Monday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI’m soon heading to yet another appointment intended to keep my musculoskeletal system from disintegrating entirely.  I’m hoping to be functional again by September or October, but it sure seems a long ways away.  Anyway, before I go, these are for you (and let me know if you have anything interesting for the rest of us):

I didn’t know that Arthur Koestler, though a socialist, was a socialist along the lines of George Orwell, who was willing to be honest about the totalitarian instincts inherent in socialism.  Neo-Neocon has a fascinating excerpt from Koestler’s Cassandra-like lament about the Nazis — and the blind eye that the rest of the world turned to acts too horrible for them to acknowledge could be real.

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Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office has released the English transcript of his remarks on Yom Hashoah. It is worthwhile reading. Unlike the idiots and antisemites in America and Europe, Bibi remembers the past and refuses to go supine so as to create a Holocaust redux.

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Given a place in which to share their experiences in America’s Leftist-run academies of “higher education,” more than 350,000 conservative college and university students viewed or weighed in on the hashtag #MyLiberalCampus. These youngsters seem to be aware of the irony behind the word “liberal” in that hashtag, since their tales of woe include variations on startlingly illiberal behavior.

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We opponents of gay marriage (not of gays or civil unions, but of gay marriage) said that, once gay marriage cleared the gates, polygamy wouldn’t be far behind. This is not to say that gay marriage and polygamy are the same thing. It is to say, though, that once you erase marriage’s historic meaning in Western culture — one man and one woman — there are no further limits one can reasonably place upon it.

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Perhaps someone in academia is finally climbing atop the barricades and hollering “Stop.” Brett Sokolow, director of the Association of Title IX Administrators, has sent a mailing out to similarly situated Title IX administrators saying that they’re violating Title IX, which requires even-handedness in dealings involving the sexes on college campuses.  It turns out that, whenever two students engage in a drunken coupling, the school blames the man. Sokolow suggests that, if both students are equally blotto, neither is to blame. Sanctions should arise only if the complaining student was incoherently blotto and the accused can be proven to have had evil on his (or her) mind.

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Please enjoy the exquisite irony: Leftist Media Matters is opposing the unionization of its own employees.

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A friend of mine who feeds me a lot of the more interesting information you read in my posts tipped me off last week to the assault that the Leftist thought police are waging in the land of Science Fiction writing. I meant to write on the subject myself, but kept getting sidetracked. Now, I don’t need to, since Glenn Reynolds has addressed precisely that issue.

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This one is for the lawyers, or for the ones who have wisely decided not to become lawyers and, if possible, never to come within spitting distance of a lawsuit.

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The DiploMad writes about the known fact that, in America, being a Democrat, especially a highly placed Democrat, means never having to say you’re sorry or lose your job, no matter how abysmal your failures (or how many people have died on your watch).

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If you’re wondering why it’s a terrible idea to have the government manage anything beyond traditional government responsibilities (the military, waging war, providing basic infrastructure, etc.), this story about Medicare fraud may help you understand government’s extreme limitations.

Is it the end of the world as we know it, or just a new phase in the battle for America’s soul?

I’ve had the same ten tabs open in Firefox this entire day.  I feel like a madman, trying to create order out of the chaos in my mind.  I’m convinced that there’s a thread tying together these articles, but I can’t figure out precisely what that thread is.  Maybe it’s just that each is another indicator that we’re starting to slide very quickly down some slippery slope, and I don’t think that we’re in for a soft landing.

Here are the articles, which I present in the order the presented themselves to me as I read through my normal websites and my email today.  If you can catch the elusive thread tying them together, please let me know.

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I admire Jack Cashill greatly.  He’s a smart man and a superb investigator.  Nevertheless, I’ve long thought he had something of a bee in his bonnet with his insistence that TWA Flight 800 was anything more than a tragic disaster.  Now that I’ve had the dubious pleasure of watching the Obama administration work with the media to cover up events in Benghazi in order to salvage his reelection, however, I’m much more inclined to believe Cashill’s theory about the 1996 plane explosion — namely, that it was a terrorist attack, possibly of Iranian origination, and that Clinton and the media covered it up in order to secure his reelection.

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I know this sounds callous, but I think that the only way to save America is to let Obama take it off the cliff.  Here’s my thinking regarding the “fiscal cliff” talks:  The Republicans have three choices:  (1) compromise; (2) stonewall; and (3) walk away.  If they compromise, they’ve lost, as a smugly victorious Obama clearly is not in a compromising mood.  He knows that, once the Republicans are a party to any economic plans, no matter how minimal or reluctant their participation, they will get the blame when things inevitably go wrong (or, in the unlikely event things go right, Obama will get all the credit). The Republicans will be irreparably smeared and become irrelevant.

If Republicans stonewall, the exact same thing will happen:  the media will blame them for anything that goes wrong, and give Obama credit for anything that might stay right.  And as this election showed, Americans listen to the media, despite knowing that it lies and conceals.

The only thing left for Republicans is to tell both Obama and the American voters, “The voters wanted Obama and his economic plans, so they shall get them.  We wash our hands of this.”  If things go well, then Republicans will have to accept that their policies are wrong.  If things go badly — and I suspect that they will, and quickly too — Republicans will finally have a convincing platform from which to sell true fiscal conservativism, rather than once again being enablers for Progressive profligacy. That platform, I believe, is the only thing that can return America to her status as a light of freedom and constitutional prosperity.

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California health insurance rates are skyrocketing.  The usual suspects are blaming the insurance companies for having the temerity to want to earn enough money to pay their employees, pay-out to their insureds, and have money for stockholders (who are, after all, the ultimate owners of these companies).  You and I knew that this was inevitable under ObamaCare, since people no longer need to buy insurance when they’re healthy, but can wait until they’re sick.  And we knew that the media would blame the insurance companies — just as we know that, if there’s a single Republican fingerprint on any budget plan, the Republicans will get the entire blame for any failures.  Being a Progressive means never having to acknowledge that you’re culpable.

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Speaking of the appalling, biased media, the IDF provides a detailed glimpse into the way the media and the Palestinians work hand-in-hand to destroy Israel, both in the battlefield and in the war for hearts and minds around the world.

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It’s official:  Harvard will have a student society dedicated to S & M (that’s “sadism and masochism” for the innocents among you). Please remind me why Harvard is still considered a respectable educational institution, worth the millions of dollars taxpayers that send to it, both by funding direct federal grants and by picking up the costs of all the taxpayer-guaranteed loans its students conveniently forget to pay upon graduation.

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Yes, Susan Rice is every bit as bad as you think she is — and it has nothing to do with her skin color and everything to do with her personality, political ideology, and ugly track record.

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One of my high school friends calls himself a life-long conservative, something I did not know about him back in high school.  I think, though, that he could more accurately be summed up as a libertarian, since he is not at all a social conservative.  To that end, he’s expressed dismay with the increasingly high profile of fervently religious candidates in the Republican party.  He’s wondering if he can twist himself around to believe in the Democrat party, which he sees as non-religious.  I countered his concerns by sending him Dennis Prager’s article explaining that socialism is not just a religion, it’s currently the world’s most dynamic religion.  I recognize that the Republican party can be weak and pathetic, and that it is too often made up of RINOs or true ignoramuses who hide behind religion to excuse that ignorance.  Nevertheless, my friend needs to understand that the alternative is worse.

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One of my long-time peeves (and one of the things that turned me to conservativism) is the way that Progressives mangled Title IX, which was, in relevant part, supposed to remove hurdles to women’s participation in college sports.  Equality of access?  It’s a good thing.  What Progressives have done, though, is to demand perfect equality of numbers.  Because college women have stubbornly refused to participate in college athletics at the same rate as college men, the only way to achieve this artificial parity is to slash men’s athletic programs.  James Taranto explains here, and makes us fully aware of yet another travesty inflicted on America thanks to Progressive politics.

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And finally, it wasn’t your imagination that, for the first time in America, the 2012 election was openly predicated upon socialist class warfare. Just to make it official, a top Democrat political action group (conveniently working with George Soros funds) has started a website explicitly dedicated to class warfare.

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So, was I right?  Is the common thread to these links the dissolution of America at every level?

I’m sorry if I sound bipolar.  Yesterday I was enthusing about the possibility of an American Margaret Thatcher and today I’m talking about imminent Armageddon.  The latter is how I feel; the former is how I want to feel.

In any event, I’m not sure one can ever fight a battle unless one simultaneously fears the opponent and feels optimistic about ones own abilities. In other words, success requires an honest assessment of the forces arrayed against you, as well as the belief that it is possible to prevail.  Without that belief, why bother to fight?