Links for 7-6-2015

  • Ben Domenech and Robert Tracinski trace the history of American culture wars and predict an imminent backlash:

    History teaches us two clear lessons about the ebb and flow of the Culture War: first, that whichever side believes it is winning will tend to overreach, pushing too far, too fast, and in the process alienating the public. The second is that the American people tend to oppose whoever they see as the aggressor in the Culture Wars—whoever they see as trying to intrusively impose their values on other people and bullying everyone who disagrees.


    If history repeats itself, it is good news for traditional Americans and bad news for the Left, which has taken on the role of Grand Inquisitor so rapidly that overnight civil liberties have become a Republican issue. Slowly but surely, the American Right is adopting the role of the cultural insurgent standing up for the freedom of the little guy. They crowdfund the pizza shop, baker, and photographer; they rebel against the establishment in the gaming media and at sci-fi conventions; they buy their chicken sandwiches in droves. The latest acronym that came out of the Sad Puppies movement says it all. They describe their opponents as CHORFs: cliquish, holier-than-thou, obnoxious, reactionary, fascists. This is their description of the cultural Left.

    Tom Nichols declares that the cultural Left is totalitarian:

    It is not enough for these Americans to say: “I have had my day in court and prevailed.” In effect, they now add: “You do not have the right to hold a different opinion, even if you lose in the public arena. You may not hold on to your belief as a minority view, or even as a private thought. And if you persist and still disagree, I will attack you without quarter and set others on you to deprive you of your status in your profession, of your standing in your community, and even of your livelihood.”

    This attitude promises social warfare without end, because there is no peace to be had until the opposing side offers a sincere and unconditional surrender. It means that the people on the Left taking bakers to court, de-Africanizing Justice Thomas, and making [Cathy] Young an accomplice to rape will not be satisfied with winning. For the new totalitarians, prevailing in the courts or at the ballot boxes isn’t enough if there’s still a suspicion that anyone, anywhere, might still be committing thoughtcrime.

  • Francisco Sanchez, the illegal immigrant who shot Kate Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco, told a local TV station that he traveled to San Francisco because it’s a sanctuary city, where he wouldn’t be deported to Mexico again.

  • David French relates the account of another Wisconsin family targeted by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for their political beliefs as part of a secret John Doe investigation. Police raided the family’s house while only their 16 year old son was at home. Combined with the account of Cindy Archer, French thinks a federal criminal investigation is warranted: “The more facts that emerge about John Doe, the more it looks like a criminal conspiracy to deprive innocent Americans of their most basic civil rights and civil liberties. Civil lawsuits are necessary and appropriate, but it’s past time for a federal criminal investigation. If a conservative prosecutor had taken the same actions against activist liberals, would the Obama Justice Department sit on its hands?”

  • Richard Epstein argues that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrived at the right conclusion in Horne v. Department of Agriculture (the raisin takings case) but his legal reasoning was muddled and he pointedly failed to address the Supreme Court’s previous mistakes in this area.

  • President Obama attended meetings at the Pentagon regarding the fight against ISIS and afterward informed the press, “Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas.” Iowahawk’s response:

  • An Iraqi fighter jet accidentally bombed Baghdad, killing at least 12 people.