Serving Up Hot Link Must Reads

In no particular order, let’s take a random look at what has my tab bar all cluttered up:

Sir Elton John: is actually a brave knight willing to dare the dangerous Swamp of Political Incorrectness. First the Limbaugh wedding, now a concert in Israel, where other artists are too cowardly (and too well-trained by the collective) to go.

“Ain’t gonna stop me from coming here, baby,” he told the cheering crowd in Tel Aviv, saying he believed music should spread peace and bring people together: “That is what we do. We do not cherry-pick our consciences, OK?” he added, in an apparent swipe at the artists who have canceled concerts in Israel . . . “I have always believed that music inhabits a world set apart from politics, religious differences or prejudice of any kind,” [John] said in a statement before coming to Tel Aviv.

A renegade to the end, bless him. “Building bridges” used to be what liberalism was all about.

Mark Steyn, meanwhile, looks at a Jewish Cemetery in Tunisia

Churchill would have recognized
this gathering storm. Check out what he said 70 years ago today

And the rain falls on the just and the unjust, too: Michael Gerson on Mitch Daniels:

“If there were a WMD attack, death would come to straights and gays, pro-life and pro-choice,” he told me. “If the country goes broke, it would ruin the American dream for everyone. We are in this together. Whatever our honest disagreements on other questions, might we set them aside long enough to do some very difficult things without which we will be a different, lesser country?”

Insty get yer gun: Instapundit reveals at what point he will haul out his guns. I happen to agree with him about the “signal” and what it would mean. And I say get your guns while you can.

Of course, with stuff like this going on, there may be other reasons to keep the arms nearby. Why do we not have pictures of these men? I mean, pictures of the AWOL Afghanis strikes me as a little more urgent a matter than asking General Petraeus if we have renewable energy in our Afghan bases. Un. Real.

Bobby Jindal: Getting really and righteously pissed off. Who is giving odds that the Louisiana Governor will go rogue!

If so perhaps this chef-turned-seminarian will make him some gumbo, as a reward! There is another great vocation story here.

Theodore Dalrymple on the psychobabble that surrounds us

BP & the “transparent” Obama government: are thwarting press access into the Gulf. You’ll note there are few new images coming out of the area. And somehow, the press just sits down and doesn’t go to court over it.

Jay Rosen: a very smart look at the clowns and jokers of the press, who really don’t have to worry about losing their freedoms via Obama. They’ll just surrender them, themselves.

Sally Quinn, sounding insipid:

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden should switch jobs. Really. It makes sense for the Democrats, actually. Clinton has done an incredible job as secretary of state. First of all, she has worked harder than anyone should ever be expected to.

This column is right up there with NY Times’ Gail Collins inane post-election column of 2008, wherein–having no understanding or appreciation for the gift of a transitioning period she wondered why President Bush wasn’t simply resigning his presidency to make room for Obama two months early:

Putting Barack Obama in charge immediately isn’t impossible. Dick Cheney, obviously, would have to quit as well as Bush. In fact, just to be on the safe side, the vice president ought to turn in his resignation first. (We’re desperate, but not crazy.) Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would become president until Jan. 20. Obviously, she’d defer to her party’s incoming chief executive, and Barack Obama could begin governing.

These two women, Quinn and Collins, are thought of as credible, smart women; they live in rarefied air and wield a measure of real power. And they really are this asinine. They make me ashamed of my sex and my Irish tribe, all at once. These are exactly the sorts of people who think that those of us who do not appreciate Obama’s speeches are simply not smart enough.

Some are smart enough to wonder who told “the smartest president evah” that oil drilling is ‘absolutely safe’? Hmmm, I bet neither Quinn nor Collins thought to ask.

Oh, let Chris Matthews put up his propaganda, and don’t be afraid of it. Half his audience if on the right, monitoring him, and the far-left other half will never believe anything less than the worst. Why waste the energy?

Hope and Change, assault and battery, whatevs.

Of course it’s a tax; it was always a tax

But wait, I thought it was all about “the children.” Isn’t that what we read yesterday? That internet porn would necessitate the big switch? I am so confused.

Ross Douthat: A very insightful look at Hitchens.

Melissa Clouthier gets to chatting about blogging, the internets and Obama’s reaction to the Gulf with some other blogger who gets loud when she gets worked up.

Andrew Malcolm: Hopey Changey fading in Europe, too

“Do we have Ray Nagin in the White House?” Ouch.

Jules Crittenden: A great piece on Waterloo. Print it out and read it to the kids over supper! And then follow up by reading this remarkable story with dessert!

Stay liquid, for as long as you can. A Green Economy means red, and in more than just bottom lines.

Well, thing certainly look lousy; perhaps that is why I am seeing a sudden increase in purchases of canning equipment and books on preserving over at Amazon. (And btw, thanks for your Amazon orders!)

May we finally get to learn who Obama is?

Is Soros instigating a coup? In present tense? And why is something so obvious as a case of voter intimidation taking such a long time to identify?

“Let them clean the bathrooms!”
: Hey, if they use rubber gloves and have supervision I’m all for it. I bet they won’t misbehave again!

When it comes to our kids, we are very neurotic as well as screwed up.

A Bookworm and a Paragraph Farmer find common munchings

Goldman Sachs helping out the Dems…

No Pork sausages and wine at a Paris festival. It offends the people with the swords.

Joseph Bottum: An unnecessary execution

Baseball: somehow does not end its season in riots. Another reason why it is the best game.

Muslims and Catholics: fighting over the use of a Cathedral

Protestants and Catholics, and the neverending story also, learning the Latin for Adoration and Benediction

Coptic Christians and Egyptians: Guess who is suppressing whom?

David Mills: A Common Catholic Voice

It takes a very good musician to do this intentionally.

The pianist at my husband’s parish does it unintentionally, all the time, though. (H/T)

another linkaround

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Alexandrag

    Thanks for the many links. You have spared me hours of surfing!! Have a lovely Friday and weekend.

  • tim maguire

    Love the piano piece. Unfortunately, you’re right–one has to be a pretty good pianist to pull it off. And I’m not. Listening to the “really annoying” versions, though, I was not so much annoyed as reminded of old Warner Bros. cartoons.

    George Soros as Dr. Evil–yes, I believe that fits.

    The Douthett piece on Hitchens does not quite convince. I saw Hitchens at a library event a few weeks ago and after he finished his anti-religious rant, one person in the audience clapped enthusiastically, and then quickly stopped when she realized she was the only one clapping. Then a handful of others clapped halfheartedly out of politeness, and then just an awkward silence. I found that interesting considering the crowd (the NYC wine and cheese set)

    Later, on Althouse’s site some readers made a smart connection that seems obvious in retrospect but I never thought of it and most commentators don’t seem to have either–the man Hitchens blames for causing his mother’s suicide (she and her lover went together in a suicide pact) was a minister. Phone records show that she made several attempts to call Hitchens the night she killed herself, but he missed the calls because he was out.

    It’s understandable that he feels quilt, “if only I’d been home like any normal person would be instead of out drinking.” He blames the vicar both for the obvious reason and to spare himself that guilt. And in the case of a man of God, it’s not such a great leap to blame not only the man but also the god. Ergo, hatred of god and religion inspired by his mother’s suicide.

  • dry valleys

    I liked that quote about Richard Dawkins. It seems to me that I am of similar mental origins to him (though I am working-class & therefore from a different cultural background) but I too am essentially a European liberal who has no time for any of that.

    “one can be reasonably certain that he would not be Europe’s greatest enthusiast for Foucault, psychoanalysis, agitprop, Dadaism, anarchism or separatist feminism. All of these phenomena, one imagines, would be as distasteful to his brisk, bloodless rationality as the virgin birth”

    Or Islam either- neither me nor Dawkins is under any illusions about the RoP. (His encounters with Muslim creationists knocked out any illusions he might ever have had). We are secularists all the way through. Which you like in some contexts but presumably not when it comes to you.

    I normally hate Terry Eagleton (though his new book sounds like it may be vaguely interesting, albeit I can’t read it as my limited time is occupied with other reading). I hate the whole pro-faith “left” which vaguely assumes that religion of all kinds, especially Islam, is good in some vague way. The likes of Eagleton, Koran Armstrong, Madeleine Bunting, etc. do not go down well with me.

    Eagleton intends his words to be condemning Dawkins as some evil so and so who wants to take the magic away, to unweave the rainbow, but I think he gets Dawkins all wrong. The author all of whose books I have is someone whose wonder at the world around him is boundless. He marvels in the explanation of it that he finds in science.

  • Sojourner

    ..elizabeth…thank you for assembling a veritable cornucopia of must reads.. bless.

  • tim maguire

    If I could edit my post I would add a point to my library anecdote–I was surprised by the restrained reaction because the room was full of secular humanists, agnostics and atheists. Yet only one person seemed pleased by what he said. There is a vehemence to his anti-religiousness that makes even other atheists uncomfortable.

    Now if you as a reader could please insert that before the part where I talk about his suicide, I would be most grateful.

  • dry valleys

    Wasn’t Hitchens the darling of conservatives at one stage, because he thought foreign policy imperialism would be a step towards what he wants to see in the world?

    [I don't know that he was ever a "darling." I have always admired his pen, and agree with much that he writes, although I find his religious views unfortunate -admin]

  • Bender

    It’s time to abort any idea of promoting the odious Truce Daniels as a candidate in 2012. His call for a truce is nothing more than a call for maintenance of the abortion-on-demand status quo.

    How many more innocents must die as a result of his truce with the culture of death? How many innocents have already died as a result of what has, in fact, been a de facto truce these last 35+ years?

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  • Joe

    I still like Hitchens. I disagree with him on a lot, but love his writing. He would be an entertaining dinner guest (and I hear he quit smoking so he would not annoy you with that).

  • Joe

    Every true romantic needs a great foe, a worthy adversary, a villain to whose destruction he can consecrate himself. Never one for half measures, Hitchens just decided to go all the way to the top.

    That’s Hitchens.

    Somehow I suspect God will give Hitch a pass for amusing him.

  • Joe

    Wow! Samba!

  • dry valleys

    Apparently they also banned some Muslims from having a party of their own to counter the pork & wine celebration do.

    In general the authorities in Europe just ban anything where they think it will be more trouble than it’s worth. A lot of young people from rough families, whatever race, will kick off without much provocation.

    [I am not sure that banning is the solution, anyway. For either the Muslims or the non-muslims. That's just can-kicking -admin]

  • dry valleys

    Discriminatory regimes continue to push “anti-discrimination” agenda at UN

    Apparently the Vatican is in alliance with Islamist states in this instance. I always feared that people like Stephen “Christian Voice” Green would see the Islamist activity, making demands of the state, & decide to carve out their little empire. You’ve got Hindus & Sikhs doing the same. Yes, I do think Islam is the worst but the others just seem to follow suit.

    What happened to the idea that the state should be secular, & that if people wanted to gt others in on their religion they should evangelise them rather than coercing them via government? That the government should uphold the law & refrain from endorsing or persecuting anyone’s private beliefs?

    By supporting this I will doubtless be opposed by religious conservatives of all kinds.

    [The interesting conundrum about this is that if the Vatican and other religions do not tread carefully, they risk finding themselves excluded from the very protections that they would otherwise not be demanding. It's a very uncomfortable issue, but I think it's difficult for other religions NOT to want to be included in this sort of law, for two reasons - first because including non-muslim religions tends to (in theory) slow it all down, and secondly because no one wants to be the unprotected guy. But then I don't know if I am coherent, either. I have a headache. -admin]

  • dry valleys

    No, not all. You yourself are not like this. I mean elements of all religions. That we can’t single out Islam as if it were the sole offender, even if it is the worst.

    I am none too coherent today as I have been drinking/enraged whilst watching the England. Another wholly worthless performance, like the one aainst America. You’re probably best just going on the link if you want something that makes sense.

    [Oh, hon, you're as coherent as anyone. As for soccer...I'm sorry...I just can't get into it. I try. And then I fall asleep. -admin]

  • roc scssrs

    No riots in baseball? You impugn our fair city: link

    [I keep forgetting Phillie -admin]

  • archangel

    In regards to the Steyn article. To paraphrase, he finds the Euro-Islamo union as odd. I would remind him that Hitler had many supporters in Europe prior to WWII. He also maintained an Islamic wing within the SS. Further, he was great friends with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

    The point is that within todays framework, there are many fascistic Euro’s and they are as drawn to other fascistic mentalities… dare I say Islam. The union is a perfect blend. It was in Hitler’s time and it is now. It is also a union borne from Hell.

  • TCN

    About the psychobabble: people are not taught to be responsible for themselves, so why should they take responsibility for behaving poorly, or even downright evil? The notion that “that just isn’t me” is patently ridiculous, and requires a nearly psychopathic state of denial.

    These people need to be jailed, and also get help to see reality as it is.

  • Bender

    No riots in baseball?

    Don’t forget Disco Demolition Night.

    Video here.

  • Joseph

    Elton John is a trouper. He has one primary mission in life: to entertain people, and he does it without discriminating against his fans. I wish all liberal entertainers were like him.

  • Piano Girl88

    Golly ~ I think I’ve played on that piano! :~)

  • Bill

    “No riots in baseball?

    Don’t forget Disco Demolition Night.”

    That had to be one of the funniest thing I ever saw. I am originally from the Detroit area (the Sox were playing the Tigers) – the White Sox forfeited the second game of the double header because of the riot (or whatever you call it).

  • Bender

    That had to be one of the funniest thing I ever saw

    I remember watching it live, with George Kell and Al Kaline.

  • mrp

    2008 seems so long ago. The Obama Song

    (derivative h/t Glenn Reynolds)

  • JuliB

    I just had the most awful thought, Anchoress, and you were the first place on the net I thought to come…

    I’ve been reading a lot about the Gulf tonight, and something struck me as very telling. A buddy of mine who is anti-Obama posted a few things about the Gulf on Facebook. His critical posts usually brings out a couple of liberal apologists. However, on the Gulf posts, none.

    Then I thought about how horrified even the liberals must be, and how the Coast Guard is impeding possible solutions. Obama’s reaction (or lack thereof) seems impossible to explain. The health of the Gulf is at risk, as well as the economies of several states. How is this possible?

    Then I thought of the time Stalin was asked about the millions dead, and he said that it was worth it to build socialism (paraphrase). You need to break eggs to make an omelet.

    Is this not looking like it’s the only possible explanation for Obama’s “actions”? I’m sure I must be wrong, so I’d like anyone to point out the obvious factors that I’m not seeing, for whatever reasons.

    [It's one of those things, Juli, that no one wants to think. My heart would rather chalk all this up to breathtaking incompetence born of arrogance, rather to something nefarious. But I know you are not alone in thinking as you are, and wondering. I suggest we pray for the president. As Melissa and I joked the other day, "save the president and you save the world." -admin]

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  • Boothe

    How the heck does ignoring renewable energy actually HELP our soldiers…?
    If anything, the more fuel and supplies that they have to transport from place to place, the more danger they are exposed to just while running their supply pipeline. So a little thing like solar power at a forward base could SAVE LIVES…!
    Not that conservatives will let a little thing like saving lives actually get in the way of their pious pretenses.

  • brooklyn

    “These two women, Quinn and Collins, are thought of as credible, smart women; they live in rarefied air and wield a measure of real power. And they really are this asinine…”

    Indeed. It is really quite bizarre, to see such ignorant Partisan Denial being presented in a high profile manner.

    Has Quinn or Collins ever honestly taken the time to confront the reality the Clintons lied about GENOCIDE – the tragedy in Rwanda?

    Hillary Clinton has been dreadful as Secretary of State. Her first act was to go to China, to tell the World the Obama Administration they would not be concerned with HUMAN RIGHTS.

    Ironically, the Bush Administration was able to pass 3 UN Sanction efforts voted unanimously with some worthy Global Rebukes – Restrictions to Iran. Hillary Clinton could not get a unanimous offering, or even one with any real substance.

    Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, etc., are laughing at Hillary Rodham, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi. US Domestic Terrorist Attacks are on the rise.

    And TEAM OBAMA is destroying firmly held alliances with the USA’s best Allies – England, Israel, Poland, Czech Republic, etc.

    Even recently, Obama asked for more Global Spending, at a “G” Summit, to have the Europeans wisely rejecting this, calling for some return to fiscal responsibility.

    The Democrats, led by the insanity of Partisans like Quinn – are making a disaster for all.

  • JuliB

    Boothe – all nastiness aside, you do make a good point. But we do have that technology available already, so it’s not a question of ignoring renewables.

    I’m not sure how far this has spread, but take a look at some of the digital traffic signs at construction zones. In my state at least, you will notice a solar panel. My SO (who is in the know about such things) said that’s all that’s available now. It came from the private sector.

    I asked about costs, and he said it didn’t matter because you couldn’t get the generator based ones anymore. BUT… while it’s a little more expensive up-front, the pay-off is in not having to pay a guy to come out to each sign and refill the generator with gas over weekends, etc.

    I think most people’s concerns are that this speech was not the right time or place to discuss renewable energy. We have a Gulf that’s in peril – he needs to focus on that. And that cuts across partisan lines.

  • Bender

    Put your strawman away Boothe. No one has said to ignore renewable energy. And even if that strawman was saying to ignore renewable energy, there would be no danger whatsoever to your second strawman if those supply pipelines were connected to drill sites in the United States, rather than foreign countries.

    But let’s not let a little thing like saving lives actually get in the way of the pious pretenses of environmental extremists who refuse to let us drill nearly everywhere within the United States or close enough to shore that it doesn’t present great risks.

  • Bender

    You have to understand, Juli, that Obama, i.e. the One (laughingly, if embarrassingly, understood to be so even by his supporters), being all-knowing and infinitely wise, the most elite of all the elites who surround him, he believes himself, not only to be the Messiah, but the Word.

    Again and again he has betrayed his thinking that, if he merely says a thing, it will be so. In his delusional way of thinking, all he need do to improve the economy is say, “let it be so,” all he need do to create universal healthcare coverage is to say, “I decree there to be universal healthcare.”

    With the Gulf spill, it is no different. He believes that all he need do is say, “let it be capped and cleaned,” and merely by the efficacious force of his word, it will happen.

    Of course, Obama is totally divorced from reality in this mindset. But instead of coming to his senses when reality smacks him right between the eyes, in his continued delusions, he reasons that things did not happen as he decreed only because of some sinister plot and conspiracy by evildoers who prevented it from happening.

    Hence, the failure to cap and clean the spill is not because Obama has been sitting on his own ass, but because BP is purposely refusing to do the job and because evil Republicans care only about raping the earth for oil profits. In Obama’s mind, he’s done all that he can, all that he need do. If it doesn’t get done, it’s not his fault. It’s Bush’s fault. It’s BP’s fault. It’s YOUR fault Juli. It’s anybody’s and everybody’s fault except the guy who “has been in charge since Day One.” So get up off his back already.

  • dry valleys

    A close encounter with Obama

    “There is a debate that we’ve been having for a long time and we’re going to keep on having in this country about the proper role of government,” he said. “And I think that this crisis has been a good case study in how some people feel pretty contradictory about that role.

    “Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘Do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much. Some of the same people who are saying ‘The President needs to show leadership and solve this problem’ are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying, ‘This guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms’.”

    There was some real irritation in his voice when he said: “And so – and this translates into very concrete terms – I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies, and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said, ‘This is classic, big government over-regulation and wasteful spending’.”


    Just like Daily Fail readers who denounce the NANNY STATE when there’s a chance it might help the people they’re outraged by, but also demand that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE with regards to the things they’re scared of.

  • Bender

    That’s one of Obama’s biggest problems –

    He doesn’t know when to get the hell out of the way when he should get out of the way, and he doesn’t know when to act and how to act when and how he is supposed to act. He thinks and does everything backasswards.

    Yes, we want Obama to act when he should act and in the right way. No, we do not want the government to act if, by acting, that means a bunch of regulators STOPPING the clean-up efforts because someone on some boat doesn’t have a life-vest on. We do not want government regulators to act if that means spending weeks to do environmental studies before approving the building of berms by the barrier islands. In those cases — YES, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY.

    But, yes, we do want Obama to act by waiving the Jones Act, we do want Obama to act by enlisting the help of foreign nations, we do want Obama to act by asking other oil companies to lend their tankers to store the sucked up oil.

    We want the smart government that smarter-than-the-rest-of-us Obama had promised us, not the @&#* everything up government that he has given us.

  • JuliB

    dry valley – I believe this is actually in the fed’s domain. I don’t want an all-powerful nanny gov’t, but do believe they should act.

    Personally, I think O (or someone he appoints) should be a major figure in the efforts – one of coordination, rallying, etc. The gov’t should cut regulation to help everyone get the darn thing fixed.

    There’s a HUGE difference, even if it appears subtle to you.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    JulieB, I don’t want to think that about Obama either; but considering how he’s dragged his feet on this, and how he seems so very reluctant to do anything, except talk about weaning us from our “addiction” to oil, and building windmills and the like. . . I can’t help but wonder.

    We need to pray for him.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    There’ve been dust ups in baseball, but every game doesn’t seem to result in a riot, the way it does with the Lakers, or soccer.

    It is, indeed, the best game.

  • dry valleys

    Perhaps that’s because baseball players don’t enrage fans with performances as awful as those the spoilt & entitled England players have been putting in.

    You can see their point of view though. All this tedious actually playing the sport is a distraction from living a celebrity lifestyle & parading their expensive wives!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    That could be true, Valleys.

    On the other hand, bad though the English players might be, their audiences should be intelligent enough not to allow themselves to become “enraged” over what is, after all, just a game. And if the players have become spoilt and entitled—well, that’s what happens when the public over-idolizes, and over-identifies with, sports, and players.

    (I have seen plenty of terribly played baseball games, by the way.)