Ed Driscoll

Ed Driscoll

‘Sexy Conservatives Will Out-Breed Barren Liberals’

April 20th, 2015 - 4:49 pm

Shot:

That critical thinking plays a role in falling birthrates is backed up by a study conducted at Kansas State University, in which researchers found that “people’s desire to have children is most influenced by the positive and negative interactions, and the trade-offs.” These are detailed elegantly in an essay by Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, a book in which a mother’s life is ruined by her psychopathic son. “I could have afforded children, financially,” Shriver writes. “I just didn’t want them. They are untidy, they would have messed up my apartment. In the main, they are ungrateful. They would have siphoned away too much time from my precious books.”

Shriver acknowledges that this attitude could be interpreted as selfish. But, it seems, her feelings are indicative of “a larger transformation in Western culture no less profound than our collective consensus on what life is for.” In other words, she’s saying, an existential shift in the way educated humans approach living—a switch from living for the (possibly celestial) future to enjoying the present—has led humans to think much more carefully about having children, since the drawbacks tend to outweigh the benefits. “As we age,” she writes, “we are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”*

“Why Women Aren’t Having Children,”** The Atlantic, Friday.

Chaser:

Of course, the liberals’ answer is to fight the numbers with amnesty, importing what they hope will be fertile new recruits for their grim ideology in from the Third World. But the problem is that once here, those immigrants who share liberal values eventually stop having babies too. It seems abortion and reproduction don’t mix. The black community has already suffered depredations from the abortion laws Democrats love, a Democrat crime that dwarfs the crime that was Jim Crow. Now immigrant women seem to be taking a cue from liberal women and doing the same. In the meantime, red states like Utah and Texas grow and grow while blue states California and New York gray and shrivel.

Conservatives, it is not enough to merely produce children or, as so many do, adopt those already here. We must nurture them and teach them properly because liberal society is determined to corrupt them and convert them into eager drones for the Borg Collective that is progressivism. Fight back. If you are religious, teach your children about God. If not, teach them to respect and understand those who are. Teach them about our country and our history – there’s no better way to demonstrate to them, as opposed to indoctrinate them, why America deserves their patriotism. My earliest memory is of standing on a Gettysburg battlefield, not far from where my family’s hometown had been burned by Confederate raiders. There really was never much question that someday I would help defend our country as I aspired to be like the heroes who died on those fields.

And teach your kids skills that will help them survive. Teach them to fight, and to shoot. Teach them to be steadfast in the defense of their rights, and to stand up for those being oppressed. My kids have a standing offer – if their school suspends them for justifiably punching a bully they get taken out for ice cream. And demand that your school teaches your kids properly – as Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds often says, sending your kids to public schools is almost parental malpractice.

Not all conservatives will choose to have kids. Some can’t, and some have personal reasons not to – as grown men and women, none of them owe us any explanation. But by and large, we conservatives will outbreed our opponents if we just keep at it. So get some cabernet poured and some Barry White on and get busy, conservatives. Get busy…for America.

“Sexy Conservatives Will Out-Breed Barren Liberals,” Kurt Schlichter, Townhall, today.

Hangover:

* Let’s return to this line from the Atlantic article: “We are apt to look back on our pasts and question, not, did I serve family, God, and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but whether they were interesting and fun.”

Did Tom Wolfe call this 40 years ago in “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” or what?

Whatever the Third Great Awakening amounts to, for better or for worse, will have to do with this unprecedented post-World War II American development: the luxury, enjoyed by so many millions of middling folk, of dwelling upon the self. At first glance, Shirley Polykoff’s [advertising] slogan—“If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a blonde!”—seems like merely another example of a superficial and irritating rhetorical trope (antanaclasis) that now happens to be fashionable among advertising copywriters. But in fact the notion of “If I’ve only one life” challenges one of those assumptions of society that are so deep-rooted and ancient, they have no name—they are simply lived by. In this case: man’s age-old belief in serial immortality.

The husband and wife who sacrifice their own ambitions and their material assets in order to provide “a better future” for their children . . . the soldier who risks his life, or perhaps consciously sacrifices it, in battle . . . the man who devotes his life to some struggle for “his people” that cannot possibly be won in his lifetime . . . people (or most of them) who buy life insurance or leave wills . . . and, for that matter, most women upon becoming pregnant for the first time . . . are people who conceive of themselves, however unconsciously, as part of a great biological stream. Just as something of their ancestors lives on in them, so will something of them live on in their children . . . or in their people, their race, their community—for childless people, too, conduct their lives and try to arrange their postmortem affairs with concern for how the great stream is going to flow on. Most people, historically, have not lived their lives as if thinking, “I have only one life to live.” Instead they have lived as if they are living their ancestors’ lives and their offspring’s lives and perhaps their neighbors’ lives as well. They have seen themselves as inseparable from the great tide of chromosomes of which they are created and which they pass on. The mere fact that you were only going to be here a short time and would be dead soon enough did not give you the license to try to climb out of the stream and change the natural order of things. The Chinese, in ancestor worship, have literally worshiped the great tide itself, and not any god or gods. For anyone to renounce the notion of serial immortality, in the West or the East, has been to defy what seems like a law of Nature. Hence the wicked feeling—the excitement!—of “If I’ve only one life, let me live it as a ———!” Fill in the blank, if you dare.

And now many dare it! In Democracy in America, Tocqueville (the inevitable and ubiquitous Tocqueville) saw the American sense of equality itself as disrupting the stream, which he called “time’s pattern”: “Not only does democracy make each man forget his ancestors, it hides his descendants from him, and divides him from his contemporaries; it continually turns him back into himself, and threatens, at last, to enclose him entirely in the solitude of his own heart.” A grim prospect to the good Alexis de T.—but what did he know about . . . Let’s talk about Me!

** I blame global warming. No seriously; if you’ve truly internalized the crazed prophesies the warm-mongers have been shouting since the first Earth Day 45 years ago that “We only have five/ten/12 years, 362 days, 35 minutes and 22 seconds” to save the Earth, why would you want to inflict that vision of a barren future world on a kid?

talk_to_kids_climate_change_6-7-13

Filed under: Uncategorized

Question Asked and Answered

April 20th, 2015 - 4:26 pm

“When did America forget that it’s America?”

—Natan Sharansky, the Washington Post, today.

“Rule America?Liberal elites ruined Britain as a hyperpower. Could America meet the same fate?”

—Jonathan Last, the Weekly Standard, October 21st, 2005.

di_blasio_bane_batman_groundhog_9-25-14-1

“Hilarious: Clown de Blasio in Secret Bid to be Dems’ 2016 Nominee,” the Jammie Wearing Fools blog notes, begging, “Please, please, please make this happen:”

Despite repeated claims to the contrary, Mayor de Blasio is positioning himself to be the leftist “progressive” alternative to Wall Street-friendly Hillary Rodham Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president, a national party operative told The Post.

The progressive alternative to the far left Granny Clinton? How can you go any further left? Are they telling us she’s moderate or something? Well, how would anyone know when we don’t know her positions, she’s avoiding interviews like the plague and now on Day 8 of her campaign she hasn’t taken a question from the media.

De Blasio’s hope, the operative said, is a “draft de Blasio’’ movement will develop among progressive activists over the next several months that will lead to the mayor being able to defeat Clinton in the primary elections next year in much the same way leftist Sen. George McGovern successfully challenged the initially front-running establishment Democratic candidate, Sen. Edmund Muskie, more than 40 years ago.

And that worked out swimmingly, with McGovern winning one state.

Though as JWF writes, “Dude really needs to put down the bong. Well, we’ll give him this: He’d probably be willing to sit down for an interview instead of running from the media.” (And this week, Hillary has even more reasons to run from the media.)

C’mon Bane, steal the keys to Hillary’s Scooby Do Mystery Machine and make a run for it — the fire rises, my friend!

Oh, that Liberal Fascism: “The entire family was herded into one room, and there they watched as the police carried off their personal possessions, including items that had nothing to do with the subject of the search warrant — even her daughter’s computer,” David French writes on “Wisconsin’s Shame: ‘I Thought It Was a Home Invasion’” in the new issue of National Review. As French writes, “It was indeed a home invasion, but the people who were pouring in were Wisconsin law-enforcement officers,” intent on stealing computers, cell phones, and other devices with personal information on them:

For dozens of conservatives, the years since Scott Walker’s first election as governor of Wisconsin transformed the state — known for pro-football championships, good cheese, and a population with a reputation for being unfailingly polite — into a place where conservatives have faced early-morning raids, multi-year secretive criminal investigations, slanderous and selective leaks to sympathetic media, and intrusive electronic snooping.

Yes, Wisconsin, the cradle of the progressive movement and home of the “Wisconsin idea” — the marriage of state governments and state universities to govern through technocratic reform — was giving birth to a new progressive idea, the use of law enforcement as a political instrument, as a weapon to attempt to undo election results, shame opponents, and ruin lives.

Most Americans have never heard of these raids, or of the lengthy criminal investigations of Wisconsin conservatives. For good reason. Bound by comprehensive secrecy orders, conservatives were left to suffer in silence as leaks ruined their reputations, as neighbors, looking through windows and dismayed at the massive police presence, the lights shining down on targets’ homes, wondered, no doubt, What on earth did that family do?

This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform.

Largely hidden from the public eye, this traumatic process, however, is now heading toward a legal climax, with two key rulings expected in the late spring or early summer. The first ruling, from the Wisconsin supreme court, could halt the investigations for good, in part by declaring that the “misconduct” being investigated isn’t misconduct at all but the simple exercise of First Amendment rights.

The second ruling, from the United States Supreme Court, could grant review on a federal lawsuit brought by Wisconsin political activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the first conservatives to challenge the investigations head-on. If the Court grants review, it could not only halt the investigations but also begin the process of holding accountable those public officials who have so abused their powers.

But no matter the outcome of these court hearings, the damage has been done. In the words of Mr. O’Keefe, “The process is the punishment.”

Read the whole thing — and recall that last September we quoted from posts and articles on a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel whose reporter was accused of harassing one of the “John Doe” whistleblowers, a disabled police officer, living up fully to Glenn Reynolds’ description of old media as “Democrat operatives with bylines.”

If California, New York, and other “Progressive” states slowly inching towards the fiscal abyss are to have genuine reform, these scenes could very well be repeated along the way.

On March 18th, 1968, following the 1965 riots in Watts and in numerous American cities in 1967, including the riot that began the destruction of Detroit, Robert F. Kennedy gave a speech to the students at  Kansas State University. Kennedy quoted the words of early 20th century “Progressive” Kansan William Allen White, and eerily foreshadowed his own death just a few months later, when he said:

‘If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all their youthful vision and vigor then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better the world for tomorrow.’ ” …

At first he seemed tentative and wooden, stammering and repeating himself, too nervous to punctuate his sentences with gestures. But with each round of applause he became more animated. Soon he was pounding the lectern with his right fist, and shouting out his words.

Rene Carpenter watched the students in the front rows. Their faces shone, and they opened their mouths in unison, shouting, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”

Hays Gorey, of Time, called the electricity between Kennedy and the K.S.U. students “real and rare” and said that ” .. John Kennedy … himself couldn’t be so passionate, and couldn’t set off such sparks.”

Kevin Rochat was close to weeping because Kennedy was so direct and honest. He kept telling himself, My God! He’s saying exactly what I’ve been thinking! ..

Kennedy concluded by saying, “Our country is in danger: not just from foreign enemies; but above all, from our own misguided policies–and what they can do to the nation that Thomas Jefferson once said was the last, great hope of mankind. There is a contest on, not for the rule of America but for the heart of America. In these next eight months we are going to decide what this country will stand for–and what kind of men we are.”

He raised his fist in the air so it resembled the revolutionary symbol on posters hanging in student rooms that year, promised “a new America,” and the hall erupted in cheers and thunderous applause.

While last year we saw destructive riots ginned up by the media in Ferguson and rioting in New York, Twitter users witness a virtual riot about once a week it seems. And needless to say, sadly, many Twitter users also participate in the weekly Two-Minute Hate. In her review of Jon Ronson’s new book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Megan McArdle writes at Bloomberg, “Social media is now producing what you might call ‘shame-storming,’ where some offense (real or imagined) is uncovered, and a horde of indignant tweeters quickly assembles to publicize the transgression and heap imprecations on its author”:

This sort of shaming has costs, however. If you haven’t changed someone’s mind, you haven’t changed their behavior, only what they say. If they do harbor the bad beliefs you accused them of, those beliefs are now festering in private rather than being open to persuasion. And you haven’t even necessarily changed what they say in a good direction, because people who are afraid of unjust attacks aren’t afraid of being punished for saying things they know they ought to be ashamed of, but of being punished for saying something they didn’t know would attract this kind of ire. So they’re afraid to say anything at all, or at least anything more interesting than “Woo, puppies!” That’s not norm enforcement; it’s blanket terror.

An even greater cost is that shame itself starts to lose its power. When outrage of the week becomes outrage of the hour, the audience starts to check out. Few people can sustain the emotional intensity needed to see cosmic injustice behind every badly phrased sentence or juvenile photo. Meanwhile, people in communities closer to the target start to respond with an outpouring of support, such that Memories Pizza ended up not by closing up shop and issuing a tearful apology, but trying to figure out what to do with the donations that poured in. The public shaming didn’t change anyone’s mind on gay marriage, or even make it extra-costly to operate an establishment that won’t cater gay weddings; it just hardened each side in their respective positions.

Riding out an online shame-storm isn’t much fun, but as Marc Fitch writes at the Federalist, in an article titled, “We Are Legion: Don’t Let Internet Culture Amplify Idiots,” “It is often quite easy to feel that you are greatly outnumbered and that the entire world is against you, particularly if you have the gall to air your beliefs in the public realm (or be caught in it, in [the Memories Pizza] situation)”:

Social media can seemingly explode with anger at your mention of a political or cultural position that goes against whatever the Video Music Awards are advocating this year. You are beset by Legion.

But are you, really? Two thousand people is a drop in the bucket of the overall population, but when they all turn and look at you it can feel overwhelming. While outrage is nothing new in cultural or political fights, the Internet’s ability to allow individuals to reach people they have never met or places they have never been perpetrates an illusion. Memories Pizza was deluged with one-star ratings by people who had never been to the establishment or sampled its pizza.

It was recently revealed that nearly 70 percent of the criticism lobbed at Rush Limbaugh (which is ample) comes from a small group of activists that have devoted their lives to attempting to make his miserable. However, to view coverage of Limbaugh in television and Internet media, you would think that the entire country is listening and vastly offended at everything he says. You would see and hear what appear to be great swaths of civilization amassing against this radio host. But this is an illusion born of spirit, not of substance, and it is meant to influence the spirit of others. It is necessary to separate the corporeal reality from the illusory zeitgeist.

Few people have time to be so incensed, and those that do should not drive culture. Their offense is an illusion. Their feelings may matter to them, but need not drive discussions and certainly shouldn’t attain such grandiose proportions. Ideas can be debated and talked through, and individuals who maintain a decorum of objective detachment can often find common ground. But fight with a spirit, with irrational rage, and there is no way to find commonality.

The anonymity of the Internet allows this illusion to truly reach its greatest power as a single individual can assume any number of Internet personas that can spew any amount of nonsense and vitriol with no accountability or personal reflection whatsoever. The pseudo-anger and the Internet’s ability to instantaneously connect users can often give the impression of widespread outrage, when really hardly anyone has noticed.

And as Glenn Reynolds noted, perhaps the spectacular fundraising pushback to the left’s Frankenstein mob-style attack on Memories Pizza has created a potentially new dynamic to overcome the hatred of the mob, maybe even if they really do follow Spike Lee’s cinematic advice and wreck a beloved neighborhood hangout.

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“I’ve achieved more career success than I ever thought I would, but I looked at the inner light they had, and I said, I haven’t achieved that.” The Christian Science Monitor quotes David Brooks regarding the subject of his new book:

And so, he set out to explore that elusive quality, a certain contentment through selflessness. The result was “The Road to Character,” a new book in which Brooks profiles some of the world’s greatest leaders, thinkers, and humanitarians, in an effort to shine a light on the sort of moral virtues that have been discounted in the modern age.

“It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues,” he wrote in a New York Times oped piece which quickly became the NYT’s most-emailed story of the day. “The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?”

Society today places great importance on resume virtues, he says, and teaches children from a young age to believe they are special, important.

This factoid is at once both jaw dropping and yet not all surprising, considering American educators have spent the last 40 years or so convincing kids they’re all super-special snowflakes who have achieved greatness and glory before even graduating*:

“We’re raised in a society called the ‘big me’ society,” Brooks said Monday on “CBS This Morning.” “In 1950, the [Gallup organization] asked high school kids, are you a very important person? Then 12 percent said yes. Asked again in 2005, 80 percent said, yes, I’m a very important person. We all think we’re super important.

“That’s great for your career if you’re branding yourself. That’s great for social media, if you want a highlight reel of you own life you can put up on Facebook, but if you want inner growth, you’ve got to be radically honest,” Brooks said. “…[T]he road to character is built by confronting your own weakness.”

In his weekly book-related post, Ace’s co-blogger highlights this quote from Brooks:

As for himself, Brooks told NPR he is “paid to be a narcissistic blowhard, to volley my opinions, to appear more confident about them than I really am, to appear smarter than I really am, to appear better and more authoritative than I really am. I have to work harder than most people to avoid a life of smug superficiality.”

Not to mention falling for malignant narcissistic politicians based on their smug superficiality and the creases in their bespoke trousers.

* Though as someone tweeted yesterday, “American grade school: everyone’s a winner. American college: everyone’s a victim.”

Related: “From Neo to Theo? Is the New York Times’ David Brooks Converting to Christianity?”

“Tim Tebow will sign a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, per reports from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer and ESPN’s Adam Schefter,” the Dallas Morning News claims today:

Tweeted Glazer: Eagles spent time w Tebows qb coach Tom House and are convinced he’s improved a lot. if he hasn’t no harm no foul as they have roster spots. … Eagles looking for a fourth QB for their offseason program but it’s Tebows best chance to get back in the league

Schefter reported: “Before signing Tebow, the Eagles first wanted to try to trade backup quarterback Matt Barkley. But when the team could not get enough in return, it decided to bring in Tebow anyway so that he could be present for the team’s entire off-season program.”

The sides have agreed to the deal. The Eagles’ off-season program begins tomorrow.

Tebow, 27, hasn’t played since being released by the New York Jets in June 2014. He spent last season as an analyst for the SEC Network.

If he were to join the Eagles, he would join Mark Sanchez, the QB he competed with during his tenure with the Jets.

From PETA’s worst nightmare Michael Vick to the proselytizing Tebow in the space of six years — that’s got to be quite a rollercoaster ride for Philadelphia sports fans.

(Sure they could use a little churchin’ up, as Cab Calloway told Jake and Elwood, but how will notoriously riotous Eagles fans take to Tebow?)

Update: The Teagles?

Filed under: Run To Daylight

Jerry Brown’s Oedipal Struggle

April 19th, 2015 - 3:41 pm

Joel Kotkin gets to the core of what’s driving California’s water woes, writing a rare must-read voice of sanity in the otherwise mentally arid wasteland that is the Daily Beast:

Indeed, if you look at California’s greatest achievements as a society, the Pat Brown legacy stands at the core. The California Aqueduct turned vast stretches of the Central Valley into one of the most productive farming regions in the world. The freeway system, now in often shocking disrepair, allowed for the construction of mass suburbia that offered millions a quality of life never experienced by previous generations. At the same time the development of energy resources—California still boasts the nation’s third-largest oil production—helped create a huge industrial base that included aerospace, semiconductors, and a host of specialized industries, from logistics to garment manufacturing.

In contrast, Jerry Brown has waged a kind of Oedipal struggle against his father’s legacy. Like many Californians, he recoiled against the sometimes haphazard and even ugly form of development that plowed through much of the state. Cutting off water is arguably the most effective way to stop all development, and promote Brown’s stated goal of eliminating suburban “sprawl.” It is typical that his first target for cutbacks this year has been the “lawns” of the middle-class suburbanite, a species for which he has shown little interest or tolerance.

But it’s not just water that exemplifies the current “era of limits” psychology. Energy development has always been in green crosshairs and their harassment has all but succeeded in helping drive much of the oil and gas industry, including corporate headquarters, out of the state. Not building roads—arguably to be replaced by trains—has not exactly reduced traffic but given California the honor of having eight of the top 20 cities nationally with poor roads; the percentage of Los Angeles-area residents who take transit has, if anything, declined slightly since train-building began. All we are left with are impossible freeways, crumbling streets, and ever more difficulty doing anything that requires traveling.

It isn’t just Jerry Brown; since the mid-1960s, the entire new left versus old, New Deal-era left struggle has been driven by an Oedipal Boomer-era hatred of their parents; as this telling anecdote from from former leftist turned pioneering neoconservative Norman Podhoretz highlighted, in an article titled “America the Ugly” at the Wall Street Journal in 2007:

It was of an evening in the year 1960, when I went to address a meeting of left-wing radicals on a subject that had then barely begun to show the whites of its eyes: the possibility of American military involvement in a faraway place called Vietnam and the need to begin mobilizing opposition to it. Accompanying me that evening was the late Marion Magid, a member of my staff at Commentary, of which I had recently become the editor. As we entered the drafty old hall on Union Square in Manhattan, Marion surveyed the 50 or so people in the audience and whispered to me: “Do you realize that every young person in this room is a tragedy to some family or other?”

The memory of this quip brought back to life some sense of how unpromising the future had then appeared to be for that bedraggled-looking assemblage. No one would have dreamed that these young people, and the generation about to descend from them politically and culturally, would within the blink of a historical eye come to be hailed by many members of the very “Establishment” they were trying to topple as (in the representative words of Prof. Archibald Cox of Harvard Law School) “the best informed, the most intelligent, and the most idealistic this country has ever known.”

More incredible yet, in a mere decade the ideas and attitudes of the new movement, cleaned up but essentially unchanged, would turn one of our two major parties upside down and inside out.

The following year, James Lileks explored the midcentury America the boomers were handed by their parents and how violently they’ve been trying to smash it, ever since:

I blame the boomers, of course. ;) If you’re going to make a fetish out of the Authentic Values of Adolescence, with its withering critiques of humanity, then you’re going to value the slouch and the sneer as signs of a Deep and Serious Person.  The Boomers were handed a Utopian ideal – practical, technocratic, rational, with silver wheels in the sky tended over by engineers and scientists — and they abandoned it for a Dionysian version based on wrecking and remaking the world they’d inherited. Their patron saint: Holy St. Caulfield, who identified the greatest sin in the human soul: being a phoney. Better to be an authentic bastard than someone who cannot successfully convince a teenager that some ideas have an importance that transcend the ability of the individual to manifest them 24/7.

Of course they got sour; if you believe a Utopia is possible if we just retinker human behavior to eliminate greed and dress codes and football and anything else that reminds us of Dad, be it the specific one or the unseen National Dad that rules the boardrooms and bedrooms and cloakrooms of DC, then the failure of this world makes it a dystopia, the worst of all possible worlds.

Some suggest that the great disenchantment began with the assassination of JFK, and I see the point. But it’s strange that it led to a loss of faith in us, given who shot the President. (Yes, I’m one of those lone-gunman wackos. I’m a freethinker! I refuse to accept concensus!) If Oswald had been a card-carrying Kluxer or a dead-ender Bircher or some sort of far-right-wing nutcase, I wonder if we would have accepted the Warren Commission and moved along. But no, he was a Communist. Well obviously there has to be more to it, then. Same with Sirhan Sirhan: his motivation will forever be a mystery, won’t it?

Once you start to believe in the dark shadowy forces, you’re done with the world. You’re done engaging it, you’re done enjoying it. There’s no point. It’s a sham, a shell, a shiny façade erected by the Jews / Bilderburgers / Trilateral Commission/ Council on Foreign Relations /  Project for a New American Century / Masons / Knights Templar / Illuminati / Federal Reserve / Rockefeller-Royal Family Nexus / Bush Crime Syndicate / League of Grim Intent, and all you can do is post on the internet and call talk radio to argue with the hosts who think we’re free people.

And choose the fate of the Delta Smelt over the quality of life of your fellow citizens. Who have been voting with their feet for several years, since their voices haven’t been heard in Sacramento for at least two decades.  As Moe Lane writes, “at the rate things are going” vis-a-vis the state’s man-made drought, “California is going to start out-migrating within the next three years. Just in time for the next Census… and won’t that cause a ruckus.”

How bad was Hillary’s campaign rollout? So bad that even the Politico’s Glenn Thrush is forced to write this as his lede today:

When I asked one top staffer on Hillary Clinton’s campaign to pick the high point of her overwhelmingly understated 2016 campaign kickoff in Iowa, the person paused for a moment, then shot back – “The Aaron Hernandez verdict!”

The former New England Patriot’s conviction on murder charges punted Clinton’s two-day pastoral tour of the critical caucus state off of cable news, a blessing to a campaign that craved the softest of soft launches. Wednesday’s legal drama, coupled with the Monday media blitz by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who wanted to soak up the spotlight Clinton preferred to avoid — were welcome diversions for a team premiering not just a candidate but an updated approach to the oldest Clinton problem of all: dealing with people like me.

Democrat lackeys armed with steno pads who describe Hillary’s illegal email server as “badass”? That’s setting the bar rather low. Thrush is perhaps the ultimate example of what Glenn Reynolds would call a Democrat operative with a byline. In November of 2013, he feigned boredom during the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, and last year pretended, “I don’t get the furor over the [Wendy] Davis ad,” in which the would-be governor of Texas, flailing badly in the polls, mocked her opponent’s wheelchair. He admitted in his article today, “full disclosure: I attended both of the pre-launch off-the-record sessions Clinton’s team held with reporters.”

Which may be why Thrush eventually reverts to vintage form:

One week in, the campaign’s day-to-day discipline mirrors Palmieri’s personal style. In 2008, there was a wholesale ban on “process” stories –- the behind-the-scenes anecdote-crammed tales that are the lifeblood of political reporting in POLITICO and elsewhere – but Palmieri has instructed her staff to cooperate whenever practical. Her goal isn’t necessarily to reveal the inner workings of the campaign but to “demystify” them a bit, according to an aide, so that reporters don’t interpret every move Clinton makes as part of some vast behind-closed-doors conspiracy.

There’s also a conscious attempt to humanize Clinton’s staff to counter perceptions, promoted in the conservative and mainstream media, that she surrounds herself with sharp-elbowed political mercenaries enlisted in a dark quest for power. “She is surrounding herself with scrappy, battle-tested operatives and advisers who work hard and run campaigns like they’re 10 points behind, even if they aren’t,” read one of the campaign-generated memos issued to Clinton’s media surrogates, sent to me by a senior Democrat.

I love that line about countering perceptions “in the conservative and mainstream media” — instead of writing “near-universal perception” regarding Hillary’s paranoid staffers or something similar. Who doesn’t believe that — the far left, the folks who view MSNBC and the New York Times as being too conservative, and the sort of folks who in past days would go on Nation magazine Soviet Union river cruises aren’t exactly enamored of Hillary either.

More from Thrush:

Reporters weren’t told about her van trek until it had already started, and when the press pack arrived Clinton waved off tough questions about her recent conversion to the cause of gay marriage. Then her campaign released a carefully edited video of a voter thanking her for backing same-sex marriage at a Council Bluffs roundtable that had been closed to the media.

When NBC’s Andrea Mitchell confronted Palmieri about the candidate’s unwillingness to answer reporters’ questions about gay marriage in Iowa, the communications director gave little ground — telling Mitchell pointedly Clinton had “answered that question the day before” — prompting some reporters to remark how little things had changed since the last campaign.

Veteran public speaker Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, once advised clients in his profession, “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to promote, until you get good. Otherwise you just speed up the rate at which the world finds out you’re no good.”

But at age 67, with a lifetime at the center of Democrat power politics, six years to analyze what went wrong in 2007 and 2008, and knowing she has grudging, if near universal support from the palace guard MSM, shouldn’t Hillary — and her campaign — be good at this stuff?

Hillary: Bill’s After-Party Cleanup Woman

April 19th, 2015 - 12:39 pm

“Watching Hillary Clinton reach out and touch ordinary Americans is excruciating. In working a crowd of regular folks, Hillary is fingernails on the blackboard in a pantsuit,” Deborah C. Tyler writes at the American Thinker, in an effort to understand why Hillary seems like the human version* of the “uncanny valley” principle that posits the more lifelike the robot, the creepier it seems:

Bill Clinton is a famously gifted retail campaigner. A friend of mine who met President Clinton and spoke with him for a few minutes says he made her feel like the only person in the room. His brash presentfulness is a skill especially valued in a leader. But President Clinton’s ability to connect to and take in the people around him is a double-edged rapier, with a predatory blade. His natural ability to connect allows him to select those who will benefit him but also cull the vulnerable from the herd for his nefarious purposes. We know he consumes and abuses women around him, offenses of impulsive domination and aggression. Hillary has her own history of ethical, legal and financial scandal. But the scandals that have stuck to her are the stuff of malfeasant calculation, monies and memos appearing and disappearing in wrongful ways. Hillary’s scandals are the machinations that leave a paper trail (or a no e-mail trail), not the wreckages of foolhardy moments.

In driving the Clinton franchise to the highest levels of power on earth, Hillary has wretchedly compensated for her husband’s porous boundaries by constructing impenetrable walls around herself. As he became more reckless, she must have become more wary. Many years ago Hillary accepted the job of being Bills’ after-party cleanup crew. In the service of their upward march, she had no choice. Many people think Hillary Clinton is a psychopath without a conscience who cares nothing about her husband’s betrayals on a personal level. That formulation does not seem supported by what has leaked out about the Clinton’s relationship. It is more likely that she is a wellspring of anger hiding behind a smile you can hang laundry on.

What is certain is she spent years mopping up and deodorizing Bill’s messes. Bill’s affairs with and attacks on women have been more destructive to Hillary’s psychological integrity and self-worth than some miraculous hundred grand showing up in the Clinton cookie jar have been to him. His sexist violence strikes at the heart of who she claims to be, and continues to damage her basic sense of security and candidacy. For forty years, a room full of strangers is where the party starts for Bill, and where the messes are made for Hillary. For forty years every time Hillary entered a room full of strangers she had her bucket and mop. A bimbo splatter might be found anywhere. For forty years a room full of strangers, interacting in an unscripted moment, has been Hillary’s worst nightmare.

And needless to say, Hillary is tied to Bill because of his administration’s policies — “Hillary Clinton in 2002: Yes to Taking Out Saddam Hussein, No to Gay Marriage.” I wonder if any on the left remember back as far as 1998?

Related: And speaking of full circle, “Bill Clinton wipes tears from his eyes and hails Oklahoma as ‘an example for the world’ on 20th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing.” But in order to position herself for 2016, Hillary cheerfully went to work for a president whose entry into politics began in the living room of the man who bombed the Pentagon.

* Of course, that depends on how extensive the exo-skeletal network is; for the sake of argument, I’m willing to assume there’s a least a human brain connected to all the titanium gears and circuitry.

Trigger Warning

April 19th, 2015 - 10:59 am

“Granny Get Your Gun,” shouts Maureen Dowd in her latest column — two guesses as to the identity of the granny she’s referring to.

I await the condemnations from CNN, the National Journal and MSNBC for the violent eliminationist rhetoric contained within MoDo’s headline.

And I can’t wait to read Paul Krugman rail against such language appearing in his own newspaper.

(Oh right — for Democrats, the party motto is always, “it’s different when we do it.”)

Related: Speaking of flashbacks to the left’s McCarthy-meets-Orwell wilding phase in early 2011, “Will there be a National Conversation after environmentalist shoots energy worker?”

 

Quote of the Day

April 18th, 2015 - 4:30 pm

We are masters of our character, choosing what we will stand for in this life. Veterans today have had a unique privilege, that of having seen the tenacious spirit of our lads, like those young grunts preparing for a patrol by loosely wrapping tourniquets on their limbs so they could swiftly stop their own bleeding if their legs were blown off. Yet day after day they stoically patrolled. Adversity, we are told, reveals a man to himself, and young patriots coming home from such patrols are worth more than gold, for nothing they face can ever again be that tough.

Now, most of us lost friends, the best of friends, and we learned that war’s glory lay only in them—there is no other glory in warfare. They were friends who proved their manhood at age 18, before they could legally drink a beer. They were young men and women taking responsibility for their own actions, never playing the victim card. Rather, they took responsibility for their own reaction to adversity.

This was something that we once took for granted in ourselves and in our buddies, units where teenagers naturally stood tall, and we counted on each other. Yet it is a characteristic that can seem oddly vacant in our post-military society, where victimhood often seems to be celebrated. We found in the ranks that we were all coequal, general or private, admiral or seaman. We were equally committed to the mission and to one another, a thought captured by Gen. Robert E. Lee, saying his spirit bled each time one of his men fell.

Looking back over my own service, I realize now how fortunate I was to experience all this and the many riotous excursions I had when I was privileged to march or fight beside you. And a question comes to mind: What can I do to repay our country for the privilege of learning things that only you in this room could have taught me? For today I feel sorry for those who were not there with us when trouble loomed. I sometimes wonder how to embrace those who were not with us, those who were not so fortunate to discover what we were privileged to learn when we were receiving our Masters and Ph.D.s in how to live life, and gaining the understanding and appreciation of small things that we would otherwise have never known.

“The Meaning of Their Service,” Gen. James N. Mattis, “a retired four-star Marine Corps general on the clarifying effect of combat experience, the poison of cynicism and how veterans can help revive American optimism,” adapted by the Wall Street Journal from his speech to “the fourth annual salute to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco on April 16.”

Read the whole thing.

As spotted by Ace:

 

Unexpectedly.

Update:
Of course, it’s not like some masses need outside help to hasten their extinction.

boing_boing_transphobic_cat_4-17-15-1

Alternate Headline? Confirmed: the left has no humor, and is eager to devour its own at the slightest opportunity.

The left-leaning Boing Boing site actually tweets something funny — and the outrage mob, always on hair-trigger alert, always sweeping the airwaves and the Interwebs Bletchley Park-style in search of something to force them first to the fainting couches and then to the barricades, swings into action.

And Boing Boing crumples like a cheap suit in response, whining, “We’re sorry for this offensive tweet. Its transphobia was unintentional, but the hurt it caused is our responsibility.”

Mencken — and Charlie Hebdo and the late Christopher Hitchens — weeps. That’s one brave stance, fellas. Of course, the fact that the Wrong People laughed at the original tweet in the first place made things ultra-problematic for the site. So naturally, to get back into the good graces of their core audiences, they insult those who defended them:

boing_boing_transphobic_cat_meltdown_4-17-15-1

Kevin W. Glass of the Franklin Center tweets that he “couldn’t make a better study of Scott Alexander’s outgroup thesis if I tried.” Alexander describes himself as psychiatrist who gets his “news from vox.com, an Official Liberal Approved Site. Even when I go out to eat, it turns out my favorite restaurant, California Pizza Kitchen, is [ranked as] the most liberal restaurant in the United States.” As one of several examples in a lengthy post written last September titled “I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup,” Alexander writes that when Osama bin Laden suffered his fatal case of lead poisoning, “[I] didn’t come out and say I was happy he was dead. But some people interpreted it that way, and there followed a bunch of comments and emails and Facebook messages about how could I possibly be happy about the death of another human being, even if he was a bad person? Everyone, even Osama, is a human being, and we should never rejoice in the death of a fellow man:”

Then a few years later, Margaret Thatcher died. And on my Facebook wall – made of these same “intelligent, reasoned, and thoughtful” people – the most common response was to quote some portion of the song “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead”. Another popular response was to link the videos of British people spontaneously throwing parties in the street, with comments like “I wish I was there so I could join in”. From this exact same group of people, not a single expression of disgust or a “c’mon, guys, we’re all human beings here.”I gently pointed this out at the time, and mostly got a bunch of “yeah, so what?”, combined with links to an article claiming that “the demand for respectful silence in the wake of a public figure’s death is not just misguided but dangerous”.

And that was when something clicked for me.

You can talk all you want about Islamophobia, but my friend’s “intelligent, reasoned, and thoughtful people” – her name for the Blue Tribe – can’t get together enough energy to really hate Osama, let alone Muslims in general. We understand that what he did was bad, but it didn’t anger us personally. When he died, we were able to very rationally apply our better nature and our Far Mode beliefs about how it’s never right to be happy about anyone else’s death.

On the other hand, that same group absolutely loathed Thatcher. Most of us (though not all) can agree, if the question is posed explicitly, that Osama was a worse person than Thatcher. But in terms of actual gut feeling? Osama provokes a snap judgment of “flawed human being”, Thatcher a snap judgment of “scum”.

I started this essay by pointing out that, despite what geographical and cultural distance would suggest, the Nazis’ outgroup was not the vastly different Japanese, but the almost-identical German Jews.

And my hypothesis, stated plainly, is that if you’re part of the Blue Tribe, then your outgroup isn’t al-Qaeda, or Muslims, or blacks, or gays, or transpeople, or Jews, or atheists – it’s the Red Tribe.

And as Charles Krauthammer said over a decade ago, “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.” Which is why Boing Boing would rather be trapped in PC purgatory with their fellow leftists than know that there’s someone on the right willing to defend them, as this round-up of tweets at Twitchy.com illustrates.

Have fun storming each others’ castles, fellas — as you discover the hard way Jonathan Chait’s recent warning to his fellow leftists that PC was devouring them:

Over a decade ago when he first proposed it, I balked at conservative blogger/book reviewer Orrin Judd’s thesis that “All Comedy is Conservative,” but it’s becoming truer and truer every day. And as John Birmingham in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote on the topic in 2006, “By establishing an exclusion zone around a whole category of topics that are ripe for exploitation by comics because of the very tensions they create, the left abandons the field to the enemy and often confuses itself over just who are its friends and who are its foes.” That sounds like a pretty concise foreshadowing of today’s meltdown by Boing Boing.

But heck, these days, free speech itself is becoming exclusively the purview of conservatives as well.

That’s not likely to end well.

In the meantime, salute!

“The media’s ageist hypocrisy” is explore by Noah Rothman at Hot Air, who notes that “Rubio has so far been able to deftly navigate around the landmines clumsily set by the press on his pathway toward the Republican Party’s presidential nomination:”

Since revealing his candidacy on Monday, Rubio has subjected himself to interviews with news outlets that are probably quite skeptical of Republicans in general, let alone a candidate as unapologetically hawkish as himself. From NPR, to Univision, to a variety of impromptu press gaggles, Rubio’s openness with the media contrasts greatly with Hillary Clinton’s stage managed presence.

Rubio managed to avoid cementing the impression that he is “the candidate of yesterday” on the issue of gay marriage when he told Univision’s Jorge Ramos without hesitation that he would attend the same-sex wedding of a hypothetical loved one. Democrats will find that this response complicates their mission to frame Rubio’s opposition to same-sex marriage as an outgrowth of personal animus toward gays and lesbians.

On Friday, Rubio defused another bomb set by the political press on the matter of his age. Specifically, whether or not he is experienced enough to lead the nation:

Very smart not making the obvious JFK reference, as it would offer a chance for a reporter looking to play the gotcha game to trot out the Lloyd Bentsen versus Quayle quote — though I hope all GOP candidates have their comeback ready, to laugh and reply,  “Actually, Bentsen didn’t know JFK very well, they weren’t friends, and it was simply a cheap shot to score debating points, just as you’re trying to do now, [Insert name of DNC-MSM interviewer here].”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that others can’t make the comparison for him, as both Charles Krauthammer, and Roger L. Simon, our own Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus, did earlier this week.

Does There Have To Be a Winner?

April 17th, 2015 - 11:45 am

The obligatory link to Britt McHenry and “The obligatory ‘ESPN reporter acts like an A-hole to parking attendant’ clip,” as Allahpundit described it yesterday at Hot Air:

1. She really is very nasty to the attendant. Sample quote: “Maybe if I was missing some teeth they would hire me, huh?”

2. The video’s carefully and conveniently clipped so that you can’t hear what the attendant says.

3. There’s reason to believe that extreme upset at this particular towing company is justified, even if the personal nastiness towards the attendant is not.

4. As I write this, as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, an online mob is forming to ensure that McHenry receives her Comeuppance. And odds are very, very good that that Comeuppance will be even nastier than McHenry herself was. I could write more about that but you’re better off reading this pitch-perfect Clickhole parody of outrage mobs instead. Says Lachlan Markay, “The Internet: defining people by their worst moments since 1996.”

To sate the mob, McHenry has been suspended by ESPN for a week, though as Sonny Bunch writes at the Washington Free Beacon, “You’ll note that we haven’t seen an unedited version of the interaction between McHenry and the woman she so colorfully insulted. Gee. Odd. I wonder why that is.”

Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard knows.  He describes himself as being on “#TeamBritt” if only because of how awful the sort of company who towed McHenry’s car likely is:

A couple weeks later, the company started towing another car from the HOA lot, which also had a properly displayed sticker. But this time the owner came out and confronted the tow-truck diver as he was in the act. The guy refused to put the car down–he insisted that “company policy” dictated that once a car was hitched to the truck, it could not be released for any reason. They nearly came to blows; fortunately someone had called the cops and the police showed up and forced the tow-truck driver to release the car, telling him that was he was doing was essentially stealing.

Our HOA killed the towing contract at our next meeting.

So maybe Britt McHenry was being unwarrantedly abusive and vile. Or maybe she was responding to some deeply unpleasant people who had caused her material harm with total impunity.

But the Internet outrage mob must be fed! All of the Pavlovian elements are here: Young attractive pampered television journalist shouting the worst insults to a clerk earning much less for her efforts and likely working much harder (no matter how loathsome her employers might be). But wait:

 

 

Naturally, the pitiful leftwing shell of a publication that once was the Atlantic and more recently home of the infamous pro-Scientology infomercial, sides with both the Internet mob and “the Upsides of a Surveillance Society.” No, really:

Yes, there are panoptical elements to all that. Yes, we should seriously consider—and debate, and perhaps even fear—what those elements will do to us, as a messy human collective. But one of the positive aspects of the presence of all those cameras—all these devices, there to capture not just our beautiful children and our sumptuous meals, but also our worst and pettiest and most immoral moments—is a basic one: Terrible behavior, whether cruel or violent or something in between, has a greater possibility than it ever has before of being exposed. Just as Uber tracks ratings for both its drivers and its users, and just as Yelp can be a source of shaming for businesses and customers alike, technology at large has afforded a reciprocity between people who, in a previous era, would have occupied different places on the spectrum of power.

Which can, again, be a bad thing—but which can also, in McHenry’s case, be an extremely beneficial one. It’s good that her behavior has been exposed. It’s good that her story going viral might discourage similar behavior from other people. It’s good that she has publicly promised “to learn from this mistake.” Britt McHenry is “in the news,” she scoffed to a service worker a couple of weeks ago. Now she’s in the news in another way. And that’s because of a thing that doesn’t discriminate between the thin and the fat, the rich and the poor, the famous and the anonymous, the kind and the cruel: a well-placed camera.

Break out the Victory Gin and say cheers to the two-way telescreen: Like Winston Smith, at long last, a journalist finally learns to love Big Brother. At least until he’s got an (R) after his name.

Obligatory Allahpundit-style exit quote:

— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 17, 2015

Update:

 

Don’t Ever Change Old Media, Part Deux

April 16th, 2015 - 10:02 pm

Merely a semi-ironic updating of this old chestnut, a button worn by a Washington Post/Newsweek employee at the 1992 Republican Convention that said “Yeah, I’m With the Media. Screw You:”

Don’t Ever Change, Old Media

April 16th, 2015 - 1:40 pm

“If a reporter and his newspaper know in advance — months in advance, as it turns out — that a man intended to undertake a stunt that could sow panic in the nation’s capital, are they obligated to alert law-enforcement authorities? And should they be faulted for not doing so until the last minute?,” Paul Farhi asks at the Washington Post regarding the Tampa Bay Times and proverbial “Florida Man” Doug Hughes.

Farhi writes that the Tampa Bay paper interviewed the professional mailman/amateur pilot last summer, who told them “he planned to breach restricted airspace and fly a small craft called a gyrocopter onto the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to call attention to the need for campaign finance reform.” Since that’s long been a lefty talking point, Hughes’ stunt is being treated as a happy funtime lightweight joke by the Post, the Tampa Bay Times, and other newspapers. Of course, if someone on the right had tried a similar reckless flight, the MSM’s outrage meters would universally be red-lined to Defcon One, and we’d be reminded of the potential for post-9/11 DC to go into lockdown mode and/or the risk of Hughes being shot out of the sky and/or killing someone if he crashed.

The Post’s Farhi writes:

Given the potential for chaos, however, the question is whether the paper should have done more, such as calling the Secret Service days in advance to alert officials that Hughes planned to enter restricted airspace with his one-man flying machine.

“We spent hours and hours talking about the ethics of this,” said Montgomery, who first encountered Hughes when the postal worker called him at work and told him his plans. “Ultimately, we felt comfortable that he was on the authorities’ radar and that he was not homicidal or suicidal. He had his plan down to a T. Is it our job to call attention to it?”

Actually, yes, say media ethicists.

“A news organization should be extremely knowledgeable of the potential harm” a stunt like this could cause, said Edward Wasserman, dean of the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. “I really question their judgment. There is no end of the ways this could have gone wrong.”

* * * * * * *

Nevertheless, the Times made the wrong decision, said Fred Brown, a former longtime chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee. “I think the newspaper had a responsibility to alert authorities” well in advance of Hughes’s takeoff. “There are too many things [the paper] didn’t know. Was he carrying an incendiary device or a weapon? There are many ways to weaponize [the aircraft] or create a danger.”

Wasserman points out that the Times, a recipient of 10 Pulitzer Prizes over the years, benefited from its own inaction: It released its story just as Hughes was making news, ensuring that readers would flock to its Web site to learn more about him. “As a news organization, you can’t be complicit in this,” he said.

C’mon, the Tampa Bay Times was just following the advice of the Old Gods of their profession, such as Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace, who like to think that when it comes to alerting authorities in the effort to potentially save lives, “No, you don’t have higher duty — you’re a reporter:”

Oh, and as for campaign finance reform — you go first, Hillary.

We Came in Peace, for All Humankind

April 16th, 2015 - 12:37 pm

1984_fahrenheit_451_not_how-to-guides_6-1-14-1

Everything’s a Problem, the satirical blog written by Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon, has some fun going into faux-outrage mode over “Calling People ‘Guys,’” and quotes as his “problematic” example, David Gelernter’s March 2008 article in the Weekly Standard on “Feminism and the English Language,” in which Gelernter writes:

How can I teach my students to write decently when the English language has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Academic-Industrial Complex? Our language used to belong to all its speakers and readers and writers. But in the 1970s and ’80s, arrogant ideologues began recasting English into heavy artillery to defend the borders of the New Feminist state. In consequence we have all got used to sentences where puffed-up words like “chairperson” and “humankind” strut and preen, where he-or-she’s keep bashing into surrounding phrases like bumper cars and related deformities blossom like blisters; they are all markers of an epoch-making victory of propaganda over common sense.

We have allowed ideologues to pocket a priceless property and walk away with it. Today, as college students and full-fledged young English teachers emerge from the feminist incubator in which they have spent their whole lives, this victory of brainless ideology is on the brink of becoming institutionalized. If we mean to put things right, we can’t wait much longer.

Our ability to write and read good, clear English connects us to one another and to our common past. The prime rule of writing is to keep it simple, concrete, concise. Shakespeare’s most perfect phrases are miraculously simple and terse. (“Thou art the thing itself.” “A plague o’ both your houses.” “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”) The young Jane Austen is praised by her descendants for having written “pure simple English.” Meanwhile, in everyday prose, a word with useless syllables or a sentence with useless words is a house fancied-up with fake dormers and chimneys. It is ugly and boring and cheap, and impossible to take seriously.

As I said, that was from early 2008. Flash-forward to six years of Hopenchange and the growing influence of the socialist justice warriors, as in this example, as spotted by Kathy Shaidle earlier this week, of a cri de coeur at Medium.com titled “Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice,” written by someone who describes himself as possessing a “liberal heart,” and who “grew up in a liberal town, learned US history from a capital-S Socialist, and/or went to one of the most liberal universities in the country,” but, like Jonathan Chait of New York magazine, apparently thought he’d be devoured last by the revolution:

[M]illennials are grown up now — and they’re angry. As children, they were told that they could be anything, do anything, and that they were special. As adults, they have formed a unique brand of Identity Politics wherein the groups with which one identifies is paramount. With such a strong narrative that focuses on which group one belongs to, there has been an increasing balkanization of identities. In an attempt to be open-minded toward other groups and to address social justice issues through a lens of intersectionality, clear and distinct lines have been drawn between people. One’s words and actions are inextricable from one’s identities. For example: this is not an article, but an article written by a straight, white, middle-class (etc.) male (and for this reason will be discounted by many on account of how my privilege blinds me — more on this later).

* * * * * * * *

The Newspeak of the millennial social justice advocate is an intricately and powerfully designed mechanism that seeks to eradicate and socially criminalize dissent.

Let’s talk about racism. The mantra of the movement is thus: It is impossible to be racist against white people because racism is the equivalent of prejudice and power. Since white people have social and economic institutional power and privilege (in America), those who are racially oppressed cannot be racist toward whites since those who are racially oppressed do not have power.

Why can’t I simply rebut this with a trip to the dictionary? Because this is laughed at by social justice types. The image of a white person walking to the dictionary to define racism is literally a trope at this point because the millennial social justice advocate finds it so entertaining that a dictionary, constructed by those in power for those who speak the language of power, can possibly give an accurate definition of a word. [It's a link to a Website called DiversityInc (sic) titled, "Ask the White Guy: Is the Oxford Dictionary Definition of Racism Too White for You?" -- Ed]

Do you see where I’m going with this? It is now possible to absolve yourself of guilt by working enough academic nuance into a word to fundamentally change it — in your favor.

 

You’re never going to change the mind of someone this far gone; but there are ways to, as a wise president once said, “punch back twice as hard,” which we’ll explore right after the page break.

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And praises Common Core, Sean Davis writes at the Federalist:

During her first official campaign event in Iowa earlier this week, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised Common Core and referred to children’s education as a “non-family enterprise.” Clinton’s controversial statements about education, which were captured by C-SPAN, came in response to a question from a participant about how to offer a quality education throughout the U.S.

Just a reminder that Hillary’s “It Takes a Village” theme from the 1990s is her polite and folksy way of saying that in her socialist worldview, your children belong to the state, not to you.

In other Hillary news, as she likes to say, she’s exceedingly happy to “take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” And/or her own good. Does that include someone else’s handicapped parking spot?

(Perhaps though, owners of personal exoskeleton suits are granted exemptions under the ADA.)