Clinging to Guns, Religion and Antipathy

Random observations on a Sunday afternoon, tied together thematically by Barack Obama’s scoffing at people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them”–a group that, in his mind, no doubt includes me.

Let’s start with guns. Because of my Achilles tendon surgery, I hadn’t been to the range for six weeks or more. So it was fun to be back at my favorite gun range this afternoon, with Mitch Berg. Mitch shot his P-250 well; I was up and down, but had some good groups, especially with my Armalite AR-24. This one was the best:


Blowing up gunpowder is good for the soul, Obama’s disdain notwithstanding. As kids it was firecrackers, now it’s handguns, but the impulse is not dissimilar.

As for religion, we had a baptism in church this morning, always a happy event. It reminded me of this headline in yesterday’s Daily Mail:


Why the “baptised” in quotes? Are those scare quotes, intended to signal that you shouldn’t really believe it? That doesn’t seem likely. The alternative is that the Daily Mail thinks “baptised” is an obscure term that its readers likely won’t be familiar with. Can that possibly be true? I wouldn’t have thought so. But the quotes, whatever thinking may have lain behind them, were repeated in a photo caption: “Rite of passage: Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady took their little girl, Vivian, to be ‘baptised’ at the church where they tied the knot, St. Monica’s in Santa Monica, California, on Saturday.”

I don’t get it. Needless to say, the baptism wasn’t “secret,” either. One gets the feeling that the Daily Mail knows as much about Christian practice as Obama knows about firearms. Before moving on, here is one of the DM’s photos of Brady, Bundchen and the baby, who, as you can see, is wearing a baptism gown:


Finally, antipathy for people who aren’t like me. This one doesn’t fit very well, as I don’t really have much antipathy for anyone. But this group deserves a great deal of antipathy. The Chicago Sun Times lays out the results of an investigation into fraud in Illinois state government programs that has been going on for several years: “WATCHDOGS: Tally in Illinois grant-fraud probe so far: 13 charged, $16M embezzled.”

The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield has been busy the past few years investigating a variety of fraud schemes involving state grants. Thirteen people have been charged so far, six who have pleaded guilty.

Two of them have ties to President Barack Obama. One is the daughter of his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Another was chief of staff to Obama’s longtime friend Eric E. Whitaker when Whitaker was Illinois’ public health chief.

In all, prosecutors are alleging a total of $16 million in fraud involving state health or commerce department grants and contracts.

These people are not like me in several respects. For one thing, they are all Democrats. In several cases, money stolen from funds appropriated by the legislature to help AIDS victims, etc., was instead spent on Democratic Party campaigns. For another, they are crooks. The Sun Times described the various frauds; here is a sampling:

Defendants: Margaret A. Davis and Tonja Cook, of the Chicago chapter of the National Black Nurses Association

Filed: June 9, 2011

Charges: Mail fraud and money laundering

Details: Davis pleaded guilty, admitting that, with help from Cook, she siphoned about $500,000 in state grant money for “personal use,” including mortgage and credit-card payments. Cook, who also pleaded guilty, said “thousands of dollars” in grant money under Davis’ control went to pay campaign workers for former state Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago), who helped Davis win a $460,000 grant in 2006.

Defendants: South Side businessman Leon Dingle Jr., his wife Karin Dingle and associates Jacqueline Kilpatrick and Edward Clemons

Filed: Oct. 4, 2012

Charges: Conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering

Details: Dingle and his wife are accused of siphoning about $3 million in state health grants, using the money to buy $300,000 in certificates of deposit, make a $95,066 mortgage payment and pay for club memberships, among other things. Kilpatrick, a bookkeeper for Leon Dingle, and Clemons allegedly used $700,000 in grant money to maintain a vacation home in Hilton Head, S.C., and to buy a Mercedes-Benz, a Cadillac and a fur coat.

Defendant: Retired state Rep. Connie Howard (D-Chicago)

Filed: July 17, 2013

Charge: Mail fraud

Details: The South Side Democrat admitted skimming tens of thousands of dollars from a charity golf outing for “personal and political use, including expenses associated with the promotion of her campaign.”

More at the link, via Gateway Pundit. Why do Democrats always want more government spending, no matter what the spending is on, or whether it does any good? For some Democrats, at least, the answer is: because they can steal it.

So there you have it: a typical Sunday afternoon in the life of a bitter clinger!


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