Marco Rubio . is one of the more articulate and consistent conservatives in American public life today. He’s shown a deep understanding of the security threats facing America and our options for dealing with them. He understands how wealth is created and what the government should be doing, and more importantly, not doing, to make the economy vigorous again. He is a friend of personal and economic freedom, and understands the connection between the two. He sees through the climate change humbug, and similar left political hustles.
As luck would have it, we made it through another year without a successful energy grid attack by the medieval fundamentalists or Russian antagonists who are seeking to paralyze America into darkness and powerlessness.
On October 15, 2015, U.S. law enforcement officials publicly revealed information on hack attempts at a national conference of American energy companies focusing on national security concerns.
“‘ISIL is beginning to perpetuate cyberattacks,’ Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security, told company executives,” reported Jose Pagliery at CNNMoney.
“Terrorists are not currently using the most sophisticated hacking tools to break into computer systems and turn off or blow up machines,” stated the CNNMoney report.
John Riggi, section chief at the FBI’s cyber division, concisely summarized the current condition: “Strong intent. Thankfully, low capability.” The deficient capability, however, could be short-term. “The concern is that they’ll buy that capability,” cautioned Riggi.
“Continuing my walk I reflected that a Church which could inspire such confidence in a child, making its priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable could not be as scheming and creepy as so often made out. I began to shake off my long-taught, long-absorbed prejudices.”
— Alec Guinness, Blessings in Disguise, referring to an incident during filming of The Detective (1954)
The recent film Spotlight should be commended for featuring the Boston Globe’s storied investigative team and their Pulitzer Prize winning reporting that, as Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, said in a late October statement to the Pilot, forced the church “to deal with what was shameful and hidden.”
Engineers who design computerized products and services seem to have an almost fanatical determination to avoid using plain English.
It is understandable when complicated processes require complicated operations. But when the very simplest things are designed with needless complications or murky instructions, that is something else.
For example, like all sorts of other devices, computers and computerized products and services have to be turned on and off. And everybody knows what the words “on” and “off” mean. But how often have you seen a computer or a computerized product or service that used the words “on” or “off”?
These simple and obvious words are avoided like the plague on many electronic devices — and this is symptomatic of a mindset that creates bigger problems with other operations. It is as if using words that everybody understands is beneath the dignity of a high tech product.
I’ve seen how an increasingly intolerant and muzzling form of political correctness has invaded nearly every aspect of American life. But I was still surprised recently to see how political orthodoxy was being applied to some of the most private and intimate aspects of personal behavior.
Browsing the magazine section in a bookstore, I glanced through an issue of the Nation magazine to see what was being said by liberals and progressives about the key issues of the day — the expanding federal debt, slow economic growth, the rise of ISIS, increased racial animosities, and the expanding mistrust of the political system.
Instead, I found myself reading “Love and Class War” (now there’s an imperialistic Marxism, occupying everything), by advice columnist Lisa Featherstone in the Nation, self-described as the “flagship” magazine of the left.
From “Lovesick Liberal,” there was this help-seeking letter for advice: “Dear Lisa, I’m in love with a staunch Republican, while I am very liberal. I’m afraid our sometimes heated debates may ruin any chances for us. I hold back a lot.”
After lamenting Donald Trump’s “penchant for sexism” last week, Hillary Clinton announced to supporters that her former-president husband — her “not-so-secret weapon” — will be hitting the campaign trail for her in January. Characteristically, in all capital letters, Trump struck back on Twitter, where he observed Bill Clinton himself has “demonstrated a penchant for sexism.” The it-only-hurts-when-you-laugh part about this tiff is that The Donald and Bubba have so much in common.
Discussing the GOP front-runner’s style with the Des Moines Register, Hillary Clinton lamented that Trump has “no boundaries” and “keeps pushing the envelope.” But both men have degraded the public lexicon. Bill Clinton turned “Lewinsky” into a verb. Trump hit another low when he said the former secretary of state “got schlonged” in the 2008 presidential race. Wink, wink. The Donald tweeted that the term just means “beaten badly.”
With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan.
(With Donald Trump performing as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, with his little list of people who never will be missed.)
As next year it must happen that some losers must emerge
— I’ve got a little list. I’ve got a little list.
Of Republican contenders most deserving of a purge,
— And who never would be missed — they never would be missed!
There’s the presidential second son — whose energy is low.
The guv who thinks Dad’s mailman gig delivers Ohio.
That small dude from Kentucky, who shouldn’t be onstage.
And the whelp who knows what “triad” means — just put him in a cage.
And the former neurosurgeon, an avowed twin separatist.
— A weak knife pugilist — that loser won’t be missed!
Editor’s Note: An ambitious but largely aspirational agreement comes to us, out of Paris, leaving wide open the question: how, exactly, should carbon reduction be accomplished, and how should that be financed?
Fortunately, a new, intriguing supply-side answer to both questions — Clean Tax Reform — comes to us out of a fascinating left/right conversation, co-hosted by Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn.og, and Rod Richardson, Director of the Grace Richardson Fund. What got our attention was not only the surprising insight that supply-side economics can be used to address climate change, but the further insight that climate change could be an opportunity to advance and demonstrate the power of supply side tax reform, whether we believe in climate change or not. We believe it is newsworthy, not just that a new supply side approach to climate change may now be suddenly relevant, but that progressives and conservatives seem willing to lean in to the same new idea.
A few days ago, I came across an internet video made by two Dutch filmmakers, Alexander Spoor and Sacha Harland, who have a series on YouTube called “Dit is Normaal.” Titled “The Holy Quran Experiment,” this video has received more than 6.5 million views on YouTube.
Spoor and Harland took to the streets of Amsterdam following the Paris terrorist attacks and read people verses from the Koran. The people interviewed were appalled by what was read to them. These quotes included, “A woman should learn in quietness and total submission,” “You will have to cut off her hand. Do not forgive her,” and “If two men sleep with each other they will both have to be killed.”
Honi soit qui mal y pense, goes an Old French saying. Shame on him who puts a bad construction on this. It’s usually attributed to King Edward III of England, following a minor, but embarrassing, mishap at his court. As he was dancing with a lady, her garter slipped and fell to her ankle. She stepped out of it and, not missing a beat, the chivalric King picked it up with his sword and put it on his own leg, while admonishing his Court not to snigger at the lady’s humiliation.
As used today, it suggests bad faith in those who intentionally misconstrue an innocent situation.
With this in mind I’d like to discuss the misplaced glee of those who announced that Bibi disinvited Trump to Israel because of Trump’s suggestion that the United States ban Muslims from entering the country until we can figure out what is going on. Here’s the text of Netanyahu’s statement: