Tag Archives: james taranto

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.


G.I. Jane driving them all crazy (the bad way)

Women stepping into combat roles. Who knew the right wing would freak out this way? This is, well, women already do that. Been doing ‘war’ for a while thanks. But until now I don’t suppose conservatives had the chance to complain about it properly. They could really use some time to work the whole thing through in their heads:

Regarding sex, what’s going to happen if a leader appears to show preferential treatment to his lover? What if he has to pick a few soldiers for a dangerous mission – will his lover be included? What happens to morale and cohesion if some soldiers are receiving love and sex on a regular basis and some are left out? What if some soldiers are extremely jealous or show stalking tendencies? What happens if soldiers are willing to literally fight for their love interest?

That last bit works for me. But, generally, if you’re furloughing soldiers two-at-a-time for honeymoons you’re not doing combat readiness any favors.

James Taranto at Wall Street Journal gets a note from a Marine Corps veteran about this. It’s such a leveler he reprints it for his column.

As a Marine Corps veteran of three combat tours, the first as a rifle platoon commander during the Vietnam War, my concern is what this policy will contribute to further breaking down the already-troubled relationships of men and women in our society.

That’s a new one. After seeing front line action, women aren’t going to like men any more. Have I got that right?

My concerns:

What kind of a man is it who can send women off to kill and maim? What kind of society does that?

What kind of society does that to anybody? A sick one. But as long as women don’t have to do it, they won’t complain. And that way we just keep on keepin’ on, which is nice.

What kind of society bemoaning that men don’t seem to respect women can’t see that part of the respect they demand is predicated on the specialness of the other?

Better to have the specials sitting at home fretting if their boyfriends and fathers are still alive and breathing. Wondering if they have the use of their arms and legs. That’s better for everybody.

Perhaps it is possible in a firefight to distinguish between how one treats women and men, but I doubt that I could do it. And if I am trained to treat men and women the same throughout my career, can this have no significant effect on how I treat women otherwise?

Like when some random guy at the hardware store tells this guy to shoot someone, he does it. Men are officers, remember? Countries have for the most part sorted this problem out I think, with the uniforms and such. Taranto then throws in his civilian pennies:

One way of defining feminism is as the pursuit of the mutually irreconcilable goals of sexual equality and sensitive treatment of women.

Let’s take it for granted James means “gender equality.” Sexual equality is too mind boggling an idea to consider. Can you imagine the numbers of male prostitutes society would have to provide? Not sure how that “Plushy” thing would work, either.

You’d think that contradiction would be a weakness, but it’s actually a strength: Every advance for equality creates a demand for more measures to promote sensitivity, and vice versa.

And to wit: Every demand for more measures to promote sensitivity would create an advance for equality. Have I got that right? Or is that meaningless?

Feminism’s failures perpetuate feminism, at the expense of other goals such as defending the country.

As I mentioned before, the Israeli Defense Forces had women in combat roles from the beginning. They haven’t lost any wars yet.

I think the nuts are getting panicky because the portrait of the American Warrior comes tightly bound with the notion of Ultimate Authority. That’s no place for women, or so they thought. It’s already bad enough that so few of them obey The Bible.


Gay people have had it a lot harder than that

What’s the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto up to? Op-eds that suck. Yes, but? On?

The President’s gayness. Now that he’s mentioned same-sex couples should have the right to marry, Barack is one cakey George Washington. He’s the pink black president, did you know?

[Rand] Paul, Kentucky’s junior senator, “joked about President Obama’s changed postion [sic] on gay marriage in a speech in Iowa Friday: ‘Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer,’ ” BuzzFeed.com reports. Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek, dubbed Obama THE FIRST GAY PRESIDENT on the magazine’s cover . .

And the New Yorker put a rainbow White House on its cover, great. Can we stop this, please? It is difficult to be homosexual. Let’s not throw the word ‘gay’ around like it meant ‘surprising’ or ‘having a new haircut.’ He’s shown some courage now, and that’s to be applauded, but Barack’s hardly shown gay courage. It’s political courage, that’s all.

People get a thrill out of appropriating things foreign and strange to them, like the wiggers I used to see in the 90s. The media are calling Obama ‘gay’ in the same way Clinton was called ‘black’ during his time. I thought that was stupid, too, but here’s the difference: black folks said it first. Fair enough.

Newsweek and the New Yorker? That’s too much, thank you. Back into your computer cubicles, culture whores. More Taranto, ugh:

Paul’s joke was widely condemned, with the lefties at ThinkProgress.org crowing that “even Tony Perkins” of the conservative Family Research Foundation found it “unacceptable.” Of course although Paul and [Tina] Brown made essentially the same joke, the tone was different. Paul’s joke was mocking, perhaps even mean-spirited, while Brown’s (promoting an exultant piece by Andrew Sullivan) was a sympathetic in-joke.

There’s the wind-up, here’s the predictable pitch:

Yet if you think about the substance of the joke rather than the tone, Brown’s version was worse, or at least was representative of something worse. Paul, it seems safe to say, was expressing the views of the majority of his constituents, nearly 75% of whom voted in favor of a 2004 constitutional amendment . .

Rand Paul, Ayn’s frat-boy with the I.Q. to match, decided to throw aside his insulting personality in favor of speaking as an agent of the state of Kentucky. I see. Seeing as how the “Iowa’s Faith and Freedom Coalition” were really begging him to talk about his home state, that’s perfectly understandable. Of course, if anyone should call Obama a butt-boy, it might just bring down the house. Worlds collide.

You can bet Rand’s the sort of guy who stifles the urge to spit in the faces of gays. In a previous life, and still a drunken teen, he’d infiltrate the queer bars on the outskirts of town and lure the fays outside so he and his buddies could beat them half to death. That’s not politics, that’s disgust. And only gay people have to live with being gay.


The Wall Street Journal roots for horny boys

There is an upside to narcissism. No matter what other people do, you are reminded of your greatness. Lucky you.

Someone invents the Segway, you thought of it years ago. Someone memorizes pi, you just did mom’s taxes. Somebody ran a marathon, you were in the office. All weekend. Challenge is a vestige of childhood.

It’s a cushy gig. The rest of the world busts out in manifold directions, the center of gravity, you, stays still. Greatness never sweats.

James Taranto, writer of Wall Street Journal editorials, is a great guy. He writes about America’s lameness. When a Massachusetts sociology professor describes her research in the New York Times, it’s lame. When she talks about sex, it’s lame. When 15 year old boys don’t want to get girls pregnant, it’s lame.

An odd recent New York Times op-ed by sociologist Amy Schalet touts the rise of, as the headline puts it, “Caring, Romantic American Boys.” Schalet, who studied American high school sophomores (along with Dutch ones) for a forthcoming book, reports that “boys [are] behaving more ‘like girls’ in terms of when they lose their virginity,” by which she means they “are becoming more careful and more romantic about their first sexual experiences.”


Maybe her book will flesh out that claim, but in her op-ed the boys sound downright terrified: “American boys often said sex could end their life as they knew it. After a condom broke, one worried: ‘I could be screwed for the rest of my life.’ Another boy said he did not want to have sex yet for fear of becoming a father before his time.”

If “I could be screwed for the rest of my life” is what passes for a romantic sentiment at the New York Times, the editors’ Valentine’s Day cards must be a laugh riot.

Nothing’s as erotic as caring for children. Harlequin Romance built an industry on the language of changing diapers. The Romeo and Juliet fable tickled orgasm as they argued over how to beat autism. Toddlers get fussy, nipples get sucked, and the silk sheets get plenty sweaty.

. . she offers this further point of comparison: “The 2002 National Survey of Family Growth found that more than one-third of teenage boys, but only one-quarter of teenage girls, cited wanting to avoid pregnancy or disease as the main reason they had not yet had sex.”

Given that nature imposes the physical burden of pregnancy on the female of the species, that sounds counterintuitive. And it’s possible that some of the boys in the survey, mindful of what Schalet quotes another sociologist as calling “the stigma of virginity,” are rationalizing away their lack of success with girls by chalking it up to prudence.

This is a WSJ hack pooh-poohing a sociology professor: “Since when do boys care about getting chicks pregnant?” I suppose if that were no longer true, it would be news. James once slagged a survivor of Vietnam, triple-amputee Max Cleland, for being a war critic because he had PTSD. What a loser, huh? Tough guys protect their territory. American boys wanna fuck, dude.


The Wall Street Journal Suzie Komen Tickle Tantrum

As far as right-wing opinon-ers go, Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto is not the worst. He’s as overboard as anyone else is, but at least his stuff is written in a manner that’s easy on the brain. And he’s occasionally funny. So if you’re stuck, like me, reading these people, you know he’s not going to give you a headache.

Until today, when he weighed in on the Komen fiasco. This is pathetic:

Big Sister Is Watching You
Totalitarian feminism and the smearing of Susan G. Komen.
By James Taranto | Opinion | February 3 2012

Look at how we’ve imprisoned and tortured the poor Komen Foundation.

In breaking ties with Planned Parenthood, Komen made the same mistake: It failed to understand it was dealing with intolerant fanatics. Planned Parenthood’s attitude toward abortion opponents is not unlike that of Egyptian officials in the old regime toward Israelis.

When we’re not scouring the Sinai looking for pro-lifers to shoot, we’re putting the electrodes to anyone who’s circumcised. I’ve read enough: It’s time to pull the head off of James Taranto. Per usual, we’ll make him miserable first, perhaps by reading aloud editorials where he reminded us we’re given to hysteria.

The episode is reminiscent of George Orwell far more than Joe McCarthy. Komen’s actual aim was to extricate itself from the divisive national battle over abortion by severing its connection with a leading combatant.

There’s Planned Parenthood again, all hot-faced and fist-swinging in the national debate. I think Taranto actually believes this. I want a pound of whatever he’s smoking.

Yes, Planned Parenthood does abortions as a small part of its being the “nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider.” No, it’s not a screaming partisan hack. Nor a keyboard-banging partisan hack writer. It just provides health services. Because 3% of this is abortion, James thinks that qualifies them as the hippie’s bug-eyed Bachmann. Grow a brain, pal.

And employing George Orwell for this? Photograph and all? Yes, isn’t liberal America a totalitarian government? Put your head in my cage of rats, Jim. You are the dead, buddy.

Totalitarianism politicizes everything, so that neutrality is betrayal–in this case, neutrality on abortion is portrayed as opposition to “women’s health.” As we wrote last year, this is also why purportedly pro-choice feminists can hate Sarah Palin and her daughter for choosing not to abort their children.

Oh, this sounds entirely plausible. Given the tenor of the piece so far, you wouldn’t expect James to back up his hallucinations with facts. But there is a link. So you click it, expecting to see the welcome page of “The Feminist Majority For Feeding Christians To The Abortion Machine”, but instead you get an opinion piece. Of his. Wherein, this:

Recently we were at a party where a woman in her 60s, a self-described feminist, called Palin a “moron” for having encouraged her daughter to carry her child to term and “to marry the sperm donor.”

Wow. Gaze upon the official gathering of America’s feminists. At some party.

Even apart from the gross language, this was a completely irrational thing to say.

Say what? How could that be? It’s the official political position of leftist women! Here they come, Jimmy. Pap Smear! Oogie Boogie!

JUST IN: Karen Handel, enemy of Planned Parenthood and political strategist behind the de-funding/bureaucratic purge, has resigned. Good riddance.


Big boy journalism

There are the actors, over there, the audience. Here come the media, the go-betweens. Someone has to convey the, uh, hmm. Some group has to tell you, ehh, err. Okay — here come the useless, self-important assholes of the world:

At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.

Great journalism, sober and accurate. While he writhed on a bed of fur-lined German bonds, President Bon Bon struck an ominous tone with the Democrat Dauphins:

“Back to wiping your own butts?”

Hell no. Bring back Day Spa America. 4 more years of neck rubs and personal attendants. This circular war footing / economic downturn creates nothing if not a blissed whirlpool of languor. Bankers foreclosing on your house? Whatever. You and 172 people interviewing for the one job opening in past 6 months? I’m tired. Your son’s remains being interred in Arlington? He’s not going anywhere.

Yes, simple times call for simple narratives. You’d be surprised to find out this “news” story didn’t originate with the New York Post. Nor from Fox News Channel, either. This was ABC News style journalism, aka your liberal media. Not that anyone noticed.

Sitter in Chief
Barack Obama and the infantilization of America
James Taranto | Wall Street Journal

. . Here’s ABC News, reporting on the speech the president gave in Fog City: “At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.”

Oh no! Horror of horrors! Obama is the only thing standing between us and having to rely on ourselves! And do you know what they call people who rely on themselves?


Here’s a photo of you the WSJ appended to Taranto’s piece:

Much for the worse we’d be without professional, big league journalism.


‘Occupy’ continues to grate on the Wall Street Journal

Powerful folks push back. That’s what they do, always, and today’s no different. The moneyed, well-heeled and well-connected mount larger and larger attacks against Occupy Wall Street because the movement is spreading.

In “Capitalist Tool,” Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto takes his stab at discrediting the stupid hippies. Well, just one hippie: DKos blogger and protestor Jesse LaGreca, who appeared as a somewhat-representative of Occupy on “This Week With Christiane Amanpour.” Familiar themes abound throughout Taranto’s bleating.

1.) Jesse’s a liar.

Whether or not LaGreca is working-class at all, his assertion that that gives him singular status on Sunday news shows is plainly bunk. He appeared along with a panel consisting of Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, Peggy Noonan and George Will. (In case you missed it, ABCNews.com has the video.) Noonan, with whom we work, tells us that she and two of the other three panelists had what would be considered working-class upbringings. (The exception is Will, son of an epistemologist.)

I could have paid Taranto to be so Wall-Street-Journal oblivious. Or maybe so East-Coast-what’s-your-family-name fatuous. James: Brazile, Dowd, and Noonan haven’t been working class for a long, long time. Maybe decades. They haven’t felt the crushing weight of the collapse of our economic infrastructure. They don’t really know anything about it.

Yes, that very much matters. People in pain do complain, it shouldn’t surprise you. Credit a Wall Street/Manhattan “Tool” to assume the Reagan-fondler, the comically comfortable Dolphins! Noonan, is a coal worker at heart because her dad wasn’t a Rockefeller. Why hasn’t Peggy thrown away her shovel and joined the riots? The fact that LaGreca bothers to go out there day after day tells you plenty, or it should.

2.) Jesse is lazy.

LaGreca’s response: “. . I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. But I will encourage you to be a voter. I think we have succeeded tremendously in pushing the narrative.”

And we all know what backbreaking work it is to push narratives! In the bad old days before trade unions and labor regulations, children would earn just pennies as they toiled for 14 or 16 hours a day, shoving heavy narratives through dirty, dangerous vignette-shops.

Before years of protesting, the winning of health and safety regulations and the right to form labor unions, children did break their backs, or die, at work. But protesting is still inherently lazy, right? Taranto’s beneath contempt here.

3.) Jesse is a failure.

. . there is some truth to his statement that “we have succeeded tremendously in pushing the narrative.” But the truth of it makes his posturing all the more ridiculous.

“Occupy Wall Street” began as a left-wing protest, something about as exceptional as a pigeon in New York. It didn’t become a “narrative” until the narrators made it into one. Who are those narrators? They work for companies like Disney, CBS Corp., Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co. (co-owners of NBC), Time Warner, News Corp. (our employer), the New York Times Co., the Washington Post Co., the Tribune Co., Thomson Reuters Corp. and Bloomberg LP.

It’s the mega-corporations who are running protests. They’re the ones driving this thing. Rupert Murdoch is the puppet master here, and the protesters merely do his will.

This is beyond dumb — this is just poor propaganda. Taranto’s merely being a company-man, nothing more, albeit an incompetent one. For a Murdoch employee to pin this on Murdoch in Murdoch’s big business Journal amounts to farce. As if we don’t know nuthin’? It’s almost as if we’re being manipulated by dumb and greedy interests.

Behold Jesse LaGreca, who boasts of his working-class street cred while speaking the elitist jargon of the professor-cum-president’s failing administration. And he does so on ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co. He’s an Audio-Animatronic revolutionary.

Someone could use a face-slapping.


WSJ’s James Taranto: fanboy of the square down-low

Caught this Weiner commentary on the Wall Street Journal’s online Opinion section. This comes from ‘witty’ James Taranto’s column.

It’s good to keep things simple, isn’t it? Let’s not complicate complicated things.

Can Heterosexuality Be Cured?
“Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment.”
James Taranto | June 13 2011

Unlike homosexuality, heterosexuality is amenable to therapeutic remedies–or so Anthony Weiner and his fellow House Democrats would like us to believe. “Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,” Weiner flack Risa Heller told the New York Times Saturday.

That’s the opening, and the closing. I’m surprised to see Taranto’s words before us while his tongue’s glued to his cheek. Let’s agree: it’s his hidden charm.

If you can’t ‘cure’ homosexuality, how can you ‘cure’ heterosexuality? My. Game over, fans. Drive safely, see you at Tuesday night softball.

Of course, the ‘cure’ for homosexuality, they believe, is its death. Credit to Taranto for re-spotlighting the Conservative appreciation for health and care. Meanwhile, the ‘cure’ for heterosexuality is what?

But the idea that Weiner has a medical problem is ludicrous. Indisputably, his behavior was sleazy and foolish. It turned out to be self-destructive too, but only because it was publicly exposed. Had he been more technically savvy, it’s quite possible that he could have covered his tracks and never put his career in jeopardy.

The cure is stealth. I see: Weiner’s fine. This sort of behavior is typical, straight-person stuff. For example: Sen. David Vitter and his chronically dressing up in diapers and nailing hookers (and I imagine I’m charitable with ‘nailing’). Though these behaviors destroy lives, make people miserable, they’re normal. We are the people who crawl under rocks so that we may mate. This is vigorous, red-blooded Americanism — huzzah, Weiner!

To explain what motivated his actions, it is sufficient to observe that he seems to have a healthy male libido–indeed, perhaps a bit too healthy.

Yes, too healthy. Like Rush Limbaugh’s physique demonstrates his healthy appetite for food. Newt Gingrich maintains a healthy appetite for divorce. George W. Bush’s healthy appetite for the slaughter of women and children was legendary. Ravenous.