Pope Francis
September 25th, 2015

In case you were looking for all of the JVL pope tour coverage in one place:

Pope Francis: Menace or Farce?

The Pope Dismisses Cuban Dissidents

President Selfie Stick Welcomes Pope Tambourines

Francis and the Bishops

Day 3: The Tambourining

I’m looking forward to the Holy Father making an impassioned plea for protection of Christians in the Middle East later today at the United Nations.* Either that or another call for climate change legislation.


*Don’t forget: his real reason for being here is The Family!


Why do liberals love Islam? (Updated)
September 22nd, 2015

Pursuant to this post, where I wondered why it is that American liberals seem so eager to embrace the idea of Muslim politicians, Galley Friend X has a theory:

I increasingly think the Democrat/Muslim union has to do with old-fashioned relativism. Democrats don’t actually believe that women’s rights and gay rights apply to everyone; white people: sure. Arabs? Well, who am I to judge? And Muslims know this.

When Robby George is just dumbfounded as to why all these Muslims support the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage, the answer seems pretty clear to me: They’re supporting the party of abortion on demand and gay marriage for infidels. In Dearborn, it doesn’t matter one whit what Tony Kennedy says about the Sweet Mystery of Life. Ms. DeBoer has the right to get married to another woman; but if Fatimah thinks she does, too, then her cousin Ahmed will disabuse her of that idea very quickly.

Update: The Gormogons’ ŒV (who’s also a Galley Friend) has another theory:

I think the issue is more that they see Muslims as a new potential mascot group that they can champion and therefore obtain that cheap sense of moral superiority that comes with riding in like a white knight. I think a lot of liberal attitudes towards minorities aren’t actually based on the good of the minorities, but how good it makes the liberals feel to champion them. Muslims are (as of now) a tiny, insignificant minority. They’re mostly kinda swarthy, so the “it’s racism” meme is easily transferable, and a significant chunk of liberals loathe Christianity (without actually knowing much about it), so Islam looks respectable by comparison (à la Judaism or with the exotic frisson that’s made lobotomized Buddhism so trendy). It’s telling that people who talk about the American Taliban and Christianism aren’t often all that upset about the actual Taliban or Islamism—which suggests that they’re viewing everything through the lens of their immediate experience and values—one of the most important of which is proving that they are of the superior class of Caring® and Smart® people who should be given power on that basis and disagreement with whom is prima facie evidence of evil and stupidity which latae sententiae excommunicates you from the circle of decency and human worth. You think otherwise; your argument is invalid, QED. So the whole “Let’s not be beastly to the Muslims” is just another stick to hit the people they actually, vehemently hate: white Christian Republicans, like the folks back home in Terre Haute (I’M TALKING TO YOU UNCLE PHIL! DIDN’T YOU SEE STEPHEN COLBERT DISEMBOWEL THAT GUY?!)

That’s my suspicion anyway.

September 22nd, 2015

The reason blogging has been so light is that I’ve been racing to finish the stunning conclusion of the Virtues trilogy and as of last Friday, the final installment (Revenge of the Virtues*) is off to the publisher.

Since I have a bunch of free time on my hands I’ve been doing some actual writing. Pope Francis: Menace or Farce is just in time for the Holy Father’s visit. (Spoiler alert–the answer is “both”.) Then there’s a quick react to Scott Walker’s drop-out. And finally, a little defense of Ben Carson’s discomfort with having an orthodox Muslim president–and the media’s ridiculous preening about how they would love a “real” Muslim POTUS. Because orthodox Muslims are so great on gay rights and the war on women.


* Not the actual title. Real title is The Christmas Virtues. You’ll never guess what it’s about.



White House, Secret Service, Park Police
September 21st, 2015

This story is amazing: There’s a big candle-light vigil scheduled to be held in Lafayette Park over the weekend for a group of kids with cancer and their families. And the Park Service and Secret Service decide to shut the park down and clear everyone out.

And not just for a few minutes. For hours.

So who’s to blame for this insanity? The Park Service and the Secret Service can usually be counted on to over-react and treat citizens as badly as they want to. In general, both organizations tend to view the public as a nuisance, if not an outright menace. (See here and here, just for starters.)

But then you get to this part of the story:

The candlelight vigil came about partly because of the group’s inability to persuade the White House to light up the mansion in gold as a symbol of support for the cause, as it has done for other causes, organizers said. So they decided to hold a candlelight vigil of their own. Last year was the first.

The group had a permit to stage an event from 7 to 9 p.m., Stoddard said. They had already set up a stage for speakers and an acoustic musical performance, and welcoming music had started to play, when authorities ejected them.

Kids with cancer < Gay marriage. Message received, loud and clear. Fair’s fair, I guess. It’s not like kids with cancer are a big Democratic constituency.

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Rubio Goes Alpha Dog
September 15th, 2015

As Galley Friend X suggested earlier, Rubio is the one guy Trump is going to have a hard time out-alpha-ing:


A Trump Theory
September 14th, 2015

Yet more from Galley Friend X:

I increasingly think the Trump phenomenon is best explained by Tom Wolfe’s book A Man in Full. There are obvious similarities between Trump and Croker: both real estate developers, both on the wrong side of lenders, both arrogant, both adopt a trade-in policy for wives. It’s about an insecure narcissist’s relationship with masculinity, which is basically Trump.

And that shows why he does what he does vis-a-vis his opponents–and why it works. He’s a real man and they’re sissies and he lets them know it.

“Carson? Guys like me hire doctors–and good ones. Fiorina? I hire Stanford poindexters to run my companies. But she did a bad job. To be honest I would have fired her if she did that bad a job in one of my companies. Romney? I take his money; guys like Romney don’t build anything, they just shuffle paper. Fuck them. Jeb? He has built nothing with his inheritance. He married a Mexican and went into politics because he knew from the start he wouldn’t cut it in the real world. I bet he’ll become a college professor after this. Walker? He shops at Kohl’s! I golf with Kohlses. Cruz? He could argue my bankruptcy case–on appeal; nerds like him are not very good before juries. They’re not. Kasich? I’ll give him a no-show job between his government gigs. It’ll get me some permits in Ohio. Assuming I want to build anything in Ohio, which I don’t. Christie? Fat; should run for President of Krispy Kreme. Jindal? Nerd. Probably didn’t even get into med-school. Graham? Please. Santorum? What’s he trying to prove with all those kids? He lost to a dead guy. Perry? Idiot; “uhhh … umm … uhhh.” Rand? Probably a shitty doctor and can’t afford a decent haircut.”

The only “non-loser” in the field seems to be Rubio. He’s a professional politician (not a professional in politics) which means he wins to eat. He also married a Dolphin’s cheerleader back when he was still poor. That has to steam the Donald.


In Other News . . .
September 8th, 2015

Blogging has been non-existant light for the last several weeks for reasons I’ll explain after next week. But in the meantime, here’s another note from Galley Friend X:

As you’ve probably heard, climate change is real, and if you disagree then f*ck you, because science.

Also, you’ve probably heard that it’s the biggest national security challenge that we face today, because Obama.

But I have to admit that this one’s new: evidently climate change also poses a major threat to the safety and security of the prison population. So much so that Columbia University has published an entire report on the subject.

Not just any study — a “groundbreaking” study. “The first systematic analysis of the correctional sector’s structural and legal vulnerabilities to high temperatures caused by climate change.”

And most importantly, it “offers recommendations for adaptation to address unique challenges that climate change poses for corrections.” Maybe Recommendation #1 is “turn up the air conditioning one or two degrees over the next century.”

On the bright side, rising sea levels would make Alcatraz and Rikers Island harder to escape.

One huge missed opportunity, though: The report obviously should have been titled “Caged Heat.”

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Lessig 2016!
September 8th, 2015

A fantastic note from Galley Friend X:

What’s the thought process on this Larry Lessig thing?Obama got elected twice and he didn’t even have tenure!

But maybe he’ll replace the State of the Union with a TEDx talk.
Also, he has a tremendous logo: