Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Philippines City Invaded By Islamic State Fighters

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

While all eyes were on Manchester, fighters loyal to the Islamic State were launching a big attack half a world away:

A group of heavily-armed militants from a group linked to Isis have reportedly stormed a city in the Philippines and engaged in firefights with the national army.

Residents of Marawi City, in the south of the country, were urged to remain indoors as at least 15 gunmen from a Muslim rebel group called Maute stormed the streets brandishing assault rifles.

The group, which is also known as the Islamic State of Lanao, have reportedly received support from Isis.

Troops and a special police force were deployed to the city after residents in a nearby village raised the alarm and appealed for help.

Marawi City is the provincial capital of Lanao del Sur on the southern island of Mindanao.

Like many countries in Asia and the south Pacific, the Philippines has been fighting a Muslim insurgency on and off for quite a while. In fact, if you count the original Moro War fought and won by General Pershing, since 1899. Groups in the Philippines alone that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State include the Abu Sayyaf Group, Ansar al-Khilafah (also on Mindanao), Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (also on Mindanao), and Jemaah Islamiyah (a transnational Islamic terrorist group which which carried out the Bali bombing also has cells in in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia). And that doesn’t count the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (also on Mindanao), with which the government signed a peace agreement in 2014.

The fight against the Islamic State is one war that extends across the entire globe. Hopefully President Trump understands this fact better than Obama did…

(Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)

Camille Paglia Slams Hillary Clinton (Again)

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Everyone’s favorite renegade lesbian feminist is back in the news with another interview filled with pithy quotes.

Like this bit on Hillary Clinton:

Misogyny played no significant role whatever in Hillary Clinton’s two defeats as a presidential candidate. This claim is such a crock! What a gross exploitation of feminism—in the service of an unaccomplished woman whose entire career was spent attached to her husband’s coat tails. Hillary was handed job after job but produced no tangible results in any of them—except of course for her destabilization of North Africa during her rocky tenure as secretary of state. And for all her lip service to women and children, what program serving their needs did Hillary ever conceive and promote? She routinely signed on to other people’s programs or legislative bills but spent the bulk of her time in fundraising and networking for her own personal ambitions. Beyond that, I fail to see how authentic feminism can ever be ascribed to a woman who turned a blind eye to the victims of her husband’s serial abuse and workplace seductions. The hypocrisy of feminist leaders was on full display during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which incontrovertibly demonstrated Bill Clinton’s gross violation of basic sexual harassment policy. Although I had voted for him twice, I was the only feminist at the time who publicly condemned Clinton for his squalid and unethical behavior with an intern whose life (it is now clear) he ruined. Gloria Steinem’s slick casuistry during that shocking episode did severe damage to feminism, from which it has never fully recovered.

Nor is she much kinder to Elizabeth Warren:

Elizabeth Warren, a smug Harvard professor, is no populist. She doesn’t have an iota of Bernie Sanders’ authentic empathic populism—but Sanders will be too old to run next time around. I tried to take Warren seriously during the run-up to the primaries, but her outrageous silence about Sanders’ candidacy when he was battling the corrupt Hillary machine made me see Warren as the facile opportunist that she is. She craftily hid from sight throughout the primaries—until Hillary won the nomination. Then all of a sudden, there was bouncy, grinning Warren, popping in and out of Hillary’s Washington mansion as vice-presidential possibilities were being vetted. What an arrant hypocrite! Warren stands for nothing but Warren.

And her positioned on Donald Trump is considerably more nuanced than most Democrats these days:

Donald Trump’s retro style of confident masculinity (which dates from the Frank Sinatra/Hugh Hefner period) was surely a major factor in his victory and represents what was probably an inevitable and necessary course correction in American gender relations. The delirious excesses of unscientific campus gender theory, translated into intrusive government regulations by elite school graduates saturating the Obama administration, finally hit a wall with the electorate. The mainstream big-city media too have become strident echo chambers of campus gender dogma, as demonstrated by last year’s New York Times fiasco, where two wet-behind-the-ears reporters fell on their faces in trying to prosecute the Trump of his casino days as a vile sexist. I mercilessly mocked that vacuous article in my Salon.com column and stand by every word I wrote.

As usual with Paglia, her opinions tend to defy easy categorization as left or right, so there’s much here to chew on and disagree with, but she’s always worth a look.

Attempted BlueHost Phishing Attack

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Just got this phishing attempt purporting to be a domain change notification.

Raw source (slightly edited to remove my email address, and with added line breaks to keep the block from spilling into my righthand links column):


Delivered-To: [my email address]
Received: by 10.129.168.138 with SMTP id f132csp137359ywh;
Tue, 16 May 2017 04:25:08 -0700 (PDT)
X-Received: by 10.25.145.78 with SMTP id y14mr3013524lfj.182.1494933668196;
Tue, 16 May 2017 04:21:08 -0700 (PDT)
X-Received: by 10.25.145.78 with SMTP id y14mr3013498lfj.182.1494933666719;
Tue, 16 May 2017 04:21:06 -0700 (PDT)
ARC-Seal: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; t=1494933666; cv=none;
d=google.com; s=arc-20160816;
b=EkN54HW9eTyfd0jOfsRVNR0X/FcZbGItIa0uZOBR4HJp7/98oZ6n1B7FLmwrWmZrv4

5dDu5xxwEZUzXOGnickvxjN/j4xeYRwg4QRKcl1oGU/sN1/28cbmMhz+cPm/9IiocabJ

lbM3KY9yS06l8Tqks6NqCjYu37tBecVsdXCIDs97H8jlGMftPJtfHwSjp4NB8

Atmse85rgzAUDI3VQ0heJUNaej7eJ3iQZUoO4WUrE2a83+zL1RFIxhMy

xwuntOSRaMWqjkjUb0z pwB6DYLaFL6I4OBemO2fQ9KPAVSArN+W6yiD/

WTdHOH80EG6taU55R0BSe3v0Cm/JSjA

tGng==
ARC-Message-Signature: i=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=google.com; s=arc-20160816;
h=date:message-id:content-transfer-encoding:mime-version:from:subject
:to:delivery-date:arc-authentication-results;

bh=3vPc/J8rnDJTfIYUKavWvnMr/

efHU9EsfJ+Vu6fidbs=;b=fgaxPBNn1/vQIC45obi02J30mqqvoJ8yrp

N9bGIHG2rvWt1Qmtxt4ik7dyARWJDqzvOQnNMHX+

4bC1fVD1qcmjntpe0fkMR8HbYywI8r3k3rZArnj79fVoWJX

wzb0akib3zyGGSFLS+nZ1fkCdPfmU96JmPYevKmB3l0v86yU/

aj2WqNE+Olvc6s14wuBXia8rzGtWtsLHIlm2zmqS2NFLNTv

CapcNPx8ZQvOQEA37pv6oRmlnz/XOg7Rwi4dIrzaAbtY8wv0sI/29

EjXFkxsVgvXKHIRVc685xWXYuYKATJGIzfccUNJaP/

TBuhLI7uS8uo7QBkm+B21jhl0x

AnNw==
ARC-Authentication-Results: i=1; mx.google.com;
spf=pass (google.com: domain of cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru designates 2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru
Return-Path:
Received: from annika.timeweb.ru (annika.timeweb.ru. [2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f])
by mx.google.com with ESMTPS id p5si688773lfp.49.2017.05.16.04.21.06
for
(version=TLS1_2 cipher=AES128-SHA bits=128/128);
Tue, 16 May 2017 04:21:06 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru designates 2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f as permitted sender) client-ip=2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
spf=pass (google.com: domain of cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru designates 2a03:6f00:1::5c35:605f as permitted sender) smtp.mailfrom=cq99590@annika.timeweb.ru
Delivery-date: Tue, 16 May 2017 14:21:06 +0300
To: lawrenceperson@gmail.com
Subject: Domain: BATTLESWARMBLOG.COM. Warning 5946
From: Bluehost
X-Priority: 4 (Low)
Mime-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: Php_libMail_v_2.0(webi.ru)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Message-Id:
Date: Tue, 16 May 2017 14:21:06 +0300

RGVhciBCbHVlaG9zdCBjdXN0b21lciBMQVdSRU5DRSBQRVJTT04s
DQoNClRoaXMgbm90aWZpY2F0aW9uIGlzIGdlbmVyYXRlZCBhdXRvb
WF0aWNhbGx5IGFzIGEgc2VydmljZSB0byB5b3UuDQpXZSBoYXZlI
HJlY2VpdmVkIGEgcmVxdWVzdCB0aGF0IHRoZSBuYW1lIHNlcnZlcn
MgYmUgY2hhbmdlZCBmb3IgdGhlIGZvbGxvd2luZyBkb21haW4gbm
FtZShzKToNCg0KQkFUVExFU1dBUk1CTE9HLkNPTQ0KDQpJZiB5b3U
gYXJlIG1vbml0b3JpbmcgdGhpcyBuYW1lIHdpdGggRG9tYWluIEJh
Y2tvcmRlcnMsIHRoZSBhYm92ZSBjaGFuZ2UgaXMgYWxzbyBkaXNwb
GF5ZWQgaW4gdGhlICJNb25pdG9yaW5nIGFuZCBCYWNrb3JkZXJpbm
ciIHNlY3Rpb24gb2YgeW91ciBBY2NvdW50IE1hbmFnZXIuDQoNCmh
0dHA6Ly9teS5ibHVlaG9zdC5jb20uNjczMjcxY2M0N2MxYTRlNzdm
NTdlMjM5ZWQ0ZDI4YTcuZm9vb3BlcnRvLmNsaWVudC5jb29wZXJ0a
W5vLXRlc3QucnUvZG9tYWluL2x4eHZrbWhtem8uaHRtDQoNClRo
YW5rIHlvdSwNCkJsdWVob3N0DQpUb2xsIEZyZWU6ICg4ODgpIDQw
MS00Njg4DQpPdXRzaWRlIFVTOiAxKyg4MDEpIDc1Ni05NTAw


And here’s the non-encoded message payload:


Dear Bluehost customer LAWRENCE PERSON,

This notification is generated automatically as a service to you.
We have received a request that the name servers be changed for the following domain name(s):

BATTLESWARMBLOG.COM

If you are monitoring this name with Domain Backorders, the above change is also displayed in the “Monitoring and Backordering” section of your Account Manager.

http://my.bluehost.com.673271cc47c1a4e77f57e239ed4d28a7.foooperto.
client.coopertino-test.ru/domain/lxxvkmhmzo.htm

Thank you,
Bluehost
Toll Free: (888) 401-4688
Outside US: 1+(801) 756-9500

Note the .ru address in the phishing link, and the phishing URL suggests this attempt is geared at Mac users.

I don’t think I was personally targeted, I think this was probably sent out to every BlueHost domain contact email address the spammers could target.

I’m posting this as a warning to other BlueHost domain owners (and, in fact, anyone else that has a hosted domain): 1. Don’t click suspicious email links. 2. When in doubt, every email link is suspicious. Log into your domain hosting control panel directly like your normally would and contact your hosting company that way.

This was a clumsy attempt. Additional phising attacks are likely to be more sophisticated. Let the blogger beware…

Weird WordPress/Firefox Cache Issue

Monday, May 15th, 2017

So I just published scenes from the liberal freakout, but it’s not showing up on the main blog page, nor in a next link from the previous page, nor linked from any of the Index topics. Visibility is on and the publication date is today.

Edited to add: This isn’t showing up either. Something screwy is going on…

Edited to add 2: This appears to be fixed in most browsers…except my own Firefox browser, which stubbornly insists on not showing the new content despite a restart and cache clearing.

Next step: Restart the Mac.

Edited to add 3: Restarting the Mac finally fixed the problem on Firefox…but that second note above still isn’t showing up in Safari on my iPhone. I’m starting to think something screwy is going on with Blue Hosts’s caching system…

Edited to add 4: Firefox now shows this post, but not the third note added above. Safari iPhone shows only the first note, Safari Mac shows only the first two notes. All the notes are visible when you click on the post itself, but not on the main blog page. This makes me think it’s a Blue Host caching issue (though they deny it via Twitter).

United Airlines Drags Doctor Off Flight For Not Volunteering

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Here’s the incident that’s roiling the Twitters this morning:

From the description:

On the 9th April, 2017, a man was forcibly removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 in Chicago, set for Louisville. While we’d normally say that until we have all the information, we have no information at all, the United response tends to confirm the incident as described by passengers. United Airlines said that … “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”

Does rather put a Soviet spin on the word “volunteer,” doesn’t it?

Reportedly, the man removed was a doctor who needed to see a patient. Also, word on Twitter (caveats, etc.) is that he was ejected so a United employee could fly free.

Obviously this is a situation that required police to drag a man off a plane. That will teach you to sit quietly in the seat you lawfully paid for, comrade!

Happy President’s Day

Monday, February 20th, 2017

In celebration, I’m relinking this classic Presidential knife fight post:

In a mass knife fight to the death between every American President, who would win and why? Someone beat me to the obvious answer that a final showdown would see Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt doing a dagger-wielding version of a Mexican standoff, so I took it too far and walked through how I thought every president would turn out. An hour later the result greatly exceeded the maximum 10,000 character limit for a post, so I’ve decided to blog about it instead.

Read the whole thing, if you haven’t already. It’s pretty much why blogging was invented…

LinkSwarm for February 17, 2017

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! Absent from this roundup is who really got National Security Advisor Mike Flynn axed, because there’s not enough time in the world to read all those links…

  • Illegal alien convicted of that voting fraud Democrats swear doesn’t exit. Pro-tip: One key to avoiding deportations is to avoid committing felonies… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “If a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall.”
  • Revised executive travel order coming soon?
  • Former Democratic Senator Jim Webb has a message for Democrats:

    The Democrats have not done the kind of self reflection that they should have, starting in 2010. And I was talking about this in the ’10 elections. You’ve lost white working people, you’ve lost flyover land, and you saw in this election what happens when people get frustrated enough that they say, ‘I’m not going to take this Aristocracy.’ You know Bernie’s a good friend of mine, Bernie can talk about Aristocracies all he wants.

    You know, the fact that you’ve made money doesn’t make you a member of that philosophy. Look at Franklin Roosevelt. But there is an Aristocracy now that pervades American politics, it’s got to be broken somehow, in both parties, and I think that’s what the Trump message was that echoed so strongly in these flyover communities.

    One wonders if Webb was using “flyover country” for emphasis, or if Democrats actually use “flyover country” seriously when taking amongst themselves. If so, they might add that to the list of reasons middle America hates Democratic coastal elites…

  • Obama vastly increased the NSA’s powers on his way out the door. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • This Politico piece on thinkers that have influenced Steve Bannon (and thus President Trump) is neither to be taken entirely at face value, nor dismissed out of hand. It includes mention of Curtis Yarvin AKA Mencius Moldbug AKA “the Urbit guy” that Social Justice Warriors keep trying to keep from speaking, as well as the author of the much-cited “Flight 93 Election” manifesto. They’re interesting thinkers, but I rather doubt they’re at the center of Trump’s political ideas.
  • Over 100 rioters from President Trump’s inauguration indicted on rioting charges.
  • Trump and the GOP congress have already cut $2.8 billion in regulations. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “The EU country whose brutal crackdown on Muslim migrants makes Trump look liberal.” Spoiler: It’s Hungary.
  • Woman who lived under Hitler says Trump isn’t Hitler.
  • Iowa follows Wisconsin’s lead on reigning in the power of public sector unions.
  • Prominent Jewish Democrats are increasing uneasy with Keith Ellison as DNC chair. “‘It’s almost like the Democrats want to entirely destroy their party,’ [Democratic New York state assemblyman Dov] Hikind said. ‘When someone like Ellison can be a leading candidate to be the head of a major party, we’re in a lot of trouble.'”
  • Pro-Palestinian reporter changes his mind after living in Israel for 18 months:

    Before I moved to Jerusalem, I was very pro-Palestinian. Almost everyone I knew was. I grew up Protestant in a quaint, politically correct New England town; almost everyone around me was liberal. And being liberal in America comes with a pantheon of beliefs: You support pluralism, tolerance and diversity. You support gay rights, access to abortion and gun control.

    The belief that Israel is unjustly bullying the Palestinians is an inextricable part of this pantheon. Most progressives in the US view Israel as an aggressor, oppressing the poor noble Arabs who are being so brutally denied their freedom.

    Snip.

    IT WASN’T until the violence became personal that I began to see the Israeli side with greater clarity. As the “Stabbing Intifada” (as it later became known) kicked into full gear, I traveled to the impoverished East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan for a story I was writing.

    As soon as I arrived, a Palestinian kid who was perhaps 13 years old pointed at me and shouted “Yehud!” which means “Jew” in Arabic. Immediately, a large group of his friends who’d been hanging out nearby were running toward me with a terrifying sparkle in their eyes. “Yehud! Yehud!” they shouted. I felt my heart start to pound. I shouted at them in Arabic “Ana mish yehud! Ana mish yehud!” (“I’m not Jewish, I’m not Jewish!”) over and over. I told them, also in Arabic, that I was an American journalist who “loved Palestine.” They calmed down after that, but the look in their eyes when they first saw me is something I’ll never forget. Later, at a house party in Amman, I met a Palestinian guy who’d grown up in Silwan. “If you were Jewish, they probably would have killed you,” he said.

    Snip.

    Even the kindest, most educated, upper-class Palestinians reject 100 percent of Israel ‒ not just the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. They simply will not be content with a two-state solution ‒ what they want is to return to their ancestral homes in Ramle and Jaffa and Haifa and other places in 1948 Israel, within the Green Line. And they want the Israelis who live there now to leave. They almost never speak of coexistence; they speak of expulsion, of taking back “their” land.

  • UK journalists heads explode when Trump’s climate advisor tells them the truth. (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Gay liberal New York writer does even-handed profile of Milo…and is instantly ostracized. “I realized that, for the first time in my adult life, I was outside of the liberal bubble and looking in. What I saw was ugly, lock step, incurious and mean-spirited.”
  • The MSM lose their minds when Trump lets outlets other than themselves ask questions.
  • The media spends months complaining Trump won’t let them ask question, then complains when he does because they don’t like the answers.
  • Ann Althouse watches President Trump’s press conference so I don’t have to.
  • The New York Times is very upset President Trump is fighting back. “The constant Moonbat attacks on Trump are one of the reasons Trump won. And Trump knows that the vast majority of the media, which votes Democrat and allows their person political beliefs to color all their coverage, will never give him a chance and or honest coverage so why not fight back?” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Islamic State suicide bomber kills 100 at Sufi mosque in Pakistan.
  • Paris burns again.
  • Putin is cozying up Iran just as it’s suffering the same demographic crash affecting so many nations:

    Iran is dying, and no one knows it better than Vladimir Putin, who worked successfully to raise Russia’s fertility rate, unlike Iran’s theocrats, who have failed to persuade Iranians to have children.

    Russia’s relationship to the only Shi’ite state of significance is less an alliance than a dalliance, motivated by Moscow’s fear of Sunni radicalism and its desire to establish a strategic beachhead in the Middle East.

    But Iran is a depreciating asset whose value will disappear within a 20-year horizon. The question is not whether, but at what price Russia will trade it away.

    Snip.

    First, Iran may well become the first country in the world that will get old before it gets rich. Its fertility rate (the number of live births over the lifetime of an average woman) fell from 7 in 1979 to perhaps 1.7 today.

    That produced an enormous generation of people now in their 20s to 40s who have very few children. As this generation ages, the proportion of Iranians over the age of 60 will soar from about 7% today to around 40% by mid-century.

    Other countries face an aging crisis, but with ten times the per capita income: Iran’s nominal GDP per capita is only US$5,300, compared with US$56,000 for the United States, for example.No poor country can care for an elderly population comprising two-fifths of the total. Iran will undergo an economic disaster unprecedented in history. That is baked in the cake, and nothing its government can do will make much different at this late stage.

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Louisiana Democrat state senator resigns after repeatedly beating his wife.
  • New York coop provides a microcosm of why Socialism doesn’t work:

    The year isn’t off to a good start for the Park Slope Food Coop. In January, two members of the venerable Brooklyn institution were accused of stealing more than $18,000 worth of goods. Each had been caught shoplifting once, and when police consulted surveillance tapes, it turned out that the two men (one of whom was 79 years old!) had some seriously sticky fingers.

    Snip.

    In 2013, The New York Times reported the shop lost $438,000 in stolen items.

    But that’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the value that’s recently been lost from the coop’s pension fund. The fund — which is for staff, not members — had been invested in small, speculative companies and racked up two years of losses.

    According to the Times, “It appears to have gone into hedge-fund mode years ago, when one co-op member, also a hedge-fund investor, made stock-picking his unpaid job.” Last summer, members were told that the coop had to pour in more than $1 million to keep it flush.

    Snip.

    In 2011, for instance, coop members were caught paying other people — notably their nannies — to take over their 2-hour-per-week shifts at the market. As it turned out, the well-heeled bankers and lawyers and psychiatrists in the neighborhood who bill several hundred dollars an hour for their time didn’t think rearranging the broccoli was worth it.

    Hat tip: Instapundit, who also offers up the following illustration:

  • Blocking a road? Expect the NYPD to haul your ass to jail. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • More problems for Bill Clinton’s pal: “Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is accused of luring an underage girl into his elaborate sex trafficking enterprise under the guise of using his wealth and connections to get her into a prestige NYC college.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Bill Maher defends booking Milo Yiannopoulos in the face of liberal boycotts.
  • Dear diabetics: You know that “U.S. ends subsidies for blood sugar testing strips” thing your more credulous friends posted on Facebook? Debunked.
  • Austin health food chain MyFitFoods shuts down.
  • Rare book heist in London: “In the early morning hours of January 30, a gang of thieves, in a carefully coordinated scheme, broke into a warehouse near London’s Heathrow airport and made off with over £2 million in rare books. The books, belonging to three different rare book dealers, were being shipped to the United States for the 50th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair this past weekend.” Complete list here. (Hat tip: Bill Crider.)
  • He contains multitudes:

  • He divided them.
  • Video of French Forces Fighting the Islamic State

    Saturday, February 11th, 2017

    Here’s a video of French Special Forces operating against the Islamic State, including some mopping up operations in Mosul:

    A few points of interest:

  • In the first few minutes there’s a glimpse of the tunnel systems that have become common in urban warfare where the defenders have had time to dig in.
  • I’m assuming that boxy weapon the French are shown setting up at 5:27 is a grenade launcher, but I’m not sure I’ve seen that make before. The closest would be the Heckler & Koch GMG, but it doesn’t quite look like it.
  • French drones (6:13) look like funky kit planes, and get launched with a tether assist. Whatever works…
  • Trump Threatens the Establishment

    Saturday, January 14th, 2017

    Here’s an interesting piece on the threat Trump poses not only to the media’s political pieties, but to the entire edifice of politically correct moral authority they had spent decades constructing:

    If all his other cultural blasphemies did not finish off Donald Trump, his grab-them-by-the-pussy line, in the overwhelming opinion of the liberal media, would. That it did not might suggest that many cultural certainties are a lot less firm than most of the media and culture industry thought. Twenty years (or so) of rule tightening about how we talk about sex, gender, race and our multicultural society—what is disparagingly called political correctness, or, more inclusively, the liberal point of view—was put up for review by Trump’s election.

    The ongoing expressions of shock on the part of the cultural establishment—expressed on a daily basis by The New Yorker, New York magazine and The New York Times, anything, apparently, with New York in its title—reflect their fears that the development of a more careful, regulated and corrected world is about to be undone. That the unapologetic white male has returned. You could hardly find a more threatening and throwback version of that than Trump—a rich, voluble, egomaniacal, middle-aged pussy hound. To write him you would need some combination of authors like Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, Harry Crews and Gore Vidal, all notably out of step with current cultural norms.

    The culture norm is as starkly confronted as the political norm with proof that it’s not speaking to the lives of a sizeable part of the nation: that same pussy talk that shocked cosmopolitans turns out not to be of much concern, and even to express a casual day-to-day reality, for many Americans. Media fragmentation has created all sorts of thriving niches that accommodate the views of eager consumers, lessening the need to speak to a broader, more difficult-to-reach audience—the once-great mass market.

    Snip.

    Instinctively or by canny plan, Trump converted the conservatives’ parochial and rate-limiting culture war on abortion and gay marriage into a much more visceral campaign against the political pieties of sophisticated America, with Trump as the ultimate revenge on upper-middlebrow cultural life. It’s the mannered and effete against the profane and immediate.

    For Trump, Hillary Clinton, in her guardedness and suspicion, in her inability to express herself with any openness and spontaneity, summed up out-of-touchness, struggling to attract crowds of a few hundred, while he was pulling tens of thousands.

    Trump’s attacks on the media served to say that his language, his expressiveness, his ability to connect with the audience was more potent than the media’s. (In an interview with Trump shortly after his nomination was secure, he told me he was sure of victory when for the first primary debate, the usual audience increased almost tenfold because of his presence: “I’m more entertaining than the media.”) The media, in thrall to the culture establishment—and signed on to its cultural rules and concerns (hence its Pussygate shock)—was inauthentic and he was the real thing. For “CNN sucks”-screaming Trump supporters, CNN sucks for, in fact, the same reason that it sucks to everybody else—it’s phony and slavish—but Trumpsters were suddenly saying it, screaming it. (Liberals took this as an attack on free speech; on Trump’s side, the view was that the media stifles real speech.)

    This attack on careful, orderly, prescribed culture is what happens when the culture stops talking about real things—at least what a significant part of the country regards as real and important. Or, it is—and certainly is inevitably thought to be by those cultural standard bearers under attack—a sinister onslaught against enlightenment itself.

    In the view of the latter camp, Steve Bannon, one of the masterminds of the Trump campaign, and the new administration’s “chief strategist,” becomes a preeminent retrograde white male bugaboo. The non-Trump culture can only see him as a threat, and sore thumb, and, without the means to describe or recognize anybody too far outside its circle, a racist, misogynist, anti-Semite. And yet, not that long ago, Bannon would have been a perfectly recognizable figure, even an admirable one, an ex-military and up-from-working-class guy, striving, through three marriages and various careers, to make it, but never finding much comfort in the establishment world, wanting to be part of it, and wanting to explode it at the same time—a character for a writer like Kevin Morris. An American man’s story. Republican politics is filled with such strivers—Lee Atwater, Roger Ailes, Karl Rove—great characters reduced to violations of liberal sensibilities.

    Indeed, the election reengages a gender battle that many people on the New York side of the Trump gap had thought was mightily going in only one direction. The vestigial and primitive American man, unreconstructed, baying at the moon (probably high on opiates)—the alt-right in the liberal view—voiceless for many years (or, anyway, wise to shut up), now had Donald “Let me be your voice” Trump. The obvious message of his sudden resurgence of course is that he didn’t go away or reform: He was just shut out. Without any place in upper-middlebrow culture, except as an occasional enemy of reason or subject of scandal, there was no bridge to who he was—no humanity left for him.

    Hence, while the liberal media was helping to eject that ultimate white man devil figure Roger Ailes from Fox News for real and perceived sins against women (it seemed not to much matter which), the country was making a pussy-grabber president. The gap between HR departments and the real world is a story obviously not being told very well. A story whose ambiguities and nuances could not now be written—nor its real language uttered—because the cultural establishment sees no ambiguities and nuances and, for sure, doesn’t allow those words. But meanwhile, a good part of the country—unable to communicate with the cultural establishment—sees only hypocrisy.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

    Sunday, January 1st, 2017

    I’m proud to announce that BattleSwarm Blog has been named to The Fabulous 50 Blog List by Director Blue.

    Quote:

    Best Grassroots Blog
    Lawrence Person’s BattleSwarm: Person’s LinkSwarms extract pure wheat from chaff.”

    Thanks! And there are a lot of other great blogs in the fab 50 list worth checking out.