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April 09, 2015

Overnight Open Thread (4-9-2014)

And just remember that this is the stuff that wasn't worthy of my ONT at The Federalist. They have standards there. Also paychecks.

Quote of the Day I - Yeah But The Culture War Is Interested in You Edition

By now, we know the basic ingredients of a typical skirmish in Culture War 4.0. It goes something like this: a) a leftist claque starts loudly pushing the "correct" Culture War position onto b) a field previously considered fun, innocuous, apolitical, purely personal, or recreational, and c) accusing anyone who opposes them of being a racist, sexist, bigot who relies on oppressive "privilege" to push everyone else down, while these claims are d) backed up by a biased press that swallows the line of attack uncritically and repeats it.

Any of that sound familiar? It's just daily life for anyone on the Right, and it's slowly becoming daily life for everybody else. Ask Comet Guy.

The innocuous field in which the personal is suddenly discovered to be very political might be fashion, music, toys, sports, or sex, not to mention weddings, flowers, cake-baking, and pizza.

Or video games. Or science fiction.

Which explains the latest, wide new front of the Great Social Justice War: Gamergate and its latest outgrowth, the battle over the Hugo Awards, a prestigious annual fiction award for science fiction and fantasy writers.

-- Robert Tracinski

Quote of the Day II

The revelations in these two pieces prompted the Washington Examiner's Ashe Schow to ask, "Has the Rolling Stone gang-rape author EVER corroborated a story?"

Never forget that Sabrina Erdely was disciplined by Stephen Glass (!!) for submitting a fabricated story. Obviously this was a rare demerit on an otherwise illustrious career.

Quote of the Day III - National Day of Anti-Bullying Pink Edition

If you're thinking, "Hang on. Day of Pink? Didn't we just have that?" No, that was Pink Shirt Day, the last Wednesday in February. This is Day of Pink, second Wednesday in April. Like the King streetcar, there'll be another one along in a minute, enthusiastically sponsored by Scotiabank, Royal Bank, ViaRail and all the other corporate bigwigs.

If you're thinking, "Hang on. Pink awareness-raising? Isn't that something to do with breast cancer?" No, that's pink ribbons. Unfortunately, all the hues for awareness-raising ribbons are taken: not just white for bone cancer and yellow for adenosarcoma, but also (my current favourite) periwinkle for acid reflux. We need to raise awareness of how all the awareness-raising ribbons have been taken, so anti-bullying groups have been obliged to move on from ribbons to shirts.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, it is. P.G. Wodehouse, The Code Of The Woosters (1938):

"Don't you ever read the papers? Roderick Spode is the founder and head of the Saviours of Britain, a Fascist organization better known as the Black Shorts ."

"By the way, when you say 'shorts', you mean 'shirts', of course."

"No. By the time Spode formed his association, there were no shirts left. He and his adherents wear black shorts."

-- Mark Steyn

Quote of the Day IV

There is the love and marriage and family kind of happiness, which is exceedingly boring to describe but nonetheless is important to have and dreadful not to have.

-- PJ O'Rourke

GLoP: "We Are Prepared To Believe You and Offer Counseling"

This week's GLoP podcast on Ricochet with Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and John Podhoretz was particularly good so I'm just going to steal this long excerpt compiled by Ed Driscoll. I am however omitting the part where they talked about their experiences at orgies. And no I'm not just making that up.

JOHN PODHORETZ: You talk about people's ordinary skepticism, or common skepticism. I would submit to you that once something becomes a hot ideologically-charged topic, that skepticism is not only suspended in most cases, but it is understood by everyone around - on all sides of the debate - that it is dangerous to your reputation, to your sanity, and to the good working order of your day, to even whisper a breath of skepticism.

* * * * * *

JONAH GOLDBERG: I read the entire Columbia report, and there is no allegation that anybody except for "Jackie" lied or purposefully misrepresented the truth. You're absolutely right John, about people losing their skepticism when they get caught up in the sort of ideological St. Vitas' Dance of the moment, and we see this on a grand scale with things like global warming and other groupthink problems. But this was a situation where it wasn't just their skepticism, but it was the mechanisms and procedures that were in place. At time and time again, the rules said, we've got to get a second source on this. The rules said, we got to [give] the accused a chance to comment. The rules said, we've got confirm the date and the identity of these people. And in each and every step, Jann Wenner and Will Dana and Sabrina Erdely all decided at one point or another to go another way. They all decided to drop the rules that they had in place. That's why I think this is much more like the Dan Rather stuff. Because this was just something they wanted to be true for ideological and political reasons so badly, that they thought it was worth dropping the normal rules.

And it does get to this other issue, which nobody wants to talk about, which is, what is it about college campuses today that sets up an environment where some many young people feel compelled to lie about their oppression? It's not just this "Jackie" girl, who lied and lied and lied for months on end to a reporter, and was fine with her story being written, as long as no one fact-checked it. (Which is a kind of dementia in a lot of ways.) But also on college campuses after college campuses, racial hoaxes happen all the time, and administrations shut them down because they don't like the bad publicity.

It's a state of hysteria - it's very much like Salem. There was the one at - was it Oberlin? - where someone came out in a white blanket on a cold day, and the first instinct was: Oh my God, the Klan is here!

ROB LONG: The Klan is at Oberlin! Yeah, they're at Oberlin.

PODHORETZ: Yeah, they're taking cello lessons.

GOLDBERG: And they had days of meetings and panic about that, and they wanted to see if accused racist children would float in the horse trough or not! It was just like a total witch trial mentality and this is going on campuses.

LONG: Why is that?

GOLDBERG: .And Rolling Stone suspended the rules, because they believed this girl so much.

PODHORETZ: OK, can I give you my theory about college campuses? We can talk about the professoriate, and we can talk about student activist groups, and all of this. But there is a third force on college campuses. And it is this bureaucracy of counseling. In field after field, in gender, in race, in sexuality, there is now this bureaucracy that has come up to help counsel kids with their problems on college campuses.

And one of the problems is, it's a classic thing in economics: if you subsidize something, you get more of it. So if you have counseling bureaucracies, one of the things that a counselor in problems involving gender is going to find is more problems involving gender. More discrimination. More hostility. Same with race. Same with LGBT. And when you create a permanently-employed bureaucracy that is in part enriched by these things happening, because of course, then maybe you can hire more counselors and you are more central to the university's mission, and your center gets more money, and you get raises, and all of that.

And you believe in it! I'm not saying by the way, that counselors don't believe that there is an epidemic of rape on college campuses, and that if you're black, your life is a misery at all college campuses. And if you're gay, terrible things are going to happen to you, because somebody looks at you cross-eyed when you walk across the campus.

They believe all this. But it is also in their innate interest, and it also in the interest in the campus itself to be able say, "Hey, you know what?! Your kids are safe. [Adopts sing-song-y nanny voice] Look, if anything's wrong they can go to the counseling center!"

LONG: Isn't it also this weird thing that...I'm now going to say something completely incendiary, without a shred of proof or backup. But it seems to me that these are all white kids running around saying "we have been raped" or [the victims of] "micro-aggression," and all that stuff.

It's like they have envy. They get to college after 20 or 30 years of very complicated ethnic and racial diversity training on college campuses. Now the white kids want in, so everyone's got to be a victim. Everyone arrives in college as this horribly wounded, vulnerable bird. And college is supposed to be place where you're sort of massaged and you're padded and this institution of therapy around you. To try to make it OK about the trauma that you've suffered to get there, to get to Oberlin.

PODHORETZ: But it doesn't have to be everybody; that's partially, I think Jonah's point. It can be two people, it can be three people, on a campus of 4,000 or 25,000, or 50,000, who can turn the place upside-down. Somebody paints a swastika on his own door, and the entire place revolved around this fact for an entire week. It is very empowering of dangerously deluded or fallacious behavior.

GOLDBERG: We're in a weird Nietzschian transition moment where victimhood is the way you assert your will to power.

LONG: Yes, exactly right.

Also: This Is What Happens When the Army Has People Whose Entire Careers Are Based on Finding Racism in the Army

They had one job. And they were incompetent at that.

But that's not even enough, now that we have tens of thousands of useless people whose job is to conduct Reconstruction, as if that had not been done, already, historically speaking; and who work most often at cross-purposes to institutional goals of unity and solidarity in the ranks. No, in recent years the DOD budget has become a Christmas Tree of handouts to professional Diversity Firms, the noxious product of all those university racialist Grievance Studies departments. So it's bad enough that your unit must bear the dead weight of an EO NCO who is, most often, a complete waste of skin. But now he doesn't even have to do his single actual duty, his annual Don't Be A Racist In My Army brief, because it's been outsourced to some gang of racial grievance entrepreneurs who are connected to Administration figures. So now, some fat chick from White Guilt Industries® comes in and reads the slides, and gets $20k for the day she goes around from unit to unit telling all the races they should be at loggerheads.

...The Army EO Program has decided that they will respond to this. How so? Everyone gets to experience more EO Lectures, and the EO NCOs will get more training on how to teach White Privilege to auditoriums full of privileged PFCs. (Didn't feel privileged when you were a PFC? That's the "Luxury of Obliviousness," Jeff Davis). Firing the racist presenter? Oh, no. That might start a deluge.

U.S. Gov't to Americans Trapped in Yemen: Maybe Call India

All of Snape's Scenes in the Harry Potter Films Put in Chronological Order

And they paint a much more heroic picture of Snape showing how was able to eventually overcome his own bitterness and tragic past, remain loyal to Dumbledore at great cost, protect and even come to love Harry despite his own flaws and emotional conflicts.

Hogwarts Express Suspended From British Rail Network After 100 mph Near-Miss

Damned reckless wizards with no regard for muggles.

Welcome to net neutrality! We're going to start taxing your broadband now.

Every month, consumers pay a small fee on their phone bills for a federal program that uses the money - a total of $8.8 billion raised nationwide last year - to provide affordable access to telecommunications services in rural areas, underserved inner cities and schools.

Now the fee could start appearing on broadband bills too, in a major expansion of the nearly two-decade-old Universal Service Fund program.


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, argued that even if broadband firms are required to contribute, there are no plans to increase the annual size of the fund.

Well no plans at the very moment of the quote. Which has already passed.

I've Seen the Movies and Trust Me This Will End in Tears and Fire

The New Democratic Plan: The Good News is That You Will No Longer Work For The Man

The bad news is that you will be working and paying higher taxes for The Retired Man.

Social Security is becoming a worse deal for each generation. Those now joining the workforce are expected to pay more into the system than they get out of it. Warren's plan is to shower more money on the current generation of retirees, but without increasing the deficit over the next 10 years. That means, in all likelihood, raising taxes on current workers while also increasing the program's long-run fiscal deficit.

How States Are Conducting Opportunistic Gun Confiscations

Many police departments have a policy of never returning any guns taken into custody even if they are required to return them later by the law. Some destroy them as a matter of course and then make the owners go to court to get reimbursement for their guns.

Piketty's Logic Gap

Saudi Fatwa: Eating Your Wife Is Halal

And they mean in the Donner Party way - not the slangy, more enjoyable way.

Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority has issued a fatwa allowing a starving man to eat his wife in order to save himself, causing a stir among the Kingdom's residents, London-based daily al-Quds al-Arabi reported.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, according to the report, said that the act would display the wife's obedience to her husband and her willingness to become one with his flesh. [...]

NASA Set To Investigate Giant Fart Methane Cloud Over the 4 Corners Region of the US


If You Can't Trust Human Breast Milk Bought Off the Internet, What Can You Trust?


Thought For the Day

118 Supple yet arrogant glans is a good band name.

Posted by: toby928(C) at April 09, 2015 06:13 PM (rwI+c)

Yahoo group. That is all.

Come on be a smartie and join the yahoo group party! For the children.

And my lo-fi Twitter spew.

Tonight's post brought to you by the Venn diagram of people who touch you 'down there':


Notice: Do not taunt or annoy happy-fun ball. Do not taunt or annoy host. Do not complain about ONT topics or ONT tardiness. Do not violate the Hidden Law. Do not speak of rhubarb. Do not use the ONT white zone except for loading and unloading. No horseplay in the pool area. No flaunting of ampersands unless you brought enough for everyone. Boasts of physical endowments MUST be backed by photographic evidence. Also you are all now on double secret probation.

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