Thursday, October 30, 2014

The War of the Chickenshit

Image via Canadian Thinker.
Danielle Pletka for the American Enterprise Institute:
Let’s get this straight: Bibi et al, who have what most would agree is a legitimate and existential fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon, are “good” because they’re, er “chickenshit” about launching a strike on Iran; oh, and Bibi is also labeled a “coward” for having been “chickenshit” in that regard. But he’s “bad” because he won’t cave to a Palestinian Authority and Hamas so riven by terrorism, corruption and incompetence that they won’t “accommodate” with each other.
No, I don't think you have it straight yet.

1. Jean-Paul Sartre wants his adjective back: what is Prime Minister Netanyahu doing with an "existential fear"?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Whatever else they take from me, they can't take away my dignity...

Just a little respect.
...because I sold, it, for a cool quarter of a million. From Heritage's "Daily Signal":


Why Did CNN Think Bristol Palin Recounting Being Called a ‘F***ing C***’ Was Funny?

Oh, Katrina, do you really want to know?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Partyism like it's 1999

Buster Keaton in, I think, Spite Marriage (1929).
Verbatim David Brooks, "Why Partyism is Wrong", New York Times, October 28 2014:
There are several reasons politics has become hyper-moralized in this way. First, straight moral discussion has atrophied. There used to be public theologians and philosophers who discussed moral issues directly. That kind of public intellectual is no longer prominent, so moral discussion is now done under the guise of policy disagreement, often by political talk-show hosts.

Second, highly educated people are more likely to define themselves by what they believe than by their family religion, ethnic identity or region.

Third, political campaigns and media provocateurs build loyalty by spreading the message that electoral disputes are not about whether the top tax rate will be 36 percent or 39 percent, but are about the existential fabric of life itself.
Like what kind of world is that where your religion has to take a back seat to the stuff you believe, for heaven's sake?

Monday, October 27, 2014

What part of "graven image" don't they understand?

There's some surprise running around over the case of Michael Reed, 29, of Oklahoma City, who urinated on the Ten Commandments monument outside the Federal Building (the replacement for the Murrah Building blown up by Christian Identity terrorist Timothy McVeigh) and then smashed it by running it over with his car, under instructions, he said, from Satan, who also advised him to spit on a photograph of President Obama and kill him. But he's a Christian.

According to KOCO TV (via SEK at Raw Story),

Sunday, October 26, 2014

And we win one!

Updated below:

Breaking from the New York Times:
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday night outlined New York State’s mandatory quarantine policy for health care workers returning from West African nations with Ebola outbreaks , bringing the state closer into line with federal protocols and marking a significant break with the way the policy has been carried out in New Jersey.
The announcement comes after the Obama administration pressed New York to rescind its order, issued only two days ago in a joint press conference with New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie. New Jersey officials, who stood by their decision on Sunday, have yet to explain many details of their quarantine policy. The state has come under scathing criticism for the treatment of a nurse returning from Sierra Leone, who was forced into quarantine in a hastily erected tent at a New Jersey hospital even though she had not displayed any signs of illness and tested negative for Ebola.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the treatment of the nurse, Kaci Hickox,had been shameful and vowed that New York City would do all it could to honor the work of the health care workers here and those who go to help fight the epidemic in West Africa.
Via Funny or Die.

I still won't vote for Cuomo. Don't care for the way he buckles under pressure, even when he's buckling in the right direction. Subject to hysteria, not a steady hand like Howie Hawkins. And speaking of buckling, thanks, thanks, thanks Mayor de Blasio and President Obama for your firmness in sticking by the rational approach in the face of media and political panic. You guys are great.


Annals of derp: Politico

Dozens of subtweeters falling over each other in their excitement over this evidence of how the nation has given up on our president. Though last I heard 61% somewhat or very confident make up a majority, even in the Senate. Not sure why Politico posted it, unless it's maybe meant as snark. But I fear Allen and Vandehei are not that good at math, to say nothing of Issa.

Ex Africa Semper

Image from Brotha Wolf.
Continuing the rant...

Just heard some audio of Cuomo saying, "I'm old enough to remember HIV—we didn't know how HIV was communicated," implying that we're in the same situation (somewhat imaginary, because it was almost from the beginning clear that gay men were not passing HIV to their many female and straight male friends and relatives and associates whereas among straight people afflicted by AIDS, especially in Africa, the transmission was strictly between male and female sex partners and their children) in regard to Ebola.

Oh, right, HIV comes from darkest Africa too, just like those killer bees.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pure Serene

One year at Greyfriars I played on the same eleven as Keats and Chapman, but I found them very standoffish and unfriendly, which made my shyness even worse. The headmaster thought I was being ridiculous; "It's not a cocktail party, for God's sake, it's cricket," he said. "What difference could it possibly make whether they talk to you or not?" But the thing was, they kept whispering, and I felt they were whispering about me.
Moreover, the captain insisted on playing me as wicket-keeper, a position for which, for technical reasons I need not go into, I was entirely unsuited. Keats finally noticed how upset I was and asked, rather kindly I thought, if there was anything he could do, but what could I say? I knew I'd never be any good at the game till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bowled.
From Tom Brown's School Days, 1877, via The Vatican of Sport.
Dedicated to Smut, without whom I might never have known of the genre, and the late Brian O'Nolan/Myles na Gopaleen.

Jack Bruce


At the Zeche Bochum in Bochum, January 1983, with David Sancious, guitar, and Bruce Gary, drums.

Fearless City: Postscript

Andy 'n' Chris: "Look how serious we are! Awesome!" But a little smile on Cuomo's lips as he contemplates the captive press, paying him attention but unable to ask him a single question about his role in Albany's corruption and secrecy. Photo by Katie Orlinsky/New York Times.
Not that fearless. I guess I spoke too soon.

Friday started off pretty well, with New York as a whole resolutely refusing to panic and Mayor de Blasio and city health commissioner Mary Bassett keeping things that way, as our own Ebola victim, Dr. Craig Spencer, remained in stable condition:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Annals of Derp: Bobo's (Political) Party

Louis Wolheim as Sgt. Bulba in Tempest (1928). 
David Brooks is in full campaign mode now, looking for quirky and intellectual-sounding reasons for voting Republican without saying so and supporting policies like means-testing Medicare, supplementing the wages of the working poor with taxpayer money so Walmart and McDonalds can continue to pay slave wages, and shifting immigration from preserving families to draining other countries' brains, because sisters and cousins and aunts are a dime a dozen but we can never have too many English-deficient computer coders and anesthesiologists. And the long-cherished circle-squaring fantasy of a "progressive consumption tax", though he doesn't really believe he'll ever catch that unicorn.

Today's column prompt is an extremely interesting essay by William Galston of the Brookings Institution, "The New Challenge to Market Democracies", which works from the blandest and broadest of analyses (his bothsiderism is international, pitting suprapartisan pictures of statist Europe/Japan and corporatist United States against each other) to rather radical Pikettist prescriptions: in order literally to save liberal democracy from authoritarianism, the US needs to start with

Fearless City

New York takes pride in acknowledging Dr. Craig Spencer, "gifted", "goofball", and specialist in international emergency medicine, generous volunteer, speaker of Chinese, French, and Spanish, and general person who knows what a New Yorker should do after a spell of taking care of Ebola patients in Guinea for Médecins Sans Frontières: go bowling in Brooklyn, have a nice dinner, do a three-mile run if you're feeling a little off your form, and take your temperature twice a day. And don't panic.

I hope very much for his happy recovery and have no worries whatsoever for the other eight million of us.
Dr. Spencer, via New York Times.
More, with a precious classic link, from Steve.
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