Your Morning Cup of Links

Kevin Williamson at his best:

You know what would be better than prosecuting those who helped the San Bernardino jihadists? Stopping them, i.e., for the Men in Black to do their goddamned jobs. An arranged marriage to a Pakistani woman who spent years doing . . . something . . . in Saudi Arabia? Those two murderous misfits had more red flags on them than Bernie Sanders’s front yard on May Day, and the best minds in American law enforcement and intelligence did precisely squat to stop their rampage. Having failed to do its job, the federal government now seeks even more power — the power to compel Apple to write code rendering the security measures in its products useless — as a reward for its failure.

The more you think about what the hell it is the federal government actually does, the less important it seems. About 80 percent of its activity, as measured by cash flows, consists of simply transferring money from one group of Americans to others in the form of Social Security checks and subsidized medical benefits. Its senior leaders steadfastly refuse to do their jobs: The border goes unsecured, visa controls remain nonexistent in spite of a specific legal requirement that the government address this problem, the roads and other infrastructure under the federal umbrella of responsibility are a mess in spite of the trillions of dollars thrown at them in recent years, etc. And the federal government’s answer is: “Why won’t those mean meanies at Apple do our jobs for us? So what if that means rendering many of their products entirely worthless and betraying the trust of millions of customers?”

Maybe your experience is different. In my experience, what government actually does at every level is hassle me and take my money while failing to do the basic things that we constituted it to do. The borders are a joke, the roads crumbling, the schools a sty of corruption and miseducation, and the police, as a wise man once put it, are a janitorial service that takes your body away after the deed has been done. Perhaps it is appropriate that our next presidential election may very well pit a reality-television grotesque against an antediluvian Red from Brooklyn. American politics consists of an increasingly bitter and hate-fueled fight over an increasingly irrelevant institution. If Apple disappeared tomorrow, the world would notice. You can’t say the same about the TSA or the Small Business Administration, and it is not entirely clear that you could say much better about the FBI.

LOL How anyone can support this lying fraud is just beyond me.

“So here we have a group of pale cisgenders, only two of which are womyn, whose collective net worth is more than a billion dollars, sitting in a circle in a Los Angeles conference room and rapping about how to connect with a poor teenage Cairene before he blows up or beheads someone. I rack my brain trying to come up with a more out-of-touch moment, an image that better symbolizes the aloof and clueless way John Kerry performs the duties of his office. I come up short.”

“Is the real Samantha Power being held prisoner in the U.N. basement with access to Twitter, while a Davos-friendly version of Arya Stark from Game of Thrones impersonates Power in policy meetings? Or was her book on genocide actually a clever way of advertising her services to a future U.S. administration, which—if history is a fair guide—would need someone to deflect responsibility for standing idly by while hundreds of thousands of innocent people were murdered?”

Yes, this:

Here’s what needs to happen: Rubio needs to call Cruz and offer him either the vice presidential slot or a nomination on the Supreme Court – the actual best place for Cruz – in return for Cruz throwing all of his support to Rubio. That would put Trump behind the eight-ball in a serious way…Only a Rubio-Cruz alliance will save the party from Trump. And both men need to put aside their differences for the good of the country and conservatism.

Obama continues to embarrass himself by steadfastly refusing to learn.

Days before North Korea’s latest nuclear-bomb test, the Obama administration secretly agreed to talks to try to formally end the Korean War, dropping a longstanding condition that Pyongyang first take steps to curtail its nuclear arsenal.

Instead the U.S. called for North Korea’s atomic-weapons program to be simply part of the talks. Pyongyang declined the counter-proposal, according to U.S. officials familiar with the events. Its nuclear test on Jan. 6 ended the diplomatic gambit.

So glad I grew up pre-social media

Locals in Fallujah rise up against ISIS after woman is beaten for not covering her hands

Tomb raiding is a growing problem in the Middle East

Max Fisher and the VOX clowns continue to embarrass themselves

I hate people. I really do. People are the worst.

Tourists in Argentina killed a rare baby dolphin after grabbing it out of the water so they could take selfies, according to Central European News.

The work of Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, portraitist of Marie Antoinette, is now on display at the Met

“Why I wept for Justice Scalia”

Hearing the news anchors fall silent for once, out of respect to the moment, was part of it: We in the chattering class chatter and fight and bicker incessantly. How seldom we rise above it in postmodern American life. I am so hungry, like so many others, for what I can still remember as the norm in American life: the time when we recognized, together, that there are things bigger than politics, bigger than the things that divide us…

The short, dignified, to-the-point prayers offered by his son, Father Paul Scalia, testified to the mercy of Jesus Christ, to the idea that there is an end to our struggles, a place of rest, a yoke that is light, above all a place beyond the mire we can see, in which we appear to be stuck.

I cried in this pause in our endless bickering, our deeply important divisions, to celebrate a life lived both fully and well, a great justice, a lover of the arts, including the art of friendship, a loving husband and father, a genuinely and deeply good man.

Obama’s new, moderate Iran, guys, continuing to moderate before our very eyes!

How two sisters and one murder inspired 500 songs

Oh no! Feminists worried that Adele finds purpose in motherhood

The first surrealist’s hellish world

“A Washington Winter’s Midsummer Delight”

Trump is now going birther on Rubio, who was born in Florida because ‪lol nothing matters‬. What an embarrassing time to be alive.

Used to think Ben Carson was at least a good man, but lately I’m starting to wonder...

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Filed under Around the World, Art, Politics, Uncategorized, Unusually Stupid Primates

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