“You’re telling me there’s been a New Mexico in the United States this whole time?”
Yesterday, the US Patent Office canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name disparages American Indians. Obviously, this is a case of political correctness run amok. The Redskins name celebrates first Americans in much the same way that the n-word only refers to certain African-Americans, which is to say according to white people. Consider the response of noted white person Rep. Steve King (R–IA):
Props to Fletch-Dogg for the tip. In related news, the offices of the Department of Hyperbole will be closed this weekend while a tightly coordinated squadron of illegal immigrants invades and sterilizes them.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R–SC)
The quote above comes from this New York Times article, in which conservative and then mainstream Republicans explain their attitudes toward the ongoing government shutdown. Interestingly, where they stand tends to correlate with how long they’ve been in office. Of the representatives quoted who supported tying a continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare, Steve King (R–IA) is the most senior, having assumed office in 2003. The next most experienced Reps in favor of shutdown were elected in 2010. It’s possible that means they haven’t been so long exposed to the corrosive effects of Washington party politics, so they’ve stayed true to their conservative principles. It’s also possible that they don’t know what they’re doing, and their confidence is a product of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
One of the most depressing features of the modern world is the difficulty in identifying villains. Awful scumbags are out there, obviously, but they tend to be “controversial” rather than openly evil. Deteriorating certainty in both morals and reportage has made any given villain debatable. Where once we might say with confidence that Glenn Beck was a fat liar who cried to get attention, now we can only disagree with him. Personally, I miss the old certainty. It may have cost us a few witches, but to definitively call other people villains is a satisfying atavism, like eating chicken with your hands. Today is Friday, and we still have a few unequivocal villains left. Won’t you point the finger with me?
Why would they keep trying to cross that aqueduct?
We’ve talked about it before, but it is critically important that you not fall into declinism. The fantasy that American empire has reached its sunset is both conceited and self-fulfilling. We won a war against Nazis during the Great Depression; probably we can get past having too many fat kids and needing to invent a kind of transportation other than the car. The only way we wouldn’t is if we all decided we were at the end of civilization and nothing we did like, matters. That’s how things stop working, and we can choose not to quit. Still, when you imagine the collapse of society into a Hobbesian war of all against all, it is kind of satisfying. The disintegration of Delta airlines, Lil’ Kim having to make the transition to actual whore—these are bitterly comforting ideas. It’s Friday, and our link roundup is split between images of decline and comforting reminders of who will suffer most of it happens. Don’t give in to declinism, though. Maybe just indulge it a little as you imagine Lena Dunham struggling to grow turnips.
Not the good one
Representative Steve King (R–IA) lobbed another softball into the American media yesterday, arguing that requiring insurers to cover birth control could lead to the death of civilization. The DHS released a new set of guidelines this week that will eventually require health insurance policies to cover birth control without copays. It’s a great way for working moms to kill the tiny babies that live in their husbands’ sperm, and for coeds to slut it up like Gomorrah. I’m paraphrasing, here, but Rep. King’s comments are little more lucid:
We have people that are single, we have people that are past reproductive age, we have priests that are celibate. All of them, paying insurance premiums that cover contraceptives so that somebody else doesn’t have to pay the full fare of that? And they’ve called it preventative medicine. Preventative medicine. Well if you applied that preventative medicine universally what you end up with is you’ve prevented a generation. Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That’s not— that’s not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate get down below replacement rate we’re a dying civilization.
As always when one hears more than two Steve King sentences in a row, several concerns leap to mind.