Total Potpourri 4/17/16

  1. Expressional or Artistic
  2. Doing a lot of work
  3. Evangelicals and Trump
  4. Bluffing the Essay Question
  5. Trump Supporter Rage
  6. Slate < NYT
  7. Dictator-ready


Missouri has come up with an interesting twist on the “gay marriage” versus “discrimination” kerfuffle:

The proposal would allow voters to decide whether to amend the Missouri Constitution to ban government penalties against businesses that cite religion while declining goods or services of “expressional or artistic creation” for same-sex weddings. That would include florists and photographers.

(Get Religion) I’m against putting this to the voters, because it’s cowardly of legislators and it will raise the mantra “putting discrimination in our constitution.” But I like the singling out of “expressional or artistic creations,” since that has been where all the action is and frankly is where all the controversy is.

On the other hand, once a gay couple faces the reality that they’re trying to compel expression or artistic creation from someone who doesn’t believe what they’re asking him (or her) to express (or create), and not just trying to buy fungible goods, it should be “game over” from a First Amendment perspective without legislation. In that sense, the Bill or proposal or whatever it is functions mostly as a teacher. But too many Human Relations Commissions and Judges don’t get that vital and basic distinction.

Of course, the corporate bullies like Monsaton oppose the Missouri approach anyway. Screw ’em!


Harvard’s President thinks “final clubs” (sounds like they’re Harvarsd’s versions of fraternities and sororities, through two of thirteen are co-ed) should be banned as hotbeds of misogyny and sexual assault:

The task force notes that, “Other than in dormitories, final clubs are the single most likely location for a student to experience a sexual assault.” That “other than” clause is doing a lot of work. Harvard’s student surveys show that at least 75% of alleged assaults take place in Harvard-run housing. The comparable figure for clubs is 10% to 17%.

(Wall Street Journal – paywall)


Mark your calendar again. I’m going to say something nice about Evangelicals again: they aren’t really in the tank for Trump, and those who actually go to Church (yes, the term has become so meaningless that some Evangelicals don’t go to Church) are particularly negative toward him.

This is a good thing.


Trump described himself as an Ayn Rand fan. He said of her novel The Fountainhead, “It relates to business (and) beauty (and) life and inner emotions. That book relates to … everything.” He identified with Howard Roark, the novel’s idealistic protagonist who designs skyscrapers and rages against the establishment.

So The Fountainhead “relates to business, beauty, life, and inner emotions”? Wow, that’s really specific, because no other novels in history have ever related to “inner emotions.” (By the way, why “inner emotions”? What would “outer emotions” be? Don’t bother answering. I’ve seen Trump speak. That’s what outer emotions are.)

This kind of vague answer is par for course when Trump is pretending to talk about something he knows nothing about. It reminds me of Trump describing why he admires Abraham Lincoln.

He was a man who was of great intelligence,… but he was also a man who did something that was a very vital thing to do at that time. Ten years before or 20 years before, what he was doing would never have even been thought possible. So he did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time.

A history professor who was asked about this said that Trump’s answer sounds like an inattentive student trying to bluff his way through a test question.

Trump talking about The Fountainhead sounds like a poor student trying to bluff his way through a book report, without even bothering to skim the Cliff’s Notes.

(Robert Tracinski at the Federalist, Donald Trump Is An Ayn Rand Villain, emphasis added)

Yes! Why did it never dawn on me that Trump sounds exactly like some idiot trying to bluff his way through an essay question?!


That keening you hear is Trump supporters reacting to the preceding items:

It seems pretty obvious to me that the rage I hear from Trump supporters when I say they’re wrong stems from a kind of insecurity or resentment. Simply put, they want to be validated. It’s an awfully similar response to what we hear constantly on college campuses from the delicate little flowers who say they don’t want debate, they want empowerment. It turns out that many of the mental habits we mock and ridicule on the left have ample purchase on the right as well.

(Jonah Goldberg)


Whenever I think the bias of the New York Times’ bias is blatant, I should remember Slate, which describes Pope Francis as

the leader who has done precious little to tackle the rampant child sex abuse perpetrated by members of the institution he heads and has repeatedly talked about the need to treat gays and lesbians like second-class citizens.


These people are ripe for dictatorship. They will not let themselves see reality if it offends against the party line.

(Rod Dreher)

* * * * *

“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.