Friday, February 28, 2014

10 Pop/Politics Notes -- as Prep for THE OSCARS and for...LIBERTY ISLAND!

Yes, that’s a photo of Rand Paul with a “straightedge” punk symbol on his hand (for punk fans who don’t do drugs or otherwise abuse themselves or others).  My prophecy of “Conservatism for Punks” is coming true after all (have I mentioned that my friend Tibbie X is in the band Reagan Youth now and that unlike some current and former Lower East Side acquaintances of mine, much as I love them all, she likes gentrification?).  OK, actually it’s the symbol for the Feb. 27 day of awareness for the anti-slavery “End It” movement opposing residual pockets of slavery in the world, but, hey, it’s all part of a broader struggle for freedom.

Punk/libertarian synergy makes perfect sense, since punk and libertarianism alike are freedom-loving and anti-fascist (it’s certainly more badass than this montage of liberals crying).  And let it not be forgotten that fascism was a form of socialism -- though it’s true that connection can be oversimplified.  The impulse to force people into a herd is the root of almost all evil, including government. 

No politician’s perfect, of course -- because they’re politicians, the lowest human form (no gods, no masters!) -- but it’s fair to say I like Paul more than juvenile, sneering, condescending, vicious-sorority-girl-sounding columnist Jennifer Rubin does.  In her recent anti-Paul column, rooted in her utter shock at the idea that anyone would want to avoid a new Crimean War with Russia, she quotes an anonymous Hill staffer saying (equally condescendingly) that the last time the U.S. tried complete isolationism it didn’t work out so well for us.  When the hell was that?  The 1880s??  (And didn’t that period actually work very well?) 

But let’s get back to pop culture, where there are big developments this week as the Oscars approach.  Here are ten of them:

1. The biggest, plainly, is the launch (despite some kinks still being worked out) of the libertarian pop culture site LibertyIslandMag, for which I’m recruiting cartoonists and writing gems like this short story about time-traveling punks, “No Future.”

2. Trivia note: the one big scene cut from the story in the editing process involved Jodie Foster giving an Oscars acceptance speech, but regardless, time travel stories are always timely. 

3. The back-and-forth lately about whether Woody Allen has committed crimes has been both painful and interesting, but even those inclined to distrust him can’t dismiss his productivity.  He’s directed a film per year since the year I was born -- well, he skipped ’76, but he made up for it with the epochal Annie Hall the next year and later had a couple two-film years.  He should do something special when his 50th film arrives soon -- if he’s not distracted by rumored marital woes with Soon-Yi.

4. In a reminder that the world would still be filled with vicious political in-fighting even if only the libertarians remained in it, there was controversy over Students for Liberty having (Hugo Chavez-idolizing) Oliver Stone speak at their recent conference.  My libertarian colleague Andrew Kirell thought the outrage was ridiculous and pointed as an example to Sonny Bunch’s column condemning the Stone appearance -- a column which in turn approvingly cited me, since I recently argued libertarians could productively think a bit more like neocons without losing their souls.  And so enemy and ally are linked like Ouroboros. 

(Another odd tension within libertarianism over foreign policy matters right now is that while libertarians seem pretty clearly to side with anti-government protesters in Venezuela, a few -- with whom Jennifer Rubin would be very, very angry indeed -- have become not just anti-interventionist regarding Ukraine but defenders of the ousted, Russia-allied Yanukovich regime, in part because they hate the NGOs and Soros-backed organizations allied with the pro-EU faction in Ukraine even more than they hate the Russian government and, presumably, ex-KGB heads of state.  Adding to the confusion, I’ve noticed a few leftists mistakenly getting the impression that Putin’s new U.S. fans are neoconservatives -- like Jennifer Rubin! -- rather than some paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians.  Well, perhaps a world war will clarify things, whether it starts in Crimea or Syria.)

5. As is well known, I’d prefer libertarians stay focused on economic issues, but AlterNet’s Lynn Parramore has the economy all figured, apparently: It’s all about boobies.

6. In other gender news (h/t Chris Stamper, not to be confused with Doug Stamper), behold the hipster-goth-freakazoid who is NYC’s most desired straight woman according to the weirdoes using dating site OKCupid.  I am not nearly weird enough for this town and must try harder. 

7. To compensate for sounding like a square gender-wise there, here’s a link to a clip that includes a couple of my favorite Ellen Degeneres jokes, which were right there in the first half of her first network appearance, twenty-eight years ago on The Tonight Show (you can skip the second half of the clip, though her chat with Johnny Carson -- not to be confused with her imaginary chat with God moments earlier -- does contain one marvelously succinct feminist moment).  

8. Speaking of foreign policy threats, this week saw the final issue of the Star Trek: Khan comic book miniseries, revealing that in the J.J. Abrams timeline, as intended by the writers from the original 1960s Star Trek series, Khan (apparently) conquered a third of the Earth back in the 1990s, nuking a couple major cities in the process.  I like them depicting Khan this way again.  The Abrams universe doesn’t exactly match the traditional Star Trek timeline -- why should it match the real world’s? 

9. Actor Roger Hill, who played another charismatic conqueror, namely multi-gang-leader Cyrus from the movie The Warriors, passed away this month (h/t Janet Harvey).  Maybe we should all honor Cyrus’s passing by seeing another Peloponnesian War-inspired film, 300: Rise of an Empire, next week.  Widowed queen turned Xerxes-allied warrior Artemisia really fought -- very well -- in the battle of Salamis, you know, so the film isn’t solely based on comic books. 

I also think they should have Miley Cyrus do a cameo as a member of Cyrus’s family (“Now dance your unique dance for me, Cyrus, and sing of the glory of the Persian Empire!”), but you can’t have everything. 

10. And if we survive the next couple months, there’s Godzilla, Spider-Man, X-Men, and Seth MacFarlane’s comedy Western all awaiting us for a wonderful May -- including the final issue of the comics miniseries The Star Wars and the start of shooting on Episode VII, which will be released next year. 

But when I’m not enjoying those things, assume I’m gradually tinkering with this site’s permanent elements to make them look a bit more presentable (or possibly doing things over at LibertyIsland) -- though I will at least pop back in here for one more (especially surreal) movie note in a couple weeks.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

10 Political Points (plus kittens and rock)

1. I saw law professor (and newly-minted Washington Post blogger) Eugene Volokh do a fine job criticizing gun control at an NYU Federalist Society debate yesterday (a reminder that I promise to replace the debates I’ve long hosted with other fun events to be announced in the near future).

2. If the fundamental right to self-defense doesn’t resonate with you when you contemplate guns, try mulling the principle while reading this Mark Steyn piece about rising anti-Semitic violence (h/t Baruch Gottesman).

3. In other foreign affairs news, I hope you read my letter in the Wall Street Journal a couple months ago on whether to merge the U.S. and Canada.

4. None of the above is quite as strange, though, as news of a woman in China duping people by pretending to be a male cop with superpowers.

5. I’ll be at the Wall Street Journal offices tomorrow, as it happens, visiting along with a three-times-a-year gathering of my fellow Robert Novak Fellows, an assortment of conservative and libertarian writers. 

We gathered in the old Journal offices once, and my favorite part of that meeting may have been learning that an old stock-ticker-tape machine still sat in one corner of the editorial boardroom, a rather steampunk reminder that Dow Jones was technically an electronic communications company over a century ago, before it owned a newspaper.

6. Columnist Tim Carney (who was good on the Feb. 17 episode of The Independents) is one of the Novak Fellows, whereas his brother John Carney just joined the Journal, and two weeks later brother Brian Carney left the Journal, for those struggling, as we all have at times, to keep track of Carney brothers. 

Inevitably, they sometimes make me think of this song.  And that song is not as creepy as this unusual photo of the man singing it, Nick Cave, wearing a Scooby-Doo costume.  If you combine Nick Cave and Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch, to my delight you sort of get the current band the Editors, who have several neat songs like this.

7. The best way to combine the Novak Fellows experience with music, though, is to see one of them perform Saturday at 6:30 (International Arts Movement, 38 W. 39th, 3rd floor), namely Jesse James DeConto with his band Pinkerton Raid. 

8. After such revels, we will still need serious political writing, though, such as this Journal item on (ex-Sandinista) Mayor de Blasio’s campaign against charter schools.

9. In other de Blasio news, Julia Kamin notes his NYPD has issued 215 summons for jaywalking -- yes, jaywalking, which no New Yorker considers a crime -- in just over a month in early 2014, part of de Blasio’s crusade to reduce traffic deaths while ticketing cars less. 

I guess we won’t have to worry about being run over by the carriage horses de Blasio’s banning either (and it sounds suspiciously like his motivation there had less to do with horse wellbeing than with a de Blasio donor wanting the horses’ building after the unemployed horses vacate it).

10. You almost can’t blame people for thinking politics is wholesome and high finance corrupting, though, when you read things like this account of decadent, secret Wall Street parties (h/t Ivan Cohen).  And then there’s the strange wave of apparent suicides among JP Morgan employees (not that one can’t find all that creepy and be alarmed by public-sector goings-on, such as Democrats stealing voter-registration information for campaign purposes in Texas...or the Obama administration planning increased use of government minders in newsrooms...or...or...).

But when the world seems filled with corruption and cronyism, there’s always this cute kitten sitting in a glass as a distraction -- or this Matrix-like berserk-kitten fight sped up and set to techno music.  Would that all conflicts were as simple.

Monday, February 17, 2014

6 Serious and/or Silly Links

Snowden arranges to reveal everything everywhere if anything happens, roughly speaking.

Yet another leftist fakes a “bigotry” incident, since that’s where moral credibility, or at least political power, comes from these days.

That online story about an employee and boss fighting via cue cards was apparently fake, but, like Kyle Smith, I enjoyed the surprisingly nuanced new RoboCop’s tale of a corporation and a man struggling for control of a soul.

The non-singer guy from Soft Cell co-founded a band called the Grid that did an electronica/banjo song called “Swamp Thing.”  (I didn’t say it was good.)

Behold Wolverine Cat.

And I know everyone already loves Louis CK, but I think this hour of his might be my favorite long stand-up show ever.

Friday, February 14, 2014

10 Sex-Related Notes for Valentine’s Day

1. I don’t want anyone beaten or legally oppressed, but hearing about Facebook’s fifty new label options for various states of transgenderhood makes me think that what we may need is just one really good synonym for “me me me the special snowflake.”  That would at least save the estimated 99.7% of the population that is not transgender some time.  Whatever. 

2. It’s Valentine's Day -- and Black History Month.  What better time to ask where the NAACP stands on the “war on women” in the oppressive Romney’s home state (h/t JD Barra and Donald Meinshausen)? 

3. It is worth remembering that rape was a frequent part of the nightmare of slavery in the U.S. (and indeed that partly as a result most U.S. blacks today are more closely related to slave-owners than most U.S. whites are, the latter often deriving from more recent European immigrants, one of many ways in which attempts to assign genetic guilt for historical crimes are dubious). 

Still, Cato author Tim Sandefur was keen in 2003 to make it very, very clear he is not a “neo-Confederate” who blithely dismisses collective guilt for slavery, as some libertarians have been accused of doing (and as one might expect from radical individualists).  Sandefur wrote, “I believe it is absolutely worth 600,000 deaths to have freed the slaves, and I believe it would be worth it at ten million times that price.” 

Anarchist Stephan Kinsella, by contrast, notes that that hypothetical bodycount would be 6 trillion people, about a thousand Earths.  (None dare call Sandefur the Anti-Monitor!)  Maybe some libertarians are a bit too eager to prove their non-Confederate status, but of course you get more p.c. points for sounding like a guilt-wracked breast-beater, always. 

4. Someone pointed out online to Reason alum Cathy Reisenwitz that rape rates have gone down 90% in recent decades, and her response was “Rape culture isn’t about the number of rapes.”  So there.  (I’m having trouble deciding the total number of libertarian factions that deserve to be destroyed.)

5. On another bright note, prostitution’s being legalized a few hours north in Canada (h/t Tracy Quan).

6. If you want to see characters wrestle with the question of whether to put Grandma in a home, see Penny Jackson’s play Bitten on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (8pm February 14, 15 and 20, 21, 22 upstairs at the bar Quinn’s 356 West 44th St., $10, reservations at 646-246-4131).  

I survived walking to the play in last night’s slush, so any performance I saw having somehow lived to get there was at that point frosting on the cake.  May not go out again for a few months.  If only there were actually a Hell for Al Gore to burn in. 

7. Speaking of pseudo-science and inter-generational conflict, here’s the start of the alarming official description for tonight’s 10pm finale of the likely-disappointing Spike show 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty: “The final 2 teams undertake a 36hr hunt at Lake Superior and use a baby covered in cow blood to lure Bigfoot out of hiding...”  (Would anyone who actually believed there’s a Bigfoot do that?  Of course, this is a show on which one participant has already claimed he years ago strangled a baby Bigfoot to death.)

8. One of the first prominent female punk singers, Exene Cervenka, is fleeing what she calls a high-tax liberal regime in California for the more welcoming environs of Texas (where I think her brand of rockabilly-influenced music will go over quite well, of course).  What better time to buy a copy of the book Proud to Be Right from a few years back and read my contribution therein, the essay “Conservatism for Punks”?

9. You might also check out my article about the troubled love affair between libertarians and neoconservatives if you haven’t already (fittingly, I’ll be visiting the Wall Street Journal offices next week, where that affair has sometimes been carried on).

10. Meanwhile, I think Nicki Minaj, in her new video, has decided to fire a machine gun at “niggas” who look at her ass but are not prominent in the drug-dealing business...or something like that. 

I for one hope this leads somehow to a new trend of hiphop types having bragging-arguments and rivalries over whose ass is largest (if they can find a word to rhyme with “Kardashian”).  That, in this critic’s humble opinion, is one war in which the viewer will ultimately be the winner. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Death, Kittens, Twerking, Neoconservatism, and the Beatles

•And if that juxtaposition doesn’t offend you, maybe you can handle the dancing faux-Nixon and faux-Kissinger in this lavish, shocking fifteen-minute Beatles tribute (also featuring the original Jesus Christ Superstar understudy and Patti LaBelle in a giant spider web, among other wonders) from the 1977 Rolling Stone TV special.

•On a briefer and simpler note, there’s Jonathan Mann’s song “Kittens in Space.”

•...which is certainly a happier tune than this one he sang at a dying woman’s bedside.

•And if after that one you want to go back to happy kittens, here’s an excellent wacky-animals montage I mostly hadn’t seen before.

•But death and music remain intertwined because Maggie Estep has passed away at age fifty of a heart attack, likely to remain best remembered for this ditty about street harassment.

•And if that still doesn’t make you sad, maybe Billy Ray Cyrus and rapper Buck 22’s hiphop remake of “Achy Breaky Heart” will (h/t Gerard Perry).  Its video is full of (quality) twerking.  Like daughter, like father. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Seavey on Sci-Fi Politics, RoboCop, More

I wrote a couple months ago for about why I think so much sci-fi leans socialist (and I notice author J. Neil Schulman weighed in in the comments, if you can see the Disqus thread below the article, to complain that I referred to a movie based on his work as “low-budget,” but I didn’t mean it as an insult). 

Speaking of “Federalist” things: you can all complain to me in person about that piece or others if you join me at the NYU Federalist Society (40 Washginton Square South in Vanderbilt Hall #220) one week from today to see libertarian (and new-minted Washington Post blogger) Eugene Volokh debate Richard Aborn on gun control.

But here are 10 more sci-fi(-ish) notes, which is the important thing:

1. Given how devoted the original RoboCop movies were to bashing consumerism and capitalism (ironic, given that the two sequels were written by comics’ Frank Miller, who later did a post-9/11 political 180 and turned into a sort of Ayn Rand-influenced conservative), I was pleased the new version (A) was instead mostly about bashing police and military corruption and (B) was far more psychologically nuanced (and relevant-seeming, given the reality of current drone and A.I. research) than the original. Overall, arguably a better movie -- but it lacks the original’s trashy, postmodern humor, so it isn’t ultimately as lovable or iconic.

2. This is going to be one very, very popular Dungeons & Dragons audio book, read by Ice-T.

3. Despite the fact that I somehow have a communist friend who thinks Orwell was warning us about conservatives, Orwell wrote this letter (h/t Judith Weiss) that was pretty explicit about his fears for post-WWII socialist totalitarianism and political correctness (even though he remained a socialist/anarchist).

4. The indie film From the Future with Love (h/t Andrew Stover) mocks privatized police, but life’s too short for political self-abuse, so instead of watching it in its entirety, I will ask the contrary question: Gee, can you imagine if we instead lived in a nightmare world where government cops did a bad job?

Admittedly, though, some see a low-consequence failure of private policing in a popular interactive online sci-fi game (h/t Jacob Levy).  Well, I say low-consequence, but it’s apparently sparked the largest space battle of all time.

5. Family-related law is weirder than sci-fi.  Take this bizarre case (h/t Tom Palmer) of a woman who learned her children are technically her twin’s biological children and almost had them taken away as a result.  Or this reminder, in the form of a nine-year-old suddenly taken from the only parents she’s ever known and given to a just-released ex-convict in another state, that the government is utterly devoid of compassion, despite what its willing thralls, the intelligentsia, tell you (h/t Justin Stoddard and Stephan Kinsella).  And then there are the fetuses to worry about (h/t Luca Gattoni-Celli).  And let’s not even get started on the whole back-and-forth Woody Allen thing.

6. Given DC Comics’ recurring attempts in recent years to make the sentient surveillance system Brother Eye and his OMAC robots important villains -- and rumors of the evil android Metallo in the Batman vs. Superman movie -- I think it’s safe to say there’s a method to the seeming madness of casting a guy who played Mark Zuckerberg in the role of Lex Luthor and to the rumored depiction of Bruce Wayne (as played by Ben Affleck) as a UN-affiliated recluse who now fights crime with drones from his Batcave (though I sympathize with those who wanted Bryan Cranston to be Luthor, such as Franklin Harris, who declared: we wanted HEISENBERG, not Zuckerberg!). 

The whole thing is starting to make as much techno-relevant sense to me as, well, RoboCop...or Rand Paul campaigning against Hillary and drones in 2016...or Paul Bettany playing the Vision instead of just the voice of JARVIS in next year’s Avengers sequel.

7. Meanwhile, speaking of spooky recluses, Alan Moore will do the voice of an A.I. in the new Robert Anton Wilson-based play Cosmic Trigger (a sequel of sorts to the play Illuminatus! which led to the formation of the band KLF, of whom I blogged earlier).

8. It may not be A.I., but they’ll apparently do some CGI-or-something to depict the last onscreen bit of Plutarch Heavensbee in next year’s fourth-and-final Hunger Games movie, since they were still filming the two-part Mockingjay (though with only seven days of shooting left) when Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away.

9. Most people were watching the Super Bowl that day, but I don’t follow sports and will do so only when they work like this (and yes, the music is essential).

10. I’d be more tempted to see how the final two stupid teams fare on this Friday’s bound-to-disappoint 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty -- but really, shouldn’t imaginary lifeforms be at least as weird as, say, jellyfish, instead of the tepid near-humanoid stuff we get from folklore and Star Trek: The Next Generation?  In a way, this Onion piece is better sci-fi than most actual sci-fi is.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Brains, Rob Ford, and Rand Paul

•The brain -- and the extent to which it can be trained -- is the topic at tonight’s Empiricist League (doors 7:30, lectures 8) if you care to join me at 594 Union Ave. in Williamsburg.

•Someone should study the effects on the brain of this ten-minute loop of Toronto mayor Rob Ford dancing to “Butterfly” (h/t Carl Oberg).

•Misguided liberal-tarians try to turn defeat into victory by redefining libertarianism downward.  Rand Paul is changing the world instead of changing libertarianism, selling social conservatives on the message of liberty (h/t Corie Whalen), one of the most important possible transformations in a nation where the largest ideological bloc is socially conservative/fiscally conservative voters.

As I have long bet, I think it’s going to prove far harder to teach the left economics than to teach the right tolerance. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Around the World with Blyth, Malice, Dalmia, X, Die Antwoord, de Blasio, and More

1. Sticking resolutely to the plan to be online only when there are projects of some sort to announce, I note that Brown Alumni magazine published my letter(!!) about a UK-raised professor, like so:

No, despite the attempt to depict him as an unusual character, it's not at all a surprise that political science professor Mark Blyth has the “confidence,” “potty mouth,” barely-concealed “anger,” and blank-faced “rat-a-tat delivery” that Beth Schwartzapfel describes, nor that he was once such a cool dude he played bass in a rock band.

He's a classic left-wing hothead who doesn't know economics nearly as well as he knows what sort of political diatribes sell. I give Schwartzapfel credit for at least bringing in the voices of those unfairly criticized by Blyth long enough for them to note that "austerity" is an amorphous term Blyth uses to condemn whatever policies he doesn't like (namely, property rights and free markets).

One could go further and note that nothing resembling “austerity” in the sense of reduced government spending has occurred in either the U.S. or Europe, despite feeble belt-tightening rhetoric, so if things are going badly (and they are), it can hardly be due to some imaginary upsurge in laissez-faire...

The letter as printed goes downhill after that because despite my warning they didn’t correct the typo in the next sentence.  I typed “regulation” where I meant to type “deregulation,” and as a result the truth shall never be known.

2. Still: even students at the mercy of a Prof. Blyth are better off than viewers getting their econ from The Daily Show, which literally featured a reporter doing a spit-take at the absurdity of the law of supply and demand in a segment mocking libertarian Peter Schiff’s opposition to minimum wage laws. 

Fittingly, The Daily Show featured the nearby graphic (h/t Phil Saxton) of supply and demand curves with “supply” and “demand” mislabeled, likely because they genuinely have no idea what any of this means (as it happens, I told one future Daily Show writer, Daniel Radosh, way back in the 90s, that if minimum wage laws don’t increase the odds of low-wage workers being unemployed, there should be banner headlines saying “Basic Laws of Economics Repealed: Logic Does Not Apply to Universe” -- so maybe all these years later he took me at my word). The graphic was later corrected in the online version of the segment.

In other Daily Show news, occasional correspondent Olivia Munn reportedly has a psychological condition that impels her to obsessively tear out her eyelashes from time to time.  A crasser man might ask men to consider whether they would still date her.

3. Instead of getting uninformed political humor from The Daily Show, why not get informed political commentary plus humor from The Indepedents on Fox Business Network (hosted by Kennedy, Welch, and Foster), which tonight at 9pm will feature Michael Malice talking about North Korea and his book on it, Dear Reader. 

He’s bound to be wiser than recurring guest Jesse Myers, an avowed communist.

4. Kennedy and Welch’s Reason colleague Shikha Dalmia, by contrast, will be hosting a panel discussion (6:30 Tuesday at the Asia Society on Park and 70th)  on elections in India.

7. And in South Africa, strange rap band Die Antwoord reveals that it takes inspiration from Ayn Rand (h/t Jesse Forgione, himself relocated to the distant nation of Florida).  This puts a whole new spin on their disturbing video “Rich Bitch.”

(Speaking of lands riven by past ethnic strife, there are countless reasons neo-Nazi types are stupid, including the fact that there was never a more mongrel race than the Germans of centuries ago, to whom “tribe” meant only willingness to fight under one general’s banner, but another of interest is the apparent preference of German men for darker-skinned mates, in contrast to the preference of many peoples for fairer women.  Opposites attract regardless of what racial purists might want, it seems, and I for one say, vive der difference.)

8. I’m not sure they’re as scary as Die Antwoord, but you could join me Wednesday night at 9pm at Otto’s Shrunken Head to see performances by, among others, Tibbie X (with her new band Gash) and the funny Jessica Delfino (whose song “My Pussy Is Magic,” ironically, was just recently pointed out to me by Justin Shubow, whose aesthetic tastes may be classier and more refined than just about anyone I know).

There’s a thin line between avant-garde and trashy (as between clever and stupid), and while I think of it, there’s a thin stylistic line at times between Arcade Fire and Cyndi Lauper, as both acts are aware but fans may not be.

9. Despite a few alternative rock fan Reason contributors being mentioned above, that publication has harsh words for the snooty anti-materialism of Macklemore and Lorde.  As a humble, thoroughly middle-class guy, I’ve known since rubbing elbows with rich left-wing assholes at Brown that there is a thin line between Progressivism and self-congratulatory fantasies of “noblesse oblige.”  Scratch that: there's no line at all, really. 

10. I shouldn’t play the populist, though.  I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl.  And despite doing a “Month of Time Travel” on this blog in January, the only aspect of popular rituals like Groundhog Day that I care about is inadvertent political messages like the one sent by a fumbling Mayor de Blasio when he dropped NYC’s designated groundhog.  Maybe the public was onto something when it freaked out over his inappropriate pizza-eating style recently. 

Of course, I’m more concerned when the bastard does things like launch a war against charter schools to keep teachers unions happy (even as Progressives pretend to be the ones helping children learn).  The Progressives are also shutting down NYC gifted-student programs since too many of the kids qualifying for them are white.  There’s social justice for you, I guess.