Hunting and gathering, circa 1962

August 6, 2014

If you’re as old as I am, this will be a little trip down memory lane. Remember going grocery shopping with Mom when you were a little kid? This Encyclopedia Britannica film captures the experience. If you watch all the way to the end, you’ll see how much an average mother paid for a shopping cart full of groceries in 1962 (warning: not for the faint of heart).

 


Today’s vocabulary word

August 4, 2014

barry


Take me out to the ball game

August 2, 2014

Two baseball lovers, George and Fred, had been friends all their lives. As children they played little league baseball together, as teenagers they were on their high school team, as grown men they played in their church league, and as retirees they spent their summers watching baseball games together on TV or at the park.

When both men were very old, Fred began to feel his life slipping away from him. One day when George was visiting him, he asked Fred a favor.

“Sure, old pal,” Fred said.

“Fred,” George said, “when you get to heaven, you have to let me know if they have baseball there.”

“George, I promise you, if there’s any way I can do what you’re asking, I will.”

Fred died soon afterward. After the funeral, George went home and sat down in an armchair to rest, and soon he fell asleep. He was awakened by a blinding light, and heard a voice calling his name.

“Who is it?” George asked, frightened.

“George, it’s okay. It’s me, Fred.”

“Fred! Is it really you? Where are you?”

“I’m in heaven. I have some good news for you, and some bad news. Which do you want first?”

“Give me the good news first.”

“Well, the good news is that there’s baseball in heaven! And all of our old buddies who died before us are here! And we’re all young again! And every day is warm and sunny! And we can play baseball all day long without ever getting tired!”

Naturally, George was overjoyed.

“That’s wonderful!” he said. “So what’s the bad news?”

“The bad news is you’re pitching Tuesday.”


Ruth Buzzi Ginsburg to stay put, for now

August 2, 2014

From ScrappleFace.com.

(2014-08-01) — Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, under pressure from Democrats to retire before a potential Republican majority takes the Senate, said this week that she’ll remain on the highest court in the land, “So am as can able do to, and perhaps longer.”

The octogenarian Liberal jurist said she’s monitoring her own ability to do the job, and will know when it’s time to go based on several indicators.

“Can you think as carbuncle masticate curmudgeon? Can you wrote fluidity pastoral semper fi? At my age, you take it year by hamstring staplegun cantaloupe. I’m OK this year.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he has spoken informally with Ginsburg at a D.C. social event and that “she’s as lucid and intellectually-sharp as ever I’ve seen her. I’m comfortable with her extending her tenure on the Court.”

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg released this recent photograph as additional evidence of her fitness to remain on the high court.


Don’t fence me in

August 1, 2014

“For all the pop romance in Latin America associated with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, few Latinos prefer to immigrate to such communist utopias or to socialist spins-offs like Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Peru.

“Instead, hundreds of thousands of poor people continue to risk danger to enter democratic, free-market America, which they have often been taught back home is the source of their misery. They either believe that America’s supposedly inadequate social safety net is far better than the one back home, or that its purportedly cruel free market gives them more opportunities than anywhere in Latin America – or both.

“Mexico strictly enforces some of the harshest immigration laws in the world that either summarily deport or jail most who dare to cross Mexican borders illegally, much less attempt to work inside Mexico or become politically active. If America were to emulate Mexico’s immigration policies, millions of Mexican nationals living in the U.S. immediately would be sent home.

“How, then, are tens of thousands of Central American children crossing with impunity hundreds of miles of Mexican territory, often sitting atop Mexican trains? Does Mexico believe that the massive influxes will serve to render U.S. immigration law meaningless, and thereby completely shred an already porous border? Is Mexico simply ensuring that the surge of poorer Central Americans doesn’t dare stop in Mexico on its way north?” ―Victor Davis Hanson, The Moral Crisis on Our Southern Border

“One can make a case that those Democrats who virtually invited a flood of underage migrants to our shores are more culpable for the humanitarian emergency than those who simply reacted once it was underway. The president’s unilateral granting of legal status to the children of immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission together with the 2008 law providing special treatment for children thought to be victims of trafficking sent a signal that was received and then amplified throughout Central America. The Department of Homeland Security seemed to know in advance that the deluge was coming: In January of 2014, it advertised for contractors to help with the ‘resettlement’ of up to 65,000 underage migrants. Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he warned the administration about the influx but got the impression that ‘they weren’t that interested.’

“Or perhaps the president anticipated the flood but miscalculated its political effects, just as he misjudged the way the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl swap would be received. He may have thought that thousands of children crossing our borders would pressure Congress to pass the kind of immigration reform he favors. When it turned out differently, he resorted to partisan sniping. No crisis will go to waste – including those he creates himself. …

“Second to the human suffering, the most dismaying aspect of this border situation is that – unlike, say, the mortgage finance issue – it’s a relatively straightforward problem. Congress could repeal the Wilberforce act and provide funding for housing, feeding and deporting the children who’ve crossed the border in the past several months. Private organizations could contribute time and money toward making the children comfortable and arranging for their safe return. The president could state unequivocally (with special messages targeted at Central America) that migrants who cross our borders illegally will be treated humanely but deported. 

“This won’t happen, not because Republicans are meanies but because the president’s unremitting partisanship and small-mindedness have left him unable to do even the easy things.” ―Mona Charen, The Heartlessness Charge

“Does President Obama want to solve the border crisis? It depends on what the meaning of ‘solve’ is.

“The president says a majority of the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied children flooding across the southwestern border will be returned to their home countries. But his actions suggest that won’t really happen.

“Most of Obama’s $3.7 billion border crisis spending request will go to the ‘care, feeding, and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups,’ according to a statement to Congress by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Even some of the costs that appear to be slated for the removal of illegal border crossers — money for more lawyers, for example — will actually go to help the immigrants avoid deportation.

“Meanwhile, the one thing Obama could do — push hard to change the law forbidding the quick return of young immigrants from noncontiguous countries — is not on the table. … So no matter how tough Obama talks, vowing deportations at some point down the road, there seems little doubt people in Central America contemplating illegal entry into the United States will figure out that the president says one thing, but does another.” ―Byron York, Why Obama Won’t Take Strong Action in Border Crisis

“A country that does not control its own borders does not have any immigration policy. There may be laws on the books, but such laws are just meaningless words if people from other countries can cross the borders whenever they choose.

“One of the reasons why many Americans are reluctant to keep out illegal immigrants – or even to call them ‘illegal immigrants,’ instead of using the mealy-mouthed word ‘undocumented’ – is that most Hispanics they encounter seem to be decent, hard-working people.

“This column has pointed out, more than once, that I have never seen Mexicans standing on a street corner begging, though I have seen both whites and blacks doing so. But such impressions are no basis for deciding serious issues about immigration and citizenship. 

“When we do not control our own borders, we have no way of knowing how many of those coming across those borders are criminals or even terrorists. We have no way of knowing how many of those children are carrying what diseases that will spread to our children. And we already know, from studies of American children, that those who are raised without fathers in the home have a high probability of becoming huge, expensive problems for taxpayers in the years ahead, and a mortal danger to others. …

“Questions about immigration and citizenship are questions about irreversible decisions that can permanently change the composition of the American population and the very culture of the country – perhaps in the direction of the cultures of the countries from which illegal immigrants have fled.” ―Thomas Sowell, Bordering on Madness

“Obama and his socialist cabal are liars, frauds and hypocrites. Yes, they want to help the poor and downtrodden — but only with your money. Yes, they want to house the world’s homeless — but only in your home. Yes, they want to let in the world’s poverty-stricken immigrants — but only into your back yard.

“None of this ‘dirty work’ ever touches their mansions, yachts, private jets, private schools, or— God forbid— their precious children. Last I checked, Sasha and Malia won’t go to school with shoeless illegal immigrants with lice, scabies, and tuberculosis. Last I checked, illegals with head-to-toe gang tattoos won’t be mugging old ladies or dealing crack in front of the Georgetown townhouses of lobbyists, lawyers and politicians like Hillary Clinton. …

“Why are we sending this needy horde of illegal immigrants to struggling middle-class neighborhoods? Let’s bus them to the wealthy liberal towns. They’ve got the money and resources to care for them. … 

“While we’re at it, let’s demand they go to school at elite private schools, starting with Sidwell Friends School, where Sasha and Malia attend class. Let’s see how Michelle reacts when her precious daughters come home with lice, or cough with TB, or party with tattooed gangbangers from El Salvador.” ―Wayne Allyn Root, Send the Invading Illegals to DC, Manhattan, and Beverly Hills

“Some in the conservative press call the president incapable, unable to handle the situation. But he is not so stupid he doesn’t know this is a crisis. He knows his poll numbers are going to go even lower next month because of it. …

“There is every sign he let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be ‘comprehensive,’ meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.

“The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?” ―Peggy Noonan, The Crisis on the Border

“Conservatives should be proud that their beautiful country is such a beacon, even as they insist upon the integrity of its borders. To so coldly pretend that it should not matter greatly to the likes of Jose Antonio Vargas whether he lives in the Philippines or in the United States is to conflate two discrete issues, mixing up what one might wish with what one must do. That sympathy itself does not carry with it the power to repeal settled law is no good case against sympathy itself; nor does demanding consistently that violators be ejected require us to suppress all of our sorrow. Quite the contrary, in fact. To recognize that an outcome is regrettable but to insist upon it anyway is the very essence of the rule of law. Conservatives who find themselves trying to push the outcomes into perfect moral symmetry with the rules will soon see the latter bend and break. Not all those who benefit from our laws are saints; nor are all those who suffer villains. The law is the law regardless.

“Which is to say that not everybody who tries to sneak in should be treated as a pariah, and we should not reflexively regard the appearance of aspiring faces on our southern border as a portent of ill. It has always amused me a little that the Salons and Mother Joneses of the world simultaneously believe that the United States is a terrible, racist, unequal, shallow, materialistic, misogynistic sort of place, and that the prospect of dismissing anybody at the border is unspeakably awful; while conservatives believe that the United States is the greatest nation that there has ever been, a shining, glittering city on a hill, and the last, great hope for mankind, and that to loudly acknowledge that it is utterly heartbreaking for would-be immigrants to be rightfully denied admission is only to encourage the lawbreakers. Absent an unwise shift to open borders, there will always be losers in our regime. Our job is to distinguish between those we want and those we don’t. It is not to resent the latter for trying.” ―Charles C. W. Cooke, It’s Fine to Feel Sorrow for the Deportees

“The Guatemalan boy who died in South Texas is not the only victim of the willful negligence that the Washington political elite has shown toward securing our border. American workers who have lost their jobs or seen their wages diminished because of competition from illegal alien laborers are victims, too.

“So, too, are those who have been victimized by drug smugglers and other criminals who have entered our country illegally. So, too, are law-abiding aliens from distant lands who would love to immigrate to the United States, but must stand in line behind lawbreakers.

“And so, too, our own children, who are likely to pay even a steeper price than we have for our political elite’s growing contempt for the rule of law.” ―Terence Jeffrey, Uncle Sam’s Unfenced Swimming Pool

“The January 2014 solicitation published by DHS’s bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement foretells (a) the arrival of 65,000 ‘unaccompanied alien children,’ and, tellingly, (b) the administration’s intention to transfer them to ‘Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.’ Weasel Zippers points out the glaring fact, largely ignored by the press, that by planning to dispatch the new arrivals to ORR, the administration implicitly presumed that they should be deemed refugees, not excludable or deportable illegal aliens.

“The mission of the ORR is to settle ‘new populations’ within the United States, not to detain them pending expulsion. Clearly, the plan was — is — to seed thousands of illegal aliens in cities and towns throughout the country. …

“The president has spent nearly six years giving effective legal immunity to millions of illegal aliens already here. His administration, meanwhile, hooks them on the government gravy train and fights state efforts to detain them, deny social services to them, and prevent them from fraudulently voting. Under those circumstances, the rolling out of a federal red carpet for teeming masses of illegal aliens must be understood as intentional.” ―Andrew McCarthy, An Obama-Caused Border Disaster

For further enlightenment:

HHS Sending Illegals with Contagious Diseases to States, by Tony Lee

The Border Kids and the Drug Warby Jacob Sullum

Illegals Tell Border Patrol “Obama Will Take Care of Us” as Border is Overrun, by Kit Lange

What the Illegals Understand, by Scott Johnson

Hillary: On Second Thought, Maybe Some of These Illegal Immigrant Children Shouldn’t Be Sent Back, by Allahpundit

Illiberal Immigration Reform, by Victor Davis Hanson

Andrew Klavan: Country Without Borders (video)

Judge Jeanine: Obama Deliberately Encouraging Illegal Immigration (video)

 


Happy birthday, J. K. Rowling

July 31, 2014


Rockin’ robins

July 31, 2014

We all know that some birds are virtuoso vocalists, but it turns out that some are pretty good composers as well:

Here’s a featherhead who really knows how to dance:

And here’s a birdbrain who excels at sports:

 


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