Thursday, June 28, 2018


Rod Dreher's been on a tear lately. He is of course over the moon about the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade. He knows he owes Donald Trump for this, so in his usual "I'm no Trump supporter but"/ "I'm no Trump fan but"/ "I didn't vote for Trump but," plausibly-deniable testimonial to the President, this time he lets in considerably more than the tip:
I will say that Gorsuch, plus whoever is coming next, is, are two facts that Trump-voting social conservatives can and ought to use to beat Trump-skeptical conservatives like me over the head, in a we-told-you-so fit of vindication. I find it harder to justify my sitting out the presidential election in light of the facts of this tweet...
If only he could confess his secret love! I think ol' Rod's gonna wake up Trump-pregnant, and will of course bring it to term, while steadfastly, like Hester Prynne, refusing to identify the father.

But the real fun with Dreher is his "reader""mailbag," and the victory of Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York has his alleged correspondent in this instance, who honest to God lives in Ocasio-Cortez' district, in stitches, or perhaps a straitjacket:
The Department of Transportation, a bunch of crazy far-left progressive activists, and the Mayor were trying to force these bike lanes down our throats despite a huge outcry, and we pushed back enough where Joe Crowley said no and our local councilman ended up not supporting the project. Now with Crowley gone, the snowflakes who demand these bike lanes might become emboldened again.
Dreher's audience, which probably hates cyclists even more than it hates pedestrians and drives to go to the bathroom, is no doubt sympathetic, and wonders why all the Archie Bunkers they imagine populate all of Queens couldn't vote in Crowley. After a feint at claiming "big money was definitely backing [Ocasio-Cortez]" -- despite the well-known fact that she refused PAC money while Crowley was up to his eyeballs in major donors-- Alleged Correspondent suddenly goes full bull-goose racist:
However, what was really bizarre for me was the fact that the overwhelmingly majority of activists who were campaigning for her like a bunch of fanatics were WHITES! 
When I see stuff like this, I can’t help but think that whites, especially white liberals, have some sort of in-built suicide complex, where they want to give away their own country to non-whites. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to me. And it’s going to be hilarious watching these whites eventually be pushed out of the Democratic Party and straight into the hands of the alt-right.
In updates, Dreher does his usual "What, you think that's racist? Well, takes all kinds" thing.  But he does a little of the racial heavy lifting himself in a later post,  pointing out the ooga-boogas in Ooga-Booga Land are multiplying rapidly, white people aren't squeezing out enough little Crusaders, and reckoning is inevitable:
Where are those Africans going to go? They’re going toward Europe, which is depopulating. Miguel said that given the geography of the Mediterranean, it’s going to be very, very hard for Europe to keep African migrants from entering. I suggested that given the unwillingness of European elites to confront the hard facts of what’s happening, in part because it conflicts with their liberal ideology, this will make the inevitable reckoning even more violent and traumatic than it would otherwise be. 
The massive migration of barbarians into the Roman Empire, in the 4th through 6th centuries, changed European civilization permanently...
Poor guy -- he's about to have his female-crushing wet dreams fulfilled by the Supreme Court, and yet he still can't stop thinking about being overwhelmed by the fecund, dusky hordes! Well, there's some of God's justice, perhaps; with all that privilege and power protecting him, he still can never feel safe.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Along with the general absurd claim that Democrats are trying to kill Republicans, I've been noticing this story going around that Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen who famously asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her premises last week, and who described her approach as "polite," actually followed and harassed the Press Secretary's family to their next destination. Washington Examiner:
"Once Sarah and her family left -- and of course Sarah was asked to please vacate, Sarah and her husband just went home. They had sort of had enough. But the rest of her family went across the street to a different restaurant," Huckabee said on "The Laura Ingraham Show." "The owner of the Red Hen -- nobody's told this -- then followed them across the street, called people and organized a protest yelling and screaming at them from outside the other restaurant and creating this scene."
No corroboration on that, and you'd have to be nose-blind to the smell of bullshit to take Mike Huckabee's word on anything. This of course lets out Fox News, which eats the story up, not to mention lowbrow wingnut sites like Twitchy, which confusedly hollers an alternate version ("It gets WORSE: Red Hen owner reportedly kicked Sarah Sanders out then FOLLOWED her to new restaurant to protest") and further purports, "So this could be wrong but at the same time, it could be right. And honestly we hate to say it but it sure sounds like something that the owner of the restaurant would do," because they've been close followers of Stephanie Wilkinson's career for a long time and know how she would behave in such a situation. Plus CNS News' Craig Bannister claiming, also on Mike Huckabee's say-so, Wilkinson "organized a mob" to hector the Sanderses, etc.

My favorite citation, however, is from an allegedly classier source:

They're all full of shit from the bottom and definitely not excluding the top.

UPDATE. In comments, Ellis Weiner:
Her "Why I said 'if''" is a) an internet classic waiting to be born ("If Megan McArdle is a strangler of babies, she shouldn't be given a prestigious commentary gig." "But she's not! You made that up!" "Why I said 'if.'" and 
b) is every bit as intellectually respectable as Jim Carrey's "So you're saying there's a chance" in--fittingly--Dumb and Dumber.
Great idea and a nice companion meme to the one given us by McArdle's obvious model, Peggy Noonan: "Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to." But, like socialism, it is something the American people will never accept.

Monday, June 25, 2018


...about the imprisoned, immiserated immigrant kids and the Cult of Civility outcry that has ridiculously ensued. If you tried to explain to a normal person how a racist administration's notorious abuse of children and shameless defense thereof led our Guardians of Groupthink to admonish, not the guilty parties, but the liberals who mildly expressed their frustration to the guilty parties, he might not understand you, so I have tried to explain it for the masses.

I didn't have time to stick in other examples of woe-is-me snowflakery, like complaints over Seth Rogen rebuffing Paul Ryan ("The stoner comedy stalwart has built a career on playing the over-his-head everyman," foams Conservative Tribune, "...yet is shockingly clueless about everyday America in real life. During a recent appearance on Stephen Colbert’s increasingly leftist late-night program..."). Like Ryan didn't just assume Rogen was merely protecting his brand! They're both big boys.

As usual, Rod Dreher is ridiculous on the subject. He's mad that Maxine Waters encouraged people to give "anybody from that cabinet" a hard time. Trump's cabinet is basically a supervillain cabal whose members' only superpower is immunity from prosecution, so I can't fault Maxine; if we can't prosecute the bastards, let us at least tell them to go fuck themselves. But Dreher thinks this liberal Helter Skelter. He soothes himself by having a talk with some nice lady he came across in Boston:
“I’m only sorry that I wasn’t here long enough to have any Massachusetts oysters,” I said. “They’re the best in America.”

“You’re right about that!” she said. “My husband is in the restaurant business, and we both love oysters.”

I bid her farewell, and told her I look forward to coming back to Boston when I have time to eat. She smiled at me, wished me a safe flight, and went off down the street with her dog.

Boston being Boston, she’s probably quite liberal. She might have accurately figured me for a conservative, given that I’m from Louisiana. It didn’t matter. We had a lovely conversation about our shared love of dogs and oysters.

That is America.
Awwww. I wonder how the conversation would have gone if Dreher were the DHS Secretary, his agents had snatched the lady's kids and put them on a plane to God knows where, and Dreher was on record saying that's just what happens to people like her. Maybe it still would have been sunshine and lollipops!

UPDATE. I should note that Dreher quotes in support of his point a CNN received-opinion group grope as described by Mediaite:
RealClearPolitics editor A.B. Stoddard kicked off the CNN panel by pointing out that Waters is set to take over a highly important position in the House as chair of the Financial Services Committee — and "she’s doing everything she can to prevent her own promotion."
Gasp! It's almost as if Waters doesn't share the priorities of a bunch of careerist shits!
“This is beyond overreach,” Stoddard said. “It is so outrageous that she is trying to motivate voters on her side to be as divisive as President Trump...."
Only Trump can be divisive -- your job is to be a spineless wimp and go "gee, fellas, I don't know about these concentration camps," as Republicans stampede you en route to sacking and looting the country. It's in the script!

UPDATE 2. Now the shtick for conservatives is that they're ascared Maxine Waters and her liberal friends will kill them, so their factota circulate bullshit stories supporting this delusion. Hack of hacks Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner:

Trump aides urged to get a gun 
Facing a new wave of potentially dangerous threats, called for by a top Democratic lawmaker, legal and gun experts are calling on top Trump aides to get their concealed carry permit and back it up with a pistol, 
"There are simply not enough police in D.C. or Virginia or Maryland to protect all Trump officials at their homes and when they go out to restaurants. Getting a concealed handgun permit would be helpful to protect themselves and their family,” said John R. Lott Jr., president of the influential Crime Prevention Research Center.
John R. Lott -- possibly the most notorious lyin'-ass bitch among the gun nuts' pet scholars! Still, I endorse Trump officials following his advice and getting guns because, seeing what fuckups they are, they'll probably just shoot themselves with them. It's win-win!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I see that, since the world is showing its disapproval of Trump's brown-baby-stealing racket and conservatives' initial belligerent and hella dumb responses haven't been turning the tide, the new rightwing comeback is, oooh so you think this is Nazi stuff huh, well then why don't you go all White Rose and get executed to prove it?

No seriously -- look at this guy from the Daily Wire:

I would tell him, #1, there are plenty of Holocaust survivors saying, actually, this is how it started for them, too; and #2, we are doing everything in our power, and in proportionate measure -- for example, the ACLU is fighting the Republicans' attempts to steal the next election. We aren't at the direct-action stage and I hope we never are, but if we do get there, buddy, you better hope nobody remembers who you are.

More low-key but on the same tip is David French at National Review:
If the family-separation policy is so toxic that it leads serious people to tweet images of concentration camps and reduces a television host to tears, shouldn’t you respond to the emergency by tying the president’s hands?
Don't get excited -- he only means figuratively tying them, by... agreeing to the Republican plan, which basically puts the families in jail together (and the President's version puts them in jail together forever). But at least they're not separated -- French actually says "we ought to at least agree that families should stay together, right?" -- so he figures if we won't go for that, we must not think it's so bad then, and we might as well admit it's no big deal

Common sense tells me that the only people who would be fooled by this kind of obvious bullshit are people who want to be fooled. I still make that as less than a majority, and getting lesser all the time.


Trump's brown-baby-stealing proceeds apace and, as we saw in my Monday Village Voice column, conservatives are really reaching to make it try and make it look good -- or, I should say instead, since nothing can make this abomination look good, to try and distract people from noticing how evil it is and they are.

Part of their shtick has been, amazingly, humor, as we saw when former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reacted on CNN to the seizure of a disabled 10-year-old girl with a comedy sound effect. That Lewandowski refuses to apologize for being an obvious asshole -- demanding instead, in the long tradition of Trump factota, that someone apologize for people "killed by illegal aliens," some of whom were presumably 10-year-old girls with Down Syndrome -- shows, just as Ilsa She-Wolf of Homeland Security's choice of restaurant last night shows, that their intention is to act as if those of us with basic decency are the ones who are fucked up for protesting their treatment of the untermenschen.

In the category of long-form humor, here's John Zmirak of The Stream demanding -- wait, you'll love this -- we "Seize Ivy League Dorms and Give Them to Immigrant Families." Ha! "Lest Laura Bush, Catholic bishops, and Planned Parenthood throw another public tantrum about how the U.S. is Nazi Germany or something" -- keep your chuckles down, punters, the real gags are on the way -- and because Democrats just loooove the "little brown kids" because though they're "a little too old for Planned Parenthood to dismember and sell in Styrofoam coolers" they're perfect to use as "human shields for open borders policies" -- because why else would anyone care what happens to the little shits, amirite? Come on lady, I laughed when you came in! -- then, Zmirak zmirks, we should "Fill the Lavish Dorms with Migrant Families, and House Students in Tent Cities."

Zmirak's big joke thereafter is an image of Messicans nestled in a "glorious Gothic dining hall, with sixty-foot carved ceilings and iron candelabras," being served their food by the silly SJW students. Liberals made to serve the brownskins they pretend to love so much -- it's a classic conservative humiliation fantasy straight out of Birth of a Nation. To add cream to the jest, Ole Perfesser Glenn Reynolds pimps that shit to his own coprophages and, in their rush to assault their strawmen, they suggest things like "Just dump them all in Brooklyn" -- because that's where the hipsters live, see, and since they're all limp-wristed sissies they've probably never seen an immigrant, especially in the trendier nabes like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy.

A bunch of them are weeping over the heckling of Ilsa -- "PUNDITS, ACTIVISTS CELEBRATE HARASSMENT OF FEMALE DHS SECRETARY" screams The Daily Caller; you libtards are supposed to love females! -- with the apparent, fond hope that readers will find a straight-up fascist government functionary forced to hear the complaints of her constituents for a couple of minutes more sympathetic than children torn from their parents and stuck in cages because Trump wants to Look Tuff. Well, with readers of The Daily Caller I guess they have a shot. With normal people, not so much.

UPDATE. Looks like Ilsa wants to walk in the sun again. Let's see what else we can get these assholes to back off of.

Monday, June 18, 2018


...on the North Korea scam and child prisoners of immigration control, among other subjects. The Nork thing was obviously designed, not to deliver any diplomatic or national security benefits, but solely to impress dummies, and there's something almost poignant about the clumsy defenses offered by those few remaining conservatives whose careers rely on Making It Look Good -- they seem already to belong to another time, back before every Republican became a MAGA choad incapable of absorbing any analysis not entirely flattering to their own Dear Leader.

The GOP is also being hustled down the road to Nuremberg by the brown-family-splitting policy: a new poll shows that, while Democrats and Independents are horrified, most Republicans approve of this nightmare. I see that Ann Coulter is tying it all together by calling the caged kids "child actors" -- which suggests that the old famehound has intuited that her and Trump's base are ready to buy the "crisis actor" conspiracy theories of the extreme right, which would put them very far beyond the reach of reason. It's a high-stakes game for sure: On the down side, this small group of crackpots may actually destroy American and Western Civ; on the upside, thanks to these revelations -- and also the weasel behavior of Republican "moderates" -- we at least know for certain where the virus (or as Charlie Pierce calls it, the prion disease) is isolated, and how voters may eradicate it.

Friday, June 15, 2018


22 years, really?

• I see Commentary has put out a number baldly entitled, in 50s-social paintbrush typositor, "African Americans vs. American Jews," and it features an essay by Jamie (now "James" -- today he is a man!) Kirchick, as well as one by an actual black guy, Jason D. Hill, who has previously written for The Federalist "Loveless, Narcissistic Sex Addicts: A Gay Man Critiques His Community," so we can imagine what kind of a love letter his other community will be getting here. I'm getting too old for this shit so I doubt I'll read -- I know, maybe it's miraculously stupendous; nonetheless, at a certain point one has to play the odds -- but I am titillated by the reference in Hill's title to "My Negro Problem -- and Ours," written by Commentary's former editor, Norman Podhoretz, who is the father of Commentary's current editor. "Negro Problem" is awful (go find Marvin Mudrick's evisceration, not alas online, though Jeet Heer reproduces some of it here), but I prefer to recall N. Podhoretz's 2013 revisitation, "'My Negro Problem -- and Ours' at 50," in which he tells us how he came to write the thing, in conversation with James Baldwin. He was yelling at Baldwin for giving a story to The New Yorker rather than to Commentary notwithstanding, N. Podhoretz suggests, Commentary had commissioned it. Over a drink N. Podhoretz "let him have it with both barrels even after the minimal contrition he now showed" -- the first (I assume unintended by the author) sign that Baldwin was not only playing it cool with the hotheaded N. Podhoretz but genuinely could not give a shit, and had met with him just to see how much he would embarrass himself. This N. Podhoretz did in spades, per his own account, ranting about "my childhood encounters with black thugs of my own age" and how the solution to racial problems in America was not, as the Black Muslims had it, separation but "the opposite extreme: the wholesale merger of the two races through miscegenation." Then:
As I talked, Baldwin’s normally bulging eyes bulged and blazed even more fiercely than usual. “You ought,” he whispered as though participating in a conspiracy, “to write all that down.” It was important, more important than I realized, for such things to be said; and they had to be said in public. Thus it was that Baldwin repaid me for giving him the idea and the incentive for The Fire Next Time with the idea and the encouragement for “My Negro Problem—and Ours.”
N. Podhoretz seems never to have realized what a cruel practical joke Baldwin was playing on him, getting him to publish his ravings and ensuring that his reputation would be forever yoked to them. And, given that even in that 2013 essay N. Podhoretz was still frothing about the "almost complete abdication of black responsibility and the commensurately total dependence on government engendered by so obsessive and exclusive a fixation on white racism," it seems he never will.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


I know Tim Kaine is the kind of tryhard MOR liberal Democrat that makes us smart-alecks want to go all worser-the-better helter-skelter but holy shit as of last night’s primary he’s running against an actual Republican white supremacist:
In 2012 during his run for lieutenant governor, [Corey Stewart] bragged about Prince William County’s “crackdown” on undocumented immigrants via a 2007 law that required police to check the immigration status of anyone detained or arrested if there was “probable cause” that the person might not be a citizen…

And for Stewart, with Trump has come an all-out embrace of neo-Confederate viewpoints and the alt-right. In 2017, he attended the “Old South Ball” in Danville, Virginia, and gave a speech saying Virginia was the state of “Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson,” adding that the Confederate flag “is our heritage, it’s what makes us Virginia, and if you take that away, we lose our identity”…

After the violence and racism of the Unite the Right rally, in which a young woman, Heather Heyer, was murdered, Stewart was alone among Virginia Republicans in refusing to criticize the alt-right rally attendees and instead called out his fellow Republicans for being “weak”…

And then there’s Stewart’s relationship with anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, too-racist-for-Twitter Wisconsin Republican House candidate Paul Nehlen…
In case you needed more evidence Stewart’s a racist, he went on CNN to accuse the Democrats of “playing the race card,” which in my experience is dispositive. Further evidence, as if it were needed: Trump endorsed him, and Stewart celebrated his nomination by leading a chant of “Lock her up.” He also wants to put Tim Kaine in prison, for no reason he felt the need to articulate.

In short, Stewart is one of those flaming garbage candidates like Roy Moore who have flourished under Trump, so naturally Stewart received a defense at The Federalist, in this case from David Marcus. Though Marcus appears to find Stewart’s “apparent complete lack of concern over the death of [Heather Heyer]” a net negative, and admits Stewart’s ties with obvious racists “offered no nuance,” still, he says, “the question of whether Stewart is a racist is a complicated one.”

You and I both already know, even before Marcus explains himself, that this is bullshit because, having paid attention to Republican politics for a minute, we know the current vogue is neo-Nazis as “very fine people,” black people who protest police brutality as "sons of bitches" who should be thrown out of the countrytearing immigrant children from their parents and telling refugees fleeing threats on their lives to go back and die to scare them off and thus whiten up America for the edification of the dying racist dotards who elected Trump etc. The chances that Stewart only appears to fit this template, the way a kid might only appear to have been beating off because he happened to be holding his dick a funny way, and to have spilled Baby Magic on it, are vanishingly slim.

But thanks to our sappy, gotta-have-both-sides tradition, we're compelled to give Marcus a hearing, so let’s take this one for the team:
But do these things qualify him as a racist today? At a time when even slight, unconscious actions earn that label, indeed when many on the Left argue that racism is the natural and unavoidable state of all white people, who is a racist? And who, if anyone, isn’t? Do we need some new term for “really, really bad racists,” or do we need to scale back the rate of such accusations?
Uggggh yes it was just as bad as I imagined. Readers more scrupulous than I can continue further down through “both sides have gone off the rails," “Democrats taking photos with Louis Farrakhan or Jeremiah Wright,” etc. But I am old and feel keenly the shortness of life.

The time has come to acknowledge this hard fact: conservatives have gone nuts and will continue to be nuts until crushed. Republicans will continue to nominate Nazis and Klansmen; conservatives will continue to tell us that the Nazis and Klansmen are not so bad and anyway you liberals are the real Nazis and Klansmen; unless prevented by vote-thieves, Democrats will, thanks to this conservative habit, continue to beat most of these Nazis and Klansmen in elections (as happened last night in Wisconsin, despite Scott Walker’s best-and-by-best-I-mean-viciously-undemocratic efforts to prevent it); conservatives will come back and tell us that liberals with their swearing and socialism are making them nominate Nazis and Klansmen, and indeed all America shares their This Is Why Trump Won feeling, despite our many post-Trump victories, and stand contentedly on this chosen ground with their arms folded as they are buried in an avalanche

Like so much these days, it puts me in mind of Dylan:
Well, my baby went to Illinois
With some bad-talkin’ boy she could destroy
A real suicide case, but there was nothin’ I could do to stop it
I don’t care about economy
I don’t care about astronomy
But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets
There’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


The North Korea thing is such an obvious con -- "I don't need to verify as I have one of the great memories of all time" being only the most spectacular of a series of blazing tells that Trump was bullshitting through this like he bullshits through everything -- that, to me, the most interesting thing about it is not anything that happened in Singapore, but the Twitter thread in which Dinesh D'Souza proposes to "take back Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and give it to Trump." Better than the MAGA choad hell-yeahs are the guys who think the Nobel has been sullied by Obama's win, as the Golden Globes were by the victory of Pia Zadora. This guy's great...

...but I think this one's my favorite:

In the little theater of @samboyd664's imagination I expect the Chairman of the Olympic Committee, wearing a tux, tells Trump, "I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and a big butt and my butt smells and I like to kiss my own butt."  (Funny, these guys never bring up Kissinger.) 

It's getting to the point that I'm mainly interested in stopping the flagrant election-stealing that Republicans both off and on the Supreme Court are trying to accomplish just because I want a clean headcount on what percentage of this country is actually brain-damaged. 

To be fair, many of the people who get paid to do presidential prostate massage embarrassed themselves too. Jonah Goldberg:
Still if Kim is actually sincere this time, then the summit will prove to be a huge success. That is a monumental “if,” but it’s one I think every sane person should hope for.
Diplomacy is a land of contrasts, farrrrrt. But -- and I never thought I'd say this -- at least he's concise; get a load of Byron York:
On North Korea, a president who tried something different...
So now the talks have happened, and North Korea has agreed — much like it has in years past — to denuclearize. Critics rightly point out that Kim and his predecessors never kept their promises before. On the other hand, these talks were the result of a series of events unlike those in the past. 
Maybe Trump's plan will work. Maybe it will work a little and not work a little. Or maybe it will fail altogether. But it's the result of a president re-thinking a problem that desperately needed a new approach.
Now that we've got an absolute moron doing it, maybe this time it'll work! Whatever problems you good people have got, be thankful that at least you're not obliged to pick corn out of Donald Trump's shit.

Monday, June 11, 2018


...this year's Pride column, about conservatives and gays after the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision. It's interesting to recall that Trump went out of his way to acknowledge gay rights at the 2016 Republican Convention but, though most wingnuts have abjectly capitulated to Trump on nearly all of his agenda, they have haven't shifted an inch on that. Nor has Trump made inroads in the gay community; every once in a while a Kanye or a Candace Owens turns up to tell us how great Trump is for African-Americans, but we're not getting a lot of new Peter Thiels.

True, Trump has repeatedly proven that he didn't mean any of that outreach shit anyway, but even if he were dancing in a rainbow jockstrap on a float on Fifth Avenue I doubt conservatives would budge. Culture war is their most important product, and homophobia helps keep the religious right on board.

Also, as the column addresses (don't forget to read!), there's always some LGBTQ cultural event like a corporate Pride endorsement or a new trans celebrity that may seem innocuous to you but terrifies the Rod Dreher types who consider themselves Elsie Stonemans beseiged by gay Yankees. Thus we have Jonathan S. Tobin telling readers of National Review -- which was just a few short years ago a conservative anti-Trump publication -- that they must reelect Trump to protect God's people from the homosexual hordes ("it would appear that maintaining his presidency and the GOP Senate majority is going to be a must if conservatives are to preserve any dignity for those who cling to faith"). America may be getting more comfortable with gay marriage, but the people who aren't comfortable are downright hysterical -- and thus a reliable Trump constituency.

Friday, June 08, 2018


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a surprise, but not too much of one, President Trump issued the 74th Presidential pardon of his administration to Brock Turner, the Stanford sexual assailant whose unusually brief sentence for his crime in 2015 provoked outrage and led to the 2018 recall of the judge in the case. In a bizarre Skype press conference, Turner told reporters, “I guess you could say I moved on her like a bitch,” followed by a long silence, which he nervously filled by claiming Trump had demanded he make that statement as a condition of his Presidential pardon, which he said Trump had assured him “would get a big laugh.”

An angry Trump later tweeted that “Turner is NOT a man of his WORD” and announced he was rescinding Turner’s pardon — something legal experts say he cannot do. The President included a gif of himself ripping up a piece of paper with the word PARDIN written on it in magic marker.

A number of Democratic Congressman have called for an investigation of the alleged quid-pro-quo, including House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who tweeted, "the Democratic Party is committed to two propositions: that no man is above the law, and that we don't have the votes to pass single payer."

Trump had previously pardoned 73 citizens including Joe Arpaio, Dinesh D’Souza, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, Harvey Weinstein, Charlottesville killer James Fields, the Menendez Brothers, and Lizzie Borden. As part of his outreach to black voters, Trump has also commuted the sentence of Alice Johnson, and pardoned the early 20th Century boxing champion Jack Johnson as well as the fictional character Tom Robinson, who he said "got a raw deal" in To Kill a Mockingbird. (Lately Trump has made a habit of pardoning fictional characters, bestowing the honor on “Papa” from Garth Brooks’ “Papa Loved Mama,” Otis the Drunk from "The Andy Griffith Show," and the Beagle Boys from Donald Duck comics.)

Trump has hinted that more pardons are to come, tweeting a gif of the rescue of Elsie Stoneman in Birth of a Nation with the words “Don’t worry Paul Manafort & Michael Cohn HELP IS ON THE WAY!!!”

Wednesday, June 06, 2018


The Trump era was made for such as Rod Dreher. He likes to protest that he's not a Trumpkin, but no one else on God's green earth has as many "I'm not a Trump supporter but..." qualifiers in his writing as he does. Part of this has to do with his Benedict Option racket -- how can he sell the rubes on his monasticism-plus-wifi palaver if Trump has sanctified the land and removed the need for holy retreat? But mainly it's that Trump is Dreher's secret dream: He's embarrassed by Trump, but he loves what Trump is doing for America -- that is, making it easier for bigots like himself.

Lately Brother Rod's been especially hard on the blacks and the gays. Recently he found a Quillette article by a black wingnut at Columbia where the kid, Coleman Hughes, actually asks: if Rihanna gets to have an all-black band, why can't a white person have an all-white band? The obvious answer is GO TO ANY GODDAMN MUSIC FESTIVAL IN AMERICA OR THE U.K. THEY DO IT ALL THE TIME! But Dreher's excited, thinks Hughes is "very, very brave" -- though I can't guess why, because black wingnuts are worth their weight in gold these days -- why, with such credentials you can commit felonies and, if you're sufficiently vituperative toward liberals, there's a good chance Trump will pardon you. (Dinesh D'Souza is so juiced about his pardon that, to reward his benefactor by making him look racially sensitive, D'Souza actually inferred that he himself is a person of color, which I don't believe I've ever seen him do before; usually he hits black people with racial slurs.)

Anywho, Dreher thinks Hughes is the bees knees and, though there's nothing in the Quillette article about gay people, he hauls them into the target area too:
[Hughes] focuses on blacks, but as a general matter, if you read the mainstream press, you’ll find there’s a tendency to treat gays and other minority groups favored by liberals with kid gloves — as if they were symbols, not real people, with the same virtues and vices that everybody else has.
"Mainstream media" being here an obvious, redundant synonym for liberals, this is a callback to an ancient trope that I've been hearing all my life -- probably most familiar to you via Tom Wolfe, but known to me by the yammering of the bigots I grew up with: That liberals, who are always assumed to be white, must not see blacks as fully human -- because if they did they would, like conservatives, despise them. But this Dreher column is the first place I can remember seeing gays pulled into this if-you-really-knew-them-you'd-hate-them-like-me paradigm as well.

The gays have been on Dreher's mind much of late, thanks to Masterpiece Cakeshop's SCOTUS victory over the same-sexers who thought they had a right to buy a wedding cake from them. Over several posts Dreher pee-dances over the decision because it was narrow and does not guarantee a wider right to discriminate against Sodomites (and to keep alive the BenOp shtick, natch). It's all disgusting, but one section particularly leapt out at me: Dreher quotes with approval (that is, he says the author "nails what's happening") R.R. Reno of the theocon magazine First Things on Masterpiece:
That two gay men in Denver can bring to bear the full power of the state against a baker who does not wish to bake them a wedding cake is the height of absurdity. The gay couple do not belong to a vulnerable class of Americans. IRS data show that male-male married couples filing jointly have dramatically higher family incomes than other married couples, to say nothing of the disintegrating working-class families who don’t enjoy the benefits of marriage. Empowering a segment of the upper class to beat up on those who don’t approve of their sex lives is a recipe for social fragmentation.
This brought to my mind the triumphal citation among normal people of gay earning power and corporate acceptance as a sign that gay rights are here to say. I actually got a taste of this today at the corporate cafeteria I visited for lunch, where they were giving away Pride t-shirts, festooned with anodyne (and mostly too small to read) pro-gay hashtags and the (large and readable) company logo on the back. The innocuous ubiquity, or ubiquitous innocuousness, of this sort of thing may give the impression that the battle has been won.

But the very thing that looks like victory -- and should mean victory, given that America advertises itself as a place where honest commercial and financial success are all that matter -- is what Reno is using to attack gays: the notion that they "do not belong to a vulnerable class," and in fact "beat up on" the "disintegrating working-class families" (always presumed to be white and straight) who "don’t enjoy the benefits of marriage"  -- that is, have chosen not to get married, which in the minds of Reno and Dreher must be the gays' fault -- or that of the liberals (always, also, presumed to be white and straight) who, perversely and disloyally, side with the gays. As for the beating-up, why, that is done by gays merely by being gay, and being so rude as to insist on what in other contexts are called Constitutional rights.

In short, these people will do anything to destroy gay rights, and the easiest path for them now is to pretend they're doing so on behalf of less fortunate white straights -- in other words, that segment of the population shown to be most susceptible to Trump's bullshit. If they can convince these poor white, het dopes that gays are stealing something from them -- Straight pride? Jobs that might otherwise be reserved for heterosexuals? The right to beat up and/or rape a class of people that had been fair game in their pappy's day? -- then they just might be able to hitch the Trump Train to their retro mission and pull things back to the way things were before members of the same gender could hold hands in public, let alone all that other stuff.

What I'm saying is, happy Pride, but be prepared: Stonewall was a riot, and it looks as if we may have to pick up some paving stones ourselves.

Monday, June 04, 2018


...on Roseanne's monkeyshines, Samantha Bee's cri de cunt, and the bad faith brigades of the Right insisting that if a private business fires the one, another private business should fire the other because that's how capitalism is supposed to work (that is, like everything else, to the benefit of their tender feelings).

Something I couldn't stuff in there was Charles Two Middle Initial Cooke's gish gallop on the subject:
Imagine, if you will, that, say, Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter had called, say, Chelsea Clinton a c***. In what universe would the word have been dismissed as merely a ‘word choice’ divorced from any associated worldview?
Considering that Coulter called John Edwards a faggot and suffered no ill career effects, I think we can safely say that, in our own universe, she would continue to be employed at whatever it is she does by the same people who are pissing their knickers over Bee. There is no point in giving these assholes any quarter as regards decency, of all things.

Friday, June 01, 2018


Been a while since we had any Uncle Dave.

There's a corner at The Federalist for lonely nerds embittered by the liberal provenance of old science fiction franchises who shake their fists and choke back tears every time a black or a chick does something in a Star War. One such is Robert Tracinski, author of "Why They Can’t Ruin Star Wars," "Why Mixing Harry Potter And Politics Ruins Them Both," "All An Ayn Rand Hero Really Wants Is Love," etc. Here's his latest:
Last week, I wrote about how those of us on the right can be Star Trek fans despite its supposedly “progressive” politics.
Dry those tears, kulturkampfers!
Partly, this is because good art is about a lot more than a didactic political message.
!!! Baby steps, Bobby.
Uh oh. also struck me how much of the message of Star Trek is consistent with the values of many of us on the right. The original series was not “progressive” but “liberal” in an old-fashioned sense, celebrating freedom and individualism and opposing censorship and conformity. This means that Trek also turned out some cautionary tales that are relevant today — and surprisingly prescient — about the conformist agenda of big tech companies like Google.
Baby faw down go boom. I'll spare you, but he's on about the one with Landru -- " Just substitute, 'Are you woke?' for 'Are you of the body?' and you’ll get the idea" -- and thinks Political Correctness and Google are making us "sit down and shut up while in the presence of someone woker." Next he'll be telling us Jim Kirk is really a symbol for Trump because he's brash and a shitty actor.  God, wait'll someone tells these dorks about real life! You, you must be almost 30... have you ever kissed a girl?

•  Rightwingers are saying that if Roseanne Barr should be fired for calling a black lady a monkey, Samantha Bee should be fired for calling a Trump lady a cunt. Everyone with any sense seems pretty clear that Roseanne's racial slur is categorically worse than Bee's genital insult -- in fact, The Federalist's Ellie Bufkin goes as far toward acknowledging it as can be expected of a rightwing factotum:
While calling a white woman a “feckless c–t” doesn’t have the same racial charge as comparing a black woman to an ape, it was plenty ugly and absolutely uncalled for, particularly as it was in reference to a photo of Ivanka and her toddler.
But Bufkin stops just shy of saying a white-on-black racist slur is worse than a girl-on-girl genital slur, because 1.) she's working for The Federalist so, I feel comfortable assuming, she doesn't think it's worse, and 2.) if she did acknowledge the genuine difference, she'd blow up her whole column, which is devoted to insisting the two comments should be treated the same way:
Barr’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and ABC was absolutely right to sever ties with her over her awful comments. Yet why aren’t television executives considering the same consequences for Bee? True, referring to a woman as a “c–t” isn’t racist, but it is plenty hateful. To dismiss this as her creative right is to truly embrace that we live in a time of a media double standard.
One's racist and the other isn't, but since the one that isn't is still "plenty hateful," we have to treat them the same -- otherwise it's a double standard. Well, when you're just writing propaganda, erasing logical distinctions is most of the game -- and give Bufkin credit for nerve, if not the skills to back it up, because she ends with an attempted free speech defense:
Simply put, if saying unsavory things about a person with a particular political affiliation gets someone fired, then the same should be true in reverse. Of course, if we could actually hold every person in the media to an equal standard, frying someone over a belligerent comment would soon leave us in a very vanilla world where few would feel safe or comfortable exercising their right to speak freely.
No chance of us living in a vanilla world, lady, with the President himself calling women cunts on the regular. What's more likely is, wingnuts will keep on demanding liberal misdemeanors get treated like conservative felonies, and keep working the refs to rachet it down -- sure, our guys said black people are sub-human, but some black guy said Jared Kushner had white privilege, we demand you fire him, you're the real racists, etc. Well, fuck that; I made my position on this clear a long time ago.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


The D'Souza pardon makes sense for a couple of reasons. First, like Trump D'Souza is a piece of shit. He began his career at Dartmouth outing and harrassing gay students and has since made his living with rightwing columns, books, and documentaries of a low character -- for example, he was the inspirator of Newt Gingrich's ravings about Obama and anti-colonialism. All the bigtime conservatives kissed his ass at first, because he was considered one of the exciting New Breed of wingnut apparatchiks (his color, unusual for a conservative, was also thought an advantage until it became clear that he hated black people too). But over time D'Souza has become an embarrassment to the credentialed conservatariat -- not just because he committed campaign finance violations, nor just because, despite being a total toffee-nosed moral scold, he cheated on and humiliated his wife, but also and mainly because his emissions became such rank garbage -- like his screed about how Nazis and hippies were the same thing because they were all "rutting bohemians"; also because, I shit you not, "[Hitler] was also a vegetarian" (not to mention he's a shameless publicity hound whose marketing copy is rife with fakery of the sort you'd find in Angry Grandma emails) -- that it threatened, like Trump's presidency, to taint their self-image.  D'Souza didn't care; he'd just go roil the rubes at CPAC and places like that and they'd eat his swill like sugarcandy.

But mainly the pardon is meant as a sign to Trump's troops. It's meant to assure those low-end scribes who think D'Souza's a martyr that Trump believes the same hooey they do, keeping them hooting and squawking on his behalf; more importantly, it's meant as a signal that he'll protect anyone who does campaign crimes for Republicans, particularly him. Of course, he has to remain in power, and unimprisoned, for the trick to work, but isn't that the conservative idea of what America's all about -- plowing ahead with your big-money crimes, trusting that God will protect you?

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


You guys know how I feel about this stuff: Until you're ready to protect fast food and daycare workers from being fired for their social media speech, I'm not here from your blubbering over celebrities like Roseanne.

That's not a rhetorical offer, by the way, but a sincere one. I don't give a shit if the Hitler Channel wants to run Roseanne's Heil Hitler Racist Comedy Hour, where its sponsors and supporters can be noted and shunned, so long as ordinary citizens can flip off Trump and put it on Twitter without getting fired for it.

But they can't. So fuck her.

Even the usual suspects have, for the most part, looked at the facts and decided this was not the fake free speech hill they wanted to lie on. Rod Dreher, as you might expect, runs with the pack but can't even do that right:
“But,” you say, “that’s all the NFL owners are doing with the mandatory National Anthem rule: protecting their business interests.” You have something of a point, but the comparison is faulty. A quiet political protest is not the same thing as calling a black person an ape. Colin Kaepernick’s pig socks are in that ballpark, certainly, but the NFL kneelers on the whole aren’t wearing pig socks.
Like Moses, Kaepernick is denied entry to Dreher's promised land because of his pig socks.
It is a sign of civic health that someone who is making a fortune for a TV network can still lose her position when she indulges in disgusting rhetoric like that. Some things you can’t say in public without consequence. Where we draw that line will always be under contention, but we ought to all agree that Roseanne Barr crossed it.
I'll bet Dreher thinks the Beatles should have been driven from our shores after John Lennon said they were more popular than Jesus.

Others among the brethren find new ways to embarrass themselves -- Anthony Scaramucci, the erstwhile Trump mouthpiece who encourages people to call him "The Mooch," complained of being discriminated against as an Italian-American ("When I was called a human pinkie ring and a goombah while in the @Whitehouse that was deemed acceptable comedy. Double standard"). That's even better than when mobster Joe Colombo's Italian-American Anti-Defamation League went after The Godfather.

And rightwing pencil-neck Roger Kimball does the ooh-such-po-li-ti-cal cor-rect-ness simper-strut at The Spectator:
Uh oh. Was the tweet in bad taste? Indubitably. Was it racist? Yep. Was it the worst thing ever in the history of civilization? According to ABC, which hosted her new, extremely popular show, the answer appears to be, Yes: nothing so awful has ever besmirched the escutcheon of humanity.
You liberals act like racism is the very worst thing in the whole entire world but what about World War II, or that time a black guy glared at me?
Yes, it was in bad taste. So what? There was a time when bad taste was not a (professional) death sentence. Under the reign of political correctness, that time has passed.
Does one of you have the patience to explain to Kimball for me the difference between, say, the race jokes in Blazing Saddles and calling a black lady a monkey?* Best part:
I do not watch television, so I never saw Roseanne Barr’s show. I understand, however, that it was a breath of fresh air, not so much conservative as simply independent.
Percy Dovetonsils doesn't sully himself with idiot box emissions, but knows this show must be good because Trump likes it and the star is a racist.

UPDATE. *I thought everyone knew this, but apparently there are law professors who don't know, or affect not knowing, that calling black people monkeys is like Racism 101:
Yes, the problem of likening humans to apes, an interesting variation on the age-old resistance to the notion of evolution. We are primates, all of us, the same order as the apes. Bush was "Chimpy McHitler," and let's not forget that time Trump sued Bill Maher for joking that Trump was the son of an orangutan.
Speaking of law perfessers: "ABC hands midterms to Trump, GOP," says Instapundit Glenn Reynolds. Maybe they can get Tim Allen to call Michelle Obama a coon and get fired -- that'll really excite the base! Then they can all tell us that lots of different people are compared to raccoons, isn't that what Michelle Wolf did to Sarah Huckabee, you're the real racists, etc.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


...about conservatives' Memorial Day and how it was just a little off. Not sure I quite got my finger on it, but it just seemed as if they weren't as comfortable in their own, militaristic, super-patriotic skin as they used to be.

Among the outtakes were the wingnut Memorial Day observances of America's Civil War -- which were as twisty as you might expect.  Spurred by a year-old Robin Wright New Yorker essay about the “new kind of civil war” in which the United States seemed enmeshed, PJ Media’s Michael Walsh blames America's divisions exclusively on liberals: America's only “polarized,” he says, because “Democrats (just as they did in 1860) refuse to accept the results of the last presidential election"; also: "if there's violence -- and there is -- it comes almost entirely from the Left, in the forms of Antifa, Black Lives Matter and other groups of provocateurs... Keeping the people downtrodden, miserable, and resentful has long been the key to violent Leftist revolutions," etc.

After telling us how America sees through all the lefty lies and  "Americans are finding they have more money in their pockets, 'Now Hiring' signs are sprouting up all over'" -- boy, where have I heard that before -- Walsh finally declares,  “on this Memorial Day, when we mourn and honor our American war dead -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- we need to reject [the left’s] constant provocation and remember what unites us, instead of what divides us.” Clasp hands o’er the bloody chasm, indeed!

Our old pal and Washington Post columnist Megan McArdle responds to Wright’s essay with a tweet for the ages: “I am struggling to imagine what sort of army could be fielded by the ‘twee cosmopolitan elite’ side of America's culture war.” After a dunkfest by wonks and warriors alike, McArdle sniffs, “Some number of men seem to have felt that I was impugning their manhood, rather than heaping scorn on the notion of an American Civil War” -- shades of her accusing me of "snide sexism and heteronormative stereotypes"! Why, next people will be saying Gina Haspel isn't a feminist watershed! -- then claims “my mother, for the first time, apparently made the mistake of googling my name. I had to sit her down and have The Conversation about internet trolls.” Wait’ll she tells Mom about goatse!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Baseball Crank, writing under his pen name Dan McLaughlin at National Review, wants you to know he thinks Racist Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg "deserves public moral condemnation" for "letting fly a racially incendiary tirade at Spanish-speaking workers in a crowded Madison Avenue restaurant." (Actually Schlossberg told them he was calling ICE on them, which, given the viciousness of that agency toward even citizens who merely speak Spanish, is much worse.)

This being National Review, you knew there would be a "but" -- except McLaughlin uses the more highfalutin' "although of course" instead, because he is not just talking about some racist who "had the misfortune" to get caught racisting -- he's also stickin' it to the liberals with classy literary references!

See, says McLaughlin, when modern people read The Scarlet Letter they engage in "snickers, sneering, and judgmental tut-tutting at those awful Puritan prudes who would force an adulterous woman to wear an outward sign of the shame of her sin for her entire life and endure communal shunning over her violation of a social norm that we, in our own era, would not even regard as a crime." Not sure where B-Head has observed all this sneering and snickering -- maybe in fever dreams, or at a showing of that Demi Moore movie.

Anyway, this alleged sneerfest shows what hypocrites we moderns are because Schlossberg is like Hester Prynne. No, really -- when we are moved to condemn Schlossberg,
This is very much the same impulse that motivated the Puritans... In other words, we see it in exactly the same terms that the Puritans saw adultery, which could trigger violence, blackmail, and produce illegitimate children who could face infanticide or become wards of the state...  And just as today, the punishment is unequally distributed: Her lover’s identity is publicly unknown, so she wears the scarlet letter alone (just as Schlossberg is punished not just for his sin but for the happenstance of it going viral), yet it is also visited on her innocent dependent child.
You see what he's getting at: You modern sex people are the real Puritans, because just as Hawthorne's Puritans punished poor Hester for  premarital sex, you want to punish poor Schlosberg for racism. And this condemnation inspires the same pity and terror, at least in the breast of B-Head. Get a load:
Morally, Schlossberg deserves public moral condemnation, although of course it’s fair to ask — just as Hawthorne implicitly asked — how far we should go, and how indelibly the stain should endure. That’s a question our criminal justice system has wrestled with for years, but in some ways it’s an even harder one to answer when there’s no point at which an offender can say he has paid his debt to society. And of course, as critics of the Puritans fairly noted, we should consider leavening moral justice with mercy and some humility about our own sins.
 "How far we should go, and how indelibly the stain should endure"? Buddy, this all happened last week. There's plenty of time for Schlossberg, as a connected white guy, to move on from his noncriminal immorality. If Ben Domenesch can do it so can he!
But what is striking is the fact that the sorts of people most eager to exact punishment on Schlossberg are precisely the same folks who would lecture us no end about how terrible it is to be morally judgmental and how backward the world of the Puritans was...  People who say they don’t want to judge sin invariably just want to judge different sins.
Yeah -- the Puritans wanted to punish women for premarital sex, but you libtards are mean to a guy who yells racist abuse at people -- same diff!

I'm all for showing forgiveness, but as with Rod Dreher and the Barbecue Complaint Lady, I notice 1.) guys like this only ever plead forgiveness for bigots, and 2.) they only use forgiveness as a pretense to attack someone who isn't racist.

Monday, May 21, 2018


Sometimes I just want to get these things in the record in case some of our survivors are intelligent and want to know where it all went wrong:

You may think the editors made it look worse than it is, but uh uh: National Review's Clay Routledge does in fact think we lavish too much affection on animals. He quotes pet insurance statistics and marvels that "there are now even dog spas and resorts" -- not like in the old days, when Grandpa cut open Ole Blue so he could climb inside and get warm during a blizzard!

You may be wondering why Routledge gives a shit, considering that many of National Review's donors probably spend more on yacht maintenance and monkey-gland infusions than us peons spend on pets. The reason is revealed when he gets to the now-traditional Attack on Avocado-Toast-Munching Millennials:
A 2017 survey found that 33 percent of first-time home-buying Millennials say that finding a better space or yard for their dogs influenced their decision to buy a home, while only 25 percent cited marriage or plans for marriage and only 19 percent cited the birth or expected birth of child.
Routledge is clearly trying to engender panic among his geezer subscribers over the decline of white baby births. The young'uns are all crazy about fur-children, like frustrated spinsters in old movies, and it ain't nachurul! And why?
I’d like to focus on two specific possibilities, both of which implicate the individualistic nature of contemporary American culture.
Individualism -- that cursed legacy of the godless Enlightenment!
In our individualistic culture, we often privilege self-esteem over characteristics such as responsibility, loyalty, duty, and sacrifice. We also coddle children and teens to protect them from the social risks and emotional pains of life. But doing so is not without its costs. By teaching our kids to focus primarily on their own happiness, we may be failing to convey that life’s most meaning-providing and socially-fulfilling goals are often stressful, can make us temporarily unhappy, and require concession.
So if you're nice to your dog, and maybe prefer his company to, say, Clay Routledge's, it means you're an emotional cripple -- unable to bond with humans. This is, on its face, horseshit -- I know many people who love their pets and are also good with people, and I bet you do too. But if you're a conservative peddling Our Fallen World narratives, the usual go-to outrages like Rap and Socialism get wearisome and one has to find new things to bitch about.

Also, there's just something so natural about conservatives attacking people for showing unconditional kindness and compassion toward other living creatures.

(P.S. Believe it or not, this isn't the first article like this I've discovered: See my consideration of the Federalist essay, "Having Pets Instead Of Kids Should Be Considered A Psychiatric Disorder." That one's a little long on blood-'n'-soil, as Federalist essays tend to be.)


...about conservative reactions to the Santa Fe shooting, which to my practiced eye betray a falling-off in commitment; it's as if you can see, like a palimpsest over each Second Amendment love letter, the faint inscription, "Look, you know it's bullshit, I know it's bullshit, but business is business."

There's plenty of stupid to go around, but among the outtakes I give extra credit to Hot Air’s Karen Townsend, who not only defended Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's door-blaming ("He’s right – two or three guards can’t be at all doors at all times"), but also offered her readers this silver lining in the cloud of blood:
Though some of the usual voices came forward to politicize this tragedy, it should be noted that the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting unfolded differently than the one in Parkland, Florida. None of these students were coming forward to be used as the new spokespeople for the gun-grabbing left.
Ten dead, but at least they didn't make a fuss about taking one for the team.