A Song

It’s not very often that a character in a dream is kind enough to sing a song to me. Even less often that I get up and write it down. I’ve monkeyed with it slightly.

Apparently said character was referring to a co-worker in a workplace, since she prefaced the lines with “This is what she’s singing to herself back there today.” The character was describing this to someone else, but I was at the same table.

Maybe I’ll record the melody later.

F*** you and the horse you rode in on
F*** you and the horse you’re astride
F*** you and your horse
Not literally, of course…
F*** you and the horse that you ride

Larry Arnn is wrong about Donald Trump

In an election cycle that does not lack for reality-bending narratives, one of the more gobsmacking ones came from–of all people–Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College.

On 3/2/16, Dr. Arnn said the following on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show (audio here):

I can’t find any evidence, since 2000, that Donald Trump is not a supporter of limited and Constitutional government.

(Dr. Arnn did add the Takings Clause as the one exception to his assertion, and said that Trump’s position on Kelo is Constitutionally wrongheaded.)

Dr. Arnn is the last person I would expect to engage in argument from ignorance, but his assertion boils down to nothing more than that.

As Bruce Fein at The Washington Times wrote, the same day that Arnn’s interview was aired:

Among other things, Mr. Trump has taken up arms against the Eighth Amendment prohibition of torture, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment requirements of due process, the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom, the Article VI prohibition of religious test oaths, the Article I, section 8, clause 11 proscriptions of presidential wars, and the War Crimes Act of 1996 that implements international law.

Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

The Hill, 12/10/15:

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday vowed to issue an executive order to mandate the death penalty for anyone who kills a police officer.

The Washington Post, 9/23/15:

Trump quickly exploded on Twitter and wrote in a tweet: “Incompetent @RichLowry lost it tonight on @FoxNews. He should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him!”

Politico, 2/26/16:

“One of the things I’m going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we’re certainly leading. I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” Trump said.

RedState, 8/15/15:

We now have Trump on record as saying he “loves the idea of campaign finance reform”. If you remember, that was one of our biggest problems with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) back in 2008: his co-authoring of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill with leading Senate progressive Democrat Russ Feingold. Is that what Trump wants to see more of?

CNN, 11/22/15:

Republican presidential contenders split Sunday on a proposal to ban individuals on a terror watch list from buying guns, with front-runner Donald Trump backing the measure and Ben Carson opposing it.

National Post, 8/19/15:

“Bill, I don’t think that [“anchor babies”] have American citizenship,” he said. “And if you speak to some very, very good lawyers — and I know some would disagree, but many of them agree with me — you’re going to find they do not have American citizenship. We have to start a process where we take back our country. Our country is going to hell.”

That’s just for starters. Surely Dr. Arnn’s crack staff could find more, if they but look.

A journey through Trumpkin Land

What fresh hell is this?

TrumpSockpuppetTwitter1

That’s a fascinating statement, made all the more fascinating since it was retweeted by “Mr. Trump.” There isn’t a single person on the face of the earth with whom I always agree. I worry for the sanity of anybody so completely in the tank for a candidate, assuming she is sincere.

But wait, there’s more!

TrumpSockpuppetTwitter2

Hmm. Well. Alrightee then.

TrumpSockpuppetTwitter3

Interestingly, she invokes sockpuppets, a topic she probably knows a bit about:

TrumpSockpuppetTwitter4

Her timeline is quite a read.

Perhaps “Mr. Trump’s” Twitter crew should take a quick glance at Twitter accounts that they retweet.

My Year In Review

TheScream2

Items of interest

Random whatnot:

George F. Will, with a provocative piece, “The foolish ‘theism’ of government enthusiasts”:

No one…anticipated that when Gutenberg made printed books affordable, increased literacy would create a market for spectacles, which would lead to improved lenses and the invention of telescopes, which would produce the discovery that the Earth orbits the sun.

Some guy, getting just about everything hilariously and incoherently wrong:

The GOP doesn’t have many philosophers that support their ideology. They have people that they identify as intellectuals like Milton Freidman [sic], and for some reason they also claim ownership of the Founding Fathers. But the only philosopher that they claim to be their own is the novelist Ayn Rand.

Stumbled upon during a random perusal of Gutenberg.org:

This reminds one of a story of an old man who stood in a highway, leaning on his staff, and crying, in a feeble, croaking voice, “Stop thief! stop thief!”

“What is the matter, sir?” inquired a fellow, approaching.

“O, a villain has stolen my hat from my head, and run away.”

“Your hat!” looking at the bare head; “why didn’t you run after him?”

“O, my dear sir, I can’t run a step. I am very lame.”

“Can’t run! then here goes your wig.” And so saying, the fellow caught the poor old man’s wig, and scampered away at the top of his speed.

Another fun quote (well, maybe “fun” isn’t exactly the right word, since it is all too fitting, on far too many levels)–this one from Fritz Leiber, in a 1950 issue of Galaxy:

“Fourth,” he went on, “it’s my belief that when an intelligent species begins to retrogress, it tends to destroy, or, rather, debase all the things it has laboriously created. Large buildings are torn down to make smaller ones. Machines are broken up and worked into primitive tools and weapons. There is a kind of unraveling or erasing. A cultural Second Law of Thermodynamics begins to operate, whereby the intellect and all its works are gradually degraded to the lowest level of meaning and creativity.”

New York Times headline, via Google News, states the obvious:

“UN Sets Syrian Peace Talks as Fighting Complicates Task.”

Forerunner to Bronies?

The Tale of Pony Twinkleheels, by Arthur Scott Bailey, Illustrated by Harry L. Smith.

From The Lost Princess of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Illustrated by John R. Neill (with some editing by yours truly):

OzFrog3

And another, this time with no major editing:

OzFrog5

Notable Quotes, 2015

As the year winds down, the competition is getting fierce with late-arrivers pouring in:I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better than average job.” —Hillary Clinton

Our favorite village idiot gets in at the last minute: “The Repub Base sucked it up for McCain and Romney, the Estab. can suck it up for Trump. If not, we’ll know who the real demagogues are.” —John Nolte

A late arrival whose genius should be acknowledged: “Not sure how many people understand, our ‘right to bear arms’ is not in our constitution–it is an AMENDMENT to the document.” —Doug Gottlieb

Forgot to include this gem: “Twitter is like a pool of piranhas waiting for a bloody cow to be thrown into the water.” —Carl Gustav

“What good does it do to have a good nuclear triad if you’re afraid to use it?” —Katrina Pierson

“We’re going to get rid of the insurance companies.” —Donald Trump (and every other idiotic thing to issue forth from DJ Sir Barks A Lot’s pie hole)

“Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” —Hillary Clinton

“Their beef isn’t with the Republican Party, it’s with the whole American system of government. Their enemy isn’t Mitch McConnell. It’s James Madison.” —Robert Tracinski

“I had a Muslim informant risk his life to tape BlindSheikh call for attack America. Have you AllMuslimsSuck guys managed anything like that?” —Andrew C. McCarthy

“The first thing totalitarians try to take over is the dictionary.” —David Burge

“Go to hell. I don’t need to look that up commie fucking scumbag.” —some asshole

“‘Orwell,’ Postman reflected, ‘feared those who would deprive us of information.’ Huxley, by contrast, ‘feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.'” —Charles C.W. Cooke

“Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.” —Daniel Hannan

“These texts, wrought with histories and narratives of exclusion and oppression, can be difficult to read and discuss as a survivor, a person of color, or a student from a low-income background.” —Columbia University’s Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board

“We are often asked how we can just give our kids away to strangers. We are seen as uncaring, as though choosing to give them up so they can have the life we could never provide, is something to be ashamed of.” —@Sweet_Me_Lissa

“The difference [between Ron and Rand Paul] is purely in implementation. If you had a philosophical discussion on what the world should look like, there would be no difference.” —Ronnie Paul

“Also, note that the over a quarter-million CEOs, per BLS, is nearly 1,000 times larger a sample population than is thrown around by the Left–and thrown around in such a way as to leave the casual reader with the impression that they are talking about the average CEO.” —me

“When you win the culture, you win the extraordinary power to say what things mean — you get to declare the angle of vision that assigns the “correct” meaning.” —Shelby Steele

“The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar…Hopefully there’s no one from the DSS listening to this.” —Anjem Choudary

Trump: ‘We’re going to get rid of the insurance companies.’ (updated)

Video source is via Powerline. Partial transcript below begins at 42:46. I’ve excerpted the audio from the verbatim section below, here.

Your, your deductibles are through the roof. You practically have to be dead in order to collect a deductible. Right, right? Stand up, stand up. Are you right? Stand up, ma’am. Right? OK, everybody wants to stand up, ’cause they’re all saying yes. The, the rates have gone up, the deductibles have gone up–I don’t mean two percent, I mean gone up–rates have gone up 35, 45, sometimes over 50 percent. And on top of it, it’s no good. And what we’re gonna do is we’re going to come in with a fantastic system of private. We’re gonna get rid of the insurance companies. By the way, the insurance companies have done really well. They have made such a fortune. And guess what? They contributed big league to Obama, OK? Gimme a break.

Oh.

Update:

A Twitter commenter said, “that’s a bs partial quote. he went on to say allow Ins cos to sell policies over state lines.”

I asked, “If he said he was going to nuke Iran, and later said he was going to contain them, would the nuke quote be newsworthy?”

The commenter responded, “in this case, I think he just didn’t finish his sentence. but who knows with him.”

OK then, Trump went on to say:

We’re gonna get rid of the artificial lines. ‘K. This is a case where we’re going to open up the borders, OK? We’re gonna take those lines–yunno, If I, if I have, if I go out to bid, I have a lot of employees in a lot of different states. But if I go out to bid on something, in a state, let’s say I’m in New York, and I want, let’s say South Carolina, a company to bid, it’s almost impossible, it’s almost impossible. Because they all have their little monopolies. And in South Carolina they have their monopoly, and everybody– Now here’s the nice part: All of these companies have given a lot of money to every candidate. And if that candidate wins, they’re going to keep their lines, they’re going to keep their monopolies, and the rates are gonna, yunno, it’s gonna be no good. ‘Cause Obamacare is going down, with or without Justice Roberts. Obamacare is going down. You understand what I mean by that. (applause) And I will tell you this: Justice Roberts really let us down. He really let us down. What he did with Obamacare was disgraceful. And I think he did that because he wanted to be popular within, inside the Beltway or something. Because he did it the first time, he should have never done it. And that would have killed it. It would have been so badly wounded the second time that it would have died even faster than it’s already dying. But Justice Roberts should never–there was no legal reason–he’s a great legal scholar–he knows it better than any of us. There was no legal reason why he should have not ended Obamacare the first time, or the second time, but in particular the first time. But the second time was even clearer. So when we talk about Supreme Court, when we talk about Supreme Court judges–he is so disappointing to me. But. But. With that being said, I hope I don’t have a case before the United States Supreme Court any time soon, but that’s the way I feel, I don’t care. We have to get rid of the lines, so that we have many companies bidding, we have many companies. You’ll end up with plans–there are things in Obamacare you just don’t need. You don’t want it, you don’t need it. It’s so crazy, things you don’t want that in theory it’s all being paid for. You will end up with so many options, so many plans–and the insurance companies are going to have to be sharper, and smarter, and they’re not going to have the monopoly like they have. But you get rid of those lines, and you watch what happens. Your numbers will come down, your plans will be fantastic. And it’ll be a beautiful thing.

Etc.

A few points:

First, those “artificial lines” that Trump talks about are state lines, not artificial ones. Every GOP candidate that I know of advocates the ability of healthcare insurers to sell across state lines, but there is nothing artificial about a state’s Constitutional right to order its own affairs when doing so does not conflict with the Enumerated Powers of the Federal government, or with the rights of that state’s citizens.

Secondly, Trump is outright smoking crack when he calls intrastate healthcare insurers a monopoly. I’m not even going to bother to source a refutation of that asinine assertion. Trump is full of shit. (None of which is to downplay the industry consolidation that ensued as small ensurers and small brokers were driven out of business, or lines of business, because they didn’t have the clout to have a seat at the table when groundwork was being laid for Obamacare.)

Third, if Trump’s intention is not to “get rid of the insurance companies,” whom he clearly has nothing but contempt for, then why did he say what he said? Am I supposed to discount that part of his speech because he contradicts it later? Why does one part of the speech have more veracity than the other, when the supposedly exculpatory part of the speech is completely full of shit?

Fourth, the man can barely form coherent sentences. If you needed an Advil after reading the second part of the speech, you were not alone.

If you want to argue that he misspoke, go ahead. He said it. So add it to the endless list of asinine crap that issues from his piehole that he later equivocates on. It’s a very confidence-building argument–go with that.

Calling out the bigots

There is an evil afoot in the conservative community.

That evil is anti-Muslim hate.

(I say “conservative community” knowing that most people who espouse that hate are likely CINOs–conservatives in name only. Conservatives are supposed to be the Reality-Based Community, is what I always thought. But the Muslims-Are-All… folks are not reality-based.)

Those who indulge that easy hate far too frequently fancy themselves informed on things Muslim, but they are as ignorant of Islam and Muslims as any brainwashed Islamist (or militant atheist) is of Christianity or Judaism.

Maybe they’ve read the Koran, or maybe they haven’t. No matter. Axes will be ground–must be ground.

Virtue-signaling chest-thumping keyboard-warrior shit must be shat.

They never tire of channeling, blissfully deaf to the sick irony, what boils down to an Islamist interpretation of Islam, and of Muslims: That only a fundamentalist, reductionist, literal interpretation of the Koran is the correct Islam, and that those who do not subscribe to suchlike are betrayers of True Islam–or just taqiyya liars like Hamas front-group, and perennial go-to of lazy journalists, CAIR.

And what do these supposedly Christian keyboard warriors propose? Surely not to make common cause with legitimate reform-minded Muslims–because, they are quick to point out, the laughable Religion Of Peace narrative (and yes, it was a laughably binary narrative that should die a painful death) requires one to conclude that any peaceful Muslims are the exception to the rule, that all (or at the very least, the overwhelming majority of) Muslims are, in their heart of hearts, Islamofascists.

This post will not change a single mind. I realize that. The haters have concluded that a war on 1.8 billion people, be it ideological or military or both, is a foregone conclusion. They welcome it. They rub their hands in glee for it. They pose and preen behind the narrative. They would rather make war on Muslims, ideologically or militarily, than adjust their ignorance to acknowledging the perverse modernity of Islamism:

Daniel Pipes breaks it down:

Those who make all Islam their enemy not only succumb to a simplistic and essentialist illusion but they lack any mechanism to defeat it. We who focus on Islamism see World War II and the Cold War as models for subduing the third totalitarianism. We understand that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution. We work with anti-Islamist Muslims to vanquish a common scourge. We will triumph over this new variant of barbarism so that a modern form of Islam can emerge.

I’m done with bigots. Done as done can be.

Split the difference. Let’s say half of Muslims want nothing to do with the Islamist death cult. Does that speak well of Islam that the other half finds some succor in Islamism? Of course not.

But surely you can grasp the fact that we should leave nearly a billion Muslims out of our easy, bigoted generalizations.

No, you can’t.

Which is why I am done with you.

 

 

 

 

 

A Real President Addresses the Nation

My fellow Americans:

Radical Islamism long ago declared war on the civilized world.

We are at war with radical Islamism.

We will win that war. We must win that war. The future of civilization depends on it.

We did not invite that war, welcome that war, or cause that war–notwithstanding the arguments of those who will always blame America and the West for the world’s ills. But we will finish what radical Islamists have started.

Radical Islamism is a subset, not the totality, of Islam.

Repeat: Radical Islamism does not represent the totality of the Muslim world. It does not speak for all Muslims. I would argue that it does not even speak for most Muslims.

Radical Islamism’s primary aim is to combine, in terms understandable to the West, church and state–it seeks to bring about by unspeakable violence what we in the West might call a theocracy.

Radical Islamism makes war on all those who refuse to submit to its aim: Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists–and most frequently, fellow Muslims who balk at radical Islamists’ savagery

Radical Islamism is a death cult. It is antithetical to all that civilized people hold dear, whatever our other differences.

We are not at war with Islam. In the words of Daniel Pipes,

Those who make all Islam their enemy not only succumb to a simplistic and essentialist illusion but they lack any mechanism to defeat it. We who focus on Islamism see World War II and the Cold War as models for subduing the third totalitarianism. We understand that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution. We work with anti-Islamist Muslims to vanquish a common scourge. We will triumph over this new variant of barbarism so that a modern form of Islam can emerge.

Those who argue that Islam is all one thing–and therefore march in lockstep with the arguments of radical Islamists–simply betray their ignorance of Islam, and perversely mimic radical Islamists’ claims to be the true representatives of Islam.

I am not talking about some “religion of peace” nonsense that attempts to detach radical Islamism from Islam generally–as I said, radical Islamism is a subset of Islam. I am talking about the reality of diverse opinion and behavior within the Muslim world.

The fact that all too many radical Islamists position themselves, with the help of a lazy and compliant media, as “moderates” (a particular Hamas front-group, always at the ready to engage in dishonest narratives, comes to mind) does not mean that genuinely moderate Muslims do not exist, or are so few as to be the exception to the rule; it simply means that the media has been complicit in the deliberate confusion of Islamism in particular with Islam in general, to the detriment of reasonable voices within Islam.

We cannot prevail in the war against radical Islamist barbarism until we understand what it is.

Let that understanding begin today.

We will prevail.

Goodnight.

 

 

Re Hillary Clinton’s refusal to say ‘radical Islam’

This Week transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You put — you’ve also been reluctant to say we’re fighting radical Islam. And I wonder why not.

Isn’t it a mistake not to say it plain, that the violence is being pushed by radical elements in that faith?

CLINTON: Well, that’s a different thing. Radical elements who use a dangerous and distorted view of Islam to promote their jihadist ambitions, I’m fine with that. I say it all the time and I go after Islamic, too.

So “Radical elements who use a dangerous and distorted view of Islam to promote their jihadist ambitions” provides more clarity than “radical Islam” (or even more focused and on-point, “radical Islamism”)?

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what’s the problem with radical Islam?

CLINTON: Well, the problem is that that sounds like we are declaring war against a religion. And that, to me, is, number one, wrong but…

Actually, the failure to differentiate radical Islamists from garden-variety Muslims is what makes it sound like we are declaring war against a religion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though the qualifier radical is there?

CLINTON: No, because, look, that — you know enough about religion, you’ve studied it. And there are radicals, people who believe all kinds of things in every religion in the world.

The Left never tires of this idiotic false equivalence. The most virulent and widespread current form of religiously-based extremism, radical Islamism, is based in Islam–is a subset, not the totality, of Islam–not Hinduism, or Christianity, or Judaism, or Buddhism, etc.

I don’t want to do that because, number one, it doesn’t do justice to the vast numbers of Muslims in our own country and around the world who are peaceful people.

First of all, be careful comparing American Muslims, who overwhelmingly reject radical Islamism, to Muslims elsewhere (and even in the latter case, there’s a lot of variation, region to region).

Secondly, the failure to clearly differentiate Islamism in particular, from Islam in general, associates the latter with the former by default, which Ms. Clinton employs such tortured verbiage supposedly trying to avoid.

Those who pretend that Islamism is a mere mutation of an otherwise benign religion, like any other, are no more thoughtful than those who pretend that Muslims are All One Violent Thing–and that Islam invariably descends into Islamism (which latter view perversely dovetails with the primary argument made by Islamists).

In other words, the Religion of Peace crowd are just as cartoonish in their global pronouncements as the Religion of Pieces crows.

Number two, it helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying we’re in a war against the West. You must join us. If you are a Muslim, you must join us.

Blah blah blah, keep hammering on that Rubio reference like it makes your argument more coherent.

The primary recruiting tool of radical Islamists is an idiotic denial of reality by Western leaders–a refusal to clearly state that we are at war with radical Islamism because radical Islamism long ago declared war on us; that, and our stupid insistence that, contra reformist Muslims, Islam is not really undergoing an existential upheaval brought about by the Islamofascist strain of Islam. Instead, we in the West only need to alter our language to magically create the world that we wish to exist, goes the clear implication of Ms. Clinton’s words.

No. If you’re a law-abiding, peace-loving Muslim, you need to be with us against those who are distorting Islam.

Let me be clear, Mrs. Clinton:

Your interpretations of Islam are neither here nor there. The one thing you do need to understand, though, is that Islam is many things throughout the world. And radical Islamism, which you play such tortured word games to avoid identifying, is just as at war with “law-abiding, peace-loving” Muslims as it is with the West.

And you, Madame Secretary, are just squirting out rhetorical squid ink trying to avoid the cruel reality that exists outside your wishes and assertions. In doing so, you ensure that many more in the Muslim world, and in the West, will have their lives ripped apart by what you are so squeamish about identifying.

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