Live from the Elmwood Cafe: "Mad Max: Fury Road Is An Astonishing Work Of Art : "Mad Max: Fury Road is like a really great rock concert...:
**Live from La Farine: 500 years, or 50 years, or 5 years, or 5 months, or 5 days from now the Roman Catholic Church will reverse Pope Paul VI's claim that he has special insight into natural theology which tells him that birth control is very wrong. Whenever that happens, what will the administrators of and lawyers for Notre Dame have to say for themselves?
**: Federal Appeals Court Tells Catholic University [Notre Dame] That It Can't Cut Off Birth Control For Its Students: "'The Seventh Circuit... express[es] ‘puzzlement about what exactly the university wanted us to enjoin’...
Live from La Farine: I have long had a Facebook account, but I have never done much with it except plug my Twitter account into it. My feeling was that with the World Wide Web weblogging and Twitter, I had enough Internet media on my plate to try to master.
Now, however, it looks increasingly likely that it will be The Facebook that wins the Internet ThunderDome cage match. Which means that I need to figure out how to use and be a presence on The Facebook.
Any suggestions as to how to do this quickly and painlessly?
Live from La Farine: Game of Thrones Blogging:
People: "Game of Thrones" Is Horror!:
In the very first scene of the very first episode of the very first season of "Game of Thrones", three members of the Night's Watch--an older veteran-type Gared, and two callow-youth types, one in command named Waymar Royce and the other named Will--set out on patrol. By 2:45 the point rider Will has encountered horrible evil. By 3:30 the veteran-type Gared has told the two callow-youth types that they need to head back to their base. By 5:50 they learn that the evil is supernatural, and start to die. By 6:15 the survivors' courage has broken and they are running south as fast as they can. By 7:00 there is only one survivor--the un-arrogant callow youth Will.
Busy day today: lecturing my class on humility & writing column on how my disastrous support for Iraq War must never be questioned.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) May 19, 2015
Across the Wide Missouri: Yet more journamalism from The New York Times and David Brooks. Once again, I don't understand what game they are playing here:
Scott Lemieux: David Brooks's Pathetic Iraq Excuses - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money: "David Brooks starts off his apologia with some stoned-dorm-room stuff about how if Hitler had been strangled in the crib we wouldn’t have the GI Bill or as many women in the workforce...
...It does not improve from there. First, note this crafty bit of dissembling:
Across the Wide Missouri: Ceasefire Oregon: "Congratulations and thank you!!...
...SB 941, Expanded Background Checks, was just signed into law! The Oregon House of Representatives passed SB 941 on May 4. The Oregon Senate passed it last month. And Governor Kate Brown just signed the bill into law!
Live from La Farine: How does opposition to contraception and abortion and advocacy of discrimination against homosexuals get tied up with the gold standard and the elimination of the pro-poor redistributionist social ethic of Jesus Christ? It is a mystery.
First, what is the American Principles Project. Well, the American Principles Project's founder is Robert P. George. Enough said.
UPDATE: No, not enough said. Thanks to the Idler for finding this true gem in First Things:
Robert P. George: Killing Abortionists: A Symposium: "I am personally opposed to killing abortionists...
....However, inasmuch as my personal opposition to this practice is rooted in a sectarian (Catholic) religious belief in the sanctity of human life, I am unwilling to impose it on others who may, as a matter of conscience, take a different view. Of course, I am entirely in favor of policies aimed at removing the root causes of violence against abortionists. Indeed, I would go so far as to support mandatory one-week waiting periods, and even nonjudgmental counseling, for people who are contemplating the choice of killing an abortionist. I believe in policies that reduce the urgent need some people feel to kill abortionists while, at the same time, respecting the rights of conscience of my fellow citizens who believe that the killing of abortionists is sometimes a tragic necessity-not a good, but a lesser evil. In short, I am moderately pro-choice...
Live from the Palace of Westminster: David Cameron**: "For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society...
...saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance. This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach...
Live from The Roasterie: Do Americans no longer buy non-Apple laptops? Or is it just that Americans whose jobs allow them to sit in cafes that sell $4 espresso drinks in the morning no longer buy non-Apple laptops?
Across the Wide Missouri: $4.50 toast comes to Kansas City!
White-bread (actually whole-wheat millet, multigrain, sunflower flax, molasses raisin walnut, rosemary-wheat, cheesy pesto, cinnamon-swirl brioche, challah, and homestyle white-bread) yuppie culture continues to spread across the land!
Must-Read: The truly extraordinary thing about California's Proposition 13 was not that it nearly froze residential real estate taxes as long as residents owned the property, but that it nearly froze commercial and industrial real estate taxes essentially forever. I do not understand how that provision made it into Jarvis-Gann in the first place--or how it has survived in California for so long...
...by political ideology promoted:
- The Star Fraction: Revolutionary Communism
- The Stone Canal: Anarcho-Capitalism
- The Cassini Division: State Communism
- The Sky Road: Barbarism
- Engines of Light Trilogy: Feudalism
- Learning the World: Neoliberalism
- Night Sessions: Secularism
- Restoration Game: Gnosticism
- The Execution Channel: Liberalism
- Intrusion: Libertarianism....
I went with the one that either was shown as working better than you might expect (the semi-utopias), or was the most obvious counter to the the dominant ideology of the dystopias. Of course, YMMV as to which is which…
Across the Wide Missouri: Lo: a year and a half ago my Net.Friend Katha Pollitt tweeted the very true:
Twitter is a poisonous well of bad faith and viciousness.— Katha Pollitt (@KathaPollitt) December 22, 2013
And that was when I first heard of Sarah Kendzior.
Live from the Tar Sands: Alberta Provincial Election Blogging: The voters of Alberta are less enamored of their traditional conservative political masters, but the voters are not behind the new left-wing NDP provincial government to be led by Rachel Motley.
The seats and votes:
With these thirteen simple words GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush struck terror into the entire world yesterday. He said,
If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it’s him.
To whom was he referring? As hard as it is to believe, he was talking about his brother, George W. Bush.
Now it’s true that the question referred to Israel and the Middle East specifically, but it doesn’t really matter.
There isn’t any area of policy or interest in which it would be smart to make such an admission.
Live from Peets Coffee: https://twitter.com/delong/status/596707833267159041
"States' rights"--or "federalism"--was the line that Republicans took to trying to win votes in those states where strong majorities wanted to discriminate against African-Americans without losing votes in state for such discrimination was anathema.
Now we have a Republican Party that is committing itself nationally to the Expanded and Rewritten (by John Roberts) Religious Freedom Restoration Act providing a license to discriminate to businesses not in individual states that have passed RFRAs but nationally. The calculus of thus look much more hazardous:
Across the Wide Missouri:
In the Shadow of the Grand Tetons:
...[Alan] Greenspan will address a counter-conference organized by a group called the American Principles Project. The group combines social conservatism — it’s anti-gay-marriage, anti-abortion rights, and pro-‘religious liberty’ — with goldbug economic doctrine. The second half of this agenda may be appealing to Greenspan, a former Ayn Rand intimate — as Paul Samuelson remarked, ‘You can take the boy out of the cult but you can’t take the cult out of the boy.’ But the anti-gay stuff? And helping these people attack his former colleagues? Awesome.
Live from Caffe Strada: Why do I find myself so much more optimistic about America and its future when I am in SF, LA, New York, or Portland OR than when I am in KC, DC, VA Beach, or pretty much anywhere else? I actually should spend some time trying to figure this out...
Live From the Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm: Rocky Ridge: Discussion with Senator Blunt. Subject: King v. Burwell.
Me: "A great many people here in Missouri might be unable to afford their health insurance in three months."
Ann Marie: "You need to be on the right side". Sen. Blunt: "That's really up to the judges."
Me: "But you in Congress could fix it in a sentence".
Sen. Blunt: "You are right."
Of course, "You are right" means not "we will do the one sentence fix if necessary" but "I came to Rocky Ridge on a Saturday afternoon to be avuncular, not to justify my rhetorical pose of root-and-branch opposition to something that is at bottom 'RomneyCare'".
Across the Wide Missouri: Sounds to me as though Ed Miliband is planning on resigning--or others are planning on him being resigned--if the British election produces a Labour-SNP majority:
...flatly ruling out any kind of deal with the Scottish National party in order to govern after the election. Henry McLeish, a former first minister of Scotland, on Saturday joined a growing number of party figures saying the Labour leader could not deny himself the chance of being prime minster by refusing to talk to the SNP. Andy Burnham, Labour’s health spokesman, said on Friday the party would ‘of course’ have a dialogue with the nationalists, while Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, suggested the parties could make informal arrangements. Their comments contrast with the hardline stance taken by Miliband, who in a Question Time interview on Thursday ruled out any Labour-SNP pact, even if it cost him the chance to form a government.
Live from Crow’s Coffee: 435 Magazine. I was reading 435 Magazine (offices at 11775 W. 112th Street, Suite 200, Overland Park, KS 66210, ten miles away from here) on the airplane on my way back from California to Kansas City. I found myself getting scared.
The scary thing is that Los Angeles is not that very much larger than Kansas City. And yet it has about nine times the population.
...Look it up. Altruistic punishment is a ‘puzzle’ to the sort of economist who thinks of homo economicus maximizing her utility, and a no-brainer to the [evolutionary] game theorist who understands humans could never have survived if we actually were the kind of creature who succumbed to every prisoners’ dilemma. Altruistic punishment is behavior that imposes costs on third parties with no benefit to the punisher, often even at great cost to the punisher. To the idiot economist, it is a lose/lose situation, such a puzzle. For the record, I’m a fan of the phenomenon. Does that mean I’m a fan of these riots, that I condone the burning of my own hometown? Fuck you and your tendentious entrapment games and Manichean choices, your my-team ‘ridiculing’ of people you can claim support destruction. Altruistic punishment is essential to human affairs but it is hard. It is mixed, it is complicated, it is shades of gray...
Live from Century City: Josh Barro says: Take panel questions via direct message. He is correct. Requiring questions to be less than 140 characters is a major technological innovation!
Live from Peet’s Coffee: It is official: after the last winter in Kansas City, I need a quad latte to be my best self for breakfast meetings.
Is it time for Rehab?
It's going to be eighteenth months of an unprofessional media clown show again, isn't it?
What’s the allegation against Hillary Clinton? The reason this is a story is the potential that there was some quid pro quo involved: that in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation and/or the speech Bill Clinton gave in Russia, Hillary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to make approval of this sale happen. It need not be explicit, but at the very least there has to be a connection between donations and official action that Clinton took.
What’s the evidence for that allegation? There isn’t any....
Live from the Beverly Hills Hilton: On my flight to LAX I watched the intro episode of “Star Trek: Enterprise”. First time watching the show.
Does it ever get better? Or do we deal with it in the same way we deal with the Star Wars prequels — i.e., pretend they never happened?
Live from the Roasterie: And If It Snows That Stretch Down South Won’t Ever Stand the Strain…
I must confess that I had thought that Wichita would have done much better in employment during the oil boom of the past seven years:
I think Ezra Klein nails this completely. The Washington DC press corps is not becoming better with time. It is becoming worse.
So I am going to make you read Ezra:
...ostensibly... lighthearted laughs. But it's evolved into a recital of brutal truths — albeit one neither side ever really admits happened. The joke of President Obama's performance on Saturday was that he wasn't joking. Everyone just had to pretend he was. Take this:
I think Corey Robin nails it here. My only objection is that he does not draw the links back to earlier, early twentieth-century attacks on "boring" politics--the "cretinism of parliaments" and similar doctrines:
Greg: What are you doing?
Me: Working on my Salon column.
Greg: What’s it on?
Me: George Packer.
Greg: Low-hanging fruit.
Live from La Farine: As I have said before, one important reason I was for Barack Hussein Obama rather than Hillary Rodham Clinton was my belief that America was now more sexist than racist and that Obama would be treated by the Republicans and the political class with the respect appropriate for a serious presidential candidate and for a president.
The second part of that belief was clearly wrong.
The first part, however, may well be right: get ready for the sewage avalanche:
Live from the Roasterie: Perhaps the strangest thing about hanging out on the Missouri-Kansas border is the moderate Republicans who come up to one: "Isn't the failure to expand Medicaid insane?" they say
Across the Wide Missouri: Does George Packer really think the purpose of American politics is to thrill him?
...The author, Nate Cohn, concluded, ‘It will be fun to watch.’ That was when he lost me.... The 2016 campaign doesn’t seem like fun to me.... If this is any kind of fun, it’s the kind of fun I associate with reading about seventeenth-century French execution methods, or watching a YouTube video of a fight between a python and an alligator. Fun in small doses, as long as you’re not too close....
I must say I did not know what to make of this a year ago. I know even less what to make of this now:
It’s a flawed analogy. Here’s why.
...long enough that I am seriously annoyed at the amount of time I've wasted on it, because that time could have been better spent reading a good book. Or even writing one. And I think I've finally hit my ohfuckitall point. Brad Torgersen has made himself the point man in this year's brouhaha--and I have patiently slogged through his endless blogs, his self-serving sideways denials, his squalid victim racket, and his astonishing refusal to recognize that he has committed all the same sins he is now projecting onto others.