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STOP OUTING NAZIS. YOUR RIGHTS DEPEND ON THEIRS, Bethany Mandel writes:

You can forgive conservatives especially for worrying about this in today’s political climate. There’s a dangerous slippage that’s entered the mainstream discourse surrounding conservatism and Republicans, one that fails to distinguish between the alt right and more mainstream figures. Joy Reid was only the most recent to make this category error when she took to Twitter to write of the rally: “What did they think they were getting in the White House? What did they say when he hired Bannon and his crew? Or Sessions or Kobach?” But Bannon and Sessions are entirely different animals; by equating them, Reid highlights why conservatives are wary of the thought police going after people’s jobs.

Cole White was the first to lose his job to the Charlottsville rally. Peter Cvjetanovic, 20, currently attending the University of Nevada in Reno, is another person identified from the white supremacist rally who now will be hard-pressed to find employment after he graduates (if he’s allowed to stay enrolled and isn’t hounded off of campus, that is). For White and Czjetanovic, being white nationalists has no impact on their ability to do their jobs. Had they held other jobs in which their white nationalism would directly affect their job performance, perhaps the internet mob would be justified in its quest to take heads (white nationalists shouldn’t be teaching WWII history to impressionable middle school students, for example).

But firing individuals based on their personally held beliefs not only creates a slippery slope, but also as one of my Twitter followers half-joked, “an outcast class of bright, reactionary, but unemployable young men with little to lose. What. Could. Possibly. Go. Wrong?”

Read the whole thing.

IN CHICAGO, THOUGHT-POLICE BRUTALITY; Chicago Theater Critic Shunned for Racial Honesty:

In Chicago, where there were more homicides last year than in Los Angeles and New York City combined, expressing any support whatsoever for the police is now considered an outrage. Should you point out that, say, a play seems to suggest cops are evil crackers, you may find yourself denounced as a racist and targeted for abuse and ostracization.

A theater writer has just found that out. In what the website American Theatre dubbed “the review that shook Chicago,” adding in a subhead that “Local theatre artists rise in revolt,” veteran theater critic Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times criticized a new play called Pass Over, which I haven’t seen but is being described as a kind of update of Waiting for Godot filtered through the sensibility of Black Lives Matter. The play, by Antoinette Nwandu, was mounted by the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, perhaps the most celebrated outfit of its kind outside of New York City. Weiss found its racial politics to be a bit reductionist, and offered these thoughts in her review:

No one can argue with the fact that this city (and many others throughout the country) has a problem with the use of deadly police force against African-Americans. But, for all the many and varied causes we know so well, much of the lion’s share of the violence is perpetrated within the community itself. Nwandu’s simplistic, wholly generic characterization of a racist white cop (clearly meant to indict all white cops) is wrong-headed and self-defeating. Just look at news reports about recent shootings (on the lakefront, on the new River Walk, in Woodlawn) and you will see the look of relief when the police arrive on the scene.

Cue unbridled rage. Steppenwolf charged her with “deep-seated bigotry.” An actor named Bear Bellinger announced that he would not perform if Weiss showed up at a workshop production he was appearing in. An ad-hoc coalition that might as well have dubbed itself the Blackball Hedy Movement (but is actually called the Chicago Theater Accountability Coalition, or CTAC) launched a petition via change.org to organize the theater world of Chicago against Weiss by denying her invitations to its plays. Several theater organizations have publicly agreed to join the blackballing effort, and dozens have offered noncommittal statements of support. The group’s broadside against Weiss reads, “Over the last few years especially, we have joined together to make it clear that inappropriate language or behavior does not have a place within our community, and that prejudice of any kind will not stand.”

* * * * * * * *

It was less than two years ago that Steppenwolf mounted a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. Do these people not recognize their kinship with the thought police? Do they not see that “Shut up” is not an argument?

Other than violence, what other arguments do the left have these days?

THE DARTMOUTH REVIEW interviews Christina Hoff Sommers.

On some campuses, activists have assumed the role of thought police. When they heckle speakers or shut down events, they set themselves up as arbiters of what others can hear and say. Who put them in charge? They are free to not attend events they don’t like or to protest peacefully. What they can’t do is to shut down discussion. Legally, the First Amendment applies only to the government, but the moral principles on which it is based ought to apply to private universities as well. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a legendary champion of liberal causes, called restrictions on free speech “dangerous subversions” and “the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.” Why un-American? Because in our free and open democracy—there is no Ministry of Truth.

No one put them in charge. But, like all tyrants, they will seize as much power as people will allow.

LURCHING LEFT: Joel Kotkin: The Corbynization of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party’s current festival of re-examination is both necessary and justified. They have just lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in recent memory. Lockstep media support and a much larger war chest were not enough to save them from losing not only the presidency, but also in state races across the country.

Since President Obama’s first election, Democrats have lost control of the House and Senate, as well as a dozen governors’ houses and roughly 900 state legislative seats. Republicans have control of all levels of government in 24 states, while Democrats have total control over six. Overall, the party seems incapable of reaching out to the middle part of the country, white and middle-class voters.

This contrasts with the 1990s, when a group of party activists consciously rebuilt the party to appeal to middle-class Americans. Groups like the Democratic Leadership Council — for whose think tank, the Progressive Policy Institute, I worked for several years — pushed notions of personal responsibility, welfare reform, tough crime policies and economic growth that, embraced by Bill Clinton, expanded the party’s base in the Midwest, the Appalachians and even the Southeast.

Such a shift to the middle is unlikely today. Progressives generally see Hillary Clinton’s loss as largely a rejection of her husband’s neoliberal policies and want to push the party further to the left.

This parallels developments in the United Kingdom, where, following their defeat in 2015, the Labour Party promoted a far-left figure, Jeremy Corbyn, as its leader. This was driven by grassroots progressives — deeply green, multiculturalist and openly socialist. Many, including several high up in Labour’s parliamentary party, believe the party has little chance to win under such leadership.

Democrats face a similar dilemma. Driven by their dominant academic and media “thought police,” any shift to the middle on issues like crime, climate change or regulation now seems unimaginable. Self-described progressives who now dominate the party generally adhere to a series of policies — from open borders to draconian climate change policies — that are unlikely to play well outside the coastal enclaves.

Well, “thought police” seldom help an organization adapt to change.

JIM GERAGHTY: There Really Is a Silent Majority; the Right Wins the Culture War of 2016.

Pollsters have had off years before, but there has never been a colossal ten-car pile-up like this in the polling industry. The entire industry needs to scrap everything they know about the electorate and start over. One of the giant questions they must address is whether we now live in an atmosphere of such far-reaching and stifling social disapproval of politically incorrect positions that a significant portion of respondents no longer feel comfortable expressing their actual beliefs to a pollster. There really was a silent majority.

Silent, silenced, whatever.

Related: Robby Soave: Trump Won Because Leftist Political Correctness Inspired a Terrifying Backlash: What every liberal who didn’t see this coming needs to understand.

Trump won because of a cultural issue that flies under the radar and remains stubbornly difficult to define, but is nevertheless hugely important to a great number of Americans: political correctness.

More specifically, Trump won because he convinced a great number of Americans that he would destroy political correctness.

I have tried to call attention to this issue for years. I have warned that political correctness actually is a problem on college campuses, where the far-left has gained institutional power and used it to punish people for saying or thinking the wrong thing. And ever since Donald Trump became a serious threat to win the GOP presidential primaries, I have warned that a lot of people, both on campus and off it, were furious about political-correctness-run-amok—so furious that they would give power to any man who stood in opposition to it.

I have watched this play out on campus after campus. I have watched dissident student groups invite Milo Yiannopoulos to speak—not because they particularly agree with his views, but because he denounces censorship and undermines political correctness. I have watched students cheer his theatrics, his insulting behavior, and his narcissism solely because the enforcers of campus goodthink are outraged by it. It’s not about his ideas, or policies. It’s not even about him. It’s about vengeance for social oppression.

Trump has done to America what Yiannopoulos did to campus. This is a view Yiannopoulos shares. When I spoke with him about Trump’s success months ago, he told me, “Nobody votes for Trump or likes Trump on the basis of policy positions. That’s a misunderstanding of what the Trump phenomenon is.”

He described Trump as “an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness.” Correctly, I might add.

People will tell you that “political correctness” is just politeness and consideration, but it’s not polite or considerate to form screaming mobs trying to fire people who use the “wrong” pronouns.

But when people are afraid of those mobs, they won’t say what they really think, which means that the left’s shrieking thought police both created the backlash, and then kept it from being noticed. Nice work.

Also: Some Gay Voters Say It’s ‘Dangerous’ to Come Out for Trump.

Related: A Trump Wave Is On the Way.

And: Donald Trump is the response to a bullying culture: Abusive political correctness drives voters into the impolitic billionaire’s loud embrace.

THEY GET THE VAPORS SO EASILY AT THE HUFFINGTON POST: “Cultural Appropriation, the Ultimate Sin” including — quelle horreur! — “The Foes Of Faux Pho” as explored by Dan Gainor at NewsBusters:

Bon Appétit’s readers might have noticed a recent piece that was originally called: “PSA: This Is How You Should Be Eating Pho.” The story included a video of Philadelphia’s Stock chef Tyler Akin. Stock serves Southeast Asian food and Tyler has a problem, he’s white. The video showed how he eats Pho. And that’s a no-no. The HuffPo thought police responded with, “Why The Outrage Over Bon Appétit’s Pho Article Is Completely Justified.” Not just “justified,” but “completely justified.” They proceeded to quote every idiot they could find who was angry that a white guy might be an expert in something that white people didn’t invent. One site even called it “whitesplaining.” Bon Appétit went grovelling and responded “how we screwed up and what we can do about it.” Actual quote: “While Akin mentions in the video that he’s demonstrated his personal, preferred way of consuming pho, the outlet’s packaging still positioned him as an authority.” This is America 2016. It’s controversial to have a white chef make ethnic food. But no one on the left refuses to use electricity or the telephone because scary old white men were involved in their invention.

Read the whole thing – sooner rather than later, as it’s only a matter of time before we all must don our “environmentally friendly death suit,” as spotted by Gainor at the conclusion of his look into how exponentially insane the left has become in recent years.

Related: “Seriously, we have people questioning whether it’s appropriate for white people to eat pad Thai. Turnabout, then: I guess that means that as a native of North Carolina, I can ban the Thais from eating barbecue. (I bet they’d swap.)”

Oh, and lest I forget:

exjon_racial_healing_12-17-15

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Hey You Guys – You Can’t Say “You Guys” Anymore:

On campus, political correctness has become the Santa Claus who offers no presents. It sees you when you’re sleeping. It knows when you’re awake. It’s definitely making lists and checking them twice, and you’d better be correct for correctness’ sake. Otherwise you won’t even get a lump of coal, just a letter informing you how really sorry everyone is that they had to expel you for your own good.

Yet another sense-demolishing instance of campus lunacy was reported last week in The New York Times, which informed readers that their children off at college are being sternly warned not to say “you guys” (it might make women feel excluded), not to “show surprise” if a feminine-looking woman says she is a lesbian (acting ability now being as essential as learning ability) and to be very very careful about singing along with rap lyrics, even when alone in a car.*

Oh swell – I guess PBS will either have to Memory Hole its old Electric Company series from the 1970s, or put trigger warnings on each episode. Why does the left hate Rita Moreno so?

* “A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected. Nothing that he does is indifferent. His friendships, his relaxations, his behaviour towards his wife and children, the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body, are all jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual misdemeanour, but any eccentricity, however small, any change of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of an inner struggle, is certain to be detected. He has no freedom of choice in any direction whatever.”

HEADLINES FROM 1965: CARLIN, PRYOR, AND BRUCE MOURN FREE SPEECH:

In an interview with free speech advocacy group FIRE, George Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin, Richard Pryor’s daughter Rain, and Lenny Bruce’s daughter Kitty confirm their dads would have a few choice words on today’s “thought police.”

Kitty Bruce brings up campus censorship: She’s found no comic willing to open the Lenny Bruce archives at Brandeis. Those she’s asked tell her, “Kitty, they want our comedy to be beige.” Lenny Bruce, like him or not, was anything but beige, and his bestselling album recorded live at UC Berkeley.

And according to Ms. Pryor, political correctness holds us back from a collective healing: “We’re afraid to laugh at what is painful. Do you know what I mean? We’re afraid to go to that line and cross it and then, if we do cross it, we’re not crossing it for the sake of enlightenment, right?”

“Enlightenment” may be a bit of a stretch. The legacy of the three funny men led to the erasure of the lines they, sometimes brilliantly, crossed. They made their livings and won their fame offending and amusing the cultural sensitivities they helped to push our culture past. And yet new lines, too many to keep in order, have replaced these. Kelly Carlin cites identity politics’ requirement everyone honor everyone else’s self-image, leaving little room for laughs.

As with John Cleese in 2011 having second thoughts about the current state of England after Monty Python spent years on the (state-owned) BBC going to war against its former postwar version, all of the (admittedly brilliant) comedic fathers referenced above worked very hard in the 1960s and ‘70s to coarsen American culture. Curiously, as their daughters belatedly discovered, their efforts to advance the left didn’t result in a liberated free-speech nirvana. If only someone could have predicted that.

UPDATE:

iowahawk_woodstock_dnc_7-29-16

JOHN KASS: Hillary Thought Police and the Bernie kids.

Hillary Clinton’s most effective TV ad focuses on the faces of young children who sit quietly, staring wide-eyed at screens, watching Republican Donald Trump shout wild, angry and violent words.

It’s a powerful TV commercial, masterfully done, evoking child abuse while asking: “Our children are watching. What example will we set for them?” It is an ad designed to terrify parents and have them run into the warm, loving and omniscient embrace of Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Because with Hillary, it’s all about the kids.

Unless, of course, the kids are those thousands of idealistic young people — many of them college age or just older — who dared support the truly progressive Bernie Sanders for president against Clinton, the establishment candidate.

They felt the Bern and gave everything they had — their time, their energy, their spirit — to battle what they thought was wrong with America, the oligarchy, the political corruption, the control of the political process by the insiders with the money to buy politicians.

Those Sanders kids are angry. They aren’t quite ready to behave. Hillary knows this. And even Sanders, a tired old man prattling on about Wall Street, knows it as he bows to his Establishment Queen who sits on all that Wall Street cash.

So now it’s time for Hillary’s Thought Police — of Democratic Party operatives, political show ponies, and pro-Hillary pundits and talking heads — to begin the hard work of grinding those kids down. . . .

So the idea is to turn those kids into useful political beings by using their own slogans and reference points against them. First, though, they must be softened up by shaming. And the pro-Hillary media (and most of the media is decidedly pro-Hillary) has been relentless at shaming them to keep them in line since that DNC leaks story broke.

Shaming has been going on relentlessly on social media since these kids first touched a keyboard. They know how it works, they understand its conventions, if not its real purpose, which is to herd stubborn political ideas.

Indeed.

UNEXPECTEDLY: The Battle Against ‘Hate Speech’ on College Campuses Gives Rise to a Generation That Hates Speech:

During his 18 years as president of Lebanon Valley College during the middle of the past century, Clyde Lynch led the tiny Pennsylvania liberal arts institution through the tribulations of the Great Depression and World War II, then raised $550,000 to build a new gymnasium before he died in 1950. In gratitude, college trustees named that new building after him.

Neither Lynch nor those trustees could have predicted* there would come a day when students would demand that his name be stripped from the Lynch Memorial Hall because the word lynch has “racial overtones.” But that day did come.

* * * * * * * * * *

Graduates of the Class of 2016 are leaving behind campuses that have become petri dishes of extreme political correctness and heading out into a world without trigger warnings, safe spaces and free speech zones, with no rules forbidding offensive verbal conduct or microaggressions, and where the names of cruel, rapacious capitalists are embossed in brass and granite on buildings across the land. Baby seals during the Canadian hunting season may have a better chance of survival.

Their degrees look the same as ever, but in recent years the programs of study behind them have been altered to reflect the new sensitivities. Books now come with trigger warnings—a concept that originated on the internet to warn people with post-traumatic stress disorder (veterans, child abuse survivors) of content that might “trigger” a past trauma. Columbia’s English majors were opting out of reading Ovid (trigger: sexual assault), and some of their counterparts at Rutgers declined an assignment to study Virginia Woolf (trigger: suicidal ideation). Political science graduates from Modesto Junior College might have shied away from touching a copy of the U.S. Constitution in public, since a security guard stopped one of them from handing it out because he was not inside a 25-square-foot piece of concrete 30 yards away from the nearest walkway designated as the “free speech zone”—a space that needed to be booked 30 days in advance. Graduates of California public universities found it hard to discuss affirmative action policies, as administrators recently added such talk to a list of “microaggressions”—subtle but offensive comments or actions directed at a minority or other nondominant group that unintentionally reinforce a stereotype.

* * * * * * * * * *

American college campuses are starting to resemble George Orwell’s Oceania with its Thought Police, or East Germany under the Stasi. College newspapers have been muzzled and trashed, and students are disciplined or suspended for “hate speech,” while exponentially more are being shamed and silenced on social media by their peers. Professors quake at the possibility of accidentally offending any student and are rethinking syllabi and restricting class discussions to only the most anodyne topics. A Brandeis professor endured a secret administrative investigation for racial harassment after using the word wetback in class while explaining its use as a pejorative.

Yes, the degrees may look the same, but as Iowahawk has tweeted, that’s par for the course once the left has thoroughly captured an institution.

iowahawk_skin_suit_5-28-16-1

And note that the author of this piece is Democrat operative with a byline Nina Burleigh, who famously said in 1998, “I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

This time around, the theocracy is entirely on your side of the aisle, Nina. But all revolutions eventually devour their own eventually.

* Really? George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Allan Bloom and Peter Hitchens all would have predicted it.

MEET TWITTER’S NEW THOUGHT POLICE, Mark Hemingway writes at the Weekly Standard:

For now, Twitter insists that there’s no cause for alarm. “Seriously people,” as one top Twitter developer said over the weekend, “We aren’t idiots. Quit speculating about how we’re going to ‘ruin Twitter.'” And why would we indulge in such speculation? It’s not as if there’s precedent for idiots running a huge social network into the ground.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go update my Friendster and MySpace pages.

Read the whole thing.

And if you like, follow me on Twitter here – at least while Twitter is still around, that is.

OVER AT AMERICAN THINKER, a review of SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.

IN THE MAIL: From Vox Day, with a foreword from Milo Yiannopoulos, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police.

Plus, today only at Amazon: Dremel 12-Volt Max Cordless Rotary Tool, $74.99 (56% off).

And, also today only: Canon PIXMA MX922 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax, $67.99. We have one of these. I like it.

IS THE WORLD BECOMING FED UP? “A great pushback is awakening here and abroad, but its timing, nature, and future remain mysterious,” Victor Davis Hanson writes, adding that Trump’s polling success is a potential harbinger of things to come:

Presidential candidate Trump is supposedly enjoying a bump in the polls. How could that be, given his plutocratic hubris, his flamboyance and his often sloppy rhetoric? Again the answer is predictable. He is blunt — and uncouth; while the Left is sly and uncouth. The public sometimes prefers their exaggerations as bold and not packaged in nasal whines. We are supposed to shudder at the reaction when writer Ann Coulter, promoting a supposedly nativist book about immigration, is rushed by illegal immigration activists at a book signing. Then she confirms our stereotypes by declaring that Latin Americans typically express criticism in such a riotous fashion. The media forgets that she is matched and trumped by the activists themselves. They disrupted a peaceful book signing; they tore up books that they disagreed with (an act which has a good 20th-century fascist pedigree); some brought out Mexican flags to show solidarity with the country that they most certainly do not wish to return to. And there was a shout or two, in racist fashion, that Coulter should return to Europe — as if a guest here illegally from a foreign country has a greater claim on residence than does a U.S. citizen.

As in the case of Paula Deen, Duck Dynasty, and the addled Donald Sterling, the nation unleashed its thought police to destroy Trump in the fashion that has worked so well with other intemperate or biased speakers (at least those who are not of the liberal bent of politically incorrect gaffers like a Sen. Harry Reid, Vice President Joe Biden, Al Sharpton, David Letterman — or Barack Obama who believes “typical” white people (all 220 million?) stereotype blacks while there are apparently “gangbangers” crossing illegally into the U.S. on his watch).  But so far, the politically-selective yanked sponsorships and corporate ostracism seem to have little effect on the self-promoting and boisterous multibillionaire Trump. Why so?

Read the whole thing.

BECAUSE #DIVERSITY!:  And, you know, #tolerance!  A thought police diversity officer at Goldsmiths, University of London has once again revealed the modern progressive movements’ ugly, racist core.  I wrote about Bahar Mustafa’s nasty “no white males allowed” event at the university before.  In response to the outrage Mustafa’s previous comments triggered, she now defends herself thus:

I, an ethnic minority woman, cannot be racist or sexist towards white men, because racism and sexism describes structures of privilege based on race and gender.

And therefore women of colour and minority genders cannot be racist or sexist because we do not stand to benefit from such a system.

In order for our actions to be deemed racist or sexist, the current system would have to be one that enables only people of colour and women to benefit economically and socially on such a large scale and to the systematic exclusion of white people and men, who for the past 400 years would have to have been subjected to block colonisation.

We do not live in such a system, we do not know of such a history, reverse racism and reverse sexism are not real.

There, there, sweetie–it’s okay. It’s those big, mean, privileged white men who are the racists, not you!

I’ll give Ms. Mustafa some credit:  At least she is being forthright about the contents of the rotten, festering, racist and sexist cavity where her brain would normally be.

FLASHBACK: KIRSTEN POWERS: Liberals’ Dark Ages: Each week seems to bring another incident. Who will the thought police come for next? It’s only gotten worse in the intervening months. The “social justice warriors” are only happy when they’re destroying someone. That’s because they’re awful people with mental and emotional issues.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Once again, thanks to everyone who stayed home last election day because Mit wasn’t conservative enough.”

YOUR DAILY MEMO from the Thought Police. Also the Junior Anti-Sex League.

JAMES TARANTO: Watch It, Kinsley: A liberal writer gets a stern warning from the Thought Police.

Sullivan grudgingly acknowledges that “thanks to the principles of the First Amendment–Mr. Kinsley is certainly entitled to freely air his views.” But she scathes Kinsley’s editor at the Times, Pamela Paul, for allowing him to do so in that newspaper.

“There’s a lot about this piece that is unworthy of the Book Review’s high standards, the sneering tone about Mr. Greenwald, for example; he is called a ‘go-between’ instead of a journalist and is described as a ‘self-righteous sourpuss.’ . . . Surely editing ought to point out gaping holes in an argument, remove ad hominem language and question unfair characterizations; that didn’t happen here.”

By “here,” Sullivan means in the editing of Kinsley’s review. But she herself characterizes the review unfairly. . . . Here is where Kinsley runs afoul of Times doctrine. As this column has noted repeatedly, the paper’s editorial page has championed harsh restrictions on political expression while also claiming that the rights of “media companies” such as the New York Times Co. are absolute or nearly so.

Kinsley’s offense is to question the authority of the press, not its freedom; Paul’s is to allow such dissent to appear in the pages of the New York Times. Sullivan’s title is “public editor,” but what public interest is served when she acts as the Thought Police?

Hey, the gleichschaltung must proceed.

UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED: What if the community stages a conversation about race and it’s the black man who ends up anguishing that he’s said the wrong thing? Maybe “the community” shouldn’t be “staging” conversations. Maybe people should just have them, and not have to fear the Thought Police.

Yeah, crazy, I know.

KIRSTEN POWERS: Liberal Thought Police Usher In New Dark Age. “We have slipped into an age of un-enlightenment where you fall in line behind the mob or face the consequences. How ironic that the persecutors this time around are the so-called intellectuals. They claim to be liberal while behaving as anything but. The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card.”

Gleichschaltung. But my calling card is Nemo me impune lacessit. Hey, maybe I should have some of those printed up.

CURMUDGEON VS. THOUGHT POLICE: Ed Driscoll Interviews Charles Murray.

WHEN YOU CAN’T TRUST THE NUMBERS: Argentine Statistical Hanky Panky Draws IMF Censure.

Argentina, the only country in the world that threatens private economists with jail terms for disputing the government’s obviously bogus inflation numbers, is now the only country in the world to be censured by the IMF for unacceptably bad economic statistics. In a rare move by the 24 member board of the world’s most prestigious financial institution, Argentina’s government was censured for failing to improve the quality of the numbers it uses to calculate things like GDP and, especially, the inflation rate.

The current president’s husband fired the professional economists in the statistical office in 2007. Ever since, the patent bogosity of Argentina’s statistics has undermined the government’s credibility at home and abroad. Inflation is a deadly sensitive subject in Argentina, where past bouts of hyperinflation have wiped out the savings of whole generations. Currently the government claims inflation is no higher than 11 percent; when the thought police aren’t watching them, private economists whisper that the real rate is more than 25.

The statistical chicanery isn’t just for political window dressing; thanks to unrealistically low inflation numbers Argentina has been able to defraud holders of inflation-linked bonds of about $6.8 billion since the games began in 2007, suggests a report in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Nature intends for Argentina to a rich country like Canada, and gave it everything needed for prosperity, but a deeply dysfunctional political culture continues to frustrate the plan.

Luckily, nothing like that could ever happen here.

BRENDAN O’NEILL: Britain’s High-Tech Thought Police. “What country has just sentenced a man to eight months in prison for wearing an anti-police t-shirt, and another man to three months in prison for telling an ‘abhorrent’ joke on Facebook? Iran, perhaps? China? No, it’s Britain. Something has gone horribly wrong in Britain in recent years.”

Tar. Feathers.

MORE ON UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER PRESIDENT JOEL SELIGMAN’S ATTACK ON FACULTY SPEECH: “This is elite academia’s brand of free speech and free academic inquiry in action. It’s a double standard.” As I said yesterday, Seligman’s statement will have, and might as well have been intended to have, a chilling effect on the speech of faculty who are less eminent than Steven Landsburg. I understand, however, that Seligman has also gotten considerable pushback from other senior faculty. That’s as it should be.

UPDATE: Prof. Jacobson comments: “Why did the President of the University feel the need to get involved? Is he the thought policeman? Sure, the President of the University is entitled to an opinion, but it’s clear that he was trying to tamp down a dissenting view using the power of his presidency.”

And here is Landsburg’s response:

President Seligman says that the mission of the university is to promote the free exchange of ideas and lively debate, and I agree. That mission is undermined whenever a member of the academic community elevates raw self-interest over the exchange of ideas.

That’s what Sandra Fluke did. She observed that contraceptives are expensive, and therefore demanded that somebody other than herself and her fellow students pick up the tab. She didn’t even pretend to be interested in debating any of the serious issues raised by the question of when some of us should pick up the tab for others’ expenses.

Sometimes we should, sometimes we shouldn’t, and there’s a lot to be said, discussed, and debated about the particulars. An emotional appeal for one’s preferred outcome, ignoring all the substantive issues, is the exact antithesis of the free exchange of ideas that President Seligman claims to endorse.

Indeed. More at the link.

MICHAEL BARONE: Racial quotas, speech codes and the thought police. “It’s racially discriminatory to prohibit racial discrimination. That’s the bottom line of a decision issued Friday, just before the Fourth of July weekend, by the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. The case was brought by an organization called By Any Means Necessary to overturn a state constitutional amendment passed by a 58 percent majority of Michigan voters in November 2006.”

THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, THOUGHT POLICE WOULD ARREST PEOPLE FOR PASSING OUT LITERATURE THAT OFFENDED RELIGOUS FUNDAMENTALISTS. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Video: Cops arrest Christians for handing out gospel at Dearborn Arab festival?

JANET ALBRECHTSEN: The Mad March Of The Thought Police.

THOUGHT POLICE: “Parties were more fun when George W. Bush was president. You could debate, argue even, praise and condemn, throw darts and laurels and solve the world’s problems over a bottle of wine. No more. At least not in my circles. If you want to stop a conversation in its tracks, just question something President Barack Obama has said or done. It’s not open to debate — and I don’t think that’s healthy, for the country or the president. It’s especially unsettling for a free speech girl like me. The First Amendment is important — but lately, it feels like my right of self-expression is being squashed.”

Plus, L.A. Times: Funny thing about Obama … “Well, maybe not so funny. Comedians are treading carefully as they test the limits of political satire with a black president.”

KATHY SHAIDLE: Ezra Levant 1, Canadian Thought Police 0.

A LOOK AT CANADA’S THOUGHT POLICE.

Plus When “tolerance” trumps freedom.

And, think wrong thoughts, lose your kids. I remember when Canadians were associated with niceness, not ideological thuggery and kangaroo courts.

A READER ON TRENT LOTT: Reader Eric Boysen writes:

You think Trent Lott is a racist and his slip-of-the-tongue just proves it. And every blogger you know agrees with you, so that just validates the proof. And since the blogosphere was first to grab the rope and find a hanging tree, it’s backslaps all around for this hi-tech lynching now, is that it??

“First the verdict, THEN the trial,” shouted the Red Queen.

What you are applauding, sir, is your assumption of Chief of the Thought Police and Head Executioner of any freedom of speech you do not agree with.

You’re too conceited, but you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

My reply was “F*ck that. I saw the video.” But this is absurd enough to answer at a bit more length. It’s not a “trial” because it’s not a “crime.” He said something in public, and he’s being criticized in public. That’s not a threat to free speech, it is free speech. What’s more, Lott has had plenty of time to respond, and has chosen not to except in the lamest and most unsatisfactory way. The result — heat from some people with weblogs — seems to me to be something short of “execution.”

THOUGHT POLICE? “Hate crime police raid 150 homes.”

A few people were arrested for, you know, real crimes. But “most have been arrested on suspicion of making racist threats and of homophobic harassment.” Those could be crimes, of course, if they’re real threats, or real harassment. But the extent of political correctness in Britain makes me wonder.

The photo accompanying the BBC article shows police facing a stereotypically Muslim family; it doesn’t say whether they are victims or perpetrators. Adriana Cronin has more over at Samizdata.

EVE KAYDEN writes on unpopular opinions. I’m not surprised at her experience. While political correctness is real, it’s not as prevalent as people might think: it’s just that the extent to which people disagree is masked by preference falsification, which is of course encouraged by self-appointed thought police. That’s breaking down now, partly because the campus left has so thoroughly discredited itself over the past decade, partly because it’s just gotten, well, dull.