The Bookworm Beat 4-6-15 — the nighttime edition and open thread

Woman writingMy work is done and there’s still twenty minutes to go before the family yields the TV to me. That can mean only one thing: a quick round-up. Yay!

Can the MSM stifle Ted Cruz?

One of the most frustrating things about being a conservative is that conservative politicians tend to be inarticulate. Part of this is because conservative ideas don’t yield easily to the hysterical bumper sticker politics that the Left favors. Part of it is that the media twists the message. And part of it is that the conservatives who get into politics seem to be tongue-tied.

I mention this because of a post Rod Dreher wrote after talking about RFRA to a deeply-closeted conservative law professor. It was the professor who made the point about the absence of a standard-bearer for conservative ideology:

On the conservative side, said Kingsfield [not the professor's real name], Republican politicians are abysmal at making a public case for why religious liberty is fundamental to American life.

“The fact that Mike Pence can’t articulate it, and Asa Hutchinson doesn’t care and can’t articulate it, is shocking,” Kingsfield said. “Huckabee gets it and Santorum gets it, but they’re marginal figures. Why can’t Republicans articulate this? We don’t have anybody who gets it and who can unite us. Barring that, the craven business community will drag the Republican Party along wherever the culture is leading, and lawyers, academics, and media will cheer because they can’t imagine that they might be wrong about any of it.”

The one person who is emerging as an incredibly articulate spokesman for conservative thinking is Ted Cruz. He’s unafraid and, rather unusually for a man as academically brilliant as he is, capable of being pithy. Cruz can bring in the money quotation:

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The Bookworm Beat 3-27-15 — “The World Turned Upside Down” edition and open thread

Woman writingWord must have gotten out that I have a temporary hiatus in the endless mountain of legal work that’s overwhelmed me, because the phone hasn’t stopped ringing all morning. Every time my fingers get anywhere near my keyboard, the phone rings, I glance at the caller ID and, yes, it’s a call I need to take.

The most interesting call I received came in a short while ago from a delightful, interesting man who will be speaking to a local conservative group with which I’m involved. His topic: Israel. In past weeks, some in the group have been a little worried that this man, a Democrat and Obama supporter, might inadvertently antagonize our group. Speaking to him today, though, I think he and our group will be singing the same song.  He seems to feel, as I do, that  — Obama is doing something unconscionably dangerous in allying us with Iran while giving Iran the nuclear go ahead, and something profoundly evil by sacrificing Israel to achieve this unconscionable goal.

I am deeply, deeply disturbed when I think what Obama is doing in the Middle East. By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. This is not ineptitude or misguided faith. Obama, dragging the United States along behind him, is deliberately embracing evil.

All I can think of lately, and you’ll see why as you read further, is the British military band in 1781, at the Surrender at Yorktown, playing “The World Turned Upside Down.”

Don’t just blame Lena Dunham; The New Yorker published her

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Ted Cruz for President in 2016

Ted CruzA temporary diminution in my overwhelming work load has finally given me a window to blow about Ted Cruz’s candidacy. Briefly, I’m for it. Obama has taught us that, in today’s world, it’s not experience that matters, it is indeed being a standard-bearer for an overarching ideology.

Americans have now had six, going on for seven, years of Obama’s ideology and they’ve seen the results:

  1. a sluggish economy,
  2. endless crony capitalism,
  3. meaningless national borders,
  4. a disastrous change for the worse in race relations,
  5. the Middle East going down in flames,
  6. Israel (America’s long-time ally) abandoned and betrayed,
  7. a White House that makes love to the nation that’s slaughtered thousands of American troops,
  8. the abandonment of Eastern Europe to Putin’s depredations,
  9. a spectacular rise in Islamic violence at home and abroad,
  10. the steady transformation of our healthcare system into a European style system that provides access but minimal meaningful care,
  11. a de-fanged and emasculated military,
  12. the end of government transparency,
  13. the rise of an unaccountable administrative branch that practices legislation, and
  14. worst of all, a deliberate turn away from our most cherished constitutional principles, including the all-important separate of powers, our primary bulwark against tyranny.

In this, Obama has consistently been aided and abetted by the Democrat Party.  Worse, whenever it’s been faltering, its received helpful boosts from the GOP.

Against this backdrop, running a neutered GOP candidate who, at home, stands, for everything Obama stands for, only with weaker sauce, and, abroad, lacks the backbone to fight against Islamic (and, inevitably, Chinese) aggression abroad, is a sure way to lose.

Finally, though we have an alternative, in the person of a man who liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz describes as one of the most brilliant Harvard law students he’s ever had.  Briefly, Ted Cruz

  1. has the ability to articulate conservative principles in clear and accessible language,
  2. has a happy warrior manner as he toys with a media that’s unaccustomed to a conservative who won’t bow down,
  3. enjoys a good fight,
  4. energizes (one hopes) Hispanic conservatives who have been languishing, literally and figuratively, in Democrat ghettos, and
  5. most importantly of all, holds pro-American views on every issue: he supports a free market, strong borders, standing against Islamic extremism and aggression, protecting our allies around the world, bringing the free market to America’s healthcare system, shrinking government and (especially) the administrative branch of government, de-fanging the IRS’s unlimited (and partisan) power, and in all other respects running a government consistent with the Constitution.

To those who say “Cruz can’t win,” I say “That’s only true if you start with a defeatist attitude by buying into MSM and GOP slander.”

Now is the time for the pendulum to swing far, far away from Obama. If the Republican pendulum apathetically droops in front of a Jeb Bush or Lindsay Graham, we will lose. This is the last chance, truly the last chance, for the American Constitution to take center stage in an election and in our lives. If Hillary or Jeb wins, America as a Constitutional nation is dead and gone.

Incidentally, Wolf Howling has pulled together a very useful collection of Ted Cruz articles.

In honor of Ted Cruz’s announcement — a re-run of my post about his epic stand against Obamacare

Ted CruzIn 2013, Ted Cruz was the only one who wholeheartedly, bravely, boldly, took a stand against Obamacare.  The GOP was appalled.  I, of course, am appalled by the GOP — quislings, all of them.

Today, Ted Cruz announced that he’s running for President:

In honor of Cruz’s announcement, I’m rerunning the post I did in the run-up to Cruz’s promised filibuster of Obamacare, back on September 25, 2013: “Is Ted Cruz’s promised Obamacare filibuster the equivalent of King Leonidas’s stand at Thermopylae?

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"I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund Obamacare."

“I will do everything necessary and anything possible to de-fund Obamacare.”

Most people, whether Democrat or Republican, agree that Ted Cruz’s planned filibuster in the Senate is doomed. It will do nothing to stop Obamacare’s inexorable path towards implementation. (To understand precisely what the filibuster is about, Ace has a good, short explanation.)

Because Ted Cruz is nobody’s fool, I’m guessing that he too knows that it won’t stop Obamacare from getting fully implemented within the next few months. Why, then, is Cruz engaged in this quixotic effort? I think I have the answer, but you’ll have to bear with me, because it involves taking a little trip back, back in time . . . to the Battle of Thermopylae.

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Trevor Loudon tells enthralled Marin County audience that victory in 2016 requires uniting and inspiring conservative base

Trevor_Loudon_2_smallTrevor Loudon spoke today to a sold-out room of Marin County conservatives anxious to hear the truth about the Democrat party and to get a prescription for the path to victory in 2016. Trevor, a dynamic speaker from New Zealand, loves America both because of gratitude and hope. He’s grateful to America because it was American sailors and Marines who fought so valiantly against the Japanese at Midway, Guadalcanal, and so many other battles in the Pacific, saving New Zealand from being conquered by Japan.

Trevor also believes that, as Reagan said, America is “the last best hope for a mankind plagued by tyranny and deprivation.” With America gone, the world’s dictators, from oligarchs, to communists, to Islamists, will divvy the world up amongst them, leading to a thousand years of darkness for people who once unthinkingly and rather ungratefully enjoyed the benefits of an enlightened world.

Looking at the inroads these tyrants have made under the Obama administration, only a fool would believe that Trevor is exaggerating. Indeed, Trevor reminded us that, from practically his first day in office, Obama has relentlessly abandoned America’s allies to make way for her enemies. As you may recall, Obama immediately began to withdraw the missile defense systems that protected our middle European allies from Russian aggression on the Eastern fronts. Not surprisingly, giving Obama’s tacit permission, Russia has now been aggressive.

Likewise, even though Ukraine gave up its missile defense in exchange for an explicit American promises of meaningful aid should the Russians cause trouble, Obama has contributed nothing meaningful to Ukraine’s defense in the face of Russian depredations. Indeed, the only thing we’ve given it is John Kerry, whom Trevor likened to Jane Fonda, only with less testosterone. Trevor noted that Obama’s accelerating active and passive abnegation of America’s long-time role as protector of smaller democratic (or democratically-inclined) nations could be seen predictable outcomes of Obama’s secret promise to Russia, made known only through a hot mic that, after the election, he’d have more “flexibility.”

It’s not just Eastern Europe that Obama has abandoned. He also turned his back on Egypt and other Arab nations tearing themselves away from theocracy and struggling towards democracy.  Don’t forget that Obama was the Muslim Brotherhood’s staunchest ally.  And we won’t even start talking about his frantic, angry efforts to isolate and abandon Israel, while handing Iran the keys to the nuclear kingdom.

Obama has waged a war on the US at home too. He’s in the process of gutting our military, he’s working to destroy our southern border, he’s kept us in the longest, weakest economy since the Great Depression, he’s strengthened Cuba’s dictatorship, and his justice system is systematically creating race and class warfare while destroying American’s constitutional protections. With regard to the military, Trevor asked rhetorically if any of us thought that Russia would have invaded Ukraine or if the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS would have been ascendant if Reagan had been president.

Looking at Obama’s conduct, Trevor said that people who claim Obama is stupid are wrong. After all, he said, if Obama were just stupid, wouldn’t he sometimes make mistakes in America’s favor? The reality is that, if Obama were a fully paid Russian agent, he would be doing exactly the same things he’s doing today.

I agree with Trevor. I’ve concluded that Obama, while uneducated, is extremely intelligent and adept at manipulating the American political system, with a lot of help from media ideologues.  (Which raises the question of what you call a nation under the tyranny of the press.  A mediagarchy?  When the history books are written, assuming America has a history after Obama, our president will be rightly identified as one of America’s most consequential presidents.  The problem for those of us who love a constitutional America is that Obama’s very real successes are all aimed at turning America into another Venezuela, complete with a broken marketplace, despite vast natural and human resources, ruled over by a corrupt cabal of party insiders and crony capitalists.  And now back to Trevor….

What makes Obama tick? Communism, says Trevor — and Trevor, the man who outed Van Jones and the Obama/Frank Marshall Davis connection, knows communists.

You know what’s really funny? Trevor knows communists because they leave a huge bread crumb trail.  Old communists, wanting to preserve their legacies, turn their photos and documents over to university libraries in Berkeley, and Ann Arbor, and Madison, and all sorts of other Leftist bastions. It is, says Trevor, kind of like the Mafia leaving its records to the local library.

Trevor has visited these library collections and found hundreds of contemporaneous records: essays, photographs, correspondence, membership cards in various communist entities, political platforms, five- and ten-year plans . . . everything, all of which Trevor has photocopied. He joked that, despite their donating their stuff to libraries, it seems that the old commies are so arrogant they think that no one will ever actually use the information against them.

Trevor’s research has brought him to two primary conclusions:

  1. Like the Devil, the communists’ greatest feat is convincing people that they don’t exist.
  2. It takes only a very, very small cadre of Marxists to influence and ultimately control legislators.  As a result, they write the laws and administrative codes that dictate our country’s and our people’s future.

The communists’ big moment came in 1995 when no one was looking.  That was the year that the Democratic Socialists of America, a communist group, put one of their own — John Sweeney — in as head of the AFL-CIO. Overnight, the AFL-CIO, an organization that was once ferociously anti-communist and that opposed amnesty because it would hurt working Americans, turned into a pro-communist, pro-amnesty group.

More than that, through the AFL-CIO, communists suddenly owned Congress. After all, unions (headed by the SEIU, which outspends the next two donor organizations which are also Leftist) are the largest contributors to Democrat politicians.  These politicians, in exchange for money and political “guidance” turn around and shovel funds directly to government unions and indirectly to private-sector unions.  The unions then reward the politicians whom they own, and so it goes. The spigot of taxpayer money flows directly to the groups that are working to destroy our constitutional system.  The only people who aren’t at the table for these negotiations are the taxpayers whose money ultimately funds the unions’ hard-Left game plan.

Over the past 20 years, the unions’ biggest push has been for amnesty, something that, as I noted, the old unions viewed with revulsion as a job destroyer. The new guard, however, understands that amnesty is the pathway to a permanent Democrat majority. Keep in mind the fact that Mitt lost the presidency by only 2.5 million votes, while amnesty promises 8 million or more permanent Democrat votes. (And yes, while Hispanic family values ought to make them side with conservatives, the fact is that they overwhelmingly vote for the same Democrats that slice and dice them by race and create financial incentives that keep them locked in the ghetto.)

Sadly, when it comes to amnesty, the communists and Democrats don’t act alone.  They get way too much help from the Chamber of Commerce, which owns Boehner and Co.  Thus, in a marvel of shortsightedness, the Chamber of Commerce types see these new immigrants as a source of cheap labor that maximizes profits, without understanding that they’re also the socialist wedge that will destroy capitalism.  As Lenin presciently said, “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

Lest you think that Trevor is connecting imaginary dots with invisible lines, remember the treasure troves in the library.  he’s got first person data to support every one of his allegations.

Thanks to his research, Trevor can name the five most powerful forces in the amnesty movement. The godfather of the movement was the late Humberto Noé “Bert” Corona, a Stalinist and Democrat who started the amnesty movement in Los Angeles in the 1950s. He was also the one who brought the wealth and moral suasion of the Catholic Church  — which was already being moved Left by the Liberation theology movement — to back amnesty. Corona’s goal wasn’t to save souls, though.  He wanted to and did grow a permanent Democrat voting base in California.

The next important person in the amnesty movement was Antonio Ramón Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, and the one who turned L.A. into a sanctuary city that no longer worked to deport illegal aliens (which was still something of a novel idea as little as a decade ago). Approximately 1/10 of all Los Angeles residents are now illegal aliens and beneficiaries of amnesty. (I’ve also been told by a reliable source that, thanks to this influx, a significant number of American-born L.A. Unified School District teachers test positive for TB, although they’re not actively ill.)

The third person behind amnesty is Gilbert Anthony Cedillo, the major player in California’s Democrat Senate. It was Cedillo who got the DREAM Act passed in California.  It put California taxpayers on the hook for funding college education for illegal aliens, all while squeezing students in America legally out of the education system.

California also boasts the fourth amnesty powerhouse, Marie Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO. She is the person behind “get out the vote” efforts for Latinos — legal or illegal.

These four people have made sure that California, which brings the largest number of electoral votes to the table in presidential elections, will be solid blue for the indefinite future. Looking outside of California, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina is on Obama’s Latino Advisory Committee and was the most aggressive proponent of amnesty (not that Obama was hard to convince).  Medina is one of those working to get Hispanics the vote in Texas.

If Texas goes as blue as California, thanks to all those reliable Democrat votes, Democrats will have a permanent lock on the electoral college and, through that, a lock on the White House. Moreover, that permanent lock will come after Obama has set the precedent for unilateral executive action without regard for Congressional powers.

Incidentally, the union chiefs are open about their goals, although most of the rank and file are ignorant of this. Contrary to what ordinary union members assume, which is that their unions are looking out for them, the union movement, having been taken over by hard-core socialists, has only one goal: a permanent, hard-Left Democrat political majority. Three years ago, Medina was caught on tape telling supporters that the amnesty movement is the top priority of the Progressive movement. Note that the union’s priority isn’t the American worker, who’s getting screwed by amnesty. The union’s priority is permanent Leftist dominant.  Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your freedom and the road to prosperity.

Soft-headed Liberals, those who claim to be the heirs of Truman and Kennedy, envision a sort of loving Leftism, kind of like Europe during the heyday of the 1970s.  Think again, says Trevor. What we should expect is Venezuela-style socialism.

(Note from me, Bookworm: Europe’s socialism worked for only one reason and it wasn’t that it was such a wonderful deal helped along by morally superior Europeans.  It worked because Americans funded it. Not only did we relieve the European nations of having to front a military to defend themselves against the Soviet Union, we sent them a lot of cold, hard cash. They were socialists because we wrote the checks. With the official Cold War over and America out of the picture, you can see in Spain and Greece and Italy and throughout Europe just how well non-American socialism is working.)

This is depressing, really depressing, but Trevor said be of good cheer. We’re at one of those turning points in history where things are worse than most of actually realize but, if we make the right choices, we’re trembling on the brink of making things better than ever — even better than when Reagan was president.

Think back to 2008, he said. Back then, the Left had a slam dunk. The party owned everything in Washington. In theory, it should have gotten every single one of its agenda items. But it didn’t. Even Obamacare was a bizarre crony-capitalist compromise, rather than the full socialized medicine the Left wanted.

What stopped the Left in its tracks was “We, the People.” The Tea Party movement, a true grass-roots movement, was the voice of the people saying “We still want to be free. We don’t want to be cogs in the government’s wheel.” Amateurs and novices all over America spoke out and stopped the fruition of a decades’ long agenda. As Trevor says, “I think the Tea Party saved America.”

So, what next? Trevor says that 2016 is our last chance. If the Democrats take back Congress and keep the White House in 2016, especially with Obama’s executive overreach as precedent, we can expect the quick legalization of every illegal immigrant followed by the destruction of the Bill of Rights. Venezuela here we come. (Incidentally, Trevor says the Left is committing a terrible fraud against Hispanics. It entices them here with the American promise, but it’s actually using their presence to turn America into precisely the same poverty-stricken dictatorships the Hispanics thought they were escaping.)

History, however, offers a useful precedent for conservatives in America. In 1976, the mandarins of the GOP looked at Ronald Reagan, an up-and-coming California politician, and decided he was toxic. Too extreme, they said. We need someone moderate, someone like Gerald Ford (a good man, but a lousy conservative politician). And so it was that Jimmy Carter became president — or, as Trevor said, Carter became the second-worst president in American history.

Reagan, however, didn’t give up, nor did his supporters. Rather than abandoning the GOP, which has a very useful infrastructure, conservatives took it over, just as the Leftists have taken over Truman’s and Kennedy’s Democrat Party. By 1980, the man who was considered so toxic the GOP wouldn’t touch him won 48 states.

What made the difference was that Reagan bypassed the media and, with his incredible oratorical gifts, spoke directly to the American people. Nor did he just pick and choose which conservatives ought to support him. He was truly a Big Tent guy, making all traditionally patriotic, conservative Americans feel welcome in his coalition.

Nowadays, the conservative base is incredibly divided — and you can’t win an election without your base. Currently, the GOP machinery is throwing itself behind Jeb Bush, someone loved only by the Chamber of Commerce, the same group backing Boehner’s amnesty sell-out. While Jeb is almost certainly a good human being, he can’t even spark a fizzle in the base. Conservatives hate his politics.

Trevor envisions a coalition in the coming election. His dream ticket is

  1. Ted Cruz as President, with Allen West as his Vice President.
  2. Rand Paul as Treasury Secretary, with permission to shackle the IRS and free the US economy.
  3. Sarah Palin as Energy Secretary, with a mandate to drill, baby, drill.
  4. Scott Walker as labor secretary, working to de-fang the unions that have become so hostile to the American workers.
  5. Michelle Bachman as Commerce Secretary, tasked with deregulation so that rules exist to police bad behavior, not to drive all market behavior.
  6. Mike Lee as Interior Secretary, charged with giving back to the states all the land the federal government has seized.
  7. John Bolton as Secretary of State, which would be a whole lot of fun.
  8. Ben Carson as be Secretary of Health and Human Services, freeing Americans from the moral horrors of unlimited welfare.
  9. Trey Gowdy as Attorney General, bringing justice back to our electoral process and the Bill of Rights back to our politics.
  10. Thomas Sowell as Secretary of Education, un-ringing the Common Core bell and leaving home schooling families alone.

Oh, and Ambassador to the UN? No one, said Trevor, to laughter and applause.

People raised concerns, of course. I pointed out that we have a primary system that will see many of these same people standing in a circular firing squad against each other, as each tries to grasp the gold ring of the presidency himself (or herself). Trevor acknowledged this, but said that, if one person isn’t polling well, wouldn’t it be a huge thing if someone who is in the lead — say Cruz — went up to him and said, “Give up this quixotic quest. Instead of running for president, join me.  I’m going to give you this incredible power to change the thing most important to you.”

Someone else pointed out that Scott Walker has governing experience and is currently riding high amongst conservatives. Trevor agreed that Walker is a great guy and said that, if Walker gets the Republican party nomination, he’ll back him all the way. But this election, said Trevor, isn’t about issues, it’s about INSPIRATION. And Walker, for all his many virtues, doesn’t rouse a room. The only one who does that is Ted Cruz, with Allen West standing right behind him in that regard. (Note from me: Sarah Palin also rouses a room, but I think her day is gone.)  You know that I think well of Cruz.

Imagine, Trevor said, a barnstormer like Cruz who has in his wake 15 or 20 rock-solid conservatives, all of whom will willingly serve in his administration, and who are advocating the same ticket. The media would go crazy because it would destroy their ability to isolate, freeze, and destroy the target. Instead, they’d be aiming pop guns at a battleship.

Most importantly, this ticket would play beautifully to the broad spectrum of the conservative base. Just as their leaders — the libertarians, and Christians, and homeschoolers, and free-marketers — are pulling together, so would the voters. In this regard, said Trevor, keep in mind the fact that in the last election millions of evangelicals, as well as a few million others disgruntled conservatives, stayed home.

Of course, some people are worried about making common cause with others.  They needn’t be, because true conservativism says that the government shouldn’t put its thumb on the scales for any one group.  For example, those libertarians who are worried about making common cause with evangelicals can relax.  The new breed of evangelicals don’t want to change the world; they just want to be left alone to educate their children, without having them forced into Leftist run public schools, and run their own business, without being forced into state-mandated education for the crime of holding onto their traditional moral beliefs.

Importantly, Trevor said to the conservatives in the room, stop trying to convert Leftists. You can’t make enough difference to change the 2016 outcome. Work on your own base. Conservatives have a much larger base than Leftists do but, lately, we have a lousy track record at getting them to the polls.

Trevor made a few other important points that I want to share with you. When someone asked why the Left so desperately wants to destroy America’s wealth and beauty, and drag it towards a Venezuela outcome, he said some are ideologues, but many are all about the power of Leftism. They like being able to control people and feel superior to them. They are, he said, the bullies almost all of us hated back in high school — yet many Americans are willing to cede them power today.

And speaking of power, Trevor said that there’s been an important and dangerous power shift emanating from the Justice Department. He noted that Ferguson is a trial run for the Left, and that we need to prepare for much, much worse every time another black kid gets killed at a white person’s hands — and that’s true no matter the reason for the kids’ death.

America has seen race riots before, of course, but there’s a significant difference now: In the 1960s and 1970s, the government supported law and order. Under Holder, the government supports the radicals and the rioters. Think about that next time you wonder whether it’s even worth bothering to vote in 2016.

Here’s something else that will cheer you up: Trevor is making a movie called “Exposing the Enemy Within.” It will be a hard-hitting, factually-supported movie based upon his book, THE ENEMIES WITHIN: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress. It will come out in Fall 2015, and should be available in Netflix. Trevor’s hope is that it will make people see the abyss in front of them and inspire them to act. Again, there are more conservatives in America than not — they’re just not voting!  if you’re interested helping bring that movie to theaters and home videos, you can donate here.  (Don’t be dismayed by the small amount of  money on display there.  Trevor has already started the project with the help of a few big donors.)

When Trevor finished his speech, the room gave him a standing ovation. Our own Charles Martell [sic] was there, and he clapped so hard his armor rattled! It’s time for us all to start clapping now. This election isn’t about the Leftist drone on your Facebook page; it’s about your lovely evangelical next door neighbor who hopes that, if he ignores elections, elections will ignore him. That’s not how it happens. If he really wants to be left alone, he needs to vote for the Republican candidate, or he’ll have the dubious pleasure of becoming yet another martyr to his faith in the Leftist-led culture wars.

ADDENDUM:  If you get word that Trevor’s coming to your town, make the time to attend his talk.  You won’t regret it.  Also, if you’d like to have at your fingertips the same facts on which Trevor relies, check out his KeyWiki (or even make a donation to its upkeep).

When it comes to Islam and politics, Leftist stupidity unfortunately has the bully pulpit

People taking how stupid question as a challengeOne of the things that’s frustrating for conservatives is to see that stupidity is ascendant in our culture. And by stupidity I mean something very specific, which is that Leftists routinely use incoherence, ignorance and a complete lack of logic to challenge purely factual statements (or obviously humorous ones), and then congratulate themselves endlessly on their cleverness and the fact that the successfully “pwned” a stupid conservative.

Even worse, these illogical, incorrect arguments become the dominant narrative and are celebrated as wise and worthy. It has the surreal quality of someone being lionized and feted for responding to the statement “It’s daytime because the sun’s out,” by saying “No, it’s just a bright moon because I see cows jumping in the field.” I mean, we’re talking that kind of stupid.

Not unsurprisingly, the top two examples of this kind of stupidity relate to Leftist attempts to analogize modern mainstream Christianity to radical Islam. If you’ve been on social media at all, you’ll know that J. K. Rowling, who really is a stellar children’s writer, tried her hand at religious and political commentary in the wake of a couple of Rupert Murdoch tweets.

As a matter of fact, Murdoch’s tweets makes perfect sense:

Yes, most Muslims are peaceful, although Murdoch’s “maybe most” makes sense when one considers a few facts.  Six to ten percent of Muslims worldwide are extremists who have or will engaged in terrorism.  This means that about 96,000,000 to 160,000,000 of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are extremists are actively engaged in terrorism in their home countries or abroad, or are willing to be actively engaged..  In addition, depending on the country (say, Saudi Arabia versus France versus the U.S.) another roughly 30% to 40% Muslims (that would be 480,000,000 to 640,000,000 Muslims), although not denominated as extremists think that their co-religionists’ terrorism is a good thing.

Murdoch is sensibly saying that, to the extent hundreds of millions of Muslims think a jihadist is the good guy, there’s no telling when, or in what way, they’ll switch from passive to active support.  So, “maybe most” Muslims are peaceful; and maybe not.

The bottom line, which Murdoch understands, is that that there is within Islam a fractionally small, but numerically large, violent contingent of Muslims who not only approve of terrorism in theory, but practice it in fact. And as long as their coreligionists offer them moral support, the West is going to have to engage in long, bloody (very bloody) wars to stop them.  As New Age thinkers are so fond of saying, real change has to come from within.

This is as true of religions as it is of a person’s own psyche.  After all, history has shown us that religious reforms always come from within the religion, not from outside of it.  England and Europe in the 1500s were riven by reformation and counter-reformation.  If Islam is to leave its own Middle Ages, Muslims have to make it happen — and it’s not going to be the terrorists who do it. Egyptian President Sisi is trying to start this process, and Leftists would do better to praise him than to snipe at Murdoch.

Murdoch is also factually correct when he says that jihadists are highly active from the Philippines to Africa to Europe to the US.  Every person who reads the news knows this, but the dominant PC political and social classes in the West don’t want to acknowledge this reality. Which brings us back to where I started, which is the amazingly stupid responses Rowling came up with. These are the things that Leftist idiots (yes, idiots) consider a slam dunk:

I have to ask: What in the world does Rowling mean? Has Murdoch slaughtered journalists, raped and enslaved women, crucified Christians, stoned “adulterers”, hanged homosexuals? And more than that, is Rowling saying that whatever it is that Murdoch did of which she disapproves, his acts arose directly because of his interpretation of Christian Biblical mandates?

Asking those questions reveals that Rowlings tweet is an incoherent mess that can best be interpreted as a meaningless non sequitur. Such is the stupidity of the Left, though, that Rowling was immediately hailed as a debating genius.  This only encouraged her. Rowling therefore doubled down on stupid:

Uh, pardon me, J.K. but would you remind me when the inquisition (which was a perversion of Christian doctrine) took place? [Cricket sounds.]

Never mind. I know you can’t answer that. I can, though.  The Spanish Inquisition’s heyday was in the late 15th century in Spain. Catholics, appalled by the violent perversion of Christ’s teachings, eventually abandoned the Inquisition. There is no more Spanish Inquisition.

The Muslim inquisition, on the other hand, has been ebbing and flowing relentlessly since the 7th century. We are in a period of flow, and stupid tweets such as Rowlings are of no help whatsoever to those Muslims who, like Christians of yore, would like reform.

Oh, and about Jim Bakker.  When his behavior came to light, Christians immediately did what Murdoch asks of Muslims: They didn’t deny his Christianity, thereby disassociating themselves for any responsibility for his wrongdoing; instead, they castigated him for violating core Christian precepts.

“Go away and sin no more!” Christians said to Bakker.  This differs greatly from the Leftist and Muslim response to Jihadists, which translates to “You’re embarrassing me right now, so I’m going to pretend I don’t know you, but meet me for dinner later when no one’s paying attention.”

Rowling rounded out her idiot trilogy with this racist tweet:

As I read that, Rowling is saying we shouldn’t be getting our knickers in a twist, because the important point to remember is that Muslims really get their kicks slaughtering other Muslims. That is correct. But rather than seeing this as further evidence of the problem with Islam, J.K. “The Great Debater” Rowling believes this horrible truth shuts down any critiques of Islam.  I think this last tweet establishes more clearly than anything else could ever have that Rowling’s a racist. Her bottom line is that, as long as the brown-skinned people are killing each other, we don’t need to care.

Sadly, Rowling isn’t the only brainless Leftist with a bully pulpit (and honestly, it’ll be hard ever for me really to admire the whole Harry Potter series again). My Progressive friends have been kvelling about some guy named James O’Brien who, they claim, really shut down someone who dared say Islam was somehow connected to the whole “Allahu Akbar”-“I love ISIS”-“Don’t diss Mohamed”-“Kill the Jews” attacks in Paris last week.

It began when a caller to O’Brien’s show said Muslims owe the world an apology. I’ll agree that the statement went a bit too far.  But the reality is that the opposite is true:  It’s not that Muslims need to apologize (although they should challenge and excoriate their co-religionists).  It’s that Muslims need to stop saying after every “Allahu Akbar” attack that that they, the Muslims, are the real victims (as opposed to the dead and wounded) because of potential hate crimes that never happen.

But back to that alleged O’Brien shut-out:

O’Brien then replies by asking the caller if he had apologised for the attacks, prompting the caller to reply ‘Why would I need to apologise for that’.

It’s at this point that O’Brien really begins to make the caller look a bit silly, and replies by stating that a previous Muslim caller would have no need to apologise either, as the attack occurred when he was in Berkshire and was not committed in the name of Islam.

O’Brien continues to question the man, called Richard, by saying that the failed shoe bomb attack of 2001 was committed by a man called Richard Reid, and by the caller’s logic, he should consequently apologise for atrocities committed in the name of all Richards, irrespective of being entirely different people.

Apparently O’Brien missed school on the days when the teacher instructed students about common denominators. Let me say this again, in words of few syllables: Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.

To take O’Brien’s puerile argument as a starting point in our common denominator lesson, the name Richard is not a common denominator. Being an army psychiatrist at Fort Hood is not a common denominator. Being two Chechen brothers in Boston is not a common denominator. Living in Sheffield is not a common denominator. Attending flight school is not a common denominator. Having bombs in your undies is not a common denominator.  (Yes, I can do this all day.) Looking at all the bombings, knifings, shootings, crashings, burnings, bombings, etc, over the past few years around the world, the common denominator is . . . drum roll, please . . . ISLAM!

There is a problem in Islam. There is a cancer in the Koran. People from all over the world, when they start taking the Koran too seriously, go rabid. That’s the common denominator and that’s what we need to talk about.

The Left, of course, headed by world chief Leftist Obama, can’t bear to talk about this common denominator. To the extent Obama couldn’t even make himself show up in Paris for what was, admittedly, a spectacle, not a solution, Roger Simon sums up Obama’s and the Left’s problem:

There had to have been a reason for his non-attendance and the bizarre dissing of this event by his administration. I believe it stems from this: There are two words our president seems constitutionally unable to put together — “Islamic” and “terrorism.” For Obama (and, as a sideshow, the zany Howard Dean), these terms are mutually exclusive, an oxymoron. Appearing in Paris, Obama might be put in the unusual position of having to link them, our complaisant press rarely having the nerve to ask such an impertinent question.

For my last example of Leftist stupidity, arising from denying facts and ignoring logic, let me leave the world of Muslim terrorism and head for climate change. Gizmodo, which occasionally has amusing stuff, decided to go off the rails with an attack against Ted Cruz for being “anti-Science.” This is a hot issue because, with the Senate now in Republican hands, Ted Cruz will be overseeing NASA.

During the past six years, NASA has put on the back burner stupid hard science things like space exploration.  (Hard science, you know, is sexist, whether one is talking about hula shirts or the masculinist hegemony demanding accurate answers in math.) Instead, it’s devoted itself to (a) making nice with Islam and (b) panicking about climate change.

Ted Cruz, bright guy that he is, has made it clear that he intends to rip NASA out of its feminist, Islamophilic, climate change routine and force it back into racist, sexist hard science.  The minds at Gizmodo know what this means: Cruz must be destroyed. To that end, the Gizmodo team assembled what they describe Cruz’s embarrassing, laughably dumb quotes about science.  Too bad for the Gizmodo team that everything Cruz said was accurate, rhetorical, or humorous (not that these facts stopped the article from spreading like wildfire through Leftist social media):

  • “‘Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.” - Ted Cruz on net neutrality.  [Bookworm here:  This is a rhetorical argument that goes to Cruz's basic political philosophy, which is limited government.  Nothing dumb about this clever rhetorical take on things.]

 

  • “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.”- Ted Cruz on climate change.  [Bookworm here:  This quotation is out of date because, for the past 18 years, there has been no global warming, despite all promises to the contrary.  Ted Cruz isn't dumb.  He's factually accurate. And a word to the dodos at the Washington Post: local weather variations and temperatures are not the same as global warming.  If that was the case, with the record-breaking winter temperatures the last couple of years, we'd be talking about global cooling.  Oh, and while I'm on the subject of global cooling....]

 

  • “You know, back in the ’70s — I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.” - Ted Cruz on climate change [Bookworm here:  Absolutely correct.  Back in the 1970s, people were talking about global cooling.  Climate fanatics are now trying to downplay that, of course, but the fact remains that the heart of the infamous Time Magazine article so many cite was that the earth was indeed cooling.  Once again, nothing dumb about Cruz's statement.  It's factually accurate.]

 

  • “You always have to be worried about something that is considered a so-called scientific theory that fits every scenario. Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory.” - Ted Cruz on climate change[Bookworm here:  Again, true, not dumb.  Global warming morphed into climate change because the theory had to adapt when the facts change.  Every time some prediction proves wrong (whether melting glaciers, dead polar bears, or rising waters), the theory flexes to accommodate the failed prediction.  This isn't science, it's faith.  Global warming has turned into a closed-system, non-falsifiable theory.  Score another point for Cruz.]

 

  • “I was disappointed that Bruce Willis was not available to be a fifth witness on the panel. There probably is no doubt that actually Hollywood has done more to focus attention on this issue than perhaps a thousand congressional hearings could do.” - Ted Cruz on space threats.  [Bookworm here:  Again, this is rhetorical.  There is no science in this statement.  It's a joke, guys.  And let me add here that whoever said Leftists have no sense of humor was correct.]

 

  • “I wondered if at some point we were going to see a tall gentleman in a mechanical breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice say, “Mike Lee, I am your father” … and just like in “Star Wars” movies the empire will strike back.” – Ted Cruz during his 21-hour Obamacare speech.  [Bookworm here:  Let me get this right:  Gizmodo is saying that making a pop culture reference to a movie is the same as making dumb scientific statements?  I think Gizmodo is grossly guilty of making stupid pop culture statements.]

 

  • “The authorizing committees are free to set their agency budgets, and that includes NASA.” - Ted Cruz when he tried to cut NASA funding in 2013 (This one is more scary than stupid, since Cruz is now in charge of agency budgets.)  [Bookworm here:  As for me, all I can say is hank God someone who actually understands the difference between fact, humor, science, non-falsifiable belief systems, and pop culture, is finally in charge of at least one facet of our government.  At long last, we can stop using taxpayer dollars so our space program can fund Muslim outreach and continue to salvage a scientific theory that has been proven wrong every stop of the way.]

 

  • “Each day I learn what a scoundrel I am.” - Ted Cruz on his attempts to defund Obamacare [Bookworm here:  Yet another cute rhetorical statement and one, moreover, that has nothing to do with science.  It is interesting, though, to see it in the context of a blog post at a major internet site that has shown itself exceptionally humorless and ignorant in its efforts to tar as a scoundrel a man who has a firm grasp on reality, facts, science, and humor.]

There you have it:  three examples of simply abject stupidity on the part of those who lean Left politically.  I get it.  There are people out there who never learned history, logic, math, humor, or basic data analysis.  What’s so irritating is that they have such enormously wide sway.  It’s as if the world’s elementary school students, complete with ignorance and snark, have managed to take over the planet.  Worse, these powerful people with infantile intelligence are preaching to to the converted.  After all, their audience went to the same schools they did, and these were (and are) schools in which facts and logic made way for propaganda, moral relativism, and political correctness.

The Bookworm Beat — 9/11/14’s “ISIS and other stuff” edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingLet the information download begin:

Alleged New York Times Baghdad Bureau Chief lambastes Obama administration

If a Reddit user really is Tim Arango, Baghdad Bureau Chief for The New York Times, it’s very impressive to read his scathing indictment of the administration’s Iraq policy and conduct:

it’s not my job to rate the obama administrations actions in iraq. but i will tell you that after 2011 the administration basically ignored the country. and when officials spoke about what was happening there they were often ignorant of the reality. they did not want to see what was really happening because it conflicted with their narrative that they left iraq in reasonably good shape. In 2012 as violence was escalating i wrote a story, citing UN statistics, that showed how civilian deaths from attacks were rising. Tony Blinken, who was then Biden’s national security guy and a top iraq official, pushed back, even wrote a letter to the editor, saying that violence was near historic lows. that was not true. even after falluja fell to ISIS at the end of last year, the administration would push back on stories about maliki’s sectarian tendencies, saying they didn’t see it that way. so there was a concerted effort by the administration to not acknowledge the obvious until it became so apparent — with the fall of mosul — that iraq was collapsing.

Given the poor grammar, though . . . well, I don’t know. You decide. Maybe he was typing away on a small android keyboard. Or maybe that’s how Times’ writers really write before the editor gets hold of their stuff.

9/11 from outer space

Learn a little more about 9/11’s first hero and first fatality

Danny Lewin, an American-born Israeli, was a tech giant in Israel — and 9/11’s first hero and first fatality.

Why do Muslims rape women?

Short answer: Because Mohamed. The Prophet practiced what he preached, and his followers have done so too since Islam’s inception.

The War Against Women

The pressing issues at NOW (the National Organization for Women):

  • Having other people subsidize your sex life and abortions
  • Getting paid the same money as men, no matter that you’re not doing the same type of work
  • LGBTQ rights
  • Believe it or not, the Equal Rights Amendment lives as “constitutional equality.”
  • Protecting women of color who have even fewer rights than women without color
  • And violence against women, which includes a campaign to fire George Will

An issue that is not discussed at NOW:

Thousands of Iraqi women are being forced into sex slavery in brothels run by a ‘police force’ of British women jihadis, it has been reported.

As many as 3,000 women and girls have been taken captive from the Yazidi tribe in Iraq as Isis militants continue their reign of terror across the region.

Sources now say that British female jihadis operating a religious police force called the al-Khanssaa brigade, that punishes women for ‘un-Islamic’ behaviour, have set up brothels to for the use of Isis fighters.

ISIS goes full socialist

An ISIS supporter put up a Facebook post lauding ISIS’s incredible largess once it’s in power:

Ten Facts from the ‪#‎Islamic_State‬ that everyone should know.

1. We don’t pay rent here. Houses are given for free.
2. We pay neither electric nor water bills.
3. We are given monthly grocery supplies. Spagetti, pasta, can foods, rice, eggs and etc.
4. Monthly allowance are given not only to husband and wife (wives) but also for each child.
5. Medical check up and medication are free – The Islamic State pays on behalf of you.
6. You can still survive even if you don’t speak Arabic. You can find almost every race and nationality here.
7. For every newly married couples are given 700usd as a gift. (Only for Mujahid and I’m not sure if it’s still available now).
***
9. No one is conducting business during prayer time. You can see people left their shops opened and pray either in the masjid or near by their shops.
10. The number of mix-marriages and mixed-race children are so high. It’s beautiful to witness brotherhood with no racism.

From a muhajir sister,also spouse of a Mujahid brother at #Islamic_State
Diary Of A Muhajirah

People have noticed that these promises are pretty much in line with what every socialist state promises. Nevertheless, there’s one profound difference:  Socialist states are predicated on the notion that everyone works cheerily together for the public good, while in a caliphate, the producers and the consumers are two different groups.

In socialist nations, the difference between reality and rhetoric has within it the seeds of socialism’s downfall.  Despite the rhetoric, the reality is that people will only work for the public good, as opposed to their own good, at the point of a gun. Moreover, even with that gun pointing at them, the socialist workers inevitably produce less well as time goes by.  The result is that the free houses are poorly-built, overly-populated apartment blocks; the water and electric bills don’t exist because people have no running water or electricity; the food is poor quality and limited in quantity, and the medicine is primitive.  These realities inevitably kill the enthusiasm for socialism amongst everyone but the very small inner circle.

In the caliphate, as I said, things are different, very, very different. The consumers are one perpetual class, always enjoying luxury, while the producers are another perpetual class, always suffering servitude.  A case in point is the fact that, as you probably noticed, I left out Item No. 8 in the above list. That’s the one that talked about paying for this socialist Islamic paradise:

8. You don’t have to pay tax (If you’re a Muslim).

Coerced payment from the non-Muslims is always at the point of a gun or the tip of a sword.  And when one batch of non-Muslims, because they’re dead or worn out (think:  Qatar),  stops producing, the answer isn’t to convert your economy to a more capitalist one. After all, large segments of the population (the armed ones) are doing just fine with this Islamic socialist system.  Rather than changing the system, they just go out and conquer another nation.  A vigorous, blood-thirsty, rape-rich attack (think:  ISIS) usually brings into the caliphate’s fold a fresh batch of cowed producers to support the takers. As Islam’s rise showed, this system can work effectively for centuries before it finally hits a wall.

Is the media preparing to turn on Obama?

It’s becoming impossible for the base to ignore that Obama has failed to fulfill his promises. Obamacare didn’t socialize medicine; it propped up insurance companies. The economy has been a boon for cronies and no one else. And around the world, countries hate America, even as the anti-war president is poised to launch yet another war. What to do, what to do? It appears that one of the things the media’s doing, before it even gets around to explicit attacks, is some subliminal undermining — how else to explain Thomas Lifson’s discovery about the media’s changing visuals for Obama.  Remember, those whom the media Gods would destroy, they first dehumanize.

Will Obama learn his lessons?

When it comes to foreign policy, Obama has repeatedly been proven to be decisively wrong in both his reading and his handling of situations around the world. Daniel Henninger asks the right question: Will Obama realized that he’s been humbled?

My answer: No. His Leftist, insular, narcissistic, self-aggrandizing world-view leaves no room for humility, regret, or repentance.

Democrats may be getting snitty about Obama’s constitutional overrides

The Democrats were fine when Obama ignored the Constitution to re-write Obamacare so as to help them out in elections and spare cronies from its worst effects. They’re encouraging Obama to override the Constitution when it comes to immigration. But when it comes to starting yet another war, the same Democrats who were supine when he bombed Libya now complain that Obama needs to get Congressional permission this time around. Amazingly enough, the Republicans who were cowed, rather than supine, about Libya are also making noise about limitations on Obama’s war-time powers.

Turkey’s flying the coop (along with everyone else)

It doesn’t help Obama’s war presidency that the coalition of the willing in the fight against ISIS won’t include Turkey. That’s gotta hurt.

Turkey is not the only nation that casts a wary eye on Obama’s call-out to the world to help fight ISIS. A lot of non-Muslim (or, more accurately, not-yet-Muslim) nations have already announced that they’re going to be part of the coalition of the un-willing.

When it comes to Obama’s insistence that America won’t have to fight this war alone, Michael Ramirez hones in perfectly on the flaws in his argument.

Why should anyone pay attention to Barack Obama on ISIS?

Obama’s speech yesterday (which I hope to discuss more in a later post) is getting booed from all quarters. The peaceniks don’t like the war cries, and anybody of any intelligence doesn’t like the apologetics for Islam, the lunatic strategy of promising no boots on the ground (and we know how much Obama’s promises are worth), and the assurance that Middle Eastern and Muslim countries will rush to America’s aid, providing their troops to face down ISIS’s rampage.

Most importantly, there’s no reason to believe either Obama’s diagnosis or prescription regarding ISIS. As the Washington Free Beacon shows, when it comes to radical Islam, Obama has been wrong every time:

There are a few possible causes for a 100% failure rate when it comes to analyzing a political situation:  incredible stupidity, incredible denial, or incredible evil. Take your pick. It really doesn’t matter which reason you choose, because the results are the same regardless, and we’re still stuck with him for another 2.5 years.

DOJ covertly attempts to influence House IRS hearing

You’ve probably already heard about assistant to Eric Holder who dialed a wrong number and revealed to Rep. Darryl Issa’s office that the DOJ intended to use covert methods to come to the IRS’s aid in hearings before the House. If you haven’t heard, though, or if you want more details, the good news is that the story has broken out of conservative circles and hit the big time at The Hill, where you can read more about it.

For Ted Cruz, getting booed is a good thing

Ted Cruz continues to prove that he’s the smartest man in the room. When he went to a gathering of Middle Eastern Christians and was booed off the stage for defending America and Israel, the guys and gals exercising the thug veto probably thought that Cruz had lost that round. They would have done better to remember that as America finds itself staring down ISIS, many Americans aren’t feeling the love for the usual Middle Eastern rabble-rousers, whether Muslim or Christian. Moreover, many of them may be getting the sinking feeling that Israel is the canary in the coal mine and that America is next in line to be wrapped in Islam’s suffocating embrace.

Smart Ted, however, knew exactly how that booing would play, and he’s publishing his speech and the room’s response far and wide:

“Tonight, in Washington, should have been a night of unity as we came together for the inaugural event for a group that calls itself ‘In Defense of Christians.’ Instead, it unfortunately deteriorated into a shameful display of bigotry and hatred,” Cruz said in a statement provided to Breitbart News. “When I spoke in strong support of Israel and the Jewish people, who are being persecuted and murdered by the same vicious terrorists who are also slaughtering Christians, many Christians in the audience applauded. But, sadly, a vocal and angry minority of attendees at the conference tried to shout down my expression of solidarity with Israel.”

As America gears up for yet another war against radical Islamists, it’s useful to know who our real friends are. Score one for Ted!

Jeff Dunetz continues his efforts to call out anti-American, antisemitic radio hosts in New York

Jeff Dunetz (Yid With Lid), continues his annual effort to call out and get an apology from Mike Francesa and Chris Mad Dog Russo, the popular hosts of a New York sports radio show. Dunetz notes that the show was enjoyable in part because the two men disagreed with each other all the time, making for some interesting fire works. On September 12, 2001, though, the two were unanimous in blaming . . . Jews and America for the attack that killed almost 3,000 people, and demanding that American Jews be forced to take an oath of loyalty.

The Scientific method, as explained by Richard Feynman

One of the more delightful books I’ve read in the past many decades is Richard Feynman’s Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character). Feynman may have been one of the smartest guys on the planet, but he somehow managed to avoid becoming one of those geniuses so lost in his head that he was unintelligible. It’s a funny, fascinating, informative, very human book, and I recommend it highly.

I also recommend Feynman’s explanation about the scientific method. I especially recommend it to the climate “scientists” whose theories have been proven wrong at every turn. In real science, failure vitiates the theory. In climate “science,” failure reinforces the theory.

Pictures

Reversing terrorists' cost-benefit calculus

Jews survive and thrive

Clearing out the inbox

I’d reached critical mass in the inbox.  It was either spend the day working through it or go nuclear which, in my case, doesn’t mean blowing up Israel, but does mean simply deleting everything in my inbox, knowing that there’s no way I will ever read what’s in there.  I chose not to go nuclear, and I am grateful for that decision, as I was able to find a lot of wonderful stuff.  Herewith, and in no particular order, stuff I culled from my inbox:

Following up on my post about the fact that we’re now living in a Soviet joke, a reader sent me this great one liner:  “Under Obamacare if you get sick, the doctors will pretend to heal you and the government will pretend to pay for it.”

One of my favorite bloggers, who happens to be a teacher, is Mike McDaniel.  He saw two newspaper articles that I’d seen too, and that I wanted to blog about, but never got around to.  Now, I’m grateful for my sloth, because Mike did a better job with them than I ever could have done.  The first is a bit frisky, but that’s only because (honest to God truth) an American university is giving students credit for attending a class that teaches them how to masturbateWhen I were a lad, we were so poor, we had to figure those things out by ourselves.  The other “education” story is less funny, because it has even more seriously implications for the joke that our university system has become.  Once you learn about micro-aggression, I think you’ll agree that we’re within striking distance of the end of the world as we know it.

Speaking of how far we’ve come, someone sent me a link to this project:  beautiful photo albums showing toys that were once an ordinary part of life but that would now result in a manufacturer’s lynching.  I have fond memories of “puffing” on toy cigarettes.  Interestingly, those sugary white rods with bright red tips never made me more inclined to try the real thing, which smelled bad and made me cough.

Oh, and while we’re on silly stuff, here’s a test for you:  in which countries are these various toilets located?  I got 50% correct and I can’t decide if that speaks well of me or badly.

In September, during the shutdown, someone sent me a link to a Red State story about GOP hostility to Ted Cruz.  Showing that political time is like dog years, in the two months and one day since Red State published that article, the world has turned upside down, thanks to the Obamacare exchange roll-out.  Suddenly, the article seems like a relic.  The GOP is still hostile, but it now has a serious problem with the fact that Ted Cruz was right.  (I was right too; just sayin’.)

I spoke today on the phone with Stella Paul and it explained a lot about why her articles are so insightful, intelligent, and beautifully written.  She is insightful, intelligent, and beautifully spoken.  (I always knew Obama’s books were fakes because nobody who wrote as well as he ostensibly did could speak as badly as he does off the cuff.  The person who wrote Obama’s books loves language; Obama does not.)  You can catch a lot of Stella’s stuff at American Thinker, such as her delightful and astute attack against the Obamacare exchange.  She’s also publishing at Leeb’s Market Forecast, with her most recent article there about the scary fact that we are trapped inside a government Matrix and only a few brave folks are willing to take a stand against it.  When it comes to Hollywood, Stella includes in her article one of the most frightening quotations I’ve ever heard:  “‘We know from research that when people watch entertainment television, even if they know it’s fiction, they tend to believe that the factual stuff is actually factual,’ said grant recipient Martin Kaplan of the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center.”  Lee Habeeb’s proposed alternate TV channel can’t come fast enough.

One of the fascinating things about the Obamacare debacle is the way in which the New York Times has desperately been trying to cover up Obama’s lies.  “Incorrect promise” tops the list of course, but the Times is spinning so frantically, it’s running out of neologisms, neo-phrases, and outright lies about lies in order to cover for Obama’s forked tongue.  They should be better at this than they are.  As Lee Stranahan wrote a month ago, the Left has always lied about itself and its motives.

Thomas Friedman may be nominally Jewish, but he’s nominally Jewish the way Noam Chomsky is.  These guys are anti-Semitic Jews who are “thoughtful” enough to provide cover for all the other anti-Semites who aren’t Jews.  (“Yeah, so what if I say a Jewish cabal rules the world and therefore all Jews need to be destroyed?  Some of my best friends are Jews and they say the same thing.”)  Elliot Abrams caught Friedman in a doozy of an anti-Semitic screed, one that could have fit comfortably in the pages of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Friedman isn’t just a fool and a hypocrite, he’s a fool and a hypocrite who worships at the altar of totalitarianism and will happily pave the way for the next round of gas chambers — although he’ll pride himself on the fact that, when the time comes, he’ll weakly protest that Jews shouldn’t actually be sent there.

Since the Obama administration has been preparing talking points for Democrats to use to browbeat friends and relatives about Obamacare during Thanksgiving, Ace prepared talking points for conservatives.  Very worth reading.

“Mr. Obama, we at Fox News are not the problem.  You are.”  (Hat tip:  Earl):

A friend of mine, a former Air Force pilot, wrote a book, called The Unusual Travels of Lee and Tammy.  I was happy to leave this review at Amazon:

Mr. Strom has written a charming, imaginative book about a gateway between our moon and another world that can support human life. Funnily enough, Mr. Strom’s writing style reminded me strongly of Damon Runyon’s wonderful stories (which served as the basis for “Guys and Dolls.”). His dialogue has that same present tense formality that Runyon uses, which allows us to see the characters as from a slight distance.

The plot is straightforward: several astronauts from the world’s major countries are sent to the moon for a scientific study. Lee, an Armenian, accidentally falls through a portal into another world. Once he convinces his fellow astronauts of his existence, four of them, including Tammy, who becomes Lee’s romantic interest, explore the world. They discover its connection to earth, and have some unnerving experiences as they navigate their way through this strange, yet familiar, world.

I actually expected the book to be a more “Star Wars” type adventure with lots of shoot ‘em stuff. It’s not, though. It manages, instead, to imagine a realistic scenario, one that sees far away scientists make an exciting new discovery, and then follows through on how both the scientists and those back home (both funders and governments) respond to the possibilities of this discovery.

And lastly, during the shutdown, someone made a wonderful poster about the National Park Service employees who seemed to be so willing to carry out Obama’s orders to punish Americans — especially those who served our country so bravely — by closing down open-air parks.  Even though the shutdown is over, it’s worth reminding ourselves what happened in October, because Obama has made it very plain that he will not hesitate to mobilize America’s unionized government workers against Americans:

National Park Service

I’m not the only one noticing the Emanuel Goldsteining of Ted Cruz

The other day, I wrote that David Denby, a soggy leftist film reviewer at The New Yorker was trying his hands at political commentary with a hate piece against Ted Cruz — one based entirely on the fact that Denby, no beauty himself, finds Cruz physically unattractive.

I’m not the only one noticing the hate raining down on Cruz, a hatred unanchored to what he actually is, does or says.  Bryan Preston calls it “The Emanuel Goldstein-ing of Ted Cruz.”  Because you’re all ridiculously erudite (much more so than I am), you remember Emanuel Goldstein as the object of the daily “two minutes of hatred” in 1984.  It was a useful way to keep both party members and proles from turning their hatred and discontent onto Big Brother.

David Denby, a movie reviewer, argues that Ted Cruz is a villain right out of old-time Hollywood central casting

David Denby is a New Yorker movie critic.  He also fancies himself as a political commentator.  To him, Hollywood is the real world, the template against which everything else is compared.  Reading his reviews, it’s obvious that, like the yearning kid watching Fred & Ginger trip lightly across in the screen during the Depression-era 1930s, he wishes life could be like the movies.  His dream movies are the ones where Republicans and corporations are vanquished, and people live in harmony in the loving arms of a properly Progressive big government.

I stopped reading Denby aeons ago, because he is neither fish nor fowl — neither a good movie reviewer nor an intelligent political commentator.  I’ve always assumed that his sinecure at The New Yorker came about because he doesn’t show up Anthony Lane, who is a superb movie reviewer, and he makes the right political noises in his reviews.

So that you know I’m playing fair and not simply maligning Denby on principle, both because I dislike The New Yorker and because I dislike what he now has to say about Ted Cruz (more on that in a moment), here are excerpts from posts I wrote several years ago regarding Denby’s malicious politicism, which he worked into way too many movie reviews.  The first excerpt is from a post I wrote in 2006, when I was still agnostic about global warming, but I could tell even then that Denby wasn’t a movie reviewer but was, instead, a propagandist.  I’m quoting from the first post at length, both because it so perfectly exemplifies Denby’s world view and because, that, seven years after Al Gore’s movie thrilled the true believers, the facts on the ground (and in the ocean and in space and on the sun) prove how completely wrong he and the sycophantic Denby were:

Denby’s review of An Inconvenient Truth is even more political. Look at the very first paragraph:

Anyone in possession of a major truth that he can’t get others to accept begins to feel that he’s losing his mind. [That may explain so much about Al Gore's recent behavior. --ed.] The skepticism he meets turns him into a soreheaded obsessive. After a while, he becomes “pedantic,” and then, inevitably, “condescending” and “humorless.” [Thus, it's not that Gore is, in fact, pedantic, condescending and humorless. We, the skeptical public created this Frankenstein's monster. In the words of the old song, he's more to be pitied than censured." -- ed.] Al Gore has been in possession of a major truth about global warming for than than thirty years [Gore's prescience was impressive because the era more than 30 years ago was the global cooling fear phase, a phase that occurred when we didn't have the current measurements we do regarding global warming. -ed], and he has suffered the insults of political opponents, the boredom of ironists, and, perhaps, most grievously, the routine taunts of a media society which dictates that if you believe in anything too passionately there must be something wrong with you [The point being that there's obviously nothing wrong with Gore, it's just that the media doesn't understand him -- which really is strange, because I live with the idea that this same media has accepted entirely his view of global warming. --ed.]

Denby then goes on to describe a movie that, if it were about anything other than global warming, would get laughed off the screen. Even Denby acknowledges its faults:

[Gore] appears as the noble-browed warrior of englightenment, brooding over the ravaged earth and the weakness of man, once or twice too often. He mentions family tragedies, which were moving to me, but which strike some viewers as maudlin notes from a campaign biography.

Fear not, though, since “the faults of the movie, semi-excusable as self-vindicating ploys, are nothing compared with its strengths.” The strengths, though, make it sound like one of those appalling 8 mm films we slept through in high school in the 1970s:

For long stretches, Gore is photographed talking before an audience with the aid of slides and charts. There are side trips to fissured ice caps, disappearing glaciers — the snows of yesteryear — and expanses of newly parched and broken terrain. The science is detailed, deep-layered, vivid and terrifying. Every school, college, and church group, and everyone else beyond the sway of General Motors, ExxonMobil, and the White House should see this movie. [Get it? Evil corporations, evil oil, and the foul Texas Christian in the White House are incapable of understanding Gore's greatness or simple science. --ed.] [Bolded emphasis mine.]

Denby isn’t shy about calling the movie what it is: “It’s great propaganda.”

But in Denby’s mind, what’s really great about the movie is how it shows the human side of Al Gore (and you thought he didn’t have one). Thus, Gore “speaks in an intimate voice that we’ve never heard before.” When Gore talks about lying by a river, and keeps coming back to that image after global warming holocaust pictures, “it has a greater resonance.” Denby claims that Gore has learned to speak in a less annoying way. Listen to this and tell me whether you believe that. The rhythmic up and down of Gore’s speech — a rhythm that has nothing to do with emphasizing or deemphasizing actual content — is both soporific and bizarre.

But here’s the real kicker. Denby assures us that the movie demonstrates that Gore has been purified in the crucible of past experiences:

[O]ne has the impression of a complex personality that has gone through loss, humiliation, a cruel breaking down of the ego, and then has reintegrated itself at a higher level. In the movie he is merely excellent. But in person . . . he presents a combination of intellectual force, emotional vibrance, and moral urgency that has hardly been seen in American public life in recent years.

Watch out, Hillary. It’s Saint Al for President.

Every dog’s allowed one bite, and perhaps every movie critic should be allowed one polemic.  But Denby isn’t just any movie critic.  He’s a Progressive shill making sure that his movie reviews advance his political agenda.  Also in 2006, he open-mindedly praised Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, despite the fact that conservatives liked it.  Honest.  Here’s what he wrote:

“World Trade Center” is about courage and endurance as a function of family strength; it’s about suburban and small-town America trying to save the big city. Those are conservative themes, much praised for their appearance in this movie by the kind of right-wingers who have long hated Oliver Stone. Some of the euphoria—Cal Thomas, a columnist and a commentator at Fox News, calls the movie “one of the greatest pro-American, pro-family, pro-faith, pro-male, flag-waving God Bless America films you will ever see”—is not only inane, it’s enough to turn you off moviegoing [sic] altogether. Can “World Trade Center” really be that bad? No, the ideologues laying hands on the movie won’t sink it.

The last David Denby movie review I read was his slobbering, wide-eyed take on Spike Lee’s When The Levee Broke, about Hurricane Katrina.  The view was less interesting for his boringly predictable Bush/conservative bashing, than it was for his starry-eyed fan-girl love for all of the most despicable characters on the Left.  In my post on the subject, I quoted Denby directly, but added in hyperlinks giving actual facts about the Leftist “luminaries” that left him quivering with excitement:

Keeping his own voice largely absent and his presence invisible, he [Lee] finds the city’s tattered survivors. He also consults a variety of lawyers and local politicians, and such luminaries as Harry Belafonte and Al Sharpton; the musicians and New Orleans natives Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard (the latter wrote much of the beautiful music for the film); the historian Douglas Brinkley, who makes impassioned critiques of Bush Administration officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and the Mississippi man (a doctor) who publicly advised the Vice-President, when he visited the area long after the storm, to go fuck himself.

My take on that review was that Denby has set a goal for himself:  He wanted to be the next Frank Rich.  Rich, as you may recall, was the theater critic for the New York Times who proved to be so adept at anti-conservative rhetoric that he was given a permanent gig as a political opinion writer.  His opinions were reliably fact-free, but Rich made up for that deficit with his splendid grasp of florid invective, all of it aimed at George Bush.

In his continued journey towards Frank Rich-ness, Denby has now penned an opinion piece that aims to be a dagger to Ted Cruz’s heart.  Because no one in his right mind could call Cruz stupid, Denby has opted for describing him as the ugliest person since the elephant man.  Moreover — and this is the important part — Cruz’s outer ugliness is the physical manifestation of his inner dishonesty.  In this bootstrap argument, Denby doesn’t bother to give actual examples of Cruz’s dishonesty (because he can’t).  For him, Cruz’s looks are proof enough:

When Ted Cruz lies, he appears to be praying. His lips narrow, almost disappearing into his face, and his eyebrows shift abruptly, rising like a drawbridge on his forehead into matching acute angles. He attains an appearance of supplication, an earnest desire that men and women need to listen, as God surely listens. Cruz has large ears; a straight nose with a fleshy tip, which shines in camera lights when he talks to reporters; straight black hair slicked back from his forehead like flattened licorice; thin lips; a long jaw with another knob of flesh at the base, also shiny in the lights. If, as Orwell said, everyone has the face he deserves at fifty, Cruz, who is only forty-two, has got a serious head start. For months, I sensed vaguely that he reminded me of someone but I couldn’t place who it was. Revelation has arrived: Ted Cruz resembles the Bill Murray of a quarter-century ago, when he played fishy, mock-sincere fakers. No one looked more untrustworthy than Bill Murray. The difference between the two men is that the actor was a satirist.

Not only is Cruz a liar, he’s also a demagogue, says Denby.  You have to be Denby-clever, though, to figure this one out, because Cruz is too ugly to be your traditional demagogue:

Cruz is not as iconographically satisfying as other American demagogues—Oliver North, say, whose square-jawed, unblinking evocation of James Stewart, John Wayne, and other Hollywood actors conveyed resolution. Or Ronald Reagan—Cruz’s reedy, unresonant voice lacks the husky timbre of Reagan’s emotion-clouded instrument, with its mixture of truculence and maudlin appeal.

Not convinced yet that Cruz, despite his evil looks is a lying demogogue?  Well, Denby has other arrows in his quiver.  Cruz is also smart.  He always has an answer.  That proves what a lying liar he is:

Yet Cruz is amazingly sure-footed verbally. When confronted with a hostile question, he has his answer prepared well before the questioner stops talking. There are no unguarded moments, no slips or inadvertent admissions. He speaks swiftly, in the tones of sweet, sincere reason. How could anyone possibly disagree with him? His father is a Baptist, and Cruz himself has an evangelical cast to his language, but he’s an evangelical without consciousness of his own sins or vulnerability. He is conscious only of other people’s sins, which are boundless, and a threat to the republic; and of other people’s vulnerabilities and wounds, which he salts. If they have a shortage of vulnerabilities, he might make some up.

I won’t quote any more, both because of Fair Use principles and because I feel as if I’m sullying my site by doing so.  (I’m sure it won’t surprise you that Denby drifts into comparing Cruz to Joe McCarthy.)  Moreover, I think I’ve made the point, which is that Denby is a political opinionator who runs everything through old-time Hollywood central casting.

In the old movies, especially the silent movies, Hollywood had to rely on visual cliches as a shorthand to character development.  The hero was square-jawed and often, in the Gary Cooper mode, silent (hence the “strong silent type” trope).  Meanwhile, the villain was greasy-haired, shifting eyed, and quick-witted in an evil way.  As The Incredibles proved to such wonderful comedic effect, villains “monologued.”

In Denby’s narrow, Progressive, Hollywood constrained world, Cruz is Snidely Whiplash brought to life, not because of anything specific that he says or does, but simply because, in Denby’s telling, Cruz fits the visual requirements for a stock Hollywood bad guy:

Cruz and Whiplash

To the Left, Obama’s political purity is made manifest because of his brown skin and white smile. It should therefore come as no surprise that, to the looks-obsessed Leftists, Cruz, who cannot be denigrated as a mental lightweight, must be painted in the most brutal physical terms. I expect that the Left’s next step will be some 21st-century version of phrenology, with Progressive hacks sagely opining that the shape of Cruz’s head, or the bumps upon it (especially the ones that the Left assumes are there, hidden under his hair), prove his mental deviancy and unfitness for office.

Well, two can play at the looks game, so I’ve got a little rogue’s gallery of Progressives.  While they’re not the stuff of nightmares, each could easily play a villain in old Hollywood’s central casting system.  (I don’t know why my Picasa chose to include Clinton twice in this collage.  I just rolled with it.):

Progressive rogues gallery

One last thing. If physical beauty is Denby’s standard for ideological purity, let’s just say that Denby falls quite short of his own standards. However, if you called Central Casting and asked them to send over a bombastic, narrow-minded, supercilious, faux-academic, you might just see David Denby show up on your movie set:

David Denby

Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential election

As is too often the case, Republicans are busy snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  Despite the fact that the Obamacare debacle has been playing out before Americans’ eyes for more than three weeks, the RNC has done absolutely nothing to capitalize on the fact.  Jonah Goldberg suggests at least sending out a letter:

If I was writing it, I would say something like, “The president vowed to you on numerous occasions (see attached document) that you could keep your insurance and that you would save money under the Affordable Care Act. This was untrue. Whether it was a well-intentioned mistake or a more deliberate deception, what the president and his party told you was flatly untrue, and we said so at the time.”

I then might go on to promise something like “the party will do everything it can, within its power, to alleviate the burden the Democrats have imposed on you and the country. We are of course limited by the fact that the president and his party control the agenda in Washington. If you think we’re due for a change, we’d love your support. If you think these changes are good for you, your family or the country, then obviously we politely disagree. If you think — as we do — that there’s got to be a better way, we hope you’ll give us a fresh look.”

That’s a nice letter.  Without condescension, it reminds voters that the Republicans predicted and tried to stop this train wreck, it offers that Republicans will do whatever is in their power to help remedy the situation, and it reminds voters that the best remedy is a Republican majority in 2014 and again in 2016.

Goldberg’s good advice notwithstanding, Republicans are silent — or, if they’re not silent, they’re still engaged in a bloody internecine war that leaves innumerable openings for Democrats to blame everyone from Cruz, to Bush, to Nixon, to generic Republicans for Obamacare.

Last night, 60 Minutes, while coyly keeping both Hillary’s and Obama’s names out of the story, revealed what conservatives have long known about Benghazi:  it was a carefully planned al Qaeda attack; al Qaeda warned everyone and his mother that it would take place; embassy security in Benghazi was a joke; the administration had been told repeatedly about the attack and about the security situation; and the administration did precisely nothing before or during the attack.

Now that 60 Minutes has broken the wall of silence, this should be a headline story in every paper and on every TV show in the land.  But of course it’s not.  And with the exception of Lindsey Graham, who’s doing some huffing and puffing, Republicans are sitting there with their thumbs in their mouths.

John McCain is going one step further, and praising Hillary to high Heaven.  (Could it be that McCain is being Machiavellian here?  One could argue that McCain hasn’t abandoned the idea of running for president in 2016.  He wants an opponent who will be easy to beat and, with the Benghazi albatross around her neck, McCain thinks she’s that opponent.  Did I just hear you say that’s an insanely stupid idea that gives McCain too much credit?  I think you’re right.  Forget I ever said it.)

We tend to see the Democrats as winning through lies, chicanery, media manipulation, and outright fraud (not to mention the whole IRS thing).  I do think, though, that we have to acknowledge that it’s not just that the Democrats win elections.  The Republicans lose elections.

McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012 were both abysmal candidates under any standards.  This isn’t to say whether they would have been good or bad presidents (although I suspect either would have been significantly better than Obama).  The problem began and ended with their campaigns:  both were boring speakers; both were flat-footed debaters; both were utterly incapable of articulating core conservative values that bind together everyone from libertarians to the fading Reagan Democrat coalition; both failed to recognize the internet’s importance in their campaigns; and both were afraid to get their hands dirty in dealing with a black man (although McCain has always been happy to fight his own political family).

My feeling now is that if Chris Christie or Ted Cruz throw their hats into the ring, and if they can survive the inevitable circular firing squad from fellow Republicans fighting in the primaries, one or the other will top the ticket.  This has nothing to do with whether they’ll be good presidents (although I’m sure each would be substantially better than anyone the Democrats dredge up).  Both, however, will be good candidates.  Unlike McCain and Romney — and unlike Obama, Hillary, and Warren — these guys are so fast on their feet that they can wow people by giving extemporaneous speeches without teleprompters and notes, and they’ll never fall into “um” or “uh” land the way Obama, McCain, and Romney did.  Debates will be enjoyable blood baths, with the Democrats doing the (rhetorical) bleeding.

When it comes to articulating a conservative position, Cruz will have the edge over Christie.  Christie has proven that, for the most part, his conservative beliefs begin and end with defanging the unions.  I respect that, I really do, but it’s going to leave him rudderless and speechless when it comes to articulating ideas that can actually win people over to something grander than union bashing.

Both will have to tone down their arrogance.  Unlike Obama, who floated through life on an affirmative action cloud, both these men are indeed smarter than most people, and they have the resumes to prove it — not just jobs obtained, but actual accomplishments.  Since the media will not be able to portray them as idiots, as it did with George Bush and John McCain, it will have to go the Romney route with both:  they’re evil plutocrats, a la Snidely Whiplash, just dreaming of ways to tie the American people to some foul capitalist railway track to let them die.  Since both tend to be arrogant, they’re going to have to find some humility, or else this media charge will stick and destroy them.

Significantly, they’re both guys who live for the fight. Christie’s going to have a bit of a hard time overcoming his bromance with Obama, but Cruz is going to come out swinging, and will take no prisoners regardless which Democrat ends up representing that ticket.

The fact that both Christie and Cruz are lawyers is disappointing. It would be splendid to see someone other than a lawyer in the White House. As an ex-military guy, Allen West would be a delightful addition to the presidential roster, but I just don’t see it happening. I think the world of him, I admire his principles, I believe he’s a fighter, and he’s a good speaker, but even by the low standards Obama set, a two-year tenure in the House probably isn’t going to convince the American people to elect West president.

Do you have predictions for 2016?  I know it’s a long time away, but it’s worth thinking about now, both because it’s a pleasant diversion from depressing headlines and because the headlines about Obamacare, Benghazi, and the economy are tarnishing the Democrat brand.

Assuming that the Republicans can stop fighting each other and start riding the anti-Democrat wave, what should they do?  And who would you like to see getting groomed for the 2016 White House?

Michael Walsh predicts a “Republican Spring”

In 2011, we had the Arab Spring.  Michael Walsh is now predicting a “Republican Spring” which we all hope will end more successfully than the unfolding disaster in the Middle East:

In the aftermath of Senator Ted Cruz’s epic performance on the Senate floor, a few observations:

After his disgraceful attacks on Cruz, including his reach-across-the-aisle, dog-in-the-manger response today, this should be the end of Senator John McCain as a voice of influence in the Republican party. Ditto his mini-me, Senator Lindsey Graham. Indeed, the entire Old Guard of business-as-usual “comity” fans passeth. When you care more about what the other side thinks, it’s probably time either to switch teams or step down.

There is new leadership in the GOP, whether the party wants to admit it or not: Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and the others who stepped into the breach to spell the senator from Texas.

The popular reaction to Cruz will be immediate and noticeable; the more the old bulls carp, the more the public will rally to Cruz’s side. The country has been spoiling for a real fight since the election of 2008, and now it has one.

Conservatives have finally realized that, as it’s currently constituted, they have no home in the Republican party, which is the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters, the designated losers who nevertheless are rewarded handsomely for their sham opposition.

To that end, conservatives understand that rather than form a third party, their only hope is to seize control of the corrupt, rotting hulk of the GOP, which they now can do with the help of a reinvigorated Tea Party — especially with Lois Lerner’s IRS off its back.

The Cruz faction in the Senate, and its allies in the House (whose leadership is now up for grabs) must now press their advantage. The louder the Democrats squawk, the more they are wounded; the one thing they’ve long feared is a direct assault on their core beliefs as translated into actions, and the deleterious effects of Obamacare, just now being felt by the population, are the most vivid proof of the failure of Progressivism that conservatives could wish for.

Please the rest here.  Every word is interesting.

I’m actually quite optimistic because a Republican Spring will be predicted on individual freedom, unlike the Arab Spring, which was predicated on subordination to a tyrannical theocracy.  The only risk is that a party predicated on freedom tends to organize badly and have all the coherence and stability of a room full of soap bubbles.

ADDENDUM:  Things are happening quickly and in unpredictable ways.  I’ve been thinking a lot about that since our trip to St. Petersburg this summer.  As you know, Obama and the rest of the progressives keep talking about being on the “right side of history.”  This isn’tt history that’s happened yet, of course.  It’s what they assume historians in the future will say as they look back upon our present.  In other words, progressives think that they can see the future.

When I was growing up, though, no one saw the Soviet Union’s future, something made staggeringly clear to me when we spent two days in St. Petersburg this summer.  The kids, who were born long after the wall fell, could not comprehend the fact that my husband and I were still stunned by the rampant capitalism there.  Right up until the wall fell, no one could have predicted that the heart and soul of communism would have streets lined with advertisements for Prada.  Perhaps it was more predictable that it would become corrupt but, throughout the 1990s, I didn’t see that coming either.  Now, though, everyone to whom we spoke told us that life in Putin’s Russia is hopelessly corrupt, and that they’re enjoying their window of freedom while they can, since they fear it will end soon.

And on that subject, Clifford D. May looks at a possible Third Act to follow upon Russia’s twisty-turny recent past and tumultuous present.