Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cruising the Web

Michelle Obama is still badmouthing her own country as she worries about how women in America still face a daily struggle. Sure, there has been a lot of progress, but we are still not "anywhere near full economic, political, and domestic equality in the United States." Oh, please. Christina Hoff Sommers is exactly right when she argues that feminists have a vested interest in promoting myths about how rotten things are for women today.

Jonah Goldberg makes a similar point as he aims a skeptical eye on the White House's efforts to convince people that 1 in 5 women on college campuses have been raped.
The “It's On Us” PR stunt is not an exception; it is par for the course. To listen to pretty much anyone in the Democratic Party these days, you'd think these are dark days for women. But by any objective measure, things have been going great for women for a long time, under Republicans and Democrats alike.

The “It's On Us” PR stunt is not an exception; it is par for the course. To listen to pretty much anyone in the Democratic Party these days, you'd think these are dark days for women. But by any objective measure, things have been going great for women for a long time, under Republicans and Democrats alike....

Obviously, this isn't all about elections. There's a vast feminist industrial complex that is addicted to institutionalized panic. On college campuses, feminist and gender studies departments depend almost entirely on a constant drumbeat of crisis-mongering to keep their increasingly irrelevant courses alive. Abortion rights groups now use “women's health” and “access to abortion on demand” as if they are synonymous terms. The lack of a subsidy for birth control pills is tantamount to a federal forced breeding program.

Sure, women still face challenges. But the system feminists have constructed cannot long survive an outbreak of confidence in the permanence of women's progress. The last thing the generals need is for the troops to find out that the “war on women” ended a long time ago — and the women won.

According the NLRB, an employee can cuss out a boss in front of customers and can't be fired.
Authors Frederick Braid and Loren Forrest note a recent case in which the board sided with an employee of an auto dealership who cursed out the owner in a meeting to discuss compensation. The employee used words not fit for a family newspaper as he insulted the business owner, called him "stupid," told him that nobody liked him and that he would regret it if he fired the abusive employee. After the dealership went ahead and fired the worker, the NLRB ruled that the business had violated the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB said the employee's behavior was neither "belligerent" nor "menacing."

In a case involving Starbucks Corp. , report Messrs. Braid and Forrest, "the Board again reinstated an employee" who engaged in profanity-laced tirades against his manager. "The first tirade occurred when the employee felt that his manager was slow to assist him during a busy day at Starbucks. Instead of thanking his manager for the requested assistance, which the manager provided, the employee said, 'about damn time.'" The worker then used foul language and told his boss to "do everything your damn self."

The Nanny state now involves studying people's garbage.
The Seattle City Council passed a new ordinance Monday that could mean $1 fines for people who toss too many table scraps into the trash.

Under current Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) rules, people living in single-family homes are encouraged but not required to dispose of food waste and compostable paper products in compost bins....

Under the new rules, collectors can take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck.

If they see compostable items make up 10 percent or more of the trash, they’ll enter the violation into a computer system their trucks already carry, and will leave a ticket on the garbage bin that says to expect a $1 fine on the next garbage bill.

Politicians today have lost the power of persuasion.
But in the last decade or so, persuasion in politics has become like cursive writing in high school; it’s a lost art.

George W. Bush, for example, genuinely wanted to convince people he was right about Iraq. But he had absolutely no talent for persuasion; nor, alas, did he have the sense to bring anyone who did have a talent for persuasion into his administration. After two terms in the White House, the total number of Americans who changed their minds in favor of the Iraq War was, roughly, zero.

President Obama is on-track to match that sorry record. He exudes contempt for anyone who disagrees with him about the war, Obamacare, or about any other issue; when he speaks, it’s obvious from his choice of words and body language that he doesn’t think it’s worth his valuable time to try and convince people who are just too stupid to understand.

It’s getting worse. Can you name even one of the likely presidential contenders who has displayed the inclination — let alone the skill — to convince people to actually change their minds about an issue? Neither can I.

In politics, the alternative to persuasion is playing to the base. You identify your natural supporters — libertarians, social conservatives, labor unions, soccer moms, Tea Party activists, or whomever — and then you throw as much raw meat at them as you can. You tell them whatever they want to hear, precisely as they want to hear it. You don’t worry that voters who aren’t part of your base won’t understand what you’re talking about, or may be offended by the words you use to make your points; in fact, offending other voters is one of the best ways to convince the base that you’re their guy or gal.

Now this is an inspirational story about three Irish girls who won the Google science fair this year as they worked in their back yard to find a new way to increase the output of plants by using a helpful bit of bacteria. They are modern day Norman Borlaugs, the man who has saved more lives than anyone else in history.

Obama is so eager to have moral equivalence that he ends up being offensive. First he had to bring in Ferguson, Missouri in his speech to the UN today. What did that have to do with the state of the world today? And whatever the crowds in the street might think, or Eric Holder and Barack Obama might like to believe, there is still a judicial process going on in Ferguson and would be better if federal officials would just let that process go forth. But then he had to strike a note of equivalence in talking about Gaza and Israel.
“The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace,” he said as he opened the 69th General Assembly in New York.
Balderdash! The Israeli government would be thrilled to have peace. What is he implying? That Israel went into Gaza just because they don't want peace? If they were truly so desirous of war, think of how many Palestinians Israel could kill if they really wanted to unleash their full power. They fought that recent war with one hand tied behind their backs as they did as much as they possibly could to minimize civilian casualties. But in President Obama's views, it's all about Israel wanting to abandon the "hard work of peace."

And then he stuck in a bit of praise for a Muslim cleric who supported a fatwa on killing U.S. soldiers.
Concern over the administration’s relationship with Bin Bayyah started as early as 2013, when outrage ensued after he was reported to have met with Obama’s National Security Council staff at the White House.

While Bin Bayyah has condemned the actions of groups such as Boko Haram and ISIL, he also has taken controversial positions against Israel.

He issued in 2009 a fatwa “barring ‘all forms of normalization’ with Israel,” according to a Fox report on the White House meeting.

Additionally, the notorious 2004 fatwa permitting armed resistance against U.S. military personnel in Iraq reportedly stated that “resisting occupation troops” is a “duty” for all Muslims, according to reports about the edict.

Patrick Poole, a reporter and terrorism analyst who has long tracked Bin Bayyah, expressed shock that the Obama administration would endorse the cleric on the world stage.

“It is simply amazing that just a few months ago the State Department had to publicly apologize for tweeting out it’s support for Bin Bayyah, only to have Barack Obama go before the leaders of the entire world and publicly endorse Bin Bayyah’s efforts,” Poole said.
Doesn't anyone in this administration look over such speeches so they can keep the President from making these sorts of mistakes?

These are the TV programs that no politicians should advertise on.

I'm glad that TSA can keep us safe from dangerous conservative reporters.

Reporters can get a look at what their future will be like under their coming Clinton overlords. They even assign aides to follow reporters to the bathroom when they cover Hillary at the Clinton Global Initiative. Chris Cillizza explains why this matters.
But, the episode also reflects the dark and, frankly, paranoid view the Clintons have toward the national media. Put simply: Neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton likes the media or, increasingly, sees any positive use for them....

“If a policymaker is a political leader and is covered primarily by the political press, there is a craving that borders on addictive to have a storyline," Bill Clinton said in a speech at Georgetown University back in April. "And then once people settle on the storyline, there is a craving that borders on blindness to shoehorn every fact, every development, every thing that happens into the story line, even if it’s not the story.”

That view, according to a terrific story by Politico's Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman over the summer, informs and impacts the Clintons' thinking on a 2016 bid. Write the duo: "As much as anything else, her ambivalence about the race, [Clinton sources] told us, reflects her distaste for and apprehension of a rapacious, shallow and sometimes outright sexist national political press corps acting as enablers for her enemies on the right."

It also colors how the media is treated during the long runup to Clinton's now-expected bid. While Chozick's experience may be on the extreme end of the spectrum, reporters who have spent any amount of time on the trail with the Clintons -- including during their recent trip to Sen. Tom Harkin's Steak Fry -- describe a candidate and an operation that always assumes the worst of the press horde and acts accordingly.
Cillizza goes on to look at Hillary Clinton's poor relations with the media in the 2008 campaign and is not encouraged that anything would be different 2016. Noah Rothman notes that the media are only upset with the Clintons when it affects them.

John Hinderaker, for his sins, watched some of The View and caught Rosie O'Donnell giving her ignorant opinion that we're now bombing Syria because she thinks "Syria has a lot of oil" and that we have "a financial agenda" for Obama's actions there.
O’Donnell’s comments are astonishingly stupid. For one thing, Syria has very little oil: it produces less than 1/2 of 1% of the world’s petroleum. Whereas we, the United States, are the number one source of fossil fuel energy. And how would bombing ISIL give the U.S. access to more oil, at rates somehow cheaper than those at which we can develop our own endless petroleum resources? At over $1 million per Tomahawk missile, isn’t this doing it the hard way? Not to mention that, on a best case scenario, we don’t own whatever minimal amounts of oil may be beneath Syria’s soil. (This is a minor, legalistic detail that doesn’t occur to low-IQ liberals.)

So what is the point? What do Syria’s tiny petroleum reserves have to do with our bombing of ISIL? It seems obvious that the answer is: Nothing. Yet liberals are so stupid, or, to be charitable, so irrationally wedded to outmoded memes, that they can’t resist babbling about oil, even as North Dakota produces more petroleum than Syria could ever dream of. What, exactly, is the “financial incentive” behind our effort to retaliate against ISIS brutality?

With all the interest recently in the Democratic database and application of technology to its get out the vote campaigns, David Foster provides a fascinating look at how the Kennedy campaign used computer analyses in the 1960 campaign to decide how JFK should address the religion question.