Another post just for fun–taking a break from political/cultural brouhahas. Here is your Quiz on iconic “warped” sense of humor phrases: What character, and in what program, movie or skit, said the following:
“No soup for you!“ A. Al Heggenah on Seifeld; B. Yev Kassam, on Seinfeld; C. Donovan McNabb’s mom on the Campbell soup commercial; D. Nurse to a patient who groped her.
“And now for something completely different.” A. Jerry Seinfeld on Seinfeld; B. George Costanza on Seineld; C. John Cleese on Monty Python’s Flying Circus; D. President Trump on taking a hiatus from tweeting.
“Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” A. Jerry and George in Seinfeld, whenever homosexuality is mentioned; B. Barack Obama, in response to keeping abortion legal; C. Gavin Newsome, California governor, on whether to let wildfires burn; D. Kathy Griffin, in her comedy skit about assassinating President Trump.
“Book’em Danno.” A. Steve McGarrett on Hawaii 50; B. Head librarian on Seinfeld to the library cop; C. Kramer on Seinfeld, in response to his soup order being refused; D. AOC to her chief of staff on hiring Dave Chapelle as entertainment chairman of her re-election campaign.
“Well, excu-u-use meeee.” A. The Black Night in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, after bleeding all over his enemies; B. Elaine on Seinfeld after tripping over her own feet while trying to dance; C. Navin Johnson in The Jerk; D. Steve Martin in his first album Let’s Get Small.
“Go ahead, make my day.” and “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do you, punk?” A. Ronald Reagan in his first presidential debate; B. “Dirty Harry” Callahan in Sudden Impact; C. Bill Clinton, in his dreams; D. Hillary Clinton, in Bill’s dreams.
“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!” A. Nancy Pelosi in the Dems impeachment war room; B. AOC to her staff in her re-election war room; C. Sheik Hassan ben Sobar to Moe and Shemp in Malice In The Palace; D. President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) when a tussle breaks out in the Pentagon War Room, in Dr. Strangelove.
“Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops! A. General Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) in Dr. Strangelove; B. Advisor to President Erdogan of Turkey, on starting WWIII; C. Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qurayshi to Osama bin Laden in a pre-9/11 secret meeting; D. Joe Biden dreaming about what he would say to Trump if he were the president’s National Security Advisor.
Madeleine Kearns wrote the sentence I am using for my title in her review of the new book by Douglas Murray, The Madness Of Crowds, for National Review. However, my favorite sentence of all she wrote was borrowed: “What is wrong with the world,” wrote G. K. Chesterton in a book by that name, “is that we do not ask what is right.” I love that. But I am taking issue with the title. I believe that the absurd—by which she means the “leftist and snowflake grievance sweepstakes”—can be very easily explained. The explanation is called the Therapeutic Culture, the root system of the poisonous fruitless blackberry patch that is the “postmodernists’ Critical Theory-Intersectionality madhouse”.
I could have chosen any number of plants with an extensive root system that links multiple individuals, like aspens, zucchini or perennial grasses, but the blackberry bush community can be painfully pernicious. It’s the thorns you know, the price you pay for the delicious fruit. The madhouse I mentioned above is all thorns and no fruit. The Therapeutic Culture starts with declaring that almost every misanthropic or irresponsible behavior is the result of either an illness—non-physical addictions like gambling, sex or pornography—or lack of self esteem—criminal actions, laziness, academic failure. It’s only a short hop, or crawl, from there to elevating feelings above all else, including reason, logic, biology, reality. From there it’s another short crawl to the following:
Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, the medical director at the largest transgender youth clinic in the United States, is one of four doctors in the country overseeing experimental treatments, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, on children as young as eight (for which there are no control groups). Such recklessness is funded by millions of dollars from the American taxpayer, who is left largely in the dark by the complicity and cowardice of the mainstream press. Once, while discussing the removal of healthy breasts from teenage girls who identify as members of the opposite sex, Olson-Kennedy told a clapping audience: “If you want breasts at a later point in your life you can go and get them.”
I guess you just go to the breast store. I wonder if there are stores for the other discarded organs and tissue. In fact, maybe it’s time for Amazon to get on the Olson-Kennedy-inspired trend of selling human tissue and sex organs via the Internet. If you can get new glasses fitted online virtually, why not breasts? Absolutely absurd you say? And “identifying” as some other sex or gender isn’t? There are websites dedicated to every perversion and confused ideology imaginable, and many that aren’t (imaginable that is). The massively confused superhighway in my picture above might be a marvel of civil engineering, or a figment of the artist’s imagination, but like the Therapeutic Culture, it leads to nothing but crackups!
It’s time for a more light-hearted blog after that last headscratcher. Yesterday, ESPN had a segment on college football rivalries. Various talking heads, in sports, entertainment and politics, opined about what makes a rivalry special. So here it is, opinions from ESPN and The Athletic, about college FB rivalries.
Most intense rivalry you haven’t heard of (unless you live in Pennsylvania): Lehigh vs. Lafayette. It’s also one of the oldest, played since 1884.
Oldest rivalry: The very first American-style football game was played by Princeton and Rutgers on November 6, 1869. Rutgers is now the doormat of the Big 10, I’m sure they would love to stomp Princeton, but the Ivy League knows better than that.
Most famous same city rivalry, unless the city burns down: USC vs. UCLA, for the glory of Los Angeles. Trojans vs. Bruins it is, Hector vs. Achilles it ain’t.
Rivalries with the bitterest fans: Iron Bowl: Alabama vs. Auburn. Crimson Tide fans will never forgive the poisoner of Toomer’s corner Oak Trees, who went to jail for 3 years (the man, not the trees) in 2013. He was a former Alabama State trooper!
Most colorful name rivalry with wet animal mascots: Civil War: Oregon vs. Oregon St., or Ducks vs. Beavers. Hasn’t been much of a contest since Chip Kelly was Oregon coach and Phil Knight started pouring Nike $$$ into the Ducks’ beak.
Most boring rivalry name with mismatched animal mascots: Apple Cup: Washington vs. Washington St., or Huskies vs. Cougars. Ever since Chris Peterson arrived at Washington from the Boise St. Broncos, the Huskies have been eating the Cougars for lunch, but the Cougs Did give GARDNER MINSHEW II the chance for fame! Let’s hear it for Mike Leach you Jacksonville fans!
Same state rivalry that is not a contest: Boise St. vs. Idaho. They don’t even play each other since the Boise St. Broncos moved from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) to the Mountain West Conference in 2011, but if they did, Idaho would be destroyed, since they aren’t good, while BSU has beaten every “power 5” team it’s played. First game, 1971, 42-14, BSU. Last game, 2010, 52-14, BSU.
Respect rather than hate rivalry: Nebraska vs. Oklahoma: This is the rare rivalry in which both sides harbor more respect than nastiness. Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne were great coaches and very good friends, and fans genuinely seemed to like each other during the rivalry’s heyday. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, there was arguably no bigger annual series.
Hate rather than respect, The Backyard Brawl: There’s a healthy amount of hate between West Virginia and Pitt, which are separated by just 75 miles along Interstate 79 and played at the end of the regular season until they both left the Big East this decade for the Big 12 and the ACC, respectively. Like the Border War (Missouri vs. Kansas), the Mountaineers and Panthers now don’t play the same number of conference games, which temporarily put their annual meetings on hold.
In-state Goliath vs. David rivalry: Arkansas vs. Arkansas State: Many flagship universities schedule the smaller programs in their states regularly to keep the money handed out in paycheck games within state lines, overcoming the fact that the brand-name schools have little to gain from risking an embarrassing loss to a nearby neighbor. But those aren’t good enough reasons for certain schools, a prime example being Arkansas. Dating back to Frank Broyles’ tenure as coach and athletic director, the Razorbacks refuse to schedule in-state teams because it would, apparently, divide loyalties within the state. Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson has poked the bear a bit on this with a funny story that had a punchline aimed squarely at Fayetteville.
Rivalry with perennial national rankings: Red River Rivalry-Showdown-Shootout: Texas vs. Oklahoma. Some greats: Adrian Peterson, Rickie Williams, Billy Sims, Vince Young, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Earl Campbell, wow!
SEC vs. Big 12, defense vs. offense: Texas vs. Texas A&M: Most things involving these two programs devolve into pettiness, starting with the football series, which was played every year between 1915 and 2011 until the Aggies joined the SEC. Then-Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne assumed the rivalry would continue annually, even telling the SEC to keep the Aggies’ Thanksgiving weekend open when drawing up the new schedule. However, with A&M in the SEC and Texas in the Big 12, not likely.
“Moral victory” better than numbers: The Game: The 1968 Yale vs. Harvard football game was called “The Game”, ending in a 29–29 tie after Harvard made what is considered a miraculous last-moment comeback, scoring 16 points in the final 42 seconds to tie the game against a highly touted Yale squad. The significance of the moral victory for Harvard inspired the next day’s Harvard Crimson student newspaper to print the famous headline “Harvard Beats Yale, 29–29”. So much for Ivy League math skills!
In honor of our future troops rivalry: Army vs. Navy. The game marks the end of the college football regular season and the third and final game of the season’s Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series, which also includes the Air Force Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Today Jim Goad over at Takimag.com, delivered a backstory on why Procter & Gamble, who produce the Always line of feminine-hygiene products, removed the universal feminine symbol on their Always line of pads and liners. While his description is more strident and impolite–but much funnier–than mine would be, I have chosen, in the interest of truth, justice and the American Way (thank you Superman… or was that Batman, or Roy Rogers?), to use his.
“Over the summer, a certain Ben Saunders—a mannish woman who insists that we play along with her delusion and pretend she’s a man—contacted Procter & Gamble, who produce the Always line of feminine-hygiene products, asking them why on Earth they would put the universal logo for “female” on a product that everyone knows is also used by trans men? Did neither Procter, nor for that matter Gamble, realize that men can have periods? Are they entirely unaware—or, far worse, so abjectly unfeeling—that they fail to realize by including a female logo on a product that women who insist they’re men (but are hampered by the fact that they’re actually still women, which is why they still menstruate—DUH!) may feel dysphoric and even catch a hint of the vapors? Were they willing to stake their entire corporate future on the outside chance that they’d be able to withstand the scorched-earth negative-PR blizzard of fire and brimstone that befalls anyone foolhardy enough to step on the immensely delicate baby toes of the Sacred Transgender Community?
“Wisely—because hell hath no fury like a tranny ignored—Procter & Gamble capitulated and removed the offending logo from their feminine sanitary napkins—sorry, their gender-neutral menstrual products that in no way are intended to suggest that women, as well as the women who pretend that they’re men, are unclean. A woman—I think—named Sheryl from the Always marketing division decided to inform “Ben” that she had successfully bent them to her will. It was delivered as an open letter, because why inform someone privately when you can virtue-signal to the world that you are playing along with the Big Lie for fear of being hurt? It read:
“Dear Ben, I wanted to come back to you regarding your message about the Always wrappers’ design with the female symbol on it you sent 18/06/2019. We listened to you and our marketing team worked a solution! We are glad to inform you that as of December we will use a new wrapper design without the feminine symbol. Please just be aware that you might find products with the old wrapper design in the stores for some weeks after December, as the distribution of the new packages might take some time – the new designs should be in storeJan/Feb 2020. We are absolutely grateful for having people like you voicing their opinions. Thank you for contacting us, your comments help us improve every day!”
Well blow me down with a mighty exhalation of hydrogen-sulfide-laced breath, that letter does read like a craven capitulation to The Father Of Lies–and fanciful delusions. While you’re still digesting, or regurgitating, that gobble-de-gook, allow Jim to present a poem, “written by a certain Cass Clemmer, a gingery ‘menstrual health activist’ who resembles a gay young Ron Howard and thought it would be a good idea to take pictures of herself with a blood-stained crotch as some kind of creepy cri de coeur to the world about the pain attendant to telling your body that you’re a man while your body barks back, ‘No, you’re still a chick, you daffy broad.’
See my body had betrayed me, That red dot, the wax seal, On a contract left there broken, A gender identity that wasn’t real. Most people deal with blood and tissue, And yet my body forces me to surrender, Cause every time I get my cycle, Is another day I shed my gender…. The blood drips from an open wound, Of a war waging deep inside my corpse, The battle between mind and body, Immovable object; unstoppable force.
Yes, she really didwrite it. As George and Jerry kept reminding us, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Neutrality is a great thing, right? When there’s a war going on, it’s great to be neutral, like Switzerland claimed to be in WWII (for you millennial and generation-Y college students, that’s World War 2–you know, the real Nazis before Donald Trump). Except they weren’t really, unless you consider being the depository for Nazi loot neutral. Denmark tried to be, it didn’t end well. In April 1940, the Germans invaded Denmark on their way to take Norway. The country fell quickly. The Norwegians tried to remain neutral, but their country was so important that both the Germans and the Allies made plans to invade. When the Germans kicked off first, the Norwegians chose the lesser of two evils and joined the Allies, but it was too late to avoid being overrun. Like other Scandinavians, the Swedes tried to stay neutral, and in this case they succeeded. Once Norway fell, iron could not be exported to Britain, so the Germans had no need to take Sweden by force. The Swedes just kept exporting iron to Germany and let German troops cross the country rather than risk provoking Hitler. Many Swedes were more aligned to the Allied cause, and they became a source of valuable intelligence for the Allies. Truly neutral countries were too unimportant or non-strategic to matter to the Axis powers.
In a “worldwide war”, there is no neutrality, only insignificance. The worldwide gender war is being fought on multiple fronts, denoted by questions, such as: What is gender? Is it the same as sex—biological—or different—cultural? What does “gender neutral” mean? If you are human, and not a man or a woman, then what are you? What does it mean to “identify” as a different sex than your chromosomes, your physiognomy and your hormones identify you as? Should someone with a beard, XY chromosomes, and testosterone be allowed to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms because he “identifies” as female? That was a dream of mine when I was 13, but all I could do was sneak peeks at National Geographic.
I just saw an ad for the new Always feminine hygiene pad, a “gender neutral” one, because menstruation is now progressive. The HuffPost, never failing it’s duty to pander to the overly sensitive, profiles the product: “The makers of Always sanitary products have confirmed they will no longer use the female symbol ♀ on packaging, to reflect that trans and non-binary people have periods too. For over 35 years, Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so,” a spokesperson said. “We’re also committed to diversity and inclusion, and after hearing from many people across genders and age groups, we realized that not everyone who has a period and needs to use a pad identifies as female. “To ensure that anyone who needs to use a period product feels comfortable in doing so with Always, we updated our pad wrapper design.” The spokesperson added that the company’s mission remains, to ensure “no girl loses confidence at puberty because of her gender or period”.
But some women don’t feel comfortable with Always’ decision and are pushing back, using the hashtag #BoycottAlways. They argue the move dismisses biological women, the only sex that menstruates, and caves to radical transgender activism. “We’re now moving towards the total elimination of women’s biology,” British feminist and author Julie Bindel told The Mail. “The women’s symbol has been used by feminists for decades. This is pure cowardice and virtue signaling from these big corporate brands who are capitulating to the trans agenda.” Uh oh, war between two of the cornerstones of the postmodern era, feminists and transsexuals.
The website ThePostMillennial.com, offers this view. “But rest assured, those in the burgeoning gender neutral product industry are all about changing the world. Take for example the new plethora of non-gendered products for bleeders, which any bleeder can be proud to use. Bleeders, formerly known as women, no longer have to associate their monthly bloodletting with their gender. Products like UltuCup (Your menstrual cycle doesn’t have a gender, so why do your period products?), bloodcatching boxer shorts like the Affirming Boxer Short from Pyramid 7, and pads that aren’t packaged in pink let bleeders bleed, without all that pesky association of the female reproductive system to females. After all, bodies are just so reductive. No one wants to be defined or identified by their bodies, those external shells that don’t represent who we truly are on the inside, even if the entire concept of gender is derived from the associations of those bodies with assumed social roles and responsibilities.
“Not wanting to be female is a big part of being female once the monthly flow starts during the pre or teen years. What is perhaps most insulting in this whole gender non binary bleeding products is this assumption that so-called cis women like the pink hued products that are marketing in their direction. Women buy the pink products because they need the products that happen to be pink, not because they like being infantilized by marketing companies and period product providers.
“Bleeders are more than just people with periods, they are also people with genitals. Enter Wild Flower, who makes sex toys that have nothing to do with bodies. The founders state that they ‘started Wild Flower two years ago, to create change. We wanted to disrupt the sex toy industry, educate our customers, and banish the binary by offering non gendered products.’ Their premiere sex toy, called Enby, is for use no matter what your sex organs. Although it seems pretty clear that one sex toy does not meet the needs of all sex organs, given that some are innies and some are outies, Wild Flower leapt into the void to create Enby, which looks like a sea creature, and is designed to vibe with bleeders and non bleeders alike. They claim that ‘You don’t have to change yourself to use it, Enby fits to you.’
Want to know what Enby is, or what it looks like? That part is easy. How about what it does or how to use it. I leave that to your imagination.
Postscript: A mixed martial arts league allowed a biological male, Fallon Fox, who “identifies” as female, to fight a female MMA fighter named Tamikka Brents. She was sent to the hospital with a fractured orbital bone, concussion and required seven staples to close her head wound. She was very tough for her division, but after getting hit by Fox, said, “I have never been hit so hard in my life.”
Post postscript: This post is not satire, at least not from me. Given the state of woke reality, is satire even needed?
Objective: To parlay my magical antennae for detecting racism, microaggressions, and dog whistling into a highly paid, lifetime academic sinecure as a Diversity Enforcement Officer on a progressive, elite campus of higher education.
1. 1959 to present. Born a Caucasian, heteronormative male in 1946, I became woke at age 13 as I resolved to express my love of diversity by allowing myself to be soundly beaten by four white, teenage racists, losing a tooth in the process. I was rescued by a black classmate, who dispatched those punks by shouting, “can’t we all get along?” Even then I knew what White Supremacy was.
2. 1969-1970. Having been drafted into the Army, I eschewed escaping to Canada in order to demonstrate solidarity with the underclasses by allowing myself to be sent to Vietnam. I had a special t-shirt made which proudly proclaimed, in the immortal words of Muhammad Ali, “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcongs.”
3. 1972-1974. I graduated university of Connecticut with a master’s degree in Zoology, specializing in “higher criticism of social Darwinism.” I never used it, but did become more enlightened about racism, classism, and sexism, even among animals.
4. 1975-1988. I got married in 1988, but those 13 years prior I allowed entrepreneurship to infiltrate my proletarian being, becoming that nasty unphonetic French word, bourgeoisie, in the process.
5. 1988-2016. Marriage, children, high income, retirement. What a totally bourgeoisie existence, I have no excuse. However, in 2006-2010 I incurred cancer, right knee replacement, and major surgery on the other knee, to partially atone for my lack of proletarian pursuits.
6. 2016-present. In this short 3 years, I suffered a stroke, another form of cancer, and left shoulder replacement, thus totally (I hope) atoning for my sins. Since I am probably not employable in any gainful occupation, you should certainly give me disability points. Of course, I didn’t mean by that previous sentence that Diversity Enforcement Officer is not a gainful profession, unless by gainful we mean “makes money.” What the hell, it’s other people’s money we’re playing with, right?
Well, sad to say I didn’t get the job? They just had no sense of humor. I’m not giving up though, I just have to burnish my aura a bit.
The NCAA has established very severe penalties for “targeting”, defined as hitting defenseless opponents above the shoulders or using the crown of the helmet to contact an opponent. Football referees will now stop games to immediately review when players are penalized and face ejection for targeting The NCAA Football Rules Committee took steps to further protect student-athletes by proposing a rule to eject players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders. The committee, which met Monday-Wednesday, unanimously voted to increase the on-field penalty for targeting. The penalty, if approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, will be a 15-yard penalty and automatic ejection of the player.
The NFL doesn’t yet have a targeting penalty, but the NFL rule book does define what a “defenseless posture” is. “Players in a defenseless posture are:
A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass (passing posture)
A receiver attempting to catch a pass who has not had time to clearly become a runner. If the player is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player
The intended receiver of a pass in the action during and immediately following an interception or potential interception. If the player is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact of an opponent, he is no longer a defenseless player. Note: Violations of this provision will be enforced after the interception, and the intercepting team will maintain possession.
A runner already in the grasp of a tackler and whose forward progress has been stopped
A kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air
A player on the ground
A kicker/punter during the kick or during the return (Also see Article 6(h) for additional restrictions against a kicker/punter)
A quarterback at any time after a change of possession (Also see Article 9(f) for additional restrictions against a quarterback after a change of possession)
A player who receives a “blindside” block when the path of the offensive blocker is toward or parallel to his own end line.
A player who is protected from an illegal crackback block (see Article 2)
The offensive player who attempts a snap during a Field Goal attempt or a Try Kick.
Basically, “targeting” and “defenseless” are well defined and very important for protection of players’ health. Then there is “targeting of under-represented minorities“, which is ill-defined, totally subjective, and actually imperils long-term health by creating a fantasy world where the feelings of the most sensitive, or even the most willfully blind, are pandered to. Isn’t it interesting that campus thought police, sometimes called faculty or administrators—when they are doing the job for which they are paid—borrow the term from their hated, scorned too-insensitive sport, football (American football, not that other football that so beguiles social justice rhetoricians).
Back to “targeting of ‘ underrepresented minorities’.” It is often said that voter ID laws “target” blacks, the reason being that a disproportionate number of blacks, unlike whites or Asians, do not have an identification card. In academic and intellectual contexts, “target” functions with similar mindlessness: If you say something that anybody but a white cisgender hetero man disagrees with or doesn’t like, then you are “targeting” him or her. The Swiss Army Knife is an actual product known for it’s compactness, efficiency and multiple uses, but has come to denote almost anything that serves many functions. I apologize to the Swiss Army for my use of the latter meaning. I wouldn’t want to offend.
Targeting has become the “Swiss Army Knife” of SJW apologists. It sounds brutal, cruel, or thoughtless, like targeting in football, but here, in SJW world, the “defenseless players” are anyone who wilts whenever their orthodoxy is questioned. How pathetic. Badminton, anyone? (Yes, I do mean to offend)
Ann Coulter wrote about the following in Takimag.com; I am adapting the ideas for this post. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren keep promising FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL! NO PREMIUMS! NO CO-PAYS! Illegal aliens er., “undocumented migrants” too. Why not? Can anyone be gullible enough to fall for that? Whatever happened to “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”? That maxim became a dodo as it went by way of “free school lunches”. Yet all of us in the United States who still process truth in our cerebral cortex, as opposed to the limbic system of the social justice narratives, know that someone must pay for anything, since no one works for free.
Let’s consider two of the former economic powerhouses that used to be the pride of Latin America, Argentina and Venezuela. Based on too many years of indigenous people voting for politicians who made Bernie-Liz type promises, Latin America has become the poster child for failed promises of redistribution schemes. Does it seem like Latin American peasants are uniquely amenable to the empty and emotional promises of socialist schemes? No? You say look at China, look at Russia, look at North Korea; they’re communist, but not Latin American. True, but in R, C and NK, Communism came via bloody revolutions, purges and massive death tolls. Latin American peasants mainly voted for the socialist promises, in the guise of charismatic demagogues like Chavez and Peron. They will again, because that’s what they do.
Somehow truthful reportingon Venezuela managed to escape the censors of pro-socialist promises, and the New York Times published a story last week on what socialism has done for the water system in Venezuela: The brick shack on the outskirts of Venezuela’s capital is crowded with tubs, jugs and buckets. The water they hold must last the family of eight for a week — but it’s not enough for frequent washing or flushing, so the kitchen is filled with greasy pots and the house smells of stale urine. And none of the water is treated, making diarrhea and vomit a regular occurrence. ‘We practically live in the bathroom,’ said the mother of the family … [Her daughter] sat nearby, pale and listless, recovering from her latest bout of diarrhea just one month away from childbirth.
Twenty years ago, 60 percent of Venezuelans had regular access to safe drinking water. Today, only 30 percent do. How did this happen? Answer: Poor Venezuelans voted for it. Denouncing “squalid oligarchs,” Hugo Chavez promised Venezuela’s poor: “I will not rest until every human being who lives in this land has housing, employment and some way to manage his life.” The poor were sold! In December 1998, Chavez was elected in a landslide, commemorated with this Seattle Times headline: “VENEZUELAN SLUM DWELLERS VOTE FOR CHANGE.” A triumph for “Social Justice”, or the beginning of the slide into the morass of failed socialist-redistribution promises?
Chavez, immediately implemented a “single-payer” system for health care in Venezuela. He set up free health clinics, opened military hospitals to the poor and deployed tens of thousands of government workers to deliver medical services to the barrios. At Chavez’s invitation, thousands of poor people took up residence in hotels, warehouses and luxurious golf courses. As one of the squatters explained, “We just want a home for our children.” As Ann Coulter wrote, “That could be the epitaph of every once-great country: It was for THE CHILDREN!” Within a year of Chavez taking office, the economy had shrunk by 7.2 percent and unemployment was at 20 percent. A decade into this socialist paradise, the poor were poorer than ever. There were constant blackouts, food shortages and appalling infant mortality rates. (Could what we’re seeing in California be the start of a U.S. “Venezuela”?) Venezuela’s infant mortality from diarrhea alone has sextupled in the past 15 years, according to the World Health Organization. (That’s an estimate, on account of Chavez’s quick response to the crisis, which was to stop releasing public health data.)
Potable water, that most basic element of civilization, is virtually nonexistent. Today, sitting on top of the largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuelans are starving. Chavez didn’t seize power in a military coup. There was no revolution. He wasn’t imposed on Venezuelans by the C.I.A. He was the people’s choice, elected president in 1998 (with 56 percent of the vote), then re-elected in 2000 (60 percent), then again in 2006 (63 percent) and yet again in 2012 (54 percent). And that’s not counting all the regional, parliamentary, constitutional and referenda elections his party won, over and over and over again.
Eva Peron in Argentina, like Chavez, destroyed a country by offering the poor pie-in-the-sky promises that were to be paid for by “the rich.” In both cases, it took only about a decade to turn two of the wealthiest countries in the world into two of the most dysfunctional. Juan Perón, elected President in 1945, inherited a country with a strong economy. Following World War II, many European nations, in dire financial circumstances, borrowed money from Argentina and some were forced to import wheat and beef from Argentina as well. Perón’s government profited from the arrangement, charging interest on the loans and fees on the exports from ranchers and farmers.
Juan Peron was even popular with the peasants, not for what he accomplished, but because his wife and First Lady of Argentina, Evita, portrayed herself as the fount of material blessings to the poor. By early 1948, Eva was receiving thousands of letters a day from needy people requesting food, clothing, and other necessities. In order to manage so many requests, she created the Eva Perón Foundation in July 1948 and acted as its sole leader and decision-maker. The foundation received donations from businesses, unions, and workers, but these donations were often coerced. People and organizations faced fines and even jail time if they did not contribute. Eva kept no written record of her expenditures, claiming that she was too busy giving the money away to the poor to stop and count it. Sounds logical, heard it before!
But many people, having seen newspaper photos of Eva dressed in expensive dresses and jewels, suspected her of keeping some of the money for herself. Wouldn’t that be shocking? In 1950, Argentina’s postwar export boom tapered off, and inflation and corruption grew. After being reelected in 1951, Juan Peron became more conservative and repressive and seized control of the press to control criticism of his regime. In July 1952, Evita died of cancer, and support for President Peron among the working classes became decidedly less pronounced. One way to think about Argentina in the 20th century is as being out of sync with the rest of the world. It was the model for export-led growth when the open trading system collapsed. After the second world war, when the rich world began its slow return to free trade with the negotiation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947, Argentina had become a more closed economy—and it kept moving in that direction under Perón. An institution to control foreign trade was created in 1946; an existing policy of import substitution deepened; the share of trade as a percentage of GDP continued to fall.
Closer to home, there’s Mexico, where the people voted for the Institutional Revolutionary Party for 71 straight years. Total economic failure, year after year. Those who prosper legitimately, like avocado farmers, are besieged by drug cartels, trying to take over so they have another way to launder their massive cash profits. Yes, please, kick me again! The fact that these voluntary hellholes are adjacent to our country is why our southern border is always besieged with desperate Latin Americans. They’re fleeing the very systems that they voted for, and which (80 percent) would willingly vote for again. All immigrants are not the same. Those who voted for empty promises over and over in Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela, will do so here.Which party is the party of empty promises?
One of the great scholars and historians of our time comments on the state of present “civilization”. I have followed his commentary with a poetic perspective on the same theme. Beware, you arrogant “know-it-all” intellectuals and college students: You know a lot of disconnected “stuff” and the rhetoric of envy and grievance, but do you know anything of lasting value?
By Victor Davis Hanson October 10, 2019 “Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks. Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forebears’ monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.
“We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.
“Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?Californians tried to build a high-speed rail line. But after more than a decade of government incompetence, lawsuits, cost overruns and constant bureaucratic squabbling, they have all but given up. The result is a half-built overpass over the skyline of Fresno — and not yet a foot of track laid.
“Who were those giants of the 1960s responsible for building our interstate highway system? California’s roads now are mostly the same as we inherited them, although the state population has tripled. We have added little to our freeway network, either because we forgot how to build good roads or would prefer to spend the money on redistributive entitlements.
“When California had to replace a quarter section of the earthquake-damaged San Francisco Bay Bridge, it turned into a near-disaster, with 11 years of acrimony, fighting, cost overruns — and a commentary on our decline into Dark Ages primitivism. Yet 82 years ago, our ancestors built four times the length of our singe replacement span in less than four years. It took them just two years to design the entire Bay Bridge and award the contracts.
“Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years? Our generation required five years just to plan to replace a single section. In inflation-adjusted dollars, we spent six times the money on one quarter of the length of the bridge and required 13 agencies to grant approval. In 1936, just one agency oversaw the entire bridge project.
“California has not built a major dam in 40 years. Instead, officials squabble over the water stored and distributed by our ancestors, who designed the California State Water Project and Central Valley Project. Contemporary Californians would have little food or water without these massive transfers, and yet they often ignore or damn the generation that built the very system that saves us.
“America went to the moon in 1969 with supposedly primitive computers and backward engineering. Does anyone believe we could launch a similar moonshot today? No American has set foot on the moon in the last 47 years, and it may not happen in the next 50 years.
“We have been fighting in Afghanistan without result for 18 years. Our forefathers helped to win World War II and defeat the Axis Powers in four years. In terms of learning, does anyone believe that a college graduate in 2020 will know half the information of a 1950 graduate?
“True, social media is impressive. The internet gives us instant access to global knowledge. We are a more tolerant society, at least in theory. But Facebook is not the Hoover Dam, and Twitter is not the Panama Canal. Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.
“As we sit motionless on our jammed ancient freeways; and as we pout on Twitter and electronically whine in the porticoes of our Ivy League campuses, will we ask: ‘Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?’ In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.“
The banker and political writer Horace Smith spent the Christmas season of 1817–1818 with Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley. At this time, members of Shelley’s literary circle would sometimes challenge each other to write competing sonnets on a common subject: Shelley, John Keats and Leigh Hunt wrote competing sonnets on the Nile around the same time. Shelley and Smith both chose a passage from the writings of the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, which described a massive Egyptian statue and quoted its inscription: “King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work.” In the poem Diodorus becomes “a traveler from an antique land.”
Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias”“I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed: And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Horace Smith’s “Ozymandias” “In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone, Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws The only shadow that the Desert knows:— ‘I am great OZYMANDIAS,’ saith the stone, ‘The King of Kings; this mighty City shows The wonders of my hand.’— The City’s gone,— Naught but the Leg remaining to disclose The site of this forgotten Babylon. We wonder,—and some Hunter may express Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace, He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess What powerful but unrecorded race Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
Are you moved at all by this theme and those powerfulsonnets? Yes? There is hope. No? Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! By the way, “mighty” here is satirical.
“Errr. I’m just learning about this. It’s a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw. It’s going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently….I think you’ve got to be sensitive to how difficult this is. There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ‘You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had. So I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me.’ I hear that conversation all the time.” So says Hillary Clinton, in an interview in the NY Sunday Times. To what is she referring? If you don’t like the genitalia you were born with i.e. you are transsexual, and if those genitalia and chromosomes—XY—and your hormones, testosterone and androgen—mark you as a biological male, in what reality can you insist you are female? So what Hillary is actually saying is, “I as a biological female have lived experiences which a transsexual—i.e. biological male who thinks he is or who wants to be female—have not lived. Therefore, we are not the same.”
Hillary disagrees with daughter Chelsea, with whom she wrote the yet to be released Book of Gutsy Women. It’s apparently stories of courageous and trailblazing women. The only blurb I read was from CBSNews, which featured Chelsea’s story about Margaret Chase Smith, a former Senator from Maine. I applaud the idea of the book. Hopefully they will also profile gutsy non-government women. However, that book is tangential to my topic of the “new generation gap”. In fact, generation gap isn’t comprehensive enough–it’s really about objective truth vs. subjective experience, premise #4 of Critical Theory. Hillary is admitting she is having trouble assimilating the CT worldview with her own experience, though she frames that conflict narrowly, by comparing the experience of being a biological woman with the contention of a biological man who wants to be a woman that his life experience qualifies him to know what life as a bio woman is like. This path is fraught with peril. Those who speak out about trans ideology(?), pathology(?), psychology, will get the treatment.
Mikey Harlow, outspoken gay writer and model, has been banned from Twitter permanently. Why? It all started when he posted these few tweets about inconvenient truths that Twitter must not want you to see. “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people want to be treated the same as everyone else. Radical alphabet people want to be treated differently. That is a key distinction. And that is why sane LGBT individuals take such exception to the latter category,” he wrote. Maybe it was this next post that did him in. Everyone knows you’re not allowed to challenge the new gender theology.
Harlow has received multiple excuses from Twitter. First they said that he was suspended for trying to “evade permanent suspension,” which Harlow claims he doesn’t understand. “How could I be ‘avoiding suspension’? I don’t even know what that is!” Harlow told PJ Media. Twitter then sent him an update to his suspension and changed their story, claiming that Harlow had operated multiple accounts. “That’s ridiculous,” Harlow said. “I have only ever had one account. I do not have, nor have I ever had multiple accounts.” But that wasn’t the last story Twitter would pull out of thin air. Harlow contested the suspension and received another notice from Twitter now claiming that his suspension will be permanent because he engaged in “targeted harassment.” To illustrate this harassment, Twitter presented a months-old Harlow tweet mocking the people criticizing Ivanka Trump for posting cute pictures of her children.
The truth is that the left can’t stand dissent of any kind. And the worst traitors are the ones who belong to the victim groups that Democrats exploit. The gays top that list. When they disregard the approved talking points, they get destroyed. If your ideology is incompatible with reality, logic, reason or good sense, but you are thoroughly invested in it, your likely response is to attack the motives of the critics, who are most of us. If the critics lack courage, that tactic works. It would seem to be working.