Feh

Well, there’s plenty to talk about tonight, in particular the lurid Benghazi hearings and Barack Obama’s pugnacious veto of a military-funding bill, but I just can’t summon up the will. Pick your team and join the shouting. This has all gone so far beyond any possibility of comity or reconciliation that anything I might say off the top of my head about it would be completely superfluous. American public life is nothing more, now, than a vicious, bitter divorce. I expect the “domestic violence” stage is not far off.

So here’s a good thing instead — a treasure, in fact: the Feynman Lectures, online.

Related content from Sphere

22 Comments

  1. Whitewall says

    Trying to grill Hillary is pointless. She is a soulless sociopath. A Clinton.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink
  2. antiquarian says

    It’s simply been so long that we’ve forgotten what Congress was like in the first century of the Republic. As for example:

    03_b.jpg

    The beating of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks also comes to mind.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Bill Vallicella says

    Malcolm,

    I feel your pain, to invoke a Clintonism. I often wonder what the point of more commentary is.

    I think what we need now is the political equivalent of divorce to avoid the political equivalent of domestic violence. In other words, voluntary segregation, not along racial but along political lines.

    But a return to federalism is not something the Left, being totalitarian, will allow. And so we can expect “irreconcilable differences” unresolved by “divorce” to lead to “domestic violence.”

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Bill Vallicella says

    Some details here.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    The beating of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks also comes to mind.

    Well, at least somebody got to Harry Reid.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Bill, agreed. As I wrote back in ’12:

    The rift between these two constituencies is only getting wider and deeper and angrier, and that trend isn’t going to change. So as I’ve been saying for some time now: the practical issue is not that liberals and conservatives disagree about these things — it’s that they can’t get away from each other. This seems to me little different from the religious and ethnic tensions that have torn countries apart, often violently, throughout history. Such things rarely turn out well, and I don’t expect this will, either.

    That old post of yours holds up very well.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  7. Pangur says

    The solution, at least short of a war, is the breakup of the US into regional entities. De-scaling of the American political unit is inevitable one way or the other; the main question is whether it happens voluntarily. Naturally FedGov would oppose this, but there’s only so much it can do in the face of widespread, non-violent resistance.

    War is of course the least desirable outcome. Liberals talk a tough game, but of course they don’t own guns and seem to forget that the combat arms branches of the military (i.e., the effective ones) are — shudder — white men . . . that is to say, conservative.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  8. Whitewall says

    The beating of Sumner…ah the old days.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  9. Whitewall says

    Malcolm etal, I think this sums up where we are on this thread and where we are in America today…
    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/06/no-truce-with-left.html

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
  10. Epicaric says

    Walls and borders can be wonderful things, and can be as porous or as impermeable as their builders choose them to be. Czechoslovakia devolved to its eponymous parts, and I am sure their respective constituents are as happy, or happier than before. I am equally convinced that the Indian and Pakistani separation saved great bloodshed. For me, Scotland was free to go, as is Wales, and Veneto and Catalonia and…and….
    I am quite content to wish my neighbors well on their pursuits, behind our mutual wall. They are welcome to stop by for a cup of sugar when they are in need. But Chesterton runs deep in my veins, since childhood, and I will keep my wall standing. It makes for better neighbors. So perhaps it is time to separate our books and records, and let each live their life as they see best, in the comfort of their own polity, and behind their own walls. It didn’t have to be this way: We had fifty wondrous and ready-made polities to suit every taste. I never insisted that my preferences be the law of the land, from Atlantic to Pacific. Not me. No, this was a shotgun wedding that ruined a truly great friendship.

    Posted October 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  11. JK says

    Bill V. Whitewall, Malcolm?

    Bill you’ve “never heard of me” Whitewall only in the ‘e-pal’ sort of way, Malcolm has my email address and serendipitously, sent me an email some twenty hours prior to this very post enabling me to “almost” predict its very content. Word for word.

    I read sometime earlier that post on Maverick, know the site well Whitewall has on exhibit and – not wanting to feel so “left out”

    http://annaraccoon.com/2015/05/19/it-started-in-america/

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:56 am | Permalink
  12. the one eyed man says

    Things have certainly been going well for Hillary Clinton lately. She crushed it in the debate; Biden wisely decided not to challenge her; her (disciplined, poised, factual) responses to her (bellicose, preening, puerile) inquisitors showed impressive stamina and true grace under pressure. After nine hours of pointless questioning, the embarrassed chairman of the House Committee to Destroy Hillary Clinton had to admit that nothing new was learned. They can now return to their Wine Wednesdays, the wine glasses embossed with Glacial Pace, leaking false information to the press, and outing an intelligence source.

    I recall our $85 wager on her nomination. You can concede now, or wait until the Democratic convention. Your choice.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink
  13. JK says

    She crushed it in the debate …

    Well One-Eyed, even me getting served up that kinda cheese coulda “crushed it” like a ping pong ball. Hell, probably a cotton ball.

    (But I have to wonder – if – whether she did so well during the classified portion of the Committee questioning.)

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 11:44 am | Permalink
  14. Whitewall says

    Well…I figured everyone would be out looking at fall leaves. I was until neighbors began burning the just raked piles.

    Speaking of authoritarian women, not just the Red Queen, I see the Obama DOJ has declined to charge the lawless Lois Lerner with anything. Special rules for some people I guess. Laws for the rest of us. For now.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink
  15. JK says

    Eh … One-Eyed?

    Few weeks ago your habit of citing poll stuff prompted me to ‘sign-up’ to get another dang emailed newsletter – as if being on the GAO’s listserver wasn’t bad enough … but anyway I just noticed this today:

    In a hypothetical matchup, Trump and Clinton are in a near tie, but a sizable 22% prefer some other candidate.

    (Malcolm? If Clinton is only managing a near-tie against Trump – I’d advise holding off on any conceding of anything.)

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/weekly_updates/what_they_told_us_reviewing_last_week_s_key_polls2?utm

    & incidentally One-Eyed – I kinda thought maybe if I signed up to get poll-stuff that’d improve my odds of getting asked my opinion.

    So far – nada.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  16. the one eyed man says

    JK: the wager is whether Hillary will be the Democratic nominee, not the winner of the general election. Now that she is no longer threatened by the Lincoln Chaffee juggernaut, it looks like she has a clear field to the nomination.

    Donald Trump will not be President. He is now behind Dr. Ben Carson in some polls, although I suspect that his numbers will start slipping once Republican voters find out that he is not related to Johnny Carson.

    The right wing is heavily invested in the caricature of Hillary Clinton as an evil crone – a modern day Wicked Witch of the West (Wing). Bonnie Parker, Leona Helmsley, and Lady MacBeth all rolled into one. However, they demonized Barack Obama as well, and lost big both times. Character assassination will only get you so far.

    Ed Rollins, the long time Republican consultant, was quoted in today’s New York Times as noting that the Republican Party is in “total disarray.” While nothing is certain, what is inarguable is that at the current moment, Hillary Clinton has a far higher probability of being elected President than anyone else.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    …the embarrassed chairman of the House Committee to Destroy Hillary Clinton had to admit that nothing new was learned.

    Well, new evidence was presented showing beyond all doubt that Ms. Clinton knew within hours that the attack had nothing to do with a video, but lied to the American people about it nevertheless, and sent her sock-puppets to do the same. The only plausible explanation for this is that, with an election coming up, she did so to avoid political embarrassment both for herself and her boss.

    Of course, one might ask: “At this point, what difference does it make?” That Mrs. Clinton is a soulless, utterly corrupted, congenital liar who will do anything at all to advance the only interest she cares anything about — the power and wealth of the Clintons — is already common knowledge to everyone, including those who, having cast aside the atavistic notion that character matters when selecting our national leader, continue to support her candidacy. It is all a very sad commentary indeed on the state of national character. You should be ashamed of yourself, Peter, for your chirpy, unreflective loyalty to this horrifying woman.

    Having said all of that, in fairness I must also say that Mrs. Clinton does, in my mind, have one advantage over the incumbent: she is, at least, merely venal and corrupt, and out for no ends but her own. Unlike Mr. Obama, one imagines that if she took a moment to examine her shriveled heart she might actually nurse some affection for, and allegiance to, the nation she seeks to lead.

    I will say also that my confidence in my prediction wavered a little this week with the Biden withdrawal; it would certainly help if there were anyone else anywhere in sight that the Democrats could reasonably nominate next year. But concede the wager now? Why on earth would I? All sorts of things could happen between now and next summer: the woman might find herself under Federal indictment, for example, or some new embarrassment could come to light (though I will admit that at this point it seems Hillary could be caught smuggling nukes to ISIS in exchange for attractive female slaves without it affecting her support among people like yourself). She might even drop dead between now and the end of July. Or the United Sates could collapse into civil war. Or a comet might strike the District of Columbia. You never know!

    So I think I will play on, if you don’t mind.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink
  18. Pangur says

    “Ed Rollins, the long time Republican consultant, was quoted in today’s New York Times as noting that the Republican Party is in “total disarray.”

    Ed’s a cuckservative who, like most of the rest of the GOP establishment, doesn’t know what hit him. Rollins wouldn’t know much about populist movements (which is what Trump’s is), mostly because there hasn’t been one at the national level for generations. The left has no idea what’s coming.

    Trump’s main job — destroying the GOP establishment — is already done. My view is that Hillary’s nomination seals Trump’s election, because she’s unelectable for reasons understandable to anyone who perceives reality. (Quick reminder that Obama beat Hill for the nomination rather handily, even though Barry didn’t run a particularly good campaign.)

    “Character assassination will only get you so far.”

    The media saw to it that the electorate knew as little as possible about Barry (somehow the image of him as a crass, insecure, passive affirmative-action baby took a while to filter through). This is impossible with Hillary, a known bad quantity. I suppose you consider it character assassination to mention that Hill tried to run State from a home server in order to avoid FOIA requests. C’est la guerre.

    To be honest, I would not mind a Hillary presidency. I’d like to watch her stroke out during her term (grandma drinks more than she should, has undefined health problems that somehow don’t get a lot of attention, and she’s really old), and I’d love to watch the left justify the inevitable war(s) she’d get us into (she’s just as tough as the boys, and as we know from the State tenure, she has killer instincts!). Hillary would also hasten the coming unpleasantness by enforcing lib dogma at gunpoint . . . is Lon Horiuchi available for a position in DoD?).

    “disciplined, poised, factual”

    I assume that you partake freely of the Arkansas polio weed that your city is so famous for.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  19. Malcolm says

    Pangur,

    To be honest, I would not mind a Hillary presidency. I’d like to watch her stroke out during her term (grandma drinks more than she should, has undefined health problems that somehow don’t get a lot of attention, and she’s really old), and I’d love to watch the left justify the inevitable war(s) she’d get us into (she’s just as tough as the boys, and as we know from the State tenure, she has killer instincts!). Hillary would also hasten the coming unpleasantness by enforcing lib dogma at gunpoint . . . is Lon Horiuchi available for a position in DoD?).

    In my darker moments I’ve entertained such thoughts myself. If this nation really has passed beyond hope — and I am surer every day that it has — better then to force the issue sooner rather than later, and Hillary 2016 would do just that. Indeed, the very fact of her election would confirm the diagnosis that our nation’s wasting disease is, in fact, terminal.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
  20. Pangur says

    Malcolm,

    I am not given over to despair at all, nor should you be. Be of good cheer. The current state of affairs is invigorating. We’re moving forward. The disease must run its course.

    It used to be possible to think that compromise with the left was possible. However progressives, with their epistemic closure, control of the deep state, unis, media and corporations, have made it clear they’re not interested. It makes sense to take them at their word.

    Certainly at first blush the realization that compromise isn’t possible can be depressing; however, it clarifies the task at hand. The current violent leftist revolt against order, normalcy, tradition and decency will either collapse of under its own contradictions or will be ripped apart by the right. Either way, the US as we know it is done. Given the tendencies of our elites, this is good news not only for Americans, but for everyone else in the world.

    What follows will be built by us and people like us.

    Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink
  21. Malcolm says

    Pangur, this isn’t despair, it’s sadness. I would prefer not to have had to see this nation go through what’s coming.

    It’s also anger. While I do believe,as I have written here often, that popular government has many inherent liabilities, much of the failure of this nation is due not to those liabilities themselves, but to purely voluntary and avoidable choices that we need not have made.

    Another factor is the corrosive skepsis of the Enlightenment. But again, as we moved through the 20th century we progressively failed to temper this doubt with wisdom — and more importantly, with humility.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

    Posted October 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink
  22. antiquarian says

    “Hillary Clinton has a far higher probability of being elected President than anyone else”

    One-eyed, that’s a ridiculous thing to say. I don’t mean it’s ridiculous on its face, since superficially it’s probably true. The ridiculousness part is saying that she has a better chance than any other individual. She’s virtually certain to be the Dem nominee, I think. (I hope Malcolm got odds.) I think few people ever thought any of the others were serious contenders. (Seriously, Lincoln Chaffee juggernaut?) To me they seem to be purists trying to drag her to the left, publicity hounds trying to develop a national reputation, or, just possibly, shills to make it look not quite so much like a coronation. Or some combination thereof. In any case, when one side’s nominee is certain and the other’s is not, you’re almost always going to get polls that look like this. It’s just an artifact of opinion-gathering, which would be the same if the parties were reversed. (I might point out also that polls this early just about always mean almost nothing.)

    As for her chances in the general election, I think they’re on the low side. Even if one set aside the various scandals and almost-scandals (emailgate, Benghazi, Whitewater residue, etc) I see her as a weak and relatively untested candidate of identity politics, without much charm and with a groomed resume held together with shellac, who’s trying to do that rarity, get a third term in the White House for a party as a candidate who wasn’t the President or VP during the first two terms. (Last time it happened was Herbert Hoover, IIRC.) If Jeb’s the ‘Pub nominee– well, he strikes me as a good deal more like his father than his brother, and a good deal smarter, and much more multicultural. I sure wouldn’t bet against him.

    Posted October 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm | Permalink