Friday, July 28, 2017


Often, when one is king of the divan, one just has to go for the easy lay-up, n'cest pas?

• It's nice that they let McCain be the maverick this time! But don't forget: Republicans are a zombie death squad, lumbering forward at the behest of sociopathic Randroid donors. Don't imagine that any of them mean you anything but ill -- and that includes the so-called moderates. I know a lot of intelligent people like John Kasich, and are juiced that he was against the skinny repeal. But let us look at his premises -- from his New York Times Op-Ed, July 19 [emphases mine]:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Washington’s approach to health care over the past decade is yet another example of our lawmakers’ increasing distance from the rest of America. First one party rams through a rigid, convoluted plan that drives up costs though unsustainable mechanisms that are now unraveling. Then the other party pursues fixes that go too far the other way — and again ignores ideas from the other side.  
Neither extreme is cutting it, and the quick opposition that doomed the Senate plan reflects how unacceptable its idejas are to so many.
As a responsible centrist I'm opposed to this inadequate response to the Big Gummint Statist Commie Health Disaster. But unlike that baaaaad man in the White House, I'm a nice guy and will soothe your aching health care needs with “tax credits” and “transitioning to a block grant or per-capita cap.” Oh, and:
After two failed attempts at reform, the next step is clear: Congress should first focus on fixing the Obamacare exchanges before it takes on Medicaid. If we want to move Americans off Medicaid, there must be somewhere stable for them to go.
This is hilarious. "Fixing" the exchanges just happens to have been Mitch McConnell's announced Plan B for when the repeal-and/or-replace plans failed to pass. And I suspect if Kasich and his less-"moderate" buddies actually "move Americans off Medicaid" -- the heart's dream of generations of wingnuts -- the "stable" surface they alight on will be the pavement. Fuck all of ‘em; we won't be safe till the last hard-liner is strangled with the entrails of the last moderate.

• Speaking of people who seem to be your friends and aren't, Peggy Noonan stamps her foot and says, know what the problem is with that awful Trump fellow? He's not an old-fashioned movie-star sort of man like Ronnie Reagan!
The way American men used to like seeing themselves, the template they most admired, was the strong silent type celebrated in classic mid-20th century films—Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Henry Fonda. In time the style shifted, and we wound up with the nervous and chattery. More than a decade ago the producer and writer David Chase had his Tony Soprano mourn the disappearance of the old style: “What they didn’t know is once they got Gary Cooper in touch with his feelings they wouldn’t be able to shut him up!”
She had a clear shot to cite someone that her sub-70-yr-old readers might have heard of to support her love of antique butchness, and she picked Tony fucking Soprano.
The new style was more like that of Woody Allen. His characters couldn’t stop talking about their emotions, their resentments and needs. They were self-justifying as they acted out their cowardice and anger.
 Man, she's channeling Life magazine circa 1969. These hippie film stars with their pot and their whatchacall new-roses! Just shoot the fucking injuns, kid!
But he was a comic. It was funny. He wasn’t putting it out as a new template for maleness. Donald Trump now is like an unfunny Woody Allen.

Who needs a template for how to be a man? A lot of boys and young men, who’ve grown up in a culture confused about what men are and do. Who teaches them the real dignity and meaning of being a man?
I bet Noonan thinks that now when she talks about how those lads in the ghetto lack positive male role models, hipsters and black folk won't make that shut-up-old-white-lady face, because they'll know she's talking about Trump -- everyone hates him! And no one will remember what long, luxuriant tongue-baths Noonan was giving Trump up until, oh, a few weeks ago--
Mr. Trump is taking a clear stand against the kind of gauzy globalism and vague multiculturalism represented by the worldview of, say, Barack Obama and most contemporary Western intellectuals, who are willing, even eager, to concede the argument to critics of the West’s traditions.
From Bismarck to a bum, in as short a time as it takes for Noonan to lick her finger and put it up in the air.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


When an article at The Federalist has a hed like this...
How Embedding Women With Contraception May Keep Them In Poverty know it's gonna be a lulu, and this one sure is. For stretches it's semi-sane and only expectedly disingenuous; author Elizabeth Bauer objects to giving poverty-prone women price breaks on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for reasons you might imagine -- and no, her reasons don't include the grim historical resonance of offering even temporary sterilization to black women; Bauer seems not to feel that at all. (Couldn't she have stuck in something about how Margaret Sanger was a eugencist? That used to be de rigueur. Maybe Federalist editors have decided, times being what they are, their audience doesn’t need them to pretend to care what happens to black people.)

Instead Bauer argues that LARCs might discourage them from using condoms, leaving them prey to STDs, and that there's no data supporting the judgment that not getting pregnant gives young women a better chance to thrive. Then things get weird: she suggests girls will be "pressured to use LARCs," perhaps by the all-powerful state; she claims somebody "dreams that every woman is automatically LARC’d until she is ready to plan her first pregnancy" but she never says who. Also, these women's "relationships with men" will be altered if they are perceived as “sexually available." I have not hung on street corners for a long time, but when I did I don't recall my fellow dogs trading tips on where to find chicks with IUDs, maybe with a magnet. Plus there's the traditional disgust with recreational sex -- by offering them long-term contraception, says Bauer, we're just telling these ladies "that being sexually active is a perfectly normal part of adolescence and young adulthood, something to explore and enjoy with no limits except ensuring all parties have obtained consent from the other(s)," etc.

It takes a while for Bauer to tell us how LARCs "May Keep Them In Poverty" -- but it's worth waiting for:
But there is another possibility, and that’s that LARC usage “short-circuits” the success sequence.
For pill or condom users, or for the non-sexually active in environments where the norm of one’s peers is sex, “not getting pregnant” requires self-discipline in one form or another, and this, repeated consistently, is self-reinforcing. Alternately, poor girls who make it through their teen and young adult years without pregnancy may succeed not due to their childlessness but because of the same personal characteristics that enabled them to avoid pregnancy. Consenting to having an implant or IUD is not the same. It may be that “lack of pregnancy” may mean little in isolation.
Translation: If you make not getting pregnant too easy for them, they lose valuable pussy-defending skills that would serve them well in today's competitive job market. Maybe they can put it on their resumes! It's bound to make a difference when they tell that interviewer, "No, no children -- and I did it the hard way!" with a big wink.

I invite readers to read and explain Bauer’s closing paragraphs, which I found almost indecipherable, but which seem to say that it's cruel to give poor women the idea that taking steps to avoid poverty (besides marriage, which makes you rich!) will help them get "middle-class" jobs, because --
Are there enough jobs at “middle class” pay rates? Who performs the low-paying jobs that for now still exist, and cannot all universally be taken by teens working part-time, or retirees, or by these young people, working at low wages only temporarily until they move on, or others who don’t “need” a support-a-family wage?
-- society has already decided who gets those good jobs, and it's not poor black women.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I don't know why so many of you are worried about losing your health insurance when Scott Ehrlich tells us at The Federalist that you just need to learn to comparison-shop lifesaving treatments. Take his Type 2 diabetes:
I was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. I also had what is basically a catastrophic insurance plan, meaning I would pay 100 percent out of pocket for everything (other than an annual physical) up to $3,000 in annual expenses. For me, $3,000 is three months of daycare for my son, three months of mortgage payments, and eight months of car payments, so I was in no hurry to pay that deductible. So I worked hard to see if there were any way I could get good treatment cheaper.
Not too good, just having catastrophic insurance with a family -- but don't worry: Ehrlich did research and found coupons and negotiated with manufacturers, and cut hundreds of dollars off his insulin costs. And he says you can, too! ("...knowing pharma’s problems with consumer compliance, if you can find the right people to talk to, I would imagine that you can get them to subsidize your purchase if it means you stick with them rather than switching to a competitor for a discount," etc.)

Of course, Ehrlich is COO of DTC Perspectives*, "a publishing, conference/training, and consulting company specializing in the area of consumer marketing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products," so mmmmaybe he's got more pull with the pharmas and other industry outlets than you would (though, he insists more than once, his connections don't enter into it).  If you're not that sharp or good on the phone or lucky, then it's full freight for you, buddy; and if you happen to suffer from something that requires more than insulin, the DIY approach may not work out so well. (Interestingly, one of the conditions Erlich recommends this approach for is COPD. Maybe someone down at the bottling plant can jerry-rig you an oxygen tank.)

But that's how it's supposed to work, right? Superior people, the ones with savvy and connections, make out great regardless, but those of us who've been receiving gummint help via Obamacare have been making their achievement feel a little less special -- a buzzkill they don't have to tolerate anymore. If you can work a miracle with coupons, or are mediagenic enough to pull sufficient sympathy and donations via Kickstarter to treat your expensive conditions, you may get a pass; if not, you can just pass away.

(*BTW, the CEO of DTC Perspectives is Bob Ehrlich -- related, maybe? -- and he writes things like this: "It is clear that Democrats are moving towards enacting single payer. As costs mount for the new Obamacare, it is only a matter of time before the great savior will be our government running all insurance. Then we can look forward to the end of private insurers and free market pricing for health services and drugs. Bernie [Sanders] will be happy because America will look more like Canada and Europe or perhaps Venezuela." Sounds like Papa Erlich wants you doing research on cheaper treatments, too -- except elsewhere he writes that "I also have concerns that consumers are not experts on price/value of drugs," and "advertising retail price will not help consumers and in fact may discourage them from seeking treatment because they assume they cannot afford the drug." Well, I'm sure that just goes for the current, sub-optimal, semi-socialist Obamacare state -- once they rid rid of that shit, you can see all the price tags you want, and have your money ready.)

UPDATE. Among the many excellent comments, Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard:
Notice how he tells us how many months of daycare or car payments that 3K is worth, but doesn't tell what percentage of his annual income it is. I imagine that the COO of a pharmaceutical marketing agency makes a bit more scratch than a busboy.
Having a plush job (even if, hell especially if you were born to it) is just another clear sign that you'e of the Elect and deserve the kind of care moochers don't.

Monday, July 24, 2017


...about some alternatives wingnuts have from talking about Trump, such as Kid Rock's Senate run and that Muslim cop whose shooting of a white lady suddenly changed law 'n' order types into civil libertarians, if only for a news cycle.

Friday, July 21, 2017


Jim Fourniadis -- genius behind Rats of Unusual Size,
and producer of the first Reverb Motherfuckers album
(how's that for HOF credentials?) -- 
did this and I think it's great.

  I’ve only listened to a little Chapo Traphouse — podcasts still strike me as just a slower way of reading, and I don’t have the time. But I like Chapo Traphouse; they’re like Firesign Theater meets Negativland meets Alan Berg; I think it’s hilarious that, given their arcane references and not-terrible politics, they’re so popular. So it’s actually mystifying to me that the very smart Jeet Heer, among others, is giving them a hard time about being mean. I know his argument is technically more sweeping than “they’re mean” but isn’t that what it comes down to? Heer accuses them of “dominance politics” because of the bend-the-knee stuff, but how can he miss that the experience they provide is mainly aesthetic? Saying “Chapo is fighting a two-front war, one against the Republicans and another against moderate Democrats” is like saying “The Marx Brothers are fighting a two-front war, one against Sig Ruman as a stuffy opera impresario and another against Margaret Dumont.”

Jonathan Chait, of all people, is so close to getting this — “a podcast does not have to abide the logic of political coalition-building” — but then he starts talking about cross-checking your content for bias blah blah blah. Guys, this shit is funny, and humor (real humor that you can actually laugh at, not crude apparatchiks emulating the form) is not an insidious delivery system for propaganda, it’s a timeless source of human pleasure. He who feels it knows it. I hate to be dramatic (though I do have a BFA) but this is a step in the direction of treating everything as politics. Which, as this website daily shows, makes you ridiculous, and not in a laughing-with-you way.

  The insufferable Victor Davis Maximus Super Hanson, whose insufferability was revisited here only Wednesday, has a new offense at City Journal. In brief, it’s a yowl over how nobody (that is, nobody Hanson approves of) does physical labor anymore. VDMSH himself, a part-time gentleman farmer, reveals himself acquainted with toil, at least in an overseer capacity, which makes him superior to the sissies who push paper and then go to the gym.

As someone who waited tables for years before entering office life, I could say that I know something of what he’s talking about. It’s good to know worlds beyond the knowledge-worker one, especially now that so many middle-class kids are shunted into that world from the cradle. But Hanson gotta Hanson: eventually he is forced to admit (perhaps by an editor, though the article otherwise seems not to have been submitted to editorial attention) that people who have been made to labor for their wages would not miss the experience. That’s about when Hanson dodges to a new tack: “diminished cultural awareness about those who work physically” is the trouble with all those “privileged Yale students shouting down” their professors and other Hansonian bugbears. Blah. Here in northeast D.C., I have seen a lot of middle-class working-class people — cooks, day laborers, security guards — who hobble home from the bus. One might say they’re had too much of what Hanson counts a good thing. They might have had less, or more ease from the travails, were someone in authority and power paying more attention to them. But the Hansons of the world never agitate for them to have that kind of attention — they only want to turn the eyes of whippersnappers toward them to shame them, while feeling no shame themselves.

  Oh and: If you get tired of reading me on Rod Dreher, or even if not, why not give Andrew Johnston a try? Here he makes some good points, including this:
[Dreher's] is an extensive list of criticisms against this modern, nightmarish world of choice. That's the watchword, the real problem. Seven hundred years ago, there was no choice - you did as you were told or else you ended up flogged, exiled or broken on the wheel. Bit by bit, this changed as the Western world acquired the political and economic means to exercise choice as well as the knowledge to recognize that those choices existed… 
Dreher doesn't like the fact that people around him have the freedom not to believe in God, or to believe in a different god, or even to worship his God in a manner different from him. What he longs for in this book is enforced homogeny.
Dreher's a buffoon, but never forget that all his blubbering about homos forcing him to bake cakes is massive projection and the sheep's clothing on a threat. He and all the wormy theocons are just itching to get medieval on your ass.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


I just caught up with that old drama queen Victor Davis Hanson, who is doing his usual long whine at National Review about how the Mexicans and the homosexuals and the SJWs and the Deep State are all conspiring to steal his chainsaw. It's all too tedious but I will share with you this lovely graf I pulled from his muck of wingnut buzzwords:
In short, will America remain a multiracial nation united in one culture in which superficial physical appearance becomes largely irrelevant (and indeed one’s racial DNA pedigree soon becomes almost undefinable), or will it go the tribal route that ultimately leads to something like the Balkans, Rwanda, Iraq — or Evergreen State, Ferguson, and Middlebury?
I can imagine his rageaholic readers gasping: Become another Middlebury, Vermont? Nature hikes in the winter, quarry swimming in the summer? Forbid it almighty God!

Oh, this part's pretty great too:
The Great Depression, and the establishment’s inept responses to it, left a quarter of the country unemployed for nearly a decade — hungry and desperate to expand government even if it entailed curtailing liberty in a way never envisioned by the Founders. The result was eventually the redefinition of freedom as the right of the individual to have his daily needs guaranteed by the state.
Hanson's apparent plan, now that the inept establishment has been replaced with Donald Trump, is to try it again, only this time we'll steel ourselves against statism, remembering that starving to death in a cold-water shack is as nothing compared to the nightmare of social security and banking regulations.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


1. Site problems reported:

I've been hearing from users that the site is inaccessible from outside the United States. Have you noticed? Do you have a workaround?

I've noticed myself that Disqus comments do not load reliably on the site. Have you noticed? Do you have a workaround?

Please respond in comments if you can see them.

2. Birthday:

Mine today, and thanks to those of you who've noticed. It has been suggested that I allow readers to PayPal me the price of a drink, or several drinks. I am usually reluctant to solicit funds outside of times of pressing need, as with the Edrosothon, in part because I've seen how numbnuts abuse the privilege. But after much contemplation I've decided, with this and much else, to go counterintuitive so: If you want to buy me a drink, or many drinks, I accept happily, and direct you to where you can drop me some coin. Thanks in advance and I promise I'll put it to good waste!


At Reason, Peter Suderman says what killed repeal-and-whatever was the incompatibility of the "moderate" and "conservative" Republican viewpoints and the leadership's feckless disregard for the principles at stake:
The confusion over the single risk pool was the Republican confusion over health care in distilled form: Conservatives proposed an idea intended to loosen the grip of insurance regulations, but that might have ended up more expensive in the long run. Leadership used that idea, but modified it in a way intended to appease moderates. That modification would have made the provision work at cross-purposes to its original intent, or maybe not at all. It was a compromise that ended up providing nothing for anyone...

The disagreement over the single pools regulation may seem wonky or obscure, but it represents the whole of GOP disagreement over health care in miniature. Moderates want one thing; conservatives want another; leadership just wants to pass something and doesn't care much what it is—and the result is legislation that doesn't make any sense, as policy or as politics.
But this could describe any legislation, defeated or successful -- the reconciliation of opposing principles, under the guidance of leadership, to produce a bill.

What really doomed the bill was something Suderman won't mention: The seething anger the plan in all its forms provoked among the public. By the end it was on its way to single digit support -- with its supporters in all but the most benighted GOP districts shortly to follow. Obamacare is a Rube Goldberg machine for dispensing health care and everyone has good reason to hate it, but it doesn't necessarily follow that people would be happy to replace it with Pay or Die II; if your boiler goes out every morning, the way to better heat yourself and your family is not by setting the house on fire.

Also, unlike the saps who work at wingnut publications, Republican politicians know that they're not really beloved of the public -- they just vote for them because they hate Democrats, gays, women, Mooslims etc. For validating their contempt, they'll reward Republicans with office, and even applaud their stupid bathroom bills and whatnot. But they're not going to die for them, nor let unforeseeable illness send them to the poorhouse so Paul Ryan can fall to his knees in his St. Ayn chapel blubbering "We did it, Ms. Rand."

Trump's instinct to blame the Democrats, while nuts, is about the best strategy they've got now. You can see the brethren working on it already: At USA Today, Texas Public Policy Foundation analyst Chris Jacobs blames "Liberal Medicaid alarmism.... The liberals who claimed this year’s Republican health bills would 'cut' Medicaid" -- interesting choice of scare quote, that -- "are the same ones who endorsed Obamacare’s reductions in Medicare spending." Yeah, but 1.) The voters are still getting their Medicare benefits, so what do they care, 2.) they at least dimly intuit that the Medicare money went to another health care program, Obamacare, whereas anyone, even the dimmest gomer in Gomer Gulch, knows that whenever a Republican defunds a program, the money goes straight to Montgomery Burns and the guy in the top hat from the Monopoly game.

Jacobs ends by claiming the left "did the American people a disservice by detracting from the debate on health care that our country deserves." But there never was a debate; merely a round of Who Do You Trust. Voters may hate the Democrats for their association with people they've been trained to hate, but they don't think Democrats are going to kill them. About Republicans, really, what sentient American would say the same?

Monday, July 17, 2017


...on how and why conservatives rushed to defend David Brooks' sandwich-of-liberal-oppression column. I got into this topic a little earlier, here, but the column is a much fuller consideration of the phenomenon, and it has jokes, so enjoy. (I will say that I proposed the headline "David Brooks Shtick Sandwich: All The Consevatives Took A Bite," but my editor wouldn't go for it. Philistines!)

It worth remembering that, while David Brooks seems like a hapless dummy, his social views can be every bit as offensive as those of the snarliest Trumpkins; recall his complaint that police body cameras, revived in the wake of Ferguson, would "undermine communal bonds... When a police officer is wearing a camera, the contact between an officer and a civilian is less likely to be like intimate friendship and more likely to be oppositional and transactional." Unless, of course, your relationship is already oppositional -- but whyever should that be?

Among the outtakes: Professional This-Is-Why-Trump-Won-Sayer Chris Arnade applauding Brooks: “I would add, where David Brooks uses upscale delis, I use McDonald's to show the difference in cultural capital between front-row & back-row.” Arcade is apparently of the impression that liberals don’t go to McDonalds and, when they want to grab a quick bite downtown, use the Soros app to locate the best nose-to-tail restaurant in the vicinity.

Oh, if I had more space and time I might have tied this all to the many conservative columns about how liberal snootiness is Why Trump Won and Will Always Win -- like Bret Stephens' "politics of contempt" thing, for instance, where he actually accused Democrats of running "against Trump and an America that, like it or not, he represents." Talk about a can't-win situation! Conservatives, especially the Conservatives Formerly Known as NeverTrump, increasingly engage this tautology -- even when they claim, for whatever complicated psychological reasons, that they don't like Trump, they talk as if Trump is America now and therefore cannot be meaningfully opposed -- that is, opposed in order to beat him, as distinct from opposed in order to feel good for a while before capitulating completely like a Republican Senator (which they're all for!). I thought for a while this was their way of trying to demoralize Democrats, but I begin to think it's a way of explaining their own gutlessness to themselves.

Thursday, July 13, 2017


It's hard to pick a favorite among the many obsessions of Rod Dreher. His flat-out support of tyrants so long as they're religious ("Putin, Our Tsar-Protector?") is pretty good; his terror of the trans menace (“an older transgender said to him, ‘You’re just a kid now, but when you turn 21, we’re going to take you out and get you broken in’”) is even better. But for my money, his tendency to sputter over porn is the richest vein. I thought he had spiked his meter for good some years back, when that "2 girls 1 cup" thing was happening -- anyone who'd been around the block even once knew it was just the Fetish of the Week, something to épater the squares to be replaced with some other woo-woo the following month, but Dreher went so nuts over it that he appeared to be promoting it:
(I know that the way I'm writing about it will make lots of readers want to see the clip. I'm sorry about that, but there's really no other way to write about it. If you are bound and determined to let your curiosity win here, please at least go to the Wiki entry to understand what kind of images you are going to have burned into your brain forever if you watch the clip.) 
What kind of society do we have when that kind of information is easily available to people, especially to children? What kind of society can we hope to have?
Hur-ray, hurr-ay, hur-ray, only one tenth of a dollah! This week Dreher's on a real tear, fueled by his Reader Mailbag routine that's brought us so much pleasure in the past. In the first installment, one of several alleged correspondents says he grew up going to church but, stuck as he was in the "very liberal, atheist Pacific Northwest," what chance did he have to avoid mega-porno-sin:
I had my first encounter with Marijuana in a church parking lot. My friends from youth group turned me on to pornography at the age of 11 (perhaps one of the worst decisions I ever made, but more on that later). These same friends taught me how to swear, catcalled the girls in our youth group, and gave me a pretty good compilation of dirty jokes (I confess, I still enjoy the jokes)...
Haw haw, not much harm in dirty jokes -- they mostly just reenforce stereotypes, which is godly, rather than get you hard, which is not!
...I’m the oldest child in my family and have always had deeply conservative views on life (again, contradictory to my lifestyle).
Brother, if America only had a dime for every time it heard that one. Things got worse for our correspondent:
From about 16 through to November-December 2016 time frame, I lived a life of pretty pure hedonism. I struggled with romantic relationships (I’ve had one successful, long-term one, but even that was clouded by the girl’s inability to commit–I’m unfortunately still pretty madly in love with her).
Her inability to cum what? Eventually our hero got religion, but there's a stumbling block:
I easily gave up cocaine, nicotine, binge drinking, and casual sex. But I cannot give up pornography.
Maybe if he hung in with casual sex, he wouldn't need the porn. Well, to each his own. There are other witnesses:
I confessed my addi[c]tion over and over again in the confessional but still got no relief. Then God entered the picture again in the form of another book: Be A Man by Father Larry Richards. A sermon from Fr. Larry is like a punch in the mouth.
I have to say, nine times out of ten a punch in the mouth will stop you beating off. Next:
Porn made me impotent.
Nice lede! But...
I have been married nearly 25 years, and for most of the first 20 years ours was a “dead bedroom.” Despite the fact we managed to have some kids we would go months in between intimacy. On at least one occasion we went a full year. Many people would have left the relationship but I determined I was going to stay for the sake of my kids, and I wasn’t going to cheat because that could lead to all kinds of complications (like divorce and not being able to see my kids).
But porn – porn was available to satiate the sex drive.
...I'm not sure you thought out what was making you impotent. I thought Dreher would be spent for a while after that, but damned if he didn't come back today with more tales of porn horror:
Our daughter was asked by a boy to provide oral sex for him at recess… in first grade.
Another great lede! If these guys get tired of working for Letters to Rodhouse they can make some real money in the clickbait farms.
...The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at the local elementary school were using their school district-confirmed google accounts (for google drive to send homework back and forth) to sign up for youtube and some of them were posting videos of them dancing naked for all the world to see with their google/district email displayed. Most of the parents and school employees were totally unaware this was going on! The overwhelming majority of parents are clueless to what their little darlings are doing.
I'm still trying to figure out what actually happened here. Are these 8-to-10-year-olds actually taking videos of themselves nude and posting them on YouTube with their contact information? Has this correspondent alerted the parents, or the police? If not, what's stopping him? Is he afraid they'll take them down?

This other guy, I have to admit, paints a compelling picture of his youthful porn encounters back in the days of the horse and buggy:
Later, when we migrated to the burbs, a full blown Playboy was somehow acquired (God knows how). It was placed in the woods, under a giant pile of illegally dumped concrete. EVERYONE knew where it lived. By everyone, I mean every boy in a 2 mile radius. Occasionally, someone would say, lets go to the rock. Whence we sallied forth as a group to flip a few (maybe 9-10 total) pages of a dirty (I mean actually dirty) magazine. Then, almost in a daze, the magazine was placed back in the rock, and we left.
And today these men are in the Order of DeMolay and pillars of their community -- but share a terrifying secret! (I would so have preferred their version of I Know What You Did Last Summer to the one they actually made.)

I write this Thursday night; will Dreher be able to get it up again Friday? Come on, Brother Rod -- third time's the charm!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Old-fashioned straight-up racism is a tougher sell in the age of Black Lives Matter than it used to be, so racists (and the people hired to get votes from them) must modernize. Some conservatives (including the allegedly reformed Andrew Sullivan) remain quite comfortable saying or at least dogwhistling that black people are treated unequally in this society because they're Bell Curve inferiors. But even they must qualify it: Look, we're not racist because we admit Asians are smarter than us! Look, we're only defending Charles Murray's right to free speech!

There's always the "Liberals are The Real Racist" dodge. But that's usually an unsatisfying balm conservatives apply after they've been laughed off the stage. However, maybe they'll get more pro-active with it -- David Brooks is working in his sociological meth lab to strip the "white" out of "white privilege" and put "liberal" in instead.

How's he doing it? By taking out the actual political and philosophical parts of liberalism, and leaving only the stereotype of sissies who like fancy books, food, and leisure activities, think they're better than you, and have found a way to be rich without quite being capitalists (sneaky buggers!).

Brooks' column, generously titled "How We Are Ruining America" (it's the last acknowledgement of his own possible complicity, though), starts with a long wheeze about how "upper-middle-class" people are soaking up all the good things -- education for their kids, "behavior codes" (presumably like marriage, which makes you rich!), maternity leave, etc. While a socialist, or a Christian or a decent human being, might think, okay, then let's use government to give less upper-middle people better access to such things, Brooks explains that what's really causing these inequalities are "the informal social barriers that segregate the lower 80 percent."

This isn't about the black guy who can't get a cab -- why, the fact that he's presuming to hail one shows he's in the upper 20 percent, and thus just as much an oppressor as the whites. The real oppressors are the ones who can pronounce simple Italian words, or who don't freak out when they can't (a sure sign of effeteness):
Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree...
BULLSHIT BUZZER ALERT! Maybe she's his nanny. lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named "Padrino" and "Pomodoro" and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.
What sort of person is class-shamed by an Italian deli? Mmmmaybe the "friend" was Mexican; maybe she'd just come up from Gopher Holler, where they have a Chipotle but not a salumeria. Here's how Brooks explains it:
American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class. They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, “You are not welcome here.”
Those fucking Italians! Always trying to make you feel small because you don't know which gabagool to use for the fish course!

Even worse:
In her thorough book “The Sum of Small Things,” Elizabeth Currid-Halkett argues that the educated class establishes class barriers not through material consumption and wealth display but by establishing practices that can be accessed only by those who possess rarefied information.
That "rareified information" being the code to the security systems at their McMansions.
To feel at home in opportunity-rich areas, you’ve got to understand the right barre techniques, sport the right baby carrier, have the right podcast, food truck, tea, wine and Pilates tastes, not to mention possess the right attitudes about David Foster Wallace, child-rearing, gender norms and intersectionality.
I know what all this shit is; I must be rich. Rich and rareified! Yet I'm wearing a cardboard belt. Why don't I just leave this stupid job I'm stealing time from to write this, and live on information?
The educated class has built an ever more intricate net to cradle us in and ease everyone else out. It’s not really the prices that ensure 80 percent of your co-shoppers at Whole Foods are, comfortingly, also college grads; it’s the cultural codes.
I showed the cashiers that I know how to pronounce quinoa, but they still called security when I left without paying.
Status rules are partly about collusion, about attracting educated people to your circle, tightening the bonds between you and erecting shields against everybody else. We in the educated class have created barriers to mobility that are more devastating for being invisible. The rest of America can’t name them, can’t understand them. They just know they’re there.
If you're still wondering why Brooks downplays the role of money as well as the role of race here, I'll spell it out: His target is not people of color, who don't need David Brooks to tell them what time it is, but 1.) the Trump voters out in the heartland who might resent that they can't afford a block of Pilates classes (but let's face it, they don't read David Brooks nor even know who he is, and would take him for one o' them liberal sissies if they ever saw him); and, more likely, 2.) rightwing operatives who have been peddling arugula-Grey Poupon visions of liberalism forever, and hope that the recent uptick in class consciousness can be exploited against liberals rather than against their coprorate masters -- perhaps with "I am the 80%" t-shirts, and symbolic anti-elitist state-lege bills taxing reiki or requiring yoga studios sell cigarettes, and rhymes like "If you're lib, I like the cut of your gib, if you're centrist, you get a good dentist, but if you're Right, brother, good night, good night."

As America goes further down the crapper, a lot of people are going to get mad at the rich, and the donors might find it worth their while to fund propaganda that says "Don't guillotine you, don't guillotine me, guillotine that liberal hugging that tree." Maybe they'll outfit their Porsches to roll coal so the rabble know they're alright. Since saner policies are out of the question, it's worth a try.

UPDATE. Holy shit, every wingnut in wingnuttia rushed to defend Brooks' imbecilic column. Here's the crest of Megan McArdle's tweetstream:

I mean, all those liberals have to have the same exalted social status as she, haven't they? Otherwise why would Twitter allow them to talk to her? And she knows lots of genuine working class people, like that lady who said such nice things to her on the bus -- although, hmm, that lady was black, so maybe she was on welfare.

Chris Arnade comes in with his usual bullshit -- "I would add, where David Brooks uses upscale delis, I use McDonald's to show the difference in cultural capital between front-row & back-row" -- just in case Brooks is thinking of jumping line, Chris Arnade has McDonald's, bitch (and possibly a licensing deal -- "ba ba ba ba ba, white working class!"). On and on he goes about how oh, you liberals all sneer at McDonald's! Like we're all 23, have trust funds, and dine at Le Diplomate every night -- or that the amount of crap food one has eaten (and I've eaten plenty in my time) is the measure of one's authentic something-or-otherness, instead of a marker for pre-diabetes.

This may be Arnade's nadir: "The online reaction to David Brooks column is largely this -- Snark from people who have cultural capital but not economic."  As if we could ruin people's hopes and dreams by making snide remarks from our studio apartments and crappy jobs! Again, we see the insistence that money has nothing to do with it, and therefore money can't help. It's a great excuse for not supporting government interventions -- because the real power is in positive thinking, and if we just reward that and punish "snark," then by the law of supply and demand we'll Make America Great Again.

This brings us back around to Murray who, looking to diversify from his Bell Curve shtick a few years back, promoted that Fishtown/Belmont "bubble test" hooey, purporting to show that if you didn't watch the right TV shows and listen to modern crap country music (not that rap stuff, though -- only you-know-whats listen to that), you were an elitist and therefore had nothing to say to the Little People. This led to the spectacle of pencil-necked wingnuts imagining themselves butch because they knew the names of some pickup trucks. And now we have the logical end result of this ridiculous obsession, Donald Trump -- on the one hand, the People's Choice, whom no one would call elitist; on the other hand, a golden-palace-dwelling narcissist, the ultimate Bubble Boy. It is amazing what lengths we'll go to as a country to evade paying the butcher's bill -- but I have a hunch the butcher will get real insistent real soon.

Monday, July 10, 2017


...about the strange reaction to criticism of Trump's blood-and-soil speech in Warsaw.

I knew the brethren had turned a corner (or, rather, gone 'round the bend) when Roger Kimball pronounced Trump's speech inspired by Pericles. That's even funnier than George W. Bush as Churchill. (Maybe confused Trumpkins will demand a production of Shakespeare's Pericles Prince of Tyre with Trump in the lead -- and no stabbing this time!)

Meantime Rod Dreher has added yet more evidence that, as I mention in the column, what he likes about "The West" has nothing to do with what you or I would recognize as liberty:
Me, I believe that we must defend Western civilization. But what does it mean to defend a West that has become “preoccupied with pleasure-seeking, selfishness, and living for the moment”? Which West are we defending? Are we defending the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment West? Or are we defending the older civilization more consciously rooted in Christianity?...

I find it very hard to defend Western culture, in this sense. But I find it vital to defend Western civilization. The way I do this is by promoting knowledge and love of the best of Western civilization — which stands in contrast to our decadent contemporary Western culture...
If only we could get rid of dirty pictures and bad books! I know -- let's have a bonfire!
...What does this have to do with us and Trump? Here’s a flawed analogy, but one that I hope is useful. I believe that Trump is akin to a bad Renaissance pope.
[Blink. Blink.]
However morally corrupt he may be personally, and however decadent or otherwise deficient his understanding of the culture and civilization he represents, it is still possible to reform from within. The radicals of the left will seek to extirpate us. Therefore, we have to stick with Pope Donald, because at least under him we have a chance of recovering our roots and making them bloom.
Suddenly Dreher realizes this puts The Left in the role of Martin Luther.
That’s a deeply flawed analogy because Luther and the Reformers thought it was they who were protecting the real tradition. So maybe it’s more like a case of defending the King of France against the Revolutionaries. As rotten as the system was, the Revolutionaries represented something far worse. At least within the ancien régime, conservative reform was possible. Similarly with Tsarist Russia vs. the Bolsheviks.

Tsar Donald is a badly flawed man, and his imperial court is an embarrassment … but who else is there? Every time I reach the point of no return with him, the left reveals its hand, and its contempt for ordinary people and what they love, and compels me to consider the alternative.
Sorry, serfs, Chapo Traphouse wants to put you in the gulags, so learn to love living in shit!
Anyway, we on the Right need to have serious conversations...
Ugh, when do you start?

Friday, July 07, 2017


Been thinking of this album a lot lately. It's my kind of 90s nostalgia.

• My friends back home aren’t crazy about Bill De Blasio, but I give him credit for expert trolling with his trip to Hamburg. The wingnut bullshit take on this is that he shouldn’t miss the swearing-in of new police officers — which is hilarious, given that conservatives are always talking about how much the NYPD rank and file hate him; why would they want him around, then? — and because an officer got killed a couple of days ago. (De Blasio will be back for the funeral, where the cops will no doubt turn their backs on him again.)

This guff is of course all aimed at outlanders, who except for the cops (whom they have come to know and love from TV shows) despise New York, full as it is of socialists and non-whites. The Right Scoop puts on its shocked face, claiming “De Blasio has abandoned his city, which is reeling after a NYPD officer was assassinated…” as if New York were Mayberry and Barney Fife had been gunned down. "He’s a terrible mayor and hopefully this gives his city the impetus to oust him,” they add. “But it’s New York… so this might actually be a plus to many of his constituents.” Their gomer commenters join in raging at the city slickers who defy their will (“If you keep this guy or go with someone worse… no one to blame but yourselves”). Outside of that, the brethren are all sputtering rage (“Dirtbag” — Greg Gutfield; “Red Bill” — Pamela Geller; “Commie” — Gateway Pundit, etc). I wonder if those amongst them who like to claim, every time The Leader is insulted, that This Is Why Trump Won have any idea what they’re doing.

• Trump made a speech in Warsaw today (in front of a bussed-in crowd of local wingnuts) that was full of Blood and Soil bullshit:
Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are. (Applause.) If left unchecked, these forces will undermine our courage, sap our spirit, and weaken our will to defend ourselves and our societies…
The Darkskins from the South will sap our precious bodily fluids!
…The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it? (Applause.)

We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive.
Kinder, Küche, Kirche — the new KKK! This has of course gone over gangbusters with the worst of our wingnuts, like Rod Dreher, who affects not to know why liberals are objecting and thinks it’s because they “despise Western Civilization.” Dreher loves Western Civ -- but not because of its values: he says “the United States is, at its core, Western, because it is a product of the Enlightenment,” but Dreher doesn’t like the Enlightenment because it gives reason the upper hand on superstition, as his longtime readers will know (“I am skeptical of the Enlightenment because I think too much has been claimed for reason’s power, absent revealed religion and tradition,” “the Enlightenment conception of liberty atomizes everything, and posits as the Good the economically, sexually, and morally autonomous Self,” “Had I been alive during the Revolution, would I have been a Loyalist to the Crown, for the same reasons that being in Jefferson’s house and being confronted in his art by his Enlightened sensibilities made me feel so surprisingly alien,” etc). Mainly Dreher seems to like "The West" because it’s his team and it gives him something to fight to the death against the other team for:
Thank God that the deracinated, de-Christianized EU elite plan to integrate Turkey into the European Union did not work. And if I were a Turk, I would thank Allah for preserving my Islamic country from that fate too. Elites in both countries wish to deny the religious basis of their respective cultures, and pretend that we’re all a bunch of universalists. We’re not, and never will be.
That’s the West to him — he ain’t no damn Turk, and resents you one-worlders telling him he has anything in common with them! (Jesus called all men brothers, but come on -- he also said give to all who ask, and he couldn't have meant that!)

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


Robert VerBruggen's National Review essay, explaining that he is forced by his intellectual honesty to (disinterestedly, of course) champion Charles Murray’s theory that black people are his intellectual inferiors, is every bit as horrible as you’d imagine. VerBruggen says he got into neo-eugenics as a way of answering back libtards like his college classmates and Eric Alterman. As to Murray’s theories, “The evidence doesn’t justify a verdict one way or the other” but “there’s no reason this can’t be the case” — yes, it’s the old Just Asking Questions routine. Also, if smart and really good-hearted guys like VerBruggen didn’t engage in race science, curious citizens might feel the need to read “fringe websites whose proprietors don’t feel bound by society’s norms,” rather than respected sites like National Review, publisher of William F. Buckley’s racist diatribes.

In other words, VerBruggen is a living troll. He even does the liberals-are-the-real-racist shtick (“Some on the left would no doubt continue to treat racial gaps as a moral emergency even if such inequalities narrowed to the point where they reflected only genetic differences”).

But in a way the National Review writer he’s answering — John McWhorter, who says he’d rather we didn’t do the Bell Curve thing — is as bad.

McWhorter declares himself all for "free speech" (meaning, in his case, the wingnut variation, which applies only to conservative speakers on liberal campuses who are opposed by the “social-justice-warrior philosophy,” and certainly not to other citizens fired for their use of social-media speech); but he doesn't see what point is served by the focus on black folks' IQs: "What, precisely, would we gain from discussing this particular issue?"

There are two problems here: First of all, one could argue that it doesn't matter whether there's a point -- if somebody wants to discuss unicorns romping on the moon, why should he be shushed on the grounds that you don't see a point? It's not the pointlessness that's at issue, but the point.

Here's the other: McWhorter lists three "rationales" for this obsession-feeding, and it's telling his defense of the least overtly (but still) racist of these is so gentle:
Finally, some advocates of “honesty” about race and IQ have argued that we must acknowledge that black people have lower IQs but must also “progress” toward an ability to celebrate individuals for a range of talents beyond intelligence. I consider those making this argument sincere — and quixotic.

“Smarts,” as they drive civilization forward, will always occupy a privileged place in our evaluation of human beings. The Duke Ellingtons and the Michael Jordans will be our kings, but the Albert Einsteins and the Stephen Hawkings will be our gods.
It would seem this nicer group of race obsessives think black people are only good at sports and the arts, while whites do math and launch rockets, and that's "quixotic." (McWhorter, an African-American, refers to his own training as a linguist and he still can't get mad at this obviously insult.)

Oh, and the other two rationales are 1.) that black people being inferior means we should give them more welfare and 2.) black people being inferior means they should get less.

McWhorter seems to me less obnoxious than VerBruggen, but they have this in common: They both write for, and must account for the prejudices of, National Review subscribers.  And I guess when your audience is crypto-racist at the high end and full Klansman at the other, you can't just admit the truth: the main reason anyone's interested in this “honesty” is that they think blacks are inferior and, like climate-change denialists who cling to their little cluster of contrarian Galileos, they really, really want to be able to say that science proves it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017


A lot of crap has been published in recognition of the Glorious Fourth this year; see, for example, Larry "The Big Snort" Kudlow's "Keeping Freedom, and Growth, in the Fourth," which contains the amazing line, "the long list of complaints against George III’s Britain included: 'cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world' (protectionism), 'imposing Taxes on us without our Consent' (remedied with supply-side tax cuts)..."

But the Crackpot Cup must go to Pitchfork Pat Buchanan. The prime paleocon wonders aloud, "Is America Still a Nation?... We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion." Plus kids talk with a dirty mouth and basketball is no longer a white man's game!

Buchanan's read the writing on the wall, though, or at least Rod Dreher, and knows he has to gussy up his Old Man Yells At Cloud routine with some fancy talk, so he mentions the Federalist Papers and quotes Ernest Renan. Yet even through the Olympian clouds a troubling vision burns:
[Renan says] “Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory … is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again.” 
Does this sound at all like us today? 
Watching our Lilliputians tearing down statues and monuments, renaming buildings and streets, rewriting history books to replace heroes and historical truths with the doings of ciphers, are we disassembling the nation we once were? 
“One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered,” writes Renan, “One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on.”
Are we passing on the house we inherited — or observing its demolition?
Yes, it's just not One Nation Indivisible anymore if we aren't celebrating the white supremacists who literally made war on the United States because we were going to take away their slaves.

Almost makes you feel better about Trump -- at least he barely even pretends to give a shit about America, or anything except his grift.

Monday, July 03, 2017


...about the President's press jihad and how it excites the brethren, who see new life breathed into their ancient, endless Blar Har Liberal Media memes. I gotta say that American Thinker/Patricia McCarthy thing was a find. It's not even 800 words long but it's so mindlessly vituperative that it sounds like one of Castro's seven-hour speeches. (People like that fascinate me. They're not even just bad writers; they hardly seem to have the capacity for linear thought -- they just generate trite insults like some kind of denunciation diffuser.)

For reasons of space and clarity I had to cut a reference to Matthew Boyle's attempt at Breitbart to amplify the propaganda power of the CNN tsimmis by blaming it on a couple of popular rightwing hate objects:
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats find themselves on the hot seat as insiders point to leftist staff for members like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) as being responsible for the thinly-sourced hit piece. Staff for Harris deny any involvement, but Warren staff have not responded.
I bet if this all happened a few months ago, before she started rocketing up the hatewank charts, Harris' place in the conspiracy would have been taken by Hillary Clinton. "Insiders point to leftist staff of" is absurdly weak, but by the time this bullshit devolves to even less scrupulous wingnuts like Pat Dollard it becomes a bald assertion -- "Democrat Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren Behind Debunked CNN Trump Hit Piece" -- and thousands, maybe millions of dummies come to know to a certainty -- without ever seeing any proof -- that Warren and Harris were caught on film by James O'Keefe whispering fake news to Jeff Zucker while double-teaming his cock. (I probably shouldn't even joke about such a thing, as by next week some of the boys will be claiming it as the true facts.)

Special mention goes to Matt K. Lewis, a world-class both-siderist, for his festival of risible tweets claiming that Obama caused Trump by destroying "norms."   Among the highlights: "1) Obama *was* divisive, 2) I didn't vote for Trump, & 3) you are being divisive by insinuating that I'm a racist." I could give you the context but, really, at this point do you even need it?

Thursday, June 29, 2017


As has become axiomatic, National Review legacy pledge Jonah Goldberg normally comes up with the stupidest thing ever written all by himself, but in his latest -- yet another wingnut weeper about how accurately describing the lethal consequences of the new health care bill is a death threat against Republicans -- he stoops to phumpher:
Would people die? Despite a host of very specific numbers from people like Senator Bernie Sanders, no one really knows.
[Headdesk, facepalm, pigpoop, Farrrrrrt.]
The data is at best mixed about whether Medicaid improves mortality rates or even health overall (though it’s clear that some people, such as pregnant women, do benefit). Still, it might be true that some people would die earlier than they would have if we kept the status quo. This is not the damning concession it may appear to be.
How can we ever really know anything, except when Mom tells us?
Politicians like to defend some law on the grounds that “if it saves just one life, it’s worth it.” But by that logic we should make the speed limit 5 mph. That would surely save lives. Are you a murderer if you oppose such a move?
I'll be dipped in dogshit -- Goldberg is actually using Megan McArdle's Speed Limits Are Futile argument from her Grenfell Tower column ("To drive a car even at 5 miles per hour is to accept a small risk of killing oneself and others")! This is like the worst The Brave and The Bold teammup ever -- or maybe more like The Inferior Five Minus Three.

Poor Goldberg, Trumpism has been hard on him. Imagine building your career on a book about how liberals are the real fascists, and then having to deal with a president who, in furtherance of his own grifts, is pushing every nightmarishly conservative policy you've ever supported -- and his role models are literally Hitler and Mussolini. Even a consciousness more insulated from irony than Goldberg's (if such a thing can exist) must at least dimly perceive and be tortured by it. That, or he's just gotten lazier. (P.S. Scott has more.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Something that's both great and terrible about The Federalist is that it frequently pre-empts parody -- that is, its writers will go to absurd lengths before satirists ever get a chance. For satirists this can be frustrating, but it's on us to be more vigilant and not get caught snoozing next time.

For example, here's one Peter Burfeind on "Why You Can Expect Increased Violence When The Left Is Out Of Power." At this point of course the "Violent Democrats Will Kill Us All" thing is Routine 12 at rightwing poutlets, but Burfeind has given us a plum. I must warn you that he is one of those guilt-and-incense conservatives (Little Douthats we calls 'em 'round here) and runs a blog called Gnostic America; the first graf of his essay includes “loci theologici,” “initiation sacrament,” and “baptism of blood if you will” -- and these are all about Jon Ossoff! Further down we get “psycho-spiritual mechanisms,” “Manichaeism,” “Hermeticism,” “Neoplatonism,” etc. You can imagine what catnip this is to armies of 15-year-olds who smoke Meerschaums and are working on a Hilaire Bell-roc opera and ways of beating off without ejaculating.

But never mind, the poison theology of Adlai Stevenson and Hubert Humphrey is breeding violence and something must be done! There's all kinds of nonsense in here, e.g.:
Until we pass through this gnostic moment, and begin seeing each other as our flesh and blood neighbors with names and not through the phantasmic and archetypical lenses of Facebook, the mainstream media, pop music, and any number of other media, the violence will only heighten.  
Abandon false idols, and come ye to our MAGA rallies to be cleansed, pilgrim! But here's the bit that turned my head:
This all reminded me of my favorite quote I discovered while researching for my book, “Gnostic America,” where Donna Minkowitz claims she had sadistic lesbian sex (even calling such sex a gnosis) as a rebellion against marriage norms. On these terms we get insight into the Left’s regard of abortion as a sacred act: it’s a bloody political revolution against traditional systems of oppression created by reproductive biology in cahoots with traditional culture.
I don't know how many years and thousands of family dollars this guy spent in divinity school, but I wonder if anyone will tell him that Pat Robertson already famously came up with the feminist lesbian witch quote, and that it plays a lot better (and brings in more tithes!) when rendered in relatable argot instead of academic bullshit.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


...about that thing where, if you say Trumpcare will kill people, you're actually inciting violence. This has quickly become a popular favorite, and smart people other than me have noticed this aggressive demand for civility is rich coming from people whose depraved indifference to human life is obvious however temperately it's expressed.

Among the outtakes: A lot of the brethren used the homicidal fantasies of Johnny Depp as proof that liberals want to kill, kill, kill. Why should that be? What if we held them responsible for the yammerings of professional wrestlers? (Besides the ones who run for or hold public office, I mean.)

It was pretty awful that some Nebraska Democratic official said he wished Steve Scalise would die, but number one, he got immediately fired; and number two, it's hard to be solemn about it with Jason Hopkins of The Resurgent intoning, “Let me emphasize that this was not some random individual. He was the technology chairman for the Nebraska Democrat Party.”

Also funny: NewsBusters getting mad that the Lame Stream Media didn't freak out like rightbloggers when Elizabeth Warren referred to the Senate Trumpcare bill as "blood money" (“Sick! No Criticism on Nets for Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Blood Money’ Attack”). Come on, Jake Tapper, that was a foul!

Funnier still: Nikki Haley getting booed during NY Pride, then bitching about it. All because she supported a ban on gay marriage as governor and currently serves a man everyone in New York knows is a scumbag. Heat-kitchen, Haley; if you don't want to take crap for your crap, maybe politics isn't for you.

Friday, June 23, 2017


We often forget, because Hope made it his signature,
that "Thanks for the Memories" is a sad song.

•   If you like comics, and are enough of a connoisseur to know the spectacular work of Danny Hellman, have I got news for you: Hellman's Resurrection Perverts: Hunter's Point is out in hardcover, and it's a corker. It stars the last of the old-fashioned porn kings, Harry Homburg of Harlot magazine, riding high from the biggest celebrity-skin caper of his career when he's suddenly air-lifted into the infinite. It's the first volume in a continuing saga, so there's loads of (I suspect) foreshadowing -- which you'll have time to notice because the graphics are expectedly gaze-worthy and the printing surprisingly rich. Highly recommended, as a gift or for personal use.

•   I see the wingnuts who think modern-dress Shakespeare is a death threat are at it again. Here's the new version of the shtick: if you point out that, by taking away their health care coverage,  the Republican Obamacare replacement basically surrenders thousands of people to untimely deaths, you're shooting Steve Scalise all over again. John Nolte at The Daily Wire:
It has only been 10 days since Rep. Steve Scalise was gravely wounded after a Bernie Bro attempted to massacre two dozen Republican lawmakers guilty of nothing more than practicing baseball. And it has not even been 10 days since shots were fired at a truck flying a "Make America Great Again" flag.
Nevertheless, and although the death threats against the GOP continue to mount, in the wake of two politically-driven murder attempts, the kind of rhetoric the media assures us provokes this kind of violence, has only increased from the mainstream Left.

On Thursday, no less than the political media's very own It-Girl, Senator Elizabeth Warren, accused Republicans of wanting sick grandparents and babies to die, of writing a healthcare bill that amounts to nothing less than "blood money." Speaking on the floor of the Senate, Warren outright accused Republicans of "paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives"...
Mary Katharine Ham tries the same thing at The Federalist: "You want to go that route while one of your colleagues is still in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound?" Why can't Warren do the sensible thing and just mildly criticize the bill as "not very nice" before giving up?

From time immemorial, statesmen have warned about the human cost of legislation -- in fact, I seem to remember some talk of "death panels" a few years back. Yet now opposition is murder. Nolte adds:
Also on Thursday, left-wing actor Johnny Deep openly mused about the idea of assassinating Trump...
Same thing as Liz Warren, right? I mean, they both allude to mortality.
...And where is our objective, unbiased media? Right back to pushing the Trump Is a Dangerously Unstable Traitor Who Pees On Russian Hookers hoax — which is its own kind of clarion call for violence.
Criticism of The Leader is assault! The brethren seem to be on the downside of their traditional mood swing between triumphalism and victimhood, and will be whimpering in their safe spaces by the time the Republicans amend EMTALA to make poor people who go to the ER and are kept overnight in the hospital sleep standing up, and maybe mop up their own blood. Ugh. Would it be assaultive to say that I wouldn't piss on these people if they were on fire?

•   Rather than give it any close reading, I will merely quote you one paragraph --
But here’s the funny part. If Hollywood listened to the writers of Ms. magazine and went all-in on an Andrea Dworkinized Wonder Woman and distributed it globally, you know what the right term for that would be? Imperialism! Specifically, cultural imperialism.
-- which ought to be enough to convince you that Jonah Goldberg is still, as Harry Truman suspected of Joe McCarthy, not mentally complete.