Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hillary Deleted

The Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung edited Hillary Clinton - and Audrey Tomason, the only other woman in the room - out of the iconic photo of the Obama situation room during the bin Laden operation.

In other photo news, Clinton explained her expression, hand over mouth, as probably covering up a cough. Frankly, I don't believe for a second that Hillary was coughing. I also couldn't care less either way. The whole coughing spin strikes me as an overreaction to what she feared would be seen as a womanly "eeeek!" moment. But I don't think many people who know Hillary think she was heading for the fainting couch.

About the editing job, two points: first, the reaction strikes me as slightly misguided. It isn't offensive because women were edited out; it's offensive because it was edited. This way lies madness, and Jews of all people really ought to know better, what with their experiences under Communism, as well as Islamic historical revisionism regarding Jews. Second, imagine if the room had been full of women. Would Der Tzitung have edited them all out, showing just an empty room?

I would think that a Talmudic scholar could easily figure out that the right solution to this dilemma is simply not to print the photo at all. If that leads to fewer photos in the paper, then that's the price you pay for having 12th-century beliefs about the sexes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The White House's Incoherence on Health Care

From the White House blog today:

Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that affects all of us.

I hope it's clear to them what a dangerous precedent this would create. If doing nothing can be construed as an economic act that affects all of us, then what can't be? For example, once I've been forced to buy my health care, then literally doing nothing can be hazardous to my health. This potentially raises my future health care costs, and when those costs are shared by all, it affects everyone. Therefore, according to the White House's logic, it would be perfectly Constitutional to fine me for not exercising.

Of course, many liberals may well believe this. Nancy Pelosi expressed shocked disbelief at the notion that the PPACA's health insurance mandate might be unconstitutional. When Elena Kagan was asked during confirmation hearings whether a law requiring people to eat vegetables would be unconstitutional, she evaded the question.

Simply put, the left does not believe the Constitution is a "living document". They believe it is an irrelevant one. Only when the Constitution happens to coincide with one of their sacred cows do they recognize it; whenever it poses the slightest barrier, it is met with utter disdain.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Loony Left On Osama

When I say "loony left" I am referring, of course, to Noam Chomsky and his ilk. Brilliant linguist and political whack-job Chomsky has published his take on the Osama operation in the magazine Guernica.

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.

Surely Chomsky meant Saudi commandos, since I'm sure he's acutely aware that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Oh, but he believes that bin Laden didn't either!

There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama Dead

A few hours ago President Obama announced that American forces killed Osama bin Laden and, importantly, captured the body. So there should be proof.

Couple of points. Obviously, I'm happy this finally happened. We haven't heard much from Osama, but he's the kind of guy who's better off dead. So good for Obama for keeping the pressure up and taking the shot when the chance came. There's no doubt the President was in the loop on the final decision.

Second, if I can be permitted a little glibness, Osama's death penalty - executed less than ten years after the crime of which he was guilty, actually came faster than the average time on death row in the United States (which stands at 169 months in the latest statistics I could find - here - and hasn't been less than 120 months since 1993).

Third, while I'm pleased Obama ordered this mission, it's just one more indication of the difference between running for President and being President. I have no doubt that, had this operation been announced during the 2008 campaign, Obama's reaction would have been something like: Great, but we should have captured him and tried him with due process. He now realizes that Presidents often do not have that luxury.