Author Archives: Bok

How would Braveheart Vote on Scotland?

140915-Braveheart-scotlandActually Mel Gibson, and even William Wallace, were minor figures in Scottish independence. Robert the Bruce (click the WSJ Michael Penman book review) was the real Braveheart in 1320.

Scotland eventually joined the UK in a merger of equals. In fact the Scots ruled England when King James King IV inherited the throne in 1603.

Nial Ferguson was born in Scotland and he doesn’t get the 21st century independence movement. He thinks it will be an economic disaster.

The economic risks are so glaring that even Paul Krugman and I agree it’s a terrible idea. What currency will Scotland use? The pound? The euro? No one knows. What share of North Sea oil revenues will go to Edinburgh? What about Scotland’s share of Britain’s enormous national debt?

American Braveheart

King James wasn’t the only ruler with Scottish breeding. Gordon Brown is a Scotsman and, according to Wesley Pruden, most American presidents have had Scottish blood.

Three-fourths of the presidents, including Washington, Jefferson and Madison, were of Scottish descent. So have been half of the secretaries of the Treasury, a third of the secretaries of State. Both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, like Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, were of Scottish blood. So, too, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart and Ambrose Burnside, and later John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton. America would not have a military tradition but for the sons of Scotland the Brave.

Abuse of Congress

140913abuseRepublican Senator Jeff Sessions thinks Congress is in an abusive relationship with the president.

Abuse

National Review Online published a speech Sessions gave on Wednesday. He complained that no Democrat would support legislation to block President Obama from issuing executive orders on immigration.

The Senate Democratic conference has supported and enabled the president’s unlawful actions and blocked every effort to stop them…

Just yesterday Majority Leader Reid wrote in a tweet something that was shocking. He said: “Since House Republicans have failed to act on immigration, I know the President will. When he does, I hope he goes Real Big.”

Let this sink in for a moment. The majority leader of the Senate is bragging that he knows the president will circumvent Congress to issue executive amnesty to millions…

Is the Caliphate Islamic?

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Is the Pope Catholic?

President Obama says the Islamic State isn’t Islamic. The Washington Post says “Americans disagree” and has nifty charts and polls to prove it. Daniel Pipes disagrees too. The Middle East scholar says ISIS is “100% Islamic”.

Dennis B. Ross says, in the NYT, that ISIS is Islamist and “Islamists are not our friends”.

What the Islamists all have in common is that they subordinate national identities to an Islamic identity.

Peggy Noonan (click The Genocide of the Mideastern Christians – WSJ) says the Islamic State is “de-Christianising the Mideast where Christianity began”.

An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.

Update: John Kerry is putting “the real Islam out there”.

Andrew Wilson in The American Spectator calls Obama’s claim “the grossest nonsense”.

Under Mohammed, Islam began as a religion of conquest. A commitment to wage jihad or holy war and to “smite the necks” of unbelievers has been part of Islam from the earliest days. In the 100 years following Mohammed’s death in AD 632, when Islam was still confined to the Arabian peninsula, Arab armies spread the faith as far west as Spain and as far east as northern India and the frontier of China.

 

Go It Alone – Later

140910-Go-it-AloneIn June the president said that since Congress refused to act on immigration he’d do it himself, just like the little red hen.  He promised to go it alone before the end of summer.

On Saturday he announced that he would delay his go it alone strategy until after the November elections. Ezra Klein, usually more sympathetic than not toward Obama, says this is dumb.

Senator Mitch McConnell has a point when he says, “What’s so cynical about today’s immigration announcement is that the president isn’t saying he’ll follow the law, he’s just saying he’ll go around the law once it’s too late for Americans to hold his party accountable in the November elections.”

Klein wonders why Obama is delaying his end run around a Congress he accuses of delaying immigration reform.

This is the problem with the White House’s decision — and, to some degree, the way they’ve managed this whole issue. If these deportations are a crisis that merits deeply controversial, extra-congressional action, then it’s hard to countenance a politically motivated delay. If they’re not such a crisis that immediate action is needed, then why go around Congress in the first place?

Ray Rice’s Knockout Game

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The knockout game was played in Memphis last weekend. It’s a game in which random people get sucker punched by punks. The idea is to knock the victim senseless. The knockout game is senseless.

But after seeing Baltimore Raven Ray Rice cold-cock his fiancé in an elevator I think I get it. The knockout game is a new NFL fantasy league.