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Friday, November 30, 2012

Blago Scandal Continues

I found an interesting accusation about Chicago Tribune reporters at
It brings into question whether U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is really the straight-shooter we have always thought he was, or just a corrupt underling of AG Eric Holder.

Commentarius de Prognosticis: A Warning to the President

Commentarius de Prognosticis: A Warning to the President
Estase personally hopes Jamie Foxx was kidding.  Otherwise. . .yee-yow!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Illinois: Get Out While You Can!

Life in the People's Republic of Illinois is looking to get even shittier with the proposed 5% tax on satellite TV.  I have an idea for an advertisment for people to move to Illinois.  The scene opens with a wide shot of a badly neglected section of Detroit.  The announcer says in the voice over:"Interested in getting in on the ground floor of a burgeoning liberal utopia?  You could move to Detroit, but wouldn't you prefer a state that's just escaping the bonds of fiscal discipline?"  The picture then shifts to a statue of Lincoln.  The voice over continues:" Illinois, home of the sixteenth president who saw the nation through Civil War!  The state that was home to the Sears Roebuck empire before we chased them out with anti-business legislation!  You too can pay high taxes to one of the worst managed governments in America!"  The advertisment then closes with a graphic of an anarcho-socialist style clenched fist surrounded by the words, "Illinois, Down With the Man!"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How Not to Blog

Every blogger wishes to be a virtuoso.  Estase wishes to be as a writer what Alex Lifeson of Rush is as a guitarist.  In reality, he probably, to stick with the guitar metaphor, is more like Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols.  It makes one feel better to compare oneself to the mediocrities that actually get paid for their writing, from Donna Basile on the Left to Ann Coulter on the Right.  Vapid sells.  Stupid really sells.  And when one pursues political commentary as something to do online less stupid than YouTube videos involving cats, there is little left to lose.
Tips to get really poor visitorship at your quidnunc: 1)Make constant reference to the Elegant Eighteenth Century.  2)Express opinions that are not popular and that do not make people happy or excited.  Opposing abortion even in cases of rape are a good example.  This will be the kind of thing that really endears you to the Primrose League.  3)Point out the moral corruption of the Terrible Twenty-first Century.  No one likes to believe that people's behavior is loathsome;  after all, liberals tend to believe that society advances over time, improving every day.  No one wants to think about why recently schoolchildren in Chicago murdered a peer by smashing his head with a 2'x4".  Follow these three tips, and you will be sure to be ignored as a quaint holdover, a bitter xenophobe who clings to God and guns.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sad but True

Petasus tip to Steve Kellmeyer of The Fifth Column:

"The new SCOTUS will make the Warren Court look like Jerry Falwell's Ice Cream Social Club."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Letter to the Primrose League

Apparently Estase is what's wrong with the Republican Party.  Mitt Romney decided to run on economic issues, was cagey about touching any social issue, and allowed the Salon types to depict him as the ultimate selfish rich guy.  So why the Primrose League thinks I am the problem mystifies me.  My dream candidate was Rick Santorum, whom most of the party couldn't wait to kick to the curb.  But, as Disraeli said, "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party!" And, "Damn your principles, stick to your party!"  The thing I'm wondering is why the Primrose League ran a values-free election, and is now blaming values voters for their defeat?  It kind of strikes me as unfair.  The Romneyites told us that they knew best, that they alone could win, yadda yadda yadda.  And now, it isn't their fault, that a President whose handling of the economy has been atrocious defeated a candidate who ran only on the economy.  Estase feels like he just walked into a black tie affair wearing a polyester leisure suit from 1975.  The problem is, the polyester leisure suit from 1975 is going to be all anyone can afford by 2016.

With a tip of the petasus to William Oddie at, one of my favorite historians apparently has clay feet.  Oddie reports that Eamon Duffy is defending a scholar named Tina Beattie, whose invitation to speak at the University of San Diego has been rescinded based on her support for gay marriage.  The thing that is either odd or not odd (depending on your opinion of Cardinal Newman) is that Duffy is quoting Newman on the importance of having heretics speak at Catholic colleges.  Mr. Oddie claims Newman was a conservative, which is 180 degrees from John Cornwell, who did a recent biography of J.H. Newman--a book I would never have read simply because the fevered mind that produced Hitler's Pope created it.  Not being a Newman scholar, I will hope Oddie is correct.  Duffy, on the other hand, created the must-read book for anyone with even a passing interest in the so-called Reformation (which might have been called the Great Religious Tinkering) in his The Stripping of the Altars.  Bravo, Mr. Oddie.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Election Time

"The English are at present employed in celebrating a feast, which becomes general every seventh year;  the parliament of the nation being then dissolved, and another appointed to be chosen.  This solemnity falls infinitely short of our Feast of the Lanterns in magnificence and splendour;  it is also surpassed by others of the East in unanimity and pure devotion;  but no festival in the world can compare with it for eating.  Their eating, indeed, amazes me;  had I five hundred heads, and were each head furnished with brains, yet would they all be insufficient to compute the number of cows, pigs, geese, and turkeys, which, upon this occasion, die for the good of their country.

To say the truth, eating seems to make a grand ingredient in all English parties of zeal, business, or amusement.  When a church is to be built, or an hospital endowed, the directors assemble, and instead of consulting upon it, they eat upon it, by which means the business goes forward with success.  When the poor are to be relieved, the officers appointed to dole out public charity assemble and eat upon it.  Nor has it ever been known that they filled the bellies of the poor, 'till they had previously satisfied their own.  But in the election of magistrates the people seem to exceed all bounds:  the merits of a candidate are often measured by the number of his treats;  his constituents assemble, eat upon him, and lend their applause, not to his integrity or sense, but to the quantities of his beef and brandy.

And yet I could forgive this people their plentiful meals on this occasion, as it is extremely natural for every man to eat a great deal when he gets it for nothing;  but what amazes me is, that all this good living no way contributes to improve their good humour.  On the contrary, they seem to lose their temper as they lose their appetites;  every morsel they swallow, and every glass they pour down, serves to increase their animosity.  Many an honest man, before as harmless as a tame rabbit, when loaded with a single election dinner, has become more dangerous than a charged culverin.  Upon one of these occasions I have actually seen a bloody-minded man-milliner sally forth at the head of a mob, determined to face a desperate pastrycook, who was general of the opposite party.

But you must not suppose they are without a pretext for thus beating each other.  On the contrary, no man here is so uncivilized as to beat his neighbour without producing very sufficient reasons.  One candidate, for instance, treats with gin, a spirit of their own manufacture;  another always drinks brandy, imported from abroad.  Brandy is a wholesome liquor;  gin, a liquor wholly their own.  This, then, furnishes an obvious case of quarrel,--Whether it be most reasonable to get drunk with gin, or get drunk with brandy?  The mob meet upon the debate, fight themselves sober, and then draw off to get drunk again, and charge for another encounter.  So that the English may now properly be said to engage in war;  since, while they are subduing their enemies abroad, they are breaking each other's heads at home.

I lately made an excursion to a neighbouring village, in order to be a spectator of the ceremonies practised upon this occasion.  I left town in company with three fiddlers, nine dozen of hams, and a corporation poet, which were designed as reinforcements to the gin-drinking party.  We entered the town with a very good face;  the fiddlers, no way intimidated by the enemy, kept handling their arms up the principal street.  By this prudent manoeuver, they took peaceable possession of their head-quarters, amidst the shouts of multitudes, who seemed perfectly rejoiced at hearing their music, but above all at seeing their bacon.

I must own, I could not avoid being pleased to see all ranks of people, on this occasion, levelled into an equality, and the poor, in some measure, enjoying the primitive privileges of nature.  If there was any distinction shown, the lowest of the people seemed to receive it from the rich.  I could perceive a cobbler with a levee at his door, and a haberdasher giving audience from behind his counter.

But my reflections were soon interrupted by a mob, who demanded whether I was for the distillery or the brewery?  As these were terms with which I was totally unacquainted, I chose at first to be silent;  however, I know not what might have been the consequence of my reserve, had not the attention of the mob been called off to a skirmish between a brandy-drinker's cow and a gin-drinker's mastiff, which turned out, greatly to the satisfaction of the mob, in favour of the mastiff.

This spectacle, which afforded high entertainment, was at last ended by the appearance of one of the candidates, who came to harangu the mob;  he made a very pathetic speech upon the late excessive importation of foreign drams, and the downfall of the distillery;  I could see some of the audience shed tears.  He was accompanied in his procession by Mrs. Deputy and Mrs. Mayoress.  Mrs. Deputy was not the least in liquor;  and as for Mrs. Mayoress, one of the spectators assured me in my ear, that--she was a very fine woman before she had the small-pox.

Mixing with the crowd, I was now conducted to the hall where the magistrates are chosen:  but what tongue can describe this scene of confusion!  the whole crowd seemed equally inspired with anger, jealousy, politics, patriotism, and punch.  I remarked one figure that was carried up by two men upon this occasion.  I at first began to pity its infirmities as natural, he could not stand;  another made his appearance to give his vote, but though he could stand, he actually lost the use of his tongue, and remained silent;  a third, who, though excessively drunk, could both stand and speak, being asked the candidate's name for whom he voted, could be prevailed upon to make no other answer but "Tobacco and brandy."  In short, an election hall seems to be a theatre, where every passion is seen without disguise;  a school where fools may readily become worse, and where philosophers may gather wisdom.--Adieu"The Citizen of the World,Letter 112, by Oliver Goldsmith 

Power of Spleen

"The rich, as they have more sensibility, are operated upon with greater violence by this disorder.  Different from the poor, instead of becoming more insolent, they grow totally unfit for opposition.  A general here, who would have faced a culverin when well, if the fit be on him, shall hardly find courage to snuff a candle.  An admiral, who could have opposed a broadside without shrinking, shall sit whole nights in his chamber, mobbed up in double nightcaps, shuddering at the intrusive breeze, and distinguishable from his wife only by his black beard and heavy eyebrows.

In the country, this disorder mostly attacks the fair sex;  in town it is most unfavorable to the men.  A lady who has pined whole years amidst cooing doves and complaining nightingales, in rural retirement, shall resume all her vivacity in one night at a city gaming-table;  her husband, who roared, hunted, and got drunk at home, hall grow splenetic in town in proportion to his wife's good humour.  Upon their arrival in London, they exchange their disorders.  In consequence of her parties and excursions, he puts on the furred cap and scarlet stomacher, and perfectly resembles an Indian husband, who, when his wife is safely delivered, permits her to transact business abroad, while he undergoes all the formality of keeping his bed, and receiving all the condolence in her place.

But those who reside constantly in town, owe this disorder mostly to the influence of the weather.  It is impossible to describe what a variety of transmutations an east wind shall produce;  it has been known to change a lady of fashion into a parlour couch;  an alderman into a plate of custards;  and a dispenser of justice into a rat-trap.  Even philosophers themselves are not exempt from its influence;  it has often converted a poet into a coral and bells, and a patriot senator into a dumb waiter.

Some days ago I went to visit the Man in Black, and entered his house with that cheerfulness which the certainty of a favorable reception always inspires.  Upon opening the door of his apartment, I found him with the most rueful face imaginable, in a morning gown and flannel nightcap, earnestly employed in learning to blow the German flute.  Struck with the absurdity of a man in the decline of life thus blowing away all his constitution and spirits, even without the consolation of being musical, I ventured to ask what could induce him to attempt learning so difficult an instrument so late in life?  To this he made no reply, but groaning, and still holding the flute to his lips, continued to gaze at me for some moments very angrily, and then proceeded to practise his gamut as before.  After having produced a variety of the most hideous tones in nature, at last turning to me, he demanded, whether I did not think he had made a surprising progress in two days?  "You see," continues he, "I have got the ambusheer already;  and as for fingering, my master tells me, I shall have that in a few lessons more."  I was so much astonished with this instance of inverted ambition, that I knew not what to reply;  but soon discerned the cause of all his absurdities:  my friend was under a metamorphosis by the power of spleen, and flute-blowing was unluckily become his adventitious passion." The Citizen of the World, Letter Ninety, by Oliver Goldsmith

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Professional Authors

"It is surprising what an influence titles shall have upon the mind, even though these titles be of our own making.  Like children, we dress up the puppets in finery, and then stand in astonishment at the plastic wonder.  I have been told of a rat-catcher here, who strolled for a long time about the villages near town, without finding any employment;  at last, however, he thought proper to take the title of his Majesty's Rat-catcher in ordinary, and thus succeeded beyond his expectations:  when it was known that he caught rats at court, all were ready to give him countenance and employment.

But of all the people, they who make books seem most perfectly sensible of the advantages of titular dignity.  All seem convinced, that a book written by vulgar hands can neither instruct nor improve;  none but kings, chams, and mandarins can write with any probability of success.  If the titles inform me right, not only kings and courtiers, but emperors themselves, in this country, periodically supply the press.

A man here who should write, and honestly confess that he wrote, for bread, might as well send his manuscript to fire the baker's oven;  not one creature will read him:  all must be court-bred poets, or pretend at least to be court-bred, who can expect to please.  Should the caitiff fairly avow a design of emptying our pockets and filling his own, every reader would instantly forsake him:  even those who write for bread themselves would combine to worry him, perfectly sensible that his attempts only served to take the bread out of their mouths. 

And yet this silly prepossession the more amazes me, when I consider, that almost all the excellent productions in wit that have appeared here were purely the offspring of necessity;  their Drydens, Butlers, Otways, and Farqhars, were all writers for bread.  Believe me, my friend, hunger has a most amazing faculty of sharpening the genius;  and he who, with a full belly, can think like a hero, after a course of fasting, shall rise to the sublimity of a demi-god.

But what will most amaze is, that this very set of men, who are now so much depreciated by fools, are, however, the very best writers they have among them at present.  For my own part, were I to buy a hat, I would not have it from a stocking-maker, but a hatter;  were I to buy shoes, I should not go to the tailor's for that purpose.  It is just so with regard to wit:  did I, fo;r my life, desire to be well served, I would apply only to those who made it their trade, and lived by it.  You smile at the oddity of my opinion:  but be assured, my friend, that wit is in some measure mechanical;  and that a man long habituated to catch at even its resemblence, will at last be happy enough to possess the substance.  By a long habit of writing he acquires a justness of thinking, and a mastery of manner, which holiday writers, even with ten times his genius, may vainly attempt to equal.

How then are they decieved who expect from title, dignity, and exterior circumstance, an excellence, which is in some measure acquired by habit, and sharpened by necessity!  You have seen, like me, many literary reputations, promoted by the influence of fashion, which have scarce survived the possessor;  you have seen the poor hardly earn the little reputation they acquired, and their merit only acknowledged when they were incapable of enjoying the pleasures of popularity:  such, however, is the reputation worth possessing;  that which is hardly earned is hardly lost.--Adieu."The Citizen of the World, Letter XCIII, by Oliver Goldsmith

Mainstream "Culture"

One of the places Estase frequents (and this is emphatically not an endorsement) is Subway.  Their table tents have been of interest recently.  Last week, their table tent advertised that Jimmy Kimmel Live would be taped from Brooklyn from October 29th to November 2.  Is it just me, or could Superstorm Sandy be God's punishment to NYC for fostering such as Mr. Kimmel.  Which brings us to this week's table tent:  Mr. Kimmel's ex-girlfriend, the foul-mouthed psychopath Sarah Silverman, has been turned into an adorable children's character by the Disney Machine for the new movie "Wreck-It Ralph."  Perhaps the Disney people missed it when Ms. Silverman complained about Vatican City, offered the Pope "pussy," and wrote a memoir where she vented on her hate for conservatives.  So are we to take our kids to see a movie with someone who hates everything Republicans stand for?  Are we supposed to say, "Sure she insulted the Pope, but, come on, it's Disney!  They haven't ever offended our values before!," forgetting such previous Disney offerings as "Priest," which depicted the typical Catholic priest as frequenting gay bars.

In the good old People's Republic of Illinois, Republicans Joe Walsh and Bobby Schilling are unseated by liberal scumbags.  This would be typical, as the same happened to Florida's Allen West. An organization called Center for Ethics and Reponsibility in Washington (CREW) is attacking bishops such as Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria for their nonpartisan calls for Catholics to vote.  In Cayahoga County, Ohio every registered voter in the county supposedly voted for Barack Obama.  Let me repeat this for effect.  Not only did every registered voter in this county vote, not one of them, NOT ONE voted for Mitt Romney!  Really?  America is being destroyed by its addiction to OPM--Other People's Money.  Until Americans can see through fiscal irresponsibility wedded to social libertarianism, we will continue down the road to broken families, nonfunctioning schools, bankrupt government, and pornographic comediennes turned children's movie actors.