Some Wednesdays really are whacky. (No, not in the Opie & Anthony sense, concerning which, good riddance to bad rubbish.) Have a gander at some of the stories that have caught my eye these past few hours.
1. Yet Another Call For A "New World Order."
Do we really need more reasons to detest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that a new world order needs to emerge, away from years of what he called American bullying and domination.
Ahmadinejad spoke to The Associated Press in a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly -- his last as president of Iran. He was to address the Assembly Wednesday morning....
"God willing, a new order will come together and we'll do away with everything that distances us," Ahmadinejad said, speaking through a translator. "I do believe the system of empires has reached the end of the road. The world can no longer see an emperor commanding it."
"Now even elementary school kids throughout the world have understood that the United States government is following an international policy of bullying," he said.
"An international policy of bullying," eh? Gee, I wonder how American foreign policy compares to Iranian calls for the "elimination" of Israel?
Israel has "no roots" in the Middle East and will be "eliminated." International efforts to stop a bloody civil war in Syria amount to "meddling." And he may even break bread with Occupy Wall Street....
Much of Ahmadinejad's bluster was aimed squarely at Israel, which accuses the Islamic Republic of manufacturing illegal nuclear weapons. IN an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan set to air tonight, Ahmadinejad, whose regime has barred international weapons inspectors from key sites in Iran, said the Israelis are making it up.
"Of course the Zionists are very much, very adventuresome, very much seeking to fabricate things and I think they see themselves at the end of the line," Ahmadinejad said. "I do firmly believe that they seek to create new opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors."
Who'll give me odds that Israel will outlast the theocratic regime that currently controls Iran?
2. When A Boddie Meets A Boddie...
In a conference call with reporters, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that his fellow Mormon, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "is not the face of Mormonism." Reid added he agrees with Romney critics who claim Romney has "sullied" the faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the official name of the church....
In the matter of "bearing false witness," Reid claimed that a "source," who he refused to name, told him that Romney had not paid any federal income taxes in a decade. Reid indicated he believed him and challenged Romney to release his tax returns. When Romney finally did, proving he has, indeed, paid millions of dollars in taxes, did Reid apologize and ask Romney to forgive him? He did not. Instead, Reid moved on to another accusation that Romney had "fudged" his charitable donations in order to live up to the percentage of his income he claimed to have given away in recent years.
I shouldn't be surprised when a politician flatly and blatantly lies, even about another politician. Nor am I Mitt Romney's hugest fan, politically. But every available bit of evidence indicates that Romney is a faithful son of his church -- never mind its absurd theology -- and as good a Christian man as one could find anywhere. By contrast, Harry Reid should be relegated to some lesser species, where his many moral defaults wouldn't besmirch the reputation of the human race.
3. But We Were Assured That It's All A Lie!
The contentious topic of voter fraud and its power to sway elections is more newsworthy than ever:
A national voter fraud watchdog group announced Tuesday that it has uncovered at least 31 cases of absentee ballot fraud in New York and Florida -- a finding the group claims is "just the tip of the iceberg."
True the Vote, a group that focuses on voter fraud, said it turned over 31 cases to state and federal election authorities in which individuals cast their votes in two states in the same federal election -- which is a felony.
Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for the group, told FoxNews.com that the organization accessed Florida's complete voter registration roll and cross-referenced it against 10 percent of New York's list. It identified more than 1,700 people with voter registrations in both states. Of that number, 31 people allegedly voted in both states during the same federal election cycle.
You'd think that the 2000 presidential election, which turned on 537 votes in a single state, would convince Americans that any degree of voter fraud is a serious threat to the integrity of our elections. But given that vote fraud put Al Franken in the United States Senate, at the very least we can expect some "pushback" from the Unserious Liberals Of High Moral Repute lobby. After all, given their assumption of moral and intellectual superiority to us mean old right-wingers, not only must they know better, but they're morally pre-indemnified against peccadilloes like vote fraud. After all, whatever it takes to put and keep good "progressives" in office is inherently self-justifying, isn't it?
4. New Frontiers In "Free Expression."
Pamela Geller first impinged upon my attention with her blog Atlas Shrugs. Ever since her rise to prominence in the DextroSphere, she's pushed for new ways to advance the causes she favors, prominent among them support for Israel against the jihadist madness that threatens the Jewish state.
An Egyptian-born U.S. columnist has been arrested for spray-painting an advertisement equating Muslim radicals with savages at a New York City subway station.
Police say Mona Eltahawy was arrested Tuesday on charges including criminal mischief and making graffiti. Her arrest was captured on video by a New York Post camera crew and posted online.
Eltahawy is a women's rights defender and lecturer on the role of social media in the Arab world. She calls herself a liberal Muslim who's spoken publicly against violent Islamic groups. She's seen in the video spraying pink paint on the ad while another woman tries to block her.
Pamela's group The American Freedom Defense Initiative is the sponsor of those ads. She had to labor like Hercules to get the MTA to accept them in the first place. Miss Eltahawy's response is vivid proof of their importance ("The Fascists cannot argue, so they kill" -- Victor Marguerite). That response also gives the lie to Miss Eltahawy's claim to be a "liberal"... though "liberal Muslim" should be enough of a contradiction in terms to cast doubt on any claim she might make about herself. (Pamela's own comment on this episode is here.)
Oh, by the way, Miss Eltahawy: Muslim radicals are savages. Only savages practice the sort of genocidal response to differences in religion that the attackers of Israel have committed. Indeed, only savages practice a religion that sanctifies conversion by the sword, the enslavement of "infidels," the chattelization of women, or the practice of deceit, dissimulation, and outright fraud for the advancement of that religion.
Hm, it seems I've just consigned all the Muslims of the world to the category of savages, haven't I? You may be assured that it was entirely intentional.
5. And Some Don't Even Have Huge...Tracts Of Land.
It has often seemed to me that it takes very little actual talent to become a pop star, especially if you're a female aspirant to that status. If you look good enough, can sing a little, and have good enough promotion, you can make a decent splash without being a world-beater.
Of course, a willingness to be outrageous can be an asset, as well. Outrageousness, as we know, is catnip to the entertainment press; they're completely incapable of resisting it. Indeed, a sufficient degree of outrageous behavior can keep the klieg lights shining on a mediocrity well beyond his sell-by date. Surely Madonna has proved that for us:
Madonna asked everyone in the audience of her Washington, DC performance Monday night to vote for President Obama because he is a "black Muslim."
"Y’all better vote for f**king Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right?" the shouted from stage while sipping from a bottle of water with a straw. ""We have a black Muslim in the White House! Now that’s some amazing s**t.”
Madonna, 54, also stripped down to her bra to reveal "Obama" stenciled in big letters on her back, before promising (or warning?): “When Obama is in the White House for a second term I'll take it all off.”
Does anyone with a modicum of taste -- no, not musical taste -- need a better reason to vote for Mitt Romney?
6. Thanks For Asking.
I've received an overwhelming number emails from Gentle Readers inquiring into my arm ailment and overall health. First and foremost, my sincere thanks for your concern. It's always nice to know that one is appreciated, even if it's just for "handing out free ice cream."
Second: Yes, my arm is improving. Extensive physical therapy has established that
I'm a complete wreck with one foot in the grave I have a series of compressed nerves in my left shoulder and trailing partway down my spine. A pair of ruthless gorillas with no sense of mercy or restraint Two excellent physical therapists have worked to ease those compressions, and are gradually attaining some success.
Third, to the correspondent who asked about the Gibson Les Paul: Yes, I have been playing it, albeit not as often as I'd like, and no, you can't have it after I'm dead!