We haven't much bothered with Althouse this year. That's mostly her fault; she can't even troll worth a damn anymore. And say what you want about Althouse, all of it accurate and justly cruel, but back in the day she could certainly troll.
In the NYTDaniel Callahan writes something sophisticated and important about death and health. Althouse tries to shoot it dead from a helicopter, with spitballs.
I have often been struck, at funerals of the elderly, of the common phrase that while the deceased will be missed, he or she led a “full life.” Adding years to a life doesn’t necessarily make it any fuller.
We may properly hope that scientific advances help ensure, with ever greater reliability, that young people manage to become old people. We are not, however, obliged to help the old become indefinitely older. Indeed, our duty may be just the reverse: to let death have its day.
But no, no, no, there are no death panels. Just nudging, withholding, moralizing, disparaging.
What is the social benefit of these old people?
It used to be considered immoral to ask that question.
Well, actually, no it didn't.
And there aren't any "death panels."
But everyone should think carefully about The End, because that is an essential part of Life. As Joe once remarked,
Past humanity is not only implicit in each new man born but is contained in him. Humanity is an ever-widening spiral and life is the beam that plays briefly on each succeeding ring. All humanity from its beginning to its end is already present but the beam has not yet played beyond you. Your earthly successors await dumbly and trust to your guidance and mine and all my people inside me to preserve them and lead the light further. You are not now the top of your people’s line any more than your mother was when she had you inside her. When I leave you I take with me all that has made you what you are – I take all your significance and importance and all the accumulations of human instinct and appetite and wisdom and dignity. You will be left with nothing behind you and nothing to give the waiting ones. Woe to you when they find you out!
Althouse is the beginning of the unfinished, the re-discovery of the familiar, the re-experience of the already suffered, the fresh-forgetting of the unremembered. Althouse goes round and round. Her blog: in shape it is circular and by nature it is interminable, repetitive and very nearly unbearable.
This is a thing that has a far more Internetty and mass-media hysterical existence than an actual true-fact existence.
You are as likely to be a victim of The Knockout Game as you are to be the lucky winner of a state lottery.
"Wilding" didn't exist either.
And so... Here is America's Most Tremulous Old White Man, Jay Nordlinger!
I am not one of those who want the president and other major politicians to comment on everything that takes place in America. On the whole, I think that there could be more reticence from the highest offices.
But how long has this “knockout” thing been going on? I’m talking about these racial attacks across the country, wherein thugs pick little old ladies to bludgeon. These are mainly “black on white” attacks, as I understand it. If they were “white on black,” wouldn’t we be having a national emergency?Wouldn’t politicians, journalists, and others be talking about it to the exclusion of nearly everything else?
This is one of those things that are impolite to mention but screamingly true. I’m not sure that President Obama or others can do any good when it comes to this evil “game.” I also don’t believe that Obama has a special obligation to address racial problems (although he was happy to comment on the Cambridge, Mass., police and the Trayvon Martin case, wasn’t he?). But if he or others can do any good — they should.
P.S. When people speak of “hate crimes,” isn’t this what they mean, or should mean? Although, in my book, a crime is a crime — no need for the special category of “hate.”
Christ, Nordlinger. Grow a pair.
This, though, is rich, so I re-quote:
These are mainly “black on white” attacks, as I understand it. If they were “white on black,” wouldn’t we be having a national emergency? Wouldn’t politicians, journalists, and others be talking about it to the exclusion of nearly everything else?
HOLY SHIT, NORDLINGER, THIS IS A MADE-UP PHONY-BALONEY LOAD OF HORSESHIT FROM THE GET-GO.
If the fucking National Review were to encourage roaming gangs of whites to go looking to Enact Justice upon random blacks, nobody would be surprised.
The best way to shrink Big Government is to use it to kick the everliving shit out of poor people and minorities generally. The best way to accomplish this is for law enforcement agencies to have all the tax monies and spy laws.
It is that time of year again when we point out that people who don't like turkey are people who can't cook turkey, and that anti-turkey contrarianism is by this late date as played as claiming to enjoy Arcade Fire records ironically.
Still, there are a select few for whom such posturing is excusable, such as those raised in desolate regions where the likely method of turkey preparation was to beat one to death with hockey sticks, and to consume it raw, feathers and all, accompanied only by a "gravy" consisting of lukewarm Canadian Club and viscera. Others who date their prejudices to poor food preparation in the 1980s make arguments about as convincing as the claim that neither music, nor clothing, nor haircuts, are worth the bother because of Kajagoogoo.
Personally, we here at the Whiskey Fire Traveling Roadshow will indeed be enjoying the traditional turkey, as well as the traditional whiskey. We will also likely view on the teevee the traditional Patriotic Pageant of Enormous Concussed Humans. Just like Jesus did.
A bright young imbecile is paid by the NR to do "journalism" at a Star Wars thingy. The results are ghastly.
I'm not happy about how caustic I'm about to get to a young writer, but look, better it come from some Internet schmuck than from someone else who shouldn't pay her.
In October 2012, Star Wars fans felt a great disturbance in the Force. Disney — no need to explain why this is gobsmackingly horrible — announced that it was going to insult the collective intelligence, sensibility, and good taste of everyone in America and the English-speaking world by welcoming George Lucas to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and making another Star Wars trilogy.
The Star Wars franchise is a franchise, and remains potentially profitable.
Disney makes money. It's very good at it.
George Lucas made one movie in the 1970s that spawned a popular and remunerative franchise, and ever since then, he has grown beards of various lengths, yelled a lot, and made movies that nobody liked.
What the fuck is your beef with Disney...?
This is pathetic:
Here’s why Star Wars is dead: First, because they made a huge mistake in not casting me. Second, because it’s no longer in the hands of a bunch of nerds in California and because it’s been entrusted instead to the kind of people who think eight-hour meet-and-greets are a good idea either as A) publicity stunts (or, giving them the presumption of good faith) B) a good way to determine who’s going to be the next Luke Skywalker. It’s because Star Wars — a story that’s profoundly anti-centralization, anti-bureaucracy, anti-depersonalization — is being micromanaged and scrutinized by nameless bureaucrats who think that people who’ve stood in line for five hours will be satisfied with being directed to a website. And it’s because a film enterprise that was initially about risk is now about bet-hedging. No one should need to be told that the seventh film in a franchise probably isn’t going to be super great. But, you know, just in case, consider yourself warned.
Just had a brilliant idea: Why not make November 22nd* American Firearms Day? We can each take a few moments to remember the Freedom & Liberty brought to this country by armed crazies wandering the streets while we gloss over the millions murdered, dead or permanently damaged because people like you are trusted w/ firearms in these United Snakes & to remind us all that were it not for guns, we wouldn't need guns!!
Although, in all fairness, to be balanced & objective, no skin off our teeth, so whatevs:
I remember when I was five
We were sittin' in school when the teacher cried
She told everybody that the President died
But that didn't bother me 'cause I was still alive!
Cobbled together from ranted droolings chez moi & a Twit.
Hey Patriots: Let's make 22 Nov. American Firearms Day, to celebrate the Freedom & Liberty guns have brought America. No? How about June 6?
My post yesterday on dependency triggered an interesting discussion in the comments, and I wanted to follow up on a point I made near the end of the post — regarding the imperative of personal mentoring to help kids and families escape poverty.
Right. The earlier post linked up there explains how if the federal government would cut it out with the socialism, and let the nice, charitable folks who own coal mines run their lives, natives of rural Eastern Kentucky would be living in Galt's Fucking Gulch right now, and they'd be regularly shitting out Hayek Diamonds for the amusement and delight of tourists from such Heartland Enclaves as Cobb County, Georgia.
It takes some stones to say "more of them should be thrown into coal mines so they'll learn some self-respect," sure. But our Corner clown has more fetid depths to plumb.
While I was never young and liberal (a few years ago I found my old high-school yearbook and was surprised to see that almost every note mentioned my conservatism — I must have been a lot of fun to be around), I have been young and naïve. And I’ve been most naÏve about poverty and its cures. If I could distil my hard-earned lessons down to one sentence, it would be this: Any program or personal activity that doesn’t account for mankind’s fallen nature will likely fail with any given individual and is certain to fail in the aggregate.
Well, when I was young, I had a heart, and so I was a socialist. And now that I am older, and possessed yet of a head, I am a pissed-off socialist, and fuck any apocryphal Churchill quotes with a cum-drenched cigar.
If I could distil my similar "hard-learned lessons" down to one sentence, it would be that the government can indeed successfully relieve poverty, and God cannot, for the simple reason that the government exists and God fucking doesn't.
Trillions of dollars have been wasted on the notion that people simply need a bit of help to get by, welfare is but a temporary solution to external injustices visited upon the hard-working poor, and that government assistance can only benefit families struggling to make ends meet. Yet how many families must we shatter – how much sickness and disability must we incentivize — before we realize (to paraphrase an excellent book) that helping can (and does) hurt?
Citations (beyond a bullshit not-social science book) omitted.
I'm baffled by the theological determination that the "temporary solution" of "at least you and your kids aren't starving to death" is inferior to the "we should have let you lazy shits croak" perspective. Certain Christian arguments are indeed an ineffable pancake and a melodious source of rare mind-medicating contemplation.
Our disgusting specimen then describes how he and his Church group decided to be nice to two sets of poors. One young poor boy, nobody loved him, was Goofus, and was running a "long-running con" wherein he received "food and clothes," the cad. But then there was a Gallant!
The next year — not much older but much wiser — we intervened to help a different kid. We’ll call him “Bob.” Like many other kids in our church’s youth ministry, he came from a broken home, had absolutely zero financial resources, and his parents were alcoholics. He had had barely passed in high school, but just after graduation, in a moment of personal crisis, he began drinking heavily and disappeared from church. We loved him and couldn’t bear the thought that he’d fall through the cracks. We found him an apartment right by our house and moved him in, but placed strict conditions on our help — conditions that involved not only finding and keeping a job but also spending a lot of time together (dinners, visits, etc.) The goal wasn’t just to give him the means to succeed, but also help him develop the habits and qualities of life that allow a person to live on their own, meet a wife, and raise a family.
By God’s infinite mercy and grace, Bob is doing very well, has a good job, a beautiful wife, and kids who are thriving. In fact, I’m sure he could teach us a thing or two about marriage and parenting (we need all the help we can get).
We gave Bob a leg up.
No. You gave Bob a fucking ultimatum: conform -- or sink, starve, and suffer.
Anf you got off on how he bent to your will, your norms.
Just. Fucking. Admit. It. You. Authoritarian. Fuck.
Your boy "Brian" taught you something FUCKING OBVIOUS TO NON-LOONS about human nature, but... oh forget it. Trying to explain class reality to a wingnut is like trying to explain Twitter to a sunfish.
Glad it worked out for "Bob," but unless you're a sociopath, why on earth do you believe this is the way to Make Life Better for people born into poverty -- eliminate all government safety nets, and make them beg for help like they are puppies you can train? There is a large body of writing on why this approach is doomed and diseased: it is called all of 19th century fiction. Look it up, if your pastor fucking lets you, gob-knocker.
I believe that a nation that says "you have a right not to starve and get sick and die, because you are an American" will lead to a prouder and more productive populace than the "fuck you, wait around for an entitled God-botherer to run your life for you" approach. Call me a fucking FDR Democrat if you fucking insist.
That didn't used to be a surprising or especially radical epithet.
*: In case it is at all unclear, that I called the author of this post a "fuckface" doesn't mean that I dislike him personally. Only his published opinions ought to be regarded as the diseased and disgusting emanations of your classic "fuckface." We remain committed at this blog, as always, to the basic tenets of Civil Discourse, and we likewise remain merely "committed." -- Whiskey Fire management. (Also this post contains a rare exception to our policy of preferring the serial comma, and is done for purposeful rhetorical effect, so shut it, redsnouts.)
"I'd aspired to give people a profound education--to teach them something substantial," Professor Sebastian Thrun tells me when I visit his company, Udacity, in its Mountain View, California, headquarters this past October. "But the data was at odds with this idea."
As Thrun was being praised by Friedman, and pretty much everyone else, for having attracted a stunning number of students--1.6 million to date--he was obsessing over a data point that was rarely mentioned in the breathless accounts about the power of new forms of free online education: the shockingly low number of students who actually finish the classes, which is fewer than 10%. Not all of those people received a passing grade, either, meaning that for every 100 pupils who enrolled in a free course, something like five actually learned the topic. If this was an education revolution, it was a disturbingly uneven one.
"We were on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, and at the same time, I was realizing, we don't educate people as others wished, or as I wished. We have a lousy product," Thrun tells me. "It was a painful moment." Turns out he doesn't even like the term MOOC.
Of especial note are the disastrous results of Udacity's partnership with the State of California to offer online credit-bearing courses for remedial and basic college math courses:
Among those pupils who took remedial math during the pilot program, just 25% passed. And when the online class was compared with the in-person variety, the numbers were even more discouraging. A student taking college algebra in person was 52% more likely to pass than one taking a Udacity class, making the $150 price tag--roughly one-third the normal in-state tuition--seem like something less than a bargain.
As the article makes clear, none of this means that the movement to "disrupt" higher education via cheap online content has gone away. There's just too much money involved.
It does however display the frightening and ultimately misplaced megalomania underlying the evangelical technocrats who think there's a killer app that could Educate the World and Confound the Backwards-Looking Naysayers, and almost incidentally, make them insanely rich.
If you are writing for "PJ Lifestyles," you have surely wandered down a sad, unwholesome road; the straight way is lost. "Embrace douche, ye who scribble here!"
I have much sympathy for the aspiring writer of any class. Creative activity is difficult, and I believe, salutary. I even respect Jonah Goldberg, in some sense, for blessing the world with his emanations. A lever may move the world, and a fart may move a Frito: and an unfarted Frito is a dangerous thing -- blaart hard or sniff not the Hippobuttian Spring --
Dennis Prager has some advice for anyone who "wants a conservative child." Oddly, the column does not include the suggestion that to achieve such a desideratum with a minimum of trouble, one promptly ought to contract syphilis and a taste for meth, then move to some Pennsyltucky shithole, nod out, and spawn. Though maybe that would just be preaching to to the toothrot choir. This piece was published in Townhall, to be fair.
First, parents who are not left-wing need to understand that if they do not articulate their values on a regular basis, there is a good chance that after one year, let alone four, at college, their child will adopt left-wing views and values.
It's fascinating how Prager pitches this sermon to wholly imaginary "conservative parents." His actual audience is composed of ancient racist fossils of the Senatorbilbocene. Or else they are rural fundie dipshits whose 15 year old advanced blastocysts are already parents themselves twice over, and for whom attending College is about as plausible as attending the Moon.
Well-off right-wing parents, though, have been desperate to ship their smug horrible progeny off to some expensive college ever since they lied on the preschool application form, and they don't read Dennis Prager columns.
You have to explain to your children -- repeatedly -- what America and you stand for. (That, if I may note, is why I wrote "Still the Best Hope" and why I started PragerUnversity.com.)
And if you put "proud graduate of PragerUniversity.com" on your resume, it will be rougher and harsher wiping your ass with it than Scotts.
Second, they need to know what they will be taught at college -- and now in many high schools -- and how to respond. When they are told from day one at college that America and its white citizens are inherently racist, they need to know how to counter this libel with these truths: America is the least racist society in the world; more black Africans have immigrated here of their own volition than were came here forcibly to be slaves; and "racist" is merely one of many epithets -- such as sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, and bigoted -- that the left uses instead of arguments.
Your children are straight white boys. Or you pray to Football Christ they are. Because if they aren't, why the fuck are you reading a Dennis Prager column? You have to concede that this is a fair question.
Third, when possible, it is best that your child not go to college immediately after high school. One reason colleges are able to indoctrinate students is that students enter college young and unworldly. It is very rare that adult students are convinced to abandon their values and become left-wing. Why? Because they have lived life and are much less naive. For example, someone with life experience is far more likely than a kid just out of high school to understand that the best formula for avoiding poverty is to take personal responsibility -- get a job, get married and then have children -- not government help.
"If you are working class, don't send your kid to college, because Jesus Proud."
It drivels on.
But the overall message is clear: Dear lower class rubes. Don't send your kids to college, or they might not remain lower class rubes. And that would mean that Dennis Prager might need to get a real job, and nobody wants that!
Welll, damn -- just when I thought Lindsey Graham was completely deprived of a conscience or brain-stem, out he comes with a gen-you-wine Valuable Insight:
I gather that Levin doesn't like Graham very much, probably because Graham made off with his Preciousss.
But to hell with that -- you just have to defer to Graham on the subject of South Carolinians' abject stupidity. After all, they elected him. And they might well be a-hankerin' to dump his closet-lovin' ass in a primary featuring an even viler mouthbreathing cracker!
What is problematic, in any case, is that this peculiar, nonexistent
connection between “freedom” and the military continues to be
perpetuated as an uncontroversial truism, and is met with virtually no
resistance, at least within the confines of the mainstream.
The "troops" deserve jobs and benefits.
But with extremely rare exceptions, in this century, and for much of the last, and also the one before that, no member of the American armed forces has fought for the "freedom" of American citizens.
American public teachers have done far more to defend and nurture American freedom than the American military ever has.
Spolier alert! Torture and whim-wars are not in it.
The True Nightmare is that Executive Branch has employees -- employees who have healthcare benefits.
Some 2.6 million federal employees work at the behest of the
president and his cabinet. Any surprise they’ve ALL avoided
It's not actually a surprise that anyone who gets insurance through their employer isn't typically affected by Obamacare; nor it is a surprise that the executive branch is allowed to hire employees.
There are many excellent rejoinders to be made against John Yoo's theses regarding executive overreach. There are many excellent points to be made against the present administration as regards the NSA, drones, etc.
That executive branch overreach consists of federal employees receiving employer-based healh insurance, thus making them amenable to treason is... interesting. Or, more precisely, symptomatic.
I can't even. Well I can. But I don't want to. But I must. Read on: though this will make you cry a sweater o' tears. And it will kill you.
Oh, no! Even beloved “SpongeBob SquarePants” isn’t safe from corporate downsizing.
The harsh economic climate has infiltrated the underwater community
of Bikini Bottom when, after 14 loyal years of flipping krabby patties
at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob is unceremoniously bounced from his job in
an upcoming episode of the iconic Nickelodeon ’toon.
The ebullient sea sponge very literally gets “canned,” “pink-slipped”
and “axed” by the greedy Mr. Krabs when his boss discovers he can save a
whole nickel by eliminating happy-go-lucky SpongeBob from the payroll.
Golly. Coming from the NY Post, this is a very sensitive reading of how a cartoon show depicts current economic realities.
You can put in many years at a crap job, and if your boss decides his nickel is worth more than your whole life, fuck you, sponge boy.
So that's very progressive! A realistic tale for our times!
A tearful SpongeBob offers to work for free, frying up Krabby Patties at
the burger joint he loves — but Mr. Krabs concedes such labor would be
illegal, and he would lose his license.
Wow! Thank goodness for Big Government -- in Bikini Bottom, slavery is against the law!
So what’s a hardworking sea sponge to do?
Try to get another job? Working class people want to work, right? So, you see --
WARNING. SKREE SKREE. HERE THE NY POST GOES WHERE YOU WERE THINKING THEY'D GO.
Lest he sit around idly, mooching off the social services of Bikini
Bottom, a depressed SpongeBob sets out to return to gainful employment
wherever he can find it.
No spoilers — but it’s safe to say that our hero doesn’t end up on
food stamps, as his patty-making skills turn out to be in high demand.
Jesus fucking Christ.
Fucking Christ Jesus.
So, according to the NY Post, and their co-ideological shitheads, what America needs today are cartoons wherein children are taught the salutary lessons that you are lucky to have a horrible job, your boss is right to fire you to save a nickel, and you shouldn't ever for a moment think you have a right to not starve to death.
You can see, maybe, why these ghastly specimens prefer batty message hijacking of existing series to the hard work of producing original children's shows of their own.