Today: Sir Francis Drake circumnavigates the globe, Japan commits the Rape of Nanking, the EU conducts a coup with the Lisbon Treaty, Christmas Music
And More . . .
Today: Sir Francis Drake circumnavigates the globe, Japan commits the Rape of Nanking, the EU conducts a coup with the Lisbon Treaty, Christmas Music
And More . . .
Today: The Defeat of ISIS, The Dutch beat the English at Dungeness, 1st Notice of the Holocaust, Royals behaving badly, Christmas Music, . . .
AND MORE [Read more…]
The House is considering three articles of Impeachment. The Constitution is at issue in questions of Obstruction of Justice, Contempt of Congress and the form of the Senate Trial. Comity and Corruption are at issue as to the Bidens and Abuse of Power. And is this is an unlawful attempted coup?
The House is considering three Articles of Impeachment, one of which is expected to be for contempt of Congress. The House claims that Donald Trump refused to honor lawful subpoenas for testimony and documents as pertains to the Ukraine. Was Trump within his rights to do so? That is wholly a Constitutional question. It is also closely related in at least one relevant part to a likely Second Article of Impeachment, namely Obstruction of Justice as to the Russian Hoax inquiry.
The only vote the House of Representatives has held to authorize an impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump was defeated overwhelmingly in January, 2017. In response to the Ukraine IC IG matter, Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker, unilaterally declared an “impeachment inquiry” on September 24, 2019, and the House immediately began issuing subpoenas for witnesses and documents. As to the latest vote held a week ago to formalize the procedures being used in the ongoing Star Chamber, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was adamant that the Resolution was not an authorization of an “impeachment inquiry.”
Can anything less than a vote by the entire House of Representatives to authorize an “impeachment inquiry” be considered Constitutionally valid? As I’ve discussed before, this is far from mere form. If the House of Representatives approves a resolution for an impeachment inquiry, the House gains a power that it, by the explicit terms of the Constitution, does not otherwise possess — the judicial power to enforce subpoenas and requests for documents on matters outside its Art. I, Sec. 8 enumerated powers. Without that power, the White House was acting lawfully when it refused to cooperate. Tellingly, the House, rather than take those subpoenas to a Court to enforce them — and risk having a Court declare their proceeding unconstitutional — appears to be simply rolling all but one of their refused “subpoenas” into an contempt of Congress charge.
This Bookworm Beat has as its starting points Obama’s self-aggrandizing, offensive speech. Then it gets to the fun and interesting stuff for you to enjoy.
He’s a dear man, except when he gets on politics. Then, his inner communist emerges, loud and shrill. He listened to Obama’s speech this morning but when I asked him about it as a conversational gambit, he couldn’t tell me what he had heard. Having looked at the speech myself, I’m not surprised at his failure to discuss the speech. This inability wasn’t due to advanced age. As always, aside from self-aggrandizement and insults, Obama has little to say.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 7, 2018
So let’s move on to more interesting stuff, including more riffs about Obama’s many failures:
The Trump economy is still going strong. The economy is booming as it has few times before in American history. In his forgettable speech, Obama tried to own it.
It’s true that Obama presided over a decent stock market, but that was because investors were too afraid to do anything with their money in his hyper-regulatory environment but plant it in the stock market. They didn’t invent things, grow businesses, or hire people. To the extent people had jobs, they were dead-end, low-paying, part-time affairs. And so the economy staggered on for eight long years, without a single serious upward blip.
And then Trump got elected and, magically, the economy started roaring. It roared with even more vigor when Trump got the tax man off the back of businesses (i.e., employers) by bringing America’s corporate tax rate in line with the corporate tax rate in most of Europe. (Yup, all those semi-socialist nations so beloved of the Left had corporate tax rates lower than America’s.)
Based upon the soaring economy, I’m going to venture a prediction. I doubt that many minorities will be able to make themselves pull the lever for Republican candidates. However, I suspect that they’ll passively-aggressively do so by failing to turn out for Democrats. After all, the Democrats did not improve their living standards; at least one Republican has.
The true story behind Obama’s Iran deal made me want to cry. Wait! That’s wrong. It didn’t make me want to cry. It actually made Wendy Sherman, the chief American negotiator cry — right in front of the Iranian team. Apparently staying in a super luxury hotel for several days and eating only five star cuisine, weakened her so much that, in the face of their meanie demands, she broke down.
Matthew Continetti has the story and I urge you to read it. Then you can decide whether you want to laugh or cry. All I know is that, having read it, I thanked God once again for President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Trump garners praise for his Iraq policy. Obama incontinently left Iraq, giving birth to ISIS and creating an opening for Iran. According to one man at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, while Trump cannot undo the sum of damage Obama inflicted on that beleaguered nation, he’s making really smart decisions:
[T]he real reason why the US is staying put in Iraq is to prevent it from becoming an Iranian client state, as Lebanon has become and as Syria might soon become. The investment of 2,000 troops, most of whom serve as advisors and trainers of the Federal Army of Iraq, is worth its price in gold in achieving this objective compared to the 100,000 American troops who were on the ground before the massive withdrawal in 2010.
This underlying quest for independence from Iranian tutelage justifies President Trump’s wager that 2,000 troops might be worth maintaining to prevent the new fall of Baghdad. The least it could do is stave off the Iranians sufficiently for Iraq’s government and citizens to decide for themselves what the nature of their relationship with Iran will be.
The whole analysis makes for fascinating reading. [Read more…]
The real Obama legacy is a toxic administrative statute, a corrupt judiciary, the end of the Rule of Law, and a world that is unstable and very dangerous.
With only 1,392 days left in the Trump presidency, we’re already being told that, because Obamacare has not yet been repealed, Trump’s presidency is officially a failure. I happen to be a bit more sanguine. First, I think 1,392 days gives the administration and Congress time to act on the adage that, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Second, two bloggers who accurately called the Trump odyssey from its beginning, believe that this first attempt to remove Obamacare is, in fact, a Trump success.
According to Don Surber, who realized immediately how well Trump plays everyone, Trump went through this exercise as a way to chasten Paul Ryan, who has been unfriendly to Trump from the get-go. And according to Scott Adams, the repeal debacle destroyed the “Trump as Hitler” meme. For Lefties, the cognitive dissonance is too great if they try to hold “Trump is incompetent” and “Trump is Hitler” in their brains at the same time. The former drives out the latter . . . and Trump’s upcoming accomplishments will eventually erase the incompetent meme too, at least in the minds of all but the true believers.
The reality is that Trump is very competent indeed. While the media has been waxing alternately hysterical and lyrical about Obamacare, Trump has been decimating Obama’s regulations. With Obamacare temporarily sidelined, my Lefty Facebook friends are starting to get very, very upset about the fact that Trump is walking back a lot of regulations that kneecapped business and energy sectors. The energy walk-backs also remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
Everything that Obama did with a pen and a phone, Trump is busy undoing with a pen and a phone. Moreover, thanks to Newt’s wisdom back in the 1990s, these regs once gone, stay gone.
Before the year is out, Obamacare will be gone too. There’ll be some toxic, sticky tentacles lingering, because the bill was drafted to be like a virus that infects every area of healthcare, but most will be gone.
So what is the Obama legacy if his regulations are gone and Obamacare is gone? He’ll actually have an impressive legacy, all the more impressive because everything that cannot be erased as easily has his regulations and Obamacare is truly awful.
Possibly the worst thing Obama did was to create a partisan administrative state. As is shown by the leaks aimed at invalidating Trump’s presidency; the attempts to manipulate documents in all administrative sectors; the EPA hysteria about “anti-science”; the IRS scandal; and myriad other agency drama and corruption, Obama has destroyed the idea of a non-partisan administrative state, one in which employees, regardless of their political preferences, simply do their job. Under Obama, partisanship, no matter how corrupt, was encouraged and rewarded — and most certainly, when employees were caught, they were not disciplined. If they were, IRS chief Koskinen would have been shown the curb years ago.
Not only are administrative agencies acting as if they are the executive, the judiciary, and the legislature combined, individuals within those agencies are way too powerful, at least in their own minds. This video about Comey’s investigation into Hillary, although it’s from October, perfectly exemplifies the power games Comey has been playing (and it’s very catchy):
Islam is an aggressive religion. Wahhabi Islam is an even more aggressive culture, wiping out all the color and light of the native cultures it destroys.
I got an email with reminding me of how Borg-like Wahhabi Islam is. Wherever it goes, it destroys the native culture and leaves blackness and despair in its wake. I’ve taken the liberty of organizing the photos a bit, but the text is original to the email:
Where have all where have all the flowers gone?
It is not rude but just another reflection of why Australians are growing tired of political correctness and racial tolerance. Have you heard of reverse racial discrimination?
I’m still in my self-imposed news blackout. That does not mean that I do not care what’s going on. For those who have not yet cast their vote, here are a few things you might want to think about as you decide upon your chosen presidential candidate:
Which candidate is more likely to protect your free speech?
Which candidate is more likely to protect your free exercise of your religion?
Which candidate is more likely to protect your right to peaceable assembly?
Which candidate is more likely to protect your right to petition the government for redress?
Which candidate is more likely to support your right to keep and bear arms?
Which candidate is more likely to place upon the Supreme Court justices who respect the Constitution?
Which candidate is more likely to respect your right to live in a safe society, one in which those police officers who respect the rules are in turn respected and allowed to do their job?
Which candidate is more likely to limit immigration to legal immigrants (who are part of America’s life blood) and not illegal immigrants (who breach America’s sovereignty and destroy the rule of law)?
Which candidate is more likely to respect scientific fact, rather than repeatedly disproven scientific theories, ranging from anthropogenic climate change to gender theory?
Which candidate is more likely to be a friend to Israel?
Which candidate is less likely to Balkanize America by subdividing it into victim classes fighting for government spoils?
Which candidate is more likely to act aggressively to protect Americans and, indeed, Western civilization from the depredations of radical Islamists?
Which candidate cheats less than the other?
What candidate has so completely coopted the media that it has become impossible to trust the American media for truthful, balanced reporting?
Some of my harder-Left friends on Facebook are going crazy with posters again, so I thought this would be a good time to deconstruct a few of them. Let’s start with this one, which requires its own post. (Incidentally, the fact that it takes just one sentence to spin out a series of lies and a sadly long post to deconstruct all these lies explains why Progressives get away with so many lies: Everyone will read a short poster; few will read a long post.)
In the above poster, Occupy Democrats takes on the contention that President Obama has weakened America (a claim made by all Republican candidates, not just Trump). To challenge this assertion, OD contends that Obama’s list of accomplishments includes “tripling the stock market, cutting the unemployment and uninsured rates in half, cutting the Bush deficit by three-fifths, saving the auto industry, ending two wars, and getting bin Laden.” Let me take these claimed accomplishments one at a time:
The Obama administration and the current crop of Democrat presidential candidates have backbones of steel when it comes to their refusal to finger “radical Islam” as the perpetrator of violent terrorism around the world. If England and America had practiced that same policy back in 1939 and 1942, we would all be speaking German right now, and the Muslims (staunch Hitler allies) would be enjoying the wonders of a Jew-free world.
What the Democrats will not acknowledge is that when evil comes calling, only three things can happen: You oppose it, you join it, or you die from it. Their silence means that Democrats are not opposing it, forcing America to be complicit with it or die from it. Sensible Americans are appalled by this policy approach. Progressives, however, know their candidates are doing what needs to be done.
Thus, Progressives are convinced that, if we just throw enough “love bombs” at Islam, the radical Islamists will be charmed by what deeply spiritual and kind people we are, throw down their guns, and return their home-made explosives to their original purpose as fertilizer. One wonders how in the world the Progressives got it into their collective heads that people who auction off prepubescent girls and boys as sex slaves, crucify children, toss gays off of off the tops of buildings so as to stone them at the bottom, and glory in decapitating, drowning, burning, and blowing up Christians and prisoners of war are likely to be beguiled into harmlessness because an old hippie croons “I still love you.”
In a must-read article, Caroline Glick nails everything that’s wrong with the Leftist approach to radical Islam, all of which starts with its insistence that there is no such thing as radical Islam:
My post title notwithstanding, I am well, I have been well, and I expect that I will continue to be well. It’s just that I’ve spent between five and fifteen hours every week for the last few weeks in doctors’ offices thanks to my mother and my kids, all of whom are well, but who needed a variety of maintenance appointments. I’m all doctored out. Politics, however, still interest me:
Obama’s ego is all that stands between Israel and destruction
Obama sat down for an interview with his go-to Jew, Jeffrey Goldberg. Goldberg worships at the Obama altar, but periodically manages to sound as if he cares about the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people. I used to be fooled. I’m not anymore.
In any event, James Taranto caught Obama in a fascinating narcissistic moment in that interview. First, here’s what Goldberg wrote:\
I’m starting to dig out from under the mountains of legal and domestic detritus that’s enveloped me of late, so I have a bit of time to write again. The only problem is that I don’t know what to write. Usually I latch onto what is, to me at least, a particularly juicy subject and then try either to analyze or eviscerate it, usually at greater length than is warranted. Unfortunately, In this, the last year and a half of the Obama era, I see data points but I have no useful new analysis to add:
Data point: Ramadi has fallen. Analysis: Well, duh! Faced with a stable Iraq when he came into office, but consumed by a desire to downsize America’s worldwide presence no matter what (especially in the Muslim world), Obama withdrew all troops and left a complete vacuum, something that both Nature and Islamists abhor. Entirely predictable.
Data point: Hillary lied about the number of secret email accounts she used while Secretary of State. Analysis: Well, duh! Hillary lies. That’s what she does. Again, this was entirely predictable.
Data point: Every anthropogenic global warming prediction has failed to come true. Analysis: Well, duh! It was always obvious that these predictions were driven by misanthropic, anti-capitalistic ideologies. Yes, another entirely predictable data point.
Data point: ISIS militants attempt to stifle speech; Left cheers them all. Analysis: Well, duh! Both Islam and the Left oppose free speech which, if exercised, could destroy the premises that underlie them and that enable them to exert totalitarian control over the people unlucky enough to be in their grasp. We all saw this one coming.
Data point: Feminists are upset about something. Analysis: Well, duh! When aren’t they upset about something? It’s as if there’s a PMS force multiplier when feminists get together. We could have predicted this one way back in 1970.
Data point: College students are upset about something. Analysis: Well, duh! Having been raised in a society with such an attenuated childhood that potty training ends right about the time college begins, who can blame these special snowflakes for exhibiting all the sensitivity, maturity, and viciousness of the average two-year old on a nap-free day? By the way, it’s no coincidence that both toddlers and college students are disproportionately interested in the contents of their and other people’s underwear. Ho-hum. Saw this one a long time ago in the crystal ball.
Data point: Gay marriage activists are taking aim at traditional Christian institutions and their worshippers. Analysis: Well, duh! I said back in 2008 that the driving force behind the gay marriage push was to un-do the First Amendments freedom of religion clause. The newly discovered right to gay marriage will triumph over and destroy the Church’s right to treat monogamous heterosexual marriage as a central religious doctrine. Score one for the Bookworm prediction machine.
Data point: Obama supports totalitarian Islamic regimes at the expense of democratic, pluralist Israel. Analysis: Well, duh! That was obvious back in 2007 and 2008 when it became clear that Obama’s friends and trusted advisers were all ferociously anti-Israel and that he had spoken at a banquet supporting a radical pro-Palestinian activist — and, moreover, that the pro-Obama Los Angeles Times refused to produce video of that speech. None of Obama’s “I love Israel” words were sufficient to offset those practical realities. Are any of us surprised by the headlines?
As you can see, no matter the news today, we all had it figured out before and, often, I already wrote about it yesterday — leaving me with nothing new to add.
Perhaps I’ll be inspired tomorrow. Until then, the round-ups, in which I bring all sorts of interest articles that other people write (clearly they’re neither as jaded nor as unimaginative as I) will have to do. And by the way, if you’re more inspired than I, consider this your Open Thread.
I went to get my hair done today, which is usually a relaxed and peaceful time. Today, as usual, my hairdresser and I were talking about our respective children, when he suddenly stopped and said, “Have you been swimming?”
That question sure came out of left field. “No,” I responded. “Why?” The answer was a surprise: “Because all your gray hair is green.”
What?!!!! I hadn’t noticed that because I seldom look at myself that closely in the mirror. No one in my family had noticed it because they seldom look at me at all. But there it was: a bilious shade of green in place of my normal skunk stripe, as well as all the other swathes and patches of gray decorating my hair. I have no idea why this happened, but it did.
Gray hair doesn’t bother me; green hair does. I do not like having green hair. Its presence explains why my face had looked peculiarly flushed lately — the green highlighted the red tones in my usually pale face. Just as green is not a good hair shade for me, parboiled isn’t a good color for my face.
After much debate with his colleagues about the best way to handle this unusual problem, my hairdresser decided to go darker, because a tint would cover the green without turning my hair into over-processed straw. The result is that I have sort of reddish-brown hair that’s too dark for my tastes but that I have been assured will fade rather rapidly while at the same time (everyone hopes) still hiding the green.
The whole thing took way too long, although the haircut, as always, is perfection. This matters, because I have hair that can prove challenging to hair stylists. Finding one who is a really nice person and a superb stylist means putting up with an unexpectedly long time in the chair.
My plan today was to get home around midday, call a client, work on several legal projects, and blog. That didn’t happen. After the endless hair appointment, I had to rendezvous with the kids to take care of all sorts of unexpected “we must do it today” chores. It’s 4:15 and I’ve only just walked in. Still, I have much that I want to share with you, so you’ll get a good Friday evening, instead of a good Friday midday, read.
We can kill our way to victory against Islamists
This is an older Daniel Greenfield post, but one that I think still deserves reading. Greenfield’s point is a simple one, which is that it is possible to defeat an enemy by killing so many of his troops that there is no one left to fight, or no one left who is willing to fight (which probably means the same). Anybody, of course, can state a simple principle. Daniel Greenfield’s gift is that he can expand upon it with facts and analysis in a completely compelling way.
Alan Dershowitz challenges the talk about boycotting Netanyahu’s speech
Read and enjoy Alan Dershowitz’s fiery denunciation of the Obama administration’s efforts to get Democrats — especially black ones — to boycott Netanyahu’s speech about the existential threat Obama’s policies pose to Israel.
I won’t comment on the article — it speaks for itself — but I will comment on a couple of peripheral things. Dershowitz is a Democrat, but he’s also an ardent Israel supporter. I therefore can’t help but think that, as Obama prepares to break with Israel and ally America with Iran, it’s not a coincidence that Dershowitz suddenly found himself swept up in the pedophile sex scandal involving Jeffrey Epstein.
It’s always the same: Over the weekend, because of family demands, I get almost no time at my computer, and my email starts to back up. By Tuesday, between my two email accounts, I have several hundred unread emails. I then do the logical thing: I cravenly avoid my computer. Finally, late on Tuesday or perhaps by Wednesday, my conscience finally catches up with me and I embark on a frenzy of responding to emails, reading articles, and posting.
I’m heading for my frenzy now, although I’m somewhat hamstrung by the various drives I have to make on behalf of young people who cannot drive themselves. By the time you read this post, I’ll have been working on it intermittently for several hours, so I sure hope it’s good.
An obligatory comment about Monica Lewinsky
She still loves Bill; Drudge destroyed her life; and it’s everyone’s fault but her own that her life imploded when her affair with the president went public. Even the world’s smallest violin is too big and noisy to express how little I feel for Monica Lewinsky.
Lewinsky wasn’t 15 when she embarked on an affair with Clinton, in which case the fault would be entirely his. She was 24, by which time she was old enough to have a moral compass that said “You don’t have an affair with a married man,” and also old enough to have figured out that, considering that her partner in adultery was the president of the United States, when/if the fecal matter finally hit the fan, it would be a Cat 5 fecal storm.
It was not Matt Drudge’s fault; it was not the “bullying” media’s fault; it was not Lucianne Goldberg’s fault; it was not even Hillary’s fault, much as I would love to blame her just because I don’t like her: it was Monica’s fault and Bill’s fault, and neither is excused by the bad behavior of the other. Both behaved immorally, both tempted fate, and both got caught.
The only thing that’s really unfair is that Bill didn’t end up as ignominiously as Monica did. Apparently the party that oh-so-valiantly fights for women everywhere (as long as they’re not in politically correct Muslim countries or homes) was happy to kick Monica to the curb, while feting and enriching and even worshiping the man who let her take the fall.
How the New York Times is spinning WMDs
Up until Bush actually invaded Iraq, everyone and his uncle thought that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Indeed, as the New York Times recently made clear, everyone and his uncle (at least if they worked in the American government) knew that Hussein had WMDs . . . because the US had given them to Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. With this knowledge finally out there, Bush ought to be vindicated and the Democrats ought to be ashamed, except that in the looking glass world of American politics, that’s not what’s happening.
Presumably because of embarrassment about having given these WMDs to Hussein, during the Iraq War the Pentagon kept their discovery a secret, even though revealing them would have vindicated the decision to go to war. Meanwhile, back in the present, following Obama’s pullout from Iraq, leaving it ripe for ISIS, the New York Times is saying that these particular WMDs don’t count, precisely because they were old and American, rather than shiny new and Iraqi. I’m unclear on why they’re less WMD for this reason, but there you have it. (If you see the NYT’s author, C.J. Chivers, on The Colbert Report, he makes this point explicit.)
So, in a swirl of finger-pointing, embarrassment, and misdirection, we once again lose sight of the main point: Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Sure, we gave them to him when he was sort of our ally, but the fear in 2003 was that, when he turned out to be our enemy, he might use our weapons against us — kind of like it’s reasonable to fear now that ISIS will use against us the American weapons that the US military accidentally delivered into its hands (if ISIS reports are accepted as true).
On immigration and amnesty, the only word I can think of is “impeachment”
I don’t need to say anything. Drudge says it all:
Oh, and I guess impeachment is the word I’m thinking of when it comes to Obama’s attempt to evade Congressional scrutiny of his deal with Iran. I certainly can’t think of any decent, upright, moral, pro-America, pro-ally reason for him to do that.
A few words about ISIS’s latest video
The latest ISIS-released video gets me back to a point I’ve made before about ISIS. This particular video shows a father leading the charge when it comes to stoning his daughter to death for dishonoring the family through alleged adultery. Other than those specifics, though, it’s pure ISIS: Men torturing and murdering women, children, teenagers, and other men.
What makes ISIS different from all other torturers in the modern era is that other bad actors tried to hide their barbarism from the world at large (although they rubbed their own people’s nose in it to make sure the people stayed at heel).
The Soviet Union hid its terrors in the Kremlin basement and in Siberian gulags. When Westerners came to town, the Soviets showed their shiny happy face. The same holds true today when visitors go to Cuba or North Korea: they get taken on the rounds of all the polished, “successful” looking communities, while the government hides the fear, poverty, and despair that underpins its regime. (Think too of the Potemkin walls China put up around ghettos in Beijing for the Olympics.) The Nazis, even though they used fear to control people within their territory, were secretive about their most foul plans. The most grotesque emanations of their foul ideology took place Gestapo headquarters in occupied territory or in concentration camps.
But not ISIS. The videos we see of beheadings and stonings and crucifixions aren’t copies smuggled out of occupied territory by resistance groups trying to make the world aware that ISIS is a truly terrible entity. Instead, ISIS proudly circulates these videos to the four corners of the earth.
The word “proud” is important. ISIS doesn’t distribute these snuff films merely to strike fear in the hearts of weak Westerners. It does so because, just as we promote the products of our factories, singers, dancers, intellectuals, painters, and architects because our own sensibility says that these products reflect well on us, ISIS believes that it is showing its best face when it crucifies teenagers, beheads babies, or makes a party out of a father stoning his own daughter to death.
To ISIS, snuff films are the good stuff that they have to offer: “You can go to New York, and all that you’ll see are some big buildings, shows, art work, and a tall green woman on an island. But if you come to Iraq, you’ll get to kill people in the most brutal way possible. ISIS: It’s the Islamic vacation paradise!”
In 2001, Holiday Inn accurately predicted the US response to Ebola:
Mark Steyn was prescient too….
While we’re talking about successful tea-leaf reading, Ed Driscoll says that Mark Steyn accurately, yet satirically, predicted Monica Lewinsky’s retrospective about her moment of infamy.
The Lewinsky essay appears in Steyn’s new book, The [Un]Documented Mark Steyn, a collection of his essays. At $29.95, the autographed hardback isn’t cheap but, if you buy it, you’ll not only get a great book with Steyn’s signature, but you’ll also help fund his continued litigation against unrivaled fraudster, Michael Mann (of the false hockey stick climate change canard).
I have to admit that I’ll be waiting for the Kindle version. Because of the arthritis in my wrists, I no longer want big, heavy books. They’re just too hard to hold. And because of my vision, which is about 20/2000 along with age-related far-sightedness, I like the way Kindle allows me to make my text nice and big. I console myself that, when I buy the Kindle version (assuming there is one) some part of that purchase price will still make it into Steyn’s pocket.
The LGBTQ mafia goes after Robert Oscar Lopez
If the name Robert Oscar Lopez is familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve read his articles over at American Thinker. Lopez, a bisexual English professor who was raised by two moms, opted for traditional marriage. Indeed, he and his wife just had their second child. Unfortunately for Lopez, he’s a man of conscience and, with the societal elevation of same-sex couples who adopt, special order, or use egg or sperm donated babies, he’s bravely asserted that same-sex parenting shouldn’t be encouraged. According to Lopez, same-sex homes are not like other homes and it’s unfair to bring a child into that environment. As a result, he’s become one of the most reviled men in America, insofar as the LGBTQ lobby is targeting him in the most vicious and inciteful terms imaginable.
As between bad foster care and a loving same-sex couple, I think it’s a no-brainer. But there’s a lot weirdness about same-sex couples who sort of create their own babies. I know a lesbian couple that had a gay friend inseminate the more feminine half of the couple. The resulting baby was a boy. The moms are good women and very attentive parents, except that the woman who bore him hates men so much that she cannot stand to have her own son touch her. Meanwhile the other partner also hates men with ferocity, so she’s remarkably cool about the kid. What kind of a home life is that?
When I read the news, I know that biological mixed sex parents can be pretty horrible too. Nevertheless, history and data tell us that the worst situation happens to the step child or, in our non-marrying age, the child living with a boyfriend who hasn’t even married his mother. Adults in a household with a non-biological child seem to yield to some atavistic imperative to stomp out this vulnerable creature that doesn’t have their genetic lineage. I can’t imagine that doesn’t hold true for same-sex couples too.
And a little child shall lead them
If I were a political candidate, I wouldn’t necessarily listen to a 20-year-old college student giving me advice about employment policies, nuclear negotiations, or executive management. I would definitely listen to that same college student, though, for advice about how to communicate with the youth of his generation. And finally, Republican politicians seem to be figuring out that, when it comes to political messaging, it is indeed a little child who shall lead them.
An Ebola timeline
One of the first things I do when I write a legal brief is create a timeline. Seeing how events relate to each other in time can be quite edifying, and it can expose unexpected strengths and weaknesses in ones case. Sharyl Attkisson has performed this useful task for Ebola, putting together a nice neat timeline showing America’s relationship to the virus since July of this year.
I can’t figure out if John Wick is just a garden variety thriller, a trashy blood-fest, or something else. And doesn’t it really matter when it has Keanu? I actually probably won’t see it because I never see movies (Mr. Bookworm frowns on the expense and I’m loath to send money to Hollywood anyway), but a Keanu movie is always tempting….
Some are my finds, most are from Caped Crusader, and some are from Sadie:
The enemy will televise the next war
James Taranto points out that, this time around when it comes to Iraq, no one is protesting the fact that Obama, slowly and reluctantly, is sending the military back. Anyone who’s been paying attention since 2009 would say that this is because Democrats only protest when Republican presidents go to war. That’s the easy answer, says Taranto. The reality is that even the hard-core Left, a faction that protests all wars by anyone, has been silent too. Taranto notes, riffing off a Peggy Noonan post, that even the usual suspects (such as ANSWER, the communist organization) are silent. He thinks that Ferguson is distracting them.
I think that there’s more going on than that, and this “more” is something that James Lewis nails. After pointing out how carefully the Leftist media has edited war coverage in the last many decades — showing American troops as both aggressors and victims, but showing communist or Islamist enemies only as victims, Lewis notes that, this time, the enemy has outed itself as an unusually malevolent aggressor:
The criminal monsters of ISIS like to show their killings on a social network called Diaspora, which is less controllable than Facebook or Twitter. The result is what critics call “war porn” – but it means that after six decades of monopoly control of the media by the left (and by Saudi and Qatari money), we are seeing the true horrors of the worst ideological murderers in the world.
Precisely. For the first time since World War II, Americans are allowed to understand that a blood-thirsty enemy is aiming its sights on us, and they are able to understand this fact because that same enemy proudly uses open-access media to show both its enmity to America and its blood-thirstiness. It’s hard, in light of ISIS’s own pride in its slaughters, for the Left to argue that any American engagement comes about because of “American aggression,” “American imperialism,” or a “war for oil.”
Self-defense and Jews
One of the interesting things about my dojo is the number of Jewish kids and adults there. We’re by no means a majority, but we’re represented in numbers greater than our small percentage of the American population.
With me as the only exception, all the Jewish families represented there are solid Progressives. Still, I think there must be some atavistic feeling amongst them that Jews need to learn self-defense.
With the rising tide of anti-Semitic attacks throughout the world, many of which aren’t bombs or knives, but are, instead, just one-on-one bullying attacks on individuals (Jewish) deemed too small and weak to help themselves, self-defense is the best answer. Jews should be armed, and Jews should know how to use close quarters martial arts.
I find support for my belief in Rabbi Aryeh Spiro’s contention that self-defense is a religious obligation:
We fight because self-defense is a mandate from the Bible — the Torah, called by many the Old Testament. We fight to defend life. Because life is precious, the ultimate, we must defend it. The very definition of self-defense is permission to kill the one who is coming toward you to kill you. Self-defense is not simply our right to pray or support with words, but do whatever is needed to stay alive and protect our families.
Those pacifists who are willing to personally die and would rather be butchered so as not to kill their butchers are free to so choose. But no one is allowed to demand or suggest that someone else allow himself to be killed so as to spare the life of the one presently doing murder.
A war to defend and stop those coming to kill you is a moral war. It is called a Just War. And we defend not only ourselves, we defend others. The Bible, the Torah that is, says, “Do not stand idly by while the blood our brother is being spilled”. We also have permission to kill those coming to rape a woman. The Bible, Old Testament, tells us so in Exodus. It is our obligation.
This is always a good time to remind everyone that the Biblical commandment is not “Thou shalt not kill” but is, instead, “Thou shalt not murder.” Murder is a deliberate peacetime act intended to terminate someone’s life for no other reason than the fact that it confers a benefit on the killer, whether material or emotional. Self-defense is a front-line weapon against murder. To the extent murder is prohibited, self-defense must be allowed.
The lack of shame isn’t just a black problem
Yesterday, I wrote that one of the most peculiar things to me about American blacks is that they so wholeheartedly embrace and advocate for sleazy, two-bit gangsters, such as Trayvon Martin or, it seems, Michael Brown. Blackness washes out all sins. There is no sense anymore of being an honorable community. Once you classify yourself as a victim, no one, including your fellow victims, should be allowed to demand of you any standards of morality or decency.
It turns out that this lack of shame isn’t limited just to American blacks. Tom Wilson points out that ordinary Brits seem singularly unimpressed that their determinedly multicultural, politically correct society keeps turning out Islamist mass murderers who kill both at home and, in increasing numbers, abroad:
Observers have warned that the British fighters for the Islamic State are among the most vicious and brutal, and yet there is no sense of shame or culpability gnawing away at the British soul, despite the havoc and terror that British jihadists are causing in Iraq and Syria. The news reporting is procedural, the politicians sound tired, apathy permeates the conversation every time the subject is raised. The only time that any flicker of alarm or interest can be detected is when it is pointed out that these people, hardened by battle and radical Islam, might return to Britain to continue their fight from the streets of British cities.
Read more here. (It may be behind a pay wall, but a Commentary subscription is relatively cheap and definitely worth the price.)
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Finally figuring Obama out
Do you know who is responsible for the shrillest, most nasty anti-Obama post I’ve seen in I don’t know how long? Maureen Dowd. She is clearly a woman whose god betrayed her and she is royally angry. She’s a good writer too when she’s that mad:
FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.
Dowd is not alone. Over at The New Republic, another true believer can be seen weeping over his keyboard. I mean, it’s pretty clear that a god has failed when you read this opening paragraph:
Why has Barack Obama—one of the most eloquent and thoughtful of recent presidents—become such a terrible politician? Midway through his sixth year in office, his ineptitude is pretty clear.
Yikes! That’s gotta hurt, or at least it would hurt if Obama ever left his bubble, one that Ed Lasky credibly argues sees him deliberately insulate himself from the world.
In Obamaland, there is no such thing as friendly, constructive criticism. If it comes from conservatives, they’re haters and can be ignored. If it comes from the base, they’ve become haters and can be ignored.
As I love to say, being a narcissist means never having to say you’re sorry. The world is composed of supporters and enemies, and anyone who isn’t actively, at this very minute, supporting you, is an enemy, to be disregarded or destroyed (or, preferably, both).
The first president from the TV generation
Jonah Goldberg thinks part of Obama’s problem could be that he’s the first TV generation president. He grew up watching TV and, indeed, likes to boast about the time he spends watching the hip, edgy shows that get such good press in Democrat House organs such as The New York Times or The New Yorker:
Does the president think the world is a TV show?
One of the things you learn watching television as a kid is that the hero wins. No matter how dire things look, the star is going to be okay. MacGyver always defuses the bomb with some saltwater taffy before the timer reaches zero. There was no way Fonzie was going to mess up his water-ski jump and get devoured by sharks.
There’s certainly a fantasist element in every malignant narcissist, since he is always his own superhero, constantly under attack from mere mortals. With this core outlook, TV Land’s paradigm — “the hero always wins” — would certainly mesh perfect with Obama’s character.
Big Shocker (NOT): TSA lies about flying illegals
The TSA was caught in a lie, and it was caught in a lie about very ugly subject: Contrary to earlier denials, the TSA is allowing illegal aliens to fly notwithstanding (a) their illegality and (b) their lack of ID.
Think about that for a moment: Even as you’re standing in endless lines, repeatedly showing your identification, struggling to get your shoes on and off, getting x-rayed, patted down, or strip searched, someone who crossed the border last week gets to show a letter and fly.
I’m sure these illegals are also getting their shoes searched, getting x-rayed, etc., but they’re still allowed to fly — God dammit! That’s just wrong. If the point of all the inconveniences forced upon us is safety, there’s nothing less safe than allowing someone whose first act upon entering America was to break the law, and who could easily be a terrorist or an Ebola carrier, to walk on the plane just by waving a letter.
The politics of doctors
In my neck of the woods, doctors are Democrats. This has always made perfect sense to me. Young doctors are educated to believe that they know what’s best for everybody and should call the shots. (And certainly, you need a certain amount of arrogance to mess with people’s bodies.) This makes doctors a natural Democrat constituency.
According to the Daily Signal, though, my views may thankfully be skewed. Of the 20 doctors in Congress, 16 are Republicans. Moreover, with Obamacare, even the most arrogant of modern young doctors are beginning to realize that, while they don’t mind controlling other people, they’re less than thrilled when the government comes in and tries to control them. Here’s hoping that Obamacare causes more doctors to wise up.
Reporters lie for Hamas
A veteran reporter for reliably Leftist outlets (AP, NPR, NBC, CBS) has written an article starkly stating what we Israel supporters have long known to be true: In addition to bias, laziness, and access issues, the main problem with the reliability of news coming out of Gaza is the fact that Hamas intimidated reporters into lying:
typical news report from Gaza a few days ago described the destruction, interviewed Gaza civilians who related in heartbreaking detail the deaths of their relatives and loss of their belongings, and listed the hardships and travail the people are facing because of the Israeli military operation. Halfway through the long story was a single paragraph that said that Israel claims Hamas fires rockets from civilian areas. This is how journalists protect themselves from charges that they didn’t tell “the other side.”
But in fact, they didn’t. They didn’t report from Gaza about where the Hamas rocket launchers were, where the ammunition is stored, where the openings of the tunnels are—if they mention the tunnels at all, which in this case, they didn’t.
sides the budgetary limitations, news organizations often hesitate to send reporters into Gaza at all because of the constant danger, and not from Israeli airstrikes. In 2007, BBC reporter Alan Johnston was kidnapped by Palestinian militants and held for more than three months. Many other foreign journalists were kidnapped there and held for a day or two around that time. There have been no kidnappings recently, but the message was clear—foreigners are fair game. The message was heard and understood. For lack of an alternative, news organizations began to rely more and more on local stringers, giving the regime considerable leverage through intimidation. It’s expected that news organizations will deny all this—it’s part of the dance.
On many occasions, frightened stringers have pleaded to have their bylines taken off stories. Some have been “evacuated” from Gaza for a time for their own safety, after an article critical of the regime was published or broadcast. Families have been spirited out for a while.
Read the rest here. The only problem with the article is that it appears in The Tower, which is a great publication, but one that lacks the reach of outlets such as HuffPo. We can all help, though, by using social media to give this article the widest reach possible.
Arabs and the conquest problem
One of my conservative(ish) Facebook friends came out this weekend with a post parroting The New York Times to the effect that the problem in the Middle East is that Israel will not cooperate with the two-state solution so as to give the Palestinians their homeland. It took time, but I shut down that thread by walking everyone through a few facts: Palestinian rejection of the two-state solution, the morality of self defense, Hamas’s founding mandate to kill all Jews, the fact that Palestinians already have their state because Jordan was given to the Palestinians in 1924, and, lastly, the fact that Palestinians have a minimal historic tie to the land.
That last point was reinforced for me by Joshua Gerlenter’s reminder that, to the extent Islam spread by conquest, it’s displaced indigenous people all over Africa, Europe, and Asia for thousands of years.
Europe’s gradual decline into anti-Semitic appeasement
Jeffrey Goldberg is a Progressive who, when his politics aren’t directly involved, often gets things right. A case in point is a recent Bloomberg column he authored accusing Europe of a passive, indecent surrender to the forces of evil roaming European streets. He’s not calling out the active anti-Semites; he’s calling out Europe’s increasingly large cadre of go-along-to-get along people, those who just hope that the Islamists among them will leave them alone.
Goldberg’s starting point is an incident at a Sainsbury’s super market in England. Anti-Israel protesters promised to invade the store, so local management instantly stripped the shelves of all kosher foods (most of which didn’t come from Israel). Although Sainsbury’s corporate management returned the products to the shelf and apologized, Goldberg understands that something very important happened at that local store (emphasis mine):
he Sainsbury’s incident is disturbing not so much for what it says about the nature of European anti-Israelism, but for what it says about the broader response within Europe to forces of intolerance and hatred. Employees of the Sainsbury’s branch in central London seemed to have understood, based on an accurate reading of recent events, that anti-Israel activists posed a threat to their store, and perhaps to their own physical well-being. And so the manager made a decision to surrender to the mob and engage in what could only be called an act of self-preservational, but objectively anti-Semitic, preemption.
Cowering of this sort is a sign that a country is losing the ability to stand for the values it professes to maintain. In the U.K., it is also a sign that a society hasn’t fully grappled with the radical intolerance exhibited by some of its citizens.
It will be a great day when Goldberg and other fundamentally decent people like him understand that the Leftism they espouse — with its moral relativism, multiculturalism, and hatred for white, Anglo-Saxon culture — is what destroyed England’s (and is destroying America’s) “ability to stand for the values it professes to maintain.”
Hollywood’s heavy hitters support Israel
Some really big names in Hollywood have signed a letter supporting Israel and castigating Hamas. All I can say is good for them!! The letter includes the normal mush-mouthed demand for peace, but it has the courage to target Hamas’s stated raison d’etre: killing Jews.
ALS, ice buckets, and coffee — social coercion for other people’s charities
You’ve no doubt heard by now about the ice bucket challenge, which has successfully raised awareness of ALS. Or, more accurately, it’s raised tens of millions for an ALS charity. It’s unclear how many people are actually more educated now about that devastating disease.
If you haven’t heard, the ice bucket challenge goes this way: You dump a bucket of ice on your head for the charity, donate money to the ALS charity ($100 is the recommended amount), and assign three friends who must do the same. (It started out that you told the friends “Donate or suffer the ice bucket,” but it’s morphed into people video taping themselves being iced and donating money.)
I’m a curmudgeon. ALS is a laudatory cause, but it’s not my cause. I tend to donate to military organizations and pro-Israel organizations. As I see it, it’s my money, and I get to spend it as I will. I’ve received two ice bucket challenges to date and have ignored both. I’m not the only one with this curmudgeonly streak:
Because of the subtle social bullying behind the ice bucket challenge, I was fascinated by a story out of Florida. For 10 hours, in St. Petersburg, Florida, people were “paying it forward,” meaning that they were paying for the order of the person behind them in line. One man eventually put a stop to it, and he did it deliberately for a reason I found compelling (emphasis mine):
Peter Schorsch, a blogger, drove to the Starbucks drive-thru in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Thursday after hearing about the “pay-it-forward’ phenomenon there that ended with customer No. 458.
After he ordered two Venti Mocha Frappuccinos, the barista told him his first drink had been paid for by the previous customer and asked if he would like to pay for the next customer.
“I told him no,” Schorsch, of St. Petersburg, told ABC News. “When the barista asks you to pay it forward, it is no longer spontaneous.”
“I just don’t want to be forced into doing something,” said Schorsch, who is also a part-time political consultant. “This is turning into a social phenomenon and I had to put an end to it.”
When baristas ask customers to pay for the next customer, some patrons simply oblige out of guilt, not generosity, he said.
“It just seems like a ‘First World’ problem to me. Middle-class people sitting in their cars at a drive-thru, sipping a $5 drink and worrying about someone breaking the ranks,” Schorsch said.
“There is a little humor being a contrarian, but I think if you really want to help, find someone that obviously needs help, like the homeless,” Schorsch said.
“Also, I got a $6 Venti Frappuccino. Someone might just get a $2 coffee,” Schorsch said. “This is unfair to that person who paid for me.”
A Marine’s kick-ass message to ISIS
It’s “only” one former Marine, but it’s still heartening to know that at least one segment of American society still has a can-do, won’t-back-down, love-my-country, I-support-freedom attitude.
(The “only” in front of “one Marine” comes about because of that wonderful line JKB quoted from an old movie:
I was just watching an old movie, Rendezvous, with William Powell and Rosalind Russell. It’s a WWI spy movie with Ms. Russell’s character the persistent suitor of Powell’s character running down a spy ring. She follows him into a hotel where the spy ring operates. Bullying her way past the front desk she reveals her uncle is the Asst. Sec of War and threatens: “I’ll have him send the Army and Navy. And a Marine, if he’s needed.”
An unusually powerful Michael Ramirez cartoon