Scott Adams points out that life is so good under Trump that there’s no news. Since this illustrated edition has lots of silly stuff, I believe he’s right.
Scott Adams points out that life is so good under Trump that there’s no news. Since this illustrated edition has lots of silly stuff, I believe he’s right.
Laura Loomer’s plight — banned from social media giant Twitter for accurately stating Muslim beliefs — made me think about a creative approach to lawfare.
I think we can take it as a given at this blog that social media giants are staffed almost entirely by Progressives and that these Progressives believe it is their mission to silence conservative thought. Indeed, after Trump’s election, it was only because slightly cooler heads prevailed that Google didn’t go full Soviet by silencing all political opposition on the world’s most used search engine. Considering the unheard of power the social media giants have, clipping their wings is a matter of grave public concern.
Some conservatives are arguing that the government needs to step in to control social media’s excesses. This is insane. Sure, it would be nice if a conservative administration could stop the ideological censorship that has become normative at social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter but (and these are seriously important BUTs) (a) even a conservative administrative, as we’ve seen, is staffed almost entirely by Leftists; (b) in 2 to 6 years we will probably have another of America’s famous political swings, this time in favor of a Leftist administration, which would out-Twitter and out-Facebook the media giants in censorship; and (c) no matter the administration, we should never let government control speech, ever.
So what can be done about the fact that the institutions that have a lock on most communication in America are trying to silence conservative voices? Well, I had a funny idea and I’m thinking out loud about it here. I repeat: I’m thinking out loud, not making an oracular pronouncement. Let’s see if I can articulate this in a logical way.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., are making judgment calls about content. That is, none are functioning as a neutral forum for free speech, like a telephone company that does not police conversations or like a virtual town square. Sadly, the college graduates who staff these institutions learned during their four years at the mercy of Marxist professors and administrators that open forums and town squares are good only when speech is vigorously policed to align precisely with politically correct, social justice warrior approved values.
Significantly, for the social justice warriors who control social media, when they disapprove of conservative ideas, that disapproval does not take the form of the old-fashioned American statement that “I disagree with you, so let’s have a free market exchange of ideas.” Instead, because college left these social media employees with a Manichean world view, one in which progressive thought is good and conservative thought is evil, disapproval absolutely means, “Your ideas are evil and therefore you are evil.” I mean, take a look at Twitter’s speech code for “hateful conduct”: [Read more…]
Find here a collection of the Twitter-sphere’s best takes about the danger to our democracy from social media giants silencing Alex Jones and InfoWars.
Before I go anywhere with this post, let me say that I am in no way, shape, or form an Alex Jones fan. I’ve never listened to him, I think his Sandy Hook theory is cruel and distasteful, and I’ve heard that he’s one of the angry talking heads, which is never something I enjoy. This post is not about defending Alex Jones. It is, instead, about addressing technocrats’ war on ideas with which they disagree.
For those who say it’s ironic that I’m turning to Twitter, one of the Leftist social media giants, to find commentary about this totalitarian purge, I agree. However, to the extent Twitter encourages pithiness, I find the following takes on the subject worth repeating.
To those who say the social media giants are private corporations and can do as they will . . . no. They have become communication monopolies. Monopolies are cancerous growths on the free market. That is, while they may have arisen in the free market, just like cells in our body that go awry and become deadly, so too do monopolies corrupt and destroy American institutions.
In the old days, monopolies destroyed whole sectors of the economy. Today, these hi-tech social media monopolies are destroying free speech in America. To the extent that they’ve become the dominant platforms over which Americans communicate with their fellow Americans, to have them take sides effectively squelches speech.
It’s no use saying “Well, other platforms will rise up.” There isn’t time to do that before the November 2018 election, which is what this purge is all about. In essence this is the beginning of a political coup, and conservatives, both private citizens and politicians, need to figure out how to respond, hard and fast.
The following tweets, of course, are just observational — they point out what’s happening and worry about the consequences. They’re scarcely solutions, but solutions don’t happen until people are fully aware that there’s a problem. After reading the following, and based upon your own reading and understanding, please feel free to offer solutions here. I’m a little forum, but any forum is better than no forum at all, right?
I’ll open with my own tweet:
Many things have scared me over the years, but few things have left me as frightened as the tech giants’ erasure of Alex Jones and InfoWars. I’m not a Jones fan at all, but every fiber of my being is opposed to this type of aggregated power.
— Bookwormroom (@Bookwormroom) August 7, 2018
And now some of my favorite tweets regarding the Alex Jones / InfoWars purge:
A crowd yelling CNN sucks at Jim Acosta is a “Threat to Journalism”, but iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and soon Twitter silencing INFOWARS is “no big deal, it’s a good thing.”
— Carpe Donktum (@Carpedonktum) August 6, 2018
Just curious: Did they also ban Planned Parenthood? To be consistent about opposing those who glorify violence and dehumanize others in order to justify that violence? https://t.co/wdUnrfXhTW
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) August 6, 2018
With the Infowars ban, Apple, Facebook & Spotify have all now ascribed themselves the power to remove people & outlets from their platforms based on their political opinions.
For conservative media outlets who don’t speak out because they don’t like Infowars – you’re next.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 6, 2018
Some time ago, a Political Science professor, Bruce Gilley, wrote an article, The Case For Colonialism. It was published by Third World Quarterly after a “double-blind peer review.” The article is a well-researched critique of modern historical revisionism and hard left academic bias as concerns colonialism. One bon-mot:
It is hard to overstate the pernicious effects of global anti-colonialism on domestic and international affairs since the end of World War II. Anti-colonialism ravaged countries as nationalist elites mobilized illiterate populations with appeals to destroy the market economies, pluralistic and constitutional polities, and rational policy processes of European colonizers. In our “age of apology” for atrocities, one of the many conspicuous silences has been an apology for the many atrocities visited upon Third World peoples by anti-colonial advocates.
SJWs flex their power by being “offended” when they hear comedians. I’m seldom offended by the content, but I’m always offended by the lack of humor.
Last night, I had some down time (a short commodity today) and I watched a movie that came out in 2015, but is still quite pertinent. It’s called Can We Take A Joke?, and focuses on the fact that audiences today, especially on college campuses, object to comedians on the ground that the comedians offend their delicate sensibilities. The movie, which interviews comics such as Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli, and Jim Nortan, and free speech advocates such as Greg Lukianoff (of FIRE) and Jonathan Rauch, a Progressive who apparently believes in free speech, is a joint project of Reason and FIRE.
Over and over, the comics interviewed (including some as-yet-unknown college age comics) make the point that it’s their job to push the limits, a job that came into being with Lenny Bruce. And over and over, they point out that people, despite knowing that a comic today will be crude or push buttons, start screaming “I’m offended.”
What’s funny in an ironic way about all the comics interviewed is that they are most funny — and most effective — when they are simply talking to the camera about their job, about free speech, and about censorship that comes, not from the government, but from society itself. As Rauch and Nortan both point out, even if speech is ostensibly free because the government doesn’t quash it, it’s not free if societal norms are so narrow nothing can be said anyway. As one of the comics said, and many others have said before, this situation means that speech in America is only as free as the most sensitive, easily offended person in any room, any state, or any nation. Charlie Hebdo, anyone?
My issue with all the comics is that I don’t think they’re funny. Merely saying the “f” word repeatedly or the “c” word repeatedly doesn’t make me laugh. Lenny Bruce at least worked the obscenities into larger, rather intelligent jokes. These comics, when they’re not talking intelligently to the camera (or, in Penn Jillette’s case doing the most amazing magic in family friendly shows that help showcase constitutional rights), tend to be as in love with dirty words as the average child . . . and, in their acts, to use them as intelligently.
Years ago, when my son was 3 or 4, we took a walk up to Eagle Lake in the Desolation Wilderness (part of the Lake Tahoe region). It’s not a long walk and it’s stunningly lovingly — or was, when I was a child, and it was empty, rather than a busy freeway of hikers. In any event, whether because he’s never been a hiking fan or because the crowds were getting to him, my little guy started whining very early in the walk.
We carried him a bit, but mostly, because it was a walk easily within his capability, we tried to cajole and cheer him. I described to him the wonders of the trail (surprise views, cool rocks to climb, a lovely lake), but he was unimpressed. Finally, he’d had it. Digging deep into his barely-out-of-the-toddler-phase vocabulary, he came up with the biggest, nastiest insult he could imagine: “I hate this. It’s a dirty, stinky walk to poo-poo lake.”
If he hoped to shock me, he failed. I laughed so hard I almost fell over. Please note, though, that what he said wasn’t inherently funny or clever. It was funny only because it was the outer reaches of a very small child’s imagination and vocabulary when it came to the art of the insult. [Read more…]
Google’s promise was that it would allow an unfettered platform for free speech and thought. Its college-grad employees, though, made it a fascism farm.
I stopped using Google’s search engine years ago, although I’m still chained to Gmail. I was one of the first Gmail users back when it was in beta and it would upset my life a great deal if I had to switch email addresses. Still, depending on how Google comports itself in the next couple of months, Gmail may have to go too. There’s no reason for my email use to advance its fascist agenda.
Did I say “fascist agenda”? Why, yes, I think I did. That’s because Google’s decision to fire an employee who dared to speak out against the Leftist lockstep that governs everything from its workplace to its search algorithm manipulations is entirely fascist. Google is its own little state, one governed by hardcore Leftist ideology, and anyone who speaks out against that must be purged.
I actually don’t have anything original to say on the subject, but there’s so much smart stuff out there, I thought I’d share it with you. Let me begin with a collection of employee self-written bios that Paul Joseph Watson found (click on image to enlarge):
With staff like this, I’m sure tolerance of conservative opinions is paramount at Google. pic.twitter.com/FqawBCilva
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 9, 2017
Robert Avrech takes a much-deserved swipe at the Stalinists on the Fainting Couch:
James Damore was fired for expressing his opinions. Google his name and you will find that the left-wing press is demonizing him relentlessly.
Ironically, the entire affair proves his conclusions. By firing him, Google has proven that it is an intolerant ideological echo chamber.
Several fragile female engineers stayed home from their jobs at Google because the memo made them feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, or whatever parlance these overgrown babies default to in order to impose their cultural fascism on the rest of us. Presumably, these female engineers took to their fainting couches for a few hours in order to get over the shock of a non-leftist opinion.
In Stalin’s Soviet Union, the gulags and graveyards were filled with people who expressed opinions that the leadership considered incorrect.
In America, the left does not build gulags… not yet, anyway. Instead, it resorts to shame and creates unemployment.
Read more here.
Daniel Greenfield points out that the problem isn’t limited to Google. As long as Google controls much of the internet, it’s a problem for all of us:
James Damore is an FIDE chess master who studied at Princeton, MIT and Harvard. He had been working as a software engineer at Google for four years.
Danielle Brown is the new Vice President of Diversity at Google. She has an MBA from the University of Michigan and campaigned for Hillary.
She had been working at Google for a few weeks.
Google is a search engine monopoly that makes its money from search ads. It began with a revolutionary idea from young engineers much like Damore. Then the engineers became billionaires. And the company that began in a garage hired a Vice President of Diversity to get rid of the brilliant young engineers.
Google has embedded partisan attacks on conservatives into its search and news territories under the guise of “fact checks”. It has fundamentally shifted results for terms such as “Jihad” to reflect Islamist propaganda rather than the work of counterterrorism researchers such as Robert Spencer. And it wasn’t the first time. Google had been previously accused of manipulating search results during Brexit.
Censorship has long been a problem on YouTube. And it will now officially be caging “controversial” videos using a method developed by Jigsaw. Formerly Google Ideas, Jigsaw is Google’s left-wing incubator developing social justice tech.
Damore, like so many of us, wasn’t thinking the way that Google thought he should be thinking. And so it dealt with the problem by getting rid of him. When users search for results that Google doesn’t like, it guides them to what it thinks they should be looking for. If they persist, then the results vanish. If they upload videos it doesn’t like, they get censored. That’s the totalitarian left-wing Google model in action.
Google is approaching the ecological dead end of its technological niche. There’s not much else to do except make fringe investments that are little more than disguised advertising and build more free apps to feed into its own ad business while driving traffic to them through its search and Android leverage.
If the business model ever fails or the government takes a closer look at its abuses, then it’s all over.
Despite a small spark of rationality, Macalester College’s weekly paper displays the Progressive hate, ignorance, and nonsense at an American college.
Knowing my passion for free speech, someone sent me a small sign of hope: a link to a student-written opinion piece from the weekly student newspaper at Macalester University in Minnesota. To give a little context, in 2014 College Magazine ranked Macalester as the “Most Progressive Campus” in America. It’s also No. 10 on the Best Colleges’ “Most Liberal Colleges” list. In other words, it’s your average American college, right up there with some of the most prestigious, such as Yale, Harvard, or MIT, or some of the most embarrassing, such as Missouri or Pomona.
Unlike those other American colleges, however, Macalester is never in the news. I suspect this is because no student or faculty member would ever dream of inviting to the campus someone who doesn’t meet the Progressive purity scale. Without any opposing views, there is no call for violence.
It was therefore a great and pleasant surprise to discover that one young man is defending the free exchange of ideas. What moved Jacob Hill to write was the fact that the staff of the college radio station, perfectly emulating a Maoist re-education camp, grouped together to castigate a fellow employee for having dared to place on the college Facebook page a meme that “satirized the prevalence of white Adidas sneakers among women who claim not to conform to societal norms.” I’m having trouble envisioning how offensive such a meme could be but for the student’s cohorts at the radio station, it was a bridge too far. It was Mao time:
Less than 24 hours after the meme was posted, the original poster (a Mac Radio staff member) went to his WMCN staff meeting as usual. One of the commenters on the meme decided to make a speech calling him misogynistic, racist and homophobic. The speech was met with applause, and much of the WMCN staff agreed that his offensive behavior did not represent the culture of WMCN. He was not offered a chance to respond but rather asked to think about his actions for a week.
Showing a grasp of logic denied to most young Progressives, Hill points out that advancing feelings as the alpha and omega of all disputes ends rational discussion:
A later comment on the original post read: “you don’t get to decide what’s offensive to other people—if it’s offensive to them, that’s it. You don’t get to critique that fact.” This ‘fact’ is particularly what makes offense so messy. No one knows exactly what will offend others. It’s an ongoing dialogue. Macalester students, in their haste to eliminate every suggestion that may be perceived as offensive, missed the opportunity for this dialogue. I don’t personally believe that the poster had malintent, but even if he did, is calling him a racist/misogynist/homophobe really the best way to make your point? Too often, liberal Millennials believe they can end a conversation by calling out someone’s “isms.” Yes, these claims are powerful, but that is precisely why they must be backed by context, logic, and most of all, truth.
There’s more and Hill deserves kudos for every word he writes. This is a young man who, somehow, somewhere, was exposed to an intellectual world that transcends navel-gazing emotionalism that’s par for the course at an American college.
As of this writing, Hill’s short article had garnered three comments: The first agrees with and encourages respectful dialog; the third agrees with Hill and expresses surprise that The Weekly Mac published Hill’s piece; and the second . . . well, the second comment shows that the writer has embraced an authoritarian worldview that brooks no criticism:
I question the decision of the Mac Weekly to publish such a targeted opinion piece, especially as the author writes of the pitfalls of “isolating and humiliating” specific people in the name of a greater conversation. [The author did not name anybody, although it’s reasonable to assume that in a small community, most students could identify not only the daring Facebook transgressor but also his Maoist accusers.] Also: this idea of “listening politely” looks to be teetering quite close to the edge of a compulsory silence.
Hill, as I said, gave me hope. Scanning the rest of The Mac Weekly’s offerings depressed me. In just one week’s worth of writing, there are so many bad ideas. These are bad ideas arising from a solid basis of factual ignorance, unexamined bias, Marxism, Alinsky-esque thinking, self-loathing, third-wave feminism, misandry, and anti-Semitism. Here are just a couple of examples:
Weird year at the Bookworm Room and beyond. My year was bookended by the deaths of my mother and my mentor. Out in the bigger world, people are coping with the deaths of icons and, if they’re Progressives, the collapse of their fantasy political world.
To me, there are really only two big stories for 2016: Trump’s victory and Obama’s despicable, craven attack against Israel. Moreover, I agree that Obama’s not done yet. He’s been waiting eight years to destroy the Jewish nation and exact revenge against Netanyahu who has, consistently, revealed Obama to be a petty little antisemite.
Sudden silence on the Left. Now that Obama has outed himself as a full-bore antisemite, I’ve noticed that the Left has suddenly stopped claiming that Trump, the most openly philosemitic president in American history, is an antisemite. Before Obama’s perfidy revealed itself, Roger Simon wrote a post saying that, when Trump was initially able to block the anti-Israel resolution, suddenly Trump’s failing was being too pro-Israel. Not enough “tough love,” you know. I wonder how all those Progressive Jews are feeling now.
Obama betrayed an ally. You know how you know that what Obama did to Israel was a betrayal? He did not come out and openly support the resolution, which he would have done if he’d been an honest man. Instead, like the sewer rat he is, he hid behind New Zealand and Senegal, trying to hide the fact that it was he who was leading the attack against Israel. Jed Babbin does a nice job of articulating just how bad Obama’s sneak attack against Israel was.
Facebook just announced that it will start cracking down on what it calls “fake news.” We know what that means: It will block anything that does not toe the Democrat party line. To this end, it’s teaming with such hard-Left luminaries as Snopes, the Associated Press, and ABC to identify what constitutes “fake news”:
To combat fake news, Facebook has teamed up with a shortlist of media organizations, including Snopes and ABC News, that are part of an international fact-checking network led by Poynter, a nonprofit school for journalism in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Starting as a test with a small percentage of its users in the US, Facebook will make it easier to report news stories that are fake or misleading. Once third-party fact-checkers have confirmed that the story is fake, it will be labeled as such and demoted in the News Feed.
Technically speaking, Facebook is a private corporation and can do whatever the heck it wants. In reality, though, Facebook is a major news purveyor, much in the way the big broadcasters are (or used to be). It might be useful to have the FCC investigate whether it can block Facebook’s plan to censor political content it does not support.
Government action is always slow, though. What’s also slow is the lead-time needed for conservatives to build up another social media outlet through which they can disseminate information and news of interest to conservatives. In the meantime, I suggest that everyone start following the reverse “Oprah Rule.”
The other day, I wrote a post entitled “Dear Elites — no, Trump is not a fascist, but Hillary probably is.” I illustrated it with a picture I found on the internet of Hillary giving her famous “what difference does it make [that four men died on my watch]” testimony, with the slight addition of a toothbrush mustache (yes, of the type Hitler wore) and a raised middle finger.
Putting aside the picture, the entirety of the post is given over to explaining what fascism is (statism with cronyism is a good shorthand); explaining why Trump, whatever else he is, is not a fascist (primarily because he promises to keep guns in citizens’ hands, but also because the core of what he’s saying is that his administration will obey laws already on the books and because he promises to shrink our bureaucracy); and why Hillary does fall into the fascist mode (everything within the all-powerful state, a disarmed citizenry, government-controlled rights to speech, and solid cronyism with Wall Street).
I thought it was a good post, making a point that is too frequently overlooked by Trump critics on both the Left and the Right, as well as by Hillary’s fans on the Right. It’s a small antidote to the fact that, in the decades since WWII, American Leftists have done a superb job of destroying fascism’s completely statist (i.e., Leftist) roots and attaching this negative label to conservatives. Conservatives, of course, are the antithesis of fascism, in that they stand for small government, the free market, and individual liberties, including the right to bear arms, a freedom that’s anathema to despots.
Others seem to have thought it was a good post too because I got what is, for me, a nice number of views when I posted it on my blog’s Facebook page (see above): 448 as of this writing. Indeed, up until an hour or two ago, what existed in the place where you now see that “Not Boosted” notice was a message from Facebook telling me that the post was doing better than 95% of my other posts on that same page and suggesting that I “boost” it — meaning that I turn it into one of those irritating “sponsored posts” that periodically show up on your Facebook feed.
Since I’ve been working hard lately, I admit to wanting to live a little large. Couple that “rich” feeling with the fact that I felt (and still feel) that the post says something important, I decided to blow $3 and promote the post for three days. Sometimes you just have to go for it!
Sadly, five minutes after mentally kissing the $3 goodbye and hitting “go” on the boosting, I got this message:
Curious as to what policies I violated, I followed the link. Here, in its entirety (along with my interlineations), is that portion of the advertising policies regarding “prohibited content”:
One of the truisms I grew up hearing is that “revolutions always eat their own.” I have understood this to mean that, in any revolutionary movement, the second generation, having been marinated longer in the revolutionary brine, is more extreme than the first generation and invariably purges that first generation. Both the French and the Russian revolutions prove this point.
We in America have had a revolution too. It’s been a very slow-moving revolution of the kind that the British used to call a Fabian Revolution. It involves advancing revolutionary goals, not through violence, but through slow, reformist means. As Ferguson shows, the violence then comes after the revolution. Indeed, Ferguson is one of the best manifestations of that revolution.
The other obvious manifestation is the American college campus. On campuses throughout America, a Nanny state fascism is the norm. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened through Fabian gradualism, with hard-Left revolutionary principles being slowly introduced in the classrooms (increasingly open, aggressive Marxist teaching), in the administrative buildings (read Heather MacDonald’s Multiculti U for the best discussion about the hard Left Fabianism in college administration), and in the dorms (which had a slow Progression away from same-sex dorms, same-sex floors, same-sex bathrooms, and same-sex rooms, which a completely unsurprisingly commensurate uptick in rape claims).
Stella Paul notes something I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere when it comes to Obamacare: the devastating effect it will have on people who travel or divide their time between two locations. The new policies are narrowly locked into local care providers. But people aren’t always in the same locality. Both of my children have been hospitalized while we’ve been traveling. If our insurance company hadn’t paid, we would have been out tens of thousands of dollars. Knowing that sickness can happen and that our insurance might reject our claims makes travel much less enticing.
The Left needs censorship because it’s ideas do not work in the real world. Only censorship can hide that fact long enough for the Lefts to have such a tight grip on the levers of power that, once the truth emerges, hapless citizens can do nothing to change the situation. The latest example of this is Covered Oregon’s insistence that those who know about its healthcare debacle must forfeit their free speech rights.
Speaking of censorship, one would think that Britain would be doing everything in its power not to become the living incarnation of Orwell’s 1984. Instead, though, it is hastening down that path, by refusing admittance to those who make factual statements about who Islamists really are and what they do.
Some people — most notably greedy insurers — have been voluntarily silencing themselves (self-imposed censorship, if you will), because they believed that the Democrats would reward them. Now that Obama is actively trying to destroy them, Jonah Goldberg wonders if these corporate worms will turn.
Speaking of worms turning, is it my imagination or are some courts getting a little more courageous about taking on Obama’s overreach. Gabriel Malor has what I think of as a great example of this judicial trend. No wonder Reid went nuclear in order to pack the courts.
By now, of course, you’ve heard about the young metrosexual nattily attired in a plaid onsie pajama and clutching a cup of hot chocolate, whose image went out in a Tweet from Barack Obama urging people to “talk about getting health insurance.” I call him “Princess Pajama Boy”:
Other people, much more witty than I will ever be, have been having way too much fun with this one. You can see collections of retweets and Photoshops here, here, and here. There’s a bit of overlap between the three sites, but still a lot of original stuff on each. Here’s my effort:
@BarackObama Looking at the kid in the photo, y’all are talking about “getting MENTAL health insurance,” right? That kid needs help.
— Bookwormroom (@Bookwormroom) December 18, 2013
And finally, the ad that everyone is saying is a political game changer:
UPDATE: I’m still laughing over the Pajama Game posters that Steven Hayward found.
UPDATE II: And still more posters, this time from National Review.
The People’s Republic of Berkeley or, as it’s more commonly known, the University of California, Berkeley, has stayed true to its core Orwellian Leftism by banning language. Today’s targeted “bad thinking” is the phrase “illegal immigrant.” According to the censors occupying Berkeley’s student government, that phrase is “racially charged,” “dehumanizes” people, and contributes to “punitive and discriminatory actions aimed primarily at immigrants and communities of color.” Apparently the truth hurts.
The resolution, of course, carried with the usual Soviet style unanimity: 18 voted “yes” to censor thought and language, while one student abstained. (More on that single abstention later.)
Actually, the ultra-Left Berkeley was late to the party on this one, but that’s only because the University of California in Los Angeles has a much higher population of illegal immigrant students. That’s almost certainly why UCLA passed a similar resolution in August, while Berzerkley didn’t get around to it until November.
The resolution is a beautiful example of Orwellian speech. It leads with pure academese nonsense: “The ‘I’ word is legally inaccurate since being out of status is a civil rather than criminal infraction.” You’ll note that the “I” word (and we’re not sure whether the “I” word is “illegal” or “immigrant”) is now so tainted that I t’s been elevated to the status of the infamous “N” word. (For those of you too young to remember the OJ Simpson trial, or those who just dislike censorship, the “N” word is “nigger.” It’s a nasty, mean-spirited word, but nobody has ever dropped dead spontaneously from hearing or reading it.)
That nonsense phrase is just a warm-up for the Orwellian language changes the students propose:
“No human being is illegal. ‘Foreign nationals,’ ‘undocumented immigrants,’ ‘immigrants without papers’ and ‘immigrants seeking status’ are examples of terms we can use that do not dehumanize people.
You can use all the metaphors you like, dear little UC Berkeley soviets, but the fact remains that, to the extent these people are in America in an undocumented way without papers, it’s because they broke the law by sneaking over the border like thieves in the nights. In other words, adjectively, they’re immigrants who are here illegally, which makes them – yes, wait for it — ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.
The problem, of course, isn’t the words. It’s the behavior. You can dress mutton up as lamb, but it’s still mutton. And someone who sneaked over the border in violation of our nation’s laws is still illegal no matter how frilly the words you drape around that person.
Of course, the commissars at Berkeley can’t just stop with a stupid resolution. What’s Soviet-style censorship and shaming without communist-style re-education? To that end, the resolution also calls for administrators and faculty to attend an “UndocuAlly training workshop.”
Considering that greater than 90% of Berkeley’s administrators and faculty members are the ones who trained these junior Leftists, it’s actually funny to hear the students demand that their mentors need re-education. Of course, that’s the way it happened in China too, when the younger generation decided that the elders who ushered in Communism showed inadequate fervor in their commitment to the monster they had created. It was these radicalized students who ushered in Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” complete with 50-70 million dead Chinese citizens – all of whom no doubt starved to death joyfully thanks to their contribution to the great communist cause.
As for the sole abstention, it’s worth noting that he’s probably ready for re-education too. Student senator Solomon Nwoche agrees in principle with the resolution, but thought it was a waste of time. That shows practical intelligence. His real sin, though, was in his sneaking respect for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas. He was disappointed, he said, that, when a single person tried to speak out against the resolution, the student senators laughed at him or, even more disgustingly, turned their backs to him.
(A slightly modified version of this post first appeared at Mr. Conservative.)
UPDATE: I should add here that I agree that America’s immigration laws are dreadful. Having said that, it’s up to America to change her laws, not for illegal immigrants to change them by ignoring them. (Well, in theory that’s the case. In fact, the Obama administration is also changing them by ignoring them.) We also should start putting pressure on Mexico. Immigrants come here illegally because Mexico is so shamefully corrupt and poorly run that a country rich in resources, but natural and human, is mired in poverty, and because Mexico charges its citizens such heinous amounts to allow them to leave the country legally that poor are stymied both by America’s laws and by Mexico’s. A fix is a good thing; disrespect for our country’s borders and laws is a disastrous thing, going to the sovereign integrity of our nation and her citizens.
This came out when I was on vacation this summer, but it will always be timely, as long as Leftists control educational systems:
In one of the comments to my earlier post about Ted Cruz, Mike Devx noted that Cruz is attractive because he has “the courage of his convictions.” That particular phrase tied in with something I’ve been thinking about for the last few days, regarding freedom of speech, or rather the lack thereof, when it comes to Islam and Leftism.
The starting point for my thoughts was this Topher video, in which he focuses on the importance of free speech:
As you can see, Topher structured the video around the argument that so much of what we accept as true today started out as highly unpopular speech that the majority tried to quash through censorship both official and informal.
We tend to think of censorship as something that arises because we fear the power of “the Other’s” ideas. Certainly that is the animating purpose behind all those hate speech laws throughout Europe, and the hate crime laws in America. Both are predicated upon stamping out the overwhelming temptation of an enemy’s words or acts.
Here’s the thing, though: If we trusted in ourselves we would not be so afraid of the Other. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case if Islam, which includes as core doctrine the requirement that its practitioners must stamp out any opposing speech, ideas, or religion. A self-confident ideology would not be so paranoid about potential opposition.
The same is true, of course, when it comes to Leftism. Marx didn’t make censorship a core ideological demand, but Leftism invariably leads to censorship. This is true whether we’re talking about government ukases or about the social strictures of Political Correctness. Leftism knows, because history has shown, that when people start to speak out against Leftism, Leftism falls by the historic wayside.
What’s so deeply depressing in today’s political scene is the fact that conservative politicians are so desperately afraid that their own ideology is too weak to compete. Rather than taking the Islamic or Leftist tact of imposing censorship on others, they preemptively impose it upon themselves.
America’s conservative politicians have Stockholm Syndrome. Despite recognizing that the opposing party is their enemy, they have become so cowed that they seem truly to believe that there’s something wrong about equal treatment under the law (as opposed to the affirmative discrimination the Left encourages), about the virtues of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and about other common conservative and libertarian principles.
In some ways, I know I’ve just stated the obvious — the more you believe in yourself, the less scared you’re going to be of the other guy. Nevertheless, we need to remind Republican politicians that there is no virtue in preemptive surrender to the other side. If you’re going to die anyway, at least die fighting, with your own banner bravely flying.
If I were in charge of CPAC, I would ignore the Democrats entirely. Instead, I would spend the entire time educating conservatives about conservativism. They need to believe affirmative, rather than passively, that to the extent the American people want freedom, equality under the law, and affluence, conservative ideals are the ones that are going to take them there.