “no.” Second, and worse, it will make official the presumption that boys are dangerous sexual predators who must be contained.
What’s she got to complain about?
It’s already old news that Michelle Obama — Princeton and Harvard grad, highly paid (but still useless) lawyer; and jet-setting President’s wife — thinks herself very poorly used by the American system. To hear her tell it, she’s been chewed up and then spit out on a filthy sidewalk, where crude, rude, KKK-type white people have ground her remnants into the dust. I just have a few links about this and a comment.
Link One: Writing at Allen West’s site, Michele Hickford has the perfect commentary about Ms. Obama’s whines.
Link Two: Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin (and yes, it’s funny that the whiner and the skewerers are all named Michelle) neatly deconstructs all the lies behind Michelle’s complaints.
Link Three: Wolf Howling points out that Ms. Obama is just one weapon in the race hustlers’ arsenal.
Wolf Howling also alludes to an important, and extremely sad, point: Ms. Obama may be lying about her facts, but she’s not lying about her emotions. This Ivy League-educated, spoiled, pampered, private-jetted darling genuinely feels as if she is a victim. It turns out that the only thing worse than having to listen to Michelle Obama is actually to be Michelle Obama and to live within that unhappy, resentful, beleaguered brain.
Hollywood wants you — but you shouldn’t want it back
Early this week, I wrote about all the horrid, distasteful people who populate my TV screen lately. Robert Avrech, who is someone with a much greater understanding of Hollywood’s inner workings made the same point in an article he wrote last December:
Sadly, most series on the air and in development are unsubtle messages formulated by postmodern Holly wood writers, producers and executives. This is no longer mere propaganda, but a clarion call for a new national morality. It is a world where women do not need husbands to raise children, as in Playing House, where the most anticipated marriage on TV is between two men, as in Modern Family and where the ties that hold a family together are murder, rape and plunder, as in Vikings. The protagonists of The Americans, a Cold War drama, are a ruthless but attractive Soviet couple working as spies against America. In the hit Netflix series House of Cards, a Washington D.C. power couple, played to silkily sinister perfection by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, lie, cheat and murder their way into the White House. Blessedly, these repugnant American Borgias have chosen not to have children. But the show’s writers would have us believe that theirs is a glorious union.
In the new Hollywood lexicon, the family is a unit held together not by traditional family values, but by gangster ethics.
Global warming is real — provided you ignore all the facts proving that it isn’t
The global warmists are getting increasingly shrill in their insistence that the earth is on the verge of boiling us all to death, and that anyone who denies it is a flat-earther who, in a just world, would be burned at the stake for heresy (if only burning at the stake didn’t increase the atmosphere’s already deadly carbon load). Being ignorant, these hysterics do not understand that, historically, global warming has always been a blessing for mankind, increasing available water and crops, and allowing people to focus on cultural advancement. Global warming would be a good thing.
Of course, there is no global warming. More likely, there is going to be global cooling, thanks to a very quiet sun — and global cooling has always meant famine. We in America might be able to weather a famine (especially if we can agree that humans matter more than Delta Smelt), but more fragile economies are going to be in desperate trouble.
By the way, if a warmist challenges you about the assertions I just made (no warming, probable cooling), you could point that person to 22 inconvenient facts about our climate.
Another piece of old news is Mark Halperin’s embarrassingly racist questions as he tried to prove to Hispanics that Ted Cruz is really a coconut — brown on the outside, but totally white-racist-male-chauvinist-pig on the inside. However, even if it is old news, if you haven’t read Fausta’s response to Halperin’s nonsense, you’ve missed something fine.
Halperin, faced with attacks from the Left and the Right, did an “I’m sorry you’re offended” apology. And Cruz, cleverly avoiding his reputation for snarkiness, responded with an extremely gracious “you have nothing to apologize for.”
The First Amendment’s death continues apace
Victor Davis Hanson keeps getting better — which is impressive when one considers how good he was to begin with. The whole time I was reading his article about the Left’s steady deconstruction and destruction of the First Amendment, my head kept bobbing up and down, like one of those nodding dog toys you used to see in the windows of cars. If you read it, you’ll nod too:
Apparently there is no longer a First Amendment as our Founders wrote it, but instead something like an Orwellian Amendment 1.5, which reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press — except if someone finds some speech hurtful, controversial, or not helpful.”
Cowardice abounds. When artists and writers mock Mormonism in a Broadway play like the Book of Mormon or use urine or excrement to deface Christian symbols, no Christian gang seeks to curb such distasteful expression — much less to kill anyone. Every religion but Islam knows that its iconography is fair game for caricature in the United States; none sanctions assassins. Jihadists seek to make this asymmetry quite clear to Western societies and thereby provide deterrence that gives Islam special exemption from Western satire and criticism in a way not accorded to other religions. And they are enabled by Westerners who prefer tranquility to freedom of expression.
When will Kirsten Powers realize she’s a conservative?
For many years, as I slowly realized that I was no longer aligned with Democrats, I still thought of myself as a Democrat, albeit a smarter, more informed one. It took a while for me to figure out that my values were completely inconsistent with today’s Democrat party and that, rather than honoring myself by remaining a Democrat, I was demeaning myself.
Kirsten Powers still considers herself a Democrat, but I suspect that, as she looks at toxic Democrat-led policies on America’s college campuses, she may eventually want to leave that identity behind too:
The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone—almost always a liberal—has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled. If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups— such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group—even better.
Self-identified “moderate” Muslims sound surprisingly extreme
I was talking with a friend today about American blacks and the way they resolutely refuse to involve themselves in their own salvation, preferring to blame white people and then to look to the majority-white government system for succor. Every time I spoke broadly about “blacks,” my friend reminded me that the majority of American blacks are just like me: hard-working, honest, and decent. It’s only the noisy ones who are engaged in black-on-black killings, drug use, single motherhood, and rioting.
My friend, as usual, is correct. Thinking through my rhetorical laziness, I realized that the reason I keep lumping all blacks together, as if the disgraceful minority represents the completely ordinary and respectable majority, is because whenever the minority acts up, the majority, instead of castigating those self-destructive behaviors, supports the behaviors, joining in the constantly repeated chorus of “It’s not our fault; it’s whitey’s fault; now give us money.”
My friend then reminded me that speaking up isn’t that easy. Blacks who step off that plantation are subject to vicious racist attacks that would do the KKK proud — except that these attacks come from Democrats. (Oh, wait! The KKK was also Democrat, wasn’t it? It seems as if the Democrats, no matter where they stand politically vis a vis blacks, always keep a closet full of disgraceful racist taunts at the ready.) As a closet conservative in my community, I know precisely how difficult it is to stand against your community, especially when you’re raising children.
This is all by way of introduction to the concept of “moderate” Muslims. Those who speak out sound remarkably like the fanatics. And those who don’t speak out . . . well, it’s difficult to know whether they agree with the fanatics and so-called moderates, or if they’re simply scared to death. After all, an ISIS sword is even more devastating than a Democrat’s racial slurs.
Our profoundly weak economy
Progressives I know insist that the American economy is in great shape and invariably point to the stock market as proof. They seem incapable of understanding that years of low interest rates, steady money printing, and quasi-fascist crony capitalism have disconnected the stock market from the economy. The stock market no longer proves anything at all, except that those who know how to operate the political system can still get rich.
Given how weak our economy is, and how dangerous the money policies are that drive the illusion of prosperity, it’s small wonder that a well-known economist says that the next recession — and there will be a next one — will be devastating.
Our Leftist Pope
You can tell she’s a Christian because….
Barronelle Stutzman, the gal whom Washington State has been intent upon destroying because she refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, got a chance to have her say in the Washington Post. You know how you can tell that she’s a Christian? It’s not just that she makes a compelling case explaining how she can be friends with gays while still standing behind her freedoms of speech, religion, and association when it comes to being forced to provide her artistic services for a ceremony that runs counter to her mainstream faith.
No, the real reason you can tell that Stutzman is a true Christian is that, when she speaks of the man who turned her over to the Nazi branch of the Washington State political correctness police, she still calls him her “friend.” Stutzman either has her tongue firmly in cheek, or she is a woman who takes seriously the Christian notion of turning that same cheek.
Anyway, please read Stutzman’s article. The conclusion sums up what every American should understand about freedom:
In Washington, Rob and Curt have the right to get a marriage license. But that doesn’t mean that the state should be able to force people in the creative professions like myself to create expression celebrating the ceremonies. We all have different viewpoints about how to live our lives. One thing I’ve loved about our country is that we protect the freedom of artistic expression and the right to disagree over these kinds of issues without one side being threatened by the government over it.
But whatever the state says and however they want to try to punish me, they can’t change my faith. What happens in my business or my life is in God’s hands. Having a clear conscience means much more to me than any amount of money or my business. Rob and Curt have their beliefs about marriage and aren’t being stopped by the state from living them out. I only ask for the same freedom.
I have work to do today, but no actual deadlines, so naturally I’m procrastinating like crazy. And what better way to do so than to share a few interesting things with you? How about my starting with the most inspirational. I’ll go from the sublime to the ridiculous, which means I’ll end with links to articles about Hillary’s candidacy.
Noah Galloway, American soldier, DWTS contender
Noah Galloway lost his left arm and leg in Iraq. His appearance on Dancing With The Stars was a little bit by way of being a gimmick because how can someone dance without an arm and with a totally lost leg (i.e., no knee)?
Hey, guys and gals! We had a lovely storm come through Marin Friday night, which was quite enjoyable. It was less enjoyable to wake up Saturday morning and discover that it had inflicted no small amount of damage on my property.
I spent yesterday dealing with the storm’s fallout, which precluded computer time. Fortunately, we got the help we needed yesterday, and the insurance company will help pay in the coming weeks. All is good. And frankly, given where we live, our weather exposure, and the rip-roaring storms that occasionally come through, it was certainly our turn for a little weather-inflicted fun.
(Speaking of weather, I hope you enjoyed learning that government and academic science institutions have systematically gamed the numbers from weather stations all over the world, showing temperatures as being higher than they really are. I thought of posting the Telegraph article on my real-me Facebook page along with the following comment: “Since the climate change science is settled, does it really matter that scientific agencies inflated temperature data?” I decided against it when I realized that my Progressive would only humiliate themselves forever in my eyes by answering “no” to my question.)
Today, I have a brief legal brief (double words intentional) to write, and then I can get back to blogging. In the meantime, please considering this your forum.
One of the things that’s frustrating for conservatives is to see that stupidity is ascendant in our culture. And by stupidity I mean something very specific, which is that Leftists routinely use incoherence, ignorance and a complete lack of logic to challenge purely factual statements (or obviously humorous ones), and then congratulate themselves endlessly on their cleverness and the fact that the successfully “pwned” a stupid conservative.
Even worse, these illogical, incorrect arguments become the dominant narrative and are celebrated as wise and worthy. It has the surreal quality of someone being lionized and feted for responding to the statement “It’s daytime because the sun’s out,” by saying “No, it’s just a bright moon because I see cows jumping in the field.” I mean, we’re talking that kind of stupid.
Not unsurprisingly, the top two examples of this kind of stupidity relate to Leftist attempts to analogize modern mainstream Christianity to radical Islam. If you’ve been on social media at all, you’ll know that J. K. Rowling, who really is a stellar children’s writer, tried her hand at religious and political commentary in the wake of a couple of Rupert Murdoch tweets.
As a matter of fact, Murdoch’s tweets makes perfect sense:
Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 10, 2015
Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 10, 2015
Yes, most Muslims are peaceful, although Murdoch’s “maybe most” makes sense when one considers a few facts. Six to ten percent of Muslims worldwide are extremists who have or will engaged in terrorism. This means that about 96,000,000 to 160,000,000 of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are extremists are actively engaged in terrorism in their home countries or abroad, or are willing to be actively engaged.. In addition, depending on the country (say, Saudi Arabia versus France versus the U.S.) another roughly 30% to 40% Muslims (that would be 480,000,000 to 640,000,000 Muslims), although not denominated as extremists think that their co-religionists’ terrorism is a good thing.
Murdoch is sensibly saying that, to the extent hundreds of millions of Muslims think a jihadist is the good guy, there’s no telling when, or in what way, they’ll switch from passive to active support. So, “maybe most” Muslims are peaceful; and maybe not.
The bottom line, which Murdoch understands, is that that there is within Islam a fractionally small, but numerically large, violent contingent of Muslims who not only approve of terrorism in theory, but practice it in fact. And as long as their coreligionists offer them moral support, the West is going to have to engage in long, bloody (very bloody) wars to stop them. As New Age thinkers are so fond of saying, real change has to come from within.
This is as true of religions as it is of a person’s own psyche. After all, history has shown us that religious reforms always come from within the religion, not from outside of it. England and Europe in the 1500s were riven by reformation and counter-reformation. If Islam is to leave its own Middle Ages, Muslims have to make it happen — and it’s not going to be the terrorists who do it. Egyptian President Sisi is trying to start this process, and Leftists would do better to praise him than to snipe at Murdoch.
Murdoch is also factually correct when he says that jihadists are highly active from the Philippines to Africa to Europe to the US. Every person who reads the news knows this, but the dominant PC political and social classes in the West don’t want to acknowledge this reality. Which brings us back to where I started, which is the amazingly stupid responses Rowling came up with. These are the things that Leftist idiots (yes, idiots) consider a slam dunk:
I was born Christian. If that makes Rupert Murdoch my responsibility, I’ll auto-excommunicate. http://t.co/Atw1wNk8UX
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 11, 2015
I have to ask: What in the world does Rowling mean? Has Murdoch slaughtered journalists, raped and enslaved women, crucified Christians, stoned “adulterers”, hanged homosexuals? And more than that, is Rowling saying that whatever it is that Murdoch did of which she disapproves, his acts arose directly because of his interpretation of Christian Biblical mandates?
Asking those questions reveals that Rowlings tweet is an incoherent mess that can best be interpreted as a meaningless non sequitur. Such is the stupidity of the Left, though, that Rowling was immediately hailed as a debating genius. This only encouraged her. Rowling therefore doubled down on stupid:
Uh, pardon me, J.K. but would you remind me when the inquisition (which was a perversion of Christian doctrine) took place? [Cricket sounds.]
Never mind. I know you can’t answer that. I can, though. The Spanish Inquisition’s heyday was in the late 15th century in Spain. Catholics, appalled by the violent perversion of Christ’s teachings, eventually abandoned the Inquisition. There is no more Spanish Inquisition.
The Muslim inquisition, on the other hand, has been ebbing and flowing relentlessly since the 7th century. We are in a period of flow, and stupid tweets such as Rowlings are of no help whatsoever to those Muslims who, like Christians of yore, would like reform.
Oh, and about Jim Bakker. When his behavior came to light, Christians immediately did what Murdoch asks of Muslims: They didn’t deny his Christianity, thereby disassociating themselves for any responsibility for his wrongdoing; instead, they castigated him for violating core Christian precepts.
“Go away and sin no more!” Christians said to Bakker. This differs greatly from the Leftist and Muslim response to Jihadists, which translates to “You’re embarrassing me right now, so I’m going to pretend I don’t know you, but meet me for dinner later when no one’s paying attention.”
Rowling rounded out her idiot trilogy with this racist tweet:
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 11, 2015
As I read that, Rowling is saying we shouldn’t be getting our knickers in a twist, because the important point to remember is that Muslims really get their kicks slaughtering other Muslims. That is correct. But rather than seeing this as further evidence of the problem with Islam, J.K. “The Great Debater” Rowling believes this horrible truth shuts down any critiques of Islam. I think this last tweet establishes more clearly than anything else could ever have that Rowling’s a racist. Her bottom line is that, as long as the brown-skinned people are killing each other, we don’t need to care.
Sadly, Rowling isn’t the only brainless Leftist with a bully pulpit (and honestly, it’ll be hard ever for me really to admire the whole Harry Potter series again). My Progressive friends have been kvelling about some guy named James O’Brien who, they claim, really shut down someone who dared say Islam was somehow connected to the whole “Allahu Akbar”-“I love ISIS”-“Don’t diss Mohamed”-“Kill the Jews” attacks in Paris last week.
It began when a caller to O’Brien’s show said Muslims owe the world an apology. I’ll agree that the statement went a bit too far. But the reality is that the opposite is true: It’s not that Muslims need to apologize (although they should challenge and excoriate their co-religionists). It’s that Muslims need to stop saying after every “Allahu Akbar” attack that that they, the Muslims, are the real victims (as opposed to the dead and wounded) because of potential hate crimes that never happen.
But back to that alleged O’Brien shut-out:
O’Brien then replies by asking the caller if he had apologised for the attacks, prompting the caller to reply ‘Why would I need to apologise for that’.
It’s at this point that O’Brien really begins to make the caller look a bit silly, and replies by stating that a previous Muslim caller would have no need to apologise either, as the attack occurred when he was in Berkshire and was not committed in the name of Islam.
O’Brien continues to question the man, called Richard, by saying that the failed shoe bomb attack of 2001 was committed by a man called Richard Reid, and by the caller’s logic, he should consequently apologise for atrocities committed in the name of all Richards, irrespective of being entirely different people.
Apparently O’Brien missed school on the days when the teacher instructed students about common denominators. Let me say this again, in words of few syllables: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.
To take O’Brien’s puerile argument as a starting point in our common denominator lesson, the name Richard is not a common denominator. Being an army psychiatrist at Fort Hood is not a common denominator. Being two Chechen brothers in Boston is not a common denominator. Living in Sheffield is not a common denominator. Attending flight school is not a common denominator. Having bombs in your undies is not a common denominator. (Yes, I can do this all day.) Looking at all the bombings, knifings, shootings, crashings, burnings, bombings, etc, over the past few years around the world, the common denominator is . . . drum roll, please . . . ISLAM!
There is a problem in Islam. There is a cancer in the Koran. People from all over the world, when they start taking the Koran too seriously, go rabid. That’s the common denominator and that’s what we need to talk about.
The Left, of course, headed by world chief Leftist Obama, can’t bear to talk about this common denominator. To the extent Obama couldn’t even make himself show up in Paris for what was, admittedly, a spectacle, not a solution, Roger Simon sums up Obama’s and the Left’s problem:
There had to have been a reason for his non-attendance and the bizarre dissing of this event by his administration. I believe it stems from this: There are two words our president seems constitutionally unable to put together — “Islamic” and “terrorism.” For Obama (and, as a sideshow, the zany Howard Dean), these terms are mutually exclusive, an oxymoron. Appearing in Paris, Obama might be put in the unusual position of having to link them, our complaisant press rarely having the nerve to ask such an impertinent question.
For my last example of Leftist stupidity, arising from denying facts and ignoring logic, let me leave the world of Muslim terrorism and head for climate change. Gizmodo, which occasionally has amusing stuff, decided to go off the rails with an attack against Ted Cruz for being “anti-Science.” This is a hot issue because, with the Senate now in Republican hands, Ted Cruz will be overseeing NASA.
During the past six years, NASA has put on the back burner stupid hard science things like space exploration. (Hard science, you know, is sexist, whether one is talking about hula shirts or the masculinist hegemony demanding accurate answers in math.) Instead, it’s devoted itself to (a) making nice with Islam and (b) panicking about climate change.
Ted Cruz, bright guy that he is, has made it clear that he intends to rip NASA out of its feminist, Islamophilic, climate change routine and force it back into racist, sexist hard science. The minds at Gizmodo know what this means: Cruz must be destroyed. To that end, the Gizmodo team assembled what they describe Cruz’s embarrassing, laughably dumb quotes about science. Too bad for the Gizmodo team that everything Cruz said was accurate, rhetorical, or humorous (not that these facts stopped the article from spreading like wildfire through Leftist social media):
- “‘Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.” – Ted Cruz on net neutrality. [Bookworm here: This is a rhetorical argument that goes to Cruz’s basic political philosophy, which is limited government. Nothing dumb about this clever rhetorical take on things.]
- “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.”– Ted Cruz on climate change. [Bookworm here: This quotation is out of date because, for the past 18 years, there has been no global warming, despite all promises to the contrary. Ted Cruz isn’t dumb. He’s factually accurate. And a word to the dodos at the Washington Post: local weather variations and temperatures are not the same as global warming. If that was the case, with the record-breaking winter temperatures the last couple of years, we’d be talking about global cooling. Oh, and while I’m on the subject of global cooling….]
- “You know, back in the ’70s — I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.” – Ted Cruz on climate change [Bookworm here: Absolutely correct. Back in the 1970s, people were talking about global cooling. Climate fanatics are now trying to downplay that, of course, but the fact remains that the heart of the infamous Time Magazine article so many cite was that the earth was indeed cooling. Once again, nothing dumb about Cruz’s statement. It’s factually accurate.]
- “You always have to be worried about something that is considered a so-called scientific theory that fits every scenario. Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory.” – Ted Cruz on climate change. [Bookworm here: Again, true, not dumb. Global warming morphed into climate change because the theory had to adapt when the facts change. Every time some prediction proves wrong (whether melting glaciers, dead polar bears, or rising waters), the theory flexes to accommodate the failed prediction. This isn’t science, it’s faith. Global warming has turned into a closed-system, non-falsifiable theory. Score another point for Cruz.]
- “I was disappointed that Bruce Willis was not available to be a fifth witness on the panel. There probably is no doubt that actually Hollywood has done more to focus attention on this issue than perhaps a thousand congressional hearings could do.” – Ted Cruz on space threats. [Bookworm here: Again, this is rhetorical. There is no science in this statement. It’s a joke, guys. And let me add here that whoever said Leftists have no sense of humor was correct.]
- “I wondered if at some point we were going to see a tall gentleman in a mechanical breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice say, “Mike Lee, I am your father” … and just like in “Star Wars” movies the empire will strike back.” – Ted Cruz during his 21-hour Obamacare speech. [Bookworm here: Let me get this right: Gizmodo is saying that making a pop culture reference to a movie is the same as making dumb scientific statements? I think Gizmodo is grossly guilty of making stupid pop culture statements.]
- “The authorizing committees are free to set their agency budgets, and that includes NASA.” – Ted Cruz when he tried to cut NASA funding in 2013 (This one is more scary than stupid, since Cruz is now in charge of agency budgets.) [Bookworm here: As for me, all I can say is hank God someone who actually understands the difference between fact, humor, science, non-falsifiable belief systems, and pop culture, is finally in charge of at least one facet of our government. At long last, we can stop using taxpayer dollars so our space program can fund Muslim outreach and continue to salvage a scientific theory that has been proven wrong every stop of the way.]
- “Each day I learn what a scoundrel I am.” – Ted Cruz on his attempts to defund Obamacare [Bookworm here: Yet another cute rhetorical statement and one, moreover, that has nothing to do with science. It is interesting, though, to see it in the context of a blog post at a major internet site that has shown itself exceptionally humorless and ignorant in its efforts to tar as a scoundrel a man who has a firm grasp on reality, facts, science, and humor.]
There you have it: three examples of simply abject stupidity on the part of those who lean Left politically. I get it. There are people out there who never learned history, logic, math, humor, or basic data analysis. What’s so irritating is that they have such enormously wide sway. It’s as if the world’s elementary school students, complete with ignorance and snark, have managed to take over the planet. Worse, these powerful people with infantile intelligence are preaching to to the converted. After all, their audience went to the same schools they did, and these were (and are) schools in which facts and logic made way for propaganda, moral relativism, and political correctness.
The short version of my theory is that women in the West have never achieved real equality with men. From the Victorian era through the 1970s, they were denied equality under the claim that they were pure angels — men’s better halves — who couldn’t be sullied with real world considerations. (This was the theory, of course; not the reality.)
Now, they’re denied equality under the claim that they’re precisely like men, which they manifestly are not. Sure, we women finally (and appropriately) get equal pay for equal work, and have full rights under the law, but we’re also expected to take it like a man, fight like a man, and fornicate like a man, all of which deny us our biological reality.
As you can see, this theory is amorphous, hard to prove, and difficult to hold together. No wonder it bogged me down, although I do think I’m on to something.
Anyway, on to the round-up, all of which consists of interesting things backed up on my tabs for the last couple of days:
It’s irrelevant that Islam has a peaceful majority
A 2007 article by Paul Marek is making the rounds, although it’s being misattributed to a holocaust survivor. It’s gaining popularity seven years after its original appearance because, with ISIS on the rise, it’s more relevant today than it was back then. Marek argues compellingly what we at the Bookworm Room have already figured out, which is that the so-called “peaceful Muslim majority” is irrelevant:
We are told again and again by experts and talking heads that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unquantified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars world wide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or execute honor killings. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. The hard, quantifiable fact is that the “peaceful majority” is the “silent majority,” and it is cowed and extraneous.
Moreover, as the percentage of Muslims in a population increases relative to the overall population, that “peaceful” majority starts getting less peaceful. Laurie Regan has chapter and verse.
We are right to be paranoid about Islam in our midst, not because of invisible conspiracy theories that we create in our own heads based upon the absence of evidence but, instead, because the Muslims themselves are rattling as loudly as a sack full of rattle snakes. On the fields of battle, on the sidewalks, in the courts of law, in the media, and everywhere else, they are telling us their racist, genocidal, totalitarian agenda and demanding that we fall in line.
The ISIS poster boy
Mehdi Nemmouche is the ISIS poster boy. He is alleged to have murdered four people in a Jewish museum in Brussels, and will be facing trial for that. It’s an easy charge to believe, since a journalist who was kidnapped by ISIS in Syria identifies him as a man who loved torture, and gleefully boasted about raping and murdering a young mother, and then beheading her baby. Oh, and I almost forgot: he’s also alleged to have been planning a mass terror attack in Paris on Bastille Day.
The interior minister is denying that last report, but I somehow suspect that there’s a germ of truth in it. Certainly James O’Keefe has shown for America just how easy it would be to commit mass mayhem. I’m sure it’s just as easy in France, especially with the complicit banlieus ringing Paris.
The real reason Obama is holding off on granting amnesty until after the elections
After threatening to grant amnesty to 5 – 8 million illegal aliens at summer’s end, Obama has now announced that he’ll hold off until after the elections. Most people assume he reached this decision because Democrat congressional candidates begged him not to knock them out of the running with an executive order that Americans have shown, in poll after poll, that they despise. Bryan Preston, however, sees a more Machiavellian motive than just preserving a few Democrat seats in what’s probably going to be a Republican sweep:
After the election, Congress will be in a lame-duck session. The new Republicans will not be seated yet, and will not control Congress yet. The defeated Democrats will be on their way out, and will not care.
That’s the perfect moment for Obama to strike, claim all of the credit from the far left, and set up the Republicans to open up the next Congress weighing whether to discipline Obama or not. He loves the optics of a Republican Congress going after the first black president. He also loves the optics of the Republicans electing to do nothing, to avoid those optics created by going after him. Obama is setting up a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation.
It has nothing to do with constitutional principle. It has everything to do with politics.
Sounds right to me.
Science fails again
The whole climate change shtick is predicated on scientific infallibility — so much so that even the climate changistas’ mounting pile of errors is itself proof that their theory is correct. This is how the Chicken Little crowd can make the risible claim that the almost 17 year long hiatus in global warming, rather than destroying the theory, proves it.
As best as I can tell, the new theory is that there’s some Godzilla-like monster lurking in the depths of the ocean sucking in atmospheric heat preparatory to its evil plan one day to emerge from the deep and breath fire everywhere, destroying the world’s major cities. (It is possible that I got the climate-pause excuses a bit mixed up with the latest Godzilla flick. But then again, considering just how silly climate “science” as become . . . well, maybe not.)
No wonder I’m enjoying stories of science gone wrong. The latest story is the case of the asteroid that was supposed to have missed earth, but didn’t.
Rotherham and Multiculturalism
No one is better equipped than Dennis Prager to expose the Leftist, multiculturalist rot behind the horrible story of the Rotherham rapes.
Incidentally, Ross Douthat, a conservative writing at the New York Times, tries to universalize the Rotherham story — sexual evil exists everywhere, he says, and gets a pass because of race, class, and denial. While I often find myself agreeing with Douthat, who is an excellent writer, I think he’s wrong this time. The Rotherham evil is a very specific coming together of Mohamed’s explicit statement that Islamic men can sexually use non-Islamic females, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the multiculturalist rot that saw English authorities deliberately close their eyes to crimes emanating from the Muslim community.
Israelis save Irish soldiers
The Irish, as a nation, loath Israel and have nothing but sympathy for the poor oppressed brown people in the Middle East. Last week, the brown people did not return the favor when they attacked a group of Irish “peace”-keeping soldiers in the Golan Heights. The Irish soldiers survived because the Israelis rescued them. The Irish, being Leftists, will not connect the dots and will continue to hate humanist, democratic, pluralist Israel, while worshiping at the feet of politically correct brown-colored totalitarian Islamists.
Joe Scarborough gives further proof that he’s a moron
The only real question about Joe Scarborough is whether his decision to have a show on MSNBC is prima facie proof that he’s a moron, or whether he became a moron through years of close association with MSNBC. What’s unquestionable is that Scarborough is a moron, because only a moron would say that football as a sport breeds misogyny.
I would argue a little differently: football teams collect warrior types, and cluster them together, which is going to exacerbate certain pathologies (drinking, fighting, womanizing, and sometimes, fatally, all three simultaneously). Certainly the teams that gather together these testosterone-rich young men could do a better job of imposing discipline off the field, not just on, but football is not inherently evil.
Mark Steyn tells about Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”
My favorite composer, one of his and my favorite songs, and Mark Steyn’s inimitable magic — it all makes for something you have to read.
The video below will allow you to listen to Kate Smith’s original 1938 performance introducing the song:
Saturdays just slip away from me. Now you see ’em, now you don’t. Suddenly, it’s 1:30, and I’ve accomplished nothing more than making another batch of haroset, which I’m trying to eat in lieu of ice cream. There are things, though, that I’d like to share with you:
The first thing is a plea from the Media Research Center asking for funds to help offset the invaluable assist the Obama administration is getting from a complicit media. As you know, but too many Americans don’t, the media pretends to the American people that it’s independent, even as it shills and covers for the President. The deadline for this particular fundraiser is tonight, which is why MRC gets top billing here.
Speaking of valuable organizations asking for money, the NRA is taking very seriously Michael Bloomberg’s promise to spend $50 million to undermine the Second Amendment in America. The NRA has put together a great fundraising video (see below), and you can donate here if you feel so inclined:
Andrew C. McCarthy is one of those guys who has a binary effect on me. Either I love what he writes or I hate it. This time it’s love, as he talks about the way in which Obama is using his pardoning power to nullify drug control legislation. It’s a typical Leftist move, of course. If you’re a Leftist and don’t like legislation or constitutional rights, you don’t go through Congress to repeal or amend them; instead, you simply announce that you’re the Magic Negro, the man who defines what sin is (“being out of alignment with my own values”), the new messiah . . . and you avoid implementing the law and, if so inclined, actually undo its effects.
It’s not often that you read in just one article a straightforward, commonsensical, easy-to-understand, comprehensive take-down of the global warming scam. You especially don’t expect to see that kind of thing from a world-renowned emeritus professor and former NASA scientist talking to the Yorkshire Evening Post (a paper I read a lot back in the days when I lived in England).
I’ve mentioned before that I had Elizabeth Warren as a professor back in the day. I went into her class ignorant, and came out still ignorant, but also frustrated and confused. Whatever else she was, she was a very poor communicator, which is why I find it so peculiar that the Left considers her a spokesman for their Progressive economic causes. Back in the day, speaking in her breathy, elliptical, somewhat telegraphic way, she managed to say nothing at length.
With those memories in my mind, my metrics say Warren would be a dreadful presidential candidate, so I can understand puckish conservatives urging her to run. Of course, should she run, what will actually happen is that she’ll still be better than Hillary, whom people dislike, and she’ll win the primary. As the first female Democrat presidential candidate, the press will anoint her and that will be the end of it for any Republican opponent. (On that point, please see again my first item, above, regarding the MRC’s plea for funds to de-fang the press.)
Peter Wehner has disturbing RINO tendencies, not to mention the arrogance of his class when it comes to Palin. Nevertheless, he’s an extremely lucid commentator when it comes to honing in on Obama’s failings. I both enjoyed reading and was depressed by Wehner’s elegant laundry list of Obama’a serial failings in every area of presidential endeavor.
You know that I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about narcissists. One of the most dangerous things about them is the way their emotional armor means that they are incapable of acknowledging themselves at fault but must, instead, always deflect blame onto others. This tendency is especially destructive when it exists, not at an individual level, but at a societal level.
Take, for example, Islam: No matter where one looks around the world, once Islam is in charge, the economy collapses, violence increases, freedom disappears, and women, Jews, Christians, gays, and other Islamically disfavored groups are attacked, enslaved, and destroyed. This is a society that is ripe for introspection but, because it’s predicated on narcissism, the only thing it can do when it confronts its disastrous existence is . . . blame the Jews.
We’ve already talked here about the fact that those environmentally friendly wind farms puree birds, while the solar farms barbecue them. That’s not why I’m linking to this PowerLine article. I’m linking because I love the title: MICROWAVES OF THE DESERT; CUISINARTS OF THE SKY.
Cliven Bundy, a private citizen, makes an inarticulate, but arguably valid point that American blacks are as enslaved by the Democrat party now as they were in the antebellum South. The media mangles his argument, and destroys him as a “racist,” making toxic his entirely valid argument that past due monies owed to the government do not justify the Bureau of Land Management showing up at his farm with full military force, slaughtering his cattle, destroying his water lines, and aiming snipers at his home. Think about it. If Bundy were an IRS employee (lots of back taxes there), he would have gotten a bonus, and if he were Al Sharpton (even more back taxes), he’d be palling around with Obama and Holder.
No matter the government’s “right” to the land (which is separate from the justice of its claiming that right), Bundy stands for the increased tyranny of the federal government, one that sees it viewing itself as master, not servant. Indeed, one can argue that, although the government is acting according to the laws it’s made, its laws and procedures have become so fundamentally flawed that, per the Declaration of Independence, our government has invalidated itself:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
But I digress. I actually just wanted to talk about Bundy now being toxic, thereby invalidating ideas unrelated to the subject matter that made him toxic. It’s different if you’re on the Left.
If you’re on the Left, no matter what you do outside of politics, you’re never toxic. Take Paula Poundstone, for example, a convicted child molester. That fact isn’t preventing the Marin Jewish Community Center from opening its arms to her. I don’t know whether Poundstone has reformed or repented, something that makes a difference to me, because I’m a big believer in both. I just know that, if Poundstone was a conservative, not a Progressive, she’d never be forgiven for her sins, and would be persona non grata in perpetuity, as to all matters.
And finally, maybe we are at last seeing small cracks in the damned dam that is political correctness:
There are a lot of things I miss about being young. Today, I miss the ability to sleep even if the house if falling down around me. I can’t do that anymore. I somehow lost the sleeping knack when I had babies and I’ve never gotten it back. Sleep seems incredibly distant lately. Between my knee and my shoulder, both of which refuse to quiet down at night, I’m feeling grumpy and disconnected today. This will therefore be a short round-up.
Jamie Glasov looks at Danielle Dimacali’s insane (a word I use in its literal sense) meltdown when UCLA just barely rejected the BDS movement. He wonders if any of the atrocities committed against Jews because they are Jews would have moved her too. It’s powerful and painful stuff, and makes quite clear just how deranged the anti-Israel movement really is.
Peter Wehner has a good point about politics: those of us who are most deeply committed are often the worst strategists because we have no perspective about what moves the ordinary American voter. This isn’t a Left/Right thing; it’s a “connecting to voters” thing. Now that I’ve written the preceding sentence, I can see that Obama won — twice — because he and his side had a better sense of which “voter buttons” to push. It helps, of course, that Democrats weren’t constrained by such old-fashioned notions as truth and decency, but the fact remains that McCain and Romney never connected with voters. I can’t help believe that,despite the despicable stuff coming from the Democrats, Reagan, with his sunny good humor and folksy ability to simplify complex ideas and relate them directly to voters, would have connected easily.
My husband and I are watching season two of House of Cards on Netflix. Indeed, we expect to finish the series tonight. I agree with everything Andrew Klavan says about it.
Kevin Williamson was adopted, a personal matter he brings up solely because he’s very concerned about a push across America to open previously closed adoptions. Being Kevin Williamson, he makes an excellent case about the right to privacy. Reading his article led me to a different thought. The Left is all about severing family ties, so that the state becomes all-powerful in people’s lives. It’s therefore funny that, in this single area, the state is all about forcing family ties where people don’t want them to exist.
VDH has a great one about the Left’s war on science. The Left supported science when it dovetailed with Leftist ideology. Now that this dovetailing has ended (yes, life does begin before birth; no, California’s devastating drought has more to do with overpopulation and environmentalist kibosh’s on new reservoirs than it does with global warming), the Left has become defiantly anti-science — but, being the Left, it masks this defiance under the mantle of science. Always remember, Leftists are Humpty-Dumpty: they determine what words mean.
And finally, Keith Koffler writes the scathing post Obama deserves for planning his third luxury vacation in as many months — a plane that Obama fears will be derailed because of that pesky Putin. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson’s campaign was “He kept us out of war.” If Obama in the next few days manages to lay to rest America’s involvement in Ukraine, his personal motto will be “I kept us out of war so that I could go on vacation.”