Rod Dreher has an excellent retort to Peter Thiel’s claim, made during the RNC, that the Culture Wars were only “a distraction.”
Culturally speaking, to be born in many places in the US is to suffer an irreversible lifelong defeat. If you come from a culturally conservative region, or family, you understand that the people who make the decisions in this culture are on the other side. At best they regard you as irrelevant. At worst, they hate you, and want to grind your nose in the dirt. Whatever the case, the things you value, that are important to your identity, and your sense of how the world is supposed to work, are either fading away or being taken from you — and you can’t do anything about it.
Consider the bathroom debate that Thiel finds so irrelevant. Thiel lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Perhaps he genuinely cannot understand the sense of violation that many of his fellow Americans feel when they are told that men dressed like women must be allowed to use the women’s bathroom in public places. But it’s real. And maybe he doesn’t get the utter hypocrisy of corporate elites on this issue, captured by one North Carolina Congressman:
Believe me, a lot of us notice. Ordinary people who have never had a thought about theory in their lives see the world they took as normal, as stable, as comprehensible, disappearing in front of their eyes, driven by forces they cannot understand, much less control.
Read the whole thing.
Jill Dougherty found alarming seasonal signs in Russia and in bordering regions.
Recently, I grabbed a taxi in Moscow. When the driver asked me where I was from, I told him the United States. “I went there once,” he said, “to Chicago. I really liked it.”
“But tell me something,” he added. “When are we going to war?”
The question, put so starkly, so honestly, shocked me. “Well, I hope never,” I replied. “No one wants war.”
At the office I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working-class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches and “gretchka,” (buckwheat) he tells me – the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.
In the past two months, I’ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.
Hat tip to Vanderleun.
From Carlos Maslatón, Buenos Aires:
(rough translation by someone who never studied Spanish in school:)
It is logical that this happens. It makes perfect sense that Islamic State terrorists kill the good Christians and not the evil that confronts them. I have tried to explain to Europeans and Yankees the best I can for 35 years without success because what I say is counterintuitive, and this is what I have been expressing in this forum since the beginning of Facebook. Just that the first to be liquidated by the jihadists will be those who want to be their friends or that send them messages asking to live in peace. Why does this happen? You have to understand the mentality of these people. For them every gesture of restraint is a sign of debility and if you transmit weakness that means that you will allow them to kill you, that you will not defend yourself, that you’re a very easy target. The second thing they recognize is that you do not believe in your own religion either, because alien evil could not propagate or organize in your midst, if there was opposition to them or to their wild preachings. On Facebook, since the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011, there have been a collection of examples of instances in which the target was the good Westerner approaching the Arabs to provide them with “social aid,” trying to redeem them from what from Europeans or Americans considered to a be a “lower evolutionary state.” Thus they are naturally indignant and kidnap, violate and kill the young leftists going to the Middle East seeking peace and friendship with the Arabs, including these irresponsible girls with a completely anti-Jewish message, part of the Anti-Israel Movement. Such gestures to the Arabs did not work. They ended up as sex slaves and were then killed. Remember that the Arabs do not like to be treated as if they were American Indians in the times of the Jesuit missions. They do not need any Westerner to put them to work, to order their lives, and to tell them what it is they have to do. Any French or German during this European Civil War who shows himself to be a friend of Muslims, he is a candidate for the morgue. The prospects of surviving and conquering are open and complete for the Islamic enemy. Once again, note that Islamic State hardly ever operates against Israel, having found that at the moment it is lacking an operational capacity to overcome her. Let everyone draw his own conclusions. The warnings were duly presented.
North Korea has backed presumptive U.S. Republican nominee Donald Trump, with a propaganda website praising him as “a prescient presidential candidate” who can liberate Americans living under daily fear of nuclear attack by the North.
A column carried on Tuesday by DPRK Today, one of the reclusive and dynastic state’s mouthpieces, described Trump as a “wise politician” and the right choice for U.S. voters in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
It described his most likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, as “thick-headed Hillary” over her proposal to apply the Iran model of wide sanctions to resolve the nuclear weapons issue on the Korean peninsula.
Read the whole thing.
But, hey! Kim Jong-Un was undoubtedly just reciprocating. After all, back in January, Donald Trump had kind words for North Korea’s insane and murderous dictator. In fact, he praised him specifically for his ruthlessness and brutality.
Donald Trump has praised the leadership style of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un, for the “amazing” way he murders political rivals.
During a Republican political rally in Iowa at the weekend, he repeated his assertion that Muslims should not be allowed to enter the US before turning his attention to the North Korean despot, who has carried out frequent purges of officials.
“You’ve got to give him credit. How many young guys – he was like 26 or 25 when his father died – take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden… he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss,” said Mr Trump, known for his own less than subtle style of leadership in the American version of The Apprentice.
“It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. This guy doesn’t play games.
My Yale classmate Charles Lipson (now teaching law at Chicago) admires the slickness of Slick Willie over at the Huffington Post.
Bill Clinton’s convention speech was a tour de force. He had a difficult task to accomplish, or rather, several difficult tasks, and he performed them as well as any politician could.
His overriding task was to humanize Hillary and reintroduce her to America, for the 37th time. He spent much of his speech doing that, sharing anecdotes of Hillary as a student, a loving daughter from a good Midwestern family, a young woman willing to take chances, and a new mother raising Chelsea—all while working on important policy issues in Arkansas. He subtly depicted her as the leader in their marriage, or at least an equal partner, suggesting he knew how to become a “First Husband” and was ready for the role. He spoke of their meeting in the Yale Law Library, falling in love, giving birth to Chelsea, raising her, and taking her to college, becoming empty nesters.
In short, Bill Clinton depicted a real person in a real marriage. It is widely assumed, of course, that their marriage is a sham, filled with his cheating and her cold fury, held together only by their political ambitions. As Dennis Miller once put it, “Bill and Hillary’s marriage couldn’t have been any more about convenience than if they’d installed a Slim Jim rack and Slurpee machine at the base of their bed.” Bill’s speech was a long, brilliantly-crafted and perfectly-delivered effort to paint over that image and present a new one. …
In sum, he painted a portrait of someone who deserves to be elected, if you believe the portrait. But do you?
Bill’s whole speech led up to that question, and he did not leave it hanging. Using the Tom Sawyer approach he has honed over decades, he asked it directly. He said that he had just described a person who was very different from the person Republicans described last week. That means one of them is real, one’s a cartoon. The question is, which picture is the real Hillary? He answered that question in his quietest, most sincere tones, biting his lip and inviting empathy.
It was the work of a master salesman. He brought the buyers into the showroom, showed them a “great buy, exactly what you need” and pointed out all the bells and whistles. But he cannot close the deal himself. He’s not running; Hillary is, and she lacks Bill’s rhetorical gifts and zest for campaigning. He loves to touch the flesh; she recoils from it. She is a grating, hectoring speaker and a far less effective campaigner than Bill Clinton (or Donald Trump). Now that Bill has primed the customers, the big question is “Can Hillary close the deal?”
Read the whole thing.