Friday, February 8, 2019

“Racism” – It's Time to Repudiate the Guilt

Does any sane person who pays the slightest attention to the talking heads from the television (MSNBC) and cable networks (CNN), or the news and opinion writers for the New York Times or the Washington Post believe that racism is ever going to lessen anywhere in the western world? Only a fool would bet on that particular outcome. Why? In a word: “Racism” is the gift that keeps on giving.

How did this come about?  Racism” in the 1950s was a term then with a much more precise, recognizable meaning than it has today. It was largely limited in its circulation to liberal intellectuals and academics who studied the history of slavery and contemplated racial segregation in post-WWII America. Jim Crow was in place then with segregated schools, public facilities and businesses, double standards of expectations and accountability for blacks and whites, all premised on a widespread white perception that blacks were … well, generally, less capable, less reliable, less intelligent than whites. The segregation was well entrenched (de jure in the south; de facto in the north) and blacks in America were significantly poorer, less healthy, less educated than whites as well as feeling the daily sting of the indignities, along with suffering the hostilities, mistreatment and condescension of whites.

By coincidence, the American conquerors about this time were just finishing their occupation of defeated Germany, the occupation prolonged for years because the Americans felt they needed to remain as long as it took to make sure that the German people were completely free of this nasty “superior race” nonsense they had imbibed from the Charlie Chaplain mustachioed Austrian corporal and his henchmen who had brought most of Europe to ruins. Which proved finally to be a bit embarrassing for Americans, at least for those who recalled that their soldier boys, who were sent far across the ocean to dispose of the racist Hitler and stay and teach the Die Herren und Frauen to love democracy and recite Thomas Jefferson’s “self-evident” truth, “that all men are created equal,” came over in racially segregated units. President Truman’s desegregation order for the Armed Services didn’t come until 1948. Black American soldiers fighting oversees for equality came home to segregated public facilities, lunch counters and schools.

It was judged past time for a correction in these matters, and so it would be. Beginning in the 1950s, the dismantling of segregation and the criminalization of racial discrimination was launched. With the landmark “Brown versus the Board of Education” the Federal government forcibly desegregated the public schools. By the 1960s the conscience of white America was convicted of its racial iniquities. The correction was soon at top speed with the civil rights movement leading the way, and the rest, as they say, is history. In the five decades that followed the equalizing of black and white America became “mission central” with the legislatures creating and the courts enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the areas of housing, employment, government contracting and education, including the forced bussing of school children. Massive federal aid flowed to the heavily black-populated cities like Detroit, burned down by black rioters in the middle-late 1960s. Affirmative Action and EEOC, came into being with strict compliance requirements for universities and employers to make room for members of “underrepresented” groups. Across the country schools and universities focused their pedagogy on the evils of racism, the history of slavery and segregation and the moral imperative of “equality.” Blacks moved into prominent positions in every region of American culture and life, including the American presidency, Secretary of State, Attorney General and the U.S. Supreme Court. Utterance of the “n-word” for whites became a career-killer and a ticket to social ostracism.  An entire new industry, the “diversity” industry, came into being, its employees moving into business, education and government, tasked to promote the interests and guard the feelings of officially designated victims of discrimination, and to subject the would be discriminators to programs of reeducation where they learned about “white privilege,” microaggressions and how to “celebrate diversity.”

By 2009 with Jim Crow long dead and the jubilant inauguration of America’s first black President, elected in a still majority-white country, one might be tempted to think that the “racism” that marked racially segregated America in the 1950s had been vanquished or at least diminished enough to make everyone optimistic about the future of race-relations.  Wrong!  In the last year of his Presidency (2015) Barack Obama in an interview made the following observation:

Obama: “What is also true is that the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination in almost every institution of our lives — you know, that casts a long shadow. And that's still part of our DNA that's passed on. We're not cured of it.”
Interviewer: “Racism”
Obama: “Racism. We’re not cured of it.”

What then were we to make of this “DNA” metaphor? Unfortunately, few, if any of the cognoscenti who constantly lecture Americans 24x7 on the ubiquity of “racism” and daily pounce on yet another politician or celebrity who breaks the strict rules of “Diversity-Speak,” bothered to decode the President’s remarks so that the average American might get a sense of what he was in for. They can be boiled down to: “Racism has always been the defining feature of American life and will be far into the future.” What then, we might wonder, is the “cure,” and who gets to say that it has been successful and the patient is whole and released from treatment?     

These questions expose the disingenuousness typical of Obama on the subject of race. The “our DNA” is white DNA, and the “racism” that “we’re not cured of” is “white racism” – there is no other kind in today’s America that will be countenanced. Obama chose the wrong metaphor.  His view of race is better expressed in theological terms. “Racism” is America’s “original sin.” It was, and still is, committed exclusively by white people, and no matter what metaphor you care to use, consider it a permanent fixture of American society. “We shall overcome someday.” But, sorry Pal, not today. With sin comes guilt, and white America now finds itself confronted with guilt, virtually unlimited guilt.

Guilt that comes in unlimited quantities can be a very valuable commodity for the right sort of “entrepreneurs” who know how to make it pay out in long term dividends, particularly when those dividends are of, shall we say, a material kind. Guilt makes most people feel really bad, remain highly vulnerable and willing to do things of an extreme nature to be free of it, things that may have little to do with the source of the guilt and may be highly detrimental to their self-interest and well being.

Guilt, in effect, can open the door to a form of extortion, moral extortion, if you will. When you feel guilty because you believe that you have done something harmful to someone, the person you have harmed has a moral advantage over you, so to speak. That person is the innocent party; you are the guilty party. You are in his debt. You owe him … something.  It may be an apology, change of behavior or attitude, or maybe compensation.  Relieving the guilt becomes a moral transaction and both parties (the injurer and the injured) have a responsibility to act in good faith and bring the transaction to a conclusion.    

Ah, yes, “the conclusion” and here is the rub. Atonement is the performance side of guilt – giving what you owe to the innocent party, doing what you need to do to atone for the wrong. The corollary of unlimited guilt is unlimited atonement (no conclusion), and when what you “owe” becomes unlimited the person you “owe” is no longer innocent, and you are no longer a free, accountable person making moral-spiritual restitution. You are a pawn being manipulated, being used to someone else’s advantage. Good faith has given way to exploitation. From being the sinner, you are now the sinned-against.

Unlimited guilt is what makes Obama’s “racism” a tool of moral extortion. An extortionist never says, OK, your debt is paid; your obligation is fulfilled. No, the blackmailer always comes back for more and ups the ante. “Not enough; I need more – until you are cured. I’ll let you know when that happens. Trust me.” “Racism,” however, never, ever, diminishes. Rather it becomes ever more insidious, protean, if you will, with forms and manifestations, heretofore unheard of – “systemic racism,” “economic racism,” “environmental racism,” “institutional racism,” the inventory expands almost daily. Moreover, “racism has provided the “ism” template (“sexism,” “ableism,” “homophobia,” “Islamophobia,” “transphobia”) for the rapid expansion of the diversity industry, with other large groups of the suitably injured and aggrieved, recruited to leverage new categories of guilt and make them pay dividends. 

How does the “racism” create the moral leverage that makes the extortion work so effectively?  First, it opens up a vast moral distance between the accuser and the accused. When someone denounces someone else as a “racist,” this act publicly affirms both, the accuser’s moral superiority, and the moral degeneracy of the accused. Since racism is the very worst of human pathologies, deeply embedded in the personality, the accuser by virtue of both recognizing and confronting this evil individual, gives confirmation of a moral superiority and rectitude of the highest order.  And, since the targets of racist are members of oppressed and exploited groups, the accuser’s virtue shines even brighter since he is speaking truth-to-power, he becomes a beacon of moral courage, taking a stand against bigotry and hatred. 

There is another kind of leverage that makes the extortionist demand virtually invincible. With “racism” being in one’s “DNA,” as Obama put it, the guilt is indisputable and inextinguishable. Remember, “we’re not cured of it.” No white person has ever convinced his accuser that he is not a “racist” and never will. Apologizing (Please, I am not a racist) or indignantly denying it simply ups the extortionist leverage of the term while the accused squirms like a worm on a hook. It’s a Catch 22. Once “racism’ is entrenched (“in our DNA,” “not cured”), game, set, match. This, of course, gives a lie to the rhetoric of “healing,” “reconciliation” and ultimately to “forgiveness,” cover-language used to soften and disguise the coercion and give the extortion a patina of moral legitimacy. But the accuser has no interest in reconciliation or incentive to forgive. With reconciliation, the “gift” would have to stop giving. Diversity professionals would have to find another source of employment.  Al Sharpton would not longer be called, Reverend, ” and would likely be in prison.

A turning point in American history was the 2016 Presidential election when the obsession with “racism” was raised to a level of collective hysteria with Donald Trump routinely characterized by the entire main stream media and the opposition party as another Adolf Hitler, a 21st-century, pogrom-planning fascist, broadly supported by voters (62 million people) motivated entirely by racial prejudice and hatred. The most memorable and appalling moment of the contest was Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” denunciation of Trump supporters as “racists, sexists … you name it.”

With the improbable outcome of the election the hysteria has only increased, the most recent manifestation of its ferocity the unhinged outpouring of hatred from social media sources and the hostile and dishonest coverage of the national media of an incident involving a group of white, Catholic high school boys from Covington, Kentucky (Boyd Cathey) who encountered a native American protestor in Washington D.C. The smile of one of the students, Nick Sandman, captured in a now famous photograph, was twisted by the virtue signalers into a disrespectful smirk, a kind of  racist dog-whistle, a symbol of white privilege, all the standard tropes of today’s emboldened character assassins. Reigned down upon Sandman and his fellow students was a torrent of condemnations of in the thousands via social media that included death threats, demands to publish names and addresses, appeals to have them expelled from their school, rejected from universities, and encouragement to kill them and their families. All of this from Social Justice Warriors who decry the “hatred” of Trump supporters.

So, in contemplating this grim state of affairs, we need to ask now: to where has this 60-year battle against “racism” taken us? Sadly, it has taken us to a point where it should be clear that “racism,” now saturating the commentary on every facet of American experience, is not a word that describes the behavior or personality of any particular individual.  “Racism” does not depict any state of reality. It is merely a word of condemnation to complete a ritualized chant. “You are a racist” is a performative act in an excommunication ceremony (an expulsion ritual) whereby decent, normal individuals are pronounced to be moral lepers, unfit for civilized society and cast into the darkness. Recall the conclusion of Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” slur, “they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.” This expulsion ritual is now frequently and routinely conducted by a vast network of moral police who occupy positions in government, the media, education and entertainment. They target white Americans who look back and wonder why the massive, decades-long efforts of atonement for racism have only intensified black resentment and hostility, why Black Lives Matter thugs are allowed to rampage and tear down historical monuments, why blacks are still burning down the cities, why millionaire, celebrity black athletes scorn the national anthem. These targets recognize that the “racism in our DNA” is the veiled language of the extortionists who use guilt as an instrument of intimidation, domination and revenge.  The guilt must be repudiated. Whites who succumb to the accusation of “racism” are embracing a future of their own destruction.     



Friday, February 1, 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does Trofim Lysensko

Lone Ranger: Hmm.... We’re surrounded by hostile Sioux Indians. Looks like we are done for, Tonto.

 Tonto:  Wadya mean, “we,” Kimosabe?

From: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. House of Representatives

To Microsoft, Google, Facebook Execs.

Dear Mr. Nadella, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Pichai:
We are writing to you today in light of the important role that your companies play as we prepare to take comprehensive action on climate change…we were deeply disappointed to see that your companies were high-level sponsors of a conference this month in Washington D.C., known as LibertyCon, that included a session denying established science on climate change.

So, you think that a grammatical subject-matter like the rhetorical function of personal pronouns is the high end of boring and inconsequential. Well, think again, as we follow the trail of the “we” in Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s dispatch to three of the biggest Mr. Bigs in the information-tech industry.

We are writing to you ….  as we prepare to take comprehensive action …. [and] we were deeply disappointed to see that your companies…” etc.  Note the ominous direction: from “we’re just communicating with you, to we’re about to do something very important, to we’re real disappointed because it looks like you are standing in our way by supporting a bunch of reactionaries we don’t like.” Sounds pretty threatening to me, and from someone sitting in the U.S. Congress. Just who is this “we” rapping the knuckles of a Big Enchilada like Zuckerberg? Well, it’s the latest social media sensation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who in good Commissar fashion is wielding the “moral-we,” now one of the virtue-signaling Boss-ladies in the Capital city who knows what is best for us all. It is also an up-and-coming “we” of momentum and power, a bold “we” that takes “comprehensive action” and lets the bigshots who throw their money around know that they’ve been a big disappointment.

Obama some time back set the bar very high for the effective use of the “moral-we.” From the Obama’s 2008 campaign: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Ignoring the disturbing pathological elements in this concoction, if you were hoping for some semblance of genuine humility in this young generation of “leaders,” and if arrogance, unbounded self-regard and immaturity put you off, these know-it-all “we’s” who seem to be running the show are just getting started. There will be many more suspects to fuel their deep disappointment, and they will make life miserable for anyone who fails to recognize their superior virtue and doesn’t snap to.  As Bob Dylan once sang: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

So, we stagger bewilderedly into increasingly muddled times where, for example, the ruling Triumvirate of the tech-media world will likely go wobbly to learn that they had “deeply disappointed” a twenty-nine year old Puerto Rican ex-waitress with a few weeks of seniority in the U.S. House of Representatives and a round of talk show appearances where she recently said she said she gives “zero fucks” about criticism she’s received from members of her own party. This is now how one is supposed to speak “truth to power.”

It’s beyond distressing to see someone like this taken seriously, and the works of Karl Marx, of all people, might be taped to provide some insight into this mess. Surveying his own tumultuous times, he wrote, history repeats itself, “the first as tragedy, then as farce.” This apothegm was from his essay, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. Tragedy reappears throughout the course of history as farce. The farce that Marx was contemplating was the French coup of 1851 by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, a repeat of the seizure of power by his uncle, Napoléon Bonaparte in 1799 and the tragic consequences of his despotism.

Fast forward to the present, if you will, and attempt to comprehend the unfolding of the latest tragedy-as-farce in the person of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.  An instant celebrity and the darling and future of the Democrat party, it seems, she has stepped into a starring role on the political stage as the Queen of Farce. From News Week: “Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrat from New York, called climate change “our World War II” and warned that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t address global warming on Monday [January 21, 2119]. During an interview Monday at the MLK Now event at Riverside Church in New York with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ocasio-Cortez argued that global warming needs to be addressed immediately to avoid the end of human existence.” 

Note, of course, the predictable scolding “if we don’t address climate change...” But this is a different “we” at work than the moral-we in her memo citied above. This is a fake one overloaded with apocalyptic hyperbole, adolescent bombast and wild hallucinations. You see, she sees herself in charge now, rescuing the world, only twelve years away from oblivion, calling the shots – the Commander in “our World War II.” And the “we” in this outpouring of mental incontinence is actually “us,” those of us who she wants to salute her, take orders, bear the cost, conform to the mountains of rules, regulations and dictates that she wants to cascade down upon us, and suffer the horrific unintended consequences that follow from the whims, fantasies and dictates of an ignoramus who has suddenly found herself with lots of power and showered with attention.

Ocasio-Cortez has with much encouragement risen quickly to become our very own Trofim Lysenko, an ambitious charlatan who led the wreckage of biological science in the Soviet Union along with the ruined lives of many distinguished scientists. Lysenko was a quack agronomist whose theory of environmentally acquired inheritance was, by the man who ran the USSR, eagerly turned into the “established science” that would be career-ending, not to mention physically hazardous, for those in the biological sciences to “deny.” “He [Lyskenko] had no postgraduate  training or higher degree, no formal claim to the title of scientist, yet he aspired to the theoretical heights from which, as he told a Pravda correspondent in 1927, practical problems could be solved by a few calculations ‘on a little old scrap of paper.’” (David Jorasky, The Lysenko Affair, University of Chicago Press, 1970, 189)  

Lysenko’s astounding success was due to his skill in bending his “scientific research” into findings that greatly pleased Stalin, whose authority in all matters of importance – art, history, music, philosophy, sociology, economics and, yes, science, was supreme and unquestionable. The science of genetics that the ignorant Lysenko overturned pointed its researchers toward conclusions that were, unfortunately for the geneticists, incompatible with Stalin’s insights into how any part of the world (social or physical) actually worked. Marx had laid the theoretical groundwork for it all: Stalin fleshed out the details and perfected its applications. Pointing out flaws in any of it, shall we say, was not a prudent decision. The real scientists who noted Lysenko’s deficiencies were also casting shadows over Stalin’s jealously guarded shield of infallibility and were dispatched to the work camps. Lysenko, with Stalin’s imprimatur, shutdown scientific debate and research in much of the life sciences, including genetics, wrecked Soviet agriculture, and put biology in the Soviet Union into a thirty-year deep freeze.

Like Lysenko, Ocasio-Cortez is a science-ignoramus (more on that below) who uses her political leverage, as we see with her memo cited above, to control what scientists get to talk about and to demonize critics. Hence the label “climate change deniers” which is intended to carry the same de-legitimizing stigmatism as “Holocaust-deniers.” “Deniers” are moral-lepers who in Stalin’s reign got shot or sent to the Gulag. In the soft-totalitarianism that now envelops us, “deniers” are shut-out of the conversations and the institutions, their careers destroyed and characters assassinated. Thus, we see Ocasio-Cortez putting the “deniers” in her cross-hairs.  “[W]e were deeply disappointed to see that your companies were high-level sponsors of a conference … that included a session denying established science on climate change.” Representative Ocasio-Cortez, like Lysenko and the CPSU bosses in earlier times, thinks she should decide who the real scientists are.

It seems to me that the obvious question Messrs Nadella, Zuckerberg and Pichai, the subjects of Ocasio-Cortez’s disappointment, should be asking themselves is: does this woman have the remotest understanding of what the “established science of climate change” is? And, does “established science” ever change? And, finally, is there some good reason she should be dictating the sponsorships of science conventions in any case? The answer to the first question is not a secret. Her formal education consists of a BA degree in economics and international relations from Boston University.  From Wikipedia here is her post-college professional experience:

After college, Ocasio-Cortez worked as a bartender in Manhattan and as a waitress in a taqueria. Her mother, meanwhile, cleaned houses and drove school buses. She launched Brook Avenue Press, a publishing firm for books that portray the Bronx in a positive light. She worked as lead educational strategist at GAGEis, Inc; for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute (NHI), and served as NHI's Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series, a five-day long program targeted at college-bound high school students from across the United States and other countries, where she participated in a panel on Latino leadership.

It is safe to say that her knowledge and theoretical expertise in the area of “climate science” would likely rival her mastery of cardiology, cartography or civil engineering.  Would anyone trust her to design a bridge, construct a map, or read an EKG?  Given what we have seen from her so far, self-promotion seems to be her singular talent, and she shouldn’t be trusted to do much of anything. Here, sadly then is Lysenkoism, twenty-first century style, featuring a blustering, know-nothing egomaniac, threatening the end of the world, like some street-corner crackpot, demanding control over the agendas of scientific gatherings and threatening business executives. This is as about a nightmarish display of arrogance married to ignorance as one can imagine. Like all ideologues, Ocasio-Cortez’s beliefs are absolute and impregnable, only confirmation is permitted. Doubt is heresy and heretics get punished. The Stalinist in Russia shot them; the Stalinists in the U.S. smear them. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez in quest of heretics is proselytizing for her religion under the guise of science. As a waitress, nobody needed to pay attention to her; as a United States Representative, with a large following, she is a very frightening woman. That she is taken seriously by so many, particularly, young people, is a signal that the bad times are getting worse. When does the farce turn into a tragedy?

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Hillary Clinton Presidency

 Image result for Hillary clinton cartoons

I have this reoccurring nightmare. 

A few thousand deplorable, irredeemable voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania forgot to go to the polls in November, 2016, and Hillary Clinton was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States the following January with Snoop Dogg doing his recently composed rap version of the National Anthem at the inauguration ceremony. Three weeks later, Senate Republican leaders, after a series of unanswered requests, were finally granted a brief audience with the new POTUS. She had been very busy meeting with Al Sharpton, Black Lives Matter and Antifa leaders, LBGT advocates, Muslim dignitaries, and the throngs of Hollywood celebrities who had supported her campaign. The future of the Lincoln bedroom was, once again, weighing heavily on her mind. Would Saudi or Chinese Clinton Foundation donors get first crack at the overnights?

The Republicans still enjoyed a slender majority of Senate seats, but Senator Mitch McConnell just couldn’t wait to meet with the new Commander and Chief and announce that after consulting with Paul Ryan, the Republican Congressional leadership had finally concluded that the “opposition” in “loyal opposition” was a hopelessly outdated male-chauvinist gimmick, and that under his leadership, loyal opposition would have no operational function in the 115th Congress. “We understand, Madame President, that for powerful men to oppose a strong woman would simply show our insecurity and weakness. We acknowledge that you are a strong woman, and we, as powerful men, of course, want you to be successful.”

President Clinton seemed to be pleased, but was skeptical.  “Ok, Mack, I think this is a good start, but…” 

“It’s Mitch” interjected the Kentucky Senator, and…”

“Yeah, whatever”— President Clinton was obviously annoyed – “but don’t interrupt me. (a slight sneer breaks out) Maybe you think you’re a ‘powerful man’, but ‘powerful,’ are you joking? And the other part is, well, somewhat questionable from what I have heard. So, if you are really serious, here is the latest newsflash.  Ruth Ginsburg has, surprise, surprise, decided to retire, having barely survived the Trump nightmare. Who would have guessed that so many Americans were so stupid? Then, of course, there is the Supreme Court seat of the dead Dago, Tony, that needs filling. And, by the way, thanks Mack, for holding up the Merrick Garland nomination last year.  Since we already have three Jews on the court one more gets me no diversity points.  Wait till you see who I have in mind – how does the first trans, disabled SCOTUS Justice sound for Scalia’s replacement? Ha, roll over Antonin, you Fascist pig!  And, Ginsburg? I haven’t decided yet, but you boys have a lot of pent up Islamophobia to deal with, so just think about that and how you can atone for it. Another ‘first’ for Rainbow America. Better late than never. No opposition, right? I’m counting on it.

Senator Marco Rubio, who had been allowed to come to the meeting, jumped in at this point.  “Madame President, we’ll be eager to confirm your nominees. You could conjure up the ghost of Che Guevara, give him an honorary JD, and, awe shucks, we’d give him the nod. You are the President and you get to put whomever you want on the court. As we go forward you may hear now and again of public criticism from me of you, but I need to do a bit of that to keep the rightwing, rednecks in north Florida and the panhandle off my case.  Please know that I am committed to making the first woman President successful.”  

President Clinton heaved a sigh (thinking to herself, “Wow, these schmucks are even bigger pushovers and suck ups than I could have possibly imagined.  So much for that ‘vast rightwing conspiracy’”). Then, sarcastically, “Thanks, little Marco. Yes, I am glad that you comprehend that I am the President. How do you say it in Spanish? Never mind. Did you get the gift I sent you last week, the lifts for your shoes? Those will help with the optics when we put you up as the token opposition in my 2020 re-election campaign. I won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, little guy. You need some extra inches. No extra points for me in a landslide against a shrimp.  Ahh, that silly word, “opposition,” ok, I guess, as long as it stays token. After this meeting I think I am now feeling very confident.” (a long, loud cackle from the President helps to break the tension)

John McCain, still kicking at this time, was also at the meeting.  He seemed to be one of the few Republicans that Hillary from her days in the Senate had a soft spot for. Senator McCain made a plea, hoping that the new Clinton administration would take more aggressive action against Iran. President Clinton was quite pleased with this. “Yes, John, I am very inclined to start bombing the Iranians. Hey, why not? Better than that aspirin factory Bill incinerated in South Sudan back in 1997.  Barack was way too soft on the Iranians. That’s what happens when you turn a pussy like John Kerry out on his own. Those sexist Mullahs will soon learn that if they try to fuck with this woman they’ll all be flirting with the 72 virgins sooner than you can say 'Allahu Akbar.' But, now that I’m thinking about it, I’d like to get rid of Putin, too. Give him the old bayonet-up-the-bum once over like we did with that jerk, Gaddafi. Remember? One of my best lines ever – ‘We came, we saw, he died.’ How is that for a robust foreign policy statement?  But what a douchebag Vlad turned out to be; another man who can’t relate to a strong woman.  So, before we decide to turn Persia in smoke and ashes, we’ll need to sort out just what our priorities are going to be for making the world more humane, safer and less violent.” Senator McCain was a bit disappointed with her response, but thought to himself, “I think she’ll be fine.”

Senator Rubio was attempting to follow up with some additional foreign policy questions, but President Clinton had to cut him off. “Now, if you boys will excuse me. Bill is waiting outside the Oval office (I do love to keep the old Hound dog waiting) for my approval of his list of White House interns.  Don’t worry. I have him on a very short leash now. No looney tunes or sluts this time around to get us off track. Besides, I have cut off his Viagra prescription, permanently -- Whoa ... is that Freudian, or what? (she gasps).  In any case, it’s unseemly for an ex-President, don’t you think? Let me know, though, if any of you could use it.  Email me – first come, first served – and do I have to say, use my personal email address.”

In her first State of the Union address, President Clinton unveiled her plan to deal with that large block of “deplorables” who did not vote for her.  “As I stated in my campaign,” she said, “these people are ‘thankfully, not part of America,’ and I fully intend to see that they remain, indeed, ‘irredeemable’ and will never again threaten the foundations of our vibrant democracy (interruption with applause on both sides of the aisle).  On the Presidential campaign, last fall, I saw many yard signs that said, ‘Hate has no home here.’  Well, I am telling the American people here tonight, (her voice raises) Hate has no home here, and not anywhere in this country, not in the schools, not in the universities, not in the churches, not on television or newspapers, not on the internet or social media, and – I am putting you on notice, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mark Levine and your hate-spewing wannabees – not on the radio (interruption with wild, standing applause on both sides of the aisle). Tomorrow, I will sign an executive order that will make it a criminal offense for those who use language that makes those who have suffered from white privilege feel intimidated, offended or uncomfortable. To make any powerless person in my United States of America feel excluded will be a serious crime. This may be challenged eventually in the Supreme Court, but I am very confident (she casts a stern glance at Senator McConnell who smiles weakly) that this effort will prevail.”

There was, of course, more on President Clinton’s agenda than the eradication of hate speech. She continued.  “For too long, gun violence has plagued this country.  Under my administration, gun violence will come to an end.  I will soon ask Congress to sponsor comprehensive legislation that will, finally, address this issue head on.  As of tonight, I am declaring the NRA to be designated as an organized criminal enterprise, complicit in the death of victims of school shooting. Its officials will be arrested and prosecuted under the existing RICO statutes and its membership dismantled by federal marshals and enforced by the National Guard.  Gun manufacturers will, under the new laws, be held criminally and civilly culpable for mass-shootings. Gun ownership is a privilege, not a right, and that privilege will only be extended to those who bear the burden of protecting those of us in public service from the threat of violence from the growing alt-right extremism. Once again, I am confident that Supreme Court will support the truly democratic voice of the American people in this matter.” (Standing applause, minus a few Republican congressmen)

President Clinton was still not finished outlining her agenda for a kinder, gentler America.  “America must have comprehensive immigration reform and it must be now! (interrupted applause).  Our democratic values are those of diversity, inclusion and tolerance.  The American people voted against exclusion last November, and as your President, I stand before you tonight, and to those of you, undocumented and in the shadows, afraid of the racist police and the bigoted xenophobes who voted for the Republican candidate: ‘No one IS illegal’—the whole of America is your precious sanctuary, and with the path to citizenship that I will propose, be assured that the weight of your votes will very soon ensure that the electoral influence of those deplorables who nearly ended our democracy last Fall will rapidly shrink and they will soon experience, deservedly, what it is like to be a despised, and eventually, tiny minority” (wild standing applause, with a few elderly Republican congressmen sitting and looking … scared).

Two years into the Hillary Clinton presidency, violent crime statistics, excluding offenses from neo-Nazis and White nationalists, are at an all-time low. With talk-radio now defunct, hate speech is now just a dark spot in America’s racist history. Michael Savage has died from a mysterious illness, and Rush does infomercials on cable tv for smoking cessation products. Federal employees are now encouraged to make regular contributions to the Clinton Foundation which can be automatically deducted from their paychecks.  The Foundation is managed by Chelsea from her six-million-dollar penthouse in Manhattan. First Husband, Bill Clinton has led a national effort to raise awareness of, and to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.  

With nothing but glowing, positive coverage from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, HRC’s approval ratings run an average of 90 percent. With Texas, Florida and Georgia now solidly “blue” states, rumors have circulated in the Wall Street Journal that the Republicans are considering forgoing the nomination process of a candidate in 2020 and asking that Hillary Clinton’s reelection as President be affirmed by popular acclamation.

Late one evening in 2018 Hillary sits and reviews the long list of new campaign donors and ponders which popular actress should be given the “Hillary” role in the movie that will soon be released, produced by a rehabilitated Harvey Weinstein. Perhaps Meryl Streep, but she’s a bit old for the part, Hillary concludes.  She looks over at Bill, who is busy on his annual performance reviews of the White House intern staff and says: “Hey, William Jefferson Clinton, is this just what we always dreamed of back at Yale law?”  Bill looks up and grins.  “Well, Hill, like I’ve said before, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”  

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Clintons do Barnum and Bailey

Image result for bill clinton taking saudi money

There’s a sucker born every minute.

                                                 P. T. Barnum

Hillary and Bill Clinton will launch a nationwide speaking tour after the 2018 midterms that will take them to 13 cities in the United States and Canada, according to an announcement Monday by promoter Live Nation.” (Washington Post, October 8, 2018)

There is something about the Clintons and cynicism that make them seem inseparable, sort of like the inseparables in that old song, “Love and Marriage.” “Can’t have one without the other.”  This WP announcement last month (above) should make even a longtime Clintonista feel a bit embarrassed. During their long-term romance with the American people, the Clintons, no doubt, have experienced many feelings; but shame has never been one of them.

The Washington Post might consider issuing a correction on this piece. The “launch” was made decades ago. This duo has been speaking for a very longtime leaving in the wake unforgettable, inspirational gems like, “I did not have sex with that woman,” “What difference does it make now?” and a “vast right-wing conspiracy” floating around somewhere.  Clinton speeches are often boring and self-serving, but they are almost always predictable in content – about matters exculpatory or pecuniary, for themselves, of course. So, one must wonder: what could they possibly have to say at this point that in some form or other we haven’t already heard?

The answer, of course, is nothing. “The unusual tour will take the Clintons mainly to friendly territory — including several large Democratic-leaning cities such as Philadelphia, Seattle, Detroit and Boston, as well as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal…” (WP) “Unusual tour”? It is good to know that the WP staff writers, always trying to step up to the challenge of helping the Clintons appear serious, wholesome, and most important of all, respectable, know how to manage their euphemisms. “The unusual tour” is better than “the Clintons are on their usual pocket-lining prowl for spare cash.” Where better to pick it up than in the ‘easy pickin’ “Democratic-leaning cities.”  Canada? Well, I think “follow the money” is the operative phrase, and a country that settles for Justin Trudeau as its Prime Minister is certainly an appropriate venue for the ole Slickster and his little lady to work their magic. “Friendly territory” would probably not include West Virginia – too many of those coal miners Hillary wanted to see unemployed; not enough extra cash to throw into the Clinton collection plate.

This tour resembles the Golden Oldies concerts done by the 60s/70s rock-n-roll has-beens. Like the grey-haired rockers past their prime and pinning for their groupies, the Clintons just cannot call it quits. In the not-too-far future, with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” as background music, look for some fresh-faced young interns to wheel out the blanket-covered, slack-jawed Bill and Hill in their wheel chairs, waving feebly and still seeing dollar signs floating around through their stroke-dimmed eyes. Audiences, no doubt, will be found who shell out just to look at them. Not having to listen to them talk about themselves will be a vast improvement over the current tour.

For now, however, there is good news:

Tickets for “An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton” will go on sale later this week; prices for a single event are listed as ranging from $59.50 to $375.” (WP)

It wasn’t all that long ago when fifty or sixty minutes-worth of wisdom from either Our Lady of Chappaqua or Arkansas “Elvis” went anywhere from a quarter to three-quarters of a million dollars. But for some inexplicable reason the Saudi princes, Goldman Sacks executives and the Kazakhstan dictator no longer care to throw their spare change out for Clintons to pick up and funnel into their coffers, I mean their charity work. Now for a measly sixty bucks a head you can bring the whole family and can get an entire “evening” of enlightenment and that vintage Clinton charm from both Madam Secretary and the ex-Pres.

Continuing with the Washington Post’s promotional efforts:

The event is billed as an opportunity to hear the Clintons ‘provide a unique perspective on the past, and remarkable insight into where we go from here,’ including their views on ‘one of the United States’ most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections.’”  “Unique” perspectives on the past are sort of a Clinton trade mark, coming now, apparently, at a reduced bargain basement discount. But they are not as creative and original now as back when the First Couple were partying in the White House and renting out the Lincoln bedroom to prospective donors. During the Lewinski business Bill’s perspective, shall we say, was beyond unique: snagged by his statement that “there's nothing going on between us” had turned out to be false, because he had no ongoing relationship with Lewinsky at the time he was questioned, he responded “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Not exactly Churchillian, but it is certainly a keeper, one for the ages, and captures in a short, simple and truly remarkable sentence both the style and substance of the man from Hope, Arkansas. 

For unique perspectives on the past, Hillary, unfortunately, does not possess Bill’s talent for a succinct and paradigmatic phrasing to address sometimes difficult matters that come into question. Back in 2014, as she was eying the Presidency, Hillary was on stage with NYT Clinton-sycophant and obnoxious know-it-all, Thomas Friedman, who asked her to summarize her accomplishments in her tenure as Secretary of State. For a question she cannot or does not want to answer, Hillary’s approach is to lay down a dense cloud of verbal smog until her listeners’ eyes begin to glaze over. Click on this two-minute You Tube video to experience a masterpiece of mindless, dithering incoherence while watching Freidman looking on like he’s having a petit mal seizure. Then try to comprehend why anyone would pay this woman a quarter million dollars or more for a speech. With this question, Friedman inexplicably had stepped out of his assigned role and asked Mrs. Clinton a real question.  He was supposed to have posed it this way: “Secretary Clinton, in the face of Republican hostility, nay-saying and sexism you did all of these wonderful x, y and z things as Secretary of State. How do you feel about that?” It is obvious, body-language wise, at the very beginning of the video that the finger-pointing Mrs. Clinton was not happy with the way Mr. Friedman’s put the question to her.

But let’s move on from “unique perspective[s] on the past” to “remarkable insight into where we go from here…”  Yes, but who exactly is the “we” that will be going somewhere? Probably not the 62 million “deplorable”, “irredeemable” bigots who didn’t vote for her. The Clintons have always quite selective about who gets to be one of their “we’s” – not that it always works out well to be one. Just ask Monica Lewinski, Susan McDougal or Webster Hubbell. But as we see, it doesn’t cost as much as it used to.

It is obvious where the Clintons are going from here, and it is not quietly, graciously into their long overdue retirement. Rumors now have it that Hillary is planning yet another Presidential run in 2020. What is remarkable is that the Democrat bosses, the MSM and the “progressives” who desperately want one of their own back in charge, default to subsidizing Hillary’s delusions and resentment, stroking her demanding ego and pretending that she is something other than a whiny, pathetic loser.  She will never figure out that she is a loser.  But it’s time to let her sulk about it on her own and on her own dime. Please go away Hillary. You had your shot. You blew it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My Victimhood is Bigger than Yours, or, “Genocide” Isn’t What It Used To Be

“My victimhood is bigger than yours” (hereafter MVBY) is a very popular game these days, particularly around election season.  MVBY is easy to play, but you can best acquire expertise by going to a university, any university, and major in one of the “studies” disciplines – Women Studies, Gay/Lesbian Studies, African American Studies, Latino Studies or maybe Queer Theory or Post-Colonialism. There are a lot of options to choose from, and the best part is that when finished, you are fully equipped to make life miserable for anyone who doubts the particular version of victimhood you espouse. Almost all of the degrees come with an easily mastered vocabulary of handy accusations, insults and slurs, an in-your-face attitude that will intimidate most people, and a self-righteous certainty that is invincible to counterarguments and can withstand the response of anyone courageous enough be critical or skeptical of your point of view.  

Some of the more gifted graduates go on to prestige jobs at cable networks like CNN or national newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post. They get well paid to complain about “racism,” “sexism,” "anti-Semitism" and “white supremacy” and enjoy unmasking the bigotry of the rubes who voted for Trump. Other graduates become teachers in the schools and universities. They conduct the “consciousness raising” so that the next generation of victims knows how even better to articulate its grievances, formulate its demands, and as former President Obama put it, “Get in their face.” Those who prefer administrative-human resources “work,” will find that the “Diversity Industry” is an employment growth-sector. The rapid expansion of victim groups has stimulated demand for appropriately credentialed personnel to pursue the workplace perpetrators of microaggressions, racist dog whistles and hate speech. For the more physically oriented and less intellectually gifted victim-credentialed folks, there are opportunities for street work. Join Antifa or BLM, put on a mask, smash some storefront windows, and beat up anyone who appears to display racist tendencies or Nazi sympathies. For the less physically oriented, lawyers are aplenty. They will help you target and maximize the impact of your accusations of discrimination, harassment and abuse.

However, to get a better sense of how the politicians and the educators help make MVBY a national past time and turn schools into propaganda mills, consider this recent development in Connecticut. From the Hartford Courant, October, 21, 2018.

Connecticut lawmakers moved closer on Monday toward requiring the state's school districts to teach students about the Holocaust and other genocides, voicing concern about an uptick an anti-Semitic acts and an apparent lack of knowledge among many young people about such atrocities. While the state Department of Education has made an optional course on genocide available to districts, legislators said many have not used it. ‘We have not done enough to educate the young,’ said Democratic Rep. Andrew Fleischmann of West Hartford, who voiced concern about recent polling that has shown a lack of awareness about the Holocaust and the six million Jewish victims. ‘It's not clear why we would have districts not teaching this profoundly important subject.’”

The article goes on to add that “The House of Representatives voted 147-0 in favor of the bill following a somber and poignant debate.” Really? One has to wonder: just how “somber and poignant” a “debate” could be with a vote of 147 to 0 as the outcome? How long did it last? It sounds more to me like the sorts of voting that took place in the Council of People’s Commissars back in the halcyon days of the USSR. “No” is not a career-enhancing move, as everyone, wink-wink, understands. “It's not clear why we would have districts not teaching this profoundly important subject.  Come on Commisar Fleischmann! You are just being polite. We all know what is going on in these districts. 

Did anyone in this somber debate raise what seems to be the most obvious question: Why should the teaching of “Holocaust and other genocides” be mandatory? Representative Fleischmann says that this is a “profoundly important subject.” Fine, but let’s drop the preacherly pose, set the scolding aside for a moment and be upfront and honest: what is “important” is an outcome heavily conditioned by self-interest and self-identity. Engineers argue that mathematics and physics are profoundly important subjects for instruction, for English teachers, literature and grammar. Devout Catholics want their children to be taught to believe in the sanctity of life and the mortal sin of abortion, for feminists, the equality of women, access to abortion, and the social construction of gender are very important.

Why then does the Holocaust merit privileged status as a mandatory topic in the schools?  The last 3000 years or so of history is full of mass murder, atrocities, rape and pillage. So much to choose from, so where do you draw the line? You could fill up the entire K-12 years with nothing else. Given the heavy moralizing that energizes the teaching of these sorts of topics, unfortunately, the efforts inevitably twist themselves into tendentious, fact-selective enterprises of enforced dogma that suffer absolutely no critical or skeptical reaction – true believers are the intended outcome, anything else is punishable heresy. Look what happened to Larry Summers a few years back at Harvard. Being a certified victim, or related to a victim of any atrocity gives the claimant enormous moral, and possibly political, leverage, which is why, it should seem obvious, that victim-status has become such a coveted commodity that comes with a vast advocacy network and legal enforcement apparatus. To wit: “Last year, the General Assembly passed legislation making the commission of a hate crime a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Violence and threats based on a person's gender also were deemed hate crimes. The state's previous law only protected gender identity or expression, not gender,” also from the Hartford Courant article.

But on with the somber Connecticut lawmakers: Who then should teach the American children about the “Holocaust and other genicides”? Before attempting to answer the question, it is reasonable to conclude that the upper-case “Holocaust” is going to be the centerpiece of attention given the “uptick of anti-Semitic acts” that young people seem to be unaware of, as noted by Alan Levin, the regional civil rights chairman of the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League, who was cited in the Hartford Courant article. One can speculate about ADL priorities operating in this venue, but what about the lower-case afterthought, the “other genocides”? Well, to borrow an old Cricket metaphor, that is a bit of “sticky wicket” because, you see, from the very beginning of its coinage by Raphael Lemkin and its attachment to Hitler and the Third Reich, “genocide” has been a tool of cynical ideologues used in the service of self-interest.  In a review, of Stalin’s Genocides by Norman Naimark (Princeton University Press) Aaron Rothstein writes in “Bodies Count”:

Norman Naimark, the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies at Stanford, wonders why Lemkin, and those who followed his analysis at the United Nations in writing the Genocide Convention, created a concept that incorporated Hitler’s killings—the attempt to extirpate the Jews was an attempt to exterminate an ethnic group (and nation)—but did not extend as far as Stalin’s murders. Naimark points out that Lemkin’s 1933 argument, unlike his 1944 book, included a reference to the extermination of a “social collectivity.” Such collectivities include political parties or groups organized around particular ideas; they could be almost any group considered to be a political opponent. In Lemkin’s earlier analysis, the attempt to exterminate such groups would also have been considered genocide. But not in 1944. And not in 1948, either, when Lemkin’s work influenced the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. That document also leaves out social and political collectivities, stating that genocide includes the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” Naimark suggests that the reason for this alteration in the concept was simple, but it has had large consequences: Lemkin did not want to upset Stalin who, despite brutally exterminating political groups in the Soviet Union, was vital to the Allied war effort against Hitler.

Yes, it was extremely important not to “upset Stalin” which meant that his mass-murders – millions of Ukraine peasants, the Katyn Wood massacre, as well as his extensive mass-deportations and ethnic cleansing during WWII, and the million-plus slave-laborers in the Gulag – would have to be conveniently overlooked. Lemkin himself in a recent study by Anton Weiss-Wendt, who directs research at the Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities in Oslo, Norway, emerges as an unsavory opportunist. In a review:

Rather than the ‘saintly figure’ of popular accounts, Weiss-Wendt instead presents Lemkin as ‘a rather odious character— jealous, monomaniacal, self-important, but most of all unscrupulous’, complicit in the gutting of his own creation. As early as 1947, Lemkin himself favored the exclusion of political groups in order to secure adoption of the treaty, and enlisted the World Jewish Congress in this effort.” (Holocaust and Genocide Studies, September, 2017)

Genocide as a moral and legal concept from its establishment by the United Nations Genocide Convention in 1948 has been selectively applied and politically manipulated so as to make its current application a dubious polemical ploy that certifies victimhood with an exclamation point. The Wikipedia “List of Genocides by Death Toll has a total of thirty-five genocides that range back to 135 BC, “the Punic battle of Carthage.”  It also cites the “Canadian residential school system (Canadian genocide)” that claimed somewhere between “3,200 and 32,000 lives over 120 years” (a multi-generational conspiracy apparently). Not on the list was Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” that in five years killed between 20 and 40 million Chinese. The Wikipedia list also states that “Scholars are divided and their debate is inconclusive on whether the Holodomor [Stalin’s terror famine that killed three to five million Ukrainians] falls under the definition of genocide.” When what counts as “genocide” is elusive enough to put the “scholars” in opposition over 3 to 5 million dictator-designed dead people and inclusive enough to put the Canadian residential school system in the dock over 32,000 or is it 3,200 or maybe 32?), it is time, the next time you hear the word, to kick the dog and go out and mow your lawn.    

In 2012 Paul Preston, a prolific British historian of the Spanish civil war, published a massive work entitled, The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century Spain. Preston just couldn’t help himself: he says so in the Prologue to the book (xi). So now, it seems, “Holocaust” is going the way of “genocide” with Franco joining the ranks of Hitler in the “circles of evil” rankings. This made Preston wildly popular with the Spanish leftists who are now set to evict Franco from the hated Valle de los Caidos and who will probably soon blow the place up. I don’t know, however, if Preston heard from the Anti-Defamation League and Deborah Lipstad, the self-appointed guardian of Holocaust orthodoxy, with accusations of trademark infringement, but, clearly, there are powerful incentives to push the envelope of guilt and inflationary pressure at work for those who toil at manipulating the nomenclature-of-evil, trying to move their favorite victim-class to the front of the line.

So, to return to the question: Who then should teach the American children about the “Holocaust and other genocides”?  Here, from the Hartford Courant, is the Connecticut solution:

Under the legislation, local and regional school boards must include the topic in their social studies curriculum beginning with the 2018-19 school year. It is estimated the mandate could cost districts less than $5,000, but the legislation allows local school officials to use free, online resources and to accept grants and donations to cover the cost.”

Churchill’s firebombing of 131 cities during WWII, immolating hundreds of thousands of German civilians, including women and children – war crimes under international law (Jörg Friedrich, Der Brand: Deutschland Im Bombenkrieg, 1940-1945, Propylean, 2002);

The predominant role that Jewish Bolsheviks played in the murder of the Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, fourteen year old son and four daughters -- bayoneted to death (Mark Weber, “The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Early Soviet Regime,” (The Unz Review);