Showing posts with label charles two middle initials cooke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charles two middle initials cooke. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


I wouldn't go so far as to say I feel sorry for Scott Walker. He's a monster, best known for his scheme to destroy the Wisconsin teachers' union. Conservatives loved that about him, of course, because he was fulfilling their most earnest wish to humble those moocher cloth-ears who dared demand a living wage for work that didn't generate dividends or rightwing propaganda. Also he's been trying to get rid of tenure at the University of Wisconsin, which really sets their hearts on fire. And he loves Jesus and Reagan.

Many conservatives chose to imagine that ordinary people would love Walker just as much as they loved him -- though he always seemed to my unstarry eyes to be in a constant trance state and perhaps developmentally disabled. When Walker was caught eating some barbecue he'd just been serving to people with his latex serving gloves still on, it looks weird to some, but at The Federalist Peter Cook claimed it only looked weird to liberals because they never did an honest day's work -- unlike Walker, who once briefly did marketing for the Red Cross before entering politics. Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review found Walker a perfect candidate for a "Return to Normalcy" campaign "with his homespun tales of one-dollar sweaters, his quiet Midwestern roots, and his down-to-earth everyman appearance..."

Did ordinary people see him that way? It now appears ordinary Republicans didn't even see him that way. Or maybe they did see it, but decided it wasn't enough. Walker was doing okay in the polls until Trump broke out. And suddenly there went Walker's whole reason for being. It turned out his dollar sweaters and latex gloves and his lack of schooly airs weren't what appealed to them -- it was his willingness to be mean to the people they hated; and if you want a candidate to be mean to the people you hate, isn't it much better to have one who seems confident about it? (And if you want one who seems to be in a daze, there's always Ben Carson.) What's the point of ressentiment in a minor key? In April, when Walker tried to excite the crowd by harshing on Mexicans and people found it offensive, National Review's Rich Lowry said, "Walker should take the shots as a compliment, and hopefully, the rest of the field will begin to think and talk about immigration the same way." This was before Trump started calling Mexicans rapists and sweeping the field.

Anyway, now the brethren are wandering away from the scene of the crash with their hands in their pockets, whistling. Byron York was a big booster back in the day. In January he said, "Scott Walker doesn't have to be great on the stump to do well," because  his union-busting was so electifying that "GOP voters will cut him a little slack in the charisma and oratory department." Now, York sees more clearly Walker's "limitations" -- first, there was his "lack of foreign policy chops"; then, said York, "an even bigger problem was domestic policy. [Walker] just wasn't very up on some of the key policy and political issues that a president has to confront..." That wouldn't seem to leave much. Trump doesn't know anything, either, but nobody cares because his ignorance is so dynamic.

Like I said, I wouldn't say I felt bad for the guy, but it must be something to have pandered your ass off for months and then discover that it wasn't enough to be a bully -- you had to act like a bully, too.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


In a truckload of Trump articles A-list conservatives have tried in vain to get B-listers-and-lower to abandon Trumpism. They've compared him to everyone they don't like from Obama to John Stewart to Gore Vidal*. Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review, who previously compared Trump to Allen Ginsburg, shows the growing exasperation this week in a column called "Trump Has Succeeded in Convincing Conservatives to Discard their Principles Overnight." The British transplant sniffs at the salt-of-the-earth Americans who have elevated Trump to the lead in GOP Presidential polls -- why, don't they know Trump is a tax-and-spend liberal? Cooke explains to the lumpen what they're supposed to think:
Contrary to the fevered imagination of the exasperated American Left, conservative candidates for public office do not tend to take a free-market approach to fiscal policy because it helps “the rich,” but because they believe in earnest that it helps the whole country. By and large, this same rule applies to conservative voters, many of whom may not always benefit directly from the lack of meddling and modest confiscation, but who conceive nevertheless that a capitalistic economy is likely to deliver better results in the long term than is a power-hungry Uncle Sam... 
Honesty requires us to acknowledge that had President Obama endorsed exactly the same policies and rhetoric, the reaction from the Trumpkins would have been little short of nuclear. Where are those fawning Paul Ryan memes and indignant Founding Fathers’ quotes now, chaps?
I like to imagine Cooke reading this aloud to the "chaps" at a county fair, through a megaphone and while sporting a straw boater.

Maybe Cooke and the rest of the wingnut welfare top-feeders are upset because they find themselves on the wrong side of conservative history (which, I will tell you right now, ends in fiery ruin either for conservatives or for America). Once upon a time, any bylined rightist in need of an Amen could call out those true believer's mortal enemies, the RINOs, either vaguely or with some Congressional figurehead's name attached, and the whole congregation would have a nice grouse over the not-right establishment that was holding them down. Now the punters consider Cooke and his buddies to be the RINOs. You see it in the comments sections of all their anti-Trump columns. And you can hear it from the commentary choice of Trumpites, rightwing radio, which has seized the market opportunity presented by the occasion. At the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens has his own snarl at Trump-followers ("[Trump] isn’t the problem. The people are. It takes the demos to make the demagogue"), and is answered by broadcast shouter Mark Levin:
Freaking out at WSJ -- the editorial page stands for amnesty and open borders, endless debt ceiling increases, hundreds of billions in bailouts for Wall Street under Bush, attacks on the Tea Party movement, etc., and now this guy pretends to hold the banner for conservatism as he smears conservatives and laments the state of conservatism. Many conservatives have not endorsed anyone yet, but are attentively listening to the candidates as the primary season has barely begun. The WSJ editorial page has become mouthpiece for the GOP establishment and an overall joke.
In a year this may all be forgotten. Or it may turn out to have been a hardhats-vs.-hippies moment, leaving lingering resentments and schism. Mister, we could use a man like Mittens Romney again!

*UPDATE. Speaking of those Trump comparisons, about the stupidest has been the comparison with Bernie Sanders made by Glenn Reynolds, Ira Stoll, Nick Gillespie et alia. Well, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stuffs it today:
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders faced his own challenge at a political event last month, when two African American women pushed in front of him to use the microphone to demand four and a half minutes of silence to honor the death of Michael Brown. Sanders left the stage and mingled with the crowd. Later, Trump criticized Sanders as being “weak” for allowing them to speak, but truly he showed grace under pressure by acknowledging their frustration and anger. Instead of bullying their voices into silence or ridiculing them as losers, pigs or bimbos, Sanders left. After all, it was not his event; he was a guest. Besides, his voice was not silenced, but came back booming even louder: The next day, Sanders posted a sweeping policy of reform to fight racial inequality. (The timing coincided with Michael Brown’s death and had nothing to do with the two women.)
The two approaches reveal the difference between a mature, thoughtful and intelligent man, and a man whose money has made him arrogant to criticism and impervious to feeling the need to have any actual policies...
All this and the Hall of Fame, too. In alicublog comments, coozledad remind us of Krugman's column on the Trump travesty ("What happened to conservative principles? Actually, nothing — because those alleged principles were never real"), pretty good for a guy with no hoop skills.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


There are different kinds of conservative reactions to the hilarious phenomenon of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. There are lofty denunciations from rilly smart conservative True Scotsmen like this one from Charles C.W. Cooke: "Trump’s devotees consider themselves to be the rebels at the gates," he sniffs, but "by their dull, unreflective, often ovine behavior, they resemble binary and nuancless drones, as might be found in a novel by Aldous Huxley or Yevgeny Zamyatin" yeah yeah whatever Limey Brainiac hey didja see Trump smack down that fat bitch Rosie O'Donnell?

Others just compare Trump to other things they don't like, or blame him, as conservatives do everything else, on Obama; for example, here's some guy at the Washington Examiner who understandably did not demand attribution, bidding us "imagine America with an older, less knowledgeable, rude and charmless version of Obama as its president, and you get some idea of what Trump is all about," though he doesn't explain how Trump differs from an "older, less knowledgeable, rude and charmless version" of, say, Thomas Jefferson or anyone else.

And there are outright Trump defenders, generally small fry or once-major wingnuts who no longer have anything left to lose, like Ben Shapiro.

But in a category all by herself is D.C. McAllister from The Federalist. Like Shapiro, she's upset that conservatives are dissing The Donald, but for her it's intensely personal, and by way of explanation she chronicles her own feelings from 2009 to the present. First:
Like so many of my fellow Americans, I felt helpless as I sat in front of the television in the fall of 2008, watching Barack Obama become the 45th president of the United States.
If only we had elections back then! Happily for McAllister, then came the Tea Party, which she characterizes as a response to the "huge government bailout of the housing market," a popular but woefully incomplete rightwing theory that doesn't explain what the Tea Partiers themselves actually yelled at their rallies. Bliss it was to be alive then, but alas, the tricorn rubes were teabagged by Anderson Cooper and stabbed in the back by the Republican Establishment. This taught McAllister that Mitch McConnell was no different from Barack Obama -- they both believed in "Money. Power. Cocktail parties. Media incest." So McAllister did what any patriot would do -- she became a blogger. "I made friends," she tells us, "and I made enemies because I didn’t care about playing politics.... I didn’t have a fancy degree. I didn’t have a fancy fellowship," unlike all us other web writers who went to Breadloaf with Saul Alinsky and swim in Moscow gold.

One of the things she discovered during this journey of personal discovery was that the Republican base was "motivated by fear," an assessment she stands by today:
Some might not want to admit this fact. It sounds weak, maybe even naive. But fear in the proper context is anything but naive. It’s wisdom based on experience and knowledge...
And this, brothers and sister, is where things get weird:
Let me explain a little something about human nature. When someone feels oppressed and controlled and you continue to belittle them and push them against the wall, they get angry. They’re not going to be particularly rational at that point. They’re in a corner and they lash out—that’s human nature. They fight. They get angry. They grab hold of whatever weapon they can find to defend themselves. That’s what you mostly see with Donald Trump. It’s anger, fueled by fear and stoked by insiders who continue to demean the base, who refuse to listen, and who want to maintain the status quo... 
This reminds me of a toxic relationship between a man and a woman in which the man continues to control the woman, keeping her from speaking her mind, calling her stupid whenever she does. She tries to find ways to win her independence, to be heard, to be free, but he keeps pushing her back against the wall, telling her that she’s the problem. Over time, the anger swells within her. She’s afraid. She isn’t free, and she hates it. She’s powerless. Anytime she tries to stand up for herself, she is mocked and slapped down. Her fear resides. Her anger grows. Her hope recedes. One day, she just loses it. She lights a match and burns the whole house to the ground. Give me liberty or give me death takes on a whole new meaning in the context of oppression and abuse.
RINO-abused with John McCain, then with Mitt Romney -- what choice does a true conservative have but to BURN THE MOTHERFUCKER DOWN! It's a good thing McAllister can afford mental health coverage.

Friday, August 07, 2015


I had the great pleasure and privilege to see Harold Prince's
stripped-down version of Candide on Broadway in 1974 and still 
appreciate its crispness, but I just love the original version of this song.  

  I think I made the right choice to skip the debate and go see Loudon Wainwright III last night. He opened with "Double Lifetime" and "Heaven," which set the tone -- death and jokes! Wainwright seems to have repurposed some of his material from his Surviving Twin thing about fathers and sons -- in fact he not only prefaced some of his songs with bits from his father's Life magazine columns, he even performed one of those columns as a  comic monologue. I wanted more songs but it made an interesting point of comparision: LWII's stuff is pretty good for magazine work; it's well-crafted and has the old-fashioned, better sort of middle-class attitude toward the big issues -- that is, a becoming gratitude for one's privilege, and respect for the mysteries of love and death and the inadequacy of privilege before them. It strikes me that his son picked up some of that, and though he likes to be more irreverent and playful that's still his grounding. Which may really be the reason he never got to be a big star -- not because of the "novelty-store garlic gum" bitter surprise lyrics I blamed when I wrote about him years ago, but because his truths are literally old home truths, a hard sell to a pop music audience (unless of course you lie about the truths).  Concert highlights: A song for his upcoming Alaskan family boondoggle called "Meet the Wainwrights" ("Rufus used to be a tit man/Now he checks out pecs at the gym"), and a really good "Be Careful, There's a Baby in the House," a song that sounds pretty mature considering it debuted in 1971.

•   Tell you why else I think I made the right call: I saw the video clip where Donald Trump excuses calling women "fat pigs" on the grounds that "this country" doesn't have time for "political correctness," and I have to say he exceeds even my satirical gifts. I also see that the mainstream National Review conservatives, who were pissed when Trump began hogging attention, are starting to love him for it.  A month ago Jonah Goldberg was calling Trump a fraud -- now he says, "[Trump] makes the debates entertaining and his competitors look more serious and responsible -- what’s so bad about that?" which suggests that they could have gotten the same effect with the Iron Sheik, who I understand has a higher Q rating. Jim Geraghty crows that Trump "killed with that 'Only Rosie O’Donnell' line" (in re women as fat pigs); he's slightly more protective of Megyn Kelly, which is perhaps just his way of showing that there's no principle of chivalry at stake, he just like fat jokes about lib chicks. I wonder what election this is meant to win? These guys already had date rapists and gamergaters locked up. On the plus side, Ben Carson mentioned Alinsky, thereby alerting whatever normal people may have been watching to this weird conservative secret handshake, which ought to help them decide how seriously to take the Republican Party as presently constituted.

"[Megyn Kelly] gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump said in a CNN interview. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever"...
How will the Trumpenproletariat react? Let's see what commenters have to say about it:

The more toffee-nosed cons protest: National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke sputters, "Trump has no attractive qualities at all. He's not a conservative, he's not a good politician, he's not eloquent, he has no experience." Which seems a harsh thing to say about his party's front-runner.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Among the National Review new breed Kevin D. Williamson and Charles C.W. Cooke are pretty far out there, but don't sleep on David French, who despite lacking his colleagues' hipsterish affectations (peculiar hair balance, two middle initials) is more than a match for them twaddle-wise and seems to drift further from earth's orbit with each passing column. The title of his latest:
Are Encounters with the Police Really More Dangerous for Black Men?
If you guessed "Nah, son!" you've been paying attention. French starts with a story about how as a lad he himself was roughed up by the constabulary, but generously offers further evidence:
The results so far for 2015 show much higher numbers of police killings than previous FBI reports. They also, at first glance, seem to prove the #BlackLivesMatter thesis that police target black men. 
As of July 27, the Guardian claims, American police have killed 657 people in 2015. The large majority, 492, were armed. Some 316 victims were white, 172 black, and 96 Hispanic. (The rest were of other or unknown ethnicities.) Whites constitute a majority of the population, however, and police kill black Americans at a greater rate than whites — with 4.12 black victims per million versus 1.59 white victims per million. 
So case closed, right? Not so fast. Comparing police shootings by race with crime statistics by race tells an entirely different story: It may in fact be the case that white Americans are ever-so-slightly more likely than blacks to die in any given encounter with a police officer. After all, blacks commit homicide at eight times the combined white/Hispanic rate, and, despite their constituting roughly 13 percent of the population, represent a majority of homicide and robbery arrests. Indeed, the disproportionate share of arrests exists across all categories of violent crime — at a rate that often exceeds the racial difference in police shootings. Thus, blacks are seriously overrepresented in the most dangerous police encounters of all — encounters with violent suspects.
Go ahead, read it again. He really is saying it: That while in raw numbers blacks do get killed by cops more often than whites, you have to grade on the curve because blacks are so criminal.

The rest is also gibberish, though some of it is prime:
It’s just sheer fiction that white men enjoy some sort of shield of immunity, engaging in disrespect and defiance at will. After all, police kill white men almost twice per day.
This is where I'm supposed to lament how far National Review has fallen, but except for its arts and letters coverage it always sucked; all that's interesting about the new Review is that they've found people who are willing to say absolutely anything to keep their jobs.

UPDATE. Comments are as ever prime, and include a link to a few good explanations, as if they were needed, as to why French is full of shit: montag2 offers Jacobin's "The Making of the American Police State"; Robert M. offers, in response to an industrious troll, the insight that French's "principal error is conflating 'encounters with police' with the incidence of crime, and the incidence of crime with arrest rates" -- assuming, perhaps over-generously, that this was not deliberate.

Friday, July 17, 2015


A very nice Richard Thompson tune
and a valuable reminder that Sting is a twat.

•   Charles C.W. Cooke's latest at National Review is about Reddit. Like the full-fedora MRAs who got Ellen Pao fired, Cooke clearly doesn't know what these bitches are bitching about, and he's enraged that Reddit is, with the blessing of the returning founder who's understandably sick of the "white-power racist-sexist neckbeards" who stirred up this whole shitstorm, trying and keep things civil on the site, which Cooke denounces as "censorship" -- i.e., people having different standards for their sites than Cooke would have if he were in charge as God intended. Cooke describes the wonderful State of Nature at Reddit that he would like maintained:
Within the swampier quarters of the site, you will find all sorts of insalubrious offerings. One area features graphic discussions of bestiality. Another hosts a bunch of white supremacists. Elsewhere, there are threads that brim with unreconstructed misogyny — perhaps exhibiting the rare and ugly “rape culture” that we are told is ubiquitous.
And then it hit me: Cooke isn't really complaining at all -- he's just seizing a market opportunity: If Reddit won't have the white supremacists and rape cultists, National Review will. John Derbyshire, expect an apology!

•   As we have seen again and again and again, there are conservatives who are not just anti-abortion but also anti-sex, viscerally repelled by the notion that anyone might want to do it just for fun. At The Federalist, Joy Pullmann is pissed that people want to make a government benefit out of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).  Pullmann tips her hand early, complaining as she begins her "full-throated defense of the human person as an intrinsically valuable, community-embedded, and wholly sacred being, atop the also-eternal case for limited government" that
taking up the job feels kind of like being the best friend and roommate of a party-hearty girl who upchucks her innards out night after night but just won’t lay off the booze. Okay, I guess I’ll hold your hair and even clean up the vomit sometimes, but I’m also going to start giving you some straight talk, because this is ridiculous. And no way am I paying for your habit.
That ought to reel them in. Pullmann's sisterly chat continues:
We have a leading U.S. publication paternalistically implying that women cannot be trusted to responsibly manage our own bodies, dreams, and impulses, so we poor little impregnated patsies need The Man to come in and preemptively spay us or retroactively destroy our preborn children for what he thinks is our own good? What an empowering worldview! Doesn’t it just make you glad to be a woman? Doesn’t it just make you love your sex daddy? We’re so progressive and advanced in the twenty-first century!
It goes on like this forever, with subheds like "Human Haters Measure Us In Money" and "No One Has a Right to Sex," and lines like "If a baby happens during nonmarital sex, it’s about the only healthy thing going on!" I'm beginning to suspect these folks are not trying to win converts, they're trying to pump donors.

•   At National Review Fred Bauer says "The GOP Needs an Enlightened Populism." He says populism's big these days, mentions Greece. Stop laughing. (He also mentions France, which is a bit more like it.) Yet Trump, popular as he is with the racist halfwits no GOP candidate can win without, won't quite do for reasons Bauer does not articulate. But Bauer does lay out populist strategy. He wants whatever approved candidate runs to come out against "crony capitalism," of course, which is bullshit and which will in any case have to be decoded for those members of the electorate not well-versed in rightwing pundit fads. Also, "Reforming entitlements so that they are sustainable could help assure members of the middle class that, as if they hit hard times, a support system will be there for them" -- in other words, tell voters they have to work till they're 72 for their Social Security, which ought to go over great. Then there's the cultural component -- did you know there's a cultural component to conservative populism? And no, it's not John Wayne killing injuns, it's conservative columnists going on for the fourth decade in a row about political correctness. Bauer:
Attempting to tamp down the new crusade against free expression could be a key component of this enlightened populism. Cultural sophistication has a long pedigree in modern conservatism (see William F. Buckley Jr., Irving Kristol, et al.), and a soupçon of adventurous cosmopolitanism could be an antidote to the aggrieved parochialism of the reigning progressive cultural elite. In countering the outrage Wurlitzer and defending freedom of thought, this cosmopolitanism would help various communities stop feeling themselves the target of an endless cultural assault.
Me, I'm such a fascist I think you shouldn't even be allowed to talk about populism unless you actually have some idea how to talk to people with whom you don't share a masthead. For starters, lose the soupçon.

Monday, July 06, 2015


Was it really just 10 days ago that National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke, attempting to show his range by playing the role of conciliator, claimed that the wiser conservatives understood that the Obergefell "decision is now the law and that it is not going to change" and that sweet reason would prevail? Today at The Federalist, a team effort by Ben Domenech and Robert Tracinski:
Within hours of the Supreme Court’s resolution of the battle over same-sex marriage -- the triumph of a generation of gay-rights activists -- some were...
Ah, some were! Be advised Domenech and Tracinski supply no links to support the following assertions, which should give you some idea of how substantial they are:
....already calling for further steps to take tax exemptions away from churches, use anti-discrimination laws to target religious non-profits, and crack down on religious schools’ access to voucher programs. We learned media entities would no longer publish the views of those opposed to gay marriage or treat it as an issue with two sides...
Let's pause here a moment to note that, on that last bit, Domenech and Tracinski are apparently talking about the Harrisburg Patriot-News' decision to treat letters to the editor and op-eds critical of gay marriage the way it would treat "those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic," an arguable position to which the Patriot-News, being a private enterprise, has a perfect right, but which the brethren, whose thousands of web outlets claim and exercise similar rights every day, nonetheless insist is censorship (e.g., "Post-Obergefell, Dissent Is Now The Highest Form Of Bigotry," "FREE SPEECH TOSSED OUT THE WINDOW AS BIG NEWSPAPER BANS OP-EDS AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE"); they may also be talking about BuzzFeed's forthright support for gay marriage, which (since conservatives think every popular media venue, online or off, owes them a platform as a form of wingnut affirmative action) has similarly shivered their timbers (e.g., "EIC BEN SMITH: BUZZFEED IS PRO-GAY MARRIAGE — NEUTRAL ON SHARIAH").
...and the American Civil Liberties Union announced it would no longer support bipartisan religious-freedom measures it once backed wholeheartedly. A reality TV star pushed the transgender rights movement into the center of the national dialogue even as Barack Obama’s administration used its interpretation of Title IX to push its genderless bathroom policies into public schools. And we learned that pulling Confederate merchandise off the shelves isn’t enough to mitigate the racism of the past—we must bring down statues and street signs, too, destroying reminders of history now deemed inconvenient and unsafe...
I could ask what they mean by "must" -- has a law been passed? Or do they merely assert a right, undetectable in the Constitution, not to be mocked for their racism?  Indeed,  I could go on through every particular of the whole wretched screed -- for instance, "every comment, act, or joke can make you the next target for a ritual of daily attack by outraged Twitter mobs," to which a reasonable person might respond, first, this kind of thing is certainly not the exclusive province of liberals (e.g., "PIERS MORGAN GOT PWNED ON TWITTER OVER GUN CONTROL"), and second, grow the fuck up.

But you know what? For the first time since I took up this loathsome duty, I feel a bit overmatched.* Because since the Obergefell decision, I perceive that not some but most conservatives, from their elected officials and top pundits down to the bottom feeders, have gone barking mad. I do this alicublog thing in my spare time, you know, and most days I get material for posts desultorily, just by idly rifling through conservative sites. It's been kind of fun peeking into their rooms, detecting which of them has gone a little off his feed, and reporting back. But since gay marriage came in it's like every rightwing door I open reveals a shit-smeared, babbling Bedlam, with nearly every inhabitant shrieking his fool head off about the homosexual apocalypse. I could quit my job and report the atrocities day and night, and still not get the scope of the thing.

And it's not as if all of it's about gay marriage. Take this post by -- oh, look, it's Cooke again, and the title is "Repainting the General Lee Won’t Erase What It Symbolizes from History." No, really, Cooke, a British transplant whose pat-riotism apparently includes a fetish for the cheesiest Americana, is outraged that the impeccably Southern Bubba Watson, owner of the car from The Dukes of Hazzard, is replacing the rebel flag on the roof with the Stars and Stripes. Cooke reacts as if Watson planned to draw tits on Whistler's Mother:
There is a clear and necessary answer to Watson’s rather naïve inquiry, “Why not the American flag?” That answer: Because the General Lee is a piece of America’s cultural history, and civilized people do not vandalize their antiques.
The Dukes of Hazzard. He's talking about The Dukes of Hazzard. I was a teenager when that came out and even I knew it sucked. One searches in vain for signs that Cooke is kidding, or at least ironically inflating his own obsession like a nerd ostentatiously sighing over the set of the original Star Trek, but no, Cooke actually thinks this is important:
It is fashionable in our age to seek unity in all things, but the “General Lee” is not a statehouse, responsive to and reflective of the popular will. It is a historical artifact and cultural totem that sums up a particular moment in time. By amending it to suit contemporary fashions Watson is seeking, in effect, to erase that moment from history. This in my view is extraordinarily dangerous...

Must the owners of Monticello take Wite-Out to Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, lest the more egregious passages offend our modern sensibilities?; Must the custodians of vintage Aunt Jemima boxes throw them into the Mississippi to atone for their ugly anachronisms?...
And finally:
Just as to burn an unwanted book is not to kill its author, to paint over the roof of an attitude-laden car is in no way to go back in time and to eradicate that attitude from the record.
If you're wondering why that sentence is even clumsier than we can normally expect from Cooke, my guess is that he really wanted to compare painting over the General Lee with burning books, but something in his soul rebelled and convoluted his sentence structure. Which means there may be hope for him yet.

*UPDATE. Not that I didn't read the whole thing, but I don't recommend it -- it proceeds to a bizarre theory that the Culture War is not just a fucking annoyance for all concerned, but the wellspring of human progress:
The culture wars of the past produced great achievements in art, architecture, literature, and science as the opposing parties strove to demonstrate that they had more to offer and deserved the people’s admiration and loyalty. Those culture wars gave us Michelangelo’s David, Galileo’s science, Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” the Declaration of Independence and the First Amendment, and the movement for the abolition of slavery.
I look forward to Ben Shapiro's blueprints for Breitbart Tower. It also contains this amazing sentiment:
The Sad Puppies are just the Salon des Refusés with different players...
It's the rightbloggers' world, we just don't live in it. Meanwhile in comments, which are choice, Another Kiwi points out that The General Lee of legend was actually a series of Dodge Chargers, so if Cooke is seriously about preserving Suthun heh'tage, he's in for a long search of collectible car dealerships and junkyards.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine, and Billy Ficca. The right kind of shrill.

•   Two days after Charleston, National Review's The Corner is a river in Egypt. Don't you dare blame guns! What's so racist about the Confederacy? (Reihan Salam gently suggests that maybe now is not the time to fly the Battle Flag, and NRO commenters erupt with rebel yells -- "I think beta males and PC finks like our author here - will guarantee that flag flies proudly for some time to come," etc. -- and racism, some of it specifically aimed at Salam, e.g. "Reihan Salam's pals are currently destroying symbols in Mosul, Ramadi and Palmyra. He's not a good source for rational thought, as Kipling would say.") But the craziest -- so far -- is David French. The title of his post, "If One of the Churchgoers in Charleston Had Been Armed..." promises crackpottery, and the post itself delivers more than just a maudlin fantasy of heat-packing parishioners saving the day. Sample:
As I read the news and watched the coverage, I felt stricken for the victims, fury at the attacker, and more than a little personal conviction. Not because of any silly notions of collective white guilt or other nonsense peddled by the radical Left — and certainly not because I’ve long opposed the Left’s gun-control efforts and supported the individual, inherent right of self-defense, including the right to keep and bear arms. No, I felt conviction because of the numerous times that I’ve walked out of my house unarmed and thus largely incapable of defending myself — and, more important, others — from violent acts. Perhaps I chose not to wear the right kind of clothing — pants that allow me to conceal my carry pistol, for example. Perhaps it crossed my mind to carry, but I thought, “I’m not going anywhere dangerous.” The men and women at the Emanuel Bible study probably didn’t think they were in any danger, either... 
If the unthinkable happens, and I watch as my family, my friends, or even members of my community I’ve never met are hurt or killed when I could have prevented it by carrying the weapon I’ve trained myself to use, I could never forgive myself...
Don’t just carry. Don’t just go to the state-mandated training, buy a weapon, and then forget about it. Unless you train yourself to use it, that weapon would probably be less useful to you in an emergency than a similarly weighted rock. At least you’d instinctively know to throw the rock. Practice with a handgun until you can take it from a position of safe carry to active engagement within seconds. Then practice that again until you’ve beaten your best time. Then practice again. And realize that practice isn’t a burden but a joy...
So Charleston inspires French to be even more of a gun nut -- one who can't go anywhere without one -- and to try and get the rest of us to support his fantasy by playing with guns until we love them like he does. In the immortal words of Max Bialystock, this man should be in a strait-jacket.

•   Meanwhile at PJ Media, here's some culture war from David Swindle:

Why can't Tyrion be nice? Also, Leopold Bloom went to prostitutes, when they make a TV show out of it let's fix that. But here's my favorite part:
The concept that I propose discussing, which Game of Thrones illustrates better than any show on television today, is this: Postmodern Pornography. How is pomo-porno different than the traditional variety? In much the same way that Barack Obama’s Saul Alinsky-style, pragmatic community-organizing Marxism differs from the more honest Marxism of his mentors Frank Marshall Davis, Derrick Bell, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn.
Say what you want about the tenets of Swindlism, dude, at least it's an ethos.

•   Hey, remember that Bullets and Bourbon thing the Ole Perfesser and a bunch other nuts were planning for December? Here's fresh promo by Ed Driscoll. Stephen Green narrates from (it sounds like) inside a barrel over telephone hold music about how the Perfesser et alia will be talking to guests "about threats to the Second Amendment." (This is at a ranch in Texas, by the way, which is like talking about threats to the rich at Davos.)  Then the music changes to U2 Muzak and we see guys shooting at targets, which Green describes as "images to really whet your appetite." Targets! What about the most dangerous game? If I'm paying $1,699 I expect to get all likkered up and hunt humans. Maybe there's a platinum-level membership they aren't telling us about.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

P.C. B.S.

I keep hearing from conservatives that political correctness is ruining everything. For example, at National Review, which runs stories about PC at about the rate The Federalist runs stories about Caitlin Jenner, Ian Tuttle extrapolates from an advice column at a site you never heard of that the peecee people "would do much to crack down on the number of Fitzgeralds or Faulkners or Cormac McCarthys" and supplant their brilliance with "the Afro-Cuban lesbian experience," har har; also,
No doubt over the next several years book clubs across America will pore over many a bestseller fitted to Gabbert’s advice, in the process sacrificing better authors — e.g., Homer, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton.
If Ian Tuttle knows where the next Shakespeare is, he should tell his editor, so they can use him to replace Kevin D. Williamson, Dennis Prager, or one of National Review's many other shitty writers. (For perspective: previously Tuttle told his readers "If you’re looking for a genuinely open-minded academic experience, Brooklyn College may not be the place for you" because the school refused to take money from the Koch brothers.)

Anyway, a lot of prominent liberals (including Amanda Marcotte, conservatives' favorite feminist voodoo doll) are saying Laura Kipnis got a bad rap from hypersensitive apparatchiks-in-training at Northwestern, and good for them (the liberals, not the apparatchiks). The other day Edward Schlosser had a long piece at Vox, of all places, complaining about student noodges. You'd think that if PC were as much of a menace as it's been portrayed, conservatives would be happy to at last have bipartisan support in fighting it. Well, here's James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal:
As we read the Schlosser piece, we felt more Schadenfreude than sympathy, and we wondered if that reflected poorly on us. (Spoiler: Nah.)
Instead Taranto complains that liberals like Schlosser are only upset because they're getting it in the neck, and are fundamentally incapable of understanding the pain of censored "outgroup" conservative academics like Glenn Reynolds, Ann Althouse, Harvey Mansfield, William A. Jacobson, et alia. Taranto explains:
Social systems have existed—think of the American South under slavery and Jim Crow—in which a dominant ingroup governed itself in accord with liberal principles while subjecting the outgroup to a combination of oppressive rules and often-cruel whims.
Time for a Poor Wingnuts' Campaign! Back at National Review Charles C.W. Cooke says
Of course Jonathan Chait is turning against political correctness and campus self-indulgence. Of course Vox’s editor, Ezra Klein, is now peddling lefty academics who are willing to stand up to the mob. Of course the good denizens of Jezebel are beginning to wonder aloud whether a feminism that eats the likes of Laura Kipnis is useful. If neo-McCarthyism “becomes a salient part of liberal politics,” Schlosser writes in his conclusion, then “liberals are going to suffer tremendous electoral defeat.” The American Left has started to rebel at the exact moment that its own interests are being hurt? Naturally. This isn’t about standards; it’s about power.
Cooke's essay is called "Is the Tide Turning against PC?" but it's not clear that he wants it turned if it means linking arms with those people. So I guess PC must not be such a big deal after all.

Sympathetic as I am toward Kipnis, I never thought so myself -- if some dumbasses want to play thought policeman in select programs at elite colleges, I figure, let them waste their parents' money and God help them when they graduate. And let those other dumbasses turn their tattered propaganda equity now this way, now that, trying to catch the wind. (Good luck explaining the menace of "social justice warriors" to downsized factory workers!) We who have free souls, it touches us not.

UPDATE. Comments are all glorious, but special thanks to commenter atheist for invoking La Rochefoucauld: "Our hatred of favorites is but a love of favor, and our scorn of those who enjoy it is only a balm to our vexation at being deprived thereof." Conservatives had their way exclusively for several centuries before the Enlightenment, and have been sore ever since they lost the franchise.

UPDATE 2. What causes political correctness on campus? Joseph Bottum at the Weekly Standard:
It’s possible to ascribe the situation to the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012.
Ain't even kidding.
The guidelines for Title IX issued by the Obama administration have shifted power to the outraged, and everyone seems to know it.
Everybody Joseph Bottum talks to at the Club, anyway. But wait, Bottum allows that the roots of PC do go deeper:
The reaction to Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, leading to his impeachment in 1998, may have been the first hint of a new choosing of sides, followed by an abiding anger over the outcome of Bush v. Gore in 2000. But the fate of the Democrats is not quite the same thing as the fate of radicalism, and to find the real springs of what is now washing over the nation’s schools, you have to go back, I think, to the fall of the Iron Curtain, 26 years ago.
Everything Democrat causes everything bad, and the same goes for the Soviet Union! In fact the title of Bottum's column is "I Still Blame the Communists." I expect if you swapped out "political correctness" for "riots in Baltimore," "Ebola," "potrzebie," etc., it wouldn't have to be changed much. Sometimes I think they work from Mad Libs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


At National ReviewCharles C.W. Cooke has advice for the Republican Party. Along with the usual ObamaHitler schtick, we get this: should by now be obvious to conservatives that the last American Golden Age obtained not during George W. Bush’s rather disappointing tenure, but in the mid- to late- 1990s, when the Republican party ran both houses of Congress and Democrat Bill Clinton ran the executive branch... 
Sure, Jeb Bush is an impressive man. But to nominate him at this moment would be to push Republicans in the wrong direction and to force them into doing something that they should really not want to do: namely, re-litigating – and perhaps even defending – the political decisions that were made between 2000 and 2008... If they are offered a choice between “Clinton” — a name that evokes peace and prosperity — and “Bush” – a name that has been rather run through the mud – [voters] will almost certainly choose the former...
So: If they remind voters of their record and their opponents' record, the GOP is in deep shit. Sounds right.

Cooke's advice is almost as funny. He says the Republicans will "need to work out what exactly it is reacting to within the country’s soul." What might that mean? From the article, a hint:
Exactly who can will hinge upon where the country finds itself by the end of the year. If by early 2016 it has become clear that America is tired of Barack Obama’s celebrity; that Hillary’s status as a permanent member of the elite class is beginning to grate; and that Washington is seen as an out-of-touch club for the rich and the famous, then the Republican party might consider borrowing a slogan from a century ago and offering the public a 1920s style “Return to Normalcy.” With his homespun tales of one-dollar sweaters, his quiet Midwestern roots, and his down-to-earth everyman appearance, Scott Walker would do well running such a campaign — as, indeed, might a John Kasich or a Rick Snyder.
Scott Walker ain't like them rich folks nohow! Lookie this sweater! That'll set the hustings aflame. Elsewhere Cooke writes, "In an ideal world, our elections would be held on paper..." I don't think they can even win the Rotisserie Presidency with material like this.

UPDATE. Commenters remind me that the notion of Scott Walker as a humble People's Friend is made extra hilarious by his recent participation in the "Koch Primary" for the financial support of the libertarian kazillionaires. Also, I see Walker has decided to outflank Bush and Rubio by going full anti-immigrant, which I guess is supposed to be part of the "Return to Normalcy" program Cooke mentions; it must be a great success because Walker's already got people like Rich Lowry whining on his behalf ("Scott Walker, Over the Target, Taking Flak").

Friday, April 10, 2015


Thanks to Chuck Gilligan I finally saw the Mountain Goats this week.
Liked it all, but this song really jumped up and grabbed my throat.

•   Charles C.W. Cooke takes me to task -- rather gently, considering how abusive I've been toward him -- for my review of his column on the Walter Scott video. Let me try and return the favor. I thought that column showed him resistant to the lessons of a long and depressing trend of which Scott's killing is a part (notwithstanding Scott's is less likely to go unpunished since someone took video of it):
...I think that [Michael Graham] is confusing conviction for humility. Pace Roy Edroso, I am not at all “sure” what happened in the cases of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin. On the contrary: I have written repeatedly that I do not — and I cannot — know what happened in those instances, and that, in all likelihood, nor can a jury...
He then goes on about Blackstone and the presumption of innocence, as if my argument (and those of the others) were for a presumption of guilt in murder cases. Let me clarify, then: that is not what I'm arguing for at all. I'm arguing instead for an acknowledgement that cops (and would-be cops) sometimes treat black citizens differently from white ones, and not in a good way. This is not just the fantasy of "those among us who are convinced that the United States is an irredeemably racist nation," as Cooke described us in his original column, but a judgment based on years of bitter evidence. I'm arguing this not to begin any bogus race "conversation," nor to agitate for some quota of cop convictions. I'm arguing this because it's a plain fact that some folks seem committed to ignoring and to slurring other people for noticing, and that's one of the big reasons why, 150 years after Appomattox, this country remains totally nuts about race.

•   With his latest on the death penalty, Jonah Goldberg not only keeps up with the worst-thing-ever-written pledge I made on his behalf some time ago, he actually outdoes himself. First, he argues, that Tsarnaev bastard deserves the death penalty, doesn't he, and if you don't think so, what about that cop who shot that black guy 'cause you love black guys when the cops shoot them:
Wait, before you answer that, consider Michael Slager. He’s the North Charleston, S.C., cop who shot Walter Scott in the back as he was fleeing and then allegedly lied about why he did it. 
I don’t have to say he allegedly shot Scott because Slager admitted that much.
Huh, what about that, libtards? The smarter libtards take a seat and wait, and sure enough Goldberg starts pee-dancing around:
Legally, it’s harder to argue that Slager should get the death penalty if convicted. Not all murders are equal before the law. It’s unclear how much premeditation, if any, there was in this case. Presumably Slager didn’t know Scott before he pulled him over for a traffic stop. 
Still, I think you could make a case for the death penalty in cases like this.
[Libtards light cigarettes, read Elizabeth Bruenig on their phones.]
The analogy that comes to mind is the wartime military.
[One libtard looks up expectantly.] 
There are capital offenses for crimes other than murder because the integrity and effectiveness of the armed forces is a priority. We are not a martial society, but I could make a similar argument about police officers who murder and lie about it. Faith in the fairness of the justice system is simply indispensable to a democracy and social peace. Lack of such faith may be why Scott ran from Officer Slager.
[By now all the libtards have turned their attention to him.] 
If so, his mistrust was tragically well placed.
[The sneering laughter comes but is soon drowned out by the most insidious weapon in Goldberg's flatularium, the Cloaking Fart.] Sometimes I think Goldberg is a gift from the muses.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


He almost got away with it:
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — One day after a South Carolina police officer was arrested in the shooting death of an unarmed black man, the victim’s family said Wednesday that no charges would have been filed if not for a video of the encounter — which showed the officer firing eight shots at the man as he ran away. 
“It would have never come to light. They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others,” Walter Scott Sr., the father of the victim, said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” Show.
A number of journalists have been making the point that without the fortuitous video, Scott would be dismissed as another lawbreaker who got, if not quite what he deserved, then at least no more than he had a right to expect, for reasons that I don't have to tell you. But none makes that point better on purpose than Charles C.W. Cooke at National Review does by accident.

Cooke admits that "the initial witness reports appear to have been wholly incorrect" in Scott's case and, based on the footage, "Scott's death at the hands of a police officer appears to be entirely unjustified." This, he says, is "an argument for more cameras," though he doesn't say how these would be put into practice; I can't imagine he wants the gummint to use precious taxpayer money on them; maybe he foresees Burkean "little platoons" of black folk recording cops, in shifts.

But one thing, Cooke makes clear, this case doesn't mean is that white cops are sometimes overeager to shoot and kill black people -- that's just gush from "those among us who are convinced that the United States is an irredeemably racist nation." And the apposite citation, for him, is a couple of dead black guys:
All in all, this seems to be the case that we have been hearing about for a long, long while now — that much-previewed-but-never-quite-forthcoming case in which the white cop unnecessarily guns down the unarmed black man who is trying in earnest to get away. This is that case in which the 80 percent white police force takes a life from the 47 percent black city; in which the small infraction leads to the fatal consequence; in which there are no wrinkles to complicate the complaint. This, in other words, is what the shootings of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin were not.
Are you wondering why he's so sure about Brown and Martin, even though "witness reports" can be "wholly incorrect"? I'm not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This pops up in the middle of a Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke rant about how PC is intimidating professors and you liberals who think Ted Cruz looks like Joseph McCarthy are actually The Real Joseph McCarthy:
But the truth is that if Arthur Miller were writing The Crucible today he would likely be less interested in effusive senators from Texas and more interested in the more modern pathologies that the Cruzes of the world tend typically to disdain. Presumably, Miller would look at our universities and our media, at our malleable “speech codes,” our self-indulgent “safe spaces,” our preference for “narrative” over truth, and at our pathetic appeasement of what is little more than good old-fashioned illiberalism, and he would despair.
It seems never to have occurred to Cooke that if his analogy is sound, then The Crucible is already about speech codes etc. -- because it's not a news report but a work of art, which pertains to the universal, and resonates with anyone who has experienced mass hysteria and its attendant repression in whatever form. Other people know that; that's why the play is always getting revived. Audiences get the connection. Cooke might get a theater company together to alterna-stage The Crucible to look like Oleanna if he likes.

I suspect that Cooke's not interested in universals, though: What he wants is an already-famous property that's about how college students are oppressing conservatism -- or, failing that, to get people to believe that the dead author of the famous property was really a rightwinger and just didn't know it. You know, like they do with George Orwell and many others, to avoid the hard work of making (or even seriously engaging with) any art themselves.

UPDATE. Jonah Goldberg tells his colleague: You say McCarthyism like it's a bad thing.

Friday, March 13, 2015


Tom T. Hall sure writes a lot of songs about musicians.
This one really needs an uptempo rock cover.

•     Stephen F. Hayes of Bill Kristol's Get Your War On thinks the Iran Letter was a masterstroke:
A final point: The Cotton letter has already achieved its goal. We are, finally, engaged in a serious national debate about the threat from Iran. That is something the Obama administration has avoided for six years. No more.
"We have engaged a serious debate" is press-agent for "people think we're idiots." Also, Hayes hauls out the customary oh-yeah-what-about-traitor-Dems-and-the-Russians examples, apparently just because he can't help himself, as these examples certainly don't help his cause:
Of course, the past behavior of Democrats doesn’t justify the Republican letter on Iran.
[Vaporlock vaporlock quick give me the index cards...]
The letter needs no justification.
[Dammit, shoulda pulled the fire alarm instead!]
...Unlike, say, John Kerry or Ted Kennedy, and unlike David Bonior and Nancy Pelosi, these senators gave no succor to dictators and despots.
Of course not -- when we blow up this Middle Eastern country, somebody good will take over! Isn't that how it always works?

•     In a grand act of slur reclamation, Charles Two Middle Initials Cooke of National Review pimps his "Conservatarian Manifesto," in which the sort of thing we use the word to make fun of -- i.e., bullshit libertarianism -- is claimed as the Future. In Kang and Kodos terms, it's "Miniature American flags for some, abortions for nobody." As with anything associated with the Future these days, there's a Kids & Tech angle:
The first thing is that young people are just used to customizing their lives. They are used to Facebook. They are used to their cell phones. They are used to building their own computers. Yet they are routinely asked to vote for the DMV. They haven’t rebelled against that, but there will come a point where that sort of homogenization starts to irk them.
Surely der kinder will rise up against Net Neutrality -- that's just an FCC "power grab"!  -- and prepare to go overseas and fight ISIS, cognizant that "in 1945, the British, overnight, handed the baton to the United States," etc. I can see this going over big with the MySpace generation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


This is masterful trolling:
Barack Obama was "bullshitting" his opposition to gay marriage and support for civil unions during his 2008 presidential campaign, according to a new book authored by former senior White House adviser David Axelrod. 
Time magazine reported Tuesday that the longtime Obama confidant said in his new book, "Believer: My Forty Years in Politics," that he counseled then-senator Obama to soften his position on gay marriage for political reasons. 
"Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church, and as he ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union,’” Axelrod wrote, as quoted by Time...
"I’m just not very good at bullshitting," Obama told Axelrod after one of those events, as quoted by Time.
Normal people will go, "Yeah, so?" Even Lincoln was doing the "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it" thing as late as 1862. Getting elected President in a nation always verging on a majority makeup of Snopeses requires some finesse.

But among the abnormal, by which I mean conservatives, it's a different story. So roll out the argh-blargh and mutter-sputter! Joel B. Pollak at
"Obama Misled Nation” is almost a perennial headline–it applies to nearly everything the president does. Yet it is important to be clear about the nature of this particular lie. 
Obama did not just pretend to oppose a controversial position. He pretended to hold that view as a matter of his Christian faith
Thus he made Christians look bigoted -- by acting the bigot and thus getting them to vote for him! HE IS THE FATHER OF LIES! Next, Noah Rothman at Hot Air:
Obama... spent the next 16 years hiding his politically inconvenient opinions from the public until they became acceptable to a majority. There’s nothing especially shocking about that, but the fact that this fails to astonish is itself a lamentable condition. 
[Blink. Blink.]
...This level of cynicism, the expectation that obviously our political leaders would mislead us about what they truly believe, cannot be healthy in the long run. 
Yeah, the first two hundred years of knowing that politicians lie were alright, but now it's getting a little old. I know, let's elect that Duck Dynasty guy.

Most of the brethren apply their traditional Crisis of Credibility bullshit -- "It’s liars all the way down in this administration," hehindeeds Ole Perfesser Instapundit; "Obama lied about opposing gay marriage, contrived the 'God’s in the mix' stuff, isn’t an Honest Politician," huffs Guv'nah Charles C.W. Cooke; "Obama Adviser Says Obama Repeatedly Lied About Gay Marriage for Political Gain... Related: They Lied: Obamacare’s 12 false premises and broken promises," report those lovable libertarians at Reason (read the comments for extra libertarianism, by which I mean loss of faith in humanity).

But we see their point -- the political repercussions could be severe: Maybe word will spread to Alabama, and the Democrats will have a hard time winning elections there!

UPDATE. Oh man:

That monster! Or maybe the Daily Caller doofus who wrote this thinks Sasha and Malia are the monsters, for helping Nobama pretend he used to be regular Christian fag-hater in order to hornswoggle the American People into gayness. Just look at them in the picture, acting like a regular family!

Next we have neo-neocon. The entire tortured mess is hilarious -- sort of Murder in the Cathedral meets Blood Feud -- but there are two stop-the-show moments:
Over the years Americans have become cynical about lying presidents. Some date that cynicism—or at least a great leap forward for that cynicism—to the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and the fact that Clinton survived it. The left, of course, says “Bush lied” about WMDs, but the right points out that Bush relied on intelligence reports around the world that were mistaken, and that is different than a lie, and that a lie would have been wrong.
So what if he turned a formerly functional Middle East republic into a slaughterhouse and killed thousands of innocent people? He may be a war criminal, but he's not a liar!
[NOTE: I haven't seen any reactions from the black religious community yet, but it's possible they might be quite displeased at this news. It's one thing to change your mind on something; it's another to lie to religious people about your religious beliefs.]
"Why is that white lady staring at us from the bushes? It's like she wants ask us something but she's scared."

Monday, January 12, 2015


The Charlie Hebdo case has given our usual suspects plenty of opportunity to cover themselves in glory. Charles C. W. Cooke finds a roundabout way to a what-France-needs-is-more-guns argument:
Certainly, things might have been different if the events had unfolded in heavily armed states such as Oklahoma or Texas — or, for that matter, if someone in an adjacent office had been possessed of a rifle of his own.
He's also pissed that New York City isn't flooded with Saturday Night Specials like in the old days -- then they'd be really safe! Cooke might like to study up on local history a little.

My favorite, though, is Cooke's colleague Matthew Continetti on the subject (h/t Adam Serwer):
Nor do I recall liberals standing up for the critics of global warming and evolutionary theory, of same-sex marriage and trans rights and women in combat, of riots in Ferguson and of Obama’s decision to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants. On the contrary: To dissent from the politically correct and conventional and fashionable is to invite rebuke, disdain, expulsion from polite society, to court the label of Islamophobe or denier or bigot or cisnormative or misogynist or racist or carrier of privilege and irredeemable micro-aggressor. For the right to offend to have any meaning, however, it cannot be limited to theistic religions. You must have the right to offend secular humanists, too.
These people have not been deprived of their "right to offend" -- they have been offensive, and the people they offended took offense. I don't remember any of these guys getting shot by black-masked liberals. They did get called names, but I'm not finding anything in the Constitution that protects them from that. Well, what can you expect from someone who wrote a whole book about the "persecution" of Sarah Palin by the "elite media," which left her begging for scraps at the side of the road.

I applaud the sentiments of the surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist and like to think Obama, in skipping (to the harrumphs of dumbbells) the Paris march headed by international free speech celebrities, has provided his own concurrence.

UPDATE. Commentary announces in a pouty headline that because Obama didn't go to Paris, he is "No Longer Leader of the Free World." Guess now it's Bibi Netanyahu, huh? Oh, who am I kidding -- for Commentary it was always Netanyahu.

UPDATE 2. The Crazy Jesus Lady snarls:
The march was, at bottom, a preening and only symbolic show? When has this White House ever shown an aversion to preening and symbolic shows?
Yeah, remember when he marched in Ferguson? Also, where's his flag pin?

UPDATE 3. As you might expect, Fedora of Freedom Roger L. Simon raises the crazy stakes:
Now I admit that was just a supposition. Just because I’ve never heard [Obama] link Islam and terror doesn’t mean in his heart of hearts he doesn’t. Though not a genius, he does have an IQ in triple digits and sees what’s right in front of his nose, I assume. He just interprets it differently. But why? 
Is someone whispering in his ear? 
Senator Dianne Feinstein has just informed us that, yes, there are Islamic terror sleeper cells in our midst in the USA. If that’s true, I wonder why Feinstein wasted so much of her time wounding the CIA during the last weeks of her tenure as Senate Intelligence Committee chair, but never mind. Could there be one of those cells in the White House?
And in case you were charitably disposed to think he's kidding --
I started this post thinking it was kind of funny...
Of course, "bullshitting" is not quite the same thing as kidding.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


David Atkins is right: It wasn't "Hollywood" or America who pulled The Interview due to North Korean pressure, it was Sony, a multinational corporation that, like any other, values shareholder interest waaaaaay more than free speech.  Of course conservatives see it differently, and affect to believe the capitulation has something to do with campus speech codes or some shit. At National Review, Charles C. W. Cooke:
Sadly, one cannot help but see in this response some faint echoes of another, disheartening development: to wit, our present tendency to accommodate the thin-skinned and the intolerant and to permit their professed discomfort to interfere with our public debate.
Oh, cannot one?
In our schools, in the media, and in all of our political arenas, we have of late become accustomed to kowtowing to hecklers, to fleeing from anything controversial, and to treating the outrage du jour as if it were representative of anything more substantial than rank self-indulgence and the desire to silence dissent.
Speak for yourself, limey. In the same venue, Michael Auslin:
The truth is, we’ve been heading this way for a long time, starting with our response to Islamist assaults on those whom they believe blaspheme Mohammed. Now, we’re moving to another level.
Who the fuck is "we"? I've been blaspheming that fuck Mohammed for years. I have no trouble telling Kim Jon Un to get stuffed either. (I don't have time to draw a cartoon of him right now, but if I did I would make him look fat and ugly. Pay tribute to my heroism, America!)

Capitalism doth make cowards of us all, but conservatives prefer to blame liberals because we're "politically correct" (i.e., polite to people with fewer privileges than ourselves). When a corporate board thought they'd rather not have Brendan Eich and his anti-gay cooties representing their company, liberals got the blame. When a TV network wanted some of the racist stank to wear off Paula Deen before they put her before the public again, ditto. When the NBA pushed out Donald Sterling, ditto; NFL Rice Peterson ditto. It's not just or even mainly because they're wired to pin every bad thing that happens to liberalism; it's also because they believe that the market is God and money His grace, and can't stand to see it proven otherwise.

You know what else? Every one of these fuckers who brings up The Great Dictator would, given the chance, have joined the red-baiters who kicked Chaplin out of America.

UPDATE. In comments, D Johnston: "I'm thinking that December -- the month we remember how Saint Bill O'Reilly saved Christmas -- is perhaps not the best time for conservatives to complain about a 'tendency to accommodate the thin-skinned.'"

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


Mad about the Eric Garner verdict? Think it's another case of cops killing a black man with impunity? Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds wants to set you straight. The Perfesser says it has nothing to do with race -- in fact, he wonders what all these black people are upset about:
Listening to NPR on the way back from the UT Studio — I taped a segment on this for The Independents on Fox Business tonight — they kept stressing that it was a WHITE officer who had killed a BLACK MAN. You could pretty much hear the capitals in their voices. They’d never stress race that way in other circumstances. And it’s not clear that excessive force by police is especially a racial problem. In Alabama, we had the shooting of a unarmed white 18-year old by a black cop; in Utah, we had the Dillan Taylor shooting, also unarmed, also not prosecuted. Racializing the issue makes it more divisive and less likely to be addressed.
I'll see the Perfesser's two cases and raise him four unarmed black guys and that was in one month -- and there's plenty more where that came from.

Of course, if you've been living in the United States of America for a while and paying attention, you probably don't need the explanation.

The Perfesser also has a solution:
If police can’t be accountable for their use of force, then we shouldn’t have police. Fire ‘em all and privatize.
Because privatization worked so well with prisons. Jesus, these people are so reliably wrong that when they finally object to a cop killing a black guy, it's for crackpot reasons.

UPDATE. Reynolds is just one of the conservatives who are outraged by Garner not because of this "black lives matter" thing you hippies think is important, but because free enterprise:
Whereas many conservatives said Wilson was simply doing his job, some on Wednesday said Pantaleo was enforcing a punitive big government policy. And while Brown was nothing more than a "thug," Garner was the victim of the dreaded nanny state. 
"A man is killed for selling *unlicensed* drugs by a cop who walks even though it's all on video: Putting the 'police' in pink police state," tweeted New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on Wednesday. 
Douthat was one of several conservative media personalities to seize on New York's law against selling single, untaxed cigarettes.
Whereas if they'd killed him for walking in the middle of the street, well, no big whoop.

Rand Paul blames Eric Garner's death on high NYC cigarette tax
The still-alive white guy selling you smokes out of the trunk of his car is laughing his ass off.

UPDATE 3. In comments, Kevin Berger reminds us that Ferguson is already sort of a libertarian privatizer's paradise, as it makes its poorest citizens fund the city with user fees masquerading as criminal justice. New York, on the other hand, is in the usage of Robert Tracinski a "nanny state" that taxes regular people, which is why he and every other asshole is rushing to declare that the first dead black guy they ever troubled over is really all about taxes and race has nothing to do with it, except insofar as liberals are (I swear to God he said this) "hoping for a new series of contentious, racially charged killings."

It's the new wingnut fad, alright, and here's proof: Look at the change in that ancient authoritarian John Podhoretz. When de Blasio was elected, Podhoretz was telling us that the ooga-booga barricades had broken down and it would be Crown Heights Riots every day from now on -- why, just last week he was telling New York Post readers that we were "Turning on the cops: Forgetting what crime was like," and blubbering over the end of stop-and-frisk. Now he's telling us that we don't need Broken Windows policing anymore! Man, they're good at message discipline -- what a pity that their message sucks.


Yeah -- Al Capone, Pablo Escobar, and Eric Garner; I can see the connection. Hey, I wonder what tax Rumain Brisbon was resisting?