Senate Bill 1223 seeks to turn Texas into a two-party (rather than one-party) notification state for recording communications. This is a bad idea, for much the same reason that Jason Villalba’s House Bill 2918 was a bad idea, though SB 1223 has much broader implications.
In addition to making it illegal to secretly record interactions with government officials (including police) without informing them, it would also make most secret investigative journalism illegal (including pretty much everything James O’Keefe has recorded to embarrass the Democratic Party), recording interactions with corporate customer service representatives, and recording illegal activity would itself become illegal.
Or take this recent video of a counselor threatening to file harassment charges against a student merely for waiting for his adviser:
That too would be illegal under SB 1223. It’s a bad idea that should be quashed.
And mainly I’m just posting this because: A.) It’s a slow news Saturday, and B.) It gives me an excuse to put up Eddie Murphy’s “Shooting the Pope” bit. “I guess the guy figured, ‘Hey look, I want to go to Hell and I don’t wanna wait in line.'”
Speaking of Democrats and the Senate, there are bruising primary battles heating up up between the party’s corrupt wing and the party’s insane wing. (Sure, National Journal uses the words “pragmatic liberal” and “progressive,” but we all know what they mean.) (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
What set off this new round of ominous Israel concern-trolling was Netanyahu’s assertion that leftist NGOs, billionaires and consultants were making sure that “Arab voters are going to the polls in droves.”
Which was a fact.
The leadership of the Arab front has openly stated that it wanted to pull together any and all factions of Israeli Arabs, including communists and Islamists, for the single political purpose of removing Israel’s prime minister. Arab political forces are free to rally to unseat Netanyahu, free to aspire to dismantle the Jewish State, but if Netanyahu mentions any of this he’s a racist undermining Israel’s formerly pristine democracy. Or so we’re told.
Charles Krauthammer on the same theme:
The Obama Administration is so desperate for a nuclear deal with Iran that they’ve dropped Iran and Hezbollah from the terrorist organization list.
“If you want to know what Hillary Clinton would be like as president, you’re seeing it right now. There is no other Hillary. This is her.” Also: “What this utterly typical PR fiasco shows is that what they’ll actually get is familiar, tired, pathetic, dishonest, and embarrassing.”
“Hillary, I’m not disappointed that you’re lying. I’m disappointed that you’re phoning in your lies.”
If you hadn’t heard about it on this side of the pond, BBC Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended over a “fracas” (supposedly involving a thrown punch) with one of the show’s producers. Given that the actual details still haven’t been shared, it’s hard to say how serious the incident was.
TV star behaving badly, details at ten. You wouldn’t think it would have been more than a brief news blip, but instead it’s turned into a seven day furor as UK’s progressives howled for Clarkson to be fired over the incident and “cultural insensitivity” (including muttering a nursery rhyme racial slur that got caught on a microphone).
It seems that Clarkson, an unapologetic enthusiast for car culture and other masculine pursuits, has become the latest flashpoint in the culture wars.
Here’s a panel discussion on the Clarkson issue. Skip to about 8:50 in if you want to see Milo Yiannopoulos (Twitter’s @Nero and gay conservative journalist and all-around bon vivant) address the issue of structural prejudice against men in the modern western world.
Notice the immediate, sharp pushback Yiannopoulos gets at daring to question any part of the feminist line.
That’s the context on the Clarkson dust-up. My impression that it’s not so much what Clarkson said, but his refusal to bow to the usual victimhood identity politics shibboleths that has the social justice warrior types howling for his blood. That’s why they want his scalp so badly.
At this remove, it seems like the UK progressive establishment is far more incensed at Jeremy Clarkson than Rotherham and similar child rape scandals.
“The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States has always been above politics. It must always remain above politics.”
I’m standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.
Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.
Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.
In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.
The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember — I’ll say it one more time — the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can’t let that happen.
But that, my friends, is exactly what could happen, if the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, history has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war.
The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.