Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Republic of Cronyism


A French magazine takes on the French state's network of cronyism and patronage.
Nominations de complaisance, recasages discrets, en trois ans, le pouvoir socialiste a fait main basse sur l’État et satisfait l’appétit de ses courtisans. Aux dépens de la République irréprochable.

Monday, July 27, 2015

When Blacks Are Harrassed by White Police Officers, Who Do They Call Upon to Broadcast the Video?


Not many people seem to have noticed what may one one of the most interesting parts of the 58 Year Old Woman Slapped by Cop, Other Cop Tries to Snatch Camera from Son video: the dude does not say he will send the tape to ABC, to NBC, or to CBS (2:02). While he does—briefly—mention CNN, for some reason he thinks (or… he knows?) that America's conservative TV network is the station to turn to, for the TV station of the supposed racist Tea Partiers seems to be the most likely one to air the video of white police brutality towards a black family. In the mind of this black man, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News is the TV station that will stand up for the little man.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Beliefs of Her Molesters (Her Own Parents!): "If enough children are sexualized young enough, gayness will suddenly be “normal” and accepted by everyone, and the old fashioned notions about fidelity will vanish"

I was born into a family of famous gay pagan authors in the late Sixties
writes Moira Greyland (thanks to Instapundit).
My mother was Marion Zimmer Bradley, and my father was Walter Breen. Between them, they wrote over 100 books: my mother wrote science fiction and fantasy (Mists of Avalon), and my father wrote books on numismatics: he was a coin expert.

What they did to me is a matter of unfortunate public record: suffice to say that both parents wanted me to be gay and were horrifed at my being female. My mother molested me from ages 3-12. The first time I remember my father doing anything especially violent to me I was five. Yes he raped me. I don’t like to think about it. If you want to know about his shenanigans with little girls, and you have a very strong stomach, you can google the Breendoggle, which was the scandal which ALMOST drummed him out of science fiction fandom.

 … My observation of my father and mother’s actual belief is this: since everyone is naturally gay, it is the straight establishment that makes everyone hung up and therefore limited.  Sex early will make people willing to have sex with everyone, which will bring about the utopia while eliminating homophobia and helping people become “who they really are.” It will also destroy the hated nuclear family with its paternalism, sexism, ageism (yes, for pedophiles, that is a thing) and all other “isms.”  If enough children are sexualized young enough, gayness will suddenly be “normal” and accepted by everyone, and the old fashioned notions about fidelity will vanish.  As sex is integrated as a natural part of every single relationship, the barriers between people will vanish, and the utopia will appear, as “straight culture” goes the way of the dinosaur.  As my mother used to say: “Children are brainwashed into believing they don’t want sex.”

 … I am still reeling from the death of my last bits of denial. It IS the homosexuality that is the problem. It IS the belief that all sex all the time will somehow cure problems instead of creating them that is the problem.

So I have begun to speak out against gay marriage, and in doing so, I have alienated most of even my strongest supporters. After all, they need to see my parents as wacky sex criminals, not as homosexuals following their deeply held ethical positions and trying to create a utopia according to a rather silly fantasy. They do not have the willingness to accept the possibility that homosexuality might actually have the result of destroying children and even destroying the adults who insist on remaining in its thrall.

Now for all well-meaning people who believe I am extrapolating from my experience to the wider gay community, I would like to explain why I believe this is so: From my experience in the gay community, the values in that community are very different: the assumption is that EVERYONE is gay and closeted, and early sexual experience will prevent gay children from being closeted, and that will make everyone happy.

If you doubt me, research “age of consent” “Twinks,” “ageism” and the writings of the NUMEROUS authors on the Left who believe that early sexuality is somehow “beneficial” for children.

 … What sets gay culture apart from straight culture is the belief that early sex is good and beneficial, and the sure knowledge (don’t think for a second that they DON’T know) that the only way to produce another homosexual is to provide a boy with sexual experiences BEFORE he can be “ruined” by attraction to a girl.

If you’re OK with that, and you might not be, it is worth your consideration.  If you think I am wrong, that is your privilege, but watch out for the VAST number of stories of sexual abuse AND transgenderism that will come about from these gay “marriages.”
Already the statistics for sexual abuse of children of gays are astronomically high compared to that suffered by the children of straights.

Naturally my perspective is very uncomfortable to the liberal people I was raised with: I am “allowed” to be a victim of molestation by both parents, and “allowed” to be a victim of rather hideous violence. I am, incredibly, NOT ALLOWED to blame their homosexuality for their absolute willingness to accept all sex at all times between all people.

But that is not going to slow me down one bit. I am going to keep right on speaking out. I have been silent for entirely too long. Gay “marriage” is nothing but a way to make children over in the image of their “parents” and in ten to thirty years, the survivors will speak out.

EU Regulations: Will We Soon Have to Affix a Warning Sticker on Coffee Packages to Warn Against the Danger of the Beverage?

Le Dossier de Valeurs Actuelles :
“Arrêtez d’emmerder les Français !” 4/4
Europe : les délires de Bruxelles

Some EU guidelines are so finicky that they would be comical if they did not lead to discouraging controls for business leaders…
Ubuesque. Certaines directives sont si pointilleuses qu’elles en seraient comiques si elles ne justifiaient pas des contrôles décourageants pour les chefs d’entreprise.
Valeurs Actuelles special “Stop pissing off the French!” issue

Friday, July 24, 2015

"Farmers are poisoned by the state's myriad regulations; they are now living in constant stress"

Le Dossier de Valeurs Actuelles :
“Arrêtez d’emmerder les Français !” 3/4
Excès de réglementation : « L’agriculture empoisonnée »

"Farmers are poisoned by all the regulations," says Xavier Beulin (président of the national fédération of farmers' unions) to Marie de Greef-Madelin; "It may sound anecdotal, but farmers are now living in constant stress."
Les agriculteurs sont empoisonnés par toutes les réglementations. … Cela peut paraître anecdotique, mais les paysans vivent aujourd’hui avec un stress permanent
Valeurs Actuelles special “Stop pissing off the French!” issue

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The state's prescriptive hysteria is almost always based on poorly understood scientific studies (when they haven't been tampered with)


Le Dossier de Valeurs Actuelles :

“Arrêtez d’emmerder les Français !” 2/4
« Fais pas ci, fais pas ça »

"Health, industry, private life: no sector can escape the state's regulatory insanity. If the intention is not bad, the result is a hindrance to liberty. [The article Don't do this, don't do that provides a]n overview of the resulting Kafkaesque situations.

This prescriptive hysteria ... is almost always based on poorly understood scientific studies (when they haven't been tampered with)."
Santé, industrie, vie domestique : aucun domaine n’échappe au délire normatif de l’État. Si l’intention n’est pas forcément mauvaise, le résultat est une entrave à la liberté. Tour d’horizon de situations ubuesques.

 … Cette hystérie prescriptive … s’appuie presque toujours sur des études scientifiques mal comprises (voire manipulées)
Valeurs Actuelles special “Stop pissing off the French!” issue

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Ideal Scapegoat—The Driver: Nothing symbolizes the Big Brother state better than the traffic radar

Le Dossier de Valeurs Actuelles :
“Arrêtez d’emmerder les Français !” 1/4
L’automobiliste, bouc émissaire idéal
Rien ne symbolise mieux l’État Big Brother qu’un radar. Anonyme, automatique, présent de jour comme de nuit, aveugle aux circonstances particulières (sur une autoroute parfaitement dégagée, la règle est la même qu’à un moment de trafic dense), sournois (les 254 radars embarqués) et, de plus, hypocrite : c’est ainsi qu’une récente étude du journal Auto Plus révèle que les radars sont majoritairement situés non sur les emplacements dangereux, mais sur ceux qui sont “rentables”, « plus à même de remplir les caisses de l’État ».
Nothing symbolizes the Big Brother state better than the traffic radar. Anonymous, automatic, omnipresent day and night, blind to particular circumstances (on a perfectly empty motorway, the rule remains exactly the same as during a moment of heavy traffic), sneaky (254 radars operate in unmarked cars on the road), and, what's more, hypocritical: thus, a recent study by the Auto Plus newspaper reveals that radars are for the most part located not in hazardous locations, but in those who are "profitable", "better able to fill the coffers of the state."

Valeurs Actuelles special “Stop pissing off the French!” issue

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quit Treading on Us, Says French Magazine to Government and Its Regulators

Le Dossier de Valeurs Actuelles : “Arrêtez d’emmerder les Français !”

"Don't tread on us" is the message of a French weekly to the government—albeit in slightly more colorful language ("Quit pissing off the French!" is a more accurate translation, yet even that does not do justice to the original). Exasperated with an ever increasing number of rules and regulations, and featuring a cover with one of the ubiquitous road radars that send hundreds of thousands of fines to people each year, Valeurs Actuelles tells the government to cease and desist:
Speed limits, smoking bans in public places, cigarette package "neutralization", alcohol bottle standardization, speakerphone prohibition while driving, eating injunctions ("less fat, less sugar, less salt") ... No doubt these measures (the list is far from exhaustive) have been taken each time for perfectly good reasons, whether to save lives — the public health argument — or even "the planet" — to meet environmental concerns.

Frenchmen know the intentions are exemplary and yet… they can't take it anymore: too much advice, constantly rehashed, too many regulations, too many laws!
From the original editorial:
Limitations de vitesse, interdiction de fumer dans les lieux publics, “neutralisation” des paquets de cigarettes, standardisation des bouteilles d’alcool, interdiction du kit mains-libres au volant, injonctions alimentaires : “moins gras, moins sucré, moins salé”… Sans doute ces mesures, dont la liste n’est pas exhaustive, ont-elles été prises à chaque fois pour de bonnes raisons, qu’il s’agisse de sauver des vies — argument de santé publique — ou même “la planète” — le souci est alors écologique.

Les Français le concèdent volontiers et pourtant… ils n’en peuvent plus : trop de conseils, sans cesse rabâchés, trop de normes, trop de lois !

Valeurs Actuelles special “Stop pissing off the French!” issue

Monday, July 20, 2015

Greatest of all warriors on earth, the American soldier is capable of fighting fiercely, loving gently, living nobly, and forgiving totally

From Warchick Resa LaRu Kirkland comes The Cost of July 4 aka "the most unique death in American military history [in] a once-in-history moment, delivered by, of all places, Hollywood and presented in a brand new style: 3-D film."
Director Owen Crump approached Paramount Pictures producer Hal Wallis for help with his idea for the first movie ever filmed entirely on the front lines of a war. It would be in black and white to give it a documentary feel. Every soldier would be played by a real front-line solder. Not a single actor "playing" soldier. Every explosion, every bullet would be the real, government-issued thing.

 … It was mid-June, 1953, when filming of Paramount Pictures’ Cease Fire! began, and everyone knew the summer would out-live this war. It was over. All but one reveled in the deliciousness of their incredible turn of events; Ricardo [Carrasco], however, could scarcely bare it. The 19-year-old from Texas was quiet – moodier than his comrades, and every day he would ask the same question: "When can I go back to my fellahs?"

Ricardo knew of the Chinese desire to take Pork Chop, where he had been fighting, and their habit of nighttime attacks. Every morning at the War Correspondents Building in Seoul he would run to a reporter and ask if the Chinese had attacked Pork Chop yet. Every night his prayers were the same: Please, God. Please don’t let the Chinese attack before I can get back.

 … Why would he go back to fight in a war that was over anyway? He had been under orders; no one would have thought less of him. In fact, no one had expected him back before the end of the war. They assumed when he was chosen in mid-June that he would be gone the rest of the summer. So why did he go back to fight in a war that was almost over, however tenuous and pretend that ending might be? Why would God allow one such as Ricardo to give up so much, but have his sacrifice virtually unknown by the very ones for whom he did everything?

I’ve pondered that long and hard myself.  Why?  The answer came from an unexpected place:  Sunday School.

I was listening with great interest to a man explain his interpretation of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. The question had been posed: If God is omniscient, then He knew what Abraham would do. He knew this faithful son loved Him more than even his own long-promised son, and would give him up at his Father’s command. Then why the test at all? Why did God ask Abraham to do what He already knew he would do?

Why?

Then came the answer that to me seemed so perfect, so beautiful in its simplicity that it had to be right. God had to prove to Abraham just how strong Abraham really was. It wasn’t that God doubted Abraham’s capability…it was that being mortal, Abraham doubted himself. Abraham had to know what Abraham could do. Like everything God does, it was not for His benefit, but for ours. I loved it!

This is so very characteristic of our Father in Heaven…to show us, weak as we are, that we have within the seeds of Godhood, Deity’s DNA. That we are capable of turning evil that we do or that is done against us into something divine.  It is this ability that makes us most like God; a "God Moment," as I often call magnanimous acts of mere mortal men

This analogy is the warrior spirit defined. I have always felt that man is at his most spiritual when he is at war. Now this puzzles many who have heard me say this. Surely war is an evil, murderous event in our existence for which we are punished by God, right? How can it then also be good?

Why?

 I have been studying the men of the Korean War for 24 years now. These valiant servants of both God and man hesitate to speak of what they’ve seen, what they’ve done. I have seen their tears, slow and trembling on the edge of graying eyelashes, slipping down care-worn cheeks as they recount their tales of war. I have strained to hear their voices, so low with the agony of this cross they bear. Many of their tears are for the brutality and horror inherent in war…the dead and mangled bodies of beloved friends, boys barely old enough to shave now forever frozen in time, never aging another moment in the memories of those who watched them die.

 … This is a most glorious testament to manhood and the warrior spirit…that they bear this arduous burden with quiet dignity so those they love won’t have to. The beauty of this selfless act leaves me in awe.

I have long understood the willingness to die for a friend…after all, that is the epitome of what Christ did, and for which we mortals strive. He died that we might live if we so chose. But those who must live with the memories not only of dead friends but butchered enemies are the closest we, as weak, wretched beings born into this veil of tears, can ever come to knowing what Christ bore.

The memories of war are the price that the good man pays; it is out of his deep love for others that he spares them this particular agony. It is perhaps summed up best this way: Upon these two laws doth every commandment hinge-that we love God, and that we love each other. There is no better example on earth of this unconditional love than the American soldier. They would die for their friends, true, but even more heart-breaking and remarkable about such men is that they also  die for enemies who have been denied freedom.  And their final gift to an ungrateful nation?  They quietly live and love and work and create and build this and other nations, all while carrying the soldier's burden:  knowledge of what they’ve had to do so we back home wouldn't have to.

 … Is the soldier man at his most base animal or most spiritual God? Is he the monster coming out in us, or the Deity weaving its way in? This is what I see when I look into the eyes of our warrior brethren. Thrown into the most horrifying concoction of man’s inhumanity to man, it is the fact that these mortals are capable of such unselfish, beautiful acts of humanity--no, Divinity--that reaches the heart and soul of those left behind in a dust-cloud of wonder. Of all God’s children, surely He must relate to and glory over the American soldier.

Why?

Greatest of all warriors on earth, the American soldier is capable of fighting fiercely, loving gently, living nobly, and forgiving totally. These are not the war-mongers that feminists and Hollywood have tried desperately to portray; these are gentle, loving creatures who want nothing more than to be free to go on living and loving. It is this desire that enables our brothers to choose to step out of their own selfish tendencies on behalf of another.

It's time to remind America of the kind of men only freedom and righteousness can grow.  America used to grow such men, and I believe we can do so again. 

But only if we follow that same recipe:  Intact parents with a mother at home and a father supporting, manners and morals taught with loving and patient lessons of character, Bible stories and bedtime prayers and absolutely no fear to speak of God or His Son Jesus Christ, no one so pathetically Politically Castrated and nutless that their whole world falls apart at the mere mention of God (seriously people!  borrow some damned balls so you'll have the courage to grow a damned brain!),  the right not to believe in God and the testicular fortitude to handle it if lots of other people DO believe without resorting to "my-way-or-else" Stalinistic tactics that good men like Ricardo died to keep off of America's shores, a whole long summer away from schools and books and teachers' dirty looks, fall football games and playing your heart out and screaming yourself hoarse, repenting when you're wrong and forgiving when you're right, fair play and including others, sharing treats and innocent tricks, Squanto and the Mayflower and turkey sandwiches for a month, a baby in a manger and swaddling clothes and the brightest star ever on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus and Christmas morning and a whole 2 weeks off for Christmas, hats and horns and that yearly 10 second countdown, chocolate and flowers and construction paper hearts, Easter morning egg hunts and solemn gratitude for Gethsemene, laughter and freedom and the required discipline (which is a loving gift from a Father in Heaven who also chastises ONLY those He loves, or more likely, those who love Him.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

For proudly “progressive” people, American history is one long, uninterrupted obscenity

“We do not want to sell anything that offends people,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.
Benny Huang. strikes back:
McMillion is lying and he doesn’t even know it. Almost anything can be offensive to someone. Walmart doesn’t accommodate everyone’s prickly sensibilities because they couldn’t operate as a retailer if they did.

You know what offends me? Cheap crap made in Chinese sweat shops. Walmart won’t discontinue those products because then their shelves would be bare. But besides the entirety of their crappy inventory, I can think of a few individual items that offend at least some segment of the population. To name a few: Duck Dynasty merchandise, Barbie dolls, toy guns, real guns, Dan Brown books, the Bible, rap music, heavy metal, contraceptives, and tobacco.

And let’s not forget another common item known to offend—the American flag. Will they eliminate Old Glory too? The argument for dumping the stars and stripes is essentially the same as the argument for dumping the stars and bars—that it stands for racism and oppression.

Another strike against the American flag is that it is known to cause offense among the same demographic group—namely, black people. Not all blacks take umbrage at the sight of the flag, of course, but many do. If black Americans had to choose between the American and Confederate flags, Old Glory would surely win out, though many would prefer to have neither. Some black Americans associate it with slavery and oppression. I would argue that a lot more misdeeds could be cast upon the American flag than on the Confederate, if only because the USA has existed so much longer than the CSA ever did.

Witness the spate of flag-burning incidents that have surrounded the Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York protests. Many people see episodes of real or imagined police brutality as symptomatic of a distinctly American pathology. It’s not just a few abusive police officers they condemn, but the whole American system. They show their disgust for that system by incinerating the flag that symbolizes it. Blacks haven’t yet created a public relations headache surrounding the American flag, but that’s not to say that they never will. Will Walmart cave to their demands? Probably.

Most people reading this will probably think that the American flag has been the victim of a malicious frame-up, but that’s because most of this audience is center-right. The further one moves to the Left (or toward the extreme Right) the more animosity one feels toward our flag. For proudly “progressive” people, American history is one long, uninterrupted obscenity. The banner we’ve always rallied around is drenched in blood. Read a little Noam Chomsky and you’ll see what I mean.

The one-time comedian turned unbearable malcontent Janeane Garafolo summed up the feelings of her fellow leftists well when she said, “Our country is founded on a sham: our forefathers were slave-owning rich white guys who wanted it their way. So when I see the American flag, I go, ‘Oh my God, you’re insulting me.’ That you can have a gay parade on Christopher Street in New York, with naked men and women on a float cheering, ‘We’re here, we’re queer!’ –that’s what makes my heart swell. Not the flag, but a gay naked man or woman burning the flag. I get choked up with pride.” Deep down inside, that’s how most people to the left of Harry Reid really feel about America. Garafolo is just woman enough to admit it, and for that, I accord her respect.

I do not believe, however, that the Left reserves all of its hate for the American flag. With a few notable exceptions, leftists seem to hate flags generally.

 … When people start waving flags, leftists get nervous. It all feels very fascistic, unless of course the flag in question is the rainbow flag, in which case they become the biggest flag-wavers of them all. The difference between the rainbow flag and most others is that the rainbow flag doesn’t represent a nation state—a key distinction in the Left’s appraisal of its value. Neither does their other favorite flag, the sky blue banner of the United Nations. The UN flag gives them a warm fuzzy because it represents internationalism. Systemic corruption, the Oil-for-Food scandal, and the persistent rape epidemic that seems to follow UN troops wherever they go never seem to dull leftists’ admiration for the UN flag.

French Cartoon Monthly Takes Aim at American Imperialism

A few years back, the Psikopat monthly had a special American Imperialism issue. Inside were some gems (sic) such as one Yank, as a G.I. on the coast of Normandy in 1944, asking a friend "Can you tell me what the hell we're doing on this shitty beach waiting for death?!" (only to be told that that they are fighting for U.S. capitalists) and then the same Yank, as a retiree on a Florida seaside 70 years later, asking the same friend "Can you tell me what the hell we're doing on this shitty beach waiting for death?!"
More interesting, back in January 2015, was their plethora of homages to their colleagues at Charlie Hebdo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bow or be persecuted — The ruling class shouts: “The debate is over!” “Shut the bigots up!”


Peaceable behavior will not protect you from being hounded as a “hater” 
warns Angelo M Codevilla, author of To Make and Keep Peace (2014) and The Ruling Class (2010) (thanks to Instapundit).
A whiff of “offensive” attitudes is enough for the ruling class to make you as untouchable as the lepers of old. Nor is silence a refuge. 
Just as you must honor homosexuality, so you must affirm that certain Americans are “racists” addicted to “white privilege.” Do you demur? Then, Racist that you are, you must be shunned and should be fired. Do you support governmental efforts to reverse “anthropogenic global warming”? If you demur, you are a Denier who endangers our national security, and must be treated as a kook. Should you refuse to pledge your fealty to the proposition that life and the universe are the meaningless result of chance, you reveal yourself to be a Religious Zealot, an “American Taliban,” ineligible for public and private trust. Do you have reservations about the constitutionality or beneficence of administrative government? Then you are an Extremist, a proper target for Homeland Security, the IRS, the NSA, etc. Do you refuse to celebrate “terminating a pregnancy” as women’s fundamental right? Then you are a Warrior against Women, possibly a terrorist. Do you own guns? Ipso facto, you are a Violent Extremist. 
The pretexts differ. But the reality is the same: Bow or be persecuted.
Law no longer protects you. The ruling class does not punish through laws, and seldom by official actions, nor in any manner amenable to argument. Its bites come from officials and judges, from the connected and protected, whose rule is “Stop me if you can,” and who shove reason aside with epithets such as “offensive” and “hateful.”

 … The ruling class shouts: “The debate is over!” “Shut the bigots up!” This may cow public opinion, but it destroys the capacity to lead it. 

In fact, public opinion can be led only by persuasion regarding true and false, better and worse. This is how free human beings deal with one another. No democratic case can be made for limiting substantive challenges to premises and pretensions. Lincoln, following John Quincy Adams, pointed again and again to the slaveholders’ efforts to silence debate about slavery’s moral and political effects as evidence of the slaveholders’ threat to the freedom of whites as well as of blacks. Like Adams, Lincoln pressed slavery’s hard, ugly realities upon audiences that preferred to evade them. As Lincoln brushed away the euphemisms and legal constructs in describing the slave trade’s merchandising of human beings, so should we not mince words regarding all that the ruling class demands that we honor. 
Check out my post, Wondering Why Slavery Persisted for Almost 75 Years After the Founding of the USA? According to Lincoln, the Democrat Party's "Principled" Opposition to "Hate Speech".
The demand that we call homosexual unions “gay marriage” forces us to honor something that is far from “gay” — i.e., lighthearted, joyful — but, in the case of male homosexuals, anal intercourse, which impairs the health of the persons involved and of society. Why honor it by calling it marriage? Perhaps because it is an instance of “love between consenting adults”? But what sort of society can be based on honoring all manner of sexual relations between any and all “consenting adults”? This logic applies with precisely the same force to polygamy, and to sexual relations between parents and adult children, or between brothers and sisters, as it does to sexual relations between two non-consanguineous homosexuals. But the assertion that mothers and fathers and children are interchangeable is a lie. The Supreme Court, in Reynolds v. U.S. (1878), judged that monogamous (they did not have to say “heterosexual”) marriage is the cornerstone of a free society. Why, precisely, should we reject that judgment as ignorant and mean-spirited? Before 1961, all 50 states criminalized anal intercourse, heterosexual as well as homosexual. Why, precisely, were they wrong in doing so? By what right does anyone place such questions “out of bounds”?

 … to reclaim the American people’s freedom from arbitrary power over minds and souls as well as bodies, to expose the false premises on which the ruling class’s pretenses rest, a candidate would have to imitate Abraham Lincoln. His debates with Stephen Douglas — no notes, much less teleprompters — dealt with complex matters before audiences few of whom had gone beyond elementary school, and enabled them seriously to discuss the choices they faced. Said Lincoln: “Let the people know the facts, and the Country will be saved.”

In our time, if a candidate were to challenge his opponents to bare-knuckle, Lincoln–Douglas sessions, his example might lead fellow citizens to reject the combination of poisonous sloganeering and of dominance, submissiveness, and corruption that now passes for politics. Retaking control of our lives requires us to reason with one another and to decide for ourselves what is good and bad, better and worse, true and false. This is how it was when we were free.
FYI: I am working on a biography of Abraham Lincoln with Dan Greenberg…

Monday, July 13, 2015

American students should not be allowed to neuter the curriculum and hijack the classroom


Following Lexington's report of Trigger-unhappy students in The Economist, Maggie McGirr writes that
The students Lexington mentioned as posing a threat to free speech on campus (June 13th) are the ones who relish their self-righteous fervour and enjoy the limelight as they call the shots in the classroom and bring professors to heel. They are the same students who decide that people like Christine Lagarde and Condoleezza Rice should have their invitations to speak at graduation ceremonies revoked because they don’t fit the PC bill. We know things have gone too far when a good-natured comedian such as Jerry Seinfeld gives up performing on college campuses because it is not worth the trouble.

These students are more than irritating, they are dangerous. They stand to devalue the university experience for many who have fought hard to get there. They should not be allowed to neuter the curriculum and hijack the classroom.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Acting Stint and Friendship with Omar Sharif

During the summer of 2003, my acting agent asked if I would like to do a part in a new TV series. Sure, I said. And by the way, I would be sharing some scenes with the show's star, none other than Omar Sharif.

It was a night shoot, he was to play a taxi driver and I was to play his passenger. I met him in a Boulogne-Billancourt apartment set up as a temporary dressing room, where he was totally nonchalant and set people straight at ease.

There was a party afterwards, and the following day Omar Sharif took the whole cast and crew to a fancy restaurant, where he paid the entire bill.

We became quite friendly, stayed in touch, and he would invite me over to the hotel out of which he was living for a drink in the bar. At other times, he would take me and a two or three other friends to a restaurant for lunch or dinner. He was popular with the ladies, to say the least…

Once, in the car (I can now reveal), he was talking with his girlfriend at the wheel and a lawyer over the phone aboutthe trouble he was in  for head-butting a security guard at a casino. He told me: "Tu ne dis rien à personne, hein?" (keep what you hear to yourself).

When his hotel was shut down for refurbishment, I lost contact with him, and I never got to offer him a copy of my first graphic novel.
Omar Sharif, the star of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago and one of the world's greatest bridge players, is dead at 83 (interview in French)

Michael Ledeen reminisces about his friend, Omar Sharif