Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pirates, Tea, Stem Cells, Russia and more

Some recent items I found interesting, enlightening, irritating or amusing.

Last Thursday in the WSJ, Daniel Henninger suggested that the successful management of the recent pirate crisis could be a model for handling the world's metaphorical pirates - Hugo Chavez, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan.

Bill Kristol had some fun a few days ago on a Fox News panel with the resolution of the pirate thing. He wondered why we didn't go to the Security Council to ask permission to act, or if we should now have to worry about radicalizing "moderate pirates" or what the reaction will be on the "pirate street".

Several commentators have effectively derided Janeane Garafalo’s hate filled, ignorant diatribe on the tea parties held across the country April 15, (for example, Kevin McCullough, )
I won’t add to those. What I question is why Hollywood left wingers like Garafalo have a platform in the first place.
Garafalo is paid to…well, I don’t know exactly what she does for her pay, but I’m sure it isn’t for her insight on political issues. And I don't mean to single her out. Why are we constantly subjected to Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, et al discussing subjects outside their realm of expertise? We don’t hear Robert Gates’ opinion of Susan Sarandon’s acting ability or Tim Geithner discussing Italian cinema. I suspect the MSM grants actors a stage because it's an easy way to attract an audience. And because it shares their viewpoints. The few Hollywood conservatives, like Jon Voigt and Kelsey Grammer are rarely heard from.

Jeanne Garafalo to the contrary, the tea parties were not dominated by racist rednecks.
Mary Katherine Ham went to one tea party in Noth Carolina and interviewed some participants.
The following exemplifies the prevelant attitude.

For Frank Lathrop, a retiree sporting a homemade sweatshirt that read "Pay your own taxes," the April 15 protest was for future generations.
"I'm no protester. We've never protested, but we have eight grandchildren," Lathrop said. "All of this [money for stimulus, bailouts, and deficits] is being taken from them."
His wife, Anna, whose matching iron-on political message read "Stop stealing our kids' future," jumped in: "I'm not even a Republican! And, to say that this is a party or a race thing is just ridiculous," she said, alluding to news coverage. "The idea that they're stealing from our children and grandchildren to remove tattoos in California? That's not worth my grandchildren's future. It's not."

Mark Steyn, of course, had some choice words about the tax protests and Obama's response to them.

Asked about the tea parties, President Obama responded that he was not aware of them. As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them drink Lapsang Souchong.” His Imperial Majesty at Barackingham Palace having declined to acknowledge the tea parties, his courtiers at the Globe and elsewhere fell into line. Talk-show host Michael Graham spoke to one attendee at the 2009 Boston Tea Party who remarked of the press embargo: “If Obama had been the King of England, the Globe wouldn’t have covered the American revolution.”

What about the leftist teabagging fetish?! This from Ann Coulter, noting that the term used by the protesters is “tea party”.

Every host on Air America and every unbathed, basement-dwelling loser on the left wing blogosphere has spent the last week making jokes about tea bagging, a practice they show a surprising degree of familiarity with.

You know what else would be hilarious? It would be hilarious if Hillary Clinton's name were "Ima Douche." Unfortunately, it's not. It was just a dream. Most people would wake up, realize it was just a dream and scrap the joke. Not MSNBC hosts.

Commenting about the Garafalo remarks, Charles Krauthammer noted that after eight years of (stupidly) saying that dissent is the highest form of patriotism, liberals now equate dissent with racism.

In my post about Krauthammer a few days ago, I mentioned that he had been called the most influential commentator in America a couple of years ago by the Financial Times. Well apparently, he still is. President Obama has modified his stem cell policy to fit exactly the one recommended by Krauthammer. Obama has now ordered the prohibition of federal funding of human embryo creation solely for the purpose of research. Krauthammer had criticized Obama for originally allowing such funding and he lauded the change. Now if Obama would only conform to the rest of Krauthammer’s positions, we’d have a decent president.

David Horowitz wrote a rare column for the WSJ detailing his abominable mistreatment at the University of Texas where he recently gave a talk. Horowitz, who now brings a bodyguard with him to these events, says that his experience is typical for a conservative speaker at a college campus.

A WSJ op-ed by Josef Joffe, editor of the German weekly, Die Zeit, tells of the non-impact that Obama had on Europe's leaders on his recent tour.
Showcasing Obama's credulousness, Joffe writes

"We will listen carefully," Mr. Obama said with a view to Tehran, "we will bridge misunderstandings, and we will seek common ground." Some 500 years ago, Francis I of France was asked what misunderstandings had fueled his constant wars with the Habsburg Empire's Charles V. He replied: "None, we are in complete agreement. We both want control over Italy."
Conflict between states is made from sterner stuff than bad manners or bad vibes, past grievances or imaginary fears. International politics is neither psychiatry nor a set of "see me, feel me" encounter sessions. It is about power and position, about preventing injury and protecting interests. Love and friendship move people, not nations.

George Will writes about the absurdity and irrelevance of Obama's offer of arms control talks with a dying country, Russia, and what a great gift it was to its thuggish leader, Vladimir Putin.

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