[VIDEO] Gruber’s defense: I’m arrogant and stupid

Trey Gowdy is masterful. He starts off strong and just gets stronger:

Gruber looks like a trapped ferret, but it seems to me that his remorse is tied to his getting caught, not his having said those things in the first place. Were he genuinely remorseful, he would expand on those canned answers, and take a second look at his underlying world view.

The Bookworm Beat: From Israel to Indiana Jones

Woman writingAs you’ve probably noticed, I’ve re-jiggered these portmanteau posts, with a new name and a new image. I’d like to thank all of you for your suggestions. I’ve gone with a vaguely newsy title and a picture from one of my favorite illustrators, and it just feels right.

I’ll continue tweaking the format until it works optimally. Today, for example, I’ll use mini-titles, instead of numbers, to separate items. Please let me know which system you prefer.

How many did you say died in Gaza? And are you really sure they’re dead?

Col. Richard Kemp (Brit. Army, Ret.) reiterates something we’ve heard before, although that vast numbers of people around the world need to be reminded about on a daily basis: Even as Israel goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties (something America and her allies never did in past wars or in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that Obama certainly hasn’t done with his drone strikes of dubious legality in Pakistan), Hamas lies about the nature and number of its casualties:

[W]e know now that Hamas have ordered their people to report all deaths as innocent civilians. We know too that Hamas has a track record of lying about casualties. After Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-09 fighting in Gaza, the IDF estimated that of 1,166 Palestinian deaths, 709 were fighters. Hamas – backed by several NGOs – claimed that only 49 of its fighters had been killed, the rest were innocent civilians. Much later they were forced to admit that the IDF had been right all along and between 600 and 700 of the casualties had in fact been fighters. But the short-memoried media are incapable of factoring this in before broadcasting their ill-founded and inflammatory assertions.

Oh, and regarding my parenthetical point about the Muslim blood on Obama’s own hands, let me just reiterate a poster I created a couple of weeks ago:

Barack Obama - Muslim Killer

In reality, when it comes to deaths in Gaza, official IDF casualty figures point to a somewhat different demographic than legions of dead children: According to the IDF’s calculations, 47% of those who died were terrorist fighters.

There’s one thing more that should make people suspicious about casualty figures issuing from Gaza: Elder of Ziyon noticed that Hamas is re-using a strategy first seen in 2008, when Israel engaged in Operation Cast Lead, trying to shut down Hezbollah: Hamas is dragging children’s dead bodies around to create media-friend, anti-Israel photo ops. I’m not surprised. Islamists have always been renowned for the horrors they inflict on the enemy dead, so it stands to reason that they wouldn’t be squeamish about their own dead.

Given that Hamas, primarily through threats, controls completely the “news” emerging from that region, and given that the media doesn’t want to admit that this limited access dovetails perfectly with its anti-Israel bias, it’s small wonder that The New York Times has taken to slandering its own photographers for their failure to produce any useful, independent photographs from within Hamas.

Lives interrupted.

Zionism: It’s a good thing!

Michael Oren writes a rich, full-throated, compelling defense of Zionism. It’s not, and should not be, a dirty word. Instead, it’s reviled because it succeeded in a region that many in the world (Muslim autocrats, Leftists, America-haters, anti-Semites) would prefer to see fail.

Bibi finally remembers to say “You’re not the boss of me.”

This is a couple of days old, but it’s so nice to see that Bibi Netanhayu has remembered that he’s a seasoned military fighter and war leader, while Obama is an effete, decadent, dangerous putz:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angrily warned the White House “not to ever second-guess me again” on matters involving Hamas — and followed up by vowing that Israel will deal with Palestinian terrorists on its own terms.

And an illustrated reminder of that point:

Young Obama Young Bibi and Bib Netanyahu

UNRWA is Hamas.

One wishes that Bibi could also kick out UNRWA. It’s not just complicit with Hamas, says Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) — it is Hamas:

The UNRWA is not an international organization operating in the Middle East. Effectively it’s a local Arab Muslim organization funded and regulated internationally. Since the UNRWA classifies 80% of Gazans as “refugees”, it administers the biggest welfare state in the world on their behalf.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

As I predicted when Obama became president and wooed Iran, it looks as if Israel is developing actual ties with those regimes in the Middle East that fear both Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

When it comes to Israel, geography is destiny.

Mark Langham explains that, given Israel’s geographic position, she is both the first and last line between rampant Islam and Europe:

Obama’s unpleasantly mystic relationship to Hamas.

Today — August 4 — is Barack Obama’s 53rd birthday. This August 4th is also the anniversary of Tisha B’ Av, which is the 9th of Av in the ancient Jew calendar (meaning that it’s coincidence that Obama’s birthday coincides with it this year).

Yid With Lid says that, going back to the time of Moses, bad things have happened to the Jewish nation and the Jewish people on Tisha B’Av. Coincidence, of course, isn’t anything more than that — coincidence — but it still is fascinating to see how Obama’s name pops up on the Jewish screen on this day.

Los Angeles pro-Hamas rally reveals that those who oppose Israel also hate America.

I’m a shrinking violet when it comes to rallies. I’m just claustrophobic enough that it’s very difficult for me willingly to go to a situation in which I’ll find myself surrounded by people, many of them hostile. Fortunately for Israel’s defense, Donald Douglas isn’t so shy, so he took the time (and the risk) to check out an pro-Hamas rally down in L.A. Sadly for him, there was no overwhelming spontaneous pro-Israel rally to offset the hate.

Who really wants Obama’s impeachment?

Although there are many conservatives who believe that Obama is committing impeachable offenses, insofar as he’s abrogated legislative power even while abandoning his own executive obligations, no serious conservatives are demanding that he be impeached in the near future. With most of the country opposed to impeachment, doing that would be a suicide mission, especially before the mid-term elections. Nevertheless, talk of impeachment is swirling around the country. Why? Simple. It’s this year’s “war on woman” campaign strategy, aimed at terrifying the base and raising money.

Unlike the War on Women strategy, though, which was merely offensively dishonest, the current strategy is a cynical move that threatens to undermine our constitutional system. Ross Douthat took to the pages of the New York Times to make that argument:

[I]n political terms, there is a sordid sort of genius to the Obama strategy. The threat of a unilateral amnesty contributes to internal G.O.P. chaos on immigration strategy, chaos which can then be invoked (as the president did in a Friday news conference) to justify unilateral action. The impeachment predictions, meanwhile, help box Republicans in: If they howl — justifiably! — at executive overreach, the White House gets to say “look at the crazies — we told you they were out for blood.”

[snip]

This is the tone of the media coverage right now: The president may get the occasional rebuke for impeachment-baiting, but what the White House wants to do on immigration is assumed to be reasonable, legitimate, within normal political bounds.

It is not: It would be lawless, reckless, a leap into the antidemocratic dark.

And an American political class that lets this Rubicon be crossed without demurral will deserve to live with the consequences for the republic, in what remains of this presidency and in presidencies yet to come.

Interestingly, when I linked to Douthat’s article on my “real me” Facebook, asking only “Do the ends justify the means?” everyone, Left and Right, was silent. I don’t know what to make of that.

Just because you’re a Native American tribe doesn’t mean you’re a nice tribe.

Years ago, I wrote a post about the Aztecs. The point of that post was that a small band of Spaniards didn’t single-handedly destroy one of the greatest pre-Colombian American empires the world has ever known. Instead, the Spaniards had lots of help from surrounding indigenous Indian populations. These Indians helped because the Aztecs were nothing more or less than the Nazis (or perhaps the Islamists) of the ancient world. They waged perpetual warfare against surrounding tribes, using captives as slaves and as human sacrifices in the bloody rituals that could claim tens of thousands of lives in just a few days.

What reminded me of that old post, and the fact that there was little noble about the Aztec savages, is a challenge to the current-day effort to paint Kit Carson as a genocidal Indian killer for his role in having relocated the Navajo. According to John T. Bennett, just as with the Aztecs, surrounding Native American tribes desperately wanted to see the aggressive, blood-thirsty Navajo go:

The Navajo were so disdained that several neighboring Indian tribes joined in the U.S. mission to relocate them. Interestingly, PBS’s series The West reveals this point: “When Utes, Pueblos, Hopis and Zunis, who for centuries had been prey to Navajo raiders, took advantage of their traditional enemy’s weakness by following the Americans onto the warpath, the Navajo were unable to defend themselves.”

Uh, can you check that thermometer again? I don’t think it’s right.

If you think climate panic is new, think again. Although this latest round of climate panic is more effective than past efforts have been, for 120 years scientists have been throwing Americans into a frenzy about imminent freezing or cooking.

Reading about that relentless and endless back and forth between hot and cold made me think of these guys:

It also made me think of a classic Twilight Zone episode called The Midnight Sun.

Look who’s horrified by Richard Dawkins’ atheism now.

Although I’ve shifted to an amorphous theism, grounded in Jewish values, as I get older, I’m not entirely unsympathetic to atheists. It takes a lot of faith to have faith, if you know what I mean. I’m no fan of Richard Dawkins, though, because he’s made his name being obnoxious, heaping crude, fact-free invective on Christianity and Judaism.

To give Dawkins credit where it’s due, though, he’s also brave. He’s now turned his anti-religious venom on Islam, something Theo van Gogh discovered is a dangerous thing to do. And here’s where it gets funny: The same people (i.e., Leftists) who applauded Dawkins’ atheism when it was turned on Christians and Jews, are besides themselves with horror that he would dare to defame Islam. Kind of telling, isn’t it? The Left isn’t really atheists, because it doesn’t really care about God one way or another.  What it is is anti-Christian and anti-Semitic. Clarity — it’s a good thing.

“It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘a**hole’ is.”

As a veteran of arrogant law school professors (not all were arrogant, but enough were), I took more than the usual delight in watching Trey Gowdy make a Leftist law prof squirm as he tried desperately to pretend that Lois Lerner, when she called conservatives “a**holes,” wasn’t showing bias:

Help! I’ve forgotten how to work.

One of the problems with a lengthy recession is that people lose the knack for work. I know that’s been true for me.

I walked away from a traditional law practice more than twenty years ago. At that time, I worked full-time as a research and writing attorney. When kids came along, I worked part-time as a research and writing attorney. When the recession came along, I began to work full-time as a homemaker, mother to my children, and daughter to my elderly mother.

When my husband periodically makes noises about my going back to work full-time, I just look at him funny. I’m too far away and too out-of-shape for that to happen (not to mention that we’d have to pay people lots of money to do what I do for home, children, and mother).

“American life is bifurcating into the undocumented and the overdocumented.”

Mark Steyn turns his gimlet eye and acid pen on the grossly misnamed Department of Homeland Security.

“What I like about you!”

If you’re in the mood for something frivolous, you can see what some Watcher’s Council members have to say about what attracts them to someone of the opposite sex.

Maybe this will have a Hollywood ending too.

Please tell me that you’re able to look at this video, out of Jordan:

All the disgrace-afflicted Arabs, whose honor has been defiled, and who have been kissing the boots of the Zionists and the Americans, are collaborating in the killing of Hamas, in the killing of the people in Gaza, in the killing of Islamic Jihad, and in the crushing of the Al-Qassam Brigades. I say to all Arab leaders,” before moving to his right and brandishing a large sword. “By Allah you deserve nothing but this sword. If you are real men, let the real men fight. If you are not real men, support the people of Gaza. Let them fight the Zionist enemy. Where are you Al-Sisi- who purports to be the president of Egypt? Where are the Arab leaders?” Al-Abdalet pondered as he waved the sword on TV. “Saudi Arabia bought $63 billion worth of weapons, which it hoards. Why? Because America showed up and used Iran to scare them: “Iran is a boogeyman, coming for you. You’d better watch out.”

Without thinking of this video:

It’s picture time!

Respectable anti-Semites

Friends with an idiot

Taking care of Bobby

No freedom of assembly in Gaza

Expansionist Israel

Hanging up Palestinian children

I have my doubts about the veracity of this image (it’s entirely possible that the boys were just being punished, Pally-style, for being naughty), but I include it here FWIW.

Introducing two liberals

Trey Gowdy schools the media about its abysmal lack of curiosity regarding Benghazi

Bloody fingerprints in BenghaziIf you had been at my house when I first saw this video, you would have seen me stand up and cheer.  And then cheer some more.

Usually, I find it very boring when members of Congress give speeches and press conferences. They’re not orators and they’re often very bad at communicating facts, making ideological arguments, or scoring political points.

Trey Gowdy is different. Not only is he an orator, he was doing something much more important than just scoring political facts or making a noise: He was reminding a recalcitrant media that facts are stubborn things. Because reporters ignored its special protections and privileges under the Constitution, and refused to hunt down the facts, Congress is going to have to do their job for them.

Using a series of — for the media — shamefully unanswerable rhetorical questions, Gowdy undercuts them from the get-go, leaving the path clear to an honest investigation into the facts about Benghazi. It’s brilliant. It’s a tour de force.  It’s worth every second of your time:

Hat tip: CainTV

Monday mid-day round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesLooking at the headlines lately, I have the feeling we’re at a tipping point in America. I’ve had this feeling before, and it’s been an icky feeling, because my concern was that the slippery slope we were about to slide down would land America in the ditch. Now, though, I have a sense that what’s going to end up in the ditch, rather than being our whole nation, might just be is the Progressive agenda, as more and more Americans look at Progressivism unmasked and don’t like what they see.

Of course, until we have a strong conservative movement, all that will happen is that America will pull back just a little from the edge; it’s not yet heading in an entirely different direction. Moreover, events that are already in motion are still going to happen, so it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Still, today, for the first time in a long time, I actually think things might get better.

And now, the interesting stuff:

George Orwell understood that one of the primary ways in which the left works is to pervert language. Case in point:  the demand for same-sex (or gay) marriage. For the entirety of human history, no matter the time, place, government, or religion, “marriage” has been a union of man and woman or, sometimes, man and women. The core nature of the word marriage is the societally-sanctioned coming together of male and female. To extend “marriage” to persons of the same-sex effectively strips the word of meaning. It can now mean anything. Humpty-Dumpty has taken over.

You’ve heard me on this point before, but it seems appropriate to repeat it here, after having read that the first openly gay Episcopalian Bishop is divorcing his husband after only four years:

“My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate,” Robinson wrote. “Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot.”

You’ll notice that God and gospel don’t figure anywhere in this ordained bishop’s New Age homage to love.

I don’t think it’s any stretch to say that Robinson fully understood that what he entered into four years ago was not a “marriage.” It was, instead, a Leftist effort to destroy the church from within by leaching the sacraments, including the sacrament of marriage, of any meaning. And without sacraments, you don’t have a church.  And without a church, you have no morality and rules, creating a nice vacuum that the Progressive state can rush to fill.

Let me say again that I don’t have a big problem with civil gay unions, because it’s quite reasonable to extend certain civil benefits to long-term partnerships, regardless of their sexual makeup. I do, however, have a huge problem with the gay marriage movement, which sets out to destroy the meaning behind words as a predicate to destroying the existential meaning necessary to maintain very useful cultural institutions.

(For another example of the linguistic march through institutions, pay attention to the fact that the U.N., which is “investigating” the Vatican regarding it’s truly shameful sex abuse scandals, has included in its mission statement the claim that banning abortion constitutes a form of sexual abuse.)

***

Thomas Lifson explains why Democrats are getting nervous about Benghazi. It seems to me that the Dems’ only hope is that, because the scandal isn’t about sex, the media can run interference by alternating burying it or claiming that it’s nothing but a partisan ploy. I remember back in 1998 the media’s claim (which I, a credulous Democrat, believed) that the Lewinsky scandal was a fake product of the vast right wing conspiracy. Unfortunately for the media, though, the sex factor in the scandal made it impossible to bury.  When the truth behind the little blue dress came out, the best that the media could do was to say that Clinton’s peculiar, immoral sex practices had nothing to do with his being president. That option isn’t open this time around.  Obama’s Benghazi passivity and lies have everything to do with his being president.

In 2014, with Trey Gowdy in charge of the House’s Benghazi investigation committee, and with the internet there to expose things the media wants to hide, Democrats may find it a bit harder to bury this scandal than when they tried, unsuccessfully, to do the same thing with Clinton’s erotic escapades.

I expect Gowdy to make good hay out of the White House’s threatened refusal to cooperate. The lawyer in me knows that when the other side refuses to play, it’s got something to hide.

Or maybe, per Michael Ramirez, there really was a video — a very specific video — driving what happened before, during, and after the Benghazi massacre.

***

Today is Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli version of Memorial Day, on which Israel remembers the many men and women who have died in the service of that brave and beleaguered country. Today is also the day that something peculiar happened:  Britain’s hard left Guardian newspaper ran a long article sympathetically retelling the story of the massacre Kfar Etzion, when Jordanian troops killed 127 civilians on May 13, 1948. Writing at Commentary, Tom Wilson points out how peculiar the Guardian’s article is:

“Massacre that Marred the Birth of Israel” reads a headline in theGuardian, and your heart sinks. This is the last thing one feels like reading as Israel enters into forty-eight hours of commemoration, celebration, mourning, and remembrance; today is Israel’s memorial day for fallen soldiers and terror victims, tomorrow Israel’s independence day marking sixty-six years since the reestablishment of the Jewish state. Yet, on closer inspection the headline might be thought a little misleading.

This column by the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont turns out not to be just another hit piece laden with the usual allegations of Zionist crimes against forlorn Palestinians. In a newspaper typically more inclined to give over its pages to stories about what Israel’s opponents call the Nakba—the catastrophe of Israel’s creation—it is rather disorienting, if refreshing, to find a piece so sympathetically recounting the macabre events of the Kfar Etzion massacre.

The Guardian’s uncharacteristic behavior goes back to that “tipping point” feeling I mentioned.  I’m wondering if some of the saner Leftists, peering into the abyss towards which they led us, are realizing that the West won’t tumble into some socialist paradise but will, instead, find itself in a poverty-stricken, sharia-compliant world.  And while the hard-core Leftists might not mind this, or are continuing to deny it, others may be troubled by that vision and may attempt to put the brakes on.

***

A long time ago, I did a post called “Remembering when Jews were popular.” I’m not well-informed about Jewish culture, but I’ve definitely noticed how American popular culture has changed since I was a child, in the 1960s, when so much of the entertainment world was composed of Jews or was friendly to Jews. James Loeffler, more informed and erudite than I, sees the same changes, not at the overall cultural level (which was what I noticed), but amongst the Jews themselves.

***

Yet another moment of tipping in the right direction? The head of a local teacher’s union is embarrassed to have been involved in administering Common Core tests to the students at his school.

***

Read and enjoy Nigel Lawson’s splendid, truly humanist, take down of climate alarmism.

And while we’re on the subject of biased, bad “science,” it is absolutely fascinating to read how Ancel Benjamin Keys, the man who made us afraid of saturated fat, deliberately set up a biased study and then compounded that bias with ignorance and flawed research techniques. I love meat, and eat way too little of it since Mr. Bookworm, in thrall to “science,” gets agitated when meat enters our house. Just know that, if you ever come to town and want to join me for lunch or dinner, I’ll suggest a burger or other type of meat place, since those are my go-to dining out options.

***

Considering that the Constitution gives Congress the sole authority to pass laws, it would seem to me that Congress has standing to sue when the chief executive usurps that power by unilaterally changing those laws. But then again, I’m not a constitutional scholar, nor am I a Progressive federal court judge, so my opinion doesn’t matter, does it?

***

And a song I like, which expresses my feeling on a day when the tipping point might finally be tipping in the right direction:

Trey Gowdy is worth watching, this time as he reams Direction of National Parks Service

You can see the video at the Black Sphere.  I highly recommend that you listen to it.  He’s on fire, but manages to stay logical, factual, and focused.  (I chose to link to the Black Sphere, rather than to load the video here, because that’s a site I like a lot, so I’m happy to send it traffic.)

I believe Gowdy is a lawyer by training.  He must be a kick-ass attorney.  Director Jarvis is patently and deservedly deeply uncomfortable.  This is the kind of cross-examination that is one for the books.

Trey Gowdy promises not to let Lucy Democrats hold the football

In my earlier post today, I said that, in the wake of the lies the Gang of Eight told, followed by the Senate’s passage of a 1,200 page immigration bill that will go a long way to destroying the American working class, the Republicans have tearfully promised never to be fooled again.  I doubt that promise.  I likened them to the Charlie Brown scenario where he always believes that, this time, Lucy won’t pull the football.  Having said that, I see that Trey Gowdy, a smart R from South Carolina, isn’t fooled.  Maybe he can educate his fellow Rs. Plus, I like his sarcasm:

And a short anecdote regarding Gowdy’s monicker of “Trey.” When I arrived in Texas, I was overwhelmed by the number of guys I met who were named Trey. What an unusual name, I said. I’ve never heard it outside the South. My friends had a good laugh at my expense when they explained that Trey was a nickname for a guy who boasted the number III after his name (as in, he shared his name with both his grandfather and his father).