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Ohio Vet Faces Court Hearing over Therapeutic Ducks



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Iraq War veteran Darin Welker of West Lafayette, Ohio will challenge a local law at a court hearing on Wednesday over his 14 ducks that he says help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the village’s law passed in 2010, residents cannot have any kind of fowl or livestock on their property.

But Welker, who described the situation as “aggravating in a lot of ways,” hopes to make the case that the ducks help him with not only his PTSD, but also with a back injury that a 2012 surgery paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs did not correct. “Taking care of them is both mental and physical therapy,” he told the Associated Press.

Welker will go to nearby Coshocton Municipal Court on Wednesday to explain why feeding, caring for, and even just watching the ducks is good for him. He will also present a letter from the VA recommending that he keep the birds.

Even if the court doesn’t somehow rule in Welker’s favor, he will only face a minor misdemeanor, which includes a $150 fine.

Ariz. Republican Candidate Holds ‘ATF’ Fundraiser



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Andrew Walter, the Republican candidate for Arizona’s ninth congressional district, figured out a way to host a fundraiser that’s a little more exciting than your standard congressional bash. Last Friday, July 18, Walter, who was a quarterback for Arizona State University and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, hosted an “Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms” fundraiser at the Scottsdale Gun Club. Politico reported:

Attendees are given three ticket options: expert, sharpshooter and marksman, according to the event’s registration website. For the $1,000 expert ticket, guests will be able to use a private shooting range to fire off an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, a M4 carbine, a MP5 submachine gun and a Glock 18, and will also have the opportunity to take home 250 rounds of ammunition. The sharpshooter package, offered at $500, will feature the opportunity to shoot an MP5 submachine gun and a Glock 18 and comes with 50 rounds of handgun ammunition. Those who pay $250 for a marksman ticket will be able to shoot a Glock 18 and will go home with one box of handgun ammunition.

Following the gunplay, attendees were treated to cigars and cocktails.

Walter is running against retired Air Force lieutenant colonel Wendy Rogers for the district’s Republican nomination. The winner of next month’s primary will face first-term Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Arizona’s ninth district, located within Maricopa County, includes all of Tempe, Ariz. (home to Arizona State University), and parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Chandler. According to the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index, the district is R+1.

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A Thought Experiment



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Web Briefing: July 31, 2014

The Immutable Truth vs. Relevance



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In last Friday’s G-File, I talked about how conservatives need to be more engaged in adapting to the changing culture. As with most such “news”letters, I hardly tried to make an exhaustive argument. Maybe that was a mistake, given the topic. I’ve gotten a lot of e-mail from folks worried I’m going wobbly. For instance, from a reader:

Hello, Jonah.  You made a very troubling comment in your essay on the evolution of social mores vs “political correctness”.  You stated that “Christianity (like other religions) still needs to adapt to changing times and the evolving expectations of the people.”  The sound I heard when I read this was that of WFB rolling over in his grave.  Christianity does not “evolve” to meet “changing needs”.  That concept could serve as a first-rate definition of moral relativism.

The word of God is immutable; its interpretation is subject to discussion but not to denial.  Nancy Pelosi can pretend she’s a good Catholic. but every time she takes communion she is lying to her Lord, whose words clearly prohibit abortion.  Would you have Christianity “adapt” to the idiotic demands of Sandra Fluke and Planned Parenthood, simply to make Christians seem more “reasonable” to progressives? 

And while we’re on this topic, the “moral cocoon” of family and community that you seem to decry actually worked pretty damned well.  It did not create a black community devoid of family structure and riddled with amoral, murderous young men.  It did not destroy and denigrate the dignity of work so as to encourage the inertia-prone to live their lives on someone else’s dime.  That “cocoon”, especially its Christian component, was the driving force that propelled legal equality for black Americans to the forefront, over the kicking and screaming of the left.  One could argue that it was that societal environment that bred individuals who understood that one must work for a living and thus earn respect, not simply demand it (or sue until you get it).  And it most assuredly did not create the kind of smug uptalking children that The Regime hires as its spokespeople. 

One can (and must) make a strong argument for tolerance: of other ideas, of other faiths when sincerely held, of other peoples’ legitimate property rights.  And one must put pressure on the extremists who brandish their Bibles and Qu’rans like vials of anthrax.  But to ask religions to “adapt to the evolving expectations of the people”?  What if the people are simply wrong?  The tyranny of democracy was understood by the founders: They founded this nation on standards, supported those with the framework of law, and drew clear limits, in order to ensure the survival of the American experiment. 

I think this starts off as a reasonable misunderstanding and veers off into an unreasonable tirade against arguments I didn’t make. For instance, I don’t “decry” the moral cocoon of the family. And anyone who has read me over the years shouldn’t expect that I would. I’d also like to think that longtime readers wouldn’t take my comments as an exhortation to surrender to the likes of Sandra Fluke.

The reader asks, What if the people are wrong? Well, it depends what they’re wrong about, of course. 

The heart of the misunderstanding here is a confusion over categories. In the case of religion, I’m totally with this reader, and many others, when it comes to the proposition that fundamental theological doctrine can’t be thrown overboard just to be popular (or really, for any other reason). Although, determining what amounts to fundamental theological doctrine for faiths I do not share isn’t part of my job description. Still, as a general proposition there are differences between doctrine and custom.  I’m not Catholic but I sympathize with those who miss the Latin Mass. But no eternal Truth was cast aside with the change to giving the Mass in the vernacular. Similarly, in many neighborhoods in New York, the Irish and Italians have gone to the suburbs. In response, churches in those neighborhoods are now offering services in Spanish, Vietnamese etc. This may cause some pangs of nostalgia, but nothing sacred or eternal has been defenestrated as far as I can tell. Rather, the Church is doing what it deems necessary to bring people to the Truth.

But let’s move away from religion. My point was about conservatism, specifically with regard to culture. The simple fact is that due to changing demographics, technology, economics etc., people live differently today than they did in the past. The growth of single-parent families, the decline of manufacturing jobs, the returns on education, the wholesale entry of women into the workforce: These are just a handful of monumentally significant forces that have unsettled traditional social and cultural arrangements. By no means should that mean we abandon principles of limited government, free markets, or the importance of family. But it may require changing how we talk about such things. (Picking up on my point about the Catholic Church, I see nothing wrong with conservatives making the case for conservatism in Spanish wherever and whenever it may be effective.) It may also require thinking more creatively about the policies we propose for improving peoples’ lives (Marco Rubio offered a good example of how to do that just this morning on NPR.) It also might require developing new arguments and cultural institutions that connect with people who don’t already agree with us. As I keep saying, conservatives need to recommit themselves to persuading people not already on our side rather than simply telling our own troops what they always want to hear. 

Liberals have responded to changing cultural and social trends with more government programs, embarrassingly stupid stuff like “The Life of Julia,” ridiculous rhetoric about the “war on women,” knee-jerk cries of “racism” at every turn and a whole suite of intellectual and entertainment efforts based on the assumption that America has mostly been a bad country. I think this stuff leaves most normal people cold. Surely conservatives can come up with something better? And if we can’t, we might as well pack it in now. 

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One of Iraq’s Most Ancient Christian Communities Now Has No Christians



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The Islamic State presented Christians in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, with a deadly ultimatum last Friday: Convert to Islam, pay a tax, leave, or face death. The order from the militants said they had until noon on Saturday to leave the city, and almost all of them appear to have left. 

The Islamic State, which controls parts of northern Iraq and eastern Syria, ordered Christians in Mosul a couple of weeks ago to pay a tax, known as “jizya,” in return for protection, according to the Blaze. Jihadis then started occupying churches and seizing the homes of Christians who had fled, and militants have now apparently removed the cross from one of Mosul’s cathedrals, replacing it with the black flag of al-Qaeda. Reports that one of Mosul’s cathedrals has been burned to the ground, however, are unconfirmed.

Christians living in Mosul make up one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating back 1,700 years. Their population has decreased dramatically since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2003, as it has in Iraq more broadly: The city’s Christian population dropped from 30,000 to just a few thousand, before the most recent jihadist offensive. In Iraq generally, there were about 1 million Christians before the U.S. invasion, a number that’s dropped to about 450,000 in the past decade.

According to a United Nations report released Friday, Christians are among several minority groups that are being systematically expelled or killed by Islamic State militants. Most of the Christians have reportedly fled to the areas of Iraq controlled by the Kurds, which are close to Mosul.

It Turns Out Liz Warren Loves Subsidizing Big Businesses and Wall Street



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In the little time she’s been in Congress, Senator Elizabeth Warren has made a name for herself as a populist who talks tough about Wall Street and other large corporations. But is she going to do more than just talk about it?

At the end of last week, Warren confirmed that she still supports the Ex-Im Bank — a government agency that hurts many U.S. employees of companies not lucky enough to benefit from it and consumers who face higher prices as a result of the subsidies, all for the sake of lining the pockets of the biggest corporations in the country. Here’s what her office told Bloomberg:

Senator Warren believes that the Export-Import Bank helps create American jobs and spur economic growth, but recognizes that there is room for improvement in the bank’s operations. She looks forward to reviewing re-authorization legislation if and when it is introduced.

Her position was confirmed when she turned down an invitation from the conservative group Heritage Action to talk about “ending the Export-Import Bank and the political favoritism it engenders.” But her misguided support for the Bank isn’t new. In 2012, she praised Fred Hochberg, the chairman of Ex-Im, repeating the canard that this agency focuses on helping American small businesses. Here’s some data for the senator:

Only 19 percent of the Bank’s activities benefits small businesses.
The Ex-Im Bank’s definition of a small business is a pretty big business — it includes firms with up to 1,500 employees earn up to $21 million in annual revenue.
In 2007 (the most recent year data is available), only 0.3 percent of all small business jobs& — as defined by Ex-Im — were supported by the bank.
Assuming that each Ex-Im small-business transaction went to a unique small business (it didn’t), only 0.04 percent of all small businesses were supported by Ex-Im that year.

Warren’s support for the Ex-Im Bank is totally inconsistent with her otherwise populist stands, and it’s hurting the people she represents.

The biggest Ex-Im beneficiaries are U.S. giant corporations like Boeing, GE, and Caterpillar and their very wealthy foreign buyers. These companies don’t need the bank, but they love it. It allows a select number of U.S. exporters to increase their profits and transfer onto taxpayers risk that the companies should be shouldering. The foreign companies love it because, while they do have access to capital without the bank, Ex-Im loans come much cheaper, giving them a U.S. government-sponsored edge over their competitors — including all their American competitors.

Meanwhile, the mega-banks that Warren always complains about are some of the biggest beneficiaries of Ex-Im. They get to extend billions of dollars in loans, collect large fees and interest rates, without shouldering most of the risk involved. This is exactly the kind of favoritism for Wall Street she says she upposes.

Meanwhile, workers in unsubsidized companies may find their hours reduced, raises dampened, or their jobs threatened because of the competition they face from subsidized Ex-Im companies. Does the senator know that small-business owners in Massachusetts have to compete with other “small businesses” next door that have received some working capital from Ex-Im? Does she know that roughly 7,500 jobs in the U.S. airlines industries have been lost because the U.S. subsidizes foreign airlines?

Ex-Im& isn’t for the little guys, it’s government assistance to big businesses and wealthy private lenders. In light of that, we should all — especially Senator Warren’s fans — take her populist rhetoric with a couple more grains of salt in the future.

Feinstein to Obama: Stop the Fundraisers and Focus on Global Crises



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Listing the numerous global crises currently facing the United States, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) questioned whether President Obama is devoting enough attention to these issues rather than focusing on political fundraisers and events.

“This is a very hard time,” she said on MSNBC on Monday, referencing the ongoing civil war in Syria, the continued push by ISIS in Iraq, the state of Iranian nuclear negotiations, the Gaza–Israel conflict, and the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. “I’m not going to tell the president what to do, but I think the world would very much respect his increased attention on this matter, and I think there ought to be increased attention.”

Feinstein’s call for Obama to be more focused and attentive comes as he is set to go on a three-day trip to the West Coast for Democratic fundraisers in Seattle, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles.

“I think the leader of the free world has to be strong, and this is a time where strength is necessary,” Feinstein added. “I don’t think this should just slide from the viewers’ screen.”

On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Feinstein warned that U.S.-Russia relations were “at Cold War levels.”

The Object of Their Complaints



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Three years ago, a “hot mic” caught President Obama complaining about Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Now our secretary of state, John Kerry, has been caught on such a mic complaining about Israel’s operations in Gaza.

May I ask a question? Do these guys ever bitch about al-Qaeda, Iran, or North Korea? Do you know what I mean?

A Consolation of Decline (Possibly)



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With today’s Impromptus, I begin a series on Dinesh D’Souza, whose new movie is now in theaters. “America,” it’s called. I say that Dinesh loves America “as only an immigrant can.” (Dinesh grew up in Bombay.) “He loves America without embarrassment, without apology.”

Then, a personal comment, or quasi-personal comment — it applies to a great many:

When I was growing up — and where I was growing up — you could not really talk this way [i.e., in an unblushingly pro-American fashion]. You had to remember America’s sins. Indeed, you had to stress them. You were loath to be a jingo, an Archie Bunker. We were raised on Norman Lear shows (I exaggerate, of course). There was hardly anyone dumber or less respectable than a flag-waver.

After writing today’s installment, I thought of this: For years, America was No. 1, indisputably. Where are we now? A No. 1 should not tout his virtues, or pat himself on the back. A No. 1 can afford to be self-critical, even to a fault.

But if we are to be No. 2 or 4 or 11, what then? Will it be all right to acknowledge what is good, admirable, or unique about America?

Amnesty Trumped Border Security



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The Washington Post over the weekend published a damning piece on the administration’s foreknowledge of the border chaos. Though there is no evidence that the White House actually wanted the crisis to happen, Andy McCarthy is correct that “President Obama has instigated this crisis” through “a systematic campaign to gut the immigration laws.” But it’s clear from the Post account that they didn’t appreciate how it would blow up in their faces:

But top officials at the White House and the State Department had been warned repeatedly of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago, according to former federal officials and others familiar with internal discussions. . . .

“There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue,” said one former senior federal law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about internal operations.

The warnings came from ICE and CBP, from ICE union chief Chris Crane, from Governor Rick Perry, from a report for the Department of Homeland Security conducted by a team from the University of Texas at El Paso, from the Women’s Refugee Commission, from the first ladies of Honduras and Guatemala, and from a delegation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

So far, this would suggest simple incompetence, something we have come to expect from the Obama White House. But it seems to have been worse than that:

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said Democrats recognized the urgency but feared that if they raised too much of a public outcry, it would create political blowback for the Obama administration’s push to pass a comprehensive immigration overhaul. . . .

Democrats worried that the escalating border crisis would help Republicans make a case that the administration’s policies had failed, Roybal-Allard said.

That was always a concern of mine: How to address the issue in a way that did not detract from the need for comprehensive immigration reform,” she said.

The fundamental premise of the Obama-Schumer-Rubio plan has always been that the border situation had stabilized so the country could move on by clearing the decks through amnesty for the established illegal population. When it became increasingly clear that the situation at the border was not stabilized, its supporters decided to keep silent in hopes that Congress could quickly pass the amnesty/immigration-surge bill and get it to Obama’s desk before anyone noticed that its premise was false. That is not wishful thinking or incompetence — it’s a conspiracy to defraud the public.

That the Obama administration and congressional Democrats would engage in such a monstrous fraud is no surprise. The more interesting question is whether their Republican fellow travelers were in on the deception. What did Rubio, McCain, Graham, Alexander, Hatch, Murkowski, Ayotte, Chiesa, Collins, Corker, Flake, Heller, Hoeven, and Kirk know, and when did they know it?

Where in the World Do You Think This Is?



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If you guessed France, you’re correct. These war-like images were taken in northern Paris over the weekend, where pro-Palestinian protests turned violent. It is very sad, but unfortunately not unexpected.

The Left’s Compromised Immunity



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This Slate article on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s dangerous and nutty anti-vaccine crusade* should be a reminder that 1) dynasties have downsides and 2) the claim that conservatives are distinctively “anti-science” is a polemical invention. Laura Helmuth notes in the article that Vermont has “one of the highest rates of vaccine denial and misinformation”; I’m guessing that the Burlington chapter of the tea party isn’t behind that. 

* Headline: “Don’t Feel Sorry for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.” Don’t worry, I wasn’t tempted.

Two Americans Among 13 IDF Soldiers Killed in Gaza



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Two American soldiers fighting for the Israeli Defense Force were killed fighting in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.

Max Steinberg, 24, and Sean Carmeli, 21, both U.S. citizens, were among 13 Israeli soldiers and 65 Palestinians killed during the first major ground battle of the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas, according to ABC News

Carmeli, originally from South Padre Island, Texas, moved to Israel four years ago and joined the army after finishing high school there. 

“He was a proud soldier,” Rabbi Asher Hecht, co-director of Chabad of the Rio Grande Valley, told CBS News. “In my mind, he was a hero. He wanted to be there for the Jewish people in their time of need.”

Steinberg grew up in South California. He visited Israel on a Birthright Israel trip in 2012, after which he decided to return and join the IDF, his father said. He was a sharpshooter for the Golani brigade.

“He was completely dedicated and committed to serving the country of Israel,” his father told ABC. “He was focused, he was clear in what the mission was, and he was dedicated to the work he needed to be doing.”

The Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center’s Facebook page wrote of the two soldiers: “They made the ultimate sacrifice, in an attempt to rid the world of one of the most evil, unimaginable and horrible organizations to ever exist.”
 

Rogan: Taking a Strong Stance on Russia about Establishing ‘International Order’



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Make sure to check out Tom’s latest pieces on the downed Malaysian Airlines flight (“What to Do after MH 17“) and the extension of the nuclear negotiations with Iran (“Obama’s New Red Line“).

Forty Years after the Invasion of Cyprus



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Yesterday marked the gloomy 40th anniversary of the day that Turkish troops overpowered the tiny, almost undefended island of Cyprus in a brutal exercise of military might whose immorality only intensifies with the passing decades. Some thoughts in honor of the day:

The invasion did not take place under Islamist rule: Although an Islamist (Necmettin Erbakan) served as deputy prime minister in a coalition government for almost all of 1974, he was not the key decision maker in Turkey. Rather, Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, a leftist, enjoyed that privilege.

The Ecevit–Erbakan cooperation in 1974 symbolizes a support among Turks of all political persuasions for the invasion of Cyprus that still persists. This near-unanimity is a basic fact of Turkish political life.

That consensus will presumably remain in place until the Turkish occupation begins to take its toll — economically, diplomatically, or even militarily — on the Republic of Turkey. After 40 years, this has not even started, making one wonder if it ever will.

Two recent developments could potentially change the dynamic by turning Turkish Cypriots against the status quo: (1) their frustration at being excluded from the incipient gas-and-oil bonanza on the island and (2) their growing resentment toward the ever-more autocratic Islamist overlords in Ankara. As the occupation is ostensibly for their benefit, if Turkish Cypriots want it ended, they just might make it happen.

Also to note: the Republic of Cyprus (the southern, official part of the island) has, as I put it in recent article titles, both stepped onto the world stage and joined the Middle East. It held the presidency of the European Union, prompted a world-shaking economic crisis, is becoming a significant energy exporter, and has newly-close links to Israel, the military powerhouse of its region. The “Cyprus Problem” now matters more to the outside world, which could be constructive.

The occupation that began on July 20, 1974, still brings much suffering to what could be an idyllic Mediterranean island. It must be but a memory by the time the 50th anniversary rolls around. 

Are Millions Worldwide Protesting Israeli Actions?



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RT, the Russian government’s news network — and successor to the Soviet-era Pravda – published an article under the extreme, attention-seeking headline, “‘In our millions, we’re all Palestinian’: Wave of protests worldwide demand end to Gaza slaughter.” The article goes on to list anti-Israel demonstrations. However, if one actually reads the article, it quickly becomes apparent that the headline contains two major inaccuracies: First, there are no “millions” involved. Far from it. Using RT’s own numbers of each protest referenced, we find them significantly smaller: 17 participants; more than 10,000; 1,300; dozens; 4,000; and 150 demonstrators. Second, the protests are hardly worldwide. RT lists them as having taken place in the United States, Argentina, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, and Australia. Further research finds additional protests having occurred in Chile, Iceland, Belgium, Austria, Poland, *Tunisia, Greece, *Turkey, *Lebanon, Israel, *Egypt, *Jordan, South Africa, *Indonesia, and Japan. (* means Muslim-majority countries)

Aggregating all of RT’s spurious numbers, one finds that RT’s estimate that six demonstrations included a total of about 15,500 participants would mean that there were an average of some 2,600 protesters in each. Additionally, demonstrations have taken part in 23 countries of which 6, or about 25 percent, have Muslim-majority populations.

In contrast to the three similar recent wars involving Israel (of 2006, 2008–09, and 2012), this one has not (yet) touched a real nerve. Indeed, as I have documented, Israel has gained surprising support while Hamas faces surprising opposition. The great majority of demonstrations having occurred in the West suggests that people in Muslim-majority countries have more urgent concerns — such as the fact that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has just killed 270 people in taking over a gas field in Syria and, after 2,000 years, forcibly expelled Mosul’s entire Christian population. More broadly, the Arab–Israeli conflict looks like small bore when compared to the fear of Iranian aggression destabilizing the whole region. In hopes of whipping up a virulently anti-Israeli frenzy, RT and its ilk have been reduced to publishing easily checkable exaggerations, which could also be characterized as pathetic, bold-faced lies. 

Tags: Israel

Monday links



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History of air conditioning: invention, historical reactions, Arthur Miller column on the days before its invention, more.

Want access to someone’s home? All you need to do is take a picture of their key with your phone.

Amazon Is Selling Tolkien’s One Ring as a Lord’s Prayer Ring with Arabic text – check out the reviews.

World’s largest (and grossest) aquatic insect discovered in China.

Economics of the Undead: Zombies, Vampires and the Dismal Science. Related: Death and Taxes… and Zombies: Tax implications of the zombie apocalypse.

1936-1939: Tiznaosimprovised armored cars of the Spanish civil war.

ICYMIFriday’s links are here, including attempts to patent the wheel, the aerodynamics of hummingbirds, contact lens version of Google Glasses, and an answer to the age-old question: Why is your brain in your head instead tucked away safe and warm down with all your other organs?

The Amoral Nature of the Pawn Strategy



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The humanitarian crisis on the border derived from four callous parties who used illegal immigrants as pawns for their own self-interested agendas: (a) Central American governments wanted to export “excess” population, in hopes of soothing domestic social tensions and gaining remittances from loyal expatriates in the United States; (b) Central American parents weighed the risk of sending their youth unescorted to the border, versus the upside of getting money sent back home and/or an anchor for possible citizenship, and thus were willing to take the subsequent risk with their own children’s lives; (c) Mexico for a brief spell suspended its Draconian immigration laws to ensure Central Americans passed through rather than stopped in their country, and it sort of got a strange sense of payback at our ensuing border chaos; (d) a while ago the Obama administration signaled that most immigration laws concerning children, DREAMers or not, would not be enforced, and that insinuation green-lighted the current influx. The cynical administration hoped to soothe Latino feelings, and to create pressures for “comprehensive immigration reform” before the 2016 election, as part of a long-term strategy of altering the demography of the American southwest to favor a liberal agenda. All four groups then called any who objected and wished to enforce existing federal law callous, nativist, racist, xenophobic, etc. The apparent logic is that no one will remember the self-interested actions that brought thousands to the border, only the ensuing humanitarian crisis that must steamroll through the agendas of the selfish groups on the backs of exploited children.

In a more existential fashion, the pawn strategy works in Gaza as well. Hamas’s missiles are hidden among civilians, a two-pronged policy of hoping Israel does not find them all, while ensuring collateral damage that plays well in the Western media. Palestinians are mere pawns whose lives their leaders don’t worry much about — again on the logic that why or how they are dying is lost in the media blitz and all that matters are the photos that confirm that they are in fact dying, a fact which indicts Israel.

Common to both situations is the notion of disproportionality. Facts don’t matter, given that the poorer, less capable party is always morally blameless, the more lawful and better off culpable, on the theory that the latter alone should be able to afford to make allowances and grant concessions, regardless of the facts on the ground.

Just as we have forgotten the abject amorality of Central American parents, the Central American and Mexican governments, and the cynicism of an administration not enforcing federal laws, so too we have long ago forgot that Hamas started the entire disaster by murdering three teenagers and sending rockets into Israel. Instead, all that matters in the Western media now are photos of kids in extremis on the border and Palestinians fleeing their homes. Using suffering pawns to further political agendas is tailor-made for the postmodern Western mind.

Senate Dem: Under Obama, The World Doesn’t Know What the United States Stands For



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Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) doesn’t think Hillary Clinton will have an easy time securing the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

“There’s a lot of good people,” Manchin said Sunday morning on Decision Makers, an in-state news show. “You’re going to see a lot. It’s going to be, I think, an exciting time, I think, more so than people think.”

That prediction came after several minutes of Manchin fielding questions about whether or not he would be one of the people standing in Clinton’s way.

As Manchin discussed the possibility of running for president in 2016, he described how the United States needs better leadership on the world stage than President Obama is delivering before finally saying that he thinks his candidacy would be a “reach” for him.

“It’s very flattering that people in some of the key states are taking it seriously, and they’re out there looking,” Manchin said.

“We should be looking at the future, we should have a vision for the future, we should be able to help the world, but we should be taking care of ourself and making ourself strong first. And you lead by example,” he continued. “We’re not leading. We’re just getting pulled in all different directions and there’s not a clarity of who is the United States of America and what do they stand for.”

Manchin emphasized that he’s a good leader. “I’ve never been afraid to make decisions because I’ve always tried to make things better and fix things,” he told host Bray Cary. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes and with that I’ve said, ‘Listen, if I make a mistake I’m making it trying to make it better and I can fix that.’”

The former governor then seemed to allude to President Obama when he said that people can accept such candor about mistakes. “What they can’t accept is when you cover it up and you won’t admit it,” he said.

Manchin paid his respects to Hillary Clinton, saying she has “all the qualities” needed in a president, with one caution.

“I just hope that they don’t push her so far being somebody she’s not,” he said. “You’ve got to find a leader who knows how to lead.”

Manchin said he’s “not serious about running,” though. “On a national ticket, it would be a pretty far reach probably for me.”

Tags: Sunday Shows July 20 2014

Corker: West Has Been ‘Timid and Cautious’ in Dealing with Russia, Putin



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The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hopes that the downed of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 “will galvanize” the international community to take a tougher stance against Russia. Offering his condolences to those lost in the tragedy, Senator Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) blamed the West’s “timid and cautious” approach toward Vladimir Putin for the disaster, and said it could have been prevented.

“What is also tragic is the response that the West has given up until this point,” he said on Fox News Sunday“I hope this will be a catalyst by the West to step forward — I’ve been incredibly discouraged by not only the U.S. response, but, candidly, Europe’s response.”

For example, he revealed that he learned over the weekend that basic equipment such as night-vision goggles and bullet-proof vests have not yet been delivered to Ukraine.

Tags: Sunday Shows July 20 2014

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