Cheese and Cigars

This week, we go it alone. And by that we mean no guest, just our guys performing some Rank Punditry® on the news of the day, energy on Texas, WandaVision (well, James tries to talk about it), Rob’s recently completed trip to Kenya, Peter’s sojourn in Wyoming, and various other personal and political points of interest. We’ve also got new Lileks Post of The Week, courtesy of David Foster (our apologies on the tardy jingle, David), and Rob tells us how to get forbidden cheese past U.S. Customs. Information for life.

Music from this week’s show: Ladysmith Black Mambazo – (Mbube) The Lion Sleeps Tonight

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  1. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Oh, @ejhill. That image is just creepy. 

    • #1
  2. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Blondie: Oh, @ ejhill. That image is just creepy.

    If you listen to GLoP for the stories it will get even creepier!

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Did anyone notice that right after James talked about the slaughterhouses using curved ramps and stuff, so that the cattle don’t know where they’re going to end up, Rob started talking in curved ramps and stuff about how he thinks the media culture etc should be fixed?

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Rob is also wrong about Texas vs California, because California actually IMPORTS much of its electricity from outside the state, because they don’t want to get their own hands dirty with things like POWER PLANTS.  Which, among other problems, means that if the other states end up needing more than they can spare, California gets shut off.  And California has no backup capability.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Re: Nuclear Power:  Have they overcome the tendency of liquid sodium to explode on contact with any moisture, even the moisture commonly found in the Earth’s atmosphere?

    On the whole, if advocacy of nuclear power is what gets Bill Gates “cancelled,” then opposition to nuclear power might be worth it.

    • #5
  6. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Blondie: Oh, @ ejhill. That image is just creepy.

    If you listen to GLoP for the stories it will get even creepier!

    It is on my list of things to do this weekend. I’ll make sure alcohol is involved. 

    • #6
  7. FredGoodhue Coolidge
    FredGoodhue
    @FredGoodhue

    I watched Laurence Fox on “Inspector Lewis”. He’s great!

    • #7
  8. SParker Member
    SParker
    @SParker

    The 40% figure for electricity generated by wind in Texas Peter cites is wrong.  It’s more like 15 to 20%.  I suspect the WSJ is saying that 40% of the power that went off-line was wind.  The system, not being designed by idiots, anticipates that wind is not 24/7 dependable.  The base load failures in generation and fuel (generating plants and pipelines freeze up when they’re not designed not to) were the bigger problem (as was a probably coincidental nuclear plant shutdown due to a faulty sensor*), as are the lack of system incentives to provide extra power in unusual circumstances.  The question becomes how much do you want to spend to have a more completely reliable system.  Peter’s absolutely correct that the situation is different in a state that routinely experiences fire and drought.  (The engineering marvel that was California gave it up 50 years and half the current population ago.)

    *also a design problem/choice.  If you want never-fail systems, you have to pay for them.

    • #8
  9. filmklassik Member
    filmklassik
    @filmklassik

    James:  “There’s an ongoing attempt to diminish the parameters of free expression.”

    He’s absolutely right.  “Wokeness” aka “anti-racism” aka Critical Race Theory is a de facto religion that has captured primary education, higher education, most news outlets, Madison Avenue, many local & state governments, the federal government (in the form of equity mandates and compulsory “diversity training”), HR departments, and of course scripted entertainment. 

    In other words, Wokeness is everywhere we turn and to simply write it off as something “only a few crazed zealots actually believe” is to miss the point.

    For starters, this is no longer as true as we’d like it to be.  Once two generations of Americans get race-centric, anti-Western ideas fed to them from an I.V. drip, those ideas — whether we like it or not — inevitably take hold as a kind of default setting.   Anyone with children in high school and college … or nieces and nephews in high school and college … or even (heaven help us) in their 20s and 30s … knows precisely what I’m talking about.  

    For another thing, the most insidious global movements of the last hundred years (and do I really need to list them here?) never seized their respective cultures with a majority of adherents.  In every case, it was a committed minority overtaking a compliant, insufficiently informed, and (let’s face it) rather apathetic majority (“I just want a quiet life!”)

    Recall the words of William Butler Yeats:   The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    Does anyone in 2021 really doubt the truth of this?   

    Well, maybe Rob does.  And how anyone with his intelligence could fail to see the immediate threat Woke ideas pose to education, discourse, and (no exaggeration) Classic Liberalism itself is beyond me.

     

     

    • #9
  10. davenr321 Coolidge
    davenr321
    @davenr321

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Does anyone in 2021 really doubt the truth of this?

    Well, maybe Rob does. And how anyone with his intelligence could fail to see the immediate threat Woke ideas pose to education, discourse, and (no exaggeration) Classic Liberalism itself is beyond me.

     

    If they bring on Naomi Wolf for a discussion I will up my membership.

    • #10
  11. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    There is no reason to not be using compact nukes on decentralized grids. Part of what is going on is big grids allow for corruption, graft, and leftist ability to control everything. They could have done prototypes of the new type of nukes 20 years ago.

    • #11
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    davenr321 (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Does anyone in 2021 really doubt the truth of this?

    Well, maybe Rob does. And how anyone with his intelligence could fail to see the immediate threat Woke ideas pose to education, discourse, and (no exaggeration) Classic Liberalism itself is beyond me.

     

    If they bring on Naomi Wolf for a discussion I will up my membership.

    AEIR just hired her, I suppose because she’s freaking out about pandemic controls. I don’t see how that ends well for those guys.

    • #12
  13. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    James: “There’s an ongoing attempt to diminish the parameters of free expression.”

    He’s absolutely right. “Wokeness” aka “anti-racism” aka Critical Race Theory is a de facto religion that has captured primary education, higher education, most news outlets, Madison Avenue, many local & state governments, the federal government (in the form of equity mandates and compulsory “diversity training”), HR departments, and of course scripted entertainment.

    In other words, Wokeness is everywhere we turn and to simply write it off as something “only a few crazed zealots actually believe” is to miss the point.

    For starters, this is no longer as true as we’d like it to be. Once two generations of Americans get race-centric, anti-Western ideas fed to them from an I.V. drip, those ideas — whether we like it or not — inevitably take hold as a kind of default setting. Anyone with children in high school and college … or nieces and nephews in high school and college … or even (heaven help us) in their 20s and 30s … knows precisely what I’m talking about.

    For another thing, the most insidious global movements of the last hundred years (and do I really need to list them here?) never seized their respective cultures with a majority of adherents. In every case, it was a committed minority overtaking a compliant, insufficiently informed, and (let’s face it) rather apathetic majority (“I just want a quiet life!”)

    Recall the words of William Butler Yeats: The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    Does anyone in 2021 really doubt the truth of this?

    Well, maybe Rob does. And how anyone with his intelligence could fail to see the immediate threat Woke ideas pose to education, discourse, and (no exaggeration) Classic Liberalism itself is beyond me.

     

     

    Also, this week, Amazon removes Ryan Anderson two year old book for sale.  The reason for the removal was vague as usual and talking about this triggers Rob

    • #13
  14. Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! Contributor
    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ!
    @Majestyk

    WandaVision is remarkable.

    Thanks for coming to my TedTalk.

    • #14
  15. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Member
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Whoo boy, it’s hard to believe I ever agreed with James or Peter on anything politically. Rob usually winds up getting talked over and ceding way too much ground.

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    Cancel culture to the extent the term describes a real problem is wrong because it substitutes mob judgment for individual judgment. Williamson and Weiss getting sacked was cancel culture because their publications wanted to associate with them but gave in to a twitter mob. Jack Dorsey didn’t want to associate with Trump and his users can decide whether they want to continue associating with him. That’s not cancel culture.

    What would be cancel culture or something morally comparable to it would be platforms giving in to the mob of right wing crybabies who demand they continue to associate with people and views they despise. It’s not about being for or against “censorship” it’s about whether we have a culture of judgment or a culture of mob rule.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    • #15
  16. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Member
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    Shawn Buell, Jeopardy Champ! (View Comment):

    WandaVision is remarkable.

    Thanks for coming to my TedTalk.

    I don’t know how you could watch wandavision and not feel that it was made out of love for the era sitcoms it parodies.

    I mean I do know in that it’s now a cardinal sin for conservatives to like anything that comes out of the culture–or to use Peter and James’ terminology, we’re not “allowed” to do so. Liking things is how you lose your grumpy old man bona fides and get cancelled by the other guys at the barber shop.

    • #16
  17. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    davenr321 (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Does anyone in 2021 really doubt the truth of this?

    Well, maybe Rob does. And how anyone with his intelligence could fail to see the immediate threat Woke ideas pose to education, discourse, and (no exaggeration) Classic Liberalism itself is beyond me.

     

    If they bring on Naomi Wolf for a discussion I will up my membership.

    Then you will be a member for life. 

    • #17
  18. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Whoo boy, it’s hard to believe I ever agreed with James or Peter on anything politically. Rob usually winds up getting talked over and ceding way too much ground.

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    Cancel culture to the extent the term describes a real problem is wrong because it substitutes mob judgment for individual judgment. Williamson and Weiss getting sacked was cancel culture because their publications wanted to associate with them but gave in to a twitter mob. Jack Dorsey didn’t want to associate with Trump and his users can decide whether they want to continue associating with him. That’s not cancel culture.

    What would be cancel culture or something morally comparable to it would be platforms giving in to the mob of right wing crybabies who demand they continue to associate with people and views they despise. It’s not about being for or against “censorship” it’s about whether we have a culture of judgment or a culture of mob rule.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    I liked cancel culture better under it’s original name from the 1950s, blacklisting.

    We should go back to that name.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Whoo boy, it’s hard to believe I ever agreed with James or Peter on anything politically. Rob usually winds up getting talked over and ceding way too much ground.

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    Cancel culture to the extent the term describes a real problem is wrong because it substitutes mob judgment for individual judgment. Williamson and Weiss getting sacked was cancel culture because their publications wanted to associate with them but gave in to a twitter mob. Jack Dorsey didn’t want to associate with Trump and his users can decide whether they want to continue associating with him. That’s not cancel culture.

    What would be cancel culture or something morally comparable to it would be platforms giving in to the mob of right wing crybabies who demand they continue to associate with people and views they despise. It’s not about being for or against “censorship” it’s about whether we have a culture of judgment or a culture of mob rule.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    I liked cancel culture better under it’s original name from the 1950s, blacklisting.

    We should go back to that name.

    Good idea.  “Cancel culture” sounds too nice.

    • #19
  20. filmklassik Member
    filmklassik
    @filmklassik

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    Instead of platforms, let’s talk about jobs and education for a minute, shall we, each of which is more concrete and a better illustration of the problem:

    When a college professor in 1995 made an obvious statement like, “If you were born with a penis, you’re a man” his job was not in jeopardy.  Today it would be.

    When a corporate CEO in 1995 made a similar remark his job was not in jeopardy.  Today it would be.

    Last month a white high school student had a scholarship rescinded and her life upended for a 5-second video that showed her repeating a song lyric.  A song lyric!  This would not have happened in 1995, or even 2005.   And it surely wouldn’t have happened to a black student.

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherlessness is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    So are you honestly, in good faith, relegating such things — of which the above examples are a mere biopsy of a much, much larger problem — to “culture war minutiae”?  Are you honestly doing that?

    • #20
  21. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    Instead of platforms, let’s talk about jobs and education for a minute, shall we, each of which is more concrete and a better illustration of the problem:

    When a college professor in 1995 made an obvious statement like, “If you have a penis, you’re a man” his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    When a corporate CEO in 1995 made a similar remark his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    Last month a white high school student had a scholarship rescinded and her life upended for a 5-second video that showed her repeating a song lyric. A song lyric! This would not have happened in 1995, or even 2005. And it surely wouldn’t have happened to a black student.

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherless is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    So are you honestly, in good faith, relegating such things — of which the above examples are a mere biopsy of a much, much larger problem — to “culture war minutiae”? Are you honestly doing that?

    Saving this for emails, thank you!

    • #21
  22. filmklassik Member
    filmklassik
    @filmklassik

    kedavis (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    Instead of platforms, let’s talk about jobs and education for a minute, shall we, each of which is more concrete and a better illustration of the problem:

    When a college professor in 1995 made an obvious statement like, “If you have a penis, you’re a man” his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    When a corporate CEO in 1995 made a similar remark his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    Last month a white high school student had a scholarship rescinded and her life upended for a 5-second video that showed her repeating a song lyric. A song lyric! This would not have happened in 1995, or even 2005. And it surely wouldn’t have happened to a black student.

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherless is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    So are you honestly, in good faith, relegating such things — of which the above examples are a mere biopsy of a much, much larger problem — to “culture war minutiae”? Are you honestly doing that?

    Saving this for emails, thank you!

    Thank you.  Just be sure and change “fatherless” to “fatherlessness” — a typo I just caught a moment ago.  

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    Instead of platforms, let’s talk about jobs and education for a minute, shall we, each of which is more concrete and a better illustration of the problem:

    When a college professor in 1995 made an obvious statement like, “If you have a penis, you’re a man” his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    When a corporate CEO in 1995 made a similar remark his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    Last month a white high school student had a scholarship rescinded and her life upended for a 5-second video that showed her repeating a song lyric. A song lyric! This would not have happened in 1995, or even 2005. And it surely wouldn’t have happened to a black student.

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherless is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    So are you honestly, in good faith, relegating such things — of which the above examples are a mere biopsy of a much, much larger problem — to “culture war minutiae”? Are you honestly doing that?

    Saving this for emails, thank you!

    Thank you. Just be sure and change “fatherless” to “fatherlessness” — a typo I just caught a moment ago.

    It might also be best to make it “if you were born with a penis.”

    • #23
  24. filmklassik Member
    filmklassik
    @filmklassik

    kedavis (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    Instead of platforms, let’s talk about jobs and education for a minute, shall we, each of which is more concrete and a better illustration of the problem:

    When a college professor in 1995 made an obvious statement like, “If you have a penis, you’re a man” his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    When a corporate CEO in 1995 made a similar remark his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    Last month a white high school student had a scholarship rescinded and her life upended for a 5-second video that showed her repeating a song lyric. A song lyric! This would not have happened in 1995, or even 2005. And it surely wouldn’t have happened to a black student.

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherless is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    So are you honestly, in good faith, relegating such things — of which the above examples are a mere biopsy of a much, much larger problem — to “culture war minutiae”? Are you honestly doing that?

    Saving this for emails, thank you!

    Thank you. Just be sure and change “fatherless” to “fatherlessness” — a typo I just caught a moment ago.

    It might also be best to make it “if you were born with a penis.”

    Nice fix!  Just changed it!  Thanks!  

    • #24
  25. Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… Member
    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai…
    @Gaius

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture …

    Instead of platforms, let’s talk about jobs and education for a minute, shall we, each of which is more concrete and a better illustration of the problem:

    When a college professor in 1995 made an obvious statement like, “If you have a penis, you’re a man” his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    When a corporate CEO in 1995 made a similar remark his job was not in jeopardy. Today it would be.

    Last month a white high school student had a scholarship rescinded and her life upended for a 5-second video that showed her repeating a song lyric. A song lyric! This would not have happened in 1995, or even 2005. And it surely wouldn’t have happened to a black student.

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherlessness is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    So are you honestly, in good faith, relegating such things — of which the above examples are a mere biopsy of a much, much larger problem — to “culture war minutiae”? Are you honestly doing that?

    Except they aren’t coercive methods. And cultures don’t make decisions. Only individuals do. I disagree with those things either because of the mob mentality as I said or because the decisions are substantively wrong even if they’re none of my business–not because there’s some kind of natural law right to jobs or scholarships.

    The culture moves according to the individual beliefs of its members. Screaming about it and redirecting every conversation in that direction accomplishes nothing. Compared to great power politics and the national debt it is minutiae.

    And even if you think cultural war issues are just as important as any of those things, just the slightest amount of mental discipline would tell you that those topics aren’t really germane to a discussion of national politics because there’s nothing national politics can do to solve them.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Cheese and Cigars

     

    My question is, when does the cute and cuddly furry Rob Long doll appear in the Ricochet Store?

     

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    And even if you think cultural war issues are just as important as any of those things, just the slightest amount of mental discipline would tell you that those topics aren’t really germane to a discussion of national politics because there’s nothing national politics can do to solve them.

    National politics seemed able to do a lot about employment, housing, education etc. discrimination against various “minorities” and “genders.”

    And, cultures may not make individual decisions, but they sometimes decide when certain decisions might be prosecuted.

    • #27
  28. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):
    Yes, you’re obsessed with the narrative and it has nothing to do with “free speech” or god forbid “the first amendment.” People whom you dislike choosing to criticize or disassociate from you for reasons which you find spurious is an exercise of first amendment rights no less legitimate than your original speech. Get over it.

    If you’re comfortable with the Left deciding what can or cannot be spoken, who can speak, and what punishments should befall those who think or speak incorrectly, fine. 

    And just as Rob predicted you spent the better part of an hour talking about culture war minutiae, which I’m furthering by commenting on it, instead of anything seriously affecting the future of the country.

    Maybe this is one of the things that will seriously affect the future of the country?

    • #28
  29. filmklassik Member
    filmklassik
    @filmklassik

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    filmklassik (View Comment):

    Dennis A. Garcia (formerly Gai… (View Comment):

    But once a culture decides to have different rules for different people based on skin tone … or to exact draconian punishments on individuals for stating what everyone knows to be blindingly obvious truths (“23 pairs of XX chromosomes makes you a woman” … “Fatherlessness is a reliable predictor of antisocial behavior” … “By orders of magnitude, an unarmed black man is in more danger from other black men than he is the police,” etc) once a culture starts doing that — promoting myth to truth and demoting truth to mythology, and resorting to coercive methods to enforce this Grand Inversion — once that happens, we are dealing with a culture in trouble.

    Except they aren’t coercive methods. And cultures don’t make decisions. Only individuals do. I disagree with those things either because of the mob mentality as I said or because the decisions are substantively wrong even if they’re none of my business–not because there’s some kind of natural law right to jobs or scholarships.

    The culture moves according to the individual beliefs of its members. Screaming about it and redirecting every conversation in that direction accomplishes nothing. Compared to great power politics and the national debt it is minutiae.

    And even if you think cultural war issues are just as important as any of those things, just the slightest amount of mental discipline would tell you that those topics aren’t really germane to a discussion of national politics because there’s nothing national politics can do to solve them.

    You seem to be stuck on legislative solutions to cultural problems, and when there are none (and, you’re correct, most of the time there are none) you seem to think that the problem itself isn’t worth confronting.  Which is absurd.

    Which brings us back to the familiar axiom that politics lies downstream from culture.  Which it does.

    9 times out of 10, when an issue gets as far as the Supreme Court or the ballot box, it’s already too late, because the issue itself is a reflection of the popular will.

    Would gay marriage have gotten as far as the Supreme Court in the 1930s?  The notion is almost laughable. The public wasn’t ready yet.  But by the late 1990s, and certainly by the early part of the new century, it was.  (And a good thing, too, in my opinion).

    Gay marriage became a political issue after it became a cultural one, as all issues do.  Why?  Because politics inevitably follows culture.  So these battles — free speech, “equity,” Critical Race Theory, etc. — must be waged on the cultural front, in the public sphere, early and often.

    And principled conservatives must find effective ways in which to wage them.

    • #29
  30. Mister Dog Coolidge
    Mister Dog
    @MisterDog

    Miffed White Male (View Comment)

    I liked cancel culture better under it’s original name from the 1950s, blacklisting.

    We should go back to that name.

    That’s racist.

     

    • #30