Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston, your dhimmi leaders set you up.

So, Bostonians, citizens of Massachusetts, your tax dollars are funding radicalization of the youth via shady deals and quid pro quos with everybody smiling and looking the other way. All so these Democrats can look sensitive in photo ops. Watch it; the pictures don't lie.

Gee, whiz, how could these nice young boys have gotten radicalized? How can anybody be surprised--that's a better question.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chechen Muslims Responsible For Boston Marathon Bombings

"Chechnya is the Muslim area of the Caucasus that has been waging jihad against the Russians since the 19th century." So, the usual suspects. Hat tip to JihadWatch.

From CSB-DC:

WATERTOWN, Mass. (CBSDC/AP) — Police are locking down some neighborhoods in Boston and its western suburbs and all public transportation service has been shut down as authorities search for the remaining suspect in the marathon bombings.

The surviving bombing suspect has been identified as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass.

Authorities urged residents in Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors.

The announcement Friday morning comes hours after the killing one suspect, known as the man in the black hat from marathon surveillance footage. The man in the white hat is on the loose and police are calling him a “terrorist” who came here “to kill.”

Both bombing suspects are from a Russian region near Chechnya, a source tells the Associated Press. The men have lived in the United States for at least one year.

President Barack Obama has been briefed on the overnight developments at the White House.

A massive manhunt remains underway for the man police believe is the “white hat” suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing and the other suspect is dead following a wild turn of events that began late Thursday.

“We believe this to be a terrorist,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed David. “We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people. We need to get him in custody.”

The Middlesex district attorney said the two men are suspected of killing a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer on campus late Thursday, then stealing a car at gunpoint and later releasing its driver unharmed. Hours earlier, police had released photos of the marathon bombing suspects and asked for the public’s help finding them. A new photo of the suspect on the loose was released later showing him in a grey hoodie sweatshirt. It was taken at a 7-Eleven in Cambridge, just across the river from Boston.

The first images were released hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service at a Roman Catholic cathedral in Boston to remember the bombing victims.

Authorities say the suspects threw explosives from the car as police followed it into Watertown. The suspects and police exchanged gunfire, and one of the suspects was critically injured and later died at a hospital while the other escaped....

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

When life imitates the funny papers

I don't know how many of you read the comic strips these days, but for some reason I still read a few of them.  Some that I read are fun (Pearls Before Swine, and Pickles to name a couple), some are old habits that die hard (Prince Valiant), but others must be some type of penance or masochism (Sally Forth).

One of my self-inflicted wounds is Funky Winkerbean.  For those unaware of it, it is a long-running strip that began when the characters were in high school.  In Doonesbury-style (no, I'm not so self-destructive that I read that one), the characters have aged over the years, so that the main characters are now adults.

One thing that distinguishes Funky Winkerbean from many is its crushingly depressing subject matter.  A summary of the fun topics can be found here.  Suicide, land mines, alcoholism, date rape, to name a few.  A real morning pick-me-up.  Worst of all, the story is set in Ohio.  ;-)

The more pertinent topic to this blog, however, is about the character Les Moore (the guy on the left in the strip below.)

Over the years, readers of this fine comic strip enjoyed following Les's (first) wife, Lisa, as she struggled with breast cancer and eventually died in the comic strip in 2007. But Les is an English teacher who was also a frustrated author. Sure enough, empowered by the death of a loved one, Les wrote a book entitled Lisa's Story, chronicling his brave wife's battle. 

Hmm, that resembles a current topic for readers of this blog.  Let's see if there are any other similarities between author Les Moore of Funky and Our Hero:

- hipster goatee (check)
- glasses (not as trendy, but OK)
- pretentious (see the above comic strip -- I'd say yes)
- bullied in high school (oh yeah, mercilessly -- see the Wikipedia entry)
- book tour!  (Bingo!  In Texas, no less)

But Les is a bit ahead of Dreher in the promotional department.  He's already got a movie deal!! 

Straight-to-cable movie, but one can't be too fussy.  The creator then tries to get a couple of chuckles from the situation:

As one astute reviewer of comic strips says about that installment:

Ha ha, Les got a big check because his sad book about his dead wife is going to be turned into a movie on basic cable, and then he got a boner! This plot is already so much more traumatizing than I could have possibly imagined.

Sounds like something you'd read around here!

Anyhoo, if y'all will keep me posted on Dreher's hijinks (so I don't have to), I'll warn you of any more premonitions from the frames of Funky Winkerbean.

How Muslims see the Boston Marathon Bombing

How about a Gatekeeper?

I went over to the St. Blog's Site just now and clicked on a link listed under "new blogs". It caught my attention because it was misspelled -- "EUCHRISTICADORATION". I click on it and this site pops up with this ridiculous photo.

Is there a gatekeeper over there. Uhhhhhhh... no.

What the Police Really Think

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Thank you, Mehdi.

Areeba Kamal writes this pouty "don't blame Muslims" piece in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. A Muslim commenter named Mehdi provides her with these wise observations and partial corrections:

I would highly advise you not to display Pakistani flag in your dorm room. I do understand your sense of patriotism, I used to do that with Bangkadeshi flag, once I came to US as a college freshman. Please try to reign in your slip of tongue for inshallah, mashallah as these words have no prevalence in Western discourse. If Americans look at us Muslims with suspicion, then it is our fault. I have been living in US for 18 years and never for a minute felt discriminated because of my faith.

Please don’t be so quick to jump to conclusion about who the perpetrator is. Investigation is underway, if the bombing is associated with Islamic extremists, I hope they get punished.

In Pakistan, blaming the US for everything is a Pakistani national past time. Society in general in Pakistan lacks the concept of introspection.

Yes, many of my friends asked me why I speak so fluent English at the par with native speaker, I had to explain to them that my parents sent me to British private school and they could afford it. Not everybody is poor and illiterate, we do have cities with skyscrapers and 10 million plus population. You just have to answer their curiosities. Anyway a good read. Please do a follow-up once the investigation is complete. Your thoughts would be much appreciated around that time.

The emphases are mine. I can say a hearty amen to these, or aameen if you like. "If Americans look at us Muslims with suspicion, then it is our fault." Well said, Mr. Mehdi. Isn't it ironic that a Muslim admitting this actually makes you look at him with less suspicion? This seems like a great example of "The Truth will set you free."

I also loved his statement "You just have to answer their curiosities." Don't take such offense to Americans not knowing facts about your own country. There are plenty of Americans that barely know about their own country and I'm sure that's true in Pakistan as well.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rod Dreher: Live at Tyson's Corner

Once again heap big thanks are in order. This time they go out to The Man From K Street, who epitomizes the high journalistic standard we have here at Est Quod Est with his live account of the one-and-only Rod Dreher doing a book-signing for The Little Way of Ruthie Leming (LWoRL) at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at Tyson's Corner in Fairfax, Virginia. There is video content which goes along with this piece, but we don't have it ready yet. So please be patient while we get that prepared.

Rod Dreher Live!
by The Man From K Street

First off, I have seen Rod in person before. The last time was about twelve years ago, at a very well-attended National Review panel discussion downtown. Even in that packed room, you could hear earnestness in his voice as he talked about his emerging ‘crunchy’ thesis, enthusiasm about Dubya and about fresh, local vegetables. And there was, in that energetic delivery, no trace of an accent.

It was a much older man who spoke Thursday night at the Barnes & Noble superstore at Tysons Corner, and he did not come across as very enthused. Perhaps he was just road-weary.

I counted the crowd at about eighteen people who were in attendance for all or at least part of the event (perhaps this is why the pic on Rod’s blog was a zoom in showing only a few chairs). That number does not include: the obvious minder from the publisher, Father and Mrs. Mathewes-Green, a couple of people who looked suspiciously like sales clerks asked by their manager to remove their tags and fill out a respectable audience number, and some young women who periodically scanned the shelves on one side of the gathered assembly and retreated with their intended purchases. Yes, by coincidence, or karma, it was of course the “Teen Supernatural Romance” section that was closest to Our Working Boy’s dias.

But for this Southern Gothic Teen-angst Horror Story, however, the average age of the attendees was probably a fraction south of 60, and I believed nearly every one of them would have described themselves as “spiritual but not religious”. My first observation/prediction regarding this book is that the audio version will have to have a professional actor as reader, for Rod, in the intervening dozen years since I last heard him speak in person, has regressed to a stultifying monotone that makes paying attention difficult. (see attached video for a few seconds’ worth of an example—stopped after a few seconds to save a) battery power and b) my sanity) An accent has reasserted itself into his speech—not an unpleasant one, but a gentle one reminiscent of the late Shelby Foote. But if one doesn’t modulate their delivery, going up or down in pitch and faster or slower in speed, to match the subject matter or its tone, then even the intended drama of a deathbed reconciliation scene ends up sounding like the Deputy Sheriff of West Feliciana Parish reciting a manifest of rusted farm implements at a foreclosure sale.

Thus Rosco P., er, I mean Rod, read two excerpts from the book, both of which he claimed would be short, but subjectively seemed to drag on interminably. The first, of course, was Ruthie’s Forgiveness of Rod (he neatly omitted the later revelation that this was entirely insincere—I think it might have spoiled the Oprahesque appeal of the book for the non-cognoscenti in attendance). The second excerpt was the scene most tailor-made for the Lifetime adaptation—those damn candles in the graveyard.

Along with all but the minder and one of the attendees, I declined to ask any questions afterwards, but chose to have my own fun by playing a new game—Dreher Bingo. I imagined a bingo card with all the spaces filled with all the Rodian clich├ęs we’ve all come to love, and waited to see how and when each one would be filled. I didn’t have long to wait:

The Scandal. Of course this was going to come up, but I figured it would have to be shoe-horned in, in some completely appalling way—and Rod delivered the goods. His angst stemming from his investigative journalism in 2002 was set out as a Plutarchian parallel to Ruthie’s excruciating chemo- and radiation therapy.

Andrew Sullivan. Rod made it clear that immediately after Ruthie’s pseudo-absolution, overwhelmed by the power of forgiveness in a broken world, the very first thing he felt compelled to do was reach out and give that same pardon to—another family member who over the decades might have shared some of Ruthie’s grievances? A lifelong neighbor who might have been wronged in some indelible way? A former LSU co-ed whose subsequent romantic and sexual life was forever warped by a traumatizing night of Rod’s antics? No. There is no one in his Real Life circle who speedily needs his apologies as much as…another blogger. By the way Keith, I’m convinced you are right that getting Excitable Andy front and center is a deliberate strategy to get in front of the ‘homophobia’ charge that is poison to the Gotham tastemakers that will make or break this book’s prospects: Rod told the audience that he needed to assure Sullivan of his undying friendship—despite their disagreements on what he would only refer to as “certain social and political issues”.

An Infinity of Personal Pronouns. For a book about Ruthie Leming, even the most casual of listeners to a presentation by this author has to note that absolutely no other word in his vocabulary sees as much as 1% of his use of a single-lettered word—a vowel that is neither “A”, “E”, “O” or “U”.

MTD and Me”. At no point in either his excerpts or his discussion did Rod make any direct reference to any organized expression of religion. Not his native Methodism, not Catholicism, and not Eastern Orthodoxy. LWoRL seems in its entirety to be a thorough embrace of a treacle-like, sentimental, undemanding, non-denominational worldview where nearly everyone will be going to heaven because they’re “nice”. I suspect the average reader of this book would be shocked to learn of any of Rod’s real preoccupations of the past decade or more—liturgical fetishism, food’s value as a signifier of moral advancement, and homosexual priests.

Tiresome Cross-marketing. “You get a mawkish tear-jerker about Ruthie’s death! Now how much would you pay? But wait, we’ll throw in this lovely local map as an endpaper! You’ll love it so much, you’ll just have to have the wall version! Here’s the address—operators are standing by!”

Le Revanchisme de retour. The listener must simply get used to every plaudit heaped upon St. Francisville or West Feliciana Parish being an exercise in veiled anger: “I just love the way these people are, DESPITE the way I was made to feel like such an outcast when I was young.” “I felt no anguish at all when I made the decision to bring my family to my hometown, even though perhaps I should have given my long history of alienation from it caused by the way I was treated.” Rod’s going to make you, the reader, know all about every slight he suffered as a young man, whether you thought you were buying a book about Ruthie or not. If I didn’t already know he was married with three kids, I’d simply assume this book was yet another example of that genre beloved by the NYT Book Review editors: the story of the sensitive literary young man from flyover country who must grapple with his feelings of being an ‘outsider’ and ‘different’, i.e. the Gay Coming-of-Age Novel. Who am I to say how this book will be received, either by the critics or the buying public? For all I know, it’ll be a bestseller. But if it is, I will laugh uproariously—not out of surprise, but from the cosmic irony of an author succeeding by coming to embrace nearly every cultural trend that he has spent the last several years of his life decrying as a signifier of civilization’s decline.

Great Idea: Max Tax

Alternate MAXIMUM Tax? I like it. No, I love it! Here's an excerpt from John H. Cochrane's excellent piece:

I like half, but the principle matters more than the number. Once the country settles on a number, each of us gets to add up everything we pay to government at every level: federal income taxes, yes, but also payroll (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) taxes, state, city and county taxes, estate taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes and unemployment insurance for nannies, household workers, or other employees, excise taxes, real-estate transfer taxes, and so on and on, right down to your vehicle stickers and those annoying extra taxes on your airline tickets.

On April 15, once this total hits the alternative maximum tax, you've done your bit and federal income taxes can take no more. You compute federal income taxes as usual, but then you get to reduce the "tax due" that the total is less than the alternative maximum.

The zombies howl that the top federal tax bracket is still "only" 40%. Surely "the rich" can contribute a bit more? They forget that the economic damage of taxes comes from the total tax bite, not just the federal income tax.