Thursday afternoon round-up and Open Thread
I really need to get a more innovative and exciting name for these round-ups, a name that will convey just how exciting these round-ups are. I find writing posts easy and naming them hard.
Perhaps you guys have a witty suggestion. I envision something along the lines of “The [Clever Name] : [primary topic] edition.” For example, “News from the Backlines: Israel edition.” It’s got to be something that will apply to every round-up post I do during the day, and I’d love it if it was witty.
Meanwhile, I’ll abandon my boring efforts at clever names, and try to entice you with scintillating tidbits about the world today:
** 1 **
It appears that the border bill, like Frankenstein’s monster, still lives. It’s bad, though, bad to the legislative bone. The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers has raised serious, substantive concerns.
** 2 **
Dan Gordon, who writes about the current war and the view from inside the IDF, is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. He has another wonderful post, this time about one of the men who ensures that the IDF is a humanist organization, no matter the labels the Israel-haters affix to it.
** 3 **
America has always used Israel as a pawn. During the Cold War, it was one of the players against the Soviet Union, so both America (the chess master) and Israel (the pawn) were on the side of the angels.
Obama, however, has turned the game on its head. He still views Israel as a pawn, but his game plan is to help the Muslim Brotherhood become ascendant. And if it doesn’t scare you that our president now feels secure enough to throw all his weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood, you have nerves of steel, my friend.
** 4 **
My thinking is that we can stop a lot of the deaths in Gaza if the media voluntarily stops indulging in its fetish for snuff photos of children allegedly killed by Israel. Of course, pigs will fly when that happens.
Rob Miller has a different idea, which is that the UN can stop the killing of civilians by creating an opportunity for them to leave Gaza for temporary shelter in Egypt’s Sinai desert. Rob understands that this, too, will happen when pigs fly, especially since Ban Kai-Moon has joined in the media’s fetish for dead kids. In any event, Egypt doesn’t want even more Muslim Brotherhood supporters on its soil.
Meanwhile, Instapundit likes Matthew Yglesias’ idea: Just kick the Palestinians out. Israel should have done that back in 1967. The problem is that the Arab world wants them as little as the Israelis do. Palestinians, who have been nursing the grievances under UNRWA’s care for more than 60 years, are impossible. They just are.
** 6 **
For those naifs on the Left who can’t understand why the cycle of violence won’t stop, this video provides the answer: A sweet, smiling, soft-voiced young woman, whose child was the beneficiary of a life-saving procedure in an Israeli hospital, explains that there is no compromise. Palestinians must have Jerusalem, and whether children and others die in the process is irrelevant, because her culture is fine with death. Insha’allah, and all that you know.
** 7 **
Slowly, slowly, the media is beginning to find it impossible to cover for Hamas lies.
** 8 **
A camera’s eye view of what an IDF soldier sees in Gaza. I got frightened and queasy watching. My suspicion is that the only people in America who can viscerally understand what this video shows are those who served in Fallujah:
** 9 **
One of Israel’s problems with Gaza is that it’s afraid that, if it clears Gaza out, the sequel will be worse. In other countries, when one clears a dictatorship out, something looking remarkably like freedom often takes its place. Only in the Muslim world is the deposed dictatorship replaced by something more deadly and vicious.
** 10 **
I mentioned in my earlier post the fact that the world’s media cares only when Jews kill, even if they do so in self-defense. The fact that Mosul’s Christian population has been utterly destroyed is uninteresting to them. (By the way, if you can’t get through to the Commentary blog because you don’t have a subscription, think seriously about getting one. It’s $20 per year for access to the magazine and the blog, which is an incredible bargain.)
A newly unearthed interview of Bill Clinton made one day before 9/11 has him saying that the only thing holding him back from killing bin Laden was the risk to civilians. This statement reveals something very important: Sometimes when we try too hard to protect the innocents, we enable evil to go unchecked. Unchecked evil, of course, kills innocents in numbers a good society’s tentative efforts at evil-control can never achieve.
** 12 **
This economic parable is an old one, but the presidential spin is charming:
** 13 **
Rich Weinstein is the man who exposed Jonathan Gruber as a liar. Even more importantly, the video evidence he unearthed showed that Congress intended to limit subsidies to state exchanges. Learn more about Weinstein here.
** 14 **
And if you don’t believe that Gruber is a liar, just watch this:
** 15 **
Leftist WaPo blogger Greg Sargent was so excited to show that one draft of the Obamacare bill included federal subsidies that he completely forgot that, if Congress excludes that language from the final bill, the law mandates that Congress is presumed to have done so intentionally. Charles C. W. Cooke sets Sargent straight.
** 16 **
Ebola is scary and, in a completely interconnected world and one that, moreover, has wars raging all over and porous borders everywhere, it’s just a plane ride, a refugee crisis, or a border crossing away. To channel Elmer Fudd, “Be afwaid. Be vewy afwaid.”
** 17 **
AJStrata thinks that the Democrats’ impeachment games constitute politically suicidal gamesmanship. It’s so bad that even Time’s Joe Klein is accusing the Democrats (and, by extension, Obama) of cynicism — which is pretty funny when you think about it. Wasn’t it Obama who promised to take the cynicism out of politics, and to replace them with hope and change? Yeah. Right.
** 18 **
Don’t you sometimes want to bash people over the head with Milton Friedman? In France, the housing market has collapsed, thanks to Hollande’s decision to impose rent control. They just don’t seem to be able to come to grips that, wherever rent control exists, the housing stock shrinks, prices climb, and the poor and middle class are driven out of the market. They like to call themselves intellectuals but, really, they’re just dumb as rocks, only less interesting — something best illustrated by our French-looking Secretary of State next to a box of rocks:
** 19 **
While Harry Reid utters lunatic shrieks about Charles and David Koch, the Leftist billionaire boys club has taken over the environmental movement and the EPA, and is profiting mightily from that takeover.
Keep in mind that the environmental movement is a scam. There is nothing wrong and everything right with our being responsible stewards over the environment that God (or Nature) has so generously bestowed upon us. Conversely, there is everything wrong and nothing right with using false science to turn the clock back to a pre-industrial era.
As I write this, please keep in mind that every single prediction the climate change crew made has been proven to be false. (See, e.g., today’s story about the fact that islands are not sinking due to a predicted and apocalyptic rise in the oceans.)
For more on this, two things: First, a Mark Steyn article about the totalitarian impulses driving the climate change regime. Second, a video with words of wisdom from some of the climate scientists who refuse to be silenced:
** 20 **
In the fashion world, individually tailor-made clothes are a good thing. In the world of law and order, it’s a very, very bad thing when the government first looks at your conduct, and only afterwards crafts a crime tailor-made to that conduct. When this last happens, law and order go out the window and tyranny stalks the streets.
That’s why all of us should be very concerned about the fact that the Officer of the Comptroller of the Currency, under cover of the Bank Secrecy Act, seems to be trolling through bank data, trying to assemble, ex post facto, something criminal with which to charge any given bank.
When businesses and individuals no longer know in advance which conduct is legal and which is illegal, they become paralyzed or, alternatively, they figure if they’re going to be charged with a crime anyway, they should just stop worrying about legality from the get go. Once that happens, a society inevitably ends up with poverty, corruption, and anarchy.
** 21 **
I’ve always liked Bill Whittle, but I never realized that he shares with me a history of mental illness. Thank God we’ve both recovered and are now working to help other similarly afflicted souls:
** 22 **
Andrew Klavan gives a well-deserved thanks to Christian white men:
I’d expand the thanks to Jewish white men (without taking anything away from those wonderful Christians), but that’s my bias showing. 😉
** 23 **
And Caped Crusader sent me a wonderful batch of pictures: