July 11th, 2024
Just today, he’s called Zelenskyy Putin…

… and VP Harris Trump.

June 9th, 2024
 “Clarity is quite beautiful. It is quite useful. The control of one’s faculties is nothing but beautiful. My biggest feeling about addiction is it is a rather sickening sense of wasted time.”

Frank Miller.

May 13th, 2024
‘The students — many of them on campus and all their supporters off campus — describe the protests as a humanitarian uprising to save lives in Gaza and to advance the rights of Palestinians on the West Bank. All of that is commendable. But I don’t think that’s actually at the heart of the uprisings. The heart of the uprising is to oppose the existence of Israel. And this to me is audible in the most famous chants: “From the River to the Sea” and “Globalize the Intifada.” Those slogans are horrifying. People will say that the chants are calls for the human rights of Palestinians. And people will say that in chanting those slogans that’s what they mean. But this is an example of bad faith.’

Paul Berman weighs in.

The students want to chant these things, of course, because these slogans are transgressive. But no one wants to say what the transgression is because it’s too horrible. So we’re having a mass euphemism event: Horrible things are being advocated by people who deny that they’re advocating it.

… It’s very difficult for people with liberal ideas to recognize the extreme and frightening views that are actually upheld by totalitarian movements. In Hamas we have radical Islamists who’ve shown us in real life what they’re actually for by acting on their principles. And there’s an inability or reluctance to see that. So we have a mass movement in defense of Hamas that calls itself a mass movement in defense of human rights. It’s a blindness, but within the blindness is a seduction and a fascination. That’s evident in the transgressive thrill students feel in chanting those chants.

May 10th, 2024
“They’re not supporters of Hamas,” he says. “They’re supporters of their own stupid ideas. They believe that Hamas is the oppressed, that the oppressed have the right to resist, and that those who are safe – for the most part white kids like themselves – have no right to tell the oppressed what to do.”

“Trust me,” he says, “I lived this, and friends of mine died because of this stupidity.”

*********************

 “[T]hey’re playing into the hands of the right wing in this country. And what terrifies me is that this could end up bringing [Donald] Trump back into power.”

Mark Rudd speaks.

May 10th, 2024
‘Daniels coolly responded by pointing out the tenuousness of Necheles’ argument: “I don’t see ‘instrumental’ or ‘jail’” in the tweet, Daniels said. When the defense attorney pressed her further, Daniels pointed out her post was “hyperbole” and added that “I’m also not a toilet.”’

Scathing Online Stormy explains hyperbole to the defense.

The defense forgot that Stormy was editor of her high school paper.

May 9th, 2024
No shit.

When Necheles characterized Daniels’ e-commerce operation as “shilling,” the adult film star snapped back that Trump — who is currently hawking sneakers and Bibles with his name on them — does the same.

Not unlike Mr. Trump,” she replied.

April 20th, 2024
‘Bernard walked to the gardens quickly, but as soon as he caught sight of Olivier Molinier, he slackened his pace […]. Oliver blushed when he saw Bernard coming up […]. [He] walked away a little abruptly. Bernard was his most intimate friend, so that he took great pains not to show that he liked being with him; sometimes he would even pretend not to see him […]. Bernard… himself affected not to be looking for Olivier […].’

This passage, from André Gide’s novel, The Countefeiters, struck me when I encountered it as a Northwestern undergrad, and has stayed with me all these years. Of course I recognized this comical, poignant form of dissembling from real life, but I suspect this passage, on the fourth page of the book, was my first encounter with a lucid prose description of it. The ways we defend against the exposure of our strongest and most authentic passions intrigued and intrigue me; forms of emotional self-defense intrigued and intrigue me.

And why do we defend? Because precisely the places we feel the most are the places we can be hurt the most.

And also – see Adam Phillips – it disturbs us to think of ourselves as capable of volcanic affect; most of us cultivate what Stephen Dedalus called “the refrigerating apparatus,” and Isaac Rosenfeld “formo-frigidism.” We be cool.

We are too much for ourselves – in our hungers and our desires, in our griefs and our commitments, in our loves and our hates – because we are unable to include so much of what we feel in the picture we have of ourselves. The whole idea of ourselves as excessive exposes how determined we are to have the wrong picture of what we are like, of how fanatically ignorant we are about ourselves.

February 15th, 2024
I thought ‘thesda was already a haven for the cognitive elite.

The cofounder of the Seasteading Institute is Peter Thiel, who is also currently attempting to develop remote property in New Zealand with the hope of establishing a haven for a “cognitive elite” of “sovereign individuals” (clearly inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged). As [Douglas] Rushkoff points out, these entrepreneurs have always regarded the public and civic sectors as “antagonistic to their grand designs.” The creators of projects like ReGen and Seasteading have no interest in sustainable living or alleviating economic inequality. What they want is their own personal sandbox, unrestrained by governments, judicial oversight, or the collective will. These start-up societies reflect, if nothing else, a desire to create a new world from scratch and then choose who gets to be a part of it.

December 5th, 2023
But if they can find Hitler’s receipt…

Italian officials have refused a request from the German State Antiquities Collection in Munich to return a Roman statue bought by Hitler in 1938…  “This work was obtained fraudulently by the Nazis, and it’s part of our national heritage,” [Italy’s culture minister said].

December 1st, 2023
Latin America Eulogizes Kissinger

“[P]rofound moral wretchedness.” Juan Gabriel Valdés, Chile’s US ambassador.

 “[A]n incredibly important figure in the breakdown of Chile’s constitutional order.” Historian Gabriel Salazar.

“Encouraging coups d’état in the region, justifying them, being aware that these coups implied a genocide against workers and students.” Argentine human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman.

November 28th, 2023
The Flying Bentley Flying Spur

[The] ultra-high-end Bentley with a 542-horsepower engine … [goes] from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds… Why on earth would someone want to own a car—one meant to be driven on regular old roads in, for example, upstate New York, where its driver operated a small local chain of hardware stores—that can go a reported 175 miles per hour? That’s 110 miles per hour faster than the highest posted speed limit in the state of New York… The faster drivers go on the road, the more likely they are to suffer a crash and for that crash to be fatal—a point that is both bluntly, stupidly obvious and more or less ignored by plenty of drivers, automobile marketers, and road designers…  U.S. traffic deaths are skyrocketing because the cars that are going faster and faster on our roads are also bigger and heavier than ever before …

****************

You need something to go with your Szecsei & Fuchs Double Barrel Bolt Action Rifle.

October 17th, 2023
“He lived very high; his ex-wife said that they were burning through $250,000 a month on sheer ‘fun.'” 

Quote of the day. Giuliani.

August 18th, 2023
UD’s old boyfriend, David Kosofsky, who died ten years ago, would have…

… enjoyed this. His sister and UD, practically on top of each other.

July 9th, 2023
DeSantis DiSpatch: Latvia and Legacies.

Two items of interest:

  1. Governor DeSantis has announced his first foreign policy measure if he gains the White House:

“I will immediately cut off all recognition of/cooperation with Latvia, which has just elected its first admitted homosexual president. Bad enough that this person is known to be an ‘ardent’ supporter of Ukraine; he adds insult to injury by poisoning the minds of our children with woke ideology. With friends like these, America doesn’t need enemies.”

2. Yale University has issued its first statement about its practice of favoring legacy applicants:

“Ron DeSantis was one of our few non-legacy admits his year at Yale. We’ll stick with legacies.”

June 29th, 2023
Chris Christie remains a delight to listen to.

When asked whether Trump violated the peaceful transfer of power on Jan 6, Ron DeSantis replied:

 “I wasn’t anywhere near Washington that day. I have nothing to do with what happened that day. Obviously, I didn’t enjoy seeing, you know, what happened, but we’ve gotta go forward on this stuff. We cannot be looking backwards and be mired in the past.”

Christie’s response:

He wasn’t anywhere near Washington. Did he have a TV? Was he alive that day? Did he see what was going on? I mean, that’s one of the most ridiculous answers I’ve heard in this race so far. You don’t have an opinion about January 6th except to say, I didn’t particularly enjoy what happened? People were killed. People were killed … on Capitol Hill, defending the Capitol. We had members of Congress who were running for their lives. We had people trying to hunt down the Vice President of the United States, chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence.’ And Donald Trump the entire time sat outside the Oval Office, that little dining room of his, eating a well-done cheeseburger and watching TV and doing nothing to stop what was going on until it got to the point where even he could no longer stand it. And Ron DeSantis doesn’t have any opinion on that?

An earlier Christie post.

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