Thursday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesI am becoming grumpy in my old age. When my Facebook friends use the deranged, knife wielding, car crashing, gun shooting Elliot Rodgers to argue again for gun control, I come back with something they don’t expect in their navel-gazing world: facts.

I’m also sneaking in links to the self-defense stories at Guns Save Lives. I’m trying to get my friends to open their minds to the possibility that, while the gun-hating national media focuses on relatively rare “guns taking lives” stories, what’s getting lost in the diffuse local media are the hundreds of stories (1,127 according to Guns Save Lives) in which guns didn’t cause a murder, they stopped one, as well as stopping rapes, assaults, kidnappings, etc. We need to change the paradigm, one Progressive at a time.

As for Rodgers’ killing spree, a friend of mine wrote me the following:

Who is frustrated about the mental health nonsense that keeps being bandied about concerning Elliot Rodgers? On one hand, there were “so many read flags” and on the other no one could see anything significant about his personality which would lead them to believe he was capable of such violence.

I’m also the only one who thinks Rodgers was simply a self-centered murdering asshole. We are so wrapped up in trying to figure out “why” and “what made him do this” that we’re missing the reason. He was a dick.

Also, the idea that the availability of guns somehow transformed him into a killer is ludicrous. He had the intent to kill with or without guns as evidence by the three stabbings he committed before he shot anyone. I suspect people don’t like to think each of us is capable of killing so it must be an outside influence.

The only change I would make to what he wrote would be to substitute “He was evil” for “He was a dick.” I’ve always believed that evil exists, separate from such Freudian notions of mental derangement. I think all Jews should believe in evil. All Germans were not insane. For a cataclysmic time in the early- mid-20th century, they gave their sane minds over to evil.

And now, the round-up….


I mentioned above that the national media hates guns. If you need evidence to support that fact, how about the discovery that CNN was gaming an (admittedly unscientific) online poll, to block out any votes opposing gun control.


Even Elliot Rodgers conceded that guns in the hands of good guys would have stopped him.


For decades now, Dry Bones has been commenting on Jewish life and American politics insofar as they affect Jews. Liberty’s Spirit has one of the best recent cartoons, one that manages to meld humorously Obama’s limp leadership with events in the Middle East.


The good thing about bad Obama speeches — with his West Point speech being just the latest example — is that they provide material for excellent articles critiquing Obama and his policies. How can someone who does not appreciate Obama’s foreign policy not get a kick out of this from Elliott Abrams:

There were as many straw men as cadets. The president railed against “critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak” and insisted that “U.S. military action cannot be the only—or even primary—component of leadership.” He kindly informed us that “a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naïve and unsustainable.” He thanked himself for the decision “that we should not put American troops into the middle of this increasingly sectarian civil war” in Syria, as if anyone anywhere had suggested doing so.

The Hayride draws back from looking at the specifics in Obama’s West Point speech and, instead, uses it as a springboard to discuss the failing with all of Obama’s speeches. That failing can be summarized as “too much Obama.”

(UPDATE:  Hot Air has a round-up of negative opinions about the speech from Obama’s usual cadre of cheerleaders.)


Ed Lasky has an excellent column comparing Obama to the Chance the Gardener character in Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There. The only point as to which I’d part ways with Lasky is his implied statement that it was he who first made this comparison, in May 2007. In fact, I’ve yet to find anyone making the comparison before I did, back in December 2006:

What I’m gathering, though, is that on the Left, this very blankness is what makes him so appealing. He becomes a projection of everyone’s beliefs, hopes and desires. He’s a charming, smart, living version of Jerzy Kosinksi’s Chance the Gardener, in Being There.

Still, even though I got there first, I’d read Lasky’s article on the subject, not mine. We knew so little about Obama in 2006, that I had little to say. Lasky, by contrast, has a lot of material to work, and he uses it skillfully.


USA Today has a grim indictment of the Veterans Administration. There was one quotation in it, though, that puzzled me:

“I think that there is a potential that we have lost true north. I think we need to focus on our mission: treating veterans,” says Thomas Lynch, an assistant deputy under secretary, referring to a tough 14-day treatment goal that investigators said VA schedulers repeatedly manipulated records to get around.

Considering that the VA’s sole mission is caring for veterans, how the heck could VA employees have lost focus? And what exactly were they focusing on once they got lost?

I’m being sarcastic. They were focusing on the bureaucratic process itself, which is the inevitable end point for all government bureaucracies. Those who do not see the VA scandal as a harbinger of the inevitable outcome of the socialized medicine Nancy Pelosi demands are either in deep denial, being deliberately obtuse, or are just plain evil.

And what about getting veterans into civilian care programs under Medicare?  Ask the unions for the answer to that question.


From 2008 onwards, I warned those who would listen that Obama policies would create a double-dip Recession. It took longer than I anticipated (which speaks to the essential strength of the U.S. economy), but Obama and his fellow travelers finally did it: They didn’t just fail to make things better, they’ve actually made them worse.


I think I blogged earlier about Spain’s viscerally antisemitic response to their losing a soccer game to Israel, but it’s worth blogging about again. There have been no Jews (at least in measurable numbers or out in the open) in Spain since the Inquisition — but the hatred persists.


A feel-good story. No lives were saved, but love and respect were shared.


Wait! Are you tell me that the Antarctic ice sheets were melting thousands of years before Al Gore discovered climate change? I’m shocked! Shocked!


According to the DemProgs, Griffin Furlong should have become a gun-toting, crack-smoking, welfare-using victim. He didn’t, though, and his story will make you realize that the human spirit can be indomitable.


And finally, unexpected pop culture moments captured over the decades.