15 Jul 2020

Biden’s Latest Plagiarism Problem

15 Jul 2020

There Must Be Quite a Story Here

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Illustration to Wyatt Massingame’s Quietly My Casket Waits.

14 Jul 2020

Watching a BLM Riot Develop

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Andrea Widburg passes along an interesting Instagram video by a black conservative from Texas.

[The] truth.. about the Black Lives Matter movement is perfectly highlighted in a video that Damani Felder, a black conservative in Texas, posted to Instagram on Monday. Felder was dining with friends at an outdoor venue next to an open plaza in Dallas, Texas. As he repeatedly pans the dining area with his camera, you can see that the diners are a mix of races and ages.

The film begins immediately after a group of about 20 or 25 Black Lives Matter protesters arrayed themselves in an ankle-deep fountain running the length of the dining area. The protesters are, by a pretty clear margin, young, white, and female. In other words, they perfectly match the demographics in American colleges, which are also mostly young, white, and female.

These are the good little girls who have always worked hard in school, diligently imbibing everything their hard-left Democrat teachers and professors have taught them. These “educators” have played on their sense of self-worth, guilt, and credulity to turn themselves into the foot soldiers of anarchy.

Felder knows what’s going on with these young people:

    The majority-white people in the crowd that want to feel good about themselves. Look at this. They want to feel good about themselves, so they’re here ruining an otherwise peaceful evening with their B.S.

    [snip]

    Look at this. Majority-white people, out here acting the fool because they want to feel like they are important.

    Look at this. Look at the racial make-up of this. Think about what the purpose of this would be. Remember that Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors are the founders of this organization, and they are admitting on camera that they are trained Marxists. All they care about is anarchy and social unrest.

    Look at this. Look at this. Again, majority-white crowd because they want to feel that they belong to something.

What’s unique about the video, in addition to Felder’s astute insights, is that we can watch how the protesters transform in real-time from being loud and vulgar to being so violent that the police bring tear gas and pepper spray to stop them (but not before the protesters throw things, breaking windows and possibly doing other damage). The bewildered diners, who had been hoping these human mosquitoes would spontaneously depart, end up scattering, their lovely evening completely spoiled.

14 Jul 2020

Coal Region Drinking Culture

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Jonathan Malesic has an interesting article, in Commonweal, on the hard times and drinking culture of The Anthracite Coal Region, focusing on my hometown’s Northern neighbor: Wilkes Barre.

On a typical Friday afternoon during my time in Wilkes-Barre, after the curriculum-committee meeting adjourns, my friend G. and I walk across the street to a bar whose name is variously spelled Senunas’, Senunas’s, or Senuna’s. The place isn’t busy yet. We cross the ceramic-tiled floor and settle in at two stools at the corner of the bar. We’re flanked by solo drinkers, men watching other men shout at each other on ESPN. The TVs are muted and closed-captioned to clear aural space for the jukebox, not that anyone has spared a dollar to make it play.

We each place a ten-dollar bill on the bar and order a lager. We don’t say “Yuengling lager,” because in this region, where it’s brewed, that would be redundant. The bartender, M., is a student of mine. She pours our beers and slides our glasses in front of us—each of them an ounce or two short of a pint. She picks up our tens and then sets down a stack of bills and coins totaling $7.75 in front of each of us. The other men sitting at the bar—all of us white, paunchy except for G., and between thirty and sixty years old—have similar stacks in front of them. …

Halfway through our drinks, M. sets shot glasses, upside down, in front of me and G. The grey-mustached drinker has just bought us a round, and the shot glasses signal what we’re owed—and what we’ll owe. M. pulls four singles and two quarters from his stack.

Now I have to talk to him. And not just through this round. Two rounds, because now I’m on the hook for one. I can’t bail after I finish the one he buys me. At least, I think I can’t. That would violate the way of things here. Owing him ties me to him. And I don’t want that tie. I would much prefer to settle the debt immediately, or even to act as if I don’t know how this economy works, say thanks as I get up off the stool to leave, and forget I owe him anything. Instead, I grit my teeth, buy him a round, and bear it. We make small talk: sports, work, where we’re from. M. takes a few dollars and coins from my stack. I leave her the rest.

I never initiated this sort of exchange. On a different day, at a different bar, I would walk away without reciprocating. And, over time, I did that more and more. When I finally moved away to Dallas, Texas, miserable in my academic job and ready to follow the career of my Berkeley girlfriend, now my wife, I was several beers in the red.

The desire to belong is incongruous with the individualistic culture of America’s elite.

Throughout my years in Wilkes-Barre, I believed the area had no culture. But I was mistaken. What I didn’t realize was that drinking alcohol is culture. …

I’ve never had a beer at my new upper-class parish in Dallas, surrounded by office towers and condo complexes. The relative lack of binding customs in the urban brewpubs and $15 cocktail bars of this sun-blasted “global city” signals a thin, flattened-out drinking culture—of a piece with a thin, flattened-out culture here overall. In the sort of bar I go to now, straight guys don’t buy rounds for other straight guys they just met. There’s only one unwritten rule: leave each other alone. The smartphone helps enforce this taboo. It allows educated urbanites to go to bars and carry on conversations with their closest friends—only they can’t clink glasses by text message.

RTWT

Wow! $2.25 for a draft beer back there. When I was young, you could get a beer anywhere in Shenandoah or Mahanoy City for 15¢, and I knew bars in Shamokin where you could get F&S beer for 10¢ a glass.

13 Jul 2020

12-Year-Old Arrested in England For Racism!

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13 Jul 2020

Ennio Morricone — “March Of The Beggars”

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Ennio Morricone, who passed away on the 6th of July at the age of 91, is best known for the unusually-instrumented title music to “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” (1966).
His “March Of The Beggars” from “Duck You Sucker” (1971) is similarly amusing.

13 Jul 2020

Trump Found a Great Response to Liberal Outrage Over Roger Stone’s Sentence Commutation

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HT: Vanderleun.

13 Jul 2020

Perhaps They Will Be Unable to Shop at Walmart

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BBC

China has announced sanctions on top Republicans after the US imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.

Among those targeted are senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both outspoken critics of China.

The nature of the sanctions is unclear.

China is accused of detaining more than a million Uighurs and others in Xinjiang but China denies abuses in the far-western region.

Ted Cruz is a senator for Texas while Marco Rubio represents Florida. The pair competed with Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

China also imposed sanctions on Republican congressman Chris Smith; Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback; and a government agency, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

The foreign ministry said the move was in response to America’s “wrong actions”.

“We urge the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, and stop any words and actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

She gave no details what the sanctions entailed. …

RTWT

12 Jul 2020

“Hearts and Minds”

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11 Jul 2020

Fine Response to Orwellian State

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11 Jul 2020

Penn State Welcomes Conservatives, Then Takes it Back

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Jonathan Turley has another amusing news item from the contemporary Academy.

At Penn State, the university took an important step in this time of rising intolerance and actually included conservative students in a welcoming message. It did not last. After an outcry from students, the university deleted the tweet — thereby sending precisely the opposite message to conservative students.

Penn State University sent out a tweet affirming the inclusive environment at the school that included welcoming messages for a wide variety of student groups including a line stating “Dear conservative students. Your viewpoints are important.”

Students reacted with outrage at the notion of expressly welcoming conservative students to campus. For example, the student newspaper, reported that “student Cassandra Nuñez said the experiences of conservative students and students of color cannot not be presented as equal in any way.” She is quoted as writing “Conservatives in the United States do not live in a system that was built from the blood and trauma of their ancestors — a system that continues to put down people who look like [their ancestors] every day.” There was no objection to other groups being welcomed, just the conservative students.

Rather than reinforce its support for students of color, the university yielded to demands and actually withdrew its welcoming statement to conservatives. The explanation was perfectly Orwellian. Penn State Director of Strategic Communications William Hessert, Jr stated that the school wanted “to express the inclusive, democratic and participatory values of the liberal arts.” However, the “message was not being received well and it is important for us that our messages be received as intended.” To unpack this: we wanted to assure conservative students with other students that they are welcomed but many disagreed with their inclusion in that sentiment. So we deleted the welcome.

Hessert told one site “While we do not believe in deleting our posts, given the sensitivities of the matter we felt that it was better to remove it.”

RTWT

All the way down to the level of Penn State and beyond our establishment institutions are in the hands of weasels and invertebrates.

11 Jul 2020

Our Own Cultural Revolution

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For Helen Andrews the last straw was the faculty and staff of Washington & Lee University voting to remove Lee’s name from the college.

Here we arrive at the question at the heart of the statue debate: Are people constrained by any duties, any external obligations at all, or is everything always up for negotiation? Are we free to choose which heroes we want to celebrate and then equally free to choose again differently tomorrow?

Heredity is one source of unchosen obligations. It was very much in mind when Americans were debating how to handle reconciliation after the Civil War. How could we possibly strike a balance between asking Southerners to swear allegiance to the Union, which was vitally necessary, and forcing them to spit on the graves of their fathers and brothers, which was morally unthinkable to ask from any but an abjectly conquered foe? Amazingly, America succeeded in bringing the South into the country again, but only because we did exactly that: struck a balance.

History is another source of unchosen obligations, one more powerful in many ways than heredity. To be loyal to the United States means being loyal to its history. You can’t treat America like a conquered province, the way the crowds defacing Winston Churchill are treating London. Lee and Sumner were both very stubborn men, which made them superficially similar, but the difference was that for Lee the ultimate arbiter of his conduct was external whereas Sumner recognized no higher judge than himself. Acknowledging unchosen obligations means accepting that some things about America, like its history, aren’t yours to change at will — which is good, because stable and unchanging things are what Americans can unite behind.

The left has a counteroffer to this. We can heal all our divisions, they say, if you will only join with us in rallying behind our revised list of heroes. But that would mean consenting to make your position on your country’s history infinitely changeable, and infinitely changeable at the whim of someone other than yourself. Because, of course, the right side of history we’re all uniting under will be different again tomorrow, and you won’t be on the committee that decides what it is. Nothing is fixed; no principles stand firm. You will be like Sumner, a man in whom nothing can be relied upon except his sense of his own self-righteousness.

To live like that, you must either have an unshakeable sense of yourself, as the egotist Sumner did, or else no sense of yourself at all. There are some political systems that prefer their citizens to be infinitely malleable with no bedrock sense of self, but they are not democratic ones.

I used to side with the people who wanted to tear down all Confederate monuments. If Southern gentility means anything, I thought, it means not causing gratuitous offense. It means being willing to accept that a statue might mean one thing to us but something different to our fellow citizens, to whom we have an obligation to be considerate. I took people at their word when they said, we don’t hate the South, we just want you to celebrate what’s best about it, not what’s worst.

That gave them too much credit. In truth, they don’t want to celebrate anything about the South, or America, or the past. Everything falls short of their Year Zero standards. Considering the absolutism of their ideology, perhaps I should have seen this coming. Others did. Either way, Confederates are in the rear-view mirror now and Washington and Jefferson are the ones up for condemnation.

The left argues that name changes and statue topplings are a way for people and institutions to demonstrate their commitment to real change. But at this point, it is not ordinary Americans who need to demonstrate their good faith to the left. It is the statue-topplers who need to convince us that they are genuinely committed to pluralism and not, as their actions would suggest, just sparing some statues temporarily while they bide their time to wait and see what they can get away with tomorrow.

RTWT

They are so very small and the men whose memory they want to efface are so very great. Nothing the Left does can possibly touch General Lee.

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