Category Archives: Etiquette

UPDATED: The Me Myself And I Megyn-Kelly Production (Longer Version)

Donald Trump, Etiquette, Journalism, Media, Republicans

“The Me Myself And I Megyn-Kelly Production” is the current column now on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine. (The shorter version on WND has been very popular.) An excerpt:

… Here’s what just happened: Donald Trump had not expected to be subjected again to Megyn Kelly’s ministrations, after the anchor’s missteps during the first prime-time Republican debate, in Cleveland, Ohio, last year.

The consensus among very many outside the Beltway bubble was that the smug Megyn Kelly had been rude and overbearing during that debate, clobbering Trump with sub-intelligent, war-on-women questions.

Donald Trump had implicitly, at least, expected the network to rethink its decision to unleash showy Ms. Kelly, once again, on the occasion of a Republican debate, scheduled for January 28.

It’s hard to believe Kelly’s higher-ups at FNC are so stupid as to put her in the moderator’s chair again. Given the woman’s profile, I suspect Fox’s Golden Goose had henpecked the boss, Roger Ailes, to have at it again.

Kelly’s central focus is to be center-stage. This her unbecoming conduct over months has made clear.

“The Kelly File,” Megyn’s eponymous show, has persistently ignored news about the news-maker of the day, Donald Trump. Yet just this once, Kelly elected to extensively cover Trump’s decision not to attend a debate moderated by herself, to whom she referred adoringly as “yours truly.”

“Yours truly” was the theme of the January 26 segment.

And the guests stampeded to her studio for a chance to genuflect to Kelly and diss the front-runner for the umpteenth time. This time it would be different. This time, Trump was going down.

Kelly’s “Breaking News” coverage entailed parading other candidates past and present to berate Trump’s actions—to call him a coward, running scared of a woman; to question the candidate’s commitment to Iowans, label him as someone who doesn’t show-up, when Trump has been in Iowa all along, showing Iowans The Love.

Especially asinine was the snarky Millennial-like press release Fox News chose to put out in response—a release that cemented Donald Trump’s decision to do something more useful and foil the Megyn Kelly extravaganza.

The notice was too frivolous for actor Sean Penn to have penned (we recently discovered Penn could write). Perhaps the ghost writer was goofy, late-night show host Jimmy Fallon? . …

Read the rest. “The Me Myself And I Megyn-Kelly Production” is the current column now on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine.

UPDATE (1/29):

The Megyn Kelly-Michale Moore interview is one of the more nauseating moments in TV; it’s a flirt and a genuflection to Kelly. All that glitters is not gold. Kelly may be beautiful but she cheapens everything she touches.

I spared myself the specter and watched it after the column was written, commenting on Facebook, last night.

I should have steeled myself. The Kelly-Moore exchange is forensic evidence, too.

UPDATE II: NRO Writer’s ‘UnFollow’ Leads To Musing About The Manners-Morals Connection

Conservatism, Donald Trump, Etiquette, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, libertarianism, Morality, Neoconservatism

National Review’s Kevin Williamson, aforementioned, once told me he was a libertarian anarchist. Although I never saw evidence for the claim, I took him at his word that he was a friend behind enemy lines. (It’s also true that I don’t study NRO’s output.) In the couple of exchanges we had, Williamson seemed far less uptight about intellectual differences than most Americans. Myself, so long as ad hominem is avoided and respect is shown—I can easily befriend ideological adversaries. And I do. One of the nicest gentlemen, for example, is Benn Steil, director of International Economics Council on Foreign Relations. I can’t imagine Dr. Steil churlishly unFollowing me. We differ. So what? I enjoyed his book, “The Battle of Bretton Woods,” immensely.

The UnFollow/UnFriend churlishness is not the province of neoconservatives and Republicans alone.

From experience, libertarians can be as uncivilized in their interactions. The column “Schooling Beck On Trump’s Nullification Promise” mentions “Ivan Eland’s learned rundown of U.S. presidents,” Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty. I contacted Eland as a courtesy. As did I ask him if he would kindly reciprocate with a Follow on Twitter. Unlike the polite Lawrence W. Reed of the Foundation for Economic Freedom, Eland has simply ignored me. Perhaps he’s on vacation.

Manners are a species of morals. Other than to hate mail or rude mail, I respond to all letters I receive—to each and every one. Many thousands since 1998, which is when I got my first newspaper column, in Canada. Due to time constraints, my replies are laconic. But if a reader has bothered to read my work and comment on what I have to say—then it’s only decent and proper to reciprocate.

I haven’t always been firm in this resolve, but I try my very best. If a colleague writes, I reply, whether I like them and their stuff or not. Ignoring a correspondent demonstrates contempt for that individual—a contempt that reflects on the rude “interlocutor.”

UPDATE (1/24): Facebook readers dispute the characterization of Williamson as remotely intellectual.

Christoph Dollis: Well, I’ve always known Kevin Williamson as a moron. Sorry that it hurts, and I get that (I’ve had similar experiences), but in my long-held opinion about Mr. Williamson, you haven’t lost much. I’m pretty sure Williamson is a staunch friend of arch cuckservative Ed Morrissey of Hot Air. ‘Nuff said.”

UPDATE II (3/5):

Cold Turkey For Creepy Kids And Their Even Creepier Parents

Etiquette, Fascism, Intellectualism, Pop-Psychology, The West, The Zeitgeist

Here is a follow up on our pro-civilization, Adult Lives Matter, reclaim-the-childhood crusade. To our dossier on a child-deifying nation, we add the insanity that is the non-dilemma below.

A DRUDGE headline blares today: “Parent: My 8-Year-Old Son’s iPad Addiction Is As Real As Alcoholism, Drug Abuse…”

You don’t need to read this drivel in which a dumb parent “shares” his dumber, self-inflicted malady so publicly—public writing has turned into anti-intellectual public advocacy, hasn’t it? Conjure and share your cultivated malady, and abracadabra, you are a hero.

Whinging aside, you already knew the following:

* It’s your fault the little snot is addicted not to books or to outdoor ball games, but to gadgets.

* Who gave the gadget to said snot? You did! Take the iPad away.

* Stop paying for your kids’ cell phones and assorted hand-held devices. (It costs a fortune!)

You and I survived without them. If Creepy kid needs to contact crazy in love parent urgently, he or she can go to the principal’s office. It’ll give Creepy an opportunity to practice a few civilizing habits you refrained from teaching him:

Knock on her door (it’s never a guy these days). Enter when she says so. Address her as Ma’am or Mrs. Ask if you may call mom or dad, PLEASE.

Alternatively, tell him to wait on the corner until you collect him, just like you, his parent, used to do (we walked home, 4-5km each day).

Oh, and if a stranger sidles up to Creepy … you know the rest.

READING:

“Adult Lives Matter: On Kids And Communism.”

“Reclaiming Childhood: They Don’t Make Kids Like They Use To.”

UPDATE III: Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim? (Left-Liberal Discourse)

Addiction, BAB's A List, Canada, Drug War, Education, Etiquette, Left-Liberalism, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

Justin Trudeau is no genius, but he seems to limp along despite what some would consider a traumatic childhood. This Barely a Blog exclusive features Stanton Peele, America’s leading, liberal addiction counterculturist, and fellow crusader against the Drug War.

Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim?
By Stanton Peele

Justin Trudeau seems to be a highly successful survivor of what might be considered a traumatic childhood.

I am often cited for my opposition to famed Vancouver addiction doctor Gabor Maté’s trauma theory of addiction—that all addiction can be traced back to childhood trauma, and vice versa. Maté believes such trauma causes permanent brain damage. I find Gabor’s theory reductive, pessimistic, and fatalistic. Most people, after all, outgrow their childhood traumas, as they do their addictions. (I have argued with Gabor about all of this.)

This debate was brought to mind for me by Justin Trudeau’s election as Canada’s prime minister. Mr. Trudeau, after all, didn’t have a happy childhood. We know this because his mother has written about their fractured family life. Margaret Trudeau, herself the daughter of a Vancouver MP, was depicted as a flower-child. She met Pierre Trudeau when she was 18 and he was the Minister of Defense. She married the much older Mr. Trudeau when she was 22 after Pierre became PM.

Her married experience was deeply unhappy. Despite remaining married for 13 years and having three children together, the couple were habitually at odds; they separated after a half-dozen years of marriage and Margret pursued for a time a jet-set lifestyle. Margaret was often at loose ends both during the marriage and afterwards, as she has described in several memoirs, and was hospitalized for “mental illness.”

There are perhaps three theories for Margaret’s psychological problems: that mental disorders have nothing to do with people’s life experience or personality but are simply inbred, that she was always flighty and unstable. Or, finally, that being in a high-profile marriage with a stern, controlling man thirty years her senior was the worst possible situation for someone with Margaret’s disposition. Or maybe it was all three.

“From the day I became Mrs. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a glass panel was gently lowered into place around me, like a patient in a mental hospital who is no longer considered able to make decisions and who cannot be exposed to a harsh light.”

Not very good to hear, or to experience, coming from your mother.

But Justin seems to have weathered this all rather well. In fact, he seems to be the beneficiary of both his parents’ distinctive assets. In the first place, you need to be intelligent and ambitious to become prime minister of a major nation. [Presumably, Stanton, what you say would apply, by logical extension, to George Bush and other dynastic rulers? Justin Trudeau is a rich boy like Jeb Bush, born to privilege, including easy access to the office of PM—ILANA.]

Yet Justin wears these traits well. He doesn’t seem to think of himself as above everyone else (an attitude his father often conveyed). He, as observers have noted, meets and mingles with everybody and considers every citizen and resident of Canada a person on par with himself. This openness and absence of inflated self-importance would seem to come from his mother.

Margaret Trudeau has weathered her own storms, as she wrote in her most recent memoir, published in 2015, The Time of My Life: Choosing a Vibrant, Joyful Future. I know everyone, Canadian or otherwise, has good feelings about this resolution for Mrs. Trudeau. It seems that people are often able to find their own successful level given the opportunity and support to do so.

Meanwhile, Justin’s becoming PM must be quite a source of pride and achievement for her. The two remain extremely close: a picture of an adoring mother and her newly elected son gazing lovingly at one another affirm this impression. (Pierre died ten years ago.)

For his part, Justin does not present himself as an injured victim, the unhappy product of an unhappy marriage. He seems to have born these stresses, thrust on him as a child through absolutely no desire or effort of his own, without resentment. True, he didn’t immediately rise to the top of society, first working as a bouncer, a boxer, a Santa-shopper, and a snowboard instructor before entering politics. [So would you and yours bounce around the world in a zen-like state if you had the family fortune to fall back on—ILANA.]

On the other hand, becoming Canada’s Prime Minister at age 43 (his father was elected at age 48) doesn’t exactly put him in the slow lane, either. Justin has never given the impression that he feels like an abandoned child, or the son of broken marriage or a traumatic childhood. He seems to recognize and appreciate, rather, that he had a privileged upbringing involving parents with disparate, but distinctive, gifts.

It’s all a matter of outlook, isn’t it?

In particular, Justin didn’t become a drug addict. Rather, unlike the scion of another famous political family who opposes pot legalization due to his own drug problems, Patrick Kennedy, Justin favors marijuana legalization. This attitude too seems to have come from his mother. Margaret was once charged with possession of marijuana for having a package of weed delivered to her home. “I took to marijuana like a duck took to water,” she said.

I don’t think she smokes now.

***
Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., is the author (with Ilse Thompson) of Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict. His Life Process Program is available online. His book Addiction-Proof Your Child is a model for the emerging area of harm reduction in addiction prevention. Stanton has been innovating in the addiction field since writing Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky, He has been a pioneer in noting addiction across substances and activities, in creating harm reduction therapy, and in the nondisease understanding of addiction, as well as in formulating practical, life-management approaches to treatment and self-help. He has published 12 books, and has won career awards from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and Drug Policy Alliance. His website is www.peele.net

UPDATE I: Response to Facebook comments:

We libertarians apply the same set of principles without bias to the political class. Justin Trudeau is manifestly moronic, as is “W” (Jeb is not nearly as dumb as “W” and Justin). All are entitled brats. So what if Justin’s mom and dad fought. Let them all decamp to Africa to experience real suffering. Stanton Peele is, however, hardcore in Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control. A very rigorous book.

UPDATE II: Unable, or unprepared, to courteously address my readers, as to the uneven standards implied in a column submitted by himself to Barely a Blog, Stanton Peele writes:

Liana – Can you remove the piece from your website? It was a bad match, I fear.

The snootiness.

My reply:

The name is ILANA.

And no—not after the time spent inputting, adding links (as you, Stanton, did not provide HTML code) and editing text.

One would think you’d be more appreciative of the feature and the generous mention and promotion of your seminal book, Diseasing.

Unseemly behavior.

ILANA Mercer
Author, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Columnist, WND’s longest-standing, paleolibertarian weekly column,
Contributor, The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine & UK’s Libertarian Alliance,
Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for market Studies (JIMS)
www.ilanamercer.com

UPDATE III (11/1): Jack Kerwick uses precision-guided words and phrases—a “scandalous degree of unprofessionalism and hyper-emotionality,” “academic conformity,” “abuse of power”—to describe the anti-intellectual atmosphere during his Ph.D “sentence” at Temple University, dominated by left-liberals who won’t brook dissent (like the encounter above).