The stink of bullshittery clinging to the so-called “€œgay sweater”€ first enters the nostrils upon reading that it traces its origins back to “€œa lighthearted conversation”€ at an Ottawa workplace.

For one thing, there’s a local bylaw dating back to the Dewar era forbidding “€œlighthearted conversations”€ in offices in and around Canada’s national capital. (Ottawa’s unofficial motto? “€œIf you”€™re looking for fun, go to Hull.”€)

And let’s get serious: Employees at any enterprise dubbing itself “€œthe Canadian Centre of Gender and Diversity”€ would certainly be incapable of carrying on a “€œlighthearted conversation”€ anyhow.

Especially when you consider what they were supposedly chatting about ever so casually:

Every single day, you hear, “€˜That’s so gay,”€™ and you bite your tongue and you ruminate. A bunch of us were thinking, “€˜Why don”€™t we make a gay sweater?”€™”€

It’s news to me that people who “€œwork”€ at places with “€œGender”€ and/or “€œDiversity”€ in their names ever “€œbite their tongue”€ whenever anyone within earshot utters one of this week’s dozens of forbidden words.

“€œIf a Down Syndrome advocacy group wanted people to stop saying “€œretard,”€ how would a hat “€œbedazzled”€ with the clipped toenails of mongoloid children serve as an effective pedagogical tool?”€

More likely, a scowling, tattooed, pink-haired harridan draws herself up to her full weight and informs the offender that their “€œinappropriate,”€ “€œproblematic”€ word usage has rendered her “€œuncomfortable”€ and “€œunsafe.”€

And then there’s the Evel Knievel-worthy water-cooler conversational leap from “€œlighthearted”€ faux outrage and self-congratulatory stoicism to… knitting and clothing design?

The resulting “€œgay sweater,”€ having since evolved from moronic concept to unavoidable reality, is now being widely touted, absurdly and arrogantly, as “€œthe world’s first and only gay object.”€

Funny how, despite my raging heterosexuality and lack of a university degree in “€œstudies”€ of any kind, I”€™m somehow able to effortlessly think up any number of items far more deserving of that dubious title, from your average homoerotic Grecian urn to the warehouse-worth of gewgaws bearing Liberace’s piano-shaped signature.

(Gay writer “€œThe Guyliner”€ agrees with me, although he nominates “€œdouble butt plugs.”€)

Nope, what makes this sweater superlatively “€œgay”€ is that it “€œwas crafted from 20-pounds of hair”€ harvested from “€œhundreds of LGBT Canadians.”€

And despite the date stamped on this column, no, I”€™m not trying to squeeze in an early April Fool’s Day gag. Give me credit: I”€™d be able to think of something way funnier than that.

Set aside if you can the sheer Ed Gein-level ghoulishness of such an object, and its apparently accidental evocation of (debunked) Nazi lampshades and (authentic) piles of shoes.

Overlook the inconvenient fact that the textile artist who helped make the sweater “€œdonated 14 inches of her own hair”€; with that much to spare, she couldn”€™t possibly be a lesbian and therefore I declare this “€œgay object”€ to be contaminated with impure hetero cooties.

Ignore the glaringly obvious: that this sweater is so unspeakably hideous that no gay man would ever wear it.

The real trouble is, the “€œgay sweater”€ doesn”€™t, symbolically speaking, scan.

Compared to the French surrealist objets it most resembles, the “€œgay sweater”€ is entirely devoid of Meret Oppenhiem’s whimsical (if one-joke) wit.

Even as a work of ham-fisted didactic propaganda, it makes “€œThe Dinner Party”€ look like a masterwork of subtlety.

A good historian should be an annoyance. Most people want simple, pat answers to complex historical questions. Lousy historians give the people what they want. A genuinely competent historian can”€™t do that, even if it means raining on a merry parade or subverting someone else’s politically-correct good intentions.

With any historical question, there are always two answers “€“ the answer that is good enough to pass a standardized test, and the answer that is as lengthy, detailed, and accurate as possible.

I”€™ll give this example: Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson, right? Well, sort of. If you want to be didactic about it, there is a longer answer. Jefferson wrote the initial draft, which was then (in Richard Henry Lee’s words) “€œmangled”€ by Congress, with edits (about one-fourth of Jefferson’s words were cut) and additions. So the long answer is, “€œJefferson wrote the initial draft, borrowing certain ideas and phrases from other writers, and that draft was then heavily edited and, in parts, rewritten, by members of the Continental Congress.”€

The average American need only know the “€œshort”€ answer. But the historian needs to know the long and detailed one. Historians split hairs. It’s what we do.

I was reminded about this the other day at my local Starbucks. Waiting for my decaf mocha, I noticed the complimentary, broadsheet-sized eight-page newspaper distributed to every Starbucks as part of a joint project between the coffee giant and USA Today to gauge how racist we ugly Americans are (this is the same program from which the now-abandoned Starbucks policy of encouraging baristas to write “€œRace Together”€ on coffee cups arose).

The “€œRace Together”€ broadsheet, which is part of a “€œyear-long campaign”€ according to the president of USA Today and the CEO of Starbucks, provides talking points about racism, and a survey where you can confess your racial sins.

“€œMaybe Cleopatra didn”€™t look like Oprah, but dammit, it helps black self-esteem to think so.”€

Fine, whatever. I live in L.A. If politically correct nonsense stressed me out every time I encountered it, it would be my heart not my liver that”€™d be failing. But historical inaccuracies do, always, get under my skin.

The Starbucks/USA Today broadsheet has a page devoted to a timeline of racism in the U.S. Included is this nugget: “€œ1942: Following the Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, President Franklin Roosevelt signs an order to put 120,000 Japanese Americans into 10 internment camps.”€

Not true. But to even attempt to correct that inaccurate statement opens one up to charges of being unsympathetic to the Japanese who were relocated and interned, and missing “€œthe big picture”€ by focusing more on pesky facts than the larger message of “€œtolerance”€ and “€œbrotherhood”€ or whatnot.

First of all, the figure of 120,000 is false. Many historians put the number around 110,000. The War Relocation Authority (WRA), the government agency in charge of the relocation program, put the figure at 107,000 in its contemporaneous documents. 107,000 instead of 120,000…is that splitting hairs? 107,000 is a pretty appalling number. So what if we round it up by an extra 13,000, right? Who gets hurt?

Secondly, Japanese Americans were not interned. Japanese noncitizens (“€œenemy aliens”€) were interned. Japanese Americans (i.e., American citizens of Japanese descent) were forcibly relocated from the West Coast. But so what if we confuse relocation centers with internment camps? Sure, the difference was that Japanese Americans, under certain conditions (enlisting in the military, finding gainful employment away from the West Coast), could leave the centers, whereas most enemy aliens were imprisoned for the duration. But the truth is, the majority of relocation center inmates couldn”€™t leave, due in no small part to the popular prejudices of the time, which made it rather difficult to find work in small town America (or big city America, for that matter). So the distinction between internment and relocation was irrelevant to most Japanese Americans.

Splitting hairs, right? Beefing about relocation vs. internment. Bah.

And then there’s the fact that the USA Today/Starbucks broadsheet straight-out lies about the 120,000 “€œinterned”€ being “€œJapanese Americans.”€ Of the 107,000 people relocated or interned, roughly one-third were aliens. Uh oh, that presents another problem…if you”€™re going to discuss interned aliens along with relocated U.S. citizens, you probably should bring up the (roughly) 14,000 German and Italian aliens who were also interned.

A sentence that should have read “€œapproximately 71,000 Japanese Americans were relocated”€ instead reads “€œ120,000 Japanese Americans were interned.”€ A complete falsehood, but so what? What’s that got to do with the price of tea at Starbucks?

It’s gotten to the point where every time that some crazed psycho deliberately crashes a plane into a mountain, some dimwitted enabler will rush to the smoldering crash site to explain that the poor guy who killed everyone was depressed.

German and French investigators claim that last Tuesday, 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz purposely drove a Germanwings Airbus 320 smack-dab into a mountain in the French Alps, instantly killing himself and the other 149 passengers. If these investigators are correct, this was not only a suicide”€”it was a deliberate mass murder that killed far more people than any one-man shooting spree in history.

Several potential triggers were suggested for Lubitz’s fatal tantrum:

“€¢ The rumor that he was suffering from poor eyesight and would thus be gently squeezed out of his lifelong dream of becoming a full-time pilot with a major airline.

“€¢ Murmurings that he had chick problems with both a mistress who described him as volatile and a long-time girlfriend who also described him as volatile. The latter woman recently announced that she was pregnant with Lubitz’s child.

“€¢ The idea that Lubitz was a closeted homosexual who could no longer contain his secret and decided to kill a bunch of people, including himself, in a manner so theatrical that even Liberace would be jealous.

What is theorized so far is that Lubitz needed to take several conscious steps in order to ram that plane into that mountain and smash 150 human bodies into tomato paste:

“€œI never hear anyone excusing a mass murder because the perpetrator “€˜suffered”€™ from anger.”€

“€¢ He had to deliberately hide from his employers the fact that he”€™d received a sick note requiring him to stay home from work the day of the crash. German law requires employees to report such conditions to their employer, while it forbids employers to inquire. The sick note”€”which Lubitz had reportedly torn up”€”was for an “€œunspecified illness,”€ but several signs indicate he had been fighting depression and “€œburnout”€ for years. He had been prescribed antidepressants, as a police search of his apartment reportedly yielded “€œmountains of pills.”€ It’s unclear whether he”€™d been taking his medication prior to the crash.

“€¢ As the jet’s copilot, Lubitz had to wait until the main pilot excused himself from the cockpit to go to the bathroom. Then Lubitz had to deliberately flip a switch that locked the cockpit door.

“€¢ He then had to deliberately reset the plane’s altitude downward so that the aircraft was aimed like a missile at the mountains.

“€¢ He then had to deliberately ignore his pilot’s shouting and banging on the door. He had to do this for eight minutes. He sat there silently for eight minutes fully aware that he was about to kill 150 people.

To me, that sounds like Lubitz made a conscious series of choices, all of which were required for him to pull off this Cecil B. DeMille-sized production. If he”€™d avoided any single one of these choices, the plane could have landed safely and he would have been free to take his life without snatching the lives of 149 others.

Some, though, insist he had no choice in the matter. They say he was “€œmentally ill”€”€”specifically, that he was “€œsuffering”€ from depression. And they claim that it was his “€œillness,”€ rather than his willfulness, that led to this gory death pyre in the mountains. “€œWould We Be ‘Blaming’ Cancer for the Deaths of Those People Who Perished in the Alps?“€ blared an acutely stupid Huffington Post headline.

No, ya daffy bastard, “€œwe”€ wouldn”€™t be blaming cancer. That’s because cancer is a real disease. Depression, on the other hand, is a state of mind, one that is malleable depending on how one reacts to depressing circumstances in one’s life. What always gets lost in this endless quest to medicalize “€œdepression”€ is not the mere fact that you”€™re depressed”€”it’s why you”€™re depressed.

Depression is not an illness, it’s an emotion. Yet curiously, you never hear anyone describing anger”€”another emotion”€”as an illness. I never hear anyone excusing a mass murder because the perpetrator “€œsuffered”€ from anger. If you”€™re depressed, though, you can”€™t help it. The Devil made you do it. But if you”€™re angry, it’s all on you. It’s funny where people draw the line between biological determinism and free will.

Is it possible, though, that the psychoactive effects of antidepressants, rather than “€œdepression,”€ played a part in Lubitz’s stony eight-minute plunge into that mountain? A depressingly high quotient of mass murderers these days seem to gobble these little happy pills and then go on slaughtering sprees. So the pills may have played a role in Lubitz’s derangement.

The Week’s Most Peerless, Fearless, and Cheerless Headlines

The normally placid Gulf Coast town of Panama City Beach, FL, was rocked by gunfire early Saturday morning during a house party in celebration of Spring Break. Seven partygoers were shot and wounded, three of them critically.

According to Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen:

This is what we’ve been trying to warn people about. It’s been a rough time and there are two completely different elements of spring break. There are the college kids who are here for their spring break, and there is the group of people drawn here because of them.

We have a vague idea of what the sheriff means by “€œdifferent elements,”€ and frankly we resent what he appears to be insinuating. Anyway, 22-year-old Alabama resident David Jamichael Daniels was arrested and charged with seven counts of attempted murder in relation to the shooting. The first names of his seven victims: Kearria, Anesia, Devanta, Jacole, Kelli, Tykeria, and Henton.

A Southern California lawyer named Matthew McLaughlin has filed the legal papers and paid the $200 fee to propose a ballot initiative he calls the “€œSodomite Suppression Act.”€ The bill condemns sodomy as the “€œabominable crime against nature known as buggery”€ which constitutes a “€œmonstrous evil”€ that needs to be righteously quashed”€”with bullets if necessary:

…the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

Well…OK. If you”€™re looking to suppress a sodomite, that’s one way to do it.

“€œElton John, who owns two synthetic children, flipped one of his many wigs.”€

The sodomites are naturally outraged, with a pair of buggery-friendly bloggers calling McLaughlin “€œloathsome”€ and “€œdevoid of basic human decency.”€ They characterized the ballot proposal as “€œevil speech”€ that has “€œno redeeming value”€ and is drenched in “€œimmorality.”€ In short, they used terminology nearly as morally hysterical as McLaughlin’s. But unlike McLaughlin, we”€™re almost certain they’re serious.

Joe DiFilippo, the vice principal of Fresno, CA’s Scandinavian Middle School, was put on paid administrative leave a couple weeks ago after a brief video was posted to YouTube that shows him telling a black student “€œI just don”€™t like the black kids.”€

Of course this led to a Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers-style uproar in which emotionally inflamed students and parents gathered outside the school to chant quaint sayings such as “€œBLACK POWER!”€ and “€œI LOVE BLACK PEOPLE!”€ A young man named Jarious Lamar said the scandal caused his mother to lose trust in the school.

But last Wednesday”€”and this is surprising”€”a letter in support of DeFilippo signed by more than 30 local educators was delivered to a Fresno school board meeting. They argue that DiFilippo is a good egg and appear to feel that he was set up by student pranksters.

After several reviews of the video, we have determined that DiFilippo was merely joking around with a black kid”€”one whom he knew was filming him”€”by stating that he doesn”€™t like black kids. His main sin is having a sense of humor in a world that declares some topics are never funny, thereby making them a million times funnier.

Ottawa-based homosexual Jeremy Dias, who helms something he calls the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, unveiled a “€œGay Sweater“€ at Toronto Fashion Week. Dias says that he hopes the sweater”€”which was designed by two females who meticulously wove it “€œfrom the hair of more than 100 LGBT individuals“€”€”will somehow, um, raise awareness and cause people to stop using the phrase “€œthat’s so gay”€ even though they mean no harm because, like, it’s hurtful and harmful and, really, will lead to violence and murder against gay people.

Of course it doesn’t make any sense. Still, it manages to be gayer than a milk jug filled to the brim with Elton John’s sperm.

Speaking of the world’s oldest rotting fruit, Sir Elton John recently clashed with Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabanna”€”who are by leaps and bounds the favorite expensive-handbag-makers for homosexuals the world over”€”regarding comments the latter had made about traditional marriage and surrogate babies.

Domenico Dolce had recently made the following statements in a magazine interview:

The only real family is the traditional one….You are born to a mother and father, at least that is how it should be. I call children of chemistry synthetic children.

Elton John, who owns two synthetic children, flipped one of his many wigs and posted this on Instagram:

How dare you refer to my beautiful children as “synthetic”….I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana

Responding to the call for a boycott, Steffano Gabbana called Sir Elton “€œfascist, ignorant, unenlightened, and unwilling to tolerate any views that differ from his own.”€

Then, after sufficiently venting their gay spleens, the trio of mincing fruitbars allegedly kissed and made up. Sir Elton was even spotted toting a D&G handbag in public again. His synthetic children were unavailable for comment.

The late Simon Leys, the great Sinologist and literary essayist, once wrote a little essay on the first lines of novels. He was inspired to do so by having picked up G. K. Chesterton’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill in a second-hand bookshop and read its first words: “€˜The human race, to which so many of my readers belong…”€™ He said that the rest of the novel did not live up to this glorious opening, but it would have been impossible for any extended piece of writing to do so.

It is not only the writers of novels who strive to arrest the reader’s attention by a first phrase or sentence: writers of non-fiction do so also. They want to establish either the importance or the fascination of their subject. A splendid example of this is T. D. Kendrick’s book on the Lisbon Earthquake, written in 1955 on the bicentenary of the disaster. The book begins:

In October 1777 John Wesley said in a letter to his friend Christopher Hopper, “€˜there is no divine visitation which is likely to have so general an influence upon sinners as an earthquake.”€™

The type of earthquake to which Wesley refers in his letter is that of the tremors that twice struck London in 1750, rather than the type that destroys whole cities. The London tremors rattled windows, caused things to fall off tables, smashed a few mirrors, but were otherwise fairly harmless. Nevertheless, scores of thousands of Londoners panicked and flooded out of the city, only to crawl back a little while later feeling distinctly foolish.

“What Rousseau meant, I think, is that whether we find life good or evil does not depend so much on the “€˜objective”€™ qualities of life, but on our fundamental temperament and perhaps on the Zeitgeist.”

I have lived through two earthquakes, in the Wesleyan sense of the term, but sinner that I am, they had no influence upon me or my behaviour. The first was in Guatemala, where of course seismic activity can be severe. I think there must be a sensory faculty for feeling the effects of earth tremors, a faculty I do not have, for everyone around me felt the earth move but I did not. The second was at night as I was sleeping in my house in England: I was woken up by a clattering noise coming from the roof. Of course, I immediately thought it was burglars since burglary is a far more frequent, and serious, hazard in England than earthquake, and I learned the true cause only on the morrow.

The Lisbon Earthquake, it goes without saying, was of a different order. It destroyed much of the city and it is thought that 15,000 people died in it. The meaning of the event became a matter of dispute immediately afterwards: was it just one of those things, or was it God’s vengeance on the wicked people of Lisbon, who appeared pious but in reality were given over to the whole gamut of human sins?

Strangely enough, the London tremors five years earlier had given rise to similar questions, though because they killed no one it was easy to reconcile them with the idea that God was just issuing a preliminary warning. The clergy of the time preached many sermons referring to the wickedness of Londoners that justified the wrath of God. According to Kendrick, paraphrasing the Bishop of London, Thomas Sherlock:

The Gospel was rejected in spite of Protestant advantages; books were published that disputed or ridiculed the great truths of religion, and such books were not only welcomed in the metropolis, but widely circulated… Blasphemous language was used openly in the streets. Lewd pictures illustrated all the abominations of the public stews, and were well tolerated. There was much homo-sexuality. People were crazy for amusement, and in one single newspaper the bishop counted no less than fifteen advertisements for plays, dances, cock-fights, prize-fights, and so on, and this in Lent.

I love the image of the Bishop salaciously counting up the profane entertainments of the city and working himself up into a pleasant lather of indignation over them.

A book of poems about the earth tremors was published with the title Verses on the late Earthquakes: address”€™d to Great Britain. Four lines summed up the situation of the country:

Own it! (but with a blush) “€˜No Realm
Like ours! so vile! so vain!
See! to the Dunghill from the Helm
Extends the moral stain!”€™

My sentiments entirely as I walk through the streets of London de nos jours, though of course about 80 percent of the people on the streets seem to be foreigners which, perhaps, explains the moral degeneration (as Albert Pierrepoint, one of the last hangmen of England, explained the struggle of the only man he knew who kicked up a fuss on the way to the scaffold, he being a foreigner and therefore not altogether pleased to be hanged).

It’s a famous quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one that Elton John should ponder, when he’s not out shopping, that is. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Mind you, Elton John is a hysterical, spoilt, ugly fat man who thinks his opinions count. (Perhaps with non-talents like Liz Hurley and Victoria Beckham.) I now know who Dolce & Gabbana are because of the row over synthetic children, and they seem like nice billionaires, except they threw in the towel right away and apologized. The catfight between three gay men is a bore, but what no one has mentioned is that by demanding a world-wide boycott of D&G products, Elton John could be putting tens of thousands of extremely poor factory hands out of work, something that the short squat drama queen could care less about.

What kind of world is this, when a hysterical celebrity can cause the loss of jobs because someone made a comment he disagrees with? I say boycott Elton John, and the less we hear or see of him the better. By the time you read this the Top Gear brouhaha, I hope, will have been resolved, but do not for a minute doubt the fact that this is cultural warfare. The Left wants Clarkson out because of his centrist opinions. The Left believes in social regulation, and any speech the Left does not like becomes hate speech. Remember what Lenin said: “We can and must write in the language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, scorn and the like, toward those who disagree with us.”  We all know the BBC is a malodorous cesspit run by and full of lefties. Clarkson seems to be a good guy with a good sense of humour and he says funny things that are true. Romanians do steal and Mexicans do sneak into the United States and Germans have been known to invade Poland, so what’s the big deal? The P.C. vipers are after Clarkson because they have a totalitarian mentality and hope to make all speech they deplore hate speech. Truth, after all, is hate to those who hate truth. When a disgusting rapper by the name of Kanye West uses the word nigger 37 times during the Brit Awards, he’s given a pass because he’s black. When Clarkson mimes the word he’s suspended and forced to apologize. Something is unhinged about a society that accepts the Kanye Wests of this world and punishes the Clarksons.

“I say boycott Elton John, and the less we hear or see of him the better.”

Mind you, this is nothing when compared to the limitless airtime given to the sadistic serial killer, Mohammed Emwazi, a.k.a. Jihadi John, by the media. During the Vietnam War, pro-Viet Cong celebs and pundits were given more time on network television than pro-government ones. The only two actors who were openly for Uncle Sam’s disastrous Vietnam adventure were James Stewart – a highly decorated pilot during World War II – and John Wayne. Their air time was nil. The American public soon turned against the war and we all know the results of that one. During the war against Nazi Germany anti-war thoughts were on a par with treason. And we know the results of that conflict also. So now that we’re up against the cruelest most murderous bunch of religious fanatics, many of them living among us and on benefits from our taxes, why are we giving them the opportunity to tell lies and spread disinformation? Step forward Sky, the BBC and Channel 4, the latter with that funny man Guru something and Jon Snow. Offering a defines for mass murderers is not journalism, it’s subversion, yet the death wish takes second place to so called equal air time. Let’s put it another way. If I were to write that Muslims are all potential killers, the sainted editor would call me in and shake my hand and bid me goodbye. Yet the clown Asim Qureshi, who defends mass murderers, is given time on the airwaves to defend mass murder.

One of the reasons I left England, a place where many of my friends live, was the downgrading of the quality of life. I lived most of my adult life in Cadogan Square, once upon a time inhabited by gentle English white folk who greeted me as a neighbor and even laughed at my antics when seeing me arrive home around nine a.m. Then the Cadogan estate slowly squeezed out long time residents and sold the flats to rich foreigners, many of them from the Middle East and Turkey. Bodyguards crowded the sidewalks, smoking and spitting and giving us hard looks. Once I stopped a football game between Turks in the middle of the green reminding them that ball playing was illegal. It was like trying to convince a fish to walk.

No, multiculturalism might sound good, but I’ll take Wyoming any day. It is a mostly white state with low crime and two Republican senators.
It is a bit far away, so I’ve done the next good thing. I have bought a farm outside Gstaad, and am rebuilding the chalet that stands alone
on top of the hill and is surrounded by farmland. It’s going to be my last residence. Farmer Taki has finally reached the pinnacle, king of the hill. Yippee!

Protected to death “”€ Sauve qui peut “”€ Summoning the demon (cont.) “”€
Print me a house “”€ Down with uplift

Fox News has been broadcasting a series of Florida vacation shockers under the title, “€œSpring Break Exposed.”€ They”€™re showing twenty-somethings partying in bikinis and smoking joints while yelling, “€œFuck my parents”€ to the camera. As old people, it seems outrageous but kids will be kids, right? College students have been going to Florida to party since the 1930s and it’s always been relatively decadent. The footage they”€™re showing on Fox looks exactly like the previous generation’s parties only with less bathing suit and more diversity. Sure there may be a fight or two and it’s possible an inebriated cad may get a little fresh with a lady but these are college students we”€™re talking about. As the guy who created the Winnebago said, “€œYou can”€™t take sex, booze, or weekends away from the American people.”€ What are you going to do, say, “€œNo daughters allowed”€? That would make it a total sausage-fest, dude, and that’s “€œun-American.”€ This seems like a pretty solid opinion. However, on the off chance the truth is counterintuitive and my hunch is incorrect, I should probably look into it a little bit.

I spoke to a lot of people who were there including the film crew who got the footage for Fox, a Florida pharmacist and a party promoter and when they were done explaining how different this Spring Break is from any other before it, I had to scrape my jaw off the floor with a spatula. Turns out, I was wrong. Spring Break today is nothing like the ones we went to.

“€œThe reporters I spoke to said they had never heard heroin mentioned so often at a Spring Break party.”€

#SpringBreak2k15 as the kids are calling it, is the worst one yet and makes 2014 look like a Frankie and Annette movie. Last year, I said on Fox that you should be more worried about your daughter going down there than your son. Jon Stewart scoffed and said, “€œLet’s all just agree that that is sexist”€ and it was decreed. Like the opening paragraph of this article, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz and the rest of the “€œmy feelings are facts”€ crowd say they partied when they were young ergo, everything is the same. Men and women are equal and there is no extra information to glean from actually checking it out. Well, here on earth, we have real daughters and that means reality matters. We know we can”€™t hover over them 24 hours a day and although we”€™d love to ban them from going to rape festivals, there will always be the possibility they”€™ll ignore us. That leaves us with one weapon: information. They need to know exactly what goes on there even if that makes us look square. I”€™d rather be uncool than a rape apologist. Women are not as strong as men. They can”€™t even hold their booze as well as men. Stop telling them slut walks are cool and they”€™re all total badasses. I keep getting in trouble for saying these basic facts because that’s how far from reality we”€™ve strayed.

Not only is 2015 worse than last year, this point in March is way worse than the beginning of March. The celebration starts off relatively peacefully with the Ivy League schools getting out at the beginning of the month. There are some drug dealers and the occasional “€œ100 miler”€ (predators who come in from out of town to take advantage of drunk girls and rob drunk boys). However, as the month proceeds, the “€œ100 milers”€ are joined by “€œ1,000 milers”€ and the outsider population begins to rival that of the college kids. At this point, the nucleus (a football-sized beach party behind the two main bars) has become a heaving throng of 10,000 kids packed shoulder-to-shoulder. Fox can”€™t show the footage in this Lord of the Flies zone because they can”€™t get in there “€“ nobody can “€“ not even cops. Even if they could get in there, the only place you”€™d be able to show the footage publicly is on a hardcore porn site (Fox was able to show what appeared to be gangbangers holding up massive stacks of cash). Sexual assault abounds and what I find particularly scary about the whole thing is the apathy that surrounds it. I believe this is due to the prevalence of heroin.

The forces that do not want a U.S. nuclear deal with Iran, nor any U.S. detente with Iran, are impressive.

Among them are the Israelis and their powerful lobby AIPAC, the Saudis and their Sunni allies on the Persian Gulf, a near unanimity of Republicans and a plurality of Democrats in Congress.

Is there a case to be made for a truce in the venomous conflict that has gone on between us since the taking of U.S. hostages in 1979? Is there any common ground?

To both questions, President Obama and John Kerry believe the answer is yes. And they are not without an argument.

First, the alternative to a truce—breaking off of negotiations, doubling down on demands Iran dismantle all nuclear facilities, tougher sanctions—inevitably leads to war. And we all know it.

Yet Americans do not want another war in the Middle East, with a nation three times the size of Iraq, and its allies across the region.

Nor can Iran want such a war. Had the ayatollahs and mullahs wanted it, they could have had a war with the United States at any time in the third of a century since they seized power.

“If President Nixon could toast Mao Zedong, can we not deal with Ayatollah Khamenei?”

Yet as Ronald Reagan was taking the oath in 1981, our hostages were suddenly on their way home. With the accidental shoot-down of an Iranian Airbus by the cruiser Vincennes in 1988, the Ayatollah ended his war with Saddam Hussein, fearful the Americans were about to intervene on the side of Iraq.

Why Iran wants to avoid war is obvious. Given U.S. air, missile and naval power, and cyberwarfare capabilities, a war with the United States would do to Iran what we did to Iraq, smash it up, set it back decades, perhaps break up the country.

Some mullahs may be fanatics, but Iran is not run by fools.

Yet even if we have a mutual interest in avoiding a war, where is the common ground between us?

Let us begin with the Sunni terrorists of al-Qaida who brought down the twin towers, and the Islamic State that is beheading Christians, apostates, and nonbelievers, and intends to establish a Middle East caliphate where there are no Americans, no Christians, and no Shiites.

Americans and Iranians have a common goal of degrading and defeating them.

In the Syrian civil war, Iran and its Shiite allies in Hezbollah have prevented the fall of the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad. For years, Iran has helped to keep the al-Nusra Front and ISIL out of Damascus.

When the Islamic State seized Mosul and most of Anbar, the Iranians helped to rally Shiite resistance to defend Baghdad, and are now assisting the Iraqi army in its effort to recapture Tikrit.

Until this week, the U.S. stayed out, as Shiite militias were mauled by fewer than 1,000 jihadis. Wednesday, however, we intervened with air power, thus exposing Iraq’s reliance on us.

This does not contradict but rather reinforces the point. In the war to expel the Islamic State from Iraq, we and Iran are on the same side.

Does Iran wish to displace American influence in Baghdad?

Undeniably. But when we destroyed the Sunni Baathist regime of Saddam, disbanded his army and held elections, we greased the skids for a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. We can’t walk that cat back.

As May 7th bulks ever bigger on the political horizon, the UKIP omnibus has developed serious rattles. As the campaign pounds punishingly on, the insurgents”€™ inexperience is starting to show, and it will take daring driving to stay on the road. And they have come a long way already.

UKIP was founded in 1993, as the Anti-Federalist League – even the name radiating amateurishness – by Alan Sked, a sincere but politically unskilled academic. Another founder member was one Nigel Farage, a former City trader who had left the Conservatives, disgusted by the Maastricht Treaty. From the outset, the new party was a coalition of the alienated – former Thatcherites, cultural conservatives, colourful eccentrics, and a sprinkling of ex-Labour Eurosceptics. The party also attracted a few respected academics like Antony Flew, and celebrities like Joan Collins, Patrick Moore and Leo McKern. This ensured slightly better media treatment , and gave a faintly glamorous sheen to an otherwise joyless single-issue group.

“UKIP is not the only small party which may have a disproportionate influence in the next parliament, but it is the only one eliciting real hatred.”

Party ranks were dominated by lower middle-class suburbanites, predominantly middle-aged, including many old-school Anglicans, British Israelites, monetary reformers, conspiracy theorists, and proudly philistine bungalow-dwellers for whom World War II was not over. Party events were often characterized by monologues – which sometimes came from the floor rather than the podium – about why we should never have gone decimal, or Ted Heath’s iniquities, or “€œpolitical correctness gone mad”€, or the “€œFourth Reich”€ supposedly rising in Brussels. The EU, many UKIPers still believe, is a front for a Germany which has never given up its Hitlerlite ambitions. Many UKIPers advocated closer ties with America and other Old Commonweath countries as a counterbalance to the EU, even though they disliked modern America – in fact, everything that had happened since about 1950. Party manifestos were a hotchpotch of inadvertently amusing ideas, like ensuring a dress code for taxi drivers – Nigel Farage admitted recently that the 2010 manifesto was “€œdrivel”€ – not that it mattered because they were rarely read.

The party seethed with resentment against the Tories (excluding Maggie and, especially, Enoch). The party was a refuge for industrious and provident middle-class men and women who felt let down by the Conservative Party, and were profoundly at odds with modern Britain without quite knowing why. They liked the armed forces, G&Ts, egg and chips, Classic FM, and Top Gear – they loathed political correctness, narcotics, modern art, modern music, foreign food (except curry), and anything to do with protecting the environment. One activist informed me he had been politicized when a Messerschmitt strafed his pram – and another was mystified when I said he should not have cut down an old Andalusian orange grove to make a caravan park for expats. They were mostly good people, if not always scintillating conversationalists.

But they had identified an important and ignored issue, and worked impressively hard even though their party attracted derisory support – after every bad result erupting in especially unpleasant bloodletting. In fact, they often erupted in especially unpleasant bloodletting even after good election results. Their dedication started to pay off in 1999, when the party won three seats in the European Parliament, and began to figure in local government. It improved upon that in 2004, 2009 and again in 2014, although it did not break through at Westminster (excluding three peers who defected from the Conservatives) until late last year, when MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless resigned from the Conservatives and won their constituencies again for UKIP. Now, it is on course to win between four and six seats at Westminster – potentially making them kingmakers if the result is close. The party has been going through tortuous modernisation as it attempts to broaden both its leadership base and its appeal to Labour voters. The latter process has been quite successful, the former less so, with the party still dominated by Farage’s abounding personality. This is far from ideal, as he has had several near-death experiences, and is noted for smoking and drinking. He must be conscious of mortality, because he has published a kind of memoir – he is certainly conscious of the possibility of failure. He has said he will step down as leader if he fails to win in Thanet South, where he is standing against an ex-UKIPer, in what will be one of the nastiest contests. The party is also heavily dependent on a few donors, and was down to its last £6,000 last year.