Category: fancy thinkin’

Wishing for mortal tragedy is not a Hot Take

Kristen McQueary writes for the Tribune.

Envy isn’t a rational response to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

But…I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops.

That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans.

Is that what happens after you and your family drown? Someone hits the reset button? Somehow Kristen skipped right over the part where tens of thousands flee the devastation, emergency workers pour in to minister to the sick and dying, and to retrieve all the corpses, and then at some point everybody sits down at a table and tries to figure out whether New Orleans should become the World’s Biggest Shrimp Farm.

Residents overthrew a corrupt government. A new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts. New Orleans’ City Hall got leaner and more efficient. Dilapidated buildings were torn down. Public housing got rebuilt. Governments were consolidated…

Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.

I understand how a bad writer can call the aftermath of a near-death experience a “rebirth.” But if your politics are such that you wish a mass-murdering catastrophe upon a city in order to slash budgets, force unpaid furloughs and lay off thousands of people – workers who may or may not be dead – you’re worse than just bad.

Suppose that I didn’t like the attitude of a certain writer. What if I then wrote about an incident where he or she went through a near-death experience, like being shot or raped? What if I claimed they had undergone a “rebirth” and become better people?

Would it be alright for me to wish it would happen to Kristen McQueary? Would that be a good editorial? No. It would not.

I wish you’d go away.

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Zees Frenchman he is, how you say, fail

On the heels of Camille Paglia’s assessment that the Cosby-style rape of Monica Lewinsky would have been a more sophisticated affair, literally, had Bill Clinton been a proper fan of le style français I’m wondering what other contributions to sex and politics the French can be thanked for. Regular essayist at ‘The Week’ Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry comes to mind [fap fap].

Taking your own bemused look over the sweep of right-entrenched intelligentsia you might scratch out a list composed of the know-nothings (Bill Kristol, George Will), the warmongers (John Bolton, any name off the Bush docket), the racists (Tom Tancredo, Pat Buchanan), the social regressives (David Brooks, Michelle Malkin), the obsessives (Mollie Hemingway, John Fund), and the celebré hyenas (Chuck Norris and Ted Nugent). [obsv: The all-you-can-eat buffet at National Review features Goldberg, Hanson, Williamson, Charen, Lopez and, well, Bill Buckley.] But among all of them let’s not forget the happy warriors. They’re the Ronald Reagan types who have been utterly savaged by cruel neurological disorders and couldn’t be more thankful for it.

How the GOP became the party of ideas again

The most underappreciated story in U.S. politics is that the Republican Party is becoming the party of ideas again.

Political evolutions usually happen in cycles. When one party is dominant, it grows overconfident and lazy; when it loses an election or two, it realizes the need for fresh thinking and embraces it…

…and Senate Republicans just voted on the 55th repeal of Obamacare. PEG, as he’s known to his hospice pals, isn’t the least shy about airing his mystifying and non-sentient sentiments. And never you mind that a dessicated shell of his grey matter swings like a tatty banner in the breeze, Pee-Em is a much-celebrated Gallic Philosophe and all his bonne opinions des politiques zey are quite, how we say, boolshit.

First of all, it’s just impossible for Perry to have stayed governor of Texas for so long if he really is the person we saw on those debate stages. And secondly, his performance thus far in interviews has been excellent. He says he has spent the intervening years preparing for a presidential run, and it shows…

Bugs Bunny would have a field day with this guy.

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Where I am moved to call someone buttface

A particularly beneficent blogger at American Thinker offers us all a choice. How nice of him, really. I do like choices.

Would you allow yourself to be groped to fight global warming?
By Pedro Gonzales

It’s an easy choice–let yourself be repeatedly sexually groped by a pervert, or accept the consequences of global warming. Which would you choose?

…those two options weren’t really on my radar tonight, Saturday evening. I was thinking more like ‘ale’ or ‘pilsner’, which are frankly both to my tastes. Anyway, how did we get here? And why is it I either take a thumb up the ass, or fry like Bill Buckley’s balls in Lucifer’s cupped embrace?

More than one in five Metro passengers were subjected to unwanted sexual advances or behavior while riding Metro trains and buses in Los Angeles County during the first half of 2014, according to a new survey.

Tee-hee, caution. Laaaaffffs ahead!

I so admire the liberals who do their duty every day, squeezing into those tightly filled buses like sardines in a can, letting themselves be leered at and squeezed and touched, all so the rest of us can live in a better environment.

This is what makes for comedy over there. The rancid sneer. Derision ha ha, whoopee. But there’s also…fucking brilliance, see?

Listen closely: if you have too many cars, and too few highways… create more highways! Check out the map below. The city should use eminent domain to take the land, and turn it over to private developers who will pay to build it in return for charging tolls on the new roads.

And this genius slapdashes 10 freeways across the map of L.A., all of them ending in downtown (which is the secret place all Angelenos want to go). This would only wipe out a few thousand homes, and the city’s budget for the next millennium or so, as well as pave over Hancock Park, Encino, and Griffith Park. And after the 50 or so years of lawsuits and wholesale demolition it would take, not to mention the rioting and homelessness, the city would hand all that real estate over to private contractors. Just so we could pay them tolls, to drive over our former homes. This is clearly a cracking idea, Grommit. And not at all the prospective work of a sociopath…

But since my suggestions will be ignored and nothing will be done, I salute liberals who continue to let themselves be fondled as part of their civic duty

…and by that I mean: fuck you, buttface.

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I could watch this Chopra v. Dawkins thing all night

Deepak Chopra cannot leave evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins alone. Probably because the scientist so easily dispenses with the boson-blather of Owwmmm The Deepak, a spiritual force so formidable it can only live entirely up its own ass.

“[Dawkins] antagonizes people. By the way, I didn’t invent the word ‘militant atheism,’” Chopra replied. “He uses that expression to describe himself, and says if you’re not a militant atheist, you’re stupid.”

Dawkins never once said that. But it’s possible that he thought it, and Deepak Owwmmm perceived it via quantum Blue Tooth. Who are we to wonder, but in awe?

As Dawkins frequently derides Chopra’s act as mystical quackery, the bodhisattva has responded by calling the Oxford professor a cheapshotter, an egotist, a fundamentalist, a bigot, an adolescent, a not-credible scientist, a bad scientist, a poor scientist, and a crap scientist. Which is an odd thing, to say the least, to hear from a self-help author about a peer-reviewed biologist. But let’s give Deepak some leeway here, shall we? Let us contemplate his latest dissection of All Reality:

“[Dawkins'] version of reality is what we call ‘empirical reality’ — if you can see it it’s real, if you can’t see it it’s not real. But we know you can’t see your thoughts, feelings, emotions, desires, creativity, choice and they’re real. Your inner world is real.”

“In the book,” Chopra said, “I talk about the ‘visible domain,’ then the ‘subtle domain’ — which is the rich, inner world that you experience — and then something that transcends even that, a ‘non-local domain’ which is the source.”

“So, [Dawkins] version of reality is called ‘naive realism.’ He has no idea of what reality is.”

So if you’re the type to deny – or merely be confounded by – the visible domain, the subtle domain, and the transcendent source now defined as the non-local domain, then you’re but a naive realist. Oh dear heavens. You have “no idea of what reality is.” I’m afraid this puts Dawkins squarely in the dunce’s corner.

By the way you might want to buy these:

I want to know why it is that he so brazenly makes money off of inner peace and science with cheesy products, like $300 DreamWeaver glasses that emit light and sounds to induce sleep states.

“I put everything I earn into good use,” he says. “How can I apologize for that? Does Tom Clancy apologize for his books?”…

“If anyone should complain, it should be the people who come to the Center, and they don’t,” he says. And those DreamWeavers are good science, Chopra adds.

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How the Great Society surely killed Michael Brown

The police had shot and killed a black man again but, this time, the neighborhood wasn’t taking it. They’d long ago gotten fed up with a white police department that treated them like second-class citizens – pulling them over, harassing them and arresting them much more quickly than they did whites. Now a policeman had pulled aside a young man on a Saturday afternoon and then ended his life. The cop had gunned down an unarmed teenager in the middle of the street, as if the kid were public enemy number one. Shot him six times for the crime of jaywalking.

Every night now Ferguson, Missouri, explodes in protests, mayhem and looting. No one pretends to be surprised by the violence because they’ve seen it before; they’re only surprised to see it now, in 2014. Accordingly there have been hours and hours of national news coverage and solemn TV punditry, and an endless number of op/eds and blog posts arguing how and why this is happening in what many hoped was a post-racial America.

Tragic as this is, though, we can all be thankful for one thing. Conservatives have figured out what went wrong.

Okay, it’s a media circus but an eighteen-year old kid died here, even if he was a bit of stoned thug who liked to beat up clerks in convenience stores just to make off with a box of cigars. He didn’t deserve to die.

Of course, Michael Brown was just another street thug, but Roger Simon doesn’t believe he deserved to die. It’s a start.

Everyone knows we’ve seen it before and everyone knows we’ll see it again. In fact, many parties don’t want it to go away. The beat must go on. It has to go on or their very personalities will disintegrate. And I will tell you why — what caused it.

Give him credit for admitting that America has tolerated the deaths of young black men for too long. It’s being tolerated even today. Unfortunately, Roger’s advice will have little to do with that. He’s not interested in answering the central question arising from Brown’s death: How could it have happened? He won’t address the secondary question either, which follows the first: What’s wrong with the Ferguson police department?

Roger’s concerns are more traditional. He’d like to take on the issue that people like him have been obsessed with since slaves first arrived here in the 1600s. To wit: What’s wrong with black people? Over the centuries conservatives have always had a theory to explain that mystery. Here is today’s theory, courtesy Roger:

The Great Society. There, I’ve said it.

What?

Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever…

You thought this Ferguson controversy was about police casually killing an unarmed teenager. Roger knows better. This is really about how BLACK PEOPLE ALWAYS END UP LOOTING IN THE STREETS. Hot tip: the second thing is wrong.

And then it repeated the point ad infinitum from its debut in 1964 until now — a conveniently easy to compute fifty years — as it all became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For decades the government worked to pull Americans (of all colors) out of poverty but that massive wide-ranging effort ended – just now, incidentally, a week ago Saturday night – as predictably as ever, in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some cop shot a teenager and black people started yelling like they were victims. If it weren’t so pathetic it would be annoying.

Those misbegotten kids running around Ferguson high on reefer and wasting their lives screaming at cops are the product of all this. Stop it already.

Enough with the whining. And look how these Ferguson kids waste their lives. Running around town, getting high on drugs, yelling at cops and being completely…misbegotten. Don’t pretend they weren’t going to get shot, at some point. Don’t tell Roger that “the product of all this” is anything but deadly denial. And when some three year-old catches a bullet I’m sure we’ll hear from him how ‘misbegotten’ city toddlers have become.

How is it we can no longer agree that the death of Brown is the real problem? We can’t go on without the tragedy being addressed. But half of us, like Roger, want to pretend that when a violent act is followed by a violent argument somehow the act no longer matters. They seem to be saying that if Ferguson could only behave itself then the town might have a point. But how many Michael Browns have been killed without sparking even the slightest controversy?

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It’s the end of Rosin’s writing about men we hope

Back in 2012 Hanna Rosin wrote:

The world today brings news that Jan Berenstain, co-author with her husband Stan of the 45 years and running Berenstain Bears series for children, has passed on to a better world. As any right-thinking mother will agree, good riddance.

As Slate-style introductions go it was pretty typical. Their writers rarely miss an opportunity to appear gimlet-eyed and flip. As if anything like academic whimsy were a product of thoughts more than self-obsessions. For some, though, it’s a potent mix that can’t always be resisted. Time magazine today featured Rosin with a new essay.

Feminism
Men Are Obsolete
Five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men
By Hanna Rosin | Jan. 02, 2014 | 447 Comments

We’re less witnessing the death of men than the birth of Time’s own Slate-pitch. As in ‘It’s The End of Men?’ That the originalists are roundly mocked for such 25-Watt contrarianism is nothing for Time to worry about because traffic is traffic, hooray. The first clue to that comes as the editors have slotted the piece for ‘Feminism,’ as opposed to ‘Hootbait,’ or ‘Drollery.’

The second clue would be Rosin’s fingertip grasp of men.

How do I know men are finished? I’ll read you a quote that says it all: “Yes. There have been times when I’ve been in a drunken stupor.”

Is this God perhaps admitting what went wrong on the Sixth Day? That would at least provide some evidence for why we males are all coming to an end. If not Him, who?

Toronto’s mayor, a shining example of modern manhood is what I would call the canary in the coal mine, only he’s not quite as delicate as the canary.

It’s the boozy crack-fueled heart attack of Toronto. Whatever he just babbled, that “says it all.” And the sentiment says it about all men: We are nearing the end. We’ll all soon be abandoned by society, and our loved ones, lying motionless and unconscious in a prison cell. Is it the ‘we all smoke cocaine’ or the ‘we’re all dangerously psychotic’ bit that’s your best evidence for fate? It couldn’t possibly be ‘we are obnoxious and full of ourselves’ as that’s been our habit forever, and how very boring. But, listen:

Are men literally obsolete? Of course not, and if we had to prove that we could never win. For one thing, we haven’t figured out a way to harvest sperm without them being, you know, alive.

Now Rosin’s argument…begins? On the opposite side of Rosin’s previous argument? Tough place to start. She doesn’t mean ‘The End’ of men because that would be literal – was that what you were thinking? Was it the part below the title – ‘Five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men‘ – that duped you? Don’t be stupid, women need healthy sperm and scientists haven’t figured out how to extract that from our dead bodies. So we should be kept alive for the future production of useless males. At least, until the relevant science improves. Oh I agree.

But in order to win this debate we have to prove that men, quote unquote, as we’ve historically come to define them — entitled to power, destined for leadership, arrogant, confused by anything that isn’t them.

Hanna finally has a point, sort of. She has to prove that men – entitled, arrogant, confused by anything that isn’t them. That’s right it’s her burden to demonstrate, as we’ve come to define them, The End. Is a sentence too much to ask for? It would keep me from getting even more confused. Unless perhaps Rosin is making a broader point about male impotence by getting to the point so very quickly. Are you one-upping or only mocking us, hmm?

…that isn’t them. As in: “I don’t understand. Is it a guy dressed up like a girl? Or a girl dressed up like a guy?” They are obsolete.

Well there it all is, finally. Hanna’s point could not be made any clearer. A male is no longer something he once was. He was useful once, now he’s clearly not. You take a look at someone like Boy George, and it really hits you: Men are obsolete. Fling yourselves, gender dodos, off whatever transvestite you find handy.

If a writer wants to be conceited and glib, she’d better be smarter than some outré point to be made. That’s not Hanna Rosin. And having seen the sorry total of her essay, I ought probably to stop here. But then you should see some of how she plays the rest out. Just in case I’m wrong, and we’re really done for:

ONE: It’s the end of men because men are failing in the workplace.

Over the last few decades men’s incomes have been slowly declining and women’s have been rising. Last year one in five men were not working, something economists call the biggest social crisis we will face . . In 2009 they [women] became the majority of the American workforce for the first time ever. Now in every part of America young single women under 30 have a higher median income than young men, which is really important because that’s the phase of life when people imagine what their future will look like. As one sorority girl put it to me — remember, I said sorority, not someone from the women’s study center — “Men are the new ball and chain.”

This might be a more devastating observation if women hadn’t been shut out of the workplace for so long. There are yet plenty of gains to be made on their behalf, so whatever balance is still to be had can hardly be considered tragic. Throw in a recession economy that thrives on drudgery and I’m not at all convinced that men, for whatever reasons, can no longer compete.

TWO: It’s the end of men because the traditional household, propped up by the male breadwinner, is vanishing.

For the first time in history women all over the world are marrying down, meaning marrying men with worse prospects than they have. We have a new global type, for example, called the alpha wife, a woman who makes more money than her husband or boyfriend. Not that long ago she was exceedingly rare. Now she’s part of about 40 percent of couples in the US. And that does not count the growing number of single moms who head their own families.

Hanna gives her self away. If a woman makes more than her male partner does she’s ‘marrying down.’ Men have been marrying down for centuries but you don’t see us complaining. She mistakes positive developments across society for male impotence, soon to become fated-death itself.

She’s what you might call old-fashioned. A fuddy-duddy. Being startled by the way women are now getting educations and careers and everything, Hanna’s just given up trying to figure this ole’ world out. Maybe she’s angry with men because we haven’t yet cleared up her confusion. Maybe it’s in the spirit of retaliation that she claims we’re worth little more to society than dribbles of ejaculate. How very petty. Read her embarrassment here.

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Playing wingnuts like violins

I don’t worry about this president any more. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

Leave the morality of the Syrian attack aside and just look at the playing of politics. The decision to ask Congress to make a call on the international strike is a clever one. It exposes them for the unprincipled opposition they’ve become. The democratic gesture is a move of real brilliance.

Everyone knows the GOP are a tent full of daddy monsters given to racism, violence and pandering to the Great Unwashed Id. So the call to Muslim bashing will be nearly impossible to resist. But having it offered to them by this bastard is simply too much. It’s like pictures of Jane Fonda’s Barbarella prancing around in front of their balls. It’s like a fragrant eclair being dangled right before their noses, but it’s frosted in the image of Barney Frank. Clad in a muumuu. Not that they aren’t doing some publicly courageous wrestling over it, but oh my. This is very entertaining.

The Great Unifier, Healer of Nations and a Man of Peace
John Ransom | Aug 31, 2013

The great unifier, and Healer of Nations, has done it again.

Like the man He most wishes to emulate, Jesus H. Christ, Barack H. Obama is a man of peace.

Yet, in His wake He brings war.

He divides this house against itself: brother against brother, father against son and daughter against mother.

And now as His Team America, World Police gets ready to swing into action again . . The all-knowing “Eye in the Sky” penetrates everything except for our thoughts . .

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Given the Spartan sacrifices bloodying our town square it’s about time that John complained. Even though the dreaded Ares Of Community Healthcare will not be pleased. I assume the six-digit body count of the previous administration drove him to raving madness, but I’m guessing instead he stooped to raving reviews. Why, it seems like only yestermonth that John advocated a bold idea in response to the way They behaved Over There.

Congrats President Nobel: Obama Allies Behead Catholic Priest In Syria
John Ransom | Jul 01, 2013

Obama’s war on the Christian religion, particularly the Catholic variety, has claimed another casualty in the Middle East. The Vatican confirmed that “Syrian priest François Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge . .

It’s scene that has become too familiar across the globe . . Thanks President Nobel for helping him out . .

And they gave him a Peace Prize. For what, pacifism?

Actually, this is a great opportunity to get Syria to behave better.

Make no mistake either: This war won’t be a pushover like Libya was.

So let’s get serious about killing. We know it won’t be easy to go to war, and it certainly won’t be easy to not-go to war, and you should consider all this knowing full well that Christ, His Blackness, will have beaten us to Damascus. Maybe it’s best to throw our hands up and say that nothing will be easy as long as John is hanging around.

Come to think of it, substituting ‘a Republican’ for ‘John’ could make the motto for the entire conservative establishment. For at least as long as the ebony usurper continues his twice-elected holocaust, their mission statement should be: Ooh My Head. Any old thing that he wants to do they’ll surely be opposed to because Dammit Woman Let Me Think.

Bomb Syria? President Obama Must Go To Congress For A Declaration Of War
Doug Bandow | Forbes.com

With the Arab League opposing war, the British parliament voting against military intervention, and France backing away without United Nations approval, President Barack Obama has been reduced to threatening unilateral military action against Syria. Not too much, just enough so the administration won’t be “mocked,” said one unnamed official. But also enough to violate the Constitution’s requirement for a congressional declaration of war.

Reagan invaded Grenada without a declaration. Bush Senior invaded Panama. The Forbes family couldn’t have been more pleased with all that. But now that Kenya Guy wants to punish Syria for its war crimes the billionaires have trotted out the Cato Institute’s only serial anti-interventionist – probably the entire right-wing’s sole second guesser – Doug Bandow to call attention to the constitutional conflagration. Doug is famous for taking bribes from Jack Abramoff and if that isn’t a hallmark of sober intelligence, I don’t what is. It’s certainly a good reason to listen to him.

Fiasco in Libya: Fools at War
Doug Bandow | Huffington Post

President Barack Obama’s poll ratings for national security are falling. As they should. The war in Libya increasingly looks like America’s next geopolitical train wreck.

Hope for a quick rebel victory is now a distant dream. Western officials are talking about a military stalemate with no political solution in sight.

And Doug’s always correct, which is yet another reason why The Forbes are such decent people. In fact, I’m having a helluva difficult time trying to count all the decent people that have recently moved into the GOP’s neighborhood.

Obama, the most imperial president
September 01, 2013 | Steve Chapman

So let me get this straight: In Britain, parliament actually has a say in war? But they’re the ones with a monarchy?

. . asking Obama to stop expanding his authority is like asking a shark to cease swimming. If the Constitution and the law aren’t enough to bind him, there’s no reason to think political expedience will.

And then the pachinko ball rolls right in the hole and the impossible happens. Obamhitler asks Congress – what?! – to weigh in on the matter. And I’ll have you know this is Damned Irresponsible.

Rep. Peter T. King accused President Barack Obama of “undermining the authority of future presidents” to engage in military action in a scathing statement issued following Obama’s Rose Garden speech Saturday.

Obama said he would seek an authorization for the use of military force against the Syrian regime in response to the widely-reported use of chemical weapons, but King, a New York Republican and former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, blasted that move.

“President Obama is abdicating his responsibility as commander-in-chief and undermining the authority of future presidents. The President does not need Congress to authorize a strike on Syria.”

It too is so very Spineless.

Immediately following his statement from the Rose Garden on Saturday, which President Barack Obama said he would delay a strike on Syria until seeking authorization from Congress, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer took to Fox News to slam the president . .

“[T]he most astonishing thing is the lack of any urgency,” Krauthammer said. “As you say, Congress will be back in a week. He says, ‘I can strike in a day or a week or a month,’ as if he is a judge handing down a sentence and the execution can be any time in the future. There is a war going on. Do you think everybody is going to hold their breath . . ?

Hullo? People are dying!

“But the idea that you make the case, you leak the details, you tell the world that this has to be done and then you say, ‘Well, I will take my time. I’ll go to Congress and we’ll see,’” Krauthammer said. “This should be done in three days.”

A week ago. This president, is there anybody worse? If there’s one thing the wingers know about this guy, it’s that he doesn’t know anything at all. The fiddle caucus has spoken.

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Please tell me why it’s a scandal

There was Benghazi. Also something happened to/with a reporter, and then the Tea Party groused about their IRS paperwork. Now we find out a Hawaiian guy has run off to Hong Kong after telling Americans something they already knew. In a London daily. Okay.

All these are scandals apparently. But aren’t scandals supposed to have something to them? Aren’t they supposed to make me angry? Isn’t there supposed to be a reason for that? I’m not seeing many reasons.

Help me out, guys. What’s the nub of the controversy here? These outrages surely boil down to something. A point? An essence? The heart of a matter? Charles Krauthammer unravels the mystery:

“Horrible customer service.” That’s what the newly fired IRS commissioner averred was the agency’s only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment.

. . But when the maitre d’ screens patrons for their politics and only conservatives find flies paddle-wheeling through their consomme, the problem is not poor service. It is harassment and invidious discrimination.

Chuck can’t even scare up a compelling metaphor. If a restaurant in Jim Crow-era Alabama were dropping flies in the locals’ soup I’m not sure the DOJ’s Civil Rights lawyers would bother. ‘Asshole’ pretty rarely overlaps with ‘invidious,’ except when you’re hired to play professional victim a la Krauthammer.

Brit Hume listens to DNI Clapper’s weaselspeak, and he bristles:

This administration is in the habit of saying things we already know are not true. It’s a very peculiar way to proceed in dealing with a scandal like this.

There we go! A SCANDAL. Like this:

Look, I happen to think that the NSA program is valid and legitimate. And I don’t think anything that this leaker has said, who is being called a whistle-blower, which I doubt — but I don’t think anything he has said points us in the direction of any specific abuses of any kind. . . But I do not understand why the people in this administration can’t seem to shake hands with the truth.

It’s all perfectly fine, there’s nothing wrong. Until Brit watches the video — then it’s outrageous the way Clapper’s lying about the outrage. *Poof* suddenly there are two scandals. Schroedinger’s cat anybody? First there is a scandal, then there is no scandal, then there is.

Peggy Noonan takes a crack at it.

This Is No Ordinary Scandal

We are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate . .

No one’s been buying the earlybird ‘Watergate’ special. Not even Peggy herself. So she did the thing all over again. As for ‘No Ordinary Scandal,’ let me clarify . .

Why This Scandal Is Different

Sometimes when you’re writing part of a column you keep getting close to the meaning of what you want to say but you don’t quite get there, the full formulation of the idea eludes you. Then two days later, relaxing in conversation with friends, the thought comes to you whole, and you think: That’s what I meant to say. That’s what I was trying to get.

. . my friend got to the essence. He wrote, “The left likes to say, ‘Watergate was worse!’ Watergate was bad—don’t get me wrong. But it was elites using the machinery of government to spy on elites. . . . It’s something quite different when elites use the machinery of government against ordinary people. It’s a whole different ball game.”

It is.

That’s exactly what I meant.

The victimization of little people. That’s the scandal. Peggy thinks about them about the same time she cocks her head and gazes into the camera lens. Now that it’s clear a few dozen of the sainted averages were barely delayed in their attempts to acquire tax exemptions, Peggy couldn’t be more steadfast. If Bob Crane had suffered this way, a Stalag 13 sitcom wouldn’t have been nearly as funny.

Rush Limbaugh. You can count on Fatso to get right to the point:

The Question is Not Whether the Obama Regime Will Survive, But Will America as Founded Survive the Obama Regime?

. . Do I want somebody in charge of this kind of surveillance who doesn’t like this country as it’s founded? Do I want somebody collecting this kind of data on everybody who is in the middle of trying to transform this country into something the founders never intended it to be? On the other side of this is you would hope that our country and our intelligence agencies are able to determine planned attacks against this country and citizens against this country and uncover those in enough time to thwart them. In that sense, you want this kind of ability. And, by the way, the ability exists. This genie’s not gonna go back in the bottle.

The domestic snooping is necessary and it’s permanent. That narrows the problem a bit.

So in my mind, it does matter who’s in charge of it. It does matter. The political identity of the people who administer something like this matters incredibly. . . The government’s not just this thing sitting there that people run. There are certain kinds of people running it.

It’s a scandal that the President is a Democrat. Fair enough.

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It’s afraid. It’s afraid!

Note:

Empaths have the ability to scan another’s psyche for thoughts and feelings or for past, present, and future life occurrences. Many empaths are unaware of how this actually works, and have long accepted that they were sensitive to others.

Ann Althouse approaching. Must be prepared.

An empath can sense the truth behind the cover and will act compassionately to help that person express him/herself, thus making them feel at ease and not so desperately alone.

Okay:

The word “umbrella” appears exactly once in Obama’s “Dreams From My Father.”
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I’m searching the text, because I’ve been thinking, this morning, about the fascination with Obama’s interaction with the Marine and the umbrella, and that set me looking into umbrellas as a famously Freudian symbol . .

See the ‘interaction’ between The Traitor, The Marine and The Folly Brolly:

Patriot reaction:

Marine: (To himself) “Don’t touch my uniform, you New Guinea c*cks*cker.”

You get why Ann wanted to mind-meld with “Obama’s interaction with the Marine and the umbrella.” Why, if you crane your cerebellum’s neck you can juuust catch a Freudian glance at IT’S AN UMBRELLA YOU HOUSECAT. No gosh no. It’s not once Althouse and her emoticlysms engage. Can’t you see, Timmy? The rain is irony, the President a castaway, and the umbrella is a hollow stump tucked inside the basement wardrobe where a shimmering portal to an unseen world of well I was just thinking about it . .

. . Obama, in Africa, falls to the ground between the graves of his father and his grandfather and cries.

“. . A light rain began to fall, the drops tapping on the leaves above. I was about to light a cigarette when I felt a hand on my arm. I turned to find Bernard squatting beside me, trying to fit the two of us under a bent-up old umbrella.

‘They wanted me to see if you were okay,’ he said.”

. . beedle-oo beedle-oo beedle-oo . .

Flash forward, and he’s President. He is in the Rose Garden. It starts to rain. No man suddenly appears with an umbrella. He is getting wet and he is President — with plenty of airplanes and rifles and all of the world’s greatest military at hand — but he is still getting wet.

Blink. Blunk.

He has to order the Marine to shelter him. It isn’t Bernard squatting with a bent-up old umbrella. It’s a Marine in full-dress uniform, with a fine unbent umbrella, which is nevertheless not correct under the official — male, rigid — Marine Corps regulations. Where are the words of encouragement, the embraces, the strong, true love?

. . ?

Now, here is the whole world gathered around him. Was there ever anything more unlike the time when he was alone between 2 graves? And yet, back then, the moment a light rain began to fall, his brother was there, sent by others who loved to see if he was okay.

Blonk. Blink.

And here he is, the center of the whole world’s attention, and he had to call for the umbrella. He is not okay.

He is not okay. Miraculous. We should have expected this after a United Federation of Planets mission crashed on Betazed.

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Not quite Steven Hawking

Right-wingers have a strange relationship with science. They don’t do it, they don’t like it, and they don’t understand it in the least. But they employ it frequently in arguments as a trump card. Like: Studies show that guns prevent violent crime, you idiots. But of course it turns out that’s not what the studies show. And that the best research, if it’s even applicable, really supports a different view, usually the opposite one. That’s when science turns into a corrupt endeavor practiced by weasels who are in it for the money. Or for the fame. Or for any one of those other gaudy lures that a rigorous discipline is always fraught with. Also, scientists are stupid.

Myer2 wrote: Why is algebra such a problem? Most of you feel science is a leftwing plot (evolution and global warming)-

Dear Comrade No. 2:

Science is not, in and of itself, a leftwing plot. For that to be true scientists would have to be cool people, not the mathematically-gifted, socially awkward wallflowers who never really had friends- or dates- in high school.

It’s our old friend. John “gay goatee” Ransom.

Elbert Einstein was the greatest theoretical physicist ever. He had rather childish views about money, economics and politics however.

Elbert was it? What an intelligent critique. As you can see, John is a know-it-all. He reads our e-mails, he shits himself with laughter, then he writes an unintentionally funny column. After pruning his goatee with sheep shears, he thumbs through his indexed copy of The Humor of Milton Friedman for inspiration. It’s a good life.

The cool kids in politics- the people smarmy enough to get elected- use science and scientists to make the scientists feel cool and important. And then they get them to opt-in to their plan to “save the world” . .

Let’s face it; science is just a creative accounting gig.

Pretend to be a scientist’s friend and he’ll tell you whatever you want to hear. What a bunch of dorks, especially when compared to the koolster likes of the “Finance Editor for Townhall Finance”. A man like that’s a freakin’ fact-juggling Fonzie.

Inflation: It’s Back
John Ransom | February 18, 2011

Data from China, the UK and the World Bank weighed in on Tuesday, revealing the key dangers the US economy faces from the economic and social policies of the Obama administration’s loose money program. The news makes the plainest case for budget cuts and increased deficit reduction favored by some members of Congress.

Inflation, once relegated to the historical trivia of the late 1970s and early 1980s, is back.

Inflation is back. Back to where it started, near zero. Top notch analysis there.

Ignore the Rally
John Ransom | February 28, 2011

Ignore the rally.

Now is the time to filter out the background noise that comes with market rallies and concentrate on individual equities.

Don’t trust the market! I checked this: The Dow Jones at the end of February 2011 sat at 12,226. And Friday it closed at 14,712. So you can see why the Fiscal CFOs from the Finance Division of Townhall Finance appointed him “Finance Editor.” He may not be Elbert Einstein smart, but hey who is? Wait don’t tell me – Elbert Einstein?

But that’s only part of it. Scientists also let leftwingers off the hook for denying many proven scientific theories.

For example, leftwingers deny the link between breast cancer and abortions, the pill and cancer, although the science is clear.

Hello, friends, and welcome to the American Cancer Society Hour!

Another large, prospective study was reported on by Harvard researchers in 2007. This study included more than 100,000 women who were between the ages of 29 and 46 at the start of the study in 1993. These women were followed until 2003 . .

After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, the researchers found no link between either spontaneous or induced abortions and breast cancer.

The California Teachers Study also reported on more than 100,000 women in 2008. Researchers asked the women in 1995 about past induced and spontaneous abortions. While the women were being followed in the study, more than 3,300 developed invasive breast cancer. There was no difference in breast cancer risk between the group who had either spontaneous or induced abortions and those who had not had an abortion.

Ding dong, who’s that at the door? It’s the National Cancer Institute.

A number of studies suggest that current use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) appears to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. However, the risk level goes back to normal 10 years or more after discontinuing oral contraceptive use.

Women who use oral contraceptives have reduced risks of ovarian and endometrial cancer. This protective effect increases with the length of time oral contraceptives are used.

So that would be yes, the science is clear. What isn’t clear is why someone like John spends any time calling other people stupid. John appears to be a fine example of what he so publicly detests.

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Hundred percent willing, fractionally able

New York Times.

WASHINGTON — As North Korea hints at new military provocations in the coming days, the United States and South Korea have drawn up plans to respond more forcefully than in the recent past, but in a limited way intended to prevent an escalation to broader war.

Thomas Sowell in the National Review.

Yet there on the front page of the April 8 New York Times was a story about how unnamed “American officials” were planning a “proportional” response to any North Korean attack. This was spelled in an example: If the North Koreans “shell a South Korean island that had military installations” then the South Koreans would retaliate with “a barrage of artillery of similar intensity.”

Well that’s just crazy.

Back before the clever new notion of “proportional” response became the vogue, our response to Pearl Harbor was ultimately Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Japan has not attacked or even threatened anybody since then. Nor has any war broken out anywhere that is at all comparable with World War II.

All the Japanese did was sneak-attack one of our islands. And what did we do? Retaliate with nuclear weapons. Now they’re our friends. The lesson there: ‘Don’t fool around with your enemies when you can crush them.’ Also, now would be a perfect time to start making friends with the North Koreans wink.

Which policy is better? There was a time when we followed the ancient adage “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The track record of massive retaliation easily beats that of the more sophisticated-sounding proportional response.

This is quite odd, I must say. I know virtually nothing of war theory, but I must have heard about “Just War” 25 years ago. There, the “proportional response” idea plays a central role, both in the cause for war and in its proper dispensation (if such a thing is possible). I much later came to know it was something Augustine discussed around 400 A.D. Wikipedia says its roots can be traced back a thousand years before that.

These are fundamentals of Western warring traditions. I can’t imagine any decent West Point education that doesn’t discuss at some length Just War Theory and proportional response. So what’s the point of Sowell’s rant? Is he laughably ignorant? Or is he merely in the mood for an all-out conflagration?

North Korea is a mandatory conscription state. Its government spends between one-quarter and one-third of its budget on the military. Accounting for the home guard, there are something like 9 million North Koreans ready and willing to go to battle on any given day. Would Sowell like to become aware of any of this? Or would he prefer to fight fire with fire, vis a vis the enemy’s well known sophistication?

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Taranto and the fay virus that consumed humanity

James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal, he thinks gay marriage is a threat. No not to other marriages, c’mon, nobody is saying that (all his friends say it). To the institution of marriage. A. Barton Hinkle doubts:

Is there some ontologically separate entity called Marriage that exists independent of all the marriages of all the couples in the world? There would have to be, according to the institution-of-marriage argument. But that makes no sense. After all, you would not say a virus “threatens humanity” if, in fact, no individual human person was ever harmed by the virus.

Oh No. Now Taranto will have to break out his blog hammer. How about it? He invents and infects the world with a ‘Hinkle Virus.’ This is a bug that doesn’t actually harm anybody, but it makes your future children homosexuals.

We have established as a condition of the experiment–and we trust that in the real world Hinkle agrees–that it is not harmful to a woman to give birth to a homosexual child, nor is it harmful to a child to be born homosexual. And since the virus affects the sexual orientation only of the yet-unborn, it should not disrupt any existing heterosexual relationship.

Yet it should be obvious that the Hinkle virus would threaten humanity by dramatically reducing the incentive to reproduce. Presumably it should be obvious that the Hinkle virus would threaten humanity by dramatically reducing the incentive to reproduce. Presumably the next generation would stave off complete extinction by means of artificial insemination, but it’s preposterous to think that fertility in an all-homosexual society would come anywhere near the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman . .

Progeny down, homosexuality a threat to mankind. That’s that. I think a better blogger might have finally defined ‘humanity’ at this point — Taranto has been using it on the one hand for ‘human characteristics’ and on the second for ‘future existence.’ That would have started an even bigger controversy, I imagine, granting his conservative take, but at least he might have ridden out the traffic bump with a ‘harumph.’ Instead, Taranto claims victory.

The foregoing is not an argument against same-sex marriage but rather a defense of a form of argument that Hinkle makes an embarrassing philosophical error in categorically rejecting.

Um, take that(?).

. . Hinkle’s reduction of human institutions and societies–and of humanity itself–to merely the sum of their individual members is a reductio ad absurdum of individualism into a kind of philosophical narcissism.

Ah! And that.

Hinkle’s cognitive error–an inordinate focus on the individual and refusal to consider systemic effects–is quite common on the left and the libertarian right.

And that. But be wary, friends. While Taranto makes with the war whoops, I can assure you that Hinkle is very much alive. Roy Edroso:

Taranto could as well have said “any children they conceive after infection will be born male” — nothing wrong with being male, right? — or “any children they conceive after infection will be born female” — nothing wrong with being female, right? Which in the long run would have an even more dramatic effect on reproduction, if not on the “incentive to reproduce.” We could use this, I suppose, as proof that masculinity presents a threat to mankind without blah blah. Or femininity!

Gender, the ultimate individualism. Taranto’s thought-experiment aimed to affirm his appreciation for ‘humanity,’ but it proved he was interested in much less: ‘fertility.’ You reduce the species to a single characteristic, you run the risk of going philosophically extinct. There may be two archetypes, man and woman, but neither one can stand for humanity as a whole. It’s fair to say the same for homosexuals. You listen to business majors argue biology, and this is what you get.

Believe it or don’t, there’s more. Remember Taranto’s chest thumping over the presumption of Hinkle?

. . Hinkle’s reduction of human institutions and societies–and of humanity itself–to merely the sum of their individual members is a reductio ad absurdum . .

Lo that ‘humanity’ would be the sum of all human beings! How frustrating it is to argue with children. Taranto dismantled this blunder by what method? By changing, biologically and behaviorally, all human beings. So he’s not much for logic either.

I admit, this is a splendid comedy. But what does Taranto’s act tell us, if anything? It says that our biology informs and inflects our humanity, but it does not define it. And that, like most other conservatives, marriage (remember that?) is the last thing he’s interested in.

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