Sunday, January 29, 2012

Deep breath, people; remember that this woman is leading the national battle for states' rights in health care

The latest example of the right's tendency to eat its own is the furor one is seeing in some quarters of the blogosphere over Florida attorney general Pam Bondi's interview with Greta Van Susteren. I think that if one watches the video and really parses it, one will se that she is not saying "Yay rah Romenycare in all its facets, that's what we want for the whole country," which, as we know, is tantamount to saying, "Keep FHer-care in place."

Yes, she is working for the Romney campaign. But I get the clear indication that she sees Romney as having seen what didn't work and what he regrets about the way his health care program in Massachussetts played out. What she is putting forth - let's remember, she is a leader in the fight of the states to overturn FHer-care - is the very conservative notion that states ought to be laboratories for public policy so that we can see what works and what doesn't.

How's this for turning the entire scenario upside down?

Iran says that this week's visit by IAEA inspectors will be "a test" - for the inspectors. Their big opportunity to show they are not "a tool" of Western powers.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What this tendency to eat our own can do to a man with decades of well-earned credentials and a reputation for integrity

Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator does a little research and finds out that Elliott Abrams said things in yesterday's NRO piece excoriating Newt Gingrich's behavior during the Reagan era that just aren't so.

I've met Elliott Abrams a couple of times - actually, it was during the Reagan era - and I've followed his work over the years. He's been associated with several prestigious think tanks. He's married to Midge Decter's daughter.

The NRO piece is unlike him (and unlike NRO, for that matter) and lots of people are scrambling for an explanation. It seems he's gotten caught up in the fever afflicting a wide swath of the Republican party that absolutely can't live with the thought of a Newt Gingrich nomination. I'm not without big-time reservations, which I've expressed here. I'd be much more pleased with a surge for Santorum, or, say, Bachmann or Perry at this point, but that's not where we are. Barring another bounce for Santorum, the alternative to Newt is Mr. "He's-not-a-bad-guy-he's-just-in-over-his-head" / "Nothing-to-get-angry-about" Reasonable Gentleman. And I can say unequivocally that that scares me a hell of a lot more.

When considering your choice among the admittedly less-than-ideal options, keep this in the forefront of your deliberations

Rick Santorum made a good point in last night's Pub debate. Nominating Mitt Romney greatly imperils America's ability to repeal Freedom-Hater-care.

"Green" energy companies do nothing but p--- away your hard-earned tax dollars

Well, that's not quite so. They also extend the reach of the socialist regime into every aspect of American life, and they allow rank-and-file tofu-and-sprouts types to feel good about how much they care about "the planet."

That's why the Most Equal Comrade is determined to forge ahead with subsidizing them no matter how many of them go bankrupt.

Imaginary pseudo-crises are great for business if you're a totalitarian.

Teachers unions are revolutionary socialist front organizations

Today's Exhibit A: a Michigan Education Association manual on how to organize illegal strikes and use children as propaganda.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Was it really difficult to see something like this coming?

The Egyptian government is detaining several Americans who work for publicly funded international branches of the two major US political parties.

Did we really think those supposedly Jeffersonian democracy advocates Facebooking the overthrow of Mubarak were going to prevail for more than a few minutes?

If I have one complaint about our side . . .

. . . it's our tendency to eat our own and thereby have no one left with which to oppose the real enemy.

UPDATE: Nice Deb has an even more dismayingly comprehensive report about how cannibalistic it's getting out there.\

Does anybody understand how the real enemies of human freedom and dignity - the real Western civilization-haters - are viewing all this? Log on to Facebook and check out their cheers.

The Most Equal Comrade to Governor Jan Brewer: Let's get something straight: You are not permitted to make me look bad

I love the photo of her standing up to him on the tarmac.

Listen, you narcissistic Marxist-Leninist empty suit without a patriotic bone in your body, your regime is the entity that joined with Mexico to file suit against my state for passing a law that reiterates federal immigration law and daring to enforce it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who's the babe-a-licious eye candy in the lower photo in this link?

The granddaughter of Richard Nixon and great-granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"It's not a real good environment down there right now"

So says Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning about his team's headquarters in the wake of several recent firings, including the Polians, head coach Caldwell, and strength and conditioning coach Jim Torine.

It points up something that all of us free-market champions must admit: Joseph Schumpeter's creative destruction may lead to advancement in general, but it comes with human cost. I would like to read somewhere that these decisions were hard for Jim Irsay to make.

Coming to a federal government near you

A lot of Michigan cities don't really have mayors anymore. They have dictators called "emergency managers," appointed by the state legislature to step in because these municipalities could no longer manage their affairs like grown-ups.

Pass this along to anyone you know who is in one of those "interfaith forums" or "diversity councils"

Andrew McCarthy on what the problem is with the Islamic world: Islam.

A couple of money lines:

"The main lesson of the Arab Spring ought to be that this remaking of Islam has happened only in our own minds, for our own consumption."

"Islam constitutes a distinct civilization. It is not merely an exotic splash on the gorgeous global mosaic with a few embarrassing cultural eccentricities; it is an entirely different way of looking at the world."

If there's one thing that unites Catholics left and right . . .

. . . it's the understanding of the sanctity of life. William McGurn at WSJ on left-leaning Catholic leaders who are none too happy with the MEC and Kathleen Sibelius for the totalitarian imposition of contraception and sterilization mandates in FHer-care.

We've always had to carve out our own space

While I for one think it's still important to keep Newt Gingrich's shortcomongs front and center, lest we lapse into self-delusion in our zeal to get behind the most likely anti-Romney, a Newt campaign consultant, Craig Shirley, has penned a Politico piece detailing the struggle of the conservative movement to assert itself and prevail over the Reasonable Gentleman GOP establishment over the last fity-two years.

He makes the point that people proudly call themselves Goldwater Republicans or Reagan Republicans, but that nobody goes around calling himself a Rockefeller Republican or a Ford or Nixon Republican.

It's only because of us that the Republican party stands for anything.

Monday, January 23, 2012

From a moral standpoint, the Most Equal Comrade barely qualifies as human - today's edition

He says that the "right" to exterminate fetal Americans makes for a way for the nation's "daughters to fulfill their dreams."

Not only is he a socialist without a patriotic bone in his body, he regards human life as expendable.

Yikes - today's edition

The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln passed through the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Persian Gulf without incident, which makes Iranian army chief Atoallah Salehi's threat-laced edict about US ships coming back to the strait look a little empty.


Now that the EU has voted for an oil embargo, a senior Iranian official says that Iran will "definitely" close the strait. The brigadier general of the Revolutionary Guard says that Iran is "well prepeared" for "asymmetrical warfare."

Three broad scenarios present themselves now:
1.) It all comes to nought and the focus goes back to Iranian nuclear cat-and-mouse.

2.) There is a brief period of apocalyptic tension, but the situation is defused before anything history-changing occurs.

3.) What everyone has imagined, at least for a few seconds before putting it out of their minds, comes to pass.

She'll be making more contributions to this world's betterment, just you watch

Say what you will about party affiliation (and don't forget that she was, until fairly recently, a Republican), Gabrielle Giffords is the embodiment of class and courage.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Now, having said the business about flawed spokespeople for time-honored principles . . .

. . . it's important to remember just how flawed that spokesperson is, and how the voting public at large feels about him. The Washington Examiner says Americans generally hate Newt Gingrich.

And a lot of true heroes on the right are part of the swath of folks that are not keen on him at all.

I'll tell you what I hate. I hate the options before us. I hate the array of scenarios for the next ten months. I hate the prospects for Western civilization.

What the hell kind of political process winnows out the best candidates two primaries into the nomination race - in fact, winnows out most of them before the primaries get underway?

What South Carolina means

No, it doesn't make Newt Gingrich any less a problematic figure, but it demonstrates unmistakably that huge numbers of Americans thirst and hunger for real conservative principles, even when articulated by a flawed spokesperson.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Johnny Otis, RIP

Can you believe this? Johnny Otis, the R&B impresario who discovered Etta James, passing away on the same day as Etta James.

One of the thrills of my life was having a one-one-one conversation with him in 1998. The International Society of Ethnomusicologists was having its annual convention on the Indiana University campus. One of the symposia was on his contribution to American music, and he was part of the panel discussion. That evening, the Johnny Otis Show gave a concert at the Bloomington Convention Center. A friend who knew I was a music historian got me comp tickets to all of it.

Anyway, in the evening, before the show, I was standing in the hallway beside the auditorium. A side door opens, and out steps Johnny Otis. Carpe diem, baby! I asked him about the postwar labels he talent-scouted for and about life on the chitlin circuit. He was really gracious with his time.

Hand Jive - The Johnny Otis Show

Etta James, RIP

A towering figure in American music. Age 73, complications from leukemia.

Her autobiography, Rage to Survive, written with R&B historian David Ritz, is one of my favorite books.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slivers of light in a dusky world - today's edition

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker says "no, thanks" to FHer-care funds for his state.

As dusk falls

As I've said before, people probably don't check in with a blog called Late in the Day looking for big doses of sunshine and confidence about the future.

I would like to have been able to give a blog about the current cultural, economic, political and geostrategic state of Western civilization a different name, maybe something a little cute or post-ironic, but I wanted to do those finding their way here in the midst of surfing the service of letting them know what the site's understanding of our current juncture is.

And it never gets any better. There, I said it.

Is this country full of wholesome, principled, energetic, God-fearing, productive, caring people? Clearly; we all know such beings, and there are even some in fields where they are admittedly a rarity. Politics comes to mind.

For the most part, such people tend to take care of their lives and work and leave ideology to others, though. Their thinking, it seems to me, is that their principles are best asserted in this world by example. There's also the fact that the pace of modern life just plain keeps upright, productive folks rather busy.

A few do get involved on the level of trying to influence our culture. They generally get rewarded with vitriol, snark and hate mail for their efforts.

So here we are, not even to Super Tuesday yet, and the GOP presidential candidate field has basically narrowed to three. (Yes, there will be four onstage at the next debate, but Paul - well, we've been over what he's about many times.) One is a decent family man by all accounts, with one devoted and fine wife to his name, as well as four robust and decent sons. He also happens to be the Establishment / Reasonable Gentleman / RINO / starched-shirt-corporatespeak candidate of this election cycle, the kind that Republicans routinely nominate, sometimes to get elected and sometimes to be defeated. Another is a principled conservative, with probably the fewest departures from conservatism in his record of any Republicans that have run this time. He is also a deeply religious family man, married to his first wife. He also seems to be past the peak of his modest surge. Then there's Newt.

He's certainly having an eventful day, isn't he? Perry drops out and endorses him. His second ex-wife's ABC interview will air after tonight's debate, and even if there are no new bombshells, to have her on video recounting what a heartless, hypocritical, emotionally detached man he has been in at least one period of his life is going to be damaging.

Let's go ahead and review the flaws and lapses in judgement we know about in addition to such behavior as asking his wife to tolerate his affair. There's the public whining about being placed in the back of the plane on the trip with Bill Clinton. There's the environmentalist TV commercial in which he sits on a bench with Nancy Pelosi. There's his support for Scozzafava over Hoffman in the upstate New York congressional election. There's his dissing of Paul Ryan's tax-and-entitlement plan on Sunday morning television. There's his support for ethanol subsidies.

And then there are the instances when he thunderously champions conservative principles like no one else. There's no way that's not extremely valuable - urgently needed - at this moment.

I'm well aware that the truism "reality demands choosing between available choices, not pretending or wishing that other choices were available" is so important that its status as a cliche must be overlooked. That doesn't make it any less hard to really let in.

It's harder than ever to defend conservatism, not because it's not defensible, but because, between horrible spokespeople for it (Newt) and less-than-effective spokespeople for it (Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, Cain), it gets drowned out by a mainstream media that is in the tank for radical socialism and that has no problem with moral relativism (unless it's practiced in a hypocritical way by a conservative spokesperson).

We're making the path to re-election for the worst and most radical president in U.S. history easy. While it's understandable that the array of possible contenders most of us really wanted to see - Daniels, Christie, Bolton, Rubio - declined to run because of the inevitable damage one sustains in the intra-party winnowing process, the result is that those who would take on the most damage, because of their flaws, are the ones left standing.

It's just a real drag to be this disspirited this early in an election year. It's a battlefield with no heroes.

Let us reason together

Larry Elder has a great column today about the difference in the way the media handles the MEC's view of homosexual "marriage" and the way it handles Rick Santorum's view. The most interesting part of the piece recounts an exchange Santorum had with a snot-nosed teenager about the subject. Santorum kept after him with a series of Socratic questions that were forcing the kid to justify his drawing the line at two people entering a marriage. When Santorum asked him, "Well, if we're going to say two people, regardless of gender, can get married, why do we not grant the 'right to marry' to three people who profess to all be deeply in love." The kid bowed out of the exchange, because he was going to have to come up with an intellectually solid justification for the notion that marital love can only involve two people. And that looked like real work to him.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There's nothing "spiritual" about this stuff

Actually, that's not true. Evil is a factor of the spiritual level of reality.

I have touched on the whole "New Age" phenomenon a few times in the course of this blog's unfoldment. My favorite blog for exposing and debunking that whole area of postmodern human activity is Whirreled Musings.

The blogmistress has spent a great deal of posting space in the last few months to covering the impact of Jerry Hicks's death on the whole Abraham-Hicks organization. She's been thorough and conscientious, linking to every source necessary to defend the veracity of everything she writes.

True to form, she has offered a new post that looks into the suicide death of an ex-Aber. The lady that is the subject of this incredibly sad tale tried up to the last day of her life to find some kind of comfort, encouragement, cosmic liberation and supreme peace from the circular reasoning and jargon-rich happy talk that passes for profound spiritual insight among the "monster bus" / "alignment with the vortex" crowd.

The whole "New Age" / "transformational" thrust in our culture has creepy parallels to the narrow range of discourse that is tolerated by leftist ideology. Still not getting that career-changing gig after years of striving to "feel good" / "align with source"? Pissed at having shelled out $41,000 for a Chevy Volt only to have the damn battery blow up? Feeling a little regret at having invested in Solyndra? Sorry, pal, you just didn't get your vibrations in order sufficiently, and there will be no consideration of any other viewpoint on the matter.

It's not an encouraging sign of where we are as a civilization that we swallow such hooey not only readily but with enthusiasm, so hungry are we for validation, salvation, and absolution for the choices we've made with the moments that comprise the truly precious and irreplaceable lives in these mortal coils.

The Prosperity-hater-in-chief

The MEC's excuse for nixing the Keystone XL pipeline is classic MEC: coming up with a lame way to try to shift the responsibility to Congressional Pubs

The advanced stage of our cultural rot - today's edition

Moms and dads, don't let your daughters anywhere near the Girl Scouts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The set of principles that uplifts and humanizes

LITD is not ready to officially endorse a Pub prez candidate, but since the race seems to have winnowed the field to two viable candidates (an apparent likelihood that does not please LITD at all), it's worth noting that only one of them talks like this.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The same set of factors and options

European countries aren't the only astronomically leveraged nations with no rosy options. (They can raise taxes, which chokes economic growth, impose austerity plans, which choke economic growth, print money, which diminishes the value of every unit printed, or default on their sovereign debt, which blows up the whole world, financially speaking.) Japan is in the same boat. Right now, it looks as if they are going with doubled sales taxes as the remedy du jour.

I was going to include the United States in this group of nations, but it seems to me that, even though the US has had the grip of totalitarian socialism around its throat for three years, still has a unique degree of experience with, and an intellectual tradition of, the atoundingly fast-acting restorative powers of economic freedom, and therefore is better positioned, if we can pry our country loose from that grip, to bounce back.

But that's a big "if" and we may well be swirling the drain with the rest of the nations who have foolishly behaved as if the money didn't actually have to come from anywhere.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where the state's parsing of individual citizens' feelings and motives leads

. . . to developments like North Korean "criticism sessions" for those the state deems to not have mourned Kim Jong Il's death with sufficient grief.

It's on purpose - today's edition

The United States has slipped into tenth place in the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Frreedom, behind Chile and Canada, among others.

Saddening, but not surprising, given that we are ruled by a tyrant with a Marxist-Leninst's understanding of economics.

Dog vomit in a designer dress

Matthew Continetti at the Weekly Standard on Valerie Jarrett. In the zeal that is equal parts Marxist ideology and a narcissistic sense that she and Mr. and Mrs. MEC are the figureheads - like a triumvirate - of the grand transformative mission, she has been the driving force behind such harebrained moves as the MEC going to Copenhagen to try to get the Olympics for Chicago, the subsidies for Solyndra, and bring Communist Van Jones into the regime.

The bear finally makes it plain

Russia's outgoing NATO ambassador says that any attack on Teheran would be an attack on Moscow. He also warns the West not to try to topple the Assad regime in Syria.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The wickedness and the rottenness of green

Of course, we know about the lavish hospitality laid out at the UN summits, and we know about the Climategate e-mails, and we've been learning about the cronyism behind such failed play-like companies as Solyndra. Well, per CBS, there is a slew of additional such outfits about to go kabust - and vaporize your tax dollars into thin air. You worked hard for that money - at a real place of business. It's gone, pal. But the MEC still has his campaign war chest.

Doesn't appear that they're getting their continent-wide crisis resolved

Standard & Poor downgrades the credit ratings of nine Eurozone countries.

Friday, January 13, 2012

It doesn't rise to the level of an atrocity

Two pieces that speak for my take on the Marines-peeing-on-Taliban-bodies dust-up:

Michael Ledeen at PJ Media and Bookworm Room.

This over-the-top reaction by Panetta and Hillary is not constructive.

Let's be clear about why we want him gone

I would imagine there will be some discussion of Kevin Williamson's piece at NRO today about the divide on the right about the Most Equal Comrade's motives for governing as he has.

I generally like Williamson's work. He's a great writer and generally a thinker of great clarity and precision. Still, he sets up a juxtaposition in this piece that is based on faulty terminology. He says that one group on the right basically sides with Romney's view that the MEC is "not a bad guy, just in over his head." Accurate enough so far, but then he says the other group "hates" the MEC and thinks he's "evil." I contend that this group's common view is that the MEC is a radical socialist without a patriotic bone in his body. Some might hate him for that, but most probably don't attach that degree of vitriol to their alarm over him. They just want him removed from his current office and his ability to exert influence on the direction of America.

What makes Williamson's article so frustrating is that he does acknowledge what the left, as enshrined by the Democratic party, is all about. He examines its cultural, economic and national-security biases and draws accurate conclusions: the left is driven by a deep and visceral hatred of basic human freedom and dignity.

But then he advises what he sees as the prudent course: electing a vanilla president (Romney; Williamson's characterization) and keeping mum about just how abrupt a reversal of America's current course the right intends to orchestrate. It's an oddly sterile type of splitting the difference. Proceed politically because you are driven by alarm at the peril in which Western civilization has been placed, but then govern as if it's just another session of Congress and executive administration, replete with all the routine deal-making and hedging one's words and actions with an eye toward "realistically" possible floor votes.

In short, I don't really accept his premise. To say that the MEC is just a garden-variety liberal Democrat and not a hate-worthy evil figure is to obscure the reality that liberal Democrats, at least going back to the early 70s, when the radicals came back into the fold (and infiltrated such fields as law, education, journalism and the arts), but in some ways going back to the era of Herbert Croly and Woodrow Wilson, have been freedom-hating radicals.

The disease has been present for decades. It's now in an advanced stage, not different in kind from what it had been. And the remedy is championing freedom, not in a technocratic, everything-will-be-okay-by-the-way-where-are-you-going-for-lunch kind of way, but with the sense of alarm appropriate to our current juncture.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This news item - and the photograph that goes with it - speaks volumes, on so many levels, about the state of our world

Mr. and Mrs. Ahmadinejad at Daniel Ortega's swearing-in for his latest term as Nicaraguan president.

I like the comment that says, "How do we know it's not her stunt double?"

How did we wind up at this juncture once again?

Real Clear Politics likes to juxtapose divergent columns about the same topic to illustrate to someone cursorily glancing at the entire rundown of headlines the breadth of opinion on the subject in the pundit world. Usually these contrasting pieces come from left and right - maybe a Victor Davis Hanson piece at NRO followed by a Paul Krugman piece at the NYT, for example.

Today, I was struck by the fact that such a RCP juxtaposition was between two divergent views on the right. There's Peter Ferrara's American Spectator piece arguing that Mitt is yet another embodiment of the Reasonable Gentleman / RINO / Establishment / starched-shirt-corporate-puke force that has sapped the Republican Party's natural energy for decades - and is therefore unelectable. The very next piece available for clicking is Jonathan Tobin's Commentary piece entitled "Conservatives Must Make Their Peace with Romney." (Regular LITD readers should be able to accurately guess that LITD agrees with the Ferrara view of the matter, although Tobin makes the excellent point that the remaining Pub prez contenders are making an unfortunate mistake by harping on the Bain-Capital-threw-people-out-of-work meme. Bain Capital showed its clients a return on their investments, which was what it was in business to do.)

The big question - the biggest of all - is, how does the GOP wind up at this juncture nearly every damn time? Whether they get elected or defeated, Pub prez candidates are routinely (with the exception of every conservative's towering hero, Dutch) the most white-bread, vanilla, reach-across-the-aisle-to-get-things-done-for-the-American-people figures among those running.

This scenario is an exquisite demonstration of the fact that culture comes before politics or economics. There is something in the makeup of a society that is so awash in prosperity, comfort, convenience and tachnological advancement, so removed from a sense of immediate danger (witness how quickly we went back to sleep after 9/11) that makes grandiose schemes, there-I-fixed-it wonkery, or, for that swath of the society that subscribes to a hard-left worldview, cries for "social justice" and "fairness" more appealing than simple truths that reality has proven time and time again.

While books, magazines and think-tank papers are churned out with regularity, the basic conservative message is fiarly easy to state:

1.) Economic freedom is inseparable from any other kind of freedom, and the state has no place in economic activity.

2.) The family structure that has been recognized the world over for thousands of years - a husband, wife and their children - is the societal unit where character is formed, and therefore must be upheld by public policy

3.) Men and women are fundamentally different

4.) People ought to form and foster civic institutions that build on the character-shaping function of the family. Churches and synagogues are foremost among these.

5.) War is a constant of the human condition, so we need a foreign policy and national-security stucture that reflects this fact.

There. That's about it.

Why is it so hard for this message to get through on a national level?

Foodie that I am, this phenomenon reminds me of our culture's seeming need to mess with recipes and time-honored foodstuffs in order to satiate our craving for novelty. We can't just have pizza pies that at least in the way they're marketed harken back to old Naples anymore; now they must have cheese-stuffed rims, or sport pineapples or barbecued chicken. We don't just eat sandwiches anymore; we load "flatbread" and "wraps" with all manner of ingredients, whether they make any thematic sense or not.

Similarly, we crave ever new forms of political razzle-dazzle that, as often as not, advance no ideology, good or bad. Zingers in debates, or emotion-triggering TV ads, or suspense surrounding endorsements suck the oxygen out of the polemical space which ought to be devoted to sharp and clear battling between worldviews that have been formed with the most rigor those asserting them could muster.

That would require a level of maturity I don't think we can collectively summon anymore.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sorry, but I'm busy that day

So the community college where I'm adjunct faculty is hosting a free-and-open-to-the-public lunchtime event on MLK Day which will consist of people forming small groups called "diversity circles." The objectives are to "identify areas of mutual agreement and develop shared understandings" and "generat[e] conversations about overcoming stereotypes, intolerance, racism, and prejudice as well as for building stronger, more inclusive communities.”

The press release quotes a "local expert on diversity circles" as saying there is no intent to arrive at a consensus, but rather to "uncover areas of mutual agreement or common concern.”

This is totalitarianism's smiley face on full display. Come on in! Have a seat! We're "inclusive" here! Freedom-haters have become quite adept over the last few decades at presenting their agenda in such a way that any objection looks like heartlessness and bigotry. Against free school meals? You want to see children starve! Against appeasing rogue states? You want to see villages bombed! Against CAFE standards and subsidized solar panels (and carbon taxes on airlines - see post below)? You want to foul the air and water and heat up the "planet"! And now it's time to have the notion of a "welcoming community" thrust in our faces.

Who the hell is not welcoming and inclusive? All these young engineers being brought to town by the multinational corporation headquartered here - do they have a problem with each other? Does anybody else have a problem with them? Of course not. And how about basic racial bigotry? When was the last reported incident of that around here? Maybe 1968?

Ah, but some people come right out and express concern about things like the encroachment of sharia law, or the attempt to change the definitions of the terms "marriage" and "family," or giving a pass to people who enter the United States illegally and set up residence here. People with such backward notions need to be straightened out, clearly.

No consensus, my tail end. The readily discernible consensus is that Chistian teaching, concern for national security, and the assertion that there are some definite cultural pillars in our society that must be preserved if Western civilization is to survive are dangerous notions.

This is the nicey-nice side of the same mindset that brought us "hate crimes." It is the leviathan state's attempt to get inside the heads of free and sovereign citizens and parse their motives and their habits of thought.

Can you imagine how gooey and embarrassing participation in a "diversity circle" would be? All these pious, feelings-oriented deniers of their own human nature trying to out-include each other, trying to fabricate distances between themselves and their neighbors and associates just to have something to discuss during the tedious hour and a half.

As I say, I'm adjunct, so except when I stop by campus to check my cubby hole in the faculty mailroom, I'm generally only there on the evenings that my class convenes. It's sometimes easy to forget that my school is an instution in good standing in the post-American indoctrination machine.

The high cost of limiting economic freedom in the name of a "crisis" that doesn't even exist

Have you been planning a trip to Europe? Already created a budget? You'll need to make some alterations now that the European Union has expanded its Emissions Trading scheme to include air travel.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's guys like this . . .

. . . that embody the rot within the Republican party. We're all done listening to a message like, "You have to put up with Reasonable Gentleman Syndrome as your only alternative to radical socialism."

No more.

"A gentleman in a mug's game"

Michael Walsh at NRO's The Corner on why Romney would lose to the Most Equal Comrade.

In a great-minds-think-alike moment, I was struck by his employment of the term "gentleman." Longtime LITD readers know that the term "Reasonable Gentleman Syndrome" gets used a lot here. It refers to the whole "reach-across-the-aisle" mindset for which John McCain was the poster boy. We're seeing it again in this cycle in Mitt's dance around the question of whether the MEC is a socialist. (Stanley Kurtz settled that once and for all with the indispensible Radical-in-Chief.) Laura Ingraham drove this home on her radio show yesterday by repeatedly playing the clip of Romney saying (about the MEC) "He's a good guy, he's just in way over his head."
No, he's not a good guy.
Yes, we have to live with our neighbors and associates even when we know them to be diametrically opposed to all that we cherish. We're not engaged in a civil war of the 1860s variety. But to characterize our times as pretty-much-normal-and-this-is-just-the-customary-heating-up-of-rhetoric-we-see-at-this-point-in-these-cycles is to willfully indulge in ignorance of the most dangerous kind.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Individual people are so much more interesting than demographic categories

Big hat tip to Legal Insurrection for bringing this to my attention. There's a lady in Utah running for Congress named Mia Love who has a very interesting bio. Cetainly, there are the obviously noteworthy factors, such as the fact that she's the daughter of Haitian immigrants (that would make her black, for those who pay attention to such things), but what struck me most was the fact that her degree is in fine arts and that she's an accomplished singer and dancer. As a jazz / blues guitarist and freelance writer, I love to hear about "creative types" who have their heads on straight when it comes to ideology. While my own experience bears out the stats about the arts world being overwhelmingly lefty, I'm starting to think maybe there's a significant swath of that world that flies under the radar.

After all, as Mark Steyn, David Mamet and others have said, turning this thing around starts with the culture. All the wonky policy stuff follows once we're no longer living in a sewer.

Just stick to the message of economic freedom for everybody, guys

Kimberly Strassel makes an important point at the WSJ today about the folly of not only Romney's singling our the "middle class" as the demographic he's going to champion with his tax policies, but Rick Santorum's proposal to give special credits to people with particular types of jobs (manufacturing) or family structures (children).

Come on, guys. Let's be the party - the movement - that dispenses with all that this-group-that-group preoccupation and works to maximize liberty for everybody.

For one thing, these designations are fluid. People move in and out of income brackets and various other types of life situations all the time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Most Equal Comrade - Constitution-shredder-in-chief

On the heels of the recess appointment for the head post at the new Consumer Protection Bureau, the MEC makes three recess appointments to the NLRB.

Let's head off the "W installed John Bolton as UN ambassador by recess appointment" argument right now. Two differences:
1.) There was an actual recess, as defined by Congressional rules, not a few days away from the job.

2.) It's necessary, at least so long as there's a UN and we're a member, for us to have a UN ambassador. We don't need any stinkin' Consumer Protection Bureau or Labor Relations Board.

It was time to invest in my hope that Western civilization can pull out of its tailspin

Just sent a little contribution to the Santorum campaign. My main motivation: I'm one of that 75 percent of Pubs that still doesn't want a Romney nomination.

Plus, I like the straight-up way Rick S serves his social conservatism.

Yes, I saw the piece by the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner at NRO this morning about Santorum being a big-government guy. My response: Look, pal, the field is narrowing, and Ron Paul has looney-bin foreign policy views. Rick S is no Reasonable Gentleman. He is a principled rightie and the momentum is his now. The examples you cite do not put him in the mush-o Romney/Gingrich camp.

Israel doesn't have many friends on the world stage these days, but . . .

. . . it has a staunch one in the brand-new nation of South Sudan.

Monday, January 2, 2012

"Love of freedom and respect for our ancestors forbid our taking refuge in fashionable despair"

Andrew Klavan at PJ Media on the constructive attitudinal and emotional way to proceed in to this peril-fraught year.

Ron Paul, the new breed of self-styled "conservatives,' and and the ever-more-brittle state of American politics

Star Parker points out that most of Ron Paul's support among registered Pubs and independents comes from such folks in the 18 - 29 age bracket, and that they claim to be solidly right-of-center but basically subscribe to a "leave-me-alone" ethic, devoid of a stand on the larger issue of what has shaped the uniquely American character over the last 400 years.

While Paul's undeniably spot-on championing of free-market economics and limited government has great appeal, if one circumscribes the totality of one's concerns to that, one is less equipped to see the nuttiness of his foreign-policy views, and they are nutty in the extreme.

The modern-girl ethos and the implications for how long Brazil can be a first-tier player in the global economy

Pundit and Pundette has an interesting, link-rich post on Brazil's plummeting birth rate, the cultural factors that caused it, and the implications of it.

A flying-pigs moment to start off the year

The editorial board of the Washington Post says that ethanol subsidies and electric-car subsidies have been colossal wastes that haven't done squat except distort the markets for fuel and cars.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not exactly leaning in a Westward direction

The Muslim Brotherhood that is assuming power in Egypt plans to put the decades-old peace pact with Israel to a plebiscite.

"Not a sister"

Kyle Smith at the New York Post muses on the question of why feminists reject Margaret Thatcher.

Lefties always look to amorphous societal institutions to bring about macro-level impovement to human lives. A political leader whose policy orientation was to remove bureaucratic shackles from actual human beings would cause them massive cognitive dissonance.