Both my computer and I have been moving sluggishly this weekend, but things have been happening at WOW! Magazine, the collaborative online magazine from the Watcher’s Council. If you crave more than my blog can offer, check these out:
If I do this post right, you will end up agreeing that there’s a very close relationship between Western immigration policies over the past twenty years and the way in which Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie allegedly have raised their children.
With news of Brangelina’s breakup, the tabloids are rehashing allegations about the decidedly non-traditional way in which they’re raising their six children, three of whom they adopted and three of whom are their biological children. Before I go any further, I don’t think there’s any question but that Brad and Angelina love their children. Love, however, is not always enough and, indeed, love untempered by other virtues can be downright damaging.
Angelina is apparently the lead voice in the household when it comes to parental decisions. Obviously a disciple of Rousseau, she believes that children should run free, untrammeled by adult conventions and expectations. The Daily Mail, as one would expect, has some details:
“Ipse dixit” is one of the more charming Latin phrases you’ll find in legal writing. It translates to “he himself has said it.” (As an aside, Gilbert & Sullivan aficionado’s may recognize that little phrase from H.M.S. Pinafore.) What the phrase means is that the author asserts as authority the fact that he is asserting something as authority. Another way to describe this type of argument is “boot-strapping.” The best way to understand what I’m talking about, though, is to read the incredible love letter that Caroline Siede has written to Hillary Clinton over at Boing-Boing: “To find Hillary Clinton likable, we must learn to view women as complex beings.”
As the title indicates, Siede’s premise is a simple one: Those who don’t like Hillary Clinton are guilty of sexism. Women are complex. Both men and unenlightened women hate complex women. Therefore, because Hillary is a woman, men and unenlightened women hate Hillary. QED.
You can take Siede’s analysis for whatever you think it’s worth. What I found more interesting was what I discovered when I followed up on her innumerable hyperlinks. The hyperlinks, of course, are meant to imply that every statement Siede makes is factually valid. In fact, though, following the hyperlinks more often than not led to people saying “this fact is true because I say it’s true.” I’ve dealt with lawyers who write legal briefs like that. You’ll find a hundred case citations in the brief, none of which are on point. They exist merely to lend heft to an otherwise invalid argument.
To illustrate my point, let me take just the first two paragraphs from Siede’s love letter to Hillary and to all misunderstood, complex women everywhere, and then walk you through the hyperlinks:
Whether you realize it or not, you’ve spent your entire life being trained to empathize with white men. From Odysseus to Walter White, Hamlet to Bruce Wayne, James Bond to the vast majority of biopic protagonists, our art consistently makes the argument that imperfect, even outright villainous, men have an innate core of humanity. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Good art should teach us to empathize with complex people. The problem comes not from the existence of these stories about white men, but from thelack of stories about everyone else.
That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot during this increasingly insane presidential election season. Particularly as I try to wrap my head around the fact that Hillary Clinton is on one hand the most qualified human being to ever run for president of the United States, and, on the other, one of the most disliked presidential candidates of all time. In fact, Donald Trump is the only candidate who is more disliked than Clinton. And he’s not only overtly racist, sexist, and Islamophobic, but also unfit and unprepared for office. How can these two fundamentally dissimilar politicians possibly be considered bedfellows when it comes to popular opinion?
And here’s a breakdown of the hyperlinked items in the above two paragraphs:
If Bill Clinton and Al Gore couldn’t do it, then no one can. A Leftist Facebook friend posted an article from The Hill with a lede saying that Donald Trump “floats rolling back food safety regulations.” The implication, obviously, is that in Trump’s America, we’re all going to die from salmonella and e. Coli. Read through to the end, though, and you discover that Trump is instead making a remarkably sensible suggestion:
Trump’s economic policy plan also calls for “an immediate halt to new federal regulations and a very thorough agency-level review of previous regulations to see which need to be scrapped.”
Agencies would be required to list all regulations and rank them in terms of their contribution to growth, health and safety. The goal, Trump said, would be to strengthen the rules that are useful and reduce the rules that harm the economy.
One of my Leftist Facebook friends stopped with the lede, of course, and envisioned our nation drowning in fecal matter emanating from food-poisoned Americans. In a comment, I quoted the above language and suggested that it was a good idea to control regulations, which are so big no one can know them, are often non-effective, are frequently inconsistent with each other, and are too often quasi-legislation.
To seal it for this Leftist, I reminded him that Bill Clinton had assigned Al Gore this very task of cutting back on America’s burgeoning regulations, although it never came to anything. And that’s when my Facebook friend essentially said “Well, if Al Gore and Bill Clinton couldn’t do it, then no one can. After all, Trump has never been a politician, and he’s really stupid, so what does he know?”
My reply was that voters may be hoping that it’s an advantage that Trump hasn’t been a politician. He may have out-of-the-box (i.e., out-of-D.C.) ideas that actually work. The response? A reiteration that Trump is stupid. (Has there ever been a Republican candidate, no matter how successful and brilliant, whom the Left hasn’t called stupid? I don’t think so. It’s a tired idea.)
Agencies must be reined in. Exhibit A in the “agencies need to be cut back and God willing Trump is the man to do it” category is the fact that the FBI thinks it is more important than Congress is. So it was that Jason Chaffetz had to explain to the acting FBI chair that, no, Congress gets to have all of the notes from Hillary’s FBI interview — and then serves him, then and there, with a subpoena.
The funny thing about the WaPo’s indictment of Trump as a scam artist. The Washington Post is beside itself with excitement that ardent Hillary supporter, and pay for play attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, is starting an investigation into Trump’s charitable foundation. I got three paragraphs into the WaPo editorial supporting this investigation and castigating Trump before I broke into uncontrollable laughter:
The older of my two dogs is very high-strung and she got so frightened by the wind that carried the fog in tonight that I’ve had to sequester her and me in my home office so that Mr. Bookworm, who needs to get up for work tomorrow, can sleep. She shows no signs of settling, so I’m blogging.
No matter how you slice it, Trump is the less risky gamble. Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Publius Decius Mus quite graphically presents the issue that I have been arguing all summer:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
Precisely. Trump, with all his flaws, is better than Hillary. Up until a few months ago, one could argue that Hillary is just another garden-variety Leftist and that the American republic will survive despite her.
That’s all changed now. Knowing as we do of her extraordinary corruption — whether in running the State Department as a Pay-for-Play profit center for herself, her husband, and her daughter, or deliberately exposing all of America’s state secrets to try to hide her gross malfeasance — electing her to the presidency means that America has fully embraced banana republic status.
In the wake of a Hillary victory, thanks to Comey and the American voters (including all those #NeverTrumpers), there will no longer be a rule of law in America that applies equally to all citizens. We will in one fell swoop have destroyed a legal system that goes back 1215 when England first put into writing in the Magna Carta a policy saying that no one, not even a king, is above the law. As of now, Hillary and her cronies are above the law and it will be a disaster if the American people put their imprimatur on that utterly corrupt, anti-democratic principle.
One more thing: As Publius Decius Mus explains, Hillary’s been wrong about every single policy stance she’s ever taken (including the ones where she’s changed her stance repeatedly according to the latest poll data), while Trump, in his fumbling, bumbling way, has been right about all of the most important policy issues facing America. So maybe he’s not so bad after all.
Hillary’s cough has sounded awfully familiar to me — and today I finally figured out what Hillary’s endless coughing jags bring to mind. To back up a minute, though. . . .
As anyone following the news knows, Hillary’s been coughing a lot . . . an awful lot. Just today, while campaigning in Cleveland, Hillary practically coughed a lung out. Moreover, she was rude enough to cough into her hand, which has been de trop ever since the swine floor, rather than her elbow, the more socially acceptable way to cough:
Watching Hillary hack away, I finally figured out where I’ve heard that cough before. Think back, way back, to the Ernie Kovacs Show. I’m too young to have watched it in its first iteration, but I did see it when it was replayed on PBS back in the 1970s. One of the images that stayed with me was Kovacs’ character “Eugene,” who brings sound effects to everything he does. Near the end of a sketch, he checks out the books on a shelf, with one of those books being Camille (the English translation of Alexander Dumas fils’ La Dame aux Camélias). I’ve queued the following clip to the correct moment, but if it doesn’t start correctly, go to 9:51.
Yup. Hillary sounds exactly like the consumptive prostitute coughing in Ernie Kovacs’ comedic moment. I won’t draw any analogies, although I can’t help but add that the prostitute in Camille was surprisingly virtuous, ending any actual comparison with Hillary. What I will say is that I’m glad to have chased down the fugitive memory that was haunting me every time I heard Hillary hack.
I have lots — and I do mean lots — of interesting links for you today. Before I start, though, I want to address a point I read from someone worried about what Brexit and Trump mean. In an age of anti-intellectualism, he said, bigotry is inevitable.
Believe it or not, considering that I wholeheartedly support Brexit and grudgingly support Trump, I agree with that sentiment. Where I probably differ from the person voicing the idea is that I don’t see the anti-intellectualism and resulting bigotry amongst the Trump and Brexit voters. Instead, I see it on the Left — in the universities, in the media, and in the offices of politicians and financiers.
You see, I’m a little old-fashioned in the way in which I define an “intellectual.” You don’t get to denominate yourself an intellectual simply because you attended or teach at a university, or have a white-collar job that first required one of those university degrees. Instead, when I think of an intellectual, I think of someone with a very broad, and often very deep, fund of knowledge about myriad things, ranging from history to literature to science. This person has read widely, has been exposed to the great thinkers of the Judeo-Christian, Western intellectual tradition, and is as open to true knowledge as a dry sponge is to water.
In today’s world, you will not find this broad-minded, rich intellectual in any of the universities, whether among students or faculty, nor will you find this kind of mind in the post-university white-collar professions. These academics and professionals may style themselves as an intellectual elite, but the evidence on the ground shows that universities no longer teach, they propagandize. Students are no longer exposed to broad swathes of history, literature, and science. Instead, they drill down endlessly into victim studies, victim literature, and climate change “science.” They come out of college less educated than when they went in. To the extent they might have entered with open minds and a basic grasp of logic, they emerge with tightly-closed minds and a ferocious bigotry, one that is based entirely on skin color, sex, and sexual orientation.
This bigotry holds that the only white people who aren’t evil are women and people from the LGBT spectrum. All other white people (i.e., straight men) must constantly virtue signal that they have accepted that they were born sinners and must spend their lives expiating that sin. This same bigotry holds that persons of color, any color, are weak and childlike, and must be protected from white males who fail to do constant obeisance to the victim hierarchy. “Good” whites, of course, understand how delicate persons of color are and treat them with the appropriate combination of reverence and condescension.
It is these anti-intellectual bigots who support a transnational elite that exists without regard to national boundaries or national values. The problem for these self-styled elites is that, while they benefitted from their transnational Progressivism, those over whom they’ve had power have suffered as the masses always do when an elite group parts ways with democracy and looks out for itself. This is why Trump and Brexit represent the triumph of democracy over the elite class’s anti-intellectualism and bigotry.
And now to the links, of which I have many:
Although the question of Muslim refugees is no longer front page news, the Left is still keeping up the relentless drumbeat that those of us who oppose unfettered Syrian and Islamic immigration into America are racist, “Islamophobic,”* and unconstitutional. We’re told it’s wrong of us to judge the many by the bad actions of a few and that we’re running counter to our legal system’s insistence that people are innocent until proven guilty.
This is misdirection. We are not as a nation trying to obtain a criminal conviction against today’s immigrant because of a specific terrorist act committed by yesterday’s immigrant. Instead, we are engaging in intelligent risk analysis which is consistent with American law and tradition, with sanity, and with national survival. We aren’t doing anything that shames us.
That we shouldn’t be embarrassed hasn’t stopped the Left, of course, I keep seeing posts and articles by or about this good Muslim or that group of good Syrian Muslims. Today’s example, from the WaPo, is about Syrian refugees in England who helped out when floods hit:
According to reports in the Guardian newspaper and elsewhere, a group of Syrian refugees has been working in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, shoveling sand into sandbags to help avert more flooding.
“We saw the pictures on TV and wanted to help,” Yasser al-Jassem, a 35-year-old teacher, told the Guardian, adding that the people of Greater Manchester had been good to him and others in his group and that they wanted to help in response.
Good for those guys! That’s precisely what people who have been given refuge in another land should be doing. I wish all of them were moved by that spirit of gratitude. I’d love to see thousands of stories precisely like that one.
In addition to the “watch these Muslims being good citizens” stories, I also keep seeing posts and articles in which Muslims state “I, personally, am a good person, so you need to get off my back and start using my example as a reason to stop judging all Muslims as potential terrorists.” The most recent example of that phenomenon, again from the WaPo, was the stridently self-righteous post from Rana Elmir, the deputy director of the Michigan chapter of the ACLU, saying that she is not her Muslim brother’s keeper:
I’m a pessimist. I’ve learned through experience that most things go wrong, whether in the world or in my life. Still, I never completely lose hope. If I didn’t have hope, frankly, I would stop moving entirely.
Despite the knowledge that my best laid plans will gang [mostly] aft agley, I wake up every morning with slightly more than half my brain saying “this time the good thing will happen,” and slightly less than half warning “you know it won’t.” The first part gets me out of bed with the sun, the second part gives me insomnia with the moon.
Anyway, that oxymoronic attitude infuses my blog. I’m never surprised when I read about Progressive perfidy, Islamist terrorism, or human stupidity and cruelty, but I always think, maybe something will change . . . maybe it will be better. And on that note, I offer you a cornucopia of things, both old and new, that acknowledge the bad, but perhaps hold out hope for the good.
If Imam Obama doesn’t speak for sharia, who does?
Obama, whose resume does not include either professional or amateur level knowledge about Islam, nevertheless is very keen to tell us each time there’s an Islamic terror attack anywhere in the world that the perpetrators are un-Islamic and do not speak for Islam. Rather than confound Obama with complicated doctrinal questions, Roger Kimball asks one very important one: So Who Does Speak for Islam, President Obama? Kimball even offers a few suggested answers to that question:
Saudi Arabia? It is the world’s most important Sunni Muslim state. One of the most ghastly things about ISIS is its followers’ penchant for beheading people, yet in 2015 alone, our “ally” Saudi Arabia has beheaded 151 people. I am surprised the number is not higher; the list of things that are capital offenses in Saudi Arabia is long and varied.
Apostasy makes the list. If you decide that Allah is not for you, it’s off with your head.
Want a glass of wine? Think twice. The consumption of intoxicants is on the list, as is consensual homosexual sex, adultery, and “sorcery or witchcraft.”
So, presumably, Obama would not let Saudi Arabia speak for Islam.
How about the world’s largest Shia state, Iran? Does it speak for Islam? If not, why not? Because it is just as much a barbaric cesspool as Saudi Arabia?
You see how it’s going to proceed. Last night, Barack Obama was at pains to distance us from “those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity.” Well, with that statement Obama forbids the majority of the world’s Muslims, including the denizens of Islam’s chief states, from speaking for Islam.
Let’s forget conquest and terror: there are millions of folks who call themselves Muslims, yet want nothing to do with jihadist violence. Do they speak for Islam?
Well, if they affirm Sharia — Islamic law — then they cannot in principle affirm “the values of religious tolerance,” etc., so Obama does not allow these Muslims to speak for Islam, either.
Using Trump’s statements about Muslim immigration as the first step in an intelligent immigration plan
If Donald Trump were an artist, he would not be a delicate miniaturist or a meticulous late-medieval Flemish craftsman. Instead, he would be Jackson Pollock or possibly Jeff Koons. He’s creating something all right, but there’s a destructive edge to his creative acts.
Thus, when Donald Trump announced, less than tactfully, that all Muslim immigration ought to step pending Congress’s ability to figure out what’s going on with Muslim immigrants (both ordinary and refugee), he created an immediate furor. There was that the destructive part of his creativity. But Trump also said something that needs to be said, which is that the American government fails in its obligation to protect Americans against enemies both foreign and domestic when it willingly lets foreign enemies turn into domestic ones.
As spelled out to the credulous public, Trump’s proposal was to ban all Muslims forever. That’s a bad idea. It’s unreasonably xenophobic, and it prevents America from welcoming Muslims who are not religious zealots and who look favorably upon an open, pluralist society that respects the separation of church and state.
In fact, though, that’s not what Trump proposed. What he proposed, inarticulately on day one and more articulately on day two, is that the US pause all Muslim immigration. This pause will give Congress time to study the problem of jihadists and extremists coming in with ordinary Muslim folks, and to craft legislation that will provide maximum protection for Americans.
Phrased that way, a pause is not a bad idea. After all, when you live in America, and especially when you’re a citizen, you have distinct constitutional rights, one of which is the right to have your government protect you from foreign enemies who wish to become domestic.
Of course, if you are a citizen of another nation living outside of America’s borders, you have no constitutional rights whatsoever, including the right of automatic entry. The endless debate over Latin American illegals (and yes, people can be illegal if their status is such that they shouldn’t be here at all) has muddied the waters, at least in weak liberal minds.
Anyway, based upon people’s short attention spans and the misleading headlines, people on both the Left and the Right instantly began shouting out an opinion about whether an American president has the constitutional power to ban Muslims. Let me keep the answer to that one short: Yes, the president has that power. Democrat presidents have done it before, and there’s no reason a vaguely Republican businessman can’t do it again if he’s in the White House.
But why go that far? That is, why implicate the constitution at all? As Obama has shown us with his south of the border shenanigans, the president in his management capacity can simply issue signing or executive orders opening and closing the borders at his whim.
Kudos to JK Brown for finding this Milton Friedman lecture in which he discusses the way in which the welfare state affects immigration. Europe might want to watch this video. The immigration discussion starts at about nine and a half minutes into the lecture:
Back in 1969 or 1970, during the height of the 1960s era upheavals, Gil Scott-Heron wrote a poem/song claiming “the revolution will not be televised.” The lyrics implied that the media would be so anodyne that, while revolution was on the streets, those watching their TVs would see only pabulum. What Scott-Heron couldn’t perceive was that, thanks to technological advances, the revolutionaries would create their own television spectacles. We see that most dramatically with ISIS, which enjoys filming and televising its trail of murder, rapine, and destruction, as well as with the American activists who turn life’s frictions into catalysts for riot and revolution.
And today we saw something that managed to have roots both in a protest against life’s friction and in ISIS’s sadistic voyeurism: It turns out that Vester Lee Flanigan, the man who murdered TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, and seriously injured Chamber of Commerce representative Vicki Gardner, (a) committed the murder in part because Parker allegedly made racist comments before Flanigan and Parker ever worked together and (b) GoPro’d the murder:
The revolution will be televised, and it will be the revolutionaries, especially the sadistic voyeurs, doing the televising.
Oh, and because the usual suspects have used this horrible murder as ammunition in their war on the Second Amendment, you might want to have as your own talking point the fact that gun crime has dropped 49% since 1993, something the vast majority of Americans do not know.
Donald Trump and Univision’s Jorge Ramos
I do not like Trump. I do not believe he’s a conservative. I do believe he’s a megalomaniac. I sincerely hope he burns out soon, so that more serious candidates (my current faves are Cruz and Fiorina) can get their rightful place in the limelight.
Having said that, I totally understand why people are so enthusiastic about Trump’s demagogic candidacy. Part of it the support comes from people’s sense that a lawless administration needs to be reined in about illegal immigration.
Incidentally, I just made an important point, if I do say so myself. Contrary to Leftist claims, those who support Trump are not xenophobes, trying to lock Hispanics out of the country. They are, instead, ordinary lawful citizens who are horrified by the fact that the current executive branch in this country is willfully violating laws that Congress passed to preserve this country’s sovereignty. It’s not racist to ask your government to enforce its own laws. But back to Trump….
What people like about Trump is his absolute refusal to play by the PC rules that Leftists have long used to stifle conservative speech and action. Ramos was out of line to use his Hispanic heft to muscle into a speech at the Donald’s press conference, and the Donald rightly put him in his place. Then, when Ramos played by the rules and waited his turn, Trump again put him in his place by answering in straightforward fashion questions about the border, pnce again blogging Ramos’s speechifying.
Leftists are bullies who work hard to control speech and thought through whatever means are available. In Trump, they’ve met an even bigger bully than they are. While I’d hate to see Trump in the driver’s seat at the White House, it’s a pleasure to see him out bully the Left on the campaign trail.
Daniel Pipes on the possibility that Tehran rejects the deal
To those of us watching Obama work hard to hand billions of dollars and unlimited nuclear capacity to the Iranians, it seems inconceivable that the Iranians might reject the deal. Moreover, if that were to happen, I think most of us would have, as our instinctive first response, the thought that it’s good to see Obama humiliated in such a way.
Daniel Pipes, however, argues that the possibility is real that Tehran could reject the deal and that, absent some careful groundwork, if it were to happen, it could have unpleasant ramifications, not for Obama, but for Israel and other opponents of the deal:
Leaders of fanatical and brutal government such as Khamenei’s invariably make ideological purity and personal power their highest priorities and he is no exception. From this point of view – its impact on the regime’s longevity – the deal contains two problems.
First, it betrays Ayatollah Khameini’s vision of unyielding enmity to the United States, a core principle that has guided the Islamic republic since he founded it in 1979. A substantial portion of the leadership, including Khamenei himself, hold to a purist vision that sees any relations with the United States as unacceptable and bordering on treachery. For this reason, Tehran has long been the world’s only capital not seeking improved relations with Washington. These rejectionists disdain the benefits of the deal; they refuse it on grounds of principle.
Second, Iranian opponents of the JCPOA worry about its eroding the Islamist values of Khameini’s revolution. They fear that the businessmen, tourists, students, artists, et al., perched soon to descend on an newly-opened Iran will further tempt the local population away from the difficult path of resistance and martyrdom in favor of consumerism, individualism, feminism, and multiculturalism. They despise and dread American clothing, music, videos, and education. Khamenei himself talks of the U.S. government seeking a way “to penetrate into the country.” From their point of view, isolation and poverty have their virtues as means to keep the Iranian revolution alive.
Back in the West, opponents of the deal will, of course, rejoice if Khamenei rejects the deal. But his doing so also presents them with a problem. After claiming that Obama has given away the store, they must confront the awkward fact that the Iranian leadership turned down his offer. As Obama emerges as an apparent hard-liner who protected American interests and out-bargained the bazaar merchants, their argument collapses. His accusation about their “making common cause” with the Iranian rejectionists will look newly convincing and terribly damning. Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, currently in Obama’s dog house, is especially at risk of being dismissed as foolish.
To avoid this fate, the deal’s opponents must immediately prepare for the possibility of an Iranian “no.”
Read the whole thing here.
The 14th Amendment is not intended to extend birthright citizenship to people who are here illegally
The 14th Amendment’s reference to birthright citizenship was intended to give American blacks citizenship. Blacks did not come to America voluntarily. Whites brought them here forcibly, and then kept them captive. The least America could do was make them and their children citizens of this country.
The 14th amendment was not intended (a) to provide an incentive for people to make a voluntary illegal journey here and then to use the subsequent birth of their children as an anchor to stay in perpetuity or (b) to entice monied people to come here solely for their child’s birth, before returning to their own country. It’s not complicated; it is, instead, a grotesque perversion of our Constitution to hold otherwise.
I actually have thought a fair bit about birthright citizenship because my father was the child of a German Jewish woman and a Polish Jewish man of Romanian decent. His mother had been in Germany for centuries and was a German citizen. His father was a legal immigrant in Germany, but retained his Polish citizenry. My father, although born in Germany in 1919 to a German mother, was a Polish citizen. That’s why, when he and my mother sought to immigrate legally to America in the 1950s, it took him years to get a visa — America wasn’t thrilled at the time about getting more Polish residents. I always thought it was unfair to my father, that he was born in Germany to legal residents, but was a Pole.
The same does not hold true in my mind for people who should not be here in the first place. They weren’t invited, they weren’t forced here, and they didn’t follow the legal process to get here. They are, to my mind, non-people under American law and they should not get any of the benefits that either the law or the constitution extend to people born here, invited here, forced here, and legally welcomed here.
Of course, the media is doing its best to hide from everyone the fact that birthright citizenship is not the reward for every cheat who enters this country.
Yet another blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt
Okay, the story below isn’t really a blow to the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, because a media that (a) worships Roosevelt and (b) isn’t going to let Americans get a glimpse into the sordid side of Roosevelt’s personality and presidency will never cover it.
The fact is, though, that Roosevelt was either a racist or an exceptionally petty man — or both. Certainly Roosevelt didn’t care that Jews were being slaughtered. He didn’t integrate the WWII military. And he refused to congratulate Jessie Owens in 1936:
Back home, ticker tape parades feted Owens in New York City and Cleveland. Hundreds of thousands of Americans came out to cheer him. Letters, phone calls, and telegrams streamed in from around the world to congratulate him. From one important man, however, no word of recognition ever came. As Owens later put it, “Hitler didn’t snub me; it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send a telegram.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, leader of a major political party with deep roots in racism, couldn’t bring himself to utter a word of support, which may have been a factor in Owens’s decision to campaign for Republican Alf Landon in the 1936 presidential election. FDR invited all the white US Olympians to the White House, but not Jesse.
“It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close,” Owens once said about athletic competition. He could have taught FDR a few lessons in character, but the president never gave him the chance. Owens wouldn’t be invited to the White House for almost 20 years — not until Dwight Eisenhower named him “Ambassador of Sports” in 1955.
The gay rights movement is not the same as the civil rights movement
I have to admit to being surprised (rather pleasantly) to see the New York Times run an op-ed from someone pointing out that the gay rights and civil rights movement are not the same. John Corvino is a philosophy professor, so his writing made my eyes role into the back of my head (I could almost see my brain), but I appreciate his careful effort to explain that, while the movements share similarities, they are not the same and that it’s an error to impose draconian government speech restrictions on those who, for reasons of faith, aren’t anxious to embrace gay marriage. Indeed, Corvino makes an argument I’ve been making for years, which is that the civil rights movement saw individuals protesting government conduct while the gay rights movement is using the government to enforce private conduct:
When civil rights laws were passed, discrimination against blacks was pervasive, state-sponsored and socially intractable. Pervasive, meaning that there weren’t scores of other photographers clamoring for their business. State-sponsored, meaning that segregation was not merely permitted but in fact legally enforced, even in basic public accommodations and services. Socially intractable, meaning that without higher-level legal intervention, the situation was unlikely to improve. To treat the lesbian couple’s situation as identical — and thus as obviously deserving of the same legal remedy — is to minimize our racist past and exaggerate L.G.B.T.-rights opponents’ current strength.
Leftists are so damn smug
I’ve had the link to this video on my spindle for about a week now. In the elapsed time since I first tagged it, but didn’t get the chance to write about it, it’s gone viral, even to the point of Ellen Degeneris sending out a tweet. In it, a father videos himself celebrating the fact that his little boy got a “Little Mermaid” doll at the toy store.
Why did I tag it to bring to your attention? Because the father is so smug. Smug is not the right response to a personal family decision. Instead, it’s apparent that this guy knew precisely what kind of traction this video would get and desperately wanted his 15 seconds of fame.
Leftists are so damn greedy
You’ll know without my comments what to make of a lawyer saying that blacks and other oppressed people should steal from big retailers, because the fact that retailers have insurance means that it’s not a crime. Separate from the immorality and racism of what he says, he needs an economics lesson courtesy of Bastiat.
Even Israel supports sharia law
One of the hallmarks of a free society is free speech. One of the hallmarks of a sharia society is that, whether through word or deed, you’re not allowed to criticize any aspect of Islam, especially the pedophile prophet. Yet in Israel, a free country chronically under attack by the pedophile’s followers, the government enforces sharia on Islam’s behalf:
Israeli police arrested a fourth person for calling Mohammed a pig. Avia Morris, the first person arrested described being taunted with cries of “Allahu Akbar” and “Kill the Jews” along with signs of support for ISIS. But it only became a legal matter when the twenty-year-old woman retorted, “Mohammed is a pig.”
Daniel Greenfield has a great deal more on Mohammed’s piggishness and on Western government’s enthusiastic willingness to become an arm of the sharia police when speakers point out Mohammed’s many, many failings:
The response to Muslim violence has been greater extremes of censorship. There is a direct connection between the amount of protective censorship imposed on any criticism of Islam and Islamic violence. The Clinton administration rant about Tatiana’s cartoon took place after the World Trade Center bombing. And yet it would have been unthinkable then to lock up a Mohammed filmmaker, as Hillary and Obama did after the Benghazi massacre. Each new atrocity creates new momentum for censorship.
The Israeli police behave the way they do because the authorities are desperate to keep some kind of peace and it is always easier to censor, arrest and control non-Muslims than Muslims. That is also why the authorities in European countries are far more willing to lock up those who burn the Koran or criticize Islam than the Salafis who patrol the streets as Sharia police and call for a Caliphate.
This is not tolerance. It’s appeasement. It’s cowardice and treason.
Need I point out that these are the same governments that are entirely comfortable with Christs in urine, Marys in elephant dung, and horribly antisemitic pictures of Jews?
No matter how nice Obama makes with Cuba, Cuba is still a nasty place
We have diplomatic relationships with all sorts of nasty regimes. What’s disgusting about Obama and Co. is that they’re pretending that Cuba isn’t a nasty regime. Cracked, of all sites, points out that the Left is lying — Cuba’s a bad place, let by ugly, violent people.
Income inequality and poverty are not the same thing
Writing at Forbes, Harry Frankfurt makes a very important point in response to hysterical screams about income inequality, all of which end up with demands for government mandated wealth redistribution:
It isn’t especially desirable that each have the same as others. What is bad is not inequality; it is poverty. We should want each person to have enough—that is, enough to support the pursuit of a life in which his or her own reasonable ambitions and needs may be comfortably satisfied. This individually measured sufficiency, which by definition precludes the burdens and deprivations of poverty, is clearly a more sensible goal than the achievement of an impersonally calibrated equality.
It is not inequality itself that is to be decried; nor is it equality itself that is to be applauded. We must try to eliminate poverty, not because the poor have less than others but because being poor is full of hardship and suffering. We must control inequality, not because the rich have much more than the poor but because of the tendency of inequality to generate unacceptable discrepancies in social and political influence. Inequality is not in itself objectionable—and neither is equality in itself a morally required ideal.
Ben Shapiro and my sister sort of agree
My sister is a rather indifferent libertarian who pays as little attention to the news as possible. However, we had a conversation when I spoke about the fact that voters cannot make informed decisions when the media deliberately hides data. My example was the Planned Parenthood videos showing Planned Parenthood facilities engaging in the sale of human body parts in a way that (a) appears to show them violating laws against profiting from that sale; (b) appears to show them failing to notify the women having the abortions what will be done about those body parts; and (c) makes it clear how revolting the traffic in fetal body parts really is.
When I described the videos to her, my sister was horrified. Libertarian she may be; secularist she may be; government out of my womb she may be — but she understands that there is a moment when that fetus is a viable life and at that moment she believes, as do most Americans, that it’s murder to vacuum it out of a woman’s body and kill it without a damn good reason for doing so. Although she won’t watch it, she would find herself agreeing with Ben Shapiro’s video:
More climate lies
Just in case you wanted to know, NOAA committed the usual acts of climate-based scientific fraud with Oklahoma temperature data.
If you need some inspiration today…
Dubai — impressive or disgusting?
I’m not a fan of conspicuous consumption, so I find Dubai’s excess disgusting. Having said that, it’s disgusting in a kind of fascinating way.