Civil War Post A

July 13th, 2018

One side:

“I have known Brett Kavanaugh for many years,” said Dean Heather K. Gerken. “I can personally attest that, in addition to his government and judicial service, Judge Kavanaugh has been a longtime friend to many of us in the Yale Law School community. Ever since I joined the faculty, I have admired him for serving as a teacher and mentor to our students and for hiring a diverse set of clerks, in all respects, during his time on the court.”

“He is a terrific judge,” said Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law. “In my federal criminal law class, I love teaching his opinions because they are smart, thoughtful, and clear. He’s also been a wonderful mentor and teacher to our students—not just to those who clerk for him, but those who meet with him during one of his many visits to Yale Law School.”

“Judge Kavanaugh commands wide and deep respect among scholars, lawyers, judges, and justices,” said Sterling Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’84. “Good appellate judges faithfully follow the Supreme Court; great ones influence and help steer the Court. Several of Kavanaugh’s biggest ideas have found their way into Supreme Court opinions. Thanks to decades of high-level experience and close observation, Kavanaugh also understands the intricacies of the executive and legislative branches.”

“Brett Kavanaugh has been one of the most learned judges in America on a variety of issues, ranging from theories of statutory interpretation to separation of powers,” added William N. Eskridge, Jr. ’78, the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence. “We are proud that he is our graduate and eager to continue to learn from his judicial opinions and scholarly publications.”

“Politics have deeply harmed our Supreme Court nomination process,” added Abbe R. Gluck ’00, Professor of Law. “But in terms of the man now before us, Brett Kavanaugh is a true intellectual–a leading thinker and writer on the subjects of statutory interpretation and federal courts; an incomparable mentor–someone who picks law clerks of all backgrounds and viewpoints; and a fair-minded jurist who believes in the rule of law. He is humble, collegial and cares deeply about the federal courts.”

Judge Kavanaugh graduated from Yale College in 1987, and from Yale Law School in 1990, where he was a Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal. If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh would join three other Yale Law School graduates currently on the Court—Justice Samuel Alito ’75, Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’79, and Justice Clarence Thomas ’74.

Other side:

Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country. His nomination is not an interesting intellectual exercise to be debated amongst classmates and scholars in seminar. Support for Judge Kavanaugh is not apolitical. It is a political choice about the meaning of the constitution and our vision of democracy, a choice with real consequences for real people. Without a doubt, Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to the most vulnerable. He is a threat to many of us, despite the privilege bestowed by our education, simply because of who we are. Judge Kavanaugh ruled to deny a detained immigrant minor her constitutional right to abortion. Decades-old Supreme Court precedent makes clear that the government may not place an undue burden on a pregnant person’s access to abortion. But Judge Kavanaugh clearly did not feel constrained by precedent: what could be a greater obstacle than a cage?

Kavanaugh’s opinions give us grave concern that he will consistently prioritize the beliefs of third-parties over the rights of the oppressed — not only when it comes to abortion and contraception, but also regarding other forms of medical care (including care for transgender patients), family privacy, and sexual liberty. Litigants harness this same logic when arguing that institutions have a religious right to discriminate against LGBT people — an issue the Court is certain to take up in the years to come. Judge Kavanaugh would also act as a rubber stamp for President Trump’s fraud and abuse.

Judge Kavanaugh has undermined attempts to protect the environment and regulate predatory lenders and for-profit colleges. He has called now-defunct Net Neutrality regulations violations of the First Amendment. If elevated, the judge would pose an existential threat to the government’s ability to regulate for the common good

On the D.C. Circuit he denied a student with disabilities access to the remedial education he was promised after he emerged from juvenile detention. In a 2008 dissent, Judge Kavanaugh argued undocumented workers are not protected by labor laws. In 2016, Judge Kavanaugh ruled that employers can require employees to waive their right to picket. In a concurrence, he argued that the National Security Agency’s sweeping call surveillance program was consistent with the Fourth Amendment. As an attorney, he advocated for prayer at open public school events in brazen contravention of our country’s separation of church and state. The list goes on. We see in these rulings an intellectually and morally bankrupt ideologue

The latter piece was signed by hundreds of 20 year olds. Yikes! HMD on the upset youngsters: The letter’s denunciation of Kavanaugh’s “partisanship” is particularly ironic.

Yawn…and then

July 12th, 2018

Hysteria. “She blinded me with science!” “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white; as long as it catches mice, it’s a good cat.” Really good, as the graph shows. But by far the most burning question is: how can a three hour cruise discover an uncharted desert isle 250 miles from Hawaii?

What will this paradigm-shifting time be called?

July 11th, 2018

Consider this: “Scalia’s nomination hearing was mostly a formality and the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination with a 98-0 vote.” And yet today there is unbelievable mass hysteria because a guy who probably agrees with Scalia 80-90% of the time is selected for SCOTUS. Pssst: it’s probably a conspiracy. Yes, we know the explanation: the left has lost control of the news narrative that it has controlled for 2 generations, partially as a result of DJT on twitter, and that control (try asking Graham, McConnell or McCain anything controversial and they will bow politely if not agree) loss has shattered the media’s worldview. What’s going on now is that a paradigm has been shattered, and that paradigm is that the media control what’s acceptable in a discussion of issues, unacceptable being the deplorables, etc. The whole situation has been made much more dramatic as the media’s world has shifted far left in the last decade, and the Trumpian alternative is merely mainstream America circa 1965 or 1985. We hope this change will get a name worthy of its significance.

Kuhn background from 2004

July 11th, 2018

Background

In 1962 Thomas Kuhn, then at Harvard, published The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which quickly became one of the seminal books in the history of science. Kuhn argues that radical changes in thought often require, and create, a whole new way of seeing the world. He invented the term “paradigm shift,” to describe the phenomenon. Often, it is only when you have crossed over to the new paradigm do you see reality the way it really is.

One example Kuhn uses to illustrate his point is the Copernican Revolution. In 1500, the accepted view in the Christian world of western Europe was that the earth was the center of the universe, and that the sun and the planets revolved around the earth. The astronomer Ptolemy in the second century AD had worked out a set of equations for the movements of the planets and the moon based on the the earth being the center of the universe. Of course the set of equations describing the Ptolemaic universe had terrible problems since they were attempting to describe a universe that doesn’t exist.

In the early sixteenth century, Copernicus developed an alternative view of, and set of equations for, a universe in which the moon alone revolved around the earth, and in which the earth, like the other planets, revolved around the sun. His masterwork, De Revolutionibus, was published after significant delays, due to religious and scientific objections to his work. Copernicus finally received a copy of his book on May 24, 1543, the day he died.

Many people had a lot invested, professionally, culturally, religiously, psychologically, in the notion that the earth and man were the center of all creation, and so there was considerable resistance at first to the Copernican universe. Some scientists and religious leaders of the day were horrified at the universe Copernicus described, and adamantly defended their geocentric, Ptolemaic beliefs, refusing to accept the Copernican paradigm. Kuhn writes:

In a sense I am unable to explicate further, the proponents of competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds. (p. 150)

The transfer of allegiance from paradigm to paradigm is a conversion experience that cannot be forced….

Darwin, in a particularly perceptive passage at the end of his Origin of Species, wrote: “Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this volume…, I by no means expect to convince experienced naturalists whose minds are shocked with a multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view directly opposite to mine….[B]ut I look with confidence to the future, — to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to look at both sides of the question with impartiality.” And Max Planck, surveying his own career in his Scientific Autobiography, sadly remarked that “a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” (p. 151)

The Current Situation: The death of the Paradigm of Marxism and the USSR

In our day, a “scientific” paradigm has recently died, but its proponents have not come to terms with the death. The dead doctrine is dialectical materialism, defined by the Columbia Encyclopedia as the:

official philosophy of Communism, based on the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as elaborated by G. V. Plekhanov, V. I. Lenin, and Joseph Stalin. In theory dialectical materialism is meant to provide both a general world view and a specific method for the investigation of scientific problems. The basic tenets are that everything is material and that change takes place through “the struggle of opposites.” Because everything contains different elements that are in opposition, “self-movement” automatically occurs; the conflict of opposing forces leads to growth, change, and development, according to definite laws. Communist scientists were expected to fit their investigations into this pattern, and official approval of scientific theories in the USSR was determined to some extent by their conformity to dialectical materialism (see Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich). Use of these principles in history and sociology is sometimes called historical materialism.

Under these doctrines the social, political, and intellectual life of society reflect only the economic structure, since human beings create the forms of social life solely in response to economic needs. Men are divided into classes by their relations to the means of production—land and capital. The class that controls the means of production inevitably exploits the other classes in society; it is this class struggle that produces the dynamic of history and is the source of progress toward a final uniformity.

Historical materialism is deterministic; that is, it prescribes that history inevitably follows certain laws and that individuals have little or no influence on its development. Central to historical materialism is the belief that change takes place through the meeting of two opposing forces (thesis and antithesis); their opposition is resolved by combination produced by a higher force (synthesis).

In the real world, Marxism has turned out to be a lot of windy claptrap, that when applied, as in the case of the USSR, led to enslavement of the people, suppression of the human spirit, universal poverty, and environmental disaster. Contrast this with our experience in the United States. Even today, more than a decade after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, America’s GDP is over $10 trillion while Russia’s is a measly $1.3 trillion, our per capita income is over 4 times theirs, and our lives are 15-20% longer (from the CIA Factbook).

America’s Paradigm: The Innovation Society

Some would call the American paradigm capitalism, and I suppse that’s fair enough, because the word has been in circulation a long time. However, it is an imprecise term, because America’s remarkable progress is due to intellectual capital much more than wealth. It would be more correct to say that America is the Innovation Society, though I readily acknowledge that innovation is often motivated by the desire to beat the pants off the competition and make as much money as possible.

I wrote previously:

Here are the signal facts of our progress in the last century. If you were born in 1900, your life expectancy was in the forties, and GNP per capita was about $4000. If you are born today, your life expectancy is about eighty, and statistically, as an average American, you are ten times richer. In reality you are a hundred or a thousand times richer, if you factor in your ability to be in Paris tomorrow for $500, your ability to watch events from fifty years ago as they actually happened, etc. – not to mention that your toddler’s severe pneumonia can be reliably cured in 48 hours or so.

Only a little of this has to do with government.

Mostly it is because 90% of everything ever invented in the history of humanity was invented in the last 130 years, and more than half of that was invented by Americans exercising their freedom and ingenuity. Milton Hershey invented the candy bar, Carrier invented the air conditioner for a tire plant, Sears invented catalogue distribution, Henry Ford invented cheap cars, some guys from Texas Instruments invented the transistor. It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of the invention and wide use of brand names, which communicate the quality and dependability of every product we buy. This alone deserves the Nobel Prize. And it was a large and growing market, the availability of risk capital, standardized accounting, and protection of intellectual and personal property by the courts that made this possible.

And it is not just inventions themselves, but the constant innovations in products, processes and organizations that lead to success building upon success. Microsoft is working on version 11.0 of Word, our PC’s can now have a gig of RAM and will have a terabyte hard drive in a couple of years, and a few years further, people will chuckle when they read this — how primitive we were. In my own company, through things that sound like buzzwords to you — Kaizen events, process re-engineering, six sigma, etc. — we have been able to cut production time in half on a thirty year old product we were already producing efficiently.

The idea that government creates wealth is so absurd that it should be laughed out of the room. Yet some still cling to this foolish and outdated notion.

My hypothesis

The left’s anger is about much more than George Bush. The diffuse nature of the anger, and its impenetrability to logic are strong indicators that this loathing goes well beyond the President.

Diffuse anger: Jonathon Chait hates his Texas swagger. Some hate his smirk or his Christian beliefs. Rush says that the left is seething because it is out of power. Charles Krauthammer has identified at least two psychological syndromes to describe the phenomenon.

Immunity to logic: If you have ever listened to even a half hour of talk radio, you’ll hear the leftie caller jump from rationale to rationale for his loathing of the president. If the host responds to “Bush Lied!” with an argument, the caller jumps to “imminent threat.” When the host responds, suddenly the arguments becomes “WMD’s,” and then Halliburton, My Pet Goat, and so forth.

I agree with the analyses of Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer and others, but I want to add someting else into the mix. It is easy to understand the many reasons Bush is an attractive focus for the left’s hatred. Yet if Bush vanished tomorrow, the left would move on to another object of its loathing.

I think the left descended into madness because its scientific Marxism, more properly thought of as a religion, has utterly failed. Its temple, the USSR, is in ruins. The Marxist professors and the Lazy Lefties of Hollywood and the Upper West Side have believed in a false god. Their god has failed them, and he is not coming back, no matter how fervently they wish it, if the electoral trends of the last ten years continue. They are like the remnant who continued to believe in the Ptolemaic universe, long after its has been shown that the earth revolves around the sun.

These people are living in the universe of the failed Marxist paradigm, and they rage at the Innovation Society that brought it down. They will stay that way until they convert to a worldview more consistent with objective reality, or until, as Max Planck said, they eventually die.

Here are some ladies who name the problem honestly:

Here are some examples that might make the black helicopter folks on the right look good by comparison:

And this is a picture that is revealing in so many ways:

More links to pictures here and here.

ADDENDUM:

Meanwhile, both Darwin and Planck are vindicated in the Kerry daughters’ reception at the VMA, where they were booed by the hoi polloi of a younger generation that may not think it’s so cool to be an elitist weenie, a la jib-jab. Or maybe the kids just want to hear music, not politics. Either way, it’s a good sign for the future.

From Bright College Years to brite cottage cheese

July 11th, 2018

YLS:

We write today as Yale Law students, alumni, and educators ashamed of our alma mater. Within an hour of Donald Trump’s announcement that he would nominate Brett Kavanaugh, YLS ‘90, to the Supreme Court, the law school published a press release boasting of its alumnus’s accomplishment. The school’s post included quotes from Yale Law School professors about Judge Kavanaugh’s intellect, influence and mentorship of their students.

Yet the press release’s focus on the nominee’s professionalism, pedigree, and service to Yale Law School obscures the true stakes of his nomination and raises a disturbing question: Is there nothing more important to Yale Law School than its proximity to power and prestige?

Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination presents an emergency — for democratic life, for our safety and freedom, for the future of our country. His nomination is not an interesting intellectual exercise to be debated amongst classmates and scholars in seminar. Support for Judge Kavanaugh is not apolitical. It is a political choice about the meaning of the constitution and our vision of democracy, a choice with real consequences for real people. Without a doubt, Judge Kavanaugh is a threat to the most vulnerable. He is a threat to many of us, despite the privilege bestowed by our education, simply because of who we are…people will die if he is confirmed.

The stupidity of our alma mater cannot be overstated. But wait, there’s hope!

Asian supremacy numbers — huh???

July 11th, 2018

VDH:

Federal statistics reveal that in terms of average median household income, those who loosely identify as Asian are far wealthier ($80,720 per year) than whites ($61,349). Do they enjoy “Asian privilege” of having on average $20,000 more as a family to spend each year than whites?Federal statistics reveal that in terms of average median household income, those who loosely identify as Asian are far wealthier ($80,720 per year) than whites ($61,349). Do they enjoy “Asian privilege” of having on average $20,000 more as a family to spend each year than whites? More specifically, the top three ethnic income groups in the United States are not categorized as “white”: Indian American ($110,026), Taiwanese American ($90,221), and Filipino American ($88,745). What sort of non-privilege allowed them to vastly outdistance their supposedly racist white-majority hosts — superior education, smarter professional choices, more cohesive family structures, all of which somehow trumped their outward appearance? In terms of the most indigent counties in the United States, four of the five poorest have overwhelmingly white populations.

Let’s compare and contrast that so-called white privilege for a moment. For starters try Akhil Reed Amar versus Sanders, Pelosi, Schumer, Warren, etc. A hole lotta white people sure are stoopid.

More doom

July 11th, 2018

We’ll just refer to one little link to today’s doom. You’d think the hysteria would get tiring, since shrieking takes so much energy, but so far you’d be wrong.

Questions

July 10th, 2018

Exhibit A:

As the planet warms, new authoritarian movements in the West are embracing a toxic combination of climate denial, racism and misogyny. Rather than consider these resentments separately, this article interrogates their relationship through the concept of petro-masculinity, which appreciates the historic role of fossil fuel systems in buttressing white patriarchal rule. Petro-masculinity is helpful to understanding how the anxieties aroused by the Anthropocene can augment desires for authoritarianism. The concept of petro-masculinity suggests that fossil fuels mean more than profit; fossil fuels also contribute to making identities, which poses risks for post-carbon energy politics. Moreover, through a psycho-political reading of authoritarianism, I show how fossil fuel use can function as a violent compensatory practice in reaction to gender and climate trouble.

Exhibit B:

Killing with drones produces queer moments of disorientation. Drawing on queer phenomenology, I show how militarized masculinities function as spatiotemporal landmarks that give killing in war its “orientation” and make it morally intelligible. These bearings no longer make sense for drone warfare, which radically deviates from two of its main axes: the home–combat and distance–intimacy binaries. Through a narrative methodology, I show how descriptions of drone warfare are rife with symptoms of an unresolved disorientation, often expressed as gender anxiety over the failure of the distance–intimacy and home–combat axes to orient killing with drones. The resulting vertigo sparks a frenzy of reorientation attempts, but disorientation can lead in multiple and sometimes surprising directions – including, but not exclusively, more violent ones. With drones, the point is that none have yet been reliably secured, and I conclude by arguing that, in the midst of this confusion, it is important not to lose sight of the possibility of new paths, and the “hope of new directions.”

Exhibit C is even nuttier.

Regarding Exhibit A, does this person know how much CO2 is in the air? Regarding Exhibits A and B, why does this person have a job?

Fun bonus: we’re not going anywhere near the boring SCOTUS freak-out (did we say freak-out?), since the plot is so lame, but this is funny stuff, with the Peer Gynt and all; the lyrics are quite appropriate..

Today’s nuttiness

July 9th, 2018

Chait:

this is all much worse than we suspect. After all, treating a small probability as if it were nonexistent is the very error much of the news media made in covering the presidential horse race. And while the body of publicly available information about the Russia scandal is already extensive, the way it has been delivered — scoop after scoop of discrete nuggets of information — has been disorienting and difficult to follow. What would it look like if it were reassembled into a single narrative, one that distinguished between fact and speculation but didn’t myopically focus on the most certain conclusions?

A case like this presents an easy temptation for conspiracy theorists, but we can responsibly speculate as to what lies at the end of this scandal without falling prey to their fallacies. Conspiracy theories tend to attract people far from the corridors of power, and they often hypothesize vast connections within or between governments and especially intelligence agencies. One of the oddities of the Russia scandal is that many of the most exotic and sinister theories have come from people within government and especially within the intelligence field.

The first intimations that Trump might harbor a dark secret originated among America’s European allies, which, being situated closer to Russia, have had more experience fending off its nefarious encroachments. In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies began picking up evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic states shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The contents of these communications have not been disclosed, but what Brennan learned obviously unsettled him profoundly. In congressional testimony on Russian election interference last year, Brennan hinted that some Americans might have betrayed their country. “Individuals who go along a treasonous path,” he warned, “do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late.” In an interview this year, he put it more bluntly: “I think [Trump] is afraid of the president of Russia. The Russians may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult.”

While the fact that the former CIA director has espoused this theory hardly proves it, perhaps we should give more credence to the possibility that Brennan is making these extraordinary charges of treason and blackmail at the highest levels of government because he knows something we don’t.

Suppose we are currently making the same mistake we made at the outset of this drama — suppose the dark crevices of the Russia scandal run not just a little deeper but a lot deeper. If that’s true, we are in the midst of a scandal unprecedented in American history, a subversion of the integrity of the presidency. It would mean the Cold War that Americans had long considered won has dissolved into the bizarre spectacle of Reagan’s party’s abetting the hijacking of American government by a former KGB agent. It would mean that when Special Counsel Robert Mueller closes in on the president and his inner circle, possibly beginning this summer, Trump may not merely rail on Twitter but provoke a constitutional crisis.

And it would mean the Russia scandal began far earlier than conventionally understood and ended later — indeed, is still happening. As Trump arranges to meet face-to-face and privately with Vladimir Putin later this month, the collusion between the two men metastasizing from a dark accusation into an open alliance, it would be dangerous not to consider the possibility that the summit is less a negotiation between two heads of state than a meeting between a Russian-intelligence asset and his handler.

Ah yes.

Hi neighbor, have a ‘Gansett

July 9th, 2018

It’s a beer, and here’s the first radio jingle. Are there still radio and TV jingles and show intros? If so, they must be pretty rare. Gold doubloons. The professor and Mary Anne didn’t make into this until season 2. Talent roundup? We mention all this because we passed by a TV that had the Addams family movie on, and we recall that the TV show had a clever music theme (witch’s shawl on, a broom that you can crawl on, etc.). We can usually remember things well, but we must admit that from time to time we get Lurch confused with Kanamit.

No politics for now, but we note that the commie who so carefully (and so PC) pronounced Puerto Rico to get her 16K votes had a very different media persona just a few years ago.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (or maybe Steven)

July 8th, 2018

Probably the greatest director is Stanley Kubrick. We were blown away when we saw 2001 in a Cinerama theater, as well as when we saw Clockwork. Tonight the shinin is on. The author of that book preferred his pedestrian movie to that of Kubrick’s great one. Hmmm, such judgment. Maybe we’ll take a pass on his political views.

And now for something very pleasant

July 8th, 2018

We were doing some work and all of a sudden the phrase l’Oustau de Baumanière appeared, as if out of nowhere. What is that, we wondered, a wine? Nope, it’s a restaurant we had dinner at 38 years ago with some friends. Very nice BTW. But even better is taking a walk at sunset in Les Baux de Provence. Pictures don’t do it justice. A lot of Les Baux is carved out of rock, in this case bauxite, which gives the place a unique look late in the day. Very nice indeed.

In brief

July 7th, 2018

Very interesting. Also this. The never ending sewer.

Much worse than we thought

July 6th, 2018

We thought we were on to something in the last piece where, following a certain strand of logic, we arrived at a conclusion about some senior conservative anti-Trumpers that their animus derived in good measure from monetary and social self-interest. That’s certainly part of it, but we really underestimated the breadth and depth of the gut-level nastiness, as this AT piece today details. And if that’s not enough, click through to the alphabet the author links to. It turns out that “deplorable” was one of the nicer ways to characterize the guy’s supporters. Final point: if you google one of the recent rallies you get the NYT, NPR, etc freaking out in thousands of words, while our reaction is that this guy is by far the funniest President. It isn’t close.

It’s not just the left that have lost their minds

July 5th, 2018

Max Boot. George Will. Pete Wehner. Bill Kristol. What is wrong with these people? In all seriousness, we don’t understand what’s going on. Maybe they’re visitors from GN-z11. In that case, the Twilight Zone has it covered.

We’re not kidding; we really don’t understand why these people are freaking out, leaving the GOP, etc. Yeah, we understand that the refined minds don’t like DJT’s twitter feed (though we do, since his brashness takes away – in the only way possible – the infinite power the media has had to define the news narrative).

Hmmmm, maybe that’s the answer. They were fine with the media’s control of the narrative, as long as they got their respectfully opposing TV appearances, their consulting gigs and board directorships, their invitations to the best gatherings, etc. OK, maybe now we actually do understand. oops!!!

American stuff

July 5th, 2018

Kind of fun.

Sums are not set as a test on Erasmus (no Twilight Zone title available)

July 5th, 2018

Keep believing this Krug:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset primary victory has produced a huge amount of punditry about the supposed radicalization of the Democratic party, how it’s going to hurt the party because her positions won’t sell in the Midwest (and how well would Steve King’s positions sell in the Bronx?), etc., etc.. But I haven’t seen much about the substance of the policies she advocates, which on economics are mainly Medicare for All and a federal job guarantee.

So here’s what you should know: the policy ideas are definitely bold, and you can make some substantive arguments against them. But they aren’t crazy. By contrast, the ideas of Tea Party Republicans are crazy; in fact, Ocasio-Cortez’s policy positions are a lot more sensible than those of the Republican mainstream

Able was I ere I saw Elba. We’re too lazy to look up a fitting Twilight Zone title for this, but Serling’s intro is appropriate. Final point: anyone who thinks that getting the votes of 2% of a congressional district’s population is a mandate is living in a twilight zone of their own.

Extra final point: the education establishment has done its job well, since only 23% of a target group really like this country that they live in. Crazy.

From 1858, 2003, and so forth

July 4th, 2018

We linked to this speech 15 years ago, but all the old links are broken. Here we go again; try reading it as though you didn’t know who was saying these words:

Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, sometime about the 4th of July, for some reason or other. These 4th of July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge me, I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

We are now a mighty nation, we are thirty — or about thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one-fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty-two years and we discover that we were then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country — with vastly less of everything we deem desirable among men — we look upon the change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way or other being connected with this rise of prosperity.

We find a race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers; they were iron men, they fought for the principle that they were contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity that we now enjoy has come to us.

We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves — we feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live for these celebrations. But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected with it.

We have besides these men — descended by blood from our ancestors — among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe — German, Irish, French and Scandinavian — men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things.

If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,’ and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, [loud and long continued applause] and so they are.

That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.

Now, sirs, for the purpose of squaring things with this idea of ‘don’t care if slavery is voted up or voted down,’ for sustaining the Dred Scott decision, for holding that the Declaration of Independence did not mean anything at all, we have Judge Douglas giving his exposition of what the Declaration of Independence means, and we have him saying that the people of America are equal to the people of England. According to his construction, you Germans are not connected with it.

Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form.

Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world.

You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it. Turn in whatever way you will — whether it come from the mouth of a King, an excuse for enslaving the people of his country, or from the mouth of men of one race as a reason for enslaving the men of another race, it is all the same old serpent, and I hold if that course of argumentation that is made for the purpose of convincing the public mind that we should not care about this, should be granted, it does not stop with the negro.

I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man? If that declaration is not the truth, let us get the Statute book, in which we find it and tear it out! Who is so bold as to do it! If it is not true let us tear it out! [cries of ‘no, no,’] let us stick to it then, [cheers] let us stand firmly by it then. [Applause.]”

The Berlin airlift, Steyn’s take on 9-11, D-Day, immigration problems, Coolidge on 7/4, we’ve linked to many things over the years. Certain things are particularly timely today, like the italicized paragraph above. Compare that with these sad poll results. Ugh. Anyway, have a good 4th.

What’s next, and who cares?

July 3rd, 2018

Here’s a pretty funny little piece (the “falsely” bit) over at PL. Here’s a nice Roger Kimball piece from one side of the wall, and something cuckoo from the other side. For some reason we thought of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd recently. Why? Possibly because, just like today’s media, it was the narrator who was guilty. So after the Supremes and the ICE pick, what’s the next hysteria? Actually, we don’t care anymore because the doom hysterias are way down the path of grossly diminished returns.

Bonus: Captain Kirk has gotten pretty funny for an old coot.

More tick tock

July 2nd, 2018

We’ll double down on agreeing with VDH about hysteria, and also about the 28 year old who got 16K votes in a population 712K district, after eschewing any corporate donations. She comes across very well in the media; we heard her on Democracy Now and she was excellent in speaking, leaving aside the content of her pitch. What we fail to see is how her anti-corporate stuff, honestly believed, serves the DNC fundraisers and the old coots who run the party. She’s unapologetically Castro, Maduro, etc. No doubt she’s going to win her district, as things stand now, but the most interesting thing may be how the DNC positions itself re her.