The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


In the aftermath of the horrific murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jews bury their dead. At the same time, the media has re-discovered anti-Semitism, but refuses to acknowledge that this monstrous ideology is not the sole province of right-wing scum. It is true that the killer in Pittsburgh was in fact a right-wing, anti-Semitic lunatic, who hated Donald Trump because his policies were pro-Israel. But that didn't matter for far too many progressives who concluded that Donald Trump, his party, and those who voted for him are somehow culpable for the murders and for anti-Semitism in general. That position is ridiculous, but hardly surprising.

The common media narrative is that all anti-Semitism emanates from Right-Wing extremists. It's the perfect way to paint everyone on the Right as bigots. It also demonstrates dishonest reporting and bias, but that is also hardly surprising.

Anti-Semitism is not solely a right-wing phenomenon. In recent decades, the growth area for anti-Semitic speech and actions has been among the more extreme elements of the Left. Sure, they cloak their anti-Semitism in anti-Israel rhetoric and argue that being "anti-Zionist" is not anti-Semitic. Bull shit!

They telegraph their anti-Semitic positions by unwavering support of the Palestinians—a group that teaches anti-Semitism to their children in kindergarten! They are horrified by Donald Trump's appropriately hard stance on Iran and seem to gravitate toward the leadership of that country—the most virulent anti-Semites on the planet. They provide us with hints of their anti-Semitism when they support the BDS movement in the hopes of crippling Israel's robust economy and thereby hurting the Jewish citizens of the only Middle Eastern democracy. At universities, it's leftists, NOT the right wing, who shout down pro-Israel speakers, intimidate pro-Israel students, and embrace Moslem "activists" who often espouse rabid anti-Semitic sentiment.

In the political arena, the Left and far too many Democrats, refuse to unequivocally condemn Louis Farrakkan—a blatant anti-Semite. It should trouble the Democrats that Keith Ellison, the co-Chair of the DNC, is a close acquaintance of Farrakkan, but apparently that's not an issue. It should trouble the Dems that Maxine Waters, a prominent Democrat politician, refuses to condemn Farrakkan's anti-Semitic slurs, but we get silence from other Dems. It should trouble the Democrats that the Congressional Black Caucus avoids any comment on Farrakkan, but that's just politics. Hypocrisy, anyone?

The editors of the conservative New York Post provide a summary of the crazy talk and hypocrisy that has occurred over days since the Pittsburgh murders:
David Harsanyi at The Federalist finds it “ironic” to see so many of the same liberals who recently fought to prop up Iran, “the world’s most powerful Jew-hating terror state, lecturing us on the importance of combating anti-Semitism.” Some even “decided to dip into a little victim blaming,” suggesting American Jews are “too pro-Israel for their own good.” One even demanded that Jews “start expelling their [pro-Trump] co-religionists for their political opinions.” But “undermining the Democratic Party isn’t an act of anti-Semitism.” Not when its “liberal activist resistance wing is being led by a couple of Louis Farrakhan fangirls.” If you’re not upset about the “vile accusations” incessantly thrown at Benjamin Netanyahu but think calling out George Soros is de facto anti-Semitism, “your main concern is liberalism, not the Jewish people.”
I'll believe that progressives and their party are outraged about anti-Semitism when they express as much concern and condemnation of it when it emanates from the Left, calling out the perpetrators by name. And I'll have far more respect for liberal Jews when they begin to recognize that extremist elements of their progressive movement express a brand of anti-Semitism that is equally virulent and possibly more dangerous over the long term.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Crazy and Dangerous

Two mentally deranged middle-aged men dominated the news over the past weekend. Both were correctly identified as right wing haters. Both were insane. One did a despicable thing but did not injure or kill anyone. The other did far more than that. Driven by the same brand of rabid anti-Semitism we often see emanating from certain countries and groups of Middle Eastern origin, he murdered 11 Jews and wounded many others (including cops) in a hate-filled frenzy in Pittsburgh.

Most decent people were stunned and saddened by this violence, but there are more than a few who have decided to take political advantage of the carnage that occurred. In a way, they contribute to the division and hatred this country faces. Whether it's an idiot talking-head on MSNBC suggesting that somehow Donald Trump is responsible for the actions of two mentally deranged men, or some low-life politician trying to gain political advantage by suggesting that the other party is somehow indirectly responsible because they engage in "hate speech," those who angle for political advantage step over the bodies of the dead to gain cheap political points.

But there are others who have decided that gaining political points isn't enough. In a frenzy of moral preening, they condemn not only Trump, not only the GOP, but also everyone who voted for them—essentially half the country. After all, they believe that anyone who voted for Trump is a hate-filled, white nationalist.* Kurt Schlichter is not shy in commenting on the sheer stupidity of that position:
You know, there's nothing that Normal Americans can identify with more than a guy living in a Ford panel van covered with Trump memes and soccer manifestoes who sends bombs that don't work to Democrats who support policies that don't work. Likewise, Normal people totally identify with – let me get the liberal narrative du jour right here – a Trump-hating freak who shoots up a synagogue. And I think it’s a terrific midterm strategy for our Democrat friends is to keep making that idiotic case. (extreme sarcasm for the benefit of the willfully obtuse)

The Official Media is in a frenzy explaining how Donald Trump personally instructed Kooky Weirdo de Florida to mail pipe bombs to washed up Dem hacks and that nameless garbage being in Pittsburgh via a series of cunningly encrypted dog whistles. “Make America Great Again” is apparently code for “Mail bombs!” Nothing says “Murder Jews” like moving the embassy to Jerusalem and ending the Iran deal.

Oddly, of 63 million Trump voters, only one jerk managed to decode this cipher. The other hated Trump for liking Jews too much. But, as CNNMSNBC’s brain trust and such thinkers as rock legend Joe Scarborough teach us, their crimes are on all of us anyway for some reason.
In a country of 320 million people, there are, sadly, some really crazy people. Some are apolitical, some identify as right-wing, and some identify as left-wing. No political party or ideology has a monopoly on crazy. The vast majority of crazy people are crazy but harmless, but a tiny percentage are crazy and dangerous. Our challenge is to identify and neutralize the latter group. It will not be easy.


*For those who would argue this isn't happening, here's but one of dozens of examples (from an opinion piece in The Week poetically entitled "The Revenge of the Deplorables"):
It may have been politically ill-advised and numerically imprecise for Hillary Clinton to declare at a fundraiser in September 2016 that roughly half of Donald Trump's supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables" characterized by irredeemably "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic" views. But it was undeniably true.

This was obvious at the time, and it's even more so now, after the horrifying events of the past week — including the mailing of a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and the single deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history.

Every president is elected by a distinct electoral coalition, and the coalition that elected Trump included an unusually large number of people with virulently illiberal, extreme right-wing views — the kind of people who normally find both major-party nominees far too blandly centrist to inspire much enthusiasm. Trump spoke to these voters.
So ... an "unusually large number" of Normal Americans [to use Schlichter's characterization] are indirectly responsible for the aforementioned insane acts of violence perpetrated by unhinged actors. This despicable contention demonstrates the conceit, condescension, and abject stupidity of some on the Left. When Leftists whine about incivility, consider that calling a large group "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [or] Islamophobic" because they don't agree with your world view is as much an affront as suggesting that leftists are "unhinged" or "totalitarian." The response may be equally uncivil, but spare me the notion that only one side is culpable in this increasingly vicious war of ideas.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Turn the Volume Down

When James T. Hodgkinson, a deranged Bernie Sanders follower and rabid anti-Trump advocate opened fire on a team of GOP softball players in 2017, critically wounding Rep. Steve Scalise, the trained hamsters in the main stream media were forced to cover the story. They did so, but quickly buried Hodgkinson's party affilation, dropped any mention of politically motivated violence as soon as possible, deemphasized his anti-Trump bona fides, and changed the subject to gun control while the perpetrator quickly dropped from the news. No one blamed Bernie Sanders for Hodgkinson's actions nor should they have. The entire story dropped from the news rather quickly, given that a member of Congress was almost killed by a deranged member of the opposition party.

Yesterday, 56-year-old Cesar Sayoc, a deranged Donald Trump follower and rabid anti-Hillary Clinton advocate, not to mention a criminal with a long rap sheet, was arrested for mailing 12 inoperative pipe bombs to Democrat luminaries. No one was injured. No bombs went off. The trained hamsters in the media leaped on the story with glee while more than a few Democrats immediately blamed Donald Trump for the man's insanity. No one buried Sayoc's party affiliation, emphasizing his love of Trump and hatred of the Clinton as frequently as possible. Almost every media type emphasized Sayoc's political motivation and then extrapolated that to imply that the GOP—and surely not the Dems—advocated violence.

The current Democrat narrative is that Savoc's deranged actions are an indicator of the general "incivility" and "dangerous rhetoric" of Donald Trump, and by extension, every person who supports his policies and/or opposes the Left's attempt to institute their own.

That's rich, given progressive Democrat's often unhinged actions over the past two years, beginning the day after the election and continuing unabated. During that time Trump and his supporters have been continuously called "racists," "white supremacists," "Nazis," "Fascists," "Islamophobes," "misogynists," "Putin puppets," "traitors," anti-immigrant, destroyers of the planet, and selfish, greedy, rapacious capitalists.

The same Democrats who have suggested that "getting in their face" and kicking them while they're down is a viable strategy, now play innocent victims to the GOP oppressor—perfect!

The same Democrats whose leadership (think: Hillary Clinton) have intimated that civility can return only AFTER they are back in power;

The same Democrats who did figurative violence to the reputation of a man (think: Brett Kavanaugh) who was accused of a 36-year old, high school sexual assault without one shred of corroborating evidence;

The same Democrats who refused to condemn the outright violence and destruction perpetrated by Antifa and Black Lives Matter thugs;

The same Democrats who refused to question the assertion that women MUST be believed, no matter how thin their allegation of sexual harassment are and that anyone who questions that assertion is himself or herself anti-woman;

The same Democrats who accused past candidates (think: Mitt Romney) of pushing grandma off a cliff or starving little children (think: George W. Bush) or maliciously separating families (think: Donald Trump).

Those same Democrats now have the unmitigated gall to suggest that incivility has been driven solely by GOP actions that led to the deranged actions of Savoc or, just today, some neo-Nazi lunatic who tragically killed a number of worshippers in a Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Both Savoc and the Neo-Nazi are bad people and deserve righteous condemnation. They'll get it, but they no more exemplify the GOP than Antifa, BLM and #MeToo extremists exemplify the Democrats.

Time for both sides to turn the volume down. Betcha it doesn't happen.

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Caravan

Countries in Central America have significant economic and political problems. Jobs are scarce, governance is often corrupt, gang violence driven by drug cartels is rampant, and people suffer. This situation is not new—in fact, despite decades of U.S. aid that winds up in the pockets of political elites in those countries, the situation hasn't gotten much better and often gets worse. Add to this the new thrust of those on the left to aggressively support and encourage mass migrations from downtrodden countries to modern Western economies, and we have "The Caravan."

Sure, on a relative scale a caravan of 7,000 Guatemalans is small (when compared, for example, to the mass migration of millions of Muslims into Europe), but it represents the same dynamic. The Left argues that it's all about a humanitarian crisis and the immigrants must be allowed to enter. The right argues that national sovereignty must be protected and the caravan must be turned back at the border. In the United States our current laws provide for many mechanisms to game our immigration system, allowing people to enter the country and disappear.

The trained hamsters in the media, who invariably support the Left, are quick to publish heart-rending pictures of down-trodden woman and children, who oddly, represent only a small percentage of the overall immigrant flow. In the main, these immigrant flows are populated by young men, often between the ages of 18 and 35 who are economic refugees. They are looking for work. It's also true that a very small percentage of those men have been proven to be bad actors, but let's not dwell on that.

The media hamsters are oddly uninterested in the many organizations and sponsors who coordinate these massive flows of people. Even a relatively small caravan needs: food and water, travel coordination (they do NOT walk the entire distance), medical care, sanitary facilities, and legal assistance when they reach our borders. Nor are the hamsters concerned about the manner in which vulnerable people are used as props for the sponsors' virtue signaling. Nor are they focused on the creation of yet another Caravan, already forming in Central America.

It appears that the Left wants to use The Caravan as an October surprise that will sway voters to elect Democrats in November. After all, the plight of vulnerable Central American woman and children is heart-wrenching, not to mention that it's media gold. But like the Kavanaugh hearings in September, which backfired badly on the Left, the caravan is likely to yield the same result.

Daniel Henninger comments on the Kavanaugh strategy:
Early voting patterns are fickle as a predictor of final results, but the consistency of the trend reported this week by NBC News and TargetSmart is striking. Early voting by GOP-affiliated voters is running ahead of Democrats in seven key states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, Tennessee and Texas. Early-voting Democrats lead only in Nevada. This pattern is the opposite of assumptions about relative levels of enthusiasm.

Another tea-leafy metric associated with midterm election outcomes is presidential approval. In early September, when Democrats were involved in the normal phase of the Kavanaugh hearings, President Trump’s approval average on Real Clear Politics was at its lowest level since March—40.6%. On Sept. 18, simultaneous with the nation’s daily doses of Ford versus Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s approval began to climb. It now sits at a 44.1% average. It just hit 47% in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Hmmm. Could it be that #MeToo orthodoxy and the new demand that men are guilty until proven innocent just doesn't resonate with the majority of voters? And if that's the case, could it be that uncontrolled (and illegal) mass migration that has been coordinated to disrupt voter sentiment prior to an election might be viewed as a slow motion invasion that must be stopped?

Despite the current Leftist narrative that Americans are inherently racist, xenophobic, and otherwise uncaring, we live in a country whose past and present actions do NOT support that strident meme. The majority of Americans recognize that the plight of many in Central Americans is serious, but at the same time, recognize that we must maintain protected borders, we must honor those immigrants who have followed the rules for entry, and we must label someone a refugee only if their lives are in imminent danger.

Henninger comments on the Caravan:
Conventional wisdom would hold that a migrant wave landing on the U.S. border around Election Day would revive the public-relations debacle the Trump administration endured with the family-separation mess in Texas this summer.

Nor is any effort being spared this week to convey the impression that just as the Republicans last month were antiwoman, this month they’re anti-immigrant ...

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the Honduran caravan is the Kavanaugh nomination all over again. (A second one with thousands is forming now in Guatemala.) It’s a massive event that forces voters to think about immigration, an issue Democrats thought had been weaponized this summer against Republicans.

To borrow an old Marx Brothers joke, the question about the caravan for voters is: Who are you going to believe, media or your own eyes? Tens of millions of Americans have been staring for a week at the images of this caravan and asking: What exactly are we expected to do when it arrives in Texas?
The Democrats refuse to answer that question when asked and are in witness protection when asked for a viable solution on the broader issue of immigration reform. At the moment, the more extreme Leftists in the party propose opening the borders, creating sanctuary cities, and/or abolishing ICE. Not really a solution.

There's one thing that is an absolute guarantee. If every Guatemalan, very Honduran, every Mexican, and every other "refugee/migrant/undocumented immigrant" was allowed to vote legally and indicated that they would cast that vote for the GOP, Democrats would be at the border right now with shovels and hammers, building "the Wall" themselves.


The Dems will probably take control of the Congress in 2019, where it's likely they'll spend all of their time investigating Donald Trump and trying their best to impeach him. Instead, our moral betters in the Democratic party might consider taking some time out to formulate legislation that will allow our country to deal with mass migrations. After all, only the Dems understand this issue and are humanitarians, so who better to draft plans to address it?

Matthew Continetti makes a few suggestions:
...Our moral imagination asks us to put ourselves in the shoes of these families, denizens of failed states that offer neither personal nor economic security, lured here by the promise of a better future, and encouraged by cynical politicians and nongovernmental organizations eager to strike a blow against "The Empire" and its president.

But humanitarianism only gets you so far. In this case, our desire to help strangers unintentionally contributed to a mounting crisis that benefits no nation. And to which we have not responded adequately. Yes, calling in the Army is fine. The agencies on the ground need help. What they ultimately require, however, is congressional action.

Amend the 2008 law to accelerate repatriations, address Flores in legislation that permits indefinite detention of family units, and tighten the standards for asylum. Provide more money for beds, judges, and bureaucrats to speed up legal proceedings. Announce forcefully and unequivocally that it is the citizens of the United States, acting through their elected representatives, who decide the conditions and criteria under which individuals are allowed to enter this nation.
As I mentioned in the body of this post, the Dems are surprisingly quiet on proposing solutions to this issue. If they persist in their passive-aggressive approach to border security and at the same time quietly support the entry of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, they'll be on the wrong side of public sentiment and the wrong side of history. They will pay a political price in 2020. Maybe winning the Congress isn't such a good idea after all, because with that win, comes political responsibility.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


When the Democrats controlled every branch of government at the beginning of the Obama administration, we were told that healthcare in the United States was a mess and that the answer was the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). We were told that medical costs would go down (they didn’t), that you would certainly be able to keep your doctor (you couldn’t), that health insurance would once again be affordable (it wasn’t), and that the cost to the taxpayers would be manageable (they weren’t). The Democrats' health care plan began to collapse almost immediately, requiring politically motivated delays and on-the-fly modifications.

As we approach the 2018 mid-terms and begin the long slog toward the 2020 presidential elections, the leading democratic socialists are again telling us that the solution to the healthcare mess is "BernieCare"—a universal healthcare program proposed by Bernie Sanders in which the government controls everything. The Democrats are currently avoiding calling this a “single player“ plan because it polls very poorly. The American public recognizes that government control of just about anything results and inefficient, costly, and ineffective results. So, the geniuses in the Democratic Party have decided to call it something that polls far better—“Medicare for All." The only problem is, it isn’t.

James Freeman dissects BernieCare and writes:
So the new Democratic strategy is not to say “single payer” even when they mean it. Mr. Sanders is offering what he calls “Medicare for All” even though his plan ends Medicare for everybody. It’s not a drafting error. USA Today notes that the phrase “Medicare for All” polls well and then adds:
But the surveys also show that support erodes when people hear the arguments that the plan could increase taxes or government control. And nearly half of adults surveyed last October falsely assumed they could keep their current insurance under a single-payer plan.

The notion that it’s popular is premised upon people knowing almost nothing about it,” said Matt Bennett, co-founder of the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way. “That’s a problem for a very complicated thing that would transform one-fifth of our entire economy.
It sure is a problem—one that many other Democrats would just as soon not explain until after Election Day.
Because Bernie Sanders and his many followers are unreconstructed socialists, they feel strongly that it is far better to have poor-to-mediocre, costly, and restrictive health coverage for everyone rather than having small percentage of people who remain uncovered. By the way those few people do have access to poor-to-mediocre healthcare, just no specific insurance. And if they qualify under income guidelines, they have access to Medicaid providing them with generally free health coverage. But never mind.

Let’s get back to the basic tenets of “Medicare for all." In reality, BernieCare eliminates Medicare and replaces it with something that is even more costly, less comprehensive, and significantly more restrictive. But hey! It is called “Medicare for All."

Under BernieCare and most of it’s variants,
  • You might like your current doctor, but there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to keep him or her.
  • You might like your existing insurance, but you will not be able to keep it.
  • You might like the ease with which you can access specialists or surgical services, but that access will change dramatically—and not in a good way.
  • You might think that if the program is really bad, you’ll be able to switch to a competitive health insurance program, but you won’t be able to.
  • And finally, you might think that some bureaucratic magic will result in lower costs, but you’d be catastrophically wrong. The Democrats themselves admit that the cost will be in the trillions of dollars, and that taxes will have to rise precipitously to cover those costs.
Freeman continues:
In a new paper, [the White House Council of Economic Advisers ] notes that in order to pay for BernieCare “with the same spending cuts across all existing Federal programs, these cuts would need to be 53 percent across the board in 2022. In other words, without additional taxes, all other programs of the Federal government would need to be cut by more than half.”

Beyond the enormous tax burden, the council also explored the impact on patient care. The paper notes the better survival rates after a cancer diagnosis for patients in the U.S. compared to various European countries often presented as models of more socialized medical systems.

The council also notes U.S. outperformance on longevity of older patients compared to many countries in the European Union. Now on Twitter, Mr. Sanders has the gall to pretend this amounts to an endorsement of his plan, as if BernieCare really does keep Medicare in place and simply stretches it to cover everyone in the country. In fact he imposes fewer choices and complete bureaucratic control on virtually all U.S. patients.

Embedded in the text of BernieCare is the one Sanders promise voters can be confident he will keep: if you like your health plan, you won’t get to keep it.
But hey ... what’s good for Venezuela has got to be good enough for us. Or maybe those of us who see a pending medical and financial disaster might take the lead from democratic activists and chant, “Hey hey, Ho ho, 'Medicare for All' is just for show!”

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Crude Emotionalism

Regular readers of this blog will recognize this aphorism, often attributed to Jonathan Swift:
"You can not reason someone out of a position they never reasoned themselves into in the first place."
Today, reason has been jettisoned by a significant percentage of the body politic. For that matter, "truth" has morphed into something that has no relationship to what used to be called objective truth, but rather to a truth that aligns with a political narrative.

Peter Schwartz comments on this when he writes:
Our postmodernist intellectuals claim that no objective reality exists; there is only the subjective world we create, shaped by the social class to which we belong. While this may seem like an ivory-tower issue, irrelevant to real life, it is actually the premise behind major campaigns in today’s culture — from #MeToo to Black Lives Matter to the campus “safe-space” movement.
The belief that no objective reality exists causes a cascade of odd and potentially harmful behaviors, particularly if those who exhibit those behaviors are decision makers. For example, since a booming economy that has elevated the job-related prospects of many minorities and almost all of the middle class is simply 'one truth,' many progressives continue to believe that the GOP governance that gave us lower taxes and the consequent increased economic activity somehow "oppresses" minorities and the middle class. No matter that facts belie that position, or that polls of minorities and the middle class indicate their general satisfaction with the economy—the progressive 'truth' trumps any clear objective truth.

Schwartz continues:
Feminists regarded the Kavanaugh hearings not as a dispassionate quest for the truth about Ford’s charges, but as a clash between males and females. And in any such conflict, they insist, the decisive factor is not the objective facts, but the need to support the “oppressed” class over the “oppressors.”

The same applies to cases that have given rise to Black Lives Matter. If a white police officer shoots a black suspect, the officer is presumed guilty. There is no commitment to discovering the facts of the case. If it is claimed that the shooting had no justification, that the suspect had posed no threat, that he had plainly surrendered, that he had uttered the words “Hands up, don’t shoot” — then that is the narrative to be upheld, even after a thorough investigation reveals it to be false.

Objective facts don’t matter. The conflict is viewed as being between two social classes — between wielders of “white power” and their black victims — with two very different perspectives on reality. Justice, accordingly, consists not in discovering and evaluating the facts, but in condemning the powerful and defending the powerless.

(Of course, we also have a president who embodies this non-objective mentality. Donald Trump’s militant obliviousness to facts starkly demonstrates the contrast between “It’s true because I can prove it” and “It’s true because I want it to be.”)

The famed legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon has said: “I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.” (Emphasis added.) So it is a woman’s feelings, not the facts, that determine whether rape has occurred. There is supposedly a female way of perceiving the world and a male way — as there is a black way, a white way, a Hispanic way, etc. The truth, then, is not the product of reason, but of crude emotionalism — i.e., the truth is whatever some group feels it is.
What we have experienced over the past few years is, in fact, "crude emotionalism" that jettisons real life facts (or lack thereof) and replaces reality with fantasy. That's why millions honestly believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton for the presidency. That's why additional millions believe that men must prove themselves innocent when unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct arise. That's why still other millions believe that our entire society is systemically racist today, despite 70 years of positive efforts at correcting the racist legacy of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century. And on, and on.

But there are many more millions who reject crude emotionalism and demand a realistic assessment of actual facts. They are unquestionably less loud and far less emotional. They tend not to demonstrate in the streets or accost those they disagree with in mob-like confrontations. They rarely shout "hey, hey, ho ho, [insert objectionable person/event/policy] has got to go." They don't wear pink pussy hats or dress in red Handmaid burkas. They are, in fact, less sure of the rightness of every position they take, relying instead on common sense, objective facts, and long-standing wisdom to guide themselves through a complex world. Until fairly recently, they have remained relatively quiet as crude emotionalism has accelerated.

No more.

Monday, October 22, 2018

We Hate Trump

In an insightful opinion piece, David Gelernter discusses the mid-term elections and the central position taken by the majority of Democrats who are running for office—'I hate Trump and if you do too, vote for me.'

Gelernter writes:
... the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.
Harsh ... but quite accurate. Democrats have veered so far to the left that they now have begun to project the near-constant condescension that the Left heaps on average Americans—people who could care less about politically correct issues like multiculturalism or micro-aggressions or about the left-wing ranting of Hollywood glitterati or Tech titans; people who in their bones know that socialism destroys far more than it creates; people who despise the grievance culture that the Left tries so hard to create; people who recognize and reject the sanctimonious hypocrisy of elite politicians who talk the talk, but never walk the walk. And people who look at Trump's booming economy, better wages, more jobs and a strong international presence, and say, 'Not bad.'

Donald Trump reminds the left that despite its fantasy that a majority of the country is behind them—it isn't. And because the Dems and the Left are becoming increasingly interchangeable, that's a scary reality that is best replaced by fantasy—Russian collusion, for example.

Gelernter concludes:
Granted, Mr. Trump is a parody of the average American, not the thing itself. To turn away is fair. But to hate him from your heart is revealing. Many Americans were ashamed when Ronald Reagan was elected. A movie actor? But the new direction he chose for America was a big success on balance, and Reagan turned into a great president. Evidently this country was intended to be run by amateurs after all—by plain citizens, not only lawyers and bureaucrats.

Those who voted for Mr. Trump, and will vote for his candidates this November, worry about the nation, not its image. The president deserves our respect because Americans deserve it—not such fancy-pants extras as network commentators, socialist high-school teachers and eminent professors, but the basic human stuff that has made America great, and is making us greater all the time.
You don't have to like Donald Trump, you can even hate the man, but his accomplishments cannot be ignored—unless you honor style over substance, words over actions, and intentions over results. Maybe that's the biggest challenge facing the Democrats, regardless of who takes the House in a few weeks.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Three Reasons

In a post last week, I discussed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi—an Islamist who also is a strong proponent of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, a past confidant of Osama Bin Laden, and oh BTW, a very occasional op-ed writer for WaPo who the media insists on calling a "journalist" and a "reformer." I suggested the the Saudi murder of Khashoggi is an example of one Middle Eastern bad actor killing another Middle Eastern bad actor, and that the Democrat and GOP faux outrage over the act seems a little extreme. I also noted that there is far more to all of this than a killing, and that the real truth, whatever it is, is unlikely to surface. It is wheels within wheels.

The Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd, along with the few remaining #NeverTrumpers in the GOP, are clutching their pearls and accusing Donald Trump of complicity in all of this. That's to be expected, but they go further and demand harsh sanctions against a bad guy ally who just happens to be geopolitically necessary.

Ben Weingarten asks a few pertinent questions:
Why has the media and much of the political establishment made the presumed murder of an Islamist Saudi dissident on Turkish soil a defining issue in American foreign policy?

Jamal Khashoggi is not a U.S. citizen, despite his past residence in Virginia, nor is he a lover of liberty, despite his criticism of Saudi Arabia’s despotic regime. He previously served that regime as a mouthpiece for, and adviser to, the alleged al-Qaeda-tied Saudi intelligence leader Turki bin Faisal. Khashoggi mourned the death of Osama bin Laden, whom Khashoggi had been granted unusual levels of access for numerous interviews. Khashoggi was also an ardent proponent of political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Needless to say, one wonders why Khashoggi was permitted to enter the United States and handed a column at The Washington Post given this background, particularly at a time our media claims acute sensitivity to foreign influence. One also wonders why so many in the media are quick to fawn over such a figure given his regressive views.

... surely our media and political establishment are not blind to the brutality and censorship that characterizes the regimes of the Islamic world, whether in Riyadh, Ankara, or Tehran. Nor are they deaf to the proxy war taking place in any of a number of theaters with Iran, intense jockeying for relations with the Trump administration and much else that divides Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab nations like Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on the one hand, and Turkey and Qatar on the other.
So ... why all the hysteria?

Weingarten provides three reasons why the volume has been turned up to 11 on this incident:
First, Khashoggi is being used as a cudgel against President Trump’s foreign policy.
The Saudis are a primary ally in the war against Islamic terror and its primary sponsor, Iran. The political establishment was infuriated that Trump unwound Barack Obama's Iran "deal" and would like nothing better than to see Trump's Saudi gambit fail, particularly because it has hamstrung Iran and makes the actions of the Obama administration vis a vis Iran look ridiculous.

Here is a sample of Khashoggi's writing in WaPo:
There can be no political reform and democracy in any Arab country without accepting that political Islam is a part of it … the only way to prevent political Islam from playing a role in Arab politics is to abolish democracy, which essentially deprives citizens of their basic right to choose their political representatives …

It is wrong to dwell on political Islam, conservatism and identity issues when the choice is between having a free society tolerant of all viewpoints and having an oppressive regime.
The "political Islam" Khashoggi refers to is The Muslim Brotherhood's brand of Islam—the one Barack Obama supported in their takeover of Egypt early in his first term and one that is absolutely, positively intolerant of any opposing political (or religious) views. The very same one that led to rampant anti-Semitism and anti-Christian sentiment in Egypt along with widespread repression in the Arab world's biggest country. But hey, Khashoggi is a "reformer," right?

Weingarten continues with his discussion of the reasons for all this hysteria:
Second, casting [Saudi Price Mohammad] bin Salman as a murderous dictator feeds into one of the establishment’s favorite narratives, that Trump embraces authoritarians and harbors authoritarian tendencies himself. The counter of course is that foreign policy requires partnering at times with unsavory regimes that reject our values in order to advance our greater interests, and Trump understands this.

Such concerns were evidently subordinated when the Obama administration was consummating the Iran Deal, supporting the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and all manner of jihadists in Libya, and engaging in the Russian reset. Certainly the hundreds of thousands dead in Iran-backed Syria, where America’s chief contributions included arming ISIS and ceding control to Russia, are a testament to the establishment’s comfort with setting aside values when pursuing its interests. Most absurd of all among a press frequently blinded by its Trump hatred is the suggestion that Trump actually inspired the Saudis’ alleged actions.
The elites and their media hamsters are outraged over the lies of the Saudis, but were quite sanguine about the lies associated with a different set of Middle Eastern murders. The Obama administration blatantly lied about the cause of the attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four American citizens, including the U.S. ambassador, and the media yawned or looked the other way.

Finally, Weingarten notes:
Third, the media believes in protecting its own, and virtue-signaling. Threatening a journalist — if that journalist isn’t a conservative, and the person threatening him isn’t a leftist — is the surest way to draw the media’s ire. The pile-on in this case for not just the media, but also for major U.S. corporations, to cut ties with the Saudis indicates the social pressure is strong among the progressive elite to reject the Saudis on supposed moral grounds, given the alleged murder of a romanticized supposed “reformer” in exile, notwithstanding the West’s commerce with other similarly violent regimes abroad. The media also loves stoking the flames of the narrative that Trump wishes to shut down dissent. If he tolerates the Saudis doing so, in the media’s eyes, all the more reason to attack.
All three reasons sound reasonable to me, and that in no way suggests that the Saudi are innocent in all of this. As Weingarten notes, "... [intelligent and pragmatic] foreign policy requires partnering at times with unsavory regimes that reject our values in order to advance our greater interests, and Trump understands this."

With their non-stop posturing and continuous virtue signaling, the elites have much to learn and little to contribute as this episode unfolds.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Red Undertow

Just a few months ago, the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media proclaimed that the 2018 mid-term elections were to be a progressive triumph. A "blue wave" was coming and it would wash away the GOP and provide a path to a new era of progressive governance. The House would be solidly Democrat and the Senate would follow. As a consequence, Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh would be impeached (never mind that there are absolutely no grounds for doing that), and a slew of "investigations" (launched by Dem stars like Gerald Nadler and Adam Schiff) would excoriate everyone and everything in the Trump administration—all "for the good of the country," of course.

In 2020, an unnamed "democratic socialist" would win the presidency and we'd be a step closer to the utopia that leftists always seem to promise but never, ever deliver.

It is true that history is on the side of the opposition party in all mid-terms. And history is always on the side of the Dems, isn't it?

All of this stuff could happen. In fact, it's likely that some of it will, but ...

... that was before the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media decided that Trump Derangement Syndrome would define their every decision; before they decided that differences in judicial philosophy justified viciously destroying a good man's reputation based on a 36-year old sexual accusation* that was so thin that not a single piece of corroborating evidence could be found; before 'guilty until proven innocent' was the guiding philosophy of certain Democrat Senators; before "shut up" was the operative demand levied against an entire gender, and before ugly mobs (yes ... 'mobs' is the right word) accosted conservatives in restaurants and other public places and in the halls of congress.

Many observers (including a few nervous Dems) believe the Dems have gone too far, and as a consequence, the blue wave has gone from a Hurricane Michael 30-footer to a ripple that might occur when an frog falls into swamp water. The Dems may still win a house majority (after all, history is on their side for mid-terms) but it won't be as "awesome" as predicted. There is almost no chance they'll take the Senate and may in fact lose seats there.

But what if current trending accelerates, and a non-trivial percentage of African Americans, Latinos and independents express their general displeasure with the Dems' psychodrama coupled with their general support for a Trump economy that is "awesome" by voting red rather than blue. And wait, the reliably Democratic Labor Union cohort is now as likely to vote Red as Blue. OMG—a Dem nightmare!

Kim Strassel comments:
After 2016, but especially after Kavanaugh, Democrats should be asking whether an increasing focus on identity politics is actually enlarging their coalition. The more explicitly you target specific identities, the more likely you are to alienate the identities against which they're implicitly framed. As Nate Cohn of the New York Times wrote in 2016, one way to think about Trump's victory was that white working-class people started voting like a minority group — and were 40 percent of the electorate.

And one way to think about the Red Undertow is that while women make up half the electorate, so do men. If something runs up the women's vote but threatens the other half of the country, it's likely to be at best an electoral wash. Or worse, if some of the women in the electorate think of their brothers and fathers, husbands and sons, whose fortunes are inextricably tied to their own.
Funny thing about an "undertow." If you know how to manage it, you can navigate its dangers easily. But if you don't, you drown. A "red undertow" has begun to effect this election cycle, but instead of handling it with wisdom, the Dems swim against it, and if they tire and begin to go down, they have already developed a strategy that is heavy on excuses but very weak on understanding their actual weaknesses.

If the Dems fail to gain majorities, "It'll be "gerrymandering!" claims The Huffington Post in a tweet. It's also a certainty that the validity of the election will be questioned, or maybe the Russians (or the Chinese) will be blamed once again, or possibly it'll be the fault of the deplorables who have the gall to vote for red candidates in the midwest. I honestly think that the Dems believe that Leftist rule is manifest destiny and any denial of that destiny is impossible, unless evil forces are at play.

Based on what we've seen in recent months, along with a veiled threat of violence and extreme derangement, there may, in fact, be evil forces at play. They're just not coming from the source that Democrats are far too quick to identify.


* In what is just another example of the breathtaking hypocrisy of the Dems, their trained hamsters in the media, and the #MeToo movement, it's worth noting the silence associated with a legitimate, corroborated accusation of sexual harassment levied against DNC co-Chair (and serial anti-Semite) Keith Ellison. The accusation against Ellison is current—not 36 years in the past. There are corroborating text messages and veiled threats, there is a medical report, there are three witnesses who state that the victim mentioned the attack to them, there is the victim's son who also said he was aware of the attack at the time. Now, it's entirely possible that Ellison is innocent of the charge, but 'ya gotta believe the woman,' right?

Where are the #MeToo protesters? Where are the outraged Dem politicians? Where are the crazed women accosting Ellison along the campaign trail (he running for -- wait for it -- AG of Minnesota) telling him he's ruined their childrens' lives? Where are the broken windows and paint stained walls at Ellison campaign headquarters? Where are the creepy red burka'd Handmaids standing watch over Ellison's speeches?

They have all magically vanished because—Ellison is in the right political party and fits the right identity politics profile—intersectional and all that.

Friday, October 19, 2018


Accusations of "fascism" are what the Left uses to electrify its adherents and frighten the general public. In this context, the Left claims that Donald Trump is a "fascist" and the country is under threat as a consequence. As they do with the much overused pejorative term, "racism," the Left trots out the word "fascism" every time Donald Trump expresses an opinion (however ill-crafted or dumb) that they disagree with.

For example, Trump is absolutely correct when he notes media bias and the strong predisposition of the trained hamsters to produce 'fake news.' That isn't "fascistic attacks on the press" as the left claims. American media continues to have freedoms and broad protections almost unheard of in any other countries. Trump is expressing an opinion (accurate in my view) and at the same, his administration is far more transparent and accessible to the media than his predecessors'. He's harshly critical of the media, no doubt, but given their blatant bias, his criticism is justified.

In a typical scare piece in the New York Times, Yale professor Jason Stanley, tells us all that "If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the United States, You Should Be." It's nonsense interwoven with Trump Derangement Syndrome to be sure, re-enforcing the notion that progressives are the true "anti-fascists. It's interesting, BTW, that the militant/extremist arm of the Left, Antifa, uses violence and intimidation tactics (not to mention black uniforms and masks) that have been adopted from the play book of true fascists.

David Bernstein at Instapundit comments:
Blustery quotes from Trump aren’t “fascism.” You know what actual fascism looks like? A judiciary controlled by the executive, militarization of civilian life, rubber-stamp legislature, no free elections, government control of industry, severe restrictions on press freedom, and cooptation of religious entities by the state. You know how many of these we have now? None. Nor is there any real threat of any of these occurring. Even if we were to accept Stanley’s claim that Trump uses fascist-style rhetoric, fascism is not looming in America. This sort of nonsense should be beneath a serious academic, but, hey, it’s 2018, and everyone has gone crazy.
There's a lot nonsense masquerading as serious commentary coming out of academia at the moment. Then again, it could be argued that's always been the case.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bad Guys

In the aftermath of 9-11, it became increasingly clear that influential Saudis, many connected directly or indirectly to the Saudi Royal Family, were instrumental in the funding (and possibly the planning) of the al Qaeda attack on the twin towers. Approximately 3,000 Americans died in the worst foreign attack on American soil, and yet, the George W. Bush administration essentially gave the Saudis a pass. No senior Saudi was indicted and few of the financiers were punished. The Obama administration did no better, although it appears they liked the mad Mullahs in Iran a bit better than they liked the Saudis. Obama and his team of 2s did kill Osama bin Ladin, but again, the Saudis behind bin Ladin walked away.

In the past week, we're seeing yet another example of the Saudis in action, peppered with a strong dose of sanctimonious hypocrisy from both the GOP and Democrats.

There is very strong evidence that a rabid supporter of the radical, American hating Islamist group, The Muslin Brotherhood (a group that is the sworn enemy of the Saudi Royal family) has been killed and dismembered in the Saudi embassy in Turkey. The purported "journalist" who was killed, Jamal Khashoggi, was hardly that, but he was an Islamist and a cohort of Osama bin Ladin. He hated the West and was violently against any of the reforms offered by another Saudi actor, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Crown Prince is a reformer of a sort, but he isn't Mahatma Gandhi. Like all Saudi leaders he uses every means at his disposal to defeat his enemies and prevail in a political atmosphere where back-stabbing enemies are around every corner. To state it indelicately, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pissed off a lot of influential Saudis with his 'reforms' and with jailing and asset confiscation of more than a few influential members of the Royal Court.

What we have here is a bad guy who is somehow involved in the killing of another bad guy.

Watching this story evolve is interesting. You'd almost think that there is more to it that a simple murder of a political opponent. For example,

If Mohammed bin Salman ordered the death of Jamal Khashoggi, why on earth did he have it done in the Saudi Embassy? That's beyond stupid.

And if Jamal Khashoggi was convinced he was targeted (evidence seems to indicate he believed that), why on earth would he enter the embassy of a country that had targeted him (spare me the narrative of a wedding license)? That's also beyond stupid.

And why are politicians so worked up over all of this? There seems to be a lot more sanctimonious outrage over one bad guy killing another bad guy than there was over the deaths of thousands of American citizens on our own soil.

And why are the trained hamsters in the main stream media soft pedaling Jamal Khashoggi's Islamist background. Why is he referred to as a "journalist" rather than an active member of an extremist group that advocates the violent overthrow of the West?

Maybe this entire incident is an example of stupid is as stupid does, but I have the feeling that there are wheels within wheels.

The Trump administration is correct in proceeding cautiously here. The truth is not likely to come out. Our politicians will hyperventilate and the trained hamsters will blame Trump (it's already started with this piece), but in the end, the old saying "Countries don't have morals, they have interests" may very well be the guiding light for this sordid affair.


Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks this whole affair is suspicious. Liz Shield comments:
Keep in mind we are getting much of our information about what happened to journalist Muslim Brother and friend of Osama bin Laden Jamal Khashoggi from Turkey. Erdogan is a bad hombre so believe his security apparatus at your own intellectual peril. The political backdrop of this "scandal" is Iran/Turkey/Qatar vs U.S./Israel/Saudi Arabia. Guess which side the media is on? Ben Rhodes' echo chamber is alive and kickin'. Always remember how the media is helping this story along.

The WaPo, where Khashoggi was allowed to share his propaganda under a "respectable" banner, has published his last dispatch.

One major question I have is why would the Saudis execute this operation the way they did if indeed they did what the media is accusing them of doing. Obviously, the Turks are no friends of theirs and their Turkish embassy was bugged just like every embassy in the world is bugged by the host country, so why whack him in the embassy rather than just quietly "handling it"?

This story has become such a big deal, with so much media pressure to punish Saudi Arabia, get rid of MBS, etc., it's suspicious.
Although this is a news story, the media obsession with it and their attempt to whitewash Khashoggi is odd. What exactly is going on here? It's absolutely not what it seems.

Could it be that powerful interests are somehow threatened by Mohammed bin Salman and want him gone. Could it be that the Iranians are threatened with Saudi pushback and are involved in all of this? Are the Turks to be believed in any of this? Lots of questions—no real answers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


When you think that things in the through-the-looking-glass world of the left can't get any more ridiculous, they get more ridiculous. Stepping up to challenges (after years of delay) to her claim that she is of Native American "heritage", Liz Warren took a DNA test. She might (I emphasize might) be 1,024th native American. Because many of Liz' followers appear to be innumerate, here's a graphic representation of Liz' claim. Each "o" represents one of Liz' ancestors over 10 generations who are NOT native American:


and here's the number of Liz' ancestors who might be native American


Risking numbers, Warren is less than 1/10th of 1 percent Native American or by her own testing, about 0.00009766 of her DNA is of the right type.

Consider for a moment, your personal heritage. If a fairly large number of your recent ancestors are Egyptian, you'd readily refer to yourself as coming from that heritage. It makes sense. But if 1 in 1024 over 10 generations lived on the Nile and was probably Egyptian, yours would be a VERY dubious claim indeed. But whatever ...

Unless ... you make the claim with intent to use it to gain some advantage. That's called cheating and it's not cool. Even worse, to use terminology that I suspect Liz would appreciate, it's "cultural appropriation!"

Liz Warren did it to gain advantage in the academic world, where identity politics rules, and people of certain heritage are given preference over people with less desirable heritage. She denies that, of course, but why else was her Native American heritage prominently noted in Liz' bio at Harvard.

I recognize that this entire kerfuffle is silly. After all, Liz is entitled to exaggerate her heritage—it's a little white lie, right? But Liz is not entitled to gain an advantage using that little white lie, particularly when she may have cost another actual Native American a position at Harvard.

David Harsanyi summarizes nicely:
I don’t much care about Warren’s ethnicity, but she is not, in any genuine sense, a racial or ethnic minority. Not in blood. Not in experience. Under her standards, how many Americans would qualify as Native American? Or put it this way: is being 1/1,024th African enough to claim “minority” status in a professional setting? I’m asking for the liberals who believe race-based hiring is an important means of facilitating diversity and ensuring fairness.
In fact, None other than the New York Times points out that "average white person in America has nearly double the amount of American Indian DNA (0.18%) as Elizabeth Warren (0.098%). So by Liz Warren's dubious standards, on average we're all Native Americans now.


In response to Warren's announcement that DNA tests have vindicated her as a 1/1024th Cherokee, the real Cherokee Nation responded with a less than congratulatory press release:
"A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person's ancestors were indigenous to North or South America. Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is prove. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

- Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.
But I suppose making a "mockery" of DNC testing is S.O.P. for a senator who makes a mockery of her job.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

SJWs and NPCs

Although it's difficult to find the hardest hit among those on the Left who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome and its many offshoots (e.g., Kavanaugh Derangement Syndrome), social justice warriors (SJWs) certainly percolate to or near the top of the list. Champions of extreme political correctness, SJWs are prima facie evidence of posturing progressivism. The journey of most SJWs begins on a college campus, where they adopt a combination of identity politics, intolerance toward other political positions and ideas (the recent case of Kanye West comes to mind), and a growing certainty that they occupy a higher moral plain. They believe in "activism" in all things, even though they rarely follow up with concrete and workable solutions for the real and imagined problems they identify. Their mantra almost always identifies a "victim" who can be saved by a combination of rigid rules of behavior, the destruction of the victim's "oppressor," and big intrusive government.

In an amusing take on SJWs. Brandon Morse compares them to NPCs in the gamer world. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, NPC or "non-player characters" are created by a game designers, coded into the game to perform specific functions with predictable characteristics, and react in predictable ways to outside stimuli, normally provided by a human gamer. Morse describes SJWs this way:
SJW’s aren’t known for their individualism. All of their beliefs seem to be uniform no matter which college or protest you go to. Even if you bring the facts that debunk their beliefs, they can’t or won’t deviate from “their truth.” They think what they’re told with seemingly no capacity for critical analysis, and once their dialogue tree runs out on a certain subject they either clam up or being shouting a phrase over and over again like “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” “HEY HEY HO HO (insert thing) HAS GOT TO GO,” or “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!”

You get the idea.

This is awfully reminiscent of the way NPC’s interact with gamers in the virtual world. Outside the bounds of what the programmers gave them, the NPC’s aren’t capable of doing much else. Talk to one enough and eventually, they’ll run out of things to say, and begin repeating the same phrase over and over again. They even made a joke about it in the Jumanji sequel.
SJWs get their programming from a variety of left wing sources and execute it flawlessly. Other than the stimuli they're programmed to recognize, they have trouble processing new data that runs counter to their programming. Their response and actions are of the algorithmic kind—often tedious and always predictable.

Gamers are working hard on machine learning techniques that will provide NPCs with a veneer of intelligence. But if you probe a bit, NPCs will remain kind of empty.

The Left has worked hard to develop an army of SJWs and have given them the necessary talking points to provide them with a veneer of intelligence. But if you probe a bit, SJWs exhibit the same emptiness as NPCs in the gamer world.

Morse concludes with this:
While I’m in full belief that even SJWs have the capacity for rational and critical thought, the fact that they choose not to employ it, even in the face of brutal facts, earns them the label of NPC. If your entire identity revolves around the superficial, and your entire belief system revolves around instructions from someone else, then you’re about as good as a computer program. If you won’t engage in civil debate, and instead scream tired phrases at people when you run out of things to say, then there’s no person there, just a shell that somebody else is speaking through.
As a guy who has written his share of code and also written more than a few books on the subject, I have to agree.

UPDATE (10/20/2018):

Apparently, the NPC meme is going viral across social media and SJWs have been triggered by it. Facebook, for instance, is now censoring the use of the meme. It appears that SJWs don't like to be mocked but are perfectly willing to mock anyone or anything that opposes their world view. Poor babies :(

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Political Correctness—Revisited Yet Again

I guess I was ahead of the curve (e.g., see here, here, here, and here), or maybe just part of it, but it looks like a significant majority of all Americans is fed up with the new political correctness. Joy Pullmann reports:
Eighty percent of Americans say “political correctness is a problem in our country,” according to newly released data from a nationally representative poll drawing upon 8,000 survey respondents, 30 one-hour interviews, and six focus group. Some of this data, compiled with help from YouGov, has been newly released in a report called “Hidden Tribes.”

Objections to political correctness are even stronger among racial minorities and those who have never attended college. High-income college graduates, especially those with advanced degrees, are the Americans most likely to think political correctness is not a problem. These are also the group most likely to label themselves atheists or agnostics, and identify as politically liberal.

Contrary to a common cultural narrative, the poll finds large majorities of Americans of all ages, income levels, and racial backgrounds oppose political correctness, even while 82 percent also think “hate speech” is a problem. This may suggest Americans believe thought and speech censorship is not the best way to address rude and discriminatory behavior.
In a post way back in April, 2016, I described "Posturing Progressivism." In it, I wrote about a surprisingly honest piece in left-leaning
For those who are unfamiliar with it, is a website that presents news, commentary, and entertainment from a decided liberal-left perspective. It celebrates political correctness as the gospel, is humorless when anyone violates its worldview, even in jest, has a generally condescending attitude toward any neanderthal who disagrees with the Bernie Sanders crowd, and is otherwise activist in nature.

It was therefore somewhat surprising when Emmett Rensin published a serious piece at Vox that decried "... a smug style in American liberalism.” Rensin writes:
“It [liberalism] is a way of conducting politics, predicated on the belief that American life is not divided by moral difference or policy divergence — not really — but by the failure of half the country to know what’s good for them ...”

“Nothing is more confounding to the smug style than the fact that the average Republican is better educated and has a higher IQ than the average Democrat. That for every overpowered study finding superior liberal open-mindedness and intellect and knowledge, there is one to suggest that Republicans have the better of these qualities.”
It is exactly the "smug style in American liberalism” that drives 80 percent of the public to have reservations about political correctness and the manner in which is is now applied in the American culture. Pullmann notes that a mere 8 percent of the American public can be characterized as “progressive activists.” They're a noisy group, for sure, but their pronouncements don't resonate across the broader body politic as well as they'd like to believe. She writes:
“Progressive activists are the only group that strongly backs political correctness: Only 30 percent see it as a problem,” wrote Harvard University lecturer Yascha Mounk in an overview of the poll results at The Atlantic.

Compared with the rest of the (nationally representative) polling sample, progressive activists are much more likely to be rich, highly educated—and white. They are nearly twice as likely as the average to make more than $100,000 a year. They are nearly three times as likely to have a postgraduate degree. And while 12 percent of the overall sample in the study is African American, only 3 percent of progressive activists are. With the exception of the small tribe of devoted conservatives, progressive activists are the most racially homogeneous group in the country ...

It has been well-established that a U.S. college degree doesn’t add any economic value to graduates, on average ... [But it] is a gatekeeper to a certain cultural club.

That cultural club’s exclusivity is extremely apparent to the people who don’t consider themselves part of it. That would be a supermajority of Americans. If the 2016 election didn’t do this — and it obviously didn’t — realizing this is important to the long-term political success of the Democratic Party, which increasingly behaves as if the cultural norms of the 8 percent of “progressive activist” Americans should be shoved down the rest of the country’s throat.
PC has become all about:
  • Shoving ridiculous (near insane) ideas like "micro-aggressions" or "racist dog whistles" down the throats of the broader majority.
  • Suggesting that "white privilege" is something that invalidates the opinion of any white person.
  • Arguing that women are inherently more honest than men and are therefore to be believed unequivocally when they hurl unsubstantiated sexual allegations.
  • Policing speech to the extent that some people are frightened to express their ideas if those ideas violate prevailing leftist PC thinking.
  • Modifying history if it doesn't conform to modern-day PC think.
  • Dismissing those who do not adopt the PC agenda of many progressives as less intelligent, less deserving, and less of a person.
PC has become elitist in the ugliest characterization of that term. That's why in their crowd-sourced wisdom, 80 percent of Americans reject all or part of it.



There was a time when many people were cowed by leftist PC think. That's changing rapidly and might best be exemplified by this tweet, offered in the aftermath of the Kavanaugh cesspool:
There was a time, not so long ago, when many GOP politicians wouldn't have had the guts to respond the way Senator Cassidy did. It's a very good sign that a tipping point has been reached.

Friday, October 12, 2018


I always find it interesting that many progressives and the political party they support have difficulty understanding that lower tax rates, a business friendly administration, and reduced regulation allow an economy to flourish. They can't seem to make the simple connection that a good economy benefits everyone, rich, poor, and in-between. Instead, they tell anyone who will listen that tax breaks benefit only the rich and that "crumbs" are offered to all others. Among the more extreme democratic socialist crowd (a growing minority of all Democrats), capitalism is the villain, to be replaced by overbearing government control of businesses and the economy. Progressives assiduously avoid asking the people of Venezuela how that worked out for them.

I mention all of this because a flourishing economy has caused something interesting to happen in the African American community, a constituency that has been solidly Democratic for the past 60 years. Last month, the unemployment rate among blacks was 6 percent—the second lowest rate in recorded history (the lowest rate in recorded history occurred in May of this year). Looks like the Trump economy is working for African Americans, who have seen bith job growth and wage growth during Trump's tesure.

That simple reality has caused at least a few African Americans to begin asking who their political allies really are. Under the high tax regime championed by Democrats, the economy struggles. Jobs are scarce and black people become ever-more dependent on the government. But when jobs are plentiful, black people (along with just about everyone else) are freed from dependency—and that's a good thing.

One of the most visible African Americans to have the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Donald Trump has done an excellent job in helping black people gain meaningful employment and break the chains of dependency is Kanye West. In fact, West, along with former NFL great, Jim Brown, visited the White House yesterday and praised Trump for at least some of his economic and legal reform efforts.

Oh my! Progressives keep telling us that trump is a "racist," and yet, Kanye and Jim went for a visit. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

Progressives were not pleased. In fact, they were pissed. You'd think that they simply won't countenance alternative thinking when it comes to black people. Dems worry, I suspect, that Kanye might influence some African Americans to vote their wallets, and that just might result in 2018 mid-term votes for candidates with R after their names. They worry that people like Kanye might be the catalyst for a major #Walkaway movement.

So, in the long tradition of leftists everywhere, Kanye is now persona non gratia. and fair game for ad hominem attacks. Over the past few days, progressive talking heads have called him "insane," a "house negro," "anti-intellectual," and a “token Negro of the Trump administration.” His predictably pro-Democrat fellow celebrities are less than pleased as well. Patrice Lee Onwuka reports:
Beyonce and Jay-Z reportedly have severed all ties with Kanye and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, over Kanye’s vocal support of President Trump and Kim’s visits to the White House to discuss criminal justice reform. Comedian D.L. Hughley compared this meeting to that of a black slave and his white master.

Okaaay, then.

In another context, the Left's reaction to Kanye might be characterized as "racist." After all, they seem to imply that he has no right to express himself, particularly if he varies from the party line. Once he does that, the name-calling can begin.

UPDATE (10-14-2018):

Michael Goodwin examines the reaction of the trained hamsters in the media to Kanye and what it might mean:
[The left-wing media's] venomous and personal attacks on West reminded me of the left’s unhinged smears of Brett Kavanaugh and Trump.

Some sunk to citing West’s documented mental-health issues and many invoked his race in pejorative terms, making them especially outrageous.

A black anchor on CNN accused West of putting on a “minstrel show,” a black pundit on the same panel called him an “attention whore” and “the token Negro of the Trump administration.”

Another chipped in with, “Kanye West is what happens when Negroes don’t read.”

A black New York Times columnist said the White House scene was “white supremacy by ventriloquism” and a white MSNBC anchor called it “an assault on our White House.”

Whoa, Nellie. What nerve did he touch?

The first thing to notice are the double standards. If conservatives criticized a black liberal in those words, the liberal media would let loose a chorus of “racism” and ­demand that every Republican ­denounce the commentators.

But this time, it was the liberal ­media itself making the offensive comments, so Democratic politicians were not required to take a stand. Naturally, none did.

Yet it was the sheer volume of the hatred, and the uniformity of it, that really got my attention. What’s this really about?

My conclusion is that the outpouring of wrath suggests the answer. To wit, if Kanye West is important enough to be targeted by so many in the media for character assassination, he must also be dangerous.

And if he’s dangerous, it’s in the same way that conservative speakers are dangerous to college snowflakes. Any dissent from the ruling coercive liberalism might be contagious, and therefore must be silenced. Diversity of thought cannot be permitted.

So we can assume the left fears West could be a leading indicator that Trump’s appeal to the working and middle classes is cutting across racial barriers.

And precisely because Democrats are making a fetish of race, gender and identity politics, a prominent racial and cultural force like Kanye West leaving the fold could be the start of a movement toward conservative values. Which is why he must be silenced by any means necessary.
Yeah ... that explains things rather nicely.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

HRC Descending

It must be difficult being Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC). There she was in 2016, the presumptive first woman president. After all, every poll told us she would win; the trained hamsters in the media insisted she was a foregone conclusion. Sure, her campaign kneecapped an aging communist (oops, democratic socialist) who probably would have beaten her in the primaries if the fight was fair (Hillary never fights fair). But that's internal DNC stuff. She had more money and infinitely more media support than her GOP opponent. But. She. Lost.

For the next two years, Hillary Clinton told us that the guy who soundly beat her is illegitimate. That the electoral college (you know, the rules that she agreed to play by) should be abolished; that the meany Russkies plotted against her; that half the country hates women or are stupid or deplorable.

And now, she says this (as reported in USA Today):
"You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about," Clinton told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "That's why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that's when civility can start again."

Clinton said that Senate Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., "demeaned the confirmation process" and "insulted and attacked" Christine Blasey Ford – who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about a sexual assault she alleges Kavanaugh committed in 1982 – along with other "women who were speaking out."

Let's dissect this idiocy one sentence at a time:
You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about ...
Last time I checked, it was the Left, not the GOP that demanded that statues and people be destroyed because they don't conform to the Left's current world view. Conservatives don't like the positions taken by those on the Left, but I haven't recently seen a conservative mob try to silence any Leftist from speaking on a college campus, and I really haven't seen any GOP politicians suggest (as Maxine Waters has) that threatening their opponents is good politics. Nor have I heard GOP bigwigs, like past AG Eric Holder, say, "When they go low, we kick them!" to the cheers of party faithful. Nor have I heard any GOP politicians suggest that an entire gender "Just shut up!" as Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) did.
That's why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that's when civility can start again."
Little children sometimes throw temper tantrums when they don't get what they want. Of course, that kind of behavior is unacceptable, but understandable. But what HRC is telling us is that the Dems will act like spoiled children, throwing a special kind of tantrum until they get their power back—power they lost by being dishonest, ineffective, and generally incompetent as leaders.

Clinton said that Senate Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., "demeaned the confirmation process" and "insulted and attacked" Christine Blasey Ford – who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about a sexual assault she alleges Kavanaugh committed in 1982 – along with other "women who were speaking out."
Hillary Clinton has a strong reputation for bending the truth. She reinforces this assertion. The GOP bent over backward to accommodate Blasey Ford; subjected her to the most cursory interrogatory, and never directly questioned her veracity, only her very thin and unsubstantiated accusations. The "other women who were speaking out" had accusations that were so preposterous, even the NYT wouldn't publish them, and they later recanted or modified those accusations under penalty of perjury.

But Hillary persists in her pathetic quest to somehow vindicate herself. In my view, she should take the advice that Senator Mazie Hirono directed at the opposite gender.


Daniel Henninger comments on the descent of the Democratic party itself:
The professional network of the Code Pink Left, typified by the George-Soros-funded woman who trapped Sen. Jeff Flake in an elevator, has virtually no interest in substantive policy goals.

The Code Pink Left specializes in creating political story lines or “frames”—such as that conservatives are weak on sexual abuse—which it promotes with theatrical protests, distributes on social media, and depends on mainstream media for constant repetition. This is something familiar. It is called agitprop.

The goal is to make the broader electorate nervous and doubtful. It worked. Many voters are now nervous about the Democrats’ street-fighting men and women. Every Republican from Donald Trump down to dogcatcher is running against the Democrats’ “angry mob” of Senate screamers and restaurant marauders.

What about the alt-right’s role in the new incivility? Good question. The answer is, they’re gone. The most visible face of conservatism through the Kavanaugh fight was . . . Sen. Chuck Grassley.

A valid criticism of Donald Trump is that he hasn’t expanded his base into a broader coalition. But his luck in attracting self-destructive opponents is astonishing.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a powerful thing. It makes otherwise decent people do really dumb stuff. It turns smart guys into fools. It allows bad actors to take over a once great political party and turn it into ... well, that remains to be seen.

UPDATE-2 (12-Oct-2018):

Conservative writer Kyle Smith pulls no punches when he puts his tongue squarely in his cheek and writes:
Does she have to spell it out for you, America? Hillary Clinton wants you to beg her to run for president in 2020. On behalf of America, I am answering. Hillary Rodham Clinton, I beg you: Please run again.

Hillary Clinton is precisely the candidate the Democratic party needs. And the Democratic party she represents is exactly the one the country needs: foolhardy, inept, dismissive of reality, blind to appearances, deaf to lessons, alien to the heartland, and contemptuous of the voters. The longer Hillary Clinton remains the Democrats’ idea of a standard-bearer, the better off the country will be. She should run in 2020. And in 2024. And forever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

92 Percent

A recent study reports that 92 percent of all media stories concerning Donald Trump and his administration are negative. That's not surprising, given the blatant left-wing bias that pervades the media, but it is astonishing that the trained hamsters refuse to report the administration's domestic achievements:

-- the best economy in decades
-- the lowest unemployment in 40 years
-- sustained wage growth in blue collar and other middle class jobs
-- lower taxes in all wage categories
-- the best employment numbers for African Americans in history
-- the best employment numbers for Latinos in history
-- significantly lower levels of dependency (e.g., food stamps) on the federal government
-- the best assessment of the country's direction in the past 30 years, according to multiple polls

These achievements differentiate this administration from it predecessor, and the Dems and their trained hamsters are trying mightily to talk about other stuff or gaslight this economy and its impact of the party's past constituencies. After all, "blue wave" and all that.

There is, however, one area where this administration is little different from others—spending. James Freeman reports:
The Congressional Budget Office reports that the federal government spent $4.11 trillion in the fiscal year that ended last week, an increase of $129 billion or roughly 3% compared to 2017.

As usual, the biggest increases were generated by the major entitlement programs and the servicing of America’s more than $21 trillion in federal debt.

Spending on Social Security benefits rose by $43 billion, a 5% increase. Medicare spending jumped by $16 billion for a 3% hike and Medicaid outlays rose by $14 billion or 4%.

ObamaCare is younger and smaller than the other big entitlement programs but in the last fiscal year it grew much faster. Affordable Care Act subsidies hit up taxpayers for an additional $7 billion, a 17% increase.

CBO adds that net interest on the public debt increased by $62 billion—a 20% hike—due in part to higher inflation. And defense spending rose by $36 billion, a 6% surge.
It appears that no one—not even Donald Trump—can reduce federal spending. And that's a real problem. The GOP talks a good show, but is only subtly different from the Dems in their profligate ways. Instead of draining the swamp, both parties fertilize it with billions upon billions of dollars in new (and often unnecessary) spending.

That approach is unsustainable as interest rates rise and our debt of $21 trillion must be serviced. Should the Dems regain power, our current spending problem will only get worse. Taxes will rise (after all, it's what the Dems do), but that will do little except depress this economy. That in turn will lead to higher unemployment, more government dependency, and therefore, even more spending, more deficits, and more debt. It's a vicious cycle.

One can only hope that in his second term, Trump may become more serious about reducing the size of the federal government.

Sunday, October 07, 2018


In the aftermath of Brett Kavanaugh's successful elevation to SCOTUS Justice, you'd think that the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media would be self-reflective. That they'd look at their vicious, often dishonest, and generally reprehensible attacks on a decent man based on 36-year old, wholly unsubstantiated, and very thin allegations by one woman and say, Maybe we over-reacted. Maybe our ideological zeal led us to make bad decisions.

Nah ... not gonna happen.

As they always seem to do when they lose, the Left looks for a scapegoat. When they lost the 2016 presidential elections, it was the electoral college, and when people laughed at that ridiculous excuse, it became 'the Russians.' In this sordid case, the Left's excuse has become scumbag lawyer, Michael Avenatti. If only he didn't bring forward the allegation of gang rape, whine the Dems and the trained hamsters, the Left would have succeeded in their vilification and destruction of Kavanaugh.

Tyler Durbin discusses this when he writes:
Following Friday's announcement by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) that she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the left flipped on one of its recent heroes; Michael Avenatti.
All of the allegations against Kavanaugh were very old, unsupported, and otherwise suspect, and Avenatti's entry certainly didn't help, but it was not the cause of the Left's defeat. The cause was really quite simple to understand—a quality candidate, a respected jurist, and a decent man was accused of something he swore he didn't do. The accusation was wholly out of character, suspiciously timed, and as thin as a human hair. The Dems vilified Kavanaugh and his reputation was destroyed. They suggested that he was guilty until proven innocent.

The broader American public didn't like any of it. The GOP grew a backbone and fought back—successfully.

The Left is looking forward to a blue wave in November. They'll argue that their expected midterm victory will vindicate them and their repugnant behavior over the past few weeks. It won't.

In fact, even after the cesspool recedes, when the left looks in the mirror, the image they see just might resolve itself into something that looks an awful lot like Michael Avenatti.


Post action evaluation of political strategy and ideological tactics is something that is worthwhile in politics. The Democrats seem incapable of doing that, instead doubling down on strategies and tactics that infuriate or frighten the vast center of our country—you know, the people who define the winner of national elections.

Jim Geraughty writes:
I doubt Democrats want to take any advice at this moment, particularly from someone like me, but hopefully sometime soon, they’ll have a reckoning that their tactics in this fight did not work.

The protesters constantly interrupting the hearing did not work.

Going over Kavanaugh’s high-school yearbooks as if they were something from The Da Vinci Code and trying to ascribe some sinister meanings to teenage slang such as “boof” and “Devil’s Triangle” did not work.

Trying to make Kavanaugh sound like the Bluto Blutarsky of Yale University did not work.

Suggesting that Kavanaugh is some sort of threat to girls on basketball teams did not work.

Portraying his daughter praying for forgiveness for her father in an editorial cartoon did not work.
But these tactics did more than not work. They provided a window into the soul of the Democratic party, a party that seemed okay with all of it—and it's not okay, not even close.

We're told that confrontation and screaming is "democracy in action," but there is another view (as noted in a tweet by @Charlie Daniels):
Seeing the fanatics stalking the halls of congress is tantamount to peeping into an insane asylum. The face of new democrat party is bizarre and threatening and the fact that their leaders will not address it is a telling view into a chaotic future if they should come to power

Geraughty continues:
It backfired, guys. There was a time when conservatives thought of the old guard, people like Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley, as decorum-obsessed squishes, with no stomach for a real fight. No more. You guys turned Lindsey Graham into a honey badger and Susan Collins into Margaret Thatcher.

This has been an ugly, nasty, vicious couple of weeks in American politics. I don’t expect anybody over on the other side to recognize that their tactics were morally wrong. But I do expect them to recognize that their tactics didn’t work.
Nah ... it's all Michael Avenatti's fault.