Friday, 9/4/15

  1. Taming unruly elections
  2. Ignoring religion
  3. Trust your phobia?
  4. We have a problem
  5. Loco parent substitutes
  6. After the dust settles


Elections are the best opportunity for citizens outside the scribal class to disrupt agenda control, because elections provide both the motivation for some citizens to speak and others to listen. And of course campaign finance reform makes disruption more difficult, because it restricts campaign spending while not affecting the most important levers that the scribal class enjoys in shaping politics. Campaign finance reform is how today’s scribes wage class warfare.

(John McGinnis, America’s Class Divide: Scribes v. Producers)


Corporate America and the cultural Left often find themselves on the same side of public debates, as last spring’s controversy over the Indiana RFRA law, and last summer’s reaction to Obergefell decision, demonstrate. Corporate America really doesn’t stand in opposition to the Left, unless one defines the Left purely in economic terms.

John [McGinnis] minimizes one factor, though, and that is the scribal class’s almost total disregard of religion, at least traditional religion. True, the media sometimes presents religious minorities in a flattering light, usually as examples of a benign multiculturalism. But there is little respect for the legitimacy of religious convictions as such, especially the convictions of traditional believers. There is little knowledge even of basic facts.

(Mark Movesian, Producers versus Scribes)


The first lesson women learn in self-defense classes is this: “Trust your intuition. Your most valuable resource is your instincts.” Now the Left is telling young women in the beginning of their journey to womanhood, when they are just learning strategies to keep themselves safe and when they are most vulnerable, to ignore their guts for the sake of political correctness. They are on one hand telling us there is nothing less than a rape epidemic on America’s campuses, and on the other telling women about to move onto those campuses that their gut feelings of danger are “transphobic” and should be ignored.

It is apparently more important to prevent the hurt feelings of one student of the school than to disturb the comfort and possibly safety of dozens of others. One student must be made to feel comfortable in a locker room, even if none of his peers in the same locker room do.

(Bethany Mandell)


“When 98.2 percent of all federal cases end up in convictions, almost all of which are the result of plea bargains, there’s a problem. When prosecutors try to make a name for themselves so they can move onto multi-million dollar salaries in big law firms, there’s a problem. When hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans are serving sentences of life or nearly life for first-time, non-violent drug offenses, there’s a problem,” he said.

“And when those men and women who conceived of the torture, who approved the torture, who carried out the torture, and who destroyed evidence of the torture continue to not only walk free, but also to justify their crimes with multi-million dollar book deals, there’s a problem.”

Kiriakou is known in the activist crowd as the only member of CIA to go to jail for torture—because he exposed it.

(Kelley Vlahos)


I can imagine some harrumphing about the notion that Davis respects the law. After all, isn’t she refusing to act in accord with it?! I find this worry rather rich when expressed by progressives. For decades, elite colleges and universities run by progressives have made arrangements with local police that allow students to use drugs and drink while underage, free from the worry of arrest. These sorts of special arrangements, which are widespread in elite institutions, are not criticized for the obvious ways in which they undermine the rule of law.

(R.R. Reno) I’ve suspected that colleges and universities were engaging the “leave our kids alone!” part of in loco parentis without meaningfully adding “and we’ll take care of their misbehavior ourselves.” Now Reno has made the allegation more starkly.


Here’s what I think is going to happen after the dust settles:

1. Gay marriage will still be the law of the land.

2. A huge number of secular and/or liberal people in this country will be far less disposed to listen to anybody talk about religious liberty, and will be more willing to regard all religious liberty claims as Kim Davis-like special pleading.

3. A non-trivial number of conservatives will lose patience with and sympathy for religious conservatives, because whatever they think about same-sex marriage, they will see this as fundamentally a law-and-order issue.

4. A huge number of conservative Christians will become ever more alienated from America and angry at the government. This will hasten their exodus from the public square, and the fraying of the social fabric.

I have expected No. 4 for some time, because the direction of the nation is clear. But I would have expected it over a considerably more ambiguous case than this one. Kim Davis is a bad martyr for the cause of religious liberty, and we conservative Christians will come to regret her stance. But here we are, and there are some very loud, very sincere voices cheering her on, just to stick it to the Man. They don’t have an end game, and don’t care.

(Rod Dreher) The voices cheering on Davis are not those of “household name” celebrities (can you tell me who Douglas Wilson is, for instance?), so I’m not yet ready to retract my implied prediction. But sympathy-cum-disagreement is pretty widespread.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.