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Ed Driscoll

‘Melanie Griffith, the Normal Mother’

February 27th, 2015 - 12:26 pm

Shot:

All that talk about the Islamic State not being hypocrites reminds me I haven’t ranted about hypocrisy in a while. I think hypocrisy is one of the great misunderstood sins of modern life. Since at least the time of Rousseau, hypocrophobia has plagued Western Civilization. For many people, it seems that it is better to be consistently wrong than to be intermittently right.

Advice columns overflow like a backed-up gas-station toilet with letters from parents fretting over the fact that they feel like hypocrites for telling their kids not to do drugs, since they themselves experimented with drugs when they were kids. The asininity of this has always amazed me. A huge part of being a parent involves applying the lessons you learned from your own life in an effort to make your child’s lot in life a little easier or more fruitful. The notion that I should tell my kid to do more of her homework on the bus ride to school — like I did — or to start going to bars in high school — like I did — or to do any of the other dubious things I did just to avoid my own internal psychological conflict isn’t just objectively absurd but disgustingly selfish. This shouldn’t be a newsflash to any halfway-decent human: Being a parent isn’t about you.

—Jonah Goldberg’s G-File, emailed to subscribers today, which will be posted online tomorrow here.

Chaser:

As it happens, Griffith has apparently not seen her daughter’s performance in the BDSM blockbuster. “I don’t think I can. I think it would be strange,” she told Spencer about watching her daughter’s star-turn as Anastasia Steele. Johnson insists, “I think so. I think that one day you can see it.” But should Griffith? Who would want that?

Ordinarily, I’d side with Johnson’s view, believing a mother should support her children in their professional efforts. In a family of actors, that means being first in line to see a new release. However, in this case, I found myself scratching my head. Why exactly does Johnson want her mother watching as she performs 20 minutes of kinky on-screen sex scenes with someone else’s husband?

Griffith may be a Hollywood veteran, but her response was incredibly human. She sounds like a regular parent from Anywhere, USA. That is admittedly somewhat surprising, given that Griffith is so very Hollywood. She is Tippi Hedren’s daughter, and she was fairly precocious in her own youth; Griffith began dating Dakota’s father, Don Johnson, when she was 14 and “he was a twice-divorced 22-year-old.”

“Melanie Griffith Drops The Hollywood Act When It Comes To Her Daughter,” Melissa Langsam Braunstein, the Federalist today

Leonard Nimoy, RIP

February 27th, 2015 - 11:10 am

With his gaunt saturnine looks, Leonard Nimoy was the unlikeliest of TV and movie superstars. Reading through the roles he played in the first 15 years of his acting career on his page at the IMDB, it’s immediately apparent that it was only through sheer dogged determination that he established a foothold as an actor in Hollywood. Nimoy started his career in the early 1950s with with walk-on parts in grade-z shlock such as Zombies of the Stratosphere, and appearing in TV guest star roles culminating as the heavy in the pilot for Get Smart. But his guest shot in a 1964 episode of an obscure NBC series about a young Marine called The Lieutenant that would send his career — and you know it’s only a matter of time before this pun — into orbit and far beyond:

Spotted by “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry when he appeared on Roddenberry’s NBC Marine Corps. skein “The Lieutenant,” Nimoy was offered the role of Spock and co-starred in the 1965 “Star Trek” pilot “The Cage.” NBC execs liked the concept but thought the pilot too cerebral, so they ordered a second pilot of the Desilu production with some script and cast changes (only Nimoy made it through both pilots). The series finally bowed on the Peacock in the fall of 1966. After three seasons, it was canceled in 1969 but would go on to be a hit in syndication, spawning films and other TV iterations and gaining a huge following of fans known as Trekkers or Trekkies.

After the series wrapped, Nimoy joined the fourth season of spy series “Mission: Impossible” as master-of-disguise Paris, leaving after the fifth season. He went on to star in the 1971 Western “Catlow,” with Yul Brynner and Richard Crenna, and the 1978 remake of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” with Donald Sutherland and Jeffrey Goldblum. The actor also made a series of TV films throughout the ’70s and received an Emmy nomination in 1982 for his role as Golda Meir’s husband in telepic “A Woman Called Golda.”

Also during the ’70s, Nimoy narrated the docuseries “In Search of …,” which investigated unexplained events, paranormal phenomena and urban legends long before these matters become the common fodder of pop culture.

Then the siren call of “Star Trek” beckoned again and Nimoy returned to the role of Mr. Spock for 1979’s “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.” The film opened well at the box office, and though not well reviewed, it did spawn enough interest for Paramount to greenlight sequels that would continue into the 1990s: “The Wrath of Khan” (1982), “The Search for Spock” (1984), “The Voyage Home” (1986), “The Final Frontier” (1989) and “The Undiscovered Country” (1991). Nimoy was in all of them, albeit briefly in “The Search for Spock.”

When it was obvious before its last season began shooting in the summer of 1968 that NBC had no interest in keeping Star Trek on the air, Gene Roddenberry effectively walked away from the series, keeping his executive producer title and paycheck, but using his time to write a screenplay and prepare his escape route. As a result, the last of the show was a campy mess deserving of its network euthanasia — but then something miraculous happened: man landed on the moon. And suddenly Star Trek, which at least until its last season, took its science fiction seriously began to look remarkably prescient. As a result, the show was rewarded with something unprecedented in television: a fan base that grew after a series was cancelled by a TV network, as the Kaiser syndicated television network ran the shows in the afternoon daily throughout the 1970s.

And then George Lucas, himself a fan of the original series, came up with this cool idea for a big screen space opera. Suddenly, the little series that Paramount inherited when they bought Lucille Ball’s Desilu production company in 1968 seemed like it incredible potential for a movie of its own.

And how.

The bedrock of the series was Nimoy, who took the character seriously, inventing many of his famous traits — the neck pinch, the V-for Vulcan hand gesture, and over time, his carefully modulated voice. It’s a remarkable performance, and Nimoy deserved the millions that Star Trek brought him, but it made watching Nimoy in other series a bit difficult. A few years ago, when I went through a jag of binge-watching Mission: Impossible on Netflix, I was struck by how strange it felt watching Nimoy take over Martin Landau’s man of a 1000 faces character. I dubbed a sort of “reverse uncanny valley effect,” from the term robotics designers use to describe that paradox that the more a robot looks human, the creepier it appears. Nimoy was so brilliant at developing a controlled, seemingly non-emotional alien, that called upon to play a campy, over-emoting character on Mission: Impossible, he was near impossible to watch. It didn’t help matters that like Star Trek’s final season, by the time Nimoy appeared on Mission: Impossible, it too was collectively phoning it in, with much of its original writing and production crew having moved on to other series.

Fortunately, by the end of the 1970s, Nimoy was back on the Paramount lot, playing the character that made him famous, and giving us all something to look forward to every few years at the summer box office.

A decade ago when James Doohan died, James Lileks wrote, “a hundred years from now, no one will remember Brad Pitt. But they’ll have a picture of Scotty taped up in the break room off the moon shuttle.” It’s not quite the same methods Spock employed in the second and third Star Trek movies, but Nimoy’s immortality is similarly assured.

To prove it, I won’t end this post with Spock’s legendary catchphrase, but it’s only because we all have it memorized — and we’re all saying it right now.

“What’s wrong with American feminism today, and what can it do to improve?,” asks America: The National Catholic Review during their interview with Camille Paglia, whom they dub “The Catholic Pagan:”

After the great victory won by my insurgent, pro-sex, pro-fashion wing of feminism in the 1990s, American and British feminism has amazingly collapsed backward again into whining, narcissistic victimology. As in the hoary old days of Gloria Steinem and her Stalinist cohorts, we are endlessly subjected to the hackneyed scenario of history as a toxic wasteland of vicious male oppression and gruesome female suffering. College campuses are hysterically portrayed as rape extravaganzas where women are helpless fluffs with no control over their own choices and behavior. I am an equal opportunity feminist: that is, I call for the removal of all barriers to women’s advance in the professional and political realms. However, I oppose special protections for women, which I reject as demeaning and infantilizing. My principal demand (as I have been repeating for nearly 25 years) is for colleges to confine themselves to education and to cease their tyrannical surveillance of students’ social lives. If a real crime is committed, it must be reported to the police. College officials and committees have neither the expertise nor the legal right to be conducting investigations into he said/she said campus dating fiascos. Too many of today’s young feminists seem to want hovering, paternalistic authority figures to protect and soothe them, an attitude I regard as servile, reactionary and glaringly bourgeois. The world can never be made totally safe for anyone, male or female: there will always be sociopaths and psychotics impervious to social controls. I call my system “street-smart feminism”:  there is no substitute for wary vigilance and personal responsibility.

Gee, not even Google Chrome apps?

And note this quote from Paglia: “Post-structuralism is a system of literary and social analysis that flared up and vanished in France in the 1960s but that became anachronistically entrenched in British and American academe from the 1970s on.”

Martin Heidegger, the Nazi father of postmodernism could not be reached to comment.

Though he’d certainly approve of the current state of the American campus, where “54 percent of self-identified Jewish students in 55 college across the country experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the 2013-2014 school year,” Roger L. Simon writes in his latest post.


Huh — I remember that it wasn’t all that long ago when Christian Websites were pilloried over such things by the Washington Post:

The American Family Association obviously didn’t foresee the problems that might arise with its strict policy to always replace the word “gay” with “homosexual” on the Web site of its Christian news outlet, OneNewsNow. The group’s automated system for changing the forbidden word wound up publishing a story about a world-class sprinter named “Tyson Homosexual” who qualified this week for the Beijing Olympics.

The problem: Tyson’s real last name is Gay. Therefore, OneNewsNow’s reliable software changed the Associated Press story about Tyson Gay’s amazing Olympic qualifying trial to read this way:

Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Homosexual said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

You might think it’s a joke, until you read the original AP story, which begins this way:

Tyson Gay was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Gay qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Gay said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

Read the whole thing, in which the Post had loads of fun in 2008 with Christian Websites inventing the brilliant Olympic athlete “Tyson Homosexual,” without pondering how quickly the left would create their own applets to replace words that they find “problematic” causing “trigger warnings” among their own sensitive souls. (Can we use that phrase? Perhaps “Sensitive chakras” is more appropriate.)

I can’t wait to read a Post article denouncing the Chrome extension using similar language — or is this another case of, as Kathy Shaidle likes to describe the left’s motto, “It’s different when we do it!”

In any case, I’m old enough to remember a time before such applets were available:

Update: Eveleth is also eager to create applets that limit fashion choices as well; recall she was the “science” writer who hit the fainting couch over the shirt worn by the man who landed an unmamanned spacecraft on a comet. (Via the readers of the Insta-man.)

“MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry said during an address at Cornell University this week that she hopes 17-year-old Trayvon Martin ‘whooped the s–t’ out of gunman George Zimmerman during their fatal encounter in 2012,” the Washington Examiner reports:

Harris-Perry’s address, which was captured and uploaded to YouTube by the university’s conservative group, the Cornell Review, continued: “And I hope he whooped the s–t out of George Zimmerman. And it’s not disreputable because he encountered a stranger who was prepared to kill him, and you know how I know? Because he killed him.”

Neither Harris-Perry nor a spokesperson for MSNBC responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

As Ace responds, “I think you’ve long known that, as every witness said he did, and Zimmerman’s head showed injuries consistent with having one’s head punched repeatedly into the concrete:”

The seething “Let’s get Justice for Travyon” types usually don’t admit that Martin was pounding Zimmerman, but, and this is key, they usually don’t spend much time denying that salient fact either. They just sort of handwave it away, as if that’s just a trivial detail and not very important to their Big Picture legal analysis.

And on that point I think they’re being honest– they don’t see this as important in their legal analysis. Zimmerman deserved what he was getting for the crime of Disrespecting a Black Man, and he broke the Rules by putting a stop to his chastisement.

Whether he feared for his life or not, so what? Racial Justice demands that he take his Justice, as Trayvon determined it should be meted out.

By the way, MHP:

If Zimmerman just wanted to shoot Martin, he could have done so while still on his feet. It is “Stand Your Ground,” after all, not “Get Taken to the Ground, Then Get Your Head Dribbled on the Cement for Five Minutes, Then Get Out Your Gun.”

If Zimmerman just wanted to plug Martin, he sure was slow on the draw.

Arguably far more than other “news” organizations — and that’s saying something — NBC has had a vendetta against Zimmerman right from the start, from falsely editing his 9/11 call to make Zimmerman appear to be a racist, right up until MHP’s speech on Monday. That’s some operation you’re running there, Comcast.

Last week, a source at MSNBC told the (left-leaning) Daily Beast that the network cancelled its low-rated shows hosted by Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid as part of a “move away from left-wing TV.” A decade after moving to the left itself, the Atlantic asks, “So what would it actually mean for MSNBC to make a break with ‘left-wing TV’?”

Publicly, it’s worth noting, MSNBC is distancing itself from the “left-wing” quote, emphasizing that a liberal slant is part of not just the network’s past, but its future. As an MSNBC spokesperson told me in an email, “We have a great brand,” and “we will be staying true to our progressive voice while broadening out the issues we cover through that lens.” Those within the network, though, according to the Daily Beast report, see things differently: “Everybody in the food chain from top to bottom,” its source says, “understands that the Olbermann era is over.”

That’s nice. When is the Jim Crow era over at MSNBC?

God and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM at Wesleyan University

February 25th, 2015 - 1:54 pm

See if you can spot the angry three letter word in the middle of the above headline. There, that didn’t long, did it?

Slippery slope, anyone?

As Professor Steven Hayward cleverly points out in his “50 Shades of Gay” post at Power Line (great headline, by the way), Wesleyan University is now making sure every sexual fetish, whim, kink, orientation, impulse and desire – plus the kitchen sink – gets its own capital letter in the ever-growing acronym of the formerly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community.

Wesleyan University’s residential life division’s “Open House” at 154 Church Street boasts, according to the university’s website: “a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf**k, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.”

And no, the asterisks weren’t included in the original text, but who says college isn’t educational? And as Jim Treacher writes:

Note the placement of “flexual, asexual, genderf***,” in that order. This creates an acronym that is, to use the parlance of the day, problematic. I find myself triggered by this othering language, and I can only conclude that it’s intended as a microaggression.

Why doesn’t Wesleyan care about the PWDNTBMCIOTFADDR community?

*People Who Don’t Need To Be Micro-Categorized In Order To Find A Damn Dorm Room

Heh. I just abbreviate that down to the G.O.P. community. It’s much easier to spell.

Update: As with much of the gender insanity that can be found on today’s Kafkaesque college campuses, Stacy McCain was way out in front of this story, first linking to it on Saturday. He described Wesleyan as going “Maximum Acronym” — though like double-dog-daring Evel Knievel, I’m not sure if I’d want to goad the crazed university into topping itself.

‘NBC Trapped in Kafkaesque Nightmare!’

February 25th, 2015 - 1:42 pm

That’s what a Kausfiles headline screams today — could you narrow it down a bit, Mickey? Because NBC is currently trapped in all sorts of Kafkaesque nightmares, most of which are of the network’s own making: If NBC drops legendary anchorman Al Sharpton, I hope they have the mother of all disparagement clauses in his contract, because the only reason the network employs Sharpton is as a protection racket to prevent him from devouring their colleagues. (See: Imus, Don.) What to do about Brian Williams, now that Lester Holt is keeping the ratings steady among the network’s elderly viewers? And what to do about far left muckraker David Corn, who’s dying to come on MSNBC — where he’s employed as a commentator — and blast Bill O’Reilly. But does Phil Griffin really want O’Reilly thrashing away at his network for the next two weeks while he’s trying to decide what it will be when it finally grows up? (Or buy time by negotiating a truce with viewer-hating Keith Olbermann.)

But actually, what Kaus is referring to is this:

The Latest Fad — Mindlessness: NBC Nightly News managed to devote almost two minutes of tonight’s opening segment to the standoff over Department of Homeland Security funding — after another, initial two minutes on the terrorist threat to the Mall of America. In that time NBC never says what the DHS funding fight is about, namely Obama’s executive action giving work permits and deportation protection to millions of illegal immigrants. (You can watch the astonishing newscast here.) The word “immigration” isn’t even uttered. Viewers tuning in would have absolutely no idea why the “big fight” — with 200,000 workers facing no paychecks, a possible “security risk,” and the “clock ticking”– is happening. Is it a budget dispute, with Republicans trying to lower federal spending and Democrats trying to raise it? An argument over long TSA lines? Insufficient leg room in coach? A union dispute? Mindless partisan animosity? The NBC story doesn’t even blame Republicans. A Democratic propaganda segment would at least have had a coherent story line.

I can see several possible explanations:

Normally, I consider Mickey to be one of the most astute observers of the national scene — but since when is mindlessness the latest fad at NBC? It seems to be well in place there since at least the Fred Silverman days.

kfc_edible_cup_2-25-15-1

Good news! “KFC Now Has A Coffee Cup You Can Eat,” reports BuzzFeed (who better to break this story?) Bad news — it’s only available in England right now:

This edible coffee cup was invented in a partnership with food scientists at The Robin Collective to coincide with the launch of KFC’s Seattle’s Best Coffee across its UK branches. The cup itself is made of biscuit, which has been wrapped in sugar paper and then lined with a layer of white chocolate, which melts over time, softening the biscuit enough to melt in your mouth.

On top of that delicious blend, a spokesperson for The Robin Collective told the Telegraph that the cups are also infused with a selection of “mood improving aromas,” like ‘coconut sun cream,’ ‘freshly cut grass’ and ‘wild flowers,’ which “evoke the positive memories we associate with warm weather, sunshine and summer holidays.”

Of course it does. The only charitable explanation given the involvement of companies with the names Kentucky Fried Chicken and Seattle’s Best Coffee is that perhaps they’re merely working out the product’s kinks out of town before it debuts in America. I will be charitable and assume that’s the case.

Because America is waiting, as David Byrne and Brian Eno would say.

‘Rahm-a-Lama-Ding-Dong’

February 25th, 2015 - 11:49 am

Rahm Emanuel, “Ex-Obama Aide Forced into Chicago Runoff,” John Fund reports. Couldn’t happen to a nicer party hack:

Illinois, the nation’s fiscal basket case, has been full of political surprises lately. Yesterday, Chicago, the home of the political machine that nurtured Barack Obama’s career, saw Mayor Rahm Emanuel forced into an April runoff against Councilman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

Emanuel, Obama’s first White House chief of staff, had every advantage in the race: $7 million in TV ads, a personal visit from his former boss, and the backing of a business community that’s been able to make special side deals with “da Mayor.” But Garcia showed the muscle of two powerful forces in the city’s politics: its growing Hispanic population and the Chicago Teachers Union, furious at Emanuel’s closing of 50 public schools. Two years ago, Emanuel retreated after a brief teacher’s strike and signed a new, generous contract with the union hoping to buy peace. That never works, and now the union is out to get him.

At Bloomberg, Dave Weigel explains why his fellow ‘Progressives’ “Celebrate Rahm Emanuel’s Surprise Setback in Chicago:”

Why did progressives–why do progressives–want to humble Emanuel? The answer’s been blaring from magazines like In These Times and Rolling Stone and the Nation for months. In the election-month cover story of In These Times, for example, progressive historian Rick Perlstein explained why the deal Emanuel cut with a company to remake the city’s transit cards never stopped hurting him.

The transit cards can double as debit cards, you see, promoted as a boon for Chicago’s un- and under-banked. But dig the customer fees hidden in the 1,000-page contract the city signed with Cubic: $1.50 every time customers withdraw cash from an ATM, $2.95 every time they add money to their online debit account with a personal credit card, $2 for every call with a service representative and an “account research fee” of $10 an hour for further inquiries, $2 for a paper copy of their account information, and, if you decide you’ve had enough, a $6 “balance refund fee.” [Gee, wait'll they discover ObamaCare -- Ed] This all makes mincemeat of the pro-privatization argument that “the marketplace” is more transparent than a government bureaucracy. The city might have been able to anticipate this before inking the deal had they paid attention to the fact that Money Network, the payment processing company partnering with Cubic, had received the lowest possible grade from the Better Business Bureau, and that another partner, MetaBank, was fined $5.2 million by federal regulators for a scheme to issue debit cards funded by tax refund loans at interest rates of up to 650 percent.

Emanuel was elected in the nadir of the first Obama term. While the White House adapted to Democratic politics, and while economic progressives took back a leading intellectual role in the party, Emanuel governed as a neoliberal. He’s still got plenty of advantages over Garcia, but he’s the first Chicago mayor to be forced into a runoff since the runoff system was created. Progressives wanted not just to humble Emanuel but to make a point about what sort of politics could no longer define the Democratic Party. And they’ve done that.

So Rahm has been transformed into the local government equivalent of Joe Lieberman, whom the Kos Kiddies hung out to dry as a loyalty test in 2006? That was also Hillary’s fate in 2007 — and possibly yet again if Elizabeth Warren is serious about running.

It’s a mindset that’s catching on the other side of the aisle: at Red State today, Leon Wolf has some thoughts “On the Value of Shooting Cowards.”

(Headline via NRO’s Twitter account. Note the photo atop it, which will get loads of play should Emanuel lose his runoff against Garcia.)

Big Dave, come on up here. Stay right here. Here’s Big Dave. He is doing a great job.

They love you, Big Dave. They love you.

He is doing a great job.

Now, in the last day here, Dave only has one thing on his mind. He wakes up with this thought, he goes to sleep with this thought, he eats and lives and breathes and dreams about getting you to the polls tomorrow. That’s all he is thinking about.

More specifically, getting you to the polls to vote for me. That’s what he’s thinking about.

(APPLAUSE)

That’s his job, get you to the polls, vote for Obama. My job is to help him do his job. So I am going to try to be so persuasive in the 20 minutes or so that I speak that by the time this is over, a light will shine down from somewhere.

It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, I have to vote for Barack. I have to do it.

And if you make that decision, if that moment happens, then it would be great — even though it’s just one day to go — for you to fill out one of these supporter cards before you leave, because that way we’ll know, you know, who, in fact, is going to be voting. Make sure that you are getting to the right precinct. It will be very heful to Dave in doing his job.

CNN Transcript of Obama during the New Hampshire Democratic Primary, January 7th, 2008.

Related: To be fair, Obama was able to convince one class of particularly gullible followers that they experienced an epiphany and a light upon them.

The judge has sentenced Eddie Ray Routh to life in prison without parole; Routh can appeal the decision, the Blaze reports:

After over two hours of deliberation, a jury in Stephenville, Texas, found Eddie Ray Routh, 27, guilty of capital murder in the killings of legendary Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. The jury, made up of 10 women and two men, rejected the Routh’s insanity defense following the nearly two-week murder trial.

The verdict was unanimous. Routh now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Katie Pavlich adds that “the trial revealed Routh’s drug use, not mental illness or PTSD, played a part in the murders.” On Friday, the Dallas Morning News reported, “Expert testifies ‘American Sniper’ killer faked paranoia, schizophrenia to avoid jail time”:

The combination of drug and alcohol use with the mood disorder likely caused Routh to seem erratic.

“His feelings were scattered and moved around and that’s more common with a mood disorder” than a severe mental disorder, Arambula said.

On the day of the slayings, Routh was likely suffering from marijuana-induced psychosis, said Randall Price, a forensic psychologist. And despite that psychotic state, Routh still knew that his actions were illegal.

“He did know what he was doing was wrong, and he did it anyway,” Price said.

Price met with Routh twice at the Erath County Jail. He said he believes Routh was faking symptoms of schizophrenia and often lied about his state of mind in the days leading up to the day he killed Kyle and Littlefield.

Or to put it another way, “Crazy don’t run.”

Eddie Ray Routh,  J. Warren St. John

Former Marine Cpl. Eddie Ray Routh, right, enters the court behind defense attorney J. Warren St. John during Routh’s capital murder trial at the Erath County, Donald R. Jones Justice Center Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, in Stephenville, Texas. Routh, 27, of Lancaster, is charged with the 2013 deaths of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range near Glen Rose, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero,Pool)

 

Filed under: War And Anti-War

Gaia and Man at the UN

February 24th, 2015 - 4:11 pm

Shot:

Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute tells a story about Julian Simon, the late and great economist.He was at some environmental forum, and he said, “How many people here believe that the earth is increasingly polluted and that our natural resources are being exhausted?” Naturally, every hand shot up. He said, “Is there any evidence that could dissuade you?” Nothing. Again: “Is there any evidence I could give you — anything at all — that would lead you to reconsider these assumptions?” Not a stir. Simon then said, “Well, excuse me, I’m not dressed for church.”

I love that story, for what it says about the fixity of these beliefs, immune to evidence, reason, or anything else.

—Jay Nordlinger, National Review Online, 2002, as quoted here in 2011, in a post titled “Episcopal Church Replaces God with Gaia on Good Friday.”

Chaser:

The head of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change panel Rajendra Pachauri, 74, has resigned amid charges that he sexually harassed a 29-year-old woman working in his office in Delhi. In his resignation letter to UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, Pachauri wrote,

“For me, the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems, is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

I know nothing of the charges against Pachauri, whose tenure has not been without controversy. In 2007 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and other IPCC scientists. In 2010, he withstood criticism after the IPCC had to change its fourth climate assessment’s over-hyped findings about glacial melt in the Himalayas.

“Top climate scientist says global warming is his religion,” Debra Saunders, the San Francisco Chronicle, today.

Much more from Mark Steyn on Pachauri and his allegedly “Wandering Hockey Stick.”

wapo_condi_rice_white_whale_2-24-15

You stay classy, Washington press corps.  Nice photo, too — “unexpectedly.”

Meanwhile, Twitter users ponder what the headline implies the Washington Post thinks of Condi’s political opposition.

Update: Since we’re using literary metaphors, I wonder if by tomorrow we’ll all be able to spot the dog that didn’t bark, when MSNBC refuses to condemn the WaPo’s rhetoric.

You can hear the whole thing, or read the transcript at Hugh’s Website.

Fascinating though that Brian Williams was introduced to the world by NBC in 2004 as the spokesman for “NASCAR nation” and has now been cast in the role of a lefty by Corn in his efforts at payback for his (possibly permanent) timeout by NBC.

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly has moved on to tussle with some unknown hack at the New York Times. “As for the rest of us?”, Jim Treacher writes, “I don’t know about you, but I’m content to sit back and watch them hiss and claw at each other. This is the mainstream media in America, 2015. Enjoy the show.”

To Ask the Question is to Answer It

February 24th, 2015 - 12:03 pm

FROM: RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer
TO: Interested Parties
RE: Time for 2016 Democrats to Answer

A review of news coverage from the last week using the TVEyes media monitoring database reveals that the controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation’s foreign donations, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s plot to paint President Obama as anti-Semitic and anti-woman, and Vice President Biden’s Somali cab driver gaffe have generated just over 1,300 TV and radio hits combined.

* * * * * * * * *

This is all just par for the course. A Republican former office holder says something, and they think every Republican must answer for it. A current Democrat party leader does and says something, and it’s no one else’s problem.

Likewise, if a conservative commentator says something controversial, the media say it’s a reflection of the Republican Party. When Al Sharpton or Chris Matthews says something offensive or jaw-dropping, they draw no link to the Democrat Party.

Yet another example: Columba Bush was dragged into the media spotlight this week with a hit piece from the Washington Post, which consisted of old news from years past. Yet there was hardly a single headline over Bill Clinton’s travels with Jeffrey Epstein, something we learned about only recently.  Where are the articles on Clinton’s spending habits?

There’s a pattern here, and it’s time to treat the parties equally. I look forward to Hillary Clinton and other potential 2016 Democrat contenders to have to answer for the actions of their fellow Democrats. (Then of course, Hillary hasn’t held a press conference or done an interview in over 200 days, and her “spokesman” responds to every question with the same answer: “No comment.”)

Why doesn’t the MSM treat candidates from both parties in the same fashion? To ask the question is to answer it.

Howard Dean, Scott Walker Truther

February 23rd, 2015 - 7:26 pm

“How unhinged has Howard Dean become?”

So bad that an MSNBC host had to gently walk him back off the ledge.

On Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show tonight, Dean claimed that Scott Walker says Barack Obama was “born in Kenya.”  It took Hayes two attempts to break through Dean’s blather, but eventually he was able to politely point out: “I should note, you mention the Kenya thing, he has not been asked that.”

I realize that the left has been quite unhinged about Walker since 2011 — and Dean has been quite unhinged since, well, “Yeaaaargh!!!” But attempting to smear Walker as a Birther seems a particularly loopy tactic. But then, as Wisconsinite Ann Althouse notes, “Those of you who think that he’s a neophyte, that he hasn’t yet learned how to step up to answering a question. You don’t get it. You are a neophyte. You haven’t yet learned how to step up to understanding Scott Walker. . . . Implicit in that is: That’s not Wisconsin style. Get used to it, coasties.”

“Scott Walker Is a Threat to the Existing Social Order,” Robert Tracinski writes at the Federalist, as reactionary leftists with and without bylines are becoming well aware.

On the other hand, while I’m not sure if Walker would go on the record and agree, I’m fully prepared to say that in my heart of hearts, I do believe that Obama is a Keynesian. And I know I’m not alone in my knowledge of the president’s shocking secret:

 

“Giuliani, Walker, and the Media’s Pro-Obama McCarthyism,” as charted by John Nolte of Big Journalism:

Because Walker didn’t vouch for Obama’s Christianity and patriotism, the coordinated and effective media attacks are coming from all sides: 1) He’s not ready for primetime. 2) He’s racist. 3) He’s extreme 4) He’s a bumbler.

Sorry, but “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to both questions.

If you had asked me 5 years ago if Obama was a patriotic Christian, I would have answered in the affirmative on both accounts. A lot has happened since. Obama’s deeds — apologizing for America, the dishonest and unnecessary example of the Crusades, using his Christian faith to lie about and hide his support for same sex marriage, etc. — have given me doubts.

Under oath, if asked today if Obama is a patriotic Christian, I would have to answer, “I don’t know.”

But “I don’t know” isn’t the answer the media wants. The media wants a “yes,” and if members of the GOP refuse to vouch for Obama’s faith and patriotism, the media is determined to see them destroyed.

If Walker were running around attacking Obama’s patriotism and faith, that would be reprehensible. He is not doing that, though. He’s not doing anything. He’s not saying anything. He’s not volunteering anything. He wishes to remain silent on the meaningless subject of Obama’s faith and patriotism.

Nevertheless, silence is not good enough for the media.

“To grasp just how farcical this game is, one needs only to run an eye across the list of those who are now feigning high dudgeon,” Charles C.W. Cooke adds at NRO:

 Yesterday, on CBS’s Face the Nation, Obama’s former adviser David Axelrod pretended to be surprised at Walker’s remarks: “I don’t know why there is confusion,” Axelrod proclaimed, indignantly. Really? At present, Axelrod is running around the country promoting a book in which he confesses bluntly that Obama’s well-documented objections to gay marriage were nothing more than opportunistic lies. In 2008, Axelrod recalls in one chapter, “opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church.” In consequence, he adds, Obama “accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me, and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage, which he would term a ‘sacred union.’” Elsewhere, Obama would tell audiences that, being “a Christian, . . . my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman”; and that, “as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian . . . God’s in the mix.” Axelrod’s admission that this was baloney will sell him a lot of books.

Such suspicions are routinely expressed on the Left. At various points during Obama’s tenure, public figures such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Maher have openly suggested that President Obama is either an atheist or an agnostic, and that he is merely pretending to be a Christian to placate the rubes in the middle of the country. “You know who’s a liar about [his faith],” Maher suggested last year, “is Obama. He’s a drop-dead atheist, absolutely.” “Our new president,” Christopher Hitchens told France 24 in 2009, “I’m practically sure he is not a believer.” Richard Dawkins, meanwhile, has noted correctly that this theory is popular among progressives. “Like many people,” he averred in 2014, “I’m sure that Obama is an atheist.” These statements lacked the modesty of Scott Walker’s effective “dunno.” In fact, they were far, far harsher. And yet they were met with relative indifference. Are we to conclude that the bien pensant class considers it to be more honorable for a person to suggest that the president of the United States is lying than to say that he does not know and does not care?

Evidently, the media never thought the bill would come due for its sophistry, which has been going for almost a decade now.

Oh and while, as Nolte writes, the MSM is busy “blackmailing Walker with threat of harsh coverage if he doesn’t vouch for Obama’s patriotic Christianity,” crickets in the MSM over the chairwoman of the Democratic Party allegedly prepared to blackmail Obama as “being sexist, anti-semitic if she lost her DNC job,” as Allahpundit writes today.

The DNC’s operatives with bylines will report no bad news concerning the home office, ever.

On the other hand, check this out:

But it was the Democrats who weaponized Hillary Clinton — and her supporters — in 2008 by throwing every smear at her imaginable to pave the way for Obama’s coronation. Just wait ’til all of that source material is repurposed in the run-up to 2016.

Update: “Thank The Left For Presidential Candidate Scott Walker,”  Brandon Finnigan adds at the Federalist, with a look back at how Walker won what were in essence near annual re-election bids in Wisconsin thanks to the crazed leftists and government unions there:

Had the Democrats not targeted Walker with a recall, that massive fundraiser network, the national profile, the party unity, and his highly developed get-out-the-vote team almost certainly wouldn’t exist. He may have still won re-election, but he would be just another Midwestern Republican governor who enacted reforms and faced push-back, not the conservative folk hero of a party longing for a win. He would most likely resemble Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a reformer but hardly a man with a cult following. There would still be plenty of new problems with the governor his opposition could cite, instead of leaving him mostly vetted for 2016.

They shot the king and missed, making a balding, sleepy-eyed executive into a god among a growing horde of followers. That’s bad enough for the Progressive set. In the unlikely event he wins the Republican nomination and the presidency? They struck the match that ignited their own national hell.

And we’ve seen over the past week, the leftwing media still can’t put an end to their own pyromania.


Yes, you never know when a once-trusted financial advisor can turn a investment or insurance plan you thought was running on autopilot into dust, all the while promising you repeatedly…

Much more at Twitchy; presumably, this is a set-up for further shakedowns from the trial lawyers, one of the semi-retired president’s favorite constituencies, or for additional regulations. Or both.

“The first two minutes of this should be played at the beginning of every Oscars ever,” Tom Nichols tweets. And the stone-faced glare of Shirley MacLaine to Chayefsky’s response to Vanessa Redgrave’s infamous “Zionist Hoodlums” Oscars rant seems fascinating in retrospect.

But then, I doubt Chayefsky realized that when he wrote the screenplay for Network, he was basically crafting a how-to guide for the 21st century legacy media and its myriad grievance obsessions.

But then, as John Nolte writes at Big Hollywood, “Unpopular titles mixed with no stars to stargaze at is a recipe for low ratings and irrelevance,” especially when combined with the toxic blend of leftwing grievance politics. “Bottom line: 34.6 million for Hollywood’s biggest night; 115 million for the NFL’s biggest night. One institution speaks to the people and celebrates greatness, the other  celebrates its elite, provincial, narcissistic self.”

Bill Nye, the Nihilism Guy

February 23rd, 2015 - 10:38 am

As Ace writes, paraphrasing Nye’s bizarre statements on Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, “Man Those Jews Might Not Have to Flee From One Country to Another If They Would Just Get To Actually Know Their ‘Neighbors:’”

I’m not exactly certain that’s the right way to take his statement. But I have trouble seeing any other interpretation.

Bill Nye doesn’t think the Jews of Europe should flee to Israel.

So what’s his proposed alternative?

Well they should just start getting to know their neighbors instead of, I suppose, being all clannish and Jew-y.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey has the transcript of Nye’s nihilism:

MAHER: Yeah, I mean, Netanyahu is asking European Jews to come to Israel and …

NYE (wryly): Come home to Israel — that’s what he said, right?

MAHER: Well, I mean, he is the …

NYE (interrupting again): But you never, the people have never been there. They live, grew up in whatever, in Germany or France.

MAHER: It’s a shame that they should have to move, uh …

NYE: Well, they probably won’t either, ’cause it’s not their home, you know.

REINER: But you can understand it. There were German Jews that lived in Germany during the Second World War and that was their home. And, you know, at a certain point, you know, if your live is in danger, you want to go to someplace where you’re going to be protected.

NYE: So, what do you do about it? I think you get to know your neighbors. And it’s gonna take, what, does it take a century, something like that?

“There are multiple layers of irony in this conversation,” Ed Morrissey adds:

Is Nye’s response anti-Semitic, blaming the victim? Your mileage may vary, but at the very least it’s a Summer of Love cliché that ignores centuries of attempted integration by Jews in Europe, with sometimes disastrous results. In one breath Nye says that Europe is the only home they know, and in the next suggests that they aren’t really part of Europe at all. Furthermore, the problem of insularity isn’t so much a Jewish problem as it is with the Muslims who only recently began emigrating in large numbers to Europe — perhaps especially so in France and Germany. Oh, if only those silly Jews would be more friendly with their neighbors, Nye’s argument goes, then no one would have an irrational hatred for them — which suggests that anti-Semitism is the Jews’ fault, and that it’s their responsibility to crack the insularity of whatever communities are generating it.

There’s another level of irony: Like Al Gore, Andrea Mitchell, Tom Steyer, and CBS anchorman Scott Pelley, Nye is one of those persons of the left who casually flings the expression “climate denier” at those who disagree with him. (As Climate Depot reported a few years ago, when asked why he didn’t have someone on to argue against his global warming riffs, Pelley responded, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”) Perhaps Nye should cease using such a loaded phrase, which if not outright Holocaust denial itself, is rhetoric that certainly cheapens that unique historical bloodbath, if this is his inch-deep knowledge of postwar European Judaism.