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State Watch

In California, Every Love Scene Ever Filmed Is Rape

By 10.2.14

They say Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for the ugly. I can only imagine what this analogy makes Sacramento, which is inhabited by those ambitious California pols who can’t quite make it to Congress.

I’m not sure how those überuglies do the sex up there in Sacramento, and normally none of us should care how these elected frog people get laid. Except that they have now inflicted their ignorance of normal human sexual behavior on the other 38 million people in their state, in the form of a bill that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Monday. The law requires state colleges to impose safeguards that sound more appropriate in an autistic dating game: that is, students must obtain “affirmative consent” before engaging in “sexual activity” and then ensure that said consent is “ongoing throughout a sexual activity.”

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Car Guy

Bring Back T-Tops!

By 10.2.14

Some things — bell bottom corduroys, for instance — will never make a comeback. Well, hopefully. But I’d really like to see a new car with T-tops again.

Remember T-tops?

The ’68 Corvette was the first production car to offer them (though the idea had been patented in 1951 by Gordon Buehrig, automotive god/he-who-designed the ’35 Auburn Speedster and Cord 810, among other beautiful things) and by the late ’70s — by which time convertibles had all-but-ceased-to-exist — they had become a popular way to experience the wind in your hair.

They weren’t flimsy and easily damaged — stained/torn — like convertible soft-tops. And they weren’t heavy and unwieldy, like a removable hardtop. (This was before the invention/widespread availability of the folding retractable hardtop — which eliminated the need for a block and tackle or, at least, two strong men plus somewhere to put the damned thing once you got it off the car.)

You enjoyed the open-air experience when the weather was nice and you were so inclined. The rest of the time, you had the physical security against the elements (and the maggots) of a hardtop.

Well, except when it rained.

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Ben Stein's Diary

I LOVE CARS — The Greatest Invention of Mankind

By 10.1.14

Tuesday
So… It is a beautiful, spectacular day here in Los Angeles. I am sitting at my desk and looking out at the swimming pool and I am thinking a DEEP THOUGHT:

I LOVE CARS.

I don’t just like cars. I don’t just think it’s good to have a car. I LOVE CARS. And I include trucks there, too, of course. I LOVE CARS!!!!

The car is the greatest invention of mankind. The car is what makes all of the difference in life.

Before the car, man was pretty much just an insect. He burrowed and crept along the ground. He moved very slowly. He was subject to the cold and the heat and the rain and the snow and the sleet. He was pitiful. Even once he had the horse, he was still outside. He was still going to get pneumonia and die if he rode around in the winter. He was going to get soaked if he rode in the rain.

Even if he or she were an Emperor or an Empress like Napoleon or the Tsar or Queen Victoria, he was going to have a miserable bumpy ride in a carriage, lurching back and forth, getting miserable and nauseated and still sweltering in the heat and freezing in the cold.

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The Obama Watch

The Democrats’ Biggest Worry: Obama’s Fall From Grace With His Base

By 10.1.14

The Democrats’ biggest worry heading toward November is Obama’s fall from grace with his base. This could make things even worse for them than currently expected. Democrats’ only hope to offset Republicans’ anticipated midterm surge is their base’s high turnout. However, Obama’s deep drop with his strongest supporters seriously calls this hope into question.

Democrats know they will lose seats in November. The only question is: How many? At best, they hope to hang on to the Senate by a hair.

Losses for the party holding the presidency are nothing new. Simply, it happens because the presidential candidate, who brought in sufficient voters to win the White House two years earlier, is now off the ballot. The result: without the president’s additional supporters, his party suffers in Congress.

Four years ago, and just two years into Obama’s presidency, Democrats saw this play out spectacularly. They lost six Senate and sixty House seats — including control of the House. The reason was just as expected: a huge drop in their core constituents as a portion of the electorate.

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Politics

A Death Panel By Any Other Name?

By 10.1.14

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is director of the Clinical Bioethics Department of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and heads the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been acknowledged as a prime mover and advocate for Obamacare. So his recent article in the Atlantic titled, “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” should scare the hell out of most of those still shy of that number. He is not kidding.

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A Further Perspective

‘A Workplace Violence Story’

By 10.1.14

Not so long ago the Left was mocking Oklahoma for joining the “anti-Sharia movement,” treating its worries about creeping radical Islam in America as paranoid. Liberals chortled over the silliness of the state’s measure to prevent judges from considering Sharia law in any of their decisions.

Last week those concerns looked considerably less idle. The state witnessed one actual beheading by a Muslim and another threatened one. The latter involved a Kenyan-born nursing home worker who was arrested after he reportedly told a co-worker he was planning to cut her head off, saying that he “represented ISIS and that ISIS kills Christians.”

The FBI is treating the beheading of a co-worker by Alton Nolen at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma, as an act of “workplace violence.” This has met with the approval of MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, for whom the story contains no connection to radical Islam. “It is a story that I read as a workplace violence story,” she said.

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The Current Crisis

Can It Happen Here?

By 10.1.14

Can it happen here? It is happening in Europe where French polls show that the National Front’s Marine Le Pen would win the election for president if elections were held tomorrow. Something like it has happened in Italy where an anarchist comedian, the happily named Beppe Grillo, garnered 25 percent of the vote last year. Most spectacularly, it almost happened in the United Kingdom last month. What am I talking about? An election in which the lowly voters overcome the professional pols and vote their minds. Now there is evidence that it can happen here.

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To Be Absolutely Frank

Ten Points About Islamic Jihad in America

By 10.1.14

Let’s see if we can all agree on a few points:

1. Whether our leaders wish to accept it or not, it is a fact that throughout America’s history, including current times, there have been and are people who do not subscribe to our way of life and wish to destroy us. Such people have been adherents to any number of noxious ideologies. In the past, they’ve been secessionists, anarchists, Bolsheviks, Nazis, black separatists, among other things.

2. Today, the most prominent and worrisome group is Islamists — more precisely, Muslim adherents to the doctrine of Sharia.

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The Public Policy

Federal Grant Spent $300K Studying How to Ride a Bike

By 9.30.14

Welcome to today’s edition of “Where are my tax dollars going?” The government’s latest creative use of tax revenue is a $300,000 study on how to ride a bike.

Oh, you thought you already knew how to ride a bike? Allow the National Science Foundation to correct you: “(Almost) everybody knows how to ride a bike, but (almost) no one knows how we ride a bike.”

Isn’t that deep?

The National Science Foundation gave a three hundred thousand dollar grant to professors at the University of California-Davis to “improve the fundamental understanding of how humans interact with bicycles.”

It seems the ultimate goal was to get more people biking and less people driving, in order to save the environment. If we just understood the complex dynamics between rider and bicycle, we’d be more likely to use bikes. The dynamics of driving a motor vehicle must be more understandable; that’s why we drive so much.

There can be no other explanation.

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Main Street U.S.A.

The Unwisdom of Solomon

By 9.30.14

Tee-hee; snicker-snicker. Look at those right-wing clodhoppers scrambling for cover. Yes, sir, Highland Park High School, in Dallas, having “reassessed” seven maligned literary classics — among them, the never-to-be-forgotten The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian  — restored them to its approved reading list, local bigots and prudes notwithstanding. (A local bigot is someone who suspects John Milton may be a greater writer than Stephen King.)

What a field day for those, um, intellectuals who specialize in ridiculing parents rude enough to question the grounding of high school students’ literary tastes in — as the Associated Press summed it up — “sex scenes and references to rape, abuse, and abortion.” Highland Park High — one of the best, most successful high schools in the country, by the way — suspended the use of seven titles protested by parents.

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