Defending the defensible

There are many times a year that I think that the only reason I can find that there is a shred of sanity left in the world is by reading Ann Coulter. Here she is, reminding us why we invaded Iraq in the first place. That this world historical victory for the West was actively subverted by GWB’s successor is now part of the historical record, if you can follow the logic of events.

Megan Kelly asked [Jeb] Bush: “Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?”

The correct answer is, according to Ann:

Now that we know that a half-century of Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act would result in a country where a man like Barack Obama could be elected president, and then, purely out of antipathy to America, would withdraw every last troop from Iraq, nullifying America’s victory and plunging the entire region into chaos, no, I would not bother removing dangerous despots in order to make America safer.

Instead, I would dedicate myself to overturning our immigration laws, ending the anchor-baby scam and building a triple-layer fence on the border, so that some future Republican president could invade Iraq without worrying about a foreign-elected president like Obama coming in and giving it away.

The reality is that there is no answer that matters any more. America is sinking and the rest of us are going to have to work out what to do for ourselves.

Losing economic ground

Poverty doesn’t spring up all at once. It is a relatively rapid transformation, but it still takes about a decade to really unfold. The disastrous American future, and of our own, is being prefigured even now as the ability of the American economy to maintain living standards is rapidly falling away. This describes the present, but it is a present that will overtake more and more as their ability to afford diminishes as the productivity of the US economy itself diminishes. New Grads Can’t Really Afford To Live Anywhere, Report Finds. This is still a curiosity, but it is not far from being the reality of an American economy that is losing ground:

Life after college graduation is thrilling… until you try to find somewhere to live. Entry level salaries coupled with sky-high rents in the country’s most desirable cities often makes finding a place more of a headache than a happy ending.

As experts at Trulia found, new grads can’t really afford to live anywhere among the country’s 25 largest rental markets. While the median annual income for new grads ranges from about $16,000 to about $41,000 in these cities, the income needed to afford median rent is two to three times that — assuming grads don’t want to spend more than 31 percent of their income on rent.

You can see this on the map below: A purple circle is how much money recent grads typically make, and a yellow circle is how much they’d need to make in order to afford median rent. The bar chart tells precisely how much more they’d need to make to afford rent — and the numbers are not pretty.

At worst, this effect means just .1 percent of rentals are affordable to new grads in Portland, Oregon. At best, it makes just 18.6 percent of rentals affordable in St. Louis, Missouri.

Any way you slice it, it’s a pretty rough welcome to the “real world.”

This is not just recent grads, of course, but will be a problem that anyone moving house is going to have to face. They just won’t be able to afford what everyone could not all that long ago everyone could.

Palmyra

The world’s press is in the hands of the left, and their priorities are the ones you see in the news. What do they care about? Whatever it is, it is not Palmyra. The only way something might be done is if there were a rise of international indignation at the potential destruction of these ancient ruins and this could happen only if every news outlet in the world spoke of this destruction. For the record, from Hal Colebatch on what might be done:

Effective ground intervention cannot be expected from the US, which, under the fumbling, bumbling Obama administration, has made so many policy errors that Obama’s mere loyalty is actually being called into question, and not only by conspiracy-obsessed ­paranoids.

The world’s policeman, whose reassuring presence on the beat we have taken for granted for decades, has chucked away his badge and headed for the saloon — or rather, in this case, the golf course.

So it looks as if saving this treasure of the human heritage is up to us — that is, to the English-speaking countries, plus the rest of civilisation that takes the traditions and heritage of civilisation seriously: France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan, for starters.

The Italians, at least, might care to save their Roman fore­fathers’ work, and to show the ghosts of those forefathers that they too can resist onslaughts of the Barbaricum.

Despite post-Cold War cuts, these countries still command quite powerful armed forces, and a combined expeditionary force to save Palmyra may not even have to do any fighting: their presence, with manifest determination and modern weapons, may deter ­Islamic State.

This is the kind of thing that needs to be done. Which means it won’t happen.

ANOTHER ARTICLE ON PALMYRA: This should not even be a political issue, but one that everyone can agree on. Why aren’t we taking out those flag waving ISIS trucks? from The American Thinker:

Let me make a simple suggestion: Bomb those flag-waving trucks!

I’m sure that you’ve all seen those parades of trucks celebrating and waving those ISIS flags.

Take them out. Send ISIS a message that their advances will be met with U.S. force. Fire missiles from ships in the Mediterranean and use strike planes to deliver a message.

The flag-waving trucks are a demonstration of ISIS’s advances. Stop them. Blow them up with a display of bombs and missiles unseen by these terrorists.

What are you waiting for Mr President? You can’t run out the clock on this one!

We live in darkening times.

What makes you think global warming types care about facts?

alan moran climate change the facts

I am happy to find that the facts are with the sceptics, but I wouldn’t be all that sure that the politics are as well. Tim Blair wrote a brief note the other day on He Continues to Believe, the he being Chris Bowen and the belief being climate change. Here’s the core:

Evidently enjoying his time in opposition and wishing to extend it, Labor’s Chris Bowen revives the carbon tax:

We continue to believe firstly that climate change is real.

Secondly, that it’s caused by humankind and thirdly, the best way of dealing with it is a price on carbon.

We continue to believe that, and that will be reflected in our detailed policy that we announce and seek a mandate to implement.

Really, Chris? A mandate for the carbon tax? That’ll be a first. Of course, this is less about saving the planet than it is about saving inner-city Labor seats from metastasising Greens. Look for Labor in coming elections to form an alliance with the Arts Party. Whatever; here’s some timely news for Bowen on the sainted occasion of his carbon quest renewal:

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.

Whatever Chris does or does not believe – and he may be as sceptical as any of us – he knows where the votes are. The biggest mistake is to believe that carbon taxes and global warming hysteria is election poison. I watch the Coalition’s climate man in action, and no sceptic he. Facts on the left are mere confetti, to be tossed in the air when you have some and ignored when you don’t.

The United States will become less wealthy every year for the next decade

It is positively incredible to watch but no one has a clue what they are doing wrong. From Drudge today, but not major issues, just part of the news:

‘EARLY WARNING’: 32 STATES FACE FISCAL CRISIS…

SURVEY: 40% of unemployed have quit looking for jobs…

109,930,090 Americans on Federal Food Assistance…

The first story, for which the underlying story is titled, “For Many American States, It’s Like the Recession Never Ended”, begins:

Six years after the recession ended, many U.S. states are hard pressed to balance budgets because of a sluggish recovery and their own policy decisions. The fiscal fragility raises questions about how they will weather the next economic downturn.

A majority of states are making cuts, tapping reserves or facing shortfalls despite an improving national economy and stock markets at record levels, according to Standard & Poors and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. State revenue hasn’t rebounded to a prerecession peak adjusted for inflation, and other factors are putting pressure on budgets.

The United States is going backward, but because it depends on various forms of Keynesian analysis to explain economic situation to itself, cannot even understand that the reason things are getting worse is because of the economic policies they are using to repair the damage.

Why the left loves our enemies

The article discusses the left’s hatred for its own culture by examining the question, Why Does the Left Kowtow to Islam?. Here’s the answer after quite a bit of text, but while I agree to a point, I don’t think it is fundamentally right:

The point is that the left doesn’t kowtow to Islam because they actually love Islam, but rather because they hate our own culture. They have been steeped in a narrative about how American and Western culture is racist and “imperialist,” and they’ve been trained to see anyone with a dark complexion and a non-Western origin as the victim of our crimes. When they see criticism of Islam, or deliberate attempts to defy Islam, they filter it through that narrative. They see it as: there go those bigoted right-wing Christians, demeaning dark-skinned foreigners again. So they reflexively oppose it. . . .

The left is fundamentally reactionary. It is a reaction against capitalism and against America. The left are defined by what they are against, or more accurately who they hate. So they are drawn to sympathy toward Islam because it is not-us: non-Western, non-American, neither Christian nor a product of the Enlightenment. And I guess that’s what the two ideologies have in common: they are both reactions against the supposed evils of the West. Which explains why leftists tend to find themselves uncomfortable and look for excuses to retreat when they are called upon to defend the West against this rival group of reactionaries.

For myself, I can only think of the causes as psychological. It is not hatred of us, but of themselves. It is self-disgust that has arisen for some reason. We are not a hierarchy, in which everyone is allotted a place so that whether one might have objectively chosen that particular niche, that is who we are. Most societies tell you who you are and insist you live in that way. Free societies are not based on classes, castes, status, but only on what one can achieve for oneself. The pressure is tremendous. The likelihood of failure to find some satisfying position is ever-present. There are therefore those who achieve status by leading the disgruntled and the rest, who really are dissatisfied with life, and care almost not at all about the overall success of their own culture since they do not share in any of it.

Media principles

The great danger for Western civilisation is that the media have with honourable exceptions been captured by the left. The result is that:

1. The media never criticise parties of the left under any circumstances

2. The media find every possible fault they can with actions taken by or statements made by representatives of the parties of the right – or even by people who can be made to appear as representatives of the parties of the right

3. The media, as with the left in general, are beyond hypocrisy. There are no principles, only tactical advantage. The media, like the left, are totally consistent, bearing in mind they have no fixed values themselves but seek only power and wealth.

4. Deterioration in every aspect of life is allowed to take place without comment if someone on the left can be held responsible for the damage.

5. No one on the conservative side of politics is permitted to repair any damage caused by the left without intensive criticisms over the harm such repair is doing to particular individuals. Fairness is not based on any standard but only on who is making the change. If the change is made by a party of the right, it is be definition unfair and will be opposed to the fullest extent.

The devastating Obama legacy

Barack Obama has done fantastic damage to the US. Two things today. First domestically, from Thomas Sowell who discusses government commandeering of your tax money, which it doesn’t ask for but takes, and to little purpose:

And please don’t call the government’s pouring trillions of tax dollars down a bottomless pit “investment.” Remember the soaring words from Barack Obama, in his early days in the White House, about “investing in the industries of the future”? After Solyndra and other companies in which he “invested” the taxpayers’ money went bankrupt, we haven’t heard those soaring words so much.

The US has also managed to keep unemployment down by making even thinking they might find a job so impossible, that millions have left the job market, while others have been bribed to take up alternative income earning by living off the government “Food Stamps” program. Unemployment rate falls because there are fewer unemployed in the official statistical base.

And then, internationally. This is so incredible, with the most incredible part how silent the media has been, The Fall of Ramadi and Anbar Province to ISIS:

On Monday, a day after the reported fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State forces, the Pentagon downplayed the significance of the loss.

“To read too much into this single fight is simply a mistake,” said a Pentagon spokesman.”What this means for our strategy, what this means for today, is simply that we, meaning the coalition and our Iraqi partners, now have to go back and retake Ramadi.”

The reality is much more complicated. Even as the Islamic State takeover of the capital city of Iraq’s largest province seemed nearly complete on Sunday, the Pentagon continued to argue that the situation was still “fluid and contested.” That assessment was countered by reports that “hundreds of police personnel, soldiers and tribal fighters abandoned the city,” leaving it and a “large store” of American weapons in ISIS hands. The BBC cited a statement “purportedly from IS” claiming that the city had been “purged.”

I am now convinced that Drudge has been gotten to in the US since there was one report yesterday and then nothing today about what you would think is the most disturbing event since the War in the Middle East began. This is “Nazis take Stalingrad”. Is the news now so suppressed that it can truly be said that we are at war with Eastasia in alliance with Eurasia, as we have always been, and no one notices a thing?

You will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and you will be jailed

This is lifted straight from Tim Blair.

Labor’s Bill Shorten spoke at a press conference earlier today:

JOURNALIST: There were three Aussie jihadis trying to come home at the moment, should the Government be helping them to do that?

SHORTEN: Well first of all let me just state the principle that Australians shouldn’t be going overseas to fight in these causes or these battles. We’ll get an update about the national security and about what’s happened with these people reported in the media in the last couple of hours.

JOURNALIST: I guess our justice system is based on belief in rehabilitation and shouldn’t that apply to everybody?

SHORTEN: Well fundamentally we believe in rehabilitation, there’s the law of the land and we’ll seek a briefing from the Government.

JOURNALIST: What sort of punishment do you think though they should receive if they were to come home? A jail term?

SHORTEN: There are laws in place, I’m not going to play judge and jury and again we’ll ask the Government to update us with what’s happening with these matters that have just been coming through in the last couple of hours.

Contrast Shorten’s pathetic timidity with the Prime Minister’s more direct approach:

“We have seen with our own eyes on TV the mass executions, the beheadings, the crucifixions, the sexual slavery. This is a gruesome, ghastly, medieval barbarism which has erupted in the modern world. The last thing any Australian should do is join it.

“The Australian people expect their country to be safe and someone who has been a terrorist abroad could very easily become a terrorist here in Australia.

“If you go abroad to join a terrorist group and you seek to come back to Australia, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and jailed.

And Shorten wonders why Labor’s poll advantage is eroding.

People who vote for the left are unconcerned with facts

You would think that Hillary Clinton could not possible survive the revelations that have come out about her. But that would only be true if the kinds of people who vote for her were ever remotely concerned with facts and outcomes. How is this as demonstrating that she is a liar and that she has been playing everyone for fools. This is John Hinderaker on The Truth on Benghazi Slowly emerges:

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

Here is the test. What actual fact about Hillary Clinton could stop your typical Democrat LIV actually marking the ballot in her favour? What actual policy difference could get these same people to vote for a non-socialist? They are Raiders fans, and there is nothing more to say.