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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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A Further Perspective

The Past Cleverness of President Obama Is Finally Starting to Catch Up With Him

By 9.30.14

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional — which means that decency is likely to become less common.

The biggest issue in this fall’s election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama’s contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?

Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.

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Media Matters

The Hit Job on Fox News

By 9.30.14

It was a hit job. Sixty veterans signing a much publicized “Open Letter to Fox News” — yet the signers were mysteriously never identified beyond the military branch in which they served.

No wonder. I have been through the list of sixty, and it is filled with Obama campaign workers, one ex-Obama White House aide, liberal activists, Democratic Party congressional candidates, Democratic Party state legislators, and more. The letter was sponsored by the Truman Project, a ten-year-old think tank with a focus on national security. Its board of directors includes Hunter Biden, the son of the Vice President. None of which was even whispered in the haughty “Open Letter” that was distributed to a media all too eager to go along with an attack on Fox News and two of the co-hosts on the Fox show The Five — Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. Instead the letter was presented as a source of genuine outrage from average, non-partisan American veterans — while keeping the real identity of the signers secret.

And you wonder why Americans are cynical about politicians?

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Politics

Maybe Holder Should Run the Secret Service

By 9.29.14

In the wake of the news of Eric Holder’s resignation, many voices are weighing in on the legacy he will leave behind. Newscasters have called him the president’s most trusted ally. He is noted to be the first black attorney general. But here’s the core: Holder will be remembered as a man who completely politicized the Department of Justice.

In recent days, some have questioned the ability of the Secret Service to protect the president. However, no one has questioned Eric Holder’s ability to use the Justice Department to protect the president.

Abandoning any precept of neutrality, Holder has served not as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, but instead as the president’s top policy-enforcement officer. Holder has used the Department of Justice to impose the president’s positions and protect his reputation — from stonewalling the investigation of the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal to dismissing voter intimidation by the Black Panthers.

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Play Ball

Number 2 Bids Hub Fans Adieu

By 9.29.14

On September 28, 2014, 36,879 people gathered in Boston’s Fenway Park to bid New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter adieu in his final big league game. In his final at bat, Jeter would get an infield hit driving in Ichiro Suzuki en route to a 9-5 Yankees victory. 

It wasn’t as dramatic as his walk off single in his final appearance in Yankee Stadium three days earlier against the Orioles, but the Fenway faithful (along with more than a few Yankees fans) got their money’s worth. More on that in a moment.

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The Right Prescription

The Difference Between Winners And Whiners

By 9.29.14

Democrats think conservatives in general, and Tea Partiers in particular, are stupid. Here’s how to reinforce that belief: Sit out the 2014 congressional elections because your favorite candidate lost his primary bid to an establishment Republican. If you live in Kansas, for example, you can suck your thumb while Democrat ringer Greg Orman beats Republican Senator Pat Roberts. If you’re a Kentucky conservative, you can stay home and bitch about Mitch while Alison “Rubberstamp” Grimes heads to Washington. If you’re in Mississippi, you can stay mad at Thad and allow Travis “no repeal” Childers to win. That’ll show those RINOs!

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A Further Perspective

Marijuana Cookie Monsters

By 9.29.14

It was all high fives on New Year’s Day in Denver’s marijuana shops. That was the day sales began under Colorado’s voter-approved measure to make legal “recreational” use of marijuana.

More than a few state bureaucrats, on the lookout for new revenue sources, must have looked on with warm smiles. After all, proponents had said often that legalization would give a boost in tax receipts to the state’s treasury.

Not to be left behind, the Colorado Symphony announced it would play a series of “cannabis-friendly” concerts to be called “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.” With dwindling audiences and a deficit, the orchestra’s CEO, Jerome Kern, told the Associated Press, “The cannabis industry obviously opens the door to a younger, more diverse audience.”

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Loose Canons

America’s Fool’s Errand Over Syria

By 9.29.14

Kobane — a town in northern Syria, not the dead rocker — is one of the focuses of President Obama’s war against ISIS. The fighting is confused by the fact that there aren’t just two sides, but at least six or seven. Obama told the UN last week that “the terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” Our effort to do so, aided by a coalition of sorts, is going at a glacial pace that will not foreseeably grow faster.

First things first. I’d guesstimate that we’re applying about 2-5 percent of the combined airpower of the U.S. Air Force and Navy to the president’s effort to destroy the Axis of Evil 3.0. That may be because we lack the actionable intelligence to do it faster. And it may be that neither we, nor our coalition members, are willing to do more.

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