Friday, August 08, 2014

FRIDAY ROUND-THE-HORN.

•  At National Review the ever-excitable David French has a post called "Why Do Liberals Have Trouble Understanding the Pure Evil of Jihad?" Excerpts:
I continue to be discouraged by how few Americans — and especially how few of my friends on the left — truly understand (or even try to understand) what the world faces... 
Why is this the case? Why can’t so many liberals understand the pure evil of Islamic jihad? I can think of three reasons: 
First, they’re often in the grip of a strange kind of moral relativism. I say “strange” because it’s not true moral relativism.
Not even true relativism! That's how bogus these leftist friends of David French are.
Second, relativism drives the quest for justifications. Since there is no way that Western culture can be superior to Middle Eastern cultures...
Third, the quest for justification drives deception and willful ignorance.
To me the big question here, besides "why do I even read this shit," is: David French has "friends on the left"? I've treated this phenomenon before, and am surprised at its persistence: They express the most bitter contempt for them, yet refer to them as friends. I wonder if it's a little trick they're taught at Propagandist Academy, the purpose of which is to make them seem reasonable, despite the evidence of their ideas. Look, we have liberal friends! We have them over for tongue-lashings on Thursday evenings.

•  Usually around this time of the week I start thinking about what the Voice column's going to be about. One obvious choice is the U.S. mission to aid the Yazidi in Iraq, but I'm not sure I can work up the enthusiasm for it. On the one hand, there's something grimly funny, at least, about conservatives demanding action in the very hellhole that made them unelectable, and then looking stupid when the Administration actually provides it. But the big joke of our foreign policy in general is that we can no longer afford to do things the way we used to. One explanation for Obama's quietism in the Middle East is that he's figured: if things are going to be fucked up, why spend trillions to make sure it's fucked up the way we prefer -- especially since that seems not to work anyway? As much as the prospect of the next Republican Administration's economic policies fills me with cold dread, I worry more about its foreign policy, because whatever moron is installed will probably have Billy Kristol and other such vampires pushing him to bomb someplace just to show how butch he is, and not enough sense to resist. (I wouldn't be surprised, BTW, if our Iran Avenger didn't turn out to be Rand Paul, a fraud from start to finish.)

•  I'm torn. I'm against this ridiculous, ginned-up de Blasio bashing on principle. But if it drives the toffs out and makes New York affordable to me again, I say swindle, comrades! Hell, let's get Larry "Wild Man" Hogue out of retirement, fuck shit up, and drive the hipsters back to Syosset.

181 comments:

  1. Derelict7:04 AM

    I fear that the Iraq/Middle East bed has been so thoroughly and completed shitted that not only can we not unshit it, we can't even figure out how to change the sheets.

    Unfortunately, I expect we'll hear the usual suspects on this Sunday's shows, and they will all be calling for the usual solution to this shitted-bed problem: Let's bomb something! Knowing how well Senator Butch-me-up and Grandpa McCain understand the Middle East, I guess they demand Obama bomb Jordan. After all, the Jordanians are about the only friend we have left there.

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  2. Derelict7:06 AM

    Look, we have liberal friends! We have them over for tongue-lashings on Thursday evenings.

    We play with our liberal friends all night long. Then, on Friday, we put them in the laundry with the rest of the socks so that they're nice and clean for the next time we need them!

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  3. Don't think this is off-topic, since what is off-topic on friday round-the-horn? but has anybody considered in the aftermath of multiple execution fuck-ups involving sketchy drugs and no doubt unimaginable suffering under the cover of gasps and muscle spasms and alleged unconsciousness taking, well, HOURS, to reach that far shore… has anybody thought about maybe giving crucifixion a try? Just to be honest about the whole thing?

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  4. BigHank537:42 AM

    Why can’t so many liberals understand the pure evil of Islamic jihad?

    Well, Mr. French, that's because many people in America already have experience dealing with hyper-religious nutbars who think the rules in their holy book need to be implemented for every man, woman, and child. Even without any language or culture barrier they've shown they're not interested in real-world counterexamples, science, or simple reason: God says these are the rules, and that's the way it's gotta be.

    And if we can't get plain old cornfed Joe and Jane Sixpack to admit that their particular hobbyhorses are much less different from jihad than they'd like to admit, what chance do we have arguning with Achmed and Ali and Abdul? You, Mr. French, are a much greater threat to the rights of people I care about (As a white straight guy, I can't think of anything that French wants me to stop doing.) than any frustrated Muslim with a boner for virgins in Paradise. A short list of things I know you want to get rid of: the social safety net (including Social Security, MediCare, MedicAid, the ACA, unemployment insurance, AFDC, WIC, and any other charity that isn't controlled by a conservative religious organization) abortion, birth control, premarital sex, gay marriage, gay sex, sodomy, secular public education, and religious freedom. I'd say we pretty much have our hands full dealing with our homegrown jihadists already, Mr. French.

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  5. Pope Zebbidie XIII8:01 AM

    Forgive me, but I thought the concept of jihad was one of struggle, which may be the explicit war-like one, or it can be the internal struggle to overcome impulses to evil. In and of itself, neither here nor there.


    Mind you, the idea that a bunch of yokels with light armour, running around in Hiluxes, are being a serious threat to anybody larger than New Zealand is ludicrous on the face of it. Without putting on the tinfoil hat, Exxon has far greater power and reach and is possibly equally antipathetic to democracy - not to mention it really has gotten its agents inside the White House.

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  6. Derelict8:10 AM

    With our homegrown religious nuts, it's a matter of degree, not kind. Our religious nuts are not staging mass executions (at least not yet).


    ISIS is composed of Sunnis who got kicked out of Syria by Assad. Assad's forces were kicking those Sunni butts in the Syrian civil war, so they all decamped to Iraq where they met no opposition. Who needs to overthrow a well-armed dictator when you can just take over the unprotected country next door?

    These ISIS jihadis that have Mr. French hiding under his bed are the same people he and the rest of the Rightwing Wurlitzer wanted to arm just a few months ago. He'd never admit it, but I'll bet he's glad Obama didn't listen to Graham and McCain back then!

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  7. I worry more about its foreign policy, because whatever moron is installed will probably have Billy Kristol and other such vampires pushing him to bomb someplace just to show how butch he is, and not enough sense to resist.

    Jenocide Rubin at the WaPo is talking up Rick Perry, aka Governor Goodhair, again today.

    Coincidence?
    ~

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  8. the idea that a bunch of yokels with light armour, running around in
    Hiluxes, are being a serious threat to anybody larger than New Zealand
    is ludicrous on the face of it.

    Except when jihadists become skilled & organized enough to hold territory, as the group ISIS/DAASH has in parts of Iraq and Syria. Then the yokels are a bit more frightening -- even if it's unclear how long they will actually last.

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  9. randomworker8:52 AM

    David French, Jonah Goldberg, and Rand Paul all in the same post. I feel nauseated.

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  10. Or hanging. Seems to work OK.

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  11. Derelict9:01 AM

    Rick Perry has foreign policy chops. After all, you can see Guadalupe from his house.

    Especially on Wednesdays when she comes in to clean.

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  12. redoubtagain9:02 AM

    Shorter David French: "Damn ragheads are all the same everywhere."

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  13. danfromny9:26 AM

    Friends on the left is meant sarcastically. They hate the left and they have no friends.

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  14. Megalon9:27 AM

    The IS seems to be less like the Iranian mullahs or the Muslim Brotherhood and more like some sort of religious Khmer Rouge. I think it's safe to say that the whole thing is going to come crashing down sooner or later. Hopefully it'll be sooner, the only question is, how much of a body count are they going to rack up before that happens. I can only hope the Kurds can hold out and that the Yazidis and other minorities can at least escape.

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  15. sharculese9:32 AM

    Today in Of Course It's Always Projection: The dudes who write endless hyperventilating articles and devote entire websites to the claim that not only is their particular, incredibly specific definition of 'western culture' superior to any other on the globe, it puts a period at the end of the whole concept of civilization with a boldness and finality that would make others blush, accuses other people of having rigidly dogmatic views about the relative value of 'western culture.'


    Also, ha ha, his last name is French.

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  16. sharculese9:34 AM

    Suggesting bringing back crucifixion would require them to have enough self-awareness to know that their the Pharisees in that particular story.

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  17. Helmut Monotreme9:34 AM

    Why am I not worried about Islamic Jihad? Because I'm not surprised by it. Because it didn't come fully formed out of nowhere. Because western foreign policy has been all about imperialism and oil in the middle east and fuck everything else, especially the welfare of the people that live there for nearly a century now. Because what the fuck did they think would happen when they redrew the map time and time again for imperial dick waving, and propped up the leaders in the middle east that that gave the west the best access to oil and overthrew anyone who even thought about taking a bigger share of the oil money for themselves or the people whose ground it was being pumped out of? Because the only thing the west has been happier to do than buy oil from religious fundamentalists in the middle east is to sell them advanced weapons. Because the west seems have been using "Heart of Darkness" as a how-to manual for foreign policy since the days of Columbus.

    So pardon us for not being surprised when butchery is met with butchery. Pardon us for being right the whole fucking time when we said not to invade Iraq, or get involved in Syria or mindlessly support Israel every goddamn time they bomb the shit out of their neighbors. Pardon us for not being surprised that desperate people do desperate things and lash out with horrifying violence. So I dare you. Corner a liberal. Put him on the spot and ask him or her why they aren't outraged. Just don't be surprised when you get an earful. Because we are outraged. We are outraged that Bush junior and senior and Cheney and all the neocons that excused torture and the goons that kidnapped and tortured and executed people aren't all roommates at the Hague. We are outraged that the same people who advised us to kick over the hornet's nest sit on their fat asses while people get stung to death, and tell us to kick it again.

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  18. The idea that we should bomb Jordan just because we haven't yet, or because they're one of the only friends we have left in the Middle East SHOULD seem like hyperbole.

    But David Brooks (who is considered a moderate, reasonable conservative) really does think that waging "small wars" every once in awhile is an effective way to maintain power in the world. I guess it shows other nations who's boss or something.

    On Meet The Press a couple of weeks ago, he said "We had an American-led order which involved sort of constant gradual pressure. And that constant gradual pressure, which involved small wars every seven or eight years, but it kept the wolves at bay. It kept them on their back. Now the wolves are all like Putin. They're all advancing. They don't feel any pressure against them. And so you just get a lot more disorder unless you get that constant, affirmative pressure."
    http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-transcript-july-27-2014-n166016

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  19. "Liberals are too naive to see the danger of [whatever is causing them to shit their pants today]" an oldie but a goodie on Radio WCON.

    Liberal friend is the new black/gay/Jewish/etc friend. Claiming friendship allows them to bash away at will.

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  20. that said, it is great news for john mccain.

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  21. tigrismus10:06 AM

    Oh Christ almighty, I thought we were done with the "The fact that you're not as scared as I am means you're dumb/dishonest/collaborators" shit. Look, just because I don't need a diaper change every time I see a keffiyeh doesn't mean I don't take radicalism seriously. The fact that you do just means I don't take YOU seriously.

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  22. tigrismus10:07 AM

    Maybe we could then bury them in white-washed sepulchers?

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  23. sharculese10:09 AM

    That must create an incredible tension in their minds. On the one hand if you double up liberal with one of the other categories that's one less member of the Other to associate with, but on the other hand the black/gay/Jewish friend is more useful as a rhetorical device if they've escaped the liberal plantation.


    But then again, this is all completely academic since none of these people actually exist.

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  24. Derelict10:14 AM

    The disorder Brooks exemplifies is, sadly, extremely common among our fellow citizens. Far too many are convinced (like Brooks, or Friedman) that bombing, killing, invading, and just generally being global dicks will somehow make other people stop wanting to hurt us. That Brooks et al. can't look at their very own reaction to 9-11 and surmise that bombing and killing people tends to make them want to hurt you back tells me that empathy and introspection are very rare personality traits these days.

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  25. Drawing and quartering would no doubt be popular, with the bonus of creating jobs for drovers.

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  26. bulletsarepeopletoo10:43 AM

    "Third, the quest for justification drives deception and willful ignorance."

    AKA we don't need no stinking justification to bomb the shit out of some brown people and their country.

    Why waste time like Bush & Cheney who had to justify invading Iraq by lying about Saddam having WMD. B & C should have just said they didn't like the cut of his jib and bombed away. Would have saved a lot of cowardly people from pooping their pants.

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  27. StringOnAStick10:50 AM

    Shorter Mr. French: "I'M SCARED! Holy Shit, I'm scared out of my mind AND YOU SHOULD BE TOO!. Now, watch this drive."

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  28. the thing is, they cut the evil now, with baby powder or detergent or credit swap derivatives. the evil really hasn't been pure since the early 70s.

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  29. StringOnAStick10:56 AM

    IS has been/is heavily funded by the Saudi's and Qatari's, as part of the Saudi drive to spread Wahhabism far and wide. How's that working out in Pakistan? Not too good if you aren't a Wahhabi or interested in living a non-nuclear-incineration lifestyle. The recent expression of shock that the Kurdish Peshmerga are getting their butts kicked fails to recognize that IS has a whole lot more training and advanced arms than just collecting what the Iraqi army dropped would provide.
    Now the Saudi's have noticed that IS's message boards are saying that their next target is taking Mecca away from those apostate, easy living Saudi's. Oops.

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  30. Ellis_Weiner11:02 AM

    "Because hornets hate us for our freedoms."

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  31. True. Here's what PURE evil looks like:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY9Z5OPzE78

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  32. Obviously you are objectively pro-hornet.

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  33. I must be some kind of liberal or something...

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  34. I just gave my liberal friend a new hat! Hello, liberal friend!


    "Hello! I don't understand that the Muslims want to kill me and my gay friends! I bought this hat instead of soap, which I need because I stink!


    Oh liberal friend, you so crazy.

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  35. XeckyGilchrist11:42 AM

    Yup. I read it as the same word McCain kept using in the 2008 tic "My friends."

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  36. tigrismus11:44 AM

    Ok, I googled him and to give him credit he was against arming the Syrian rebels. Of course even after admitting there were no good answers, he blamed Obama. I guess that's part of the job description to write for the right.

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  37. XeckyGilchrist11:46 AM

    But then those damn liberals would just outlaw gallows that were tall enough to do the job quickly, what with all their government regulatory meddling, and we're right back to the condemned choking to death for hours.

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  38. If our wonderful newsmedia were sane, someone would have stood up right after that remark and said "Are you saying we need to declare war on someone just to apply 'pressure'?" But no, Judy Woodruff treats it as though it's a serious argument worth addressing. I think the world - or at least our press - would be much better if, when someone said something ridiculous and/or horrible on one of these shows, someone else would respond with "What the fuck?" But no, that's not allowed by the rules of decorum that guide our American aristocracy.

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  39. I think she is just a hack. Remember how she pushed Romney and declared everything his campaign did into a masterful move? As soon as the poll closed she coldly declared that Romney was a miserable candidate anyway.

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  40. Smarter than Your Average Bear11:57 AM

    I'll see that keffiyeh and raise you two hijabs ;)

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  41. More than that, I remember in 2012 when she insisted that Rick Perry is a stupid idiot.

    A rare incidence of Jenghazi being right about something.
    ~

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  42. Smarter than Your Average Bear12:00 PM

    Pure #awesomesauce there Helmut - you made my TGIF day - thanks

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  43. Yes, that's one of the things I find most annoying about pundits like him.


    Brooks always has the self-assured air of someone who can say absolutely anything, no matter how wrong-headed or ridiculous, and STILL be taken seriously.


    I have to admit that my vocabulary isn't equal to the task of expressing myself in this situation. What's a word that means "smug" but to a much greater degree?

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  44. gocart mozart12:08 PM

    ISIS is evil scum. There I said it. Because liberals believe in freedom of religion for everyone (not just Christians as most conservatives do) this causes us to support the rights of Muslim Americans and other minority religions. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that we support jihad you stupid fuck. Is that clear enough for you?

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  45. Hell, maybe that can be a topic on a future Meet the Press or Crossfire. We can have a nice, sober discussion on whether torturing people to death is okay. It's all acceptable as long as no one commits the unforgivable sins (cursing or calling someone a liar).

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  46. gocart mozart12:16 PM

    Obama could have used his trustee time machine to stop Bush from starting the Iraq war. He failed to do so when he had the chance. Thanks Obama.

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  47. BigHank5312:18 PM

    Probably just a WASP.

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  48. Derelict12:19 PM

    This comment stings!

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  49. gocart mozart12:20 PM

    I have always been of the view that it is very difficult to uncluster fuck a country. Call me crazy.

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  50. Derelict12:21 PM

    I propose "Brooks" or "Brooksian," or maybe "Friedmanian."

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  51. gocart mozart12:23 PM

    Obviously, the bees hate me for my freedom.

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  52. Derelict12:23 PM

    I guess the Saudis are just a stupid as we are when it comes to this stuff. They financed Bin Laden and his followers for the same reasons--and got the same results (Bin Laden declaring jihad to wrest Mecca from the Saudi royal family).

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  53. gocart mozart12:24 PM

    Ooops, not only did I not read the entire thread, I didn't read the very next comment before posting. Sorry Ellis.

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  54. gocart mozart12:26 PM

    Fucking French!

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  55. Derelict12:30 PM

    Hanging work ok for a wide range of meanings of "ok." Done correctly, it provides a very quick death for the condemned. BUT . . .

    . . . if the rope is too short, the condemned strangles to death slowly. This can take quite a while (and probably seems like eternity to the condemned, who remains conscious for most of that process).

    If the rope is too long, the condemned has their head jerked right off their body. This is what happened to Saddam when they hung him.

    Despite centuries of development, hanging never really became a reliable method of execution. The vagaries of human physiology make it impossible to reliably calculate rope length versus victim weight.

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  56. There's already a perfectly good word: Babbling.

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  57. gocart mozart12:35 PM

    Well, if it was good enough for Jesus ...

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  58. I'll worry more about Islamic jihad when the right wing Christian jihad (teahad) becomes less of a threat.

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  59. gocart mozart12:39 PM

    A Randy French Pantload.

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  60. gocart mozart12:46 PM

    Of course, he is bigger and more malleable dummy for the neo-con puppet-masters to manipulate.

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  61. The Saudis are truly the worst people in the world- no wonder our oligarchs coddle them.

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  62. BigHank5312:48 PM

    There are a whole lot of very wealthy families in Saudi Arabia that aren't particularly big fans of the House of Saud, and would like nothing more than seeing the bodies of the entire royal family dangling from streetlights. Tribal infighting in the Middle East hasn't taken a rest in 6,000 years, and the addition of Islam just gave them a new topic for arguing.

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  63. It does seem like the more immediate concern (to us here in this country, anyway.)

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  64. basenjibrian1:17 PM

    But we HAVE had multiple small wars we have either been involved in or fundin proxies to fight for us. I mean, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, drone wars in Yemen and Pakistan. How many wars do these vile monsters NEED to feel manly enough?

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  65. Wildly disproportionate, lethal collective punishment is okay for people I like against people I don't like but don't call me a moral relativist.

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  66. sigyn1:52 PM

    No! It's perfect as is. If we were stung by a wasp, it makes perfect sense to attack the bee hive.


    At least that's been our foreign policy for a while now.

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  67. mortimer20001:59 PM

    But if it drives the toffs out and makes New York affordable to me again, I say swindle, comrades!

    Sadly, in Manhattan at least, the toffs aren't going anywhere, although the rich-filthiest of them rarely show up to their multi-million apartments anyway. I'm expecting any day now for them to declare the Triborough bridge Manhattan's new "poor door" to the Bronx and the Jackie Robinson Parkway, without any of the subsidized housing benefits. And at the rate small businesses are being squeezed by the developer landlords, the richies are going to have to send their laundry to Flushing soon.

    Loved what someone at the Twitter link said about the picture of the squeegee man: "Knowing the Post, the car is probably owned by the man cleaning it."

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  68. catclub2:08 PM

    Another person who has not had interactions with fire ants. I don't want to think about flying ones.

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  69. Halloween_Jack2:12 PM

    Yeah, Manhattan is second only to London as a place for Russian oligarchs to park their money against the day that Putin runs out of distraction and the masses raise the red flag again (or the black). Never mind the squeegee men, the entire cast of The Warriors could be roaming the streets and at most it would flatten rent on the ground-level units (which are bad investments anyway, because global warming).

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  70. Halloween_Jack2:13 PM

    Hey, the Yazidi at least have their own superhero.

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  71. Halloween_Jack2:15 PM

    Franch!

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  72. Bizarro Mike2:31 PM

    I use Brooksian already, and I hear it around too. It's used pretty much in the way Buddy describes: crazy dangerous advice delivered in an avuncular tone that's taken seriously by all involved.

    For Friedmanian, I usually hear "execu-speak" ala Futurama.

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  73. Jaime Oria2:45 PM

    - which are bad investments anyway, because global warming -
    Well, that explains your particular choice of domicile, dunnit?

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  74. XeckyGilchrist2:53 PM

    Is the head-popping-off thing really a problem, other than cosmetically?

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  75. Derelict2:59 PM

    It certainly does disturb the witnesses. And Americans have never been comfortable with beheadings--we never adopted the guillotine or used the headsman's axe. I'm not aware of any of the founders ever speaking to methods of execution beyond specifying hanging as an appropriate punishment for treason. However, we seem to have made an implicit decision as a society that decapitation is not our thing.

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  76. I think the word "relativist" means something different to conservatives.

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  77. PersonaAuGratin3:06 PM

    I, for one, welcome our new abaya-clad Overladies.

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  78. Twelve fucking yrs. ago this was the "Ledeen Doctrine":Well, I’ve long been an admirer of, if not a full-fledged subscriber to, what I call the “Ledeen Doctrine.” I’m not sure my friend Michael Ledeen will thank me for ascribing authorship to him and he may have only been semi-serious when he crafted it, but here is the bedrock tenet of the Ledeen Doctrine in more or less his own words: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.” That’s at least how I remember Michael phrasing it at a speech at the American Enterprise Institute about a decade ago (Ledeen is one of the most entertaining public speakers I’ve ever heard, by the way).Now reasonable centrist Brooks expresses it as constant gradual pressure, which involved small wars every seven or eight years.(Note increase in frequency.)


    Permanent war, permanently.


    I'm just sorry I can't possibly be more cynical.

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  79. BigHank533:39 PM

    What's a word that means "smug" but to a much greater degree?

    The title you're looking for actually comes from high fantasy: WormTongue. Brooks is an obsequious handmaiden for the .01%, always flattering those he views as more "virtuous" while stepping on those he thinks are less. That his concept of virtue seems to closely parallel worldly success is mere coincidence, I'm sure.

    Don't expect him to stop: it's turned him into a wealthy lickspittle.

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  80. BigHank533:49 PM

    Well, Ms. Rubin was also waxing enthusiastic over the prospect of a Christie candidacy until everyone found out he had 800 pounds of legal problems but only 400 pounds of bouyancy. Any support for any candidate by Ms. Rubin must be considered through the prism of her sole foreign policy qualification: will they write the Likud party a blank check for whatever atrocities they care to commit?

    Perry seems a reasonable choice in that light.

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  81. That's letting them off a bit too easily. Decorum isn't it. Let a leftist say something distinctly non-horrible/not-ridiculous & listen to the response from the decorous on those shows.


    Every one of those incestuous, nepotistic, inside-the-Beltway conventional Village wisdom swallowers is at best a crypto-fascist who firmly believes (or blindly accepts) all the horrible &/or ridiculous things their fellow pond scum of the power structure like Brooks say.

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  82. Stoning's even more honest. Get the citizens involved, like jury duty. (No volunteers or ballplayers though. Pick the stoners by lottery.)

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  83. I just finished reading that Jonah Goldberg article you linked to. Some pretty slimy stuff.


    It's like geopolitics played out as social dominance. An alpha gorilla will suddenly strike one of the lesser males for so reason, just to maintain his position of dominance. There are cruel dog-owners who say that you have to beat your dog every once in awhile, whether the dog deserves it or not, so as to keep them well-trained. There are wife-beaters who have a similar philosophy, making sure their wives feel continuously helpless and submissive.


    Interpersonal relations become inhuman exercises in degeneracy under this kind of thinking. It's hard to imagine that anyone could seriously think that international relations would be any better using methods like these.

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  84. I do believe the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex managed to get some weapons (slightly used by the Iraqi Army, many just like new) to them anyway.

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  85. "Franch... fries! Franch... dressing! Franch... bread!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhW7rpFhr2k

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  86. Derelict4:18 PM

    They're showing an awful lot of skin. The sight of a female face is enough to make any fundamentalist Islamic male lose control--at least according to the Taliban.

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  87. The tides come in, the tides go out ... who can explain it?

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  88. Derelict4:22 PM

    I wonder how the ISIS fanatics would view these wealthy families. It doesn't seem likely that it would be another picnic in the dunes.

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  89. Derelict4:22 PM

    Shouldn't Mr. French be taking care of Buffy and Jody?

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  90. Derelict4:25 PM

    I always figured you could pick the stoners by noting which people are scarfing down RingDings.

    Alternate joke: Pick the stoners by lottery--I thought Shirley Jackson said we pick the VICTIM by lottery.

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  91. Wasps often lay their eggs in helpless insects that they overpower and drag back to their nests.

    WASPS often fob their offspring off on helpless nannies because they have more power and much larger nests.

    Islamic Jihadists (as opposed to Christian ones?) want to ... uh ... use stinger missiles to ... implant Sharia in helpless Americans because ... didn't you hear? Obama sold our mlitary to Kenya.

    Yeah. Connect the dots.

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  92. Glibertarian stoners can be picked by seeing who's enjoying the many flavors ("Consumer choice is Freedom & Liberty!") of Pop-Tarts.


    I was amused that "stoners" isn't recognized by whatever crummy spell-check is at work here.

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  93. Wormtounge was a bad ass villain in his own right. Brooks and the other toad eaters ... I don't see them trying to gaslight an entire race of heavily armed people.

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  94. It works out well for the wife- & dog-beaters. Why wouldn't it go world-wide?


    P.S.: Links are a formality, not an obligation.

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  95. I didn't feel obligated; I was genuinely curious to see what you were quoting!

    ReplyDelete
  96. gocart mozart5:45 PM

    Detective John "King Peacock" Corbeau

    A highly pious follower of the Yazidi
    religion and often referred to as a "Devil worshipper" by others. Able
    to perform superhuman feats and detect faults and weak spots (similar to
    Marvel's Karnak)
    by communing with his god, he is also an excellent hand-to-hand
    combatant. He is married with three children and is a good father and a
    loyal husband, albeit a conservative one. His partner is Synaesthesia
    Jackson. Five years after the Ultima incident, the Corbeaus have a
    fourth child.

    ReplyDelete
  97. gocart mozart5:51 PM

    Check out that sexy forearm on the one on the right. I'll be in my bunk.

    ReplyDelete
  98. gocart mozart5:53 PM

    Thanks for reminding me of the existence of Malkin you bastard.

    ReplyDelete
  99. tigrismus5:58 PM

    Sometimes, depending on the circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  100. tigrismus6:02 PM

    Huh. Like widow's weeds for women who are in chemo and love bling.

    ReplyDelete
  101. gocart mozart6:02 PM

    Except for soldiers, the third amendment bans the quartering of soldiers. I assume by its silence, the constitution permits the quartering of all others.

    I predict that five members of the Supreme Court will buy this argument at some point in the future.

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  102. What's a word that means "smug" but to a much greater degree?

    How about 'toady'?

    ReplyDelete
  103. Yes, I agree with Shakezula, wormtongue was no mere Uriah Heep. He was a conniver for his own purposes and he willfully manipulated everyone above and below him.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Its easy--its in the book under "one weird trick to unshit the bed."

    ReplyDelete
  105. TGuerrant7:22 PM

    Another Friday night and, yes, I do long to be in the grip of a strange kind of moral relativism.

    ReplyDelete
  106. montag27:44 PM

    The odd thing about this religious weirdness is that it's fairly recent, and dates back to 1979, when a bunch of religious extremists seized the mosque in Mecca. Prior to that event, there was quite a bit of discussion inside Saudi Arabia of liberalization. When the religious nuts threatened Mecca and the Saudi royals, instead of pressing on to marginalize the nuts, the Saudis, counter-intuitively, started coddling the extremist mullahs, funding their madrassas and paying for the religious police, apparently with the logic that only the religious right wing could keep the religious nuts in check, and giving the religious wackos operating funds meant they were obligated to the royals.

    In practice, however, that hasn't worked out too well. It's encouraged the Wahhabists inside the royal family, pumped a lot of money into groups seeking Islamist states (causing no end of grief for American business interests and by extension, the Saudis themselves), and generated proxy wars in which the eventual outcomes were and are highly unpredictable.

    If their object was to create stability for themselves, they've definitely gone about it the wrong way.

    ReplyDelete
  107. montag27:48 PM

    If Perry could deliver his lines like Reagan could, he'd be a shoo-in. As it is now, he makes Dubya seem articulate by comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  108. There is arrest
    in the forest
    And the creatures have to learn.
    For the humans shout Oppression!
    And the bees just shake their ... um ... abdomens.

    Needs work.

    ReplyDelete
  109. ken_lov7:56 PM

    Conservative pundits like French love to use this "my leftist friends" or "all the leftists I know say" line because it lets them invent liberal positions which in fact few liberals hold, thus relieving them of the necessity of citing leftists who actually articulate the opinions they ascribe to them.


    In this instance French describes a set of liberal beliefs that I have never encountered either in person or in print, but that wouldn't worry him. Like many conservatives, he JUST KNOWS what libtards really think, and empirical evidence to the contrary be damned.


    It makes meaningful discourse impossible, but one suspects that at NRO, where dissent is not tolerated, that's a bonus.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Can we talk about Brooks a little more? It's been a while since I saw anything from him, so I went over to Charlie Pierce's place to see if he wrote anything about Brooks, and...Holy fucking shit.

    I don't have words. He spends the first half of his column flacking for the government of the People's Republic of China, something that has been oddly popular on the right as of late (Mike Huckabee's done it a bunch of times). Now that already had my mouth literally agape, but then he argues that we need to "become less democratic at the national level in order to become more democratic at the local."



    In keeping with his "waiting for a Great Man to save us all" schtick, Brooks lays out his case that the problem is that the elites don't have enough influence over our system. What we need to do, per Brooks, is assemble a bunch of panels of elites to decide what needs to be done. These would be "bipartisan" reforms, like cutting entitlements, pushing charter schools, and deregulating health insurance (so both the conservative and Republican perspectives will be represented). And then once these oligarchs decided what's going to be done, they'd get the establishment to push it through. This would mean that the commoners would be cut out of the loop, but we'd be careful to make sure that some of those elites are local elites, so that those simple creatures are represented.


    It's unbelievable, and I think more proof for my argument that pundits are the American aristocracy. Here's a man who says, without a trace of irony, that we need elites to push "populist reforms," and then has the balls to call his plan to route around the Plebs "democratic." But because he came from the right family and went to the right schools and had the right friends, and because he'd never curse or get mad or do any of those coarse things that the filthy bloggers do, they treat his arguments as though they had merit and pay him large amounts of money to make them.


    Sometimes I miss having a political blog.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Or an immoral relative.

    ReplyDelete
  112. randomworker8:37 PM

    Speaking of around the horn...

    oh.my.god

    Elaina Johnson re: Corey Booker - worlds shittiest website:
    I made a trip to the public library in Newark, where I found the phone numbers of all of the nail establishments in the city, at least the ones listed in the phonebook. I called them to ask about their hours, and none of them claimed to be open all night. In fact, there’s only one salon in all of New York City that’s open 24 hours a day. When I showed the employees there a picture of Booker and asked if he was a customer, they told me they’d never seen him. A spokesman for the senator declined to tell me where he got his nails done.

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  113. tigrismus8:40 PM

    Supercilious?

    ReplyDelete
  114. Google The Luxury Network.

    ReplyDelete
  115. tigrismus8:49 PM

    YOU CAN'T MAKE ME. Because that is probably worse than it sounds.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Oh, you can quarter soldiers, just not in private homes.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:41 PM

    Does that look like 6 pix of the same woman to anybody else? (Disclaimer: I have Prosophosia)

    ReplyDelete
  118. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:45 PM

    ♫ I'm Lonesome Jihadi Burt
    Won't you smell my fring-ed shirt ♫


    Man, that's some weapons grade stupid, there. Anyway, it looks more like a doily...

    ReplyDelete
  119. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:46 PM

    Also they need at least a couple for the occasional "Liberal at a cocktail party" line to have a whiff of pseudoreality...

    ReplyDelete
  120. cleter10:55 PM

    Cheney was using some of Nixon's old equipment and recipes to manufacture some pure, old-school 70s evil in the basement of the White House for awhile, but I hear Biden took the machinery apart and used the pieces to make a big-ass bong.

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  121. billcinsd12:23 AM

    He spends the first half of his column flacking for the government of
    the People's Republic of China, something that has been oddly popular on
    the right as of late (Mike Huckabee's done it a bunch of times).



    I believe the term of art is "Money talks" -- Milo Bloom figured this out 30 years ago

    ReplyDelete
  122. Another Kiwi12:43 AM

    Righteous Helmut

    ReplyDelete
  123. billcinsd12:47 AM

    they totally forgot yogurt culture. Dannon ranks ahead of Yoplait

    ReplyDelete
  124. Another Kiwi12:47 AM

    Yeah those fuckers better not mess with us."No evil Jihadists you can't buy Hobbit dolls, fuck off"

    ReplyDelete
  125. montag22:14 AM

    I'm just sitting here quietly humming Tim Hardin's "Smuggling Man" for the hell of it.

    I'm betting this was the official theme song of Cheney's Office of the Vice-President. If you called that office (provided you were in the know and were given the number, since they weren't in the Federal directory), this was what they played while you were on hold.

    We sell guns to just about everyone, and then wonder why people keep using them on us and everybody else. So, young Mr. French, it's got very little to do with "jihadi evil" and everything to do with us and our extraordinarily warped notions about how we go about trying to run the world for the benefit of our multinational companies and their cronies in foreign governments.

    We explain this, and explain this, again and again, and it just never sinks in, does it?

    ReplyDelete
  126. montag22:19 AM

    Wouldn't that be: "Would have saved a lot of cowardly people from the very great pleasure of pooping their pants.

    ReplyDelete
  127. montag22:33 AM

    Oh, indeed. But, in this country, religious nuts with guns get a pass because they're white religious nuts with guns.

    Tribalism makes for strange bedfellows.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Pope Zebbidie XIII5:20 AM

    We respect you for your violent racial fantasies, military worship and gun fetishism. Now if you could just get Hugo Boss to do your uniforms....

    ReplyDelete
  129. Pope Zebbidie XIII5:23 AM

    "But we found this one golden ring"

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  130. Pope Zebbidie XIII5:28 AM

    They've held it for a month so far - and it is religiously sympathetic territory too. It pushes too far and Iran steps in to protect the Shiites. There is a long way between taking over areas either currently or recently subject to years of civil war and taking on actual nation states.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Glock H. Palin, Esq.6:25 AM

    Shut up, man, you're harshing our buzz.

    ReplyDelete
  132. When conservatoids say "my friends on the left" they mean approximately what MPs mean when they say "the right honourable gentleman."

    ReplyDelete
  133. Thomas "apeman" Friedman: Suck. On. This. That Charlie is what this war is about. We could of hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. Could of hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Brooks is Chauncey Gardner--he mutters nonsense, but because he is a Sage Pundit, the Villagers cramp their pretty little brains to read some wise insight into it.

    ReplyDelete
  135. That's because the Brooksies and Friedmen of America are so very, very far removed from having nothing to lose that they are incapable of understanding that there are millions, if not billions, of people who are right next to "nothing to lose." When folks have nothing else to lose, they tend to act in ways rich folks find irrational. Such as attacking the most heavily armed and funded military in the history of the world.


    "Terrorism" is just another word for nothing left to lose.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I think you're seeing a group of women who were selected for the similarity of their facial features and then worked over by a heavy-handed make up artist. (What's prosophosia, if you don't mind?)

    ReplyDelete
  137. If you live vicariously, blood-thirsty but don't like getting your hands bloody, feel certain your nation will always be doing the beating and that you'll never be placed in the line of fire, it is a perfect arrangement.

    Then, as you sit on your reclining couch several thousand miles from the combat zone and wave a giant USA #1! foam finger at the TV, you can call yourself a home front warrior or whatever the fuckheads called themselves because they spent eight years orthofellating George W Bush.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Fearguth8:04 AM

    David French is so far to the Right that, sure, he has 'friends on the Left'. They're called Republicans.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Derelict8:06 AM

    Interesting that they use "moral relativism" as an epithet to condemn "the left," and yet they bristle when you call them "moral absolutists" because that term puts them on equal footing with every Islamic nutcase out there.

    ReplyDelete
  140. The head-covering makes them look similar, maybe because it hides their hair? But if you look closer they are different.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Derelict8:16 AM

    That's some hard-hitting investigative journalism! Using the phone book produces far more thorough results than using Google. And using the phone book is more dangerous, too--what, with the chance for paper cuts, the fact that other people may have handled the book with dirty hands, and so on. It's like reporting from a war zone!

    ReplyDelete
  142. randomworker8:37 AM

    And like no 24 hour nail salon in its right mind would fail to take out a yellow pages add, right? And wtf is she doing...going to one salon in person and showing them a picture? Is she insane?

    ReplyDelete
  143. People like that should never be surprised when "blowback" happens.


    But they are.

    ReplyDelete
  144. No, it never sinks in. The concept of "blowback" shouldn't be hard to understand.


    (That "Smugglin' Man is one rockin' tune, though!)

    ReplyDelete
  145. But Wahabi'ism itself goes way back before 1979 and was used by the Saudi Royals to control everyone else--they were spreading it world wide before 1979 as well. Its metastized because it could and its in its nature to spread.

    ReplyDelete
  146. tigrismus9:47 AM

    In fact, there’s only one salon in all of New York City that’s open 24 hours a day

    Yelp tells me she's got several more places to visit in the area. I bet she didn't visit anyplace, though, it was just a cute way to question his sexual orientation.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person11:00 AM

    Oops, missspelled that. "Prosopagnosia". Dunno why I do that with these simple little Greek words...

    Also called "face blindness". Never knew it had a name till Kevin Drum wrote a post about it. Seems he has it too. I just always thought I was "really bad with faces & names".

    ReplyDelete
  148. How could there be blowback when their imaginary Action Figure Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Willis Clone Marine Corps will frag anyone who dares to contradict them, including actual members of the military and veterans?

    Also, The Left is made up of a handful of freaks and hippies. Everyone else is on their side. This also feeds the conviction that when a Democrat wins an election, someone cheated.



    It's weird. They seem to dread being unpopular or holding unpopular views so much that they automatically reject any evidence that they're not popular.

    ReplyDelete
  149. A lot of these schmucks want us to believe that private charity can stand in for a public safety net, because a system in which benefits are handed out impartially doesn't allow pious totalitarians to get their freak on. (The fact that private charity - either from groups or individuals - has never been able to adequately provide for the people in need it is an extra benefit.)

    Basically Brooks wants a return to the Good Olde Days, when bored rich people who wanted to be seen as philanthropic sat around gargling claret and discussing Sobriety or Hygiene or Virtue and then tried out their various crackpot theories on anyone who didn't run away fast enough.

    The problem of course is that the non-rich still have a say in the democratic process and they tend to say No, to "Let's put the rich in charge of everything, come on, it'll be fun!"

    I don't know, I wonder if these sort of articles are morale-boosters for the rich.

    "Yes, the world would be so much better if you ran every thing and respectful poor people tugged their forelocks because they hoped you'll throw them a penny and you could have your servants flogged if they boiled your eggs too hard ..."

    I just think more like writers trying to suck up to a rich patron than actual aristocrats.

    ReplyDelete
  150. drspittle12:11 PM

    AMEN!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  151. Derelict12:26 PM

    It's not just their remove from day-to-day average life that makes Brooks et al. such head-up-the-ass monsters. It's their hyper-simplistic views of how the world and the people in work.

    They start with this utterly Manichean view and then paint themselves and America as always being unalloyed Good. That a Frenchman loves France or a Japanese person loves Nippon is incomprehensible to them because ONLY Americans can be patriots.

    They then layer their Good-and-Evil view of the world with the idea that there is only one thing that anyone (other than themselves) always understands: Overwhelming Force. In their worldview, negotiation is capitulation. Knowledge leads only to weakness. And empathy is a word in the dictionary--an unknown quality to them, and thus a quality unknown among them.

    What you wind up with is this wildly distorted schoolyard bully philosophy. "If we just kill enough of these sub-humans over here, the rest will stop hating us and looking for ways to strike back." Most 5-year-old children can see that this doesn't work--but not our Mr. Brooks.

    In the run-up to Iraq, I remember talking to my rightwing brother-in-law. I pointed out that people in Iraq are still pissed off over Alexander the Great's invasion. So what possible good could we hope to accomplish by invading such a place, and how would this NOT come back to bite us? "Typical liberal way to look at things," he said. Now, he's all in favor of genocide against Muslims. And what possible repercussions could that have?

    ReplyDelete
  152. Derelict12:30 PM

    The proud members of the 101st Chairborne Division. And their Special Forces adjunct, the Keyboard Kommandos. Their leader: 5-Fart Gen. Jonah Goldberg.

    ReplyDelete
  153. montag22:01 PM

    True, about the general Wahhabi history. But the religious crackdown can be traced back to 1979. The attack and capture of the Mecca mosque really unnerved the royals in charge--particularly the royal family's chief of intelligence--because they felt that such could just as easily be directed at them. The religious police are a relatively new phenomenon, in which thugs in prison were given release to work for the religious police if they learned the Q'uran by heart. That sort of thing didn't exist earlier. Previously, it was left to the mullahs to do from the pulpit.

    The point is that pandering to the extremists as a means of blunting their extremism didn't work. The royals who were worried about their safety and security were actually feeding the insanity that would come back to bite them. And such policies gave a green light to the more extreme members of the royal family to finance and otherwise support the fundamentalists. First, they were financing a war against the West, against modernity, then, later a war against Shia and other smaller splinter sects, and, eventually, these battles will turn inward in a paranoid attempt to rid the faith of the less pure Sunnis.

    Think Algeria after the military coup.

    ReplyDelete
  154. One of Pierce's commenters hit upon the perfect description of Brooks when he compared him to Basil Fawlty: "A fawning suck-up to those with wealth and privilege and a condescending, misinformed arrogant prick to those he perceives below him on the social scales."

    ReplyDelete
  155. tigrismus3:11 PM

    Pardon us for being right the whole fucking time when we said not to
    invade Iraq, or get involved in Syria or mindlessly support Israel every
    goddamn time they bomb the shit out of their neighbors.


    David Brooks on News Hour yesterday said "we can’t have all our decisions today be based on what should have been done in 2003." Forget that they've always fucked things up, man, it just shows you're stuck in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Thank you for this fascinating history. I only got midway through some enormous book on Saudi History before wanting to slit my wrists. I don't think I got much past the second world war.

    ReplyDelete
  157. I heard Brooks say that.


    I wish somebody on the PBS News Hour would have followed up with "But don't you think we might have learned SOMETHING from that terrible decision back in 2003?"


    David Brooks can just take a flying leap through a rolling doughnut...

    ReplyDelete
  158. Not quite as bad as you think. They're sales staff or something, not hookers.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Another Kiwi7:32 PM

    unsubtle deluded assholes. Hmm, I feel that you may be on to something there.

    ReplyDelete
  160. tigrismus7:57 PM

    I know, I hit the roof, but nobody responded. I said to my husband, "you could at least not make the EXACT SAME FUCKING MISTAKES." I am always shocked when he's taken seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  161. tigrismus7:59 PM

    Oh, I didn't assume they were hookers, it's just anything named "luxury network" kind of pushes my "EW" button right off the bat. If it doesn't bug you I suppose it might be safe....

    ReplyDelete
  162. davdoodles9:25 PM

    "Since there is no way that Western culture can be superior to Middle Eastern cultures... [their] justification drives deception and willful ignorance"

    No doubt David French also has "black friends" who are too 'deceptive' to accept that slavery was good for 'western culture', and "female friends" who are 'willfully ignorant' that their votes aren't making America a better place for French to live in either.
    .

    ReplyDelete
  163. Mooser10:43 AM

    "out of retirement, fuck shit up, and drive the hipsters back to Syosset"


    Where? Never hears of it, can't even pronounce it..

    ReplyDelete
  164. Mooser10:48 AM

    Her elbows are available for viewing on alternate Tuesdays.

    ReplyDelete
  165. So I finally checked the BdB link to see what all of the fuss was about. I could have sworn that NYC has made it through a number of eras and events that are between 100 to 1,000,000 times worse than guys cleaning car windshields. Clearly I was mistaken.

    https://twitter.com/rodtownsend/status/497704372571504641

    ReplyDelete
  166. Yeah-- its big. Oliver sacks has it and wrote about it. I think he may also have a related issue where you dont remember markers for location and navigation.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Derelict2:10 PM

    Your point about charity is well taken. In the history of man, charity has not yet acted as a viable safety net.

    An additional factor is modern Christianity as practiced in this country. Most give lip service to the concept of charity, and the "Christian" organizations that supposedly do charity are either (a.) working as close to the line of legal fraud as possible to enrich the founders; (b.) tie receiving charity to becoming a member of the denomination, thus making the "charity" a strong-arm method of proselytizing; (c.) use the "charity" as a vehicle to shame the poor; or (d.) all of the above.

    So, yeah, I can easily imagine the case where a woman divorces her physically abusive husband, ends up working a fast-food job for a nominal 29 hours per week, and turns to her local charity for help feeding the two kids she had in that marriage. "Before we give you this bag of generic groceries, you slattern, you have to take the vows of our sect. And then, in your spare time, you have to go door-to-door to raise money for our charitable cause!"

    ReplyDelete
  168. TGuerrant6:16 PM

    And perhaps when it's Corey, his salon of choice opens just for him. That's how you know when you've really made it - that and people apologize to you after you shoot them in the face.

    ReplyDelete
  169. PersonaAuGratin6:58 PM

    They're models and it's from a fashion show in Qatar.

    http://debaj.tumblr.com/archive/2013/3

    ReplyDelete
  170. Gabriel Ratchet1:39 AM

    Nah, the modern equivalent of a drover would be a Teamster, and you know how these people hate unions.

    ReplyDelete
  171. Halloween_Jack9:32 AM

    I assumed they were ninjas.

    ReplyDelete
  172. Matt Jones10:55 AM

    Personally, I can't really bring myself to give a shit about jihadis overseas because there's too goddamn many of them HERE, running the whole GOP show. Maybe when half the country isn't voting for people who think the Ayatollah had the right idea except that he was too squishy on capital punishment and listened the wrong imaginary friend...

    ReplyDelete
  173. realinterrobang9:36 PM

    I've been there and I still had to ask.

    ReplyDelete