You know #Trump is a monster. What do you plan to tell your children when he comes for you – or for them?

No one does smug like a lifelong thug. Will you feed your kids to this monster?

No one does smug like a lifelong thug.Will you feed your kids to this monster?

The Republicans are screwed: They have reduced their options to Benito Mussolini versus Frank Underwood. The worst of it is, the election will be won by President Fallguy, either way. Marxism is collapsing, and Marxism must not be blamed for that failure. And #BrotherYouAskedForIt!

You could argue that I have it easy: I don’t vote – or, rather, I make an elaborate production of voting for no one. Plus which, while people who take me seriously take me very seriously, those folks are few in number – and most of them don’t vote, either. My favorite candidate in this race is a hopeless case – Rand Paul – and I like his father better than him, and I like perennial libertarian favorite #NoneOfTheAbove best of all.

But even though the eventual winner of this election – the ignominious Fallguy – will be remembered as one of history’s great losers, the candidate I want to see lose – and lose in the most humiliating fashion – is Donald Trump.

Why? Because Trump is a monster. People natter all the time about sociopaths – where sociopath is almost always a squishy sobriquet meaning, “He called me on my vices and the truth hurt” – but Trump is the real thing: An actual remorseless bullying thug.

You know that’s true. If you hate him, it’s why you hate him. Much worse, if you like him, it’s why you like him: You think he will be your monster – which is me calling you on your own vices.

Why is Trump a monster? Because his father summarily rejected him at the age of 13 or 14, when he shipped the already-vicious bully he had spawned off to military school:

You will have noted that I tend to focus on fathers. A mother’s job is to nurture her child’s body. A father’s job is to cultivate his intellectual and emotional life. Where children or adults betray enduring, outsized unmet needs, these are failures of cultivation rather than of nurturance. This is not to say (more…)

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#NeverTrump and #NeverHillary: The most self-loving way I can think of to vote for slavery-by-proxy.

There are a lot of different ways to think about voting, most of which are just quasi-religious white noise to me. But the issue of voting — do it or don’t, and, if so, how and why? — has gnawed at me all my life. It’s not a major huge deal; the millionth part of anything is nothing. But I have never resolved in my own mind how to approach the idea of voting in elections.

Until now, that is.

As a matter of philosophical principle, voting could only be just in a club, a fully-voluntary organization — and I don’t join clubs. Voting in government elections is necessarily unjust, since I am forbidden by that government to escape from it. In effect, when I vote in a government election, I am trying to dictate the terms on which my neighbors and myself are to be enslaved. I am not just influencing that evil, I am making myself party to it: I am effectively declaring that I have a fractional ownership of everyone else. This is the argument against voting you will hear from many serious libertarians.

Here’s a counter argument, also strongly libertarian: Voting for the most freedom-loving candidate in any race, and for the most liberty-seeking of the ballot questions, is the only way that someone like me has of communicating what it is that I want to temporizing, equivocating, back-side-covering major-party political candidates. I first learned of this strategy in an article in Reason magazine by 1984’s Libertarian Party candidate for president, David Bergland.

A third argument, especially in primary elections and when considering ballot questions, is to pursue self-defense-by-ballot-box, voting against the worst candidates and for the best ballot propositions. To the extent that I have voted in my life, this is what I have done.

But none of this has been satisfying to me. The lesser of two evils is still evil, but forbearing to rape the commons does nothing to eliminate the Tragedy of the Commons.

As above, this is not a major huge deal, so perhaps I’m over-thinking it already. But the lens of self-adoration leads me to rethink everything, (more…)

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Flesh Puddles: The most dishonest kind of suicide is camouflaged by infinite indulgence.

“I ate the Food Pyramid and now I am one.”

Photo by: Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose

For church this week, a cautionary tale: We are hectored about the epidemic of suicides among the middle class and the epidemic of deaths by opiate overdoses, but we overlook a more sinister kind of suicide:

The outrageous food addiction of the tragically underfathered.

We are watching the slow suicide of Western Civilization by doing everything we can to look away from its most outrageous expression:

People, drowning in incredible abundance, slowly eating themselves to death.

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President Fallguy: How YOU can win this presidential election.

“I say, I say, but that’s not FAIR!”

“I say, I say, but that’s not FAIR!”

No matter who wins the election, your freedom will lose.

An unmoored electorate must move ever leftward, and, regardless of the results on election day, Foghorn Leghorn has successfully unmoored the Republican party from the staid, pontificating intellectual elite who had presumed to lead it.

This will prove to be bad news for the cause of political liberty.

With a hat tip to a post from Leon Wolf on the emergence of a third party in the U.S., this week’s Church of Splendor homily illuminates how you can resist the onslaught:

More on President Fallguy.

More on The Clan Testudo.

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My entry in ‘The President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition.’

None so deserving…

Image by: thierry ehrmann

By way of The Spectator, time and fate have conspired to make a limericist of me:

Erdogan? Let none dare deride him.
The thought police sidle beside him.
With his jaw forged from glass,
his head parked up his ass,
not even the Turks can abide him.

When someone insists mockery is to be forbidden… mock on!

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Oxford’s Torment: The Latest Chapter in the Shakespeare Mystery.

If the rose were a pose, how sweet would that smell?

If the rose were a pose, how sweet would that smell?

The enduring mystery of William Shakespeare, poet and playwright, has become a little less mysterious.

It may be that we can never fully plumb the genius of our ever-living Bard, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t muck around in the basement. You never know what you’ll find down there.

Witness: We now have in our possession the long hypothesized ‘lost works’ of Edward de Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford. Oxford has been regarded by heretics and assorted lunatics as the true author of the works of Shakespeare. This myth can finally be laid to rest.

Marvel at the genius of Shakespeare! Defenders of the Swan of Avon have always been hard put to explain how a glove-maker’s son from a provincial back-water – a man who may not even have known how to read – could have written the sublime corpus we know as The Works of William Shakespeare. What life experiences led the glove-maker’s son to his subject matter? What intensive education lent him his deep erudition? How can the paired and parallel sonnet cycles be reconciled with his seemingly mundane life history?

Literary scholars almost always attempt to excavate the details of an author’s life to inform the reading of his works. Almost always. With Shakespeare we have forborne to do this. Embarrassingly, the life of our immortal poet is… embarrassing. Taking account of every factual evidence we have of his comings and goings, he seems to have been an ignorant, rough-hewn knave. Not Iago, surely, but not Jack Falstaff either. Not a Pistol, to be sure, but not that far from Nym.

If the details of Shakespeare’s life lend us any clues to the quality of his literary output, we should excavate at once in search of misspelled dirty jokes and forged invoices. Wisely, orthodox Shakespearean scholars have elected to conjecture that Shakespeare is the one exception to their theory, the only serious writer in the Western canon who was able to keep his life experiences out of his work.

But the advent of the Oxfordian claim has only made (more…)

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Patriot’s Day III: “The purpose of civilization is to prevent rape, to make the world safe for women and children.”

“Can you read the inscriptions on the buildings outside? This is M.I.T.’s way of honoring all the great men of science. Galileo, Kepler, Fourier, LaPlace. Aristotle, toward whom every branch of science must bow. Hundreds of names, some larger, some smaller, almost all of them men. Does that seem odd to you?”By: Justin Jensen

From ‘The Unfallen’
Finally on Friday, not knowing what to do but knowing she had to do something, she called Winnie Booth and asked if she could meet her for lunch. She stopped at Toscannini’s in Central Square for ice cream then again at Bertucci’s, where a pizza was waiting for her, and she met Winnie in a little lounge overlooking Killian Court at M.I.T. They shared small talk over lunch. Winnie was so big with the baby she seemed about to burst and she used her belly like a little table.

“You can afford to eat like this,” Winnie said, “but I can’t.”

“…This is the most I’ve eaten in a week, I think.”

“That bad, is it?”

Gwen put on her best plucky expression. “Nothing’s bad. Just… different.”

“My mistake. Devin comes to the lab on Monday with a face like he’s running for county coroner, but nothing’s bad. Your eyes look like they haven’t got a tear left in them, but nothing’s bad. What could be bad?”

Gwen smiled sheepishly and that was answer enough.

“Do you know the best philosopher I ever studied under? It’s Devin’s grandmother, Cecilia, Candy. No credentials, no college education, no pedigree of any kind, just a mind that can see through twenty miles of bullshit and will not let you get away with a thing. When I first met her, I was the worst kind of smug, college-bred jackass. Knew everything and deferred only to curriculum vitaes longer than my own. And that woman just took me apart. Nothing vicious about it, there’s not a drop of cruelty in her. All she really does is ask questions. But she asks questions that make it painfully obvious that everything you had been so confident about was constructed from solid quicksand.

“The first few times I (more…)

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