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The PJ Tatler

Obama’s Big Brass Clanging Tablets on Display at D.C. Synagogue

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: This Friday, hours before Shabbat is set to begin and one day before the holiday of Shavuot starts, President Obama walked into a D.C. synagogue and proceeded to tell Jews that their religious texts and traditions compel them to give away Israeli land for the creation of a Palestinian state.

That’s some big, clanging brass you-know-whats on display right there. It’s one thing to use a prayer breakfast to rip Christians a new one. Would he have the guts to walk into a church and do the same thing, hours before a holy day, one day before a holiday no less? Are we Jews that nice? That pathetic? Do we give the impression of being such pushovers that we turn our pulpits over to world leaders who crap on our identity and manipulate our covenant with God to suit their own personal political agendas?

There is no doubt that Obama created Jewish American Heritage Month and participated in today’s keynote event simply to smooth over his relationship with the Jewish American community in the wake of his aggressive negotiations with Iran and the Gulf states. We are no longer the fiddlers. We are merely the fiddles being played by a political performer who has no problem proclaiming that he knows us better than we know ourselves.

On Shavuot we will celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is, in effect, the anniversary of our entering into our covenant with God. This is the very holiday that marks the making of us as a people. A key element of that covenant is the land on which the nation of Israel is to be established. And today, 1,000 attendees at Adas Israel anxiously clapped away that promise in favor of the pervading moral relativism of the White House.

They aren’t bad Jews because they vote liberal. They aren’t bad Jews because they vote Obama. They are bad Jews, as we all are, for ignoring, belittling, dismissing, and forgetting the covenant we made with God. The covenant that crafted us into who we are and showed us what we could be. Come on, people. We’re better than that.

 

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Summer Fun: Boy Scouts Ban Water Gun Fights

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

Policies at the Boy Scouts prohibit water-gun and water balloon fights — so Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout and editor at several Scouting publications, reminds the Scouts.

The ban is detailed inside the “2015 Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual,” which regards water guns as firearms. The manual states: “Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized.”

This is a standard rule at any gun range — there is zero tolerance for playing around by pointing your gun at another person. But the BSA has taken it a step further. They don’t want you pointing a water gun at anyone either. Sounds like a sad way to spend your summer.

Bryan thinks that it’s not “kind” to play with water guns. “Wendall writes that a Scouter said of the rule, ‘A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?’”

Has he ever heard of “playing around”?

The BSA does approve of the shooting sports — using pistols, shotguns and rifles are “allowed” activities. It just seems overly cautious to prohibit water-gun play because of the “gun” aspect. Does this really teach kids not to point a real firearm at someone in jest, or are we continuing to emasculate our males?

 

 

 

 

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Much-Heralded Study on Gay Marriage Views Retracted Because Data was Faked

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Story telling.

One of the authors of a recent study which claimed that short conversations with gay people could change minds on same-sex marriage has retracted it.

The retraction this week of the popular article published in a December issue of the Science academic journal follows revelations that his co-author allegedly faked data for the study, “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support of gay marriage.”

According to academic watchdog Retraction Watch, Columbia University political science professor Donald Green published a retraction of the paper on Tuesday after confronting co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate assistant at UCLA.

The study received widespread media coverage from The New York Times, Vox, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and others, when it was released in December.

The news here isn’t that study data was fabricated to fit the pre-determined narrative’s conclusion, it’s that they were caught and are retracting it.

Progressives in academia don’t dismiss opposing points of view merely because they are generally intolerant people(they most definitely are), they also can’t believe any other conclusion but their own to be true. This is a condition that has gotten worse in recent years as the progressive hijacking of academia has taken firmer hold.

It would be at all surprising to me if younger academic wannabes make the “square peg/round hole” approach more commonplace and begin “adjusting” facts whenever they believe they can get away with it. Perhaps they already are and this story is an anomaly.

Maybe we should give them a “safe space” to talk about the abandonment of ethics.

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Facing a Massive Deficit, Arizona Slashes Welfare Benefits

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by The Tatler

Arizona is looking at a $1B deficit so the state legislature has cut the state’s welfare program, reducing the lifetime limit for benefits to the lowest in the nation.

Benefits will be cut off after one year for families on the program.  “As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program on July 1, 2016.”

The Associated Press describes “The cuts of at least $4 million reflect a prevailing mood among the lawmakers in control in Arizona that welfare, Medicaid and other public assistance programs are crutches that keep the poor from getting back on their feet and achieving their potential.”

“I tell my kids all the time that the decisions we make have rewards or consequences, and if I don’t ever let them face those consequences, they can’t get back on the path to rewards,” Republican Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, said during debate on the budget. “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

Not everyone is happy about the legislature’s decision.

Cutting off these benefits after just one year isn’t fair, said Jessica Lopez, 23, who gave birth to her son while living in a domestic violence shelter and has struggled to hold onto jobs because she has dyslexia and didn’t finish high school.

“We’re all human,” said Lopez, who got $133 per month for about a year until she qualified for a larger federal disability check. “Everybody has problems. Everybody is different. When people ask for help, we should be able to get it without having to be looked at wrong.”

Arizona’s new welfare limits are the most restrictive in the nation. Most states have a five-year limit on benefits, 13 states have two-year limits and Texas has a tiered system.

The state made other cuts to keep in line with the governor’s pledge not to increase taxes. “The Legislature also passed a law seeking to force anyone getting Medicaid to have a job, and cutting off those benefits after five years. And Republican leaders are suing their own state to block a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which expanded Medicaid to give more poor people health insurance.”

The AP, which has a terribly biased write up on this story explains that the money for Arizona’s welfare program comes from the federal government. “Arizona’s welfare is entirely federally funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, but that money comes in a block grant, and Republicans want to use it instead for agencies such as the state’s Department of Child Safety.” The cuts in welfare will go to help the children but we don’t read about that until the very end of the story.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey says the cuts are needed to protect the state’s education programs. “The bipartisan, balanced budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor protects Arizona’s most vulnerable, while avoiding a tax increase,” said Daniel Scarpinato, governor’s office spokesman.

 

 

 

 

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Recusal? Who Said Anything About Recusal?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

In case you were still laboring under the delusion that Justices of the Supreme Court actually, you know, hear the cases before making up their minds:

The groom and groom strolled down the aisle to the mellow strains of “Mr. Sandman.” Wearing her black robe with her signature white lace collar, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over the marriage on Sunday afternoon of Michael Kahn, the longtime artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, and Charles Mitchem, who works at an architecture firm in New York.

The gilded setting was elegant: Anderson House in the Embassy Row neighborhood, the headquarters in Washington of the Society of the Cincinnati, a club for the descendants of the French and American soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. During the ceremony, the couple slipped black and gold Harry Winston rings onto each other’s fingers.

But the most glittering moment for the crowd came during the ceremony. With a sly look and special emphasis on the word “Constitution,” Justice Ginsburg said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States.

No one was sure if she was emphasizing her own beliefs or giving a hint to the outcome of the case the Supreme Court is considering whether to decide if same-sex marriage is constitutional.

Oh, come on, Maureen! Everyone is sure that the former ACLU lawyer was doing both.

And this is how far our Constitution and our Constitutional system of government have fallen. The Left loves the Constitution, because it can remake it any way it wants.

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Evangelicals to Bring Christian College Students to Israel

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Christian? In college? Want to go to Israel for $500? Haaretz reports:

Conservative Jewish funders and Christian donors of Hobby Lobby fame have joined forces to launch a Christian Birthright trip, modeled after the successful program that has taken thousands of Jewish young adults to Israel for the past 16 years.

Covenant Journey, a subsidized evangelical 11-day trip to Israel that was officially announced May 8, will bring 250 students to the Holy Land by the end of the summer. It aims to bring thousands more in the upcoming years.

Just like the Taglit-Birthright Israel program it is modeled after, Covenant Journey seeks to strengthen American students’ love for Israel. But instead of having them mingle with young Jewish soldiers, participants walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and visit Christian holy sites. According to the program’s founder, the results from a recently launched pilot tour were encouraging. Participants in the trip were transformed into enthusiastic pro-Israel advocacy messengers.

…The Philos Project, a pro-Israel group with a stated mission of promoting “positive Christian engagement in the Middle East,” offered its backing early on. The group’s board includes Richard Lang, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary; Mark Tooley, president of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, which is a conservative religious think tank, and Republican Jewish activist Dan Senor, who served as spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, in Iraq, during the administration of George W. Bush. The group’s main funder is Paul Singer, a Jewish hedge fund billionaire who is also one of the single largest donors to Republican politics.

Politically it’s a smart move. With anti-Semitism on the rise on college campuses and Obama stacking the decks against the Democrats when it comes to the pro-Israel vote, subsidized Israel trips are yet another great way to solidify bonds with Israel’s Christian supporters who vote in America. Targeting the millennial generation is more than a wise idea. These young adults are the ones who have been the most exposed to an anti-Israel, anti-Zionist agenda in the history of public education. What’s more, whether it is in the form of BDS, Christ at the Checkpoint, the Soros-backed Telos Group, or Palestinian Liberation Theology, the Christian community is far from immune to anti-Zionist influences.

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[WATCH] No Models in this Fashion Show, Clothes Hit the Runway Carried by Drones at Silicon Valley Fashion Week

Monday, May 18th, 2015 - by The Tatler

San Francisco’s “Betabrand” passed on the traditional catwalk models for its Silicon Valley fashion show. The company has a cult-like following among the tech crowd, and what could be more appropriate than having drones run (or fly) down the catwalk with the company’s fashions?

betabrand fashion week

“Many of our ideas are coming from this community and we’re then creating clothing for them,” said founder Chris Lindland.

Writes CNN, “Betabrand’s ‘executive hoodie’ — a bastardized blend of a suit jacket and hoodie — even got a nod from Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi. She famously tweeted a suggestion (circa 2012) that the pinstripe hoodie might’ve been ‘Opening bell worthy? ;)’ just before Facebook (FB, Tech30) went public that year.”

“Some of the fashion is futuristic, and some of it is ready for the world now,” said Lindland. “Even everyday start up wear incorporates technology is some way.”

Here’s a picture of one of their fashion items called the “suity,” which is described as “the idea, as many start-up founders are probably familiar with, is to look professional but feel like you’re in pajamas. You pretty much step into it and zip it up to the collar. Voila, you’re ready to go to your investor meeting. Added perks: it’s machine washable and wrinkle-resistant.”

Betabrand Suity

 

 

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Valerie Jarrett Declares a Mother’s Place Is…with Her Kids?

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

At a Women Employed luncheon in Chicago last week, senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett declared:

Every single day in our country, moms are not at the Halloween parade, they’re not at the check-up, they’re not at the parent-teacher conference. They’re not doing what they need to be doing at home and that needs to stop.

What does the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls suggest businesses do? Offer more “paid leave and schedule flexibility.”

The question becomes, how will businesses afford to offer these perks in the wake of required minimum wage hikes and Obamacare regulations? You can’t exactly tax a business on one hand and slap them with the other. Jarrett’s White House doesn’t exactly support stay-at-home moms, either. The Child and Dependent Care Credit is only applicable to those who use daycare facilities; a spouse who sacrifices their salary to stay at home with their child winds up footing the bill. The president also called for a “second-earner tax credit” for households in which both parents work.

Bottom line: Jarrett cares about your children inasmuch as their existence forwards her White House’s “class warfare” agenda. Don’t count on Obama supporting businesses in their efforts to support working mothers any time soon.

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Did the U.S. Just Agree to Support Arab Forces in a War Against Israel?

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

On Thursday, the White House released the rather long-winded “U.S.- Gulf Cooperation Council Camp David Joint Statement” as an appeasement to our Arab allies in the region in the wake of negotiations with Iran. Mainstream outlets reported the statement using the following language:

President Barack Obama has vowed to back Gulf allies against any “external attack,” seeking to reassure them of Washington’s commitment to their security amid Arab anxiety over US-led efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama, hosting the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for a rare summit at the Camp David presidential retreat, pledged that the US would cooperate with them to address what he called Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the region.”

While the American press largely ignored the entire event, the Washington Post did declare the summit to have an “upbeat ending,” with David Ignatius concluding:

For once, in the theater of the Middle East, the Arabs have opted to be the good guys, compared to an unyielding Israeli government. And Obama has responded with the sentiment conveyed by the Arabic expression, “Ahlan wa Sahlan.” You are welcome.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, of Israel’s Independent Media Review Analysis, begs to differ. Publishing the entire text of the statement, Lerner notes the following language [emphasis mine]:

In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners to determineurgently what action may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force, for the defense of our GCC partners.

As with Operation Decisive Storm, GCC states will consult with the United States when planning to take military action beyond GCC borders, in particular when U.S. assistance is requested for such action.

…The United States and GCC member states strongly affirmed the necessity of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a just,
lasting, comprehensive peace agreement that results in an independent and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.

Lerner then says what American and Arab media sources dare not:

 So the US doesn’t exactly commit to using force - just discussing the possibility.

There is a CALL FOR ISRAEL TO BE SPLIT IN TWO so that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are “contiguous Palestinian state”.

Also in the call to Israel and the Palestinians “urgent need for the parties to demonstrate—through policies and actions—genuine advancement of a two-state solution” we have missing any explicit call for the Palestinians to HONOR THEIR EXISTING COMMITMENTS. What commitments? Well, for starters, The thousands of rockets in the Gaza Strip are in complete and total violation of the agreements signed already! So are the Fatah armed militias in the West Bank!]

The reality of the language of this latest agreement is simple: It paves the way for a US-backed military war against Israel in order to create a Palestinian state. Whether or not that language will ever be realized will hopefully not be a story for another day.

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Study Suggests ‘Black’ Is an Ideology, Not a Skin Color

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

As racial tensions have ratcheted up in recent months, triggered by incidents of actual or perceived mistreatment of black men by law enforcement, fresh consideration has been afforded to what it means to be black in America. As a black Republican activist and office-holder, I retain a unique perspective. My existence, and the existence of others like me, makes one side of the debate uncomfortable. After all, it’s hard to maintain a stark whites-versus-blacks dichotomy in a world with black and biracial Republicans.

In my encounters with radical black activists, my skin color has commanded no respect. Blackness, it would seem, means how you think, not how you look. A new study seems to confirm this. The Washington Examiner reports:

The study… searched through the demographic details of 3,300 African-American voters in the 2010 election, when the GOP had nearly three dozen black House candidates running, part of the Republican Party’s push to attract minority voters.

But the authors, political scientists from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Chicago, found it didn’t help. “Republican efforts in recruiting black candidates were ultimately unsuccessful at mobilizing black voters,” the study said.

Since 1981, the GOP has focused on expanding the black vote beyond single digits — and mostly failed.

The study did find that having a black Republican in the race pushed more African-Americans to the polls, but mostly for Democrats. The highest turnout, 75 percent, occurred when both party candidates were black, followed by when only the Democrat was black, at 73 percent, and 62 percent when only the Republican was black.

That last bit seems particularly telling. The highest turnout among blacks occurs when both parties’ candidates are black, but benefits the Democrat, suggesting that black voters feel compelled to rebuke black Republicans running against black Democrats. The study concluded that “nothing the Republican Party does, even nominating African-American GOP candidates, works to win them over.”

The political ramifications of the study prove disturbing, but not as much as the cultural ramifications. Politically, the study suggests that Republicans might as well write off blacks as a potential constituency. Culturally, the study indicates that “being black” in the eyes of most African-Americans means holding a certain set of beliefs. Black is a worldview, not a skin color.

If that’s actually how most blacks view blackness, it tells us something significant about the ongoing race debate. If race is a worldview rather than a skin color, then racism is objecting to that worldview rather than objecting to skin color. This explains why anyone who rejects the Marxist undercurrent of the Black Lives Matter movement can expect to be labelled racist, even if they happen to be black.

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Common Core: Creating a Productive Citizenry of Sex-Bots

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

According to the National Sexuality Education Standards for Common Core, children as young as the second grade are expected to comprehend that gender is a cultural construct. By 5th grade they need to be able to identify what HIV is and how to prevent it medically. By the end of 8th grade they need to identify “credible sources of information about sexual health.” They also need to comprehend how abstinence contributes to the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, much to the chagrin of Jenny Kutner, resident sexpert at Salon, who does not view abstinence to be “medically accurate” let alone a form of “sex education at all.”

Kutner justifies her opinion based on a recent California judge’s ruling regarding sex ed in public school classrooms. “Access to medically and socially appropriate sexual education is an important public right,” as is everything nowadays from wedding cakes to vandalizing major cities in the name of civil rights. Why is sex ed a public right? According to the Common Core standards:

Improvements in public health, including sexual health, can contribute to a reduction in health care costs. [And] Effective health education can contribute to the establishment of a healthy and productive citizenry.

The last time the government was so concerned about public sexual health, they handed out condoms by the boatload to soldiers. That’s right, folks, your public school kid is a soldier in America’s new “productive citizenry” army.

What neither the nationalized sex ed curriculum, nor the judge in California, nor Jenny Kutner ever expect students to understand is that if they want children one day, they need to have a plan to prioritize or balance family and career by the time they’re 18. Female students need to understand that the longer they push off having children, the harder that process will be. They also need to understand the medical ramifications of various birth control methods and how those may impact their ability to have children down the line as well. 

Since the procreation of life is conveniently lumped in with the prevention of disease, it is safe to assume that the cultural standard is to avoid both by all costs. After all, that’s what a productive citizen would do — place the needs of the state before their own selfish desires in order to avoid diseases of all kinds that could inhibit their ability to contribute to society.

So, why not promote abstinence, the only method of avoidance with a 100% guarantee? The loyalties expressed in abstinence-only education, to God, monogamous life-partners, and the unborn, pose the greatest threat to this State-focused mentality. The State doesn’t care if your kids have sex. They just don’t want to have to deal with the consequences.

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USDA Nannies Develop GMO-Free Food Label

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

The nannies at the Agriculture Department will now certify your food is free from genetically modified ingredients should a manufacturer want their product labeled as such.

“Certification would be voluntary — and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a ‘USDA Process Verified’ label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs.”

The food labeling battle has continued to grow over the last few years.  On the one hand, several states have passed laws or will have measures on their ballots that would mandate GMO food be identified with a label. On the other, is the Big Agra industry, which is concerned its bottom line will be affected if their food is given a scary label like “genetically modified.”

In order to pre-empt the state laws, the fedgov backed by Big Agra payola is trying to find some kind of workaround. “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the department’s plan in a May 1 letter to employees, saying the certification was being done at the request of a ‘leading global company,’ which he did not identify. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.”

“Recently, a leading global company asked AMS to help verify that the corn and soybeans it uses in its products are not genetically engineered so that the company could label the products as such,” Vilsack wrote in the letter. “AMS worked with the company to develop testing and verification processes to verify the non-GE claim.”

The AMS is the Agriculture Marketing Service. Yes, that’s a thing: the Department of Agriculture has a marketing department.

Some food products already have a non-GMO label without the government’s interference. “Many companies use a private label developed by a nonprofit called the Non-GMO Project.” Apparently that is not sufficient. Enter the government.

Nanny Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has introduced a bill that would crush the state effort to have mandatory GMO labels. “The USDA label is similar to what is proposed in a GOP House bill introduced earlier this year that is designed to block mandatory GMO labeling efforts around the country. The bill, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., provides for USDA certification but would not make it mandatory. The bill also would override any state laws that require the labeling.

What people chose to eat and feed their family is an intensely personal issue. The food labeling battle is simply a reflection of a disturbing trend to have the government regulate or get involved in even the most personal and private life choices. We have the anti-GMO crowd, on one side, who are lobbying state governments to force a GMO label on food companies; and on the other side, the corporate interests that are fighting back against a predicted hit to their bottom line.

How about no mandatory labels at all? The free market has already taken care of this issue; it’s easier than ever to purchase food that comes from your preferred source, whether that source is Big Agra at your local grocery chain or organic food from Whole Foods or any number of stores that offer organic food choices including farmer’s markets.  (The government, however, doesn’t want you buying food directly from small farms, but that’s a story for another day.)

This is how the government Leviathan is born: big-government Democrats use the power of the state to force regulations on businesses, and big government Republicans use the force of government to protect those businesses from such regulations. Either way, we are left with big government.

 

 

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Women Prove the Strongest Supporters of HR36 Act Banning 20 Week Abortions

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

According to the Washington Post:

In fact, of four major polls conducted in recent weeks on the 20-week abortion ban, each one shows women are actually more supportive of the law than men.

A new Quinnipiac poll shows 60 percent of women prefer allowing unrestricted abortions for only the first 20 weeks of pregnancy rather than the Supreme Court-prescribed 24 weeks. Among men, 50 percent support the 20-week law — a 10-point gap.

Washington Post-ABC News poll showed the gap at seven points, while two other polls (from NBC/Wall Street Journal and National Journal) showed it at six and four, respectively.

And those numbers may actually understate support among women for the new restrictions.

In the Post-ABC poll, rather than choosing between a 20-week ban and the current 24 weeks, 8 percent of women volunteered that abortion should never be legal, and 3 percent volunteered that the window should be smaller than 20 weeks. If you add them to the 60 percent of women who support the 20-week abortion ban, then 71 percent of women would seem to support the effort to increase abortion restrictions.

Perhaps the overwhelming female support of the ban is a result of the physical reality of the mother-child bond at 20 weeks of fetal development, the official halfway point of gestation. By that time, most moms have felt their babies move in the womb. They’ve seen the baby a minimum of twice, once for a diagnostic confirmation of pregnancy at roughly 8 weeks and once more for fetal screening at 12 weeks. If they are under the age of 35, they’re just about to learn the sex of their baby at their 20 week ultrasound. (Bonus for feminist supporters of the bill: If the baby is a girl, she’s developed roughly 7 million primitive eggs in her ovaries by this point.) If mom has been keeping regular appointments, mothers have heard their child’s heartbeat a minimum of 3 times.

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How Your Tax Dollars Fund Childhood Obesity

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

A recent survey indicates that 95% of parents think their overweight children “look just right”. Cue Michelle Obama’s latest national panic attack: We don’t know what fat looks like anymore! But before you allow the Feds to implement yet another government-mandated solution, read on. “African American and low-income parents had the most inaccurate perceptions” of what a healthy child should look like. These populations are also the ones reaping the benefits of federal programs like WIC, the Women, Infants and Children special supplemental nutritional program administered by the USDA.

According to a 2013 Time article, the answer to “Why Obesity Rates are Falling” was WIC “…which provides nutritious foods and information on healthy eating and health care referrals to low-income pregnant women, promotes breastfeeding and offers whole fruits and vegetables instead of fruit juice.” How far did those statistics really fall? A whopping 1%. The minority big enough to protest against on Wall Street is also a cause for celebration among fans of tax-subsidized food programs. If only every American’s standards were so low.

How does WIC produce fat kids 99% of the time? By providing a budget that allows for a greater consumption of sugars, carbohydrates and fats than fruits and vegetables. The monthly food package for a child ages 1-4 permits for 128 fluid ounces of juice, 2 pounds of bread, 1 dozen eggs… and $8 worth of fruits and vegetables in cash vouchers. For a whole month.

That’s right, you don’t even get the food directly. You get a cash voucher and hope you can access fresh fruit and veggies, which can be hard to find in low-income areas often dubbed “food deserts.” Even if fruit and veg are accessible, they are some of the most expensive items at the food store. (I’m still waiting for my coupon for brussel sprouts.)  In fact, according to the journal Pediatrics, “high prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are associated with higher Body Mass Index (BMI) in young children in low- and middle-income households.”

The Feds have created a culture of obesity currently fed and later medically supported by your tax dollars. I guess those low-income and minority babies aren’t good enough for Michelle O’s salad of the week. Save those greens for the middle class. They’ll need the energy to get to work.

 

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University of Virginia Administrator Files Suit Against Rolling Stone

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by The Tatler

The tabloid rag that is Rolling Stone is being sued for  running a debunked “gang rape” story at the University of Virginia campus. The magazine’s parent company and the author of the article are also being sued.  The suit asks for $7.85M in damages.

The lawsuit charged that Nicole Eramo, associate dean of students and top administrator in dealing with sexual assaults, was defamed by Rolling Stone, Wenner Media and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely in the November 2014 article about an alleged 2012 gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

The article “A Rape on Campus” was the subject of immediate criticism when it was published last year. Eventually, the magazine started to walk back its claims about the subject matter and the student who was the source of the story.

Rolling Stone apologized in December for “discrepancies” in the account and admitted it never sought comment from seven men accused of the alleged rape.

The lawsuit charges

Erdely and Rolling Stone acted with actual malice when they published A Rape on Campus. Erdely and Rolling Stone knew that Jackie was not a reliable source for truthful information about her interactions with Dean Eramo. They had serious doubts about the truth of the disparaging claims they planned to make about Dean Eramo, but intentionally violated commonly accepted journalistic norms and consciously failed to investigate sources and information that they believed would have revealed the falsity of the charges they leveled. Erdely and Rolling Stone were intent on painting a narrative that depicted Dean Eramo as complicit in a cover up of Jackie’s allegations and, having made the decision to so accuse Dean Eramo, celebrated their preconceived narrative by including an intentionally doctored illustration of Dean Eramo that depicts her as callous toward a sexual assault victim sitting and crying in her office.

The Columbia Review of Journalism ripped the magazine for lapses in their editorial and reporting judgement last month.

The lawsuit, filed in state Circuit Court in Charlottesville, Virginia, said Rolling Stone, Wenner Media and Erdely aimed to depict the University of Virginia as indifferent to rape on campus.

“To personify the university’s alleged institutional indifference to rape, Erdely and Rolling Stone cast Dean Eramo, who met with and counseled Jackie (the alleged rape victim), as the chief villain of the story,” it said.

They falsely claimed that Eramo tried to persuade Jackie not to report the rape and that she was indifferent to her allegations, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit filed by attorney Tom Clare of Alexandria, Virginia, seeks at least $7.5 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

This isn’t the only lawsuit on the horizon for Rolling Stone. The fraternity at the center of the fake story has also said it is planning to sue the magazine.

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Women: If You Want the Right Diagnosis, Take Medicine Into Your Own Hands

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Contemporary feminists continue to push the myth that women are stereotyped as stupid simply because of their gender. This time the target is medical professionals who misdiagnose female patients’ pain as a mental disorder. Because these activists are stuck in Sylvia Plath’s oven, misdiagnosis is obviously the result of a patriarchal belief that all women are secretly insane.

Forget the fact that their opening citation involved a misdiagnosis by a female doctor in the UK. Their first study cited shows that women patients are prejudiced against because of their gender. Too bad that study comprised findings ranging from 1970-1995. A 2000 study on “physician and patient gender concordance” revealed that female patients often chose their doctors, often chose women doctors, and were more likely to be disappointed with their treatment than their male patient counterparts.

What the Think Progress report didn’t take into account was the amount of time doctors spend with each patient. According to a 2010 study, American doctors have an average of 32 minutes for a new-patient appointment. According to more recent reports, the average doctor visit is roughly 15 minutes, a time crunch resulting from “…Medicare’s 1992 adoption of a byzantine formula that relies on “relative value units,” or RVUs, to calculate doctors’ fees.” In Britain, the plague of socialized medicine has driven the average visit down to 11 minutes thanks to the economics of the National Health Service.

The reality is a financial, not an ideological one. Women aren’t being talked over, ignored or misdiagnosed because they’re female. They’re receiving poor treatment because the economics of an increasingly socialized system don’t permit proper attention to be given to patients, male or female alike. Medicine, like everything else in the age of Obama, is becoming self-serve. Want a proper diagnosis? Stop allowing your feminism to turn you into a paranoid wreck. Instead, use it as a driving force to take control over your own health instead of expecting the State to do it for you.

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True Tolerance Means Tolerance of Hate

Monday, May 11th, 2015 - by Walter Hudson

Appearing on the “All Star Political Panel” segment of Twin Cities Public Television’s Almanac on Friday, I fielded a question from host Eric Eskola regarding a newly proposed Freedom of Conscience bill presented by a Minnesota state representative earlier in the week. Referencing that morning’s episode of the Fightin Words podcast, Eskola asked why I thought this attempt at securing religious liberty for Christian business owners was doomed to failure.

In short, I noted that the argument for Freedom of Conscience rests upon shaky rhetorical ground. It seeks to preserve the freedom to deny service in a very limited context, conceding that such freedom shouldn’t exist in any other context. If people have the right to apply their judgment to their relationships, that right applies to all relationships, whether personal or commercial, and whether motivated by religion or not.

Former state senator Ellen Anderson, who sat with me on the panel, took exception to my interpretation. She noted that similar rationale has been used in the past to argue for a right to discriminate against customers on the basis of race.

Unfortunately, the segment had to end there. Given the opportunity to further the discussion, I would have argued that true tolerance requires us to allow that which we disapprove of. Indeed, private racial discrimination should be legal. Hate cannot be overcome with rights violations. It can only be neutered by removing coercion from human relationships. In a world where no one may legally take from or harm another, hatred simply doesn’t matter.

As it stands, my defense of freedom provoked the ire of gay rights activist Steven Lewandowski, who took to Twitter offering rebuke:

It remains unclear what news item or aspect of business changes the fundamental right to freedom of association, which gay rights activists rode to victory in their successful campaign for gay marriage in Minnesota. “Don’t limit the freedom to marry” read lawn signs peppering the Twin Cities in the fall of 2012 when voters considered an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Apparently for some, that freedom to choose with whom one associates only matters in the context of gay marriage.


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UK Election: How the Polls Missed the Tory Wave

Friday, May 8th, 2015 - by Mike McNally

What a night. After all the talk of coalitions, backroom deals and weeks of instability, David Cameron’s Conservatives won the UK general election with a relatively clear majority, and Cameron has claimed the scalps of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP leaders. The Lib Dems – the Tories’ coalition partners for the last five years – have been all but wiped out, as has the Labour party in Scotland.

Let’s not get too carried away. The center of gravity of British politics is some way to the left of America’s, particularly when it comes to social issues, and this is no right-wing revolution. But it is a victory for the politics of fiscal responsibility, aspiration and job creation. And it’s a resounding defeat for the old-school socialism and class warfare that Labour’s Ed Miliband wanted to inflict on the country.

Pundits have been struggling to explain how the Conservatives won – and why the pollsters didn’t see it coming. In answer to the “how,” we need look no further than James Carville’s exhortation to Bill Clinton that “it’s the economy stupid.” While issues such as healthcare, immigration and Europe figured in the campaign, Cameron kept bringing the discussion back to the economy, and it worked – a majority of voters simply weren’t prepared to put the nation’s recovery at risk.

But the polls didn’t pick this up – Labour and the Conservatives were deadlocked at 33 or 34 percent right up to election day, but the final vote share was 37 percent for the Conservatives and 31 percent for Labour. Some of the disparity can be explained by late-deciding voters breaking Conservative for reasons of economic self-interest; but many voters, perhaps hundreds of thousands, chose not to disclose their true intentions to pollsters, even in confidence.

This phenomenon is called “shy Tory syndrome,” and it’s not dissimilar to the “Bradley effect,” named for Tom Bradley, the African-American mayor of Los Angeles who lost the 1982 California governor’s race despite being ahead in the polls. In both cases, it’s claimed that conservative voters are reluctant to admit to their support for causes deemed unpopular by the liberals who dominate the opinion-forming cultural and media elites.

Ed West of Britain’s Catholic Herald writes about “shy Tory syndrome” here. However, what’s particularly baffling the pollsters is that in the 2010 general election the opinion polls were almost perfectly in line with the actual results. What happened to the “shy Tories” last time around?

The answer, I think, is simple, if troubling. By 2010 Tony Blair and New Labour had largely emasculated the hard left in Britain; New Labour’s own brand of social democracy was discredited, but the left had had the fight knocked out of them, and with the Tories having been out of office for 13 years they didn’t present much of a target for leftists to aim at.

But that year the Tories returned to power in coalition with the Lib Dems, and five years in opposition, as the Conservatives set about necessary but unpopular cuts to welfare and other public services, enabled the left to get its mojo back. Anger over the cuts, and Miliband’s class warfare rhetoric and anti-Conservative fearmongering, on the NHS and welfare in particular, helped to make the left’s “Tory scum” brand of campaigning, with Conservative candidates routinely subjected to personal abuse, mainstream again.

So it’s hardly surprising that many Conservative supporters decided to get back in the closet this time around – and it’s no coincidence that the pollsters got things similarly wrong in 1992, when the Tories were also the incumbents and were being savagely attacked by the left.

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With Food Stamps, Uncle Sugar Is Fattening Up the Poor

Thursday, May 7th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

The poor used to be skinny. But in the western world today, they are far more likely to be morbidly obese. And one of the risk factors, it seems, is being on food stamps:

Whenever Republicans talk about trimming the federal food stamp program, Democrats decry them as cold, heartless or worse. But new research shows that cutting food stamps could actually make the country healthier. The U.S. Department of Agriculture looked at data from 2007 through 2010, then compared average weights of those on food stamps — officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — to those who weren’t.

The findings, released on Tuesday, are striking. Food stamp recipients are far more likely to be obese than poor people who are eligible but don’t take the help. And they’re even more likely to be obese than those with higher incomes. Fully 40% of food stamp recipients are obese, the study found, compared with just over 30% of those who don’t participate in the program. Children of families on food stamps were also more likely to be obese than children in the other two groups, as were older adults.

At the other end of the scale, there was almost no difference among these three groups in terms of the share who were underweight — all were in the low single digits.

The Leftist “solution” to everything is instant gratification. Emotions without consequences. Policy without planning. And it always involves your money.

Shouldn’t Democrats be concerned that a program meant to improve the health and nutrition of the poor is making it much worse for millions of them? Don’t these USDA findings cry out for a serious look at this food stamp program and a sober discussion of how it can be targeted better or designed more effectively?

Apparently not. Seems many Democrats would rather score baseless political points than fix an unhealthy aid program.

What the Right never realizes is that, for “liberals,” not fixing a program is the entire point of the program in the first place, because that way it can continue forever.

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Obama Proves Campus Rape Is Good for Business

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Reporting of sex crimes on college campuses has nearly doubled in the last five years. Not because the crimes have necessarily occurred, as last year’s Rolling Stone/UVA debacle illustrated quite clearly. Oh, and not because there are standardized procedures for collecting and reporting sexual offenses, either. And, as a recent National Review article indicates, numbers can be played with or outright omitted in order to create fantastic headlines, like the absurd 1 in 5 stat  cited by President Obama’s It’s On Us campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses. Yet these drummed-up numbers continue to be used to drag the dead horse of campus rape out of the contemporary feminist barn and into the mainstream media’s spotlight. Why?

Money, of course:

The number of Title IX sexual violence complaints received by the department jumped from just 20 in fiscal year 2009 to 123 in fiscal 2014. As of April 8, 2015 — a little over halfway through the current fiscal year — the department had received 68 such complaints.

However, the number of staff has been falling at the Office for Civil Rights, which is tasked with enforcing Title IX.

…President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget would increase the Office for Civil Rights’ funding by 31 percent to $131 million, which the Education Department has said it would use to hire 210 full-time employees.

That’s 210 more employees who will be used to threaten colleges with too many complaints on file:

The Office for Civil Rights staff have said in the past that their priority is taking corrective action, rather than punishing a school. In the Boxer letter, they note they have “experienced positive results” on that score using their ability to threaten federal funding if an institution doesn’t fall in line.

Building bureaucracy on your tax dollars, one questionable accusation at a time.

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The Greatest Threat to Space Exploration: Manifest Failure

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Welcome to Generation Whatever. Forget Kirk versus Picard. There’s a new Captain in town named Barack and his bidding with the final frontier is finally coming to fruition. Sure, we can explore Mars, but why even bother? We’ll just screw that up, too:

The white, male European conquerors of the New World and 19th-century American pioneers of Manifest Destiny still colour the space age, so is it a myth that we’ll turn nice on Mars? …destiny is rarely great for the people already at the destination. When Africans moved north to colonise Europe they obliterated the Neanderthals. When Europeans seized the New World, its cultures were virtually extinguished. Luckily the only population on Mars that we know of is a handful of rovers, but no doubt we’ll start a war anyway, before dragging them into some form of slavery or oppression. It’s just what we do.

So, NASA, how’s that “cheer up Muslims by reminding them of their math skills” working out for you? You’d better enjoy being the glorified therapy agency of choice for the Islamic world, because that’s your only job security going forward. You stink at everything else by virtue of your implied white, male colonialist ethos. And for those of you drawing your astronomical inspiration from the sci-fi world, you’re just a bunch of pervs:

Women in space-colony fiction have generally been presented as sexy walking vaginas, whose main purpose is to provide the male astronauts with a place to dock their penis at night. This being necessary in order to “ensure the survival of the species”.

Fiction proves it. Pulp fiction, actually, and quotes from Russian scientists – yes, Russia, the folks who gave us Sputnik, socialism and the lingering iron claw of the KGB. Let’s definitely base our theories about humanity on those guys. Space dudes? All pervy Putins deep down inside.

The prime reason why progressive ideology stinks? It’s as regressive as human nature can possibly get, believing fervently in the inevitable failure of humankind at every turn. Only progressives could turn manifest destiny into manifest failure.

 

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The United States Has Become a Dictatorship of Double Standards

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 - by Robert Wargas

Even as I write this, I can feel the Overton Window shifting. Let the record show that when a death squad descended on Pamela Geller’s event in Texas with the aim of killing Geller for speaking freely, the “mainstream” response was to provide the death squad with golden parachutes of sophistry and moral equivalence. It was the finest of East Coast intellectual output.

I’ve lost count of how many sophistic articles have been published so far, but surely one of the most egregious came from Noah Feldman, JD, PhD, at Bloomberg View. In opening paragraphs so glib they seem to have oozed out of some used car salesman’s Brylcreemed pompadour, Feldman writes:

It’s easy to be distracted by the condemnation of the crime, which should be absolute. No verbal provocation can justify killing.

But it’s also easy to be distracted by the First Amendment.

Why do people write this kind of thing? What compels someone to consider a case of attempted terrorist murder, arising from the “provocation” of cartoons, and then devote all his forensic acumen to saying, essentially, “Hey! Look over there!”

I wrote last week that the enemies of free speech are slowly nudging their target into the identity-politics framework. In this worldview, there are Oppressors and the Oppressed, and the roles are irreversible. It’s all narrative: the interlocking assumptions that determine how people interpret real-world events. The identity-politics framework sees American society (all of Western civilization, in fact) as a structure, a machine expertly tuned to produce benefits only for the Oppressor. Some people always win; some always lose. Thus Geller is the real aggressor, even when she’s being shot at. The death squad was merely reacting to overwhelming forces within the structure.

This is the basic logic behind most of our contemporary debate, such as it is, on everything from free speech to immigration to race riots to voter ID laws. There are hard and soft versions of it. Some people come right out and say that the Oppressed should use violence against their Oppressors. This group is often very theoretical, using the unwieldy concepts and jargon they learned in their cultural studies courses. You see them at places like (of course) Salon and The Nation and the post-Peretz New Republic.

Others channel their narrative in a softer, mealy mouthed way, usually with the well practiced preamble “I believe in X, but…,” X being some bedrock value of our country. This latter group is less explicit about their assumptions, probably because they don’t know they have them. You’ll find these people at the more “mainstream” media outlets.

Whether they’re “hards” or “softs”—we could use the old Thatcherite terminology of “wets” and “dries” if you want—the people who argue this way have particular beliefs about power in our country. This is why charging them with hypocrisy never works. After incidents like the Geller event, many conservatives go straight to work documenting the double standard. We’re not allowed to draw Mohammed, the alleged prophet of Islam, but others are allowed to depict Jesus submerged in urine. These articles are necessary, but you’ll have noticed they don’t move the apologist crowd even one inch.

There’s a reason for this. In the identity-politics framework, double standards are necessary and justified. They are a way of balancing the unequal power distribution in the United States. (Trust me that I hate writing sentences with phrases like that.) Just as affirmative action is supposed to correct structural injustice in the economy, gagging people is necessary to stop the “oppression” of designated victim groups. Think of the new obsession with “trigger warnings” and “safe places” on university campuses. This crowd sees free speech as one more tool of power in the Oppressor’s handy box.

Something else is going on here, however, regarding Geller’s treatment in the media.

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The Foot in Mouth Disease Common Among Middle Class White Chicks

Monday, May 4th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Twit(ter)-feminist Megan Tyler blathers on about the evils of “choice feminism” pop culture’s current interpretation of the fight for women’s rights as nothing more than the right to sexually abuse yourself or others in the name of vaginas everywhere:

… the choice arguments are fundamentally flawed because they assume a level of unmitigated freedom for women that simply doesn’t exist. Yes, we make choices, but these are shaped and constrained by the unequal conditions in which we live. It would only make sense to uncritically celebrate choice in a post-patriarchal world.

Like many of her slightly more academic contemporaries, Tyler is a disciple of Marxist feminism. To a Marxist, no one has a choice. Women are the oppressed proles, men the oppressive bourgeoisie. The philosophy balks at the concept of choice because free market capitalism and the governmental independence that goes along with it is a denied possibility at the outset. That denial creates contemporary feminist foot-in-mouth disease. Symptoms include middle class white girls balking at the idea that either Beyonce or the local stripper should possibly choose to sexualize her image in order to make money, while simultaneously celebrating slut walks as an earmark of the struggle for women’s liberation.

What are the “real problem women still face”? According to Tyler, they are what can easily be dubbed “first world woman problems” like a lack of state-sponsored child care and, of course, the dead horse that is the equal pay myth. Marxist feminists would find these both to be excessively obnoxious, as they wrestle with the State the way they wrestle with men: All powerful, but never benevolent enough.

When Tyler and her ilk begin to counter the hypocrisy of “choice feminism” with the reality of the inequalities women face in the Muslim world, give me a call. I’ll be happy to bring them a crowbar so they can finally get their Manolos out of their mouths.

 

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How Will the Republicans Combat Vagina Politics?

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Brendan O’Neill (who will receive flack for his opinion because he has a penis) nails it (as I will receive flack for this innuendo-laden metaphor) over at Reason when it comes to women declaring unwavering support for Hillary simply because she, too has a vagina:

The bigger problem with such unabashed declarations of “vagina voting” is that they confirm the descent of feminism into the cesspool of identity politics, even biologism, and its abandonment of the idea that women should be valued more for their minds than their anatomy.

How can contemporary feminists get away with applying the same reasoning that has kept women out of the Oval Office for over 200 years? 2008, of course.

The current president’s victory was celebrated as the watershed moment for black men in America. Thanks to him, Loretta Lynch is the “first black woman” to hold her post as attorney general. The majority of Americans who don’t follow the news beyond the nightly national broadcast don’t know a thing about Lynch beyond the fact that she is black and a woman. Qualifications? Experience? Who cares. Black. Woman. That’s all we need to know. Instagram it and move on.

In an increasingly visual culture, what candidates will the Republicans proffer to fit the demographic bill? Even Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are too white and too male for this tough crowd. If they took a few lessons from Sofia Vergara they might stand half a chance. You know, jazz up that accent, tease the hair, get loud with the wardrobe, be ethnic. Sure, it was a strategy that kept your demographic out of office for the past 200 years, but times have changed. Race is in. Desi Arnaz would stand a better chance than these family values-laden dudes.

O’Neill rightly observes that “…modern feminism is pooping all over the suffragettes, who fought tooth-and-nail against the valuation of their viscera over their brains.” Perhaps that is the new campaign strategy. After all, if Obama and Lynch can screw with MLK’s “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” clause, why can’t Rubio, Cruz and the rest of the Republicans put race back into the race?

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Harvard Law School Students Are in Distress Over Evil Cops

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Harvard Law students staged what I suppose was meant to be a “protest” against police violence, sticking a series of upside-down American flags into the ground with the names of those killed by police in the first few months of 2015. No details of each case are given, leading one to believe that each killing was essentially a murder in the name of law enforcement.

Note, this is the same law school that nearly honored a female lawyer whose organization was involved in the creation of a “notorious, anti-cop rap video” in February. Last year, the prestigious Ivy League university permitted law school students to postpone final exams so that they could adequately focus on protesting the non-indictments of cops in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, a decision that set a precedent for law schools in the Baltimore area.

Recently the law school devoted a conference to “tackling” what has been dubbed “implicit racial bias” in the legal profession: “…how cognitive processes are unconsciously formed and affected by biases and prejudices that can be ingrained from years of social learning and by negative stereotypes.” In other words, these law students are being convinced that the system is inherently racist. The question becomes, what kind of biases will they be carrying out of the classroom and into the court room?

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Forget About Why they Aren’t: Why Are Women Having Children? And What Can Politicians Do to Support Their Decision?

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

The Atlantic published the most recent in a whole slew of articles on why women aren’t having children. (Google “Why women are having children” and you’ll get the entire mind-boggling list.) The reasons are prototypical contemporary feminist blather about the evil stain that humanity is on the environment and how they just don’t want to have kids. Apparently the selfishness inherent in not wanting to care for another human being is perfectly justified by the selflessness of caring about grass, trees and greenhouse emissions. Environmentalism, combined with a healthy love of animals, is the salvation-du jour of the not-mothering crowd.

In reality, these baby-less babes represent a mere 5% of Americans who, according to a 2013 Gallup poll, do not want to have children. According to Gallup, “More than half of Americans between the ages of 18 and 40 have children, and another 40% do not currently, but hope to have children someday. Only six percent of Americans aged 18 to 40 do not have, and do not want to have, children.”

The real question becomes: In the face of all this popular criticism, why are women still choosing to become mothers today? And what real solutions can politicians anxious to imbue family values into American culture generate to support the parenting desires of the electorate?

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There Will Be an Absolutely Fabulous Movie

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 - by Liz Sheld

Comic genius and actress Jennifer Saunders has confirmed there will be a movie version of the British TV series Absolutely Fabulous.

This is fabulous news indeed.  Filming will begin later this year.

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Saunders broke the news yesterday on the UK show “Loose Women.” When asked if there was going to be a movie she replied, “Yes, there is.”

“I didn’t do it for a while because I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be awful if it was awful,’ but now we’re all so old … Joanna [Lumley] says ‘do it before we all die.’”

AbFab, as it is known among its fans, ran on BBC from 1992-5. It was revived again from 2001-4, along with some Christmas specials.

“There is a plot [for the movie] and that’s the miracle. It involves all the main characters and virtually everyone that’s ever been in the series, all those characters and we’re in London and sometimes we might go to the South of France, I’m hoping,” Saunders told the ITV talk show.

The show revolves around the wild, drunk, drug-addled pair of Patsy Stone (Lumley) and her best friend Edina (Jennifer Saunders). Also in the show is Edina’s daughter, Saffron, played by Julia Sawalha, the only reasonable one of the bunch.

No word yet when the show will air, but I’ll be watching, sweetie darling.

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Law Enforcement Source Claims Baltimore Mayor Ordered Police to Stand Down: ‘Let Them Loot — It’s Only Property’ (Video)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is denying it, but a senior law enforcement source has told Fox News that she gave an order for police to stand down as riots broke out Monday night.

The source, who is involved in the enforcement efforts, confirmed to Fox News there was a direct order from the mayor to her police chief Monday night, effectively tying the hands of officers as they were pelted with rocks and bottles.

Asked directly if the mayor was the one who gave that order, the source said: “You are G*d damn right it was.”

This claim follows Rawlings-Blake’s comments on Sunday, when she said they were giving space to those who “wished to destroy.” On Monday, she tried (unsuccessfully) to walk that comment back. A Baltimore City councilman also told a reporter on Monday night (while a liquour store was being trashed and looted behind them) that the police had been ordered to back off so they could talk to the young guys. “And that worked out,” he said.

On Monday night buildings and cars across the city were torched.  More than 100 vehicles and 15 buildings were torched according to the New York Daily News. An affordable housing center for seniors was set on fire and sixty units of senior housing were lost. According to CNN, about a dozen  businesses were looted or damaged, and at  least 15 police officers were wounded — six of them seriously. Reporters have taken it on the chin as well (literally): “At least nine journalists have been beaten or injured in the Baltimore riots this week — including several Monday night.” Megyn Kelly (below) put the number of buildings damaged or destroyed at 150.

But Rawlings-Blake is defending her handling of the riots.

The mayor, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Tuesday, denied any order was issued to hold back on Monday.

“You have to understand, it is not holding back. It is responding appropriately,” she said, saying there was no stand-down directive.

On The Kelly File Wednesday night, reporter Leland Vittert reported that there is “a whole new mood out here now among law enforcement.”

Since the Republican governor got involved, the  National Guard, lots of uniformed Baltimore police officers, and dozens of riot police have been on the scene and “ready to respond at a moment’s notice.”

Vittert said that there would be two orders for law enforcement if they were pelted with rocks and bottles: #1 is shields up, gas masks down, and #2 is deploy the tear gas.

He also noted that law enforcement was not happy that they had been given the stand-down order while the looting was going on, and instead had to stand there and get pelted with rocks, and bottles.

Vittert said “a lot of officers were injured and they weren’t allowed to respond. They’re also upset and they’re really down and frustrated that the mayor seems to be writing this off.” He added that  ”she doesn’t seem to understand the severity of putting her officers in harm’s way, then doesn’t seem to take responsibility for it, and then throws them under the bus.”

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Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported a game-changing bombshell Wednesday night:

A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

That story was corroborated on Twitter by Fox News’ Rick Leventhal.

 

 

 

 

 

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How Sex Ed Screwed Millennial Women

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Camille Paglia once suggested that real sex education would involve sitting a tween girl down and giving her a stark reality check. Forget condoms on bananas. The real issue would be: Do you want to have babies or not? Then, let the life planning begin.

Instead, what the majority of millennial students received via public education were the basics on how to avoid pregnancy and STDs (as if you can lump a new life in with a gross disease) along with a strong push to plan for a career before thinking about having a family. America is now reaping the fruits of an entire generation of public labor:

In a new report, the Urban Institute think tank writes that in 2012, there were only 948 births per 1,000 women in their 20s, “by far the slowest pace of any generation of young women in U.S. history.” …The report authors say they don’t know whether Millennial women will eventually catch up in childbearing like women who lived through past recessions did.

Overall, the report paints a positive picture for women of color and a neutral one for white women. On one hand, women might be enjoying living carefree and childless into their 30s. On the other, a nationwide shortage of babies hasn’t worked out well for places like Germany, Denmark, or Japan, where aging populations threaten economic growth and the sustainability of pension funds.

Eighty-one percent of white women are experiencing a decrease in birth rate because they simply aren’t marrying. These career women are living out their Carrie Bradshaw or Hannah Horvath fantasies without realizing that they are de-funding the very socialized economy for which they so heartily advocate. All that free birth control won’t be so free if they don’t produce a new generation of babies to pay for it down the road.

What’s more, these women are inevitably relying on a paternal government that will take care of them well into their old age. Considering that the public education system has already trained them to economically produce, the question becomes: If they require more care than they are financially worth, what makes their aging bodies a good public investment?

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Mark Levin Explodes: ‘When Has Obama Spoken Out About a White Kid Being Shot?’

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Michael van der Galien

Instead of trying to calm everybody down, President Obama doubles down on his “America is racist!” rhetoric. In his comments the last couple of days about the killing of Freddie Gray and the riots in Baltimore, the president repeatedly said that these “incidents” (of young black men being shot by white police officers) happen too often, implying that there is a structural problem, which is of course utter nonsense.

Yes, there are some African American men who get shot by police, but the same goes for young white men, as Ben Shapiro explained on his radio show yesterday. In fact, he said, the ratio of whites being shot by police is higher than that of blacks being shot by police. The reason for this is two-fold:

1. Police working in black neighborhoods are more used to violence than those working in majority white neighborhoods so they don’t panic easily.

2. Police officers know they’ll get in trouble when they shoot a black man, but not when the target is white, so they’ll pull the trigger more easily when confronted with an aggressive white man.

Mark Levin also touched upon this subject yesterday. He rightly blasted the president for pretending there’s a deeper problem (there isn’t) and added that “there’s no excuse for this rioting.”

No there isn’t, and the president should say so. Sadly, he won’t. You see, this isn’t about “civil rights” or “racism,” it’s about certain groups and individuals trying to provoke civil unrest hoping it’ll give them the excuse they need to make the federal government even more powerful than it already is. They want to federalize the police force in every single big city in America so Obama can reach his goal of “fundamentally transforming” the country. If Baltimore has to be burned down in order for him to do so, so be it. He won’t lose one night’s sleep over it.

Video via our friends from The Right Scoop.

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Obama’s Lawyer Basically Tells SCOTUS That Religious Schools Are Toast

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard

Barack Obama

During oral arguments made in the same-sex marriage case heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday (Obergefell v. Hodges), Justices Roberts and Alito questioned Solicitor General Donald Verrilli about the rights of religious schools if the Court decides to impose same-sex marriage on the states.

Justice Roberts asked if religious schools that provide housing to married students would be required to offer such housing to same-sex couples. Verrilli demurred, saying there is currently no federal law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Those issues are going to have to be worked out,” he said.

Not satisfied with that answer, Justice Alito brought up the Bob Jones case, where the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. He asked if the same would apply to a college or university that opposed same-sex marriage.

“You know, I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue,” Verrilli said. “I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It’s going to be an issue.”

Suddenly we have a clear, unambiguous answer for those who have been bleating, “Yeah, but how would gay marriage affect you personally?” It’s not that proponents of traditional marriage haven’t been saying this all along, but now we have it on the record — from the lips of Obama’s lawyer to the ears of the masses: We’re coming for your Christian schools.

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Video: CNN Anchor Suggests Vets Returning from War Are to Blame for Police Brutality

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Debra Heine

I see an apologetic walk-back coming in CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin’s near future. (Update: Baldwin has apologized on Twitter.)

Because while speaking on location in riot-torn Baltimore, Baldwin seemed to suggest — without citing any evidence –that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were to blame for a purported increase in police brutality in the United States.

Via the Washington Free Beacon: 

“I love our nation’s veterans, but some are coming back from war, they don’t know the communities, and they’re ready to do battle,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin indicated that veterans who become police officers when they return home seek out violence.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) seemed to agree.

“They definitely need better training, and better recruitment,” the congressman said. “We need to look at our police department from top to bottom and bottom to top to figure out exactly what is being done wrong.”

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According to CBS News, fifteen Baltimore City police officers were injured in the riots Monday night.

In addition to that, multiple vehicles were vandalized and set on fire and a number of businesses were looted as the rioters were allowed to run wild.

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What Media Bias?

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Have a look at this lede by Adam Liptak on the gay-marriage issue that went before the Supreme Court today:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed deeply divided about one of the great civil rights issues of the age: whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.

The justices appeared to clash over not only what is the right answer but also over how to reach it. The questioning illuminated their conflicting views on history, tradition, biology, constitutional interpretation, the democratic process and the role of the courts in prodding social change.

This is classic leftism in action. Remember, the issue of homosexuals marrying each other was hardly a gleam in its daddy’s eye not that long ago, opposed by both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and just about every else this side of Andrew Sullivan. And now the Supreme Court — two of whose members have already made up their minds publicly on the issue — is about to lay down the law in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Even before the Roberts court begins its obligatory pretzeling, let’s be clear. First, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee homosexual marriage; if the Court finds such a “right,” in will involve some heavy-duty spelunking. Second, it’s not a civil-rights issue, since no law prevents gay men or women from marrying opposite-sex partners; until recently, in fact, the preferred PC term was “sexual preference,” not something as immutable as skin color. And third, it’s entirely possible that the Court — despite having four votes in the bag for “social change” already — might rule the other way:

Is there any hope, then, for the “traditional marriage” side? Absolutely, and the many pundits who have regarded this case as inevitable are, in my view, mistaken. It is the case that public opinion has come around, with between 55-60% of Americans now accepting of civil same-sex marriage. But public opinion is not the same as judicial reasoning, and Obergefell is no slam dunk.

The main reason is federalism. As Windsor itself relied upon, marriage has always been the states’ business, not that of the federal government. In a way, Obergefell would be the anti-Windsor, holding that a federal marriage right trumps the will of the states to define marriage as they see fit.

The main reason is federalism. As Windsor itself relied upon, marriage has always been the states’ business, not that of the federal government. In a way, Obergefell would be the anti-Windsor, holding that a federal marriage right trumps the will of the states to define marriage as they see fit.

The states defending their marriage bans also pitch specific arguments to Justice Kennedy. They point out that a robust debate is taking place on this issue across America, and that a Supreme Court ruling would shut it down. They say that this really is a matter of state sovereignty.

What do the two swing votes — which belong to, you guessed, Wacky Tony Kennedy and Weathervane Roberts — have to say? From Liptak’s report:

At the start of Tuesday’s arguments, Chief Justice Roberts said that he had looked up definitions of marriage and had been unable to find one written before a dozen years ago that did not define it as between a man and a woman. “If you succeed, that definition will not be operable,” the Chief Justice said. “You are not seeking to join the institution. You are seeking to change the institution.”

Justice Kennedy, who many consider the likely swing vote on the case, weighed in with skepticism as the advocates for gay marriage made their case. He said the definition of marriage “has been with us for millennia. It’s very difficult for the court to say, ‘Oh, we know better,’ ” he said.

Difficult, maybe, but not impossible. The smart money still says that, in less than two decades, something once thought unthinkable — “marriage equality” — will be the new normal. Whether that is “swimming with the tide of history” or caving to transient social faddism remains to be seen.

 

 

 

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Ferguson-Palestine Seed Bearing Fruit in Baltimore Riots

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

From Legal Insurrection:

This is becoming a recurring theme.

When there is a riot or other protest in the U.S., particularly if involving minority communities, “pro-Palestinian” activists try to hijack it and turn it into a criticism of Israel.

We saw it in Ferguson where “pro-Palestinian” activists spread lies that Israel trained the Ferguson police, and actually embedded themselves in the protests to try to turn the protests into anti-Israel protests.

The same thing has happened repeatedly with #BlackLivesMatters protests, most notably the dangerous blockade of the San Mateo – Hayward Bridge.

This is part of the emerging theme of anti-Israeli activists trying to tie unrelated movements, such as fossil fuel divestment, to Palestinian issues. Now we are seeing it with the Baltimore riots.

Max Blumenthal, notorious anti-Zionist and self-hating Jew, joined in to fuel the fire with Tweets like:

and

Blumenthal’s attempt to join in the community organizing through social media is yet another illustration of the yuppie socialist class fueling insurrection for their own nefarious political purposes. Like Ayers and Soros, these folks never let a good crisis go to waste, and when there isn’t one to be had, one can easily be made. It is no secret that the #BlackLivesMatter movement, along with associated organizations, has been funded and prepped to turn riot-like community organizing into violent expressions of pro-Palestinian unity. We’ve seen what this terror-backed rage can do in places like the Gaza Strip and Israel’s West Bank. What can we learn from Israel before our cities go down in flames?

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How Long Does America Have?

Monday, April 27th, 2015 - by Robert Wargas

As Baltimore burned, the rest of us tweeted.

The riots followed a weekend in which GoFundMe shut down a fundraising page for a Christian-owned bakery that was hit with a huge fine for refusing to serve a gay wedding. GoFundMe has said its policy precludes raising money “in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.” The key word here is “hateful”: if you can expand or contract that word at will—which many people in this country can and do—you can accomplish anything.

Every week this country is consumed in a new distended orgy of polarized, mutual hatred, set against the backdrop of outrage mobs, race riots, shuttered businesses, scandals, Twitter-induced career ruination, gleeful smear parties, and partisan hackery.

Admit it: You’ve asked yourself where America is going, and how long it can survive the trip. Admit it.

Usually people think you’re crazy for asking this. But the New Normal has prompted Ace of Spades to ask: “Is it time to formally separate America into two or more sovereign nations?”

“No one actually seems happy in this national marriage,” writes Ace. That is sadly true.

I’m not advocating a national schism. I don’t want it. I want a union. I want a flag with 50 stars.

But what I want doesn’t matter. Larger forces are at work here, and it seems to me that a dispassionate assessment of the United States in 2015 must include the possibility of a major rupture in our social and political order within ten years. Probably less.

Now, some people will say, “You 30-year-old know-nothing, you weren’t around for Vietnam. Everyone thought the country would come apart then, but it didn’t. Then we got Reagan!”

To which I say: You’re right, I wasn’t around for Vietnam. Maybe I don’t know anything. But I think the country is quite different from the one that existed in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. We are different politically, economically, ideologically, demographically…pretty much in every way that matters. I think that conservatives who are waiting for a new Reagan are deluded, and dangerously so. They have been lulled into thinking that things will just get better as a matter of cyclical routine. Everything stays the same…until everything is different.

I’m not so sure “getting better” is possible anymore, or at least not possible before some major rupture once again makes it possible. I hope I’m wrong. I hope I look back at this post in 2020 and laugh at myself. But who honestly thinks they’ll be laughing in 2020?

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