Best of Late May 2017

I took a very pleasant trip to Maine last week, but now I’m experiencing the downside of leaving the confines of Cautious Optimism for even a short time – the great and powerful CO has linked to and commented on some of the noteworthy stories that I wanted to comment on. Will I let that either daunt or deter me?

Consider me both undaunted and undeterred. So here goes…

1.Oh, Kathy Griffin, until now I thought we’d all remember you for… that show you were on. Or that thing that you did. Or that time you were with Anderson Cooper on that holiday extravaganza.

Who am I kidding? I barely know who you are. Dr. Krauthammer called you a D-list celebrity, but with an alphabet that goes all the way to Z, that seems overly generous.

But wow, I guess we all know who you are now.

So… congratulations?

I know, it probably seemed like a great idea at the time: “What could I do to get some attention for my alleged career? I’ve got it! I’ll imitate the worst jihadi scum in the world, by posing with what looks like the bloodied, severed head of my country’s president! How could that possibly go wrong?”

The best thing about that hideous display is how perfectly it sums up the attitude of much of the self-dramatizing, furious left. If the cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words is true, that photo of a dead-eyed Griffin holding a gruesome symbol of the left’s hatred should be the 2020 Democratic party platform.

One more thing. I am nothing if not a chivalrous gentleman, and as such, I am generally loath to criticize a woman’s appearance. (Also, I’m not exactly movie-star handsome myself, so I don’t want to throw any disembodied heads from within my own glass house.) Therefore, I will not lower myself to point out that in Ms. Griffin’s photo, the bloodied, disfigured Trump mask was not the least attractive visage in the frame.

In fact, the same would be true if she held Tiger Wood’s unflattering mugshot in her other hand.

2. A couple of weeks ago I mocked the geniuses at Planned Parenthood for picking Mother’s Day as a perfect occasion to promote their campaign to eradicate motherhood. And you probably thought to yourself, “Simpson is right.“ (“Again!” you really should have added. “It’s uncanny how right he is. I should sell all that I have, and follow him.”) “No creepy leftist organization could ever pick a less appropriate holiday to spout their particular brand of offensiveness.”

But you would have been wrong. Because the super-geniuses at Vox picked Memorial Day as the perfect time to publish an article entitled, “The Marine Corps has a toxic masculinity problem.” The article discusses the recent scandal in which Marines have distributed nude pictures of females, both Marines and civilians. (And by the way, in the last two weeks I’ve seen angry leftist publications refer to both whiteness and masculinity as “toxic.” I’m beginning to think they really don’t like some of us.)

I do not condone those Marines’ behavior, and what they did is undeniably wrong. But talk about missing the point! It’s Memorial Day, when a lot of us weirdos who love our country and appreciate what our military has done to protect everything and everyone we have and love (and to save the world a few times over the last century), are feeling grateful to our soldiers.

And that’s the day you choose to excoriate them? Can you not take off one day a year – make that two, if Veteran’s Day isn’t too big of an ask – from your spiteful insistence on focusing on the flaws of our country and those who defend it?

Can you imagine if these idiots had been in charge during World War II? Instead of flying bombing runs over Germany, half of our B-17s would be in the shop, being re-painted. (Google “World War II Airplane Nose Art” and behold the saucy art that would launch a thousand court martials in today’s military.)

If the left had its way, we’d have either no military at all, or the tiniest p.c. force possible. If we ever were attacked (spoiler alert, drawn from the entirety of human history: we would be attacked), we’d end up fielding an army of metrosexuals and pajama boys, led by Brigadier General Chelsea Manning. And a clever enemy would send an elite platoon of Victoria’s Secret Models wearing nothing but stripper heels and g-strings and carrying pistols to capture our capitol, safe in the knowledge that our troops would not even notice them.

3. At the risk of giving you topic-change-induced whiplash, Mad Dog Mattis produced the quote of the year, so far. Toward the end of an interview on all things military, he was asked a familiar question: “What keeps you awake at night?”

In the old days, the commander in question was supposed to answer something like, “The Nazis’ development of the V2 rocket.” Or “The kamikaze attacks on our navy.” Or “IEDs and suicide bombers around Fallujah.” If the commander was an Obama appointee, s/he was supposed to say, “Climate change.” Or “Islamophobia.” Or “The evil 1%.” Or “The idea that some of our troops like thinking about naked women.”

Mad Dog went full Heisenberg, saying, “Nothing. I keep other people awake.”

I’m not ashamed to say it: I love that man. And if you think that Hillary Clinton would have appointed someone like him in a million years, you’re out of your mind.

4. The day before a Montana house seat election, Republican candidate Greg Gianforte body slams a leftist reporter, punches him, and breaks his glasses. And wins the race by 6 points.

I’ll admit that this story gives me mixed emotions. Emotions like glee. Then satisfaction. Then big guffaws that make me run out of breath, and then wipe tears from my eyes. Then more glee.

Then, finally, consternation.

Okay, it’s not funny that that GOP dope showed so little self-control. And violence isn’t justified in that context. The reporter wasn’t even being obnoxious, as reporters go, and that incident does not bode well for the new congressman’s behavior in office.

And, seriously, we can’t go around justifying violence against our political opponents just because we find them irritating. (That would make us no better than all of the Democrats on all of the college campuses in the entire country. And if that comparison doesn’t make us ashamed, it should.)

However, I do enjoy knowing that one contributing factor to Gianforte’s win was that Montana has voting rules that allow people to vote very early, so that by the time the body slam happened, about 2/3 of the votes had already been cast.

I’m old school on this question. As much as I enjoy the convenience of voting early, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’d like to see us tighten voting rules: more stringent voter ID requirements, more vigorous prosecution of those who cheat, and no absentee or early voting, except for those on active duty in the military.

The Dems are opposed to all of that. They like motor voter and stupid “vote or die” campaigns, they resist voter id laws and wink at illegals voting, and they have a huge advantage in dead voters. So it’s a little funny to see them reap what they sow when a GOP goofball acts the fool on election eve… but too late!

5. Finally, Anthony Weiner put his old apartment up for rent, at the bargain price of $12K a month. The listing disappeared after only 1 day, which either means that someone snapped it up (in which case, ewwww), or else someone had second thoughts and pulled the listing. (And I’m noticing how hard it is – oops – to write anything about that Dem without it sounding dirty. My first draft of the previous sentence: “Weiner may have pulled the listing on his unit.” I know.  But you try it, if you think this is so easy.)

I’m not sure what to think, except that that is one ambitious real estate agent. I’ve heard that houses where something bad has happened often carry a stigma, and must be discounted in order to sell.

And if I could put myself in the position of someone who wanted to live in NYC (no thank you), and who had $12K a month to spend on rent (nope), I still can’t picture moving in to Chez Weiner. (Worst restaurant in the tri-state area, by the way.)

Once the real estate agent told me what went on there, I’d be asking questions such as, “Don’t you have any places where a guy went nuts and killed his whole family and then himself to show me?” or “Did the Manson family ever live in a midtown 3-bedroom that I could take a look at?”

But in a deep blue state, someone is probably out there who would pay a premium for the place last called home by Carlos Danger. (By the way, say what you will about the guy, but a 12-year-old me, trying to think of a cool pseudonym to use when I grew up and became a spy, would have KILLED to have arrived at “Carlos Danger.” “Danger,” I’d say to one of the Jr. High cheerleaders whose cigarette I would be suavely lighting, “Carlos Danger.” Or maybe, “Carlos is the name, and Danger is my game.” And then I’d brace myself, so I could catch all of the sophisticated 14-year-old girls who would be throwing themselves at me. But, to give me some credit, I would not be texting them when I was 38.)

Anyway, there’s just no way to explain the way leftists think: Huma is reportedly taking Carlos back, for example.

So, to sum up what we’ve learned about leftist thought today: You shouldn’t punch a reporter, but pretending to behead a president is fine, if you think he’s really icky. Also, Ted Kennedy leaves his date to drown, Bill Clinton uses his intern as a humidor, and Anthony Weiner spends his adult life being Anthony Weiner.

But the Marines are the ones who have a problem with toxic masculinity.

Got that?

Best of May 2017 II: The Second One

1. Finally, a social protest movement that I can get behind. Venezuelan socialism is working out as well as Vietnamese socialism did, and Cambodian socialism, and Cuban socialism, and Russian and East German and other socialisms. Which is to say, not at all.

In case you’ve just woken up from a century-long nap, Rip Van Sanders, socialism keeps producing poverty and famine and environmental destruction and drum circles and gulags, and lo, it has now done so in formerly prosperous (by Latin American standards) Venezuela.

Enter Liborio Guarulla, the governor of an inland region in Venezuela, and a man with a plan. He’s cursing the socialists who are running the country into the ground. And not in the way that I’ve been doing the same thing here in the USA for the last 20 years. No, instead of my Anglo-Saxon-based anatomically-tricky-suggestion-involving curses, Liborio has invoked the very cool-sounding “curse of Dabukuri.” (And yes, how is that NOT a movie featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000?)

In a press conference on May 9th — during which he wore a funky headpiece that is far more attractive than certain reproductive organ headgear that I could mention – Liborio let fly thusly: “I am going to call upon our ancestors, our shamans, so that the curse of Dabukurí will fall upon those that have tried to do us harm. I can assure you that they will not die without torment. I can assure you that, before they die, they will suffer and their souls will haunt the darkest and most pestilent places before they can close their eyes.”

That sounds about right to me. You go, Liborio. (If Venezuelans had any spending money, I would immediately copyright that slogan and slap it on thousands of t-shirts. But they don’t have any spending money. Because socialists have been running Venezuela.)

Anyway, google the “march of the shamans,” and take a good look at what protests should look like: angry gourd rattling, cool puka shell ornamentation, big ol’ spears being carried theatrically, and a whole lot of cursing at socialists. I wish every Tom, Dick and Loborio around here could take a page out of their book.

2. No matter what kind of new trouble Trump or the GOP can get themselves into, and no matter what kinds of wild exaggerations the MSM can bring to bear on said trouble, there is one political constant that we can all count on: the Democrat party (new slogan: “When they go low, we go much, much lower.”) is behaving horribly. If it’s not Carlos Danger sexting the toddlers at a local daycare, or Nancy Pelosi losing her place three times per cue card, or DNC lead vulgarian Tom Perez swearing like he’s just got the lead in a Tarantino movie, it’s the California Democrat state convention.

On Saturday, 20 May, some of the sophisticated convention attendees began a rousing chant of “F**k Donald Trump.” And because those sweet-tempered lefties are always sensitive about not excluding the differently abled, they accompanied the chant with a visual aid for the hearing impaired, in the form of upraised arms and extended middle fingers.

(By the way, do you know the most calorie-burning and yet easiest gig ever for a sign language interpreter? Translating for the CA Democratic convention. You start out with the gestures for, “Hello, Sacramento!” Then you paste a wild-eyed look on your face and flip the bird maniacally for 13 minutes. Then you sign, “Here’s Maxine Waters,” and circle your temple with one forefinger in the universal symbol for “cuckoo” for 11 minutes. Then you introduce Tom Perez, and alternate between bird flipping and pelvic thrusting and grabbing your crotch like vintage Michael Jackson and sneering like Sid Vicious at a meeting with the Pope. Then you hammer your check and go home and take a long, hot shower. But you can never wash off the shame.)

I know what you’re thinking: well, you can’t blame the state party if a tiny group of trouble-makers in the back of the room gets picked up on a hot mike, and inadvertently exposes what they’d meant to express only privately.

Au contraire, mon frere. This wasn’t a handful of stoners on the fringes. This was a huge group of attendees front and center, during the convention in their most important state, being lead in the chant by outgoing CA Democrat chairman John Burton, with elected officials on the stage laughing along with the high-brow hilarity.

And how did the AP write up the story of the profane chant, you are probably not wondering, because you already know? That’s right: “In a sign of the vigor of the party’s distaste for the president….” Ah yes. “Vigor” and “distaste.” The report does manage to admit that Burton is “known for his blunt and profane manner.” You don’t say.

Stay classy, Sacramento.

3. In a reversal of every Polish joke you’ve ever heard – and you should all be ashamed of yourselves – the Poles are showing a great deal of common sense in their foreign policy. And as you know, the best way to demonstrate common sense, if you are European, is by resisting the snooty, busybody poke-noses in the EU, who (after all) know much more about how you should run your life and your country than you do. In this case, the EU elites have decided that the Polish have not taken in their fair share of angry young Muslim males who don’t want to be Polish.

The Polish foreign minister – who seems to like being Polish, despite the overabundance of “W”s and “Z”s and the corresponding dearth of vowels in his last name – expressed the crazy, offensive opinion that “no state has the duty to accept immigrants.”

In public polling (call it “Pole polling,” if you insist on being less mature than me), most Polish women were not thrilled with the idea of importing rape gangs, and were decidedly cool on the prospect of being forced into wearing bee keeper outfits in public.

When California Democrats heard about the Polish position, they tried for several minutes to come up with a chant that included the Polish Foreign Minister’s name, before giving up and settling on “F*** that guy!”

4. As a well-rounded citizen of the world, I cannot start my day without a quick look at the font of all hilarity that is Everyday

(For the record, I consider myself an equity feminist. See Christina Hoff Sommer’s work for a definition, or consider the short version: equity feminist – noun, “not the crazy kind in you-know-what kind of hats.”) I challenge you to randomly scroll down the page there and stop and read the first thing you see, and not be entertained.

This morning’s experiment landed me on the following gem. Under the category heading of “Compassionate Activism,” we find an article entitled, “Healing from Toxic Whiteness.” I don’t want to ruin the article for you, but I don’t think I’ll need a spoiler alert to suggest that being any color other than white would be a huge step up, you racist.

But I did have two thoughts to share: 1. “Toxic” is a pretty strong word. Could they not have softened the blow a bit – “Irksome whiteness?” “Not completely optimal whiteness?” 2. If a screed telling me that my racial identity is toxic is in the “Compassionate Activism” category, I’d hate to see the “Non-compassionate Activism” category.

5. Finally, Monica Lewinsky has written an editorial in the New York Times, in which she bemoans a “culture of exploitation.” But she’s not talking about the creepy sex offender who exploited her – or his creepy wife who organized the bullying and intimidation of Bill’s victims — but Fox News and the late Roger Ailes.

Honestly, my heart goes out to Lewinsky. She was taken advantage of by one of the most powerful men in the world, and even though she’s now in her mid 40s, she is obviously still dealing with the ramifications of that exploitation. And though I agree with her that all of the media behaved badly – as they always do with a scandal from which they can profit – she still hasn’t come to terms with the proper object of her anger.

Have I mentioned lately how glad I am that Hillary is not the president?

Best of May 2017, Part 1

I can’t add anything to all that has been said about the latest political turmoil, other than that I’m by turns nauseated and amused by the hypocritical dishonesty of the Dems (“Comey must go, Comey must go! Wait, what? Trump fired him? That’s an outrage! Bring Comey back, bring Comey back!”) and frustrated by Trump’s lack of discipline, and the GOP’s general incompetence.

I’m all over the map on this stuff. I’m thrilled that illegal border crossings are down by 70%. No wait, I’m appalled that the GOP weasels can’t find a way to put a stake through the heart of the collapsing dumpster fire that is Obamacare. But I’m giddy that pretty much all of Obama’s executive orders have been reversed. Except that I’m disgusted that the GOP might not take up tax reform until next year.

Mostly I’m dizzy. But amidst the chaos, I’ve still found things to amuse me, even if the humor is of the darker variety.

1.Planned Parenthood tried to do a little PR work recently, as they are wont to do. But they picked an odd holiday to make their appeal: Mother’s Day. The fine folks at PP are oblivious to many things – basic biology, ethics, maternal instinct, irony – but does no one down there realize the value of timing? Would they suggest wishing all of your British friends a Happy Independence Day? Or all of your friends who are struggling with alcoholism a Happy St. Patrick’s Day? Or all of your ISIS friends a joyous Yom Kippur?

The head of PP sent out a tweet that began, “Nothing says, ‘I love you, Mom!” like…” And I stopped reading. Because all I could think of was “…a child.” Oops.

2. In a development that surprised no one who has ever read comic books in his or her life, the new Marvel “social justice themed” comics are not doing well. In fact, a Black Lives Matter-themed comic touted by Ta-Nehisi (gesundheit) Coates was canceled after only two issues. Shocker.

I remember the days of my idyllic Midwestern childhood, when I would eagerly await the new issue of my favorites: Captain America (fighting Nazis), Sgt. Rock and his Howling Commandos (killing Nazis), Spiderman (taking on the Green Goblin).

You know what I didn’t look forward to? The newest issue of Social Justice Warrior (calling conservatives Nazis), Chomsky-man (calling Americans Nazis) and Superman/woman, Spiderman/woman or Wonder Woman/man (all taking on the oppressive system that had somehow tricked me into liking girls and sports).

The colleges might be lost to us, but at least comic books are hanging in there.

3. In a previous piece, I mentioned a terrible video that appeared on Bill Nye’s bizarre Netflix series. I can’t mention the name of the video sketch, because it seems to trigger FB’s list of verboten expressions. But I’m pretty sure that if you google “hideous Bill Nye video,” “junk,” and “crimes against humanity,” you’ll find it. Then watch it at your own risk. *(Since this column appears on my own website, I can tell you the title: “My Sex Junk.”  But still, watch it at your own risk.)

It deals with biology and gender, and if I understand it correctly, argues that neither exists. What does exist, apparently, is a singer who can’t carry a tune, dancers who can’t dance, a woman in a sea horse costume playing keyboards, and lyrics that will make you seriously reconsider the whole idea of reproduction. After watching that, I’d thought that Bill Nye had gone as low as a non-scientific political hack could go.

But of course I was wrong. What could top that video, you ask? (And don’t ask what could bottom it, because although it’s actually a more accurate question, nope.) How about a little old fashioned lefty trick that I call “the disappearing commie.”

If you’ve seen any old group photos of Soviet leaders, you’ll often notice what looks like a blur or distortion in the picture. After one apparatchik or another fell out of favor, he’d be killed or sent to Siberia, and all official photos would be doctored to remove his image. It was the photoshop of the 1930s, except that instead of adding a larger bottom to an empty-headed woman or bigger biceps to an insecure man, it removed a socialist who’d done wrong.

What does this have to do with Bill Nye? Well, it turns out that someone discovered that on one of Nye’s tv shows in the 1990s, an episode discussed gender in a way that made sense. The presenter mentioned that XX and XY chromosomes are actually things, and they determine a person’s sex. She even mentioned that everyone has a 50/50 chance of being a boy or a girl, and that “there are only two possibilities.”

That scene was effective, logical, concise and told the truth. So of course it has been edited out of the Netflix version of the series. I am not making that up. Someone – Netflix, Bill Nye, the DNC? – went back through a series that ran in the 1990s, and “updated” it by removing basic biological facts. They didn’t update it by incorporating new information that has come to light, but by deleting information that makes some of them feel uncomfortable. They disappeared the inconvenient communist, scientifically speaking.

For a party that prides themselves on how much they love science, they don’t seem to love science very much.

3. Finally, I read a New Yorker article written by Adam Gopnik, called ”We Could Have Been Canada.” It’s actually an intermittently smart piece, with some individually worthwhile thoughts on what went right and wrong with the development of America and (as the title suggests) Canada.

But it’s wrong about the big things, because Gopnik’s view epitomizes the disdain with which the academic left views America. Consider his title: it could be easily read as the open for a light-hearted “there but for the grace of God” piece, with a subtitle like “Whew! We dodged a bullet.” But that’s not how he means it, as his subtitle makes clear: “Was the American Revolution such a good idea?”

To which the only reasonable response is, “YES!” I’m no jingoist, and I don’t think our history is perfect. And I don’t have anything against Canada. But stack our virtues and vices next to each other, and then show me another country that has done more
good in the world.

Here are Gopnik’s first two sentences:

“And what if it was a mistake from the start? The Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the creation of the United States of America—what if all this was a terrible idea, and what if the injustices and madness of American life since then have occurred not in spite of the virtues of the Founding Fathers but because of them?”

Only a leftist could ask those questions with a straight face. What if the Declaration of Independence was a terrible idea?! It wasn’t. Full stop. Res ipsa loquitur. Get out of here with that.

I’d like to think that this line of thinking was a put on, or Gopnik being absurd to illustrate absurdity: “What if up was down? What if day was night? What if Trump was humble and reticent? What if Bill Nye was actually a scientist? What if Pelosi was trustworthy, and Schumer was sincere, and Maxine Waters was sane?”

But he’s serious, and a lot of people agree with him. And that’s more sobering than any of the current shenanigans going on in D.C.