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Archive for the 'Axis of Drivel.' Category

The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

A Gunfight, Not a Riot: What Happened in Waco

22nd May 2015

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Making the comparison with Baltimore, many on the left — Salon’s Jenny Kutner, to take an example — demanded to know why the media did not describe the events in Waco as a “riot.” The answer, obviously enough, is that the event in Waco was not a riot — it did not represent a general state of civil disorder, there were no mobs targeting property for destruction, etc. What happened in Waco was accurately described — in the New York Times, the Waco Tribune, USA Today, and many other outlets — as a gunfight. Also chaos, biker gang shooting, the work of very dangerous, hostile criminal biker gangs, and, in case that is not strong enough for your taste, something akin to a war zone. What happened in Baltimore was not a gunfight. (It might have been a gunfight if it had been attempted in or around Waco.) Which is not to say that bikers are never involved in riots: The modern outlaw biker mythology is very much rooted in a riot in Hollister, Calif., known in the history books as — can you guess? — the “Hollister riot,” during which such forerunners of the modern motorcycle gang as the Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington and the Market Street Commandos treated Hollister as though it were Baltimore. There is a great deal of mythology surrounding motorcycle gangs, but the (almost certainly apocryphal) story is that after the Hollister riot, a spokesman for American Motorcycle Association insisted that 99 percent of all motorcycle enthusiasts were decent, law-abiding people — hence the adopting of the “1%” iconography by the outlaws.

If the altercation in Waco had happened between two groups of Fashionable Ethnic Minorities, Texas would be crawling with Social Justice Whiners attempting to get them excused.

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Washington Post Attacks Rubio: He’s Not Rich!

22nd May 2015

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Yes it’s true: Rubio isn’t rich, like Hillary Clinton and so many others in politics. He has made his money honestly, practicing law, earning a salary from public service and publishing a couple of books. No $300,000 speaking fees for Marco. And unlike Harry Reid, he hasn’t gotten wealthy on corrupt real estate deals. Somehow, the Post spins this into a negative.

He’s a politician — how dare he spend his own money!

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Environmentalists Fail in Bid to Revoke GOP Senator’s Degree

22nd May 2015

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Totalitarian Political Correctness reaches into every corner of life; that’s why it’s called ‘totalitarian’.

“Sen. Doug Ericksen is welcome to have whatever political views he wants, but by misinforming the public on the science of climate change, he is undermining the credibility of our own degrees and reflecting poorly on the caliber of education students receive here,” the students said in a statement to the Herald.

Gee, he has a degree and you don’t … perhaps, just perhaps, he knows more about this than you do? Just a thought.

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When “Swedes” Join the Jihad

21st May 2015

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Just about every day there are stories in the MSM about “Swedes”, “Norwegians”, “Danes”, “Germans”, “Britons”, “Australians”, etc. traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State and fight in the jihad. Except that the media articles don’t put the quote marks in — they’re willing let their audience think these are just ordinary Svens and Heinrichs who inexplicably decide to grow beards, sell all their worldly goods, and smuggle themselves into Syria.

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Race Hustlers Want Equal Treatment With Biker Gangs

21st May 2015

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You can’t make this stuff up: some on the left are complaining that the Waco biker gangs have gotten more favorable press coverage than the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore.

And you can feel their pain.

The way the left drags race into every damn thing that happens is corrosive. The Waco/Baltimore comparison is ridiculous, but it is far too typical of the nonsense we see from newspeople and commentators every day.

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The Twin Peaks Shootout

21st May 2015

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Of course, when I want to know about a Texas shootout, the first place I look is the New Yorker, by a female ‘staff writer’ who has probably never been within yards of a ‘biker’ in her life. That makes perfect sense.

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Tsarnaev Death Expensive Justice: James Fox

18th May 2015

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The troubling fact is that none of this, neither the financial cost nor the emotional toll, was necessary. After all, the defense team, long before admitting their client’s responsibility for the bombings on the very first day of trial, was willing to enter a guilty plea if the government agreed to take the death penalty off the table in favor of life without parole. Would that have been so bad?


Sure, critics would have complained about the high cost of housing and feeding Tsarnaev as a guest of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. They failed to recognize that this expense is a drop in the justice system bucket compared with the millions upon millions of dollars spent on prosecuting him.

One round of .45 ACP is 64 cents if you buy it in bulk. I’d be happy to pull the trigger for free. Hell, I’d pay my own expenses there and back pro bono publico.


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Rock City, The Casbah

16th May 2015

Mark Steyn looks at the madness afflicting the New York Times.

What confidence can we have that traumatized war refugees can be transformed into budding American entrepreneurs? We cannot know for sure. But recent evidence of recaptured children from the clutches of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and victims of violent crime across five continents reveals that they become more active citizens than similar compatriots who have not suffered from these traumatic events.

What a fascinating study. If that’s how you make “active” citizens, let’s drop the entire student body of Oberlin in the middle of Somalia and see what they’re like when they get back.

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Clinton Foundation Donors Include Dozens of Media Organizations, Individuals

16th May 2015

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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‘Boston in shock over Tsarnaev death penalty’

16th May 2015

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Well, actually, a more accurate headline would be ‘Left-Wing BBC Reporter in Shock Over Tsarnaev Death Penalty'; of course, since the BBC (getting its money through compulsory license fees) doesn’t feel any inclination to wear a Clever Plastic Disguise over it’s ‘progressive’ bias.

This is almost a pure example of the type — the reporter is shocked, so of course all right-thinking people are shocked, and since Massachusetts is full of right-thinking people (having elected the Peter Pan Party since time out of mind), therefore Massachusetts is shocked and ashamed.

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‘Draw Mohammed’ Contest Winner Will Be Added to SPLC ‘Hate’ List

12th May 2015

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Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim who won the Muhammad cartoon contest at the Texas free speech event attacked by two gunmen Sunday, will soon be added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) list of hate groups.

A very great honor which I hope he appreciates.

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Why Hillary Clinton Embraced Big Money in Politics

8th May 2015

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The term ‘irremedially corrupt’ springs to mind.

But Clinton really had no other choice. The Republican presidential nominee, the Republican National Committee and groups associated with electing a Republican president are expected to spend at least $1 billion and probably closer to $2 billion to elect a GOP president. Democrats will attempt to match this fundraising, if not raise more.

No matter what happens, it’s always the Republicans’ fault. Thank you, NBC, Voice of the Crust.

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Actual WaPo Headline: “Event Organizer Offers No Apology After Thwarted Attack in Texas”

6th May 2015

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The media is so, so angry at Pam Geller for putting them in a position where they have to side with her (sort of). They already despised her. Now that she’s made them unwilling allies in defending her right to mock Mohammed, they’ll never forgive her.

So they’re going to try to make her the instigator of the Garland attack rather than the two turds who actually tried to pull it off. Why else would she, the ostensible victim, need to apologize?

WaPo and Feldman are basically accusing her of being a de facto ringleader in a murder plot, in which she was one of the prime targets, in order to advance her anti-Islam agenda.

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The Audacity of Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina

6th May 2015

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Headlines you’ll never see in the Atlantic (unlike this one): ‘The Audacity of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’.

I’m sure they would have used ‘ego’ if the Washington Post hadn’t gotten to it first.

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Ben Carson’s Over-the-Top Ego

6th May 2015

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Headlines you’ll never see in the Washington Post (unlike this one): ‘Barack Obama’s Over-the-Top Ego’, ‘Hillary Clinton’s Over-the-Top Ego’, ‘Bill Clinton’s Over-the-Top Ego’, ‘Harry Reid’s Over-the-Top Ego’, ‘Nancy Pelosi’s Over-the-Top Ego’, ‘Jesse Jackson’s Over-the-Top Ego’, or ‘Al Sharpton’s Over-the-Top Ego’.

Ego, you see, is only a Republican characteristic, and cancels out his being black.

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Clinton Calls for Path To ‘Full and Equal Citizenship’ for Illegal Immigrants

6th May 2015

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Even I can do this one:

  1. Go back where you came from.
  2. Apply through the normal process.
  3. Wait like everybody else.

That was easy. Give me a hard one.

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PunditFact: A Case Study In Fact-Free Hackery

4th May 2015

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If you like liberal ideologues who label inconvenient facts as “false,” then you’ll love PunditFact. Why? Because PunditFact just declared that a demonstrably true fact was false because, according to PunditFact, the factual claim “ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.” Facts are strange that way. They do tend to give an impression of the truth, even if some people find that impression discomfiting.

It gets more embarrassing than that, though. In an unsolicited April 28 e-mail to me, PunditFact author Louis Jacobson told me unequivocally that the demonstrably factual claim he was examining was “clearly accurate” and “technically true.” But today, Jacobson declares, that fact is suddenly “Mostly False.”

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145 American Writers Think Honoring Charlie Hebdo Is ‘Islamophobic’

2nd May 2015

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Which it is, by their definition of ‘Islamophobic’ (i.e. daring to tell the truth about Islam).

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Forgiving Brooke Baldwin

29th April 2015

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But let us express compassion for poor wee Brooke, a thirty-something special snowflake from the UNC Chapel Hill Department of Commie Propaganda (that is, Journalism). When I went to boot camp in 1987, my company commander was a SMC Baldwin. That’s Chief Signalman for you civilian types, though the rating was apparently merged with Quartermaster in 2004.

I kind of wonder what old Baldwin would think of his namesake slandering veterans as though military service turns Americans into some kind of foreign, invasive species. Veterans support and defend the Constitutional right of Brooke and her ilk to be as false and useless as they want to be. There is some irony to be mined in how the era of Hope and Change segregates Americans into victim groups, like the Baltimore rioters, and target groups, like veterans, Christians,  and males (trifecta for me!).

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The Inevitable Salon Defense of Kazakhstan’s Election System Is Finally Here and It’s More Amazing Than You Could Have Imagined

28th April 2015

Johnathan Chait, Voice of the Crust, bites the hand that fees him.

This week, Kazakhstan’s incumbent president Nursultan A. Nazarbayev won a fifth consecutive term with a whopping 97.7 percent of the vote. Such a high margin naturally lends itself to cynicism about the fairness of the proceedings from pro-democracy organs like Freedom House, which rates Kazakhstan as a “consolidated authoritarian regime” with a democracy score (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the worst) of 6.57. Nazarbayev is offended that his landslide victory could be seen as evidence of anything but his countrymen’s overwhelming approval. “I apologize if these numbers are unacceptable for the superdemocratic countries, but there was nothing I could do,” the president declared, “If I had interfered, it would have been undemocratic.” (Maybe next time he should tamp down his own margin by intentionally committing a campaign gaffe or letting some dissidents out of prison or something.)

Nazarbayev is not the only one miffed at the smug response from the “superdemocratic countries.” Writing for Salon, Sophia McClennen, professor of international affairs and comparative literature at Penn State, has a lecture for Americans who consider their electoral system oh-so-superior to Kazakhstan’s.

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Chris Rock on the ‘Missing Black Player’

28th April 2015

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Chris Rock: “Last year, the San Francisco Giants won it all without any black guys on the team.”

Rhymes With Cars And Girls posts the pictures of these ‘non-black’ players, all of whom were Afro-Carribeans and a lot darker than Barack Obama or Eric Holder.

Why does this stupid-ass meme persist?

Here’s a theory: black people feel self-conscious because black Americans have (evidently) been losing roster spots to black Central- and South-Americans. This (stupid-ass) meme that this is a failure of baseball is more palatable than the reality, which is that it’s a failure of black Americans.

Indeed. I guess a Hispanic surname makes you a ‘white Hispanic’ no matter what your skin tone or ancestry.

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Our Mean-Spirited President Cuts Loose

27th April 2015

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There has been quite a bit of news coverage of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Don’t ask me why. The annual lovefest between Democratic politicians and Democratic journalists hasn’t generated any actual news in a long time. But this year’s event was perhaps notable because it exposed our president’s bitterness, as he approaches the end of his term. Humor is often revealing. Obama began with a joke that would be considered crude in a junior high school locker room:

After the midterm elections, my advisors asked me, “Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?” And I said, “Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.’” (Laughter and applause.)

Take executive action on immigration? Bucket. (Laughter.) New climate regulations? Bucket. It’s the right thing to do. (Laughter and applause.)

If I had said something like that when I was 12, my father would have whacked me. Now, we have a president so pitiful that he thinks such crudeness is appropriate humor.

Obama seems to share Hillary’s attitude of ‘Why can’t you people just do what you’re told?’

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Martin O’Malley’s Modern-Day Know-Nothingness

23rd April 2015

Jonah Goldberg takes the Governor to the woodshed.

Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” recently interviewed O’Malley, asking him to respond to something GOP presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio had said.

Inskeep: “[Rubio] argues that an active government actually keeps people frozen at their economic status because if you are well off, if you can afford a lawyer, if you can deal with regulations, you can maneuver through government and stay prosperous. And if you are not so well off, it’s harder to work the system. Is there some truth to that? You were a big city mayor; you know how government works.”

O’Malley replied: “No, I don’t think there’s any truth to that.”

Apparently Joe Biden isn’t the only idiot in Maryland politics.

O’Malley is also a passionate supporter of hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would be a boon to many union members and others who managed to keep their jobs. But it would also impose a significant burden for many small businesses that can’t pass the costs on to consumers (and a gift to big business that can). Worse, it would make it that much harder for unskilled workers to get their first job.

The first minimum wage laws were advocated by progressive economists on the assumption that if you forced employers to pay a “white man’s wage,” they’d only hire white men. As the sociologist E.A. Ross put it in the context of Chinese immigrant workers, in the early 1900s, “the Coolie cannot outdo the American, but he can underlive him.”

The Davis-Bacon Act, still cherished by Democrats and their labor union patrons, was passed in 1931 to prevent blacks and immigrants from competing with all-white unions for federal contracts during the Depression. And Jim Crow laws certainly locked millions of blacks out of the middle class.

Well, the SWPLs of the Crust don’t really care for the Underclass all that much, they just talk a good game because that way the morons will continue to vote for them.

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Countries That Hate America the Most

22nd April 2015

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A classic Voice of the Crust thumb-sucker.

Unmentioned: Why anybody should care.

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Liberals Greet Apple Watch With Fresh Assault on Company

21st April 2015

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Of course. It’s what they do.

The signal came in The New Yorker magazine, a publication that embodies elite left-wing political sensibilities and one that has also happily accepted its share of Apple advertising dollars over the years. It came in a New Yorker article written by Jill Lepore, a professor at Harvard University, an institution that rivals The New Yorker as an elite left-wing flagship and that has also sold its share of Apple products over the years.

The key passage in the New Yorker article went like this: “The iPhone exists, as Mariana Mazzucato demonstrated in her 2013 book ‘The Entrepreneurial State,’ because various branches of the U.S. government provided research assistance that resulted in several key technological developments, including G.P.S., multi-touch screens, L.C.D. displays, lithium-ion batteries, and cellular networks.”

What a breathtaking claim. By this analysis, Apple’s success isn’t the result of Steve Jobs’s brilliance or Apple executive Jonathan Ive’s design savvy or international trade. It’s the product of the U.S. government.

Well, then, let’s confiscate the personal wealth of everyone who works for Apple and makes more than, oh, say, a GS-15. That’ll teach ’em.

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Checking Charlie Hebdo’s Privilege

19th April 2015

Ross Douthat finds that his bullshit detector has gone off.

A LIVING cartoonist lecturing his murdered peers makes for a curious spectacle, but that’s what transpired at journalism’s George Polk Awards a week ago. The lecturer was Garry Trudeau, of “Doonesbury” fame; his subject was the cartoonists for Charlie Hebdo, the Parisian satire rag, who were gunned down by fanatics because of their mockery of Muhammad and Islam.

Trudeau did not exactly say they had it coming, but he passed judgment on their sins — not the sin of blasphemy, but the sin of picking a politically unsuitable target for their jabs. By mocking things sacred to Europe’s Muslim immigrants, Trudeau lamented, the Hebdo cartoonists were “punching downward … attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority.” This was both a moral and an aesthetic failing, because “ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny — it’s just mean.”

Trudeau is hardly the first writer to accuse the Hebdo cartoonists of “punching down.” That phrase, and the critique it implies of “Je Suis Charlie” solidarity, has circulated on the Western left ever since the massacre. And understandably, because it reflects a moral theory popular among our intelligentsia, one that The Atlantic’s David Frum, in a response to Trudeau, distilled as follows: In any given conflict, first “identify the bearer of privilege,” then “hold the privilege-bearer responsible.”

As Frum notes, at its roots (both liberal and biblical) this is an admirable idea. Better to live in a society that favors underdogs than one that just lets victors have their way.

But on the contemporary left, the theory’s simplicity is becoming a kind of intellectual straitjacket. The Hebdo massacre is just one of many cases in which today’s progressives, in the name of overthrowing hierarchies, end up assuming that lines of power are predictable, permanent and clear.

Which they are not, for several reasons.

Why anyone would consider rich white Yalie Garry Trudeau a moral exemplar on anything escapes me.

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Has Obamacare Turned Voters Against Sharing the Wealth?

18th April 2015

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With the advent of the Affordable Care Act, the share of Americans convinced that health care is a right shrank from a majority to a minority.

This shift in public opinion is a major victory for the Republican Party. It is part of a larger trend: a steady decline in support for redistributive government policies. Emmanuel Saez, an economics professor at Berkeley and one of the nation’s premier experts on inequality, is a co-author of a study that confirms this trend, which has been developing over the last four decades. A separate study, “The Structure of Inequality and Americans’ Attitudes Toward Redistribution,” found that as inequality increases, so does ideological conservatism in the electorate.

Needless to say, those Voices of the Crust who write for the New York Times view this as a Bad Thing.

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Americans Love Paying Taxes

17th April 2015

The Atlantic, Voice of the Crust, tries to pull an Obama.

And if you believe that one, they’ll tell you another one.

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Garry Trudeau on Charlie Hebdo: ‘At Some Point Free Expression Absolutism Becomes Childish and Unserious’

12th April 2015

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Much like the work of Garry Trudeau.

TrudeauLike Doonesbury itself, Garry Trudeau’s speech yesterday at Long Island University was entertaining at the beginning but eventually became tedious and smug. After opening with some funny reminiscences about his early struggles with unsympathetic editors, the cartoonist tried to tackle the topic of the murders at Charlie Hebdo. He did not take the position you might expect from a professional satirist. “Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility,” he lectured. “At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious.”

Trudeau’s talk took its turn for the worse halfway in, when he offered a garbled account of the Muhammad cartoon controversy of 2005. “Using judgment and common sense in expressing oneself were denounced as antithetical to freedom of speech,” he told the audience. I seem to remember some responses to those cartoons that were more clearly antithetical to freedom of speech, including death threats and assassination attempts. Trudeau alluded to some of this, but he blamed the speakers, not the censors: “Not only was one cartoonist gunned down, but riots erupted around the world, resulting in the deaths of scores. No one could say toward what positive social end, yet free speech absolutists were unchastened.”

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Fox Business News Apologizes After Commentator Calls Apple CEO Tim Cook A ‘Bigot’

11th April 2015

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Which is a pity, because of course Tim Cook is a bigot; as, indeed, are all militant homosexuals.

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Racism in Schools Is Pushing More Black Families to Homeschool Their Children

11th April 2015

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A Voice of the Crust must push the Narrative even if it derogates one of their tools, the teachers’ unions.

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Bottom Story of the Week

11th April 2015

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The New Republic, with its punk owner Chris Hughes having locked the cockpit door, continues its rapid decompression and descent into the mountainside.  This week TNR carries a piece saying that the Rolling Stone UVA rape hoax story is the fault of . . . conservatives.

The story (and “story” it is) by Elizabeth Stoker Brunig shows what an expensive college education in postmodern theory gets you these days….

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Enjoying the Low Life?

10th April 2015

Nicholas Kristof at Voice of the Crust New York Times phones in another rewarming of The Narrative.

The United States is the most powerful colossus in the history of the world: Our nuclear warheads could wipe out the globe, our enemies tweet on iPhones, and kids worldwide bop to Beyoncé.

Yet let’s get real. All this hasn’t benefited all Americans. A newly released global index finds that America falls short, along with other powerful countries, on what matters most: assuring a high quality of life for ordinary citizens.

Unexamined is the fact that ‘ordinary Americans’ who have a job and support themselves are doing fine; it’s the slackers who live off of the labor of others who are doing most of the whining.

The Social Progress Index for 2015 ranks the United States 16th in the world.

At what? Being socialist? Be still my heart. This is like criticizing countries for being unlike the Soviet Union. ‘They may not be allowed to vote for more than one candidate, but at least they’ve got free day care!’

We also rank 32nd in preventing early marriage, 38th in the equality of our education system, 49th in high school enrollment rates and 87th in cellphone use.

Well, that’s pretty much horseshit. The government does a fine job of ‘prevent[ing] early marriage’ by offering every UnderCrust female an apartment, food stamps, and MedicAid simply for having a child without bothering to marry the father. The ‘equality of our education system’ is almost perfect, with every child being offered an equally-crappy public education at the hands of ‘teachers’ who are more concerned about their salaries and benefits than their formal jobs. Why have ‘high school enrollment’ when it subjects you to attacks by juvenile delinquents that won’t be disciplined by any kind of authority? And I fail to see how ‘cellphone use’ constitutes a measuring stick for civilization.

The fun part, though, is the accompanying list. Notice that, except for Japan, all of the countries above the U.S. are government by highly blue-eyed white people — and, judging from college admissions, the Japanese can be considered Honorary White People (at least for affirmative-action purposes).

Maybe the problem is that the U.S. doesn’t have enough white people. That seems to be the key to getting higher on the list.

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Mapped: How Hard It Is to Get Across U.S. Cities Using Only Bike Lanes

9th April 2015

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No doubt that the Washington Post has the hipster ‘progressive’ demographic nailed.

Can you think of anything more illustrative of the Peter Pan Party’s core cultural meme ‘We Wont Grow Up!’ than this one?

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UK Enacts New Tax to Cope With Companies Like Apple, Google Diverting Profits Overseas

8th April 2015

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Note the weasel-word ‘diverting’, as if profits must by some law of nature not go overseas. By this you may know a Voice of the Crust.

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GOP Foreign Policy Factions Tussle for Sway in Jeb Bush Campaign Team

8th April 2015

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Two prominent factions within the Republican foreign policy establishment are fighting for control over who will help guide former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush‘s policy positions as he gears up for a campaign for the presidency.

More hawkish Republicans — represented by the prominent, interventionist neoconservatives who populated the ranks of the George W. Bush administration — have repeatedly raised concerns about the more pragmatic foreign policy team being assembled around Mr. Bush.

By which phrasing you know that the Crust have decided that ‘interventionist neoconservatives’ (almost worth the price of admission, that hate-phrase) will be the Emmanuel Goldstein of the Bush campaign.

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After Bush Order, Black Enrollment Shrinks at Florida Universities

8th April 2015

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Governor requires everybody be treated the same, women and minorities hardest hit.

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The Inside Story of the Civil War for the Soul of NBC News

8th April 2015

Vanity Fair, Voice of the Crust, still can’t resist shooting fish in a barrel.

But that afternoon, after a long presentation to 200 NBC advertising salespeople, Turness was feeling better than she had in months. When she had been hired she knew she was stepping onto a troubled ship; finally, she felt, the organizational changes she had made were showing results. Meet the Press’s ratings were edging up; Nightly News seemed to be stabilizing. “Things,” she told Fili, “feel like they’re in a really good place.”

Her sense of relief, however, lasted mere minutes. As she left Fili’s office around 3:30, Turness learned the startling news: the most important person at the network, the face of NBC News, its anchorman Brian Williams, had apparently been exaggerating an anecdote about coming under fire in a U.S. Army helicopter during the Iraq war in 2003. A reporter from the military newspaper Stars and Stripes had called about it that morning. Williams was supposed to talk to him off the record in an effort to determine what the reporter planned to write. Instead, to the dismay of NBC’s P.R. staff, Williams had gone on the record and admitted he hadn’t been telling the truth, not only on a Nightly News broadcast the previous week but also over the years at public appearances and on talk shows.

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Does the Holocaust Discount Jewish White Privilege?

7th April 2015

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Only The New Republic can be racist and anti-Semitic without breaking a sweat.

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Rolling Stone Can’t Even Apologize Right

7th April 2015

Megan McArdle finds that her bullshit detector has gone off.

Sunday night, the Columbia Journalism Review released its exhaustive report on what went wrong with the magazine’s blockbuster story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity that turned out to be substantially false. And we learned what Rolling Stone plans to do to prevent such mistakes in the future, which is to say basically nothing.

No one is getting fired. Jann Wenner, the magazine’s owner, expects that Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article in question, will continue to write for them. Her apology, also released last night, says in part: “I allowed my concern for Jackie’s well-being, my fear of re-traumatizing her, and my confidence in her credibility to take the place of more questioning and more facts. These are mistakes I will not make again.” So everyone is basically saying the same thing: Their compassion for rape victims allowed them to be taken by a liar. Big oops, won’t do that again! Nothing to see here, so can we all move along?

” Never mind….”

But while it is not wrong, it is also not enough. Usually, when a reporter gets taken, you will hear some combination of the following:

The reporter was young and inexperienced and found out the hard way that sources lie.
The reporter was under heavy deadline pressure that did not allow them to check what the source was saying.
The reporter had literally no way to verify what happened — if someone tells you they were the sole survivor of a massacre in a region torn by civil war, who are you going to interview to check it out?
None of these applies to the Rolling Stone story. Erdely spent months working on it, and she delivered 400 pages of notes to Rolling Stone. It turns out that she was in my class at the University of Pennsylvania and has been working as a journalist for most of the time since, so it’s safe to say that she’s no naive spring chicken, unfamiliar with the wicked ways of sources. She had layers of editors and fact checkers who were aware of where she was getting her information. So what happened?

Fake but accurate.”

Because most of my readers are not journalists, it seems worth noting that if this story had not fallen apart, it likely would have walked away with a National Magazine Award. It checks all the boxes: important social issue, beautiful writing, a vivid and gruesome event at its core, a heart-rending miscarriage of justice. When Jackie threatened to slip away, she was threatening to torpedo Rolling Stone’s major coup. There were certainly other stories that Erdely could have used instead, but less sensational stories that are more typical of campus rapes would not get the kind of readership or professional recognition that the magazine would earn for uncovering a clear-cut and horrific crime that the university had inexplicably failed to pursue.

I’m not saying Erdely and her editors were willing to print something false, or even something they suspected was possibly false, for professional advancement.

I, on the other hand, will not hesitate to do so. At volume. For a long, long time.

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Tim Cook, End the Hypocrisy!

7th April 2015

Read it.

Tim Cook, Steve Jobs’s successor as CEO of Apple, authored an op-ed in the Washington Post condemning laws that protect religious freedom. Cook, who is himself gay, concluded with these words:

Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous.

We agree with that, and we would like to see Apple show some courage. Not by writing op-eds that will be hailed by Cook’s progressive friends and will cost Apple nothing, but by facing up to the fact that around the world, homosexuals face a lot worse problems than buying cakes for their weddings.

Millions for Indiana, but not one cent for Mecca. Cook and his Aeron-chair commandos are a good example of the Folk-Song Army:

“One type of song that has come into increasing prominence in recent months is the folk-song of protest. You have to admire people who sing these songs. It takes a certain amount of courage to get up in a coffee-house or a college auditorium and come out in favor of the things that everybody else in the audience is against like peace and justice and brotherhood and so on.” — Tom Lerer

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Another Day, Another Dumb New York Times’ Story on Corporations and Free Speech

7th April 2015

Read it.

A fine fisking of the notorious Timothy Egan, who writes about the world as viewed from the Upper West Side for the New York Times.

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Bioethicists Object to Rich Tech Folks Seeking Immortality

7th April 2015

Read it.

‘Bioethicist’ sounds prtty cool, doesn’t it? Sounds as if it ought to be a science-based field, in which one can earn a degree, do research, get published, and be subject to the discipline such a thing implies.

Well, actually no. ‘Bioethecist’ is just the same old Leftist ‘you must listen to us because we know better than you what you ought to be doing’ cant, just more narrowly focused. Its political agenda is plain to see — next time you read some outgassing from a ‘bioethicist’, ask yourself if it’s something you can see a Peter Pan Party functionary pushing. If it is, that tells you all you need to know.

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Rolling Stone’s Rape Hoax: Why Did It Happen?

6th April 2015

John Hinderaker asks the as-yet-unanswered questions.

The Columbia report takes us behind the scenes at Rolling Stone and adds new details about how the false story made its way into print. But it says little about why the scandal, one of the worst instances of journalistic malpractice on record, happened.

Of course: Sabrina Erdely and her editor, Sean Woods, believed “Jackie,” even though there were obvious indications of unreliability, because she was telling them what they wanted to hear, something that was consistent with a “larger pattern.” One might think that the nightmare the principals at Rolling Stone have lived through might generate some self-knowledge. But no. Their biases are intact.

I don’t know whether sexual assault is a serious problem on college campuses or not. FBI statistics indicate not women aged 18-22 who are not college students are significantly more likely to be raped, or otherwise sexually assaulted, than those who are college students, as one would expect. It occurs to me that if you are a rapist, women aged 18 to 22 are probably a prime target group. But it is an article of faith within the establishment, of which Rolling Stone is emphatically a part, that campus rape is an epidemic. That’s why they wanted to publish the article, and that’s why they weren’t too particular about whether it was true.

Anything that happens is an opportunity to push The Narrative, whether true or not, whether relevant or not.

Posted in Axis of Drivel. | 1 Comment »

‘ The pagan roots of Easter’

6th April 2015

Heather MacDougal is the designated hitter expounding the Crustian party line.

Easter is a pagan festival. If Easter isn’t really about Jesus, then what is it about?

That’s the ‘progressive’ mind at work — ‘X ix Y, so why are you so wrong?’

However much ‘Easter’ may have at one time been a ‘pagan festival’, it is now a thoroughly Christian festival; it’s only called ‘Easter’ by the inheritors of a smallish section of the Latin Western tradition, and of course all the Crust knows is the modern West.

It really is about Jesus, Heather, and a little effort spent on research, although it will take you away from your day job of parroting cliches for the Left, it would really help you out. You might want to start here.

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Rolling Stone Retracts Discredited UVA Gang Rape Story Dubbed ‘Journalistic Failure’

6th April 2015

Read it.

But — this is the Crust, so nobody lost his job and nobody went to jail.

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Why Can’t We Call the UVA Case a Hoax?

2nd April 2015

Read it.

Four months after Rolling Stone magazine published a shocking—and soon discredited—account of a fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia, the Charlottesville police department has released the results of its investigation into the alleged assault. It comes as no surprise that “no substantive basis” was found for the claim by a student known as “Jackie” that she was raped by seven men at a fraternity party as a UVA freshman in September 2012. What’s striking is to what lengths both the police and many in the news media have gone to tiptoe around the obvious fact that the tale was a hoax by a serial liar. This dance of denial suggests that in the current ideological climate, it is nearly impossible to declare any allegation of rape to be definitely false.

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There’s Noah Business Like Shoah Business

1st April 2015

Mark Steyn looks at the latest leftist tar pit.

On Monday, when Trevor Noah landed the gig as Jon Stewart’s replacement, Salon‘s headline writers assured us:

Right-Wing Rage At ‘The Daily Show’ Is About To Get Very, Very Ugly

That’s because Trevor Noah is a mixed-race South African, and everyone knows right-wingers are ugly racists consumed with rage over miscegenation. As it turned out, there was not a peep from rage-consumed righties, perhaps because they don’t watch “The Daily Show” and had never heard of Trevor Noah, or perhaps because they were preoccupied with inconsequential foot-of-page-37 news stories like the nuclearization of Iran.

Once again. the left trips on its uncanny ability to see things that aren’t there. But wait, there’s more:

So instead by Tuesday morning it was the left that was all in a lather – or as those self-same Salon headline writers put it a mere 24 hours after their previous headline:

Did Trevor Noah’s Twitter History Just Kill ‘The Daily Show’?

That’s because the lefties were all mad about the oddly misogynist and anti-Semitic Twitter feed of Mr Noah, full of jests about porking fat chicks and running over a Jewish kid in his German car – which is certainly a strange choice of joke for a 21st century comic.

At this point, I realized that I did, after all, know who Trevor Noah is. I’d caught him on telly in Oz a couple of years ago, and in London at the Royal Variety Performance. He struck me as like a lot of chancers from around the Commonwealth, chaps who make a nice living tailoring their shtick to whichever corner of the Anglosphere they happen to be in. Yes, yes, I know, I do a bit of that meself. Anyway, passing through Britain only a few days ago, I got back after dinner and thought I’d watch ten minutes of TV before turning in. Unfortunately, it was the BBC’s annual “Comic Relief” fundraiser, a long night of leaden japes and forced jollity, in the midst of which up popped Mr Noah….

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‘Watchdog Groups’ Say 2016 Hopefuls Dodging Rules

1st April 2015

Read it.

As the 2016 election nears, contenders in both parties have been hiring staffers, traveling to early-nominating stats and feverishly raising money. Their operations can look to some like campaigns—but they aren’t subject to any of the restrictions that would otherwise apply.

That’s the subject of complaints filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission by two campaign-finance watchdog groups, who allege that four potential contenders—former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker—are violating federal campaign finance laws.

How does one get to be a ‘watchdog group’? Apparently, coming up with an impressive-sounding name and reciting it to a reporter is sufficient. How about the more accurate ‘political stalking groups’?

The fact that three of the four are Republicans will not have been lost on the astute reader. Nor will the fact that Hillary Clinton has neither complied with this vague law nor been criticized by any of these so-called ‘watchdog groups’ for not doing so. Coincidence? I think not.

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Woman Poses as Lawyer, Makes Partner at Firm

30th March 2015

Read it.

That’s like saying ‘Man Poses as Doctor, Saves Lives’. If she can do the job well enough to make partner in a law firm, she is in fact a lawyer, and a damned good one, no matter what the government sas.

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