h/t Glenn Reynolds
For your evening listening pleasure …
The sounds of my childhood …
So Saturday night I spent over at a buddy’s house for his birthday, a former special ops guy who doesn’t usually drink very much but who did that night — my whole family had a great time, incidentally, despite the carousing — only to wake Sunday, hung over, to see that another internet “conservative” had decided I needed to be taught a lesson. Over a Tweet I made in April. The details of which were already spelled out here and elsewhere.
What started off as the typical name-calling BS — among other things I’m a “faggot,” a “latent homo,” a “sick fuck,” a “half-wit,” the “dumbest person on Twitter,” a cuckold, a child molester, a lover of being molested by men, an “abuser of women,” a “stalker,” etc. — escalated, however, when I asked “Alex’s Ashes” (@ymtise) to stop Tweeting out a pic that had Satchel in it. Which of course, made him Tweet it out more. Because I posted it in my profile. So, you know — I was just asking for it.
Among other lessons I learned in this second go-round with our “new” batch of Twitter “conservative” opinion leaders (followed, in one instance, by the likes of Michelle Malkin) — the post-2009, we-invented-conservatism-on-the-internet crowd — is that having a blog is to be mocked; that one can’t be a race-baiter (or use the tactics of one) if one claims to have “Moor” blood in him (reached for comment, Spike Lee and David Dukes high-fived each other and then tongued kissed). I also learned that if you “wrassle” — like my son does — you’re a “fucking faggot,” and yes, that includes the “sick fuck faggots” I posted pics of Satch with: US Olympian Rulon Gardner; US Olympian Ken Chertow; US Olympian Ben Provisor; UFC Heavyweight champion Shane Carwin; 4x All-American Travis Himmelmen. All “faggots” who like to “roll around half-naked with men.”
Recall, this is the new voice of a large swath of purported online conservatism: “homo” and “faggot” are slurs; race is not only real, but it’s essentialist, and if you lay claim to having a drop of Don Quijote-era “black” blood in you, you can’t possibly be racist; US Olympians are “faggots,” while you yourself can proclaim your superior patriotism by posting a background of an eagle on your Twitter page, etc.
But that’s not the worst of it. What I also found out is that, in addition to attacking — unprovoked — someone you don’t know, someone who has preached classical liberalism and constitutional conservatism online for 12 years, and someone who has in some small way contributed to an understanding of how and why progressivism has taken hold, you are also permitted to post pics of his kids, his house, and then publicly muse about calling Child Protective Services to come over and check on his kids. You can call for others to contact the police to have them come by and check on the welfare of his family. You can speak about his wife, claiming that she’s out banging strangers by the score.
And you can do this with impunity because you are a “conservative” with 2000+ followers, so you must be really really important and a boon to the movement.
– Except that this new band of kiddie cons (both of whom, in this instance, are not children at all: hell, one of them is 64-years-old and writes in leet speak, for Chrissakes) is the exact opposite. We sometimes wonder why classical liberals or constitutionalists get the reputation for being bigoted assholes, when we know from our own experience that this isn’t the case. And yet, people like “Alex’s Ashes” or @SemperPrinceps — defended as being good people by the likes of @CaliAzona, who didn’t wish to be bothered to stop their behavior, though they claimed to be avenging her honor — do everything to maintain that harmful view of who we really are not and what we actually don’t stand for. Which has me questioning their authenticity.
I don’t use “homo” or “faggot” as slurs, nor do the conservatives of my acquaintance. My position on race is well known, and though silly, boorish, stalkerish leftists like Timmy B always show up when my name is mentioned (poor groupies just can’t quit me; it’d be funny were it not so sad and needy) to declare me a white supremacist, the kind who marries a half-Japanese woman, there’s plenty of writing that I’ve done on the subject to allow people to draw their own conclusions; I also don’t use the vile tactics of the left: threatening to call Child Protective Services, or the police, etc. I don’t engage in back-channel email exchanges and networked shunnings; and I’ve always used my own name, and have been willing to meet people personally if that’s their real desire.
Today’s voices for conservatism, in too many instances, are merely posers who find some sort of anti-establishment impulse to join the TEA Party, or pretend to, even though they haven’t a clue what it means to be a classical liberal. These are thrill seekers, wannabe iconoclasts who bask in their break from the the prevailing political powers. Either that, or they are infiltrators. False adepts. Because by their thinking you will know them.
Perhaps being online is not the bailiwick anymore for people like me. I actually used to believe that this medium could be used to teach, to debate publicly, as a way to bring intellectualism to a wider audience beyond just the phony, middling consensus of academia and their predictable progressive cant.
I used to invite progressive and liberal thinkers to post here, to engage with them, to do things that I thought would create a public space for argument of one’s beliefs, with the result being that people would decide for themselves who was right, who was wrong, and what to do with that information. In short, I was an idealistic idiot, as time has proven. This medium is home to the self-serving and the backstabbing in far greater quantities than it is to the thoughtful or the truly intellectually engaged. It’s a rah-rah chamber, in its political zone, with people declaring their team affiliation to differentiate themselves, and then using the same tactics and flawed thinking to pretend they are supporting anything other than the ever-growing disease of tyrannical identity politics.
It’s a damn shame. But it is what it is.
I’m not hard to find. I’ve never made myself hard to find. In fact, I posted my address yesterday to take away the power from these loathsome “conservative” wannabe cyberbullies who rely on people’s fear that their identities will be exposed.
If this is the new conservatism — and I’m not sure it is, except by those suckered into following these people — I’ll go back to calling myself a classical liberal, thanks. And these pretenders can go on using the internet to stroke their egos and fill some need in their empty lives — even if it’s only to fantasize about being rewarded for white knighting a tit avi. Which, I hate to tell them, won’t stroke back.
It’s still just their own fist doing all the work.
The truth is, I think these are Mobys. I have to. Because I simply refuse to believe any actual conservatives — even misguided ones — would behave the way they do.
Even though I’ve seen it before first hand.
Call me the eternal optimist.
Mugged by reality
Those posting messages in this left-wing forumpublicly announced that they did what they did every day, from voting to attending a rally to planning a life, because they wanted to destroy something, and because they hated someone, rather than because they wanted to build something, or because they loved someone. You went to an anti-war rally because you hated Bush, not because you loved peace. Thus, when Obama bombed, you didn’t hold any anti-war rally, because you didn’t hate Obama.
I experienced powerful cognitive dissonance when I recognized the hate. The rightest of my right-wing acquaintances — I had no right-wing friends — expressed nothing like this. My right-wing acquaintances talked about loving: God, their family, their community. I’m not saying that the right-wingers I knew were better people; I don’t know that they were. I’m speaking here, merely, about language.
In 1995 I developed a crippling illness. I couldn’t work, lost my life savings, and traveled through three states, from surgery to surgery.
A left-wing friend, Pete, sent me emails raging against Republicans like George Bush, whom he referred to as “Bushitler.” The Republicans were to blame because they opposed socialized medicine.
In any case, at the time I was diagnosed, Bush wasn’t president; Clinton was. And, as I pointed out to Pete, his unceasing and vehement expressions of hatred against Republicans did nothing for me.
I had a friend, a nun, Mary Montgomery, one of the Sisters of Providence, who took me out to lunch every six months or so, and gave me twenty-dollar Target gift cards on Christmas. Her gestures to support someone, rather than expressions of hate against someone — even though these gestures were miniscule and did nothing to restore me to health — meant a great deal to me.
Recently, I was trying to explain this aspect of why I stopped being a leftist to a left-wing friend, Julie. She replied, “No, I’m not an unpleasant person. I try to be nice to everybody.”
“Julie,” I said, “You are an active member of the Occupy Movement. You could spend your days teaching children to read, or visiting the elderly in nursing homes, or organizing cleanup crews in a garbage-strewn slum. You don’t. You spend your time protestingand trying to destroy something — capitalism.”
“Yes, but I’m very nice about it,” she insisted. “I always protest with a smile.”
Build the frakin’ fence, Obama.
EXCLUSIVE: RINCON PENINSULA, Texas — U.S. Border Patrol agents on the American side of the Rio Grande were forced to take cover Friday night when high-caliber weaponry was fired at them from the Mexican side of the river, sources told FoxNews.com.
The weapons were fired at the U.S. side of the riverbank in the area of the Rincon Peninsula across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico, at about 8:30 p.m., sources said. Bullets ricocheted into an area where Border Patrol agents were positioned, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told FoxNews.com.
Border Patrol sources confirmed Gohmert’s account, and said the shots may have been fired by .50-caliber weapons.
“We don’t have any armor that can stop a .50-caliber round, so our Border Patrol agents had to take cover when the rounds were richocheting around them,” said Gohmert, who has been in the area for the last week to get a first-hand look at the border situation.
“When the shooting stopped, about 40 to 50 people came out on the U.S. side and turned themselves in. So clearly the rounds were being fired to suppress every effort to stop anybody intervening with anyone or anything coming across,” Gohmert added. “We have no idea what or how many or whom came across with the other illegal immigrants.”
One of my favorite actors — from the movies he did with Doris Day to the still watchable Rockford Files — James Garner has passed away.
Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety.
James Garner had a way of widening his eyes while the corner of his mouth sagged ever so slightly. Maybe he would swallow once to further make his point.
This portrait of fleeting disquiet could be understood, and identified with, by every member of the audience. Never mind Garner was tall, brawny and, well, movie-star handsome. The persona he perfected was never less than manly, good with his dukes and charming to the ladies, but his heroics were kept human-scale thanks to his gift for the comic turn. He remained one of the people.
He burst on the scene with this disarming style in the 1950s TV Western “Maverick,” which led to a stellar career in TV and films such as “The Rockford Files” and his Oscar-nominated “Murphy’s Romance.”
The 86-year-old Garner, who was found dead of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, was adept at drama and action. But he was best known for his low-key, wisecracking style, especially on his hit TV series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.”
His quick-witted avoidance of conflict offered a refreshing new take on the American hero, contrasting with the blunt toughness of John Wayne and the laconic trigger-happiness of Clint Eastwood.
There’s no better display of Garner’s everyman majesty than the NBC series “The Rockford Files” (1974-80). He played an L.A. private eye and wrongly jailed ex-con who seemed to rarely get paid, or even get thanks, for the cases he took, while helplessly getting drawn into trouble to help someone who was neither a client nor maybe even a friend. He lived in a trailer with an answering machine that, in the show’s opening titles, always took a message that had nothing to do with a paying job, but more often was a complaining call from a cranky creditor.
Through it all, Jim Rockford, however down on his luck, persevered hopefully. He wore the veneer of a cynic, but led with his heart. Putting all that on screen was Garner’s magic.
Leftist dogma holds that individuals are not responsible for their failures and any successes are just “luck” (“You didn’t build that”) so why is it surprising that higher numbers of them would cheat?
“UNDER capitalism”, ran the old Soviet-era joke, “man exploits man. Under communism it is just the opposite.” In fact new research suggests that the Soviet system inspired not just sarcasm but cheating too: in East Germany, at least, communism appears to have inculcated moral laxity. [...]
The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim—falsely—that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.
Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.
The report found that the extremism went unchecked because the council “disastrously” prioritised community cohesion over “doing what is right”.
It concluded that there was a “determined effort” by “manipulative” governors to introduce “unacceptable” practices, “undermine” head teachers and deny students a broad and balanced education.
Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham’s leader, apologised for the council’s handling of the scandal.
He said: “The actions of a few, including some within the council, have undermined the reputation of our great city.
Oh, wait. Did I say “Christian”? Oops … I meant Islam
The inquiry commissioned by Birmingham City Council found evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools as school governors and teachers tried to promote and enforce radical Islamic values.
Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn’t pray they would “go to hell”, Christmas was cancelled and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be “punished” by angels “from dusk to dawn”. [...]
A detailed summary of evidence suggested that there was an attempt to introduce Sharia law at the Al-Fuqan school, and when a woman was recommended for a job on individual suggested a “man with a beard” was needed.
At the Golden Hillock School a teacher allegedly told children at an assembly “not to listen to Christians as they were all liars”. The incident was referred to counter-terrorism police. One teacher at the school also reportedly told children they were “lucky to be Muslims and not ignorant like Christians and Jews.”
Now why was this allowed to happen in the first place?
“We have previously shied away from tackling this problem out of a misguided fear of being accused of racism.”
Muddying up an already contentious situation.
Almost two days after Flight 17 was downed by a missile over rebel-held territory in the east of Ukraine, representatives from the Kiev government had still not been allowed access to the mammoth crash site, and rebels were preventing local emergency services personnel from gathering evidence, Ukrainian officials said.
“They’re playing a game with the state. They behave as an independent country. The reason is to make all the procedures illegitimate,” said Konstantin Batozsky, an adviser to Serhiy Taruta, governor of the Donetsk region.
He said that during the night, rebels had removed 37 bodies to a hospital in the rebel-held city of Donetsk, where they were apparently planning to do their own medical investigation.
“Russian-led terrorists are preventing access of the international community and foreign governments to the location where MH17 crashed,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk wrote on Twitter. [...]
“The people who are working for our side in the place of the tragedy do not have free movement,” said Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council. “They are under control of the terrorists, who are taking all the evidence away from them.”
He said that Ukrainian officials still did not have access to crucial flight data recorders, the fate of which remained unclear on Saturday. The recorders could provide important clues about the final moments of the flight. Rebels first said they had the recorders and planned to ship them to Russia, then said they were mistaken about having the equipment in their possession.
Rebels “have what they describe as experts, so-called experts here,” OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said. “They’ve brought body bags and they’re moving the bodies to the side of the road, as far as we can tell.”
“We don’t know who they are,” Bociurkiw said of the people moving the bodies. “We’ve explained who we are and what we need to do, but we’re basically, our movements are being quite controlled at the moment.”
A spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said a team of 24 international observers had seen people moving bodies and putting them in body bags. The team was sharply restricted in what it could do and see, he said.
The site has also experienced looting
After the crash, investigators were unable to get to the site quickly and rope it off to preserve evidence. This allowed armed separatists and locals to essentially raid the scene. Suitcases were removed from the wreckage and pillaged. The coldhearted looters stole a variety of personal possessions, but left behind some apparent undesirables: a Minnie Mouse lunchbox, a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal, family photographs, and intact passports.
As for what they took, wallets and credit cards were a favorite. A photojournalist at the scene said, “There isn’t a single cellphone, wallet with money or camera to be found in any handbag or on the bodies. It’s like they all mysteriously disappeared overnight.”
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister (who was also one of the first to blame pro-Russian separatists for the crash) reported that jewelry and credit cards were among the items being pilfered. A post on his Facebook page reads in English, “I have just now received information That Terrorists – Death-hunters collecting Were not Only Cash money and Jewelry of the crashed Boing [sic] passengers died but Also the credit cards of the Victims. Currently They might as well TRY to use Them in Ukraine or Pass Them on to Russia. My humble Request to the Relatives of the Victims to Freeze Their credit cards, so That They will not loose Their assets to Terrorists!”
Next up, Prez IWonPenPhone contemplating a strongly-worded condemnation letter using a forceful and confident font.