Saturday, May 07, 2016

Seeking to Counter Berlin, British Move Towards Securing Iraq's Oil

Strong British forces, believed to include air personnel, have landed at Basra, Iraq’s principal port on the Persian Gulf, an official announcement said here [on April 19, 1941]. The move was seen as a counter-stroke to German maneuvers to gain control of the country’s valuable Mosul oil fields. The imperial forces landed at Basra, it was said, in accordance with the terms of the Anglo-Iraqi treaty, and the new government of Premier Sayid Rashid Ali al-Gailani was said to be co-operating with the British. A warm welcome was said to have been given to the troops by the local population.
— In Our Pages, 75 Years Ago
New York Herald Tribune, April 20, 1941

Friday, May 06, 2016

In the Era of the Drama Queen, Even Conservatives Turn to the Candidate of Melodramatics and Excitement

As I have written before, we live in the era of the drama queen.

There has been so much of this over the past seven or eight years — melodramatics and excitement — that it has become the national religion, even amongst conservative and traditional Americans against whom the melodrama (the toll of guns! the Confederate flag! a racist on the $20 bill! ugly traditionals not allowing a minority to use the bathroom of their choice!) and the excitement (Obama the most intelligent man to enter the White House! a national health care system! peace with Cuba! peace with Iran!) were constantly being used.

And when a GOP candidate started using the crises of melodramatics and excitement as well, albeit (ostensibly, at least) in the other direction, he started collecting all the support from members of the Republican Party.

The use-your-brain conservative, one of the very best candidates America or the world have seen in the past century, was effectively crowded out. (No wonder I wrote Whoever Emerges Victorious in November, the GOP Loses; and So Does the American People… [Update (3 years later): I have since noted to what extent I was wrong about Donald Trump…])

As Ted Cruz pointed out last Sunday, some 50 (!) days before quitting, the mainstream media (why are so many media types also Democrats? Or leftists? because they too crave melodramatics, they too live for excitement, indeed it is the essential feature of their job) put a stop to the highly profitable televised debates between Republican candidates, debates which would have shown all the seriousness of said Ted's viewpoints while showing the volatility of The Donald's positions (volatility that the mainstream media will start pointing out, from here until November) [Again, I have been totally wrong about Trump, and — luckily! — all has turned out much more differently, and much better, than I had foreseen]…

This is the legacy that Barack Obama, this is the legacy that the Democrats, have hoisted upon America…

Related: The Era of the Drama Queens:
Every Crisis Is a Triumph

And now, incidentally, you know why liberals are so intent on undermining and on overturning the Constitution of the United States: from beginning to end, the document written by the Founding Fathers is a use-your-brain, a take-a-pause, a don't-fall-for-the-crisis-tricks document, in which just about every sentence tells the politicians and the people not to give in, never to give in, to excitement and to melodramatics.

The Founding Fathers knew that it is quite possible to survive, and even to thrive, without leaders and politicians and functionaries not to mention charismatic revolutionaries butting into your life — indeed, the people of the quintessential put-a-brake-on-politicans'-outcries country have surged over the past 240 years and led the planet's nations into making the world a better place.

And now you also know why, for the past two centuries in a half, America has been demonized throughout the old world, and why foreign leaders have constantly pushed for a charismatic revolutionary in the White House to turn America around, and turn the Americans towards more "reasonable" positions.

• The Left's 2016 Plan: Defining Trump so damningly that Clinton will look comparatively angelic

Whoever Emerges Victorious in November, the GOP Loses; and So Does the American People

The Divine Right of Democrats: Kevin Williamson on the liberation of the Donkey party by the practical elimination of the Republican party (America is  "suffering from a kind of infection in the form of the Republican party, which inhibits the normal and healthy — meaning Democrat-dominated — political life of the United States").

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Selfishness disguised as selflessness: Democrats know how to make a partisan pitch sound like a nonpartisan appeal for more civic participation

Liberal Democrats wouldn't dream of organizing a voter registration drive
notes Benny Huang wryly, at least not one
that wasn't guaranteed to be a net win for their party.
White House College Reporter Day took an interesting turn last week when President Obama showed up unannounced to deliver a speech to journalism students on the importance of voting Democrat. He didn’t actually tell them to vote Democrat, of course—he just told them to vote, though there’s no doubt which party he was hinting they should vote for. The message was about as subtle as a punch in the face.

The students were listening to Press Secretary Josh Earnest drone on and on when the president suddenly burst onto the stage. Earnest feigned surprised because, you know, everything in the Obama Administration is scripted. The audience’s reaction reminded me of the Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan Show appearance in 1964. I would not have been surprised if some of the girls had started throwing their bras at him.
Said Mr. Obama: “If you care about climate change, you care about college costs, you care about career opportunities, you care about war and peace and refugees, you can’t just complain. You’ve got to vote.” Of course he didn’t say “you’ve got to vote for my party” though I think that was implied.

 … Obama knows this. He also knows he can use this issue to encourage young people to vote Democrat without actually saying the word “Democrat.” The same could be said of the other issues he raised. It would be like a Republican president telling an audience that if they really care about overturning Roe v. Wade, protecting the Second Amendment, and eliminating the death tax, they can’t just complain; they’ve got to vote. I think most people would hear the implication of that statement loud and clear.

But Democrats know how to make a partisan pitch sound like a nonpartisan appeal for more civic participation. They don’t fool all of the people all of the time but, with the willing complicity of the media, they fool too many people too much of the time.

Obama’s exhortation to vote (Democrat) reminds me very much of my own college days when I was almost bamboozled by the Democrats’ supposed spirit of cooperation and their alleged zeal for getting people—all people—to the polls. I’m not so naïve anymore. It was 2004, an extremely contentious election year, and I was an active member of the College Republicans.

The University Democrats were coordinating a voter registration drive on campus and, as it turned out, one of those students leading the registration drive lived down the hall from me in the dorm. She asked me if the College Republicans would like to help out. “We just want people to vote,” she said. “We don’t care who they vote for.” I thought that sounded nice and fluffy so I raised the idea at one of our meetings. People said the club was too busy and the idea was shot down.

Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t participate. Was I really supposed to believe that she didn’t care who the students voted for? Yeah, right. That’s easy to say when the students were probably trending twenty to one for John Kerry. That figure is just a guesstimate—I know of no hard data on the voting patterns of students on my moonbat college campus in that election twelve years ago but I think I can safely say that Kerry and the Democrats won handily. People were literally crying when the election results rolled in.

Getting the College Republicans to help out with a voter registration drive would only have given the Democrats more foot soldiers at their disposal to get more students registered to vote (Democrat) while simultaneously giving the effort a bipartisan gloss. If the political tendencies of the campus had been reversed there’s no doubt in my mind that the Democrats would not have agreed to spend their free time registering hundreds of people to vote for George W. Bush.

I don’t mean to imply that the girl was lying to me. If she was deceiving anyone it was probably herself. She had told herself that it didn’t matter who her newly minted voters voted for but what she really meant was that she didn’t care if a few people voted for another party as long as the registration drive was a net gain for the Democrats—an outcome that was virtually assured. She could therefore afford to mouth platitudes about every voice being heard. It was selfishness disguised as selflessness, which is something I’ve noticed liberals do very well.
Ever stop and wonder why they use the welfare office to register voters? The egregious 1993 Motor Voter law actually requires the states to encourage welfare recipients to register to vote when they sign up for benefits. Career bureaucrats have an incentive to scare the wits out of welfare recipients with the specter of big, bad Republicans taking their bennies away from them. The bureaucrats, who are already loyal Democrats, want to make the welfare recipients loyal Democrats too. As perpetual wards of the state, welfare recipients will never in a million years dream of voting for anyone but a big government liberal who will reward them for their loyalty with a large portion of their neighbors’ property. Their participation in the electoral process can tip the balance of power from the makers to the takers, which sounds like a great idea—for the takers. Now you know why voter registration is focused on the welfare office and not, say, down the hall where gun licenses are issued.

Another one of these stealth Democratic get-out-the-vote campaigns is Rock the Vote, a laughably “nonpartisan” voter registration organization that focuses on the 18-24 year old demographic.

 … Nothing liberal Democrats do is nonpartisan. Everything is designed to gain them some kind of political advantage. They’re completely unprincipled and they’ll do anything to advance their agenda. Voter register drives are no different. They are always aimed at demographic groups that Democrats think could be milked for a few more votes if only they exerted more effort—blacks, college students, welfare recipients, etc. Everything is calculated and nothing is left to chance.

If Democrats want to lead get-out-the-vote efforts, that’s fine; but they should at least have the decency to call them what they are. It’s called truth in advertising. They should try it sometime.
As I have said before, like many of the amendments to the constitution of the 20th century, the 26th Amendment may have been one of the most destructive decisions in the history of the American Republic.

The Left's 2016 Plan: Defining Trump so damningly that Clinton will look comparatively angelic

Echoing what I wrote yesterday (Whoever Emerges Victorious in November, the GOP Loses; and So Does the American People), Benjamin Weingarten points to a recently released campaign ad by a Democrat running against a Republican in Arkansas (video at link [Update: thanks to Maggie's Farm for the Bird Dog link]), should you want to know how Democrats plan to go about trying to destroy Donald Trump if he is the Republican presidential nominee:
One suspects that we will see a flurry of such campaign commercials in districts across the country in races up and down ballots during the 2016 general election if Trump is to triumph in the GOP primary.

As President Barack Obama did with Mitt Romney [in 2012], Hillary Clinton and a media that has to this point enabled Donald Trump’s rise with $2 billion in free messaging will seek to define Trump so damningly that Clinton will look comparatively angelic — which is saying something — ensuring his fall.

The Donald will be cast as a bigoted, misogynistic, unscrupulous oligarch with no principles except a lust for power. When Trump comes out swinging directly at Hillary, she will become just another one of Trump’s victims.

To his discredit, the New York businessman has provided the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) with a target-rich environment for making this case over his decades in the public eye. And best of all for Democrats, their attacks will not only be powerful, but have the benefit in some instances of being true.

 … The ads write themselves.

And as with Sen. John McCain in 2008, a media that to this point has served effectively as a friend, thanks to its hours of free airtime, will instantly become a foe. Recall that Sen. McCain was labeled a “maverick” by mainstream media outlets, and embraced by Democrats for his willingness to take Leftist positions against his party.

The day he won the Republican presidential nomination, the formerly fawning press turned their guns on him unmercifully.

While the media has certainly proven more hostile to Trump than McCain during this election cycle, mainly in response to his rhetoric and lack of decorum (note: less so his “heterodox” ideology), its efforts to date have had the effect of providing Trump with a reliable enemy to rail against which resonates with his supporters, all while constantly keeping him in the news cycle.

The media in fact has had good reason not to seek to destroy Trump outright to date.

First, Trump is good for ratings, which means he is good for business.

Second, by enabling Trump’s rise, the media has created a candidate that they believe is incredibly weak given his unfavorable ratings and the aforementioned devastating charges that can be leveled against him. While the media may have underestimated Trump’s political acumen, and the mood of the American electorate to date, nevertheless they know that a concerted effort can be used to break him down just as they built him up. If Mitt Romney, a decent man and moderate Republican with a stellar business record, could have his image utterly sullied, imagine what the media can do with The Donald.

Third, especially as more Establishment Republicans signal their approval, even if tacit, of Trump, he will be used as the representative of the party generally and conservatism in particular. The goal? To toxify those with an “R” next to their name in a bid to take back Congress. Trump may very well have the blood on his hands of real conservatives, few though they may be in Washington.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Whoever Emerges Victorious in November, the GOP Loses; and So Does the American People

Isn't it the 1850s all over again?…

Eight years ago or so, Barack Obama promised that he was getting ready for a presidency invested in "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

So what is it that he has, that he and his minions have, succeeded in doing?

They seem to succeeded in imposing a candidate on the Republican Party, a Trojan horse on the path towards a de facto one-party state.

Even if Hillary (or Bernie) doesn't win in November, the Republican Party loses.

The Democrats have effectively succeeded in tarnishing the GOP as a party of wackos and extremists (something President Trump promises to demonstrate within days, or hours, of taking the oath).

Which of course is unfair in Trump's case, in a manner of speaking, because (as Ted Cruz said on Sunday) The Donald is not a conservative but "Democrat lite."
As I wrote yesterday,
The Democrats' and the MSM's motto might be:
Hillary looks terrible (no one can deny it),
so what is needed is a GOP candidate who is,
or who can be depicted as, far worse.
One might wonder whether the Democrats don't
want to effectively make America a one-party state,
with the Republicans being no more than a secondary
party with its ranks filled with either with

alter ego Democrat types or with what
looks like (
unelectable) crazed extremists. 
So, either way a Democrat wins.

Either a Democrat wins.

Or a Democrat lite wins.

In all cases, the Party of Lincoln loses.

And, in all cases, so does America.
There is one small, tiny sliver of hope, though.

And please — do not dismiss this out of hand, because that is what the Democrats, what their minions in the MSM, and what the Trump supporters want you to do.

And that is that John Kasich stays in the race, and that as many people rally around him as soon as possible, for a contested convention in Cleveland.

Update: The Left's 2016 Plan: Defining Trump so damningly
that Clinton will look comparatively angelic

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Should Ted Cruz call it quits if he loses to The Donald in Indiana?

Do you think that Ted Cruz needs to call it quits if he loses to Trump in Indiana? 
asks Clash Daily.
Or do you think he needs to keep going and still has a chance? 
There is NO WAY Ted Cruz should call it quits!

Whatever Trump's qualifications or lack thereof,
he is but the latest GOP candidate that the
Democrats and their minions in the MSM dearly — dearly
want to run in the election, so that they can tear him
to pieces (not without reason), effectively allowing
the White House to go to a supporter of statism
(which will happen whoever is the 2016 victor if
The Donald turns out to be one of the candidates).

As Ted Cruz himself remarked on Sunday,
the networks would earn millions of dollars
by continuing their highly successful rounds of
GOP debates, and they are willing to lose that money
for the simple reason that their preferred GOP
candidate would emerge looking perhaps not 
like a fool when facing Ted, but certainly diminished. 
Like McCain and Romney in 2008 and 2012,
the MSM is holding back on its criticism of
Donald Trump and his financial choices 
through the years and decades, criticism 
which will explode into the open, if and 
when The Donald is chosen as the GOP's
candidate, and never cease until November.

The Democrats' and the MSM's motto might be, 
Hillary looks terrible (no one can deny it),
so what is needed is a GOP candidate who is,
or who can be depicted as, far worse.
One might wonder whether the Democrats don't
want to effectively make America a one-party state,
with the Republicans being no more than a secondary
party with its ranks filled with either with

alter ego Democrat types or with what
looks like (
unelectable) crazed extremists.

Meaning that the Democrats, or that people

echoing their ideology (even inside the GOP
— think John Boehner and people of his ilk),
would effectively win every election in the future.

Ted Cruz understands what's at stake, and he will
— rightly — not give in to the forces who want to 
silence American voters while destroying American 

Monday, May 02, 2016

The Single Best Joke Told by Every President, from the 1780s to the 21st Century

“He’s not into the classic hokey punchlines,” said Brian Agler, a comedian and speechwriter at the Washington-based West Wing Writers. “There’s a level of detachment and a level of understanding about what’s going on, like, ‘this is kind of weird that the president is up here in a tux making jokes’ — all of his humor has that element baked into it.”
As the mainstream media oohs and ahs over Barack Obama's alleged mastery in the art of telling a joke, the Washington Post's Dan Zak presents The single best joke told by every president, from BO to Washington…

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Should the Semicolon follow the diastole, the trigon, the interpunct, and the diple?

INTHEBEGINNINGWASTHEWORD, and the word was run together. Ancient texts (like the Greek of the Gospel of John) had few of the devices that tell readers where words begin and end (spaces), which words are proper names (the upper-lower case distinction), where breaks in meaning come (commas, dashes, semicolons and full stops), who said what (inverted commas), and so on.  
Thus readeth Johnson's Economist column on how punctuation is being changed by computers and the internet (cheers to Bird Dog for the Maggie's Farm link).
Most people take punctuation to be something obvious and settled.

 … The first English writers, when they punctuated at all, availed themselves of long-forgotten symbols like the diastole and trigon, the interpunct and the diple. Printing began the process of settling the punctuation system, but even that took four centuries. Samuel Johnson’s commas, in the mid-18th century, were not only heavy; many would be ungrammatical today, and this style persisted into the first editions of The Economist in 1843.

 … As David Crystal, a linguist, points out in his history of punctuation (“Making a Point”) published in 2015, at the dawn of the 19th century, punctuation prescribers were still divided into those who insisted that punctuation follow grammar and those who wanted it to aid elocution. Even one of the grammarians, Lindley Murray, wrote in 1795, in a hugely influential grammar book, that a semicolon signalled a pause twice as long as a comma; that a colon was twice as long as a semicolon; and that a full stop was twice as long as a colon. (Try that next time you read a text aloud.)
This causes John O’Callaghan to write from Singapore:
One bit of punctuation that should follow the diastole, the trigon, the interpunct and the diple onto the scrap heap of history is the semicolon (Johnson, March 12th). Very few people know how to use semicolons correctly and The Economist’s constant overuse contradicts its advice—contained in its very own style guide—not to overdo them.
Kurt Vonnegut said it best:
“Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”
Montreal's Mark Lee provides a reply:
A reader called for semicolons to be thrown “onto the scrap heap of history” (Letters, March 26th). I disagree. A good guide is Lewis Thomas’s “Notes on Punctuation”, which says:
The semicolon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added; it reminds you sometimes of the Greek usage. It is almost always a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period. The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; to read on; it will get clearer.

• Related: 5 Punctuation Marks That Look Nothing Like They Used To
• 10 Obscure Punctuation Marks That Should Really Get More Play
Did the Serial Comma Take a Hit?
The Case Against the Misuse and Overuse of [Square] Brackets (and Parentheses)