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Tim Hartnett

Articles by Tim Hartnett

Considering the Evidence…

December 15, 2021

It was Satchel Paige who said “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” Whatever it was has caught up and is scaring people into not looking closely in any direction at all.
We are deep into an age where progressive politicians, editors, media personalities and a vast majority of academics have teamed up with street hooligans in a rhetorical and violent war against careful examination of reality. Questioning assertions without foundation has become risky business. The coverage of recent developments in criminal courts provides clear examples.
If you still believe there is a lofty bar keeping nitwits from breaking into higher academia listen to this from a professor of history at DePaul University:
“Anyone who thinks racism is worse in the South should note that

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Weaned Off the Weiner

November 6, 2021

I gave the Post a good rifling on my commute Friday morning. Nothing held me to the end…until the Style section. “Huma Abedin reclaims her history” looked miss-able at first glance. It’s never a good idea to underestimate the laughs lurking in a subject Bezosians take seriously. The Hillary hench-woman’s bio “Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds” is hot off the presses. Whether the text is as awkward as the title of the book isn’t covered in the story. The piece isn’t a review it’s a heart-render about the Hillarati that reconvened for this historic moment.
When you see the quote, “There are a lot of reasons it’s sad that Hillary never became president. In large part that whole peace and prosperity thing…” in the fifth paragraph, you know you’ve hit paydirt. Philippe Reines is

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Peers for a Day

September 23, 2021

“History doesn’t repeat itself but rhymes” is a line with a lot of mileage these days. The editors running the division of poetic vehicles don’t get it. They revoke all the wrong licenses and grant reckless sonneteers the open road.
The latest historic victim in verse should be collected into a series of volumes titled “Alas, Afghanistan.” Media has its most mendacious bards cranking out cantos in reams. How should the lit profs classify it? Will it be un-heroic couplets, a rap ballad or elitist doggerel? One lame line pops up in the refrain of every odious ode the punditry pelts us with. Whenever the 4th estate is repeating itself ad nauseam fake news alarms should be clanging in every brain.
The good news is that defeat is no longer an abandoned

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She’s Telling Us?

July 1, 2021

“There is nothing new under the sun,” my creative writing prof used to say. If your pen is going to get anywhere worth going you have to make it new anyway. That was his theory. Hollywood creatively gets that backwards. Take the film “Nobody” as an example. The retired bad-ass, now family man, plot is as played as the lyrics of “Happy Birthday.” Tinsel town surmounts this hurdle packing the script with dialogue that leaves wincing audiences pining for mimes. When theaters that run stuff off the L.A. assembly line reopened last fall they posted achtung notices on social distancing everywhere. None were ever necessary. It would have taken a good arm to hit the next closest viewer with a pebble…in the unlikely case others were in attendance.
So I’m

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Canceling Congressional Clouseau’s?

June 4, 2021

The New York Times has no comic section. That’s why they never fail to deliver the laughs right on the front page.
“With No Panel Riot Questions Sure to Linger,” reads Luke Broadwater’s 5-30-2021 headline. If the man is not trying to be a comedian he should have gone back to the familial trade of manufacturing second rate boats.
“…Republicans in Congress have all but closed off the possibility of a full and impartial accounting for one of the most serious assaults on American democracy in history, leaving unanswered critical questions with broad implications for politics, security and public trust.”
Very few of us are in awe looking over the management listed on the NYT masthead these days. But not even any of them seems stooge

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Ms. Smith Goes to Laputa

March 3, 2021

The burger joint had no internet. I got a copy of the New York Times and started with an article about the hate-hoax at Smith College. It was already familiar by now. Considering the source and subject matter a noxious dose of fake news was expected. By the eighth paragraph I thought the iced tea was spiked with a fast acting hallucinogen. The story, “Tensions Simmer Over Race and Class at Smith” (2-25-2021), was damn near dead accurate. Author Michael Powell must know where the bodies are buried.
Oumou Kanoute, a black student, had been approached by security while occupying an unauthorized area of the campus. There is no doubt in my mind she was aware of the room’s off-limits status. I have serially committed the exact same

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Les Enfants Terribles

December 17, 2020

Kids from generation baby-boom saw more than a few newborns coming up. One thing the unsentimental ones can tell you is that infantile antics don’t always cut it as “awwww-ain’t-that-cute” behavior. Little people are barely out of the womb and already trying to tell everybody something. Some of them can be disturbingly demanding about it–without speaking an intelligible word. No one—not even the late Dr. Jean Piaget—has translated the messages they try putting across. But, personally, I’d never rule out the possibility of “shut up and listen to me.”
Somewhere on that bridge between crawling and toddling is where plucky imps take a first windy shot at public address. You might be reading or watching TV as the tirade busts loose—

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Just Our ‘Facts,’ Ma’am

November 9, 2020

“News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.”
— Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe
Francisco Pizarro rode well ahead of the pack earning the title “Evil European Oppressor.” In the bad old days of Eurocentric 20th century style history, textbooks had already drawn a bead on him. The man who took down the Incan empire and assassinated Atahualpa was a devout Papist. That detail failed to save his reputation anywhere–including the Catholic curriculum. Balboa’s betrayer never got an ounce of whitewash even in an academic era when original white visitors to the Western hemisphere were slathered in it.  But there was always something fishy about the story we got in grade school. How could an

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The Summer of Love Crime

September 12, 2020

We’ve come a long way since 1967. A lot of that distance must have been in a reverse gear where music is concerned. Take a look at the top 100 hits from that year. People who were born 20 later can name some of them in 2 or 3 bars—and they still play in bars. Most of the top 100 from 2020, on the other hand, could serve as cruel and unusual penance for mortal sins. Whatever kinds of guilt trips the woker-than-thous try to heap on the boomers—their revolution had a hundred catchy theme songs—53 years down the road the upheaval going on now will be hard on ears going by its tunes. What the history industry will make out of the rest of it—if enlightenment still prevails—is ugly to consider.
It’s not just the music that gives you the

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Cakes and Ale for Shut-ins

April 20, 2020

“There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”  Samuel Johnson
Hermitic homebodies might not go along with Boswell’s drinking buddy. It’s the wayfarers who can all agree: Johnson is as right in 2020 as he was in 1791 when his life story hit stands. Cabin fever is about the next worst thing to the coronavirus. Card-carrying true believers in hitting town and throwing down would even say that that order is reversed. There are healthy herds in every hamlet who’d be willing to take their chances bellying up to the bar tonight. In the meantime, no one has got a clue how long going out will continue to seem like a distant fantasy. People who used to get every

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The Newspeaking ‘Free’ Press

April 2, 2020

The woman on the street can have a hard time understanding what some journalists think free speech is these days. Craig Aaron is the president and CEO of an organization known as “Free Press”. Visiting the “about” section on that website turns up this quote describing their mission statement:
“Free Press (501c3) and Free Press Action Fund (501c4) are two separate, autonomous and interrelated organizations. Both organizations are completely independent: We don’t take money from business, government or political parties and rely on the generosity of charitable foundations and individual donors to fuel our work.”
On March 24th, Mr. Aaron had an article published on The Columbia Journalism Review’s website, under the title,

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If Eli Had a Hammer

March 27, 2020

Establishment mouthpieces in media and academia have been writing off mistrust of “elites” as kooky for years. Now that plague is running rampant we can all see the stakes. Who do you think will fare better than others surviving the present pandemic? Whether or not the least vulnerable came by their financial, and physical, seclusion honestly is boiling down to a grim question. What is the value of one human life over another? Just how does anyone go about making themselves “worth” more?
Fifteen years ago President Bush was taking heat for sluggish mismanagement of the catastrophe Hurricane Katrina left in its wake. The Mad-Men in charge of photo-ops at 1600 Penn were on it. The Air Force One crew was told to plot a course toward

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The Tiers of Woke Clowns

February 29, 2020

Vivek Ramaswamy is not a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant but he is a man and he did some ‘splainin. It’s not a good sign that it was necessary on the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal. Skepticism tends to be looked on with skepticism these days—popular culture is always ripening the harvest for confidence men.
The subject of Ramaswamy’s piece is another enlightened scheme for saving the world—from what we will all find out–as the vision unfolds. This time it goes by the Newspeak name “stakeholder capitalism.” The term is supposed to mean that righteous corporations will be raising the stakes above mere profit for shareholders. What it looks to be saving us from, as Mr. Ramaswamy is wont to point out, is that ever-present peril

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Is Elitophobia a Hate Crime?

November 27, 2019

“The reason power corrupts” said Kyle Rothweiller in an otherwise forgettable essay, “is that sooner or later its possessor comes to believe he deserves it.”
It always risky to climb above your station and look down on the swells. Daniel Defoe found that out the hard way. After publishing The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, in 1703, he went to the pillory followed by Newgate prison. He had made fools of the high-church men by suggesting intolerant, violent extremes against religious non-conformists of his day. The holy men publicly agreed. Sharper readers of the era recognized that the tract was a satire lampooning the whole idea. Clerics who got laughed at set their hounds on the anonymous author. Once outed they made sure he

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Hide the Truth

April 22, 2017

“If there is one operative rule in Washington’s left-right paradigm, it is to shift the focus of any conversation that seems at risk of revealing something approximating truth-…” Kathleen Parker WP 4-4-2017
It’s wordy but close enough…or would have been if she had left it there. Journalistic professionals think their jobs require improvements on the truth. And they believe they can make them down to a man, a woman or a whatever. So she had to spoil it adding: “…a game at which the current administration and its media surrogates happen to excel.”
“We all cheat but they’re better at it” would have saved the lady quite a few words and syllables.
If Parker really thinks Trump’s mouthpieces “happen to excel” at fooling the people she doesn’t give any great

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Bring Back ‘Get Smart’

March 2, 2017

That mainstream media only missed it by “that” much? So how much is that exactly?
The CIA’s old tripping over its own two-feet trick is getting a little played. What they call “tradecraft” became a public spectacle, after the fact, abducting Abu Omar in Milan February 2003. The 20 some agents involved managed not to get caught red-handed. They were none too quiet about it though and left a trail behind an asthmatic lapdog with a cold could have followed. Italian authorities were not inclined to turn a blind eye to felonies on their turf. They indicted the culprits trying them in abstentia.One was agent Sabrina de Souza. She made the mistake of going to Portugal post-conviction and became liable for extradition.  22 other company men and women may be in the

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Where Do You Fit In?

October 13, 2016

Why is everybody always picking on the elite these days? The American upper-crust has been taking it on the chin so long they don’t even know who they are anymore. There’s an identity crisis going on in polite society. What can the man on the street be thinking when he calls out his betters? There ought to be a law. There probably will be. Congress can be counted on to act when all the right people are suffering. Haters spewing out the E-word need to start watching their backs. John Kennedy said: “Forgive your enemies but remember their names.” The in the crowd is keen on the second half of that advice.
Just what, exactly, do the swells want for America anyway? Joe Six-Pack might be more understanding if they’d come right out and say. It’s never easy

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