I have been remiss, as I have not reminded you lately that WOW! Magazine, the collaborative effort from the Watcher’s Council is an excellent resource for domestic and international political analysis, social observations, top-rate Second Amendment commentary, and just generally good stuff. If you were to go there now, you’d see all of these articles:
I spent the day helping my “going to college” Little Bookworm select her classes. Let me just say that the college does not offer any American History classes, but it does offer gay history, Latino history, and black feminist history. The online catalog was a miracle of polemics, incoherence, political correctness, victim culture, cant, and appalling grammar. The real gem, though, came when we looked up one of the teachers on
The real gem, though, came when we looked up one of the teachers on Rate My Professors. I think the following review is the saddest thing I’ve ever read (and please note that the student was offering genuine praise, not sarcasm):
She was very good a facilitating the class so the active members of the Womyn’s Center were respectful and open to the point of veiw [sic] of the few boys who took the class.
And while we’re talking about the end of the world, here are some links you might like.
Terrorists target gunfree zones. John Lott explains why gun free zones are catnip to terrorists:
Just a couple of months ago, a young ISIS sympathizer planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit. An FBI wire recorded him explaining why he had picked the church as a target: “It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news.”
Police are probably the single most important factor in stopping crime, but stopping a mass public shooting is an extremely dangerous proposition for officers and security guards alike. Attackers will generally first shoot any uniformed guards or officers who are present. During the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last year, the first person killed was the guard who was protecting the magazine’s offices.
Being able to choose the time and place of the attack gives terrorists a major strategic advantage. Last year, France learned that the hard way. In a city of 2.3 million people, there are simply too many possible targets for the police and military to protect. Parisians could take cellphone videos of terrorists just 12 yards away, but could do nothing but watch the slaughter. In the United States, we have about 628,000 police to protect 320 million Americans.
I met up the other day with some friends whom I’ve known for years through our children. They are, without exception, decent, bright, extremely kind women. I think highly of them, even though they are Bernie supporters.
The conversation turned to the “rape culture” on American campuses. Although they were agreed that a woman who is proven to have falsely accused a man of rape should be punished, they differed from me in three significant areas: (1) They believe absolutely the CDC study saying 1 in 5 American women have been raped; (2) they think that, if a woman says she was raped, she should be believed absolutely; and (3) they think girls should not be given advice about how to protect themselves because, if they still get raped, having been armed against rape implies that any resulting rape was their fault. I’d like to spend a little time on each point.
Israel had yet another stabbing today, after yesterday’s horror attack, which killed a young mother of six in front of three of her children. Today, the pregnant woman who was stabbed survived, as did her baby. (If you don’t know about all this, don’t be surprised. The MSM assiduously ignores the daily horrors of Israel’s knife intifatah. The way to know about it is to follow a pro-Israel source on Facebook. I follow The Israel Project, StandWithUs, The Times of Israel, and the Israel Defense Forces.)
Today’s attack in Israel had a special resonance for me because of the way in which the terrorist was taken out of commission:
My thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed and wounded at Umpqua Community College today. I have only three things to note: Obama immediately demanded gun control; the campus has a “gun free zone” policy; and the shooter started to ask people their religion, but started shooting before they could answer.
Without more information, I have nothing else to say nor conclusions to draw.
What it’s like to experience an Islamic terrorist attack
Foreign Policy has a truly horrifying minute-by-minute timeline of what happened during the horrible Islamic attack on the Nairobi’s Westgate Mall two years ago. The article pieces the story together based on conversations with survivors and Kenyan officials, as well as information derived from mall security tapes.
My two takeaways are that Islamic terrorists are monstrous people by the standards of any place and any time in world history; and that when seconds count, the authorities are not only minutes or hours away, they seldom have enough information to handle the crisis in any event. The front-line defendants, if any, are those people who, through sheer happenstance, find themselves at the center of a terrorist attack. If they are armed, the attack is more likely to be limited in scope.
When all guns in private hands are outlawed (which is President Obama’s most devout hope), only outlaws and terrorists will have guns. The rest of us will have targets painted on strategic parts of our bodies.
Dirty organic food
Marin County is fanatic about its organic foods. Perhaps, as with so many things, Marin is on the wrong track:
The permitted “organic” pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article: “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones. No matter what anyone tells you, organic pesticides don’t just disappear.”
Organic foods are highly susceptible to it. According to Bruce Chassy, professor of food science at the University of Illinois, “organic foods are recalled 4 to 8 times more frequently than their conventional counterparts.” This is hardly surprising. Aside from the presence of pathogenic bacteria, organic grains are particularly susceptible to toxins from fungi. In 2003, the UK Food Safety Agency tested six organic corn meal products and 20 conventional (non-organic) corn meal products for contamination with the toxin fumonisin. All six organic corn meals had elevated levels—from nine to 40 times more than the recommended levels for human health—and they were voluntarily withdrawn from grocery stores. By contrast, the 20 conventional (i.e., non-organic) products averaged about a quarter of the recommended maximum levels.
Obamacare — more people should read my blog
Over at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog there’s a conundrum: Why don’t 33 million people have health insurance in this glorious Obamacare era? There are some easy answers to that question according to FiveThirtyEight: To begin with, around 4 million of those “Americans” without insurance are, in fact, illegal aliens. Another three million are immigrants and Medicaid gap people who don’t have coverage. Take away that crowd, and one is still left with 29 million uninsured people. You can then peel away the 7.7 invincible or unemployed young, who view insurance as unnecessary or too costly, especially given that they’re propping up Obamacare. Even after that, you’re still left with around 14 million uninsured Americans, 75% of whom are adults who ought to be Obamacare subscribers.
At this point, FiveThirtyEight is baffled:
It’s hard to say why these 14 million people weren’t insured, but the administration will have to figure that out if it wants to come close to the universal coverage the law intended.
May I suggest that the FiveThirtyEight people stop thinking like the middle class and start thinking like the lowest class? Once again, I turn to my friend who, though coming from a middle class background, lives amongst the poorest of the poor, many of whom are second or third generation members of that class:
[My friend] and her husband, the only middle class people in a sea of poverty, are the only people she knows, amongst both friends and acquaintances, who have signed up for Obamacare. The others have no interest in getting health insurance. Even with a subsidy, they don’t want to pay a monthly bill for health insurance. Even a subsidized rate is too onerous when they can get all the free health care they need just by showing up at the local emergency room. Additionally, the ER docs are usually better than any doc who’s willing to belong to whatever plan they can afford. Nor are these people worried about the penalties for refusing to buy Obamacare, since none of them pay taxes.
Not only are the people in my friend’s world refusing to buy Obamacare, they resent it. According to my friend, someone she knows abruptly announced that she’s getting involved in local politics, something she’s never done before. Until recently, this gal was one of those people who just floated along, getting by. Now, though, she’s fired up.
The reason for the sudden passion is unexpected: She’s deeply offended by a law that forces people to buy a product they don’t need — never mind that she might benefit from the product, that she would pay far below market value for the product, or that she’s too poor to be penalized for ignoring this government diktat. The mere fact that the diktat exists runs counter to her notion of individual liberty. Her view of government is that, while it’s fine if it hands out welfare checks and food stamps, it goes beyond the pale when the government uses its power and wealth to coerce activity.
Our ideologically blind, narcissistic president
Barack Obama’s appalling speech at the UN resulted in several very good articles about his delusions. My favorite is Bret Stephens’ An Unteachable President:
Finally, Mr. Obama believes history is going his way. “What? Me worry?” says the immortal Alfred E. Neuman, and that seems to be the president’s attitude toward Mr. Putin’s interventions in Syria (“doomed to fail”) and Ukraine (“not so smart”), to say nothing of his sang-froid when it comes to the rest of his foreign-policy debacles.
In this cheapened Hegelian world view, the U.S. can relax because History is on our side, and the arc of history bends toward justice. Why waste your energies to fulfill a destiny that is already inevitable? And why get in the way of your adversary’s certain doom?
It’s easy to accept this view of life if you owe your accelerated good fortune to a superficial charm and understanding of the way the world works. It’s also easier to lecture than to learn, to preach than to act. History will remember Barack Obama as the president who conducted foreign policy less as a principled exercise in the application of American power than as an extended attempt to justify the evasion of it.
Elliott Abram’s thoughts about Obama’s “surreal” speech are also well worth reading. He contrasts each statement Obama made, about the Middle East, Cuba, or anything, with the facts on the ground. Obama is either a delusional fabulist or he really thinks everyone in the world is as stupid as his Progressive fans.
The camera never lies, at least not when it comes to Putin and Obama
Recent headlines make it obvious that Putin is running rings around Obama and positioning Russia as the new world power. I’m actually not sure how long Putin can keep this dominance going. Back at home, his country is being weakened by an utterly corrupt government; a weak, oligarchic economy; rising AIDS and alcoholism; and a declining population. Putin is definitely ready to lead, but may eventually have too few followers and too little money. If he’s forced to retrench, though, we know he’ll leave havoc in his wake.
But back to Putin and Obama. If you want to know what’s going on, check out this chart.
A handy-dandy guide to rebutting BDS lies about Israel
YNet has published an article that provides actual facts to counter the lies the BDS movement relies on in order to further its antisemitic goals. For example:
The Lie: “Palestinians who live in Israel are second-class citizens.”
The Truth: Israeli Arabs are citizens with equal rights. Arabs serve as Members of Parliament, as judges in courts, including the Supreme Court, as professors and doctors. In the past there were incidents of discrimination, and sometimes there still are. But according to any objective measure, the condition of Israeli Arabs is far better than that of Muslim minorities in Europe.
The head of the panel of judges who sent former Israeli president Moshe Katsav to jail, for example, was an Arab judge. The chairman of the Central Election Committee in 2015 Elections was also an Arab. There are numerous examples of the ways in which Israeli Arabs are integrated in the culture, art, economy and academia of Israel.
A handy-dandy guide to the Planned Parenthood videos
Meanwhile, at the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway summarizes the contents of the various undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in human bodies. One doesn’t even have to watch the videos to find the contents extremely disturbing.
That Republicans are still funding this utterly corrupt organization — one that launders money for the Democrat party, spends taxpayer funds on boondoggles for high ranking employees (something only Fox seems willing to report), and derives profit from selling body parts — is a disgrace. Planned Parenthood is not the only game in town for women’s health care, and it’s time for us to stop pretending that it is (especially in this age of Obamacare).
Someone on a closed Facebook group to which I belong had a good observation: How can Planned Parenthood (and other lefties such as the execrable Bill Nye, the un-science guy) claim that before birth a fetus is not human, while at the same time harvesting those same fetal body parts for sale as “human organs”?
Well, you know what they say: If Leftists didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all.
I’ve been following the story of a retired Marin doctor and gun collector who was the target of an aggressive Marin county prosecutor in connection with the doctor’s self-defense shooting (see here and here). I’m too tired to write at length about it, but there is a happy ending, both for the man who defended himself and his wife, and for all people in Marin County who believe in their constitutional right to armed self-defense:
I’m sorry for the long silence, but to quote Granny Clampett, “I was just plumb tuckered out.” Between escalating work demands and the usual family demands, I haven’t had either spare energy or spare time. It was only two days ago that I stopped being in denial and accepted that, for the time being at least, I have a 3/4 time legal job that requires a heightened level of commitment and organization. (Incidentally, I’ve found that, for managing large projects, Microsoft’s One Note, when combined with a good calendaring program, is very helpful.) I still intend to blog, but I just need to buff up my time management skills a bit.
And that’s it for the excuses. On to the post itself:
It’s not such a wonderful life
Victor Davis Hanson has scored another home run with his post examining at Obama’s new world order as another Pottersville:
I spend so much of my life starting things, but never finishing them. Part of that is my core inefficiency and part of it is the fact that, although it goes sorely against my nature, my life is lived in the service of others. Even worse, those others aren’t interested in my having time to blog. Shame on them! They’ve been fed now, though, and should be pacified for a while. 😉
The registration form doesn’t require proof of life either
Everybody who’s surprised to learn that the Obama administration is trying to block any state efforts to require immigrants to prove citizenship when registering to vote, please raise your hands. Those with their hands raised, how have you managed to remain so naive after six Obama years?
A short rant about American blacks
Watching how the Democrats (led by whites, fueled by blacks) have destroyed cities across America, with special attention given to the destruction of America’s black communities, I have a rant:
“Fine, we, the white collective, screwed you. We screwed you 200 years ago, and 100 years ago, and 50 years, and last week. We seem incapable of not screwing you. So why do you keep looking to us for help? Look to yourselves. Fix your own communities because, according to you, whatever we touch, we turn to dross. The fact is, you can’t grow up until you cut the apron strings, especially because, by your own definition, your white American Mommy is toxic.”
Of course, once one says that, rather than the black community pulling itself up by its own bootstraps, all that happens is a renewed press for reparations. But still, the reality in communities is exactly the same as it is when you sit in the therapist’s office and he intones (usually to your irritation), “Only you can help yourself. You have to want to change.”
Good news: Arab young people are becoming surprisingly pro-Israel
During Operation Protective Edge last year, several pro-Israel Facebook groups started posting pictures of people’s hands (no faces). In one hand was a passport, with the cover showing the country of origin; on the other hand, the inked words “I support you Israel,” or something similar. An amazing number of those passports were from Muslim countries. The following article, therefore, wasn’t completely surprising, but it did make me smile:
It all began as a personal project by a young Israeli Arab who lives in northern Israel. He wanted to use social networking to convince other Israeli Arabs that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are not some “army of evil” and that its soldiers are not as bloodthirsty as they tend to be portrayed in Arab propaganda films. He soon learned, however, that in the digital age, there is no end to surprises. Instead of messages and responses from the Israeli Arab audience he was targeting, he began receiving messages of peace and love from young Arab men and women from across the Arab world.
Read the rest here. George Dubya may have been right about the yearning for freedom within the Muslim world — especially as they see ISIS’s depredations.
Socialism hasn’t served Scandinavia well
I’ve told you before about my polite remainders to a Scandinavian friend that his belief that his is a successful socialist country is a delusion. The money for socialism has come from American defense during the Cold War (“We’ll pay for your military so that you can socialize your medicine.”), while the Scandinavian collective (“Ja, ja! We agree about everything.”) means that they haven’t had to rely on the coercion that is the real socialist deal in governance. The end of the Cold War, combined with the influx of uncooperative Muslims into Scandinavian countries, is revealing what a big fake Scandinavian “socialism” always was.
It turns out that there’s a book expanding on what I’ve gathered just using a few news stories, some glowing PBS documentaries about Scandinavian wonders, a short visit to the Scandinavian countries, and some common sense: Michael Booth’s The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia. This is definitely a book I have to read.
A review at Reason gives you a taste of why I’ll like it — and a taste of how much worse the Scandinavian reality is than I ever realized:
The book, which has just been published in the U.S., is especially powerful in its dissection of the culturally corrosive effects of Scandinavia’s expansive state power, which seems to “smother its people’s motivation, ambition, and spirit.”
A full fifth of Danish adults don’t work and live exclusively on public benefits. Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is—this is for real—a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains. Booth calls the prevailing Swedish political norms “benign totalitarianism.”
In other cultures, you have “tall poppy syndrome,” where if a reality star makes a record or buys a Lamborghini, they’ll get pilloried in the media. The difference in Scandinavia is that tall poppy syndrome applies to everyone all the time. So if you show naked ambition or arrogance, you will get cut down to size. “Don’t think you are that special, don’t show off, don’t boast.” No one wears a suit and tie in parliament. It’s extraordinary.
If you want an incredibly equal, socially cohesive society, you definitely lose something by way of individuality, eccentricity, diversity. Often I’m asked, “Could the Nordic template be applied to Britain or America?” And the answer is no. You can’t just hope that people will suddenly become conformist and driven by equality. It doesn’t work that way.
Media brings about its worst fear — guns for self-defense
The media, in its efforts to have Americans join its anti-gun fervor, has been plugging stories for several years telling people about America’s gun violence epidemic. Rather than making Americans insist that we ban guns, however, the opposite happened: more and more Americans decided to arm themselves. I think we call this a Massive Media Fail.
Free speech for me (if I’m antisemitic), but not for thee (if you’re pro-Israel) at Connecticut College
Professor Andrew Pessin, at Connecticut College, was branded a racist for daring to support Israel — with all the attendant stalking and harassment that comes with that label:
Professor Pessin is the latest casualty of what might be described as a “killer bee swarm” on the local and global internet. It took only one student, Lamiya Khandaker, who defamed Pessin in a student newspaper, to launch a university-wide and global campaign against Pessin defending last summer’s military campaign against the terrorist group Hamas by the Israeli government.
Pessin has been fighting a campaign to brand him as racist for his support of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, based on a remark posted to Facebook in which he compared Hamas to ““a rabid pit bull is chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape.”
Khandaker’s use of certain key words and concepts regarding Pessin—“I feel unsafe as a Muslim;” there is “subtle institutional racism;” Pessin is a “racist” because he allegedly compared Palestinians to “rabid pit bulls”—all functioned as zeitgeist signals to a previously conditioned mob and they lit out after him.
Pessin began receiving hate mail and death threats following her allegations, and wasforced to take a medical leave due to the level of stress this incident placed on him.
In point of fact, and contrary to what Khandaker alleged, Pessin was referring to the terrorist Hamas leadership when he made the “pit bull” comment, not to Palestinian people.
You can sign the petition here (which is still stuck at a little fewer than 10,000 signatures).
Sexism rears its ugly head in attacks on female hunters
David Reeder noticed something interesting — the animal rights/anti-gun crowd is sexist, very, very sexist (language warning):
You can think what you want about hunting, that’s your prerogative. But when you conflate hunting with poaching, when your disapproval translates into misogyny, vile torrents of profanity and threats of violence, that just proves what many people think already: you’re a pretentious asshole. It certainly doesn’t do much for your credibility or strength of your argument either, but why let a little rational discourse get in the way of your most recent excuse to be outraged?
Here’s an idea! As long as you (and by you I mean any of the many thousands of people wishing hunters ill) are engaging in such smarmy tomfuckery, why don’t you go ahead and be even more outraged when it’s a pretty girl perpetrating such wanton carnage. It’s bad enough when a Mossy Oak-clad quinquagenarian harvests an animal, but God forbid it’s a hawt white girl with bewbs posing next to that hapless, slaughtered beast. She should be reviled publicly — in fact, let’s revoke her right to vote and stick her back in front of the stove while we’re at it.
I’m not a fan of trophy hunting. It makes no sense to me to kill something if you’re not going to eat it. Having said that, it’s legal in many places and useful in many others, culling animals that would otherwise upset the balance in the ecosystem. And God knows, if I were going to attack it, I wouldn’t do so on sexist grounds.
James Simon, the doctor who shot a man who followed him home, tried to pull into the doctor’s garage, and started storming the house, has pled “not guilty” to felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and negligently discharging a firearm. The judge also refunded him his $160,000 bail, finding that the 71-year-old doctor is not a flight risk. Something interesting is going on here: This is now the second Marin County Superior Court judge — let me repeat again “Marin County” — who seems to be taking a stand in favor of gun rights against the local prosecutor.
As those who have been following this story know, one Marin County judge also refused to indict Simon, believing that there was no case against him (i.e., the judge thus accepted Simon’s claim that he acted properly to defend himself and his wife). Dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling, the prosecutor, Edward Berberian, immediately convened a grand jury, and pushed through a new indictment:
It’s a bad thing when our president is happy
My Mom, in commenting on the state of the world today, said “Everybody’s unhappy.” I disagreed. “Obama is happy,” I said. “So is Iran.”
Why are these two happy? Because Obama is working on a grand plan that will hand the Middle East over to nuclear Imams from Iran, that’s why. Victor Davis Hanson carefully breaks the Obama strategy down. You should definitely read VDH’s post, but be prepared to be depressed for hours or even days afterwards.
As for those Sunni outposts that Iran cannot reach or does not want to control, there’s always Obama’s good friend The Muslim Brotherhood.
And that’s why Obama’s happy.
The Jordanian pilot’s immolation is even making Progressives scared . . . except for Obama
I have been engaged engaged in a running battle . . . er, discussion with a Progressive acquaintance about the Castle Doctrine. This is the doctrine derived from the ancient Anglo-Saxon principle that “a man’s home is his castle” and he has a right to be safe within its wells. In practice, the Castle Doctrine means that, if someone breaks into a home, that person is presumed to have lethal intent, giving the homeowner the right to use lethal force in his defense.
As I detailed in an earlier post, my Progressive acquaintance simply can’t wrap his mind around the whole notion of “presumption.” To him, it means “permission” and, flowing from that gross mis-translation, he interprets this permission to mean that, in Castle Doctrine states, a homeowner can, with impunity, shoot anyone on his property.
Yesterday, I sent the Progressive the news story about a 14-year-old boy who was staying with his grandmother when, late at night, a man smashed a window. When the teen challenged the man, the man ignored him and continued to try to break into the house. The teen shot the man — 18-year-old Isai Robert Delcid — three times, killing him.
Imagine this: You’re an elderly man driving along a quiet suburban road with your wife. You change lanes in front of another driver. The other driver immediately begins tailing you closely and, over the course of a ten minute drive, you can’t shake him off, even when you tap your brakes and slow down. As the road narrows from four lanes to two, you keep driving and he keeps tailing you. You don’t call the police, because there’s nothing yet to report.
Eventually, you turn onto your street and, to your unpleasant surprise, that other car keeps following you. You get to your house, open the garage door using your automatic door opening, and drive into the garage as quickly as possible — only to that other driver follow you there too. When you try to close the garage door, it actually bounces off that other car’s hood before closing.
As soon as you’re in the house, you grab your legal gun (one of 50 that you own) because you can see the other car’s driver advancing on your front porch. You tell him to go away, but he doesn’t. You fire a warning shot into a bush, and he keeps coming. Finally, you shoot at him. It takes two shots, one hitting the other fellow in the abdomen, to finally make him stop.
That’s what happened to 72-year-old James Simon, a physician, who ended shooting 70-year-old William Osenton. It was then left to a Marin County Superior Court judge to determine whether to charge Simon with manslaughter for the shooting. Osenton had little to say in the matter, since he claims to remember only the fact that, earlier in the day, he’d been in the hospital for a routine stress test.
This being Marin County, the District Attorney is very gung ho to press charges. Surprisingly, though, after a two-day preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge Kelly Simmons declines to press charges:
Simmons ruled against the prosecution, ruling that Simon’s actions were not unreasonable under the circumstances.
The case is a really stunning victory for gun rights, because the judge rejected completely the DA’s claim that a homeowner cannot use guns to protect himself and his family until he has exhausted all other options:
During closing arguments Tuesday afternoon, [District Attorney Edward] Berberian said Simon could have locked himself in the home and called police rather than seek a confrontation.
Berberian said Simon’s weapons supply — which included more than 50 guns throughout the house — suggested he was “hypersensitive” and had a victimization complex that led him to take unreasonably deadly action.
“It was a bad judgment call, it was the wrong judgment call, and there has to be a standard,” Berberian said.
But defense attorney Charles Dresow said it was Osenton who made the bad choices. He said Simon had a constitutionally guaranteed right to protect himself, his family and his property.
“This is a clear case of self-defense,” Dresow said.
The charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter and assault with a firearm carry a potential prison sentence of about 20 years.
Osenton was not charged with any crimes.
Simon made a short statement to the press: “I’m proud to live in America.” Since Berberian is thinking about re-filing charges, let’s hope that Simon has reason to continue being proud.