Archive for February, 2013
28 Feb 2013

Tweet of the Day

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28 Feb 2013

White House Threatened Lanny Davis, Too

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My one-time boss at the Yale Daily News, Lanny Davis, responds to the Threats-to-Woodward story by acknowledging that he has been threatened by this same White House, too.

28 Feb 2013

Joe Biden: “Ladies, Get Yourself a Shotgun”

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This video is hamming it up a bit by using footage of ladies who have obviously not been properly familiarized with how to hold or use those shotguns, but it certainly delivers an effective rebuttal to the Vice President. Obviously, not every woman who one day finds herself needing to defend herself and her home is going to have previously acquired good shotgun handling skills.

28 Feb 2013

Woodward at War With White House

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The big news of the day is the outbreak of open war between veteran journalist Bob Woodward and Barack Obama.

Woodward last week challenged the Obama Administration’s blaming Republicans for the Sequester, pointing out that the idea of an automatic trigger was originated by the White House in July of 2011.

There was immediate pushback from the left’s commentariat, disputing his interpretation and dismissing the once-admired Nixon-slayer as “troutmouth Bob” and “a hack.”

Apparently, Woodward’s questioning the White House party-line on the grand budget battle du jour was perceived as potentially very damaging, because Woodward is retaliating now by revealing that when he discussed that upcoming column with the head of the President’s National Economic Council Gene Sperling, Woodward found himself on the receiving end of a half hour long tirade.

Sperling subsequently sent a lengthy email, in which he apologized for “raising his voice,” but which also asserted (obviously falsely) that Woodward was wrong about the fact in issue (that the Sequester proposal was initiated by the White House, and not by congressional Republicans), and warning him that he “will regret staking out that claim.”

Threatening prominent reporters is an awfully bold and bad thing for any administration to do, and historically trying to intimidate the press has not worked out well for those who’ve tried it.

Bob Woodward (not surprisingly) retaliated by releasing the email exchange.

Rather than being intimidated, of course, Bob Woodward is responding to the attempts to pressure him to shut up by openly attacking Barack Obama’s decisions in other areas. Yesterday, Woodward took a swipe at Obama’s declining to deploy a carrier to the Persian Gulf “because of budget cuts.” (See video)

27 Feb 2013

Kipling Poems Found

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The BBC reports that more than 50 unpublished poems by Rudyard Kipling have been unearthed by an American scholar who intends to release them shortly.

Thomas Pinney found the manuscripts in a number of places including a Manhattan House that was being renovated and among the papers of a former head of the Cunard Line.

Pinney described it as a “tremendously exciting time for scholars and fans”.

The poems will be published alongside 1,300 others in the first ever complete edition of Kipling’s verse on 7 March.

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Let’s hope he found more like this:

The Young British Soldier

When the ‘arf-made recruity goes out to the East
‘E acts like a babe an’ ‘e drinks like a beast,
An’ ‘e wonders because ‘e is frequent deceased
Ere ‘e’s fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier OF the Queen!

Now all you recruities what’s drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an’ ‘ark to my lay,
An’ I’ll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what’s fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o’ the grog-sellers’ huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay’nets that rots out your guts —
Ay, drink that ‘ud eat the live steel from your butts —
An’ it’s bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes — as it will past a doubt —
Keep out of the wet and don’t go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An’ it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o’ your foes is the sun over’ead:
You must wear your ‘elmet for all that is said:
If ‘e finds you uncovered ‘e’ll knock you down dead,
An’ you’ll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you’re cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don’t grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it’s beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old —
A troop-sergeant’s widow’s the nicest I’m told,
For beauty won’t help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain’t enough for a soldier.
‘Nough, ‘nough, ‘nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch ’em — you’ll swing, on my oath! —
Make ‘im take ‘er and keep ‘er: that’s Hell for them both,
An’ you’re shut o’ the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an’ you’re wishful to duck,
Don’t look nor take ‘eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you’re livin’, and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When ‘arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don’t call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She’s human as you are — you treat her as sich,
An’ she’ll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin’ their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o’ the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an’ don’t mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer’s dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it’s ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

27 Feb 2013

Two Cows

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Some amusing variations on the old joke.

Hat tip to Jose Guardia.

27 Feb 2013

Obama’s “Catastrophic Cut” in Perspective

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Bastiat Institute (on Facebook)

26 Feb 2013

Bones Goes PC

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Bones’ delegation, then and now. I prefer then.

The Atlantic smiles approvingly and congratulates that dreadful conspiratorial society formerly comprised nearly exclusively of elite white males for going all PC diversity.

The class of 2010 included more ethnic minorities than Caucasians; 2011’s delegation included two gay students, plus one bisexual and one transgender. Last year, women and men were equally split, according to Yalies familiar with the members.

“We try to come up with a group that is representative of the diverse social elements Yale offers,” says a Bonesman from recent years. …

The organization’s seismic shift also affects the way new members are selected. Bonesmen now actively seek out diverse candidates, in some cases to atone for their predecessors’ role in shunning them.

“Some of us wanted to undo certain attitudes of the past,” says E., a woman selected in the 2000s. “We wanted to actively negate them.”

Actually, the truth of that matter is that Bones was always eminently politically correct, in whatever sense of correctness dominated the politics of the day. One of the surest ways to get tapped for Bones for many years was to be the loudest leftist agitator on campus. The last time Bones tapped an actual known conservative was probably in 1956, when one chairman of the Party of the Right was selected for membership.

The core philosophy of Skull & Bones would be in complete accord with that of Lampedusa’s Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, in The Leopard:

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

26 Feb 2013

Physicist’s Proposal

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Her physicist boyfriend Brendan proposed by submitting this paper to her (a fellow physicist).

26 Feb 2013

The Evolution of Liberal Dance

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26 Feb 2013

Reading His Way Through an American Century

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Matt Kahn is undertaking an interesting challenge. He intends to read his way through a century’s worth of Publishers Weekly’s annual bestsellers, which means that he has to read (and review) 94 individual titles, since a small number of books succeeded in capturing the title for two years running.

This sort of enterprise will doubtless be at times laborious, but it definitely will have its rewards. When he’s done, Mr. Kahn will be a wiser man with a much better understanding of the ways the consciousness of the American reading public has changed and has not changed.

Kahn started off in 1913 with a real forgotten clunker, Winston Churchill (the American novelist, not the British politician)’s The Inside of the Cup, a dated and tendentious screed attempting to prove novelistically that Christianity and Progressive politics are the same thing. (Yes, Virginia, popular culture was rife with bolshevism and anti-business agitprop, even way back then.)

The Publisher Weekly annual bestseller list turns out to be a bit odd. Hardly any canonical classics get into it (though some by Sinclair Lewis do). It seems to rise from the primitive turn-of-the-century stuff to virtuous middle-brow “important books” interspersed with big pulp, and then –with the 1960s– becomes quite erratic.

Oddly enough, it is perfectly evident that even the most purple examples of forgotten teens and twenties tripe will not constitute the roughest patches of Mr. Kahn’s literary road. When he gets to the 1990s (Gawd help him!), it’s going to be John Grisham and Dan Brown all the way, ending with a bang at Fifty Shades of Grey.

Hat tip to the Dish.

26 Feb 2013

Choose Your Pope

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A rather effective Lutheran satire of soi disant Catholics who feel no obligation to accept the teachings of the Church. This phenomenon, though, is far from limited to young, blonde and female members of the uneducated public. Professional public intellectuals like Gary Wills and Andrew Sullivan notoriously combine self-identification as members of the Church of Rome with a penchant for demanding that the Magisteria renounce its pretensions to divine inspiration and immediately conform itself to the consensus of the left-wing community of fashion, which alone, as we all know, is infallible on matters of faith and morals.

25 Feb 2013

The Most Interesting President

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Hat tip to Sarah Jenislawski.

25 Feb 2013

Americans Under Attack, As Usual

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Tom Tomorrow, Summer 1993

Jim Geraghty, in his emailed Morning Jolt, was today in a mood to fight back against the community of fashion’s blame game.

One of my nuttier ideas was taking a Twitter conversation between Cam Edwards and Kurt Schlicter envisioning a rightward sitcom answer to HBO’s “Girls” entitled “Dudes” and trying to turn it into an actual script.

At one point, I had a character in that script rant:

    I’m a married middle-aged guy with a house in the suburbs who goes to work, pays his taxes and takes care of his kids. When the hell did I turn into the villain in society? Chris Brown still walks the streets! In the time it’s taken me to finish this sentence, “Shawty Lo” has impregnated three more women and Kim Kardashian’s been on four more magazine covers! I think one of ‘em’s a fishing magazine!

    Yet somehow Madison Avenue considers me to be their go-to stereotype as a doofus, I’m the butt of every joke, sneered at for unsophisticated tastes, dismissed as a relic of a fading past, accused of not paying my fair share in taxes and insufficiently globally conscious because I’m only taking care of what’s directly in front of me instead of glaciers or the Gaza Strip. How am I the problem in the world today? What the hell did I ever do?

I remember a comment from Mark Steyn a few NR cruises ago, and I’m going to paraphrase it now: “Americans are first citizens of a global superpower with no interest in conquest. We don’t want other territory, we don’t seek to subjugate other nations, we’re not trying to wipe out any culture we deem inferior. And yet through the rhetoric and of the environmental movement, you, driving your SUV and drinking your Big Gulp and eating your Big Mac, are accused of literally destroying the planet! Not even history’s most brutal dictators faced an accusation on that scale!”

Our political culture and our popular culture are the one-two punch contending that you, ordinary American, going to work or looking for work or looking for better work and just taking care of your families, have somehow become the root of the biggest problems facing the country. It’s your fault.

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