Cultural Tipping Point Reached – Hollywood has started mocking global warming

February 28, 2015

You know an issue is past its sell-by date when even our “cultural elites” start mocking it.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by David Archibald –

They used to be against us, but now Hollywood is on the side of the angels in mocking global warming

clip_image001The science of climate has had intense scrutiny for the last ten years and more with the result that we now know why the planet warmed in the second half of the 20th century and why it is going to cool instead from here. Yet the meme of global warming continues, seemingly unstoppable and immune to facts.

Politically, global warming peaked out at COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009 when heads of state of countries accounting for the bulk of the world’s GDP were in attendance. They don’t bother to attend now – it is mainly time-servers who turn up. But global warming’s momentum is still resulting in destructive and pointless legislation and regulation in the English-speaking parts of the planet.

Commercial…

View original post 269 more words


Musical Interlude: Freddie Hubbard, “Open Sesame” #jazz

February 27, 2015

Another day in which work actually made me do work and left no time for blogging… How dare they??

While you contemplate that violation of my civil and human rights, enjoy Freddie Hubbard’s classic “Open Sesame:”

Not up there with a Lee Morgan/Art Blakey-led combo, but Hubbard and McCoy Tyner made a pretty darned good team on their own.


Quote of the Day, Climate Change and Real Science edition

February 26, 2015

Renaissance science wonder Flammarion

From Ian Plimer on “Science and the Politics of Climate Change.” This had me pumping my fist and almost shouting “yes!”

We derive scientific evidence from measurement, observation, and experiment. Evidence must be repeatable and collected over and over again. Computers do not generate evidence: they analyse evidence that should have been repeated and validated. On the basis of the evidence and analysis of evidence, an explanation is given. This explanation is a scientific theory and must be in accord with other validated evidence from diverse sources (this is known as the coherence criterion in science). Unlike in law, there is no inadmissible evidence in science. Science is underpinned by practitioners who must be sceptical of the methodology used to collect evidence, the analysis of evidence, and the conclusions based on the evidence. On the basis of new evidence, scientists must always be prepared to change their opinions.

Science bows to no authority , is not based on a consensus, and is in a constant state of flux. No great advance in science has been made by consensus: advances have been made by individuals paddling upstream. If a scientific theory is not in accord with validated evidence, then the theory must be abandoned and reconstructed. It is scepticism that underpins science, not the comfort of consensus.

The theory of human-induced global warming is not science because research is based on a pre-ordained conclusion, huge bodies of evidence are ignored, and the analytical procedures are treated as evidence. Furthermore, climate ‘science’ is sustained by government research grants. Funds are not available to investigate theories that are not in accord with government ideology.

Preach it, Brother Ian!

Excerpted from “Climate Change: The Facts.”


The State Department’s Refugee Program Shouldn’t be a Terrorist-Funding Welfare Scam

February 26, 2015

“Minnesota, the France of America.” Ouch!

International Liberty

While immigration is a very contentious issue for the politicians in Washington, there’s actually some level of agreement among people in the real world.

Almost everybody agrees that it would be foolish and short-sighted not to allow some immigration, particularly from young, educated people with valuable skills.

Similarly, there is widespread agreement that you can’t have completely open borders, particularly for those who are unlikely to be net contributors to the economy.

So the real debate (and this is where there is a lot of room for disagreement) is who gets to come to America and under what conditions.

I don’t raise this issue because I have any wise words – much less proposed solutions – on the overall issue of immigration.

Instead, let’s look at the profoundly perverse way that the federal government is using the refugee program to expand the problem of dependency.

Here are some excerpts from

View original post 1,064 more words


#Obamacare chronicles: People refusing to pay the fine?

February 26, 2015
"Revenge of the angry mob"

“Revenge of the angry mob”

President Jefferson once famously said:

“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

And maybe that “good thing” has started?

Taxpayers are already telling their accountants they plan to stiff the IRS on the Obamacare tax, saying they figure the chances the agency comes after them for a few hundred bucks are pretty slim, and it makes sense to take the risk.

Still other taxpayers are recoiling when they find out they owe far more than the $95 minimum penalty for not having insurance in 2014, said Christopher Wittich, an accountant in Minnesota.

“And that’s a big problem for them,” he said. “They don’t have 200 bucks.”

Taxpayers are facing the first round of penalties under Obamacare’s “individual mandate,” which requires most Americans to prove they have health insurance coverage or else pay the tax that the Supreme Court ruled made the law constitutional.

But Indiana accountant Scott Frick said one of his clients, told he would have to fork over $850 for going without insurance last year, thought about the IRS and decided not to pay, just to “see what happens.”

The episodes raise questions for the revenue agency, which is trying to figure out just how far it’s prepared to go to collect the Obamacare tax — and if future administrations will enforce it at all.

As I pointed out in another post, these people just finding out their 2014 penalty Shared Responsibility Payment may already owe for 2015. Surprise!

Also, I had forgotten that, as the article points out later on, the IRS is forbidden from laying criminal charges or liens against people who don’t pay the penalty. All they can do is lower their future refunds. You can bet there will be many people willing to pay that price, rather than shell out for the more expensive “affordable care” policies.

Regardless, this refusal to pay strikes me as a good thing, a sign that our spirit isn’t dead yet. I hope it catches on, and that everyone refuses to pay.

Somewhere, Mr. Jefferson smiles.

via Michael Walsh


Ben Sasse (R-NE) on the Iran negotiations: the administration is “explicitly tolerating a renegade nuclear program”

February 25, 2015

The junior senator from Nebraska nails it in this video. Unlike our administration, he seems to have a clear understanding of both the ramifications of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons and the Obama administration’s feckless, delusional approach. Well worth watching:

via Fred Fleitz, who writes:

Obama officials defend their approach to the nuclear talks because they claim a final deal will be subject to robust verification by IAEA inspectors. This argument is hard to take seriously since Iran has never fully cooperated with the IAEA and has specifically refused to cooperated with IAEA inspectors during the talks and cheated on the interim agreement which set up the talks.Moreover, yesterday’s revelations (if they are true) by the NCRI, an Iranian dissident group, that Iran has been operating a secret facility where it has been developing advanced uranium centrifuges and may be enriching uranium adds to the suspicion that Tehran cannot be trusted with any dual-use nuclear technology.

It’s a shame Senator Sasse isn’t leading the negotiations, rather the buffoonish John Kerry.


Morons. We have morons on our team, national secrets edition

February 24, 2015
"Hey! Look what we're doing!"

“Hey! Look what we’re doing!”

First heard about this from Melissa Couthier last night; my head still hurts from hitting the desk over and over. I have just one question:

Can anyone in this government keep a damned secret?

The Pentagon let slip that one of its training camps to help fight Islamic State terrorists is in Jordan — information the pro-U.S. kingdom had specifically requested be kept private, and the latest gaffe in a series of sensitive leaks coming out of the Department of Defense.

In order to hide its flub, which was first announced to reporters during a briefing last week, the Pentagon has scrubbed its public transcripts of any mention of the training camp.

Pentagon officials acknowledged Monday that one of its officers, who was briefing reporters on condition of anonymity last week, likely made the mistake. The Pentagon’s policy is to discuss only the contributions its partner nations are making to its operations against extremists in Iraq and Syria only after those partner nations have publicly spoken about those contributions.

In Jordan’s case, that did not happen, a senior Pentagon official said.

Security analysts are befuddled by the high-level operational “screw-up.”

“Either the official made a mistake or is deliberately leaking information to put the administration’s plans for Syria in a better light in an attempt to defuse criticism that the administration has bungled efforts to aid Syrian rebels,” said James Phillips, a national security analyst at The Heritage Foundation.

I’m betting on the latter. No wonder no one over there trusts us anymore. If Obama had been president during World War II, he’d have leaked the Manhattan Project, just to show he was “out front on this war issue.”

Inauguration Day 2017 cannot come fast enough.


#Obamacare Chronicles: If you paid a penalty for 2014, you may already owe one for 2015

February 24, 2015
"2014 voters"

Paid their Obamacare penalty.

I wrote before about how the Democrats are increasingly frightened of the angry mob that might rise against them once the non-coverage penalties in Obamacare start to be enforced. People who didn’t obey the mandate in 2014 will likely find themselves with smaller refunds than expected, or maybe even owing Uncle Sam. That makes for unhappy voters, who will be looking for someone to hurt. Probably the congresscritters (All Democrats) who voted for Obamacare.

But wait! There’s more!

There’s another problem. The administration’s enrollment period just ended on February 15. So if people haven’t signed up for Obamacare already, they’ll be stuck paying the higher penalty for 2015.

By the way, Democrats don’t like to call the Obamacare penalty a penalty; its official name is the Shared Responsibility Payment. But the fact is, the lawmakers’ intent in levying the fines was to make it so painful for the average American to ignore Obamacare that he or she will ultimately knuckle under and do as instructed.

Except that it’s easier to inflict theoretical pain than actual pain. Tax filing season is enlightening many Americans for the first time about the “mechanics involved” in Obamacare’s fee structure, Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett wrote to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on December 29. “Many taxpayers will see the financial consequences of their decision not to enroll in health insurance for the first time when they make the Shared Responsibility Payment.”

And the penalties get even larger in 2016 for those recalcitrant serfs who still refuse to obey their Betters in DC. Estimates of those range from 3-6 million people.

So Congressmen Doggett, Levin, and “Baghdad Jim” McDermott implored the administration to create a supplemental “open enrollment period” so people who didn’t buy by the 15th could do so and escape the 2015 “Shared Responsibility Payment.” And so the Democrats could escape the angry mob. This exemption comes with a stringent qualification standard, however: You have to be willing to say “I didn’t know,” and you will be magically cleansed of your sins.

The administration has done this before, granting exemptions and delays ex machina for the employer mandate with no legal authority to do so. (The ACA is very clear about its deadlines.) Now it’s an extension for open enrollment. Let’s be frank: none of these illegal waivers were granted because of sympathy for the victims. Their sole purpose is to help Democrats avoid the consequences of ramming this anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law down the throat of a nation that didn’t want it. By delaying the mandates and punishments past election day or simply granting exemptions to the latest group to complain (Oh wait! Here’s another enrollment period!), they hope to avoid the electoral whipping they so richly deserve.

That didn’t work in 2010 or 2014. Per Byron York again, no matter how it’s delayed, the voters hate the individual mandate:

The individual mandate has always been extremely unpopular. In December 2014, just a couple of months ago, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 64 percent of those surveyed don’t like the mandate. The level of disapproval has been pretty consistent since the law was passed.

And there’s very little chance the individual mandate’s approval numbers will improve, now that millions of Americans are getting a taste of what it really means. They’re learning an essential truth of Obamacare, which is that if you don’t sign up, the IRS will make you pay.

It’s not going to work for them in 2016, either.

PS: Oh, and since we’re talking about angry mobs, let us not forget the IRS sending the wrong tax information to nearly 1,000,000 people receiving Obamacare subsidies.


Iran still won’t sign accord against terror finance

February 23, 2015

My cynical side wonders why Iran would ever sign an agreement that blocks Iran from doing something that benefits it. My cynical side also knows Iran very well.

Money Jihad

The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism went into effect in 2002. Over 180 countries have signed the rather bland convention. But not Iran.

Not that we could take Iran at its word, but shouldn’t they agree to sign the convention prior to concluding a deal with Iran about their nuclear program?

Lebanon hasn’t signed it either. Other non-signatory countries with Islamist political movements include The Gambia and Chad. But they don’t have nuclear programs.

View original post


Inconvenient study: La Niña killed coral reefs 4100 years ago and lasted over two millennia

February 23, 2015

From the article: ““It’s possible that anthropogenic climate change may once again be pushing these reefs towards another regional collapse.”

So a coral reef shutdown four thousand, one hundred years ago is a warning of the dangers from the Demon CO2 today, even though a) there was no anthropogenically generated CO2 back then and b) this all seems tied to la nina/el nino cycles? Check. (Note the weasel words “possible” and “may.”)

Watts Up With That?

From Georgia Tech and the “it’s your SUV that’s killing the coral reefs today, why can’t you get that through your head” department comes this inconvenient study.

La Nina-like conditions associated with 2,500-year-long shutdown of coral reef growth

coral-reef-panama A dead Pocillopora reef in Pacific Panamá. This image of interrupted reef growth represents what reefs throughout Pacific Panamá may have looked like when reef development shut down at the onset of the hiatus ~2,500 years ago. Credit: Lauren Toth

A new study has found that La Niña-like conditions in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Panamá were closely associated with an abrupt shutdown in coral reef growth that lasted 2,500 years. The study suggests that future changes in climate similar to those in the study could cause coral reefs to collapse in the future.

The study found cooler sea temperatures, greater precipitation and stronger upwelling — all indicators…

View original post 758 more words


When Kremlin Trolls Attack

February 23, 2015

Cold War II meets the social media age.

The XX Committee

The issue of online trolls doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin has been getting some mainstream media attention, finally. The reality that Russia buys, or at least rents, trolls by the battalion to harass, intimidate and make life unpleasant for anybody who opposes Moscow policy, while employing aggressive agitprop to further Putinist propaganda, isn’t exactly news, but it’s nevertheless welcome to see mainstream outlets doing some digging into what’s going on.

I’ve dealt with more than my share of Kremlin trolls ever since the Edward Snowden story broke in June 2013. As a major spokesman for the anti-Snowden viewpoint, as well as the only former NSA counterintelligence officer who’s talked publicly about this case at length, I’ve gotten my share of grief and then some from online Pals of Putin, with their usual modus operandi: smears, lies, slurs, and threats.

Some of these Kremlin clowns…

View original post 547 more words


l’Affaire Giuliani, or, “Does Obama love America?” No, and yes.

February 22, 2015
x

He loves one of these Americas

So, late last Wednesday, the MSM and the Left (I know, I’m repeating myself), exploded in outrage at comments made by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani at a dinner for likely presidential candidate Scott Walker at New York City’s “21 Club.”Speaking before the assembled guests, Giuliani stated with no equivocation that President Obama does not love America:

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

With Walker sitting just a few seats away, Giuliani continued by saying that “with all our flaws we’re the most exceptional country in the world. I’m looking for a presidential candidate who can express that, do that and carry it out.”

“And if it’s you Scott, I’ll endorse you,” he added. “And if it’s somebody else, I’ll support somebody else.”

Naturally, the airwaves exploded as Obama’s defenders rushed to express outrage: “How dare he question Obama’s patriotism?” (Conveniently forgetting that Obama did just that to George W. Bush) There were demands for apologies and, of course, cries of “racism!” I’m only surprised no one screamed “lèse–majesté” and demanded Rudy’s head.

But, enjoying the furor he caused, Giuliani refused to back down. The next day on “Fox and Friends,” he went there again:

“I do hear him criticize America much more often than other American presidents. And when it’s not in the context of an overwhelming number of statements about the exceptionalism of America, it sounds like he’s more of a critic than he is a supporter,” Giuliani said. “You can be a patriotic American and be a critic, but then you’re not expressing that kind of love that we’re used to from a president.”

Here’s video courtesy of Nice Deb:

If I understand that last sentence right, it sounds like Giuliani saying that a president cannot be critical of America and still love her. If so, then I respectfully disagree.

On the other hand, I think his general argument should be uncontroversial, when understood in a certain way: Barack Obama does not love America as she is. He does not love Americans as they are.

Bear with me for a bit.

To understand how it can be true that the President of the United States does not love the United States, we have to keep in mind his intellectual background:

  • His grandparents were very much on the Left (1), and his mother had a very left-wing education at her high school. She later married the Kenyan Barack Obama, the president’s father, who was himself on the far Left.
  • His mentor in Hawaii was Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA and a devout Stalinist who was savagely critical of America and its leaders. Davis was important to Obama, as one can see in his memoir “Dreams From My Father.”
  • As an undergraduate at Occidental College, we know from people who knew him that Obama was a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist.
  • Transferring to Columbia, and though his records are sealed, researcher Stanley Kurtz has made a strong case that Obama remained on the far Left, perhaps there first learning of community organizing, the profession created by “small c” communist Saul Alinsky, and becoming acquainted with James Cone and Black Liberation Theology.
  • In Chicago as a community organizer, again per Kurtz, Obama’s professional associations, direct and indirect, were all on the Socialist left: the crypto-Socialist Midwest Academy; his work with Socialist/communist community organizing groups ACORN and UNO of Chicago; his membership in the Socialist New Party; his close association –professional and personal– with former “small c” communist terrorist Bill Ayers; and the fact that he willingly sat for 20 years in the church of Reverend Jeremiah “God damn America!” Wright, a follower of Cone and Black Liberation Theology.
  • During his return to school at Harvard for a law degree, he was influenced by Professor Derrick Bell, the author of Critical Race Theory.
  • On his return to Chicago, he entered politics by running for the state senate seat of the retiring incumbent, Alice Palmer, a Socialist/Communist who was a great fan of the USSR. Palmer initially gave Obama her warm endorsement.

One could go on, but I think you the pattern: From the beginning of his life through his professional career to today, Obama’s intellectual and emotional world has been almost wholly on the “America stinks” Left, and there is no evidence that I know of that he has ever moderated or rejected those views, other than to go from revolutionary Marxism-Leninism to a vague democratic socialism or corporatism.

With that kind of background –strongly Socialist and racialist– why would anyone expect Obama to love a nation founded on principles of limited government, free markets, capitalism, and the sanctity of property rights? All  our strengths he sees as flaws, and our wrongs as our main legacy. Ace puts it nicely:

…our weaknesses are footnotes (and footnotes worth reading, as footnotes usually are) to our accomplishments.

Obama doesn’t see our failings as footnotes. He sees them as the main text. He sees America doing a few good things here and there (most importantly: electing him) as the footnotes.

A president who loves the “America that is” accepts her for what she is, acknowledging her faults but seeing her good works, her greatness, and her exceptionalism as far outweighing the bad, marking her as indeed something special in the family of nations.

Obama, on the other hand, loves an America, but it’s not the same America most of us know and love. You don’t really love something or someone you want to “fundamentally transform.”

Barack Obama loves the America of his leftist dreams: statist and corporatist, where equality of result is guaranteed through the pervasive intervention of the only real arbiter of fairness, the government. A nation wherein people are treated as members of groups, not as individuals.

So, the answer to the question “Does President Obama love America,” is both “no” and “yes.”

The president we should look for is the one who simply and honestly answers “yes.”

RELATED: Moe Lane on why the Left is really upset. Kevin Williamson, who says Obama not only doesn’t love America, he doesn’t even like it.

Footnote:
(1) Kengor, “The Communist,” p. 229, Kindle location 4412. And, before someone accuses me of picking on his family, their potential influence on his future views is very much germane.


Tales of the Nanny State: taxing your dessert, timing your TV watching

February 20, 2015
I said, no fun allowed!

I said, no fun allowed!

Because what Americans are yearning for right now is even more government intrusion into their daily lives:

The federal committee responsible for nutrition guidelines is calling for the adoption of “plant-based” diets, taxes on dessert, trained obesity “interventionists” at worksites, and electronic monitoring of how long Americans sit in front of the television.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) released its far-reaching 571-page report of recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Thursday, which detailed its plans to “transform the food system.”

The report is open for public comment for 45 days, and will be used as the basis by the government agencies to develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines are used as the basis for government food assistance programs, nutrition education efforts, and for making “decisions about national health objectives.”

DGAC proposed a variety of solutions to address obesity, and its promotion of what it calls the “culture of health.”

“The persistent high levels of overweight and obesity require urgent population- and individual-level strategies across multiple settings, including health care, communities, schools, worksites, and families,” they said.

And if that isn’t enough, DGAC wants to monitor your TV watching — for your own good, of course:

The amount of sedentary time Americans spend in front of computers and TV sets is also a concern to the federal panel.

They recommended “coaching or counseling sessions,” “peer-based social support,” and “electronic tracking and monitoring of the use of screen-based technologies” as a way to limit screen time.

The screen-time recommendations came from The Community Guide, a group affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reviewed studies that used an “electronic monitoring device to limit screen time” of teenagers.

Progressive America — where TV watches you!

Really, if these bureaucratic scolds wanted to annoy people so much they would elect even more small-government conservatives who would then take a meat ax to the bureaucracy, they couldn’t find a better way to go about it. “Sin taxes” are already so popular with the public.

I encourage them to press on.


#Obamacare chronicles: government sends wrong tax information to nearly 1,000,000 people

February 20, 2015
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

What was it Ronald Reagan said? Oh yeah:

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

Happy to help, America:

About 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers got the wrong tax information from the government, the Obama administration said Friday, and officials are asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns.

The tax mistake is a self-inflicted injury that comes on the heels of what President Barack Obama had touted as a successful enrollment season, with about 11.4 million people signed up.

California, which is running its own insurance market, on Thursday announced a similar problem affecting about 100,000 people in that state.

The errors mean that nearly 1 million people may have to wait longer to get their income tax refunds this year. And they could also affect the size of those refunds.

Another 50,000 or so who already filed may have to resubmit their returns.

My late father, a sharp man in many ways, once taught me something about handling employees:

“You can do almost anything you want to people who work for you, but you never, ever screw with their money.”

The same holds true for government and taxpayers; the Fed and California just broke that rule big-time.

Consider: We are all required by law (1) to have health insurance. If we do not, we will be punished. If our insurance is not provided by an employer, we are required, again by law, to buy it on the Obamacare exchanges. In order to afford those policies, now more expensive thanks to the “Affordable” Care Act, the government offers subsidies, the amount of which is determined by various factors, such as income and number of children. And that information has to be provided to the IRS on our tax forms, including whatever information the government provides on these new “1095” forms.  And that information in turn helps determine whether we get a refund, what size it is, or if we wind up owing the government money.

And the government gave out the wrong information.

To a million people. smiley d'oh!

It’s bad enough that people who wanted to file their return and who have almost most certainly scheduled their appointments with overworked tax-prep people will now have to delay their filings (For how long? Can they reschedule with the accountant?), but what about those who have already filed? Now they have no idea whether they get a refund or owe Uncle Sam — surprise!!

And you can bet a good portion of these one million taxpayers, most of them voters, are going to be royally ticked off about this and looking for someone to blame as we get into election season. (2)

Dad was right.

via Iowahawk:

Footnotes:
(1) This anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law, that is.
(2) That would be the Democratic Party. Not a single Republican voted for this. In fact, we were screaming like Cassandra that this was a fiasco waiting to happen. Please remember that on election day.


For the good of the nation, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson should resign

February 19, 2015
Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson

It’s been tough to stomach the vacuous platitudes and the detached-from-all-reality prescriptions being offered at the White House’s three-day “summit” on “Countering Violent Extremism,” which is their latest laughable response to the threat from Islamic terrorism and jihad — though they’ll never use those words in a connected sense. It’s always an amorphous “violent extremism,” as if we should be just as worried about the threat from radical Presbyterians as much as the danger posed by Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah.

First there was the President’s own op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, in which, among other fatuities, he tells us we must deal with “legitimate grievances” that lead to “violent extremism,” perhaps meaning a Harf-ite jobs-for-jihadis program. I’m sure the fighters flocking to ISIS to burn people alive and buy sex slaves would lay down their arms if they only had a 9-5 with two weeks off.

Then there was Secretary of State Kerry’s blather about violent extremism and the need for unity and an “action agenda.” If anyone can find any intellectual substance behind his words, you’re a far better detective than I.

But those insults to our intelligence can be shrugged off as more of the mush that masquerades as a genuine foreign and national security policy in the administration. We’ve heard it all before, though it’s harder to take in such concentrated doses.

What can’t be shrugged off, however is a slanderous insult against the American people, especially when offered by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Speaking at the CVE summit, Secretary Jeh Johnson said:

[W]e in the administration and the government should give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this country and the discrimination that they face. And so I personally have committed to speak out about the situation that very often people in the Muslim community in this country face.

Excuse me? What “plight?” Considering the horror visited upon America on September 11th, 2001, Muslims in the US have been treated with remarkable restraint and even kindness, as many people went out of their way to show they weren’t holding them to blame for the massacre their co-religionists wrought. In fact, in the most recent figures available, the FBI reports that there are more than three-times as many hate-crimes against Jews as against Muslims.  (1)

Will Secretary Johnson “give voice” to the tragic plight of Jews in America, too?

Later in the same article, Power Line’s John Hinderaker writes:

This is simply insane. Does the Obama administration think that pleading guilty–falsely–to discriminating against Muslims is somehow going to pacify ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the rest? And what, exactly, is the “plight” of American Muslims? How does it compare with the plight of Muslims who live in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere in the Islamic world?

Not to mention the plight of Christians and Jews who live in those places, to the extent there are any left. A funny thing about that: if, as Johnson assures us, “the Islamic faith is one about peace and brotherhood,” what, exactly, happened to all those Christians and Jews? The administration is delusional, but one constant, no matter the context, is its reflexive instinct to condemn America.

Like I said, it’s one thing for Obama and Kerry to spew nonsense; perhaps I’ve become jaded to their drivel, but Secretary Johnson is specifically charged with the protection of Americans in the American homeland. For him to abase himself before the conference attendees and lend credence to the Islamic victim narrative with false accusations against his own people is beyond excuse and renders him unfit for his office.

I’d say he should do the decent thing and resign, but I’ve long stopped expecting decency from the typical Obama appointee.

Footnote:
(1) The recent murders of three Muslims in North Carolina, which apologists from the president down to CAIR were quick to imply were rooted in “Islamophobia,” appear instead to have been the horrifying result of a dispute over parking. But even if they had been motivated by religion, they would have been among the strikingly few examples of anti-Islamic violence in the US.


What the hell is wrong with New Jersey prosecutors? #2A

February 18, 2015
Citizen! Have I got a job for you!

Good job, New Jersey!

Here’s the situation in brief: Gordon van Gilder is a 72-year old retired English teacher who lives in New Jersey. He also happens to have a hobby collecting 18th century memorabilia: coins, furniture, etc. Along came the opportunity to buy an antique 18th-century pistol. No bullets or powder, just the pistol. He and a friend drove to Pennsylvania to get it and then, on the way back, they were stopped by New Jersey police. Mr. Van Gilder cooperatively told the officer of the weapon in the glove box, and the officer promptly wanted to arrest him for violating New Jersey gun laws — for an antique pistol that wasn’t working. A superior talked some sense into the officer and told him to return the firearm and let the two men go. You’d think that would be the end of it, right?

Per Charles Cooke, think again:

The officer did as he was told, and gave the pistol back. The next morning, however, he came back — “with three cars and three or four sheriffs.” Van Gilders says, “He told me, ‘I should have arrested you last night.’” So he did. “They led me away in handcuffs” and, at the station, “chained me by my hands and feet to a cold stainless-steel bench.”

“I’ve never been handcuffed in my life — or arrested, even,” Van Gilder explains. “I was embarrassed and ashamed. The only prisoner there was myself: a 72-year-old English teacher. I was really ashamed.”

Before long, Van Gilder had been charged and the gun had been taken away for “ballistics testing,” almost certainly never to be returned. (That the department believes that a ballistics test on a flintlock pistol can be useful should give you some indication of who we’re dealing with here.) “They’ve angered me,” Van Gilder concedes. “But technically, by New Jersey’s law, the officer was probably right.”

The officer may have been right, but the law that officious jerk was enforcing is an ass. Now Mr. Van Gilder is facing a possible ten-year sentence with a minimum of 3.5 years without parole.

Remember the Obama administration’s risible claim that it had “prosecutorial discretion” to not enforce immigration law over a whole class of people? That was bunk, but here is a case where discretion should have been applied by by New Jersey authorities to refuse to prosecute a case that was clearly never contemplated under the state’s gun laws. Leave aside the fact that those laws violate Mr. Van Gilder’s Second Amendment rights, the very idea of humiliating him and then facing him with mandatory jail time over an antique pistol the federal government doesn’t even regard as a weapon is infuriating.

More Cooke:

Earlier this week, the lawyers’ group blog Popehat noted caustically that “none of the New Jersey founders who ratified the Constitution when this pistol was crafted would have questioned the man’s right to keep it.” This is indisputably true. Indeed, the news that an arthritic septuagenarian retiree had been tied to a bench for a non-violent crime would presumably have shocked them to the core. But, for all that their words live on, those leaders are dead, and we must look now to the ones that we have today. Where the hell are they? Where are the voices crying out for a change in the rules, and for a restoration of basic American liberties? And above all, where is the fearless Chris Christie — a man who seems to want to be president of the United States — when one of his constituents is being harassed by the state?

That’s a darned fine question, and I’d be very interested in would-be President Christie’s answer.

PS: As Cooke’s editors point out, you can help out with Mr. Van Gilder’s defense here.

PPS: And this isn’t the first time New Jersey prosecutors have tried to curb-stomp the Second Amendment.


American political scientists downgrade our fourth-greatest president ever

February 17, 2015
"Tell me you love me!"

“Tell me you love me!”

Via The Washington Examiner, the results of this survey should have Obama running to his mirror for reassurance:

According to a Brookings Institution survey of American Political Science Association scholars, they put Obama on the worst, not best, list by a margin of nearly three-to-one. Here’s how Brookings wrote it: “Those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin.”

And, the friendly think tank added, “nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated.”

Overall, Brookings said, “Few think of Obama as an excellent president, while many more rate his presidency quite low, with the bulk of experts appearing to give him a passing grade but not one that would get him on the Dean’s list.”

The survey was sent to 391 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section, the premier organization of experts of the American presidency, and 162 participated online.

First, let’s note that Brookings is not what one would call a “conservative” institution, so, if they have any bias, it likely runs in the other direction. Second, the APSA itself has a very liberal bent, so we can imagine that while it hurt to ding Obama, some of that criticism probably came from the Left, disappointed that he hasn’t gone far enough. Regardless, it’s a far cry from the fawning euphoria felt by those who greeted him as the second coming of FDR and those halcyon days when he was granted a Nobel peace Prize before he had done anything. (1)

Then again, FDR’s economic policies were largely a failure, so maybe the comparison was apt, after all.

Still, “the worst” by a 3-1 margin? There can be only one explanation: racism.

Don’t they know he’s the fourth-greatest president, ever?

Footnote:
(1) Then again, that is likely to be remembered as the high point of his administration….

UPDATE: Changed the headline from the original, since, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed tendentious.


#Obamacare: Democrats scared law they wrote might actually be enforced

February 16, 2015

satire train wreck

And well they should be. Obamacare was structured so that you paid a fine fee tax (1) if you didn’t have the required insurance. That fine was trivial for the first year, but scheduled to go up each year for the next two years: from $95 in 2014 to $325 this year to as much as $1,100 next year. That rule is now coming into effect, so…

Cue Democrat panic:

The three are Michigan’s Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama’s law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.

The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it’s already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.

That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.

This year is the first time ordinary Americans will experience the complicated interactions between the health care law and taxes. Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties.

When they wrote this anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law, Reps. Levin, McDermott, and Doggett, along with all the other Democrats who voted for it (2), had fooled themselves into thinking that it would become so popular that the number of people subject to a fine would be de minimis.

Four million angry voters is not what they imagined, though it seems as if they have started to have nightmares about it, since they’re begging Obama to use his pen and phone (and the authority he does not have) to rewrite the law –again– so Democrats can avoid the consequences of their arrogance and stupidity.

Trouble is (for them), I’m not so sure President Obama cares all that much anymore what happens to Democratic congressman. He doesn’t have to worry about reelection, now does he?

And, oh yes, these voters will be angry, and Republicans will be sure to remind them just who visited this hurt on them.

Like elections, votes in Congress have consequences.

via Conservative Intelligence Briefing

Footnotes:
(1) Only John Roberts understands which.
(2) And not a single Republican, let us be clear. This mess isn’t our fault at all.


Should Government Regulators Make the Internet More Like the Post Office or DMV?

February 15, 2015

I’ll take Option C, “neither.”

International Liberty

The Internet has made all of our lives better, in part because there’s been an accidental policy of benign neglect from Washington.

But that’s about to change.

Even though our economy already is burdened by record amounts of regulation and red tape, the FCC is pushing forward with a plan to turn the Internet into a moss-covered public utility.

This almost leaves me at a loss for words. It’s truly remarkable – in a bad way – that the bureaucrats at the Federal Communications Commission think that the Internet can be improved by a big dose of 1930s-era regulation and control.

My Cato colleague, Jim Harper, summarized the issue last month.

Do you want your Internet service provider to operate like the water company or the electric company?… the FCC has sought for years now to regulate broadband Internet service providers…like it used to regulate AT&T, with government…

View original post 637 more words


A new book in which I have a chapter: Climate Change: The Facts

February 14, 2015

I think I shall be ordering this. (Just to be clear, the title is from the linked post. *I* don’t have a chapter in it.)

Watts Up With That?

climate-change-facts-bookFrom Steynonline:

Climate Change: The Facts has been put together by our friends at the Institute of Public Affairs in Australia, edited by Alan Moran, and features 22 essays on the science, politics and economics of “climate change”.

[It features Mark Steyn on the Mann Hockey Stick debacle,] Joanne Nova on the climate-change gravy train; Britain’s former Chancellor Nigel Lawson on the economic consequences of abandoning fossil fuels; Patrick Michaels on the growing chasm between the predictions of the IPCC and real-world temperatures, Garth Paltridge on the damage such failed forecasts are doing to science, and Donna Laframboise on the damage the Big Climate alarmists have done to the IPCC; professors Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter and Willie Soon on climate sensitivity and factors such as greenhouse gases, natural variability, and the role of the sun…

Oh, don’t worry, Michael E Mann and his “hockey stick” are in the book…

View original post 757 more words