Bad News From Donald Trump

As we're sure Popehat readers know, Donald Trump has announced that he's now open to allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. There will be no mass deportations. This is what's commonly described as "Amnesty" for illegal aliens.

We contacted a leading fuhrer of the Alt-Right political establishment for his reaction to Trump's betrayal:

Ask Stalin

We're proud to welcome Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known to the world as Comrade Stalin, or Koba to old friends, to the crew here at Popehat. Each week, Comrade Stalin will answer your questions on dating, relationships, etiquette, and workplace issues. If you have a problem you just can't solve, why not turn for advice to the 20th century's master politician, Josef Stalin? Email your questions to

This week's question comes from Ronald, in Bloomfield, New Mexico:

Josef Vissarionovich!

Recently I met a woman through a friend, call her Alicia, and have been spending a lot of time with her. Alicia and I get along very well. We have a lot in common, and share a similar sense of humor. We see each other at least two nights a week, and talk on the phone or by text daily. I'm very attracted to Alicia, but she's made it clear that she sees me as "just a friend," and doesn't want to take things further. This is probably because I'm shy and not the best looking guy in the world. I read in "The Art of the Pick-Up" by …

Comrade Stalin

Comrade Stalin

Ronald from Bloomfield, New Mexico:

Stop right there. What is this business of calling me by my name and patronymic, Josef Vissarionovich, as though we're jolly chums from school days at the Tiflis seminary? What sort of creature are you? You may address me as "Comrade Stalin." I'll let you know when you've earned the privilege of intimacy.

As for your reading material, you can throw that garbage into the incinerator. Books can be useful, there is no doubt about that. But books on the art of love between a man and a woman are written primarily by half-wits and good-for-nothings, to separate you from your hard-earned kopecks. And you're going to need every kopeck if you're to woo this beautiful lady Alicia.

As for her, it seems you have the battle half won. Lady Alicia thinks kindly of you, and sees in you a kindred soul. Clearly she is not an Enemy. Now you wish to pursue her as matrimonial material, I am to take it? You are not seeking merely to vent your lusts upon her, like a criminal scoundrel? I cannot abide that kind of thinking. A man needs a woman, for keeping of an orderly home, raising of healthy children, and the other sort of thing. But if you are thinking of simply using this lady Alicia, then throwing her away as just another conquest, you'll get no help from me.

The key thing in wooing a woman is sincerity concerning your intentions. You must show this lady Alicia, through your words and actions, that you view her as your future wife, and that nothing less will satisfy you. You must call her three times a day. You must bombard her with candies and chocolates, and wine, and gifts. Nothing too expensive, of course, because that will create unrealistic expectations when you are married. Nonetheless, give her a brooch. Send flowers to her once each day, alternately at her home and at work. Raise a toast in her honor at every social gathering.

You must break her will, utterly and completely. You must grind her into powder.

Then lady Alicia will love you, and you will be married. I hope that you will name your first son Vissarion, in my honor.

Yours in sincerity,


Ask Popehat! Joe Manchin Edition

Welcome to Ask Popehat!, the feature where we take your questions on topics ranging from law to ethics to proper child rearing, and give sensible easily digested answers that you can share with friends and family at the dinner table. For this edition, we'd like to welcome Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. As the distinguished former Governor and Attorney General of the Mountain State, Senator Manchin has graciously agreed to provide his wisdom on the difficult job of upholding the Constitution during times of emergency and civil strife. Our question to Senator Manchin comes from Edith H., of Anchorage Alaska.

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin

Dear Senator Manchin:

I was shocked and heartbroken at this week's deaths at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, though I'm still learning the facts. Like a lot of Americans, I'd like to know how the shooter was able to get his hands on a semi-automatic rifle when he'd been investigated by the FBI, not once but twice.  Wasn't that a crime? Shouldn't the government have prevented him from obtaining a dangerous weapon, just to be sure?

Edith in Anchorage.

Senator Joe Manchin

Senator Joe Manchin

Dear Edith:

Thank you for your questions. Like you, I was dismayed to wake up Sunday morning to see news of this tragedy. And let me tell you, as a former prosecutor, once I recovered from my grief I turned to the first question anyone should ask when tragedy occurs:

Who is responsible?

There are many we could blame for this atrocity, starting with the obvious: the shooter himself. By all accounts Omar Mateen was a psychopath, with deeply strange sexual hang-ups and a twisted, murderous interpretation of his religion. Some would say that alone explains his awful crimes, and that we should be thankful he's no longer around. That's what many ordinary people would say. But as a former prosecutor, and a United States lawmaker, my job is to probe deeper, to prevent tragedies of this sort from occurring again. And I'm glad to say that I have found the true culprit behind these crimes. That culprit is the United States Constitution.

Now don't get me wrong: I'm a big fan of the Constitution, in many respects. I'm a great admirer of Article I, which gives United States Senators, like myself, the power to maintain a Journal of Proceedings. And to be compensated by law for our service to this great nation. As well as to provide and maintain a Navy. Did you know that even though West Virginia is landlocked, the Navy keeps our rivers free of pirates? God bless our beautiful mountain streams. And God bless the United States Navy.

But as much as I love our brave fighting sailors, the Constitution is a deeply flawed document, which has been twisted even further by bleeding heart judges and corrupt defense attorneys for criminals. Why, did you know that the Constitution says, at least according to some, that a criminal's life, liberty, and property cannot be taken away without "due process of law?"

I was gobsmacked when I first heard that.

You see, some judges, bless their hearts, have gotten it into their heads that we in the United States Senate cannot pass a law to keep potential troublemakers from getting into mischief, or sending them to prison, or taking away their possessions, unless a judge (naturally) and jury have said they actually broke some other law that was already on the books? That's what "due process of law" means.

That's what killed those poor people in Orlando. And it's killing us all.

Edith, as a United States Senator, my job is to keep good Americans like you safe from all enemies foreign and domestic. But as powerful as I am, in some ways my hands are tied. How can I keep you safe from an enemy domestic if I can't order him locked up for your own protection? Or maybe we don't want to actually, you know, put him in jail. Maybe we just want him to shut the funk up, pardon my French. There are a lot of dangerous weirdos out there, saying stupid things that give dumb people the wrong idea about America. Why should they be able to spout off at will, if we in the Senate have determined they're wrong? Why should they be able to buy a gun, if the brave men and women of our Federal Bureau of Investigation think they may be up to no good, some day?

I'll tell you why. It's because pointy-headed judges have arrogated to themselves the power to interpret our sacred Constitution, a job that's reserved to the Senate. Our founding fathers, men like Aaron Burr, our third Vice President, and Jefferson Davis, a great Senator from Mississippi and a brave Secretary of War, didn't hold with toxic notions like this "due process of law." And neither should we.

Of course, Edith, I'm not suggesting that we should put ordinary Americans on lists of people whose rights aren't protected. I love our rights, and I know you do too. We'd never keep you from exercising your God-given right to own a hunting rifle, and to shoot as many turkeys as federal regulations permit. West Virginia is prime turkey-hunting country. If you and your husband enjoy the excitement of turkey shoots as much as I do, we'd love to show you some Mountain State hospitality at our fine hunting resorts.

No, I'm speaking of them, Edith. People who don't love America the way you and I do. I think you know who they are. They're out there, in the mosques and madrassas and "civil liberties" rallies, plotting the downfall of our great nation, and speaking ill of our ancient institutions, like the United States Senate, the greatest legislative body in the world. And one day, if they're not stopped, they'll each of them shoot up a hundred night clubs. Unless we stop them from owning firearms, for their own good, and our own protection.

Kindest regards, and God bless our United States Navy,

Joe Manchin.


Once in a while we return to our roots: Popehat began as a blog about computer gaming and similar disreputable pastimes. Nowadays it takes a hell of a game to make us admit that.

So, back in the days of VGA graphics cards and pentium processors, "turn-based strategy games" were a thing. A big thing. "Civilization" wasn't the only such game most gamers had heard of. There were competitors in non-historical genres, such as epic fantasy or science fiction space opera. In that field, the king was the still well-regarded Master of Orion and its sequel, Master of Orion 2. MOO and MOO2 allowed the player to take the helm of a galactic empire, to unleash fleets of hundreds of ships on enemies, and in general to boldly go where no silicon-based rock form of life had gone before. They were great. And then the genre sort of … died. A followup sequel, Master of Orion 3, played like a spreadsheet and featured artificial intelligence opponents from which the intelligence had been removed. While there are still occasional gems in 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) space opera gaming, such as Galactic CivilizationsSword of the Stars or Distant Worlds, it's strictly a niche genre, for devoted fans only.

Master of Orion diplomacy in action.

Master of Orion diplomacy in action.

The newest player on the scene, Stellaris, by Swedish games company Paradox Development Studios, probably won't change that, but it should.

Stellaris is not a turn-based game. It runs in real time (which can be sped up, slowed down, or paused by the player), but it definitely hearkens back to the glory that was Master of Orion. The game is big. It's complex. And it's glorious, made by people who clearly love space opera sci-fi and all its tropes.  A game begins with the player custom-designing a species (humans, avians, reptilians, and much stranger things are allowed) by look, ethos (anything from benevolent peacekeepers like Star Trek's Federation to xenophobic militarists such as Doctor Who's Daleks is on the table), and exploring from one planet in a galaxy of up to a thousand stars (yes, I know) to build a star empire. Technology will be researched. Aliens will be met, traded with, federated with, and / or conquered. And much else will happen, in scripted or triggered events. Pretty much anything from science fiction can appear depending on the player's actions, such as rogue A.I. attempting to exterminate all life, "uplift" of pre-sentient animals to sapience and starfaring, or the tearing of gaping holes in reality caused by science meddling in Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, leading to galactic invasion by Lovecraftian horrors from another dimension. If there's a trope you can think of, chances are it can appear in a game of Stellaris.

"Diplomacy by other means," from Stellaris

"Diplomacy by other means," from Stellaris

I say "a game," because Stellaris is long. Though the game was released on Monday and I've been playing it in pretty much every moment of free time, I'm nowhere close to finishing a game. As with Civilization on a huge map with lots of opponents, it's possible for a Stellaris scenario, in a thousand star galaxy with numerous A.I. opponents, to take dozens of hours to complete. In the game I'm playing, after a couple of false starts (Stellaris' tutorial, while good, can't really teach you everything you need to know about a game that's quite deep), I've come to dominate the northern spiral arm of the galaxy, violated the Prime Directive to lift pre-spacefaring civilizations to the stars, exterminated one species entirely (because I could tell they'd eventually be trouble for my benevolent vision of multicultural galactic harmony), and had my ass (well, my waste disposal oriented anatomy) handed to me by a decadent race of godlike aliens who were upset that I didn't take their warnings about not exterminating species seriously. And I'm nowhere close to finishing.

Combat is a big thing in Stellaris, but this isn't a tactical game. It's grand strategy. Battles are resolved, graphically, by the computer rather than the player based on number of ships, officers commanding, technology and equipment (Shields work wonderfully against railgun projectiles, but anti-matter missiles slide right through. Should have invested in point defense lasers!). The player can gain an edge in battle with good ship design, or that can be delegated to the computer.

Diplomacy, on the other hand, is lacking. Choices on how to influence cooperating and opposing factions, such as trade, war, and peace, seem rather vanilla compared to what's available in other games by Paradox, such as its World War II simulation Hearts of Iron or its medieval empire simulator Crusader Kings. And the A.I. can be rather passive even in war. And espionage against rival empires is entirely lacking.

That said, Paradox has a good record of supporting and expanding games over time. Europa Universalis IV, released in 2013, still receives regular content additions and brand new features three years after its release. This is not a "fire and forget" game. I expect Stellaris to grow and to improve vastly over time, with expansions to diplomacy, to trade, addition of espionage, and more events such as the A.I. apocalypse.  The game is highly moddable by players. If you want to play in the Star Trek universe, or the hellish future of Warhammer 40,000, I'm quite sure such mods will be available in the not distant future.

I've only scratched the surface of what's available in Stellaris. If you enjoy grand, sweeping strategic games, and have a desire for something deeper than Civilization, in an entirely different setting, I recommend Stellaris highly. This is a game that can keep you entertained for hundreds of hours.

The Fur Flies In Jupiter

Chapter One

It was on the red carpet that the Breitbart bitch jumped me. Five foot six inches of wild conservative journalist, jabbering something about illegal aliens and the starving children of Judge Scalia. She'd played her cards right, smiling at me, winking and nodding, waiting until the angel dust kicked in. That was her moment to strike, with me weighing all of nine pounds and ready to fly off at the gentlest breeze. It was only the speed-enhanced reflexes of My Campaign Manager that saved me, grabbing the dyke from behind and throwing her to the ground.

Like a dog.

"Jesus Jumping Christ, man," My Campaign Manager hollered. "Did you see the size of the bomb that chick was carrying? It was fifty megatons if it was two ounces."

"I'll bet it was two ounces, you degenerate dope fiend," I replied  from high above, on wings of PCP. "You've been dropping so many blues into that gullet of yours that you couldn't tell a ball point pen from an M-X missile. We have to be careful. There are feds all over this joint. Secret Service. The Heat! How did we ever get into this shit?"

How had we ever gotten into this shit? Three sheets to the wind and cast adrift on the seas of presidential politics, with The Man breathing down our necks, and a showdown with that sinister bastard Cruz ahead, if only we could stay out of prison. Or worst of all, the White House.

It was ten months earlier, in the nineteenth hole at my exclusive resort in Mar-A-Lago, that the inspiration had struck us. Inspiration fueled by slamming back shots of Old Granddad all afternoon, with generous tokes of Panamanian Red.

My Campaign Manager and I had been discussing the trade deficit with China, and the grass deficit with Mexico, when he croaked the fatal words: "God damn it if you're so smart about the Acapulco Gold markets, why don't you run for President?"

As I reached to claw the bong out of his oversized hands, it hit me like an electric vomit-bomb: a political trip. There is nothing so crazed as a politician in rut, screeching whatever thoughts burst into his coke-addled brain like a radioactive weasel before thousands of ignorant nimrods, on total auto-pilot, completely in the now, popping off like God's own Mentos and Diet Coke. Even Mick Jagger wouldn't know how to handle such a beast.

"I'll bet you never come down from a nuclear high," I agreed.

"That's it!" My Campaign Manager screamed, "But first, we'll need the supplies." Yes! The supplies. And so we gassed up the helicopter and zoomed off like a pair of Martians on steroids, frenziedly gathering all of the dangerous drugs we'd need to make it to the White House: six keys of Colombia's finest; a pharmacist's hernia-load of reds, blues, and yellowjackets; twenty pounds of Panamanian Red; the whitest heroin from the Harz Mountains of Germany; a gallon jug of angel dust; two briefcases loaded with mescaline; twelve blotters of Florida sunshine acid; and an aquarium full of Bolivian arrow toads. Plus a hogshead of Budweiser and a big inheritance from our Old Granddad.

"You sure this shit is enough?" My Campaign Manager asked. "Enough?" I said. "We'll barely make it to the convention with a stash this small. We'll have to fuel up in Cleveland. But don't worry, motor-head. They love me in Cleveland. All of the polls say so. Why, that swine Kasich, he still owes me a kilo of Laotian white!"

"Kasich?!?" My Campaign Manager roared. "Is that a name for some kind of burrito-head?"

"He's a natural born American!" I cried, "not some demented iceback. That's Cruz you're thinking of. A Canadian through and through! Or is he a Cuban? Anyway, I have valuable plans for this Kasich fellow. He's the Governor of Cleveland, a most important state they tell me. He's vice-presidential timber! A regular master at the art of the deal."

"He sounds like a God-damned Mexican to me."

Chapter Two …

Statement Of Dear Leader And In-House Counsel Joel Pollak Denouncing Criminal Acts Of Traitor Fields-Shapiro Gang

(BREITBART PYONGYANG) Today all the peoples of TrumpNation expressed shock and remorse at news of the well-documented crimes of slanderous traitors Michelle Fields and Ben Shapiro toward Great Leader Donald Trump and the memory of Eternal Breitbart News President Andrew Breitbart.

Word of the infamous and unnameable deeds of the assassins Fields and Shapiro was released by Dear Leader Joel Pollak, Breitbart News Editor At Large and In-House Counsel, who said thusly: "For months the lies and villainies of the lawless Fields-Shapiro Gang have festered beneath the skin of Breitbart News, before erupting forth like the oozing pus of a treacherous pimple into the sunlight of truth. It was only due to the heroic work of the Special Organs and Great Leader Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski that these treasons against all humanity, and the Populist Nationalist Idea of Great Leader Donald Trump, were dragged forth into the public view, to be spat upon as such slanders deserve."

The lies of the venomous she-bitch Michelle Fields against TrumpNation and all right-thinking peoples are thus exposed to the ridicule and contempt of the peoples. It was through the dedicated work of Mister Lewandowski that Fields was exposed as a malignant urchin posing under the good and honorable name of a Breitbart News Reporter at Large, who casts lies and deceits into the popular consciousness concerning Great Leader Donald Trump, the Lion of Trump Tower, who because of his endurance and inflexible will to win will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake. May all such traitors wither before the gaze of the unforgiving peoples of TrumpNation.

Of the wrecker and saboteur Ben Shapiro it is best not to speak, save that his name must be blotted from all scrolls and shattered from all tablets for all time to come. The rootless cosmopolitan Shapiro, who was taken in as a foundling and nurtured to strength by Our Eternal President Andrew Breitbart, has betrayed his benefactor by repeating the calumnies of Fields and magnifying her foul work, spitting upon the honored body of the man who raised him from the gutter from whence he came into the worldwide prominence he enjoyed as a Breitbart News Editor at Large and trusted friend of Great Leader Donald Trump, only to sell his master's wife and children in return for the hireling Judas thirty pieces of silver he received from the weakling Ted Cruz, curse his name!

Breitbart News Editor at Large John Nolte, who has succeeded the thrice-accursed dog Ben Shapiro in all offices and honors, spoke of his devotion to Great Leader Donald Trump and assailed the reprehensible back-stabbers Fields and Shapiro as such: "May all of the fruits of the treasons and betrayals of the disloyal Fields-Shapiro Gang turn to scorching ashes in their mouths, burning their serpents tongues for all time in retribution for their greedful and unfair words. Ten thousand years of life to Great Leader Donald Trump!" All the peoples of TrumpNation agree. The Populist Nationalist Idea of Great Leader Donald J. Trump shall endure through the ages, until all such liars and slanderers suffer the torments and bereavements of the damnation which is their fate, and America is Made Great Again.

The Fields-Shapiro Gang has been broken up, and their double dealing exposed, yet these two flunkies of the GOP establishment and wicked Ted Cruz remain at large. A Peoples Tribunal of Breitbart News editors has sentenced the Fields-Shapiro Gang to doxing, to death in absentia, and to public mortification. All peoples of TrumpNation are urged to report the whereabouts of these two thieves in the night. Great Leader Donald Trump has promised huge rewards, including an autographed Make America Great Again baseball cap, in return for their capture, alive if possible.

Follow Patrick Nonwhite on Twitter @DPRK_News.

Kim Jong Il

Atlas Mugged

Wesley Mouch had never paid much attention to men like Henry Rearden, who had risen on his own merits from the pits of a Minnesota iron mine to become sole owner of 57% of the world's steel mills. The industrialists surrounding Rearden, men like Francisco D'Anconia, who had  built on a fortune established by the legendary Sebastian D'Anconia, a disgraced Spanish aristocrat who had been transported to Peru for speaking against the corruption surrounding the king; women like Dagney Taggart, the ice cold beauty who singlehandedly ran the operations of the massive Taggart Transcontinental railway line which provided the motive blood coursing through the veins of American industry: what could they, with their merciless focus on the creation of wealth, know of tender feelings; of the sense of terror experienced by a man such as Wesley Mouch in the company of these diamond-encrusted titans of wealth? And so Mouch, though he was very well thought of by such leading lights of the culture as Tiggle Munson, the author of "The Grateful Slave: A Paradigm For Our Times," and by Ignitz Urkelmop, the playwright whose musical comedy "Burp! Burp! Burp!" was the toast of Broadway, and by Edna Sloggle, whose salon in Washington was the gathering place of fashionable American intellect, took a stiff belt of bourbon to fortify himself as he entered Rearden's party.

As he made his first trip to Rearden's bar, Mouch looked furtively at the industrialists around him, with their tasteful, understated displays of supreme confidence in themselves and their hard-earned wealth. Mouch wanted nothing so much as to to vomit, to sully the marble floors and columns with the half-digested lunch of his own inadequacy in the face of such self-assurance. It was then that he saw Donald Trump enter, insult Rearden's butler with an ethnic joke, and wade into the crowd with the thoughtless swagger that can only belong to a man who has stolen a fortune through graft, pull at City Hall, and the liberal use of eminent domain. Mouch's heart rose at the sight of such a man.

Trump slouched against the buffet table as Rearden held forth on the merits of his newly invented wonder alloy, Rearden Metal, which was said to combine the tensile strength of a spider's web with the durability and load-bearing capacity of the purest titanium. Rearden was saying that his metal, with its unheard-of resistance to heat, could revolutionize the smelting of vital industrial ores in foundries of such might as to approach the heart of the sun, when Trump interrupted the conversation.

"Rearden Metal? Let me tell you something about metals. Now I happen to be quite an expert in metals, and alloys, and it's very well known that my opinion counts for a lot in these things. Reporters, cable tv guys, metallurgists, all the polls, they say Trump's the go-to guy when you want the latest on metals. Trump knows metals, they all tell me. It's a fact. I've been making deals in the metal markets for a long time. And not your average everyday metals, no tin pots at a Trump hotel. I'm talking about high grade metals, the very best of metals, you understand. Gold, platinum, all of your classier metals, that's what you'll find at my resorts and casinos. All of the guests at my Trump Atlantis resort, they come up to me after dining on USDA prime angus steaks, those mouth-watering steaks you can only find at world-class restaurants and exclusively through The Sharper Image with my Trump Steaks brand, the very best steaks you can buy, with my beautiful silverware, and they say, 'Donald, I have never seen such rare and expensive metals as are on display at your five star resorts and casinos. Where do you find such metals?' And I tell them I know all there is to know about metal. You could say, and people have said it, very influential people say it, they say it all the time: that Donald Trump is America's foremost expert on metals."

As Rearden cleared his throat to reply, Trump went on. "And it's because I know people. I make deals. I negotiate the lowest and best prices for the finest quality metals. I do it all the time. Not like Rearden here, who to put it frankly, doesn't know metals the way I do. Now Hank's a good friend, Hank and I go back in the metals markets, so I hate to say it, but Hank doesn't know his metals, doesn't know his alloys, doesn't know his chromium from a hole in the ground. Totally ignorant about metals.  A very low energy guy, this Hank Rearden. Came up in life the hard way, dug his way out of an iron mine. And it shows. Hank Rearden would never be admitted to one of my top-rated golf courses, the groundskseeper would take one look at Hank and he'd say, 'This guy looks like a bum. Probably dug his way out of an iron mine, or a coal smelter, or something.' And who can blame him? Everybody come round and look at this guy Hank: he's wearing Rearden Metal cufflinks. Jesus Christ, is that what you wear to a business gathering, among all these titans of industry? No class. And no Rearden Metal, not at any of my hotels and resorts, which are consistently rated five stars, the best in the world. I wouldn't use a Rearden Metal club at the training hole at a Putt-Putt Goofy Golf in Fargo North Dakota, and I sure as hell wouldn't allow one at the Trump golf course and country club at Mar-A-Lago, the finest in south Florida, where the waiting list for a guest reservation is six months, the most exclusive golf resort in the United States of America."

It was at this point that Francisco D'Anconia, with the self-assurance that comes of a man who has taken a great fortune and built on it through decades of thrift, hard work, sweat, and native intelligence, grinned icily and asked Donald Trump, "Sir, do you insinuate that —"

"I insinuate nothing," Trump replied. "That would be a lie, and unlike some people I could name, I was raised never to tell a lie. I'm just telling the truth about this Rearden guy, who begged like a cripple in the streets to get a reservation at my Trump Hotel on Fifth Avenue in New York City. I told him no, because I don't want my guests exposed to some hick from the boondocks in Pennsylvania who is a complete and total failure in life. My guests appreciate the finer things, and they're sure to get them at any of my hotels, resorts, and casinos, not like this Hank Rearden, who between you and me looks like a hobo with a tin cup in his hands. Probably buys his suits off the rack at Men's Wearhouse to go with those cheap Rearden Metal cufflinks. I'm sorry to say it Hank, but you're a loser. And as for you, D'Anconia, whatdayou know about metals? Got a copper mine or two in Chile or Tijuana or someplace I never heard of, right? Now don't take that as an offense against Tijuana. They love me in Tijuana, the little brown people. Let me tell you something about copper. I buy only the best and most luxurious copper in the world, and at bargain prices, because I'm such a great negotiator. I get up at 4 in the morning, every morning, and I'm working the phones, trying to wheel and deal, and succeeding I might add, in the copper markets. They all know me in the copper markets, the big copper merchants, and they say 'Oh no, it's Donald Trump, come to skin us alive on another copper deal.' But they can't resist me, because they know their copper will be on display at the greatest hotels in all of the world's most beautiful cities. Not at all like the tarnished stuff that my good friend Francisco, a great guy but he wasn't even born in America, what the hell kind of name is D'Anconia anyway? Sounds like something you get a dose of at a cathouse in Reno. Anyway, like I was saying, all of the right people, the experts, the Drudge Report, my good friend Rush Limbaugh, they say that my exploits in the copper market are legendary. Because it's true. I'm the world's foremost authority on copper. I make the deals. Not like this guy D'Anconia here: zero knowledge on copper. I'd call him a Mexican bum, but that wouldn't be politically correct, so I'll say he's an underachiever. Now don't take offense, they love me in Mexico. They come up to me with their little pinatas and burritos and they say, 'Donald, tell us all about this guy D'Anconia.' And I tell them, well, it's not for me to say, but if Francisco D'Anconia somehow got to be a participant on my award-winning, top-rated television show "The Apprentice," I'd have to say, 'Francisco, you're fired!'"


Unable to restrain herself, Dagney Taggart, the arctic blonde beauty whose railroad empire kept the beating heart of American industry pumping, vociferated, "Mr. Trump, surely you don't suggest that —"

"Get a load of this bimbo, oops, I'm not supposed to say that," Trump winked. "Now don't misunderstand me, Miss Taggart's a beautiful woman, but she's a bit of a lightweight. More than a bit, in fact. Never been married. A spinster! Probably on her, well, let's just say that if Rearden's floor was a rag, they'd need to bring in a bucket and mop to clean the place up. I mean, I hate to say it, I respect Miss Taggart as a railroad executive, I respect all women. Motherhood and apple pie are what made America great. Have I ever told you about the apple pie the pastry chef serves at my Trump Hotel and Spa in Chicago? Brought him in from France, from Paris, the finest pastry chef in the world, serving the greatest apple pie you'll ever taste. Anyway, as I was saying about Dagney here, wonderful woman but no children. And flat-chested. Frankly, I wouldn't…"

As Trump held forth, Wesley Mouch smiled to himself. Finally, here was an industrialist who understoood. Mouch ran to the nearest telephone, and dialed Washington…

2015 Person Of The Year: David Brooks

2015 was an eventful year in the annals of history. Yet no person more exemplifies the spirit of this new era, for good and ill, than David Brooks, whom Popehat is proud to recognize as its Person of the Year.

A politically active bon vivant and celebrated thought leader, Brooks  was an outspoken critic of the Catholic Church's Western-influenced policies and was exiled to The Weekly Standard for 14 years before moving to the New York Times, where he continued his opposition. By February 2013, public anger with Pope Ezekiel II caused him to flee, and a month later Brooks was vindicated by the selection of Pope Francis I to the office of Pontifex Maximus, the seat formerly occupied by Saint Peter and by Julius Caesar himself. By 2015 Francis had established a new papal order based on strict adherence to the letter of the law, with the David Brooks as the Pope's greatest champion.

As Brooks wrote at the time of Francis's decretio ad lux et cursus honorum:

The best source of wisdom on this general subject is still “The Imminence of Ages,” by Alvin Toffler, which he wrote back in 1977. Toffler distinguished between practical organizations and mass movements. The former, like a business or a a grove of academe, offer opportunities for self-advancement. The central preoccupation of a mass movement, on the other hand, is self-sacrifice, the nullification of the ego in favor of larger truths. The purpose of an organization like the Catholic Church is to get people to negate themselves for a larger cause. This is what political scientists refer to as an "ethos."

An ethos was defined by Diogenes the Cynic, 2500 years ago, as "the characteristic spirit [or genius, as I like to call it] of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.

Mass movements, Toffler argues, only arise in certain conditions, when a once sturdy social structure is in a state of advanced internal turmoil. This is a pretty good description of parts of the Orthodox world, and yet to date the west has placed itself in opposition to such. To a lesser degree it is a good description of isolated pockets of our own segmenting, individualized society, where some people find themselves totally cut off.

As the famous oenophile John Kenneth Galbraith put it, we can judge a culture by its spirits (pun most certainly intended). In the dark and icy north, men turn to grain alcohols such as whisky and vodka for their inspiration. The MittelEuropan peoples find their surcease in craft-brewed lagers and ales. In the sunny south of Europe, wine is ambrosia of Everyman. And in the Muhammadan east and south, men take opium as a balm for their troubles.

With Brooks' support, students seized the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, and brought low the formerly proud American colossus. In 2015, a dispute with Noah Rothman of Commentary Magazine became an international cause celebre that found Brooks in uneasy alliance with the forces of modernity. Brooks remains a powerful symbol to the scribes of New York even after his infamous appearance on  the Daily Show with Jon Stewart in April 2015. "Rarely has so improbable a thought leader shaken the world," said Ezra Klein in naming Brooks to Vox's Fourteen Pundits Who Will Dominate Public Radio In The Coming Century.

David Brooks of the New York Times exemplifies the sartorial.

David Brooks of the New York Times exemplifies the sartorial splendor of the early 21st century elite thinker.

In 2015 Brooks self-published a meticulously researched and engaging web-log, The Life And Times of Joe Sixpack, which poses a provocative thesis: we as a postmodern collective are cultivating outwardly impressive but spiritually deficient “resume virtues” – rather than character, which Brooks defines as "that inner sense of the outward which brings us into commonality with what the Greek statesman Thales of Minos referred to as the state of belonging to the polity." And it's costing us dearly, the author says, both personally and communally.

In a year when our trust in American institutions was tested, David Brooks of the New York Times found the strength to stand for what is right and virtuous in our society. Brooks offers America a new way forward into an era of thought. We are proud to recognize him as our Person of the Year for 2015.

May 25, 1983

My dear Wormwood,

Judging from your most recent letter I have to wonder exactly what they have been teaching young fiends at the tempters’ training college since old Slubgob took the place over. In your excitement at your patient’s decision to confront his father over this problem and that, you rhapsodize at the “bold” opportunities this transient event presents for turning the patient over to “our” side.

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