The Epic Failure of Tantrum Politics Reply

By Jim Goad

In politics as in life, the squeaky wheel usually gets the grease, but the other three wheels are finally telling the squeaky wheel to shut the hell up.

Fast food and public protests typically hold as much appeal for me as rectal cancer, yet last week I simultaneously exposed myself to fast food and a public protest with a pair of visits to the local Chick-fil-A franchise.

I popped in last Wednesday at around 9PM to find the restaurant still overflowing with customers like muffin-top fat rolls over tight polyester trousers because it was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Many of the patrons were obese, red-cheeked, flat-topped, checker-shirted, effusively wholesome Southern peckerwoods, which is atypical for the neighborhood and suggests a smidgen of Astroturfing from the pro-Christian, anti-gay-marriage crowd.

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Inconsistency Quotient 2

by Daniel Acheampong

Two weeks back, the state of Texas sent convicted murderer Marvin Wilson on a KCI-addled one-way trip to oblivion. News of this came to my attention via the Huffington Post, which made a big how-to about the potassium-punctured perp’s IQ. Leading with the headline “Texas Puts Man with 61 IQ to Death”, HuffPo made mention of a variety of testimonies regarding Wilson’s intelligence…

The Supreme Court late in the afternoon rejected without comment… More…

Property and Freedom Society–7th Annual Meeting–Speakers & Topics Reply

By Stephan Kinsella

Below is the proposed list of speakers and topics for the upcoming Seventh Annual Meeting of the PFS, which will be held in Bodrum, Turkey at the Hotel Karia Princess, from Thursday September 27 through Monday October 1, 2012. Those interested in attending should contact Dr. Hoppe or Mr. Grözinger, Administrative Secretary, regarding conditions, availability, and requirements.

(Note: The list of speakers for the Sixth Annual Meeting (May 26-30, 2011) may be found in theProgram; video of the presentations are available here.)

Property and Freedom Society

7th Annual Meeting

September 27 – October 2, 2012

Bodrum, Turkey

Karia Princess Hotel

Speakers & Topics

Philosophy and Law

Economics

Literature and Literary Criticism

  • Sean Gabb: On Literature and Liberty
  • Benjamin Marks: On H. L. Mencken as a Libertarian Model (and some Romantic Libertarian Delusions)

History

  • KarlPeter Schwarz: Between Restitution and Re-Expropriation: Desocialization in Eastern Europe
  • Norman Stone: Comparative History: Turkey and Spain
  • Tom DiLorenzo: The Myth of American Exceptionalism
  • Hunt Tooley: Engineering Tragedy:  The Meaning of the CIA Coup d’Etat in Iran, 1953

Society and Politics

Gore Vidal: The Last Jeffersonian Reply

By Justin Raimondo

The obituaries are coming in, and as usual they are filled with the trite things Americans are obsessed with: Gore Vidal’s sexuality, his “coldness,” his feuds, his quips. Andrew Sullivan is typical – and isn’t that typical – in ascribing what he views as Vidal’s flaws to his lack of support for gay marriage and his “anti-American” utterances. Commentary magazine celebrated the great man’s death by posting Norman Podhoretz’s interminable rant, first published in 1986, accusing Vidal of … yes, you guessed it: anti-Semitism. The evidence? Describing Podhoretz and his wife Midge as “Israeli fifth columnists,” a charge that, in retrospect, seems more like an undeserved compliment: after all, a “fifth columnist” is something like a spy, a profession that hinges on the clandestine, but Poddy’s big mouth – which he opens at every opportunity – has hardly made a secret of his allegiances.

Aside from Vidal’s disdain for the kind of identity politics that gives a nonentity a hook on which to hang his bonnet, Sullivan is appalled by what is perhaps Vidal’s most interesting book. The Golden Age dramatizes the fascinating historical research published in Thomas E. Mahl’s Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States1939-44. Mahl’s 1998 book is based on declassified documents that tell some of the story of how British intelligence agents permeated the political and social elites in Washington and New York, pushed a reluctant “isolationist” America into war – and put us on the road to empire.

Sullivan, still the loyal subject of Her Majesty the Queen, is horrified by this, but it’s not just the British angle that sets Andy’s skirts aflame – it’s the very idea that anyone in their right mind would question the official history of our entry into World War II. In Sullivan’s world, this makes him a “Pearl Harbor truther.” To the historian, however, who isn’t just a court historian – and to the serious person, as opposed to court jesters of Sullivan’s ilk – this makes him that most exotic of creatures: a truth-seeker. Rarer than unicorns in our media-driven propaganda-drenched Twitterverse, the loss of this one marks a turning point in American intellectual history – a downturn, to be sure. As I put it in my 2001 review of The Golden Age:

“Gore Vidal is a member of what seems to be a nearly extinct fraternity: the American novelists of ideas. When he goes, who is left – and what hope is there that someone will breach the walls of political correctness meant to keep his kind out forever?”

His enemies understood him, which is why they hated him – and couldn’t help admiring him. The neocons hated him because he was a formidable opponent of their imperial project: they never forgave him when he called them out for their treasonous tribalism. The liberals, who thought he was one of them, were made increasingly uneasy by his public utterances, as detailed in this very perceptive account of Vidal’s career by Michael Lind, who describes his attendance at a speech by Vidal given at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the late 1990s:

“Soon I found myself as uncomfortable as the other members of the auditorium audience, when, during his speech, Vidal launched into what sounded like a defense of Timothy McVeigh, the far-right would-be revolutionary whose bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 was the most devastating terrorist attack on American soil before the al-Qaeda attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. While not exactly condoning McVeigh, Vidal told us that a violent reaction was inevitable, given the way that the federal government was oppressing American farmers.

“I could sense that others in the audience shared my disquiet. The farmers? What the hell is he talking about?”

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The Bashing of Joe Paterno Reply

By Paul Gottfried

Last week the NCAA saddled Penn State with penalties that may mean the university’s end as a leading football competitor. Paterno’s name came up in the proceedings as someone who contributed to the outrage. Despite his recent death of lung cancer, his humiliation continues. His name has already been expunged from as many things on campus as was humanly possible until now. Two weeks ago, as the mainstream press cheered, his statue on campus was pulled down and carted off to God knows where.

After an illustrious career spanning more than sixty years, Paterno’s resignation as head football coach at Penn State on November 9, 2011, signaled the beginning of an enduring crisis. This befell someone who brought to his university more football victories than any other Division I coach. Joe’s smiling Italian face until recently graced a multitude of billboards advertising all kinds of products around State College, PA. He was known to be an exemplary husband and father, a pious Catholic, and a role model to his players. He was also a nationally honored sports figure who ran onto the field with his players when other octogenarians were struggling to get out of bed with nursing assistance.

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Shut up Chick-Fil-A? Gays and lesbians should know how it feels to be intimidated, silenced Reply

A whiff of common sense.

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)- This Chick-fil-A thing is oh-so simple if you believe in the Constitution.

The firm’s president  has every right to voice his opinion on gay marriage.

Those who disagree have every right to not eat there and encourage others to join them.

Those politicians or university leaders who want to punish the company by denying or repealing its business licenses are grandstanding idiots.

Unless someone can prove Chick-Fil-A discriminates in its hiring and treatment of its employees, or against its customers, any city or university discriminating against them would be in trouble.

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Gay-Marriage Foes Give Chick-Fil-A “Record-Setting Day” 2

It looks like the boycott backfired.

UPDATE: Seems like quite a few chicken-loving, same-sex marriage foes turned out for Wednesday’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

Based on reports from around the country, many Chick-fil-As had lines out the door come lunchtime. Attendees emphasized a mix of support for the company’s stance against equal marriage rights and for what’s being billed as an underlying free speech issue in the initial backlash against the fast food chain’s officially outed politics. Mayors in a handful of cities, including Boston and Chicago, responded to CEO Dan Cathy’s recent remarks on his “Biblical” view of marriage by insinuating that the chain was not welcome within city limits.

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Somali comedian who mocked Islamists is shot dead Reply

From the Guardian.

Somali constitution conference

Somali Muslims: tough crowd!

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One of Somalia‘s most popular comedians, known for his parodies of Islamist militants, has been shot dead in the capital, Mogadishu.

Abdi Jeylani Marshale was reportedly killed shortly after leaving a local radio station where he worked as a drama producer and performer.

It is not known who carried out the murder but last year Marshale was threatened by the extremist group al-Shabaab, prompting him to go into hiding in neighbouring Somaliland for several days.

Witnesses told the BBC that Marshale was shot several times in the head and chest by two men armed with pistols. The gunmen have not been caught.

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Progressive Betrayals of Civil Liberties Reply

Anthony Gregory chimes in on Cathygate at the Independent Institute.

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In the last two weeks, we have seen the weakness of many left-liberals’ support for civil liberties. Last week, progressive bloggers, activists, and politicians piled on Chick-fil-A, whose president Dan Cathy has spoken critically of and supported groups that oppose gay marriage. For his stance on this issue, which is not all that different from Obama’s stance just a year ago, many in the gay rights movement decided to boycott his fast food chain. Whatever one thinks of this, it is well within the rights of people to vote with their dollars. The Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans argues that the boycott is poor strategy, however, because “turning a chicken sandwich into Public Gay Enemy Number One makes LGBT people look superficial, vindictive and juvenile—everything that we as a community have worked hard to overcome.”

Yet far more disturbing to anyone interested in civil liberties was the threat of a government crackdown on the basis of the business owner’s political opinions. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston mayor Thomas Menino both indicated a willingness to keep the restaurant out of their cities, using their power as government officials to fight the culture war.

While the most consistent left-liberal voices for civil liberties, among them the ACLU, have defended Chick-fil-A’s right to open a business regardless of the proprietor’s political views, there has been far too much silence or even enthusiasm toward these threats of political coercion, which carry potentially totalitarian implications. A government that can prohibit people from engaging in peaceful commerce based on traditional cultural and conservative political values is as big a threat to civil liberties as anything the left imagines a conservative Big Brother poses. Most strikingly, left-liberals often, with a lot of justification, decry the Red Scares in American history—the private and public ostracism and at times oppression that befell communists, communist sympathizers, or anyone deemed too far radically left in America. Communism posed a real threat to world peace and liberty, and its political leaders collectively murdered close to a hundred million people in the 20th century. If Americans should have a right to pursue work despite their sympathies for such a violent ideology, surely Chick-fil-A shouldn’t be blacklisted simply for holding traditional views on marriage.

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Girls With Guns: How Arming More Women Could Change America Reply

By Alessandra Ram

Female patrons are visiting shooting ranges in greater numbers, some carrying leopard-print concealment purses. Will their training really make society safer?

girl-gun.jpgIakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

It’s Ladies Night at the gun range. No longer the sacred pastime of cowboys and Indians, shooting has become a favorite pastime for more and more young women across the country. “Want a real girls’ night out?” asks an ad for the Silver Bullet Shooting Range in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, underneath an image of a shapely leg in stiletto heels. To draw in female customers, many ranges and clinics designate special days when women are encouraged to practice target shooting or participate in events or seminars for a reduced fee.

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The Case for Postmodern Anarchical Nationalism Reply

From Quisling’s Quest

I am an independent politically. I believe in less government on the national level and more local control at a city state community level. I believe in diversity and that small government should reflect the community that lives within it. Because of all this, I see segregation, political, ethnic, religious, racial, and cultural, as a very good thing. Each community or city state should draw from different demographics. And then that local government, in its laws, traditions and education, can reflect that unique community. This would solve so many of our cultural conflicts. It would allow for true diversity of communities. My views need not be seen as racist even though I advocate segregation. I also believe that a community can chose to be multicultural and totally secular if they chose that route. My libertarian, city state vision would be an interesting experiment in freedom. Which communities would thrive? Which would deteriorate? Institutional racism would no longer be a problem because people of color could have their own communities, to design in their own fashion. I call my vision, postmodern anarchical nationalism. I am a PANist. It is post modern because it doesn’t build on one paradigm or one single view of reality. It allows for each community to find its own reality and build on it. The only fundamental rule is to respect the sovereignty of all other city states and not infringe or conquer them. If there is a federal or national government, its sole purpose would be to protect the freedom of the city state. So that’s Panism. Would it work? I think ultimately some form of it will have to. There is no other way to accommodate the diversity we find on this small planet.

In the Long Run, Is the GOP Dead? Reply

By Pat Buchanan

Since 1928, only Dwight Eisenhower and George W. Bush have won the presidency while capturing both houses of Congress for the GOP.

In his 49-state landslide, Richard Nixon failed to take either House. In his two landslides, Ronald Reagan won back only the Senate. Yet Mitt Romney is even money to pull off the hat trick.

With this hopeful prospect, why the near despair among so many Republicans about the long term?

In his New York Times report, “In California, GOP Fights Steep Decline,” Adam Nagourney delves into the reasons.

In the Golden Land, a state Nixon carried all five times he was on a national ticket and Reagan carried by landslides all four times he ran, the GOP does not hold a single statewide office. It gained not a single House seat in the 2010 landslide. Party registration has fallen to 30 percent of the California electorate and is steadily sinking.

Why? It is said that California Republicans are too out of touch, too socially conservative on issues like right-to-life and gay rights. “When you look at the population growth,” says GOP consultant Steve Schmidt, “the actual party is shrinking. It’s becoming more white. It’s becoming older.”

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Kicked out for a racist tweet: Greek triple jumper is banned from the Games after her African ‘joke’ 1

From the Daily Mail.

article-2178836-14368DAB000005DC-785_634x733

Silly mare; sillier punishment.

Mind you, if the Games got cancelled at the last minute, I wouldn’t complain. Part of me hopes for a repeat of last year’s riots, if only to offset the climate of force-fed positivity surrounding the event.

EDIT (27/7/12): The more I looked into it, the more I thought the “racism” angle bullshit. If the immigrants and mosquitoes come from the same continent, of course the latter would be more used to dining on the former (“home-food”). Perhaps ‘geographist’ fits better?

I’d call the Golden Dawn endorsement more ‘problematic’, though the Olympic PC Police were tellingly silent about that, prior to the joke.

________________

By Katherine Faulkner and Nick McDermott

A Greek triple jumper has been expelled from the Olympics after she posted a racist joke on Twitter.

Voula Papachristou was kicked out of her national team for mocking African migrants and expressing support for a far-Right political party.

Her offending message – which was referring to reports of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus in her home country – read: ‘With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!’

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The Joker’s Razor Reply

By Jim Goad

In the wake of Friday morning’s bloodbath at a Colorado movie theater, America struggles to figure out who or what to blame.

They’ve obviously ruled out the shooter.

James Holmes, 24, will be arraigned in a Colorado courtroom this morning and charged with a spree killing at a midnight debut screening of the new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises that at last count left 12 dead and 58 wounded. Based on the total number of victims, the event would constitute the largest lone-wolf mass shooting in American history. Although he reportedly surrendered to police outside the theater clad from head to toe in riot gear and told them he was the “Joker,” he has apparently not formally confessed and has yet to be convicted, so journalistic etiquette dictates that Holmes be called the alleged gunman.

But even if he hurled the tear-gas canisters and fired the rounds, no man is an island, correct? At best, we’re all tiny non-autonomous fiefdoms in a sprawling continent. We are mere cells in a giant organism, little pieces in a huge puzzle, and when one of the pieces doesn’t quite fit anymore, the rest of the puzzle must be blamed.

So obviously “society” is to blame. But not all of society, because that would include the countless members of society who are blaming society for this. So what part of society is to blame?

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Beyond Prudery and Perversion: The Sexual Aesthetics and Metaphysics of Julius Evola 1

By Keith Preston

Beyond Prudery and PerversionThe erotic sculptures of Khajuraho

              Of the various manifestations of the egalitarian cultural revolution that has transpired in the Western world over the past half century, none have been quite so enduring or become so deeply rooted in the culture of modern society as the so-called “sexual revolution.” Indeed, it might well be argued that even the supposed commitment of Western cultural elites in the early twenty-first century to the ethos of racial egalitarianism is not quite as profound as their commitment to the preservation and expansion of the victories of the sexual revolution. The sexual revolution itself brings with it many of its own manifestations. These include the now prevailing feminist ethos, the liberalization of both popular opinion and public legislation concerning sexual conduct, abortion and contraception, divorce, the normalization of homosexuality accompanied by the growth of powerful homosexual political interest groups, and the identification of an ever-growing list of “gender identity” or “sexual orientation” groups who are subsequently assigned their position in the Left’s pantheon of the oppressed.

Of course, the ongoing institutionalization of the values of the sexual revolution is not without its fierce critics. Predictably, the most strident criticism of sexual liberalism originates from the clerical and political representatives of the institutions of organized Christianity and from concerned Christian laypeople. Public battles over sexual issues are depicted in the establishment media as conflicts between progressive-minded, intelligent and educated liberals versus ignorant, bigoted, sex-phobic reactionaries. Dissident conservative media outlets portray conflicts of this type as pitting hedonistic, amoral sexual libertines against beleaguered upholders of the values of faith, family, and chastity. Yet this “culture war” between liberal libertines and Christian puritans is not what should be the greatest concern of those holding a radical traditionalist or conservative revolutionary outlook.

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