Typical ‘progressive’ reactions to terror attacks on U.S. soil provide unintentional comedy

Here we are again, dealing with yet more instances of radical Islamic terror, and “progressives” in politics and in the media are, again, figuring out how to handle it all. ( I use quotations on the word “progressive” because all too often it is a contradiction in terms.)

We’ve already seen how some of our usual “buddies” have dealt with it, like our pal Dan Slott slamming GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for having the unmitigated gall to refer to the bombing in New York City as just that — a “bombing” — before, allegedly, all the facts were in. He even retweeted a tweet from a transgender activist who said Trump was “actively rooting” for the bomb to be terror-connected. Nice.

But … where is Slott, et. al. regarding Hillary Clinton doing the same thing — not to mention the mainstream media, in the form of CNN this time, covering for her by selectively editing out where she referred to the attack as a “bombing”??

The polls not going her way and desperately seeking an opening, Hillary upped the ante today, spewing the typical “Trump’s rhetoric is giving terrorists an excuse” nonsense:

I don’t want to speculate but here’s what we know and I think it’s important for voters to hear this and weigh it in making their choice in November… We know that a lot of the rhetoric used by Donald Trump is being seized on by terrorists… Wea [sic]also know from the former head of our counter-terrorism center, Matt Olson, that the kinds of rhetoric and language that Mr. Trump has used is giving aid and comfort to our adversaries.

“Aid and comfort?” Why, that sounds like … treason! 

Naturally, in cases like these (CNN Clinton assistance aside), the media provides no shortage of qualifiers — like “potential”:

This is where we are in early 21st century America with the Left, folks: For offering solutions to Islamic terrorism, however unpalatable they may seem to some folks, Trump is helping groups like ISIS.

All the while the Fourth Estate is busily helping Trump’s opponent.

I am no fan of Donald Trump. I never thought his candidacy would last, that he would poll lousy and eventually drop out. I don’t believe he is really conservative, and given many of his statements and his temperament, he potentially could make Barack Obama’s abuse of executive authority seem like our first African-American president is the greatest constitutional adherent ever.

But the Left really has no one to blame but themselves for the rise of Trump. It is comical to watch the disbelief coming from the Left: “How can anyone support this guy?” they angrily exclaim.

Even though many on the right have reservations about the GOP candidate, they are weary of the last eight years’ collection of lies, obfuscations, political correctness, and outright criminal activity.

Not to mention, when the media ponders how they’re having little effect on Trump’s outrageousness, one only has to look at how they treated the two George Bushes, John McCain, and worse, Mitt Romney. When a guy like Romney is portrayed as evil incarnate, it’s going to be rather difficult to make people believe what you have to say in the future … even when it is warranted. Like with Trump.

To coin a cliché, “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf.'”

So, I, for one, am enjoying watching Trump take on the ridiculous PC which has overtaken us, and thumb his nose at the mainstream media. By the media and the Left routinely giving average Americans the middle finger — calling them “bigots,” “hateful,” and “xenophobes;” refusing to call “radical Islamic terror” just that; championing “sanctuary cities” while belittling those who want immigration laws followed and enforced — they’ve helped make Trump the very manifestation of the reaction to that middle finger.

Side note: I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Doug for allowing me to voice my thoughts here now that it had become impossible to keep The Colossus of Rhodey updated regularly. As Doug mentioned, you can catch my regular writings over at The College Fix.

Dunkin’ Donuts employee’s death shamelessly used to push minimum wage debate

Dunkin APWhat kind of person would use the accidental death of a young woman as a vehicle from which to advocate for higher minimum wages? If you guessed the kind of individuals who work at The New York Times and Business Insider, give yourself a cookie — or possibly a doughnut.

Maria Fernandes worked at three different Dunkin’ Donuts in New Jersey, but she died Aug. 25 while napping in her SUV before one of her shifts started. The cause: a gas can that she kept in the back seat had somehow tipped over and opened, which filled her vehicle with fumes while she slept.

It’s an incredibly sad story, but one that has absolutely nothing to do with how much money she made at work and everything to do with the fact that she ignored her boyfriend’s warning not to sleep in her car with a gas can. Ms. Fernandes regularly refilled the can because she left her car running during extended naps.

That didn’t stop the New York Times from shamelessly using a woman’s death to push a political agenda:

In death, Ms. Fernandes has been held up as a symbol of the hardships facing our nation’s army of low-wage workers. Her friends say she earned little more than $8.25 an hour — New Jersey’s minimum wage — and passed her days and nights in a blur of iced coffees and toasted breakfast sandwiches, coffee rolls and glazed jelly doughnuts. …

In a statement, Michelle King, a spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Brands, said that Ms. Fernandes’s managers described her as a “model” employee. (Ms. King said she could not say how much Ms. Fernandes earned or describe the specific hours she worked, saying that only the three franchisees that directly employed Ms. Fernandes had that information. Ms. King declined to provide contact information for those franchisees.)

Business Insider took it even further:

The plight of service-industry workers has once again come to the forefront with the tragic recent death of Maria Fernandes. …

The incident highlights the fact that, in many places in the US, minimum wage isn’t nearly enough money for someone to live a healthy life, even if that person is extremely determined and conscientious. …

We used MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, which estimates the cost of living in a given area based on the price of various necessities, to better understand just how many hours a low-wage worker like Fernandes would have had to put in every week to make ends meet.

According to MIT’s calculations, living in Newark, where Fernandes did, would require an annual pre-tax income of $22,528. That means that at New Jersey’s minimum wage, $8.25, a worker would have to put in a little more than 52 hours a week.

Only the mind of a writer blinded by his or her own ideological zeal can turn an accidental death into a clarion call for higher minimum wages. The New York Times and Business Insider writers were both are aware that Ms. Fernandes “doted on her pet Chihuahua and three cats.” They both know that she “often slept in her car — two hours here, three hours there — and usually kept the engine running.” They know these things, and yet they still have no qualms trying to convince readers that if only she were paid $20 an hour, then she would still be alive today. Nobody knows that.

As uncomfortable as it may be for Business Insider to hear, sleeping in your car for hours each week with the engine running is expensive. If you have to carry a gas can in your car because you keep running out of fuel while you nap, then you are probably wasting money.

As uncomfortable as it may be for the New York Times to hear, owning three cats and a dog can be expensive. If you are trying to save money for school, as Ms. Fernandes was doing, then having four animals to care for is probably a waste of money.

Regardless, the whole discussion is essentially moot because the one person who could ruminate on what she thought about her employers, minimum wage laws, and the price she was willing to pay to have pets in her life is no longer living. She has passed away, and instead of simply grieving for a woman whose time on earth was needlessly cut short, political vultures swooped down and grabbed whatever bits and pieces of her life story that could be easily exploited.

If you get a chance, say a prayer for Ms. Fernandes and her loved ones. If you have a few more moments, say one for the writers at The New York Times and Business Insider, so that they might see how sick it is to twist an accidental death into an advertisement for their pet political issues.

New York Times to Walgreen: You’re unpatriotic if you don’t love high tax rates

A recent New York Times article by Andrew Sorkin is unintentionally hilarious from start to finish. He’s upset that a number of companies, such as Walgreen, AbbiVie, Medtronic and many others are all well on their way to moving overseas. I’d look for the Andrew Sorkin piece calling billionaire John Kerry “unpatriotic” for docking his luxury yacht out of state to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes, but I doubt it exists.

Mr. Sorkin wrote for the Times June 30.

Alarmingly, dozens of large United States companies are contemplating the increasingly popular tax-skirting tactic known as an inversion. Under the strategy, companies merge with foreign rivals in countries with lower tax rates and then reincorporate there while still enjoying the benefits of doing a large part of their business in the United States.

In Walgreen’s case, an inversion would be an affront to United States taxpayers. The company, which also owns the Duane Reade chain in New York, reaps almost a quarter of its $72 billion in revenue directly from the government; it received $16.7 billion from Medicare and Medicaid last year.

“It is unconscionable that Walgreen is considering this tax dodge — especially in light of the billions of dollars it receives from U.S. taxpayers every year,” Nell Geiser, associate director of Change to Win Retail Initiatives, a union-financed consumer advocacy group, said in a statement.

Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness, called it “unfair and deeply unpatriotic if the company moves offshore while continuing to make its money here, leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab for its tax avoidance.

The last time I checked, Walgreen provides goods and services worth at least $16.7 billion to individuals who utilize Medicare and Medicaid — it isn’t simply holding out its hands and asking for taxpayer cash. It would be an “affront” to American taxpayers if Gregory D. Wasson, the chief executive of Walgreen, refused to pay his water bills for a decade and then demanded someone else pay them when he was drowning in debt (i.e., the citizens of Detroit).

In terms of patriotism, Mr. Sorkin and Mr. Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness have it backwards — the patriotic thing to do is for Americans to protest high taxation. I applaud Walgreen and any number of pharmaceutical companies for packing up and moving overseas. You can only demonize the men and women running businesses for so long before they get fed up and leave. Instead of asking, “How do we make America more attractive to companies on the other side of the globe?” the New York Times throws socialist temper tantrums.

Mr. Sorkin continues:

The current law allows a company to reincorporate abroad if it acquires a foreign company in a transaction that transfers more than 20 percent of the shares to foreign owners. President Obama has sought to raise the threshold to 50 percent. While many Democrats appear to support a short-term solution, some Republicans, arguing that a Band-Aid approach could have unintended consequences, instead want to address inversions only in the context of an overall corporate tax overhaul bill.

Whereas Republicans realize that perhaps the corporate tax code is a nightmare, President Obama just wants to force companies to withstand significantly more pain before they make the decision to move. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

And finally, we have Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois:

Senator Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat from Walgreen’s home state, Illinois, told The Chicago Tribune last week: “I am troubled by American corporations that are willing to give up on this country and move their headquarters for a tax break. It really speaks to your commitment.”

Poor Dick doesn’t realize that American corporations aren’t giving up on America — they’re giving up on guys like him.

If America is no longer capable of being one of the world’s few outposts of economic and political freedom, then corporations have a responsibility to search out countries that are willing to take on the role. If U.S. citizens are unhappy with the business landscape that takes shape in the years ahead, then the blame will rest squarely on the shoulders of men like President Obama and Senator Dick Durbin.

Related: Dick Durbin: If you have a tumor, letting it grow is always an option

Frank Rich goes to conservative Galapagos Islands, concludes conservatives aren’t funny: Shocker

Darwin Finches
Frank Rich’s recent piece in The New York Times, ‘Can Conservatives Be Funny?’, comes to a shocking conclusion: no. Liberals ask this question on a regular basis because they treat conservatives like zoo animals they don’t quite understand. Rich’s five page effort says less about comedy rooted in conservatism and more about him as a man pathetically seeped in his own ideological narcissism. He casts himself as a political Darwin, who goes to the a conservative version of the Galapagos Islands and concludes that the finches are not funny.

Here’s the Frank Rich scientific method at work:

The right, like the left, has a habit of overplaying the victim card. Given that there are many out A-list Republicans in Hollywood, from Rupert Murdoch to Clint Eastwood to David Mamet to Adam Sandler, it would seem that all the paranoia about left-wing McCarthyism is unfounded.

Got that? Because Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler exist, Hollywood’s heavy-hitters don’t make it abundantly clear that outspoken conservatives aren’t welcome. Eastwood is an old man who doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks at this stage of his life and Adam Sandler may be a Republican, but have you ever heard on a single talk show talking about? Good one, Mr. Rich.

Let’s run down the bulk of Mr. Rich’s list:

Dennis Miller: Too preachy. Not funny.
Jeff Foxworthy: Not preachy enough. He jokes about domestic life. He’s part of a “declining niche.” Not funny.
Greg Gutfeld: Obsessed with old men from the 70s. Not funny.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone: Not conservative. They don’t count.
Jeff Dunham: He makes “encoded” jokes about Jews ruining Christmas. Not funny.
Nick DiPaolo: His jokes are innocuous. Not funny.
Larry the Cable Guy: He had a few one-liners. Not funny.
Michael Loftus: He has a new show coming out and seems funny…put it probably won’t be funny.

I’ve said for ages that Greg Gutfeld is funny, saying in 2010 that if he was a video game character he’d be Bionic Commando to Mark Steyn’s Mega Man. Howard Stern (a very funny guy) agrees with me:

On his Tuesday SiriusXM radio show, shock jock Howard Stern admitted his admiration for Fox News Channel’s “The Five” and particular for show co-host Greg Gutfeld: “I love it,” Stern said. “Greg [Gutfeld], I think, is very funny. He’s a pretty conservative guy, but that doesn’t bother me because he’s very funny.”

He even said Gutfeld should replace David Letterman. As we all know, the gig went to Colbert…

Who do you trust on Gutfeld’s comedic chops: Frank Rich of the New York Times of Howard Stern? I think I’ll go with the King of All Media.

The thing is, most comedians aren’t primarily political like Bill Maher or Jon Stewart — they just want to be funny. And some really good comedians have conservative streaks in them, even if they don’t want to admit it. Remember when Jerry Seinfeld took down the liberal racial bean counters of comedy?

Buzzfeed Editor Editor Peter Lauria: I have noticed that most of the guests are mostly white males. Of 22 episodes you’ve had —

Seinfeld: Yeah, let’s get into that. Take a look over here, Peter. What do you see? A lot of whiteys! What’s going on here?!

Oh, this really pisses me off. This really pisses me off, but go ahead. […] There were a lot of things about ‘Comedians and Cars’ from the very beginning — the first ten I did were all white males and people were writing all about that. People think it’s the census or something. It’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that, but everyone else is kind of calculating ‘Is this the exact right mix?’ To me it’s anti-comedy. It’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC nonsense than “Are you making us laugh or not?”

If Seinfeld wanted, I’m sure he could write a ten-minute sketch on people who are obsessed with race…but as far as I know he hasn’t done that. Why not? I guess I shouldn’t ask that question because Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler are alive and well, right Mr. Rich?

Was George Carlin conservative? No. But he definitely had some conservative streaks in him. Remember when he took liberal environmentalists to the intellectual woodshed? I do.

“See, I’m not one of these people whose worried about everything. … Let me tell you about endangered species, all right. Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It’s arrogant meddling. It’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn’t anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90 percent — over, way over — 90 percent of the species that have ever lived on this planet — ever lived — are gone. They’re extinct. We didn’t kill them all. They just disappeared. That’s what nature does.

They disappear these days at the rate of 25 a day. … Let them go gracefully. Leave nature alone. Haven’t we done enough? We’re so self-important. So self important. … And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? … We’re going to save the fucking planet? I’m getting tired of that shit. … I’m tried of these self-righteous environmentalists. These white bourgeoisie liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. … Environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. … Do you know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that someday in the future they might be inconvenienced. Narrow unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Does Frank Rich know anything about stand-up comedy, or does he only know about the comedians referenced in his Entertainment Weekly magazine that he reads on the toilet?

Louis CK is a pretty funny guy and, while he’s not conservative, it can be argued that he has conservative streaks in him. Watch his stand-up; intermixed between sex jokes and self-loathing there is plenty of social commentary conservatives can crack a smile at. Or…just turn on David Letterman and watch him rip Common Core to shreds.

In his appearance with Letterman, Louis said it’s good when his daughters face challenging test questions. “I’m there for [my kids] in those moments. I say, ‘Come on, look at the problem. And then I look at the problem and it’s like, ‘Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?’” … Louis said he doesn’t blame the teachers — he blames the people who write the tests: “nobody knows who they are . . . it’s very secretive,” he said.

Actually, we do know who writes the tests, Louis. They’re often weird liberal nutcase professors from New Hampshire.

Campus Reform reported May 22:

A teacher told attendees at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Monday night that he helped write the controversial Common Core education standards to end white privilege.

Dr. David Pook, a professor at Granite State College and chair of the History department at The Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, argued in favor of Common Core.

“The reason why I helped write the standards and the reason why I am here today is that as a white male in society I am given a lot of privilege that I didn’t earn.”

Someone get Louis CK on the phone and let him know that we do know the type of person who is making his children hate math, and they’re men like Frank Rich. Perhaps then Louis CK can call Mr. Rich and talk about how he should be writing New York Times pieces on Common Core’s problems instead of exercises in intellectual masturbation that cast all conservatives as unfunny white men.

There are plenty of reasons why very funny conservatives don’t get into comedy for a living, but you won’t find the reasons for it in the New York Times. Some of the funniest guys I know are conservatives, but they tend to go into other professions. And unlike successful comedians like Aziz Ansari, they don’t think child molestation jokes are funny.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some George Carlin to watch. He spends eight minutes mocking men like Frank Rich. Watch it if you’re in the mood for a laugh.

 

NY Times on Benghazi: Ignore the al Qaeda terrorists behind the curtain

If you haven’t read David Kirkpatrick’s New York Times piece on the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, you should do so. It’s good work. Very good work. Unfortunately, it’s solid investigative journalism that goes out of its way to downplay the nature of Ansar al-Sharia and its ties to al Qaeda. Mr. Kirkpatrick also seems to inflate the significance that the obscure anti-Islam film, “Innocence of Muslims,” had in the whole affair. If what he says about “Innocence of Muslims” is true, it further demonstrates the incredibly dysfunctional and backwards nature of much of the Middle East.

Mr. Kirkpatrick’s ‘A Deadly Mix in Benghzi’ centers around a Mr. Abu Khattala, the leader of an extremist militia in Libya. The journalist’s own investigative work clearly demonstrates the overlap between local militias and Ansar al-Sharia, but then he intellectually twists and turns to dismiss the possibility that al Qaeda was involved.

  • Mohammed Ali al-Zahawi, the leader of Ansar al-Shariah, told The Washington Post that he disapproved of attacking Western diplomats, but he added, “If it had been our attack on the U.S. Consulate, we would have flattened it.”
  • At one point, a fighter asked Mr. Abu Khattala what to do with the remains of the compound. “Flatten it,” he said.
  • [Mr. Abu Khattala] volunteered that the leaders of Ansar al-Shariah had joined him in the operations room shortly after the attack began — underscoring the permeability of the line between threat and protector among Benghazi militias.

According to the New York Times, Ansar al-Shariah wasn’t involved in the planning for the Benghazi terror attack, but happened to show up to the local militia’s “operations room” once the bullets started flying. Readers are supposed to ignore Ansar al-Shariah’s ties to al Qaeda (long-established by the CIA and the State Department), and yet the leader of the organization and Mr. Abu Khattala both used “flatten” as the word-of-choice to describe what they would do when put in a position to decide the fate of the Benghazi compound. What a coincidence.

How do you write an extensive piece on the Benghazi terrorist attack and not mention Muhammad Jamal al Kashef? Answer: You can’t — unless the existence of al Kashef throws off a specific narrative you’re trying to create.

After “months of investigation,” the Times found “no evidence” of a connection between the Benghazi attack and al Qaeda.

In several hours of interviews, including ones conducted in the days before he became a prime suspect in the assault, Mr. Abu Khattala said he had no connections to Al Qaeda. But he never hid his admiration for its vision.

Translation: “Yes, it is well-known that my allies have connections with al Qaeda, we both share the exact same vision for the world, we both wanted to ‘flatten’ the Benghzi compound … but I swear that al Qaeda had nothing to do with the terrorist attack on a strategic or operational level.”

Over a decade after 9/11, it strains credulity to believe that al Qaeda did not have a hand in the September 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. I’m not going to completely discount the Times’ theory because, over a decade after the September 11, 2001 attacks, you would also think that U.S. diplomats would be familiar with “Taqiyya” — a form of deception that is permissible in Islam if the end result is beneficial to the religion. Apparently not.

The more moderate leaders of the big militias developed close ties to the Westerners.

At least one Islamist militia leader liked to play basketball at the British compound. Mr. Bukatef of the February 17 Brigade was a fluent English speaker who visited the American compound in Benghazi so often that “it was like he was my best friend,” one diplomat joked.

“We thought we were sufficiently close to them,” said one Western diplomat who was in Benghazi not long before the attack. “We all thought that if anything threatening was happening, that they would tip us off.”

Why are U.S. diplomats “joking” about the Bengahzi terrorist attack and the culpability their own ignorance played in allowing it to happen? The “moderates” are not moderates at all. They do not like us. They are willing to tolerate the United States only as long as our money and our weapons are useful to them, and that’s about it.

Again, Mr. Kirkpatrick’s piece sums up the situation quite well:

  • Unlike other Libyans, Mr. Abu Khattala expressed no gratitude for the American role in the NATO air campaign that toppled Colonel Qaddafi. If NATO had not intervened, “God would have helped us,” he said, insisting, “We know the United States was working with both sides” and considering “splitting up the country.”
  • Mr. McFarland struggled to make sense of their contradictory signals. “The message was, ‘Don’t come here because there is no security, but come right away because we need you,’” Mr. McFarland later told colleagues.

Ah yes, “God” would have intervened if President Obama did not. The president put his chips in with militia leaders like Mr. Abu Khattala, thinking they would help bring “hope and change” to Northern Africa, but instead he received “no gratitude,” a blown up U.S. compound, and dead Americans. The Libyans don’t want us to be there…but they do. Translation: “Give us money and things that go ‘boom’ and then leave us to our own Islamic-extremist devices.”

One last time: Do you believe this guy has no ties to al Qaeda?

On a June afternoon, Mr. Abu Khattala joined a column of as many as 200 pickup trucks mounted with artillery as they drove through downtown Benghazi under the black flags of militant Islam. …

Western diplomats who watched said they were stunned by the scale and weaponry of the display.

Even David Kirkpatrick acknowledges that al Qaeda has made significant inroads into Libya since the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. If you were to believe everything he says at face value (i.e., the Obama administration wasn’t trying to cover up anything and al Qaeda wasn’t involved in the attack on the U.S. compound), what you’re left with — at the present moment in Libya — is a nation teeming with al Qaeda terrorists and a whole host of other Islamic extremist organizations. Bravo, Mr. President.

If you have time, read ‘A Deadly Mix in Benghazi.’ It really is the end-product of top-notch investigative journalism. Unfortunately, it appears to have been pieced together to give cover and concealment to the political leaders most-closely connected with the tragedy.

NYT: Earth isn’t warming quickly — but it will one day, so cough up your freedom

The sun is a giant exploding ball of gas that is essentially to all life on planet earth. Perhaps — just perhaps — it plays a role when it comes to climate change here on earth. Just don't tell the New York Times that or its editors might accuse you of not believing in science.
The sun is a giant exploding ball of gas that is essential to all life on Earth. Perhaps — just perhaps — it plays a role when it comes to climate change here on earth. Just don’t tell the New York Times that or its editors might accuse you of not believing in science.

Years ago politicians said that the world was going to end if we didn’t do something about “Global Warming” — now, now, now (i.e., cede more individual liberties to the guys who are now totally cool with indefinite detention without a trial, sending drones to blow up Americans overseas and NSA wiretaps on your phone calls because Diane Feinstein thinks you might be a terrorist … in the future).

Well, Global Warming didn’t pan out, so the term was changed to “Climate Change.” It might not get as toasty as the scientists thought, but it was going to get really violent out there unless you coughed up more freedom and tax dollars to the guys who were going to “solve” the problem (e.g, men like Congressman Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who believe if Gaum becomes too heavily populated it will “tip over and capsize” into the ocean). Why talk about the potential of liquid fluoride thorium reactors when we can talk about expanding the size and scope of the federal government?

Anyway, the New York Times is looking around at the lack of devastation due to man-made globalwarmingclimatechange (one word), and it wants to assure you: even though scientists don’t know what’s going on — they’re right. They can’t prove that they’re right, but they are.

Gotcha:

As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming.

The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.

The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.

How do you know it’s “luck” if it’s a “mystery”?

True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.

President Obama said “progress comes in fits and starts.” It’s comforting to know that the Climate Change apocalypse will follow the same pattern.

But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean.

“Important gaps”? I thought this was a done deal? That’s what we’ve been told for decades now (unless you were alive in the 70’s, at which time they said we were on the verge of a new ice age).

As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.

Rarely do they mention that most of the warmest years in the historical record have occurred recently. Moreover, their claim depends on careful selection of the starting and ending points. The starting point is almost always 1998, a particularly warm year because of a strong El Nino weather pattern.

Somebody who wanted to sell you gold coins as an investment could make the same kind of argument about the futility of putting your retirement funds into the stock market. If he picked the start date and the end date carefully enough, the gold salesman could make it look like the stock market did not go up for a decade or longer.

Hmm. The New York Times is saying that if you don’t quite believe the scientists who say it’s all going to end soon unless we fork over authority to the federal government, then you probably like to fudge data. That’s really odd, since that’s exactly what globalwarmingclimatechange (one word) advocates got caught doing on a massive scale.

Here’s a short summary of “Climategate,” via Watts up with That, to refresh your memory:

1. The scientists colluded in efforts to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests (across continents no less). They reference deleting data, hiding source code from requests, manipulating data to make it more annoying to use, and attempting to deny requests from people recognized as contributors to specific internet sites. Big brother really is watching you. He’s just not very good at securing his web site.

2. These scientists publicly diminished opposing arguments for lack of being published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In the background they discussed black-balling journals that did publish opposing views, and preventing opposing views from being published in journals they controlled. They even mention changing the rules midstream in arenas they control to ensure opposing views would not see the light of day. They discuss amongst themselves which scientists can be trusted and who should be excluded from having data because they may not be “predictable”.

3. The scientists expressed concern privately over a lack of increase in global temperatures in the last decade, and the fact that they could not explain this. Publicly they discounted it as simple natural variations. In one instance, data was [apparently] manipulated to hide a decline in temperatures when graphed. Other discussions included ways to discount historic warming trends that inconveniently did not occur during increases in atmospheric CO2.

4. The emails show examples of top scientists working to create public relations messaging with favorable news outlets. It shows them identifying and cataloging, by name and association, people with opposing views. These people are then disparaged in a coordinated fashion via favorable online communities.

What the emails/files don’t do is completely destroy the possibility that global climate change is real. They don’t preclude many studies from being accurate, on either side of the discussion. And they should not be seen as discrediting all science.

Wow. Hey. That last paragraph sounds pretty measured. It sounds like a guy who acknowledges that humans have an impact on the environment, but that it might not be nearly as consequential as we’re being led to believe.

When push comes to shove, the scientists are forced to acknowledge that for all their knowledge, they don’t know s**t. The conservative knows this (e.g., we don’t think 535 people can “plan” a $14 trillion economy), which is why they aren’t enthusiastic about handing over individual liberties to Big Brother in the name of saving Mother Earth.

And with that, I leave you with George Carlin, who nails environmentalists to the wall:

Note: Check out Hube’s take over at the Colossus of Rhodey.

Clueless sociologists writing on marriage should read the Bible — or watch Pacific Rim

Since sociologists who write on marriage are too lazy (or afraid) to address the religious aspect to the institution, perhaps they would learn something from watching 'Pacific Rim' this summer. Just think of the 'mind meld' as something you'd find close Mark 10:8.
Since sociologists who write on marriage for the New York Times are too lazy (or afraid) to address the religious and spiritual aspects of the institution, perhaps they could learn something from watching ‘Pacific Rim’ this summer. They could just think of the ‘mind meld’ as something they’d find around Mark 10:8.

Andrew J. Cherlin is a sociologist and the author of ‘The Marriage-Go Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today.’ He’s apparently studied marriage for three decades, which is sad because he doesn’t seem to have learned very much over the years.

Amazon.com’s plug for the new book reads:

Andrew J. Cherlin’s three decades of study have shown him that marriage in America is a social and political battlefield in a way that it isn’t in other developed countries. Americans marry and divorce more often and have more live-in partners than Europeans, and gay Americans have more interest in legalizing same-sex marriage. The difference comes from Americans’ embrace of two contradictory cultural ideals: marriage, a formal commitment to share one’s life with another; and individualism, which emphasizes personal choice and self-development. Religion and law in America reinforce both of these behavioral poles, fueling turmoil in our family life and heated debate in our public life.

Wrong. Marriage and individualism are only “contradictory cultural ideals” in the world of clueless sociologist clowns writing pseudo-intellectual psycho-babble in the Opinion section of the New York Times.

Here’s an excerpt from Cherlin’s NYT’s piece, which oddly enough never mentions the words ‘God’ or ‘love’ once:

IT’S surprising how many people still marry. As everyone knows, it’s a risky proposition; the divorce rate, though down from its peak of one in two marriages in the early 1980s, remains substantial. Besides, you can have a perfectly respectable life these days without marrying. …

Marriage has become a status symbol — a highly regarded marker of a successful personal life. This transformed meaning is evident in the Obama administration’s briefs in the two same-sex marriage cases now in front of the Supreme Court. Those documents reflect, in part, the assumption that marriage represents not only a bundle of rights but also a privileged position. …

In the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Justice Department wrote that marriage “confers a special validation of the relationship between two individuals and conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.” …

Today, marriage is more discretionary than ever, and also more distinctive. It is something young adults do after they and their live-in partners have good jobs and a nice apartment. It has become the capstone experience of personal life — the last brick put in place after everything else is set. People marry to show their family and friends how well their lives are going, even if deep down they are unsure whether their partnership will last a lifetime.

How is it possible to write an entire op-ed on marriage and not mention the words ‘love’ or ‘God’ once? As of 2010, roughly 75 million Catholics live in the United States, and yet no mention of God, Mr. Cherlin? Gallup found that as of 2012, 77% of Americans identify with a Christian religion, and yet no mention of God, Mr. Cherlin? I suppose it’s much easier to redefine marriage when one takes any mention of God out of the equation and replaces religious elements with words like “status symbol” and “capstone,” but one would think that academics with an agenda would hide their tracks a little easier. The smart kid who cheats on his spelling test always gets a few wrong on purpose because a 100% by a kid who has never shown he was capable of delivering such a score is mighty fishy. In short, Mr. Cherlin is probably not nearly as smart as he thinks he is.

But I digress. Back to the issue at hand, which is that marriage and individualism are not contradictory in the least. The astute reader will realize that there is another word missing from Cherlin’s opinion piece: ‘compromise.’

It is entirely possible for two people to embrace individualism while also being 100% dedicated to another person. The two are not mutually exclusive, and anyone who understands the nature of compromise knows the two can coexist.

Since Mr. Cherlin is afraid to touch the Bible, I will. Mark 10:6 – 10:9 reads:

“But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together let no man separate.”

Again, perhaps I’m just a rube, but if tens of millions of Americans draw some sort of basic understanding about the nature of marriage from the Bible, it might be worth maybe-sorta-kinda looking into it. Just a thought.

Regardless, my point stands: On the most important level, I do not view myself as a separate entity from my wife because we are spiritually tied together. We are spiritually one. And so, it would make no sense for me to not try and aid her in reaching her full potential, just as I’m sure she feels the same way about me and my long-term goals.

If I were to lash out and hurt my wife, I would be hurting myself. If I was to cause her unnecessary emotional distress, it would ultimately be my own spirit that was damaged. There is no reason for me to work at odds with my wife because it would be similar to me picking up something with my left hand and then slapping it out with my right. It would make no sense.

Mr. Cherlin’s refusal to try and understand what individualism is to a man and a woman who see themselves as spiritually one unit hurts him. It’s a very complex subject, which is another reason why I suspect he avoided it all together.

With that said, I might still buy ‘The Marriage-Go Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today,’ if for no other reason than to make me laugh.

And since this blog is supposed to mix politics with pop culture, here’s another analogy for marriage: the “mind meld” from Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pacific Rim’. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. For sociologists who are too scared to study the Bible, it’s a dumbed-down version of two essentially becoming one.

A tale of two Big Birds: Mark Steyn vs. Charles Blow

Charles Blow of the New York Times says if you pick on Big Bird you answer to him. That seems like an empty threat, given that he’s protected his Twitter account from anyone who disagrees with him. It’s unfortunate that he thinks the extremely lucrative Big Bird needs the same protection.

After Mitt Romney took President Obama to the cleaners in the first presidential debate (so much so that Bill Maher said it looked like President Obama spent his $1 million Super PAC donation on weed), liberals needed to latch onto something. They found it: Big Bird. What kind of inhumane, heartless bastard would want to “kill” Big Bird? The answer is no one, but since we’re dealing with adults who act like Sesame Street watching toddlers, we get a false dichotomy — either the government funds PBS or Big Bird will cease to exist.

President Obama’s supporters think they have a winner with the death-to-Big-Bird rants, when in reality their temper tantrum makes it clear to independent voters that they are not up to handling the serious financial problems America faces.

First, let us look at Mark Steyn’s reaction to the affair:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting receives nearly half a billion dollars a year from taxpayers, which it disburses to PBS stations, who in turn disburse it to Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. I don’t know what Big Bird gets, but, according to Senator Jim DeMint, the president of Sesame Workshop, Gary Knell, received in 2008 a salary of $956,513. In that sense, Big Bird and Senator Harry Reid embody the same mystifying phenomenon: They’ve been in “public service” their entire lives and have somehow wound up as multimillionaires. …

[W]hether or not everybody loves Sesame Street, everybody has seen it, and every American under 50 has been weaned on it. So far this century it’s sold nigh on a billion bucks’ worth of merchandising sales (that’s popular toys such as the Subsidize-Me-Elmo doll). If Sesame Street is not commercially viable, then nothing is, and we should just cut to the chase and bail out everything. …

If Americans can’t muster the will to make Big Bird leave the government nest, they certainly will never reform Medicare.

Now, let us look at the reaction of Charles Blow of the New York Times:

Since 1969, Big Bird has been the king of the block on “Sesame Street.” When I was a child, he and his friends taught me the alphabet and the colors and how to do simple math. …

Big Bird and his friends also showed me what it meant to resolve conflicts with kindness and accept people’s differences and look out for the less fortunate. Do you know anything about looking out for the less fortunate, Mr. Romney? …

Let me make it simple for you, Mr. Romney. I’m down with Big Bird. You pick on him, you answer to me. …

I don’t really expect Mitt Romney to understand the value of something like PBS to people, like me, who grew up in poor, rural areas and went to small schools. These are places with no museums or preschools or after-school educational programs. There wasn’t money for travel or to pay tutors.

I honestly don’t know where I would be in the world without PBS.

First of all, not a lot of people can “answer” to Charles Blow because he’s locked his Twitter account (an odd step for someone who writes for a major American newspaper). Charles is untouchable — kind of like Big Bird.

Steyn’s central argument is that Big Bird is worth big bucks. The makers of Sesame Street and the top brass at PBS have done quite well for themselves. Public Broadcasting is very lucrative for the guys in charge. The kind of content that PBS provides is at the touch of our fingers. It’s everywhere, and it’s cheap. And so the question becomes: Should the American taxpayer be subsidizing this? The answer is no. And if we can not even bring ourselves to let Big Bird leave the nest … is it any wonder why we have government-mandated health care that encourages children to stay on their parent’s medical coverage until they’re 26 years old?

Charles Blow’s piece, in contrast, is purely emotional. He “honestly doesn’t know” where he’d be without Sesame Street. That’s an incredibly sad admission, but if he’s honest about it, let’s examine the subject a little more closely.

Again, absent government funding, the content provided by Sesame Street would essentially still exist. Investors would buy the rights to Big Bird. (Even Mark Levin has said that he would do so.) The Sesame Street crew would end up on Nickelodeon or ABC family or any number of shows on basic cable. Sesame Street and its decades of glory are available on DVD, on Youtube, etc. Big Bird might even wind up in kiddie crossovers featuring Dora the Explorer and “Blue” from Blue’s Clues. Think of the possibilities, Charles!

The Vice Presidential debate is coming up. President Obama’s team is so desperate I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Biden started harping on Big Bird just to keep the conversation going for another week. If he does, more power to him. It’s a debate us conservatives are more than happy to have. And guys like me don’t lock their Twitter account like Charles Blow, either.

Charles Blow: Occupy Wall Street Like Cobain (Who Blew His Head Off).

Charles Blow thinks the Occupy Wall Street movement is "cool"---so much so that he likened them to a band that came to an abrupt end when its lead singer propped a shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. Nirvana, Charles? Not to most Americans, Charles.

Every day I’m thankful that Charles Blow is on the New York Times’ payroll. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. He hunts non-existent Tea Party racists with the fervor of a backwoods Bigfoot fanatic. He’s speaks on constitutional issues in ways that suggest he’s never looked at what the Constitution actually says about a government of limited and enumerated powers. He endears himself to independent women by likening Sarah Palin to horror film monster “The Blob.”

Today, he looks at the Occupy Wall Street Movement and sees Nirvana (the band and, seemingly, the transcendental state of awareness):

If the Occupy Wall Street protests were a band, I’d say the closest corollary would probably be the legendary ’90s grunge band Nirvana — both meaningful and murky, tapping into a national angst and hopelessness, providing a much-needed catharsis and gaining a broad and devoted following while quickly becoming the voice of a generation…

This has energized two groups who are notoriously apathetic and lacking in civic engagement — the young and the poor — and has done so outside the existing architectures of power and politics.

This excitement has attracted the attention of progressive politicians, pundits and celebrities, many of whom are making pilgrimages to the protests to lend support while reinforcing their own street cred and pondering how to best harness the energy on display.

Charles, Charles, Charles…the first thing you do when likening a movement to a band is to make sure their lead singer didn’t blow his brains out with a shotgun after pumping himself up on heroin. It can’t be a portent of success when the New York Times is making analogies to a guy who was ultimately found a decomposing mess in his bedroom days after his gruesome death. About the only thing Charles got right is the linkage to “grunge.”

Personally, I would have went with a Pearl Jam metaphor—they embodied the heart and soul of a generation, fought “the system,” and went on to become one of the most respected rock bands in the world. But who am I? I’m just a crazy, racist, conservative Tea Party type who’s completely out of touch with the pulse of the American people. (Right Charles?)

Charles goes on to talk about “progressive politicians, pundits, and celebrities” who are making a “pilgrimage” to “lend support” to the movement. Although he begrudgingly acknowledges it in the proceeding paragraph, Charles’ tummy is sloshing around with so much Kool Aid that he doesn’t realize the most accurate analysis would read:

“…progressive politicians, pundits, and celebrities, many of whom are making a Black Friday sprint to the protests to get in front of a camera while reinforcing their own street cred and pondering how to best exploit the energy on display.”

Blow continues:

“But there has been an even stronger reaction by some on the right, who, out of fear, are seeking to preemptively stain and marginalize the protesters.”

No, Charles. “The Right” hasn’t “stained” the protesters, the guy crapping on cops cars and the Occupy Front Porches with Our Poop squatters have “stained” the movement. The communists, anarchists, socialists, losers, and misfits have “stained” the movement. The college kids who admit they’re there for a student loan bailout have “stained” the movement. And New York Times columnists who insinuated the Tea Party was racist because they didn’t have a ready made bill to place in the House floor’s hopper—while completely ignoring the prominent anti-capitalist strain of Occupy Wall Street—have “stained” them.

The piece,Occupy-apalooza Strikes a Chord, ends with shocking statistics that show many citizens, “agree with many of the disparate ideas being put forward.” Okay. I agree with many of the generic ideas that Democratic Party puts forward (although, doesn’t everyone wish their was less “greed”?), but I disagree with almost all of their methods of implementation because they reduce individual freedoms and liberties.

Dear Charles,

I beat you to the punch on the Occupy Wall Street 90’s Anthem on Twitter: Beck’s Loser. Now I just need one for you. How about one from the Peal Jam vault, because you’re just Sad.

Bill Maher: Al Sharpton Bullhorn Boycott-proof…Because He’s Liberal.

What would liberals, particularly the New York Times’ Charles Blow, say if I told him Bill O’Reilly said the following:

“I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That’s — (in black man voice) we’ve got a ‘motherfu**ing problem here?’ Shoot somebody in the foot.”

Something tells Charles Blow would not be a happy camper. In fact, I’m pretty sure he would be downright livid.

Now, what if I told Mr. Blow that in actuality it was liberalism’s favorite intellectual bile belcher Bill Maher who had said it? Somehow, I think the criticism would be rather muted. Am I wrong? But the interesting thing about Bill Maher’s diatribe are the observations that begin to form because of it, and any one of them that might accurately depict what’s going on is bad news for Maher:

  • He actually believes “real” black people have their “blackness” measured by how much of a thug they are.
  • He doesn’t believe it, but he knows he has an immunity card to make “jokes” that would have Al Sharpton boycotts complete with blaring megaphones outside anyone
    Bill Maher: When you're liberal you can insult black people all day and get away with it. Or maybe they ignore me because they know I'm just a really mean, bitter person....

    else’s studio. The result: he gets to perpetuate a stereotype, but he leaves other people to clean up the cultural mess he makes.

  • He does believe it, and he knows he has a pass.

If you examine those who are usually the butt of Bill Maher’s jokes you’ll see that he holds a contemptuous view of almost all of them (e.g., religious people of any stripe, conservatives, anyone who disagrees with him)—which leads me to believe he thinks the same of black people. Like Keith “I admit I’m a racist” Olbermann, Bill knows that liberals can say the most insulting, derogatory things about “protected” groups and the Political Correctness Cops will turn a blind eye.  They can’t let the word get out that liberals have just as many ignoramuses in their camp as everyone else because then the mystique is gone.  The Racist Boogeyman is an important election-season card liberals depend on, and without it they’re at a severe disadvantage.  It’s hard to convince people to continue voting for you with unemployment near 10%, gut-busting federal deficits, stimulus bills that didn’t stimulate, healthcare bills passed that voters didn’t want, and oil spill response debacles that get worse with each passing day…without the conservative boogeyman to fall back on.

ToeJam and Earl ran from the Boogeyman. Liberals create him every election season.

Liberalism is in trouble. It’s crumbling abroad and giving Americans a sneak peak at what we have to look forward to if we continue on the Nanny State path. It’s exposed on the internet (which is why the president isn’t happy with new technology in your hands), and it’s beginning to sink in with young people that their professors are full of it.

Keep talking, Bill Maher.  In some sick and twisted way you’re the conservative’s best friend.

Update: Mediaite weighs in on this as well.