A monument to life rises, then celebrates death.

The new World Trade Center, rising from the wreckage of the worst terrorist massacre my country has ever suffered, was meant to be a monument to the value of life over death. At the base is a memorial, included in which is the inscription to 11 unborn children also killed on September 11, 2001, when their mothers were either incinerated or jumped, choosing either the faster death or the slower death. What then, to make of lighting up the tower in January, 2019, to celebrate death over life (the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, the new ultimate euphemism, now that the final solution has been discredited…. by a world war.

“Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion. With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo after signing New York’s Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday night.

“Control their own body?” By killing their baby? Aborting her baby is “making a decision about her personal health?” Self deceived is still deceived!

 

 

Dazed and Confused! Or was that a movie? Yes, and also the state of the Perfectionist Progressives.

This entire post is an excerpt from the brilliant and perspicacious Victor Davis Hanson, writing for National Review:

The old Democratic party championed the working classes, wanted secure borders to protect middle-class union wage earners, and focused generous federal entitlement help on the citizen poor. Civil rights were defined as equality of opportunity for all. That party is long dead. An updated Hubert Humphrey or even Bill Clinton would not recognize any of the present “Democrats.” Even the old wing of elite liberals is mostly long gone, with its talk of legal immigration only, opposition to censorship, pro-Israel foreign policy, let-it-hang-out Sixties indulgence, and free speech.

It was superseded by grim progressives who are not so much interested in a square, new, or fair deal for the middle classes, as an entirely different deal that redefines everything from the Bill of Rights and the very way we elect presidents and senators to an embrace of identity politics as its first principle. The new socialism is also attributable to ten years of anemic annual economic growth below 3 percent, massive student debt, open borders, changing demography, and radical new approaches to marriage and home ownership that have radicalized the younger electorate. Young people have the patina of affluence, with an array of electronic appurtenances and lifestyle choices, but not so much else when it comes to finding good jobs, affordable homes, and freedom from debt — especially tragic when so many got so little from the university in exchange for their borrowed money. As a result, millions of young people have redefined adulthood as prolonged adolescence in “Life of Julia” and “Pajama Boy” style. Urban hipsters, hook-up culture, childlessness, and studio apartments have replaced the traditions of marriage, child-rearing, and home ownership before 30. Among today’s youth, one’s twenties are consumed with student debt and urban sybarite singleness, not changing diapers and patching the roof or refinishing the kitchen table.

The new, new Left questions not the operation of American democracy but the very premise of American democracy. When the selection of the Senate leads to something abhorrent like a counterrevolutionary majority, then the Founders are proven wrong after all, and senators should not be apportioned two to a state but by population at large. The Electoral College should be ended entirely, to reflect the reality that America is the urbanized corridors of the East and West Coasts where the right people live. The Bill of Rights, especially the First and Second Amendments, is considered an impediment to social justice.

What explains this accelerating transformation of so many liberals into progressives, and so many progressives into hard-core leftists, socialists, and who knows what next? The reasons predated Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The subtext of these charades is that 28-year-old socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (who won her Democratic primary with 15,897 votes and with that victory an assured congressional seat in a gerrymandered Democratic district) is the new Robespierre — warning that the earth as we know it will end in twelve years, ICE must be disbanded, all student debt abolished, wealth taxes levied, and Medicare provided for all. And her political guillotine awaits any progressive with lingering stains of the Ancien Régime.

The new big fortunes of America are now mostly in high-tech, media, and finance, not in the old conservative and muscular corporations centered in farming, manufacturing, or oil and minerals. And the new zillionaires are left-wing, and they are activist: Bezos, Bloomberg, Buffett, Gates, Zuckerberg, the Google and Apple teams, Soros, Steyer, and a host of others. Through grants, foundations, purchased media, and super PACs, astronomical amounts of money flow into federal, state, and even local midterm election campaigns, and into voter harvesting and issues from global warming and late-term abortion to open borders, gun control, and identity politics. The 2018 midterms were a mere precursor of things to come.

The new mega-wealthy envision an America in a way that satisfies identity politics while exempting their own monopolies, trusts, and billion-dollar fortunes from the ramifications of their own ideology. Unencumbered by personal consequences, they pursue boutique agendas — sort of like a few of the White Russian aristocrats who hoped to continue on by subsidizing and supporting the Bolsheviks, or the Jacobin bigwigs of the French Revolution who thought they could guide the deserving rich people into the national razor. In such a bizarro world, there is nothing wrong with tech employees forced to sleep in their cars near Silicon Valley monopolies -— as long as the owners wear T-shirts and flip-flops and rail at Trump in internal memos.

The media are not just becoming left-wing (they’ve always has been); they’re no longer even a news-gathering operation. Reporting is synonymous with editorializing. Fake news — whether the latest BuzzFeed myth or the Covington charade — is simply a word for thirtysomethings who believe that they have a duty to promote race, class, and gender agendas that they were spoon-fed in college. They too often define accuracy as the higher Truth that transcends the fossilized idea of truth predicated on obsolete ideas such as evidence, facts, and empiricism.

In terms of electronic media, the way the news is delivered through Twitter, Facebook, and Google is itself massaged to censor, aggravate, and impede conservatives and conservative thought. Orwellian selective censorship, the warping of Internet searches, and the banning of political opponents insidiously magnify progressive influence, and to such a degree that leftists are now the biggest defenders of monopolies and trusts, given the power that accrues from them to progressive causes.

We are also reaping the fruits of the new university run by hard-core leftists who have indoctrinated a generation with progressive envy and anger, while offering them little education. The resulting ignorance and arrogance make a lethal combination. Professors now in their late sixties can remember old-fashioned liberals of the 1970s and 1980s whose politics were incidental to their professional expertise, but there is now almost no one left in the academy who recalls such dinosaurs.

Instead, after the early 1980s, now-tenured progressives sought to produce leftists who took over and produced socialists. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a valuable reminder of how university education results in self-importance coupled with witlessness.

A word from me: Sounds hopeless, but God is on the throne and all sovereign; maybe we will have a revival, maybe a revolution or a revelation. Who knows? At least there is the blogosphere.

The REAL intersection: individuality, identity, and stolen valor.

Another idiotic idea is in vogue with the Perfectionist Progressives: Intersectionality. It’s perfect for its intended purpose, justifying attacking people for the supposed sins of their group. How do they know your group? The hierarchy goes like this: first, skin color; tied for second, religion and sex/gender; tied for third, income and residence address; fourth, sexual preference. Or maybe I have third and fourth place in the wrong order, but not to worry, the order is fluid, it can change with the latest fad. The latest fad, if the half-assed major media machine’s feeding frenzy over the “smirk seen ’round the world” is any indication, is Facecrime, which is the wrong kind of person–white, male, Private school privilege, presumably heterosexual and cisgender, Catholic and Southern–adopting the wrong facial expression at the wrong time. But three wrongs seem to make a right for the MMM to exploit.

The official definition of intersectionality is: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. “Regarded as creating…..” Regarded by whom? Gee whiz Batman, is that “I’ll give you three guesses, the first two don’t count?” Okay, I’ll bite….the Perfectionist Progressives? Who else?

I don’t regard any so-called “social characterizations”, each person to me is an individual, with their own unique set of experiences, perceptual apparatus, genetic makeup, culminating in their unique responses to any set of circumstances. Jonah Goldberg, writing for National Review, had an interesting take, which inspired my title. Identity is the new individuality. In his words: “Identity,” Leon Wieseltier once suggested, might be thought of as “the solution to the problem of individuality.” If one fears to be judged on your own merits because you know, deep in your soul, you’ll be found wanting, you’ll attach yourself to some abstract identity that gives you meaning you did not earn. The man who never served who claims to be a veteran, the veteran who never saw battle who claims to have fought bravely, the loser who falls back on his white skin to claim to be better than others, the minority who blames his failures or bad luck on the innate evil of the majority, the young activist who insists she must be listened to solely because she was born more recently than her more-informed elders: Women are more liberated than ever before, but they grow louder about their oppression. White supremacy has been erased from most hearts and from the law books alike, but we are told that this has only freed the menace to grow.” Why do the aggrieved howl louder as they have less to be aggrieved about?

My explanation is, prosperity brings leisure but often at the cost of meaning, so to inject more meaning into a life of more leisure, we seek causes to champion, but at minimal personal sacrifice, i.e. cheap grace. The more aware we become that our causes have either been already won by those who were willing to really sacrifice, or that progress itself has removed the reasons for most of the grievances, the more vociferous those seeking meaning, and feeling guilty about their unmerited blessings, become about their chosen causes. Thus intersectionality is born, because instead of howling about one grievance at a time, the PP’s can combine grievances and howl louder, while making solutions, if actually needed, far more complex and difficult to achieve, which allows the howling to continue apace.

When I mustered out of the Army in 1970, I was easy to identify as a Vietnam veteran, because I had the face and arm tan, the cropped hair, the jungle fatigues and boots, and it was well known in the area that these guys leaving Oakland Army Base were coming from Vietnam. Back then, we were greeted with derision, slander and scorn. I never would have guessed that in 2019, a guy like Nathan Phillips would claim identity in that group, in order to enhance his status, stolen valor they call it these days. We wanted to be treated as individuals, we were treated as members of a toxic group, and now some individuals claim membership in that group to get better treatment. Go figure.

 

 

Wealth tax: Another “side-splitter” from the 1/50th Cherokee senator.

I know best!!!

From CNBC: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has proposed a “wealth tax” on some of the richest Americans. The new tax from Warren, who recently announced her bid to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020, would only apply to Americans with more than $50 million in assets. The Post reported that Warren has been advised by Saez and Gabriel Zucman, left-leaning economists affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, on a deal that would levy a 2 percent wealth tax on Americans with $50 million-plus in assets. For Americans with assets above $1 billion, that tax rate would increase to 3 percent.The wealth tax is projected to apply to less than 0.1 percent of U.S. households, and would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years, Saez said. Warren’s idea comes alongside other Democratic lawmakers’ plans to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for ambitious policy goals, such as a “green new deal” that aims to reduce economic inequality and combat the causes of climate change.

THE ECONOMICS OF ENVY LEAD TO THE POLITICS OF ENVY: See how many examples of ENVY you can find in the next two paragraphs. Has anybody out there heard of Stalin and the Kulaks? When the socialist schemes of Joseph Stalin et al. foundered, they blamed the “kulaks,” i.e. those who had enjoyed the “unmerited accumulation of riches.” There was never any real definition of a “kulak.” Basically, if you had one cow and your neighbor had two, he was a kulak. Stalin announced the “liquidation of the kulaks as a class” as a necessary precondition for the progress of his program, which was, like Kamala Harris, “for the people.” “Dekulakization” was responsible for the deaths of about 5 million subjects of the workers’ paradise. This was necessary, the socialists argued, because the kulaks dominated the political party system (“for the rich, wealth begets power,” Zucman writes), because expropriating their wealth was necessary to fund benefits for the people (“The affluent,” Saez and Zucman write, “can contribute more to the public coffers. And given the revenue needs of the country, it is necessary”). Meanwhile, an adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, has renamed his Twitter account, “Every Billionaire Is a Policy Failure,” and a former adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders has observed: “No one makes a billion dollars. You TAKE a billion dollars.”

Felicia Wong, of the “left-leaning” Roosevelt Institute: “(A wealth tax) is really about reducing concentrated economic and political power, which is very much in line with Senator Warren’s policy history. It also has real race implications, if you think about it: Wealth, which is passed on through generations, is a kind of crystalized history……...But the reason I focus so much on a wealth tax as reducing concentrated economic and political power, is I think this is where the new economics is really going: It’s a way to use taxation to drive a better economic dynamic. But there is no intellectual or policy defense for the system we have that allows this much “wealth-taking” and this much “extraction”. If enacted, this and other policies [like it] would really change the system, and change the country. Not just change the tax system, but change our politics, and change our democracy. I think that’s what we want.

Townhall: So, Warren and Cortez would force Mr. Bezos to sell his Amazon shares to pay his wealth tax. In selling his shares, he would pay the 85% federal income and state taxes on the gain to obtain the $3.95 billion wealth tax. His sales price of $23.23 billion at today’s prices would require a sale of almost 20% of his shares in Amazon. With an annual wealth tax, he would be required to annually sell 20% of his Amazon shares until he was no longer a billionaire. So, in essence, the combined Warren/Cortez plan would annually take away almost 20% of Mr. Bezos’s assets in taxes as he sold stock to pay the wealth tax.In just a few short years, the combination of the 70% income tax and the 3% wealth tax would confiscate most of his wealth. And this brings us to Margaret Thatcher who said: “The trouble with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” The numbers for Mr. Bezos only tell a small portion of the story. There probably is no market for that many Amazon shares annually and the price would likely collapse hurting every pension fund in the United Sates and creating pension issues for one and all. At Amazon, jobs would clearly be lost if dividends were paid as cash for employee salaries would be lost. The results would be the same for every tech entrepreneur, Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison. Ibid Buffet. The values of these companies would be severely impacted, the investors, mutual funds and pensions would be slaughtered. And after a few years, the money would dry up.

Bloomberg has a much more considered take: Other than stockholders of publicly traded corporation, most of the personal wealth in the United States is the result of pass-through entities, the bulk of which are privately held Examples are sole proprietors, LLC’s, partnerships and S-corporations. 93 % of those owners are actively engaged in the operations of their businesses. These owners saw their income peak in their 50’s, matching the peak earning years for high-salaried professionals; in contrast, landlords, bondholders and other idle owners of capital usually see their peak earnings at age 70. This suggests that the capital income of pass-through owners is really compensation for their work, which is concentrated in professional services, especially legal services. Moreover, pass-through companies that have the highest-earning owners also have the highest profits per worker. This suggests that owner-managers are effectively being compensated for better performance. Rising inequality is quite real — but maybe it’s the result of ever higher compensation for superstar entrepreneurs and skilled professionals, not of outsized gains to idle capitalists. Nor is the stage being set for an oligarchical takeover. When these owners die or retire, the incomes they were earning are not passed on to their heirs. Just as important, 91 percent of the entrepreneurs in the top 1 percent had parents who were not in the top 1 percent. Rising inequality in America is a serious concern. But the main cause is a shortage of highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs. The goal should be to solve that problem, ideally by making it easier for people to get advanced degrees and start new businesses. The goal should not be to soak the rich.

Even the Washington Post, whom you know is one of my prime examples of media progressive bias, had an editorial against her proposal, criticizing it as campaign rhetoric with no realistic hope of passing or implementation.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/elizabeth-warrens-wealth-tax-is-no-way-to-run-government–but-a-good-way-to-run-a-campaign/2019/01/29/6faeeeb4-2411-11e9-ad53-824486280311_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2885c817f198

Sovereignty? What is it? Why should it be protected?

Ann Coulter: “The most fundamental responsibility of the U.S. president is to protect the nation’s sovereignty. It is not to ensure the safety of the Kurds or the Syrian Christians or Pakistani goat herders, but to ensure the safety and security of the American people. The Senate’s latest omnibus spending bill provides “not less than $15,000,000” for border security — in Pakistan. The border security of our own country has become a joke. Yesterday people crossed our border who will kill Americans. Today there are people crossing our border who will kill Americans. And tomorrow there will be more people crossing our border who will kill Americans. Countless presidents and presidential candidates have vowed to stop illegal immigration. Good intentions, bad intentions — it doesn’t matter. They didn’t keep their promises.”

Sovereignty means supreme power or authority. Synonyms are jurisdiction, supremacy, dominion, power, ascendancy, suzerainty, tyranny, hegemony, domination, sway, predominance, authority, control, influence. It also means the authority of a state to govern itself or another state. Conditions required for sovereignty include laws, borders, ways of enforcing entrance requirements, preferably a written constitution and a structure of governing. Every country in the world where such conditions exist has ways of regulating transit into the country. The least desirable countries also regulate exciting the country. Logically, the more desirable the country, the control they should be able and willing to exert to enforce entrance and citizenship requirements.

But who is the country? Who has the right, though not necessarily the authority, to determine who should have the privilege of residing in their country, and even more so, citizenship? The United States was established on the principle of “consent of the governed”, another way of saying the “sovereignty of the people who are citizens.” Therefore, we, the citizens of this country, have the right to regulate entry, residence and citizenship of immigrants and aspirants, via electing representatives and vesting them with the authority to enforce our laws or create laws which reflect our, not their, not immigrants’, will, which is overwhelmingly that entry, residence and citizenship is a Privilege, not a right!

Sovereignty has a lot of value to the citizens and residents, in proportion to it’s desirability. Without border control, there isn’t much sovereignty. The most extreme case of the need for border control is Israel. 1. They are surrounded by enemies who wish to destroy them. 2. The lifestyle for Israelis is in countless ways better than that of any of their neighbors. 3. The opportunities for improvement of lifestyle are also much greater for immigrants than in any of the neighboring countries. Those three elements: the need for protection, the comparative attractiveness of lifestyle and the presence of greater opportunity make the need for border security obvious. Probably the only other country that is subject to those elements is…the United States.

Are we surrounded by enemies who wish to destroy us? Not exactly. We certainly are not as directly threatened as Israel is. I say “not exactly”, by which I mean that most of those who desire entry to our country don’t mean to destroy it nor do it harm. However, unless they embrace the principle of assimilation–the melting pot concept–harm will be done. Insisting on retaining the culture and language of the place they are escaping from rather than embracing the culture and language of the place they are fleeing to will eventually destroy much of what they value about here. I will give you an example, but first, what gives me the right to judge? I was born here in 1946, I have paid into social security and Medicare for 56 years (because I still have self employment income, on which I am still paying SS taxes at age 72), served in Vietnam, was discharged honorably and have a 100% service-connected disability rating.

Previous generations of immigrants not only assimilated, they came waving American flags, not Italian, Chinese, Irish, Mexican, etc. flags, and their kind of merging into our culture actually enhanced it, producing the most unique culture in the world: American, which is a melting pot of the best of other cultures wedded to our principles of government by consent of the governed; equality of opportunity; freedom of religion, speech and association; respect for individual and property rights; sanctity of human life. All of the foregoing values built the nation we were, at least when I was born and probably until the Vietnam debacle. Since then, a relentless undermining of those values I enumerated have eroded what we were. Do you think true progress would be forward, embracing “progressive” values, or back to the crossroads to recover what we were?

Oh, to be indigenous.

Those who REALLY served

March For Life and Indigenous Peoples March, occurring on the same day in the same place, what could go wrong? There’s actually no reason there couldn’t be considerable overlap between the two groups….well, actually there was, just the wrong kind of overlap. There was confrontation, anger, chanting, drum beating, of course viral videos, media lies, distortions, omissions, accusations, then threats…all before the truth of what happened was known. All in all, another toxic day in manufactured outrage country. I have already written about it, I have nothing new to add.

Rather, I want to play with some assumptions about what it means to be indigenous. Indigenous seems to mean “I was here first”, or “I was here before you”. To which I say, “so what?” These days, being indigenous is a badge of honor, even confers some sort of native wisdom on the indigenee (a word I just made up–the person who is supposedly indigenous), which is certainly better than being a savage, or even a native, both of which imply a lower rung on the civilized ladder. But once again, I ask “so what?” If your people came here before mine came over, just what exactly does that confer on them, or you? Like it or not, every country in the world that you or I can name was settled by people different than those who were already there, and in most cases the “indigenous” people also came from somewhere else. Palestinians insist Israel is illegitimate because the present day Israeli displaced the present day Palestinians, but Jews occupied that land in Moses’ day, before Palestinians existed. Whether or not you are indigenous depends on how far back you are willing to go.

But why should I care whether or not you claim indigenous status? Being somewhere before someone else means nothing, what matters is what you did with what you had. You can worship the earth, can claim your simple lifestyle was more sustainable to the planet in the long run than industrial society, but once again, so what if it was? Anyone want to go back to that simple (i.e. primitive) lifestyle? If it was so great, why not go back to it? Some tribes in the U.S. live on reservations that are large enough to sustain a primitive, hunting, gathering, or agricultural lifestyle, and make enough money from leasing parts of their land for farming, grazing and energy, to buy herds of buffalo and other game to allow them to live the way their ancestors did, without those pesky settlers or the cavalry. The Navajo Nation got a $554 million settlement from the United States government a few years ago, and has a 14 million acre reservation. The Osage got $385 million, other tribes in total, over $1 billion. I don’t see any bison herds, except on the logos of Indian casinos that have sprung up on countless reservations.

Regarding wisdom, we’re supposed to respect this “tribal elder” named Nathan Phillips because……why? Nathan Phillips, remember that name. According to the national Mediated Reality Establishment–better known but less accurately portrayed as simply “the media”, specifically CNN, MSNBC, CNN, NBC news, NY Times, Washington Post, did I mention CNN, referred to Mr. Phillips variously as a Vietnam combat veteran, or Vietnam War veteran, and an elder of the Omaha tribe. Only the last appellation appears to be true, but given his actual history of blatant lying, lying by omission and lying by insinuation, can we even be sure? Nevertheless, the MRE gleefully touted his victimization by these “smirking white catholic boys” . Doug Wilson called them, sardonically, the Kovington Katholic Kids, which is how the major media above is treating them.

The MRE all turned out to be WRONG. In a massive correction Tuesday, the Washington Post reports that Phillips served in the Marines but “was never deployed in Vietnam.” Before correction, the Washington Post story claimed he had “fought in the Vietnam War.” Some outlets appear to be engaged in full damage-control mode, while others that reported the fake news about Phillips have failed to correct their stories. The New York Times incorrectly describes him as a “Native American veteran of the Vietnam War.”

How did he describe himself? In a magazine interview he said “I’m what they call a ‘recon ranger.’ That was my role.” There’s no such thing, plus he was actually a refrigeration repair tech, a “freon ranger” if you will. He also went AWOL 4 times during his service and was never deployed overseas. But still thinks he’s qualified to teach everyone else. He was quoted by a number of sources with uttering this morality lesson: “Before anyone else came here, we never had walls; we never had a prison; we always took care of our elders; we took care of our children; we always provided for them; we taught them right from wrong; I wish I could see that energy of that young man, and put that energy into making this country really really great.”  I guess lying was left out of the right from wrong lesson.

 

The toxic twins: Virtue signaling and manufactured outrage.

I recently wrote about the Covington/Phillips incident at the confluence of the March For Life and the Indigenous People’s March.

Here is an excerpt from the Ben Shapiro show, interviewing some of the students from Covington Catholic:

Shapiro: How have your lives been changed by the media coming after you, people on the internet trying to doxx you, trying to reveal your home addresses, etc.?

Student: Yes, so the effect on our community has been great. I mean, we’re from a small town, I mean it’s been horrible. That’s what I meant. We come from like a smaller town in Kentucky so we’re not really used to like this media attention. So we’ve been getting school shooting threats, school bomb threats, vandalism of our buildings, people have gone out and said they’re going to slash our tires and break our school windows. We’ve have threats saying that it’s best if the students at CovCat are locked in the school and set on fire. We’ve had tweets saying that we should be raped by clergy members. We’ve had every sort of threat that we should be thrown in woodchippers. I mean, we’ve been several doxxing of minors.

They’ve been calling sponsors. So they put the numbers out of all of our sponsors and they’ve been calling our sponsors up. Our parents’ careers: They’ve been calling our parents’ jobs. School and personal reputation: So our school has a great reputation and in our community and abroad, and especially with colleges too. So, they’ve attacked our reputation. Colleges and careers aspirations: this is going to be kind of like a little blemish, like if we say where we’re from, they’re going to be like, “oh, you’re associated with this.” And then on us, just personally, just scared to go to school. Not many high school students have to live through the threat of saying, “It’s best if you guys are all locked in a school and set on fire.” I mean, just imagine that. This is awful. We’ve had police guards at our school and just going to school on Tuesday, a lot of us are kind of a little fearful. And just out in the community, wearing our school colors, wearing our school attire, what people are going to say to us, and how people are going to act to us.

Tucker Carlson had this to say about the MRE/”cultural elites: When the facts don’t conform to what they think they know, they ignore the facts. They see America not as a group of people or of citizens, but as a collection of groups. Some of these groups, they are convinced, are morally inferior to other groups. They know that’s true. They say it out loud. That belief shapes almost all of their perceptions of the world.

It’s not surprising, then, that when a group of pro-life Catholic kids who look like lacrosse players and live in Kentucky are accused of wrongdoing, the media don’t pause for a moment before casting judgment. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times suggested the boys needed to be expelled from school. Ana Navarro of CNN called the boys racists and “asswipes” and then went after their teachers and parents.

Others called for violence against them. CNN legal analyst Bakari Sellers suggested one of the boys should be, “punched in the face.” Former CNN contributor Reza Aslan agreed. Aslan asked on Twitter, “Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid’s?” Longtime CNN contributor Kathy Griffin seemed to encourage a mob to rouse up and hurt these boys, tweeting, “Name these kids. I want names. Shame them. If you think these effers wouldn’t dox you in a heartbeat. Think again.” She repeated her demand again later: “Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you.”

Hollywood film producer Jack Morrissey tweeted that he wanted the boys killed: “MAGA kids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper.” He paired that with a graphic photo. Actor Patton Oswalt linked to personal information about one of the boys, in case anyone wanted to get started on that project. Meanwhile, Twitter, which claims to have a policy against encouraging violence, stood by silently as all this happened.

This is toxic virtue signaling, combined with manufactured outrage, in action. I guarantee you, each of those voices quoted in the last three paragraphs would be quick to cry “hate speech” if anyone even mildly disagrees with their narrative. Then what would you call their actual words? Hate speech is too mild a term for them. Now that their narrative has been completely debunked by the full video and the ACTUAL facts, will any of them admit to being wrong? Don’t hold your breath.

Let’s let the Babylon Bee have the final word. https://babylonbee.com/news/press-that-incited-online-mob-against-teenagers-based-on-10-second-video-clip-unsure-why-some-people-call-them-fake-news


All outrage, all the time.

I began this post more than a week ago, but found it too dry and boring to publish. Ah, said I, let’s wait for something juicy to come along to gobsmack my readers with real world relevancy. I didn’t have long to wait, because the usual suspects, the perfectionist progressive outrage makers uncovered no less than two scandals of the sort that used to be called tempests in a teapot, but these days are fodder for the outrage machine, that huge mental illness diagnosis of being outraged all the time, of which Trump Derangement Syndrome–TDS–is a symptom. Who’s outraged? The elites of the Mediated Reality Establishment: CNN, MSNBC, N.Y. Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, them. What about them? What is their endgame?

Manufactured outrage of the week: Some public demonstrations in D.C. going on simultaneously, the March For Life, and Indigenous Peoples March, January 18, 2019. Google the latter, and what pops up are videos of outrage from, in order, MSNBC, CNN, NBC news, MSN, purportedly showing a “confrontation” between Nathan Phillips, a “Omaha Tribe elder” and Vietnam veteran (I am also a Vietnam veteran, and the only time the Mediated Reality Establishment-MRE-brings that up or pretends to care is to enhance the outrage against their shibboleths), and a “smirking” teenager from Covington Catholic High School, an all male–gasp!–prep school in Park Hills, Kentucky (“backwoods baboon” alert) near Cincinnati. The narrative, of course, was the students, wearing MAGA hats–double gasp!!–started the confrontation by surrounding and mocking Phillips, as a screen shot from a partial clip of a video seemed to show, generating an orgasm of outrage from the national MRE. Turns out that Phillips lied, the whole video shows the opposite of the narrative.

Second major manufactured outrage of the week: Karen Pence, wife of vice president Mike Pence, teaches art at a Christian Private Elementary School and agrees to abide by the school’s code of conduct, which includes a clause that the school will have no LGBTQ+ faculty or students–triple gasp!!! I was on the board for years of a similar school, and there are actually thousands of them around the country, which uphold biblical principles and teachings. So what is the outrage about? CNN is outraged by the “hypocrisy” of her husband being the Vice President under the immoral you know who, while she works for a school which upholds a moral code of the type that CNN hates….I know, I’m having trouble following the “logic” too, but don’t quibble, it’s the outrage generated that counts!

“The elites who have helped fray the social fabric, who have argued that self-expression) is more important than self-discipline, that religion is for suckers, that morality is situational but judgmentalism is immoral, that instant personal authenticity is the only ethical lodestar….” says Jonah Goldberg in National Review? “By their outrage you shall know them.” I am quoting….myself!


Fraying Social Fabric is more than just a sentence in an opinion piece by a conservative contributor to the major conservative National publication. Perhaps it is more accurate to call it this “social fabric” a consensus, or a foundation for long held beliefs and understandings, or perhaps the idea that such a consensus ever existed is just wishful thinking. Except the physical existence of the founding documents of this nation called the United States–the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution–is evidence there was once enough of a consensus to found a nation unlike any other in history. Refugees from tyranny and seekers of opportunity who made the often perilous journey here came waving the Stars and Stripes, not the flags of where they left. Assimilation–becoming American–was a goal for most of them, aside from the desire for freedom and a better life.

And now? The refugees and seekers often wave the flags of the places they are escaping from rather than escaping to. Al Gore, failed presidential candidate, justified this reversal of gratitude in famously interpreting E Pluribus Unum as “from the one, many”. What is that phrase? It’s on our currency, it’s the closest thing to a national motto. What it really means is “from the many, one”. “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We haven’t often lived up to that ideal. As an ideal, something to strive for, most of us would still want to. Or would we? Doesn’t that sound too much like Make America Great Again? We can’t have that, that’s Trump’s slogan. Outrageous! Is the election of Donald Trump a consequence of the desire of many to M.A.G.A., an acknowledgement that we have become less great over time, or a reaction to the elites’ endless stream of criticism of our traditional values, or antagonism towards the MRE and their lies, distortions and omissions in pursuit of controversy, or all of these?

Cancer starts with a single rebellious cell, and by the time any symptoms manifest, that single cell has been joined by thousands more. What about cancer of the body politic, the society in which we are invested, what are the rebellious cells? When I say rebellious, I am not talking about rebellion against the laws of the land, no, something much worse: Rebellion against the whole truth, as demonstrated by the mad, pell-mell rush to judge based on a screen shot of a clip of video WHICH VALIDATED THE NARRATIVE OF THE OUTRAGED. 

Courtesy of the BabylonBee, the following flowchart.

T

The heart is a tinderbox and sparks are flying everywhere.

The new Gillette commercial and the new APA “guidelines” on harmful masculinity might suggest that men should become more like women, or ought to manifest more “feminine” traits. But what if women are becoming more like men as well? A new survey reported on by The Independent found that more than a third of women watch pornography at least once a week. 90% of the 3,000 female respondents said they watched it online and 2/3 said they watched it on their smartphones. In the survey, 31% of the women said they watched porn every week and another 30% said they did so a few times a month. Another recent study found that about half of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable and 1/3 of young women reported watching porn.

If that’s not enough to convince someone that this gap between men and women succumbing to the scourge of porn is narrowing, one of the world’s largest porn sites released data from their site showing that women are 113% more likely to search the term “hardcore” than men, and are over 105% more likely to seek out genres of porn like “gangbang” and “rough sex.” So, what does this mean? Lots of people have bought the lie that porn is okay as long as it’s not harming someone else. Does that include the user? Before I explain how porn makes slaves, I want to address the greater lie about something being okay as long as we don’t see the visible harm. I know people who think value judgements are “intolerant”, who are perfectly okay with anyone doing almost anything as long as they don’t harm someone else. That phrase in bold should read, as long as I don’t see the harm that is being done.

Remember the expression Defining Deviancy Down, coined by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1993. Moynihan based his phrase on the theory of Emile Durkheim that there is a limit to the bad behavior that a society can tolerate before it has to start lowering its standards. In ’93, the senator applied his slogan to the “moral deregulation” that had eroded families, increased crime, and produced the mentally ill “homeless” population. That same year columnist Charles Krauthammer expanded Moynihan’s point by proposing the reverse — that not only were we “normalizing what was once considered deviant,” but we were also “finding deviant what was once considered normal.” In time, the inevitable lower standards and moral relativism brought us the movies, TV shows, fashions, sex norms and web pages we have today. Deviant and normal swapped places. I define deviant as behavior which departs or deviates from societal norms, and which by its nature generates shame internally.

No doubt the hardcore “toleristas” (tolerance is the highest value) will dismiss my views as judgmental–the lowest value–but those who are less doctrinaire will acknowledge that more has been lost than gained by elevating tolerance to the throne. I am still glad that our society as a whole no longer simply condemns and dismisses people who are enslaved to deviant desires or sexual confusion. The fact is, many people who appear normal and moral on the surface are also captive to desires they are ashamed of and want to be liberated from. Which brings me to the subject of pornography. There is no better example of Defining Deviancy Down than the widespread availability and viewing of pornography. My title, The heart is a tinderbox and sparks are flying everywhere, refers to the inescapability of porn. It also refers to the latent addiction waiting to be kindled. Like drugs, alcohol and other mood and mind altering substances, pornography can shock the nervous system into creating an instant addiction pathway.

This will take more explanation. Some people are particularly susceptible to becoming addicted to something that has no effect on someone else. I have used cigarettes once, LSD twice, cocaine once, peyote once, marijuana a few dozen times and alcohol moderately, with no desire to continue once I decided to stop. Other people can find that just a few uses lead to inability to stop. I don’t know why those differences exist. Pornography is the same phenomenon. It is pointless to describe all the harm done by the pornography industry, from the users to exploited women and children, to victims of crimes committed by users who need a greater and greater fix of sensation. It certainly isn’t victimless. Less obvious is the harm done by transgender ideology.

What could be more deviant, in the sense I described, than disgust with your own natural sex? In my post called What Is Mental Health I go into detail about what so-called gender dysphoria is. Do you think that the propaganda that is put out by the trans activists, that gender and/or sex is a social construct, and is really “non binary”, and the “toxic masculinity” propaganda are unrelated? Really? Both forms of propaganda are pushing the agenda of compressing or collapsing the differences between men and women, both physically–trans–and behaviorally. Both represent a hatred of those inborn differences, which is automatically a hatred of God’s design for humanity, which is therefore hatred of God. Both harbor enmity for the Bible and any preaching from it, because the real enmity is for any standard greater than the feelings of the ultra sensitive.

There is no tolerance for disagreement either, and no reticence to use the coercive power of the state to bring the “intolerant” to heel. In the United States, cities and local governments have been passing “non-discrimination” ordinances, forbidding “public accommodations” to discriminate against gender identity and sexual orientation. Sounds good right, discrimination is bad. If a church is considered a “public accommodation”, then preaching from the Bible anything about gender identity and sexual orientation could be forbidden, their hiring practices restricted and they could be forced to host homosexual weddings and similar events. So far, the only test of such an ordinance, in De Pere, Wisconsin, was struck down by a judge as unconstitutional. So far…. I predict more of this is coming. Tolerance is a one way street it seems. Ask Jack Phillips, the baker who has been persecuted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Your emotional slider.

Which style is your emotional control? Is it like a dial, requiring you to turn quite a few revolutions to dial up progressively more intense emotions? Or is it like a slider, allowing you to immediately flip it all the way up to maximum volume? A dial is usually considerably more nuanced than a slider. Turning it requires coordination of, generally, thumb and forefinger. Right now, pretend you’re tuning a dial. Notice how your thumb and forefinger work together, and how many times they have to coordinate just to turn the dial one revolution. As you turn the imaginary dial, hear the volume getting louder as you turn clockwise. Now imagine a slide control. You can easily flip the slider all the way from barely audible to deafening.

Think about how you react to situations, facial expressions, tones of voice, or things people say. Taking my analogy further, what emotional state corresponds to off, or perhaps the lowest setting of volume? I would say that’s apathy–feeling nothing, what psychologists call “flatness of affect”. What about depression? Shouldn’t that be a negative setting? Depression, and other long term chronic emotional disturbances, don’t belong in this analogy, since I am talking about the strength of emotional reactivity here, not chronic conditions. If apathy is the lowest setting on the emotional volume switch, what would be the highest? What emotions engage bodily activity the most? Specifically, what emotional reaction gets your heart and lungs moving fastest, your temperature going higher and your muscles clenching most? You might say, anger or fear.

But anger and fear have gradations. I am going to say, somewhat arbitrarily, that outrage and terror each have the strongest emotional charge. Of the two, terror is far more likely to be the result of a realistic and appropriate stimulus, and is less subject to self control. For example, imagine that you are sitting on a sandy beach at the bend of a scenic river, just enjoying the sun and the soothing sounds of the water, (really get into it) when you notice an odd ripple in the water. Suddenly, a huge crocodile comes charging out of the water, just a few feet from you. I doubt you would feel anger. Your instant terror would be overwhelming, even paralyzing. Terror, unlike anger, generally has no slow burn, no volume switch. It’s more of an off-on switch. Since my purpose in this essay is to encourage self control, let’s concentrate on outrage.

Recently, a correspondent from Prager U interviewed various tribe members on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. The subject was how native Americans feel about “cultural appropriation”, one of the favorite shibboleths of the Perfectionist Progressives. All of the interviewees liked the idea of Native American names for sports teams, especially the Washington Redskins. A couple of the respondents named themselves fans. They felt it was a way of bestowing honor on their toughness and warrior spirit. One respondent, more perceptive and intelligent than most Harvard grads, said “outrage has become a national pastime”. It was that observation that prompted this essay.

Outrage is not only a controllable reaction, it is often just a “self important” indulgence, and usually something taken up on behalf of others who don’t even feel any outrage about the issue, like the Washington Redskins brouhaha. It has become a national pastime among those who can’t wait to signal their virtue, those whose emotional volume control is definitely a slider, with a very short throw from apathy to outrage. Try putting the emotional volume on a dial instead. Even that little thing will make a difference.

An interesting aside: One of the amusing things I do to test how far political correctness has infiltrated is by listing words that my Apple iPad refuses to complete after I have typed most of the letters. For instance, it won’t complete spanking (it turns it into sparkling, spinning, sparking but even when I type in every letter, it still suggests other words). Same with Redskins. I noticed that I had to type in every letter of Redskins after I typed Washington, but with every other NFL team, I could type the city and the first letter or two of the team name, and the iPad would complete the whole name with the first letter capitalized! Another example of the elite–tech firms–schooling the rest of us hillbillies (which it spelled in full after I typed hill).