Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal has written possibly the most important op-ed of the election season. It's a must-read. America is So in Play. I read it last night and proceeded to dream about it (literally). America is fed up and Trump is saying the things no one was willing to say.
The passage I found most fascinating is posted below. All these years, I thought I was somewhat unique, bringing my GKC "Hudge and Gudge" loathing and combining it with von Misesian libertarianism to produce another Catholic crank voice. It turns out I'm not different and, in fact, am probably mainstream.
On the subject of elites, I spoke to Scott Miller, co-founder of the Sawyer Miller political-consulting firm, who is now a corporate consultant. He worked on the Ross Perot campaign in 1992 and knows something about outside challenges. He views the key political fact of our time as this: “Over 80% of the American people, across the board, believe an elite group of political incumbents, plus big business, big media, big banks, big unions and big special interests—the whole Washington political class—have rigged the system for the wealthy and connected.” It is “a remarkable moment,” he said. More than half of the American people believe “something has changed, our democracy is not like it used to be, people feel they no longer have a voice.”
Mr. Miller added: “People who work for a living are thinking this thing is broken, and that economic inequality is the result of the elite rigging the system for themselves. We’re seeing something big.”
A further twist I'd add to Noonan's analysis: The RNC and DNC are both corrupt, slaves to the big interests. But whereas the DNC has its act together (they've apparently already decided Hillary will win), the RNC is in disarray. That's a good thing because it has given us a stampede primary season where real debate can occur and a candidate can emerge to give voice to the frustration the bulk of middle class America has been feeling for many, many years.
(Note: I ran into something new this morning: If you click on that WSJ link above, it'll say you need a subscription to read it, but if you go to Drudgeand click on it, you don't. As of this posting, the link can be found in Drudge's middle column, third from the top. But in case you don't want to go through that trouble, I've pasted another interesting passage below.)
Something is going on, some tectonic plates are moving in interesting ways. My friend Cesar works the deli counter at my neighborhood grocery store. He is Dominican, an immigrant, early 50s, and listens most mornings to a local Hispanic radio station, La Mega, on 97.9 FM. Their morning show is the popular “El Vacilón de la Mañana,” and after the first GOP debate, Cesar told me, they opened the lines to call-ins, asking listeners (mostly Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican) for their impressions. More than half called in to say they were for Mr. Trump. Their praise, Cesar told me a few weeks ago, dumbfounded the hosts. I later spoke to one of them, who identified himself as D.J. New Era. He backed Cesar’s story. “We were very surprised,” at the Trump support, he said. Why? “It’s a Latin-based market!”
“He’s the man,” Cesar said of Mr. Trump. This week I went by and Cesar told me that after Mr. Trump threw Univision’s well-known anchor and immigration activist, Jorge Ramos, out of an Iowa news conference on Tuesday evening, the “El Vacilón” hosts again threw open the phone lines the following morning and were again surprised that the majority of callers backed not Mr. Ramos but Mr. Trump. Cesar, who I should probably note sees me, I sense, as a very nice establishment person who needs to get with the new reality, was delighted.
I said: Cesar, you’re supposed to be offended by Trump, he said Mexico is sending over criminals, he has been unfriendly, you’re an immigrant. Cesar shook his head: No, you have it wrong. Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you.”
My eldest son, Alex, is now a mortgage banker with Quicken Loans. If you know of someone looking to buy a house and they want to use a nice young Catholic man to help with the financing, try Alex. Even if you're just mildly interested and merely want information, give him a call.
He's licensed to lend in Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois, and Tennessee. He will also be licensed shortly in California and Louisiana.
And also: He speaks Spanish.
1-800-226-6308 x. 50205
That's the good thing about booze: You drink when you're happy and you drink when you're sad. You drink when you have plenty of money, you drink when you don't have enough money to do anything else.
And you drink when the market is up, and you drink when the market is down:
“You definitely have spikes when the market does something interesting,” says Peter Poulakakos, whose company, HPH, owns the Dead Rabbit and other prominent New York watering holes, including Harry’s, Pier A Harbor House and Ulysses’ Folk House.
Which is not to say that sustained bad market news is good news for the bar business. While the liquor industry itself has long been considered recession proof — in 2008 and 2009, booze brands actually saw sales growth of 1.7% and 1.4%, respectively, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U. S. — bars aren’t as insulated from downward economic trends. From 2007 to 2009, bar revenue dropped 10% to $17.9 billion, according to industry researcher IBISWorld.
The phrase, "bars aren't as insulated from downward economic trends," correlates with my expectations. When money is tight, people continue to drink, but they won't do it at the bar. Between the mark-up and the tip, it gets awfully expensive, and as Frank Rich at Modern Drunkard Magazine has pointed out, if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to drink at the bar.
Epstein on jokes about Jewish wives:
"Jewish wives have been the target of enough jokes to warrant establishing a special branch of the Anti-Defamation League. What does a Jewish wife make for dinner? Answer: Reservations. 'A thief stole my wife’s purse with all her credit cards,' Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Rodney Cohen) used to remark, 'but I’m not going after him. He’s spending less than she does.' . . .
"Ira Silverberg, walking up the stairs of a nearby bordello, discovers his father coming down the stairs, and, in dismay, asks him what he is doing there. 'For three dollars,' his father says, 'why should I bother your mother?'"
Friday evening, I sat on the front porch, enjoying a nice late summer evening and some drinks. I was streaming Pandora from my iPhone into my (splendid) bluetooth Sony wireless speaker. The channel: 70s Lite Rock Radio.
I was really digging it, which was no surprise. It's long been one of my favorite Pandora stations. But on Friday, I was vodka-waxing over it, trying to figure out why I was digging this music so much.
My conclusion: I'm the Kerouac type. A guy with a "romantic" or dreamy streak. And that 70s Lite Rock Radio station brings memories of my youthful romanticism to the surface.
I started high school in 1980, so I first heard those 1970s lite rock artists--James Taylor, the Carpenters, Bread--when I was just a little kid, before I could cruise around town and hang out with the cool kids at high school. I remember, with reasonable clarity, how cool I thought the high schoolers were and how it would've been great if I could drive and hang with them. It seemed exciting, like something cool was always happening.
Such, of course, are the idealized notions of a youngster who doesn't realize that high school kids are just kids, with their own problems and angst and boredom.
But still, that's how I thought high schoolers in the 1970s lived.
And when I heard those songs (and I heard a lot of them, my clock radio always on and frequently listening to my older brothers' albums), I knew those were the songs the high school kids were listening to while they were out living the high life in my little town.
That's why I think those songs appeal greatly to me today. They bring back a level of nostalgia that I don't get from 1980s lite rock. The 1980s were my decade: from 1980 through 1991, I was in school . . . and having a pretty good freakin' time. But I also know, first hand, that youth brings its problems. And angst and boredom. So I have very little tendency to romanticize the 1980s.
But the 1970s, with disco and long-haired kids arranging meeting places via CB radio (a craze among the even the upper-middle class in my town)? I wasn't there. So, whether merited or not, it holds a lofty spot in my soul.
And I believe my subconscious is indelibly inked with its music.
We'll see what the market does today. I wonder: How much of this "crash" is due simply to people pulling money out of the market to pay college tuition? I haven't seen that explanation anywhere, but it seems it would be a factor. * * * * * * * But I looked at August 8 to August 21 Dow Jones charts for 2012-2014 and saw no similar thing happen. * * * * * * * I stumbled across these great pictures of 1970s New York City. I really dig old photos in general, but there's something about pictures an era that I remember first-hand, but only hazily, that appeal to me (perhaps related to a mini-essay that will appear tomorrow). * * * * * * * What I find most interesting about those pics: What a dump large swaths of Manhattan were. These pictures really bring it home. And to realize the situation had reversed just twenty years later. Pretty amazing. Also interesting: Even the nice areas look shabby. * * * * * * * I still have first-hand memories of The Bowery circa 1970s, I don't remember the circumstances, but I walked down the Bowery with my Dad (and other family?) back in the 1970s. I remember being scared that the bums would attack us. My Dad (an ex-marine, never one for much fear) just scoffed, "They might attack us . . . If they could stand up." The images of those bums are still etched on my mind. * * * * * * * New book notice: The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer. Man, I'm tempted. Very tempted. * * * * * * * This line cracked me up: "Widener is the Great Unsinkable Library. Its ten levels contain fifty-seven miles of shelves, enough to hold some 4.6 million bound volumes, give or take a few." Library: An Unquiet History
Ben Stein asks four questions:
I had an e-mail from my smartest friend, P. He asked three questions, which I pass on to you, dearly beloved readers:
“1.) We are advised not to judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works.
“2.) We constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What’s interesting is that the first group worked for their money and the second group didn’t.
“3.) Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military, and cutting our military drastically—but we are not stopping payments to illegal aliens such as monthly payments for each child, money for housing, food stamps, free education including college?”
I would like to add another question. We now know that Hillary Clinton violated federal law by storing secret government data on her personal computer, by destroying evidence of her actions in violating federal law, obstruction of justice, a felony, and possibly contriving to get third persons to aid her in destroying evidence of her obstruction of justice. She is also in violation of a House of Representatives subpoena to turn over all evidence of her behavior about her e-mail transgressions. She also clearly lied under oath to Trey Gowdy’s House Committee. There is strong evidence that she coerced contributions from foreign states to a family-controlled entity while Secretary of State.
Why is there no Special Prosecutor going after her right now?
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
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