Liberal and left-leaning news orgs are happily publicizing the latest evidence of the dishonesty by the Human Stain (and his family). He has allegedly ripped off another family’s coat-of-arms and rebranded it (you guessed it) as “TRUMP.” I have a few thoughts that may prove unpopular, but here goes:
First, this seems to be a pretty venial sin compared to the heights of grifting and inept spycraft that he and his administration have reached in just 125 days in office, but okay: more evidence of unscrupulous douchebaggery. We get it!
But second, and my real point here: historians know that coats-of-arms are all bull$hit, don’t we? We know that all titles, knighthoods, and the like are all made up at some point or another, so who cares? Someone was knighted or ennobled because he agreed to fight with the king, or let the king screw his wife, or loaned him money, or performed some such base and ignoble service to the crown, and that’s it. That’s all titles and coats of arms mean! Continue reading
Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1973), Republican U.S. Senator from Maine from 1949 until her death and the subject of numerous biographies.
Peggy Noonan’s column in the Wall Street Journal this weekend, “Why History Will Repay Your Love” (sorry–paywalled!) is an extended advertisement for David McCullough’s latest book, and only secondarily an advertisement for McCullough’s totally original observations about history and its importance. (Get this! John Adams and Thomas Jefferson lived in their present, not our past! Also, “nothing had to happen the way it happened,” and “knowing history will make you a better person.”)
I pretty much agree with all of McCullough’s bromides, but this one set off my B.S. detector:
We make more of the wicked than the great. The most-written about senator of the 20th century is Joe McCarthy. “Yet there is no biography of the Senator who had the backbone to stand up to him first–Margaret Chase Smith,” a Maine Republican who served for 24 years,
Since everything is Watergate-mania this week, this alternative view of the United States in the 1970s is worth a few minutes of your time today. Check out this old-school, shaky-cam cinema verité video accompanied by the Modern Lovers’s “Old World,” (1972):
Seen in Slate‘s “Dear Prudence” column this week:
Q. Guns at a wedding: We hope my brother-in-law will attend our daughter’s wedding, but we fear that he will bring his handgun. He recently commented on social media that he will “never go anywhere without my gun on my person.” The invitations were sent before this comment was made. He has said that he plans to attend the wedding. (The wedding will be out of town, both for us and for my BIL, and is being held at a city park.) Should my husband speak to him? Should we write him a letter expressing our hope that he is present, but that his gun is not welcome? His sister has offered to talk with him as she, too, does not want him to bring a gun. She visited him recently and observed that even when attending his small, rural church he carries his gun at his waist in an unsecured holster. He’s just one of those people who doesn’t want anyone touching his guns. We really don’t want the presence of a gun to spoil our daughter’s wedding!
Who is this nutty uncle? (Could he possibly be the infamous “Florida Man?”) PRO TIP: If you don’t want “anyone touching [your] guns,” keeping them unloaded and locked in a safe is the best way to keep them out of other people’s reach. Walking around with a sidearm only puts your weapon within reach of other people.
What do you think Prudence will say to these haters of the Second Amendment? Go back to
Mexico Afghanistan Iraq Egypt Saudi Arabia Iran if you don’t like our freedoms! How dare you try to impose your weak, liberal values on me? I refuse to be a victim! This wedding protected by Smith & Wesson! Continue reading
Esther Boardman by Ralph Earl, 1789, Metropolitan Museum of Art, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
My promotion to Professor isn’t official yet, but I’ve already received an invitation to review someone else’s materials for promotion to Professor.
Given all of the extremely nice things I’ve heard that my outside reviewers said about my latest book and career overall, I suppose it’s time to pay it forward. I thought I’d get at least a year’s grace! I thought I’d have to have changed my faculty profile page, but maybe good news travels nearly as fast as bad news.
(I’m pretty sure that it was one of my referees who sent in my name as a potential reviewer.)
The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal is at it again this weekend. Hilariously, the ed board and many of its readers honestly believe that the fate of the republic rests on a few undergraduate students at Berkeley, UCLA, Middlebury and Wellesley Colleges just shutting up.
In a column putatively against the “soft totalitarianism” of “student thuggery against non-leftist viewpoints,” Heather Mac Donald drops the veil of her allegedly principled stand against “campus intolerance” by–wait for it!–complaining that students published articles in campus newspapers and made comments on Facebook that she doesn’t like.
Go ahead: read that again. And tell me who is it who’s really the special snowflake here: the woman with WSJ editorial page real estate, or the writers for college newspapers? This is a woman who is monitoring and complaining about the Facebook pages of undergraduate students whose politics she dislikes. No member of the East German Stasi or Cultural Revolutionary could outdo comrade Mac Donald for her dedication to eradicating decadence and ideological impurities among our young people.
Here’s a catalog of MacDonald’s hatred of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in her own words. She’s clearly hostile to the expression of any ideas on any college campus anywhere with which she disagrees: Continue reading