Monday, June 30, 2014

Blowin' in the wind

Things I hate



Found at Bookworm Room

Corruption

Mark Steyn writes:
The corruption of this republic is a disgrace. As I said, this is not Scandinavian-style statism, but something uglier and more thuggish. The conscription of the bureaucracy to torment the ruling party's ideological enemies is Banana Republic 101. And, until they're stopped, they will do it again.
Please read more here.

Teens murdered by terrorists found by Israelis



Israel has found the bodies of the three teenagers who were kidnapped. One held dual citizenship in the U.S. Did you hear President Obama comment on them? Neither did I.
Read more here.

Want some lemonade?

This lemon ninja cuts up the lemons on a fine summer day.



Found at Boing Boing

And then there was my favorite singing group:

Can you, as a non-violent participant in an angry crowd, stop violence?

Randall Collins has some advice for you if you are a non-violent participant at a protest rally that turns violent:
Practical Advice in Violent Crowd Situations

--Don't turn your back.

--In a situation of violent threat, don't hide your face.

--Don't run away in panic.

--Above all, don't fall down.

That is to say: your eyes and your face are your strongest weapon of defense.

--Keep up a clear confrontation with a potential attacker. But don't raise the level of tension; don't scream; don't make further threats; just keep it steady as you can.

--Don't get isolated as a single individual surrounded by a cluster of about half a dozen attackers. This is the configuration in photos where persons are badly beaten. Try to stay with at least a small cluster of your own side, but not in the panicky flight mode.
Please read more here

If voters elect Rand Paul President...

His wife Kelley would be the first lady. They have three sons, between the ages of fourteen and twenty. She has been working as a political consultant for Senator Ted Cruz! Now she works on the board of Helping a Hero, a charity that helps wounded war veterans find housing.

Read more here.


photo by Getty Images for Time


photo by Jonathan Becker for Vogue

The new Caliphate

Is it ISIS, or ISIL? Neither! Now they just want to be called IS! That's short for Islamic State. Read more here.

78 killed in first two days of Ramadan observances

Do you know about the Religion of Peace blog? It keeps a tally of terrorist attacks done by members of Islam, "The Religion of Peace." In the first two days of Ramadan, terrorists killed 78 people in fifteen attacks. Go here to read more.

Not even butter and salt?



Thanks to Blazing Cat Fur

Will Facebook, Google and Twitter ban jihadists from using their platforms?

Nine European countries are meeting in Milan on July 8 to discuss coordinating action to prevent jihadists returning from Syria to utilize social media to spread their jihad message. Over two thousand Europeans have voluntarily gone to Syria to fight Asaad.
Ivo Opstelten, the Dutch minister of security and justice, said the companies must make greater efforts to ban Islamic militants from using their platforms for recruitment and propaganda.

"Many companies might have [clauses against jihadist statements] in their terms of service, but they don't act," he said in a letter to lawmakers. "These companies must live up to their own rules on postings and delete propaganda of violent jihadists," he said.
Frau Katz has more here.

Dead broke



Thanks to Young Conservatives for posting this.

How Obama avoids taking responsibility for his actions

Bill Ayres interviewed by Megyn Kelly tonight

Tonight Megyn Kelly will interview the Weather Underground terrorist who helped Obama start his run for the presidency. Makes me wish I had cable!

When will we see a political prairie fire?

Is it the Age of Obama, or the Age of Oligarchy? Joel Kotkin says it is the latter.
Despite this administration’s occasional rhetorical flourishes against oligarchy, we have seen a rapid concentration of wealth and depressed conditions for the middle class under Obama. The stimulus, with its emphasis on public sector jobs, did little for Main Street. And under the banner of environmentalism, green cronyism has helped fatten the bank accounts of investment bankers and tech moguls at great public expense.

In this, both political parties are to blame. Republican fealty to the interests of the investor class has been long-standing. But Obama and the Democrats are also increasingly backed in their “progressive” causes by the very people -- Wall Street traders, venture capitalists and tech executives -- who benefit most from the federal bailouts, cheap money, low interest rates, and low capital gains tax rates.

Large financial institutions also have benefited greatly from regulations that guaranteed their survival while allowing for increased concentration of financial assets. Indeed in the first five years of the Obama Administration the share of financial assets held by the top six “too big to fail” banks soared 37%, and now account for two-thirds of all bank assets.

“Quantitative easing,” the government’s purchase of financial assets from commercial banks, essentially constituted a “too big to fail” windfall to the largest Wall Street firms, notes one former high-level official. By 2011, pay for executives at the largest banking firms hit new records, just three years after the financial “wizards” left the world economy on the brink of economic catastrophe. Meanwhile, as “too big to fail” banks received huge bailouts, the ranks of community banks continues dropping to the lowest number since the 1930s, hurting, in particular, small businesspeople that depend on loans from these institutions.

If Obama has proven a god-send for the oligarchs, he has been less solicitous of small business. Long a key source of new jobs, small business start-ups have declined as a portion of all business growth from 50 percent in the early 1980s to 35% in 2010. Indeed, a 2014 Brookings report, revealed small business “dynamism,” measured by the growth of new firms compared with the closing of older ones, has declined significantly over the past decade, with more firms closing than starting for the first time in a quarter century.

There are many explanations for this decline, including the impact of offshoring, globalization and technology. But much can be traced to the expansion of regulatory power. Small firms, according to a 2010 report by the Small Business Administration, spend one-third more per employee than larger firms on staff who can help them meet with federal dictats. The biggest hit to small business comes from environmental regulations, which cost 364% per employee more for small firms than large ones. Small business owners and self-employed professionals also have also been among those most impacted, through the cancellations of their health care policies, by the Affordable Care Act.

The oligarchs should not rest too comfortably. An observer of gilded age America may have also assumed that the oligarchic power of the robber barons and industrial magnates would continue to wax inexorably. Yet, there comes a time -- as occurred in the early years of the last century and again in the 1930s -- when the political economy so poorly serves the vast majority that it ignites a political prairie fire. We are not there yet, in either party, but if the corrupt bargain between the oligarchs and the political class goes unbroken, the wait may not be long.
Please read more here.

Corruption

Kevin Williamson writes:
Progressives refuse to see the inherent corruption in the new ruling class — and, make no mistake, we now have a ruling class — because it is largely made up of them, their colleagues, and people who are socially and culturally like them and their colleagues. Getting a couple hundred grand a year to teach one class doesn’t look so crazy if you think you might be the guy who gets the check next time around. You can be an anti-elite crusader on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised from your million-dollar mansion, even if you never find yourself so much as downwind from a poor person, without fearing charges of hypocrisy: Ask Senator Warren. Of course Chelsea Clinton does not have the sense or the good taste to be embarrassed when talking about her blasé attitude toward money: Money is invisible to her for the same reason that water is invisible to a fish — she’d notice it if it weren’t there, and flap like a desperate landed mackerel until she’d secured her next big payday.
Please read more here.

What can schools do to engage boys?

Who are more likely to be suspended from school, boys or girls? (For every 100 females suspended, there are 215 males).

Who are more likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability? (For every 100 females, 276 males are diagnosed).

Who are more likely to enter college? (For every 100 females, 78 males are entered).

Who are more likely to have a masters degree? For every 100 females, there are 66 males with masters).

Why?

This article points to some possible explanations: Zero tolerance policies, dearth of male teachers, girls develop faster, teaching to the test. but there is reason for hope: Boys regularly outperform girls in science, math, and technology; by age 16 the average I.Q. of boys is higher than the average of girls.

What can schools do to engage boys? Provide lessons that result in an end product, structure lessons as competitive games, require motor activity, allow boys to address open questions or unsolved problems, encourage a combination of competition and teamwork, craft lessons that focus on independent discovery and realization.
Please read more here.
Thanks to Instapundit for linking to "No boy left behind."

Electing President Jarrett

Roger L. Simon writes:
Blood Feud, Ed Klein’s new book on the Clintons and the Obamas currently rocketing to the top of the Amazon best seller list even before its official publication day, is a lurid, irresponsible work of yellow journalism filled with suppositions, inaccuracies, myriad anonymous sources, made-up dialogue and (often extreme) bias.

In other words, it is essentially like your average front page story in the New York Times.

But unlike the Times, Klein gets it essentially right about his subject — the Clintons and the Obamas despise each other.

Lurid as they may be, Klein’s insider profiles of those who lead us often make you think of serious matters more than many “serious” and dry political books. What we have here is a portrait of narcissism gone berserk. And maybe that’s what most politics is. Who would want to go through the ordeal of running for national office but someone with a serious narcissistic personality disorder? Perhaps the job of us voters (and pundits) is to separate the good narcissists from the bad narcissists.

That’s not an easy task. Barack Obama’s brand of narcissism seemed quite attractive to many early on with all its soaring talk of hope and change. Voters had no idea this man had only scant interest in the nitty-gritty task of governing. And the person they were really electing, as Blood Feud makes abundantly clear, was someone almost none of them had then heard of and most still haven’t — President Jarrett.
Please read more here.

Rescuing an abject ingrate

Victor Davis Hanson writes today about Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki:
Maliki failed to grasp that Obama had even less trust in the influence of America to do good things abroad than did Maliki himself. But the larger irony is that now Maliki is begging for a return of American hard power to save his government from those killers that his policies helped create. In extremis, he understands that no other country would depose an oil-rich tyrant, stay on to foster democracy, leave the oil to its owners, and then leave when asked — and finally consider coming back to the rescue of an abject ingrate.

How weird the result: the anti-American Maliki pining for American arms from the escapist American president who lords his American power over others even as he ankles bites the very foundations of such power. Anti-American Latin American governments export their precious youth to the hated U.S., where its oppressive government will take care of them in a way the benevolent socialism at home did not, and the new arrivals will in time become hyphenated Americans with supposedly justified grievances against a largely racist and prejudicial society.
Please read more here.

She's accomplished!

Manhattan Infidel tells us here how reading HIllary's 650 page memoir of power, intrigue and betrayal has cured his insomnia.

Harry Reid too severe to pose for American Gothic?

Lari Vine has found Hillary's campaign diary!
Harry Reid--what to do about that grim old coot? He looks like a guy rejected to pose in "American Gothic" for looking too severe. Hey, Harry! George Wallace just called to thank you for making him seem like less of a dick in comparison. He looks like he ought to be playing somebody's grandpa in "Twilight."

More on my monument: What if we replaced Pennsylvania Avenue with a green-friendly pedestrian mall built entirely out of recycled soda bottles? We avoid micro-aggression by banning talking inside. Even better: We forbid entry to all but women and members of underserved communities. It's time we had a place of our own.
Apparently Lari is going to give us weekly bits and pieces of Hillary's top secret diary here.

The new counter-culture: coming from the right!

Adam Bellow writes about
the ideas and methods of the contemporary Left, including its reactionary humorlessness, its bullying tone, and its impulse to dictate what people may and may not say. The Left has always understood the importance of language to its transformational project. If you can control the use and even the meaning of words, as Orwell showed in 1984, they cannot be used to express dissenting views, or even to formulate the thoughts that might inform such intellectual resistance. And if you cannot actually dictate people’s thoughts, you can force them into silence by making it too costly to express them.

I had read books like Animal Farm and Doctor Zhivago, so I knew very well what could happen when petty ideological enforcers seized power in a totalitarian setting. But that was long ago and far away. You could never have convinced me then, in 1976, that from these tiny seeds of academic radicalism an ideological movement would grow that would one day come to dominate the American cultural landscape. Yet that is exactly what happened.

Those who dissent from the prevailing liberal dogma are quickly branded as extremists and declared to be bad people. Do you support the traditional view of marriage? You’re a homophobe who wants to deny equal rights to gay Americans. Do you question the economic benefits of raising the minimum wage? You are a selfish Scrooge who hates the working class. Do you want America to establish control over its borders? You hate hard-working immigrants who just want to enjoy the American dream. Do you believe a human fetus has legal and natural rights? You are a misogynist who wants to control women’s bodies. Do you support the death penalty in certain cases? You’re a heartless savage no better than the killers themselves, according to Charles Blow of the New York Times. Do you oppose any aspect whatsoever of Barack Obama’s transformative agenda for America? You’re a racist. Racist, racist, racist!

Just as bad as outright censorship (which cannot be imposed to the extent the Left would like) is the censorship people impose on themselves in order to avoid being punished with the loss of their reputation and livelihood.

Conservatives do seem to understand that this is a battle that must be engaged. But they don’t seem to know how to fight it. What they urgently need to realize is that this is not a battle that can be fought in the realm of ideas and politics. We can win every election for the next 50 years and it won’t matter, if conservatives are not allowed to speak. Nor can we debate and argue this incipient totalitarian movement out of existence. We can publish all the polemics and blog posts we want. But if that is all we’ve got, we are still going to lose the larger war.

But, wait a minute! Bellow asserts that there is now in America a new counter-culture, and it is coming from the right, not as in the 1960s, when it came from the left.
This may sound counterintuitive but it actually makes perfect sense, because after its decades-long march through the institutions of government, academia, and popular culture, the Left has become the establishment. And like all establishments they are increasingly peremptory, high-handed, and sanctimonious.

The original counterculture — that is, before it was hijacked and turned into a vehicle for progressive politics — was actually libertarian in spirit, and what made it work was its antic humor and its willingness to flout the sacred cows of the conservative establishment. From Mad magazine to George Carlin, no traditional object of piety went unscathed. Nothing like that has been seen in this country for decades, precisely because the culture is now dominated by sanctimonious liberals who have lost the capacity to laugh at themselves.

In short, the tide is turning. People are getting fed up with the humorless enforcers of the Left. This represents a golden opportunity for conservatives to reach people who otherwise couldn’t be reached, and even to make some converts for a change instead of simply talking to ourselves, which is basically what we’ve been doing since we hived ourselves off into our own politicized media bubble.
Please read more here.

Please keep this man in jail



Thanks to The Right Pundit.

Should Republicans urge people to vote out of ideologically pure motives, or out of their own self interest?

Jim Geraghty writes today that the Mississippi Republican primary was an example of Al Davis's "Just Win, Baby" strategy that the hated (in Colorado) Oakland Raiders employed for so many years. One candidate, Thad Cochran, ran on his record of bringing pork home to Mississippi, while the other candidate, Chris McDaniel, ran on cutting pork. Cochran won.

Proving once again what Saul Alinsky advocated: If you want to have a successful boycott, for example, choose to boycott something people rarely eat, like maraschino cherries. People act out of self interest, not out of ideological purity.

Geraghty wants people to vote out of ideologically pure conservative principles. Cochran, however, knows what has worked for him for six terms in Congress: bring home the bacon.

Are you willing to try something new today?

The chicken fingers and french fries will still be there tomorrow. Read what Seth Godin writes today.

It's what you do with it afterward

Ann Voskamp writes:
I never expected love to be like this. I never expected so much joy.

I never expected to get so much wrong. It’s what my Mama’s said to me a thousand times if she’s said it to me once. “It’s not that you aren’t going to get things wrong — it’s what you do with it afterward.“

So you clear off the table and the dishes and the leftover spinach leaves and wash the paint fingerprint off the mess of chairs, and you pick up the socks and shoes strewn through the house like crusty droppings in the park.

And then you swing from the monkey bars in the almost dark with the kids almost grown and you pray that your post-half-a-dozen-babies bladder doesn’t give way leaky on you now, and you laugh so loud you hope they always remember.

There is still light.

There is hospitality — making space inside of you to be a safe place for a child.
Please read more here.

This is how the Veterans Administration treats whistle blowers

Supreme Court: First Amendment rights can't be violated

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union's costs of collective bargaining.

In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take.
Read more here.

Hobby Lobby wins at the Supreme Court


Demonstrator react to hearing the Supreme Court's decision on the Hobby Lobby case outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Read here how the AP reported the ruling.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oh, oh: Ramadan begins this weekend

This weekend marks the beginning of Ramadan for the world's 1.6 billion Muslims. Zeina Karam explains that Ramadan is:
A Muslim holy month of fasting during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan is the time Muslims believe God started to reveal the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. For believers, Ramadan is meant to be a time of reflection and worship, remembering the hardships of others and being charitable.

So, why does Ramadan always seem to be a time of increased violence by Islamic jihadists?
Ramadan is a time of heightened religious fervor, and Sunni militants in Iraq have in the past stepped up their attacks during the month. Some Sunni extremists believe that attacks, especially suicide missions, during Ramadan are more blessed and better rewarded by God.
Please read more here.

Fall in line, or else

Robert George writes that Brendan Eich was only the beginning. Go here to read what Chase bank is doing to make sure its employees give assent to the LGBT causes.

I thought Obama was against colonialism!

Vanessa Gera reports that Obama has taken the gay rights issue global. He has appointed five openly gay ambassadors, and a sixth one, to Vietnam, is awaiting confirmation. He flies the rainbow gay rights flag alongside the American flag. The State department has spent over $12 million in over 50 countries promoting gay rights.

In some places, like Pakistan and Uganda, American efforts have made things worse for gay couples. In February Uganda
passed a law making gay sex punishable by a life sentence. In enacting the bill, President Yoweri Museveni said he wanted to deter the West from "promoting" gay rights in Africa, a continent where homosexuals face severe discrimination and even attacks. In response, the U.S. imposed sanctions and Secretary of State John Kerry compared the policies to the anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany and apartheid in South Africa.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has waged an assault on what he considers the encroachment of decadent Western values and the government last year banned "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors," making it a crime to hold gay rights rallies or to openly discuss homosexuality in content accessible to children. Afraid for their security, some Russian gay advocates try to keep their contacts with Western officials quiet.
Please read more here.

Obamacare and unions will be in the news tomorrow

Tomorrow will be a big day for the Supreme Court. It will be issuing decisions on two cases, before adjourning for the rest of the summer.

The Hobby Lobby case will examine whether the government can force a private employer to provide abortifascients for women employees who want to kill their babies.

The other case will decide whether public sector unions can collect fees from workers who are not members of the unions.

The left and the right have a common enemy

Dick Morris writes:
Ralph Nader’s new book may be the most important of the year. Unlike the usual beltway pundit, he grasps the essential nature of the joint outrage of liberals and conservatives at the crony capitalism that has gripped Washington under the likes of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. While these three men differ on almost every issue, they are united in their subservience to Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and the other titans of Wall Street.

Income inequality, Nader argues, is an essential by-product — if not the goal — of policies that enrich the favored few who spread their campaign contributions to the establishments of both parties. Their return on this investment goes to the core of how the Federal Reserve treats them.

Once, the Fed was there to safeguard the currency against inflation. Then, in the Full Employment Act of 1947, its mandate grew to fighting joblessness. Now, in the era of quantitative easing, it has abandoned both missions in favor of pumping money to Wall Street (until recently $85 billion/month) to sustain and grow the stock market bubble. Its goal, very simply, is to enrich its friends on Wall Street and keep its allies in power in Congress and the White House.

These Wall Street abuses have united the Tea Party with the Occupy Wall Streeters. In Unstoppable, Nader explores their common ground.

He begins by identifying their common enemy: the Democratic and Republican coalition with Wall Street that aims all federal policy at enriching the verify top of the income spectrum.

He explains how their alliance

• Keeps money flowing to the biggest banks to fund their speculation

• Assures that when their irresponsible bets on derivatives and such go bad, the taxpayer will bail them out

• Funds every sort of tax break for special interests, keeping rates so high on less favored businesses that it slows economic growth

• Increases government regulation of community banks, so that they cannot afford to survive and are forced to merge with the big banks.

• Turns a blind eye to China’s currency manipulation that so brings down the cost of their products that they are de-industrializing America.

• Encourages Americans to go into deep debt to fund the corporate economy, colleges, and home builders, leaving them financially disabled and dependent on government charity.

• Encourages a permanent war economy and the profits that accrue to big businesses and defense contractors.

• Maintain the perverse incentives of the welfare state to keep people in poverty so they qualify for government largesse.

• Keep mega-corporations like General Motors going even as they outsource jobs to other countries and build unsafe cars.

Nader has his blind spots. He does not seem to realize that public employee unions have turned against the poor they were supposed to serve, advancing the privileges of their members over the needs of their clients. He also does not grasp that immigration is taking away the jobs of blue collar Americans. (Since 2000, the number of employed native born Americans has dropped by 100,000 while the rolls of employed immigrants — legal and illegal — have risen by 5.6 million (from Center for Immigration Studies).
Read more here.

Taking away Native American names

Scott Ott hits the nail on the head with this column at PJ Media:
The Left is apparently on the warpath to expunge all references to Native American peoples from our lexicon. And it’s not just the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians and other sports franchises under threat of this ethnic cleansing of our language.

Now, a Washington Post op-ed calls for scrubbing tribal names from U.S. military hardware — Apache, Chinook, Black Hawk helicopters, Tomahawk missiles and mission names like Operation Geronimo (which got bin Laden), for example.

If successful, the Left’s war on Native American words will remove practically all verbal evidence of the people who occupied these lands before the invasion of the English, Germans, Dutch, Irish, Mexicans and others. Their legacy will survive only in textbooks, museums and casinos — and most Americans completely ignore two out of three of those.

Call the White House today and tell President Obama that he can scrub the mention of Islam from reports on terrorism, but he can’t take away our Native American names.

She knows a superman when she sees one


(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)

Amy Adams played Lois Lane in the recent Superman movie entitled Man of Steel. But here is what she did the other day on a flight from Detroit to L.A.

"Make it out to Chris Stevens. You've got more security here than he had in Benghazi."



Bryan Preston supports Jason Mattera's actions here:
You get what Jason is doing there, right? He got a little rise out of Hillary Clinton by piercing her protective cocoon, while also pointing out something very important: Hillary Clinton walks around American shopping malls surrounded by more security than she allowed her “friend” Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya — a terrorist haven. Hillary Clinton has a body person. Chris Stevens’ body was carried around by fanatics.

Our so-called leaders deserve to be put on the spot. Especially when their decisions get people killed, and even more when they devise a lie to try to cover their decisions up. Even more, when they attack our rights to deflect blame for their dishonesty and incompetence, while they’re covering for our enemies. And even more, when they set up phony “Accountability” Review Boards to dodge accountability for good. Then they write dishonest books to turn their misdeeds into “old news” so they can grasp for even more power.

Bill O’Reilly has a different opinion. He used his bully pulpit on Fox News tonight to lash out at Mattera.


Preston thinks he knows what O'Reilly has in mind:
Here’s the deal. O’Reilly wants to have Hillary Clinton on his show sometime between now and when she inevitably announces that she’s running for president. Ideally, O’Reilly would like to have her make that announcement on his show. Fox is the most trusted name in news. O’Reilly still pulls in the ratings. O’Reilly + Hillary would be quite an event.

He’ll do just about anything to make that happen. If it means tossing a solid conservative who gets under powerful people’s skin under the Clinton bus, well, Bill’s gotta do what Bill’s gotta do. Pucker up!

Finally, Preston reminds O'Reilly to "do it live."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Connections

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

How far away from this scenario are we?

The small town of Pleasant Valley, New York was the site of a shooting on June 25. The SWAT team was called out to investigate a report that a boy was eating an ice cream cone in public. Manhatten Infidel has all the details, some of which are NSFW. Please read more here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The permanent government is essentially an extension of one political party.

Drew M. writes at Ace of Spades:
As government has grown and liberal Democrats have flocked to government "service" we are in the position where the permanent government is essentially an extension of one political party. Even when Democrats are out of power their sympathizers embedded throughout the bureaucracy carry on their work immune from Republican pressure (to the extent they even want to exert it).

Of course the real solution is shrinking the size and scope of government but let's be honest, that's not on the table.

The House can hold all the oversight hearings it wants but until a fundamental reform of the public employee sector is on the table, don't expect anything to change.
Please read more here.

Losing the public's trust

Noah Rothman writes:
The president enjoyed the support of the public and a broad mandate to reshape the United States’ approach to foreign affairs because Americans no longer believed that the Bush administration’s goals in Iraq and Afghanistan were attainable. They believed Obama when he wrote in 2008 that “Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been.” It is now, and Americans feel less safe than at any point since the immediate post-9/11 period.

That’s why Obama has lost the public’s trust on foreign policy matters, and why the polls are unlikely to turn around for him soon. Betrayal is a hard thing to forgive.
Please read more here.

Scandals, the family, transmitting culture

Jonah Goldberg on scandaleclipse:
Have you noticed that basically the only way this White House can get out from under one scandal or controversy is by getting crushed by another? The White House was reeling from the VA scandal, which is why they rolled out the Bergdahl news. They didn't expect that the Bergdahl story would become so controversial; fortunately they were rescued by the June 6 news of thousands of immigrant children showing up at the border. Hey, quick question: I can't get my kid out of an airport without her getting messy. Isn't it strange that all of these kids seem to show up, after a 1,000-mile journey looking so spiffy? Anyway, the immigrant-kid story was pretty brutal for the White House; fortunately they were rescued three days later by the news that ISIS had taken Mosul. The "Who Lost Iraq?" narrative isn't great for the White House either, which is why it might have been a relief when the IRS announced on June 13 that they lost Lois Lerner's e-mails.

Jonah Goldberg on the family:
No institution transmits culture more effectively than the family. We learn language, dialect, and accents in the home (we learn grammar at school). We get most of our religion and morality at home. We learn from our parents how citizens behave in a society and what they should expect from society and government. It's important to keep in mind that while parents teach their kids by telling them things, the real learning comes from watching what parents do — or don't do. Kids are wired to emulate their parents. They see how we divide our time. The habits of the heart are formed in the home.

And this is why progressives of all labels have had their eye on the family. It is the state's greatest competition. As I've written a bunch of times around here, if you listen to Barack Obama's vision of America, it's one where there's the state and the individual and pretty much nothing in between. Civil society, mediating institutions, and other "islands of separateness" are problems in Obama's eyes. Well, the family is the truest island of separateness. In the Life of Julia, the state is her family.
Please read more at The Goldberg File.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid

Is the Obama regime imploding?

Fudged data

Replacing actual temperatures with computer models! The fraud of the century, or at least the second biggest fraud of the century. The exact reverse of science.



Please read more here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's happening right before our eyes


IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, before Congress on June 23, 2014 (Win McNamee/Getty)

It's not just the growth of government that troubles Victor Davis Hanson. It's
the creation of a partisan, semi-autonomous government that seems to exist for the benefit of its employees and the larger ideological agenda of the present administration.

Sometimes contemporary government bureaucracies are even more blatantly enlisted in the progressive cause of seeing liberal Democrats elected. The Internal Revenue Service has enormous carrot-and-stick power in picking and choosing who needs a tax audit, or which group deserves tax-exempt status. Under Lois Lerner, the IRS’s tax-exemption division targeted conservative groups to defang them before the 2012 election — and then attempted to cover up that perversion of the agency. Lerner herself pled the Fifth Amendment, and now we learn that much of her key e-mail correspondence mysteriously disappeared from her computer. E-mail records from six other IRS officials of interest likewise vanished. The IRS also improperly handed over tax files of particular groups to the FBI for investigation. It is no exaggeration to state that the IRS has now surrendered its reputation as an impartial agency and lost the public trust. It has degenerated into an extension of the White House.

Hanson goes on in his usual brilliance to analyze what is happening at other federal agencies, such as the Border Patrol, the Affordable Care Act, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the General Services Administration, NASA, the V.A., and the EPA. Please read the whole thing here.

Woeful Republican leadership

Andrew McCarthy is not impressed by John Boehner's announcement that he is suing President Obama.
Obviously, Republican leadership does not see its “other options” as including the exercise of powers the Constitution gives Congress to stop executive lawlessness in its tracks, namely, cutting off the executive branch’s funding and impeaching executive branch officials who violate the law, carry out lawless policy, mislead lawmakers, stonewall investigations, and frustrate Congress’s constitutional oversight function. In essence, Boehner & Co. are fecklessly asking the courts to do their heavy lifting for them — a classic case of assuming the pose of meaningful action while in reality doing nothing. And tune in next week when Republicans get back to complaining about how activist judges are making the law rather than interpreting it.

Clearly, Republicans doubt their competence to win this debate, to make presidential lawlessness the defining issue of our political discourse. They prefer to cruise quietly into November, and hope — as they did in 2012 — that the unpopularity of Obama’s agenda will be enough to carry them through the election. But they also know their agitated base is demanding that they do something to stop or slow the dizzying pace of Obama’s “Change,” which in just the last couple of weeks has given us: the VA scandal, ruinous EPA regulations, the release of top Taliban terrorists to return to the jihad, an invited invasion of thousands of illegal aliens across the Southern border, and revelations that executive officials destroyed key evidence in the IRS scandal.
Please read more here.

Maybe we should divest in the Palestinian Authority!

Nolan Finley writes:
Even the United States, supposedly Israel’s best friend, is ignoring its own law against providing support for any nation that aligns with terrorists by continuing to fund the Palestinian Authority to the tune of $440 million this year. With Hamas in the PA fold, that’s a direct subsidy of terror.

The Palestinians pioneered and perfected terrorism as a means of gaining political leverage. They’ve strapped bombs to their own young people and sent them forward to murder other young people. And for this they’ve been given a seat at the table, where they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state to exist.

Israel has provided a substantial return on international investments in the form of cutting edge technology and lifesaving biomedical breakthroughs.

The Palestinians have taken the money the world has given them and used it to fund hate and violence.

Maybe we should divest in them.
Please read more here.

The strange pattern of progress

Today at A Holy Experience Jon Bloom writes:
Think about this strange pattern that occurs over and over in just about every area of life:

Healthy, nutritious food often requires discipline to prepare and eat while junk food is convenient, tasty, and addictive.
Keeping the body healthy and strong requires frequent deliberate discomfort while it only takes moderate indulgence to go to pot.
You have to make yourself pick up that nourishing but intellectually challenging book while flipping on the TV or popping in a DVD is as easy as coasting downhill.
You frequently have to force yourself to get to devotions and prayer while sleeping in or cleaning that clutter or checking Facebook just has a gravitational pull.
Learning to skillfully play beautiful music requires thousands of hours of tedious practice.
Excelling in a sport requires monotonous drills ad nauseum.
Learning to write well requires writing, writing, writing and rewriting, rewriting, rewriting. And usually voluminous reading.
It takes years and years of schooling just to make certain vocational opportunities possible.

You get the idea.

The pattern in everything is this: the greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain—things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it—while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as couch cushions.

Why is this?

Because God, in great mercy, is showing us everywhere, in things that are just shadows of heavenly realities, that there is great reward for those who struggle through and persevere (Hebrews 10:32–35).
Please read more here.

From King of the world to dead in the water in six months

Charles Krauthammer writes:
Barack Obama, already naturally inclined to believe his own loftiness, graciously accepted the kingly crown and proceeded to ride his reelection success to a crushing victory over the GOP at the fiscal cliff, leaving a humiliated John Boehner & Co. with nothing but naked tax hikes. Thus emboldened, Obama turned his inaugural and State of the Union addresses into a left-wing dream factory, from his declaration of war on global warming (on a planet where temperatures are the same as they were 16 years ago and in a country whose CO2 emissions are at a 20-year low) to the invention of new entitlements — e.g., universal preschool for five-year-olds — for a country already drowning in debt.

Nonetheless, whatever happens, the screw will surely turn again, if only because of media boredom. But that’s the one constant of Washington political life: There are no straight-line graphs. We live from inflection point to inflection point. And we’ve just experienced one: From king of the world to dead in the water in six months. Quite a ride.
Please read more here.

The BDS movement

Do you know about the
worldwide BDS movement? (“BDS” stands for “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” — against one country, Israel.)
The latest group to join the BDS movement in the Presbyterian Church USA, which has 1.9 million members. PCUSA is the largest Presbyterian denomination, with about 1.9 million members.

There is a conservative alternative: the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Go here to see how they differ from PCUSA.

The PCUSA voted in their general assembly to sell stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions, because they do business with Israel in Palestine.

Haaretz and The Associated Press report:
Two smaller U.S. religious groups have divested in protest of Israeli policies: the Friends Fiduciary Corp., which manages assets for U.S. Quakers, and the Mennonite Central Committee. Last week, the pension board of the United Methodist Church, the largest mainline Protestant group in the U.S., revealed plans to sell holdings worth about $110,000 in G4S, which provides security equipment and has contracts with Israel's prison system. However, the United Methodist Church had rejected church-wide divestment.

Motorola Solutions said in a statement that the company follows the law and its own policies that address human rights. Hewlett-Packard said its checkpoints for Palestinians were developed to expedite passage "in a secure environment, enabling people to get to their place of work or to carry out their business in a faster and safer way." Caterpillar has said it does not sell equipment to Israel, just to the U.S. government.

A church spokeswoman estimated the value of the Presbyterian holdings in the companies at $21 million.
Please read more here.

The editors of National Review point out that
If Israel did not exist, the United Nations might not have much to do. Last year the General Assembly adopted 25 resolutions against particular countries. Twenty-one of those resolutions were against Israel; the other four were against Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Burma. Not since the apartheid regime in South Africa has a country been so stigmatized by the world. And foes of Israel, of course, promote the lie that Israel is an “apartheid state.”
Read more here.

When you can spend it like this, you don't need to care about it

Chelsea Clinton is just like her parents: she doesn't care about money, she says.
I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t. That wasn’t the metric of success that I wanted in my life.”

Clinton is currently pulling down $600,000 per year for the kind of no-show job you probably thought had disappeared with the demise of the American mafia. She is officially employed as an on-air correspondent for NBC News even though she hasn’t appeared on NBC for the past four months.

Clinton is so unconcerned with money that she shelled out $10.3 million of the worthless stuff just last spring to buy a swanky pad near Manhattan’s Flatiron Building. Her 2010 wedding to Marc Mezvinsky cost an estimated $3.3 million.
Read more here.

Where did the "low fat" diets get us? We're fatter than ever!

In the dentist's office today I was pleased to see a Time cover story on the failure of the "low fat" diets we have been encouraged to eat for about the last forty years. Here is a video put together by the author of the cover story.

Hillary Clinton, the crony capitalist who laughs about getting rapists off

Dick Morris has two videos this week on Hillary Clinton. One is about Hillary gloating and laughing about getting off a rapist who raped a twelve year-old girl in Arkansas in the 1970s. Watch that video to see how Hillary smeared the sixth grader who was raped.The other video is about Hillary's crony capitalism game. Goldman Sachs hosted her recently when she used their board room for a fundraiser with big bucks donors. You can watch both videos here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

When they go home...

Elliot Abrams writes that the results of Obama's policies in the Middle East could not be much worse in terms of our security:
the largest gathering of jihadis we have ever seen, 12,000 now and expanding. They come from all over the world, a jihadi Arab League, a jihadi EU, a jihadi U.N. Two or three thousand are from Europe, and an estimated 70 from the United States. When they go home, some no doubt disillusioned but many committed, experienced and well trained, “home” will be Milwaukee and Manchester and Marseille—and, as we see now on the front pages, to Mosul. When Obama took office there was no such phenomenon; it is his creation, the result of his passivity in Syria while Sunnis were being slaughtered by the Assad regime.

Read more here.

The way they were

Contrast this to the way the media is now in covering the scandals of the Obama administration.



Thanks to American Glob for digging up this clip.

Trey Gowdy making the people of South Carolina look like geniuses

What if there were more than one Congressmen doing the job that people sent him or her to do?

"It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began"

This video has been around for a few days. I think Instapundit was the first to post it, but I found it tonight at American Glob.



"Our troops deserve to know that those who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."

Risk and reward

I like this from Seth Godin. I think it has real significance for blog-writers.
The path of chiming in is safe and easy and carries little apparent risk and less reward (for you and for your readers). Choosing to dig deep and say more, though, is where both risk and reward live.

Many of the blogs on the right just chime in. As Seth writes, more people are saying less, while
A few people, people who would never have been chosen by those in power, are saying more. Writing more deeply, connecting more viscerally, changing the things around them.

That's each of us, at our best.

There's a cost of speaking up, of course. The cost of being wrong, or rubbing someone the wrong way, or merely in living with the uncertainty of what will happen next.

There's a cost to being banal, though. That cost isn't as easily felt, but it's real. It's the cost of boring your audience, of dumping 'me too' on people who have something better to do with their time. And especially, the cost of living in hiding, giving in to our fear.
Please read more here.

Primary elections today



Today is the day for primary elections in Colorado and many other states. A great deal of money is spent to try to influence voters one way or another. Here in Colorado the governors race on the Republican side is the most interesting. Tom Tancredo is running for governor on the Republican ticket against three other guys. Each of them, in my humble opinion, would be better than our current governor, a Democrat named Hickenlooper.

So for whom should I vote? The one who has the least support among the people who run the Republican party in Colorado is Tancredo. Tancredo rides a Harley, is a strong proponent of Second Amendment rights, has long been speaking out against our lax enforcement of our southern border, stood on street corners to collect signatures leading to recall elections against Democrats who rammed through gun control legislation, is just a regular guy who says what he thinks, laughs a lot, doesn't seem to take himself very seriously, pokes fun at himself "My wife says I was the one who wanted this, so I should stop whining"), was told by Karl Rove "not to darken the door of the White House again." He got my vote.

Paying attention

Cashiers where I work are all exhausted by the end of the day. Many, if not most, have developed some physical ailment during their eight-hour shift. Even the younger cashiers! Recently I noticed that by my last shift of the day I had tremendous pain on the right side of my back. It was happening every day. What should I do? Go to a chiropractor on my next day off? Go for a massage?

I chose neither. Instead, I chose to stop reaching across my body from right to left, and, instead, put the item in my left hand and use the left hand to put the item in the bag. Voila! It worked! And I save the money I would have paid to a chiropractor or masseuse!

The good life

For some reason the most colorful customers always seek me out to be their cashier, so they can tell me the latest episodes in their lives. One such couple is a man from Mississippi and his new bride, who is from Minnesota. He is a farm hand who last bathed when Nixon was still president. For his birthday, she bought him a "new" 1995 Ford pickup for only $300 with the trade-in. It only has 260,000 miles on it, and the stereo works. "It even tells you who is singing!"

Not long after that, both being lovers of lake fishing, they sold their old boat for $400 and bought a "new" one that was much larger for only $500.

Even though she recently was fired from her job at Salvation Army for giving a customer the middle finger, these two are clearly living the good life. Whenever they see me in the store, the man excitedly yells out a loudly drawn out "Baahb!"

Effort

One of my favorite people at work is a woman from Mississippi. She was telling me about her daughter (number four of five daughters), who just cannot tell the truth about anything. "It's in her genes. My mama would climb up on the roof of the house to tell a lie."

No fear

Recently two female employees at our store foiled a would-be shoplifter. He was a tall, muscular man who had a big bag of dog food and a smaller bag of dog treats. One female employee chased after him, calling out repeatedly, "Sir!" Near the front door she finally got his attention. He said he had paid for the items, but the self check register didn't print a receipt. The other female checked the register for all recent transactions, while the first female stood between the door and the thief. Sure enough, he had not paid.

I complimented the two females for showing no fear. One said she fears no one, except for someone named Rhonda Rousy, a MMA star. Her comment: "Fear just gets in your way!"

The other female said "Fear? Why should I be afraid? If he hits me I get sent home WITH PAY!"

Scaring away ghosts

Let me give you an example of why I am so enjoying the children who come into the store to shop with their parent(s). I was speaking with a couple who have a son and a daughter. The mom was telling me how Obamacare caused her to lose her job and caused the dad to be cut back 30%. Mom then explained how her son is "special needs," and in need of medical help. He is autistic, she explained. Then she gave me a wonderful example of how "special" he really is. When his sister has nightmares about ghosts in her room, he gets up, goes into her room, and scares away the ghosts.

Judge not, that ye be not judged

A woman was buying National Enquirer and Soap Opera Digest. right away I judged her to be insubstantial. But what else did she buy? Items to give away to the people who were collecting goods for the local Ronald McDonald House.

Ha ha

Here is something that annoys me: a person comes up to me and says something they think is clever, and then loudly laughs. This seems to be more common with men. Also, I have noticed that men seem more likely than women to use sarcasm. (I have no room to talk when it comes to sarcasm. It is something I know I need to use much more sparingly than I do.) Men also seem more likely to use physical aggression.

Listening well

One thing I am not really good at is paying close attention to what the other person is saying to me. I want to get better at that. I have this annoying habit of changing the subject to something I am interested in, rather than following the person's train of thought until he/she is finished making their point. I am going to practice asking questions to help the person say in detail what they are trying to say. Once they are finished, I can then make the point I want to make, and still have the full benefit of learning from the other person.

Joy versus misery

I am very fortunate to work in a job where the huge majority of customers are friendly and appreciative of what I do for them. Maybe once a week there will come along a miserable soul, who wants to make me miserable, too. When I first was hired to do the job, I would let that person ruin my next hour or too. Not any more. Now I recognize right away that this person's misery is the result of choices he/she is making. I do not have to get sucked in to his/her misery. Not even for a few seconds.

Doing what you love versus loving what you do

Many "experts" recommend that you find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Seth Godin writes:
It's probably easier and certainly more direct to talk to yourself about loving what you do.
Please read more here.

Too clever for their britches

Have you used the self service section at the grocery store or big box store? Have you noticed how many people get irritated by the process? Stores usually assign one human to watch several self service checkouts, and customers are very glad those humans are there. Store managers better recognize that fact.

Do marketers influence what you buy?

Of course they do! Seth Godin has written this book:



I think he got it right the first time. Please read more here.

Work for the C.I.A.

Have you considered a career in the C.I.A.? Manhattan Infidel says:
You won’t be sorry. Unless you get outed, want children or want to keep your teeth.
Please read more here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Making your life art

One of the things I like so much about my job in the summer is that I get to interact with so many kids. They are out of school for the summer and come into the store shopping with their parent or parents. Mary Oliver writes today at A Holy Experience:
And be astonished by oppression and aggression and transgressions and be astonished, be a psalmist, and be admonished to just be ravished, by a world that makes children laugh wonder at the spray of sprinklers and the splatter of water balloons and go ahead and be like a child and say again, again to the rising of the sun, and again, again, to the crashing of waves and be astonished like the children for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Look into the faces on the street corners this week, watch the faces at the grocery store and feel communion, the gratitude for the color of kids’ eyes, the wrinkling of the beautifully wise, the way the melody of us all coming and going rises and falls and disappears and rises again right there in an airport.

Live everyday like you’re terminal. Because you are.
Live everyday like your soul’s eternal. Because it is.

Start to pay attention long enough that your one heart breaks open a bit in unabashed thanks to the One who loves you, till you live loved, till you do what you love, till you don’t stop till others have felt His love.

Pay attention, be astonished, tell About It — about Him — live the eucharist of thankful communion…
Please read more here.

The green rush

Do you like to take risks? Do you have a ton of money to invest? You might want to consider investing in one of the many businesses developing ancillary products for the marijuana industry. Alicia Wallace writes:
The legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use in Colorado and Washington coupled with a growing base of states that adopted medical marijuana legislation has spurred a boom in the legal cannabis business.

The budding industry is expected to tally $2.57 billion in sales this year, according to an ArcView Market Research report released late last year.

If the "groundswell" continues, cannabis could be a $10.2 billion business in 2018, ArcView officials wrote in the second edition of "The State of Legal Marijuana Markets."

One of the fastest growing areas for investment is the ancillary business segment, which consists of firms that do not handle the marijuana products, but provide services for those who do.
Read more here.

McCarthy: Our enemies have a strategic vision for a global conflict, but we don’t.

I keep reading ISIS referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Andy McCarthy clarifies:
The acronym is derived from the jihadists’ self-proclaimed name: the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. Al-Sham refers to “greater Syria” or the Levant, encompassing the neighboring territories of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Cyprus, and Southern Turkey.

Jihadists, you see, do not recognize or much care about national boundaries drawn by Western powers. In the world, as they see it, they are pitted against everyone else — Dar al-Islam versus Dar al-Harb: All must choose the realm of Islam or the realm of war. Significantly, al-Qaeda was not the first to revive this ancient Islamic-supremacist perspective. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the creator of Iran’s revolutionary sharia state, famously proclaimed:

We do not worship Iran. We worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [i.e., Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.

Because of the president’s delusional theory that the Muslim Brotherhood are “moderates” we can ally with, he quietly colluded with Qatar and the Saudis to arm and train the Syrian “rebels.” It blew up on him because the “moderates” are not moderate. The Brothers concur in al-Qaeda’s sharia goals and readily resort to terrorism if that is what is necessary to achieve them. So arming the rebels, as Obama helped do, necessarily meant arming anti-American jihadists. This has proved embarrassing, so what Obama has done, at least so far, is refrain from giving the “rebels” decisive aid — the kind he gave the “rebels” in Libya, to disastrous effect in Benghazi. That is hardly an aid vacuum.

As I argued throughout the Bush years, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has always been Iran’s guy, and under his regime, Iran’s tentacles were allowed to spread throughout post-Saddam Iraq — the State Department and the Iraq Study Group sharing the loopy conceit that Iran had an interest in a stable Iraq even as Iran was fueling both sides of Iraq’s civil war, supplying Sunni terrorists with IEDs, and running Shiite terror cells against our troops.

The biggest challenge, however, is the one to which Washington has been willfully blind for a generation: Islam, and in particular the supremacist interpretation of it that rules the Middle East. Its absence from the debate is the vacuum at the center of the vacuum claptrap.

Iraqis despise Americans. Their sharia jurists, Sunni and Shiite, called for violent jihad to drive the “occupiers” out, and Iraqis thus overwhelmingly demanded that our forces leave the country. Under pressure from his Iranian overseers, Maliki drove a hard bargain with Bush, insisting on an American withdrawal and refusing to grant our troops immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts. Running out of time, Bush acceded to the demands that our forces be dramatically reduced by 2009 and fully evacuated by 2011. In so doing, he agreed to exactly what he had always rightly regarded as folly: hard withdrawal dates that would inevitably encourage jihadists to bide their time and reemerge as we vacated.

The principal challenge confronting the United States in the Middle East is Islam. As taught there, it inspires intense hatred of us from both sides of the Sunni–Shiite divide. President Bush could not make it go away by pretending it was a “false” Islam, and President Obama has made it worse by pretending we can ally with it. But neither of them caused the problem. We will never have a rational foreign policy until we fill that vacuum in our understanding.
Please read more here.

The truth about Benghazi is beginning to emerge

Dick Morris believes the truth about Benghazi is beginning to emerge. A journalist Morris respects, Edward Klein, has written a book about the Clintons and the Obamas entitled Blood Feud. In it Klein quotes a source who he says was a legal advisor to Clinton. The source tells Klein that Obama himself was the source of the lie about the Benghazi attack being a spontaneous protest caused by an obscure You Tube video. Bill Clinton was the person who told the legal advisor about Obama calling Hillary on 9-11-12 to ask her to say the attack was because of the You Tube video, rather than a planned terrorist attack. She went along with the lie, because she did not want to be the one who caused Obama to lose the election, and thus ruin her own prospects for a presidential run. Please go here to view the Dick Morris video.

How do people see you?

Are you invisible? Or do you have a category, such as one of these listed by Seth Godin at his blog:
Most likely to hit a home run

Most likely to please my boss

Most likely to do the work

Most likely to work for free

Most likely to stick it out

Most likely to change everything

Most likely to be trustworthy

Most likely to attract attention

Most likely to be invisible

Most likely to be worth it

There are many versions of most likely to succeed. When you're looking for a gig or a client, the category you are placed in by those that choose is up to you. And no category = invisible.

How to become meaningful

Seth Godin advises us to stop trying to win the game of
"How many eyeballs, how big is the audience, what's the passalong, how many likes, friends, followers, how many hits?"
Are people connected to you? Do they come to your blog because they know it will not be a waste of time? For example, every time Victor Davis Hanson writes a piece, I want to read it, because I know I will learn something, and he will make me think.

Godin writes that the key question to ask is, "Would I miss it if it were gone?" He writes:
It's no longer possible to become important to everyone, not in a reliable, scalable way, not in a way that connects us to people who will read ads or take action, not to people who aren't already clicking away to the next thing by the time they get to the second or third sentence.

But it is possible to become important to a very-small everyone, to a connected tribe that cares about this voice or that story or this particular point of view. It's still possible to become meaningful, meaningful if you don't get short-term greedy about any particular moment of mass, betting on the long run instead. And we need institutions that can reach many of these tribes, that can bind together focused audiences and useful content creators.

If it's not worth subscribing to a particular voice or feature or idea, if it's not worth looking forward to and not worth trusting, I'm not sure it's worth writing, not if your goal is to become meaningful.
Read much more here.

Attention to detail

Seth Godin writes:

The handyman brings attention to detail and craftsmanship to the jobs that need to be done. Difficult to live without, but a household name, not a famous name.

The genius, Thomas Edison, relentlessly tries one approach after another until the elusive solution is found.

And the mad scientist, Tesla or Jobs, is idiosyncratic and apparently irrational—until the magic appears.

Who do you need?

Who are you?

Gift-giving

Seth Godin wonders if cat food is really for cats, then why is it not mouse-flavored? Moreover, he asserts that:
more often than not, the way the gift makes us feel to give is at least as important as how it makes the other person (or pet, or infant) feel to receive it.
Read more here.

John Kerry has a plan

We spent $25 billion training and equipping Iraq's forces through 2011. They collapsed and were overrun in Mosul by the advancing ISIS barbarians. Now John Kerry is trying a different tack: ask our most avowed enemy in the world, Iran, to help us stop ISIS. How will that work out?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tasteful

Chelsea Clinton now works for NBC. She is an adult. Her parents are Hillary and Bill Clinton. Here she is at a recent event. She and her husband Marc Mezvinsky in March 2013 purchased a $10.5 million condominium on Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Chelsea and Hillary are coming to Colorado this month. I won't be covering the event, because I don't have the qualifications to be a "special" correspondent for NBC.



Thanks to Adrienne.

Time to throw political correctness in the garbage, where it belongs

Bridgette Gabriel is relevant.



Thanks again to Adrienne.

Is he one of us?



Thanks again to Adrienne for posting this video.

After him comes the flood

Wouldn't it be nice if Republicans could put forward a candidate as articulate as Bill Whittle? Not only is he articulate, but he has the guts to tell it like it is, and would do so right to the President's face in a debate.



Thanks to Adrienne.

Whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name...there is love

"The most corrupt and deceitful IRS in history"



Thanks to Adrienne's Corner

The campaign against fracking

The head of NATO claims that
Russian intelligence agencies are covertly funding and working with European environmental groups to campaign against fracking and maintain EU dependence on Russian gas.
Please read more here.

Is the return of the Caliphate inevitable?

A man who has been recently promoted to the position of Senior Homeland Security Advisor has tweeted out that the return of the Caliphate is inevitable. Ace has the story and the tweet.

That's what's up!



Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Staying married 87 years

This couple was married for 87 years before they both died at the age of 105. Here are the fourteen secrets to their marriage's longevity.




Thanks to Ann Voskamp.

Unstoppable love

You can read a story about an American who volunteered to go to Afghanistan. The first photo was taken in 2011 with his girlfriend of seven years.


The second was taken in May 2012, after he stepped on an I.E.D.


In August 2012 he was fitted with prosthetics.


Later that month he did a photoshoot on the mall in Washington, with Marine One flying overhead.

To keep up with Taylor and Danielle, visit www.taylormorris.org and find Taylor Morris Community Support on Facebook.
See more photos here.

"I know what's true"

Josh Rogin follows up on the story of Hillary Clinton laughing and bragging about getting a 41-year-old rapist off after he raped a 12-year-old girl. The girl is now a grown woman, and this is what she says she would like to say to Hillary now that audio tapes of Hillary laughing about the case have been revealed:
“It’s proven fact, with all the tapes [now revealed], she lied like a dog on me. I think she was trying to do whatever she could do to make herself look good at the time…. She wanted it to look good, she didn’t care if those guys did it or not,” she said.

Rogin continues:
In her interview with The Daily Beast, she recounted the details of her attack in 1975 at age 12 and the consequences it had for both her childhood and adult life. A virgin before the assault, she spent five days afterwards in a coma, months recovering from the beating that accompanied the rape, and over 10 years in therapy. The doctors told her she would probably never be able to have children.

She described being afraid of men for years and dealing with anger issues well into her adulthood. At one point, she turned to drugs, a path that ultimately led her to prison. Now 52, she has never married or had children. She said she has been sober for several years and has achieved a level of stability, although she remains unemployed and living on disability assistance.

“I think she wants to be a role model being who she is, to look good, but I don’t think she’s a role model at all… If she had have been, she would have helped me at the time, being a 12-year-old girl who was raped by two guys,” she said. “She did that to look good and she told lies on that. How many other lies has she told to get where she’s at today? If she becomes president, is she gonna be telling the world the truth? No. She’s going to be telling lies out there, what the world wants to hear.”

“I’m a little scared of her… When this all comes about, I’m a little worried she might try to hurt me, I hope not,” she said. “They can lie all they want, say all they want, I know what’s true.”
Please read more here.

Is healthy debate okay?

David Harsanyi shows how Hillary Clinton demonstrates how
Flowing with the current of public opinion means you can now participate in the conversation; failing to do so means you should zip it.
Read the whole thing here.

We've already slid down the slippery slope



Robert Tracinski makes the case that the Redskins trademark ruling should terrify you, because
Anyone deemed politically incorrect is now outside the protection of the law.

The left resorted to one of its favorite fallbacks. If the people can’t be persuaded, use the bureaucracy—in this case, two political appointees on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

This ruling isn’t a slippery slope. It’s a slope we’ve already slid down: bureaucrats in Washington are now empowered to make subjective decrees about what is offensive and what will be tolerated, based on pressure from a small clique of Washington insiders. Anyone who runs afoul of these decrees, anyone branded as regressive and politically incorrect, is declared outside the protection of the federal government.

That this is happening, and that we have no idea where it will stop, is what should terrify us—even if, like me, you don’t particularly care one way or the other about the Washington Redskins.

Who does the left fear more than Scott Walker?

Has any other governor had to go through more partisan attacks than Scott Walker?

Gabriel Malor explains here the incredible case witch hunt against Walker pursued by Democrat District Attorneys and the media in Wisconsin.

The left clearly fears this man.

They write their own performance reviews!

Mark Flatten writes:
Every top manager of the Department of Veterans Affairs received a positive performance evaluation for the past four years, and 78 percent got a bonus in 2013, despite a string of patient deaths and falsification of records related to patient wait times, according to congressional testimony Friday.

Agency executives write their own performance evaluations, which seem to receive only cursory reviews from their supervisors, several committee members said in questioning the VA’s top personnel officer.
Please read much more here.

How to formulate a sales pitch to Republican money men

Weird Dave over at Ace of Spades knows that getting the Republican fat cats to support candidates that might actually bring America back is difficult, but this is how he would articulate his sales pitch to them:
"I know you want Amnesty to cut your labor costs. Well, you can't have it. It's shortsighted, and we won't win dog catcher if we push it. But I'm going to give you something better. I'm going to cut your energy costs in half. Help us win the Senate in '14 and we'll start laying the groundwork. Give us the Presidency in '16 and we'll open the taps. We'll build Keystone so fast the oil won't be able to keep up. We'll drill so many natural gas wells you'll be able to walk across Colorado without touching dirt. We'll take all of the money being wasted on crony boondoggles like Solyndra and perfect Thorium reactors (they are 100% safe and damn close to reality), so that you'll be able to put an outlet on the outside of your buildings and charge people to fill their wheelbarrows with electricity. As your energy costs slide, your profits will grow, and even though that will likely mean wages will start to climb, a strong and vibrant working class will weaken even further those bloodsucking unions. You, that's right, YOU, will create so many jobs that your workers will come to you and demand Amnesty because there aren't enough people for the jobs available. We're going to start an energy boom the likes of which this world has never seen, and all of you with the foresight to embrace it will get richer than God.

And then we'll tell the Middle East to go pound sand, Lord knows they have enough of it."

I wish him luck. Read the rest here.

Summer Soltice!

Summer Soltice arrived this morning. You can go ahead and enjoy summer now. It's all about the tilt!
During the summer, the northern hemisphere receives the most direct sunlight because the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun. On June 21, the sun's rays will be located directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer, a line of latitude located at 23.5 degrees north of the equator.

For areas north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun will be at its highest point in the sky at noon on June 21, and those locations will experience their longest amount of daylight of any day this year.

For example, in Dublin, Ireland (latitude of 53.3 degrees), the sun will rise at 4:57 a.m. local time on June 21 and will not set until 9:57 p.m. local time. That's 17 hours of sunlight.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, Texas (latitude of 32.8 degrees), the sun will rise at 6:20 a.m. local time and will set at 8:38 p.m. local time — a total of 14 hours and 18 minutes.

Soon after the summer solstice, the length of daylight in the northern hemisphere will gradually grow shorter each day until the winter solstice in December, when the shortest amount of daylight occurs.
Read more here.

How is withholding legitimate treatment from the needy Christ-like?



Pope Francis weighed yesterday in on the issue of legalizing pot.
The head of the Roman Catholic Church said legalizing marijuana “won’t bring any positive results,” and that the motive for legalizing the drug was “highly questionable,” The Washington Times reports.

I agree with Pope Francis that using marijuana to get high is not a wise thing to do, and is dangerous for younger, not fully developed brains. On the other hand, it has been shown that there are certain strains of cannibis that have marvelous medicinal value, and do not lead to getting high.

Neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent says that it is irresponsible not to provide medical marijuana when it is known to help people suffering from a number of illnesses.



Gupta writes:
I am a father myself, first and foremost. I don't want my children taking or being offered a psychoactive substance. As a neurosurgeon, I know that the developing brain is more susceptible to the most harmful effects of cannabis and that brain development continues well into our mid-20s.

I also worry that generations from now, my great-grandkids will find Internet headlines referring to me as the "pot doc." I do hope they will also read the rest of the story and understand the lives of the countless people who have suffered needlessly when a plant could have helped. I hope they know that I have dedicated my time to researching the medical literature, speaking to the scientists in person and piecing together a fact-based presentation meant to educate, not frighten.

I hope future generations won't consider me naive. Yes, I know there is a concern that many people out there will feign ailments just to get marijuana. But withholding legitimate treatment for the needy is a very unjust way of addressing that concern.

Do you know about Charlotte's Web? No, not the book, the marijuana strain. Read this incredible story by Saundra Young about a special strain of marijuana that saved the life of a Colorado girl who was suffering from seizures.

About Charlotte, Gupta writes:
she is one of so many patients out there, suffering from different ailments, who believe cannabis rescued them when nothing else did.

For conditions like Charlotte's, the American Epilepsy Society says that there are a million people for whom existing therapies do not control their seizures. The society recently said anecdotes about medical marijuana "give reason for hope" and said it supports "well-controlled studies that will lead to a better understanding of the disease and the development of safe and effective treatments."

You should know that Charlotte continues to do well. When I saw her around the holidays, she ran over and gave me a hug. She looked me in the eyes, took me by the hand and led me all around to meet her friends. She is a delightful, happy and now healthy little girl.

I know the discussion around this topic will no doubt get heated. I have felt that heat. But I feel a greater responsibility than ever to make sure those heated discussions are also well-informed by science.

Gupta points out that:
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, defined as "the most dangerous" drugs "with no currently accepted medical use."

Neither of those statements has ever been factual. Even many of the most ardent critics of medical marijuana don't agree with the Schedule I classification, knowing how it's impeded the ability to conduct needed research on the plant.
Please read more of Gupta here.

If the government changed the way it classifies marijuana and therefore allowed research to develop strains of cannibis that helped with pain and seizures, but did not lead to people getting high, would not that be the compassionate, Christ-like thing to do?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mideast policy turned into a pretzel

Dick Morris asks if the arms of the ISIS terrorists came from the Benghazi arms stash. WND reports that the US trained and armed insurgent forces in Syria, who are now invading Iraq. Get Morris's videos here.

Traitor or dunce?

Sarah Hoyt is an optimist:
There’s reason to think this terroristic insanity of Islam is because they can’t stand before the modern world, and their religion can’t cope with it. Historically, no culture ever kept the future at bay no matter how bellicose it got. Technology will still get through. Things will still change. It can be done for really small places like North Korea, but they dream of a world wide Caliphate, which is like dreaming of flying to the moon unassisted, but less realistic. We’ve whipped ass in the Middle East, and we’ll do it again.

No one believes the press like they did in the seventies. NO ONE except very old people. Yes, there is still a vast contingent of brainwashed sheeple, but most people are aware that there’s a discrepancy between reportage and event. No? Mention “Summer of recovery” in a grocery store line. Unless you’re in Manhattan, where it takes a lot of very educated/smart people to be that dumb, you’ll get bitter guffaws in response.

The masks are off. Obama’s actions are very clearly not those of anyone who loves America, and he is a representative of the “elite” of this country. People are starting to catch on.

The only way to fight these very stupid ideas, from political correctness to multiculturalism, to anti-American fervor is to have them out in the open.

The other sign of hope is that these are not the seventies. Yes, we have better technology, but more importantly, we have fifty years of exposure to leftist madness. Everyone in the seventies pretty much believed Paul Ehrlich. Now we just point and laugh. Which is why the gospel of “climate change” is not sticking at the street level. (Which makes them a little more insane about preaching it, but never mind.)

I remember when they tried to revive seventies fashions and it never really caught except among the terminally young and trendy. It’s the same thing. So many things that they used to stampede us in the seventies are no longer credible: Overpopulation; lethal pollution; end of oil; and that communism is a superior system of government.

And yet, these are ALL the other side has. The reason our president can’t be firmly said to be either a traitor or a dunce, is because he is EXQUISITELY educated in the elite ideas of the bien pensant who have taken over our schools and colleges.

Even if he wanted to change course, to somehow make the system work, he doesn’t have anything. All he has are the ideas he was taught. And the ideas he was taught, when brought out to the full light of day are bizarrely stupid and laughable.

That’s all they have. Ideas that would make a ten year old laugh, if they weren’t presented by teacher as “gospel” but as a theory of how the world works.

All they have.

And now those ideas are out in the open.

And we’re not amused. And there’s a lot more of us than there is of them.

This is part of the problem of the left. You see, they think in stories, not in real world. In their story Fast and Furious would work, because if we sent a bunch of American guns to Mexico, then revealed the death toll, Americans would recoil and demand all guns be banned. Do you see that working? Anywhere but in a not-very-good-novel of the type the establishment pushes?

No, neither do I. But to them it made perfect sense.

This is the quality of mind we’re up against. They’re not stupid. They’re exquisitely taught to work in a world that doesn’t exist.