Saturday, April 21, 2018

David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left — Volume 9

At Amazon, David Horowitz, The Black Book of the American Left — Volume 9: Ruling Ideas.

When I began the project of describing this movement in the 1980s, the emergence of the left as a mainstream force in Amer­ica’s political life was fairly recent and inadequately understood. Conservatives in particular often failed to appreciate the anti-American animus of the left and its apocalyptic goals. At the same time, conservatives imprudently accepted the left’s deceptive claims to be “liberal” and “progressive,” ascribing to it idealistic intentions that masked its malignant designs. The contents of these volumes were conceived as a corrective to these false and disarming impressions. This is the ninth and final volume of my writings about progressivism, a movement whose goals are the destruc­tion of America’s social contract at home and the defeat of American power abroad.

The primary source of this confusion is the fact that left-wing politics are based on expectations of an imaginary future rather than assessments of a usable past. The left’s primary focus is not on practical improvements based on an analysis of previous prac­tices, or a conception of the limits imposed by human nature, but on changes designed to satisfy the moral prejudices that make up the leftist faith.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the left’s quest for “equality,” which is the organizing principle of its “transformative” propos­als. Equality before the law is a foundational principle of American democracy and its pluralistic community. But this is not the equality proposed by the left, which demands instead an unrealiz­able and destructive equality of outcomes. In the real world human inequalities of talent, intelligence, physical attributes and application are immutable facts of life, which result in inequalities of wealth and power. The seeds of social inequality are planted in the human genome and are nourished by disparate cultures, which include circumstances of birth and upbringing that governments cannot control. Attempts to establish such control have invariably resulted in the most repressive regimes in human history, and in the end have failed to produce either equality or wealth.

The ideal of an egalitarian future is doomed to failure because it is unanchored in any human reality. It is sustained as an ideal because it allows advocates to regard themselves as revolutionary pioneers of a “better world.” It further prompts believers to devalue the present and dismiss the past, which allows them to distance themselves from the destructive results of their social experiments. Thus progressives habitually dismiss the disasters they have engineered, however epic in scope, by attributing the monstrous results to inadvertent “mistakes,” when they were in fact the logical consequences of their Utopian ideas.

When the Soviet socialist system collapsed, progressives cre­ated an artificial distinction between the ideal, which they called “real socialism,” and the disaster, which they called “actually existing socialism.” This allowed them to avoid any recognition of their role in the human catastrophe they had supported and served for generations. Consequently, the experience had no lessons for progressives because in their self-absolving view it wasn’t “real socialism.” This delusion has now been passed to the next genera­tions as a result of the left’s infiltration of America’s educational system and its transformation into a training and recruitment cen­ter for collectivist causes and ideas.

The current term leftists use to describe their Utopian vision of the future is “social justice” rather than communism or socialism.

The new name is part of a familiar process by which the left attempts to shed the disasters of its past. One would be hard-put to distinguish the goals encapsulated by “social justice” from the communist attitudes of previous generations. Like communism, “social justice” is a promise of harmony and redemption. Like communism it describes a future in which inequality, poverty, big­otry and the timeless corruptions of the human spirit are miracu­lously rectified by political parties and the state. Like communism, “social justice” requires for its realization a remake of humanity. Like communism, therefore, it can only be achieved through the destruction of individual freedom, and the thwarting of normal human desires and interests in order to achieve an allegedly greater social good.

The bloody history of progressive experiments during the 20th century should have buried the illusion that human beings can be transformed into creatures radically different from what they have been for the five thousand years in which their actions have been recorded. Human societies are reflections of the human beings who create them, not the other way around. Inequality, bigotry, hypocrisy and greed are elements of a genome that thousands of years of evolution have failed to alter or repair. As a result, progres­sive states dedicated to “social justice” have flooded the earth with the corpses of innocents who stood in their way, and created poverty and misery on an unprecedented scale. Yet the religious fantasy of a liberated future persists to this day among an alarming array of constituencies, and the left’s assault on individual free­dom proceeds as though these historical tragedies had never taken place.

The tenacity of the progressive illusion and its imperviousness to experience are natural effects of its religious nature. The solace provided to believers through hope in a redeemed future is as existentially crucial as a belief in God or in life after death. It makes relinquishing the illusion as devastating as a loss of religious faith. How else explain the persistence of a fantasy that has proven so destructive?

Since the industrial revolution, the progressive illusion has been encouraged by advances in technology that might seem to augur human possibility without limit. Yet to date these advances, however impressive, have not led to dramatic improvements in human behavior — specifically its moral dimensions — let alone the degree of improvement that Utopian visions require. Meanwhile, the same advances have produced new technologies of totalitarian control along with vastly amplified means of destruction that serve to magnify human barbarism and put into question the very survival of civilization.

Half a century ago Friedrich Hayek described “social justice” as a mirage. Hayek observed that there is no entity called “society” to redistribute wealth, or to re-calibrate the social order. There are only individuals belonging to political factions that vie for power and then wield it through their power in the state. “Social jus­tice,” therefore, is necessarily the work of individuals driven by the same greed, prejudice, and habits of deceit that created the injustices progressives propose to repair. In its real-world practice “social justice” is, and can only be, the self-justifying rationale of a new despotism—worse than the old because its first agenda is a war against freedom, in particular the freedom of individuals to resist the social redeemers and their plans.

This was the conclusion I reached forty years ago under the influence of Hayek and the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski, and why I resolved to devote the second half of my life—and eventually the nine volumes of this work—to analyzing and opposing this destructive cause.
I'm looking forward to reading this volume.

ICYMI: Roger Scruton, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands

At Amazon, Roger Scruton, Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left.

Roger Scruton photo fools-frauds-and-firebrands_zpsdqui8dq5.jpg

Literary Theory's Stifling Uniformity

From Neema Parvini, at Quillette, "The Stifling Uniformity of Literary Theory":
In 1976, the Nobel-prize winning economist, F.A. Hayek, published The Mirage of Social Justice, the second volume of his magnum opus Law, Legislation and Liberty.1 Despite being widely regarded as the definitive critique of social justice, today one would be lucky to find advocates of social justice in the academy who are familiar with the name ‘Hayek’, let alone those who have read him. Among classical liberals, libertarians, and conservatives alike, Hayek is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century whose The Road to Serfdom represents one of the most powerful arguments against socialism ever written.2 But those in the academy who have perpetuated socialist ideas since the 1980s have practically ignored it. In this article, I will argue that this unwillingness to engage with the ‘other side’ is not only endemic in the radical intellectual schools that have overtaken literary studies, but also that it is symptomatic of their entire way of thinking which, being hermetically sealed and basically circular in its argumentation, has no language to deal with critics beyond reactive moral condemnation.

Many universities and colleges currently advertise literary theory courses which purport to introduce students to a range of different approaches to literary texts. On paper, it looks like as many as ten or fifteen different approaches. The labels proliferate: new historicism, cultural materialism, materialist feminism, ecofeminism, postcolonialism, deconstruction, structuralism, poststructuralism, race theory, gender theory, queer theory, postmodernism … the list might go on. This extensive list of labels seems to signal genuine range and diversity; however, in terms of their ideas, these approaches are somewhat narrower in scope and focus than one might expect. Virtually every approach listed here lays claim to be ‘radical’, which is to say politically of the left or even hard left – with roots in Marxist theory – hostile to capitalism, the Enlightenment, classical liberalism, liberal humanism, and even to the West itself. Virtually all are also committed to ‘social justice’. It must be noted that, since about 1980, these labels accurately register the genesis of literary studies as a discipline, but what they do not register is that, as they were rising, dissenting voices were systemically hounded out of the academy.

For example, in 1985, Sir Roger Scruton – now famous as a philosopher and public intellectual – wrote a book called Thinkers of the New Left in which he was strongly critical of continental theorists such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Jacques Lacan, and others.3 In stark contrast to the sometimes-wilful obscurantism of those he critiqued, Scruton wrote in plain prose and expressed ideas with clarity. Perhaps precisely because it laid the ideas bare, the book was greeted with howls of derision, and viciously attacked by scholars who had become disciples of Foucault et al. The publisher, Longman, was threatened with boycotts and risked being sent to the academic equivalent of the gulag if they did not stop selling the book, going as far as withdrawing copies from bookshops. As far as I can see, one thing that the episode did not produce is an intelligent response to any of the criticisms Scruton raised or, indeed, a single moment of critical self-reflection from any of those who had reacted so angrily. In effect, he was shut down and chased from academia.

In another infamous case, in 1988, Richard Levin, who was a Professor of English at the State University of New York, published an article in the PMLA – one of the premier journals in literary studies – outlining some of his problems with recent feminist studies of Shakespeare. The gist of Levin’s critique was that feminist readings of Shakespeare all seemed to reach similar conclusions. In his own words, ‘the themes employed in [feminist] interpretations are basically the same. Although the terminology may vary, these criticisms all find that [Shakespeare’s] plays are about the role of gender in the individual and society’.4 Now, one might expect a firm rebuttal to this charge from the scholars he was critiquing, and rightly so, but this is not what Levin received. Instead, the following year, a letter was published in the PMLA signed by twenty-four literary critics lambasting the journal for having the temerity to publish such an essay.5 It was not so much an academic response, but the public denunciation of a heretic – made more chilling because so many of the signatories worked on the Reformation, an era in which such burnings at the stake were de rigueur. Professor Levin, they argued, should not even be teaching literature. I remember when I first read of this episode while conducting research for my doctorate;6 I was not only appalled at Levin’s treatment, but also confounded by the utter refusal of these twenty-four scholars to engage in substantive argument. I remember it as a moment of profound disillusionment with the profession I was about to pursue, and it marked a turning point in how I would view the work of some of those who had signed it. Years later, during a podcast interview, I asked one prominent Shakespearean, who is strongly associated with the radical new approaches of the 1980s (but not a signatory of the letter), if he remembered Levin.7 The answer I got back was, ‘no one paid any attention to him; Levin was nowhere’. Again, I was struck by reasoning that seemed based entirely on what Aristotle would have called ‘ethos’, that is, the judgement of the person’s character as opposed to their arguments.8

If one understands the underlying theories, then it is not difficult to see why this happens. Despite significant differences, all the approaches I listed above assume that:
1. There is no universal human nature.
2. Human beings are primarily a product of their time and place.
3. Therefore, power, culture, ideologies, and the social institutions that promulgate them have an extraordinary capacity to shape and condition individuals.
4. In Western societies, since these institutions have been dominated by people who were predominantly rich, straight, white, and male it has tended towards pushing the particular interests of rich straight white men to the detriment of all other groups.
5. Furthermore, these rich straight white men have done this by acting as if their sectional interests were universal and natural – a flagrant lie.
6. Importantly, however, few if any of these rich white straight men were consciously aware of doing this, because they were themselves caught in the matrices of power, culture, ideologies and so on.
7. Where subordinated groups have gone along with these power structures, they have been exploited and the victims of ‘false consciousness’.
8 Now is the time to redress this balance by exposing the ways in which old texts have promoted the sectional interests of the rich straight white men and by promoting the voices of the historically marginalised groups.
Once this basic structure is understood, one can quickly see that the extensive list which seems like it represents a diverse range of approaches, in fact only promotes different flavours of a single approach. All that changes from one to the next are the specific groups of oppressors and oppressed as well as the structuring principle to which all individuals are invisibly in thrall. One might begin to represent it as follows...

Keep reading.


ICYMI: Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.



Satire from Alexandra Petri

Apparently she's good at this: Last year, one of her pieces of satire made the official press briefing list in the Trump White House.

At WaPo, "It is too bad I have been silenced":

Every day I have to exist in this so-called free country of America, I fear that I may pay the ultimate price: not having column space in EVERY publication. Think carefully, America. Is it not a fearful thing to ask that people refrain from expressing every provocative thought that occurs to them? Is it not a hideous imposition that you are free to say anything you wish, but sometimes people will respond by saying they would not care to read what you have written, and do not think you ought to be given a large platform from which to express your haphazard thoughts, and they would rather not work with you if you have repeatedly suggested they are sub-human? We have been cast into the pit of Tartarus by many tiny hands! I cannot (metaphorically) breathe!

When I walk out each day onto the street (of ideas), I quake with fear that the (thought) police (who determine who gets to appear on panels with corporate sponsorships) may take me aside and silence me for good. Every morning, I wonder whether I will be able to go home to my family (as a columnist in a magazine or newspaper with a wide circulation). I live with this fear every day, and I can imagine nothing more chilling...

More.

Bullet Train Work Blows Past Cost Estimates

This is the biggest scam ever.

It's astounding that the Democrats can pull off these boondoggles, but the "sheeple" continue to vote them back in. Maybe a reckoning's coming? We're seeing some trouble brewing in cities around the state over the sanctuary law. Perhaps change will ripple into other policy areas as well.

At LAT, "High-speed rail project vastly underestimated cost of relocating utility lines beneath Fresno":

Buried beneath Fresno were some costly surprises for the California bullet train authority, which disclosed Tuesday that the price of utility relocations along a 29-mile section of railway has surged from a 2013 estimate of $69 million to $396 million.

Although it was known that moving gas lines, sewer pipes, water mains and communications wire to make way for the route would be more expensive than originally expected, the magnitude of the increase — nearly a six-fold jump — puts into better focus why the project's costs are rising so sharply.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority board on Friday took up the problem, hearing from its staff that the original estimate contained a number of miscalculations.

The number of linear feet of utilities that have to be moved was underestimated, as was the cost per foot for the job, according to a staff memo. Then, there were utilities that nobody even knew were in the ground. The authority changed its mind about some of the work, as well, the report said.

The original cost estimate was based on work performed by the rail authority's regional consultant, the staff memo said. It did not identify the company, but rail authority records indicate the regional consultant from before 2013 through at least 2015 was Los Angeles-based Aecom. By 2017, the company was no longer on the job. The company did not have an immediate response when contacted.

The history of the utility relocations suggests some turmoil in management decisions — which the rail authority staff said it would not repeat in the future.The original plan was to have AT&T and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. move their own equipment, rather than allow the main construction contractor, Tutor Perini, to do the work.

After getting started, however, the two utilities came back and told the rail authority that they were having trouble meeting the schedule. So, the rail authority handed the job to Tutor Perini in February 2017 and increased the budget to $159 million.

By September 2017, the rail authority arrived at a new cost estimate of $396 million, which was not made public until Tuesday. The price hike is part of the $2.8 billion in cost increases for the Central Valley work that were disclosed in January and were incorporated into the draft 2018 business plan released last month.

The higher costs would deplete the budget for the utility relocations by April, according to the staff memo. So the board approved moving $40 million from a future contract reserved for installing track in the Central Valley to cover the utility work in Fresno. That $40 million will fund the utility work until July, the memo said...
Total waste. This is actually sad. Just a minuscule fraction of that funding could finance 10s of thousands of underserved students at community college, and that'd be just a start.

Disgraceful is right. Sheesh.

Friday, April 20, 2018

ICYMI: Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling: A Novel.




ICYMI: Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie

*BUMPED.*

You gotta read this book, dang!

At Amazon, Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.



John Putnam Demos, Entertaining Satan

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, John Putnam Demos, Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England.



Nancy Houston, Love and Sex

At Amazon, Nancy Houston, Love & Sex: A Christian Guide to Healthy Intimacy.



'They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President'

Heh, this is hilarious.

At the Daily Beast, "Hillary Clinton on Election Night: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President’":


“No one in modern politics, male or female, has had to withstand more indignities, setbacks and cynicism. She developed protective armor that made the real Hillary Clinton an enigma. But if she was guarded about her feelings and opinions, she believed it was in careful pursuit of a dream for generations of Americans: the election of the country’s first woman president.”

That would have been the nut graf of The New York Times story about Hillary Clinton’s historic victory that would have run under the headline “Madam President” spread across six front-page columns, according to reporter Amy Chozick’s new book, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling.

Chozick writes that the Clinton campaign, which she covered from the beginning, had reacted furiously to the prospect of a Joe Biden run, as floated first in an August 2015 Maureen Dowd Times column and then in a reported story by Chozick. In the book, she writes that “Biden had confided (off the record) to the White House press corps that he wanted to run, but he added something like ‘You guys don’t understand these people. The Clintons will try to destroy me.’”

Throughout the book, Chozick refers to her fellow journalists in the small pool that flew on the campaign plane as “Travelers,” while referring to many Clinton staffers collectively as “The Guys.”

Asked to comment on the book, a former campaign staffer who’s referred to in it as one of “The Guys” told The Daily Beast: “The challenge on the campaign was that you had a reporter holding the Clintons to a higher standard through a lower standard of reporting. Amy was not always an honest broker, and this book seems to be more of the same. It ridicules people with a smile, contributing little to the public discourse.”

From early on, the Clinton camp saw Trump as an enemy to encourage, Chozick writes. During the campaign, as had been previously reported, there was an effort to elevate Trump into a so-called Pied Piper in order to tie him to the mainstream of the Republican Party.

“An agenda for an upcoming campaign meeting sent by [Campaign Manager] Robby Mook’s office asked, ‘How do we maximize Trump?’” Chozick writes, describing a time when the GOP primary was still crowded...


Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism

At Amazon, Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations.



Sweden's Collapse (VIDEO)

I can't think of a more attractive person --- and I mean "attractive" as literally attracting people to her ideas with so much persuasive, logical, and common sense power --- than Katie Hopkins.

Here's she's interviewed by Mark Steyn at Fox News:



The Authoritarian Right

This is interesting.

From old Pat Buchanan, "Why the Authoritarian Right is Rising":

A fortnight ago, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party won enough seats in the Hungarian parliament to rewrite his country’s constitution.

To progressives across the West, this was disturbing news.

For the bete noire of Orban’s campaign was uber-globalist George Soros. And Orban’s commitments were to halt any further surrenders of Hungarian sovereignty and independence to the European Union, and to fight any immigrant invasion of Hungary from Africa or the Islamic world.

Why are autocrats like Orban rising and liberal democrats failing in Europe? The autocrats are addressing the primary and existential fear of peoples across the West — the death of the separate and unique tribes into which they were born and to which they belong.

Modern liberals and progressives see nations as transitory — here today, gone tomorrow. The autocrats, however, have plugged into the most powerful currents running in this new century: tribalism and nationalism.

The democracy worshippers of the West cannot compete with the authoritarians in meeting the crisis of our time because they do not see what is happening to the West as a crisis.

They see us as on a steady march into a brave new world, where democracy, diversity and equality will be everywhere celebrated.

To understand the rise of Orban, we need to start seeing Europe and ourselves as so many of these people see us...
More.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Russell Banks, Cloudsplitter: A Novel.



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Roger Kimball, The Long March

*BUMPED.*

This book is so outstanding, I can't even...

At Amazon, Roger Kimball, The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America.



Leftist Media Obsessed with Sean Hannity (VIDEO)

Background at the Los Angeles Times, "Judge orders Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to reveal a secret client: Sean Hannity," and "Fox News supports Sean Hannity after just learning he's a client of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen."

And from last night's opening monologue, on Hannity:



Aly Raisman's Empowering Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

She's got a body that won't quit, dang!

At Sports Illustrated:



Soros' Antifa 'Protesters'

Bleedin' anarchist criminals.

At the Other McCain, "Tax-Exempt Terrorism: Cash From Soros Sponsors Communist ‘Antifa’ Group."


Hey, Normal Americans, Donˊt Worry About Us Locking Up Your Guns

At Director Blue:



Social Justice Standards for Seven-Year-Olds

*Eye-roll.*

Seen on Twitter just now:


ADDED:

Mama Gorilla Gives Baby Moke Tender Kisses (VIDEO)

This really is tender. It's almost like the mama gorilla is human. Imagine that.



Megan Parry Wonderful Weather Forecast

It's going to be about 70 today in the O.C. Very pleasant and relaxing.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:



Leftist Sociology Professor at Brookdale Community College Drops F-Bomb on Conservative Student

At Instapundit, "HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE":
Sociology prof swears at conservative student during class. “The student said he had contended that sexual abuse was not a problem exclusively dealt with by women, and that men can be affected too, causing the professor to shout ‘f— your life’ at him.”
There's really no respect in society any longer. I'm not surprised by leftist hatred and disrespect. I'm surprised when I meet and teach nice, well-mannered young people. I'm almost shocked to find out they're usually people of Christian faith.

'The tone of the article is that it's just very funny, but bashing an animal with a shovel isn't a joke...'

Oh my, this is awful.

And Bill de Blasio's the guy that dropped a groundhog.

At Althouse, "'De Blasio’s rat-killing demonstration is a complete disaster'..."

Woman 'Sucked Out' and Killed on Southwest Airlines Flight (VIDEO)

What a freakin' nightmare.

At CBS This Morning, "Southwest victim was partially sucked out of shattered window."

Playboy Playmate Jayde Nicole Flashes

At Drunken Stepfather, "JAYDE NICOLE FLASHING HER TITS OF THE DAY."

BONUS: "JAYDE NICOLE BIKINI OF THE DAY."

Randa Jarrar, English Professor at Fresno State, Cheers Death of Former First Lady Barbara Bush

This is really some hateful spew.

At the Fresno Bee, "Fresno State professor stirs outrage, calls Barbara Bush an 'amazing racist'."

And at Gateway Pundit, "Muslim Professor Cheers Death of Former First Lady Barbara Bush “Happy the Witch is Dead”."


Monday, April 16, 2018

Iceland's First Black Citizen

I love this story.

Hans Jonathan, a Danish slave from colonial St. Croix, was denied his freedom in Denmark and subsequently escaped to Iceland where he lived out the remainder of his life.

Iceland's really proud of this history. Denmark wants to bury it, the freakin' hypocritical "tolerant" Scandinavian progs.

At NYT, "Iceland’s 1st Black Citizen? An Ex-Slave and War Hero Denmark Now Disregards":


COPENHAGEN — Long after his death, Hans Jonathan has, at last, gotten some attention. He is the subject of a well-received biography and a groundbreaking genetic study, and is something of a celebrity in Iceland, where he is thought to have been the first black person.

But in Denmark, where Hans Jonathan (he had no surname) was a slave, fought in a war, lost a noted case on slavery, and escaped bondage by fleeing to Iceland, his extraordinary story has not drawn much interest.

An American descendant got a polite rejection when she asked the Danish government to declare him, posthumously, a free man. When people stroll past a five-story mansion that sits less than 100 yards from the royal Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen, there is no historical marker to tell of the Schimmelmann family who owned it, or the slaves they kept there, including Hans Jonathan.

“People who speak or write about slave trade and Danish colonialism speak to deaf ears,” said Gisli Palsson, a professor of anthropology at the University of Iceland, and author of “The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan.”

The colonial past has largely disappeared from Danish collective memory. The country has communities of people with historic ties to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, but relatively few residents whose ancestry traces to its former colonies in the Caribbean, Africa and India.

Danes’ long-ago status as slave owners and colonial masters rarely appears as a theme in mainstream culture. Today, Danish views of ethnic minorities are heavily influenced by recent tensions over waves of migration to Europe from the Middle East and Africa.

Other western European countries have had trouble squarely facing such history; many Belgians were unaware of the atrocities in Congo under Belgian rule until the past generation. But Denmark, with less of a colonial record to confront than some countries, has had more trouble confronting it, according to Mr. Palsson.

“Somehow it annoys them more than others knowing about this background,” he said.

Hans Jonathan was born in 1784 in St. Croix, then a Danish possession and now part of the United States Virgin Islands. His mother was a black house slave owned by the Schimmelmanns, a Danish-German family, and his father was a white man.

When he was about 7, the Schimmelmanns took him to Copenhagen. In 1801, he volunteered to fight with the Danish navy, and emerged unharmed from a fierce battle with British ships.

“It was crazy warfare,” said Mr. Palsson, whose biography of Hans Jonathan was published in Icelandic in 2014, and in English in 2016. “The ship was bombarded heavily.”

Hans Jonathan earned the support of his superior officers, who spoke on his behalf to the royal household. Denmark’s crown prince and de facto ruler, the future King Frederik VI, wrote in a letter that Hans Jonathan “is considered free and enjoys rights.”

The French revolution had unleashed new ideas about equality and liberty. Like several other colonial powers, Denmark still allowed slavery in the Caribbean, but abolition movements at home were gaining ground, and the status of slaves brought to Europe from the colonies was murky.

Henrietta Schimmelmann tried to reclaim Hans Jonathan and take him back to St. Croix, and he went to court to assert his freedom, in a case that was famous in its time. But he could not produce the letter from Prince Frederik, for reasons unknown, and in 1802, the court dismissed his claim and ordered him to return to the Schimmelmanns, who wanted to sell him in St. Croix...
More.

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Olivia Jordan in 2018 Debut (VIDEO)

Nice:



Sarah Kendzior, The View from Flyover Country

At Amazon, Sarah Kendzior, The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America.



Bryan Caplan, The Case Against Education

At Amazon, Bryan Caplan, The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money.



Hannah Arendt, Thinking Without a Banister

At Amazon, Thinking Without a Banister: Essays in Understanding, 1953-1975.

And a review at NYT:


Britney Spears at the GLAAD Media Awards

At IDLYITW, "Britney Spears Won a Glaad Award."


And on Twitter.

She's happy.

BONUS:


Since Apartheid Ended, A.N.C. Leaders Have Siphoned Off Tens of Billions of Dollars

Corruption. And pogroms against white Afrikaners.

That's the reality in South Africa today.

At NYT:



Danielle Gersh's Fine Weather Forecast

Well, I don't see the lovely beauty Ms. Jennifer posted at ABC News 10 San Diego this morning, so here's the fabulous Ms. Danielle, at CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Jennifer Delacruz Back from Vacation

Looking to post her Sunday night weather report but it's not up at the ABC 10 News YouTube page yet.

I'll post it later.

Meanwhile, here's your lovely lady on Twitter:


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Glenn Reynolds, The K-12 Implosion

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, The K-12 Implosion.



Today's Deals

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Here, Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans - Highest Quality Gourmet - Whole Bean Coffee - Fresh Roasted Coffee Beans, 32oz.

Still more, Samsung UN65MU6300FXZA 65" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model) Plus Terk Cut-the-Cord HD Digital TV Tuner and Recorder 16GB Hook-Up Bundle.

BONUS: Greg Lukianoff, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

Sitting at Starbucks While Black

Now that is messed up.

At CBS News Philadelphia, "‘Internal Investigation’ Underway Following Arrest at Philly Starbucks."


At at the Philadelphia Inquirer, via Memeorandum, "Video of two black men being removed from a Philadelphia Starbucks draws outrage, investigation."

I would have said something. I would've called out the cops. Or, is it the Starbucks staff? They called the cops? Starbucks sucks. I'm more and more inclined to boycott the fuckers, damn.

Lindsey Pelas vs. Abigail Ratchford

At WWTTD, "Lindsey Pelas vs. Abigail Ratchford and Crap Around the Web."

BONUS: SIZZLING LINDSEY PELAS CAN'T STOP POSTING STUNNING TOPLESS SHOTS ON INSTAGRAM.

Haley Kalil Takes Wet T-Shirt

Nice:



Angels Off to Best Start Since 1979

At LAT:


For a team that has been so much about one player, the Angels keep winning as a group.

On Friday, they made it six victories in a row with key offensive contributions from everyone from a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols, to a pinch-hitter, Luis Valbuena. Five relievers strung together four more shutout innings and catcher Rene Rivera gunned down Whit Merrifield attempting to steal second for the final out.

"It's a team win tonight," starting pitcher Andrew Heaney said after a 5-4 triumph over Kansas City. "I put us in a hole early and they came back. Everybody did a great job."

And that included, naturally, Shohei Ohtani, who has dominated the game and the headlines. This time, the rookie had two hits and scored the winning run.

What's more, the legend of Ohtani and his immense popularity swelled again as the Angels apparently requested that a group of his fans at Kauffman Stadium quell its passion, for the good of the star and his team.

"I heard it," Ohtani, through an interpreter, said of the vocal support he received. "I'm thankful for the cheer. But at the plate I try to focus and block out all the noise."

A local reporter, citing security personnel, noted that someone evidently with the Angels contacted authorities to ask that the clamor be tempered.

"I was aware of that," Ohtani said. "But I wasn't the one who asked for it. I think they just did it so everyone could kind of focus at the plate. I was thankful for that."

And so went another night at the ballpark for the Angels, who improved to 12-3, matching the 1979 club for the best record in franchise history after 15 games.

That '79 group then lost four straight, something that seems unlikely for these Angels...


Naomi Schaefer Riley, Be the Parent, Please

*BUMPED.*

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat: Strategies for Solving the Real Parenting Problems.



Emily Ratajkowski in Clear Rain Jacket

At Taxi Driver, "Emily Ratajkowski Topless in Clear Rain Jacket."

And at Harpers, "Emily Ratajkowski Just Wore Nothing but a See-Through Trench Coat and We Are Shook."

Lara Stone Luigi and Iango

At Snadgy, "Lara Stone Nude by Luigi and Iango."

And at Oh My Celeb, "Lara Stone – Red Sox magazine calendar 2018 by Luigi and Iango."

Sebastian Gorka: President Trump is Not an Interventionist (VIDEO)

I, for one, am happy we're bombing in Syria. It reverses the previous administration's red line and puts Russian and Iran on notice.

I like Sebastian Gorka, in any case. He's a good guy and well spoken.

At Fox & Friends:



U.S. Launches Military Strike on Syria

The leftist hypocrisy on Syria is mind-boggling.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Jonah Goldberg, Suicide of the West

*BUMPED.*

Hmm, I see a lot of really good non-fiction books coming out, which is going to delay my progress on my fiction book list, which is gargantuan.

At Amazon, Jonah Goldberg, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy.



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bipartisan Senate Bill to Protect Robert Mueller (VIDEO)

Mueller's investigation is out of control, and the Senate's advancing legislation to save his ass? That's messed up.

At Politico, via Memeorandum, "Bipartisan Senate bill to protect Mueller set to advance."

And the new video out today from Republicans for the Rule of Law, a.k.a., "Never Trumpers":



Frustrated Teacher Implores Parents to Stop 'Coddling and Enabling Their Children' (VIDEO)

At London's Daily Mail, "Texas teacher reveals how 'rude parents, disruptive children and poor pay' have forced her to quit her job in viral post - as she shares photos of classroom items 'destroyed' by her students."

And at the Other McCain, "K-12 Implosion Update."

Also at ABC News:



The Curse of Cultural Marxism

A new video from Pat Condell:



Heidi Klum on Vacation

At Taxi Driver, "Heidi Klum Topless and Wet on Vacation."

Have 1 in 5 College Women Been Raped?

No, "it isn't true."

Mark Zuckerberg Testifies on Capital Hill (VIDEO)

At LAT, "Mark Zuckerberg struggles to put his best Facebook forward during a day in the hot seat."



Sean Hannity Ends Feud with Jimmy Kimmel (VIDEO)

From Monday's night's show:



Laura Ingraham Blasts 'Stalinist' Leftists in Return to Fox News (VIDEO)

A phenomenal "The Angle" segment, from Monday's show:



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Among the Abortion Extremists

I don't know if Ross Douthat is the very best newspaper columnist out there. He seems like a quirky weird kind of guy, actually. But this is very good.

At NYT:

A few weeks ago, The Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor, Ruth Marcus, wrote two columns explaining why, had either of her children been diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero, she would have accepted the “ghastly” nature of a second-trimester abortion and terminated the pregnancy. She conceded that people with Down syndrome can be happy and fulfilled, that both they and their parents might be understandably disturbed by the way abortion can effectively cull them from the world. But she concluded with self-acknowledged bluntness: “That was not the child I wanted.”

I know Marcus a little, having chatted with her amiably a few times many years ago. She seemed like a lovely person, like so many of my pro-choice friends; indeed, people who believe firmly in an absolute or near-absolute right to an abortion are effectively my people in a certain tribal way, given that I’m a Connecticut Yankee raised by Bill Clinton-voting boomers and educated in the modern meritocracy. I like these folks; I think they mean well; I try to listen to their arguments with the respect that the sincere and intelligent deserve.

But I also think that they are deceived by a cruel ideology that has licensed the killing of millions of innocents for almost 50 years. In the language that the respectable use to banish views without rebuttal, I regard them — friends and colleagues and faithful readers — as essentially extremists, for whom the distinctive and sometimes awful burdens that pregnancy imposes on women have become an excuse to build a grotesque legal regime in which the most vulnerable human beings can be vacuumed out or dismembered, killed for reasons of eugenics or convenience or any reason at all.

I am sharing these reflections in the context of the latest media war over whether a particular conservative columnist should be hired by a particular establishment publication — in this case Kevin Williamson, a National Review scribe with a brilliant pen and a long paper trail of insults and wild opinions, who was boldly hired by The Atlantic and then quickly jettisoned, after it came to light that he had not only suggested hanging as a penalty for abortion in a since-deleted tweet but also more carefully defended the idea of someday prosecuting women who obtain abortions the way we prosecute other forms of homicide...
Keep reading.


How to Level the College Playing Field

This is interesting, especially for me, a community college political science professor, struggling with low student academic achievement.

See, Harold O. Levy with Peg Tyre, at NYT:

The wealthy spend tens of thousands each year on private school tuition or property taxes to ensure that their children attend schools that provide a rich, deep college preparatory curriculum. On top of that, many of them spend thousands more on application coaches, test-prep tutors and essay editors. They take their children on elaborate college tours so that their children can “find the right fit” at schools with good names and high graduation rates. Enrollment strategists at these same schools seek applicants from areas where the data they buy confirms that income levels and homeownership are high.

The colleges make efforts to open up access to low-income students while at the same time culling applications in ways that give an advantage to the very wealthy — from the persistence of legacy admissions to the back door reserved for young athletes who excel in sports that flourish in rarefied communities like lacrosse, squash, rowing and fencing. Admissions officers don’t talk much about “development” admissions, students whose applications are favored in hopes their parents will eventually endow a new stadium or dorm. Increasing numbers of prospective freshmen apply for early decision, which can give the applicant a stronger chance of getting in but closes doors for middle-income students, who often need to make their college choice by comparing financial aid packages. No wonder, then, that in a group of 38 selective colleges, including five in the Ivy League, more students came from families in the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.

Creating a true meritocracy in higher education would require serious, politically daring changes to our housing policies and the tax code, neither of which seems likely in the current climate. Yet people of means (and I include myself here) are complicit in a system that seems unable to stop itself from extending privileges to the privileged. If your late-model car boasts the sticker of a prestigious college in the back window, you are participating in a system that may be good for your child but bad for our country...
RTWT.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Annalisa Blaha

At Drunken Stepfather, "ANNALISA BLAHA TOPLESS SHOOT OF THE DAY."

Gold Box Deals

At Amazon, Today's Deals. New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

And see, especially, Torq TORQX Random Orbital Polisher Kit (9 Items).

Also, TAC FORCE Spring Assisted Opening BLACK Tactical Rescue Folding Pocket Knife NEW.

And, LG 55UJ6300 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model) + HDMI 1080p High Definition DVD Player + Solo X3 Bluetooth Home Theater Sound Bar + 2x HDMI Cable + LED TV Screen Cleaner.

BONUS: Tommy Robinson, Enemy of the State.

Huntington Beach Voting to Sue California Over its Sanctuary City Laws

Here's Amanda Head, for Rebel Media:



And at Fox News, via Memeorandum, "Has the California backlash against liberal craziness finally begun?"


Elizabeth R. Varon, Appomattox

At Amazon, Elizabeth R. Varon, Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War.



Divided Americans Can Unite

Well, it ain't gonna be easy.

But see Salena Zito, at the New York Post, "History Proves America Can Unite Even When Torn in Two":

APPOMATTOX, VA. — On April 9, 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee strode onto the porch of a two-story brick home and stared out at a lawn filled with Union soldiers, his Confederate staff of two, and his horse Traveler.

Still wearing full military dress, Lee raised his gloved hands and punched his left fist into his right palm. The sound of leather meeting leather echoed in the unsteady silence.

Then, as Lee mounted Traveler, Major Gen. Ulysses S. Grant emerged from the house onto the porch.

Now facing each other, Grant raised his hat, as did Lee. It wasn’t a salute, but clearly an acknowledgment of the moment.

As Lee turned towards the dirt road and headed east towards his troops, the 198th Pennsylvania Infantry played “Auld Lang Syne.”

The Civil War was over.

“As the sun rose that morning neither man would know by mid-afternoon the war, for all intents and purposes, would end that day,” explained Ernie Price, a park ranger and director of education at Appomattox National Park.

But by mid-morning, Lee knew the Confederate cause was finished. He sent a message to Grant to meet for the purpose of surrender, and the Appomattox home of grocer Wilmer McLean was chosen for the moment.

When they met, Grant was poorly dressed, his uniform rumpled and covered in mud from the ride the night before. Years later in his memoirs, he admitted that he had no idea what he was going to ask from Lee in the surrender.

Yet, once he sat down at a small spindle desk in McLean’s front parlor, words of reconciliation poured out.

“Grant knew that the Confederate soldiers from that moment on were going to be US citizens again,” said Price. “Instead of placing them in prisons in the North he sends them home. His reasoning is: The sooner the South’s economy rebounds, the sooner the country can reconcile, so he paroles them.”

Grant also allowed Lee’s men to keep their personal sidearms and animals, knowing they would desperately need rations to survive.

This week marks the 153rd anniversary of Appomattox, and tourists from around the world still come to the McLean home to remember this singular moment, which kept our nation whole after a bloody, brutal war. When I visited last month, parents, students and children listened to different park rangers tell the story of the two generals, and were surprised by the emotion they felt.

“I wish more people young and old would understand the gravity of this moment and apply that kind of grace in their daily lives,” said 13-year-old Mathilde Colas, with remarkable clarity, as she visited with her family. “It is certainly easier to bring people together if you are generous with your words and actions. That is what I learned most from our visit today.”

The best and the worst of our country’s past sometimes happens side by side. The journey to understand who we once were isn’t always a road to perdition. Sometimes it’s a path toward inspiration...
More.

Jason Riley, Please Stop Helping Us

At Amazon, Jason Riley, Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.



Jason Riley, False Black Power?

At Amazon, Jason Riley, False Black Power?

And watch, via Prager U:



Danielle Gersh's Warm Weather Forecast

It's going to be around 90 throughout the Southland today, wonderful warm weather.

Here's the lovely Ms. Danielle, for CBS News 2 Los Angeles:



Tehran's Advantage in a Turbulent Middle East

From Vali Nasr, at Foreign Affairs, "Iran Among the Ruins":


Over the last seven years, social upheavals and civil wars have torn apart the political order that had defined the Middle East ever since World War I. Once solid autocracies have fallen by the wayside, their state institutions battered and broken, and their national borders compromised. Syria and Yemen have descended into bloody civil wars worsened by foreign military interventions. A terrorist group, the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), seized vast areas of Iraq and Syria before being pushed back by an international coalition led by the United States.

In the eyes of the Trump administration, and those of a range of other observers and officials in Washington and the region, there is one overriding culprit behind the chaos: Iran. They point out that the country has funded terrorist groups, propped up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and aided the anti-Saudi Houthi rebels in Yemen. U.S. President Donald Trump has branded Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” with a “sinister vision of the future,” and dismissed the nuclear agreement reached by it, the United States, and five other world powers in 2015 as “the worst deal ever” (and refused to certify that Iran is complying with its terms). U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has described Iran as “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.” And Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has charged that “Iran is on a rampage.”

Washington seems to believe that rolling back Iranian influence would restore order to the Middle East. But that expectation rests on a faulty understanding of what caused it to break down in the first place. Iran did not cause the collapse, and containing Iran will not bring back stability. There is no question that many aspects of Iran’s behavior pose serious challenges to the United States. Nor is there any doubt that Iran has benefited from the collapse of the old order in the Arab world, which used to contain it. Yet its foreign policy is far more pragmatic than many in the West comprehend. As Iran’s willingness to engage with the United States over its nuclear program showed, it is driven by hardheaded calculations of national interest, not a desire to spread its Islamic Revolution abroad. The Middle East will regain stability only if the United States does more to manage conflict and restore balance there. That will require a nuanced approach, including working with Iran, not reflexively confronting it.
You can see why leftists love this article, heh.

More.