Intimidation and compliance is unacceptable.

The terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists Stéphane Charbonnier, Georges Wolinski and Jean Cabut, their colleagues and visitors, and the police has shocked and horrified civilized people around the world.  The goal of these radical Islamic savages is to intimidate free and civilized people from speaking out against them.  Free speech must not be chilled.  The response to such atrocity must be to overwhelm these savages with speech, not to cower in silence.  The following headline from AllahPundit sums it up:  Mark Steyn: Charlie Hebdo was a target only because the rest of the media wouldn’t share the risk.

liberalism doesn’t depend on everyone offending everyone else all the time, and it’s okay to prefer a society where offense for its own sake is limited rather than pervasive. But when offenses are policed by murder, that’s when we need more of them, not less, because the murderers cannot be allowed for a single moment to think that their strategy can succeed.

So in that spirit, “piss be upon him”:

o-CHARLIE-COVER-570

MuhammedNo1

Muhammad5 Muhammad6 Muhammad4 muhammad2

 

Feeling the effects of Obama Care

Zeke Emanuel, the father of Obama Care, was recently quoted as saying that he wants to die at 75 because living past 75 renders us disabled, faltering and declining, robbed of creativity, feeble, ineffectual, and pathetic.  As a key player in the creation of Obama Care, Emanuel has done an enormous disservice to this country.  He knows that this monstrosity of law was passed by loathsome legislative procedural gamesmanship, and that it remains deeply unpopular to this day.  Only a progressive true believer from the Washington Post could view Emanuel’s comments with anything other than cynicism.  But the personal impact of such a one-size-fits-all bureaucratic approach is devastating.

My father recently turned 80.  He is healthy, active, self-sufficient, intellectual, and very much enjoys his life on the Northern California coast, where he enjoys watching the Blue Heron skilfully hunting the gophers in his yard, drives his Corvette on twisty mountain roads, flies his private plane, and develops his own photographs in his custom dark room the old-fashioned way–using photo paper and chemicals.

I can assure you that my father would not have wanted to die five years ago, and he doesn’t want to die now.  But he was recently informed by his physician that he was no longer eligible for any kind of preventive care that could save or extend his life.  Why?  Because under the Obama Care mandates written by Zeke Emanuel, old folks aren’t eligible for the kind of medical care they have previously enjoyed.  Zeke has decided that everybody should want to die at the age of 75, just like him, and that we shouldn’t waste precious medical care on the elderly.  And as a good progressive technocrat, he thinks it’s just fine to forcibly impose his views on the rest of us.

So my dad has to die sooner for lack of medical care because Zeke Emanuel, Barack Obama, and the Democrats in the House and Senate, have decided that they have the right to control what medical care my dad is allowed to have–whether he pays for it himself or not.

But the damaging impact of Obama Care is far greater than just the rationing and deprivation of care by government bureaucrats.  It is driving medical innovation out of the country.  This piece from the Wall Street Journal has the numbers.  It is inevitable that as more and more people personally experience the negative impact of Obama Care, and witness the decline in quality and access, there will be backlash.  But by the time Obama is out of office, Obama Care will probably have developed such a large constituency that it will be impossible to repeal.

An Educational Standard Only A Corrupt Politician Could Love

This is a great piece from the Wall Street Journal discussing the insane “new math” being taught under the Common Core standards.  We are not doing ourselves or our children any favors by dumbing down the math curriculum and requiring our kids to draw pictures for five minutes as a means of solving a 30-second math problem.  As a parent who helps his kids with their Common Core math homework, I speak from personal experience.

WSJ–Marina Ratner:  Making Math Education Even Worse

The New Glider

I am fortunate to live in a place that makes one of my favorite pastimes is only a five-minute drive away:  Slope gliding.  This is my latest model, a Mini Vector, and she’s pretty sweet.

MiniVec

This is one of the few ways in which living in West Los Angeles is a really good thing.

The obligatory foam-lined case.

MiniVec Case

Planted Fish Tanks

I’ve been keeping fish tanks since September 2006.  My current tank is an ADA 75-P, set up with ADA Aqua Soil.  It’s just a basic planted tank with Ryuoh stone and some driftwood.  At some point in the future, I may re-do it as a nature aquarium in the Amano style, but for now, here’s how it looks.

Tank Mid

Tank Close

God Bless Nicaragua

In point of fact, the best cigars come from Nicaragua.  If you can handle the peppery ligero bite, here are a few really good ones:

  • Oliva Serie V Churchill Extra
  • Padron Anniversary (1926 and 1964–any size)
  • Cain F 550 Tubo
  • Man O’ War Corona
  • Man O’ War Puro Authentico Corona
  • Punch Bare Knuckle Robusto
  • CAO La Traviata Radiante Toro