Friday, 4/22/16

  1. Just who is “electing Hillary”?
  2. Tying up my loose end
  3. A new alliance
  4. Deja Vu Educational Horror House
  5. 140-character Cad
  6. Tone-deaf as a post
  7. Better Booknotes
  8. Naked Emperors



It’s probably not breaking news that I am, and have been publicly since July, a proud member of the Never Trump club …

As a member of this club, one of the accusations I hear all the time is that I will be responsible for “electing Hillary” if I don’t vote for Trump in the general election (should he win the nomination). I find this claim so absurd that it’s barely worth addressing, but because I hear it so often, I decided to dedicate a post to it.

Here’s the short and sweet version: if Hillary becomes president, it won’t be my fault for not voting Trump, it will be the fault of Trump supporters for nominating such an abysmally terribly candidate in the first place.

Trump fans don’t get to foist this ridiculous buffoon on us and then blame us when he loses. It doesn’t work that way. Sorry. No. If you vote to place Trump in the general election, the inevitable landslide defeat, and the 8 year reign of Queen Hillary, will be on your shoulders.

(Matt Walsh on Facebook introducing this.)

I hope such clipping from Facebook to a blog isn’t a capital internet offense. After all, Twitter allows embedded tweets. At least I didn’t poach anything from The Blaze article Walsh linked to — and which is priceless.

If you hate Trump, you’ll love it.

If you love Trump and live in Indiana or one of the states that hasn’t had its primary yet, please read it. It will either (1) change your mind or (2) give you an attack of apoplexy that might disable you until after the primary.


I told a little story on myself yesterday but didn’t connect the dots well. Here was the story:

I’ve said before that a key moment in my journey to Orthodoxy was connecting (1) my behavior to (2) C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce: “Self,” I sez to me, “what are you doing to become the kind of person for whom the eternal presence of God would be heaven, not hell?” The fact was, I had some of that ego and those passions that I wasn’t dealing with at all.

The dot-connecting is that the tradition I was coming from had essentially no use for lifting a finger, for cooperating with God, for doing anything more than asking for forgiveness upon each willful repetition of a sin. It was all a matter of God saying I was forgiven, as if some magic transformation would come after a self-centered life.

I stopped buying that. Orthodox Christianity doesn’t buy that. That’s why this was a key moment in my journey. It’s not rigorously logical, but it’s my story.


I’m smart enough to know how dumb I am at foreign policy, but here goes with channeling someone who seems genuinely smart.

William Lind, in the American Conservative May 1 print edition, in an article that probably will come online in a month or two, writes his “Memo to the Chairman.” That’s General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Lind notes that we’re 0-4 in our last four wars “against Fourth Generation nonstate opponents.” He argues that the decline of the state is “the most important, most powerful development now reshaping world affairs,” and that our new Grand Strategy for engaging the world should be:

to form an alliance of all states against non-state threats. The two most important potential allies are the two strongest, Russia and China. Both face challenges on their own soil. Whoever is telling you Russia is a threat is giving you bad advice. Once we stop pressuring those countries to bow down to us and adopt our ways, there is no reason for tension among us.

The new alliance will try to strengthen states where they still stand and keep states from going to war against other states.

Instead, we go into the middle east and elsewhere to help destroy states. Our policies against Assad in contrast to Russia’s (in support as much of the Syrian state as of Assad personally), are a major source of tension between us.

But the people who aren’t smart enough to know how dumb they are proceed apace. Or do you think that they’re desperately making war to retain power?


Indiana’s ISTEP standardized educational testing is underway:

Most educators endured horror stories of online ISTEP tests over the last six years, so this year — and its new test vendor — brought hope for smooth, relatively hassle-free testing.

“We’re experiencing a nightmare right now. It’s not going very well,” Shannon Cauble, principal Mayflower Elementary School in the Tippecanoe school district, said earlier this week after the first day of testing.

“Kids have been getting consistently kicked out of the system,” she said. “I had one little girl who was kicked out three times during a 35-minute test.”

Do tell! Deja Vu Educational Horror House, Inc. is doing no better than its predecessors. Imagine that!

Now let’s all pretend that the problem is competent technological administration of the test instead of the ways the testing, itself and inherently, skews education.


The replies and retweets to @bendreyfuss are pretty disgusting, too.


Pat Buchanan may have become more tone deaf even than I am:

In Samuel Eliot Morison’s The Oxford History of the American People, there is a single sentence about Harriet Tubman. “An illiterate field hand, (Tubman) not only escaped herself but returned repeatedly and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom.”

Morison, however, devotes most of five chapters to the greatest soldier-statesman in American history, save Washington, that pivotal figure between the Founding Fathers and the Civil War—Andrew Jackson.

Great men are rarely good men, and Jackson was a Scots-Irish duelist, Indian fighter, and slave owner. But then, Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe were slave owners before him.

To remove his portrait from the front of the $20 bill, and replace it with Tubman’s, is affirmative action that approaches the absurd. Whatever one’s admiration for Tubman and her cause, she is not the figure in history Jackson was.

Indeed, if the fight against slavery is the greatest cause in our history, why not honor John Brown, hanged for his raid on Harper’s Ferry to start a revolution to free the slaves, after he butchered slave owners in “Bleeding Kansas”? John Brown was the real deal.

Is anyone persuaded?


I just discovered a new blog, from a student of Hadley Arkes, and her second-most-recent blog, Better Booktalks, is a quick and worthwhile read.


Naked Emperors

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“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.