Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

The president of the United States is a villainous, cretinous scumbag

With apologies to villainous, cretinous bags of scum.

Giving voice to intense heartache, anger and sadness, President Barack Obama said Thursday the South Carolina church shooting that left nine people dead shows the need for a national reckoning on gun violence.

Obama, who knew the pastor killed in the Charleston attack, said he has been called upon too often to mourn the deaths of innocents killed by those “who had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.”

“Now is the time for mourning and for healing,” the president said. “But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”

True enough, if you don’t count England, Australia, Canada, France, Belgium, Germany, France, Norway, France, and Denmark, among others–almost all of whom, as Ace notes, “have adopted sensible, pragmatic Total Gun Bans.” He also includes links with that list, which I won’t bother transcribing here. Suffice it to say that this vicious, petty, calculating little pig (Obama, not Ace) simply could not wait to climb up on the coffins of the Charleston dead to start thumping his scrawny chest and pimping for one of the Left’s perennial pet projects. Of course, and as usual. We all know the tired routine of the classless, clueless hard-Left ghouls by now.

What a revolting, pissy little “man.” What a diseased mind he possesses. What a priggish little scold he is. It’s nothing less than a national disgrace that enough of our so-called countrymen were gullible enough to allow themselves to be duped into “electing” such an irredeemable scoundrel to high office. A bunch of decent people murdered by a random psycho, and his first thought is of advancing his liberal-fascist political agenda? THE ONE FUCKING TIME a hideous act of mass murder is actually committed by a true “lone wolf,” in the doublespeaking parlance of our joke of a national leadership and its hamfisted “security” apparatus, and since he’s not a Muslim they fall all over themselves to make a “larger issue” out of the infamy?

Obama ought to be tarred, feathered, and dropped off at an airport with a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe or Yemen or some such, where he can live out his days squatting in a tarpaper shack, scratching at fleas and muttering to himself about how awful this country is, and forbidden ever to even attempt to return to these shores on pain of summary and immediate execution.

As for his “in our power” demagoguery, I have only one thing to say: come and take them, you slimy son of a bitch. Charles Cooke allows himself to be bogged down in minutiae, making an argument that, while true enough empirically, avoids addressing the real issue:

The million dollar question, though, is, “Do what?” It is all very well to criticize the National Rifle Association and the Republican party for opposing further gun control, and yet it remains an inconvenient truth that not one of the reforms that the Democratic party proposed the last time it ventured into this debate would have changed the outcome here.

Back in 2013, when the country was still reeling from the abomination at Sandy Hook, President Obama hoped to achieve three things: 1) He hoped to ban so-called “assault weapons”; 2) he hoped to limit the size of commercially available magazines; and 3) he hoped to force all the states to require background checks when a firearm is privately transferred. Because the killer used a pistol with a regular magazine, the first two of these proposals are irrelevant here. Per Reuters, the shooter’s “father gave him a .45-caliber pistol for his birthday this year.” That pistol would not have fallen under any of the “assault weapons” bans that were proposed by Obama and his allies in Congress. Moreover, magazine capacity does not seem to have been an issue. The New York Times reports that the shooter took his time, stopping to talk and “[reloading] five times.” Had he been limited by law to ten rounds per magazine — as Dianne Feinstein would have liked — he would have been in no worse a position. (Most .45s come with magazines that hold seven, eight, or nine rounds.)

None of which matters a whit, because none of those things are what Obama (spit) and his fellow gun-grabbing hyenas are really after. They want guns banned and confiscated, the Second Amendment repealed, our God-given natural right to self-defense not only from individual assailants but from a tyrannical government gutted. They are not amenable to reason, as their position is not based on reason and is therefore wholly immune to it. And they will never, ever stop.

I repeat: come and take them, you bastards.

None of this can possibly come as a surprise to anyone by now; Obama remains exactly what he always has been: a repellent, dishonest, gutless, conniving, extreme-Left douchebag. And half the damned country still loves him–not despite all that, but because of it. If you want a close look at our real problem, well, right there it is. I remain completely flummoxed as to what might be done to rectify that, or if there’s even anything that can be done.

Update! Harsanyi responds to the Shitbag In Chief’s egregious lie with an even more comprehensive list than Ace’s: Parlez vous Hebdo?

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Down the drain

Not all Muslims took over another major city in Iraq last week, leading confident Pentagon officials speaking entirely for themselves and not representative of any other Obama junta official or employee to reassert their confidence of eventual victory over the junior-varsity squad currently establishing something or other that is neither Islamic nor a state in the Middle East. The Muslim army, which is not an army and has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, is rapidly being degraded and destroyed, continuing its march of conquest across the region without pause or even much in the way of hindrance from anybody.

And now the on-the-ropes and demoralized squad of no-hoper amateurs is on the rampage preparatory to retaking Fallujah. This, we are told, is “victory.” For the Obama junta’s value of victory, I guess. All of which leads me to this:

But even if we set aside that failure, is there any honest observer of the Middle East who believes it’s more stable today than it was in 2002? A more stable Middle East doesn’t necessarily mean a more moral one, that’s true, but even with Hussein in the ground there’s little evidence Americans are any less in danger from a rogue ISIS-style terror attack than they were from Iraqi Baathists. The regime-change was supposed to produce security, not another kind of insecurity.

A group of Islamists, training and organizing with little regard for self-preservation, are no less terrible than Saddam, and in many ways perhaps more dangerous. ISIS also threatens and slaughters minorities across the Middle East. And the ISIS story is not over. A Saddam-led Iraq might have been easier to contain than a disparate terrorist army functioning in an unpredictable Middle East. ISIS took Ramadi last week, a city Americans had saved in the past; a city that is only one of many that will fall without the assistance of the United States. In the end, more than likely we will have to protect this brittle nation in perpetuity.

Then, of course, unconstrained by their rivals, Iran, a nation whose technological and economic infrastructure is superior is stronger than Iraq, has become more dangerous than ever. It’s a country with access to vast amounts of oil, and is more than likely to be on the threshold of nuclear weapons soon. Not only does it boast an impressive military, but it has proxy armies throughout the Middle East threatening American allies. It’s a country run by End-of-Days theocrats who benefited most from the American invasion of Iraq.

Yet Patten can’t understand how so many Americans can support military action against ISIS but still think we were wrong about invading Iraq. He claims that Americans might be overinflating the present-day threat posed by ISIS and underestimating or forgetting the threat posed by Saddam when we invaded. Maybe Americans do forget—though it is clear now that Saddam did not pose the threat we were told he did. Maybe Americans just have a visceral reaction when they see innocent people being beheaded. Maybe they have a sense of righteousness. Maybe they want to kill bad guys. Or maybe, they learned a lesson that seems pretty clear to me: we can fight the enemy, but it’s foolish to attempt to social engineer abroad. Maybe, intuitively, Americans comprehend the distinction.

Whatever the case, admitting that Iraq was a mistake neither confirms the Progressive position nor disproves the hawk’s worldview. ISIS is real. Iran is not Iraq. Neither does the Iraq invasion excuse Obama’s muddled foreign policy or our deteriorating position in Middle East. Every president inherits a world with problems left to them by history. But the Iraq War did not accomplish any of its broader objectives and it failed to make us safer, the region more stable or the people of the Middle East much freer. Republicans have little to gain by trying to reimagine history.

On the other hand, given Islam’s ascendancy and the West’s self-enfeeblement and its concomitant predilection for self-deception, it could very well be that the current nightmare or something very like it was always going to happen anyway, whether we removed Saddam or not.

On the cheap update! Williamson Q: What Price Are We Prepared to Pay to Keep ISIS in Check? My A: not nearly as much as will be required.

Joe Biden — who is, incredibly, vice president of these United States — took the occasion of Memorial Day to telephone the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, for the purpose of making the political equivalent of a halftime locker-room speech: “Biden assures Iraqi prime minister of U.S. support,” reported ABC News. When Biden assures you of U.S. support, it is time to update your life-insurance policy and begin quietly executing whatever your Plan B is. Let’s hope he has a good real-estate agent.

But let’s not blame poor feckless Joe Biden, the terrified rodential little man with the lingering hands and too much fondness for the word “literally,” the definition of which he does not seem to know. Yes, the vice president is an unserious man on this, as on all matters, but he is an unserious vice president who serves at the pleasure of an unserious president, who serves at the pleasure of an unserious people — us.

As Shakespeare put it, the fault is not in our stars. Then again, perhaps this (via Maet) might at last rouse Leftards to support truly decisive action against the Muslim savages.

Saby (taking slaves through war) is a great prophetic Sunnah containing many divine wisdoms and religious benefits, regardless of whether or not the people are aware of this. The Sīrah is a witness to our Prophet’s (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) raiding of the kuffār. He would kill their men and enslave their children and women. The raids of the beloved Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) convey this to us….

The scholars of Sīrah mentioned that the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) took four slave-girls as concubines, two of them being Māriyah al-Qibtiyyah and Rayhānah an-Nadriyyah [Zād al-Ma’ād].

Yes, Allah has opened the lands for His awliyā’, so they entered and dispersed within the lands, killing the fighters of the kuffār, capturing their women, and enslaving their children.

I write this while the letters drip of pride.

Yes, O religions of kufr altogether, we have indeed raided and captured the kāfirah women, and drove them like sheep by the edge of the sword. And glory belongs to Allah, to His Messenger, and the believers, but the hypocrites do not know!

And who knows, maybe Michelle Obama’s price won’t even exceed a third of a dīnār, and a third of a dīnār is too much for her!

Thereby confirming the old saw that nobody is wrong ALL the time, and that now and then even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

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Same old song and dance

Any bets on how many days it will be before LibMediaInc.gov will release information about his recent conversion to Islam? Or how many milliseconds we’ll get into that reportage before being bludgeoned with frantic horror stories of Muslim fears of “backlash” and “reprisals”?

Actually, for once this one sounds like it might not be the usual old story. We’ll see, I guess.

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The REAL state of the Union

Sad.

Starting on the foreign policy side, Obama’s policies are driven by the flawed proposition that “smarter” leadership lies in building coalitions that “combine military power with strong diplomacy.” This position, he said in his State of the Union, pays concrete dividends: “In Iraq and Syria, American leadership—including our military power—is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group.”

It is all wishful thinking. Militarily, it is never enough to stop an advance if it allows the enemy to use the breathing space to entrench itself further in the places that are under occupation. Obama’s word choice of “ultimately” allows for endless equivocation and delay. The odds of putting together an effective coalition without demonstrable leadership are slim to none, for the President’s only firm commitment—not to use ground troops ever against ISIL—signals to our allies that they too can discharge their obligations by flying the occasional sortie against ISIL positions.

The President may think that it has been an accomplishment to reduce over the past six years the number of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from close to 180,000 to under 15,000. But to everyone else, the civil disorder attributable to American disengagement signals that America is not an ally to be trusted.

The President therefore grossly miscalculates when he concludes that “The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.” Unfortunately, the facts on the ground show the opposite. Right now the President is bogged down in negotiations with the Iranians over their deployment of nuclear weapons. Little visible progress has been made to date.

Originally, the President supported at most a six-month moratorium on sanctions in order to lead the Iranians to the bargaining table. Yet when faced with their stalling tactics, he has pleaded for additional time, thus backing away from his explicit promise to keep a firm deadline for making a deal and vowing to veto any legislation that tries to firm up the initial position. Congress may well intervene to keep him to his original word. Generally, this kind of interference is most unwise, but the bipartisan unhappiness on the Iran problem reveals a complete and bipartisan breakdown in trust between Congress and the President.

Another sign of foreign policy disarray was the Congressional invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address the United States Congress in the middle of his own election campaign in Israel. When the President goes off track, the Congress tries the risky tactic of compensating for his errors, making it easy for everyone to second-guess its decisions.

It is also no surprise that the Russians under Putin have extended their offensive activities in the Ukraine, with a new attack on the key port of Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine. Why not, when the United States will not supply Ukraine any military weapons for self-defense? But to the President, his policy has succeeded “by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.” With support like ours, what are friends worth?

And that’s just the foreign policy side. You can read on for the conclusion domestically, which basically boils down to “even worse, if you can believe it.” But it needs to be borne in mind that, for America-hating socialists like our pretend pResident, “success” is defined very differently than for real Americans. And under the delusional mindset required to sustain an unswerving dedication to a failed statist collectivism that has failed every single time it’s been tried, His Royal Majesty has been very successful indeed.

(Via Insty)

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JESUS H CHRIST!

Also, holy crap!




I’ll start worrying about some supposed man-caused global warming when you can demonstrate to me that humanity has the power, intelligence, technological prowess, or just plain magical ability to stand in between those two monsters and make them just go away. Until then, a little more well-reasoned humility and a lot less arrogant assumptions of omnipotence from you tweaky eco-dweebs might be nice.

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Iraq Spring grinds on

Animals.

As Iraq’s government bolstered Baghdad’s defenses Sunday, the Islamic militant group that captured two major cities last week posted graphic photos that appeared to show its fighters massacring dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers.

The pictures on a militant website appear to show masked fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, loading the captives onto flatbed trucks before forcing them to lie face-down in a shallow ditch with their arms tied behind their backs, according to The Associated Press. The final images show the bodies of the captives soaked in blood after being shot.

Most of the soldiers who appear in the pictures are in civilian clothes. Some are shown wearing military uniforms underneath, indicating they may have hastily disguised themselves as civilians to try to escape.

“The claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that it has massacred 1,700 Iraqi Shia air force recruits in Tikrit is horrifying and a true depiction of the bloodlust that these terrorists represent,” State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Sunday.

Maybe Professor Obama should favor us with another smarmy lecture about how these savages need to “work diligently” together to bring “security and prosperity to all people inside of Iraq.” After all, it’s clear just how amenable the victorious troglodytes are to reason, reasonableness, and compassion for those they’ve vanquished. But don’t worry; Barky’s crack team of college-boy commie eggheads has a “solution” all warmed up and ready to go: beg Iran for “help.”

The radical Sunni militia that has plunged Iraq into chaos bragged on Sunday that it had executed hundreds of Shiite Iraqi soldiers, even as the Obama administration said it is preparing to open direct talks with Iran on how the two longtime foes can counter the insurgents.

The U.S.-Iran dialogue, which is expected to begin this week, will mark the latest in a rapid move toward rapprochement between Washington and Tehran over the past year. It also comes as the U.S. and other world powers try to reach an agreement with Iran by late July to curb its nuclear program.

Gee, that’s all bound to end well. Another one of those laugh-or-cry dilemmas, looks like.

Meanwhile, supergenii like Lindsey Grahamnesty–whose fevered calls for support for the same marauding Sunni religio-fascists when they were upending Libya, Syria, and Egypt still reverberate in the memories of those actually paying attention at the time–have a plan too. Oddly enough for denizens of a nominal “opposition” party, it looks a lot like Barky’s pathetic plea for assistance from our Iranian “partners in peace,” with the added demand that “Maliki must go.”

While speaking on ‘Face the Nation,’ Graham criticized the leadership of Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s leadership – and said he must step down.

‘Maliki is a flawed, leader, Bob. He – he has to go. There’s no way that Maliki can bring this country back together,’ Graham said on the CBS program.

Graham said the US will ‘probably’ need help from the Sunni Iranians, whom he said wanted southern Iraq, but compared the partnership to working with Stalin during World War II.

Ahh, realpolitik from a confirmed fantasist. And do note that Maliki is the duly elected leader, freely and fairly installed by elections we underwrote with American blood and treasure. Remember all those purple fingers on berobed and hijabbed Iraqis? Just before we approved their spanking new sharia-law constitution? All that?

I’d guess the “Democracy, whiskey, sexy” guy has already fled the country. Or I’d hope so anyway, for his own sake.

Update! RCP squeezes out another hilariously apt headline all over moronic flack Krugman’s pointy head: “This Is the Obama We’ve Been Waiting For.” Well, some of us, yeah.

According to plan update!Mission decomplished.” Heh.

Sounds right to me update! The only real solution:

I know, I know, the recent ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) gains have everyone scared. No doubt, the Islamophilic administration will want to step in, and save Islam from itself once again. Let me advocate a course of action that will make sense to all sides in America; the left and right; from militarists to pacifists: Let the Muslims kill each other.

After the administration blundered on Benghazi, on the Arab Spring, and Syria, Heaven itself has afforded it one last chance to set itself right.  It is almost impossible for the administration to screw it up. All it has to do is nothing.

These mujahadeen are incapable of maintaining the weapons they already have. Weapons need upkeep. Weapons have to be oiled, cleaned, and upgraded. Upkeep interferes with raping, pillaging, and chopping off heads. Within two years, they will be slaughtering each other with scimitars and rusty AK-47s.

Iraq’s president, Maliki has asked for US assistance. Oh really?

Iraq insisted on setting up its country with an Islamic constitution; against our advice, and now he wants American help. For what? So Iraq’s Shia can continue to run arms to Syria and Hezb’allah in Lebanon?

If our State Department had men and women with intelligence instead of a love of the Qur’an, they would tell Maliki that our help would be predicated on four conditions:

1) Get rid of the Islamic constitution, and set up a secular state
2) Recognize Israel
3) Naturalize the Palestinians in your state
4) Break off ties with Iran

If Maliki says no, we say “Fine, have your Islamic state. We are not going to decide which flavor.”

He has no choice. No matter what he decides, the West wins. Should ISIS take over, Iran will be cut off from land routes to Syria’s Assad, and Lebanon’s Hezb’allah. How does this hurt the West?

Sure! Iraq may go down. The Sunni officers in the Iraqi army will not fight for a Shia majority Iraqi state. In fact, many Sunni officers are already joining ISIS. The Shia, who are mere foot soldiers, are not prepared to fight the better trained Sunni. So what?

When thieves fall out, honest men prosper. When Muslims fall out, civilization prospers. Take a hint from Scripture. God is telling us something.

From his lips to…uhh, never mind. He has lots more, all of it good, so I’ll just content myself with a hearty “amen” and leave it at that. Back to the golf course with ye, Barky, for the duration–you’ll do a lot less damage there than anywhere else.

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Recovery bummer

Well, it IS a recovery, for certain definitions of “recovery.” IE, the ones that basically amount to “a depression, with no end in sight.”

News has just crossed the wire this morning that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 1 percent during the first quarter of this year.  Many people will probably point to the brutal winter weather as a factor, though the Dept. of Commerce fingers “negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment,” and notes that consumer spending was actually up slightly during the quarter.

Does it get worse? Hey, We Are All Socialists Now; of course it does.

(Via Insty)

Failed to learn, doomed to repeat update! I knew Bill would have something to say about this one.

When ignorant people think of the Great Depression, they think of a period of several years in which the economy shrank every single quarter.  But in fact the economy only shrank in a minority of the quarters.  Most of the time it showed marginal increases.

The great depression itself was a phenomenon marked by a moribund and sometimes shrinking economy, very high unemployment, economic crises and failures (banks, businesses), a stock market crash and market uncertainty as well as a continuing deflation, and a socialist-style interventionist government that did far more harm than good.

Well, thank goodness things are COMPLETELY different this time around, eh?

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Better days

They’re behind us.

Still, Bryant said he plans to speak with the state General Assembly and state Sheriff’s Association and push for legislation requiring state and even federal highway officials to add instructions in driver’s manuals on what to do when motorists are stopped by police officers.

“We’re not making excuses in anything we’ve done,” Bryant said, “but if you’re out at night…and you’re out there by yourselves (on traffic stops), you’ve got to realize that these officers must act to protect their own safety. You do not exit your vehicle and go meet the police officer. You do not do that.”

I had the same immediate thought as Herschel:

I can remember when this was not standard procedure or regular protocol. I can recall a time when it was the expectation that you exit your car. I am not at all certain and it isn’t at all apparent to me that it’s safer for the LEO for you to sit in your car when stopped. But whether this is better than what was once the expectation, the elderly man probably remembered an earlier and simpler time when he was pulled for some minor traffic violation and was asked to exit the car – or did so as routine.

Putting something about this in the driver’s manual means next to nothing as far as I’m concerned. If LEOs and their departments can leave the bubble of their own jobs for just an instance and learn from someone else, as a professional engineer the first thing that crosses my mind for any design, piece of work, procedure or operation is “What does a failure mode and effects analysis tell us?”

To Sheriff Bryant, if it’s standard procedure that motorists stay in their vehicle, assume that it doesn’t happen. Always. Never assume that things go according to your own plans. No one cares about your plans or your training or even your expectations. If you haven’t prepared your officers for failure of motorists to follow your procedures because they don’t know them, you are failing your officers.

Ahh, but that would assume that they’re there to serve and protect us and not…what they seem to be there for these days, which is something entirely different. Bottom line:

Mature, thinking men and women have been replaced by “tactical operators” on police forces across America, using rules of engagement more liberal than what our Soldiers and Marines labored under in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the result that law enforcement is losing what Mike Vanderboegh calls the mandate of heaven. We have more and more laws, more and more procedures, more and more “blue walls” protecting officers, and less and less respect from the people who have a healthy fear of LEOs, wondering when some frightened cop is going to unload a weapon in their direction.

Or, as I’ve said many times, the Barney Fifes of the world are now running things, and there isn’t a Sheriff Taylor in sight to ride herd on them, calm them down, and mitigate their excesses.

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Sad day

Well, dammit.

As readers may have deduced from my absence at National Review Online and my termination of our joint representation, there have been a few differences between me and the rest of the team. The lesson of the last year is that you win a free-speech case not by adopting a don’t-rock-the-boat, keep-mum, narrow procedural posture but by fighting it in the open, in the bracing air and cleansing sunlight of truth and justice.

Bill says he won’t be visiting NRO anymore or sending any traffic their way, and I don’t blame him. As long as they still have Kevin Williamson, Charles Cooke, David French, Mike Walsh, and Andrew McCarthy, I’ll probably continue checking in and linking them. But given their overall tendency towards the Rah Rah GOP mindset and their ongoing insistence on a useless civility towards the sworn enemies of freedom and the Constitution–the Disloyal Opposition–who knows how long that will last. I’m not any more interested in “supporting a venue that has increasingly become just another mouthpiece for the Gentry GOP” than Bill is, I must say.

Either way, losing access to Steyn’s daily musings in a forum like the Corner, apart from his regular Saturday column, is a loss indeed. Here’s hoping PJ Media (or somebody) makes him an offer he won’t want to refuse.

Update! Jeff weighs in:

At any rate, time for that particular spot on the web to join up with FOX News and call themselves GOP TV. Or perhaps they can just try to “rebrand” conservatism as the very pragmatic, big government “center-rightism” that now stands athwart the very ideological and radical big government leftism running roughshod over our history, yelling “hey, can we slow this down a bit, fellas? People are starting to notice.”

Like I said: a sad day.

Eating the seed corn update! Comment from palaeomerus: “National Review: At least some of our archives are still pretty good!” Heh.

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Hoping for change

We can only pray Krauthammer’s right on this. Personally, I have to say I doubt it.

As the only socially transformational legislation in modern American history to be enacted on a straight party-line vote, Obamacare is wholly owned by the Democrats. Its unraveling would catastrophically undermine their underlying ideology of ever-expansive central government providing cradle-to-grave care for an ever-grateful citizenry.

For four years, this debate has been theoretical. Now it’s real. And for Democrats, it’s a disaster.

It begins with the bungled rollout. If Washington can’t even do the website — the literal portal to this brave new world — how does it propose to regulate the vast ecosystem of American medicine? Second, arrogance. Five million freely chosen, freely purchased, freely renewed health-care plans are summarily canceled. Why? Because they don’t meet some arbitrary standard set by the experts in Washington.

For all his news-conference gyrations about not deliberately deceiving people with his “if you like it” promise, the law Obama so triumphantly gave us allows you to keep your plan only if he likes it. That’s the very definition of paternalism.

Lastly, deception. The essence of the entitlement state is government giving away free stuff. Hence Obamacare would provide insurance for 30 million uninsured, while giving everybody tons of free medical services — without adding “one dime to our deficits,” promised Obama. This being inherently impossible, there had to be a catch. Now we know it: hidden subsidies. Toss millions of the insured off their plans and onto the Obamacare “exchanges” where they would be forced into more expensive insurance packed with coverage they don’t want and don’t need — so that the overcharge can be used to subsidize others.

The reaction to the incompetence, arrogance, and deception has ranged from ridicule to anger. But more is in jeopardy than just panicked congressional Democrats. This is the signature legislative achievement of the Obama presidency, the embodiment of his new entitlement-state liberalism. If Obamacare goes down, there will be little left of its underlying ideology.

If it does fail, the effect will be historic. Obamacare will take down with it more than Mary Landrieu and Co. It will discredit Obama’s new liberalism for years to come.

Ahh, but that assumes an intelligence and an ability to look clear-eyed at some of the starker realities of life that I simply can’t see on the part of people born, bred, weaned, and raised on Leftist twaddle. Like I said yesterday, the Superstate deliberately produces the very type of feeble, weak-minded citizenry it then uses as the justification for broadening its own power and intrusiveness: in Steyn’s classic formulation, the bigger the government, the smaller the people. And when nearly half the damned country still–STILL–trusts Obama to take care of them by making everything “fair”; prefers equality of outcome to equality of opportunity; and expects their masters to keep right on ladling out the “free” stuff as one of the perks of life in the welfare state–well, it becomes pretty obvious that too many of us have become very small indeed.

In the end, I think it’s going to take one hell of lot more of an upheaval than a single failed website or program–however massive–can provide to get them to finally understand that government simply can’t fix everything for them…and shouldn’t.

I’d dearly love to be proven wrong, I really would. But I still say: in ten or fifteen more years, as crippled, stilted, and craptacular as government health care has always turned out to be everywhere it’s been tried, most of us will marvel at any remaining resistance to the idea, and the notion of doing away with it–no matter how awful it really is–and going back to a market-based model will seem outlandish and bizarre.

Health care is being transformed by the Left into another basic “right”–a chimerical one with no grounding in reality, it’s true. But from the “right” to get married in a church to the “right” not to be offended by anything, ever, to the “right” to a “living wage,” just look how successful they’ve been with all their other attempts. Maybe this will turn out to be the bridge too far, to be the time when we finally turn aside from such patent nonsense. But I don’t think it’s the way to bet.

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Another Barrycade

Disgusting.

We just had a long chat with an un-named principal at the “Claude Moore Colonial Farms” in McLean, Virginia. They are the privately funded park ordered to shut down their non-profit, self sustaining operation by the Nation Park Service, even though they receive NO federal funds, for the duration of Obama’s government shutdown.

They are literally barricading themselves on the property and facing arrest by the NPS [so called] police. They could use some local help. Please share this post on your page, and especially if you know of anyone or group in their local area.

They are afraid to leave the property to get feed for the animals and supplies for fear of being denied to return because the whole staff remained on property when the NPS police approved only one person on property. BULLSHIT!!!

It certainly is. But ultimately, there’s only one way out of this, and it ain’t through rigged, wholly-corrupt “elections” pitting one pre-selected, warmed-over statist thief against another. It’s through confrontation, resolve, and defiance.

In other grim news, our good friend Karl Bock is battling cancer again, and needs some help. Whatever you may be able to do will be greatly appreciated by a good and deserving man and his family. Please consider hitting the link and helping out if you possibly can.

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Anarchy in the USA

Gawd he’p us all.

The United States of America (1787-2013) came to a swift and sudden end last night as the government shut down. The nation which had survived Pearl Harbor, the War of 1812 and Jimmy Carter ceased to exist.

The savage population, which had only been kept in line through a policy of rigorous gun
confiscations, food stamps and Green Energy programs unleashed its pent up rage in a spree of riots, looting and mass murder that had only previously been encountered in Somalia.

“The government shut down! We can do anything we like,” shouted Sam Hasbley of Grassley, Iowa, while tearing the tag off a mattress despite an explicit warning label forbidding such a dangerous course of action. “Tear yours off. The government is shut down. It can’t stop you.”

Eyewitnesses spoke of further horrors. On a quiet street in suburban Massachusetts, a man brought out a set of highly illegal lawn darts. In Maryland, there were allegations that an entire family had begun digging ditches to collect rainwater runoff.

With the fall of the government, citizen activists took it upon themselves to chronicle the culture of lawlessness. Men played Gibson guitars made of wood imported from India, but not finished by Indian workers. Women bought cold medicine without a photo ID. Children went hours without hearing lectures about the environment.

The victims were many. In Chuckolod County, Colorado, a transgender person was denied access to the Ladies Room. Frantic calls to the Justice Department were forwarded to an answering service in Depar, India, instead of Doneparre City, Indiana. In Brooklyn, New York, an overweight Senegalese woman was unable to obtain a sign language interpreter while waiting on line to collect her free Obamaphone. In Olegon Falls, Florida, the National Museum of Native American Yarn was forced to shut down depriving schoolchildren of an educational experience and three hours throwing bits of yarn at each other.

And there was worse to come.

Lord, I had no idea things had gotten so bad so quickly. What hath these GOP terrorists wrought? The photo of the misguided child brandishing a deadly, fully semi-automatic, military-style assault weapon gun with a massive, high capacity magazine clip at a harmless Muslim brown person ought to freeze your very marrow all by itself.

Read it all; it’s hilarious and depressing at the same time.

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Give it up, kids

None of this will stop them from climbing up on any convenient coffin and screaming at the rest of us.

According to law enforcement, Alexis used a shotgun in his rampage. This didn’t compute in some newsrooms. CNN referred to the weapon as an “AR-15 shotgun.” Maybe the new protocol should be that any gun used in commission of a crime automatically gets an “AR-15” prefix.

Other common panaceas would have had no effect, either. Alexis bought his shotgun from a duly licensed dealer, not at a gun show. He passed a federal background check with no problem. He didn’t have a high-capacity magazine. He reportedly got the handgun or handguns he may also have used in the attack after shooting a security officer.

So the Navy Yard rampage demonstrates the essential sterility of the gun control debate, and all the ill-informed nattering that the likes of Piers Morgan can muster won’t change that fact. It is true that James Holmes and Adam Lanza used AR-15s. But Seung-Hui Cho and Jared Loughner used 9-mm semi-automatic pistols. And Aaron Alexis used a shotgun.

The common theme is that they were all deeply disturbed young men whose acts of murder had a sickening aspect of utter senselessness. The Daily News got it backwards. Its headline about the Navy Yard should have read, “Different gun, same slay.”

Maybe, just maybe, this time we can have a real debate about mental illness. To this point, we’ve had a simplistically instrumental focus. It’s like seeing a mad man wearing a tinfoil hat to protect himself from radio waves and thinking, “That’s a shame, if only we could ban tinfoil.”

When Aaron Alexis called the Rhode Island police a month ago to tell them that enemies were harassing him with a microwave machine, it was clear that he was suffering paranoid delusions and needed help. But the authorities let him go his merry way, evidently to sink deeper into the madness he mistook for reality.

If we had the same callous disregard masquerading as compassionate nonjudgmentalism for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, they would be sleeping in our streets, eating from our trash cans and rotting in our jails. It needs to be easier to compel treatment for the mentally ill. That may or may not reduce random shootings, but it would reduce the total amount of suffering from an illness that wellness-obsessed America is happy to ignore.

There will be another Aaron Alexis. If we can’t predict what gun he’ll use, we already know his mental state.

True enough. But I can’t honestly say I trust the government to get “compel(ling) treatment for the mentally ill” right any more than I do on most any other topic you could name. In the end, it all comes down to the same thing: the inevitable failure of starry-eyed Utopian-liberal-fascist juveniles to remove the imperfections in this world and make it conform to their ideological wishes. No matter how much authority over us they claim, no matter how personal the political becomes at their behest, reality just goes right on thwarting them again and again. And that drives them even more nuts than they already were.

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In case any of you were wondering…

I haven’t had much to say about the Navy Yard shooting because I try to hold off commenting on this sort of thing until a couple of days have passed. Everything you hear in the beginning always turns out to be wrong anyway, but I will go this far: usually these mass shootings turn out to be categorizable either as Random Nutjob or NotAMuslimPleaseNotAMuslimOhGodNoIt’sAMuslim. This one looks to be shaping up as Random Nutjob, near as I can tell. Although since nearly all of my TV viewing these days is either NickJr or PBSKids, and they haven’t been providing saturation coverage, I could be missing something there.

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Well, THIS is fun

Yep, we’re screwed.

Spent rod pools in these presently united States are not protected by layers of concrete and steel armor, and they are cooled by normal grid power, backed up with a diesel generator. If something happens to the power to the cooling systems, these pools will start to boil within a few days, even if the reactor is not operating. Once the level of the water drops below the rod tops, the exposed rods will quickly overheat, melt and burn, and commence boiling the remaining water even faster. Once the water is gone, or mostly gone, the rods in the former pool will melt into a large red-hot mass of what nuclear engineers call ‘corium’, which will melt it’s way down into the earth below, furiously completing the fission process started in the reactor. Since there is no containment at all, the fission products in those rods will be spewed out into the atmosphere to be carried where ever wind and weather take them.

“But,” you object, “Such an interruption of electrical grid power has never happened! What could interrupt grid power?” Two things- one natural and one manmade, and in fact, both of these things have affected the power grid on a smaller scale during the 20th century. 

In 1859, Richard Carrington, a 33 year old British amateur astronomer, observed an enormous solar flare. The next day, the Earth suffered the most spectacular geomagnetic storm in modern history. Details here and here. Telegraph offices were set on fire by the electrical discharge from telegraph lines; the voltage induced in various metallic conductors shocked hundreds of people, and auroras were seen in daylight as far south as the Carribean. If such an event were to occur today, the power grid would be disabled for years, if not decades. Both power lines and power transformers could be affected.

The American power grid relies on about 400 very large transformers. None of them are made in North America, and the lead time between order and delivery is 4 to 5 years; it takes about 2 years to complete manufacture of one of these massive units, which weigh hundreds of tons. Assuming we could get credit to make the purchase.

Power lines themselves would be affected as well, and with the chaos that would accompany a wholesale grid power outage it could be months to years before power lines could be replaced, again, assuming that the resources and labor were available. 

But here is the thing; my understanding is that these presently united States have less than 60 days of food on hand, with only about 2 days supply within each metropolitan area. If we lost grid power, there would be no traffic controls, no fuel pumps, no lights o(r) television. Transportation of food would be difficult to impossible as civil order broke down. 

And those nuclear reactors that had been running would start running their diesel generator backups, burning their diesel fuel. In 48 to 72 hours, those generators would run out of fuel unless they had gotten fuel shipments, at which point the rod storage pools would start to boil and the operating reactors would start to melt down. Within less than a month, 90% or more of the population of these presently united states would be dying of starvation, with much of our productive farmland being poisoned by radiation from reactor fission byproducts.

But that isn’t the worst case.

And know what? It isn’t. It really isn’t.

Okay, guys, no more posting for a bit. I have to go sit in a rocking chair and rock furiously for a couple of hours, hugging myself and keening softly with my eyes darting wildly from side to side.

On the other hand, in the long run we’re all dead anyway. So we got that going for us, I guess.

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More tornadoes

Hey, remember back after 9/11/01, when people from all over flyover country sent all sorts of aid, comfort, prayers, and best wishes to their “friends” in the liberal-fascist paradise of New York, up to and including showing up in the city to volunteer to help in any way they could?

Nah, me neither. And neither does this smarmy prick.

(Via Insty)

The government they deserve update! I’m rooting for him to win too. So to speak.

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Promises, promises

One thing we do know for certain: any anti-Muslim film makers out there better watch their ass.

President Obama spoke yesterday, and again today, about the tragedy. His speeches were déjà vu all over again, echoing his comments last September after the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. In the last 24 hours, President Obama has twice vowed that the individual or “groups” responsible for killing at least three people and wounding 176 more would be apprehended.

“People shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts,”Obama said from the White House briefing room.“But make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this and we will find out who did this; we’ll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.”

We have heard this before, but not seen justice move to mete out retribution. We have had no resolution on Benghazi, nor seen justice move even on an internal administration fiasco like Fast and Furious. 

Retribution? We don’t do that in America anymore. One other thing we know for certain: if there’s any way they can find to even hint that somebody other than a Muslim was responsible, and there’s some way the Liar In Thief can use it to political advantage rather than have it splash back on him, then it WILL be on, and the culprit(s) WILL be “brought to justice”. So, y’know, Tea Partiers, you better watch your ass too.

On that note, is anybody else out there as sick and tired of the phrase “brought to justice” as I am? Especially coming from political hacks too damned calculating and cowardly to even come right out and say what’s been behind the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks for the last thirty or forty years, much less deal with it forcefully?

Prediction: this will be the subject of saturation coverage for about a week, and over and all but forgotten in about a month, maybe two. Now, watch this drive!

Update! Because RACIST!! No, really.

No, REALLY.

This has been most obvious in the context of recent mass shootings. In those awful episodes, a religious or ethnic minority group lacking such privilege would likely be collectively slandered and/or targeted with surveillance or profiling (or worse) if some of its individuals comprised most of the mass shooters. However, white male privilege means white men are not collectively denigrated/targeted for those shootings — even though most come at the hands of white dudes.

Likewise, in the context of terrorist attacks, such privilege means white non-Islamic terrorists are typically portrayed not as representative of whole groups or ideologies, but as “lone wolf” threats to be dealt with as isolated law enforcement matters. Meanwhile, non-white or developing-world terrorism suspects are often reflexively portrayed as representative of larger conspiracies, ideologies and religions that must be dealt with as systemic threats — the kind potentially requiring everything from law enforcement action to military operations to civil liberties legislation to foreign policy shifts.

“White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening or threatened with deportation,” writes author Tim Wise. “White privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Dublin. And if he’s an Italian-American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.”

These fucking idiots never give up. As always, there’s one little problem with their cute little pet theory: reality.

As in, a very, very partial list of Muslim terrorist attacks:

2013.04.16 (Mali Zai, Afghanistan) – Religion of Peace bombers take down eight members of the same family.
2013.04.16 (Peshawar, Pakistan) – Two children are among sixteen innocents torn to shreds by a Holy Warrior suicide bomber.
2013.04.15 (Fallujah, Iraq) – A Fedayeen suicide bomber takes out two innocents along a city street.
2013.04.15 (Habibiya, Iraq) – At least ten Iraqis at an auto mall are taken out by Mujahid car bombers.
2013.04.15 (Kamaliya, Iraq) – An al-Qaeda bombing near an elementary school leaves four dead.
2013.04.15 (Mali Zai, Afghanistan) – Seven civilians are pulled into pieces by Taliban bombers.

That’s just the rotating list at the top of the page; there are more. Lots more. 20,707 more, to be exact. At last count. That will change by the end of the day. Or by lunchtime, probably.

But yeah, nothing to see there, no pattern to be discerned or “systemic threat” to civilization generally to concern ourselves with. Islam-inspired carnage? Why, it simply pales in comparison to our REAL problem. Lookit: on the other, “privileged” side, we have: Tim McVeigh.

And that’s about it, unless you wanna throw ’em Eric Rudolph just for grins. Which is why the dumbass libs start screaming about him every time something like this happens: he’s all they have. But they don’t want anybody forgetting about him just the same. Islam? It’s the religion of peace, duuude. But what about Tim McVeigh? They’ll usually try to work in a “Xtians are just as bad” angle with him too, even though he wasn’t one. (NOTE: I should maybe mention that in this specific piece, Sirota doesn’t mention McVeigh. Instead, the example he uses to prove that Mighty Whitey is the true terrorist threat is: random nutjob and Left-leaning mass murderer Jared Loughner. No, really.)

Funny how they never mention the 30 bombings Bill Ayers’ merrily-marauding group of fun-loving mass murderers–true children of white privilege almost to a man–were responsible for. Nothing to see there either, I guess. Sorry to be unhelpful and all.

Idiots.

(Via Maet)

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE update! The eternal question:

So, right now I only have one question.

How much freedom are the fuckers going to try to take away this time?

The eternal answer:

Oh, good lord, Eric. You know the answer: As much as they can.

And at least half of America will cheerfully vote to let them do it.

Looks like it’s time for a national conversation on some common-sense pressure-cooker control.

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Looks like it’s time for a national conversation on common-sense knife control

If even one life is saved by banning edged weapons, it will be worth it. And no, no one is trying to take your steak or chef’s knife away. Just deadly, military-style assault knives. I have only the greatest respect for cooking. Hell, I’ve owned and used knives myself all my life. But SOMETHING MUST BE DONE, even if it’s futile, pointless, and doesn’t in any way address the problem at hand. Especially so, in fact. I think background checks that close the Williams-Sonoma loophole would be a great place to start.

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Metastasize me

I’m just amazed the NYT would even consider running this.

As the federal government and its central-bank sidekick, the Fed, have groped for one goal after another — smoothing out the business cycle, minimizing inflation and unemployment at the same time, rolling out a giant social insurance blanket, promoting homeownership, subsidizing medical care, propping up old industries (agriculture, automobiles) and fostering new ones (“clean” energy, biotechnology) and, above all, bailing out Wall Street — they have now succumbed to overload, overreach and outside capture by powerful interests. The modern Keynesian state is broke, paralyzed and mired in empty ritual incantations about stimulating “demand,” even as it fosters a mutant crony capitalism that periodically lavishes the top 1 percent with speculative windfalls.

While the Fed fiddles, Congress burns. Self-titled fiscal hawks like Paul D. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, are terrified of telling the truth: that the 10-year deficit is actually $15 trillion to $20 trillion, far larger than the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of $7 trillion. Its latest forecast, which imagines 16.4 million new jobs in the next decade, compared with only 2.5 million in the last 10 years, is only one of the more extreme examples of Washington’s delusions.

Without any changes, over the next decade or so, the gross federal debt, now nearly $17 trillion, will hurtle toward $30 trillion and soar to 150 percent of gross domestic product from around 105 percent today. Since our constitutional stasis rules out any prospect of a “grand bargain,” the nation’s fiscal collapse will play out incrementally, like a Greek/Cypriot tragedy, in carefully choreographed crises over debt ceilings, continuing resolutions and temporary budgetary patches.

THE state-wreck ahead is a far cry from the “Great Moderation” proclaimed in 2004 by Mr. Bernanke, who predicted that prosperity would be everlasting because the Fed had tamed the business cycle and, as late as March 2007, testified that the impact of the subprime meltdown “seems likely to be contained.” Instead of moderation, what’s at hand is a Great Deformation, arising from a rogue central bank that has abetted the Wall Street casino, crucified savers on a cross of zero interest rates and fueled a global commodity bubble that erodes Main Street living standards through rising food and energy prices — a form of inflation that the Fed fecklessly disregards in calculating inflation.

These policies have brought America to an end-stage metastasis. The way out would be so radical it can’t happen. It would necessitate a sweeping divorce of the state and the market economy. It would require a renunciation of crony capitalism and its first cousin: Keynesian economics in all its forms. The state would need to get out of the business of imperial hubris, economic uplift and social insurance and shift its focus to managing and financing an effective, affordable, means-tested safety net.

All this would require drastic deflation of the realm of politics and the abolition of incumbency itself, because the machinery of the state and the machinery of re-election have become conterminous. Prying them apart would entail sweeping constitutional surgery: amendments to give the president and members of Congress a single six-year term, with no re-election; providing 100 percent public financing for candidates; strictly limiting the duration of campaigns (say, to eight weeks); and prohibiting, for life, lobbying by anyone who has been on a legislative or executive payroll. It would also require overturning Citizens United and mandating that Congress pass a balanced budget, or face an automatic sequester of spending.

Agree with him on every point or not, Stockman is perfectly correct about at least one thing: none of those remedies stand the remotest chance of ever happening. The very idea of the almighty State and the feckless ruling class who both run and leech off it willingly divesting themselves of power–and the opportunity for corruption it represents–is no more than a risible, fantastical dream.

(Via Insty)

Update! Very much related: We’ve disappointed our God-Emperor again, and now we’re going to pay for it with the imposition of yet another “stimulus” scam.

We still have all kinds of deferred maintenance. We still have too many ports that aren’t equipped for today’s world commerce. We’ve still got too many rail lines that are too slow and clogged up. We’ve still got too many roads that are in disrepair, too many bridges that aren’t safe,” said the president.

“We don’t have to accept that for America. We can do better. We can build better. And in a time of tight budgets, we’ve got to do it in a way that makes sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

Izzat so, jug-ears? Anybody remember the first “stimulus” scam, which was supposed to provide federal dollars for “shovel-ready jobs” repairing the same infrastructure our lying pretend pResident lectures us about in the quote above? From Stockman’s article:

Less than 5 percent of the $800 billion Obama stimulus went to the truly needy for food stamps, earned-income tax credits and other forms of poverty relief. The preponderant share ended up in money dumps to state and local governments, pork-barrel infrastructure projects, business tax loopholes and indiscriminate middle-class tax cuts. The Democratic Keynesians, as intellectually bankrupt as their Republican counterparts (though less hypocritical), had no solution beyond handing out borrowed money to consumers, hoping they would buy a lawn mower, a flat-screen TV or, at least, dinner at Red Lobster.

But don’t worry, the Lyin’ King will get it right this time. Back to Hayward:

And what about the past four years makes anyone think this Administration is capable of ensuring that “taxpayer dollars are spent wisely?”

What in the world is Obama talking about when he speaks of a “time of tight budgets?” This government is spending over three and a half trillion dollars a year, and Obama anticipates spending a trillion dollars above revenue indefinitely, save for a couple of years when the deficit might get down to $800 billion or so. His Party hasn’t passed a budget in four years, and the President himself is months past the legal deadline for submitting his own proposal. What tight budgets? What budgets?

A White House spokesman added that “we need to make smart, targeted investments to create jobs and boost our economy.” You know who should be making those smart, targeted investments? Investors.

Well, sure, that’s all well and good, but how is that gonna help Ogabe and his cronies hold onto and expand their power?

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CRISIS IN AMERICA Day Two: The Suffering

The sequester disaster is into its second day now, and somehow I find that I’m still alive. But the horrific effects of the 2 percent reduction in the rate of growth of federal spending are starting to show through the mask of bravery and old British style stiff-upper-lip, we’ll-get-through-it-somehow raw courage that our noble pResident has donned to help steer a beleaguered, nearly-destroyed nation through its dreadful nightmare:

Day One, A.S., in what was once the capital city of a mighty empire. The Provisional Authority has set up Sequestervilles along the Mall, a labyrinth of clapboard and cardboard and canvas that will swallow you up if you aren’t careful.

The smells.

At night, the sounds.

Some of us from NRO were assigned to a cluster of hovels and lean-tos that has come to be called Ezra’s Alley. Others of us are acres away, on a strip they call Boehner’s Run. Still others are unaccounted for.

There is word of potable water and even some fuel on the other side of the river. But all of the crossings are controlled by the warlords of Alexandria and their confederates. From the tales told of their depravity, you’d rather drown than be taken alive.

We may yet have to chance it. Another journalist — was I a journalist? Am I one now? — another journalist, he was hit in the leg during the disturbances in Foggy Bottom and the wound will not close.

I will not allow myself the luxury of hope. This is all that is real now. They tore a piece of the world off and we survivors are forsaken to wander the 98.5 percent of it that’s left.

I pray you are safe and will send word when next I can.

I hope you all are hanging in there as well. Relief can’t be long in coming; our beloved and benevolent federal government has never failed us before, has it?

Update! Steyn shows his stalwart dedication by keeping his nose to the grindstone and continuing to soldier on with his weekly column. The man is truly a marvel and an inspiration to us all, to keep right on working this way in these post-apocalyptic conditions.

Say what you like about those Mayan guys, but they only schedule an apocalypse once every 5,126 years. Only Washington would try to pull it off every six weeks. If I understand correctly, by the time you read this, the planes will be dropping from the skies; the drip-feeds in every emergency room will be dry; every creature on the endangered species list will have broken free from our pristine federally manned national parks to be left for roadkill in the potholed asphalt of America’s crumbling interstates; you’ll turn on your bathroom faucet only to find the town reservoir choked with fecal coliform; the Ebola virus will be rampant across Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, and other swing states, where it will nevertheless enjoy higher approval ratings than Marco Rubio and every other prospective GOP nominee. The sequester supposedly cuts $44 billion from the federal budget — or from the rate of growth of the federal budget. Whatever. $44 billion is about what the United States government borrows every nine days, so it’s not a lot. But it’s apparently responsible for everything that matters in American life.

That being so, maybe it would be easier to reinstate this critical $44 billion and cut the other $3.8 trillion, which is apparently responsible for nothing other than Harry Reid’s beloved federally funded cowboy-poetry festival and the cost of the dress uniforms for the military detachment accompanying the first lady at her Oscars appearance. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, warned of “over 170 million jobs that could be lost” thanks to the sequester. There are only 135 million jobs in America, but the sequester gods are so powerful they can eliminate every job in Canada, Britain, and Germany too. Why, because of this weekend’s looming Mayan Apocalypse, President Obama declined to deploy a carrier to the Persian Gulf, concerned that it might be left on the other side of the planet completely sequestered with no fuel to limp back home and insufficient stores in the mess-hall larder to cook up federally compliant slop. So, when the mullahs go nuclear and drop the big one on Tel Aviv, it will be the fault of the Republicans for failing to agree to a prudent, balanced, fiscally responsible plan — like the Senate’s latest deficit-reduction proposal, which, as is traditional, increases the deficit (by $7 billion).

It’s not just the U.S. fleet and air-traffic control and clean water that have been swept into the garbage can of history by Sequestageddon, but even the most venerable Beltway colossus. In time the Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble, but surely Bob Woodward is here to stay — or so we thought until he ventured some very mild criticism of the president’s negotiating technique, which appears to be a cross between a suicide-bomber and Cleavon Little taking himself hostage in Blazing Saddles.

Okay, that right there is truly hilarious, guys. It may be difficult to perceive the humor through your tears, but I implore you to try. Humor has a healing power all its own in times of devastation and despair, you know.

Minorities, poor hardest hit update! As pathetic as you’d expect, from the very place you’d expect. This, too, is absolutely hilarious–just unintentionally so.

House Republicans were elated this week when their leader, John Boehner, made it clear that deep, automatic spending cuts would begin as scheduled on Friday. Incredibly, some consider the decision a victory.

As the cuts take effect, they will inflict widespread hardship. But some Americans will be hurt more than others, and the people who will be hurt the most are those who are already struggling. In the months ahead, an estimated 3.8 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months face a cut in federal jobless benefits of nearly 11 percent — or about $32 a week — all from the recent average weekly benefit of $292. And an estimated 600,000 low-income women and toddlers will be turned away from the federal nutrition program for women, infants and children, known as WIC.

It should not be this way. Deficit reduction should not occur on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. At the insistence of Democrats, most major programs that help the needy have been exempted from the cuts, including food stamps and Medicaid. Democrats also won exemptions for beneficiaries of programs that are not explicitly aimed at low-income Americans but that are crucial to keeping many retirees out of poverty or near-poverty, notably veterans’ pensions, Social Security and Medicare. Still, smaller, vital programs will fall under the knife, in part because they are in spending categories deemed dispensable under the unthinking rules for across-the-board cuts.

Why are the Republicans are so happy when they should be ashamed?

There’s no point in bothering with dissecting this tripe; just sit back and enjoy the screeching hysteria and tears. They are absolutely correct about it being “incredible” that “some” consider this a victory, though–but again, not in the way they think.

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SOMETHING MUST BE DONE

We must do whatever it takes to end this senseless violence. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

Two California high school students severed their fingers Monday in a game of tug-of-war during Spirit Week, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

The students were only identified as a female senior soccer player and a male football player, the report said. They attended El Monte Union High School, which is East of Los Angeles.

The students were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where surgeons tried to re-attach the fingers, the report said. It is unclear how many fingers were severed. KTLA reported that each student lost at least one finger.

I think it’s well past time that we begin a serious national conversation on some common-sense legislation to control these deadly assault ropes. What with advances in modern rope-making technology, increased reliance on space-age polymers, and higher tensile strength than the Founders could have possibly envisioned with their old hemp braids, there is simply no reason for these military-style ropes to be in civilian hands.

Dangerous, high-risk sports such as tug of war should be left exclusively to trained professionals. A national rope-registration database, supported by universal background checks and a complete ban on assault ropes, is a reasonable first step. If even one child’s manual dexterity is saved, it will be well worth any small inconvenience to law-abiding rope enthusiasts.

Okay, admit it, you were just waiting for somebody to say it.

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Massacring America

Saturday Steyn:

For those untouched by death this Christmas, someone else’s bewildering, shattering turn of fate ought to occasion a little modesty and circumspection. Instead, even by its usual execrable standards, the public discourse post-Newtown has been stupid and contemptible. The Left now seizes on every atrocity as a cudgel to beat whatever happens to be the Right’s current hottest brand: Tucson, Ariz., was something to do with Sarah Palin’s use of metaphor and other common literary devices — or “toxic rhetoric,” as Paul Krugman put it; Aurora, Colo., was something to do with the Tea Party, according to Brian Ross of ABC News. Since the humiliations of November, the Right no longer has any hot brands, so this time round the biens pensants have fallen back on “gun culture.” Dimwit hacks bandy terms like “assault weapon,” “assault rifle,” “semiautomatic,” and “automatic weapon” in endlessly interchangeable but ever more terrifying accumulations of high-tech state-of-the-art killing power. As the comedian Andy Borowitz tweeted, “When the 2nd Amendment was written the most lethal gun available was the musket.”

Actually, the semiautomatic is a 19th-century technology, first produced in 1885. That’s just under half a century after the death of Madison, the Second Amendment’s author, and rather nearer to the Founding Fathers’ time than our own. And the Founders were under fewer illusions about the fragility of society than Hollywood funny men: On July 25,1764, four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days.

Nor am I persuaded by the Right’s emphasis on preemptive mental-health care.

Nor am I; it’s historically been a far too convenient tool for tyrannical, totalitarian governments like our own to use in dealing with its internal dissenters. There are much bigger things to consider anyway:

It would not be imprudent to expect that an ever broker America, with more divorce, fewer fathers, the abolition of almost all social restraints, and a revoltingly desensitized culture, will produce more young men who fall through the cracks. But, in the face of murder as extraordinarily wicked as that of Newtown, we should know enough to pause before reaching for our usual tired tropes. So I will save my own personal theories, no doubt as ignorant and irrelevant as everybody else’s, until after Christmas — except to note that the media’s stampede for meaning in massacre this last week overlooks the obvious: that the central meaning of these acts is that they are without meaning. Herod and the Pennsylvania Indians murdered children in pursuit of crude political goals; the infanticidal maniac of Sandy Hook was merely conscripting grade-school extras for a hollow act of public suicide. Like most mass shootings, his was an exercise in hyper-narcissism — 19th-century technology in the service of a very contemporary sensibility.

In a nation of blind, amoral sheep, the wild-eyed loon is king.

Update! Jazz Shaw talks some more sense:

With all due respect to the NRA and their representatives, attempting to ward off criticism of guns by placing the blame on something else is precisely how we’re going going to lose this argument. This is yet another case of Americans riding out like Arthur and his knights seeking some tool, some toy, some talisman… some Unholy Grail to blame. And if we can only find it and brandish it before the citizenry, we can proclaim, “Here it is! We have found the source of ultimate evil! And we shall have Congress destroy it and then peace shall reign across the land!”

This way lies folly. Children can certainly be influenced by their early experiences, and each will react to such stimuli in their own way. But as with all things, humans are generally a lot more resilient than some would imagine. Let us stipulate for the moment that several of the mass shooters since the late nineties – no… let’s say all of the shooters – were players of video games with violent themes. How many were there? A dozen? Let’s say one hundred. How many copies of those video games were sold? Just for a starting hint, more than eleven million copies of the third edition of Grand Theft Auto alone.

If you were researching the cause of a horrible disease which cropped up among one hundred people, and nearly all of them ate mushrooms – along with eleven million other people who also ate the mushrooms and demonstrated no symptoms – would you conclude that you’d found the cause? Or might you look further? This is insanity.

Well, we’ve long known that “liberalism” is a mental disorder. Combined with their marrow-deep penchant for banning anything and everything they don’t like or disagree with, it can lead us into some pretty odd places, and apparently even exert a malign influence on normally right-thinking people like LaPierre. Looks to me like if we’re going to be banning anything, “liberalism” would be a fine place to start. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

Murthering great Weasel update! Careful what questions you ask there, Miz W.

As a nodding aside to current events, of course violent games are dangerous for potentially murderous crazy people. And violent movies. And music. And the next-door neighbor’s barking dog. But particularly games. They’re like dress rehearsals for atrocity. But we don’t really want to live in a world where everyone’s entertainment is tailored for the one-in-a-hundred-million, undescended violent nutcase, do we?

All too many of us all too clearly do. We established that depressingly enough last November.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution



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