• Can someone explain to me the difference between “lived experience” and “experience”? Isn’t all experience “lived”? Is “lived experience” some kind of extra-super-dooper kind of experience, special to that extra-special class of people known as “millennials”? Isn’t this ubiquitous phrase redundant—yet another example of linguistic inflation that turns a clear term like “library” into “learning resource center”? I earnestly wish “lived” experience would die.
• October turns out to be Filipino American History Month. Which reminds me of a story I told in my recent biography of M. Stanton Evans that is worth sharing in honor of Filipino American History Month:
Evans, caught up in the moment, offered the improvisation that “the White House treats us [conservatives] like any other special interest group, like Indians or handicapped Filipinos!” Both NBC and CBS Evening News picked up Evans’s comment in their broadcasts on CPAC, with CBS correspondent Bob Scheiffer saying “M. Stanton Evans criticized Reagan’s aides, comparing White House treatment of conservatives with that given American Indians and handicapped Filipinos.”
Evans said later he had no idea where he came up with “handicapped Filipinos,” but the next morning at his office he was deluged with angry phone calls from Filipinos, including one from the outraged president of the National Filipino-American Association. Evans kept his cool and used some quick thinking.
“Well, that’s the news media for you. They distort everything!”
The caller: “You’re damned right they do!”
The conversation took a friendly turn, with Evans explaining what conservatives and Filipinos had in common, namely, shabby treatment from Washington. His caller, now charmed and appeased, followed up:
“Say, would you be willing to be the keynote speaker at our annual convention in two weeks?”
Evans accepted on the spot, despite knowing next to nothing about Filipino history, culture, or interests. But he studied up, gave a well-received speech that got a standing ovation, and as a bonus crowned Miss Filipino-America at the end of the program.
• Too bad Christopher Columbus (real name: Cristobal Colon, apparently) never sailed to the Philippines, or we could cross-purpose the Columbus Day holiday along with Filipino American History Month. As you know, next Monday is Columbus Day, a holiday first instituted by President Benjamin Harrison in the 1890s partly as an effort to turn back anti-Italian bigotry. The irony, of course, is that on every college campus next Monday will be observed as “Indigenous People’s Day,” because Columbus did mean things to indigenous peoples. (Too bad he didn’t have a Twitter account.)
I am directed by Walter Olson to a great Substack entry on Astral Codex Ten, which offers a dialogue between “Beroe” and “Adraste” about the whole matter of those idyllic, peaceful indigenous people. Worth reading the whole thing, but here’s a relevant sample:
Beroe: What about “Indigenous People’s Day is offensive because indigenous peoples were frequently involved in slavery and genocide”?
Adraste: I’m not sure I’ve heard that particular argument before.
Beroe: But surely you can sketch it out. Many indigenous peoples practiced forms of hereditary slavery, usually of war captives from other tribes. Some of them tortured slaves pretty atrociously; others ceremonially killed them as a spectacular show of wealth. There’s genetic and archaeological evidence of entire lost native tribes, most likely massacred by more warlike ones long before European contact. Some historians think that the Aztecs may have ritually murdered between 0.1% and 1% of their empire’s population every year, although as always other historians disagree. I refuse to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day, because I think we need to question holidays dedicated to mass murderers even when they’re “traditional” or “help connect people to their history”.
• It is worth noting that the Democrats’ attempt to “Katrinize” Gov. DeSantis over Hurricane Ian fizzled out practically before the storm cleared the state. This, despite credible reports of a significant death toll around the Ft. Myers area. One reason for this is simply the competence of Gov. DeSantis and other Florida officials, which contrasts with the obvious incompetence of the Democrats in charge of New Orleans in 2005. How was the left successful in shifting the blame to President George W. Bush over Katrina? Simple: They were able to place the race card. The left and the media can’t play this card (despite Kamala Harris’s best lame attempt to do so) because most of the deaths out in the coastal areas are likely to be white people.
This is also perhaps another example of a leftist playbook that only works once, like “Borking” GOP Supreme Court nominees, which failed in the cases of both Clarence Thomas and Brett Cavanaugh. Add “Katrinizing” to “Borking” as an obsolete leftist tactic. Though don’t expect to give either of them up any time soon.
• Finally, I’m back in Facebook jail again, for this (which I saw a Georgetown University professor also post, but he is still in good standing somehow):