Sunday, October 22, 2017
DAY ONE: BASE CAMP, IOWA CITYMission: bring back Von Drehle.The words echo in my mind as I peer out the frost-framed window of 'Pretense,' a moderately priced new-American bistro on the edge of campus. My eyes follow clusters of students, shoulders hunched against the cold, criss-crossing the snowy Pentacrest like the exasperating strokes of a de Koonig canvas.We all have a mission, I thought. For those faceless students: diversity seminars, Nam Jun Paik film retrospectives at the Union, maybe Dollar Pitcher Nite at the Airliner. For me: Von Drehle.It - or rather, he - is the mission that has brought me to this dismal and lonely outpost on the edge of reason. Tomorrow I will make the dangerous trek north on Dubuque Street to Exit 242, merge into the river of semi-trailers on Interstate 80, and head west into the great red unknown between here and Boulder.
Andrew Klavan: "Trump's a Big Mouth; Journalists are Villains"
Read more »As Trump-loving readers of this blog have frequently complained, I am not always a fan of Donald Trump's personal style. I don't like bullies and I prefer a president who thinks before he opens his mouth. I do, on the other hand, very much like many of the things Trump has accomplished: the great judicial nominations, the taming of the regulatory state, the restoration of the rule of law at the border, leaving the silly Paris accord, the annihilation of ISIS, the attempts to hurry the implosion of Obamacare by suspending utterly illegal payments to insurance companies, calling out the NFL on its lack of patriotism, and calling out the media on a leftward bias that now amounts to simple malfeasance and corruption. That's an awful lot of good stuff, and it surely makes up for the big mouthery.
Labels: Intellectual Froglegs
SPIEGEL: Mr. Kurz, you're 31 years old and poised to become the new Austrian chancellor. Do you sometimes spook yourself?Kurz: Not in the least. I am aware of the responsibility I am taking on. Things have developed very quickly for me in recent years, but they didn't happen from one day to the next. I have more than six years of experience in government. I took the decision to run as a candidate very seriously. In May, I decided to change the Austrian People's Party and to start a broad-based movement aimed at changing this country for the better.SPIEGEL: Can you understand that some people are a little spooked to see such a young man in charge of a country?Kurz: If that's how the Austrian public thought, they wouldn't have voted for me. Austrians have had a while to get a sense of who I am. Other candidates have been on the political stage for a much briefer period than I. Voters probably were much less familiar with some of the candidates in the German elections, who were previously in Brussels.SPIEGEL: Do you sometimes wish you had more life experience to bring to your new office?Kurz: We are who we are. You can't become 30 years older just like that. People who are older have the advantage of more experience. But you don't have to despair just because you're young. If young age is the problem, you can take comfort in the fact that it gets better with each passing day.SPIEGEL: Your appearance has constantly been written about and commented on. Does that annoy you?Kurz: I can't say I've noticed it. During the election campaign the focus was on lots of other things, on issues, on campaigning style, on "dirty campaigning" and methods we don't want here in Austria. The way the candidates looked really wasn't a focus.
Read the whole thing.
Feminist meet Muslim
NPR head doesn’t get it even after spending a year going into “Darkest America.”
The former head of NPR, Ken Stern, decided to imitate European explorers who trekked into darkest Africa to discover how the natives lived. For the head of NPR, Middle America is unexplored territory. He decided to attend their native festivals, observed their native religious ceremonies, ate their native food. He even went on a native hunt.
I decided to venture out from my overwhelmingly Democratic neighborhood and engage Republicans where they live, work and pray. For an entire year, I embedded myself with the other side, standing in pit row at a NASCAR race, hanging out at Tea Party meetings and sitting in on Steve Bannon’s radio show.
He was surprised to find out that the natives were not all headhunting cannibals.
I found an America far different from the one depicted in the press and imagined by presidents (“cling to guns or religion”) and presidential candidates (“basket of deplorables”) alike.
Attending the natives quaint religious ceremonies he didn’t understand the theological imperatives that brought them together, but he was shocked to discover that hate was not the guiding impulse.
I spent many Sundays in evangelical churches and hung out with 15,000 evangelical youth at the Urbana conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect among thousands of college-age evangelicals, but I certainly didn’t expect the intense discussion of racial equity and refugee issues — how to help them, not how to keep them out — but that is what I got.
He was surprised to find out that the native spear carriers were not mindless killing machines.
None of my new hunting partners fit the lazy caricature of the angry NRA member.
He even found that the natives were upset because the ruling class ignored their needs.
I also spent time in depressed areas of Kentucky and Ohio with workers who felt that their concerns had long fallen on deaf ears and were looking for every opportunity to protest a government and political and media establishment that had left them behind.
Of course, while the natives issues have been ignored (or ridiculed), the ruling class means well. The people who are currently leading them are terrible people, they’re agitating for change, they’re inappropriate who don’t use the right knives and forks. And it’s having an unfortunate effect: the rulers are losing the respect which are rightly theirs.
Some may take pleasure in the discomfort of the media, but it is not a good situation for the country to have the media in disrepute and under constant attack. Virtually every significant leader of this nation, from Jefferson on down, has recognized the critical role of an independent press to the orderly functioning of democracy. We should all be worried that more than 65 percent of voters think there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media and that our major media institutions are seen as creating, not combatting, our growing partisan divide.Some of this loss of reputation stems from effective demagoguery from the right and the left, as well as from our demagogue-in-chief, but the attacks wouldn’t be so successful if our media institutions hadn’t failed us as well.None of this justifies the attacks from President Trump, which are terribly inappropriate coming from the head of government.
Stern believes that the media needs to focus more on the benighted natives, yelling at them in in their own curious language, dominating their discussions, telling them the “right-think” in their tribal events, their religious ceremonies, their governing councils.
You can’t cover America from the Acela corridor, and the media need to get out and be part of the conversations that take place in churches and community centers and town halls.
Whoops. The Liberal Culture has gone a little too far driving the rest of us away from the things that interest the inhabitants of the Acela corridor. Having taken over total control of Hollywood, music, the arts, the press, academia and the courts they are absolutely gob smacked to find out that they no longer have the respect - or the attention - of the natives.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
The latest chapter in how the Obama Administration sold out this U.S. ... to the Russians.
Read more »Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads — the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.The Facebook-ad buy, which started in June 2015 — before Donald Trump entered the race — was more left-wing agitprop (ads pushing hysteria on racism, immigration, guns, etc.) than electioneering. The Clintons’ own long-time political strategist Mark Penn estimates that just $6,500 went to actual electioneering. (You read that right: 65 hundred dollars.) By contrast, the staggering $500,000 payday from a Kremlin-tied Russian bank for a single speech was part of a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton. At the time, Russia was plotting — successfully — to secure U.S. government approval for its acquisition of Uranium One, and with it, tens of billions of dollars in U.S. uranium reserves.Here’s the kicker: The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal.The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their “public service.” The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
This investigation began when Robert Mueller, now investigating the Trump campaign, was the head of the FBI. It was overseen by Rod Rosenstein, who is now Trump’s deputy attorney general and the man responsible for the appointment of a special counsel. It is easy to see how both Trump administration loyalists and uncommitted observers might find these associations suspicious, and why they might turn that now suspicious eye on the Trump-Russia probe.There is nothing in Tuesday’s bombshell revelation that challenges the validity of the questions being investigated by Robert Mueller’s office. Anyone who wants to undermine the legitimacy of that probe and attack the characters of its principal investigators, though, now has a trove of new ammunition at their disposal. This was entirely a result of the Obama administration’s reckless, ideological pursuit of rapprochement with Moscow and the Clinton family’s negligent rent-seeking. Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for looking the other way.Hillary Clinton and her dwindling cohort of image-makers are engaged in an increasingly desperate effort to save her from posterity’s reproach, but the water is rising up over their knees now. Theirs is a losing battle, and Democrats should resist the temptation to come to her defense. A transparent campaign of emotional manipulation in book form has managed to convince a handful of influential liberals that she is the real victim in all of this. That’s incorrect; they are the victims here. And the Clintons are their tormentors. It’s about time Democrats broke free.
All this occurred while Obama was president, and Holder was Attorney General.
Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews....They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
This was known early in the Obama administration, but Holder’s Department of Justice hushed up Russia’s crimes and hid the scandal.
Ironies abound: who supervised the Russia investigation? Rod Rosenstein. Who was the FBI director when the Russia probe began in 2009? Robert Mueller. Who was running the FBI when the case ended with a whimper and an apparent cover-up? James Comey. How any of these people can participate with a straight face in an investigation into President Trump’s purportedly nefarious (but, as far as we know, nonexistent) relationship with the Russian regime is beyond me.
This story belongs on the front pages of every newspaper in the country. But it won't be for the same reason that everyone in the press knew that Harvey Weistein was a pervert and a rapist. He was a Democrat and the role of the Press is to provide cover for Democrats.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Jenny North: Victory Girls
Some people thought that when we found out that it was a Green Beret who convinced Colin Kaepernick not to sit, but to kneel, during the National Anthem, we would all have a change of heart and expose ourselves as hypocrites. Sorry to disappoint you, but No. I don’t care who thought up this stunt, even if the originator is white. Even if he is a decorated war hero. It is a terrible, stupid, insulting protest, and at the very least is ineffective and counterproductive. At worst, it is wildly divisive and destructive to national unity....Nate Boyer, the Green Beret who thought kneeling was a nice compromise, has good intentions, but he is wrong. He is wrong about how we come together as a nation and he is wrong about the kind of damage this protest is causing. But he is right about a few things:Simply put, it seems like we just hate each other; and that is far more painful to me than any protest, or demonstration, or rally, or tweet. We’re told to pick a side, there’s a line drawn in the sand “are you with us or against us?” It’s just not who we are, or at least who we’re supposed to be; we’re supposed to be better than that, we’re Americans. This doesn’t even seem to be about right or wrong, but more about right or left.Did he just now notice how much hate there is? Does he think Colin Kaepernick and Donald Trump started this whole thing? He’s right, there is an enormous amount of hate being spewed, and it is almost entirely coming from the Left. The Right has been under assault for years, but maybe it didn’t register with anybody because Obama’s words sounded so pretty, and his pants’ crease was so mesmerizingly crisp. And it goes back further than Obama, but I’ll stop there.Even now, when the country is under assault through the undermining of our national identity, what has the Right done? Simply asked that people stand for the National Anthem. That’s it! But somehow that is an offense that is too prideful, too nationalistic, too patriotic, too populist, “My God, You’re a FASCIST!” Get it? See how that works. Do try to keep up.Today it feels like this national divide isn’t even really about the anthem, or the flag, or kneeling, or sitting, or fists in the air. It’s not about President Donald Trump, it’s not about Colin Kaepernick, it’s not about the military, or even police brutality.Exactly. Will someone finally admit that whatever message Kaepernick wanted to send, it has gone off the rails? Someone please admit that. It’s the first step in getting this country back on track. Pride runs both ways, and the ones responsible for the protest need to take responsibility for their contribution to this disaster. Don’t ask people to apologize for loving their country.It feels like it’s about winning. That’s what makes America so great, our sheer competitiveness. We’re winners, and we won’t quit until victory is ours.He’s right again, only he doesn’t understand the game the Left is playing. It is a game we cannot lose. Somehow people want to ignore Kaepernick’s own words when he talked about the protest, but let’s refresh our memories:“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”Commentators complain that the second part of the statement is the more important part—the part about police getting away with murder—but how do you ever get past the first part to get there? Here’s how: You have to admit that America is a racist, oppressive country. So, Full Stop. Hit the brakes. I get that people really believe this. Does he get that other people think this is the greatest country on Earth and there is nothing that will convince them otherwise, not least of all because it actually is the greatest country on Earth? (I didn’t say perfect, just the greatest.) Those are the people Kaepernick needs for his issue to progress. He chose to send a message of hate, disrespect, blame, and shame. The very predictable reaction to that message is rejection. All I ask of him is to not be surprised when that’s what comes back at him.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Italian public vs. elites on mass immigration
L. Neil Smith
Over the past 30 years, I’ve been paid to write almost two million words, every one of which, sooner or later, came back to the issue of guns and gun-ownership. Naturally, I’ve thought about the issue a lot, and it has always determined the way I vote.People accuse me of being a single-issue writer, a single- issue thinker, and a single- issue voter, but it isn’t true. What I’ve chosen, in a world where there’s never enough time and energy, is to focus on the one political issue which most clearly and unmistakably demonstrates what any politician—or political philosophy—is made of, right down to the creamy liquid center.Make no mistake: all politicians—even those ostensibly on the side of guns and gun ownership—hate the issue and anyone, like me, who insists on bringing it up. They hate it because it’s an X-ray machine. It’s a Vulcan mind-meld. It’s the ultimate test to which any politician—or political philosophy—can be put.If a politician isn’t perfectly comfortable with the idea of his average constituent, any man, woman, or responsible child, walking into a hardware store and paying cash—for any rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—without producing ID or signing one scrap of paper, he isn’t your friend no matter what he tells you.If he isn’t genuinely enthusiastic about his average constituent stuffing that weapon into a purse or pocket or tucking it under a coat and walking home without asking anybody’s permission, he’s a four-flusher, no matter what he claims.What his attitude—toward your ownership and use of weapons—conveys is his real attitude about you. And if he doesn’t trust you, then why in the name of John Moses Browning should you trust him?If he doesn’t want you to have the means of defending your life, do you want him in a position to control it?If he makes excuses about obeying a law he’s sworn to uphold and defend—the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights—do you want to entrust him with anything?If he ignores you, sneers at you, complains about you, or defames you, if he calls you names only he thinks are evil—like “Constitutionalist”—when you insist that he account for himself, hasn’t he betrayed his oath, isn’t he unfit to hold office, and doesn’t he really belong in jail?Sure, these are all leading questions. They’re the questions that led me to the issue of guns and gun ownership as the clearest and most unmistakable demonstration of what any given politician—or political philosophy—is really made of.He may lecture you about the dangerous weirdos out there who shouldn’t have a gun—but what does that have to do with you? Why in the name of John Moses Browning should you be made to suffer for the misdeeds of others? Didn’t you lay aside the infantile notion of group punishment when you left public school—or the military? Isn’t it an essentially European notion, anyway—Prussian, maybe—and certainly not what America was supposed to be all about?And if there are dangerous weirdos out there, does it make sense to deprive you of the means of protecting yourself from them? Forget about those other people, those dangerous weirdos, this is about you, and it has been, all along.Try it yourself: if a politician won’t trust you, why should you trust him? If he’s a man—and you’re not—what does his lack of trust tell you about his real attitude toward women? If “he” happens to be a woman, what makes her so perverse that she’s eager to render her fellow women helpless on the mean and seedy streets her policies helped create? Should you believe her when she says she wants to help you by imposing some infantile group health care program on you at the point of the kind of gun she doesn’t want you to have?On the other hand—or the other party—should you believe anything politicians say who claim they stand for freedom, but drag their feet and make excuses about repealing limits on your right to own and carry weapons? What does this tell you about their real motives for ignoring voters and ramming through one infantile group trade agreement after another with other countries?Makes voting simpler, doesn’t it? You don’t have to study every issue—health care, international trade—all you have to do is use this X-ray machine, this Vulcan mind-meld, to get beyond their empty words and find out how politicians really feel. About you. And that, of course, is why they hate it.And that’s why I’m accused of being a single-issue writer, thinker, and voter.But it isn’t true, is it?
Labels: Guns control
Trump understands that he has to change the culture. And he is; Western Culture is counter-attacking and the Left is reeling.2016, the Gay Mulatto’s Columbus Day message:Obama’s proclamation acknowledged Columbus’ spirit of exploration. But he said the nation should “also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers.”2017, President Trump’s Columbus Day message:
The president’s proclamation Friday directs the U.S. to celebrate his discovery of the Americas, noting “the permanent arrival of Europeans … was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation.”Trump’s proclamation only praises Columbus, Spain and the explorer’s native Italy.
The difference between Trump and Gay Mulatto is like the difference between white and black, testicles and ovaries, a 300 pound bench press and pendulous man titties. You may think this is small potatoes, but symbolism in act and speech matter. Leaders set the tone and can demoralize enemies and uplift supporters. Gay Mulatto’s instinct was to demoralize Whites and uplift anti-Whites. Trump’s instinct is the opposite, and America is better, and more closely aligned with Truth&Beauty, for his sensibility.
Political shock and awe.After several ominous rumbles outside the tower the individual creaks have finally merged into a continuous roar. Brexit, the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the crumbling of the Iran deal, America quitting UNESCO, Trump dismantling Obamacare, consular withdrawal from Cuba, the pullout from the Paris accord -- these have piled on so fast they've acquired the character of a single collective event. Now the fall of Hollywood has followed like the inevitable comedic boulder right on Wile E. Coyote's head at the bottom of the gulch. Are we still in Kansas anymore?It's becoming increasingly hard to believe the world can return to the status quo ante, even if Trump is impeached. It's too far gone. A whole landscape has vanished seemingly overnight going from the post-Cold War to the post-post Cold War; from a post-Modernist culture to post-everything in the blink of an eye. Even the political scene is unrecognizable. The Republican party is in shambles; the Democrats in disarray....There will be danger -- perhaps immense perils -- associated with this paradigm shift. Yet the danger may have even been greater had the population not risked adapting. For one thing it might have been trapped in the Tower now fallen to dust. What is manifest is the gods have fallen, leaving many institutions rudderless. The Left spent decades replacing traditional myths and social sanctions with their own structures only to see these fall to ruin.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
I don't want to live in a world where Harvey Weinstein is God
Mark Steyn is the best wordsmith in America (even if he is Canadian).
Read the whole thing.Not so long ago, picking up a Golden Globe for her turn as Mrs Thatcher, Meryl was happy to salute Harvey Weinstein as God, notwithstanding that the previous occupant of that position was famously antipathetic to the sin of Onan, with or without attendant shrubbery....
Why do Mitt's binders full of women outrage liberal sensibilities but not Harvey's pot plants full of semen?
Well, in the old days, the bourgeoisie expected bourgeois values throughout society. The wealthy and powerful disdained them, but discreetly. Now they disdain them openly. Indeed, they wage war on them, relentlessly. Instead, they enforce "progressive" values. Institutions fundamental to the nation-state, such as citizenship, have to be rendered meaningless - so that what matters in any immigration debate is not the citizens but the invaders, to the point where Nancy Pelosi thanks the parents of "Dreamers" for breaking American law and bringing them here, as a precious gift to a nation crying out for even more low-skilled immigrants. As for institutions that pre-date the nation-state - institutions almost as old as humanity - they're as easy to redefine, so that marriage can no longer be confined to those of opposite sexes. Speaking of the sexes, human biology can be vaporized, so that two sexes become 57 genders, and grade-school boys more interested in Barbie than GI Joe get to be pumped full of puberty blockers and directed to the girls' bathroom. And after all that, religion has to be put on the back foot, so that any recalcitrant mom'n'pop bakery for whom two men atop a wedding cake is an abomination, must be hunted down, dragged into court and financially ruined pour encourager les autres. And in a revolutionary present it is necessary ultimately to throttle the past - eliminating Robert E Lee, Christopher Columbus, Dr Seuss, Stephen Foster, the national anthem, to dam up the stream of history, the flow of past to present to future, and thus sever the citizenry from their entire inheritance, so that we are mere flotsam and jetsam on the frothing surface of the moment - a world where, in a certain sense, Harvey Weinstein is God....
Amid the condescension, there are contradictions. So a century-old statue of someone dead a hundred and fifty years who does not conform to the identity-group pieties of 2017 must be torn down - whereas an actual flesh-and-blood human being who does not conform to the identity-group pieties of 2017 can stagger around Hollywood and New York and London and Rome treating women like garbage.
From the madgeniusclub:
So it is kind of the same level of shock as the revelation of gambling in Rick’s Casino that I read of Harvey Weinstein harassing actresses for sexual favors. It’s as surprising as Bill Clinton… And the reality is, in an environment where there are 100 (or 10 000) nearly equally qualified eager applicants for a job, and Harvey or Bill or Mary or Sally… have got the power to decide which of you gets that break, and you expect none of the deciders to use that, and none of applicants to use that either? I don’t know where you find such humans, but it isn’t Hollywood. I’m not excusing it, but let’s try and pretend we understand the basics of evolutionary genetic selection: AKA survival of the fittest. Such tactics must have succeeded-on both sides, probably with a substantial number of directors (or people in positions power, be they kings or tribal medicine men or Company directors or presidents) and substantial part of Hollywood’s A-list back when they were no-list or low-list. Let’s be real here, Harvey didn’t keep trying because he failed every single time. But maybe I’m wrong: Who knows, perhaps all those eager pussy-hat wearers who became vastly wealthy, famous and successful due to Weinstein never ever gave him what he wanted, and he just kept right on trying…Oddly, now, many years later, some of them are complaining. None of them have yet volunteered to give back the tainted money and awards… And some of his award winners aren’t complaining, or at least yet.Look… take the sex aspect out of it, and many an author is no less of a slut, willing to do whatever necessary to please an editor or publisher, and many an editor, publisher or agent, is not much of a moral step up on Harvey. Let’s not get sanctimonious about it. It’s mercenary, not admirable behavior perhaps, but realistically many an author faced similar choices – and not just authors. The two aspects are that the honorable mercenary (or individual of negotiable virtue) stays bought, and secondly doesn’t pretend they’re the soul of virtue. Looking at Hollywood’s A-list (and their all too public private lives) they seem to make a big deal out of telling the world – or at least those who disagree with them, just how wicked and without virtue others are. Yeah, the bimbo who had sex with something that resembles Baron Harkonnen, to get her success, with the intellect of lard, who has a personal life that resembles a psychological and social train-wreck… preaching morality. Telling the public – for example – that guns are bad, and abortion is essential.But the scary part is…Some people listen.
It's not really surprising that Weinstein and people like him exist, and most especially in Hollywood where beautiful people go and who will do anything to get fame and wealth. What's surprising is that others give them the power to shape our culture, our ideas. These people are eye candy; they are not famous for their virtue or their wisdom ... things that they totally lack.
Monday, October 09, 2017
What a difference Trump makes. Yet not one word in the NY Times story about the change in military policy from that under Obama, when ISIS grew, to it's defeat under the Trump administration.