Links for 2-14-2016

Links for 2-13-2016

  • During all the hand-wringing over U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and who will replace him and when, please remember that the fact that our liberty appears to hinge on the death of one person is a sign of just how disfunctional the federal government has become and that it needs fundamental reform to restore Constitutional principles. Scalia was a great jurist and I’m sorry for his friends and family, but the country’s future should not be determined by the direction of a 5–4 split among a group of unelected judges with lifetime appointments.

  • Charles Murray wrote a tremendous article on the origins of Trumpism:

    But the central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn’t increased since the late 1960s.

    On the short term political implications:

    Add to this the fact that white working-class men are looked down upon by the elites and get little validation in their own communities for being good providers, fathers and spouses—and that life in their communities is falling apart. To top it off, the party they have voted for in recent decades, the Republicans, hasn’t done a damn thing to help them. Who wouldn’t be angry?

    There is nothing conservative about how they want to fix things. They want a now indifferent government to act on their behalf, big time. If Bernie Sanders were passionate about immigration, the rest of his ideology would have a lot more in common with Trumpism than conservatism does.

    As a political matter, it is not a problem that Mr. Sanders doesn’t share the traditional American meanings of liberty and individualism. Neither does Mr. Trump. Neither, any longer, do many in the white working class. They have joined the other defectors from the American creed.

    On the long term implications:

    And just as support for the American creed has shrunk, so has its correspondence to daily life. Our vaunted liberty is now constrained by thousands of petty restrictions that touch almost anything we want to do, individualism is routinely ignored in favor of group rights, and we have acquired an arrogant upper class. Operationally as well as ideologically, the American creed is shattered.

  • Turkey is shelling areas of northern Syria held by the YPG, the Kurdish forces who have successfully fought ISIS and whom the U.S. aids directly with weapons, ammunition, and training by American special forces soldiers. Erdogan is now acting in direct opposition to American interests and there’s not a damn thing Obama will do about it.

  • Saudi Arabia is moving ground troops and fighter aircraft to Turkey’s Incirlik air base, and says it’s preparing to launch a ground invasion of Syria from there; Turkey may join that invasion.

  • The Obama administration claims it will enforce sanctions on companies that do business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, but they appear to looking the other way at every opportunity.

  • If you’re confused about what President Trump would do about health insurance, it’s probably because Trump is spewing gibberish:

    Whenever he’s been confronted on his socialist healthcare ideas by Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump has called Cruz a “liar” and said he wants to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a free market alternative. Yet when he actually speaks about healthcare, he reveals he has no idea what he’s talking about. He rambles nonsensically, throwing out terms here and there that perhaps he’s picked up in briefings, but they make no sense in the context which he’s using them.

Links for 2-12-2016

Links for 2-11-2016

  • Scientists claim they’ve detected gravitational waves for the first time. The gravitational waves they measured are the product of two black holes that collided about 1.3 billion light years from Earth.

  • State Department investigators subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation for documents related to projects that received federal government approval while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Huma Abedin was a target, too: “The subpoena also asked for records related to Huma Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide who for six months in 2012 was employed simultaneously by the State Department, the foundation, Clinton’s personal office, and a private consulting firm with ties to the Clintons.”

  • Democrat Jim Webb said he won’t launch an independent campaign for president. Webb shut down his campaign back in October.

  • Mario Loyola writes that Democrats who made excuses for President Obama’s habitual executive overreaches should fear what Donald Trump might do if he’s elected president:

    The progressive cookbook is full of recipes for the dictator of the future. Take, for example, Obama’s masterful use of regulatory uncertainty to achieve his goals, in defiance not just of Congress but of the federal courts. In the months after the Gulf oil spill, Obama imposed a moratorium on all offshore drilling, despite the fact that most of those operations were at stages of drilling in which there was virtually no chance of a spill. When one court tossed the moratorium out, the Obama administration came back with a modified version that actually expanded the moratorium; and by the time that one was tossed out, Obama simply slow-walked the needed permits. He had achieved his objective, which was to chase most of the Gulf’s deep-sea drilling rigs to other parts of the world.

    Obama has demonstrated a willingness to use his constitutional powers against political opponents, as shown by the IRS persecution of tea-party groups, and by selective prosecutions — for example, targeting Senator Bob Menendez for accepting favors in connection with official duties, but not Hillary Clinton; or General David Petraeus for misuse of classified information, but not Hillary Clinton. Only Obama’s forbearance and wisdom, such as they are, have kept him from taking the approach of Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chávez and overtly intimidating critics by threatening their economic interests. With that in mind, consider Donald Trump’s attempt, before a recent Fox News GOP debate, to get anchor Megyn Kelly fired, or at least withdrawn from moderating the debate, as a condition of his participation. Imagine what he might do once armed with the powers of Obama’s post-constitutional presidency.

    To accomplish their vision of social justice, progressives needed to do away with constitutional limits on government power. Sooner or later, they will wish they hadn’t, for the bane and enlightenment of us all.

  • Dave Carter thinks the idea of conscripting women into the U.S. military is a sign of a societal death wish:

    Are we so swept away in the search for equality among things that are manifestly not equal that we will consign our daughters and granddaughters, our wives and our sisters, unwillingly, to the tender mercies of an enemy that rapes children, crucifies Christians, and saws off the heads of all who hold contrary beliefs? Are we so intimidated by sniveling agitators that we will atone for our very existence by bowing to the superstition that there is no significant difference between the sexes?

    Or, conversely, are we so exasperated by the Left’s radical encroachments on reason and reality that we are prepared throw our hands up as if to say, “Fine, then, do what you wish!” and sit back in our rocking chairs to watch the world implode?

    No, I say, emphatically no, and add that a society that ignores and overrules the natural capacity and instinct of the male to protect hearth and home, and the unique strength and instinct of the female to bring new life and nurture the family, is a society that has signed its own death warrant.

  • The standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon ended without shots being fired.

  • The Kaesong joint industrial zone between South Korea and North Korea has been shut down. On Wednesday South Korea announced that it was suspending its cooperation over North Korea’s recent missile launch. North Korea chased the remaining South Korean workers out of the zone, and South Korea turned off the electricity and water.

  • Turkey says military operations against the PKK in the city of Cizre are over; a 24 hour curfew will remain in effect for an unspecified period.

  • There’s a deal to cease hostilities in Syria in a week’s time and allow more humanitarian aid into country. The deal doesn’t include ISIS and other “militant” groups, so it’s not clear if it will actually accomplish anything.

  • Iranian-backed militias are reportedly attacking Christians in Iraq and stealing their property.

  • A teacher in southern Saudi Arabia shot and killed six of his colleagues and wounded two others.

Links for 2-10-2016

Links for 2-9-2016

Links for 2-8-2016