The Nazi card, &c.


In an article last week, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote, “Personally, I rather admire the team of Hu Jintao (without wishing to get into the Tibet issue) and premier Wen Jiabao.”

Personally, I think that is a revolting sentence, and a perfect emblem for our age. Though maybe I should be grateful that the man even mentioned Tibet? (Maybe next time he can be even bolder, and mention the gulag, laogai.)

Headline: “Study: Military drinking ‘culture’ now a ‘crisis.’” (Article here.) This reminded me: The other day, I saw a routine reference to alcohol as “adult beverages.” And I thought, “It’s amazing that people think they’re adult when they’re on alcohol. Usually, they’re at their least adult. If only they could see themselves!” (And smell themselves.)

How do you get fined 4,000 bucks? You insult the president of the European Council, by saying he has “the charisma of a damp rag.” You might also say that he comes from “pretty much a non-country” (Belgium). Don’t believe me? Check out this news article.

Along with people far abler than I, I have for years decried one phrase: “social justice.” It is one of the slipperiest, most nonsensical, and most dangerous phrases in the entire human repertoire. What horrors have been committed in the name of “social justice”!

So it was with a heavy heart that I received the news from a reader: Stetson Law School, in Florida, has a new concentration — in “social-justice advocacy.” You can read about it here. And weep, maybe.

This new concentration is to be led by two professors. One of them is known for “the protection of women’s reproductive rights” — i.e., abortion on demand. That’s “justice” for you, whether “social” or not.

(The other professor-leader, incidentally, has the last name Bickel. Son of Alex? Don’t know.)

In a recent issue of National Review, I had an essay called “A World of Labels: ‘Moderate liberals’ and other interesting creatures.” A reader wrote to give me a gem from the AP — a gem from 2009. Have a look at the first two paragraphs:

NEW YORK — Chanting “Whose street? Our street!” hundreds of people rallied on Wall Street Friday to protest the billions of dollars in federal bailout money to big business.

Monica Moorehead, managing editor of the left-leaning newspaper Workers World, said the crowd gathered to protest the capitalist system which helps AIG and other companies that steal money from us.

Forget, for the moment, “companies that steal money from us.” (This is a wire-service report, remember, not an editorial somewhere.) How about that “left-leaning newspaper”? Left-leaning! Workers World is Communist, of course.

As I said, a gem.

Let me give you a vision of hell — a little vignette: You’re sitting at 5-Napkin Burger, on the Upper West Side. You’re alone, so at the mercy of other people’s conversations. Sitting next to you are two women, very close. Very close to you, that is — practically touching.

They’re talking about the dismaying fact that some people will actually vote against President Obama this November. President Obama is the most wonderful thing in the whole wide world, of course. How could anyone vote against him?

One woman says to the other, “People here in New York, they’re aware of the world. They know things. But people in other parts of the country — they’re too sheltered to know better.”

I’ve heard talk like this my entire life, needless to say — starting in Ann Arbor. In fact, these two ladies were very familiar to me, from my youth. They’d have made perfect Ann Arborites.

But there was a saving grace about them: They had children (who were with them). Kind of nervy of them, to enlarge their “footprint” that way. I sort of liked them for it.

And here was another saving grace — well, two, actually. First: Their bill came pretty quickly, and off they went. But second: The restaurant’s S’mores milkshake is maybe the most delicious thing ever. Along with the S’mores ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s.

Oh, can those Vermont lefties make ice cream!

Last week, Mona Charen and I made a podcast for Ricochet — go here. And I’ll see you soon, Impromptus-ites. Thanks for joining me today.

To order Jay Nordlinger’s new book, Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.