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  • Lamar Alexander on Statues

    试看120秒做受小视频免费Posted by Ginny on June 24th, 2020 (All posts by )

    试看120秒做受小视频免费

    A few years ago I started considering fiction, non-fiction, speeches, movies in subjective terms:some made me simply “happy”; some didn’t. This is probably a function of sentimental aging; maybe I let my guard down to accept the hokey.But cynicism tops everything when we are rebels without a cause and perhaps I finally left that behind.Certainly, it is more difficult to appreciate a Bergman movie than in the sixties.

    Of course happiness is part identification – in being an American (or Texan or Nebraskan or woman).But it also comes from a telling religious narrative.Warmth came from narratives or axioms or theories or gestures that seemed quintessentially human. We are aware of our broken nature – all of our broken natures – but we see an action prompted by our better angels – heroism, love, loyalty, generousity, nobility, strength.We are moved by the sailor at the gate at Corpus Christi, the generosity of the music sung to the elderly during covid quarantines.Plenty of works seem inspired by our worse angels – cynical, bitter, moving into nihilism:paintings from the the thirties in Germany, harsh preachy that simmer with “Gramscian” arguments.In short, the ugly: graffiti on a statue, violent destruction of the great Shaw statue, the ignorance of the mob.But yesterday, I turned on the tv, to see Lamar Alexander mid-argument on the removing of statues.

    I felt, well, happy & filled by the richness of human nature he described. I wonder about his effect. The objective, thoughtful rational comments, which make this blog so attractive, might be a bit subjective here.What does this and other moments in the last few weeks make you feel?Does he disgust you or do you feel warmth from it?What do our feelings mean?

    I can’t figure out the link to something in the middle of a long session yesterday, but I could find a transcript. It is below the fold; a border state statesman’s statement.
    Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Biography, Culture, Current Events, History, Human Behavior, Miscellaneous, Society, USA | 6 Comments »

    More De-Statuing

    Posted by Dan from Madison on June 24th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Last night in the fair city of Madison, Wisconsin, the idiot brigade smashed more glass and took down statues around the capitol square.The victims last night were Lady Forward and Hans Christian Heg.Poor Hans – they even beheaded him and tossed him into Lake Monona.

    While I can almost (not really), if I put myself into the demented head of a protester vandal see how Lady Forward might be tear down worthy, Hans Christian Heg was the very definition of abolitionist.He abhorred slavery, was actually an anti-slavery activist, and died in a war to end slavery.

    So, who’s next?I’m guessing eventually this will spill onto private property and Jesus and others will begin to feel the wrath of the idiot brigade.

     

    Posted in Current Events | 27 Comments »

    Charlottesville Revisited – The Next American Rebellion Won’t Be a Black Swan

    Posted by Kevin Villani on June 22nd, 2020 (All posts by )

    The 2020 Presidential election is being tee’d up to foment racial animosity between Biden’s Blacks and Trump’s Deplorables.

    The2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is far ahead of the incumbent Donald Trump in the polls, but two thirds of his supporters cite fear of Trump being re-elected, mostly due to perceptions of racism, rather than support for the candidate or his Party’s Platform. Biden’s core supporters are angry black protestors, Trump’s core are largely angry white “deplorables.

    The Charlottesville Premise

    Bucolic Charlottesville is rich in political symbolism as home to the University of Virginia founded by Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and founder of the Democratic Republican Party. Virginia was the Capital of the South during the great Civil War, Charlottesville the site of the statue of the Confederate military leader Robert E. Lee. In 2017 riots broke out there between black groups led largely by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement leading protests of this and other statues. After strongly condemning the historically racist groups that a Charlottesville resident had invited to oppose the destruction, President Trump said that there were “good people” on both sides of the monument issue, then insisted that the racial hatred must stop.

    Some conservatives would go along with tearing down Confederate statues. But predictably, the Founding Fathers were targeted next. Statues of George Washington have already been destroyed and the Washington Monument is on the chopping block. In New York, where the current governor and Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Cuomo renamed the Tappan zee Bridge after himself (technically, his father), political leaders have voted to remove Thomas Jefferson’s statue, the Jefferson Memorial sure to follow. Even Lincoln isn’t safe.

    The Charlottesville premise is that America was born to slavery and American racist oppression never ended, causing the current income and wealth gap with whites, and that the statues are symbols of this inborn oppression, The Democratic Party Platform to be finalized in August promises to eliminate racial income and wealth differences by doubling down on traditional socialist redistribution. The young party leaders correctly argue that this will require “fundamental change,” a political Jacobin revolution converting America from a failed meritocratic Republic to a “peoples’ democracy.”

    I’ve argued elsewhere that the economic and social costs of this agenda pose an existential threat to America. However unrealistic, “moral imperatives” trump constitutional, institutional and resource constraints. Nations don’t choose suicide, they just stumble into it one step at a time.

    Governor Cuomo responded to Trump’s 2016 campaign theme to Make America Great Again (MAGA) that “America was never that great” based on its racial history. The liberal main stream media labeled Trump, the Republican Party and anyone who might disagree with their Charlottesville premise – hence their platform – as racist. When the Democrats decided to shift attention from their platform by choosing as an interim “centrist” leader the soon to be 78 year old Joe Biden, it wasn’t surprising that when announcing his candidacy he chose to make Trump’s racism his central campaign issue by replaying a truncated clip of Trump’s Charlottesville “good people” quote.

    Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Leftism, Politics, Society, Trump, USA | 13 Comments »

    An Unusual Product Line

    Posted by David Foster on June 20th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Here’s a company that builds (in addition to other things) square-rigged sailing ships…not just as a shipyard executing customer-supplied designs, but as a more-or-less standard product line. ?There are three models, ranging from 1150 to 3000 tons displacement.

    I wonder how many they have sold.

     

    Posted in Business, Transportation | 12 Comments »

    Tricolor

    Posted by Jonathan on June 20th, 2020 (All posts by )

    blue red white

     

    Posted in Photos | 1 Comment »

    Iconoclast

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on June 19th, 2020 (All posts by )

    I had in mind the deliberate destruction of religious icons, and a vague memory of it having happened at least once in the Russian or Eastern Orthodox church in the medieval period; such things being, in the judgment of the sternly orthodox, ungodly and unsuitable, and therefore to be expunged … but it seems that spasms of righteous destruction are almost a human constant, across culture and time. The current passion for defacing and destroying public monuments – and not just those memorializing Confederate heroes – turns out to be not all that new and revolutionary. (channeling Private Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise.) Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, Civil Society, Conservatism, Crime and Punishment, Current Events, History, Holidays, Human Behavior, Just Unbelievable, Leftism, North America, Politics, Tea Party, Terrorism, Texas | 27 Comments »

    National Holiday

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on June 19th, 2020 (All posts by )

    There is a movement afoot to make Juneteenth a National Holiday. People likely think this is free, and is just a nice way to show African-Americans that we care about them.  Who could be against that?  You wouldn’t want to be against that, would you?  That would be unkind, impolite, and racist.

    Articulate what Martin Luther King Day is for.  The first meanings of that verb are “utterance,” “putting into clear words,” and that’s what I mean.  If you want Juneteenth, you should first have to put into words what MLK/Civil Rights Day is for, not just think about them vaguely and have a feeling. Only then can you go on to describe how Juneteenth is different and brings something new to the table.

    I’ll just wait here while you scratch some things on the page and imagine delivering those words before an audience.  They have contests for that, don’t they, asking schoolchildren to write speeches about what MLK Day is about?  What do they say, do you think? 

    When you have finished that, scratch down some percentages of what a new federal holiday will cost businesses and governments which would then have to pay people to stay home, or at minimum pay them a higher wage. Describe to me where that money will come from. As a starting point, people work 5 days/week for 52 weeks, minus ten days vacation minus fifteen holidays minus sick days – about two weeks. Call it 225 days a year. Back of the envelope is fine.

    Now remember that this will feel good to do but have only psychological effects on people who really dig this stuff.  There will be no improvement in policing, or schools, or job prospects, or city infrastructure, or, well anything. Hispanics might rightfully wonder why they got left out.  At least “Civil Rights” applies to everyone, at least in theory.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 10 Comments »

    Sell Your Soul or Lose Your Livelihood (updated)

    Posted by David Foster on June 18th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Every day, people are losing their jobs because of political opinions or assertions about reality which are considered unacceptable.?David Shor, a political data analyst, lost his job after tweeting a summary of research indicating that nonviolent protest tactics tend to be more effective than violent tactics. At?the Poetry Foundation, both the president and the chairman resigned after being heavily attacked because their statement on the current situation…which said that the members “stand in solidarity with the Black community, and denounce injustice and systemic racism”…was vague and lacked any commitment to concrete action.?An Illinois high school principal?finds her job under attack after advising students that, if they protest, they should refrain from violence and looting. The list could be expanded indefinitely and includes people in all industries and at all levels.

    This isn’t new. For the last two decades, the ‘progressive’ left has loudly insisted that dissenting voices (dissenting from the Prog worldview, that is) must be suppressed. But the trend has accelerated sharply.

    I am reminded, as I often am, of the memoirs of Sebastian Haffner, who grew up in Germany between the wars. One very affecting section of the book describes what happened to Haffner’s father–a civil servant under both Weimar and the Kaiser–following the Nazi takeover. The elder Haffner, long-since retired, had considerable accomplishments to his credit:?There had been great pieces of legislation in his administrative area, on which he had worked closely. They were important, daring, thoughtful, intellectual achievements, the fruits of decades of experience and years of intense, meticulous analysis and dedicated refinement”–and it was extremely painful to him to see this work ruthlessly trashed by the new government. But worse was to come.

    One day Mr. Haffner received an official letter. It required him to list all of the political parties, organizations, and associations to which he had ever belonged in his life and to sign a declaration that he ‘stood behind the government of national uprising without reservations.’ Failure to sign would mean the loss of his pension, which he had earned through 45 years of devoted service.

    Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Academia, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Elections, Germany, History, Media, USA | 20 Comments »

    Police vs Prisons

    Posted by David Foster on June 16th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Here’s an interesting piece suggesting that there is a tradeoff between spending on police and spending on prisons. ?It is claimed that money diverted from prisons to policing buys at least 4x the reduction in crime. ?Apparently, on a per-capita basis the US now employees 35% fewer police than the world average…an interesting data point given the current calls for police defunding.

     

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Law Enforcement, Urban Issues, USA | 19 Comments »

    New! – Your Least Favorite Movies and Books

    Posted by Jonathan on June 14th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Here are some of mine:

    试看120秒做受小视频免费

    Death In Venice – I walked out of this one in college. A middle-aged man’s erotic infatuation with an adolescent boy simmers, it is suggested, beneath the surface. In reality nothing ever happens. The action is all silence, furtive glances and views of dramatic sunlit esplanades. Hard pass.

    Whale Rider – A politically correct, tear jerking piece of crap. It’s got the exploited-native-peoples angle, the anti-Anglosphere culture angle, the You Go Girl! feminist competition-fantasy and anti-male angle. And of course those stupid whales. What’s not to dislike?

    The Help – Essentially a cartoon in which the white characters are crass, stupid, racist jerks and the black characters are smart, kind and wise. In case you don’t get the point, the disgusting white people are all southerners with strong southern accents. We must fight stereotypes – except, it seems, the ones that serve our argumentative purposes. Run, don’t walk.

    Books

    The Magus – The worst book I’ve ever read. The protagonist is unappealing, the plot silly and incredible. This one-star Amazon review tells the tale:

    A reminder of how terrible writing can be
     
    Perhaps the worst book I’ve ever read. I’ve seen Scooby Doo episodes more plausible than this mess. Suggestion for the author: if your plot turns on its head not only every chapter, but practically every page, readers will realize the story is contrived garbage and stop caring.
     
    What is contrived here? Maybe the endless scenes of naked people running around wearing antler masks, the star chamber of evil academics from the Sorbonne watching naked prisoners whip each other on racks, oh just remembering the juvenile and ludicrous “plot” makes me wet with embarrassment. The author admits in the preface that this book was an unsuccessful and sophomoric effort, and that’s the only convincing thing in the whole book.
     
    [. . .]

    (True story: I was once at a social gathering when someone asked someone else to name the worst book he had ever read. I immediately thought about this book. It was the other guy’s choice too.)

    What are your least favorite movies and books? Feel free to share in the comments.

     

    Posted in Diversions | 56 Comments »

    Saying “No”

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on June 11th, 2020 (All posts by )

    I lifted a graphic from last weekend’s Powerline Week in Pictures, and posted it on my Facebook feed (where I post only anodyne stuff and things to do with my books, home improvements, and social schedule) which pretty much sums up how I’m feeling this week. Kermit the Frog stares out a rain-drop-misted window, and says, “Sounds Like Thunder Outside – But With the Way 2020 is Going, It Could Be Godzilla.”

    Even before one could draw a breath of relief that the Chinese Commie Crud had not ravaged the US population anything like the 1918 Spanish Flu did, and that life was returning to something like normal, what with businesses slowly reopening – here came the stomping behemoth of violent protests and race-riots, in the wake of the death (possibly caused by drugs rather than the apparent mistreatment) of a long-time violent criminal of color at the hands of a white police officer.

    This entire brutal and grotesque encounter was on video and understandably condemned as unacceptable overreaction on the part of the officer by just about every reasonable person of any color who watched it. Serious concerns regarding the militarization of police have been raised for at least a decade among thoughtful citizens, what with so many instances of police barging into houses in no-knock and full SWAT mode (often the wrong house, and opening fire indiscriminately), of abusing civil forfeiture statutes and traffic fines as a means of making budget. This concern was exacerbated by resentment during the Chinese Commie Crud lockdown enforcing social distancing – like pursuing a solitary paddle-boarder, all alone on the ocean, and going all-out on parents tossing a softball in a park with their kid.Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Americas, Capitalism, Civil Society, Conservatism, COVID-19, Crime and Punishment, Current Events, Just Unbelievable, Law Enforcement, Leftism, Media, Personal Narrative, Society, Urban Issues | 63 Comments »

    The Diplomad is Back!

    Posted by David Foster on June 10th, 2020 (All posts by )

    The Diplomad 2.0, the blog of a retired Foreign Service officer, disappeared without a trace…it was gone for good or so I thought. ?Turns out that the author had some domain-name problems, and the blog is now back here.

    thediplomad.blogspot.com

     

     

    Posted in Blogging | 6 Comments »

    Protest or Insurrection?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on June 8th, 2020 (All posts by )

    The protests that quickly morphed into rioting and mass looting began with an arrest of a career felon for trying to pass a counterfeit bill.He had been convicted of felony home invasion and robbery in Texas and served 5 years in prison.According to several unreliable sites, he was”turning his life around” and was involved with a church.That argument is somewhat diminished by the fact that he had Methamphetamine and Fentanyl in toxic levels at autopsy.The reaction in Minneapolis was extreme and horrific.

    Some of the destruction can be seen here the next day.

    It got worse, much worse.

    The spineless leftist Mayor is now seeking $55 million form somebody to repair damage he might have prevented.

    Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey will seek state and federal aid to rebuild city structures following over a week of looting and rioting, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday.

    Some 220 buildings have been damaged and require at least $55 million in repairs, the city’s Community Planning & Economic Development department said earlier this week, noting that the city was “not yet ready to produce a credible estimate.” City Council members warned that the costs will likely be far higher, while Mayor Frey said damages could reach into the “hundreds of millions.”

    Typically, he tried to seek approval from black rioters and was expelled from the meeting.

    He was elected on a platform of fighting “global warming.”

    A pretty good explanation of what is behind all this.

    For white liberals, a black identity shaped by rage is not only to be condoned, but celebrated. All politics is identity politics to liberals, because the whole object of their existence is to invent one’s identity according to therapeutic needs. That is why the progressive movement took up the cause of transgender rights with such passion: To change one’s gender is the ultimate expression of self-invention in defiance of nature and tradition.

    Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Academia, Civil Society, Crime and Punishment, Current Events, Elections | 25 Comments »

    Worthwhile Reading

    Posted by David Foster on June 6th, 2020 (All posts by )

    A long but interesting essay about Peter Thiel, who is IMO one of the more thoughtful and creative among the Silicon Valley set.

    The politicization of everything…including websites like nextdoor.com, “designed for people to share useful information within a neighborhood like dates of bulky trash-pick, locations of road closings, and postings of lawn equipment for sale”…as seen by a woman who is a music historian, with a particular concentration on Russia.

    Dispatches from the front lines of the knitting wars. ?Can these people be trusted with knitting needles? Those things can be dangerous, you know.

    A post by a police officer’s wife.

    Violent protest and the intelligentsia. ?Disturbing parallels between pre-revolutionary Russia and contemporary America.

    A walk across a beach in Normandy. ?Today, June 6, marks the 76th anniversary of the Normandy invasion..I haven’t seen much remembance of this today.

     

    Posted in Academia, History, Internet, Law Enforcement, Leftism, Russia, Tech | 22 Comments »

    Pollution, Food, and C19

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on June 5th, 2020 (All posts by )

    I read a wise essay in Mother Earth News in the 1970s, which pointed out that the number of people who can live in an area without seriously polluting it is dependent on technology. With that audience, the tendency was to think much more in terms of absolute numbers.The earth has too many people!We can’t support them all!Pollution is out of control! The author noted that a solitary person living in the wild, defecating on the ground without even a trench, pollutes a sizable area. Without any food preservation or storage techniques he might need a wide area as well.Yet with technology we can build Manhattan, treating our sewage and carting it off.Transportation allows food to travel, so some can specialize in making lots of it and sending it off.

    Something similar came up in the C19 discussions that I think got missed.We should be glad that it got missed, because it would only be front-and-center in our thinking if things had gone wrong.Some rural places did have the possibility that their local health systems would be overwhelmed.As there weren’t that many of them, however, they could spread the medical response to nearby hospitals and clinics.In number of cases per thousand people, Dougherty County GA (pop 90K) got hit hard – 140 deaths, as did a couple of neighboring counties. The two counties next to it with about 8,000 people each have a death rate of over twice Dougherty’s 1500/mil. Per capita, Georgia’s rural counties are doing substantially worse than Atlanta. Over 2,000 deaths per million in that SW area. I think that’s worse than NYC.

    Rural counties do fine until they don’t, which I think informed a lot of the thinking early on. Once they stop doing fine, it was impossible to get help there when test kits and everything else was so lacking.An outbreak of 20 people in a rural county can quickly become less manageable than an outbreak of 200 in Boston if there’s no hospital nearby. Considering how to handle these counties will definitely have to be part of a response plan going forward. 25 deaths in a county of 8,000 may not make the news, but when you consider 3-4 times as many may have been seriously ill, that’s a lot for one group to handle.

    Franklin, NHhas about 8,000 people but a disproportionate number of deaths because of one nursing home, with many positives among both staff and residents, who had and have contact with the rest of the community. (There may be more to the story if I were on the ground there.I only know what I read in the papers.) The city has a regional hospital which was nearly overwhelmed, but there are three other hospitals thirty minutes away, two of which were not treating many cases at the time. I didn’t even hear about it an hour away, but the news for that region was full of anxiety and apprehension for a few weeks. Nationally, a few local systems were briefly overwhelmed.How you view that largely depends on whether the word “few,” “briefly,” or “overwhelmed” jumped out at you.Such are the things which create confirmation bias, where we reinforce some ideas without much thinking about them.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 5 Comments »

    I’m Tired…

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on June 5th, 2020 (All posts by )

    I’m tired,
    Tired of playing the game
    Ain’t it a crying shame
    I’m so tired…

    Oops, there I go, channeling Lili Van Shtüpp, the Teutonic Titwillow from the movie Blazing Saddles – which cinematic offering must be about the last time we were allowed to meditate on matters racial in a mainstream entertainment offering with wit, good humor and malice towards none. Sad to say, that movie could not have been made in the last ten years, and certainly not this week. The social media meltdown would achieve nuclear levels even before production began, and by premier time would sink through the mantle of Earth to the burning core of it’s molten center, which I wouldn’t mind observing from a safe distance. Because I am tired.
    Tired of a lot of things, so tired that I have gone beyond being polite and considerate of others’ feelings. Of what am I tired? Oh, liebling, let me begin the list … Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Advertising, Civil Society, Conservatism, Current Events, Deep Thoughts, Media, Trump, Urban Issues | 23 Comments »

    Types of Liberty

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on June 5th, 2020 (All posts by )

    I just published a flock of posts at my own site and have sought advice what to publish here.Interestingly, one of my earliest posts was suggested. I had reviewed it in December 2019, doing the countdown of my posts at Assistant Village Idiot that had received the most traffic.This was #6 all-time, but had little commentary. I think some of the themes are a propos.

    We are now into territory of posts that have 5,000 hits or more, which is darn good for me.  This is from February 2006, one of my first two hundred posts.  I think a few of you will like the topic. I don’t know who has been reading it over the years, as there haven’t been commenters.

    ************

    A post from last week over at the excellent Albion’s Seedlings reminded me of a topic I had intended to post on weeks ago:the varieties of meaning of the word “liberty” in the American Colonies from the time of founding to independence.

    We think we mean the same thing when we use a word, but this is not often so, especially with large abstracts like kindness, or community.While the concepts of liberty converged somewhat leading up to the Revolution, they sprang from at least four different concepts, associated with the four distinct areas of settlement.

    These founding folkways, and much else besides, led to quite distinct, and often diametrically opposed, ideas about liberty. David Hackett Fischer calls the New England idea “ordered liberty” (freedom to determine the course of one’s own society), at worst exemplified in the stifling, moralistic conformism that we still associate with the word “Puritan”, at best in the strong town-based democracies (and suspicion of anything but local power) still evident in parts of northern New England.

    The Virginia idea was that of “hegemonic liberty” (freedom to rule and not be ruled), at worst exemplified in the hierarchical “Slaveocracy” that valued freedom for those at the top but not for poor white trash or black slaves, at best in the aristocratic excellence of men such as George Washington.

    The Quaker idea was that of “reciprocal liberty” (freedom for me and for thou), at worst exemplified in the pacifistic pursuit of commerce without regard for nation or principle, at best in a quite modern-sounding respect for all human beings to pursue their own fulfillment.

    The frontier idea was that of “natural liberty” (a freedom without restraints of law or custom), at worst exemplified in the violent and often-emotionalistic chaos of life beyond the reach of civilized norms, at best in eternal vigilance with regard to the sovereignty of the individual.

    Frontier in the above means the Appalachian areas settled by the Scots-Irish and English Borderers throughout the middle of the 18th C.Quaker refers not only to the settling of Pennsylvania in the late 17th C, but the other mid-Atlantic states as well.The overall concept is taken from Fischer’s marvellous Albion’s Seed, which traces the founding of the American regions back to distinctive regions of Great Britain.

    New England — ordered liberty — freedom to determine the course of one’s own society.I touched on this two weeks ago.It is close to the idea of Christian Community and consensus living.A modern equivalent would be an environmentalist community which would agree to bind itself to certain principles of organic farming.The individual would not have liberty to do as he pleases in pesticides and fertilizer, but would adhere to group norms, so that all other members could have food free of taint.The European aspirations come closest to this model.

    Virginia — hegemonic liberty — freedom to rule and not be ruled.The right of the few to achieve enormous freedom — by birth, merit, or assignment — is preserved, even at the expense of the many.Americans rebel against such an equality being granted by birth into nobility — but many conservatives are fine with it occurring by merit.Whether justified or no, this is the stereotype of conservatives that liberals rail against.

    Mid-Atlantic — reciprocal liberty — freedom for me and for thee.This is some midpoint between the two above.“I will consent to give up some freedoms, but no one shall force me to give up others.”

    Appalachia — natural liberty — freedom without restraints of law or custom.This would be closer to a libertarian (or hyper-libertarian) framing.The freedom of the individual trumps even local control.Think Alaska.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 5 Comments »

    Rhinoceros

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on June 3rd, 2020 (All posts by )

    One difficulty is that everyone thinks that it is everyone else who are the rhinoceroses.I might think it’s you.

    And of course, you might think it’s me.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous, Video | 15 Comments »

    Deja- Poo

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on June 1st, 2020 (All posts by )

    Why, yes, as a matter of fact – I have seen this sh*t before; several times, as a matter of fact. The first go round of racial/political rioting, looting, arson and general mayhem that I took notice of was that long hot summer of ’68, interspersed with political assassinations and anti-Vietnam War protests, although the Watts riot had taken place three years before. I was fourteen in the year of ’68 mayhem, and already well-aware of current events, through reading the Los Angeles Times when it was still a great and meaningful newspaper. Mom also had subscriptions to Harpers’ and Atlantic Monthly, when they also were still solid and more or less centrist publications, and although Mom and Dad didn’t watch TV news regularly, Granny Jessie did. I believe that it was sometime during that late summer, watching coverage of the riot attendant on the Democrat Party national convention, that I remarked to Granny Jessie that it seemed as if the world were all seriously going to Hell. Recall that I was only fourteen, and had led a comfortable, fairly sheltered middle-class life. Violence was something only seen t a distant remove as part of the plot in movies and TV adventure shows (and pretty anodyne, considering what I would have seen in them back then) and the real-life violence played out on the TV news was shocking. Granny Jessie replied, “It always seems that way, I guess.” Her tone was so jaded, and world-weary, I found it actually rather comforting.

    Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Americas, Capitalism, Civil Society, Conservatism, Current Events, Society, The Press, USA | 22 Comments »

    President Obama’s poor security advice

    Posted by TM Lutas on June 1st, 2020 (All posts by )

    President Obama just published an essay regarding George Floyd and policing. It’s a fundamentally flawed recommendation that funnels energy down the same old pathways that have been failing for decades. I responded:

    This essay is disappointing and shows a lack of vision. When improperly policed neighborhoods have a security alternative that they can choose, the police will have to compete or face the humiliation of being displaced by something better.
    That threat to their jobs, their position in society is already in the law, has been since 1789 when the Constitution was passed, but has been left to molder since the 1913 passage of the Dick Act. A President who understands politics, cares, and actually spent some time thinking about this would have picked up on the opportunity.

    President Obama, you blew that 8 year chance. This essay blows it again.

    Police were invented because professional police of any serious quality are better than the unorganized militia. But the unorganized militia is better than what happened to George Floyd. Revitalizing the unorganized militia, making training available, updating how to communicate with it, making it a real security alternative would place an institutional floor below which any corrupt or incompetent police force would be replaced because there would be an alternative available and it would be an improvement.

    There is a baseline civil rights problem that the minority community faces. Law abiding people who are white have a higher chance of being legally armed than those who are black or latino. The criminals of any color don’t care about the law. That puts minorities in an inferior security position because whites have a higher level of DIY security capability.

    Blacks can and should have the same level of DIY security capability. Latinos should have the same level of DIY security capability.
    The most dangerous people in your neighborhood should be law abiding members who spend time at the range and can hit what’s aimed at. In white neighborhoods, that’s more often the case than in black or latino neighborhoods. That’s something within your power to change.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 17 Comments »

    There is a plan here.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on May 31st, 2020 (All posts by )

    Patriot_Prayer_vs_Antifa_protests._Photo_11_of_14_(25095096398)

    The present rioting, which is occurring in cities that have leftist Mayors and administrations, is part of a plan.We have seen this slowly coming together.The “Black Lives Matter” theme goes back for years. It is increasingly radicalized.The election of Donald Trump made everything about politics.

    An article in Bazaar from a few days ago:If you are married to a Trump Supporter, Divorce Them:

    Supporting Trump at this point does not indicate a difference of opinions. It indicates a difference of values…You do not need to try to make it work with someone who thinks of people as “illegals.” Just divorce them

    This would be amusing if it were not behind the latest attack on civilization.Are we becoming the Weimar Republic ?

    In 2002, a pro-Israel event at San Francisco State University was interrupted by ‘protestors’, screaming things like “go back to Russia!” and “get out or we will kill you!’ and shoving Hillel students against a wall.Laurie Zoloth, a campus Jewis leader “turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter demonstrators from the Plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised. The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, ‘it would start a riot.’I told them that it already was a riot.”

    That, of course, was San Francisco, ground zero in the war on civilization, which is being directed from walled compounds in rich areas.

    The insurrection, which is going on now, is an attempt to create another Kent State event, which would radicalize more young people as that event did.The Governor of Minnesota, who daughter seems to be a participant in the riot direction is desperate to find a “white supremacist” to blame.

    So far, he has been blaming “outsiders,” a claim that has been proven false. Few of those arrested gave other than Minnesota addresses.

    KARE11 reviewed 36 arrests on the Hennepin County Jail roster and found that 86% of the arrests they reviewed had a Minnesota address.

    Following the revelation, Mayor Carter and Mayor Frey said that the information about rioters being from out of the area was inaccurate, according to KARE11.

    Mayor Carter blamed the police for providing bad information.

    Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder said that he believes many of those arrested gave false addresses.

    Oh, OK.
    Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Civil Society, Crime and Punishment, Law Enforcement, Society | 23 Comments »

    The Disappearance Of Iwntge Henken

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on May 29th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Iwntge* Henken was a three-and-a-half year old boy who crossed the Atlantic in 1920.He departed Antwerp on the Northern Pacific on October 18, landing in Hoboken on October 28. He was never heard from again.

    He had been scheduled to board the Pocahontas a few weeks before, along with his mother Adrianna, but this was cancelled for unknown reasons. They were traveling as the dependents of John Henken, an American soldier who had been born in Holland but moved to New York as a child. It is likely he served in the Netherlands during and after WWI because of his fluency in Dutch. He was fluent enough to have courted Adrianna successfully, it seems, and he brought her back to the statesa year after the war was over.Adrianna was pregnant with a child who would be born in America and come to be named Johanna.One might take a moment to reflect on how miserable it must be to be pregnant on a troop ship crossing the North Atlantic in autumn. Adrianna was remarkably determined to come to America, however, come hell or high water. This is where the complications set in.

    Adrianna Anthonisse may have had some sort of ceremony performed, but she could not have actually been married to John Henken, because she was still married to Willem Heijboer in Holland, who would have been the father of the three-and-a-half year old child. It is not known how long John Henken cared for the two, soon three dependents, but it can’t have been long, as the children show up on an orphanage roll soon after with the notation that their father had abandoned them.It may be that he abandoned them the moment his feet touched American soil again, for all we can tell, and it may even be that Adrianna knew this and agreed to it beforehand, so determined was she to come to America.It may be more accurate to say it is John Henken who was never heard from again, as all our attempts to trace him after come up empty.** Johanna was my wife’s mother. She had been told as a child that her father had died, but suspected as an adult that he had in fact abandoned the family instead. There was no longer anyone to tell her, as Adrianna died in 1929.

    Iwntge was never “heard from” again in the sense that he vanished from all records after embarking from Holland/Belgium.We do know what happened to him, however.He went back to being a girl named Helena, who after a very difficult childhood married a man who loved her dearly and she him all their days, in Florida.She would stay in touch with her half-sister Johanna in Massachusetts throughout and see her every few years. “Iwntge Henken” was a disguise to throw anyone off who was looking for Helena Anthonisse, or Helena Heijboer. Willem Heijboer was indeed looking for her and eventually located her and established contact by correspondence when she was an adult.Very sad for him, really, to have his wife leave with his daughter with no word or explanation. He may not have even known Henken’s name, complicating his search for Helena.

    * The name is likely a mis-writing by the American military official of some other Dutch name, done by sound rather than from been seen written.The last two letters are much more likely to be -je than -ge, for example.I am only guessing after that, but Antje is a girl’s name, and “Wintje” is a Dutch surname, so perhaps one of those is it.

    **We now know from the DNA tracing that he was the brother of Jacob Henken, and one of Jacob’s descendants does remember there was a brother that was occasionally referred to, but never met.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

    Hitting a Limit

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on May 29th, 2020 (All posts by )

    I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly tolerant person; my name isn’t Karen and I don’t feel any particular need to speak to the manager. In this I take after the maternal grandmother; the one who never made scenes upon receiving bad or abusive customer service. The paternal grandmother would and did, although in Granny Dodie’s defense, she didn’t take umbrage over small and inadvertent offenses and usually got some kind of satisfaction or apology from indulging in recreational Karenism. Granny Jessie would gather up her dignity, depart the scene of the offense quietly … and then never, ever return. No threats, no other complaint, no talk with the manager. Granny Jessie was just gone and relentless in determination to never darken that door again.Read the rest of this entry »

     

    Posted in Americas, Civil Society, Conservatism, Current Events, Media, Personal Narrative, Politics, USA | 26 Comments »

    Do the Lord Chancellor and the Archbishop Approve?

    Posted by David Foster on May 28th, 2020 (All posts by )

    YouTube is run by a woman named Susan Wojcicki. ?She has indicated that videos peddling fake or unproven coronavirus remedies will be banned, and also suggested that video that “goes against” WHO guidance on the pandemic will be blocked.

    So Ms Wojcicki has established WHO as the ultimate worldwide authority on Covid-19, the ?imprimatur of said authority being required for dissemination of any relevant information or opinions within Wojcicki’s domains. ?One might remind her that on January 23 of this year, WHO decided not to declare that Covid-19 was a global health emergency…hence, had Wojcicki’s present rule been in effect then, any videos asserting that C-19 was, in fact, such an emergency would have been taken down!

    What is the thinking behind this sort of effort to clamp down on information flow? ?One can certainly understand and sympathize with a desire to avoid the dissemination of quack cures. ?But how does this morph into a justification for shutting down discussion of causes, risk levels, and public-policy responses to the epidemic?

    If I try to take as sympathetic a view as possible to Ms Wojcicki and those like her, I might view their actions as being motivated by a feeling of responsibility for consumer protection. ?But Americans are more that just consumers: we are also (and much more importantly)?citizens, participants in the public dialog and political process. ?(And an interesting argument has been made that in the American system, citizens are officers of the state.) ?And citizens, in order to fulfill their public responsibilities, need unfettered access to information and discussion.

    In the case of Twitter’s ‘fact checking’ of President Trump’s tweet about vote-by-mail, I’d say that the raw political bias is pretty evident. ?Is vote-by-mail more susceptible to fraud than is conventional voting? ?Considerable evidence can be amassed to suggest that it is indeed so susceptible, counter-evidence and arguments can also be presented. It is a legitimate topic for public discussion, yet Twitter chooses to treat is as if it is a matter of absolute black-and-white truth-versus-falsity on which they have to weigh in, as if it were a question of the spherical vs flat shape of the earth or the value of the acceleration of gravity. ?(Although I see there are some flat-earth tweets up on Twitter right now.) ?And I haven’t seen any Twitter fact-checking of the feed from the People’s Daily of China, or the official Twitter account of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran…or, for that matter, of the statements of Joe Biden.

    We are reaching a state at which the ability to publish information and have it reach certain very large audiences is dependent on the approval of certain individuals at Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook…somewhat similar to the way in which publication of a book in England, prior to 1692, required the imprimatur of the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or one of certain other specified officials. ?The analogy is not perfect, of course, and it will be argued that it isn’t very relevant at all, because today, if Twitter won’t distribute your content, you can always try Facebook, and if that doesn’t work either, there’s always Gab or other relatively-minor platforms, or you can just put up your own website or blog…or start your own social media platform. ?But, still, a very small number of entities and their officials are exercising a very high degree of control over information flow in America today.

    What, if anything, can/should be done about this situation? ?One argument is that nothing can be or needs to be done that Twitter etc are private property, and if they discriminate excessively, other platforms will supplant them. ?Another argument is that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be modified/limited…this is the provision which insulates on-line service providers such as social media companies—not only pure internet service providers or hosting companies—from certain forms of liability which are applicable to traditional publishers. ?This is the direction in which President Trump’s thinking seems to be going.

    There is also an interesting ‘public square’ argument which has been made, specifically by Prager University in connection with the ‘restricted’ status assigned to its videos by YouTube. ?This is based on a 1945 Supreme Court decision in the case of Marsh v Alabama, in which the court ruled that Gulf Shipbuilding Company could not prohibit a Jehovah’s Witness from distributing literature in the the town of Chickasaw, Alabama, even though that town was Gulf Shipbuilding’s private property. ?The argument is that the precedent also applies to on-line communities, even though these do not involve physical presence…this argument ?was rejected, though, by both the district court and the Ninth Circuit…not sure whether there will be an appeal to the Supremes. (The Federalist has proposed that social media companies could be required to provide specific ‘due process’ protections for content creators, in exchange for retaining their Section 230 immunities.)

    So what are your thoughts on this topic?

     

    Posted in Civil Liberties, COVID-19, Current Events, Internet, Tech | 37 Comments »

    To the True Meaning of This Day

    Posted by Grurray on May 25th, 2020 (All posts by )

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Memorial Day address May 30, 1884, at Keene, New Hampshire.

    But, nevertheless, the generation that carried on the war has been set apart by its experience. Through our great good fortune, in our youth our hearts were touched with fire. It was given to us to learn at the outset that life is a profound and passionate thing. While we are permitted to scorn nothing but indifference, and do not pretend to undervalue the worldly rewards of ambition, we have seen with our own eyes beyond and above the gold fields the snowy heights of honor, and it is for us to bear the report to those who come after us. But above all, we have learned that whether a man accepts from Fortune her spade, and will look downward and dig, or from Aspiration her axe and cord, and will scale the ice, the one and only success which it is his to command is to bring to his work a mighty heart.

    Thanks to the always excellent Intercollegiate Studies Institute, an organization that all principled young men and women should seriously consider joining, especially now with higher education imploding. And thanks be to God for all Americans who sacrificed their lives so that we may live free on this day, or at least continue to fight to reach the free ideals America was founded on.

     

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »