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Unexamined Premises

Comprehensively Yours

December 5th, 2013 - 12:30 pm
One size fits all

One size fits all — ours

Some years back, I was having a discussion with several of my liberal friends, who asked what my objection to their ideology was. My answer was simple: because liberalism (or “progressivism,” as they now prefer), when taken to its nth degree, must and does end in fascism. In order to achieve the liberal paradise, and since the common folk cannot be trusted, coercion must be part of the solution; the generation that screamed “off the pigs” now controls most of the levers of the federal government, and have become the pigs themselves.

Consder the mantra: “comprehensive.” Immigration reform, healthcare reform, campaign-finance reform, whatever. In the guise of “reforming” a system that may or may not even be broken (but, since nothing works perfectly, everything is “broken” to one degree or another), the Left insists upon a mandated straitjacket, into which they can cram all their pet policies, nostrums and phobias in the hopes of finally slaying whatever bugbear keeps them awake at night. And that bugbear, when you examine it closely enough, is Freedom.

Why the Left — which devotes a great deal of time and energy to the promotion of sybaritic pursuits, especially sexual license without consequences — should fear freedom so much is not at first obvious. After all, they’re the ones who claim to want the government “out of the bedroom” — and yet they’ve put it there, right at the moment of conception, in the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act. They’re the ones who have used the First Amendment as a shield — and quite correctly, too — against government censorship for decades, and yet now they can think of all sort exceptions to it. The Second Amendment makes them profoundly uncomfortable, since they find it inconceivable that an armed private citizen’s first instinct is not to shoot up a school or a shopping mall but to defend himself and his loved ones, and they have a touching, almost childlike faith in the ability of the “pigs” they once denigrated to come to their own personal rescue in times of trouble.

They won’t, of course, but that’s a personal problem — when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. The institutional problem is, for the Left, no problem at all. With the reins of power in their hands since David Axelrod, the Jake Lingle of his day, gave the country the unasked-for and unwanted Trojan Horse of Barack Obama, they’ve discovered the joys of executive action, and of civilian control of the military and the police. When Obama promised “fundamental transformation” just five days before the 2008 election, he meant it. And who’s going to gainsay him?

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The root of the problem

The root of the problem

There are times when I start to think that maybe the Left is right, that the real problem with the United States of America is that pesky old thing called the Constitution. That maybe President Obama and the rest of the triumphalist “progressives” are right and that what this nation really needs, beside a good five-cent cigar, is “fundamental transformation.” That perhaps the dream of the cultural Fifth Column known as the Frankfurt School may well come true, that “critical theory” is not the prolonged, juvenile temper tantrum those of us who came to maturity in the sixties assumed it was. And that maybe the best place to start swinging the wrecker’s ball on what the Founders wrought ought to be in the halls of Congress.

What else to make of this story in the Wall Street Journal:

The torrents of Affordable Care Act monsoon season aren’t letting up, so Democrats are scrambling to help the victims: namely, their own careers. The Senators up for re-election in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still aren’t offering solutions for anything other than their own growing political jeopardy.

Fifteen Senate Democrats plus Colorado’s Michael Bennet who chairs the Senatorial Campaign Committee sat down at the White House Wednesday, and they want all and sundry to know that they let President Obama have it. Alaska’s Mark Begich put out a statement saying he chewed out the big cheese for “absolutely unacceptable” mismanagement and “an understandable crisis in confidence.” He must have drafted it in advance.

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley chimed in to report that even after the two-hour encounter session that was not on the public schedule, he was still “very frustrated” and “I remain deeply convinced that this is a ‘show-me’ moment.” Asked by Politico if Democrats were losing credibility, an anonymous attendee said, “You got to have it, to lose it.”

Now, I realize that contempt of Congress is and should be the natural order of things. “The best Congress that money can buy.” “The only native American criminal class.” “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session.”  And that’s just Mark Twain and Will Rogers; the rest of us no doubt have even more pungent observations regarding the collective entity known as Congresscritters.

But the notion that “lawmakers” (stop, enough already!) are worried about “careers” at the public trough ought to be contemptible to every taxpayer.  And, if Congressthings had any sense of shame, to the Honorables Themselves. But, of course, they don’t. Only someone with a soul as dead as Little Nell, a hide as thick as Joe Biden‘s noggin, and the moral conscience of Bill Clinton has the effrontery to run for Congress these days, and every attempt to “reform” the system — from the disastrous 17th amendment to term limits to McCain-Feingold (nothing like a “reform” to “get money out of politics” written by the “most reprehensible” of the Keating Five) — has resulted in complete failure.

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Empowering the Eloi: 10 USC § 311

October 22nd, 2013 - 12:58 pm

Injured people cry for help after gunmen went on a shooting spree in a shopping centre in Nairobi

It used to be only right-wing nuts who argued that an armed society is a polite society. Now it’s the head of Interpol:

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

The secretary general, an American who previously headed up all law enforcement for the U.S. Treasury Department, told reporters during a brief news conference that the Westgate mall attack marks what has long been seen as “an evolution in terrorism.” Instead of targets like the Pentagon and World Trade Center that now have far more security since 9/11, attackers are focusing on sites with little security that attract large numbers of people.

At least 67 were killed over a period of days at the Westgate mall, more than 60 of the dead were civilians.

And there in a nutshell is the argument currently raging in America. One side, an armed populace of exactly the kind the Founders envisaged; on the other, a fascist police state in which you’re disarmed for your own good, since the presumption is that you would use a firearm for ill, not good. It’s easy to see why the Left favors the latter, since the end result of so many of their policy prescriptions is enforcement by coercion, and they are incapable of conceiving of a “good” use for a gun in a civilian’s hands. Which is why they’ve been adamantly screaming about the “militia” clause in the Second Amendment from time immemorial.

Never mind that a distressingly high percentage of “trained law enforcement” personnel are terrible shots, or that their training these days mean more time in the “celebrating diversity” classroom than on the firing range. Sitting in their gun-free homes with ARMED RESPONSE signs posted prominently out front, Regressives imagine that when hours count, the cops or the Army are only seconds away.

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Most Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

October 17th, 2013 - 2:18 pm

Attitude readjustment time

They’re out there. After “Call me Ishmael,” perhaps the greatest opening sentence to an American novel, ever. The saga of McMurphy, the not-quite-sane man in an nuthouse full of lunatics, as told by Chief Broom — the lone sane inmate, who just pretends he’s crazy — is one of the underrated classics of American literature, a book so brilliantly conceived and perfectly executed that it makes the reader shake his head in wonder.

We’ve all seen the movie, of course, the 1975 Milos Forman film that made Jack Nicholson  a star, and we know how Black Jack’s one-man war against the State — in the form of the evil Nurse Ratched — ends (see above). Here’s how the Chief describes McMurphy’s neutering in the book:

Put on those things like headphones, crown of silver thorns over the graphite at his temples. They try to hush his singing with a piece of rubber hose for him to bite on.

“‘Mage with thoothing lan-o-lin.’”

Twist some dials, and the machine trembles, two robot arms pick up soldering irons and hunch down on him. He gives me the wink and speaks to me, muffled, tells me something, says something to me around that rubber hose just as those irons get close enough to the silver on his temples — light arcs across, stiffens him, bridges him up off the table till nothing is down but his wrists and ankles and out around that crimped black rubber hose a sound like hooeee! and he’s frosted over completely with sparks.

And out the window the sparrows drop smoking off the wire.

After yesterday’s “budget-crisis” sellout, the sparrows falling off the wire are us; the Surrender Caucus in Congress has seen to that, voluntarily subjecting themselves to the same Obamacare treatment that McMurphy fought so gallantly against. How else to interpret this gloat from Big Nurse himself, Chuck Schumer?

“I’ve talked to Mitch about this — I think the whole Republican Senate is different now,” Schumer said on Morning Joe on Thursday. “I don’t think Ted Cruz will recover so quickly. . . . I think the Tea Party and Ted Cruz have peaked.”

The New York Democrat said the tea-party members have now alienated their Republican colleagues as well as the general public after the shutdown. “I think you’re going to see a more mainstream, conservative Republican party,” he added.

I bet we will.  More right after the page break.

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive

October 2nd, 2013 - 5:12 pm
Please, sir, I want some more big government

Please, sir, I want some more big government

A couple of days into the so-called government shutdown and already some Republicans are scratching their heads and wondering why they’re losing the messaging war. After all, they have the facts — it’s Obama and his stooge, Harry Reid, who really want the shutdown and are determined to keep it going as long as possible — and the emotions (cancer kids being turned away from the NIH) on their side. Why, just today I heard the real face of the Democratic Party, Chuck Schumer, pointedly blaming House Speaker John Boehner, and loving every minute of it.

Conservatives are kidding themselves if they think, as some do, that the Voice of the People — making itself heard in such actions as the World War II veterans’ liberation of their monument in Washington yesterday and today, or a nebulous notion of “citizen journalism” — will be enough to force the Democrats to the reality side of the ledger. The recent history of the Tea Party — victorious in 2010, neutered (in part by Lois Lerner and her IRS) in 2012 — shows that. A disorganized, multi-headed movement is not a movement at all, but a rabble, a Children’s Crusade, and one that will end up the way the Children’s Crusade did back in 1212.

What the conservative cause needs now is a leader.

I have no idea who that leader might be. Now that civil war has broken out in the ranks of the GOP, the momentum is with the insurgents, so any leader, whoever he or she may be, is likely to come from the ranks of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Jeff Sessions, et al. It is, on the other hand, highly unlikely that he will step forth from the spear carriers who currently surround Boehner and Eric Cantor, but who will melt away like the Praetorian Guard after the assassination of the Emperor once Boehner is deposed. The banshee screech of a frightened and wounded Leftist establishment speaks volumes about who and what they fear — and they fear the Tea Party.

This time is different. What is at stake in this government shutdown forced by a radical Tea Party minority is nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule. President Obama must not give in to this hostage taking — not just because Obamacare is at stake, but because the future of how we govern ourselves is at stake.

What we’re seeing here is how three structural changes that have been building in American politics have now, together, reached a tipping point — creating a world in which a small minority in Congress can not only hold up their own party but the whole government. And this is the really scary part: The lawmakers doing this can do so with high confidence that they personally will not be politically punished, and may, in fact, be rewarded. When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that if you don’t like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can’t just put a fiscal gun to the country’s head — then our democracy is imperiled.

No names, please, though — we’re the Tea Party. The marginalization of the Tea Party is the point of nearly everything I read on the left these days; they are the giant ogres out to devour democracy. I have very dear and old friends who are convinced Tea Party “terrorists” are undermining our political system, that Obamacare is “settled law” (the Left’s fondness for “settled” concepts is striking for the Party of Reality and Science, and binds them philosophically with Islam, for which everything was settled in the seventh century), and that zealots have seized control of the House.

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The Turning Point

September 25th, 2013 - 7:57 pm

King Pyrrhus: No we can’t.

In the decades to come, historians may well look back on the partisan passage of Obamacare during President Obama’s first term and its disastrous implementation in the second as a Pyrrhic victory, the beginning of the end of the Progressive project to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. Whether Senator Ted Cruz ultimately succeeds in his quest to defund Obamacare this time, his electrifying quasi-filibuster yesterday and today nevertheless marks a turning point in modern American political history — the day when conservatives turned their back on the collaborationist Republican Party and finally fought back.

It’s been a long time coming. The tottering bonzes of the GOP were so mesmerized and intimated by a young upstart named Barack Hussein Obama back in 2008 — even though they should have seen him coming as long ago as 2004, when he became the inevitable nominee of a party that could finally put its money where its mouth had long been — that they were utterly incapable of mounting any effective opposition to him. What little pushback there was came, almost by accident, from Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, who was quickly muzzled by the establishment apparatchiks and then marginalized by a compliant and vicious media. The Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party protects its own:

John McCain’s former senior adviser Steve Schmidt says he has “deep regret” for helping to create a “freak show” wing of the Republican Party when he had a hand in bringing former McCain running mate Sarah Palin to the national stage.

Schmidt said Monday on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that it’s time for the GOP to stand up to the “asininity” embodied by Palin and others.

“For the last couple of years, we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party. Tossing out terms like RINO, saying we’re going to purge, you know, the moderates out of the party,” Schmidt said. “We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles. And fundamentally we need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this asininity.”

Well, one man’s asininity is another man’s principles, but principles are something the PBFP doesn’t much understand. The only principle that counts to them is maintenance of office; long ago they realized there’s no percentage in bucking the system. Far better (for Republicans) to pretend to be “conservative” during election season — especially in the Senate — only to return to “Senate comity” once safely past the shoals of the electorate. In the winter, they’re Buddhists, in the summer they’re nudists, to quote the late Joe Gould.

No longer — Cruz’s “filibuster” has changed all that. For Republicans, the year is suddenly 1968 and they are in the same position the Democrats were back then. This time, there’s no pitched battles in the streets of Chicago as Obama’s mentor, Bill Ayers, and others went up against Mayor Daley’s pigs and came out broken, bloodied but unbowed as they fought for control of the party of slavery, segregation, sedition and secularism. Four years later, they had replaced Hubert Humphrey with George McGovern as part of their long march through the institutions.

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Twelve Years Later…

September 11th, 2013 - 8:59 am

Commencement of hostilities

… we are still at war with the Muslim world, and it most certainly is still at war with us.

… we have lost the strategic advantage of having large concentrations of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, surrounding Iran, and the mullahs are well on their way to acquiring nuclear weapons in order to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam.

… in addition to the 3,000 souls lost in 2001, more than 5,000 soldiers have perished in the “War on Terror,” and for absolutely no strategic purpose or effect.

… we lost four diplomats and security personnel in Benghazi, Libya, exactly one year ago today, and still the government not only continues to lie about what happened but also refuses to let the truth come out. Or, maybe, somehow it will.

… our best fighting generals have been sacked, on one pretense or another, since the start of combat operations in the Af-Pak theater.

… we have active hostiles serving openly in our Armed Forces.

political correctness has spread to all corners of the Armed Services, including the Marine Corps, and is directly responsible for the Bradley Manning and Major Hasan fiascos; there will be more to come.

US President Barack Obama gestures for t

Don’t ask, don’t tell

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Run for your lives! It’s inanimate objects!

Even by the standards of the Daily Beast/Newsweek/Whatever, there’s a remarkably silly and poorly argued piece of emotionalism masquerading as journalism by one Jamelle Bouie, in which our intrepid reporter sees a bunch of guns and freaks out:

For years, police officers in North Carolina had a choice when it came to confiscated guns. They could use them for law enforcement purposes—training, testing, examining—or they could destroy them.

But a new law passed by Republican lawmakers in the state changes that. Police officers can still use confiscated guns, but as of this week, they can’t destroy them. Instead, if a department wants to get rid of a gun, it has to sell it or auction it. Effectively, men and women who once worked to keep guns off of the streets must now moonlight as gun dealers.

The headline says it all: Gun Fanatics Score Big Victory in North Carolina. Here’s the gist of the argument:

It’s a fanaticism that hints at something elemental. It’s one thing to support and defend gun rights, which through the years have become an integral part of American identity. It’s something else entirely to oppose the destruction of guns used to commit violence and harm innocent people.

You read that right: the guns themselves committed violence and harmed innocent people, and therefore need to be destroyed before they can wound and kill again.

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The Very Best of Hands

August 29th, 2013 - 6:38 am
The Commander-in-Chief

The commander-in-chief, muscular and robust

I’ve had my say about Syria here and on the home page, as part of PJ Media’s college of columnists, so there’s little to add until the President makes up his mind: to intervene in the Syrian civil war or not? A third course, inaction, would seem more suitable for a man of his unmartial temperament, but the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party will have none of that:

One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.

“They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. Over at, Jeffrey Goldberg has had enough:

There’s nothing like acting out of an acute fear of mockery to get you mocked, I suppose. Remember “leading from behind”? This quote ranks up there in the did-someone-actually-say-that category. (By the way, I don’t doubt the accuracy of the reporting, I’m just incredulous that someone in a position of responsibility would be so brutally frank.)

“Muscular,” by the way, is one of those words — like “robust” — that Washington policy makers use to describe foreign and defense policies that otherwise might not be mistaken for muscular or robust.

As the saying goes, the country’s in the very best of hands.

UPDATE: Even Assad’s kid is apparently getting into the act. The utter humiliation of Barack Hussein Obama — and of the country he purports to lead — is now almost complete. Let’s just hope the former Punahou bench-warmer doesn’t take umbrage at trash talk. On the other hand, he does seem to have sensitivity issues


Military Officers Warn Against Syria Strike

Muslims, doing what they do best

Muslims, doing what they do best

Here we go again. In the wake of Sept. 11 — an atrocity wholly attributable to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which provided most of the hijackers and whose evil Wahabbist ideology offered the emotional and “religious” justification for mass murder — the Bush administration did almost everything wrong: attacking Iraq, trying to “nation-build” in Afghanistan, creating the ludicrous Department of Homeland Security and its idiot stepchild, the Transportation Security Administration, appointing a useless director of national intelligence, and establishing the Big Brother security state that Barack Hussein Obama is now exploiting to spy on the very people he is supposed to lead.

Deceptively running on an “I’m not Bush” platform, Obama has merrily presided over the third and now the fourth terms of the Bush administration — a cause in which he is happily joined by the likes of Arizona Senator John McCain and his mini-me from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, two of the charter members of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government that has been in power in the U.S. since 1988 and shows no signs of lessening its choke hold on the nation.

And now this. In a development rich with irony, the Winter Soldier himself, John “Mr. Eighteen Weeks” Kerry — who returned from Vietnam with almost as many medals as Audie Murphy, and in record time — has now declared that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its Islamist rebels and thrown the latest hot potato over to his boss — who’s characteristically dithering. Still, with Obama’s proclaimed “red line” against the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Assad government, and the cheerleading from the McCain side of the aisle, there seems little doubt that the U.S. is about to enter yet another war in the Middle East. What could go wrong?

How about this item in Forbes:

Moscow urged Washington on Sunday not to repeat “past mistakes” in the Middle East when dealing with the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad.Washington said Assad used it before. Russia said they did not.

Doctors Without Borders and Syrian opposition say that more than 300 people died after the alleged toxic gas attack in an eastern Damascus suburb on Wednesday, but Syrian authorities denied the claim.

Of course. Why make this black and white?

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that President Barack Obama has told him to “prepare options for all contingencies” while the White House is deciding whether to use military force against Syria, according to various U.S. news agencies.

Shortly after that news broke, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the alleged chemical attack could have been a staged “provocation” by the Syrian opposition and that the U.S. might use it as a pretext to go after Syria.

“All of this makes one recall the events that happened 10 years ago, when, using false information about Iraqis having weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. bypassed the United Nations and started a scheme whose consequences are well known to everyone,” the ministry said in a web-posted statement.

There were never any weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. And numerous reports by the U.K. and U.S. government at the U.N. were actually old information, some of it even plagiarized.

From Russia’s view, President Barack Obama is just another Middle East war-loving George W. Bush.

A senior Russian lawmaker said Sunday that Obama was a George W. “clone”.

“Obama is restlessly heading towards war in Syria like Bush was heading towards war in Iraq. Like in Iraq, this war would be illegitimate and Obama will become Bush’s clone,” said Alexei Pushkov of the international committee of the Russian lower house, according to Forbes. 

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