Saturday, March 31, 2012

More et ceteras


Constitutional questions aside, shouldn’t the following facts prove that Obamacare is such bad law that it needs to be done away with? 1) Many of the legislators who voted for it admitted they didn’t read it. 2) After it was passed, more than half the states in the country sued the federal government to prevent its implementation. 3) Obama & Co. exempted many of their supporters and favored organizations from the law while forcing everybody else to comply with it. And, 4) A sizeable majority of the American people was opposed to it at the time it passed, and remains opposed to it today.

Spike Lee

As you probably know, Spike Lee tweeted an address that he thought was George Zimmerman’s but it turned out not to be. The error put the elderly couple who live there in danger, and he waited several days before apologizing. The MSM reported and criticized the error, as well they should, but it is very troubling -- and very telling -- that they have not criticized Lee’s original intent.

The only reason to tweet Zimmerman’s address was to incite mob justice against him. Lee knows very well that that could include Zimmerman being killed before officials even have a chance to determine whether there is enough evidence to charge him with a crime. At best the tweet was tantamount to threatened bodily harm, and at worst it was tantamount to threatened murder. Spike Lee should be in jail and shunned by polite society -- but the authorities will never consider rocking his boat and the liberal-media complex will never consider presenting him as the hateful bigot he is.

The Open Mike

Although the MSM’s refusal to accurately portray Lee’s bigotry is frustrating, its refusal to even raise its eyebrows over Barack Obama’s comment to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (when he did not know he was being recorded) is scandalous. The comment supports the long-held conservative belief that Obama’s policies will be unfathomably extreme in a second term since he will not have to worry about facing the voters again; and speaks to his lack of seriousness and competence when it comes to defending us and our allies. Fortunately there are a few scribes who have not abdicated their duty, as you can tell by reading this.

Oh my...

This week I read that the United States is home to five percent of the world’s people and fifty percent of the world’s lawyers. I do not know if that’s true, but if it is, it speaks poorly about present day America from a number of perspectives. Reading that statistic made me immediately think of Dickens’s old quip that the law is an ass, an idiot.


While this post certainly has not seemed upbeat, we should keep our chins up anyway. November will be here sooner than most of us realize, and it will give us a chance to start reasserting everything that has made America the world’s beacon for liberty and justice over the last 235 years.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

et ceteras


Although the U.S. Supreme Court will not hand down its findings for at least two months, this week the battle over Obamacare -- specifically, the lawsuit brought by 26 states in opposition to it -- is being publicly fought as the opposing sides present their arguments.

Without getting caught up in any of the legal mumbo jumbo about severability and whether the fine for not purchasing health insurance should be considered a penalty or a tax, the bottom line is this: Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted permission to force people to enter into contracts. The idea that the federal government could do that is antithetical to the very concept of freedom; and if it is allowed to do so, then by logic and precedent there will be no limit to the power it can wield over us.

If the Court lets “the individual mandate” stand, America will cease to exist -- because America is an ideal, not a piece of land, and the mandate crushes the American ideal under an authoritarian boot.

If the Court strikes down the mandate and allows the rest of Obamacare to stand, America will not cease to exist but will still be in danger -- because even without the mandate, Obamacare extends the reach of the feds much further into private affairs than the Founding Fathers ever intended.


The death of Trayvon Martin is a perfect example of why media members and public figures should not opine about an ongoing investigation when they don ’t have all the facts.

From the 911 tapes it is clear that George Zimmerman decided to chase Martin without provocation. Further, it is clear that if he had not made that decision, Martin would still be alive. This is tragic and it is fair to say Zimmerman should bear accountability, but that is where clarity ends.

Unfortunately, before collecting all the facts, the usual suspects rushed to manipulate their coverage so that Martin’s death would resemble a race murder from the Jim Crow South…The media published photos of Martin from several years ago so that everyone visualized him as a sweet-faced boy of 13 or 14, rather than the 6-foot-2 person he was at the end…And they reported that he was black without saying anything about Zimmerman’s ethnicity, leading everyone to assume Zimmerman was “lily white” because of that Germanic-sounding name…And of course, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton proceeded to stoke the flames of enmity.

Then, when it leaked out that Zimmerman is Hispanic, the media tripped all over themselves trying to ignore and then “deal with” this fact that does not fit their preferred narrative. And ever since that happened, things have only gotten murkier…The more we learn about Martin, the less sympathetic he appears to be. But that of course does not mean he deserved to die…The more we learn about eyewitness accounts, the more it seems like Zimmerman had reason to believe his life was in jeopardy when he pulled the trigger. But that of course does not mean Martin didn’t have reason to believe his life was in jeopardy.

This case is bad all the way around.


Che Guevarra was a murdering thug who sent innocent people to concentration camps for disagreeing with him. He once said “my nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood,” and in a letter to his father he wrote “I really like killing.” He considered it delinquent behavior to listen to rock music, to have long hair, and to write poetry, and his stated goal for Cuba was to “make individualism disappear from the nation.” It irks me that so many Westerners -- many of whom are long-haired rockers and poets, ironically enough -- idolize Che and believe he was a man of the people.

Well, the Irish city of Galway is considering erecting a statue in Che’s honor, and real life Che victim Carlos Eire recently wrote a superb critique of the idea. It was published in the Galway Advertiser and you can read it here. Trust me, you will get more out of his handful of paragraphs than you ever will from one of my blogposts.

And finally…

I rarely, if ever, trust journalists when it comes to…well, anything, but what I was going to say is that I rarely if ever trust them when it comes to reporting on “the environment.” This article about a giant Atlantic sturgeon shows why: In one paragraph it says the species is “quite common,” and in the next it says it is on the endangered species list. Need I say more?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's a Mad, Mad World

As of last Monday, gas prices (which were $1.70 when Bush left office) sat at a national average of $3.79, which is the highest seasonally adjusted price in American history. In three states the average already exceeds not only $4.00, but $4.20, while five more states are about to reach the $4.00 threshold...Yet Barack Obama is doing nothing to address the conditions causing this, and is in fact making things worse with asinine moves like killing the Keystone pipeline, red-lighting federal oil leases, and keeping Stephen Chu in office.

Iran is hurtling full speed ahead to attain nuclear weapons, and may already have them...Yet Obama (who once referred to Iran's ayatollah as "the supreme leader") is doing nothing to stop them. In fact, he is trying to discourage anyone else from stopping them.

He is so blatantly unfriendly to our most important ally (Israel) that even the family members of the Democratic National Committee's chairwoman don't believe him when he says otherwise.

He recently raised his middle finger to the Catholic Church, of which nearly one of every four Americans is a member. And in so doing, he displayed his contempt for the notion of religious liberty -- a notion that was the very reason the Pilgrims crossed the ocean to plant the seeds of our nation.

In short, there are many grave issues with far-reaching consequences facing us right now. However, the topic everyone seems most energized by is the utterly ridiculous flap surrounding Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke. On the one hand, I don't want to talk about that flap because it is so absurd; but on the other hand, I do want to talk about it just so I can say how absurd it is.

Essentially, what Fluke did was claim that paying for "contraception" is such a hardship for female grad students that the government should force other people to foot the bill for them. There is no delicate way to say this: Her mindset is so brainless that it's hard to decide where to start dissecting it.

Let's start with the fact that contraception is not expensive, as she would have us believe, but actually very cheap. According to Fluke, a student would need to pay $1,000 per year for contraception, by which it is universally assumed she means birth control pills. But in reality, the annual cost for "the pill" in 41 of our 50 states is only $108; i.e., less than the cost of eating two McDonald's value meals per month. This figure comes from the fact that in those 41 states, Target and Wal-Mart sell the pill for $9 per month.

In the other nine states, the average monthly price at Target and Wal-Mart is $27, which is about the same as a half-tank of gas. And because $27 per month equals $324 per year, even that price is less than one-third of what Fluke alleged.

So her foundational fact turns out to be fiction. It's a safe bet that the amount of money needed for a month's supply of birth control pills can be found occupying a small portion of what most college students set aside to buy alcohol. I dare say that subtracting the monthly cost of the pill from their beer budget would not even "force" them to "sacrifice" weekend binge drinking.

But the larger point is that Fluke would have been in the wrong even if she had gotten her numbers right. America is a free country and collegians are free to have sex, but that does not mean they have the right to impose the costs and consequences of their sexual choices on anyone else (nor, for that matter, do they have the right to impose the costs and consequences of any of their other choices).

Everyone receives the "rights versus responsibilities" lesson in grade school, and everyone understands it at that tender young age...It is annoying that a 30-year-old at one of America's most elite and powerful universities not only doesn't grasp it, but sees fit to broadcast her resulting, childish views to the federal government...And it is downright frightening that criticism of those views results in large swaths of the media and political establishment hailing her as some kind of civil rights heroine.

Fluke actually received a call from the president of the United States telling her that her parents should be proud. Granted, I am a cynic about everything Barack Obama does, and I suspect he made that call so people would keep talking about Fluke instead of focusing on his mounting failures, but I still think he actually believes what he told her and I am sure his leftist allies do as well. Which leads me to ask, of what should Fluke's parents be proud?

She is a grown woman and has no doubt done things to be proud of, but this is not one of them. She should be embarrassed to have treated the subsidizing of sex lives as if it is of any importance whatsoever. The only feedback she deserves is a figurative kick in the backside and a stern admonishment to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled teenager.