Thursday, May 21, 2015

HEY, I READ SOMEPLACE LINCOLN WAS GAY.

Remember Stella Morabito, covered here last year for a magnificent column in which she compared advocates of gay marriage to Symbionese Liberation Army members raping and brainwashing Patty Hearst? Sample passage:
If we step back and take this all in, there should be no question that coercive persuasion can happen on a mass scale in America. Those pushing the [gay marriage] agenda first cultivate a climate that creates social punishment for dissent and social rewards for compliance. Label anyone who disagrees as a bigot or a “hater,” a non-person. Reward those who agree with public accolades. Before you know it, even well-known old conservative pundits who fear becoming irrelevant sign on to it, and thus contribute to the juggernaut.
Soon we'll have Pat Buchanan in assless chaps! Well, Morabito is still writing, and still obsessed with guess what and conservative treason to the cause:
LGBT Activists Arm For Further War On Free Speech
Apparently Morabito read a story about some folks who are campaigning for "a major federal nondiscrimination bill that protects people from prejudice based on sexuality and gender identity," and has decided this means homosexualists will ban Americans from saying things like "we don't serve your kind here, faggot." The whole thing's a joy -- Morabito's writing style remains fever-pitched and prone to metaphor metastasis ("There’s so much to unpack here, but if pressed to dissect this vat of worms...") -- but this is my favorite part:
The LGBT lobby has always known that it needs to get Republicans, conservatives, and evangelicals on board—through their leaders—because they still command a wide swath of America, and, worse, some people might not be intimidated enough to refrain from saying things not in line with the lobby’s agenda. 
Hence, there are infiltration efforts like “Log Cabin Republicans,” whose sole purpose has been to promote the LGBT lobby while claiming to be conservative.
The Log Cabin Republicans! Most of us think of them as charmingly ineffectual, but we're apparently just brainwashed by the liberal media, who cover for their true Mattachine machinations. I like to imagine them back at their founding in 1977, no doubt in some tastefully-appointed sex dungeon, rubbing their hands with glee and telling one another, "yessss, it's a long game, but the rewards will be sooooo-cialistically delicious!"

A wonder who's doing more to hurt the anti-gay-marriage campaign: the LCR, or stuff like this? Or maybe Steve Wiles is a double agent. This thing goes deeper than we imagined! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ALSO, WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP TELLING ME TO LOOK UP "LEMONPARTY"?

Pretty much everyone has noticed that violent mass events starring white people get handled differently in the press from violent mass events starring black people, and Waco/Baltimore comparisons seem to fit the pattern. Surely you must have been wondering: what is the libertarian position on this? Take it away, Ed Krayewski of Reason:
The comparisons to the police reform protests are the more problematic of the two. The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates seemed to make that comparison in a series of tweets Monday night that emulating right-wing reactions to the police protest movement. One curious tweet asks "Why won't America's biker gangs be more like Dr. Martin Luther King?" What is the comparison Coates is trying to draw? If there were violent protesters in Baltimore with legitimate grievances—and they were urged by some to be more peaceful—does Coates believe the bikers, too, had some kind of legitimate grievances at the Twin Peaks restaurant? If he doesn't believe so, does he believe there are white people out there who believe that? I certainly haven't heard or read anything about either the bike gangs allegedly involved or anyone in the press trying to ascribe legitimate grievances to the thugs at the restaurant.
In other words, the libertarian position is they don't understand jokes unless they're in Klingon.

UPDATE.  Kevin D. Williamson does a version of this at National Review, with arguments on the order of oh, you're against calling black rioters "thugs" well what about Tupac libtards etc. Also, why doesn't "America’s most stridently progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio" shut down the Hell's Angels clubhouse on East Third? I might tell him that the Angels have been keeping that block clean and righteous for decades, as opposed to shooting it up Waco-style, but then I'd be playing Williamson's neither-Holy-nor-Roman-nor-an-Empire dork game with him, and life is too fucking short.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A SUREFIRE WAY TO GET CONSERVATIVES TO STICK UP FOR YOU.

A Duke professor wrote comments on a New York Times editorial that got negative attention. Sample:
So where are the editorials that say racism doomed the Asian-Americans. They didn’t feel sorry for themselves, but worked doubly hard. 
I am a professor at Duke University. Every Asian student has a very simple old American first name that symbolizes their desire for integration. Virtually every black has a strange new name that symbolizes their lack of desire for integration. The amount of Asian-white dating is enormous and so surely will be the intermarriage. Black-white dating is almost non-existent because of the ostracism by blacks of anyone who dates a white. 
It was appropriate that a Chinese design won the competition for the Martin Luther King state. King helped them overcome. The blacks followed Malcolm X.
Never mind that you can see that and worse in the comments of any online article that mentions race -- in fact, look at the comments under this story at WorldNetDaily and elsewhere -- the point is that Hough's an academic and from the left, so needless to say conservatives have a new hero. Ole Perfesser Instapundit:
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER... Even being an old commie apologist isn’t enough to keep you from being savaged over this badthink.
"Savaged" means, in this context, some people disagreed publicly with his comments and he wasn't fired. (Hough was on leave working on a book when this thing blew up, though some of the usual suspects have sought to convey the impression that Duke pushed him out after the fact.) Don Surber:
Telling the truth online gets you in trouble in America. Consider Duke University political science professor Jerry Hough made the mistake of pointing out that Asian-Americans are as a race doing better than African-Americans in general. For that people are calling him racist. 
Part of the reason is Asian males are not shooting one another up like inner city black males are.
Surber knows how it is to be vilified for what folks 'round here jes' natchurly knows. Nicholas Stix at more-mainstream-conservative-by-the-minute VDare:
As a result of the school’s racist hate campaign Hough’s life is in danger on and near the North Carolina school’s campus. During the 2006-2007 Duke Rape Hoax, which was also rabidly promoted by the school’s administration and faculty, racist blacks in Durham exploited the hoax as a pretext to commit violent hate crimes against white students, simply for breathing while white.
He's like MLK in Selma except, you know. Maybe Stix can get up a posse from the Bundy Ranch to protect him. The libertarian position is expressed by Robby Soave at Reason:
These are gross, nonsensical statements (Asian names are better geared for integration than black names? What?). But to say that they have “no place in civil discourse” is going too far. Is hearing, contemplating, and rejecting his claims not a worthy exercise for university students?
The problem with higher education is that Harvard students are not exposed to the opinions of Professor David Duke, that they may wrestle with them to their intellectual profit.  How will they defend their mollycoddle anti-racism when confronted with an argument on the order of "nigras has funny names"? Liberalism has much to answer for.

You know, I'm beginning to think that these guys weren't really into Charlie Hebdo for the free speech part.


Monday, May 18, 2015

SEASON 7, EPISODE 14.

Is the ending a joke?

Actually, the whole thing is. Someone on Twitter said, as if surprised, that she was laughing more at the Mad Men finale than she had at any other episode. Part of that, I assume, was the petit finales for the other principals' stories, which came off fairly breathless, not to say rushed, like the wrap-up of a Sixties sex comedy. The Peggy and Stan resolution in particular seemed like fandering (THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR), but sure why not, especially with Elizabeth Moss and Jay R. Ferguson so game about the funny romantic stuff. (From her phone takes especially, it would appear Moss has been studying Ross Hunter.)

Surewhynot, too, with Joan bravely going it alone with her wimmyn-owned company and Roger and Mrs. Megan in Paris Quebec. As I've said before, these characters were never going to achieve enlightenment: They were just working out career and personal issues, and though the times a-changin' made their challenges and opportunities bigger than they might have been, in the end they're no more fraught with meaning than any other TV officemates, just better written than most. (Betty and Sally are a slightly bigger deal, but that set-up came last week. Nonetheless I appreciated their Don scenes as fine examples of that other type of TV staple, the emotionally purgative phone call.)

The real story has always been Don Draper, and after all that drama, all that identity crisis, and all those harbingers of bardo, it was a shock to find, first of all, people from Don's Old Life not only talking about him ("He's not dead! At least I don't think so") but also chatting with him on the phone, and secondly, after a few rounds of Don doing Don stuff -- fucking a stranger, barking life lessons -- to come to that cynical comedy ending. But the thing that saves it is Leonard. How this Joe Average got to Thinly Disguised Esalen I can't guess, but when he started talking about his dream of being in the refrigerator and Don went to embrace him, you could be forgiven for thinking Don had learned some new kind of empathy that would help make him whole. After all, he had just cut all ties with his Old Life people; he gave Peggy the same spiel on the phone that he'd given her, basically, in "The Suitcase" (she even responded the same way: "That's not true"), and then hung up; even Stephanie, his last link to Anna Draper, took off and left him with hippies. And here he was, not working out his angst with a sexual conquest but in the embrace of Leonard, another desk guy who can't quite believe in love even when it's at the table with him.

But surprise, it's not a new empathy for a new life, it's the same empathy that made Don great at selling cigarettes to potential cancer victims and plastic wheels to sentimental families. Don has always been an empath who, because of his emotional damage, is uniquely attuned to the pain of average citizens, and when he sees a valuable crop of it he gets in there and grabs and holds it close to drain its essence. And then turns it into a commercial. He is what America has instead of artists. And that's why, despite all the historical signifiers that made the show look like the chronicle of a New Day Dawning, nothing much has really changed. Don has not rediscovered Dick Whitman -- he has, after a crisis of confidence, rediscovered Don Draper. And gone back at work.

Friday, May 15, 2015

FRIDAY ROUND-THE-HORN.



•    You may remember him for his later, lush 'n' luxe blues stuff, and that's all very fine. I love B.B. King, now passed, for his slightly cheesy "B.B. 'Blues Boy' King" stompers from the 50s like the one above. Sure sounds like him and the "Orchestra" are having a good time. I expect some of my readers have their own favorites to recommend.

•    Many conservatives, even ones who are not Rod "The Get-Ready Man" Dreher, are bitching about that poll showing a slightly smaller percentage of Christians in America than once there was. At National Review David French knows why: "Why Does ‘Organized Religion’ Get a Bad Rap? Because the Elite Lies About It." Evil liberals say Jesus people are obsessed with cultural issues like gay marriage, but the truth is Christians contribute heavily to charity. Yes, it's the old "society claims I'm a pedophile, but I bought twenty tickets to the Policeman's Ball" argument. More interesting to me is this claim:
Sexual politics is simply not a dominant topic compared to scriptural study, discussions of family, or exhortations to serve the poorest and most disadvantaged members of the community. If I were to critique the church, I’d say we need to discuss the sexual revolution issues a bit more — to equip kids and families to face the cultural onslaught.
Don't talk about it enough, huh? Let's look at the past few examples of French's own writing at National Review. What picture of Christianity do you get from it? There's not a lot about charity in there -- in fact, I found no David French posts at all promoting alms to the poor. (Come on, it's National Review!) Here's what I did see:
"The Clintons, Tom Brady, and the ‘Scoreboard’ Life" (Shorter: Libtards cheat because they don't have Jesus);
"When Crusades Meet Courtrooms" and "Three Recent Lawsuits Challenge the ‘Rape Crisis’ Storyline" (Shorter: Rape is not the fault of the men lying bitches falsely accuse of raping them, it's the fault of the sexual revolution);
"Why a Huckabee Loss Would Be a Win for Religious Conservatives" (Shorter: Because all the other GOP candidates hate gays and fornication as much as Huckabee does. Eat it, libtards!);
"Obama’s Crackdown on Dissent Has Made Conservatives a Little Paranoid — and Rightly So" (Shorter: If Ted Cruz was President libtards would so be just as paranoid about Jade Helm as we are, except we aren't paranoid because Obama really is a monster);
"Comedy, Cowardice, or Both?" (Shorter: SNL libtards didn't draw Muhammed! Sure, it was funny, but what's that got to do with anything?);
"Liberals Peer into Your Heart and See the Darkness Inside" (Shorter: Libtards are mean and hateful. Not like us!)
Etc. And here are the records from the other times we've caught French's culture-war act. (This one will do if you can't read them all.) All told I'd say the biggest PR problem Christianity has isn't "Elite Lies About It" -- it's people like David French.

•    OK, here's the advertising portion of the program: A friend of mine in New York is between freelance gigs DON'T RUN AWAY SHE DOESN'T WANT A HANDOUT only another freelance gig. M├ętier includes branding, marketing, research, strategy, communications, social media, digital product development, content and product creation, etc. Drop me a note if you've got something for her.

•    Melissa Langsam Braunstein of The Federalist testifies to "listening to a panel at AEI on Monday night, during which several contributors to The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love discussed their take on fatherhood." Sounds like a corker:
I cannot imagine a similar panel of mothers laughing as they described purposely breaking their child’s leg, as P.J. O’Rourke’s son believed he did, while regaling the audience with the saga of teaching that young son how to ski. The experience taught O’Rourke that he’s better off being the breadwinner who can afford ski lessons.
And this:
Tucker Carlson’s presentation may have been the most different from what a panel of mothers might offer. Amidst his lighthearted remarks, Carlson repeatedly mentioned that he’s not reflective about his parenting and takes no responsibility for any of his four children’s failings; he believes any mistakes his children make are strictly their own, and he does never holds his wife or himself liable.
And this:
Jonah Goldberg sounded endearingly clueless...
Stop to take a breath here.
.... – since we gather his daughter’s alright now – as he described a fall she took during toddlerhood that resulted in a sizable forehead gash. Apparently, Goldberg was still new enough to parenting that he didn’t realize his daughter’s bloody face needed to be stitched up professionally. Luckily, his sister-in-law was able to advise via telephone and pass along the good advice to wait for a plastic surgeon at the hospital.
Braunstein's conclusion:
This is all to say: fatherhood sounds rather liberating. Whatever our cultural expectations of men, it seems our standards for fathers are less exacting (and crazy-making) than those for American mothers. Having listened to the fathers on this panel, I dare say that difference is largely driven by the fact that men aren’t critical of one another’s parenting in the same way that women can be...
Either than or these guys are just a bunch of fucking idiots.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

AN ILL WIND THAT BLOWS NO ONE SOME GOOD.

There's been a lot of sputtering among the brethren as Republican Presidential candidates run screaming from W's Iraq War (Washington Times: "As GOP hopefuls flee Iraq War, Rubio to tout hawk credentials"; The Hill: "Rubio: I wouldn't go into Iraq either"). The prize, however, goes to Quin Hillyer at National Review. After some stuff about how Saddam Was a Very Bad Man and there were so WMD (or "weapons of mass murder... WMM — a better term than WMD" -- Hillyer has some marketing skills), he gets to the money shot:
Fifth, while this is only a satellite effect of our involvement in Iraq, it actually served as a net-plus politically for George W. Bush in his re-election effort against John Kerry — a net-plus without which Bush probably would not have won. This is from memory, but I think the “for-or-against” Iraq poll questions in that campaign were about a net wash, but the “who do you trust to be strong in defending American interests” question still favored Bush significantly enough to have made the difference — along with high turnout in anti–gay-marriage initiatives — between winning and losing. And if anybody thinks that subsequent Bush performance made that a pyrrhic victory, I have two names for them: Roberts and (especially) Alito. As frustrating as the Supreme Court is, imagine how badly off the country would be if Justices Rehnquist and O’Connor had been replaced by justices Laurence Tribe and Hillary Rodham Clinton. And imagine how much more badly bungled so much other domestic policy would have been under Kerry. Ugh. 
So, hundreds of thousands dead and Iraq and our nation's foreign policy credibility in smoldering ruins, but at least Bush got reelected and a couple of wingnuts on the Court. Purple fingers all around, not all of them caused by gangrene.

UPDATE. In comments, Jay B shorters this one "I like to think your son died so that Sam Alito can deny you healthcare." (All the comments are good, definitionally.)

Plus I'd like to correct "Iraq and our nation's foreign policy credibility in smoldering ruins"; Iraq's may still be smoldering, but the ruins of our credibility are not; they're cool, have kudzu growing over them, and show little evidence of their former exalted state, besides mass.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

TWENTY MINUTES WASTED WITH GOLDBERG AND MURRAY.

"Is it time for civil disobedience? Charles Murray says yes!" So begins Jonah Goldberg's interview of Murray, whose new book about bureaucracy attempts to give a modish civil-rights frisson to the fight against our fascist government's onerous regulations on drinking water, workplace hazards, and other things that should be left to the wisdom of capital. It's in the form of an American Enterprise Institute video, alas, but I have nutshelled it for you:

Goldberg, who increasing resembles Sig Ruman, says he'll start with the riots in Baltimore, which he describes as Murray's "wheelhouse"; as Murray is best known as the author of a book claiming to scientifically prove that black people are stupid, you can imagine the gooseflesh among the brethren in attendance.  Goldberg's got the fever and tries to insert as a topic of conversation the alleged "debate about whether or not it's racist to call people thugs" -- though the closed caption guy has other ideas:


At first it seems as if Murray will oblige. "I'm old enough to remember what Watts was like," he says, and adds that he acknowledged at the time  "there was something really different about inner city neighborhoods," which shows just how far he was willing to go for Those People, but now after all the years you have the "same litany of complaints" despite "overwhelmingly Democratic control implementing Democratic solutions," i.e., using whatever  money is left over after the city or state has delivered all its subsidized stadiums, office parks, and other emoluments for the deserving rich to build an occasional playground or put another bench in the courthouse/cash extraction center. And now, says an indignant Murray, "I'm supposed to be moved when President Obama says 'we know how to cure this if only we had the will'?"  By God, he acknowledged something really different about Watts, but a man can only do so much! 

Goldberg informs Murray that  "I monitor a lot of mainstream media," aka "enemy broadcasting," and he has seen such hard leftists as Joe Scarborough citing the Kerner Commission, as if race had anything to do with it, which Goldberg attributes to a "lack of self-awareness" -- that is, "they all appreciate the irony but they don't appreciate the depth of the irony," which is that black people were happy under Giuliani, or at least terrified into silence. "You have solutions that are tried to no effect," sighs Murray, but "cold-blooded, hard-headed evaluation" shows there's "no effect" cuz look, a riot.

At this point someone must have held up a sign saying PIMP BOOK ABOUT BUREAUCRACY because Goldberg praises Murray for his assertion that "complexity from the federal government always backfires." "Complexity has a whole bunch of different aspects," Murray charitably concedes. Then he gets to his signal example of intolerable bureaucracy, and if you guessed "military" or "housing court" you must be new around here.

"Teaching kids is a pretty simple thing," says Murray, but teachers for some reason want to keep disruptive children in their classrooms. No citation, but Murray assures us there are "six different school of education theories" about "why you should leave that chaotic child in the classroom." Plus even if you get these monster children out, there are "25 pages of regulations" about how to get them out, not like back when Old Man Murray was a boy and you just threw them out a window. It's about "complexity of rules... a rule for everything" -- why, Murray chortles, "I bet there's a long list of guidelines about how much physical contact you are allowed in getting that kid out of the classroom, and if you violate any of those you got a problem." (In their Idaho Barcaloungers, his audience mistily dreams of dishing out some physical contact to young troublemakers.)

Goldberg offers that public schools are "a reward for the guild and less about students." Murray generously allows that for teachers "there's always an internal rationalization for doing what you're doing," but -- look out, "what I'm about to say is not data driven about their feelings"  -- "what it looks like is people making a pretty good salary relative to what they could make in the private sector," that magical place where PhDs are forced to work at Starbucks and millionaires only break a sweat during squash or rough sex; and not only that, these overpaid child-minders have "pretty good job security" (but not for long under President Walker!). Oddly, despite all these unfair advantages, teachers are also  "demoralized" and "cynical," not because they're trying to educate children in a country that spits on knowledge and prizes conformity but because, well, aren't villains always miserable in spite of their ill-gotten gains? Murray even imagines an interior monologue for these demoralized public-sector tycoons ("I have the ability to make trouble for you..."). Ugh, teachers, why were we ever nice to them?

Someone hits Goldberg with a spitball, signalling him to announce that while Murray's book is at odds with "the intellectual Zeitgeist," normal hard-working Americans sit on girders eating sandwiches out of metal lunch pails and extol his wisdom. Then Goldberg suddenly claims that there is some overlap between the Tea Party and Elizabeth Warren, and offers to "characterize" Warren's point of view, which he does thus: the "bureaucrats and the lawyers and the politicians" are "the people who are trying to help" while the real culprits are "the one percent and the billionaires and Wall Street and the fat cats" who are "pulling all the strings." To be fair, as he said this Goldberg did not roll his eyes and speak in a grating falsetto.

You can guess what Fishtown Murray thinks of that! He allows there's a "nugget of truth" in Fake Elizabeth Warren's argument, in that the "big banks and big corporations are in bed with the government," case in point Dodd-Frank (which, in real life, every leftist from here to the Finland Station wants replaced with good ol' Glass-Steagall if not tumbrels and guillotines). The real problem is that corporations are behaving wrongly "with the help of government," whereas on their own they're great, giving us proles "ever more reliable cars, ever more powerful computers," and "Exxon cannot come to my door and say fill up your tank with super or you're going to jail." (No, says Goldberg -- that's "the Obamacare model.") In the end, Murray claims he has "as many complaints about the way capitalism is practiced as Elizabeth Warren does," but this thing you lefties think is capitalism isn't really capitalism, it's a "perversion of what capitalism ought to be," and it's the government's fault. Goldberg, caught up in the intellectual fervor, adds his own gloss on a famous Adam Smith quote: two tradesmen, or a multitude of them, "can't collude against the customer very long without the government helping [them]." Look at the ethical utopia that was the Gilded Age!

Then it's time for Goldberg to ask Murray if he's an optimist or a pessimist. Had he any guts, Murray would have said that since he'd been successfully peddling this hooey for decades and there's no reason why the suckers shouldn't buy this latest bunch of it,  of course he's an optimist. But Murray's a salesman to the end, and so tells the punters  that two hundred years from now "we're probably going to be way wealthier than we are now," allowing his audience to believe that "we" means them, too, and not just a tiny sliver of neo-feudal overlords including Charles Murray IV.

Finally Goldberg has to deliver on the opening pitch, and tells us the book encourages "civil disobedience," though of course it's not the kind with "sit-ins and lunch counters" -- he and Murray share a laugh over that: Imagine us at lunch counters, like some low-IQ you-know-whats! You can read about this in Murray's WSJ essay, but basically, if all of us few remaining middle-class white people get together and don't fill out form 47-B, we can take this motherfucker down!  Murray explains this in terms honkies can understand: that is, with speeding tickets and NBA officiating as examples. Then another shared laugh about putting body cameras on bureaucrats -- ha ha, again with the you-know-whats! -- and we're out. Next week: The people united will never be forced to provide wheelchair access!