A two-minute warning

It should be apparent by now that absolutely everything in American society has been subordinated to politics and messaging by the Left.  This is not a good development.  It means there is no room for apolitical interactions, no common ground on which both sides can agree “we may disagree, but don’t have to do it here.”  There are no symbols around which everyone can rally and say “at least we have this much in common.”  Thus the pressure in the cooker continues to grow.

Since the topic of NFL players acting childishly during the National Anthem has become the issue du jour, and has now spread to other sports, I thought I’d put in my two sense cents:

  1. “This is about free speech.”  No, it’s not.  The Constitution guarantees an absence of government coercion against speech it doesn’t like.  The public has always been free to measure the actions and speech of those who put themselves in the public eye.  The Left decided years ago to up the stakes in this area by going after the employment of those who said or supported things they didn’t like (for example, search: Brendon Eich, ex-chairman of Mozilla).  So it should follow Americans are not required to keep funding the salaries–much less subsidizing the stadiums–of well-paid players who don’t appreciate what they have.  The issue is the Left simply doesn’t like it when the same rules are applied to them.  Should have read your Alinsky better…
  2. “Only racists and bigots object to this.”  Garbage.  There are literally millions of veterans (including me) disgusted at watching the NFL borrow the valor of the military with flyovers and huge patriotic displays at their events (something the government even paid them to do), then stand behind players who want to make a particular two-and-a-half-minute tune about them rather than their country.  Unfortunately, football’s core demographic is pretty patriotic.  The NFL knows this.  Let’s see how the bait-and-switch works for them.

A process I’ve seen described as “The Great Tune-Out” appears to be under way.  Civic-minded average Americans seem to have decided not to listen any longer to political rants from pampered entertainers, and this is having an effect in multiple markets.  Good.  It’s about time.  We were told after the election that the majority shouldn’t have to live with a candidate who “only” won the electoral college.  Majority rule, and all that.

Maybe we’re discovering the majority in this country still values it, and is tired of feeding parasitical organizations that keep spitting in their face.  One can hope.  In the mean time, enjoy your now-cleared Sunday afternoon schedules!

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Attempting to be an art critic

I’ve been seeing this image pop up here and there across the Internet.  It’s by the same painter who did one of Obama a few years back in response to the passage of Obamacare.  The two form something of a bookend set.

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I think the original Obama painting was spot on, depicting as it did an aloof and arrogant president trampling the Constitution while all his predecessors (except a few to Obama’s right, or the “left” side of the crowd) looked on with expressions of “what the hell, man?”  The message of the original painting was clear.

As for the one above, I can appreciate that it’s not Trump who is center stage.  We don’t need blind hero worship or the man-on-the-white-horse syndrome here.  Trump’s depicted standing on a snake, which may be more Biblical allegory than I’m willing to extend to him.  That said, D.C. Mordor is definitely snake-infested in our day, and much of the hissing against Trump comes from that serpentine choir.  But the center of the action is a young family watering a plant (perhaps the Tree of Liberty?) in what is very parched soil.  The message could well be interpreted as Trump trying to buy time for the next generation to refresh our nation.  Changing who’s in office won’t matter until the culture itself has been changed.  Politics, it is said, flows downstream from culture.

I’m sure in this era of professional grievance-mongering, others will count faces and point out there are only a few non-white characters in the crowd.  But look who they are: Sheriff David Clarke, an outspoken patriot; an unnamed World War II veteran in a wheelchair who clearly gave to his country; an unnamed black lady and a minority man holding folded U.S. flags, signifying loss of loved ones in service to the nation.

The fault lines in this country today are not so much Republican-Democrat than they are traditionalist/progressive.  As the many “RINO” Republicans demonstrate, the parties don’t cleanly align with the other dichotomy (Sheriff Clarke, by the way, is a registered Democrat).  There are simply those who believe the “bourgeoisie” values that made this nation successful are worth preserving (perhaps “restoring” would be more accurate by this point), and the inaptly named “progressives” who would continue to tear down those values in a vague utopian quest that has ended in tragedy time and again throughout human history.

The takeaways?

  • Don’t expect Trump to solve every problem.
  • Those who love this land and the values that made it must be active in restoring them.
  • Teach your children well.  One generation — the Boomers — left a huge wake of cultural destruction.  This shows how a single generation can change a nation.  Make sure those who are our heirs are prepared to change it again by valuing and defending their inheritance.

One final thought about watering the “tree of liberty” — the artist is optimistic in his portrayal.  Thomas Jefferson warned that nourishing that fragile plant sometimes takes more than water (though his quote is often used without context).  Hope/pray for the best; prepare for the worst.

Summoning the demons

(Note: this is a long post on a highly sensitive subject.  If you don’t have the time (or inclination) to carefully read and consider it all, please don’t read it AT all.)

Since Saturday, I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I believe we arrived at the tragic violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I have no sympathy for idiots who see Nazi paraphernalia as a statement.  History clearly shows where that road leads.

And yet, with all the focus on the swastikas why is it we never have criticism of the Hammer and Sickle often unfurled at various Leftist demonstrations?  Of the Che Guevara T-shirts worn by people who still think socialism or communism is a good idea? History also shows multiple examples of where THAT road leads.  Many of the gatherings of these supposedly “anti-fascist” groups are also violent — in the way that Hitler’s Brown Shirts were violent.  In fact, I think the wisest comment on Charlottesville is that is was a result of two groups descending on the city, looking for a fight.  It did not help matters that the police stood back and allowed the fists on both sides to start flying.  I wonder if anyone will be held to account for that…

We’re rapidly approaching 1930s Weimar Germany all over again – two brands of social collectivist thuggary duking it out for control.

There is more to this, however.  With higher academia firmly under Gramscian control, it’s easy to understand why many young people have a romanticized view of communism’s “liberation” movements and fail to realize “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”  But what trend could be luring other young people towards neo-Nazism or the white supremacy ideas of decades past?

I think much of it’s a belated (though misdirected) defensive response.  Rod Dreher hits the nail on the head: it does no good for the Right to disavow the identity politics of neo-Nazism or George Wallace’s segregationism while the Left continues to make identity politics the center of everything:

Continue reading

Same pablum, different day

This article is worth your attention, as it encapsulates the feelings of an already large and growing number of people (myself included):

The sad truth, and getting sadder with every attack, is that the political class has little interest in doing what would really be necessary to combat Islamist terrorism, let alone talk about it. They don’t want to talk about how Britain’s (the West’s) lax immigration policies over decades led to hundreds of thousands of immigrants entering the country with varying degrees of willingness to assimilate and adopt Western values. They don’t want to openly criticize the blatant problems with the multiculturalism the UK (West) has pursued for years and the obvious impact it has had on the immigrant population.

Oh no. This would cost them too much. It would shatter the façade of political correctness that’s been constructed over our “civilized” western world, and destroy the illusion, so vital to the political class, that Western values are universal.

The politicians are only willing to give speeches about how united we are and how terrorists cannot tear us apart. But the truth—so clear and obvious—is that with every attack the West becomes more and more divided. We are not united, not by a long shot…

There’s little to no tolerance in polite society for the kind of honesty for which many in the West are hungry…

Our political leaders are basically telling us that this kind of terrorism, random and deadly, is the price we have to pay for their policies of multiculturalism and political correctness. They know that their weak platitudes can’t stop terrorism, and so do the people. They might as well come out and say what they mean: get used to the new normal.  ((slight editing and emphasis by yours truly))

Close the borders.  Send the illegals home.  And stop importing more of the medium — hundreds of thousands of Muslims from broken and radicalized countries — in which this ideology flourishes.

This is multiculturalism

It amazes me that many of the loudest voices for ‘women’s rights’ are also thrilled to be welcoming in tens of thousands of refugees invaders for whom cutting up a little girl’s privates is a common practice:

Opposition from some members of Minnesota’s immigrant and refugee communities is slowing the momentum of a bill that would impose stiff penalties for parents involved in cases of female genital mutilation.

Since the bill’s near-unanimous passage in the Minnesota House this week, some longtime critics of the ritual have met with senators, lobbied the governor’s office and handed out fliers — all to raise alarm about the legislation…

Now, the author of the Senate version is voicing second thoughts about approving the legislation yet this session, though Senate GOP leadership have not committed to a course of action. “We all agree this practice is absolutely horrible, and something needs to be done,” said the author, Sen. Karin Housley. “How can we empower communities to address this practice from within rather than having Big Brother come down and say, ‘This is wrong?’ ”

Short answer: you can’t.  Which is why different communities with different values need to live in different areas.  Female genital mutilation is a common practice in the Muslim world (especially in Somalia, where many of the new ‘migrants’ to Minnesota are coming from), and no amount of “empowering” of the community is likely to change that.  Since values are so difficult to change, you’re left with changing external behavior — and thus the need for Big Brother.  Don’t think for a moment our nation’s elites aren’t aware of that.  How better to grow government than as the arbiter of incompatible cultures?

The fact there is newsworthy opposition to this bill (which normally would be a shoe-in under the “it’s for the children” and “grrrrl power” rules of politics) shows how much alien influence already exists in our land.  Does anyone think it gets better from here?

We open our doors to anyone who wants in, but refuse to insist that “when in America, one follows traditional American values.”  (Of course, the retort to that is “who defines traditional American values,” to which I simply say “those who know their history better than their Alinsky.”)

Close.  The.  Borders.  Now.

Deport.  The.  Invaders.  NOW.

And imprison or deport their domestic enablers.

Failure to assimilate

Turkey’s recent election, which further enhanced the Islamist totalitarian powers of Recep Erdogan, shows how far that nation has come from the secular society Kemal Ataturk intended.

The votes by Turks living abroad are even more telling, and should be noted:

About 1.4 million expatriate Turks voted in Turkey’s referendum to grant President Erdogan near-dictatorial powers, with three quarters of them residing in Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. These Turkish voters, living in some of Europe’s most liberal countries, overwhelming cast their ballots for Erdogan’s illiberal reforms of Turkish society…

Life in liberal Europe is not having the impact people hoped—Turks in Europe are not any less nationalistic, less authoritarian or less Islamist than their compatriots at home—rather they are more of all these things..

If assimilation is failing with long established Turks in affluent, full employment Germany, what can we expect with other communities in less prosperous European countries?

The measure squeaked by at home, with just over 51% saying “yes.”  For the Turks living abroad, “Yes” had anywhere from 15 to 25% more support!  That would tend to confirm the thesis that the massive wave of ‘refugees’ in the past couple of years represents an ideological vanguard of Islamism that intends to make Europe submit to it, not the other way around.

The author of the quoted piece seems puzzled that good economic conditions in Germany haven’t produced assimilation.  That’s because assimilation is a primarily a cultural issue, not an economic one.  In the past, Western European nations and the Anglosphere (U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc) fully expected newcomers to adopt their language, follow their laws, and to give their undivided loyalty to their new nation.

Immigrants today don’t have to cut the cord with the “old country” the way past generations did.  With global communication, the ability to travel and the tendency to settle into specific ethnic enclaves in their new land, immigrants today have far less motivation to assimilate.  Let’s face it: for Mexicans in the U.S., “home” is next door, you live in barrios with people like yourself, you can watch Spanish-language TV such as Univision, and even wave the Mexican flag while watching the U.S. play that country in soccer.  These are not Mexican-Americans.  They are Mexicans living in America.  The same is true of the Turks in Europe.  Even at the height of the Cold War, with Turkey a key partner in NATO, Europeans were strongly divided over whether or not to consider Turkey “European.”  Its current regression to pining for the days of the Ottoman Empire should answer that question.

The West has basically allowed a substantial fifth column to develop in their midst — a development our traitorous leadership class has encouraged.  While the resulting attacks rarely amount to more than a single actor at a time right now, I suspect that won’t remain the case much longer.  Even the “lone wolves” usually have ideological and communication ties with the Islamist movement.  At this stage of the game, Turks should be carefully watched, not welcomed in with no restrictions.  It’s time to shut the doors for a while and deal with what we’ve already admitted, rather than keep the welcome mat out for anyone with a pulse.

We should seem odd

Apparently, it’s now scandalous to be careful about avoiding even the appearance of impropriety:

Recently, a Washington Post article about second lady Karen Pence has brought the Billy Graham Rule back into the public eye. The article cites a 2002 interview with Vice President Pence — who has called himself an “evangelical Catholic” — saying that he “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife,” and that he doesn’t attend events serving alcohol unless she is with him as well. This will, no doubt, sound strange to the uninitiated. The Onion parodied the story with the headline, “Mike Pence Asks Waiter To Remove Mrs. Butterworth From Table Until Wife Arrives.” It is strange, as are many religious practices, and strange isn’t necessarily bad.

The impulse that led to the Billy Graham Rule — which was actually a solidification of principles guarding against several kinds of temptation — is a good and honorable one: to remain faithful to one’s spouse and to avoid the kind of behavior (or rumors of behavior) that have destroyed the careers of church leaders.

So far, so good – the author of the article appears to understand the motivation.  Then there’s the “but:”

…for men to categorically refuse to meet one-on-one with women is often dehumanizing and denies the image of Christ that each person bears.

The rule also promotes the preservation of men and exclusion of women in positions of leadership. If a woman at work cannot meet one-on-one with her boss or colleague, her options for advancement (or even being taken seriously as a colleague) are extremely limited.

The Billy Graham Rule also denies the reality of LGBT people. As a friend pointed out to me: Should a bisexual person refuse to ever be alone with anyone, full stop? Should a male pastor refuse to meet one-on-one with a gay man?…

Several female pastors I spoke with told me that they wouldn’t have a job if they abided by this rule because meeting one-on-one with men is part of what they have to do within their congregation.

There’s a lot to unpack here.  First of all, I tip my hat to Mike Pence for being so consistent about this that it draws attention.  But while the author makes a stab at seeming understanding, her real purpose is to taint the practice as somehow harmful and “unfair” (a favorite word on the Left).

As the author points out, the Christian belief system assumes “heteronormativity, furthering the idea that people who are LGBT are people “out there,” not an essential part of the church.”  Well, yes.  Continue reading