June 28, 2011

Quick Takes: June 30, 2011

NOTE: We’re posting Quick Takes a bit early this week as I’ll be away from Internet connections for a few days. QTs will be back, as usual, on Thursday next week. Thanks!

ITEM: What’s Really Going On Under The Radar? Go here to Fox News for a very disturbing story about Progressive uber-donor and manipulator, George Soros. What’s that? Everything about George Soros is very disturbing? Indeed, but now we discover that’s he’s spending mega millions to subvert the process by which judges are seated across the nation. This one is not for the faint-hearted.

ITEM: Prayers Are In Order: for Austin Hatch of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Austin, a 16 year-old basketball standout, survived a 2003 plane crash that killed his mother and siblings, and has now been involved in a second crash. He is in critical condition. Go here for the story which contains more than its share of tragedy and irony. You know what to do.

ITEM: Human—Rights? Remember Galid Shalit, Israeli army soldier wounded and kidnapped five years ago during a raid into Israel? Shalit has been held, presumably somewhere in the Gaza Strip, since by Palestinian proponents of the Religion of Peace. If you haven’t had your recommended daily allowance of outrage, go here to learn that the international “human rights” community has issued a joint statement to honor that infamous anniversary, a statement that does not, in any way, demand his release. Surprised? Thought not.

ITEM: Louis Renault Award, Egyptian Division: I was shocked, shocked! to learn (here) that pro-democracy activists in Egypt are seeing their chances for democracy slip away as the Muslim Brotherhood gains ever more strength. I’m sure the Obama Administration is equally shocked, except they’re probably actually shocked to learn that Muslim murderers tend to behave like, well, Muslim murderers. Whoda thunk it?

ITEM: I Know That If I Wanted to Broker Democracy and Eternal Peace in Lebanon and Syria, That’s Who I’d Send: Write this one up under the “What The ….?!” category. Rep. Dennis Kuchinich (D-Another Dimension) is apparently on a mission to Syria and Lebanon where he will—well, no one is quite sure what he’ll do or why he’s going, or---Geez. Read the story here and see if you can figure it out. He couldn’t cause any more harm than Jimmy Carter, could he? Discuss.

ITEM: Tales From the People’s Republic, #10,285: If anyone is still interested, go here for the story of the conviction of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on 17 of 20 counts in his retrial. Among the counts on which he was convicted was trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Blagojevich is the fourth Illinois governor since 1973 convicted of a felony and his predecessor is still in prison. Illinois remains the only American state that does not allow concealed carry in any form. I wonder if there is a connection? Discuss.

ITEM: He’s What?! Go here to learn that Mr. Obama will now operate on instinct rather than on building consensus. Uh, what? Correct me if I’m wrong, gentle readers, but wasn’t Mr. Obama sold as the most carefully deliberative, intellectual president in history, a man whose cerebral cogitations were beyond the understanding of mere mortals? And didn’t he just give the appearance of seeking consensus while doing whatever he wanted anyway? And now he’s throwing all that away and going with his “gut?” The story does pose some potential reasons for this Oval Office sea change. Not that anything Mr. Obama does is likely to be good for America…

ITEM: And Now From the TSA, Who Brought You Serial Child Molestation: Israel is very, very successful in identifying and stopping potential terrorists from boarding their airliners. This is so because Israel isn’t the least bit shy about figuring out precisely who is likely to be a terrorist, and they don’t care about whose feelings might be hurt. America, on the other hand—and this was begun under George W. Bush and the execrable Norman Mineta—has now descended to requiring that 95 year old, dying women in wheelchairs accompanied by their families on a domestic flight remove their adult diapers. Apparently the crack TSA agents involved were suspicious becomes they found something wet in the diaper. I’m not kidding. The TSA has defended their actions as nothing more than following procedure. Perhaps the best procedure would be disbanding the TSA and adopting proven Israeli methods. Go here for the story. Take your blood pressure meds first.

ITEM: TSA Déjà Vu: Go here for a related article on the uselessness and abuses of the TSA. You owe this one to yourself if for no other reason than its accurate explanation of exploding butt cheeks. You’ll see what I mean.

ITEM: Remember the DREAM Act? The lunatic legislation that would have given illegal immigrants money to attend college and on the basis of being college students, essentially legal immigration status? Well, now it seems that Mr. Obama has enacted it by executive order. Who needs a Congress when you can command anything into existence? Go here, but secure easily breakable items first.

ITEM: But Mr. Obama Wants Everybody to Go To College On The Public Dime and Took Over the Student Loan Industry Too! Isn’t college for everybody? Shouldn’t everyone earn a sheepskin? Won’t a college degree lead to the good life? Not so much. Read this report to discover why Obamian utopian idealism really doesn’t apply to the real world. Did it ever? Discuss.

ITEM: So What The %$##*& Is Going On In Wisconsin Now? Quick Background: The story goes that Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley has claimed that recently re-elected Justice David Prosser choked her without provocation. However, like Anthony Weiner, she has made no police report of what, if true, would be an clear and easily proved assault. The reason may be that the incident occurred during an informal meeting of some five justices who were discussing the court’s defeat of the union’s lawsuit to stop Gov. Walker’s union legislation. According to at least two of the justices present, Bradley lost it and charged Prosser with fists raised. Prosser merely raised his hands to block her and in so doing, she more or less ran into his hands with her neck. Good grief. Go here for an article that will help you sort it out. Go here for a related article by the invaluable Wisconsin law prof. and blogger, Ann Althouse.

ITEM: They Really Can’t Help Themselves, Can They? Last week in Quick Takes, I brought to your attention evidence that our self-appointed betters who live on the left and right coasts really do view those of us living in flyover country as subhuman, inbred throwbacks to the apes, and probably lesser life forms. I know that even with the incontrovertible evidence I provided, some of you—good folk all, willing to give the benefit of the doubt to those who wouldn’t urinate on you if you were on fire—really couldn’t bring yourself to believe that such self-imagined superior beings could be so heartless and mindlessly cruel. Ok then. Go here for a brief video that will put all doubt to rest. Are you surprised that a NY Times columnist and Bill Maher (who thinks that New Jersey is the epitome of enlightened civilization) are involved? Thought not. Note the delighted, informed, we’re-the-in-group laughter and delight of the entire pencil-necked, pin-headed panel. They really do think this way folks. Go here for Ed Driscoll’s intelligent take on the same video and some other interesting links.

CY Dictionary: Flyover Country. Noun. A term coined by oh-so-sophisticated denizens of the east and west coasts to describe that vast, cultural wasteland between LAX and LaGuardia where the little people lead their uninteresting, petty, uninformed and anti-intellectual meaningless little lives.

ITEM: Somebody Tell Mitt Romney! It’s Global Warming! Global cooling is evidence of Global Warming! Snow in June is evidence of Global Warming! Dennis Kuchinich in Syria is evidence of Global Warming! The absence of Global Warming is evidence of Global Warming! All the hurricanes we are having are evidence of Global Warming! What’s that you say? What hurricanes? Well, you know, the hurricanes that are ravaging…I mean that might ravage…that…you know…aw poopy! Go here to discover that in the six years since Hurricane Katrina—despite the predictions of Global Warming proponents of certain GW-caused hurricane Armageddon to come—we have experienced near-record low levels of such storms.

A Note To Female Readers: You’ll like the picture of the author. Who says scientists have to be geeks?

ITEM: Free Speech and The Schools Update: Go here for the story of the Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s June 13 decision on public school student’s rights on the internet. This is an important decision, gentle readers. In the cases decided, schools punished students for parody Internet publications making, well, juvenile fun of principals. The parodies were apparent not done on school time or with school resources, but by the students involved at home. The court ruled—correctly I believe--that the involved schools exceeded their authority. Some will try to make political hay over this, but it appears to be a narrowly crafted decision well founded on Constitutional law rather than judicial whim.

ITEM: How Much Do We Charge For the Exercise of a Fundamental Civil Right? In NYC (here), to obtain a permit for a gun, it’s more than the cost of many guns. Anyone surprised? Thought not. I spent nearly a week in NYC not long ago. Can’t imagine living there unarmed. Couldn’t be armed if I lived there, not legally, so I’ll never live there. I’m sure Gov. Cuomo will be weeping about that as soon as it is brought to his attention. See: “They Really Can’t Help Themselves, Can They?” above.

ITEM: The Left Coast Sinks—Even More: I’ve mentioned the invaluable Michael Barone in past Quick Takes. Go here for his latest article on the rise of the Gulf Coast (GASP! Flyover Country!) and the continuing decline of California, that oasis of intellect, coolness and all-around human superiority on the Left Coast.

ITEM: I Want That Job! Go here for a fine Forbes article by the charming Susannah Breslin about job interview tactics. You’ll enjoy her wit and style.

ITEM: Dateline—Gillette, WY. The old joke going around Gillete in the 80’s was: “Dear Lord, give us another boom. We promise not to screw it up like the last one.” I’m writing this in Gillette, where I once lived and served as a police officer during a previous boom. Gillette is where I met and married my wife, which is easily the smartest thing I ever did. The town is booming once again with coal and oil development. My brother in law, the owner of a concrete contracting company, can’t get enough good workers, homes are being built, businesses are moving in, and the economy is booming—as much as economies boom these days. Gillette can be a fairly expensive place to live, but if you’re out of work and looking for a good place to find it, Gillette, WY is a pretty good bet these days.

ITEM: The Pulchritude (Not) of Progressive Policies: OK, OK, so it was fun to be alliterative for a moment! Sheesh! Go here for an informative Pajamas Media story by Tom Blumer about what Progressive thinking and policies have done to Ohio, and about what might be done to save it. Parallels to America? You be the judge.

ITEM: White Collar Non-Crime: Go here for the invaluable Mark Steyn’s take on the never-ending Conrad Black case. If you’re not familiar with Steyn, easily one of the most brilliant commentators working today, this will be a good, albeit brief, introduction.

ITEM: Can The NYT Ever Play It Straight: Here, they do. The story: The Obama Administration is hiring stealth poll takers to contact doctors pretending to be patients to see if doctors are accepting new patients, Medicare, etc. As you might imagine, doctors are not amused. Remember: This is the most transparent Administration in American history! Can you imagine how bad things would be if it was not? Discuss.

ITEM: They WANT To Ask About That Stuff?! And in Florida, a group of doctors is going to court to try to overturn a recently passed law that they feel terribly infringes on their practice of medicine. That’s right, they’re referring to the law that prevents doctors from quizzing their patients about---gun ownership absent a clearly definable medical reason to do so! What? Gun ownership? Gun ownership. But what does that have to do with practicing medicine? Good question. Go here to find out.

ITEM: You Don’t Want to Raise Taxes? You Don’t Want to Spend America Into Oblivion? You’re Unpatriotic! So sayeth the former (it always feels sooooo good to write that!) Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi. To discover a bit of economic reality, go here.

ITEM: It Doesn’t? The July 4 edition of “Time” magazine will grace its cover with a graphic asking if the Constitution still matters. I’m sure you won’t be able to guess what Time thinks about that one. Go here for the story, and a bit of exposure of faulty liberal thinking and double standards.

ITEM: They’re Doing WHAT?! Go here for Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin where we learn that CNN is now using psychics to figure out economics. Yes, our federal financial officials are baffled. Everything they are doing is an abject failure. They’re following the same path that led European nations to ruin and they can’t figure out why it’s not working and what they should do differently, so CNN is helping out! You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

ITEM: So Barack Obama is Chauncy Gardiner? How many of you remember “Being There?” Apart from his role in the Pink Panther films, this is my favorite Peter Sellers vehicle. Sellers plays a dim-witted gardener named “Chance” (Chance the gardener—get it?) whose vague, pseudo-metaphorical utterances are mistaken for brilliant political commentary. The film is a deft parody of what passes for wisdom inside the Beltway. Go here for Michael Barone’s convincing take on Mr. Obama’s similarity to that character.

ITEM: Do You Like Smart, Witty, Strong Women? Yeah? Me Too! I certainly married one. Go here for Andrew Klavan’s (no slouch as a writer and satirist, he) take on Ann Coulter who is one of the best commentators writing today. As with Sarah Palin, liberals often degenerate to foaming-at-the-mouth incomprehensibility at the mere mention of her name. Quite apart from the fact that she is a stylish, funny and brilliant writer, that’s good enough for me.

ITEM: I’m Sure All They Need Is A Little More Outreach: The head of Iranian missile forces recently claimed that Iran can build missiles—no doubt soon to be tipped with nuclear warheads—with even greater range than current models. The good news? They’re not going to do that because their current missiles can already reach Israeli and American bases in the region. Go here for the story. I’m sure that if Mr. Obama just reaches out to the Iranians again, or maybe sets a new deadline or threatens even more sanctions, they’ll come around.

ITEM: Gun Control and Video Games: Have you heard of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. EMA decision? If not, go here. The Court overturned a California law (boy, that’s a surprise!) that sought to prevent the sale of violent video games to kids under 18. But this decision goes beyond video games and casts major doubt on a long time tactic of the gun banners: the weapons effect. This is the lame idea that mere exposure to firearms can cause people to commit violent acts. Go here to the Volokh Consipiracy for an informative article on what passes for thinking and research in the minds of anti-gun social scientists these days.

ITEM: Oh, How The Mighty Have Fallen! Go here to read the second of two essays by Walter Russell Mead (there’s a link to the first) on the fall from grace of the Goracle, Al Gore. It seems that farcical climate alarmism is not selling terribly well these days. Perhaps Mr. Gore will have to sell his 100 foot, fresh water houseboat. Al Gore has a 100 foot houseboat? Indeed he does. I’m sure it’s completely green, just like the jets he uses to fly around the world to lecture the rest of us about our carbon footprints, when he’s not in one of his mansions that use as much electricity as small towns. You know, I almost feel sorry for poor Al—nah. I don’t.

ITEM: Shooting Yourself In the Foot: Go here for a brief article by the invaluable Victor Davis Hanson about a mostly Latino crowd booing the US soccer team in a recent match against Mexico. As regular readers know, we do not, for a moment, harbor any animus toward those who want to immigrate to the United States. We do, however, expect everyone to obey the law, in this, and every other way. What continues to amaze is that many open-borders types continue to shoot themselves in the foot, as Dr. Hanson concisely explains, by lauding the nations they fled at the expense of America.

ITEM: So What Does He Know? He’s Not Barack Obama! Go here for John Bolton’s lucid explanation of what Mr. Obama has done wrong, and continues to do wrong, regarding the non-hostile hostilities in Libya.

ITEM: The Dangers of Police Work, Episode #2397: Go here for the harrowing story of a drunken Ohio woman who went berserk at a wedding. When the police arrived, she pulled out a potentially deadly weapon: her right breast. According to police reports, she squirted the surprised police with said breast. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, which is amazing, because, as Steve Martin said: “Breasts make men stupid.” Not only that, those things normally travel in pairs, like a gang or something.

And with that shocking tale of lactose intolerance, I must thank you, once again, for stopping by and say my fond farewells. I encourage you to drop by once again next Thursday for another edition of Quick Takes!

Posted by MikeM at June 28, 2011 09:54 PM

What could be better than Thursday Quick Takes? Quick Takes on Wednesday. Thanks for another great post.

Posted by: Secesh at June 29, 2011 07:32 PM