Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

Muggeridge's Law

Science! “Conservatives and liberals smell different,” The Week claims:

A new study from the American Journal of Political Science indicates that different political affiliations may actually correspond with different body odors.

The researchers, led by Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott, found that conservatives and liberals smell dissimilar. While the difference is small, it is apparently significant enough that we subconsciously prefer the scent of those who vote like we do. “It appears nature stacks the deck to make politically similar partners more attractive to each other in unconscious ways,” the researchers wrote.

Conservatives and liberals smell different? I just can’t see it smell it myself:

Quote of the Day

September 15th, 2014 - 8:55 pm

Mic drop.

Tin Soldiers and Urban Outfitters’ Coming

September 15th, 2014 - 8:00 pm

Shot:

 

Chaser:

altamont_small

Not surprisingly, when it comes to epatering les bourgeois — and not issuing a mealy-mouthed apology afterwards — Kathy Shaidle did it better and first, five years ago.

But then, the collective pop culture history of both events is very, very wrong:

“Of Kent State’s Brick-Throwing Pacifists.”

“Altamont: When the Hippies Were Expelled From the Garden”

Exit tweet:

Exit question: Still think the early 1970s were fun, kids?

Update (9/16/14): “Alas, I can’t take credit for that brilliant ‘ALTAMONT’ t-shirt,” Kathy writes today; noting that it was created by the artists at the Hollywood Loser T-shirt Website. I think she certainly helped to popularize it, though.

Our Global Consultant In Chief

September 15th, 2014 - 7:27 pm

Jim Geraghty asks, “Why Is Our President Thinking About What He Would Tell ISIS if He Were Advising Them?”

Notice Obama’s assessment presumes ISIS wants to avoid a U.S. military intervention. Is this a manifestation of the mirroring effect, where Obama projects its own values and priorities onto its foes? (Think about how often he insists publicly that seizing Crimea and moving into Ukraine isn’t in Russia’s interest, or that bellicose or provocative actions on the part of Iran aren’t in that country’s interest.) ISIS appears to want to send the message, far and wide, that they don’t fear a clash with the U.S. military. Perhaps they want to demonstrate that they can commit horrific crimes against American civilians with no serious repercussion. Maybe they think God wants them to do this. Maybe they’re nuts! In the end, the “why” matters less than the “what.”

Viewed from another angle, President Obama’s comment sounds like a complaint. If ISIS hadn’t beheaded Americans, there wouldn’t be such widespread demand for action against ISIS in the American public.

“If I were advising ISIS…”

Well, you’re not, Mr. President. What, are you looking for another job? Some sort of freelance consulting gig on the job, when you clock out as Commander-in-Chief?

As Geraghty asks, “Are we about to learn what happens when the United States goes to war with a commander-in-chief who doesn’t really want to go to war? A president who’s ordering a particular military action because he feels he has to in order to placate public opinion, but that he has deep doubts about? How can that possibly turn out well?”

Wow — relax, Jim. After the stunning successes of the Stimulus, the GM bailout, diplomacy with Russia, Obamacare, Benghazi, Syria, and Obama’s previous efforts in Iraq, what could possibly go wrong? Failure is so not an option, it’s not even being anticipated!

Related: Of course, if something does go wrong and it impacts Mr. Obama’s approval ratings, the MSM will be quick to inform its viewers, right?

Everybody says so. Everybody. But with so much on the line, who are all those mystical sprites and gnomes who are constantly confounding the pathways between his brain and vocal cords, and forestalling the former president’s immense efforts to be clear?

Speaking of hoary old MSM cliches, it will be fun in 2016 to be constantly told by the MSM that “this is the most important election of our lifetime” — by so many people who got the last two most important elections in our lifetime so wrong.

No Doubt Running on Windows ’39

September 15th, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

 


Of course, if you’d like to buy a tank or other armored surplus military vehicle for yourself, a payment plan can be worked out; they’re not just for heavily-armed school districts anymore.

With headlines like “Obama’s Scariest ISIS Comment Yet: ‘I’m Not Going to Anticipate Failure’” — even the Obama fanboys at the New Republic are beginning to catch on to the SCOAMF-y-esque* nature of our recently retired former president:

Over the past month, President Obama has weathered frequent criticism for his comments about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Most notable was his “gaffe” on August 28 when he said, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” Two weeks later, the president announced a plan to strike ISIS in Syria and provide military aid to moderate rebels. But those days in between were a devastating blow to our place in the world. Or, you know, maybe Washington pundits were overstating the significance of Obama’s comments.

In fact, though, Obama did make a serious error on ISIS recently. They weren’t public comments and they didn’t garner huge coverage, but they represent a dangerous mindset as the country embarks on another multi-year military engagement in the Middle East.

President Obama made the comment in a private, off-the-record meeting with a select group of journalists before his prime-time speech last week. On Sunday, Peter Baker, who was not at the meeting, reported in the New York Times about what was said there. Among other things, Obama was reportedly asked how he would adjust his strategy if his new plan proved unsuccessful. “I’m not going to anticipate failure at this point,” Obama responded, according to Baker’s report.

We’ve seen this movie before, haven’t we? Why, yes we have:

When the tech geeks raised concerns about their ability to deliver the website on time, they are reported to have been told “Failure is not an option.” Unfortunately, this is what happens when you say “failure is not an option”: You don’t develop backup plans, which means that your failure may turn into a disaster.

That’s from former Obama supporter Megan McArdle’s piece at Bloomberg (unexpectedly!) View on Obamacare last year titled, “Hope Is All Obamacare Has Left.”

In the 1920s and 1930s, as the “Progressive” socialists who had followed Woodrow Wilson into transforming America into a socialist state blanched at America’s return to normalcy, “We planned in war” became the rallying cry that led to the New Deal, staffed with Wilson-era retreads, who saw the New Deal as “The Moral Equivalent of War,” albeit in peacetime.

Gee, that worked out swell for everyone, didn’t it? See also, the busted flush of the “Stimulus” program, aka Obama later discovering that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” and the Obamacare meltdown, with the former president reduced to muttering, “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy,” and “One of the things the federal government does not do well is information technology procurement.”

But if you’re going to plan for a real battle, and not the moral equivalent thereof, having a contingency plan for what to do if things go completely pear-shaped is usually a good idea. Fortunately though, as past performance on the “Stimulus,” Iraq, and Obamacare each indicates, our current president is far too smart to let that ever happen:

* Sorry Ace.

“That awkward moment when the President of the United States pretends he’s an ISIS terrorist:”

Moe Lane brilliantly juxtaposed that tweet with this reminder of Barry’s galaxy-sized hubris from Iowahawk:

Another Twitter user questions the timing:

As Moe writes, “:rubbing head in hands: Please make President Barack Obama stop talking, OK, Democrats?” Maybe Obama could simply write ISIS a nice letter. That worked so well for Lyndon Johnson

Update: Meanwhile, in what is perhaps a much more difficult role to game out, former President Obama is also pretending what it’s like to be former President Bush, Ann Althouse writes today:

Another way to put that is: Obama feels like George Bush, yet he must not be George Bush. Obama feels compelled to go to war in Iraq, but it must not be the same as what George Bush did. So he’s grasping at distinctions: 1. He’s taking it more slowly, being deliberate, and thoughtful. (Remember: Bush had no brain and was a cowboy.) 2. He doing it all from the air, so lofty and elevated. (Remember: Bush put boots on the ground. Ugh! Boots, so brutal! The ground, so lowly and filthy!)

“This will be a problem for the next president,” Mr. Obama said ruefully…

Ruefully…. see? Obama is not like Bush, he and his friends in the press are desperate to have you know. I’ve long seen “ruefully” an absurd adverbial boost to the good old verb “said.” (Ask my ex-husband, the novelist, who I don’t think ever used “ruefully” again after that one time I pointed it out, though I adopted “he said ruefully” to add punch to subsequent conversations. By the way, one of Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules for writers was: “Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.” I’d add: Especially not “ruefully.”)

Of course, some reporters are much more desperate than others to remind their readers — perhaps themselves — that Obama isn’t his evil, scary, warmongering Texas predecessor, even if takes Orwellian Ministry of Truth-level airbrushing of history to do so.

That’s a lie worthy of Jay Carney’s career as a journalist — somebody’s clearly angling to be the next press secretary for Mr. Obama.

‘Where Have All the Anti-War Protestors Gone?’

September 13th, 2014 - 10:51 pm

springsteen_missing_milk_carton_9-7-13-3

“Gee — could it be that the anti-war movement is just another partisan creation of the Democratic party? Looks that way,” Rick Moran concludes at the American Thinker:

Apparently, the far left believes that as long as Obama’s heart is in the right place, all else can be forgiven.

The grand dame of liberal commentary magazines — The Nation — is opposing the expansion of the war in Iraq, but in the most mild terms you can imagine. No calls to bring the president up on war crimes. No calls for impeachment for going to war without authorization. The rhetoric is rueful and disappointed rather than righteous and indignant.

In fact, the protests held to date have not been against the administration, but rather “racism” or “police brutality.” You can bet if Ferguson occurred six years ago, there would have been loud and vociferous calls for the resignation of President Bush’s attorney general, among others.

With no lefty media calling for protests, there probably won’t be any. Even the anarchists and commies are silent. It’s a phenomenon that proves the shocking level of hypocrisy and partisanship inherent in any leftist protest movement, but especially the anti-war crowd.

Oh, I don’t know — the protests this weekend were rather dramatic in their size and scope:

Perhaps the protestors are going the John & Yoko bed-in route. But hey, to borrow from the rhetoric of John Winston Ono Lennon, War is Over, If You Want It.

“On CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” Twitchy notes that “former NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden expanded on his comment to U.S. News and World Report that ‘The reliance on air power has all of the attraction of casual sex: It seems to offer gratification but with very little commitment:’”

While President Obama’s primetime address to the nation Wednesday night was intended for the American public, “there are other audiences – our allies and our enemies. They view that as limiting our commitment to this enterprise … (and) limited enthusiasm on the part of our allies to take up the role we said we would refuse to do,” said Hayden.

So, is “casual sex” a valid metaphor for airstrikes? Yes or no?

So just to review, we now have a real-life (former) Air Force general using a sex-related aviation metaphor that’s straight out of Dr. Strangelove. It took half a century, but at last, Muggeridge’s Law, which posits that no satirist can compete with reality for its pure absurdity, at long last catches up with Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern:

Well, the war as sexual metaphor part. The end of the world at (SPOILER ALERT!) the conclusion of Dr. Strangelove hasn’t happened yet, but former President Obama — who makes Peter Sellers’ President Merkin Muffley* seem like a font of Eisenhower-esque rationality and grace under pressure — still has a year and a half to go in office.

* To say nothing of how good Mr. Obama makes Peter Sellers’ Chance the Gardener look in comparison.

Tom Maguire on a Pivot Too Far:

“The Times noted that our Arab allies seem a bit tentative. No kidding – Obama and Kerry were wrong about the surge in ’07, wrong about the Iraqi troop withdrawals in ’11, wrong to walk away from post-Qadaffi Libya in ’11, wrong not to arm the moderate Syrian rebels in ’11, wrong to draw a faux red line in 2013, and now no one will get behind him? The headless chickens have come home to roost.”

WELL, YES: “How do you ask a man to be the first man to die for a mistake?” – Kerry, any day now.

To paraphrase the quote on war invariably attributed to Trotsky, you may not be interested in reality, but eventually, reality is interested in you. Speaking of which, with the Obama fanboys at the New York Times now reduced to running a column this week titled, “The Grand Strategy Obama Needs,” as Steve Green notes, “keep in mind that in Year Six of this administration, people still feel the need to remind the President that a strategy might be a nice thing to have.”

From a Command Economy to a Command Reality

September 12th, 2014 - 1:24 pm

“Democratic thinking [typically unfolds] in three stages,” Jeff Bergner writes in “The Party of Reason?” at the Weekly Standard:

1) Policy is predicated on reality as one wishes it to be, not as it is. (2) That policy fails. And (3) its advocates explain the failure by demonizing their opponents. The demonization of political opponents to cover policy failures is an all too reliable indicator that the policies rest on unsound, anti-scientific, irrational foundations.

As Bergner concludes:

Because the left wishes to eliminate poverty by redistribution, it assumes reality can be made to conform. Because it judges fossil fuels bad, they must be allowed no future. Because it insists on human causation for global warming, dissenters must be hounded. Because the left favors unrestricted access to abortion, a woman’s right to choose must be enshrined.

The words of today’s political left are much like ancient incantations. They are magic. But there is one difference: Ancient incantations reflected an underlying belief in an external world that was difficult to control, a world in which humans had at best a modest measure of influence.

Liberals have long favored the notion of a command economy; today they operate in nothing less than a command reality. For the modern liberal, we humans have the power to deconstruct and reconstruct reality as we please. In this brave new world, words are all that is required for a new reality to leap into existence. To speak about an issue is to resolve it. Good intentions suffice. If the results of programs created with good intentions disappoint, it doesn’t matter. Disastrous policy results do not reflect a misunderstanding of reality, but the evil machinations of political opponents.

This of course is not reason; it is hubris. The great power of modern science arises from the understanding that we gain a degree of mastery over natural forces and ourselves only by conforming our thoughts and actions to the nature of reality itself. The incantations of the modern left notwithstanding, reality is not easily bent by words alone.

No, sometimes really devastating magical thinking requires the willing aid of a faux newscaster as well:

“I should’ve anticipated the optics,” the Washington Post quoted Obama saying on Meet the Press this past Sunday:

“Part of this job is also the theater of it,” Obama said, adding that “it’s not something that always comes naturally to me.  But it matters.”

Indeed it does; file this under Example 3,922,627 of What If Bush Had Done This? But fortunately Mr. Obama’s fellow Democrat operatives with bylines are eager to cover for him, Debra Heine wrote yesterday at Breitbart.com:

Not to state the obvious, but as KaBOOM! is a word used to represent loud explosions, wouldn’t they want to leave that logo at home on 9/11 — a day of horrifying loud explosions?

The Washington post kindly left the KaBOOM! logo out of its feelgood description of the Obamas’ visit the school.

As flags flew at half-staff Thursday morning to commemorate the 13th anniversary of 9/11, dozens of volunteers wearing bright purple T-shirts were doing jumping jacks at the Inspired Teaching charter school in the District’s Brookland neighborhood. With feel-good hits playing, the volunteers prepared to build a playground for the school to mark the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

In the early evening, hours after the playground had been built, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrived at the school via motorcade to lend a hand.

The couple helped two students fill “playpacks” with books, chalk and other items, which will be given as birthday gifts to children in a nearby homeless shelter, according to a press pool report. They also helped volunteers put a piece of a climbing structure in place, with the president helping to lift the piece and Michelle Obama securing it with a wrench.

As Heine concludes:

I’m trying to imagine what the First Lady thought when she saw the KaBOOM! logos. I know if it were me, my cheeks would have flushed red, and I would have asked to speak to the person in charge, in private. And with the assembled media in mind, I would have asked who the brainiac was who thought 9/11 was a good day for the president and first lady to be seen stuffing backpacks with KaBOOM!

Which is worse: an administration that’s just trolling us all now, or one that’s so incompetent that its staffers can’t see the strange optics of the president and first lady at an organization named KaBoom! on the anniversary of 9/11?

Have You Seen Me?

September 12th, 2014 - 11:06 am

cindy_sheehan_missing_milk_carton_9-8-14-1

“Where exactly is the anti-war movement?”, Howie Carr asks in the Boston Herald:

Have you see a single “No Blood for Oil” sign in Cambridge?

To paraphrase the John Kerry of 2004: “Can I get me a candlelight vigil here?”

Whatever happened to Cindy Sheehan? Where is Code Pink? I haven’t seen an “EndLESS War” bumper sticker in years, since 2009 to be exact.

The anti-war movement is MIA as this war, er counter­terrorism operation, begins. Back when Bush was waging war, dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Now it’s “racism.” If you speak truth to power in the Obama era, they call it hate speech. The IRS will audit you.

Obama’s media sycophants described his prime-time speech as “nuanced.” I’d call it ragtime.

I thought the moonbats didn’t want the U.S. “going it alone.” You hear that phrase on the networks now about as often as you hear the words “full employment.”

And why is the president so outraged about a couple of beheadings? When a Muslim terrorist yelling “Allahu akbar!” murdered 13 servicemen at Fort Hood, Obama shrugged it off as “workplace violence.”

Now Obama’s suddenly “all wee-wee’ed up” about non-Muslim Muslims murdering Americans.

Flag-draped coffins at Dover AFB are no longer a feature of the nightly news. Remember Wolf Blitzer’s nightly trumpeting of Bush’s plummeting approval ratings?

Now the polls are so bleak for the Kenyan Katastrophe, CNN doesn’t even mention them anymore. I’m surprised they ran the Kerry soundbite even once about how we’re not really at war against SIS, or is it SIL?

Last year, when Bruce Springsteen, Susan Sarandon, and other members of the Hollywood anti-war crowd of the first eight years of the naughts were silent as our jingoistic president and Secretary of State (who by the way, served in Vietnam) thumped the war drums against Syria, I put their faces on milk cartons in an effort to help find them. Earlier this week, someone on Twitter suggested the same for Cindy Sheehan, so I’ve added her above.

Yesterday, Allahpundit asked, “When exactly did President Obama decide that the Bush doctrine is awesome?”, by waging preemptive war in Iraq. What has cased the anti-war left to become nouveau neocons as well? Protestors were silent in early 1960s when Kennedy sent “advisors” to Vietnam, but as Jeffrey Lord noted in the American Spectator a while back, were quickly driven insane by LBJ’s southern drawl. Does that explain why the reverse has happened — GWB’s Texas twang drove them bonkers, but BHO’s poseur preppy baritone is far more soothing? But why were they silent when this Southern president was bombing Iraq?

The Delicate, Nuanced Stylings of Susan Rice

September 11th, 2014 - 4:04 pm

Smart power:

For example, on the edges of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, which took place Sept. 5 and 6, 2013, Washington continued to push for international support of military action as it had been doing ineffectively since late August. In one meeting, Rice pressed the German delegation relentlessly for leadership within the European Union. The Germans sought more time and consultation with other EU member states, frustrating Rice to the point that she lost her cool and reportedly launched into a profanity-filled lecture that featured a rare diplomatic appearance of the word “motherfucker.” Germany’s national security advisor, Christoph Heusgen, was so angered that he told an American confidante it was the worst meeting of his professional life.

(Rice’s bluntness and hot temper have undercut her effectiveness throughout her career. In July 2014, the New Republic reported that she once confronted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas outside the Oval Office, saying, “You Palestinians can never see the fucking big picture.” A U.N. ambassador of one of the world’s major powers told me that he didn’t “understand what she thinks she is achieving by talking to us like a longshoreman.” The brusqueness hasn’t helped with her interpersonal relationships within the administration or with her staff, either. It is a particularly frustrating Achilles’ heel for someone who is well known among her friends as having the capacity to be very warm, humorous, and engaging.)

That last sentence is a cute touch from former Clinton administration official David Rothkopf writing at Foreign Policy isn’t it?

European diplomats loathed the straight-talking Reagan and Bush and were terrified of the thought of Vice President Palin. They longed for someone who could speak in a more nuanced, Belgium-approved tone. Enjoy, EU!

(Via Mark Hemingway.)

Two Administrations in One!

September 9th, 2014 - 4:17 pm

Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

President Obama told congressional leaders in a meeting Tuesday that he has the authority to launch broader attacks against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, downplaying the prospect of a Capitol Hill vote on his military plan ahead of his prime-time address to the nation Wednesday night.

Obama “told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against [the Islamic State] in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow,” the White House said in a readout of the meeting that included Obama, Vice President Joe Biden; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

—”Obama to lawmakers: I don’t need your approval to attack Islamic State,” the Washington Examiner, today.

Huh — it was just a month and a half ago when the Obama administration begged Congress to prevent it from going to war in Iraq:

The Obama administration is calling on Congress to fully repeal the war authorization in Iraq to ensure that no U.S. troops return to the country, which is under siege by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

White House national security adviser Susan Rice petitioned Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a letter Friday to completely repeal the war authorization, officially known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq, or AUMF.

Rice’s letter was sent as Congress just hours before it approved a resolution opposing U.S. military intervention in Iraq, where the terrorist group ISIL claims to have established an Islamic caliphate.

“We believe a more appropriate and timely action for Congress to take is the repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq,” Rice wrote, according to a copy of her letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

“With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the administration fully supports its repeal,” Rice wrote. “Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”

“White House Wants Repeal of Iraq War Authorization: Move could be boon for ISIL terrorism in Iraq,” the Washington Free Beacon, July 25, 2014.

Shades of all of the flip-flopping ultimately signifying nothing on Syria — right around this time last year. (Actually worse than nothing, as it made the administration look feckless in the eyes of Vladimir Putin, who then happily began to gobble up Ukraine.)

When Obama declared ISIS to be the Junior Varsity team at the start of the year, it’s astonishing how much projection was involved.

Update: Welcome those readers clicking from the Drudge Report and Instapundit.com. Please look around; there may be more here which you’ll like.

sexism_everywhere_9-6-14

“Look, liberalism has a kind of Tourette’s Syndrome these days,” George Will told Chris Wallace on Fox New Sunday back in April. “It’s just constantly saying the word racism and racist. It’s an old saying in the law; if you have the law on your side, argue the law. If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have neither, pound the table. This is pounding the table:”

There’s a kind of intellectual poverty now. Liberalism hasn’t had a new idea since the 1960s except ObamaCare and the country doesn’t like it. Foreign policy is a shambles from Russia to Iran to Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And the recovery is unprecedentedly bad. So what do you do? You say anyone criticizes us is a racist. It’s become a joke among young people. You go to a campus where this kind of political correctness reigns and some young person will say looks like it’s going to rain. The person looks and says, you’re a racist. I mean it’s so inappropriate. The constant implication of this is that I think it is becoming a national mirth.

However, the left (there’s nothing “liberal” or “Progressive” about 21st century Democrats) have recently begun to hyper-obsess over a new word and, if you’ll pardon the imagery, are inserting it everywhere:

To borrow from the popular Internet meme featuring Buzz and Woody from Toy Story (which has to be sexist as well, right? Of course it is!) Sexism…Sexism Everywhere!

Back in May, in a post titled “Why Democrats Call Americans Racist,” I wrote:

As in the 2010 midterms, expect the madness from the left to ramp up exponentially between now and November. They’re just getting started.

(And then presumably some time between mid-November and the start of the new year, the left will begin declaring half of America sexist. Unexpectedly.)

The protests in Ferguson, ginned up with the help of outside marchers from across the country, and Al Sharpton, direct from the NBC-Comcast boardroom inside Rockefeller Plaza certainly fit in with the first half of that equation all-too-perfectly. And with that bonfire having fizzled out, it can mean only one thing:

Democrats really are “Ready for Hillary.”

Assuming she wins, is the rest of America ready to be trapped in a 1972-era Mobius Loop in which everything bad in the world will be dubbed sexist for the next four to eight years?

(Which doesn’t mean that the left will cease dubbing everything racist as well, as well, of course.)

Related: As usual Andrew Klavan proffers excellent advice on these topics:

Update: As always, Stacy McCain is asking the important questions concerning the issues that vex us all.

Peggy Noonan has a beautifully written encomium to the late Joan Rivers:

She was a Republican, always a surprising thing in show business, and in a New Yorker, but she was one because, as she would tell you, she worked hard, made her money with great effort, and didn’t feel her profits should be unduly taxed. She once said in an interview that if you have 19 children she will pay for the first four but no more. Mostly she just couldn’t tolerate cant and didn’t respond well to political manipulation. She believed in a strong defense because she was a grown-up and understood the world to be a tough house. She loved Margaret Thatcher, who said what Joan believed: The facts of life are conservative. She didn’t do a lot of politics in her shows—politics divides an audience—but she thought a lot about it and talked about it. She was socially liberal in the sense she wanted everyone to find as many available paths to happiness as possible.

* * * * * * *

I last saw her in July. A friend and I met her for lunch at a restaurant she’d chosen in Los Angeles. It was full of tourists. Everyone at the tables recognized her and called out. She felt she owed her fans everything and never ignored or patronized an admirer. She smiled through every picture with every stranger. She was nice—she asked about their families, where they were from, how they liked it here. They absolutely knew she would treat them well and she absolutely did.

The only people who didn’t recognize Joan were the people who ran the restaurant, who said they didn’t have her reservation and asked us to wait in the bar, where waiters bumped into us as they bustled by. Joan didn’t like that, gave them 10 minutes to get their act together, and when they didn’t she left. But she didn’t just leave. She stood outside on the sidewalk, and as cars full of people went by with people calling out, “Joan! We love you!” she would yell back, “Thank you but don’t go to this restaurant, they’re rude! Boycott this restaurant!” My friend said, “Joan, stop it, you’re going to wind up on TMZ.”

“I don’t care,” she said. She felt she was doing a public service.

As Roger Simon — who once pitched a script to Rivers — noted last night, eventually she did wind up on TMZ, as recently as this past July, when she brilliantly batted back their concern-trolling over the Palestinians:

Her comeback to their reference to Selena Gomez’s take (!!??) on the geopolitical realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was priceless.

Nancy McDermott, a New York-based contributor to England’s Spiked Website asks, “After Joan, who’ll slaughter the sacred cows now?”

Irreverence like Rivers’ has become increasingly rare as comedy has retreated into ideological niches where comics can preach to the choir without giving offence. The political correctness Rivers poked fun at through most of her career has slowly hardened into a climate of conformity in which it is not permissible to say certain things – not even in jest. This shift was not lost on her, and it made her irritable.

Over the past year or so, she seemed to go out of her way to wind up prudes and the press. She upset the PC brigade with her quip about the model Heidi Klum: ‘The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.’ In a facetious response to a reporter asking about same-sex couples in the White House, she said, ‘We’ve already got one!’ (because, she quipped, ‘Michelle is a tranny’). Then she refused to condemn Israel for attacking Gaza, and even worse, committed the modern sin of supporting Israel, igniting a Twitterstorm that is raging even now.

Perhaps this is why her death seems like the end of an era.

Indeed it does. For a snapshot of the world we now live in, where Very. Serious. People — who once mocked the Moral Majority, described themselves as “hip” and “liberal,” and preached the importance of “tolerance” — race to see who will become the most offended over a sexy comic book cover, check out this new clip by videomaker “Maddox:”

Fortunately, in an ever-changing world of global complexities and contradictions, the New York Times, with its layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors remains a constant — the all-knowing, all-seeing oracle that all of America can reply upon for its news:

Of course, if the Times really does believe it’s 1914, and Woodrow Wilson is in the White House, that would explain volumes about their “Progressive” worldview.

Once again, the Obama administration is ready to launch the bunker buster bombs and B-52 strikes and decisively conclude its long existential struggle for the future of mankind…with Fox News. Or as Twitchy notes, “State Department deputy spokesperson Marie “Clown’ Harf has her laser-like focus on Bill O’Reilly. Citizens rightly schooled the dangerously incompetent loon.” Whose look seems oddly reminiscent of someone familiar:

Heh. Actually it’s worse than that, considering this juxtaposition that the Rush Limbaugh Show created last December, when Obamacare’s Footie Pajamasboy first debuted:

As Frank Burns famously uttered on M*A*S*H 40 years ago, “Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.”

Of course, some people rock the smartglasses™ much better than others:

rick_perry_smart_glasses_9-5-14-1

(Photo of Rick Perry by Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com.)

It’s come to this: “Even Keith Olbermann is Blasting the HuffPo for Hiring the DUI-Killing, 9/11-Truth-Peddling Donte’ Stallworth as a, Get This, ‘National Security Fellow,” Ace of Spades writes.

If you’ve missed the back story on this, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: Earlier this week, the Huffington Post announced that they hired Donte Stallworth, (no relation to the former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver with the same last name), who has had a middling career as an NFL player, bouncing around from the Eagles, Patriots, Browns, Ravens, and Redskins, in-between pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter.

For reasons known only to themselves, the HuffPo named Stallworth their newest hire as a “National Security Fellow.” And, to borrow the catch phrase in Ace’s headline above, get this: He’s a 9/11 “Truther:”

Hot Air covered this, noting his long history of pushing 9/11 Truth claims, such as his belief that the planes which hit the buildings that day had actually been diverted and replaced by radio-controlled drones.

This isn’t ancient history; his last tweet advancing 9/11 “Truth” conspiracy theories dates from last year.

Byers noted that some of Stallworth’s comments are well outside the mainstream:

“NO WAY 9/11 was carried out by ‘dying’ Bin Laden, 19 men who couldn’t fly a damn kite. STILL have NO EVIDENCE Osama was connected, like Iraq,” Stallworth tweeted in 2009. Stallworth also doubted tweeted, “Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr @ ppl who actually believe a plane hit the pentagon on 9/11… hole woulda been ASTRONOMICALLY bigger, God bless lost lives.”

The former football player’s most recent tweet questioning the nature of the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 was sent out less than a year ago, on November 24, 2013.

He should not have this job. Let me distinguish this situation from my normal take on these cases where there is a call for someone’s firing based upon unpopular statements they’ve made:

Donte Stallworth is not being hired as just an aggregator or the like. He’s being hired specifically as a National Security “fellow.”

I think it is an undebatable proposition that HuffPo would not hire someone pushing the Birth Certificate Conspiracy Theory as the “Barack Obama Biographical Fellow.”

You cannot hire a Fake Moon Landing Conspiracist as your “Space News Correspondent.” Right? I’m not saying a Fake Moon Landing Conspiracist shouldn’t be permitted to work in the media, necessarily.

But… let’s keep him away from any story involving astronauts, mm-kay? (Or, as Nina Van Horne would call them: “Actor-nauts.”)

And as Andrew Johnson notes at the Corner today, Olbermann, “the ESPN-turned-MSNBC-turned-Current-turned-ESPN host,” decided to call out his fellow far left compatriots last night on his latest cable show:

After running through Stallworth’s multiple 9/11 truther quotes from five years ago, Olbermann pointed out that Stallworth those theories only after “Huffington’s publicly stated policy of refusing to promulgate conspiracy theories, especially about 9/11, came to his attention.” Meanwhile, Stallworth didn’t just tweet about conspiracy theories 5 years ago — he did so less than a year ago.

“Your supposed news website just hired to cover national security a still theoretically active NFL player with no journalism experience who’s a 9/11 truther, supposedly reformed about being a 9/11 truther, but lying about when he reformed, and, oh by the way, pleaded guilty to killing a man with a car during a DUI five years ago,” he said. “Maybe Donté​ should have taken this in easier stages.”

Note this wasn’t a hiring misfire by an over-enthusiastic low-level HuffPo staffer; Arianna herself tweeted her blessings to the venture:

I remember an interview with Andrew Breitbart, possibly with myself or Glenn Reynolds — Andrew did countless interviews during his far-too-short lifetime — in which he noted that one of his stealth reasons for helping Arianna create the Huffington Post was that once she told him that she would work her Rolodex of celebrity contacts and invite them to blog at her nascent Website, they would drop the mask and run wild with all sorts of zany conspiracy theories — and/or express their low opinion regarding the rest of America early and often. (QED) I suspect Andrew is looking down at their latest debacle and loving every minute of it.

And as I’ve noted last month when ABC News employee Rosie O’Donnell admitted she was still truther after all these years, if you’re a Democrat who’s a truther in 2014, how much must you secretly despise recently retired President Obama?

Related: “Had Mr. Stallworth given money to Proposition 8 in California, been an advocate of traditional marriage, or suggested mankind’s involvement in climate change might be overstated, I have no doubt the Huffington Post would not have hired him,” Erick Erickson writes at Red State. “But suggest conspiracies related to vaccines and 9/11 and he is golden:”

The paths of political correctness and conformity lead to terrible places in culture. Francis Schaeffer, the theologian, wrote a remarkable book called The God Who is There in 1968. In the book, Schaeffer posits that the United States lags Europe by about thirty years in cultural shifts and he predicted a thirty year or so lag in growing secularism and conformity in the United States.

We have already reached a point in this country where secular society will drive people from jobs based on their religious convictions and rejection of secularized-pseudoscientific bullying. We have a society where people can have wacko ideas, but so long as their values do not offend the ever more pervasive multicultural political correction of the age, they’re golden.

Read the whole thing.

Update: Jim Treacher is angry with the Huffington Post. You’ll like him when he’s angry. A lot.