Friday, September 09, 2022

To the Gulf Coast Highway

I've often thought you can judge the qaulity of a song by the artists that choose to record their own version of it. With that in mind, here are links to several Youtube videos of the song "Gulf Coast Highway" by a wide variety of artists:

By the original songwriters, Nanci Griffith and James Hooker

By Bruce Springsteen

By Emmylou Harris and Dave Matthews

By Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson

By Evangeline and Jimmy Buffett

By Kate Rusby

By Red Molly

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Let's Get the Guns!

In the aftermath of the tragic shootings in New York and Texas, I see a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter that are very sure that if we ban guns this sort of thing will stop. Taking them at their word I say sure, let’s do it! Ban them all! Here’s a step-by-step guide describing how we go about it.

1. Before we can do anything, we must repeal the Second Amendment. This will require ratification by 3/4ths of the state legislatures, or 38 states. And we need to get started now, because states like Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, and Nevada are going to be a tough sell on this one. California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois will probably go for it pretty quickly, but it’s going to be a long haul everywhere else. And once we have succeeded in repealing the second of the original 1791 Bill of Rights, we are just getting started.

2. 45 states have gun rights written into their state constitutions. So, having successfully repealed the federal right to bear arms, we are going to have to start in at the state level, convincing people all across the country to give up their freedoms, again in places like Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and Kentucky. Hawaii and Massachusetts should be pretty simple though. One would think that a place like Connecticut might be ready to go along as well, but consider this: Connecticut required residents to register their “assault weapons” way back in 2013, and out of an estimated 372,000 such weapons, approximately 50,000 (or 14%) were registered. This is a remarkably low compliance rate for a reliably blue state, and we’re not talking registration this time, we’re talking elimination, and we're not talking assault weapons, we're talking all weapons! So we’re going to have to do a lot better, even in the blue states.

3. Pass laws banning firearms. Having successfully repealed the second amendment and its state counterparts, we will have to pass laws outlawing firearms. That will entail electing A LOT of anti-gun legislators at the federal level and even more at the state level. We better start fundraising right now, because we are going to have to win thousands of elections at all levels of government to get this thing done.

4. Let’s go get ‘em! Having completed steps 1 through 3, it’s time to collect the firearms, all 400 million of them. And it won’t be easy. First we will have to go door to door, searching every home and apartment without a warrant. We simply don’t know who owns all these guns, so there is no probable cause to search any specific location or residence: we’ll simply have to search them all: every home, apartment, condo, backyard shed, and storage unit. And this will be a very dangerous task, given that people won’t want to simply hand over their guns. We will have to send legions of heavily armed federal and state law enforcement officers door to door, confiscating weapons at gunpoint in many cases. Remember the Charlton Heston “from my cold dead hands” crowd? They really mean that. Furthermore, this gun search and seizure regime will necessarily include every minority community and subsidized housing project, and that won't go over very well. We will also need a national “stop and frisk” law to successfully confiscate weapons from gang bangers, homeless folks, Antifa types, BLM members, and various other street people. The ACLU won’t be happy about any of this of course, but it must all be done to protect the children.

So let’s get started! No more talk about “doing something” or “military grade weapons of war.” No more making fun of under-endowed men or joking about shooting deer wearing kevlar vests. Let’s do what it takes to make this happen!

Hat tip for a more thorough and snarky version of this same idea: Charles Cooke

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rachel Alexander explains how the left targets Republicans they can't beat on election day:

It has been almost five years since former Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens tragically died in a plane crash, and over six years since he left the Senate in humiliation. The left viciously targeted him when he was 84, abusing the legal system using classic Alinsky tactics until Stevens' name and career were utterly destroyed.

Unable to beat Republicans at the ballot box as often as they want, the left now selectively targets Republicans who are less likely to be able to defend themselves, frequently using the Democrat dominated legal system to tie them up in court for years, destroy them financially and tarnish their reputations. Stevens came from a sparsely populated rural state, and so was an easy target not having the support of a strong conservative news source or powerful local conservative organizations. His takedown, along with that of Tom DeLay, have become prototypes on how to crush top influential Republicans using the legal system. Since the witch hunts against them, the left has copied that method to go after Dinesh D'Souza, Bob McDonnell, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Rick Perry to name a few.

Victor Davis Hanson on the Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy:

The point is that Mrs. Clinton has neither a past record that she is proud to run on nor support for an Obama administration tenure that she will promise to continue. She is not a good speaker and has a disturbing habit of switching accents in amateurish attempts to mimic regional or racial authenticity. She accentuates her points by screaming in shrill outbursts, and dismisses serious questions by chortling for far too long. She is deaf to human cordiality, has a bad temper, and treats subordinates with haughty disdain. In that sense she is more authentic than her equally callous and narcissistic, but charismatic husband.

What Then?

What is then left? Actually one motif.

Hillary is both a victim and trailblazer. Her disastrous record of unethical and illegal activities - shaking down foreigners for donations to her foundation while secretary of State, creating her exclusive server for a private email account, destroying all her emails after admitting that she was judge and jury of what were and were not government records - is instead proof of right-wing McCarthyism.

Those who attack her are afraid of a woman president and what she represents - an inclusive social agenda that protects gays, women, and minorities from right-wing hooliganism and religious bigotry, fire-and-brimstone anti-abortionists who want entrance into our bedrooms and to erect glass ceilings to thwart feminists, reincarnations of Bull Connors and Lester Maddoxes who would put blacks back in chains, nativists and restrictionists who hide their racism by faux calls for border enforcement, and greedy speculators and stock manipulators who care little for the 99%.

That is Hillary Clinton's past, present, and future. There is nothing more. No record - ever - of success, no innate charm, eloquence, brilliance, or campaign savviness. And given her iconic female candidacy, her turn, her money - and the lack of an alternative - Hillary Clinton needs no agenda, whether a past one to defend or a future one to rally to.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ann Coulter on the epidemic of fake rape reports at colleges and universities:

The UVA fake rape is even worse than the Duke lacrosse team fake rape. The accused fraternity hadn't even courted danger by hiring a stripper. They were going about their lives, minding their own business, when, out of the blue, Rolling Stone, the president of their university, and a fiendish coed decided to accuse them of a monstrous crime.

If UVA's much vaunted "honor code" means anything, it ought to mean the permanent expulsion of a girl who was willing to ruin the lives of men she had never met by accusing them of gang-rape -- just to get the attention of a guy she liked.

Here's what UVA says about its honor code:
The University of Virginia's Honor Code is at once an injunction and an aspiration. The injunction is simple: students pledge never to lie, cheat, or steal, and accept that the consequence for breaking this pledge is permanent dismissal from the University. It is for its aspirational quality, however, that the Honor Code is so cherished: in leading lives of honor, students have continuously renewed that unique spirit of compassion and interconnectedness that has come to be called the Community of Trust. In the words of the Michael Suarez, S.J., Professor of English, "honor calls us to be honorable to each other not merely by not committing transgressions, but also by doing reverence to the other in our midst."
Finally, here's the dispensation of the woman's flagrant honor code violation:
A University of Virginia fraternity says it will not pursue an honor code violation against a student who told Rolling Stone that several brothers gang-raped her during a party for the story that has since been retracted.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Tim Carney

has an excellent article describing the current culture wars:

Religious liberty is the terms of surrender the Right is requesting in the culture war. It is conservative America saying to the cultural and political elites, you have your gay marriage, your no-fault divorce, your obscene music and television, your indoctrinating public schools and your abortion-on-demand. May we please be allowed to not participate in these?

But no. Tolerance isn't the goal. Religious conservatives must atone for their heretical views with acts of contrition: Bake me a cake, photograph my wedding, pay for my abortion and my contraception.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The ARMED Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Commission. They're out there, protecting us Virginians from drunk UVA honor students.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered the Virginia State Police to investigate the early Wednesday arrest of Martese Johnson, who needed 10 stitches to close a gash on his head after his altercation with Alcoholic Beverage Control agents outside a Charlottesville bar. State police said that "administrative review" will be conducted along with a criminal investigation requested by the Charlottesville prosecutor.
The good news in all this is they're not racist or sexist fascists. They will put their boot on the neck of anybody:
Agents suspected one of the women was underage and carrying a case of beer, ABC said. Instead, it was LaCroix sparkling water. The women said they didn’t know the agents were officers. Six agents closed in at the height of the incident. One drew a gun.
Hat tip: Instapundit

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Ben Shapiro notes how topsy turvy the federal government has become and how we are going to lose our democracy if we don't wake up and defend it:

Welcome to the most transparent administration in American history, where the Federal Communications Commission can regulate the Internet and keep those regulations secret before a vote, where top government officials can deliberately hide their emails from the public, but where your health records, income and emails are all government business.

The public and private spheres have now been completely reversed.

The federal government can punish its own employees for enforcing federal immigration law; if you oppose this, you are a racist, but if you hire an illegal immigrant, you will be fined or imprisoned. The feds can monitor your electronic metadata, but they can hide their own correspondence from records requests. After all, they are our betters, and we must kneel before Zod.

What possible violations of the Constitutional system will Americans actually fight? The list of possibilities grows short. Reports emerged this week suggesting that President Obama will consider banning bullets by executive order, effectively castrating the Second Amendment by fiat. Shrug. The Obama White House announced this week that Obama was "very interested" in unilaterally raising taxes. Shrug.

Democracies die not with a whimper or a bang but with a shrug.

Columnist Phil Kerpen voices similar concerns:

The rule of law is in grave danger, as federal regulators use ever thinner legal pretexts to enable vast public policy changes without votes by our elected representatives. In a span of just seven days, the FCC declared the Internet a public utility, Congress acceded to DHS implementing executive amnesty, the president used a veto threat to protect the NLRB's ambush elections rule, and the Supreme Court's four liberals showed they are not just willing but enthusiastic to allow the IRS to ignore the plain language of Obamacare. A great week for regulators, but a terrible week for everyone else.

[ . . . ]

The shifting of ever more power into the presidency and his regulatory apparatus is a long running problem, but it has accelerated dramatically in the current administration. President Obama is now even reportedly exploring the possibly of usurping Congress's most fundamental power by directly ordering tax hikes.

We are, if the American people don't wake up and demand better, on the brink of losing our constitutional form of government forever in favor of a soft tyranny of federal regulators constrained only by elite opinion and quadrennial presidential elections.

Michael Walsh: "If Washington, D.C., is Hollywood for ugly people and Hollywood is high school with money, then the Democrats are Mean Girls - cliquish, snobby and bitchy."

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kevin Williamson notes the coercive nature of the left:

The Left's last big idea was Communism. When Lenin turned out to be the god who failed, the Left undertook wide exploration for another grand unifying idea: environmentalism, multiculturalism, economic inequality, atheism, feminism, etc. What it ended up with was an enemies' list.

That and a taste for brute force.

The enthusiasm for coercion and the substitution of enemies for ideas - Christians, white men, Israel, "the 1 percent," the Koch brothers, take your pick - together form the basis for understanding the Left's current convulsions. The call to imprison people with unapproved ideas about global warming, the Senate Democrats' vote to repeal the First Amendment, the Ferguson-inspired riots, the picayune political correctness and thought-policing that annoys Jonathan Chait, the IRS's persecution of conservative political groups, Barack Obama's White House enemies' list, the casual violence against conservatives on college campuses and the Left's instinctive defense of that violence - these are not separate phenomena but part of a single phenomenon.

Victor Davis Hanson describes Obama as a snarky adolescent:

Obama is supposedly friends with basketball legend Michael Jordan. But the latter made a terrible mistake when he chided the golf-obsessive Obama as in fact a "hack" and a "sh***y" golfer. Obama quickly fired back that Jordan "was not well informed." He then went after Jordan himself as the less than successful basketball-team owner: "He might want to spend more time thinking about the Bobcats - or the Hornets." Snark is now exemplified by the president of the United States stooping to engage in a kindergarten tit-for-tat over relative golf skills with an ex-NBA player: "But there is no doubt that Michael is a better golfer than I am. Of course if I was playing twice a day for the last 15 years, then that might not be the case." Note the "He might want" and "If I was playing twice a day..." [ ... snip ... ]

Critics used to say they opposed Obama's redistributionist programs, but conceded that he must be a pleasant guy. Supporters lamented Obama's frequent inattention to detail but reminded everyone how charismatic the president was. Both diagnoses are probably mistaken. Snarkery is a character flaw of thin-skinned insecurity and juvenile mean-spiritedness - and embarrassing in a president.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Yesterday I wrote, The more "oppression" the left discovers, the more ridiculous it becomes. As this piece demonstrates, one might also argue that the more "tolerance" the left discovers, the more ridiculous it becomes.

(The University of Vermont) was the first school in the country to allow students to select which pronoun they preferred in its system. The system also allows them to select "name only," which means the student is opposed to pronouns in general and wants to be addressed only by name - something more than 200 transgender students have selected since 2009, according to the Times.

Of course, even before the software update, transgender students who did use another name could already inform the school about it and have it changed in the system - but this required an in-person visit to the dean's office and filling out some paperwork, and advocates said this was too much to ask.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The more "oppression" the left discovers, the more ridiculous it becomes. Today's latest injustice is against single people. From Katherine Timpf:
The piece defines "singlism" as "the stereotyping, stigmatizing and discrimination against people who are not married" and "marital privilege" as "the unearned advantages that benefit those who are married," an "emotional privilege" where "other people express happiness for people who marry but pity for those who stay single." [ . . . ]
If only there was some way to study this grand societal ill. And that's a problem too!

Some points are particularly laughable, such as the claim that it's so terrible that "universities have women's studies, Black studies, and queer studies programs" but "there is no singles studies program in any university, anywhere."

And unsurprisingly, many of the other examples are based on their brilliant and oh-so-culturally-aware recognition of even more of our common, seemingly innocuous phrases being actually very offensive and harmful forms of discrimination - including single people having to endure seeing things such as "ticket prices . . . quoted as '$100 per couple'" and greeting cards that "express 'our' sympathy." (Oh the horror!)

The original piece is here. The much deserved mockery in the comments section is the most compelling part.

Friday, January 30, 2015

In his "Impromptus" column Jay Nordlinger observes the absurdity of the Big 10 conference as the home to 14 teams.
Speaking of things that are screwy: The Big Ten conference has 14 members. I was reading an article the other day that said that a certain team was "11th in the Big Ten" in some category or other. That makes you stop and think.
It's really only par for the course these days, though. The Atlantic Coast Conference extends as far west as Indiana, the Southeast Conference as far west as Texas, and the Pacific 12 Conference as far east as Colorado. And the Big 12 Conference has, of course, 10 members.
Kevin Williamson takes down the hypocritical, totalitarian progressive and their lifestyle.

On the matter of consumers' contribution to global warming, Arianna Huffington was celebrated for leading a moralistic crusade against SUVs, which are disproportionately favored by the sort of people who might vape, eat at Applebee's, watch the wrong television shows, and vote the wrong way. In reality, the most carbon-intensive thing the typical well-heeled American does is take an international flight - but you will not see progressives leading campaigns against European vacations or exotic eco-tourism in Southeast Asia or South America. Why? Because they dislike SUVs for other reasons - representing as they do suburbia, affluence, and the implicit rejection of tiny hybrids - and emissions are simply a handy cudgel. International travel, on the other hand, is considered an ipso facto moral good, being an integral part of how one learns to sneer at American culture and American habits. International jet travel is, therefore, necessary, and necessarily good.

[ . . . ]

There are many conservatives who prefer organic food, who do yoga, who like trains, and who would prefer living in Brooklyn to living in Plano. De gustibus and all that. The difference is that progressives, blazing with self-righteousness, believe themselves entitled to make their preferences a matter of law.

And that's the Left in short: A lifestyle so good, it's mandatory.

Charles Krauthammer notes the return of anti-semitism to Europe.

The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!" Berlin, mind you.

European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It's a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

David Greenfield has identified the greatest danger resulting from murderous Muslim terror attacks: fear of a backlash against Muslims. Quelle horreur!

The increase in Muslim terrorism however has made it risky for the media to wait that long. 24 hours after a brutal Muslim terrorist attack, there might be another brutal Muslim terrorist attack which will completely crowd out the stories of Muslims worrying about the backlash to the latest Muslim atrocity.

The massacre at Charlie Hebdo was quickly followed by a massacre at a kosher supermarket and somewhere in between them the Islamic State in Nigeria had wiped out the populations of sixteen villages.

With so many Muslim attacks crowded together, the media had no choice but to take a deep breath and dive in with its "Muslim backlash" stories.

The Voice of America ran its "Muslims fear backlash" piece while the bodies were still warm. The Los Angeles Times rushed out its "Muslims fear backlash" story before the Kosher supermarket massacre. It quoted the Muslim spokesman for the National Observatory Against Islamophobia asserting that it is Muslims who suffer after such attacks. Muslims however weren't the ones who suffered. The four dead Jews at a Kosher supermarket did the suffering at the hands of a Muslim gunman.

Amid reporting all this "backlash" nonsense, Greenfield asks an important question: Is it really a backlash that Muslims fear or a moral reckoning? Excellent point. Maybe all this fear of backlash is a distraction to portray the Muslim community as victims, rather than ask why it is they are so proficient at creating the sort of people that commit this kind of savagery.

On one side are bodies heaped across Europe and America. On the other is the occasional slice of pork on a mosque door, a little graffiti scrawled on a wall or a dirty look on public transportation.

One is genocide and the other is petty vandalism.

We don't need any more earnest interviews in which Muslims claim that they are the real victims of Muslim terrorism because they now feel "unwelcome" when the bodies of non-Muslims still lie in the morgue.

Try comparing an "unwelcome" feeling to being dead.

As Matthew Continetti demonstrates, the left is very selective in its defense of free speech.
Nor do I recall liberals standing up for the critics of global warming and evolutionary theory, of same-sex marriage and trans rights and women in combat, of riots in Ferguson and of Obama's decision to amnesty millions of illegal immigrants. On the contrary: To dissent from the politically correct and conventional and fashionable is to invite rebuke, disdain, expulsion from polite society, to court the label of Islamophobe or denier or bigot or cisnormative or misogynist or racist or carrier of privilege and irredeemable micro-aggressor. For the right to offend to have any meaning, however, it cannot be limited to theistic religions. You must have the right to offend secular humanists, too.
Dennis Prager notes the preferential treatment of Islam over other religions:

We'll start with an example of pro-Islamic bias that is so ubiquitous that no one seems to notice it. Why do Western media - largely composed of irreligious people, one might add - always deferentially refer to Mohammed as "the Prophet Mohammed" in news articles and opinion pieces?

When Jesus is mentioned, the media never refer to him as "Christ, the Lord" or as "the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Just "Jesus." In fact, "A.D." ("Anno Domini," "In the Year of our Lord") has been completely dropped by the very academics and media who always write "the Prophet Mohammed."

Unfortunately, this asymmetrical treatment isn't confined to the media. And it can lead to brutal results.
Perhaps the most egregious example of a society's elites treating Islam differently from all other religions took place in the U.K. Between 1997 and 2013, at least 1,400 girls, as young as eleven years old, in the small English city of Rotherham (population 275,000), were repeatedly gang-raped and treated as sex slaves. The U.K. government acknowledged that these atrocities were allowed to go on due to the fact the perpetrators were British Pakistanis and the girls were white. No one was allowed to say that at the time. The author of a 2002 report identifying Pakistanis as the perpetrators and organizers of the Rotherham gang rapes and sex slavery was sent to diversity training.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Daniel Greenfield writes that New York needs to elect a leftist mayor on occasion to remind itself why it shouldn't elect leftist mayors:

Bill de Blasio declared war on Central Park carriage horses, put cell phones back in schools, put criminals back in public housing, housed homeless in neighborhoods across the city, went to war with the few city schools that worked and went to war with the police.

And for an encore, he banned packing peanuts.

Within a short time he had managed to reverse decades of reforms while alienating everyone except the editorial board of the New York Times which would continue to support him even if, or especially if, he began executing Kulaks on Staten Island.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Over at Ace of Spades Ace notes that CNN referred to one of the Muslim barbarian hostage takers in France as "African American." Even though he is more likely to be French Algerian.

This is the problem with the politically correct formulation of using the term "African American" to describe any black person. First, it creates the dilemma of how to describe a white person of African descent.

One of my friends was born in South Africa, so she put African American on her application. She is white though - 100% white. African American race on college apps in generally intended to give advantages to minorites, so would admissions people get mad if they found at that she is at no actual disadvantage and is not a minority? I have heard that is true, what do you guys think?
I can't find a link, but I once saw a black South African described as an "African American African" to distinguish him from white Africans. What kind of absurd formulation is that? Finally, you have to really love this one:
When Voyager premiered in 1995 there was some sexist and racist discourse about having a female captain and an African-American Vulcan on the series.
As Debra Saunders correctly observes: Say Islam Is Violent and Jihadis Will Kill You

Bruce Thornton asks "When Will We Wake Up?"

The truth is, many Muslims see the whole Western political order as radically different from--and in their view, inferior to--that of Islam. The cultural cargo of human rights, tolerance of confessional diversity, individual autonomy and self-determination, and political freedom is incompatible with the traditional Islamic doctrine that a divinely bestowed shari'a law is the only legitimate social-political order that can create the best life in this world, and ensure the enjoyment of paradise in the next.

But this truth about Islam's conflict with liberal democracy--a truth documented in 14 centuries of Islamic history and doctrine, and supported by majorities of Muslims worldwide-- is repeatedly denied by Western governments and intellectuals. White House spokesman Josh Earnest repeated this false knowledge, saying after the killings that Islam is "a peaceful religion and it's terrible that we are seeing some radical extremists attempt to use some of the values to [sic] that religion and distort them greatly and inspire people to commit terrible acts of violence." Thus the illiberal, totalitarian nature of shari'a evident in sex apartheid, honor killings, enslavement of girls, persecution and murder of religious minorities, destruction of churches and synagogues, and chronic jihadist violence is attributed to anything and everything other than the role of sacralized violence in Muslim history and theology, a patent fact dismissed as Islamophobic slander. Meanwhile, jihadist slaughter continues worldwide, with almost 800 killed and wounded just in the last week of 2014.