Two Recommendations

I haven’t finished my morning reading yet, but it’s hard to imagine reading anything more politically perceptive than Michael Gerson’s Washington Post column (unfortunately, not actionable for another 17 months) or more sanity-restoring than Garrison Keillor’s blog.

June 25, 2019

Trump heroically saves us from himself

The president whiles away his days attempting to solve problems of his own creation.

Dana Milbank

June 25, 2019

When will a majority rouse itself against such evil?

I don’t often issue dead-serious trigger warnings, but this is too gross not to warn you: don’t read it if you are normal and wish to remain blissfully unaware of what utter perversion woke capital is foisting off on us — and our children.

In this case, woke capital is Condé Nast launching them, from which the stomach-turning article linked in the prior paragraph is taken and in the tradition of its Teen Vogue article on how to practice anal sex. (H/T Rod Dreher)

So why am a sharing it at all? Because I cherish the delusion that there is some straw that will break the camel’s back, some outrage that will prompt a massive cultural backlash and commercial retribution again the damnable perverts peddling such stuff.

The hypothetical backlash would probably be excessive, but I’d rather these creeps be excessively punished than that they continue unchallenged.

June 24, 2019

San Francisco to unsighly people: sooner or later, we’re gonna get ya’

San Francisco’s impending ban on e-cigarettes amounts to banning sights its progressive denizens find distateful — thereby making San Francisco and even worse place for poor people.

A reminder, by the way: deep-blue, ever-so-progressive California retains the dubious honor of the nation’s highest poverty rates.

There is a nexus between the politics and the poverty, about which I may be prepared to say more after reading the current Economist, which uses Texas and California and symbolic of two opposing approaches to government.

June 24, 2019

The Eye of Woke Sauron

The Eye of Woke Sauron has fallen on Israel Folau and found him wanting.

June 24, 2019

The hardest pander

African Americans comprise about 12.3 percent of the US population and about 4.5 percent identify as” LGBTetc. The Hispanic demographic is 18.1 percent and the Democratic Party has already got them covered with its official opposition to the immigration laws — though there is evidence that Hispanic US citizen-voters are not uniformly on-board with that pander.

Now the party will be hard put to come up with some goodies for the rest of the US population. But it appears that it has only punishments and persecutions in mind for them ….

James Howard Kunstler

June 24, 2019

Senator Josh Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)’s bill to require the largest social media firms to obtain certification of their political balance from the FTC, on pain of making them liable for all content posted by users, met with hail of dead cats from knowledgeable observers [Elliot Harmon/EFF, John Samples/Cato and more, Cathy Gellis, Joshua Wright thread, Eric Goldman, Raffi Malkonian on retroactivity and more, Elizabeth Nolan Brown/Reason] Related: Daphne Keller (“Build Your Own Intermediary Liability Law: A Kit for Policy Wonks of All Ages”)

Walter Olson at the Overlawyered blog (and he has the hyperlinks to all the citations).

This seems like a fair assessment of how Hawley’s proposal was greeted, though I would add David French’s Josh Hawley’s Internet Censorship Bill Is an Unwise, Unconstitutional Mess. The only halfway articulate defense I’ve seen is from a guy who I thereupon followed at Twitter (partly on the basis of his affiliation with a eulogistically-named think-tank), where he is shaping up as a pro-Trump idiot.

About Hawley generally, I have mixed feelings. He appears to be very bright and articulate, and capable of very serious thought. But so far he appears to be applying his intelligence and talents to rather demagogic - and even unconstitutional - enterprises.

I hope he’ll snap out of it and become part of the new generation of reformicon leaders we really need.

June 24, 2019

Becoming human

True humanity is not broken, but whole. Genuine humanity is not sinful but uncompromised. Being fully human means being fully alive, in free, loving, creative communion with God, with one another, and with the created world. That is how you define humanity, not through brokenness and rudderless groping. Seen this way, our journey toward being increasingly God-like is commensurate, even synonymous, with our journey towards becoming fully human.

Peter Bouteneff, How to Be a Sinner, Kindle location 1439.

June 23, 2019

Child drag queens

Jonah Goldberg Tweeted:

I long thought the sexualization of little girls in beauty pageants had become gross, and until recently there seemed to be a growing consensus about that. Now the sexualization of little boys dressed as girls is a cause of great celebration. Count me out.

He was specifically referring to this adulatory ABC affiliate’s story.

What’s astonishing is how many people were willing to adamantly respond that there was nothing sexualized about 9-year-old drag Kween KeeKee, and even to accuse Goldberg of being a pervert for thinking it so.

As Rod Dreher put it, America To Weimar Germany: Hold My Beer’.”

June 23, 2019

Metronet endorsement

I moved my very large MP3 collection (100% legal; I own the CDs or bought the MP3s) from iCloud to Dropbox a few days ago, and was stunned to see that all 100+ GB uploaded to Dropbox overnight!

Today’s email from Metronet, my ISP, provides a retrospective explaination:

It’s not often you get a free upgrade these days, but that’s exactly what’s happening! Effective June 12, your existing internet speeds became symmetrical! The same fast speed you use to download data is now available for uploading as well. MetroNet is the only provider offering symmetrical speeds to residential customers, making this one more advantage to being part of our 100% fiber-optic network. Even better, you received this automatic speed enhancement at absolutely no cost! …

My impression is that Comcast is trying to run from its reputation by holding forth as Xfinity. I have never regretted leaving Comcast for Metronet.

I suppose that if your life revolves around television (mine decidedly does not), you might be better off with Xfinity, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

June 23, 2019

Know your jackasses

It’s a pretty safe bet that you’re disreputable when your Wikipedia profile begins thus:

Jacob Wohl (born December 12, 1997) is an American far-right conspiracy theorist, fraudster, and internet troll

with 13 footnotes just for those propositions and no flags for lack of balance.

So far have I been staying away from the fever swamps that I don’t think I’d heard of him until today, when catching up on my All The President’s Lawyers podcasts, wherein Ken White predicted that if his mom keeps letting him use the phone in his basement bedroom, he’s going to commit a federal crime sooner rather than later.

June 22, 2019

Two cheers for Tucker

Tucker Carlson called National Security Advisor John Bolton a bureaucratic tapeworm’ who never suffers any consequences for his relentless warmongering and accusing him and his collaborators of deliberately engineering a provocation to lead to direct military confrontation. Carlson urged Trump to expunge the influencers who are pushing for a war with Iran, and cautioned that it would cost him re-election.”

(Caitlyn Johnstone)

Carlson referred to neo-cons” like left-wing New York Times columnist Bret Stephens” cheering when Bolton made it to the White House, which is both juvenile and self-contradictory.

Except for that, good for Tucker Carlson.

June 22, 2019

Bigoted, unstable madness

I’m not saying it’s crazy or wrong for a president to undo some of his predecessor’s policies and reverse some others. That is, if he has a different view of the world and makes a rational case. But I am saying that basing domestic and foreign policy solely on visceral emotions about the first black president and his achievements is a form of bigoted, unstable madness that has no place in the affairs of state of a great nation. It is a manifestation of Trump’s obvious unfitness for the office he holds, and of the terrible danger his presidency poses. So far, we have avoided the worst consequences of this blindness. But if war comes, that dumb-luck honeymoon will surely end.

Andrew Sullivan

June 22, 2019

The late, great orange juice boycott

Ball State University historian Emily S. Johnson debunks a myth about Anita Bryant and the gay rights movement. Having lived through that period as a sentient adult, I can confirm the arc of her re-telling.

But she over-generalizes here:

These [gay rights] victories … were deeply troubling to Christian conservatives, who approved of the pre-1960s status quo and the legal bans on homosexuality that reflected their moral values.

(Emphasis added) There is significant middle ground between criminalizing sodomy and elevating homosexuality to protected class status, and that’s the middle ground I’ve lived in since protected class status for gays and lesbians first became an issue. I’m sure I’m not alone.

I have occasionally wondered whether we could have avoided idiocies like Pride Month had we maintained criminal laws against sodomy? If so, would it have been worth it? My answer has always been do the right thing and take the consequences,” and I still think decriminalization was the right thing.”

I’ve blogged elsewhere about why I oppose expansion of protected class status, such as here, here, here, and here. But none of the blogs I found captured my biggest reason: I have never seen or heard convincing evidence that homosexuals, post-decriminalization but without such laws, experience systematic (not episodic and idiosyncratic) discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations or education, the spheres usually covered by protected class status laws.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan hints that I’m right in his Friday lead story on the gay rights movement:

I’m not saying there isn’t more to be done — laws against discrimination in employment and public accommodations in those states that don’t yet have those protections, for example. But in states that already have such laws, the number of lawsuits filed remains relatively small, suggesting that this is not quite the crisis some activists make it out to be.

(Emphasis added)

June 22, 2019

The headline says it all

Trump’s Slouching Toward War With Iran Is a Disgrace

The last-minute calling-off of military action is the first wise decision on Iran the president has taken.

18h ago By Roger Cohen

June 22, 2019

Same as his agenda here

The prime minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, cut the ribbon on a new town in the Golan Heights named after Donald Trump. Earlier this year Mr Trump recognised Israel’s control over the territory, which it captured from Syria in 1967. Critics noted that the town, called Trump Heights, has no buildings or funding.

The Economist for June 22

June 21, 2019

Hard case, bad law

In what conceivable fact-pattern could free exercise of religion plausibly be asserted as a defense to a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress?”, I wondered.

Well, now I know.

The old saw is that hard cases make bad law.” This defendant is a deranged heretic, but the quoted court rationale (the conduct, no matter its motivation, was extreme and outrageous”) seems to assume the falsity of the deranged and heretical beliefs (how can it be extreme and outrageous” to reveal hard truths?).

The damage amount awarded, and the injunctive relief granted, probably played a role in the Appellate Court’s nonchalance.

June 21, 2019

Mockingbird revisited

I can imagine a #MeToo version of To Kill a Mockingbird,” with Mayella Ewell as the heroine, Atticus Finch condemned for toxic masculinity” and the lynch mob cheered as an engine of popular justice.

Michael Blechman, Liberalism Isn’t What It Used to Be

June 21, 2019

Maintaining perspective

Not one Christian parent has to take his or her child to see a drag queen at the library, but all too many Christian parents have had to explain the moral collapse of pastors and church leaders to their kids. All too many Christian wives have had to deal with the devastation of a husband addicted to porn, and all too many Christian spouses have had to pick up the pieces after infidelity and divorce.

… absent our own faithfulness, every legal or political victory will be for naught. We’ll continue to bleed members, lose our witness, and close our doors. Our true challenge lies not with the drag queens without but rather with the adulterers and abusers within.

It’s ever so much easier to find a scapegoat than to find a solution.

Insofar as he implies that anyone (also known as Sohrab Amari) is blaming Drag Queen Story Hour for declining Church attendance, David French is setting up a straw man and dipping beneath his dignity. But he has a point here anyway.

June 20, 2019

Another forgotten Orwellianism rediscovered.

Facecrime is failing to register appropriate sentiments by facial gesture, or involuntarily flickering proof of wrongthink, however briefly, before registering appropriate sentiments.

June 20, 2019

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