Friday, September 19, 2014

Director Blue Smells a Rat

Director Blue notices "The" "American" "Conservative". RTWT, excerpt:

I recently stumbled across a website that purports to represent a center-right point-of-view called The American Conservative. Initially intrigued -- considering that Americans can always use compelling conservative opinion sites -- I perused the site and quickly noticed something a bit, well, off.

No fewer than five articles on the front page alone represented attacks on Sen. Ted Cruz — the brilliant Constitutional conservative from Texas — and many more attacked Israel and "Islamophobia". The ludicrous crackpot Stephen M. Walt, a notorious purveyor of anti-semitism, is linked as are pseudo-conservatives like Conor Friedersdorf.

We smelled the rat too, Doug. I don't know if TAC "purports to represent a center-right point-of-view". I think they purport to represent something they would call traditional conservatism or authentic conservatism.

It's interesting to read other takes on TAC, and I like Director Blue (Doug Ross) with whom I'm pretty much in agreement. I try to stay away from terms like "false flag", but I agree with and rather like the characterization of TAC as "internet chewing gum" and "honeypot".

Most importantly, Mr. Ross points us to a must-read exposé of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer as the kings of leftist academic antisemitism.

"Won't come back again"

It seemed like at this point in my life I had entirely given up my musical obsessiveness and compulsiveness. I hardly even bought CDs anymore. But I did buy Celebrity Skin when it came out in the fall of '98 and Boys on the Radio was always my fave track.

Call me a chauvinist, but here is the real genius behind Hole.

Tom on the two "heavy coins"

Tom writes:

The homilist at Mass last Sunday -- when, as you recall, the Gospel reading was Matthew 18:15-21 -- made an interesting side suggestion while preaching on fraternal correction. He said it may be that the two hardest things for Christians to practice are fraternal correction and forgiveness.

Put another way, perhaps, the natural or humanistic concept of love most falls short of the fullness of Divine love in terms of correction and forgiveness. And if Christians, who are at least occasionally told they should correct and forgive in love, aren't great at it, what can we expect of those whose culture doesn't regard both fraternal correction and forgiveness to be virtues?

Our new priest, who I count as a very wise man for being a youngster in his late twenties, said much the same thing. It's hard to work up the courage to correct people because they may resent it, then they won't like you anymore. But maybe it will aid us in our task to realize that what you've lost in your unpopular state is that "humanistic love" which, as Tom rightly suggests, is a cheap knockoff of the Top Shelf stuff: Divine Love.

My mold

This was the year Everlong came out, but the video for that tune is just ridiculous. So I'm going with the ol' Bittersweet Symphony.

This was also the year I turned 30, which is the first real decade milestone to my mind, twenty being too close to twenty-one, eighteen and sixteen. My friends who I shared a house with in Pittsburgh took me out to dinner on my birthday and we had a good time. Later at night I woke up to loud noises out on our front porch and peaked out the window to see two people having sex on our lounge chair. We chased them off; I recognized the female as being a local crack whore. It goes to show that anything can happen, and that's what I remember about my 30th birthday.

The next day we tossed the chair. I was sort of miffed; it had been my Grandfather's.

Bittersweet symphony, man.

Twenty Reasons Why Ed FitzGerald Hasn’t Released His Jobs Plan

All the Ohio Dems are moaning about how John Kasich won't debate Ed FitzGerald. One reason might be that he is going to trounce FitzGerald without one, and why risk it?

Another reason is that you really don't need to debate anymore; you can just use BuzzFeed to make your point.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

David Harsanyi on why Ted Cruz was right

Here's the best-written article I've found to sum up how I feel about persecuted Christians in the middle-east, the State of Israel and Ted Cruz getting booed a week ago. Here's the meat of it, but it's worth reading the whole thing:

But when it comes worldly matters, here’s what I think I know: There’s only one country in the Middle East that doesn’t persecute – or allow the persecution of – Christians. And, in today’s world, that makes them an ally of the oppressed.

As Cruz points out:

Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people, you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”

No, Israel’s not going to drop commandos in to rescue the Coptic or send an airlift for the Assyrians– any more than the United States can or would. (Though, sometimes, I wonder why.) But in the Middle East, secularism is far less dangerous to Christians than theocracy. Assad, then, might be a better option than ISIS, but Israel is better option than any of them. Because, generally speaking, Israel shares the same enemies, the same broader geopolitical aims and the same moral outlook. Which, today, makes it the only nation to ally with Christians in the Middle East.*

The best testament to how Jews feel about Middle Eastern Christians can be seen in how they treat them. According to a 2013 Israeli census, the Christian population in Israel has been growing over the years. The only stable Christian population in the Middle East. There are 158,000 Christians in Israel (many of them Arab, and some of them Russians who were offered asylum through The Law of Return). And on average, they were better educated than Jews, and just as prosperous. The Israeli government has actively attempted to better integrate Christian Arabs, who are politically dissimilar from many Muslim Israeli Arabs. It must be working to some extent. According to Time magazine, there’s been a big increase in Arab Christians enlisting in the Israeli army, “doubling the number of each of the preceding three years.” Israel should do more to make it happen.

What threatens the Christian population in Israel? It’s what threatens them everywhere. According to the census takers, “there were fears that Muslim intimidation in cities in northern Israel, where many of them live, are causing large numbers to consider emigrating to the West.”

The reason I like this article so much is it addresses the usual canards thrown around about the views of people like me who support Israel. Harsanyi shoots down the idea that we think Israel can do no wrong or that we prefer secular over religious in general for some insidious reason. I'll take peaceful secular governments over murderous Muslim ones any day, thank you. As far as I can see, the countries being considered aren't Catholic and the call to prayer in these countries does not contain words from The Purpose-Driven Life translated into Arabic.

I don't claim to know why or if Cruz should have said everything he said to that specific audience. But I agree with it in substance. The elephant in the middle of the room remains the question of why do people hate Israel so much. I think there is an answer to this and you may want to go read it here if you wish, with one warning. If you didn't like what David Harsanyi and I have written you will possibly be very angry at what Aryeh Spero writes there.

Ed FitzGerald Splains Hisself

Does anyone else find articles like this hilarious? This is the first of two articles based on an interview with Ed FitzGerald. It pretty much leads off with Ed explaining why he shouldn't not be governor. Excerpt:

"We're going to take all that down and boil it down to saying, 'This is mysterious that someone was dilatory in something that was private,' " FitzGerald said. "Obviously, I should have handled it better, and I don't make any excuses for it, but it isn't a reflection and hasn't been a reflection on how I've conducted myself in public office."

Wait... private? How is a driver's license private? If you get stopped by a police and don't have a driver's license on you can you explain that "well really, officer, it is after all a private matter"? Does that work? Or how about "gee, officer, I'm sorry but I'm just a dilatory kind of guy." I think the whole point of government-issued licenses of any kind is that their nature is public, not private.

The whole "not a reflection on how I've conducted myself" claim is even more laughable. This whole incident is actually an example of how he's conducted himself. I happen to live next door to a public official and she is well-aware that everything done by her reflects on her. This is absolutely discernible in her behavior, bearing and things she chooses to converse about.

Ed FitzGerald has a shovel down there and is determined to dig himself out. Who wants to bet that the second part of the interview mentions Senate Bill 5?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"And now it's drawn me in"

One headlight is cool, too, but I like this video better.

I think bringing down the horse might have been the only new disc I purchased in 1996. It's the only '96 release I remember listening to on disc at any rate. That the the Matchbox 20 year, remember?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This song summed up 1995 for me

It was a really weird year. I think I had 2 dates.

These people make David Byrne circa '77 seem normal by comparison.

The lyrics should discourage going to palm readers.

Hillary Clinton scrubbed Benghazi documents

Fox News has the scoop here, but for some reason I can't embed that video. Here's a related one from YouTube.

The staffer told Ray Maxwell "Those are our orders," when he questioned the ethics of what he was being asked to do. Yup; that's the mentality. Maxwell is a hero.

"Why were you visiting the Great Satan America, Patriarch?"

Nasty Local Muslim Leader Keith: Why were you visiting the Great Satan America, Patriarch?

Patriarch: Shopping. We wished to do some shopping.

NLMLK: Shopping?

Patriarch: Yes, shopping.

NLMLK: But what was this "In Defense of Christians", Patriarch?

Patriarch: It is a shopping club.

NLMLK: A shopping club? Then what is it defending you from?

Patriarch: Unseemly high prices.

NLMLK: High prices? Not persecution? I have been told you visited the Great Satan to gain relief from being persecuted.

Patriarch: No, only high prices. We do not feel you persecute us. We only visited the Great Satan for the shopping.

NLMLK: And so who was this "Ted Cruz"?

Patriarch: Nobody. We had heard he offered group discounts.

NLMLK: And did he?

Patriarch: Yes, but there were Jews involved, so we rejected his offers.

NLMLK: I see. Good. One cannot be too careful when publicly traveling to the Great Satan and shopping as In Defense of Christians. Someone could misunderstand your motives, particularly the Jews. If nothing else, they might tempt you with inferior merchandise at ridiculously low prices.

Patriarch: No one could misunderstand our reason for being there. We were scrupulously careful about whom we associated with in our gatherings. Only other shoppers like ourselves.

NLMLK: Good, Patriarch, good. Say, would you happen to know where I could get a good deal on a Samsung 105-inch 4K? The curved one.

Monday, September 15, 2014

What have we learned from Dreher & Douthat's opportunistic attacks on Ted Cruz this week?

That a mean junior high school girl faction of conservatism will do whatever it takes to sleep with the quarterback, the quarterback in this case being internet blogosphere popularity at large, measured in site clicks from any comers. Principles are now so 20th Century.

That the facts of the Cruz situation simply don't matter. In fact, the facts of the matter were not only willfully rewritten, but also in the case of the rumor Dreher launched about Cruz cynically fielding advertizing based on his encounter, invented out of whole cloth and never retracted. What matters now are imputed and projected feelings, the universal currency of liberalism, NPR, and most importantly, those wonderful cat videos.

That for its loudest proponents, "Christian" has become nothing more than a marketing tool, like "new improved Tide". Dreher, Douthat and their fellow opportunists have seldom previously given a flying f*ck about the fate of Mideast Christians, but given the chance to score some internet hits at the expense of a Senator calculated to be most widely perceived as SNL material, they weep ostentatiously like the Walrus and the Carpenter. Next week something else will be the big blog hit score, and the Mideast Christians will once again be forgotten.

That the very, very best position to take is all positions. We saw this exemplified in Dreher's blogging this week (links in my posts below), where each subsequent post was recalibrated based on both responses to his previous ones and to the buzz on the internet at large and new, nuanced talking points contradicting his previous ones introduced to capture those eyeballs who might have frowned at something previously .

Welcome to the land of conservatism beyond principle or, rather, conservatism where "principle" now means how many "likes" and blog hits you scored today.

No need for facial tattoos...

...when a prospective employer can just type your full name into El Goog along with the name of your former employer and have a post featuring these "thoughts and rantings" returned. Short excerpt:

So, I will just write the truth and tell you all what happened.

Basically, I was screwed out of a chance to work for a rather nice trucking company.

Why, you say?

Because of a baseless and vicious accusation by a black lesbian woman.

I wouldn't think the blog author would mind my labeling this bit of over-sharing "thoughts and rantings" seeing that this is the title he has chosen for his blog address.

I wouldn't spend any time on CPA, but he did call my friend Keith a "clueless blowhole" yesterday which I wanted to counter by noting that Keith is not any type of hole, nor is he clueless.

CPA doesn't appear to be clueless either, but perhaps he should read this advice.

How to be the most successful TAC blogger in history

Suggest while never actually saying so that there's no side of any issue that you don't ultimately support.

That way, no matter what someone feels or believes, they will applaud you for speaking for them. That's how you build blogosphere market share, by becoming the rhetorical form that will embrace not only whatever content happens to be trending at any given moment, but, most importantly, all sides of it simultaneously.

That guy: he said what you were thinking. And what that other guy who was arguing against you yesterday was thinking, too. And what that woman who disagrees with both of you was thinking. Why, if it didn't look on the surface like a thoughtful, passionate opinion, you might have confused it for a Friday NPR news roundup.

What is TAC's "alt-conservatism"? Well, what would you like it to be? What alt-conservative values would make you like TAC the most? Exactly: just what you suggested, that's exactly what TAC stands for, too, and why you should become a subscriber today.

That ain't working, that's the way you do it. Money for nothing and your clicks for free.

How Obama will degrade ISIS

"ISIS, you mean, shameful poopyhead peckerwoods, stop it! You just stop it right now! No Arab mother could be proud of her boys doing what you're doing. You're disgraceful. No, you're beyond disgraceful. You're horrible, just horrible! I'm not only ashamed to be talking to you, I'm ashamed to be talking about you. You're contemptible! Shameful! Disgraceful!"

Pretty degrading, if you ask me. Especially the "poopyhead peckerwoods". That's gotta sting.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Douthat and Dreher to auction beard trimmings to support Mideast Christians

Ross Douthat and Rod Dreher, whose weekly editorial pleas in support of the Mideast's persecuted Christian minority (Dreher runs a popular photo item each week known as "View From Your Persecuted Mideast Christian") have been as relentless over the past decade as they have been admirable, have just announced plans to auction their respective beard trimmings to whoever collects such things, with all proceeds going to support the beleaguered Christians in question. I'll update as more information on this remarkable dual outpouring of selfless generosity becomes available.

Meanwhile David P. Goldman ("Spengler") has this to say:

I had to read the penultimate paragraph of Ross Douthat’s New York Times piece on “friendless Middle East Christians” before the enormity of it sunk in. Douthat wrote:

If Cruz felt that he couldn’t address an audience of persecuted Arab Christians without including a florid, “no greater ally” preamble about Israel, he could have withdrawn from the event. The fact that he preferred to do it this way says a lot–none of it good–about his priorities and instincts.

In so many words: Jew-hatred among Middle Eastern Christians is so rampant that it should be ignored in the interests of saving this oppressed minority. Never mind that it is impossible to conceive of any strategic configuration on the Middle East that might help Middle Eastern Christians without including Israel; never mind that Israel’s supporters in the United States are among the first to urge America to act on their behalf; and, above all, never mind that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians can practice their religion in security and safety, and that Israel is the only country in the Middle East with a growing Christian population.

The statement is outrageous, capping a long list of inaccuracies. The problem is NOT, as Douthat argues, that “the Middle East’s Christians simply don’t have the kind of influence to matter” in American strategic calculations. The problem is that Middle East Christians threw in with (and some helped invent) a movement directly opposed to American interests in the region, namely the Arab nationalism embodied in the Ba’ath Party. I reviewed this sad history in a 2009 essay [this one] reposted on this site.

While we're all on tippy-toes waiting to see the faces of persecuted Mideast Christians weeping with joy when they receive their beard trimmings checks from D & D during the big reveal on the upcoming New York Times'-sponsored Extreme Makeover: Mideast Christians Edition, can anyone think of ways to leverage the sufferings of this oppressed minority to serve personal or partisan interests far removed from their own?