Tuesday night stuff (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesJust a few quick links I don’t want to leave on the table before I head down to my perpetual motion machine for the rest of the evening.

Earlier today, I bought a Mark Steyn gift certificate to help fund his legal battle against Michael Mann, a man who rejoices under the title of being a scientist, but is in fact a First Amendment terrorist. Not too long after that, I read Dennis Prager’s article about Bryan Stow. Living in the Bay Area, I had heard about Stow, a SF Giants fan beaten almost to death by some L.A. Dodger’s fans. In the intervening years, I hadn’t realized that his injuries were so devastating. I also didn’t know until today that the men who did this to him got off with prison sentences equal to a slap on the hand — sentences that made them smirk happily when handed down. Please consider donating to the Bryan Stow fund. I did, and only regret that I hadn’t done so sooner.

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When Victor Davis Hanson is good, he’s really, really good. He’s all that in his post about the Bizarro World of Barack Obama’s presidency, in which every manifest failure is presented to Americans as a glowing success. Lincoln famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” He was wrong. We live in a P.T. Barnum world, where there’s a sucker born every minute — and they’re all supporting Barack Obama and his administration.

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No link here, just an observation: I was speaking to my fairly apolitical sister about political correctness, education trends, national security, etc. I asked her, “Am I so exercised about this stuff because I’m an old fogey, like the old Yorkshire men famous for beginning each sentence by saying ‘When I were a lad,’ or has the world really gotten weird lately?” She answered, “It’s gotten really weird. The changes are fast and they are strange.”

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It’s not just that Andrew Malcolm wrote a good article about Barack Obama’s myriad foreign policy failures and the disdain in which this Nobel Prize winner is held around the world. It’s also the side by side photos of presidents Bush and Obama with the Dalai Lama. It makes me steam to think that, probably without exception, the Dalai Lama’s supporters voted for Obama. I’m not a fan of the Dalai Lama who, despite China’s constant depredations against his land, has announced that he’s a Marxist, meaning he’s dumb as a post, but I do admire his steadfast fight for his country’s independence (a fight he apparently carries out so that his country, too, can become a large socialist workers gulag). And yes, that was one of the longest sentences I’ve ever written, but I kept my clauses in nice order.

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If the name Margalit Fox is familiar to you, it’s because you pay attention to the bylines on New York Times obituaries. In my humble opinion, the New York Times obituary section is the only section in that paper worth reading — and what makes it worthwhile in significant part is Fox’s delightful writing. Knowing what a good writer she is, I didn’t think twice about picking up The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code when I saw that she was the author. My instincts were good. Fox brings to life the decades’ long (and eventually successful) effort to decipher the Linear B writing found at Knossos, home of the many King Minoses and the famous Minotaur. I’m halfway through the book, and am finding it difficult to put it down.

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If the Thomas Jefferson quotation at Doug Ross’s site is apocryphal, please don’t tell me. I want to believe it’s real. (No, I take that back. Intellectual honesty matters more than wishful thinking.)

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I’ve never managed to be that thrilled by Sen. Marco Rubio. I think with a bit of time at his back, he’ll be something wonderful, but right now he’s not quite all that — except that is, when it comes to ripping apart old Leftists and their sorry love affair with Cuba. That fire is the promise that he can become a great statesman, although he isn’t one yet.

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Speaking of statesmen, I’m beginning to put more and more faith in Scott Walker as a serious potential presidential candidate. If the worst that the Democrat attack dogs can come up with about him as that, back in college in the late 1980s, he announced in advance that he was running for student body president, rather than waiting until the official announcement day to do so, the media is going to have to work hard to discredit him. Add the lack of bad stuff to all the major good stuff in Wisconsin, and you’ve got Candidate Squeaky-Clean-and-Principled. Indeed, my only complaint about him will be the fact that he’s younger than I am. How in the world did it happen that I got to be older than the guys running for president? (Obama is only a month younger than I am, so that doesn’t count.)

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Islamists kill. That’s what they do. And they especially love killing children because, even for psychopaths, soft targets (baby-soft targets) are the best. Or maybe I mean “especially for psychopaths.” Regardless, even as these monsters continue to array themselves in ever greater numbers against the West, our administration announces that it’s going to shrink the Army back to its 1930 size. We saw, of course, how well that worked back in the day.

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This is what Obamacare is all about (from a son’s WSJ article about Obamacare’s death sentence for his mother):

[T]here is something deeply and incontestably perverse about a law that so distorts and undermines the free activity of individuals that they can no longer buy and sell the goods and services that keep them alive. ObamaCare made my mother’s old plan illegal, and it forced her to buy a new plan that would accelerate her disease and death.

[snip]

The “Affordable” Care Act is a brutal, Procrustean disaster. In principle, it violates the irreducible particularity of human life, and in practice it will cause many individuals to suffer and die. We can do better, and we must.

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Sultan Knish makes a point that is obvious only in retrospect, after having read his post: just as raw power isn’t concentrated in corporations’ hands but is, instead, concentrated in a centralized government’s hands, so too is wealth concentrated, not in corporations or amongst a wealthy few, but in a centralized, socialized or semi-socialized government’s pocket.

At CPAC, Dr. Ben Carson comes out swinging against President Obama

It turns out that, when Dr. Ben Carson gently chided President Obama’s policies during the National Prayer Breakfast, he was holding back. When he gave a speech CPAC, where he could freely speak his mind, Dr. Carson was more direct: If a hypothetical “somebody” in the White House “wanted to destroy this nation,” he would “coincidentally” do exactly what Obama has already done.

In the lead-up to his stunning accusation against Obama, Dr. Carson repeated a point he made during the National Prayer breakfast, which is that the national debt, standing alone, is well on its way to destroy America:

We’re reacting to what we see as our fiscal woes without planning for the future, without really caring about what is happening to the next generation. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to understand that if we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion, we are going to destroy our nation.

It was clear that he next intended to imagine what a good presidency would look like. After his first sentence, though, the audience response was so strong that he realized he would have to use a different way to address the issue of White House leadership:

Let’s say you if you could magically make it into the White House (interrupted by wild and sustained applause at the thought of Dr. Carson in the White House). I take it back!

Rather than discuss what a good presidency would look like, Dr. Carson asked the audience to think about a bad, destructive presidency and how it would play out:

But let’s say somebody was there and they wanted to destroy this nation. What would you do? Let me tell you what I would do. First of all, I would create division among the people. I would have everybody pitted against each other because a wise man by the name of Jesus once said “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” And then I would encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country. And then I would undermine the financial stability of the country, and drive us so far into debt that there was absolutely no chance that it could recover. And I would weaken the military and destroy the morale of the military. That’s what I would do and I guarantee you it would work. Now, the question is, it appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now. And the question is, How do we stop it. Can we stop it?

In that simple hypothetical, Dr. Carson managed to sum up every domestic policy that the Obama administration, working with a Democrat legislature, has enacted: a White House that colludes with the media to harass, demean, insult, and misrepresent every conservative person or conservative idea; a massive stimulus that benefited only preferred political players, followed by constantly rising government expenditures; and fundamental changes to the military by allowing homosexuals to serve openly and women to serve in combat units.

It’s unclear whether Dr. Carson, who has never held political office, is ready simply to dive into the White House in 2016. That’s not really important. What is important is that Dr. Carson is one more reminder that the up-and-coming generation of politically active conservatives has young stars – people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Allen West, and Ben Carson — who will reach their political peak in waves that wash over every election in the next sixteen years.

(Written by Bookworm; first published at Mr. Conservative)

Random links to interesting things

I hate cooking.  That’s not hyperbole.  Restaurants are a constant temptation, but I resist because, during my young lawyer days, I spent way too much of my money on restaurants.  With college and old age to plan for, I can’t eat out whenever I like — which is every night.  So here’s one good thing about ObamaCare:  it’s looking as if it’s going to remove temptation from my life.  Restaurants, which run at the thinnest possible margins, cannot afford full-time employees anymore.  Further, given the low pay at restaurants anyway, coupled with the requirement that the uninsured buy insurance, it’s likely that no one will be able to afford part-time work at restaurants.

“How dumb do you think I am?”  We’ve all asked that question at one time or another when someone was getting a little too freewheeling in pulling the wool over our eyes.  Ralph Peters asks precisely that question of a White House that has lied consistently — and quite badly — since the Benghazi attacks on September 11.  It seems as if Obama’s compulsive lying is affecting the entire executive branch.  That’s no surprise, since an organization’s behavior always begins at the top.

I’m not the only one who realized that Obama statement that Israel has the right to defend herself was only a prelude to undermining her once again.  Smarter minds than mine, equipped with more facts and greater analytical ability, have reached the same conclusion.

Is Jake Tapper the last true journalist in America?  He’s objective, almost obsessively non-partisan, rigorous, inquisitive, and a very good writer.  It sounds as if his new book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, is a very good thing indeed.

Why does Marco Rubio’s opinion about the earth’s age matter to his political abilities?  It doesn’t — or, rather, it doesn’t unless you’re the MSM trying to set him up as an ignorant fundamentalist who wants American to remake America in a 10th century model (or, in other words, like an Islamist sharia nation).  Ace isn’t sure if Rubio gave the right answer to the question, but I believe Rubio gave the best answer he could.  In future, though, he should have a quip ready to deflect the question.  I’m not good at quips, but you all should see if you can think of any.

And speaking of quips, over at the Watcher’s Council Forum, we Watcher’s tackle an important question:  Are Comedians And Comedy Less Funny Today Than They Used To Be?

New Romney Medicare ad

I think this is an excellent ad, with Rubio saying the things that Romney, when stumping, just can’t seem to say:

I’m like Rubio — I have an elderly mother who is now entirely dependent on Medicare. If the current system goes broke in the near future, she and I are both in trouble. As for me, I can wait 20 years for a revamped Medicare, and plan for it too.

King Obama’s executive fiat on illegal immigration — Open Thread

I assume that you all know by know that President Obama has issued an executive order granting amnesty to young illegal immigrants.  It’s a clever move.  Marco Rubio had already proposed something similar, so Obama can say that at least some smart Republicans are already on board with the idea.  The move will presumably cement Hispanic voters to his side, which could be a very big deal in Florida, where some Jewish voters are looking askance at Obama.  Any Republican objections will be touted as Republican racism.

There are some downsides, though.  Congress might get testy at having Obama’s challenge to its authority.  The question is whether Democrats in Congress will be sufficiently testy to challenge their President in an election year.  My guess is that they will not, so the only “nay” voices will come from Republicans — who will then be charged with covert racism that they’re hiding behind a thin procedural screen.  Never mind the Constitution, of course.  Only racists care about that document anyway.

There are two demographics, though, as to which Obama might have been too smart by half:  blacks and unions.  As to both, cheap Hispanic labor is a threat.  In a time of seemingly intractable unemployment, for Obama to pour new competition into the market, rather than to create new jobs, might be a mistake.  I’m sure, though, that the Obama-ites have already examined this problem and concluded that any potential black voter or union hemorrhage is more than offset by increases in Hispanic votes.

I said in the post caption that this is an Open Thread and I meant it.  What’s your take?