According to media reports, Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York, is eyeing a run for mayor of New York City. Unfortunately for him, his top aide, Melissa DeRosa, has written a book, What’s Left Unsaid, revealing that his most trusted adviser is a complete nitwit.

As you may recall, I wrote about DeRosa’s book a few months ago. Here are a few more things you should know before allowing Cuomo to foist this birdbrain on us again.

“Despite DeRosa’s claims of never being “weak or hysterical,” it only took one snarky Dowd column to trigger the waterworks.”

1. Anyone who disagrees with DeRosa is a terrible person. Probably a liar.

— In a phone call with Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., after she criticized Cuomo for ordering hospitals in her district to send all their ventilators to New York City — a disastrous idea — DeRosa blew up. (As we now know, ventilators were not merely useless for treating COVID, but often killed the patients.)

DeRosa: “‘Who have you become?’ I asked in disgust. ‘I am embarrassed to be associated with you.’

“‘What?’ Now she sounded genuinely hurt.

“‘Yes, you heard me,’ I wasn’t backing down. ‘Do you know what it’s like when people ask me how I could possibly be friends with you? The things you say. The way you defend Trump. … It’s embarrassing.'”

— About Democratic state senator Alessandra Biaggi posting a tweet attacking Cuomo for not acting on COVID sooner — i.e. run-of-the-mill politicking — DeRosa writes:

“Fuming, I sent a text, ‘You are both full of shit and a pretty terrible person.'”

— Then there’s this gem from DeRosa, apparently after maintaining a lifelong vow to never notice the Democrats’ behavior, from their accusations of affairs against George H.W. Bush and John McCain, through the front-page stories about Mitt Romney’s hair-cutting incident in high school, to their Russian collusion hysteria:

“While Democrats, for the most part, believe there is honor in playing by the rules, Republicans have a tendency to flip the table over and play dirty.”

— DeRosa says the Trump White House was probably “happy that the [BLM] protests had turned violent” and that Republican governors loved when COVID spiked in their states, seeing it as “badass.”

Those are just a few examples of the generosity of spirit DeRosa extends to those she disagrees with — bad motives, liars and terrible people. She proudly cites her fiery responses even after it has been firmly established that she was wrong and they were right.

And yet, in another vignette, she describes a dinner with The New York Times‘ Nick Confessore, saying, “we found out quickly that we both enjoyed the art of a good argument, ending the night debating politics over vanilla creme brulee.”

Based on her responses to others with an opinion different from hers, “debating politics” presumably consisted of her talking and Confessore nodding his head in agreement.

2. She’s the bee’s knees!

— “At age thirty-eight, I was the most senior member of Andrew Cuomo’s team leading the nation through a once-in-a-century pandemic, making life-or-death decisions, projecting our administration’s competence to an admiring world.”

— “Matt (DeRosa’s husband) told me I reminded him of his mother, a smart, driven workaholic.”

— “Next to my father, I was my grandmother’s favorite, her nickname my own middle name. I inherited her cheekbones and work ethic.”

— “While I may have been one of the most powerful women in New York …”

— “Our office had a reputation for being hard-charging. We didn’t run from that characterization; we prided ourselves on it.” (This is in contrast with other offices that pride themselves on a reputation for lethargy.)

— “I ran faster, jumped higher, and tried to never let them see me sweat …”

3. DeRosa is always crying.

— Reading a Times story about her that highlighted her “powerful lobbyist” father: “Reading the headline filled me with a wave of emotion, blood rushing to my face, tears welling up in my eyes, my hands beginning to shake …”

— Three weeks into the Cuomo lockdown: “Little things like a video message from my eight-year-old niece, Ashley, would send tears streaming down my face.”

— After finally allowing her husband to tell her he wanted a divorce: “‘Matt, I can’t handle this. With everything else that’s going on right now … please … it’s too much,’ I pleaded, tears streaming down my face.”

— In bed, the morning Cuomo was to announce the end of his daily COVID briefings: “(O)vertaken by the enormity of it, by depression, pride, and sheer exhaustion, I started to cry.”

— Later that day, at a staff meeting after Cuomo announced the end of his daily COVID briefings: “I didn’t typically show emotion at work; I grew up being taught that if I did, especially as a young woman, I would be viewed as weak or hysterical. … I started to tear up for the second time that day, this time not curled up in bed, but standing in front of all of our staff.”

— Meeting a friend for a drink after DeRosa had heard a rumor about a possible sexual harassment charge against the governor:

“[Friend:] ‘What happened?’

“‘The last four months happened.’ As the words crossed my lips, tears started to well in my eyes …”

— When Biden was announced the winner of the 2020 election: “Overcome with raw, genuine emotion, I could feel my eyes start to well up with tears.”

— Upon reading Cuomo’s draft resignation speech: “I read it and started to cry.”

— After some nut called her cellphone, threatening to kill her: “I burst into tears.”

We definitely could use this kind of steady hand in the Big Apple.

4. She calls everyone she works with “smart.”

— “Annabel Walsh was our director of scheduling. At twenty-six, she was whip-smart, hardworking, and sassy.”

— “Steve and Bill … had Cuomo’s full confidence. Smart, steady, and wise to their core …”

— “Dina DeRosa [Melissa’s grandmother] was smart, hardworking, warm, and classically beautiful.”

— “I often used the girls [Cuomo’s children], who were smart, curious, and [so on].”

— “Sarah, a former administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration under President Obama, was tough as nails and as smart as they come.”

— “Jack Davies, a whip-smart up-and-comer in our press shop …”

— “As press secretary in the Clinton White House, [Dee Dee Myers] had been smart, savvy …”

And on and on.

5. Maureen Dowd should have written about DeRosa much, much sooner.

Despite DeRosa’s claims of never being “weak or hysterical,” it only took one snarky Dowd column to trigger the waterworks.

Upon reading the column, which criticized DeRosa — “one of the most powerful women in New York,” I remind you! — she dropped the phone and ran to the governor:

“I took a deep breath. My whole body was shaking now.

“Cuomo pulled me in close, ‘Okay, okay,’ he said in a paternal whisper. ‘It’s going to be okay. Shush. It’s going to be okay, I promise you. Take a deep breath. It’s all going to be okay.'”

Then, she drove to her brother’s house:

“Joey pulled me in close and told me it was going to be okay.”

After a little more bawling, she resigned.

Maureen, if only you’d acted sooner.

The late ’60s and early ’70s were great years for yours truly. Sporting successes in tennis and karate, a great president in the White House, and some good reporting from Hue for National Review’s William Buckley had given me a career boost. That’s when Bill, a very good friend, decided Paris would be a safer place for an eager young Taki to make his name. There was another reason Bill picked the City of Light as my base. A young Austrian princess, Alexandra Schoenburg, and I were tripping the light fantastic in Parisian nightclubs, and I had introduced her to the Buckleys. She had asked Bill for no more Vietnams.

The longtime Paris correspondent for The New Yorker, Janet Flanner, had successfully published an opus called “Paris Was Yesterday,” so Bill thought an article called “Paris Really Was Yesterday” a hopeful upgrade. Well, all I know is I’ve written of this three times at least over these past fifty years, but I can’t resist one more because it illustrates the kindness and total lack of self-worship—to which today’s celebrities are so addicted—of a wonderful writer named James Jones. For any of you young whippersnappers unfamiliar with Jones, he wrote the great bestsellers From Here to Eternity and Some Came Running, both very successful in print and as movies, and many other novels.

“I’ve written of this three times at least over these past fifty years, but I can’t resist one more.”

Jones and family lived in a grand house on the Left Bank in Paris, but rumor had it that he was going back to America. Jones was a close friend of Irwin Shaw, another terrific storyteller, author of bestsellers like The Young Lions, Two Weeks in Another Town, Evening in Byzantium, Lucy Crown, and Rich Man Poor Man, and some extremely good short stories like “Girls in their Summer Dresses,” “The Eighty Yard Run,” and “Tip on a Dead Jockey.” I had skied and played tennis with Irwin, who had encouraged me to write, but I was unable to contact him in order to get an introduction to Jones, who was perfectly placed to tell me why Paris was yesterday.

So, on an evening I’ll never forget, I drove by Rue de Berry, where the old Herald Tribune was based, left Alexandra in the car, dropped a jeton in the wall telephone, and rang James Jones. A gruff male voice answered.

Me: May I speak with Mr. Jones, please?

JJ: I’m Jones.

Me: Mr. Jones, my name is Taki Theodoracopulos and I work for William Buckley’s National Review and would like an interview with you.

JJ: I do not give interviews, sorry.

Me: Not as sorry as I am, sir, as I just got back from Vietnam and have a wife and three children to feed on eight thousand per year. An interview with you would help a lot.

JJ: Jesus, who did you say you work for?

Me: William Buckley’s National Review.

JJ: God help us, you better come around.

And so I did. Jones was wonderful. He had enough of Paris, was not in good health, and was eager to go home. The student revolt of 1968 had changed the carefree glamour days that had lured the chic and the intellectuals since time immemorial; now it was America’s time. He didn’t talk about himself or his work, but mostly about what Paris meant before and now, especially to American expatriates like himself. He was generous and kind, and tried to explain that the Paris of Papa Hemingway and Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald was no more, that he had tried to live the dream and now it was all over. Paris was just another city in trouble.

As I was leaving, his wife came in and we shook hands. She was extremely polite and asked if there was anything they could do for me. Slightly embarrassed, I thanked them profusely and left. I then wrote the story, telexed it to NR, and that was that.

A while later, Time magazine ran a cover story with the headline announcing the death of the novel. Irwin Shaw and the Joneses were dining in a Parisian bistro and discussing the Time article. “Who the hell do they think they are?” said Irwin. “We are storytellers, and we will always tell our stories, and to hell with Time and their bulls—.” “Don’t take it so bad,” said James, “I had a kid in my house the other day, and he makes eight thousand a year working for that fascist rag of Bill Buckley’s. I can’t pronounce his name, it was a long Greek one.” “Funny,” said Irwin, “the only Greek I know who writes is Taki Theodoracopulos.” “Yes, that’s the one,” said James.

Well, said Irwin Shaw, laughing in his drink, “You’ll be pleased to know, dear Jimmy, that next week I will be going on his sailing yacht in the South of France, and I’m rather looking forward to it.” “F—,” yelled James Jones, slamming the table, “I’ve been had by a Fascist.”

Years later, when I was a columnist for The Spectator, Esquire, and the London Sunday Times, I attended a Southampton, L.I., party in honor of Irwin Shaw, who was toward the end—James Jones had died—and Mrs. Jones approached me as I was talking to Irwin, who was laughing about the incident. “You never fooled me for a minute,” said Mrs. Jones. I’m not so sure.

No state in modern times has transitioned from a worker freedom state to one that forces workers to join a union and pay dues to labor bosses. All the momentum across the country in the last two decades has been in the opposite direction: allowing workers the right to choose a union — or not.

That’s why what happened last week in Lansing, Michigan, is such a tragic setback for workers’ rights and for the economic competitiveness of the state where Henry Ford rolled off the assembly lines the iconic Model T some 100 years ago.

Thanks to a corrupt deal between the labor bosses, the Democratic state legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan will no longer be a right-to-work state.

“If the union label is so beneficial to workers, how come you need to force them to join?”

Is Whitmer intentionally TRYING to lose jobs in Michigan? Amazing how short the memories are in Lansing. Starting in the 1970s, Motown, which for decades had been the very symbol of America’s industrial might, collapsed into the symbol of the American “Rust Belt.” Closed-down factories turned Flint and Dearborn into virtual ghost towns.

From the 1970s to the early 2000s, Detroit crumbled into poverty. Whole neighborhoods were bulldozed, drug dealers were seemingly at every street corner, and homes were selling for less than $10,000 as the jobs disappeared and so did the families.

It wasn’t that auto jobs left the country — though some did. The real story was that the factories relocated out of the forced-union states and the moving vans delivered the jobs to South Carolina, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee. Why? Because these were states with pro-business policies that didn’t cede control over to corrupt union brass.

Over the last three decades, right-to-work states created twice the number of jobs as forced-union states. According to Epoch Times reporter Kevin Stocklin, commenting on a 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics report: During the COVID-19 pandemic, “Right-to-work (RTW) states added 1.3 million jobs since the start of the pandemic, while non-RTW states lost 1.1 million jobs.”

That’s one of many reasons why the booming South has taken over first place in terms of industrial production from the rusting Midwest and Northeast.

About a decade ago, Michigan realized it had to change or die. Michigan joined 25 other states and became a right-to-work state. Tens of thousands of workers said goodbye to the unions. Michigan made a comeback and a mini-renaissance followed. It was like the Michigan Wolverines winning the college football national championship.

But throughout this period, the unions were unrelenting in their opposition. They held protests in front of the capital, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, right to work has got to go!” They spent tens of millions of dollars to elect Democrats to get the law overturned.

Whitmer and her cronies also resorted to a false advertising campaign that this was all about “a restoration of workers’ rights.” Just the opposite. Forced unionization degrades workers’ rights because from now on in Michigan, you must join the union, and you must pay dues to the corrupt union bosses. The United Auto Workers union has been plagued with financial fraud and massive pay packages to the union leaders. That doesn’t trickle down to the rank-and-file workers whose paychecks are pilfered to pay for this largesse.

Right-to-work states do not prohibit unions. There are union facilities throughout the South. Every worker chooses for themselves whether to join or not. Many workers — especially the hardest-working and most productive ones — would rather negotiate their own salaries, which in many cases are HIGHER than the rigid union pay scale.

The unions have never answered a simple question: If the union label is so beneficial to workers, how come you need to force them to join?

Many businesses won’t even consider locating a new factory or blue-collar operation in a forced-union state. The auto jobs in America will now accelerate their migration to the Southern states.

Gretchen Whitmer is turning back the clock. Not to the glory days of Michigan, but more probably to the era of the Rust Belt, with closed factory doors and longer unemployment lines. So much for “Hail to the Victors.”

I’m not much in the business of making predictions about the future, because it’s hard enough to understand what’s happening in the present. I don’t forecast the next big thing so much as try to notice the current thing. My goal is to be a historian of the present.

Back in May 2013, I discerned that The New York Times was promoting as the successor to gay marriage—as that triumphant campaign entered its shooting-the-wounded phase—transgenderism. This seemed bizarre at the time, but transgenderism indeed proved to be the New Current Thing, with catastrophic consequences for impressionable and moody young girls.

What’s next? Many on the right argued that it had to be pedophilia, mostly because that grossed them out the most. But all the trends point in the opposite direction: For example, the woke are increasingly disgusted by the thought of a 35-year-old man marrying a 25-year-old woman (presumably, a trend driven by all the single 35-year-old women fearing being permanently left on the shelf by single 35-year-old men).

“The great appeal of polyamory is you can define it to mean whatever you are into.”

What about polygamy? For years, I rejected that as too redolent of the Old Testament and 19th-century Mormonism to catch on.

And let’s face it: Polygamy is pretty impractical.

There are two general types of polygamy practiced in the Old World: serious and nominal. Persian Gulf Arabs take certainty of paternity highly seriously, so multiple wives are not allowed out of the house much to work in case they are tempted to dally with the men they meet on the job and saddle their husband with a bastard. This makes polygamy expensive for the provider, so it’s fairly rare in the Arab world.

Polygamy is much more common in sub-Saharan Africa precisely because it’s rather nominal. A rich, sexy landowner might collect a dozen or even 100 wives over a long life.

But are all the countless children really his? Unlike in Yemen where a harem is kept in purdah, each morning the African gerontocratic polygamist sends his wives out to work in his fields to grow food for their children. Might some of them, feeling neglected by their aging husband, rendezvous with lonely young bachelors in the bushes? Maybe, but, eh, it’s up to his wives to grow the food to feed their kids, so it’s no skin off his nose.

And, under the guise of the nonsexist, nontraditional neologism “polyamory,” groundwork has been laid since about 2015 for polyamorism to be the New Current Thing, with possibly a breakthrough going on in 2024.

The New York Times, for instance, first mentioned “polyamory” in a 1994 article about all the wacky nonsense you can look up on the newfangled internet:

Opening it three times at random, I found the Internet addresses for groups on cryonics (freezing the dead in the hope of eventual cures) and lock-picking, practical Christian life and polyamory, the practice of having many lovers.

For the next two decades, the Times ran about one article per year on polyamory. Then, from 2015, about one per month. Last year, there appeared a record 27 articles about polyamory, and 2024 is on pace for 66.

So, we appear to be approaching liftoff for polyamory as a Thing.

The great appeal of polyamory is you can define it to mean whatever you are into.

Are you a man who wants a harem? Go for it. That’s polyamory.

Are you a woman who enjoys domestic drama, who’d like two suitors fighting for your favors, like in those Mormon vampire Twilight movies? That’s polyamory too!

Are you a tech nerd born without the Jealousy Gene who has felt, ever since you read in ninth grade Robert A. Heinlein’s sci-fi cult novels Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (with their lengthy descriptions of complex marriage arrangements), that it would be irrational to restrict yourself to just one woman in return for her restricting herself to just one man? Well, that’s not “wife-swapping” anymore, like they dismissively called it back in Heinlein’s day, that’s now “polyamory,” which sounds much more respectable.

Are you a person with a three-digit IQ who likes writing down rules and then rewriting them when they don’t work, who likes to tell yourself that you aren’t a slave to your sexual passions like all those underclass rednecks with their “random families”? You are instead an ethical polyamorist.

Are you pathetic and unappealing, and the best you figure you can do is to share a member of the opposite sex? The word “polyamorist” sure sounds better than “loser.”

Are you bisexual, nonbinary, questioning, sluttish, or just plain confused? Well, you can now describe yourself as having a polyamory identity, too.

(Note that, increasingly, exponents of polyamorism describe it not as their preference but as their identity, just as men who like to dress up in women’s clothes used to have a transvestite fetish, which made them figures of fun, but now have a transgender identity, which makes them sacred and entitled to abuse anybody lower on the pyramid of identity-politics privilege.)

Are you a chad from Chad who wants to import your Prophet-approved four wives (and you forget exactly how many of their kids) and get them all on welfare in Lewiston, Maine? Now you can get lumped in with all your fellow polyamorists too! Isn’t that thrilling?

Well…no. In fact, being grouped with the typical white American polyamorist sounds disgusting and demeaning to the average proud African Muslim polygamist.

Ironically, that could be the sticking point preventing the Age of Polyamory from quite taking off.

A couple of years ago, I predicted:

My guess is that some form of polygamy will instead be next, with computer nerds who lack the gene for sexual jealousy demanding “polyamory” and NGOs servicing African refugees insisting that Mr. Nguma and all four Ms. Ngumas and their nineteen children be let in because “love is love,” and if you don’t approve of polygamy you’re racist.

But, so far, the polyamorists—who tend to be extremely white, Scott Alexander-level white—have signally failed to make an alliance with their seeming natural allies, the masses of the Sahel.

But the future remains unwritten.

“Amaani Lyle” sounds like a shady dude who lurks in the darkest corners of Times Square selling cheap knockoff suits.

“Psst…hey, mister, you wanna designer suit for only $30? Check out my man Lyle! He got so many expensive brands, we call him ‘Amaani Lyle.’”

“Shouldn’t that be Armani Lyle?”

“Naw, dude, Amaani suits are even better! Just as long as you don’t expose them to air or move around while wearing ’em.”

But in fact, Amaani Lyle is a failed writer who inadvertently brought about one of the last major defeats for “woke” in Hollywood. Indeed, while her aim had been to restrict free speech and creativity, her defeat set legal precedent that, for almost two decades, has been used to further free speech and creativity—an outcome she regrets to this day.

Unfortunately, that precedent may be in jeopardy. And that would be bad news inside Hollywood, and out.


In my Jan. 9 column, I wrote:

Now every woman in every action film is superhuman. It’s as tedious as it is predictable. And along with overcorrection comes the parade of morons who can’t or won’t see the overcorrection. You’ll still find imbeciles claiming that there’s not enough “female representation” in action films, when in fact, these days, that’s all there is. Overcorrection thrives because the dumbest among us don’t comprehend it.

“Lizzo’s attorneys will be invoking Lyle, so that makes it a case to watch even if you’re not a fan of giant black asses.”

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the dumbest among us. After the unprecedented failure of the new grrrrrl powerrrr superhero film Madame Web—which says a lot because the past year has seen nothing but superhero film failures—last week Hollywood Reporter vegetables Pamela McClintock and James Hibberd blamed the disastrous box office not on female superhero oversaturation, but rather on the absurd notion that Sony “took a risk” and “tried something different” by “making a superhero movie for women and young girls.”

The literal opposite of the reality of the situation.

In fact, the overcorrection I discussed in January extends not just to scripts but to the people who write them. The majority of all TV staff writers and story editors are now female and “BIPOC,” and that’s based on WGA figures from 2020 (it’s likely worse now since the introduction of streaming quotas).

But…those at the networks and studios who are still interested in quality over quotas—and yes, such people do exist, if only for reasons of self-preservation, as woke content keeps losing money—have had, since 2006, one weapon on their side: a legal precedent that’s allowed execs to tell whiny identity hires, “Sorry, my hands are tied!”

It was the only tool the quality-conscious had that could override HR and DEI.

Lyle v. Warner Bros.

The Lyle Case

Amaani Lyle was a hack TV script supervisor who worked on uninspired 1990s “black fare” for Nickelodeon like Kenan & Kel and All That, and lesser-known BET shows like Dig Dat Ass, Dr. Bootycall MD, and Hobart and the Ho (starring Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee). In 1999 she was hired as an assistant to the writers on Friends, then entering its sixth season. She had one job: take notes in the writers’ room as the creatives bandied ideas. She was warned that writers’ rooms are by definition a free-for-all haven away from execs and audiences where writers hash out jokes in a raw, often vulgar manner.

In other words, exactly where you don’t want an angry black woman with a chip on her shoulder.

Lyle took the job and, after four months when it turned out she’d vastly overstated her typing/stenography skills, she was let go. In retaliation, she sued. Her complaint was that having to witness the writers being vulgar constituted a violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) proscriptions regarding workplace harassment (sexual and racial).

A Superior Court judge threw out the suit, an Appeals Court reversed that, and eventually the entire matter ended up before the California Supreme Court. In a unanimous (liberals and conservatives in unison) April 2006 decision, Lyle’s suit was tossed and she was kicked to the curb so hard her weave landed a block away.

Reading the decision now, it’s almost like the justices were trying to forestall today’s epidemic of entertainment-industry speech policing. The gist of the decision, which I’ll paraphrase, was “Nobody be talkin’ to you, bitch.” The crude and vulgar language expressed by the writers was not directed at Lyle, didn’t reference her, didn’t have anything to do with her. She was a passive recorder only; her job was to take notes.

The record discloses that most of the sexually coarse and vulgar language at issue did not involve and was not aimed at plaintiff or other women in the workplace…. The fact that certain discussions did not lead to specific jokes or dialogue airing on the show merely reflected the creative process at work and did not serve to convert such nondirected conduct into harassment because of sex…. FEHA is not a “civility code” and [is] not designed to rid the workplace of vulgarity.

The term “nondirected conduct” comes up frequently in the ruling.

The justices made it clear that FEHA does not apply if (a) complainant hears other people saying things that offend her, (b) the offensive speech is not directed at complainant, and (c) exposure to such speech is reasonably assumed to come with the terms of complainant’s employment.

To show what a different time this was, even though it was only eighteen years ago, 131 entertainment-industry leaders submitted an amicus defending Warners against the angry black woman. Every TV network, every guild, every producer, even leftist stalwarts like Larry David and leftist institutions like the L.A. Times, took the side against a black woman.

Hard to imagine, now.

And they won. Even harder to imagine now.

In a blistering concurrence, Justice Ming Chin (a Pete Wilson appointee, now retired) focused not so much on whether being in the same room as offensive speech not directed at you constitutes a FEHA violation, but on the damage that would have been done to free speech had Lyle prevailed.

This case has very little to do with sexual harassment and very much to do with core First Amendment free speech rights. The writers of the television show, Friends, were engaged in a creative process—writing adult comedy—when the alleged harassing conduct occurred. The First Amendment protects creativity. Lawsuits like this one, directed at restricting the creative process in a workplace whose very business is speech related, present a clear and present danger to fundamental free speech rights.

Chin was on fire:

It’s hard to imagine All in the Family having been successfully written if the writers and others involved in the creative process had to fear lawsuits by employees who claimed to be offended by the process of discovering what worked and did not work, what was funny and what was not funny, that led to the racial and ethnic humor actually used in the show.


The First Amendment protects attempts at creativity that end in failure. In the creative context, free speech is critical while the competing interest—protecting employees involved in the creative process against offensive language and conduct not directed at them—is, in comparison, minimal. Neither plaintiff nor anyone else is required to become part of a creative team. But those who choose to join a creative team should not be allowed to complain that some of the creativity was offensive or that behavior not directed at them was unnecessary to the creative process.

You go, Chin! And for the past eighteen years, the few remaining network and studio execs with integrity have used Chin’s concurrence to put the new generation of Amaani Lyles in their place. Which absolutely kills the original Amaani Lyle, who bitched to Buzzfeed (where else?) in 2021 that she hates her inadvertent legacy of free expression. In the piece, titled “Warner Bros. Keeps Citing a ‘Friends’ Harassment Lawsuit in HR Trainings,” Lyle accused networks of “still scaring the shit out of people with my case.”

“The legacy Lyle’s journey to the California Supreme Court created hasn’t been what she hoped for all those years ago,” Buzzfeed noted, adding that “more than a dozen former employees at Warner Bros. say Lyle’s failed lawsuit has been used for years by managers and in HR trainings to impress on new hires that free speech in creative environments is protected.”

Buzzfeed presents that as a negative! That debt-ridden cancerous tumor can’t shut down quickly enough for me.

The Twist

The Lyle precedent is about to be tested in court, ironically because another black chick is trying to hide behind it. “Behind” being the key term—hippopotamine twerking flautist Lizzo is using Lyle as her defense against the harassment, discrimination, and “hostile workplace” accusations brought against her by several former backup dancers. In assessing Lizzo’s motion to dismiss, L.A. Superior Court Judge Mark Epstein invoked Lyle and pretty much stated that the Lizzo case could be a good test of the precedent:

I’m pushing it to the extreme, but if you have workplace harassment which was equally directed to everybody, irrespective of their gender, it would not be covered by FEHA because there’s no different conduct for one sex as opposed to another sex? Maybe that’s not a fair reading of Lyle.

It isn’t. Lyle isn’t about whether the “harassment” is only directed at one gender or two. It’s about whether it’s directed at the complainant at all. Nondirected conduct. Stated plainly, Lyle means, “passive observers have no standing.” And, as Epstein allowed the bulk of the case against Lizzo to proceed, it remains to be seen if the eventual outcome weakens Lyle or not. What’s clear is that Lizzo’s attorneys will be invoking Lyle, so that makes it a case to watch even if you’re not a fan of giant black asses.

“Passive observers have no standing” is a hugely important precedent in an America in which blacks and trannies constantly claim to have incurred injury from shit that wasn’t directed at them: a white person’s hairstyle or vocabulary, a white person’s tweets or artistic endeavors. A hetero’s use of traditional pronouns; a mom’s belief that women exist. Every day, the aggrieved claim “standing” where they have none. And while Lyle was certainly narrow, in that it dealt with the workplace and FEHA, its larger message needs to be shoved in the faces of whiners across the nation.

“We weren’t talking to you; shut the fuck up and leave if you don’t like it.”

And with women and BIPOCs—professional sentries bred to not mind their business—the new majority among Hollywood writers, Lyle may be the only hope left for at least a few good films and TV shows to be made each year.

Postscript: Amaani Lyle left Hollywood after her humiliating defeat. Guess where she found employment?

The Pentagon!

Hate Hollywood all you like, but there are even woker institutions that will actively recruit the detritus Hollywood flushes.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I find myself looking at a sublime old landscape painting, like those of JMW Turner or Samuel Palmer, I often find myself thinking: “Hmm. Well, it’s quite good, but what this canvas really needs is the image of a big random black man bouncing about in it as if he owns the bloody place.”

Last week on Taki’s I bemoaned the growing practice of dumbing down museums and art galleries, as exemplified by Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum bizarrely inserting images of Pokémon into Vincent’s classic old paintings of sunflowers produced in the 19th-century countryside of the Johto and Kanto Regions. But at least that was just silly, dumbed-down, and commercial (and also very cute). Rather more sinister—and ugly—is the rival curatorial practice of doctoring artworks so that they contain “improving” messages of political import as well. Messages of political import such as “black people have always been here”…even when they really haven’t.

Back in the good old days, Stalinists had the decency only to remove images of unwanted persons from photographs and paintings; now, like Woody Allen in Zelig, they prefer to do the precise opposite and insert them instead. Amazingly, the Great Replacement has now gone so far, it has even begun to affect not only the demographics of the white Western future (if there is one), but also the classic artworks of the white Western past. Prepare to encounter the sad new phenomenon of what I like to call “The Reverse-Trotsky.”

“What is the mentality of someone who goes to a Caspar David Friedrich show primarily in order to look at those works on display which are not actually by Caspar David Friedrich at all?”

Art of Darkness
I have recently lamented elsewhere the ludicrous current attempts of the Hamburg Kunsthalle (i.e., Hamburg Art Gallery) to insert spurious images of climate change into the classic canvases of the German Romantic landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). In particular, his best-known meisterwerk, 1818’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, has been doctored in the Kunsthalle’s new Friedrich retrospective marking 250 years since the great man’s birth, so that it no longer shows a lonely traveler staring out enigmatically across white, blue, and gray mountain-mists, but the selfsame figure gazing in horror upon a radically different hellscape of lurid reds and oranges, as the entire planet burns due to you not having bought a Tesla and started swallowing grasshoppers yet.

At least Friedrich’s paintings did actually have something to do with the environment, however, depicting as they did unspoiled scenes from Nature. But what do they have to do with the “progressive” German government’s other contemporary modish obsession, namely, that of mass-importing ever-greater numbers of Dakarais to replace all the Dieters? About as much as the paintings of Vincent van Gogh have to do with Pokémon.

As Friedrich was born a full quarter of a millennium ago, he lived in a nation whose inhabitants were every bit as white as those of Pilsbury Dough-Land, so, quite naturally, neglected to paint any Africans frolicking vibrantly within his canvases. This, apparently, was highly racist and led directly to the birth of German Nazism.

Here are the words of the (probably white) author of the Hamburg Kunsthalle’s online press kit for the exhibition:

The tension between the gradual destruction of the environment and a yearning for untouched Nature has been an unbroken force from the Romantic age down to our own times. In Friedrich’s day, however, the Romantic perception of Nature carried national connotations, whereas today’s artists approach the natural world and climate change from a global perspective. In this spirit, the exhibition embraces recent work devoted to the darker sides and absences [the key word here] in Romantic art and later reactions to it. Colonialism and its impact on people and natural resources are as much a theme here as the Western, hegemonial concept of Nature and its expressions in art.

So, Caspar David Friedrich’s works are highly racist—they have to be, they were created by a dead white male, and the prevailing narrative that all such inferior beings were genocidal monsters just like that similar dead white male watercolorist Herr A. Hitler has at all costs to be maintained.

Yet, awkwardly, Caspar mostly just painted nice pictures of people looking at the moon at night and stuff, rather than, say, black African babies being burned alive in the town square of central Dusseldorf for the local Nordic children to laugh at whilst roasting (white) marshmallows on big sticks above their sizzling corpses. Therefore, rather than condemn Friedrich’s artworks for what is inside them, the alternative, quite deranged, tack has to be taken to condemn them for what is not inside them instead, namely Nigerians—hence that pseudish talk of significant “absences in Romantic art” on the Kunsthalle’s website. Caucasians also suffer equally from “absences in Yoruba statuary,” I suppose, but you don’t hear any white Marxist curators from Hamburg complaining about that.

Black Still Lives Matter
A characteristic illustration of the pseudo-critical woke word-vomit such actions subsequently engendered can be found in a January review of the Kunsthalle’s exhibition on the leading art website Frieze, written by a Very Intellectual black lady named Edna Bonhomme.

Entitled “A Major Caspar David Friedrich Show Brings the Underserved [i.e., Africans] in from the Cold,” Bonhomme opens by effusing about how, when she slithered into the exhibition—which was ostensibly supposed to be a big solo show about Friedrich himself, remember, not about Edna Bonhomme—“it was not his mist-furled mountains that caught my eye but the work of another [artist] in which I saw a version of myself reflected.” Translation: My favorite picture was the one of an African that looked a bit like me.

If all you wanted to see was “a version of myself reflected,” Edna, shouldn’t you have gone to a Hall of Mirrors, not a Hall of Art? You’d think she was writing for Der Spiegel, not Frieze (a little joke for German-speakers, there).

What is the mentality of someone who goes to a Caspar David Friedrich show primarily in order to look at those works on display which are not actually by Caspar David Friedrich at all? The mentality of Edna Bonhomme, evidently.

Bolt-On Wanderers
The four-meter-tall image Bonhomme enjoyed gazing into like a big fat wank-mirror dominates one of the main rooms supposedly devoted to showcasing Friedrich’s work, standing at its center as if to say, “Your world revolves around ME now, white people!” because, increasingly, this is now becoming the actual case, as a matter of deliberate government policy.

This “painting” actually appears to be some sort of digital display on a multiscreened video-cube device, presumably produced by twiddling on-screen sliders around on Photoshop. Kehinde Wiley, the massive knob-manipulator in question, is a black U.S. painter best known for his 2018 portrait of Barack Obama and his Zelig-like works depicting “a panoply of melanin-rich people in art-historical contexts” where they did not rightfully belong, on account of the awkward fact that Kanye West was never really there helping Napoleon Crossing the Alps in the first place.

This process of deliberate historical falsification is continued in Wiley’s digital Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog pastiche, 2021’s The Prelude (Babacar Mané), which shows former Liverpool FC forward Sadio Man’s twin brother as a bolt-on substitute for Friedrich’s original sickeningly white wanderer perched alone upon the mountaintop—or, as Bonhomme puts it, Wiley has “provocatively replaced [yes indeed!] the iconic (white) explorer with a Black male figure adorned with cornrows” instead.

Elsewhere on the Prelude video-cube-thing, another of Friedrich’s best-loved paintings, 1818’s Chalk Cliffs on Rügen, has been similarly invaded from the sea by a pair of dinghy-sailing migrants of less-than-chalky complexion. Bonhomme continues, eulogizing how this new, racially defaced image:

draws the viewer in to an ecstatic event: Black people frolicking in a glacial fjord, smiling while surrounded by a thicket of snow…. In Prelude, Black people’s presence in a tundra-like environment is an unbounded promise of freedom and joy. Serenity on display. What it reveals is a radical contingency, one that white hegemony would not care to admit: Black people, when given the chance to exist, are majestic.

What does she mean, “when given the chance to exist”? Black people don’t have to apply to a Federal Ontology Department in order to have their presence within Germany officially confirmed by State-funded public sector Cartesians, you know. German may be the language Kafka wrote in, but even they don’t go that far yet.

The Remaster Race
Apparently, the narrative here is that the very European countryside itself is an inherently racist space within which, historically, black people were systemically unwelcome and excluded. The fact that Friedrich’s paintings, unlike Wiley’s (which just exclude white people—and, upon this evidence, Asians and Arabs too, come to think of it) exclude black people “proves” it. “Over the past several years, communities of color have asked if they too can cherish the Black Forest,” Bonhomme claims. Well, why not? Pretty soon they’ll be saying it was named after them, and no whites should be allowed in there anymore at all, like the Australian Abos did with Uluru.

The whole point of the German Romantic movement of men like Friedrich, Goethe, and Novalis was to erase the distance between oneself and Nature, to enter into it and let it enter into you, to see the world reflected within yourself, and yourself reflected within the world. Ironically, these self-obsessed artists, activists, gallerists, critics, and campaigners have taken this process to its logical extreme: systematically effacing and distorting the genuine artistic past and replacing it wholesale with a complete load of lying shit about global warming and the “majesty” of a specific Far-Left minoritarian subset of narcissistic black people.

The Kunsthalle Kunts claim this whole process is morally necessary because…blah, blah, blah, Germany is the home of Nazism…rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, Hitler was an amateur painter himself (a much better one than Kehinde Wiley, by the way, and Adolf didn’t even own a computer), who loved Friedrich, and facilitated displays of his work during the 1930s, somehow causing the Holocaust, probably…yadda yadda yadda, by portraying the German landscape in the Romantic, Kenyan-free fashion he once did, Friedrich helped unify the previously balkanized German people into one coherent political whole, thereby leading to an upsurge in hateful nationalism which ultimately led to the rise of fascism…yakkety yakkety yak…when you really think about it, Caspar David Friedrich caused WWII, told the Gestapo Anne Frank was hiding in the attic, and shot Martin Luther King and lynched Emmett Till to boot…blah, blah blah…drone on the professionally self-hating curators, endlessly, to anyone historically retarded enough to actually listen.

Western culture is now utterly dead, and its supposed “guardians” are the ones most guilty of the crime—they did it in the art gallery, with a pipe made from some seriously leaden prose. But the whole self-loathing exercise is thoroughly pointless. Don’t these philistines realize that, by definition, the human figures within any painting are already highly pigmented in their nature anyway?

The Week’s Most Vile, Worthwhile, and Bissextile Headlines

According to The New York Times, there’s a growing movement of American blacks relocating to Africa.

The black participants are calling it “Blaxit.”

Fast-food workers, subway riders, Asian pedestrians, and Super Bowl parade enthusiasts are calling it “answered prayers.”

The Times profiles Jes’ka Washington, who relocated from Houston to Rwanda because being black in America “exhausted” her.

Indeed, those brawls over broken shake machines are hard on the back, and the side-to-side head bobbing while declaring “uh-uh-uh, oh no you dih’nt” is hell on the neck. Also, being hired without having skill and being unfireable once hired can take the wind out of anyone!

Ashley Cleveland moved from Atlanta to South Africa because she “wanted to be around black people.”

She couldn’t find black people in Atlanta? The article doesn’t mention that she’s blind.

Unfortunately, the black expats are encountering unforeseen inconveniences. First, many African nations are in “food crisis.” For a people accustomed to fast, hot, and plentiful food or else, how do you punch an entire nation for not having hot fries? Indeed, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Central African Republic, and Nigeria don’t have a single McDonald’s. In South Africa they have something called “slap chips,” but they’re “cooked at a lower temperature and served soft and floppy instead of fried and crispy.”

Oh boy…there’s gonna be trouble! At least in SA it’s even more legal to kill a white than in the U.S.

Washington told the Times that her biggest surprise was the absence of weave shops. “They just give you a machete and tell you to scalp a Tutsi. Best quality weaves I ever got!”

Don’t you just hate it when people who should be friends can’t get along?

Elon Musk has so much in common with Scotland’s Punjabi-in-Chief Humza Yousaf. They’re both very open to the idea that the Jews are our misfortune, and they allow anti-Semitism to flourish in their domain. Yet these two should-be buds are feuding on Twitter over what Musk claims is antiwhiteness on the part of Yousaf (a.k.a. Gavin McImam). And sure, Yousaf’s as antiwhite as they come, but dammit he protects the nation from Jews, because if they let in the Jews with their internationalist open-borders obsession, next thing you know the entire nation might be flooded with Third World immigrants!

“These days Scotland really blows…and not just bagpipes.”

Oh, wait…that’s happening now. In Scotland and Ireland, practically Jew-free nations run by JubJubs.

But fear not: The Scots will never abandon their psychotic hatred of Israel, even though it was Muslims who tried to blow the Glasgow airport to kingdom come.

Scotland may soon go brown, and it may allow its womenfolk to be raped by trannies, but at least Gaza will be free!

These days Scotland really blows…and not just bagpipes.

But as Scots make an ass of themselves at home, in the U.S., one Scotsman made his ass a home…to a variety of objects. In Harris County, Texas, 6-foot-tall caber-tosser Michael Vest spent the week going antiquing while wearing a manly kilt with nothin’ beneath. He visited a dozen shops, randomly inserting items up his rectum before returning them to the shelf.

The store owners contacted police. Though considering the type of gentleman likely to own an antique shop, it’s surprising they didn’t invite Vest to dinner.

The owners claimed they had to “destroy” the soiled objects, though more than likely they were sold at an inflated price to Pete Buttigieg.

Vest was released on $100 bond. And if you’re wondering why the bond was so low in “law & order” Texas, well, let’s just say that some Texans love things that are “deep in the heart,” while others prefer things that are deep in…somewhere else.

[In Yakov Smirnoff voice] “In America, BEANS bake YOU!”

Mexican immigrants are a huge target for the “gender reveal party” industry, because in their simplicity they still haven’t accepted Western Man’s “scientific truth” that you can’t tell a baby’s gender at birth because its soul might’ve been born into the wrong body (those ignorant wetbacks!), and also because Mexicans pop out babies with enough rapidity to keep any industry in the black (or brown, as it were).

Of course, Mexican immigrant gender reveal parties are a little different—instead of the traditional blue for boy/pink for girl dynamic, the “reveal” consists of white or green, which lets the parents know if the child will install drywall or mow lawns.

Last week Refugio Jimenez and his wife Angelina were sentenced for starting the 22,000-acre El Dorado fire in California in 2020. The fire killed one fireman and burned five homes. It began when Refugio set off a pyrotechnic gender reveal balloon in dry brush on a scorching September day.

There’s that immigrant IQ we’re told we need more of!

The partygoers should’ve known something was wrong when the color that exploded from the device was burnt lumber.

Refugio was sentenced to a year behind bars, and lest you think that’s too lenient, in 2018 Pacific Gas & Electric cremated a whopping 84 Californians in the devastating Camp Fire. 84 people baked alive, and not one person was ever held responsible, even though PG&E was found guilty of 84 counts of manslaughter. The board members evaded jail because, in the words of Bloomberg, “PG&E dodged 90 years in jail for fire because it’s not a person.”

Funny how the Mitt Romney types love saying “a corporation is a person,” until that “person” murders 84 people.

Thankfully, by this time next year Americans will never again have to say “Mitt Romney is a senator.”

And speaking of California…

The California Department of Transportation—Caltrans—maintains the state’s highways. And if you need proof of the agency’s competence, every one of its female directors has a porn name: Marcie Kahbody, Ann Fox, Shalinee Hunter.

Even its male director, Aaron Ochoco, sounds like a guy with a profile in an autoerotic asphyxiation chatroom.

Like all government agencies in blue states, Caltrans’ No. 1 goal is diversity. The org’s website promotes its Race & Equity Action Plan.

Yes, “REAP.”

And thanks to Caltrans’ incompetence, last week one Californian nearly met the Reaper.

The Bay Area’s Marco Vailetti was driving his truck on the lower level of the state-owned Richmond–San Rafael Bridge when a piece of concrete fell off the upper deck and went right through his windshield, missing his head by an inch.

When Vailetti submitted a claim for damages, Caltrans informed him that, per new policy, drivers have to have “prior notice” of the hazard and address it to Caltrans before the accident occurs.

You read that right (you can hear a Caltrans spokesman say it here). A driver has to know that debris will hit his car, he has to notify Caltrans of the fact that debris will hit his car, and then he has to go get hit by the debris.

Then can he sue.

So in California only psychics can get compensated by Caltrans.

It’s almost like Caltrans is purposely insuring that it’ll never have to pay out as its diversity-built structures collapse.

Still, there may be a wrinkle in the plan: The average diversity hires are so low-IQ, they may be the exact type of morons to notice a hazard, report it, and then stand under it anyway.

“I seen it was fallin’ so I stood underneaf.”

“Congratulations, Lamarr! Here’s $5,000,000! We hope the crushed skull hasn’t altered your life.”

“Actually, doctor said considerin’ how dumb I already wuz, I could only git smarter.”

And since we’re on a roll in the Golden State, let’s stay there for one last story.

In 1992, California passed a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders. At the time, the law was very controversial among motorcyclists and libertarians.

Yes, California used to have libertarians. But then the state legalized pot, so for the past decade the libertarians have been at home on their couches chortling like Beavis and Butt-Head.

“A-huh-huh-huh…‘Meeses’…a-huh-huh-huh…he was mice.”

“Yeah, huh-huh-huh…Ludwig…a mouse in a wig…huh-huh-huh.”

In fact, the helmet law reduced motorcycle fatalities in the state by 38 percent, and—civil liberties aside—with the amount of uninsured illegals on the roads today whose brain injuries would be a taxpayer burden, the law does kinda make sense.

BTW, you can always tell a brain-injured Mexican: He blows gang members and stabs leaves.

The helmet law applies to everyone, even blacks and trannies. And the notion of a law that even blacks and trannies have to follow is, well, impressive.

Unfortunately, that might change. California’s Sikhs—there are about 500,000 of them in the state—are demanding an exemption because of their turbans. A bill has been introduced in Sacramento (by a Hispanic lawmaker who mistook Sikhs for Mexican swamis) that would allow Sikhs to ride helmet-free.

A simpler solution: There’s no religious regulation regarding what material a Sikh turban can be made from. Why not manufacture crash-resistant turbans? There’s also no prohibitions on turban size. Look at this jerk—he could go headfirst through a concrete wall without injury.

On the bright side, most Sikhs in CA are employed, so a motorSikhlist would likely be able to pay for his own care should he get bonked on the temple and see Amrit-stars. The danger is that other identity groups, like blacks with afros, may start demanding the same exemption.

California cannot risk certain demographics getting even more brain-damaged.

How did this nation ever get to the point where a man once considered nothing more than a tacky, loud, nouveau-riche liberal NYC real estate mogul/celebrity, with an orange complexion and a crazy pompadour/combover, would be transmogrified into the ultimate scapegoat for the failings, crimes, and corruption that have plagued our government and society since at least the end of the Second World War; the locus and symbol of the most unbridled hatred by the very same global elite that, in point of fact, are guilty of those sins and that he once perhaps was a part of? If I had to venture a guess, I’d say in nearly the same manner as “just some guy in golf pants” (as he once described how the elites tagged him) who at one time happened to have the largest sustained radio audience in history.

Last week marked the third anniversary of Rush Limbaugh passing away after a yearlong battle with terminal lung cancer. In a career that spanned nearly a third of a century, Limbaugh become far and away the most listened-to talk radio host in broadcast history. The conventional wisdom, which is something that Limbaugh defied on a daily basis, was that he had some sort of Svengali-like appeal over masses of mostly white, male, Bible-thumping bumpkins from flyover country by telling them what to think. In point of fact, it was just the opposite. Limbaugh’s success was being able to articulate what a vast swathe of the nation felt—a well-founded angst about the direction of the country especially since the beginning of the Clinton years and for sure with everything in the wake of the 9/11/01 attacks.

“There couldn’t have been a Donald Trump without a Rush Limbaugh to pave the way.”

He, more than any other political and cultural leader, held both a moral high ground and most crucially a bully pulpit that gave voice to a true silent majority. In examining the life and times of Limbaugh, as well as the gigantic sword of Damocles above Donald Trump’s head, and collectively whatever is left of the United States as we knew or imagined it, a bit of reflection on how we got here, or to coin a phrase, how we—or at least I—got “woke” to the world as it is, is in order.

Even growing up and coming of age in the ’60s and then the post-Vietnam and Watergate ’70s, as I entered my young adulthood somewhat the hard-bitten cynic, I still believed, or allowed myself to believe, that the American political system mostly worked. That despite policy differences, even major and sometimes bitter ones, both Democrats and Republicans respected the rule of law, tradition, comity, the will of the voters, and above all had a love of country that transcended party loyalties. I mean, who didn’t cheer the tall ships in New York Harbor during the Bicentennial?

America for the past eighty years is something like what Henry Gondorff told a young Johnny Hooker in The Sting: “You gotta keep his con even after you take his money. He can’t know you took him.”

Except now, thanks in no small part to Rush Limbaugh and as has been confirmed by the mere candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump, you’d have to have the mental acuity of a demented puppet president to not realize that we’ve been taken. Big-time.

Talk radio had a reputation as the domain of insomniac, paranoid conspiracy nutters who, existing only on the fringe elements of acceptable society, believed that a cabal of government intelligence agencies and operatives was covering up the existence of extraterrestrials, but more seriously, covertly directing everything from our foreign policy to even spying on American citizens on our own soil (oh, wait a minute!). The reason it had this reputation was because it was given it by a media-propaganda complex that had absolute control over the narrative. What was news, what wasn’t news, and what was “the right side of history.” Howard Stern rising to national fame on the basis of “lesbian dial-a-date” certainly did nothing to raise consciousness, let alone elevate the discourse.

It’s no small wonder that Walter Cronkite was once revered as “the most trusted man in America.” Indeed, mainstream journalism was viewed for the longest time by a majority of the citizenry as among the most respected professions. Today, a most recent TIPP poll from this past summer shows trust in the media to be at an all-time low. Nearly two-thirds of respondents have ZERO trust in traditional media. And that lack of trust even cuts across party and ideological lines.

That did not happen overnight, nor without good reason. When Ronald Reagan did away with the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” it allowed talk radio to absolutely explode unhindered onto the scene as a true alternate and massive source of news and information that ran counter to the narrative of what the mainstream media was pumping out on the nightly news. No longer did the big three networks, The New York Times, The Washington Post, nor the Associated Press have a monopoly on what would be reported and how it would be reported. That was 1987. Rush Limbaugh went national a year later, and the rest is history—a history that revealed the disgusting travesty of the Clarence Thomas “high-tech lynching” and what race really was about in America, through the seamy, scandal-plagued Clinton years and climaxing with the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 and the travesty of how George W. Bush helped the left both whitewash Islam and then metastasize a feral surveillance apparatus on the American people that exists to this very day.

In the last year of his life, Rush Limbaugh was asked by a caller what he considered to be his greatest accomplishment. In part, he responded:

I’ll tell you something else, as far as achievements and so forth. I’m watching this coronavirus thing, and even the media that you would think would be on whatever we would call “our side,” they’ve lost it too. To them, this is nothing more than a story, and they can’t wait. I mean, everybody is waiting for the next worst headline, the next worst scenario, the next worst possibility. They can’t wait for it and they can’t wait to report it, and they can’t wait to talk about it. And that’s not me.

I resent this. I could never be a journalist. And these people, they’re a pack now. And I don’t care what network you’re talking about or website—there might be some exceptions to websites. Can’t read ’em all, don’t know. But you can’t turn on TV without seeing the same thing on any network. It doesn’t matter what network it is during the news coverage portion. Not so much the opinion programs and prime time. But the news coverage portion.

I mean, it’s now conventional wisdom that the country’s gonna shut down. It’s conventional wisdom that 150 million people are gonna get infected. It’s conventional wisdom that this is deadly, it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened, oh my God. It’s horrible. It’s worse. And nobody’s ever had it as bad or worse. And everybody gets caught up in it. As I watch the media, I don’t see one doubting Thomas. I don’t know how you do that.

I don’t know how you become a member of the pack. Why would anybody want to become a member of the pack that is no different from anybody else? But that’s what happens with this stuff. And that, I think, is part and parcel, one of the ingredients of journalism.

That was on March 13, 2020, literally just as the ChiCom/Anthony Fauci-created COVID-19 was just starting to swamp us. Or as Limbaugh seems to have clearly understood, the artificially generated fear of it. We now know, or at least we should know, that it was all one massive lie; from its origins, to its lethality, to the at-best uselessness to at-worst lethality of the vaccines. Yet anyone who back then stepped up and claimed the mantle of a “doubting Thomas” faced destruction.

America, the land of the First Amendment, has now openly toyed with the notion of “Disinformation Governance Boards,” a fancy name for what is essentially a Ministry of Truth. Universities that were supposed to be bastions of the free exchange of diverse viewpoints now silence anyone and anything even a micrometer to the right of Leon Trotsky. Our government is working hand in hand with Big Tech to have them act as censors for ideas, opinions, and facts that run contra to the narrative that they are putting out as truth, to be accepted blindly and unquestioningly without examination or critical review.

The only reason this is happening is because they no longer have a monopoly on the dissemination of information. Lacking that, as everything they have done to this country that has utterly collapsed our economy, erased our border, endangered our citizens at home, and threatened our national security abroad nearly to the point of a global conflict, the junta has no compunction about completely ignoring even the most basic red lines of ethics, morality, and the rule of law to silence all critique and squash all political opposition.

It’s academic as to whether or not we would have come to this point without the coming of alternative media to question the narrative, or what Limbaugh described as “the daily soap opera.” If nothing else, the mere presence of Rush Limbaugh and then Donald Trump has forced the junta to reveal itself for what it is, not for what their erstwhile media gatekeepers used to be able to bamboozle the public with ease. Trump’s greatest achievement as president isn’t actually what he achieved policy-wise (and they were some of the most incredible achievements ever); it was his mere presence as an oppositional force to the hypocrisy and corruption of the past eighty years that caused the masks and illusions of an America that no longer exists to drop. And there couldn’t have been a Donald Trump without a Rush Limbaugh to pave the way.

Mega dittos owed and mega dittos given.

Last week, I gave a talk to my local historical society about a distinguished lady who lived locally and died sixty years ago this year. After my talk, a middle-aged gentleman—by far the youngest in the audience—came up to me and said something very revealing, which, of course, I shall leave to the end, as the writer of murder mysteries leaves the solution to the mystery to the last few pages.

The talk was about a lady called Frances Pitt, who was born in 1888. Her father was a solicitor and farmer, and in the highly enclosed provincial society of the day counted as a notable. He lived in a large house in the midst of his acres, and his wife was counted as a clever and economical domestic manager because she had only four domestic servants.

Frances Pitt was never sent to school, though she had a private tutor. School lessons were not her interest, however; and from a very early age what captured her imagination was the wildlife by which she was surrounded. In those days, it was much richer and more plentiful than it is today. The decline in wildlife in Britain has been very startling: For example, judging by what she later wrote in one of her books, there were greater numbers of starlings (a common bird, even in my childhood in London) in the vicinity of her house than in the whole of the country today.

“If we cannot honor anyone from the past, eventually our civilization will collapse.”

Miss Pitt became one of the most prolific and popular writers about natural history in Britain from the 1920s to the 1950s. She wrote many books and was also a prolific journalist; she wrote a weekly column about natural history in the London Evening News for 35 years.

She was more interested in animals than in people and lavished most of her capacity for affection on them. She lived with her parents until they died, in 1944 and 1949, and during their lives turned their house into what must have appeared like a menagerie. Apart from the normal domestic and farm animals such as horses, cattle, dogs, and cats, she kept (at various times) otters, badgers, foxes, rats, voles, squirrels, ravens, macaws, peacocks, and no doubt others. She called her parents “the powers that be,” but I suspect that she was the main power in their very large house. After her parents’ death, she lived with a lady companion.

She was a very close observer of all the creatures she kept and made many of them the subject of charming books such as Moses, My Otter and My Squirrels (among many others). But she was also a devoted observer of animals in the wild and spent many days in uncomfortable conditions on remote northern islands watching seabirds, for example. She was a pioneer of wildlife photography in Britain at a time when catching animals in movement photographically was far more difficult than it is now.

But she was also a true amateur scientist. Her papers were published in such journals as the Journal of Genetics and Nature, publication in the latter still being the ambition of thousands of scientists worldwide. She was made a Fellow of the Linnean Society and of the Zoological Society of London (as was Charles Darwin), the former being the oldest society devoted to the study of natural history in the world.

She was clearly formidable, I suspect believing herself born to command. When she decided to visit Iceland and Scandinavia, she shipped her car there without the slightest recognition that this was an unusual, not to say extraordinary, thing to do. It was the kind of thing “one did,” as a matter of course. She was not at all interested in politics and managed to visit Hungary in 1938 and Kenya in 1957 without mentioning politics in her sketchy account of her visits. In Hungary, for example, she was more interested in the wild geese on the great Hungarian plain than in the political situation in Central Europe, which at the time was not without significance, not only for Central Europe but for the world.

I think her book Animal Mind would bear reprinting. It is an accessible but intellectually rigorous examination of such phenomena as animal rage and revenge, playfulness, migration, nesting, herding, and so forth. Even if her conclusions have in some cases been superseded, one still appreciates the clarity of her thought and writing. She debunks, for example, the idea of telepathy among thousands of birds to account for their seeming ability to change direction all at once, a theory that was popular, and taken seriously, in her day.

At the end of my talk, I suggested that the town should erect a plaque to her memory. (I should add that our town, though ancient, is not one in which droves of distinguished people have made their home. We still have far more pubs than writers.)

It was to this suggestion that the middle-aged man responded (in private). He and others, he said, had had the same thought, but they had met with strong opposition. This was because Frances Pitt, in addition to her other activities, had been a master of the local hunt—the fox hunt, that is. And since so many people consider this to have been a cruel sport (it has now been outlawed), they also consider that Frances Pitt deserved no memorialization. For them, her participation in fox-hunting more than canceled out her positive achievements.

I should point out that in her time fox-hunting was accepted locally as perfectly normal and even laudable. It was supposed to keep the number of foxes down at a time when chickens were not yet farmed in batteries. (Talk about cruelty!) The meeting of the hunt was a great social occasion for the whole town, in which almost everyone, hunter or not, took joyful part.

The miserable attitude of the local Savonarolas is surely an indication of how far has gone the habit of requiring all past figures to have complied throughout their lives with our current moral outlook before we honor them in any way. This means, of course, that we cannot honor anyone from the past, and if we cannot honor anyone from the past, eventually our civilization will collapse—as the Savonarolas and Robespierres of our town probably wish, seeing in it nothing but its defects, the better to feel morally superior. It does not occur to them that their own outlook might one day (possibly the day after tomorrow) be superseded.

That this destructive and joyless attitude should have reached our small and insignificant town is testimony to the thoroughness with which the ideological termites have done their work. Personally, I blame the disastrous expansion of tertiary education for this—but that, as Mrs Hawksbee said, is another question.

Theodore Dalrymple’s latest book is Ramses: A Memoir, published by New English Review.

After House Republicans demanded a border bill in exchange for Ukraine funding, guess which one was intentionally tanked? Pro-open-borders Republicans like Sens. Mitch McConnell, James Lankford and Lindsey Graham teamed up with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to offer a pretend “border security” bill that would only make things worse.

Once again voters are being told, Yeah sorry, something came up and we couldn’t get to the border, but if you’ll just give us $60 billion for Ukraine today, we’ll definitely get to your issue tomorrow …

By now, protecting our border has lost out to defending every other country’s border so many times that we currently have 750 military bases around the world. There are only 195 countries in the world.

“True sophisticates obsess over what’s happening in Burkina Faso.”

But as long as we have troops spread out across the globe, why not stick our nose into every inter-regional bar fight? Since 2001, the U.S. military has been involved in combat in at least 25 countries. Name five. That’s how important these military interventions are to the average American.

We’re always told that there’s no reason we can’t wage pointless wars abroad, and protect our border at the same time. They’re not mutually exclusive! But somehow they always are.

First of all, we don’t have unlimited taxpayer dollars to spend on national security. Merely to maintain those 750 bases costs us more than $130 billion annually, to say nothing of the hundreds of billions of dollars required to build them in the first place.

By contrast, the absolute highest possible cost of a border wall — as calculated by people adamantly opposed to a wall — is $25 billion.

Second, why did the ruling class freak out when Gov. Ron DeSantis said he cared more about our border than Ukraine’s border if defending both isn’t mutually exclusive? Can’t he have a preference?

The reason is, the warmongers know they need to keep the words “our border” as far as possible from the word, “Ukraine.” Otherwise voters might start making unreasonable demands about protecting our country.

But when you give politicians a choice between:

— Spending hundreds of billions of dollars on bases in Afghanistan so our military can paint George Floyd murals 20 years after we’d already won that war;


— Building a wall on our border;

… 100% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans choose the George Floyd murals.

At least liberals I can understand. They hate our country, so depleting the U.S. military on worthless missions abroad dovetails perfectly with allowing a full-on invasion at our border. If America faced any real enemies abroad, I promise you, liberals would be stone-cold pacifists.

Also, it’s so Walmart-y to care about your own country. True sophisticates obsess over what’s happening in Burkina Faso. (Yes, of course we have a military base there. How else do you think we got up to 750 bases?)

But conservative war hawks are perplexing. While liberals think we’re still at war with the USSR — Donald Trump is colluding with the enemy! — warmonger conservatives seem to think it’s 1941 and every world leader is Hitler.

Or maybe their war fever is just a cover for flinging open our borders: Sell out your country on immigration, while cosplaying Gen. George Patton.

Just as gun rights and pro-life go together, putting U.S. troops all over the world while leaving our country unprotected go hand-in-hand, too. President George W. Bush, his father and brother, Sens. Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, and Ambassador Nikki Haley all support the entire third world moving here. Curiously, they also all support nonstop wars. Ditto the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. (To be fair, after his thumping by Trump, Rubio seems to have gotten religious on immigration.)

The late Sen. John McCain demonstrated his enthusiasm for starting wars by singing “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.” That was in between his repeated attempts to pass an amnesty for illegals. Only when McCain ran for president did he grudgingly allow, “I’ll build the g-damned fence if they want it.” (Yes, voters have been asking for a wall forever. Trump isn’t the first politician to betray us.)

Suzy Warmonger Haley wants to wage war on three continents at once, but is so chary of reminding voters about the border that she blames China for something that is entirely Mexico’s fault: the fentanyl flooding our country.

What’s the calculation on that?

— Mexico: 0 miles away and responsible for every molecule of fentanyl in the U.S.

— China: 7,000 miles away and isn’t even sending fentanyl precursor chemicals to Mexico anymore.

Yes, definitely blame China. True, hundreds of thousands of Americans will continue dying of drug overdoses and destroying our cities in the process, but Nikki will get another foreign war! And that will give her husband more social work to perform in countries other than ours, while she gets to play the brave military wife at home.

Haley keeps falsely telling voters that her husband has gone to “war,” is “protecting our family and our freedom,” and has “the courage to fight for our country.” In fact, her husband has never gone to war, he’s not protecting our freedom and he hasn’t had to fight for our country.

A decade after we invaded Afghanistan and vaporized the Taliban, Michael Haley was sent there to teach Afghans to grow crops other than opium — which failed, as any half-wit knew it would. Currently, he’s in Djibouti, holding bazaars and Ramadan dinners for the locals.

I wouldn’t mention it — it’s not his fault that the Department of Defense decided to take the best fighting force in the world and turn it into a bunch of social workers — except that Haley keeps acting like she’s Martha Washington bringing food and medicine to the troops.

Law-abiding citizens in Chicago face more risk of death on a daily basis than Michael Haley. But they’re just Americans, so who cares?