Radio Shack employee considers next move pic.twitter.com/lgg7GRiIsZ
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 5, 2015
‘My childhood’: Radio Shack’s bankruptcy filing inspires waves of nostalgia, lots of snark http://t.co/2bTOTU08AG
— TwitchyTeam (@TwitchyTeam) February 5, 2015
BREAKING: Radio Shack files for chapter 11 bankruptcy – DJ • http://t.co/CRo8xsjVsu
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) February 5, 2015
Radio Shack ad in the New York Times, 1965 pic.twitter.com/Cb6ch2vx6S
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) February 5, 2015
Dear RadioShack, this is why we adored you. Love, WIRED http://t.co/N5H3blRnWU
— WIRED (@WIRED) February 4, 2015
For the Free World, an Old Challenge Returns: The Charlie Hebdo massacre has reignited debate over how much intolerance our society should tolerate
Michael Barone writes:
…It’s a difficult issue, one without any entirely satisfactory answer. And it’s a current issue in the days after 40 world leaders and the U.S. ambassador to France marched together in Paris against the jihadist Muslim murderers who targeted the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
English-speaking peoples, to use Winston Churchill’s phrase, have been dealing with this problem off and on for 300 years. In the late 17th century, most of continental Europe had established state churches and prohibited or disfavored other worship. England had an established church but also tolerated other forms of worship, including by Jews who were invited back into the country by Oliver Cromwell.
“European nations seem likely to recoil from a vaguely defined multiculturalism that endorses the isolation of Muslim communities and toward the sense, long stronger in America, that potentially intolerant immigrants should assimilate toward national norms of toleration.”
But the English people regarded the Catholic Church as a threat to their liberty. The English saw the great hegemon of the age, Louis XIV, as expanding the zone of intolerance through foreign invasion and the withdrawal in 1685 of tolerance of the Protestant Huguenots.
“In the 20th century, the problem of how far to tolerate intolerance flared with the growth of a significant Communist movement subordinate to the totalitarian Soviet Union.”
An earlier pope had called for the murder of Queen Elizabeth I, and a perennial English bestseller was Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, recounting the persecution of Protestants under her Catholic predecessor Mary I. So after the Catholic King James II was ousted in the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89, Parliament passed a Toleration Act that explicitly refused Catholics the right to hold public office or serve as military officers. There was a widespread belief that a Jesuit doctrine entitled Catholics to falsely swear oaths of loyalty if they had a “mental reservation.” Catholics, in this view, were intolerant and could not be trusted even if they swore they were not.
“Congress responded in 1940 by making it a crime to advocate the violent overthrow of the United States. Free-speech advocates argued this went too far; violent revolutionary actions might be proscribed, but people should not be punished for uttering words. I tend to take this view, but there are obviously serious arguments on both sides.”
America’s Founding Fathers took a different view. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Rogan: Wendy Davis’s Empty-Wheelchair Ad ‘a Massive Miscalculation’, Reflects ‘Absolute Desperation’Posted: October 11, 2014
[VIDEO] Jonah Goldberg Drops the F-Bomb: ‘Whiff of Fascism’ to Obama Questioning Companies’ ‘Economic Patriotism’Posted: August 6, 2014
I had this on in the background when Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg were discussing this, and Jonah’s invocation of the F-word made me stop what I was doing and pay attention. Jonah’s scholarship on the history of fascism–history of political ideologies in general–makes his comments more interesting and relevant. It’s not a word he’d use casually. It’s an unsettling, and I think, accurate observation.
A former aide to retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) will serve as editor-in-chief of a new media outlet devoted to “discovering real-life success stories” — a reporting venture broadly analogous to the conservative policymaking currently in vogue among congressional Republicans.
“That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive.”
Yuval Levin‘s post at The Corner is bracing, and revealing, noteworthy not only because of the insights expressed here, but as an example of what team NRO does best: the most lucid writing on these matters you’ll find anywhere.
From Legalization by Edict:
“…the notion that the president can respond to a failure to get Congress to adopt his preferred course on a prominent and divisive public issue by just acting on his own as if a law he desires had been enacted has basically nothing to do with our system of government.
In one sense, the approach the president is said to be contemplating does fit into a pattern of his use of executive power. That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive. That’s how moving to compel nuns to buy contraception and abortive drugs for their employees became “they’re trying to take away your birth control.” This strategy needlessly divides the country and brings out the worst instincts of people on all sides, but it has obvious benefits for the administration and its allies. Liberals get both the substantive action and the political benefit of calling their opponents radicals and getting their supporters worked up. Obama’s legalization of millions would surely draw a response that could then be depicted as evidence of Republican hostility to immigrants, rather than of Republican hostility to illegal executive overreach that tries to make highly significant policy changes outside the bounds of our constitutional order.
But while the legalization now being talked about fits into that pattern in a sense, the sheer scope of its overreach would put it in a different category as a practical matter…(read more)
What is perverse, is that we look for bloggers who are influential, but only if they are nice about people.”
— Caroline Doudet, Blogger
— Translated from French via Google Translate —
“New: restaurants continue their customers who dare to criticize I must say they are the judges to prove them right.”. The lawyer-blogger Maître Eolas was surprised last night of the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Bordeaux on June 30, which condemned referred blogger “The Irregular” € 1500 as a provision on damages 1000 € of costs of proceedings (Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure) for a review of a restaurant in Cap Ferret (33).
[A better analysis of this at The Corner by National Review‘s Ian Tuttle – “French Court Criminalizes Food Critic’s Google Success”]
This restaurant had just enjoyed a post “The Irregular” titled “The place to be avoided at Cap-Ferret” followed by the name of the institution (the article has since been removed but is still available in the cache here) published in August 2013, and appeared on the first page of Google when you typed the name of the restaurant.
‘The Place to be Avoided at Cap-Ferret’
The paper lamented including disruption of service in the institution and the attitude of the owner of the premises, described as a “diva”. “All that for two appetizers … take what wars” concluded the post with reference to a dark history of appetizers arrived at the same time as the main course (the blogger had therefore returned). Read the rest of this entry »
…check out John’s new book, authored with Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky: Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department
Universities are the least transparent of U.S. institutions, defending protocols more secretive than those of the Swiss banking system.
For National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson writes: Employment rates for college graduates are dismal. Aggregate student debt is staggering. But university administrative salaries are soaring. The campus climate of tolerance has utterly disappeared. Only the hard sciences and graduate schools have salvaged American universities’ international reputations.
[Order Victor Davis Hanson’s book The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost – From Ancient Greece to Iraq from Amazon.com]
For over two centuries, our superb system of American public and private higher education kept pace with radically changing times and so ensured our prosperity and reinforced democratic pluralism. But a funny thing has happened on the way to the 21st century. Colleges that were once our most enlightened and tolerant institutions became America’s dinosaurs. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the benefits of subscribing to Jonah Goldberg‘s G-File is the pleasure of scrolling down to the bottom of his informal collection of weekly thoughts, essays, opinions, wisecracks, dog tales, and think tank coffee break items, to get to the sugary dessert at the end: His links. ‘Various & Sundry’. I sometimes borrow from this list because there’s always better stuff in his browser history, even on a slow news week, than there is in mine, any week. Where he gets this stuff, who knows. Maybe those NRO guys collect and share items from procrastination browsing, tweets, emails, post-it notes on the medicine cabinet, bartenders, cab drivers…
Instead of posting relevant material from the main course of the weekly edition of Jonah’s G-File, I’m cheating, skipping right to the dessert, and sharing it here:
Various and Sundry:
I’d like to see what she’d do if a squirrel tried this.
Who knew the faces of Olympic figure skating could be so creepy?
This, however, is pretty cool: view from on top of an Olympic ski jump.
Another reason to like cows: They dislike Euro-club music. Cows make more milk when listening to slow jams.
The favorite books of all 44 presidents of the US.
Candle company releases manly musks like gasoline, wet grass. That’s fine, but I want to copyright my term for man-smell: “manbrosia.”
If I wasn’t on a low-carb diet, I would so try to beat this. Man eats four Chipotle burritos in three minutes.
[AUDIO] Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Charles Cooke & Kevin Williamson Discuss the Over-Importance of the Presidency, Minimum Wage, and the 2016 Mid-Term ElectionsPosted: February 20, 2014
Charlie Cooke and Kevin Williamson discuss the 2016 midterm elections, the presidency being too important, and the minimum wage.
In 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]
Kevin D. Williamson writes: A viral video making the rounds in December bore the very descriptive title “Ten Germans Try to Say the Word ‘Squirrel’” — and nobody seemed to think that it was racist or xenophobic, even though our Teutonic friends were being held up as figures of fun for something that is deeply embedded in their culture. Indeed, the Germans seemed to be as much amused as anybody else. The phenomenon is nothing new to students of linguistics: Not every phoneme exists in every language, and it is extraordinarily difficult for adults to process phonemes that are not part of their linguistic patrimony. Anglophone adults learning Sanskrit have a desperately hard time with the difference between aspirated and non-aspirated “d” sounds, just as somebody who had been raised hearing nothing but Japanese would find it difficult or impossible to distinguish between “r” and “l” sounds in English. Native speakers of non-tonal languages have a rough time with Chinese. Welsh, Romanian, and Dutch all contain sounds that are famous for being unpronounceable by the Anglophone. A “burro” is an ass, and a “burrow” is a hole in the ground, but your typical English-speaking person can’t tell one from the other.
This sort of thing is terribly distressing to c, fiction editor at The Good Men Project, an online magazine, who published a hilariously self-parodic essay titled “Racism in the Classroom: When Even Our Names Are Not Our Own.” He began with this tale of pearl-clutching terror, his soul pierced by the unsettling childhood recollections of a classmate:
He described how, when he was a boy, he couldn’t figure out what a certain newscaster’s name was. The student complained that because the newscaster pronounced his name with a “Mexican” accent, he couldn’t understand it.
There are many possible explanations for this episode. But, racism?
Setting aside the sneer quotes around “Mexican” — as though there were no such thing as a Mexican accent — it is very likely that the boy complained that he could not understand the pronunciation of the broadcaster’s name not because he was a budding ethnolinguistic chauvinist but because he could not understand the pronunciation of the broadcaster’s name, any more than the typical English-speaking man walking the streets of Bakersfield can tell the शूर from the सुर. The story calls to mind a pained book chapter in which linguistic anthropologist Harriet Joseph Ottenheimer considers the famous Saturday Night Live skit in which a bunch of painfully correct Anglos in conversation with Jimmy Smits’s “Antonio Mendoza” use ever more lamely Hispanic-ish pronunciations of common English words and phrases — “Loh-HANG-ee-less” for Los Angeles, “kah-MAHRRR-oh” for the Chevy sports car, etc. Professor Ottenheimer writes that the skit expresses “the extreme ambivalence and complexity of ideologies about Spanish in the United States,” and she worries that under some interpretations Mr. Smits might be seen as “playing into the hands of anti-Spanish sentiment.” This discussion takes place under the heading “Mock Spanish: A Site for the Indexical Reproduction of Racism in American English.” Calvin and Hobbes takes a beating, too, when the racially insensitive stuffed tiger imagines himself as a fearsome potentate called “El Tigre Numero Uno.”
We have set the bar for racism pretty low.
I watched this on Fox this morning, and knew it would be on the web within hours. It’s a classic George Will moment.
George Will gently mocked President Obama’s continuing education Sunday morning, needling him for discovering that some federal agencies are “outdated.”