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Thursday, 14 May 2015
Cry Us a River, Michelle
Topic: Decline of the West

So there was Michelle Obama, giving the commencement address at Tuskegee University last weekend, complaining about the travails she’s endured as a black woman in America. This from someone who in fact has led a life of privilege—check her resume!—leading straight to the White House. But even that turned out to be a downer, exacting an “emotional toll” on our long-suffering First Lady.

Now let me be fair. I don’t doubt for a moment that life in the White House can be stressful for a president’s spouse. No doubt Laura Bush would agree. It must have been hard for her to see her husband excoriated as a fascist, a war criminal, a moron, a chimpanzee. But there’s this difference between Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Obama: the former didn’t air her discontents in public.

We must make allowances for Michelle Obama, however. She grew up in a milieu that celebrates one status above all: that of victim. If you can present yourself as a victim of racism, sexism, homophobia, rape, AIDS, cancer, etc. and so on and so forth, you’re golden. For with victim’s status comes virtue: racism, sexism, homophobia, rape, AIDS, cancer, etc. and so on and so forth compensate for the pain they cause by bestowing a saintly halo on their targets and victims. Speaking at Tuskegee, Mrs. Obama was clearly seeking canonization, telling the graduates that she had experienced the pain of racism and sexism. And just in case the Class of 2015 was feeling smug, she added that the same horrors awaited them.

Yes, sure, probably Michelle Obama has encountered racism and sexism at some point in her life. So perhaps I’m being callous by observing that there was something small and unseemly about her performance at Tuskegee. “No class,” John F. Kennedy remarked of Richard M. Nixon. And “no class” I thought as I read the transcript of her commencement address. It ill behooves a person in her privileged position to strike a victim’s pose with sobs like this: “But, as potentially the first African-American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others. Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating? Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?”


None of the above, Michelle. You merely turned out to be too much of a whiner.

Posted by tmg110 at 12:02 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:04 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Free Trade Free-for-All
Topic: Liberal Fascism

One of the choicest morsels of conventional wisdom in the area of US politics is that Republicans are fractious, disunited, consumed in fratricidal war while on the other side Democrats are cheerily united. This, indeed, is the template into which the 2016 election has already been fitted. 

As is so often the case, however, the CW fails to reflect reality. While it’s true that there are bones of contention among Republicans, the situation is if anything worse on the other side, as the current dispute over free trade demonstrates. From a conservative perspective it’s sweet to see President B.H. Obama and Senator E. Warren flinging brickbats at one another. The former has characterized as “baseless” the latter’s claim that the impending agreement on presidential fast-track trade promotion authority (TPA) is a bad deal for American workers—a considerable zinger. But while I might be enjoying this, Hillary Clinton certainly isn’t. Free trade—the whole notion of globalization—is anathema to key factions of the Democratic base. Unions loathe free trade because it introduces competition into labor markets. Progressives hate it because, you know, it’s all about wicked, greedy corporations, big banks, etc.


Big Labor’s objection, if parochial and selfish, is at least logical. The objections of progressives, however, are driven by ideology, which is to say that they’re emotional. It may seem odd that people who pride themselves on thinking globally abhor the concept of an interconnected global economy.  But free trade strikes at the root of the progressive project: control. The progressive power fantasy, a large and activist bureaucratic/administrative/welfare state lording it over a tightly regulated economy and a mass of citizen-clients, demands both stability and autarky. Simply put, the dynamism and interconnectedness of free markets and free trade give progressives a headache. They’ll tell you, of course, that they’re all for free trade as long as it’s “fair trade.” But wouldn’t you know it? Fair trade just happens to demand rules, regulations, limitations, bureaucratic supervision…


So far HRC had gotten by as a presidential candidate by saying absolutely nothing of substance about anything. (Her pledge to “topple the one percent” had all the substance of Marshmallow Fluff.) But as the TPA debate heats up, with the Community Organizer-in-Chief lambasting his own party for a change, her position will become more and more…delicate. Progressives (who already distrust her) and Big Labor will press HRC to take a stand against free trade. i.e. they’ll be pressing her to waltz over to the left. As we know the Pants-Suited One isn’t exactly light on her feet so that should be fun to watch! Oh, and speaking of fratricidal war perhaps the Democratic crackup over free trade will tempt Senator Warren to throw her Native American headdress into the ring for 2016. If Obama goes on disrespecting the Princess Pocahontas of Progressivism she just might do it out of spite!

Posted by tmg110 at 9:02 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 May 2015 9:04 AM EDT
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Friday, 8 May 2015
No Left Turn
Topic: Politics & Elections


Political disasters can be fun to observe from a distance and the debacle that befell the British Labour Party yesterday was entertaining in the extreme. 


The 2015 General Election stood the conventional wisdom on its head. The polls pointed to a stalemate, with neither major party commanding a majority and prospects for a coalition government uncertain at best. There was much chatter about the possibility of a deal between the Labour Party and the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and this, ironically, may have played a role in the ultimate outcome (see below). Instead, the Tories swept to victory with an outright majority, winning 329 seats. Prime Minister David Cameron can now discard his erstwhile coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats—who, incidentally, suffered a debacle of their own, losing 48 of their 56 seats.


But the big loser was the Labour Party which was wiped out in Scotland, losing all but one of its seats there to the SNP. And this disaster will echo down the years, for it represents a fundamental revision of the calculus of British politics. Every Labour majority since 1945 has been built on a foundation of some 40-50 Scottish seats and without them a Labour majority is hard to envision. England has always been more conservative than Scotland, i.e. more congenial to the Tories, and to make matters worse for Labour in England the SNP and Scottish nationalism are widely detested. The prospect of a Labour-SNP coalition government was exceedingly odious to many voters south of the Border and this undoubtedly hurt Labour in England. However that may be, with the loss of its position in Scotland the Labour Party faces a long stretch in the political wilderness.


After the triumphant Tories the SNP is the election’s second big winner—supposedly. Yesterday’s electoral outcome is said to have revived both the party and the cause of Scottish nationalism after the disappointment of last year’s referendum on independence. Well, maybe so, but it’s hard to see what leverage the SNP now possesses in Whitehall, with a Conservative government in power that has no need of the SNP’s support. The party may agitate for another independence referendum but David Cameron is unlikely to bow to any such demand. It would cause outrage in England and one must ask why the Tories would risk alienating their base to please Scottish nationalists. So the Cross of St. Andrew may wave on high and the bagpipes may wail but Scotland won’t be leaving the Union any time soon.


Finally there’s the populist, anti-immigration, anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). It actually came in third behind the Tories and Labour in terms of the popular vote but thanks to the peculiarities of the British electoral system this translated into only one parliamentary seat. Still, David Cameron will not be free to ignore the current of public opinion that the UKIP represents. He has promised to hold a national referendum on British membership in the European Union and is no doubt well aware of the political perils of breaking that promise.


So there you have it: Tories 1, Conventional Wisdom 0. American political pundits and prognosticators—take note!

Posted by tmg110 at 10:15 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 8 May 2015 10:18 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Don't Be Beastly to Barry!
Topic: Liberal Fascism


One of the lamer laments of the Left is its claim that poor Barack Obama has been subjected to a level of criticism, opposition and hatred unprecedented in the annals of American politics.




When one recalls the respect—reverence, even!—with which Obama’s candidacy was received, the hosannas that greeted his election, the heady predictions of greatness that garlanded his inauguration, the eager excuse-making with which every gaffe, goof and failure has been minimized or dismissed, well, this particular complaint suffers from a lack of credibility.


Nor does history bear it out. Even before he became the quasi-fascist Chimpy McBushitler, George W. Bush was bitterly reviled in the crudest terms by liberals, progressives and lefties. So was his father and so was Ronald Reagan. Indeed, the scorn and hatred directed against Reagan was relentless, vicious and vile. (No doubt the fact that it never seemed to bother RWR in the slightest increased his enemies’ fury.) Compared with them—compared, even with Bill Clinton—Barack Obama has had it easy.


If he appears that he comes in for a lot of criticism, that’s only because the President has provided his opponents with plenty to criticize. Nor has he helped himself by the ill-mannered petulance with which he receives even the mildest suggestion that maybe, just maybe, he might have made a mistake. Right from the beginning Obama treated his opponents with scorn. Now, finally, he’s being paid back in the same coin. And the increasingly pointed criticisms being voiced by Republicans and conservatives clearly get under Obama's thin skin.


As the chorus of criticism swells, the counterblasts of the presidential claque grow ever more hysterical. Sobs, wails and the sound of rending garments fill the air. Charges of racism fly from left to right—because you know, why else would anybody criticize He of the Perfect Trouser Creases? This would all be very amusing were it not accompanied by the demolition of US foreign policy, the US economy and the Constitution of the United States by one of the most irresponsible, feckless administrations in American political history.


When Barack Obama’s finally gone I won’t miss him much. But I will miss him a little, because his tenure in office has demonstrated with crystal clarity the depths of intellectual and moral squalor to which liberalism/progressivism/the Left have sunk.

Posted by tmg110 at 9:48 AM EDT
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Thursday, 16 April 2015
Why Hillary? Why Indeed...?
Topic: Politics & Elections


Hillary R. Clinton is rich, entitled, connected, pampered, coddled—and the dauntless defender and champion of “everyday Americans.” Such was the embroidery around her announcement that, by gosh, she’s running for president!


Let’s get one minor detail out of the way first. Just what the hell is an “everyday American”? Is that different from a “special-occasions American” or a “weekends-only American”? The Clinton campaign’s chosen appellation for the American people is not only gibberish but condescending. One envisions Hillary reaching down from on high to pat Mr. & Ms. Everyday American on the head while handing them their government checks.


But that’s a minor gaffe compared with Hillary’s denunciations of CEO pay and income inequality. Of all the issues she might have raised on the day of her campaign launch, none could have struck more jarring a note. This is a woman who receives $300,000 per speech—considerably in excess of the compensation of the average CEO, 75% of whom get $270,000 or less for an entire year of work. And this is not to mention other sources of Clinton income, such as the multimillion-dollar advance she received for her recent autobiography, Hard Choices. And a woman with a financial profile like that has some nerve bloviating about income inequality.


It’s not only laughable but puzzling that Clinton would take this approach. Besides her personal wealth there’s the sticky issue of the Clinton Foundation’s questionable financial practices. In view of all this, talking about lavish CEO pay and the scourge of income inequality invites a devastating counterblast. But perhaps Clinton is so convinced of her inevitability that she just doesn’t care.


Or it may be that she has no reason for running besides personal ambition. In the wake of the Bush-Obama years there is an obvious line to take with the American people: competence, pragmatism, moderation, seriousness. The voters have good reason to think that the United States federal government has become dysfunctional and above all they want someone who can, so to speak, refunctionalize it and get things moving again. Who would care about the scourge of income inequality or the compensation of CEOs if the economy was growing and generating decent jobs? When people feel that they’re doing all right and have a chance of getting ahead, resentment over inequality tends to fade away. And there’s a whole laundry list of additional issues—immigration, education, social policy—on which to base a grown-up campaign for the presidency. Chris Christie may be a GOP long shot but compare his recent comments with Clinton’s campaign launch. The other day Christie not only touched by gripped the lethal third rail of American politics: Social Security. He said that the current system is not only unsustainable but a mechanism by which the young are plundered for the benefit of the old. He proposed raising the retirement age and means-testing the program. You may agree or disagree with him on the substance of his analysis and proposals but at least he tackled a real issue.


Maybe Clinton is gearing up for such a campaign but so far it certainly doesn’t look that way. It looks, rather as if she’s playing rope-a-dope, protecting her lead, relying on the star-struck mainstream media and her loyal claque to deflect criticisms and zingers. That’s fine as far as it goes but it raises a trenchant question that’s already being asked: Why Hillary? What are her qualifications for the presidency? If she’s elected president just what will she do? I doubt that the fairy-dust approach employed by the Obama campaign in 2008 will work for Clinton. Say what you will about him as president but Barack Obama was a very effective candidate, adept at the deployment of smoke and mirrors. Hillary Clinton is a lousy candidate—tin-eared, gaffe prone, glaringly inauthentic. But a lousy candidate with a good campaign organization and a good platform can win. On the evidence so far, the Pants-Suited One possesses neither.

Posted by tmg110 at 9:19 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 16 April 2015 9:25 AM EDT
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Monday, 13 April 2015
Defending the Indefensible
Topic: Liberal Fascism


As a perusal of answers to relevant question on Quora will make clear, the abject collapse of US foreign policy on the Obama Administration’s watch has only fueled Bush Derangement Syndrome. In face of the obvious fact that President Obama is a light-minded self-deceiver whose view of the world is seriously at odds with reality his supporters comfort themselves with the cry that Bush was worse!


Admittedly the Bush Administration made some serious errors in its time but the charges leveled against the former president and his team soon part company with reality, rising to a pitch of ungoverned hysteria. We are told for example that thanks to the 9/11 attacks America enjoyed “the good will of the world,” a precious commodity that the oafish Bush and his sinister neocon puppet masters recklessly squandered. Exactly what this “good will” consisted of and how it was supposed to have enhanced the country’s security is never specified. Anyhow, the bash-Bush litany is boringly familiar and it would be pointless to rehash it here.


What is worth noting is a fact that’s amusing to contemplate if, like me, you’re not exactly a fan of Barack Obama. Defending the Community Organizer-in-Chief by arguing that, well, he’s not as bad as Chimpy McBushitler is not exactly a rave review. One sees, though, why it’s the Obama claque’s default argument: Changing the subject to Bush diverts attention from Obama’s almost perfect record of failure.


Who was it, I wonder, who came up with the idea of the relations with Russia reset button that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carried with her to Russia in the early days of the Obama Administration? I’m certain that she rues the day she agreed to present it to her Russian opposite number. Barry and Hillary boasted to all who would listen that after the horrors of the Bush years they would repair relations with Russia and usher in a new era of cooperation.


 Tell that to the Ukrainians.


The stupid Russian reset button was an early indicator of the adolescent, frivolous attitude that Barack Obama brought to the management of US foreign policy. He believed—and his inner circle encouraged him in that belief—that the force of his personality and the sound of his voice would change the world, ending wars, converting enemies into friends, persuading the lion to lie down with the lamb. That belief has proved tenacious. The desperation with which Obama pursues détente with Iran despite a barrage of slights, jeers, insults, mockery and contempt from the ayatollahs is sufficient proof of the President’s invincible resistance to reality.


It’s this dismal spectacle that the members of Obama’s fan club cannot abide, hence their endless harping on the supposedly atrocious Bush. It’s sad and pathetic besides being an unflattering commentary on the sad decline of the secular messiah of 2008-09.

Posted by tmg110 at 4:57 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 13 April 2015 4:59 PM EDT
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Thursday, 9 April 2015
A Sad Decline
Topic: The Media

Once upon a time I used to read the New Republic but that was when it was a journal of thoughtful liberal opinion. Bit by bit, however, the magazine retreated toward the fever swamps where dwells the Flying Monkey Left. Bush Derangement Syndrome overcame the New Republic in the first decade of this century and when it published an article by Jonathan Chait titled “Why I Hate George W. Bush,” well, that was it for me. Finally last year the magazine simply imploded and now it’s just a sad little left-wing monthly with a website. And if this article by Naomi Shavin is anything to go by, the New Republic has yet to plumb the depths of idiocy and frivolity. But it’s trying.


Ms. Shavin’s lame little screed, “Sarah Palin 2.0,” sets forth the thesis that former Hewitt Packard CEO and unsuccessful GOP Senate candidate and possible 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Carley Fiorina is the Republican Party’s new “Queen Bee.” This, she reminds us, was the moniker slapped on Palin by Maureen Down in 2008. So Shavin starts by borrowing a concept from someone else and adapting it to her own needs. The ensuing paragraphs seek to show how Palin and Fiorina are more or less the same person, because, you see:


Fiorina does have some obvious similarities to the former vice-presidential candidate. Both favor words like “outsider” and “tough,” and allow themselves to be cast as a woman who does it all: They’re breadwinner moms with business savvy and enough charisma to make their raw ambition palatable. Similarly, both women’s careers have been marred by major professional failures: Fiorina’s firing from Hewlett-Packard and Palin’s “bridge to nowhere” (which, ironically, Fiorina initially defended).


Hmmm, so Palin and Fiorina have used some of the same words. They both “allow themselves to be cast as a woman who does it all”—which seems an odd way of putting it. Who’s doing the casting? They’re both ambitious working women. They’ve both have professional failures. (For the record, Shavin’s characterization of the Gravina Island Bridge fiasco as a major Palin failure is misleading to put it mildly. As a candidate she voiced support for the project—which was cooked up by Alaska’s congressional delegation—but as governor she had second thoughts and pulled state funding.) Oh, and they’ve both attacked Hillary Clinton.


Not much meat on that bone!


Shavin scarcely bothers to examine the two women’s political views to determine how similar their thinking might be. I did take the trouble to research Fiorina’s position on various issues and found they while she hews to the conservative line on most of them, there are some significant differences between her and Sarah Palin on illegal immigration, climate change and abortion. On the other hand the issues on which she is in agreement with Palin, e.g. the Second Amendment and gun rights, are issues on which virtually all Republicans agree. In short there’s nothing much to Shavin’s “Queen Bee” thesis—if that’s not too dignified a word for her lame little hit piece.


But it is sad to see how stupid and trivial the New Republic has allowed itself to become. Back in the day a sophomoric piece of crap like “Sarah Palin 2.0” would have been consigned to the round file. I used to disagree with much of what I read in this once-distinguished magazine. Nowadays there’s not much to disagree with—but plenty to wince at.

Posted by tmg110 at 11:47 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 7 April 2015
An Epidemic of Campus Rape Hysteria
Topic: Liberal Fascism

The collapse of Rolling Stone magazine’s University of Virginia rape expose provides an occasion to comment one of the great and glaring myths of our time. There’s a word—several words, come to think of it—for the claim that one in five female college students are sexually assaulted on campus: balderdash, malarkey, rubbish, stuff and nonsense, twaddle. Like the fantasies of anti-Semites and 9/11 truthers, this one has been conjured out of thin air and is buoyed up by a kind of postmodern hysteria. The studies (there are always studies) that support this alarming claim engage in all sorts of chicanery— conflating rape with sexual assault and defining the latter down to includes such minor annoyances as an unwanted touch on the arm, an annoyingly persistent come-on, etc. And the traditional standards of evidence associated with such a serious charge as rape have simply been thrown out the window.

We saw this happen at Duke University, where all the right people seized upon a charge of gang rape to convict in the court of campus opinion a group of male students who had the audacity to be white, the sons of well-to-do-families and members of the lacrosse team. What need was there for a trial? The team’s remaining schedule was cancelled, the coach was fired and the accused were viciously denounced by fellow students and, shamefully, many faculty members. Then it turned out that the charge (made in this instance by a hooker who’d been hired to dance at a team party) was utterly false. The legal case against the students collapsed and the ambitious prosecutor who’d pursued it was fired and later disbarred. But on campus, apologies were grudging and tardy—because, you see, sexual assault is a real problem even if the charge in this case was utterly false.

If the Duke case were an isolate incident it could be shrugged off as just one of those things. Justice did prevail in the end, after all. But it was anything but an isolated case. And it did nothing to deter the purveyors of the one-in-five myth or the bearers of false witness. The real epidemic on campus today isn’t sexual assault. It’s a moral cancer. It’s the self-righteous conviction that the cause is more important than the facts, that the demand for proof is a tactic of the patriarchy, that every accusation of rape by a female student not only can but must be unquestioningly accepted.

The mechanisms put in place by university administrations to deal with this made-up crisis faithfully reflect the mind-set descried above. Unencumbered by the checks and balances that constrain the criminal justice system, university panels dealing with sexual assault cases follow two basic principles: (1) women never lie about rape, (2) the accused male student is presumed guilty. And things are arranged in such a way that the accused has very little hope of proving his innocence. Usually he is denied legal representation, denied the opportunity to be confront his accuser, denied the opportunity to present evidence and testimony.

Denunciations, purges, show trials—people familiar with the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s will recognize the technique.

The body of law—if one can so characterize it—that regulates this system of injustice is that characteristic product of contemporary higher education, the university code of sexual conduct. These revealing documents vary from school to school but typically they spell out with bureaucratic pedantry the dos and don’ts of relations between the sexes—or perhaps I should say among the genders. But its main target is of course the white male student, who is more or less openly characterized as a potential rapist.

Given this background it’s easy to see how the Rolling Stone fiasco happened. Every assumption supporting the claim of a campus rape crisis was present. One-in-five: check. Women never lie about rape: check. Accuser’s story uncritically accepted: check. Accused presumed guilty: check. Bonus factor: Accused not only white males but members of a fraternity. Very probably the writer had the outline of her story in hand before she ever set foot on the University of Virginia campus. All she needed was some local color.

When it began to appear that the magazine’s story might be doubtful, people wrung their hands. Would not the blowback from a false charge of rape deter other women from coming forward? These anxieties intensified as piece by piece the story fell apart. No one that I know of suggested that deterring false charges of rape might be a good thing. And very little thought was spared for the real victims in the case: the group of young men whose names were dragged through the mud. (Yes, I know, those names didn’t appear in the story but everyone on campus came to know who they were.) Just one of those things, you know!

Now of course rape is a serious crime, on or off campus. As defined by law rather than by Orwellian university sexual conduct policies, however, campus rape and sexual assault are uncommon crimes. In fact, women on campus are less likely to fall victim to them than women in general. But the facts do not deter the monster-shouters nor moderate the orgies of hate and hysteria that arise on campus with every charge of rape. And you will not be surprised to learn that the US Department of Justice is egging the whole business on, threatening universities with legal action if they don’t take action to eliminate higher education’s (fictional) “rape culture.”

So there’s your real campus crisis: an epidemic of false accusations that derail the academic careers, blacken the reputations and blight the lives of dozens of students, almost all of the male and white, year after year. Usually the accusers in these cases decline to involve the authorities, thus the accused have no hope that an appeals process will exonerate them. The injustice is galling and it’s depressing to reflect that even a debacle like the Rolling Stone meltdown won’t stop the destructive progress of this neo-Stalinist terror. After all, the victims aren’t females, gays, blacks, Muslims, illegal immigrants or any combination thereof. They’re just a bunch of privileged heterosexual white boys…

Posted by tmg110 at 12:41 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 31 March 2015
An Ugly Strain of Bigotry
Topic: Liberal Fascism

Surely the Obama Administration’s most egregious moral lapse was its embrace of that truly evil man, Al Sharpton. By lending credibility to a bottom-feeding, race-baiting anti-Semite, the President gave the lie to his uniter-not-divider campaign rhetoric. That someone like Sharpton is widely regarded in progressive circles as a civil-rights leader is a disgrace.

Given the entries on Sharpton’s resume—Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights—there’s always good reason to suspect the authenticity of the causes to which he attaches himself. So it was with Ferguson, Missouri and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” So it is, too, with the current uproar over Indiana’s new religious freedom law. We have Al Sharpton’s word for it that the Hoosier State has legalized bigotry and homophobia—which means that the facts must be otherwise. And sure enough, they are.

Let’s examine those facts. First, the new Indiana law is not greatly different from laws on the books of twenty other states, One of them is neighboring Illinois, whose religious freedom legislation attracted the support of a state senator named Barack Hussein Obama. Another is Connecticut, whose grandstanding Democratic governor is expressing outrage over the Hoosier State’s action in defense of religious liberty. Second, the Indiana law in no way, shape or form legalizes discrimination against gays. Here’s what it actually says: “A governmental entity may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.” The test to determine a “substantial burden” is the same one embodied in the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was passed during the Clinton years with strong bipartisan support.

So, to be rudely frank, Al Sharpton and the rest of the mob now screaming “Bigotry!” and “Homophobia!” are full of crap. What is more, they’re projecting their own bigotry onto Indiana, for what underlies their outage is a hateful strain of anti-Christian bigotry.

 It was probably inevitable that the gay rights movement would evolve into a militant sect employing quasi-fascist methods against those who fail to toe the ideological line on issues of “gender.” Such is human nature. That religion—principally Christianity—would top the gay militants’ enemies list was equally inevitable. And their strategy is obvious: any article of religious faith that contradicts gender dogma must be ruthlessly suppressed. Sure, you can believe as you please—but God help you if you dare to opine that “gay marriage” is an oxymoron or contentiously object to lending it your support.

Naturally this assault on religion—in the name of tolerance!—has wide support in progressive circles, particularly among those who hate active religious faith for other reasons. Because it comes in the guise of a civil rights issue, the attack on religious freedom is convenient for people who wish to see religious faith suppressed, driven out of the public square, forced underground. Ugly bullies, the lot of them, from the horrific Al Sharpton to the supercilious George Takai. And craven phonies as well—for how would they react to an instance of genuine homophobia from a Muslim source? That question answers itself.

It used to be that the prospect of being labeled a bigot was enough to make one cave to the will of the bullies of the Left. But perhaps the repeated use of this tactic—and the bare-faced lies that typically accompany it—have robbed the charge of some of its impact. I’m certainly not moved by the squeals rising from the leftie fever swamps. Rather the reverse: I wonder whether the time has come to strike back by launching a boycott of gay marriage.


Posted by tmg110 at 12:31 PM EDT
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Saturday, 28 March 2015
Petulance and Policy
Topic: Decline of the West

There’s nothing surprising about Barack Obama’s hostility toward Israel: It derives, after all, from his ideological pedigree. Nor is the adolescent petulance with which he expresses it very surprising: Barack Obama, as we’ve come to learn, is a man devoid of class. What does surprise me, though, is the President’s detachment from reality. He seems to think that by his actions he’s changing US foreign policy forever—that the fissure he’s opened between America and the Jewish state will endure long after he’s gone. But the striking thing about the Obama Administration’s policy on relations with Israel is that it has no real support in Congress or the country. Yes, sure, the usual suspects—parts of the Democratic Party’s progressive base, the Congressional Black Caucus, J Street, a scattering of leftie pundits—are cheering Obama on. American public opinion, though, continues to regard Israel favorably, a view accurately reflected in Congress where bipartisan support for Israel remains strong.

The political punditocracy hasn’t grasped it yet but the next president, whoever that may be, will have the task of restoring relations with Israel, i.e. of undoing Obama’s destructive policy. I call it destructive because while undermining the US-Israeli relationship it has yielded no compensating benefits. Contrary to the President’s rosy projections in earlier times, his policies have made a settlement of the long-running dispute between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs even less likely than it looked in 2009. Nor has it improved relations with other Arab countries. Thanks to his increasingly desperate pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, in which process he has systematically capitulated to one Iranian demand after another, Obama is viewed with distrust and scorn in Arab capitals. In short, nothing in the area of Mideast policy has worked out as he expected and promised, most particularly the project of distancing the US from Israel.

Assuming that the next president is a Republican, we can expect a more or less complete reversal of Obama’s Mideast policies. Assuming it’s a Democrat we can expect much the same thing, albeit conducted with some stealth. Obama’s policies have failed—resoundingly so. His successor will have the unenviable task of sweeping up the bits and crafting a policy more in line with the realities of the Mideast—and more in line with American public opinion. Bismarck could make foreign policy at his desk with very little reference to public opinion. No American president can do that and our Community Organizer-in-Chief has proved it.

Posted by tmg110 at 9:43 AM EDT
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