The Week in Pictures: Human Events Edition

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to explain to a candid world how Independence Day became Dependence Day, well. . . it’s a long story. There’s only one thing to do: as Churchill said, “Keep buggering on.” (Question: Can we still say “buggering”? I’m badly confused about this. Either “buggering” is now wholly approved, or banned as an archaic macroaggression.) Happy 4th everybody. Go light a firecracker and annoy a nanny-state liberal.

Court as Lawmaker copy

Roberts copy

Toams Takei copy

Thatcher Che copy

Greek Check copy

Greece Sanders copy

Flag Sins copy

Flags copy

A flag to offend everyone.

A flag to offend everyone.

Lowet that flag copy

Confed Skittles copy

Comply copy

JV Team 2 copy

Oren copy

Candidates2 copy

TSA Medicine copy

Gay Agenda copy

Soccer copy

Drink and Derive copy

Jenner's Cat copyFrom a real live harassment training program:

Start by shaving off that mustache, which is harassing all by itself.

Start by shaving off that mustache, which is harassing all by itself.

Keep Scrolling copy OCDC copy DHMO water copy

Power Strip copy

About darn time.

About darn time.

The 1st and 2nd Amendment in one pic.

The 1st and 2nd Amendment in one pic.

And finally. . .

Hot 339 copy

 

Zarif on getting to yes

In the annals of murderous deceit and provocative audacity, the video of Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif takes the cake. The video aims at Zarif’s American counterparts and a wider American audience. It is posted on YouTube here with the full text of Zarif’s message..

Zarif advises: “Getting to yes requires the courage to compromise, the self-confidence to be flexible, the maturity to be reasonable, the wisdom to set aside illusions, and the audacity to break old habits.” Do check out the whole sickening production. It virtually defies belief. Mr. Zarif, where can I get the musical soundtrack?

Zarif, of course, speaks with a forked tongue about the qualities conducive to this particular agreement. He must be in some doubt on this point, but I’m confident that our own Supreme Leader has all the qualities necessary to enter into the deal in process with Iran.

Via Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard.

Extending Alinsky Rule 6

One of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals must support tactical lying, or lying on principle. Perhaps it is a variant of Alinsky Rule 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” I infer that the left loves it. Lying is one of their greatest hits.

I will formulate Alinsky Rule 6(a): “Lie when you have to, the worse the better. Your supporters will enjoy it, while others will be fooled by it and be reluctant to conclude that they were hoodwinked. Still others will remain sufficiently inattentive to suit your purposes.”

Think of Obamacare, peddled to the American people by the president of the United States without the utterance of a true word over a period of years. Alinksy would be proud.

Or think of the Iran agreement in process. Charles Krauthammer measures it against its professed objective and judges it to be founded entirely on the things which are not (to borrow the Houyhnhnms’ expression in Gulliver’s Travels). Krauthammer calls it “The worst agreement in diplomatic history.”

I may disagree slightly. I’d say it’s the worst agreement in the history of the world. It’s enough to make you doubt that Obama’s avowed objective is the one intended (a subject for another day, but consistent with the lying in support of the agreement).

Then we have Madam Hillary and the outrageous lies about her email as Secretary of State. Kim Strassel unpacks the lies in the Wall Street Journal column “Hillary’s email story unravels” (accessible here via Google).

Back to the Obama administration, let us not overlook the revelation of the destroyed IRS backup email tapes that were under subpoena at the time of their destruction. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Russell George professes to have no evidence that the improper destruction was done out of a desire to conceal information, but good grief, man, can you use your common sense?

Churchill on “A Peculiar Type of Brainy People”

As with so many other things, Churchill was on to the problem of the administrative state and today’s presumptuous liberal cosmopolitanism from early on.  A 1933 speech offers a perfect description of our Beltway mentality today:

The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within. They do not come from the cottages of the wage-earners. They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our county, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength.

Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias?

This quotation, and much more, appear in Larry Arnn’s forthcoming book, Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government, which will be released in October. But you can pre-order now!

Churchills Trial Big copy

Climate Then and Now

From volume 4 of Churchill’s Marlborough: His Life and Times, about the winter of 1708-9, near the culmination of the long war against Louis XIV:

But there now fell upon France a new and frightful misfortune. Since the beginning of December there had been a hard and almost unbroken frost. On January 6, after a brief thaw, it set in again with a bitterness so intense that two days later the rivers of France, even the Rhone, one of the most rapid rivers in Europe, were almost completely covered with ice. All the canals of Venice were frozen, and the mouth of the Tagus at Lisbon. Masses of ice appeared in the Channel and the North Sea. Communications between England and Holland were suspended; Harwich and the Dutch ports were ice-bound. Olives and vines split asunder. Cattle and sheep perished in great numbers. The game died in the forests, the rabbits in their burrows. From January 25 to February 6 there was an interval of snow followed by a few days’ thaw, and then another month, until March 6, of extraordinary cold. Thereafter gradually the weather became less severe. Thus this almost glacial period lasted into the fourth month. On February 4 it was known at Versailles that the seed corn was dead in the ground. . .

Their sufferings were extreme. In Paris the death-rate doubled. . .  In the countryside the peasantry subsisted on herbs or roots or flocked in despair into the famishing towns. Brigandage was widespread. Bands of starving men, women, and children roamed about in desperation.

But never forget that the industrial revolution and a warming world is a disaster for humanity.

Goodnight Vienna (3)

Omri Ceren provides an email update on the latest from Vienna, this one addressing “State Dept vs. State Dept on Iran cheating on deal — State.gov contradicts State Dept damage control on Iran violations.” Omni writes:

Day 3 of this, and still nothing on the record from the Obama administration about why it’s OK to let the Iranians be in violation of the interim JPOA’s requirement that they convert their excess enriched uranium (UF6) into uranium dioxide powder (UO2). The main argument appears to be that the Iranians got close enough: a “US official” told the Associated Press the US was “satisfied” with Iran transforming the uranium gas into something that’s not dioxide, and yesterday Scott Kemp – a former science advisor for the State Department on Iran’s nuclear program – tweeted that the distinction was about “minor chemical variants not meaningful in the slightest.”

No, it’s not. The issue isn’t about chemical variants of uranium oxide as mandated by the interim JPOA deal. It’s about the credibility of the final JCPOA deal that Congress will have to evaluate. For the interim agreement, the administration invented an unproven technological quick-fix so that it could cave to an Iranian demand – the demand to keep enriching – while still telling lawmakers that Tehran’s program was “frozen.” When that technological quick-fix failed the White House went into “Iran’s lawyer” mode: first they declared that skeptics were wrong and that the Iranians would stay in compliance – because White House scientists said so (!) – and when that became indefensible they weakened the deal’s criteria so they could claim the Iranians weren’t cheating.

The political problem is straightforward: for the final deal, and especially for the administration’s core claim that “scientists” confirm a one-year breakout time, everything hinges on the success of a dozen similar technological quick-fixes. At least a couple of those too-cute-by-half mechanisms are also likely to fail. In evaluating the deal Congress will want assurances that the Obama administration will hold Iran accountable for noncompliance. So it’s politically problematic for State Department officials to keep declaring that the Iranians came close enough, so who cares?

Maybe the State Department will come up with something else before the Iranian cheating is overtaken by events. But they’re on the wrong side of this debate. Every year the Congressional Research Service publishes a report on the JPOA. Every year the State Department publishes those CRS reports on state.gov. Those reports have no ambiguity. Here’s the language:

Iran is also to, in effect, freeze its production of enriched uranium hexafluoride containing up to 5% uranium-235 by converting the material to uranium dioxide. Tehran would take this step when it has completed the necessary facility, which is currently under construction.

The 2013 and 2014 reports live here.

The conventional wisdom remains that the President retains sufficient political capital to hold a sufficient number of Congressional Democrats on whatever Iran deal negotiators bring home. But if lawmakers were evaluating the agreement based on whether the Obama administration will even enforce it, 100% of the evidence cuts the other way. In the last 20 months, the administration has never called out Iranian cheating, and has instead played Iran’s lawyer on half a dozen different JPOA and UN sanctions violations.

The Palestinian aid charade (updated with a golden oldie)

You probably missed the story of the latest attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The blockade prevents the resupply of Hamas terrorists with the tools of their murderous trade. Attempts to break the blockade are held out as acts of pro-Palestinian activism, but they are at best stupidity in action.

In this week’s episode, the “activists” aboard a Swedish vessel failed to punch through the blockade when Israeli commandos boarded the vessel, searched the ship and brought it to an Israeli port. The foreign activists were detained and are being deported. (I am borrowing from the account of the episode here by Washington Post Jerusalem bureau chief William Booth.)

Now here’s the beauty part. Israel denied that the vessel even contained humanitarian aid. Asked to provide evidence of the aid, Freedom Flotilla Coalition member Ann Ighe sent this photograph:

Aid

William Booth reports:

The Gaza activitists said the larger cardboard box contains a solar panel, donated by a Swedish magazine, ETC, which also runs an “environmentally-friendly electricity company.” The panel was bound for Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Ighe said the Swedish Association of Midwives also donated a nebulizer, a machine used to inhale medicines, often used to calm asthma attacks. That is the small cardboard box.

Booth declines to judge the merits of the charade, but he gives Israelis the last word:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office wrote a letter to the activists, suggesting they would have been better off going to Syria and not Gaza.

“There is no blockade on the Gaza Strip,” the letter read.

“There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” [Defense Minister] Yaalon told Israeli diplomatic reporters.

The situation in Gaza “isn’t pleasant,” Yaalon conceded, but added that “if they were to decide to export strawberries from Gaza instead of rockets, the situation would be entirely different.”

At Commentary, Jonathan Tobin exercises his critical faculties in “Gaza activists brought hate, not aid.”

UPDATE: A reader suggests that we revisit the evergreen classic “We Con the World” (video below).