Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

More signs and portents?

This Is An Earthquake For Bavaria.

Voters in Germany’s economically dominant southern state of Bavaria delivered a stunning rebuke to the ruling Christian Social Union, in an election that delivered another crushing blow for the parties in Angela Merkel’s grand coalition in Berlin.

With all eyes on Sunday’s Bavaria election, moments ago the first exit polls showed a historic collapse for the ruling CSU party, which has ruled Bavaria continuously since 1957, and which saw its share of the vote collapse from 47.7% in the 2013 election to just 35.5%, losing its absolute majority and suffering its worst result since 1950, as voters defected in their droves to the Greens and the far-right Alternative for Germany.

German newspaper Welt called the election “the most painful election defeat of the past 50 years for the CSU”. As predicted in the polls, the CSU experienced a “historic debacle” in the Bavarian state elections, according to Welt. The CSU was followed by the Greens which soared in the election, more than doubling to 18.5% from 8.6% in 2013, the Free Voters also rose to 11% from 9.0%, in 2013.

Meanwhile, the nationalist AfD are expecting to enter Bavaria’s parliament for the first time ever with 11% of the vote, and as such are setting up for their post-election party. Party leader Alice Weidel already is having the first beer in the small community of Mamming in Lower Bavaria.

As the FT notes, the campaign was dominated by the divisive issue of immigration, in a sign of how the shockwaves from Merkel’s disastrous decision to let in more than a million refugees in 2015-16 are continuing to reverberate through German politics and to reshape the party landscape.

Alarmed by the rise of the anti-immigration, populist AfD, the CSU tried to outflank them by talking tough on immigration and picking fights with Ms Merkel over asylum policy.

But the strategy appeared to have backfired spectacularly by alienating tens of thousands of moderate CSU voters and driving them into the arms of the Greens.

Merkel’s coalition going bye-bye and the prospect of her removal is surely an unqualified Good Thing, if probably far too late to undo the damage she wrought. And I can’t see an increase in support for the Greens as any kind of positive.

(Via WRSA)

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Facebook (and Twitter, and YouTube) alternative?

Bracken knows of one:

Now, on to social media, and the issue of punching right. Like millions of conservatives, I am strongly dissatisfied with the liberal slant of today’s social media, which is demonstrated daily by Google, YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook and Twitter. (I am currently on my sixth 30-day Facebook ban in the past year.) So two years ago, I joined a small but growing Twitter replica forum called Gab.ai, despite its policy of welcoming the most disgusting neo-Nazi Hitler worshippers. Over that time on Gab I have blocked and muted dozens of Hitler cultists, who almost daily create new accounts to post anti-Semitic Nazi-era cartoons and so on. Like I said, drooling retards.

While I have opposed Gab’s open-door policy toward open Nazis, it’s not my platform to reform. I have held my nose and pressed on, blocking new Nazis almost daily. But I have also felt strongly that Gab could never break through to respectability if the first thing that newcomers notice are glowing portraits of Hitler and caricatures of cringing hooked-nose Jews copied from old Nazi-era propaganda. I just blocked them and moved on, but many normal people must have immediately backed away from Gab, never to return.

But in the last few weeks, I have been contacted by a coder who has been working for the past year to create an entire new suite of social media platforms called FreeZoxee.com. This suite of platforms combines the best attributes of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, podcasting, Patreon-like funding, and not only text but voice messaging among users and groups. All of these platforms are integrated under one roof, held in our own friendly conservative and libertarian hands.

But FreeZoxee, unlike Gab, does not roll out the red carpet for those who openly promote ideologies with a track record of destroying freedom when they rise to power. “Free Speech Uber Alles” becomes a suicide plan when, for example, in its name thousands of radical mosques are allowed to spread across Europe. In time, this tolerance for the intolerant will lead to an unimaginably bloody religious civil war, or the forced imposition of Sharia Law, and then the absolute death of free speech.

Sounds pretty good, and I already signed up myself. Truth is, though, I don’t Tweet and barely use Facebook at all. So I don’t know how much use I’ll really be making of this thing. But it’s a good idea anyway—one that’s long overdue—and I humbly doff my cap to the FreeZoxee folks for their effort in putting it together. If you’re a Facebook or Twitter kind of person, this sort of endeavor is well worth supporting. The link is here.

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“Ten Songs From the ‘80s That You’ve Probably Forgotten About”

The 80’s, eh? Then it’s a safe bet I’d much rather keep right on forgetting about ’em, thanks, excepting the Joe Jackson number, which is okay with me. But the post reminded me of an excellent tune I wrote about last year, and was close to forgetting about again until I heard it on the radio the other day. Here’s last year’s post in toto; enjoy.

So the other day I heard a song on the car radio I hand’t heard in years and years but always loved. I had NO clue who did it, or what the title was; after hearing it, I had the guitar licks worked out in my head, but I could not for the life of me remember who played it. Had a couple of the guys hanging out at my place the next evening, and I played the song for ’em to see if any of them knew it. The only snippet of the lyrics I could recall was “Special love/I have for you” in the chorus, and I sang that bit along too.

But it was no use, we were all stumped. So I got to digging around on YouTube; I dunno, for some reason it just sounded to me like it might be a Badfinger song, so I did a search and started digging through the results when lo and behold, about four or five songs down, there was that distinctive guitar lick! I was so damned thrilled, I was jumping around and shouting like a fool. And now you guys get to enjoy my small victory too.



LOVE that song. It’s a genuine earwig for sure; once it’s in there, it burrows in deep, and ain’t coming out without tongs.

Know what blows my mind, though? That songs from the 80s are now “oldies” to a lot of people. I still listen to a hell of a lot of classic rock stuff from the 60s and 70s myself, along with old blues and rockabilly from an even dustier, mustier era, and swing going all the way back to the friggin’ 20s. I guess that stuff would be tantamount to Bach or Palestrina to those same folks. If they thought of it at all.

I remember working at Cheap Jack’s in NYC back in the 90s, where we were selling the ridiculously exaggerated bell-bottom jeans from the 70s as “vintage fashion.” Big bucks they brought, too; we had supermodels falling over each other to snap ’em up. I sold a few pairs to Julia Roberts once, no lie. But… vintage? It wasn’t long ago that I was wearing them godawful things myself, they couldn’t be “vintage.”

And now Cheap Jack’s, something of a NYC institution for a lotta years, is long gone too. Damn, but I’m old.

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Bombs away

Hearty congrats to Schlichter.

We’re in the middle of a non-kinetic civil war between the Normals who built, feed, and defend this country and an elite that can’t – or worse, won’t – even stop hobos from defiling our sidewalks. We face a decision point – what next? Either we get even more militant – Trump was a symptom, not the cause – or our useless ruling class, which hates our guts, is going to stamps its Birkenstocks into our faces forever.

Today, my new book Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy drops like one of those napalm air strikes honesty advocate and war hero Dick Blumenthal called in on Charlie in ‘Nam, except my book is an actual thing. Built on many of the themes, ideas, and vicious catchphrases I’ve developed here at Townhall, Militant Normals is an uncensored 288-page manifesto on how we Normals are fighting back against our myriad enemies: Bitter feminist crones, self-hating beta males, radical race hustlers, socialist hipsters with stupid tatts, goose-steeping SJWs, media potatoheads and – perhaps most loathsome – the cruise-shilling Fredocon geebos of Conservative, Inc., who yearn to be stuffed back in their comfortable gimp boxes to await their liberal masters’ summons.

Ahoy, Flake-loving losers, iceberg right ahead! Yeah, if you think George Will is an awesome voice of True Conservatism™, you may wanna pick up Stormy Daniels’s autobiography instead. It drops the same day, but I’m confident we appeal to different demographics. Mine is the story of people like us fighting for our rights, not a travelogue chronicling interesting genitals I’ve met on my life journey from pole to pole.

And there’s more – why Elite experts aren’t experts, why Conservative, Inc., is all about the “Inc.” and not about the “Conservative,” and why you got Trump.

The bottom line: The Elite got Trump for its sins. And it’s got a lot of sins.

Our soft civil war is raging, and Militant Normals seeks to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?” Spoiler: Go to a gun store just in case, because the Elite’s antics are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.

Safe bet.

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The future is…here?

Crazy, man, crazy.

The Army adopted its battle rifle in 1963 and has spent 55 years looking for a replacement for the M-16 and its variants.

They might have found it in Martin Grier’s Colorado Springs garage. Grier, a self-described inventor who has worked at a local bed and breakfast, built the new “ribbon gun” with a hobbyist’s tools. It looks like a space-age toy drawn by a fifth-grader.

But goofy origins and cartoon-looks aside, this could be the gun of the future. The Army is studying Grier’s gun and has ordered a military-grade prototype.

The specifications are incredible, four 6 mm barrels cut side by side within one steel block. New ammunition blocks fired by electromagnetic actuators that could theoretically give the weapon a firing rate of 250 rounds per second.

And then there’s the feature no soldier would turn down. “It’s called a power shot,” Grier said.

That’s the shotgun feature of this sniper-shot, machine-assault gun that can send four bullets simultaneously whizzing toward an enemy at more than 2,500 mph.

It isn’t science fiction. He’s built the gun and patented the technology behind it. Now his garage-based company, FD munitions, is hoping the Army will buy it.

“A multibore firearm, with several bores within a single barrel, could potentially exhibit many of the advantages of a multibarrel design, while reducing the size, weight and complexity disadvantages,” Grier wrote in his 2016 patent application.

Pretty damned interesting stuff, ain’t it? Although at 250 rounds per second, I can see lugging the great gobs of ammo required to keep this beast fed being a real problem for the groundpounder of the not-so-distant future. Guess the Green Machine is going to need to get to work on those exoskeletons—or better yet, Heinlein’s powered-armor MI combat suits.

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“How to successfully debate a Democratic Socialist”

First rule: don’t bother. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig.

Recently I had the opportunity to debate a Bernie Sanders supporter and democratic socialist on the radio. As the democratic socialists become more prominent, both nationally and at our dinner tables and parties, it’s very likely you will find yourself engaging in a similar debate.

Here are a few lessons I learned from my experience that can help you debate a democratic socialist.

Lesson 1. Be Prepared
My opponent came prepared. She knew that I immigrated from Communist China and have written a book on the horrors of socialist communism. Therefore, she quickly pointed out that democratic socialism is not the same thing as what I experienced in China.
She claimed that she didn’t want to get rid of capitalism, private property rights and personal responsibility. She said she hopes democratic socialism, with all the free handouts and government intervention and workers’ power, will make capitalism a better system. She treats capitalism like a puppy: cute but needing adult supervision to ensure it will behave.

Fortunately, I came prepared too. While a foot soldier of democratic socialism like her treats capitalism as a misbehaving puppy, my research reveals the leadership of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) view capitalism as their ultimate foe that ought to be destroyed. DSA’s Vice-Chair Jeff Stein, writing for Vox, declares that DSA believes in abolishing capitalism for an economy run either by “the workers” or the state.

He wrote, “In practice, that means DSA [members advocate] ending private ownership of a wide range of industries whose products are viewed as ‘necessities,’ which they say should not be left to those seeking to turn a profit…DSA also believes that the government should ‘Democraticize’ private businesses — i.e., force owners to give workers control of them — to the greatest extent possible.”

There is a clear disconnect between what socialists like my debate opponent claim about democratic socialism versus what the DSA leadership openly advocates.

And that’s also Lesson 1 in why you shouldn’t bother: they lie. Always, continually, shamelessly, without thought or care. It’s almost a reflex with them. Admittedly, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Lesson 2. Stress that Democratic Socialism Is Not New or Better
DSA leadership’s stated goals are the same goals declared by murderous communists Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, and many other socialists in the past , which shows democratic socialism is not that much different from what we’ve seen before.

Here is more proof. I read my opponent the following quote:

  • “We demand profit sharing in big business.
  • We demand a broad extension of care for the aged.
  • We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living.
  • In order to make possible to every capable and industrious citizen the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education. We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents.
  • The government must undertake the improvement of public health-by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor, by the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the physical education of youth.”

I asked her if these statements sound similar to what democratic socialists stand for, and she nodded. Then I revealed that they were excerpts from the 1920 declaration of the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, more commonly known as Nazis.

Heh. Good one. So yeah, if you’re debating them not in hopes of convincing or educating them but just to amuse yourself by batting them around like a cat toy for a bit, have at it. Otherwise, meh.

Despite my complete lack of patience for the premise—that seriously debating the smarmy, douchealicious polyps is or can ever possibly be a worthwhile use of anyone’s time—it’s a good, fact-filled article, I must say.

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Belated realization

From Francis:


BelatedReaization.jpg

As I wrote back to him: “Yep, our parents were onto something. And now it’s all gone.” Funny thing is, absolute NOBODY seems all that happy about it.

Update! Since I mentioned Fran’s blog, I also ought to mention that he’s been kind enough to extend posting privileges to me over at his joint, for which I am grateful. Haven’t yet had time to take advantage of it yet, but I fully intend to do so, soonest.

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Don’t Let’s be evil!”

Bust ’em up.

WASHINGTON — Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed ways they might be able to tweak the company’s search-related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails.

The email traffic, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows that employees proposed ways to “leverage” search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam,’ ‘Muslim,’ ‘Iran,’ etc.” and “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms ‘Mexico,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latino,’ etc.”

The email chain, while sprinkled with cautionary notes about engaging in political activity, suggests employees considered ways to harness the company’s vast influence on the internet in response to the travel ban.

Daniel explains:

Not surprising.

Google has already rigged search results for certain Islamic searches without being at all subtle about it. But the explosive thing here is that it was a response to a specific government policy.

He also mentions that “Google says that these plots never went beyond proposals,” and you can believe as much or as little of that as you want to. Personally, I haven’t used their search engine in a good while now, and haven’t missed it.

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Wherein I part ways with Schlichter, the crazy bastard

What a revoltin’ development.

Liberals can’t be happy with simply ruining the lives of decent conservatives for cheap political gain. They have to ruin hamburgers, too.

The burger is the ultimate Normal food, and horrible liberal elitists are trying to screw it up with lame alternative burgers because they are terrible.

Let me be clear, to quote an awful ex-president: Nothing I write here is open to debate. I’m turning the epistemic closure thing back on the libs. It is impossible to disagree with my ground beef rantings, and if you do, you are racist, sexist, and a burgerphobic cisdinner hate criminal of hatred.

Let’s clarify something else. Hamburgers are the King of American Casual Food. You can eat it in a bar, you can eat it in a car. Just don’t eat it in some trendy coastal eatery because they’ll screw it all up and you’ll end up dreaming of a Big Mac.

Okay, so far, so good. I’m down with all that. But then this happens:

Sloppy Joes are gross. They are burgers’ ne’er-do-well little brother, 35 and living in the basement nursing emotional damage because mom liked burgers better. And who wouldn’t? Sloppy Joes are orangey muck plopped onto a bun. They provide none of the firm but juicy consistency, or the satisfying interplay of extras and condiments, that make the burger nature’s perfect food. They are mere goo and are unworthy of a proud and free people.

Like hell! Sloppy Joes are messy, sure, but what kid cares about that? And that’s who Sloppy Joes are for: kids. I ate plenty of em as a young ‘un, and I loved them, and have nothing whatsoever against ’em even in my twilight years. Even so, I can forgive Kurt for that unwarranted slur; I’m a generous-hearted, understanding soul like that, possessed of an open mind and great tolerance for diversity of thought. But then he crosses a bright red line:

Hot dogs are likewise terrible – what the hell is a hot dog anyway? With their troubling shape, unnatural smoothness, and nauseating consistency, the hot dog is a mutant entrée, a devolved sausage without flavor or purpose. You have to waste perfectly good chili – chili that should be in a bowl topped with sour cream in a just universe – just to make a hot dog taste like something.

Even the name is unappetizing, unless you are Obama. My kid says hot dogs are really tacos because of the bread V, and he makes a good point. Except tacos are tasty and hot dogs are awful.

DUDE. Seriously? Hot dogs are GREAT, and about as American as it gets. You never heard of the phrase “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and…”? Uhh, okay, we’ll leave a certain crap car manufacturer out of it for now.

But, I mean, come ON. You folks in NYC and Chicago will doubtless argue over which city’s version of the blessed tube-steak sandwich is the best, and you’re welcome to do so if you like. Myself, I absolutely love ’em both. For those of you who might not have had one or the other, I’ll give ya a photo of each which will illustrate the amazing variety the hot dog offers:


chicago-dog.jpg

Pickle, tomato, onion, celery salt, and that strange neon-green relish that nobody seems to know what’s in it: it all might seem like an odd combo, but I assure you it’s delicious. Now, the classic New York Dog:

new-york-dog.jpg


Simple, yes, but elegant in its own right. The red goo is NOT ketchup, mind, but a sweet onion relish that is just heavenly. One NYC ‘dog might not make a meal like the Shytown version will, which would be why there’s two in the picture. I won’t go into things like brats and kraut or Italian sausage with peppers and onions here, in deference to the delicate sensibilities of any true hot dog purist who might be reading this. Nathan’s probably deserves a separate post all by itself. But just betwixt you and me, they’re all hot dogs. And they’re all great.

All in all: Kurt, you know I love ya. But when you diss the ‘dog you put yourself on the fightin’ side of me, boy. This Wikipedia bit ought to be enough to set things straight:

These types of sausages and their sandwiches were culturally imported from Germany and popularized in the United States, where the “hot dog” became a working-class street food sold at hot dog stands and carts. The hot dog became closely associated with baseball and American culture.

Now I ask you, what’s not to like? I think we can all agree on his closer, though:

My upcoming book Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy contains no burger recipes, because normal people don’t need burger recipes. Normals take meat, throw it on a grill, put it on a bun, put some stuff on it, and eat it like the heroes they are.

And liberals? They screw up everything they touch. The arts. Academia. Dinner.

Well said, sir. Well said.

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Why bother?

The naked truth about feminism…and feminists.

At least with nuns, they have their faith in God and whatever else happens in the nunnery, to give them purpose in their lives. There is an upfront acceptance of their separation from the normal life of mankind. The nun stops being a woman in the conventional sense, so she stops expecting to be treated as a woman. As a result, most nuns I have met are stern about their duties, but otherwise pleasant people. It is a role for them that has well defined rules that addresses the sexual, as well as the social dynamics of life.

Feminists are always in the center of a great mental conflict between what they wish were true about the world and the ongoing reality around them. The woman in the aisle, while surrounded by shield maidens of the first order, was a rage of internal conflict. Her eyes kept darting around the cabin, as she was clearly uncomfortable. The feminist sense of entitlement forced her to make demands on everyone, while her biological instinct was to look for a man to come her rescue. Instead, she was rescued by women from the past.

The irrationality of the feminist, the tantrum aspect to it, cannot be discussed in the mass media, but that is the weak point of it. Feminism is, in many ways, someone choosing to live in the backyard, rather than the house, because they are nursing a grudge against the person who made the house for them. Instead of being good at the thing they can be good at, like being a wife and mother, they choose to be terrible at something no one wants and no society has ever needed. Feminism is the wrath of the unloved and unwanted woman.

That really is the shame of it. I’ve trod this earth for a long time and I have yet to hear a man say, “The trouble is we have too many good women from which to choose.” No man thinks there is a glut of good mothers or women who make excellent wives. It is the complete opposite. Most men lament the dire shortage of women they would want to have as a wife or the mother of his children. This is something men of my generation have been discussing our entire adult lives. It’s why so many of us are unmarried or never married.

All of this reminds me of something I’ve noticed when dealing with feminist women. The best thing is to dominate them. It is not only the best approach in the moment, but it opens a door for them to escape the torment of modernity. In the company of feminists, I often begin talking about repealing the 19th Amendment. I’m polite, but firm. The results are always positive. The reason is, modern women, like our feminist hero, are living lives of bitter isolation, an isolation from who they are as women. They are looking to escape it.

Phew; you’re a braver man than I, Z. I prefer to take a different approach myself: I leave ’em the hell alone, every chance I get. They got nothing to say that I’m interested in hearing anyway, and I’m quite sure that sentiment goes both ways.

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Liberalism: it’s the shit

Literally.

Enter the search term “San Francisco feces map” into Google and it comes back with 1,040,000 results. Yeah, it’s a thing. San Francisco was always grungy – back in the 1980s, I believe it was comic Bobby Slayton who called it “the city that makes its own gravy” – but it has gone from merely unwashed to actively unflushed.

Sure, it’s funny to the rest of us, in a horrifying and disgusting kind of way, just like the fact that the socialist geniuses in Venezuela are forcing the famished locals to gnaw on its zoo’s zebras and gnus for sustenance. You look at these examples of leftism in action and you have to laugh, but what’s not funny is that this is not some sort of aberration. This is the future our liberal elite wants for us, and it’s doing everything it can to make it a reeking reality.

You see, they could stop this nonsense any time. No one has to live with derelicts choking grumpies in public places. Most places don’t have this problem – yet. Hell, public sanitation was one of the great leaps forward that took the world out of the Dark Ages. It’s not hard to stop. You just don’t tolerate it. Drop a deuce, do a month in jail.

Simple. You just have to want to stop it, but our liberal overlords don’t want to stop it. They want this.

Look at what they are doing, so to speak. The commie mayor of New York is undoing the Rudy Giuliani Revolution and ushering in a return to the Big Apple of Serpico and Taxi Driver. The new Democrat DA candidate in Boston wants to stop prosecuting the petty crimes that make urban life unlivable. Here in Los Angeles, hordes of zombie freaks wander the streets, overrunning public spaces and breaking into cars, knowing they have a literal “get out of jail free” card because California rarely puts people in the slam for that sort of thing anymore. Oh, and California is getting rid of cash bail. By the way, a woman in my neighborhood just got raped by one of these creeps.

Oh well. It’s all for justice, you know. Justice for criminals. Justice for dirtbags. Justice for the mangy people who make it so you can’t even let your kids go outside to play.

But what about justice for us?

What about justice for the people who work, who support themselves, who try to raise decent families, who aren’t bipedal cro-mags who drop trou and crack a stink pickle wherever and whenever they feel like?

The fact is that this is the liberal elite’s blueprint for the future. It’s a future where crime goes unpunished, and pathological deviance is allowed to flourish. But not where the elite live and work. Just like none of their kids ever attend any of the pathology factories that are the urban public schools, their kids instead get to go to secure private schools, safe from the chaos their liberal mommies and daddies tolerate for the little minority kids across the freeway.

They want you playing hopscotch with human dung. They want you living in fear; you’re more pliable that way. All this shows you who’s boss.

Okay, I admit it: I don’t really give a shit (ahem) about San Francisco. Nor do I care what the shitlibs (ahem) living in any of a dozen squalid urban cesspools (ahem) choose to put up with in order to nurture their sense of smug, contemptuous superiority over the “drones” and “zombies” living in those godawful, soulless (and clean, and safe, and pretty much cholera-free) suburbs. No, I mainly wanted to excerpt this one because Kurt’s euphemisms for pinching a loaf are so damned funny.

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Toxic femininity

The poster child for it.

I stopped watching Hollywood movies sometime in the mid-1970s, so when the name “Asia Argento” started popping up amid the #MeToo vagina dentata feeding frenzy last fall, I needed to be informed who she was.

Born in the West, Asia—whose name is a common Italian name for girls, and is annoyingly pronounced “AH-see-ah”—is the child of wealth and privilege. Her father Dario is a famous Italian horror-movie director with an estimated net worth of $16 million, yet like many such types, poor Asia can’t seem to just appreciate being lucky and appears to feel the need to rail against “entitles [sic] westerners” as if she weren’t the very embodiment of an entitled, privileged Westerner.

Last fall, along with the obviously deranged actress Rose McGowan, Asia became one of the loudest barking poodles in the #MeToo movement, which declared that victims should always be believed and that perpetrators should always be destroyed.

As far as I can tell from piecing together the available narratives, both Argento and McGowan claimed that Weinstein “raped” them because they faked orgasms when he was performing oral sex on them. I am aware of no accusations that he physically restrained them or threatened them in any way. But it appears that part of what has driven #MeToo is to massively expand the definition of rape to include any sexual encounter a woman might later regret. For example, in the still pending rape charge against Julian Assange, it appears that his only crime was failing to call his alleged victim the next day.

In Argento’s case, she was apparently so appalled by Weinstein’s shoddy cunnilingual skills that she proceeded to have a sexual relationship with him that lasted four years. Maybe he gives good foot rubs—I don’t know. Or maybe she’ll try to claim that the fact she had to fake an orgasm with him left her so mentally ravaged that she couldn’t help but have sex with him for four more years.

Why not? Makes as much sense as anything else does these days. But incredible as it may seem, the Argento saga gets worse—much, much worse—which you’ll see if you read on. Argento is one of the vilest of harpies in a culture so besieged by them as to resemble a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds—enough so that she inspires a brand new category here, named specially for this affliction.

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The Satan Trick

All of a piece.

I forget who originated this notion, but it’s been said for many years that the Devil’s greatest achievement was convincing so many humans that he doesn’t exist. In homage to this insight, I’ve christened the ploy of persuading people to not see evil even when it’s in plain view the Satan trick.

The Left has been trying to pull off the Satan trick for some time now. Just recently, a Leftist addressed me on Gab with a soliloquy about how the Left “doesn’t exist.”

Oh, it doesn’t. The Left is just mainstream normalcy, see. It’s how everybody thinks, right? We truly diverse, tolerant, open-minded intellectual types don’t need such trite labels, used by EXTREMERIGHTWINGRADICALNAZIFASCISTHITLERBEASTS as a tool to divide us. Dude, we just…are.

On the more immediately political front, we have the “Russian collusion” investigation. This farce has turned up zero evidence that the Trump for President campaign ever had any dealings with the Russian government, much less colluded with Russian agents in an attempt to sway the election or corrupt its results. What it has turned up is tons of evidence that various highly placed officials in the Justice Department and virtually the whole of the office cadre of the FBI did their damnedest to sway the election by a coordinated “leak” strategy and the use of salacious but totally fabricated rumors about supposed Trump misbehavior. Which federal Democrats have admitted that with such results after a year and a half of “investigation,” the thing should be shut down? None of them: from them it’s a constant drumbeat of “Russia” and “impeachment.” This is the Satan trick protracted to the limits of human endurance.

“What are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” has become a tag line of sorts in political discourse. Sadly, there are many Americans who refuse to see evidence laid out plainly before them. Equally sadly, they condemn those who present them with such evidence as “racists” and “Nazis.” The most extreme of them strive to silence anyone who dares to contradict their dogmas. Between those who ponder evidence and those who swallow absurd proclamations as an act of political faith, there lies a gulf nothing can bridge.

Which, in the end, is the whole problem. The real question at this point is: considering who and what they are (and who, as Francis implies, they’re in league with), should we even want to bridge it?

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More Fake News!

Another burning question of our age addressed.

While Donald Trump has become famous for railing on about “Fake News,” the media have become quick to defend their integrity. However, the depth of the media’s lies is apparent and may be deeper than most imagine.

Let’s start with what is probably one of the greatest cultural frauds in recent history, though it is mostly unknown today: Saturday Night Fever.

The movie, and the disco fad, were based on an article, “Inside the Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” that appeared in New York Magazine in June 1976.

Over the past few months, much of my time has been spent in watching this new generation. Moving from neighborhood to neighborhood, from disco to disco, an explorer out of my depth, I have tried to learn the patterns, the old/new tribal rites.

The problem was that the story was mostly made up.

Twenty years later came a bombshell. In December 1997 New York magazine published an article in which Cohn confessed that there never was a Vincent. There was no “Lisa”, “Billy”, “John James”, “Lorraine” or “Donna” either. While 2001 Odyssey existed, it wasn’t the way the writer described it in 1976. The whole scene of disco-loving Italians, as mythologised in Saturday Night Fever, was exaggerated. The most bizarre detail was that his disco protagonists were in fact based on mods Cohn had known in London.

So what? you might ask.

To those who remember, that fraud led to the glorification of a disco culture. But it was never as organic as the media portrayed it. It could be propped up for only so long. In 1979, the straw man was easily toppled.

It seems that Nik Cohn, the magazine writer who penned the purported true story of a Brooklyn dancer named “Vincent”– the basis for Travolta’s Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever – for New York magazine, admitted this week in New York that he made the whole thing up.

Up to that point, disco had existed, to be sure, but it was a sideline. Occasionally, it could break through to the top, as with “The Hustle,” but it never would have become the cultural imperative it became without media lies. It was foisted on us.

Well, thanks a friggin’ pantload for that, assholes.

Actually, it’s reminiscent of another genre heavily influenced by disco: rap. Despite its seeming ubiquity in everything from the music press to movies to even TV commercials, it never did sell all that well, only in the last couple of years even beginning to approach rock and roll or…uhh, country? Nevertheless, it was pimped heavily from the start by music journalists gushing that it would be the death-knell for tired, sad old rock and roll:

Rap is the rock ‘n’ roll of the day. Rock ‘n’ roll was about attitude, rebellion, a big beat, sex and, sometimes, social comment. If that’s what you’re looking for now, you’re going to find it here.
— Bill Adler, Time, 1990

So how’d that work out for ya, Bill?

With the decline in recorded-music sales reaching something of a turning point in a number of markets, it seemed like a good time to analyze the retail sales of several music genres to see whether the downturn and subsequent stabilization have been equally divided across genres or whether some genres have suffered more than others. The analysis shows that pop and rock have strengthened their hold on music sales, while rap/hip-hop, the darling of the 1990s, has suffered a decline.

The results are, in part, not totally surprising, with pop and rock music tightening their grip on retail sales in the 2000s. But rap/hip-hop, which surged in the 1990s, slipped as public criticism mounted. Sales of jazz, classical and other smaller genres also fell off.

With pop and rock accounting for a combined retail-sales share of 55% in 2009, other genres have clearly underperformed when compared with the global sales decline. Music & Copyright has found that the retail value of rap/hip-hop sales dropped almost 50% between 2000 and 2009.

And it wasn’t all that high even in the 90s; rap’s cultural reach has always exceeded its sales grasp. Back to Konrad for our hy-larious conclusion:

That disco fell so fast in 1979 is evidence that it was artificial to begin with.

What is scary is that this admitted lie still holds a grip on the culture, especially in Brooklyn, where the image is still lauded, parodied, and beloved. Well, good luck with Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where Tony Manero lived, ever regaining that faded glory. The neighborhood is now heavily Muslim.

Guess the obnoxious and annoying “call to prayer” lauded by His Most Puissant Majesty Barrack Hussein Mohammed Pahlavi Windsor Habsberg Ferdinand Winton Oblahblah as “the most beautiful sound in the world” is gonna be the Next Big Thing crammed down our throats by force and/or fraud.

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Fabricating stories, omitting facts

Bust up the social (justice) media monopoly.

It began days earlier with a story I wrote for The New York Post about President Trump’s followers continuing to support him after Michael Cohen’s guilty plea and Paul Manafort’s conviction. Facebook took that story down from my Facebook page, and others who re-posted it soon found it removed from their pages as well. With the story marked as “spam,” or not meeting “community standards,” I tweeted, then wrote about the experience.

That’s when things got worse. Within hours, an anonymous troll with an account created only a few days earlier went on the attack. The thread tossed false accusations that I withheld information from the book I co-authored this year. The troll and his followers alleged that some Trump supporters who struggled with their decision in the 2016 election and were profiled in the book are actually elected Republican officials who (in the trolls’ opinion) could not possibly have struggled with that decision.

First, that wasn’t true. Half the thesis of the book I co-wrote with Brad Todd, “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” is that Trump’s polarizing style causes many Republicans to fit uneasily, if at all, into his coalition. Many people in the book were profiled explicitly because they are Republicans, not in spite of it.

Within minutes, the initial Twitter attack was retweeted by other anonymous trolls and online bullies who have attacked my writing before — some continuously since I first reported in the summer of 2016 that this political shift was happening. They demanded that the publications for which I write, including The Post, the Washington Examiner and Crown Publishing, address their allegations or fire me.

The idea that I owed anonymous trolls on Twitter an explanation for the straw-man argument they invented is utterly laughable. But soon enough two things happen. First, they swarm—these brave souls who like to anonymously harass women online prefer to do so in numbers. Second, partisan journalists looking for a scalp join in, which lends it credibility.

Soon the pile-on makes using Twitter miserable.

And then the pile-on becomes literal—physical.

That’s the highly esteemed and estimable Salena Zito, one of America’s two real journalist, to whom I have only one word: Gab, baby.

Okay, okay, that’s two words. Still.

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Labor Day

Then, now, and future.

Happy Labo(u)r Day! That’s what the day used to be about: putting the “u” in Labor. You can’t spell labour without you, and without you and your labour this planet would be a primitive state of nature, red in tooth and claw. Consider the words of Peter J McGuire, General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, proposing the very first Labor Day a mere century-and-a-third ago. The new day would be an occasion, he said, to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold”.

What a crazy! All the grandeur we behold comes from man and his work? What fossil fuel is he inhaling? Today, rude nature is the state we aspire to, and you can’t even delve and carve a Keystone pipeline underneath it, out of sight. Labor itself, in the sense Mr McGuire used the term, is morally dubious among our elites, and, down at the other end, simply unknown.

By 2012, one tenth of the adult population had done not a day’s work since Tony Blair took office on May 1st 1997 – a decade and a half earlier. In such households, the weekday ritual of rising, dressing, and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. In many parts of America, the “conversation”, as they say on MSNBC, is between the dependent class and the governing class that ministers to them and keeps them (more or less) in line. If you’re a convenience store owner in, say, Ferguson, Missouri, your low-skilled service jobs are the only labor on offer, and, for your pains, you get burned and looted by the dependent class while your 911 calls go unanswered by the governing class, both of which you fund.

Now there’s a glimpse of the world to come, for those who wish to ponder it.

If you want to see what “the masses” are meant to look like, you can’t do better than Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s 1926 expressionist masterpiece.

It’s a magnificent film, and a lot of its assumptions – the big surveillance state – remain highly relevant. But its conception of work isn’t exactly the way it panned out: The workers are slaves, living underground, chained to the levers, wheels, cranks and cogs of a vast machine, dehumanized by the crushing anonymity of their servitude, etc, etc.

Alas, nothing dates faster than a futuristic vision: Today, the nightmare that beckons is quite the opposite. Instead of a world in which the workers are forced to operate huge, clanking machines below the earth all day long, the machines are small and silent and so computerized no manpower is required and the masses have to be sedated by shallow, shiny distractions that enable you to watch Metropolis on a pocket gizmo an-inch-and-a-half wide.

What comes after the Labor Day cook-out? Big Government decreases social mobility, which has spent the new millennium declining remorselessly in America. Dependency ultimately leads to a society as rigid as that of Metropolis. The elites, as Michelle Obama did, do a little light diversity outreach for 350 grand a year; the middle classes man the Department of Paperwork; and beneath them is a vast dysfunctional underclass that, if you’re lucky, is too torpid to riot too often. It’s a subtler vision of hell than Fritz Lang’s, but just as hellish.

Labor Day is an appropriate occasion on which to reflect upon the dignity of work and self-sufficiency and its indispensability to a civilized society. There may be something down the pike that can replace it, but, on the evidence so far, welfare, minimum-wage service jobs, heroin and meth aren’t it. Which is why Donald Trump won the election.

And then, y’know, this happened.

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Going, going…GONE

As Ed says: get woke, go broke.

Lexington, Virginia, is struggling to recover its image as a welcoming community after one of its restaurants famously refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The whole town faced a backlash after The Red Hen, a restaurant in downtown Lexington, refused to serve Sanders and her family, forcing them to into the street last June.

Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of The Red Hen, reportedly followed the Sanders party across the street and organized a protest, “yelling and screaming at them from outside the restaurant and creating this scene,” according to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, even though Sanders had left the party.

The ugly incident prompted President Trump to lash out at The Red Hen on Twitter, calling it “filthy” and “dirty.”

Over two months later tourism in the small town is still reportedly suffering.

The Roanoke Times reported on Sunday that the regional tourism board has been forced to use emergency funds to boost its digital marketing campaign. Officials said the funds were needed because “the region is in desperate need of positive coverage.”

I can think of one sure-fire way to accomplish that quite quickly: run that goddamned liberal-fascist hen out of town on a rail. Film it, put it on YouTube, and announce that the town is again open for business, its restaurants no longer politicized. That ought to do it.

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Social media is death

Ye Olde Vodkapundit spells it out:

The beauty of the pre-social media internet is that it was flat. That is, anyone could publish a website, and every website existed on the same plane as every other. The hyperlink held us bloggers to account, by directing readers to the source material which they could judge for themselves. A one-man blog could go toe-to-toe with major publications, simply by the blogger’s ability to write well enough to attract, maintain, and grow an audience. See: Matt Drudge, Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, and many, many others.

Social media killed that.

Instead of a flat plane populated by millions of websites, each social media platform is a silo, designed to keep readers and users clicking away inside the same platform… day after day, minute by minute, like hamsters in a Habitrail. On Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc, your ability to go toe-to-toe with the majors is limited by the platform’s reach — and more importantly, by the platform’s tolerance of you and of what you have to say.

Hence, deplatforming, and the stultifying unpredictability of developing your audience in someone else’s silo.

As somebody who got started back in those early halcyon days of the relatively level playing field that existed back then, I can flatly say that Stephen has his finger dead on it here.

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Etha—NO

I do believe I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the moments from the Republican primary race when I was least happy with Trump and Cruz earned my somewhat grudging respect was when they were in Iowa…and Cruz flatly said the ethanol subsidies were going the way of the dinosaur if he was elected, while Trump pandered to the corn lobby. Trump was wrong then, and Cruz was right. Period.

Amid all the media hoo-ha over President Trump’s latest tweets, tariffs and the Russia investigation, you might have missed a significant report — the Environmental Protection Agency says ethanol made from corn and soybeans and added to our gasoline has become an environmental disaster. So why do we continue to make it?

The devastating report — based on, yes, actual “science” — shows that the forced addition of ethanol to the nation’s gasoline is making our air dirtier.

The irony, of course, is that ethanol’s entire rationale is that it would make our air cleaner.

Why do we keep doing this? The farm-based ethanol lobby not only wants current standards of up to 10% of our fuel made up of ethanol (the “E10” standard), but would like to see it rise to 15% (E15). And, unfortunately, President Trump seems open to the idea.

Is ethanol really that bad?

Yes. Yes, it damned sure is.

Well, never mind that there’s a significant amount of evidence that it’s bad for your car, boat or motorcycle engine. That’s bad enough.

But the damage isn’t just from using the ethanol in our fuel; it’s in the entire process involved in radically altering our agricultural sector from growing food to growing an energy supplement.

As it turns out, this is not “green energy” at all, as its proponents say. It’s “brown energy.” The only green is the money that lines the farm lobbyists’ pockets.

As American Enterprise Institute fellow and economist Mark J. Perry noted in IBD all the way back in 2015, “countless independent studies have shown that corn ethanol is far worse from a greenhouse-gas emissions perspective than traditional fuels.”

Private researchers and economists have known this for a long time. What’s new is that the EPA is recognizing it for the first time.

One could hardly imagine a more perfect example of everything wrong with American government than the ethanol scam. It achieves none of the benefits claimed for it, and does damage far afield, in ways not anticipated; it amounts to little more than a near-naked bribe for a powerful lobbying group; its assumed benefits are based on smoke, mirrors, and brazen political manipulation; aside from those benefiting financially, there is little or no public demand or market for it; it continues in seeming perpetuity based not on the merits but on inertia, skullduggery, and outright payola; it is ruinously expensive, and opens the door to yet more strangling regulation, bureaucracy, waste, and graft.

If Trump’s EPA finally does away with this nonsense, it will be yet another win for the American people, whether Trump himself is fully on board with it or not.

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News you can REALLY use

Or I can, at least.

It’s official — Patrick Stewart is returning to the Star Trek franchise. The acclaimed Shakespearean actor is set to headline a new Star Trek series for CBS All Access, reprising his iconic Next Generation character, Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The project, which has been rumored since the June announcement of a Star Trek universe expansion with new series, was just unveiled by Stewart himself in a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention.

The new series, which is not a Star Trek: Next Generation reboot, will tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life.

Hm. I’m guessing I can’t get CBS All Access with digital rabbit ears for free, so maybe it’s news I can’t use after all. Makes me happy just the same, though. For my money, TNG remains far and away the best of all the Trek spinoffs; speaking strictly for myself, I prefer it even to the original, which I do still love. Should the new thang be anything like as successful as TNG was, it’ll show up somewhere in the free-TV universe soon enough.

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Katz’s

A real NYC landmark.

For third-generation deli man Jake Dell working out the kinks in running a small business never really goes away, whether it’s been around for 130 years or 130 days.

The 31-year-old is now the owner of the iconic Katz’s Delicatessen, which he has been tasked with turning into a profitable and thriving 21st century brand without losing its iconic New York roots that go back all the way to 1888.

“I think the pressure is not to go further and further in many ways but it’s to stay the same. People love the tradition and the nostalgia of it. There’s that connection to the past if you come here for the first time,” Dell tells FOX Business. “And, I never want to change that.”

The staple sandwich shop, which is nestled into Manhattan’s Lower East Side, was founded by the Iceland brothers but was later turned into Katz’s Delicatessen, when Willy Katz and his cousin Benny took over in 1910.

The sandwich quickly became popular among locals and a hit when the family started sending salami to soldiers serving in the armed forces during World War II.

The company’s slogan, “Send a Salami to Your Boy in the Army,” still holds today.

I used to live near Katz’s back in the 90s, and ate there quite often. For my money, it left the pricy, touristy, but more well-known Midtown nosheries—the Stage and the Carnegie, both now gone, alas—in the shade.

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Games of chance

Don’t know why, but this story just grabbed me.

On August 3, 2001, a McDonald’s film crew arrived in the bustling beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island. They carried their cameras and a giant cashier’s check to a row of townhouses, and knocked on the door of Michael Hoover. The 56-year-old bachelor had called a McDonald’s hotline to say he’d won their Monopoly competition. Since 1987, McDonald’s customers had feverishly collected Monopoly game pieces attached to drink cups, french fry packets and advertising inserts in magazines. By completing groups of properties like Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, players won cash or a Sega Game Gear, while “Instant Win” game pieces scored a free Filet-O-Fish or a Jamaican vacation. But Hoover, a casino pit boss who had recently filed for bankruptcy, claimed he’d won the grand prize–$1 million dollars.

Like winning the Powerball, the odds of Hoover’s win were 1 in 250 million. There were two ways to win the Monopoly grand prize: find the “Instant Win” game piece like Hoover, or match Park Place with the elusive Boardwalk to choose between a heavily-taxed lump sum or $50,000 checks every year for 20 years. Just like the Monopoly board game, which was invented as a warning about the destructive nature of greed, players traded game pieces to win, or outbid each other on eBay. Armed robbers even held up restaurants demanding Monopoly tickets. “Don’t go to jail! Go to McDonald’s and play Monopoly for real!” cried Rich Uncle Pennybags, the game’s mustachioed mascot, on TV commercials that sent customers flocking to buy more food. Monopoly quickly became the company’s most lucrative marketing device since the Happy Meal.

Inside Hoover’s home, Amy Murray, a loyal McDonald’s spokesperson, encouraged him to tell the camera about the luckiest moment of his life. Nervously clutching his massive check, Hoover said he’d fallen asleep on the beach. When he bent over to wash off the sand, his People magazine fell into the sea. He bought another copy from a grocery store, he said, and inside was an advertising insert with the “Instant Win” game piece. The camera crew listened patiently to his rambling story, silently recognizing the inconsequential details found in stories told by liars. They suspected that Hoover was not a lucky winner, but part of a major criminal conspiracy to defraud the fast food chain of millions of dollars. The two men behind the camera were not from McDonald’s. They were undercover agents from the FBI.

This was a McSting.

It’s a hell of a fascinating tale, all about the rigging of the McDonald’s Monopoly game—a scam very nearly pulled off by an ex-cop working for the Georgia company that printed the game pieces, along with US postage stamps and state lottery tickets. But don’t go thinking that this greedy, crooked ex-cop was all bad:

During that 1995 prize draw, something happened that would change the game. According to Jacobson, when the computerized prize draw selected a factory location in Canada, Simon Marketing executives re-ran the program until it chose an area in the USA. Jacobson claimed he was ordered to ensure that no high-level prizes ever reached the Great White North. “I knew what we were doing in Canada was wrong,” Jacobson recalled. “Sooner or later somebody was going to be asking questions about why there were no winners in Canada.” Believing the game was rigged, he decided to cash in too.

Not long afterward, Jacobson opened a package sent to him by mistake from a supplier in Hong Kong. Inside he found a set of the anti-tamper seals for the game piece envelopes—the only thing he needed to steal game pieces en route to the factory. “I would go into the men’s room of the airport,” he later admitted, the only place the female auditor couldn’t follow him. “I would go into a stall. I would take the seal off.” Then he’d pour the winning game pieces into his hand, replace them with “commons,” and re-seal the envelope. First, he stole a $1 million “Instant Win” game piece and locked it in a safety deposit box. Then he stole documents that he claimed proved the Canada conspiracy. “I thought I would need that to protect myself,” Jacobson recalled. If his employer ever fired him, he had a “get out of jail free” card. But when he stole another $1 million game piece, Jacobson did something awesome.

On November 12, 1995, a donations clerk at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee ripped open the morning’s mail, and discovered a brightly colored card. At first, Tammie Murphy assumed it was junk mail, until she noticed the tiny Monopoly game piece inside. McDonald’s officials descended on the hospital and examined the game piece under a jeweler’s eyepiece. Ronald McDonald himself attended a press conference, where the hospital was announced the $1 million winner. Despite an investigation, the New York Times could not uncover the identity of the generous donor.

I remember seeing that part of the story on the news back then myself, actually. Like I said, this is a truly fascinating story, and—freighted as it is with avarice, corruption, betrayal, blind chance, and redemption—a quite human one.

(Via VP)

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And now you know the rest of the story

But…but…but…it’s UNPOSSIBLE.

My great-grandfather was given the nickname Nwaubani, which means “from the Bonny port region,” because he had the bright skin and healthy appearance associated at the time with people who lived near the coast and had access to rich foreign foods. (This became our family name.) In the late nineteenth century, he carried a slave-trading license from the Royal Niger Company, an English corporation that ruled southern Nigeria. His agents captured slaves across the region and passed them to middlemen, who brought them to the ports of Bonny and Calabar and sold them to white merchants. Slavery had already been abolished in the United States and the United Kingdom, but his slaves were legally shipped to Cuba and Brazil. To win his favor, local leaders gave him their daughters in marriage. (By his death, he had dozens of wives.) His influence drew the attention of colonial officials, who appointed him chief of Umujieze and several other towns. He presided over court cases and set up churches and schools. He built a guesthouse on the land where my parents’ home now stands, and hosted British dignitaries. To inform him of their impending arrival and verify their identities, guests sent him envelopes containing locks of their Caucasian hair.

Last year, I travelled from Abuja, where I live, to Umujieze for my parents’ forty-sixth wedding anniversary. My father is the oldest man in his generation and the head of our extended family. One morning, a man arrived at our gate from a distant Anglican church that was celebrating its centenary. Its records showed that Nwaubani Ogogo had given an armed escort to the first missionaries in the region—a trio known as the Cookey brothers—to insure their safety. The man invited my father to receive an award for Nwaubani Ogogo’s work spreading the gospel. After the man left, my father sat in his favorite armchair, among a group of his grandchildren, and told stories about Nwaubani Ogogo.

“Are you not ashamed of what he did?” I asked.

“I can never be ashamed of him,” he said, irritated. “Why should I be? His business was legitimate at the time. He was respected by everyone around.” My father is a lawyer and a human-rights activist who has spent much of his life challenging government abuses in southeast Nigeria. He sometimes had to flee our home to avoid being arrested. But his pride in his family was unwavering. “Not everyone could summon the courage to be a slave trader,” he said. “You had to have some boldness in you.”

My father succeeded in transmitting to me not just Nwaubani Ogogo’s stories but also pride in his life. During my school days, if a friend asked the meaning of my surname, I gave her a narrative instead of a translation. But, in the past decade, I’ve felt a growing sense of unease. African intellectuals tend to blame the West for the slave trade, but I knew that white traders couldn’t have loaded their ships without help from Africans like my great-grandfather. I read arguments for paying reparations to the descendants of American slaves and wondered whether someone might soon expect my family to contribute. Other members of my generation felt similarly unsettled. My cousin Chidi, who grew up in England, was twelve years old when he visited Nigeria and asked our uncle the meaning of our surname. He was shocked to learn our family’s history, and has been reluctant to share it with his British friends. My cousin Chioma, a doctor in Lagos, told me that she feels anguished when she watches movies about slavery. “I cry and cry and ask God to forgive our ancestors,” she said.

Huh. And all this time I’ve been led to believe slavery existed exclusively in the states of the old Confederacy here in America—an evil unique to my ancestors alone, a blot which will and should stain all Southerners unto eternity. Why, next you’ll be telling me that the slave ships coming here were mainly run by Brits and New Englanders, or that slavery still exists in the Muslim world without exciting the slightest murmur of condemnation from Westerners who will nonetheless sneer most heartily at anyone with a Southern accent they may meet.

The part I bolded above highlights a key truth as regards A) both the condescension and moral smugness Southerners still face from “damn Yankees” even now, and B) the author’s anguish over his family history. Namely: it’s foolish and unjust to condemn the people of bygone eras by the standards of our own. My sarcasm above aside, it’s a fascinating article in a pretty improbable spot.

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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