Bank of America was trying to be woke, but its poster looks an awful lot like cultural appropriation — with an entire Asian child getting appropriated.
I recently wrote posts about both Disney Princesses (and their dresses) and about Tesla and other electric cars. These are a few fun updates to those posts.
I wrote two posts in the past few days that have already been overtaken by events. The first post was about my disdain for Tesla, which I see as a rich people’s car built on poor people’s backs. The second post was about the impact Disney Princesses have on American women — and why.
My Tesla post is adequate, but the comments my readers have left are splendid, including updated information about battery technology. I have one more comment I want to add to the subject, plus a great link to a post at Zero Hedge. The comment is that, yes, it’s true that America’s rich people pay most of America’s taxes, so one can reasonably argue that they’re just getting their own money back — which is a point I’ve made in past posts over the years regarding electric cars. However, to the extent the taxpaying working class has any of its taxes siphoned off to Tesla, I think that’s wrong.
Also, a significant percentage of America’s tax revenue comes from corporations (corporations other than Tesla, I guess). You know and I know, though, that corporations don’t hang on to the deficits occasioned by their tax obligations. Instead, they pass those costs on to consumers. So when Wal-Mart has a hefty tax bill, it raises the prices on its products by a few pennies here and a few pennies there. I can easily absorb those increases. Poor people cannot, making corporate taxes an extremely regressive form of taxation.
The other update I want to add to my Tesla post is that Zero Hedge points out that governments around the world are announcing that all cars within their jurisdictions must be electric within “X” number of years. Those laws will bring problems even an elementary school child should be able to predict:
Most people will never accept this. Would you accept waiting 30-45 minutes (absolute best-case scenario, if a “fast” charger is available) to put a partial charge back into your EV? Were you aware that at the high-voltage “fast” chargers, due to the nature of the thing (and for the sake of battery life) you cannot put more than 80 percent charge back into the thing?
So, whatever the advertised best-case range of the car is, subtract 20 percent.
That puts even the longest-ranged of them in the same class as the fiercest-guzzling IC-engined SUV. Maybe 200 miles or so. But the fierce-guzzling SUV can be refueled to 100 percent in 5 minutes.
Which would you prefer to take on a road trip? One where there might not be a “fast” charger available when you run out of juice. What then?
Then, you spend overnight wherever you happen to be.
Electric car freaks peddle a Disney-esque fantasy to counter this objection. They envision everyone plugging in at home, overnight – or at work, while they work. The problem with this idea is the ant-like uniformity of use it assumes. Everyone going to work – and back home – at pretty much the same time.
Exactly! You also need to factor in the fact that, if California goes all-electric, but neighboring states don’t, there’s no way California drivers can take their cars outside of California borders. The moment you get to Nevada or Oregon, your electric car becomes a huge problem.
I don’t have any changes to make or new ideas to add to my Cinderella/Princess dress post. However, With perfect timing, the conservative blogosphere has been lighting up about the fact that a leftist mommy took it upon herself to edit her almost-3-year-old daughter’s Disney book: [Read more…]
If you’re wondering why, 77 years after Disney’s Cinderella was released, the Cinderella Princess dress remains popular, I’ve got the answer.
I recently attended a talk at the Walt Disney Family Museum about Princess dresses. Since one of my Little Bookworms and I have a fatal weakness for Say Yes To The Dress (we like to critique the dresses the brides-to-be try on), it promised to be an interesting talk.
Sad to say, I found the talk a little disappointing. The costume designer who helped design the costumes for Moana provided interesting insights into Disney’s obsession with accurately portraying indigenous people’s costumes (and Moana, if you haven’t seen it, is a charming movie, thanks to lush visuals and a strong score), but the bit about how Princess dresses have winnowed their way into American women’s psyches over the last 77 years was weak.
As I was listening, I thought to myself, “You know, I could give a better talk.” Lacking any credentials, either as a Disney-o-phile or a costume historian, I won’t be invited any time soon to speak at the Museum. I’m therefore going to give the talk here, at my blog.
The starting point for my talk has to be this seminal Disney Princess dress:
If you’re a guy, you may not recognize the charming lady above, but that is Cinderella, radiant in her magical ball gown, circa 1950.
From a little girl’s perspective, it’s not just that the gown is beautiful (more on that in a little while), but the way in which Cinderella finds herself in that beautiful gown. After the Fairy Godmother’s rousing rendition of Bibbity Bobbity Boo, during which time she transforms pumpkins, mice, and horses into a coach, horses, and servants, she realizes that she has forgotten to transform Cinderella’s dress. Then comes a hand drawn sequence that was Walt Disney’s personal favorite bit of animation and that has thrilled every little girl ever since:
And there it was, the iconic Princess dress. And I do mean iconic. Although non-Western Disney princesses such as Mulan, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Moana have not ended the movie wearing puffy ballgowns, after Cinderella, all of the other Princesses have worn some variation of that dress, with a tight bodice, a cinched waist, and a lavish skirt.
Moreover, when you look at Mulan, Jasmine, and Pocahontas, you can see that the only thing missing from their costumes is that lavish skirt. Otherwise, the fitted bodice and cinched waist (the latter of which Jasmine achieves on her own, without constricting clothes) are properly represented:
In almost all images collecting together the Disney Princesses in all their Princess glory, Cinderella is front and center — and this despite the fact that it was Snow White who was really the first Disney Princess.
But here’s something interesting: Until Moana came along, Snow White was the only Princess with something approximating a real person’s figure. Moreover, although modern images “sex up” Snow White by enhancing her bosom and minimizing her waist, in the movie itself, she has an almost adolescent body. Unlike later Disney Princesses who were pure, but undeniably sexy, Snow White was just pure. Moana, too, is pure, although feisty — plus, she doesn’t “get the guy” in the end, although they clearly remain good friends:
So, even though Snow White came first, Cinderella is the Ur princess — the genesis, the one who started it all. Why is that? Well, although not a Disney scholar, I’m prepared to make a few guesses.
If you pay attention to the history of Western women’s fashion, you’ll see that there are only so many ways to go. Women’s clothes either emphasize or downplay all, or bits and pieces, of their essential figure traits — breasts, waist, and hips. Throughout history, one of those trends has been to emphasize the waist and hips by using corsets for the waist and full skirts to suggest big hips. Big breasts were optional. This is the hyper-feminine figure that Disney embraced from Cinderella through Frozen: voluptuous (but tasteful) breasts, tiny waist, and a voluminous skirt hinting at big hips. [Read more…]
Tesla owners shouldn’t be proud about their “green” machine. Instead, they should be embarrassed about a rich person’s car paid for by poor people’s money.
A friend of mine here in affluent Marin is very excited: He just bought a Tesla yesterday. I was less excited. While I can appreciate the Tesla’s elegant design, powerful electric engine, and innumerable high-tech gadgets, I think the Tesla is a fundamentally immoral car. It is, quite simply, a car for rich people that is paid for by poor people. It’s the 21st century version of the old French ancien régime, and we know how that ended up.
The Tesla is fundamentally a product of crony fascism. Back in 2015, Phil Kerpen detailed the way Elon Musk has gamed the system, and I doubt much has changed since then:
Tesla’s flagship automobile, the Model S, would not only fail to make money in a free market, it would likely bankrupt any company that tried. As the Los Angeles Times reported, Tesla’s “cars themselves aren’t making the company any money.” A Model S with a typical options package sells for more than $100,000, but that is literally tens of thousands of dollars less than it costs to manufacture and sell.
How, then, does Tesla make its money?
Less well-known are the hidden subsidies that flow directly to Tesla, thanks to “zero-emission vehicle” (ZEV) credits. ZEV credits are a mandate dreamed up by the bureaucrats at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which requires manufacturers to build and dealers to sell an arbitrary number of “zero-emission” vehicles each year. (Note that these vehicles are actually “zero-emission” only in the unlikely event that the electricity used by the car comes from a zero-emission source — which, of course, would also be heavily subsidized.)
Tesla’s Model S generates four credits per unit sold. This means the company can sell $20,000 in ZEV credits to other manufacturers for each Model S sold — a cost borne by purchasers of other cars.
And that amount used to be even higher. Because ZEV law is so arcane, Tesla was able to game the system for additional credits; for example, it was able to generate an additional three credits per vehicle when it demonstrated to CARB that its batteries could theoretically be rapidly swapped. But in fact the battery-swapping pilot program is more than a year late getting started. Nonetheless, those extra credits netted the company an additional $15,000 per car sold — and the company is now trying to get them reinstated.
In 2013, ZEV credits to Tesla totaled $129.8 million — to a company that lost $61.3 million for the year on its actual manufacturing and selling operations.
In 2014, Nevada lavished the company with one of the biggest corporate-welfare packages in history: In exchange for building a battery-manufacturing facility near Reno, Tesla will pay no payroll or property taxes for ten years and no sales taxes for 20 years, and will receive $195 million in cash via “transferable tax credits,” which can be sold to other companies to satisfy their Nevada tax bills. All of this amounts to a $1.3 billion giveaway.
Tesla and its apologists constantly tout the fact that the company paid off its hefty $465 million taxpayer-subsidized loan from the Department of Energy early, but they don’t explain why: Had the loan not been paid early, the U.S. Treasury stood to grab a significant portion of the company’s increased stock price by exercising warrants. Capitalizing on the subsidy-stoked electric-car mania that pumped its stock to record levels, Tesla issued $450 million in new stock to pay the loan early and cancel those warrants. The shrewd deal cost taxpayers about a billion dollars, leading Scott Woolley to conclude: “Tesla is worse than Solyndra.”
Tesla has effectively socialized its costs through subsidized loans, tax credits, abatements, and regulatory schemes while privatizing its gains by canceling the warrants owned by taxpayers.
All those who are so smug about fuel efficiency ought to be ashamed because they gain that efficiency on the backs of those who cannot afford Teslas. [Read more…]
A few striking visuals in a charming Disney movie perfectly illustrate the Big Lie hiding behind the transgender movement.
Before anyone asks, there is no actual transgender content in Disney’s delightful The Princess And The Frog, a movie I praised lavishly here. Nevertheless, after reading about the travails of a woman who identifies herself as a “transgender man” (meaning that she is a biological woman who believes she’s a man), but still has periods, I was irresistibly reminded of a scene in that movie.
Let me start with that poor woman who thinks she’s a man. Writing at a blog called Everyday Feminism, she explains that she suffered a lapse in her hormone therapy because her “government insurance” prevented her from finding a doctor with expertise on all things transgender. This hormonal lapse caused her to have periods again. Because the writer believes herself to be a man, she had to come up with creative ways to pretend that periods don’t mean what nature says they mean; namely, that she is not a transgender man but is, instead, a woman. The following paragraphs describe her hormonal travails:
You see, I decided I wanted to switch from needles to cream. No medical reason, I just wanted to. I’m not wild about needles, and successfully sticking myself an estimated 150+ times was enough adventure for me, thankyouverymuch.
But the fact nonetheless remains that, unbeknownst to me, my doctor decided to start me on a cream dose so low that it would’ve created virtually no effect on the raging estrogen of my body, now super-pissed because I’d caged it for so long.
And so, after so many blissful years of being blood-free, my cycle returned with a vengeance.
And because my doctor had flubbed as hard as she flubbed and I didn’t find out until significantly later – there was a fantastic while there where I was convinced something was seriously wrong with my body until she admitted that I had, in verbatim, been her guinea pig – the war is still waging as she ever-so-slowly ups my dosage back to cis levels.
Because—you know—no rush, right?
Suffice it to say that she never got how mentally debilitating man-struation is to me. No matter how much I tried to explain it to her. I can handle quite a bit in life – trans or otherwise – but I always stumble when I try to handle this.
If it were me, I’d work with this troubled woman to help reconcile her to her own body. However, we live in a different time, and instead we slice and dice her, pour potent chemical cocktails into her body, and pretend that her reasoning is sound, and that she really is transgender — meaning one who has successfully crossed the gender barrier.
No matter what modern medicine and magical thinking do, though, this woman’s body knows the truth. And that’s where The Princess And The Frog comes in. [Read more…]
It’s quite possible that this is the best poster yet made to comment on the whole transgenders in the military debacle — a debacle predicated on a lie.
And if you want the proper commentary to go with that poster, I highly recommend Brendan O’Neill’s brutal honesty about the Orwellian thinking that is being pushed on ordinary people. His starting point is the Tory proposal that people can edit their birth certificates at will to state their preferred gender (of the moment):
It’s madness. And most people know it’s madness. Ask any normal, decent member of the public if Dave, 32, born a boy, still in possession of a penis, and a five o’clock shadow on a rough weekend, is a man or a woman, and I bet you they will say: ‘Man.’ Not because they are prejudiced or ‘transphobic’ – the latest phobia slur designed to pathologise dissent – but because they understand reality. And truth. And biology and experience. They know that in order to be a woman, you first have to have been a girl. They know womanhood is not a pose one strikes in front of the mirror but is biological, relational, cultural and social. They know the man who wears a dress is a man who wears a dress. Which is cool, and his choice, and he must have the right to wear that dress. But he isn’t a woman. We know this. At some level he knows this. Why won’t more people say it?
Because it has become the great unsayable. To say there are two sexes – leaving aside that infinitesimally small number of nature’s hiccups that are intersex people – has become tantamount to a speechcrime. To say a man cannot become a woman – no matter how many hormones he takes or operations he undergoes – is now next to blasphemy. Even if you fully accept that these people are trans-women, and that they should enjoy exactly the same rights as every other person, from the right to speak to the right to work, you will still be hounded and harassed if you dare say, ‘They aren’t women, though’. As trans-sceptical feminists have discovered, the utterance ‘Men cannot become women’ is to the early 21st century what ‘Jesus is not the Christ’ was to the 15th. We must accept that the person with a penis and a birth certificate that says ‘Boy’ is a woman. We must accept the lie. Like Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, beavering away at the past-altering Ministry of Truth, we are made to lie. Trans agitators’ greatest accomplishment has been the institutionalisation of lying.
If you’re finding the news of the day confusing, the Watcher’s Council can help. Thanks to WOW! Magazine, the Watcher’s Council’s collaborative online magazine, you can find the answers to a lot of your questions about politics, national security, and social issues:
HBO is in trouble for producing “Confederate,” an alternate history in which the South won the war. The irony is that HBO and its foes are both wrong.
(Only half of this essay was posted initially. My mistake. I have added the second half below the line. My apologies. [Bookworm here: Wolf Howling is too kind. It was my mistake. Or we’re both to blame. In any event, the whole post is as brilliant as is true for everything WH writes.])
If you study early America, you will find that racism did not pop up overnight during the colonial era. It was a slow process when it came to white racism directed against blacks, one that grew in direct proportion to the moral challenges made against the institution of slavery.
Slavery was the norm throughout history in agricultural societies. In the world before the Enlightenment, slaveholders did not need to justify their acts. There was no moral issue with slavery. That ended with the preachers in the First Great Awakening and the Quakers, the two of whom combined to make slavery a moral issue. As that took hold, those who wanted to maintain slavery for their own profit had to justify their actions. What you will see is the language of racism becoming ever more vile and the tone ever louder and more discordant over the decades as the moral case was built against slavery.
What we are seeing today is that pattern playing out in reverse. We live in a nation where institutionalized racism no longer exists and where racism is not tolerated in the mainstream of this nation. We also live in a nation where slightly more than half of our black population lives in or near poverty. The problems of poverty, single parent families, lack of education, and crime are cyclical in that half of the population and, in 21st century America, that is obscene.
The causes behind these systemic problems are myriad, but not one of them is racism. Yet the Progressive left needs to maintain blacks seeing themselves as permanent victims, so they shout ever louder that the problems in black society are the result of overt white racism, a deep-rooted hatred cooked into our DNA that can never be destroyed, and systemic institutional racism. As that dark fantasy becomes ever more detached from reality, the Progs scream ever louder and their voices grow ever more discordant.
It is ironic indeed that Martin Luther King Jr. issued a clarion call nearly half a century ago for America to become the society promised in the Declaration of Independence, a society where “all men are created equal” and people are judged “by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.” The Progs have taken his civil rights movement and transformed it into one in which the only thing that matters is the color of one’s skin.
Regardless, with that introduction, let’s take a look at a story from The Hollywood Reporter, HBO’s Slavery Drama ‘Confederate’ Faces Minefield of “Fundamentally Problematic” Issues. This was the first I had even heard of the show. [Read more…]
Recent news stories reaffirm that, if you’re a woman who cares about the environment, your preferred form of birth control should be abstinence.
The first apropos story is the report revealing that male sperm counts are plummeting, raising the possibility that the human race will die out (if it doesn’t first bake, freeze, or get immolated by a super volcano, of course). One thoughtful commentator wonders if the problem could be all the estrogen in Western waterways.
It’s not just men. Fish are also showing signs of estrogen, resulting in intersex fish. One wonders if that explains the uptick in men who believe they’re women. The problem is that it doesn’t explain the uptick in women who think they’re men.
With those two news stories in mind, it’s obvious that I have to resurrect my abstinence = environmentalism poster:
A gun, by making people equal in a conflict, removes the bully’s inherent advantage in size and youth, and therefore encourages civilized discourse.
Progressives like to castigate guns as the great evil. To the Progressive mind, those who hide behind the Second Amendment are the antithesis of everything that is civilized and decent. Ten years ago, however, Marko Kloos argued that the gun is the engine of civilization precisely because it is the great equalizer. His short essay was reprinted at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, which encourages the article’s wider dissemination. I therefore present it here, in its entirety:
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation … and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
A question that no one is asking, but someone should, is whether the peculiar excesses of the gay lifestyle affect the military’s readiness to serve.
It seems, lately, as if the only news that the media sees fit to print has to do with people on the alt-sexuality spectrum. The latest outrage amongst Progressives is Trump order barring transgenders from serving in the military. This outrage, of course, is a bait-and-switch. You see, to this day, transgender troops are officially barred from the military.
Throughout the entirety of Obama’s presidency, transgender troops were officially barred. Then, in July 2016, Obama signed an order changing the policy. But he didn’t change it instantly. Instead, he ordered that the change be implemented one year from his order, so that it would happen on his successor’s watch. In other words, all the screaming and shouting and anger is because Trump has announced he’s going to retain the Obama era status quo. See? Bait-and-switch.
Obama’s transgender decision followed on the heels of his overnight conversion, once elected, to the belief that gay people ought to be able to serve openly in the military. I was opposed to allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
Despite my opposition, I don’t think I’m a homophobe. Instead, I believe that openly gay relationships, especially in frontline service, are dangerous for unit cohesion. I’m blindingly aware of the fact that the military exists to take young people who are physically and mentally fit and then to prepare them to fight. If two men in a combat unit are in an open relationship, that puts at issue the question of whether their loyalty is to each other or their unit.
Incidentally, I don’t believe women and men should be serving together when that service involves close quarters. Someone once described Navy ships as floating brothels. I know that’s an exaggeration, but the fact is that sexual relationships on ships are a huge problem:
Unintended pregnancy is a significant problem across the general population, but the Navy’s rate is higher.
In 2006, about 49 percent of all pregnancies in the United States were classified as unplanned, according to 2011 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Up to 65 percent of pregnancies in the military are self-reported as unplanned, according to a December report by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women.
Nearly three-fourths of all Navy pregnancies were unplanned, according to a recent parenthood survey conducted by the service. Of those, only 31 percent of the couples were using birth control at the time they conceived. With pregnancies involving enlisted servicewomen, 70 percent of the fathers were also in the military.
Youth, proximity, and stress = bad sexual decisions. And when life and death are at stake, the last thing you need is the volatility of sexual relationships, especially foolish ones.
My other problem is that the gay lifestyle is an unhealthy one. It’s a different kind of unhealthy from that associated with transgenderism. The latter sees extraordinarily high suicide rates, staggeringly expensive surgical procedures, and a lifetime commitment to dangerous hormonal medications. Take away the magic word “transgender,” and no person with these physical requirements would ever be a candidate for service in the military. An actively lived homosexual lifestyle has a different kind of unhealthiness, one that may also be antithetical to creating a tip-top fighting machine.
Since Obama’s executive order about openly gay service, both the military and the media have been mum about whether that policy has affected the military and, if so, what the effect is. One of the things that I’ve especially wondered is whether the excess that typically characterizes gay men’s sex has made an appearance in the military. [Read more…]
Although academia has been seeding American Leftism for 70 years, Trump, despite his many foibles, is the weapon that will destroy that system.
This is going to be a slightly more discursive post than usual, simply because I’m trying to tie together three disparate thoughts. Thought One is how we got here, by which I really mean how the Left got where it is and managed to completely cow conservatives, especially those ostensible conservatives elected to Congress. Thought Two is to remind you to read a stellar post telling Trump how to handle Mueller. And Thought Three is another stellar post explaining precisely why Trump’s support is unwavering, no matter the hue and cry from the Left.
How we got here
We got here because of academia. When Marxism first hit America, it hit at the worker and union level. In America, at least, the workers of the world really were trying to unite. Unfortunately for their initial success, their unity took forms that were antithetical to most Americans.
To begin with, many of the workers were foreign, highlighting the fact that Marxism too was foreign. To Americans who still read the Constitution, Marxism was scarily alien. It’s values were too unlike ours and they resisted it strenuously.
Another problem with early Marxism in America was that many of its early supporters openly espoused violence, which most Americans found frightening. Back in pre-WWII America, nobody on the Marxist side of the equation had the wits to come up with something called Marxophobia and then to try to make Americans feel guilty about it. Americans felt no guilt when they feared the violence and totalitarianism that Marxism promised.
Lastly, Marxists back in the day insisted on talking like Marxists, with all sorts of ridiculous words and phrases such as “dialectic” and “come the Revolution,” and an insistence on talking about the “proletariat” and the “bourgeoisie.” It was, quite simply, off-putting.
What the Marxists figured out during WWII, thanks in no small part to the Left’s huge push to bring America to the aid of the Soviet Union once Hitler invaded Russia, was that, while Americans were not amenable to hard Marxism, they could be totally swayed by soft Marxism. This idea landed hardest and best in America’s colleges and universities. There, mild-mannered professors in rumpled, tweedy suits carefully indoctrinated their students in a whole new way of thinking about America’s liberties.
Mostly, these academics inculcated in their middle-class students a sense of guilt about America’s bounty — never mind that the bounty resulted from hard work and innovation. To the Leftists, America’s wealth, no matter that it was earned, not inherited, was evil, and young people had to pay for their countries’ sins. Moreover, when students protested against this indoctrination (and yes, back in the day, some did), the same Marxists hid behind the Constitution’s protections.
This was a brilliant strategy. If you’ve got the college students, you’ve got the next generation of elementary and high school teachers, and the next generation of news people, and the next generation of screenwriters, and the next generation of women’s magazine writers, and the next generation of college professors. And with each iteration, with each generation that passes through, you can dig in the message harder and deeper, until you end up with the insanity of intersectionality, cultural appropriation, safe spaces, triggers, political correctness, and all the other tropes that work as vehicles for intellectual tyranny.
If you read Helen MacInnes, who wrote during the height of the Cold War, you see everything already spelled out in her books. She had the number of that first generation of indoctrinators. This is most apparent in one of her lesser known books, Neither Five Nor Three, which she published in 1951. [Read more…]
Sometimes, a single blogger just can’t write enough about the political, social, and foreign policy insanity in the world today. That’s especially true when one of those bloggers needs a break from the crazy, as I have the past couple of days. But fear not if you want more. The Watcher’s Council is hard at work at WOW! Magazine, their collaborative blog that addresses all of the most scintillating topics in the news today. Don’t believe me? Well, check these out:
For 150 years, Democrats used the Big Lie about race to justify slavery and Jim Crow, and now they’re using the Big Lie technique to challenge gender norms.
I want to share a thought with you that starts with slavery and ends with transsexuals. To get from one to the other, I have to start with one of the few decent classes I had when I was at UC Berkeley. That senior seminar looked at the history of race relations in America versus those in Brazil.
When I took the class, I had no interest whatsoever in the history of race relations. I was an English history major — the English isle, to be precise — and everything else was a distant second. Still, it became apparent to me very quickly that I was not alone and that I would not get into my preferred seminar. You see, back in the day, when it came time for enrollment in senior seminars, the history teachers would seat themselves at random intervals in the big lecture room at Dwinelle Hall. Students would then approach the teachers as supplicants, begging to get into this or that seminar.
As soon as I walked in the room, I saw that the professors teaching the seminars in which I was interested were besieged. I had no desire to hurl myself into that scrum. Instead, I checked out the teachers who were not surrounded by adoring students.
Only one of the other teachers caught my interest because he was so darn handsome. After I ascertained that he had openings in his seminar and that it worked for my schedule, I signed up, not even caring what he was teaching. And so it was that I ended up learning about the history race relations in the US and Brazil.
Fortunately, for me, that handsome young graduate student was an excellent teacher. It made up for the fact that he was happily married, had a baby, and would in any event not have been interested in me. It also made up for the fact that the reading materials were deadly dull.
Thirty years later, the only takeaway I had from the class is that America was rather unique in its “one drop of blood” approach to racism. In Brazil, there’s a great deal of racism, but it’s on a graduated scale. The darker you are, the more racism you face and the lower your status in society.
Meanwhile, in America, it doesn’t matter what you look like. If you’re known to have even a drop of black blood in you, you’re black. Nor is that a racial view that’s changed since both slavery and Jim Crow ended. After all, Barack Obama, half-black and half-white genetically, was our “first black president.” He wasn’t really, of course. He was our “first half-black president” — but that’s not the way things roll in America.
The stigma against that single drop of blood has been so strong in America that it made for a great subplot in Edna Ferber’s Showboat, which started as a book, made it to Broadway as a groundbreaking musical, and then got made into two Hollywood movie musicals. (The 1936 version of the movie is the one to see.)
If you’re familiar with Showboat’s plot, you know that, when the showboat passes through Mississippi, a vengeful man, furious that the beautiful Julie LaVerne has rebuffed him, reports to the authorities that she is, in fact, a black woman. Given that her husband, Steve, is a white man, they have violated Mississippi’s miscegenation laws and he demands their arrest. The couple avoids arrest when Steve cuts Julie and licks her blood, enabling his friends on the boat to state honestly that he has that “one drop of black blood” in him. [Read more…]