Friday, August 15, 2014

Thank goodness! Now we can make sure our Cheerios purchase is politically correct! Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller found this app:

Enter Matthew Colbert, a former campaign and Hill staffer, who has built a new app for smartphones that allows users to scan the barcode of products in the grocery store and immediately find out what political party the company and its employees support. [...]

The goal of the company, he said, is make "every day Election Day" through "spending choices."

Or, as Jim says, "That is, unless there's something I really want or need anyway. In that case, I'll just buy it, because I'm not a miserable leftist who can't even make a food run without turning it into a goddamn political statement."

Jay Nordlinger: "(I)f you waited to play golf until Islamists stopped chopping the heads off innocents, there would be no golf."

Ian Tuttle says "Feminists have made feminism frivolous."

For all of its convention-flouting, glass-ceiling-shattering exhibitionism, contemporary feminism has not served to individuate and personalize; it has served to create a yattering mob of indistinguishable activists whose defining characteristic is their obsession with their own genitalia.

And now memorizing The Vagina Monologues and dismissing as "a**holes" males who watch Family Guy is the intellectual output of an advanced scholar at a major university.

Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven take down Hamas:

What the world never gets is the full picture of Hamas. There is very little in the media about what Hamas is, what it has been, and what it wants to become. There is very little about its vision of the world - its vision of the future for the people of Gaza.

What we know is only that it doesn't believe in a future for Israel.

If that context were provided, the world would know that the battle in Gaza is not a land dispute, or a battle of moral equivalents. The ongoing battle in Gaza is not a case of the Hatfields and the McCoys, a senseless blood feud over a patch of land that, over the years, just goes on for no good reason.

This is a battle between good and evil, the battle in Gaza - and the battle throughout the Middle East. It's a battle between modernity and religious feudalism. Between freedom and totalitarianism. Between moderate Muslims and extremists hell-bent on imposing their will on the majority of peaceful followers of Allah.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Check out ESPN "commentator" Colin Cowherd's moronic rant:

ESPN's Colin Cowherd partially blamed what he described as NASCAR's southern "eye-for-an-eye culture" for the tragic death of driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was run over by three-time champion Tony Stewart Saturday at the Canandaigua Motorsport Park dirt track. [...]

Saying NASCAR had a "unique culture" that was almost exclusively a "southern delicacy," the ESPN host linked the sport's emphasis on displays of masculine aggression to what he said was the "eye-for-an-eye" culture of the South . . .

So, in summary here's Cowherd's thesis: Tony Stewart, a race car driver from Columbus, Indiana accidently hits Kevin Ward Jr, a race car driver from Port Leyden, New York at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park in upstate New York at about the same latitude as London, Ontario. And somehow this is symptomatic of the "culture of the South." I wonder what Cowherd would have said if Stewart had been driving an Indy car or a Formula 1 car.

Update: Daniel Flynn, writing at Breitbart, noticed the same thing:

But it's still silly to blame the South for New Yorker Kevin Ward Jr.'s death under a Hoosier's wheel in the Finger Lakes region of the Empire State. All serious people know it's George W. Bush's fault.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kevin Williamson offers a clear, concise summary of life in the middle east:

The Jews mean to live, Hamas means to exterminate them, and there will be war until Hamas and its allies either weary of it or win it and the last Israeli Jew is dead or exiled. It is Hamas, not the Israelis, that stashes rockets and soldiers in schools and hospitals, but it is the Israelis the world expects to take account of that situation. Every creature on this Earth, from ant to gazelle, is entitled to - expected to - defend its life to the last: The Israeli Jews, practically alone among the world's living things, are expected to make allowances for the well-being of those who are trying to exterminate them. No one lectures the antelope on restraint when the jackals come, but the Jews in the Jewish state are in the world's judgment not entitled to what is granted every fish and insect as a matter of course.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Victor Davis Hanson notes the perverse nature of the current Israeli - Hamas conflict:

Once again neighboring enemies are warring in diametrically opposite ways.

Hamas sees the death of its civilians as an advantage; Israel sees the death of its civilians as a disaster. Defensive missiles explode to save civilians in Israel; in Gaza, civilians are placed at risk of death to protect offensive missiles.

Hamas wins by losing lots of its people; Israel loses by losing a few of its own. Hamas digs tunnels in premodern fashion; Israel uses postmodern high technology to detect them. Hamas's missiles usually prove ineffective; Israel's bombs and missiles almost always hit their targets. Quiet Israeli officers lead from the front; loud Hamas leaders flee to the rear. Incompetency wins sympathy; expertise, disdain.

The middle east is an upside down place, a bizarro world where good is evil and evil is good. Hanson thinks, though, that if Israel remains decisive and finishes the job the world, including even the Palestinians, will come to its senses:

In the supposedly lose/lose world of Middle Eastern warfare, Israel must ensure that Hamas nevertheless loses far more than Israel itself does, not because the world will publicly sympathize with the cause of the Jewish state, but because, for all its ideological chest-pounding, an amoral world still privately gravitates to the successful and distances itself from the failed. Only if Israel finishes its ongoing dismantling of Hamas will the current war end. In six months, long after MSNBC and CNN have gone on to their next psychodramatic stories, long after John Kerry has moved on to his next Nobel Prize quest, those in Gaza who now yell into cameras encouraging their leaders to kill the Jews will quietly agree not to try another such costly war with Israel - and that fact, and only that fact, will lead to a sort of peace, at least for a while.

We can only hope and pray at this point.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The left continually wrings its collective hands about the specter of "Peak Oil." They do so even as oil production keeps increasing.

Meanwhile, Charles C.W. Cooke notes that, in actuality, the left has itself achieved "Peak Nonsense" with Tracy Van Slyke's analysis of the Thomas the Tank Engine program:

Thomas and his friends, Van Slyke griped, "toil away endlessly on the Isle of Sodor - which seems to be forever caught in British colonial times"; they are overwhelmingly male, which sets "a bad example for girl wannabe train engineers"; and they are ruled by a fat, "imperious, little white" man called Sir Topham Hatt, who acts as the "Monopoly dictator of their funky little island." All in all, she deduced, the program is a hive of "classism," "sexism," and "anti-environmentalism bordering on racism," and "the constant bent of messages about friendship, work, class, gender and race" are all but guaranteed to send her "kid the absolute wrong message." "Look through the steam rising up from the coal-powered train stacks," Van Slyke opined, and you quickly "realize that the pretty puffs of smoke are concealing some pretty twisted, anachronistic messages." Okay then.

This sort of thing deserves relentless mockery.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Victor Davis Hanson: Liberals: Exempt from Scrutiny

As for Gore, he cannot really believe in big green government or he would not have tried to beat the capital-gains tax hike when he peddled his failed cable network to a petrodollar-rich Al Jazeera, whose cash comes from the very sources of energy that Gore claims he hates. Do you make millions, and then in eleventh-century fashion repent so that you can enjoy them all the more? Gore certainly in the past has not lived modestly; the carbon footprint of keeping Al Gore going - housing, travel, and tastes - is quite stunning. Both the Steyers and the Gores of our human comedy know that it is lucrative business to appear green, and that by doing so one can keep one's personal life largely exempt from scrutiny in general and charges of hypocrisy in particular. For them, 21st-century liberalism is a useful badge, a fashion not unlike wearing good shades or having the right sort of cell phone.

Kevin D. Williamson: Unnecessary Lies

It should go without saying that the Obama administration should have been forthright about what happened that day rather than try to deflect blame on to a "right-wing Christian" filmmaker and his alleged provocations. Beyond that, even with an election on the near horizon, the Obama administration probably did not really politically need to mislead the public about those events. Having our embassy in Cairo overrun was humiliating, and the deaths in Benghazi were shocking, but Americans are by this point used to seeing their countrymen killed in lands where Islam predominates, and they have suffered enough humiliations that one more was not going to cost anybody an election.

(T)he Obama administration did not mislead the American public about Benghazi out of political necessity; it misled the American public out of habit. And why wouldn't it? From the economic effects of the stimulus bill to the GM bailout to blaming last quarter's poor economic numbers on the fact that it is cold during the winter, the Obama administration has an excellent record for wholesaling fiction to the American electorate, which keeps enduring it. There is apparently enough collective intelligence in the Obama administration to hold in general contempt the wit and attention span of an American public that has elected it twice.

Robert Bryce: Gambling with Eagles

In March 2013, a peer-reviewed study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin estimated that in 2012 alone, wind turbines killed 888,000 bats and 573,000 birds. Those bird kills included 83,000 raptors.

In September 2013, some of the Fish and Wildlife Service's top raptor biologists reported that the documented number of eagles being killed by wind turbines has increased dramatically over the last few years, going from two in 2007 to 24 in 2011. In all, the biologists found that wind turbines have killed some 85 eagles since 1997. And Joel Pagel, the lead author of the report, told me that that the eagle-kill figures they used are "an absolute minimum." Among the carcasses: six bald eagles.

Michael Barone: Obama's Era of Bad Feelings

But in his second term, Obama has shown zero interest in bipartisan reform. He campaigns on mini-issues such as the minimum wage and patches up Obamacare with executive orders that put him on the cusp of ignoring his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. [...]

And House Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp has come forward with a serious tax-reform proposal.

But Obama seems uninterested. He sent Camp's negotiating partner, Finance chairman Max Baucus, to China. He has stayed in campaign mode since he broke up the "grand bargain" talks with Speaker John Boehner by upping the ante in August 2011.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Victor Davis Hanson observes how left wingers are "insured" against punishment for crimes that would have a right winger run out of town on a rail. He calls it "progressive insurance."

Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c-t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around "sweetie" as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women. [...]

Racism is not necessarily a job killer either. How could it be, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed during the 2008 campaign that a "light-skinned" Barack Obama spoke with "no Negro dialect." Joe Biden, himself a candidate in that election, said of Obama that he was the "first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean." Despite such racist drivel, a fully ideologically insured Biden was rewarded with the nomination for vice president.

VDH's take down of everything Al Gore is getting away with is absolutely devastating. Here's the complete summary of how progressive insurance works.

Instead of paying monetary premiums, one supports the proper causes, says the properly cool things, joins the right organizations, and votes the correct way, and by those means purchases a liability policy against the careless mistakes, plagiarism, offhanded lapses, sexual peccadillos, gaffes, and bad jokes that otherwise could prove ruinous.

Monday, April 14, 2014

This, from the New York Post sports page, made me laugh:

The sticky-stuff issue that Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda perpetrated, made Phil Pepe, a N.Y. sportswriter who used to cover the cover off of baseball, laugh. Pepe recalled when Jim Kaat was accused of applying a "foreign substance" to the ball. "It's not a foreign substance," said Kaat. "It comes from North Carolina."

This article reviews a new book by anthropologist Napolean Chagnon. Chagnon's observations and conclusions regarding the primitive and isolated Yanomamo people were at odds with anthropological thought at the time.

Chagnon spent decades studying the Yanomamo first-hand. What he observed challenged conventional wisdom about human nature, suggesting that primitive man may have lived in a Hobbesian state of "all against all"-where the concerns of group and individual security were driving factors in how society developed, and where a sense of terror was widespread. His work undercut a longstanding politically correct view in anthropology, which held that Stone Age humans were noble savages and that civilization had corrupted humanity and led to increasing violence. Chagnon's reporting on the Yanomamo subsequently became unpopular and was heavily attacked within some academic circles. He endured accusations and investigations. Noble Savages is Chagnon's engrossing and at times hair-raising story of his work among the Yanomamo and the controversies his discoveries stirred up.

Moreover, the anthropologists of the day didn't much like having the conventional wisdom undercut.

By this point, a segment of the academic community had already been trying to discredit Chagnon for years. In the late 1970s, for instance, a panel Chagnon organized to discuss the role of new biological theories in the study of man's past was almost cancelled because of objections from cultural anthropologists. The panel proceeded, but protestors attacked the eminent Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson when he rose to speak, knocking him down and dousing him with cold water. Critics, meanwhile, charged Chagnon with faking his data and branded him a racist. He found it difficult to get back into Venezuela to continue his studies. His problems intensified as the field of anthropology changed and cultural anthropologists increasingly began to reject the scientific method that Chagnon pursued in favor of a postmodernist approach. Chagnon calls these new anthropologists believers, not scientists. They saw their field not as a path of inquiry but as a means of social change-one that condemned the industrialized, capitalist nations for exploiting natural resources and "peaceful" primitive peoples.

Question: If the field anthropology can be this completely politicized by Marxist believers, do we really think that climatology is somehow immune?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jonah Goldberg in a recent column had this to say about liberals:

The column is ostensibly about the confirmation bias of folks like Ezra Klein and Paul “facts have a liberal bias” Krugman. But what I was really going for was a unifying theme between the more effete hubris of the “reality-based community” pundits and the angry mob wing of liberalism. I write that they are both part of a “mass psychology that simply takes it for granted that liberals have sole access to the Truth. It’s like having God on your side without having to believe in God.”

I thought that idea that "liberals have sole access to the Truth" was interesting, because a couple nights ago I was involved in brief discussion with a dedicated Democrat concerning the recently defeated equal pay for women act. Somebody commented thusly: "Honestly, you need to understand how the issue is framed. Everybody is for equal pay for equal work." The response: "I hear you. But no, everyone is not for equal pay, trust me on this one." In other words, "I understand what you are saying, and I declare it untrue. I have no evidence in support of my position, yet I demand that you accept my position."

I got involved briefly with the following comment: "The bill that went down today had very little to do with equal pay, equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land for 35 years. Rather, this bill was a conveyor belt for trial lawyers to expedite class action lawsuits and increase their ability to do so further into distant history. The Republicans voted against it because it attacked business interests. The Democrats voted for it because it enriched trial lawyers and made good headlines. It's all theater, but thank goodness it failed because we have enough trial lawyers without minting more."

The response? "I have enough facebook friends that are business friends to not be able to speak freely. But rest assured I understand the issue from many perspectives and equality is still an issue."

In other words (I think): "I know some business people, so I can't tell you why I am correct. But trust me, I have way more insight than you do, and I am right."

It's very reminiscent of Goldberg's contention that liberals take it for granted that they sole access to the truth, isn't it?

Friday, April 11, 2014

President Obama has identified a new injustice to be remedied: disparate dry cleaning bills. Megan McArdle has the scoop.

"We’ll talk about dry cleaners next, right," Obama said, prompting laughter from the audience, which was full of women, "because I know that - I don’t know why it costs more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt." Asked about the disparities between what men and women pay for dry cleaning during the daily briefing a little more than an hour later, White House press secretary Jay Carney replied: "It's terrible."

One assumes that after government has "solved" this oppressive problem, it will move on to haircuts and underwear.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Great Moments in Public Education

Well, my home state of New Jersey has descended to a new low. Check out this story.

Glen Meadow Middle School seventh grader, Ethan Chaplin, was recently suspended after, he says, he was simply twirling a pencil in math class. News 12 New Jersey reported that the Vernon Township, New Jersey teenager was twirling a pencil with a pen cap on top when another student yelled, "He's making gun motions, send him to juvie." But Ethan denies that interpretation of his actions and said that the student who yelled the comment had been bullying him earlier that day and was just trying to get him in trouble.

So how did school officials respond to a seventh grader's demand that one of his classmates be sent to "juvie"? They went out and did it!

Although Ethan explained the bullying situation, he says that administrators ignored his side of the story. The teen was taken to the principal's office and News 12 notes that, "he was suspended, pending the outcome of a psychological evaluation."

A suspension and a "psychological evaluation" over pencil twirling? Even more incredibly, school officials stand by their actions. Because you know, any child that makes another child feel unconfortable needs him some suspendin' and evaluatin'.

The Vernon Schools Superintendent, Charles Maranzano, stands by the principal and says she was just doing her job. Their school policy as well as the law requires that administration investigate any situation when a student feels uncomfortable or threatened by another student. Maranzano added, "We never know what's percolating in the mind of children, okay. And when they demonstrate behaviors that raise red flags, we must do our duty."

What about the red flag of falsely accusing a poor kid twirling a pencil with exhibiting "gun behavior"? Shouldn't that be the behavior the school is investigating? Anyway, back to our story, the "evaluation" went about as well as one would expect.

Mr. Chaplin, who explained the five-hour long physical and psychological evaluation that his son endured, possibly for naught. Chaplin told the outlet, "The child was stripped, had to give blood samples (which caused him to pass out) and urine samples for of all things drug testing.Then four hours later a social worker spoke to him for five minutes and cleared him. Then an actual doctor came in and said the state was 100 percent incorrect in their procedure and this would not get him back in school."

We're always in such good hands with government bureaucracies.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Paul Kengor describes how the left is so comfortable trampling religious rights. He starts with a few examples of what he is talking about:

Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, you've noticed the growing clash between religious freedom and issues like same-sex marriage and forced funding of abortion. Last week, the Supreme Court heard a landmark case on whether the federal government can compel a business to fund abortion drugs in defiance of the religious beliefs of the business owner. It's merely one such case amid a flurry of lawsuits that even includes the Little Sisters of the Poor. Or, consider these situations involving gay marriage:

In Oregon, a couple that owns a bakery, the Kleins, are being sued and called before the state for not making a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. The Kleins note that being forced to make such a cake against their will would violate their Christian beliefs and freedom of conscience.

He goes on to describe how leftists manage to square the circle of vehemently opposing some rights in support of others.

But here's the main point: for today's liberals/progressives, the likes of "marriage rights" and "abortion rights" rise superior to other rights, certainly above religious rights and property rights. We see this in the gay marriage examples listed above. It also applies to the Obama HHS mandate requiring religious believers to fund abortion drugs. In all these cases, there's one commonality: liberals/progressives disregard the religious rights and property rights that they are steamrolling in the name of gay marriage and abortion. Religious rights and property rights are subjugated to a kind of liberal/progressive gulag. They are deemed bottom-of-the-barrel, and in no way nearly as important or worthy of consideration.

Again, the startling irony is that these same people fancy themselves champions of tolerance, diversity, and "equal rights." That has never been accurate, and they are proving it now with special uncompromising rigidity. They are pursuing what they've always pursued: selective tolerance, selective diversity, and selective equal rights. Religious rights are not among their select.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Jay Nordlinger has an excellent piece describing audience noises during musical performances. Everything Mr. Nordlinger writes, on any subject, is interesting and this is no exception:

Audience noises-audience nuisances-are many and varied. There are cellphones, of course. But worse than the ringing of a cellphone is the clucking and scolding that follows it. The guy feels bad enough already, probably. But other audience members have to pile on, and add to the disruption.

Thoughtful leftist Kirstin Powers has an excellent essay on how modern feminism is not only beclowning itself, it's out of touch with reality.

This is what feminism has come to: fighting for the right to wear yoga pants and leggings to middle school. This pressing civil rights issue made headlines when girls in Evanston, Ill., protested rules that they said banned the bum-hugging clothing for creating classroom distractions.

A feminist flash mob attacked Haven Middle School for shaming girls and promoting rape culture. Eliana Dockterman wrote in Time that the school's argument "is not that distant from the arguments made by those who accuse rape victims of asking to be assaulted by dressing a certain way."

Actually, it's a universe away.

Michelle Malkin points out that leftists are just fine with hateful racism, especially from fellow leftists. The trick, it appears, is to pretend you're a conservative while spewing any hateful filth that pops into your head. That way you're not really a racist, you're just making fun of conservatives.

It's not the outrage that's manufactured, but Colbert's sanctimonious myth of left-wing purity and his phony indictment of conservatives as the predominant forces of intolerance in America.

Jim Geraghty on The Progressive Aristocracy:

The evidence before us suggests progressives' ideal society would be one where they enjoy great power to regulate the lives of others and impose restrictions and limitations they themselves would never accept in their own lives. Very few people object to an aristocracy with special rights and privileges as long as they're in it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is closing charter schools in deference to the Teacher's Unions. The result? Hundreds of minority children evicted from schools that work and thrown back into disfunctional public schools. Mona Charen wonders what it would be like if a Republican mayor did the same thing.

Just try to envision the scene: A newly elected Republican mayor of a large American city takes steps to close down some of the best schools serving an almost exclusively minority population. You know how it would go. We'd be hearing that Republicans "hate" the poor. The words "cruel," "vicious," and "racist" would circle the new mayor like sharks. News organizations would examine where the mayor sent his own children, and his hypocrisy would be fiercely denounced.

She goes on to note that this sort of behavior, though largely unremarked-upon by the press, is standard operating procedure for the left:

Mayor de Blasio bulldozed into office swearing to take aim at the privileged and defend the powerless. If you know anything about leftists, you won't be surprised that he is actually training his fire on the poorest and most vulnerable. Remember that one of Barack Obama's first acts was to attack the school-choice program in the District of Columbia.
Economist Thomas Sowell has noticed the same thing:

Not all charter schools are successful, of course, but the ones that are completely undermine the excuses for failure in the public school system as a whole. That is why teachers' unions hate them, as a threat not only to their members' jobs but a threat to the whole range of frauds and fetishes in the educational system.

The autonomy of charter schools is also a threat to the powers that be, who want to impose their own vision on the schools, regardless of what the parents want. Attorney General Eric Holder wants to impose his own notion of racial balance in the schools, while many black parents want their children to learn, regardless of whether they are seated next to a white child or a black child. There have been all-black schools whose students met or exceeded national norms in education, whether in Louisiana, California or other places around the country. But Eric Holder, like Bill de Blasio, put his ideology above the education - and the future life - of minority students.

Charter schools take power from politicians and bureaucrats, letting parents decide where their children will go to school. That is obviously offensive to those on the left, who think that our betters should be making our decisions for us.

Daniel Greenfield notes that the very same Bill de Blasio, apparently not content to meddle with poor children, has his sights set on another defenseless New York constituency: the horses of Central Park.

Horses have long been the chosen prey of Homo progressivus and this election, PETA, an animal rights organization that killed 2,000 cats and dogs in one year, and NYCLASS, a wealthy anti-horse group dominated by a real estate tycoon who appears more interested in seizing the stables where the horses live, than in their welfare, finally got their way.

Bill de Blasio, who had picked fights with such New York traditions as the Columbus Day Parade and the St. Patrick's Day Parade, vowed to get rid of the horses in his first week in office.

The horses are still there for now, but one suspects it won't be for long. Indeed, de Blasio isn't interested in even hearing the other side of the story:

The anti-horse activists of Homo progressivus spent $1.3 million on Bill de Blasio. The drivers bring their own coffee with them in a thermos because a Starbucks coffee is too pricy for their budgets.

Bill de Blasio refused to visit the stables where the horses are kept. The money has changed hands, his mind is made up and he doesn't want to be confronted with the anger and suffering of the working men whose jobs he is taking away.

Victor Davis Hanson, in an essay dismantling the myth that the Obama administration's foreign policy compares favorable with the Eisenhower administration's, offers this observation:

The problem with the Obama administration is not that it does or does not intervene, given the differing contours of each crisis, but rather that it persists in giving loud sermons that bear no relationship to the actions that do or do not follow: red lines in Syria followed by Hamlet-like deliberations and acceptance of Putin's bogus WMD removal plan; flip-flop-flip in Egypt; in Libya, lead from behind followed by Benghazi and chaos; deadlines and sanctions to no deadlines and no sanctions with Iran; reset reset with Russia; constant public scapegoating of his predecessors, especially Bush; missile defense and then no missile defense in Eastern Europe; Guantanamo, renditions, drones, and preventive detentions all bad in 2008 and apparently essential in 2009; civilian trials for terrorists and then not; and Orwellian new terms like overseas contingency operations, workplace violence, man-caused disasters, a secular Muslim Brotherhood, jihad as a personal journey, and a chief NASA mission being outreach to Muslims. We forget that the non-interventionist policies of Jimmy Carter abruptly ended with his bellicose "Carter Doctrine" - birthed after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, American hostages were taken in Tehran and Khomeinists had taken power, China went into Vietnam, and Communist insurgencies swept Central America.