Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll

Report: Tim Tebow Signs with Philadelphia Eagles

April 19th, 2015 - 4:09 pm

“Tim Tebow will sign a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, per reports from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer and ESPN’s Adam Schefter,” the Dallas Morning News claims today:

Tweeted Glazer: Eagles spent time w Tebows qb coach Tom House and are convinced he’s improved a lot. if he hasn’t no harm no foul as they have roster spots. … Eagles looking for a fourth QB for their offseason program but it’s Tebows best chance to get back in the league

Schefter reported: “Before signing Tebow, the Eagles first wanted to try to trade backup quarterback Matt Barkley. But when the team could not get enough in return, it decided to bring in Tebow anyway so that he could be present for the team’s entire off-season program.”

The sides have agreed to the deal. The Eagles’ off-season program begins tomorrow.

Tebow, 27, hasn’t played since being released by the New York Jets in June 2014. He spent last season as an analyst for the SEC Network.

If he were to join the Eagles, he would join Mark Sanchez, the QB he competed with during his tenure with the Jets.

From PETA’s worst nightmare Michael Vick to the proselytizing Tebow in the space of six years — that’s got to be quite a rollercoaster ride for Philadelphia sports fans.

(Sure they could use a little churchin’ up, as Cab Calloway told Jake and Elwood, but how will notoriously riotous Eagles fans take to Tebow?)

Update: The Teagles?

Filed under: Run To Daylight

Jerry Brown’s Oedipal Struggle

April 19th, 2015 - 3:41 pm

Joel Kotkin gets to the core of what’s driving California’s water woes, writing a rare must-read voice of sanity in the otherwise mentally arid wasteland that is the Daily Beast:

Indeed, if you look at California’s greatest achievements as a society, the Pat Brown legacy stands at the core. The California Aqueduct turned vast stretches of the Central Valley into one of the most productive farming regions in the world. The freeway system, now in often shocking disrepair, allowed for the construction of mass suburbia that offered millions a quality of life never experienced by previous generations. At the same time the development of energy resources—California still boasts the nation’s third-largest oil production—helped create a huge industrial base that included aerospace, semiconductors, and a host of specialized industries, from logistics to garment manufacturing.

In contrast, Jerry Brown has waged a kind of Oedipal struggle against his father’s legacy. Like many Californians, he recoiled against the sometimes haphazard and even ugly form of development that plowed through much of the state. Cutting off water is arguably the most effective way to stop all development, and promote Brown’s stated goal of eliminating suburban “sprawl.” It is typical that his first target for cutbacks this year has been the “lawns” of the middle-class suburbanite, a species for which he has shown little interest or tolerance.

But it’s not just water that exemplifies the current “era of limits” psychology. Energy development has always been in green crosshairs and their harassment has all but succeeded in helping drive much of the oil and gas industry, including corporate headquarters, out of the state. Not building roads—arguably to be replaced by trains—has not exactly reduced traffic but given California the honor of having eight of the top 20 cities nationally with poor roads; the percentage of Los Angeles-area residents who take transit has, if anything, declined slightly since train-building began. All we are left with are impossible freeways, crumbling streets, and ever more difficulty doing anything that requires traveling.

It isn’t just Jerry Brown; since the mid-1960s, the entire new left versus old, New Deal-era left struggle has been driven by an Oedipal Boomer-era hatred of their parents; as this telling anecdote from from former leftist turned pioneering neoconservative Norman Podhoretz highlighted, in an article titled “America the Ugly” at the Wall Street Journal in 2007:

It was of an evening in the year 1960, when I went to address a meeting of left-wing radicals on a subject that had then barely begun to show the whites of its eyes: the possibility of American military involvement in a faraway place called Vietnam and the need to begin mobilizing opposition to it. Accompanying me that evening was the late Marion Magid, a member of my staff at Commentary, of which I had recently become the editor. As we entered the drafty old hall on Union Square in Manhattan, Marion surveyed the 50 or so people in the audience and whispered to me: “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

The memory of this quip brought back to life some sense of how unpromising the future had then appeared to be for that bedraggled-looking assemblage. No one would have dreamed that these young people, and the generation about to descend from them politically and culturally, would within the blink of a historical eye come to be hailed by many members of the very “Establishment” they were trying to topple as (in the representative words of Prof. Archibald Cox of Harvard Law School) “the best informed, the most intelligent, and the most idealistic this country has ever known.”

More incredible yet, in a mere decade the ideas and attitudes of the new movement, cleaned up but essentially unchanged, would turn one of our two major parties upside down and inside out.

The following year, James Lileks explored the midcentury America the boomers were handed by their parents and how violently they’ve been trying to smash it, ever since:

I blame the boomers, of course. ;) If you’re going to make a fetish out of the Authentic Values of Adolescence, with its withering critiques of humanity, then you’re going to value the slouch and the sneer as signs of a Deep and Serious Person.  The Boomers were handed a Utopian ideal – practical, technocratic, rational, with silver wheels in the sky tended over by engineers and scientists — and they abandoned it for a Dionysian version based on wrecking and remaking the world they’d inherited. Their patron saint: Holy St. Caulfield, who identified the greatest sin in the human soul: being a phoney. Better to be an authentic bastard than someone who cannot successfully convince a teenager that some ideas have an importance that transcend the ability of the individual to manifest them 24/7.

Of course they got sour; if you believe a Utopia is possible if we just retinker human behavior to eliminate greed and dress codes and football and anything else that reminds us of Dad, be it the specific one or the unseen National Dad that rules the boardrooms and bedrooms and cloakrooms of DC, then the failure of this world makes it a dystopia, the worst of all possible worlds.

Some suggest that the great disenchantment began with the assassination of JFK, and I see the point. But it’s strange that it led to a loss of faith in us, given who shot the President. (Yes, I’m one of those lone-gunman wackos. I’m a freethinker! I refuse to accept concensus!) If Oswald had been a card-carrying Kluxer or a dead-ender Bircher or some sort of far-right-wing nutcase, I wonder if we would have accepted the Warren Commission and moved along. But no, he was a Communist. Well obviously there has to be more to it, then. Same with Sirhan Sirhan: his motivation will forever be a mystery, won’t it?

Once you start to believe in the dark shadowy forces, you’re done with the world. You’re done engaging it, you’re done enjoying it. There’s no point. It’s a sham, a shell, a shiny façade erected by the Jews / Bilderburgers / Trilateral Commission/ Council on Foreign Relations /  Project for a New American Century / Masons / Knights Templar / Illuminati / Federal Reserve / Rockefeller-Royal Family Nexus / Bush Crime Syndicate / League of Grim Intent, and all you can do is post on the internet and call talk radio to argue with the hosts who think we’re free people.

And choose the fate of the Delta Smelt over the quality of life of your fellow citizens. Who have been voting with their feet for several years, since their voices haven’t been heard in Sacramento for at least two decades.  As Moe Lane writes, “at the rate things are going” vis-a-vis the state’s man-made drought, “California is going to start out-migrating within the next three years. Just in time for the next Census… and won’t that cause a ruckus.”

How bad was Hillary’s campaign rollout? So bad that even the Politico’s Glenn Thrush is forced to write this as his lede today:

When I asked one top staffer on Hillary Clinton’s campaign to pick the high point of her overwhelmingly understated 2016 campaign kickoff in Iowa, the person paused for a moment, then shot back – “The Aaron Hernandez verdict!”

The former New England Patriot’s conviction on murder charges punted Clinton’s two-day pastoral tour of the critical caucus state off of cable news, a blessing to a campaign that craved the softest of soft launches. Wednesday’s legal drama, coupled with the Monday media blitz by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who wanted to soak up the spotlight Clinton preferred to avoid — were welcome diversions for a team premiering not just a candidate but an updated approach to the oldest Clinton problem of all: dealing with people like me.

Democrat lackeys armed with steno pads who describe Hillary’s illegal email server as “badass?” That’s setting the bar rather low. Thrush is perhaps the ultimate example of what Glenn Reynolds would call a Democrat operative with a byline. In November of 2013, he feigned boredom during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, and last year pretended, “I don’t get the furor over the [Wendy] Davis ad,” in which the would-be governor of Texas, flailing badly in the polls, mocked her opponent’s wheelchair. He admitted in his article today, “full disclosure: I attended both of the pre-launch off-the-record sessions Clinton’s team held with reporters.”

Which may be why Thrush eventually reverts to vintage form:

One week in, the campaign’s day-to-day discipline mirrors Palmieri’s personal style. In 2008, there was a wholesale ban on “process” stories –- the behind-the-scenes anecdote-crammed tales that are the lifeblood of political reporting in POLITICO and elsewhere – but Palmieri has instructed her staff to cooperate whenever practical. Her goal isn’t necessarily to reveal the inner workings of the campaign but to “demystify” them a bit, according to an aide, so that reporters don’t interpret every move Clinton makes as part of some vast behind-closed-doors conspiracy.

There’s also a conscious attempt to humanize Clinton’s staff to counter perceptions, promoted in the conservative and mainstream media, that she surrounds herself with sharp-elbowed political mercenaries enlisted in a dark quest for power. “She is surrounding herself with scrappy, battle-tested operatives and advisers who work hard and run campaigns like they’re 10 points behind, even if they aren’t,” read one of the campaign-generated memos issued to Clinton’s media surrogates, sent to me by a senior Democrat.

I love that line about countering perceptions “in the conservative and mainstream media” — instead of writing “near-universal perception” regarding Hillary’s paranoid staffers or something similar. Who doesn’t believe that — the far left, the folks who view MSNBC and the New York Times as being too conservative, the sort of folks who in past days would go on Nation magazine Soviet Union river cruises, aren’t exactly enamored of Hillary either.

More from Thrush:

Reporters weren’t told about her van trek until it had already started, and when the press pack arrived Clinton waved off tough questions about her recent conversion to the cause of gay marriage. Then her campaign released a carefully edited video of a voter thanking her for backing same-sex marriage at a Council Bluffs roundtable that had been closed to the media.

When NBC’s Andrea Mitchell confronted Palmieri about the candidate’s unwillingness to answer reporters’ questions about gay marriage in Iowa, the communications director gave little ground — telling Mitchell pointedly Clinton had “answered that question the day before” — prompting some reporters to remark how little things had changed since the last campaign.

Veteran public speaker Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speaker’s Association, once advised clients in his profession, “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to promote, until you get good. Otherwise you just speed up the rate at which the world finds out you’re no good.”

But at age 67, with a lifetime at the center of Democrat power politics, six years to analyze what went wrong in 2007 and 2008, and knowing she has grudging, if near universal support from the palace guard MSM, shouldn’t Hillary — and her campaign — be good at this stuff?

Hillary: Bill’s After-Party Cleanup Woman

April 19th, 2015 - 12:39 pm

“Watching Hillary Clinton reach out and touch ordinary Americans is excruciating. In working a crowd of regular folks, Hillary is fingernails on the blackboard in a pantsuit,” Deborah C. Tyler writes at the American Thinker, in an effort to understand why Hillary seems like the human version* of the “uncanny valley” principle that posits the more lifelike the robot, the creepier it seems:

Bill Clinton is a famously gifted retail campaigner. A friend of mine who met President Clinton and spoke with him for a few minutes says he made her feel like the only person in the room. His brash presentfulness is a skill especially valued in a leader. But President Clinton’s ability to connect to and take in the people around him is a double-edged rapier, with a predatory blade. His natural ability to connect allows him to select those who will benefit him but also cull the vulnerable from the herd for his nefarious purposes. We know he consumes and abuses women around him, offenses of impulsive domination and aggression. Hillary has her own history of ethical, legal and financial scandal. But the scandals that have stuck to her are the stuff of malfeasant calculation, monies and memos appearing and disappearing in wrongful ways. Hillary’s scandals are the machinations that leave a paper trail (or a no e-mail trail), not the wreckages of foolhardy moments.

In driving the Clinton franchise to the highest levels of power on earth, Hillary has wretchedly compensated for her husband’s porous boundaries by constructing impenetrable walls around herself. As he became more reckless, she must have become more wary. Many years ago Hillary accepted the job of being Bills’ after-party cleanup crew. In the service of their upward march, she had no choice. Many people think Hillary Clinton is a psychopath without a conscience who cares nothing about her husband’s betrayals on a personal level. That formulation does not seem supported by what has leaked out about the Clinton’s relationship. It is more likely that she is a wellspring of anger hiding behind a smile you can hang laundry on.

What is certain is she spent years mopping up and deodorizing Bill’s messes. Bill’s affairs with and attacks on women have been more destructive to Hillary’s psychological integrity and self-worth than some miraculous hundred grand showing up in the Clinton cookie jar have been to him. His sexist violence strikes at the heart of who she claims to be, and continues to damage her basic sense of security and candidacy. For forty years, a room full of strangers is where the party starts for Bill, and where the messes are made for Hillary. For forty years every time Hillary entered a room full of strangers she had her bucket and mop. A bimbo splatter might be found anywhere. For forty years a room full of strangers, interacting in an unscripted moment, has been Hillary’s worst nightmare.

And needless to say, Hillary is tied to Bill because of his administration’s policies — “Hillary Clinton in 2002: Yes to Taking Out Saddam Hussein, No to Gay Marriage.” I wonder if any on the left remember back as far as 1998?

Related: And speaking of full circle, “Bill Clinton wipes tears from his eyes and hails Oklahoma as ‘an example for the world’ on 20th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing.” But in order to position herself for 2016, Hillary cheerfully went to work for a president whose entry into politics began in the living room of the man who bombed the Pentagon.

* Of course, that depends on how extensive the exo-skeletal network is; for the sake of argument, I’m willing to assume there’s a least a human brain connected to all the titanium gears and circuitry.

Trigger Warning

April 19th, 2015 - 10:59 am

“Granny Get Your Gun,” shouts Maureen Dowd in her latest column — two guesses as to the identity of the granny she’s referring to.

I await the condemnations from CNN, the National Journal and MSNBC for the violent eliminationist rhetoric contained within MoDo’s headline.

And I can’t wait to read Paul Krugman rail against such language appearing in his own newspaper.

(Oh right — for Democrats, the party motto is always, “it’s different when we do it.”)

Related: Speaking of flashbacks to the left’s McCarthy-meets-Orwell wilding phase in early 2011, “Will there be a National Conversation after environmentalist shoots energy worker?”

 

Quote of the Day

April 18th, 2015 - 4:30 pm

We are masters of our character, choosing what we will stand for in this life. Veterans today have had a unique privilege, that of having seen the tenacious spirit of our lads, like those young grunts preparing for a patrol by loosely wrapping tourniquets on their limbs so they could swiftly stop their own bleeding if their legs were blown off. Yet day after day they stoically patrolled. Adversity, we are told, reveals a man to himself, and young patriots coming home from such patrols are worth more than gold, for nothing they face can ever again be that tough.

Now, most of us lost friends, the best of friends, and we learned that war’s glory lay only in them—there is no other glory in warfare. They were friends who proved their manhood at age 18, before they could legally drink a beer. They were young men and women taking responsibility for their own actions, never playing the victim card. Rather, they took responsibility for their own reaction to adversity.

This was something that we once took for granted in ourselves and in our buddies, units where teenagers naturally stood tall, and we counted on each other. Yet it is a characteristic that can seem oddly vacant in our post-military society, where victimhood often seems to be celebrated. We found in the ranks that we were all coequal, general or private, admiral or seaman. We were equally committed to the mission and to one another, a thought captured by Gen. Robert E. Lee, saying his spirit bled each time one of his men fell.

Looking back over my own service, I realize now how fortunate I was to experience all this and the many riotous excursions I had when I was privileged to march or fight beside you. And a question comes to mind: What can I do to repay our country for the privilege of learning things that only you in this room could have taught me? For today I feel sorry for those who were not there with us when trouble loomed. I sometimes wonder how to embrace those who were not with us, those who were not so fortunate to discover what we were privileged to learn when we were receiving our Masters and Ph.D.s in how to live life, and gaining the understanding and appreciation of small things that we would otherwise have never known.

“The Meaning of Their Service,” Gen. James N. Mattis, “a retired four-star Marine Corps general on the clarifying effect of combat experience, the poison of cynicism and how veterans can help revive American optimism,” adapted by the Wall Street Journal from his speech to “the fourth annual salute to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco on April 16.”

Read the whole thing.

As spotted by Ace:

 

Unexpectedly.

Update:
Of course, it’s not like some masses need outside help to hasten their extinction.

boing_boing_transphobic_cat_4-17-15-1

Alternate Headline? Confirmed: the left has no humor, and is eager to devour its own at the slightest opportunity.

The left-leaning Boing Boing site actually tweets something funny — and the outrage mob, always on hair-trigger alert, always sweeping the airwaves and the Interwebs Bletchley Park-style in search of something to force them first to the fainting couches and then to the barricades, swings into action.

And Boing Boing crumples like a cheap suit in response, whining, “We’re sorry for this offensive tweet. Its transphobia was unintentional, but the hurt it caused is our responsibility.”

Mencken — and Charlie Hebdo and the late Christopher Hitchens — weeps. That’s one brave stance, fellas. Of course, the fact that the Wrong People laughed at the original tweet in the first place made things ultra-problematic for the site. So naturally, to get back into the good graces of their core audiences, they insult those who defended them:

boing_boing_transphobic_cat_meltdown_4-17-15-1

Kevin W. Glass of the Franklin Center tweets that he “couldn’t make a better study of Scott Alexander’s outgroup thesis if I tried.” Alexander describes himself as psychiatrist who gets his “news from vox.com, an Official Liberal Approved Site. Even when I go out to eat, it turns out my favorite restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, is [ranked as] the most liberal restaurant in the United States.” As one of several examples in a lengthy post written last September titled “I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup,” Alexander writes that when Osama bin Laden suffered his fatal case of lead poisoning, “[I] didn’t come out and say I was happy he was dead. But some people interpreted it that way, and there followed a bunch of comments and emails and Facebook messages about how could I possibly be happy about the death of another human being, even if he was a bad person? Everyone, even Osama, is a human being, and we should never rejoice in the death of a fellow man:”

Then a few years later, Margaret Thatcher died. And on my Facebook wall – made of these same “intelligent, reasoned, and thoughtful” people – the most common response was to quote some portion of the song “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead”. Another popular response was to link the videos of British people spontaneously throwing parties in the street, with comments like “I wish I was there so I could join in”. From this exact same group of people, not a single expression of disgust or a “c’mon, guys, we’re all human beings here.”I gently pointed this out at the time, and mostly got a bunch of “yeah, so what?”, combined with links to an article claiming that “the demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous”.

And that was when something clicked for me.

You can talk all you want about Islamophobia, but my friend’s “intelligent, reasoned, and thoughtful people” – her name for the Blue Tribe – can’t get together enough energy to really hate Osama, let alone Muslims in general. We understand that what he did was bad, but it didn’t anger us personally. When he died, we were able to very rationally apply our better nature and our Far Mode beliefs about how it’s never right to be happy about anyone else’s death.

On the other hand, that same group absolutely loathed Thatcher. Most of us (though not all) can agree, if the question is posed explicitly, that Osama was a worse person than Thatcher. But in terms of actual gut feeling? Osama provokes a snap judgment of “flawed human being”, Thatcher a snap judgment of “scum”.

I started this essay by pointing out that, despite what geographical and cultural distance would suggest, the Nazis’ outgroup was not the vastly different Japanese, but the almost-identical German Jews.

And my hypothesis, stated plainly, is that if you’re part of the Blue Tribe, then your outgroup isn’t al-Qaeda, or Muslims, or blacks, or gays, or transpeople, or Jews, or atheists – it’s the Red Tribe.

And as Charles Krauthammer said over a decade ago, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.” Which is why Boing Boing would rather be trapped in PC purgatory with their fellow leftists than know that there’s someone on the right willing to defend them, as this round-up of tweets at Twitchy.com illustrates.

Have fun storming each others’ castles, fellas — as you discover the hard way Jonathan Chait’s recent warning to his fellow leftists that PC was devouring them:

Over a decade ago when he first proposed it, I balked at conservative blogger/book reviewer Orrin Judd’s thesis that “All Comedy is Conservative,” but it’s becoming truer and truer every day. And as John Birmingham in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote on the topic in 2006, “By establishing an exclusion zone around a whole category of topics that are ripe for exploitation by comics because of the very tensions they create, the left abandons the field to the enemy and often confuses itself over just who are its friends and who are its foes.” That sounds like a pretty concise foreshadowing of today’s meltdown by Boing Boing.

But heck, these days, free speech itself is becoming exclusively the purview of conservatives as well.

That’s not likely to end well.

In the meantime, salute!

“The media’s ageist hypocrisy” is explore by Noah Rothman at Hot Air, who notes that “Rubio has so far been able to deftly navigate around the landmines clumsily set by the press on his pathway toward the Republican Party’s presidential nomination:”

Since revealing his candidacy on Monday, Rubio has subjected himself to interviews with news outlets that are probably quite skeptical of Republicans in general, let alone a candidate as unapologetically hawkish as himself. From NPR, to Univision, to a variety of impromptu press gaggles, Rubio’s openness with the media contrasts greatly with Hillary Clinton’s stage managed presence.

Rubio managed to avoid cementing the impression that he is “the candidate of yesterday” on the issue of gay marriage when he told Univision’s Jorge Ramos without hesitation that he would attend the same-sex wedding of a hypothetical loved one. Democrats will find that this response complicates their mission to frame Rubio’s opposition to same-sex marriage as an outgrowth of personal animus toward gays and lesbians.

On Friday, Rubio defused another bomb set by the political press on the matter of his age. Specifically, whether or not he is experienced enough to lead the nation:

Very smart not making the obvious JFK reference, as it would offer a chance for a reporter looking to play the gotcha game to trot out the Lloyd Bentsen versus Quayle quote — though I hope all GOP candidates have their comeback ready, to laugh and reply,  “Actually, Bentsen didn’t know JFK very well, they weren’t friends, and it was simply a cheap shot to score debating points, just as you’re trying to do now, [Insert name of DNC-MSM interviewer here].”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that others can’t make the comparison for him, as both Charles Krauthammer, and Roger L. Simon, our own Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus, did earlier this week.

Does There Have To Be a Winner?

April 17th, 2015 - 11:45 am

The obligatory link to Britt McHenry and “The obligatory ‘ESPN reporter acts like an A-hole to parking attendant’ clip,” as Allahpundit described it yesterday at Hot Air:

1. She really is very nasty to the attendant. Sample quote: “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”

2. The video’s carefully and conveniently clipped so that you can’t hear what the attendant says.

3. There’s reason to believe that extreme upset at this particular towing company is justified, even if the personal nastiness towards the attendant is not.

4. As I write this, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, an online mob is forming to ensure that McHenry receives her Comeuppance. And odds are very, very good that that Comeuppance will be even nastier than McHenry herself was. I could write more about that but you’re better off reading this pitch-perfect Clickhole parody of outrage mobs instead. Says Lachlan Markay, “The Internet: defining people by their worst moments since 1996.”

To sate the mob, McHenry has been suspended by ESPN for a week, though as Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon, “You’ll note that we haven’t seen an unedited version of the interaction between McHenry and the woman she so colorfully insulted. Gee. Odd. I wonder why that is.”

Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard knows.  He describes himself as being on “#TeamBritt” if only because of how awful the sort of company who towed McHenry’s car likely is:

A couple weeks later, the company started towing another car from the HOA lot, which also had a properly displayed sticker. But this time the owner came out and confronted the tow-truck diver as he was in the act. The guy refused to put the car down–he insisted that “company policy” dictated that once a car was hitched to the truck, it could not be released for any reason. They nearly came to blows; fortunately someone had called the cops and the police showed up and forced the tow-truck driver to release the car, telling him that was he was doing was essentially stealing.

Our HOA killed the towing contract at our next meeting.

So maybe Britt McHenry was being unwarrantedly abusive and vile. Or maybe she was responding to some deeply unpleasant people who had caused her material harm with total impunity.

But the Internet outrage mob must be fed! All of the Pavlovian elements are here: Young attractive pampered television journalist shouting the worst insults to a clerk earning much less for her efforts and likely working much harder (no matter how loathsome her employers might be). But wait:

 

 

Naturally, the pitiful leftwing shell of a publication that once was the Atlantic and more recently home of the infamous pro-Scientology infomercial, sides with both the Internet mob and “the Upsides of a Surveillance Society.” No, really:

Yes, there are panoptical elements to all that. Yes, we should seriously consider—and debate, and perhaps even fear—what those elements will do to us, as a messy human collective. But one of the positive aspects of the presence of all those cameras—all these devices, there to capture not just our beautiful children and our sumptuous meals, but also our worst and pettiest and most immoral moments—is a basic one: Terrible behavior, whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power.

Which can, again, be a bad thing—but which can also, in McHenry’s case, be an extremely beneficial one. It’s good that her behavior has been exposed. It’s good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It’s good that she has publicly promised “to learn from this mistake.” Britt McHenry is “in the news,” she scoffed to a service worker a couple of weeks ago. Now she’s in the news in another way. And that’s because of a thing that doesn’t discriminate between the thin and the fat, the rich and the poor, the famous and the anonymous, the kind and the cruel: a well-placed camera.

Break out the Victory Gin and say cheers to the two-way telescreen: Like Winston Smith, at long last, a journalist finally learns to love Big Brother. At least until he’s got an (R) after his name.

Obligatory Allahpundit-style exit quote:

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 17, 2015

Update:

 

Don’t Ever Change Old Media, Part Deux

April 16th, 2015 - 10:02 pm

Merely a semi-ironic updating of this old chestnut, a button worn by a Washington Post/Newsweek employee at the 1992 Republican Convention that said “Yeah, I’m With the Media. Screw You:”

Don’t Ever Change, Old Media

April 16th, 2015 - 1:40 pm

“If a reporter and his newspaper know in advance — months in advance, as it turns out — that a man intended to undertake a stunt that could sow panic in the nation’s capital, are they obligated to alert law-enforcement authorities? And should they be faulted for not doing so until the last minute?,” Paul Farhi asks at the Washington Post regarding the Tampa Bay Times and proverbial “Florida Man” Doug Hughes.

Farhi writes that the Tampa Bay paper interviewed the professional mailman/amateur pilot last summer, who told them “he planned to breach restricted airspace and fly a small craft called a gyrocopter onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to call attention to the need for campaign finance reform.” Since that’s long been a lefty talking point, Hughes’ stunt is being treated as a happy funtime lightweight joke by the Post, the Tampa Bay Times, and other newspapers. Of course, if someone on the right had tried a similar reckless flight, the MSM’s outrage meters would universally be red-lined to Defcon One, and we’d be reminded of the potential for post-9/11 DC to go into lockdown mode and/or the risk of Hughes being shot out of the sky and/or killing someone if he crashed.

The Post’s Farhi writes:

Given the potential for chaos, however, the question is whether the paper should have done more, such as calling the Secret Service days in advance to alert officials that Hughes planned to enter restricted airspace with his one-man flying machine.

“We spent hours and hours talking about the ethics of this,” said Montgomery, who first encountered Hughes when the postal worker called him at work and told him his plans. “Ultimately, we felt comfortable that he was on the authorities’ radar and that he was not homicidal or suicidal. He had his plan down to a T. Is it our job to call attention to it?”

Actually, yes, say media ethicists.

“A news organization should be extremely knowledgeable of the potential harm” a stunt like this could cause, said Edward Wasserman, dean of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. “I really question their judgment. There is no end of the ways this could have gone wrong.”

* * * * * * *

Nevertheless, the Times made the wrong decision, said Fred Brown, a former longtime chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee. “I think the newspaper had a responsibility to alert authorities” well in advance of Hughes’s takeoff. “There are too many things [the paper] didn’t know. Was he carrying an incendiary device or a weapon? There are many ways to weaponize [the aircraft] or create a danger.”

Wasserman points out that the Times, a recipient of 10 Pulitzer Prizes over the years, benefited from its own inaction: It released its story just as Hughes was making news, ensuring that readers would flock to its Web site to learn more about him. “As a news organization, you can’t be complicit in this,” he said.

C’mon, the Tampa Bay Times was just following the advice of the Old Gods of their profession, such as Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace, who like to think that when it comes to alerting authorities in the effort to potentially save lives, “No, you don’t have higher duty — you’re a reporter:”

Oh, and as for campaign finance reform — you go first, Hillary.

We Came in Peace, for All Humankind

April 16th, 2015 - 12:37 pm

1984_fahrenheit_451_not_how-to-guides_6-1-14-1

Everything’s a Problem, the satirical blog written by Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon, has some fun going into faux-outrage mode over “Calling People ‘Guys,’” and quotes as his “problematic” example, David Gelernter’s March 2008 article in the Weekly Standard on “Feminism and the English Language,” in which Gelernter writes:

How can I teach my students to write decently when the English language has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Academic-Industrial Complex? Our language used to belong to all its speakers and readers and writers. But in the 1970s and ’80s, arrogant ideologues began recasting English into heavy artillery to defend the borders of the New Feminist state. In consequence we have all got used to sentences where puffed-up words like “chairperson” and “humankind” strut and preen, where he-or-she’s keep bashing into surrounding phrases like bumper cars and related deformities blossom like blisters; they are all markers of an epoch-making victory of propaganda over common sense.

We have allowed ideologues to pocket a priceless property and walk away with it. Today, as college students and full-fledged young English teachers emerge from the feminist incubator in which they have spent their whole lives, this victory of brainless ideology is on the brink of becoming institutionalized. If we mean to put things right, we can’t wait much longer.

Our ability to write and read good, clear English connects us to one another and to our common past. The prime rule of writing is to keep it simple, concrete, concise. Shakespeare’s most perfect phrases are miraculously simple and terse. (“Thou art the thing itself.” “A plague o’ both your houses.” “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”) The young Jane Austen is praised by her descendants for having written “pure simple English.” Meanwhile, in everyday prose, a word with useless syllables or a sentence with useless words is a house fancied-up with fake dormers and chimneys. It is ugly and boring and cheap, and impossible to take seriously.

As I said, that was from early 2008. Flash-forward to six years of Hopenchange and the growing influence of the socialist justice warriors, as in this example, as spotted by Kathy Shaidle earlier this week, of a cri de coeur at Medium.com titled “Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice,” written by someone who describes himself as possessing a “liberal heart,” and who “grew up in a liberal town, learned US history from a capital-S Socialist, and/or went to one of the most liberal universities in the country,” but, like Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, apparently thought he’d be devoured last by the revolution:

[M]illennials are grown up now — and they’re angry. As children, they were told that they could be anything, do anything, and that they were special. As adults, they have formed a unique brand of Identity Politics wherein the groups with which one identifies is paramount. With such a strong narrative that focuses on which group one belongs to, there has been an increasing balkanization of identities. In an attempt to be open-minded toward other groups and to address social justice issues through a lens of intersectionality, clear and distinct lines have been drawn between people. One’s words and actions are inextricable from one’s identities. For example: this is not an article, but an article written by a straight, white, middle-class (etc.) male (and for this reason will be discounted by many on account of how my privilege blinds me — more on this later).

* * * * * * * *

The Newspeak of the millennial social justice advocate is an intricately and powerfully designed mechanism that seeks to eradicate and socially criminalize dissent.

Let’s talk about racism. The mantra of the movement is thus: It is impossible to be racist against white people because racism is the equivalent of prejudice and power. Since white people have social and economic institutional power and privilege (in America), those who are racially oppressed cannot be racist toward whites since those who are racially oppressed do not have power.

Why can’t I simply rebut this with a trip to the dictionary? Because this is laughed at by social justice types. The image of a white person walking to the dictionary to define racism is literally a trope at this point because the millennial social justice advocate finds it so entertaining that a dictionary, constructed by those in power for those who speak the language of power, can possibly give an accurate definition of a word. [It's a link to a Website called DiversityInc (sic) titled, "Ask the White Guy: Is the Oxford Dictionary Definition of Racism Too White for You?" -- Ed]

Do you see where I’m going with this? It is now possible to absolve yourself of guilt by working enough academic nuance into a word to fundamentally change it — in your favor.

 

You’re never going to change the mind of someone this far gone; but there are ways to, as a wise president once said, “punch back twice as hard,” which we’ll explore right after the page break.

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And praises Common Core, Sean Davis writes at the Federalist:

During her first official campaign event in Iowa earlier this week, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised Common Core and referred to children’s education as a “non-family enterprise.” Clinton’s controversial statements about education, which were captured by C-SPAN, came in response to a question from a participant about how to offer a quality education throughout the U.S.

Just a reminder that Hillary’s “It Takes a Village” theme from the 1990s is her polite and folksy way of saying that in her socialist worldview, your children belong to the state, not to you.

In other Hillary news, as she likes to say, she’s exceedingly happy to “take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” And/or her own good. Does that include someone else’s handicapped parking spot?

(Perhaps though, owners of personal exoskeleton suits are granted exemptions under the ADA.)

Jackie Robinson, Republican

April 15th, 2015 - 6:49 pm

“On Jackie Robinson Day, Let’s Remember When He Was Fired From the New York Post for Being Too Republican,” Matt Welch writes at Reason. As Kate McMillan likes to say at her Small Dead Animals blog, “I felt a great disturbance in the narrative:”

Today is the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s notorious de facto ban against players having skin tone a shade or two darker than pure Castilian soap. As is the annual tradition, all MLB players today are wearing Robinson’s #42 in homage.

As I (and plenty of others) have long argued, Jackie’s awe-inspiring legend has, if anything, given short shrift to what a colossally competitive, accomplished, and complicated man he really was. He has as good a claim as anyone else at being the best all-around athlete of the 20th century (he was also a national champion long jumper, league champion collegiate basketball scorer, and All-American halfback at UCLA). He was a prolific if underappreciated author. A passionate and righteously angry civil rights activist. A banker/entrepreneur, active Rockefeller Republican, and the first black columnist for a major non-black newspaper, The New York Post. Which fired him for being too pro-Nixon.* [16 years before Rupert Murdoch bought the paper and it was still left-leaning -- Ed]

Wait, what?

Read the whole thing.

* Oh sure. Next you’re going to tell me that Nixon campaigned for civil rights for all in 1960, reminding voters that “the whole world is watching us,” going on to earn “more of the black vote — 32% in his 1960 loss to John F. Kennedy — than any GOP nominee of the past half-century,” and that once elected president eight years later, the first black guest to sleep in the White House was during his administration.

My, what big airbrushes the left has.

Exit quote, from Robinson himself:

No one will ever convince me that the Post acted in an honest manner. I believe the simple truth is that they became somewhat alarmed when they realized that I really meant to write what I believed. There is a peculiar parallel between some of our great Northern “liberals” and some of our outstanding Southern liberals.

Some of the people in both classes share the deep-seated convictions that only their convictions can possibly be the right ones. They both inevitably say the same thing: “We know the Negro and what is best for him.”

Some things never change.

Günter Grass and the Dark Night of Fascism

April 15th, 2015 - 4:29 pm

“Günter Grass Dies, Press Mourns Ex-SS Member,” Ben Shapiro writes at Big Journalism:

On Monday, German novelist, Nobel Prize winner, and former Waffen-SS Nazi, Günter Grass died in Lubeck, Germany, at the age of 87. The press mourned his passing.

The New York Times tried to make excuses for the fact that Grass hid his involvement with the Waffen-SS for some six decades before finally revealing that fact:

Mr. Grass was hardly the only member of his generation who obscured the facts of his wartime life. But because he was a pre-eminent public intellectual who had pushed Germans to confront the ugly aspects of their history, his confession that he had falsified his own biography shocked readers and led some to view his life’s work in a different light.

Actually, his confession only shocked those who considered him a moral authority in the first place—and they still didn’t find his confession shocking enough to stop seeing him as a moral authority. In 2012, Grass published a poem called “What Must Be Said,” which reads like a screed against the Jews who wanted to strike the Iranian nuclear program:

It’s a disgusting poem, in which Grass backhandedly argues for Iran to finish the job he and his cohorts started. As Shapiro notes:

Grass won the Nobel Prize in 1999, with the Prize Committee explaining that he had fully fulfilled “the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them.”

He waited another seven years to explain that he had been a full-fledged Nazi. After lecturing people for decades about how Nazism could only have been prevented by the death of capitalism and nationalism, it turns out that the great human rights activist had fought alongside the most brutal elements of the Nazi regime. But the Times writes:

Mr. Grass’s defenders argued that his social and political influence had forced Germany to face its Nazi past and atone for it. He might not have been able to play that role, they said, if he had been forthright about his background.

Shapiro sums up the opportunistic arc of Grass’s life:

When Nazism was popular, Grass was with it. When it lost, he transmuted that loss into a career lecturing people about the threats of Nazism, while fighting on behalf of anti-Western powers. Finally, he entered the realm of moral relativism, where he likened the Nazis to the Jews. Grass was no moral hero. He was merely a convenient object of worship for the post-Nazi left.

Grass plays a small role in Tom Wolfe’s 1976 essay, “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide To America,” reprinted in his 1982 anthology The Purple Decades, available on the Kindle and an essential introduction to both Wolfe’s early nonfiction, and life in America in the crazed ’60s and ’70s, which today often reads stranger than fiction. Wolfe uses a statement from Grass as a springboard for the saying he helped enter into widespread distribution: “The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” The two men shared the stage at a ruckus 1965 panel at Princeton University, dominated both on the panel and in the audience by paranoid lefties convinced that fellow Democrat Lyndon Johnson was the new fascistic boogieman*, including Allen Ginsberg and Merry Prankster Paul Krassner, about whom Wolfe notes:

The next thing I knew, the discussion was onto the subject of fascism in America. Everybody was talking about police repression and the anxiety and paranoia as good folks waited for the knock on the door and the descent of the knout on the nape of the neck. I couldn’t make any sense out of it. I had just made a tour of the country to write a series called “The New Life Out There” for New York magazine. This was the mid-1960’s. The post-World War II boom had by now pumped money into every level of the population on a scale unparalleled in any nation in history. Not only that, the folks were running wilder and freer than any people in history. For that matter, Krassner himself, in one of the strokes of exuberance for which he was well known, was soon to publish a slight hoax: an account of how Lyndon Johnson was so overjoyed about becoming President that he had buggered a wound in the neck of John F. Kennedy on Air Force One as Kennedy’s body was being flown back from Dallas. Krassner presented this as a suppressed chapter from William Manchester’s book Death of a President. Johnson, of course, was still President when it came out. Yet the merciless gestapo dragnet missed Krassner, who cleverly hid out onstage at Princeton on Saturday nights.

Suddenly I heard myself blurting out over my microphone: “My God, what are you talking about? We’re in the middle of a … Happiness Explosion!”

That merely sounded idiotic. The kid up in the balcony did the crying baby. The kid down below did the raccoon … Krakatoa, East of Java … I disappeared in a tidal wave of rude sounds … Back to the goon squads, search-and-seize and roust-a-daddy …

Support came from a quarter I hadn’t counted on. It was Grass, speaking in English.

“For the past hour I have my eyes fixed on the doors here,” he said. “You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they come through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow.”

Grass was enjoying himself for the first time all evening. He was not simply saying, “You really don’t have so much to worry about.” He was indulging his sense of the absurd. He was saying: “You American intellectuals—you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!”

He sounded like Jean-François Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

That quote from Grass takes on new meaning when you ponder that as a former SS man, literally or figuratively, he was one of those kicking down the doors long ago.

* Johnson’s strangely exotic accent and manners were likely all that was needed to throw these early pioneers of tolerance and multiculturalism into fits of cognitive dissonance.

Shot:

The cultural gap between those who vote in the Republican presidential primaries and those who cover the candidates in those primaries is now a chasm.

One by one, the media covering the Republican presidential candidates attach some quickly assembled defining flaw to each candidate: “Rand Paul has a temper problem with the media”; “Ted Cruz is an unelectable extremist”; “Scott Walker’s lack of a completed college degree is likely to be a major problem.”

All of these flaws are in the eye of the media beholder. Ordinary Americans don’t particularly care if Rand Paul is brusque with interviewers; they have a low opinion of journalists already. Ted Cruz’s ideas are much less “extreme” outside of newsrooms. And only about one-third of Americans have a bachelor’s degree, making Scott Walker closer to the “average American” than everyone else in the field.

A lot of members of the media who are covering the GOP presidential candidates have exceptionally little in common with the voters who will select the Republican nominee. Thus, when the Republican candidates make their pitch to grassroots conservatives, the hot-take instant analysis from the big media voices usually concludes that the pitch was a belly flop. But the GOP candidates aren’t trying to win votes in the New York and D.C. newsrooms, and in a spectacular failure of empathy and understanding, a lot of reporters simply can’t grasp the hopes, fears, and priorities of GOP-leaning voters in places like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina . . . and Tennessee. [Site of last week's NRA convention in Nashville, which Geraghty attended -- Ed]

“The Skewed View of America Inside the Progressive Bubble,” Jim Geraghty, National Review Online, Monday.

Chaser:

I’ve been saying for years that people “should read the newspaper upside down” — that is, if they want to know the untold story, they should read the comments beneath online newspaper pieces.

The contrast between the elite liberal worldview of the paper, and that of the everyman reader below, is hilariously revealing. Occasionally, commenters provide both eye witness accounts, clarifications, contrary statistics — and a healthy dose of “ohferchrissakes” irritation at the latest pieties.

Now, do I think turning these comments into Important News Stories is lazy, agenda-driven and comical? Yes, but so is most of what “newspapers” do anyhow, and always have.

Those comments — and the tweets on “Black Twitter” and the crazy conversations over at World Star Hiphop or the smart ones at Reddit, mean _something_.

—Regular PJM contributor Kathy Shaidle, at her Five Feet of Fury blog, today.

Hangover: Last year, Michelle Fields interviewed young MSM-cocooned low-information Hillary supporters for PJTV. As the Internet cliche goes, “you won’t believe!!!” what one student says is Hillary’s biggest accomplishment:

Ambassador Chris Stevens could not be reached for comment.

Best. Code. Ever!

April 15th, 2015 - 12:01 pm

Some timely music from Reason TV’s Remy. Sample lyrics:

And we’ll dance all night, it’s the best code ever
Some folks pay a lot, others they pay never
And you’ll get tax breaks if you’re really clever
It’ll take so long, it’s the best code ever
They’ll be like “oh, oh no”
We’ll be like “yeah, yeah, yeah.”
We’ll be like “awww.”

You may have heard that all your info
on our systems can be hacked with ease
But rest assured if they don’t get them
they’ll be in the care of folks like these
Yes historians will all agree
among the greatest works in history

Note to the Washington Post and the L.A. Times, which are doing their best this month to restore the IRS’s already sullen reputation (good luck with that), he means it ironically.

“Pitiful: Al Sharpton can’t even get a hunger strike right,” Noah Rothman writes at Hot Air:

It is perfectly appropriate that those who are cheapening the moral authority of the hunger strike by invoking it in order to force the Senate to move forward with Loretta Lynch’s stalled nomination are also failing to even commit fully to the practice.

MSNBC host, political agitator, and noted tax evader Rev. Al Sharpton is organizing a hunger strike, “along with female civil rights leaders,” to compel the U.S. Senate to confirm Lynch as the next attorney general. They’re calling it the “Confirm Loretta Lynch Fast.”

“[T]he new tactic is designed in the mold of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi and Cesar Chavez, organizers said,” a Politico report read. And that’s true, with one tiny exception: Those civil rights leaders actually starved themselves in a display of civil disobedience. Fortunately for them, modern day civil rights activists are not held to such a rigorous and inconvenient standard. According to Politico, “fasters will alternate days abstaining from food until Lynch is confirmed to replace Eric Holder at the Justice Department.”

It’s the return of the rolling hunger strike! We’ve seen this goofy tactic before, haven’t we? On the Fourth of July in 2006, then-Democrat mascot Cindy Sheehan (remember her?) staged an anti-Bush protest involving a few equally preening Hollywood friends, as Agence France-Presse reported at the time:

Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a ‘rolling” fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.

As I wrote in response, I was so moved by their efforts, “I’m going on my own personal thrice-daily rolling hunger strike. That’s right: rather than just one random hunger strike once a year, I’ll eschew all solid foods from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM. And from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM. And then just to really stick it to the war-mongering imperialists, I’ll fast from 6:00 PM until 8:00 AM the following day.”

And I’m prepared to do the same every day once again, no matter what happens to the would-be attorney general. Fight the power, err, in this case, for the power, man!

Update: “I would be remiss, by the way, if I did not note that there’s a simple way to get Lynch’s nomination to go forward,” Moe Lane writes in response to Sharpton’s “hunger” “strike:”

Democrats can stop filibustering that anti-human trafficking bill that they’ve been blocking. Once that happens, business can continue. Of course, doing that may mean that fewer minority babies end up being aborted, but the Democratic party leadership can’t have everything that they want.

Meanwhile, Twitchy looks for synergy: “Imagine the weight loss if these hunger strikers would join forces with Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign!”

Perhaps Weight Watchers and/or Gwyneth Paltrow should also get onboard. Or maybe Jamba Juice.

Today on MSNBC-DNC, “President Barack Obama’s top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, went around the table and kissed reporters before an interview this morning on MNSBC’s Morning Joe. The moment was briefly captured on live television before the network cut away to a commercial break,” Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard:

Jarrett’s first step is toward the BBC’s Katty Kay. “Hi, there,” Jarrett’s heard whispering as she leans in for a hug and kiss. Kay is “Anchor for BBC World News America in Washington.”

Then the senior White House adviser just as warmly greets Cokie Roberts, a National Public Radio contirbutor.

As the segment heads toward a commercial break, host Joe Scarborough can be heard saying, “Valerie, come give me a hug.”

As the Obama administration enters into its twilight phase (and yes, it feels so good to type those words), it’s nice to see their relationship with their close-circuit talking points distribution system ending the same way it began. Recall that during the administration’s first year when Morning Joe — which holds itself out as being co-hosted by MSNBC’s token Republican — read a memo on air “correcting” a segment immediately after it had been emailed to the show by the Obama White House. Who knows — perhaps by Valerie herself?

Back in 2009, Fox News’ revelations led to disgraced Obama “Green” “Czar” Van Jose given his walking papers by the White House for harboring, as Brit Hume said at the time, “views that were out there where the buses don’t run.” Hume responded to the administration’s boilerplate attacks on Fox by asking, “One wonders how our colleagues at CNN and elsewhere like being patted on the head and given the seal of approval by the White House.”

Forward! We’ve progressed in the last six years from head pats to pecks on the cheek. But it’s not like we weren’t warned in 2008 that Democrats with and without bylines shared a mutual lovefest:

And the love goes on as we’ve seen, with DNC stenographers lapping up Hillary’s prefabricated “Scooby Do” tour of mid-priced Mexican-themed chain restaurants in the American midwest:

They could kiss themselves over how good.