The Humpty Dumpty remedy for the Church’s gay marriage problem

vintage-bride-and-groom-illustration-modern-design-7-on-cake-wedding-ideasThe fact that I’ve been too busy to blog does not mean I’ve been too busy to think.  My thoughts of late have turned to gay marriage.  I predicted a long time ago that turning gay marriage into a Constitutional right would open the way for a direct attack on religion — or, more accurately, on traditional Christian faiths — and I was entirely correct.  NRO’s David French has been busy tracking the immediate legal, political, and financial attacks aimed at the church in the wake of the execrable Supreme Court decision. It no longer matters that the Court could have reached a similar, constitutionally correct, outcome without destroying religious freedom. The reality is that the Court did what it did, and the Left is armed and ready to fire.

Another thing I observed back in 2008 or 2009 is that the gay “marriage” problem is, as much as anything, a question of semantics.  Although America long ago constitutionally separated church and state, our concept of marriage remained stuck in the British tradition, one in which church and state were the same thing.  Marriage was seamlessly a civil and a religious event.

In the past century, and with accelerating speed in the past two decades, Americans have turned to the word “marriage” to represent two entirely different events:  The first is the religious, or quasi-religious, coming together of a man and a woman before their friends, their God, or their New Age guru; the second is a bureaucratic process notifying the government that a couple wants the economic and contractual benefits and burdens the government bestows on those who live together with the presumptive intent of having children.  The word “marriage,” therefore, has two fundamentally unrelated meanings, one purely religious and one purely civil.

Because this semantic difference is causing real problems thanks to same-sex and polygamous “marriage” demands, I have been arguing since 2008 that America’s federal and state governments should get out of the marriage business entirely and, instead, sanction only “civil unions.”  Under this scheme, states can sanction whatever the heck “civil unions” they want — man/woman, man/man, woman/woman, cow/pig, man/women, etc..  Each state would be an experiment in determining what unions most benefit society as a whole, the state’s economic well-being, and, most especially, children’s ability to thrive.

But that’s not what Justice Kennedy did.  Instead, he looked at the U.S. Constitution and found hidden in it, hidden behind the unicorns and rainbows, a constitutional right holding that everybody’s dignity is such that they can marry whomever or whatever they want.  Most of the Founders would be horrified about this hitherto unsuspected “civil right,” although I suspect old Benjamin Franklin would have been amused.

Still, as the old saying goes, if the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, than Mohamed most go to the mountain.  Because Kennedy has insisted that government “owns” marriage, it’s time for the church to let go of marriage entirely and try something new.  Now, don’t get too upset.  Hear me out, because I think the Left has shown traditionalists the way to go. You need to think about the stories that have been dominating news headlines for weeks, even years, of late.

Rachel Dolezal has shown us that all people, no matter their genetic racial make-up, can be whatever race they prefer. Of course, this can be a bit of a double-edged sword as the media showed with George Zimmerman.  Race becomes a fluid concept depending on whether you’re the right kind of victim or not. If you’ve been beaten up by a white guy, you’re undoubtedly black or Hispanic (or gay, or all of the above), but if you’re a light-skinned Hispanic who killed a murderous black man in self-defense, you’re first white and, when that fails, you’re that new breed of race called “white Hispanic.”

Of course, successful racial re-identification isn’t limited to blacks and Hispanics. In academia, the favored racial “borrowing” is Native American. Andrea Smith, Elizabeth Warren, and Ward Churchill have shown us that, no matter the absence of a single drop of Native American blood in your body, if you think you’re an Indian, then you’re an Indian.  (Actually, Irving Berlin had already figured this one out a long time ago.)

The most exciting type of re-identification, of course, has to do with sex.  Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner has shown us that anyone, no matter his or her X and Y chromosomes, or the conspicuously present or absent dangly bits in a person’s crotch, can be whatever sex he or she prefers.

This ability to define reality to suit oneself isn’t limited to ones own body.  It can also apply to events.  For example, despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, poor deluded Emma Sulkowicz is a rape victim.  Lena Dunham’s drunken, consensual hook-up?  Rape and she’s a victim too.

The important thing to remember with all these re-imaginings of ones self is that, no matter how ludicrous they are, everyone else is honor bound to accept them as truth. Despite Caitlyn’s massive upper body, missing waist, present penis and testes, and absent (but not surgically removed) ovaries, uterus, and milk ducts, Caitlyn is henceforth a man.  That’s reality.  You’re not allowed a gracious, polite accommodation of her delusions.  Instead, when you use those feminine pronouns to describe Caitlyn, you’d better mean them.  Anything else, any doubt about reality, is grotesque cisgender heteronormative sexism. Oh, and while you’re at it, we’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

What’s scary is that this kind of delusional thinking (of the “we have always been at war with Eastasia” stripe) is not limited to lay people.  A doctor I know insists that Caitlyn Jenner, having undergone breast augmentation and hormone treatment (although the dangly bits apparently remain intact), has actually “changed” from one sex to another.  The fact that the changes are superficial or transient, and that they do nothing to alter Bruce/Caitlyn’s gender-based bone structure, internal organs, and DNA is irrelevant.  To the doctor, the magic is real:  Caitlyn and others similarly situated are truly changed, rather than merely having undergone procedures bringing their physical shape into greater conformity with their personal desires and sense of self.

I’ll add here, as I often do, that I have no particular beef with Caitlyn Jenner, although I find distasteful her relentless exhibitionism. If you want to have me pretend you’re a woman, and are not insisting that I abandon reality and my society’s stable social structure to do so, I will happily refer to you as “Miss.” Heck, I’ll call you Loretta or perhaps I’ll call you a cab — anything you like as long as your delusion isn’t foisted on me.

What the Left has done is put its imprimatur on the Humpty Dumpty school of defining words. As H-D famously said to Alice in Through the Looking Glass,

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

It seems to me that, now that the Church faces the threat extinction at the hands of Leftists with the Obergefell bit in their teeth, it’s time to go Humpty and turn the Left’s tactics back upon it.

I once said that the state should get out of the marriage business. Since that’s not going to happen, traditional religions need to get out of the marriage business. The big announcement should go out: In light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell, it’s become too financially risky for traditional religious institutions to conduct marriage ceremonies any longer. To the extent Obergefell governs a constitutional right to “marriage,” the traditionalists are taking their marbles and going home.  They simply won’t play the marriage game any more.

That’s not as draconian as it sounds.

Just as Columbo always turned away, only to turn back again with that one last question, religious organizations might have a tag end to that “end of marriage” announcement:

“Oh, by the way . . . . One more thing. Having searched through our religious texts, we’ve discovered that what God actually requires of the faithful isn’t ‘marriage’ at all, but a “covenanting ceremony.”  And in case you’re wondering, it’s just a coincidence that this covenanting ceremony looks precisely like the weddings of old, right down to the one man/one woman aspect, the prayers and blessings, the officiating priest, minister, rabbi or imam, or anything else. No matter what you, the Leftist might think, these are no longer marriage ceremonies, any more than Caitlyn is still a man, George Zimmerman is Hispanic, or Emma Sulkowicz is a delusional girl rather than a rape victim. They have been transformed.”

I’d like to add one other point while I’ve got your attention.  Straight people, when they marry, proclaim their love and commitment to each other in the presence of God, their family, and their friends.  The civil aspect is simply a pragmatic step to obtain the benefits of civil marriage, irrespective of some of the corresponding civil burdens.  The Left, with its “#LoveWins” battle cry has made clear that, when it marries, it wants Big Brother to proclaim its love for them. That’s really kind of sad when you think about it, isn’t it?

How the Supreme Court should have ruled on the gay marriage question

Supreme CourtAs we all know to America’s cost, when confronted with the question of gay marriage under the Constitution, Justice Kennedy found the right lurking in the heart of the Constitution, right between the Amendments about unicorns and leprechauns.  In other words, he made it up out of whole cloth.  

The correct ruling, of course, would have been to say that the Constitution is silent on all marriages, let alone gay marriage, but is quite loud about religious freedom. Therefore, to the extent that “marriage” is inextricably intertwined with religion, the answer isn’t to add gay marriage to the Constitution but, instead, to take all state-sanctioned marriage out of the Constitution, reserving it solely for religious institutions. The states would have to be content with issuing licenses for “civil unions.” These unions would be subject to each state’s determined about what is best for the state’s (and its children’s) overall well-being. End of story.

Of course, the sad truth is that not a single one of the Leftists on the Supreme Court (and that includes Justice Kennedy) is either as intelligent or as principled as I am. 😉 That’s a shame too, because we’re going to have one Hell of a mess in this country in the coming years (as I predicted long ago) thanks to the Supreme Court’s inevitable bow to political correctness and delusional takes on reality.

The Bookworm Beat 6-29-15 — the “house divided against itself” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265My dog woke me early, which bothered me at the time but now seems like a good thing, since I can get a little blogging in before the work day begins. Without further ado, a few posts I think are worth you time:

On Democrats and racism

If you read one thing today, you have to read Jeffrey Lord’s open letter to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz asking her when Democrats are going to confess to and apologize for the fact that racism is their legacy to America — and one that they pursued aggressively for more than a century.

After you’ve read it, if you won’t turn yourself into a pariah amongst family and friends, share it around. After all, two can play at the Alinsky game, but for conservatives, the Alinsky game is one in which each individual conservatives must be an activist, because there won’t be a media/Hollywood conglomerate around to do the heavy lifting.

[Read more…]

#LoveWins — A Supreme Court Romance *UPDATED*

Justice KennedySometimes the best romances come from unexpected sources.  There are frustrated souls, living desiccated, dull lives who, through their writing, can explore their deepest unrealized fantasies. Such is the case with Justice Kennedy’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.  It is littered with burning, passionate phrases that transform an ordinary Supreme Court opinion into an unexpected romance.

Of course, the confines of a Supreme Court decision mean that the true import of those burning phrases is hidden from most Americans.  I therefore have taken it upon myself to pen the actual romance Justice Kennedy so clearly wanted to write.

I have made some changes, of course.  First, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve been forced to write from a completely cisgendered heteronormative perspective, because that is all I know.  Second, not only am I not the best romance writer, I’m experiencing Justice Kennedy’s passions second hand, so this brief romantic vignette is slightly stilted and sterile, when it really should be something that could be recited to the throbbing, romantic music from that racist, Confederate flag-based movie, Gone With The Wind.

My apologies for my limitations. I invite other, better writers to try their hands at writing Justice Kennedy’s #LoveWins romance.

(All text in red comes directly from the Supreme Court’s decision.)

Corinna stood at the side of the crowded ballroom, watching longingly as dozens of other couples swirled about the room, keeping perfect time to the lilting rhythm of the latest waltz. She felt terribly alone, the only wallflower in the crowd.

Of course, she knew it wasn’t true that she was the only lonely one. Just a few paces away from the delicate gilt chair on which she sat, her voluminous lilac-colored skirts spilling gracefully over the side, stood a young man only a few years older than she was.

From his posture, Corinna could tell that the man was feeling as awkward as she was. Even though he affected a casual slouch, his posture was so rigid it was obvious that he was practically holding up the wall against which he leaned. His face was still, but his blue eyes blazed under straight black brows.

Looking at him, Corinna knew that this man felt as she did. Indeed, her soul understand that, though they’d never met, she knew this man with every fiber of her being.  She understand that, despite the cheerful, crowded room, both felt the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there.

Corinna’s sense of fellowship with the young man was so strong she couldn’t stop herself, and giving into a most basic human need, she disregarded the precepts bred into her that a young lady never approached a strange gentleman. Standing up resolutely, Corinna turned his way.

For a moment, Corinna paused, afraid. Like all other young ladies, she had those yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express[] our common humanity. If she got a reputation for being “fast,” would she suddenly find herself socially isolated, an outcast, unmarriageable, never able to be one who learned experienced first-hand the transcendent importance of marriage?

No. Something drew her to that lonely stranger, with a force stronger than her fear. Gathering her courage, Corinne patted the exquisite flowers bedecking her golden curls, and went up to the young man, bit her already-rosy lips, and walked resolutely towards the stranger. Placing herself in front of him, Corinne’s courage failed and she was suddenly at a loss for words. She stared at him; he stared back at her.

“H-h-hello,” Corinna finally choked out. “I’m Corinna Merryweather. Have we met before?”

The man smiled at her, revealing even white teeth. Corinna blinked in surprise. He was more handsome than she had realized. She smiled back, her clear gray eyes twinkling.

“No, I don’t believe we have,” he replied in a deep, velvety voice. “I’m Sebastian, Lord Abermarle. Now that we’ve introduced ourselves, may I ask you to dance?”

“Oh, no!” Corinne exclaimed. “I mean, I would love to dance, but since we haven’t yet been formally introduced, I’m afraid we cannot. But perhaps we can sit together and . . . and speak.”

Lord Abermarle’s sable eyebrows rose, but he immediately led Corinne towards two empty chairs, seating her in one, and taking the other for himself. They were silent for a moment.

Corinne took a deep, gulping breath. “Forgive me, Lord Abermarle, for what I am about to say. My family and friends often tell me I am too forward and fanciful, but I could not help but believe that we may be sharing the same feelings, feelings that separate us from the others in the ballroom.”

“Go on, Ms. Merryweather,” he said encouragingly.

“I do believe that those choices people make can shape an individual’s destiny. I believe too in soul mates. I believe that some of us are lucky enough to find the person for whom we were destined. “

Corinne stopped, panting slightly from the emotional stress of speaking to a stranger about matters that went far beyond the polite banalities of the ballroom.

Lord Abermarle remained silent, his gaze moving between her sparkling eyes and her heaving, white bosom. Corinne wasn’t sure what she saw in his eyes, but as it was neither anger nor disdain, she plowed onwards.

“When we are among the lucky ones to find our soulmates,” she said, “two people become something greater than they once were. Even people lacking in spiritually, who shy away from the concept of a soul, know that this coming together is still a unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm.

“Why are you telling me, a stranger, all this, Miss Merryweather?” asked Lord Abermarle, his deep voice suddenly husky.

“I know not,” Corinne replied. “No, that’s a lie. Years ago, I went to a gypsy who told me that, when I saw the face of my future husband, I would recognize him immediately. I laughed at her. I was a giddy fifteen and never wanted marriage for I feared I would be tied-down, like my mother, trapped in a loveless union that, every year, drained away her warmth and joy.”

“You speak truly,” said Lord Abermarle. “We in the ton have less freedom than the simplest country couple. We marry for property and title. We most certainly to not marry for love, and no dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. That bliss is the commoners’ lot, not ours.”

Corinne nodded gravely, speaking to this man as if she had known him years, not mere minutes. “Yes, that’s what I thought too. But the gypsy promised me that there are some lucky ones who find the person who is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations. When I saw you, I knew that I was one of those lucky ones.”

Lord Abermarle looked down at her. “And you believe that I am your soul mate?”

“Yes,” said Corinne resolutely. “Yes, I do. I know this sounds as if I’m fairy-touched, but I do believe that, were we to marry, ours would be a marriage that embodies a love that may endure even past death.”

Corinne stopped speaking, horrified by her boldness, but feeling that magical pull that told her she had done the right thing.

“I would scoff,” said Abermarle, “but I cannot. The moment I walked into this ballroom and saw you, I knew that you were my destiny. I have spent the entire evening fighting the impulse to gather you into my arms, sweep you out of this room, and escape with you to Gretna Green so that we can be joined together swiftly and forever.”

He paused a moment, gently stroking her soft, white cheek with his strong, lean hand.

“I should have known Fate wouldn’t allow me to turn away from this gift. Even as I resisted, you came to me. I thank God for your forwardness. Were it not for that, my failure to accept my destiny would have condemned [me] to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions — forever denied that enduring bond that ensures that two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.

Swift, happy tears rose to Corinne’s eyes. Lord Abermarle again lifted his hand to Corinne’s cheek, this time gently wiping away the traces of those tears.

“Come, my love,” he said. “Let us go find your parents so that I may ask for your hand. This is the moment of transformation — strangers into relatives, binding families and societies together.

Lord Abermarle stood, extending his hand to the now-radiant Corinne.  The two of them, still holding hands, plunged resolutely into the crowd, searching for her family, secure in their loving, transcendent future together, one that would be celebrated by all regardless of the fact that none could understand the strange dynamics that brought these two loving people together.

THE END

UPDATE: David French makes a more serious and worrisome point about Kennedy’s unseemly passion.

Thoughts about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision and an open thread *IMPORTANT UPDATES*

Supreme CourtAs you all know, the Supreme Court this morning issued a 5-4 decision, authored by Anthony Kennedy, finding a hitherto hidden right to same-sex marriage in the American Constitution.  I have not yet read the decision, but nevertheless I have a few points to make regardless of the reasoning that necessitated 103 pages to explain.

This ruling may be the most consequential ruling ever to issue from the Supreme Court. Why? Because the Left will use it to destroy all religions except Islam (which they’re afraid to touch). They’ll use a magical new right to destroy one of the bedrock First Amendment rights.

This is not speculation, incidentally. We’ve already seen the playbook in action with the attack on Christians who politely refuse to provide their services to same-sex weddings. In a free society, the gay patrons would go down the block to find a bakery that will serve them. In the coming totalitarian society, the gays will use the machinery of the state to destroy working class Christian people. The Supreme Court’s ruling will provide the full arsenal they need to stop focusing on an individual here and there and, instead, to wage all-out war on any religious conservatives who get in their way.

More profoundly, this is the weapon gays need to complete their assault on religious institutions (rather than just upon religious people). Up until the Court’s ruling, traditional religious institutions had the First Amendment to protect them: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . . .”

Now, however, the Supreme Court has bypassed the prohibition against Congressional action and found buried in the bowels of the 14th Amendment a brand new right to gay marriage. (And who else finds it ironic that, just the other day, the Supreme Court concluded that Congress’s intent trumps everything in interpreting a statute, but today the Supreme Court entirely ignores the fact that the sole intended purpose behind the 14th amendment was to give black people full civil rights?)

What we have now is a terribly dangerous clash of constitutional rights: The explicit right to the free exercise of religion (which reaches right up into every religious institution’s right to follow its core doctrines) versus the magical new right for same-sex couples to marry. In today’s environment, want to bet which right wins? Obama’s “Justice” Department will come down like a ton of bricks on any religious school that preaches traditional marriage or any tax-exempt church that refuses to marry a gay couple.

Again, I know this for a fact because the gays and their fellow travelers on my Facebook feed have already been demanding that the feds repeal the tax exempt status given to religious institutions. (In this new dawn of “freedom,” the faithful will be forced to give up their faith.) What these people fully understand is that the reason religious institutions are tax-exempt is to ensure that the government cannot destroy any or all houses of worship by taxing them out of existence.

Nor is this a situation analogous to abortions, which upset religious conservatives, but didn’t destroy them. Religious institutions and Pro-Life people don’t perform abortions. Religious institutions and traditional marriage people do, however, perform marriages, whether in a church, temple, or mosque, or in a courthouse. They will be attacked and destroyed. (Again, don’t just take my word for it. Look at France.)

The situation also isn’t analogous to the short, ugly interlude in America when Southern states barred interracial marriage. Irrespective of skin color, heterosexual couples of whatever race have the necessary biological equipment to procreate: Tab A inserts into slot B. That is how Mother Nature intended human joining to occur. Not to deny gay couples the pleasures they find in bed, but Nature had nothing to do with Tab A has fun with Tab A or Slot B romps with Slot B. They are not two halves of the same whole. They are the functional equivalent of two Left shoes (pun intended).

Thomas Lifson has the right of it (pun intended, again), when he notes that the decision will also open the door to lots of other things that will be very problematic:

I have not read the entire decision but wonder if there are any grounds in it on which polygamy can be ruled anything other than a fundamental right. And after that, incest and every other marriage taboo. Once marriage becomes a matter of personal gratification, the doors seem wide open.

It will be very expensive once we’re required to recognize polygamy. Living as we do in a welfare state, we’ll find ourselves in the same position as those European countries that recognize all the wives their newly immigrated Muslim citizens bring in. Welfare won’t be limited to a nuclear family. Instead, it will include Ali Baba, his 40 wives, and his 200 children — and in the next generation, those children’s families too.

Finally, to all the people on my Facebook page trumpeting ” love wins”: You are morons. Marriage is not about love. It’s about religion, money, parenting, and social structure, all of which are intended to protect society as a whole. Love is just a pleasant byproduct and one can love without the state’s imprimatur.

By the way, you know how you can tell that this is a made-up right? The 103-page opinion. If this were a real right, it wouldn’t take anywhere near that long to explain it. When you’re telling a legal lie, though, you have to add a lot of detail to hide the empty center. That’s why Leftist Supreme Court decisions are invariably longer and more complex than conservative ones: they’re making it up as they go.

For more on the terrible problems with the decision, including a lengthy (and extremely intelligent statement from Roberts’ dissent), go here.

And what do all of you think of the decision?

UPDATE:  Had I read Scalia’s dissent, I would have seen that he too understands that the florid, overwrought, extremely long brief is something that is full of sound and fury in an effort to hide the reality, which is that nothing lies at its heart:

The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic. It is one thing for separate concurring or dissenting opinions to contain extravagances, even silly extravagances, of thought and expression; it is something else for the official opinion of the Court to do so. Of course the opinion’s showy profundities are often profoundly incoherent. “The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.”23 (Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? . . .

I’ll say it again: Leftist opinions (that is, opinions that advance Leftist causes, rather than just opinions written by Leftist judges) are always excessively long because they are making it up as they go.

UPDATE 2: Ace has a remarkably good riff about the fact that states recognize marriage for pragmatic purposes (mostly raising children), not LOVE. He’s absolutely right, and spells that point out in much more detail than I did.

UPDATE 3:  In April 2015, Trevor Loudon wrote about the Left’s real agenda with gay marriage.  It bears re-reading now:

The Left uses “rights” agendas to wrap itself in the mantle of righteousness and seize the moral high ground, tactically putting us on the defense in the process. But they couldn’t care less about the actual issue except in its ability to facilitate their path to power.

The agenda is never the agenda for the Left. And this is especially true for gay marriage. Homosexual marriage is a Trojan horse tactic. The true agenda is to establish the primacy of homosexual rights over the First Amendment’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion. Our nation was founded on this principle, and the gay marriage movement seeks to destroy it.

Consider that Annise Parker, the lesbian mayor of Houston, Texas, demanded to review pastors’ church sermons before public outrage forced her to back off. We have already seen how small businesses have been singled out and attacked for refusing to provide certain services to gays.

What is less known is that these gay couples are frequently part of the movement. They deliberately seek out businesses known for their Christian owners. They deliberately demand a service they know in advance will be refused. When the inevitable happens they use it as pretext to destroy the business and savage its owners. Doesn’t it amaze you how quickly legal groups immediately materialize to assist in the attack? The fact that they got unexpected push back through a spontaneous crowd sourcing campaign to support one pizza shop will not dissuade them from future efforts. If gay marriage is adopted, their current bullying behavior will look like child’s play compared to what’s coming.

This is a highly organized, nationwide campaign of vilification against Christians. But even Christians are not the ultimate target. If the First Amendment can be challenged this way; if a certain group’s “rights” can trump the U.S. Constitution, and if the Supreme Court can actually issue an edict making it so, then the entire Constitution has become meaningless. This is the Left’s true agenda and it always has been. This is the Cultural Marxists’ endgame. The issue is not the issue. The issue for them has always been destroying our country to impose socialism — with them in charge, of course. In order to do that they have to strip America of its culture, its traditions, and most importantly, the most important law of the land, the U.S. Constitution.

The Bookworm Beat 5-5-15 — the Cinco de Mayo edition and open thread

Woman writingOnce again, my post caption is misleading. This post has nothing to do with Cinco de Mayo. It just has to do with all the fascinating stories I’ve read in the last few days. These are in no particular order, so you’ll have to read all the way down to make sure you’ve gotten to all the good stuff.

The Leftist media lies and then lies some more

Often, what’s even more insidious than a flat-out lie is a statement that is a partial truth. It’s so much easier to deconstruct a total lie than to try to explain to someone where truth ends and deceit begins.

This week offered two posts that highlight the problem for those people unfortunate enough to get caught in the Leftist web of lies. The first is Sean Davis’s meticulous deconstruction of a “fact” checker’s desperate effort to cover for the Clintons after Davis, relying on tax returns, made the completely factual statement that

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants.

Those numbers, drawn from the Clinton Foundation’s own returns, are absolutely correct. For Progressive PunditFact “fact checker” Louis Jacobson, the ultimate conclusion (i.e., that the Clintons are scam artists) was unbearable, so he retreated to the Lefts’ favorite redoubt when in danger: “truthiness” or that other stand-by “fake but accurate,” with its necessary corollary “accurate but false.”

In an unsolicited April 28 e-mail to me, PunditFact author Louis Jacobson told me unequivocally that the demonstrably factual claim he was examining was “clearly accurate” and “technically true.” But today, Jacobson declares, that fact is suddenly “Mostly False.”

Davis woodsheds Jacobson so thoroughly that, if Jacobson hadn’t proven himself to be an amoral political hack, I might have felt sorry for him. As it is, he had it coming:

[Read more…]

Scratch a young Progressive; find an old-time fascist *UPDATED*

Nazi race-education class

Nazi race-education class

One of the things Nazis understood is that, if you get them young enough, you own them. Some of them break away, of course, but they have to want to break away. (And yes, that’s exactly like the joke: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb really has to want to change.)

I thought of that when I found myself in a Facebook debate about whether bakers should be free to refuse customers who seek same-sex wedding cakes. I’ve already told you a little bit about this discussion:

I love it when the younger generation shows wisdom. A young 20-something friend of mine just posted on Facebook something about the rash of traditionally religious bakers who are being persecuted for refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings. I won’t repeat what my friend said verbatim, but here’s the gist:

I don’t come down strongly on either side of this. I hate discrimination but the bakers own the business and say they reserve the right to serve any customers. The customers may have civil rights that should be protected, but a privately owned business should be able to operate as it wants and not be subject to huge fines. This is just another case of the so-called “business expert” government messing with America’s small businesses. If same-sex couples are offended by the business owner’s views, they don’t have to shop there and can tell their friends not to either. What they shouldn’t do is try to destroy the business.

Aside from cheering my young friend’s understanding of freedom (it probably helps that he’s a Marine), I also suggested that, because the freedom to practice our faith without government oversight shows up at the top of the Bill of Rights, in the First Amendment, if the religious person is asserting anything other than an Aztec human sacrifice, the default position in a battle of rights needs to favor the religious person.

I felt really good after reading that young man’s comments:

Anyway, I’m feeling heartened that there’s a young person out there who is working hard to cast off the stifling Leftism that is part and parcel of a Marin childhood. Even better, while I may be the old lady on his Facebook feed, the vast bulk of his friends are young. Maybe he’ll get some of them to think too.

It seems that I was a little too optimistic. One of his young friends did chime in, but not to support individual liberty.  Instead, he went into full Progressive mode, throwing around words such as privilege (everyone but him and his fellow travelers) and victimization (only him and his fellow travelers).  When I kept countering his ideas, eventually forcing him into a corner, his true agenda emerged:  full fascist mode.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat 2-13-15 — Friday evening round-up and Open Thread

Woman writingI love it when the younger generation shows wisdom. A young 20-something friend of mine just posted on Facebook something about the rash of traditionally religious bakers who are being persecuted for refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings. I won’t repeat what my friend said verbatim, but here’s the gist:

I don’t come down strongly on either side of this. I hate discrimination but the bakers own the business and say they reserve the right to serve any customers. The customers may have civil rights that should be protected, but a privately owned business should be able to operate as it wants and not be subject to huge fines. This is just another case of the so-called “business expert” government messing with America’s small businesses. If same-sex couples are offended by the business owner’s views, they don’t have to shop there and can tell their friends not to either. What they shouldn’t do is try to destroy the business.

Aside from cheering my young friend’s understanding of freedom (it probably helps that he’s a Marine), I also suggested that, because the freedom to practice our faith without government oversight shows up at the top of the Bill of Rights, in the First Amendment, if the religious person is asserting anything other than an Aztec human sacrifice, the default position in a battle of rights needs to favor the religious person.

[Read more…]

The Bookworm Beat (11/15/14) — Time warp edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingWhy 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!

[Read more…]

Thursday late afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesSorry for the long silence today. It’s just that, well, I’ve been busy. In addition to home maintenance and chauffeuring, I swear that someone has wanted to talk to me (by phone, in person, or through text) every 10 minutes all day long. Honestly, I don’t know why because I really am not that interesting.

Blogging is in my blood, though, and no matter how crazy the day, it’s going to ooze out. Here are a mish-mash of things that caught my eye:

***

Nice Deb tipped me off to the fact that Ted Cruz has been tracking Obama’s lawlessness. It’s a long, long ugly list. It’s also a reminder that, although Dems like to say that Obama has issued fewer executive orders than other presidents, the issue isn’t quantity, it’s quality. The others’ executive orders were uninteresting procedural matters. Obama, on the other hand, has used his executive orders to create new law or violate existing law. (See Ted Cruz’s entire collection of lists here.)

***

One of the reasons we have laws, especially border laws, is to protect public health.  Obama’s lawlessness means health outbreaks. The article to which I’m linking (one of many today about the scourge coming from the south) professes ignorance as to the source of TB, but I can tell you the sources of TB: immigrants and prisoners. Those are the two places in America that incubate the disease.

No wonder Eileen Toplansky makes a credible argument that Obama is president over the culture of death. Whether it’s his embrace of Islam, of abortion, or of illegal immigrants, or his abiding and manifest hostility to the military, Obama is doing what he can to get Americans killed.

***

Daniel Pipes thinks that Bibi Netanyahu might be the right leader at the right time for Israel. I sure hope Pipe’s is right, because Israel no longer has America at her back. What’s ironic is that Obama has turned America-the-nation against Israel just as individual Americans are supporting Israel more than ever.

***

Proving that it’s not totally immune to the death of teenage boys, the Obama administration breathed a sigh of relief when a 16-year-old teenage Arab youth turned up dead in Israel. Whew! The narrative is all good: Israelis are just as bad as Arabs.  After first being resolutely silent about the Israeli victims, and then softly castigating the “cycle of violence,” the Obama administration is in full throated weeping mode for that Arab boy (who may actually have been a victim of homophobia). Richard Baehr has more.

But of course, as my very dear friend Rob Miller says, to the Obama administration, Israel’s always in the wrong.

***

I once had a friend who got into fights with everyone. At first, I accepted the friend’s version of events, which was that this person was mean, and that person careless, and the other person stupid, and the next person vicious. Eventually, of course, I figured out that the single common denominator in all the fights (often with people I knew) was my friend — who is a friend no longer. Daniel Greenfield’s post about Islam being the problem reminded me of that old, unhappy friendship.

***

The Left’s war against the Redskin’s team name is not just a random happenstance. It is part of the way the Left functions, picking small battles so as to avoid large ones, fighting free nations so as to empower slave nations, and generally driving the culture down, down, down. Dennis Prager explains.

***

I was going to label this link “everything you always wanted to know about political emails but were afraid to ask.” Then, having read the article, I realized you were right to be afraid. Pretty nasty fundraising forces are at work to frighten and harass the American people, and that’s true for both sides of the political aisle.  In an information age, he who screams most hysterically apparently gets the most money.

***

We all dream of one day meeting our soul mate.  America’s shame is that its president’s soul mate is Bill Ayers.

***

Daniel Henninger slices and dices Barack Obama’s totalitarian disdain for Congress.  (That link might be behind a pay wall.)  Sadly, the Left half of Congress agrees with Obama and is anxious to cede its power to the executive branch.

***

Obama’s disdain for law has infected a lone Colorado court clerk who, in total violation of Colorado law, is issuing same sex marriage licenses just because she wants to. She’s totally correct that the 10th Circuit is going to change the law any minute but, until it does (a) those licenses are invalid and, let me say again, (b) she’s breaking the law.  The Republican state attorney is probably right, though, not to throw her Leftist derriere in jail.  She’d just become a martyr.  What would you do to punish her so as to avoid her martyrdom?

***

Hillary will say anything to get elected.  If she needs to sell herself to America, she’ll hew slightly to the center.  But when the chips are down, she reverts to her intellectual home, which is the hard left.  Paul Kengor explains how Hillary readily abandoned both religion and intelligence in order to pander to the base about same-sex marriage and the newly discovered right that employers must pay for their employee’s birth control.

***

On the subject of the Hobby Lobby case, I’ve got a cartoon and a few comments:

Not my bosss business

When I haven’t been talking to people today, I’ve spent a bit of time on Facebook trying to convince Lefties that (a) the Hobby Lobby decision is not five old white men denying women across America access to birth control and (b) that none of my hysterically unhappy friends has made a credible case explaining why it’s suddenly become a fundamental right that employers must pay for employees to have all possible forms of conception. I’m making no headway whatsoever. They’re in total paranoid hysteria mode and are not amendable to anything but a solid left hook, which I cannot deliver via Facebook.

(Ten minutes after I wrote the above, I got a message from someone who is Facebook friends with a gay man who imagines that concentration camps and gas chambers are around the corner, thanks to Hobby Lobby.  She was unable to comment directly on my post, since she’s not a friend, but she thanked me very much for my sensible, logical explication of the case.  I was grateful.)

***

My DemProgs’ hysterically-based stupidity is fully equal to the stupidity of this New Yorker author, who tries to claim that Hobby Lobby is no different from the Taliban. The article shows (a) a complete failure to understand controlling law, which would support the governments compelling (and traditional) interesting in preventing epidemic diseases to trump an individual’s or corporation’s religious scruples, and (b) the Leftist impulse to say that there’s no difference between modern Christianity, which ended slavery, child labor, the 80 hour work week, etc., on the one hand, and the Taliban, which wants to enslave everyone it doesn’t actually kill, on the other hand.

Of course, no one really expects anything approach intelligence from the New Yorker anymore. In the old days, even when it was wrong, it was wrong in a smart way. Now it’s just plain ole stupid.

***

Veterans died so Obamacare could live.

***

Here’s an interesting bit of historic trivia: The baby whom the Nazis touted as the ne plus ultra of Aryan beauty . . . was Jewish.

***

Oh, my goodness. I’m still laughing:

Hat tip: iOwnTheWorld

***

I thought I’d end this post by throwing in a couple of old Irving Berlin videos, made back in the day when America knew her enemies were and was proud to fight them. Longtime readers have seen these chestnuts before, so I’ll just apologize for the fact that they’re sort of my go-to videos when I’m feeling I live in a country besieged.

Before you watch the videos, you may want to remember that the American character was different back then.

(In addition to my own efforts, many thanks to Earl Aagard for his help finding interesting material.)

Midday Tuesday round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansies[I’ve got to run, but I don’t want to delay publishing this by two or three hours. I’m therefore publishing as is. Please forgive the inevitable typos.]

I was reading an enjoyable book about the clash between good and evil. I commented to a friend that the only problem with the book was that too many good guys die. I like my books to end with the heroes still intact. He responded that “As to the deaths of good guys, when you’re fighting ultimate evil, some casualties are to be expected, lest ultimate evil be trivialized.”

His comment is correct as an artistic matter. It’s also correct as a practical matter. When we are threatened by evil, it’s the good guys who step and fight — and therefore die — first. The rest of us lurk in corners hoping the conflict will pass us by entirely. When the conflict finally ends, if there’s still a society left to rebuild, too often the good guys are gone and the builders are the cowards, and the whiners, and the useless people.

On that cheerful note, let me dive into what may well be the mother of all round-ups.

***

As if to make my point, I got word today that my fellow Watcher’s Council member, Tom White, who did yeoman’s work helping David Brat’s candidacy and who accurately predicted Brat’s victory, is on the receiving end of threats from the former Chairman of the Republican 3rd District. Tom put himself out there in the best possible way, and now he’s in the line of fire. Tom is more than capable of taking care of himself, but the whole thing is disgusting.

***

Okay, here’s something cheerful: This story illustrates perfectly why an armed society is a civil society and why, to gun-banners’ constant chagrin, when legally held arms increase in number, crime decreases in proportionate number.

***

We’ve all remarked here on the fact that the climate Nazis are remarkably flexible when it comes to attributing everything to anthropomorphic climate factors. Hot summers? Climate change. Cold winters? Climate change. Islamic aggression? Climate change. You know the drill.

It turns out that they’re equally flexible when it comes to data. This flexibility goes beyond the hidden data, the “adjusted” temperatures, and the manufactured hockey sticks. It now includes turning back time.

***

Sometimes a writer phrases something in a way that makes you think “That’s it! That’s what I was trying to say.” I had precisely that response to Stephen Hayward’s article about the corruption of Civil Rights, something that he addresses specifically in the context of the way in which same-sex marriage advocates are targeting businesses and individuals who object to same-sex marriage. Some of you may recall that I long ago argued that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education was good politics and a morally correct decision, but a legal disaster that led to the corruption of the relationship between individuals, on the one hand, and the law and the state, on the other hand.

***

A few useful and interesting posts about the deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel. Along with all of you, I was horrified, although unsurprised, to learn that the three boys were dead. I’ll say only that it was small consolation to learn that, because Hamas bungled the kidnapping, it killed them instantly rather than torturing them before killing them. As I said, it’s small consolation.

American Jews shouldn’t just weep, they should act. We Jews are always the first in the Islamic cross hairs and our own government has been exceptionally passive about rising Islamism, not to mention the Palestinian/Islamist nexus.

Just how bad was Obama’s behavior? This bad.

Bret Stephens looks at Palestinian mothers, who delight in sending their own children off to murder other children. (It might be behind a pay wall.)

As for the Palestinians and their inveterate sympathizers in the West, perhaps they should note that a culture that too often openly celebrates martyrdom and murder is not fit for statehood, and that making excuses for that culture only makes it more unfit. Postwar Germany put itself through a process of moral rehabilitation that began with a recognition of what it had done. Palestinians who want a state should do the same, starting with the mothers.

These horrible mothers raise children such as these, whose raised three fingers show that they are celebrating the kidnapping and death of three Israeli children:

Muslim kids celebrate death of Israeli teens

***

Mike McDaniel examines both the long, long list of illegal acts in the Obama administration and the power a president has to issue pardons. Adding these two things up leads to some very ugly conclusions.

***

With its despicable tactics to retain Thad Cochran in Congress, the once Grand Old Party betrayed its history and created what may be a very damaging schism in conservative ranks.

Of course, it didn’t help at all that the best known Tea Party groups, to the extent they bothered to show up, used their money ineffectually. My sense about these groups is that they mostly send out lots of emails.

***

I first became aware of Dan Bongino in connection with his impassioned speeches against gun control efforts. He seems to be a very solid conservative, something affirmed by an Open Letter he wrote to America’s political class, both Left and Right.

***

If you’ve been thinking that our federal government is increasingly looking like the government you’d see in a banana republic, here’s fuel for your fire: Congress has quietly done away with rules requiring elected officials to disclose information about trips they take courtesy of lobbyists.

***

In part because the media refuses to play along (unlike its behavior during Watergate), it’s perhaps inevitable that the House’s efforts to go after the IRS are bogging down into a mediocre political spectacle. Fortunately, others are also going after the IRS, including Judicial Watch. The exciting news is that Judicial Watch drew an honest judge — Emmit Sullivan. Judge Sullivan will not countenance any corrupt behavior in a litigation. The IRS’s “computer ate my emails” excuse should end in his courtroom.

***

And remember, even with the IRS, where there’s life, there’s laughter, this time courtesy of plaintiffs suing the IRS:

***

If you think our military is something special, you’re right. This video, of a Marine flyer with broken landing gear nevertheless sticking a landing on an aircraft carrier is epic:

***

Surprisingly enough, on the subject of Hobby Lobby, a writer for The Atlantic tells the Left to cool the hysteria.

***

Sometimes, one persistent individual can make such a big difference. Miriam Noujaim, a Sacramento DMV employee who is a member of SEIU Local 1000, the largest state-employee union, wants to see what the heck the union has been doing to create annual travel expenses that have gone up to $5.21 million. The union doesn’t want anyone to see its records, but Noujaim won’t let go. I have nothing but applause for her pit bull tenacity.

***

Guns are good. Keeping guns away from kids is also good. And this is a clever, slightly risque ad to make that point:

***

William A. Jacobson is putting words to my worst nightmare: He thinks that Elizabeth Warren has the potential to be 2012’s Barack Obama. I don’t know that she would be worse than Obama, but it’s doubtful she’ll be any better. Safe in her million dollar Ivory Tower enclave, Warren is an angry limousine socialist who will aggressively ensure that the government takes over the lives of everyone but for her and her cronies.

***

I’ve mentioned many times the brilliant friend of mine who says that the real issue Islam has with the West is control over women. Muslim men have it and want to keep it. Everything else is ultimately subordinate to their desperate efforts to ensure that women are sexually available to them. Two stories out of Iraq, one about women fearful of rape attacks and the other about ISIS’s demands that the women simply make themselves available for sex, lend credence to my friend’s contention.

***

Oh, this is a good one: Now they’re arguing that doctors should decide who can get a gun. Let me tell you something about the doctor’s in my neck of the woods: If they’re under 50, they’re DemProgs who demand gun control. They’re the last people who should be deciding who gets to exercise Second Amendment rights and who doesn’t.

***

When I first saw this Slate article challenging San Francisco’s housing policies, I thought it would be an intelligent article arguing against rent control. Boy, was I wrong. Instead, it’s part-and-parcel of the administration press to grow urban areas (Democrat strongholds) and kill suburbs (the last gasp of conservative thinking). We’ve been fighting this fight in Marin, where the federal government is trying to turn Marin into part of a vast, urban conglomeration with centralized management taking direction from the feds. No, thank you!

***

Is the Fed heading for the horrible crash that inevitably follows the bubble?

***

Ever since I was slightly taller than knee high to a grasshopper, I’ve known that societies that are friendly to the Jews are also societies that enjoy enormous economic, social, and military success. Societies that try to destroy Jews inevitably fail, not just when it comes to destroying the Jews, but they also fail themselves. Now, I have support from a great video that examines the Israel litmus test:

***

Pictures:

Dyslexic bank robbers

Gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone

Leading cause of hard drive failures

(Thanks to Sadie, Earl, Caped Crusader, and Danny Lemieux, all of whom contributed in some way to this post.)

Wednesday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesWhether you devour this post in one fell swoop or nibble at it throughout the day, I can guarantee you a lot of food for thought:

The VA scandal is gaining traction, as word comes out that the VA already knew back in 2010 that hospitals were manipulating records. Robert Petzel, the top health official for the Department of Veterans Affairs, has resigned ahead of his previously announced retirement, showing that at least someone understands that part of taking responsibility for a job is that you look like you’re getting fired, or fire yourself, when you fail in that role.

Obama, who has never worked in the private sector, still hasn’t figured out that ordinary people, accustomed to private sector job losses for workplace malfeasance, believe it’s appropriate for heads to roll. How else can one explain that, not only is Obama keeping on VA Secretary Ric Shinseki, he’s praising him for a job well done.

***

The risks from the VA scandal extend beyond any immediate political fallout. Indeed, it may be more damaging than Obama & Co. ever imagined, not because it reflects badly on them but because it reflects badly on their entire world view — namely, Big Government:

Because the Democratic party simply is the party of government. It is the party that insists on the nobility, efficacy and intellectual superiority of government. The VA is at the intersection of all the things liberals insist are wise and good and just about government. It is government-run healthcare. It is the tangible fulfillment of a sacred obligation the government has with those who’ve sacrificed most for our nation. It is also the one institution and/or constituency that enjoys huge bipartisan support. The VA, rhetorically and politically, is more sacrosanct and less controversial than Medicare, Social Security, road building, the NIH, or public schools. We are constantly told that we could get so many wonderful, super-fantastic things done if only both sides would lay down their ideological blah blah blah blah and work together for yada yada yada. Well, welcome to the VA. How’s that working out for you?

***

Many commentators noticed that Jay Carney, when asked about the VA scandal, said the same thing he and the president have said about myriad scandals: “Hey, don’t ask us. We only learned about it on TV, just like the rest of you.”

You can tell that their feral little brains are thinking, “Yes! That should let them know that we had nothing to do with the scandal. It’s somebody else’s fault.”

It hasn’t seemed to occur to Obama or Carney that there’s another, better answer:  “The President was apprised yesterday about this issue and has already taken steps to deal with it.”  That answer would make the President sound like an executive, not an idiot. (Peter Wehner sees “epic incompetence” as the new presidential narrative.)

Jonathan S. Tobin sums up what the President’s chosen scandal tactic implies:

The fact that the White House resorted to what has become its standard second-term excuse for government scandal with a line about the president hearing about it on TV or by reading the newspapers raises serious questions about both his leadership and the intelligence of his staff. After all, surely it must have occurred to someone at the White House that using the same excuse about hearing of it in the media wasn’t likely to work after it had been employed with little success to distance him from the IRS and other scandals. Such intellectual laziness speaks to a West Wing that is both collapsing from intellectual fatigue as well as having acquired an almost complete contempt for both the press and public opinion.

***

While I’m on the subject of Obama’s incompetence, it seems that the intelligence community is pushing back against both that incompetence and the rank political dishonesty that sees that Obama administration falsely claiming that Islamic terrorism is declining, not increasing.

I feel very strongly that you shouldn’t get into pissing matches with the intelligence community because they probably know things about you that you would prefer no one else know. If this fight between the administration and intelligence heats up, I wonder if someone will start leaking interesting revelations about highly placed officials in the administration, including Obama himself.

***

James O’Keefe has an uncanny knack for exposing Leftist hypocrisy, corruption (financial, intellectual, and moral), and gross illegality.  He is back in spectacular style with a video showing three prominent Hollywood types agreeing to take money from an Arab oil sheikh (O’Keefe in disguise) in order to fund an anti-fracking film.

There’s nothing subtle about O’Keefe’s phony pitch, either. In a phone call with director Josh Tickell, O’Keefe explicitly states “My client’s interest is to end American energy independence; your interest is to end fracking. And you guys understand that?” Tickell is okay with that. “Correct. Yes, super clear,” he says.

While many people are shocked about environmentalists getting into bed with big oil in order to stop fracking, I was wondering more about their willingness to send money to Saudi Arabia, rather than to keep it at home.

Of course, O’Keefe just showed three fools in Hollywood. But what about the fact that real, not imaginary, Arab oil influence is huge in Washington, D.C. itself? Jeff Dunetz says that we need to pay attention to this very disturbing reality. Looking at the numbers, Dunetz points out that, not only is the UAE by far the biggest foreign lobby in D.C., the entire pro-Israel contribution (remember the “all powerful Jewish lobby” we keep hearing about?) is just 21% of the UAE’s contribution. Read the whole thing. It’s illuminating.

***

Chad Felix Greene, who is (I believe) gay, says that it’s not unreasonable for people to be wary of transgendered people. It’s not one of his best posts (he’s a very good writer, but this is a bit muddy because he tries to be respectful of all points of view, even as he challenges some of them), but my takeaway is this:

It’s not unreasonable to be dismayed when your chosen sexual partner reveals that he or she started out life as a member of the opposite sex.  This is true regardless of whether you’re homosexual or heterosexual.  Thus, both a man planning to bed a former man, or a gay man planning to bed a former woman, might be upset to learn about the partners gender history.

It is reasonable, however to refuse to deny the biological reality that underlies transgendered self-definition. Just because someone says “I am a woman,” doesn’t mean you have to pretend that the person once had or still has a penis. You can be respectful of that person’s self-identity (no bullying, teasing, or discriminating), but you don’t have to deny biological and historical reality.

***

Gay marriage is a done deal in America, folks. Although the Supreme Court addressed only the federal Defense of Marriage Act, courts across America are viewing that decision as a green light to overturn voters who said that, in their state, marriage is between a man and a woman. One really can’t blame the judges too much now that, years after those votes were originally cast, the same-sex marriage lobby’s endless advocacy means that 55% of Americans support gay marriage.

I’ve made it pretty clear that my opposition to gay marriage arises primarily because I foresee a coming clash between the First Amendment’s explicit guarantee that Americans have the right to exercise their religion freely and the newly created civil right to marry outside of the traditional boundaries of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. We already know that gay couples will sue business people who, for religious reasons, refuse to provide services for same-sex marriage ceremonies, although they are willing to do business with same-sex couples in all other matters. How long will it be before same-sex partners sue the Catholic Church or a Baptist ministry for violating their civil rights?

***

Spain has been Judenrein since 1492. That has done nothing to prevent the oldest hatred. (You can read more about Spain’s apparently atavistic antisemitism here.)

***

How can one resist Jonah Goldberg on “trigger warnings,” which are just the latest insanity to issue from America’s loony academic citadels? After noting that he doesn’t have a problem with obscure, privately run Leftist blog sites catering to every trigger from audio of snapping fingers to pictures of animals in wigs, Goldberg adds:

But as is so often the case, common sense is barely a speed bump for the steamroller of political correctness. Oberlin College’s Office of Equity Concerns advised professors to avoid such triggering subjects as racism, colonialism, and sexism. They soon rescinded it, perhaps because they realized that if such subjects become taboo, much of their faculty would be left with nothing to talk about.

***

While I’m quoting, I was just kvelling with glee over John Hinderaker’s masterful use of imagery and the English language in connection with Howard Dean’s lunatic claim that Republicans are no longer Americans:

A terrible sort of insanity has gripped the Democratic Party. On almost a daily basis, when you see the party’s leaders in action, you want to start edging toward the door, murmuring “Nice doggie. Nice doggie.”

[snip]

This is a very bad thing. We need two functional political parties, and these days the Democrats don’t get over the bar, no matter how low you set it.

[snip]

Reid and Pelosi are so low-rent that you feel embarrassed for them whenever you see them. Screening a video [about Charles and David Koch] that is sheer partisan libel in the United States Capitol–illegally, as best I can tell–is right up their alley.

Read the whole thing, please, both because it’s beautifully written and because it’s substantively informative and important.

***

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fact that it was no surprise to me that the poorest of the poor aren’t rushing to sign up for Obamacare. Contrary to our middle class expectations, they don’t mind having the ER serve as their preferred provider. Getting top flight medical care for free on an as-needed basis is a better deal for them than having to pay a monthly fee (no matter how low) for some hard to reach little clinic that makes them jump through hoops just to see a dermatologist.

Thanks to Obamacare, it looks as if a significant number of formerly insured (i.e., people who lost their insurance because of Obamacare) are also finding that the ER is a good option. Some haven’t even tried to get new insurance. Some have gotten trapped in the Obamacare exchange. Some have been told that they’re the wrong sex. Some cannot accept the substandard care in their new, narrow coverage. Whatever the reason, they’re joining the bottom 1% in seeing the ER as first and best when it comes to medical treatment.

***

Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon in Oregon, won the Republican party primary and will now challenge incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley for Oregon’s Senate seat. No surprise, then, that Democrats have unearthed records showing that, in both a divorce and a contentious break-up with a boyfriend, the men contended that she was stalking, harassing, or even striking them. Neither sought restraining orders and the boyfriend has since become an enthusiastic (i.e., monied) supporter for her political campaign.

I’m dismissing the boyfriend stalking charge since he now supports her campaign. Whatever happened then, he clearly doesn’t think it affects Wehby’s ability to serve the people of Oregon and America.

The ex-husband charge (harassment and striking) intrigues me, because it reminds me very strongly of something that happened to a friend of mine. She and her husband were involved in a contentious divorce. Things came to a head when she went to his house (he owned it before they were married) to pick up some of her stuff. He refused to let her in, and said he would call the cops on her. She responded by yelling at him and swatting his chest.

You have to understand here that her soon-to-be ex stood at 6’2″ and was a burly man. My friend was 5’2″ and one of the physically weakest people I’ve ever met. She needed help lifting big binders. There was no possibility that she hurt or threatened him as she swatted him. Nevertheless, he had someone restrain her until the cops came along and then insisted that they arrest her.

My friend told me later that the cops apologized profusely for having to arrest her, because they recognized that the arrest was a travesty. Nevertheless, California law mandates that if a spouse says he was abused and demands that the alleged abuser gets arrested, then the alleged abuser must be arrested and prosecuted.

When the case went to trial, my friend was triumphantly acquitted and, I believe, the judge fined her ex for abusing both the divorce and criminal law processes.

That story makes me somewhat dubious about the claims from Wehby’s ex. In the context of a divorce, the problem nowadays isn’t just that one partner or another might become violent. It’s that one partner or another might lie about the other becoming violent.

***

She murdered two people and then lied about that fact when she came to America, got citizenship, and became an influential activist for Islamic interests in America. You and I might think that the victims in this case are the two dead men and the American people. Au contraire, my naive friends. She is the victim (of course).

***

The Marines are breathing a sigh of relief that one of their own finally got the recognition he deserved. Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter (ret.) will receive the Medal of Honor for throwing himself on a live grenade to save a comrade’s life. He was terribly injured in the blast.

Carpenter has mixed feelings about the honor:

“There are guys who I was with who didn’t come back, so it’s hard for me to wear this and have the spotlight on me the rest of my life when they lost their life on a hot, dusty field in Afghanistan and most people don’t even know their names,” Carpenter said. “Even at Walter Reed, I recovered with quadruple-amputees. How am I supposed to wear this knowing and seeing all the hardships that are much worse than mine that guys have gone through without any recognition?”

Carpenter sounds like a very worthy recipient for the nation’s highest military honor.  To fully appreciate just how worthy, check out this article and check out this video:

***

And to leave things on an equally uplifting, but somewhat more cheerful-in-a-silly-way note, here’s an adorable dancing two-year old. What I like particularly isn’t actually his dancing but is, instead, his “Vogue-ish” posing between dance moves: