Archives for February 2016
After finishing his sermon, on how the SIN of Carbon emissions was going to cause the sinners to “Roast on the Fiery Pit of Climate Change” unless the sinner forsook their evil, selfish lifestyles of hydrocarbon consumption and embraced the Holy Green Path of Righteousness … the Reverend Leonardo di Caprio of the First Church of Gaia left his pulpit at the Oscars to take leave with his phalanx of gun-toting bodyguards and entourage of disciples and hussies. Together, they trouped off in their motorcade of gas guzzling SUV’s and rode to the airport where his carbon spewing private jet whisked them off to one of his many massive carbon negative homes to plan the next enormous party on one of his huge fuel guzzling yachts that all his guests ride on their own private jets to get to.
The Republican front-runner is a man whose signature move is firing people who can’t cut it in his business. His campaign is built on building a wall to keep the foreigners out, and insulting all of his opponents, both political and in the media, as losers. Donald Trump is mean guy. [Bernie Sanders, for what it’s worth, is also a nasty old crank, but that doesn’t seem to have hurt his popularity in the least.]
For years, the mantra of Republicans was “don’t anger the independents.” Republican politicians and their army of consultants said, “The voters think Republicans are mean, you have to show them your softer side,” and “You have to be a happy warrior with a sunny disposition, like Ronald Reagan.” and “You have to be an optimist, like Ronald Reagan.” The hope and optimism of Reagan — and not his actual policies — were what the consultants taught and the politicians lapped up. And the failure of happy optimism has gob-smacked Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. They haven’t figured out yet that “happy optimism” is out of touch with the mood of the electorate.
America was a very different place when Ronald Reagan in 1980. For one data point, see what the most popular TV shows of 1980 were. “The Love Boat.” “Little House on the Prairie.” “The Dukes of Hazzard.” (And, OK, “Dallas.”); shows where every dilemma and plot complication was resolved ultimately in a happy ending. Simplistic, yes, but indicative of a widespread belief that problems were ultimately solvable.
The most popular shows recent history? “The Walking Dead” – grim, post-apocalyptic drama that kills off major characters willy-nilly and little girls get shot in the back of the head. (And the character that shoots her gets even more popular.) Also, “Survivor” — a reality show where people screw each other over to win money. The public has embraced grim television dramas where life is nasty, brutish, and short, there are no solutions, and only the ruthless survive. And every time an old movie or an old show is “re-imagined,” it’s made into something “gritty,” and “dark.” Old America was “Batman.” New America is “Gotham.”
The cultural zeitgeist is an angry one; not a happy one. A politician who preaches that everything is great and all we need are a few tax cuts to make it even better looks like a fool.
For decades, Americans who have been angry about illegal immigration, runaway Government, welfare systems that pay more than honest work, jobs exported to foreign countries, and all the things have been told “Your anger is not valid” by the political and media elites; who expected the anger would dry up like a raisin in the sun if the voters were lectured strongly enough about the glories of multiculturalism, global competitiveness, and social justice. It looks like it isn’t working out that way.
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are both campaigning on the message that, “Your anger is valid. Times are tough, and you need a tough guy willing to bust some heads to fix things.” It may be just a marketing ploy, but it seems to be selling better than the happy-talk optimism Republican operatives have been preaching lo these past decades.
A typically well-reasoned, well-stated comment from Heliotrope that I was given permission to elevate to post status. (No, it’s not because I’m lazy and want to watch ‘Gotham’ on Netflix. Who said that?). Peggy Noonan — who voted for Obama in 2008 because ‘Hope and Change’ — seems to have finally figured out why the voters are done with her and the Republicans who buy her cocktails.
Peggy Noonan nailed it as only she can when she is focused. This long except from her recent column may not seem to be about free speech, but it actually is:
We’re in a funny moment. Those who do politics for a living, some of them quite brilliant, are struggling to comprehend the central fact (of the) Republican primary race, while regular people have already absorbed what has happened and is happening.
There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.
The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.
I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.
They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.
Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.
One issue obviously roiling the U.S. and western Europe is immigration. It is THE issue of the moment, a real and concrete one but also a symbolic one: It stands for all the distance between governments and their citizens.
It is of course the issue that made Donald Trump.
Britain will probably leave the European Union over it. In truth immigration is one front in that battle, but it is the most salient because of the European refugee crisis and the failure of the protected class to address it realistically and in a way that offers safety to the unprotected.
If you are an unprotected American—one with limited resources and negligible access to power—you have absorbed some lessons from the past 20 years’ experience of illegal immigration. You know the Democrats won’t protect you and the Republicans won’t help you. Both parties refused to control the border. The Republicans were afraid of being called illiberal, racist, of losing a demographic for a generation. The Democrats wanted to keep the issue alive to use it as a wedge against the Republicans and to establish themselves as owners of the Hispanic vote.
Many Americans suffered from illegal immigration—its impact on labor markets, financial costs, crime, the sense that the rule of law was collapsing. But the protected did fine—more workers at lower wages. No effect of illegal immigration was likely to hurt them personally.
It was good for the protected. But the unprotected watched and saw. They realized the protected were not looking out for them, and they inferred that they were not looking out for the country, either.
The unprotected came to think they owed the establishment—another word for the protected—nothing, no particular loyalty, no old allegiance.
Mr. Trump came from that.
This business of “thought control” through manipulation of what you are free to say only by agreeing with the political correctness police has not gone down well well with the average “useful idiot” who is not eager to be a member of the useful idiot underclass.
I got a great chuckle from a “tweet” by Christina H. Sommers:
“Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering. #NationalOffendACollegeStudentDay”
Colleges seems to be hellbent on nursing any little pimple of an “offense” which appears to go against the Progressive agenda.
Therefore, “feminist dance therapy” wins out because it is part of the great cultural purge of the “impure” thinking which must be stomped out in order to reach the ideological purity that undergirds the glorious revolution of Progressivism.
It is Noonan’s “protected class” which is weaving the narrative. Their gated community lives do not want to mix with the hoi polloi on any terms which they do not control.
But now, much to their shock and awe, a vox populi is rising against the establishment and it scares the living bejesus out of the protected class. For them, it is Donald Trump who must be silenced. He is reckless. His brashness might throw the whole protected class in with the common trash. Think of it. Hillary and Bernie and lapdogs among the Repugnants are part of the passing scene for the establishment. Trump doesn’t play by any of the rules. If you look through the establishment looking glass, Trump is narcissistic. He is a bully. He is brash. He is a boor. He is histrionic. He is asocial. He lacks remorse. He is self-absorbed. He is shameless. He is self-serving. He plays by a different set of rules.[Note: does this remind you of Obama?]
Yeah, maybe so, but the “unprotected class” hears him and they smell an entirely different rose. So, maybe Trump is responding to the psychological state of his supporters. So, maybe a huge chunk of the population is nuts in the eyes of the establishment. Maybe the establishment knows it is losing its control of the little people. Maybe the welfare and the speech codes and the whole manipulation of the culture has suffered a transmission breakdown. Maybe the emperor establishment has no clothes and they have no place to hide. Maybe this is how actual revolutions begin.
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry made good on her vow to boycott her own show on Saturday, refusing to anchor her weekend program as she wages an extraordinary public war with the executives whom she accuses of having “taken” her show from her.
“I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC News chairman Andrew] Lack, [MSNBC president Phil] Griffin, or MSNBC. “
Actually, sweetie, that’s exactly what you are and exactly what you have always been to the white leftists who run MSDNC. You may have a Ph.D in Political Science, but so what? There are plenty of people who are way smarter and more accomplished than you who don’t have shows on major cable news channels, and who are capable of asking smarter questions than “Would you quack like a duck for us, Mr Attorney-General?” For that matter, leftist pseudo-intellectuals who can spout such idiocies as “Children don’t belong to their parents, but to the state” and “Star Wars is rayciss because Darth Vader is black” can be found four and five deep behind every Starbucks counter. Why do you think MSDNC gave you a show and not any of them?
Another conservative attempting to engage in Free Speech on a college campus confronts a leftist mob who not only don’t want to hear what he has to say, but seeks to deny others the opportunity to hear him.
Students who wanted to hear Shapiro speak had to be ushered quietly into the lecture hall through a back door while unhinged student activists and faculty members screamed and tried to force their way through a police barricade protecting the front door.
As we reported earlier, the University tried to cancel/postpone the speech until they could assemble a left-wing panel to provide “balance;” something that is never done when left-wingers
ABC News in Los Angeles reported:
Shapiro arrived at CSULA and was speaking to the campus chapter of Young America’s Foundation on the topic of “When Diversity Becomes a Problem” when a fire alarm was pulled.
While the siren was sounding, Shapiro continued his speech, stating he would not be silenced.
“If this sort of thing happened during classes at this university, the kid who pulled the fire alarm would be off this campus so fast it would make your head spin,” Shapiro said. “But not you out there, the protesters, the special magical leftist children protected from the consequences of living in the real world with my taxpayer dollars. You get to shut us down for disagreeing with your thug tactics and your nasty, pathetic, evil ideology.”
According to tweets by Shapiro, protesters blocked entrances to the University-Student Union where he was speaking, attempting to obstruct those who wished to attend. Cameras captured shouting and pushing as intense interactions occurred between protesters and those attempting to attend the event.
After speaking for about an hour, Shapiro tweeted he had to be escorted by police from the campus for safety concerns.
One of the grand imam’s points was that Christian normalization of homosexuality is an expression of “radicalization” and a distortion of Christianity no less than when Muslims commit violence in the name of Islam. This clever argument is being picked up by several in the Muslim world.
After a moderate Egyptian talk show host referenced Tayeb’s comments, he was quick to add, “Of course when we speak about Western churches, we don’t attribute them to churches or Christian men.” He then proceeded to gently admonish Egypt’s Christians with Tayeb’s logic: If Muslims are to accept that just because some “Christians” normalize homosexuality, this does not mean that Christianity normalizes it, then Christians must accept that just because some Muslims normalize discrimination and violence against Christians, this does not mean that Islam normalizes it.
Christians still have a freedom to dissent (increasingly limited though it may be) that Mohammedans largely do not. If he were making an analogy instead that Radical Mohammedism and Progressive Leftism both representing extremist belief systems that seek the subjugation and silencing of all thought and action that do not comply with their narrow dogma… I can that a lot more easily.
Some people showed up in KKK-drag at the Nevada Caucuses this week to promote the “Donald Trump (and All Republicans) Are Rayciss!” meme so popular among leftists who are ignorant of history. There was just one minor problem.
For all we know, “The Donald” hired those guys because no publicity is bad publicity, apparently.
Leftists are overjoyed over Twitter’s high-profile banning of outspoken conservatives, and defending Twitter’s conservative-purge on the basis that, “private businesses can ban anyone they want.”
OK, so Twitter can ban conservatives, but Christian bakeries still have to participate in gay weddings, because “Shut Up.”