• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

LET US HOPE FASCIST PUTIN CAN’T WIN!

What happens when Putin realizes he can’t win?

JOHN SEXTON Mar 09, 2022 at HotAir:

Yesterday, Fitch Ratings downgraded Russia’s credit to junk status. With the ruble still in a nose dive the chance of a Russian default on at least some of its debt payments is growing higher.

Fitch downgraded Russia’s long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating, or IDR, from “B” to “C,” a classification that shows major concern for Russia’s ability and willingness to service its debt.

On the Fitch scale, AAA denotes the lowest default risk and an “exceptionally strong” capacity for meeting financial commitments. A “C” rating is an indication that a default process has begun or that “payment capacity is irrevocably impaired.”

“The ‘C’ rating reflects Fitch’s view that a sovereign default is imminent,” the agency said, pointing to “developments” that have “further undermined Russia’s willingness to service government debt.”

Ed wrote about that possibility of default earlier this week and the Fitch downgrade just confirms that’s likely unavoidable at this point. Trading in the ruble reopened today but the Russian stock exchange remains closed. There’s every reason to think the economic situation is going to continue to get much worse once it does. And yet, the CIA was saying yesterday that they expect Putin to double down on the invasion.

“I think Putin is angry and frustrated right now. He’s likely to double down and try to grind down the Ukrainian military with no regard for civilian casualties,” Burns testified before the House Intelligence Committee. “His military planning and assumptions were based on a quick, decisive victory.”…

The CIA director says he now expects Putin to escalate military operations while the Ukrainians will continue to resist fiercely. The likely result, he says, is “an ugly next few weeks” of fighting for control of Ukraine’s cities, including the capital, Kyiv.

It’s not just economic news that should worry him. He’s already arrested 13,000 anti-war protesters back home and that doesn’t seem to phase him either. This dynamic in which Putin doesn’t seem to be responding to the signals that he’s paying much too high a price for this invasion has some observers worried about what comes next. Thomas Friedman had a column yesterday arguing that Putin only remaining choice at this point is how he wants to lose. So far he seems to be opting for a bigger, bloodier loss.

In the coming weeks it will become more and more obvious that our biggest problem with Putin in Ukraine is that he will refuse to lose early and small, and the only other outcome is that he will lose big and late. But because this is solely his war and he cannot admit defeat, he could keep doubling down in Ukraine until … until he contemplates using a nuclear weapon…

So either he cuts his losses now and eats crow — and hopefully for him escapes enough sanctions to revive the Russian economy and hold onto power — or faces a forever war against Ukraine and much of the world, which will slowly sap Russia’s strength and collapse its infrastructure.

As he seems hellbent on the latter, I am terrified. Because there is only one thing worse than a strong Russia under Putin — and that’s a weak, humiliated, disorderly Russia that could fracture or be in a prolonged internal leadership turmoil, with different factions wrestling for power and with all of those nuclear warheads, cybercriminals and oil and gas wells lying around.

Maybe the indications of looming economic disaster in Russia are overstated. But if they’re not then what Friedman is suggesting is that this could go beyond regime change in Russia to something more like regime disintegration. The free world has dropped a very big hammer on Russia’s economy. Putin is still pretending he can shake it off, but he won’t be able to do that for much longer. Even China probably can’t save him. At some point he’s going to wake up from the dream he’s been having about reforming the USSR and realize he’s been beaten. And when that moment finally happens who knows what he’ll do to hold onto power.

Is That New York Times Capable Of An Honest Press?

MARCH 9, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

IS THE TIMES FINALLY CATCHING ON?

The New York Times emails its subscribers every morning with text and links to prominent news stories. This morning, the email poses a question:

These stark differences [in how red and blue areas responded to covid] have created a kind of natural experiment: Did Omicron spread less in the parts of the U.S. where social distancing and masking were more common?

The answer is surprisingly unclear.

Actually, if you look at the charts, the answer could hardly be more clear.

Nationwide, the number of official Covid cases has recently been somewhat higher in heavily Democratic areas than Republican areas, according to The Times’s data.

Imagine that! Here are the charts:

The lack of a clear pattern is itself striking.

On the contrary, I would say there is an obvious pattern, it just isn’t the one the Times wanted to see.

Remember, not only have Democratic voters been avoiding restaurants and wearing masks; they are also much more likely to be vaccinated and boosted (and vaccines substantially reduce the chances of infection). Combined, these factors seem as if they should have caused large differences in case rates.

They have not.

The Times piece is full of factual and logical errors. What is the evidence that Democratic voters are more likely to be vaccinated than Republican voters? Are there any survey data? I haven’t seen any, and the Times cites none. In fact, the largest demographic that lags in vaccination rate is blacks, who vote heavily Democratic. As a result, my guess is that Republicans are more likely to be vaccinated than Democrats.

But, in any event, the statement that vaccines substantially reduce the chance of infection is false, which is why we have just experienced the highest covid case load in history at the same time that a large majority of Americans are vaccinated.

More logical errors to come:

The first lesson is that Covid vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe illness. Here are the same four states from the above charts, this time with death rates instead of case rates:

The messiness of the previous charts has given way to an obvious pattern: Covid death has been far more common in red America. Over the past three months, the death rate in counties that Donald Trump won in a landslide has been more than twice as high as the rate in counties that Joe Biden won in a landslide, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst.

The Times says that these discrepancies are explained by vaccination rates. So why didn’t it simply compare data on death rates of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated people? Such data are available, although some agencies go to considerable length to obscure the numbers. Such a comparison would show, I think, that vaccination provides some protection against death, although not as much as is commonly claimed.

The red county-blue county comparison is simply ridiculous. The counties that went 60%+ for Donald Trump in 2020 are overwhelmingly rural. The counties that went 60%+ for Joe Biden are overwhelmingly urban. Rural counties have a relatively high percentage of elderly residents, while urban areas have relatively high proportions of young residents. Covid is dangerous almost exclusively to the elderly. If death rates in red and blue counties were compared within a given age band–e.g., 61 to 70, 71 to 80, 81 to 90, etc.–I doubt that you would see any difference. Take Georgia, for example: the death rate is 0.0006 in red counties and 0.0004 in blue counties. I would be shocked if that difference is not accounted for entirely by the age profiles of the counties. In any event, that comparison would have to be made to generate a meaningful result.

Factual errors and logical fallacies aside, we should probably be grateful that the Times, America’s leading source of misinformation, is finally recognizing the futility of shutdowns and mask mandates:

The second lesson is that interventions other than vaccination — like masking and distancing — are less powerful than we might wish.

That’s too delicately stated, but still: better late than never.

CROOKED BIDEN’S A STAR COLLECTING PRICES!

Biden’s War with Prices

By Jon N. Hall at American Thinker:

In his State of the Union Address on March 1, the president repeatedly used the word “price” and its synonym “cost.” What’s clear from his SOTU speech is that President Biden doesn’t really understand prices and pricing, for he said, “let’s cap the cost of insulin at $35.”

Let’s not, okay. Biden claimed: “Insulin costs about $10 a vial to make.” If politicians feel the irresistible urge to dictate what the price of insulin will be, then why allow the pharmaceutical companies a 350 percent markup, why not set the price at $11 a vial, allowing them to make a reasonable 10 percent profit?

Biden also said, “let’s let Medicare negotiate the price of prescription drugs.” If American retirees are paying more for prescription drugs than the citizens of other countries, as is the case, then the solution is to demand that Big Pharma charges everyone the same prices, not have prices set by government diktat. Let’s stop subsidizing foreigners’ drugs.

Biden said that his “top priority is getting prices under control,” which was an acknowledgment of his growing problem, which is that price inflation is getting out of control on Biden’s watch.

In the SOTU, Biden assured us: “I’m a capitalist.” But Joe doesn’t appreciate the importance, the centrality, of prices in an economy like ours. Ideally, prices are “set” by millions of free folk constantly making billions of transactions based on an untold number of calculations and decisions about what they need or desire, and what they can afford. That’s how prices work in a free market system.

Such a pure, laissez-faire, capitalist, free-enterprise system, however, hasn’t existed for huge sectors of the American economy since at least the New Deal era. More and more, government comes between buyer and seller and subverts the sensitive price mechanism.

Where price is especially sensitive to “supply and demand” is in the realm of essentials, such as food and fuel, and we’re seeing this right now in spades. If the supply of an essential is low, its price immediately rises. Government can try to stop upward spirals in the price of essentials, but such measures can cause supply to run out even sooner or drive sales underground.

But just as government tries to make some prices low, it tries to make other prices high. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933) was an effort to raise prices for farmers, who “were paid to destroy crops and livestock, which led to depressing scenes of fields plowed under, corn burned as fuel and piglets slaughtered.” In other words, prop up prices by reducing supply. (This destruction of food, by the way, was done when Americans were standing in breadlines.)

America experimented with wage and price controls back in the 1970s, and the results weren’t good. We speak of wages and prices as though they were two different things. But a wage is a price, the price of labor and services rendered; it’s just one of the costs of doing business.

In his SOTU, Biden said: “Let’s… raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.” But often, the value added to a business by the work of some individuals just isn’t worth $15. Minimum wage laws are the government dictating a price, which jacks up other prices, like for a cheeseburger.

In the sphere of wages, government intrudes into price in a variety of ways. The bailouts of GM and Chrysler were partly about the government propping up the price of UAW labor. Mandated employee benefits jack up the price of labor, which gets passed along to the consumer.

An amazing thing about progressive politicians is that they actually think they know what prices should be, despite so many of them never having run a business. And their preferred prices always seem to dovetail with their own political needs.

So, politicians want to set some prices at lower points, and other prices, like for the labor of their favored groups, at higher points. And then they want to simply wipe out some prices altogether, by forgiving student debt and giving folks stuff. Of course, they can’t actually erase the price of free stuff; they just shift the paying of such prices to the taxpayer.

The consequences of government intrusion into prices include shortages; unemployment; inflation; loss of industry due to offshoring; and artificial prices that foul the real market.

On March 7, The Hill reported that the national average gas price hit an all-time-high (italics added):

The national average on Monday reached $4.104 a gallon, surpassing the 2008 record of $4.103. […]

“Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high, nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious. That combination makes this situation all the more remarkable and intense, with crippling sanctions on Russia curbing their flow of oil, leading to the massive spike in the price of all fuels: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and more,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a statement.

“It’s a dire situation and won’t improve any time soon. The high prices are likely to stick around for not days or weeks, like they did in 2008, but months. GasBuddy now expects the yearly national average to rise to its highest ever recorded,” he added.

Biden had already tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to presumably drive down the price at the pump by creating more supply. Because the SPR is for emergencies only, that was an obvious misuse of the SPR, especially since Biden won’t do the one obvious thing that would bring fuel prices down.

What Biden needs to do to bring fuel prices down is to reverse his destructive policies for domestic oil and gas production. Not only would that help America and her allies, but it could also hurt Putin. But Biden needs Putin to help him with his Iran nuclear deal, so turning on the domestic spigot appears unlikely.

In its broader sense, a price is anything that must be given up in order to obtain something. The title of the old comedy What Price Glory? poses a question that can be entertained seriously. The price of glory is sacrifice. One usually can’t achieve glory (i.e. greatness) in anything without giving up a lot. Foregoing a soft life of ease and creature comforts is the price of achieving anything in sports and the arts. Most folks aren’t willing to pay that price; they’d rather sit and watch than participate.

At least Biden’s speechwriter understands this broader sense of “price,” for in the SOTU Biden read this: “When dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos. […] But while he may make gains on the battlefield, he will pay a continuing high price over the long run.”

With the prices for food, fuel, and so much else rising so fast, now is the time for Americans to consider whether they can afford to continue paying the price for the Biden presidency.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.

Image: Gage Skidmore

Have You Discovered Yet HOW EVIL RUSSIA, UNDER PUTIN, REALLY IS?

Horror in Mariupol

ALLAHPUNDIT Mar 09, 2022 at HotAir:

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The latest horror in Mariupol, I should say. This past week has been full of them.

Remember, the spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry had the nerve to say this morning that Russian isn’t targeting civilians.

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Was that an errant bomb or a message to the Ukrainians that not even the most vulnerable will be spared if they force Russia to take the country by force instead of surrendering?

No Ukrainian city has suffered as much so far as Mariupol. Its location in southeastern Ukraine left it horribly exposed, as it’s bordered on the east by the Donbas where Russian forces have been fighting for years. Once Russian troops invaded the country from the south a few weeks ago and began advancing east, it was a matter of time before Mariupol found itself surrounded.

The city refused to surrender, however. And the Russian military may be too incompetent and underequipped to take Mariupol by force through urban combat. So instead they laid siege to it, cutting off entry and exit and bombing the residents to break their will.

That was a week ago. The situation is now dire:

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An AP story about the siege today begins dramatically: “Corpses lie in the streets of Mariupol. Hungry people break into stores in search of food and melt snow for water. Thousands huddle in basements, trembling at the sound of Russian shells pounding this strategic port city.” The detail about the dead lying out in the open isn’t exaggerated. Click the photos here to enlarge:

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The city lacks water, power, sewage, and phone service, per the AP. Residents are looting in their desperation to find something to eat. As for the dead:

People collect rainwater for drinking, prepare food on the fire on the street, and bury the dead neighbors in their own backyards. Those killed, who have no one to bury them, remain strewn on the streets of the city, until the workers take them and bury them in mass graves.
/3 pic.twitter.com/gKDJrkqu0g

— Walter Lekh🇺🇦 (@walterlekh) March 9, 2022

https://b65411cba2843d54b0792403f249f970.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The city’s mayor says children have begun to die of dehydration. “Something that we thought was impossible in the 21st century is happening today,” he told reporters.

There’s supposed to be a “humanitarian corridor” in place that would allow residents to flee Mariupol while creating space for humanitarian supplies to be trucked in to those staying behind. But Russia is pressed for time, needing victories before its money runs out and its army begins to break down. So the humanitarian corridor is reportedly being shelled to force residents to stay put and starve in hopes of crushing Ukraine’s resolve.

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It’s unclear what sort of mines are being used. A report 10 days ago in the Ukrainian press claimed that “petal” or “butterfly mines” had been dropped from the air around Kharkiv in the northeast. If those mines are also being used on the humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol it would be diabolical even by Russian standards:

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Strategically, I suspect Russia wants control of Mariupol not just to show how far it’s willing to go to win the test of wills but because it’s looking to establish a corridor along the border of southeastern Ukraine linking the Donbas to Crimea, the two parts of Ukraine that hosted Russian troops even before Putin invaded a few weeks ago. Presumably he wants to control the entire southeastern part of the country with an eye to demanding its annexation once peace negotiations begin in earnest.

If anything good can come from something as savage as a war crime being committed against a maternity hospital, it’s the possibility that international outrage over the incident will pressure Russia into letting Mariupol’s residents leave. But don’t bet on it: The shelling has been so intense that workers digging mass graves in the city’s cemetery have been forced to interrupt their task when the cemetery itself has come under fire. Ironically, the more heavy-handed Putin gets in trying to force a quick end to the war, the more likely he makes it that Ukrainians will fight on as an insurgency for years to punish the Russians for their cruelty. Exit quotation from Zelensky, speaking yesterday: “Fifty Ukrainian children killed in 13 days of war. And in an hour it was 52. Fifty-two children. I will never forgive that. And I know that you will never forgive the invaders.”

Why Is Crooked Biden SO IN LOVE WITH CROOKED MADURO?

Politico: Biden’s oil-begging outreach to Maduro creates blowback in Florida — among Democrats

ED MORRISSEY Mar 09, 2022 at HotAir:

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Anyone who has studied the nuances of the Hispanic vote in Florida could have predicted this reaction. Apparently this White House doesn’t do nuance. Sucking up to a hardline socialist dictator for more oil doesn’t play well in Florida, Politico reports, not even among Democrats:

Florida Republicans were quick to pile on the Biden administration over talks with Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro to potentially ease sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports.

By Monday, top Democrats in the state also jumped into the fray, expressing in a more measured way their serious concerns over President Joe Biden’s engagement with the South American authoritarian regime.

And that was before the White House made any actual decisions or deals.

“This is a community that’s accustomed to seeing things very black and white — and that makes it difficult for the Biden administration to try to explain the logic behind why Venezuela has all of a sudden become extraordinarily important,” said Eduardo Gamarra, who polls Latino voters in the United States and throughout Latin America, referring to South Florida Hispanics.

“And while it’s predictable the response we’ve seen from politicians, like Sen. [Marco] Rubio and other lawmakers, saying how ‘the Biden administration is betraying us’ and ‘they’re trading with a dictator,’ it plays to the local political concerns here.” he added.

As I wrote in my book Going Red, the Hispanic voter bloc is anything but homogenous. That’s especially true in Florida, where significant political distinctions exist between various communities, especially among the expatriates of the various countries and regions. There are even distinctions between Cuban-Americans whose families fled Fidel Castro and those whose families fled Fulgencio Batista, for instance, let alone the different priorities and ambitions between Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and those from Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

There is one strong thread amongst most of them, however — their families fled dictatorships of both socialist and military forms, and they detest people like Maduro as a result. The “local concerns” that Gamarra mentions here are not limited to South Florida either but to the broader “Hispanic vote” demographic that has already begun shifting toward the GOP over the last few years. However, if they’re shifting in south Florida — where Democrats dominate — that will be a huge problem for anyone attempting to win a statewide election against a Republican. Or perhaps increasingly, even congressional elections and state legislative elections, not to mention local elections. If Broward and Palm Beach suddenly become red, Democrats are doomed in the Sunshine State.

And they know it, too. While Florida Democrats complained about Republicans pouncing on Biden’s outreach to Maduro, they made sure to get themselves on the right side of the argument … in all possible definitions of right:

Rep. Val Demings, who is running for Rubio’s Senate seat, said she was “deeply skeptical” of the talks with Venezuela. Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running for governor, said he was “deeply concerned the wrong change to our policy would simply enrich Maduro’s brutal dictatorship and set back the fight for democracy.”

“If America was down to it’s last barrel and Venezuela was giving oil away for free, we still shouldn’t go to the Maduro regime for help,” said Democratic state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who is running for governor, in a statement.

The most frustrating part of this for Democrats, at least those with any sense of strategic power, is how unnecessary it was for Biden to go hat in hand to America’s enemies such as Venezuela and Iran for oil. The US had finally positioned itself for energy independence and scalable oil and natural gas production in the years between Barack Obama and Joe Biden; Donald Trump’s emphasis on domestic production turned us into a net exporter. That gave us leverage over global oil prices, and the ability to contain our geopolitical foes. Biden’s open hostility to that scalable production led us back into foreign dependence and a lack of ability to control outcomes in the markets, with the predictable result of emboldened petro-states like Russia and Iran dictating outcomes to the US.

Now Democrats have to decide whether to continue backing Biden’s grasp on a Green New Deal or dump Biden for their own self-preservation. It might be too late for that choice in Florida, and perhaps a lot of other states as well.

What Is Crooked Biden UP TO?

MARCH 9, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLine:

THE MADNESS OF SLOW JOE, IRAN EDITION (6)

The Biden administration is working overtime to fund and facilitate Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons and otherwise enhance its evil machinations. These would be the fruits of the arrangement it seeks to finalize with the Iranian regime. A certain kind of madness drives it.

Tom Rogan opens a window on the measures undertaken by the administration to foster an era of good feelings with Iranian murderers in his March 7 Examiner story “Iran plotting assassination of John Bolton, others, even while Biden negotiates nuclear deal.”

Andrew McCarthy comments on Rogan’s story in the NRO/Corner post “Biden Keeping Iranian Plot to Kill John Bolton under Wraps to Avoid Derailing Nuclear Deal.” This is an astounding and enraging story, but it harks back to business as usual in the Obama administration. He concludes:

Now, we have a purported plot to kill a prominent American security official. So, why wouldn’t we want to help the Iranians with a program that will yield nuclear weapons in short order, and in the interim help them by lifting sanctions on their anti-American terrorism so they can subsidize more anti-American terrorism — all with the help of our other negotiating partner, Vladimir Putin?

Exactly.

The deal that is in the works extends well beyond business as usual in the Obama administration, which was itself a pitiful display. Gabriel Noronha served as Special Advisor for Iran in the Department of State from 2019-2020. His former colleagues in the department have supplied him with the alarming details of the deal that is in the works. He explores them at length in the Tablet column “This Isn’t Obama’s Iran Deal. It’s Much, Much Worse.” If you don’t read anything else, please read Noronha’s column.

Reuters continues to cover the bumps in the road to completion of the arrangement with Iran. Francois Murphy et al. report on the current status of the deal in “Do not sabotage Iran deal with new conditions, West tells Russia.” I stand by my assessment with a moderate degree of confidence that this is nothing that can’t be resolved by the administration with the friends of Vladimir Putin.

“DeSantis Isn’t Stupid!”

Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill passes in state senate, moves to governor’s desk for signature

KAREN TOWNSEND Mar 08, 2022 at HotAir:

Today the Florida State Senate passed a bill that is called the “don’t say gay” bill by Democrats and the “parental rights in education” bill by Republicans with a 22 to 17 vote. It now goes to the desk of Governor DeSantis who will sign it into law. The bill addresses the education of very young children from kindergarten to third grade. The narrative in the media and coming from Democrats (but I repeat myself) is that it is anti-gay legislation. That is not the truth.

In February, HB 1557 passed in Florida’s House of Representatives. It is a part of a larger effort by the Florida legislature to address parental rights in the education of their children. One thing the pandemic did was to close schools which meant that children were educated online at home. Parents got an up-close and personal lesson in what exactly is being taught in schools and some of it was not acceptable to them. One such area is with the inclusion of sex in lessons, specifically the LGBTQ agenda. Children that are aged five to eight are too young to be subjected to discussions on gay or transgender issues, as well as gender identity or even the basic definitions of being a boy or a girl. It’s exploitation by progressive adults, sexualizing children too young to be interested in the topics or to understand the subject.

HB 1557 prohibits classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, or at any grade level if it’s deemed not age or developmentally-appropriate.

In today’s hyper-woke atmosphere, that simple acknowledgement that very young children should not have to learn about mature topics in early elementary school years is just too much. It was dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill in an overreaction to the legislation.

“It sends a terrible message to our youth that there is something so wrong, so inappropriate, so dangerous about this topic that we have to censor it from classroom instruction,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, who is gay, said on the House floor Thursday.

It also bars school personnel from discouraging or prohibiting the notification of parents or parental involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, physical or emotional health or well-being.

Republicans call it the “parental rights in education” bill because of the stipulation that parents be notified about subject matter in schools. What a concept, right? In the youngest of children, their brains are not developed enough to understand sex between their own parents, much less adults in general. It’s just not appropriate. Older students and the teachers union criticized the legislation with high school students leading protests against it.

The Florida Education Association teachers union criticized the bill and HB 7 – known as the “Individual Freedom” bill – as “censorship” legislation that will “limit what schools can say and teach regarding our nation’s history and regarding issues related to students who are part of or associated with the LGBTQ+ community.”

“Educators love their students. We all want to make sure that every child can grow and thrive, regardless of race, background, ZIP code or ability,” Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar said in a statement. “These bills mean some of our students will no longer feel safe and secure, or even seen, based on who they are.

“Both bills promote discrimination and censorship, and send the clearly un-American message to students that individuality is not valued, that everyone must conform to a single point of view.”

A lot of parents would be cynical about “educators loving their students” after almost two years of fighting teacher unions over school closures. That aside, no one wants a child to feel “not valued” or conform to one point of view. The problem is that progressives think their point of view is the only one and everyone else agrees. Otherwise opponents are labeled as homophobic or anti-LGBTQ. What Republicans are pushing for, though, is allowing young children to just be children. The teacher can monitor a student-led discussion on LGBTQ issues, should a child bring it up in class, but it will not be allowed to be a routine part of a class’s curriculum. A young child may bring up that he or she has two moms, for example, and that can start a conversation in a classroom. It’s important that it is an age appropriate discussion.

DeSantis — who is seeking reelection — has backed the proposal. If he signs it into law, parents would be allowed to sue school districts or take their concerns to the State Board of Education if they believe their child’s school has violated the measure’s provisions. “How many parents want their kindergarteners to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom instruction? I think those are very young kids. I think the Legislature is basically trying to give parents assurance that they are going to be able to go and that stuff is not going to be there,” DeSantis told reporters in Jacksonville last week.

DeSantis isn’t stupid. He saw what happened in Virginia when parents rose up against decisions being made by educators in that state. The state flipped from a deep blue one to a red state in its last election, largely due to those parents.

Protesters at the state capitol chanted, “We say gay,” on Monday. Democrats and the media portray the legislation as a ban on language, for example, and that is just silly. Nonetheless, grown adults protested with such chants. Governor DeSantis was asked to answer to his critics on Monday and he answered perfectly. Some Republican politicians are finally learning to push back on false media narratives on GOP legislation. DeSantis knows how to do that.

How Big A Slaughter WILL PUTIN CREATE?

March 8, 2022

How far will Putin go?

By James Nollet at American Thinker:

The Fox News website ran this story, asking, “If Putin wants to remake the Soviet Union, what country would Russia target next?” and then went on to state a list of countries that were once part of the USSR.

But how far does Vladimir Putin wish to go?  Why stop with the old Soviet Union?

He said in his famous paper of a couple of years ago that he regards what one could call the East Slavs – Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus – as one people, and properly living together as one, in one nation.

He has historical justification for his view.  Russia itself was born, not in Moskva, which didn’t exist at the time, but in Kiev, where the first Christian King of Kievan Rus ruled, and extended his realm northward.

Belarus has been ruled from Moskva for centuries.  And likewise Ukraine.  The last leader of an independent Ukraine before 1991 was Bogdan Chmielnitsky, who ruled there until 1653.  Chmielnitsky is honored to this day on Ukrainian currency.  He is also notorious in that he oversaw in 1648 what was the largest pogrom of Jews in history until the Nazi Holocaust.  250,000 Jews were slaughtered by his forces.

After that time, the Romanov dynasty took over, and the separation of Ukraine from Mother Russia was unthinkable for centuries.  That was why Nikita Khrushchev could so blithely erase a line on a map and deliver control of Crimea from the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, for what difference did it make?  It was all just one big happy USSR run from Moskva in any event.

But if East Slavs are brothers, why not ALL Slavs?  Why not also the South Slavs who live in what used to be called Yugoslavia?  Indeed, Serbia and Russia have always been close.  World War I metastasized as it did because Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia after one of its nationals assassinated the Archduke and his wife in 1914.  When Austro-Hungary did that, Tsarist Russia rose to Serbia’s defense by declaring war on Austro-Hungary, and thus cascaded the series of interlocking treaty obligations which led to WWI.  Russia and Serbia are not only both Slavic, but also both are Orthodox, and that played no little role in Russia’s defense of Serbia.  Should not Putin reunite with them too?

And what about the West Slavs – by that, I mean Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic?  Historically, a major part of Poland also fell under Tsarist control for centuries, from the time of the 18th century Partitions until 1918.  If Poland at one time were controlled from Moskva, why not again?

There is a legend about the unity of all Slavic peoples.

I have in my library an illustrated book of Polish legends intended for Polish children.  There is a story therein about three brothers whose names were Lech, Czech, and Rus.  They all lived together in one land, but decided that the land was too crowded and they had to separate and spread out, lest there be famine.  Rus went to the east and established – Russia.  Czech went south and established – Bohemia, more or less.  And Lech went to the west, where he encountered a great white eagle at Gnieszno, and went on to establish Poland.

If Putin should reunite Ukraine and Belarus, why not Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and former Yugoslav lands like Serbia too while he’s at it?

There is a little-known fact about World War II.  In the first days when the Nazis invaded the USSR, as they went through Ukraine, initially everybody greeted them as liberators, offering the soldiers gifts reserved for honored guests, bread and salt.  Even the Jews did this, reportedly..

A Nazi war criminal named Erich von dem Bach-Zelewsky commented on this after the war.

I am the only living witness but I must say the truth. Contrary to the opinion of the National Socialists, that the Jews were a highly organized group, the appalling fact was that they had no organization whatsoever. The mass of the Jewish people were taken complete by surprise. They did not know at all what to do; they had no directives or slogans as to how they should act. This is the greatest lie of anti-Semitism because it gives the lie to that old slogan that the Jews are conspiring to dominate the world and that they are so highly organized. In reality, they had no organization of their own at all, not even an information service. If they had had some sort of organization, these people could have been saved by the millions, but instead, they were taken completely by surprise. Never before has a people gone as unsuspectingly to its disaster. Nothing was prepared. Absolutely nothing. It was not so, as the anti-Semites say, that they were friendly to the Soviets. That is the most appalling misconception of all. The Jews in the old Poland, who were never communistic in their sympathies, were, throughout the area of the Bug eastward, more afraid of Bolshevism than of the Nazis. This was insanity. They could have been saved. There were people among them who had much to lose, business people; they didn’t want to leave. In addition there was love of home and their experience with pogroms in Russia. After the first anti-Jewish actions of the Germans, they thought now the wave was over and so they walked back to their undoing.

Why would Ukrainians and Jews both regard Germans as liberators?  Much of it has to do with the Russian-Communist induced Great Famine of 10-15 years earlier, during which around 10 million Ukrainians starved to death – and millions more subsequently were sent to Siberia and oblivion.

It was a mistake for the Nazis to drive the Ukrainians back into the Russian Communists’ hands, by being even worse than the Russians were.  But the fact that Ukrainians sided with Russia does not at all mean that they’ve forgotten what Mother Russia did to them in the Holomodor.

With regard to Putin’s dream of a great pan-Slavic nation, I’m afraid that ship sailed a long time ago.  Ukraine does not want Russia.  And any chance Putin had of bringing Ukraine over to his side vanished when he started dropping bombs on Ukraine.

In the end, let’s say Putin achieves his dream and reunites Ukraine to Mother Russia.  This cost of winning the prize grossly exceeds the value of any benefit he might derive from his “victory.”

Never mind the international opprobrium and sanctions and trade cut-offs.  There is the fact that Putin’s army has already suffered and will continue to suffer massive casualties.  There is the fact that modern wars are horribly expensive.  Hitler invaded Russia because he thought he needed Russia’s energy and mineral assets.  But even if he’d won, he’d have lost, because the value of the assets wasn’t worth the cost of their acquisition.  He’d have done better simply to trade for what he needed.

And if Putin captures Ukraine, he will not have acquired an asset that he can colonize and exploit.  He will have captured a ruined wasteland, and will have to spend more Russian treasure to restore it to health.

A Touch Of Memory From The Past

MARCH 8, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER at PowerLine:

ENVIRONMENTALISTS VS. SCIENCE

That is an evergreen headline; here is today’s instance. The Environmental Protection Agency has banned the use of the herbicide Enlist Duo in six Minnesota farm counties. Why? The chemicals in Enlist Duo are apparently harmful to the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Only problem: there are no eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in those counties, and never have been. My colleague Tom Steward reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest overreach in enforcing the Endangered Species Act in six Minnesota counties “kinda makes you scratch your knot a little bit,” the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council’s David Kee says. The aggressive agency has prohibited soybean growers in some of the most productive regions of the state from using an herbicide that many rely on.

Moreover, the EPA declined to even identify the species that triggered the ban until the publication Agweek started asking questions.

When the EPA announced new restrictions on a herbicide in Minnesota in order to help protect an endangered species, it did not identify the species it is trying to protect.

It turns out, according to snake experts, it may be trying to protect a snake that has not lived in the state for at least 50 years. …

[A]ccording to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the endangered reptile — the eastern massasauga rattlesnake — exists in minute numbers, if that, on the other end of the state from the counties where the EPA banned the chemical (Clay, Marshall, Polk, Redwood, Renville, and Stearns counties).

For the eastern massasauga, “there is no evidence of established breeding populations on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River,” the DNR says.

It can be found on the Wisconsin side of the river, and is native to several other states to the east and south of Minnesota.

Jeffrey Leclere with the Minnesota Herpetological Society said the massasauga “has never been documented in those counties,” and he said they don’t have the habitat the species would need.

The six somewhat scattered counties “are not even close to an area that used to have massagaugas.”

Apparently part of what is going on here is that the notoriously arrogant EPA refuses to listen to state environmental agencies that are closer to the areas in question, and have more expertise about them.

So the bottom line is that the EPA announced a ban without even saying what species it was trying to protect, and when it finally had to divulge that information, it turned out that the species in question has never been found anywhere near the counties to which the ban applied. I would add, as someone who claims little expertise in agriculture but has lived in the Midwest for a long time, that I have never heard of anyone encountering rattlesnakes of any kind in Minnesota corn and soybean fields.

But the EPA marches arrogantly on, and it is farmers who pay the price of the agency’s willful ignorance.

Note: I remember as a child in my early 1940s being told in third grade class by Mrs. Lucille Jaeger, that our “GOPHER” state Minnesota was one of the ONLY states of our America, that was absent of poisonous snakes. from ghr.

A Few Minutes Of Beauty For Your Day! IT’S STILL GOOD TO BE ALIVE!