Monday, March 31, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing a great thing. Kevin Williamson is not only brilliant, he's prolific as well. Here are links to three of at least four op-ed length columns he's produced in the past week.

First he scolds conservatives for making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Maybe you were not that excited that 2012 gave you a choice between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. I sympathize — I liked Rick Perry. But how is President Romney vs. President Obama a hard choice? How is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vs. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a hard choice? How is Speaker of the House John Boehner vs. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a hard choice?
It isn’t.

Then, he explains why governments fail when they overreach (as they invariably do). is a fallen creature, and ..., contra the Obamacare regime, there are no exemptions to be handed out from that condition, no waivers from human nature. The progressive view, on the other hand, is that our politics and our institutions could be channels of moral action and reliably ethical arbiters of such ill-defined standards as “fairness” and “social justice,” if only we put the right people in power.
But there are no right people.

Democrats (I think to myself) are liberals who believe the people are basically good, but that they need government help to organize their lives. They believe in freedom so fervently that they think it should be compulsory. They believe that the poor and ignorant are victims of an unfair system and that their circumstances can be improved if we give them help. Republicans (I think to myself) are conservatives who think it would be best if we faced the fact that people are no damned good. They think that if we admit that we have selfish, acquisitive natures and then set out to get all we can for ourselves by working hard for it, that things will be better for everyone. They are not insensitive to the poor, but tend to think the poor are impoverished because they won't work. They think there would be fewer of them to feel sorry for if the government did not encourage the proliferation of the least fit among us with welfare programs.

And he explains why prices are unexplainable and why attempts to control them are foolish.

...the United States passed its first minimum-wage law in 1933. It was thrown out as unconstitutional, and then reestablished in 1938, at which point it became constitutional via the magic of the infinitely flexible Commerce Clause. (There’s a reason Supreme Court justices and fairy-tale wizards wear the same outfits, with the nine-member national super-legislature missing only those awesome conical hats, which we, a freedom-loving people, should insist they adopt immediately.) Why? Because, as with the case of the sugar producers, somebody with sufficient political power decided that the price wasn’t right — and a wage is nothing but a price, the price of labor. The same people who understand why LGA–MIA costs more in the winter than MIA–LGA cannot understand — or refuse to accept — that wages work in precisely the same way. I hear fairly regularly from public-school teachers who insist that they should be paid more because they have a master’s degree, from MFA holders who insist that they should be paid more than Starbucks is paying them, and from people who insist that people working in fast-food jobs should be paid $10.10 an hour, or whatever it is that the Democrats are proposing this week. But there is no should when it comes to prices.

...Supply and demand don’t always move in smooth, predictable curves, but the relationship between them is not optional, because consumers and producers are real people, not imaginary constructs in somebody’s policy model. Interfere with the supply of sugar and prices will go up. Raise the price of labor and demand for it will go down. That is reality, and reality is not optional.

Also, Deroy Murdock presents the best discussion of the sexual identity/orientation morass* that I've ever read. Not that I'm well versed in the literature on the subject, but still...

*Incidentally, in the third Williamson piece, linked above, he makes the following observation -
“Morass” is not a contraction of the phrase “moralizing asses,” but it should be.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What We Deserve

Bill DeBlasio's approval rating has fallen to 43% just two months into his term as New York City mayor. His cratering popularity is due largely to his war against poor minority children - part of the larger war against poor minorities Democrats have been fighting for decades. DeBlasio's contribution to this fight has been his determination to cripple the city's burgeoning and successful charter school system. That this was the intention of the Sandinista supporting, Mugabe honoring, Cuba honeymooning Marxist was no secret during the campaign, yet DeBlasio won the election with 73% of the vote, three times that of his main opponent, Joe Lhota. That only a quarter of eligible voters participated doesn't get the electorate off the hook. Staying home is as much an endorsement of a heavily favored candidate as is voting for him.

There's also been buyer's remorse when it comes to Barack Obama. A recent poll showed that 71% of people voting to re-elect Obama in 2012 now regret that vote. What were they expecting from him in a second term? He had already demonstrated his incompetence, his mendacity, his anti-Americanism. Was there any illuminating negative that emerged in the past 12 months that wasn't clearly evident in the 4 years prior? Was it the Obamacare rollout? Getting rolled by Putin and Assad over Syria? Well, maybe. Maybe those were the proverbial straws that broke the camel's back. But the back should have been broken long ago. After all, Obama had placed a big "Kick Me" on his back when he confided to the Russian PM Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to be manipulated by Russian leaders after the election. With that unintentionally broadcasted confession, the electorate had been warned by Obama himself that in a second term, without the constraint of having to work for its votes, he would be free to follow his ideological instincts whether or not that served the national interest.

The evidence was overwhelming that nothing good was ever going to come out of this administration.
There was the ill-advised and strategically impossible promise to close Guantanamo; the trillion dollar "stimulus" payout to left wing benefactors; the shafting of bondholders with the GM bailout; the Fast and Furious gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels, the dereliction of responsibility to protect Americans in Benghazi despite a clear and present danger and then the failure to respond to the consulate attack as it was happening, and then the shameful "the video made 'em do it" coverup; the AP scandal; the enlistment of the IRS to hinder and intimidate Democratic Party opponents; the Snowden affair; the trillions added to the crushing debt; the incredible shrinking workforce; the racial and partisan divisiveness; the disdain for allies; the appeasement of enemies (foreign, that is; Obama's exhortation to his followers to "punish our enemies" referred to loyal domestic political opponents); the abandonment of Iraq and (soon) Afghanistan; the caving to Iran's nuclear ambition; the war against success and innovation ("you didn't build that"); the celebration of sloth and dependency (Sandra Fluke and "Julia"); taking what was wrong with our health care system and making it much worse despite the objections of a large majority of Americans and zero support from the GOP; Valerie Jarrett, Harold Koh, Van Jones, Eric Holder, Kathleen Sibelius, Thomas Perez, Janet ("overseas contingency operations") Napolitano, Lisa (a photosynthetic ingredient is a pollutant) Jackson, Steven ("somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe") Chu, Chuck ("the surge is the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam") Hagel, Susan Rice, Joe Biden; all that and much more...

And yet a substantial cohort of apparently swayable voters selected this TV gazing*, basketball bracket obsessed, golf addicted, and yes, Marxist**, deadbeat over an impeccably decent, hard working, conciliatory American patriot who had been successful in every endeavor he had ever undertaken. (National electoral politics excluded).
Well, we get what we deserve. Barack Obama and Bill DeBlasio are prime examples of the truism elucidated by H. L. Mencken, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it, good and hard."

*NY Times list of Obama TV favorites - House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Homeland, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Sportscenter. Where does he find time for all that golf?

**Barack Obama described his brief incursion into the capitalist world (aka, real work) this way - "Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal..." Compare this to longtime Communist Party USA leader Gus Hall's description of his quixotic quest for the presidency as a battle fought from the "belly of the beast."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

From Forbidden To Compulsory a few short years.

A person of the left, one with little or no exposure to serious conservative thinking, might be expected to believe that those refusing to provide abortifacients to their employees are waging a "war against women" and that objections to gay marriage are grounded in that self-validating term, "homophobia". To counter that ignorance an open-minded leftist might want to read Kevin Williamson's latest.
Williamson explains the left's obsession with universal participation in its destructive schemes.

It is a perversion of the English language that our so-called liberals are the least liberal faction in our polity. American liberalism is the creed that you are entitled to think as you like and entitled to do as you are commanded.

...Our so-called liberals find themselves in the queasy position of having created a moral culture that has destroyed millions of lives and many communities among the very disadvantaged people they claim to care most about, but they are incapable of criticizing a culture of license that none of them can imagine living without, even if they themselves are square as houses in their sexual habits.
The result of that is, if not guilt, at least a nagging awareness that this all turns out to be a great deal more morally complex than our liberationist-latitudinarian forebears had imagined. The way to assuage the collective liberal conscience is to institutionalize and normalize liberal social preferences: There is nobody to be blamed for social anarchy if that’s just the way things are. And if everybody is involved — as taxpayers or as employers providing health insurance — then everybody is implicated. They are a little like those addicts who are uncomfortable in the social presence of abstainers, taking that abstention as a rebuke, whether it is intended as one or not. In the United Kingdom, the government-run hospitals are burning the corpses of aborted children for heat, and we are all expected to get cozy by the fire.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Correcting A Colossal Blunder

Mendacious assertions to the contrary by Democrats and their media flacks, there is no shortage of conservative ideas to replace Obamacare. In a recent NRO post, Jeffrey Anderson summarized one of these. The plan's key feature is a tax credit for all Americans to purchase a health insurance policy of their choosing.

The 2017 Project has advanced a conservative alternative to Obamacare under which health costs would drop, liberty would be secured, and every American who wants to buy health insurance would be able to do so. It’s an alternative that is designed to bring about Obamacare’s full repeal.
The plan would offer a refundable tax credit to Americans who buy health insurance in the individual market — an approach that Senator Jim DeMint wisely advocated as far back as 2009 — thereby finally ending the unfairness in the tax code (which allows employer plans to be purchased with pre-tax dollars but offers nothing to millions of people who shop in the individual market). The value of the credit would be as follows: $1,200 for those under 35 years of age; $2,100 for those between 35 and 50; $3,000 for those who are 50 or over; and $900 per child. According to the federal government's own numbers on health insurance shortly before Obamacare went into effect, credits of these amounts, supplemented by no more than $15 a month from a person’s own income, would cover the cost of “catastrophic” health insurance for a typical healthy person in all but five states. Those five states — all in the Northeast — have ruined their insurance markets through hyper-regulation, but the proposal would allow their residents to buy insurance across state lines and thereby escape these artificially inflated prices. And for those with an expensive preexisting condition, the proposal would guarantee coverage — at a price that, while higher, would still be affordable — through a state-run high-risk pool, from which no one could be turned away. (States would establish eligibility rules and pricing for the high-risk pools in such a way as to ensure affordability across incomes.)
If Republicans were to advance such an alternative, which would save over $1 trillion in direct spending as compared with Obamacare over a decade, they could repeal every last letter of Obama’s attempted overhaul of American medicine — thereby undoing its unprecedented consolidation and centralization of power and money at the expense of Americans’ liberty.

The 2017 Project website more fully describes the proposal, including its advantages over the ACA. Example :

Contrast this $15-a-month-or-less cost with Obamacare.  Under Obamacare, the typical person who makes $40,000 a year cannot get health insurance for ten times that price.  That bears repeating:  he or she cannot get health insurance for ten times that price.  According to a 2017 Project study that examined the 50 largest counties in the United States, the median amount that a 26-year-old who makes $40,000 has to pay per month for Obamacare’s cheapest “bronze” (lowest tier) plan is $159.  (Despite Obamacare’s extravagant cost, such a person isn’t eligible for a taxpayer-funded subsidy—being too young and too middle class.)  At that same $40,000 level of income, the typical 36-year-old has to pay $191 a month, the typical 46-year-old has to pay $202 a month, and the typical 56-year-old—the only person on this list who gets a taxpayer-funded subsidy—has to pay $193 a month (post-subsidy).
In each instance, that’s a far cry from paying no more than $15 a month—a ten-fold difference.  For the typical American shopping in the individual market, there would be no comparison between how affordable health insurance would be under this proposal and under Obamacare.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Notable Quotes

Skillful diplomacy might have headed off the crisis in Crimea. But we did not field skillful diplomats. We sent John Kerry, backed up by Barack Obama, Susan Rice, and Joe Biden. As in 1854, “someone had blundered.” Tennyson recorded the result. Today, the “reset button” turns out to have been disconnected at the source. Obama really did push it. Comrade Putin paid it no heed. He had taken the measure of the man long ago. And if there was any doubt, in 2012, in a candid-camera moment, Obama pleaded with Putin’s protege Dmitry Medvedev to give him more “space” about missile defense. “This is my last election,” Obama confided quietly to Medvedev. “After my election, I have more flexibility.” Noted.

The microphones weren’t supposed to pick that up. In any normal world, the remark would have gone a long way towards sealing Obama’s defeat in 2012. But this isn’t any normal world. It is the world according folks like Wolf Blitzer, who mocked Romney for describing Russia as, “without question, our number one geopolitical foe.”

Oh, how Obama jumped all over that during the debates. Remember? The mockery was non-stop "The 1980s Are Now Calling To Ask For Their Foreign Policy Back" Harkh, harkh, harkh! Good line, Barack. But it looks like Mitt was right, doesn’t it? And having temporized, preened, tergiversated about American foreign policy for five years, what are you going to do now?

R. Kimball I the only one laughing that the Democrats filibustered themselves this week to talk about the crisis of climate change? They control the Senate but stayed up all night to talk about how something must be done while refusing to propose actually doing something.

...And yes, “filibustering yourself” sounds dirty. You thought I missed that.

J. Goldberg

I also think all Republican candidates should be trained with shock collars and cattle prods to automatically respond, upon hearing some combination of the words "abortion," "rape" and "incest": "Yes, of course there should be exceptions in the case of rape or incest, and I also support giving rapists the death penalty, unlike my Democratic opponent, who wants to give rapists the right to vote. Now, back to what I was saying about Obamacare ..."

A. Coulter 2009, the incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association said: "(Canadian doctors) all agree that the system is imploding. We all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize." What did the outgoing CMA president propose? He said: "A health care revolution has passed us by" and "competition should be welcomed, not feared." So while the Canadian Medical Association urges more competition and privatization, America moves toward even more government involvement in health care.

L. Elder

Speaking in favor of new food labels, first lady Michelle Obama presented shopping for groceries as a nearly unbearable ordeal. "So you marched into the supermarket, you picked up a can or a box of something, you squinted at that tiny label, and you were totally and utterly lost. So there you stood, alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder, Is there too much sugar in this product?...So you felt defeated, and you just gave up and went back to buying the same stuff you always buy." Ladies and gentlemen: This is how your rulers view you.

The Editors of National Review

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Euro-Socialist America

From Mark Steyn -

"...By most measures, America is already way beyond Europe, and significantly worse than other English-speaking nations in the New World (Canada, Australia, New Zealand). From the OECD's 2011 edition of Government At A Glance, government expenditures per person:

New Zealand $12,252
Australia $13,819
Spain $14,771
Canada $16,655
Italy $16,811
Germany $17,263
United Kingdom $18,155
France $18,866
United States $19,266

America is not who it thinks it is. John Hawkins has an excellent post today on the five structural problems that are destroying the nation and he marshals some evidence of his own:

America doesn't have the highest taxes in the Western world, but it does have the most progressive tax system in the Western world. As a practical matter, what this means is that we have large numbers of Americans voting on whether others should pay more taxes in order to give them things.

Every time the Democrats call for "the richest one per cent" to pay their "fair share", Republicans ought to point out that we have a more progressive - ie, redistributive - tax system than Canada, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands... In other words, America's rich already pay more than Sweden's rich or Norway's rich. If it's fair enough for the Continentals, why isn't it fair for Americans?
What about corporate tax? Federal corporate tax in the US: 35 per cent; in Canada: 11-15 per cent. Total (national, local, the lot) corporate tax burden: Ireland 12.5 per cent, Sweden 22 per cent, Denmark 24 per cent, Netherlands 25 per cent, Germany 29 per cent, Italy 31 per cent, Belgium 33 per cent, United States 40 per cent.
So America is more Euro-socialist than most Euro-socialists. How about debt? John Hawkins again:

It is quite literally impossible to pay off the debt our nation owes along with the commitment we've made to our own citizens via Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security unless inflation dramatically reduces the value of our currency which would erode savings, drive cost-of-living expenses into the stratosphere and generally decimate the economy. Meanwhile, taking even the mildest steps to safeguard the future of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid has proven to be almost impossible in the current political environment. As a practical matter, this means our country is headed towards bankruptcy or runaway inflation so bad that we might as well be bankrupt.

Other countries are not in this situation: Canada's federal government ran a $6 billion deficit last year (or about what Washington borrows every 30 hours or so); this year it will have a surplus of $18 billion. After running trillion-dollar deficits for every year of Obama's first term, last year Washington restrained itself to three-quarters of a trillion. New Zealand is paying down Crown debt from a peak of 26 per cent of GDP to 16 per cent by 2019. In America, federal debt is over 100 per cent of GDP. Australia's federal debt works out to $12,000 per citizen. In America, it's $54,000.
The United States is the Brokest Nation in History, broker than anyone else has ever been ever. And yet:

Most people's eyes glaze over when you talk about the subject. Sadly, our nation will probably have to start going over the falls before everyone agrees that we have to start paddling in the other direction and by then, it will be too late."

Also, Michael Ledeen warns of another impending crisis, the largely unreported war being waged against the west by the "Pyongyang-Beijing-Moscow-Tehran-Damascus-Havana-Caracas etc Axis of Evil..."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Laughing At Barack Obama

Explains a lot, doesn't it?

In response to Russia's annexation of Crimea, President Obama announced the imposition of sanctions against a grand total of seven Russians and four Ukrainians. Obama's characteristically weak pushback was met with derision from Russian officials.

One of those targeted, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted contemptuously, "Comrade Obama, what should those who have neither accounts nor property abroad do? Or maybe you didn't think of that?"

Then he added, "It seems to me that some kind of joker wrote the U.S. president's order."

Another tweet from inside Russia came from Alexei Navalny. A leading political opponent of Putin, Navalny commented that the punitive measures were "of course, funny." He added that "Obama only delighted all our crooks and encouraged them."

Another Putin ally also targeted by sanctions, Vladislav Surkov, was quoted as saying, “It’s a big honor for me. I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work. I lose nothing.”

The WSJ noted that after Obama's "sanctions" were announced the Russian stock market surged 3.7%.

Bret Stephens (WSJ, 3-18-2014) has some ideas about what makes Obama an object of ridicule.

Last year came the news that Mr. Obama was unaware of the problems plaguing his health-care website until after its rollout and that he never once had a private meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius between July 2010 and November 2013. How does something like that happen?
An answer of sorts comes in an article by Sean Blanda on "How Barack Obama Gets Things Done" on the 99U website. The president, Mr. Blanda reports, wakes up at seven o'clock. He works out 45 minutes a day every day, not including his regular basketball games. He watches a lot of "SportsCenter." Dinner each night with his family. To limit "decision fatigue," he likes to set policy via memos where he can check the box on "agree," "disagree," or "let's discuss."
What do I take away from all this?
The obvious: A cavalier foreign policy by an inattentive president that elicits the contempt of the people it intends to punish ultimately encourages their aggression as well.
The less obvious: We need a fat president. Or at least one who rarely thinks and never speaks about how he looks in jeans. And one who doesn't spend his day testing his wits against a Hollywood stoner or bantering with Ryan Seacrest while a European ally is being pummeled by Russia. And one who would rather spend his time working than working out, even if it means putting on a few pounds.

And this from The Economist :

Over seven in 10 Obama voters (71%), and 55 percent of Democrats, regret voting for President Obama's reelection in 2012, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll.

Four years of Obama wasn't enough to convince that 71% to reject him in 2012? But one year later they do, when it's too late? Contemptible.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Man Who Should Have Been VP

Or better yet, president.

From the editors of National Review :

(Paul) Ryan, in a conversation with Bill Bennett, linked the problem of welfare dependency to the “tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” For speaking of a true thing that must never be said, Ryan was ritually denounced as a racist by such inspiring figures as Representative Barbara Lee. If we assume as Ryan’s critics do that “inner city” is a synonym for “black,” then consider the facts: Unemployment among inner-city men of all races is estimated to run roughly twice the national rate, while unemployment among black inner-city men in cities such as Milwaukee and Detroit has been estimated to exceed 50 percent; 71 percent of working-age white men are in the labor force, but the corresponding number for black men is only 63.6 percent — and going down. New York City manages to graduate barely half of its black male students from high school — and among high-school dropouts, two-thirds reach the age of 26 without ever having held a full-time job lasting at least one year. And perhaps most significant, the vast majority of blacks are born out of wedlock. You could not come up with a more effective system for producing poverty if you tried. If Paul Ryan is a racist for criticizing those conditions, what shall we call the people who run New York City’s public schools or those who govern Detroit — the people who help create those conditions?

This is a familiar situation for conservatives, whose Sisyphean task is to explain to the community at large the difference between the intended results of government programs and the actual results of government programs. Spending more money on Head Start and Medicaid sounds like a very good idea until one confronts the evidence that those programs provide few if any lasting and measurable benefits. A mature mind would understand that it is not only possible but likely that programs intended to benefit the poor will in fact harm them. The unhappy fact is that would-be reformers such as Paul Ryan are sitting not opposite mature-minded opponents but rather a collection of sentimentalists and opportunists; the former cannot understand the law of unintended consequences, while the latter are committed to exploiting the intellectual defects of the former for their own political benefit.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Absolutely Corrupting

Some recent commentary worthy of note.

Two articles on the pernicious power of government. One by Kevin Williamson links the Russian invasion of Crimea with the inevitable abuses committed by oversized bureaucracies. And Andrew Klavan comments on the surprising conservatism of the Netflix series, "House Of  Cards".

In another piece, Williamson reveals the not widely perceived truth that it is conservatives who have a monopoly on ideas for real reform. (Jon Stewart fans will want to steer clear of this one).

Excellent column. A commenter nails it - "Once again, Mr. Williamson's amazing wordsmithing on display. I agree with a previous post that he is approaching Steyn-like status."

Charles Krauthammer on Barack Obama's culpability for Russia's move to re-establish the Soviet Empire.

And on the silliness of the "global warming" crowd.

Jim Geraghty writes of another bad week for Obamacare.

Another Obamacare horror story.

Here are the seven questions that have former IRS capo Lois Lerner doing her best Vito Genovese imitation.

Peggy Noonan is a better writer when she's angry and in her WSJ column this week she focuses her rage on New York City's new mayor, Bill DeBlasio.

Finally, a video - not recent, but suddenly relevant.
Of all the awful noises in the world - an elevated train screeching and thundering directly above; car alarms going off at three in the morning; nails scratching a blackboard; an inconsolable infant - among the worst has to be the sound of Hillary Clinton laughing. This is especially true when she's groveling before a representative of an authoritarian state and setting the stage for a resumption of the Cold War.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Nazism = Socialism

Jonah Goldberg (reluctantly) revisits "Liberal Fascism".

We are socialists. We are enemies, deadly enemies, of today’s capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, its unfair wage system, its immoral way of judging the worth of human beings in terms of their wealth and their money, instead of their responsibility and their performance, and we are determined to destroy this system whatever happens!

Nazi ideologist Gregor Strasser

Also - This tweet from Steve Hayes regarding the Russian invasion of Crimea -

"Admin officials tell CNN's Barbara Starr this is an "uncontested arrival" not necessarily "an invasion" and that this distinction is 'key.'"

You don't think Vlad Putin is laughing his head off at that one? And Bashir Assad, Ali Khamenei, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Marketing To Children, Bigotry and Hidden Law

There's a cartoon program, "Dinosaur Train", which targets children in the 2-5 year-old age group. Apparently the creators of the show figured they could attract kids by featuring two subjects fascinating to kids - trains and dinosaurs. This is a cartoon appealing to preschoolers, so the ridiculous premise, a Pteranodon family learns about the world while traveling on a train, can be excused.

Less excusable perhaps is a similar two-in-one approach taken by the left wing propaganda magazine "Mother Jones" which headlined an article,

Study: Global Warming Will Cause 180,000 More Rapes by 2099

As Mark Steyn notes : "Perfect: The grand convergence of 'climate denialism' and 'the war on women'."

One can imagine a leftist turning to the page, shaking in child-like anticipation thinking, "Oooohhh, this is gonna be goooood!"

Also - National Review Online presented a two decades old speech by a loony right-wing senator which it titled "Hate Speech By An Anti-Gay Bigot". (Follow the link for the complete speech and to learn who the speaker was). Excerpts below.

This is the text of (the)Senator's opening statement before the Committee on the Judiciary at the hearing on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, September 18, 1992, the model for the Arizona law which has been so controversial.

"...The brave pioneers who founded America came here in large part to escape religious tyranny and to practice their faiths free from government interference. The persecution they had suffered in the old world convinced them of the need to assure for all Amer­icans for all time the right to practice their religion unencumbered by the yoke of religious tyranny.

That profound principle is embodied in the two great religion clauses of the first amendment, which provide that Congress “shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But in 1990, the Supreme Court’s decision in Oregon Employment Division v. Smith produced a serious and unwarranted setback for the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion.

Before the Smith decision, Federal, State, and local governments were prohibited from interfering with people’s ability to practice their religion unless the restriction satisfied a difficult two-part test — first, that it was necessary to achieve a compelling govern­ment interest; and, second, that there was no less burdensome way to accomplish the goal.

...The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Senator Hatch and I, and 23 other Senators have introduced, would restore the compelling interest test for evaluating free exercise claims. It would do so by establishing a statutory right that adopts the stand­ards previously, used by the Supreme Court. In essence, the act codifies the requirement for the Government to demonstrate that any law burdening the free exercise of religion is essential to fur­thering a compelling governmental interest and is the least restric­tive means of achieving that interest.

The act creates no new rights for any religious practice or for any potential litigant. Not every free exercise claim will prevail. It simply restores the long-established standard of review that had worked well for many years and that requires courts to weigh free exercise claims against the compelling State interest standard. Our bill is strongly supported by an extraordinary coalition of or­ganizations with widely differing views on many other issues. The National Association of Evangelicals, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Coalitions for America, People for the American Way, just to name a few, support the legislation. They don’t often agree on much, but they do agree on the need to pass the Religious Free­dom Restoration Act because religious freedom in America is damaged each day the Smith decision stands."

Related to the issue of how to manage compelling and competing national and private interests, (not that subsidized contraception for the self-sufficient or coerced cake baking for gay weddings are in any way compelling national interests), are thoughts on hidden law by Jonah Goldberg. Along the way, Goldberg explodes the idiocy of Obama's "Government is the one thing we all have in common" conceit.

Assuming you’re not a congressman, a mattress-tag cop, or a mutant telepath held captive in an underground research facility in New Mexico, your interactions with government are extremely limited. This is so despite the ever-metastasizing role of government — all government — in our lives. Indeed, the main role the state has in our lives doesn’t involve interventions we can see, but restrictions we can’t. The state limits the range of choices available to us until, very quickly, we forget we ever had the choice in the first place.