I’ve noticed it among the young.
I’m a woman, but I’m not an upspeaker. That’s because I’m old.
And very opinionated. Polite, but opinionated.
And I don’t like upspeak, in men or women.
I’ve noticed it among the young.
I’m a woman, but I’m not an upspeaker. That’s because I’m old.
And very opinionated. Polite, but opinionated.
And I don’t like upspeak, in men or women.
Most of us think we know a lot about what makes people fat. They eat too much and they’re inactive.
Newer evidence about the influence of gut flora indicates the iffiness of the first proposition, at least as a hard and fast rule. Certainly, eating less will cause weight loss. But the fat do not necessarily eat more than the thin, something I’ve noticed (and written about) before among my friends and acquaintances. There is no justice.
In recent years some studies have indicated that inactivity among children, something that was long thought to be responsible for increasing levels of childhood obesity, may not be that much of a factor either. Although the news came out four years ago, I don’t think it’s gotten widespread notice, perhaps because it goes so strongly against what seems to be common sense as well as PC thought. I think it highly likely that exercise is good for kids whether it leads to weight loss or not, but apparently it’s not the basic causative problem in obesity:
EarlyBird is based at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, UK, and has been observing in detail a cohort of city school children for the past 11 years.
A review published in 2009 of all trials using physical activity to reduce childhood obesity showed weight loss amounting to just 90g (3oz) over three years, and the EarlyBird study wanted to know why the trials were so ineffective. So they challenged some popular paradigms.
It is well known that less active children are fatter, but that does not mean — as most people assume it does — that inactivity leads to fatness. It could equally well be the other way round: that obesity leads to inactivity.
And this is the question EarlyBird was uniquely placed to answer. With data collected annually over several years from a large cohort of children, it could ask the question — which comes first? Does the physical activity of the child precede changes in fatness over time, or does the fatness of the child precede changes in physical activity over time?
And the answer, published recently in Archives of Disease in Childhood, was clear. Physical activity had no impact on weight change, but weight clearly led to less activity.
What does cause childhood obesity, which has been increasing dramatically for decades in the entire western world? From reading up on it, I can only conclude that it works something like this: some people have the genes that foster it and always have, but previously it was held in check by the fact that food was neither very plentiful nor varied for the vast majority of the population (there also was more physical activity, but that doesn’t seem to have made as much difference). Now that tasty, abundant, and non-monotonous food has become readily available in the west to even most poor peoplet, everyone is eating pretty much to capacity. Therefore those with the genes for it are going to become fat.
Being fat used to be a sign that a person was prosperous and healthy. No more. In the west, it tends to mean a person is more likely to be poor than rich (Michael Moore excepted). Certain ethnic groups, blacks and Hispanics, are also more susceptible, and their increasing numbers in the population will also lead almost inexorably to higher percentages of obesity.
Want 10 more reasons for increasing rates of obesity that have nothing to do with overeating or inactivity? You’ve got em.
Despite our growing hedonism we’re still a moralistic and somewhat puritanical species. It’s just that the target of our concerns have shifted, and what used to be focused on sexual prohibitions seems to have shifted to health rules, particularly on overeating and exercise. But maybe we’re not such bad folk after all, it’s just our prosperity and our genes.
[NOTE: In an attempt to head off the "just go on a lowcarb/Paleo/Taubes diet" people who seem to come in proselytizing on every thread about weight loss or diet, I refer those interested to this thread (including comments) and this one.]
Regular readers here may know that I frequently cross-post at Legal Insurrection, a popular blog with a fine and varied group of writers including several leading legal minds. They’re announcing a new feature called Morning Insurrection to which you may want to subscribe, at no charge. Take a look at what’s being offered.
It’s so rare to see a piece describing a political change from right to left that this one in Politico entitled “Why Am I Moving Left?” caught my eye.
It’s written by Thomas E. Ricks, a 50-something journalist who has spent the last twenty-five years specializing in writing about military matters, and he seems remarkably unreflective for a writer. He’s “puzzled” by not just his drift but by his “late-middle-age politicization,” since prior to this he had been a “detached centrist” who “didn’t participate in elections, because I didn’t want to vote for, or against, the people I covered.”
I can’t see how a person can follow politics and not have an opinion on them, so my guess is that until recently Ricks closely followed events in his field of expertise (the military) but not events in general, because he describes not a conscious effort to refrain from voting despite strong feelings, but a lack of strong opinions about politics at all.
So perhaps he’s just begun to pay attention recently, because he’s decided he doesn’t need to remain aloof anymore. One of the things he doesn’t like is what happened in the Iraq War, and he also thought that our conduct of the war in Afghanistan was “inept.” How that would translate into support for the left (or particularly Obama, who destroyed whatever good we did) I haven’t a clue, since a person would have no reason to believe the left would be better at conducting a war Ricks actually supported, such as Afghanistan. Nor does he explain what was so inept about Afghanistan, under the extremely difficult circumstances that country presented, circumstances that were known and predicted to be exceedingly challenging.
I’m not going to bother to fisk Ricks’ entire article. But if you go down the list of things Ricks says were what turned him to the left, you’ll find that most of them are emotional reactions where calling on the left to remedy things doesn’t seem to demonstrate much logic at all. Ricks doesn’t like the NSA spying, income inequality, bailouts, gun massacres. So: Democrats? Did they oppose the NSA data collection or the bailouts to a greater degree than Republicans did, and do they have solutions for gun massacres or income inequality that aren’t worse than the diseases? Ricks doesn’t even try to argue why he thinks they do.
I have no idea how typical Ricks is of any recent phenomenon. I’ve not seen any surveys on how political change has been going during the Obama administration, but I find it very hard to believe he’s not in a tiny minority, and that any change that has occurred has been in the other direction, particularly among millennials.
[ADDENDUM: Just now I looked up Ricks' Wiki entry, and after reading it I am of the opinion he's very much a liberal, and has been for a long time.]
Why is Ed Rogers so mild and tentative here?:
Nothing suggests the president wants to own, control or take charge of securing our border. He only met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry when he was shamed into doing so and he is not relaying any tough messages or talking about potential penalties for the countries that are exporting their citizens to the United States. Even the $3.7 billion he wants Congress to appropriate for the crisis is mostly geared toward accommodating the inflow of illegal immigrants, not stopping it. And that request has not been accompanied by any serious effort to lobby for its passage.
With all this, it is fair to ask: Whose side is the president really on? Does he support the beleaguered U.S. law enforcement officials who are trying to guard our border? Does he empathize with the American communities who are forced to deal with the influx of those who are willfully breaking the law?
It is revealing that after meeting in early July with immigration activists who oppose any efforts to return the illegal immigrants to their home country, the president went so far as to reassure the group that, “in another life, I’d be on the other side of the table.” It is not hard to believe the president has a bias on the side of the foreigners. It isn’t a leap or unfair to believe that emotionally and ideologically, the president’s sympathies are with the goals of the immigration activists — but since, as president, he has this bothersome responsibility of enforcing U.S. laws and protecting the U.S. border, he must, for the time being, avoid formally joining their ranks.
Rogers has long been an Obama critic. But still, contrast the polite caution of his accusations in this piece with the sort of thing you used to read every day about President Bush from the liberal press. And yet there really is no question that Obama not only is uninterested in securing the border but is actively undermining and even sabotaging border security for what he sees as political gain.
Granted, it’s a serious charge. There aren’t too many things presidents are required to do, and one of them is to maintain and defend our territorial integrity. Obama not only refuses to do that, he is neither subtle nor hidden about it; on the contrary, he is open in his contempt for the entire situation.
Obama has reached a new stage in his presidential life. It was nearly four years ago (November of 2010) that I made the prediction that Obama could be re-elected in 2012:
And then, and then—voila! Four more years! Four years in which he won’t have to answer to the electorate at all. He will be unleashed to do whatever it is he really wants. And does anyone think that would look moderate at all?
In Obama’s case, not answering to the electorate doesn’t just mean advocating unpopular things, or spending his time on golf and fund-raising, or refusing to even make an appearance at the border despite being begged, although those activities or omissions are all included. It means endangering the country and putting its populace at risk. It means winking at the arrival of criminals from south of the border. It means dismantling the armed forces. It means releasing five Taliban leaders in exchange for one traitor. It means refusing to stop the rise of ISIS when it was possible to do so, allowing Islamist terrorists around the world to regroup and get much stronger.
And somehow it means that even many of those pundits who oppose and criticize Obama are afraid to tell it straight. I assume that’s because they fear they’ll sound as though they’ve gone off the deep end, or will be accused of that old perennial, racism. But it’s Obama who’s gone off the deep end—and this country is poised to follow him right over the brink.
[NOTE: In the comments section to the Rogers article, I found this interesting remark by someone who calls himself "brianc2221." I can't find a way to link it, so I'll just quote it:
Some on the far right have long claimed Obama's goal was to destroy the country. I never believed them UNTIL NOW.
I'm not sure how widespread that sentiment is, but I hope "very."]
The phenomenon was mocked in “My Fair Lady” but its origins predated that, in “Pygmalion,” Shaw’s play from which “My Fair Lady” and this speech of Alfred Doolittle’s was taken. Isn’t it interesting that, despite writing this, Shaw was a Fabian Socialist?
Here’s how the undeserving Doolittle ends up:
Be careful what you wish for, “That’s the tragedy of it, Eliza.”
How do you fight a group that is perfectly willing—nay, eager—to try to get you to kill its children even if you don’t want to?
That’s the situation Israel faces in Hamas. It’s the situation we face against Islamist terrorists, because they use such techniques as one of their primary tools, and the bleeding heart liberal west and the MSM all too often play right into their hands by demonizing Israel and the US rather than the perpetrators.
This is not new. It began when the west decided that war was something it could no longer in good conscience wage. Civilian casualties in World War II reached such a high point that we turned in revulsion against them, and the increasing accuracy of weaponry enabled us to entertain the idea—for a short while, anyway—that wars could be fought with “surgical precision.”
That would be true, if the enemy cooperated. But it doesn’t.
The Islamist terrorists didn’t invent the technique. But in order for it to come to full fruition, you need a west with a guilty conscience about itself and a desire to excuse the enemy’s barbarism, and an MSM fully on board with the program. This was already beginning to be developed during the War in Vietnam:
The Viet Cong were amplifying and extending tactics practiced in the First Indochina War, most importantly the militarization of civilians and an “opportunistic readiness to exploit any social ‘contradiction’ in order to bring about the violent defeat of the enemy” (Johnson 1968, p. 447). The Viet Cong would attack quickly and then withdraw without trying to win the battle. They would ambush American soldiers; they would blend in with civilians; they would target civilians. Schools were bombed, health centers were bombed. “A teenager was used to throw a grenade into a holiday crowd in downtown Saigon” (Pike 1970 p. 96). Any method that could pull the enemy off balance would be used. The disappearance of front lines and a clearly identifiable enemy was disorienting. It induced fear and paranoia: “Frustrated and frightened, U.S. soldiers tended to view all Vietnamese with distrust” (Lawrence 2008, p. 107)…
The Viet Cong used children as spies (Peer 1970), suicide bombers, and sappers. Recruiters preferred the young for sapper cells “because they are more easily influenced in their thinking, are willing to run risks, physically are better able to carry out their assignments, are less likely to question the arrangements for an operation, and are less apt to become double agents” (Pike 1970, pp. 74-75). ). Some youths were volunteers while many others were forcibly recruited (Goure 1965). The lowest age for recruitment into formal Viet Cong forces was 17, and boys 15-16 years old were eligible for “youth duties” in local hamlet militia (Donnell 1967, p.8-11). However, even younger children were utilized for special operations. Fourteen year olds were known to have worked for demolition units laying land mines (Elliot and Elliot 1969), and to have thrown bombs into police headquarters. A twelve year old was coerced into throwing a grenade into a village. A Viet Cong fighter was known to have given a small school girl an unpinned hand grenade and then told her to take it to her teacher: “At the classroom door the child drops the grenade, killing herself and injuring nine children” (Pike 1970, p. 107). The tactic appeared to work on the notion that the younger the child, the greater the psychological force. The Viet Cong had produced a tactical innovation with their use of children in war.
It is altogether fitting that John Kerry, who made his reputation accusing his fellow soldiers of widespread barbarism in Vietnam, should be orchestrating our diplomacy today in Israel and Gaza for the Obama administration. In addition to his unwarranted sarcasm about the care Israel has taken to minimize casualties, we have his (and Obama’s) working against the interests of Israel and for the interests of Hamas:
As Israel has uncovered the scope of Hamas’s infrastructure of murder and terror, the US has acted with the UN, Turkey and Qatar to pressure Israel (and Egypt) to agree to a cease-fire and so end IDF operations against Hamas before the mission is completed.
To advance this goal, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Monday night with an aggressive plan to force on Israel a cease-fire Hamas and its state sponsors will accept.
As former ambassador to the US Michael Oren told the media, it is clear that neither Israel nor Egypt invited Kerry to come over. Their avoidance of Kerry signals clearly that the US’s two most important allies in the Middle East do not trust US President Barack Obama’s intentions.
And their distrust is entirely reasonable.
The State Department has openly applauded Turkey and Qatar for their involvement in attempts to achieve a cease-fire. Last week Israeli officials alleged that the US was responsible for Hamas’s rejection of the Egyptian cease-fire proposal. By attempting to coerce Egypt to accept Qatar and Turkey as its partners in mediation, Obama signaled to Hamas’s leaders that they should hold out for a better deal.
Due to Turkey’s membership in NATO and the glamour of the Qatari royal family, many Westerners find it hard to believe that they are major sponsors of terrorism. But it is true. Turkey and Qatar are playing a double game.
While sending his ambassador to Brussels for NATO meetings, Erdogan has been transforming Turkey from an open, pro-Western society allied with Israel into a closed, anti-Semitic and anti-American society that sponsors Hamas, ISIL, al Nusra and other terrorists groups.
As for Qatar, the tiny natural gas superpower presents itself to Americans as their greatest ally in the Muslim world. The emirate gives hundreds of millions of dollars to US universities to open campuses in Doha and pretends it is a progressive, open society, replete with debating societies.
…At the same time, according to the Calacalist report, Qatar is the major bankroller of ISIS and al Nusra in Syria and Iraq. It gives $50 million a month to jihadists in Libya. It gives Hamas $100m. in annual aid. And in the past two years Doha has provided Hamas with an additional $620m. dollars, including $250m. it transferred to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal’s personal bank account, and $350m. in military aid to Hamas, transferred after the Egyptian military forced the Muslim Brotherhood government from power last July.
Add to that the $100m. per year that Qatar pours into Al Jazeera’s satellite network – which has dedicated itself to undermining pro-Western Arab regimes while popularizing the likes of al-Qaida and Hamas, and Qatar is the largest financier of international jihad in the world.
Manipulating the situation so that Israel or the US has virtually no choice but to kill civilians, including women and children, is popular in the Arab world because it works. It’s been working for many decades. In a 2007 piece of mine about the phenomenon I wrote:
When I was about nine years old, I read the Philip K. Dick story “Second Variety” (odd reading for a young girl, I know, but that’s the way it was). The work, in case you’re not familiar with it, was later the basis for such disparate cinema entertainments as “Screamers” and “Terminator.”
The story featured an end-of-the-world war with a series of killer robots made to look exactly like people, and designed to prey on the humanity of the good guys. The first robot type (“first variety”) looked like a wounded soldier needing help. The second variety was unknown, and only revealed towards the end of the story (I won’t be a spoiler here). But the third—the one that gave me a special chill—was a small vulnerable child needing help, a boy clutching a teddy bear.
At least in the Dick story, these small children were not real, they were only killer robots cleverly designed to look real. But the principle of using an enemy’s humanity against itself was the same. The challenge we face is now how to fight such an enemy effectively without losing our own humanity, and so far—arguments about waterboarding and the like notwithstanding—I have no doubt we have erred, if anything, on the side of caution.
Since I wrote those words, the Obama administration has been trying to retreat from the arena. But the issue will come back to face us again; there is really no retreat possible. Israel does not have the luxury of even temporary retreat, because it lives in that arena.
Makes no more sense than the previous tales:
In either case, a scratched HD platter wouldn’t result in a complete loss of data. This would be nearly impossible, given the simple physics of the device. You don’t change the orientation of all the ones & zeroes on a thin sheet of ferromagnetic material by scratching one part of it, any more than you could change the orientation of a magnet by nicking it with your snuff spoon.
A good lie is not that easy to come up with. Truth may sometimes be stranger than fiction. But still, if often makes more sense than fiction.
This article is filled with eye-popping statistics on the elite public high schools of New York and their demography over the years.
The uneducated immigrant Chinese and other Asians of New York today do what poor immigrant Jews of New York used to do—work their butts off to give their kids the opportunity to get ahead through hard work of their own, combined with brains. Black and Hispanic families in New York don’t seem to do the same anywhere near as often, and liberals are hopping mad about the whole thing because it gives the lie to many liberal myths, such as the fact that poverty is one of the main culprits.
So they want to change it, and since they can’t seem to change the different ethnic cultures and their attitudes toward education, they will change the way meritocracy works in the specialized schools:
These liberal elites seem particularly troubled by the Asian-American work ethic and the difficult questions that it raises about the role of culture in group success. While the advancement of Asian students has come overwhelmingly at the expense of more affluent whites, it has also had an undeniable impact on black and Latino students, whose foothold at these schools, small to begin with, has all but vanished.
Alarm at this development has triggered a new wave of assaults upon the entrance exam…The complaint does not allege that the exam intentionally discriminates against black and Hispanic students. Instead, citing statistics regarding declining black and Latino enrollment and SHSAT pass rates, the LDF bases its argument entirely on the theory of “disparate impact”—that is, that discrimination should be inferred merely from racial differences in test scores.
The new rules (“screened” schools)—which eliminate or minimize the entrance tests and emphasize other criteria, and increase black and Hispanic enrollment, and reduce the percentage of Asians—seem to have some unintended consequences as well:
A comparison of the eight most selective screened schools with the eight specialized schools shows that the screened schools, while more heavily black and Latino, are also considerably whiter and more affluent—and considerably less Asian. Remember that the specialized [test] schools are 13 percent black and Hispanic, 24 percent white, and 60 percent Asian. The top screened schools are 27 percent black and Hispanic, 46 percent white, and only 26 percent Asian. And while 50 percent of the students at the specialized schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, only 37 percent of the students at the top screened schools do.
So, in a nutshell, when you reduce the number of poor Asian students you get a richer student body composed of more white students as well as more black students. But, anything to get rid of those Asians, I guess, who have never been favored by liberals.
Like the Jews before them:
As Northwestern’s Asian-American studies director put it in a 2012 New York Times op-ed, after noting that whites were three times as likely as Asians with the same scores to be admitted to elite colleges: “Sound familiar? In the 1920s, as high-achieving Jews began to compete with WASP prep schoolers, Ivy League schools started asking about family background and sought vague qualities like ‘character’ . . . and ‘leadership’ to cap Jewish enrollment.”
Long, long, long ago, probably around the time I was in college, I realized there was a war going on against education geared to what used to be called “the gifted” when I was in grade school. The exam schools in New York are the crown jewels of the New York City school system, but the “progressive” battle against the meritocracy they represent (and its un-PC ethnic mix) will not stop until they’ve been dismantled and/or rendered meaningless.
What a long strange trip it’s been, from what would seem to be obvious common sense to institutionalized discrimination as policy.
It seems altogether clear that SCOTUS will end up ruling in the not-too-distant future on the legality of federal subsidies in states that have declined to establish exchanges. I just predicted that, if only for the sake of not upsetting the whole Obamacare applecart, ultimately the Court will probably allow those subsidies. And that’s true even if the justices have to torture the law to find a way to do it.
And torturing it will be necessary:
“There are specific rules about when and how the IRS can deviate from the plain language of a statute,” Cannon explained to National Review Online, arguing that the subsidies regulation fails to comply with those rules.
The IRS can deviate from “absurd” laws, in theory, but the subsidies language is not absurd. “It might be stupid, but that’s not the test for absurdity,” Cannon says. Similarly, the IRS can deviate in the case of scrivener’s errors — typos, basically — but this is not a typo, Cannon says, because the language was written into repeated drafts of the law.
“They not only keep that language in there, but they even inserted it, this same phrase again, right before passage while the bill was in [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid’s office,” Cannon says. “So, it’s not a scrivener’s error, either.”
Finally, the IRS could fill in ambiguous gaps in a law. The problem for the IRS, though, is that the subsidies language is not ambiguous…
“The power of executing the laws necessarily includes both authority and responsibility to resolve some questions left open by Congress that arise during the law’s administration. But it does not include a power to revise clear statutory terms that turn out not to work in practice,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in an opinion that Roberts joined in full.
The legislative history of Obamacare also shows “that Congress was considering all sorts of proposals that would withhold subsidies from states that didn’t establish exchanges or do other things.” So it is logical to conclude that there was nothing accidental or unintentional about the ACA’s language.
And yet I stand by my prediction about how SCOTUS will end up ruling, even in the face of the evidence. I think the justices, particularly John Roberts, are loathe to turn Obamacare into something unworkable, especially now that it’s been in operation for more than a half a year and people have come to rely on it. That was always the danger of the passage of time, and both sides knew it.
[ADDENDUM: At Ace's, DrewM gives some reasons he thinks SCOTUS may decline to hear the case, and that it will be decided in favor of Obamacare by the Circuit Court en banc.]
This in just a little while ago:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit delivered a huge blow to Obamacare this morning, ruling that the insurance subsidies granted through the federally run health exchange, which covered 36 states for the first open enrollment period, are not allowed by the law.
…The court’s ruling agreed with challengers who argued that the plain language of the law, which in multiple instances limits subsidies and credits to any “Exchange established by the State,” does not allow subsidies to be disbursed in exchanges where a state declined to establish its own exchange and is instead run by the federal government. Basically, the federal government cannot step in and create and run an exchange that is somehow still an exchange established by a state.
So, the court says that the law means what it says rather than the interpretation the Democrats gave it. For a more ordinary law that had been passed in a more ordinary way, at this point its proponents could just go back and fix it. With Obamacare, nothing can be changed. That’s the price you pay for passing a law no one wants through machinations that subvert the legislative process and cannot be successfully repeated because Congress is now determined to undo it.
So other methods will be tried to keep the law functioning as is. That’s why I wrote in the title of this post, “don’t get too excited.” The first approach will probably be to seek en banc review of the judgment, which means having the entire DC Circuit (eleven judges, seven Democrat appointees to four Republican ones*) rule on it, which wouldn’t happen till the fall. You can guess how that would go. And then I’m assuming it’s to the Supreme Court for the final word, and I’m also assuming that probably couldn’t happen till after the 2014 election.
[*NOTE: Remember the end of the filibuster for judicial nominees? That meant that Obama was able recently to change the makeup of the DC Circuit Court, the focus of that fight. At the time of the filibuster's demise, the Court was still an equally representative body, 4-4. After Obama had subsequently put three more judges on it, it became 7-4 Democratic:
The immediate impact will be to turn the D.C. Circuit — often the only check on a president’s executive power — into a rubber stamp for Obama’s unilateral rewriting of statutes, his questionable executive orders, his overreaching agency regulations, and his other Nixonian abuses of executive authority.
That is precisely what has happened, if the Court is asked to decide en banc. The Supreme Court is still nominally even between liberals and conservatives, but if anything should happen to any of the conservative justices or the swing justice during Obama's remaining tenure, that situation is finished, too, and the liberal dominance of the Court will be assured for many many years to come no matter which way the country trends.]
[ADDENDUM: The Obama administration says this will not affect subsidies while the case moves through the court system. It's not clear on what basis the administration asserts that, but maybe it's just "because we say so."]
[ADDENDUM II: And another federal circuit court has just ruled the other way, which virtually guarantees that SCOTUS will take up the cases in order to resolve the disagreement.
And if previous experience is any guide, I will even go so far as to predict SCOTUS will find a way to uphold the subsidies, for the simple reason that they have shied away from dealing a death blow to Obamacare, as being too disruptive.]
…just as over half a century ago they became Judenfrei.
Here’s the recipe: take a religious group that’s lived in your country for millennia, longer than Islam has been in existence. Kill some, threaten the rest, and soon you’ll soon have your country to yourself, free of the tainted influence.
Iraq did it to its Jews during the 1940s and 1950s, and now ISIS is doing it to the country’s Christians who have lived there for six thousand years (first as Assyrians, and then as Assyrian Christians at the dawn of Christianity).
The Western world should be proclaiming its outrage far and wide. But the Western world has defanged itself, and sits wasted and weary.
Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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