Chain Of Command

A friend of the blog writes:

When the Highland Park dwelling Executive Director for Union Park District Council wags his finger at people asking what they can do to get vagrants away from their bedroom windows, telling them “just advocate for more housing” and the reality is, these vagrants don’t want housing, they just want freedom to shoot up wherever, whenever- 

Mr. Long – who, as a “district council” employee is in effect a double-A farm club player for the Saint Paul DFL machine – will never have to face any consequences for his belief, since homeless, addicted people are worth more to his real bosses, the DFL, as drug-addicted vagrants than not.

An Experiment

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

White Supremacist is the epithet du jour, which Liberals paste everywhere as gleefully and randomly as my grand-daughter with a new sticker book.
But what does it mean, White Supremacist? Traditionally, it was the belief that White people were superior to other races, that something in their genetic make up or possibly in their culture, made them capable of achieving more success for more people than any other race or culture on Earth.
Nowadays, of course, such a belief would be a hate crime against humanity. It’s unthinkable to suggest that races or cultures differ (or that they even exist at all). But if what if the belief was correct? Can you prove it’s not?
Suppose you treated it as a science problem and tried to apply the scientific method? There are two possible causes – race and culture. Limit one variable at a time.
Hypothesis: Western Civilization has produced more success measured by greater wealth, better health, wider spread learning, and more freedom for the people living under it, than any other culture has produced for its own people, in the history of the world.
How would you falsify the proposition? What evidence would you seek?
If you couldn’t falsify the proposition, that wouldn’t prove it’s true. Maybe you just didn’t find the correct evidence. But if you gave it an honest effort and still couldn’t prove the claim was false, then shouldn’t you concede the possibility that the claim could be true?
Should speaking the truth be a hate crime against humanity?
Joe Doakes

It’d be an interesting experiment on its own – and moreso to combine it with observing the reactions of people reading the thesis.

Remember – “Western Civilization” isn’t inextricably “White”. There was no virtue specific to caucasian genetics that made Western Civilization happen, any more than black or Asian genetics made it impossible. It was a combination of social factors that made improving the human condition a virtue, made improvement of technology desirable and profitable, and made social self-examination the vogue for at least a while. Africans can do democracy and free markets – check out Botswana, which has been a constitutional democracy since independence, and stable and prosperous, especially by sub-saharan standards, to boot.

Had Judeo-Christianity’s ennoblement of the individual mixed with a series of tribes that valued individual merit over “will to power” and heredity in, say, India or Sub-Saharan Africa or China, and Northern Europe remained mired in Dark-Ages-style warlordism, it’s entirely likely caucasoid citizens of a free, prosperous, democratic India or Nigeria or China could be barbering about “brown supremacy” today.

What’s Good For The Strunz Is Good For The Gander

Chris Cuomo, CNN host and scion of yet another “prog” political dynasty gone to seed, needed a snickers bar when someone referred to him as “Fredo”.

He later referred to “Fredo” as the Italian equivalent of the N-Bomb.

Well, today, anyway:

“Fredo” comes from The Godfather. The movie came out in 1972. While Italian-Americans experienced all kinds of discrimination in their day, “their day” was between the 1840s and 1940s, when Italian immigration was driving all sorts of transformations in American life.

By 1972, Italians were pretty well established.

Anyway, Chris Cuomo isn’t “Fredo” – incompetent, probably mentally defective. That’s not very accurate.

I’m thinking more like Carlo Rizzi.

Comrades In Caricature

When the Babylon Bee just can’t satirize things fast enough, the “Democratic Socialists” Party convention is there to fill the gap:

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) National Convention in Georgia this weekend came to a screeching halt when one delegate formally complained of “sensory overload” from “guys” whispering in the room — prompting another “comrade” to grab the microphone to angrily demand an immediate end to the use of “gendered language.”

The back-to-back moments of impassioned hypersensitivity at the gathering of the largest socialist organization in the United States led to bipartisan mockery from commentators, who compared the scene to something out of the sitcom “The Office” or the sketch comedy group Monty Python.

The stuff that’s too far out for the Babylon Bee starts around six minutes in.

“Uh, quick point of personal privilege, um guys,” began one delegate, who identified himself as James Jackson from Sacramento, and specified that he uses the “he/him” personal pronouns.

As soon as Jackson said the word “guys,” an individual in the audience could be seen becoming visibly irate in a livestream video of the convention posted online.

It could be any interminably tedious political convention, except for the suffocating PC and, of course, all the “Comrade” references.

Misery Loves Company

Progressives, being fundamentally miserable people, see misery as a tool to their ends.

Big Left today is exercising “Recession Porn”, hoping for an economic downturn to get rid of Trump.

Bill Maher:

It’s amazing what liberals daydream about. While many of us might imagine wealth, fame, or attractive women (sorry, Zsu-Zsu), Bill Maher dreams of a recession that would lead to massive job losses and foreclosed homes.

Maher: “I’ve been hoping for a recession – people hate me for it – but it would get rid of Trump.”
Josh Barro: “Recessions are really bad. People lose their jobs and homes and we shouldn’t wish for it.”
Maher: “I know. It’s worth it.”

Actually, it’s only “worth it” if Maher loses his job.


And Maher isn’t even the most depraved among ’em.

Usually.

Virtue-Hitchiking

Who knew – Berg’s Seventh Law covers intra-left squabbles as well.

Cultural appropriation is bad – unless, apparently, you’re appropriating it from other junctions in the intersectional map.

And Kira Davis has having nothing to do wtih it:

Since the “Broad Squad” came on the scene we have been incessantly barraged with rage rants about “people of color” and “women of color” and “brown people.” I myself have come to use these terms more than I care to, only because they are now a part of the vernacular.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t resent it.
Being a “woman of color” is not the same thing as being a Black woman, and yet the progressive Left has decided it is. A woman of Indian or Mexican heritage may possibly find herself coming up against some kind of discrimination here and there but it is not, nor will it ever be the same thing as what Black women have faced in this nation historically and to this day.
Not even close.

The likes of Tide Pod Evita and Ilhan Omar – people whose communities came here of their own free will – are trying to appropriate the unique (in this country, anyway) experience of black America for its own cheap gain.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Consistency

They called MItt Romney a “racist” and “literally Hitler”.

Before that, they called John McCain a “racist” and “literally Hitler”.

Dubya, of course, they called a “racist” and “literally Hitler”.

Bob Dole, on the other hand, was “racist” and “literally Hitler”.

Ditto his dad. Don’t lie about it, ‘progs’ – they called 41 a “racist” and “literally Hitler”, too.

Reagan? Ford, Nixon, Goldwater? All “racist” and “literally Hitler”.

Might wanna think of another bit of logrolling and gaslighting.

And The Social Media Lynching Will Begin In 5…4…3…

Scarlett Johannson lashing back, in her own way, at the PC police’s affect on acting:

She addressed was she called the ‘political correctness’ in casting without directly mentioning her controversial casting in Rub & Tug. 
‘You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job,’ she said point blank.
She continued: ‘I feel like it’s a trend in my business and it needs to happen for various social reasons, yet there are times it does get uncomfortable when it affects the art because I feel art should be free of restrictions.’ 
‘I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.’

Between that and supporting Israel, she’s never gonna do lunch at Spago again.

But you know what? The interview was in conjunction with a very style-y retro photo shoot for a magazine. I’m gonna focus on that, if that’s OK. Thanks.

Backlash

Last week, I caught Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix special.

I’ve always like Ansari. This special is far and away the best thing he’s done in his career.

Is it connected to his getting caught up in the #MeToo purges?

Perhaps.

But far from groveling to “woke” culture, gives the PC horde the sort of response it’s been needing from more participants in pop culture – an astringent satirical enema:

From Robert Verbruggen’s review:

Perhaps the most memorable routine, though, involves the famous Pizza Hut swastika story, where a restaurant was accused of making a pizza with the pepperoni arranged in the shape of a Nazi symbol — but some people saw it as just a regular pizza. Ansari asks the audience to clap if they thought it was a swastika, and then if they thought otherwise.
The story is made up. There never was a swastika pizza. But some audience members take sides and clap anyway. One even identifies the news source where he read about the incident. It’s a stunning illustration of how political polarization rots the brain, and it fits into a broader theme that we could do with less outrage and more honest discussion among people with differing opinions — a point Ansari makes more explicitly when discussing the uproar over a white teenager who wore a traditional Chinese dress to prom.
Refreshingly, Ansari avoids the incessant and usually unfunny Trump-bashing too many comedians rely on when short on better material. To the contrary, he points out how trivial modern America’s problems are relative to what previous generations dealt with. “Could you imagine if we had a draft with today’s people?”

It’s worth a watch.

Our Not-So-Bright Critical Class

The daughter of Amy “Tiger Mom” Chua (who we last encountered in this space eight years ago) is going to be clerking for Justice Kavanaugh…

…after she said she wouldn’t be…

…after her Mom praised Kavanaugh – apparently accurately. I’ll be adding emphsis:

Which is where our story today picks up.

Chua, [a Yale law professor and the author of the book “Tiger Mom”, a manifesto for ruthlessly deliberate parenting] who serves on the school’s clerkship committee, wrote that her daughter had accepted an appellate clerkship from Kavanaugh, but that she would find a different judge to clerk with if his nomination was successful.
She also described Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women.”
The op-ed drew severe criticism, with many arguing that she wrote it aiming to guarantee her daughter a Supreme Court clerkship.

Brief aside: using “many” as a source is becoming my journalistic pet peeve.

But let’s go one step beyond. Would a woman who wrote an entire book on parenting, which included parenting tips such as…:

…a total ban on TV-watching, play dates and sleepovers. Chua wrote of how when Lulu was 4, she rejected her daughter’s homemade birthday card for looking sloppy.
Lulu was ordered to practice the violin six hours a day, and both girls were required to play the piano flawlessly — or Chua would threaten to burn their stuffed animals. The merest hint of failure was met with name-calling: Sophia was “garbage,” Lulu a “disgrace as a daughter.”

…bat an eye at brown-nosing a SCOTUS nominee?

Dear “Many”: Your promotion from Captain to Major Obvious is granted. Congrats.

Cafeteria American

I had the rare treat of listening to the utterly ironically named “MPR News with Keri Miller” earlier this week.  And by “treat” I meant “update of the notion that Keri Miller is the one “journalist” in the Twin Cities that’d be ill-advised to tell Esme Murphy “dial back the shilling for the DFL and Big Left, you Big Left Shill, you””.  

Anyway – she had a show on Tuesday featuring a Hindi woman talking the co-option of Yoga by non-Hindi.  Not “decrying” it, per se – just urging people to be aware of, and perhaps learn something of, its Hindi roots.  

Pull quote:  the woman, Suhag Shukla, describing the various non-Hindi permutations of Yoga, including…:

SHUKLA: “…even Christian Yoga!”

MILLER: (In the background) (Disgusted, mocking snork)

Now, Ms. Shukla has a point – part of her culture has been appropriated. Like solstice trees and Chow Mein and polyrhythm and virtually everything else about every culture in the world that hasn’t been isolated from every other culture in the world, “appropriation” is a two-way street.

As someone who’s lost eighty pounds and wants to gain some flexibility and joint resiliency, I’m interested in yoga (although I haven’t done it yet). As a Christian, I have only intellectual interest in Hinduism. You wanna talk, Ms. Shukla? We’ll talk.

But since Keri Miller – and by association, the modern progressivism for which she shills – is the venue that brought me and Ms. Shukla together, let’s talk appropriation.

Big Left, like a suburban housewife going to an agnostic Hot Yoga class in a strip mall in Minnetonka, appropriates the convenient parts of the American experiment – the fun parts, like free speech and privacy. Like that housewife, or the Cafeteria Catholic, or the Allah-carte Muslim (actor, comedian, and observant but not fundie muslim Rami Yusef’s term, and I love it), they leave out the inconvenient parts – the citizen as self-sufficient atomic political unit, with the same rights, powers and responsibilities in microcosm of actual states are. The whole “government by consent of the governed” and “Free Association of Equals” bit.

If you want to practice the fun parts of the American experiment – immigrating to a country with freedom and opportunity, getting paid to be on the radio, free speech and waving signs about? Then pay some thought to the complex stuff – the tension between order and liberty, the moral right of the free market versus the stifling moral decay of socialism.

It’s a fine day for that, isn’t it?

#Resistance Is Feudal

According to the not-at-all-conservative but fairly rational Joel Kotkin, the modern left is retreating into a sort of feudalist orthodoxy:

In the past, the right, notably the segment affiliated with religious belief, was closely associated with censorship and control of thought. Today, enforced orthodoxy derives primarily from the left, emboldened by near total control of the media, university curricula and cultural products.
Remarkably [to the authors, anyway – Ed.], a recent study by the Atlantic found that “the most politically intolerant Americans” tend be white, highly educated urban progressives.
Conservatives may have once driven intolerance from the pulpit and the press, but they no longer have the ability to exercise thought control in a meaningful way.

Long ago, religious zealots embraced feudal ideals, but increasingly it’s the ultra-secular progressives who reprise the role of Medieval Inquisitors.

One of the things that originally led to “Berg’s Seventh Law” was noticing that, while John Kerry was quick to condescend to his various opponents’ lack of “Nuance” in approaching complex issues, it was in fact people on the left that exercised the most rigorously reductionistic approach to analyzing the world.

I’m happy to see I’m not alone:


Today these ideals are being undermined by a fevered rush to reject empiricism and complexity. “There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” suggests the left’s super-star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez .
This emphasis on intent and “morality” reflects a more Medieval attitude than that of a reasoned politics that grows from facts and evidence.
As in the Middle Ages, the new progressives often seek to impose a secular version of the imperial theocracy. Like the Medieval Catholic Church, new school progressives often exhibit hostility to the roots of our own past, whether verities contained in Shakespeare, the writings of the founders or even the notion of disinterested jurisprudence. In the new fundamentalism, as in the old, there can be only one set of truths, while all others are viewed as evil.

Can you remember when this scene…

…actually didn’t remind you of a typical day at a modern American university?

An Exercise In Imagination

I’m trying to imagine the wave of outrage that’d ensue if someone were to observe a black man mouthing off to a bunch of “white supremacists”, and getting pummeled for his troubles, and say “well, he kind of had it coming”.

Or a Jew, after getting lippy with some Nazis, “kinda brought it on himself”.

So it was interesting listening to NPR host Al Letzen – of “The Reveal”, which is one of NPR’s attempts to package African-American-sounding voices into a package palatable for the virtue-signaling “progressive” whites that are NPR’s audience. Letzen found some fame outside the NPR echo chamber a few years ago for rescuing someone who was being pummeled by some more of those virtue-signalilng progressive white guys in “Anti”-Fa.

Turns out the guy was an “out” White Supremacist. Letzen got a chance to interview him later – and his observations about how it’s naive to expect a kumbaya moment are interesting enough.

Not nearly as interesting as his statement “brought it on himself”.

Let’s recap that; free, hateful, obnoxious speech “dservers” a group beat-down by a bunch of cowardly rich kids playing commie thug?

All The Wrong Reasons

I’ll admit it. I’ve never much cared for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Even when I was much younger, the idea of pledging allegiance to a government skeeved me out. Governments should get the loyalty they deserve.

Starting in my teens, when I was for any reason involved in saying the Pledge, I’d hold a clenched fist over my heart, by way of saying my allegiance had best not be betrayed – because my real allegiance is to freedom, to government of by and for a free association of equals, ruling by consent of the ruled – to the ideals, not the bureaucracy headquartered in DC with branches close to wherever you live.

But the Saint Louis Park City Council, having solved all the west-suburban town’s other problems, has voted unanimously to stop reciting the Pledge before City Council meetings.

And I’m not impressed with the rationale:

“In order to create a more welcoming environment to a diverse community, we are going to forgo saying the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting,” said Council Member Tim Brausen. At the meeting, Brausen said members might recite it in the future if there’s an appropriate opportunity, like if Boy Scouts are there.  

Any parts of that “diverse community” that are uncomfortable with the fact that this is America should perhaps re-evaluate why they’re here. Stat.

Incented

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A man attacked homeless people, telling them to get out of his city.
Naturally, I deplore violence of any sort.  But it got me to wondering – which is more likely to solve the homeless problem in his town: beating the homeless while demanding they leave, or giving them food, shelter and privileges that law-abiding citizens don’t get (see, for example, San Francisco)?
The article didn’t say whether homeless people were flocking to that city, or fleeing from it.  I wonder . . . .
Joe Doakes

It’s amazing how unaffordable housing had gotten since governments all over the country made “affordable housing” a priority.

Sins Of The Fore-Fore-Forefathers

SCENE: Mitch BERG is waiting in line to get into a Saints game. As he scans the program, Avery LIBRELLE rides up on a segway.

LIBRELLE: Merg!

BERG: Er…(looks around, sees no escape) hey, Avery.

LIBRELLE: White people owe black people reparations!

BERG: Huh. So you mean that people who’ve never been enslaved are owed money by people who never owed slaves.

LIBRELLE: History has meaning!

BERG: And the actions of one’s ancestors matter, right?

LIBRELLE: Absolutely!

BERG: Huh. So – being as I am descended from people that abolished slavery 700 years before the US, or Britain for that matter, am I owed a big thank you?

LIBRELLE: (stares briefly, guns the segway)

And SCENE

Not Funny

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Proposal to outlaw jokes on campus to fight sexual harassment, if it offends the most sensitive person they can dig up. 
Wouldn’t it be easier to go back to single-sex colleges?  No different sexes, no sexual harassment. 
And if someone offends you badly enough that your honor demands satisfaction, perhaps bring back dueling?  It certainly would help resurrect the manly arts.
Joe Doakes

Single sex colleges? Good idea – until they get turned into 1,200+-gender-combination collees.

Oberlin: Bouncing The Rubble

On top of the $11 million in compensatory damages a few weeks back, an Ohio court has awarded Gibon’s Bakery $22 million – the statutory maxiumum – in punitive damages over the bakery’s defamation suite:

The counts were:
Defamation – Oberlin College and Raimondo were found liable
Infliction of intentional emotional distress – Oberlin College was found liable
Intentional interference of business relationships – Raimondo was found liable
Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar in a letter to the campus community on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with the jury’s decision, and signaled the college plans to appeal its findings.
“Let me be absolutely clear: This is not the final outcome. This is, in fact, just one step along the way of what may turn out to be a lengthy and complex legal process,” Twillie Ambar said. “We are disappointed in the jury’s decisions and the fragmentary and sometimes distorted public discussion of this case. But we respect the integrity of the jury, and we value our relationship with the town and region that are our home.”

Note to Social Justice warriors – outside your bubble, your curious illogic doesn’t fly. As Paul Mirengoff notes:

As I understand it, Oberlin argued at trial that it isn’t liable because its students, not the college, were to blame for harming Gibson’s. Then, at the damages phase, Oberlin argued that the college shouldn’t be slammed with a big damages assessment because that outcome would harm its students.
I suspect the jury hated Oberlin and its students and wanted to punish both.

And it turns out that outside that bubble, real-world rules apply..

…to the chagrin and, I suspect, the deep surprise of the SJWs.

It’s a wonderful day.

Now We Have A Precedent. Ho Ho Ho.

Oberlin – perennial contender for the most obnoxiously “progressive” college in the country – gets hit with an $11 million defamation judgment after its social justice legion falsely accused a local bakery of racism:

A Lorain County jury ordered Oberlin to pay $11 million in compensatory damages to Gibson’s Bakery, a local fixture since 1885 that was beset by protests and racism allegations after three black students were arrested for shoplifting the day after the 2016 presidential election.
“The jury saw that Oberlin College went out of their way to harm a good family and longtime business in their community for no real reason, and the jury said we aren’t going to tolerate that in our community anymore,” Owen Rarric, an attorney for the Gibsons, told Legal Insurrection.

The award, which could triple at Tuesday’s hearing on punitive damages, came as a warning to universities that encourage social-justice activism as student protests spill from the campus to the local community.

The protests started after three black students were arrested for shoplifting.

And what of that?

Meanwhile, the three students pleaded guilty to shoplifting and aggravated trespass while issuing statements absolving the bakery of racism.
In 2017, Gibson’s sued the college for libel; tortious influence with business relationships and contracts, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, culminating in the nearly month-long trial in Elyria, Ohio.
“The students eventually pleaded guilty, but not before large protests and boycotts intended to destroy the bakery and defame the owners,” Mr. Jacobson said. “The jury appears to have accepted that Oberlin College facilitated the wrongful conduct against the bakery.”

Let the caterwauling about “chilling effecdts” begin.

More of this. Faster.

UPDATE: It’d seem Oberlin itself is doing its best to make sure more of this happens faster.

UPDATE 2: Oberlin costs $55K a year. Don’t you just love it when people with that kind of pedigree start yapping about other peoples’ “privilege”?

(Post title h/t Paul Havemann)

Snowflake Goes To Work

This epi of “Marketplace” – or, more specifically, its A-line feature on workplaces catering to (liberal) peoples’ politics – may have been one of the most depressing things I’ve heard lately.

It starts at 17:36.

The unstated coda to the piece: “progressive” America wants to “other” all dissent out of every aspect of life.

I just left a contract at a group that was less obnoxious about it than the preening virtue-signalers in the Marketplace piece – but not, I suspect, out of lack of wanting to be. And it got me thinking – for all the talk about “tribalism” – usually from the left, aimed at the likes of Trump supporters and Tea Partiers – it’s Big Left that really takes this stuff seriously.