Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Rejection rationale

Looks like HILLARY!™ ain’t the only one floating down De Nile.

Former President Barack Obama was unhappy with Hillary Clinton and her failed “soulless campaign” in 2016, saying he saw her loss as a “personal insult.”

The new details come from a recently released update to New York Times Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker’s book Obama: The Call of History.

The new edition, which includes Obama’s reaction to the 2016 election, said Obama compared himself to Michael Corleone, the titular character of “The Godfather.” Obama thought he “almost got out” of office untouched, like a mob boss avoiding a hit job.

Obama found himself shocked by the election results, thinking before Nov. 8 there was “no way Americans would turn on him” and “[h]is legacy, he felt, was in safe hands.”

Your disastrous legacy is what it is, Jugears. You should worry more about NOT being forgotten, seems to me. Hopefully, your “legacy” will soon be getting way closer attention than you’ll wish, and fading quietly away into unheralded obscurity might come to look like a sweet, unreachable dream.

Update! Is De Nile actually a river of cheap gin?

Hillary Clinton’s defenders will never stop making excuses for why she lost in 2016: It was Matt Lauer! It was James Comey! It was men being sexist! It was women being sexist! It was voter suppression! It was Citizens United! It was fake news! It was WikiLeaks! It was Facebook! It was the Russians!

Today, a new excuse: It was Jon Stewart!

In the middle of last week, Huma Abedin must have bustled over to Hillary’s place with a lovingly bound copy of the latest in cutting-edge academic research, a report that says Jon Stewart’s retirement is ACKSHULLY the reason Donald Trump won. We’ll all be able to hear more about this in Frau Pantsuit’s next memoir, “7,573 Other Reasons I Lost That Totally Were Not My Fault, You Ungrateful Pissants.”

How long will it take academia and the pundit class to learn that dropped objects fall to earth, water is wet and Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem was Hillary Clinton? She’s a horrible politician, as corrupt as a medieval warlord and as cuddly as a leprotic armadillo.

As Dennis Miller puts it in his special “Fake News, Real Jokes,” “They could have passed out a big sheet of paper that had two boxes on it, one that said ‘Hillary’ and one that said ‘not Hillary,’ and I was gonna put my X in the ‘not-Hillary’ box, OK?”

She’s not just a horrible politician, she’s a horrible, vile person—a “nasty, nasty woman,” as Trump so handily put it. Via Surber, who quips: “…as if being too drunk to stand on 9/11 did not have anything to do with her 30-state stomping.” Not to mention all those other times she was caught on camera suffering from the blind staggers, too, and couldn’t stumble into the Drunkmobile without assistance from five burly security guards.

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A long campaign, a never-ending war

Good interview/chat with a brilliant, insightful man.

Victor D. Hanson: Well, in the book (The Case For Trump—M) I think I concluded in my chapter Mueller that was written a year ago, the greatest irony in Trump’s presidency when he was falsely accused of colluding with Russia by people who were actually colluding with Russia. And I think that assessment that came out well before that Mueller was validated. I think we’re gonna get the Mueller report today or tomorrow. But if you were to summarize the Mueller investigation, there’s a lot of ways to look at it, but I think the best is that there were people within the United States government–the director of the FBI, James Comey; the director of the CIA, John Brennan; the director of National Intelligence, James Clapper; the deputy director; and an array of others; and then NSC and the DOJ who felt A: that Hillary Clinton was going to win. They had followed the analytics and the polls–90 percent surety. But they felt as an insurance policy that Donald Trump for a variety of reasons–culturally, politically, socially–was unacceptable as president. And the very thought that he could be president was so foreign and disruptive that they felt they had a higher duty, a higher loyalty to stop that. So what did they do? They started to surveil his campaign, and they put informants we know into his campaign. In October of 2016, they went to a Federal Surveillance Court–FISA court–and deluded that court by not telling the true nature of opposition research from Hillary Clinton’s campaign which was unverified. And then they used that to surveil Carter Page who had work for Trump, but they were able to go back in time to a time when he was actively in surveils communications and then reverse target that by tapping all the people that he had talked to.

They, in the case of the National Security Council, they requested names that came up in these surveillances that be unmasked and then they leaked them. How did this translate in real terms? If you and I were reading newspapers in September, October 2016–Mother Jones, Yahoo News–they were printing things that Trump was involved with the Russians, and that permeated the press. We forget that now. Then when Trump did the unthinkable, he won both in anger at that fact but also as a preemptive defense of their behavior. You see, because you’ve got to remember the dialectic would have been “President Clinton, look at all I did for you. I should be rewarded. I went beyond the call of duty.” And now the mentality went “My gosh, I’ve got legal exposure. So we’ve got to press further.” So then it was a methodology of getting more FISA requests and disrupting the transition. And then finally the act that resulted in the Mueller commission, and then to dethrone. And then finally the larger context of this was when he was elected there was an effort to sue three states for the voting machines and nullify the election. There was a sustained effort to give the Steele dossier to the electors and to persuade the electors not to vote according to their constitutional mandates. Then there was almost immediately 60 representatives that voted for impeachment the week he was inaugurated. Then there was an effort to sue on the emoluments clause of the constitution to remove him. Then there was the 25th Amendment psychodrama that went on for … And then finally there was Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe meeting to see if they could pull cabinet members to remove him. This is in addition to the Stormy Daniels psychodrama, the Michael Cohen, the tax returns–so there’s been a sustained effort not to wait until 2020, but to remove the president of the United States under the idea that we are so moral and anointed unelected officials, we have a duty to somebody higher than the American people. And boil that down and it was a coup attempt to destroy the presidency before its tenure had expired.

Jan Jekielek: So, basically, it was any means necessary where we’re OK to try to remove the sitting president.

Victor D. Hanson: I think so. I think these unelected bureaucrats, call them what you want–Deep State, members of the administrative state–they were analogous to people in history that worked in the Byzantine court, or the El Escorial in the Spanish Empire, or the people at Versailles. They were a permanent cast of unelected representatives that felt that the liberal progressive project under Obama would be continued for a 16-year interlude. And that somebody who didn’t deserve to be nominated under no circumstances should have been president and when he was elected should fail. That was not happening. So they called upon themselves to remove him. And I’m not trying to be overdramatic. Because remember on September 5 of 2018 we had an anonymous op-ed in The New York Times that was geared, by the way, to come out at the same time as the Bob Woodward book. … is a one-two punch in which a person said, “I am a Republican Deep State bureaucratic appointee within the administration, and I’m trying to stop what I think are wrong decisions by the president. I’m a member of the resistance.” That’s what he said. That was—trim away the imprimatur of the New York Times—it was basically a call for insurrection.

That’s by way of an introductory tidbit snipped from a long, wide-ranging interview. I’ve only gotten partway through it myself, so you can safely bet I’ll be updating this post with more as I wade further into it—or just starting a new post entirely, maybe.

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UNEXPECTED!™

Kanye and his unabashed support for Trump deftly defended against the liberal OUTRAGE!!! machine by…ummm, Bret Easton Ellis?

Instead of getting outraged, they should have realized that a figure like Trump would seem appealing to him: brash, a gangster, his own man whether you liked him or loathed him, a loner, transparent, a truth teller not to be taken literally, flawed, contradictory, a rebel, awful for some or wonderful for others but certainly not vanilla or middle-of-the-road, incapable as a bureaucrat but skillful as a disruptor. This was also, of course, what a lot of other people I knew liked about Trump in the summer of 2018.

The media became derisive and speculated that Kanye had to be on drugs to say anything of the sort. He’s destroying his career! How could a black man like Trump? Anyone but an idiot could tell what Kanye was trying to say, however garbled and clumsy it was, but given the bias infecting everything in 2018, the press worried that he was having “delusional episodes” and probably needed to be treated for drug abuse. The consensus, in postmortem editorials everywhere, was that he would never have a career again after the slavery comment and the Trump tweets. It was all over for Kanye.

Except for the fact that, true to their ignorant prejudice, the Trumpers they reflexively blow off as “racist” are perfectly willing to flout Hollywood-shitlib assumptions and offer their welcoming support to Kanye for daring to exit the Lefty plantation and choosing a different path for himself.

And then Ellis makes the Tinseltown rubble bounce.

I MET up with Kanye during the week those controversies were exploding across social media. Kanye reached out because he was interested in resurrecting a TV project we had discussed in 2015, which he was now considering as a film. I promptly rearranged my schedule and made the drive out to his Calabasas compound, flittingly apprehensive that I might be meeting, as the media kept reiterating, a man who’d lost his mind.

After being ushered in by security, I was brought into a room where he was multi-tasking: assembling the movie team, overseeing his fashion line, rehearsing new material. In the five years I’d casually known him, I’d never seen him so attentive and focused and happy. This was Kanye at his most lucid, and this afternoon confirmed for me that he was, in fact, sane: his own man, no apologies, not some drugged-out freak gibbering on Twitter. People simply needed to acknowledge — not approve or to embrace — that here was someone who saw the world in his own way and not according to how other people thought he should see it.
 
What Kanye was championing in his Trump tweets was an idea of peace and unity, imagining a place where different sides could work together despite vicious ideological differences — that’s it.

Since November 2016, I had heard that a horrendous economic collapse was about to materialize, the planet was going to melt, countless people would die, the fraught situation in North Korea would send the United States into a nuclear Armageddon, and Trump would be impeached, brought down by a pee tape — leaving no jobs for anybody and Russian tanks in the streets.

We also idly noted that the filmmaker David Lynch couldn’t say in an interview that he thought maybe Donald Trump would go down as one of the great presidents in history, not without groupthink forcing him into apologizing for this immediately on Facebook. And where was a resistance that was so attractive and cunning that it managed to sway you, that maybe made you see things in a broader, less blinkered light?

But the one we had in 2018 seemed bent on advocating mostly vandalism and violence. Trump’s star on Hollywood Boulevard was destroyed with a pickax, an actor resembling a septuagenarian Lorax said “F–k Trump” at the Tony Awards, a television hostess called the first daughter “a feckless c–t” on her TV program, another actor suggested the president’s 11-year-old son should be put in a cage with pedophiles. And all of this from Hollywood: the land of inclusion and diversity. Maybe it was just another episode in the reality show that is still unfolding. Or maybe when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.

Hoo boy, that’s gonna leave a mark.

(Via Insty)

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The Final Insult

Steyn reviews “the last hurrah” of the riotously funny Naked Gun series, featuring Leslie Nielsen as the, uhhh, cop’s cop Lieutenant Frank Drebin. This time around Mark’s review is quite brief, so I’ll stick to a short excerpt myself:

The mistake most movies make with comedy is in assuming that, if you have lots of jokes, everyone has to be incredibly frantic. Nielsen imbues Frank, under the bluff cop exterior, with a child-like innocence, all the more remarkable when you consider that in a zillion terrible television movies — one thinks of Shadow Over Elveron (1968) — Nielsen, under the same bluff cop exterior, invariably turned out to be a weakling on the take or a ruthless killer who’d stop at nothing. It’s the same with Priscilla Presley: her trembling wide-eyed sappy love lines are identical to those she used in “Dallas” as she ricocheted week by week from Bobby Ewing to Ray Krebs and back. The only difference is that this relationship is oddly touching: when the marriage counselor asks the couple if they’ve tried alleviating their bedroom difficulties with “sexy lingerie, some lacy underwear, a black teddy”, Frank replies, “I’ve tried wearing them all. They don’t work.”

This provides me with a perfect excuse to mention another of Nielsen’s classic turns as comedic cop Drebin:




The above video consists of the intro sequence to each of the six Police Squad! episodes; each one closes with “tonight’s special guest star” being killed off in some ludicrous fashion (be sure not to miss William Shatner’s appearance, the only guest star to survive his attempted assassination…almost), followed by the narrator announcing the title of the episode, voiced over the text of a completely different title. The intro clips make for a good introduction to the chaotic, slapstick yockfest to follow. Hell, even the show’s theme music was absolutely note-perfect. The show was a Zucker-Abrams-Zucker creation; anyone familiar with their output won’t be surprised at either the seamless, carefully-crafted approach to complete juvenilia and silliness, or at how just plain funny they all are:

While attending the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the trio founded a small theater known as The Kentucky Fried Theater in 1971 which led to their sketch comedy film The Kentucky Fried Movie.

This was followed in 1980 by the trio’s breakout hit Airplane!, which remains a revered comedic milestone. Subsequent collaborations include the TV series Police Squad!, its subsequent Naked Gun trilogy and the films Top Secret! and Ruthless People. All of their projects relied heavily on parodies, visual gags and breaking of the fourth wall, and established a strong cult following. The notable stylistic exception is Ruthless People, a more traditional farce that was directed by the trio but unlike their other productions, not written by them.

Police Squad! just has to be one of the most tragically-underappreciated TV shows of all time if you ask me. Along with another unsung favorite of mine, Firefly (clocking in at only 14 episodes and one movie), it adds up to proof positive that in the world of television one can’t always count on the cream rising to the top. The Firefly series has so far led to only one movie spinoff—Serenity, likewise a good ‘un—whereas Police Squad! boasts the three Naked Gun sequel flicks. There’s been talk over the years about making another Serenity movie, but to date nothing has come of it. A So as of now, the Police Squad/Naked Gun tag team remains the reigning champ. That could change, though, should something as misguided as this proposed travesty ever come to pass:

On December 13, 2013, Paramount announced that a reboot of the franchise was in development, with Ed Helms starring as Drebin and Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant co-writing the screenplay. However, on January 11, 2014, Garant stated that the film will be more of a sequel than a reboot. In March 2015, David Zucker referred to the film as more of a reboot than a sequel, stating that it won’t have same spoofing style as the original series while disagreeing with the choice of Helms as the lead saying “I would want somebody who had never been in a comedy”. Zucker was approached by the studio to produce the film. In August 2015, Helms gave an update on the film stating “You have to make something that a contemporary audience is going to like. We haven’t seen many of those slapstick movies in a while, so I’m not sure what the right angle is on it”, echoing Zucker’s comments on the film’s modern take. Zucker stated in 2017 that he was working on a script for a fourth Naked Gun film with Pat Proft. He described the films plot as being about the son of Frank Drebin.

Oh, great. Just fucking great. Another of the cherished treasures of my youth dug up, raped, and ruined. Thanks a pantload, guys.

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“Then on November 8, 2016, America fired them all”

Gravy train, derailed.

When the nation chose Donald Trump, the anti-neoconservative for her 45th president, it sent a politically revolutionary message to the self-anointed coastal elites. In choosing a non-politician who self-identified as conservative but who had absolutely nothing to do with the Establishment GOP, America flipped the bird not only at Hillary and her organized crime cartel on the Left, but it blew a massive raspberry at the pseudo-Right as well.

What was the aftermath?

Well, the Left reinvested in crazy as the unhinged radicals took over the DNC asylum. First, we witnessed all the official Democrat candidates for president signing on AOC’s Green New Scam, a vision that would result in a centralizing of government power never achieved by any Communist state. And, yes, that does include taking your cheeseburgers. Then the almighty Pelosi tried to take on the anti-Semites in her own party but proved too weak and surrendered to the radicals.

The Left has made its decision: Trump won, they are convinced because they weren’t Left enough. But what about the Right?

They moved from gullible conservative donors to taking money from hardcore left-wing billionaires. They rebranded themselves under a new masthead, and as The Bulwark—sounds manly right?—and decided the best thing is to outdo the Daily Beast and Buzzfeed in anti-Trump sentiment. No more pretending to be the heirs of Kirk and Chambers while enjoying tony parties in Adams Morgan with their MSNBC, NPR, and Obama Administration pals. No, they will rebuild America by giving in to their inner Arianna Huffington and unleashing their hidden Glenn Thrush.

Whether it’s attacking Salena Zito for not being a “real American” (I guess because her name isn’t WASP-y enough), or mocking the appearance of a veteran conservative commentator who just ended chemotherapy, these people who say—and this isn’t a put on, they actually had this on their masthead—that they are “Conserving Conservatism” have sunk as low as it is possible to go. Or at least that’s what I thought until this week.

Gorka goes on to wax righteously revolted by the vile smear of VDH recently perpetrated by Phony Right sewer-crawler Gabriel Schoenfeld (mentioned here, among other places), recounts a conversation with Hanson himself about the matter, and wraps things up thusly:

The day after the outrageous calumny was dropped, I attended the launch of the good professor’s book at the D.C. satellite of his professional home, the Hoover Institution. When we met he asked me: “Have you heard? Now I’m a Nazi!” My response: “Well if that’s all they’ve got, you must have them very worried.”

At the end of the superb event, the pieces all fell into place. As I said my goodbyes, the gentle professor turned to me and said: “You know, Trump is the one thing standing between them and America going socialist.”

As if by prophecy, the next article the Bulwark posted was: “Is Socialism Really that Big of a Threat?”

Ouch. If these shitweasels had a brain in their heads, that one would really sting. Then again, though, if they had a brain in their heads they wouldn’t be who and what they are in the first place.

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Stand. Your. Ground!

Another “liberal” lynch-mob feeding frenzy launched against Tucker Carlson.

He’s not particularly a Trump guy, because he’s not particularly a politician guy, regarding the Democrats as deluded but determined and the GOP as stupid and craven. But, when it comes to the policies Trump ran on, Tucker is brilliantly effective – which is why his opponents want him off the air. As I’ve said on his show from time to time, the left doesn’t want to win the debate, they want to cancel it. Because it’s easier that way. They’ll let you talk about immigration in partisan horse-race terms: the wall, the funding, the court ruling against the executive order…But to do it the way Tucker does – what’s the purpose of mass immigration in an automated society with no jobs for the men who are already here? who does it benefit? why are formerly cohesive communities coming apart? – the left wants to shut down those questions, permanently.

So they’ve besieged his house, and called his daughter a whore at a country club, and organized an advertiser boycott. And the strain of all that is not easy. But he’s still standing. So now the George Soros guys at Media Matters have combed through hours and hours – days; in fact, weeks – of moldering tape, and found the ten seconds here and twenty seconds there that they hope will end his career.

Everybody who goes on radio and TV has those moments. When Tucker was at MSNBC a decade ago, he used to appear each week on a radio show called “Bubba the Love Sponge”, which is the usual shock-jockery – coarse and unconstrained. I’m Mister Squaresville, not my bag. But it’s certainly a lot of other people’s. I believe, at the time of America Alone, I was once invited on, but demurred. Around the same time, at the behest of a publicist who thought I needed to get hep and in the groove, I’d been on a show in, if memory serves, Chicago, and, after a quick tour of my book’s themes, I was asked to weigh in on the topic of the day, which was, ahem, the fashion for industrial-strength pubic depilation. I dodged the question, because somewhere in the back of my mind I had a vision of the CBC greeting the announcement of my appointment as Governor General of Canada by airing a tape in which I utter the words “hairless pudendum” or some such. And, ever since my salad days in small-town radio, I’ve been aware that there’s always someone on the other side of the glass who for whatever reason keeps the audio with a fading label sitting in a drawer year after year – until one day it proves useful.

But, as I said, I’m Mister Squaresville. So Tucker appeared with the eponymous Love Sponge and his sidekicks for an hour a week, and nobody cared – when he was at MSNBC. When he was at Fox News, suddenly the morning-zoo banter became a vital matter of national importance: He agreed that Martha Stewart’s daughter was “c*nty”, he strung along with some girls’ school lesbian jailbait fantasies, he called Britney Spears and Paris Hilton “whores” …and the hosts giggled and chuckled, until one of the guys sitting on the box of tapes decided a decade later it was time to destroy Tucker by any means necessary – which these days means by fake outrage and summer-stock pearl-clutching. Now Media Matters has released more audio. The Washington Post’s headline:

Fox News host Tucker Carlson uses racist, homophobic language in second set of recordings

Oh, my! When you read down deep into the piece, the “racism” charge rests on pointing out that Obama has a white mother, that Iraq is “a crappy place” that’s “not worth invading”, and that white men deserve credit for “creating civilization and stuff”. As is now traditional, in the daily newspaper of the capital city of the dominant nation on the planet, the authors of the piece don’t feel the need to explain what’s objectionable about saying any of that – nor to address the question of whether forbidding such utterances might, in fact, be more objectionable, and on a dangerously slippery slope for a free society.

This is pathetic stuff, but you use what’s to hand.

Carlson, bless his heart, refuses to play the game as demanded, which only enrages them further. Why, the vicious bastard isn’t even bothering to offer up one of the Left’s patented non-apology apologies!

You must always pretend that the people yelling at you are somehow your moral superiors. You have to assume what they say they are mad about is what they are actually mad about. You have to take them at face value. You must pretend this is a debate about virtue and not about power. Your critics are arguing from principle, and not from partisanship.

No matter what they take from you in the end, you must continue to pretend that these things are true. You are bad, they are good. The system is on the level.

But what if we stopped pretending for a minute? What if we acknowledged what’s actually going on?

One side is deadly serious. They believe that politics is war. They are not interested in abstractions or principles, rules or traditions. They seek power, and they intend to win it with whatever it takes. If that includes getting you fired or silencing you, or threatening your family at home, or throwing you in prison, okay. They know what their goal is. If you are in way, they will crush you.

What’s interesting is how reliably the other side pretends that none of this is happening. Republicans in Washington do a fairly credible imitation of an opposition party. They still give speeches. They tweet quite a bit. They make certain noises about how liberals are bad.

But on the deepest level, it’s all a pose. In their minds, where it matters, Republican leaders are controlled by the left. They know exactly what they are allowed to say and believe. They know what the rules are. They may understand that those rules are written by the very people who seek their destruction, but they ruthlessly enforce them anyway.

Republicans in Washington police their own with a never-ending enthusiasm. Like trustees at a prison, they dutifully report back to the ward, hoping for perks. Nobody wants to be called names. Nobody wants to be Trump.

Kevin McCarthy spends half his day telling Republican members not to criticize progressive orthodoxy. Paul Ryan did the same before him. A couple of years ago, the entire Democratic Party decided to deny the biological reality of sex differences, an idea that is insane as it is dangerous. Republican leaders decided to not criticize them for it. They might get upset.

This is a system built on deceit and enforced silence. Hypocrisy is its hallmark. Yet in Washington, it’s considered rude to ask questions about how exactly it works. Why are the people who considered Bill Clinton a hero lecturing me about sexism? How can the party that demands racial quotas denounce other people as racist? After a while, you begin to think that may be their criticisms aren’t sincere. Maybe their moral puffery is a costume. Maybe the whole conversation is an absurd joke. Maybe we are falling for it.

You sometimes hear modern progressives described as “New Puritans.” That’s a slur on colonial Americans. Whatever their flaws, the Puritans cared about the fate of the soul and the moral regeneration of their society. Those are not topics that interest progressives. They’re too busy pushing late-term abortions and cross-dressing on fifth-graders.

These are the people who write our movies and our sitcoms. They are not shocked by naughty words. They just pretend to be when it’s useful. It’s been very useful lately.

The left’s main goal, in case you haven’t noticed, is controlling what you think. 

The man’s a true American hero, and every word of this rant sparkles like diamonds. I especially like how Carlson dauntlessly sinks his teeth into not just his Lefty tormenters but their Republican enablers too, unsparingly and without mincing a single syllable. You may not agree with his every single word, which is fair enough; I don’t myself, actually, although I haven’t had cable in years and so don’t see very much of him. Nevertheless, we have all too few like him, and need as many as we can possibly get.

He may well not be “particularly a Trump guy,” as Steyn remarks. But he knows some things that Trump knows also: you never fight these filthy blaggards from a defensive crouch. You never concede their premises. You never act as if you give a damn what they think. You never give them so much as a fucking inch. Not EVER. The moment you do, you immediately retire to your corner and throw in the sponge. Because the fight is then over—and you just lost.

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Death throes of NeverTrump

Cruise ship taking on water.

Months before the midterm elections last fall, several self-described “conservatives” implored Americans to vote for Democrats. Still stung that Republicans ignored their advice to reject Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and unmoved by Trump’s solid record of conservative accomplishments in office, these embittered outcasts claimed that a legislative branch controlled by Democrats would cauterize Trump’s alleged “authoritarian” tendencies.

The most notable of these windmill tilters, attacking an authoritarian impulse that wasn’t there, was George Will. For decades, Will occupied a vaunted perch in the hierarchy of the conservative commentariat. He also was deemed acceptable by media outlets hostile to the Right including the Washington Post, where he now is a contributor. Disgusted at the Trumpification of the Grand Old Party in 2016, Will officially renounced his party affiliation just weeks before the Republican National Convention.

Other lesser-known commentators jumped on Will’s “Vote Democrat” bandwagon, including author Tom Nichols, losing presidential candidate Evan McMullin, and Will’s Post colleagues, Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin. Former George W. Bush aide Michael Gerson argued that a Democratic House was needed because “American politics is in the midst of an emergency.” National Review’s David French announced right before the 2018 election that he no longer was a Republican and would consider voting for third-party candidates.

It’s unclear whether their collective edict had any bearing on the outcome of the November 2018 election and—given that their audience is now so contracted as to include, primarily, Democrats—it is likely that most of their readers needed little persuading. Nevertheless, they got their wish: Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in January.

And what a revealing two months it’s been so far.

Will’s prediction that congressional Democrats would be a basket of left-wing deplorables vastly underestimated the reality. What Will, Nichols and other NeverTrumpers encouraged to be foisted upon our nation is a cabal of cretins devoted to crushing the economic, political, and cultural bones of our body politic in the most ruthless and irreversible way.

So, in a little over 60 days, the Democratic Party has revealed how truly dangerous it is and how much hostility it holds for almost all Americans. Their deep contempt for our traditions, our laws, and our beliefs has little or nothing to do with Donald Trump; it has been festering for decades, gaining traction in boardrooms and newsrooms and lecture halls while many of the NeverTrumpers, like Will, were insouciant.

Now we know, and all Americans finally see, what we are up against in 2020. To that extent, we owe George Will and his outliers a debt of gratitude. Their bitterness might have hastened a reckoning with the Left that only a Trumpified Republican Party is equipped to confront. Will and his fellow outcasts still are invited to continue cohabitating with the Left—we certainly don’t want them back.

They’re isolated, clueless wannabe-elites, Swamp fringe-denizens whose cozy sinecure was unexpectedly yanked out from under them by a boorish outsider, as they see it. But they don’t see the whole picture. What they miss—and it’s by far the most important part—is the widespread public disgust with their obsequious jockeying for an exalted status they’ll never be granted; the forlorn hope for reinstatement of their perpetual-loser shellgame as if nothing had ever happened; Heritage America’s rejection of their tired, false excuses and rationalizations for failure; the anger towards them for openly advocating the election of Democrat-Socialists after years of smarmy lectures about the paramount importance of Muh Principles!™.

These factors, among others, combined to topple the NeverTrumpTards sudden-like from their shaky perch atop a pedestal that turned out to be neither as lofty nor as secure as they had imagined. May they have joy of their choices, and may their new Casa Proggy home suit them as nicely as it fits them. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of assholes, if you ask me.

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The nature of the beast

Francis drops this pithy quote from Lysander Spooner in the comments:

The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.

The proceedings of those robbers and murderers, who call themselves “the government,” are directly the opposite of these of the single highwayman.

Suddenly I realize that I really need to read more Spooner.

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“Freedom man”

The greatest Supreme Court justice of our era—quite possibly, of any of them.

In his farewell address, President Ronald Reagan recalled a Vietnamese refugee who upon leaving his leaky boat for the American rescue ship, yelled out, “Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.”
   
That image of American military power in the cause of justice is replicated in the stormy seas raised by administrative state today: our “freedom man” is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Reagan appointed “freedom man” to his first executive branch positions back in 1981 and 1982, first to the Department of Education and then to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he was chairman. I had the honor to work for Thomas as a special assistant at the EEOC from 1986 to 1990, when President George H. W. Bush appointed him to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush subsequently nominated him for the Supreme Court, where he has served for 28 years. In each position Thomas expanded freedom to the extent his circumstances permitted him.

His latest Supreme Court opinions display his view of freedom in abundance. Out of a tangle of facts and precedent, Thomas has the genius to spot the principle that will allow him to protect and foster fundamental freedoms.

Best of all, he actually gives a damn about such arcane and outmoded things. No wonder the Left hates him so much, and pulled out all the stops to prevent his elevation to the Court; all too often, his stubborn wisdom and refusal to bend a knee to expediency, politics, and popular opinion has been literally all that stood between us and total subjugation. If only he had been made Chief Justice, instead of the faithless weasel Roberts.

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Grill and chill

Stand your ground.

A Dairy Queen restaurant in Kewaskum Wisconsin, has refused to tender public apologies over a sign inscription posted at its door entrance. This comes after the sign post showing bold inscriptions of various controversial messages to patrons, went viral on social media the previous week.

According to reports, the recent uproar began after an Oregon visitor came by, and was so much displeased to the extent of starting a debate about the obvious welcome post, on Facebook. The welcoming words written on the door post is quick to inform people of the fact that the restaurant “is politically incorrect”, as well as other phrases that may be considered too personal or unreasonable by some persons. For instance, the post also states that the particular restaurant would say things like “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter” and would “Give thanks for USA”, amongst others.

Investigating into the reasons why Mr.Scheunemann had put up the post in the first place, it was discovered that he had probably done so as a means of removing such objections and complains as the current one.

The decision came four years earlier, when a customer had shown certain objections to the Christian music that was being played in the restaurant.

Several people within and outside Kewaskum have reacted differently to the issue. While a few others are in support of the dissatisfied customer, a majority seem to be in solid support of the restaurant’s actions.

The DQ sign’s fine print even offers to set up a “designated ‘snowflake safe space'” given 24 hours’ notice, so what could be fairer?

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Wait, Iran has a Navy?!?

Hilarity potential: off the friggin’ charts.

Feb. 19 (UPI) — Iran has unveiled a homemade submarine that the nation says is capable of firing cruise missiles several hundred miles and staying more than 650 feet underwater for five weeks.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani showed off the semi-heavy sub dubbed the Fateh, or Conqueror, on Sunday to thousands at the port city of Bandar Lengeh.

“We will not bow down to the hegemonic power. We are ready to sacrifice ourselves and spill our blood to protect Iran,” Rouhani said at the ceremony, according to Al Jazeera.

Oh, there won’t be all that much blood spilled, really. There usually isn’t with drowning. Unless you Neolithic retards freak out after submerging and start hacking at each other with swords before your new bathtub toy ever has the opportunity to take on water and sink.

The 660-ton sub was entirely produced domestically, according to Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari.

The manufacturing process began on March 21, 2008, which “is a record since the average time in the world is between 12 to 15 years,” he said.

Uh huh, right. VP blows that one out of the water thusly:

Two American shipyards produce two Virginia-class nuclear attack subs every year, with a time between being laid down and launched of about 18 months each.

There’s a picture of the deathtrap included, and it’s actually a cute little thing in its way. Looks a lot like the USS Monitor, in fact.

Monitor.jpg


Credit where due, people: from the Stone Age to the mid-19th century is a hell of a lot more of a leap into modernity than I would have ever expected from them.

Crew complement of the INS Widowmaker looks to be around 12 or 15 semi-literate yodeling troglodytes, including several imams to ensure Muslim religious strictures are strictly adhered to, and also to locate Mecca via compass or astrolabe for underwater daily prayers. Breathable air is replenished by a really long straw, and propulsion is achieved not with the usual screws but these:

IranSubPusher.jpg


Condolences to the families of the doomed Iranian “sailors,” whose brave relatives will soon be entombed forever at the bottom of whatever body of water they’re reckless and foolhardy enough to make themselves sharkbait in.

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The joint is jumpin’!

I Spotified some good old Fats Waller today whilst driving around aimlessly and to no good purpose. Fats is a longtime favorite of mine, and I hadn’t given him a listen in far too long. I thought about doing a post on him tonight, but somewhere in the back of what passes for my mind these days I was pretty sure I did one years ago. After some cursory poking around in the archives, though, I could only find a few oblique mentions of him in posts on other topics, so I guess my Spidey sense is in need of a little tuning and tweaking.

Fats was a bona fide giant among American musicians and composers, a legend who attained rarified heights reached by only the true greats. His early music served as a bridge between ragtime, stride, and jazz; his creations spanned multiple genres and styles, and his keyboard prowess was nothing short of astonishing. His personality, too was larger than life. He was a vivacious, joyous, irrepressible sort—overflowing with laughter, generosity, curiosity, and enthusiasm. This famous incident gives some pretty good insight into Waller’s character:

On one occasion his playing seemed to have put him at risk of injury. Waller was kidnapped in Chicago leaving a performance in 1926. Four men bundled him into a car and took him to the Hawthorne Inn, owned by Al Capone. Waller was ordered inside the building, and found a party in full swing. Gun to his back, he was pushed towards a piano, and told to play. A terrified Waller realized he was the “surprise guest” at Capone’s birthday party, and took comfort that the gangsters did not intend to kill him. It is rumored that Waller stayed at the Hawthorne Inn for three days and left very drunk, extremely tired, and had earned thousands of dollars in cash from Capone and other party-goers as tips.

If you got yourself shanghaied by a covey of Capone goons, hauled off to who knows where in a gangland gunship, and could nonetheless muster aplomb and sangfroid in copious enough amounts as to enable you to recover from the shock and terror and go on to establish yourself as the life of a three-day Mob party, I’d have to humbly tip my hat to you for your adaptability and charm at the very, very least.

Fats was a prolific songwriter; he copyrighted over 400 songs in his own name, and nobody really knows how many others he wrote and then sold to others who then claimed them as their own. Several of those sales, usually done to keep body and soul together when times were tight—something every professional musician learns all about sooner or later—ended up leaving him with deep regrets. Some years after he sold “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” for 500 bucks to a white songwriter in the 20s, he later angrily demanded that his son Maurice never play the thing again in his earshot.

Fats was always damned serious about his music, but was also known for not taking things too seriously. He wasn’t above a good bit of clowning around, indulging a sense of humor that was as outsized and larger-than-life as everything else about him:

Not only was Fats Waller one of the greatest pianists jazz has ever known, he was also one of its most exuberantly funny entertainers — and as so often happens, one facet tends to obscure the other. His extraordinarily light and flexible touch belied his ample physical girth; he could swing as hard as any pianist alive or dead in his classic James P. Johnson-derived stride manner, with a powerful left hand delivering the octaves and tenths in a tireless, rapid, seamless stream. Waller also pioneered the use of the pipe organ and Hammond organ in jazz — he called the pipe organ the “God box” — adapting his irresistible sense of swing to the pedals and a staccato right hand while making imaginative changes of the registration. As a composer and improviser, his melodic invention rarely flagged, and he contributed fistfuls of joyous yet paradoxically winsome songs like “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Ain’t Misbehavin,'” “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now,” “Blue Turning Grey Over You” and the extraordinary “Jitterbug Waltz” to the jazz repertoire.

During his lifetime and afterwards, though, Fats Waller was best known to the world for his outsized comic personality and sly vocals, where he would send up trashy tunes that Victor Records made him record with his nifty combo, Fats Waller & His Rhythm. Yet on virtually any of his records, whether the song is an evergreen standard or the most trite bit of doggerel that a Tin Pan Alley hack could serve up, you will hear a winning combination of good knockabout humor, foot-tapping rhythm and fantastic piano playing. Today, almost all of Fats Waller’s studio recordings can be found on RCA’s on-again-off-again series The Complete Fats Waller, which commenced on LPs in 1975 and was still in progress during the 1990s.

He didn’t seem to be much bothered by the lightweight stuff Victor saddled him with; neither did he seem to consider his method of working the audience via mugging and humorous asides demeaning, nor have I ever read that he was irritated by that either. He’d certainly be harshly condemned for “playing up to the white man” today whether it actually offended him or not—his enormous talent dismissed, his influence and achievements overlooked, all lost in the PC shuffle due to noncompliance with present-day pieties.

Everybody knows—uhh, actually, strike that; by now, I’d think hardly anybody does—his many big hits, wildly popular in his day: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Honeysuckle Rose, The Joint Is Jumpin’, I’m Crazy About My Baby, and a hell of a lot more besides. He produced serious, groundbreaking instrumental works like Handful Of Keys and Smashin’ Thirds. He also cranked out lighthearted novelty confections like this one:




Fats was famous for always being up for a party, surrounding himself with rowdy, fun-loving people and bedazzling them all with hours of music. He would play a two or three hour show in New York, then head up to Harlem for one of the infamous “rent parties” of the era, hanging out till way past dawn…or for a couple of days. Those parties had it all: booze, broads, food, and music. Fats would sit down at the piano, a gallon jug of whiskey and a piled-high plate of fried chicken within easy reach on top of it, a pretty girl on either side of him, and play all night and into the next day, pausing only for a pull on the jug, a bite of the food, and a squeeze or a kiss from one of the girls. All this, mind you, after the aforementioned hours-long performance earlier in the evening. By all accounts, the man just never seemed to wind down or wear out. Nobody ever asked Fats to “play one more” without him doing just that. He was a born performer, bringing his natural habitat with him everywhere he went; as long as there was a piano and he was in the midst of an enthralled audience hanging on each and every note, he was right at home.

Alas, the flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Fats wasn’t quite 40 years old when he died of pneumonia on his way back home from a West Coast tour, after years of exhaustive touring had led to a gradual breakdown in his overall health. His life was over too soon, maybe, but it was full enough that you might say he lived quite a long time in only a few years. This TV biography, featuring interesting personal recollections from his son and lots of video footage, is well worth a watch if you’re into the great old music of yore. I won’t embed it, since it’s about an hour long. But it’s damned good. I saw it years ago myself, and loved it.

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Musical misconduct

Heard an intriguing story on the classical-music station in the car earlier today, and decided to do some digging and post on it.

Austrian-born violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962) was one of the most famous classical musicians in the world during the first decade of the twentieth century. His rhythmic vigor and his heavy use of vibrato have influenced violinists down to the present day, and his original compositions—some of them originally passed off as works by composers of the distant past—remain staples of the violin repertoire.

Kreisler led a long and colorful life, the substance of which he embellished still further through a consistent habit of exaggeration and storytelling. He served two stints in the Austrian army and was drafted for a third. A natural talent, he rarely studied or practiced the violin after the age of twelve. Kreisler was also something of a link between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in music. He knew the Austrian composer Johannes Brahms personally, and his music was suffused with the mood of old Vienna. Yet he was touched by the modern era of music in many ways; he made numerous records, played concerts on radio, and tailored his violin compositions to the attention spans of popular audiences; his three-minute works were the hits of their day, instrumental counterparts to the best-selling vocal recordings of Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. For many lovers of classical music, Fritz Kreisler seemed to sum up the whole tradition of the violin.

He knew Sigmund Freud also, an occasional visitor to Kreisler’s parents’ home for their evenings of performing music with family, friends and neighbors, a quite common pastime in Viennese homes back then. Kreisling made his first violin from a cigar box, and received his first real violin as a gift at the age of four. All that is interesting enough, but then we get to the truly fascinating part:

In the midst of his growing career before the war, Kreisler found himself short of the kind of convincing but little-known material that would keep his concerts fresh. He composed music of his own but was not convinced that he had the stature to introduce a great deal of original music in his concerts. So he began to write music that was vaguely in the style of almost-forgotten composers from the distant past—France’s François Couperin, Germany’s Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, and others—and to claim that he had unearthed the music in libraries and monasteries. Older music was little known at the time, and the reverse-plagiarized music became a favorite component of Kreisler’s concerts. Kreisler finally revealed the hoax in 1935 when he was jokingly asked by New York Times music critic Olin Downs whether he had actually written the older pieces and answered the question truthfully.

Kreisler’s admission touched off an uproar, with some critics attacking his deception while others praised the artfulness of his counterfeits (there were 17 of them) and contended that the audience’s enjoyment of the music was the most important thing. Kreisler explained his original reasons for writing the pieces and argued that, unlike in the case of a counterfeit painting, no one had been harmed by his forgeries. Kreisler weathered the controversy; his popularity in the late 1930s was undiminished. Heard today, the counterfeits sound very little like Couperin or Dittersdorf and a great deal like Kreisler’s other music. For his entire life, Kreisler was a teller of tall tales that were sometimes accepted as fact; he once claimed, for example, to have been held at gunpoint by a cowboy in Butte, Montana, who wanted to hear a specific violin work by Johann Sebastian Bach.

By the 1930s, the music Kreisler composed under his own name was familiar to most concertgoers, and several pieces remain staples of classical concert life today.

According to the NPR story I listened to today, the NYT ran a blistering article on Kreisler’s sleight-of-hand not in its music or arts section but on the front page. The thing immediately blew up into a HUGE scandal, one which Kreisler seems to have been astonished by. He survived it nonetheless, and went on to even greater success and acclaim even as his life continued on with its tendency to be…uhh, eventful, shall we say.

Kreisler refused to perform in Germany after the Nazi party took control of the government in 1933, and he left the country for good after being threatened, despite his advanced age, with being drafted into the military when the Anschluss of 1938 put Austria under Germany’s control. He briefly took French citizenship but by the following year he was back in the United States. In 1941, Kreisler was hit by a delivery truck on a New York street and spent several weeks in a coma. But he recovered and resumed giving concerts in 1942. He became a U.S. citizen in 1943 and continued to perform through the war years, appearing on the Bell Telephone Hour radio show from 1944 through 1950. His last concert appearance was at Carnegie Hall in 1947. Kreisler and his wife spent much of their energy during his last years on charitable enterprises, including several aimed at indigent musicians. He died in New York on January 29, 1962, at the age of 86.

What a story, eh? I’m kinda surprised I’d never heard of him before now, as much classical as I listen to on the radio every day, but I’m glad I did. It’s the kind of story about the kind of real character you just don’t see anymore in this blander, less lively age.

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A birthday present!

CF lifer Richard Lamoreux has graciously presented me with a most excellent birthday gift: the Kindle variant of the book I spoke of at some length in this post—Guitar Wars—along with this followup. So y’all can expect even more on this worthy tome as I wade through it, along with some more excerpting, most likely. Thanks again, Rich!

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Abject ruin

The inevitable end-stage of socialism.

Until recently, Venezuela was the model for the Left. Indeed, our own Jeremy Corbyn, AOC’s new BFF, habitually lauded the Venezuelan dream.

At least, he did until people began dining on zoo animals.

Because the Venezuela of reality is now inconvenient. That’s why you won’t hear Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) talk much about it. Corbyn and his pals here insist on “caution.” That Maduro was elected by the people. A courtesy not extended to President Trump.

The reality must never besmirch the idea. An idea Maduro is so committed to, he told reporters this week that humanitarian aid is not welcome. It would humiliate his people.

“We are not beggars. You want to come humiliate Venezuela and I will not let our people be humiliated,” he told state TV.

Perhaps those people are already humiliated. Once the wealthiest nation in South America, Venezuela, sitting atop vast oil reserves, is now a jumble of crises. There’s little food, medicine, drinkable water. Diseases of yesteryear enjoy a renaissance. Gangs maraud. Mothers pick through garbage.

Allowing such aid, bequeathed by the American gringo oppressors, would be to admit failure. That the grand quixotic project has indeed joined every other socialist experiment in abject ruin.

Sorta reminds me of Kipling:

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. 
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, 
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, 
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, 
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Smart fella, that Kipling. Damned near prescient, too. No wonder the libtards hate him so much. But as I always say, their argument isn’t with him. It’s with reality.

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DAMN PESKY CHRIST-KILLERS!

Looks like the sinister international JOOOO cabal has done gone and cured cancer. Sneaky bastards.

A small team of Israeli scientists think they might have found the first complete cure for cancer.

“We believe we will offer in a year’s time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, of a new treatment being developed by his company, Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi), which was founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator. AEBi developed the SoAP platform, which provides functional leads to very difficult targets.

“Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market,” Aridor said. “Our solution will be both generic and personal.”

The potentially game-changing anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology, which belongs to the phage display group of technologies. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, such as an antibody, into a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria. That protein is then displayed on the surface of the phage. Researchers can use these protein-displaying phages to screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequences and small molecules.

It goes on from there to get so far over my head I can’t even see it from ground level. But as Aesop said a little while back: I’ll happily let Lefty Jews—who are more like Jews In Name Only since almost none of them are religiously observant, having long since done as their white European, black, and Hispanic Lefty brethren did and traded their religious faith in for a mess of Marxist pottage—slide if I can keep the contributions to humankind of Einstein, Salk, Bohr, Chagall, Kazan, Gershwin, et al. Finance, the rag trade, currency manipulation, and urban pawn shop ownership aren’t the only areas where Jews have long been hitting above their weight.

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More guitar wars

Everybody saw the “Guitar wars” post here from last night, right? Okay then. So I launched the Amazon app on my phone today to check the book itself out and see if a Kindle version might be available, and what such a thing might go for. To my delight, along with a brief customer review by another good buddy of mine, Deke Dickerson, I found an excerpt from the book’s prologue attached, and it’s hotter than mustard, as Wodehouse would say:

SANTA MONICA, 1964

The screams came in waves, hysterical and elated, punctuated by applause. Then the camera found them: five men in matching striped shirts, teetering with nerves, grinning like children. The Beach Boys. A clap on the snare drum sent the song rumbling to life, and the players at the stage’s front tapped their feet to stay in time. Punches from the drum kit underpinned a sheen of male voices in harmony. But fighting for prominence was another noise—a throaty, splattering sonic current.

Curious instruments hung over the striped shoulders of the men in front. Two of the instruments were painted white, with thin bodies and voluptuous curves that suggested spaceships, or amoebae, or the human torso. Behind their players sat cream-colored cabinets the size of refrigerators, massive speakers barely visible inside, components in a new system of noisemaking. These sleek guitars transformed single notes and chords into flows of electrons, while the amplifiers converted those electrons into wild new tones—tones that came out piercingly human despite their electric hue.

There was no piano, no saxophone or trumpet, no bandleader, no orchestra. Besides their drums and voices, the Beach Boys wielded just these bloblike guitars, each dependent on electricity, each able to produce ear-piercing quantities of sound, and nearly all bearing the name Fender. Their amplified blare seemed to encourage the shrieks of fans buffeting the stage, their bodies swaying to the thrumming joys of “Surfin’ USA.”

When this scene played in American movie theaters just after Christmas 1964, it was a vision of the future. It was part of a filmed rock ’n’ roll concert—the very first—that also showed the Rolling Stones seething and strutting, and James Brown pulling off terpsichorean heroics unlike anything most of the American public had yet seen. The Teenage Awards Music International Show looked like one more entry in a procession of frivolous teen movies, but it arrived with the shock of the new. It was a multiracial assemblage of the day’s most famous pop stars, captured on film alongside bikini-clad go-go dancers and howling youths. Movie critics mostly sniffed. “Adults, unaware of the differences between these numerous young groups, view the combined efforts as fairly monotonous,” went a typical assessment. But a new order was establishing itself.

One company had done more than any other to usher in the technology that was changing listeners’ aural experiences. One company had made electric guitars into ubiquitous leisure accessories, by supplying cheap, sturdy instruments to amateurs and professionals alike. This firm was the first in its industry to align itself with the tastes of young people, among the first to paint guitars bright red and later metal-flake blue and purple, first to give its models sexy monikers like the Stratocaster and the Jaguar.

Competitors had long mocked the creations of the Fender Electric Instrument Company, but this Southern California upstart had an asset unlike any other—a self-taught tinkerer whose modesty was utterly at odds with the brash characters who used his tools. Clad in perpetually drab workmen’s clothes, preferring to spend most of his waking hours designing and building in his lab, Clarence Leo Fender toiled endlessly to perfect the tools that ushered in pop music’s electric revolution, yet he couldn’t play a single instrument himself. Instead, he trusted musicians, whom he loved, to tell him what they wanted. In the waning days of World War II, Leo Fender had started building guitars and amplifiers in the back of his radio repair shop. By that night in 1964, the company he’d built dominated the burgeoning market for electric instruments.

At least, for the moment.

Showing off their striped, short-sleeve shirts, the Beach Boys appeared clean-cut and respectable, apparently (if not actually) innocent young men. To close out The T.A.M.I. Show, a quintet of Brits arrived wearing modish dark suits and expressions of bemused insouciance, even outright hostility. The lead singer’s dark hair fell in curls down to his collar as he prowled the stage, thick lips pressed up against the microphone, hunting and taunting his young quarry. To his left, a craggy-faced guitarist beat on an unfamiliar instrument. That small, solid-bodied guitar responded with snarls and growls, a thick, surging sound that couldn’t have been more different from the thin rays of light that had emanated from the Beach Boys’ Fenders.

The earlier act embodied rock ’n’ roll life as a teen idyll, a carefree jaunt in which sex was mentioned only euphemistically, and hardly ever as a source of conflict. Minutes later, the Rolling Stones made rock into a carnal fantasy, a dim mélange of ego and lust, betrayal and satisfaction. Already labeled rock ’n’ roll’s bad boys, the five young Brits embraced the role in performance and offstage, viewing the Beach Boys—another band of white men using electric guitars to play music first created by black men—as entrants in a completely different competition.

The Rolling Stones did sound new and distinct. And part of what then fueled the difference was an instrument discovered in a secondhand music shop in London, a secret weapon for producing the nasty tones this outfit preferred. It was a guitar, made by the venerable Gibson company, that bore the name Les Paul. Thanks to Keith Richards and certain other British rockers, this Les Paul guitar would soon rise again to become Fender instruments’ prime companion and rival—just as the man it was named after had been many years earlier.

For Les Paul himself was as emphatic and as colorful as human beings come, as loud and public as Leo Fender was quiet and private: a brilliant player and a gifted technician, a charmer and a comedian, a raconteur and a tireless worker who hungered for the top of the pop charts. Out of his roots in country and jazz, Les Paul had invented a flashy style of playing that was immediately recognizable as his own, a style that would help define the instrument for generations of ambitious guitarists. But almost since the moment he began playing, Les Paul had found existing guitars inadequate. He knew what he wanted and what he thought would make him a star: a loud, sustaining, purely electric guitar sound. Nothing would give it to him.

His search for this pure tone—and through it, fame—led him to California, to a wary friendship with the self-taught tinkerer Leo Fender, who was interested in the same problem. The two men began experimenting together, pioneering the future of music. But when Les finally managed to drag the guitar out from its supporting role and deposit it at the center of American culture—and when a radical new electric guitar design finally became reality—their friendship fractured into rivalry. The greatest competitor to Leo Fender’s instruments was soon a Gibson model with Les Paul’s signature emblazoned in gold. From then on, it was Fender vs. Gibson, Leo Fender vs. Les Paul, their namesake electric guitars battling for the affections of a vast generation of players inspired by the new sound of rock ’n’ roll.

For a brief period this competition seemed to abate. But soon after Keith Richards appeared in The T.A.M.I. Show using his Gibson Les Paul, his peers in the British rock scene would find that this instrument could produce tones then out of reach of any other guitar—including a Fender. The Gibson Les Paul could become molten, searing, heavy: sounds for which it was never intended, but which were now wildly desirable. This guitar’s look and sound would go on to virtually define a new style of blues-based hard rock.

Whoa, that’s good squishy. I stuck the book in my Amazon Wish List, which is (cough-cough) linked over in the sidebar; although I absolutely prefer epubs nowadays, my thought is that maybe the book includes some illustrations and/or photos that would be kinda disappointing in the Kindle version. Either way, though, if I ever again somehow manage to accumulate two spare nickles to rub together I’m gonna snap this tome up pronto, in Kindle trim at least, and possibly even both of ’em. Sounds absolutely riveting, and from the above excerpt I’d say it’s quite well-written too*.

I kind of shined something on in last night’s post, which I’ll now take the opportunity to go into a bit. It’s this:

At Les Paul’s studio, Fender, Paul, and a designer and meticulous custom-instrument craftsman named Paul Bigsby brainstormed a solid-body guitar, consulting with musicians. One was the country music star Merle Travis, a Bigsby client. Travis dared the designer to build him a thin, solid-body electric, sketching it in detail. Bigsby built it in 1948.

I must confess I hadn’t really known that Fender, Paul, and Bigsby had actually worked together, however briefly. Be that as it may, that paragraph inspired me to look up Bigsby—whose fine products I greatly admire and have seen fit to mount on more than one Les Paul—on Wikipedia, which yielded this nugget:

Bigsby is best known for having been the designer of the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece (also mislabeled as a tremolo arm) and proprietor of Bigsby Guitars. He built an early steel guitar for Southern California steel guitarist Earl “Joaquin” Murphy of Spade Cooley’s band, as well as Jack Rivers, then built a solid body electric guitar conceptualized by Merle Travis to have the same level of sustain as a steel guitar by anchoring the strings in the body instead of on a tailpiece. This instrument, which Bigsby completed in 1948, likely had an influence on the solid body Telecaster later produced by Leo Fender, as it had all six tuners in a row. Its headstock shape was later made famous by Fender’s solid body Stratocaster model. Bigsby also made a doubleneck model for Nashville guitarist Grady Martin and an amplified mandolin for Texas Playboy Tiny Moore. Bigsby also built a pedal steel guitar for Speedy West that West used on many of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s early recordings as well as records by Travis, Red Ingle, Jean Shepard, Johnny Horton, Ferlin Husky and Merrill Moore.

Before working in music he was a motorcycle racer known as “P.A. Bigsby”, and was the foreman of Crocker Motorcycles, and designed many components. For example, the overhead-valve cylinder head for their first V-twin motorcycle.

Well, I will be dipped in shit. Pretty dang cool.

*CAVEAT: Left out of my excerpt above is a couple of seemingly inapposite paragraphs on “racial equality,” which to be fair might matter purely as a historic component of the era. But I can’t really see what the hell that might have to do with Strats and Les Pauls. Maybe Port forges a more solid link than I can see at the moment, and if so good on him.

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Bonfire

An oldie-but-goodie on Tom Wolfe, one of my very favorite writers.

It wasn’t just the meticulous research that distinguished Wolfe, but his contagious style, which has unconsciously slipped into the prose of many an admiring young writer. Wolfe alone could do Wolfe—that much was clear—yet his madcap way with words is essential study for anyone who wants to become an effective stylist. In high school, too many students are initiated into the cult of Strunk and White, those dread lords of awful writing who, were there justice in this world, would be put on trial for crimes against the language before some sort of writerly tribunal. Wolfe is the antidote to all that because he gleefully and methodically breaks every one of their dreary rules. His sentences slalom along through run-on clauses, fragments, dialects, slang, brand names, onomatopoeia, archaisms, alliterations, exclamation points, italics, neologisms. What English 101 builds up, Wolfe dynamites down, allowing one to reconstruct the debris into original style.

Yeah, y’all can easily identify the man’s influence on my own writing style, I’m thinking. Ahem.

As all that might suggest, Wolfe was a man of the right. I say that not in the aspirational way that some conservatives claim South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone (“they make fun of liberals, so they must be one of us!”) but as a matter-of-fact descriptor of his politics. Not only did he find ample subject matter in the pathologies of 60s leftism, he railed against communists and radicals, wrote for the American Spectator, favorably blurbed Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism, and even had kind words for George W. Bush. This, I think, was both a genuine expression of his Southern upbringing and a celebration of Kingsley Amis’s dictum “if you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” Wolfe was, to culturally appropriate Churchill, in the New York establishment but not of it, and he relished nothing more than poking its eminences in the eyes. As he put it, “I cannot stand the lockstep among everyone in my particular world. They all do the same thing without variation. It gets so boring. There is something in me that particularly wants it registered that I am not one of them.”

The eminences hit back on occasion. John Updike called Wolfe’s novel A Man in Full “not literature, even literature in a modest aspirant form,” while John Irving denounced the Wolfean style as “yak.” Christopher Hitchens, who had a limited respect for Wolfe, nevertheless declared: “There has probably never been a less prescient journo-novel than The Bonfire of the Vanities.” On that, at least, he had a point. Bonfire, which mixed together the dollar-chasing louts of opulent Park Avenue and the black underclass of the Bronx—just add vinegar—presaged a New York doomed to racial and class warfare. Whereas the city at the time of Hitchens’ writing was turning into a glorified daycare center, as Rudy Giuliani’s war on jaywalkers begat Michael Bloomberg’s war on canned soup. Crime was down, order was in, and the authorities had turned from the big to the trivial. Wolfe, it seemed, had gotten it wrong. That dovetails into another critique of Wolfe, which is that, rather than assess a college campus independently from Atlanta independently from New York, he applied the Bonfire model across the board, a sort of one-size-fits-all right-wing identity politics that sees different demographics as irreconcilable, whether rich and poor, blacks and whites, frat boys and nerds.

That lens may have proven distorted in New York, but position it over present-day America and it suddenly seems less smudged.

Actually, I don’t consider the Bonfire lens distorted at all. Anybody who thinks racial and/or class tensions in NYC are any more than just thinly and temporarily papered-over at best is fooling themselves, and should attend the next #BlackLiesMurder or AntiFa riot to correct that misperception.

Bonfire was actually the first book by Wolfe I read, and have since re-read it quite a few times. It so happens I was also living in NYC at around the same time I read it, if I remember right—which also happens to have been the era of the Sharpton-incited Freddy’s firebombing. I’d say Bonfire holds up very damned well; as documentation of specific societal attitudes in a specific place at a specific time in its history, it’s pretty close to flawless both as a novel and as journalism.

Via KT, who also links to Wolfe’s seminal “Radical Chic” essay.

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A chat with Derb

Seems appropriate, seeing as how I mentioned him here last night and all.

Before settling in at his current home at VDare, Derbyshire spent years as the black sheep on Conservatism Inc, writing for National Review and Weekly Standard. Derb was to Conservatism Inc. was Larry Bird was to basketball or Eminem was to rap, a sort of reactionary Great White Hope in a sea of unevolved neocon cucks. Derb also wrote for the “kinda-sorta Alt Right” website TakiMag and hosts the longest running Dissident Right podcast on the internet: Radio Derb.

Derb was my and many others’ first exposure to truly reactionary ideas. Well, there was Pat Buchanan, I guess. Pat was a sort of a proto-Alt Right figure himself, but Buchanan was steeped in sentimentality and Christian traditionalism. Derb believed everything Pat Buchanan believed but was a lot more scientific and racist about it and without all the Jesus stuff.

But it was in 2009 with the release of his landmark bestseller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism that Derbyshire laid out the scale of our problems: demographic decline of whites and our replacement by low-IQ Third Worlders, totalitarian egalitarianism running rampant in all our institutions, monumental wastes of resources in futile quests to close racial achievement gaps, and all the while, a cheery tone of Reaganist optimism coming from a Right who should be scared to death.

With the Left triumphing on all fronts, the Right with its head in the sand, and the whole damn system rigged against us, Derbyshire concluded that America, conservatism, and the West in general were basically doomed. Doomed to become a Brazil-style multicultural Third World hellhole, and there wasn’t a lot we could do about it.

But now we are ten years in the future and much has happened since. How does We Are Doomed hold up today?

All too well, I’m afraid. The man was—is—a true visionary.

We’re coming up on the tenth anniversary of your earth-shattering best seller We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism. Nearly a decade later, are you more or less convinced that we are in fact doomed?

Define “we.” As mortals we are of course all doomed; but that wasn’t what I was writing about. The first sentence in my book reads: “This book is addressed to American conservatives.”

Yes, small-government, restrained-foreign-policy, ordered-liberty American conservatism is not merely doomed, it’s dead and gone. We’re close to the point – maybe past it already, it’s hard to keep track – where the federal government can tell you which pronoun to use.

We’re in a shooting war in Niger, a place hardly any American could find on a map, or should need to. We have 26,000 troops stationed in Korea, and 13,000 in Italy for crying out loud. Gotta stop Mussolini!

Freedom of speech is being stamped out by the tech monopolies and universities, with the eager help of lefty judges. Freedom of association is a fading memory – killed by the Civil Rights acts. Small government? You looked at the federal budget lately?

Has anything happened in the last decade that you did not anticipate?

I got cancer.

Ouch. Nice to see he retains his sense of humor in the face of it, I suppose. Actually, John’s sense of humor—puckish, dry, intelligent, subtle—is on display several other places in this interview, which is entirely too damned short if you ask me. Most fascinating takeaway from the whole thing? The link to this:




The guy in the striped shirt kicked over the chair by Bruce Lee? That would be…wait for it, now…

John Derbyshire?!? MAN. I had no idea that clip existed until just now. Makes me wonder what the hell else this man might have gotten up to over the course of his, shall we say, eclectic career. Anyways, like I said, the interview is great, and I only wish it was longer. Who knows, maybe I’ll drop Derb a line care of VDare as he suggests at the end and see about doing one myself.

Update! Okay, so I found my curiosity piqued all to hell and gone over the Bruce Lee thing, poked around a bit, and found this in John’s website archive:

So I was sitting there reading when a young Chinese guy came in. Seeing that I was the only person in the lounge, he addressed me. “Do you speak English?” I said I did. “Know any martial arts?” I said I had taken a few lessons. “Want to be in a movie?” I asked him if it paid. “Sure. Seventy bucks a day.” (Hong Kong dollars, he meant — around US$12 at that time.) I said I was game.

“Good. Be outside the Miramar Hotel front entrance tomorrow morning, seven thirty.”

A minibus arrived and drove us out to the New Territories — that is, the countryside that stretches out back of urban Hong Kong forty miles or so to the Chinese border. (Beyond which Mao Tse-tung’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was going through one of its nastier phases. Rafts of rotting corpses would occasionally float down the Pearl River past the colony.) Here there was a movie studio. We were led into a huge shed used for indoor sets, and spent the next two days filming fight scenes in that shed.

Bruce himself directed Meng Long Guo Jiang. He was on set all the time, setting up the fights, working out positions, talking to the lighting crews and the cameramen.

There was, by the way, no sound crew. Chinese movies at that time were shot without sound. The sound was dubbed in later. When you watch a Bruce Lee movie, you are not hearing Lee’s voice, though I think they might have inserted his qi-ai — the intimidating yells, grunts and howls he used when fighting — into the soundtrack of Meng Long Guo Jiang. The qi-ai sound like his, anyway.

In fact the first dubbing was always into Mandarin, and the on-screen lip syncing was to Mandarin words. Bruce, though fluent in English and Cantonese, could not speak Mandarin, so this was a constant vexation to him when filming, and probably the main reason he has very few speaking lines in his movies.

Bruce Lee’s presence was as striking in person as on screen. I have never seen a man who gave such an impression of concentrated energy. If he got animated when talking to you, he would make little springy skipping movements with his feet, as if warming up for a fight. When nothing much was happening, he would drop down and do one-arm finger-thumb push-ups at one side of the set, or have someone hold up a board he could practice high kicks on.

Just as a skilful schoolteacher knows how to get the class’s attention by speaking very softly, you were most aware of Bruce’s presence, and he was most intimidating, on the rare occasions his body was dead still. In the relaxed state, he was in constant motion. Crouching tiger, indeed.

Movie fight scenes are a devil of a thing to get right. We did everything a dozen times, levels of frustration and discomfort rising each time.

This was summer in the tropics, and if the place had any air conditioning, it wasn’t adequate. There were huge electric fans everywhere, but they had to be switched off for filming, or the actors’ hair would all be streaming out horizontally from their heads. Yet through the entire two days I was on the set, I never saw Bruce lose his temper, or display any negative emotion stronger than momentary mild annoyance. He was just as I had seen him on TV:  smiling, cracking jokes, smoothing out difficulties and differences, coaching, teasing, encouraging, cajoling.

I have a tall, lean physique, so he addressed me as “Slim.”

“Hey, Slim, let’s try that again — and this time look mean. You hate me, remember? I’m a runty obnoxious little Chink, just stole your woman, trashed your car and pissed in your beer. Whaddya gonna do to me? Huh? Whaddya gonna do? Come on …” (He spoke perfect idiomatic American English the whole time.)

The fight scenes were all improvised out of his head. I can say this authoritatively, as I got a chance to read one of the scripts. The entire section I was involved in — two days filming, though of course less than five minutes in the finished movie — was encompassed by four Chinese characters in the script:  Li da xi ren — “Lee strikes the Westerners.”

We had some visitors on the set those two days. Chuck Norris showed up, though goodness knows why, as his scenes, later in the movie, were filmed on location in Rome.

Bruce’s wife Linda also made an appearance at one point, with either one or both of the kids, I can’t remember. (Brandon, whom Bruce described as “the only blond-haired, blue-eyed Chinaman in California,” would have been five and a half at this point, Shannon just over two.)

If my very brief acquaintance with Bruce Lee is any fair grounds for judgment, he was a lively, witty, charming man who thoroughly enjoyed life, a gifted natural stage and screen performer, liked by everyone around him and dedicated to his art — his martial art, I mean. It was a tragedy he died so young.

There’s a whole lot more to this story—a WHOLE lot, the above excerpt is heavily abridged—and it’s all perfectly spellbinding. Honestly, you probably shouldn’t click the link if you don’t have some time on your hands, because I absolutely defy you not to read every word of it once you get started. A great story, well told by a gifted writer—hey, what’s not to like?

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“Catastrophe”

And coverup.

In 2013, hundreds of CIA officers — many working nonstop for weeks — scrambled to contain a disaster of global proportions: a compromise of the agency’s internet-based covert communications system used to interact with its informants in dark corners around the world. Teams of CIA experts worked feverishly to take down and reconfigure the websites secretly used for these communications; others managed operations to quickly spirit assets to safety and oversaw other forms of triage.

“When this was going on, it was all that mattered,” said one former intelligence community official. The situation was “catastrophic,” said another former senior intelligence official.

From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired — despite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials.

The disaster ensnared every corner of the national security bureaucracy — from multiple intelligence agencies, congressional intelligence committees and independent contractors to internal government watchdogs — forcing a slow-moving, complex government machine to grapple with the deadly dangers of emerging technologies.

More than just a question of a single failure, the fiasco illustrates a breakdown that was never properly addressed. The government’s inability to address the communication system’s insecurities until after sources were rolled up in China was disastrous. “We’re still dealing with the fallout,” said one former national security official. “Dozens of people around the world were killed because of this.”

Now guess on whose watch this disastrous fiasco occurred. Go on, guess.

This is simply stunning. A rollup of networks across the world — an event that began in Iran, where the Obama administration would soon enough be negotiating its much sought-after “nuclear deal framework,” and ended with numerous deaths is the kind of thing of which intelligence nightmares and national-security disasters are made. One’s first instinct is to look back and see who was CIA director during that period: Leon Panetta (Feb. 2009-June 2011); Michael Morell (acting director, July-Sept. 2011); David Petraeus (Sept. 2011-Nov. 2012); Morell again (acting, Nov. 2012-March 2013); and finally John Brennan, who served out the remainder of the Obama administration.

In other words, a lot of churn during what we now know was a tumultuous time. Oddly enough, one important national-security position experienced exactly zero churn during these years, that of Homeland Security adviser. Which chair was occupied by John Brennan, until he stepped in at the CIA.

I emphasized the incompetent asshole Brennan above, just because. But it can’t fairly be said that the buck stopped with him; it went much higher than that, of course.

The fact is, networks get rolled up all the time, especially when the controlling agency becomes complacent, or goes to the well once too often. Communication methods must always be reassessed — especially when they seem to be working — and changed. But the Obama administration’s cavalier attitude toward security basics is nonetheless shocking, and evidence of the rank amateurism with which the Obamanauts approached foreign policy and national security.

Gee, imagine my surprise. Walsh also notes that the story finally surfaced on Nov 2, and sarcastically wonders why it “got mighty little attention from the national media.” He knows quite well, and so do you.

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How it’s done

Street justice served, fresh and piping hot.

Members of the far-right men’s group “Proud Boys” beat up at least three protesters Friday in the streets of Manhattan after an event Friday night. The members of the pro-Trump organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as a hate group had gathered at the Metropolitan Republican Club on the Upper East Side to hear a speech by the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes. Minutes after they left the event, some 30 members of the group took part in the beating, which allegedly began when three anti-fascist protesters knocked a “Make America Great Again” hat off the head of a Proud Boy member.

Don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit, AntiFa fascist. But if you make a bonehead move with ill intent, prepare to tote the full-load ass-whuppin’, just like you deserve. The New Rule, a la Schichter, is: what goes around comes around. In full measure, with a quickness.

Videos posted on social media show the violence that included apparent members of Proud Boys beating protesters while shouting “faggot” and “cocksucker.” None of the Proud Boys were detained for the attacks although three anti-fascist protesters were arrested. Police accused the protesters of attacking a 30-year-old man who was leaving the rally.

Two journalists who were at the scene, Sandi Bachom and Shay Horse, talked to the HuffPost and described how the “confrontation turned into a mob assault” with Proud Boys vastly outnumbering the protesters. “They turned it into a pummeling,” Horse said. “This was three people on the ground and people just kicking the shit out of them.” After the attacks, the Proud Boys members posed for a photo while flashing “white power” hand signs, according to a photo posted on Twitter. “I haven’t seen a fight that violent in a long time,” Horse tweeted.

Good. I hope they got their sorry asses beaten half to death, and will be walking with a limp, jumping at loud noises, and peeing through a tube into a bag for life. The only unsatisfying part of this feel-good story is that there weren’t more Lefty oxygen thieves present to take their dose along with these three simps.

“The proud boys were totally ready and willing to be violent tonight. They didn’t even wear masks.” Members of the group also reportedly shouted “I like beer” repeatedly, a clear reference to what Justice Brett Kavanaugh said during his confirmation hearings.

Heh. You go, ‘Boys. If there’s gotta be blood in the street, I’d much rather it be theirs.

The Proud Boys are a sterling example to us all, clearly ready to take care of business at the slightest provocation from fascist pussyfarts and deal out the right stuff in response, rather than curling into a fetal ball and whimpering about “civility” or some such.

In their faces. Twice as hard. “You must condemn the right-wing violence,” sniffs Leftiecakes? Yeah, go fuck yourself with a splintery, rotten 2×4. Cuck nancyboys, too, can snivel and whine right alongside their libtard leash-holders about how just awfully awfully awful it all is; Proud Boys don’t give a shit what they think either. Me, I fucking love it.

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A new low

The question rings out: Can they really BE this dumb? And the answer comes instantly back: Oh, quite a bit dumber than you think, even.



I won’t bother explaining what’s fundamentally wrong with that risible assertion. You guys all know already, and they ain’t listening anyway. Even if they were, it would be over their heads, like reading Shakespeare to a damned dog or something.

OOOPS update! Another hilariously ludicrous assertion which I don’t have to bother explaining. But it’s remarkable in its own right, because it’s Hillary!™ telling nothing but the pure, unvarnished truth, possibly for the first time in her entire miserable life, if inadvertently.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Clinton about the joint speaking tour she is going on with Bill, where tickets to attend are going for up to $700 each, according to the Daily Mail.

“You say that you are going to talk about the difficulties that your husband went through, that you went through,” Amanpour said. “Obviously you’re going to be prepared to have questions about that moment in 1998, the impeachment, the allegations of sexual [misconduct] against your own husband.”

“Are you prepared to answer those questions?” Amanpour asked. “Is he prepared to answer them? And how do you see that similar or different from what President Trump is being accused of and Kavanaugh and others today?”

Clinton responded by saying the allegations against her husband were totally different because partisan politics were involved.

“There’s a very significant difference,” Clinton responded. “And that is the intense, long-lasting partisan investigation that was conducted in the ’90s.”

Yeah, they’re different all right, and significantly for sure: the ones against your “husband” were, y’know, true, with plenty of evidence to back ’em up.

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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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True American hero

Meet Sabo.

Los Angeles
It’s not much to look at from the outside, a dingy apartment building in a downwardly mobile stretch of burglar bars, psychics, and coin laundries. When asked the name of the neighborhood, one inhabitant classifies it as “no place in the middle of every place.”

It’s not much better on the inside. The guy I have come to see answers the door of his cheerless one-bedroom shirtless, in camo shorts and Chucks, while pulling on a white polo in order to appear less feral. He’s not a down-on-his-luck porn producer, though he used to work in the industry. He’s not some middle-aged gangbanger, though he could pass for one: solidly built with his name tattooed on his knuckles and a branding-iron mark singed into his chest. He is Sabo, America’s preeminent right-wing guerrilla street artist.

This sounds impressive. Yet being the Banksy or the Shep Fairey of the right is not a high pile to climb. It’s a bit like being the foremost reggae singer at the Grand Ole Opry or the premier scuba outfitter in the Kalahari. There’s not a lot of competition.

In this most liberal of cities (where even unaffiliated voters outnumber registered Republicans) and out of these modest digs, Sabo runs a one-man torture emporium. His victims include everyone from lefty politicians and Big Tech overlords to smug celebrities who never cease to subject us to the hot blasts of their virtue-signaling.

When inspiration strikes, Sabo might hijack a billboard, as he did last year with one advertising the film The Greatest Showman. It featured the actress Zendaya on a trapeze, and Sabo added a smirking Al Franken behind her with his lechy come-hither hands outstretched. Or he might crank out cheeky T-shirts with the letters “DOU” next to a picture of Che’s face.

The fashionable hypocrisy of the left drives Sabo bonkers, which explains the “F— Tibet” sign in his living room. It’s not that he doesn’t feel for the Dalai Lama’s oppressed people. But he’ll see some L.A. fashionista in a Mao shirt hauling a Free Tibet tote bag, “And I’m like, ‘You realize the reason Tibet needs to be freed is because of the f—ing Communists?’ These are the idiots I have to deal with.”

We all do, buddy, we all do. Read every word of it; as WRSA says, it’s good stuff. His apartment sounds like one hell of a fun place to hang out:

From the moment you step inside Sabo’s place, you get the sense that artistic violence is committed here. Amidst the skateboards and racks of spray-paint that adorn the hovel of this 50-year-old man-child, there’s a tattered Koran, which serves as his doorstop. It’s missing pages, since he’s used a few when out of toilet paper. If a visitor didn’t get the point that he’s not a fan of Islam, one wall also features Beyoncé in a burka.

Next to the coffin-sized printer that cranks out the posters that he plasters all over Los Angeles, there’s a wall-sized depiction of Elizabeth Warren in a Pocahontas headdress. There’s also the Hillary Clinton Wizard of Oz-style flying monkey campaign placard (with which he blanketed Brentwood before one of Hillary’s deep-pockets presidential fundraisers) and the tin of “Planned Parenthood Baby Dick Sausages by Vienna” (his nod to the unborn, though he’s ambivalently pro-choice).

Sabo’s also pro gay-marriage. But just when you think he’s going bleeding-heart on you, his bathroom door features the traditional ladies’ room silhouette of a woman, but from under her skirt is protruding, like a turtle head from a shell, a man’s unit. The bathroom is marked neither “Men” nor “Women,” but rather “It.” Though Sabo hastens to add that with their high rates of attempted suicide, he has nothing against “trannies.” “I hurt for them in a good way…just don’t try and tell me that it’s normal.”

Then there’s the MAGAphone—a megaphone inscribed with Donald Trump’s favorite acronym, as well as “Eat Shit Commie” around the horn. 

This is a fascinating, well-written warts-and-all bio of a fascinating young man who’s led a fascinating, rough and tumble life. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the introduction from Sabo’s website before here, but it bears repeating:

Bush the Younger was elected President and the claws came out in Hollywood. I lost my friends along with a great deal of peace. It was not a good time to be a Republican in Hollywood. There was no place I could go where I wasn’t punched in the face by some sort of art defining who I was for being a Republican. Evil, Bigotted, Homophobic, Out of Touch, Rich, Greedy, on and on. And then I snapped. Why was the Left allowed to define me and where are the dissenting voices from the Right setting the record straight? Creatively speaking, no one.

I believe the Right has a great message, sadly the only people telling it are those on the Left and they do a damn fine job making us look like ass holes and what do Republicans do about it, NOT A DAMN THING!!! Fuck it! I guess it’s just going to have to be me, I thought. My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can. Use their tactics, their methods, appeal to their audience, the young, urban, street urchins with a message they never hear in a style they own. My name is SABO, I’m an UNSAVORYAGENT.

We need all of ’em we can get, now more than ever. Okay, okay, one more excerpt, which I just love:

Sabo became a tank crewman, from which he derives his handle. A “sabot” is a type of armor-piercing round—“pretty much a bullet for a tank.” The Call of Duty nerds like to test him on this, claiming, Sabo says while imitating their pedantic whine, that it “isn’t the round, it’s one of the things that cup the round.” Disgusted, he adds: “I’m like, ‘Bitch, I only slept on one for four years. Shut up. I used sabot rounds as a goddamned pillow.’ ” He doesn’t let his real name out there, since antifa types would chronically harass him, possibly worse, and he doesn’t need any help in the paranoia department: “I wouldn’t be surprised if celebrities have witches trying to f— me with spells. Sometimes when I do [a job], I get really sick.”

It was in the Corps that Sabo became a drunk. Everyone was a two-fister. “They literally had Coke machines filled with beer.” He never saw combat, but there was plenty of fighting. “When I got into a bar fight, the whole bar fought,” he says, suppressing a grin. He was once slam-dancing at a bar, and some Navy killjoy said, “Dude, you spilled my drink.”

Sabo responded, “Dude, it’s a slam-dance song.”

“It’s Barry Manilow,” said his rival.

Heh. Now if THAT doesn’t convince you of how much you’ll enjoy reading this one, I don’t know what would. It’s in an unlikely spot—the Weekly Standard (!)—so naturally the interviewer works in the obligatory NeverTrumpTard complaints. Sabo, himself no Trump fan early on, responds with piercing insight and admirable ferocity (“…he’s ‘kicking the teeth in’ of everyone who needs their teeth kicked in…’How can I say it, dude?’ he goes on about people like me criticizing Trump while still enjoying the spoils of his Supreme Court picks, his pushback on the thought police, and his promoting of America instead of apologizing for it. ‘It’s like grow the f— up'”), and he’s right on the button.

Do I even have to say “read it all” again? No. No, I do not.

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Happy 9/11 Day!

17 years. Aesop remembers:

We (you, me, Western civilization, etc.) haven’t delivered to them the Third Punic War level of recompense they richly deserve, because reasons. Mostly bullshit ones, at that.

It’s too much.
Hey, fuckwit, they wiped out international air travel for months, vaporized billions in the economy of every nation in the world, including the ones least able to absorb that, not just ours in the U.S., engendering a decade-plus series of wars and thousands to tens of thousands of casualties, that really hasn’t stopped since they started circa the 7th Century, and won’t until we end the problem, by ending the problem children.

Sorry if that unvarnished reality spoils your breakfast, but shit happens.

It’s mean.
Really, dipshit? Meaner than destroying the lives of thousands of strangers in the service of your child-molesting leader, and his fanatical devotion to an imaginary death-cult deity?

Meaner than setting buildings on fire, and subjecting thousands of strangers to slow torture by fire, smoke, and worst of all, the time to contemplate the full hopelessness of their situation, such that they’d rather, in hundreds of cases, try flying from the 80th floor of a skyscraper rather than burn to death, or wait to be crushed under hundreds of tons of smoking rubble, screaming all the way to the impact at the bottom?

Okay, you win. I hereby concede that justice demands that every fanatical follower of theirs, including their bomb-toting children, should only be lit on fire, and kicked out of an aircraft at altitude, to scream in unspeakable agony the entire way until impact. Call it Hammurabi 2.0.

Happy now?

That’s not who we are.
You got a mouse in your pocket, soy-boi?

Who we are is a disgrace. Who we should be, are the guys who nuked Mecca and Medina, same day, then slaughtered everything left after that, in a feat worthy of Genghis Khan, and then introduced endangered species to graze there in perpetuity, so as to have enough lions and crocodiles handy to feed any stragglers to for the next few centuries.

Remember 9/11??

You must be joking.

The half-assed, half-witted, half-stepping pseudo-response to 9/11 has ensured that every day is 9/11.

Yep. It’s all gone pretty much exactly as Glenn predicted on the very day itself; there’s a reason that he and I both re-run his dismally prophetic post every damned year. To wit:

TOM CLANCY WAS RIGHT: (Reposted from earlier today) And we’re living one of his scenarios right now. Not much is known for sure, but it’s obvious that the United States is the target of a major terrorist assault. There’s a lot of bloviation on the cable news channels, most of which will turn out to be wrong or misleading later. Here, for your consideration, are a few points to be taken from past experience:

The Fog of War: Nobody knows much right now. Many things that we think we know are likely to be wrong.

Overreaction is the Terrorist’s Friend: Even in major cases like this, the terrorist’s real weapon is fear and hysteria. Overreacting will play into their hands.

It’s Not Just Terrorists Who Take Advantage: Someone will propose new “Antiterrorism” legislation. It will be full of things off of bureaucrats’ wish lists. They will be things that wouldn’t have prevented these attacks even if they had been in place yesterday. Many of them will be civil-liberties disasters. Some of them will actually promote the kind of ill-feeling that breeds terrorism. That’s what happened in 1996. Let’s not let it happen again.

Only One Antiterrorism Method Works: That’s punishing those behind it. The actual terrorists are hard to reach. But terrorism of this scale is always backed by governments. If they’re punished severely — and that means severely, not a bombed aspirin-factory but something that puts those behind it in the crosshairs — this kind of thing won’t happen again. That was the lesson of the Libyan bombing.

“Increased Security” Won’t Work. When you try to defend everything, you defend nothing. Airport security is a joke because it’s spread so thin that it can’t possibly stop people who are really serious. You can’t prevent terrorism by defensive measures; at most you can stop a few amateurs who can barely function. Note that the increased measures after TWA 800 (which wasn’t terrorism anyway, we’re told) didn’t prevent what appear to be coordinated hijackings. (Archie Bunker’s plan, in which each passenger is issued a gun on embarking, would have worked better). Deterrence works here, just as everywhere else. But you have to be serious about it.

For now, the terrorists have won. They’ve shut down the U.S. government, more or less. They’ve shut down air travel. They’re all over TV. But whether they really win depends on how we deal with this; hysterically, or like angry — but measured — adults.

As he says: “SADLY, my predictions made on 9/11/01 turned out to be pretty accurate.” Only “pretty accurate”? My God, there’s not ONE WORD in it that misses. It’s a marker of Glenn’s genius—and it IS genius, pure and simple—that he could see so clearly on a day and in a moment that the rest of us were shocked and horrified damned near out of our wits.

And he just keeps on keepin’ on, too. Day after day, month after month, year after year, he hammers out nothing but pure quality. Reynolds says more—and says it better—with his characteristic short, pithy bursts of inspiration than many of us can in a thousand words. His occasional longer posts are if anything even better. His work in the wake of the 9/11 attacks inspired a great many of us OG bloggers to take it up too; he continues to be both an inspiration and an example, showing us how the thing is properly done. Guess it’s no accident that he teaches for a living.

There’s a reason they call him the Blogfather. It still applies, with bells on. The coveted Instalanche is still a much-sought-after symbol of blogging success, proof positive of having finally churned something out that was worthy of serious note. Hats off to ya, Glenn, on this day of days; long may you wave, whether America at large remembers how and why it all came to be or not.

Update! The monkey speaks his mind.

September 11th 2001 was a singular event in American history, and one that should be respected, not used as a facile and inflammatory analogy for other events. “This silly and culturally unimportant event is like 9/11” should be stricken from the style guides of every columnist and pundit and assorted ass-hat who chooses to trivialize the murder of 3,000 Americans. And part of me suspects that the construction is purposeful, to shrink the attacks down to a forgettable size, to make them just another bump in the road to the new world order that so many enemies of America desire.

Too much of our current recognition of the attacks are a maudlin paean to loss, rather than a cold and brutal reminder that we are in a war for our very existence. Perhaps “9/11” should be more closely aligned with “Remember Pearl Harbor,” with its martial connotations and call to arms.

This date evokes in me a cold fury, that we were attacked, that we have not yet brought the full weight of our culture and might to bear on those who would destroy us.

Which is EXACTLY why this blog is named what it is.

Yes Mr. Schlichter, we are still killing them, and we are not beaten. But a renewed attention to our martial spirit is in order. I am confident that our armed forces are up to the task, especially with the cataclysmic shift in the oval office, but the focus is still on surgical strikes and guarding the delicate sensibilities of the soft and effeminate West, at the expense of American blood. Too many Americans have died because of this attitude, and it is long past the time at which we move to a real war footing. The lives of Americans must be considered more valuable, and must be preserved. If that means that more civilians in far-off lands are killed as a result of actions against our enemies, then so be it. It is time to take to heart the phrase, “America First,” not as the isolationist organization that collapsed just days after Pearl Harbor, or as a KKK slogan (which is just what the media wants), but as a reminder that we have the right and obligation to defend our national interests against all attacks, and to place the well-being of Americans above all others.

Problem being, that would first require acknowledging a basic fact that way too many of us are damned skittish about facing: that we were attacked in the name of Islam, by primordial savages using our own modern technology against us in perfect accord with the unholy scriptures of their vile pseudo-religion.

9/11 was wrought not by any phantasmagorical “perversion” of Islam, contrary to the convenient dodge deployed by people in the West enthralled by the wishful thinking that posits the existence of a great mass of “moderate Muslims”…somewhere. Which is not to say that there are no “moderate Muslims” out there at all; there are. It’s just that they’re known to their stricter, more rigid brethren as “apostates.” Which, according to Muslim scripture itself, is entirely correct.

Until we can bring ourselves to confront the ugly truth about Islam—a monstrous, oppressive belief system responsible for mind-boggling acts of savagery and murder throughout the entire world—we will never be either safe or secure, and any “war” we fight against “terrorism” will be costly, never-ending, and bootless. Period fucking dot.

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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

"To put it simply, the Left is the stupid and the insane, led by the evil. You can’t persuade the stupid or the insane and you had damn well better fight the evil." - Skeptic

"Give me the media and I will make of any nation a herd of swine." - Joseph Goebbels

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