I don’t know how many of you follow Mike Rowe on Facebook. If you don’t, consider adding him to your list. He’s wonderful. And just yesterday, he hit one out of the park. I’m embedding it here so that everyone can read it. It deserves that kind of attention:
A posh Marin background and a good heart can’t overcome a social justice education that teaches that wealth creation happens through shakedowns.
Marin is one of America’s richest counties. Mill Valley, in Marin County, is one of the most affluent cities in California, with a median household income of $132,192 (not that this income gets you into the fancy houses in Marin). It is also one of the most politically progressive counties in the United States, with a relentlessly high voter turnout.
Marin Country Day School is one of the poshest, most expensive private K-8th schools in Marin County. For those who don’t qualify for aid, while it’s not quite as expensive as Harvard, it’s right in the middle when it comes to college fees. University High in San Francisco, located in the heart of posh Pacific Heights (Larry Ellison’s and the Getty’s neighborhood) is also right up there when it comes to annual tuition: $44,750, not including another $4,300 in costs. And if you’re the daughter of a well-known Mill Valley physician, you don’t get financial aid when you go as an out-of-state student to the University of Michigan. Instead, you pay $43,000. You pay that $43,000 even if you’re a Womyn’s Studies major.
And why am I droning on with all this data about the affluent lifestyle? Because of a young Marin resident who made today’s local paper:
The 29-year-old daughter of a well-known Mill Valley physician, [Iris] Brilliant grew up wealthy and privileged in affluent Marin County.
The daughter of Girija and Larry Brilliant, a co-founder of the Bay Area nonprofit SEVA, Brilliant attended Marin Country Day School and San Francisco’s University High before graduating from the University of Michigan, majoring in gender studies and creative writing. She now works in Oakland as an organizer for the national nonprofit Resource Generation.
Before I go further, let me say right off that, if SEVA lives up to its stated principles, it’s an admirable organization:
Mission: Seva Foundation partners worldwide to create self-sustaining programs that preserve and restore sight.
Vision: A world free of avoidable blindness.
Given my own vision deficits, I can only give thanks every morning that I live in America and can get glasses that enable me to see and function normally. I give to a different vision charity, but this SEVA certainly seems worth keeping an eye on (pun intended).
Although she grew up in an an enclave that capitalism made possible, Brilliant speaks in the illiterate cant of the true social justice warrior: [Read more…]
This Bookworm Beat has all shades of Progressive insanity (fake data, attacks on free speech, Chelseamania), complete with links and my trenchant comments.
Keep circling that drain. Before I get into the meat of this post detailing the worst emanations from the Democrats and their fellow travelers on their Left, I want to lead off with Kurt Schlichter’s article begging the Democrats not to change their current trajectory and tactics:
Look, Democrats, speaking sincerely as your friend, understand that everyone who says you need to take a deep look at yourselves is a racist, sexist, homophobe who won’t even ask about your preferred pronoun. Whatever you do, don’t you ever change.
The problem isn’t you. It’s those stupid idiots who won’t obey you because they’re stupid idiots. How can those idiots be so stupid?
Who knows? But what’s clear is that it’s not your fault. It’s theirs. So when the going gets tough, and you aren’t making progress – in fact, when you’re moving backwards – what’s the smart play? Double down!
Hey, the dealer’s showing an ace in a face-heavy deck and you’ve got a six, what do you do? Double down!
Can I boast? I had the pleasure of meeting Kurt a couple of weeks ago and he’s every bit as smart, funny, and personable as his writing. Lord, but I do envy a brain like that.
Statistically illiterate accusation that Trump voters are racist. You know all about American colleges and universities by now. They’re the places in which self-regard exceeds accomplishments, feelings trump rational thought, antisemitism is great than that found anywhere else in America (except, probably in Dearborn and the DNC), and the First Amendment is subordinate to students’ feelings (provided, of course, that those feelings are consistent with the Democrat Party platform).
Thomas Wood, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, has emerged from this sewer to announce that Trump voters are racists. He thought perhaps they were mere Nazi-style authoritarians but it’s worse — they’re racists. He knows this because he’s got charts.
Why are Trump voters racist? Because Wood specifically defined racism in such a way as to apply to Trump voters. That’s how they do it at universities nowadays:
To test this, I use what is called the “symbolic racism scale” to compare whites who voted for the Democratic presidential candidate with those who voted for the Republican. This scale measures racial attitudes among respondents who know that it’s socially unacceptable to say things perceived as racially prejudiced. Rather than asking overtly prejudiced questions — “do you believe blacks are lazy” — we ask whether racial inequalities today are a result of social bias or personal lack of effort and irresponsibility.
In other words, if you believe that only government can save perpetually hapless and helpless minorities, you’re not a racist. However, if you believe that minorities are rational, sentient beings who respond to incentives and disincentives in the same way as everyone else, and that they therefore deserve to be respected as our equals and not demeaned as perpetual wards of state, you’re racist!
You always win the game if you get to write the rules after the play is already run. Woods is a perfect example of why I keep saying that the best way to get America back on a track dedicated to individual liberty, free enterprise, and constitutional governance is to take every bit of federal money out of American “higher” education.
While other commencement speakers are telling people to pursue their dreams or complaining that their free housing was built by slaves more than 200 years ago, Mike Rowe has put together a different kind of commencement address, once directed at real people who have to function in the real world:
It’s no secret that Obama and crew don’t like the military. Over the years, the political class generally and the Obama class specifically have worked hard to clip the American military’s wings. Some of these efforts have been direct attacks on the military’s function and structure. The most recently attack, though, is more subtle and, perhaps, more dangerous insofar as it seeks to redefine the military out of existence.
The most obvious of the direct attacks — and one that started during the Bush era — is rules of engagement so stringent that our troops are often prevented from fighting an enemy squaring off right before their eyes. These ROE’s put our troops at terrible risk because they don’t even get to shoot when they see the white’s of the enemy’s eyes but have to wait, instead, until they see the puff of smoke coming from the enemy’s gun muzzle.
In recent years, the Obama administration has piled on the military in additional ways. It’s been trying hard to stifle religious expression in an institution that sees volunteers confront death as a part of their job. It has insisted on putting women in front line jobs, even though doing so means lowering standards in a way that endangers everyone. Most recently, it’s been pushing to allow transgenders to serve, despite the fact that transgendered individuals are (a) expensive luxuries because of the hormones they must take to maintain their chosen sex and (b) emotionally very vulnerable because hormones and plastic surgery often do not touch the much deeper issues that go with gender confusion (with Exhibit A being Bradley Manning).
Additionally, of offensively, when military personnel have been attacked and murdered by Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar,” the administration has insisted that these attacks are just another example of unexciting “workplace violence.” Doing so denies the military the opportunity to use a military response to deal with and prevent such attacks.
In many ways, though, it’s the least obvious line of attack that is the most pernicious of all, because it seeks to completely re-define the military as something other than a . . . well, a military. Instead, there’s an attempted paradigm shift aimed at turning the US military into a taxpayer-funded version of the Red Cross.
This disturbing trend crystalized for me thanks to four things that crossed my radar in the past week. First, at the USS America commissioning, I heard San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee give a speech that ignored entirely the military’s fighting capacity and spoke only about the fact that it will probably be useful when San Francisco has the next big quake.
Second, after the commissioning, I got the opportunity to tour the USS America. On the flight deck, the USS America had set up a sizable big display touting the Navy’s proud boast about going green — a boast that was not accompanied by any assurance that going green will improve the military’s capacity to wage war and defend our nation:
Third, I read a Facebook post by Mike Rowe, a TV personality, who came to fame hosting a TV show called Dirty Jobs. The show is a celebration of hard-working Americans doing the jobs most people wouldn’t. Rowe is also deservedly well-known because, despite living in San Francisco, he is a common-sense person, with a great sense of humor, and an abiding respect for America’s hard-working blue-collar class.
Given his beliefs and personality, I enjoy Rowe’s Facebook posts, and admire his independent, iconoclastic spirit. It therefore came as no surprise to me that Rowe would support Fleet Week and honor the troops despite complaints from the usual suspects in San Francisco arguing that Fleet Week is noisy, expensive, scary, and just generally a bad thing insofar as it promotes militarism. Where I parted ways with Rowe was that, rather than defending the necessity of militarism, Rowe pulled s Mayor Lee. His whole take is that the Navy is the world’s greatest humanitarian institution because of its spectacular first-responder capabilities.
Fourth, just last week, with ISIS aggressively lined up against the remnants of civilization in the Middle East, Defense Secretary has announced America’s true enemy: Climate Change. Think about that: On the one hand, we have dead bodies piling up in the Middle East, while men who share that murderous ideology are infiltrating our borders as their leaders boast about destroying America. On the other hand, we have an unbroken list of failed doomsday climate predictions and the complete absence of global warming in almost 18 years. And still, with those indisputable facts before him, Hagel says that our troop’s primary mission is battling the inchoate forces of our earth’s continuously changing ecosystem.
Here’s the reality about the military, and it has nothing to do with green ships and earthquake relief: The military exists to kill our enemies and for that I say “Thank God!” Moreover, I’m not saying thank God out of some perverse blood lust. I’m saying it because killing our enemies is what really makes the US military the greatest humanitarian institution in the world. If you stop and think about it for a moment, you’ll realize that since WWII, America’s enemies have a habit of being enemies to everyone else. Without exception, they are despots who enslave, torture, and slaughter both their own citizens and those nations unlucky enough to get conquered.
The Nazis churned out ideologues and foot soldiers of unparalleled evil who sought to erase whole classes or races of people from the earth. The American military didn’t stop Nazis by insisting that Hitler “go green.” Instead, the America military, working with the Soviets and the British, stopped Nazis by killing them in such great numbers that they were forced to accept defeat.
The Bushido warrior culture in Japan also created human killing machines who suffered no pangs of conscience when stacking bodies in China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaya, and all the other countries unlucky enough to be in the path of Imperial Japanese expansion. The American military wasn’t urging Tojo to use one sheet of toilet paper or to stop heating his house in winter. Instead, it defeated Japan — which had slaughtered and enslaved people all over Asia and the Malayan peninsula — the old-fashioned way: it killed Japanese fighters.
During the Cold War, our troops did their best to halt Chinese communists from taking over Korea and Vietnam. Those lucky enough to benefit from American military success in South Korea were spared the decades of horror their North Korean cousins have faced. South Korea is a dynamic, 21st century nation. North Korea is a stone age prison camp.
Likewise, if the Democrats hadn’t utterly destroyed the military’s efforts in Vietnam, neither the Vietnamese nor the Cambodian people would have suffered terrible depredations at Communist hands. Among other things, at least a million Cambodians wouldn’t have had their skulls stacked like spent cannon balls in the Killing Fields.
History shows that, when our military wins, democracy follows. When our military loses (invariably thanks to Democrat foot-dragging), people die and die horribly. This pattern has continued without exception into the Bush era. Our military, after the Surge left a relatively safe, stable Iraq. Obama pulled the military out, creating a vacuum that ISIS is gleefully filling. We can anticipate that the same will happen in Afghanistan when Obama does the unusual and follows through on one of his promises by pulling troops out of there too.
So what does the chattering class do? Obviously, it cannot force itself to acknowledge the good the military does by being what it is — a military force of unusual size, sophistication, quality training, and human decency. Given the military’s high standing in the public eye, though, and the fact that the public (wisely) doesn’t want it to go away any time soon, and given the fact that government policies still haven’t completely destroyed the military’s efficacy as a fighting machine, there’s just one thing left to do: Redefine the military as anything but a fighting machine. “It’s not the Army, it’s the new Peace Corp.” “Marines don’t kill; they give blankets to babies.” “Our Navy — the world’s largest floating ambulance and hospital.”
I am most certainly not saying that the US military shouldn’t help out when it can after a natural disaster. Indeed, living near faults that are predicted to quake violently in the near future, I will be most grateful if the military steps by to help pick up the pieces. However, I am saying that, while it’s true that our American military is indeed the greatest humanitarian institution in the world, it fulfills this function, not by handing out blankets after floods or by making futile efforts to fight the earth’s natural climate cycles, but by having an impressive arsenal and having more than a million highly trained individuals who are willing to put themselves at risk in order to rid the world of murderous tyrants.