— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) March 20, 2015
@seanmdav Segregation is your gig, not mine.
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) March 23, 2015
— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) March 20, 2015
@seanmdav Segregation is your gig, not mine.
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) March 23, 2015
CNN: WH reax to Ayatollah’s Death to America was that it was “intended for a domestic political audience.”
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) March 23, 2015
— David Frum (@davidfrum) March 24, 2015
(H/T: Ed Morrissey.)
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. In the wake of the January 2011 shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and over a dozen others, which the MSM immediately and erroneously blamed on Sarah Palin’s clip art, the MSM rushed in lockstep to condemn violent rhetoric, and demanded that both politicians and the media censor themselves. One contributor to the left-leaning publication National Journal insisted that violent rhetoric should be treated in the same fashion “that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums:”
National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wants to raise the bar on decorum to an entirely new level. On Thursday’s MSNBC airing of “Hardball,” Hirsh told host Chris Matthews certain “gun” terms should be stricken from political discourse…His proposal? Make such language inappropriate in the same racial slurs are inappropriate.
“That’s the kind of language I think we got to have a hard think about now,” Hirsh said. “Do we really want to continue to use that kind of language at these levels? Or, should there be kind of a social sanction, not a legal one, but a moral sanction in the way that we’ve stopped using certain epithets like the ‘n’-word public forums. Stop using that kind of language, those kinds of metaphors.”
Certainly, many would view comparing someone to a Holocaust denier a slur that’s in the same league with violent, eliminationist rhetoric. Which makes this passage in a new National Journal article written by a young socialist justice warrior posing as a journalist highly problematic, in a piece titled “Scientists Tell Smithsonian to Ditch Koch Money.” (Link safe, goes to Twitchy):
The push arrives amid revelations that Smithsonian scientist and climate-denier Wei-Hock Soon raked in roughly $1.2 million dollars from the fossil-fuel industry while failing to disclose a conflict of interest. One of the founders of Soon’s research was the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.
Does Mr. Soon deny that the climate exists? Now that would be news! In the interim, we await the layers and layers of editors and fact checkers at National Journal to condemn the use of a metaphor freighted with such a violent subtext. But we won’t hold our breath:
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) March 24, 2015
Since the MSM long ago exited the profession of journalism in order to be Democrat operatives with bylines, are there any topics still left in which the MSM wishes to be fair and balanced (to coin a slogan) when discussing?
“It’s like Snopes.com. But for the hot girls in commercials!”, Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard writes. “Incredibly problematic, of course. That should go without saying,” he adds. “But also, kind of awesome.”
You might want to research those opinions yourself, in depth.
Born in Trinidad, British by adoption, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, he is just about the only person with the authority to compare the twin totalitarianisms of Islamic State and Nazi Germany. Travels in Muslim countries have given him a lot of experience. His essential quality as a writer, I would say, is the insistence that the world is to be understood only through reason and the use of the mind.
The Islamic State, the self-defined new caliphate, exemplifies mindlessness. Its dedication to the general mass-murder of “Shias, Jews, Christians, Copts, Yazidis and anyone it can” is pure Nazism. Other similar characteristics include a belief in racial superiority; and pride in anti-democratic and anti-Semitic bigotry. Hitler’s Germans constructed a false past, and Islamists have the conviction that their history is so unique and important that the history of other people counts for nothing. These ignoramuses are destroying ancient cities and archaeological sites like Nimrud and Hatra. As Naipaul puts it, we all lose “everything that arises from the human impulse to beauty.” Decolonization gave rise to the idea that every advance in civilization is to be condemned as “colonial.” Barbarism, in this perspective, is confused with independence and freedom.
I’m not sure how apt the comparison is — “Without the loudspeaker, we would never have conquered Germany,” Hitler said in 1938, admitting that the Nazis viewed Germany as an essentially foreign nation to be occupied and conquered. But one with a rich cultural heritage and superior technological base for their conquerors to exploit and build upon, with the first nascent television network, and by the waning days of WWII, the first viable jet air craft and suborbital rockets, alongside the boxcars full of human beings being shipped to the gas chamber. ISIS will exploit foreign-developed technology as long as it keeps working, on the way back to a stone age culture the envy of Earth Hour enthusiasts throughout the world. Or as Kathy Shaidle wrote at the start of the month:
Because as wiser men than I have noted since 9/11, at least Germany and Japan were highly advanced civilizations. Some might say too cultivated for their own good (or make that “the good of the rest of us”), making a crashing, bloody regression toward the (other kind of) “mean” nigh on inevitable.
So after we bombed the crap out of them (although not enough in Germany’s case to suit me), at least some survivors retained memories of their culture’s rational past, all the better to reconstruct or even surpass it. (With an infusion of American billions, that is.)
Today’s Muslim belligerents either have no such past, or are busily trying to eradicate any trace of it. When we bother destroying their strongholds, who can even tell? You can’t bomb people back to the Stone Age if they never left. And in any case, this time we reinstituted the Marshall Plan before we half wiped them out—a fatally ass-backwards move.
Of course, to build on David Gelernter’s article today in First Choice (and Naipaul as well), there’s another connection between ISIS and the Nazis:
The totalitarian tyrannies of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Stalinist Russia had something crucial and telling in common. Amazingly, many of us don’t see it. All three were officially pagan regimes. The cult of the fuehrer (and the separate SS-cult), Shinto emperor-worship and the Stalin personality cult depended on the suppression of more sophisticated religions—in the first and third cases, Christianity.
Historians have too often misread the Nazis, who did not hate Christians but did hate Christianity. They saw it as a form of weakness, as a Jew-concocted poison that had helped ruin Germany. Historians have mostly failed to write about the importance of state paganism under the Nazis—both fuehrer-and-homeland worship (complete with scriptures and liturgy) in the schools and everyday life, and the special ceremonial of the SS, which had its own chapels and marriage ceremonies. Hatred of Christianity fed hatred of the Jews. Nor have we given the credit they deserve to the Christian heroes and martyrs of the anti-Nazi cause, not just Niemoller and Bonhoeffer and a few well-known others but the whole membership of the small yet robust German confessing church, and other nameless Protestants and Catholics who would not be reduced to animals.
Did German Christians rise en masse? No. But death-defying bravery is a trait not many of us have. Historians owe us a deeper, truer account of the nature of Nazism than most have provided. Nazi Jew-hatred swept the best-educated country in Europe because (many say) centuries of Christian anti-Semitism had paved the way. But Nazi denunciation of Christianity as weak Jewish nonsense also paved the way. Germans had been more restive under Christianity than any other major European people. Which paving counted more? Historians should be trying to answer that important question.
We must understand (not ignore!) Nazi hatred of Christianity so we can understand Germany, the moral character of the war in Europe, and the similarities between the three most bestial regimes in human history.
And as with the Nazis, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union, (and their current “Progressive” descendents in both Europe and America), ISIS is none too fond of Christianity either.
Smart power, smart president. “Obama Calls Afghan President Ghani by the Name of His Corrupt Predecessor,” as spotted by Brendan Bordelon at the Corner:
[Obama] noted the need to keep soldiers and advisers in the Central Asian nation “in part, so that President Karzai — who has taken on the mantle of commander-in-chief in a way that we have not seen in the past from an Afghan president — can do a serious review.”
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who served for almost a decade before stepping down in September 2014, was plagued by corruption scandals and often served as a thorn in the side of American security forces in the country.
No wonder Obama displays a vestigial sympathy towards him.
And speaking of smart power, “Arab states are watching in horror as the U.S. increasingly openly switches sides from supporting them to supporting their (and our) worst enemy in the region,” Iran.
It will be cold comfort indeed if a man who ran for the presidency in 2008 under the guise of restoring America’s status with our foreign allies ends up with only one “ally” left — this one:
Can some Republican please overreach here so the media can finally report on it broadly? pic.twitter.com/vzIjeUHSgO
— RB (@RBPundit) March 24, 2015
As Mark Steyn wrote last month:
I’m growing rather weary of the cheap comparisons of Obama with Neville Chamberlain. The British Prime Minister got the biggest issue of the day wrong. But no one ever doubted that he loved his country. That’s why, after his eviction from Downing Street, Churchill kept him on in his ministry as Lord President of the Council, and indeed made Chamberlain part of the five-man war cabinet and had him chair it during his frequent absences. When he died of cancer in October 1940, Churchill wept over his coffin.
So please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain by comparing him to Obama. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, because conspiracies are generally a comforting illusion: the real problem with Obama is that the citizens of the global superpower twice elected him to office. Yet one way to look at the current “leader of the free world” is this: If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?
On the other hand, get a load of this crazy, jingoistic radical: “Imagine a president who stands up and says we will defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name.”
Wow, that’s some wild-eyed pie-in-the-sky stuff right there. You may say I am a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
“A jetliner operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings plunged from the sky and crashed Tuesday in a remote area of the Alps in southern France — and all 150 people aboard the Barcelona-to-Duesseldorf flight were believed dead,” the New York Post reports:
Flight 9525 took off from Barcelona at 9:55 a.m. local time and crashed roughly an hour later in a rugged region of snowpacked peaks and rough terrain, said French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.
Photos show a scene of shocking devastation, with the jet’s fuselage smashed into smithereens and smoking debris scattered across a mountainside as rescuers search the area.
Gilbert Sauvan, of the local council, said the largest piece of debris was the size of a car.
“The plane is disintegrated,” he told Les Echos newspaper.
Christophe Castaner, the mayor of nearby Forcalquier, told France Info that “One of the black boxes has been found,” but the cause of the crash remained a mystery, as the pilots did not issue a distress call.
CNN will likely be switching into obsessive coverage over this story for the next several days; at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw asks, “Why are we so fascinated with plane crashes?”
We lose far more people to other travel related problems all of the time. Globally speaking, there are an average of 1.3 million people killed in automobile accidents each year, or nearly 3,300 per day. In the United States alone we average slightly more than one hundred car crash deaths every single day… two thirds as many as are presumed lost in this latest airline catastrophe. And yet we don’t feel that same type of fear when we get into our cars as we do when the engines ramp up on the tarmac and our plane begins to accelerate toward takeoff.
I think it’s just something hardwired into our biological circuitry. There’s something uniquely terrifying about hurtling through the air 35K feet above Mother Earth. It’s an unnatural condition, and one which we never manage to entirely ignore because we are landlocked creatures by nature. I still recall an only half joking comment my father made in the weeks before I left for Navy boot camp on this subject. He was an Army man and had little use for the other branches. When asked, he said that you could have a choice of riding in a Jeep, on a ship or in a plane. “If my Jeep breaks down,” he said, “I can get out and walk.”
That’s probably the root of it right there. We know in a logical sense that our car might be in a fatal accident. But we also know that if we survive the initial crash, there’s a fair chance that we might get out and walk or crawl away from the danger. When the plane goes into a dive from five miles up there are no such comforting thoughts in our minds.
Not to mention, after 9/11, our first thought is — what caused the crash? As for that, watch this space.
Elsewhere at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, “On behalf of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to HBO,” Kevin D. Williamson quips at NRO on “Utopia’s Jailers:”
HBO has a series called Togetherness, a comedy about foundering middle-aged hipsters in Los Angeles, which has turned its attention to the issue of charter schools, and the writers have committed the unforgivable cultural sin of being not entirely hostile to the prospect. The ritual denunciations are under way.
Joshua Liebner, who lives in Eagle Rock, the Los Angeles neighborhood in which the show is set, is among those shouting “J’accuse!” in HBO’s direction, abominating the “white privilege and entitlement and, yes, racism and classism” that surely must be motivating charter-school families who have the audacity to go about “defining what constitutes ‘good’ for them,” and acting on it, as though they were in charge of their own lives and responsible for their own children. “Charter-school dogma has made it to the Big Time,” Liebner complains.
* * * * * *
“Let’s ban private schools,” Gawker cheerily suggests. Writing in that esteemed journal, John Cook argues that “there’s a simple solution to the public-schools crisis.” If people make choices that complicate the Left’s agenda, then ban those choices: “Make Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama’s children go to public schools,” Cook writes. “From a purely strategic and practical standpoint, it would be much easier to resolve the schools crisis if the futures of America’s wealthiest and most powerful children were at stake.”
The Left’s heart is still in East Berlin: If people want to leave your utopia and have the means to do so, then build a wall. If they climb over the wall — as millions of low-income parents with children in private schools (very commonly Catholic schools) do — then build a higher wall. If they keep climbing – and they will — then there are always alternatives.
Homeschooling? That’s basically a crime against humanity so far as our so-called liberal friends are concerned.
And while Gawker wants to ban private schools, Salon wants to ban both privately-owned news media and an independent film system, and the New Republic Christmas tree lights. (No, really.)
By the way, as Williamson writes, “The Democrats haven’t got that Pink Floyd song quite right — in their version, the chorus goes: ‘You don’t need no education.’”
Of course, like the president, it’s lyricist’s chief obsession is banning Israel.
Me? When it comes to education, I’d just like to ban serial liars.
Related: “I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back…The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip—not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery—and that’s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there’s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance.”
Chop off your hands, you say?
Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it's triggering anxiety. Please be mindful! #nuswomen15
— NUS Women's Campaign (@nuswomcam) March 24, 2015
This request, is of course, highly problematic, not to mention likely racist:
— Amelia Hamer (@HamerAmelia) March 24, 2015
“Victory! Headline News Is No Longer a Cable News Channel,” declares John Nolte of Big Journalism, the Website created by the late Andrew Breitbart and our own Michael Walsh:
For years, for 10 to 12 hours a day, I’ve monitored Headline News (HLN). Over time, again without really noticing, I’ve monitored it less and less. Now I don’t monitor it all because we’ve won — HLN is no longer a cable news channel.
What brought this victory to my attention was “Forensic Files,” a reality crime show I’ve been in love with for more than a decade. Since it’s been a while, I decided to watch the series again, and set my DVR accordingly. In less than three days, by Monday afternoon, I had nearly 60 half-hour episodes — all reruns of a show that went off the air in 2011, all recorded from Headline News (HLN).
Whoa, hey, what’s going on here?
Years ago, in half-hour blocks, HLN relentlessly drove and repeated its mother ship’s propaganda. No more. Headline News identifies itself today as a “national television network that focuses on the must-see, must-share stories of the day.”
With MSNBC and CNN, the ratings just couldn’t sustain yet-another left-wing, 24/7 cable news network covering all the same stories in all the same way. So *poof* HLN is gone, toast, over and done; and now it’s just another reality show channel with around 225,000 to 275,000 total viewers and the bare minimum of 100,000 demo viewers.
To understand how radical a shift this is, it helps to go back to the mid-to-late 1980s, when cable TV news came in only two flavors: CNN and Headline News. You went to Headline News for the AM news radio-style half-hour coverage of current events, and CNN for the “in-depth” (read: liberal talking points) coverage. Back then, Headline News prided itself on being the home of Lynne Russell, the first woman to anchor a news show on cable TV. These days, Russell is sounding the alarm over what has happened to her old home base:
#CNN: You give birth to a child,nurture him,give him all you’ve got. 18 years later, you wake up & find he’s been kidnapped by the Moonies.
— Lynne Russell CNNHLN (@LynneRussellCNN) February 27, 2015
Well, that audience has wondered that as well; that’s why they’ve tuned out. As Nolte writes, “One CNN cable news network down, one to go.”
Fake magazines created as background props for Ridley Scott’s epochal 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner, set in 2019:
— Nils Gilman (@nils_gilman) February 7, 2015
Real magazine available on newsstands in 2015:
So this is a magazine they sell at grocery stores now. pic.twitter.com/YcW5KVbq6q
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) March 23, 2015
So how far behind are Pris, Zora, and Rachel?
It’s less clear that CNN is any less likely to make the same mistakes the next time a racially charged shooting takes place somewhere in America. If there is any hope of CNN doing better next time, it comes from something Brian Stelter said midway through the discussion:
The eyewitnesses that didn’t speak to the press, the ones that were intimidated. According to the DOJ, witnesses that didn’t want to come forward, those are the voices we didn’t hear in the news coverage. And that’s a lesson for journalists, that we weren’t hearing every witness’ point of view.
This is an important point but Stelter doesn’t go nearly far enough with it. His statement makes the process of getting accurate information sound passive, as if the eyewitnesses who did and did not come forward did so independent of any outside concern or pressure. But the DOJ report makes clear there was an underlying connection between witness intimidation and bad reporting. Witnesses were already afraid to contradict those who were pushing “Hands up, don’t shoot,” but the media, CNN included, raised the stakes by amplifying that narrative across the airwaves. In other words, CNN‘s own flawed reporting exacerbated the problem and played a role in suppressing the truth.
—“CNN Misses: ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Narrative Suppressed the Truth,” John Sexton, Big Journalism, Saturday.
CNN reporter Sara Ganim agreed with one of Hostin’s conclusions centered on her fear that “Jackie’s” experience might lead other victims of sexual assault to stay quiet about their experiences. When too many women who are victims of sexual assault already refuse to come forward, her concerns are valid and should be shared by everyone. But if “Jackie’s” story makes some alleged assault victims refuse to come forward, who is to blame? The university that stripped fraternities of the right to operate on campus in the wake of this story, only to backtrack when the tale was proven inaccurate? The police, who diligently investigated this assault and found no evidence to back up Rolling Stone’s claims? The reporters and editors who shed their journalistic instincts and reported on this erroneous tale? Or the subject of this supposed assault that caused a lot of undue pain and hardship for some unknown gain?
The only victims in this story were the men who were falsely accused of assault and had their lives turned upside down over nothing. To refuse to acknowledge that “Jackie” caused a lot of people undue trauma is the only thing that remotely constitutes “victim blaming” here.
For most people, the response to today’s press conference by Charlottesville police is to react with sadness over the plight of those young men who had their names besmirched. They endured quite a bit of unnecessary suffering for the sake of a dubious victimization narrative favored by some grossly irresponsible voices in the media. The UVA rape fable reflects poorly on many in the press, and it would be wise of these and other commentators to bury their pride, acknowledge the mistakes, and stop the bleeding.
—“Watch: CNN’ers having a hard time coming to terms with implosion of Rolling Stone’s rape story,” Noah Rothman, Hot Air, today.
The guy who said Mitt Romney wanted to see black people drown is on @CNN as an objective analyst talking about Ted Cruz.
— John Nolte (@NolteNC) March 23, 2015
You stay classy, CNN.
“I like to say I’m more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other.”
—Stalinist and banjo player Pete Seeger, during a 1995 interview with the New York Times.
“When people have the power to choose, they choose wrong. Every single time.”
—Meryl Streep’s “Chief Elder” character in The Giver.
Now out on DVD and Blu-Ray is The Giver, an adaptation of Lois Lowry’s hugely influential 1993 young-adult dystopian novel, which inspired The Hunger Games and other cautionary futuristic tales. Starring Jeff Bridges in the film’s title role, Meryl Streep, newcomer Brenton Thwaites, and blink and you’ll miss her Taylor Swift, it’s a film that conservatives and libertarians should take to heart and advise all of their friends to see, to understand what lurks at the bottom of an otherwise cheery, friendly and seemingly carefree nanny state. (Spoilers abound in this article. You’ve been warned.)
“Don’t Immanentize the Eschaton” was a bumper sticker phrase that was very popular among the early readers of National Review magazine in the 1960s. Coined in the previous decade by conservative sociologist Eric Voegelin, and popularized by William F. Buckley, the phrase warned that the goal of creating Heaven on Earth, a goal that ties together virtually all leftwing ideologies, from National Socialists in Germany to International Socialists in the Soviet Union and China to the Fabian Socialists of England to Democratic socialists in America, was invariably going to (a) end in failure and (b) very likely end with lots people loaded into boxcars on their way to becoming dead bodies.
And yet, crafting Heaven on Earth remains the goal of the left to this very day. Whether they’re based in Los Angeles or London, most actors and filmmakers have politics somewhere to the left of Mao. As James Lileks once joked, “Maybe directors like dictators because they understand the desire to have final cut.” So I’m always intrigued whenever a bunch of left-leaning filmmakers get together to produce a cautionary tale of a futuristic socialist dystopia, and I like to ask myself, what we’re they thinking they were filming?
I’ve read that the cast and crew of 1984 thought that they were taking a clever shot at Margaret Thatcher, never mind that the subjects of Orwell’s groundbreaking dystopia were dominated by an ideology he dubbed “Ingsoc,” short for English Socialism, Soviet-style Communism with a British accent. The following year, Terry Gilliam directed his similarly themed film Brazil, focusing on another slightly futuristic out-of-control socialist bureaucracy with a penchant for kidnapping, torture and murder. But then last year, Gilliam told an interviewer that Republicans “will always be a fungus and if I was running the country I would take them out and shoot them frankly, but that’s something else [laughs],” ret-conning his 1985 film from a warning into a how-to guide. Since 2012, Obama-fan Donald Sutherland has starred as the murderous President Coriolanus Snow in the Hunger Games franchise, despite doing his bit to usher in a real-life totalitarian government in Vietnam through his appearances alongside Jane Fonda in their infamous F.T.A. tour of US Army bases in 1971.
Hot on the heels of the success of the Obama-era Hunger Games franchise, last year, the Weinstein Company, not exactly known for its libertarian politics, released The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, and directed by Phillip Noyce, whose previous films include 1989’s Dead Calm and the Tom Clancy adaptations starring Harrison Ford, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger.
— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) March 22, 2015
“Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Imposes His Racial Hang-ups On America,” John Nolte wrote yesterday at Big Government, and as Tom Blumer added at NewsBusters, USA Today was eager to use their newspaper as a vehicle to promote Schultz’s racialism, bundling the above multipage folder into their papers yesterday. Fortunately, as Reuters (no stranger to leftwing evangelicalism themselves) reports today, Schultz or someone wiser at his company realized that having 20-something clerks lecture their customers on race was a staggeringly stupid idea for all concerned:
Starbucks Corp head Howard Schultz told employees on Sunday they will no longer be encouraged to write “Race Together” on drinks cups, but the company’s effort to promote discussion of racial issues “is far from over”.
The world’s biggest coffee chain kicked off a U.S. race relations campaign last week when it published full-page ads in major U.S. newspapers with the words “Shall We Overcome?” at centre page and “RaceTogether” and the Starbucks logo near the bottom. Employees behind the counter were also given the option of writing “Race Together” on customers’ cups.
The campaign was met with skepticism on social media, with many complaining the company was overstepping it boundaries with a campaign on sensitive cultural topics that had no place in the coffee shop’s lines.
Dear Starbucks: 1. America is not a college campus. 2. You are not the faculty. 3. I am not paying tuition to take your exam. — David Burge (@iowahawkblog) March 22, 2015
Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist had a slightly different take on Schultz’s mad scheme; in her opinion, he doesn’t view himself as a far left college headmaster, but as a fundamentalist preacher eager to use his underlings as missionaries to spread the socialist gospel, ala Father Coughlin or Rev. Wright. As Hemingway wrote, “With Race Together, Starbucks Is Using Worst Of Evangelical Practices:”
The whole campaign reminded me so much of this story from 2004, when an American Airlines pilot got on the loudspeaker and asked passengers who were Christian to raise their hands. Then he suggested to the ones who raised their hands that they spend the remainder of the flight trying to convert those who hadn’t. The passengers were so confused by the request that they wondered if the pilot was a terrorist.
Listen, I love few things more than sharing the good news that Jesus has triumphed over sin, death and Satan with others and I hate racism. But there’s a reason why the American Airlines pilot and the Starbucks approaches freak people out! Yes, part of it is that there’s a time and place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discuss difficult social problems. But also, these things are highly ineffective when done outside of a personal relationship.
Both of these approaches also exhibit extreme vocational confusion.
* * * * * * *
Simply flying a plane to the best of your ability and bringing hundreds of passengers safely from one point to another is a great way to serve your neighbor. You don’t need to hand out cross pins or get on the loudspeaker and introduce people to Jesus to make it a good work.
It’s curious; for leftwing consumers, simply knowing that a CEO disagrees with this week’s stance on gay marriage or Obamacare is enough to get him fired or have his chain boycotted. But a leftwing CEO feels perfectly entitled to proselytize the Gleichschaltung to his customers.
Exit question: How long would Starbucks permit a “barista” to enthusiastically preach the real gospel to his customers as an aide to racial healing?
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) March 20, 2015
By the way, speaking of the Gleichschaltung, I stopped going to Starbucks on a regular basis two or three years ago when they bowed to Obamacare-related laws and began printing calorie counts on their menu boards. It wasn’t so much paying $5.00 for a cup of coffee that’s essentially a warm milkshake that was problematic, but being hit in the face that I now had an additional 500 calories or more to burn off at the gym that night. Now with their CEO having dropped the mask and gone the full Bullworth-meets-Eric Holder on his customers, I realize I was simply ahead of the curve in avoiding their product.
But hey, as they say at MSNBC’s parent network:
The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.
* * * * * * *
The confusion is telling, though. It shows that while keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?
* * * * * * *
But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”
—“In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas,” Judith Shulevitz, the New York Times, yesterday.
Today is a red-letter day for the New York Times. For the first time, the paper has reported in its news section that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright once uttered the phrase “God damn America.” Wright’s comments were widely reported and widely discussed beginning with an ABC News report six months ago. Barack Obama even had to give a much-publicized speech because of those words, and others. But the newspaper of record has never seen fit to publish Wright’s quote in its news pages. Until today.
If my search of the Nexis database is correct, Wright’s quote first appeared in the Times in a column by Bill Kristol on March 17. It was mentioned again in a column by Maureen Dowd on March 23. It appeared in an editorial on April 26. It appeared in a column by the public editor on May 4, and also in an article in the Week in Review section on that same day.
But never in the front section of the paper. Until now. As with the April 26 editorial, today’s mention of “God damn America” is in the context of reporting on attack ads targeting Obama. But still, it’s there, on page one, for the first time.
—Byron York, then with National Review, September 24th, 2008.
Related: News you can use:
— Male Tears #4648 (@MT8_9) March 21, 2015
More: And speaking of creating safe zones for their readers, at least until it’s too late:
@nytimes We told you so, idiots.
— DCinAZ (@DCinAZ) March 21, 2015
— Harry (@Tark31) March 22, 2015
“The word ‘Obama’ is never once mentioned by the ever-diplomatic General Petraeus” during his interview yesterday with the Washington Post, Max Boot writes at Commentary. But, “reading between the lines this is a devastating criticism of the president’s policy from the man who was once his CIA director, Central Command commander, and Afghanistan commander:”
When Petraeus feels compelled to point out that Iran “is not our ally,” he is speaking directly to a White House that imagines otherwise. When he says that the U.S. pullout from Iraq in 2011 “complicated our ability to shape developments in the region,” he is indirectly criticizing Obama, in part, for failing to win a Status of Forces Agreement. And when he criticizes the “scale, scope, speed, and resourcing” of US efforts to support the moderate Syrian opposition, he is indicting the president for not backing the Free Syrian Army, as CIA Director Petraeus and much of the Obama security cabinet had proposed to do in 2012.
Obama wasn’t listening to Petraeus then. Let’s hope he—and the whole world–is listening now. Petraeus’s comments are entirely on the mark.
Hey, remember when the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) screamed that the president needs to heed the advice of his former and current generals? Good times, good times.
Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:
CARL REINER: I’d like you to meet the German representative from Nartzi? Narzi? Narzi! From the Narzi Film Company, Herr Adolph Hartler. Good afternoon, Herr Hartler!
MEL BROOKS: Heil Hartler, how are you?!
* * * * * *
REINER: Sir, you’re wearing your bathing suit, I noticed. And as you scratched your head, I noticed a little “SS” tattooed under your arm. What does that mean?
BROOKS: Oh, uh, uh, well, wait — oh, that’s the “Simon Says!”
REINER: The what?! The what?!
BROOKS: “Simon Says.” We play that on the beach. I’m the captain of the Simon Says Team und that’s vhere ve get SS from!
REINER: You think it’s worth tattooing on your arm, just to be a Simon Says leader?
BROOKS: Oh, vell, I’m serious about the game, I love it, and so I had myself tattooed Simon Says!
REINER: How did you feel about Stanley Kramer’s motion picture, Judgment at Nuremberg?
REINER: Why did you consider it unfair?
BROOKS: Well, because he didn’t tell the whole truth. Vhat vas the picture about? Really about? A misunderstanding really, wasn’t it? I mean, look: you send people to camp don’t you, in the summer? We sent a few people to camp! I don’t know what the whole…fuss is about! Send some nice people to camp. Mostly in the summer!
—From the comedy album Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks at the Cannes Film Festival, 1962.
Hillary Clinton wants to send all Americans back to camp because they are not having enough fun.
In another paid speech, Clinton addressed a group of camp counselors Thursday. She lauded the camp experience for teaching important life skills and fostering personal growth.
“As I have gotten older, I have decided we really need camps for adults,” Clinton said.
The former Secretary of State lectured the audience, telling them that Americans need more fun.
“I think we have a huge fun deficit in America,” Clinton said.
Clinton did not explain why she felt Americans were not having fun but it is not difficult to understand her reasoning after going through Clinton’s list of hobbies.
“Her favorite fitness activity, according to her MySpace page, is speed walking. Her hobbies include crossword puzzles, Scrabble and gardening. Organizing her closets is stress relief. Sleeping in until 7 a.m. is her idea of being naughty.”*
—“Hillary Clinton Says to Fix The ‘Fun-Deficit’ in America, ‘We Really Need Camps for Adults,’” the Washington Free Beacon, yesterday.
As a normal, sane, red-blooded American, I am, of course, dreading the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency, just as a super-majority of Americans previously were in 2007. As a blogger, journalist, and editor, assuming I don’t wind up in one of Hillary’s
reeducation fun camps, I am positively thrilled about covering the insanity that will emerge. The amount of crazy schemes and cover-ups to emerge from Team Hillary will dwarf the Blogosphere, especially since the MSM will be too in the tank to cover most of it.
Update: In case anyone is surprised by Hillary’s latest brainstorm, recall her past attempts at totalitarian spitballing:
Orwell’s was a daddy-dystopia, where the state is abusive and bullying, maintaining its authority through a permanent climate of war and the manufacture of convenient enemies. Huxley’s is a maternal misery, where man is smothered with care, not cruelty. But for all our talk these days about manliness, individualism, and even the ‘nanny state,’ we still don’t have the vocabulary to fight off nice totalitarianism, liberal fascism.
With that distinction in mind, let us revisit It Takes a Village. On page after page, Clinton extols the idea that just about everything is a health issue. Divorce should be treated like a “public health issue” because it creates stress in children. The very basics of parenting are health issues because “how infants are held, touched, fed, spoken to, and gazed at”determines whether our brains can be “hijacked”by our emotions, potentially making us murderously violent. Mrs. Clinton tells us that Janet Reno issued a report which found that gang violence and gun use are the products of people with badly imprinted brains who become “emotionally hijacked”with little provocation. Quoting doctors, friendly activists, social workers, and random real Americans, in chapter after chapter she argues for interventions on behalf of children from literally the moment they are born. Children need “[g]entle, intimate, consistent contact” to reduce stress, which can “create feelings of helplessness that lead to later developmental problems.”Even well-to-do parents need help because after all everyone feels stress, and “we know that babies sense the stress.” It’s fair to say that a state empowered to eliminate parental stress is a state with a Huxleyan mandate. And a state with an extreme mandate must logically go to extremes.
Hence Clinton argues for the diffusion of parental training into every nook and cranny of public life. Here’s one such suggestion: “Videos with scenes of common-sense baby care—how to burp an infant, what to do when soap gets in his eyes, how to make a baby with an earache comfortable—could be running continuously in doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, motor vehicle offices, or any place where people gather and have to wait.” Imagine if these sorts of ideas were fully implemented at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the passport office, and other places “where people gather and have to wait.”Giant flat screens at the airport pumping breast-feeding advice? The JumboTron at football games? At what point would the Brave New World seem to be heading down the pike?
And in-between Madison Avenue letting its inner Socialist Justice Warrior out to run amok during the commercials of the most recent Super Bowl, and Starbucks unleashing its own crusading socialist evangelism, the off-ramp for Brave New World certainly appears well within sight.
Exit question: Has Hillary nailed down the name for her camps yet? Why not go with a proven winner, such as “Strength Through Joy”?
* Huh — so Hillary’s just a babe in the woods when it comes to knowing about her husband’s ideas of “being naughty,” I guess. And how does “sleeping in until 7:00 am” fit in with promising to be on the job and ready to swing into action when the phone rings at 3:00 AM?
“Starbucks’s new campaign is yet another sign of the relentless politicization of American culture,” Jonah Goldberg writes today:
It’s ironic. The Obama years were supposed to usher in an era of racial harmony. That didn’t happen — which presumably is why Schultz feels the need to help mend our racial wounds. What has happened, however, is that hordes of college graduates, unable to find jobs suitable to their degrees, have ended up toiling away at places like Starbucks.It’s kind of ingenious. Since sociology majors can’t find relevant jobs, Schultz is making the jobs they have relevant to their majors. If this becomes a trend, maybe my dog walkers will start reciting Proust in French on their perambulations.
As a business decision, I find the whole thing bizarre. If I don’t have my coffee in the morning, I get a headache that feels like a Hell’s Angel is trying to press his meaty thumb through my forehead. This is not the most propitious moment to engage me in a conversation about my “race journey.” Worse, Starbucks lines are already long. How much longer will they get when the barista takes 20 minutes out of his or her job to debate the Moynihan Report with a customer?
On Red Eye last night, Rob Long made a great observation — there’s no Starbucks in Ferguson. If Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO wants to really start a dialogue about race, perhaps he needs to put his company’s money where is mouth is, and start there.
Meanwhile, David P. Goldman, writing in his “Spengler” column at PJM wants to start a dialogue about the truly important issues that vex us all: It’s “Time for a National Conversation About Why Starbucks Coffee Is Disgusting.”
By the way, as with all “Progressive” concepts, Schultz’s thinking is stuck in America’s distant past — it’s always Alabama in 1963 for the left, unless it’s 1933 and they’re searching for their next Roosevelt. But in the real 21st century America, my local town in Northern California has a widely divergent racial culture filled Asians from Japan, China and Korea; people of Spanish and Mexican descent, and people of pallor like myself. And by and large, they seem to get on pretty darn well. Oh to be a fly on a wall when a white barista lectures an Asian or someone of Latino origin to be more harmonious in their race relations.
Lest you wind up in one of Hillary’s “Fun Camps” for political reeducation.
Exit Question: “Why Is There No Starbucks Coffee House in Selma?”
I don’t know about you, but whenever I purchase a $8.00 cup of coffee, I want to be hectored about race by a tattooed and facially pierced 20-something barrista (read: store clerk) who is $50,000 in debt from obtaining his master’s degree in postmodernist anti-colonialist deconstructionist poetry. In other words, a skull full of mush, as Professor Kingsfield would say.
“Starbucks hit by ‘cascade of negativity’ after ordering staff to talk racism with customers: Vice President forced off Twitter as angry public turns on ‘patronizing’ project,” the London Daily Mail reports:
The campaign was the brainchild of Howard Schultz, 61, the company’s boss, who has a track record of speaking out about contentious topics, from gay marriage to gun control.His decision came in response to the escalating racial tension that emerged when grand juries failed to indict white police officers involved in the killings of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, 43, in Staten Island, New York.
Last year, Schultz travelled to Starbucks branches in the cities most affected by racial tension, including Los Angeles, St Louis, Chicago, New York, Oakland and Seattle.
Mr Schulz met about 2,000 Starbucks staff on the tour, and made contact with the rest of his 200,000 employees – 40 per cent of whom are from ethnic minority backgrounds – via a video address.
‘It’s an emotional issue,’ he said. ‘But it is so vitally important to the country.’
Gleichschaltung, baby! On the other hand, perhaps this is an opportunity for Starbucks’ customers to speak truth to beverage makers. Because reminding young baristas that shoplifting followed by assaulting convenience store clerks followed by trying to grab a policeman’s gun is an emotional issue that deserves greater discussion. As does reminding them selling pirate cigarettes is also rarely a good idea. Another option would be to ask for a cup that doesn’t have “Race Together” on it, or asking for a Sharpie and crossing the slogan out in front of the barista, telling him that I’m for better race relations — who isn’t?! — but just because I’m giving you my money, I’m not giving you the right to hector me. Asking the clerk that beyond handing out pre-printed racialist cups what he’s doing to increase his own tolerance for diversity — including opinions he doesn’t want to hear — would also be fun.
People tend to get nasty, when all they want is a cup of Columbian roast, and you give them your take on Ferguson.
I pictured the only black or Hispanic baristas I have seen in a Starbucks, handing someone change and saying, “you know black lives matter, right?” and then holding their hands up in the air.
The baristas, as pleasant as they may be, can’t write a name accurately on a cup to save their lives. I have been Andrew, Annette, Austin and Audrey. Maybe, Starbucks should start a spelling campaign first, before a race conversation campaign. I might be more receptive to the information if you don’t call me Audrey.
Trust and believe that if I come in at 7am to get some caffeine to keep me motivated and civilized, it is not going to go well if a perky little girl says, “Hey, Audrey did you know that racism is oppressive?” Or maybe they are going to tell ole Audrey here that Martin Luther King, Jr. worked hard to make sure I could buy my $5.55 morning latte at any coffee shop in America.
As Jay Nordlinger of NRO has noted in several posts and articles over the years since Mr. Obama came to power, the number of politics-free “safe zones” is continually shrinking in America. With Starbucks’ ham-handed attempt to make their coffee racist (for racialism is ultimately a form of racism), the circle is that much smaller.
And as for Starbucks management getting off Twitter — well, you asked for a “dialogue,” and you got it. Sorry if it wasn’t you had in mind, but a dialogue implies a two-way street. Perhaps you’ll learn something by this experience.
Ultimately, Morgan Freeman, before he suffered a massive case of Tea Party Derangement Syndrome, had the best suggestion for improving race relations in America:
Any time the left wants to start, feel free.
It’s always fun watching modern-day “Progressives” wrestle and explain away, Ministry of Truth-style, their ideology’s dark race-obsessed past. PolitiFact, the left-wing opinion Website site set up by Tampa Bay Times notes that “NH Rep. Bill O’Brien says Margaret Sanger was active participant in KKK.” But hey, it’s OK, because she merely gave speeches to them:
Opponents of Planned Parenthood, and of abortion more generally, have seized on Sanger’s sometimes controversial beliefs as a way to discredit the organization that she helped found. Such was the case on Feb. 8, 2015, when former New Hampshire speaker of the House William O’Brien posted a lengthy online comment about a previous fact check.
O’Brien writes, in his first paragraph: “In language that would only occur to one of the liberal elite, here is what Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and an active participant in the Klu Klux Klan and the eugenics movement, had to say about the immigrants, blacks and poor people for whom that organization’s services were targeted,” going on to quote Sanger as saying they were “human beings who never should have been born.”
That’s a lot to unpack.
There is little question that Sanger supported the eugenics movement (more on that later), but one statement really stuck out. Sanger was “an active participant in the Ku Klux Klan.”
PolitiFact NH decided to check it out.
It turns out, Sanger did speak to a group connected to the KKK and wrote about it openly. In Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, published in 1938, Sanger details her work advocating birth control across the United States and emphasizes her willingness to talk to virtually anyone.
“Always to me any aroused group was a good group,” Sanger writes, “and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.”
**********It’s important to note that the Women of the Ku Klux Klan was not the KKK itself. It was a parallel, official organization, with branches in all 48 states. It supported the goals of the men’s group, and was based in Little Rock, Ark.
And that’s a far cry from being an “active participant” in the Ku Klux Klan, as O’Brien claims.
As for Sanger, she indeed supported the eugenics movement.
While the notion that the human race could be perfected by better breeding led to a horrific outcome in the Holocaust, it had been widely accepted in progressive, reformist political circles. Supporters included Winston Churchill, H. G. Wells, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, George Bernard Shaw and economist John Maynard Keynes. And while he disagreed with and worked to debunk eugenicists who insisted on black people’s inferiority, African-American activist W. E. B. Du Bois subscribed to a number of the movement’s principles.
In other words, supporting eugenics did not automatically equal racism. Jean H. Baker, who wrote the biography Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion and is the Bennett-Harwood professor of history at Goucher College in Maryland, says attempts to paint Sanger as a bigot are simply false.
This is positively Orwellian — the very definition of eugenics, an early 20th century movement embraced by self-styled “Progressives” on both sides of the Atlantic, implies breeding out races deemed “inferior” and strengthening those deemed acceptable. Or as Jonah Goldberg wrote in “A Dark Past: Contraception, abortion, and the eugenics movement:”
One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.” When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.
* * * * * * * * *
n 1939 Sanger created the above-mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes…is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”
And 75 years later, Politifact is still eager to play along, “Unexpectedly.”
Oh and by the way, Sanger was playing up her obsession with abortion and population control even after World War II, a battle that between eugenics and more conventional warfare, helped to reduce the population by 60 million. That”s her being interviewed by England’s Pathe News Agency in 1947, under her married name, Margaret Slee:
“O’Brien’s claim goes far beyond the evidence. We rate the statement False,” Polti-”fact” claims, happy to hide as much evidence as possible that the religion of “Progressivism” was built on the original sin of both Eugenics and the Klan.
You go, MoDo!
Since open letters to secretive and duplicitous regimes are in fashion, we would like to post an Open Letter to the Leaders of the Clinton Republic of Chappaqua:
It has come to our attention while observing your machinations during your attempted restoration that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our democracy: The importance of preserving historical records and the ill-advised gluttony of an American feminist icon wallowing in regressive Middle Eastern states’ payola.
You should seriously consider these characteristics of our nation as the Campaign-That-Must-Not-Be-Named progresses.
If you, Hillary Rodham Clinton, are willing to cite your mother’s funeral to get sympathy for ill-advisedly deleting 30,000 emails, it just makes us want to sigh: O.K., just take it. If you want it that bad, go ahead and be president and leave us in peace. (Or war, if you have your hawkish way.) You’re still idling on the runway, but we’re already jet-lagged. It’s all so drearily familiar that I know we’re only moments away from James Carville writing a column in David Brock’s Media Matters, headlined, “In Private, Hillary’s Really a Hoot.”
To be fair, assuming Hillary’s sufficiently lubricated, that might be the only true thing Brock would have ever written.