Sunday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Tattered American flagThis is going to be a short round-up because I spent the morning taking care of family matters.  One of the things that I did was to drive my daughter to an event that, at its opening, saw everyone singing the Star Spangled Banner.

It sounds very patriotic, doesn’t it?  But this is Marin, so I’m not sure….  While the residents here love their neighbors and their community, and they certainly love the wealth and comfort they’ve acquired to be able to live in this lovely part of the world, they’re not so thrilled about America over all.

They think people in flyover country, unless they have the good sense to move to a Democrat-stronghold metropolitan area, aren’t to bright.  Indeed, if you asked, they’d say that those people lost in America’s vast middle are bitter clingers.  More than that, 70% of them have undying political allegiance to a party that thinks that America’s arrogant, that she’s a war monger, that she has evil imperial ambitions, that she’s racist, that she’s destructive of the environment, and that she’s greedy.

If the Democrat Party to which these Marin residents give their fealty thinks that poorly about America, one has to assume that Marinites think that too.  So when they sing the Star Spangled Banner, they’re not doing so out of a heartfelt sense of love for their country; they’re doing it in the same way Japanese started doing “Christian” weddings — it’s a fashion statement, not a belief system.


At NRO, Kevin Williamson explains why reparations won’t work:  they are inherently unfair insofar as they focus entirely on blacks, rather than other people who have also found the American system hostile to them.  I would add that reparations usually go to the generation actually injured (as in those Jews directly affected by WWII), and not to their descendants.  More than that, though, the issue of reparations is no longer about slavery, or Jim Crow, or redlining, or even (as it really should be) the shackles of generational government welfare.  Instead, the fundamental driver of reparations is the overwhelming sense amongst political blacks that whites will always have it better, no matter what.

Nothing proves that last point more perfectly than the utterly brainless, reflexive way in which MSNBC host Touré (who is vaguely black by look, and completely politically black by identification) responded to someone who tweeted that his family had survived the concentration camps, came to the country legally, and thrived. Touré didn’t think about the horrors of the camps, or the dislocation of coming to an entirely new culture, or the hard work, or the sacrifice that led to this success. Instead, Touré had one entirely predictable response: white privilege.

Read about Touré’s disgusting tweet here, as well as the overwhelming number of responses aimed at castigating and educating him. All these responses are wasted, of course. Leftists mired in victim politics are utterly immune to any outside information or to shame. Their narcissistic self-defense mechanisms mean that, as far as they’re concerned, whatever comes their way is powered by -isms (racism, sexism) or phobias (homophobia, Islamophobia), and can therefore be dismissed without any further consideration. Nevertheless, the responses make for satisfying reading.


And while I’m on the topic of predictable Leftists, my friend Warner Todd Huston points out that both the New York Times and the Washington Post have rushed to defend Thomas Piketty in the face of heavily documented allegations showing that he didn’t just misuse data, he faked it and manipulated it. I found Warner’s post incredibly funny because I read it just a few minutes after I read a liberal’s comment to my Facebook post noting Piketty’s fakery: “But he still highlighted an important problem [i.e., income inequality].”

She’s a friend, so I had no idea how to say politely that income inequality is not an important problem . . . which is why Piketty was forced to fake the data.


Oh, and one other thing about predictable Leftists. You just knew, didn’t you, that the Left would immediately blame the NRA for the appalling murders down in Santa Barbara county. They’d also blame men who hate women and white people. My real-me Facebook friends certainly came out gunning (pun intended) for the NRA. Fortunately, Twitchy is on the job, showing how each of these claims is a myth, pure and simple. Regarding guns, when my sister and I were talking about the murders, she and I simultaneously said to each other “If someone else had had a gun, that shooting spree would have ended instantly, with many fewer dead.”

What’s obvious is that Elliot Rodger committed the murders because he was mentally ill or evil, whichever is your preferred term for his particular brand of deadly behavior. I’ve seen few things more chilling than the video he left behind. When he sits in his luxury car, in his nice clothes, with his expensive haircut, and then turns to the camera and laughs, one suddenly knows what it must have been like to look at Dr. Mengele or some other Nazi, well-groomed, well-situated, and utterly evil.  The difference, of course, is that I’m in my safe room in Marin, with a dog in my lap, while Rodger’s and the Nazi’s victims saw Evil’s face — and then died.

Here’s the funny thing about the video (and funny is yet another word I use intentionally): If you didn’t know that Rodgers was an exceptionally evil man, with the blood of innocents on his hand, the video would, in fact, be funny. He looks exactly like a bad actor auditioning for the part of a cold-blooded killer. I find that just about as frightening as anything else. It means that, without any further data, even when we see evil right in front of us we may be unable to recognize it.

Rodger’s family, though, knew what he was and tried to stop him . . . but the government, the one that wants to take our guns, wouldn’t help. Banning guns won’t change that reality.


It’s time to start making a noise about Operation Choke Point. The government (under DOJ direction) is using its vast economic police power to cut off money to disfavored businesses.  Some of these businesses are shady, but many of which are entirely legal (and constitutional), such as gun dealerships.  The issue about the businesses isn’t their legality, it’s that Eric Holder doesn’t like them.  This is an appalling violation of Constitutional due process and it is the act of a tyranny:

The general outline is the DOJ and bank regulators are putting the screws to banks and other third-party payment processors to refuse banking services to companies and industries that are deemed to pose a “reputation risk” to the bank. Most controversially, the list of dubious industries is populated by enterprises that are entirely, or at least generally, legal. Tom Blumer’s extremely informative post summarizing what is known to date about Operation Choke Point reproduces the list, which includes things such as ammunition sales, escort services, get-quick-rich schemes, on-line gambling, “racist materials” and payday loans. Quite obviously, some of these things are not like the other; moreover, just because there are some bad apples within a legal industry doesn’t justify effectively destroying a legal industry through secret executive fiat.

Especially ironic, of course, is that while the DOJ and bank regulators are choking off financial services to legal industries, they are also encouraging banks to provide banking services to illegal marijuana sales.


Dang.  I’ve depressed myself.  Let’s end with something silly:

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  • Ymarsakar

    “I’ve seen few things more chilling”
    He’s a weak boy that was a waste of human DNA. That was all there was to it, really. It’s not chilling for me. I’ve seen worse.
    Remember that face, Book, that’s the face of a true believer. Many of the Left’s cannonfodder are like this. People won’t believe that they are capable of obeying orders to kill and betray their families and any one that fights the Regime. They will. They will always obey.
    I first read this story from Vox, some hours after midnight. Then wrote a bunch of blog posts about it. This boy is boring as hell. What time stamp is that laugh at? I just want to skip to it. Reading his manifesto was more interesting.
    Since they locked up that video maker for a movie that caused the deaths at Benghazi, are the Leftist hypocrites going to lock up the Hunger Games Hollywood father that produced this demonic spawn? Sorry, that was rhetoric, I mean weakling puke of a boy.
    Some people may sympathize or feel sorry for his background, and that’s certainly understandable if they have had similar experiences while reading his manifesto. Personally, I think this weak sauce boy did not know the meaning of Pain. He took the easy way out. His belief was pure, but that was mostly due to Asperger’s, a kind of obsessive compulsive misunderstanding of the fundamental truth of this reality. Being around Hollywood and Californian rapists, misogynist women haters, didn’t help him out mentor wise either.

    • Mike Devx

      I see this guy as your average psychopath, myself.
      – Extreme narcissism
      – Complete delusions of grandeur
      – A complete inability to relate to other people as people.  A total lack of empathy.  Extreme sexual objectification of women.
      – Viewed himself as a superior human being, one of the very few.  All around him were inferior humans.  He was filled with rageful hate for all those hated (and inferior) women who spurned his superior greatness, and all those hated (and inferior) men that those hated women chose over his own superior greatness.
      Where he is perhaps atypical is that liberal mindset of “the world owes me a living, and nothing is my own fault”.  This was the engine that fueled the hate-filled rage.
      He genuinely thought he approached perfection in a human being, whereas the rest of us, after spending only a few minutes in his company, would see that he was a hollow shell of a person, and severely troubled.   I have little doubt he gave off extraordinarily alien vibes, and that’s why the women ran from him.  As fast as they could.
      I do believe there is something new in American culture over the last few decades, in which when one of these guys snaps, for some set of reasons, they are justified in murdering as many people as they possibly can before they take their own lives.  In the past, MOST of them would have just committed suicide.  These days, MOST of them now murder many others first.  I believe this is a sickness only recently embedded into the American culture.  I hope someone skilled at psychology can pinpoint the *exact* cause of this relatively-new cultural malignancy.

  • Ymarsakar
    This is some old news, but it’s formatted well.
    I second Wright’s recommendation. Don’t scroll down to the bottom if you value your mental state. I’m not shocked by it but… well, let’s just say I’ve seen worse.

  • Eidolon

    The reparations stuff is nonsense on stilts.
    Thomas Sowell discussed racial success patterns in his book The Economics of Race. The Chinese have been successful around the world, despite often being discriminated against in various host countries. I believe Chinese are at or above the average American per capita income, despite the fact that around 50% of all Chinese in America at any given time were born in China. Chinese are directly discriminated against in Malaysia, and there’s also lots of discrimination in favor of native Malays — and yet the Chinese outperform Malays generation after generation. The idea that a Chinese immigrant who comes to America at 35 with no money, no specific skills of value, no English, and no particular knowledge of the culture is somehow privileged relative to an American-born black person is absurd.
    Success happens regardless of government policies, and regardless of societal discrimination. Sometimes success increases the hostility, as it has with Chinese and Jewish people in various countries; other times discrimination follows failure and poverty, as it did with the Irish in America. But the discrimination, while bad, is not the causal factor in either case. The sooner the black community learns that cultural factors encouraging success and personal responsibility are the only way to get consistently good results, the better. Everything else is just a distraction that keeps them mired in poverty and crime.

    • Ymarsakar

      The Democrats have been using the institution of slavery and racist eugenics to keep blacks in America down, all the while using it to blame Republicans and get votes.
      Almost all, if not all, of the problems with American economics and caste systems derive from that.

  • Ymarsakar

    Book, the Japanese have a romantic view of Westerners, especially Old English style princes and princesses. The princess carry, as opposed to the Japanese back carry, is considered a feat of masculine strength (few can do it if their upper musculature is bad) and is considered romantic.
    So by fashion statement, Book, take the weddings in that context. The Japanese main stream view of nuns and priests from Christianity, are orders of magnitude better than what I’ve seen of it in the US. Whether that’s due to the 1% being too rare to be criticized or not, I don’t know.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I am all in favor of reparations. If anyone should be found who lived under slavery up until 1865, they should be give just recompense. As for the rest, they should just quit whining and get over it. 

  • Gringo

    They [in Marin] think people in flyover country, unless they have the good sense to move to a Democrat-stronghold metropolitan area, aren’t to bright.  Indeed, if you asked, they’d say that those people lost in America’s vast middle are bitter clingers.
    Which reminds me  why  Obama made his “bitter-clingers” remark to wealthy donors in San Francisco. He knew he was among friends, and figured he  could speak his mind freely without worrying about how it would run politically. As Marin runs, so run wealthy Bay Area people. Or vice versa.
    That particular remark of Obama stuck with me. While I live in a big city,  I was born and raised in a small town, as were my parents, grandparents, and half my cousins.
    But it didn’t make any difference in my vote. My mind was already made up.

  • Ymarsakar

    Mike, there was a saying I picked up about the difference between Japan and America.
    In Japan, if one had given up on the world, they would go inside, close all the windows and doors, and kill themselves.
    In America, if one had given up on the world, they would open the windows and then start shooting random people they see.