In 1996, the Democratic backbenchers who make up nearly the entire Democratic Congressional leadership voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. Now, fifteen years later, the Obama administration won't even defend this U.S. law in a U.S. court. What happened? As I write in my column @ Human Events, the Democratic Party not only became further radicalized, it became the Undemocratic Party.
I have slightly less respect for pop stars who loudly proclaim to be saving Africa from starvation than ones who quietly perform lucrative gigs for one of Africa's most repressive regimes. That said, there's something unsavory about Beyonce, Mariah Carey, and Usher performing for the Qaddafi family. People still hold a grudge against Queen for playing Sun City. What price, if any, is to be paid for accepting the Qaddafi millions?
Wanna hear the best pop song to come out in a while and a cut from the best American hard-rock band? Click on the links below and listen. Your ears will thank you for it.
Anthony Maschek got shot eleven times fighting bad guys in Iraq. Then he came home and got heckled while speaking out for the Reserve Officers Training Corps at Columbia. If he hasn't earned the right to speak freely, who has? Despite Congress lifting its ban on gays in the military, elite colleges are inventing new reasons to continue the ban on the ROTC. Read my article @ FrontPageMag, which shows that just as gays in the military replaced Vietnam as the rationale to kick the military off campus, the military's exclusion of transgendered people is replacing gays in the military as the justification for the prohibition of ROTC.
A few years ago, for the first time in U.S. history, most women lived without a husband at home. Why are so many women interested in marriage still single into their thirties and forties? Kay Kymowitz blames the "guy" phenomenon--irresponsible manboys who extend adolescence through video-game addictions, hook-ups, and bar crawling--for creating a paucity of eligible bachelors. Tracy McMillan blames women--bitchy, shallow, slutty, lying, selfish, insecure women. Read both thought-provoking articles and tell me who is right.
The American people told Gallup "Ronald Reagan." Abraham Lincoln, Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, and George Washington round out the top five.
From Cairo to Madison, 2011 is shaping up as the year of the mob. That is bad news for people who value representative government and the rule of law. We don't know where the mobs in Egypt and Wisconsin are taking the people because mobs don't know where they are going. As I write in my column @ Human Events, mobs follow. They don't lead.
It means failure by any translation. That's the message Germany's Angela Merkel, England's David Cameron, and France's Nicolas Sarkozy have conveyed to their countrymen. But if not for porous borders, the dole, reproductive repression, and other suicidal trends and policies, Europe would not be faced with the prospect of becoming Middle East West. Read my piece @ FrontPageMag that suggests that before Europeans demand Muslim immigrants to respect their values, they may themselves want to inspect those values.
Neither mobs nor Muslims are particularly kind to women. CBS reporter Lara Logan, no stranger to dangerous places, found herself surrounded by a mob of Muslims last Friday. They reportedly raped her repeatedly. She is still in the hospital. Had she been a North African woman instead of a South African woman, it probably would not have been wise to go public with this. Consider that rape victims are often murdered through "honor killings" in Egypt; many don't bother reporting the crime. Spousal rape is not illegal. The vast majority of women in Egypt have undergone female clitoridectomy. These social pathologies only partly explain the dehumanizing attack. As the mob brutalized Logan, they reportedly yelled: "Jew! Jew!" Logan isn't Jewish. Individuals who lose themselves in the mob and who assign devil status to others--in this case, "Jews"--are capable of horrible acts of inhumanity. This is literally a sick society in so many ways that removing Hosni Mubarak is not going to cure it.
The Wall Street Journal's characterization of Obama's budget as "The Cee Lo Green Budget" nails it. If you don't know what that means, you're probably going to be offended if I explain it so I'll refrain. "The White House actually touts as tight-fisted a budget proposing a record $1.645 trillion deficit for fiscal 2011, due largely to a new surge in spending to 25.3% of GDP," Opinion Journal notes. "That's more spending than in any year since 1945. Federal debt held by the public--the kind we have to pay back--will rise to 75.1% in 2012, which is the highest since 1951 and more than double what it was as recently as 2007." A $3.73 trillion dollar budget, a record-breaking deficit, and the largest government as a percentage of GDP since World War II isn't what I voted for last November.
I have the flu. If you don't believe me, here is a video my friends and I sick in bed (I am the talkative gentleman with a slight speech impediment). My body aches. I get chills. A distinct bronchial cough can be heard. Yesterday, my diet consisted of M&Ms, Theraflu, and Gatorade. That's better than my medicine this past weekend. Dr. Flynn prescribed Irish Whiskey and Moosehead. That cough medicine worked initially. The next day? Not so much. Physician, heal thyself. In my castle, one of my subjects senses my weakness. He wets balls of toilet paper and joyously launches them upon the bathroom walls. What can I do? I'm weak. He knows it. I know it. Sleep and water are my friends; germs, my enemy. I plan to expel them from my body. I will succeed, but I will not win. There is no truce between humans and the germs. There are battles. We win some. We lose some. When they lose, they come back stronger at a later date. When we lose, we, well, lose.
I was pleased to learn Arcade Fire won best album at the Grammys. If you remember, they were the runner-up in my own version of the Grammys for 2010. People marvel at an "indie" band winning the most prestigious Grammy. But this "indie" ban has also notched Billboard's top spot and sold out Madison Square Garden. What's more interesting than an indie band winning is that in a sonic landscape crowded with rap, country, and pop, a rock band took home this prize. I don't watch the Grammys. I do listen to Arcade Fire. For people who do the former and not the latter, it's a good thing that their reintroduction to rock and roll music may have come through Arcade Fire.
What comes the day after the revolution? Much hope, but little thought, has gone into answering this question. Like Charlie Brown perpetually trying to kick the football, Americans are constantly seeing in foreign revolutions 1776 instead of 1789, 1917, or 1979. Read my column @ Human Events, which shows how past revolutions have much to say about the one just experienced in Egypt.
Most of the gay people that I have met in my life I have met through the conservative movement. So the fuss about GOProud sponsoring a booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference seems a bit strange. Isn't it weird that the Heritage Foundation, not heretofore known as a bastion of social conservatism, boycotted CPAC this year? Are gay issues really that salient for them? Bob Bauman, the founding father of the American Conservative Union--the main sponsor of CPAC--is a gay man, after all. One can certainly say, then, that gays were present at CPAC's creation. I'm sure there are issues that I disagree with GOProud about. But as I look over their list of priorities I find myself agreeing with almost all of it. And there are so many groups sponsoring CPAC that disagreements inevitably occur--open borders v. anti-immigration, muscular internationalism v. America First, Big Government Conservatives v. libertarians, drug legalization v. drug prohibitionism, etc. Why single out homosexuals for exclusion? I have attended many a CPAC planning meeting and believe me when I say that they aren't too discriminatory about who they let in the door. Pay your sponsoring fee and you'll pretty much have a place at the table. Dan McCarthy appears to be on to something when he depicts the attack on CPAC for including GOProad as a proxy battle against Ron Paul, who won last year's presidential strawpoll at the event. "Attacking Ron Paul and his supporters for their fiscal conservatism won't help Gary Bauer or Brent Bozell reconnect with the grassroots right, of course, so they have launched a sly campaign to link libertarianism at CPAC--which is overwhelmingly of the Ron Paul variety--to GOProud's social liberalism," McCarthy writes. "It's a desperate measure, one that betrays the pro-life and pro-family causes, which are best pursued in exactly the manner Paul has pursued them, through federalism and smaller government."
Despite the Muslim Brotherhood's 80-plus-year record of assassinations, terrorism, and bigotry, Brookings Institution scholars talk as though the group remains an enigma. Read my article @ FrontPageMag on why the very people who regard the mixture of religion and politics in America as incipient fascism reflexively dismiss warnings about an Islamic takeover in Egypt.
"Being acquitted is nothing in this world. Being accused is what makes all the difference. What another man may think or even know about you does you no harm, so long as your public standing is unchallenged and you pass for an ordinary person; but your best friend will drop you if he finds you are in bad odour."
George Santayana, "The Last Puritan," 1935
The two-day respite from the freezing cold shrank the snow piles on my property and melted the ice on my street. Alas, the snow returns tonight. One of the mounds is taller than me and the hill that leads to my house doesn't mesh well with my two-wheel drive Ford, at least in the winter it doesn't. Worse still for driving is the combination of the encroachment of snow piles turning two-lane streets into one-way chokepoints and the massive snow hills blocking a driver's vision entering an intersection. There isn't a way to look left or right when exiting my lazy street onto the busy main road. Just edge out and pray a). that no speeding maniac T-bones you; and b). that no driver decides to turn into my street as I am turning out of it. It's a bad scene. It could be worse. The snow accumulation has collapsed roofs and pancaked houses throughout my area. A triple-decker a few doors down from where I used to live expanded like an accordian when the walls couldn't take the weight of snow. Thankfully, I don't live there anymore and I don't have a flat roof. There is a downside to the slippery slate, though. The other morning, after the thaw had loosened up the snow upon my roof, thousands of pounds of the white stuff slid off en masse. It shakes the house in a San Andreas fault kind of way. It took out a gutter and my dish (no home viewing of the Super Bowl). I don't have TV. But at least I still have a roof over my head.
Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl 45 champions. Turnovers won the Pack the game. The Doritos and the Eminem/Chrysler commercials won the advertising bowl. Someone please explain to The Black Eyed Peas what "live" music means. Usher's halftime moves were more athletic than some of those on the field. When they rolled through the Falcons in the playoffs, I asked other Patriots fans at the Pats-Jets game if they too were afraid of the Packers. The fear was unanimous. They were the best team at the best time. With a great young quarterback and an excellent defense, they could be the best team for some time. It's the NFL, and hope springs eternal next fall for the fans of the 31 other teams.
Ice at the Super Bowl? Freezing in Tucson? Snowy roofs collapsing in Massachusetts? These are the times that try a man's faith, particularly if that faith is in the Holy Church of Global Warming. Read my column @ Human Events, which explains how even anecdotal evidence against global warming has been twisted by proponents of global warming to buttress the theory.
He eclipsed his predecessors. His successors live in his shadow. In their accomplishments, George H.W. Bush (Kuwait's liberation), Bill Clinton (NAFTA), and George W. Bush (tax cuts), Ronald Reagan's successors seem mere stewards of his legacy. After all, it was his military that defeated the Iraqis, his free trade agreement adopted in 1993, and his tax-cut cause made the Republican cause. Even in Bushclintonbush's most memorable lines--"Read my lips: no new taxes," "The era of big government is over," "axis of evil"--the president derided as a dummy played the ventriloquist. Read my article @ FrontPageMag celebrating the 100th anniversary of birth of Ronald Reagan, the greatest president of my lifetime.
Hundreds dead, violent street demonstrations, a repressive autocratic regime nearing its third decade, new technology fueling the protests, and the threat of Islamic fundamentalists filling the void--one could be talking about Egypt today or Iran in 1979. More than thirty years ago, leftists imagined the Islamic revolutionaries as Persian versions of themselves. Read my article @ FrontPageMag that notes the warnings Iran issues us about Egypt.
"Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness--pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world."
--Ronald Reagan, Speech to National Association of Evangelicals, March 8, 1983
I worked out hard every day last week. Then I pulled a groin muscle. Stretching is for sissies. That's how I roll. Every few months, I become a gym rat again only to quickly go on the disabled list. Pulled hamstrings, brokedown shoulders, abdominal spasms--this has become the new normal. People call it getting old. I call it the arrogance of the mind over my muscles. My muscles tell my mind not to partake in certain activities. My mind, remembering what my muscles could do fifteen years ago, order my muscles to do it. My muscles respond by sending a sharp pain signal through my nervous system to my brain. This is how it went down on Friday, when, during my sixth sprint, I pulled up lame and in pain. I have been on the diabled list since then. I may try to jog/fast walk a mile today to see how it goes. And if the workout goes well, then it's back to squats, sprints, box jumps, and then, another injury. No pain, no gain.