Archive for September, 2018
22 Sep 2018

NYRB Editor Forced Out By Social Media Mob

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Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma, the 66-year-old Dutch-born writer and only the third editor in the history of the New York Review of Books, was forced to resign this week.

His crime? Buruma published a self-pitying essay by Jian Ghomeshi, a Canadian musician, writer, and talk show host of Iranian descent, who lost his job in 2014 when an ex-girlfriend accused him of non-consensual rough sex.

Buruma was quickly mobbed on social media where critics complained about the absence of fact-checking (NYRB employs no fact checkers), pointing out that, even though Ghomeshi was acquitted in court, a large number of women had come forward to accuse him of similar bad behavior and that one case was dropped on the condition that he apologize and post a peace bond promising to avoid future misbehavior.

Buruma told Slate:

    I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. How can I be? All I know is that in a court of law he was acquitted, and there is no proof he committed a crime. The exact nature of his behaviour — how much consent was involved — I have no idea, nor is it really my concern. My concern is what happens to somebody who has not been found guilty in any criminal sense but who perhaps deserves social opprobrium, but how long should that last, what form it should take, etc.

In the end, Buruma chose to fall upon his sword for the good of the publication when university publishers, whose advertising was vital to NYRB, began talking about a boycott.

Toby Young, at Spectator USA, notes the left’s insanity, but seems to blame it on their 2016 defeat.

My own theory is that a small minority on the identitarian Left have used various Maoist tactics, including public shaming on social media, to persuade people that their doctrinaire positions on #MeToo allegations and a range of other issues … are much more ubiquitous than they really are, thereby stifling dissent. …

Who knows how long this paranoid atmosphere will continue. America seems to go through periodic bouts of hysterical puritanism, which partly accounts for the enduring appeal of The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s play about the Salem Witch Trials. I think it largely depends on what happens in the mid-terms. If the Democrats emerge the victors, Trump Derangement Syndrome will start to fade and reason may creep back into America’s liberal institutions. But if the Republicans win the day, the Democrats will likely descend into civil war and the identitarian Left may capture the Party, just as it’s captured the UK’s Labour Party. If that happens, don’t expect this hysteria to die down any time soon.

I don’t think the left’s appetite for blood is the result of losing. I think it comes from too much winning. The radical left flagrantly abuses the power it enjoys due to the cowardly spinelessness of the liberal establishment because it can. The more the American institutional establishment grovels to its demands the more extravagant those demands are going to get. Leftist Reigns of Terror do not stop because the Left side won an election. They only stop after the Revolution is done devouring its own.

22 Sep 2018

Peteski Says

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22 Sep 2018

Tweet of the Week

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HT: Vanderleun.

21 Sep 2018

John Legend Sings Classic Gordon Ramsay Insults

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21 Sep 2018

Kavanaugh Accused of Connection With 1985 Yale Mock Panty Raid

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Panty Raid at Berkeley, May 18, 1956.

The same establishment elite that views Larry Flint as a free speech hero, that lectured us that we were guilty of censorship if we didn’t want tax money paying for Robert Maplethorpe’s anal horse whip art, that defends flamboyantly obscene gay pride parades down main street, and that wants sex education for third graders is shocked, shocked that members of the same fraternity that Brett Kavanaugh belonged to, back in 1985, took part in pledge hijinks alluding to the 1950s college panty raids.

Diane Herbst, at People magazine, basically quotes a hatchet job from a couple of little left-wing reptiles at the Yale Daily News:

In his first year at Yale, embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which had a culture “notorious for disrespecting women,” according to a new report from the Yale Daily News.

Julie Klein, who graduated in 1987 alongside Kavanaugh, described the frat as an “animal house,” while another classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Jennifer Lew, recalled on the YaleWomen Facebook page how frat brothers would “ransack” female students’ rooms while they attended classes and steal “undergarments,” reports the Yale Daily News.

On Thursday, the student newspaper published a January, 1985 photo of Kavanaugh’s DKE frat brothers holding a flag created with women’s underwear and bras as they marched across campus. Kavanaugh, reportedly a sophomore member of the frat at the time, does not appear in the image.

RTWT

Obviously what the DKE pledges were doing in 1985 was some sort of tongue-in-cheek parody of student behavior of the ancient past.

Wikipedia: Panty raid

A panty raid was an American 1950s college prank in which large groups of male students attempted to invade the living quarters of female students and steal their panties (undergarments) as the trophies of a successful raid. The term dates to February 1949.

Panty raids were the first college craze after World War II, following the 1930s crazes of goldfish swallowing or seeing how many students could fit in a phone booth. …

By the 1970s, mixed dorms and less inhibited attitudes to sexual intercourse on campus led to fading of panty raids.

But when lefties find an opportunity to smear an adversary like Judge Kavanaugh with accusations of guilt by association, the libertine left goes all Puritan on us.

20 Sep 2018

Left-Wing Elites think Ethics and Rules are for Deplorable Little People

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Kevin D. Williamson observes that progressives believe rules and ethical norms apply only to little people.

Progressives conceive of themselves as a caste apart, a special and specialized group of enlightened men and women whose job it is to organize other people’s lives for them, a necessity because those people are too dumb to do it for themselves. And special people must enjoy special exemptions: Bernie Sanders can rail against the rich from his lakeside dacha, and Beto O’Rourke can lambast school-choice programs even though he himself ditched the public schools for the tony Woodberry Forrest boarding school, where tuition currently runs about $56,000 a year — a third more than the median household income in his native El Paso.

And, of course, Senator Kamala Harris of California can get away with the grossest hypocrisy.

During Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, she demanded to know whether the judge thought the president could legally politicize the Justice Department, for example by prosecuting his political enemies while going easy on his friends. Senator Harris would know more than a little about that: She wasted a great deal of time and a fair sum of Californians’ tax dollars illegally using her position as attorney general of California to attempt to bully nonprofits into giving up their donors lists. It was a transparent effort to target them for harassment and retaliation. That little jihad ultimately was ruled an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment by the federal courts. Harris and her opposite number in New York State, Eric Schneiderman, did nothing but misuse their offices to harass their political rivals. (Well, in fairness, Schneiderman did take some time to beat women, if The New Yorker is to be believed, and resigned his office after three women accused him of abuse.) She misused her job like that was her job.

You know how this works: Liars think everybody is lying, cheaters think everybody else is a cheat, and self-serving political hacks who misuse their offices think that that’s just how the game is played, that everybody does it.

RTWT

20 Sep 2018

People Recently Attacked (or Killed) by Mountain Lion, Black Bear, Grizzlies, Cinnamon Bear

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see bottom story from New Mexico.

Hiker found dead on Mount Hood was likely killed by cougar. (ABC News 9/12):

The hiker who went missing on Mount Hood in late August and was found dead at the bottom of a ravine Monday was likely killed by a cougar, authorities said — a shocking twist in the missing persons case.

The body of Diana Bober, 55, was found Monday at the bottom of a 200-foot embankment on the famous Oregon mountain’s Hunchback Trail, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Bober was last seen on Aug. 29 when she went for a hike on the trail. Her backpack was found by two hikers on the following day and her car was left in a parking lot at the base of the mountain.

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Ginseng hunter killed by black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bear still at large. (wbir 9/12):

The body of 30-year-old William Lee Hill Jr. of Louisville, Tennessee, was found Tuesday afternoon two miles north of Cades Cove off Rich Mountain Road, according to a news release from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Park officials began searching for Hill when they were notified on Sunday that Hill was missing. He and a close friend had gone to the park on Friday to look for ginseng and were separated during the day, and Hill had not been heard from since. …

An adult male bear remained in the area where Hill’s body was found and showed aggressive behaviors for multiple hours as rangers recovered Hill’s body throughout Tuesday evening, the release said. Evidence of wildlife scavenging of Hill’s remains was visible.

Wildlife biologists reportedly came to the area, trapped the bear and recovered human DNA from it, the release explained. At that point, park officials said they decided to humanely euthanize the bear out of concern for public safety — but on Friday it was revealed the bear had not, in fact, been euthanized yet and was fitted with a GPS tracker.

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Wyoming grizzlies kill hunting guide, maul client. (Jackson Hole Daily 9/16)

The grizzly bears suspected of fatally mauling outfitter Mark Uptain were trapped and killed early Sunday near the elk carcass that caused conflict on Terrace Mountain.

“We killed two grizzly bears up there a little bit ago, and we have every reason to believe they are the offending bears,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department Jackson Regional Supervisor Brad Hovinga said around 10:45 a.m. Sunday. “They fit the description.” …

[W]ildlife managers are not releasing all the details about what they believe occurred when Uptain and his bow-hunting client, Corey Chubon, were aggressively attacked by the pair of bruins Friday afternoon.

Hovinga surmised that the bears involved were a sow and its grown cub.

“The behavior exhibited by these bears is abnormal behavior for a family group,” he said. “It’s not typically how we would see family groups behave.”

Chubon, who was airlifted out of the Teton Wildness with leg, chest and arm injuries, reported to investigators that of the two grizzlies involved, only one was the aggressor. The Florida resident, who flew back home Saturday, told authorities that he was unable to fire a shot from a handgun he retrieved during the attack, but he threw the firearm to Uptain before departing the scene.

Late Saturday, Hovinga declined to discuss evidence collected at the scene, but he did say that bear-deterrent pepper spray was among the things the guide and client possessed. He said he “didn’t know” if the handgun was with Uptain’s remains. The gun was not recovered immediately around where the attack took place, at the site of an elk Chubon had struck with an arrow Thursday. The guide and client did not locate and start to retrieve the elk until early the next afternoon.

The elk carcass was “undisturbed” when it was located by Uptain and Chubon, which suggests that the bear was not necessarily food guarding — a common behavior that often leads to conflicts with humans, especially hunters.

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New Mexico hunting guide kills attacking bear with Glock, deceased bear remains attached to his leg. (All Outdoor 9/14):

When a New Mexico hunting guide reportedly found himself the target of a bear, he dropped his phone and reached for his pistol. It would turn out to be one of the best decisions he ever made. An earlier decision, though, threatened to cost him his life.

He’d been working out his dogs in preparation for the upcoming hunting season when they’d struck a bear’s trail. The only way to put an end to that was to catch up with his dogs, so he pursued, with family members following. As he approached the fight, he grabbed his not-fully-loaded pistol as he left his UTV.

    As an afterthought, he took the GLOCK 20 10mm pistol from his vehicle and shoved it in his waistband behind his cowboy belt. It was loaded with 175 grain Hornady Critical Duty FlexLock loads. The magazine only had 10-12 rounds in it. A few months earlier, he had heard the theory of “spring set” and decided not to keep the magazine fully loaded.

He approached the melee, expecting the bear to run at the sight of him. And when he spotted the bruin, he grabbed his phone to take some video of its unusual cinnamon coloration. But the bear had other ideas.

    Bridger’s first thought was to get video. It would be an incredible image. Big cinnamon bears aren’t common. The bear would run at any moment, once he saw or smelled the man. Bridger grabbed his phone.
    That bear never read the rulebook. It didn’t run. The bear saw Bridger, turned toward him, and flattened its ears back along its head. Its eyes had locked on Bridger. He’d watched hundreds of bears in similar situations and he knew he’d been targeted. He dropped the phone and snatched the GLOCK from his belt.

    A lot happened very fast, but for Bridger, everything slowed down as he went into tachypsychia. It’s a common occurrence in high stress life-or-death situations. The mind speeds up and events appear to be happening in slow motion. In reality, the person is acting faster than they ever have before.

    The bear was coming for him. Bridger elected not to aim for the head. He didn’t want to hit one of his dogs. He triggered two or three shots aimed at the bear’s body. The bear started to spin, snapping at the wounds, about six feet away.

    Bridger decided to retreat. He turned and hopped to the next boulder, then the next. He was mid air to the third when he saw dogs moving past him.

    In his fast mind-state, he realized this was bad. As he landed and turned, the big GLOCK in his hand, and saw the bear coming at him like an over-sized NFL linebacker with claws and big, pointy teeth.
    Before he could fire again, the bear hit him. They went over the edge of the shelf together, tumbling down a steep, rocky slope in mortal combat.

Although he has no memory of shooting as they fell, empty shells were later found along the path of their descent.

    Bear and man stopped downslope, wedged into brush and boulders. Bridger could feel the bear and frantically attempted to disentangle. The bear reared erect, jaws ready to strike. Bridger shot him again, in the front of his chest before falling/sliding further down the slope. The bear pursued him. He screamed at Janelle to stay away.

    Bridger tried to kick the bear away from him as it tried to get at his upper body. He couldn’t shoot for fear of hitting his own legs.

    The bear dodged a kick, and grabbed Bridger’s right inner thigh in its jaws, lifting him like a dog lifting a rabbit. Bridger shoved the muzzle of the GLOCK against the bears neck, trying to shatter its spine and shut the bear down. He fired.

    The bear released his lower thigh, then grabbed his calf, just below the knee. The shot missed the spine. Man and bear are still moving fast, but in Bridger’s hyper-aware state, time slowed. He saw an opportunity for a headshot and pressed the trigger on the GLOCK.

    Click.

    Later, Bridger found bear hair between the guide rod and the slide of the G20 pistol. The hair prevented the slide from returning into battery. Bridger knew he should still have ammunition left in the magazine, so he racked the slide and saw a live round eject in slow motion.

    Fractions of a second later, another opportunity for a head shot presented itself. The bear ripped at his leg. As the bear tried to tear off his calf muscle, Bridger saw his chance and pressed the trigger.

    Blam!

    Man and bear went down together, rolling and sliding a bit further down the slope.

Although the bear was dead, its teeth were still hopelessly tangled in Bridger’s calf muscle. When rescue personnel arrived — quickly, thanks to his family’s close proximity at the time of the attack — they struggled and failed to free the meat from the fangs. Only after cutting the bear’s head off with a pocket knife could they transport Bridger and his now-gray leg muscle.

20 Sep 2018

Self-Abolition of Western Man

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Malcolm Muggeridge:

“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilisations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, laboured with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”

19 Sep 2018

Reject Kavanaugh!

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18 Sep 2018

Putting It All in Perspective

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17 Sep 2018

Conservatism, According to Andrew Sullivan

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Andrew Sullivan, in last Friday’s weekly editorial, says “America Desperately Needs a Healthy Conservatism,” and tells us what he thinks that consists of.

In today’s America, this conservatism is completely under siege. The left will increasingly tolerate nothing that gets in the way of what it calls “social justice,” which far too often reduces individuals to their racial or class or gender identities rather than their merits, or character, or talents. The conservative approach to a multicultural and multiracial society is to keep our focus on the individual and do what’s best to help every individual, regardless of their race, gender, or whatever, to be part of our shared liberal democratic inheritance. Conservatism is about enfolding the new into the old, sustaining a society’s coherence and cohesion, while being extremely tough on particular injustices against particular individuals, vigilant about corruption, and anguished when the criminal justice system loses legitimacy, because of embedded racism.

But conservatism is more deeply besieged by the Republican Party, its alleged harbor. If you consider the themes I’ve emphasized above, it becomes clearer that the GOP is not only not conservative, but actually dedicated to destroying that tradition. Republicans pursue the ideology of free markets and lower and lower taxation, regardless of its brutal assault on fiscal solvency, human dignity, social cohesion, and community life. They have nominated and protected a president who assaults the norms that conservatives revere, has contempt for existing institutions and sees the rule of law as a means to advance his own interests, rather than that of the society as a whole.

This is a man and a party that has such disdain for conserving anything that it is actively despoiling our landscape, enabling a climate catastrophe. It is a party that has generated crippling and everlasting debt — even in good economic times — in a way that makes a mockery of any compact between generations. It is a party that actively endorses cruelty as a policy tool, deploys fear as its prime political weapon, and insists that the opposite party has no legitimate right to govern at all. It is the party of torture, the absolute nemesis of the liberal inheritance, the party of corruption, propaganda, vote suppression, and barely masked bigotry.

I despise it because I am a conservative. I don’t believe that conservatism can be revived on the right (it has been thankfully sustained, by default, by the Democrats in recent decades) until this hateful philistine would-be despot and his know-nothing cult is gone. And by revived, I do not mean a return to neoconservatism abroad or supply side crack-pottery at home. The 1980s and 1990s are over. I mean a conservatism that can tackle soaring social and economic inequality as a way to save capitalism, restore the financial sector as an aid to free markets and not their corrupting parasite, a conservatism that will end our unending wars, rid the criminal justice system of its racial blind spots, defend liberal education and high culture against the barbarians of postmodernism and the well-intentioned toxins of affirmative action, pay down the debt, reform the corruption of religious faith, protect our physical landscape, invest in non-carbon energy, and begin at the local level to rebuild community and the spirit of American civil association.

Andrew’s thesis is summarized perfectly at the point where he writes:

The goal is not to stand athwart history and cry ‘Stop!’, as William F. Buckley put it. It’s to be part of the stream of history and say: slow it down a bit, will you?”

RTWT

In essence, Andrew Sullivan is reacting with indignation and hostility to the populism of Donald Trump, but in the course of defining his own position of opposition to Trump, he makes it clear that his version of supposed Conservatism also rejects the Conservatism of William F. Buckley, Jr., Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan.

Andrew’s “Conservatism” is really the “Me, Too, Just a Little Less” style of Republicanism of Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, and all the Establishment, Country Club-style Republicans of the Bad Old Days before the Conservative Movement took over the GOP and equipped it with principles and a backbone.

Andrew’s Conservatism finds its compass, not in the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and the writings and debates of the framers, but in the editorial page of the New York Times.

Andrew’s Conservatism is intellectually uncritical. It accepts in every jot and tittle the consensus of the elite community of fashion. Junk science, Dualism, and the worship of Gaia, immolating billions to drive off this imaginary catastrophe or that? No problem. Andrew is on board.

Andrew’s Conservatism shares with our liberal establishment reliance on the radical hardcore Left as its conscience. Idealism and morality belong to that radical Left. Declining any of its edicts or demands endangers your moral standing and threatens the stability of society. We must wage war continually on intrinsically evil Bankers and Big Business. We must always regulate out of existence any stigmatized compound or element. We must always choose the emotional gesture expressing our love of Nature over energy or productivity, always disregarding crass calculations of costs and benefits.

We must become deficit hawks during any Republican Administration and deplore tax cuts. We must embrace Isolationism and Pacifism in our Foreign Policy, unless the Left wants to go after some reactionary regime.

Identifying exactly what is conservative in Andrew’s Conservatism is not easy. The best I can do is to point to Andrew’s implicit conviction that the national establishment inevitably is made up of the wisest and best people and therefore possesses the mandate of Heaven. Opposition to establishment culture and politics is intrinsically revolutionary and just plain bad form. Andrew’s Conservatism is really the Conservatism of the Vicar of Bray.

He tells us in the opening of his essay that he had just read Roger Scruton on Conservatism. If he did, he certainly was not really paying attention.

17 Sep 2018

1963: Jean-Marie le Guilcher Worked on Church Steeples Without a Safety Net

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16 Sep 2018

Would You Surrender to the Germans?

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16 Sep 2018

Movements as Background for Reading

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