Jay Nordlinger on Brown U’s secret forum…

…where students go “underground” to discuss politically incorrect issues.

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The triumph of death

Kathryn Lopez reports:

“ABC’s prime-time show Scandal had lead character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), D.C. “fixer,” at work. After encouraging the ex-wife of her boyfriend, the president, to finish the filibuster she had begun on Christmas Eve to stand up for continued funding for Planned Parenthood, the flagship of the abortion industry, Olivia went in for her own abortion. The background music for the scene was the Christmas hymn “Silent Night.”

“‘Heavenly hosts sing ‘Alleluia,’ you heard Aretha Franklin sing, as the abortion began.'”

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Is the Daily Serf being raped by a hacker?

The Daily Serf (known to itself as the Daily Freeman) out of Kingston, N.Y. appears to be running a sick political cartoon against its will.

The cartoon first appeared, as best as I can tell, in the online edition of the Serf the day before the murders in Paris. It keeps bobbing around the editorial page, disappearing and reappearing, here and there, and showing up in the top spot.

It’s an utterly contemptible and idiotic cartoon, suggesting moral equivalence between ISIS beheadings and U.S. drone attacks on terrorists. While that kind of stupidity is not unknown along the Woodstock-New Paltz axis, the identity of the author of the cartoon is not clear and is accompanied by no signature or identification of its classification — it’s not a “letter” to the editor, for instance. And I’m fairly certain that it’s nothing that the editors of the Serf would hang up there as their choice of cartoon.

I could get in touch with the managing editor and ask him about it, but I don’t want to embarrass him, if in fact his online edition has been invaded by a hacker and he can’t do anything about it. The cartoon has been up and down on that page for over a week now. Even more embarrassing, of course, would be if the editors are intentionally running it.

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John Kerry

Not since Sonny Bono hit the tree skiing has there been a mess like John Kerry as SecState.

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New Paltz: My negligence

As always, I feel terrible at having missed a half dozen, at least, important political events, happenings, meetings, and things otherwise uncategorizable. I am negligent in my local duties, as I see them.

There was the flap over whether or not the town planning board would say the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings. Now, do I want to explore that and have a good time with it? Oh, yes. Will I? No. Not yet. First I want to finish my platter of vegan chocolates and then throw up.

There was the strange closing down of a newer favorite among local pub restaurants — Shea O’Brien’s. It was the place I could get Mr. Rizzi to go to, so that would make it one of a kind.

There was the sad loss of a longtime manager of the now long gone Ariel bookstore, Dan Schmidt. He and I were not friends but he was one of those people who characterized the downtown for decades.

There was an election, where the generics won again. We now have a generic mayor in the village and a generic supervisor for the town. And my theory is that that is the result of having an increasingly generic population. Generics, of course, are not really individuals, not in the American sense of the word, and so of course they are all reflexively Progs — Progressives, with a natural standpoint that maintains a good distance between themselves and reality, and you don’t have to listen to them to know what will be coming out of their mouths. Watching them do government is like being the faculty advisor to the student council. The self-importance of the self-anointed playahs always with an eye on blueprints for their pyramids. Now it’s going to be the “joint government complex” out by the decommissioned town hall. (It’s Zimet’s idea, and though a Prog, she’s no generic, but it’s the generics she’ll be leaving it to as she departs…)

And I missed town council member Jeff Logan getting into a the-police-were-called dispute with former village trustee Ariana Basco. The issue was Logan’s campaign signs, which had been plucked from the ground. He found them leaning against Basco’s house. I’ve always thought that Logan was smart, but now I’m starting to like his capacity for getting into trouble. (As my friend the Mad Scientist used to say about me, “when he drinks Jack Daniels, he fights,” so I appreciate a knack for trouble when I see it.) Last time out Logan got taped being really really mean to council member Tom Ripley, really mean, and Tom reported Logan to the principal’s office.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’ve been so negligent that I can’t dredge it up. Does anyone happen to know a good entry point for the Millbrook Preserve? Madam Vandam wants to take a look at it.

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The cloud of terror descends. It’s a variant of the fog of war. A photograph flits across the bulb, and that, say the news readers and the cut line at the bottom, is the “mastermind” of the mass killing. This time it was someone last seen driving a truck or a van full of corpses, to be delivered to a mass grave. I think the site of the supposed grave was in Syria. He had a big happy grin on his face.

No matter. Masterminds are a dime a dozen these days. Before the “JV” broke out in Iraq and captured Mosul there wasn’t a great deal of talk about ISIS. There was some, but it was more or less suppressed. The news queue is always tight. Just a little less tight than the great national attention span.

Our own Mastermind, speaking from Turkey yesterday, claimed that he was carefully heeding the advice of his military and intelligence advisors. What about that advice about leaving a contingency force in Iraq in 2011? (Roll out those “Booosh did it” excuses here, you sorry morons.) That was some advice that went unheeded. That contingency force that would have the backs of Iraqi forces, with forward on-ground air controllers and air support. I think the old cliché for that is “nipping it in the bud.” As in, you want to nip the “JV” in the budding stage, before it even becomes the “JV” (easily the most laughably glib term our Mastermind has ever used for anything; right up there with his description of his close friend Bill Ayers, a terrorist in his own right, as “some guy in the neighborhood”).

Then, after not heeding that contingency force advice, came the intelligence about the building threat of ISIS, glibly dismissed, again. In other words, he knew what was coming because his military and intelligence advisors were telling him.

But this is all academic now. Jonah Goldberg writes this morning about the new British Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, under the header “Loyal Opposition as Fifth Columnist.” Well, there’s been a lot of that fifth column stuff going around.

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Stanley Kurtz on Bernie Sanders on Eugene Debs

I’m very happy that Sanders has come along. He has corralled in one place the unashamed political and economic illiterates, largely among American whites, along with the malicious haters of America and freedom, not to mention the haters of prosperity. He does mix some lies with truth, as do all socialist warriors. For instance, he’s part of an international movement but pretends that he’s an economic nationalist, because he sees how free trade ideology and multilateral trade agreements bargain away American sovereignty and squeeze the life out of the American workforce. It’s a good theme for him, but by the time he would be done with the American economy bad trade agreements would be the least of its problems.

Stanley has a good time with him.

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A cryptic comment or two

Beneath the false bottom of America’s role in the world, as the status quo superpower and guarantor of strategic peace in the aftermath of the Cold War, was prior Soviet penetration of U.S. government.

The Rosetta Stone of Soviet penetration of the U.S. government is Cuba.


“American Betrayal” by Diana West, for how deep that penetration was from 1933 through WWII.

“Stalin” by Edvard Radzinsky, for the depth of deception initiated by the Bolsheviks, their intimate enforcers the Chekists, and especially by Stalin.

“Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA” by Edward Jay Epstein, for how Soviet deception began early, in the 1920s with “the Trust,” and was renewed over and over again right through the Reagan era. (“Deception” was published in 1989.)

“The Terror Network” by Claire Sterling, for the levels of denial in the West about who was running the terror groups in Europe and the Middle East from the late 1960s through the 1970s (with a look at the Cuban role in their training and deployment. “The Terror Network” was published in 1980.).

If you know the movie “The Matrix” (forget about the sequels) you’ve got a pretty good epistemological model for how deeply deceived the natural standpoint of Americans is on their own history since, most distinctively, 1933. Diana West will take your breath away starting there. Radzinsky will show you how deep the enemy was and is, i.e., how far beneath morality and ethics. Epstein shows the plays that the Soviets ran over and over again on the West, always with great success. Sterling, very courageously, got right into the face of something no one else would talk about, at least in public.

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So far, in “Green Hell”

It is as always mostly about Jack Taylor’s moods and their swings, and the Irish of Galway. Though the murder has now occurred and Jack’s American ex-friend is the accused. Jack knows better.

This is Ken Bruen’s 2015 Jack Taylor novel. I had it on my list (down the queue) and said that I would get to it “next week.” I got to it and I’m in.

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“‘Gross Negligence’ Laws”

Something about the FBI, Hillary, and up to ten years in prison.

Never place a bet on the Clintons no longer being above the law, but if you don’t understand that this is the Obama White House that’s after her, you will likewise not get that she’s never been pursued by a more serious enemy. I hasten to add that she could have been indicted weeks or even months ago. Instead, she’s being toyed with, perhaps for some further purpose.

Maybe that purpose is something as simple as preparing the public for the shock of an indictment. Maybe the purpose is to demonstrate that the Obamas still dominate the Party. Maybe it’s both and more.

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Books in “the stack”

My late great mentor, Sandra Oddo, who I wish I could sit down with this autumn and drink a gallon of her pretty bad home brew, always had this mountain of paper on her desk that she called “the stack.” She was a big woman and it was a big stack, and she would occasionally plow through it. I’ve been building quite a stack of books the past couple of years. Here are some that I’ve been reading, skimming, and not yet opened:

1. Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass (2001) by Theodore Dalrymple. Dalrymple is a now retired doctor who worked in a British inner city hospital and a prison. I’ve been skipping around in this and haven’t found a bad paragraph yet. A brilliant writer. I need to go end to end with it.

2. Strategic Failure: How President Obama’s Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America (2015) by Mark Moyar. The premise of the title seems obvious to me, but I suspect that it’s worse than I thought. I’ll apply Stan Evans’s Law of Insufficient Paranoia, that no matter how bad you think things are, they’re worse. I’ve just glanced at Strategic Failure, but I’m going to bounce around in it sometime this coming week.

3. Thieves World: The Threat of the New Global Network of Organized Crime (1994) by Claire Sterling. I’ve read three of the late Claire Sterling’s books (The Terror Network, The Time of the Assassins, and The Mafia) and think that she’s the best journalist of her time. I started Thieves World but put it aside because like all of her books it demands total, compelling attention. I hope to get to an end-to-end read of it soon.

4. The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West (2015) by Michael Walsh. About fifty pages into it. Fascinating literary take on the induced evil of Frankfurt School attacks on Western culture, in which Walsh so far is leaning on the great work of Milton. I have a disagreement with Walsh over his premise, but I won’t discuss it here. He’s doing a good job with it, however.

5. Diary of a Man in Despair (1966) by Friedrich Reck. Written during the 30s and 40s by a German “landed gentleman” (he had to keep it hidden; the Gestapo eventually arrested him and he died in Dachau in 1945) about the grotesque nature of Hitler and the Nazis and their immense sickness and what they were doing to Germany. A friend sent me this, the second book he has sent me in recent years, and like the first book this one is strong stuff. Very strong stuff. I can’t think of anything quite like it. About sixty-five pages into it when I laid it down.

6. Drilling Through the Core: Why Common Core is Bad for American Education (2015) Edited with an introduction by Peter W. Wood. Just got it in the mail. Ordered it because it was recommended by Stanley Kurtz, whose judgment I trust. Never followed Common Core, but this will get me up to date when I find time for it. It’s going to be dry and scholarly, but that never bothers me if I’m getting something reliable.

7. Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs (2015) by Michelle Malkin. Michelle’s a nerd when it comes to stuff like this; she loves it. So do I.

8. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (2005) by Thomas E. Woods Jr. Woods just lays out the evidence, discusses it a little, but lets it speak for itself. I’m 125 pages into it, and it’s good. If you don’t know how profound the Church’s role was in the development of universities, art, science, and architecture (that’s how far I am into it, more to come, like international law), then this book will get you up to speed.

9. Green Hell: A Jack Taylor Novel (2015) by Ken Bruen. Last year was my Ken Bruen year. Raced through at least six of his novels (I lost count), both in the Jack Taylor and Inspector Brant (though Brant is not actually an inspector) series. I ordered this one for Madam Vandam, who is similarly addicted. I keep saying “next week.” So, I’ll read it next week.

10. Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America (1990) by Joseph D. Douglass, Jr. Devastating. People go on endlessly about the war on drugs, but it’s the sound of one hand clapping. According to Douglass and his main source, a Cold War Czech defector, there was first a war with drugs, carefully organized and orchestrated from Moscow.

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When the cocktail hour comes before lunch, that’s a real problem.

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The Biden speculation

If Biden gets into the contest, his wave function will collapse and it’s not going to be a happy time for him. He’s as stale as Hillary (and staleness is very bad) and doesn’t quite have the malodorous appeal that Sanders has to the infantile base. But the White House approves of Biden speculation, otherwise it would go away along with Biden. So he’s possibly their stalking horse, but for whom?

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Public schools update: Chicago

Ex-Chicago public schools chief to plead guilty in contract kickback scheme.

As I like to say, there are some people who think they are above the law, like Eliot Spitzer and this woman, and then there are those who can prove it, like the Clintons.

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Monday morning

It was a horrible weekend in New Paltz. A fifteen-year-old, a student at the high school, committed suicide. I don’t know her parents, but I ache at the very thought of their agony. Suicidal ideation is something I don’t pretend to understand. What sets it off, especially in a kid, is a mystery. It tears friends and families apart, that much I know.

The three people I’ve known who killed themselves each left gaping holes in the lives of others, including my own.

When I was in college I had a friend, Mike, who I worked with one night a week for several hours, sitting side by side at a table, attending to the layout of a newspaper. He was a great guy and a good friend. A few years later we had a very minor confrontation over something. I forget what. We remained friends, but the closeness of our friendship ended.

Many years later, when I got in touch with a mutual friend, he told me in a matter of fact way that Mike had done the carbon monoxide thing in his car in his garage. Something about a failed marriage. And it still hurts when I think about it. Maybe if we had stayed close he could have called me and I might have talked him out of it. That’s how friends and family think about such things.

So, first, don’t do it. Don’t let those thoughts take you over. Turn to someone. Turn to God. Think about your friends and those who love you. Shake it off, pull yourself out of it, and live.

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The killer in Oregon

My recommendation to people interested in what happened, in the sense of how this man stepped out of his isolation and alienation to murder nine people, is to keep following the story after it falls out of the big media news cycles.

The authorities so far (next day) are being a bit closed mouth about the details. Chris Mercer was obviously not your routine 26-year-old, so the question remains as to what it was that sucked him down into the vortex of a compulsion to kill as many people as he could.

I followed the case of James Holmes (the mass killer in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting) well beyond the initial media uproar, and wonder how many people learned that Holmes had been seeing a University of Colorado psychologist and that he had, in fact, threatened her. She knew he was dangerous and reported it to university officials, but when he was dumped out of the university neuroscience program and out of the university itself, there was no indication at all that the university told local police that Holmes was a threat.

In other words, Holmes had been in the mental health net, but he didn’t slip through it. He was tossed out of it. The university was hoping to be rid of him, and that was that.

So, follow the story beyond the immediate horizon. You can do that by continuing to do Google searches on it when it starts to disappear from the national media. You’ll get the local, regional, and state news reports.

I don’t expect the Mercer case to resemble the Holmes case, but I do expect that there will be a lot more to his story than will be caught in the current avalanche of coverage. And that having an intelligent discussion of his case and the problem of mass shootings will be impossible without those details.

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