Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

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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Needful things

Francis sends this along:

A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”

A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

A question mark walks into a bar?

A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Get out — we don’t serve your type.”

A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

A synonym strolls into a tavern.

At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar — fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.

Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.

A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.

The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

A dyslexic walks into a bra.

A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television getting drunk and smoking cigars.

A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.

A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.

Fran says: “Found on Facebook. Exceptionally useful, which should make me take back…well, some of the nasty things I’ve said about Facebook.” Ditto, with bells on. I like the “malapropism,” “mixed metaphor,” and “hyperbole” ones best, myself.

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Notable quotes

I’ve seen some of the D-Right guys here and there disparaging Thomas Sowell as—well, not quite a cuck, maybe, but definitely one of the useless Conservative Old Guard. I dunno, I’ve always liked the guy myself, and still do. He’s sharp as they come, and definitely has a way with words. To wit:

21. “It would be hard to think of a more ridiculous way to make decisions than to transfer those decisions to third parties who pay no price for being wrong. Yet that is what at least half of the bright ideas of the political left amount to.”

20. “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear. People with careers as ethnic leaders usually tell their followers what they want to hear.”

19. “‘We are a nation of immigrants,’ we are constantly reminded. We are also a nation of people with ten fingers and ten toes. Does that mean that anyone who has ten fingers and ten toes should be welcomed and given American citizenship?”

18. “It is amazing how many people think that the government’s role is to give them what they want by overriding what other people want.”

Hawkins has collected thirty of ’em for this article, my own favorite being this one:

15. “Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

They’re all damned good, although the Tweet that leads things off is kinda depressing. Here’s another short piece, noting his retirement a couple years ago, which includes a link to an archive of his excellent work. Long may you wave, Dr Sowell, and happy belated birthday to you.

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End stage

PC eats itself.

Scarlett Johansson is the latest target of the social-justice warrior mob. The actress is being chastised for, well, acting.

She has been cast in a movie in which she will play someone different than herself. For this great crime — which seems to essentially define the career path she has chosen—she is being castigated for being insufficiently sensitive to the transgender community.

Johansson is set to play a transgender man in an upcoming film, “Rub and Tug,” a film based on the true story of transgender massage parlor owner Dante “Tex” Gill. The announcement quickly garnered a reaction.

Trace Lysette, a transgender actress who plays Shea on “Transparent” took to Twitter: “And not only do you play us and steal our narrative and our opportunity but you pat yourselves on the back with trophies and accolades for mimicking what we have lived… so twisted. I’m so done.”

A New York Times story on the fallout described the online backlash as being “led by transgender actors, who argued that such casting decisions take opportunities away from members of marginalized communities.”

I SO eagerly look forward to evenhanded enforcement of this New Rule: gay actors must not ever again portray straight characters from now on; the end of the modern trend of remaking classic movies and TV shows with black actors in place of the original white ones (like, say, the execrable Wild, Wild West remake with Will Smith); precious, twee “reimaginings” of Shakespeare with modern settings, costume, and alterations to the language of the Bard must also cease; in fact, in keeping with the original productions, no females should be allowed to act in any Shakespeare presentation at all.

This is similar to the longstanding liberal assertion that majority-black districts can only be fairly represented in Congress by black representatives, that majority-black cities must have black mayors, etc. Which is just hogwash.

In the bigger picture, what we’re witnessing now is political correctness—liberalism itself, actually—reaching its end stage and collapsing under the weight of its own juvenile unworkability. As it must; Leftist dogma contradicts itself eighteen times before lunch every day. It’s failed miserably each and every time it’s been tried—unless it’s propped up by a bigger, stronger outside influence, such as the USSR with its satellites, or Western Europe with the US—and it’s going to go right on doing that. It can’t do anything else.

And when the inevitability of the Left’s failure becomes undeniable, you get the kind of blue-on-blue backbiting we’re seeing now. It’s delightful to watch; as Insty is fond of saying, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

I gotta mention this part, too:

Editor’s note: This column was published by Business Insider before being removed from the website for violating “editorial standards.” The Daily Beast reported that staffers complained about the column. It appears here exactly as originally published.

Hats off to the Weekly Standard for rescuing the article from the BI’s cowardly attempt at burying it. BI’s editors prattle on in their explanation:

In an email to editors on Monday obtained by The Daily Beast, global editor-in-chief Nich Carlson announced that BI would create an internally available list of employees who had “volunteered to talk about culture and identity issues” to other staff. Further, Carlson also announced that “culturally sensitive columns, analysis, and opinion pieces” would now be reviewed by the company’s executive editors before publication.

“Editors should make sure we are not publishing shallow, ‘hot takes,’ but instead, fully thought-out arguments that reflect and respect the opposing view,” Carlson said. “There should be no partisan name-calling, e.g. ‘social justice warriors,’ ‘libtards,’ or ‘rednecks.’ Opinion and arguments should feel reported and researched, and not like quick reactions.”

Uh huh. I’m not familiar enough with them to know, but I can’t help but wonder if these guys ever employ the standard lib-prop maneuver of referring to every single conservative—be he ever so milquetoast—as “right-wing,” “extremist,” or “radical,” while any and every Leftist is a “moderate,” “centrist,” or “pragmatic”?

Pull the other one, guys, it plays a little tune.

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Epic!

Still the best July 4th story of all time.

On this day in 1826, 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted in Philadelphia, John Adams died at home in Braintree. One of the great men of the Revolutionary generation and the second president of the United States, Adams was 91 years old. Shortly before he breathed his last, John Adams whispered, “Thomas Jefferson survives.”

But he was wrong.

In fact, 560 miles away at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson had died only a few hours earlier. The fact that these two founding fathers died on the same day and that it was, of all days, the Fourth of July was not viewed as a coincidence. In his two-hour eulogy at Fanueil Hall, Daniel Webster cited it as “proof” of how much God cared for the country.

Of course, there’s more to the Jefferson/Adams saga than just that.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.

Adams preceded Jefferson as president (1797-1800); it was during this time that their ideas about policy-making became as distinct as their personalities. The irascible and hot-tempered Adams was a firm believer in a strong centralized government, while the erudite and gentile Jefferson believed federal government should take a more hands-off approach and defer to individual states’ rights. As Adams’ vice president, Jefferson was so horrified by what he considered to be Adams’ abuse of the presidency–particularly his passage of the restrictive Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798–that he abandoned Adams and Washington for his estate at Monticello. There, he plotted how to bring his Republican faction back into power in the presidential election of 1800. After an exceptionally bitter campaign, in which both parties engaged in slanderous attacks on each other in print, Jefferson emerged victorious. It appeared the former friends would be eternal enemies.

After serving two presidential terms (1801-1809), Jefferson and Adams each expressed to third parties their respect the other and their desire to renew their friendship. Adams was the first to break the silence; he sent Jefferson a letter dated January 1, 1812, in which he wished Jefferson many happy new years to come. Jefferson responded with a note in which he fondly recalled when they were fellow laborers in the same cause. The former revolutionaries went on to resume their friendship over 14 years of correspondence during their golden years.

If you have any interest in history and haven’t read David McCullough’s John Adams yet, you really ought to. It’s a good ‘un.

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American anthem

This ought to be the national anthem, if you ask me.

In 1893, a Massachusetts professor called Katharine Lee Bates was giving a series of summer lectures on English literature at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs. “One day,” she recalled, “some of the other teachers and I decided to go on a trip to 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there.”

Professor Bates had not previously traveled in the Rockies or seen much of her country at all beyond New England, and the unbounded beauty of the land awed her – and inspired her. It was “the most glorious scenery I ever beheld, and I had seen the Alps and the Pyrenees,” she said. “My memory of that supreme day of our Colorado sojourn is fairly distinct even across the stretch of 35 crowded years,” Miss Bates wrote a year before her death in 1929. “We stood at last on that Gate-of-Heaven summit, hallowed by the worship of perished races, and gazed in wordless rapture over the far expanse.”

Though she insisted “the sublimity of the Rockies smote my pencil with despair”, she was not “wordless” for long. “It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind”:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

She put them down on paper that evening in her room at the Antlers Hotel. Today you’d be hard put to find a quatrain known to more Americans. Whether it’s Gary Larson’s “Far Side” cartoon of Columbus approaching land and saying, “Look! Purple mountains! Spacious skies!…Is someone writing this down?” or Rush Limbaugh at noon eastern welcoming listeners “across the fruited plain” to his daily radio show, every anchorman, cartoonist, comedian or advertising copywriter who evokes those words is assured that they’re as instantly familiar to his audience as any lines ever written in American English.

One way or another many of the patriotic underpinnings of 20th century America derive from the 1893 Exposition: the Pledge of Allegiance was written for it, and Columbus Day became a national holiday because of it. But its greatest gift to the nation was “America The Beautiful” – for without the fair in Chicago Katharine Lee Bates would never have set off on her great voyage of discovery. On July 3rd, the two Katharines caught the train to Colorado and the following day, Independence Day, she sat in the car and watched – what’s the word? – waves of Kansas wheat rolling by. She was, she confided to her diary, “a better American for such a Fourth”.

This Fourth of July, Americans will sing the first verse, which at most performances nowadays is all we hear. But Miss Bates had more to say than mere topographic description. 

It’s another of Steyn’s brilliant musical magnum opuses (opi? opii?!? oh, the hell with it) so you already know it’s fascinating. As for making it the national anthem, I ain’t alone in that by any means; the inimitable Ray Charles thought so too, and made the most sublime case for it imaginable.




The only argument I can see against making the switch is that it would have to be sung, each and every time, by…Ray Charles. Nobody did it like he did.

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You may not be interested in trucking

But trucking is interested in you.

Miller, 30, is a long-haul trucker, the co-owner of an Arizona-based business that runs three trucks through Werner Enterprises Inc. He says he hauls “anything that will fit in the back of a dry van.” His cargoes range from motors to toiletries to, in one case, a single envelope. He got into trucking five years ago for the classic reasons: “It’s a decent-paying job that allows you a lot of freedom to see the country.”

But the work definitely has its downsides. Miller sees his wife and two young children only three or four days a month — something he hopes will change as the business grows so he can hire other people to do the driving. If, that is, he can find and keep them.

Recently a driver Miller had trained as a student and then hired full time quit after working just a couple of months. The guy took a local pickup-and-delivery job with a company that used to require three to five years of experience before even considering a new driver. Nowadays they can’t be so picky.

The U.S. trucking industry is short about 50,000 drivers, estimates Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations. The driver shortage ranked first among industry concerns in the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual survey, released last October.

Virginia Postrel does a much more thorough job of diving into the weeds to dig up the reasons behind the shortage than the last piece on the topic I excerpted here did. The bottom line is this: when truckers start to get really scarce, pretty much everything you buy won’t be far behind…and the price you pay for pretty much everything will be going up, too. Read all of it.

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Make it stop!

Why is it always the homeliest and dumpiest among ’em who just can’t refrain from getting themselves all nekkid in public, and will find any excuse at all to sound high-minded about indulging their exhibitionist kink?

Well, okay, I guess for a middle-aged Feminazi college professor, she ain’t all THAT bad, really. Considering the beached-whale gravy boats stripping off at Lefty protest-cum-riots from sea to shining sea in our own nation, we’ve all surely beheld worse. But still: nope, ain’t no unseeing that.

I have to believe that someday, a reasonably cute Lefty chick willing to let ’em breathe in broad daylight will surface, thus negating the endless parade of blubberous, screeching, pink-mohawked tuna schooners and making our long national nightmare worth all the suffering that led up to her welcome emergence. I hereby pledge to do my little all in securing her internet-sensationhood, should that frabjous day arrive while I’m still young enough to give a damn.

Thanks for nuthin’ to Heartiste, who quips: “Forget it, Jake, it’s Vaginatown.

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Serious talk

Longtime fellow blogger Robin Burk sends this:

Mike,

It’s way overdue for me to say thanks for what you do on your blog. I’ve read you since way back, when I was at Winds of Change and then (anonymously because of my employer) at Rantburg.

Your work at the blog is an important voice. So I thought I’d let you know about a story you might find useful.

Here’s the background. After 9/11 I ended up teaching at West Point. Along the way I got involved in a brand new area of research and went down to DC to manage a program in the field for DOD. We were looking for new ways to model how WMD of all kinds – not just the big old fry-’em nukes – would impact the US or elsewhere if they were used. DOD needed this because nobody had a way to really model what would happen now that we rely so heavily on so many systems that depend on one another.

What we found sobered me.

Today I see the signs (don’t we all) that our social systems and political systems are under major strain. The National Academies just issued a report admitting we have major vulnerabilities in the US power grid. And more.

So I agreed to give a TEDx talk, on very little notice, about this and about steps we can take to reduce system unraveling. It’s not a polished talk. I didn’t hire a professional wardrobe and makeup person, or focus group the message. But when I learned that TEDx talks are being used in high school classes, and when I watched some (sigh), I knew I had to do this.

Here’s the video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtMfxbxuuwY
If you would, please view it (it’s about 12 minutes long). And if you’re willing, please Like/thumbs up it and help me get the word out on this issue. I used to think that if people don’t make some basic emergency prep, that’s their choice. But now I know the side effects their choice will have on my family and friends, and on yours, and on the country as a whole.

Like you, I responded to 9/11 with cold, inner fury and resolve. We can and must continue to push back on the forces that would destroy the best approximation of human liberty and dignity the world has ever seen.

As you’d expect, it’s grim but vital stuff. This is important work she’s doing here, I think, and my thanks to her for the heads up.

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Tough questions

Pat Buchanan asks ’em.

The questions America and the West face might thus be framed:

Is there a liberal, progressive, Christian way to seal a 2,000-mile border, halt millions of migrants from crossing it illegally, and send intruders back whence they came? Or does the preservation of Western nations and peoples require measures from which liberal societies today reflexively recoil?

Does the survival of the West as a civilization require a ruthlessness the West no longer possess?

All signs point to yes.

While our forefathers would have not hesitated to do what was needed to secure our borders and expel intruders, it is not a settled matter as to whether this generation has the will to preserve the West.

All signs point to no. Denninger cuts to the chase:

Again, let me point out that only somewhere between 3 and 10% of these people, depending on who’s stats you believe, show up for their hearings. The other 90-97% disappear and cannot work at any legal job in the United States. They all undertake criminal lives to be present and live in the United States as there is no legal way for them to obtain a job, place to live and means of transportation such as a driver license when they abscond from their “asylum” hearing; are you really insane enough to believe that the children with them, nearly none of whom have any sort of documentation proving they are related to the adults, are anything more than weapons to be used in their criminal pursuits?

Maybe it’s time for a hard schism in America — it appears there simply is no way to bridge differences any longer. 

So it would seem—if not right away, then soon enough, if things continue on the current track.

Update! As I said the other day, this whole shitfling is nothing but a con, a ploy, a stratagem. Nice thing is, in another week or so this will be forgotten and we’ll be on to the next one.

Well, okay, maybe “nice” ain’t the word.

So what are we supposed to be outraged about today? There’s always something, and it’s always the worst thing in the history of ever. And it’s almost always a scam designed to manipulate you into obeying the liberal elite.

That’s the real outrage.

Don’t think! Get outraged! Let your feelings run free, feelings generated by pictures of kids in cages (under Obama, but shhhhhh!), by super selective Bible readings on MSNBC, and by pious Fredocons whining about how we’re better than that and oh well I never!

That’s the thing – when you’re caught in an outrage monsoon, you aren’t supposed to think. You are supposed to be infuriated, aroused, and activated, like a ravenous running zombie hungering for the virtue signaling lobe of the human brain. You are not supposed to ask questions that interrupt the narrative, like why would this particular subset of criminal get special privileges? Don’t we separate families every day when mommy (or daddy) commits a crime? Why don’t they just not come here?

Facts are the enemy when it comes to liberal policies, so they don’t want you messing with the message by bringing them up. Instead, they want you outraged, and your mind clouded with ginned-up anger, ready to do their bidding.

The idea is to create a crisis, to which – surprise – the liberals hyping it have a solution. And it’s inevitably a solution that benefits the liberal elite.

And harms the country, simultaneously demeaning, demoralizing, or otherwise marginalizing normal Americans as well. None of that is either accident or coincidence, of course. Schlichter goes on to provide some helpful indicators on how to know another Lefty attempt to gin up a stampede when you see one.

Another angle update! Lest we forget.

In addition, of course, this burst of OUTRAGE! was timed to bury the genuinely outrageous scandal being revealed about how Obama misadministration put the FBI and other intelligence services to work for the political benefit of the DNC and Hillary Clinton.

Not to mention that those federal agencies were so chock-a-block with fellow-traveling shitlibs as to be not just willing but quite eager to do it, too. How sad for the whole rats’ nest of them that so many are fully woke to their tactics now, wih more opening their eyes every day.

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The REAL danger to the economy

Is the constant use of “engine” metaphors.

Every conversation about the economy invariably compares it to a mechanical device.

When the economy is going well, it’s “humming” or “chugging along.” When it’s not, it’s “sputtering” or “stalled.”

We “prime the pump” with stimulus spending during a recession and hope the economy will reach “escape velocity.” Tax cuts and more federal spending can “fuel growth” or “turbocharge” it. Money gets “pumped into” it.

Comparing the economy to an engine means that it’s made up of parts that interact in precise ways and that, if they break down, can easily be fixed by smart technicians. It suggests that pushing the right buttons and flipping the right switches, adding the right mix of fuel in the proper amounts will keep it running smoothly.

The metaphor ends up driving reality, and economic policy prescriptions. Yet these policy prescriptions almost never work as intended. Stimulus plans don’t stimulate. Fed rate hikes often cause the recessions they’re supposed to prevent. As Paul Krugman put it, “bad metaphors make for bad policy.”

IBD recommends a more appropriate and accurate metaphor for the economy, which in turn suggests the best approach to “managing” it: “At best, we can leave it alone.” Problem being, given the choice between taking their grubby mitts off of the economy to the increased prosperity and benefit of all and “managing” it right into perpetual disaster and ruin, guess which one statists will pick? I mean, it IS only the central tenet of the Progressivist religion, after all.

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Badass history

I stumbled across this in the course of doing a little research on Charles Martel, and it sure is fun stuff.

At the Battle of Beresteczko in 1651, Jan Sobieski led the Hussars in an attack that smashed the light cavalry formations of the Ukrainian Cossacks. In 1664 he battled Swedish invaders at the gates of Warsaw.  In 1667 he led warriors against the Mongol Tatars, raising 8,000 men with his own money and successfully defending the city of Podhajce against 20,000 steppe horsemen with the sheer force of his own impenetrable fucking steel ballsack. At Chocim he destroyed 20,000 Turkish front-line warriors and captured over 100 pieces of artillery, an heroic asskicking that made him such a national hero that he was elected King of Poland a year later based on his own popularity alone. Known as “The Unvanquished Northern Lion”, by a Turkish army that had the good sense and honor to appreciate a righteously-hardcore badass even when he wasn’t fighting under the same flag, Jan Sobieski had fought his way to the Crown on military awesomeness alone, then went home at the end of every day to share a bed with a fucking hot French countess he’d brought in straight from the court of Louis XIV.

And, more importantly even than his track record kicking ass in the name of Poland, Jan Sobieski was a man of honor. So when the Pope sent him a letter desperately requesting he send aid to the battered defenders of Vienna, Sobieski assembled every single goddamn warrior he had – at the expense even of garrisoning his own cities against attack – and personally rode to the rescue at the head of a force that was 20,000 men strong.

…Then, on the morning of September 12th, 1683, almost a week after he should have stormed the walls, Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa turned to his right flank and noticed something he wasn’t really expecting.

King Jan Sobieski of Poland. And 76,000 Polish, German, Saxon, Bavarian, and Imperial troops riding hard behind him.

The Turks fought like heroes, adjusting to their flank attack and resisting with everything they had, but once again Kara Mustafa fucked them. Rather than redirect all 200,000 guys to repel the attack, he kept half his guys in the trenches facing the city and somehow thought he could hold back the largest cavalry charge in human history with only half his force.

It didn’t work. Racing down from the hills as hard as he could, Jan Sobieski led an epic attack of heavy European cavalry through the Wienerwald Forest (hahahahaha) and straight into the flank of the Turkish formation. The Turks battled bravely. They didn’t break right away. For several hours the infantry of the Turks, known for their hard fighting, battled like the kind of warriors who conquer kingdoms. But in the end, the mighty Poles were too much.  Sobieski raced ahead, Hussar wings fluttering behind him, on a final charge that smashed through them, cut off their flank, sacked their baggage train and forced the Turks to flee. They withdrew in good order – their defeat had been decisive and total, but hadn’t inflicted an insane number of casualties.

Still, Sobieski rode into the gates of Vienna a hero. The Savior of Christendom. Because he totally was.

The guy has a whole long list of these articles, including one I can’t say I’m entirely down with myself; see if you can spot which it is. There are some that are sort of, um, unexpected, shall we say—like the Komodo Dragon, North Sentinel Island, and…Spock?!? All in all, though, it’s another deep well of entertaining and informative reading that I’ll spend a long time wading through as and when I can.

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Toxic masculinity?

No such thing; if it’s truly masculine, it ain’t toxic. And if it’s toxic, it ain’t truly masculine.

We take a young man and kick his father out of his life, send him to school where he has mostly women teachers, barrage him with negative messages about masculinity, then turn him loose at college where we treat him like a guilty-until-proven-innocent rapist, and after all that, we blame “masculinity” when he goes off the rails despite the fact that he spent a lifetime bathed in femininity. Unsurprisingly, the more women try to change masculinity, the more negative and toxic it actually becomes. Yet, articles explaining how masculinity needs to be changed and rewired—written by women or feminized males—are practically a cottage industry these days.

All these articles are variations on the same theme. It’s either liberal women or womanly men who explain how masculinity needs to be rethought. Inevitably, the conclusions are that men need to be more feminine, androgynous, or gay. Men are encouraged to be blubbering whine boxes who break into tears every time they get a sad. Be vulnerable. Cooperate, don’t compete. Get up on a chair when you see a spider and scream. You get the idea. The message is: “Sublimate all your instincts and male ideals so you can be more like a woman.”

What has happened is that our SOCIETY HAS CHANGED. Our over-feminized liberal culture and “penis envy” feminism have helped destroy marriage as an institution. It has split dads away from their sons. It has created a culture where a man can have the fruits of a lifetime of labor stripped away in divorce court because his wife decides she wants to relive her party years with his money. A culture where feminists attack masculinity. A culture where Hollywood tells young men that the end-all-and-be-all of their existence is having sex while it simultaneously portrays the church, patriotism, chivalry and the other concepts that channel masculine energy as old-timey ideals that no longer matter. Colleges have implemented “yes means yes policies” along with kangaroo courts all designed to make it as easy as possible to convict men of sexual assault and quite frankly, nobody seems to care all that much about whether they’re guilty or not. Day in and day out, masculinity is under attack in our feminized culture, yet the poorest, most powerless man is told that he’s part of a patriarchy that oppresses women and that he has it easier because of his gender.

The damage done to our society by such wet-brained folly is damned near incalculable. As with most of the destruction so wantonly, mindlessly wrought by toxic-for-real Progressivism, who even knows if it can ever be undone. But it must be; our very survival may well depend on it.

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Free trade flimflam

It has never existed on this planet. And it never will.

Generally-speaking, the US has low to zero tariffs on darn near everyone — well, we did until recently. That’s changing, and it’s changing because other nations won’t drop their tariffs.

EU nations generally levy a 10% tariff on US cars. Ours is 2.5%. Explain to me why we should allow that, when the entirety of the EU is considered a first-world nation and needs no special protection.

Canada tariffs a wide variety of agricultural products, from dairy to beef. Some of the tariffs are outright confiscatory, including dairy at more than 200%. Please explain to me how this is “free trade” and why Canada should have zero (or near-zero) tariffs on steel they wish to export into the US — especially when some of it is being diverted from China to evade anti-dumping penalties we leveled against them.

If the G7 is about first-world nations doing business on equal footing, which is it’s claim to fame, then let’s insist that it be exactly that. Those who are unwilling to live up to the rules can get out or be kicked out, but it’s time to quit pussyfooting around and coddling jackasses who think America is their ATM machine to prop up whatever political fetish they have been afflicted with today, whether it be rapefugees or glo-bull-warming.

Know what actually makes free-traders, libertarian ideologues, libtards, and NeverTrump GOPe nitwits alike squeal in horror over this? The possibility that, after so many years of being the world’s whipping boy, America’s willingness to be taken advantage of via the free-trade/tariff grift might at last be coming to an end.

How they can think they’re going to somehow win more votes by being viscerally opposed to Trump’s insistence on putting America first—which is exactly what Karl is getting at in his last line above—is way beyond me.

Update! Schlichter slams the elitist scam.

I keep asking the establishment shills why America has some moral obligation to tolerate foreign countries imposing higher tariffs upon us than we impose upon them. Seems facially unfair, right? So, there’s got to be a really good reason because how can you support our working people facing a higher obstacle to trade than the foreigners do? I’m just wondering what’s wrong with a level playing field. Fair is fair, right? But I never get a good answer.

When your job gets shipped to Oaxaca so somebody who looks like Mitt Romney can import the products you used to make back into the USA, don’t look to the elite to care. Care? They’ll applaud.

They are seeking to ensure their own gravy train doesn’t get derailed. This is why they tell you, in between informing you how stupid you are, that there are only a few tariffs out there and they don’t matter. Well, they sure as heck don’t matter to these think tank jockeys and media scribblers. They are not the guys getting up at 4 a.m. to milk the cows or to harvest the soybeans the tariffs target. They’ve never worked on a vehicle assembly line in their lives, so what’s it matter to them if Germany’s tariff on US cars is four times ours to theirs? Of course, the tariffs on US products don’t matter to the elite. They aren’t the guys who lose their jobs when their company picks up and moves to Vietnam.

I don’t like tariffs. I’d tear them all down, everywhere, just like Trump proposed. But the elite isn’t for that. It’s only against tariffs we impose to retaliate for the tariffs the foreigners impose.

Pretty much, yeah. But as I said above and Kurt provides examples of, it ain’t just the tariffs they’re against here. It’s the oh-so-gauche notion of putting America first that really frosts their nuts.

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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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