PowerLine -> Mueller’s case – Stephen Curry wants to have it both ways

PowerLine -> Mueller’s case – Stephen Curry wants to have it both ways

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest


  • Civil War on the Left, Part 48: Asian Supremacy?
  • Coming Attractions: Laughing at Communism
  • Mueller’s case
  • Looking back at “Don’t Look Back”
  • Stephen Curry wants to have it both ways
Civil War on the Left, Part 48: Asian Supremacy?

Posted: 24 Sep 2017 03:59 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

Are Asians an oppressed minority in America, or not? We know for a fact that elite universities are nowadays discriminating against Asian applicants in much the same way they discriminated against Jewish applicants decades ago. But didn’t a lot of Asians historically suffer the same kind of discrimination that Irish, Italian, and other immigrants nowadays considered part of the world of “white supremacy”?

For example, there’s a little-noticed passage in Justice Harlan’s famous dissent in the notorious Plessy vs. Ferguson “separate but equal” decision, which is most often rightly recalled for the clarity of Harlan’s argument that “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” A few sentences later, however, Harlan adds:

There is a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States. Persons belonging to it are, with few exceptions, absolutely excluded from our country. I allude to the Chinese race.

Well. That certainly sounds like garden-variety racism directed against people of Asian origin. (You usually find this paragraph in Harlan’s dissent is omitted Con Law casebooks, which is one reason I dislike most Con Law casebooks.)

The identity politics left doesn’t quite know what to do with Asians in the hierarchy of grievance-mongering and oppression Olympics. At least if this article from the always rewarding EverydayFeminism site is a guide to things:

Asian Americans: 10 Warning Signs That Show You’re Siding With Whiteness

By Ayesha Sharma

. . . [B]eing a non-Black South Asian from an upper-class immigrant household, I assimilated so hard that I came to identify almost completely with the white people around me. . .

It also led me to experience a comfort with whiteness which I now am realizing has been hugely self-destructive for my personal growth, self-acceptance, and ability to engage with other people of color.

I want to speak to those of you who are interested in thinking about your race more critically, and understanding how we as Asian Americans can be complicit in siding with whiteness. . .

We think we’re a model minority, but many of us don’t realize that we have histories and present realities of oppression and resistance as part of our experience.

There follows a list of ten ways Asians are complicit in white supremacy. Number 7 is my favorite:

7. When we identify with white systems of thought

Our privilege leads us to identify with systems of thought like political conservatism, white liberalism, and white feminism. . .

For example, if we identify with feminism that is actually white feminism, then we continue to not only delegitimize our experiences as Asian American people, but we can largely overlook the urgent importance of practically appliedintersectionality in our politics.

Okay, I’m confused, too. I thought “political conservatism” and “white liberalism” were very different things. Simple question: Are Asians part of white supremacy, or are Asians another minority oppressed by whites? (See Justice Harlan above.) And if they are an oppressed minority, shouldn’t Asians receive affirmative action preferences?

  

Coming Attractions: Laughing at Communism

Posted: 24 Sep 2017 09:48 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

If you have a subscription to Amazon Prime, you owe it to yourself to take in their original production “Comrade Detective.” It is a brilliant piece of work, supposedly “found footage” of a Romanian buddy-cop show from the 1980s dubbed into English. It is a wonderful satire of the way a podunk Eastern European nation saw the world in the late stages of the Cold War. Here’s one clip:

But I’ve also just come across the trailer for “The Death of Stalin,” a satire due for release on October 20—just in time for the 100th-anniversary notices of the October revolution. If the film is as good as this trailer suggests (what an all-star cast!), this will be a hoot:

  

Mueller’s case

Posted: 24 Sep 2017 07:57 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Andrew McCarthy devotes his weekly NRO column to the unlimited mandate and uninhibited prosecutorial tactics of Robert Mueller. The column is “Mueller scorches the earth.” Reviewing the proceedings to date, Andy writes:

You are forgiven if you can recall only vaguely that supposition about Trump-campaign collusion in Russian espionage against the 2016 election was the actual explanation for Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. To the extent there was any explanation, that is. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee, did not comply with the regulations requiring a description of the crimes Trump’s Justice Department is too conflicted to investigate, purportedly necessitating a quasi-independent special counsel.

The way it’s supposed to work, the Justice Department learns of a crime, so it assigns a prosecutor. To the contrary, this Justice Department assigned a prosecutor — make that: Seventeen hyper-aggressive prosecutors — and unleashed them to hunt for whatever crime they could find.

If you sense that this cuts against the presumption of innocence, you’re onto something….

McCarthy seems to be approximately the only observer troubled by the improprieties on which the Mueller investigation is predicated and the tactics with which it has been conducted. It’s not entirely clear to me why.

  

Looking back at “Don’t Look Back”

Posted: 24 Sep 2017 07:57 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

On Thursday evening Turner Classics Movies played a set of rock documentaries including the TCM premiere of D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back (1967). As cinéma vérité, the film captures Bob Dylan on tour in England in 1965, where he had already become a pop star.

It’s an entertaining film populated by intriguing characters, foremost among whom is Dylan himself, of course, but also Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, Dylan’s then-girlfriend, Joan Baez, Dylan’s friend Bob Neuwirth, the Animals’ Alan Price, Dylan wannabe Donovan — he turned up to touch the hem of Dylan’s garment — along with assorted British fans, journalists, and promoters. The poet Allen Ginsberg can even be found in the background of the film’s famous opening scene of Dylan tossing off cue cards with words from the lyrics to “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

The film must be the father of the line of rock documentaries that culminates in the classic rock “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap. One watches Dylan’s manager — Albert Grossman — in action with morbid fascination. Early in the film, he has a memorable encounter with a hotel manager looking for the person who is “in charge” of Dylan’s hotel room. The hotel had fielded complaints that the room was a little noisy. Grossman responds with a profane tirade (video below). We also see Grossman at work seeking to extract top pound from the BBC for an appearance by Dylan. Grossman looks like he got lost on his way to a future appearance in This is Spinal Tap.

The Coen brothers memorialized Grossman in Inside Llewyn Davis, their portrait of a talented musician seeking to make it in a tough business. A study in failure, it’s the other side of the coin presented by Don’t Look Back. The Coens’ Grossman character (“Bud Grossman”) is not impressed by Llewyn Davis. Davis plays him a moving rendition of “The Death of Queen Jane.” Grossman renders judgment: “I don’t see a lot of money here.”

The real Grossman played Colonel Parker to an impressive array of mostly folk artists. He provided a baldly commercial counterpoint to his clients’ idealistic personas.

Despite his unprepossessing appearance, Grossman was married to the beautiful Sally Grossman. Sally accompanied Grossman on the 1965 tour and must be the most beautiful woman in the film. I think her appearance is uncredited, however, as was her appearance on the cover of Dylan’s 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. Sally was still married to Grossman at the time of his death in 1986. They had a beauty and the beast thing going.

Introducing Don’t Look Back on Thursday evening, TCM host Ben Mankiewicz advised viewers that the title derived from Satchel Paige’s adage: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” That strikes me as off-base, but there is authority for the proposition. Pennebaker is the film’s auteur and Pennebaker says that’s where the title came from. He also says that Dylan agrees.

I think it more likely that the title derives from Dylan’s song “She Belongs to Me,” off Bringing It All Back Home. Dylan can be heard strumming the song, apparently rehearsing it, immediately after the film’s opening scene. The song begins: “She’s got everything she needs/She’s an artist, she don’t look back.” I wonder if that is Dylan reflecting on himself.

It is an enigmatic love song or a love song about an enigmatic woman. It’s something of a love/hate song that has been covered by a lot of artists. You may recall Ricky Nelson’s version. Ricky gave a country twist to the song’s 12-bar blues structure (video below). Great line: “She can take the dark out of the nighttime/And paint the daytime black.”

  

Stephen Curry wants to have it both ways

Posted: 23 Sep 2017 08:55 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Stephen Curry is a superstar with the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. The Warriors received an invitation to the White House, pursuant to the longstanding custom of thus honoring championship sports teams.

The Warriors, whose star players and coach are outspoken critics of President Trump, made it known that they were ambivalent at best about visiting the White House. Curry said, “I don’t want to go, that’s my nucleus of my belief.”

President Trump responded by pulling the invitation. He tweeted:

Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!

Withdrawing the invitation was the right thing to do, I think. The Warriors, or at least their core players and their coach, didn’t really want to go. If the team had taken a vote, as was contemplated, it would possibly have caused internal division.

Meanwhile, Trump didn’t want to suffer the indignity of having his invitation rejected outright. The solution: pull the invitation.

Curry, though, has taken umbrage at the president’s tweet. He complained:

I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others. I have an idea of why, but, it’s just kind of beneath, I think, a leader of a country to go that route. It’s not what leaders do.

I agree with the view that the U.S. President should not get into pissing contests with celebrities, athletes, and the like. But Curry is being disingenuous. Trump “targeted” him because he’s the face of the Golden State Warriors.

Curry is trying to have it both ways. When Curry says he doesn’t want to visit the White House, he’s not viewing Trump as the leader of our country, but rather as a politician he doesn’t like. When Trump fires back, suddenly Curry sees Trump as the nation’s leader.

Curry’s “why little old me?” act borders on the pathetic. If Curry wants to show his contempt for Trump by refusing to participate in the time-honored tradition of the White House visit, that’s his right. But don’t whine when Trump points out that you didn’t want to attend. Don’t hide behind your less-heralded teammates and/or your coach by suggesting that others should have been called out too.

Man up.

Meanwhile, I can only laugh at this headline from the Washington Post: “Trump turns sports into a political battleground with comments on NFL and Stephen Curry.” Even if one thinks, as I do, that Trump should abstain from talk that mixes politics with sports, it couldn’t be more obvious that athletes like Colin Kaepernick and Stephen Curry are the ones who turned sports into a political battleground.

I respect their right to do so. But please, let’s not pretend that Trump is responsible for the politicization of sports. That’s the work of deep political thinkers like Kaepernick, Curry, etc., egged on by ESPN and left-wing sports commentators.

  

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