The underlying thread in most of the following posters is that Stupid Leftists are having way too much of a say in politics and culture.
With Progressives fighting for cultural ascendance, we are entering an ideological Twilight Zone that’s bad for America, but really great for a blogger.
Hold onto your hats, my friends, because this is going to be a huge collection of all things interesting, mostly relating to the madness emanating from today’s Progressives. I’ve been compiling posts all day and I’ve finally bestirred myself to stop collecting and start writing.
Before I dive into my material, though, my friend Wolf Howling sent me an amusing email replete with wonderful links, mostly about those crazy Progressives:
The latest in grievance theater from the dumber than dirt: “Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee kneeled during a speech on the House floor Monday . . . ” as she accused Trump of racism. Of course, she has competition. Take a knee against white supremacy, Dr. Gu. Of course, Paul Joseph Watson hits the right notes:
In what can only be described as a headline for our time: “Far-right lesbian mother of two AGAINST gay marriage is set to take on Angela Merkel after triumph in German elections.”
From Annenberg Public Policy, Only a quarter of Americans surveyed could name the three branches of government. Idiocracy was supposed to be a movie, not prophecy. That said, I am coming to believe that this is not a failure of education, but a goal of substituting social justice, white privilege and white supremacy for civics in k-12.
Instapundit’s latest at USA Today echoes what Bookworm has been saying for years about her Marin neighbors: They get ahead by practicing bourgeois values, but then defend to the death dysfunctional cultures as their equal.
Well, it’s probably cheaper and easier to eat your Tinder date as the barbecue than to take your Tinder date to a barbecue.
Kim Jong Un take note: The Dummies’ Guide to Creating A Fusion Bomb. If only a single fission bomb wasn’t enough to generate a catastrophic electro-magnetic pulse.
The proggies don’t embrace science, they manipulate it. ‘A British University has blocked an academic studying a reported surge in people regretting transgender surgery, claiming a “social media” backlash to the “politically incorrect” research could harm the institution . . .”
Ann Althouse makes a point about experts — in our Founding and in Climate Change. It’s fascinating that the academic in question who rightly stated the facts on a truly arcane point of American history is an academic in Ireland. If you want to find a true student of your nation’s history, seek out a foreigner.
And now to my finds:
Progressives are never responsible. I used to date a man who would periodically lob offensive comments my way. I’d answer back, he’d respond, and before you know it, we were fighting. He told me that all of the fights were my fault. His theory was that, just because he pitched, I didn’t need to swing. In his world, you either agreed with his offensive comment or you offensively started a fight. I thought of that when I read Dennis Prager on the NFL spat:
Apparently, the question, “Who started it?” means nothing to the journalists, politicians and NFL players, coaches and owners who call the president “divisive.”
So, before discussing Trump’s reaction, our fellow Americans on the left need to answer some pretty simple questions: Has the behavior of those athletes has been divisive? Is kneeling while tens of thousands of people are standing divisive? Is publicly showing contempt for the American flag for which innumerable Americans risked their lives, were terribly injured, or died divisive?
The answers are so obvious that if someone denies that those actions are divisive, it inevitably raises another question:
Why would anyone deny it?
Progressives identify the wrong slave masters. One of the things my German father loathed about American football was the stench of the slave auction that hung about it. By the 1970s, no home team really had home team players. Instead, the “home” team was composed of people (as often as not black people) who were bid for at auction and then traded all over the country. Sure, one can say that the players get big salaries in exchange for this indignity, but that merely makes them analogous to house slaves, rather than field slaves.
And who are the slave masters in this human trade? The NFL owners, of course.
Just as food allergies create a sickness in the body, the NFL creates a sickness in the soul. Taking both out of your life will make you much happier.
Those who have developed food allergies know what it feels like. You have some food you particularly like, and have been enjoying for years. Lately, though, you’ve been noticing that, while that food makes your mouth happy, it makes the rest of you unhappy.
For a while, you’re in denial. “I probably had a stomach flu.” “It was just a bad batch.” “It’s a coincidence.” Those of you with allergies know precisely what I mean.
Then one day, it dawns on you that every single time you eat that food, you feel horribly sick. The pleasure in your mouth is completely overwhelmed by the sheer misery that follows. So, finally, you stop.
Having stopped, you miss the food you once enjoyed but — oh Lord! — it’s wonderful not to be ill all the time. It’s great to be in control of your life again.
And you know what? Eventually, when you see that food on your plate, rather than experiencing longing, you feel revulsion. It may look good, and you have good memories, but that food is so gosh darn bad for you it’s a relief not to have it in your life anymore. That’s the moment you truly stop missing the food and realize that your life is much, much better without it.
For those of you who have been lifelong football fans, I bet you’re experiencing the same thing. You’ve put up the game for years as commercials got longer, Super Bowl half times got more vulgar, players got traded like slaves in a gilded marketplace, salaries escalated, and the criminal convictions ratcheted up. [Read more…]
With 1/5 of the NFL having doubled down on Marxist racism, we are witnessing its bet that, in the culture war, patriotic Americans will take a knee.
By interjecting radical black Marxist/progressive politics into the NFL, the progressive left has just accepted — and indeed, doubled down — in a huge gamble in the culture wars. While half of the nation already buys into the poison the progs are selling, the other half has never been faced with the choice of accepting white guilt and pleading guilty to racism (just by being a non-black American) in order to continue to watch NFL games. The means of voting will be by free market economics — spending dollars at a stadium gate or tuning in to watch the games.
Just to recount the contours of this wager and how it came about: last year, back-up QB Colin Kaepernick (2016 salary $11 million+) began taking a knee to protest all of the horrible racism he and his fellow blacks were being subject to in this country. It caused enough heart burn even in San Francisco, the prog capital of America, that he was let go by the Forty-Niners. And Kapernick has been radioactive since; no team has been willing to sign him. (2017 salary $0). As Giants co-owner John Mara explained when it was reported that the Giants considered signing Kaepernick:
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara told TheMMQB.com’s Jenny Vrentas. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
A week ago, basketball’s Stephen Curry (2017 salary $34 million) made noises about not accepting a White House invitation, ostensibly because President Trump is racist. Trump responded to Curry by withdrawing the White House invitation. Also in the past few weeks, the media reported that “[a] group of NFL players has asked Commissioner Roger Goodell for a month dedicated to social activism in a letter . . . they titled, “Player Activism for Racial Equality and Criminal Justice Reform.” Kneeling is not enough for them.
Then a few days ago in a speech in Alabama, Trump laid down the wager, so to speak:
When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem – the only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. . . .
Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired.”
And over the past few days, many players and several teams in the NFL accepted the wager. A combined total of 23% of all NFL players including the Ravens, Seahawks and Steelers (less former Army Captain Alejandro Villanueva) in toto, either took a knee during the anthem or stayed off the field while it was being played. (Villaneuva has since apologized for standing for the flag instead of standing with his teammates, while the Steelers, after the fact, contend that they stayed in the locker room, not as a statement about the flag, but in an effort to reset matters to 2008, when teams appeared only after the national anthem was played.) [Read more…]
Illustrations about free speech: NFL owners and players are free to disrespect flag and country — and Americans are free to vote with their wallets.
If the NFL wants to let its employees use their unique bully pulpit to take a knee when the flag flies and the national anthem players, even while barring other players from honoring police officers who died on duty, that is the NFL’s right. And if millions of Americans decide that there’s more to life than seeing extremely well-paid men whine . . . well, that’s their right too. That’s how free speech is supposed to operate, with people speaking out and accepting how the marketplace metes out non-violent consequences that flow from their words.
A couple of things before I get to the images:
First, it was the Obama administration that heavily funded the NFL being overtly patriotic:
There’s something incredibly cynical about being paid to be patriotic and even more cynical about the NFL’s scrapping that patriotism with the end of Obama’s presidency.
Second, employers make speech rules all the time. Believe me, if I, as a young lawyer, had stood up in court and told the judge what I really thought (usually some variation of “you’re an idiot”), not only would I have been held in contempt, I would have been fired. On my own time, though, provided that I did not embarrass the law firm, I was free to exercise my First Amendment rights.
Regarding that freedom to speak when off the job, it’s the Leftists who fire people for pretty damn mainstream after-hours opinions, as they did to Brendan Eich. This programming genius, who was a prime mover behind Firefox, privately gave of his own money to help support traditional marriage and got fired for doing so.
Third, being president of the United States does not mean that one no longer has First Amendment rights. While President Trump cannot mandate that NFL players be fired, as that would be unconstitutional, not to mention tyrannical, he is perfectly within his rights as a citizen to say that, in his opinion, they should be fired.
Trump is also within his rights to play the NFL, both owners and players, like a cheap violin. He knew that his statement that the NFL should fire those “sons of bitches” who disrespect the flag and the national anthem would result in today’s rash of player and owner insults to the flag and, by extension, to ordinary Americans.
As best as I can tell, with the NFL getting attacked from the Left because of the game’s inherent violence and the damage flowing from it, and from the Right, because of the player’s whiny disrespect, it’s entirely questionable whether, a few years from now, the NFL will be a “thing” anymore.
Herewith, some images about the NFL today, both the good and the stupid:
Full disclosure: I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I am boycotting the Super Bowl, because I have not forgiven it for how it enthusiastically allowed Kaepernick (whom the 49ers are releasing) to politicize what should have remained non-political.
Having said that, I’m glad the Patriots won because, politically speaking, it’s one in the eye to a Progressive establishment that tried to bully Brady and Belichick for daring to be friends with the President of the United States. Needless to say, the Progressives’ conduct reminded me strongly of the “guilt by association” approach from the mid-20th century that today’s modern Leftists so vehemently decry.
I once cared about American football and the Super Bowl. I wrote encomiums to how much more interesting American football is than European soccer. I was awed by the commitment and power of the men who play professional football. But the players and the NFL squandered my good will. I’m reserving my emotional energy and time for the men and women who really count: our military.
One more thing while I’m talking about the politicization of everything: Over at Ace, Warden wrote a thoughtful piece about the Left’s decision to take the politicization of everything and extend it from politicians and institutions to ordinary individuals. When that ugly personalization played out over Facebook, it did not resonate well with anyone but a hard Lefty, a negative emotional response that might have helped Trump win.
Okay, now that I’m done with the Super Bowl, let me move on to the more serious stuff:
I’m really worried for President Trump. For the upcoming Watcher’s Council forum (to be published tomorrow), we council members were asked to give our opinion about Trump’s presidency to date. Here’s a preview of my answer: I’m thrilled. Yes, he’s had a few missteps and some of his communications don’t appear so much persuasive as emotional, but on the substance . . . wow! His cabinet choices, his Supreme Court nominee, his Israel policy (more on that later), his love for country — well, the list goes on and on, and that’s after only two weeks and two days in office.
I continue, however, to be terribly worried about the violent rhetoric coming at him. And it’s not just coming from the Orwellian-named “anti-fascists” taking to the streets with jack boots and billy clubs. In one of the most disturbing manifestations, it recently came from a former member of Obama’s State Department, who openly advocated a military coup.
Put aside the illegality of her dream. What’s worrisome is when the people who ought to be ballast, calming down the street fighters, are the ones engaging in murderous, anti-democratic rhetoric. (I count idiots like Sarah Silverman among the street crazies, no matter her net worth.) And knowing that at least one Secret Service agent had no intention of doing her job to protect the President does not lessen my fears.
David Merrick has written a great article about the way in which the Leftist media has turned Americans into Stepford people, robotically programmed to hate at a mindless, completely irrational level never before seen in post-Civil War America.
The State Department needs to be tamed. Even when the State Department isn’t trying to get Trump killed or turn the US into a military dictatorship, at least some of its members are doing the best they can to undercut Trump by insisting that hardcore Leftist orthodoxy is the State Department’s core mission:
Americans may be under the impression that the president they elect is the man who directs the country’s foreign policy and sets its immigration rules. But a thousand or so officials in the State Department are of a different opinion. They have put their names to a cable registering official dissent in protest against President Trump’s executive order that bans most travelers from seven terrorism trouble spots—Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen—from entering the United States. But the dissenting diplomats go far beyond merely criticizing the order: they play politics and attack the very principles behind the president’s immigration policy. Indeed, they substitute their worldview for his.
These diplomats are professionals, and they deserve to have their views on policy implementation heard. The suddenness and sweep of President Trump’s order could reasonably be expected to draw a response from them, even a protest. But their answer has not been to make a strong case for amending the president’s policy—rather, it’s been to lecture him on what a claque in the federal bureaucracy deems America to stand for.
“Just as equality and multiculturalism are core American values, so too is pragmatism.” Lines like that could be ripped right out of the campaign literature of Barack Obama or any other progressive Democrat. It’s the language of a political statement, not a good-faith policy document designed to win the president over to the dissidents’ way of thinking. It’s a statement for public consumption—an attack on the president from the government’s own bureaucracy.
Trump should send all of them to the worst corner of the Bluest state he can find. Others have suggested sending them to Alaska or other inhospitable climates, but there’s the risk that the locusts would turn Alaska Blue, as they did with Colorado. I’m thinking something along the lines of the border area between California and Mexico. I think these Leftists stalwarts would find unpleasant the reality of the border that they’ve imposed upon Americans living in those regions.
Another day in which I didn’t blog as much as I would have wished. Thankfully, the team is working away at WOW! Magazine. If you check in today, you’ll find all of these great posts:
- The Bookworm Beat 9/21/16 — the “I’m mad as Hell” evening edition and open thread
- Hillary Clinton And The Second Amendment: Avoiding The Necessity
- Hillary, you are the deplorable one
- Black Lives Matter Hits Charlotte; Burning, Looting, 18 Cops Injured
- Noted Pervert caught sexting with 15-year-old girl
- Here we go again? Yet another false narrative begins
- Social Justice Narrative Sends NFL Ratings into Free Fall
- One Group Of Black Voters Trump Will Carry By 100%
- Dancing With The Stars: who got voted off the dance floor?
- The Bookworm Beat 9/21/2016 — the “hurry up” edition and open thread
- How to Write a Screenplay
- Those Were The Days
Owing to other commitments, I was a laggard when it came to blogging yesterday. Thank goodness for WOW! Magazine, the revamped Watcher’s Council site, which works as an aggregator for posts from all the Watcher’s Council members. If you check that site out once or twice a day, you’ll be as current as possible on the most pressing and interesting things political, cultural, and international. Here are the latest offerings:
- Hillary Returns To The Campaign Trail…For Now…
- Venezuela: Vatican to mediate talks
- “Don’t Look At WikiLeaks, Fellow Jackasses! Keep Those Blinders on!”
- The Bookworm Beat 9/14/16 — the “Hillary” illustrated edition and open thread
- Psychic Cartoonist Or Predictable Corruption?
- Emperor Barack The First: A Hasty Memorial
- [VIDEO] Basic training is not what it used to be (NSFW — obscenities)
- House Democrats find the bottom of the Pit of Propaganda, immediately begin digging
- WIKILeaks : Top Dem Donors Awarded Ambassadorships, Federal Posts
- The NFL’s arrogance is going to cost it
- Trump’s Killer Response To Obama Filling In For Hillary On The Campaign Trail!!
- The Ten Greatest War Movies
- The Damned and the Elect
Living in a free country means that Kaepernick and his imitators have the right to take a knee when they hear The Star Spangled Banner. Having a right, though, doesn’t mean that you are right.
When it comes to Kaepernick & Friends, those people who feel offended by their disrespectful gesture are right to feel that way: There’s nothing noble about virtue signaling, which is all that these highly paid athletes are doing. It’s a meaningless, painless activity that simply puffs up their profile in the drive-by media.
Things would be different, however, if they engaged in true acts of civil disobedience. Doing that might earn them respect even from those who disagree with them.
Back in the day, civil disobedience used to mean something very specific. Although long a recognized part of Anglo-Saxon and English culture (mostly through jury nullification), it was Henry David Thoreau, in the mid-19th Century, who best articulated the doctrine we now recognize. Thoreau objected to a poll tax because he felt the money was being improperly spent to support slavery and the war with Mexico. Rather than paying the tax, he took a principled stand, refused to pay the tax, and went to prison.
As it happened, Thoreau’s friends quickly bailed him out, so he did not have much time to glory in his martyrdom. Nevertheless, this single night in jail inspired Thoreau to write the definitive essay about a citizen’s obligation to strike out against unjust laws and practices — and to demonstrate the law’s invalidity through each citizen’s personal martyrdom. Significantly, Thoreau felt that such a principled stand gained weight from an attendant sacrifice, which is usually imprisonment:
Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less despondent spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race should find them; on that separate but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her–the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.
Part of taking a principled stand means a willingness to pay the price. Martin Luther King was willing to pay the price, as was Mohandas Gandhi. Rosa Parks, who knew she risked imprisonment when she refused to move to the back of the bus, was willing to pay the price. Nelson Mandela surely paid the price and then showed tremendous grace when he had in his hands the power to get revenge . . . but didn’t.
How things have changed in America. If you’re a Leftist, you get to break the law or with community norms . . . and receive only loud applause. I first realized that true, sacrificial civil disobedience is a dead letter for Lefties in February 2004, when San Francisco’s then-mayor, Gavin Newsom, suddenly announced that he was going to ignore California’s laws against same-sex marriage, and have the City issue marriage licenses to all gay couples desiring them. The Press oooh’ed and aaah’ed about his bravery, and gave him a platform he used to leverage himself to California’s Lieutenant Governorship and, he hopes, one day sees him seated in the governor’s office itself (helped by his current campaign to destroy the Second Amendment).
Peter Beinart is in agony, because he’s a terrible father. Why is he such a terrible father? Because he allows his son to watch pro football with him. By doing so, says Beinart, he lends his imprimatur to something that’s really no different from a Roman gladiator contest, with the loser gladiator executed or eaten by lions at the end:
Last Saturday night, he [Beinart’s 8-year-old son] proudly dug out a long-unused Patriots jersey and joined me on the couch late into the night as the Patriots dispatched the Indianapolis Colts.
It was wonderful. And it made me a little sick.
It made me sick because I could see the game through his eyes. And it wasn’t pretty. My son, unfamiliar with the NFL’s pieties, assumed that hurting the other team’s players was the goal. To his untutored eye, the violence that guilt-ridden fans like myself decry was a feature, not a bug. He didn’t cheer the injuries; he’s too sweet for that. But despite my insistence to the contrary, I suspect the message he took from the experience was: The only thing you need to know about the large man writhing in agony on the screen is whether he’s on our team.
Mr. Beinart, if the takeaway lesson from football that you’re teaching your son is “let’s cheer when men get hurt,” the problem isn’t with the game, it’s with you. You are indeed a failure as a father because you, with all your fine words and liberal anguish, were completely incapable of teaching your son the good lessons that football — especially pro-football — teaches.
Thankfully, I’m not you. After having watched six hours of football yesterday, I had a very different takeaway message for my adolescent son: You can learn a lot from these guys. The reason I enjoy watching the game is because there’s something thrilling about men giving 110% to what they’re doing. I never watch an NFL game and think, “Gee, that quarterback is slacking off.” Or “That tight end’s doing nothing out there.” Anybody can be taught technique, but it’s up to each individual to bring passion, self-discipline, drive, energy, and courage to whatever he does. Those guys who make it to the NFL — and especially the guys who make it to the playoffs — are the best of the best, not just at the sport of football, but at the art of being a man.
Watch a pro game, not for the game aspect, but in a more abstract way, just seeing the men as bodies in motion. Every man on the field gives his all. These guys use their bodies as missiles, battering rams, walls, whatever. They are the quintessence of dedicated manliness without weapons. It’s hard on the body (although the media is making up numbers as it goes about the risks associated with the game) so these guys are appropriately well-compensated. That’s okay. It’s a known risk that they willingly take for a tangible financial reward.
In an increasingly feminized world, pro football is one of the last bastions of unabashed manliness. In classrooms all over America, boys are forced to sit still and read books about their feelings (where once they were at least allowed to read stories of war and heroism and adventure). In school yards all over America, girls and boys — but especially boys — are told not to compete, not to run, not to throw, not to hit . . . heck, not to engage in any of the familiar rituals (at all times, in all cultures) that young boys do as they move toward manliness. Rather than celebrating and cultivating manly virtues (bravery, loyalty, honor, strength), we routinely tell boys that, unless they imitate girls, they are without virtue. Their natural instincts are defined as fundamentally bad.
And then there’s football. I’m always amazed and impressed when I see a player run, spin, and leap, eluding attackers and, quite often, still running with at least one person attached to his leg. My lizard brain is telling me, “If this guy was my mate, and I was being chased by anything from an enraged mammoth, to a Nazi, to a Taliban, this is the guy who would be there for me. Pajama Boy would be screaming and weeping and begging for mercy, but this football player would lay his life down for me . . . after first inflicting some serious injury on the other guy (or mammoth).”
Yes, these guys can be as violent off the field as they are on. The fact, though, that their violent acts make headlines tells us that, for most of them, they can turn off the violence just fine. After all, these incidents make news because their rare, not because they’re ordinary. In any event, I suspect that their random acts of violence have more to do with their upbringing than their football career.
Men should be allowed to be men. I’d much rather have my guy get his instincts out in the culturally-sanctioned, structured environment of the football field, rather than spending his day pretending to be Pajama Boy, only to come home frustrated and angry. For better or worse, we humans are animals. The healthiest society is that which gives a controlled outlet for our animal instincts, than one that forces people to deny entirely that those instincts exist.