…to stuff in his mouth. This week alone he offended Jews by referring to bankers as “shylocks.”
Today, as part of the Democrat outreach to women, Biden:
At a women’s conference on Friday, Biden reminisced about good ol’ days when Republicans like Sen. Bob Packwood served.
Packwood, you may remember, resigned in 1995 after 10 women accused him of sexual harassment.
Nonetheless, no media types are ready to remind Americans that the most popular Democrat in America, namely Bill Clinton, was a serial cheat, an uninvited breast fondler and an accused rapist. Lucky for Clinton he didn’t do this on a college campus today.
Just like they never reminded Americans that Teddy Kennedy, their Lion of the Senate, was a philanderer who got an intern drowned and ran off like a coward, and who sexually harassed women in Washington for years.
From economist Thomas Sowell’s “The Vision of the Anointed” (1995):
Among the many other questions raised by the nebulous concept of “greed” is why it is a term applied almost exclusively to those who want to earn more money or to keep what they have already earned—never to those wanting to take other people’s money in taxes or to those wishing to live on the largess dispensed from such taxation. No amount of taxation is ever described by the anointed as “greed” on the part of government or the clientele of government. . . .
Families who wish to be independent financially and to make their own decisions about their lives are of little interest or use to those who are seeking to impose their superior wisdom and virtue on other people. Earning their own money makes these families unlikely candidates for third-party direction and wishing to retain what they have earned threatens to deprive the anointed of the money needed to distribute as largess to others who would thus become subject to their direction. In these circumstances, it is understandable why the desire to increase and retain one’s own earnings should be characterized negatively as “greed,” while wishing to live at the expense of others is not.
Fat paychecks for administrators. Why don’t the progressives, who are always howling about excessive executive pay, go after them?
Te UC regents Thursday awarded pay increases of as much as 20% to the leaders of the Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Merced and Riverside campuses and set the annual salary of the new UC Irvine chancellor, Howard Gillman, at $485,000.
The regents said the raises were a first step over the next three years to bring the 10-campus heads up to nationally competitive rates of rival research institutions. Some UC chancellors had not had increases in seven years until July, when they received a 3% hike.
The pay scale is now awkwardly structured so that some veteran chancellors are paid significantly less than those who were more recently hired, the regents said.
The issue of high executive compensation at the UC and Cal State systems remains a sensitive one even as the worst of the financial crisis has eased. Gov. Jerry Brown, who is a UC regent and has been sharply critical of similar pay raises, did not attend the regents’ meeting in San Francisco and his office said he had no comment Thursday on the latest action.
Gillman’s $485,000 is $93,000 higher than that of predecessor Michael Drake, who recently left Irvine to head Ohio State University. Gillman, who won unanimous regents’ approval as chancellor Thursday, had been UC Irvine’s interim chancellor since June and came to the 29,000-student campus in Orange County as provost and executive vice chancellor a year before that.
The regents also focused on chancellors with the lowest annual salaries. They brought three of them up to $383,160, which meant 20% raises for George Blumenthal of UC Santa Cruz and Dorothy Leland of UC Merced and 5.1% for UC Riverside’s Kim Wilcox; a 20% increase gives UC Santa Barbara’s Henry Yang $389,340.
Poorly encased wells are to blame for water contamination in fracked wells, not the controversial drilling process, according to a new study. The BBCreports:
The researchers used noble gases to trace the path of methane as these inert chemicals are not affected by microbial activity or oxidation. [...] By measuring the ratios of the noble materials to the methane they were able to accurately determine the distance to the likely source. [...]
“The mechanism of contamination looks to be well integrity,” said one of the authors, Prof Robert Jackson from Stanford University. [...] “In about half the cases we believe the contamination came from poor cementing and in the other half it came from well casings that leaked.”
This makes sense—fracking generally occurs thousands of feet underground, far, far below aquifers being tapped for drinking water. The water tables and the shale rock being hydraulically fractured are separated by impermeable layers of rock—that’s how these aquifers formed in the first place. It stands to reason, then, that contamination of drinking water would have to occur in the vertical parts of these wells that travel through these underground water reservoirs.
Water pollution is a serious issue, and one that certainly deserves ongoing scrutiny. But it seems as if the drinking water contamination issues that greens have pointed to as reasons to stop the shale boom have occurred due to well failures (often because of poorly poured cement casings), rather than due to fracking itself. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement here, but it does suggest this is a manageable risk, rather than an indelible feature of the drilling process.
The real “scandal” is that the media ginned this up as a major scandal to tarnish Christie.
The U.S. Justice Department investigation into Gov. Chris Christie’s role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has thus far uncovered no evidence indicating that he either knew in advance or directed the closure of traffic lanes on the span, federal officials tell NBC 4 New York.
The September 2013 closures — where several entrance lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee were shut down, causing a traffic nightmare for commuters — has been the subject of several federal and state investigations.
Federal officials caution that the investigation that began nine months ago is ongoing and that no final determination has been made, but say that authorities haven’t uncovered anything that indicates that Christie knew in advance or ordered the closure of traffic lanes.
Fear not, they’ll keep digging.
When the final report is issued, Christie may still face complications from the scandal, said Lee Miringoff, Director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.
“That’s good news for him,” Miringoff said. “The bad news remains that politically as chief executive it looks like he was not in control of his administration at the time when this occurred. So that remains the downside for him. That doesn’t go away but this panel provides greater credibility barring any further revelations coming out.”
The Democrat national campaign committee sent out a fundraising email:
The world according to Rush Limbaugh: women who use the birth control pill are ‘sluts,’ ‘no means yes if you know how to spot it,’ and anyone who dares question him is ‘reprehensible.’ There’s no context where no means yes, and that’s why thousands of Americans are responding to our petition demanding that his sponsors to pull their advertising.
What Rush really said:
“Consent must be freely given, can be withdrawn at any time, and the absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes.'” How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that “no” means “yes” if you know how to spot it? Let me tell you something. In this modern world, that is simply not tolerated. People aren’t even gonna try to understand that one. I mean, it used to be said it was a cliche. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given. See, that’s what we gotta change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise men. Why do you think permission every step of the way, clearly spelling out “why”… are all of these not lawsuits just waiting to happen if even one of these steps is not taken?
I keep hearing that libertarian candidates are just about the only things standing between the GOP taking control of the Senate and Harry Reid’s continuing to run it as his own private fiefdom.
What is wrong with these people? Libertarians know they can’t possibly win any Senate seats and yet they don’t mind acting as spoilers on behalf of Obama and his leftist henchmen. Just how arrogant and self-absorbed can people be? Perhaps if he weren’t his father’s son, Rand Paul would consider speaking some sense to his base. Unfortunately, he of the eternal smirk appears to be almost as goofy as his old man.
Speaking of loons, a recent poll found that 74% of people think Obama isn’t tough enough with Putin, 6% think he’s too tough and 16% think he’s handling the pride of the KGB just right. Inasmuch as that only adds up to 96%, I can only assume that 4% of those polled had never heard of Putin or Obama. But it’s that pesky 6% that grabbed my attention. Obama has been too tough with Putin? Either those dopes think Putin is the name of Obama’s dog or I now know what percentage of the vote Rand Paul would receive if he managed to get on the ballot in 2016.
The other day, I heard a radio talk show host talking about all the ways that the middle class has it better now than, say, 40 years ago. I agreed with him when he mentioned medical and dental science, and certain technological advances, but then he pointed out that in 1965, only 6% of those in the middle class, had college degrees, while today that number is 35%. Inasmuch as he is a conservative commentator, I assumed he would qualify that statement. But he didn’t, so I will.
This is a time, after all, when many of those sheepskins are going to people who major in Black, Hispanic or Lesbian studies, and when a great many others are being handed out to teachers, who have been indoctrinated on leftist theology and will spend the rest of their lives regurgitating the claptrap to their young charges.
I mean, does anyone really want to make the case that most college degrees today are anything more than dolled-up high school diplomas? The main difference between them is that you can still graduate from high school without finding yourself a hundred grand in debt.
I keep hearing that Obama has played 200 rounds of golf since he moved into the White House, and that he’s constantly playing basketball on the court in the basement. But none of that comes close to the amount of exercise he’s had running victory laps since pulling the troops out of Iraq.
How many times have we had to listen to him brag about how peaceful and tranquil Iraq is, all thanks to him? It would, I believe, rival the number of stars in the heavens, grains of sand in the Sahara and perhaps even the number of fund-raisers he’s attended. Unfortunately, the only folks who apparently didn’t hear the good news are the butchers currently over-running Iraq and Syria, and who, if they have anything to say about it, will soon be appearing in your own neighborhood.
The Middle East has long been a cesspool, but now that beheadings have become commonplace and genocide is always just a day away, it’s worse than ever.
Still, we must find our laughs where we can. And fortunately, Obama, who is often good for a chuckle, has announced that it wasn’t his idea to remove our troops from Iraq. If I know anything about comedy and the rule of three, he will follow up that knee-slapper by telling us it’s not his idea to pull our troops out of Afghanistan at the end of the year, and have us rolling in the aisles with a punchline that suggests we can keep our doctors and our insurance plans if we’re happy with them.
Speaking of which, as bad as ObamaCare is, it will only get worse if a recent major survey is to be believed. It seems that a large percentage of doctors plan to take early retirement over the next few years for no other reason than that they have no wish to practice in a post-ObamaCare world. My own physician told me that his son, presently in medical school, has now decided to pursue a career in research, and will never treat a single patient.
Still, the Democrats continue to sing the praises of Obama’s Frankenstinian creation, choosing to ignore the ugly scars, the mumbled speech and those two handlebars sticking out of its head.
Someday, I swear, the liberals will outlaw logic and commonsense once and for all, and every conservative in America will end up in a gulag.
Finally, the other day, I watched a bunch of pigeons waddling around in a parking lot. Frankly, I found it unnerving how close they came to being run over. It struck me as totally bizarre. I mean, pigeons are still birds, even if they are commonly referred to as rats with wings. Their death-defying behavior made no sense until I concluded that pigeons are like those numbskulls that show up every year in Pamplona, Spain, for the running of the bulls.
I know it sounds absurd. But I find it more believable that at the end of a long day, male pigeons sit around some avian saloon bragging about how close they came to being flattened by a ’98 Chevy or KFCed by a 2007 Range Rover than that they’ve simply forgotten how to fly.
Be sure to catch Burt’s weekly hour-long webcast on Wednesdays, at noon, Pacific Coast Time. The show is accessed at K4HD.com. The call-in number is (818) 570-5443.
Imagine if some of the loony leftists on display during the Occupy Wall Street movement were able to land positions of authority in the federal government, say, the EPA.
I wouldn’t say it’s gotten that bad, but it’s close.
Obama’s EPA in collusion with “green” lobby groups — Report details the conflicts of interest, “unalterably closed minds”, internal activism and influence of outside interest groups on the Obama Administration EPA. Documents raise questions re EPA rules legality
Washington, D.C. – The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) released a report today revealing and piecing together dozens of emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which lay out in detail EPA’s collusion with senior activists within environmentalist pressure groups, and proving the real thinking about the intent behind and impact of EPA’s “climate” regulations.
Far from the required recusing to avoid the appearance of a conflict, EPA filled its senior political ranks with green pressure group activists, continuing their life’s work and coordinating with former colleagues from their new positions in government. These emails show the groups sharing jokes about EPA assurances that it isn’t waging a war on coal, and gloating about the courts serially siding with EPA as it rewrites federal environmental law. More important, they show the special role and undue influence these relationships provided, the very sort of influence the Obama Administration once disavowed.
“EPA is permitted to regulate; but, not these people, not this way,” said E&E Legal’s Chris Horner who filed the FOIA requests and related litigation which produced most of the emails set forth in the report, which also includes and discusses many emails extracted from EPA by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) adding context to E&E Legal’s findings.
The report details many instances of lobbyists for “green” special interest groups helping steer EPA regulations and permitting decisions, and providing advocacy materials for use by former colleagues now inside the EPA who then dutifully circulate the advocacy materials to colleagues. The collusion ranges from orchestrating public hearings, the EPA and Sierra Club teaming to write a U.S. Senator’s public statement on the shared agenda, and even specifically targeting individual power plants which green groups wanted to prevent under any new EPA standards.
“It’s disturbing,” said Dr. David Schnare, a lawyer and a scientist with decades of experience as an EPA employee, now E&E Legal’s general counsel. “There needs to be a clear line between special interests and government. Current EPA officials are ignoring that line entirely,” he added.
Released emails show the orchestration of EPA’s “climate” agenda, plainly predetermined despite the requirement of open-minded review, including its “endangerment” finding.
E&E Legal’s report singles out dozens of emails, of which it has even more
So writes Gavin McInnes, an ex-patriot Scot, at TakiMag:
“See, if you was Billy Connolly sitting right there,” said the Winston Churchill doppelganger beside me in a Glasgow pub, “Ah’d fuckin’ stab ye.” I was with my uncle and this was his closest friend of at least 30 years, so I knew him well.
“You’d murder Billy Connolly?” I asked, hoping I had misunderstood his virtually unintelligible English.
“Aye,” he replied, “Ah’d sink the knife right there.” Then he poked his finger right below my rib cage. I asked him why, and he said it was because of all the swearing Connolly put in his act. “He didnae have tae go blue fer fuck’s sakes,” he lamented.
Of course, if I were Billy Connolly, this Glaswegian would be buying me so many pints, we’d have to slide over a new table to carry them all. The entire bar would be hollering with joy and begging for photographs. I’d probably get raped.
They don’t hate Billy because he swears. They all swear. They hate him because he left their underdog, working-class town and moved to Hollywood.
This is the Scottish mentality in a nutshell. It is fierce nationalism mixed with an obsession with the underdog that borders on psychosis. In the same pub, years later, another one of my uncle’s friends learned my wife was Indian after asking why her eyes “were so Chinky.” He started to cry when she told him and kissed her hand as though she were the pope. “See what happened to youse people?” he asked rhetorically through tear-soaked rosacea, “It’s a fuckin’ tragedy, so it is.” Scots aren’t rational human beings. They’re drunk. They don’t want to separate because it’s a smart economic decision. They want to separate because they fucking hate England. They don’t hate England because of history. They hate them for the same reason they hate America. They hate the winners. This has made them profoundly socialist and if they leave England, they will become a cold, wet, Cuba at best—McIslamabad at worst.
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Dissent is the lowest form of crime. If you are a drone in the hive of the Left, it is possible — easy, in fact — to believe both of those things at the same time.
Free speech just won an important victory in a federal courtroom, though it is shameful that the case ever even had to go to court. Ohio had enacted a plainly unconstitutional law that empowered a government panel to determine whether criticisms offered in political advertisements were sufficiently true to be permitted in the public discourse. Those who have followed the IRS scandal, the Travis County, Texas, prosecutorial scandals, or Harry Reid’s recent effort to repeal the First Amendment will not be surprised that this measure was used as a political weapon against a conservative group, in this case the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. SBA List criticized a Democratic House member for having voted for the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA), noting that the law will implicate American taxpayers in the funding of abortions, an entanglement previously minimized through measures such as the Hyde Amendment. Despite the fact that the ACA regime would, among other things, permit federal subsidies for abortion-funding insurance plans, the Ohio Inquisition ruled the ad impermissible, and banned it.
So much for free speech.
Fortunately, an Obama appointee whose ability to read the letter of the law had not been utterly drummed out of him ruled that the Ohio Inquisition obviously violated longstanding free-speech protections, the First Amendment notable among them. Last week, a similar case in Minnesota came to a similar conclusion.
Which is why Harry Reid wants to repeal the First Amendment.
Democrats pushing the measure to repeal free speech pretend that it is a campaign-finance measure, but the only criteria it establishes for Congress to ban an advertisement — or a book, or a film, or a television show, or a magazine — is that money is expended in an attempt to influence a political outcome. Under those rules, the Ohio Inquisition’s successful move to ban billboards critical of an embattled Democratic congressman would have been totally acceptable under the provisions of a gutted First Amendment.
The Ohio Inquisition, and the Minnesota Inquisition, and Harry Reid’s war on the First Amendment are hardly isolated episodes. Consider that the same Texas prosecutor that has indicted Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts for the so-called crime of exercising his constitutional authority to veto a bill — a bill providing funds to that prosecutor’s office — is now preparing to indict University of Texas regent and whistleblower Wallace Hall, on charges of . . . hmm.
Attorney General and all around scum-bucket Eric Holder felt it imperative to rush off to Ferguson, MO, to toss in his two cents worth of gas on a burning fire. He could have pointed out that the reason there is 50% unemployment among the black males in town, men who have nothing better to do than cause mischief for the benefit of the TV cameras, was because three-quarters of them never even finish high school. Instead, he took the opportunity to let them know he shared their grievances against the police because twice in his younger days, he, too, had been – oh, the humanity! — stopped by traffic cops.
The odd thing is that I am a white man roughly 10 years older than Holder, and I was stopped by cops about a dozen times between the ages of 13 and 21. The first couple of times, I was stopped by Beverly Hills cops because we lived in an apartment just outside the city border, and, so, if I were spotted walking or riding my bike at dusk, on my way home from the playground or on my way to a book store, I would find myself being questioned by the guys in blue. Nobody, they would explain, exaggerating only slightly, walked or rode a bicycle in Beverly Hills after sunset.
Once I began driving, I was stopped on a regular basis even by L.A. cops because I looked too young to be driving legally. Finally, by the time I was going to UCLA, and work on the Daily Bruin would occasionally keep me on campus until late at night, I was often stopped and questioned by those same Beverly Hills cops on my way home. But now it was because, as they pointed out, nobody rode a motorcycle before or after dusk in Beverly Hills.
Whether or not Mr. Holder believes me, I never took it amiss. I did not think they were picking on me because I was young or short or Jewish. I believed they stopped me because I looked suspicious to them, and I figured they were just earning their salaries, and that if I had their job, I, too, would be stopping me and asking a few questions.
What Holder doesn’t mention is that, as a young man, he had been an Afro-haired college activist who had been part of a student uprising at Columbia University that took over and held an ROTC building for five days in 1970. Because even back then, college administrators were a gaggle of cowards, he wasn’t booted out on his butt, but allowed to hang around and get a law degree.
Only someone as race-fixated as Barack Obama would have appointed Holder in the first place or stood by while his attorney general refused to indict the Black Panthers for intimidating white voters in Philadelphia.
Speaking of Obama, the thing I have come to understand about him is that in addition to being a leftist with a scary agenda, a bigot and a narcissist, he is an adolescent. That’s why he’s so lazy. Sometimes, students are bored because they’re very bright and grasp a subject so quickly that they tend to doze off while waiting for their fellow classmates to catch up. Other times, students are bored because they are those other classmates and simply can’t grasp the lesson.
And sometimes, as I believe is the case with Obama, it’s because their minds are so lazy and self-absorbed that the only things they can manage to focus on for any length of time are those amusements such as golf and basketball or attending galas, that simply don’t call for mental discipline.
Recently, I wrote an article in which I gave thanks for the A-bombs that brought World War II to a speedy conclusion, thus saving the lives of a great many Americans, including some friends and relatives of mine, who would otherwise have had to go through the hell of invading the Japanese mainland.
One of my readers wrote the following: “Dear Burt, I’m sure you have not thought through the implications of your observation that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified. I, too, am a veteran of WWII. I was in the South Pacific preparing to invade Japan when the bombs were dropped. True, I felt a sense of relief, but it was a tragic day for the world. Morally, the end does not justify the means. The saving of a million lives does not justify the murder of one innocent person, let alone hundreds of thousands.
“The atom bombs could have been dropped on military targets. Surely there were plenty of those available. An atomic bomb dropped in the middle of the ocean could have made the point. The decision to incinerate thousands of innocent people can never be morally justified no matter what the end result would be. It is a blot on the character of the American people. In your heart of hearts, I know you feel the same way.”
In response, I wrote, “Actually, I don’t agree. For one thing, it’s easy to say soldiers are fair game, but what about the farmers who keep the enemy fed or the civilians working in the factories that supply their weaponry? Why shouldn’t they be considered military targets?
“By the time the bombs were dropped, the Japanese had been killing people throughout Asia for an entire decade, and turning tens of thousands of Chinese and Korean women into sex slaves for their soldiers. They bombed the hell out of Pearl Harbor, killing a great many Americans. And let us not forget Corregidor, Iwo Jima and the death marches.
“I would also argue that the saving of a million innocent lives by the taking of one innocent life is absolutely moral, although anyone who would propose such a deal would obviously be satanic. And while I’m not saying I would want to be that one person, soldiers who throw themselves on live hand grenades in order to spare their comrades, together with many of those first responders on 9/11, have sacrificed their own lives for far less than a million other lives.
“Are you under the impression that an armed invasion of Japan would have only resulted in Japanese casualties? You also overlook the fact that it took the second bomb, dropped three days later, to finally force the Emperor to surrender. Therefore, I don’t think that dropping a bomb in the ocean would have sufficed. Instead, it would have probably led the Japanese to think we couldn’t hit what we aimed at. It sounds as if you would also condemn Israel for killing civilians in Gaza in the process of defending itself against endless terrorist attacks.
“It’s easy enough for you to decry the bombs 69 years after they probably saved your life and the lives of your buddies, but that only makes you self-righteous, not right.
“If it eases your pain, keep in mind that it is probably only because of the lasting impression made by those bombs that no such bombs have been employed in the years since. I, on the other hand, would drop a couple on Iran if that’s what it took to keep them out of the hands of the mullahs.
“Thank you for your service all those years ago….and thanks, too, to Harry Truman and the A-bomb for making it possible for you to live an additional 69 years. Regards, Burt”
Be sure to catch Burt’s weekly hour-long webcast on Wednesdays, at noon, Pacific Coast Time. The show is accessed at K4HD.com. The call-in number is (818) 570-5443.
Next time some Democrat mouths off about “assault weapons,” remember they are assaulting the truth. Funny thing for a party that fancies itself to be about facts.
OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.
That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.
But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.
It turns out that big, scary military rifles don’t kill the vast majority of the 11,000 Americans murdered with guns each year. Little handguns do.
In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.
The continuing focus on assault weapons stems from the media’s obsessive focus on mass shootings, which disproportionately involve weapons like the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M16 rifle. This, in turn, obscures some grim truths about who is really dying from gunshots.
Annually, 5,000 to 6,000 black men are murdered with guns. Black men amount to only 6 percent of the population. Yet of the 30 Americans on average shot to death each day, half are black males.
It was much the same in the early 1990s when Democrats created and then banned a category of guns they called “assault weapons.” America was then suffering from a spike in gun crime and it seemed like a problem threatening everyone. Gun murders each year had been climbing: 11,000, then 13,000, then 17,000.
Democrats decided to push for a ban of what seemed like the most dangerous guns in America: assault weapons, which were presented by the media as the gun of choice for drug dealers and criminals, and which many in law enforcement wanted to get off the streets.
This politically defined category of guns — a selection of rifles, shotguns and handguns with “military-style” features — only figured in about 2 percent of gun crimes nationwide before the ban.
Weapons were banned because of how they looked, not how they functioned.
Handguns were used in more than 80 percent of murders each year, but gun control advocates had failed to interest enough of the public in a handgun ban. Handguns were the weapons most likely to kill you, but they were associated by the public with self-defense. (In 2008, the Supreme Court said there was a constitutional right to keep a loaded handgun at home for self-defense.)
Banning sales of military-style weapons resonated with both legislators and the public: Civilians did not need to own guns designed for use in war zones.
On Sept. 13, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law. It barred the manufacture and sale of new guns with military features and magazines holding more than 10 rounds. But the law allowed those who already owned these guns — an estimated 1.5 million of them — to keep their weapons.
The policy proved costly. Mr. Clinton blamed the ban for Democratic losses in 1994. Crime fell, but when the ban expired, a detailed study found no proof that it had contributed to the decline.
The ban did reduce the number of assault weapons recovered by local police, to 1 percent from roughly 2 percent.
“Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement,” a Department of Justice-funded evaluation concluded.
Still, the majority of Americans continued to support a ban on assault weapons.
One reason: The use of these weapons may be rare over all, but they’re used frequently in the gun violence that gets the most media coverage, mass shootings.
The criminologist James Alan Fox at Northeastern University estimates that there have been an average of 100 victims killed each year in mass shootings over the past three decades. That’s less than 1 percent of gun homicide victims.
But these acts of violence in schools and movie theaters have come to define the problem of gun violence in America.
Most Americans do not know that gun homicides have decreased by 49 percent since 1993 as violent crime also fell, though rates of gun homicide in the United States are
Meghan Cox Gurdon writes in the WSJ about a spate of new kid’s books coming soon that explore the subject of gender identity. Ah, those Brothers Grimm didn’t know what they were missing.
…The profusion of books may strike some as out of proportion to the subject under discussion. As noted in these pages recently, according to studies by Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70% to 80% of children who report transgender feelings lose them as the children mature. That might help explain why the adult transgender population is vanishingly small: A 2011 study by UCLA’s Williams Institute, which conducts research into sexual-orientation and gender-identity law and public policy, estimated that transgender people make up 0.3% of the U.S. population.
Most children, of course, are born without the feeling that they were given the wrong label at the crayon factory. Millions of boys are drawn from infancy to masculine things; they make revving noises when they play with trucks, they bite their sandwiches into weapon shapes and they gaze with rapture on scenes of roadside construction. Millions of girls are attracted to feminine pursuits, like creating little houses for their toys, engaging in chatty social games and even, dare I say, playing mama to baby dolls. In other words, millions of blue crayons really like to draw in blue, and millions of pink crayons feel happiest drawing in pink. Like Jazz, they were born this way.
Alas, for decades this has put them at odds with the gender-industrial complex, those busy feminist academics and journalists who insist that societal messages, not innate sex differences, make children behave in masculine or feminine ways. If only girls weren’t discouraged, we’re told, they’d flock to engineering programs; if only boys were given dolls, they’d nurture them; if only we weren’t being pounded into artificial shapes by relentless patriarchal propaganda, we’d all be free of confining sexual categorization.
The experience of transgender children shows this thinking for the codswallop it is. If there is any child who might be expected to feel pressure to conform to sexual norms, it would be the boy who yearns to wear a fairy costume or the girl who wants short hair and combat boots. And in the children’s books about transgender people—even the picture books—we see that they do indeed experience pressure, coercion and often bullying.
Yet these red crayons cannot help but draw blue. They just can’t. For years, culture warriors have scolded parents and encouraged resocialization to make boys less boyish and girls less girlish. The experience of transgender people, who from earliest childhood have genuinely felt that they belong to the other sex, gives the lie to the propagandists who have sought for more than a generation to bend society to their will. Children are not dollops of formless putty that can be molded by social engineers, but something altogether more elusive and wonderful: real individuals with intrinsic dignity who deserve to have their inner natures respected—not denied because they are politically unfashionable.
This brings us to an ironic possibility: The new crop of books for children featuring transgender people may have the effect of validating traditional sex differences. After all, if we are to respect the boy who believes himself to be female, surely we must also respect the boy who feels fully male—and not browbeat either of them to be something other than they are.
As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.
At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.
“I was not invited to that after-hours endeavor, but I heard about it and decided to check it out on a Sunday afternoon,” says Maxwell.
He didn’t know it then, but Maxwell would ultimately become one of four State Department officials singled out for discipline—he says scapegoated—then later cleared for devastating security lapses leading up to the attacks. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered during the Benghazi attacks.
Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.
When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.
“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisors.
“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”
A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.
A strange presidential comment, revealed to the world Sunday by the New York Times:
But the president said he had already been headed toward a military response before the men’s deaths. He added that ISIS had made a major strategic error by killing them because the anger it generated resulted in the American public’s quickly backing military action.
If he had been “an adviser to ISIS,” Mr. Obama added, he would not have killed the hostages but released them and pinned notes on their chests saying, “Stay out of here; this is none of your business.” Such a move, he speculated, might have undercut support for military intervention.
Why is our president thinking about what he would tell the Islamic State if he were advising them?
Does the president spend a lot of time thinking about this? Or did it just strike him as a fascinating little nugget of insight to share with a guest while discussing the Islamic State?
I can see the value in trying to understand the thinking of your enemy. I can see the value in thinking through an ultimatum to the group, contemplating what you’ll demand and what consequences to threaten. You can “offer advice” to a foe in the sense of, “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
But Obama’s “if I was an adviser to ISIS” comment doesn’t sound like any of these — at least from the context that we’re given by the Times’ sources, individuals who have met with the president in the past week. It’s just, hey, if I were advising the enemy, this is what I would have told them.
Okay . . . what’s the point? Why spend any time thinking about that scenario? Did the Islamic State call and ask for advice? They didn’t attach notes; they detached heads. That’s the choice they made. Now the question is what we’re going to do about it.
Notice Obama’s assessment presumes the Islamic State wants to avoid a U.S. military intervention. Is this a manifestation of the mirroring effect, where Obama projects its own values and priorities onto its foes? (Think about how often he insists publicly that seizing Crimea and moving into Ukraine isn’t in Russia’s interest, or that bellicose or provocative actions on the part of Iran aren’t in that country’s interest.) The Islamic State appears to want to send the message, far and wide, that they don’t fear a clash with the U.S. military. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can commit horrific crimes against American civilians with no serious repercussion. Maybe they think God wants them to do this. Maybe they’re nuts! In the end, the “why” matters less than the “what.”
Viewed from another angle, President Obama’s comment sounds like a complaint. If the Islamic State hadn’t beheaded Americans, there wouldn’t be such widespread demand for action against it in the American public.
“If I were advising ISIS…”
Well, you’re not, Mr. President.
Onward progressive soldiers, marching as to war…CSU says Christian groups cannot insist on Christian leaders.
California’s State University school system has “derecognized” the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) on discriminatory grounds for requiring that group leaders be Christian.
The California State University (CSU) system, the largest university system in America with 450,000 students, has refused to grant an exemption from a 2012 anti-discrimination policy that requires all recognized student groups open leadership roles to all students.
“[W]hile we applaud inclusivity, we believe that faith-based communities like ours can only be led by people who clearly affirm historic Christian doctrine.” Tweet This
“This new CSU policy does not allow us to require that our leaders be Christian,” InterVarsity said in an article addressing California State University System policy conflict with InterVarsity’sDoctrinal Basis.
“[W]hile we applaud inclusivity, we believe that faith-based communities like ours can only be led by people who clearly affirm historic Christian doctrine,” the organization wrote.
The anti-discrimination policy has precluded IVCF’s 23 chapters from recruiting during student activity fairs and from utilizing free access to rooms reserved for recognized student groups.
CSU’s policy states that “[s]tudent organizations shall deliver to the vice president for student affairs or his/her designee a statement signed by the president or similar officer of the local student organization attesting that the organization has no rules or policies that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability.”
“Following the same logic, any group that insists on requiring its leaders to follow an agreed upon set of guiding beliefs is no longer kosher (irony intended) at California’s state universities,” wrote Christianity Today’s Ed Stetzer.
Obama’s Department of Justice, the agency charged with rooting out corruption, is apparently helping the IRS fend off scandal. That’s a scandal all its own.
The administration official calling House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) office last week had an odd request.
Could the Justice Department get some help leaking information about the IRS’s scrutiny of conservative groups? asked Brian Fallon, a top spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder.
Apparently thinking he had reached the office of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Fallon said the department wanted congressional staffers to get documents to selected reporters so that officials could comment on them “before the majority” did.
That is, Republicans investigating the scandal.
After Issa spokesman Frederick Hill replied that Oversight Committee staffers would have to examine those documents first, the line went silent, and Fallon placed the call on hold for three minutes.
When he returned to the line, Fallon was “audibly shaken,” according to an account of the conversation that Issa recounts in a letter sent to Holder.
The Justice official then said there had been a “change in plans,” that no documents would be released on Friday and that the main reason for the call was to seek a thaw in relations between the department and Oversight Republicans.
Issa said it’s clear that the Justice official meant to call Democratic staff and argued the mix-up is proof that President Obama’s administration and Cummings have been collaborating to “prejudice the committee’s work through under-the-table coordination.”
“This highly partisan and combative approach to oversight by the department shows a disregard for the independent investigatory prerogatives of Congress and a deliberate attempt to influence the course of a congressional investigation,” Issa wrote to Holder, adding that it was “unseemly” for the department to favor one party over the other when it came to sharing information.
The documents, Issa added in the letter, are about Andrew Strelka, a former Justice attorney that once worked for Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the center of the Tea Party controversy.
Issa’s letter does not name the administration official or the three members of his own staff that were on the call on Friday. But Fallon acknowledged Tuesday that he spoke last week with Hill, a longtime Issa aide — an account also confirmed by a congressional aide.
In a statement to The Hill, Fallon suggested that there was nothing out of the ordinary about his conversation with Oversight Republicans.
“There is nothing inappropriate about department staff having conversations with both the majority and minority staff as it prepares responses to formal inquiries,” Fallon said. “That includes conversations between the spokespeople for the department and the committee.”
As for Hill, Fallon said following Friday’s conversation, “I guess this means he won’t be interested in having coffee.”
An Oversight Democratic staffer did not comment directly on whether aides to Cummings had ever held discussions with Justice officials similar to the conversation described in Issa’s letter.
The aide said that Cummings and his staff “make their own independent decisions about when to release information to the public and do not improperly coordinate with any executive branch agency.”
“If Chairman Issa’s account is accurate, this sounds like a dumb request from a Justice Department press staffer that Democrats never received,” the aide added.
Issa’s letter leaves some questions unanswered as well. The letter says that the Justice official asked for an Issa staffer by name before giving the pitch that was presumably intended for Cummings’s aides, raising the question of how much collaboration goes on between the Democrats and the administration. Issa added that the Justice official in question — Fallon — had never called his communications department before.
Still, the letter adds a new wrinkle to the IRS controversy, which started well over a year ago when Lerner apologized for the agency’s treatment of Tea Party groups.
Congressional investigations into the IRS gained new intensity this year after the agency acknowledged it couldn’t find an untold number of Lerner’s emails between 2009 and 2011.
The IRS blamed that loss on Lerner’s computer crashing, and added Friday that it probably couldn’t find emails from another five staffers that dealt with tax-exempt applications from Tea Party groups.
Republicans have repeatedly accused the IRS of slow-walking their investigation into the agency, and the Justice Department of running a shoddy criminal investigation. Democrats say, even after 16 months, there’s no evidence that the IRS scrutiny was politically motivated.
Strelka, the lawyer at the center of Friday’s conversation, worked for Lerner before representing the IRS in a lawsuit filed by Z Street, a pro-Israel group.
Strelka was eventually removed from that case. But Issa and other Republicans say there’s a conflict of interest between his work at the IRS and Justice and have accused Justice of keeping them from interviewing Strelka.
In his letter, Issa asks Holder to detail how many times his aides have discussed matters with Oversight Democrats without the GOP’s involvement, and stressed that he didn’t buy the Justice official’s explanation that the purpose of Friday’s call was to open the lines of communication.
Hill added in a statement that when Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) was Oversight chairman, administration officials under then-President George W. Bush often wouldn’t meet with Republicans without Democratic staffers present.
“Friday’s misdirected request by the Justice Department underscores that the Obama Administration views the Committee’s ranking minority member more as a collaborative partner in thwarting oversight than as an actual independent overseer of the federal government,” Hill said.
The Democratic staffer on Oversight said it was rich of Issa to complain about selective leaks.
“The larger problem is that Chairman Issa’s staff routinely exclude Democratic staff from calls and meetings with federal officials,” the aide said. “Chairman Issa also routinely leaks documents — or portions of them — out of context and without any committee vote or debate.”
All week we’ve heard calls for the head of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for not being tougher on wife beater Ray Rice.
Aside from the lame excuse that he hadn’t seen the full video of Rice, I don’t blame Goodell that much. (The Obama administration churns out lame excuses like this seemingly weekly.)
Goodell runs a business. What other businesses routinely ban individuals from earning a living for misdeeds or crimes committed outside the workplace? This seems counter to progressives efforts to make it illegal to not hire people with a criminal past–employers are forbidden to even ask about criminal convictions on job applications.
So let’s apply the same rules to other businesses.
Should stalking, drugging and anally raping a 13-year old girl be enough to keep you from working in the movie business? Not if you’re Roman Polanski. Instead of scorn, Polanski got the support of some of Hollywood’s best and brightest including Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese, David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Harmony Korine, Stephen Frears, Alexander Payne, Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Tilda Swinton, Julian Schnabel, and Pedro Almodovar.
The Music Industry
Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend, Rihanna. Lil Reese beat up a woman. The whole hip-hop esthetic is rife with misogynistic lyrics and posturing (among other anti-social messages). Does the recording industry ban them for life?
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has battered at least four women. His record is littered with domestic violence charges and he’s done time for it. Last night he earned approximately $30 million for fighting Marcos Maidana. There are many others who threw punches at ladies outside the ring. None were banned.
I had always thought that the greatest marketing strategy ever devised was the one the shampoo industry came up with when they advised people to shampoo, rinse and then repeat, thus doubling their sales. That one word, “repeat,” was worth billions of dollars. But “Hope and Change,” which was used to sell Barack Obama as a unifier was an even greater example of marketing legerdemain.
For, far from unifying us, he has devoted every moment that he hasn’t been golfing or fund-raising to dividing us. Franklin Roosevelt who, ideologically, had far more in common with Joseph Stalin than he had with Winston Churchill, succeeded in separating us along class and race lines, but he was a piker compared to Obama, who has added age, income, gender and religion, to the list of dividers.
Speaking of religion, in the wake of Obama and Kerry deciding that Israel is no more moral and upstanding than the barbarians who target both our nations, I counted up the number of Jewish members of the House and Senate, all of whom have kept their yaps shut during this shameful period. It seems there are 10 Jewish senators representing nine states, and 21 House members representing 10 states, and not one of them has had the moral integrity to call out the President or the Secretary of State.
In the meantime, Obama claims he has no sympathy for Hamas, but great respect for the PLO and the Palestinian people, somehow ignoring the fact that the Palestinians elected Hamas to govern Gaza and just this past April, the PLO officially linked up with Hamas.
And how much longer must we continue to pretend that the so-called civilians in Gaza are all innocent victims in this conflict? Surely I’m not the only person who has seen videos of Palestinian children parroting the words of their elders, vowing to kill the Jews, and proudly posing with pretend belts of explosives strapped around their little bodies – at least I hope they’re fake – emulating suicide bombers.
But we’re told by the U.N. and the vile world media that it’s Israel that’s breeding future generations of terrorists by attempting to protect its own people from terror tunnels and missile barrages.
I say it’s high time for the United States to tell Arabs and Muslims, the present day Nazis, that “Never again!” means “Never again!”
When Obama talks about the GOP House doing nothing, he never mentions the fact that Harry Reid refuses to allow House bills to be voted on by the Senate. For those of you who can’t imagine why Reid would stick all such bills in his wastepaper basket when it’s the Democrats who control the Senate, it’s in order to protect those members from being forced to cast a vote that is certain to antagonize either the White House or their own constituents.
It seems that 47 of the 73 independent federal watchdogs known as inspectors general, whose mission is to sniff out fraud, waste and mismanagement, have signed a letter to Congress complaining that government agencies including the Justice Department, the EPA, Homeland Security and the Peace Corps, are refusing to divulge information, classifying it as confidential.
In case you might be wondering what the Peace Corps could possibly be hiding, apparently it’s the large number of volunteers who have been sexually attacked. I can see where the Peace Corps might wish to conceal that piece of information from fathers and mothers, who might otherwise wish to dissuade their idealistic daughters from running off to dig wells and plant taters in Somalia or Botswana.
Speaking of Africa, if Ebola is not an airborne disease, as they keep telling us, and can only be transmitted through bodily fluids, would someone please explain how the American missionaries, Dr. Kent Brantly and his nurse, Nancy Writebol, contracted the loathsome disease?
Although I am not a fan of Rand Paul, and not simply because he shares the same smug smirk as Kirsten Powers, I do agree with him when it comes to foreign aid. I mean, even Santa, the biggest soft touch in the world, keeps track of who’s naughty and who’s nice. But America, like a rich guy on a drunken binge, doesn’t care who it’s buying drinks for when it shouts: “Drink up. It’s on me.” when it tosses billions of our tax dollars on the bar.
I have no patience with those who oppose capital punishment, insisting it is cruel and unusual. There is nothing even slightly cruel about executing someone who has murdered others, and if liberal judges and lawyers didn’t make it such a needlessly long and complicated a process, it wouldn’t be so freaking unusual.
Here in California, where we have so many really embarrassing politicians that even I can’t keep track of them all, occasionally one will pop up from nowhere to claim their moment in the spotlight. So it is that the formerly anonymous Rep. Julia Brownley, representative from the 26th congressional district, recently made her presence known by sending out a mailer which included a photo of a young woman wearing what Brownley’s re-election team assumed was a U.S. Navy uniform. Apparently it’s the uniform of the German Luftwaffe.
The good news for Rep. Brownley is that it’s the current Luftwaffe and therefore comes without a swastika. Otherwise, even in California, that would have constituted a major whoops.
Finally, a major difference between Barack Obama and whoever wins the 2016 presidential election is that when that person blames his predecessor for all the troubles plaguing America, he or she will be telling the truth.
Be sure to catch Burt’s weekly hour-long webcast on Wednesdays, at noon, Pacific Coast Time. The show is accessed at K4HD.com. The call-in number is (818) 570-5443.
Maybe it is time to start calling the Climate Change promoters “science deniers.” They’ve been tying themselves into knots trying to explain why their computer models promising doom have flunked the reality test.
It’s been a busy year for climate scientists, who have been trying to explain why there has been no global warming for nearly two decades.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported in February there were eight mainstream explanations for the pause, but there are now a whopping 52 explanations for why there has been no warming trend for the last 215 months.
Explanations for the pause in global warming range from ocean oscillation cycles to Chinese coal plant emissions, volcanic activity to some scientists even saying there is no hiatus in warming.
One recent study found that the warming hiatus is due to “heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic.”
This oceanic cooling cycle “associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years,” according to Professor Ka-Kit Tung from the University of Washington.
So what’s the latest explanation for why the Earth stopped warming? Europe’s Joint Research Center (JRC) says the hiatus in warming since 2001 is due to “a combination of a natural cooling phase, known as multidecadal variability (MDV), and a downturn of the secular warming trend.”
European Union scientists don’t know the exact what caused the “downturn of the secular warming trend,” but say “ the Earth hasn’t warmed at the same pace during the 20th century.” JRC researchers analyzed surface temperature records going back to 1850 to “separate natural variations from secular” ones.
Scientists discovered three hiatus periods in the temperature records — 1878 to 1907, 1945 to 1969 and 2001 to today — and concluded that these “hiatus periods coincide with natural cooling phases – the multidecadal variability (MDV), most likely caused by natural oceanic oscillations.”
“The scientists therefore conclude that the MDV is the main cause of these hiatus periods during which global warming decelerated,” according to JRC.
Earlier this week, scientists warned that Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations reached 396 parts per million last year, and carbon dioxide levels were set to cross 400 parts per million by 2015 or 2016.
“We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels,” said Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization — a United Nation’s weather and climate science bureaucracy.
Weather has not become more extreme. It’s been hot in California thus summer, but historical cool in much of the northeast. It snowed in Boulder Colorado yesterday, a rarity.
That’s called weather.
“The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years,” Jarraud warned. “We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board. We are running out of time.”
But Jarraud’s warning comes after reports that there has been no global warming for the past 215 months, according to satellite data. Furthermore, recent research suggests the “pause” in warming could last another decade.
Some climate scientists who are skeptical of theories that man-made global warming will have catastrophic impacts, say increasing carbon dioxide levels should not be alarming.
“The gradual increase in the rate of the rise of the carbon dioxide concentration is a sign that we are continuing to expand our energy use and availability, primarily in developing countries like India and China,” wrote Chip Knappenberger, assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the libertarian Cato Institute.
“With more than a billion people still without much access to electricity… and all the life-improving benefits that come with it, we still have a long way to go,” Knappenberger added. “Consequently, we should anticipate that the atmospheric CO2 concentration will continue to grow for many years to come.”
Note: Readers interested in seeing a complete list of explanations for the hiatus in global warming, the blog Watts Up With That keeps a running tally of all of them.
On the one hand, California U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi claims that Democrats are not “fear-mongers;” on the other hand, she believes civilization is doomed if Republicans take control of the Senate from Democrats in November.
The former speaker of the House made those dramatic, incongruous statements on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” which aired live from Washington, D.C. Friday.
Maher asked Pelosi about recent polling which shows that the GOP is likely to take over the upper chamber and asked, given gridlock in Washington, why it matters that Democrats keep control.
“It would be very important for the Democrats to retain control of the Senate,” Pelosi told Maher. “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate.”
Whoa, Nan, boost your meds!
Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the Senate. Republicans have 45. Two independents caucus with Democrats.
Maher asked about voter turnout for Democrats, which he asserted was too low to carry the party in the mid-term.
“Nobody comes about to vote to say ‘thank you,’” Maher said. “The people who get health care now — they’re the people least likely to vote. The people who come out to vote are the angry people.”
Bill, the people who are getting “free” health care have been told it’s their right. Why thank anyone?
As for the other voters, they’re angry because their president lied to their faces, didn’t manage his project with any precision and have figured out that the whole scheme will cost them more (subsidizing all that “free” healthcare) and provide them less.
How silly of them.
Burt forwarded an email with this compilation of quotes about the Jews. As a gentle gentile, I’ve long been fascinated by the utter irrationality of anti-Semitism, not that all bigotry isn’t irrational.
But even if you hated every Jew with all your heart, why, for purely selfish reasons, would you want to rid yourself of the tiny component of the human race that invents ways to let you live longer, that enriches through all of the arts, that advances human knowledge with outsized contributions etc.?
Winston S. Churchill: “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.
John F. Kennedy: Israel was not created in order to disappear- Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honor.
David Ben Gurion: “In Israel , in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe: “Energy is the basis of everything. Every Jew, no matter how insignificant, is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal… It is the most perpetual people of the earth…”
John Adams: “I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations… They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews.”
Leo Tolstoy: “What is the Jew?… What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish. What is this Jew whom they have never succeeded in enticing with all the enticements in the world, whose oppressors and persecutors only suggested that he deny (and disown) his religi on and cast aside the faithfulness of his ancestors?! The Jew – is the symbol of eternity. ….. He is the one who for so long had guarded the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind. A people such as this can never disappear. The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.”
Eric Hoffer: “The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese– and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel , the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.”
Mark Twain: “…If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it. The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?
Jonah Goldbeg in the G File:
Imagine, just for the sake of argument that, say, the State Department’s Jen Psaki sat down to interview an Islamic State fighter over coffee.
Psaki: “Hi. What’s your name?”
Psaki: “Were you named after your father?”
Mohammed: “No. I am named after the One True Prophet Mohammed.”
Psaki: “Interesting. So what’s the name of your organization?”
Mohammed: “The Islamic State.”
Psaki: “Oh, that’s exotic. What does that do?”
Mohammed: “We have sworn to Allah that we will bring about a global caliphate as he commands us through Mohammed and the Koran. Inshallah, we will kill the pagans, Jews, and infidels and convert the Christians to the one true faith.
Psaki: “Oh my, that sounds like quite a project. So, let me ask you, what religion should I put down here, Mohammed.”
Mohammed: “I am Muslim. I will give my life for Islam. It’s right there in the name: Islamic State.”
Psaki: “Well, I can see that this will just remain one of those mysteries. I’ll just put down agnostic.”
Then on the Obama administration’s aversion to calling our actions against ISIS a war:
I can certainly understand the argument — again, even though I reject it — that we don’t want to pay the terrorist group the “compliment” of saying we’re at war with it.
But hold the phone. John Kerry is saying that “war” is the wrong analogy? Really? It is okay to analogize the fights against poverty, cancer, climate change etc., to war, but we can’t analogize sustained bombing campaigns with coordinated ground offensives to it? Oh my stars and garters. It’s like the effort to get rid of the Islamic State is the Moral Equivalent of Pension Reform.
It gets worse. Olivier Knox of Yahoo News asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest, “What does victory [in the fight against the Islamic State] look like here?”
Earnest earnestly replied, “I didn’t bring my Webster’s dictionary with me up here.” Meanwhile, the disconnect between names and things has gotten to the point where a senior administration official thinks Saudi Arabia is “galvanized” against the Islamic State because it has an “extensive border with Syria.” Except for the fact that it doesn’t, this is a very powerful point. So much for Mark Twain’s observation that “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
Most obviously were the murderous purges, gulags etc. But the bleak, gloomy life afforded communist’s co-equals was also shorter.
The life expectancy of East Germans has risen sharply since their state was reunified with the more prosperous West in 1990, a new study shows. Reunification added 6.2 years to the life of men in the former East and 4.2 years to their female counterparts, according to calculations by Tobias Vogt, of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, that were published ahead of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall this year.
If East Germany still existed, boys born in 2011 could expect to live to the age of 70.9, while girls would have a life expectancy of 78.7 years, the study showed. But in a reunified Germany boys born in 2011 were forecast to live to 77.1, and girls to 82.9. Mr. Vogt cited improvements in medical treatment and an improved standard of living as the reason.
When a television show is consistently popular, its reward usually isn’t getting canceled.
But that is what happened to “Longmire” on the A&E cable channel, which was unceremoniously dumped after three seasons late last month. Now the show’s producer, Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. Television, is scrambling to find a new home for the crime drama.
Based on author Craig Johnson’s mystery books about Walt Longmire, a Wyoming county sheriff whose laconic personality belies his razor-sharp detective skills, “Longmire” was A&E’s second-most popular show behind the reality hit “Duck Dynasty,” averaging 5.6 million viewers this season, according to Nielsen. That is better than critical darlings “Mad Men” on and “Justified” on FX.
Unfortunately for “Longmire,” it has the wrong audience and the wrong owner. A&E said it pulled the plug on “Longmire” because it appeals primarily to older viewers—the median age of the show’s viewers is 60 versus 48 for the network as a whole—and it doesn’t have an ownership stake in the show. A&E is a unit of A+E Networks, a joint-venture between Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp.
“Longmire’s” fate is reflective of two growing trends in the television industry—the obsession of advertisers with younger viewers and the desire of TV networks to own as much of their content as possible.