Stubborn Things Pub Chat–Why National Review Online (NRO) and I Parted as Friends

VoltaireThumbby Monsieur Voltaire
It’s not a secret that Stubborn Things was born partially from a growing sense of dissatisfaction with NRO, the site that used to be the favorite watering hole for most posters here. But who started diverging from whom? My contention is that it was NRO, and I want to offer a brief number of the reasons why I for one have grown increasingly tepid towards that once-great site.

1 – The 2012 firing of John Derbyshire. Derb (for short) is an astute commentator and a true polymath—thinking and writing with equal clarity and insight on subjects from politics to metaphysics, from mathematics to religion. His “offense” was to pen a provocative (in the intellectual sense of the word) piece about race on a different site. For that, he was immolated on the detestable altar of zero-tolerance political correctness—and the only party that lost in this transaction was NRO, now a lot poorer from the departure of a great writer and an original mind. (By the way, some points very similar to Derb’s article in question were made recently on NRO by another commentator, causing nary an eyebrow to be lifted. Capricious standards? Which leads me to my next point.)

2 – The truly atrocious readers’ comment moderation. Any site where overt trolling and flaming is tolerated, but thoughtful, lengthy posts are deleted for no apparent reasons is a site that will get increasingly more of the former and less of the latter. The same bizarre standard by which Derb got fired by saying the same things as another opinion writer who got to stay seems to apply to the comment section—in spades.

3 – The growing squishiness of commentators. NRO seems to be moving towards being a mouthpiece for establishment Republicans, neocons and sausage-factory insiders. Writers like Robert Costa, for instance, write maddening pieces cheering on the dirty bipartisan horse-trading that usually results in the passage of 10,000-page bills like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and now (hopefully not) “comprehensive immigration reform.” Sorry, but politics is not a spectator sport to be enjoyed per se. We get to live—and too often suffer–under the end-results of such parliamentary shenanigans. Anyway, there are still a lot of talented writers at NRO (e.g., Steyn, Hanson, Goldberg, Williamson). But my prevailing feeling is that the old National Review is to the new what Ronald Reagan is to John McCain.

4 – The lack of a true Conservative agenda. Agenda means “to do list.” It feels as if NRO is stuck on the “disbelief” step of a 12-step program, and is incapable of moving forward. We don’t need to keep asking rhetorical questions like “what if Bush had said the outrageous things Obama just said? Wouldn’t it make front page news?” We all know the answer to questions like that—we have known it for decades. The issue now should be, “what do we do about it?” (And hint: it’s not what the Democrats tell us to do—like in the case of granting amnesty to illegals.)

These are the main reasons why, even before the founding of Stubborn Things, I had decided to part ways with NRO. Part as friends: I still stop to say hello occasionally, but my heart is no longer there.

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74 Responses to Stubborn Things Pub Chat–Why National Review Online (NRO) and I Parted as Friends

  1. Kung Fu Zu says:

    I am with you on NRO’s handling of John Derbyshire. He is an excellent writer and is not fettered by political correctness. Strangely enough, he uses experience and reason when writing.

    He is also a down to earth man who will exchange emails with you if you have something relatively sensible to say.

    I recommend people look up his website and read some of his articles. Just google John Derbyshire.

    In the last year he underwent medical treatment for cancer and I believe his income was hit when NRO cut him off. If you enjoy his writing, I am sure he would gratefully accept contributions to keep him going.

    Brad, I am not trying to take people away from Stubbornthings, but trying to help a good man who can use help. I really think we need to try and keep such voices as Derb’s from being silenced. Although I do not know him personally, he and I have several things in common and he is a polite man, so I have a soft spot for him.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Brad, I am not trying to take people away from Stubbornthings, but trying to help a good man who can use help.

      There is no “taking,” Mr. Kung. This site operates upon different premises. If you find a great conservative site or person that you think readers can benefit from, spread the word. Our mission is twofold:

      1) Become a community apart from the confusion and nihilism of popular culture, including popular political culture.
      2) Light a candle to be put on the sill in the window of the Shining City on the Hill.

      That’s it. There is no desire for revenue, fame, “hits,” prestige, or facetime on The View. I’d certainly like more people to read the thoughts that we present here and will work diligently in that regard. But points number one and two are the thing.

      Here’s to The Derb.

    • Monsieur Voltaire says:

      Kung Fu–I’m 100% with you on your comments on Derb. He has always answered my emails (not that I deluge people like a groupie, mind you, but I have written him about half a dozen times in the last 4-5 years). And I’ve cheered him on in my small way when he had his health mishap a couple years ago, for which he graciously took the time to thank me.

      I like the refreshing honesty and no-taboo attitude of the site for which he moonlights now, although it is stained with something I truly have no time for–antisemitism–in some of the articles and (especially) in the comment section. Being from Europe, I have vivid pictures in my mind of what my parents and grandparents told me about some recent, shall we say, “developments” of that philosophy–not that it would be right in any other circumstance. But our friend has thankfully been perfectly immune from this, which is why I always look forward to Saturday mornings and I never miss an issue of Radio Derb.

  2. ladykrystyna says:

    Well said, Monsieur. My feelings exactly. I’ll probably go over there more than you do, but it seems that over time, sites that I like have “fundamentally transformed” into something else.

    Same with Breitbart after Andrew died, and a bunch of us left there, too (again, I occasionally imbibe to see if there is anything interesting and sometimes there is), and gravitated to a site one of the group decided to start up (different set up from this one – not really original articles, just links to other articles and opportunity for discussion with no trolls).

    I’ve become a bit disappointed with Goldberg – he’s becoming a bit squishy.

    But I’ll tell you, if we lose Steyn, I cry for a month. 😀

    And you are correct – we need solutions. Mark Levin is offering one in his new book (which I’m in the middle of reading and hope to have a book review up relatively soon).

    Breitbart was supposed to offer a kind of “what do we do with the media” as well, and it has kind of lagged on that. Although apparently they are starting up a kind of right wing “Media Matters” so we’ll see where that takes us.

    We need to be able to get our message out to the general public, free of leftist filters and spin. Even the politicians we do like have to learn even better and better how to handle being interviewed by the MSM (not just hide from them). Talk over them, talk around them, talk TO the people. That’s what Reagan did and it was effective.

    As much as I’m disillusioned by the last election and feel like perhaps there is little hope, I still think that if you talk directly to the people, point out the inconsistencies in what the Left does; point out the omissions; point out the lies; point out the lack of logic or common sense – then many people will start to wake up.

    I’ve woken up my mom in a lot of ways. She’s still suspicious of capitalism and guns, but not as much as she used to be. She’s beginning to see that what the Democrats offer is no solution and only causes more problems. Getting her to see that capitalism, while not perfect, is still the best solution is a bit harder. And guns – well, there are moments of clarity and then she just reverts back to “guns = bad”.

    But maybe someday it will sink in.


    • Monsieur Voltaire says:

      Krystyna, I too love Steyn, and think he is one of the most talented writers and best minds in the Conservative stable right now. He can present you with the bleakest scenario about our civilization and still leave you smiling, which is quite the feat.

      I just hope and wish that he, as well as some of my other favorites, would start moving on to proposing a positive agenda. Ultimately, I think that’s what it means to be an opinion leader: it’s not just about grieving and chronicling today’s state of affairs with flair and a great turn of phrase (the diagnosis), but much like Levin, it is about offering solutions and getting people excited and on board (the prognosis). As Brad says, it may be a fool’s errand, but it’s a fight we have to fight–even if it only means coming up with common talking points to change the mind of our friends and inner circle.

      I very much look forward to reading your review of The Liberty Amendments. While I have not read the book, I have seen several other reviews and I am curious to hear what a passionate warrior for Traditional America like you has to say about it. As I wrote in another post, I am still digesting Jonah’s somewhat misleadingly-titled The Tyranny of Cliches, which is in fact a weighty, dense, very scholarly and impeccably referenced history of the most noxious memes of Liberalism (it could be someone’s PhD thesis, albeit written to be also somewhat entertaining, to the extent that something like that can be).

      • CCWriter CCWriter says:

        I really must get Tyranny of Cliches on my Kindle and finish it.

        • Monsieur Voltaire says:

          Better yet, get the audiobook version–Jonah does a bonzer job reading it.

          • pst4usa says:

            I had the chance to meet Mr. Goldberg at an event where he was the key note speaker. I complemented him on his reading of his book and he said it was the hardest thing he had ever done. Excellent post by the way.

          • CCWriter CCWriter says:

            “Better yet, get the audiobook version–Jonah does a bonzer job reading it.”

            No doubt he does, but what would I play it on? I love my new Kindle. I will finish reading his book on it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        MV said:

        …it’s not just about grieving and chronicling today’s state of affairs with flair and a great turn of phrase (the diagnosis), but much like Levin, it is about offering solutions and getting people excited and on board…

        Is hosting a site like this actually “doing” something instead of chronicling? I have a friend who is going to bring suit against a state government for breach of the constitution. Every once in a while we have a long conversation and I cheer him up (not!) by telling him how useless it all is. The train has left the station and things are just going to run their course.

        But many people want to do something, whether bringing suits, attending a Tea Party meeting, or something else. I told this friend that his lawsuit had as much relevance as this web site. (I double as a motivational speaker….please contact me for rates.) I told him that when I found the magic words to talk a “Progressive” out of his delusions I’d let him know. But until then, things are just going to take their natural course. There’s no stopping it.

        But I like to spit, particularly into the wind. If memory serves, from reading “Albion’s Seed,” it was the Quakers who popularized the idea of a person having a “calling.” Mine is apparently not shutting the hell up. That goes the same for most of yuze guys.

        So I can’t say that hosting a website is “doing” anything, nor is writing various articles explaining and otherwise dissecting the Left. But non-violent action is the way of conservatives. We persuades. We cajole. But we don’t threaten and we don’t flash-mob people because they disagree with us — all things that the Left are known for, and that are known for being quite effective.

        Now, that said, I want to get back to what MV said in the above quote. What he said pretty much sums up what 90% of NRO is about. In fact, I caught hell about four weeks ago for pointing out that a certain Mark Steyn article, while amusing, was just more analytical stuff but which cleverly hid the fact that he didn’t actually take a stand on the issue nor propose a solution.

        The only guy who comes within shooting distance of that is Dennis Prager. But most of these guys just make a living describing the problem. It seems to me that both Reagan and Buckley were very explicit and clear regarding how they stood on an issue and what actions that should be taken.

        So NRO is basically Comedy Central in many ways, just not as funny (well, Steyn is). It’s just entertainment in a culture that can’t seem to want anything more than to be entertained. And let it be known that I am second to none in my admiration of Steyn. I know that he has faced down the Commissar Multiculturalist goons in Canada. He is more than just a man behind a typewriter.

        And yet, if we are honest, we might acknowledge that most conservative talking heads (or writing heads) are basically glorified book sellers and speech-givers. They’ve made an industry out of commenting. But if we gauge by how the country continues to move left, it’s arguable that they have made little to no difference in the direction of the country.

        But I think they’re very good at blowing off steam. And that describes me, and many of you. We get on NRO and elsewhere and blow off steam. But are we actually doing anything that has a positive effect? No. I don’t think so. We are just another flavor of Lord Blowhard (Conrad Black), if perhaps a tad less pompous.

        As I mentioned to Mr. Kung, I see two immediate purposes for this site:

        1) Become a community apart from the confusion and nihilism of popular culture, including popular political culture. (Every man or woman needs a refuge, especially when 80% of the culture is stark raving mad, or doing a good imitation of it.)
        2) Light a candle to be put on the sill in the window of the house in the Shining City on the Hill.

        And #2 is probably most important, although inherently ethereal. We’ll be calling for no flash mobs to punish Leftists, but we must make this place an extended meditation on the greatness of American and hope that somehow those vibes do shake things over the horizon. That’s all we can do.

        I have absolutely no interest in joining the white noise of conservative media. And if there is ever a book in the offing (yes, Pat, I know…I know…I will someday), the proceeds will go to charity. I do not wish to make this cause a commercial one. Perhaps providence saw to it that both names, and, were already taken, but not

        Life asks so little of us right now compared to what was asked of a previous generation:

        And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

        • jc says:

          I have a nagging thought that our younger generations (now in their 20s and 30s) need a place to get the unvarnished truth about how the country is being run now and what the soon-to-hit-the-fan consequences are likely to be.

          These young adults are forming their expectations of what government does and what it should do, and critically important imo is giving them options and landmarks to steer by. My father packed me off to college in the middle of the hippie era with a subscription to National Review — not that I needed a lot of persuading, being a born skeptic, but NR was a useful guidepost in my mailbox every few weeks.

          We would do well to find a way to reach those now in their 20s and 30s with thoughtful critiques of what is happening in the country and what course corrections should be taken and why. This plugged-in generation is accustomed to data uploads, and we need to give them something worth pondering and comparing to what is going on in the world and most particularly in the Obama coup-by-stealth..

          If Stubborn Things can contribute in that fashion, it will be a great accomplishment. … And I don’t mean reaching out to just college Young Republicans: I mean to all the young adults.. They were weaned on skepticism about everything, so let’s keep feeding them tasty ideas.

          How can we do that?

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Excellent thoughts, JC. Stubborn thoughts, I should say.

          • ladykrystyna says:

            I think that is an excellent idea, reaching out to the youth.

            And perhaps doing that in a small “l” libertarian kind of way.

            Let me explain:

            It’s about explaining “liberty” or “freedom” to young people. I have this same conversation with my 2 daughters who aren’t even teens yet:

            Youth thinks that “freedom” means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and without consequences.

            But that is not the case. Freedom in general means you are free to make your own decisions, but that is still within the parameters of the law. And sure, you can decide to break the law, but then there are consequences for doing so.

            And even those of us who are adults can’t really do ANYTHING we want – we have to follow rules. We have to show up for work, pay the bills, etc.

            It is “ordered liberty” and that is what conservatives and libertarians are talking about.

            What the left offers is “libertinism” – do whatever you want and not have to face any consequences for it, or even worse, someone else gets to pay for your mistakes.

            And that’s not the same thing.

            That’s at least a place to start.

            Another thing to explain to them is that big government creates the desire for graft and corruption. Perhaps explained this way: if your parents raised you such that you knew better than to ask them to bail you out of every scrape, and that they expected you to follow the rules or you would face consequences, then you would be more likely to be a productive member of society and a law abiding citizen. You would make better decisions and if you made a bad one, you’d get yourself out of it, or face the consequences.

            If your parents gave you everything you ever wanted, never denied you a thing, and you could come to them to bail you out of every scrape, then you’d never learn to make better decisions and you’d constantly make bad ones because you knew that you wouldn’t have to face the consequences.

            Same with businesses, big and small. It is better to have a small government (the first set of parents) who only makes sure that contracts are adhered to and fraud is prohibited. Then big and small businesses will be forced to all follow the same kinds of rules and face the consequences if they make bad decisions. No bailouts.

            But a big government is suspectible to lobbyists asking for favors and picking winners and losers and bailing out companies who should probably just fail because they are not running their businesses very well.

            One example I heard was this: originally Microsoft had no lobbyists in D.C. (or if they did, it was like a handful). Then the gov’t came after them claiming anti-trust problems (I don’t know if it was ever true or not and I’m neither a fan nor a hater of Microsoft). Then suddenly when the smoke cleared, Microsoft had like 300 lobbyists.

            There are times when gov’tl involvement is necessary, but for the most part it is not necessary and only causes more problems than it purportedly solves.

            A couple of places to start with the youth.


        • Monsieur Voltaire says:

          Brad–setting up and hosting this site is PRECISELY an example of doing not only something, but the right thing. Just like in business, there are those who are talented and successful at selling door-to-door, and those who have a knack for writing compelling scripts for the salespeople. One is not more valuable than the other, because one can’t thrive without the other. Today’s little George Washingtons need today’s little Thomas Paines just like our exponentially greater ancestors did to achieve what they achieved.

          Namely: we are letting people know that they are not alone in their distaste for what’s happening to America, and that there are like-minded people who organize and put together a coherent set of tangible reasons why “it all doesn’t feel right,” so the next time they can articulate it; and convince others. Who in turn will convince others… and others yet…

          This is the difference between doing something and just waiting for the next election, like too many do. So, once again (as if I don’t say it often enough!) thanks for this venue, which I have a feeling will grow into something of moment.

        • kabeman says:

          This site, you people, give us all hope and more than that a voice. For me at least I need a place like this to come to for an honest look at where we are at and where we are heading. Looking forward to the discussion, please keep it going! And yes you are doing something…more than you know.

        • ladykrystyna says:

          I think that we all should do whatever we can do, whatever is in our power to do, to save this country. If that’s this site and offering another POV from the right, then so be it.

          And I really think that Levin’s book is a step in the right direction. It’s not something that will happen over night. It will be a process, but I think it’s the best non-violent solution that has been offered so far.

          I agree with you regarding the 2 immediate purposes for this site. Absolutely.

          But I think we should encourage each other to get involved a bit locally.

          It takes me back to Levin’s book – if we like the ideas, we should spread the word.

          And in fact, a website is already up, for the purpose of going forward with Levin’s suggestions (and not started by Mark Levin).

          I don’t recognize the names or faces of those who started the group, but it might be something to get into, research and see if we each, in our own states, can get involved.

          I do like just talking – believe me. Ask my family and friends.

          But I’m also at the point where talking is not enough and I want to feel that I’m doing something in pursuit of my principles.

          We don’t have to be officially linked with that group, or any group, but I think we should all read Levin’s book and then discuss it at length on the forums, and see if we can get involved at the state level to push this thing along.

          Our Founders talked. A lot. But they also DID. And they weren’t violent (well, the Tea Party was a bit rowdy :-D), and they didn’t create flashmobs, etc. But they DID. They acted. They created groups and met at places so they can move their ideas forward.

          And that’s what we need to do – just not in Congress, as Levin says.

      • ladykrystyna says:

        Thanks, MV (if I may call you that). 😀

        Yes, it’s amazing that you can read Steyn and be at once in utter despair while laughing maniacally.

        I’m about half way done with The Liberty Amendments. Also very technical and weighty. I want to try and just review the book for what it is, rather than get into discussing each suggested Amendment for its pros and cons. I’m hoping we can all do that here in the Forums.

        I really think that Levin’s idea has some legs, even if we don’t ultimately all agree on the details. It is the best idea I’ve seen for non-violently taking back this country from the Statists.

        • Kung Fu Zu says:

          If you, as a lawyer, find it technical, how will the rest of us get through it?

          • ladykrystyna says:

            Well, technical in that it discusses the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers and discusses Supreme Court decisions that helped get us into this mess.

            I think anyone here could read it without any problem.

            I guess I was just saying that I didn’t want my review to get into those details that deeply and just stick to the Amendments themselves and what they would mean and whether or not they would work, etc.


  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Dammit. I get the feeling that I’m going to lose a great writer. NRO, for sure, will offer MV a job to clean up their place. And it certainly needs it.

    As MV said, in so many words, NR has lost focus. I actually have no idea who is running the place. Jonah? Rich? Some anonymous intern? Who knows? No one there even speaks as if they are in charge.

    Here, as your Editor and collaborator, I will work to keep this site focused while maintaining proper ideological humility (as any conservative should). Someone, I dare say, may know more than I do.

    That’s why I have tried to invite the best of the best here. And with MV, this is my wildest dream come true. As I have quipped before, at some point I will be content to just write the odd movie review while I sip on a cup of java (Diet Coke, more likely) and read the great (and conservative) thoughts on the front page of that day’s StubbornThings.

    Well done, Monsieur.

    • jc says:

      I agree entirely with your assessment of NR. It has a caretaker who out of courtesy I will not call out here, but NR is a hollow shell of its Buckley heyday. Were it not for the regulars like VDH and others, there would be no need to go there.

      And I must say I am sorely disappointed in the comment function there — both the nanny-ing of the comments and the too-often poor quality of the comments that make it through. I do not blame the posters, but rather the lack of inspiration from the writers, with certain notable exceptions.

      What can we do here to refresh WFB’s creation of a thoughtful place in this new location?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        What can we do here to refresh WFB’s creation of a thoughtful place in this new location?

        Maybe not write article after article on how we really need Jeb Bush as the next president. 😀

        But seriously, right now I’m looking for someone who can volunteer as a publicist. We need someone who has some time on their hands and the requisite schmoozing skills to maybe knock on a few virtual doors and get some free mentions and such. We’re assembling the Beatles but we still need our Brian Epstein.

  4. CCWriter CCWriter says:

    I felt that NRO, by adding the comment feature two plus years ago, allowed a very interesting and dynamic community to form. I don’t know if they anticipated it and I don’t know if they realized what they had or knew what to do with it. Some have said the comments got to be more interesting than the authors–it’s certainly been a good place to hone one’s writing through constant practice. Of course there are certain authors (Goldberg, Steyn, Williamson) I will go to read no matter what. I never read everything anyway. Because of the political niche I occupy, I take as a given that not all subjects will interest me and I will not identify with all editorial views even if some of them were other than they are. But I still pop in daily to see if there are promising articles with promising comment threads.

    I’m not sure it’s NRO’s fault that the place became a magnet for trolls, though I do think it is NRO’s fault that they won’t acknowledge that their commenter community is an asset and that their apparent unwillingness to get a handle on the deletion problem is doing major damage. If we knew what their moderation vision was, it might help. But we–those who have spent a lot of time over there and invested their best and most sincere thinking–don’t rate high enough to deserve any explanation, and that’s fundamentally what bothered me. Even without all those problems, the reality is that even the most thoughtful comments get buried under the daily avalanche, and there seemed no way to preserve the best thinking and pull it out and spotlight it.

    These were some of the things we had in mind when we started StubbornThings. Each of the five of us will tell you a slightly different story of why we decided to take the plunge and what we want to achieve here, but I think it more or less meshes. There’s room for different takes on issues and for learning from each other, especially without the constant distraction of psycho-trolls and the sheer volume of a high-traffic thread. We’re finding out what each of us cares about the most, what messages each of us would most like to send to our fellows in the big tent or coalition about the kind of strategy that’s needed, and where we differ. I’d like to see more people join us in that process.

    We’re certainly not big enough to even think about supplanting any of the big names, at least not yet. Though the fact that we’re not a one-man band seems to be an asset. I hope that in our small way we can offer a place for people to meet, a laboratory for thinking and brainstorming that will help move the needle of people’s thinking in the conservative-libertarian direction and point those who are already there to some solutions to the communication problem that seems to stymie our part of the political spectrum.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Ditto, CC.

      Some have said the comments got to be more interesting than the authors…

      With all due respect to some of the good writers at NRO, this was consistently so. This is not only a testament to the quality of the people who post over there, but how often the articles are weak.

      The overall site itself is getting quite weak. And I think by having the sort of open-ended comment section that they do have is to be taken as a positive thing. It would be all too easy to over-moderate it. I think we’ve seen from their experience how some deft moderation is needed so that you don’t get a deluge of psycho-trolls painting their mad graffiti (and personal angst) all over the place.

      The irony is that what needed moderating most was their online content. Maybe they are making money hand-over-fist. Maybe the site (almost surely) fulfills the function of cementing bonds with those with power and influence. I don’t know.

      But it didn’t do a lot in these last couple of years for cementing the bonds of conservatism. This became quite laughably so. It would frequently occur to me to wonder what Bill Buckley would have thought.

      For me the last straw was that article by Lord Blowhard (Conrad Black) last Independence Day. The most NRO could come up with to honor this day was a back-handed article like the one that he presented?

      I can assure you, we will have some kind of essay competition (we’ll have to figure out the prize, and get a donor) for the best patriotic essay come this next Independence Day. A culture cannot afford to forget its own history, nor have it parceled out to us by foreigners (unless they possess the quality of mind as de Tocqueville).

    • ladykrystyna says:

      Well said, CC.

  5. faba calculo says:

    Having more up than just the Black article would have been well, but the Black article itself was very informative. I didn’t agree with all of it, but it was a good article.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      He’s certainly written some good articles. But he’s also good at playing the condescending intellectual. America has flaws, and always has. But it has good things as well, many that are quite unique. And Conrad used that article to lord himself over us from the point of view of a Loyalist.

      And I suppose that is his right. I guess my beef is more with the “asleep at the wheel” administrators of NRO who can’t be bothered to even honor America during Independence Day.

      We can do better. And we will. And I haven’t even been knighted by the Queen.

      • faba calculo says:

        One could also argue that SOME of the points in the Declaration were kind of contrived, which is what Black was doing (from my reading).

        That it gave us the Constitution is enough in my mind to justify the Revolution, but the whole taxation without representation thing has never struck me as the massive transgression against rectitude that some have made it out to be (especially given the fact almost no one got the right to vote anyways).

        I don’t have it on my now, but it’s my understanding that until shortly before the Declaration of Independence, there was no sweeping feeling for separating from Britain. If King George’s actions had been that bad, why weren’t people, in general, demanding it sooner?

        As for NRO itself, I guess I feel like it’s in its glory days right now. But I like debate (has it shown yet???…lol), while echo chambers bore me. It has some trolls, to be sure, but it’s a place you can go and join battle.

        • Kung Fu Zu says:

          George Washington was an proud Englishman, albeit one living in the colonies. Without going into detail, let me just say that it took a lot more than a small disagreement to arouse George Washington to rebel against the crown of England.

          Black is very resentful against the USA due to the shabby treatment he received by the DOJ, if I recall correctly. I can’t say as I blame him. The American legal system is considered by much of the world to be a joke and/or corrupt. We turn out too many lawyers and since they have to do something for a living, too many must either gin up dubious legal cases or become politicians. This costs the country a great deal.

          I think Black is one of those people who wish the Revolutionary War had never occurred. Many believe had the colonies not separated from the mother country, the glory and power of the English speaking world would have been unimaginatively greater than it was in the past and is today. For these people, this scenario would be an overall plus for not only all English speakers, but for the world in general.

          • faba calculo says:

            “let me just say that it took a lot more than a small disagreement to arouse George Washington to rebel against the crown of England. ”

            But DID he rebel before the British went to war with Massachusetts? Once Concord and Lexington happened, sure. But taxation without representation started a long time before that.

            “Black is very resentful”

            Possibly. But is there any evidence that this is what is coloring his opinions? Did he, for instance, write anything different about the specific charges of the Declaration of Independence before he was jailed?

            “I think Black is one of those people who wish the Revolutionary War had never occurred.”


            Rereading Blacks article, at the bottom, he does seem to say exactly this.

            • Kung Fu Zu says:

              I can only go by how I have seen him over the years. In past years he was very pro-USA. He is certainly less enamored of the U.S. than before.

              He doesn’t speak specifically about the American Revolution in the recent interviews I have seen him give to European TV hosts, but he certainly is pretty negative. I don’t blame him.

            • Kung Fu Zu says:

              As to Washington, he began to have questions about English rule as early as 1765. He opposed the Stamp Act out of principled grounds. The Stamp Act was passed to allow the British East India company to sell tea directly to the colonies. Prior to that the tea had to be shipped to England and be reshipped to America. As I recall, this was to save the East India Co from going busto and I am pretty sure members of the government were anxious to avoid this for their own monetary reasons.

              Interestingly, after the Stamp Act, the price of tea was less than before the Stamp Act. But included in the law was a small tax on tea sold to the colonies. So it is possible the English never thought there would be any problem.
              Unfortunately for them, even though the cost of tea was cheaper, the colonists had the foresight to see that if they accepted “taxation without representation” in such an instance,
              “tyranny” might not be far behind.

              Washington tried to pass a bill in Virginia to boycott British goods imported into the colony in 1769. This was in response to the Stamp Act and I blv the Townshend Act.

              There were also the Quartering Act in the mid 1760’s and the Intolerable Acts in 1774.

              Washington, with others called for a convention in 1774.

              Lexington and Concord only took place in early 1775. So I believe one could maintain, Washington believed he and his countrymen had been pushed to the limit before Lex & Con. The fuse had already been lit and they were the explosion.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Black was basically down-playing the grievances. Having since read a particularly interesting book, “The Seeds of Discontent,” (which was recommended by someone in that very thread), I’ve come to the conclusion that it was the arrogance and dismissiveness of the English — as evinced by Conrad Black — that was the single and soul culprit in pushing the Colonists to a revolution.

          Black spouts the mindless Tory line that even Edmund Burke at the time has refuted.

          If King George’s actions had been that bad, why weren’t people, in general, demanding it sooner?

          Read “Seeds of Discontent.” You might be surprised to find, as I certainly was, that there was a previous American revolution. The people had been pissed off for a very long time. The events in and around the 1770’s were basically the last straw.

          • Kung Fu Zu says:

            Some believe that the American Revolution was the final phase of the conflict which started when Charles I was dethroned and executed. It is well known that members of both sides, the Roundheads and Cavaliers, came to American in the mid seventeenth century. The Roundheads better known as Puritans generally ended up in the North and the Cavaliers generally ended up in the South.

            Thus it was no coincidence that the wellsprings of the Revolution came from Massachusetts and that areas in South Carolina and Georgia were hotbeds of Tory loyalists.

            The House of Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) are Teutonic usurpers. The true monarchs of Great Britain are the Stuarts. Long live the King.

            • Monsieur Voltaire says:

              A very thought-provoking theory. Then, can I see your Rev war and raise you a War Between the States as a further phase of the same conflict?

              • Kung Fu Zu says:

                Yes. I didn’t want to get that deep in the weeds, but the theory runs something like, “the aristocratic Cavaliers settled in large part in the South as landed gentry. They continued their indolent lifestyles based on land ownership and a very class oriented culture. The Puritans settled in the North, etc., etc. ——- and the differences were only ended when the gentry and their ancient lifestyles were crushed by the G.D. Yankees in the War Between the States. After which time the modern world emerged. Tah Dah!”

  6. RobL_V2 RobL_V2 says:

    Nice summary – I to visit NRO with much less frequency than the not too distant past. I still enjoy Steyn, Sowell almost always, Prager an awful lot and Krauthammer for the most part I enjoy Nordlinger who always educates but the rest are hit or miss. Since countless posts of mine recently are unceremoniously booted (obliviating considerable time spent attempting a thoughtful brief brief post) and the ones that remains attract mindless trolls, I’d rather focus my efforts to more expanded commentary here at StubbornThings. I’ll still visit NRO, but that old time magic has gone poof.

  7. jc says:

    What is lacking at NRO is a leader. There is a caretaker in residence, but not a leader. The place is a very faint shadow of WFB’s days.

    About what the Anglosphere would be like without the Revolutionary War — I doubt that we and they would have stayed together. The American character grew as the population expanded across North America, but the English had had their heyday already, a century or two before. The final blows to England were those of WWI and WWII, which left England exhausted in every way possible. Those who could leave did — and prospered elsewhere.

    I have worked and partied with (and known very well) a variety of Brits here and elsewhere over the decades, and their culture has largely lost its ability to inspire the population to excel once again. We are the happy spiritual heirs of the swashbuckling England of old — but it remains to be seen if we still have the moxy to survive our own current situation and to prosper again. Obama and the Dems are keen on humbling us — but I continue to hope and believe there is still a strain of rebelliousness in us that will not allow us to become docile, defeated and spiritually bereft.

    Tally ho.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      jc, while one can speculate on what might have happened had there been no Revolutionary War, you are somewhat off base in your statement “the British had had their heyday already, a century or two before” if you mean a century or two before the Revolutionary War.

      It is true, many in Britain saw the loss of the thirteen colonies as a catastrophe and believed the British Empire would wane. But after the loss of America the Brits turned their colonial energies to the East to consolidate and expand in India. Plassey had only been won in 1757 and the French began to effectively lose influence in the 1760’s till they were completely thrown out after the Napoleonic wars. After India, the Brits established colonies in Malaysia, Singapore and Hongkong. I believe, they basically started Shanghai as we know it. This is not to mention Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the territories they had in Africa and the Middle East.

      An back to the Napoleonic Wars. It was Britain which sometimes with allies and sometimes alone, kept a French tyrant from controlling all of continental Europe. Many believe this was as great a feat as the victory against Nazi Germany, where Great Britain also fought alone for over one year.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Fascinating background material, Mr. Kung. I’ve read parts of Churchill’s biography of his time spent India as a soldier, including some of the battles the British had with the Muslims. (Same excrement, different day. For those who think Islam is a “religion of peace,” all they need to do is throw a dart at history and read about what Islam has been doing since Mohammed marched on Mecca.)

        I would imagine there might be a good book our two out there on the Battle of Plassey. That’s an era of history that I know little about.

        Oh — wait — I can become an instant expert: English = oppressors, people-of-color = victims.

        There. History lesson complete, at least according to the Left.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Great comments, JC. And let’s hope indeed that we still have enough of that rebellious spirit left.

  8. cdjaco says:

    Ugh. Just discovered another of my NRO comments have been deleted: apparently criticism of the Patriot Act is now out of favor with whatever monkey is in charge of the killswitch there.

    Yep, my interest in and enthusiasm for NRO is now gone. It has been on the wane for about a year, due in no small part to a large number of their authors being completely out-of-touch with any conservative elements outside of the Beltway (or a cruise ship) and their ‘delinquent dad’ approach to online community interaction.

    So, thank God for I’ll try and save my cynicism and snark for the NRO comment section, in the off chance it remains posted. It’s clear that the serious conservatives are fleeing to places like this.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      I am convinced any reasoned post of more that five lines is automatically deleted. They are looking for the lowest common denominator. They are, after all, trying to gain the 18-49 demo, i.e. those people who text or twitter.

      Sorry if that is too sarcastic for some.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Cdjaco, I still haven’t figured out the rhyme or reason of the deletions at NRO. I’ve set a policy here that no post will be deleted without an explanation (apart from advertising spam and such). That doesn’t mean the explanation will be a good one. We’re all only human. But posts won’t disappear from StubbornThings like a freedom-fighter in some banana republic who one day criticizes the leader and the next is never heard or seen from again.

      The post-deletion thing didnt’t help. But for me it’s really about, as you said, “a large number of their authors being completely out-of-touch with any conservative elements outside of the Beltway (or a cruise ship).”

      And that spawns a great idea. I think every three months, on schedule, we will have a StubbornThings cruise in which we will take a virtual cruise to some place in the world and comment upon the trip and our surroundings. All in good fun, but with just a little poking of fun at NRO. I’m taking nominations now for where the first port of call should be. Once that is established, we can take reservations for the cruise.

      Glad to have you here, by the way. Should we wander from conservatism, it is your duty to splash us in the face with a pale of cold conservative water.

      • Kung Fu Zu says:

        I vote for a cruise from Singapore to Penang to Phuket to Calcutta. From a place which works extremely well, but does not brook political dissent very well, to countries which work less well, but are still pleasant, to a place which is a mess and I suspect will always be a mess, but is fascinating. All are democracies of one form or another, but do not resemble the USA.

      • CCWriter CCWriter says:

        Love that virtual cruise idea.

      • cdjaco says:

        I think the virtual cruise is a great idea. I nominate the Horn of Africa! I’m sure we can have some fun coming up with piracy analogies.

      • pst4usa says:

        A cruise through the Panama canal would be good. We could discuss Panama giving control of the canal over to China.

      • Kung Fu Zu says:

        After getting a look at the cruise ship, I would like to change my choice of destinations. With that vessel, we might be able to sail across the Chesapeake Bay, up the Potomac and into D.C.

        A quick skirmish into the capital might bag us some RINO’s and rabid jackasses. Unfortunately, the yellow dogs are pretty much extinct.

        Clearly this is to be an active pleasure cruise and not just a talking shop.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m sure those cannons would still work. I could plug that gavel right out of Nancy Pelosi’s hand.

          But, yeah, just let loose with one of those swivel guns and you’d probably nab a half dozen RINOs with one shot.

  9. Ed Cottingham says:

    Brad>> Black was basically down-playing the grievances. Having since read a particularly interesting book, “The Seeds of Discontent,” (which was recommended by someone in that very thread), I’ve come to the conclusion that it was the arrogance and dismissiveness of the English — as evinced by Conrad Black — that was the single and soul culprit in pushing the Colonists to a revolution.
    I grew up feeling rather sentimental about the English…mother country and all that rot. In the past few years, I have often listened to the BBC in dark hours of sleeplessness and discovered a tribe of people with a really extraordinary gift for nasty arrogance. Some of those “presenters” can really get up my nose.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Ed, I consider myself an Anglophile. And what you need to know about me, and perhaps about this site, is that perfect shall not be made the enemy of the good.

      Mankind has always been in conflict. The English were rather good masters if one needed a master. But as Paine noted in Common Sense, it really was getting to this ridiculous point that some island should rule a continent.

      Americans were a unique product of several emigrations from Europe of people’s who had had enough. I think the most under-rated line in the Declaration of Independence is:

      We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here.

      Right now I’m reading the fourth, and presumably last, section of “Albion’s Seed” which discusses the “Scotch-Irish” who were really the Scots, Irish, and northern English in and around the Irish Sea.

      None of the four substantial groups who emigrated from Europe were pushovers, which included the Puritans in and around Massachusetts Bay, the Anglicans in and around Chesapeake Bay, the Quakers in and around the Delaware river, and the “Scotch-Irish” in around the backcountry of the Appalachians and yonder.

      Of all these, the Scotch-Irish perhaps best evince the “Don’t tread on me” attitude. And from what I understand, when early trouble was brewing with the British, it was the ass-kicking, sharp-shooting Scotch-Irish who made a tremendous difference in standing up to the British.

      If not for WWI and WWII, it’s certainly possible that Britain would have its colonies in India and elsewhere. But there is probably no scenario in which Britain retains control of her American colonies. The British were probably good masters for many of the backwards and barbaric peoples who learned from the British how to live in a modern civil society.

      And we, to some extent, can thank the British for that as well. They weren’t perfect, but we are lucky that our culture was substantially British and not Muslim. That said, the British did indeed forget the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here and had to be reminded.

      Ironically, that spirit of independence has almost vanished. It’s tough enough even to get conservatives to speak out against our oppressors, let along anyone else. If you wonder how RINOs are made, this is how. Not enough of us have the backs of Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, and probably I should throw Rand Paul in there as well.

      The American spirit has decayed. And if we look at Britain, we see that the Left has totally destroyed that country’s spirit and identity. And they will be living with the tragic results which we will see in our lifetimes. They won’t know what hit them.

      • Monsieur Voltaire says:

        Now, we’ve gotten to the equally absurd situation where one non-state is literally lording it over 50 States.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          How true.

        • Ed Cottingham says:

          Here’s a problem that I see along that line of reasoning, MV:

          It is no longer very meaningful to talk about “fairness” in terms of the design of our federal system. Strictly speaking, I think the Left is correct in complaining about the injustice of state-based Senate representation.

          BUT, the Left only cares about fairness when they can argue it to increase their power. They don’t give a hoot about real democracy or any other aspect of fairness.

          And we, OTOH, make the sort of complaints that you cite, which really amount to: We are losing.

          They, on the third hand, deny inconveniences like the Tenth Amendment. And they have this contemptible conceit of a “living constitution,” which is a pathetic justification for their commitment to running roughshod over the constitution.

          What we have is cultural warfare where the only “justice” is what ground you can take and hold. Constitutional conservatives like most of us would prefer to reason from first principles. But in reality, we have to reason about how to survive. We have to protect all the leverage that we have and grab for more if we hope to survive. What is fair or “absurd” doesn’t matter much.

          P.S. And, of course, the founders were up to their waists in compromises that had nothing to do with an idealized design of a republic.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Strictly speaking, I think the Left is correct in complaining about the injustice of state-based Senate representation.

            Perhaps Mr. pst4usa will write an article on the subject. He’s certainly convinced me of the need to get rid of the 17th Amendment.

            Direct-selection (aka “democrat”) selection of the Senators (under the guise of “fairness” or what have you) has led to the social, legal, and political unit of the state meaning less and Washington DC meaning more. It used to be that Senators served at the pleasure of the state legislatures. And say what one will about state legislatures, but they are more apt to have their state’s interests in mind then some corporate or activist campaign donor halfway across the country.

            That is, with the direct-selection of U.S. Senators, we now bring mass marketing to the selection of Senators. This is, as Pat has told me, one reason we have so few actual statesmen in the Senate. The system is designed to give us glib dumb-asses, not thoughtful Henry Clays.

            • Kung Fu Zu says:

              The reason the Senate was included in the Constitution is that the smaller states would not have approved it had the legislature been strictly population based. The small states didn’t want to have their rights and interests trampled by the large states like Virginia and New York.

              It is also a fact that the founders did not want a democracy. In classical times, democracies inevitably led to anarchy which lead to tyranny. The Senate was put in to keep this from happening.

              What did Franklin say? Something like, “democracy is two wolves and a sheep sitting down and taking a vote on what to have for supper.” I don’t recall the exact quote, but you get the gist.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Like you, I’m sure, I do not see a pure democracy as “fair.” It would perhaps be “fair” if all men were angels, to paraphrase Madison, and no checks upon power or mob tendencies were needed.

                If all men were angels, a pure democracy would be fair. In fact, we wouldn’t even need a representative democracy. We would all vote on each issue via our iPhones or whatever, and proposing laws, as need be, as we could write them and submit them. All people would be well-informed, honest, intelligent, and mindful of the need to treat freedom as a value unto itself. In this perfect state, there would be no need even for political specialists (office holders), only functionaries to run the machinery of state.

                As it is now — for a variety of reasons — we have some of the worst crop of human beings in the halls of power than arguably we have ever had in our history. Contrast Washington/Adams with Obama/Biden. Contrast Henry Clay with Al Franken.

                I often say that “we have become a silly people” and I think I get ahead of myself because I’m not sure that people understand what I mean. But compare and contrast just from the above and tell me that we are not.

            • ladykrystyna says:

              “Perhaps Mr. pst4usa will write an article on the subject. He’s certainly convinced me of the need to get rid of the 17th Amendment.”

              And Levin offers such a repeal in his book as well and gives damn good reasons for it.

              The jist is – there may have been corruption going on with the states choosing the senators, but the “fix” was even worse and there was a better way to deal with it.

      • Ed Cottingham says:

        Good stuff. I’ve had Albion’s Seed lined up on my virtual shelf taunting me for a couple of weeks. Yesterday, I added Seeds of Discontent. So many good intentions.

        I find it irresistible to think about people according to their tribal collectives although it gets me in a spot of bother from time to time. I always remember that generalities about the collective say nothing about any given individual.

        And speaking of those Scotch-Irish, let’s celebrate them for their true contribution: They gave us NASCAR! (Actually, NASCAR bores heck out of me, but I like to celebrate it as is proper for a yuppie posing as a good ole boy.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          In my late teens/early 20’s, I follow NASCAR religiously. Those were the times of the Good ol’ Boys. The days when guys like Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough would just go ahead a duke it out on the infield if they had a problem instead of running to Obama.

          That was back in the days before corporations and political correctness drained the life, and personality, out of NASCAR. Now these things are just big advertising events. And, oh yeah, you might see a car race as well.

          Those were back in the days when Richard Petty would speak frankly to the cameras. Now you get these plastic cookie-cutout dweebs who have learned to speak corporate-speak or PC-correct speak. They talk a lot and say absolutely nothing. You wonder sometimes if those are robots driving the cars.

          Same thing at National Review. Sometimes you wonder if those are robots writing the articles and they just stick a picture on the side of them to keep up appearances. There’s often no personality in them. It’s all the political equivalent of “corporatespeak.” Boring. Dead. Dull. Irrelevant.

      • ladykrystyna says:

        “Right now I’m reading the fourth, and presumably last, section of “Albion’s Seed” which discusses the “Scotch-Irish” who were really the Scots, Irish, and northern English in and around the Irish Sea.”

        And didn’t Thomas Sowell write about this as well in reference to the Scotch-Irish in Appalachia and also how it relates to blacks and their culture? If I recall correctly, he didn’t paint a very flattering picture of those people as compared with the more Anglican folk (read: genteel) that went to New England, for instance.

        That’s another book I’m putting on my list (along with Seeds of Discontent).


  10. CCWriter CCWriter says:

    The “substantially British” culture included the philosophy in which the American founders were schooled (the classical liberals etc.) and which, ironically, they found an opportunity to apply better than the mother country had done.

  11. Fact Oids says:

    Hello Monsieur Voltaire, ladykrystina, and others. I also am abandoning NRO. My last voluntary donation was already made. And, the reasons outlined in M.V.’s original post here are spot on. I found this site by searching for outside info on why comments have been deleted so often, as of late, in NRO.

    Understand that using a different handle, I have commented on NRO for many years. When they had the “star” system, I was included. Awhile back, I changed my handle. Initially no problem. But then, a few months ago, I noticed that my comments were often deleted, sometimes immediately, even before I could correct spelling! At first, I thought it was a database problem. Then, when I learned about the “at” method for flagging comments, I supposed it was a left-wing troll. Why? The selective use of comment flags is a tactic that goes back years. Say there’s a left-wing article. Among the numerous comments, left and right, some will be illiterate, some will be thoughtful. The tactic is to delete the iliterate comments from one side, and delete the thoughtful comments from the other side.

    But no. I resorted to changing my log-in credentials, while keeping my existing handle, just to see what happened. Sure enough, I would be rapidly deleted. It did not latter if my comment was literate, on-topic, or anything else. Bang, gone. Even a few tests comments, in which I blandly agreed with the NRO article, would soon disappear. The only way to keep a comment was to place it late in the day (guess the censors sleep). then quickly delete my own log-in, so that it would show as “Guest.”

    One regular NRO commenter (actual “Reaganite” according to outside sources) admitted that he was frequently using the “at” capability to flag my comments, and presumably others, as troll or spam, regardless of content. Apparently I had made an incisive and well-reasoned comment that he didn’t like, and therefore merited a permanent ban. Our dialog on that topic was quickly removed (that is, my side was removed). Apparently that commenter has a friend (not himself) who follows along and acts in concert. But it is not only the commenters. Two particular NRO writers, the columnists, have lately taken to removing comments (even favorable). The result is unpredictable. As M.V. noted, sometimes good comments go, while bad comments stay.

    I won’t say who I really am. Just an ordinary person. But my true name has been mentioned on NRO twice in the last ten-ish years, when I had something important to say and the columnist asked permission to quote me by name. My view is that the Democrats (that is, progressives) are horrible; bu then, why have they won as much as they have? That is, what is it that conservatives do not see, due to their own blinders?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’ve been a little luckier, only rarely seeing comments disappear for no reason (although this sometimes happens on other, more liberal, sites such as The Atlantic, where they presumably don’t like what I say). But it does happen occasionally, and I recall that the disappearance of my comments came under some discussion. I will say that I never flag other people’s comments for suppression, and in fact almost never even give them a down-arrow. (I’ve also mostly stopped responding to trolls in general.)

      • Fact Oids says:

        Good for you. In my case, I’ve been intentionally hunted down. Of course, I could use an entirely different login, and then it might take awhile before the thought police weigh in.

        NRO is the only political site on which I comment; occasionally I comment at the local papers, generally not regarding politics. I used the same Disqus account. Wasn’t disappearing from anywhere else but NRO. Definitely human intervention.

        I believe ladykrystyna was among several who wondered why my innocuous comments were being deleted. However, they were being deleted so fast, a user would have had to be there just at the right time to see them in the first place.

        The only time I have ever flagged a comment was when it was obviously a robot link-dropper. That happens a lot, at the local papers.

        Anyway, I have other things to do. As I am fond of saying, “Younger people can censor me all they want. I don’t mind. They’re paying for my retirement.”

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      When they had the “star” system, I was included.

      Oh, I miss that system. Disqus is absolute crap. And I’m amazed that NRO was so dense as to allow themselves to be so easily manipulated. But I have to confess, I suspect the Establishment Republicans running the place liked the fact that conservatives got hassled.

      I do my best to weed out the trolls with an easy and fair hand here, Fact Oids. Everyone is allowed to disagree and even do a little name calling. Where I personally draw the line is at obvious Leftist contrarians or those who are forever stuck in truly boring and old memes (“George Bush is dumb!”) Well, he might not be the brightest guy, but there is no shortage of rude and shallow places for Leftists to go and beat their battle drums of hate and delusion. But not here. We don’t need it. We don’t profit from it. And it’s the kind of cancerous thought that we are rebutting by our very existence. And as I like to say, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I know most of the psychological tactics of the bed-wetting Leftist types.

      If someone actually wants to argue why they think socialism or Communism is a superior system, I’ll publish the damn article. But only if it’s thoughtful and doesn’t reek of Orwellianism. That, of course, may be a logical impossibility. But people are welcome to try…as long as vapid sound bytes don’t replace thought and reasoning.

  12. Alias Undercover says:

    I definitely agree that John Derbyshire thinks and writes with “equal” clarity. Zero, after all, equals zero.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Derbyshire is lately most famous for his piece warning white people to stay away from black crowds. As it turns out, that’s pretty good advice. But he went to far in the article saying that one shouldn’t even be a Good Samaritan if one see a hurt black person lying in the road or something.

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