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A Further Perspective

Spinning Out of Control

By 7.18.15

It is a safe prediction that for years to come the debate over the Obama Iran deal will rage, with one question looming largest; namely, which was worse… the treaty or the press conference?

Actually, it was not a conference but what is known in Washington-speak as a “press availability.” This refers not to the press being available but to the President making himself available to the press and all its relentless scrutiny. For once Obama came through, making himself thoroughly available; all his specious sophistry, all his testy narcissism, all his Freudian solipsism, was on display. To coin a phrase, he had all his centrifuges spinning. And, as Jackie Mason would add, I say this with the highest respect.

In one contentious exchange, Major Garrett of CBS wondered how the President was “content” to leave American hostages trapped in Iran, basting in Hell while he basked in Heaven. Obama contended he was not the least bit content; why, he had even met with some of the families of the hostages!

The Nation's Pulse

The Yankee Taliban

By 7.17.15

A few hours before ESPN honored Caitlyn Jenner with a “courage” award on Wednesday, the University of Texas vice president for diversity and community engagement hosted a public forum on removing Confederate-themed statuary from campus, which includes a likeness of Robert E. Lee.

There’s courage in cosmetic surgery and shame in battle. May I secede now?

Cassi Pollock of Breitbart Texas reports that a UT graduate student claimed at the meeting that the presence of the statues on campus “inhibited students from their full participation.” Several undergraduates, perhaps frustrated at the havoc the inanimate objects played on their GPAs, recently defaced the effigies with spray paint. And unlike the vandals of a monument to fallen Southerners in Charleston, the Austin defacers spelled “Black Lives Matter” correctly. It’s a college town.

The Obama Watch

President Obama’s Nuclear Surrender

By 7.17.15

Remember President Obama’s Obamacare promise that if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan? That turned out to be you can keep your health care plan if Obama likes your health care plan, as millions of Americans lost their health care plans they liked perfectly well for the price, because those plans failed to include all the costly benefits Obamacare required them to include.

Now President Obama is trying to manipulate public opinion again on the Iran nuclear deal. He is telling the public the deal is so good because under the deal “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off” to Iran, and the deal “will prevent [Iran] from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Special Report

Barack and Valerie’s Great Communist Party Marriage

By 7.17.15

In my current book, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, I write of the phenomenon of Communist Party marriages. “Theirs was the first ‘party marriage’ that I observed,” wrote Whittaker Chambers in Witness, describing the decidedly non-sacramental marriage of two of his Communist Party comrades, before writing of his own “party marriages.”

Another Perspective

Lessons From the Past

By 7.17.15

Ill-tempered Greeks rattle a tin cup — desperate for another handout from the European Union but feeling far more anger than gratitude toward their would-be benefactors.

Italy shares Greece’s pain — and the same deeply ingrained sense of resentment and entitlement. It too blames the rest of the world for high unemployment, falling living standards, and the inability of its government to pay its bills or to keep from falling deeper and deeper into debt. It will be no surprise if Italy follows Greece in bellying up to the EU’s bailout line.

Whatever happened “the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome”?

In his famous funeral oration, delivered in 431 BC, the Greek leader Pericles sought to capture what it was that characterized Athens at the peak of its glory. In his words, the Athens of that time did not need a Homer to sing its praises, or even imperishable monuments, such as the Parthenon, completed only a few years earlier: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others to be eternally remembered.”

Play Ball

Suffering From the All-Star Blues

By 7.17.15

It has been years since I’ve watched an all-star game of any sport. These are made-up exhibitions, put on by guys who don’t normally play on the same teams, in fact usually compete with each other (not always amicably). And don’t even get me started on the interminable pre-game and in-game hype and folderol by over-caffeinated announcers that those who tune into these games must endure. 

With some spectacular exceptions — see Mike Trout — most All-Star participants seem to be mostly interested in not getting injured during the non-game, thereby risking losing playing time in the real games to follow. A league is a pretty abstract thing for a player to identify with, and to be willing to lay it all out for (yes, even for today’s astronomical salaries). The attitude of most contemporary baseball players to the All-Star game seems to track Mark Twain’s attitude toward being tarred and feathered, to wit: “Except for the honor, I would as soon skip it.”

State Watch

EPA Power Grab Incites States to Consider Nullification

By 7.17.15

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has in recent years imposed numerous new regulatory rules strangling the freedoms of businesses and property owners. Latching on to every possible excuse for regulating economic activities by citing microscopic effects on air and water, EPA has shown no respect for any boundaries in imposing its draconian mandates. State governments are experiencing the effects and are increasingly taking action to reduce the amount of economic carnage the Obama administration’s EPA inflicts.

States’ refusal to enforce what they consider to be unconstitutional federal laws is known as nullification. In the Virginia Resolution of 1798, James Madison said states are “duty bound to resist” when the federal government violates the Constitution. States are now embracing this concept by responding to an increasing regulatory burden imposed by federal bureaucrats.

Sanctuary City Watch

San Francisco: ‘Repeat Offenders, Come and Stay’

By 7.16.15

San Francisco is not likely to change its ill-conceived sanctuary-city policy because City Hall must bow to progressives who don’t believe in deporting undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records. Activists such as Angela Chan of the Asian Law Caucus believe that Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was right to release Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez rather than turn him over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as requested. They don’t care that Lopez-Sanchez had been convicted of seven felonies and deported five times before he was arrested for the July 1 shooting death of Kathryn Steinle.

Lopez-Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to murder. Already, city pols are treating Steinle’s death as an anomaly. Supervisor Malia Cohen told the San Francisco Chronicle, “I’m not going to let one extremely unfortunate situation frame the policy.”

Free Market Accountability Project

Patently Absurd

By 7.16.15

Online trolls get a kick out of goading people by posting harassing, inflammatory comments on web sites.

They live to get a reaction.

Patent trolls do the same thing — only their motive is to make a quick buck.

It’s easy to do — unfortunately.

Because all it takes is an accusation of patent infringement — no matter how fact-free — to place the individual or company accused of infringement in the position of having to disprove the claim.

On their nickel.

Patent trolls know it’s less hassle — and often, expense — for a patent holder to cut a check, agree to some form of settlement, rather than litigate. Lawyers cost money — and cases often take months or even years to resolve. Knowing this, the trolls send out a multitude of so-called “demand letters,” hoping that some of their prospective victims will see it as a cost of doing business to throw the troll some money, just to make him go away.

A Further Perspective

Life, Where Is Thy Sting?

By 7.16.15

A husband comes home to find the kitchen sink has broken and the entire kitchen is flooded. In the midst of the wreckage stands his beleaguered wife, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Stop crying, honey,” he says. “You are only making it worse.”

This grim jest captures the experience of those sincere compassionate souls who devote themselves to the battle for human life; against euthanasia, against assisted suicide, and, most poignantly, against abortion. The larger war is already lost, and millions of babies will be murdered each year. This daunting reality makes it hard to find the moxie to fight the small legislative and public policy battles. Those tussles require just as much energy, yet all we can hope to save are here a few, there a few.

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