Thursday afternoon round-up (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesYesterday, I was in a blogging frenzy.  Today?  Not so much….  I’m a little depleted after having spent more than an hour trying to reach someone at the Social Security administration to resend my mother’s tax info, which had gotten lost in the mail.  The first half hour was spent trying to figure out how to connect to a human.  The rest of the time was spent waiting to speak to the human.  If this was a business, I’d cease doing business with it.  But it’s not.  It’s a government monopoly and I was trapped.  Sheesh!

I wish I had known beforehand that, today and tomorrow only, I could download for free Dennis Koller’s The Oath. At least I would have been able to while away pleasant my time on hold (although it was hard to concentrate on anything because the SSA has the worst, most crackly, most poorly chosen “hold” Muzak ever created).

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One of the hallmarks of tyranny is the attitude that “the end justifies the means.” With this attitude, you give yourself a carte blanche to do anything you like, far from petty little things such as due process, rule of law, morality, decency, etc. That’s why Jamelle Bouie thinks it’s just fine that D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray engaged in unabashed campaign financing corruption — it was for the greater good. If I ever get stopped by a cop for rolling through a stop sign, I’m going to tell him it was for the greater good, since hypermiling, which includes using as few stops and starts as possible, helps save the environment. Yeah, that should get me out of a ticket.

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Harry Reid’s increasingly unhinged attacks on the Koch brothers are disturbing at two levels. First, as I mentioned, they’re unhinged. Reid has gone from malevolent and corrupt (only corrupt career politicians become multimillionaires, as he did) to insane. Someone ought to reach out and help him before he needs a straitjacket and padded room. Second, no one is going to help him, because his insanity is representative of the Democrat party as a whole. The whole party has run itself off the rails — and since the lunatics are in charge of the asylum, the madness just keeps rolling. It’s not “Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez,” it’s “Laissez En Temps Fous Roulent.”

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I’m impressed that American businesses still have the capacity to be “stunned” (The Hill’s words) by Obama’s announcement that he’s going to create a rule mandating overtime pay for management level employees, something that will devastate American productivity. (No kidding. I’ve worked in enough offices to know that the energy in the offices comes from striving mid-level management and executives seeking bonuses, promotions, pay raises, and fame through overtime work.) Obama has attacked businesses from his first day in office. Wouldn’t you think that they’d be used to it now?

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The only difference between Obama and Nixon is that Nixon had a hostile press corps — something that arguably saved America as a constitutional republican democracy. Our generation isn’t so lucky.

Obama also has the advantage of an utterly compliant Congress, with complete Dem control in the Senate and complete RINO/Dem control in the House.

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In my blogging frenzy yesterday, I wrote that I no longer believe uncorroborated stories about incidents, either positive or negative, involving gays. Too many hoaxes, I said. And right on time comes another story about another hate-crime hoax.

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The sexual revolution came about because of the baby boom, the Pill, and antibiotics. The baby boomers are now old and wrinkled, the Pill is being handed out to 12 year olds, and antibiotics no longer work. Regarding that last one, the CDC says gonorrhea is on the verge of going pre-modern and becoming untreatable once again.

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There are two problems with the Associated Press. The first is that it’s ubiquitous, providing “news” content for just about every outlet in the world. The second is that it’s almost laughably partisan and dishonest. The only problem with that “laughable” part is that the joke is on American political discourse.

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And why not put transexuals in the military? We’ve done everything else we can think of to make it an uncomfortable place for the vast majority of troops who, like most Americans, espouse a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to people’s sexual orientation, but are much less comfortable with being placed at the front line of the culture wars. Our president has made it increasingly obvious that he doesn’t view the military as our defense in a dangerous world; instead, it’s an institution that he can manipulate to his heart’s content to make it conform to his ideas about what an appropriately PC society will look like. It’s not a military; it’s a sociology experiment.

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I think the new “nagging mom” meme that the Department of Health and Human Services is using in an effort to encourage young people to enroll in Obamacare is perfect. It’s the visual embodiment of the Left’s belief that American citizens are perpetual children who must be bribed, managed, bullied, and cajoled by their wise parents in the Democrat Party.

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My kids have already been watching “The Story of Stuff” in high school. It’s times like this that I’m grateful that they’re not perfect students, paying attention to everything in class.

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My friend Rob Miller (aka JoshuaPundit) has appropriately unkind words about Palestinian premier for life Abbas.

Conservatives should take a page out of the Islamists’ book and disavow bad actors marching under their banner

Mia TalericoA friend tipped me off to the fact that a few deranged individuals have been sending hate mail and threats to an absolutely adorable five-year-old girl who stars on the Disney Channel’s show Good Luck Charlie.  The trigger for this behavior was an episode in the show that saw Disney decide to peddle same-sex marriage to the kindergarten crowd:

On January 26, the Disney Channel made a gentle stride into a more progressive era by featuring its first-ever same-sex couple on an episode of Good Luck Charlie, introducing two lesbian moms who bring their child over for a playdate, then show everyone they’re just like normal parents by not scissoring or establishing a golf pro shop in front of the kids.

Unsurprisingly, conservative groups objected to Disney’s tactic, proving that they’re a bit slow on the uptake here.  As the friend who notified me about the kerfuffle pointed out, Disney long-ago stopped being family friendly, meaning that it no longer stands for the family values in which Walt Disney believed and that were once normative in America.

In the last couple of decades, Disney has been responsible for an incredible amount of brightly colored, highly polished, cheerily-presented trash being streamed into America’s homes.  Small wonder that so many former Disney stars have embraced drink, drugs, and very public sexual misbehavior.  (Hey, Miley!  Is that you?)  Indeed, to discredit once and for all any hint of Walt Disney’s old-fashioned values, big name stars such as the ubiquitous (and, to me, increasingly dull) Meryl Streep have resurrected the old Leftist canard — unsupported by any evidence — that Walt was a rabid anti-Semite and someone so sexist that, even by the standards of the day, he stood out.  All of which is to say that nowadays Disney is just another corporate Hollywood institution staffed primarily by the entertainment world’s Democrat Party fanatics.

But getting back to the hate mail the show engendered.  To the extent people felt the need to protest Disney’s right to preach gay marriage to the toddler set (something protected by freedom of speech, but perhaps not wise as commercial speech), they should have done so by writing to Disney’s corporate office and (a) politely explaining their objections and (b) equally politely say that, because of those objections, they would henceforth delete Disney from their child’s playlist.  Most, I’m sure, did.  At least one person, however, followed the path of derangement:

Now police are investigating some voices who have been making death threats aimed at the show’s star, Mia Talerico. By the way, Mia Talerico is 5 years old.

TMZ first noted that Talerico began receiving death threats on her Instagram feed last month, right around the time the “controversy” broke. According to police reports, these included messages such as “Die Mia, Fucking die in hell! Kill yourself, you deserve to die.” That same suspect also reportedly sent a photo of Talerico’s head covered by a bloody fist and the message, “Yes, kill you stupid bitch.” Again, Talerico is 5 years old, and the star of a Disney show about an adorable little girl that had lesbians on it one time.

My friend commented that there are few things worse than stupid conservatives.  I agree, although I think there are two other possibilities here:  (1) the person who sent those vile threats isn’t politically motivated but is, instead, solidly insane and dangerous; and (2) it’s a false flag operation, run by a Leftist seeking to discredit conservatives.  This is not as wacky as it sounds.  In the past year, I’ve been aware of two instances in which Leftists sent hate-filled material to themselves, once at Oberlin and the other at the University of Wyoming, in order to discredit conservatives and to satisfy their histrionic personality disorders.  (Here’s a list of other anti-conservative hate-crime hoaxes.)

On the off-chance, though, that this really was someone spewing insults and threats against a five-year-old in the name of conservativism, I have the perfect response. Conservatives need to use the Islamo-defense mode. You know how it goes: Some guy hollering “Allahu akbar” blows himself up in a crowd. Lots of people begin to say, “Gee, these Muslims sure are violent.” At which point the apologists in the Muslim community say, “If they’re violent, then they’re not real Muslims.” By saying that, the Muslim community disavows responsibility for the act and, by extension, disclaims any obligation to look at its teachings to see if they could be modified so as not to be an inspiration to perpetual and murderous outrage.

If conservatives were as media savvy as their ideology is realistic and intelligent, their defense here would be, “Anyone this stupid, vicious, twisted, violent, and generally hate-filled, is not a real conservative.”  Right now, we have a habit of demanding that bad actors who label themselves as conservatives should be punished for their bad acts, but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone in the conservative front lines to say “That person is not a conservative.”

Doing things the Islamo-defense way means that one never has to look at the ideologies underlying the bad behavior to determine whether the actor is in harmony with the ideology (“Muhammad is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another”) or acting in opposition to it (“hate the sin, love the sinner”). Indeed, it’s this type of blessed ignorance that allows people to declare that the 9/11 terrorists who killed 2,996 civilians on a sunny morning were Freedom Fighters indistinguishable from the American Revolutionaries who battled the British King’s troops.