If Phil Robertson continues his refusal to bow down to the gods of political correctness, Lee Habeeb will have explained why:
It had never happened before. When big, powerful TV executives ask a star to apologize for what they deem inappropriate comments or behavior, the star simply complies. A team of publicists is assembled, the star does the obligatory apology tour for the press and promises never to do or say what he did or said again. Ever.
But the TV gods never met a man like Phil Robertson. Or his family. When they decided to place the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan on a non-suspension suspension for his comments to a GQ magazine writer about homosexuality, the executives at A&E created a problem.
Because this family believes in a bigger God. The same God that roughly 70 percent of Americans believe in. The Robertsons take their faith seriously, and one of the more important elements of that faith involves putting no god before theirs. Not even the suits at the big network.
Read the rest (and all of it is worth reading) here.
I don’t know about you, but I am entranced by the notion of someone who won’t be bullied into apologizing for something he believes. Social bullying has never appealed to me. And if you want to see how bad that bullying is, you can see that GLAAD makes old Joe McCarthy look like an amateur.
UPDATE: A&E caved. Let’s hope other conservatives will learn to stick to their guns.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) occurs at the intersection of Africa and Islam — meaning brown people and black people. It involves taking a little girl and cutting off her clitoris and, perhaps, her labia. In extreme circumstances, it means sewing together the opening to her vagina. It’s purpose is a simple one: to destroy sexual pleasure or even the possibility of sex. If sex is possible, it’s painful. Of course, for all these little girls, sex will still be an imperative when they are grown (or, in same cases, almost grown) and forced to marry.
Aside from the horrible mutilation, the process itself is medieval too. It’s done without anesthetics and using the most primitive instruments, including rusty, dull razor blades. The notion of sanitation is laughable.
There is absolutely nothing good that can be said about FGM. Unlike circumcision (which I understand many decry), it is not a covenant with God, it does not provide a sanitary function (whether in the Sinai desert or elsewhere), and it does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. It is solely about control and denying women sexual pleasure as one means of that control.
Every right thinking person in the world should be opposed to it. It is the modern equivalent of the suttee (or sati) that the English Governor-General of India, William Bentinck brought to an end. That practice, of course, involved a widowed wife crawling onto her dead husband’s funeral pyre to be burned alive along with his corpse. Bentinck was fully alive to the risks he ran in challenging an established cultural practice. He understood that he could put British lives at risk, but he determined in 1829 that moral considerations must outweigh pragmatic concerns:
Prudence and self-interest would counsel me to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors [who allowed suttee]. But in a case of such momentous importance to humanity and civilization, that man must be reckless of all his present or future happiness who could listen to the dictates of so wicked and selfish a policy. With the firm undoubting conviction entertained upon this question, I should be guilty of little short of the crime of multiplied murder, if I could hesitate in the performance of this solemn obligation. I have been already stung with this feeling. Every day’s delay adds a victim to the dreadful list, which might perhaps have been prevented by a more early submission of the present question.
Convinced that respect for another’s culture and fear himself and his countrymen must yield to morality, Bentinck outlawed suttee in December 1829.
Reading Bentinck’s writing on the subject, it’s quite obvious that he never said to himself, “Well, it’s their culture and who am I to judge?” To the extent that he recognized suttee was part of Indian culture, his calculus was “How much damage will it do to the British to squash this cultural excrescence?”
Nowadays, though, political correctness has left people unable to value the best that their culture has to offer. We no longer say, “I judge them, but pragmatic considerations demand that I ignore them.” Instead, multiculturalism has led us to the point where we say, “Well, those black and brown people have their own way of doing things, and it’s clearly good for them. I wouldn’t do it myself, but who am I to demand that those backward folks meet higher standards of morality and human decency.”
I’m not throwing around hypotheticals when I say that last sentence. A British-based campaigner against FGM, who was herself subject to the procedure, was left in tears when 19 people in England cheerfully signed a petition encouraging FGM in Britain. The phony petition argued that, because FGM is part of African culture, it should be respected. Over the course of thirty minutes, 19 people thought that it was fine to sign on to barbarism if a non-white culture liked it:
A female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner was left in tears after an experiment intended to assess the impact of political correctness on the fight against cutting saw 19 people sign a fake pro-FGM petition within 30 minutes.
Leyla Hussein, 32, who suffered female genital mutilation as a child, approached shoppers in Northampton with the petition, which argued that as FGM was part of her culture, it should be protected.
During the 30-minute experiment, 19 people signed the petition and just one refused – a result Hussein blamed on the all-pervading culture of political correctness.
Speaking to the Evening Standard following the experiment, Hussein, who also appears in upcoming Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut, said: ‘I kept using the words “it’s just mutilation”. They were like “yes, you are right”. How can anyone think this is OK?’
Warning that politically correct attitudes could hamper the fight against FGM, Hussein added: ‘FGM is not culture, it is violence.
‘Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.’
‘It is incredible that UK citizens would sign a petition supporting child abuse,’ Efua Dorkenoo, Advocacy Director of Equality Now’s FGM Programme, told MailOnline.
Last week, Emily Yoffe, who writes regularly at Slate set of a firestorm when she wrote a post that offered what normal, non-politically correct people, recognize as extremely good advice: Tweens and young women, if you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk. Yoffe wasn’t giving rapists, even drunk rapists, a pass. She was just saying that, as a practical matter, a young woman who is to incapacitated to make rational decisions or to lift a hand in her own defense, is a natural victim:
A 2009 study of campus sexual assault found that by the time they are seniors, almost 20 percent of college women will become victims, overwhelmingly of a fellow classmate. Very few will ever report it to authorities. The same study states that more than 80 percent of campus sexual assaults involve alcohol. Frequently both the man and the woman have been drinking.
Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them. Young women are getting a distorted message that their right to match men drink for drink is a feminist issue. The real feminist message should be that when you lose the ability to be responsible for yourself, you drastically increase the chances that you will attract the kinds of people who, shall we say, don’t have your best interest at heart. That’s not blaming the victim; that’s trying to prevent more victims.
Honestly, I don’t think Yoffe could have been more clear.
I happen to agree with Yoffe 100%. I agree to the extent that, whether sober or drunk, certain young men see a drunken woman, especially an unconscious drunken woman, as a perfect target for rape.
I also agree to the extent that drunken young women say “yes” when, had they been sober, they would have said “no.” Men aren’t the only ones who wear beer goggles. When the girls or young women wake up the next morning filled with regrets, they tend to whitewash their complicity in drunken sex by claiming “rape.” Those fake cries of rape destroy the men against whom they’re aimed, but in today’s culture, these young women are so brainwashed that they actually convince themselves that their drunken “yes” equaled a rape — and then they go around suffering permanent emotional damage from the mantle of victim-hood that they draped upon themselves.
I know that, on the liberal side of the blogosphere, people went ballistic over Yoffe’s article. I didn’t have to read those posts to know what they were saying. I linked to Yoffe’s post on my Facebook page and got more comments than I’ve gotten on any other thing I’ve ever linked. With the exception of comments from three conservative friends, all of my other liberal friends said variations on exactly the same thing: While Yoffe is correct factually, they cannot approve of her saying what she said because it’s unfair to girls to say that they have a responsibility to protect themselves.
Please think about this for a moment. These liberals agree that girls who drink to excess are vulnerable to rape and other attacks. They simply think that this truism — one with huge practical implications for women’s safety — must go unsaid because its offensive to feminist ideology to state in any way, shape, or form, that young women have a responsibility to protect themselves.
In the comments section, I got all sorts of arguments against warning girls that drunkenness can be their undoing and all of these arguments were premised upon enormous logical fallacies:
There’s no excuse for men to rape. I agreed, but pointed out that there’s a virtue to making it harder for them to do so.
Suggesting that women can take proactive steps to prevent rape will make them feel guilty if they are raped. Yes, maybe, I said, but it will also mean fewer women get raped.
Just because people are drunk doesn’t mean they rape. Huh? Well, no, most drunk young men thankfully don’t rape drunk or unconscious women, but some do. Given that reality, why shouldn’t the women avoid the risks of running across the “bad” drunk guys? And certainly one of the most effective ways to avoid these guys is for you to keep your wits about you.
Men need to be told not to rape, rather than telling women not to drink. But, but . . . can’t we do both? And incidentally, we already tell men not to rape, a proscription that carries with it a heavy legal penalty. Despite that, some still do, whether they are drunk or sober.
Saying that drunken women are essentially willing victims is a free pass for men. Men are always morally responsible for their actions. If a thief robs a house, he’s still morally and legally in the wrong. But it doesn’t mean homeowners are relieved of the obligation to lock their doors.
It’s not fair to tell women not to drink if we also don’t tell other people not to do things that will protect them from crimes. Okay, now they’re really getting desperate. How often are we told to lock our houses, carry our purses so snatchers can’t grab them, check our surroundings before going to the ATM, lock our car doors, etc.? But even if we weren’t told these things, there’s a difference between crimes of property and crimes of person. While having our house broken into feels like a violation (been there, felt that), it’s not the same as having our person violated. That means that the need for warnings about careless behavior with our bodies should demand more attention than for careless behavior with our property.
Since I’ve been working on Mr. Conservative, I’ve spent way too much time writing about rape, sexual assault, and pedophilia. In 90% of those stories, alcohol is a factor. It’s definitely a factor in terms of the malfeasor’s conduct, but it’s equally a factor in terms of the victim’s conduct. This is especially true in the cases of the high school girls who find pictures of themselves on social networks naked or being sexually assaulted. Two things invariably happen: (1) The girls admit, or witnesses confirm, that the teenage victims had drunk themselves insensible; and (2) the other students at the school place more blame on the drunken victim than on the drunken perpetrator(s).
This last isn’t fair. Indeed, it’s absolutely vile. The fact remains, though, that outside of the rarefied world of elite feminism, it’s a reality: On the street, kids know enough about the world to believe that girls shouldn’t drunk themselves to vulnerability and, if they do, they shouldn’t destroy some guy’s life by complaining if he takes advantage of that situation.
The best thing that the feminists can do for girls dealing with the real world, rather than the elite’s dream of a real world, is to issue constant, graphic warnings telling teenage girls not to get drunk. If their body is a house, getting drunk is the equivalent of handing the keys to the guy trolling the neighborhood looking for a house to rob.
The debate about the Washington Redskin’s nickname – the Redskins – took an extremely ugly turn today when the New York Daily News published a cartoon showing a Nazi flag with a swastika, a Confederate flag, the and Redskins’ logo, and then put a caption underneath all three of them that stated “Archaic Symbols of Pride and Heritage.”
Actually, it’s not just an ugly turn. It also reveals the profound stupidity and deep racism behind the move to force the Redskins to change their name. To walk you through the embarrassing subtext behind the movement, begin by thinking of that old Sesame Street song about “one of these things is not like the other one. With that in mind, ask yourself which of the following three flags is different from the other two?
A. The swastika’s message was “Aryans are superior and all other races are slave races or should be exterminated.”
B. The Confederate flag’s message is understood by many, both those who wave it and those who oppose it, to mean that “Whites are superior to blacks, and blacks should be slaves in perpetuity.”
C. The Redskins’ team logo is “Native Americans are awesome warriors and we, an American football team, take inspiration from them.”
Hmmm. That’s a tough one. Which could be different?
Well, if you’re a person of ordinary common sense and intelligence, you’ve figured out that the Washington Redskins’ logo is completely different from the swastika or the Confederate flag. Rather than denigrating another race, it pays another race homage. If you want to go all shaman-y on this one, the Indian warrior is kind of like the team’s totem (and totems are important to Native American culture), with the team hoping to take on the warrior’s attributes.
However, if you’re not a person of ordinary common sense and intelligence but are, instead, one of America’s “elite,” educated at Ivy League schools or keeping the seat warm in a telecasting booth at football games, this not-so-subtle distinction totally eludes you. As far as you’re concerned, if anyone other than a Native American references Native Americans, it must be an insult. Because if you’re an “elite,” you’re that dumb (and that racist).
Fortunately, the Redskins’ sponsors don’t seem to be in any hurry to ditch the team name — which is unsurprising given that the Redskins is is the second most profitable in the NFL. Nor do the fans seem to care. This is not a grassroots movement. This is not even an astroturf movement. This is an elite, silk-carpet-carefully-woven-to-look-like-grass movement. It’s a fake every step of the way, and real fans should ignore it completely.
(This post originally appeared in slightly different form at Mr. Conservative.)
One of the things that characterizes the rule of law is that it applies equally to all citizens. The rich man’s son who vandalizes a shop is prosecuted as vigorously as the poor man’s son who does the same. That the rich man’s son can afford a good lawyer is the random luck of life. America can provide equality of opportunity, but nothing, not even socialism, can guarantee equality of outcome. The important thing for purposes of the rule of law is that the law doesn’t give the rich man’s son a pass.
The rule of law also has to be grounded in common sense and reality. That’s why Anatole France was being nonsensical when he famously said “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” The reality is that a rich man, unless crazy, does none of those things — but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the law is unfair if societal good demands that we value property or try to keep streets safe for all citizens. The law is what it is. In the case of theft, vagrancy, and begging, it isn’t the law that should change but, perhaps, the availability of opportunities and, as needed, charity.
Common sense has long-dictated, at least since 9/11, that the best way to stop terrorism directed at Americans is to keep a close eye on people, especially men, who practice a strict form of Islam and on disaffected young men who take psychotropic drugs. These two categories of people have been responsible for almost all, or maybe all, of the mass killings against Americans over the last decade and more.
When it comes to the mentally ill, we keep talking about monitoring them, but we don’t do it. Lack of political will, lack of political and social organization, civil rights issues, and the fact that it’s more fun to rail against guns than against insane people (poor things) means that this won’t change any time soon.
Even worse, our government has made the “politically correct” decision to refuse to monitor with extra focus those young men who embrace radical Islam (e.g., the Tsarnaevs or Nidal Hassan). It’s not fair, we’re told. Profiling will make law-abiding Muslims (and the vast majority of Muslims in America are law-abiding) uncomfortable. It’s racist and mean to assume that, because someone is Arab-looking, and sweating, and smelling of rose water, and murmuring “Allahu Akbar” under his breath to think that he’s up to a bit of no good — never mind that, when the bomb goes off or the plane falls from the sky, any Muslims in the area will be just as dead as their non-Muslim compatriots.
Heck, we’ve allowed minority groups to prey on each other for decades for fear of causing offense. The number one target of violent, young, black and Hispanic males is . . . violent, young, black and Hispanic males, followed closely by all the hapless black and Hispanic children, old people, mothers, and fathers who have to share communities with these monsters of violence. Because it looks bad for white police to go after these monsters, their communities must suffer. The Gods of Political Correctness delight in human sacrifices, and the younger, more innocent, and more tender the better.
Americans therefore fully understand that our government, for “diversity,” or “multicultural,” or “politically correct” reasons (all of those terms speak to the same end), absolutely refuses to look first at the obvious suspects (young, radical Muslim men) before casting its net wide to sweep in people who are trying to avoid capture by looking less obvious. It’s not likely that the Minnesota granny has a bomb in her brassiere, but it’s possible. A good national security system doesn’t assume that anyone is innocent, but it does concentrate its resources where they make they most sense.
So here’s the deal with the NSA spying: We know with some certainty that, for Leftist political reasons, the NSA is not making an effort to scrutinize the population most likely to go all “Allahu Akbar” on us. Instead, for politically correct reasons, it’s spying on everyone. In essence, it’s creating a haystack of information, with extra paddings of politically correct, multiculturalist hay wrapped around any spot where a needle might hide.
If politics means that the system won’t look for the obvious bad guys, what is it looking for then? Well, I suspect that what’s going to happen is that the system will be used to look for easy targets. Things that are neither criminal nor suspicious, but that pop up nevertheless, will suddenly be scrutinized because they’re there. It will be the surveillance equivalent of “If the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, then Mohamed must come to the mountain.” Since the NSA can’t focus its efforts on finding real criminals, it will engage in some flexible thinking and criminalize whatever activity it sees. And — voila! — it will therefore justify its bureaucratic existence and purpose. That the country will lose its identity and the people their freedom is a small price to pay for bureaucratic immortality.
A friend sent me an email which reminded me that I have been remiss insofar as I have not posted about Lt. Col Matthew Dooley. I’m reprinting the email here to make up for that omission:
Lt. Col Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and highly-decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University. He had 19 years of service and experience, and was considered one of the most highly qualified military instructors on Radical Islam & Terrorism.
He taught military students about the situations they would encounter, how to react, about Islamic culture, traditions, and explained the mindset of Islamic extremists. Passing down first hand knowledge and experience, and teaching courses that were suggested (and approved) by the Joint Forces Staff College. The course “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” ,which was suggested and approved by the Joint Forces Staff College, caught the attention of several Islamic Groups, and they wanted to make an example of him.
They collectively wrote a letter expressing their outrage, and the Pro-Islamic Obama Administration was all too happy to assist. The letter was passed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Martin Dempsey. Dempsey publicly degraded and reprimanded Dooley, and Dooley received a negative Officer Evaluation Report almost immediately (which he had aced for the past 5 years). He was relieved of teaching duties, and his career has been red-flagged.
“He had a brilliant career ahead of him. Now, he has been flagged.” – Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center
“All US military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no US military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive ,or just too informative.” – Former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez (about Lt. Col Dooley)
The Obama Administration has demonstrated lightning speed to dismiss Military brass that does not conform to its agenda, and not surprisingly, nobody is speaking up for Lt. Col. Dooley.
IT’S A SAD DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY WHEN GOOD LOYAL MEN LIKE THIS GET THROWN UNDER THE BUS BECAUSE NOBODY HAS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP!
Share this if you would. Lets bring some attention to this.
Lt. Col. Dooley is the tip of the iceberg. Soon, as PC continues to pave the way for Sharia law, we will all be Lt. Col. Dooley.
With three exceptions, those members of the British public on the scene when jihadists murdered Lee Rigby and then beheaded him showed that they still had the capacity for horror, but that they had lost their ability for action. They tweeted, they photographed, they videotaped, they exclaimed, they emoted . . . and that was all.
The three exceptions were three women. Two were a mother-daughter team, deeply devout (I assume Christian, although the article doesn’t say), who believed that “no man should die alone,” and who therefore sat with Rigby’s poor, mutilated body:
Gemini Donnelly-Martin, 20, and her mother Amanda Donnelly, confronted the suspected killers and asked the attackers if they could be by Drummer Lee Rigby’s side.
Their refusal to be cowed by the terrorists won praise from all quarters, including Downing Street.
Amanda’s son Simeon, 22, said the two women acted out of love.
He said: ‘My mother was just driving past and she saw something and wanted to try and help. ‘She just showed a bit of motherly love. She just did what any mother would have done.
‘She felt that could have been me lying down there in the street. She just felt for the poor guy.
‘No man should have to die like that in the street with no-one around him.
Gemini said that they had simply done what they thought was right.
She told the Daily Mirror: ‘We did what anyone would do. We just wanted to take care of the man. It wasn’t brave. Anyone would have done it. It had to be done. They (the killers) said women could pass.’
‘The only thing people need to worry about is that poor man’s mum. We are grateful, though, for what people are saying about us.’
When it became apparent Drummer Lee Rigby was beyond their help, they shielded his body from further desecration by his savage attackers.
Amanda, 44, insisted she be allowed to pray for the dead man even when confronted by one of the killer. Kneeling at his side, she cradled him gently, seemingly unfazed by his horrific wounds.
Gemini said “we did what anyone would do.” But the fact is that, in today’s England, what anyone would do was . . . nothing.
The other person to act was Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who went right up to one of the killers and just confronted him:
At the same time, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett remonstrated with the fanatics, despite her fears they would attack again.
The Cub Scout leader and mother of two asked them to hand over their bloodstained weapons and listened to their hate-filled tirade about wanting to ignite ‘war in London’.
She selflessly tried to draw the men’s attention, later saying: ‘Better me than a child.’
It’s deeply disturbing that London’s streets could muster so little action. These women’s bravery and compassion — behavior that would be exemplary in any circumstances — stands out especially clearly given the stark, frozen backdrop against which they acted.
In modern Western cultures, people are inundated with “feeling” phrases about fellowship and compassion and diversity and any other navel-gazing term you can say. But they are told — always — don’t act. Feel, but don’t do anything. You might get hurt. You might hurt someone. You might get sued. It might be a cultural misunderstanding. You might be viewed as an overbearing white imperialist, or a sexist, or a racist. Whatever you do, please be sure that your feelings are in accordance with all that is light and good under diversity and political correctness, but for Gaia’s sake, don’t just do something, stand there.
The elephant in the middle of the room that no one seems to want to look at is that there are people in this country, perhaps many people, who have been welcomed into this country, lived here for quite a while, embraced by Americans and treated kindly, who smile at you and seem perfectly normal, and who would happily kill you as an infidel. All of Dzhokhar’s college pals who shared joints, partied together, and played on sports teams together are shocked, and who can blame them, because he seemed so nice and normal and settled. What they don’t understand is that he only seemed nice. For quite awhile, inside he thought they were all infidels worthy of murder for the cause. It could have been all of them in the dorm or a classroom, smiles and pleasantries forgotten. He and his brother chose another more symbolic venue to declare their jihad and hatred of America and infidels, but he would have killed his dormmates, teammates or classmates just as happily.
That’s scary and unsettling. Who wants to think that people who smile and eat lunch with us may be putting on an elaborate act, that behind the smile lies a hatred deep enough to put a bomb next to a defenseless child and kill him, horribly maim dozens of others, then go back to school, refer to himself as a “stress free kind of guy” on twitter, hit the gym, and fool the dupes around him. This is the definition of evil. Evil exists when sane people follow an evil ideology, or when people are sociopathic and warped. Which are the Boston jihadists? They are both. They show a callous indifference to human life and no doubt a triumphal game of returning to the dorm or daily routine, easy as pie, F*&% America and its slutty women and unbelievers.
The Boston politically correct brigade will try to understand them and explain their deeds, as if planting a bomb next to kids in a crowd of people enjoying a race can be explained in any way by anything we did, as if anything—anything—can explain their decision to wage jihad at the Boston Marathon. The media and academia have become accustomed to blaming external factors for everything; school failure, criminal activity, gangs, violence. But other immigrant kids don’t do this. Not every kid who feels alienated does this. Hell, not even every kid who hates America does this. The deeds of Dzhokhar and Tamerlin Tsarnaev reflect their choices and their values. Their playing a “nice guy” role to their American friends and acquaintances reflects choices and values too. They weren’t teased or bullied. You kidding? A Golden Gloves boxer and a wrestling champ? More likely they were welcomed and treated decently by naïve people perhaps, but people far better than they, people that don’t live deceitful, fraudulent lives, plotting murder with a smile on their faces.
The question for us, knowing that there are others like the Boston jihadists living here and smiling at us, is what do we do? How do we stay open as a society and safe? If the majority of decent, law abiding Moslems are appalled by these actions, how do we get them to engage in protest and widespread condemnation of the acts, instead of defensive accusations that they might be picked on? How do we become a society that accepts personal responsibility again? How do we become a people who again can face that true evil exists in the ideology of the brothers and must be fought as hard and devotedly as we fought the true evil that existed in Nazi ideology.
I love Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I grew up watching TV repeats of the
1695 1965 version, own the DVD of the original 1957 version (with Julie Andrews), and can even sort of tolerate Whitney Houston’s 1997 version. That show had very PC, rainbow-colored casting and — the worst sin — a bland Brandy in the lead role, but it nevertheless respected the source material.
There’s a new Cinderella on Broadway now, and it got a very interesting review from Ben Brantley at the New York Times. I actually had to read the review twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.
Brantley gives the production kudos of visual eye-candy (although it seems somewhat overdone) and speaks approvingly of the performers. The surprise is that Brantley speaks slightingly of the way in which Douglas Carter Beane, who wrote a new book for the show, and Mark Brokaw, the director, couldn’t resist turning this classic little gem into a politically correct parable:
But a lot has been added and deleted. (Extensive revisions, by the way, have been made in every version of this “Cinderella” that followed its inception.) Some lesser-known songs from the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalog have been jimmied in (including “Now Is the Time,” a rousing call for social change that was cut from “South Pacific”).
There’s been a whole lot of fiddling with the plot too to give it politically progressive substance and those mandatory messages about self-esteem and self-empowerment. The prince’s parents (played by Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon in 1965) have been eliminated, replaced by a devious and manipulative regent figure, Sebastian (the droller-than-droll Peter Bartlett), who tricks the naïve prince, called Topher, into signing bills that repress and rob his people.
So when Cinderella finally gets the chance to talk to her dream date at that immortal ball, instead of whispering sweet nothings, she says, “You need to open your eyes to what’s happening in your kingdom.” (Maybe she should be renamed Che-erella.)
Like the reinvented cartoon fairy-tale heroines of the past several decades, from Disney’s “Little Mermaid” onward, this Cinderella is no passive damsel waiting for a rescuing knight. She takes charge of her destiny, so much so that she doesn’t lose that glass slipper; she hands it to the prince. It’s a conscious choice, see; she controls her narrative. And, by the way, the prince must undergo a similar process of re-education, which will allow him to conquer his self-doubts and introduce democracy to his kingdom.
Brantley acknowledges that this PC update has a bit of a knowing “wink and a nod” quality to it, but acknowledges that many in the audience seemed to miss the knowingly self-referential tone of the PC add-ons.
Cinderella is inherently a retro story, a sort of Patient Griselda for the modern era. When I was a child, I adored the story, the Disney movie, and, as I said, the TV show but, when I look back at them now, I do wonder if they encouraged in my a passivity that always had me assuming that, if I didn’t like my life, some prince would come and rescue me. Gail Carson Levine addressed that passive female problem rather nicely in her imaginative Ella Enchanted a delightful book that was turned into the extremely popular movie with Anne Hathaway. (The movie deviates wildly from the book, but I try to view it as a stand-alone product and enjoy the movie on those terms.)
I think we’re all inclined to sit back and enjoy variations on the Cinderella theme, and it’s okay when the new versions remind little girls that they no longer have to sit and wait. Taking a classic musical, however, written by two of Broadway’s greatest geniuses, and tacking on a whole bunch of extraneous PC stuff above and beyond a little Cinderella empowerment seems wrong, though — wrong enough, incidentally, to see a New York Times reviewer sneer at the artistic and entertainment merits of political correctness.
Since I like to keep up with current music, when I’m in the car I often listen to Sirius XM Hits 1 (channel 2), which tracks the Top 40 songs. Weekday mornings, Hits 1 offers the Morning MashUp, which consists of two guys and a gal chatting together about celebrity gossip and taking listener phone calls.
Today, much to my surprise, I tuned in to hear this trio talking about the case of the seven year old boy who was suspended from school for lobbing an imaginary grenade at an imaginary box of imaginary bad guys. Even more to my surprise, the Morning MashUp gang was infuriated by the suspension. Their attitude was that kids have to be kids, that children should be allowed to exercise their imaginations, that children have always played cops and robbers, and that the school massively overreacted.
I agree completely with the Morning MashUp gang. I also wonder if (or, perhaps, hope that) they are the tip of the iceberg, with the iceberg being a backlash against the stifling conformity and inanity of the various liberal ukases that control more and more of our lives and of our children’s lives.
As an aside, I’m also willing to bet that there is, or easily could be, a study showing that destroying imaginary bad guys, whether by lobbing pretend grenades or having a wild game of cops and robbers, isn’t a psychologically necessary way for children to deal with fear. Children are certainly fearful. They have very little control over their lives and their world is peopled with danger, both real and (because they are children) imaginary. Being able to throw a grenade at the bad guys sounds like a perfectly therapeutic imaging exercise designed to empower a fearful child.
It’s hard to imagine a more politically incorrect belief system than Islam. The seriously Muslim world stands for women without legal rights or physical freedoms, wife beating, honor killings, child brides, capital punishment for female adultery, and capital punishment for homosexuality.
President Barack Obama, however, feels that Turkey’s Erdogan, a hardline Muslim, is his kindred spirit, while Bibi Netanyahu, a man who leads a country that extends full rights to women and gays, is a bad guy. Obama also believes strongly that the Muslim Brotherhood, which practices and preaches the most extreme form of Islam, is a good peace partner. Lastly, he wants to reach hands across the water to Iran, which has been in a state of declared war against America (and women and gays and Israel) since 1979. Oh, and there’s Obama’s hostility to fracking, the only energy extraction process on the horizon that can de-fund the American monies that support the Islamist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.
In other words, if you’re a Muslim, Obama and his Progressive pals are willing to forgive your sins.
It turns out that this magic sin forgiveness extends to friends of Muslims as well. Witness Chuck Hagel.
Hagel doesn’t like gays. He made that very clear during the 1990s, when he had this to say about President Clinton’s gay ambassadorial nominee, James Hormel:
Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel’s remark to the Omaha World-Herald in 1998 that Clinton ambassadorial nominee James Hormel was “openly aggressively gay” was only a part of what Hagel told the paper about his opposition to Hormel’s nomination.
In additional comments that appeared in the same Omaha World-Herald story on July 3, 1998, Hagel said that Hormel’s gay conduct in public goes “beyond common sense” and concluded that a gay performance group of men in drag as nuns was “anti-Catholic” upon seeing a video of Hormel at one of its events.
Hagel told the paper at the time that being gay shouldn’t disqualify a candidate from being an ambassador, but that Hormel’s conduct would diminish his effectiveness.
Hormel “very aggressively told the world of his gayness and the funding and all the things he’s been involved in,” Hagel was quoted as saying. “I think you do go beyond common sense there, and reason and a certain amount of decorum.”
“If you send an ambassador abroad with a cloud of controversy hanging over him,” he said, “then I think it’s unfair to our country, it’s unfair to the host country and it’s unfair to the ambassador because the effectiveness of that individual is going to be seriously curtailed. That’s just a fact of life. And I believe Hormel’s situation is one of those.”
To be fair, Hagel wasn’t arguing that Hormel should be beaten or executed. Instead, he was saying that his sexual orientation disqualified him from political office, offended decorum, and was anti-Catholic. Despite the publicity regarding Hagel’s gross political incorrectness, Obama has still selected him as his preferred Secretary of Defense. Hmmm.
Before you get excited and think that, to the extent you expressed negative opinions about gays back in the 1990s, you have a free pass, you need to pay attention to what happened to Rev. Louie Giglio, who also expressed dismay about homosexual conduct back in the 1990s:
The minister selected by President Obama to deliver the benediction at his inaugural this month has withdrawn from the program amid a storm of controversy over remarks he made about homosexuality in a sermon in the mid-1990s, according to an inaugural planner.
In it, Mr. Giglio called on fellow Christians to fight the “aggressive agenda” of the gay-rights movement, and advocated “the healing power of Jesus” as “the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle” – a comment some gay-rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of reparative, or so-called gay-to-straight conversion, therapy, as a supposed cure for homosexuality
In other words, like Hagel, Rev. Giglio in the 1990s said that sexual orientation offended decorum. Also, much like Hagel, Giglio hasn’t said anything about gays for the past 20 years. It’s dead. It’s history. But unlike Hagel, Giglio is a Christian minister and hasn’t given any indication that he thinks Islam is groovy. Also, unlike Hagel, Giglio got the boot:
An official with Mr. Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee, which operates separately from the White House, vetted Mr. Giglio. People familiar with internal discussions between administration and committee officials said the White House viewed the selection as a problem for Mr. Obama, and told the panel on Wednesday night to quickly fix it. By Thursday morning, Mr. Giglio said he had withdrawn.
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural,” said Addie Whisenant, the spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”
Double standard anyone?
The double standard also applies to abortion. Republicans almost certain lost their opportunity to take control of the Senate because two candidates, Todd Aikin and Richard Mourdoch, made statements about abortion that the media turned into a hysterical war against women. I know of two people who were leaning to Romney, but switched votes because he belonged to the same party as Aikin and Mourdoch. Fiscal sanity and national security couldn’t compete with abortion.
Here’s what Richard Mourdock said, which I think is a defensible position, humanely stated:
The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.
You may not agree, but it is a valid stance, one that looks at life as a gift independent from the violence that created it. It is, in other words, a moral position.
Here’s what Todd Aikin said, which has the same moral position buried within it, but that starts from a position of complete and offensive idiocy:
It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors — that’s [pregnancy following a rape] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But, let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
Aikin was cast into the wilderness by Left and Right alike for his stupidity. Mourdock got swept up in the same witch hunt.
Interestingly, Hagel (the one who gets a pass) sounds a lot more like Aikin, who’s an idiot, than Mourdock, who is someone who made a difficult and thoughtful decision about balancing two lives. Here’s Hagel:
When he announced his candidacy for Senate, Hagel said that he opposed abortion except to protect the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. Hagel decided he didn’t believe that exclusion for rape were necessary after studying the issue near the end of his campaign.
“I am pro-life with one exception — the life of the mother. I oppose taxpayer funded abortions. We must promote adoption and support the strengthening of American families. I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature, according to the Omaha World Herald.
Then Senate-candidate Hagel said that he “tightened” his position on abortion after he said he discovered that abortion in the case of rape and incest are “rare” according to multiple local press reports.
“As I looked at those numbers, if I want to prevent abortions, I don’t think those two exceptions are relevant,” Hagel said, according to the Omaha paper.
To her credit, Rachel Maddow has given Hagel a hard time about both Hagel’s gay and abortion stances. For once, though, the Left doesn’t seem to be paying attention to its media darling.
If you look hard, you discover that there’s only one thing that distinguishes Hagel from Giglio, Aikin, and Mourdock, all three of whom became roadkill as the Politically Correct train drove by: he supports Iran and hates Israel. He supports an ideology that enslaves and kills women, and that makes homosexuality a capital crime. And the only thing that gives this specific ideology a pass with Hagel, Obama, and the Left, is that this religion is neither Jewish nor Christian.
This is a sad, twisted state of affairs, and one that the American people created with eyes wide shut. I despair of our country and the world right now.
The rule of war used to be that you hated your enemy. That made it easy to fight your enemy. Then, starting with the first Gulf War, the new rule was that you felt sorry for your enemy. By the Iraq War, the rule had become, you’ve got to like and respect your enemy.
These new rules baffled my father, a WWII vet, who kept saying “You can’t kill an enemy unless you hate him.” I’m glad that Daddy’s not alive today to see the proposed Army Handbook coming out of the politically correct Obama Pentagon. The proposed new rule is that, if you serve in America’s military, you must hate yourself because you’re incompetent and ill-informed (the link is behind a paywall; I’ve limited the quotation below to fair use):
The proposed Army handbook suggests that Western ignorance of Afghan culture, not Taliban infiltration, has helped drive the recent spike in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the coalition forces.
“Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member,” according to the draft handbook prepared by Army researchers.
There you have it: if you get killed in Afghanistan, it’s all your fault.
With that rule in mind, why don’t we just surrender now and save everyone a lot of time and money? I’m sure that the short-term benefits, in the form of national politically-correct self-respect, will more than offset the increase in targeted American killings at home and abroad.
Incidentally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong for an occupying force to deal intelligently with both the active enemy and the more neutral local people. It’s smart to mandate that troops behave in ways that will maximize gaining the local population’s good-will, while minimizing accidentally giving cultural offense. A sidebar to the WSJ article that quotes the handbook’s specific rules, shows that the Army can be that smart:
Green-on-blue incidents provoke a crisis of confidence and trust among [coalition forces] working with [Afghan troops]. As a means of illuminating this insider threat, those [coalition] personnel working on Security Force Assistance Teams during 2012 that live alongside and mentor [Afghan security forces] have about 200 times the risk of being murdered by an [Afghan security force] member than a U.S. police officer has of being murdered in the line of duty by a perpetrator.
* * *
- Understand that they may have poor conflict resolution skills and that insults cause irrational escalation of force.
- Do not discuss religion
* * *
Flashpoints/Grievances Some U.S. Troops Have Reported Regarding Afghanistan National Security Forces:
To better prepare [coalition forces] for the psychologically challenging conditions in Afghanistan, familiarize yourself with the following stressors some U.S. troops have reported concerning [Afghan security forces] behavior during previous deployments. Bear in mind that not all [coalition] troops have reported such experiences or beliefs.
- Some ANSF are profoundly dishonest and have no personal integrity
- ANSF do not buy-into war effort; far too many are gutless in combat
- Incompetent, ignorant and basically stupid
Bottom line: Troops may experience social-cultural shock and/or discomfort when interacting with [Afghan security forces]. Better situational awareness/understanding of Afghan culture will help better prepare [coalition forces] to more effectively partner and to avoid cultural conflict that can lead towards green-on-blue violence.
* * *
Etiquette Violations Best Avoided by [coalition forces] Taboo conversation topics include:
- Anything related to Islam
- Mention of any other religion and/or spirituality
- Debating the war
- Making derogatory comments about the Taliban
- Advocating women’s rights and equality
- Directing any criticism towards Afghans
- Mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct
Bottom line: Try to avoid highly charged and emotional issues.
What’s dumb is a handbook that, at least in its first draft, appears in its introduction (which sets the tone for the rest of the handbook) to blame American troops for problems with Afghanis. Sad to say, that’s what the introduction to the handbook (if I understand the WSJ article correctly) appears to do:
“Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member,” according to the draft handbook prepared by Army researchers.
There’s only one way to read that: “You Americans soldiers are crude, rude, vulgar, uninformed ugly Americans. Shape up or die.”
Every parent knows that it’s one thing to demand good, smart behavior from your child because your child is a good and smart person. It’s another thing entirely to tell your child that he’s a stupid, incompetent failure whose every negative interaction with third parties is his own fault (whether or not that’s true). The first approach creates responsible people who set high moral and practical standards for themselves. The second approach creates embittered, insecure people who refuse to examine and improve their own behavior because it’s too painful to do so. One would think that the high muckety-mucks in the Army would be savvy enough to understand this elemental human psychology.
As BlackFive says, writing from the perspective of someone who knows what it means to be on the front lines:
Cultural sensitivity is one thing. But. How any American soldier can avoid criticism (especially witnessing that behavior) of how they treat women and children is beyond me. This is almost a parallel to how we began fighting communism in central America in the 70s/80s. Look the other way. Don’t get involved. Don’t fight, just advise (and if they don’t listen, no big deal). It was when we were allowed to make moral and ethical decisions/actions that we succeeded there. It was when we stopped the avoidance nonsense that changes began to happen.
My father, alev ha-shalom, had forgotten more about English — his third language — than most people will ever know. In addition to reading novels and non-fiction for pleasure, he would amuse himself reading dictionaries, grammar books, and stories about the English language. (In that last genre, my favorite was one called Word Origins and Their Amazing Stories, a book that, sadly, is no longer in print.)
One of my father’s pet peeves, going back to the 1970s, was the way the word niggardly had been banished from most vocabularies, because people assumed that it had the same root as a vulgar and disrespectful word for black people. In fact, niggardly, which means miserly, or stingy, has an honest Anglo-Saxon etymology:
1325–75; Middle English nyggard, equivalent to nig niggard (< Scandinavian; compare dialectal Swedish nygg; akin to Old English hnēaw stingy)
This honestly rooted English word even shows up in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales:
We all desiren, if it mighte be,
To han husbandes hardy, wise, and free,
And secret, and no niggard, ne no fool,
Ne him that is aghast of every tool,
Ne none avaunter, by that God above!
Having now proven the word’s bona fides, let me step down from the soap box. Given the two words’ auditory and spelling similarity, despite one being an Olde English word calling someone stingy, and the other a rude bastardization of a Latin word for the color “black,” I’m more forgiving than my father was when people express discomfort upon hearing the word niggardly. It just looks and sounds wrong.
The question remains, though, how far a culture should go to challenge honorable traditions that coincidentally run afoul of modern sensitivities. In Sweden, for example, modern sensibilities are chipping away at the traditional Santa Lucia celebration, which has seen children, since forever, parade around dressed up as stars, gnomes, Santa Lucia, or gingerbread men. The politically correct brigade is now worried about those gingerbread men. You and I think of them as tasty, spicy cookies that all sensible people love; the PC crowd knows that they have a darker symbolism (pun intended):
Schoolchildren in Sweden have been banned from dressing up as gingerbread men for a Christmas parade because their teachers fear the costumes could be considered racist.
[H]eartbroken 10-year-old Mio Simiv was told he could not wear his gingerbread man costume to the celebration because it might be seen as ‘offensive’.
Angry mum Jenny Simic told local media: ‘I thought he had to have got it wrong so I called the school and they said people might find a brown gingerbread character offensive.
Mrs. Simic also went on to make a larger point, which is that the other costumes, when taken out of context, can be forced into equally ugly interpretations. You see, those gnome costumes really don’t stand up to close scrutiny ….
‘I said, well then my son won’t participate. He won’t support some Ku Klux Klan procession – because that’s what the little Lucias look like when they all come in with white hoods and white dresses.’
Also, I’ve heard that gnomes are vertically challenged, so it won’t be long before the Little People start voicing their objections. (I feel I have a say in this one, as I just learned that my statuesque 5 feet tall is a mere two inches above official Little People status. Funnily enough, I’ve never felt short, and most people who know my are surprised to learn what my actual height is. As one man told me, to my great delight, “You have the most beautiful posture I’ve ever seen. You carry yourself like a queen.” But back to my post….)
The Swedish school tried to backtrack by claiming the absence of gingerbread came down to student allergies, but I’ve yet to hear of someone being allergic to a gingerbread man costume:
In my experience, one of the best ways to get past differences between people is to stop focusing on them so obsessively — or at the very least, to stop focusing on the marginal things that irritate petty people, so that you have energy and credibility to deal with the things that really matter. Aesop knew that crying wolf is counterproductive. After decades of backing down in the face of the Leftist war cry of “racist,” more and more people are looking in their hearts, recognizing that they’re not racists, and fighting back. That’s the good thing. The bad thing is that, in this swirling sea of “racist” caterwauls, the real racists will suddenly find themselves able to blend in with the crowd so that they can spread their poison.
Mark Steyn takes on the Democrat political machine’s outrage over Chick-fil-A, starting with certain mayors trying to run the company out of their cities because the company’s owner believes in traditional marriage (including no divorces), and then moves on from there:
Mayor Menino [Boston's mayor] subsequently backed down and claimed the severed rooster’s head left in Mr. Cathy’s bed was all just a misunderstanding. Yet, when it comes to fighting homophobia on Boston’s Freedom Trail, His Honor is highly selective. As the Boston Herald’s Michael Graham pointed out, Menino is happy to hand out municipal licenses to groups whose most prominent figures call for gays to be put to death. The mayor couldn’t have been more accommodating (including giving them $1.8 million of municipal land) of the new mosque of the Islamic Society of Boston, whose IRS returns listed as one of their seven trustees Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Like President Obama, Imam Qaradawi’s position on gays is in a state of “evolution”: He can’t decide whether to burn them or toss ’em off a cliff. “Some say we should throw them from a high place,” he told Al Jazeera. “Some say we should burn them, and so on. There is disagreement. . . . The important thing is to treat this act as a crime.” Unlike the deplorable Mr. Cathy, Imam Qaradawi is admirably open-minded: There are so many ways to kill homosexuals, why restrict yourself to just one? In Mayor Menino’s Boston, if you take the same view of marriage as President Obama did from 2009 to 2012, he’ll run your homophobic ass out of town. But, if you want to toss those godless sodomites off the John Hancock Tower, he’ll officiate at your ribbon-cutting ceremony.
If you haven’t yet read it, you must.
I was living in England back in 1981 when Chariots of Fire was first released. It’s been a while since it came out, but you probably remember that it was a movie based upon the true story of two actual British runners (and their fictional friends) preparing for the 1924 Olympics. I loved that movie. I loved the British-ness of it. I loved the beautiful recreation of 1920s England. I loved the contrast between Harold Abrahams, the driven Anglo-Jew, and Eric Liddell, the committed Scottish Evangelist. And of course, I loved Nigel Havers. There’s just something about him….*
Anyhoo, I got the opportunity to watch the movie again the other night and was struck by something very different from today’s world. [SPOILER ALERT] A pivotal plot point in the movie occurs when Liddell learns that the race he is most likely to win — the 100 meter sprint — will be held on a Sunday. He announces that he cannot and will not run on the Lord’s Day, and holds to this position despite having a great deal of pressure brought to bear on him by the powers that be, including some peers of the realm and the Prince of Wales himself. In the movie, the deux ex machina who breaks this stalemate is Nigel Havers’ character, who, having already won a medal, graciously offers Liddell his place in the 400 meter race. (In real life, Liddell knew about the Sunday conflict some months in advance, and trained for the 400 meter race.) Liddell not only runs the 400 meter race, he does so at a sprinter’s clip, and wins.
The movie shows tremendous reverence for Liddell’s principled stand. After Liddell sticks to his guns and Nigel Havers saves the day, Lord Birkenhead, who is the head of the British team, and the Duke of Sutherland, who was one of those who tried to convince Liddell to run, have a few words:
Duke of Sutherland: A sticky moment, George.
Lord Birkenhead: Thank God for Lindsay. I thought the lad had us beaten.
Duke of Sutherland: He did have us beaten, and thank God he did.
Lord Birkenhead: I don’t quite follow you.
Duke of Sutherland: The “lad”, as you call him, is a true man of principles and a true athlete. His speed is a mere extension of his life, its force. We sought to sever his running from himself.
Lord Birkenhead: For his country’s sake, yes.
Duke of Sutherland: No sake is worth that, least of all a guilty national pride.
I was thinking how differently things would have played out if 1924 had been like 2012. Rather than simply refusing to run, Eric Liddell would have sued the Olympic committee, claiming that they were violating his right to religious freedom. Of course, he would have lost, because he was asserting a Christian religious right. Had he practiced a more politically correct religion, he might have had a different outcome.
Nowadays, if private institutions don’t bend to an individual’s will, the individual doesn’t walk away, as Liddell did. Nor does the individual create a competing society, as Jewish lawyers did when they were barred from white shoe law firms. Instead, the individual insists that a private organization accommodate him, even if to do so is completely inconsistent with the ethos of that organization. For example, last year, a Muslim woman sued Abercrombie & Fitch (a store I despise) claiming that her boss fired her for wearing a hijab. This wasn’t a first for the company:
It’s the latest employment discrimination charge against the company’s so-called “look policy,” which critics say means images of mostly white, young, athletic-looking people. The New Albany, Ohio-based company has said it does not tolerate discrimination.
Still, Abercrombie has been the target of numerous discrimination lawsuits, including a federal class action brought by black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants that was settled for $40 million in 2004. The company admitted no wrongdoing, though it was forced to implement new programs and policies to increase diversity.
Why not let the company do business its way? Why sue that skanky organization? Isn’t it better to stick to your principles (e.g., “Muslim woman quits Abercrombie rather than comply with sleazy, white trash dress code”), and then to fight Abercrombie in the market place (e.g., “Muslim woman, after being fired by Abercrombie, creates modest clothes fashion dynasty”)? Why should Abercrombie, which is marketing a “look,” have to accommodate those who don’t meet the look?
The same is true for the constant effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to allow gays. Instead of trying to remake the Boy Scouts, why don’t gays take a principled stand of walking away from the Boy Scouts and — here’s an idea! — creating their own alternative to the Boy Scouts, when that is more friendly to the GLBT community? I suspect, actually, that one of the reasons they don’t is because their membership might lag. The Boy Scouts announced recently that they are reaffirming their “no gays” policy partly because parents like the policy.
More than that, why have we created a country where there is no high road but, instead, only a litigious road?
*Maybe what I like about Havers his is antipathy to bicyclists. There’s nothing wrong with bicycles or bicycling, but I can tell you that, in the San Francisco Bay Area, they have a dangerous arrogance based upon their “green-ness.” They ignore traffic rules, often drive in mobs, and can be scarily aggressive towards cars. I live near a road that is a popular sunny day destination for weekend bike wariors, and I have to say that it can be terrifying to round a curve and find two of them lolling down the middle of the road. Havers is open about his contempt for this attitude:
Havers wrote an article in 2004 the Daily Mail, criticising cyclists:
“Today’s pedal-pushers… appear to think they are above the law… [and are a] new army of Lycra-clad maniacs… I am heartily sick of the lot of them.”
He added in 2006:
“I was asked what annoys me most. I said cyclists, because they are all bastards, and since then it just hasn’t stopped”.
I’ve got a new post up at PJ Tatler:
The University of Southern California (“USC”), an expensive private university in Los Angeles, used to rejoice in the nickname “University of Spoiled Children.” I’m happy to report (my tone is dryly sarcastic as I write this) that the University is doing its best to ensure that the spoiled rich kids who walk through its luxuriously appointed halls don’t forget that they are, in fact, predators who must be taught to relate to poor people on Marxist terms. At least, that’s the case with the kids who are attending USC’s graduate School of Social Work.
It turns out that being a social worker no longer involves simply ensuring that children in the most unstable communities or homes are safe; working to make sure that those same children can do well in school, so as to break free of the snare of poverty; and generally ensuring that poverty in America does not mean starvation, chronic homelessness, or physically abusive situations. (And yes, I know that this is a very abbreviated description of what social workers do, but it does provide a baseline.)
Nowadays, being a social worker means, among other things, learning how to protect illegal immigrants from facing the consequences of the laws they’ve broken. It also means being able to recognize the gradations of social, sexual, economic, genetic, gender, race, nationality, legal status, etc., differences amongst those don’t rank amongst the evil, white, rich members of the 1%.
I’m not kidding.
Read the rest here.
One of the most iconic British World War I recruiting posters had as its goal shaming slackers into enlisting by reminding them that, at some future time, their children would want to look up to them for their war service:
The Obama administration has just added a whole new twist to the concept of what constitutes memorable, boast-worthy service during war time. The administration is putting together a special dinner party to mark the war’s end. Since it obviously can’t invite every one of the men and women who have served over the past nine years, it’s put together a checklist for qualities the putative dinner guests should meet.
Now, if I were putting together this checklist, I might look at such things as bravery in battle, contributions to moral, dedication, etc. Apparently, though, I’m stuck in the wrong war, in the wrong century. Blackfive sets me right:
The military was always the place for people to succeed in ways that they may not have had the chance to in civilian society. Whether grunt, medic or quartermaster, the military was a place where you succeeded based on the merits of your ability, your hard work.
That’s why I get really really pissed at the Obama Administration when I see things like this – this posting at the Daily Beast POLITICO via This Ain’t Hell about the guest list of enlisted military members for a dinner party to mark the end of the Iraq war (OIF):
The list is being assembled by the senior enlisted representative for the five service chiefs, and the goal is a mix that is racially diverse, old and young, gay and straight.
What the hell?!
Hey, congrations Master Chief, you’ve been selected to dine with the President because you’re the oldest Sailor in DC area who served in Iraq?!
Hey, Gunney, because you’re gay and worked at Balad, you get to meet the President?!
(Read the rest here, both ’cause it’s really good and because it suggests a much more appropriate guest list.)
Can you imagine the hysterical laughter and disbelief in the British War Office during WWI if the correct answer to the child’s question (“Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?”) was “I was gay” or “I was the oldest person in my unit” or “I had a Hispanic surname.” There’s nothing wrong, of course, with being gay or old or Hispanic, but they are not the primary indicia of noble service to ones country — except, of course, in Obamaland.
I’m sorry to say this, but our Commander in Chief is a joke — a very bad joke. I’m pretty sure, though, that this is one joke that would not make Martin Luther King laugh. I believe it was he who thought the best criterion for judging a person wasn’t by looking at the color of his skin (or his sexual preferences or his age), but by examining the content of his character. That sure goes double and triple for those who have served and who, unlike most of us, have been given the rare opportunity to learn about and put to use the best part of their characters.
The other day, I blogged about the fact that innocuous, bland, silly Jay Leno had come under fire in India for making a joke that saw Romney vacationing in a golden palace — with the palace his staff selected just happening to be a famous Sikh temple in India. The fact that the joke had nothing to do with Sikhs and everything to do with Romney was irrelevant. The Sikhs suddenly added themselves to the roster of “Religions of Perpetual Outrage.”
To date, this newest entrant to the Religion of Perpetual Outrage roster hasn’t resulted in actual bloodshed, but it has triggered a lawsuit:
Dr. Randeep Dhillon of Bakersfield filed the suit today in Los Angeles Superior Court. On behalf of himself and what Dhillon called Bol Punjabi All Regions Community Organization, the suit charges that the broadcast was libelous on its face and exposed Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt and ridicule because it portrayed the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh. The suit charges that Leno’s use of the photo of the temple was intentional, deliberately false and “hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people in addition to those of the plaintiff.” The suit seeks general, special and punitive damages as well as court costs.
They say that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Perhaps being thrown into the deep end of the political correctness swamp will force Jay Leno to revisit some of the liberal perceptions that color his life and humor.
(Hat tip: A friend.)
At Rhymes with Right, Greg has written a moving post about the way in which he and his wife, both of whom deviate from politically correct norms, are often on the receiving end of rude and brutish behavior. He ends by asking:
And they have lead me to wonder — where are the manners? Where is the respect? Heck, forget social graces– where is the basic human decency? Why do people think that they can abuse or mistreat people based upon their weight or their disabilities? And why are such things apparently still socially acceptable in a way that such abuse towards minority groups are not?
My instinctive answer to his questions is a simple one: Political correctness has substituted for manners. The difference is that manners governed how the actor behaved, controlling the actor in all circumstances. Political correctness, however, focuses on the recipient, not on the actor. It therefore establishes a class of people who are accorded special deference, freeing the actor to reveal his baser self to anyone outside of the sacred politically correct classes.
Orwell, of course, got there first: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Both the SEALS and Charlie Sheen have been in the news lately, the SEALS for an extraordinarily well-planned, brave and effective operation, and Charlie Sheen because he’s a drugged-out piece of human detritus. Did you know, though, that the two — that is, the SEALS and Sheen — have something in common? Yup, they do: A movie!
Back in 1990, Charlie Sheen starred in a movie called Navy SEALS, with Sheen playing (cough, cough, giggle) the second in command of a SEAL platoon. You can read the silly, turgid and formulaic plot here.
The one interesting thing about the movie, aside from Sheen’s role as a (cough, cough, giggle) SEAL commander, is that the movie has a Muslim as the terrorist bad guy. The seeds for PC are already in place, because the terrorist gets to explain that his terrorism was inspired, not by his religion and culture, but as revenge for the fact that the U.S. Navy bombed his home. Nevertheless, the mere fact that Hollywood could even contemplate a Muslim bad guy just 21 years ago reminds us how far our country has traveled down the dhimmi, politically correct road to its own destruction.
If you need a good laugh tonight, here’s the original trailer:
This morning, my friend Kim Priestap sent a group of us an email telling about the Yemeni man arrested for trying to yank open the cockpit door while hollering the standard “Allahu Akbar!” Lee DeCovnik thinks we might have been seeing a dry run. The man apparently raced from one end of the plane (the bathroom in the rear) all the way up to the front (the cockpit), and then tried to open the door:
There were a couple of disturbing items in this dry run. First, this was a single “dry runner” who was most likely timing the walk from the rear lavatory and the noting response from the aircrew, while shouting “Allahu Akbar.” We also know that other dry runs have had up to 13 possible hijackers on a single flight. Was this a dry run of the initial diversion, where the real action may start in the rear of the aircraft, where aircrews are often located?
Second, this dry run was so blatant, so unsubtle, that you have to wonder if this incident itself was a diversion from other airline or routes. Or conversely, because this was so blatant, will the authorities continue to give special significance to these particular circumstances? That’s a tough call by the Homeland Security either way.
Upon first hearing the news from Kim, I immediately fired a very silly email back to my friends:
A la the 24 hour spin that followed bin Laden’s death, we’ll soon be hearing that he was actually yelling “I need a bathroom” and was simply banging at the wrong door.
It was a joke. I was joking. Really. Except I was also apparently plugged into the “lone crazy man/lone confused Muslim” line that is now de rigueur for all sudden jihad syndrome attacks. When I trolled over to the British papers a few minutes ago, this is the first thing I saw:
The Yemeni man who was wrestled to the floor after pounding on the cockpit door of a plane approaching San Francisco may have mistaken it for the bathroom.
Rageit Almurisi cannot speak English very well and could have misunderstood the signs inside the jet, his cousin claimed.
The 28-year-old, who was heard yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’, had also only been on three planes in his life and would have been unfamiliar with the layout.
Almurisi had been taking classes in English but was not happy with his progress. His cousin said: ‘He might have seriously mistaken the cockpit for the bathroom. He’s only been on three planes in his whole life.’
I find it embarrassing that my shallow, silly little joke turns out to be the party line.
Also, one does rather wonder how many flights people have to take before they start to understand the basic toilet versus cockpit principles. Five? Twelve? Thirty-seven? Does it matter if one was educated in a Madrassa, as opposed to PS 157?
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
Here’s why I think the Obama-bots disposed of bin Laden’s body so quickly: because they were so paralyzed by multiculturalism, all they could think of was the Islamic imperative to bury the body within 24 hours. That’s it. I don’t think they thought beyond PC.
Here’s the problem: My husband got his hair cut today. The hairdresser is quite an ordinary lady, by which I mean she’s not very politically aware. Politics and current events are “out there” somewhere. Her life is children, work, bills, etc. She told him that bin Laden is not dead. Instead, the complete absence of either a body or death photos is because the SEALs kidnapped bin Laden and are keeping him prisoner somewhere. And so conspiracy theories are born.
Had the administration held onto the body so that major media outlets (including al Jazeera and the BBC, neither of which is a friend to America) could have sent representatives to confirm bin Laden’s death, conspiracies would have died a’ borning. Then, with witnesses at their shoulders, the administration types could have interred bin Laden’s body, somewhat belatedly, but in accordance with Islamic law — not out of respect to the man, but out of respect to the religion. (Although if I was among the billions of decent human beings who also happen to be Muslims, I would be offended to have my faith stamped on his body. Better by far to treat the body with respect, because we’re not pagans or barbarians, but to get rid of it quietly.)
Truly, the administration could not have made a more dreadful hash of things.
UPDATE: Andrew Bostom reveals how mean-spirited the proper Muslim burial ceremony is with respect to Christians and Jews. Is there any other religion that feels the need, as part of its last rites, to denigrate other religions and races?
Because I was away, I missed the whole first impact of the Owen Honors thing, but for glimpsing a horrified PC headline on CNN while waiting for a flight. That millisecond of MSM-manufactured finger-pointing was enough to clue me in to the fact that, if CNN disapproved, I probably wouldn’t be that shocked.
Having watched one of the videos at CDR Salamander’s place (along with an excellent post about the PC hysteria going on right now), I have to say that the only thing that shocks me is the fact that the liberal media watch dogs, people whose worship at Lenny Bruce’s obscene shrine, were able to pretend such outrage. This is the Navy, for goodness sakes, not a floating DAR meeting. Capt. Honors is trying to reach guys (for the most part) — young guys, who have been raised their entire lives on an obscenity-laced diet of rap videos and Hollywood movies. I actually thought the video was funny, and I’m usually quite prudish (0r, at least, uninterested in vulgarity)!
Bottom line: if our military can’t take some weak, silly, mildly offensive jokes, how in the world can it take bullets and bombs? We’re supposed to be training fighters here, not delicate flowers. We want, of course, to have a moral military, made up of people who aren’t monstrous, violent, raping killing machines, but there’s a huge difference between inculcating decency in our forces, and turning them into a ladies garden party.
As for the military high command, which reacted with knee-jerk speed by destroying Capt. Owen’s career, I don’t think it did itself any favors. When will traditional forces realize that the liberals in this country can never be appeased? A less extreme response would have been proportionate to the low level of the offense, and would not have fed the perpetual outrage machine on the Left. As it is, conservatives, with their abject overreacting keep conceding liberal points, even when the liberals really have no point at all.
UPDATE: Max Boot nails it: the “humor” was mild compared to what normally crosses young people’s radars; Capt. Owen (as OldFlyer said) should have comported himself with more dignity; and Owen’s real sin was to mis-read the PC signals.
This is an absolutely true story:
The conversation at my Mom’s retirement home got around to the subject of dogs. Someone mentioned the Belgian Sheepdog.
“Oh,” my Mom said. “My own mother had one of those before WWI. It was a beautiful dog. It looked a little like a German shepherd, only it was black–”
One of the ladies in the conversation interrupted: “Dear, we don’t use that word any more.”
My Mom, nonplussed, asked “What word?”
“Black, dear. Now that Obama is president, we don’t use that word anymore.”
There are no more black dogs. Just dogs of color.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News