Archive for June, 2018
30 Jun 2018

Kennedy’s Retirement and Liberal Doom

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Bill Jacobson explains why they are taking it so hard:

There’s a reason the left is freaking the hell out over the Kennedy retirement. The federal district and appeals courts have been the principal vehicles for achieving liberal political gains that could not be gained at the ballot box or through congressional elections. The Supreme Court, usually by a one-vote Kennedy margin (with the exception of Obamacare, where Roberts defected), also has served that role in fewer, but the most important, cases.

We are used to losing institutions. The left is not. They are waking up to the possibility that the judiciary may be restored to the neutral role it should play, and would no longer serve as a liberal super-legislature.

30 Jun 2018

Olympic Marathon Record

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Shizo Kanakuri, 1924.

Shizo Kanakuri, a marathon runner at the 1912 Olympics, quit and went home to Japan without telling officials and was considered a missing person in Sweden for 50 years. In 1966, he was invited to complete the marathon. His time: 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.379 seconds.

29 Jun 2018

Bird of Paradise Interrupts Nature Rap

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[Video of venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough standing amid vegetation. On a near-horizontal branch above his head is a brown and yellow greater bird of paradise, about the size of a crow, with big floaty yellow plumage puffing out along its back.]

Bird: Pwuk. Pwuk.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: This, surely –
Bird (hopping along the branch): WUKWUKWUkwukwukwukoooh. Oooh. Oooh.

[Cut. Same shot.]

Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: This, surely, is one –
Bird: Kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark kark.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: This, surely –

[Cut. Same shot but the bird is on the other side now and venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough has his hand on the branch.]

Bird (hopping up and down on venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough’s fingers): Eh-eh. Eh-eh. Eh-urrrr. Eh-urrrr.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: Close up –
Bird (hopping away from him): Tiktiktiktik. Tiktiktiktik.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – the plumes –
Bird (hopping around): Huek.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – are truly –
Bird: Huek.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – exquisite.
Bird: Huek. Eh-eh.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: The gauzy –
Bird (hopping and spinning on the spot): HukWUKWUKWukwukoooh. Oooh.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: …

[Cut. Same shot but the bird is back on the original side of the branch.]

Bird: Aark.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: Of course, by the eighteenth century –
Bird: Ehhh.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – naturalists realized that birds of paradise –
Bird (hops across to the other side of the branch)
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – did have –
Bird (hopping back again): Krrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – legs. Even so –
Bird: WUKWUKWUKWukwukwukooh.

[Cut. Same shot.]
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough (apparently trying to tickle the bird’s tummy): – by about the eighteenth century –
Bird (hops away and spins round)
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – and so –
Bird: AAAAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK AAAK aaak.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough (wearily): … Very well.

[Cut. Same shot.]

Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – but Karl Linnaeus, the great –
Bird (vibrating rapidly on the spot and then flapping its wings): PWAAAAAAAK.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – classifier of the natural world –
Bird: AAAAAUUUH AAAUUUH AAAUUUH AAAUUUH AAAUUUH AAAUUUH AAAUUUH AAUUH.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – when he came to allocate a scientific name –
Bird: …
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – to this bird –
Bird: …
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – called it –
Bird: Wooo-ooo.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – wooo-ooo –
Bird (surveys the surroundings with a dignified turn of the head)
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: ‘paradisia apoda’: the bird of paradise –
Bird: Hoooo.
Venerable TV naturalist David Attenborough: – without legs.
Bird: Eh-eh.

[Close-up of the bird.]

Bird: WUKWUKWUKWUkwukwukwukwukoooh. Ooh.
Bird: Ooh.

[Fade to black.]

29 Jun 2018

There Are Things to Like About Vladimir Putin

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He stood in the rain for wreath-laying ceremonies on the Russian Day of Memory commemorating the start of WWII, and when questioned by the Press, responded:

“I didn’t even think of getting under an umbrella as the wreath was being laid,” Putin said, adding, that Russian soldiers fought day and night in any weather during the World War II. “People lived there and died there. That’s such a horrible situation.”

“It’s not that I had thought of something or not, or had made a decision. It didn’t cross my mind that I should’ve acted differently. I think it’s normal. We aren’t made of sugar, we won’t melt.”

Putin is 65 years old.

29 Jun 2018

Not Just “Ladies and Gentlemen” Anymore

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Especially amusing in German.

28 Jun 2018

Justice Kennedy Retires (in Pictures)

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28 Jun 2018

Send This as a Sympathy Card to Your Liberal Friends

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27 Jun 2018

Full Weimar

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Street fighting between communists and Nazis, 1933.

Dan Greenfield argues that what we’re seeing these days is the Left going Full Weimar.

A vocal rejection of civility is of course a call to violence. The slippery slope gets greased. And then it’s a small matter to go from harassment to assault. That’s what the left wants.

Some conservative commentators are saying that the left hasn’t thought this through. Sure they have. The grad student working on some bottom rung of the D.C. career ladder before getting bombed and joining some anarchist protest may not have thought it out, but the guys and girls pushing the buttons have.

What they want is to wreck America, go full Weimar, move to street violence, and then, by persuasion or force, impose their own system to deal with the emergency. What better way to trash most of the forms of government, the Constitution, checks and balances, than by burning everything down.

The excuses, border separation, police shootings, etc are just excuses for that endgame. They’re propaganda to achieve an end.

We got here because all the brakes came off the left’s train. It beat its liberal opponents. And now it’s going to scream endlessly that everyone on the right is a Nazi because that justifies its intended violence. And that violence is intended to further radicalize everyone to the left.

Civility? Please.

The whole purpose is an overthrow of the existing order in the name of a political emergency. It’s what every totalitarian system does. Set off violence, then seize power.

RTWT

The catch is: “People keep talking about a civil war. One side has 8 trillion bullets. The other side can’t figure out which bathroom to use.”

26 Jun 2018

Mink Gets a Handout from an Ice Fisherman in Russia

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26 Jun 2018

The Opposite of Southern Hospitality

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner at Washington Hilton on April 28, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Virginia is a special place, home of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, birthplace of the nation really. And Lexington is a special little town, home of VMI. Stonewall Jackson lived there and taught both mathematics at VMI and the Bible at a black Sunday School he founded himself and where he promoted black literacy in defiance of state law. Robert E. Lee also lived there, serving as president of Washington College, now Washington and Lee.

Al Perrotta is justifiably indignant that a transplanted Yankee (the kind of specimen that old Ben Hardaway, long-time Master of the Midland Hunt, used to complain about: Northern migrants who “perch in our trees and shit on our ground”) made Lexington the focus of a national news story by refusing service to the President’s press secretary. This kind of behavior is un-Southern, and especially un-Virginian.

Imagine. You’ve had a rough week at the office. You’ve had a pressure-packed month that had you traveling halfway across the world for meetings that could decide the fate of millions. Your return has brought no rest. Every day you still have to stand in front of a bunch of people screaming the same questions at you — loaded questions, rude questions, “Let’s see if I can get trending on Twitter” questions. Questions where one wrong word from you can send markets crashing, foreign leaders vexing, to say nothing of sending talking heads into a frenzy. And you have to take this daily barrage with supernatural control and restraint, despite being genetically wired to be a wise-cracker.

Finally, it’s Friday. TGIF! Escape! You head out I-66 with the job and the nation’s Capitol in your rear view mirror. You head south down I-81. Way south. With each mile you lose the stench of the Swamp, the weight of your responsibility, the burden of a boss who works 17 hours a day and rarely on script. Up ahead is a nice dinner with some friends, a couple’s night.

You arrive in a quaint town tucked in the Shenandoah Mountains. A haven. You sit down at your table. You breathe. Perhaps for the first time in a month, you breathe.

The owner comes over. Not to say hi. Not even to discuss the night’s specials. She’s there to throw you out. Throw your whole party out. (literally and figuratively). Why? Because she hates your boss, and by extension hates you.

What happened to Sarah Sanders Friday night at the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia is an abomination. It is a violation of all standards of decency and hospitality. Worse, it is the latest vile display of the unrepentant and unhinged spirit that says “Those I disagree with politically I must destroy.” (Actually, not the latest. Florida’s Attorney General got verbally assaulted inside a screening of the new Mr. Rogers documentary Saturday. It’s an ugly day in the neighborhood.)

What’s going on is nothing short of demonic.

RTWT

25 Jun 2018

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Name Pulled from Award over “Stereotypical Attitudes”

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Fox News:

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name is set to be removed from a major children’s book award after concerns were raised about the “Little House on the Prairie” author’s depiction of certain races in the early-to-mid 20th century.

The Association of Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) board voted unanimously on Saturday to rename the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” as the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award.”

The association, which took the vote at its board meeting in New Orleans, said the vote “was greeted by a standing ovation by the audience in attendance.”

Wilder is best known for her “Little House on the Prairie” novels, which the ALSC has stated “includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values” based on Wilder’s portrayal of black people and Native Americans.

The first award was given to Wilder in 1954. The ALSC, which is based in Chicago, says her work continues to be published and read but her “legacy is complex” and “not universally embraced.

RTWT

I expect that Wilder’s Libertarian views were actually more responsible for provoking the animosity of ALSC members.

25 Jun 2018

Encounter With an Eagle

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During the 1911 Paris to Madrid air race, French pilot Eugene Gilbert encountered an angry mother eagle over the Pyrenees. Gilbert, flying an open-cockpit Bleriot XI, was able to ward off the large bird by firing pistol shots at it but did not kill it.

24 Jun 2018

Slavoj Žižek on the Radicals’ Game

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Slavoj Žižek, “Happiness after September 11″, from Welcome to the Desert of the Real, 75-77:

When today’s Left bombards the capitalist system with demands that it obviously cannot fulfill (Full employment! Retain the welfare state! Full rights for immigrants!), it is basically playing a game of hysterical provocation, of addressing the Master with a demand which will be impossible for him to meet, and will thus expose his impotence. The problem with this strategy, however, is not only that the system cannot meet these demands, but that, in addition, those who voice them do not really want them to be realized.

For example, when ‘radical’ academics demand full rights for immigrants and opening of the borders, are they aware that the direct implementation of this demand would, for obvious reasons, inundate developed Western countries with millions of newcomers, thus provoking a violent working-class racist backlash which would then endanger the privileged position of these very academics? Of course they are, but they count on the fact that their demand will not be met – in this way, they can hypocritically retain their clear radical conscience while continuing to enjoy their privileged position

[…]

The gesture is that of calling the other’s bluff, counting on the fact that what the other really fears is that one will fully comply with his or her demand. And would not the same gesture also throw our radical academics into a panic? Here the old ‘68 motto ‘Soyons réalistes demandons l’impossible!’ acquires a new cynical and sinister meaning which, perhaps, reveals its truth:

‘Let’s be realists: we, the academic Left, want to appear critical, while fully enjoying the privileges the system offers us. So let’s bombard the system with impossible demands: we all know that these demands won’t be met, so we can be sure that nothing will actually change, and we’ll maintain our privileged status!’

— Slavoj Žižek, “Happiness after September 11″, from Welcome to the Desert of the Real, 75-77.

24 Jun 2018

From Ernst Junger’s Personal Collection

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German steel helmet Mod. 1916 from the collection of Ernst Jünger. Steel, leather | L 31 cm, W 24 cm, H 17.5 cm, G 1250 g | Wilflingen, Ernst Jünger Foundation.

“The steel helmet gives the soldier a desolate look,” noted front-line officer Ernst Jünger (1895-1998) in August 1916 as his unit, the 73rd Infantry Regiment became equipped with the new head protection of the Prussian troops. The engineer Friedrich Schwerd (1872-1953) had designed the helmet with an extended eyeshield and a deep neck guard in 1915 according to military medical specifications, after it had been shown that the spiked leather cap could not provide the soldiers in the trench fighting of the Western Front with sufficient protection. The new helmet was delivered to the troops beginning in the spring of 1916. In the course of the war, 7.5 million of them were produced.

In an infantry assault during the offensive in Flanders, December 1, 1917, Jünger was struck by shrapnel on the head. Although the projectile broke through the helmet, Jünger suffered only minor injuries. The helmet thus became the writer’s most important war trophy and was always kept within reach for life, along with a second steel helmet that Jünger had taken from a fallen English officer in the summer of 1917.

His detailed war diaries served Jünger as the basis for his war memoirs published as Storm of Steel, 1920, which made the writer famous and notorious. Jünger’s description of the murderous battles of the First World War is one of the most important literary sources for what George F. Kennan called “the catastrophe of the 20th century.”


Bavarian Army Museum, Ingoldstadt.

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