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Friday, 18 May 2012
Calling All Birthers!
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Hey now, this should shake up the race for the White House:

 

 

Obama's Literary Agent in 1991 Booklet: "Born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii"

 

 

This is probably just a mistake on the literary agent's part—but how did the mainstream media manage to overlook it in 2008…?


Posted by tmg110 at 8:43 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 18 May 2012 8:50 AM EDT
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The Hate Crime That Maybe Wasn't
Topic: Decline of the West

Well, this is interesting. From ABC News: "Cops, Witnesses Back Up George Zimmerman's Version of Trayvon Martin Shooting."

Two police reports written the night that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin said that Zimmerman had a bloody face and nose, according to police reports made public today.

The reports also note that two witness accounts appear to back up Zimmerman's version of what happened when they describe a man on his back with another person wearing a hoodie straddling him and throwing punches.

Maybe the state of Florida can yet make out a case that Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he shot Trayvon Martin. Maybe the FBI can make out a case that Zimmerman committed a "hare crime." But in light of this evidence, it seems doubtful.


Posted by tmg110 at 8:33 AM EDT
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Thursday, 17 May 2012
Not-So-Gay Marriage
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Some time ago, I reached the conclusion that same-sex marriage would turn out to be no big deal. It seemed to me that (1) same-sex marriage would be a boutique phenomenon and (2) that it would mainly benefit wedding planners and divorce lawyers.

 

How right I was.

 

Now that many countries in Europe and some US states have either legalized same-sex marriage or introduced civil unions, we’re beginning get some statistical feedback on this social innovation. Writing for NRO, Charles C.W. Cook crunches the numbers:

 

Since 1997, when Hawaii became the first state in the union to allow reciprocal-beneficiary registration for same-sex couples, 19 states and the District of Columbia have granted some form of legal recognition to the relationships of same-sex couples.… [T]he most recent U.S. Census data reveal that, in the last 15 years, only 150,000 same-sex couples have elected to take advantage of them—equivalent to around one in five of the self-identified same-sex couples in the United States. This number does not appear to be low because of the fact that only a few states have allowed full “marriage”; indeed, in the first four years when gay marriage was an option in trailblazing Massachusetts, there were an average of only about 3,000 per year, and that number included many who came from out of state.

 

On the whole, gay males seem not very interested in marriage. In America, two-thirds of legally recognized same-sex couples are lesbian. Cook notes that in Europe the situation is not greatly different—and what is more, divorce rates among gay married couples are strikingly higher than for heterosexual couples:

 

Stockholm University’s study seems to confirm the American trend. In Norway, male same-sex marriages are 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than heterosexual marriages, and female same-sex marriages are an astonishing 167 percent more likely to be dissolved. In Sweden, the divorce risk for male-male partnerships is 50 percent higher than for heterosexual marriages, and the divorce risk for female partnerships is nearly double that for men. This should not be surprising: In the United States, women request approximately two-thirds of divorces in all forms of relationships — and have done so since the start of the 19th century — so it reasonably follows that relationships in which both partners are women are more likely to include someone who wishes to exit.

 

These statistics confirm my longstanding suspicion that gays—particularly gay men— are not really serious about marriage. In the gay community, the legalization of same-sex marriage is formally treated as a civil rights issue. But actually the goal is to get “society” to accept the validity and value of same-sex relationships. How the legalization of same-sex marriage can realize this goal when gays themselves do not take it seriously is a good question that I for one would like to see the gay rights lobby address.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:16 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Government Without Politics? As If!
Topic: Decline of the West

 

American politics never lacks for dumb ideas. This season’s howler: Americans Elect, a pricey online attempt to recruit independent, "nonpartisan" presidential and vice-presidential candidates for 2012. Reportedly, venture capitalist Peter Ackerman sank some $35 million into this eccentric scheme.

 

The organization’s pitch is the usual good-government line. From the Americans Elect website:

 

The goal of Americans Elect is to nominate a presidential ticket that answers directly to voters—not the political system.

 

American voters are tired of politics as usual. They want leaders that will put their country before their party, and American interests before special interests. Leaders who will work together to develop fresh solutions to the serious challenges facing our country. We believe a secure, online nominating process will prove that America is ready for a competitive, nonpartisan ticket.

 

This fantasy of separating politics from government is the hardy perennial of election-year hand wringing. That it amounts to an oxymoron in no way detracts from the fantasy’s seductive appeal. Who doesn’t "want leaders that will put their country before their party, and American interests before special interests”? Problems only arise when you dig down into the details. Precisely what are "American interests"? The idea—perhaps I should say the notion—that there exists a set of "American interests," distinct from and superior to "special interests" is, if you think about it, pernicious in the extreme. It’s very reminiscent, indeed, of the concept of the "general will," that doctrine of the French Revolution that justified the Reign of Terror. Once the concept of the general will is accepted, the question inevitably arises: Who shall define it? Ultimately, some Robespierre.

 

Now of course I’m not suggesting that Americans Elect is a bloodthirsty revolutionary cabal. But in its advocacy of the Republic of Virtue, this well-meaning group is profoundly misguided. Fortunately, however, its capacity for mischief has proved to be limited. So far, more than two million people have visited the Americans Elect website and signed its petition for  a “nonpartisan” presidential ticket to appear on the ballot in November. The only missing pieces at this point are…candidates. As the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank laments in a sappy column:

 

The nascent third-party movement called Americans Elect assembled a dream team of prospective presidential nominees:

 

Mike Bloomberg!

 

Colin Powell!

 

Chris Christie!

 

Mitch Daniels!

 

Condi Rice!

 

Rick Santorum!

 

Hillary Clinton!

 

There was only one problem: None of these candidates wanted the nomination. Neither did the other "draft" candidates who received support on the Americans Elect Web site, including Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Howard Dean, Donald Trump, Al Gore, Sarah Palin and David Petraeus.

 

Think maybe these people know something that Dana Milbank and the folks at Americans Elect don’t know? Anyhow, Americans Elect has now admitted defeat. No candidate has managed to garner the 10,000 online supporters necessary to qualify for the nomination, so the group is closing down its online nominating process. And the good government crowd is wringing its hand afresh.


Posted by tmg110 at 9:32 AM EDT
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Singing the Progressive Blues in Wisconsin
Topic: Decline of the West

 

More bad news for the Left: the latest Daily Kos/PPP poll shows Governor Scott Walker with a 50-45% lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (who lost to Walker in 2010). These numbers are slightly better for the Governor than the last Daily KOS/PPP poll, which gave him a 49-45% lead. In the new poll, 2% favor an independent candidate and 3% are undecided.

 

If the attempt to recall Walker flops, the organized labor/Democratic Party jihad against him and his reforms will go down as one of the most egregious political blunders in American history. The debacle would demoralize the unions and the Democratic base ahead of the November ballot, and shift into the tossup column a state that Barack Obama carried by a twelve-point margin in 2010. Political malpractice? You be the judge…


Posted by tmg110 at 8:46 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Heap Big Trouble for Liz Warren
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

In Massachusetts, the comedic saga of Princess Pocahontas…excuse me, Elizabeth Warren…drags on. Warren, an uber-liberal Democrat who has been described as the intellectual mother of the Occupy movement (that’s an accolade?) is seeking to unseat incumbent GOP Senator Scott Brown, who shocked the state Democratic establishment by capturing Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat in 2010. When it transpired that the blonde, blue-eyed Walker has furthered her academic career by claiming minority (Native American) status, the fun began.

 

Since the story broke, Warren has been unable to shake it off. Her campaign’s initial attempts to make it go away were painful in the extreme. And Warren did herself no favors by attempting to shore up her dubious claim on Native American status by saying that lots of her relatives have high cheekbones—you know, just like Tonto.

 

The fact that this privileged white woman gamed the affirmative action system to give herself an advantage in the academic job market not only raises questions about her fitness for political office but underscores the systemic corruption of the affirmative action process. Writing in the Boston Herald, attorney and political commentator Jennifer C. Braceras poses some pertinent questions on that subject.

 

Elizabeth Warren posing as a Native American makes an absolute mockery of all those paeans to “diversity” that we hear whenever affirmative action is questioned. That's no bad thing. And as a bonus, it might just cost this progressive nosebleed the election.


Posted by tmg110 at 8:02 AM EDT
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In Search of a Wisconsin Scapegoat
Topic: Decline of the West

 

As the special recall election in Wisconsin draws near, hopes on the Democratic side that GOP Governor Scott Walker will be booted out of office seem to be fading. And Wisconsin Democrats are pointing an accusatory finger at the national party: From an article by Greg Sargent in the Washington Post:

 

“We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official tells me. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”

 

Sounds to me like the outline of a hard-luck story. If Walker survives, Wisconsin Dems will whine that the race was eminently winnable—if only they had had enough money to counter the GOP juggernaut. (This alibi conveniently disregards the massive union support that the Dems enjoy.) Well. Despite all their talk about tight polls and a close race, it doesn't sound to me as though the Dems are very confident about their chances against Walker.


Posted by tmg110 at 7:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2012 7:35 AM EDT
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Hey, Big Spender!
Topic: Decline of the West

Under Barack Obama, the national debt of the United States has grown from $10 trillion in 2008 to $16 trillion today. Factoring in his 2009 promise to cut the national debut by 50%, this means that Barry blew it by an $11 trillion margin. But he has a good excuse! It's really George W. Bush's fault…


Posted by tmg110 at 7:14 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2012 7:21 AM EDT
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Monday, 14 May 2012
Sometimes a Great State
Topic: Decline of the West

 

Perhaps the clearest evidence of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of contemporary liberalism is the fact that the most dysfunctional states in the union are colored blue. Case in point: California. The sad story of the Golden State’s decline is also the story of liberalism’s California triumph—if that’s an appropriate word for the context. And in 2010, when Jerry Brown was elected governor, the California tragedy degenerated into a farce.

 

Governor Moonbeam, as he became known during his previous occupation of Sacramento (1975-83) bears a great deal of the responsibility for California’s current mess, for it was he who first focused state policy on environmental issues. Since then the cult has grown into a mania—to the great detriment of agriculture, industry and businesses. California, once a magnet state, is now losing businesses and population. State government spending is wildly out of control, thanks largely to the demands of rapacious public employee unions. Unemployment is high and the state’s economy remains moribund. So this year, California is expected to run a $16 billion deficit. And there’s no real hope that the budget gap can be closed.

 

To his credit, Brown has proposed some fairly serious spending cuts, but in his heart he’s a doctrinaire liberal. The governor’s plan to close the budget gap by raising income and sales taxes seems hardly likely to foster an economic recovery. California’s regulatory climate seems likely to remain unfavorable to business development and job creation. Of the wide-ranging reforms necessary to rein in state government and make California a more attractive place to do business, there is no sign. Instead Brown is focusing on pie-in-the-sky projects like that perennial favorite of liberals, high-speed rail.

 

It’s not a pretty picture—and if you ask me, it’s a preview of what America will look like in a decade if Barack Obama and his pals have their way.


Posted by tmg110 at 10:03 AM EDT
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Saturday, 12 May 2012
Bristol Unbellyfeels Ingsoc
Topic: Liberal Fascism

 

Want to get into trouble nowadays? Publically state an unvarnished truth that rubs brain-dead celebs with ideological pretentions the wrong way. Oh, and be Bristol Palin while you’re doing it.

 

After President Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage, Palin opined in a blog post that “We know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home.” Inarguably true. Also a thought crime! And the reaction was of course immediate: Palin was deluged with sneering putdowns and personal insults, many of them from such incisive social commentators as Jersey Shore star JWoww. This genius tweeted: “Bristol should keep her uneducated ignorant mouth shut. If Ur living in the past u wouldn't have a kid w/out marriage #hypocrite. It's 2012!” (Incidentally, JWow went on to say that her best friend is a gay guy. Yeah, sure, isn't everyone's?)

 

You look at these preening celebs with their outsized egos and tiny minds and you think: Typical Obama voters…


Posted by tmg110 at 2:44 PM EDT
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