This is going to be a short round-up because I spent the morning taking care of family matters. One of the things that I did was to drive my daughter to an event that, at its opening, saw everyone singing the Star Spangled Banner.
It sounds very patriotic, doesn’t it? But this is Marin, so I’m not sure…. While the residents here love their neighbors and their community, and they certainly love the wealth and comfort they’ve acquired to be able to live in this lovely part of the world, they’re not so thrilled about America over all.
They think people in flyover country, unless they have the good sense to move to a Democrat-stronghold metropolitan area, aren’t to bright. Indeed, if you asked, they’d say that those people lost in America’s vast middle are bitter clingers. More than that, 70% of them have undying political allegiance to a party that thinks that America’s arrogant, that she’s a war monger, that she has evil imperial ambitions, that she’s racist, that she’s destructive of the environment, and that she’s greedy.
If the Democrat Party to which these Marin residents give their fealty thinks that poorly about America, one has to assume that Marinites think that too. So when they sing the Star Spangled Banner, they’re not doing so out of a heartfelt sense of love for their country; they’re doing it in the same way Japanese started doing “Christian” weddings — it’s a fashion statement, not a belief system.
At NRO, Kevin Williamson explains why reparations won’t work: they are inherently unfair insofar as they focus entirely on blacks, rather than other people who have also found the American system hostile to them. I would add that reparations usually go to the generation actually injured (as in those Jews directly affected by WWII), and not to their descendants. More than that, though, the issue of reparations is no longer about slavery, or Jim Crow, or redlining, or even (as it really should be) the shackles of generational government welfare. Instead, the fundamental driver of reparations is the overwhelming sense amongst political blacks that whites will always have it better, no matter what.
Nothing proves that last point more perfectly than the utterly brainless, reflexive way in which MSNBC host Touré (who is vaguely black by look, and completely politically black by identification) responded to someone who tweeted that his family had survived the concentration camps, came to the country legally, and thrived. Touré didn’t think about the horrors of the camps, or the dislocation of coming to an entirely new culture, or the hard work, or the sacrifice that led to this success. Instead, Touré had one entirely predictable response: white privilege.
Read about Touré’s disgusting tweet here, as well as the overwhelming number of responses aimed at castigating and educating him. All these responses are wasted, of course. Leftists mired in victim politics are utterly immune to any outside information or to shame. Their narcissistic self-defense mechanisms mean that, as far as they’re concerned, whatever comes their way is powered by -isms (racism, sexism) or phobias (homophobia, Islamophobia), and can therefore be dismissed without any further consideration. Nevertheless, the responses make for satisfying reading.
And while I’m on the topic of predictable Leftists, my friend Warner Todd Huston points out that both the New York Times and the Washington Post have rushed to defend Thomas Piketty in the face of heavily documented allegations showing that he didn’t just misuse data, he faked it and manipulated it. I found Warner’s post incredibly funny because I read it just a few minutes after I read a liberal’s comment to my Facebook post noting Piketty’s fakery: “But he still highlighted an important problem [i.e., income inequality].”
She’s a friend, so I had no idea how to say politely that income inequality is not an important problem . . . which is why Piketty was forced to fake the data.
Oh, and one other thing about predictable Leftists. You just knew, didn’t you, that the Left would immediately blame the NRA for the appalling murders down in Santa Barbara county. They’d also blame men who hate women and white people. My real-me Facebook friends certainly came out gunning (pun intended) for the NRA. Fortunately, Twitchy is on the job, showing how each of these claims is a myth, pure and simple. Regarding guns, when my sister and I were talking about the murders, she and I simultaneously said to each other “If someone else had had a gun, that shooting spree would have ended instantly, with many fewer dead.”
What’s obvious is that Elliot Rodger committed the murders because he was mentally ill or evil, whichever is your preferred term for his particular brand of deadly behavior. I’ve seen few things more chilling than the video he left behind. When he sits in his luxury car, in his nice clothes, with his expensive haircut, and then turns to the camera and laughs, one suddenly knows what it must have been like to look at Dr. Mengele or some other Nazi, well-groomed, well-situated, and utterly evil. The difference, of course, is that I’m in my safe room in Marin, with a dog in my lap, while Rodger’s and the Nazi’s victims saw Evil’s face — and then died.
Here’s the funny thing about the video (and funny is yet another word I use intentionally): If you didn’t know that Rodgers was an exceptionally evil man, with the blood of innocents on his hand, the video would, in fact, be funny. He looks exactly like a bad actor auditioning for the part of a cold-blooded killer. I find that just about as frightening as anything else. It means that, without any further data, even when we see evil right in front of us we may be unable to recognize it.
It’s time to start making a noise about Operation Choke Point. The government (under DOJ direction) is using its vast economic police power to cut off money to disfavored businesses. Some of these businesses are shady, but many of which are entirely legal (and constitutional), such as gun dealerships. The issue about the businesses isn’t their legality, it’s that Eric Holder doesn’t like them. This is an appalling violation of Constitutional due process and it is the act of a tyranny:
The general outline is the DOJ and bank regulators are putting the screws to banks and other third-party payment processors to refuse banking services to companies and industries that are deemed to pose a “reputation risk” to the bank. Most controversially, the list of dubious industries is populated by enterprises that are entirely, or at least generally, legal. Tom Blumer’s extremely informative post summarizing what is known to date about Operation Choke Point reproduces the list, which includes things such as ammunition sales, escort services, get-quick-rich schemes, on-line gambling, “racist materials” and payday loans. Quite obviously, some of these things are not like the other; moreover, just because there are some bad apples within a legal industry doesn’t justify effectively destroying a legal industry through secret executive fiat.
Especially ironic, of course, is that while the DOJ and bank regulators are choking off financial services to legal industries, they are also encouraging banks to provide banking services to illegal marijuana sales.
Dang. I’ve depressed myself. Let’s end with something silly: