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Kevin Williamson Firing Shows the ‘Nonpartisan’ Media’s True Colors

Williamson came to The Atlantic from the conservative National Review, and his hiring sparked an uproar on the left. After combing through over a decade of his writings, detractors found a tweet where he called for death, by hanging, for abortion. When Goldberg learned Williamson also had referenced the tweet on a podcast, he gave in.

Surely Williamson’s quip was mere hyperbole, meant to provoke. After all, he never wrote an actual column making that argument, despite having written extensively, including about abortion. And his first tweet simply argued that “the law should treat abortion like any other homicide.”

Only when he was asked what kind of punishment he had in mind did he tweet back: “hanging.” He was “absolutely willing to see abortion treated like regular homicide under the criminal code.”

You don’t have to agree with that; I don’t. But Williamson’s position (not all pro-lifers’) is that abortion is murder (literally, the killing of a baby), that it should be made illegal and carry a punishment equal to that of similar crimes.

Is this more radical than Ruth Marcus’ view in The Washington Post? “I’m going to be blunt here: That was not the child I wanted,” she wrote about how she would have aborted her child if the baby was found to have had Down Syndrome. Her view is disgusting to conservatives, yet there was no move to get her fired. Read the rest of this entry »

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Re: CNN’s Dumbest Column Ever

cnn

CNN is irrelevant, and the SPLC should be recognized and branded in polite society as a “Hate group”

NRODavid French asks some good questions:

I’d like to thank Kevin Williamson for pointing us to perhaps the dumbest column I’ve ever read on CNN – an actual argument that allegedly “right-wing” extremists are more deadly than jihadists. In addition to Mr. Williamson’s spot-on critique, can we also say something else about jihad since 9/11? The death toll in the U.S. may be “only” 21, but the American toll overseas is at least 6,802 with well over 50,000 injuries, including 16,000 serious injuries. Peter Bergen evidently does not think this important enough to explore, but in the aftermath of the actual worst terrorist attack in American history we engaged in direct combat against jihadists in two separate countries, combat that continues in Afghanistan to this day. In that process, these jihadists not only killed thousands of Americans, they inflicted an unholy death toll on allied soldiers and civilians.

Are these American lives any less precious or important because they were lost overseas? Does the fact that jihadists have proven capable of killing thousands of the best-equipped and best-trained soldiers in the world tell him anything about the destructive potential of jihad compared to the allegedly “right-wing” Klan? (read more)

Unmentioned in some of these critiques of the discredited CNN column: Since when is a KKK member a “right wing” figure? Except in the imagination of dishonest journalists and political propagandists? The Klan was the military-terror arm of the Democratic party in the south, this is not exactly news. The accusation that the KKK is connected to conservative or right-wing ideology is pure fantasy. The famous white supremacist, anti-Semitic murderer Frazier Glenn Millerran for public office as a Democrat. 

On the other hand, Miller ran for office as both a Democrat and a Republican, making any effort to use his ideological profile to score political points a useless exercise, as the Daily Caller‘s Neil Munro reports:

The gunman who murdered three people in Kansas on Sunday was defeated in primary races in the Democratic and the Republican parties, which could complicate any partisan effort to associate either party with the unusual anti-Semitic attack.

Frazier Glenn Miller was reportedly arrested after the attacks in Kansas, which killed one Jewish woman, and two non-Jews, a grandfather and his 14 year-old grandson.

Read the rest of this entry »


Flashback: Reasons Why National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson Is Cooler Than You

KEVIN-WILLIAMSON-screen

Downtrend.com has a funny item, Here Are 7 Reasons Why National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson Is Cooler Than You, from September, 2013, that I just stumbled on, even though it’s not brand new, it’s as fresh and silly as it was when it first appeared. Readers here know I’m a fan of Williamson’s writing, and frequently plug his book  The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome, you can get it at Amazon] (See? I did it again) so it’s natural that I’d not resist an opportunity to promote Kevin’s coolness. Kevin’s also from Texas, which isn’t mentioned here, so it really should be 8 reasons. Here’s the post from Downtrend.com:

7 Reasons Why National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson Is Cooler Than You

If you’re a conservative or a libertarian, you’ve probably heard of Kevin D. Williamson. If not, shame on you.

He’s an author who writes for National Review. If you’re unlucky enough to have never read any of his work, then drop what you’re doing immediately and go read. Call in sick if that’s what’s required, but you must read his articles right this moment.

Read the rest of this entry »


Demographic Mega-Trends and Robert Samuelson’s Denial

grid-cell-2777-1391024215-3“There is no parallel in history to the [American] experiment of free government on this scale. The scale accounts for a great deal, including . . . pessimism about the present or the future of America.”

— Scottish historian D.W. Brogan in “The American Character,” 1944

Robert Samuelson’s Op-Ed about “America’s Menacing Mega-Trends” in Sunday’s Washington Post is mostly very good — particularly at presenting the data, and identifying the problem — but perhaps not so good at solutions, and conclusions. So it’s disheartening to see a few lazy passages undermine an otherwise good article.

“…America’s future rests heavily on how these mega-trends play out. Democracy works best when the political system can mediate between the often-inconsistent demands of public opinion and larger national needs. This, America’s leaders can’t or won’t do. Faced with immutable trends, they have not adapted to change. Instead, they pander to partisans with soothing, though outdated, stereotypes. Nostalgia poses as policy when it is actually a marketing strategy.”

So far so good. But I’m not sure that today’s political elite are any better or worse at embracing change, avoiding nostalgic sales pitches, partisan pandering, or “outdated” thinking, than politicians were at any other time in our history. Why should we expect any more of politics, or politicians? Increasing dependence on government institutions, and political solutions — the infantile habit of looking to political leaders to solve our problems — is itself a problem, one that goes unmentioned here.

It’s mainly the next few paragraphs, where Samuelson oversimplifies liberals and conservatives, mischaracterizing both, giving into wrongheaded stereotypes.

CLIENTS

“Liberals won’t come to terms with aging. Believing that spending on the elderly and near-elderly constitutes the essence of progressivism — and ignoring the affluence of many elderly — some liberals even support raising these benefits. The paradoxical result is that the pro-government party has become an instrument of anti-government policies, because accommodating all the elderly’s benefits means quietly condoning deep cuts in most other programs.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Religious Liberty After Arizona

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For The Federalist   writes:  Government, properly understood, is an agent of force. It can cause people to not do things they would otherwise do, and can compel them to do things they otherwise would not do. It does this in small ways and big ways, in nudges and at the end of a gun. At its best, as limited government conservatives and libertarians alike understand, government causes and compels only in those arenas it must, invading the scope of human life as little as possible. At its worst, government becomes, in Saint Augustine’s phrase, a system of “great robberies” where plunder is divided by the law agreed on, and people are subdued by force in accordance to the whims of the powerful elite.

So what are we to make of the divisions that emerged in the course of Arizona’s consideration of its version of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the responses it inspired? I think it comes down to a matter of priorities, and to the broad-based willingness to let personal inclinations about what society ought to look like overwhelm a reasonable understanding of the ramifications of giving government the power to shape that society.

Read the rest of this entry »


Give Felons the Vote? Eric Holder’s Interest in Restoring Their Rights Seems to End There

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Kevin D. Williamson writes:  Attorney General Eric Holder and a number of his progressive allies are calling for an end to laws that prevent many felons from voting after their sentences have been served. The cynical among us (and here I count myself among them) detect in this the odor of self-serving politics, but Mr. Holder et al. argue that it is a matter of justice. The argument is made on two main fronts: The first is that felons have “paid their debt” to society and therefore should be treated as ordinary citizens. The second is that our population of disenfranchised felons is disproportionately non-white and poor, and thus felon disenfranchisement falls most heavily upon communities already burdened with other disadvantages.

“Do the progressives have a point here, or is the drive to restore felons’ voting rights simply parochial Democratic self-interest?”

The first comes very near to an argument about first principles, about which debate is generally fruitless. Either it seems to you just and prudent that people who have shown a fundamental disregard for the law should be prevented from having a hand in making it, except in those circumstances in which the relevant authorities have made case-by-case judgments to the contrary, or it does not. My own view is that felon disenfranchisement is generally just, and that, even in those circumstances in which it is questionably so, prudence counsels disallowing felon voting as a broad principle.

Read the rest of this entry »


[AUDIO] Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Charles Cooke & Kevin Williamson Discuss the Over-Importance of the Presidency, Minimum Wage, and the 2016 Mid-Term Elections

Charlie Cooke and Kevin Williamson discuss the 2016 midterm elections, the presidency being too important, and the minimum wage.

Mad Dogs & Englishmen: February 20, 2014 – YouTube


The Left at War: With Economic Reality

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Kevin D. Williamson  writes:  The Left is at war with economic reality. The intellectual poverty of the Left — which is also a moral poverty — is evident in the fact that its leaders are much more intensely interested in incomes at the top than those at the bottom. Examples are not difficult to come by: Senator Elizabeth Warren is visibly agitated by JamieDimon’s recent raise, the AFL-CIO maintains a website dedicated to executive compensation, Barack Obama avows that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money,” et cetera ad nauseam. The entire rhetoric of inequality is simply an excuse to rage about incomes at the top, a generation’s worth of progressive shenanigans having failed to do much about those at the bottom.

 [Kevin D. Williamson’s book The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome, find it at Amazon]

It is the case that incomes at the top have gone up while those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined in real terms. It is not the case that incomes at the top have gone up because those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined, nor is it the case that incomes in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined because incomes at the top have gone up. There is a relationship between the two phenomena, but it is not the relationship that progressives imagine it to be.

Read the rest of this entry »


Award: The Kevin D. Williamson 100+ Word Single-Sentence SOTU Adjective-Bomb

crown-halo-obamaIn case you missed it at NRO, or in our earlier post, it’s too good not to feature as a highlighed quote. Keep in mind, it’s a long time before the keyboard hits the period key. A bottle of Champagne goes to anyone who can memorize this and perform it, in one breath, at a cocktail party, in front of a roomful of humorless Democrats.

Without further ado, here’s Kevin D. Williamson‘s Award-winning, adjective-loaded (adjectives and qualifiers?) uninhibited description of a America’s most outdated tradition: The State of the Union Address.

“The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.”

Thanks again to Mr. Williamson (and his editors) for providing today’s Award-winning quote.

[Feast on Kevin D. Williamson’s fine book The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome]


State of the Union Address: A Monarchial Anachronism

On the nauseating spectacle that is the State of the Union address

GREAT CEASAR’S GHOST

If the first 100+ words don’t get you, go get coffee, come back, and read ’em again. It’s all one sentence. I want to see Kevin go on Red Eye and do this first sentence as an opening monologue. 

On the nauseating spectacle that is the State of the Union address

Kevin D. Williamson begins: 

The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.

It’s the most nauseating display in American public life — and I write that as someone who has just returned from a pornographers’ convention.

It’s worse than the Oscars.

The national self-debasement begins well before the speech is under way…

[check out Kevin Williamson’s book The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome]

Read the rest of this entry »


Gut Check: Greg Answers Questions While Drinking Lots of Wine

Hell comes in small steps. And before you know it you're there.

“Hell comes in small steps. And before you know it you’re there.”

Breitbart NewsWhat do conservatives have to do to resonate with young people?

GG: They have to explain, succinctly, why their stuff works. And you have to do it with humor, minus jargon, minus anger. Freedom is fun. It’s not shrill.

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Extortion’: DC ‘Just Like the Mob, Except It’s Legal’

Where have I read this before? NRO‘s Kevin Williamson’s book has some great stuff on this, a chapter exploring how a governments and criminal organizations are functionally identical. It’s a protection racket. It’s the historical norm, not the exception. Institutionalized extortion is more commonplace than we like to believe. (If you haven’t read Williamson’s The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure, I recommend it. I’ve plugged it before, and will probably mention it again) Where were we? Oh yeah, here’s Breitbart.com item about Peter Schweizer‘s newly-relased  Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.

WYNTON HALL writes:  Peter Schweizer argued that Washington’s political establishment creates threatening bills to scare wealthy interests into making big campaign donations and to hire favored lobbyists, similar to the mafia’s tactic of requiring “protection money” on Friday.

Schweizer, President of the Government Accountability Institute and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large, argued that point during a Friday Yahoo! Finance appearance discussing his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.

Washington, D.C. runs “just like the mob, except it’s legal,” said Schweizer. 

Read the rest of this entry »


Our Partisan Bureaucracy and the End of the Civil Service

The utopian goal of the civil service was to create something like a professional class of public servants, individuals dedicated to the public good regardless of the party in power — a final break from the spoils system and its attendant rampant corruption and cronyism.

The utopian goal of the civil service was to create something like a professional class of public servants, individuals dedicated to the public good regardless of the party in power — a final break from the spoils system and its attendant rampant corruption and cronyism.

David French writes: It had to happen eventually. The party of government and the government itself would start to merge into one seamless whole — capable of acting on their respective desires without even the necessity of explicit instructions. Kevin Williamson, Michael Walsh, and others sounded this alarm as the IRS scandal unfolded, and we were faced with two unsettling possibilities: Either the political branches of government were so craven they ordered a tea-party crackdown or the bureaucracy was so corrupt it cracked down on its own accord.

Read the rest of this entry »


Bring on the Draconian Cuts

Scalpel_in_handNRO’s Kevin Williamson writes: Hark, unless mine eyes are cheated, it appears that the House has passed a bill — on energy and water development — that would spend less money than we spent last year. Indeed, that is the case: The $30.4 billion bill is $2.9 billion less than was appropriated for 2013. If my always-suspect English-major math is correct, that $2.9 billion represents a full 0.08 percent of 2012 federal outlays.

The White House has threated to veto these “draconian cuts.” Seriously — OMB put out a statement calling these “draconian cuts.” Does anybody over there know what “draconian” means? Read the rest of this entry »