Showing posts with label friday 'round-the-horn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friday 'round-the-horn. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2015


Maybe I should see them tonight? Everything I've heard is good.

•   I recently noted Ross Douthat's attempt to portray the Donald Trump phenomenon as a boon to reform conservatism (i.e., the latest rightwing nerd jobs program). It appears the longer this thing goes on, the more slide-rule boys rush to offer their services. At the Weekly Standard, after some pro-forma yak about what a boor Trump is, Christopher Caldwell tells that Trump's "economic critique" -- yes, he's talking about Trump's brayings, to which he'd referred a paragraph earlier as "talking about how filthy rich the filthy rich are" -- "fits into a sophisticated attack on the present state of presidential campaign finance." Not sophisticated itself, mind you, but it fits into something sophisticated, just as Trump himself may be fitted into a $5,000 suit. Then, at Slate, Reihan Salam has all kinds of exciting ideas for Trump. Apparently inspired by single-issue candidate Larry Lessig's praise of Trump as a campaign finance reformer, Salam suggests Trump embrace Lessig's program, as this "would add intellectual heft to [Trump's] populism, which would force his media detractors to give him at least some begrudging respect." I don't know what's funnier: the idea of Trump's campaign acquiring "intellectual heft," or that of Trump showing respect for an egghead like Lessig who doesn't have his own private jet and probably eats in a school cafeteria like a schlub. Funniest of all, perhaps, is the idea of these pencil-necks hovering around Trump, telling themselves that if only they can press their policy papers into the paws of the Strongman, the Golden Dawn may be hastened.

•   And what can make Trump talk worse? Peggy Noonan! Today she explains Peggy Noonan through the avatar of that Non-Partisan Nameless Friend:
I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”?
Hope so -- it'll be easy to beat an imaginary constituency. Also, Hispanics love Trump, Noonan's friend "Cesar" from the bodega tells her:
Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you..." 
I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.
Take Peggy Noonan's word to the bank: Your neighbors from the DR, Trinidad, Sudan, Chile, Vietnam -- they're all raring to vote Republican so long as the party nominates a suitably aggressive TV clown.  Morton Downey Jr. gazes on this from the Hereafter and sighs at what might have been.

•   Stella Morabito, the craziest shrink since Robin of Berkeley, is back to tell us how PC is destroying everything by preventing sensible conservative discourse, like how horrible Caitlyn Jenner is:
A perfect example is how the transgender lobby has saturated the media and pop culture with its talking points through Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and incessant Hollywood shilling. Suppression is the PC practice of quashing ideas that compete with the PC message, usually through speech codes, shout-downs, or smears... The twin processes of saturation and suppression, if diligently applied, can produce the illusion of a public opinion shift, or a “cascade.”
Fans of Morabito's work will understand that these "cascades" are bad because they make you accept homosexuals:
Consider how the Left’s propaganda machine manufactured an “opinion cascade” on the issue of same-sex marriage, by first using “surprising validator” conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney, polling pundit Michael Barone, and especially David Blankenhorn, who was one of the most persuasive and powerful supporters of organic marriage until he broke down and published a recantation. Not surprisingly, stealth conservatives—particularly those who work in increasingly politicized professions such as psychiatry, social work, teaching, or the arts—have enormous potential if they come out as surprising validators.
Amazing what how much gay-PC we've accomplished thanks to stealth conservatives like Dick Cheney, eh? (Though personally I think it was the recantation of David Blankenhorn that really turned things around for us.)

Anyway Morabito bids her readers go out and make their own cascades:
So conservatives, engage in those polarized, gridlocked places—like the neighborhood picnic, the local swim club, the farmer’s market, the student union, etc.—and engage one on one. Come out to a neighbor or a classmate.
Oh boy! Is this where we say "I hate faggots" and wait for everyone else to do the same, like Spartacus?
Don’t bother with talking points, because the purpose is not to win the argument but to simply to put a human face on your beliefs. 
Just be who you are and be friendly. In today’s PC-saturated culture, that’s the only way to draw out the lonely like-minded person or to influence a fence-sitter. It’s also the only way to water down PC stereotypes of conservatives. Ultimately, it’s the only way to start those ripple effects that can create cascades of truth.
Wait a minute -- your war against PC is to be nice? I gotta tell ya: 1.) If that's the plan, every other anti-PC conservative I've seen has definitely got the instructions upside-down; and 2.) If your goal is to get people to like you, maybe dispense with the hysterical columns for starters?

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.

Friday, July 31, 2015


Sort of the theme song here at alicublog.

•   It's like Jonah Goldberg is actually trying to live down to the role in intellectual history I've assigned him.
Huckabee’s Hitler Comparison That Wasn’t
Huckabee, you'll recall, said that by negotiating a treaty with Iran Obama "will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven." OK, the generously-inclined might say, maybe this is just a bagatelle for Goldberg, like Mencken's In Defense of Women. (Sorry, I just suffered an eternity in Hell for comparing Goldberg to Mencken.) But Goldberg's method is, unlike the Master's, charmless and bucket-footed. He tries to warm up the crowd by sneering at the silly liberals who would take offense at such an innocent statement ("Clinton even said she was 'really offended personally,' as if her feelings are what really matters"). Then he pulls out the big gun (or, in the more appropriate Virgil Starkwell usage, gub):
Now, I’ve never been a big fan of Huckabee’s style of politics — or policy. But a remotely fair reading of the statement strongly suggests that Huckabee was comparing Obama to Neville Chamberlain or some other member of the “Hitler is a man we can do business with” school. That’s the point of calling Obama “naive” for trusting the Iranians — the Hitler in Huckabee’s analogy.
We all remember the newsreel footage of Chamberlain marching Jews -- well, more like escorting them, he was a polite fellow -- to the ovens at Dachau, and saying, "in you go, there's a good chap."
We can parse more deeply if we must.
Oh Jesus.
Hitler didn’t march Jews to the doors of the ovens, but into them. The Iranians are the ones with sinister intentions in Huckabee’s description, not Obama, who, again, is described as naive and feckless, not sinister and evil.
Revise the imagery: Chamberlain escorting the Ashkenazim to Berchtesgaden, and Hitler going, "Thanks, Neville!" and Chamberlain going "not at all," and shuffling away saying "remarkable fellow that Hitler."
Huckabee probably shouldn’t have used the word “march” because it muddies his point.
"March" was actually very much to Huckabee's point, which is the one Goldberg is strenuously missing.
“Delivered to” or “abandoned at” would have worked better.
This is a man too lazy to even access an online thesaurus.
I think, as a general rule, one should pretty much always avoid talking about Jews and ovens unless discussing the actual Holocaust. And one could argue that Huckabee, who insists he never compared Obama to Hitler, was cynically hoping to be misconstrued in order to get some media attention — which he got.
And this is where ten years of farting-Goldberg analogies pay off: This really is the equivalent of Goldberg, exhausted from several paragraphs of holding it in, finally unloading the inevitable and, while hoping  the sofa cushions will filter the evidence, trying the distract us with even worse reasoning:
But on the merits, Huckabee isn’t saying anything that lots of serious people haven’t said, albeit more eloquently. In countless speeches, Bibi Netanyahu...
We can stop there, as it's a sad scene and the room is filling up with stank, but connoisseurs will be pleased to learn that at the running-out-of-the-room-crying stage Goldberg actually says this:
George W. Bush was routinely compared to Hitler with a fraction of the outcry Huckabee has received.
Like the guy waiting at the barroom door says, it's always 9/11 somewhere.

•   Can there be any hed more glibertarian than this:
The Gay Marriage Case Against the Minimum Wage
From A. Barton Hinkle's copy:
True, at present all of this seems thoroughly academic. The likelihood that the U.S. will abandon minimum-wage laws anytime soon sounds almost preposterous. Then again, once upon a time so did the idea of gay marriage.
Deep in my heart/ I do believe/ You will work for scraps, someday. Yea, even unto the Middle Ages.

•   Speaking of which, David Weigel:
Rand Paul's politics are a constant source of debate on the libertarian right and left. Some think he's lurched too far toward military interventionism. Some think he's too close to the Republican establishment. but Paul's abortion views are less nettlesome than liberal observers of libertarianism seem to think. In April, ThinkProgress's Judd Legum wrote confidently that Paul was "not a libertarian"; his first evidence was that the senator "vehemently opposes abortion rights." This week, Little Green Footballs's Charles Johnson wrote that "Rand Paul likes to present himself as a civil libertarian, but his stance on reproductive rights is straight from the darkest, most regressive part of the Republican Party’s war on women."

The evidence for Paul's heresy is his sponsorship of legislation to define life as beginning at conception -- something liberals see as antithetical to "choice." Doctrinal libertarians don't necessarily agree.
I'll say. I give Weigel credit for  1.) getting Megan McArdle to embarrass herself more than usual, and 2.) patiently explaining to the punters what those of us who've been paying attention have known for years and years: Forced childbirth is not an issue that interests libertarians, because to them there is no freedom even remotely as important as the freedom of capital and of those who possess most of it to do whatever they want -- and those guys tend not to be child-bearing. They only tell the rubes that The Movement will protect them from revenooers* and court orders from their bitch ex-wives to keep it from looking too obvious. (*Damn it, now I got this song stuck in my head).

Friday, July 24, 2015


My favorite version. (Explanation.)

   Maybe you saw that story about a drone with a gun on it, and maybe you didn't think that was awesome because you're not 12 or a conservative. But Hot Air's Taylor Millard negs to differ:
Government, others freak after CT teen makes cool flying gun 
The government and others are going nuts over a Connecticut teen’s pretty cool invention: a drone with a gun. Austin Haughwout posted YouTube video on July 10th, showing the drone firing a semiautomatic handgun. 
Cue government outrage. Clinton police are up in arms (pun intended) over Haughwout’s invention, with one officer saying it’s obvious technology is surpassing legislation. They’re now actively trying to figure out if they can charge the teen, even though the gun was fired on private property...
The ACLU of Connecticut, the organization that claims to want the government to stop using drones in surveillance, is now calling on the government to push through comprehensive regulations for drones.
They don't want freelance assassins or the government to shoot people by remote control -- What a bunch of hypocrites!
People need to remember drones are amoral tools. They can all be used for good or evil, depending on how the person operating said tool acts. South Park had a pretty good episode on drones last year....
Yeah, we could stop paying attention right there, but it's Friday, let's give him a minute:
Those wanting to seriously regulate drones, armed or not, are forgetting how they can be used for good. Ranchers can use them to patrol their fields. Hunters could use them on tough to find predators. People who prefer not to go outside at night could use an armed drone to detect prowlers.
Hi, our car broke down, is anybody BLAM!
Plus, there’s always the simplest solution: take a shotgun to the offending drone. Problem solved.
This is what their ideal world looks like: Everyone tiptoeing around locked and loaded, like Elmer Fudd in search of Bugs Bunny. Only with lots of blood.

   Oh yeah, Mytheos Holt:
At the time, my thesis was mocked by liberals, some of whom even thought the article might have been a stealth parody. After Pao’s resignation [from Reddit], I expect these people don’t think this idea is quite so funny.
On the contrary! I mentioned last week the idea that a website owner controlling the content on his own site equals censorship is ridiculous, and it remains so. Holt also says the "Left hates Internet freedom," in defense of which proposition he expands the definition of the Left to include the U.S. Department of Justice and major movie studios, and portrays Gamergate, that rat's nest of harassment and crap writing, as proof that conservatives love internet freedom. (Remember when The Well was the poster child for the power of internet freedom? Sigh, me too. And I don't recall the members driving anyone out of her home, either.) I hope Holt can promote this POV sufficiently that some Republican debate moderator has to make Jeb Bush prove his right-wing bona fides by agreeing Anita Sakeesian had it coming. In closing, here's my favorite paragraph:
Even social conservatives have changed from being smugly self-assured about their own “Silent Majority”-style dominance to an embattled approach personified by Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option,” while blatantly anti-political correctness neoreactionaries like Pax Dickinson and Curtis Yarvin are being cast less as cranks and more like brave, countercultural heroes. One can quarrel with the wisdom of this iconoclastic turn, but no one would ever accuse today’s Right of being defined by its reverence for established pieties.
That'll light a prairie fire, alright. The people will march, just as soon as you explain to them what the hell you're talking about.

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.

Thursday, July 09, 2015


My favorite AC/DC tune is "Back in Business," but there's no good video of it.
This'll do, though. What's your favorite? It's all streaming now!

•     Republican pundits (or should we say RINO elitists?) are panicking over Donald Trump's strong showing in GOP polls. Jim Geraghty attempts, unqualified as he is, to talk sense to his fellow wingnuts in a post called "Do Trump and His Fans Even Want to Persuade Others?" (something I ask about conservatives generally all the time):
I realize that if you’re a Trump fan right now, energized by his in-your-face combativeness with the media and anyone who disagrees with him... 
But let’s take Stephen Covey’s advice to “begin with the end in mind” — presumably that is conservative governance — and recognize that to achieve that, we need a Republican president. And as much as Trump may be rising in the polls of the GOP primary... let’s take a look at his numbers head-to-head against Hillary Clinton: 
CNN: Clinton 59 percent, Trump 35.
Fox News: Clinton 51 percent, Trump 34. 
Quinnipiac: Clinton 50 percent, Trump 32.
Some of you will see the problem right off. Wait for it...
(One caveat: That CNN poll had Hillary ahead of Rubio by 16, Walker by 17, and Bush by 13, so perhaps we can argue that it was a Democrat-heavy sample...
A Democrat-heavy sample! Or "perhaps we can argue" that Clinton is a revered name in American politics and the Republicans are running approximately 239 feebs, flakes, and nincompoops led by a racist blowhard clown. Wait, though, Geraghty's not finished:
...Most polls have these candidates trailing by single digits or tied with Hillary.)
Geraghty provides zero links to support this assertion, so I looked up keywords in Google News and got some results such as this from the Washington Examiner:
Ted Cruz is winning at Twitter, tied with Hillary Clinton on Facebook
If only elections were totes social media LOL!  Also, that was from December of last year.  Much more recent (June 26) was this:
Poll: Sen. Bernie Sanders Is Statistically Tied With Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire
Well, now it makes sense!

•     Jesus-con Alan Jacobs has a long more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger thing at The American Conservative about how all us gay marriageists and non-fans of the Confederacy are not merely expressing opinions he does not share, but actively trying to shut down debate with our Twitter feeds and our mean looks -- which schtick, I'm sure you've noticed, is a popular favorite among the brethren these days. "Survey and critique others, lest you make yourself subject to surveillance and critique," Jacobs characterizes his opponents. "And use the proper Hashtags of Solidarity, or you might end up like that guy who was the first to stop applauding Stalin’s speech." He himself, of course, is just trying to keep free discourse alive -- his post's called "The Value of Disagreement," see?  The first tell that this is bullshit is an opening quote from a particularly passive-aggressive post by P-A Queen Mollie Hemingway. But it's even more instructive to get in the Wayback Machine and read Jacobs' 2003 article called "The War in Quotes: Journalists who don't like the war -- and like thinking even less -- have a little trick they use to tell us how they really feel." There, Jacobs calls rightblogger whipping-boy Robert Fisk "the Krusty the Clown of journalism," and notes that when referring to the invasion of Iraq Fisk put quotes around "liberators" and "liberation," which seems to me like basic hygeine for handling government propaganda, but which Jacobs calls "punctuational Tourette's Syndrome." Jacobs also complains that the New York Times and other peace creeps are doing the same thing:
...the Times apparently can't bear under any circumstances to use that term, in the context of the Iraq war at least, without scare quotes. Thus my description of this practice as a tic or as disease: After a while it kicks in automatically, and one wonders what habitual users could do to keep it from taking over their minds.
Twelve years later, Iraq is wreckage and everyone knows the idea that we "liberated" it was always a joke -- and Jacobs, then so diligent about what he considered journalists' inappropriate use of quote marks, is now telling us that liberals are the real language cops.

Friday, June 26, 2015


This old tune jumped into my head today for some reason. 

•   So far, the most delicious reaction is from the American Life League:
Today’s Supreme Court decision strikes at the heart of our nation just as Roe v. Wade did decades ago. Now, by judicial fiat, we are called to honor the fictional union of two people of the same sex. A nation that has lost its values has lost its soul. Our nation has become like a dead body floating downstream, to what destination only the devil knows.
But I'm sure someone will top it by this afternoon.

•   National Review is awash in anti-gay-marriage tears now. Michael Potemra asks whether we could have avoided all this gayness if only the Senate had approved Robert Bork in 1987:
...I’m not saying merely that if Bork hadn’t been rejected, President Reagan wouldn’t have appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote today’s opinion: I think that if Bork had been on the Court, that platform would have given him an outsized opportunity to influence America’s cultural and constitutional discussion – and that America would have been significantly less likely to embrace the sort of the change the Court affirmed today.
Except that Bork was a fucking nut, a gay-hating would-be censor, out of step with ordinary Americans even in that more conservative time -- hell, even Ole Perfesser Instapundit couldn't get with his narrow view of liberty. Also, he looked like an Old Testament prophet cross-bred with Bozo the Clown. Someone, perhaps a kindly intern, may have pointed this out to Potemra, for he continues:
What if, instead of my hypothesis, the American people came to dislike Justice (or eventual Chief Justice!) Bork intensely, and as a result moved even faster in the direction of anti-originalist “living-Constitution” views? But I submit that, in my experience, even legal scholars who are in strong opposition to Bork’s views recognize that he would have been one of the most ferociously intelligent and effective justices ever to serve on the Court. He would, in my opinion, have been a game-changer.
As as our legal scholars go, so goes the nation! Well, these are the same guys who thought we'd all fall in love with Sarah Palin.

•  On gay matters Rod Dreher simply cannot disappoint: He tells his fellow Christians that "persecution is coming" and they should "prepare for resistance." Wonder if that means he's going to postpone his European  trip:
James C., Sordello, and I are going to celebrate the Fourth of July in Lyon at the Café des Fédérations. We will have dinner the night before with Prof. J-F Mayer at Le Boeuf d’Argent, and Sunday lunch at Café Comptoir Abel. My liver will spend the rest of the summer recovering. 
Any other foodie stops in Lyon to consider? I’m thinking probably Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse. Help me out here.
I'm guessing not. Resistance prep is for the rubes. But when he gets back, he expects to see those filtration systems assembled!

•  Oh, Rod:

Obergefell is a sign of the times, for those with eyes to see. This isn’t the view of wild-eyed prophets wearing animal skins and shouting in the desert. It is the view of four Supreme Court justices, in effect declaring from the bench the decline and fall of the traditional American social, political, and legal order.
It's interesting that he feels the need to draw this distinction. I guess in the new, air-conditioned and artisanally-fed Benedict Option, old-fashioned Simon of the Desert-type prophets are déclassé. See you jokers at the next Livin'-as-Exiles Brunch!

•   National Review's Charles C.W. Cooke predicts that "the long-term path the Republican party will take after today’s Supreme Court decision" will be mellow and accommodating --
Those hoping to determine which long-term path the Republican party will take after today’s Supreme Court decision need to look no further than to the RNC itself. In a message released immediately after the ruling, Reince Priebus mildly criticized the ruling (correctly, in my view) while acknowledging its “finality;” struck a magnanimous note, confirming that the GOP “[respects] those on the winning side of the case” and remains “committed to finding common ground”; and identified the key priority going forward, which is to ensure the protection of conscience rights and the maintenance of religious liberty.
Meanwhile Cooke's colleague David French froths:
This is the era of sexual liberty — the marriage of hedonism to meaning — and the establishment of a new civic religion. The black-robed priesthood has spoken. Will the church bow before their new masters?
Common ground, indeed.

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.

Friday, June 12, 2015


I've been listening to a mess of Uncle Dave Macon lately.
I know you guys are into politics, so here's one 
where Uncle Dave campaigns for Al Smith, because Prohibition.

•    I hear some people are pleased that Tracey Carver-Allbritton got suspended from her job at a Bank of America vendor company for her part in the McKinney debacle, and that Karen Fitzgibbons got fired from her job as a teacher for her racist Facebook rant on the same subject. I'm not pleased, though. Generally speaking, I don't like to see workers suspended or fired for activities outside their sphere of work (I understand the case for firing a schoolteacher a little better, but not much). Conservatives blubbered over the defenestrations of Brendan Eich, Paula Deen and Donald Sterling, but they were rich people who had been separated, not from their livelihoods, but from their voluntary associations with other rich people -- a CEO by his board of directors, an entertainer by her network, and an NBA owner by his league. Interestingly, their conservative defenders generally harrumphed that of course they believed the rich people had a right to fire one other, which shows at least that they understood the real point: they were just mad that someone got in trouble for bigotry, which turns their world upside down; they wouldn't have minded if some pauper got in trouble for, say, stealing a loaf of bread because he was hungry. Carver-Allbritton and Fitzgibbons resemble these conservative heroes in that they appear to be bigoted, but assuredly do not resemble them in their need to work for a living -- and it's significant that you are hearing them defended far less vociferously by wingnuts than the rich guys were. After all, in our neo-feudal age, nothing can be too bad that promotes employee disposability; why do you think the Bank of America factota were so quick to jump? Because they care about racism? Don't forget what it's really all about.

•    Ole Perfesser Instapundit:
AS MUCH RESPECT FOR THE CONSTITUTION AS OBAMA: In my latest oped with David Rivkin, we explain why Hillary Clinton’s voter reform proposals–automatic voter registration at age 18, a 20-day early voting period, allowing felons to vote, etc.–are all likely to be unconstitutional:
It is increasingly evidence that conservatives' constantly-declared love for the Constitution has mainly to do with 1.)  guns and 2.) keeping citizens from voting if they're unlikely to vote Republican.

•    We are finally on Part 5 of Dan McLaughlin's series at The Federalist, "Can Gays And Christians Coexist In America?" The first four parts, as much as I could stand of them, were basically all about how gays are oppressing Christians. The conclusion kind of thrashes around a bit. On the one hand, there's more modish martyrdom:
If proponents of liberty band together in these fights like the slaves at the end of Spartacus, they will do just fine (of course, the slaves got crucified together, and that is always a possible outcome -- but then, the Romans were no ordinary adversary).
(Wonder what that last part means? That the Romans were different from homosexuals? Brother, have I got news for him.) On the other hand, there's an attempt at "accommodation" of these fascist gays:
One element, of course, is for Christians, conservatives, and Republicans to demonstrate a greater personal ease with gay Americans, as people. As frustrated as we may get with the flagrantly one-sided nature of the public, media debate, we need to be happy warriors, keeping our calm and our cool and showing with deeds, not just words, that our disagreements on matters of deep principle do not prevent us from treating others with the love and respect that the Gospel demands of us. That’s not always easy in an emotional political fight; we have to work at it, and we must.
"(Okay, remember, stay positive, can't get mad even though they're monsters...) Howdy, faggot!"

McLaughlin would allow gays their hate crimes legislation and advises moving on from the marriage issue, but the rest of what he characterizes as accommodation may not seem like such to you: For example, when it comes to anti-discrimination laws, which he opposes, McLaughlin says, "Republicans in Congress and the states, in many cases elected with the support of Christians and other religious people, have a governing majority now and should act like one." Also: "An example of a smaller issue on which there also ought to be a sensible middle ground is 'gay conversion therapy.'" (Spoiler: Let's keep it! But have better medical oversight.) The weirdest one is this:
Working together on common ground is a good first step to the two sides humanizing each other and learning the habits of compromise. But the final piece of the puzzle of armistice and coexistence is the need to demobilize the institutions that have been engaged in LGBT causes: Hollywood, the universities, media and entertainment companies like Disney/ESPN, and other big corporations. So long as those various entities are run and staffed by people who see Christians only in caricature and see LGBT causes through the prism of Jim Crow, conflict will never end.
He never explains how he's planning to change this; maybe he envisions some sort of affirmative action for Jesus freaks. "You're out, Katzenberg. Make way for DreamWorks CEO Barebones Dogood!"

Friday, May 29, 2015


I know I've posted this before but I'm in a fuck-everything sort of mood
and nothing but the Pride of Syracuse will do.

•   Bernie Sanders wrote this in 1972:
A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused. 
A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously. 
The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their "revolutionary" political meeting. 
Have you ever looked at Stag, Man, Hero, Tough magazines on the shelf at your local bookstore? Do you know why newspapers with the articles like "Girl 12 raped by 14 men" sell so well? To what in us are they appealing? 
Women, for their own preservation, are trying to pull themselves together. And it's necessary for all of humanity that they do so. Slavishness on one hand breeds pigness on the other hand. Pigness on one hand breeds slavishness on the other. Men and women — both are losers. Women adapt themselves to fill the needs of men, and men adapt themselves to fill the needs of women. In the beginning there were strong men who killed the animals and brought home the food — and the dependent women who cooked it. No More! Only the roles remain — waiting to be shaken off. There are no "human" oppressors. Oppressors have lost their humanity. On one hand "slavishness," on the other hand "pigness." Six of one, half dozen of the other. Who wins?
The rest here. The meaning of this admittedly jejune take on learned helplessness and gender roles will be clear enough to anyone with at least an eighth grade reading level. Wingnuts, though, are pretending it's a bombshell because, derr hurr, libtard said rape. Some of the dumber ones pretend Sanders said "All Men Dream Of Tying Up and Sexually Abusing Women, And All Women Fantasize of Being Raped By Three Men." "'Pretend Todd Akin said this': Where’s media outrage over Bernie Sanders’ pervy old essay?" headlines Twitchy. Akin, you may recall, not only professed to believe that women can use stress to stop a rapist's sperm from impregnating them, but reiterated this belief after his comments blew up his campaign, which I'd say is different from discussing the psychosexual effects of inequality.  Sanders' spokesman says the 1972 article "was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the '70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then," and while that seems accurate as far as it goes, I'm sorry he felt the need. I yet hope for a candidate who, confronted with this sort of thing, will hand out vouchers for remedial reading classes, or at least demand that his persecutors conjugate a sentence.

•   Hey, Rod Dreher has discovered incivility in an internet comments section! And guess where:
I’m a regular reader of Douthat and Brooks, and am constantly shocked by how hateful so many NYT readers are.
Those vicious, foulmouthed Times readers! They're the nastiest slur-merchant that ever sailed the seven million IPs! Doesn't get around much, does he? (Actually he's seen it before: in his own comments section. ["I have always been puzzled by the people who read this blog, and who seem to hate everything I believe in or say, yet who keep coming back to tell me what an SOB I am."] I envy the state of wide-eyed innocence to which Dreher disingenuously pretends.)

•    At The Federalist, professional culture-victim Mollie Hemingway explains why the New Yorker cover about the GOP Presidential candidates is not funny you guys:
Anyway, how did The New Yorker pick these seven candidates? It certainly wasn’t which seven had the most popular support thus far, at least based on the Real Clear Politics average. That would have included Ben Carson and not Chris Christie. And the magazine already noted that it wasn’t who had actually announced their candidacy. That includes Carly Fiorina, the only female in the GOP race. They didn’t include people who have actually won primaries before, such as Rick Santorum, who finished in second place for the GOP nomination in 2012... 
Maybe they’re just terrified of letting liberal readers know how diversely hued the GOP field is. I don’t know... 
But even if the media wish the GOP field weren’t as diverse as it is, particularly relative to the Democratic field, the media shouldn’t do the artistic equivalent of airbrushing photos to get there.
I hope you stupid libtards realize that by not including the one black and one female candidate from the 342 prospective GOP Presidential candidates, you prove you're the real racist-war-on-womanist for misrepresenting our party's diversity. Now who's laughing -- wait, it's still you! Reverse prejudism!

Friday, May 22, 2015


Mama had this record. Whole thing's great, but I particularly like the part
with the Leslie'd organ and what I believe is choked-pick percussion git.

•   National Review's John Miller is again pimping Liberty Island, the website whose politically-driven belles-lettres we've examined before, so I figured I'd have a look. Among recent offerings is the winner of its recent Memorial Day writing contest, a story called Bait, in which he-men with Marine training use a sissy Hollywood actor to break up a super-sophisticated dogfighting ring, and then see to it that the sissy gets beat up because he's a sissy. The author demonstrates a great deal of knowledge about armaments, and sympathy for dogs if not Hollywood sissies; if you're going to be cruel at Liberty Island, it pays to be sentimental, too. Fave line: "Hell, there was even the rock god my kid sister had worshipped in high school [at the dogfight]. I guess meat was only murder sometimes." Picture Morrissey crying "ten thousand quid on the pitbull with the faraway eyes." Also in rotation: "WILL YOU SURVIVE IF (WHEN?) THE POWER GRID GOES DOWN?" which I think is sponsored content but with this bunch you never know. Oh, and an announcement for a new Book of the Year contest, sponsored by the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance, for people who like their art-product vetted by ideologues.

•   Elizabeth Warren says "the game is rigged" and she's right, says National Review's Jim Geraghty, "but she’s off-base in her assessment of how it’s rigged" -- it's you liberals and your so-called "education" that rigged it! Geraghty points to an article in The Economist called “America’s new aristocracy: Education and the inheritance of privilege," and tells us,
...the liberal-dominated world of higher education has turned itself into the exorbitantly expensive entry gate to the middle class, setting aside quite a few slots for the offspring of current elites.
Wait a minute -- colleges are expensive, and the children of the rich get unfair advantages in them? This is brand new! Thanks, Obama! Wait, it gets worse: Geraghty says the article also tells us firms, investment banks, and consulting firms tend to hire applicants from well-known universities who were already “culturally similar” to the institution. “Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles. Concerns about shared culture were highly salient to employers and often outweighed concerns about absolute productivity.” In other words, if you don’t remind the elite employer making the hiring decision of himself, you’re less likely to be hired for the big job.
It sounds as if Obama has changed human nature itself! In the old days, you could just search the candidate's chest for the right class pin or school tie; now I suppose you have check out his "self-presentation style" -- to see if it's liberal! Next Geraghty will read somewhere and rush back to tell us that under Obama rich people eat fancy food while ordinary Americans eat sammiches. This could break the election wide open for whichever rich theocrat the GOP nominates!

•   I'm tired of doing all the hard work around here, so I'll just point out that in this Michael Brendan Dougherty column the job of proving, or even making an argument, that letting all kinds of people (including gays and singles) have babies will lead the disaster is entirely left to the framing device, which talks about an abandoned baby left in a bag -- another thing that never happened before Obama! -- and then shock-cuts to the tale of a child-support suit against a sperm donor and proceeds to other such curiosities, none of which, so far as the column tells, are related to the abandoned baby except in that abandoned babies are bad and these things near it are, in Dougherty's view, also bad. I knew these guys were feeble in the logic department, but couldn't they take a weekend course and learn something about metaphors at least?

Friday, May 15, 2015


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

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

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

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

Friday, May 08, 2015


Friday I got Monday on my mind.

   Last summer Michael Webster took some photos at Coney Island and, as is usual with him, saw the scene differently than your average joy-popper would. The package is at Burn magazine and is called "Too Many Black People in One Place." I wrote the accompanying essay. All the work predates Ferguson and Baltimore but still holds up pretty well. Give a look when you get a chance and tell me what you think.

   As we all know, my credentials as an equal-opportunity blasphemer are impeccable. Jonah Goldberg's position is similarly consistent -- that is, he was a moron before the Pamela Geller uproar and remains one today. His latest, "Progressives Love Anti-Religious Art — as Long as It’s Anti-Christian" is just another fatty serving of the same congealed ressentiment he's been dishing for years -- it even contains references to Piss Christ and "Mapplethorpe’s hide-the-bullwhip oeuvre." (It's like his mother was scared by a Duchamp readymade while she was pregnant.) Goldberg knocks people who don't think Geller has a Constitutional right to her bullshit, but who's that?  Just a tiny sliver of idiots. Most normal people don't much care how the avatars of the world's major superstitions are portrayed (at least not the ones they don't believe in!) and, I would imagine, consider Geller an nuisance on the level of Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, looking for chances to stir the shit. (You think reactionaries like Peter King are turning on Geller because they love Mohammed?) But Goldberg portrays the real problem as snotty bohos with their so-called "art" who get fans and grants while he has to float in the oceans with nutcakes and humiliate himself with his shit writing on a regular basis.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Good day for this. Never a bad one, really.

•   At National Review, Mona Charen snarls in "Racial Milestones and a Corrupt Press":
You can do this all day, I know, play “What if a Republican had done...” But the contrast is so galling, it simply must be noted. Today’s Washington Post carries a story about the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general. The inside headline, on page A7, proclaims “Lynch Will Be First Black Woman to Head the Justice Department.” A glance back at the coverage of Condoleeza Rice’s confirmation as the first black woman Secretary of State? The headline was “Rice Confirmed Amid Criticism.” The story accompanying that headline featured Democrats’ slams against attorney general-nominee Alberto Gonzalez, but not a word about the history-making moment of confirming the first black woman secretary of state.

This tears the veil off the “first blah blahs” the press and Democrats make such a fuss over. It’s completely partisan. It has nothing to do with true pride in the accomplishments of once oppressed peoples. Conservative women’s accomplishments are illegitimate. Black conservatives are invisible...
The Washington Post is only one hydra-head of the Liberal Media, so I went to see what other treasonous news orgs had reported on Rice's milestone. The New York Times:
Condoleezza Rice, a scholar of the cold war who was President Bush's closest foreign policy adviser during his 2000 campaign and throughout his first term, was sworn in as secretary of state Wednesday evening, hours after the Senate confirmed her by a vote of 85 to 13.
Ms. Rice, who is the second woman, and the first black woman, to become secretary of state...
Talk about burying the lede! Worse, CNN didn't get to Rice's race/gender qualifications till the third paragraph. And NPR, well, you can imagine, the first line was probably about how she was a fascist or something --
The Senate votes 85-13 to confirm Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state, making her the first black woman to serve as the nation's top diplomat.
-- okay, well then surely those commies at the Associated Press --
WASHINGTON (AP) — America's first black woman secretary of state took the ceremonial oath of office Friday surrounded by family and friends...
Look, it's no fair, that Democrat bitch got a headline! Elsewhere at National Review, you can read Mona Charen's racial opinions about Obama's Secret Service protection: namely, that Obama has torn the races apart, so now if someone sic-semper-tyrannises him "it’s a good bet that close to 100 percent of blacks and a good percentage of others would believe that a demonic conspiracy brought him down." Yeesh. Maybe cook gave her some runny eggs this morning.

•   Rod Dreher's blog remains a mix of persecution mania and book peddling, but I have to to tell you he surprised me in his latest sermon on how the gays are persecuting Christians:
We must try, anyway, because if we are going to hold on to the orthodox Christian faith in this increasingly anti-Christian culture, we are going to have to learn how to endure, and to endure joyfully.
I ran out of time this morning on the stage, but I wanted to talk briefly about how we will have much to learn from the African-American experience. A black friend’s grandmother, encouraging her children in the 1940s not to let their spirits and their dignity be broken by white hatred, counseled, “Don’t be the kind of person they think you are.” That’s great advice for Christians going forward.
Sure, they experienced slavery, segregation, and lynchings. but Big Gummint made us bake a cake. Now for a rousing rendition of that old cracker spiritual, "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Gay."

•   Speaking of whiners, here's Mollie Hemingway claiming we're heading toward a joyless Orwellian dystopia of "comedy speakeasies" where "people will have to have the password. But they’ll also have to be patted down for recording equipment," etc., because comedians are ascared someone will hear their jokes outside the club and some tattletale will get them sent to PC Jail. What's her evidence for this? 1.) The New York Post said David Letterman's audience was "'stunned' by his 'sexist' joke"; 2.) "Jamie Foxx was accused of transphobia"; 3.) Trevor Noah lost his Daily Show gig -- no wait, that didn't happen; rather, he "received criticism." And... Michael Richards. No, really. If a white guy can't yell "nigger" over and over onstage without getting a hard time for it 12 fucking goddamn years ago, we're headed for totalitarianism. Maybe if Hemingway keeps this up, the conservative movement will gain strength from all the shitty comics who finally have an excuse for nobody liking them.

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.

Friday, April 03, 2015


One of the funniest things by two of the funniest people of all time.

•    It is axiomatic that Jonah Goldberg can make anything worse, and the Indiana RFRA case is no exception. Here he shows evidence of having been crammed with some libertarian revisionism: Goldberg argues that the pre-"clarification" RFRA was not like Jim Crow because Jim Crow was really about economic oppression -- because everything is! -- and had nothing to do with anything so gauche as violent prejudice against a despised minority, and still less to do with political power:
Of course, the more infamous Jim Crow laws were aimed at barring blacks from being able to vote. But there was a pernicious logic to such efforts. Denying blacks the vote, even in states where they were the majority of citizens, guaranteed that they couldn’t overturn racist state economic regulations. 
In fact, says Goldberg, Confederate businesses loved serving black people, but because a flood of emancipated black workers caused a labor shortage (forget it, he's on a roll), both blacks and black-loving shopkeepers were Jim Crowed into submission not by the Klan nor by the White Leagues, but by Big Business -- you know, the people conservatives worshiped as gods until Tim Cook said he was gay. "Ultimately," says Goldberg, "the federal government had to use just coercion to crush unjust state-government coercion," without mentioning that his own magazine was against that "just coercion" every step of the way; they affect to feel sorry about that now, and one would like to think that they'll apologize for their absurd attitude toward gays fifty years from now (if they and the nation last so long), but alas, Goldberg shows that they haven't really learned a thing:
In Indiana, the most vocal and arguably the most powerful voices against even the perception of anti-gay discrimination have come from the business community. And, one suspects, there are plenty of people in the wedding-planning industry eager for such business. 
We could impose a fine on recalcitrant religious wedding photographers. But the market already does that, every time they turn away paying customers.
They still think Title II is an injustice and don't want it applied to anyone else.

•  One Bob & Ray thing isn't enough: Enjoy this bit -- first four minutes of this clip from the Letterman show, but the rest is okay too -- in which "Barry Campbell" talks about his disastrous opening in the play "The Tender T-Bone."

•    From the Weird Reaction file: You may have seen the fascinating story of a suitcase full of photos, receipts, and diary entries chronicling a German businessman's extra-marital affair forty-five years ago that has been revived as a gallery show. Most of us find it interesting or creepy or a spur to reflection. Ole Perfesser Instapundit, however, reacts thusly:
IT WASN’T AN AFFAIR, it was performance art. Bow down and don’t criticize, philistines!
Most of the time I think Reynolds is just putting it on for the rubes, but sometimes it seems he really is that weird mix of Babbitt and Nathan Bedford Forrest he plays on the internet.

•    Speaking of the arts, I went over to Acculturated to take in the latest by Mark Judge, or Mark Gauvreau Judge or Gark Jauvreau Mudge or whatever he calls himself these days. He's sighing over a 1954 Sports Illustrated cover showing a pretty girl in a modest one-piece bathing suit largely obscured by sea spray. As you may have guessed, this inspires a meditation on how much sexier things were before sideboob.
More than fifty years later, the Pamela Nelson photo ignites my passion more than anything that is in the hyped, recently published 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. The photographs in the new swimsuit issue are dull. The poses are clichéd, similar, and the models look like cyborgs. There is the arching-back pose. The bedroom-eyes-on-the-beach shot. The backside shot (or shots). Did I mention the arching-back pose?

In our culture today, pornography has excelled at titillating the masses, but is poor at capturing the soul. And no matter what our sex-drenched society tells us, sex is sexier when the soul is involved.
Every single one of the poses named above comes with a link, so Acculturated readers can decide whether they want to beat off to contemporary or vintage pin-ups -- which I guess is how some people measure cultural seriousness. Chacun à son gout is very very true...

•    Still speaking of the arts, this is from a report on wingnut intellectual George Nash's speech to the Philadelphia Society last month:
“Many conservatives, of course, including many in this room, are laboring valiantly and effectively in the realm of cultural renewal,” Nash said. “But as a historian I am constrained to note that the ‘progressives’ in this country continue to predominate in the production of culture, and in the manufacture and distribution of prestige among our cultural elites. As long as this imbalance continues, the fate of post-Reagan conservatism will be problematic.”
Do remember this, dear reader: You may think of novels, plays, ballet, music, etc. as works of art that illuminate the human condition, but to the great minds of the conservative movement they are merely widgets in "the manufacture and distribution of prestige among our cultural elites." Their policies are inhuman, that is, because they don't really relate to humanity.