Politics

So WHY Did Hillary Get a Shoe Thrown At Her?

Because there seems to be a wrinkle:

An attendee later handed a reporter a piece of paper that was apparently thrown by the woman. It appeared to be a copy of a Department of Defense document labeled confidential and dated August 1967; it referred to an operation ‘Cynthia’ in Bolivia.

“Operation Cynthia” seems to be a hole in Google. I cannot find any good info on what Operation Cynthia was. There’s a Time magazine article from 1967, but it’s behind the paywall. Wikipedia is mum.

What this has to do with Hillary mystifies me.

UPDATE: Sean pulls the veil back some:

A library card is a powerful thing. Operation Cynthia was the name of an anti-guerrilla operation ordered by then-President Barrientos and conducted by the Bolivian military. The target was a group of pro-communist militants who opposed the standing government of the time and who appear to have had close ties with Fidel Castro in Cuba. The operation was named after the commanding officer’s daughter.

According to Wikipedia, Barrientos came to power “in a CIA-backed coup”, whatever that means (did the CIA say “Hey, you, get rid of this president and we’ll back you,” or was it more like Walder Frey asking Tywin Lannister for approval before the Red Wedding?). The article doesn’t substantiate this, and indeed suggests that the charge  originates with Barrientos’ erstwhile frient and Minister of the Interior, Antonio Arguedas, who fled to Havana with Che Guevara’s diary after Bolivian troops captured and killed Guevara. So there’s that.

One might safely assume that the Johnson Administration would have provided support in some form for the combating of Marxist guerrillas in Latin America, but this remains an assumption.

What was Hillary Rodham doing in 1967? Near as I can figure, this is about the time she stepped down as President of the Wellesley College Young Republicans, and moved to supporting Eugene McCarthy’s campaign. So…

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Rolling Stone Trolls Us All With Naked Julia-Louise Dreyfus, U.S. History Fail

They’ve pretty much become the Slate of music magazines (NSFW-ish at link): throwing up outlandish nonsense to boost sales.

Ace thinks this editorial ignorance, or even a prophylactic error, a case of “If we don’t put John Hancock’s signature on her butt, people will give us crap for getting it wrong, even though it’s not wrong.”

I disagree. I think everyone saying “Hey, you dipsticks! John Hancock didn’t sign the Constitution!” was the entire point. It blew up on Facebook yesterday, and as with the Boston Bomber, now everyone is again talking about Rolling Stone. With hate, sure. But advertising dollars don’t recognize hate. And Rolling Stone needs the money. As Ace puts it:

Rolling Stone

The magazine for smart, educated, socially-aware young Americans who are over 60 years old and who are also as dumb as a box of chicken farts

Exactly. Rolling Stone is a feckless pile of hippie nostalgia and glossy ads. They are the magazine that makes Spin look cool. They have no marketing strategy left other than to relentlessly piss people off to maintain “edginess”.

In fact, the interest this cover offers lies solely in wondering how much of it is Photoshopped. One assumes that JLD got a little digital tuck-and-lift (if not, then I am impressed); it’s simply the business now. And if that’s the case, did they actually bother tattooing the Declaration of Constitution on her back? Or did they just add that digitally later?

This presents an interesting nexus in American popular art: a piece in which everything, from the model, to the “provocative” tattoo on the model, to the actual intent of the image, is faker than a freshman’s drivers license. Welcome to the new nadir.

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McLovin: Prophet of Our Times

 

I Was Supposed to Get a Pass: Stephen Colbert’s White Privelege, and Other Exercises in Doublethink

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Historical Racism, defined either as discrimination formalized in law or as open white supremacist hostility, has ceased to excite progressives in proportion to the degree it has vanished from American public life. In order to maintain their cultural edge, the Left has instead declared war on the more nebulous (and thus, easier to accuse) “White privilege”. This concept has a long and tenuous definition, but in practice means that the white may not speak to or about the nonwhite in any way that sounds bad to the latter. If the nonwhite says it is offensive, then it is offensive. Full stop. Intent does not matter.

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Yes, Secularism is a Religion, and Here are its Witch Trials

David P. Goldman, whose magisterial good sense is to be found all over his “Spengler” column, analyzes secular progressivism as a post-Protestant religion, aimed less at promulgating sound public policy than at creating a means of saving America from its sins:

Joseph Bottum, by contrast, examines post-Protestant secular religion with empathy, and contends that it gained force and staying power by recasting the old Mainline Protestantism in the form of catechistic worldly categories: anti-racism, anti-gender discrimination, anti-inequality, and so forth. What sustains the heirs of the now-defunct Protestant consensus, he concludes, is a sense of the sacred, but one that seeks the security of personal salvation through assuming the right stance on social and political issues. Precisely because the new secular religion permeates into the pores of everyday life, it sustains the certitude of salvation and a self-perpetuating spiritual aura. Secularism has succeeded on religious terms.

The right opinions and the right votes thereby become a means of redemption for whatever personal errors of racism, sexism, etc. Suddenly the enormous hypocrisy of say, feminists continuing to support Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, makes a perverse kind of sense.

But belief in a good carries with it a beleif in an evil, and when the devil will not manifest himself openly, one needs must go hunting for him. Thus, the witchcraft trials of earlier centuries, and thus, the secular inquisition over things like “white privelege,” “heteronormativity,” and “rape culture”:

Anyone who follows the contemporary media closely is doubtless familiar with the suddenly ubiquitous phrase “rape culture.” In the context of higher education, the phrase implies two interlocking beliefs. First: despite crime statistics showing sexual assault (as well as all violent crimes) to be very uncommon on campus, colleges and universities are, in fact, hotbeds of rape (but not, it appears, of all other violent crimes). Second: despite the fact that most college faculties and nearly all administrations are extraordinarily sympathetic to the activists’ position on gender issues, the campus culture over which these figures preside nonetheless–somehow–actually encourages the prevalence of rape at college.

That little, if any, evidence exists to sustain either of these beliefs has not deterred the “rape culture” believers; if anything, the lack of evidence for their claims appears to have emboldened them.

This is standard procedure. To deny that you are a counterrevolutionary, to deny that counterrevolution is a grave threat, is prima facie evidence that you are a counterrevolutionary. Confess and you shall be forgiven; dissent and you shall be purged.

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Yes, Communism is That Bad.

“How bad?” asks Michael Totten, in another dispatch from Cuba.

So bad, it can turn a Black Panther into a Republican.

In 1971, Garland Grant, a member of the Black Panthers, hijacked a flight from Milwaukee to Washington DC and demanded to be taken to Algeria, a Soviet-style military dictatorship and a client of Moscow’s. But the plane didn’t have enough fuel, so he said “Take me to Havana” instead.

He was arrested on arrival for air piracy and thrown into prison. Guards beat him mercilessly and he lost an eye.

Grant would never have gone there had he known he’d be sent directly to jail, nor would he have gone if he had the first clue what the place is really like. He swallowed all the bullshit about the island being a worker’s paradise and was shocked to discover, when the authorities let him out, that he’d been released from one prison only to discover the entire country is a prison.

“I just want to get back to the United States,” he told a reporter in downtown Havana. “I’m living like a dog in Cuba. There are more racism problems here than in the worst parts of Mississippi. I’ve been in the place six years and I’m out of my mind. Believe me, I’m all for the United States now. I’d even wear a Nixon button.” He did finally return home and spent more time in prison. He lives now as a chastened free man in Wisconsin and will not speak to the media.

Of course, to learn this lesson you have to live there. I could think of a few people who could benefit from a ticket.

Starting with anyone who wears a Che t-shirt.

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Sarah Hoyt Battles the SFWA Fascists and Their Glittery Hoo-Has

Yeah. Like I was going to pass up an opportunity for that headline.

When I was first imagining myself as a writer, the idea of belonging to an organization like SWFA seemed to be that of status, legitimacy, networking.

But if you need to be published to get in, then you already have those things. So what does it provide again?

Apparently, opportunities for self-promotion from Not-Sexist to Super-Not-Sexist

Anyway, Sarah goes nuts with the gifs, and it’s still better than 95% of the posts at Buzzfeed, because she still writes the story. The gif’s punctuate the points rather than substitute for them.

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And in the process, she links Kate Paulik’s lovely picquant rant on the subject. I have never heard of Kate, but I am following her blog now, because she discourses on Glittery Hoo-Has with provocative vigor.

What is this Glittery Hoo-Ha, you say? Well, it’s a snarky literary term for the Girl Who Is So Precious and Perfect that any man will remove a testicle just to get his remaining one near to her. The Feminist Glittery Hoo-Ha functions thusly:

For the Interchangeable Feminist author, the Feminist Glittery Hoo Haa magically transforms her grocery lists (should she ever deign to commit such a patriarchally derived act as create one) into high art (those of you speculating on precisely what one has to be high on to consider it art may stop now). Editors, agents and publishers recognize the brilliance of her FGHH and – judging by the samples I’ve read – don’t bother to read the piece before publishing it and pushing it harder than a heterosexual male backstage at a pole dancer’s convention. Obviously their brilliance is lost on the rest of us who lack this magical piece of anatomy and possess the usual combination of a pair of functioning eyes and some brain cells that don’t faint in shock when they’re called on to do any thinking.

Obviously, tears ensue, and the enemies of the people must be purged. Because, Patriarchy.

Meanwhile, a woman has spent two days straight making Someecards about her husband’s small penis, and Happyplace thinks it’s the funniest thing that ever happened.

Useful Idiot Jesse Myerson Gets Slapped Around Like a Red-Head Stepchild

By RS McCain.

Myerson is the bourgeois equivalent of the kind of semi-educated twerp who slicks his hair to that Fuhrer emo-flop and quibbles about exactly how many Jews died in the so-called holocaust.

Apologetics for an ideology with Communism’s body count ought to be a one-way ticket to a compound in Idaho, printing off mimeographed newsletters to be sold for a quarter with a dimebag of meth.

I blame Trotsky, because he invented the notion that Communism was pure and humane until Stalin got his hands on it. Which is inane. Stalin did nothing that Lenin (and Trotsky) did not do before him. All he did was (slightly) increase the scale. But Trotsky’s post-downfall bit of self-serving claptrap has allowed generations of the supposedly-educated to look at Stalin and Mao and Ho and Pol Pot and say “that is not communism.”

But it is.

McCain performs yeoman service in stuffing the myth Communism in It’s True Form and The Good Tsar Lenin back on the ash-heap of history where it belongs.

Not shown: Capitalism.

Not shown: Capitalism.

Democrat in Jail For Domestic Violence Protected From Expulsion by….NAACP

When I snarked about this a few days ago, I didn’t know that Rep. Henriquez was black (I also incorrectly called him a Congressman, rather than a Massachusetts State Representative). It doesn’t really matter that he his black (unless one wants to argue that if he were a white Democrat, he wouldn’t be in jail at all. The experience of Jim Moran’s son might give credence to this notion). At least, it doesn’t matter to me, insofar as I would argue his expulsion from Congress regardless of his race.

But it matters to the NAACP.

I guess solidarity really is for white women, huh (this gag will of course be ruined if the woman assaulted turns out to be white. Hey-ho)?

Richard Epstein Needs to Get Over His Rand Paul Problem

Richard Epstein is a smart guy. He writes sound columns, he advances strong arguments consistently. And his current column, ostensibly about Rand Paul but really about the difference between libertarians and “classical liberals”, (h/t Insty) can be counted as one of that number. I have never considered myself a hard-core libertarian, and would probably land on the classical liberal side, with Epstein, if push came to shove.

But telling Rand Paul to move to the center puts a glaring spotlight on the problem on the right.

Libertarians aren’t right about everything. They have, like any ideologues, blind-spots. But those blind spots are tiny motes compared to the vast black holes of reality found amongst progressives. In the wake of everything the progs have done to our body politic these last six years, I struggle to care about the libertarian problems with copyright law. That doesn’t mean I don’t consider copyright law a worthy issue, merely less worthy of my time at this juncture than dismantling ObamaCare and reigning in the NSA.

I may not be a libertarian, but libertarians are my allies. I think well of them and want them to advance their arguments. If they are successful in convincing just one more person about the greater value of liberty vis-a-vis another government-bloating progressive social crusade, then that is to the benefit of classical liberals. If they can argue soundly in favor of a flat tax, we can argue, on similar principle, in favor of other things. Our points of disagreement are not anywhere near as much of a problem as Epstein suggests. Take this graph:

Precisely for this reason, the vigorous “antitax” strand of hard-line libertarian thought has never commended itself to classical liberals like myself, who recognize the need for taxation to support the institutions of social order. Usually that view cashes out into a defense of a unified flat tax on either income or, preferably, consumption. That view is in evident tension with antitax activists like Grover Norquist, whose focus is current tax struggles and not general political theory. Norquist wants to shrink government “to the size where we can drown it in a bath-tub.” The classical liberal avoids such over-the-top rhetoric. Instead, he seeks to maximize the net social gain from the tax system, so that each taxpayer receives a bundle of government services whose value exceeds the cost of the tax.

Am I really supposed to not help Grover Norquist shrink government, because he might someday shrink it too much? Does anyone doubt that if Norquist shrunk the size of government half as much as he wanted to, he wouldn’t consider that a win? And can’t we have this debate about this hypothetical too-small government at that hypothetical moment?

Look, it doesn’t hurt to point out distinctions between one mode of thinking and another. Distinctions are good things. But this column is warning us against a danger too remote to be considered. If Rand Paul pushes his way into the White House, tearing up copyright law isn’t going to be the first thing he does. It isn’t even going to be the thousandth.