Dan Bongino has a good point and an interesting question. What do you think?
The New York Times ran an article the other day noting that there’s been a big change in Sweden, in that increasing numbers of ordinary Swedes are turning against the countries famously relaxed immigration policy. I’ll let the Times explain:
Opposition to the rising numbers is growing. The far-right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats had their best showing ever — nearly 13 percent of votes — in elections in September.
The entry of the Sweden Democrats to parliament in 2010 had already opened the door for a previously unthinkable discussion about turning back the country’s policy of taking in foreigners on humanitarian grounds and granting them access to the country’s generous welfare system.
In an ordinary world, anybody reading the above paragraph would, of course, wonder why the famously welcoming Swedes are suddenly becoming hostile to immigration. I’m sorry, but not surprised, to say that the New York Times is not writing for an ordinary world. It’s writing for its Progressive readers who don’t want to hear bad things about immigrants, especially politically correct Muslim immigrants.
That’s presumably why virtually the entire article focuses on the immigrants’ suffering, with only some vague allusions to the problems their presence creates:
As Khalif Samantar knelt for afternoon prayers at the Eskilstuna Islamic Dawa Center on Christmas Day, he sensed a growing heat and a low, rushing sound coming from a nearby hallway. He focused his mind on the ritual, only to realize seconds later that someone was shouting, “The mosque is on fire!”
“We left our country as refugees. We were not looking for food or benefits, we were looking for somewhere to feel safe,” said Abdirahman Farah Warsame, the imam at the mosque where the fire occurred on Christmas Day. He is originally from Somalia. “Now that is gone. We have a feeling that society is turning against us.”
After having made clear where its sympathies lie (with the poor, peaceful, dispossessed Muslim immigrants), the article points out how nasty Europe is becoming, whining about money problems and inchoate fears:
Indeed, the relentless stream of migrants to Europe — propelled by the war in Syria and turmoil across the Middle East and the Horn of Africa — has combined with economic troubles and rising fear of Islamic radicalism to fuel a backlash against immigrants, directed most viciously at Muslims.
After having read the above paragraph, I, unlike the average Times reader, started wondering “When will the Times start explaining the reasons behind — or, at least, the reasons people give for — “a backlash against immigrants, directed most viciously at Muslims.” Let me save you the problem of reading the article: The Times doesn’t explain the reasons.
Instead, as you can confirm yourself, there are “debates,” “resentments” and “suspicions” about Muslim immigration, although the Times reader never discovers the contents of those debates, or the reasons behind resentments and suspicions. Instead, we learn that
Indeed, the only inkling one gets about what might be disturbing the Swedes’ tranquility is this single paragraph:
The party’s growth has occurred despite the fact that roughly a fifth of Sweden’s 9.6 million people were born abroad or to immigrant parents in Sweden. Most immigrants here have access to education, but government figures show a disproportionate unemployment rate for them, more than twice the national rate of about 8 percent. The disparity helped fuel riots in immigrant neighborhoods outside Stockholm in 2013.
Let me say right away that I’m not condoning mosque burnings or hijab snatching. I’m a big supporter of the rule of law, but here’s the little secret the Times tries so hard to hide: The rule of law is precisely what 13% of Sweden’s citizens stood for when they used the ballot box to elect representatives who would slow (not halt, but slow) the seemingly endless influx of Islamic immigrants and the rate of handouts given to those immigrants.
Of course, the traditional powers that be in Europe — the hard right and hard left — can’t have a moderate middle that’s hostile to a third world takeover. Thus, when the Swedish Democrats flexed their muscles in parliament by refusing to approve a budget unless their concerns about slowing immigration and welfare were met, thereby forcing a snap election that would undoubtedly have worked to the Swedish Democrats’ favor, the hard left and hard right entered into a sleazy backroom deal to vote on budgets through 2018 so as to shut the Swedish Democrats (and the voters) out of government. (I’ll explain in a few paragraphs why, even though I’m disgusted by this anti-democratic behavior, I can’t weep too many tears for the Swedish Democrat party.)
And now back to the original point, which is to wonder what the New York Times wasn’t saying when it wrote about Swedes’ growing animosity to Muslim immigrants. The secret lies in the Times’ throwaway line about immigrant resentment leading to “riots” outside Stockholm. Muslims are rioting? Who would have guessed that!
So, here’s a little information about those Swedish immigrants that the New York Times didn’t think was part of “all the news that’s fit to print”:
1. Already back in the early years of this century, Fjordman was writing about the fact that the rape rate is skyrocketing in Sweden. When I mention this to Progressives, they immediately say that it’s because Sweden (pretty much like every American college campus) defines rape so broadly that just looking cross-eyed at a woman is rape. These same Progressives have nothing to say, though, when I point out that “In Sweden only around 3-4% of all rapes are committed by natives who make up 85% of the entire population. The rest are by immigrants – Muslim immigrants.” Even Progressives aren’t foolish enough to pretend that the same Muslims who brutally rape women all over the world suddenly, when they get to Sweden, stop their violent physical rapes and just start looking at women cross-eyed.
2. Even when they’re not rioting, Muslim neighborhoods have become so dangerous that they are now “no-go” zones for Swedens’ police and firefighters. There are now 55 Muslim enclaves in which criminals rule supreme. You only need to look at Malmo, which is about 25% Muslim and incredibly violent, to see the future of things to come.
3. Significant numbers of Swedens’ mosques aren’t the sunny ecumenical spots described in the New York Times article. They are, instead, hotbeds of radicalized Islam, of the type that doesn’t just provide moral support for ISIS, but that actually goes off and fights for it.
In other words, those Swedes casting their lot in with the Swedish Democrats aren’t just being petty people moved only by their pocket books — although it would be reasonable for them to start resenting the vast demands the immigrants make on the system. After all, the only reason socialism worked in Sweden in the first place was that it was such a small, politically and culturally homogeneous county that everyone cheerily contributed to the classic Marxist plan of “from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs.” The Muslims, however, don’t buy into that cooperative socialism, which is driving the system closer to collapse.
Nope, what’s bugging those cheerful, law-abiding Swedes is that they’ve nurtured a violent viper at their breasts, a viper that rapes their women, makes their shiny, clean cities dirty, destroys their communities, and emasculates law enforcement. No wonder 13% of them suddenly signed on to the Swedish Democrats.
Still, as I noted above, I’m not weeping too many tears for the Swedish Democrats, despite the fact that a dirty backroom deal locked them out of the political process. Even as the Muslims, who make up about 5% of the population, commit depredations against the Swedes, the Swedish Democrats are turning against the Jews, who make up only .2% of the population and have no history of violence or disruption whatsoever. It’s things like this, incidentally, that make me completely understand my friend’s belief that the Europeans are Amalekites and deserve no pity as their continent swirls down the drain of history.
And just a couple of wrap ups:
We have two new entries today in the continuing saga of Ivy League and affluent college students trying to delay taking exams on account of their being traumatized by Darren Wilson’s acquittal and Eric Garner’s deaths and their being exhausted by the physical and emotional burdening of taking to the streets to protest those two traumas. The first entry is an overwrought, horribly written, and horribly reasoned essay by a young man who styles himself as a third year Harvard Law Student and editor of Harvard’s Law Review. John Hinderaker fisks this horrible effluvia, so I don’t have to.
I have only one thing to add . . . well, actually two. First, Obama was once a third year Harvard Law Student and editor of the Harvard Law Review. Second, if those two law students — who are separated by more than 20 years — are representative of Harvard Law School I have been right all along in believing that people go into Harvard Law reasonably smart and come out manifestly dumb and, too often, unprincipled.
Why is this a “time warp edition”? Because even though I’m publishing it on Saturday, I actually wrote it on Friday. The reason delayed publishing is because I’m spending all day Saturday attending part II of my CERT training. I expect the training to be more of the same stuff as last week: really nice, well-informed, generous people inefficiently teaching four hours of useful information over the course of eight hours.
Rather than leaving my blog fallow for that time, I thought I’d prep a post in advance. The only reason I’m mentioning the 14-hour lead time is to explain why, if something dramatic happens in the news tomorrow, you won’t read about it at the Bookworm Room. And now, it’s time for yesterday’s news today!
My friend Sally Zelikovsky came up with the pun about a new sport called “E-bowling” after word emerged that the New York physician, who was ostensibly “self-isolating” himself, actually trawled all over the New York, using subways and Uber, to engage in activities ranging from dining out to bowling. I laughed when I read her pun, but I can’t escape the feeling that the real sport here is the game that our government playing with the American people’s health and well-being.
What stops shooters is guns
Those assembled in the Canadian responded appropriately when Kevin Vickers appeared before him: They applauded long and hard for the man who brought a shooter down with a single shot:
There was another shooting today, in a Washington state high school. A 15-year-old managed to kill one girl and wound several others before a bullet stopped him too — in this case, the bullet was self-inflicted.
My son, ruminating on the Seattle school shooting, and still a little shaken by the false-alarm lock-down in his own school, said to me, “I’m not afraid of being shot. What makes me crazy is the feeling of helplessness.” I agreed, pointing out that, even at his school, where everyone is unarmed, their teachers, who genuinely believed a shooter was on campus, fought against that helplessness by improvising weapons made out of whatever projectiles they had in their class.
Shooters who kill for pleasure or to score political/terrorism points, always go where there are helpless victims. They won’t achieve any of their calculated, sick, and/or sadistic goals if people have the capacity to defend themselves.
What stops these shooters is gunshots. Sometimes the gunshots come from third parties (usually police who arrive had the scene long after the shooter has gotten a good run for his money). Such was the case in Austin, Texas (“As Martinez fired, McCoy jumped to the right of Martinez and fired two fatal shots of 00-buckshot with his 12-gauge shotgun, hitting Whitman [the killer] in the head, neck and left side.”); Salt Lake City, Utah (“When Talović turned around and aimed his shotgun towards the team, Scharman and Olsen fired again and killed him. Talović’s body was later found to have been struck a total of 15 times by bullets fired by police.”); Santa Monica, California (“He was fatally shot by officers inside the library and then brought outside where he died.”); and Isla Vista, California (“Rodger was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head; police said he had apparently committed suicide.”).
And sometimes, if the police are pressing in on the killer, or he’s run out of ammunition, the killers use their own bullets on themselves. We saw this in downtown San Francisco (“The attack continued on several floors before Ferri committed suicide as San Francisco Police closed in.”); in Columbine, Colorado (“Both had committed suicide: Harris by firing his shotgun through the roof of his mouth; Klebold by shooting himself in the left temple with his TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun.”); in Newtown, Connecticut (“The police heard the final shot at 9:40:03 a.m, and believe that it was Lanza shooting himself in the lower rear portion of his head with the Glock 20SF in classroom 10.”); and, today, in Marysville, Washington (“Fryberg, 15 a freshman at the school, died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said”.)
It’s a great irony — and an untenable one for Leftists — but the only thing that stops a shooter, whether he’s crazy, a criminal, or a terrorist, is a gun. The reality that Leftists don’t want to accept is that, until we have 100% certainty that no bad guys currently have or ever will have guns, we are safest when, in a moral society, lots of other people — good and moral people — are armed. Since that certainty can never be achieved (absent, perhaps, the Barnhouse effect), the safest society is the one in which people of good will carry guns. By the way, Chicago is a perfect example of what happens when only the bad guys, the ones without any decency or moral compass, have guns.
Let’s make sure the cops aren’t the only ones with guns
There’s nothing in the Constitution that says only police officers may have guns. Indeed, the Second Amendment sees the right to bear arms as one inherent in every individual. This is a good thing and all people should do everything they can to make sure that police don’t become our overlords.
I don’t have any particular bone to pick with police. I appreciate that there are people who are willing to go into often dangerous and often disgusting situations to help make our communities better. I do, however, have a very big bone to pick with police who have become so flush with power that they no longer think they’re the public’s servants but, instead, think that they’re the public’s overlords. Kevin D. Williamson details some appalling examples of instances in which police (with the whole criminal justice system backing them up) got confused about their place in the hierarchy.
The problem isn’t just that the police SWAT some houses here and there, without any citizen recourse. There’s a much broader downstream problem because of the police’s unfettered strength. As Williamson notes, the police, like all bullies, go for the easy targets — and in America, those easy targets are law-abiding citizens:
The strange flip-side — the second half of Samuel Francis’s “anarcho-tyranny” — is that the brunt of government abuse falls on the law-abiding. Illinois, for example, makes it difficult for an ordinary citizen to legally carry a gun for self defense — up until a couple of years ago, doing so was categorically prohibited. But Illinois police seize thousands of illegal guns from criminals each year, and the state prosecutes practically none of those weapons cases. The law-abiding — by definition law-abiding — citizens applying for concealed-carry permits get treated like criminals, and the actual criminals do not. If you follow the law and inform Illinois authorities that you have a gun in the home, you invite all sorts of intrusion and oversight. If you don’t, nobody’s really looking. Meanwhile, the streets of Chicago are full of blood, going on 1,600 shootings this year and it’s not even Halloween. Nobody is held responsible for that carnage, but if you put an eleventh round in your legally owned rifle in Oak Park, you’re looking at jail time.
Frank Serpico (yes, the real Serpico) has an article out about the appalling corruption in New York when he was a young cop, about the fact that he is still a pariah amongst New York cops, and about the fact that this corruption continues today, with out-of-control police.
What’s different now from Serpico’s time is that the police don’t even have to bother to pal up with the criminals to get cash. Thanks to seizure laws, the police can be the criminals, shaking people down for all the money they’ve got. Already a decade ago I was working on cases about civil forfeiture laws that enabled federal and state police to seize cash, cars, jewelry, homes, and anything else that was valuable with impunity just upon suspicion of certain crimes. Worse, because the money raised this way goes into local, state, or federal bank accounts, judges went along with these seizures because they get paid out of the same pot. At long last, though, the MSM may be catching up with this particular abuse of power.
The “Allahu Akbar”-ness of the hatchet swinger in New York
Turning to those honorable police who are in the front line between citizens and criminals, I haven’t had the chance to see how the media is playing the case of Zale H. Thompson, the man who used a hatchet to attack four police officers in Queens, slashing one officer’s arm and giving the other a terrible head wound before he was shot dead by two other officers. (You see, guns not only stop shooters, they also stop hatchet wielders.) I’m willing to bet, though, that the media will try to distance itself from Thompson’s Facebook page, which is a veritable treasure trove of fealty Allah and jihad. Fortunately, Zombie is paying attention, and captured the images for posterity.
There are common threads to all mass shooters or random attackers:
Class 1, which seems to be the smallest class, is composed of people who are genuinely and completely disconnected from any semblance of reality. They’re out there killing because they’ve received a message from Zomblot of the Planet Xdafjsiokd, and that message is to kill all glowing pink rocks . . . and you, clearly, are one of those rocks.
Class 2, which often shows up in schools, is young, male, either a Democrat or from a Democrat home, with divorced parents or a completely absent father, and using psychotropic drugs of one type or another.
Class 3, which the media claims is as fictional as the Loch Ness monster, is the one the rest of us are seeing all over the place, on every continent except for Antarctica: He’s male, probably young (no older than his late 30s), Muslim (either by birth or conversion), and he’s utterly fascinated by jihad, so much so that his attacks are often accompanied by the cry of “Allahu Akbar.”
In all cases, gun control works to the attacker’s advantage, because he has the pleasant sensation of aiming at fish in a barrel, none of whom are equipped to fight back.
The vicious misogyny of the American left
I have to admit that I paid very little attention to the screaming headlines about the alleged Palin family brawl. There’s nothing new about the MSM salivating over any story, true or not, that casts a negative light on a woman who was a vice-presidential candidate six years ago and who, since then, has taken up permanent residence in Leftist heads.
By ignoring the Palin brawl story, though, I missed the real story, which is the vicious, gleeful misogyny that so-called “feminists” display when it comes to Palin women. You see, it turns out that Bristol Palin was, in fact, quite brutally attacked. CNN anchor Carol Costello, who routinely takes up the feminist flag for stories about girl-friend beating in the NFL, reacted with unseemly joy when she had the opportunity to share with her viewers the footage of Bristol Palin’s tearful recounting of a man’s violent attack against her:
“Sit back and enjoy!” Costello exclaimed as she introduced her audience recently to the audio in which Bristol Palin recounts how she was attacked. “You’ll want to hear what she told cops about how it all started.”
Costello also confided in her audience that she had a “favorite part” of the audio which could later become courtroom evidence. Ghoulish.
Charles C. W. Cooke, who freely admits to disliking Palin as a political candidate, wrote a splendid attack against the media’s passion for Palin pain, not to mention the double standard that sees a media blackout when Vice President Joe Biden’s progeny engage in disgraceful and illegal activity:
To take potshots at clownish figures such as Lena Dunham, we have learned, is to invite indignant death threats. And yet, when a veritable legion of male comedians elects to use foul, carnal, and, yes, “gendered” language to dismiss Palin and her family, our contemporary Boudiceas shrug at best and offer endorsements at worst. Sarah Palin, as the abominable bumper sticker has it, “isn’t a woman, she’s a Republican.”
If it is a sign of poor “judgment” to choose as veep someone whose children are a mess, why does Joe Biden get a pass for the conduct of his son, Hunter, who was kicked out of the Navy Reserve for having been discovered using cocaine?
Breaking my usual rule of keeping National Review off my real-me Facebook page (because Leftists would never dream of reading it), I posted Charles Cooke’s post there, along with a comment to the effect that disliking Sarah Palin cannot justify laughing at a brutal physical attack on her child. The response from my Leftist friends was predictable. Since they couldn’t possibly say anything to exonerate this misogyny, they were completely silent.
For more examples of MSM glee in a woman’s brutal assault, check out Ashe Schow’s round-up.
And the vicious misogyny of the Muslim Middle East
This video’s been kicking around for a while, but I only saw it today. It shows a Saudi family hanging an Ethiopian maid up by her heels and beating her with a bat, like a living, breathing pinata. I may be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure I heard some of the people assembled to watch this beating laughing as the maid screamed in agony.
The CDC has admitted that the immigrant flood correlates to measles outbreaks
The MSM doesn’t want you to know this, but conservative news outlets are reporting that the CDC has conceded that there’s definitely a correlation between the illegal Central American immigrants that the Obama administration shipped all over the country without pausing for silly little stuff like quarantines and new measles cases. Other diseases are also following in the illegal immigrants’ tracks:
Measles, respiratory illness, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases continue as a prime concern for the millions of Americans conflicted about the perpetual arrivals of illegal immigrants pouring into the country. While some diseases have emerged from the Philippines, Africa, Asia and Europe, the unprecedented amount of undocumented aliens is a major issue.
Even Hollywood is taking notice as actress Tori Spelling was reportedly admitted and placed in quarantine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California Monday for respiratory concerns that some media say could be Enterovirus related.
Hospitals throughout America are reporting record breaking numbers as their emergency rooms are overwhelmed beyond capacity. Figures as of October 20, 2014 show the largest reported cases of these mystery illnesses included over 4,300 children at Children’s Hospital Colorado. In just one day 540 children visited the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and 340 cases were reported by a Mobile, Alabama children’s hospital. Many hospitals have ceased admitting children temporarily as they determine ways to deal with the outbreaks.
Medical labs testing confirm many of these cases are Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). The Obama Administration has been working overtime to keep the reporting and narrative away from blaming the ongoing illegal and undocumented immigrant invasion into the country. Media reports show at least eight known deaths from EV-D68 in the U.S. in 2014.
Perhaps the White House doesn’t want Americans to know that out of over 70,000 illegal immigrant children who crossed into the U.S. almost 48,000 came from Honduras, Guatemala and Salvador. In these countries measles and the EV-D68 virus are quite common. If we include these children’s family and friends, not listed an “unaccompanied,” over a quarter of a million people from Central and South America have entered the U.S. illegally this year.
Incidentally, eight people have now died from the Enterovirus.
The American medical establishment may be way too complacent about Ebola
We expect the Obama government to tell us that everything is under control when it comes to Ebola. Yeah, sure, if “under control” looks like this:
Meanwhile, even as some doctors are also insisting that our medical system is more than capable of handling and isolating Ebola cases, never mind the possible “E-bowling” habits of infected people, one doctor, who started working in Russia and then came here (and became a Republican), is not so sanguine. He thinks that the medical establishment is grossly underestimating the demands more than 20 Ebola cases would have on our medical system:
When the kidneys no longer work, we start patients on dialysis but how do you safely do it while caring for a patient with Ebola. The answer is you don’t.
The only facilities that could attempt something like this are BL4 isolation wards where the staff practice such techniques while wearing spacesuits. They have dedicated machines that are separated from the other hospital patients. There are only 4 such facilities in the country and the number of such beds is around 20; that is all there is, for the entire country.
When it comes to Ebola research, the irony is so thick you can taste it
A lot of conservatives have been pointing out that part of our problem with Ebola is that the CDC has been so busy spending money on trendy things that it’s had little left for old-fashioned epidemic disease control. In other words, it’s been focusing on salt in diets, obesity, and cigarettes to the exclusion of just about everything else.
Here’s the irony: to the extent that the CDC was able to squeeze in a little actual contagious disease research alongside all its trendy lifestyle work, it did so because of . . . Dick Cheney. Bloomberg explains.
We may start changing our minds about working or partying when sick
When I was a little girl — well, actually even through high school — when I got sick, my mother kept me home. She did so because when she was growing up it was considered extremely rude to spread the cold or flu amongst your classmates, colleagues, and social group.
The results of my mom’s policy were two-fold. First, I started malingering because all I had to do to miss school was say “I don’t feel good.” Second, between real and faked illnesses, I missed way too much school, which affected my grades. It was only when I was in college and beyond that I figured out that, whether at school or at work, unless I was actually keeling over, staying at home would hurt my grades or my career too much.
When my kids were little, I sent them to school when they had colds because keeping them home until the sniffles ended would have meant keeping them home for weeks. All the other moms did the same, and that was fine. Obviously, if the kids had fevers, or vomiting, or diarrhea, things would have been different. But for colds and general yuckiness . . . school it was for the kids (and work for the parents).
During all those elementary school years, none of the kids got terribly sick, and all of us felt that we were doing the appropriate thing by giving our kids’ immune systems a work-out. In addition, because the kids brought everything home, we parents gave our own immune systems a work-out too. Once my kids hit middle school, all of us pretty much stopped getting sick.
What I’m working up to is the fact that, in America, going out into the world when you’re a bit sick means you don’t miss important things and you buff up your immune system. Certainly, no one dies. And really, that’s always been the big difference between my generation and my mother’s generation. In Mom’s time, when people, including kids, got sick, some of them died. They got polio (in America), and measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and scarlet fever. Getting a cold could mean pneumonia and, in a pre-antibiotic era, pneumonia could mean death. The risks of illness were so high they outweighed any potential benefits from attending more school or work.
I mention all this because a Russian-born writer, looking at the E-bowling document in New York, is asking why Americans go to school, and work, and social activities when sick. The answer is that, right up until this disease summer, the downsides were limited and the upsides were huge. I foresee things changing….
Charles Krauthammer says something wonderful about Obama’s bystander presidency
For those of us who have been paying attention, there’s nothing new in Charles Krauthammer’s most recent article about the fact that Obama seems to be a bystander to his own presidency. We know that Obama is always more surprised and then more angry than anyone else, as if the endless management failures during his administration aren’t his fault. If he was a good manager, these things wouldn’t happen. But if he was even a manager who just showed up for work every day, at least he wouldn’t be surprised and the one he would be angry at would be himself.
What’s new is this exquisite paragraph that Krauthammer wrote (bolded emphasis mine):
The one scandal where you could credit the president with genuine anger and obliviousness involves the recent breaches of White House Secret Service protection. The Washington Post described the first lady and president as “angry and upset,” and no doubt they were. But the first Secret Service scandal — the hookers of Cartagena — evinced this from the president: “If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.” An innovation in ostentatious distancing: future conditional indignation.
John Kerry is the rotten fish head at the top of the State Department hierarchy
Hillary was bad; Kerry is worse. (I haven’t forgotten Hillary’s role in the deaths of the Benghazi four. I’m just talking general about her role as leader of the State Department.) Just as a fish rots from the head down, the State Department under Kerry has gone from vaguely hostile to Israel to actively hostile to Israel. Moreover, working in tandem with the rest of the anti-Israel Obama administration, this active hostility is resulting in severe damage to Israel, which is America’s long-standing, most reliable ally in the Middle East — not to mention the only truly free country in that dark, bloodied, benighted region.
John Hinderaker catches Rob Stein, founder of Democracy Now, speaking the truth about power
The Left is always nattering on about “speaking truth to power.” What’s incredibly rare is to catch one of them speaking the truth about power. Rob Stein, however, did do so. I won’t spoil the surprise of this rare burst of honesty. You need to follow this link.
When it comes to Michael Brown’s family, you can’t make these things up
Even before Drudge latched on to it, Joshua Pundit caught the fact that Michael Brown’s family — the one in Ferguson — has come to blows about which family members have the right to milk his death for cash.
Natural selection and vegetarians
I’ve always known that, if you examine a human’s teeth, digestion, and overall health, it’s very clear that we humans are biologically programmed to have meat as part of our diet. What we know now too is that, when it comes to men, the downsides of vegetarianism hit even closer to home.
Meryl Streep to bring Florence Foster Jenkins to the screen
I’ve posted here before about Florence Foster Jenkins, the fabulously wealthy opera aficionado who booked herself into Carnegie hall to share her tuneless, aimless arias with the world. Meryl Streep has been tapped to play Jenkins in some sort of biopic. Little is known about the proposed movie, but I actually think this is a perfect movie for Streep. Because Jenkins lived in pre-media era, Streep will have to be an actress, not just a mimic, and she’s always at her best when she stops parroting other people’s mannerisms and just acts.
San Francisco in her pre-modern heyday
Fred Lyon, a native San Franciscan and professional photographer, loves to take pictures of his home town. The results can be seen at his website and, when it comes to pictures of San Francisco in the 1940s and 1950s, his work is spectacular. Whether one loves the City that once was, as I do, or simply enjoys beautiful black-and-white photography, this is an album that’s worth checking out.
Nature’s colorful bounty
You’ve probably seen most of these pictures before, but they’re so lovely, I wanted to share with you a post that puts all of them together in one place.
Sorry for the downer title, but the news is anything but good, wherever one looks. At the home front we’ve had flat tires, broken bones, and dead phones. (The broken bone belongs to my exchange student, who is disappointed, but not too terribly damaged, thank goodness.) The past few day’s headlines haven’t done anything to cheer me up, either.
Because I like to share, I’m passing my temporary existential despair on to all of you. And just to make you feel a little worse, let me add that our current administration, rather than trying to pull the rip-cord on the parachute so that we don’t hit bottom, is instead trying to cut the parachute’s suspension lines.
How bad is Obama? So bad that even Democrats view him as toxic
Republicans didn’t run away from Bush until 2008. Here it is, only 2014, and Democrats are treating Obama as if he’s radioactive. (The link is to a Wall Street Journal article. If you can’t read the article, try googling the title for an accessible link.)
Michael Dolan explains how Obama got what he wanted: A partnership with Iran
Obama came into office promising to work with Iran. It turns out that, as is true of all the promises he made that were deleterious to America’s well-being , he kept this one. (It’s a useful yardstick, incidentally: Promises about things that will help Americans? Obama breaks. Promises about things that will hurt Americans, America, and America’s allies? Obama keeps.)
Michael Dolan, who is a senior fellow of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and was both a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council, has been looking at Obama’s conduct since ISIS appeared on the scene and figured out Obama’s game-plan: Obama is using ISIS as a way to partner with Iran.
Obama is engaging in this de facto partnership with Iran, even though, as Dolan also explains, doing so allows Iran to go nuclear. A nuclear Iran destroys any balance of power in the region, not to mention threatening Israel and Europe. Moreover, it’s worth remembering that as a Shia state, Iran doesn’t just believe in the apocalypse, it believes that it has a mission from Allah to bring about the Apocalypse itself. (In this, Iran is quite distinct from Christians who believe in an Apocalypse, but who dread it and do nothing to cause it.) There’s nothing like a nuclear bomb to get a little Apocalypsing started.
To go on, Obama partners with Iran even though it means turning our backs on the Saudis who, while horribly rotten, are less horribly rotten than Iran and have been our allies for a long time. He does even though partnering with the mullahs is a slap in the face to those Iranians who are yearning to breathe at least a little more free (just as Obama ignored them during their attempted Green revolution). He does even though Iran has been funding the worst kind of terrorism — much of it aimed at America — for decades. And he does this even though Iran has made it clear that it still has as its goal the destruction of Israel and America, and the establishment of a world-wide Islamic caliphate.
Obama is Iran’s useful idiot, helping it to make sure that any caliphate the emerges isn’t Sunni and ISIS-controlled, but is instead Shia and Iran-controlled. Put another way, Obama isn’t just another Leftist ideologue; he’s a truly evil man who affirmatively seeks out the devil as a dancing partner.
Media ghasties and ghoulies
If you want to get your scare on before Halloween, watch Andrea Mitchell trying to save Abortion Barbie from her tasteless, desperate, sleazy attacks in Texas on Greg Abbott. You know what I was thinking when I watched that? I was thinking “Mommy, make those mean, scary ladies go away!”
The New York Times uses Britain’s embrace of Hamas as a reason to chastise Israel
When does a media outlet cross over from being partisan and become evil? I actually think the New York Times just rolled across that line with its latest editorial about Israel.
As you may recall, the British Parliament voted endorsing the idea of recognizing a Palestinian state. A media outlet with a decent moral compass would have attacked England for supporting a “state” that has nothing state-like about it: It’s government is run like a mafia institution, it has no economy and no infrastructure, and its idea of “human rights” is to deny women, Jews, Christians, and homosexuals status as humans. Anyone of common decency would recognize that it is a disgusting reflection on modern England that its Parliament would side with a grotesque, corrupt, tyranny with only murder on its mind.
But the Times knows who the bad guy is in this case and it’s Israel — for daring to build more Jewish homes in historically Jewish neighborhoods. Or as the Times editorial board puts it:
The vote is one more sign of the frustration many people in Europe feel about the failure to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement despite years of promises.
Funnily enough, the editorial makes no mention of the fact that the Palestinians have contributed exactly nothing to peace talks, negotiations, and compromise. In Times-land, this one is all on the Jews.
I used to say that the Times was good only for lining bird cages. It’s dropped in my estimation. It might, just might, be useful as a repository for the blood, vomit, and diarrhea of an Ebola patient, but I suspect it would perform even that most basic waste-collection function badly.
The New York Times also brings its evilness to the subject of chemical weapons in Iraq
When the Iraq War was Bush’s war, the New York Times led the charge of those claiming that Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction. Now, without even a blink at its volte face, it’s leading the charge to claim that Bush is evil because he exposed American troops to Saddam Hussein’s store of chemical weapons — i.e., weapons of mass destruction — in Iraq.
I’m not letting the Times perfidy blind me to the fact that American troops have suffered because the Bush Pentagon left them ill-prepared to come across WMDS. After all, if you’re claiming a war to wipe out WMDs, you should probably have systems in place to protect your troops. The Pentagon’s failings, though, don’t make me any less disgusted with the Times.
Let me count the ways in which the Democrat party is the party of death
Democrats may get all teary eyed when cold-blooded murderers meet their makers in a gas chamber after due process, but they’re pretty cavalier about most other deaths. They don’t mind a steely-eyed Obama sending drones to attack Pakistani and Yemenite civilians. They’re okay with grandma being sidelined by the Obama death panel. They assume that the vets who died on the VA’s watch were probably baby killers. They’re copacetic with suicide if life is just too tough.
Oh, and one more thing: abortion is empowering. Not just a necessary evil, which is an argument many Americans might support, but empowering and a “social good.” I’m betting that’s exactly the way Heinrich Himmler felt when he organized the Holocaust.
If you ever wondered why knowing geography matters….
Marin General Hospital had an Ebola scare because its staff confused the Middle East with West Africa. The country’s in the very best of hands….
Pigs are flying because I agree with Paul Krugman
Don’t worry, I don’t agree with Krugman about anything substantive. I do, however, think he’s correct when he says “Obama, although clearly not the natural politician, he is a consequential president.”
Where Krugman and I part ways is that Krugman thinks Obama is consequential in a good way, whereas I think Obama’ss consequential status relates to the fact that he’s inflicted such terrible damage on our once-thriving capitalist, constitutional, sovereign nation that we may take decades to recover, assuming we ever can. There’s no saying, after all, whether it’s possible to recover from a wrecked economy, socialized medicine, destroyed borders, a dysfunctional military facing an existential threat, and diseases that resist modern medicine, especially when such medicine is ineptly administered.
The Washington Post says Ebola isn’t really all that bad
Trying to strike an optimistic tone, the Washington Post says that Ebola isn’t as bad as it could be. It notes that (so far, at least), not everyone who came into contact with the Liberian who brought the disease to Dallas has gotten infected, and we definitely have better ways to treat symptoms than they do in West Africa. Still, even though the WaPo is trying to make lemonade from lemons, our broken borders and the Democrats’ funding priorities (which did not include focusing on plague-like infectious diseases) all mean that I’m not sanguine.
When it comes to Ebola and the media, I agree with Benjamin Shapiro
To follow-up on my point about the WaPo’s peculiar optimism, Benjamin Shapiro sums up the media’s relationship to Ebola, which is that it matters only when it affects the media itself. His starting point is media personality Nancy Snyderman’s decision to get herself some soup, despite the fact that she was technically quarantined, along with a crew member:
It’s one thing for Liberian citizen Thomas Eric Duncan to carry around an Ebola-ridden woman, get on an airplane to Dallas, walk into a hospital with symptoms, and then walk out again. Such behavior can be attributed, at least in part, to ignorance. It’s another thing entirely for a highly educated medical professional to endanger those around her for some miso.
But that’s the world of the media, where the proper response to the possibility of contracting Ebola is, “Don’t you know who I am?” Double standards abound here; media members lather Americans into a frenzy over the threat of a disease that has, to date, claimed a grand total of one life in the United States. Then they go out for lunch in public after being told that they could be carrying the virus.
The Snyderman story is truly part of a broader egocentrism in the media. The media didn’t give one whit about the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative non-profit applicants — but they went absolutely batty over the Department of Justice targeting reporters. The media don’t seem to care very much about demands for transparency from the Obama administration by the American public — but they’re fighting mad about the Obama administration’s refusal to let them photograph him golfing. After all, it’s one thing for normal Americans to get stiffed, and quite another for our betters to feel the effects of government’s heavy hand.
Canada’s Supreme Court says quoting the Bible re homosexuality is a hate crime
Yes, the Bible is not nice about homosexuals. Indeed, it’s so not nice that Canada’s Supreme Court has determined that someone who cites to the Bible in opposition to homosexual conduct is guilty of a hate crime.
Here’s the acid test, though: Would the Supreme Court reach the same ruling if it was asked to determine whether someone quoting from the Quar’an in opposition to Jews is also guilty of a hate crime? Somehow I doubt it, but maybe I’m just too cynical for my own good.
Paul Kengor is right that conservative radio is committing suicide by greed
I only listen to conservative talk radio when I’m in the car . . . but lately I’m never able to listen to conservative talk radio when I’m in the car. The reason for my inability to listen is because I’m usually in the car for short hauls and, when I tune in to the local talk radio stations, all I get is advertisements.
From the top of the hour until seven minutes past the hour . . . advertisements. From nineteen minutes past the hour until thirty-five minutes past the hour . . . advertisements (including the show’s host saying “Welcome back, and now for a word from our sponsors.”) The same pattern applies in the second half of the hour. Because I usually need to be at places on the hour or the half-hour, I invariably find myself tuning in to those fourteen or so minutes of advertising at the top or the bottom of the clock face. So lately, I haven’t even bothered to try. I just listen to music or call my sister.
And why are we in this terrible situation? Greed, says Paul Kengor:
Why so much junk? To pay the costs, of course. But more specifically, to pay the gigantic, unsustainable fees these shows demand.
Of course, it’s a free market. Rush and other hosts are free to earn whatever they receive. But also because it’s a free market, their stations and listeners are free to bolt. What surprises me is the degree to which some conservative hosts are willing to let their stations and listeners bolt, even as they rake in piles of money. I’m especially surprised at how these hosts are willing to allow their excellent product to be diluted and damaged by an intolerable stream of annoying advertisements.
It seems to me that these conservative hosts—champions of the free market—are not listening to the free market. In my local market, Rush and Hannity and Glenn Beck have lost a 50,000-watt blow-torch in favor of a vastly inferior 7,000-watt signal that will be heard by far fewer listeners.
I love Rush, but even he’s not worth listening to ten minutes of commercials during a 15 minute drive.
I leased an electric car, so oil prices dropped
I’m never kidding when I say that the moment I enter the stock market the market drops and the moment I pull out the market rises. I just have that kind of timing.
My timing means it’s no surprise to me at all that, now that I’ve leased an electric car so as not to run up huge gas bills driving a minivan around for local errands, oil prices are plummeting. At our nearest ARCO, which sells the cheapest gas in Southern Marin, prices have dropped by about 20 cents per gallon in the past two weeks. That’s huge.
Power Line wonders if the Saudis are doing this on purpose in an effort to undercut America’s booming oil business. Could be. I’m not sure, though, that the Saudis have the oil resources to play this kind of price-cutting game. I recall from a discussion at my blog many years ago someone who worked in the oil industry saying that Saudi wells are finally running try. It seems to be a perilous game to drop prices when you’re running out of product to sell.
Will all these oil and electric cars soon be obsolete anyway?
Remember how, in Back to the Future, Doc perfected time travel using the energy from nuclear fusion? Well, we may soon be doing a little time travel ourselves, because Lockheed says the future is now (or at least just ten years from now):
Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.
Anything that will break the back of the Muslim oil nations and silences the stupidity of the environ-mental-ists can’t come soon enough for me.
Lovely Lena leans . . . and so do several other old-time Hollywood beauties
Robert Avrech isn’t just a brilliant writer and thinker. He’s also extraordinarily knowledgeable about old Hollywood — the Hollywood of the Turner Classic Movies I watch with so much love.
Avrech recently wrote a beautifully illustrated post about the leaning boards that Hollywood’s leading ladies reclined upon to get the weight off their feet without ruining costumes so tight or elaborate that the actresses were often sewn into them. In a comment, I contributed my mite by pointing out that, in Singin’ In The Rain, Lena Lamont, the lovely lady with the horrible voice, and a personality that was even worse, was seen leaning on one of those boards. Robert, bless his heart, went out of his way to update the post to add a picture of the lovely Lena leaning.
At the most recent Watcher’s Council forum, the Watcher asked us, if we could be a superhero, which one would we be? Because my weekend passed in an alcoholic stupor (except without any alcohol, but only the stupor part), I completely missed the forum. If asked, I would have said Superman, simply because he’s always been my favorite superhero. Tune in here to see what other Council members had to say.
I was talking to someone the other day who was just thrilled that Ira Glass, a Progressive Jew who hosts the well received show This American Life (“TAL”), a staple of public radio, and his Jewish producers and staff, bravely devoted an entire show to a group of Hasidic Jews who have taken over the school board in a New York town, even though the town also has lots of black and Hispanic residents. Having taken over the school board, the Hasids, who resented paying property taxes funding public schools their students couldn’t attend, slashed funding for the public schools so that the Hasids would keep more of their money to spend on their Yeshivas.
Not only did TAL bravely report on these Jews, they admitted that the report could be perceived as antisemitic and inflammatory. Frankly, I doubt they were worried that any of their Progressive audience members would care, since most Progressives, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, loath the conservative Hasids. In addition, it’s a reasonable bet that none of the Hasids described in the report will storm the TAL studio any time soon to decapitate someone.
I was unimpressed. First, this is an old story, one I’ve heard and read about before. Second, the more I know about public schools the less I like them. The outraged black and Hispanic families would do well to seek alternatives to public schools as the Hasids did. And third, when it comes to “bravery,” as I noted above, there’s nothing brave about lambasting Hasidic Jews on a show that gets all its airplay among Progressives.
How many stories, I asked, has TAL done about Islamic radicalism amongst Somali immigrants or about honor killings in American Muslim populations or about the increasing radicalism of Michigan’s huge
Jewish Muslim population. The Progressive friend to whom I spoke, the one who boasted about TAL’s brave stand, said I was talking about apples and oranges. He could not understand that there’s nothing brave about being antisemitic on public radio or attacking a group that won’t talk back.
I discovered that his defensiveness might also have arisen because, as best I can tell, TAL has never done anything at all critical of radicalism within America’s Muslim population — and this is true despite 9/11, the Fort Hood Killer, the Boston Marathon bombing, and all sorts of other “unexpected” acts of workplace violence by the Allahu Akbar crowd.
Go ahead and see for yourself. Go to the TAL homepage, and key in “honor killings.” Nothing. Key in “Somalian.” Nothing. Key in “Somalia.” Nothing about Islamic Minnesotans. Key in “Somali.” Nothing about Islamic Minnesotans.
Here’s what I did find when I started searching for Muslims or Islam or Hamas or Palestinians:
1. Israeli soldiers take pictures of Palestinian children by going to the family homes in the middle of the night and waking teen and tween boys to take their pictures. You could call it “Israeli soldiers behaving creepily,” kind of like the Stasi. It is a piece of extremely pro-Palestinian propaganda that holds up badly in light of what we learned during this summer’s war.
2. Israel’s false history, which hid the fact that, instead of all 700,000 Palestinians leaving of their own accord (so that surrounding armies could complete their massacre without fellow Arabs getting in the way), Israelis actually drove out some Palestinians and wouldn’t let them back in. Not a lot of Jewish love in this story.
3. In 2002, a whole program dedicated to (a) the boredom and imprisonment of life in the West bank; (b) the evil conservativism that peculiarly affected Jews after the Second Intifadah, and (c) the wonders of a new, moderate potential Palestinian leader, Mustafa Barghouti. Here’s an update: Barghouti plays the moderate, but is among other things a staunch backer of the BDS movement, which aims to destroy Israel. Some moderate.
4. An October 5, 2001 story about a Muslim teenager giving the American Muslim viewpoint of the 9/11 attacks (although I’ll give TAL credit for acknowledging that this is an alternative view, shaped by a family that watches only TV from the Arab Muslim world).
5. A story about a Palestinian family facing prejudice in America.
6. A story about the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, and how they’re the way for goods to get into Gaza.
The only exception to the pro-Palestinian tilt in all these reports was a story about a Palestinian man who translates Israeli newscasts into Arabic, breaking the Palestinian government’s stranglehold on information.
None of the above stories are lies. All are supported by first person narratives. And all have a very specific point of view, and one that’s not a friendly one about Jews nor an honest one about Muslims or, more accurately, about the growing subsection of violent, jihadist Muslims in America and abroad.
What my Progressive friend doesn’t understand is that a half-truth is, in its own way, just another lie. So in my mind, I always think of this show by and for Progressives, some of whom happen to be Jewish, as This American Lie.
I’ve noticed a phrase that keeps cropping up in connection with articles about Obama: “defining moment.” My most recent sighting was in a Power Line post discussing Obama’s desperate (and manifestly false) efforts to walk away from his claim that ISIS was a “JV” team. There, Scott Johnson ends optimistically:
I think that Obama’s flagrant misjudgment in this case is a defining moment. It is a misjudgment consistent with his 2012 campaign themes in which he declared victory over al Qaeda (“decimated” and “on the run”). It indelibly marks Obama himself as the JV president and he therefore flails away against it.
Scott Johnson isn’t the only one looking for something that will be an epitaph for Obama’s presidency. A couple of weeks ago, a lot of people were pretty darned surprised when Obama, who has known about ISIS for at least a year, and should have known about it for much longer, publicly admitted that he had “no strategy” for dealing with it. Thomas Lifson thought this too would end up defining the presidency:
President Obama has now placed himself in an extraordinarily vulnerable position should ISIS act against the American people with its customary savagery. His arrogant dismissal of it with a sports metaphor, his admission of no strategy, and his track record of dithering and unseriousness combine to make his gaffe into what could become his political epitaph.
Johnson and Lifson are not alone in their search for that perfect gaffe or image or policy. On both the Left and the Right, pundits keeps looking at something Obama has done and opining that, for better or worse, it’s a “defining moment.” In April, after yet another Obama blunder (this one about entrepreneurs) Pat Sajak has helpfully explained what constitutes a negative “defining moment” in a presidency:
It’s as if President Obama climbed into a tank, put on his helmet, talked about how his foray into Cambodia was seared in his memory, looked at his watch, misspelled “potato” and pardoned Richard Nixon all in the same day. It’s fun to imagine the hand-wringing that must be going on within the White House as staffers try to figure out how to undo the damage their boss has done with his anti-entrepenurial riff. Defining moments in politics are strange beasts. Sometimes they’re only recognized in hindsight, while sometimes they throw the train off the tracks before a sentence has been completed. Sometimes their effect can be contained and minimized, while sometimes their effect on the political narrative mestastasizes. This one is very bad for the White House.
These defining moments take hold most devastatingly when they confirm what a large portion of the electorate already believes. Taken alone, it seems unfair that a single moment, an unguarded remark or a slip of the tongue can carry such weight. They’re often dismissed as “gotcha” moments, but when voters are able to nod and say, “I knew it,” these moments stick and do terrible damage. We have witnessed such a moment.
Defining moments, whether positive or negative, are definitely useful depending on whether one supports or opposes the president who gets defined. This time around, though, with this president, there will not be any defining moments.
What we forget when we think of the defining moments is the media’s essential role in promulgating them. The Jimmy Carter “killer rabbit” debacle perfectly exemplifies what I mean. Despite Carter’s Democrat creds, the media had tired of him by 1979. The economy was in the doldrums and the world seemed dangerous. The Iranian hostage crisis hadn’t happened yet, but Carter looked weak (something that subsequent events proved). When the “killer rabbit” story broke, the media was all too ready to humiliate him, especially because Teddy Kennedy was waiting in the wings:
For a president who had already weathered lusting after the Polish people, not to mention all the lust in his heart, this was one foolish moment too many.
As you may recall, the media also savaged Presidential Gerald Ford, an exceptionally athletic man, as a clumsy yahoo. When he did what everyone occasionally does — trip — it was elevated into an intellectual and moral failing, defining his presidency in the eyes of a post-Watergate public already jaded by politicians and their foibles.
Obama is different, though. The media absolutely refuses to follow up in any serious way when it comes to Obama’s gaffes and failures. Sure, papers will report on them in a small paragraph in a boring article in the back of the paper and TV outlets might mention them in passing, but there is no real coverage. Unlike the “killer rabbit” moment, which I distinctly remember showing up on the front page of the SF Chronicle, most American media consumers know nothing about ISIS = JV gaffes and lies, or “corpse-man” gaffes, or Hawaii=Asia gaffes, or “red line in Syria” gaffes, Benghazi spin, or even “If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance” lies. These things are strictly insider politics, red meat for the fanatics who follow every little thing. My sister, the quintessential low info consumer has never heard of any of these things unless I, a news nerd, expressly told her about them.
Conservatives can spin these moments as much as possible within the confines of the conservative blogosphere, but they’re not gaining traction and sticking in the larger public sphere. To the extent conservatives lack the all-encompassing national reach of the mainstream media, news stories that ought to be “defining moments” remain insider laundry lists. And no, Fox News alone is still insufficient. While other television news outlets are failing compared to Fox, the fact that the liberals own all of the other television news outlet; HBO, Showtime, and Comedy Central; the major print news outlets; all of the major magazines, from sports to fashion to gossip to household hints; our public schools; and the majority of Hollywood’s top performers means that, while news junkies get Fox, all other low-info consumers . . . don’t.
All is not perfect for the media, though. While it’s experienced consistent success when it comes to quashing negative “defining moments” about Obama, it’s been unable to maintain any positive “defining moments.” Thus, while most Americans haven’t been repeatedly hit over the head with the Big Lie (“If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance”), they haven’t missed the fact that Obamacare has not performed as promised. Likewise, while they probably missed both the “red line” and the JV statements, they’re fully aware of ISIS’s marauding, and are no doubt wondering how this can be happening under Obama’s reign of goodness and light. Voters are getting the big picture (which is reflected in Obama’s collapsing poll numbers), but they’re missing the epitaphs.
Given voters’ increasing disenchantment with Obama, does it matter then that there is no sticky defining moment that becomes a shorthand for everything that’s wrong with the administration? I think it does. Without that sticky imagery, every Obama failing must be defined and disseminated from the ground up. An analogy would be 50 First Dates, the movie in which Drew Barrymore, after a car accident, wakes up every day remembering only the events leading up to the car accident, with no memory of any subsequent events. It’s a cute conceit for a movie, but a miserable way to run a country.
I’ve got about 30 tabs open. They’re memory hogs, so I want to share their contents with you as quickly as possible so that I can shut them down and look for more stuff. Hold onto your hats, ’cause this is going to be quick:
Voices inside administration challenge Obama’s finger-pointing and feigned ignorance re ISIS
It’s old news already that Obama has no strategy for dealing with ISIS, despite its speedy metastases. The way he puts it, he was kind of taken by surprise by this JV team’s breakout growth and, anyway, everybody else in his administration is giving him trouble.
Funnily enough, that’s not what everyone else in the administration says. According to those paying attention and not playing golf, ISIS’s growth was foreseeable and predictable. Moreover, the military, which will have to clean up the mess (and it will be messy) is “apoplectic” about Obama’s refusal to deal with the issue.
Benny Avni explains that Obama’s fundamental problem may be that he refuses to acknowledge that ISIS is genuinely evil.
Obama may not be strategy-free; he may just be other-focused
As did many others, Daniel Greenfield took note of Obama’s disgraceful weak-horse announcement that he hasn’t come up with a strategy yet for ISIS, despite the fact that ISIS has undone all of America’s work in Iraq; that it killed and dispossessed thousands of Christians; that it killed James Foley (and has since killed Steven Sotloff; and that it has declared war on America. Greenfield, however, doesn’t think Obama is without a strategy. His theory is that Obama just isn’t that into American (or even civilized) interests abroad. Where it counts — race relations, golf scores, etc. — Obama is totally in control.
And no wonder Obama feels comfortable focusing solely on the issues that matter to him, rather than those that matter to the nation. After all, as David Harsanyi explains, if you’re a Democrat, there’s nothing Obama can’t do — Constitution be damned!
Obama’s narrow focus may explain why, even as ISIS beheads Americans abroad and promises to do so at home (a reasonable threat given Obama’s open border policy), Obama’s FBI can issue its annual threat assessment and forgets to include Islamic terrorism.
As I wrote to a friend of mine wondering what it will take for Americans to view ISIS as a direct threat to themselves, “Let’s just say that, on my ‘real me Facebook page, the same Progressive friends who went Facebook-ballistic about the possibility that women would have to continue to pay for their own birth control (just as they have always had to do), have been utterly silent about ISIS. They know what their priorities are, and an existential Islamist threat doesn’t even get on the list, let alone make it to the top ten.”
ISIS puts the lie to the meme that Islamists are oppressed Third Worlders
One of the problems for the Obama administration this time around is that the jihadists refused to conform to the Leftist stereotype. You know that stereotype. It’s the one that assures us that all America-haters have a valid right to hold that position because they’re American-oppressed, poverty-stricken residents of the Third World. After all, who can forget Michael Moore’s post-9/11 claim that al Qaeda is precisely the same as the Minutemen who fought in the American Revolution. This time, though, we know in advance who the Muslim terrorists are — and they are affluent, spoiled, thrill-seeking brats created at the nexus between Islamic and Western culture who revel in violence, blood, and perversion.
In Belgium, Muslims are preparing for a takeover
Belgium, once an artistic center of Christian, European culture, and now the center of the European Union, is being readied for a Muslim takeover.
Not all Muslims want to get with the sharia program
Some Muslims are recognizing that there is a problem with their faith, but few of them speak out. Glenn Mohammed, though, is one of the few and the brave. An Australian attorney, he was sufficiently disturbed by the Muslim community’s opposition to Australia’s proposed new anti-terrorism laws to write an opinion piece calling for Islam to reform:
The Muslim community is quick to stand up and use its democratic right to protest against being singled out. It feels under attack by the government. Maybe it is, maybe it is not, but the government is able to explain and justify the proposed legislation.
When will the Muslim community see the other side of this argument and realise that yes, we are under attack. Our faith is under attack. Our faith is being eaten up from within by fundamentalist elements around the world who twist it to suit their political agendas and interpret it to make their case. To them it’s nothing but a tool to control people. They justify their actions through our faith.
When will Muslims stand up and accept that yes we have problems within our faith. Maybe a few more problems than other faiths, but sure, we have problems. They don’t just affect us as Muslims, they affect our friends, their families and our neighbours. They affect a society that welcomes us here, treats us as equals and gives us the opportunity to live a decent and dignified life. Democratic Australia gives us a voice and tries its best not to judge us.
The issues that we face within our religion range widely from individuals brutally beheading people in the name of establishing an Islamic Caliphate to, at a local level, female genital mutilation.
Muslims need to be able to discuss these issues openly and denounce barbaric behaviour. Instead, we choose to remain silent and then criticise a government that tries to make Australia safer. We use democratic values such as the right to equality, to claim the existence of discrimination, racism and Islamophobia.
How fitting: OJ Simpson set to become a Muslim
OJ is a violent and angry man. OJ is a murderer. OJ is in prison. All of these are perfect ingredients for a prison conversion to Islam. Let me remind you, once again, what my cousin, the former prison chaplain had to say on the subject:
It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly [sic] remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.
Filipino forces probably saved their own lives by ignoring UN commands to surrender
When Filipino UN forces found themselves surrounded by Syrian Islamists, the UN issued a clear command: Surrender!
The Philippine government countered that command and, instead, Filipino troops fought their way out. By doing so, they undoubtedly spared themselves a horrific, possibly deadly, captivity; showed just how craven the UN is; and showed that trained troops can take on the Islamists, who’s greatest strength is their fanaticism, not their military prowess.
The Parents of a slain Navy SEAL call on Obama to resign
It’s always a tragedy when a vital, dynamic, competent, powerful, incredibly well-trained, patriotic young man dies in battle. It’s an even greater tragedy when his death occurs under the command of a leader who has nothing but disdain for such warriors, and one moreover who, whether because of a traitorous affinity for the enemy, ignorance, carelessness, or ennui, engages in policies that make each such death a waste, achieving nothing for our nation’s benefit. No wonder, then, that slain Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn’s parents have written a viral letter demanding Obama’s resignation:
After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.
My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.
Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.
Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way.
That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.
As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.
Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.
Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.
But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.
I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.
Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.
Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders.
You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to icasualties.org.
And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.
You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.
America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road.
Obama’s not just a bump in the road; he’s a genuine failure
Charles Kesler remembers when people were calling for Barack Obama to be added to Mt. Rushmore. In a wonderfully written article, he explains that problems with Obama’s presidency militate against that type of elevation.
Political correctness and the refusal to see evil
You’ve probably already heard about the scandal in Rotherham, England. In that Yorkshire town, social services allowed well over a thousand British children to become sex slaves for the town’s Muslim sex trade. Why? Because these government employees were scared that they’d be charged with racism if they protested against the men of the “Asian” community. (For “Asian,” read: “Pakistani Muslim.”) Allison Pearson writes a scathing editorial about political correctness that’s become an accomplice to evil.
We’re not immune, of course. The Washington Post published an op-ed in which an African-American studies professor says that Ferguson isn’t about black rage. Instead, it’s all about angry white people, such as the judge who had the temerity to tell the jury to apply the law in determining whether George Zimmerman acted in self-defense when Trayvon Martin tried to pound him to death on a pavement. (And keep in mind that this was a judge who was very hostile to Zimmerman.)
Reading the op-ed is like reading Alice Through the Looking-Glass, only without the charm. This is quite obviously a women who has never traveled outside the US. Had she left American shores, she would have realized that America is probably the least racist country in the world. I think she could benefit from some time spent reading Keith Richburg’s Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa.
Will the California drought affect California politics?
One of the pressing issues for years in California’s Central Valley, once the produce capitol of the world, has been water rights. Farmers in the valley kind of want that water to grow crops so that they can both feed their families and feed the world. Democrats in California want to keep the water away from farmers in order to ensure a healthy population of Delta Smelt, a teeny, undistinguished, but nevertheless environmentally threatened fish.
Historically, Hispanics in the Central Valley, because of identity politics, have hewed Democrat. The Delta Smelt battle, however, puts them on the same side as the farmers because the Hispanics are also seeing their livelihoods threatened.
The battle between environmentalists and those who make their living off the land is heating up as California experiences one of its terrible cyclical droughts (they happen every 30 years or so, and this is a bad one). One Hispanic California Assemblyman has spelled it out:
Rep. David Valadao (R-Bakersfield) lashed out at Democrats, including congressional opponent Amanda Renteria, on California’s urgent drought problem, saying Democrat policies will fail to provide relief for millions of Central Valley residents living with severe water shortages.
“Our forefathers expected droughts, we went through droughts, and we always prepared for the next one because there was always another one coming,” Valadao told The Hill this week. “And that’s why we built the infrastructure, the reservoirs, the canals, and all those types of things.”
“Since the ’80s, they’ve started making it harder and harder to use that infrastructure and to send the water out into the ocean instead of allowing it to come down here and help these communities survive, and that’s where the change is,” he continued. “We can’t make it rain, but it wouldn’t have been as bad if we’d been allowed to pump water and put it in storage… they’re saying fish are more important than the people who live here.”
One wonders if Hispanics in the Central Valley will be able to look at their knee-jerk Democrat affiliation, realize that it harms them, and rejigger their political orientation. I did just that and I feel better for having done so.
The climate change con continues to unravel
I guess it would probably help if the same Hispanic farm workers could be brought to understand that climate change is a scam. Indeed, as the Daily Mail trumpeted, the Arctic Ice cap, ignoring Al Gore’s apocalyptic (and, for him, profitable) predictions about vanishing ice, covers a vast territory and is extremely thick.
We are most certainly stewards for our environment, and we owe it to ourselves and our children to avoid pollution. Climate change has nothing to do with those laudable goals. Inside, it’s about population and capital control. One hopes that, as more and more data backs up the righteousness of the position held by “deniers,” perhaps the environmentalists’ power will wane. I certainly hope it wanes in the courtroom when Michael Mann’s case against Mark Steyn is finally heard. Mark Steyn has the facts so, in a just world, he should win on the law.
Another Jew abandons the New York Times
As you know, more than a decade ago, I realized there was something wrong with the mainstream media when I found myself sitting in my car, screaming at my radio as NPR misreported stories about Israel . . . and always with an anti-Israel slant. A reform rabbi who was, of course, a lifetime New York Times reader finally hit his end-of-tolerance moment with the Times biased coverage of Operation Protective Edge.
Rabbi Richard Block gives chapter and verse about the Times’ disgracefully biased coverage. Every Jew should read it.
The Jews’ secret weapon of mass destruction
Maybe I shouldn’t say “secret weapon of mass destruction.” Maybe I should say that the Jews have developed “a secret weapon to unleash mass hysteria” . . . and Daniel Greenfield knows what that weapon is: A hammer, some nails, a bit of wood, a little stucco, etc. Yes, it’s the dreaded “Killer Israeli House.”
Two excellent articles from Richard Baehr
Richard Baehr, who co-founded American Thinker, is one of the most astute political analysts around. That’s why it’s a great day when he has two articles published:
Hillary Is In No Rush, about Hillary’s decision to delay any official announcement of a presidential candidacy.
War on Jews: Europe and now America, about the Democrat Party’s carefully cultivated war against Jews in America, something that should concern all good people. We’re about a decade behind Europe when it comes to anti-Jewish malevolence, but are gaining ground fast.
I urge you to read both.
A new feature from the Watcher’s Council
The Watcher’s Council actually has a full name: Watcher’s of Weasels. We weasel watchers have decided that we should start voting for a weasel of the week:
Hello and welcome to the Watcher’s Council’s new feature, ‘Weasel Of The Week’ feature, where we award the golden plastic Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be publicly slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations and check back Thursday to see which Weasel gets the votes and walks off with the statuette of shame!
And while we’re talking about the Watcher’s Council, be sure to check out the forum, which discusses favorite and least favorite sports. I was so crazy busy this weekend, I forgot to participate. Had I done so, I would have said my favorite is martial arts, because it’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done (and never mind the skeletal damage I’ve sustained), and that my least favorite is baseball, because I find it about as exciting as watching grass grow . . . in a drought.
Federal agents with dirty minds; or, to a hammer, everything is a nail
In New Jersey, every year, a father has taken pictures of his two adopted daughters hugging each other as they travel on a ferry. It’s for one of those family albums where you see the kids grow up in the same pose year after year.
This year, though, the father got a little bit of a surprise when a random agent from Homeland Security, who just happened to be on the ferry too, suggested that he watch himself because it looked as if he was engaged in sex trafficking with teenage Asian girls. Either the man’s family dynamics with his adopted daughters were really peculiar (and I did once see a man at a swim meet who kept stroking his 14-year-old daughter, which was creepy), or our federal government is getting carried away with its oversight of American citizens. Tell me what you think.
Read the College Boards’ Leftist framework
Stanley Kurtz has been sounding the alarm about a total Leftist takeover of American history studies in high school. Go here, and get links to learn more about what’s happening. As he says, the more people who know about this travesty, the harder it will be for the Leftists in charge of AP history to make it happen.
Marriage help is on the way
All of you here know my friend Earl Aagaard, who has written a thousand smart comments, written too few wonderful guest posts and, unbeknownst to you, provides me with invaluable editing and content help behind the scenes. His daughter, Laura, and her husband, who are fairly young marrieds with young children, have started up a regular podcast about married life, called Marriage Startup. In their most recent podcast, they interview Earl and his wife, Gail, who have been married for 45 years. You can believe me when I say it’s good stuff from people who understand love, respect, and commitment.
Obama is so not funny
Although Kyle Smith’s article is about Obama, it’s not about politics but is, instead, about culture, which is why I placed it near the end of this round-up. Smith tackles the fact that comedy writers have been unable to find any humor in Obama, not because he’s a pathetic, narcissistic, vicious, cowardly little man set on destroying America, but because he’s too perfect for them to touch.
Bob Hope is one great little dancer
Years ago, during the Bush administration, James Taranto read a despairing AP article in which the Progressive author opined that “everything is seemingly spinning out of control.” Taranto loved that phrase and used it to preface any link to crazy things, or things that made Progressive’s crazy.
That phrase keeps wandering into my mind in this, the sixth year of the reign of the Emperor Obama. With our border having as many holes as a fish net, Obama threatening to grant amnesty to five or six million illegal immigrants, the artificially inflated stock market soaring (thank you QE2) as ordinary Americans face increasing financial hardships, race relations set back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, virulent anti-Semitism on the rise around the world, barbaric Islamism also on the rise around the world, Israel besieged, Egypt slowly running out of food (and won’t the world get really interesting when that happens?), and Russia poised on Ukraine’s border — well, I really do feel as if everything is indeed seemingly spinning out of control. I guess the silver lining is that there’s lots to blog about, so blog I will.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend
Patting myself on the back here, I’ve long predicted that Sunni Saudi Arabia, afraid of Shia Iran, would make common cause with Israel. That’s finally happening, as the most radical Islamists — both Sunni and Shia — pick up steam everywhere in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia may have funded radicalism, but it did so primarily to keep that radicalism outside of its own borders. Now, it sees little Jewish Israel as the only bulwark against a radical takeover within those borders.
Hamas Rules of War: Use Civilians
Hamas supporters are claiming it’s a fraud, but to the extent that the IDF claims to have found a handbook in Gaza telling Hamas fighters to hide explosives in civilian houses, advice that jives perfectly with what Hamas actually did, I’m inclined to believe the handbook is real. Also, while there’s plenty of evidence that Hamas uses disinformation (often carried out with threats) to advance its cause, I don’t know of any credible charges that Israel or the IDF routinely lie.
You can tell a lot about an administration by its funeral attendance
I often tell my children that you’re known by the friends you keep. When it comes to presidential administrations, you’re also known by the funerals and memorials you attend. Ben Shapiro has therefore performed a useful function. After reading reports about the three White House representatives at Michael Brown’s funeral, he decided to take a look back at the funerals the White House didn’t think were worth its time. It’s illuminating reading.
Just a reminder, though, that it’s not always a good thing when the White House goes to a memorial service. Indeed, sometimes it’s downright embarrassing:
A beleaguered Israel offers a useful comparison in presidential styles
This summer’s war is not, of course, the first time Israel’s been under attack. For example, she was attacked in 1947, right after the UN voted her into existence. In 1967, on the eve of what would have been a devastating attack by the militaries of surrounding Arab nations, Israel preemptively struck those militaries to protect her own civilians.
And then there was 1973 — the Yom Kippur War. Israel was on the receiving end of a surprise attack and, horrifyingly, lacked the military equipment to counter it in a long war. Scarily, in the American White House was a Republican president who hated Jews. That Jew-hating Republican president saved Israel.
At To Put It Bluntly, you will find an excellent analysis of the way in which Nixon and Obama have approached surprise attacks on Israel. One president showed leadership, the other wishy-washy follow-ship. The contrast is striking.
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VDH looks at the perfect political storm, not to mention the unending series of lies, that got Obama into the White House in 2008
Yet another sterling VDH article, this one analysis the culmination of eight years of Bush hatred, war fatigue, lies and obfuscation, hysteria, and the delusions of crowds, all of which led to an Obama presidency.
As part of this analysis, Hanson points out that the truth about Obama was readily available, but the drive-by media deliberately ignored it, and too many Americans refused to look for it. You didn’t have to look far to find the truth, though, as is revealed in this Spring 2008 post of mine, in which I linked to a variety of articles detailing problems with candidate Obama. It was all there for everyone to see, but the three monkeys were the order of the day:
Obama’s lying administration
One of the themes I’ve pounded since Obama first appeared on the political scene is that he’s a liar. (Examples of that are here, here, and here.) Since we all know that corporate culture flows down from the top, is it any surprise to find that everyone in his administration is equally infected with dishonesty?
Peter Wehner offers only the latest example of the administration’s provable dishonesty. The subject this time is the administration’s ridiculous contortions as it tries to “prove” that Obama never said that ISIS was a “JV squad.” (The link may be behind a pay wall, but a Commentary online subscription is one of the best bargains around.) The administration is so used to a media both credulous and complicit accepting all of its lies at face that it cannot seem to accept that lies are a bad idea when hard facts exist countering those lies.
The lies America tells blacks
A couple of days ago, I published a long, convoluted post explaining how dreadfully the American Left (with the rest of America tagging along behind) has lied to American blacks, convincing them that they are hapless, hopeless, and helpless victims of a white discrimination so broadly and deeply entrenched that it cannot be overcome.
Today, Andrew Klavan published a short, powerful piece making exactly the same point. His writing is so much better than mine that, if you haven’t yet read my post, ignore it and just head straight for Klavan’s.
Watcher’s Council forum predicting the future in Ferguson
Over at the Watcher’s Council, in this week’s forum council members and honored guests offered their best guesses about whether the grand jury will indict the officer accused of shooting Michael Brown. As always, it’s great reading, offering a variety of viewpoints.
Part of the South’s abandonment of the Democrat Party included its abandonment of racism
If I had to nominate a “must-read” article for today, it would be Mona Charen’s column refuting Charlie Rangel’s libelous claim that, when the South turned Republican, it took its racism along with it, an exodus that disinfected the Democrat party of any residual racism, while infecting the Republican party with America’s original sin (never mind that the Republican party, from its inception before the Civil War, opposed institutional racism). Here are just a few snippets to whet your appetite for this must-read analysis:
It’s true that a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, shepherded the 1964 Civil Rights Act to passage. But who voted for it? Eighty percent of Republicans in the House voted aye, as against 61 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, 82 percent of Republicans favored the law, but only 69 percent of Democrats. Among the Democrats voting nay were Albert Gore Sr., Robert Byrd, and J. William Fulbright.
Okay, but didn’t all the old segregationist senators leave the Democratic party and become Republicans after 1964? No, just one did: Strom Thurmond. The rest remained in the Democratic party — including former Klansman Robert Byrd, who became president pro tempore of the Senate.
The “solid south” Democratic voting pattern began to break down not in the 1960s in response to civil rights but in the 1950s in response to economic development and the Cold War. (Black voters in the north, who had been reliable Republicans, began to abandon the GOP in response to the New Deal, encouraged by activists like Robert Vann to “turn Lincoln’s picture to the wall. That debt has been paid in full.”)
These Republican gains came not from the most rural and “deep south” regions, but rather from the newer cities and suburbs. [snip] It was disproportionately suburban, middle-class, educated, young, non-native southern, and concentrated in the growth points that were the least ‘Southern’ parts of the south.”
Read more here.
IRS deliberately destroyed evidence
Back in June, I offered a short commentary about spoliation (i.e., destroying relevant evidence after a lawsuit has been filed), which is a serious no-no in court: “Spoliation is a species of fraud that’s especially disfavored because its purpose is to destroy the integrity of a judicial or investigative process.” If you’re paying any attention to the IRS scandal, which saw a politicized IRS deliberately use its extraordinary powers to stifle pro-conservative and pro-Israel political speech, you’re going to be hearing the word “spoliation” a lot:
The IRS filing in federal Judge Emmet Sullivan’s court reveals shocking new information. The IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry AFTER it knew her computer had crashed and after a Congressional inquiry was well underway. As an IRS official declared under the penalty of perjury, the destroyed Blackberry would have contained the same emails (both sent and received) as Lois Lerner’s hard drive.
This most recent revelation follows closely on the heels of the IRS’s admission that all those lost IRS emails from Lois Lerner and six IRS cohorts weren’t actually lost at all, they were just hard to find. Keep in mind that this admission comes after the IRS, including its director, swore (literally swore, under oath), that the emails were irretrievably gone, since the hard drives had first spontaneously crashed and then, contrary to federal law, been destroyed.
The rule in litigation is that, if you possess documents responsive to a request but they are hard to locate, you have to explain that fact to the court. Moreover, you can also explain why they’re not worth the effort of recovering. What you can’t do is lie, and then lie some more.
I’ve worked in litigation for more than 25 years, and I’ve seen some pretty hard-fought and even dirty lawsuits, but I have never seen this level of dishonesty. Never.
What you also won’t see, ever, is mainstream media coverage about the IRS’s behavior before the lawsuit, when it used its vast, almost untouchable power to silence the administration’s political opponents, or during the lawsuit, when it committed truly heinous frauds against the court.
Time Magazines goes full “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”
My parents, as part of their commitment to being good, informed Americans, subscribed to Time Magazine throughout my childhood (so we’re talking at least the mid-1960s here). I know now that, even back then, Time was beginning to show the Leftist bias that today permeates almost all of the American media. Still, back in the day, Time was a dignified publication. It may have been “news for the masses,” but it was still news, with actual facts, although these facts were certainly spun in a specific political direction.
Time Magazine in its modern incarnation, however, is worse than garbage. Garbage can still be honest, although the topics are trashy. National Enquirer tells the truth, although there’s nothing particularly elevating about knowing the identity of Hollywood’s fattest stars, who’s having a secret affair on the side, or what crazy demands a given celebrity makes before checking into a hotel.
What’s worse than garbage is repeating as true utterly scurrilous blood libels against Jews. Yet that’s precisely what Time Magazine, a once reputable media outlet, did. It published as true the ancient blood libel that Israel was harvesting organs from Palestinians, a claim so false that even its original maker, a Swedish “news” outlet, admitted that it had no proof and, moreover, couldn’t care less that the accusation was a lie.
Even worse, Time backtracked on this libel, not because it realized that some low-level staffer had done something egregiously wrong, which would have required a full retraction and apology, but, instead, only when people started criticizing the libel. Seth Mandel explains just how disgraceful Times‘ conduct was:
Here’s the lede: “Time Magazine retracted a report on Sunday which claimed the Israeli army harvested dead Palestinians’ internal organs after a watchdog group accused the publication of propagating a ‘blood libel.’”
That’s putting it kindly. The watchdog group–HonestReporting–did not so much “accuse” Time of propagating a blood libel as point out that Time was obviously propagating a blood libel. Is there another term for Time’s medieval delusions?
There isn’t nearly enough thoughtful analysis in the media or reporters willing to examine and question the assumptions and propaganda they’re fed by Hamas and its NGO allies, instead using reporters on the ground who worship Yasser Arafat. This is often the case when Israel is at war; in 2006, the Reuters practice of using photoshoppers masquerading as photographers led to the application of the term “fauxtography” to Reuters’ work in the Middle East.
But this lack of reporting appears to have spread to Time, and in a particularly offensive way. As hard as it is to believe, media coverage of Israel is actually deteriorating. The race to the bottom hasn’t stopped; it’s just gotten more crowded.
Read the rest here.
HuffPo takes the lead in the “humor” category of the media’s race to the bottom
Time is racing to the bottom in a disgusting fashion. Other outlets are doing so in more humorous fashion, even if that humor is unwitting. Take HuffPo, for example, which has published a series of photographs showing scientists suffering the anguish of knowing that only 97% of their colleagues are willing to support predictions about climate change that have consistently, and without exception, been proven false once they played out in real-time.
Each of the scientists is shown trying to look sad, although some just look peculiarly constipated, with a few being reduced to squinching their faces into blank idiocy. The humor behind these efforts at existential anguish is exquisite.
Even funnier is HuffPo‘s hysterical, apocalyptic language which, when combined with the usual pedantic assurances that, if we just follow the “science,” all will be well, creates a delicious mix that has all the artistic weight of a poem by William McGonagall. McGonagall, as you may already know, is widely acknowledged to be the worst poet in the English language, in no small part because he combined awful prose with a penchant for tragedy and pedantry. I’ll share with you, first, a bit of HuffPo free verse, followed by a little McGonagall for comparison.
Here’s the HuffPo song of its Progressive people:
“[T]here’s something uniquely frightening about this artist’s attempt to transform global warming data into visceral, human responses.”
“The photos are minimalist but intense, each wrinkle and crease pointing to a human unease we can all connect with.”
“Although their powerful words provide an interesting context for their expressions, we think the faces alone say more than enough.”
And then there’s McGonagall’s famous work about the Tay Bridge disaster, with this masterful closing stanza:
It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.
Really, other than McGonagall’s more antiquated syntax, it’s hard to tell the two apart.
Scratch a Progressive; find a fascist
With David Gregory out at Meet the Press and Chuck Todd in, Democrat/Progressive strategist and (ahem) thinker Ed Kilgore has some practical advice for the best way in which to make the show edgier and more interesting. The following gem come in response to the plan by Deborah Turness, NBC’s president, to have a panel of journalists conversing, instead of a one-on-one format, in order to make the show edgy and more interesting:
If Turness is serious about this, we need to organize a grassroots campaign to ask that certain journalists be permanently banned from the panel of Meet the Press, or we’ll boycott the damn thing ab initio. I’d start with Peggy Noonan, Bill Kristol, David Gergen, David Brooks and George Will. Even at their best, they’ve all gotten more airtime than their shaky talents merit. But I’m sure you have dozens more who deserve the Meet Ban. Fire away in the comment thread.
Yes, because nothing says hip, edgy, and open-minded like excluding all opposing views and, instead, having party drones agree with each other. Using this rubric, Pravda was also hip, edgy, and open-minded.
Looking at Kilgore’s dream of a real news show, I was reminded of a post I wrote discussing the differences between conservative and Progressive media:
Members of the conservative media are also more generous with presenting the underlying source material on which they rely or with which they disagree, something that is especially apparent on the radio. For example, on NPR, Robert Siegel will do an eight minute report that begins with his opining magisterially on a subject, and then continues with his editing in carefully selected snippets of interviews with witnesses, actors and experts. Given the limited time format, it’s inevitable of course that the greater part of any given interview is left on the cutting room floor, with Siegel and his staff picking whatever money lines suit the story they wish to present.
On conservative talk radio, however, the hosts will frequently play half hour long clips, not just of people they support, but of people with whose opinion they differ. Likewise, when these hosts have guests on, the guests are not only people with whom the hosts agree, but people with whom they disagree. And in the latter case, you can comfortably settle in and listen to a free-wheeling, although never mean-spirited, discussion with both host and guest called upon to defend their positions vigorously.
A sad end to a sad story
In 2012, the drive-by media was incredibly excited when a video emerged showing Marines urinating on dead Taliban corpses. This proved — proved!! — that Americans were every bit as bad as the Islamists. After all, urinating on a dead body (which is a crude, demeaning act that I don’t support) is exactly the same as torturing and beheading people; cutting off the genitals of ones enemy, whether he’s dead or alive; or dragging bodies through the streets before cheering crowds. (It’s clear, I hope, that I’m being sarcastic.) At the center of this media storm was Cpl. Robert Richards, a highly respected Marine:
Richards was a scout sniper with multiple deployments to Afghanistan, including one in 2010 during which he sustained severe injuries. Peers and superiors alike praised him for his combat prowess and leadership skills, evidenced by his being hand-selected to serve as the scout sniper platoon team leader for 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, during its 2011 tour.
Although only 28, Richards is dead. The coroner has not announced the cause of death, but Guy Womack, Richards’ attorney and friend, told reporters that the coroner would be examining the medicines Richards was taking, something that hints at an overdose, accidental or intentional.
To the extent Richards did something unworthy of an American fighter, it was nevertheless something that should have been taken care of within the context of the Marines, rather than something that saw him tried and convicted by the American media. Richards didn’t deserve such a pathetic ending to his career. May be rest in peace now.
American universities harm Leftist students too
A Prager University video makes the compelling argument that, insofar as American universities have overwhelmingly Leftist faculties, students who hew Left (or don’t hew in any direction at all) suffer more than conservative students do:
I think henceforth I’ll call this “The Caped Crusader Picture Gallery,” because the Caped Crusader has done it again, providing me with powerful and often funny images:
We have met the enemy, and it isn’t us, it’s ISIS
One of the tocsins I’m relentlessly ringing on my “real me” Facebook is that what we’re seeing in the Middle East — in Syria, in Israel, in Iraq, in Egypt — is only the current front line in Islamist battle for world domination. Once they conquer there, the Islamists will do what they’ve done since Mohamed’s time, which is to spread out looking for new lands to conquer.
Importantly, these warriors don’t “conquer” the way Americans do, which is to kick out fascist governments, set up a civil infrastructure, and flood the country with American money and know-how. They conquer the old-fashioned way, with fire and sword (and rape and burial alive and slavery too).
Nor are my fears about Islamist Jihad based upon fantasies and conspiracies. Back in the day, when the Nazis targeted the Jews, they had no hard evidence to support their complaint that Jews were engaged in an effort to take over the world. Indeed, their only evidence was the absence of evidence. “Look,” they crowed. “The fact that there’s not a single bit of proof that Jews are doing any of the things we say they’re doing is proof that they’re doing it secretly.”
There’s nothing secret about al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and that whole jolly crew of rapists and murderers. They boast proudly about their worst excesses. Indeed it must sometimes amaze them how the West resolutely pretends that these boasts, complete with pictures, do not exist. Journalists are slowly catching up to the horrors, but people clearly don’t want to know.
Richard Fernandez is paying attention to what’s happening. He feels, as I do, that the West is dancing on the edge of a volcano, willfully turning a blind eye to its own imminent destruction.
ISIS is driving “moderate” Islamist states into Israel’s waiting arms
Something good might be coming out of ISIS’s rampage, though: Saudi Arabia and other “moderate” Arab states are signaling strongly that they have bigger fish to fry than a fight with Israel. The more Westernized Muslims nations are realizing that they have a bigger enemy in out-of-control Islamists than they ever did with Israel (never mind that Saudi Arabia fanned, and paid for, that particularly fanatic flame for decades).
My proof for making the above statement comes from two things that crossed my radar yesterday. The first was a long editorial in a UAE newspaper insisting that ISIS must be defeated before it accrues even greater power and wealth. The second was an editorial in a Saudi-owned, London-based newspaper explicitly stating that the balance of power in the Middle East has shifted. According to that piece, the The “current conflict looks like an Israel/Hamas–Turkey–Iran–Qatar one, with the rest of the Arab world’s support existing only on Twitter and other social media forums.” (Emphasis added.)
And apropos ISIS’s accrued power and wealth, HuffPo, of all places, has an article detailing ISIS’s scary numbers, including its huge bank balance, which it obtained the old-fashioned Islamic way: by conquest.
Media Malfeasance at the BBC
Regarding Israel, the BBC lies, and then it lies about lying.
Obama’s perverse “Midas” touch
Victor Davis Hanson on the fact that everything Obama touches turns to dross. Which conclusion leads to two appropriate pictures:
Keeping an eye on the upcoming elections
Even as I keep my eye on the Islamists, I haven’t forgotten that we’re waging our own battles here at home, with a Marxist president hellbent on his continuing project of “fundamentally transforming” a perfectly good America into something much less good. Over at the Watcher’s Council, the latest forum asks Council members to offer their predictions for the upcoming election. I think you’ll find the predictions fascinating. Council members are optimistic, although The Razor noted that the GOP has a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
I stayed out of this forum. When I get into the stock market it drops. When I get out, it skyrockets. And when I support a candidate, that candidate seems to lose. The less I predict about the election the better. If, however, you want detailed, and accurate, election information I recommend The Election Projection.
As the world becomes less stable, Rand Paul is a less viable presidential candidate
Bruce Kesler thinks it’s very important that people understand that, in a dangerous world, Rand Paul’s principled non-interventionism would put America at grave risk if he were president.
After all, as Jonah Goldberg says in his excellent article about our coming long, long war with radical Islam, “The problem is the enemy always gets a vote.” The fact that Paul’s principles tell him not to engage doesn’t mean the enemy isn’t hell-bent on engaging with us.
Britain’s Guardian paper is reading my blog. A few weeks ago, I did this poster:
We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.
And some pictures
(With thanks to Caped Crusader)