Thursday, February 21, 2019

One Month To Go the Vernal Equinox (traditional). (I haven’t yet checked the ephemeris to see when that moment will actually occur this year.) For those unacquainted with the meaning of the astronomical term equinox, it refers to the instant when the plane of the Earth’s ecliptic passes through the geometric center of the Sun. At that instant, night and day are exactly the same length...or would be, if whichever one it isn’t at that moment in your part of the world were to change places with the other one.

     Oh, never mind. Have a few scraps of observation and commentary.

1. The Coup.

     Victor Davis Hanson sums it up:

     In sum, the Left and the administrative state, in concert with the media, after failing to stop the Trump campaign, regrouped. They ginned up a media-induced public hysteria, with the residue of the Hillary Clinton campaign’s illegal opposition research, and manipulated it to put in place a special counsel, stocked with partisans.

     Then, not thugs in sunglasses and epaulettes, not oligarchs in private jets, not shaggy would-be Marxists, but sanctimonious arrogant bureaucrats in suits and ties used their government agencies to seek to overturn the 2016 election, abort a presidency, and subvert the U.S. Constitution. And they did all that and more on the premise that they were our moral superiors and had uniquely divine rights to destroy a presidency that they loathed.

     Whereupon Mike Hendrix, who sees consequences more reliably than most other Internet pundits, calls our attention to a bleak prognostication of the coming civil war:

     The civil war [John Mosby] anticipates is not the one of 1861–65 with set-piece battles by uniformed soldiers. It’s guerrilla warfare.

     “This is about people burning down their neighbors’ houses and businesses, to run them out of town, over ideological differences. Look at the Balkans in the early 1990s. This is about a group from one side, murdering the entire family — Dad, Mom, Brother and baby Sister — of their neighbors, over political differences.”

     It seems unreal, impossible, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s happened in other countries. Why should we think America immune? Especially with all the shit-stirring and hate-mongering coming from the Left lately.

     “The gentlemen cry peace, peace, but there is no peace. The war is already begun!” – Patrick Henry

2. “Fundamental Rights.”

     You can always count on a socialist to prattle about “rights” that do not and can not ever exist:

     Whereupon Marta Hernandez deposeth and sayeth:

     No, really. A zillion.

     Not only does Warren claim that health care should be government-funded, along with her fellow socialist leeches, who claim that need is a claim check on the skills, knowledge, hard work, and education of medical personnel, but now the former law professor exhibits her profound ignorance about the concept of fundamental rights by claiming that those who need it also must appropriate the efforts of child care providers.

     Explaining this over and over gets tiresome, but one more time:

If someone else must give it to you
whether he wants to or not,
it’s not your right.
It’s theft.

     I can’t use shorter words. There aren’t any.

3. Play A Dirge For Europe.

     Mark “Mad Dog” Sherman points us to some fretting about Europe’s insouciant lassitude from Walter Russell Mead:

     Decline, not the Donald, is the specter haunting Europe today. The numbers make this clear. Some readers objected to World Bank data in last week’s column showing that, in dollar terms, the eurozone economy had not recovered from the 2008-09 financial crisis. In euro terms, they point out, eurozone gross domestic product has been growing. But even using the euro-denominated figures issued by the European Central Bank, the growth rate from 2009 to 2017 was only 0.6% per year. That’s anything but robust.

     Decline, among a people who have been as dynamic and prosperous as Europeans once were, is a choice. As Mark points out, the principal drivers of that choice are right out in the open:

     Mead used to be such an incisive analyst but his analysis today is flabby and flaccid. The problem in Europe involves economic decline, but that is not the root. The root is the fact that the Europeans have decided to die demographically by not having children, plumping up their welfare state, pensions, and government benefits while lounging in cafes sipping plonk waiting to die.

     Mead doesn’t address Europe’s vanishing demographics. He thinks Europe’s increasing disunity is the problem – and that it’s a problem for the United States:

     It does not advance U.S. interests for Europe to go the way of the Soviet Union or stay deadlocked in decline. A vibrant Europe whose unity is based on common-sense cooperation and pro-growth economic policies suits America best, but neither the immobilism of Angela Merkel’s Germany nor hostile rhetoric from the White House can bring that about.

     Nonsense. The European Union is of no consequence to American interests, nor would its dissolution be of consequence to the subsequent geopolitics. The problem is a lack of will to struggle, prosper, and thrive, which is most evident in the explosion of Europe’s welfare systems and the disappearance of its militaries. NATO preceded the EU and would likely be there after the EU is no longer. While the current structure and military balances of NATO are perverse, those things could be addressed and corrected, just as the Common Market corrected the mess of trade barriers that hindered Europe’s recovery from World War II – and in his characteristic way, Donald Trump is trying to get them corrected. No one else is doing squat.

4. A Late Awakening.

     Quoth retired tennis legend Martina Navratilova:

     Tennis great Martina Navratilova reiterated her stand against biological males competing against natural-born women, because the males have a competitive edge.

     “It’s insane and it’s cheating,” the famously gay tennis star said in a Sunday op-ed published by the Sunday Times.

     “Letting men compete as women simply if they change their name and take hormones is unfair — no matter how those athletes may throw their weight around,” Navratilova said of transgender players’ efforts to be recognized under their “chosen” gender.

     Well, yes, it is insane. But it’s been going on since 1977:

     RenĂ©e Richards (born August 19, 1934) is an American ophthalmologist and former tennis player who had some success on the professional circuit in the 1970s. In 1975 Richards underwent male-to-female sex reassignment surgery. She was then denied entry into the 1976 US Open by the United States Tennis Association, which began that year requiring genetic screening for female players. She disputed this policy, and the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor in 1977 in a landmark decision in favor of transsexual rights. As one of the first professional athletes to identify as such, she became a spokesperson for the transgender community.

     It should not have taken forty-two years to open anyone’s eyes, especially not those of the greatest player ever to grace women’s tennis. But perhaps Miss Navratilova has been too busy to opine for us.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. The Wise and the Mad is finally picking up some real steam – what’s that you say? You’d like a teaser? Maybe later – and I have other chores to attend to as well. See you tomorrow.

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