You dissect butter with a mind this sharp

Highlights from an angry justice’s dissent.

When the Framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this Nation was built.

Good government and unalienable rights. Tell it, brother.

The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government.

Clutch my stars and garters. Here comes some World-Class Wanking.

Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved.

[dig·ni·ty: the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect. --ed.]

Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.

I think I understand what Thomas is driving at here. By “unalienable rights” what the Founding Fathers were trying to say was “Buck up there, pal.” Or more succinctly “Chins up, grins up.” Or more grudgingly “Kids are starving in China by the way.” Just because they happened to be discussing the Rights Of Man in close proximity to declarations about how government should behave is no reason to think the one had anything to do with the other. Thank God Clarence only sits on some poor sap country’s supreme court, right? If he were, for instance, a high school teacher he could really fuck up a student’s day.

This took me about two seconds of googling:

Their sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins…

Your ancestors dragged these black people from their homes by force; and in the white man’s quest for wealth and an easy life they have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited, degraded into slavery. The modern prejudice against Negroes is the result of the desire to maintain this unworthy condition.

…Einstein on the Negro Question. Sadly Al wasn’t sharp enough to get that the slaves couldn’t be “degraded” by slavery because the wingnut Constitution and the circumspection of Clarence the Clown. If we were perhaps to come up with a corollary to Thomas’ corollary, we might say “Because you always have your dignity, our government may do whatever the hell it likes.” I’m sure that’s what the Founding Fathers intended.


Gay marriage going to destroy us all and told ya so

If, after yesterday’s gay marriage ruling, you thought the Flying Monkeys of Value would quietly assemble outside the Supreme Court and serenade it with a rendition of “Amber is the Color of Your Energy”, you would be wrong.

1.) “This is the most monumental ruling of any court, by any nation in the history of the world,” Gallups said….

“These are the beginnings of the very last days”…

2.) “If ever a time the phrase ‘Now the end begins’ meant something, it is now.”

“…the Supreme Court of the United States has just declared that reality and biology no longer exist…”

3.) “June 26, 2015: the day the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists”…

“With the DOMA decision, we have ceased to be a constitutional republic. The words “We the People” are now meaningless”…

“June 26, 2015: I saw Satan dancing with delight, the day the music died in the United States of America.”

4.) “I think there’s an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country”…

5.) “Society itself is at risk and cannot continue.”

If this is how they handle a setback at the Supreme Court I can only imagine how they’d act in an actual emergency. If they weren’t currently merely being kicked in their Old Testament Teeth, but in real life.

Let’s say World War II were to break out tomorrow – what would the God-botherers do? Well the handful who didn’t suffer a disabling bowel evacuation, disappear between the pews, or suddenly begin to dress in exotic fashion, with delightful bamboo accents borrowed obviously from the bowler-topped Imperial style, would be asked to join the Army. Begged to join the Army. And the sturdy one or three who actually managed to crawl on their bellies, drooling and quivering, as far as the recruiting station would end up becoming soldiers. You can bet those Christ-huggers would only spend every bit of their valuable wartime haunting the barracks to make sure you weren’t keeping any pinups of Bobby Grable over your bunk. Semper Fi, precious.


Foxiosis Scaliarium (ad nauseum)

Just trucked into town, glad to be back. Sweet home, Venice.

The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

If you were some sort of Scalia-like hack, and you thought all the people around you were no better than headless chickens, you might try to insult them with a hearty take that!. In the gotcha manner of Fox News. Because you watch the cable outlet 24 hours-a-day and Stuart Varney is the shit.

You might then easily mistake Varney’s “OBAMAcare!” for a hobnail boot rather than a word for subsidized health insurance. And you might well flatter yourself that you’re slamming it up some co-worker’s backside with this:

We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

…when you’re only burying your reputation. (The best judges are usually neutral, or impartial, etc.) I imagine that if some New Deal provision had just come before the court, and the majority had been joined by the Chief Justice, the first line of your booger-flinging dissent would read “We should start calling this man Franklin Delano Roberts.”


Burn the fucking thing

Anyone who would defend the Confederate flag is a clever monkey.

I have tried — and failed — to write about Confederate symbols previously. It’s not a straightforward topic, whatever Vox may say. But in the wake of today’s events, a thought on the subject is in order.

We make the Trump face and we send out a sonorous ooh-ooh to National Review’s Ian Tuttle. And how do we explain non-sequitur to our thick friend? It won’t be easy, despite whatever Jane Goodall may say.

Making the rounds on the Internet currently is a photograph of the Charleston shooter leaning against his vehicle, which has a “Confederate States of America” logo where the front license plate should be:

But with respect to Ms. Kendall, this hateful man’s use of a slogan is no proof that the slogan itself is hateful.

Here would be a slogan: Cats ask for it by name. Here would be a slave institution: The Confederate States of America. As regards it, I can be found lingering among the millions who believe that slavery is hateful.



Repeat after me Republicans: RACISM.

Question: Why did you come to our church tonight, Mister Roof?

Answer: To shoot black people.

Okay, fair enough. Hey E.W. Jackson, why do you think Dylann Roof just shot all those black people?

“There does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians in this country because of our biblical views.”

No, it was racism. Racism is the correct answer. Rick Santorum? What’s the reason all those folks just got killed in South Carolina?

“We’re now seeing assaults on religious liberty we’ve never seen before.”

That’s not even close. It was because of racism. I don’t know why this is so hard for you people. Lindsey Graham? Why are there so many dead people in a Charleston church?

“It’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians, to kill them,” Graham added. “This is a mean time we live in.”

Oh please. It’s like a scene out of The Miracle Worker: RACISM. THE WORD IS RACISM. I don’t want to put my fingers in your mouth.

And in this way yesterday…did the flailing Republicans go on, unable to make their jaws align with their tongues, or hearts, to form somehow the forbidden word: Racism. The word whose name must not be spoken, especially when there are Dead People everywhere. But then it’s been another 24 hours, after the tragedy, and of course they are all feeling better now. Surely their mouths can finally manage to emit the vexatious idiom today, somehow.

Right Rick Perry? The shooting deaths of nine black parishioners in Charleston South Carolina was

…an “accident” that was possibly caused by the over-prescription of medication.

…was racism. What the hell, Rick? When an angry white disciple of Apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia walks into an African-American church and shoots the place up, then it’s…

“…that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used.”

No. Then it’s…racism. Such a small word, so many difficulties. Let’s take a shot at this with Jeb Bush. Jeb? When a white supremacist vows to take vengeance on African Americans because “…you’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country”, the reason he shows up in the middle of a black congregation with a Glock 41 in his hand is…

“They were praying. They were learning and studying the word of the Lord,” Bush said. “In times like these, in times of great of national mourning, people of faith, all of us must come together and at least reflect on this and fortify our strength and love of Christ, love of God to be able to continue to go forth.”

Oh please. He’s waving a gun around because racism. Racism, it’s the reason for the season. Do you really not know what’s going on here?

“I don’t know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who committed these atrocious crimes…”

Seriously? What do you think was on Dylann’s mind when he said “…blacks were taking over the world, [and] someone needed to do something about it for the white race.” What does that turn of phrase suggest to you? When an armed white man tells a group of black people he only dropped by “To shoot black people,” and then he shoots the black people, you’re not quite sure why it happened? You’re still trying to get your head around it? Why not just say “It’s racism”?

“I don’t know. Looks like to me it was, but we’ll find out all the information…Nine people lost their lives, and they were African-American. You can judge what it is.”

Sure, what it is. RACISM. It’s racism.


Republicans: Why did he do it? He must hate Christians.

Within hours of the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, the New York Times filed its first report on the tragedy. Here was their lede:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A white gunman opened fire Wednesday night at a historic black church in downtown Charleston, S.C., killing nine people before fleeing and setting off an overnight manhunt, the police said.

At a news conference with Charleston’s mayor early Thursday, the police chief, Greg Mullen, called the shooting a hate crime.

A few paragraphs down:

Tory Fields, a member of the Charleston County Ministers Conference, said he believed the suspect had targeted the victims because of their race.

“It’s obvious that it’s race,” he said. “What else could it be? You’ve got a white guy going into an African-American church. That’s choice. He chose to go into that church and harm those people. That’s choice.”

By 10 a.m. the next morning the gunmen’s comments were being widely reported.

When the son of her friend pleaded with the shooter to stop, Johnson said the gunman replied: “‘No, you’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country … I have to do what I have to do.’”…

A law enforcement official said witnesses told authorities the gunman stood up and said he was there “to shoot black people.”

Turning our heads from those reports, we look to Fox News. Where over a chyron of ‘ATTACK ON FAITH…GUNMAN OPENED FIRE KILLING 9 INCLUDING PASTOR’ the morning hosts interviewed the former Republican candidate E.W Jackson:

“There does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians in this country because of our biblical views,” Jackson, a pastor himself, said after urging that everyone wait for the facts. “It is something we have to be aware of.”

Later, Doocy added, “Extraordinarily, they called it a ‘hate crime,’ and some look at it as, ‘Well, because it was a white guy and a black church,’ but you made a great point earlier about the hostility towards Christians. And it was a church. So maybe that’s what they were talking about. They haven’t explained it to us.”

Jackson agreed: “Most people jump to conclusions about race. I long for the day when we stop doing that in our country. But we don’t know why he went into a church, but he didn’t choose a bar, he didn’t choose a basketball court, he chose a church.”

Hostility towards Christians? But not black people. Jackson added:

“…I just think it’s something we have to be aware of and not create an atmosphere where people take out their violent intentions against Christians. And I would mention one other thing very quickly and that is, I would urge pastors and men in these churches to prepare to defend themselves. It’s sad, but I think that we’ve got to arm ourselves.”

I…can’t even satirize that. We now turn to Rick Santorum, who tsk-tsked with radio guy Joe Piscopo:

“It’s obviously a crime of hate,” he noted. “We don’t know the rationale, but what other rationale could there be? You’re sort of lost that someone would walk into a Bible study at a church and indiscriminately kill people.”

Except for Rick saying “don’t know” and “indiscriminately kill” he wasn’t doing too badly there. But of course he went on:

“This is one of those situation where you have to take a step a back and say — you talk about the importance of prayer at this time, and we’re now seeing assaults on religious liberty we’ve never seen before,” the candidate noted.

A question for these crusaders: Do any of you know who black people are? Have you any idea how they’ve been treated in this country? Do you know about, or have you ever heard of, the word…”Racism”? Quote Charlie Pierce: These really are the mole people. Yes well, buck up there Ace because here comes Senator Lindsay Graham. Appearing on…The View. Of course.

He continued: “I can’t explain this. I don’t know what would make a young man at 21 get so sick and twisted to kill nine people in a church, this is beyond my understanding.”

It’s strange the way the rest of us heard the breaking news and knew exactly what had happened. Everybody there at the church, and everybody within the black community immediately understood. Anybody who’s a regular normal American got a horrible feeling in their gut, and it told them all they needed to know.

“But it’s 2015, there are people out there looking for Christians, to kill them,” Graham added. “This is a mean time we live in.”

…but not Republicans. They seem to be a mix of mystified and outraged – on behalf of faith-based America. It’s very weird. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were actually wishing it had been an anti-Christian shooting spree. But no:

Roof’s Facebook profile photo shows him wearing a jacket with patches of the apartheid-era flags of South Africa and Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe, and another Facebook photo shows a Confederate States of America license plate on the front bumper of his car.

Meek said Roof, while the pair got drunk on vodka, ranted about his racist views and indicated an obsession with the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and riots in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray.

“He said blacks were taking over the world (and) someone needed to do something about it for the white race,” Meek said, echoing claims made by a survivor about Roof’s statements during the shooting.

What Roof planned to do – and then did – had nothing to do with religion. The church only provided a convenient opportunity to shoot black people. No harm in admitting that, right Governor Haley?

Michael, Rena, Nalin and I are praying for the victims and families touched by tonight’s senseless tragedy at Emanuel AME Church. While we do not yet know all of the details, we do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.

On the contrary, we understood immediately – we got it. Everybody knows why the white kid shot these poor people. You just can’t manage to say ‘Racism’ out loud.


Right-wingers, guns and the same old story

And today in domestic terrorism…oh, forget it. Nobody is actually surprised that a white racist just blasted nine defenseless black parishioners in a church. This is America after all, and if there are two things we’ve got plenty of it’s paranoid right-wingers and guns.

A new study attempts to debunk the claim that gun owners rely on their firearms for self-defense.

The left-leaning Violence Policy Center released a study Wednesday that finds people are much more likely to use a gun to kill someone without cause than to protect themselves.

That’s something that we already knew. Gun nuts are far more likely to assault or kill somebody – or commit suicide – than they are to prevent a random assault. So the numbers may be shocking, but they’re not surprising. Incidentally the one institution most able to do studies like this, the federal government, has been legally prevented from doing so thanks to Republicans and the NRA. So stepping in for the hamstrung Feds, we welcome the VPC:

According to the study, gun owners committed 259 justifiable homicides compared to 8,342 criminal homicides in 2012, the most recent year data was available.

That means gun owners are 32 times more likely to kill someone without cause than to act in self-defense, the study reasoned.

“We hope legislators in every state will stop believing the self-defense myth and look at the facts,” says Julia Wyman, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “Guns do not make our families or communities safer.”

No shit? The fact that the U.S. is the most highly-armed country in the world (fuck off Yemen) and has a homicide rate comparable to a war-torn hellhole isn’t just bad luck. The two facts are somehow connected, what a surprise. I’d say we already know how they’re connected as well: By the species in question, the dangerously over-wrought and over-armed American Yahoo. By the ubiquitous gun nut, who is now so convinced of his substantive serial heroism, as when confronted by radio-toting Negroes or antenna-waving bees, that he’s long since forgotten how the hell to count:

Of course, the above real-life stories are just that: anecdotes…most people will never face such evil and have the ability to thwart it. Yet they’re not nearly as rare as a Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech: your chance of dying in a school shooting approximates that of being struck by lightning. In contrast, Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that 2.5 million Americans each year use guns for self-defense and that 400,000 of them say they would have been killed if they hadn’t been armed. That’s 400,000 a year.

That many, really? Let’s say we take that figure at whatever face value Florida State-quality research might imbue it, and we use it to crunch the numbers. You feed the statistic of ’400,000′ into one side of the abacus machine, and what comes out the other?

Total bullshit. If Americans didn’t have all those guns, the number of homicides in this country would jump from 16,000 to 416,000? Yeah right – a 2,600% increase. Concomitantly there’d be a 16% surge in the number of deaths per year, and national life expectancy would take a serious statistical hit. Come to think of it…not-having a gun would immediately become the third leading cause of death in America, after heart disease and cancer. Is it any wonder we can’t have a sensible discussion about gun control?

How did America get here? Every year 400,000 gun owners pull out a weapon, wave it in public and believe they just saved their own lives. These people aren’t solving our problems, they’re causing them.


Donald Trump and Narcissism part one

Donald Trump entered the race to become the 2016 Republican nominee for president yesterday. And to that I say thank you because Donald will be a hilariously bad candidate.

This is not something I merely think, this is something that I’m confident I know. Because Donald is a full-blown narcissist.

Sadly for me I had to grow up with one of these screwed-up people, and so I have become something of an expert on them. And I can tell you that not only will Donald not win the nomination, he will barely compete. The odds are actually pretty good that he’ll never even file the papers to officially become a candidate for president. It’s much more likely he’ll delay the filing, and then he’ll delay it again, and then he’ll find some excuse to bow out – like family matters, health interventions or business callings.

Why? Because narcissists frankly have it hard. For them the prospect of failing in public is a nightmare of epic proportions, the worst possible disaster. So Trump will be less than enthusiastic about pressing a campaign if his nomination isn’t already in the bag. He will be completely uninterested in spending months traveling the country and competing for votes, especially if it ends up being against a viable candidate. It’s only the current prospect of a cakewalk against the likes of Carly Fiorina and George Pataki that’s finally sucked him into the game. But when he finds out tomorrow, to his surprise, that his announcement did little to change the polling or improve his chances he’ll already be in trouble.

You can ask Newt Gingrich about that. In the earlygoing of the last election, in December of 2011, he became the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination. And I wrote this and this in response. In short: Newt Gingrich will not win the nomination.

Narcissists do very poorly managing responsibility, and fewer things are more difficult than successfully carrying something as large as an entire campaign for a year. Great men regularly fail at this. Flawed men almost always fail at it.

The interesting thing for us with regard to Newt the Great is that narcissists are utterly predictable sorts. While he’ll likely fail, we can make some pretty fair predictions about how he’ll do it. Starting with this:

1.) Newt will eclipse his own campaign. The need to impress upon you his greatness will kill the campaign’s messaging. Gingrich has surely been telling his staff that talking about himself is the same as talking about the campaign (it isn’t). And the ways Gingrich will hype himself will come twofold: bragging and gargantuan ideas.

Get a load of the bragging Trump did Tuesday.

And remember the $5 billion [Obamacare] website? $5 billion we spent on a website, and to this day it doesn’t work. A $5 billion website.

I have so many websites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a website. It costs me $3…

I sell apartments for— I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them? I own a big chunk of the Bank of America Building at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, that I got from China in a war. Very valuable.

I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower…

And the one thing is that when you run, you have to announce and certify to all sorts of governmental authorities your net worth.

So I said, “That’s OK.” I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job…

So I have a total net worth, and now with the increase, it’ll be well-over $10 billion. But here, a total net worth of—net worth, not assets, not— a net worth, after all debt, after all expenses, the greatest assets— Trump Tower, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, Bank of America building in San Francisco, 40 Wall Street, sometimes referred to as the Trump building right opposite the New York— many other places all over the world.

So the total is $8,737,540,000.

Now I’m not doing that…I’m not doing that to brag, because you know what? I don’t have to brag. I don’t have to, believe it or not.

Of course – because bragging is for little people. And what about gargantuan ideas? The kind that are laughably unlikely? Try this:

I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.

Mark my words.

Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody. [note – from two weeks ago: “Trump said…he knows of ‘a way of beating ISIS so easily, so quickly, so effectively, and it would be so nice.’”]

I will find — within our military, I will find the General Patton or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around.

I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And we won’t be using a man like Secretary Kerry…who’s just being tapped along as they make weapons right now, and then goes into a bicycle race at 72 years old, and falls and breaks his leg. I won’t be doing that. And I promise I will never be in a bicycle race.

At least he can deliver on the bicycle race part. But of all the things he said, this is the best. This is how a narcissist makes a sincere argument to win your vote.

I would call up the head of Ford, who I know. If I was president, I’d say, “Congratulations. I understand that you’re building a nice $2.5 billion car factory in Mexico and that you’re going to take your cars and sell them to the United States zero tax, just flow them across the border.”

…I would say, “Congratulations. That’s the good news. Let me give you the bad news. Every car and every truck and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we’re going to charge you a 35-percent tax, and that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction, and that’s it.

Now, here’s what is going to happen. If it’s not me in the position, it’s one of these politicians that we’re running against…They’re not so stupid. They know it’s not a good thing, and they may even be upset by it. But then they’re going to get a call from the donors or probably from the lobbyist for Ford and say, “You can’t do that to Ford, because Ford takes care of me and I take care of you, and you can’t do that to Ford.”

And guess what? No problem. They’re going to build in Mexico. They’re going to take away thousands of jobs. It’s very bad for us.

So under President Trump, here’s what would happen:

The head of Ford will call me back, I would say within an hour after I told them the bad news. But it could be he’d want to be cool, and he’ll wait until the next day. You know, they want to be a little cool.

And he’ll say, “Please, please, please.” He’ll beg for a little while, and I’ll say, “No interest.” Then he’ll call all sorts of political people, and I’ll say, “Sorry, fellas. No interest,” because I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money.

I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich…

After I’m called by 30 friends of mine who contributed to different campaigns, after I’m called by all of the special interests and by the— the donors and by the lobbyists— and they have zero chance at convincing me, zero— I’ll get a call the next day from the head of Ford. He’ll say. “Please reconsider,” I’ll say no.

He’ll say, “Mr. President, we’ve decided to move the plant back to the United States, and we’re not going to build it in Mexico.” That’s it. They have no choice. They have no choice.

And politics is supposed to be hard.

If you just want the short version of Trump’s salespitch, here it is: “Why does everybody else fail? Why do I succeed? Because I’m me.” Donald deserves to win your vote beyond all the other candidates not because he knows politics, or studies the issues, or is even aware there are actually three branches of government (Congress imposes tariffs). He deserves to win for the best reason of all: Because he exists. It’s the same reason he’d easily be the world’s best bowling-ball juggler, or lunar astronaut.

Because of that amazing fact what little campaigning we’ll see of Donald will consist entirely of the ‘candidate’ showing up before the voters, engaging in rudderless rambling about himself, about how great he is and how stupid the other candidates are, and in general being an utter and glorious mess. Or, in political terms, acting like a complete loser. Don’t count on seeing him do it for very long.

More later.


Olivia Nuzzi: Biggest political hack in the world

Shorter the Daily Beast’s political reporter puke confiseur, Olivia Nuzzi:

Today I visited Hillary Island, a Summertime creeping police state ghost town dystopia right out of Grand Theft Auto, featuring brutalist architecture, decaying smallpox hospitals, fake forests and abandoned insane asylums, and populated by O.J. Simpson impersonators, bomb-sniffing dogs, security goons, balding meatheads, cart-careening cops, and a few Men In Black, as well as the autocrat candidate herself who looked and acted like a complete robot, refused to say anything she hadn’t poll-tested, stole shamelessly from Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, lied about her support for gay people, and then declared that all American corporations were “no good.” After all that the old lady tried singing the Beatles’ “Yesterday” to the crowd, but every note was sour. Please like me on Facebook.

Bonus: Twitter hacking.


The seductive Memory Hole, and the allure of Fox News

The Wall Street Journal bade our collective past ‘adieu’ the other day.

Bye, Bye, American History

Good catch by a Fox News correspondent, Daniel Henninger.

The memory hole, a creation of George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was a mechanism for separating a society’s disapproved ideas from its dominant ideas… In the U.S. the memory-sorting machine may be the College Board’s final revision of the Advanced Placement examination for U.S. history, to be released later this summer.

What the high schoolers end up learning will directly affect this reality, ma’am. If you’re going to teach them about Japanese internment and the Ku Klux Klan, they might conclude America isn’t exactly a downtown act. If they learn the actual facts they might get the idea this country is little more than an off-route gin joint juggler, with a penchant for ethnic jokes.

At one point the curriculum’s authors say: “Debate and disagreement are central to the discipline of history, and thus to AP U.S. History as well.” This statement is phenomenally disingenuous. From Key Concept 1.3: “Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.” Pity the high-school or college student who puts up a hand to contest that anymore. They don’t. They know the Orwellian option now is to stay down.

Should I argue that the slavemasters never pretended to be above their slaves? Or should I go with the fashion? Seeing how wildly popular the option is these days I’ll probably go with Orwell. Look at me everybody, in my leopard skin shut-up chapeau.

Incidentally, you know who else liked to blitzkrieg the America of History? Downtown Dan Henninger.

Let us assume that Mr. Obama’s “smarter” view had prevailed, that we had left Saddam in power in Iraq. What would the world look like today?

Mr. Obama and others believe that Saddam and his nuclear ambitions could have been contained. I think exactly the opposite was likely.

Let’s not bother with Saddam’s imaginary “stockpiles of mass destruction” that he wanted to export to his terrorist pals, which is a rare and extraordinary moral justification for a peace-loving people to invade an Arab country (heavens). Let’s instead talk about how Saddam would maybe have wanted to become a nuclear power someday, which is a rare and extraordinary capital crime, and let’s do so years after we hanged him and posted the video on YouTube.

At the time of Mr. Obama’s 2002 antiwar speech, three other significant, non-Iraqi events were occurring: Iran and North Korea were commencing toward a nuclear break-out, and A.Q. Khan was on the move.

In March 2002, Mr. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear materials dealer, moved his production facilities from Pakistan to Malaysia.

In August, an Iranian exile group revealed the existence of a centrifuge factory in Natanz, Iran.

A month later, U.S. intelligence concluded that North Korea had almost completed a “production-scale” centrifuge facility.

It was also believed in 2002 that al Qaeda was shopping for nuclear materials. In The Wall Street Journal this week, Jay Solomon described how two North Korean operatives through this period developed a network to acquire nuclear technologies.

You’re thinking: Ehh Whaa..? This editorial just fell off the rails. The writer is now running around in circles, spouting random foreign policy headlines. But no, dear reader – this is Daniel Henninger. So you should wait for it. That’s right, wait…and…ta-daaa:

In short, the nuclear bad boys club was on the move in 2002. Can anyone seriously believe that amidst all this Saddam Hussein would have contented himself with administering his torture chambers? This is fanciful.

How you like THAT? American intelligence figures that Saddam would’ve developed an atomic bomb by now because…Kim Jong-Un. And, also, because Iraq’s best friend: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Let’s not forget why every country on Earth now has long-range nuclear missiles: Barack Obama. What Daniel Henninger would think of the Memory Hole if he weren’t pounding it nightly in his dreams, I wonder.

Bonus: I forgot. Normally a persuasive argument requires no multi-media enhancement, but every once in a while a picture helps.

Henninger and Hussein

…and it has to be true, because it’s sourced.


The GoodFellas…in your pants

Someone has got the Smokin’ Gay Man Love for a Scorsese film.

“GoodFellas”…takes place in a world guys dream about.

…in a world where every man carries an ice pick. In case you need to, you know, slam it into your buddy’s skull for some reason. It’s a fantasyland, like Game of Thrones.

To a woman, the “GoodFellas” are lowlifes. To guys, they’re hilarious, they’re heroes.

A George W. Bush fan thinks these pig-idiots are heroic. I’ll be.

…Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), Jimmy the Gent (Robert De Niro) and Tommy (Joe Pesci) are exactly what guys want to be: lazy but powerful, deadly but funny, tough, unsentimental and devoted above all to their brothers — a small group of guys who will always have your back. Women sense that they are irrelevant to this fantasy, and it bothers them.

It’s more likely that women get that this is your idea of manhood, and you’re not very manly. You aren’t particularly comfortable doing what other men normally do: Work or fuck. You prefer to hang out with other do-nothings and do…no things. Maybe naked, hmm? More power to you, Kyle.

The wiseguys never have to work (the three friends never exert themselves except occasionally to do something fun, like steal a tractor-trailer truck), which frees them up to spend the days and nights doing what guys love above all else: sitting around with the gang, busting each other’s balls.

There we have it. The reason Kyle loves GoodFellas so much = Balls.

Ball-busting means…ball-busting because…had no balls….endlessly bust each other’s balls…of ball-busting etiquette… returning the ball-busting…breaks ball-busting etiquette…breaking Tommy’s balls…for improper ball-busting…based on ball-busting…successfully broken Henry’s balls…

…w@w. Come out already and just say it: Dominate me DeNiro! I will wash them! I’ll shave them! Poor little wingnut.


Scalia’s big death penalty argument implodes

The dissent of Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in a 1994 Texas death penalty case:

From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. I feel…obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed.

Fair enough. But why?

Twenty years have passed since this court declared that the death penalty must be imposed fairly and with reasonable consistency or not at all, and despite the effort of the states and courts to devise legal formulas and procedural rules to meet this…challenge, the death penalty remains fraught with arbitrariness, discrimination…and mistake…


…no combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations ever can save the death penalty from its inherent constitutional deficiencies… [...] I am more optimistic, though, that this court eventually will conclude that the effort to eliminate arbitrariness while preserving fairness ‘in the infliction of [death] is so plainly doomed to failure that it and the death penalty must be abandoned altogether.’

As usual Justice Antonin Scalia was more interested in taking on his colleagues than taking on the argument. He mocked the bleedingheart Blackmun with this:

Justice Blackmun begins his statement by describing with poignancy the death of a convicted murderer by lethal injection. He chooses, as the case in which to make that statement, one of the less brutal of the murders that regularly come before us, the murder of a man ripped by a bullet suddenly and unexpectedly, with no opportunity to prepare himself and his affairs, and left to bleed to death on the floor of a tavern. The death-by-injection which Justice Blackmun describes looks pretty desirable next to that. It looks even better next to some of the other cases currently before us [...] for example, the case of the 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat. How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!”

So the dramatics of the argument between Blackmun and Scalia can be reduced to: ‘A flawed system cannot fairly apply a death penalty’ and ‘Homicidal maniacs are worse!’

We move ahead to September of last year. And to this stunning but little noticed bit of breaking news:

A North Carolina death row inmate exonerated by DNA evidence on Tuesday was once held up by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as an example of someone who deserved to die….

“For example, the case of an 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat,” Scalia wrote in Callins v. Collins. “How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!”

He was referring to Henry Lee McCollum, who at the time had already been on death row for 12 years. McCollum’s conviction was overturned on Tuesday when DNA evidence implicated another man in the case.

McCollum had been on death row for almost 30 years.

In giving short shrift to Blackmun’s legal argument and instead focusing on the horrors of homicide, Scalia set himself up for embarrassment. In utterly predictable fashion, the system found that McCollum 1.) had committed murder 2.) deserved to die. He was as much guilty of a horrible crime as any other innocent man – for example me, or you, or a contemptuous Supreme Court Justice.

Blackmun later responded to Scalia, writing of the flaws in the case as well as McCollum’s mental capacity.

“That our system of capital punishment would single out Buddy McCollum to die for this brutal crime only confirms my conclusion that the death penalty experiment has failed,” he wrote. “Our system of capital punishment simply does not accurately and consistently determine which defendants most ‘deserve’ to die.”

Now can the arguments over the death penalty begin to move forward? Of less importance: Can Scalia admit that Blackmun was ultimately right? Oh I certainly hope so. Otherwise I’d have to conclude the esteemed jurist is something of a hack.