One of the things that maddens me about my children is how they refuse to take advantage of the cornucopia of information so readily available on the internet. In my day, I actually had to get out of my chair, go to my Dad’s office, get the encyclopedia off the shelf, riffle endlessly through the pages to find the correct entry, and then read that tiny, tiny print.
It was Hell, I tell you! Hell!
Now, all that the kids need to do is to activate their omnipresent smart phone or laptop, type in a few words and — badaboom, badabing — the world’s knowledge is at their fingertips. And still . . . they won’t do it.
Instead, they ask me to answer their questions, something they invariably regret. I either tell them to look it up themselves or, worse, I answer their question in my inimitable Mom style: “So you want to know about the revolution in Cuba and why Castro was such a terribly evil human being? As with all things, if you really want to understand it, we need to start with the Romans.”
In my narrations, everything starts with the Romans, unless I’m feeling particularly cruel and move further back to the Abraham, Moses, Pharaoh, etc. From ancient history, I move on to the early Christians who tried voluntary communal living, to the rise of the feudal state, to the Black Death and its effect on the European economy and peasant rights. That, of course, leads to Renaissance monarchies and, of course, to the Enlightenment, with its two pivotal revolutions (the American revolution, which focused on individual liberty; and the French revolution, which developed the modern idea of the commune); and only then do I really get going.
Most of these conversations end with me saying, “Why are you walking away? I haven’t finished answering your question yet!”
I’m not going to do that to all of you. Instead, I’ll just tip you off to some wonderful things I found on the internet and think you might enjoy. After that, you’re on your own!
The exquisite cognitive dissonance on the Left. I’ll just leave this Yahoo squiblet out here. I don’t need to add anything, do I?
If you’re interested, you can read more about this cruelly irony-unaware initiative here.
How elite Leftists stampeded Trump into the White House. Caped Crusader sent me a link to a wonderful Fred Reed post that looks at the way in which the Leftist elite continuously pushed hard on issues that charmed them, but that drove the average American deep into Trump’s open embrace. Much of what he writes is an amusing rehash of the issues that animate those on the Left, to the consternation of people who live in the real world and have to deal with real issues, such as putting food on the table.
What makes Fred’s post special is the way in which he describes these elite Leftists. These are my people. They come from backgrounds similar to mine, they live in communities just like mine, they have stable, old-fashioned lives just like mine, and they share beliefs that I once shared. Fred understands that these people are also very nice, fiercely wrong, deeply hypocritical, cocooned people:
The rich and powerful are on display in Washington, white, well paid, secure, above average in intelligence, often from Oberlin, Amherst, Swarthmore, Yale. The better sorts of schools, you know. They cluster in Washington’s posh barrios of Bethesda, Upper Connecticut, Cap Hill, and Great Falls. They drink together and talk to each other and believe that they must be right because everyone they know agrees with them.
Theirs is not a personal arrogance–they are nice people and you would like them–but an arrogance of class. Since nobody tells them they are either arrogant or a class, they do not know. Since everybody around them lives at a high standard, it does not occur to them that they live at a high standard. They exist in a small mental box.
The upper crust are also moral frauds, though they do not know this either. Nice liberals to the roots of their teeth, in principle they believe that we should all love each other, and they hate anyone who doesn’t. In practice they approximate George Wallace. Ask when they last went to the ghetto for dinner, whether they have ever been in a restaurant with a majority black clientele, whether they would send their precious children to the public schools of New York. Ask whether they have a blue-collar friend.
Regarding those missing blue-collar friends, a handful of people in my world do come from blue-collar backgrounds — something they view with shame and disdain. I come from a pale blue-collar background (Daddy was a teacher; Mom tried her hand at whatever would bring in extra money), and I’m quite proud of what my parents did. If I have any shame, it’s because, despite our marginal economic status, my parents’ European polish, intelligence, and charm meant that they raised me in a relentlessly Leftist, Jewish, elitist, upper-middle class milieu. Sometimes you really do have to rise above your childhood.
I’d better make a full confession here: I don’t have any blue-collar friends myself, at least here in the real world, rather than the cyber world. Aside from the nice young plumbers my aging house causes me to see on a regular basis, there is no point at which my life intersects with anyone other than professionals. That’s the reality of my world and that’s the reality of the world in which Hillary’s most ardent supporters live.
It’s easy to care about imaginary climate change when you don’t have to care about real things such as food on the table. I am an anomaly in my community in that I am not suffering existential anxiety resulting from fears about anthropogenic climate change. Unlike the people in my world, I do not believe in a nonfalsifiable theory predicated upon a series of computer simulations that have been singularly inaccurate when compared to actual events. (I won’t rehash things you already know. I’ll just say if you want a truly superior analysis about the fraud that is climate change, you can’t do better than this post, from my friend Wolf Howling.)
I’m a heretic, but here in my little, elite, Blue corner of the world, the God of Climate Change is the true faith. No wonder I appreciated Jack Cashill’s a lovely little vignette looking at the Progressive elites’ scientifically incoherent fears about the coming climate apocalypse and showing how it renders them incapable of understanding, as Trump did, the actual concerns of people who don’t live in this upper income bubble (and, most importantly, don’t attend the indoctrination institutes that masquerade under the misnomer of “universities”):
As quickly became clear in last week’s skittish interview do with Donald Trump, the top dogs at the New York Times worry more about rising sea levels than they do about shrinking circulation.
The Times hysteric-in-chief, Thomas Friedman, sounded the alarm. With his first question, he referred to an article he had written days prior warning Trump that indifference to climate change could turn his “oceanside [golf] courses into ocean-floor courses.” Joking, Trump suggested a rise in sea levels just might increase the value of his Doral golf course given that it is about ten miles inland.
For Friedman, this was no laughing matter. “It’s really important to me,” he huffed. Said Trump, “I’m looking at it very closely, Tom. I’ll tell you what. I have an open mind to it.” This was hardly a flip-flop. Trump touched on the Climategate scandal and told the Times crew something no one with power likely ever told them before, “A lot of smart people disagree with you.”
America may still burn, though. Robert Avrech makes an important point about two headline stories in the past week: The first is the disastrous terrorist fires the swept through Israel; the second is the jihadist attack with a car and a knife at Ohio State University: Before fires, Israel suffered car and knife terrorism. Now, that car and knife terrorism has made its way to America. Robert draws the logical conclusion.
The politics of personal destruction. “The politics of personal destruction” was a phrase that first impressed itself on the public consciousness when Teddy Kennedy and Joe Biden sought to destroy Robert Bork, not as a jurist, but as a human being. It had its resurgence when the Democrats launched an even worse attack against Clarence Thomas. Bill Clinton adopted it for himself when his peccadilloes became national news, resulting in his impeachment.
The best that one could say about 20th century America’s politics of personal destruction is that they were limited to people who willingly thrust themselves into the public limelight. Moreover, in Clinton’s case, based on actual evidence, he deserved the scrutiny he got.
Nowadays, however, the Social Justice Warriors on the Left have moved the politics of personal destruction out of Congress and the White House and brought it to the man who runs the Little Shop On The Corner:
How much might it cost a business owner to “come out” as pro-Trump in a blue city like Baltimore, Maryland? Stanley Drebin, the owner of Goldberg’s New York Bagels, a well-known kosher shop in town, has an answer: 15 percent of revenue, with 20 percent fewer customers walking through the door. Drebin didn’t actively express his views, but that didn’t stop the mob from descending on Goldberg’s.
Several weeks before the election on a busy Sunday, several pro-Trump campaigners arrived in a bus to drum up support for their candidate. They remained outside the store, and soon, a customer went outside to confront the campaigners. The customer caused a scene, screaming that Donald Trump was a rapist and a Nazi.
Concerned about the commotion, especially with inappropriate language used outside a store marketed towards religious Jews, Drebin asked the woman to leave. After further insults about Trump, the customer turned her ire towards Trump supporters. At this, Drebin expressed his own support for the Republican candidate for president.
There’s more and you need to read it. We go from a crazed woman who has managed for years to ignore the wellspring of violent antisemitism on the Left, only to have her tar a Jewish man as a Nazi — and then enjoin her equally insane and vicious friends to destroy him. SJW warriors are a plague and the sooner they turn on and destroy each other, the better.
Speaking of Clintons, Linda Tripp has nailed Hillary’s mindset. I was still a Democrat during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, reading the usual Progressive propaganda outlets: The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The New Republic, and the New Yorker. I therefore first accepted as true Bill’s claim that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” I then forgave him his lie and accepted as true that Clinton, rather than having his hedonistic lifestyle and dishonesty catching up with him, was the victim of “a vast right-wing conspiracy.”
My internal Progressive editor prevented me from paying attention to Linda Tripp. I wish I had listened then, because she was, of course, quite right. I can’t go back and correct my past, but I can enjoy Tripp’s writing today as she excoriates Hillary’s current behavior and points to the deep personality flaws and profound narcissism that drive this power-mad woman:
Foregoing a gracious and necessary personal appearance [on election night], she threw the wily John Podesta out on the stage. Best known for his emails, this odd choice of stand-in appeared pale, in visible shock and much like a marionette whose tangled strings had a mind of their own. His bizarre appearance left more questions than answers and his shaken performance seemed to suck all the oxygen out of the room. Clinton’s supporters were left with not only morose defeat but also a sense of abandonment as they wandered aimlessly out of the victory hall. As Donald Trump faced the enormity of his win, he gave a heartfelt, humble and gracious victory speech, one which in its inclusiveness was clearly meant to begin our national healing. Hillary’s voters across the country finally went to bed, monumentally let down by all of it. Their mistake was in believing she actually cared about all of them.All this occurred due to a fundamental Hillary truth: It is first, last and always all about her. Period. It was never about her supporters in the hall or voters across the country. They are routinely forgotten once the votes are tallied and she resurrects their importance only if and when the next election approaches. They have always been nothing more than a means to an end. They are not living, breathing, feeling individuals.
When the SJWs do turn on each other, they’ll probably collapse quickly. I will always give credit where credit is due, and today’s honoree is HuffPo (!). Yeah, I know. It pains me to admit that this rather despicable purveyor of anti-conservative conspiracy theories, climate change hysteria, and routine antisemitism has published a decent article, but it has. This one is about the disastrous generation that American parents — more specifically those elite American parents whom I introduced at the top of this post — are raising:
When a college freshman received a C- on her first test, she literally had a meltdown in class. Sobbing, she texted her mother who called back, demanding to talk to the professor immediately (he, of course, declined). Another mother accompanied her child on a job interview, then wondered why he didn’t get the job.
A major employer reported that during a job interview, a potential employee told him that she would have his job within 18 months. It didn’t even cross her mind that he had worked 20 years to achieve his goal.
Sadly, the stories are all true, says Tim Elmore, founder and president of a non-profit, Growing Leaders, and author of the “Habitudes®” series of books, teacher guides, DVD kits and survey courses. “Gen Y (and iY) kids born between 1984 and 2002 have grown up in an age of instant gratification. iPhones, iPads, instant messaging and immediate access to data is at their fingertips,” he says. “Their grades in school are often negotiated by parents rather than earned and they are praised for accomplishing little. They have hundreds of Facebook and Twitter ‘friends,’ but often few real connections.”
Funnily enough, although I live in an uber-Progressive and elite neighborhood, this particular plague hasn’t touched us. Kids in this neighborhood were raised to be, and are, competent and resilient. They’re also really sweet despite the miserable political ideology drilled into their darling heads.
More SJW media talking heads need to be humiliated in this way. One of the ways to weaken Social Justice Warriors is to call them out for their ignorance, which is often all-encompassing. They function at a slogan level that seldom makes contact with actual facts. That’s why it’s deeply satisfying to see Humberto Fontova take on media hack and SJW Soledad O’Brien and school her about the brutal reality that was Castro. The Left’s undying devotion to Castro is especially pathetic and ludicrous given that he was a murderous homophobe and a solid, Jim-Crow-style racist.
FYI: that last link is to The Daily Kos of all places. Again, giving credit where credit is due, someone went on that site and left a post saying just how awful Castro really was when it comes to matters of race.
The 26 comments to The Daily Kos article about Castro’s racism are also instructive. Some grasp that there’s a problem in Cuba. Others robotically repeat their programmed tropes — America’s been racist for 400, not 50, years; Cuba has great medical care; the system in America is rigged, etc. It’s sad to see people who are incapable of incorporating new information and adjusting their opinions accordingly.
Two from Scott Adams. Adams, whom I sometimes think of as the Prophet of the New Era, has put out two posts in the last two days, both of which are worthy of your attention. The first tells us that success isn’t necessarily dependent on a single sterling gift. Instead, those people who thrive best are those who have multiple “pretty darn good” gifts (as opposed to actual genius) that they’ve learned to use in concert. Trump, says Adams, falls in the latter category.
Adams’ second post warns us not to become crazed Leftists mired in conspiracy theories that consist of invisible dots connected by imaginary lines. We’re better than that . . . and if we do temporarily fall into a true conspiracy trap, it behooves us either to (a) admit that we have no evidence but that we still like the theory (as I sometimes do) or (b) back out very quickly.
UPDATE: This poster, from EFK, seemed just right for a late night update:
Photo by SEOPlanter