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July 02, 2015

Obama Negotiators Claim They Have Super Plan to Guarantee Incredible Transparency in the Iran Deal-- But That Plan Will Have to be Kept Secret from Both the Iranian and American Publics


Yes of course.

I don't know why I expected that sentence would end any other way.

Eli Lake & Josh Rogin:

Important details of the nuclear agreement President Barack Obama says would bring unprecedented transparency to Iran's nuclear program will themselves be shrouded from the U.S. and Iranian publics, according to nuclear experts.

Officially, negotiators in Vienna have not made any decisions on what parts of the agreement would be released openly and what elements will be briefed to Congress but not publicly disclosed...

Richard Nephew, who served as a U.S. negotiator in the talks until February and is now the head of the economic statecraft program at Columbia University, told us that he didn't expect that large sections of the agreement would be secret, but he anticipated that there would be some interpretations of the text that the administration would share only with Congress.

"Will there be carefully worded sections that seem odd? That will happen," Nephew predicted. "Will there be some wholesale manipulation of what is agreed to? I don't think it's possible. In the end most of this stuff will be public. There may be a few things withheld or interpretations made clear in classified interpretation."

"Some aspects of the annexes may not be made public, which is different than being secret," Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, told us.

Oh my God.

Just put this country out of its misery now, huh?

Since Obama has started "negotiating," he's simply given up all previously-stated critical US goals and embraced wholly the Iranian position, which is the Judge Smails position: "You'll get nothing and like it."

Steven Hayes:

One week before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a series of demands about the final terms. Among them: He called for an immediate end to all United Nations Security Council and U.S. economic sanctions on Iran; he said Iranian military sites would not be subject to international inspections; he declared that Iran would not abide a long-term freeze on nuclear research; and he ruled out interviews with individuals associated with Iran’s nuclear program as part of any enforcement plan.

The New York Times headline read "Iran's Supreme Leader, Khamenei, Seems to Pull Back on Nuclear Talks." That’s one explanation. The more likely one: Khamenei understands that Barack Obama is desperate for this deal and will agree to just about anything to make it a reality. In private remarks caught on tape, top White House foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes likened the Iran deal to Obamacare in its importance to the administration. And on April 2, the president held a press conference to celebrate the preliminary "historic understanding with Iran" that, he said, was "a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives."

But the impending deal is not a good one. It legitimizes a rogue state, shifts regional power to the world’' most aggressive state sponsor of terror, strengthens the mullahs’ hold on power, and guides Iran to nuclear threshold status. Those are not our "core objectives." They are Iran's.

And here's why I not only quit the GOP but now cheer its coming demise: The GOP, thinking it was clever, which it is not, has already approved this treaty, whatever it turns out to be.

Corker proposed it, but then they all went along with it. Including our Senatorial presidential candidates.

This piece of shit, whatever it turns out to be, is already US law.

Corker's was the last sell-out straw that broke this camel's back.

After Corker, I just said: "I'm done."

We need a third party and frankly we need a second country.

And yes, I support Mike Flynn: Because we need someone on the inside who will not put up with this shit.

Posted by Ace at 01:29 PM Comments

Racist, Confederate-Flag Sporting Ex-CNN Reporter's Racist, Anti-Government White Hispanic Husband Kills Innocent Home Invader in Hotel Room With Racist Gun With One of Those Parts That Goes Up


Well, I assume they're racist anti-government neo-confederates who just want to kill minorities. The media has assured me that's the only reason a White, or White Hispanic, would want to own a gun.

So when will a politically-pandering DA be filing murder charges?

A road trip down old Route 66 led to a Wild West-style motel shootout for a pioneering CNN anchor and her former-soldier hubby.

Lynne Russell -- the first woman to ever solo-anchor a primetime network news show --and Chuck de Caro, 65, had stopped at a Motel 6 for the night in Albuquerque when an intruder slipped into their room as Russell went to grab something from the car around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"I opened the door and he materialized out of nowhere; he was inside," she told The Post. "And he pushed me into the room and onto the bed and closed the door."

De Caro, who was in the shower, emerged completely naked and tried talking to the gunman, who was demanding the couple fork over their money and valuables.

Naked, but he quickly clothed himself with a rakish .35 caliber gun,* which is really all the fashion a man needs.

Caro shot the shit out of him, and then had to be watched by police, he says, to keep him from "kicking the shit" out of the wounded, bleeding-out man.

So racist. I can't even.

By the way, even though this is obviously a dramatic, media-friendly story not only involving a celebrity but one of the media's own-- they're not covering it. Fox and the NYPost cover it, but the liberal media won't.

Because their official policy is that Guns Are Bad, and, as Buzzfeed Ben would say, there is only one side to that story.

* Hey yeah I know that's a weird caliber, but that's what the article claims.

I don't know.

Posted by Ace at 12:31 PM Comments

Donald Trump And Acela Republicans


Yesterday we got more polling confirmation of something we already knew...Republican voters are desperate, at least at this stage of the campaign. The proof of this is the fact that in what should be one of the deepest and most appealing GOP fields in, ever, Donald Trump is in 2nd place nationally and in Iowa. Now, he's only at 12% of the vote and most of those people won't really vote for him when push comes to shove but jokes like him and Ben Carson should be background noise.


So why are so many Republican voters flirting with a crazy loudmouthed liberal? I think it's mostly because of the 2nd thing...loudmouthed.

The Trump bubble is what you get when a significant part of the GOP is tired of being lied to and screwed over. They want to be heard and they want to see their values (in this case anger, which is an emotion not a value but it's a reasonable stand in at this point) reflected in a candidate.

(And if you think he's going away anytime soon, you haven't noticed that he's already paying a price for running. There's no advantage in pulling out now. Bridges are going to be burned.)

The mostly mealy mouthed response to the resent Supreme Court ruling from most GOP candidates (certainly the "acceptable" types) does not match the anger a lot of conservatives are feeling. It seems the candidates think the anger is at gays when it strikes me it's much more at a process conservatives feel is rigged. There's almost no recognition by candidates that people feel something important about America is slipping away. They aren't seeing that being acknowledged by Jeb, Marco or even Walker.

Conservatives helped deliver historic GOP wins last year in the House and gave the party the Senate back. What exactly do they have to show for it? An amnesty cave, more deficit spending and an Obama legacy building trade package that they aren't too sure about. Oh and soaring approval ratings for Obama now that he has vanquished the GOP "hostage takers".

Funny, but I don't recall that being what the GOP was selling last fall.

And then we see the GOP putting up hacks like Darin LaHood and pulling out all the stops to beat a conservative like Mike Flynn. Ever notice that the even though the GOP keeps billing itself as a conservative party, the insurgents are always the more conservative ones. Shouldn't a supposedly conservative party be the ones finding, developing and promoting conservative candidates?

If the system is breaking down and no one is part of the system is willing to respond, then going outside the system with someone who reflects that anger (even if he doesn't really believe it) is not a crazy choice.

There's a lot of populist anger to be harnessed and led within the GOP but most Republican candidates are unwilling or an unable to do so. Nature abhors a vacuum and so...the Trump bubble.

But what does the GOP generally offer up in contrast to Trump's shtick? "Acela Republicans" for the most part. GOP consultant Rick Wilson explains why that works out as well as you'd expect.

Acela Republicans hate Republicans. There are three kinds of people who hate the Republican Party: liberals (for all their usual, tiresome reasons), hard conservatives (who value purity over winning anything, anywhere, ever) and Acela Republicans. Acela Republicans hate Republican voters, particularly primary voters, because they’re embarrassed by them. They don’t want to talk to them, for fear some of their proletarian nature will rub off. They either sit silently or join in the chorus when their friends in the media display their dripping, venomous contempt for anyone who lives outside coastal metros or was educated somewhere outside the Ivy League.

The Underpants Gnome Theory of Republican Campaigns

Acela Republicans play fantasy-league politics. “If only the rest of my party was pro-spending, pro-abortion, pro-gun control, loathed these religious bumpkins and their backward sky god, embraced a carbon tax, read the Times each morning and wanted to level the economic playing field with a bulldozer…then we’d start winning” is the lament of Acela Republicans. They fundamentally misread the electorate in both the Republican primary and the general election, time and again, and conflate contempt for pragmatism and smart politics.

I take exception to one thing Wilson writes here. "Hard conservatives" don't simply prize "purity over winning", we prize doing something with the wins that happen. "Hard conservatives" didn't make up the idea of fighting executive amnesty, the GOP ran on that last year. Same with controlling spending. It was the GOP leadership that then caved on amnesty in a heartbeat and passed the deficit hiking "doc-fix". "Hard conservatives" didn't come up with "a dollar or more in savings for every dollar we hike the debt ceiling". That was Boehner and it was Boehner who then broke that promise as fast as he could.

Hard conservatives won't get the sun and the moon from the GOP but don't be surprised that people tune you out when you promise something and fail to even try to deliver on it. You can only lie and cheat someone so many times until they walk away.

The GOP always wants to run on policy papers and 78 point plans because that's what the media and donors like to hear. They continue to ignore the emotional element of politics because they don't like it and they aren't any good at it.

Like it or not, people are swayed by their emotions and it's easier to move someone that way than it is to argue them into supporting a position they don't currently hold. People on the right are mad but also scared about what's happening to this country.They want to know that a candidate shares those feelings, that they "get it". If the GOP won't offer that candidate, it shouldn't be surprising that when one comes along who at least seems to "get it", people are intrigued by him.

Posted by DrewM. at 11:14 AM Comments

Open Thread


Edward Moran, "The Signal" (1890)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:37 AM Comments

Morning Open Thread


Be content with the lack of content.

Posted by BenK at 08:04 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (7-1-2015)


Quote of the Day

By that point, Helmsley had fully dropped the 'blueblood snob' gimmick, appearing in T-shirts and leather jackets. During this period, his ring name was shortened to simply Triple H. Even after the DX versus Hart Foundation storyline ended, Helmsley continued to feud with the sole remaining Hart family member Owen Hart over the WWF European Championship. This ended in a match between the two at WrestleMania XIV, with the stipulation that Chyna had to be handcuffed to then-Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter. Helmsley won after Chyna threw powder into Slaughter's eyes, momentarily 'blinding' him and allowing her to interfere in the match.

-- from the Wikipedia article on Triple H

Comment of the Day

Let's sweep away the lies and just say it out loud:

90% of the left's attempts at social control are simply attempt to outlaw behaviors they perceived as favored or engaged in by 'traditional" "conservative" "old-school" "white" etc. people.

Thus, a liberal can simultaneously demand that cigarettes be outlawed but marijuana be legalized.

Why? Because (in their conception of social reality) marijuana is a leftist intoxicant favored by the "counter-culture" while nicotine is a right-wing intoxicant favored by the "dominant culture."

"The Man" smokes cigars. "The Rebels" smoke weed.

That's all there is to it.

...It's absolute juvenile revenge fantasy, leftover from the '60s. That's all it is. The younger generation of activist are automatons acting out the revenge fantasies of their professors.

-- Zombie

Former CNN Anchor, Husband Involved in Motel Shootout, Robber Killed

He picked the wrong former anchor alright.

[Former CNN Headline news anchor Lynne] Russell - a licensed private investigator and former Fulton County, Georgia, sheriff's deputy with two martial arts black belts - told NBC station KOB that she and her husband had stopped in Albuquerque for dinner with a friend and were planning to get up early because they were traveling." A man with "a 40-caliber big shiny silver handgun" pushed her into her Motel 6 room just as her husband was coming out of the shower . . .


Mob Rule Hoists Trump Out of the Free Market

He'll survive but the same thing isn't true of an average person who dares to say the same things that Trump has said.

Drunk Nixon is Better than Sober Obama

For Israel. Also the world.

How Obama Went Up Against the American Flag - And Lost

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:04 PM Comments

Bill DiBlasio Vs. Mike Flynn on Freedom and Humility in Government


Bumped. The election is Tuesday -- this Tuesday. I'm trying to gin up one last moneybomb to get the campaign more district-workers and GOTV. I think we are right on the edge of pulling this off.

Contribute if you can, and if you can't, please volunteer to make calls in the district, and spread this post around.'

Updated: Ed Morrissey interviews Mike Flynn here, on the Hugh Hewitt show.


Bill DiBlasio despises you and your freedom.

New Yorkers may soon not be able to smoke in their own homes, if Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way.

The New York Post reported on de Blasio’s new initiative to partner with health groups that will "pressure landlords" into banning smoking in apartment buildings.

"“That means smokers would be barred from lighting up in one of their last sanctuaries: their own living quarters," the paper said. "Smoking is already banned in public places, including bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues, and parks."

I keep saying this, but quitting smoking is the best decision I ever made, apart from eating that rib-eye a half hour ago. I would strongly urge all smokers to kick the habit -- you don't need it, just as a junkie doesn't need his drug, and you will be a better person -- healthier, more present in the moment (not thinking about your next nicotine jones), better at sex (everyone enjoying reduced lung capacity?), and richer.

Your life will become better almost immediately-- within, I'd say, about four days. Sure, three days of (some mild) withdrawal, and then just every day better and better for the rest of your (longer) life.

And I'll do what I can to help you.

But the way to persuade people is to actually persuade them.

Not to bully them.

DiBlasio begins with a truth -- smoking is bad -- and then turns it into a lie by not recognizing the most important truth of all:

A free people is only free if it is permitted to do the WRONG thing, as well as the right thing.

In Nazi Germany, you were always free to do the "right" thing (as defined by the government) of supporting the Party and hating the Jews.

It is not freedom if you are permitted to do what a collection of social-climbing, sexually-bent, bullying idiots have decided is the right thing.

It is only freedom if you are permitted to do those things that collection of social-climbing, sexually-bent, bullying idiots think is the wrong thing.*

But don't listen to me.

Let me quote Congressional candidate Mike Flynn -- dare I say the front-runner? -- explaining his definition of what conservative philosophy is.

We are all children of God, and we are all touched by the divine. And because of that we are unique, and we are all individuals. Conservatism is a humility in government, that we do not know what's best for you. That we would not try to define what's best for you. You go, with your divine spark, and pursue [your dream]. Conservatism is freedom -- within responsibilities, we enter into a social contract through the Constitution to protect those rights we have so that others do not infringe on them, but at that point Government should largely go away. And let us live. As conservatives -- I've said it before, and it amazes me, but we are selling freedom. And if we can't sell freedom, we do indeed suck.

By the way, check out his great answer on how to change the tax code-- towards the flat tax -- at 44:22. Even if you're against the flat tax, listen to his answer-- you'll be impressed.

And then check out 53:20, where he offers the idea of "regulatory budgeting," an idea implemented in Canada -- if a regulatory agency implements a new regulation costing $100 million, they must offset that by taking a regulation worth $100 million off the books.

Have you heard another politician talking about this?

One of the things Flynn said to me, personally -- this hasn't been introduced into the campaign yet -- is that he wants to implement, as far as school reform, the Dutch System.

By the way, I forget the actual country. It may not be the Netherlands. This is my several-year-old memory.

What's the Dutch system? Well, the government gives each parent a check to pay for school, and the parent can use that for any school -- including religious schools. There is no church-state question because the decision is up to the parent. All the state did was cut a check and say "Do what you think is best."

Mike is very fond of referring to this as "the Dutch model" because he knows that the liberal media is overly-smitten of ENLIGHTENED EUROPEAN WAYS OF DOING THINGS. So he always says, "Well, of course, I favor the Dutch model. Obviously, you know?"

Which is Pure School Choice -- the government's role is to deliver a check, and the money follows the student to whatever school his parent wants.

That's why I'm saying he's a genius. He's not just smart, and he's not just right on policy.

He's a little crafty about things.

He knows how stupid the liberal media is, and he eagerly wishes to exploit this.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 06:41 PM Comments

In Britain, Teachers Are Running "Lunchbox Inspections," Searching for, Confiscating Food Deemed "Unhealthy"



They'll lay you down in a muddy ditch and shoot you in the back of the head before they let you make any unhealthy decisions that might risk your good health.

Teachers are free to take - and keep - any item from pupils' lunchboxes if they think they are unhealthy or inappropriate, the government has said.

Parents were outraged last month when it emerged children had scotch eggs and a Peperami confiscated under health eating policies.

Now ministers have backed the move, giving staff freedom to 'confiscate, keep or destroy' anything deemed to break school policies and setting out the procedure for carrying out lunchbox inspections.


Vikki Laws, of Colchester, said her daughter Tori, six, was not allowed to eat her Peperami sausage snack, which was confiscated and only returned at the end of the day with a note from teachers.

She said another parent was also told her child was not allowed to have scotch eggs in her lunch box.

This is, of course, coming to America, courtesy of La Obama.

Someone once wrote a Letter of Complaint about this sort of behavior:

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
Posted by Ace at 05:09 PM Comments

New York Times' Public Editor: Maybe We Didn't Tell the Truth About Our Reasons For Not Publishing the Charlie Hebdo Cartoons, But That Doesn't Mean We Were Dishonest


Orwell laughed -- darkly.

By the way, the LA Times, which also embargoed the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, just tweeted this:

Posted by Ace at 04:15 PM Comments

35% of Americans Would Expatriate


From Instapundit, this unsurprising datum.

As the Fourth of July weekend looms and Americans prep their grills and ready their fireworks, some citizens are packing their bags.

A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would consider leaving the United States to live in another country.

This percentage greatly increases for those age 18 to 34. More than half of millennials, a whopping 55 percent, said that they would consider leaving the U.S. for foreign shores. Among them, 43 percent of men and 38 percent of women noted that a higher salary would be a factor in their relocation decision.

While a high percentage of Americans would entertain the idea of expatriation, only .001 percent of the population actually renounced citizenship in 2014.

You guys keep asking me why I'm studying foreign languages.

Here's a better question: Why aren't you?

Posted by Ace at 03:28 PM Comments

Viacom Removes "The Dukes of Hazzard" Reruns from TVLand Schedule, Because Urge to Purge



Some time ago, Bill Quick attacked me, claiming, wrongly, that I was inconsistent to support a baker's right to not make a gay wedding cake when of course I would be fighting, racistly angry about a Muslim who insisted on Islamic dress codes in his own store.

I am republishing this essay because it's directly on-point.

America is in a dark chapter of its existence -- we have faced worse external threats, but not worse internal threats.

The threat now comes from within.

There are those who are insistent that we shall all have the same bland gray vanilla corporate non-culture culture, and that we shall all bow to the strange gods of the left.

As Andrew Breitbart once said:

Fuck you. War.

Below, my essay on what America is, and what is not, and how cowards, idiots, weaklings, and cuckolds want to turn America into a dark perversion of itself.

Bill Quick is fightin' angry about thoughts that I don't have.

He quotes me:

The New Intolerance: We Are Now Required To Embrace Just About Everything, Except the Gutter Religion Christianity

Incidentally– Are there any beliefs on the left which have not been sacralized?

That is, do they have any beliefs which are open to question without inviting their typical full-spectrum punishment regime, from group coordinated stigmatization to pursuit in the courts?

Then he asks, rhetorically, because people with few answers like to believe they know all the answers:

So, Ace: You okay with Muslim owned businesses refusing to serve women not “properly” covered -- ie., bagged in a burkha, because Religious Liberty?


By the way, I could end the post here, because he will now yammer on for a few hundred words assuming that my answer must be "no," and why that's terrible.

But the answer is "Yes."

This is an easy one. What the fuck do I care? A shop owner has the right to set a dress code. Especially if this were a store geared towards Islamic identity -- an Islamic bookstore, say, or a restaurant -- this one isn't even a question.

But even absent that-- what should I care what the dress code is here, or whom he wants his clientele to be? He doesn't want to serve me, and get this -- I don't wish to be served by him.

How about the Muslim cab driver refusing to transport passenger with dogs or alcohol, because Religious Liberty?

This is trickier because in the case of the store, I have to seek that out. I have to go to the nuisance, as it were. In the case of a cab, I could call for a cab, wait 25 minutes for it, and then, only upon his arrival, be told "Well I'm not going to take you because of these crazy restrictions I never warned you about when you hailed me."

In other words: In the case of the cab, the nuisance comes to me, and that's more of a problem.

But if that one kink could be worked out -- that I could use a cellphone app to summon only cabs that would take me, and would not be punished with discovering, in the rain, that a Muslim cabdriver was refusing to take my fare after waiting 25 minutes -- yes, again, what do I care?

If I hail him, and he does not inform me of his list of silly objections, then yes, in that case, he is bound to take me, because he did not give me his objections before the contract for service was entered into.

But as long as he tells me his objections before that -- Why would I care?

Honestly I'd prefer knowing my driver was a hardcore adherent of a religion which often encourages its faithful to crash vehicles into buildings Because God Hates Vehicular Safety.

Unlike some other Dummies, I'm not really of a mind that we must all Follow the Same Rules and all Subscribe to the Same Bland, Grey, Dead Corporate-Friendly Culture in which no one is really religious or different or odd at all Because That's Bad For Corporate Business.

I think people should have -- and by God, do have -- the right to be fairly different from one another.

That's fucking America.

Did you not know that? That that's what America is?

That America is the right to be different from other people?

I don't see why a store run by a pious conservative Muslim can't demand that women be covered, if that's his bag, nor why a store run by a pious conservative Catholic can't also insist that women cover their shoulders, if that's his sense of what his business should be, of what should happen on property he owns.

Will there be hurt feelings when some are turned away?


And who cares?

What the fuck are we, babies? Is this kindergarten, where everyone must be made to feel welcome, always?

Why the fuck would you think I would even care about this shit? Is it because you care about it so much, that you are so concerned about maintaining a Standard Generic Vanilla Corporate-Friendly Non-Culture Culture everywhere, that the idea of a Muslim religious bookstore which insists on a strict dress code for women is mentally deranging?

To be honest with you, I already assume there already are Islamic bookstops which will demand that women leave unless properly veiled.

And yet I'm not pissing myself about this.

Why would I want to go to that shop in the first place?

A culture without any rough parts, without any Proud Nails that won't be pounded down, without any Strangeness that people just insist upon because it's Their Culture, That's Why, is not a culture at all.

It's a fucking shopping mall. It's a fucking Airport Neutral Palate Color Scheme. It's the gray paste they feed to people in comas.

It's nothing. Nothing.

A lot of people seem to dream of America as a great bland nothing.

And they're winning, too.

There is a strand of thought that is often found among conservatives, which is itself actually not conservative. And that is the tendency towards a fairly pronounced Corporatism.

Let me explain what I mean by that. When you are at work, you are under a series of rules and codes designed to reduce your individuality. Businesses -- Corporations -- do not want the full flower of your individual expression. They don't want you dressing flamboyantly, they don't want you talking about deviant sex or, actually, non-deviant sex either, they don't want you proselytizing, they don't want you arguing about politics, they don't want you offering your views on the relative accomplishments of the various Races of Man.

Let me say: I have no problem with this. This makes perfect sense. When you are in a working environment, you're not there to let your freak flag fly. The business does not want to know you as a Special Snowflake in all your oddball glory.

Someone who insists on festooning themselves with all their cultural/sexual/religious/political signage at work gravely mistakes how interested anyone at work is in learning about them as a person. People at work do not, by and large, want to know you as a person. Some might; most don't.

People at work want to keep this impersonal and polite but not familiar, because impersonal and polite but not familiar is the general code of conduct for not angering strangers one is forced, by circumstances, to be within close proximity to.

Manners, in all their artificiality, do not exist to navigate relations with your close relations. Manners are an artificial code of conduct designed to reduce frictions and any chance of showing disrespect or causing offense among strangers and semi-strangers.

I have no problem with the Corporate Code of Conduct at the corporation itself. When I'm forced to be at work, yes, of course I will abide by the "no hot political talk" and the "no sex talk" and "no cursing" and "no ethnic slurs" rules. Partly because I was raised that way, but also partly because I wish the benefit of the bargain-- I myself would like to be free of other people's Freak Flags. I don't want them gratuitously offending me, or assuming an over-familiar posture with me, so I will, to modify my own behavior and dress so that it is corporate bland and business casual.

But while I completely understand and endorse the Business Casual system of empty, gray dullness at work, I do not and will not accept it outside of work.

It is one thing to demand that I comport myself as if I am walking on eggshells for 9 or ten hours a day, at work. It is another thing entirely to further insist that when I get Home, and rest at my metaphoric Castle, that I must continue to follow the Corporate Rules of Conduct.

Here's my answer to that: Go fuck yourself. You cannot pursue me from work to home and hound me with your constant need for Conformity in all things.

Bill Quick is essentially making the case for Conformity in all things, in all spheres. He sees people making their Silly Religious Objections as possibly Offensive to some people, and causing some Friction, and certainly Bad For Business.

Well so fucking what, Bill Quick? The Corporate Handbook of Proper Employee Conduct may apply when I am working in an office with 100 strangers, but it does not apply when I own my own fucking business and my own fucking property.

On that ground, I can design any rules I wish. And if this makes your gray, corporate brain go all a-flutter at the potential disorderliness!!!, well, go fuck yourself, buddy. I do not exist to appease your OCD need for Hierarchy, Structure, Order, Regularity, and Standard Procedures in all facets of life.

Some people continue to be wigged out at the idea that I can buy alcohol in one county but the next county over -- get this! -- it's illegal to sell booze.

They just seem to have this baseline devotion to the ideal that we should all be the same. That each county should follow the same rules. That a traveler, moving from one county to the next, should not be surprised or bothered to discover there are Different Rules in effect, or a Different Culture.

That we should, in short, all have the Same Rules, and the Same Culture, with all Proud Nails pounded flat to the wood, so that there is no danger of snagging anyone's clothing or giving anyone a cut.

Some find that comforting.

I find it creepy. I also find it be the height of Entitlement: In what fucking spasm of ego did you conceive that other people exist to protect your mental Safe Place from any discombobulation and discomfort?

It bothers Bill Quick that one bakery could have one set of policies, and yet a bakery down the street could, get this, have an entirely different set of policies.

That's just wrong, he apparently thinks. We all need to be on the same page as far as Bakery Policies, or else -- else -- else...! Well, That Way Madness Lies, surely.

The idea that I must never be exposed to any thoughts I find weird -- like a Muslim demanding that women be veiled -- like a Catholic church demanding that women cover their shoulders -- is simultaneously infantile, weak, and entitled.

I guess this is the difference between Bill Quick and I: Bill Quick seems to pine for an orderly world in which a controlling hierarchy pursues us in our every waking hour to impose the Corporate Rulebook on us, even when we're not at the Corporate Headquarters, even when we own our own business which is not governed by any Corporate Rulebook but our own.

He finds that comforting.

I find it terrifying.

I think conservatives have long been overly trusting of corporate and social power, usually assuming we'd be in control of it, so that we would be protected from any misuse thereof.

I think we are now suddenly discovering that was a terrible assumption to make, and that we should have been asking ourselves, all along: What if this power to gin up the forces of social conformity and legal bullying were not in our hands, but in fact used against us?

Well, if any conservatives were previously unaware of the danger of empowering scolds, busybodies, bureaucrats, and police to Make You Behave As The Group Thinks Is Proper, surely none can still be ignorant.

If you're still fighting for Statism and Conformity and Group Decisionmaking, you are an enemy of liberty and an enemy of conservatism.

I think you get the point.

But do you get the point, Dummy? You seem to think I care about these things, because, Of course I must.

After all, I'm to be playing a Strawman Role you've assigned to me in your fat-clotted head.

But in fact I don't. I don't give a shit. I don't give a shit about being denied service at a Muslim Halal Shop, and, as long as we work out a system which avoids me waiting in the rain for a cab which later rejects me, I don't care about Muslim cab drivers refusing to ferry alcohol or dogs around, either.

You cannot be logically consistent on this issue unless you drop the bullshit about Christians being singled out -- (Muslims famously murder gays), and accept that if religious liberty permits Christians and Christian businesses to discriminate against gays, then you have to also permit Muslims and their businesses to discriminate against gays -- and women, and dogs, and drinkers, and kaffirs, and the whole host of religious proscriptions that religion subscribes to.

I have no idea what you're rambling on about, but it is much easier to be logically consistent on this issue than you seem to imagine, Dummy.

And if you say, "pshaw, I’m just talking about Christians here. We can’t let the Muslims run wild, that would be crazy."

Another thing Dumb People like to do is put Dumb Objections in your mouth -- Dumb Objections they can then easily, and dumbly, swat aside.

Well, at that point you’re demanding the state to establish a religion -- and that, dear friends, is really unconstitutional -- re-read that First Amendment you’re shrieking at the top of your lungs about.

You're blathering on quite a bit assuming that I'd object to either of these hypotheticals. Which I don't.

Also, yes, this is terribly, terribly important -- to the dozen or so gay couples who will request wedding cakes from the dozen or so bakers (some of whom may well be Muslim) who will refuse them.

Mm-hm. There sure aren't many gay bakers.

And even fewer gay florists.

And gay photographers? Why, nearly none of those.

In the meantime, Obama is giving Iran nuclear weapons, but Jebus --we have much more important things to screech about.

Gee I notice you screeched about it-- just on the other side. So I guess it is worth talking about-- so long as you support the leftwing position on it.

Leftwingers do this all the time -- they employ the rhetorical gambit, "How silly it is for you to ever care about this trivium!"

So you say: Well, Old Man, if it's trivial, surely you wouldn't mind conceding the trivial point to me, eh?

At which point they say: "Are you mad? This is an important matter of principle!!!"

Just like this dummy did right here. Right after he chided me about this not being so important, he informed me that it was terribly important to about a dozen gay couples.

Well, it's probably also important to a dozen Christians in the baking business.

Either way, your childish "This is too small an issue for you to argue about!!!" gambit fails.

By the way, I've been covering Iran a lot.

When I say Americans are stupid, this is the sort of thing I’m talking about.

Me too. I completely agree with you that most Americans are stupid. In fact, many people who spit up their every pique and half-baked Blog-Slam!!! are among the stupidest of all.

Food for thought: This country is increasingly paranoid about people who don't bow to the accepted Order of Things.

The country plainly does not like Small Independent Business owners, because without a larger Corporation overseeing their decisions, How do we know they'll make the right decisions? How do we force them to make the right decisions?

Corporations are cowardly and leftwing and the height of conformism.

But what about these damned Independents-- these Wildcatters with their own businesses, their own leases, and no Board of Directors or Shareholders to answer to?

How can we endure knowing that some people are out there Making Up Their Own Rules???!!!!

When Christians and their fellow-traveling conservatives (like me) were in more of a dominant social position, we didn't have to think much about the dilemma of whether we would like a system by which we get to impose our Rules and Values on Others, or whether we would like to be free from other people imposing their Rules and Values on Us.

See, when you're in a dominant social position, you don't have to make that choice, because you get Both. You are in a strong enough position to not have to worry too much about a hostile majority pushing its Rules and Values on you. You are the Majority, or a Near Majority, at least; so you can push a regime which is more insistent on Conformity, because you are numerically strong enough to stop the worst abuses of a Conformity Regime from being inflicted on you.

But we're not in that position any longer. We can longer use our numerical might to block other people's aggressions in this sphere. We can no longer have our cake and eat it too; we must choose.

We must now begin choosing which is more important: A regime in which the Majority gets to Impose Rules on a Minority (hoping we can occasionally be the Majority and Impose some of our Rules), or a Regime in which the Majority is de-powered, so that any Minority (including, most importantly, us) is less likely to be bullied by the Majority at all.

Some people still do not get this choice they are confronted with. They continue to insist that it's still 1988 and that we can have both, that we can have a regime in which a majority bullies an unpopular minority and be free of such bullying.

Other people see a choice, but seem to think that Corporate Conformism is more important than liberty.

I choose to be self willed. Empowering myself means de-powering others.

Sorry, Bill Quick. I don't want you or any of the other rules-following, orderliness-obsessed corporatists making decisions for me.

I choose liberty, and I choose my own conscience. And choosing that means, get this, that I must also choose liberty and the right to conscience for others.

This is a time for clarity, and this is a time for choosing. This is a time to discover who it is who really supports Liberty and Freedom, and who it is who is really all about Control and Conformity.

For many years, many conservatives have really been more about the latter than the former. I have admitted, and I will continue to admit, I was among them. I have long had pronounced authoritarian and statist tendencies.

I fight against them now, like an alcoholic fights his lust for drink.

But too many conservatives continue championing Social Control and Conformity while mouthing the empty platitudes about how wonderful Freedom is.

Freedom to do exactly what is permitted on pages 36-42 of the Corporate Handbook, that is.

Anything else is A Disorder and thus Subversive.

If keeping my own freedom means, horror of horrors, also granting it to a Muslim, then I am prepared to make that deal all. day. long.

It is time to put away childish things. Either you support liberty and justice for all, or you support it for none.

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Posted by Ace at 02:16 PM Comments

An Awful Woman's Awful Emails


Some good ones:

Here, we see that Hillary's secretiveness extends to the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel -- even though she's a Secretary of State and, presumably, would need to communicate with Emmanuel.

Here, a friend of Hillary's says that Leslie Gelb, former NYT reporter and columnist and currently editor of Parade, will agree to give Hills "veto" power over any subject in the story and guarantees "she will like it."

Apparently Hillary was super-important in national security briefings:

Emily Zanotti joked that Hillary was Selena Myers (the hapless, useless Veep on the show of the same name).

In this one, Buzzfeed Ben Smith reassures the Hillary people that he has been "talked out of" pursuing some angle in a story.

People have asked Buzzfeed Ben what story he was talked out of. As far as I know, he refuses to answer:

And of course we know David Axelrod denied knowing about Hillary's secret email account -- but then we find out he was emailing Hillary on her secret email account.

David Axelrod had a good explanation for this -- and by good explanation, I of course mean "lie."

And Hot Air just put this up-- Mother Jones, the ultra-left magazine, says that Hillary's emails show an intention to manipulate and mislead the press.

Posted by Ace at 12:56 PM Comments

Open Thread


Gunnar Widforss, "Grand Canyon Nat Park: Widforss Postcard" (n.d.)

Posted by rdbrewer at 12:09 PM Comments

Good News! Kennedy's Idiotic Gay Marriage Decision Worse Than You Thought


I was wondering how this new found "right to dignity" would play out. Turns out, Kennedy wasn't satisfied with just rewriting the centuries old definition of marriage. No, he decided to unshackle judges entirety from the written Constitution. He accomplished this by overturning a precedent that laid out the ground rules for finding "new rights."

In Glucksberg, the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s holding that the Constitution contains a substantive-due-process right to assisted suicide. Substantive due process is a doctrine under which courts may discover and enforce unenumerated constitutional rights. The Supreme Court stated that in order to find a substantive-due-process right, a court would have to determine that the right, based on a “careful description” of what it included, was “objectively deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”


Rather than admitting that there was no substantive-due-process right to same-sex marriage, Justice Kennedy buried Glucksberg. He acknowledged that the Glucksberg test “may have been appropriate” when talking about assisted suicide, but claimed that a more lenient approach is appropriate when “discussing other fundamental rights.”

And other than redefining marriage in a ridiculous way by judicial fiat, what other rights might courts now invent?

In Obergefell, Justice Kennedy made it clear to lower courts that, after he eliminated Glucksberg, the only remaining limit on new judge-made rights is a judge’s imagination. He noted that “when new insight reveals discord between the Constitution’s central protections and a received legal stricture, a claim for liberty must be addressed.” In other words, he believes that since the Founders “did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions,” they gave courts unlimited power to “protect . . . the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.” The “we” in that sentence refers to judges.

The left is always on about how people have "a right" to be free from "want" and given things like "free" housing, food, a "living wage" and on and on. All the things they couldn't get via the electoral process? They will now simply sue for citing Kennedy's decision and obtain them by judicial decree.

As Gabe pointed out, Roberts' ObamaCare decision is a massive power grab by the courts from the executive. Pair it with this usurpation of legislative authority and we should just eliminate the political branches all together.

Posted by DrewM. at 10:50 AM Comments

DOOM: A Serious House On Serious Earth



I been gone too long, my groovy babies. Real life doth conspire to keep us apart, but given the spectacularly DOOM-laden week gone by, I thought I should bestir myself and vent my spleen. (TRIGGER WARNING: Some Xtianist God-bothering occurs in the below text. Please keep a paper bag handy so that if your outrage causes you to hyperventilate, you can breathe into it until some semblance of emotional equilibrium is restored.)

In the wake of the Supreme Court's gay-marriage decision, there is a lot of angst among Christians about what this latest defeat in the culture war portends. Some advocate withdrawing from the culture entirely; others advocate various forms of civil disobedience. As for me...I simply feel weary. Christians have been fighting secularism in the West for more than a century now, and losing ground the entire time.

Matthew Arnold wrote "Dover Beach" more than a century ago, but it could have been written yesterday:

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

The poet Philip Larkin brought his secularist's fear and suppressed awe to God's house in his poem "Church Going":

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognized, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.

Religious faith is serious, and only takes root in serious folk. To me and many of my Christian cohort, the diminution of Christianity in the West coincides more or less with a loss of seriousness in the West. Not just a decay of virtue (both public and private), but a decay of gladness, hope and optimism -- a loss of belief in the ideal that being moral, upright, kind, steadfast, and honest is something to be aspired to even when it brings no direct benefit. Even when no one is watching (for God is always watching). There has been a progressive (in both senses of the word) loss in the belief that there is pneuma as well as sarx and soma -- and that pneuma is the most important part.

A church is a serious house on serious earth...but much of the earth is no longer serious.

But we do not despair, we Christians. The faith will go on -- if not here, then somewhere else. Our religion is not a game of numbers, to be given up when the score goes against us. Over the course of two millennia, we have faced graver threats. Every Christian is taught over and over again that our lot on earth is hardship -- we are commanded to go forth even so and carry the Word with us. (1 Peter 4:11-12)

Continue reading

Posted by Monty at 09:45 AM Comments

Morning Thread

—Dave In Texas


Andy didn't tell me how hard this was.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 08:22 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (6-30-2015) – Link-o-rama Edition


Quote of the Day I

When Greece's finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, in an early round of negotiations in Brussels, complained that Greek pensions could not be cut any further, he was reminded bluntly by his colleague from Lithuania that pensioners there have survived on far less. Lithuania, according to the most recent figures issued by Eurostat, the European statistics agency, spends 472 euros, about $598, per capita on pensions, less than a third of the 1,625 euros spent by Greece. Bulgaria spends just 257 euros. This data refers to 2012 and Greek pensions have since been cut, but they still remain higher than those in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Croatia and nearly all other states in eastern, central and southeastern Europe.

And here Mark Steyn describes the onerous life of a Greek civil servant:

Greek public sector employees are entitled not only to 14 monthly paychecks per annum during their "working" lives, but also 14 monthly retirement checks per annum till death. Who's going to be around to pay for that?

So you can't borrow against the future because, in the crudest sense, you don't have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

Quote of the Day II

In the 1950s, the most puritanical place in America was somewhere in Kansas. Today it is Los Angeles.

-- Richard Miniter

Quote of the Day III

Blogger Glenn Reynolds noted that when the South was solidly Democratic, we got "Gone With the Wind" nostalgia. Now that it is profoundly less racist, but also less useful to Democrats, it's the enemy of all that is decent and good.

-- Jonah Goldberg

Quote of the Day IV

The F-35's ability to compete against other fighter aircraft in a close-in dogfight, even against the decades old designs it looks to replace, has always been a contentious issue. Long ago, the F-35's maneuverability was planned to far exceed that of fourth generation fighters. Over time, those claims eroded to the point where the troubled stealth jet is described as being "about as maneuverable as an F-16."

Also: The F-35 can now take off from a ski jump. So it has that going for it.

Moe Lane on the Pros and Cons of a Big Fat Greek Meltdown

Hard to argue effectively with that, although as I've noted earlier Greece is still an ally, which leads me to rather sentimentally not want it to collapse into some sort of Anarchy Free-Fire Zone. But, hey, elections have consequences. Greece has been making some very bad calls all throughout this crisis; not least of which was its inexplicable decision to hire Marxists to solve its economic problems. That's like hiring a radical Greenie to run your fission pile; he doesn't want to do the job, and even if he did he still doesn't know how. Hopefully the Greeks will wise up, soon. because the end result of that fission pile analogy would quite likely be a pile of corpses, and that is something that Commies are quite good at producing, alas.

What, you don't think that you can have a Third World collapse in Europe?  Why? It's not like there's some sort of Cause And Effect disruption field covering the continent.

Hillary Clinton to Fundraise with 'Anti-Christ'

Part of a pattern.

In 1975 the Clintons attended in a voodoo ceremony in Haiti. Hillary has also been known to communicate with the dead.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 10:18 PM Comments

If Hillary Clinton's Speaking Fee of $237,000 Is Too Much For You, You Can Hire Her Useless Failure-Puddle of a Daughter for $65,000


What the Clintons lack in dignity, they make up for in graft.

I know I'm way late on this but can I just say: Oh my shit.


Racism is a powerful animating force. And yes, this is racism. This is Female Superiority Racism mixed with Liberal Comfortable Class Tribalism Racism.

This is all about paying someone to stand as an avatar for one's own Superiority.

You can make a lot of money by giving the unaccomplished a racial or chromosomal excuse to feel that they're Important, too.

When the University of Missouri at Kansas City was looking for a celebrity speaker to headline its gala luncheon marking the opening of a women's hall of fame, one of the names that came to mind was Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But when the former secretary of state’s representatives quoted a fee of $275,000, officials at the public university balked. "Yikes!" one e-mailed another.

So the school booked the next best option: her daughter, Chelsea.

The university paid $65,000 for Chelsea Clinton’s brief appearance...

Now, let's see what a University gets for it's $65,000. Or what I call "full ride for a deserving underprivileged student."

The schedule she negotiated called for her to speak for 10 minutes, participate in a 20-minute, moderated question-and-answer session and spend a half-hour posing for pictures with VIPs offstage.

That long, huh? I hope she's monitoring her pulse rate. That kind of pace can kill someone.

As with Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches at universities, Chelsea Clinton made no personal income from the appearance, her spokesman said, and directed her fee to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Yes... and let's pretend that Foundation doesn't pay for their wardrobe, offices, transportation, travel, and five man staffs. (Yes, Chelsea has a five man staff.)

You know what most people call those things?

The cost of living. (Plus, jet plane rides and five-man staffs!)

So yes, they are in fact being paid by the Foundation.

If I started a "charity" and contracted to pay all your food and rent costs for the rest of your life, would you claim that you were being 'uncompensated"?

So the university turned back to others, eventually choosing Chelsea Clinton when the agency indicated she was willing. Just shy of her 34th birthday, Clinton commanded a higher fee than other prominent women speakers who were considered, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem ($30,000) and journalists Cokie Roberts ($40,000), Tina Brown ($50,000) and Lesley Stahl ($50,000), the records show.

Chelsea's done so much more, just by being born to Hillary Clinton and... well it really doesn't matter.

Officials with the school appeared to believe Clinton was worth her fee, which university spokesman John Martellaro said was paid using private donations. They exulted to Clinton’s representatives that the luncheon sold out quickly, with 1,100 tickets selling for $35 each -- which would equal $38,500. University officials say the event was intended to boost attention for the new hall of fame, not raise money.

So you funneled money to the Clintons at a fundraiser, lost money (as usual), and then you say "It wasn't about the money anyway, it was a about the attention?"

What f***ing attention? Who the hell ever heard of this before now?

I'm reading an article about this "hall" you supposedly boosted the profile of and I can't name the hall or guess what this hall's function is.

This was about funneling other people's money to political figures the left likes -- as usual.

"Chelsea was the perfect fit," Amy Loughman, an alumni relations official who managed the event, wrote in an e-mail a few days later. "It created fantastic buzz in the community."

She created fantastic buzz on NBC News, too, before she was fired for having the charisma of a urinal cake.


In dozens of e-mails exchanged between University of Missouri officials and Clinton’s representatives at the Harry Walker Agency, which arranges appearances by all three Clintons, there was no reference to her $65,000 fee going to charity. Nor was there any reference in the five-page contract.

Because it didn't.

What can this charmless, talentless, pointless woman do except collect graft-checks on behalf of her parents?

The university paid the fee -- which also covered Clinton’s travel expenses -- in two disbursements to the Walker Agency. But Martellaro said, "We have no knowledge of how funds were disbursed from that point."

Bazbaz said all of Clinton’s paid speeches through the Walker Agency are delivered on behalf of the foundation "to support implementing its life saving work" and that this was "always the intention" with the University of Missouri. He added that neither she nor her hosts receive charitable tax deductions.

Because it's not charity.

Oh now let's look at the contract, which has more riders in it than Van Halen did at the peak of their popularity.

The contract stipulated that Clinton would have final approval of everything, such as the selection of her introducer (celebrities, journalists and elected officials were prohibited from consideration), the onstage setup (there must be "room-temperature water" next to her podium along with "two comfortable armed-and-backed chairs" for the question-and-answer session) and the type of microphone provided for her use (both lavaliere and handheld).

In e-mails with university officials, Clinton’s aides closely edited the texts of press releases, marketing materials and introductory remarks. Clinton’s representatives instructed that a line about her being the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton be deleted from one news release and that her title of vice chair of the Clinton Foundation be added beneath her name on an electronic flier. Other materials mentioned her parents, however.

When reviewing the script that a student would read introducing her, a Clinton Foundation aide asked university officials to remove the list of Clinton’s degrees. A Clinton adviser, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the event, said "this was by no means an intention to script a high school student's introduction of Chelsea," but rather to avoid what otherwise would have been a recitation of all of Clinton's achievements.

There's so many of them, who could list them all?

She exists.

Oh, there you go. I just did list them all.

Not as hard as I thought.


Clinton’s representatives also closely managed her time on campus. They asked whether she would be free to depart from the event once she finished her remarks, rather than waiting until the luncheon concluded. Martellaro said she stayed until the end.

Clinton agreed to pose for photographs backstage with 100 VIPs prior to the speech. But her representatives requested that only 20 to 30 minutes be budgeted for the photo line, rather than 45 minutes the university initially sought.

You know what there's no news about?

Anything Chelsea Clinton said there that day.

For $65,000 for thirty minutes' work, you'd think that this graceless walking graft-bag could have said something interesting or insightful, no?

But no, no one expects anything from the Clintons; no accomplishments, no successes.

Just nothing but an extended hand, palm up, demanding their next pay-off.

Contest: Play this video -- Chelsea Clinton talking with Stella McCartney about how harrrrd it is to have rich parents -- and watch the counter.

Tell me the time at which you Tap Out.

How far can you make it?

Posted by Ace at 07:53 PM Comments

Suggestions Box for the Next Book Club Thread


I don't think I picked a great one last time, but I want to do this again.

People will want to read a political book. There are two such books I want to read, and which are endlessly recommended to me, but which I need a nudge to read (which the point of a bookclub, the nudge): Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Annointed and F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom.

One book I'd like a nudge to read is Dracula, which I was enjoying before I put it down for no good reason. I was surprised it was well written -- for some reason I expected it to be gothic trash. Maybe it is, but I liked the scenery-painting of Transylvania.

Other suggestions?

The only type of book I'm going to call in the book club is one that people need a nudge to read -- classics, smart-stuff. I don't need a nudge to read the sort of entertainment fiction I already read. Like, I don't need a nudge to read the Jack Reacher book Killing Floor; I already did that, without a nudge. Nor the sci-fi candy Ready Player One.

So, that said, and feel free to recommend books, but there's no point saying "You should read the Vince Flynn book" because, while I take your recommendation seriously, it's also the case that I'd read the new Vince Flynn book if I liked the cover and the first few pages.

Ultimately I want to do Moby Dick, but I guess I need to build to that. Maybe at some point I'll try Huckleberry Finn, another classic I was supposed to have read but did not.

Choice: CBD suggested Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," which I always wanted to read. I have no idea what it's about, though I suppose there's a house involved, and some substandard foundation work.

It's 7000 words, so it's just a short story, a mere tenth of a novel, and it's free on Kindle (and B&N, I assume).

It's also available freely at project Guttenberg, here.

So Fall of the House of Usher it is!

This is very exciting!

Let's go for... um, I dunno. Let's go for the Sunday after next.

Posted by Ace at 06:16 PM Comments

It Is Time to Scrap the F-35 And Simply Begin Building Somewhat Updated F-15s Again


Have you heard the bad news? We have spent one trillion dollars on the F-35, which is intended to be the main battle plane across three different services (Navy, Air Force, Marines), filling at least two different roles (air superiority, that is, dogfighting and radar-destroying, and ground-striking) and the thing is an absolute piece of shit which will kill our pilots.

This is not some niche plane. This is intended to be the main airframe in use by all of our military. This will end up being 70% of the planes we fly. (Note: I just made that up, but I really want to push that this is not just some niche flier we can afford to limp along with.)

A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can’t turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy’s own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

"The F-35 was at a distinct energy disadvantage," the unnamed pilot wrote in a scathing five-page brief that War Is Boring has obtained. The brief is unclassified but is labeled "for official use only."

The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 -- which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon.


The fateful test took place on Jan. 14, 2015, apparently within the Sea Test Range over the Pacific Ocean near Edwards Air Force Base in California. The single-seat F-35A with the designation "AF-02" -- one of the older JSFs in the Air Force --took off alongside a two-seat F-16D Block 40, one of the types of planes the F-35 is supposed to replace.


The F-35 was flying "clean," with no weapons in its bomb bay or under its wings and fuselage. The F-16, by contrast, was hauling two bulky underwing drop tanks, putting the older jet at an aerodynamic disadvantage.

But the JSF's advantage didn't actually help in the end. The stealth fighter proved too sluggish to reliably defeat the F-16, even with the F-16 lugging extra fuel tanks. "Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement," the pilot reported.


In the end, the F-35 -- the only new fighter jet that America and most of its allies are developing -- is demonstrably inferior in a dogfight with the F-16, which the U.S. Air Force first acquired in the late 1970s.

I am not even close to expert. One caveat I'd note here: Dogfighting is not everything. Agility is not the most important thing. Speed is. For example, I remember in the nineties some lesser plane -- maybe the F-16, maybe some British fighter -- would routinely beat F-15s in dogfighting.

But the F-15 pilots laughed. They said, basically, this: "We lost because we were under the artificial conditions where we had to dogfight. In real life, we get to decide whether we have the superiority and thus whether to engage at all. And in the air, speed, not agility, is king: we can close on them if they flee, and we can flee them if they close on us. Add in our ability to hit them from very far away, and it all shakes out that the F-16's advantage in dogfighting is trivial, and not one that will make a difference on the battlefield very often."


But no one hears anything but one problem after another with this plane. (See video below for more.) Australia's going a little big wiggy that they've contracted to buy this lemon.

There is no doubt that the US fighter fleet could use a refreshing -- but this plane seems to be awful.

We need some brave voices to stand up to the serious Career-Momentum of this thing -- that is, everyone who shepherded this piece of shit along is going to suffer a career-ending embarrassment if we pull the plug on it, or put it back on to the chalkboards -- to take a stand and say that our boys, and our security, are more important than some Pentagon Procurement Asshole's career.

Put the F-35 back into the chalkboard stage, and begin designing some incremental, evolutionary changes to the F-15.

No, a slightly upgraded F-15 will not give us the sort of dominance we need.

But the F-35 sure won't, either, and at least we know, with the F-15, we're getting a reliable and effective platform.

We do need more stealth. Fine. Use the money saved from canceling the F-35 rollout (and buying cheaper upgraded F-15s) to buy some extra stealth planes.

But this F-35 seems to be a disaster, and Washington seems to be doing with this disaster what it does with all disasters of its own making: Pretending it's not happening so that no one actually has to (gasp!) get a demotion over the catastrophe.

For a contrary take, see Defense Tech, quoting pilots who claim flying the F-35 is "like magic."

I don't know.

There's a certain rah-rah that happens when you're in a group project and you want it all to turn out all right...

New Video Added: Dave in Texas recommends the below video-- from the co-designer of the F-16.

He calls the F-35 "dumb," and the whole F-35 plan a "stunt" and "public relations campaign."

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 04:55 PM Comments

Reporter Misreported Nobel Scientist Tim Hunt's Words, Then #SocialAttentionWhores Just Ran With It Until They Forced His Resignation


Unbelievable. According to a third-party EU official, and Sir Tim Hunt himself, she took words out the context, and concealed the fact that Hunt's remarks were jokes at his own expense.

The Guardian has now heavily re-edited this Social Attention Whore's story to make it less defamatory -- but the Guardian doesn't alert you to that, contrary to its own claimed rules.

Hunt has now resigned from his important work in cancer research. And this Social Attention Whore got her scalp.

New revelations about the speech and the context of the joke have surfaced. An account of a European Commission Official who took detailed minutes of the event adds key information absent from the original report:
According to the new account, Sir Tim started with: "It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists” which makes clear he mocking sexism, rather than indulging in it. St. Louis reported this as Hunt simply admitting: "he has a reputation as a male chauvinist."

Immediately after the now infamous joke, according to the new evidence, he proceeded to make several very pro gender equality remarks, including: "Now seriously... Science needs women and you should do science despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me," which was similarly disregarded in St. Louis's twitter report.

Hunt has already protested that he added, "now seriously" to indicate the joke was over.

The Daily Mail is now vetting this #SocialAttentionWarrior, Connie St. Louis, and finding lots of troubling facts.

Then, early this week, the simmering dispute took a further, seismic twist.

It came courtesy of The Times newspaper, which revealed the contents of a leaked report into Sir Tim's fall from grace compiled by an EU official who had accompanied him to the Seoul conference.

This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim 'really said'.

Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis.


However, Sir Tim's critics remained unmoved and disputed the EU report's contents. Importantly, given how the scandal had originally emerged, they were led by Connie St Louis.


Perhaps, therefore, we should ask two other related questions: who exactly is Connie St Louis? And why, exactly, should we trust her word over that of a Nobel laureate?

A good place to start is the website of London’s City University, where St Louis has, for more than a decade, been employed to run a postgraduate course in science journalism.

Here, on a page outlining her CV, she is described as follows:

'Connie St Louis . . . is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer and scientist.

'She presents and produces a range of programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service . . . She writes for numerous outlets, including The Independent, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC On Air magazine and BBC Online.'

All very prestigious. Comforting, no doubt, for potential students considering whether to devote a year of their lives (and money) to completing an MA course under her
stewardship. Except, that is for one small detail: almost all of these supposed 'facts' appear to be untrue.

I've quoted too much so I'll leave you to click on the Daily Mail to see what's untrue.

Think about the sort of person who becomes a Social Attention Whore.

Think about the psychology at play.

Then wonder: Why do we ever give these unaccomplished, envious, grasping monsters any credence at all?

thanks to @comradearthur

Posted by Ace at 03:11 PM Comments

Kurtz: The Media Is an Intolerant Mob of Jungle-Tribe Witchdoctors and Zealots


I ginned up his words but that's the idea.

Will be back in a few -- but needed to get something up.

Morrissey quotes Hugh Hewitt's interview with Buzzfeed Ben, an interview that makes me more sorry for Buzzfeed Ben than usual.

What astonishes me is that Buzzfeed Ben is like this guy Dietz in the Illinois 18th race -- it is quite obvious that he has never even thought about the questions Hugh Hewitt poses before. Simple, obvious questions everyone even pretending to be a thinker must ask himself, like "Why is it I feel comfortable declaring there are no two sides on gay marriage, and yet I cannot bring myself to criticize Shariah law?"

Again, this is obvious.

And Buzzfeed Ben is not an uncommonly dumb person for the media. Among media types, I'd wager he's actually highly intelligent (for the cohort, I repeat).

But this exposes how painfully, embarrassingly shallow and utterly disconnected from any kind of intellectual rigor these people are.

These creates are not thinkers, and hell, they're barely even writers. What they are are Social Climbers, social animals with a fondness for telling those lower in the social pecking order What's Hot and What Not, but with not a dollop of actual interest in the ideas that are supposedly informing their Viral Persuasions.

These people are shallow, they are incompetent, they are in the arena of idea without actually having any taste for thinking, and they must, and will be, swept aside.

Here's What I'm Doing: Just a brief personal note. This is no big deal. But it doesn't cost me anything to write some frivolous words.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 12:05 PM Comments

Open Thread


Gunnar Widforss, "California Redwood Grove" (1925)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:39 AM Comments

Morning Thread

—Dave In Texas

I love doing this cause it lets me show off my laziness.

Posted by Dave In Texas at 08:23 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (6-29-2015) – Surprise Early Edition


Quote of the Day

"How can something like this happen without prior warning?" asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood in the drizzle after arriving too late at one empty ATM in the Greek capital.

Le Sigh. How Did We Come to The Point Where Even the Serious 'Elite' Are Such Unserious Fools?


Report: US, Partners Won't Be Allowed to Inspect Iran's Nuclear Weapons Facilities Under Agreement

WTF. So in what sense is this actually a nuclear inspection agreement then?

The P5+1 countries led by the United States under Barack Obama have caved in to Iranian demands and will not insist on inspections of nuclear installations as part of a deal on Iran's nuclear weapons program, Channel 1 reported Sunday.

Alternative theory from the article: Iran already has nukes in the form of a couple crude Hiroshima type bombs so it's game-over.

Meanwhile the State Department kicked out unfriendly US reporters at a Vienna briefing on the imminent nuclear agreement.

George Will: A Greek Default Would Be a Valuable Lesson in Basic Economics

It cannot be said too often: There cannot be too many socialist smashups. The best of these punish reckless creditors whose lending enables socialists to live, for a while, off other people's money. The world, which owes much to ancient Athens's legacy, including the idea of democracy, is indebted to today's Athens for the reminder that reality does not respect a democracy's delusions.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 09:55 PM Comments

#TheRevolutionWillBeLiveStreamed: Flynn/LaHood "Candidate Forum," on YouTube, at 7 PM Eastern


Andrew Breitbart's Wartime Consiglierte goes up against Establishment/US Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Partnership scion and Boehner Water Carrier Darin LaHood.

Watch (not just listen) below.

If the channel gets stuck, it might also be available here.

Also, it's the top story at Breitbart.

Update: I'm told that Mike will be appearing on Mark "The Great One" Levin's show at 8:30, or thereabouts. You can listen live here.

Continue reading

Posted by Ace at 06:57 PM Comments

The New York Times, Which Refused to Run Any Mohammad Images Claiming They Simply Would Not Run Pictures That Offended Any Religious Group, Runs Picture of Pope Made Up of Condoms


You might say, how do they know this offends the religious?

Easy. Their own article says the picture is drawing complaints from Catholics in Milwaukee.

Their headline:

Portrait of Pope Benedict XVI Made of Condoms Draws Complaints in Milwaukee

Here was their transparently-false claim in January:

Here's the truth you won't hear in the New York Times:

The New York Times' stock-in-trade is silly, transparent dissembling unworthy of adults or even educated children.

Note: Mike Flynn will have his last "candidate forum" with LaHood (who won't agree to a debate) tonight at 7 eastern, livestreamed at I will be covering it, or, well, listening to it and commenting it.

He'll then be on the Mark Levin show afterwards -- but as the debate is 90 minute (I think), it's going to be tough to squeeze him in. Ah well, we'll see how long he and Mark Levin get to talk.

Posted by Ace at 06:27 PM Comments

Hillary Clinton, Get This, Edited the Emails She Turned Over to State to Delete Embarrassing References to Oil, Terrorism


Another story the media won't discuss.

I saw someone note that altering official federal records -- which Hillary's emails are -- is a felony.

Hillary Clinton withheld Benghazi-related emails from the State Department that detailed her knowledge of the scramble for oil contracts in Libya and the shortcomings of the NATO-led military intervention for which she advocated.

Clinton removed specific portions of other emails she sent to State, suggesting the messages were screened closely enough to determine which paragraphs were unfit to be seen by the public.

For example, one email Clinton kept from the State Department indicates Libyan leaders were "well aware" of which "major oil companies and international banks" supported them during the rebellion, information they would "factor into decisions" about about who would be given access to the country's rich oil reserves.

Remember, this is as she's taking $100 million from Canadian oil-and-uranium mining magnate Frank Guistra.

The email, which Clinton subsequently scrubbed from her server, indicated Clinton was aware that involvement in the controversial conflict could have a significant financial benefit to firms that were friendly to the Libyan rebels.

She thanked Sidney Blumenthal, her former aide and author of dozens of informal intelligence memos, for the tip, which she called "useful," and informed him she was preparing to hold a meeting with Libyan leaders in Paris in an exchange that suggests the flow of information went both ways.

State Department officials admitted Clinton had withheld all of nine emails and parts of six others after Blumenthal provided 60 emails to the House Select Committee on Benghazi that the agency had failed to submit earlier this year.

There's more. I can't quote it all.

Twitchy complied some earlier reaction.

The White House is putting out the word that they're "disgusted" by the email scandal, but this is par for the course for this White House, which tacitly approves of actions but puts out claims about how "angry" they are.

There's a way a president can show his anger about remorseless law-breaking: Appointing a Special Prosecutor with the power to investigate and bring criminal charges, if warranted.

But they won't do that, will they? No, they'll keep their Democratic apparatchiks busy covering it all up, then putting out the word they're "disgusted" at having to clean up Hiilary's filthy, stinking leavings.

Apparently Hillary Clinton's Yoga Routines consist of Downward Dog Graft and Crescent Moon Crony Militarism.

Posted by Ace at 05:07 PM Comments

Politically Corrupt, Devoutly Anti-American Supreme Court Reaches Randomly Into Its Grab-Bag of "What's Hot" and "What's Not" Rulings, Puts Texas Abortion Restrictions on Hold
Update: "Gay Reparations?"


This isn't a full ruling on the merits, but rather a restraining order to keep the situation in place while the Supreme Court has a nine-man political debate about it and Elects a New Law.

The part of the Texas law being estopped is always the one I thought was most problematic and likely to result in court action -- the one that basically shutters abortion clinics, I think the ones where they have no doctor on staff with privileges at a nearby hospital.

Although sold as a "health" measure, I think it's pretty obviously put in there to keep the number of abortion clinics low, which may be a problem.

But the Supreme Court is basically spinning the Wheel of Made-Up Law lately, randomly guessing the consonants and letters that will spell out its opinions, so who knows.

And yes, Obama solicitor general David Verelli has already admitted that tax exemptions for religious institutions opposed to gay marriage are officially under jeopardy under the Supreme Court's latest lawmaking without the consent of the governed, so you have that to look forward to.

BTW, a guy I trust says that he was speaking to an informed source on the Gay Marriage side of things, and he says that "gay reparations" are going to be a live issue in 2016, and something that all candidates will have to take a position on.

Posted by Ace at 03:53 PM Comments

Lawless, Politically-Rotten Supreme Court Randomly Rules that Obama's EPA Rule is "Unconstitutional"


Oh, I'm happy about the ruling.

But I'm not going to pretend the Supreme Court is ruling on the law or Constitution any longer.

This particular EPA rule bothered a majority of the Supreme Court, as it would bother any person voting in a political election. So they had their own nine-man political election, and said "Nah."

I'm with Andy C. McCarthy -- and with Drew M Tips. I'm done with the ruse. The Supreme Court is just a political organ -- but one we don't get to vote on.

We should. We need retention votes. If these motherf***ers want to be political, we get to vote on them, and run campaigns against them.

So here's how the third House of Congress voted, the House of Congress that gets to make All the Laws in this country.

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.


In the majority ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia concluded that the EPA "unreasonably" interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided not to consider industry compliance costs and whether regulating the pollutants is "appropriate and necessary.”

While the agency is afforded a certain level of power to interpret the law, the court wrote, "EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants."

Oh but by the way this is the same Third House of Congress that just sagely informed us that an executive agency could reasonably read "established by the state" as "established by the federal government," and also, that the right to gay-marry was established 150 years ago by the 14th Amendment, but no one realized that until last Thursday.

Posted by Ace at 02:41 PM Comments

Three Essays on Post-America America


Charlie Martin: The Know-Betters Will Bring You Morlocks to Heel.

In the 1850s there was an active political movement that became known as the "Know-Nothings," because they considered themselves semi-secret, and members, when questioned about the group, were supposed to say "I know nothing." Of course, a secret political party doesn’t have much effect, and quickly the Know-Nothings were pretty overt about telling everyone around them that they knew nothing, over and over again.

It seems to me there’s a semi-secret political party at work in the U.S. now: the People Who Know Better.


[T]he Know-Betters would never come to the conclusion that conditions in places like Colorado simply aren’t suited for wide-scale mass transit.

Instead, the Know-Betters have decided that we should use government to impose greater population density, with utopian city plans that push people into small, "walkable" communities with mass transit hubs.

And if people prefer to live on half-acre lots with lawns and space between houses, well, they Know Better.


I keep finding myself coming back to a passage from Thomas Jefferson that I put up on Tatler a long while ago. Here’s Jefferson:

Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.

– Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Henry Lee, 1824)

Rod Dreher writes of the need to now live as expatriots in our own country. Internal exiles, as the Soviets termed them.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Obergefell decision-- and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America.

The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision "a threat to democracy," and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution.


The warning to conservatives from the four dissenters could hardly be clearer or stronger. So where does that leave us?

For one, we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist. To be frank, the court majority may impose on the rest of the nation a view widely shared by elites, but it is also a view shared by a majority of Americans. There will be no widespread popular resistance to Obergefell. This is the new normal.

For another, LGBT activists and their fellow travelers really will be coming after social conservatives....

It is time for what I call the Benedict Option. In his 1982 book After Virtue, the eminent philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre likened the current age to the fall of ancient Rome. He pointed to Benedict of Nursia, a pious young Christian who left the chaos of Rome to go to the woods to pray, as an example for us. We who want to live by the traditional virtues, MacIntyre said, have to pioneer new ways of doing so in community. We await, he said "a new — and doubtless very different — St. Benedict."

Throughout the early Middle Ages, Benedict’s communities formed monasteries, and kept the light of faith burning through the surrounding cultural darkness. Eventually, the Benedictine monks helped refound civilization.

I believe that orthodox Christians today are called to be those new and very different St. Benedicts.

Tim Carney's piece is tangentially related, but it expresses a very important point.

Buzzfeed Ben was asked to reconcile his shitty listicle site's stated claim of being "neutral" with its all-in rainbow-color theming for the gay marriage ruling. He said that he was being perfectly neutral and objective -- it's just that there aren't two sides to the gay marriage question. There's only one.

This is a frightening thought, and LOLCats Ben isn't the only one pushing it. In order to claim the high road of being liberal and tolerant of ideas, while at the same time actually being as illiberal and intolerant as any zealot or hooded klansman, it is necessary to deem contrary positions unpositions, which therefore can only be held by unpeople.

By claiming an idea simply does not exist in civil society, one must, perforce, also claim that those holding that idea do not, or must not, themselves exist in civil society.

Something must be sacrificed in order to maintain these two contradictory claims -- and the thing most easily sacrificed is any acknowledgement of you as a human being and American citizen.

But Buzzfeed Ben is a nice, open-minded guy. Just ask him. He'll tell you so.

Posted by Ace at 01:50 PM Comments

So, Donald Trump


Republicans are starting to get kind of freaked out about this whole Trump thing.

“Donald Trump is like watching a roadside accident,” said former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. “Everybody pulls over to see the mess. And Trump thinks that’s entertainment. But running for president is serious. And the risk for the party is he tarnishes everybody.”

Those risks were amplified this week after a trio of polls showed him likely to earn a coveted invitation to the party’s debates, which ironically were restructured with the very goal of avoiding the circus-like atmosphere of 2012. Giving Trump a major platform just as the country is tuning in is not exactly the Big Tent the party’s bigwigs had in mind..

“I’m not excited about somebody as divisive as Trump or somebody as obnoxious as Trump being on the debate stage,” one RNC member confessed.

First, a bit of throat clearing: Trump is an ass. He's a liberal. He's not going to be President or even the nominee.

With that out of the way, contra that RNC member, I'm giddy at the prospect of the GOP having to deal with Trump.

He's very valuable in one key way, holding a mirror up to what is wrong with the GOP. The "serious" candidates are awful. They are milquetoast.

John Kasich and Marco Rubio...hey, SCOTUS ruled on gay marriage, move on.

Jeb Bush...nuke the filibuster to get rid of ObamaCare? Gee, I don't know let me think about that.

Scott Walker says he'd nuke the filibuster to repeal ObamaCare but his personality isn't exactly...electrifying.

Trump is a clown but he's says things people are feeling. I know conservatives hate the whole "I have feels!" thing but guess what...people do. You need to acknowledge them, reflect them and connect with them.

Republican candidates are far more at home in the boardroom or the congressional hearing room than the living room and it shows in the candidates they keep picking.

Remember how Romney got crushed on the very important "cares about people like me" metric? I bet Trump, for all his money, scores off the charts on that.

Rubio probably comes closest but as you saw in his reaction to the SSM decision, he's really most passionate about amnesty, how much he loves America and a hawkish foreign policy. He never really talks about smaller government or out of control government. He just wants to be the rationale manager of it.

Unless and until the GOP can find a candidate who hits the sweet spot of being seen as a plausible President and caring about people's lives, it's going to be in big trouble.

Posted by DrewM. at 12:18 PM Comments

We're Living In The United States Of Calvinball. It's Time The Right Got In The Game.


"Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
Excerpt from the Calvinball theme song"

The imaginary game from the great Calvin and Hobbes comic strip series seems eerily like what liberals have made of what is supposed to be our constitutional republic.

The right is behind in this game because we don't want to admit we're playing it but we are. I'll admit I'm late to the game. While I still don't think it's time to go full Obama it is time to embrace a hybrid game that allows us to live within the Constitution while fighting back. Well, we could if there was a party willing to play for us.

Let's pretend for a moment the GOP wakes up one morning and realizes it stands for something beyond "win seats, hire loyalists, and pay consultants" (hey it's Calvinball, anything is possible), what would want them to do?

Assuming there is a GOP Congress and President come 2017 there are a few things they can do that would shake up the fundamental nature of our current political system while still staying with the Constitutional system we cherish.

1- Eliminate the filibuster.
It is neither ordained by God nor required by the Constitution. Mostly what it serves to do is lock Democratic wins into place and make it impossible for conservatives to pass anything.

The GOP has never held a filibuster proof majority in the Senate so it's not a positive tool for passing things and locking them in. Yes, the Democrats will some day have a majority and pass spectacularly horrible things but they do that anyway. All the filibuster really does is make it easier for liberal Republicans to collaborate with Democrats to create and save programs.

Removing the filibuster would create a balance of terror that is lacking now. Democrats know they can pass programs and there's nothing the GOP can do in response. Make them fear what the next GOP majority will pass when they are helpless.

Once the filibuster is gone, what should the GOP do?

2- Create two or four new Supreme Court seats.
Yes, pack the court to the gills. Again, there's nothing magical about having nine justices at a time. If the Court is going to serve as a Super-Legislature it should be larger.

Liberals want to play games and make SCOTUS the center of the government, fine. That's there move now it's our turn to play come Calvinball and change the rules.

Harry Reid nuked the filibuster to pack the DC Court of appeals so the precedent,
not that government by Calvinball requires one, has been set. Game on.

None of the new justices should be older than 50 or so and all should be
unabashed conservatives. They don't even have to be lawyers. Justice Charles C.W. Cooke has a nice ring to it, no?

3- Eliminate withholding.
Again, there's nothing sacred about the way we collect our taxes. If people want big, crushing government, fine. Make them feel it and let them see how much it costs them.

I think hiking taxes is bad policy and economics but it can be good politics, so if as a sop to independents and even Democrats I'd support a 15 or 20% surcharge on the net worth of the top 1% to sweeten the pot. The "donor class" has been spending lots of money pushing big government types. Fine, pony up even more.

4- Repeal ObamaCare and a whole host of other laws.
Hey it's Calvinball, you can do whatever you want! Have at it.

Will the GOP, especially a Mitch McConnell led Senate, do any of these things? No.

Even if the GOP wins the presidency, the Senate majority will probably be smaller. Faced with the usual mid-term losses of the party in power, McConnell will retreat even further into a shell to protect his useless members. For them, it's about winning to stay in office,, not to do anything with those wins.

Even if the GOP was willing to "pack the Court" there's no reason to believe a GOP President wouldn't just appoint a bunch of Souter, Kennedy and Roberts types.

Could all of this backfire at some point in the future even if it payed dividends in the short and/or medium term? Sure but we know for a fact that if we keep playing by the rules of the game as they exist we'll lose more now AND in the future.

I understand these ideas are not temperamentally conservative. One should not rush to throw old systems away on a whim. The problem is the old systems we love have been thrown away. We simply need to accept that.

Everything I've advocated, while disruptive are within the bounds of the Constitution. They don't require us to ignore laws or invent new rights. We just need to be willing to take advantage of the moves we are allowed to make now.

But the GOP will do none of this. They will either promise you unattainable Constitutional amendments or suggest you meekly assent to liberal usurpations.

And my guess is, that will be good enough for most conservatives.

Enjoy the decline. But hey...Go GOP, right?

Posted by DrewM. at 10:33 AM Comments

Open Thread


George Inness, "Kearsarge Village" (1875)

Posted by rdbrewer at 10:10 AM Comments

Morning Open Thread


If you like this blog so much why don't you marry it?

Posted by BenK at 08:06 AM Comments

Overnight Open Thread (6-28-2015)


Quote of the Day I - Our New Reality

Exchanges established by the federal government are exchanges established by the state. Rachel Dolezal is black. Iran will honor an agreement not to develop nuclear weapons. ISIS is a JV team. There's an epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses. Michael Brown had his hands up and pleaded "don't shoot." Caitlyn Jenner is a woman. Obamacare is working. 2+2 doesn't necessarily equal 4. The polar ice caps are disappearing. The IRS is doing a decent job. The border is secure.We've ended two wars responsibly. Hillary Clinton turned over all work-related e-mails. An $18,200,000,000,000 debt can grow without mention. People who burn down buildings and overturn cars aren't thugs. The OPM hack is manageable. We've reset relations with Russia. Entitlement reform can be kicked down the road. We're more respected around the world.

-- Peter Kirsanow in Reality Is Now Discretionary

Quote of the Day II - dar al Gay Edition

Two plus two equals five. A severed head plus "Allahu Akbar!" equals "Nothing to do with Islam." Network screenings of Gone With The Wind plus Uncle Ben's rice equals blatant incitement to mass murder. A nice chichi gay couple at 27 Elm Street and a firebreathing imam and his four child brides at 29 Elm Street equals the social harmony of a multiculti utopia.

Where is this story headed? The warriors of the caliphate divide the planet into the dar al Islam and the dar al harb - the house of war. In reality, it's a struggle between the dar al Islam and the dar al Gay: Liberty in the fin de civilisation west means sexual liberty and nothing else - which is why one consequence of yesterday's decision is that freedom of expression and freedom of religion will increasingly be confined to what Justice Alito called the deepest recesses of your home.

-- Mark Steyn

Quote of the Day III

After all, the greengrocer was a threat to the system not because of any physical or actual power he had, but because his action went beyond itself, because it illuminated its surroundings and, of course, because of the incalculable consequences of that illumination. In the post-totalitarian system, therefore, living within the truth has more than a mere existential dimension (returning humanity to its inherent nature), or a noetic dimension (revealing reality as it is), or a moral dimension (setting an example for others). It also has an unambiguous political dimension. If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living the truth. This is why it must be suppressed more severely than anything else.

In the post-totalitarian system, truth in the widest sense of the word has a very special import, one unknown in other contexts. In this system, truth plays a far greater (and, above all, a far different) role as a factor of power, or as an outright political force.

-- Vaclav Havel in the Power of the Powerless

Meanwhile the Gleischaltung immediately rolls on:

Politico Mag Writer Says 'It's Time to Legalize Polygamy.'

Time Writer: Now's the Time To End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions

Politico Writer Says Gay Marriage is Superior to Regular Marriage

Dailybeast Writer: Did The Four Dissenting Justices In Gay Marriage Case Just Suggest Treason?


Andy McCarthy: It's Time To Give Up on the Supreme Court as a Court

Here former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy argues that we should just admit that the Supreme Court has now become a supra-legislature and treat it as such.

Did you notice that there was not an iota of speculation about how the four Progressive justices would vote?

There was never a shadow of a doubt. In the plethora of opinions generated by these three cases, there is not a single one authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, or Sonia Sotomayor. There was no need. They are the Left's voting bloc. There was a better chance that the sun would not rise this morning than that any of them would wander off the reservation.

...And it is not so much that they move in lockstep. It is that no one expects them to do anything but move in lockstep - not their fellow justices, not the political branches, and certainly not the commentariat, right or left.

It is simply accepted that these justices are not there to judge. They are there to vote. They get to the desired outcome the same way disparate-impact voodoo always manages to get to discrimination: Start at the end and work backwards. Guiding precedents are for the quaint business of administering justice. In the social justice business, the road never before traveled will do if one less traveled is unavailable. But there's a problem. Once it has become a given that a critical mass of the Supreme Court is no longer expected, much less obliged, to do law, then the Court is no longer a legal institution. It is a political institution.

So forget Constitutional strict constructionalism and all that and simply strive to get conservative electors into our third legislative body to start voting against the progressive bloc.

John Hinderaker of Power Line suggests that if we're now in a post-constitutional era, the conservative justices should start discovering new 'fundamental rights' more to our side's liking:

For example, how about a "fundamental right" not to pay income taxes in a percentage exceeding that which other Americans are charged? Why isn't the progressive income tax a violation of the equal protection clause? That is a much stronger argument than the one the Court has just accepted on gay marriage. Or, how about a theory that the Internal Revenue Service is violating Americans' right of privacy-that same right of privacy that the Court found among the emanations and penumbras of the Constitution's actual provisions-in seeking extensive information about taxpayers' finances?

Or how about a fundamental right to affordable energy-or, rather, to be free of government policies that unreasonably raise the cost of energy? If the Supreme Court discovered such a right, the EPA's anti-coal regulations would be unconstitutional. You could write a decision in support of such a "fundamental right" that would be at least as persuasive as Justice Kennedy's "fortune cookie" travesty. What is more fundamental than heating your home and driving your car? To paraphrase Justice Kennedy, what if a voice cries out in the night, saying, "Honey! Can you turn the heat up?"

If conservatives are willing to abandon the archaic notion that the Supreme Court is a court and not a super-legislature, there is no telling what conservative policies might be advanced.

Continue reading

Posted by Maetenloch at 11:08 PM Comments


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(that record has been extended every year since 1986!)
Podcast Update: As most, including me, will be off Friday, we're not doing the podcast this week... we will reschedule Buck Dharma as soon as it's convenient for him! (Oh, is this something?)
Watch this Kurdish fighter set off an ISIS land mine... and get angry!
There's a reason ISIS hates to fight Kurds. [@ComradeArthur]
Reason TV: Laura Kipnis On How Campus Feminism Infantilizes Women
"'What now gets labeled feminism on [college] campuses,' says Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis, 'has to do with dialing back a lot the progress women have made establishing ourselves as consenting adults.'" [rdbrewer]
Mark Levin's Huge Endorsement of Mike Flynn for #IL18
At the 93 minute mark, about... Levin mistakenly says Illinois 8, but it's the 18th. Vote, volunteer, and support!
Should There Be Different Degrees of Rape, or Sexual Assault, According to Intent?
I've argued before there should be a difference between knowing rape and what might be called "criminally negligent sexual assault" (where one is so negligent in making sure the other party has consented that we could say it is a crime of some kind... similar to criminally negligent homicide, in theory)
Study: Listening to Heavy Metal Might Make Dark-Mooded People Feel Better
Um... I think that's the whole point of it, no?
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The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
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Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
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Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
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John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
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Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
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They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
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When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
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Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
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