Loud + Weak = War

TR Big StickWith this title in his article, Victor Davis Hanson captures perfectly Obama’s foreign policy.

Events around the world since Obama was elected have shown that our would-be enemies are bolder, our friends pushed away from us, and our military a target for cuts to the lowest levels since before World War II.

Teddy Roosevelt is famous for writing and saying what should be obvious to anyone who has ever had to face a bully: speak softly and carry a big stick. Carrying that big stick is not sufficient, of course. Your enemies need to know that you will use it if necessary.

Obama has the big stick of the still-paramount American military. But he lacks the sand to actually use it. And the world’s bullies, such as Vladimir Putin, know this very well.

Being weak is not just an embarrassment, although this is true enough. It encourages the Putins of this world, who don’t give a fuzzy white rat’s posterior about what the good people of this world may think of them. Who don’t care if an effeminate president and his poodle John Kerry bleat that Putin will be on “the wrong side of history.”

Nonsense on stilts. History, as they say, is written by the winners. Not the whiners. And, as VDH concludes,

Being weak is sometimes dangerous. Being loud, self-righteous, and weak is always very dangerous indeed.

Obama and the people he surrounds himself with are all three of these things. And the world is, as it has always been, a very dangerous place. No place for those better suited for faculty lounge debates.

Johnson County dullards

Regardless of one’s opinion of the baby-killers at Planned Parenthood (oops, gave it away I did…), this story should get any American riled up. The essence, from NRO:

After 79-year-old Donna Holman protested outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, police arrested her and jailed her overnight for allegedly violating an injunction they say bars her from being near any Planned Parenthood personnel.

This took place in Johnson County, Iowa, and that’s important. Johnson County is different from most others in Iowa, as it contains that bastion of right-thinking, meaning left-thinking, folks at the University of Iowa (daughter No. 2 went there, so I know something about it).

So, in this regard, perhaps the good burghers of Johnson County are a little less aware of the liberty that we Americans used to take for granted. Or, if aware, have no problem trashing our Constitution in the name of protecting those who provide baby-killing services (darn it John, you stop that truth-telling).

For those dullards of Johnson County, here’s a quotation that even the slowest of them might recognize:

Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech..or the right of the people peaceably to assemble…

Got that, eejits?

It is a great strain for me to keep this civil; my actual opinion of any judge who would issue such an injunction as discussed is not fit to print in a family blog.

Willful

The naifs we’ve put in charge of our national security, Obama and his poodle John Kerry (or is he Hillary’s poodle?) are no match at all for Vlad the Impaler Putin. It’s like pitting a newborn kitten against a hungry Rottweiler. And Vlad has taken his bite out of Ukraine.

As reported at Politico, Kerry is up in arms, or at least waving his arms:

Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia is behaving “in a 19th century fashion” by invading Ukrainian territory in what he called “an incredible act of aggression” by President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s an incredible act of aggression, it is really a stunning willful choice by president Putin to invade another country,” Kerry said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text…”

Oh, the humanity! Putin, the current would-be Tsar of All the Russias, has taken a bold, military step to assert his nation’s interests. Interests as he sees them, not as Obama and his faculty-lounge sycophants would wish them to be.

In a word, Putin has been willful. In my native language, meaning “said or done on purpose.” Yes, indeed. Beyond being intentional, Putin’s actions are a clear statement, not just of Russian national purpose, but of disdain for Obama and his crew.

Urgent memo for our secretary of state, John Kerry, copy to Obama: nations have always acted in the way that Putin’s Russia is acting. In the 15th century. In the 19th century. In every century, including our allegedly more enlightened 21st century.

What has changed is our resolve, or lack thereof. All we’ve used so far are soft words, the words of weak kittens. Which Putin no doubt laughs at when off camera.

That chewing sound you may hear is the Russian Rottweiler devouring Obama’s foreign policy kitten. It won’t take many bites.

Another salvo in the Democrats’ war on women?

Liberals are fond of bleating out about the “Republican war on women.” Which, at its core, is just a disagreement about abortion “rights.” There are several dimensions to this agitprop, but one element is the apparent universality of rape on college campuses.

For example, this report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that our nation’s Liberal-in-Chief and his minions are busy:

A White House report highlights a stunning prevalence of rape on college campuses, with 1 in 5 female students assaulted, while only 1 in 8 student victims report it.

Let’s leave aside the question of how they get to “1 in five female students assaulted” when “only 1 in 8″ report it.

Let’s rather look at some of the data the Gazette includes in their story:

Penn State University’s main campus has reported an increase in forcible sexual offenses on campus from four in 2010 to 24 in 2011 to 56 in 2012. More locally, the McKeesport and New Kensington campuses reported zero forcible sexual assaults in those years, and the Beaver campus reported one in both 2010 and 2011.

Carnegie Mellon University also reported an increase of forcible sexual assaults over the three-year period, with one in 2010, five in 2011 and 15 in 2012.

The University of Pittsburgh’s main campus reported seven forcible sexual offenses in 2010, four in 2011 and six in 2102 (sic).

Bad enough, but how does one get to “1 in 8,” let alone “1 in five?” Let’s compare the sexual assaults as reported with the school enrollments.

Penn State, with 56 incidents reported, has 39,000 on the main campus, of whom 46% are women.   Pitt, with 6 incidents, has 18,000 on the main campus, of whom 50% are women.   Carnegie Mellon, with 15 incidents, has about 6,300 of whom 43% are women.

These numbers of  rape or sexual assault don’t remotely approach 1 in 8, let alone 1 in five.   Perhaps Pennsylvania universities are just calmer places?  Don’t know, although when I went to Pitt (grad school, admittedly),  it was pretty hoppin’.   Carnegie Mellon looks like the rape leader in terms of percentage. This is counter-intuitive if you know anything at all about its culture, and even its rape stats are far, far removed from the alleged  “1 in 5,” which would have given us about 540 rapes.

Look, rape is ugly, a coward’s crime, and “no” means “no.”  No sympathy here for any alleged man who has to force himself on a women.   If there is, indeed, some sort of epidemic of rape on our campuses, let’s look at the data dispassionately and be smart about fixing it.   Who knows, perhaps a good place to start might be to not have coed dorms?

Which brings me to the Left’s cognitive dissonance when it comes to women.  Firstly, they claim that women and men are equal in every respect:  women can do anything and everything just as well as men. And if they can’t, why, we need to adjust the standards so that they can.  Against this, there is the ever-present notion that women, as a class, are, somehow, always victims of men.

Which is it?  The correct answer is “neither.”  Men and women are different, have different strengths and weaknesses.  Each is sexually attracted (generally) to other, which makes it just plain dumb to place them in confined quarters (e.g. a college dorm) to live.  Let alone aboard a submarine.  Allowing men and women to serve together strikes me as the answer to the question “How can we increase the number of rapes aboard U.S. Navy vessels?”

You can’t make this stuff up

The Maryland  state ObamaCare system has experienced some growing pains.  Actually, according to this news item in the very pro-ObamaCare WaPo,  it is nothing short of a disaster:

A single flaw in Maryland’s troubled online health insurance system will cost the state an estimated $30.5 million in excess Medicaid payments over the next 18 months because the system cannot accurately identify recipients who should be removed from the rolls  a report by state budget officials said.

The news is nothing but bad for Maryland’s citizens, especially those in two groups I suspect are pretty much mutually exclusive:  taxpayers on the one hand whose taxes pay for this debacle, and, on the other hand, those on welfare of some sort or another who are looking for subsidized health insurance.

It’s worse than just Maryland.  According to the WaPo article, Maryland’s gross incompetence will cost those of us who pay federal taxes an unknown amount more than the $182 million in federal monies already sucked into the Maryland money pit.

As for fixing the situation, the genius who brought Maryland this malfeasance in the first place, Joshua Sharfstein, Maryland’s secretary of health and mental hygiene

[from WaPo] insisted that the situation is getting better. Five months after the launch of the site, he said, state health officials are now in a position to evaluate their options, using data on how the current system is and is not working.

“When we started, it was a little bit like shooting in the dark,” Sharfstein said. “But the lights are on. . . . We can use actual information about how different systems are doing in order to inform this decision.”

Yes, of course. Now that the lights are on, we can see what kind of a clusterf**k we’ve created. What this exemplar of good liberal governance had to say about the immediate future takes the cake:

“The key thing that this hinges on is the decision about which direction we go.”

Really? This is firing material; a first-year intern who knows nothing might say that. Because it says absolutely nothing. Of course, it has the virtue of always being true, and pretty much worth as much towards understanding how to fix ObamaCare in Maryland as the statement that “today is Thursday.” Which is also true as I write this, I must add.

If this is the kind of senior public servant that Governor O’Malley thinks is top-notch, a go-to guy to fix the highest profile change in health care history since Medicare’s introduction fifty years ago, anyone who votes for him for president in 2016 should know what they are buying into: gross incompetence and a willful disregard for how taxpayer money is frittered away.

Governors and Grover

This past December, Grover Norquist mentioned a host of Republican governors as “potentially serious contenders in 2016:”

Norquist listed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as potentially serious contenders in 2016.

He is right: any of these governors would be good, and a dead solid improvement over the incompetent ideologue now is office. However, Grover Norquist is not without some baggage. He is best known for his tax pledge, but also for alleged unsavory ties to islamists.

The tax pledge is a purity test, and such tests are troubling. They’re great for faculty lounge debates, but should have no place in actual governance, as they hinder the give-and-take that is essential when there are two or more factions. Let’s not forget that the Republican caucus is somewhat resistant to marching in lockstep. Which is one of its strengths, unlike the other party, in which diversity is worshiped until it comes to diversity of ideas.

As for Norquist’s alleged ties to islamists, these would, if proven, be disqualifying: no one should give anything he might say any hearing. The key words are “if proven.” To date and to my knowledge, they have not been. So we at least should hear what he has to say, without kowtowing.

As for Gov. Brownback, he is but one of several very impressive Republican governors. Best advice? Let those candidates who wish to try for the prize demonstrate to us in the Republican Party why they should be our standard bearer. Who touts them is secondary.

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

The news from the Congressional Budget Office is a dream come true for Republican candidates in this fall’s congressional elections.

The numbers tell the tale. As relayed by the Wall Street Journal:

Now CBO—full of liberal-leaning economists—says the economy will lose the equivalent of two million full-time workers by 2017 and 2.5 million over the next decade, a threefold increase over its prior estimate.

No matter how you spin it, that’s a large number of people no longer in the work force as full-time workers. But, naturally, since it’s such a disaster for Democrats, they are spinning as fast as their fingers can fly.

This spin, as reported by Politico,

…the administration said Tuesday, the health care law will allow people to choose to work less because they’ll be able to get health insurance.

And, from the WSJ,

[Under Obamacare] “individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods, like retiring on time rather than working into their elderly years or choosing to spend more time with their families,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

Get that? It’s not a bug, it’s a feature! People will “be empowered to make choices” to work less.” And, it’s all about “choices.” But it isn’t really. It’s coercion. People are going to have to choose between lower pay if they go part time, or going on welfare in order to get me and you, fellow taxpayer, to pay for their healthcare.

And, did you get that heart-tugging “rather than working into their elderly years?” Guess the administration would have us ignore the existence of Medicare, which provices health insurance to anyone who turns 65. In other words, ObamaCare is irrelevant to any decision as to whether to stay on the job or retire if you are close the nominal retirement age of 65.

Can’t speak for anyone else, but I was raised with the notion that it is shameful to be on welfare if you have the option of working. But the whole point of ObamaCare is to expand the welfare state and redistribute income.

How else to explain the administration making a virtue of the vice of being a deadbeat? So, since ObamaCare may result in millions fewer of full-time equivalent workers, that’s a feature of the law. Or, as the WSJ concludes, “There you have it: the new American dream of not working.”