Statesmanship, not politics

I spent the last couple of days looking at what happened that day and what the president was doing while it was happening,” [South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice] said in an interview Thursday. And the more I looked at it, the madder I got.”

Mr. Rice said that for him, the question of whether Mr. Trump had incited the crowd wasn’t the most important question. Rather, it was whether he had done enough to try to stop it, or later, to take any responsibility.

When people are in the Capitol, ransacking the Capitol and trying to get to the Senate chamber and House chamber, and Vice President Mike Pence is in the Capitol and the president is tweeting the vice president lacks courage, I just cannot abide that,” Mr. Rice said. It was a vote I felt I didn’t have a choice on. The path was clear.”

I’ll be surprised if I don’t get one,” Mr. Rice said of a primary challenge. He said he had already heard plenty of both positive and negative feedback in the less than 24 hours since he cast his vote.

I hope I get re-elected,” Mr. Rice said. If they decide based on this vote, which I know was the right vote, that they don’t want me to be their representative, so be it.”

(Wall Street Journal, 1/15/21)

January 15, 2021

Impeached, twice

What do you call it when rightwingnuts do something horrible and then pretend it was leftwingnuts conducting a false flag” operation? Is that a false flag false flag” operation?


Pence Says He Won’t Invoke 25th Amendment, Setting Stage for Impeachment Vote

Some Republican lawmakers say they would vote to impeach Trump in the wake of Capitol riot. House Democrats passed a resolution Tuesday demanding that Pence and a majority of the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment.

Pence had no good options. Or, to put it another way, lie down with dogs, rise up with fleas” is a cosmic law, and he lay down with a dog in 2016.


Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney in Washington, said his office had established a team of senior national-security and public-corruption prosecutors to examine the most serious cases, including the use of explosives and attacks on police officers.

Their only marching orders from me are to build sedition and conspiracy charges related to the most heinous acts that occurred in the Capitol,” he said at a news conference Tuesday. We’re looking at and treating this just like a significant international counterterrorism or counterintelligence operation.”

FBI Has Opened Over 160 Cases Tied to Pro-Trump Capitol Riot.

I am really looking forward to some of those jerkwads serving 20 years for seditious conspiracy.


To illustrate the depths of that deception, consider the sentiment among Republicans in Wisconsin, a state Mr Biden won by 20,608 votes. The president’s lawyers have filed six failed legal challenges to the result, including in the US Supreme Court. They also instigated a recount in Wisconsin’s most populous counties, Milwaukee and Dane, adding 87 votes to Mr Biden’s tally. Wisconsin’s Republican senator, Ron Johnson, held a Senate committee inquiry into Mr Trump’s allegations; he subsequently told The Economist that he saw no reason to question the results in his home state. Yet Terry Dittrich, chairman of the Waukesha County Republican Party, Wisconsin’s biggest, maintains that Mr Trump won it, in an election riddled with fraud, and he claims to know no Republican who thinks otherwise.

For evidence the 59-year-old real-estate professional offered a list of concerns about the vote that Wisconsin’s conservative chief justice dismissed—including a big increase in postal voting that Mr Dittrich considered absolutely fraudulent”. He also raised the simple fact that Mr Biden performed creditably in leafy Waukesha County, on the outskirts of Milwaukee, just as the Democrat in fact did in affluent white suburbs across the country. There is absolutely no way Biden outperformed Barack Obama in Waukesha County by the numbers they are proclaiming,” Mr Dittrich said. We’re not giving up on this. It’s not about being a bunch of Cry Babies or sore losers. We are law-abiding citizens who just want a clean election.”

… A majority of Republican voters have in effect accepted Mr Trump’s claim that Democrats cannot win legitimately and that a lack of proof of their machinations is proof of a cover-up.

The terrible scenes on Capitol Hill illustrate how Donald Trump has changed his party

What is it about Donald F. Trump is a uniquely hot steaming mess that tens of millions want hauled out and left at the curb” you don’t understand, Mr. Dittrich?


One of the chief reasons I couldn’t vote for Donald Trump is the ugly way he talks about human beings. That said, I underestimated how many people may have voted for him because of his rough, threatening, even violent talk, rather than despite. I never thought we would see what we saw in the Capitol. I do think it reached a whole new level post-election, but as I said in my syndicated column this week, people such as Jonah Goldberg, Jay Nordlinger, and David French were right to constantly sound alarms.

This is a time for humility and repentance, and for the Left, too. We’ve been too polarized and ideologically driven with a religious-like fervor on both sides. Hurt people are hurting hurt people. We need a president who honestly wants to be president of all Americans. Including peaceful ones at the Trump rally last Wednesday.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, A Mea Culpa


What the healing of America should look like:

At a joint press conference, a dozen or more of the most prominent figures in the Stop the Steal” movement gather. There’s Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Steve Scalise, Newt Gingrich, and a claque of Fox News primetime anchors. (Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are at a separate table, because no one will agree to sit with them.)

We are here to revise and extend our remarks,’” McCarthy begins in an attempt at congressional wit.

Joe Biden is president-elect. He won. Donald Trump lost. This has been the case since a few days after election night. There was no fraud worth speaking of; the courts from one end of the country to the other have thrown out every claim of irregularity. To our eternal regret, many in my party, out of ignorance, delusion, mendacity, or fear of our own constituents, endlessly repeated outright lies emanating from the fevered mind of our delusional president, whom we never should have nominated in the first place. This helped create the climate for the most violent assault on the Capitol in 200 years. I am ashamed personally, and for my party.”

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell is next.

While I urged my colleagues to accept the electoral vote count, I bear heavy responsibility in spending the last four years ignoring the increasingly lunatic actions and rhetoric of the president. As long as he gave me my judges, I turned away from the behavior that culminated in a presidentially triggered riot. In the interest of unity, I am asking the various committee chairs to move swiftly to put President-elect Biden’s economic and national security team in place as close to January 20th as possible.

Newt Gingrich rises—slowly, with great difficulty—to acknowledge that as a world-class historian, I knew better than to embrace the mad-as-a-hatter fantasies of the president. It’s not as if I have the mental acuity of Louie Bag of Hammers’ Gohmert. But I was too busy selling my books, CDs, and commemorative coins to think about the harm I was doing to the country. I am now offering a Collector’s Item’ special of videos and pen holders in honor of Joe Biden’s inaugural, just call this toll-free—”

When Gingrich has returned—slowly, painfully—to his seat, Senators Hawley and Cruz take the podium together.

Of course we know the truth,” they recite together. We are two of the smartest, best-credentialed senators ever: Stanford and Princeton, Yale Law and Harvard Law. But our joint lust for the presidential nomination unmoored us from any sense of decency. We are resigning our seats and—like the British politician John Profumo, who left in scandal and spent the rest of his life doing charity work—we intend to spend the coming years doing menial labor for the Little Sisters of the Poor, while engaging in prayerful meditation so that we might somehow become less reprehensible human beings.”

A few moments later, after the Fox News primetime team pledges a vow of silence, the gathering ends. And peace and tranquility settle upon our divided land.

Jeff Greenfield, Yes, by All Means, Let the Healing Begin


I have been a Republican for 62 years. I have been a Goldwater conservative, a Reagan conservative, and a W conservative.

And I have now left the Republican party. A party that has been at the center of my entire adult life. A party that defined me to others and to myself. It has become the opposite of what it was. It has become a cult idolizing a ruler, a trasher of institutions of democracy driven by falsehoods and hatreds.

Consider the big issue of the last two months: The steal” of the 2020 election. Who are the supposed forces of evil who have perpetrated this steal”? Take Arizona. The governor, a Trump supporter and conservative, certified that Trump lost a fair election in his state. The governor of Georgia, a Trump supporter and conservative, said Trump lost a fair election in his state. The conservative Republican Trump supporters who lead the Michigan legislature said Trump lost a fair election in their state. Dozens of courts—including judges appointed by Trump—said there was no evidence of fraud. The Supreme Court, dominated by conservatives and including three Trump appointees, tossed out Trump’s claim of a stolen election. Unanimously. Bill Barr, the attorney general and Trump loyalist, said there was no evidence of anything that questioned the validity of Trump’s loss.

Despite all that, Trump supporters attacked the United States Capitol. A police officer was killed by the mob; another took his life after the fact. Staffers and members feared for their lives. Journalists were assaulted. And after all that, nearly 150 Republican members of Congress still fed the falsehood that the validity of the election was in question. These were not citizens with no access to truth; they are not ignorant of the facts. They knew everything I’ve spelled out about the validity of Donald Trump’s electoral loss. They knew—but they fed the falsehood; they provided the fuel for an attack on the heart of American government, an attack that killed an officer trying to protect them. An attack by Americans against America. Supported and cheered on by Republicans. My Republicans. There were Republicans who refused to play along with the charade—men like Governor Ducey in Arizona, Governor Kemp and election officials in Georgia—but for the most part even those Republican members of Congress who didn’t join the attempt to overthrow the election remained unforgivably silent out of party loyalty and fear, making them complicit nonetheless in this bloody attack on their own country.

I’ve left the Republican party. I will not be going back.

Mickey Edwards, A Republican Journey. Edwards represented Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District in Congress for 16 years. He was a member of the Republican leadership and chairman of the party’s policy committee in the House. He now teaches at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs.


I hadn’t thought, before sometime in the last year, about the connotation of impunity.” The real tells” in last week’s riots at the U.S. Capital were the maskless rioters, smirking and taking selfies, obviously thinking that Trump and sundry Congressrats had their backs and that they were acting with impunity.

Dumbasses. Some of them are going to prison for long terms.

And, by the way, after some initial hesitation about calling the riots a coup attempt,” because the rioters did not want personally to govern, I’m now entirely comfortable with calling a coup attempt” one’s effort to disrupt the peaceful transition of power to the duly elected President so that one’s demagogue can remain in power.


If the price of winning your next primary is remaining silent on the question of Trump and his post-election behavior, which culminated in the storming of the Capitol by a Hang Mike Pence!” mob, then you have lost your priorities. If you cannot explain to voters why they are wrong to give a pass to a president who behaved as Trump has done, and what it means to have a president who fouls American democracy by rousing the rabble to break down the doors of the Capitol and shout for lynching the vice president, then why are you in public service? If that’s what it takes to keep your job, why would you even want a job like that? Honestly, I do not get it.

I had an extremely frustrating conversation this evening with a friend who believes all of this was invented by the Left to discredit the president. The narrative is unfalsifiable. It’s not a question of a political disagreement; it’s about living outside of reality. All day long I’ve been getting e-mails from people who are really suffering because beloved friends and family members — even elderly parents — are completely lost in this toxic unreality of paranoia and conspiracy. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life, aside from woke militants. Something demonic is in the air. We might not need an impeachment and conviction so much as we need an exorcism.

Rod Dreher, ‌Impeachment As Exorcism


The conservative Catholic writer John Jalsevac explains why he’s so angry right now. Excerpts:

Nothing, absolutely nothing, has disturbed me more over the past four years, than the weird misuse of Christian religious language, spirituality and mysticism in service of the Trumpist political agenda ….

Rod Dreher, ‌Impeachment As Exorcism


Conservative writer and radio host Erick Erickson expanded upon some of the themes we touched on above in his newsletter yesterday. Cancel culture exists, and it is a threat, he writes. But that’s not what we’re seeing in the wake of last week’s insurrection. No, I am not sympathetic to you over major corporations deciding not to give you a penny. No, I am not sympathetic to you getting your internet social media accounts canceled. No, I am not sympathetic to you having your rising career in politics ruined,” he writes of those facing repercussions for their role in Wednesday’s events. This was bound to happen because you overplayed your hand and your action is causing a reaction. It is an equal and opposite reaction. Trying to cancel a presidential election causes a cancelation rebound.”

The Morning Dispatch


If you asked today what’s an evangelical?” to most people, I would want them to say: someone who believes Jesus died on the cross for our sin and in our place and we’re supposed to tell everyone about it. But for most people they’d say, Oh, those are those people who are really super supportive of the president no matter what he does.”

Ed Stetzer, interviewed in How Did We Get Here?’ A Call For An Evangelical Reckoning On Trump. Overall, I found this interview terribly boring, which may simply reflect that Stetzer’s not washing the family’s dirty linen in public.


A related argument, lent weight by the president himself yesterday, is to suggest, hint, insinuate, or outright proclaim that impeachment could lead to violence. It could tear apart the country. Yada, yada, yada.

This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and you’re doing it and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing,” he added, in his first public comments since the deadly assault on the Capitol.

For Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country and it’s causing tremendous anger. I want no violence,” Mr. Trump concluded before heading across the South Lawn to Marine One.

Maybe it could spark violence—and even if that were the case, since when do conservatives argue that we should appease potential rioters? I’ve been writing about the pernicious riot ideology” of the 1960s left for 20 years. Lo and behold, the right has now embraced it. Moreover, the mere fact that it is plausible that Trump’s second impeachment could spark violence is an argument for why he should be impeached. Forget that he’s threatening Congress with the possibility of violence; the fact that the threat is plausible is testament to the environment he deliberately created.

But here’s my point: If Trump actually believes this stuff, the incandescently obvious moral choice is for him to resign, to spare America even greater turmoil and strife. That would be a display of Trump putting the interests of America first. The only reason for him to stick around is vanity. It’s not like there’s anything more he can do policy-wise, save issue a bunch of easily rescinded executive orders or hand out more pardons.

Jonah Goldberg


Having found proof that no Indiana Republican Representative voted to impeach Trump this afternoon, I was about to turn it into a what a bunch of gutless weenies” blog. Then I realized that I have no truly firm opinion on whether impeachment for Trump’s impeachable offenses is really necessary. All I had was reliable data from Politico.

Our minds and emotions can combine in toxic ways.

G’nite.

January 14, 2021

Recently I was talking with a dear friend about how the gift that our particular collegiate experience gave us could be summarized this way: It made it possible for us to disentangle Christianity” from stupid American evangelical crap.”

After Evangelicalism - Mere Orthodoxy This is a bracing article for those who so despair over stupid American evangelical crap” that they’re thinking of abandoning the faith in toto.


Here they were, a coalition of the willing: deadbeat dads, YouPorn enthusiasts, slow students, and MMA fans. They had heard the rebel yell, packed up their Confederate flags and Trump banners, and GPS-ed their way to Washington. After a few wrong turns, they had pulled into the swamp with bellies full of beer and Sausage McMuffins, maybe a little high on Adderall, ready to get it done. Like Rush Limbaugh before them, they were in search of their own Presidential Medals of Freedom, and like Donald Trump himself, they were ready to relieve themselves on the withering soul of the nation and the marble floors of the Capitol building. Out of darkness we were born and into darkness we were returning.

The Viking guy was frightening, until it turned out that he’s a notorious ham who shows up at lots of Trump events and loves publicity. Last May, in Phoenix, he was pounding his drum and yelling, Thank you, President Trump!” and Thank you, Q!” until a reporter approached him to ask for an interview, and in an instant he turned into Beto O’Rourke. My name is Jake Angeli,” he said smoothly. That’s J-A-K-E and A-N-G-E-L-I. Angel with an i.”

The comedian Norm MacDonald has observed that the second-worst job in the world is Crack Whore and that the worst job in the world is Assistant Crack Whore. So let us cast our lonely eyes on the specter of Assistant Viking, Aaron Mostofsky, who was dressed in pelts and carried a police riot shield and who—in a rare Viking flourish—was bespectacled. Can you tell us what you’re doing here today? a reporter asked him. What I’m doing here today is,” he began, but here the words began to fail him. He looked around and then said he was there to express my opinion as a free American, my beliefs that this election was stolen. Um—we were cheated.” He adjusted one of his pelts and said that certain blue states—“like New York”—had once been red, and were stolen.”

Why had she come to Washington? We’re storming the Capitol!” she whined. It’s a revolution!” Patty Hearst was more up to speed on the philosophy and goals of the Symbionese Liberation Army before she got out of the trunk. These people were dressed like cartoon characters, they believe that the country is under attack from pedophiles and globalists,” and they are certain that Donald Trump won the election. In other words, the Founders’ worst fear—that a bunch of dumbasses would elect a tyrant—had come to pass.

All things are born, live, and then die. We can remember who we are, and keep going—maybe even moving forward. Or we can make a mockery of ourselves and die in filth.

Caitlyn Flanagan, Worst Revolution Ever - The Atlantic]

Thanks, Caitlyn. That (especially the first paragraph) was cathartic in a guilty pleasure sort of way.


The Morning Dispatch: It Could Have Been So Much Worse


We need a new media channel, the press version of a third party, where those financial pressures to maintain audience are absent. Ideally, it would:

Innovations like Substack are great for opinionated individual voices like me, but what’s desperately needed is an institutional reporting mechanism that has credibility with the whole population. That means a channel that sees its mission as something separate from politics, or at least as separate from politics as possible.

We Need a New Media System - TK News by Matt Taibbi


Buttons are out among students, but yard signs are in among hipsters. This one has been sprouting like mushrooms:

IN THIS HOUSE, WE BELIEVE:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL
SCIENCE IS REAL
LOVE IS LOVE
KINDNESS IS EVERYTHING

Having matriculated, as I said, in the Newspeak world, I humbly attempt to translate these sentiments into English.

Black lives matter. What this doesn’t mean: That black lives matter. Of course they do. What it does mean: That if you don’t think rioting is a good way to protect black lives, you’re a racist who thinks they don’t matter.

Women’s rights are human rights. What this doesn’t mean: That women are human. Of course they are. What it does mean: That unborn children aren’t, and if you think they are, you must think women aren’t.

No human is illegal. What this doesn’t mean: That it should never be illegal to exist. Of course it shouldn’t. What it does mean: That if you think any form of border control is allowable, your view is tantamount to genocide.

Science is real. What this doesn’t mean: That well-conducted science can discover some things about the real world. Of course it can. What it does mean: That ideologically influenced science should be accepted without question, so if you ask for better evidence, you’re opposing science itself.

Love is love. What this doesn’t mean: That love should be respected. Of course it should. What it does mean: Everything motivated by sex is good, and if you have any reservations about that, you’re against love.

Kindness is everything. What this doesn’t mean: That we ought to practice the virtue of kindness. What it does mean: That if you don’t agree with all of the preceding slogans, you must be full of hate.

J. Budziszewski

I’ll never be able to view J. Budziszewski as well as I used to, because he has become a real full-mooner about the election - and just as bereft of evidence as all the others. But it’s nice to see him returning, if only a little and only temporarily, to sound critical thinking.


In the past few days, some of the nation’s most powerful corporations have engaged in a concerted effort, at the behest of a major political party, to limit the speech of millions of Americans who engaged in wrongthink. First, Twitter permanently banned the sitting president. As is its right. And when millions of his fans left and bolstered Parler, a different platform, Apple, Google, and Amazon went ahead and shut it down as well.

But if you say that targeted deplatforming, though not Stalinist, is troubling, the same people who want to compel everyone to buy state-mandated health insurance, who want to dictate how corporations compensate their employees, who want to force nuns to buy abortifacients, and who want to destroy the lives of bakers and florists who run businesses according to long-held religious beliefs will vigorously defend the value of free-association rights that allow corporations to act this way. So I’m pretty skeptical that most of these people are genuine champions of individual market choices, and aren’t just super excited about silencing people.

Twitter claims that it is merely banning incitement,” by which it means conspiratorial contentions about the 2020 election being stolen. This, of course, is a new standard, since well-known personalities across Twitter have spread similar conspiracies about the 2016 election — not to mention downplaying the murder, arson, and billions of dollars of damage caused by leftist rioters last summer.

Perhaps we could take Twitter’s claim that it is upholding the sanctity of democracy more seriously if it didn’t host Chinese Communist officials who treat slave ownership as a social good, or anti-Semitic Iranian officials who regularly use exterminationist rhetoric. I’d rather we just hear everyone, and mock, stigmatize, debunk, and undermine bad actors.

David Harsanyi, Free Speech Is a Value, Not Just a Right

January 12, 2021

Honor Roll and Jerkwads

Honor Roll of Republicans who, if only for one glorious moment, were not jerkwads like Josh Hawley:

Exercise in futility’: Republicans lambaste Hawley’s push to challenge election - POLITICO

And then there’s my jerkwad weathervane:

Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) both said they were still weighing their options. Blackburn argued that people are quite concerned about voter fraud and transparency” and Braun said he’s still thinking about what to do.”

It’s a protest vote only. Because in my opinion there’s zero chance that anything will come from it. The House is not going to overturn and I don’t think you’ll even get close in the Senate,” Braun argued.

Argued”? Protest vote” is a damn poor argument for invertebracy.

January 2, 2021

Logical question

According to police reports, the girlfriend of the Nashville Christmas Day bomber warned local authorities in 2019 that he was making bombs in his R.V., saying he frequently talks about the military and bomb making.”…

What are the odds that, if the guy’s name was Jamal or Hussein, the authorities would have given up completely after a few polite knocks?

Commenter Logical” at The Morning Dispatch

December 31, 2020

Datapoint

There are more supporters of QAnon in the Republican caucus than there were supporters of Trump’s impeachment.

Mona Charen, Make America Sane Again - Persuasion

December 26, 2020

God’s portrait

The invisible God painted his own portrait on the canvas of the incarnation.

Father Patrick Henry Reardon, The Visible Revelation of the Father

December 25, 2020

how the press will miss trump
December 25, 2020

My former party continues to apall:

Republicans were deluding themselves if they thought they could avoid this fight with [Trump]. It’s the natural progression of the Faustian bargain,” GOP consultant Rob Stutzman said. You can’t just break up with the devil over text.”

The Morning Dispatch: The Great GOP Crack-Up

December 24, 2020

Shakespeare on Orange Man

Trump, it bears repeating, is no Shakespearean villain—he is too willful, ignorant, undisciplined, and shallow for that. What we are watching is not the despair of Macbeth as he learns that Birnam Wood to Dunsinane Hill doth come and that Macduff was not indeed born of woman. It is, rather, a malignant narcissist’s psyche collapsing in on its hollow core. That process may be of clinical or purely malevolent interest, but it’s not the stuff of tragedy, because Trump is really only a few shards of a genuine human being.

How might Shakespeare summarize his presidency? Let me suggest this: A tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury / Signifying nothing.”

Eliot A. Cohen, Trump’s Enablers Will Meet Their Shakespearean Ends

December 22, 2020

Has it come to this?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her concerns as she waited for the completed text of the legislation.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC
Congress is expected to vote on the second largest bill in US history today - $2.5 trillion - and as of about 1pm, members don’t even have the legislative text of it yet.
December 21st 2020 13,722 Retweets122,070 Likes

She added that the approach congressional leaders took isn’t governance. It’s hostage-taking.”

Let Us Know. If you could bury your own preferred provision into a 5,000+ page piece of legislation that no one will read the entirety of before voting on, what would it be?

The Morning Dispatch: Congress Passes COVID Relief Package

Are we to the point now when AOC has become the voice of reason?

December 22, 2020

Do not cry, my child

Do you know, my child, why the clouds are closed when the fields are thirsty for rain, and why they open, when the fields have no desire for rain?
Nature has been confused by the wickedness of man, and has abandoned its order.
Do you know, my child, why the fields produce heavy fruit in the springtime, and yield a barren harvest in the summer?
Because the daughters of men have hated the fruit of their womb, and kill it while it is still in blossom.
Do you know, my child, why the springs have gone dry, and why the fruits of the earth no longer have the sweetness that they used to have?
Because of the sin of man, from which infirmity has invaded all of nature.
Do you know, my child, why a victorious nation suffers defeat as a result of its own disunity and discord and eats bread made bitter by tears and malice?
Because it conquered the bloodthirsty enemies around itself, but failed to conquer those within itself.
Do you know, my child, how a mother can feed Her children without nourishing them?
By not singing a song of love to them while nursing them, but a song of hatred toward a neighbor.
Do you know, my child, why people have become ugly and have lost the beauty of their ancestors?
Because they have cast away the image of God, which fashions the beauty of that image out of the soul within, and removes the mask of earth.
Do you know, my child, why diseases and dreadful epidemics have multiplied?
Because man has begun to look upon good health as an abduction of nature and not as a gift from God. And what is abducted with difficulty must with double difficulty be protected.
Do you know, my child, why people fight over earthly territory, and are not ashamed to be on the same level as moles?
Because the world has sprouted through their heart, and their eyes see only what is growing in the heart; and because, my child, their sin has made them too weak to struggle for heaven.
Do not cry, my child, the Lord will soon return and set everything right.

St. Nikolai Velimirovich, Prayers by the Lake, Prayer number XXXIX

December 22, 2020

One cheer for Cancel Culture

… Kristof also spoke to underage victims who have had videos and photographs of themselves posted to Pornhub repeatedly without their consent.

After his story was published, Visa and Mastercard both announced they would ban customers from using their credit cards to make purchases on Pornhub.

The Morning Dispatch.

Private-sector cancel culture can be benign, it would appear.

December 21, 2020

Invincible ignorance by-the-number

Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all publicly received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday in an effort to reassure the American public of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. President-elect Joe Biden is slated to do the same later today.

The Morning Dispatch.

Fake news! They’re all getting mere saline injections! Bill Gates has computer chips in the real vaccine!

See how easy invincible ignorance is?

December 21, 2020

Making a list, checking it twice, Nicholas is coming to town

I’m grateful to Mr. Kristof for his column, and I think it provides a powerful reminder of what good journalism can accomplish. But in some ways, I think it’s also low-hanging fruit. Strong moral outrage against child exploitation, with a compelling human interest hook, packaged in an article that critiques a conveniently Canadian company? That seems like the kind of article that any journalist worth his or her salt should be able to write and any paper worthy of its readership should publish. I’d like to think Mr. Kristof is just warming up, getting ready to write hard-hitting pieces that hold American companies to account too, using his considerable platform to write what will likely cause a great deal more discomfort for the establishment here in the States.

I propose that Mr. Kristof begin with Apple, and by extension Nike, Coca-Cola, H&M, and all the other companies that are currently in DC lobbying against a bill that would ban imports manufactured by Chinese slave labor. The bill in question, H.R.6210 — Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, passed the House with overwhelming numbers (406-3), and if it passes the Senate, it can be signed into law.

If Mr. Kristof Is Taking Names, Apple Should Be Next

December 21, 2020

Working within the system by flooding it with shit

As I have said before, filing in courts and raising objections in Congress is operating within the court and constitutional systems. Sedition is trying to overthrow such legal systems. Filing court challenges is the antithesis of sedition; it is relying on the rule of law.

Jonathan Turley, Sen. Shaheen Calls Out Colleagues Questioning Biden’s Victory As Possible Traitors.

I can only give qualified endorsement to Turley here. Flooding the zone with shit-suits is an attack on the system as much or more than it is operating within it. It seeks to gain through chaos what cannot be gained straightforwardly.

December 19, 2020

Pissy Pettiness from NRO

This should be beneath the dignity of National Review: Jill Biden’s Dissertation: Contradictions and Conceptual Errors. Their point is Jill Biden’s Doctorate Is Garbage Because Her Dissertation Is Garbage.” What pissy pettiness!

December 18, 2020

Technical Changes required

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week that would ban the the sale of Confederate flags and other symbols of intolerance and hate” on public property and limit the display of such symbols …

Notably, Cuomo admitted that certain technical changes are necessary” to make sure the ban is compliant with the First Amendment. The first technical change” would be to rescind the law.

Jonathan Turley

December 17, 2020

Tribal Trust

It is peculiar that many of the same right-wing critics who say we shouldn’t trust Bill Gates because he is a billionaire also told us that we should trust Donald Trump because he is a billionaire.

Bill Gates must be plotting something, they say. Why? Because Bill Gates must be plotting something. Why? Because he is Bill Gates.

And it’s turtles all the way down.

Think of it in this context: Led in no small part by Republicans, the United States turned itself upside-down and inside-out over 3,000 deaths in a terrorist attack in 2001. We have been seeing more than 3,000 COVID deaths daily for a while now.

But one bankrupted cosmetologist is a tragedy — 300,000 dead Americans is a statistic.

Kevin D. Williamson, Tribal Authority: We Worship Power When Our Tribe Wields It

December 16, 2020

Trump dupes have no excuse

If you think Biden stole this election through vote fraud, you have been duped. Team Trump lies about massive fraud” in public, but admitted in Wisconsin federal court that the case was about how little details of the means whereby administrators conducted the election, not about vote fraud.

Shame on you for your willful blindness.

December 14, 2020

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