Wednesday, 5/11/16

  1. Bathroom Backstory
  2. George Soros and the Harry Blackmun College of Law
  3. “Spend it or lose it” and disruptive consequences
  4. Punching Down
  5. No problem, Big problem

1

I hate keep coming back to this topic, but I’m feeling affirmed here:

As “transgendered” people and their allies have been correctly noting, people have been using the bathrooms of the opposite sex for some time. They have done this by physically looking like the opposite sex, and by behaving as a member of the opposite sex would. It has been, in a word, surreptitious. No other person has had to accept what they do, but they have been able to do it. They were left alone to pretend that they were members of the opposite sex.

Leaving them alone wasn’t enough for some localities in North Carolina. They insisted that their citizens must accept people using bathrooms made for the opposite sex. They codified this forced acceptance in law, saying that people could use whatever bathroom they wanted to (as long as they “identify as” that sex, whatever that means).

(Jake Freivald, echoing what I thought surely must be true)

2

And let’s not kid ourselves—the whole world knows what is going on here. If this were a gift from George Soros to create the Harry Blackmun Law School we would not be here today.

(Lloyd Cohen defending naming the George Mason University law school after Antonin Scalia after a gift from the Koch Brothers)

3

Road construction in my fair city has traffic more snarled up than I’ve seen it in my whole life. Our local TV station decided to ask “why did you guys try to do all this at once, fer cryin’ out loud!?”

“I think because we now have this mandate from the state that we have to use our federal allocation every year,” Fahey said. “There won’t be much of a lull since we can’t save up money year to year now.”

After the U.S. 231 bypass opened, the state gave up control of many roadways around Greater Lafayette including Sagamore Parkway and the U.S. 52 Bridge. As a part of the control agreement, Lafayette and West Lafayette were given millions of dollars for improvements.

Fahey says both cities jumped at the same time to get projects done as soon as possible.

“When you have money, in my opinion, it’s better to use it,” Fahey said. “Costs only go up, so I think it’s beneficial. We get more bang for our buck the more we use it.”

It’s enough orange in Tippecanoe County to make people like Dog N’ Suds owner Dan Washington start seeing red.

“My biggest concern is that they didn’t finish the one project before they started the other,” said Washington. “They’ve kind of left us on an island here and it’s very difficult to get here.”

Washington owns the Lafayette Dog N’ Suds on Sagamore Parkway. He said it’s clear work needs to be done on Sagamore, he just wishes they would work on it around the clock.

“My concern is if it takes them just as long on phase two and even longer on phase three, what of us little businesses will still be here?” asked Washington.

Fahey says once Sagamore Parkway is finished, drivers will start to get some relief from traffic headaches. However, major road projects in Greater Lafayette will continue in the years ahead.

(Why money is to blame for construction overload)

How great will that be?! You can fly down Sagamore Parkway, unhindered by pesky problems like cars pulling into and out of operating businesses! They’ll all be broke!

This may be the worst economic development trade-off I’ve seen in a city and county that have had notable success in the past few decades.

And it’s driven by what? Seemingly arbitrary decisions made by people who don’t live here about “spend it or lose it.”

4

On January 20, a federal appeals court heard arguments in the highly publicized case of Kimberly Jean “Kim” Davis, county clerk of Rowan County (population 23,000) in mountainous northeastern Kentucky. There were many legal issues at stake—discrimination, sexual equality, religious liberty—but the whole affair had another component, rarely noted in popular accounts: Society’s winners, those who believe themselves on the right side of progress and have the success to prove it, think little of humiliating and attempting to ruin those who are less fortunate and cling to old beliefs.

It is class that turned the Kim Davis litigation into a long-running spectacle of ridicule . . . of Kim Davis. Her personal appearance—significantly overweight, clad in the drab ankle-length skirts and visible undershirts that reminded everybody of the Duggars, and sporting the flyaway waist-length hair that seemed to be dictated by an overly literal reading of Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians—was a fixture of nightly television during the fall of 2015. It was also an object of parody, on Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live and in gay bars across America, where “Kim Davis” seemed to be the prizewinning Halloween costume.

This town-gown situation played directly into the case. And as it turns out, of the four couples named as plaintiffs in Miller v. Davis, three have employment connections to Morehead State …

The phrase “punching down” comes to mind. We have an array of court cases in which the arty, the academically inclined, and the nicely fixed avail themselves of free legal services from the ACLU and arrange themselves in a thick phalanx—their ranks bolstered by an army of liberal wits, journalists, professors, media nabobs, and amateur social-justice warriors on Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp—to crush small-time entrepreneurs and local officials in flyover states who profess brands of Christianity that the elites find not just laughable but dangerously retrograde. And those retrograde Christians who can’t keep up with rapidly changing elite social dicta almost always lose.

The Kim Davis case has happened to be the most widely covered of those cases, partly because it came in the immediate wake of Obergefell and has functioned as a test of the full scope of that sweeping Supreme Court ruling, and partly because the class gap between Davis and her opponents in court has been so glaringly dramatic. Liberal intellectuals and pundits pride themselves on their identification with a beleaguered underclass—but when it comes to a clash between a genuine beleaguered underclass and fashionable ideology, it seems that liberals will choose the ideology every time.

(Charlotte Allen, Punching Down)

5

Election Night 2014 was a triumphant night for professional Republicans. They had seemingly beaten back and vanquished the barbarians of whatever was left of the Thing That Had Been Called the Tea Party. They had run smart, slick, sane campaigns in purple states like Colorado. Most importantly, they had expanded their majority in the House of Representatives and won control of the Senate—an outcome that seemed well within their grasp during the previous midterm cycle of 2010.

I clicked off my computer that night, demoralized. The party, despite all appearances, had learned absolutely nothing.

It had won for the wrong reasons: by simply being the out-party in the sixth year of a presidential administration. By resisting any painful or politically inconvenient tradeoffs in the pursuit of conservative priorities like healthcare or entitlement reform.

By being—and this was the clincher—the party of white Americans.

With lower turnout from youth and minorities, and thus a greater proportion of older, white voters, midterm elections had become Republicans’ security blanket: Everything’s fine; no need to change a thing.

I remained convinced in November 2014 that the Republican Party was too rightwing—but on that night, and thereafter, who would listen? (And by “too rightwing,” I hardly mean too conservative. The Cruz-led GOP was not a conservative party marked by realism, restraint, and incremental reform—but rather by strategic radicalism, ethnic revanchism, fiscal retrenchment, and cultural reaction.)

Lordy, I had no idea how convulsively bad things would get ….

(Scott Galupo, Trump’s Bankrupt GOP)

* * * * *

“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.