Monday, April 29, 2019

Hear the children/Don't turn around oh oh oh

It's great fun to be a commissar, Megan McArdle reminds us:
Revolutionaries and reformers, working from outside the system, can't force people to renounce wrong-think by threatening to strip them of their livelihoods and drum them out of the public square. Those weapons are available only to the powers-that-be.

To advocate such tactics is therefore to admit that you are no longer fighting the system, but that you are the system -- that in the centers of cultural production, at least, Rosa Luxemburg is giving way to the commissars, and Martin Luther to the Grand Inquisitor.
McArdle is referencing recent events at Middlebury College, but she could have just as easily used any number of other liberal arts colleges, including my own alma mater. To get a sense of what's going on, consider the demands of the Middlebury student government:
Any organization or academic department that invites a speaker to campus will be required to fill out a due diligence form created by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in coordination with the SGA Institutional Diversity Committee. These questions should be created to determine whether a speaker’s beliefs align with Middlebury’s community standards, removing the burden of researching speakers from the student body.
Heterodox opinions need not apply. There's more:
Additionally, administrators will ask Faculty Council to require all academic departments to have Student Advisory Boards which will have access to a list of speakers invited by the department at least a month in advance. The Student Advisory Boards’ purpose will be to ask the student body for potential community input when necessary.
They won't really be asking, though.

One tradition that many schools have is to assign a book to all incoming freshmen. I might suggest future Middlebury students ought to be given a copy of Lord of the Flies and a mirror. But in the meantime, there is the matter of all the undergrad commissars and their enforcement of woke orthodoxy. Back to McArdle:
Woke-ism may have some of the emotional tenor of church, but it lacks the supernatural beliefs and cohesive ritual of a real faith.

As for cultural socialism ... what could "collective ownership of the means of production" mean when applied to culture, which is collectively produced now and always has been?

I suspect that both sides are searching for a different word, one associated with both religion and Marxism: What they are trying to describe is an orthodoxy, a received wisdom enforced not by argument but by social, economic or even violent coercion.
So how do you enforce it?
Existing orthodoxies are largely self-enforcing, transmitted by a million little social signals you absorb without noticing.

Adopting a new orthodoxy, however, is messy. And while the new orthodoxy gropes toward its final shape, people living under it experience a special, debilitating terror: the fear that anything you say might be held against you, that what is mandatory today might be forbidden tomorrow, with ex post facto justice meted out to anyone who failed to anticipate the change.
It's a clear case, Herr Kommissar
'Cause all the children know
They're all slidin' down into the valley
They're all slipping on the same snow

Alles klar? 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Ask an expert

The pot calling out the kettle:

It's going to be so sweet when Trump declassifies everything. And I remain convinced he will.

The Iger Sanction

Or, more properly, sanctioning someone who finds Disney honcho Bob Iger, well, icky. Take it away, Matthew Continetti:
If it were not for her last name, Abigail Disney would be just another alumna of Yale (B.A.), Stanford (M.A.), and Columbia (PhD) living in Manhattan. No one would pay SJmuch attention to her opinions, none of them especially unique or different from others shared by her class. But she is a Disney, dammit, and in America in the twenty-first century we must heed the rich and privileged, especially if they parrot the left wing of the Democratic Party. 
Abigail doesn't like money, you see. Well, making money. She's cool with her trust fund, but Iger is a businessman doing business and that won't do:
"I like Bob Iger," she wrote in a Twitter rant this week. "I do NOT speak for my family but only for myself." And she has nothing to do with the company other than holding shares "(not that many)." But Iger's compensation in 2018 of $65.6 million is "insane." Someone has to "speak out about the naked indecency" of it all, she wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post, a newspaper owned by the richest man on Earth. 
Is Iger worth $65.6 million? Apparently so, since the Disney board of directors gladly paid it to him. Considering Disney's market cap has gone up by $25 billion on his watch, he seems to have a talent for creating value. But it's indecent to do that, you see.

Limousine liberals are, for my money, the most annoying subspecies you can find. Continetti does a fine job of illuminating what's inside the limo. Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

This seems significant

Judicial Watch strikes again:
Judicial Watch announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President. The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner.

E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, made the disclosure to Judicial Watch as part of court-ordered discovery into the Clinton email issue.
There's more:
Priestap was asked by Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Hillary Clinton, her former staff, and government agencies from which “email repositories were obtained.” Priestap responded with the following non-exhaustive list: 
Bryan Pagliano
Cheryl Mills
Executive Office of the President [Emphasis added]
Heather Samuelson
Jacob Sullivan
Justin Cooper
United States Department of State
United States Secret Service
Williams & Connolly LLP 
Priestap also testifies that 48,982 emails were reviewed as a result of a warrant for Clinton email account information from the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who had been married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
All the screaming about impeachment, especially now, is a distraction. Watch the show.


I tweaked the blog settings so links should now be screamingly obvious. Hope it helps and sorry about any confusion.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The last honest Democrat?

Mark Penn, who worked as a pollster for Bill Clinton during the Whitewater investigation that morphed into Lewinskygate, has been probably the sanest portside observer of the continuing Mueller fandango. Writing for The Hill, he's got it nailed:
Most people don’t understand what it is to not only be personally investigated for something you didn’t do but also have your friends, family members and associates placed in legal jeopardy over it. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team systematically targeted the people around the president, squeezing them like lemons, indicting them on mostly process crimes created by the investigation itself. They reviewed everyone’s emails, text messages, phone calls, bank statements — and yet their conclusion on collusion was clear and definitive. It has to be believed.
But it's not likely to stop Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff from staying on the trail. Why? Ask Penn:
But the problem is that Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) are congressmen from safe districts who are nobodies if they have no investigations to launch. It’s in the interest of their egos to keep it all going so that they can have daily press availabilities. And they are whipping up their political bases. It will take some Democrats of courage to turn this off and stop the abuse of going after the president’s financial records. These are the kinds of things Nixon was doing, and there is no justification for those in Congress to be doing exactly those things for which Nixon resigned from office — going after his political enemies.
Exactly. The Democrats are projecting more than a 20-screen multiplex and have been since the inception of this drama. Will they take Penn's advice and call off the chihuahuas? The bet here -- not a chance.

Friday, April 19, 2019

How's the blogger?

Checking in;

  • Things are okay. I am still committed to this feature, but the upheaval in my life has thrown things out of equilibrium. I do anticipate getting back to a more regular blogging schedule in the coming days.
  • Spring is here, finally. We hope.
  • I have a few things going now. Should know some more in the coming days.
Thanks for your support and friendship.

Prove you're innocent, Bad Orange Man!

So the Mueller Report (sounds like a failed Robert Ludlum novel) is out. And for all the hyperventilating about it, the most astonishing thing to me is that now, in 2019 America, you have to prove you're innocent. It has almost always been the case that if a prosecutor cannot find grounds to indict, they say so. Robert Mueller didn't indict, but he left the matter open. That's outrageous. Instead, he left a report filled with a bunch of nuggets so that others could continue to torment his quarry.

We've seen this before, actually. The corrupt Democrats in Wisconsin did the same thing to Scott Walker. The "John Doe" investigations of his campaign were thrown out by state and federal judges, but we got to read all of the prosecution's theories anyway. It was a disgrace. So is what happened to Donald Trump.

Bonus: see if you can spot the irony in the article I linked.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Res ipsa loquitur, yet again

No point in sugarcoating:

It's always something
I think Ilhan Omar should just keep talking.

Res ipsa loquitur

Maxine Waters, oversighting the heck out of those evil big banks:

Monday, April 08, 2019

Getting closer

I hope to get back to blogging more regularly soon. A few quick observations in the meantime:

  • If you haven't read Tyler Dunne's longform evisceration of the Packers, you should. Especially if you are a Packers fan. It's brutal, but Dunne is credible and the only way forward for this franchise and its fans is to understand the past.
  • There's been a lot of buzz about Pete Buttigieg, who at first glance appears to be freshest fresh face among the approximately 7,492 Democrats currently running for president. But is Mayor Pete any good at his current job, which is mayor of South Bend, Indiana? Daniel Greenfield takes a look and you should, too.
  • I've removed a few links from the sidebar. In most cases, they are sites I can no longer in good conscience recommend.
Thanks for your continued support of this feature. I do appreciate it!

Thursday, April 04, 2019

The words aren't there at the moment

We're still in a period of transition here. Although I have a lot of time available for blogging, I'm really not finding much that interests me, especially on the political front. The Democrats are eyeing the full Mueller Report much like Geraldo Rivera thought he had found Al Capone's vault. Apparently I'm supposed to be excited by the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, at least this week. Tim Walz turns out to be as incoherent a loon as his predecessor, if less prone to public mumbling. 

Is it thin gruel? I think so. But I'm not done blogging. It's possible things will be more interesting soon. Hope things are interesting with you. Meanwhile, the thread is open.