Saturday, September 23, 2023

Saturday Miscellany

First, the Republican Party seems to be imploding. Congressional Republicans’ latest follies over the budget seem to have focused a few minds.

The Wall Street Journal brings back a notable quote from Benjamin Franklin. He said:

We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we will all hang separately. 

The Journal update has it:

House Republicans Hang Separately

The GOP is wasting its majority on foolish shutdown threats.

The GOP seems leaderless.

Second, renegade Republican Ann Coulter offered her inimitable wit and wisdom, in an address to the House majority:

You only have a bare majority in one house of Congress, Republicans: This is no time to be hot-shots for causes that won’t get you a single vote.

But you know what would be hugely popular? …  There’s not a corner of this country that isn’t sick to death of “migrants” (illegal aliens) streaming into their towns and neighborhoods. And this horror show, now playing nationwide, is 100% Biden’s fault. 100%.

Perhaps it’s time to focus on who can win in 2024. Making the election about one candidate’s grievance is not going to work.

Besides, the odds are increasing that Joe Biden will not be running for re-election.

Third, on the Biden senility watch, Biden went to the United Nations and pointedly snubbed the president of Brazil, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva. Then Biden walked into a flag. Finally, at a Manhattan campaign reception, he repeated the same story twice, word for word. 

The New York Post sussed out the medical meaning:

According to medical experts, repeating sentences, phrases, and even entire stories — while common in the elderly — may be an early sign of dementia or even an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

What do they mean by “early?”

Fourth, the migrant crisis has become a calamity. It is fast approaching catastrophe level. See this collection of articles in Maggie’s Farm

As you know, the situation in Europe is just as bad, if not worse. 

The Western world is being overrun by migrants. It is suffering an invasion and does not seem to know what to do about it.

And now, one Lyric Thompson touts the new European foreign policy-- feminist foreign policy. Apparently, countries across Europe have adopted it. Obviously, the United States is aspiring to its own feminist foreign policy..

Thompson is thrilled by it all: more charity, more welfare, more sanctuary, less competition, less war. But also, more illegal migrants, more crime, more drug gangs. 

She fails to notice that feminist Europe is suffering through a brutal war in Ukraine, one that a more savvy diplomacy could have avoided. See Jeffrey Sachs’ analysis on Zero Hedge blog. BTW, Sachs is not a zany right winger.

Feminist foreign policy has produced a war in Ukraine and the West’s migrant crisis.

Way to go, girls!

Fifth, if you want evidence that the West provoked Russia into war with Ukraine, by refusing to rule out future Ukrainian entry into NATO-- the Jeffrey Sachs thesis-- Tom Friedman, invariably wrong, says that we can end the war by letting Ukraine into NATO.

He wrote:

“My recent trip to Ukraine taught me that the West’s focus has to be engineering some kind of end to this conflict,” @tomfriedman says of the war in this audio essay. “And it can only come to an end if Ukraine is in NATO and the European Union.”

If Tom Friedman thinks that NATO membership is the solution, you can be confident that it is the problem.

Sixth, speaking of feminist heroines, consider the case of the former prime minister of New Zealand, one Jacinda Ardern.

You recall that feminists praised Ardern’s resolute leadership during the pandemic. She mostly shut down her country, an exercise in futility.

In fact, the people of New Zealand were so impressed by her feminist leadership that, in their next elections, they willl be choosing a prime minister between two men called Chris. I read it in the New York Times, so it must be true.

Now, Ardern came to the United Nations this week to declare that, in order to save the planet, we need to suppress free speech. Yes, indeed, the young feminist is an aspiring totalitarian despot. Who would have guessed?

Seventh, New York City’s City Council does not know what to do about the migrant crisis, so it is hard at work proposing that the city tear down statues of America’s heroes, from George Washington to Peter Stuyescent to Christopher Columbus.

Will the stupidity never cease?

Eighth, meanwhile, in Lahaina, Maui, we now learn how inept local officials allowed a fire to consume the village. Firefighters mistakenly thought that the situation was under control, so they took time off for lunch. Here is a report:

It was 2:18 p.m. in Lahaina on Aug. 8 when a crew of firefighters that had been monitoring what appeared to be a dead brush fire for about seven hours decided to take a break. 

The team of five was one of several that had spent the day making sure the blaze that started early that morning a mile from the downtown waterfront didn’t reignite and spread. They flooded scorched grass with about 23,000 gallons of water and built a containment line. 

It appeared they had succeeded, according to two firefighters who were on the scene that day. There was no smoke. No flames.

“It didn’t spread for the few hours we were there,” said Aina Kohler, one of the two firefighters. “It didn’t rekindle.”

With power lines down across the island and the winds from nearby Hurricane Dora growing, the firefighters figured they would be deployed to more incidents that night. So no one objected when the captain of the last remaining crew on scene ordered them to head to their nearby station for a late lunch. 

Kohler, who was on that crew, said she had barely polished off a pork lau lau—a steamed packet of meat wrapped in leaves— when the alarms rang at 2:54 p.m. Less than 40 minutes after they left, a fire was burning at the site again. 

Great job, guys.

Ninth, no one has been covering the story, but it is worth noting that the University of Pennsylvania is actively promoting anti-Semitism. Since the promoters are not white people, no one cares.

A Palestinian literature festival that will be hosted at the University of Pennsylvania this week is coming under fire for featuring speakers who have made “antisemitic” comments, including “Death to Israel,” and someone who has worn a Nazi-style uniform.

Penn will host the Palestine Writes Literature Festival from Friday through Sunday at various locations on campus.

It’s sponsored by school groups that include the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, Kelly Writers House, and the Middle East Center, according to an event page on Penn’s website.

The event is billed as showcasing “dozens of writers, artists, publishers, performers, and scholars to explore the richness and diversity of Palestinian culture.”

Tenth, Leor Sapir reports on his Twitter account on the state of American medical education. It is not encouraging.

I speak to many doctors in my line of work. They come from across the political spectrum and from a range of specialties. One of the most sobering things I've learned from them is the extent to which medical schools do not always teach students about the principles of evidence-based medicine. Few of those I speak with knew, for instance, that a doctor's expert opinion, though valuable, is lowest on the hierarchy of information in EBM. I've heard doctors say they were never required to learn how to read a scientific research paper. Another, and related, troubling insight I've encountered is the extent to which DEI requirements and instruction have displaced traditional medical education, including units on biology and chemistry. DEI has also led to lower standards in admission, testing, and graduation. Med schools are very concerned about "identity representation," even when this comes at the expense of rigor and merit. There is a real generational divide within the medical field right now, with older doctors, liberal as well as conservative, expressing concern about the entry of young, ideologically-driven, not-always-competent physicians into the field and remolding it to mirror a university social justice seminar. This is bad for patients, bad for the medical profession, bad for hospitals, bad for insurance companies, and bad for the integrity and trustworthiness of science.

Eleventh, as I watched Bret Baier’s interview with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the following thought passed into my mind.

We recall that serious thinkers have been arguing that the war between Russia and Ukraine is a civilizational clash, between autocracy and democracy. We are told that we must keep funding it because we want democracy to win. Among those who are touting this argument is Financial Times columnist Janan Ganesh.

And yet, Saudi Arabia is currently undergoing a rapid and very successful modernization, and if you ask whether its success will enhance the reputation of democracy or autocracy, the answer is not even ambiguous.

Twelfth, meanwhile in 13 Baltimore high schools, no students were proficient in math. That’s none, as in zero. Ask yourself how the teachers’ unions managed that one. 

Are they underfunded? Not at all. Baltimore City Public Schools have the fourth largest spending per pupil in the United States. 

Thirteenth, from Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. 

Commenting on the suspension of the United States Senate dress code, in order to allow the brain-damaged senator from Pennsylvania to feel more comfortable, and adding a comment on the cases of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and aspiring porn star and candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, one Susanna Gibson, Noonan wrote this in her Journal column:

We want to be respected but no longer think we need to be respectable.

We are in a crisis of political comportment. We are witnessing the rise of the classless. Our politicians are becoming degenerate.

This has been happening for a while but gets worse as the country coarsens. We are defining deviancy ever downward.

Mr. Schumer apparently doesn’t know—lucky him, life apparently hasn’t taught him—that when you ask less of people they don’t give you less; they give you much, much less. So we must brace ourselves.

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1 comment:

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

I have long had nothing but contempt for Chuck Schumer, A classic NYC Democratic Party Hack. One must wonder how he gets reelected. And how he became so powerful a Senator. I have read that Navy Pelosi is as powerful as she is, because she gathers dirt on everyone. Could Chuck be the same?