Tuesday, July 7, 2015

#JeSuisRwandais? Maybe not exactly.

Clemantine Wamariya. Photo by Andrew White.
Shorter David Brooks, "The Courage of Small Things", New York Times, July 7 2015:
We're all just like refugees from the Rwandan genocide. At least I am.
No, seriously. Verbatim,

Monday, July 6, 2015

Pride goes before a pratfall too

Christian de Chalonge television version of Le Malade Imaginaire, 2008, via Le Figaro.
In a campaign speech before last January's parliamentary elections candidate Alexis Tsipras made a pretty audacious Greek literary reference, as The Guardian noted in a mysteriously Aristotle-bashing editorial:
The preceding five years had been ones of tragedy, he said. And after hubris, he warned, invoking Aristotle’s famous but flawed analysis of ancient drama, come nemesis and catharsis. The election, he added, was a battle between two approaches – on the one hand, the execution of austerity measures to the letter, whether or not those measures were working; on the other, a pragmatic notion – advanced by Mario Draghi, the head of the of European Central Bank – of “whatever it takes” to save the euro.
The latter view would prevail, said Mr Tsipras, and for an extra reason too: “Because Greece is the country of Sophocles, who taught us with his Antigone that there are moments in which the supreme law is justice.” Mr Tsipras was echoing the language of Antigone’s refusal to abide by her uncle the king’s edict that her dead brother be left unburied. In the drama she contrasts manmade laws, nomoi, with an ineffable, divine justice, Dike. Moral authority trumps mortal authority.
I'm not sure if he remembered that Antigone's view prevails in the end only after she herself is dead. King Creon's life is ruined too, with the suicides of his son and his wife, but that doesn't make it OK. It's a tragedy.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Carry On Continentals

David Brooks is off today, so we're kind of on our own.

The late Sid James as (I'm pretty sure) highwayman Dick Turpin in Carry on Dick (1974). Via My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck by Lightning.
David Brooks writes ("The Declaration Dilemma", New-York Times, July 3 1776):
All eyes seem to be fixed on the so-called Continental Congress, which has been hunkered down in Philadelphia for a little over a year now, ever since last year's unfortunate disturbances in Massachusetts, where rebel rioters managed to force the royal peacekeeping troops to pull back to Boston from Lexington and Concord.
Yesterday the Congress voted to declare that all the crown colonies south of the Canadas are independent countries, so that they can start negotiating with the French for financial support. A committee chaired by Dr. Benjamin Franklin is said to be drafting a document explaining this weird theory, and it could be published as early as tomorrow.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cuomo agua para chocolate

Corporate States of America. Via Rocky Mountain Media.
Way down toward the end of last week's Times overview of the South Carolina Confederate flag epic, a telling passage on the state's business community, which has long had problems with the cult of the Lost Cause:
After the killings in Charleston, the business leaders saw their chance. The chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, an old friend of Ms. Haley’s named Mikee Johnson, polled his 56 board members about the future of the flag. Everyone who responded was of the same opinion. He called Ms. Haley and told her: If she was ready to bring down the Confederate banner, they were behind her.

So was the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, the muscular association that represents giant international companies like BMW and Bridgestone Tire. Over the weekend after the shootings, its president, Mr. Gossett, urged members to draw up a strategy for finally ridding the State House of the flag.
It's not, note, that they're especially anti-slavery, not that they favor it either, or have any special beef with the confederal states' rights ideology; it's that the flag has been bad for business.

Tweet tweet tweet

Something is wrong with this machine and its relationship to Google services including Chrome, Blogger, and Google itself, and I'm having trouble writing up a morning post. This seems to be going OK though. Be back later, I trust.

I was actually in Herald Square across 7th Avenue from Macy's when I saw the news on my phone of their detaching themselves from that racist fraud, and took a picture of the dear old thing.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Epistle of Brooks to the Philistians

World-famous moderate leftist David Brooks out to troll his friends in the Twilight Zone! I don't think we've seen him doing that since Romney was running for president.

Henri Balland's smoked haddock (I think) from Le Boeuf d'Argent, Lyon.
Shorter David Brooks, "The Next Culture War", New York Times, June 30 2015:
I fully understand the pain and despair you guys must be going through as orthodox Christianity vanishes from our society, but a Benedict Option of the kind proposed by Rod Dreher where you all withdraw from the world to contemplate the Last Days in prayer and anguish might not be the best way to go from the political standpoint. Why don't you make use of all that selfless love and commitment like my homegirl Dorothy Day, serving the poor in the urban jungle?
Not a bad idea at all, especially since Dreher's Benedict idea seems to involve leaving the prayer and anguish to the wives, while he and his bros console themselves with the haute gastronomie at the Boeuf d'Argent and the Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse, as we learned from Edroso last week. Because let's face it, nothing says martyrdom quite like a Nénuphar de Noix de Saint Jacques Marinés à l'Huile d'Olive d'Italie, plongées dans la Fraîcheur de la Verveine, or maybe Fraîcheur du Haddock Fumé aux herbes de Printemps, senteur de Vinaigre de Mangue et Huile d’Olive Vierge d’Italie for starters.

More Dred: Robert P. George is Stupid

John Schuyler in Frank Powell's A Fool There Was (1915). Via.

David Brooks:
Robert P. George, probably the most brilliant social conservative theorist in the country, argued that just as Lincoln persistently rejected the Dred Scott decision, so “we must reject and resist an egregious act of judicial usurpation.”
Robert P. George:
Faced with the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, Lincoln declared the ruling to be illegitimate and vowed that he would treat it as such. He squarely faced Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney’s claim to judicial supremacy and firmly rejected it. To accept it, he said, would be for the American people “to resign their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”

Monday, June 29, 2015

John Roberts is Stupid

Image via Bronx Banter.
Hahaha. On Ginsburg's beautiful opinion in the case of Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, holding that a popular referendum can require a state to get rid of gerrymandering in its decennial redistricting by means of an independent commission, in spite of the constitutional stipulation that
“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations . . . .” Art. I, §4, cl. 1. R
The gerrymander-loving chief justice, Smilin' Jack Roberts, dissenting, decides to wax sarcastic, as quoted at the Political Animal, and extracted at slightly greater length from the opinion itself:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Was the Dred Scott decision biblical?

Jesuitical deception! The conservative Catholic site Patheos runs this image as Rembrandt's illustration of Paul's epistle to Philemon, but there is no such painting, and this is Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's representation of the parable of the Prodigal Son (1667-70). I call shenanigans.

Via Juan Cole, on the subject of biblical marriage:
And remember, if your sex slave runs away because you’re cruel to the person, the Bible (Philemon) says that other people have the duty to return the slave to you, i.e. basically imposes the duty of trafficking slaves back to sadistic sex maniacs who exploit them. But if the owner is nice and a good Christian, he might consider letting the sex slave go. But he doesn’t have to.
Off the subject of biblical marriage, it occurs to me that Chief Justice Taney's opinion in the Dred Scott case is biblically based: the Fugitive Slave Act is just what Paul's epistle to Philemon requires. Is that proof that the Confederate States of America were founded as a Christian nation?

Seems Frederick Douglass noticed it too:


Via Quickmeme.
A line from Rich Lowry on the Confederate flag debate quoted by Edroso has been sticking in my head since midweek:
The fact is that if anyone banging on about the Confederacy at the moment on Twitter were born in the 1840s in the South, outside of a few select areas, they, too, would have fought for the Confederacy. (UPDATE: It should go without saying that this isn’t true of blacks.) That should lend a measure of modesty to this debate.
"Anyone other than about 40% of the population who I assumed were of no interest when I wrote this up but apparently some anal-compulsive readers thought they should be mentioned."

This is why we need to say that #BlackLivesMatter, because #AllLivesMatter needs a footnote:
#AllLivesMatter (UPDATE: It should go without saying that this is true of blacks.) 
It should go without saying, and maybe one day it will.

(Also: The idiocy of the argument, a classic example of the "if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle" fallacy, should really go without saying, but I don't want you to think I missed it; to say nothing of the sheer falseness of Lowry's assertion, as noted in the comments: in that war of brother against brother there were plenty of southerners who fought for the Union, as well as northerners who supported the rebellion, and to suppose otherwise is to show basic historical illiteracy.)


Jihua shengyu haochu duo (Family planning has many advantages); Family Planning Leadership Office of Jilin Province, ca. 1975. Via NIH"s National Library of Medicine.
Fearlessly proclaim the truth about marriage and protect the rights of dissenters
National Review's Ryan T. Anderson has fully caught the genuine People's Daily tone in this dek text, though I think "resolutely" might have worked better than "fearlessly" here.

The truth about marriage?