The Bookworm Beat (10/24/14) — Friday’s New York “E-bowling” wrap up

Woman writingMy 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.”

[snip]

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.

Read the rest here. (Hat tip: Wolf Howling, who is on hiatus from blogging)

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.

Monday morning round-up and Open Thread *UPDATED*

Victorian posy of pansiesSpring break is over and real life resumes. The kids weren’t thrilled to return to school, but I’m pretty pleased to have my life back on schedule. As you could probably tell from last week’s lethargic blogging, I don’t do well without some boundaries to my days. I’m off to exercise soon (Yay, me!), but first a few quick links:

One of my running themes since Obama started to run for President is that he lies, and lies, and lies some more. The rest of America is finally — finally! — figuring this out for itself.

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I love Commentary Magazine, which helped me transition from Democrat to conservative. Nevertheless, I’ve been consistently dismayed by its East Coast, Ivy League, snotty attitude towards Sarah Palin. In that, it perfectly echoes the liberals who surround me who, when unable to challenge Palin’s accomplishments in 2008, especially when compared to Obama’s much lesser list of accomplishments in the same year, fell back on the line “She’s not one of us.” It’s painful to see that Obama’s failures (and he is “one of them”) still haven’t changed the classist mindset over at Commentary.

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Political advertisers (i.e., heavily funded Leftist interest groups) own the content at Politico. And Soros’ own Media Matters out-and-out wrote content at CBS. The problem is that, while you and I care about this confluence between news that sold as “objective” and hard-line Leftist partisan organizations, ordinary people cannot be made to care. Instead of reacting with outrage and a desire for “clean” information, they continue to respond to dishonest emotional appeals from the Left.  No wonder John Fund can credibly suggest that Democrats will tell any lies, no matter how inflammatory and slanderous (and, therefore, destructive of the American political and social scene) in order to get out that vote.

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I wrote about the outrage on the Left because the Koch brothers have the temerity to donate to libertarian political causes. How dare rich people buy political influence? Funnily enough (sarcasm), they’ve been completely silent about Tom Steyer’s massive payment for political influence. After my work-out, I think I’ll write up a petition, paralleling the MoveOn one, asking people to “denounce” Steyer.

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Thomas Piketty, an economist, is the newest darling among the Leftist intelligentsia and faux intelligentsia (but I repeat myself), because he claims that capitalism is inherently unfair since it’s entirely predicated on income inequality. Clive Crook explains that even the meanest intelligence should see that Piketty’s conclusions don’t match his data. I’ll add something that Crook didn’t say and that I’m sure Piketty ignored: Capitalism is not a still photograph; it’s a moving picture. In any specific frame, there will be rich people and poor people who are separated by a wide gap. However, the dynamic of capitalism is that the poor in one still photo are not the same as the poor in the next.  Socialism, by contrast, is a still photograph: Except for the coddled nomenklatura, everyone else stays firmly mired at the bottom forever.

UPDATE: Of all sources, the New York Times backs up my statement that the problem with socialist economists is that they understand the economy in static, not dynamic terms:

It turns out that 12 percent of the population will find themselves in the top 1 percent of the income distribution for at least one year. What’s more, 39 percent of Americans will spend a year in the top 5 percent of the income distribution, 56 percent will find themselves in the top 10 percent, and a whopping 73 percent will spend a year in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.

Yet while many Americans will experience some level of affluence during their lives, a much smaller percentage of them will do so for an extended period of time. Although 12 percent of the population will experience a year in which they find themselves in the top 1 percent of the income distribution, a mere 0.6 percent will do so in 10 consecutive years.

It is clear that the image of a static 1 and 99 percent is largely incorrect. The majority of Americans will experience at least one year of affluence at some point during their working careers. (This is just as true at the bottom of the income distribution scale, where 54 percent of Americans will experience poverty or near poverty at least once between the ages of 25 and 60).

Hat tip: Tom Elia

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Anthropogenic climate change is a con. Even if one assumes solely for the sake of argument that our carbon output exceeds the sun’s control over the earth’s atmosphere, science, history, and common sense all show that a minimal rise in CO2 levels provides more food and water around the world, not less.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feminist, leftist propaganda in the public school classroom

Earlier today, while my kids were still at school, I wrote about the way in which unions pushed a Leftist agenda into the classroom.  I should not have been surprised, therefore, when Little Bookworm came home from high school and told me that, because one of the teachers was absent, they spent classroom time watching Miss Representation instead.  Little Bookworm was not pleased with the movie.  Why not?  Because, according to Little Bookworm, the movie claimed that there had been a right wing takeover of media, and that Fox was a terrible, corrupting influence on the media.

Wow!  Really?

I recall reading about Miss Representation when it first came out, and thinking that it was rather foolish, with its usual Regressive . . . uh, Progressive worldview, one that’s rooted firmly in the early 1970s.  In Regressive-land, blacks are perpetually in the back of the bus, while women are barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.  (Which is why it’s such a hoot when an arch Regressive such as Paul Krugman tries to ascend the “reality based” soapbox to accuse the Right of factual ignorance.  I mean, this is the guy who thinks you can solve the deficit by minting a trillion dollar coin.)

Where was I?

Oh, right — Miss Representation.

Since it seems that Miss Representation isn’t just some silly 1970s retread, I decided to check it out.  First, the cast, which already tells you that this is propaganda from one side of the political aisle and not the other:

Cory Booker Himself
Margaret Cho Herself
Katie Couric Herself
Geena Davis Herself
Rosario Dawson Herself
Dianne Feinstein Herself (as Sen. Dianne Feinstein)
Jane Fonda Herself
Paul Haggis Himself
Catherine Hardwicke Herself
Dolores Huerta Herself
Jackson Katz Himself
Jean Kilbourne Herself
Martha Lauzen Herself
Lisa Ling Herself
Rachel Maddow Herself
Pat Mitchell Herself
Gavin Newsom Himself
Nancy Pelosi Herself
Jennifer Pozner
Condoleezza Rice Herself
Gloria Steinem Herself
Jim Steyer Himself
Jennifer Todd Herself
Jan Yanehiro Herself
Daphne Zuniga Herself

Is it just me or, with the exception of Condi rice, are conservatives missing from this list of media and political luminaries? Except for Condi (and I don’t know how she stumbled into this crew of knaves and cutthroats), the speakers in this “documentary” all come from the Left or, failing that, the Far Left, with some of them even emerging from under those rocks that shelter the truly loony Left.

But maybe I’m just being nasty and judgmental.  Maybe this stellar cast of Progressive thinkers (ahem) was able to pull a Fox and present a “fair and balanced” approach to the issue of women in the media.  As far as I can tell from the reviews that people put on IMDB, the movie is the usual stuff about a male hegemony that deprives women of high visibility roles, which is funny coming from a film that features the highly visible, well-paid Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinem, Jan Yanehiro, Dianne Feinstein, and Geena Davis, to name but a few of the downtrodden women who regularly appear on American airwaves and are very, very, very rich.

The movie also earnestly explains how TV makes women feel ugly, because it’s filled with images of unnaturally beautiful women.  Yeah, like that’s never happened before in history:

Minoan statue from Crete 1600 BC

Venus de Milo

Gabrielle d Estrees & sister, mistresses to the French king, 1594

Madame de Pompadour

American Fashion print 1866

Edward VII’s mistress, Lillie Langtry

Clara Bow

Marilyn Monroe wishes President Kennedy a happy birthday.

Beyonce is not attired for the board room.

My point, of course, is that, at all times, in all places, women have been objectified for men’s pleasure.  And when men strut around in uncomfortable suits of armor, or ride off to the battlefield, or get their body’s tattooed, they too are preening for the opposite sex.  That’s nature, not prejudice.

Moreover, as Thomas Sowell explains in simple (not simplistic) terms in Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition, is that women fall off the career track, not because of institutional misogyny, but because they have babies.  A large number of women, probably the majority, when given the choice, elect to stay at home raising their children.  While their husband’s spend 18 years honing their careers (learning skills, climbing the corporate ladder, making contacts), women spend those same 18 years nurturing the up-and-coming generation.  It’s a Herculean and important task but, at the end of 18 years, they cannot simply walk into an office an demand a job at the same status and pay as their male counterparts who stayed in the office for those 18 years.

All of the above, in the context of Miss Representation, is the usual squawking that comes from a tired old feminism that, all real world experience to the contrary, continues to demand equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity.

The only area in which the movie seemed to try for some sanity was in its attempt to liken the media’s treatment of Hillary Clinton with that of Sarah Palin.  I haven’t seen the movie, but this sounds somewhat apples and orangey.  Back in the 1990s, Hillary did get challenged, but those challenges came from the right, which had no media outlets, not from the Left.  I was there and I remember how Hillary was lauded.  She was trumpeted as a career woman and a co-president.  She got a 60 Minute segment to forthrightly explain (to media hurrahs) that she wasn’t there just to bake cookies.  When the Lewinsky excrement hit the fan, the media loudly and proudly supported this valiant woman.

During the 2008 campaign, the media supported Hillary wholeheartedly, right until they turned against her.  But they didn’t turn against her because she was a woman.  They turned against her because they’d discovered an even more exciting, more politically correct candidate, and one with a drool-worthy body to boot.  (And yes, the media went crazy sexualizing Obama, with New York Times articles detailing women’s Obama-centered sexual fantasies, with photo spreads about his pecs and abs, and with icky stories about female reporters on the plane begging Obama to showcase his manly assets.)  Having found an even sexier candidate than Hillary, all that they could do was turn their back on her with stories about her temper.  Boo-hoo.

What happened to Hillary was utterly unlike the savagery unleashed against Sarah Palin.  She was persecuted in a way hitherto unknown in politics, from garbage can trolling, to mail hacking, to scurrilous rumors about her pregnancies, to unending attacks on her intellect, and on and on and on.  This wasn’t because Palin was female, in which case her beauty would have been lauded as a campaign attribute.  This was because Palin was a conservative female.  She therefore had to be destroyed and, more importantly, her femininity had to be destroyed.

Comparing the media’s treatment of Hillary and Sarah is false equivalency with a vengeance.  It elevates Hillary without ever rescuing Sarah.

What really got my knickers in a twist, and what will have me contacting the school tomorrow, is that Little Bookworm told me that the movie aggressively attacks Fox news as emblematic of what the movie claims is a conservative takeover of the news media. Little Bookworm wasn’t exaggerating:

Numbers don’t lie: Women make up 51 per cent of the population, yet comprise just 17 per cent of Congress. That is just one of the facts director Jennifer Siebel Newsom highlights in her debut documentary “Miss Representation.”

The film strings together statistics and interviews with women leaders to underline what it sees as a barrage of criticism and deluge of negative imagery the media rolls out on a daily basis.

“Unfortunately, the media and our culture is sending back to us the message that a woman’s value lies in her beauty and sexuality, and not in her capacity to lead,” Newsom told ABC News’ “Top Line” today.

Mainstream media, Newsom said, is particularly guilty.

The film highlights a jarring headline from New York Magazine juxtaposing Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin: “The Bitch and The Ditz.”

Fox News appears to be a repeat offender. The film shows a montage of the cable news network’s anchors and guests zeroing in on the physical appearance or mood swings of political female leaders.

Fox News is a “repeat offender” only because Ms. Newsom (who is married to San Francisco’s stylishly metrosexual ex-mayor Gavin Newsom) focused on Fox in much the same way that Jon Stewart, as partisan a comedian as one can find, focuses obsessively on Fox coverage, while carefully avoiding the drive-by media’s slavish devotion to Obama, fixation on celebrity (and everybody else’s) sex and sexuality, and general “race to the bottom” culture.  I’ll just note that the Leftist media was fascinated by General Petraeus’ fall from grace, but couldn’t be bothered to cover Obama’s drone war or his malfeasance in Benghazi.

Movies such as Miss Representation might have some good points.  However, to the extent that they are carried along on a wave of Leftist rhetoric, faulty statistics, a denial of human biology and its real world effects, and a deep and abiding hatred for the single somewhat conservative media outlet in America, they have no place in public school classrooms.

 

The cult of personality trumped ordinary considerations

I do believe that vote fraud had an effect on this election, although I don’t know if it was big enough in swing states to change the outcome.  Abe Greenwald’s theory makes a lot more sense when it comes to explaining how conservatives could have so completely misread the election outcome:

Barack Obama ushered in America’s first large-scale experiment in personality-cult politics. The experiment continues apace. Obama got reelected because he enjoys a degree of personal popularity disconnected from his record. No modern president has ever been returned to office with employment figures and right-track-wrong-track numbers as poor as those Obama has achieved.

Obama couldn’t run on his record, which proved to be no problem—Americans didn’t vote on his record. According to exit polls, 77 percent of voters said the economy is bad and only 25 percent said they’re better off than they were four years ago. But since six in ten voters claimed the economy as their number one issue, it’s clear this election wasn’t about issues at all.

The president’s reelection is not evidence of a new liberal America, but rather of the illogical and confused experience that is infatuation. For multiple reasons, Americans continue to have a crush on Barack Obama even after his universally panned first term. No longer quite head over heels, they’re at the “I know he’s no good for me, but I can change him” phase. Whatever this means, it surely doesn’t suggest conservatives would be wise to move closer to policies that aren’t even popular among Obama supporters.

(Read more here.)

What we saw on election day was the continuing power of the old media.  Indeed, it is flush with power.  This year, the old media abandoned any pretense of objectivity and still shaped an election.  That’s quite something.  For decades, the old media hid its partisanship, believing that doing so was the only way to sway the American people.  This year, it learned that it could be hyper-partisan because it is still the gatekeeper.

We in the blogosphere were deluding ourselves about our reach and ability to change the dialog.  By ignoring some stories (Benghazi, for example, or the scope of Sandy’s disaster) and by hyping other story’s (Romney’s offshore accounts or dog driving), it kept Obama in office despite the fact that he has failed to fulfill every promise he made and left the country in a perilous state.

I know that the economic numbers were creeping up ever so slightly before the election (improved stock market, slightly improved job numbers), but those would have been irrelevant if the press had been hostile to Obama.  This was indeed a “cult of personality” election, as I see regularly on my Facebook page.

There certainly were issues that excited Democrat voters — the elite voted on social issues grounds (lady parts and gay marriage being the things they trumpet most triumphantly) and the 47% vote to keep their government benefits — but those issues were of paramount importance to them because the media colluded with the Obama administration to hide from the public the scope of the coming economic disaster.  Had the American people better understood the economy, the elite might have decided that lady parts and gay marriage could wait a while, and the 47% might have realized that no government money means no government benefits.

Here’s the good news, though:  Next election, the media doesn’t have Obama to elevate any more.  We won’t have Romney, who is a a truly nice man, but whom the media demonized to the proportions of Sarah Palin, who is a truly nice woman.  The press will still demonize the Republican candidate, but I’m not certain they’ll have anyone to anoint as the second coming.  Neither Hillary nor Elizabeth Warren lend themselves to a personality cult.  This hagiography worked once with Obama.  I doubt it will work twice with someone else.  The American population might be in a “fool me twice, shame on you” frame of mind.

Or, of course, Obama could bring in a new Golden Age in the next four years, in which case all of us will have to retire our animus and rejigger our political views.  Currently, I’m not holding my breath on that one.

The difference between a Sharia state and a Christian state

The Daily Mail created a lovely matched set, showing side-by-side stories that perfectly illustrate the difference between life in a 21st century Sharia state and life in a 21st century Christian state:

Life in a Sharia state:  “We, the state, are going to kill gays.”

Life in a Christian state:  “I’d like to warn you (admittedly quite rudely) that, in the afterlife God is going to have problems with gays.”

If you’re gay, neither is very nice, but one is insulting, while the other is deadly.  Those who live within a minority community, whether because of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., might want to think long and hard about whether they want to promote a culture that kills those it dislikes or a culture some of whose members yell at them.  I mention this because the Leftist collective backs the first type of culture; while the much-reviled Western conservatives support the second.

(P.S.  For those wondering why the Daily Mail is the most popular news website in the world, it might have something to do with the fact that it identifies Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed, and Razwan Javed as “muslim fanatics.” The American press would have wondered why these three men, who just coincidentally happen to have non-American names, suddenly turned against gays — and then would have posited, loudly and often, that Sarah Palin published an ad or made a speech using coded language that triggered this mass homophobia.)

Missing: a commanding presence.

There is a quality to real leaders called a “command presence”. You know the type: they walk into a room and by their force of presence, command of the facts, unshaken confidence and leadership qualities, they capture the narrative and control the agenda. That command presence is a necessary mark of a good leader.

In part, this is what I’ve been looking for in these debates and the most recent debate in New Hampshire helped crystallize for me what is wrong with the Republican candidates: I have yet to see a convincing command performance.

I’ve seen it with Govs. Christie and Palin. I’ve seen it in Lt. Col. and Florida Congressional Representative Allen West. I thought that I saw it in Cain, Bachman and Gingrich. I’ve been especially Gingrich’s ability to control the  moronic chickadees of the MSM.

However, I definitely did not see a command presence when Governor Romney allowed an intellectual lightweight like George Stephanopoulos to control the narrative with his ridiculous obsession with contraception (I sense an inner conflict…care to share, Georgie?). Romney wanted to get along, to find the road to peace and harmony…so, instead, Georgie Stephanopoulos got to drive the agenda instead of getting slapped down and named for the trivial man he is.
So, after that, I was pretty much confirmed in my decision to support Gingrich as the one who best offered a vision and command presence for America. That was. This is now. The fact that Gingrich could not condemn the following ad that was posted by one of his PAC tells me that, when necessary, Gingrich will readily descend into the role of the demagogue, much like those on the Left.

You cannot be a proponent of capitalism while playing upon its worst caricatures for short-term political gain. This ad is vile. Romney was part of a turnaround corporation. Such companies play an important role in supporting the vitality and creative destruction and renewal of  capitalist economies. As history has shown over and over again, the alternative is far worse.

After this ad, I can no longer support Gingrich. We’ve already got a demagogue-in-chief. His name is Obama.

So, with great reluctance, I throw my support to Romney. Anybody but Obama!

 

All-American Women!

Yay, there’s another Sarah Palin in American politics.

Mia B. Love – mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Those of you that have read my posts and comments (whether you agree or disagree) know that I am a huge Sarah Palin fan. Frankly, there is a certain breed of all-American women that I hugely admire in this country – those descended from the same character stock that stood side by side with their men, gun in hand, ready to fight to the death for their families. This is the type of person that Sarah Palin typifies: strong, confident, articulate with a clear sense of…common sense.

Now, in Utah, we see that Sarah Palin is hardly alone. In fact, she may have paved the way for a new, assertive voice of American women in politics. Here is Mia Love…watch the video, imagine Liberal-Lefty heads exploding, then read the link (h/t Powerline Blog)

http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/01/mia-b-love-a-conservative-political-star-rises-in-utah/

 

Let a million Palins bloom! We may yet win this country back.

Besides, I think Allen West could use some help.

Sitting on my spindle *UPDATED*

For the past two days, I’ve been gathering links that I’ve meant to use in stand-alone posts.  That’s clearly not going to happen, though, so let me pass the links onto you, in the hope that you find them as interesting as I did.

Here’s something of a public service announcement:  if you post your phone number in Facebook, your phone number has suddenly become public property.  Please be careful.

Has Sarah Palin acquired a stalker or a legitimate journalist?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Elvis Costello joins the ranks of useful idiots to boycott Israel.  One Israeli politely takes him to task for his ignorance and inhumanity.

Much as the press loves Obama, Obama does not love the press.  They’ll never abandon his ship, though.  Even if they have unexpectedly found themselves traveling in steerage, when they thought they’d booked first class accommodations, he’s still taking them to their socialist port of choice.

Have other presidents blown off Memorial Day?  Even if they have, it still isn’t as tacky as Obama’s having done so, because no other president has ever shown such manifest disdain and disrespect for the American military.  This isn’t a one-off.  It’s a package deal of giving the middle finger to the troops he commands.  [UPDATE:  At American Thinker, they get it.]

Heather MacDonald points to the Emperor’s Nakedness:  all the huffing and puffing about the Arizona law hides the fact that Democrats desperately don’t want to enforce border security.  They will willingly watch terrorists sneak into the country, they will watch drug dealers destroy our cities, they will see masses of immigrants ruin our economy — all before they will give up the possibility of millions of new Democratic party-line voters.

If you live in North Carolina’s Second District, you should find interesting this interview with Republican candidate Renee Ellmers, another woman who found politics through the Tea Parties.

Nihilism and, inevitably, anarchy.  Is that the world’s future?  In a post-Judeo-Christian world, Dennis Prager thinks it may well be.  America used to be the single brake against this trend, but Obama’s America has jumped upon the bandwagon.

I have no idea why it’s a surprise to learn that, the more government spends, the more businesses retrench rather than joining the spending party.  Business people understand what liberal policy wonks don’t:  all that spending has to be paid for by taxes; all those taxes suck money out of the economy; and an economy with no money is a perilous business environment.  The fact that it took a scholarly study to figure this one out tells us just how removed from reality the Ivory Tower crowd is.  [UPDATE:  Just wanted to add one more thing.  I'm reading Jaques Barzun's The Culture We Deserve for my (conservative) reading group.  I'm only two essays in, but he's already explained perfectly why I loathed the liberal arts program at UC Berkeley when I was a student there in the very early 1980s.  I've always been a member of the true reality-based community.  I therefore never had the stomach for the artificiality of academia.  People don't live in petri dishes.  They live in the real world, with real problems and, most importantly, real cause and effect.]

Great.  The EPA is planning on managing plants in Texas.  This should go well (see my previous paragraph).

The Left, trying to deconstruct the Tebow ad, shows that logic is not a Leftist gift *UPDATED*

I commented earlier that Focus on the Family handled the whole Tebow ad brilliantly, by letting the Left get hysterical in advance, only to be confronted by a completely innocuous ad in which Pam Tebow talks about times when she worried about Tim’s life.  With its preemptive frothing, the Left managed to show anyone who was paying attention that they care, not about choices (because Pam Tebow made a choice), but about preserving abortion in all forms, at all costs, under all circumstances.  (For my by-no-means doctrinaire views on the subject, see here.)

Showing that they can’t quit when they’re behind, the Lefties, this time in the form of an op-ed at The Nation magazine, continue to opine idiotically on the subject.  I’ve interjected a little common sense:

Folks – the Tim Tebow/Pam Tebow ad has finally aired and it is about as vanilla as an Andy Williams Christmas Special. This is none too surprising. After all, CBS actually co-produced the ad to run seamlessly with the rest of its slick Super Bowl coverage. This has the anti-choice right wing on the blogs mocking the National Organization for Women and Planned Parenthood for “making a big deal over nothing.”

Yes, that would be me being one of the mockers, sort of.  I’m delighted that they made a big deal over nothing, because it helped highlight what matters to those folks rejoicing under the Orwellian name of “pro-choice.”

But the concerns of NOW and Planned Parenthood were absolutely spot on when you saw the final shot of the ad: “This message is brought to you by Focus on the Family.” The idea that Focus on the Family – an organization that believes in reparative therapy for LGBT people, that likens abortion rights to the Nazi holocaust, and that has shadowy connections to open hate groups – gets this kind of a mammoth public forum is an absolute disgrace.

This is where the Left is suffering from a pretty embarrassing logic gap.  The only reason anyone paid any attention to that ad (raising the possibility that people might check out Focus on the Family) is because the Left got so hysterical.  Had they adopted a wait-and-see attitude, and then let the ad sink like a very expensive stone when it was obvious how “vanilla” it was, that would have been the end of the fight.  The Tebows would have had their little say, and everyone would have gone home.

But the whole kerfuffle wasn’t about the ad itself.  It was about pro-life and true pro-choice advocates baiting the Left to show that it’s agenda isn’t the misnomer “pro-choice,” but is instead a eugenic commitment:  the Left finds it heinous that people would go ahead with high risk pregnancies.  The true believers, when it comes to abortion rights, think that high risk pregnancies should narrow down to one choice — abortion.  And if you don’t believe me, look at the splenetic response “pro-choice” people had regarding Sarah Palin’s choice to have a child she knew would be mentally disabled.

As for the ad, Pam Tebow speaks about the choice to ignore her doctor’s advice and risk her own life. She has every right to stand on a soap box with her hunky, Heisman winning son, and tell other women about the benefits of ignoring your doctor. But the idea that CBS would provide the platform for such a message without so much as a medical disclaimer, is simply wrong.

I can see the medical disclaimer now:  “Two out of five doctors believe that, if you’re advised that your baby might be stillborn, you should have an abortion to preclude the possibility that it might be born alive and healthy.”

What kind of verkakte talk is that?  Please keep in mind that Pam Tebow, in both ads, here and here, talked about her worries about Tim’s health, not about her worries about her own health.  In other words, unless viewers, intrigued by the uproar, went to the focus on the family website, they’d never hear Pam say, as The Nation falsely states, that she chose “to ignore her doctor’s advice and risk her own life.”

Also, the idea that Focus on the Family, an organization which stands unequivocally for the view that other women should be denied Pam Tebow’s choice would get this kind of prime commercial real estate, exposes CBS as a frighteningly fraudulent operation. They should offer free commercial time to Planned Parenthood.

Focus on the Family paid to run what even The Nation admits is a completely innocuous commercial that talks about what even The Nation admits is “Pam Tebow’s choice.”  The pro-choice nature of  the ad so infuriates The Nation’s editors that they proclaim that the only antidote is to give the frequently governmentally-funded Planned Parenthood free airtime?

Again, I like it.  How about this ad:  “Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood because she recognized that sometimes, Mother Nature just doesn’t get things quite right.  Left to her own devices, Mother Nature produces ‘retarded’ people, Negroes, Jews, and other undesirables.   So when the doctor tells you there’s a possibility that you’re going to be bringing another undesirable into the world, Planned Parenthood is there to serve you, and to make sure that Mother Nature gets a helping hand.”

And if Roe vs. Wade is ever deemed unconstitutional, I hope the executives at CBS ponder their role in this process. Maybe it’ll cross their minds when they are taking their daughters on a first class trip to France for legal, safe abortions. Somewhere, Edward R. Murrow weeps.

Roe v. Wade has been unconstitutional from the get-go.  Honest lawyers, even pro-“choice” honest lawyers acknowledge that it creates a right out of whole cloth.

As y’all know, I am not rabidly anti-abortion.  I believe it has a definite place, and I believe that there are gray areas where black-and-white law makes for very bad outcomes.  However, I also believe that the Left’s obsession with fetal deaths, its hysterical assertions that changing the law one iota will throw us back to some 1850 horror show of coat hangers and bloodied rooms, is ridiculous.  Times have changed.  Birth control has changed.  Single parenthood has changed.  Social stigmas have changed.  Maternal mortality has changed.  It’s a cheap and shoddy debate to pretend that, as to abortion alone, time has frozen, and there can be no movement.

My admiration for Focus on the Family, a group that holds views that are much more extreme than any I hold regarding abortion, gays, etc., continues to grow.  Conservatives generally could learn from this technique of allowing the Left to rip back its own curtain, exposing the totalitarianism hiding behind the cooing words of love and compassion.

UPDATE:  Fellow Watcher’s Council member Omri Ceren, at Mere Rhetoric, has a great post explaining that the new meme, attacking the commercial for celebrating violence against women, simply exposes — again — the staggering hypocrisy that animates the Left.  Oh, wait!  I forgot.  They’re not hypocritical at all.  If I remember correctly the Left was saying that the violent imagery in the attacks against Palin was okay, because she wasn’t really a woman.  And what was one of the things that made her not a woman?  Her refusal to abort a Down child.  It always comes full circle, doesn’t it?

Dems try to slam Brown for hinting that Obama was born out of wedlock

The Dems have launched a new attack against Brown, in order to cause voters to react in Pavlovian revulsion when they hear his name:  They’re now contending that (a) Brown thinks Sarah Palin is a decent human being and (b) Brown indicated skepticism about the fact that Barack Obama’s mother was married to his father, back in 1961.  Both charges, of course, are enough, in Democratic eyes, to make one a candidate for a deadly lightening bolt from God:

Insofar as Scott Brown committed the grave sin of defending Sarah Palin, Greyhawk has it nailed:

I see Brown defending those who accept responsibility here. I have no idea how he completed the sentence (re: Obama’s mother) “But more importantly, the fact that she had him when she was 18 years old…” but obviously it would reveal whatever Brown thought was more important. Based on context (and the fact that a Coakley support site cut the video off right there) I’d have to suspect it might be something Coakley supporters don’t want to hear.

The second point, of course, re Palin, is that the gross sexism leveled at her was entirely unrelated to her myriad virtues as a business woman, politician and mother, who teamed with her whole family to make things happen.

As for the “unconscionable” slur of bastardy against Obama, a couple of things.  First of all, nowadays, out-of-wedlock births are practically normative, so it’s no insult.  Second, Scott Brown was merely agreeing with . . . Michelle Obama who was speaking back in mid-2008 (emphasis mine):

Obama used the roundtable audience, as she did yesterday, to describe her husband’s understanding of women’s issues through the prism of the strong — but sometimes struggling — women in his life.

His own mother, she said at the beginning of her remarks, was “very young and very single when she had him.” And, Obama added, he has observed his wife’s attempts to reconcile motherhood with her career aspirations.

(Hat tip:  Kim Priestap)

Every first year law student knows, truth is the best defense to a libel charge.

As for me, I don’t care whether Obama was born in or out of wedlock about 50 years ago.  I do care very much about his current political ideology.  I also care a great deal that a politician who spoke the truth is not slandered with the accusation that he voiced a lie.