The Afternoon Quote

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“It’s okay to criticize Reagan as long as you’re respectful and as long as you’re doing it from the right.”

–Hot Air’s Allahpundit (Not linked for obvious reasons) from a piece defending a younger Sen. Aqua Buddha who used to regularly criticize St. Ronnie for his deficit spending.

That is about as clearly stated as it gets. You and I cannot criticize St. Ronnie (“the greatest president of the last half of the last century, maybe greatest ever” as Peggington Noonington notes in her innebreated way), but Wingnuttia can.

These ground rules are exhausting.

(Rand Paul disparaging St. Ronnie can be viewed at Mother Jones.)

Yet another prevarication from D’vorce D’Spousa

(Freakout Nation) Is this the Mistress that sunk a leaky ship? Who can imagine what would lead anyone to say that Dinesh D’Souza was a better option?

When last we left our hero, would-be bigamist and noted hunka burning love D’Vorce D’Spousa, he was introducing his also-married mistress as his fiancée before he had divorced his own wife, which of course raised some eyebrows at the Xristian Xrazie University that he was allegedly running. At the time he disingenuously claimed that he did not know that one need be divorced in order for one to be affianced. You will soon detect a pattern. Take it away, Livewire:

With D’Souza’s trial [in the federal campaign finance fraud case] a few weeks away, The New York Times reported Tuesday on a dispute that has played out in court papers over whether the case was politically motivated. D’Souza’s attorney has argued that his client was “targeted … because of his consistently caustic and highly publicized criticism” of President Obama. Federal prosecutors have called the idea “entirely without merit,” and have argued that D’Souza knew what he was doing was wrong.

Hmmm, so he’s blaming The Kenyan Usurper for his own breaking of the law?

According to the Times, prosecutors have also said that they have obtained a secret recording made independently last October by Joseph’s husband. Joseph was “recorded as saying that Mr. D’Souza had told her that if he were charged he might plead guilty, but would initially plead not guilty because that ‘gives him a window of opportunity to get his story out there,’” according to the Times.

And Raw Story has something to add, too:

That and “(t)he evidence of illegality with regard to his own and his wife’s contribution,” the U.S. Attorney’s office wrote, “will help prove that the defendant knew that what he was doing in August 2012 was wrong and it was not a fleeting, accidental misjudgment; it was part of a larger pattern of flouting campaign finance limits he knew existed.”

And I would conclude with noting that he has a long established pattern of conveniently claiming not to know something when in fact he does know it but that it doesn’t serve his purposes. It used to be called lying when I was a boy, but now willful ingnorance and/or lying seems to be a ham-handed Wingnuttian attempt at a get-out-of-Jail-Free card.

Pop Culture Alert: Attention MST3K and Buffy Nerds

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I know, this blog is usually about spitballing politicians, Xristian Xrazies and ill-fated and ill-conceived policy, and often enough about our failed media that enables them, but rejoice! We have some great news:

Wired has an oral history of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that is a must-read for all Scissorheads in good standing.

But the exciting part is near the very end: Joel Hodgson is hoping to start a new online incarnation of the show, one that will feature a fresh (and as-yet-unannounced) host and cameos from many MST3K alumni.

As many people have noted, Twitter is like the riffing that Joel and the ‘bots used to do on the show, and I think that this idea has some real potential.

Buffy

Into every generation, a Slayer is born…

Fans of the late lamented teevee show Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be all a-Twitter with the news that BTVS is going to be sort-of Podcast by We Nerd Hard. Here’s the announcement:

couple of months ago we announced an upcoming podcast called #RememberThatBuffy which was intended to simply be a podcast going through the history of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. We have since decided to take a page out of the @BlackGirlNerds playbook (#JemLiveTweets) and expand the project beyond that. So starting Sunday March 30th, 2014 at 6pm ET SHARP we will be livetweeting every episode of Buffy while streaming it from Netflix.

Immediately after we will do a live broadcast (which will be available for download) with our phone lines open to continue nerding out. We will also be releasing a new podcast called “Black People Watching TV” where you can listen to the @WeNerdHard crew give live commentary while watching the show. Think Mystery Science Theatre 3000 but with Negroes nerding HARD. So the process goes as follows:

  1. A few minutes before 6pm cue up Buffy the Vampire slayer on Netflix (or on DVD if you own it). Pause it AS SOON AS IT STARTS.
  2. 6pm ET: PRESS PLAY
  3. Follow the #RememberThatBuffy hashtag on Twitter and join the livetweeting magic.
  4. Immediately after tune in to @WeNerdHard broadcast LIVE. Phone Lines: 718-404-9320

MAGIC SHALL ENSUE.

I think my Sunday afternoons on the west coast are now booked.

Shrill Shill Still Shrill

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Charles Murray, recipient of American Enterprise Institute’s highest honor, the Irving Kristol Award (let that sink in for a moment; that’s always-wrong Bill Kristol’s dad) and the author of Reagan-era racist agitprop The Bell Curve, which is probably the nastiest bit of writing since, oh, Josef Mengele looked into genetics, is upset that Azusa Pacific, an evangelical Xristian Xrazie College in California, has decided not to let him address the campus.

(It should be noted that Murray is not a professor anywhere, nor has he ever taught anywhere. His claim of scholarship is subject to debate, as are his fellow luminaries at Koch Brothers-funded AEI: former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, now an AEI senior fellow; former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities Lynne Cheney, a longtime AEI senior fellow; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now an AEI senior fellow; and former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, now an AEI visiting scholar.)

Murray writes an open letter at the American Enterprise Institute to express his dismay at being uninvited to address the students:

I was scheduled to speak to you tomorrow. I was going to talk about my new book, “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead,” and was looking forward to it. But it has been “postponed.” Why? An email from your president, Jon Wallace, to my employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said “Given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray’s scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday’s conversation.” This, about an appearance that has been planned for months. I also understand from another faculty member that he and the provost were afraid of “hurting our faculty and students of color.”

For a good reason, Chuckie. In your seminal work you state very clearly that the dusky people are, well, genetically, mentally inferior. I think that might make anyone a little concerned, Sparky. Do continue.

The task of the scholar is to present a case for his or her position based on evidence and logic. Another task of the scholar is to do so in a way that invites everybody into the discussion rather than demonize those who disagree. Try to find anything under my name that is not written in that spirit. Try to find even a paragraph that is written in anger, takes a cheap shot, or attacks women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, or anyone else.

Um, actually, I think that the scholar studies a topic and reaches a conclusion that is supported by the evidence, and then writes about what he has learned, and backs it up. A scholar does not try to find evidence that only supports his given point of view: that is called advocacy, if not agitprop. When the only peer review you need is from the Imperial Wizard, I think you’ve left scholarship way behind.

I should state this very clearly: I have no idea if Murray is a racist; his work however is cited by racists and people who try to divide us against each other.

But there’s another way to decide whether you would have been safe in my hands if I had spoken at Azusa Pacific. Go to YouTube and search “Charles Murray.” You will get links to dozens of lectures, panel discussions, and television interviews. You can watch Q&A sessions in which I field questions from students like you, including extremely hostile ones. Watch even for a few minutes. Ask yourself if I insult them or lash out. If I do anything except take their questions seriously and answer them accordingly. Ask yourself if I’m anything more dangerous than an earnest and nerdy old guy.

Your behavior is not the same thing as your research. I’m sure you are as charming as the snake handing the apple to Eve.

(American Enterprise Institute — Full disclosure: much to my chagrin and shame, I have family members who work at AEI.)

Bad Ideas, cont.

Just one glass for me!

“Only one glass for me, please!”

Our Poet Laureate, Mountjoy weighs in from the comments:

The one bottle glass?
An idea that has “Nooners”
wrote all over it!

(Hat tip: Scissorhead Moeman)

Happy Hour News Briefs

News that will drive you to drink

Free-range conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck is not one to doubt that Sweet Baby Jeebus communicates to us through the miracle of pancakes.

  • Numbers don’t lie – But infamous hate group (Southern Poverty Law Center designate) Family Research Council does. Anyway, they commissioned a poll of Republicans that shows 80+% of ‘em are bigots opposed to marriage equality. Whodathunkit? (Family Research Council)
  • This over-the-top lie from Rafael Cruz, father of Canadian-born latino and immigrant-hating southern white supremacist Senator Ted Cruz:

    “All we have to do is turn on the news and every day we see more and more encroachment upon pastors from this administration,” Cruz said. “All they have to do is be aware of what’s happening around us and to be aware, for example, that in the city of San Antonio, if a pastor speaks on Romans 1, he could be even fined $500 a day until he retracts what he said.”

  • Eiron, the Goddess of Irony, laughed so hard she farted:

    “Preaching against homosexuality in our day is about as popular as preaching against slavery and racism in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1861,” said Greear. “And back then, I’m sure the politically correct people were like, ‘You’re just creating a lot of waves that are unnecessary, just preach the gospel.’”

    (The Blaze: ‘Stop Spreading Falsehoods’: Southern Baptists Hash Out Views on Gays, Porn and Pastoral Mistakes During Landmark Summit )

Those who do not learn from history…

…are really f***ing stupid:

Example A is Teabagger Marilinda Garcia, who is a candidate for Congress from New Hampshire.

Gosh, you know, as a student of history (OK, it was one of my undergraduate majors), I kinda-sort know that the people of Jamestown did not starve to death because they lacked private property. They starved to death from because they did not grow food.

So why, you ask, did they not grow any food? They were being good little capitalists, and trying make it big in the mercantile economy by growing exotic crops to export to England (and presumably to return as rich as kings); they were not trying to grow subsistence crops.

So, you could say that Capitalism killed the Jamestown Colony, or the Invisible Hand killed them, or even that they all went Galt with greed. But you cannot say that they died from collectivism. That’s just stupid.