Not that there is a shortage of toothsome redheads out there, but this week was a bit lean in the ginger department; so let’s have an Asian Invasion while the ginger coffers refill. Also, check our Tapiture for more!
Why are jihadis so obsessed with porn? I’ve got a few ideas. Excerpt:
Recently, London Mayor Boris Johnson described Jihadists as “porn driven losers” who have “low self-esteem and are unsuccessful with women.” He’s on to something important and profound.
According to Syrian doctors in a report in the British media, ISIS fighters are buying frilly underwear for their wives and sex slaves — and subjecting them to abnormal and sadistic sexual practices. They may well have learned this from pornography.
Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American-born imam who fled to Yemen in 2004 and was later assassinated by a US drone, ate a lot of pizza and visited a lot of prostitutes in the months after 9/11.
As a presumably “holy man,” Al-Awlaki mentored at least three of the 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood shooter, the would-be Times Square bomber (Faisal Shahzad) and the underwear bomber.
In the years since 9/11, police raids of terrorist cells in the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain have yielded countless images of hard-core child pornography.
It’s probably the same thing that makes them kill people in the name of Islam – they are Bronze Age savages with the moral sensibilities of a rattlesnake.
What’s interesting, though, is to look at the type of sexual activity these assholes prefer – child porn, rape porn, prostitution, sex slavery. The common theme? Violence. The motivation? In the considered opinion of yr. obdt., it’s the same thing that makes them so violently obsessed with killing people who don’t share their wackobird beliefs:
Insecurity. Cringing, cowardly insecurity.
And what’s also interesting is the strange silence from much of the American Left on this issue.
- Female genital mutilation
- Child marriage
- Sex trafficking
Not to mention beheadings, burnings, wiping entire villages off the map and a pretty good start at genocide.
And an odd obsession with porn. As the article continues:
According to NSA documents made public by Edward Snowden’s leaks, countless “radicals” have called for Jihad by day but watched porn by night. One damaging piece of evidence shows a “militant” using “sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.”
This year’s Paris jihadists Amedy Coulibaly and Cherif Kouachi both kept child-porn photos on their laptops, which included “sickening pictures of young boys and girls involved in sexual acts with adults.”
In Iran there are honor killings. In ISIL territory they are cutting off heads. In Britain there are rape gangs. And in Scandinavia, Nordic women can’t go about the streets dressed as normal Western women dress without being harassed. Where will it end?
Incidentally, my choice of today for this commentary is deliberate. There is a big difference between the kind of brutal pornography favored by Islamist assholes and the representations of the Feminine Aesthetic found here. Just as there is a big difference – a difference not of degree but of kind – between treasuring women and treating them as property. And if that offends any Islamist nutbars out there, well, they can go fuck themselves.
Full disclosure: I loathe the term “Republican in Name Only (RINO).” In my experience this term is generally used to describe any Republican who disagrees with the complainer on any given topic. Social-issues conservatives use it to describe libertarians, defense hawks use it to describe non-interventionists, and fiscal hawks use it to describe Bushian “compassionate conservatives.”
It’s not that some of us – indeed, all of us – are not sometimes justifiably subject to criticism. It’s just that this term, RINO, has been battered around so much that it’s lost all meaning. It’s now the intellectual equivalent of shouting “TROLL!” on an internet message board. It doesn’t mean anything; it doesn’t draw any valuable distinction; it’s just a whine, an ad hominem with no significance – a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
And, I’ll admit, part of my irritation with this term stems from having had it applied to myself, on more than one occasion. Why? Because I dare to think for myself, and depart from what some folks consider Republican orthodoxy.
I’m an atheist. There’s an old saw that states “if a conservative is an atheist, he doesn’t go to church. If a liberal is an atheist, he tries to get any mention of religion removed from public life.” I’m perfectly happy if other folks are religious, and it brings them peace, solace and a sense of well-being. I don’t share their beliefs but that doesn’t mean their beliefs are without value – to them. I say “Merry Christmas.” Why? Because that’s the name of the holiday. I am probably more irritated with activist leftie atheists than Christians are, because I get tarred with the same broad brush that the lefties are hit with in reply.
And so to many Christian conservatives I’ve encountered, my atheism renders me a suspicious character – maybe a RINO.
I’m a (small-l) libertarian on most social and legal issues. I think the War on Drugs has been an unmitigated disaster and should be ended. I think the War on Poverty has been an unmitigated disaster and should be ended. I think the Imperial Federal government should get the hell out of things like education, commerce, child care and health insurance. I don’t see anywhere in the Constitution that allows the Imperial Federal government to intervene in people’s personal decisions unless those decisions cause harm to someone else.
So to many establishment-type and law-and-order conservatives I’ve encountered, my libertarian streak renders me a suspicious character – maybe a RINO.
I have a strong science background. I don’t “believe” in evolution; belief implies acceptance without evidence. There is plenty of evidence. In fact there are – literally – tons of evidence. I accept biological evolution, intellectually, as the best explanation of the present diversity of life on Earth, based on an examination of the (tremendous amounts of) evidence, evidence that includes varied fields such as genetics, zoology and paleontology. I understand climate change – that is, I understand that Earth’s climate has changed continually, cyclically, through most of the planet’s 4.55 billion year history, and that it will go on changing, whether Western civilization cripples itself to appease a few hysterics or not. And I understand that the Earth is 4.55 billion years old. As liberal icon Daniel Patrick Moynihan once famously said(and he was, in this case, correct) people are entitled to their own opinions, but not there own facts. As an Objectivist, I base my decisions and opinions on facts.
So to many evangelical Bible-believing conservatives, my science background renders me a suspicious character – maybe a RINO.
And here’s the big one: I don’t think abortion should be illegal, within limits. Those limits? I think limiting late-term abortions is reasonable, especially as the father of a 30-week preemie who is now a college student and a 2nd degree black belt. And I think parental rights for minors trumps everything else – when my kids were minors, they couldn’t have a tooth pulled without parental consent, I’ll be damned if an invasive procedure should be exempt. And finally, I object to public funding for abortions – again, not for moral reasons, but for economic ones. The taxpayers are not responsible for people’s poor decisions; an abortion is an elective procedure, and should no more be done on the taxpayer dime than should a nose job. But outside of those narrow exemptions, I think abortion should be legal and safe.
I think Roe V. Wade was bad constitutionally, as I think it intruded unreasonably on the principle of federalism – but my criticism of that finding is constitutional, not moral. I also think things like this are appropriately handled at the state, not the Imperial Federal level. But I also don’t think government at any level should be making blanket legislation regarding medical decisions. And the moment you start carving out exceptions for every different circumstance, you eventually end up with – the IRS.
So to many pro-life conservatives, my libertine stance on abortion renders me a suspicious character – maybe a RINO.
On the plus side for almost everyone in the Republican Party, I’ve been a registered Republican and a reliable GOP voter since 1979. I’m a Life Member of the NRA and a long-time (40 years) Second Amendment activist (probably something of an understatement there.)
I wrote a book on the antics of hysterical (and almost universally left-wing) animal rights kooks. I think, and regularly write, that the three great, transcendent crises the United States faces today are the runaway Imperial debt, the unconstitutional ballooning of the Imperial Federal government and the rise of radical, fundamentalist Islam.
But, as I said earlier, the term RINO is all too often used to describe any Republican that the complainer disagrees with on any given issue. And I’ve had it applied to me, by one or two (hundred) folks, because they differ from me on one or more of the above issues.
That’s far too broad – and ridiculous – a brush.
A long time ago Ben Franklin quipped “We must all hang together, or we shall most assuredly hang separately.” We of the political Right need to learn from him. We need to remember that someone who disagrees with us 20% of the time agrees with us 80% of the time.
We’ll keep losing Presidential elections until we figure that out.
But let’s go for it anyway. Here are ten tax facts the IRS doesn’t want you to know. The first two:
This is shaping up to be a tough year for the Internal Revenue Service…and, potentially, for taxpayers. Not only is the agency hobbled by budget cuts, but it faces more demands due to Obamacare and rampant tax-related identity theft. Customer service will be worse than ever.
The IRS ideally projects an image of efficiency and fairness. But as a government agency, it also has to inform citizens about its inner workings. Gleaned from its public documents, here are 10 facts the IRS would probably rather the American public did not know:
1. It’s unlikely that you’ll get audited. The IRS audited fewer than 1 percent of individual returns last year and this number is likely to drop again this year due to budget cuts. The IRS budget approved by Congress this fiscal year is $10.9 billion, down from $12 billion in 2012. The agency has about 17,000 fewer staffers than it did in 2010. Meantime, it has to deal with a surge in tax refund identity theft (see No. 6, below) as well as complex new filing requirements related to Obamacare.
Of course, the odds of getting audited are a lot higher for some taxpayers. If your income is over $1 million, your chances of getting audited jumps to 11 percent. And there are plenty of additional red flags that can trigger an IRS audit.
2. Calling us for help is a crapshoot. If you need to speak to an IRS agent, you may be out of luck. Last year, 35.6 percent of phone calls went unanswered by customer service representatives. But this year the IRS projects only 43 percent of callers will get through to an agent after a wait of 30 minutes. That’s an average, notes National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson, in a January report to Congress. That means some days will be “truly abysmal,” she says.
Well, hell, thanks to the IRS and the bureaucrats and politicians that pass the laws and make the regulations that comprise tax policy, plenty of days are “truly abysmal” for taxpayers, too.
The U.S. tax code is, at last and best information, somewhere close to 80,000 pages. The truth of it is that nobody understands this monstrosity, not even the IRS agents who are supposed to advise the citizenry on their tax returns. My own dear Mrs. Animal can testify to that; she has been doing our taxes for twenty years, and as our business has grown, gone international and become more complex, so has our tax filing. When our kids were growing up, they knew Mom was a little cranky around tax time and made allowances.
A truly fair tax code should be simple. A truly fair tax filing should be along the lines of “Enter your income form all sources on line A. Multiply your income by .065 and enter that on line B. This is your tax liability.” I’d be willing to exclude, say, the first $30,000 (or whatever number makes sense) from taxation.
I’d much rather have the Fair Tax, but I’d settle for an honestly flat tax.
In what way is this anything but a catastrophe?
President Obama has made noises about tax reform, which in his lingo means raising tax rates and coming up with new taxes and fees. The new GOP Congress has made similar noises, which in their case almost certainly means putting a fresh coat of lipstick on the same old pig.
Why isn’t there a Presidential candidate out there willing to talk about this?
I’m really beginning to warm up to the idea of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as a Presidential candidate. Here is a relevant video from RealClearPolitics; partial transcript:
“I think any realistic candidate has to be in by this summer,” Walker said. My budget will come out next Tuesday, for the fifth and sixth year in a row I’ll lower property taxes. I want a few months to get that job done. But I’ll be in New Hampshire and South Carolina and back in Iowa, and we’re going to be talking about these issues for the next several months. We’re excited where we can take this country.”
“And if you were going to give me odds of you running, what are the odds?” Hannity asked.
“I don’t think it’s ever been good to bet against me,” Walker said. Certainly in the last three elections for governor in the past four years, I wouldn’t be betting against me in a race like this either.”
And an article from The American Conservative; excerpt:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s appearance at Iowa’s first major cattle call for Republican presidential candidates has attracted a lot of buzz.
Walker has never been a great orator, but he was able to win multiple standing ovations from the conservative crowd. It’s enough to make some Republicans wonder: does Walker make as much sense in practice as he does on paper?
Consider that Walker took on public-sector unions in labor-friendly Wisconsin and won. Ohio Gov. John Kasich picked much the same fight and lost. Counting the recall election, Walker has thrice taken the best shot national Democratic and liberal organizations can deliver and won each time in what can fairly be described as a blue state.
Governors Walker’s first foray into the hustings is interesting as well:
And that’s the main reason I’m coming to favor Governor Walker as a candidate. Like Mitt Romney, he’s been through the national wringer; unlike Mitt Romney, he’s taken everything the major media outlets and the political Left has been able to throw at him and went on to win three elections, in four years, in a blue state.
Walker has some fiscal chops. Wisconsin’s residents are enjoying continually lower property taxes. The state’s budget deficit has been dramatically reduced.
He’s a self-described evangelical Christian, but he doesn’t seem to wear it on his sleeve. To yr. obdt. that’s not necessarily a plus, but as long as he’s not overtly vocal and pushy about it, it’s not necessarily a minus either. My stance on social issues remains the same as it’s always been: I really don’t give a damn what people do, as long as they leave me alone.
The combination of fiscal sanity, some private-sector experience and proven campaigning expertise on what can only be described as hostile territory could make Governor Walker a very strong candidate – in a GOP field consisting mostly of luke-warm to lousy candidates.
It’s going to be an interesting election cycle. But then, most of them are.
And it looks like the Democrats’ heir apparent may have some competition waiting in the wings. Excerpt:
They have called Senator Elizabeth Warren “an extremely attractive candidate” in the 2016 presidential campaign. They have said that she is the “hottest commodity” in the Democratic Party and that she has demonstrated the “passion and intensity” that Hillary Rodham Clinton lacks.
Those glowing compliments are not from the liberal activists who are trying to persuade Ms. Warren to challenge Mrs. Clinton, who is expected to be the party’s leading contender in 2016. They come from conservatives who are eager to drum up a contentious Democratic primary and who see Ms. Warren, a first-term senator from Massachusetts, as best positioned to weaken, and potentially defeat, Mrs. Clinton.
Yes, an interesting election cycle – very interesting indeed.
A couple more bits of insight on the recent State of the Union, this first from the Weekly Standard’s Fed Barnes: Obama Blows Smoke. Excerpt:
We know that supply-side economics emphasizes serious cuts in tax rates and Keynesianism relies on massive amounts of government spending. But how in the world does “middle class economics” work? After President Obama cited it repeatedly in State of the Union speech, I waited and waited for him to explain how it works. He never did.
Instead, he confused a cause with a result. Middle class economics, he said, “is the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not an economic policy.
Let’s be honest about this much; President Obama doesn’t have an economic policy. What he has is a healthy dose of 1960s style Keynesianism with a healthy dose of class envy rhetoric thrown in to stir up the Left. And to be fair, the GOP has (so far) not done a very good job of articulating an alternative.
How about talking up some real tax reform, like the FairTax? How about concrete proposals for dealing with our Ice-Age style, mile-thick glacier of Imperial debt that is creeping steadily down on our children and grandchildren?
Here’s another, this from National Journal’s Ron Fournier: Does Obama Believe What He Says Anymore? Excerpt:
“Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns,” he told a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. “Imagine if we did something different.”
Yes, imagine if rather than empty promises, the president could report two-party progress on big issues like immigration, climate change, social mobility, and the debt and deficit.
Actually, you don’t need to imagine. Such leadership exists in this country—just not in Washington.
And, indeed, this is true. It’s going on in Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker has reined in that state’s runaway finances. It’s going in in Michigan, where Governor Rick Snyder has dealt with Detroit’s fiscal nightmare and worked out the state’s problems with unfunded pension costs. All around the country (well, not in California, where the lunatics continue to run the asylum) state Governors are accomplishing what the Imperial City is helpless to address.
Maybe, in 2016, we need to stick one of these Governors in the Imperial Mansion.