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Klavan On The Culture

Obama Regrets He’s Unable to March Today!

January 13th, 2015 - 7:16 am


“President Barack Obama regrets his decision not to send a top White House official to represent the U.S. at a march in Paris that drew dozens of world leaders in a show of solidarity against terrorism, press secretary Josh Earnest said.” The Wall Street Journal.

With apologies to Cole Porter:

Obama regrets he’s unable to march today, Madam.

Obama regrets he’s unable to march today.

He really hopes France won’t mind.

But he’s leading the free world from behind, Madam.

Obama regrets he’s unable to march today.


He sent three reps to bury the St. Louis thug Michael Brown, Madam.

But when Free Speech is being interred, he has golf to play.

Sure, satirists were shot dead.

But the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet Mohamm Ed…  Madam.

So Obama regrets he’s unable to march today.


Though it’s quite impolite to answer a joke with guns, Madam.

We really must all be careful of what we say.

So when Liberty’s shot to death,

She will whisper to the world with her final breath, Madam:

“Obama regrets he’s unable to march today.”



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The west is in a holy war with militant Islam, our God against their God. The trouble is, we don’t believe in our God, so we can’t see the situation truly.

When I say “we” don’t believe in our God, I’m not, of course, talking about those who have thought the matter through to its core, those who have gone beyond straw-man smack-downs in which Biblical Literalism takes on Scientific Materialism, those who understand that there can be no rational claim to objective good without the existence of a Supreme Good, and who know that evil is evil everywhere, no matter what the culture, what the time. I’m talking instead about those who have been swept away by the prejudices of the age, who wallow in the vague sense that “science” has somehow disproved “religion,” that we’re beyond all that faith stuff now. I’m talking about those who are still in some kind of adolescent-versus-Daddy argument with a medieval authority that no longer exists, or are rebelling against some doctrine they don’t like and haven’t taken the time to understand. I’m talking about our political, journalistic, academic and entertainment elites. Who are fools, as most of us know.

These — our thought-leaders — are walking blind across the holy war’s battlefield, unable to comprehend the motives of our enemies, and unable to defend the values the rest of us hold dear.

When Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan shrieked “Allahu Akbar” as he slaughtered thirteen people at Fort Hood, Texas, in November of 2009, the media scratched their collective head wondering at his reasons. For days afterward — days! — these clowns ran stories offering fantastic theories that Hasan had suffered post-traumatic stress from listening to the war stories of his patients! Our government finally decided it was a case of “workplace violence.” What else could it be?

When Islamic terrorists executed a sadistic massacre at our diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, to mark the 2012 anniversary of 9/11, our leaders blamed it on an obscure YouTube video. Because, you know, Islamic terrorists never act unkindly unless we do something naughty to stir them up. So dedicated was our president to this lie that he stood before the United Nations in the aftermath and declared over the bodies of the American dead, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

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How To Behave During an Islamic Massacre

January 9th, 2015 - 10:20 am

Funny how this Klavan on the Culture video from four years ago keeps becoming relevant again. I wonder why that is:

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America The Graphic Novel

January 7th, 2015 - 7:59 am

I don’t know Anthony Gonzales-Clark, but he brought this Kickstarter crowd-funding project to my attention, and it genuinely looks cool and worth supporting. Gonzales-Clark wants to create a graphic novel called “City On A Hill,” about the history and ideas behind the American founding. There’s a short and touching video on the Kickstarter site that helps you get the idea.

To have such a graphic novel produced by a guy who reads Thomas Sowell (featured prominently in the appeal) would be no small strike in the culture war, so if you have a couple of bucks, try to help Gonzales-Clark reach his 11K plus goal.

We’re ba-a-a-ck!

Holiday’s over. Back to the barricades.

For American artists, writers, thinkers, moms, dads, coaches, teachers, and other human beings, the work to create a counter-culture to end and replace the poisonous culture of the left continues. As our government and academies and entertainers try to sell us on slave values like Equality, we have to rebuild and promote the concept of Individual Liberty, the central value of free men and women. In place of the whining, manipulative Victim Power of feminists and race-baiters, we have to lift up the idea of Power through Personal Responsibility, the only path to dignity. And in place of the cushioned chains of government-sponsored safety Obama and his corrupt minions try to push on us day after day, we have to teach and defend the fearful glory of Independence.

And so we will have to offend people. A lot of people. A lot of the time.

I mention this because I notice the idea has grown up recently — especially among the young — that offending people is wrong per se. This idea — taught at universities and in entertainments and in the media — is wholly false. Rudeness and unkindness are very often unnecessary — much less necessary than many counter-cultural warriors suppose — but offending people is unavoidable. It is a natural outgrowth of telling the truth.

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Farewell to the Holidays

January 2nd, 2015 - 11:02 am

Back to full-time work Monday, but one more moment of hilarity — Jim Gaffigan is great and here, the opening parts about the Christmas tree and Easter are really top stuff:

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Happy New Year, John Boehner!

December 31st, 2014 - 12:01 pm

Let me end the year with a kind word for John Boehner.

I know. Boehner is a hard man to like. The tan, the tears, the drunk’s diction. The Cromnibus.  And so on. He always seems to be going soft on our conservative convictions and undercutting our favorite conservative firebrands. Here’s Sean Hannity’s version of the arguments against him.

Still, all that said and with nothing but love and admiration for Sean, I can’t help but notice that under Boehner — and largely because of Boehner, because Boehner outsmarted President Obama in the 2013 budget negotiations — federal spending has declined over a five year period for the first time since the post World War II cutbacks. And because of this, as the economy has struggled to a sputtering recovery despite Democrat mismanagement, the deficit has been sharply reduced.

You can’t get more anti-government than Ayn Rand, so here’s Jack Wakeland writing from an Objectivist perspective on the sequester Boehner stuffed down the president’s throat: “The sequester is the only policy that has reduced spending by the federal government. In fiscal year 2013, total federal spending decreased 1.5% to 2.0% in real, inflation-adjusted dollars. And it promises to do so again in 2014. The FY 2013 sequester is the first time in my lifetime that federal spending shrank in absolute terms. After the ramp-down from WWII, the only decreases in federal spending were decreases as a percentage of GDP, e.g., during the Clinton-Gingrich term in 1995-96. These occurred only because GDP expanded more quickly than spending.”

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Good Books I Read This Year

December 28th, 2014 - 9:02 pm

Here’s some books I read this year that are worth looking into.

For one reason or another, most relating to work projects, I did a lot of re-reading this year. Here are three good old good ones that stood out:

From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun is a book I found life-changing the first time out. It’s a look at modern western culture from the Reformation (the dawn) to the modern world (the decadence). Barzun was a genius of vast learning and this was his masterpiece, published when he was 93. The book is not easy, but to my mind it’s a must read for anyone who cares about where we came from and where we’re going.

I first read Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov decades ago. For me, it paled in comparison to Crime and Punishment which had utterly rocked my world when I was 19. But since then, I’ve read it again and again and each reading opens up new layers of emotion and meaning. In my life, it will never match C&P, which marked me indelibly, but it is clearly greater in scope and depth and — not to belabor the obvious but — a masterpiece of world literature. This is a wonderful new translation. 

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler also marked me for life. I read it as a boy and it made me want to write crime fiction. Returning to it now was a Proustian experience — if that’s not too big a literary stretch. Reading it on my e-reader, I could practically feel the old paperback in my hands. A brilliant piece of American writing about the weary business of being an honest man in a corrupt world. Again, it’s obvious, but must be said: the writing, the characters, the setting and the attitude make it a classic in the field beyond question. More of my take on Chandler is here.

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A Christmas Ghost Story

December 24th, 2014 - 1:55 am

Have a joyous Christmas. Remember the immortal words of Ebenezer Scrooge: “It’s all right, it’s all true, it all happened.”

And enjoy a good ghost story:

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3 Movie Recommendations for the Holidays

December 23rd, 2014 - 7:49 am

Been doing some end of the year movie watching. Here’s a quick report.

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1. American Sniper

See this as soon as you can. It’s getting an indie-style release — a limited release Christmas Day to put it in the Oscar running, then wide open January 16th — but that’s just nuts to me. In any sane America, this would be the hit of the year. It’s riveting, affecting, true, beautifully acted, moving — just terrific.

Bradley Cooper delivers on his promise to the late, great Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in American history, to get it right. The movie is patriotic without being jingoistic, lauds military courage and honor without being militaristic, and shows the brutal Islamist enemy as it is without bigotry towards persons.

My guess: The only reason this is being treated as an indie project is because the leftist elite will slam it. To hell with them. This is a wonderful American motion picture about a great American hero.

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