Ultra-Liberal Christopher Hedges Has Been Naughty

He’s a serial plagiarist according to the New Republic. Of course the lefties are rushing to his defense, but the case seems pretty clear to me. It couldn’t happen to a better guy as Hedges is notoriously arrogant and obnoxious, something that comes across in the article.

I’m fascinated by stories about writers who just make things up, but I really don’t get this kind of thing. I’m sure I read things and absorb general ideas which I then later express without some sort of vague attribution, but we all do that. Blatantly hijacking paragraphs has never occurred to me. It seems so foolish and so unnecessary. When I read about this sort of thing, it always makes me think that the writer was either too busy (or lazy) or lacks confidence in their writing ability.

Addendum: BTW, since Hedges is an anti-Establishment liberal, I’m sure I agree with him on a lot of things, like opposition to the military and security state, opposition to big banks and crony capitalism, etc., but there are some far leftists that I often agree with, like Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, etc., that strike me as pleasant  people. Hedges comes off as an arrogant bully.

Can Someone Convince Rep. John Duncan to Run for President?

Rep. Duncan, along with Rep. Walter Jones, are just about the only two* national level elected Republicans who are willing to proclaim the non-interventionist message. Neither have perfect voting records from my standpoint, but Duncan has paleo ties and is, as best as I recall, also solid against trade deals. Could Duncan perhaps revive the old paleo Buchananite coalition?

*Justin Amash is perhaps another one, but I don’t really hear him speak much on foreign policy unless I’m missing something. He’s good on the security state though.

The text of the speech is available here.

National Review is Now Publishing Jason Richwine

File this under the credit where credit is due file. And the where have I been lately file.

Jason Richwine is my Facebook friend. Recently he posted an article he had written that appeared at NRO. I was surprised. Today he posted another one. I was even more surprised, so I did a little exploring. Turns out, this isn’t a new development. He has actually been actively publishing stuff there since last year. I’m surprised by this given the way NRO threw Derb under the bus, but NRO deserves credit for risking the heat publishing Richwine could draw.

An Englishman Hates On American Soccer Fans

This is a thing of sheer beauty! And surprisingly it’s from the usually pro-cosmopolitanism Wall Street Journal. Regarding American Soccer fans the author writes:

My biggest gripe is that all of this feels like an elaborate affectation.

Instead of watching the game in the time-honored way of American sports fans—by thrusting a giant foam finger in the air, say, or devouring a large plate of Buffalo wings—your soccer fanatics have taken to aping the behavior of our fans from across the pond.

The scarves thing is an obvious example, but it’s far from the only one. There’s the self-conscious use of terms like “pitch,” “match” and “kit,” the songs lifted directly from English soccer stadiums, and even the appropriation of terrace couture.

On a recent weekend, I went to a bar to watch the UEFA Champions League final and found myself stationed next to a soccer fan wearing a replica Arsenal jersey, a team scarf around his neck and a pair of Dr. Martens lace-ups. He looked like he he’d been born and raised along the Holloway Road. In fact, he was from Virginia.

The whole thing seemed to be less an expression of genuine fandom and more like an elaborate piece of performance art. Didn’t we fight a war so you guys wouldn’t have to take cues on how to behave from London?

It should come as no surprise that the situation is particularly heinous in New York City. This is a town where artisanal toast is now a thing. So of course there’s a peculiar species of fan here whose passion for soccer seems to be less about 22 men chasing a ball up and down a field and more about its intellectual and cosmopolitan qualities.

Never mind that no other sport is so linked to the working class. For these fans, rooting for an English soccer team is a highbrow pursuit and a mark of sophistication, like going to a Wes Anderson movie or owning a New Yorker subscription.

Read more here…

Eric Cantor Falls to Shock Defeat

I love it. The Republicans have lost their Majority Leader because he supported amnesty. Hey, Republicans, think there’s a message in this somewhere? Huh?

It couldn’t have happened to a better sell-out. Here are the sweet details of Cantor’s major loss:

In one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary election on Tuesday to a political unknown who focused his campaign on Cantor’s support for a path to citizenship for the children of immigrants.

Randolph-Macon College economics professor Dave Brat won the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Brat had 56 percent of the vote to Cantor’s 44 percent when the Associated Press called the race just after 8 p.m.

See those numbers? This wasn’t even close. It demonstrates how powerful the anti-amnesty sentiment really is. Instead of blowing $60 million to win over imaginary conservative minority groups, the Republicans should spend that money standing up for border security and the rule of law. That is, if they WANT to win.

Rod Dreher vs. Tom Piatak (re. Irish Catholic Orphanage Story)

Good grief! It didn’t take long for this to get ugly.

Rod Dreher has been following the story about the bodies buried outside a Catholic orphanage in Ireland from the start. Here, Tom Paitak criticizes him for uncritically accepting the story which is now falling apart. Rod Dreher replies here, and it’s not pretty.

He calls Piatak “a stringer for a turgid Midwestern monthly.” First of all, I didn’t know there was any more than the standard Chronicles vs. TAC and staunch Catholic vs. ex-Catholic bad blood between them, but there  must be. Dreher seems to have taken personally Piatak’s criticism of TAC over the gay marriage issue. I didn’t know Dreher was so defensive of TAC because Dreher was on the other side of that issue anyway, and TAC well deserved that criticism.  Also, I didn’t know that Dreher was hostile to Chronicles per se rather than just disinterested. What’s that about? Is there some bad blood there I don’t recall? I know it was widely suggested that Dreher’s Crunchy Conservatism was just paleo light, but did that ever play out in the pages of Chronicles?

Dreher is taking some heat in the comments. I have made two comments. The second one has not been approved at the time of this post.

“Every Use of the Word ‘Racism’ Is Meaningless”

Reactionary Catholic physics professor Bonald analyzes the concept of racism.  He is unimpressed by disingenuous liberal theologians who have identified racism as the deadliest of sins:

If by “racism”, one means “the sin of having a special loyalty and preference for one’s own group”, then [one is] trying to define a natural and non-sinful attitude to be sinful.  “Racism” as “the sinful belief that one race is superior in some way to another” is also guilty [of trying to define a natural and non-sinful attitude to be sinful] because such a belief may be true or false, but there is nothing inherently wicked in entertaining it.

The comments which follow are fascinating.  By the way, not only is having a special loyalty and preference for one’s own group not a sin, we have it on good authority that it IS a sin to LACK that special loyalty and preference.  (1 Timothy 5:8)

Read more…

Cruz and Carson #1 and #2 Again

This time at the GOP Convention in Texas. Rand Paul came in third.

Sen. Ted Cruz dominated the presidential straw poll at the Texas GOP convention on Saturday, pulling in 43.4 percent of the votes at the contest in his home state, far ahead of other possible 2016 contenders on the ballot.

In the survey, which is an informal read of the most committed conservatives in the party, the retired neurosurgeon-turned-conservative firebrand Ben Carson came in a distant second.

Carson, who was not in attendance, raked in 12.2 percent of the vote, barely beating out Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who pulled in 12.1 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry came in third with 11.7 percent, while well behind him was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with just 3.3 percent

Read more here…

Baffled by Bergdahl?

Is anyone else as baffled by this Bergdahl affair as I am? Regardless of whether Bergdahl is a regular POW or a deserter, to me, the Obama Administration comes off looking stupid and incompetent, because the speculation that he was a deserter was already out there as a prominent part of the public record, so how could the Administration not have anticipated some negative reaction? At the least they should have acknowledged that there were questions and that they would be properly investigated on his return.

Tom Fleming discusses this strange case here.

Our old friend Sean Scallon seems upset by the rush to judgement, and I agree that Bergdahl shouldn’t be definitively declared guilty by Obama’s critics before an investigation and +/- a trial, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the Administration was stupid to not have seen this coming. Here is the comment I posted at Chronicles:

Sean, I’m not sure I understand your point. The Obama Administration had to be aware of the Daily Mail story that Dr. Fleming refers to. I’m baffled by this. The Admin seems to not have anticipated the backlash. But given the highly partisan nature of things these days, how could they not have? And doesn’t the fact that they “forgot” to inform Congress not suggest they might have known they were going to get pushback? It makes the skeptic in me think that they might have REALLY needed to get Bergdahl back for some reason. But even if that is the case, why they didn’t just withhold judgment and say that there would be an investigation instead of acting as if they had just secured the release of Jeremiah Denton is beyond me.

 

PoMoCons vs. Porchers?

Apparently they’re has been a longstanding rift between postmodern conservatives (PoMoCons or PoMos) and Front Porch Republic types (Porchers). Who knew? The occasion for the increased discussion of this rift is the fact the Peter Lawler is moving his Postmodern Conservative blog from First Things to NRO.

See Rod Dreher here.

Caleb Stegall has a lot of links here.

Peter Lawler here.

This is at FPR.

I think that all of us in what you might call the alternative conservative (meaning outside mainstream conservatism) community have some things in common and mutual enemies, the left and stale mainstream conservatism, but I think the description of the Porchers that is being tossed around describes something much more radical than the reality. The Porchers, at least as represented by FPR, are, as far as I can tell, a bunch of PC phobes. How can you talk about localism and community and “place” without talking about immigration? Doesn’t an influx of non-natives have a pretty big impact on place? Here is the comment I left at Dreher’s post.

The description here of the Front Porch folks actually sounds an aweful lot like paleocons to me, but I think that may be giving the Porchers more credit than they deserve. My impression of the Porchers is that they are pretty PC squemish. How can you talk about localism, organic community, corporatism, etc. and not address immigration? The Porchers want to be faux radicals but they strike me as scared to be thought of as wrongthinkers. In other words, they’re harmless.

Oh No! Putin is a Mean Evil Sexist!

Here is even more reason for us to bomb Russia. Putin is a sexist! He dissed Queen Hillary. I know, I know, it’s outrageous, isn’t it? It’s the year 2014. No country should have to endure having a sexist for a leader. We must commence bombing immediately and liberate the people of Russia from this knuckle-dragging menace to the modern mind.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a blistering response to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comparison of his actions in Ukraine to those of Adolf Hitler leading up to World War II in a television interview that aired Wednesday.

Putin accused Clinton of not being the most elegant speaker and made remarks implying women in general are not well-suited to politics.

“It’s better not to argue with women. But Ms Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements,” Putin said in a French television interview Wednesday.

Putin went on to suggest Clinton was weak and make more disparaging comments about her gender.

“Still, we always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at various international events. I think even in this case we could reach an agreement,” said Putin. “When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman.”

Read more here…

Ted Cruz Wins RLC Presidential Straw Poll, Ben Carson Comes in Second

It isn’t news that Ted Cruz won, but it is news, IMO, that Ben Carson came in second. I don’t know that much about Carson. He may be a good guy. And as I have said before, I’m not going to criticize him just because he is a non-traditional candidate, because I don’t think there are any traditional candidates out there so far who would advance our thing. But I have no real reason to think he is some sort of paleo. But this is further evidence that conservatives are desperate for a black candidate so they can say, “See look. We’re not racists.” Do these conservative not realize that this reinforces the liberal PC narrative?

The Spurs vs. the Heat, Round 2. GO SPURS! (Plus a word about the Donald Sterling lawsuit.)

So it’s going to be the Spurs vs. the Heat again this year. I guess we should have just skipped the regular season and went straight to a second finals. This outcome was fairly predictable. Here’s hoping that this year we’ll have a different outcome.

I like the Hawks because they are my home team, and I like the Spurs because I lived in San Antonio for a while coutesy of the USAF, but I hope Donald Sterling sues the NBA into bankrupcy. I would gladly do without the Hawks and the Spurs if that was the cost of crushing that little PC enforcing bug, Adam Silver. Sterling has filed a 1 billion dollar lawsuit, and according to this analysis of the NBA Constitution, it looks like Silver grossly over stepped his authority.

So go Spurs, and go Donald!

Google Workforce: Too White

From the AP:

[T]he Silicon Valley giant this week issued a gender and ethnic breakdown of its workforce that showed that of its 26,600 U.S. employees, 61 percent are white, 30 percent Asian, 3 percent Hispanic and 2 percent black. Thirty percent of its employees are women.

“Google is miles from where we want to be,” said Laszlo Bock, head of personnel at Google.

One year, Google says, there were just two black people in the U.S. with newly minted doctorates in computer science on the job market. The company hired one of them, and Microsoft hired the other, according to Bock.

Computer science sounds like a rough field to be in if white or Asian, and male.

If Google is hiring less qualified workers simply because they’re not white/Asian, male; it might be a good time for its shareholders to sell. A company’s most valuable asset is often its workforce.

Music, The Sacred, & Science

At Catholic World Report Jerry Salyer reviews Roger Scruton’s latest book The Soul of the WorldAs the review notes, Scruton devotes considerable attention to aesthetics:

In this age of democracy über alles the claim that certain kinds of music are base and others noble invites the charge of elitism [...]  At the risk of sounding elitist myself, I must observe that Scruton has on his side not only Western philosophy’s godfather Plato—who was convinced that a proper moral education begins with a proper appreciation of music—but also the great Eastern sage, Confucius, who advised his followers to “be perfected by music” and condemned certain tunes as “wanton”. To dismiss out of hand the idea that different musical styles can have different influences on a child’s developing psyche seems almost as foolish as dismissing the idea that a child’s diet can impact his health.

Read more here:

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3150/the_search_for_soul_in_a_fallen_world.aspx

 

Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood

UPDATE BELOW:

One thing’s for certain: The sea-to-shining-sea unity of pre-1965 America is gone, thanks to floodtide immigration, and it ain’t coming back. Numbers don’t lie.

So the question is, What do we do about it? It’s time for a massive political reorganization. There are two models we can use to guide us. One is a decentralized model with well-defined boundaries separating distinct groups, allowing autonomy within each unit; the other is the model of a powerful central government that must impose order on a mixed population. These two models are exemplified by the experience of Switzerland and Yugoslavia. Their histories are examined in this Public Library of Science paper. Here’s part of the Reader’s Digest version summarizing the Swiss model:

Switzerland is recognized as a country of peace, stability and prosperity. This is surprising because of its linguistic and religious diversity that in other parts of the world lead to conflict and violence. Here we analyze how peaceful stability is maintained. Our analysis shows that peace does not depend on integrated coexistence, but rather on well defined topographical and political boundaries separating groups, allowing for partial autonomy within a single country.

And then there’s Yugoslavia:

Our analysis supports the hypothesis that violence between groups can be inhibited by physical and political boundaries. A similar analysis of the area of the former Yugoslavia shows that during widespread ethnic violence existing political boundaries did not coincide with the boundaries of distinct groups, but peace prevailed in specific areas where they did coincide. The success of peace in Switzerland may serve as a model to resolve conflict in other ethnically diverse countries and regions of the world.

Which should we choose? Well, I’m not one to try to sway opinions (what? me?) but let’s keep this in mind: Switzerland today is peaceful and prosperous, while Yugoslavia self-destructed in 1990.

Which shall it be? Which shall it be?

UPDATE:: This story from the Washington Times suggests which way DC plans to go: Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens