Factoid To Remember

Fqctoid to remember the next time the Victim Disarmament / Safe Criminals movement starts jabbering about the “Gun Lobby”:

Contrary to the ignorant assumptions that inform our political discourse, the NRA is a relatively small spender when it comes to campaign donations and lobbying, being at the moment the 460th-largest campaign donor and the 156th-highest-spending lobbyist.

Use it in good health.

Before It Was Cool – Redux

Kevin Williamson:

Americans can be — and often are — everything our critics say we are: impulsive, vulgar, oafish, clumsy, greedy, vain, belligerent, sanctimonious, hypocritical. But we are something else: a catalyst.

We’ve had 241 years of hit-and-miss government, but imagine going back to 1776 with a prophecy that one day, in the not-too-distant future, the English, French, Germans, Spanish, and Italians — to say nothing of the Israelis and the Japanese and the Indians — would form a restive and sometimes turbulent but enduring alliance against tyranny and oppression, and that this alliance would be loosely and imperfectly organized around something like the ideals ratified on July 4, 1776.

We have our political, economic, and religious disagreements with our friends and allies, but everywhere in the world where people fight against tyranny, we hear an echo of 1776. Everywhere in the world where people risk everything they have to tell the king, führer, caudillo, secretary general of the central committee, dear leader, ayatollah, or president for life to kiss their asses, we see something of ourselves. When things get bad enough, we join in, and have spent untold blood and treasure in the pursuit of other people’s liberty. Why? What’s in it for us? It is in our nature. We aren’t our politics. We aren’t our government or our president or even our Constitution, which is subject to revision from time to time. We are the people who decided that rather than just change kings, we’d do away with kings altogether under the radical theological premise that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, irrespective of the king’s good opinion.

Read the whole thing when you get a moment.

TIme For Some Petty Partisanship

Kevin Williamson in National Review comes perilously close to my riff on people who think being “Moderate” is, itself, a good thing:

Bipartisanship is desirable not because the best course is likely to be found at the midpoint between two extremes: The man who drinks to excess every day is a drunk, and so is the man who does so every other day. There is no compromise between fidelity and infidelity. When presented with a good idea and a bad one, there is no point in being a little bit stupid for the sake of compromise.

Which is a lot like my saying: “Moderation for its own sake is like getting a choice between ‘being beaten to death with a baseball bat, and living a long happy life’, and compromising on a traumatic brain injury”.

But he actually has a serious point.   It is high time the GOP descended into some petty partisanship by stopping the petty graft gravy trail that funds the institutional left.

Congress should also target grants and other federal funding directed to political organizations. For example: La Raza, through its banking operations (of course it has banking operations!) has received millions of dollars in federal subsidies…the comptroller general has found routine violations of existing laws against using federal funds for political advocacy and lobbying activities. There is in fact a federal criminal law against using federal appropriations to underwrite lobbying. You will not be surprised to learn that this law — which has been on the books for nearly a century — apparently never has been enforced. “The exact parameters of this law, adopted in 1919, are not precisely known,” writes the Congressional Research Service, “as there appears never to have been an enforcement action or indictment returned based on the provision.” Time to tighten that up. Congress should also adopt a general prohibition on distributing federal settlement funds to nonprofit organizations. Billions of dollars in federal settlements have been directed to “non-victim entities” such as the Urban League and La Raza, which are fundamentally political organizations. If Republicans cannot bring themselves to act out of prudence and principle, then they at least ought to have a sense of self-preservation sufficient to stop funding campaigns against themselves.

It’s time for Republicans to stop letting our sense of fair play be used against us.

Anyway – it verges on a Berg’s Seventh Law reference; for all the left barbers about tax dollars going to support any institution of faith, an insane amount of our money goes to support the left’s religion – leftist power politics (emphasis added):

The Left has a weakness: It is dependent upon government money. It has long accepted that arrangement complacently, on the theory that its friends will generally control the government, if not always at the elected level then at the administrative and bureaucratic level. (The Left has not been wrong about that.) According to the Congressional Budget Office, about 17 percent of all federal outlays take the form of assistance to state and local governments — funds that in turn account for about a quarter of all state and local government spending. A fair portion of that money ends up simply passing through to nonprofits and politically connected contractors who provide dubious “outreach” and “development” services.

The correct term for that is “Graft”.

Wages Of Hegemony

Kevin Williamson, by way of hammering both Clinton’s self-destructive take on national security and Donald Trump’s simplistic and wrong-headed one, points out a consequence of American military, cultural and social hegemony that eludes Big Left and some of the libertarians who, these days, are increasingly indistinguishable from the left:

The American example has changed — forever — what the people of this world believe to be possible for themselves, bringing into present reality peace and prosperity that even the most utopian thinkers of three centuries ago would not have permitted themselves to dream of. Having liberated ourselves from the superstition of zero-sum economic thinking, the United States grew rich while helping other nations grow rich, too. That, too, is neither entirely altruistic nor entirely self-interested: When the United States intervened to save India from famine 50 years ago, and when Norman Borlaug et al. helped India to make a century’s worth of agricultural advances in a relatively short period of time, nobody was thinking about American exports or business practices in 2016. But it is the case that a rich India is much better suited to buy the things that America exports — aircraft, industrial machinery, optical and medical instruments – than is a poor India. For all our present anxiety, a rich China will be much better for the United States – and the world – than a poor China.

As always with Williamson, read the whole thing.

And then ask yourself; what good does an America that doubts and checks itself do anyone else?

Gotta Hand It To The Brazilians

The Brazilians just finished impeaching their first female leader, Dilma Rousseff, for corruption.

As Kevin Williamson points out, her corruption was pennies on the American “Progressive” dollar; the sort of creative accounting that the left (has been foisting on the American public for decades (with the connivance of way too many Republicans in DC, naturally), and why it, at this point, really matters anyway:

Corruption leads to poverty. It leads to poverty in Brazil, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Philadelphia, in Los Angeles, in Upstate New York, and in the Rio Grande Valley. Capitalism — the awesome productive capacity of free people — can bear many burdens and defray many costs, but it can be perverted and misdirected, too. From the state-run enterprises in Brazil and Venezuela to the green-energy fantasies of U.S. progressives, we see that the real threat to capitalism is not domination but seduction. Brazil seems to be hearing that gospel. We refuse to listen.

Is it because the media wouldn’t call Hillary (or any) Clinton “corrupt” if they caught her walking out of Fort Knox with a stack of gold bars in her purse?  Or because Americans favor the corruption – the looting of the public treasury – that benefits them?

We’ll see – sooner than later:

In November, the people of the United States almost certainly are going to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton their next president. Like Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, she will be the first woman to hold the office. Like Dilma Rousseff, she is an old-fashioned party-machine pol who is deeply and consistently corrupt, habitually dishonest, funny with money, and prompt to dismiss any and all efforts at holding her to some basic standard of decency and accountability as — remember the words, which could have been Rousseff’s — “a vast right-wing conspiracy.” We had to impeach the president the last time we had the poor national judgment to send a member of this hilljack crime syndicate to the White House, and Mrs. Clinton already has been acting as a one-woman crime wave when it comes to the laws that regulate how sensitive government information is handled and how official communications are archived for the purposes of accountability and oversight. Mrs. Clinton has argued that this all stems from her being too stupid to understand how to operate a mobile phone: “I used one device,” Mrs. Clinton lied. (She used many and has a talent for nesting lies within her lies.)

Americans may one day – soon – envy the corrupt, malarial hellhole that had the common sense to show at least one member of that class the door.

Finally.

I’ll Swim Against The School

A lot of conservatives bag on the President pretty hard for his dedication to his golf game.

Kevin Williamson says it’s a mistake, and I agree.  There are two reasons.

The first:

There are some obvious and practical reasons not to discourage President Obama’s sporting pursuits. The most obvious of them is that every hour Barack Obama spends on the links is an hour he is not wrecking the republic, distorting its character, throwing monkey wrenches into its constitutional machinery, or appointing sundry miscreants and malefactors to its high offices. If golf is the only prophylactic we have against him, then Scotland’s second-greatest contribution to modern civilization is to be celebrated for doing work that the Supreme Court and Congress can’t quite manage.

But there is more than the consequentialist case for Obama’s golf.

And I urge you go to and read it.

 

Watch This

You’d do well to read this entire article by Kevin Williamson – about the real source of human achievement.

Hint: its not politics, or politicians:

Politics thrives on convincing us that things are worse than they are, telling us that we must live in fear of violence and misery if we do not elevate the members of a very special caste of people who do very little resembling real work. The contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton is not only unworthy of us as Americans — it is unworthy of us as a species. We contain within us greatness and the seeds of greatness, and the belief that the affairs of this free, dynamic, prosperous, good, unprecedented republic of 319 million souls rests on the choice between Enfeebled Psychotic Miscreant A and Enfeebled Psychotic Miscreant B is a superstition, one that we should leave behind.

And the conclusion?

Even the best of them do not represent the best of us. They can do some good, mainly by protecting property and the freedom to trade, organizing the occasional public good here and there, while otherwise staying out of the way. We — we human beings — cut global poverty in half in 30 years, built an ever-expanding electronic Library of Alexandria and have connected (so far) about half of the world’s population to it, all but eradicated polio, and saw the average life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa grow by 70 percent in 50 years. What’s next?

You could do worse than to read the whole thing.

To: The Entire American Media

To:  The Media
From:  Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  Journalistic “Standards”

Dear Media

Katie Couric lied to the viewing public by maliciously editing her piece on “Gun Violence” to show a group of human rights activists as speechless when asked a fairly elementary question about gun control (when, in fact, they had several minutes of on-point, articulate response).

Kevin Williamson – a long-time newspaperman (who presumably knows the secret handshake you journalists have that determines whether you’ll take their criticism seriously or not) notes that…:

This kind of thing is the stock-in-trade of faux journalists such as Jon Stewart and crude propagandists such as Michael Moore, but Katie Couric is, in theory, something else: an actual journalist. There are things we permit among comedians that we do not permit among journalists: I doubt very much that every anecdote Richard Pryor ever shared actually happened.

I believe I’ve heard a journo or two whimpering about “Censorship”.  (“On The Media”, NPR’s media criticism program Media Über Alles-fest, hasn’t yet, but I’m sure they will – if they deign to address the story at all)

The usual idiots are rallying to Couric’s defense for the usual reason, which has absolutely nothing to do with principle and everything to do with a deep disinclination to allow anything to happen that might be considered a victory for conservative critics of the mainstream media. This is not a First Amendment question: No one is arguing that this film should be censored, the way films critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton were subject to government censorship before Citizens United; rather, this is a straightforward question about journalistic standards and Yahoo’s adherence to or wanton abandonment of them. Journalists are not supposed to tell lies to their audiences.

Fearless prediction:  “Serious” journalists will throw their hands up in the air, declare “it’s the new media, what are you gonna do?” and let it aaaaaaaall slide.

Two Americas, Redux

As you may recall, I had the great pleasure of hobnobbing with Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager last week.

And we were regaled with Hugh’s optimism…on many fronts.  He’s an optimistic guy.  He also just landed a drive-time network talk show contract with; I’d be pretty sunny too.

But one of Hugh’s rays of sunshine continues to be his faith in the criminal justice system; that it’ll work the way it was explained when he was a 1L at Michigan Law, or maybe 9th grade civics class.  He has that faith in the system that only people in the system have.

In this case, it’s the faith that Hillary will ever be indicted, much less tried, for deliberately breaking federal law with her email server.

It’ll never happen.

Kevin Williamson:

People like Hillary Rodham Clinton do not go to jail without first becoming governor of Illinois or mayor of Detroit, and Herself always has her sights set on a higher office than those. But even relatively lowly players in her world escape jail time. Lois Lerner turned the Internal Revenue Service into a branch of the Obama campaign, using the agency’s fearsome investigatory powers to harass tea-party groups and conservative organizations. She’s enjoying a fat pension right now rather than the federal hospitality she so richly deserves. Kamala Harris, who is trying to do much the same thing with the office of the attorney general in California, probably is headed to the Senate. The Texas prosecutors who harassed Kay Bailey Hutchison, Tom DeLay, and Rick Perry for wholly imaginary crimes are in no danger of facing real recriminations.

One of the few legitimate reasons for a goverment at all is a fair, predictable, just system of justice.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has violated a half-dozen national-security statutes, has criminally withheld information from investigators, and much more. It is a safe bet that the consequences of her doing so will be considerably less than those of failing to pay a parking ticket issued by the duly constituted authorities of Muleshoe, Texas. Something about that isn’t right.

When you lose that, in addition to all the obvious things, you lose…one of the few legitimate reasons to have a government.

“We Want Change!”

Barack Obama got swept into office on a wave of people seeking “hope” and demanding “change”.

Few could articulate the change they were hoping for – or, rather, there were tens of millions of different changes being hoped for – but by jinky, they were gonna get it.

It’s hardly arguable that most of the changes were bad; more Americans have healthcare than before, but they can afford it less.

And against that, the accusation is that the GOP did nothing – which is, of course, the impetus for much of Donald Trump’s popularity.

As Kevin Williamson points out, it’s not true – but you need to have an attention span to see it (emphasis added)

Having been elevated in the 2010 elections and fortified in subsequent elections, congressional Republicans have made a little bit of progress on the deficit, which was reduced from 8.7 percent of GDP in 2010 to 2.5 percent of GDP in 2015. In 2007, before the credit crisis and the subsequent recession, it had been about 1.1 percent of GDP — too high for the liking of many deficit hawks, but arguably manageable.

Arguably manageable – and at least moving in the right direction.

Another way to look at the spending problem is deficit compared to revenue, i.e., how much we’re borrowing to finance spending vs. how much we’re taking in. This gives you an idea of what the “stretch” is, what we’d need to cover in additional taxes or reduce through spending cuts to bring expenditures in line with income. In 2010, the deficit was 60 percent of revenue ($1.29 trillion deficit vs. $2.16 trillion revenue), whereas in 2015 the deficit was 13 percent of revenue ($439 billion deficit vs. $3.25 trillion revenue).

The moral of the story?

For those of you who habitually ask what it is that congressional Republicans have accomplished, that’s it: Despite having Barack Obama in the White House and a public that clamored for more benefits and lower taxes, the deficit has been reduced substantially in absolute terms, relative to GDP, relative to the federal budget, and relative to revenue, since the height of Democratic power under the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triumvirate.

A triumvirate that, Williamson points out, Trump funded.

Could and should the GOP majorities have done more?  Perhaps.   Changing the course of government is slow, unless  you control the entire shootin’ match (like Obama did from ’09 through ’10).  That’s intentional; there was a time when conservatives, if nobody else, knew that government was supposed to be slow.

(Which is the biggest reason Obama’s overreaches on immigration, among other topics, are so very dangerous).

 

Urban Liberal Privilege

For all the talk about “White Privilege”, there is a much bigger, much more powerful form of privilege in our society; the privilege of belonging to the urban liberal establishment.

Kevin Williamson has a dossier on the slice (and it’s a large, non-diet-friendly slice) of that sector that works for government, and government academia.  There’s far too much to quote.  The conclusion:

For all the talk about “privilege,” this is a much more familiar phenomenon: This is what it means to have a ruling class.

And it cannot be repeated often enough: We are ruled by criminals.

But read the whole thing.  You’re not angry enough yet.

They Wanted A Fight?

Kevin Williamson on the Democrats’ contempt for the rule of law, to say nothing of the First and Second Amendment:

If the Democrats want to do away with the Second Amendment, let them begin the amendment process and see how far they get. We should challenge them to do so at every opportunity.

In reality, the Democrats have declared war on the First Amendment, voting in the Senate to repeal it; they have declared war on the Second Amendment at every turn; they also have declared war on due process and, in doing so, on the idea of the rule of law itself, beginning with the notion of “innocent until proven guilty.” That isn’t liberalism — it’s totalitarianism.

That’s a winnable fight, and we should welcome it.

I’m just going to shut up and urge you to read the whole thing.

“There Are Certain Sections Of New York, Major, I Wouldn’t Advise You To Invade”

ISIS – or someone claiming to speak for them, anyway –  released a list of American cities they plan to attack.  The ostensible “list” has, in some cases, the parents of something that was compiled by throwing darts at a map.

And when I saw the list, I couldn’t help but remember this scene, from Casablanca:

Which led me to this bit, from a piece Kevin Williamson has out today on NRO:

he Sunday after the shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, I attended Mass at a Catholic church in a very conservative suburb in a Western state where gun rights are in the main unquestioned. As he spoke about the massacre in Charleston, the priest, who showed no sign of indulging himself in ecclesiastical theatrics, grew genuinely angry — that such a thing had been done at all, and that it had been done in a sanctuary among Christians at prayer. Later I asked him what he would have done if it had been his church. “This congregation?” he asked with a little smile that was meaner than you want a priest’s to be. “Probably administer his last rites.”

I thought about that good pastor as reports of the horrors in Paris came in. There was the usual sentimental outpouring on social media…All of that is useless, of course, but one feels the need to do something. But the only thing one can really do is the one thing that Parisians cannot do: shoot back.

With that in mind, I noticed one of the cities on the “target list”;  Minot, North Dakota.

I had to laugh.

Go ahead, Abu.  Go to North Dakota. On any eight random months, your thin, low octane Levantine blood will freeze as solid as the coolant in the 74 Fiat Spyder.

Casing your targets?  North Dakota isn’t quite as overwhelmingly caucasian as it was when I grew up there – but if you wanna case your targets in Minot, you’re gonna stand out from the crowd in a way that you don’t in Chicago or Minneapolis.  It’s not that big of a place.

And North Dakotans are strapped, Abu. #8 in the country in terms of guns per capita.   The oil workers will rip you into long thin strips; run afoul of the wrong farmers, and they will be picking pieces of you out of cattle stools for months.

Perhaps you think all Americans are like University of Missouri students, or Yale university social justice warriors, or espresso guzzling Manhattan lumbersexuals.  Go ahead.  Come to NoDak.  Not only would you die a lonely, painful death – from freezing, if not from crushing return fire – but the media would never know your attack, and demise, happened.  Your deaths would be lonely, and utterly unheralded – even within the state.

Just saying, Abu – f**k with North Dakota, and you might want to go back home and take a chance with the French Air Force.

———-

More seriously?

I had the pleasure of talking with Peter Johnson of Archway Defense over the weekend, on the show; I’ll urge you to listen to the whole hour; it’s pretty good.

The bad news:  the terrorists are learning yet again to use our strengths against us.  Rather than flying would-be terrorists to Afghanistan or Somalia for training, and giving western intelligence another set of data points and drone targets, they’re distributing information on attack preparation, bomb-making, and close-quarters combat (against the unarmed) via the internet – and doing a great job of it.

The “good” news?  They look for undefended targets.  Whether lone-wolves attacking Fort Hood, or the Chattanooga military offices, or the Washington Navy Yard, or bigger, better-financed, paramilitary operations like the various Paris attacks or the Nairobi Mall attack or Mumbai, the terrorists seek out the helpless to slaughter.  They avoid places where anyone could trip things up.

Yet another reason to flout, en masse, the Mall of America’s idiotic and dubiously legal gun ban.

On Celebrity

Kevin Williamson, the most essential writer in American conservatism today, on the celebrity cult that dominates not only, well, celebrity, but increasingly public life:

As a fairly committed theater-goer, I like actors as much as the next guy, but I also endorse the traditional social ranking of them alongside prostitutes and tinkers, a few degrees inferior to mule-drivers and emancipated peasants.

Naturally, the whole thing is worth a read.

Det Wårm En Tinglerer Føelens

Liberals pine for Denmark and Sweden.

You can hear it from their politicians – Bernie Sanders is one of many that visibly palpitates for the “Danish system”.  And you can see it in their semi-offical propaganda; in the cable series Weeds, produced by the loathsome Jenji Cohan, Denmark is depicted as a civil utopia.

Or, to be accurate, Sanders and Cohan depict a version of Denmark (and by extension the other northern European welfare states) that existed in in mid-seventies.

As Kevin Williamson notes, history is yet again leaving America “progressives” behind:

For those of you who are keeping score, the Heritage Foundation, which literally keeps score, rates Denmark’s economy as slightly more free – slightly more capitalistic — than that of the United States. Denmark is in a rough spot just lately, but it has been undergoing a series of deep and intelligent reforms to its welfare state (as have many of the other Northern European countries) to counteract the ill effects of earlier excesses.

Williamson also notes that the Danes, like the Swedes, pay for the goodies with a fairly crushing level of middle-class taxation – something that no American Democrat has the guts to admit; apparently we’ll have to pass their version of socialism to see what it costs us.

Hollow Democracy

As the Sanders candidacy – the 25% of the left that is the analog of the Trump audience in the GOP – continues to slurp up the attentions of our lazy media, it’s always instructive to be aware of the inevitable failure of democratically-elected socialism in our hemisphere.  Kevin Williamson runs down the dismal record and present of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has continued and extended the misery and repression of the Chavez years.

That’s all bad enough.

Worse?

Maduro, like Chavez and all socialists before him, has been moving aggressively to control public opinion, banning opposition media and driving all dissent underground.

And while the dog is in Venezuela, the tail is here in America:

There is more to democratic legitimacy than open ballots truly counted. As the Founders of our own republic keenly appreciated, genuine democratic engagement requires an informed populace and open debate, thus the First Amendment’s protections, which extend not only to newspapers and political parties but also to ordinary citizens, despite the best efforts of Harry Reid and congressional Democrats to trample those rights. (They call this “campaign-finance reform,” on the theory that political communications more sophisticated than standing on a soapbox outside the Mall of America requires some sort of financial outlay.) But Venezuela has been for years cracking down on newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, even as the Maduro regime’s inspirations in Havana have been locking up outlaw . . . librarians.

Is it an accident that suddenly, the First Amendment is out of style on the left, with a whole generation of college students being raised to see speech as a controlled professional entitlement, the Obama Federal Communications and Elections Commissions constantly moving to control alternative media, using Homeland Security to demonize and the IRS to stifle dissent, and our nation’s chattering elite finding the First Amendment just too complicated for commoners?

Amazing American Grace

The conclusion of Kevin Williamson’s piece on what the Fourth of July really means:

To be an American is to know a blessing that none of us has earned or merited, to have liberty not because we deserve it but because of who we are — endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights. None of us has earned that liberty, but we do have the opportunity — and it is precious — to live up to it. The Union army once had the courage and the confidence to march singing “Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!” Those men were facing a national crisis and physical horrors worse than anything our generation has known, or is likely to know. They endured: We have now seen 239 years of liberty and prosperity unprecedented in all of human history, a longer span of time than that which separated the Year of the Six Emperors from the fall of the Roman empire.

Call it the historical version of a lucky break?

No. Call it amazing grace. Glory, glory, hallelujah.

He compares liberty with the Christian notion of Grace – something we can have, but we can never earn by our own merits.

And you should read the whole thing.

Happy Independence Day weekend!

Our Lazy Biased Media Overlords

Last week, the MSM and its greek chorus in the lefty noise machine were all a’-chortle over Marco Rubio’s driving records.

Such as they were; two dismissed tickets and two trivial moving violations in 18 years.  No innocent women drowned; he apparently paid the fines, unlike a certain sitting celebrity Minnesota congressman.

And how did that happen (emphasis added)?

A couple of Times reporters spent Friday morning basking in praise for their “nice scoop” — the less-than-remarkable public knowledge that Marco Rubio was written four traffic tickets over the course of two decades — but, as Brent Scher of the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, neither of the reporters in the byline — Alan Rappeport and Steve Eder — nor the researcher also credited by the Times for the piece — Kitty Bennett — ever accessed the traffic records in question. But somebody did: American Bridge, a left-wing activist group, had pulled the records just before the Times piece appeared, and the Times employed some cagey language, with the relevant sentence beginning: “According to a search of the Miami-Dade and Duval County court dockets. . . . ” A search? Yes. Whose search? A piece of the news that apparently is not fit to print.

It’s not just national politics, of course; for a decade and a half, the vast majority of “reporting” on Michele Bachmann was done by her stalkers in the lefty alt-media, with few questions asked other than “how fast can I type my byline on this pre-written story?”

Quote Of The Day: Minimum Wage Edition

Kevin Williamson on the stupid futility of raising the minimum wage:

Dollars are just a method of keeping count, and mandating higher wages for work that has not changed at all is, in the long run, like measuring yourself in centimeters instead of inches in order to make yourself taller, or tracking your weight in kilograms instead of pounds as a means of losing weight. The gentlemen in Washington seem to genuinely believe that if they measure their penises in picas they’ll all be Jonah Falcon — in reality, their interns won’t notice any difference.

It is kind of a rush to say I’m 5,544 pixels tall – until I get to “pixels”.

Everything You Need To Know…

…not only about the shootout (not “riot”) between rival outlaw biker gangs in Waco over the weekend, but about the idiot left’s race-baiting response?  Yep – Kevin Williamson already has it, in this piece from NRO.

I’ll let you read the whole thing.  With Williamson, it’s always worth it; he bludgeons the incendiary mythmongering of the left’s activists and media (ptr) wings.

I’ll cut to the big pullquote:

The Waco police did not follow the lead of the Baltimore police; the mayor of Waco did not follow the lead of the mayor of Baltimore and declare an outlaw-biker free-fire zone. Instead, the police swooped in, arrested the better part of 200 people, started booking them, and peace was restored.

And nobody in Waco gave any press conferences about the need to understand the legitimate rage of the poor white peckerwood dumbass class.

And that’s as it should be.

Deigning

Kevin Williamson came out with an excellent piece this past week, comparing transit policy to “progressive” policy on education (and, for that matter, firearms, although Williamson doesn’t connect the Second Amendment to his thesis.  Which is fine – that’s what I’m here for).  Our current school and transit systems are largely designed by the “haves” – people with power as much as money – to foist upon the “have nots”.  That’s why superhighways and transit lines always run through lower-income, usually ethnic neighborhoods – and why schools in minority areas are disproportionally awful.

Transit – like education – is sort of a “powerful person’s burden”.

Along those same lines, a neighbor emailed me some observations about some of our local potentates rolling up their sleeves (and pant cuffs) to take to the frozen streets by bus to…well, hit the taxpayer up to fill in the money pit a little more:

I happened to see on Twitter that some legislators are using transit this week. Said one, “transit users are less stressed.” He’s not interacting with the same transit passengers that I interact with!

On their tweets, they all look a bit too happy to be real transit riders, too. They definitely aren’t interacting with the people on the bus at all, or they wouldn’t be smiling. Like the Pulp song “Common People” that I learned about after William Shatner covered it- “I said pretend you’ve got no money, She just laughed and said, “Oh you’re so funny.” I said “Yeah? Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here.”

For fun and games, see tweets with hashtag howweroll.

It reminds me of those pix of Senators Franken and Klobuchar, and Congresspeople McCollum and Ellison, and Representative Martens, riding the train…

…back on that long, slow opening day last June, looking all Jane Goodall “Peasants in the Mist”, smiling like they’re worried Kim Jong Il (or Greta Bergstrom, pardon the redundancy) are going to feed them to hungry dogs if they don’t smile hard enough.

Convention Plans

We’re already down to convention-planning time. 

And while the Democrat National Committee is pondering New York, Philly and Columbus, Ohio, Kevin Williamson has a more appropriate idea:

The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.

Not, he points out, that New York and Philadelphia aren’t headed in the same direction…

Confederacy Of Dunces

Kevin Williamson’s piece, “Five Reasons You’re Too Dumb To Vote“, concludes with a plea to those that Lena Dunham – producer of HBO’s insipid “Girls” – would inveigle into voting for the reasons Ms. Dunham gives:

I would like to suggest, as gently as I can, that if you are voting as an act of self-gratification, if you do not understand the role that voting in fact plays in a constitutional republic, and if you need Lena Dunham to tell you why and how you should be voting — you should not vote. If you get your politics from actors and your news from television comedians — you should not vote. There’s no shame in it, your vote is statistically unlikely to affect the outcome of an election, and there are many much more meaningful ways to serve your country and your fellow man: Volunteer at a homeless shelter; join the Marine Corps; become a nun; start a business.

And maybe think about acting like men and women rather than boys and Girls.

What?  You want me to add commentary to Kevin Williamson?  No – do us both a favor and just read the whole piece.