Friday, January 19, 2018

Which Is a Better Candidate for an Episode of Electric Dreams?


A story about an alternate reality in which The New York Times actually pays David Brooks --  the guy who dumped his wife and the mother of his children for his much younger assistant -- to write a "Hugs Not Drugs!" column lamenting "advanced thinkers across the West" for taking the "enchantment" out of sex?
For this reason, cultures all around the world have treated emotional touching as something apart. The Greeks labeled the drive to touch with the word “eros,” and they meant something vaster and deeper than just sexual pleasure...

The Abrahamic religions also treat sex as something sacred and beautiful when enveloped in loving and covenantal protections, and as something disordered and potentially peace-destroying when not...
Or a story about an alternate reality in which NY Magazine pays America's most ludicrous gay Catholic Tory hermit True Conservative, Andrew Sullivan, to write about why New York is a shithole  --
I tried living in New York City for a year and a half and found it intolerable: sunless, overcrowded, rude, incompetent, ugly, massively overpriced, deeply parochial and insular, and an endless assault course of hassle and attitude. 
-- and then go on to use using his magic gay Catholic Tory hermit True Conservative powers to x-ray the souls of "left-feminists" so he can mansplain to them why they are to blame for Trump winning the election --
I think this issue was an under-acknowledged cause for Clinton’s failure. At some point, Democrats and liberals are going to have to decide if they want to “problematize” half the voting population. 
-- because they just don't understand fucking, gender and culture?
I know this must be a pain in the neck for most women. But it’s who we are. It’s a blessing and a curse. It’s called being male, this strange creature, covered in hair, pinioned between morality and hormones, governed by two brains, one above and one below. We can and should be restrained, tamed, kept under control. But nature will not be eradicated. And when left-feminism denies nature’s power, ignores testosterone, and sees all this behavior as a function entirely of structural patriarchal oppression, it is going to overreach. It is going to misunderstand. And it is going to alienate a lot of people.
Actually a Philip K. Dick story about a massive coordinated sustained alien hallucinogenic attack on our cultural nervous system which would create a reality in which twits like this are paid to drizzle words into a page would probably be amazing.

If we weren't, y'know, living it already
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The Word Is Out On Chuck Todd

Chuck "Shuck" Todd has one job: to run in circles yawping about the horrors of "!!Both Sides!!" in the face of every Republican atrocity.  Sure, to land a job like that you have to turn your man yams over to Phil Griffin who reportedly keeps them in a Chivas Regal bag and plays them like castanets at Comcast office parties.

Hence the nickname, The Comcastrati.

But there are upsides to this degrading job too.  For example, you get to take home more money in a week than most Americans will see in a year and you enjoy the professional respect of your fellow Comcast employees like Hugh Hewitt, Bill Kristol, Peggy Noonan, Rich Lowry, Joe Scarborough and Charlie Sykes.

And this has been the Beltway media status quo for longer than I care to think about.

And then along comes Twitter, which I will be the first to admit is the digital equivalent of the wall of the average dive-bar men's room.  But it can also have a real, two-by-four upside the head effect when the Good Boy and Girls on the Left use it as a lens to focus their fire.

So now, when Chuck Todd tries to leave a bag of flaming dog poo like on America's porch and run away --

-- the response online is swift, brutal and heartening.

Oh, it just goes on and on. Made me smile real big.

Of course, to be fair, there's always an asshole at every picnic.

And that asshole is almost always an "independent".

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dear New York Times

I'm going to tell you something that none of your so-called "friends" will tell you.  A hard truth, but an important truth that can help you break out of this destructive cycle of infantile infatuation with assholes that is ruining your reputation.


Here it is.

It doesn't matter how much you perfume yourself, or how many times you swipe right on Trailer Trash Tinder.  It doesn't matter how high you hike up your gray lady skirts.  And it doesn't how much you rouge up your ass and wave it around like a chacma baboon in heat.

The Trump meatheads are never gonna love you.

Never, never, ever.

And how do you know you can trust me?

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But You Already Know The Punchline

Thanks to Alert Reader "GR" for calling my attention to this short tale of woe and revelation that ends exactly where every reader of this blog knows it must end.

Still, the journey is half the fun, eh?

From the Washington Post:
GOP activist from Virginia quits Republican Party over Trump’s remarks
I know, I know.  You're already there.
A young Republican activist from Northern Virginia who was seen as a potential rising star quit the party Tuesday, citing President Trump’s “appalling comments” about Haitian immigrants and what he called a nativist streak in his home state.

Kyle McDaniel, 28, served on the party’s state central committee for two years and has worked as a top aide for Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), who said he had hoped McDaniel would eventually run for public office.

But McDaniel said he harbored increasing reservations over where the party has been heading. On Tuesday, he sent a letter of resignation to state party chairman John Whitbeck that described events he “could no longer stomach"...
Wait for it...
“I have, on more occasions than I care to recall, been forced to ‘bite my tongue’ when in conversation with other party leaders about the issues of the day,” wrote McDaniel, who has gone to Haiti as a relief worker with his church and said he and his wife, Katie, have considered adopting a Haitian child. “I cannot in good faith continue to do that.”
Wait for it...
John Whitbeck, chairman of the state party, said McDaniel “knows full well that the Republican Party of Virginia, and I as chairman, have worked tirelessly to expand the Party into new communities.”

“We wish Mr. McDaniel the best in his future endeavors but he owes every member of his party an apology for repeating the Democrat talking points that Republicans are a bunch of racists,” Whitbeck said in a statement.

Herrity said he hoped McDaniel will someday return to the Republican fold. “I still think he will run for office one day,” he said. “I would hazard to predict he’ll do it as a Republican.”
Wait for it, and it's "Democratic" you lumpen Limbaugh meathead...
McDaniel, who works as a real estate agent in Alexandria, said that isn’t likely. “I’m totally out,” he said. “I’ll support candidates I agree with, but as far as any party affiliation, I’m out. I’m independent.”

You know, I'm glad this young man got off the Klan Wagon, but I also know damn well he'd still be a ride-or-die Republican if President Shithole had enacted the same monstrous policies and appointed the same shitty people but thing but with a Marco Rubio smirk on his face and an affable, Beltway-friendly Both Sides Do It answer ready every time his party committed another atrocity.

If only he hadn't said the quiet part out loud.

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Flaking Out

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Trump's America

David Brooks: John Stuart Mill -- A Land of Contrasts

As anyone who has read him over any length of time (and why would you?) knows, Mr. David Brooks is one of the most singularly lazy pundits in America, which is saying something.  He basically has one or two ideas, which are both shitty and which he has extruded into slightly different op-ed Jello molds, twice a week for the past 15 years.

In exchange for his mind-numbingly redundant trucklehood year after year, the Sulzberger family has made Mr. Brooks into a man of wealth and influence wildly out of proportion with his meager talents and mephitic message.  And yet, believe it or not, even this bare-minimum standard of performance -- delivering 800 words of tepid, Both Siderist mush twice a week, with a few months off now and then for paid vacations and book tours -- is sometimes too much of a lift for Mr. Brooks to manage.

This is when he drops off a half-assed book report and calls is a day.

Just like he did today!
John Stuart Mill Showed Democracy as a Way of Life

This year we’ve been so besieged by Donald Trump’s shriveled nature that we sometimes forget what full and courageous human life looks like. And so today I’d like to hold up John Stuart Mill, the second in our Heroes of Democracy series. Mill demonstrated that democratic citizenship is a way of life, a moral stance and a humanistic adventure.

Those who know anything about Mill know about his upbringing. His father separated him from other children and from loving relationships and tried to turn him into a perfect thinking machine. Mill learned Greek at age 3. Between 8 and 12, he read Herodotus, Homer, Xenophon, Plato, Virgil and Ovid (in Latin) while studying physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics...
It's an 800-word book report on a Great Man.  And if you go in for 800-word book reports on Great Men, you may well like this one.  Who am I to judge?

But if you are not one for 800-word book reports on Great Men, let me tell you how this one ends (emphasis added):
The demands of democracy are clear -- the elevation and transformation of your very self. If you are not transformed, you’re just skating by.
Because, for all his wealth and influence, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times does not own a single god damn mirror.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

The Amazing Adventures of Mr. Glenn Greenwald

As I have might have mentioned in a long-ago post, I became a pariah on many a liberal blog where I was once welcome when I took it into my head to start writing that it was possible that one could simultaneously hold these two ideas:
  1. Mr. Greenwald was the source of many important and consequential stories which he developed thanks to being given Edward Snowden's huge cache of stolen documents.
  2. Mr. Greenwald was also a thin-skinned asshole who routinely derailed his own story by injecting his own brand of radical Both Siderism into them.  That he spent an entire year hopping from one teevee network to the next pleading his case, all while complaining bitterly that no one would give him a media platform from which to plead his case.  That he would routinely lie to make a point or smash an opponent, automatically dismissed anyone who disagreed with him to any degree as a drooling jackbooted Obot who was obviously arguing in bad-faith, and consistently hijacked every terrorist incident anywhere on Earth as proof that Obama Was Worse Than Boosh.
For his trouble, Mr. Greenwald was given a quarter of a billion dollars by an internet billionaire and told to go forth and build himself a media empire.  For my trouble, I lost about 1/3 of my readers and was discommendated by many of my peers.

After a while I stopped writing on the subject of Mr. Greenwald because there are 1,000 other walls against which I could be uselessly pounding my head, and because, as a social experiment, I had nothing left to learn about Mr. Greenwald's motives or methods, or the motives and methods of the Spleenwald Horde: his loyal army of Purity Angels who would deploy themselves like very, very white blood cells to swarm and trash anyone who said a discouraging word about Mr. Greenwald.

Finally, Mr. Greenwald blocked me on The Twitter, and we parted company, so to speak.

So is Mr. Greenwald up to these days?

Funny you should ask.

Most recently he has hitched his wagon to the Fox News locomotive and has gotten himself added to the regular rotation of wacky Tucker Carlson sidekicks.

And then there is also this:

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The Cheap Grace of David Fucking Brooks

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times refuses the give up on his ridiculous fairy tale that just below the surface of his Republican Party of Bigots and Imbeciles there exists a vast but hidden wellspring of decent, honorable Republican lawmakers.

They are led by Tom Cotton, they are always right on the verge of remaking the Republican Party in David Brooks' image (David Brooks from November 5, 2014) --
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
-- and their good works are being thwarted by one and only one bad actor named Donald Trump (David Brooks from January 12, 2018)
 And there are decent, normal human beings and admirable people like Senator Tom Cotton who wants to sharply cut immigration. And they think they can divide their views on immigration, which are purely policy views, from the white identity, racial undertones that Donald Trump has now permanently — or not permanently — but has taken into this party.

And that is not possible. If you want to restrict immigration, which is a legitimate point of view — I disagree with it, but it is a legitimate point of view — somebody like Tom Cotton has an extra burden to rise up against what Donald Trump said, to show, hey, restricting immigration is not synonymous with bigotry...
Got that?

According to Mr. David Brooks, his Republican Party was doing just fine until Donald Trump took  "permanently -- or not permanently" white identity, racial "undertones" into it.

And because Mr. Brooks' career depends on propping up this gigantic lie no matter what, Mr. David Brooks has become an indispensable go-to dispensary of what one wag once called the ouchless redemption of Mr. Brooks' Church of Lyin'tology:
Mr. Brooks' new church for unrepentant cowards and con men: a church which purloins the language of morality and humility from honorable faiths in order to cobble together an infinitely flexible dogma of ouchless redemption without confession or atonement for Mr. Brooks and the rest of our loathsome media elect. 
And what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called, in a different context and a darker time, "cheap grace":
From The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945):

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church’s inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing….

Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, the love of God taught as the Christian ‘conception’ of God. An intellectual assent to that idea is held to be of itself sufficient to secure remission of sins…. In such a Church the world finds a cheap covering for its sins; no contrition is required, still less any real desire to be delivered from sin. Cheap grace therefore amounts to a denial of the living Word of God, in fact, a denial of the Incarnation of the Word of God.

Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. Grace alone does everything they say, and so everything can remain as it was before. ‘All for sin could not atone.’ Well, then, let the Christian live like the rest of the world, let him model himself on the world’s standards in every sphere of life, and not presumptuously aspire to live a different life under grace from his old life under sin….

Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,1 baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate...
So no, Mr. Brooks. 

And no, to the so-called Never Trumpers who want us all to be pals now.  Who want cheap grace and ouchless redemption poured out for them despite the fact that, up until 18 months ago, they were only too happy to go right on straightening the very long, wide, filthy path of Republican racism, rage and paranoia down which Donald J. Trump strolled into the White House.

Confession first.
The Left has been right about the Right all along.  
Repentance first.
I am heartily sorry for spoending most of my adult life supporting this mob of bigots and imbeciles and lying to excuse or mitgate their atrocities.  
Atonement first.
Having made a fortune preaching toxic bullshit and being wrong about everything since forever, I will work just as tirelessly to drive the Republican Party to extinction as I worked creating this hellbeast that is wrecking my country.  I pledge to go work with my sleeves rolled up to help the people my party's actions have hurt.  Furthermore, I ask that someone who has not been a Republican shill for the past 30 years take my place in all the places of influence where I now enjoy a permament, reserved seat.
Then and only then comes forgiveness.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: A is A

Here's a very odd thing for a United States senator to say -- especially a United States senator who is an out-and-proud member of the heartless Cult of Ayn Rand.  According to Senator Rand Paul (and, presumably, the evil, Mirror/Mirror Universe tribble that sits on his head and does his thinking for him) this --

-- is most emphatically not a bottle of ketchup.

It's true.  Despite the fact that it is marketed as ketchup, people buy it as ketchup, it is clearly and helpfully labeled as ketchup and ketchup comes pouring out of it when people squeeze it, according to the junior senator from the state of Kentucky, that does not necessarily mean that it is ketchup.  In fact, the junior senator from the state of Kentucky (and the living hairball escapee from the Phantom Zone that is clamped to his head at all times) goes even further, stating outright that calling this ketchup --

-- is, in fact, very unhelpful and, darn it, just plain wrong.

SEN. RAND PAUL: You know, I don't think the comments about ketchup were constructive at all. But I also think that to be fair, we shouldn't draw conclusions about ketchup that the plastic bottle of condiment sauce with the tomato on it didn't intend. I know personally about the plastic bottle of condiment sauce with the tomato on it...

SEN. RAND PAUL: ... So I think it's unfair to sort of draw any ketchupy conclusions from a remark by the plastic bottle of condiment sauce with the tomato on it that I think wasn’t constructive...

SEN. RAND PAUL:  And I think it's unfair then to sort of all of a sudden paint the plastic bottle of condiment sauce with the tomato on it as "ketchup" when I know, for a fact...

SEN. RAND PAUL:  Right. But I think people jumped a little bit to a conclusion. Let's take the whole scenario and put different words in there and let's say, "What if the plastic bottle of condiment sauce with the tomato contained delicious chocolate sauce instead? And what if it had a label on it that said "Chocolate Sauce"?" Huh?  Huh?  What then?  Check, and mate baby!

SEN. RAND PAUL:  ... So there are a lot of questions that this ultimately intersects with condiment policy. And the only thing I regret from all of this, other than I think some people in the media have gone completely bonkers with, you know, just ad hominem on the who "ketchup" thing...  

In fact, the junior senator from the state of Kentucky (and the extraterrestrial hirsute macroscopic single-cell hive-mind organism that is continuously skull-fucking him) is so deeply committed to his creepy "this is not ketchup" fetish that he is willing to deploy the Beltway media's most potent weapon in defense of his indefensible position.  See if you can spot it!
SEN. RAND PAUL:  And you can't have a condiment compromise if everybody's out there calling this --

-- "ketchup"  They're actually destroying the setting. And he's a little bit of it, but both sides now are destroying the setting in which anything meaningful can happen.
Wowers.  That is commitment.

Oh, wait.  Did I say "a bottle of ketchup"?


I meant to say that, according to Senator Rand Paul, this asshole --

-- is most emphatically not a racist.

It's true.  Despite the fact that President Stupid marketed himself as a racist, the meathead Republican base voted for him and still support him because he is a racist, that Trump spent years clearly and helpfully labeled himself as a racist, and seemingly every time he opens his gob, racism comes pouring out of him, according to the junior senator from the state of Kentucky, that does not mean that President Stupid is racist.  

In fact, the junior senator from the state of Kentucky goes even further, stating outright that calling President Stupid a racist is the real problem.

From Meet the Press, for real this time:
SEN. RAND PAUL:  You know, I don't think the comments were constructive at all. But I also think that to be fair, we shouldn't draw conclusions that he didn't intend. I know personally about his feelings towards Haiti and towards Central America...

SEN. RAND PAUL:  So I think it's unfair to sort of draw conclusions from a remark that I think wasn’t constructive, is the least we can say.

SEN. RAND PAUL:  And I think it's unfair then to sort of all of a sudden paint him, "Oh well, he's a racist," when I know, for a fact, that he cares very deeply about the people in Haiti...
And here's a a fun idea!  Instead of judging President Stupid by what he actually said, let's just pretend that he said something completely other than what he actually said!  Then he never would have said it!
SEN. RAND PAUL:  Right. But I think people jumped a little bit to a conclusion. Let's take the whole scenario and put different words in there and let's say, "We'd rather have people from economically-prosperous countries than economically-deprived countries." Or, "We realize that there are more problems in economically-deprived countries, therefore there's a bigger impetus for them to want to come." Then it wouldn't have been so controversial.
Check and mate again bitches!

And then comes the inevitable Both Siderism because if there is one Beltway Perfume that can magically take the reek off of any Republican shitpile...
SEN. RAND PAUL:  ... So there are a lot of questions that this ultimately intersects with policy. And the only thing I regret from all of this, other than I think some people in the media have gone completely bonkers with, you know, just ad hominem on the president, but what I regret is I do want to see an immigration compromise. And you can't have an immigration compromise if everybody's out there calling the president a racist. They're actually destroying the setting. And he's a little bit of it, but both sides now are destroying the setting in which anything meaningful can happen on immigration.
Over the past 75 years, we here at the driftglass blog have had a lot of fun watching the Junior Senator from Kentucky run away from many things including Ayn Rand, his own father, history, science, civil rights and voting rights:

And now we can "The meaning of words" to our award-ready series of things away from which Rand Paul runs.

But what makes this particular act of sniveling cowardice stand out from Senator Paul's long and storied history of cravenness is how unhesitatingly he guts the most fundamental tenet of his own, core philosophy -- the heartless Cult of Ayn Rand.

Attend. This is from the "This is John Galt Speaking" portion of what one wag once called that "vast, steaming heap of bad science fiction called Atlas Shrugged
To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself.
A is A, Senator Paul.

And ketchup is ketchup.

And a racist is a racist.

And a pusillanimous, lick-spittle fraud is most definitely a pusillanimous, lick-spittle fraud.

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