IT’S COME TO THIS:
IT’S COME TO THIS:
PAUL MIRENGOFF: Trump At The CIA. “My go-to source for things CIA has told me that one must distinguish between CIA officialdom and CIA rank-and-file, especially the members of the rank-and-file who put their lives on the line for America. Some members of the brass, and certainly Brennan, can’t stand Trump. But judging from the reaction he received at Langley yesterday, many members of the rank-and-file likely hold a contrary view of the new president or, at a minimum, are taking a wait-and-see attitude.”
THIS IS WHY THE DEMS ASSUMED THE TEA PARTY WAS ASTROTURF — BECAUSE THAT’S HOW THEY OPERATE: Soros Has Links to 56 ‘Partners’ of the Women’s March on Washington.
CNN’s resident anti-Donald Trump alarmist Brian Stelter took to his show, “Reliable Sources,” Sunday and issued his arguably most dire/bonkers warning about the president yet. “Do citizens in dictatorships recognize what’s happening right here right now,” he sneered, “Are they looking at the first two days of the Trump administration and saying, ‘Oh, that’s what my leader does?’” Stelter’s cries of despot were triggered by Trump doing what all politicians do, exaggerate their own performance.
Nahh – if Trump really were a dictator, CNN anchors would be falling all over themselves in praise of him.
ONE OF EZRA LEVANT’S REPORTERS WAS PUNCHED AT THE WOMEN’S MARCH. Ezra put the assailant’s picture on the Internet, offered a reward, and has identified him. “Please turn yourself into the nearest police department, and prepare for a massive civil lawsuit.” That’s how you do it.
Plus, “Even more incredibly, the NDP women standing right there, who saw the whole thing, immediately blocked Sheila, and helped the thug scurry away. They sided with the male criminal, against the female victim.” It’s like all this feminism stuff is just lefty propaganda.
SO THIS IS A LEAK, PRESUMABLY WITH AN AGENDA. BUT IT’S PAST TENSE, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT THEY “INVESTIGATED” BUT DIDN’T FIND ANYTHING. Counterintelligence agents have investigated communications by President Trump’s national security adviser, including phone calls to Russian ambassador in late December. And this isn’t exactly a gripping story: “It isn’t clear when the counterintelligence inquiry began, whether it produced any incriminating evidence or if it is continuing.”
Maybe there’s some actual news out there somewhere, but it’s not here. If there’s a serious investigation, this leak is unprofessional. And if there’s not a serious investigation, this leak is unprofessional.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: Eating Fatty Foods Such As Steak, Cheese and Butter Can Make You Healthier And Slimmer, Study Reveals. The science is settled! You don’t want to be anti-science, do you?
HEH: “Maybe Trump was right. The Green Bay Packers are being murdered in Rep. John Lewis’s congressional district and no one is doing anything.”
TALKED WITH THE BBC ABOUT TRUMP AND THE PRESS. The interview will be online in a few hours and I’ll post a link then. But they really loved the sound from my Blue Yeti mic. That’s been the general reaction, but since they’re big sticklers for audio quality I was especially pleased.
ADRIANA COHEN: No hats off to rallies’ huge double standard.
Of course none of these women were up in arms and protesting when Hillary “went low” by calling Republicans “deplorables” and comparing conservatives to “terrorist groups.” Liberal women everywhere gave her a pass. They also looked the other way when she didn’t walk the walk when it came to advocating for equal pay for women while serving as a U.S. senator for New York. Senate financial expenditures show Hillary gave the majority of the top-paying jobs to men.
Under Hillary’s watch, women made 72 cents on the man’s dollar — a fact that didn’t result in widespread demonstrations.
These “pussyhatters” also gave President Obama a monumental pass for failing women economically.
Under Obama’s watch, more than 2 million women fell into poverty, according to 2014 Census Bureau reports. The Obama administration also failed to put “equal pay” into practice over the last two terms. But these left-wing women — with their blatant double standards — chose to turn their rage against Trump instead.
That’s the goal.
JOEL POLLAK ON BARACK OBAMA, THE GOD THAT FAILED:
The South African political observer R. W. Johnson wrote in 2001 that the left-wing parties of post-colonial Africa shared what he called a “common theology”:
They do not merely represent the masses but in a sense they are the masses, and as such they cannot really be wrong. Second, according to the theology, their coming to power represents the end of a process. No further group can succeed them for that would mean that the masses, the forces of righteousness, had been overthrown. That, in turn, could only mean that the forces of racism and colonialism, after sulking in defeat and biding their time, had regrouped and launched a counter-attack.
Johnson had in mind formerly “progressive” parties such as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Popular Front (Zanu-PF) and South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC). But his description could apply just as easily to Obama’s Democrats.
Read the whole thing, which is a reminder that bad things (and bad luck) inevitably result when an ideology replaces religion with politics, even if they’ve forgotten the words, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
TRUMP’S VISIT TO THE CIA: The senior management is at war with him, but he tells the worker bees he’s with them.
HEH: ‘Everybody Says How Cool I Am.’ “Most public men strive to please an audience. It has been Obama’s good fortune to surround himself with an audience that wants to please him.” I wonder how that will pan out in the coming years.
Nobody covers women’s issues inside and out like the Washington Post!
ROGER KIMBALL: A Tale of Two Speeches:
Critics saw many malevolent things in Trump’s speech. I discerned a generous spirit tempered by realism about the way the world works and a sound appreciation of human psychology. “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America,” Trump wrote, “and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.”
One of the most poisonous features of contemporary social life has been been the insinuation of political correctness into the academy and politics. It has stifled honesty and transformed principled disagreement into rancid heresy that must be stamped out, not argued with. Trump explicitly challenged that toxic development, insisting that “We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.”
Trump’s rhetoric reminded me a bit of Reagan’s first inaugural speech, in which he explicitly stated, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Those heretical words were considered dark and scary as well at the time by the Northeast Corridor’s Democrat elitists and the entrenched bureaucrats of DC.
FASTER, PLEASE: Donors and Drug Makers Offer $500 Million to Control Global Epidemics. “Stung by the lack of vaccines to fight the West African Ebola epidemic, a group of prominent donors announced Wednesday that they had raised almost $500 million for a new partnership to stop epidemics before they spiral out of control. The partnership, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, will initially develop and stockpile vaccines against three known viral threats, and also push the development of technology to brew large amounts of vaccine quickly when new threats, like the Zika virus, arise.”
AND THUS SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE BECOMES THE KITSCH* VARIETY SHOW IT ONCE MOCKED: SNL Sings ‘To Sir With Love’ In Honor of President Obama: “At the end of the song, the two of them presented [a poster of Obama in the background] with a present: a tea mug saying ‘world’s greatest president.’ The two offered their last goodbyes, though Zamata couldn’t help but slip in a ‘don’t go’ amid the thank-you’s.”
Compare that to the show’s first season, which brutally mocked Gerald Ford via his press secretary, who stupidly agreed to host the show, not knowing what he was in for, with one of the writers admitting afterwards, “The President’s watching. Let’s make him cringe and squirm.”
As Sean Davis of the Federalist quipped on Twitter today, “Guys, I think DPRK News [the parody North Korean propaganda Twitter feed] might have hacked SNL.” Twitchy accurately concludes that “Between attacking a 10-year-old kid and this LAME Obama tribute, SNL really just sucks.” Just as its surprisingly funny sketch immediately after the election predicted, SNL has retreated deep into the safe space woobie known as The Bubble.
* In every sense of the word.
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BECKET ADAMS: It has been a really bad week for journalism.
It has been a particularly embarrassing week for the press, and it’s only Saturday.
For an industry that’s as disliked and distrusted as Congress, there’s a lot of work that media need to do to win back viewers’ trust. There’s no room for error, especially now that there’s a subgenre of “news” that has zero basis in fact, and is created from thin air for the sole purpose of generating cash.
But learning to be more careful and even-handed is apparently difficult for some in media, and this week was especially rough for newsrooms that are already struggling to regain credibility.
In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week.
Read the whole thing. Plus:
ROGER SIMON: The Pointless Paranoia of the Women’s Marches. “The success of the demonstrations in terms of size attests to the power of mutually reinforced paranoia.” The Democrats are always trying to paint Republicans as the preacher in Footloose, but that’s never been as ridiculous as when talking about Donald Trump.
What’s the motivation? Well, Tom Hayden started the anti-nuclear movement quite consciously as a way to preserve the infrastructure built up in the anti-Vietnam War protests. I suspect that this is about keeping up Hillary’s woman-card machinery for the post-election era, just as the Black Lives Matter protests are mostly about keeping up the position of the urban black wing of the Democrat coalition in the post-Obama era. In both cases, the real point is intra-Democratic Party positioning.
Well, that and the travails of entitled women with MFA’s who were comfortably supported by their political-appointee husbands until — unexpectedly! — Democratic hegemony didn’t turn out to be as stable as they thought. As a friend on Facebook notes, this story seems calculated to reinforce Trump supporters’ views about who’s marching and why, and it’s not pretty.
The New York Times’ lack of self-awareness is easy to mock, but impossible to top.
It’s telling that a lot of criticism of Betsy DeVos as Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Education are about things like the fact that she didn’t send her children to public schools and that she’s not terribly familiar with the vast federal legal bureaucracy overseeing public education.
These are critiques that come also entirely from those who are embedded within the entrenched public education system and who have a stake in maintaining and expanding the status quo. Some senators seem aghast at the idea that DeVos was unfamiliar with all sorts of federal laws about how local schools are required to behave in order to receive federal funding.
But this just puts DeVos on the same footing as everybody outside the education system who have to interact with it and feel little control. While there are indeed parents who are familiar with these federal regulations because they have kids with special needs, this approach on DeVos feels very much like an attempt to keep the Department of Education under the control of insiders.
In reality, many, many parents want to make the same choices for their children as DeVos did, and it has nothing to do with them being rich or overly Christian. School unions and the politicians they bankroll may be able to stop DeVos’ nomination, but they can’t stop the growth of school choice and what it means, because parents love it.
And we’ve got the numbers to show it. The Reason Foundation’s report on school choice and privatization for 2016 shows yet another major increase in the number of families sending their kids into charter school programs.
Progressives depend on teachers’ unions, and giving parents choice will speed up the K-12 Implosion.
WELL, THAT’S DIFFERENT: Majority of 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will face 10 years in prison and $25k fine as US attorney says they will be charged with felony rioting. Check out the photos.
More here from CBS.
JOE BATTENFELD: Donald Trump ushers in age of people first, pols second. “The network anchors and pundits were mortified — seemingly stunned by Trump’s refusal to deliver empty promises like healing the nation and reaching out to Democrats and those who opposed him. But Trump didn’t reach out to Republicans either, which no doubt infuriated more than a few GOP lifers in Congress.”
MICHAEL BARONE: Trump’s Inauguration Is Not Without Precedent.
Jackson was regarded as a wild man, impetuous, unfit for the presidency, by Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. Each surely preferred the scholarly, internationally experienced Adams.
Similarly, all of Trump’s three eight-year predecessors — Clinton, Bush, Obama — take a similar view of Trump, though all three accepted invitations to his inauguration. But many other presidents — Lincoln, both Roosevelts, plus some duds — had no support from living predecessors. Trump is not quite so unprecedented as many of those unversed in history think.
WHY NOT? IT’S BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL IN THE U.S. AND BRITAIN, AND THE EUROPEAN MEDIA SCENE IS EVEN MORE STAGNANT: Breitbart to open bureaus in Berlin and Paris.
Right-wing website Breitbart News is opening up shop in Berlin and Paris, according to an Axios report.
The move could broaden the website’s political reach at a time of growing nationalist sentiment in Europe and the U.S.
In Germany, Breitbart will seek to criticize Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open borders policy and its role in admitting refugees into Europe, according to Axios.
And in France, the controversial news organization will throw its support behind nationalist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, according to the report.
Breitbart already has a bureau in London, using the installation to promote and support the Brexit movement last year.
And, of course, the more stagnant and PC the media scene is, the more power a new entrant that’s different will possess. There’s a lesson there. . . .
IT’S JUST CALLED FASCISM: Beware The Rise Of Left-Wing Authoritarianism.
There were punches thrown, limos set ablaze, and windows smashed amid violent protests in D.C. the day of President Trump’s inauguration. But in Seattle the fury led to a shooting, as leftist radicals tried to shut down a speech by Breitbart.com tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos. A 34-year-old man suffered what sources described as a “life-threatening” gunshot wound to the abdomen. He was taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.
A suspect has been arrested, but police have yet to say anything about his background or the context of the shooting. (Early reports described the shooter as a 50-year-old Asian male.) The bloodshed occurred when crowds that had been protesting Trump converged on the University of Washington campus to redirect their rage at Yiannopolous. A heavy police presence ensured that the speaking event went ahead, as protests continued outside. Yiannopolous interrupted his talk when word of the shooting broke. Then he resumed, saying, “If we don’t continue, they have won.”
Whether the shooting was politically motivated or simply a spontaneous act inspired by the charged atmosphere of the protests, the radicals who have created these conditions should pause to think about blowback. Sensible progressives and middle-of-the-road liberals should also ask themselves some tough questions about whether they oppose political violence and censorship half as much as they abjure Trump. If they do, they should be even more quick than conservatives to condemn what has been happening from D.C. to Seattle.
There is an obvious irony in the use of brownshirt tactics by people who think of themselves as “anti-fascist.”
Oh, it’s more than ironic. But yeah.
NONSENSE, LEFTY VIOLENCE IS ALWAYS JUSTIFIED: Alt-Right Leader Richard Spencer Got Punched in the Face, and That’s Wrong. “Spencer holds truly reprehensible views, and he deserves less of the media’s attention. But he doesn’t deserve what he got today. Violence is never okay, no matter how despicable its target. Striking Spencer isn’t just morally wrong—it’s tactically foolish. It allows him to play the victim. It directs the spotlight toward him. And, inevitably, it grants him sympathy. Don’t fight fascism by acting like a fascist.”
They don’t want to fight fascism. They just want to be sure that it’s their fascism that comes out on top.
My favorite was when the new president said, “Washington has prospered, but the people have not.”
Amen. Every time you come down here, all you see is cranes and construction. Doesn’t matter if there’s a recession or prosperity — D.C. grows, or maybe the word is “metastasize.” As in cancer.
“Power is being transferred to the people,” he said. Instead of people, he could have said “deplorables,” but everybody knew who he was talking about.
Another great line: ripping the public education system as being “flush with cash” while children go uneducated. How many years have you heard these teachers’ unions and educrats talking about how they need more of your tax money “for the children.”
How out of touch can anyone be to be offended by a president who says: “It is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.”
Read the whole thing.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Deans Boise & Morriss: Why We Still Support The ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement.
DON’T BE RIDICULOUS, UNLIKE OBAMA, TRUMP HASN’T EVEN BEEN COMPARED TO FDR: Rachel Maddow: Donald Trump Will throw me In Internment Camp (video). Besides, Hillary was the one who wanted Adult Fun Camps, and besides, Madd
Cow, while you are demonstrably on the side of the enemies of America, your being at large gives them no advantage. Heck, it might give us one.
WE MUST RECLAIM OUR LEADERSHIP IN SPACE. THE REST OF THE WORLD IS FAILING AT IT: Galileo satellites experiencing multiple clock failures.
CAN’T YOU AT LEAST GIVE THEM A BROWSER TAB AT WHITEHOUSE.GOV, YOU MEANY? They Wanna Be Loved By You.
I DON’T KNOW. THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY. BUT MEN ARE BEING FORCED TO BE LESS THAN THEY COULD BE: Are Men Less than they were?
AS WITH CNN’S THREAT TO DESTROY TRUMP’S IMAGE IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD, THIS WOULD MAKE IT DIFFERENT FROM HOW THEY TREATED EVERY REPUBLICAN IN MY LIFETIME, HOW? Obama Allies Working to Undermine Trump’s National Security Team.
THE VOTERS SAID NO; SANITY SAYS NO; HIS MENTAL ABILITY SAYS NO; YOU’VE GOT TO LET IT GO: Still Can’t Let Go: MSNBC Host Says in Parallel Universe, Joe Biden Is Taking Oval Office. There was never a chance for Slow Joe.
DEMANDING HIGH ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS? AN IDEA SO CRAZY IT JUST MIGHT WORK: A revolutionary school ‘turns back the clock’ in Brooklyn.
YEAH? THE DIFFERENCE IS TRUMP’S PERFORMANCE WAS ENTERTAINING: Andrew Dice Clay: Trump stole my act to become president
TIP #1, STOP ALIENATING EVERYONE WHO DOESN’T LIVE ON THE COASTAL CITIES: As Trump Era Begins, Some Survival Tips for Hollywood Liberals. Oh, yeah, and #2 shut up and sing, stop preaching.
BUT IF IT’S NOT ABOUT CELEBRITY EGOS, WHAT’S THE POINT? Inaugurations Should Be About Tradition, Not Celebrity Egos
BYRON YORK: Scenes from a pussy riot.
So Hillary couldn’t even get a majority of white women, the people who are mostly marching today. 53% went for Trump. So this march is Hillary’s 47%.
UPDATE: Yeah: “The message Get government out of my uterus is a compelling libertarian message, but the Women’s March may be seen as demanding more than the continued protection of reproductive freedom (which Trump does endanger, since he’s said he wants a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade). Here’s a list of the Women’s March ‘unity principles,’ and it is not a ‘boy, bye’ to the government. It’s demanding that the government get very involved in women’s bodies.”
Feminism consists of Strong Independent Women demanding that the government play daddy to them with money taken from men.
DONALD TRUMP’S GAY PRESIDENCY:
On gay-related issues, the news media couldn’t have picked a Republican president more in sync with their views than Donald Trump.
But the country isn’t dealing with a rational press right now.
The GOP was stuck on gay stuff until a New Yorker came along and cleared the field for them by saying he was not only “fine” with same-sex marriage but also by actively embracing gays in a bigger way than President Obama did.
Meanwhile, Trump, having grown up in the most diverse city in the world, is an outcast among the gay-supporting national media.
In a cover piece for Newsweek in 2012, Andrew Sullivan dubbed Obama “the first gay president.”
He also choked up on national television, calling Obama a “father figure” because he said he supported gay marriage.
Obama’s main claim to gay celebrity was changing his mind on marriage. He opposed same-sex marriage before he was first elected in 2008 and then he came to support it before his second term. (By the way, the Supreme Court handled the dirty work, Obama simply nodded in approval.)
Trump was not the first to support gay marriage, but he did a lot. After the mass terror shooting on the Orlando gay nightclub in June, he did what no other Republican would have ever done. He called it an attack on “the members of Orlando’s LGBTQ community” and said the tragedy was done “in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.”
In July, Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and a big Trump supporter, was the first person ever to declare on stage at the Republican National Convention that he’s “proud to be gay.” . . .
Only once in its coverage did the New York Times mention the rally where Trump held up the gay flag. The Washington Post didn’t cover the incident at all and neither did USA Today.
Every other Republican is pressed on whether they’d personally bake a cake for a gay wedding. But Trump is almost entirely ignored when he shows support for gays because he unfurled a rainbow flag the wrong way.
It’s all about the narrative.
Linda Sarsour, one of the organizers behind Saturday’s Women’s March, being held in Washington, D.C., was recently spotted at a large Muslim convention in Chicago posing for pictures with an accused financier for Hamas, the terrorist group.
Sarsour, the head of the Arab American Association of New York and an Obama White House “Champion of Change,” was speaking at last month’s 15th annual convention of the Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America.
While there, she posed for a picture with Salah Sarsour, a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee and former Hamas operative who was jailed in Israel in the 1990s because of his alleged work for the terrorist group.
Well, when I think of Hamas, I think of feminism.
PHILIP WEGMANN: What I Saw At The Anti-Trump Riot In DC.
Families from flyover country were greeted to the nation’s capital with chants of “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.” When short of breath, protestors opted for the more succinct, “Fuck Trump!” One activist even decided to lecture a young Republican, screaming “don’t grow up and grab women by the pussies!” before his father covered his ears.
When words failed them though, protestors turned to rioting. Wearing black face masks, they smashed the windows of Starbucks, Bank of America, and a Bobby Van’s steakhouse a few blocks from Capitol Hill. Private business didn’t suffer all the damage, though. Suddenly enemies of public transport, liberal rioters trashed at least one bus stop—an indicator of the aimlessness of the whole thing.
These protests can best be described as the opposite of the Tea Party movement. For all their supposed racism and bigotry, those conservative protestors never rioted.
No, but if there’s another iteration of the Tea Party that may change.
A FORMER STUDENT, HERSELF SUCCESSFUL AND UPWARDLY MOBILE, WRITES: “When I was growing up, people my age who were enjoying the fruits of their success and focused on being even more successful were called yuppies. It’s not a thing anymore. We have millenials, hipsters, but no term for the young newly upper middle class with good jobs and nice homes. Is that because success is shameful now? Are there not enough of these people?”
I’m guessing this is more of that fundamental transformation. Yuppies were a phenomenon of the 1980s economic boom — they were baby boomers hitting their career stride. Millennials make a lot less than boomers. So there’s not such a visible phenomenon. Am I wrong?
AMERICA IS GREAT AGAIN: A Toaster Just for Bacon Will Make Every Meal So Much Better. It’s called the “Bacon Express.”
ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES, AS A FORMER PRESIDENT LIKED TO SAY: The White House web site for law enforcement has… changed.
NO, BUT HUGE EMPIRES OF GRAFT ARE BUILT ON PROMOTING SUCH CONFUSION: Rand Paul slams Bernie Sanders: Socialism not the same as compassion.
THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WASN’T: “It has been a really bad week for journalism…In no particular order, here are some of the most embarrassing media moments from this week.”
GOOD THING PROTEST IS PATRIOTIC AGAIN: Madonna: ‘Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.’
IT’S LIKE “THE CHALKENING” WRIT LARGE. I MEAN, LITERALLY WRIT LARGE. ‘TRUMP’ Skywriting Appears Above Sydney Women’s March.
Related: Anti-Trump protesters HUMILIATED as supporters pay to write President’s NAME in sky above. Heh. I think we’ll see more stunts like this. Trump’s not just a president, he’s become an international anti-PC icon. And, of course, things like the “women’s march” only strengthen that status.
UPDATE: From the comments: “God, this is gonna be fun.” (Bumped).
IN THE FUTURE, EVERYONE WILL BE HITLER FOR 15 MINUTES: Ashley Judd lowers the tone at huge DC women’s march by reading a poem claiming Trump has ‘wet dreams’ about Ivanka ‘his favorite sex symbol’ and comparing him to Hitler.
Is Judd still thinking about running against Mitch McConnell? That ought to seal the deal with Kentucky voters right there.
UPDATE (From Glenn): Flashback: Ashley Judd in Africa.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: How American Colleges Became Bastions of Sex, Booze and Entitlement.
IN “THE SCIENCE OF INTELLECTUAL TRIBALISM”, Jonah Goldberg writes:
‘David Gelernter, fiercely anti-intellectual computer scientist, is being eyed for Trump’s science adviser.” — Washington Post, January 18
Um. Well, huh.
For those unfamiliar with David Gelernter, he essentially created parallel computing, which sounds like witchcraft to me, but I’m told it’s a really big deal. He was also one of the first people to see the Internet coming, in his 1991 book Mirror Worlds. Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, described Gelernter as “one of the most brilliant and visionary computer scientists of our time.” Ted Kaczynski — aka “the Unabomber” — agreed, which is why he maimed Gelernter with a letter bomb in a 1993 assassination attempt.
Gelernter, who teaches computer science at Yale and has degrees in classical Hebrew, has written books and articles on history, culture, religion, artificial intelligence, and philosophy. His acclaimed paintings don’t do too much for me, but that’s probably because I’m a bit of Philistine about these things.
Regardless, saying that Gelernter is “fiercely anti-intellectual” is a bit like saying Tiger Woods is fiercely anti-golf.
So what on earth could the Washington Post mean with that headline?
This is how Tom Wolfe defined the term “intellectual” in his 2000 essay, “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists:”
The word “intellectual,” used as a noun referring to the “intellectual laborer” who assumes a political stance, did not exist until Georges Clemenceau used it in 1898 during the Dreyfus case, congratulating those “intellectuals,” such as Marcel Proust and Anatole France, who had joined Dreyfus’s great champion, Emile Zola. Zola was an entirely new form of political eminence, a popular novelist. His famous J’accuse was published on the front page of a daily newspaper, L’Aurore (“The Dawn”), which printed 300,000 copies and hired hundreds of extra newsboys who sold virtually every last one by midafternoon.
Zola and Clemenceau provided a wholly unexpected leg up in life for the ordinary worker ants of “pure intellectual labor” (Clemenceau’s term): your fiction writers, playwrights, poets, history and lit profs, that whole cottage industry of poor souls who scribble, scribble, scribble. Zola was an extraordinary reporter (or “documenter,” as he called himself) who had devoured the details of the Dreyfus case to the point where he knew as much about it as any judge, prosecutor, or law clerk. But that inconvenient detail of Zola’s biography was soon forgotten. The new hero, the intellectual, didn’t need to burden himself with the irksome toil of reporting or research. For that matter, he needed no particular education, no scholarly training, no philosophical grounding, no conceptual frameworks, no knowledge of academic or scientific developments other than the sort of stuff you might pick up in Section 9 of the Sunday newspaper. Indignation about the powers that be and the bourgeois fools who did their bidding-that was all you needed. Bango! You were an intellectual.
From the very outset the eminence of this new creature, the intellectual, who was to play such a tremendous role in the history of the twentieth century, was inseparable from his necessary indignation. It was his indignation that elevated him to a plateau of moral superiority. Once up there, he was in a position to look down at the rest of humanity. And it hadn’t cost him any effort, intellectual or otherwise. As Marshall McLuhan would put it years later: “Moral indignation is a technique used to endow the idiot with dignity.” Precisely which intellectuals of the twentieth century were or were not idiots is a debatable point, but it is hard to argue with the definition I once heard a French diplomat offer at a dinner party: “An intellectual is a person knowledgable in one field who speaks out only in others.”
If that’s how the Post’s Sarah Kaplan or her headline writer define the term “intellectual,” then defining Gelernter as “anti-intellectual” is very likely quite justified. But as Jonah goes on to write in his essay on Gelernter, it’s not: “What Kaplan really seems to be getting at is that Gelernter is one of the few major intellectuals out there today who is critical of the intellectual establishment, which acts as a class or guild…“It takes a lot of intellectual firepower and self-confidence to declare that the intellectual emperors have no clothes,” he adds, so it’s no surprise that Gelernter “has been accused of being excessively humble.”
Speaking of emperors with no clothes, here’s what Obama’s “science” “czar” was proposing around this time in 2009:
That wasn’t the zaniest idea that Holdren ever floated. As the anonymous Bay Area blogger Zombie noted with quotes from his 1977 book, Holdren believed that forced abortions and mass sterilization were needed to save the planet from overpopulation. Those ideas that were all the rage among the scientific caste back in the ‘70s, who drank gallons of Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” Kool-Aid at the dawn of the Nixon era.
I don’t recall anyone on the left in 2009 speaking out and proclaiming Holdren as daft for wanting to fire rockets filled with pollution into the sky. Someone in the Trump administration should propose that as well, just for kicks and gins when he’s attacked as a lunatic by the media.
Plus, today only at Amazon, Bushnell Michael Waddell Bone Collector Edition 4x 21mm Laser Rangefinder, $98.99 (28 off).
MY SECOND AMENDMENT PIECE, Permissible Negligence and Campaigns to Suppress Rights is currently #2 on the SSRN Top Downloads List. Thanks to everyone who downloaded it!
TAXPROF: The IRS Scandal, Day 1353: Will The Trump IRS End, Or Embrace, Targeting Of Disfavored Groups? I hope it’ll end it, though I suspect the latter is more likely.
And, once again:
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: The Jacksonian Revolt:
Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.
Jacksonian distrust of elite patriotism has been increased by the country’s selective embrace of identity politics in recent decades. The contemporary American scene is filled with civic, political, and academic movements celebrating various ethnic, racial, gender, and religious identities. Elites have gradually welcomed demands for cultural recognition by African Americans, Hispanics, women, the lgbtq community, Native Americans, Muslim Americans. Yet the situation is more complex for most Jacksonians, who don’t see themselves as fitting neatly into any of those categories.
A hundred years ago, Randolph Bourne laid out a theory of identity politics in which minority groups were to develop ethnic pride while the majority Anglo-Saxon population did not. The Bourne identity approach worked, until people started crowing that the majority wasn’t a majority anymore and should hurry up and die out, and, well, then it stopped working.
SEEN ON FACEBOOK: “Next time we have a peaceful transfer of power, can there be less of it to transfer, please?”
A LATE CHRISTMAS: The latest in StrategyPage’s Battle of the Bulge photo series. The photo shows U.S. Army tankers opening Christmas packages on December 30, 1944. The tank crew has erected a tent next to the tank and is using the tank to anchor the tent.
RUSSIA’S GAME IN LIBYA: The article is speculative. However, Russian diplomatic interest and activity in Libya are for real. Power abhors a vacuum.
Russia has not played a dominant role in Libya since the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi. Rather, other powers, including the United States and Europe, and regional actors, including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have been heavily involved in Libya’s post-Gadhafi transition. Russia has, however, remained focused and engaged in Libya and is now involved there as part of its geopolitical game and expansion of its influence in the Middle East. This is also in part due to Russian companies’ commercial interests.
BRETIGNE SHAFER ON LEFTIES AND TRUMP:
Here’s the thing: I’m a libertarian. I’ve been surrounded by people who don’t agree with me for as long as I can remember and it has never occurred to me to isolate myself from everyone because of our political differences. Certainly not to assault them. Nor am I filled with anxiety by the thought that people who work in my home might have different political views than mine. To me, you’re all a bunch of fascists. But I’ve somehow learned to live with you.
For me, watching people unravel over this election has been instructive. The – yes, I’m going to say it – bigotry of many on the left, in their caricaturing of Trump supporters, has never before been so blatant. Nor has the jaw-dropping, mass-hypnosis level of selective partisan-driven outrage. I understand that a lot of people are worried, upset, even frightened over the prospect of a Trump presidency. Good. They should be. But they should have been worried eight years ago, or at the very least, four years ago.
I was worried four years ago. And I was worried eight years ago. I tried in vain to get my Obama-supporting friends to see what I saw, but with very few exceptions (which I appreciated, thank you) I was met with silence, accused of mean-spiritedness or just told that I should “give him a chance” (did I have a choice?)
I was right in all but one of my predictions for the Obama administration, by the way.
So in case you (like some of my friends) somehow missed out on what’s been happening over the past eight years, let me catch you up:
1. We no longer have a Fourth Amendment, nor the right of habeas corpus (you remember: it was kind of the foundation of our justice system). Yes, the demise of these fundamental protections has been a long time coming, but President Obama delivered the death blow when he gave himself (and all future presidents) the right to imprison indefinitely or even assassinate any human being on the planet with no due process whatsoever.
Number One should be enough. Any normal person should look at the first item on this list and say “OK, I guess that’s a little bit worse than making fun of a disabled reporter.” (And I say this as the mother of an intellectually disabled daughter.) But, because I know it won’t be enough, I’ll continue…
2. Obama has bombed more countries than George W. Bush did, and his drone strikes have killed more than six times as many people as those under Bush, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (killing unintended victims 90% of the time.)
3. He has given himself (and all future presidents) the power to wage war without Congressional approval.
4. He has greatly expanded the mass surveillance of American citizens.
5. He put in place a statist health insurance mandate that has sent insurance premiums skyrocketing.
6. He has continued the same brand of crony capitalism and debt expansion of the previous administration.
7. He has deported more than 2.5 million immigrants – more than any other American president in history.
8. After running on a platform of more government transparency, he has presided over an administration more hostile than any other to whistleblowers and a free press.
9. Police brutality has not abated, nor has the mass incarceration of Americans (and especially black and Hispanic Americans. Maybe it’s only “racism” if the president is a white Republican?)
10. Did I mention he – and all future presidents – now has the legal right to kill anyone on the planet, including American citizens, with no conviction, no charges, no semblance of due process at all. Did I mention that?
It was fine as long as it was Obama. It’s Hitler now that it’s Trump.
WHY DO THEY HATE AMERICA? Democrats block quick confirmation of Trump’s CIA director. I’m old enough to remember when this sort of “obstructionism” was tantamount to terrorist activity.
WOMEN’S BODIES, WOMEN’S CHOICES, WOMEN’S JUDGMENT ON OTHER WOMEN: It’s Not Okay For You To Pass Judgment On How Many Kids I Have: My children are healthy, happy, and well-behaved. Yet we are still the subject of never-ending judgment, simply because I have four.
A couple of years ago, when one of my colleagues’ wife was pregnant with her fifth kid, I said “Congratulations! That’s great!” And she thanked me, because she said most people either asked why she wanted so many kids, or asked if she knew how this happened.
JONATHAN ADLER: How President Trump will shape the federal courts. The poor federal courts are overworked. We need to add more judges. A lot more judges.
SHE’S RIGHT, BUT SHE’S ALSO THINKING ABOUT RE-ELECTION IN A STATE THAT WENT FOR TRUMP: Dem senator: Violent Trump protesters ‘disgusting:’
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she is appalled by protesters responding destructively to President Trump’s inauguration Friday.
“Nothing is more un-American than protesters who are not peaceful – disgusting,” tweeted McCaskill, who backed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump.
“I understand the angst out there today for all of you throwing stuff at me,” she added. “Sorry, but I believe peaceful protest is always the right way.”
McCaskill also said violent protests run counter to the teachings of civil rights leaders, adding they discredit peaceful demonstrations as well.
“MLK and John Lewis were and are the role models for peaceful protest,” she wrote, referencing Martin Luther King Jr. and the present-day Democratic representative from Georgia, respectively. “But the small group will get all the attention – sigh.”
Trump took the oath of office Friday, making him America’s 45th president after an often bitter White House race last year.
“We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people,” he said on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. “From this moment on, it’s going to be America first. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never, ever let you down.”
Police in Washington, D.C., however, announced that afternoon they had arrested “numerous” people destructively protesting against Trump mere blocks from his address.
Authorities told The Associated Press that those arrested were charged with rioting following incidents involving a group of about 100 people.
The demonstrators damaged vehicles, destroyed property and set small fires while armed with crowbars and hammers, officials added.
She knows that if you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump. And she doesn’t want more Trump.
Exit question: If you get beaten by these rioters, do you get to play martyr for life like John Lewis?
MICKEY KAUS: It’s Not 1934. “Wanted: A name for the hypertrophied fear of Trump that’s overcome so many — maybe most — of his opponents.”
Plus: “How does 1934ism go away? Is it enough that the brownshirts don’t appear? (Spoiler: Maybe not.)” Well, it’s not so much that they think Trump is a Nazi, as that they want to think of themselves as the bold resistance. The absence of actual brownshirts — well, except for the ones from the Left who were smashing windows, and Trump supporters, in DC last night — only makes it easier and more appealing to strike that pose.
SEAN TRENDE AND DAVID BLYLER: How Trump Won — Conclusions. “The general trend here, though, is that most of the land area is red. Land area doesn’t vote, but rural and small-town America casts tens of millions of votes. Shifts of this magnitude add up. The one big exception is California, which has shifted almost uniformly toward Democrats. But this is inefficient; California was already quite blue by 1996; all of these votes are ‘wasted.’ On the other hand, the dark red areas – West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana – are all places where Democrats performed well in 1996, but no longer do.”
THIS WAPO HED SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT: Donald Trump completes hostile takeover of Washington, puts both parties on notice.
OUT: CLINTON FOUNDATION. In: Obama Foundation. Hey, it’s nine-figures wealth for giving some speeches.