Saturday, June 07, 2014

"In Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell"

Ronald Reagan's speech at Pointe du Hoc for the 40th anniversary of the Normandy invasion (merci à Mike in San Diego).

Reagan also held a speech at the Omaha Beach Military Cemetery…

The story of D-Day.


The Longest Day in a 10-Question Quiz

For the 70th anniversary of D-Day, D-Day, Geo Magazine has a 10-question quiz on the Normandy landings (en français but readily understandable)…

The story of D-Day.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Civil Rights Act of 1964: The power of the word racist to close minds and mouths is unparalleled

Most people only think they support the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because they don’t know what it contains and because portions of it go unenforced
writes Benny Huang as the law celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Another reason people support the CRA is because they don’t want to be called racist. The power of that word—racist—to close minds and mouths is unparalleled.

But there are plenty of good reasons to oppose this lousy, unconstitutional law that have nothing to do with racism. Republican Republican Senator Barry … Goldwater’s opposition to the 1964 bill was threefold: that it represented an unconstitutional power grab by the feds, that it would be an endless source of litigation, and that it would force sovereign citizens to engage in involuntary economic transactions. The senator has been proven right on all three counts.

If liberals want to demonstrate their love of the CRA they could begin by following it; the whole thing, not just the parts that they like. The law bans discrimination in government and private commercial enterprises (which they erroneously label “public accommodations”) based on five protected categories: race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.

Liberals still support discriminatory practices based upon three of these categories—race, sex, and religion.
In regards to race and sex, liberals favor policies that give preference to women and racial minorities as a means of redressing historical grievances. Unfortunately for them, the law they claim to love so much does not contain a “redress of grievances” loophole no matter how much they wish it did. A preference for blacks is just as illegal as a racial preference for whites; a preference for women is just as illegal as a preference for men.
  … If liberals were administered a healthy dose of truth serum they might stop lying long enough to tell us what they really mean—they don’t really like laws that prohibit religious discrimination because religion is silly superstition at best, violent and repressive at worst, and thus not worthy of protection. They don’t say that because it makes them sound like bigots, which they are. They would also tell you that they don’t really oppose discrimination based on race or sex as long as the victims are always men of fair complexion.

When It Ends the Longest Day

Many men won't see the sunset
When it ends the longest day…

The story of D-Day.

From the Associated Press, the story of a Frenchman who joined American forces to free his homeland:
When he left Paris at age 18, the plan was to go to New York for a year and learn his father's sewing machine trade. Six years later, Bernard Dargols found himself crossing the Channel in a U.S. Army uniform, sloshing ashore on Omaha Beach to a homeland that had persecuted his Jewish family.

Dargols' journey from Paris to New York and back ended when he drove his Army jeep into a courtyard in the recently liberated French capital, striding upstairs into a darkened apartment and into the arms of his weeping mother. Until that moment, he hadn't known whether she had survived the Nazi occupation.
"She hadn't seen me in six years and I saw she was alive," Dargols said in an interview ahead of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that helped defeat the Nazis.
Update: a 10-question quiz on the Normandy landings (en français)…

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

What Are Prisons For If They Serve to Radicalize Muslim Prisoners and Make Them Killers?

The man who gunned down four people in Brussels last Saturday (he did this one day after Elliot Rodger shot three people to death in Santa Barbara) seems to have been identified.

Like Mohamed Merah before him, the suspect Mehdi Nemmouche traveled to Syria to fight the Jihad and when he returned to France, where he became a radicalized Muslim while spending time in a "terrorism-creating" prison.

Indeed, Farhad Khosrokhavar, the author of L’Islam en prison, told Stéphanie Le Bars that "Nemmouch will not be the last case" we see of prison radicals opening fire on civilians in the street, leading Plantu to draw a Le Monde cartoon telling "France" that "your flag is scramming" to Syria.

What Are We Waiting For?! It's Long Past Time to Outlaw Knives (Especially When Kids Can Get Their Hands on the Weapons)

The Associated Press reports that
Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death in the wood to please a mythological creature they learned about online.

Monday, June 02, 2014

What Are the Bergdahls Proud of? That Their Son Is Wiser, More Talented, and More Tolerant Than the Average American (Soldier)

Is it uncouth or beyond the pale to do a little analysis of the statements by Bowe Bergdahl's parents on CNN?
I'm proud of you 
says Robert Bergdahl from Boise, Idaho, via TV to his son (02:25).  The man, who looks like (is it uncouth to note this as well?) a 1970s Marxist, goes on to say a few words in a foreign tongue (an Afghan language?) and to enumerate the army sergeant's alleged international credentials, as well as his multi-culti talents — traits that show Bowe's superiority to the average American.

And to the average American soldier.
I'm so proud of your character, I'm so proud of your patience, and your perseverance. I'm so proud of your cultural abilities to adapt, your language skills, your desire and your action to serve this country in a very difficult, long war. 
But in all this, what is Bob Bergdahl most proud of? More internationalism and more multi-culti stuff:
But most of all, I'm proud [breaking down] of how much you wanted to help the afghan people and what you were willing to do to go to that length…
Update: Did Bob Bergdahl delete a tweet?

Update 2 — from the comments section,
Pa Bergdahl said some very significant words in Arabic: the "Bismallah" refrain from the Koran, which in this context sounds like a greeting or expression of solidarity from one Muslim to another. They both appear to identify with the Taliban side in the global jihad.
Indeed. And so it would seem that Bob's beard is less 1970s Marxist than Islamist… Plus what does this do to the leftists' insistence that rumors about Obama's Islamism deserve nothing but ridicule?

What Leftists Revel In: Shame — Shame for Being American, Shame for Having the Audacity to Speak Out, etc…

According to emails quoted by CNN's Jake Tapper (thanks to InstaPundit), freed POW Bowe Bergdahl is said to have vilified his country and deserted, while his "selfish act" caused seven deaths among the comrades who were trying to save him from his Al Qaeda captors.
"The future is too good to waste on lies," Bowe wrote to his parents [in 2009]. "And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting."

Bergdahl wrote to them, "I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting."
If so, was the army sergeant (whose last name, incidentally, means mountain valley in Scandinavian) saying anything differently than the (admittedly slightly more diplomatic) woman who now lives in the White House? (That would be Michelle "for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country" Obama.)

Like Michelle, father Bob Bergdahl went on TV to praise his relative's superiority to the average American (soldier).

Notice that on his battalion's Facebook page, the moderator asked for "more respect to be shown":
I challenge any one of you who label him a traitor to spend 5 years in captivity with the Taliban or Haqqani, then come back and accuse him again. Whatever his intent when he walked away or was captured, he has more than paid for it.
We have seen this before: it is (or it is akin to) the leftists' typical shame-you-into-silence stance.

That amounts to a whole lot of shame coming from the left side of the aisle…

As Glenn Reynolds has quoted Richard Fernandez saying,
It is impossible to understand the politics of the Left without grasping that it is all about deniable intimidation.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

The weirdest souvenirs in Paris's new official merchandise shop have to be the Parisian scented candles

The French, as we all know, are an inventive people Paris has just found a new way to earn some much-needed money for its anti-pollution campaign
writes Stephen Clarke:
a shop selling official merchandise. The new boutique at 29 rue de Rivoli, in the Hôtel de Ville building, is selling a  selection of knick-knacks with “Paris” written on them, as well as some bulky but authentic-looking souvenirs that will help you create your own corner of the French capital in your back garden. Sadly, not a full-size version of the Eiffel Tower – because an accurate scale model, with the staircases, lifts and intricate ironwork would make a great garden feature, especially if you could get it to light up and flicker like the real one does. But the shop at city hall is selling copies of the metal chairs you get in Parisian parks, as well as some nice wooden yachts like the ones children (and grown-up kids) can rent in the Jardins du Luxembourg and the Tuileries to sail on the ponds.

 … A good thing … : the boutique has a great selection of books, which are available on-line if they’re not in the shop itself. My recommendation would be the very cheap little volume of photos of the Marais taken in the 1960s and early 1970s. This was before the demolition of the Les Halles market, but also before the renovation of some buildings that are now looking very spruce but came perilously close to falling down. It’s all in Le Marais de Roland Liot that costs only €2.85.

 … The weirdest souvenirs in the shop have to be the Parisian scented candles. Now it doesn’t take much cynicism to ask what these candles should smell of if they want to be authentic. As the author of a book called A Year in the Merde, I won’t even bother to make the most obvious suggestion. The Marais candle is said to smell of leather and wood, reminiscent of the old houses there. Fair enough, though it’s more of a zingy, zesty, trendy place now. The St Germain des Prés candle tries to recreate the intellectual atmosphere of the Latin Quarter, not with red wine, cigarette ash and hot air, but with wood, amber and vetiver (the last of which does apparently have a smoky fragrance, so it scores a point for authenticity). However, I can’t understand why flowers, fruits and vanilla are meant to capture the atmosphere of the Canal Saint Martin in summer – it’s a prime picnic spot, so ham, camembert and gherkins would be nearer the mark. And why shouldn’t your kitchen smell of cheese rather than flowers?

But this is a little cynical dig at what must be a good thing if it in any way eases local taxes. Turning a chunk of city hall into a profitable boutique must be good news. The only strange thing about it is that recently, city hall has been repeating its campaign against Sunday trading by saying that it doesn’t want the city turned into one big shopping mall. Admittedly the official Paris shop is only open Monday to Saturday, but if the city can turn part of its own HQ into a shopping mall whenever it chooses, can’t some of its citizens do the same, whenever they choose, and give much-needed work to Parisians trying to afford their local taxes?