In the wake of the Baltimore riots and unrest, the Democrats are trying desperately to shift the conversation away from what happened and more toward … anything. One issue that they seem to have locked into is that the events in Baltimore aren’t a response to militarized policing or the War on Drugs or a poisonous relationship between the police and the community. No, it’s about … inequality. And they are proposing to address this with a raft of proposals that are basically Democratic Liberalism 101: more taxes on “the rich”, higher minimum wage, more spending on “infrastructure” and schools, etc. Barack Obama, in particular, has called on Republicans to embrace more spending and job training.
Category: Left Wing Idiocy
Real life has been kicking my rear end and I have been busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest. That has limited my participation here as of recent. There has been a lot going on these days and I figure that I should drag up an oldie but goody that explains all the “bad luck” the last 6 years of “Progressive Libertopia” have been causing us. One of my favorite reality checks is the interview Yuri Bezmenov, as Soviet Defector, gave back in 1984 to G. Edward Griffin. Listen carefully to what he talks about and note the parallel with the shit we have been going through for the last 6 or so years.
Now contrast that with all the crap in the news today. The left, in these last 6 years, most of it with them controlling the levers of power exclusively, has gone beyond my wildest fantasies and predictions of idiotic crap and destructiveness, and it shows. When the idiotic shit they believe in and practice fails miserably, it’s everyone else’s fault. They are pissed people are focusing and pointing out that the facts don’t back up their narrative, and it shows. That’s why we had the kangaroo court proceedings and scandal after scandal – all ignored by a complicit and compliant media – exposed as such, be explained away as nothing important, or even more baffling, as falsehoods perpetrated by people with the facts.
They don’t even realize the parody of their own making. You can’t make up this level of stupid. And no, it isn’t incompetence – even though there is so much of that going around by default when credentialed leftist elite morons are involved – but all by design as that interview with Yuri, over 30 years ago, clearly illustrates. The old Soviets must kick themselves daily when they see that hanging on just another 2 or 3 decades would have given them complete victory due to all the useful idiots looking for free shit that permeate our crumbling society today.
Perhaps you’ve heard about all of the hullabaloo going on in Indiana over a new law that the Governor there signed this past week. Now Celebrities and National Politicians are getting involved. Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer’s Twitter Page has been quite active in retweeting condemnations of the new law. Presumptive Democratic Front Runner Hillary Clinton had this to say:
Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love.
Ashton Kutcher, Miley Cyrus, and many other celebrities are being quite vocal in their condemnation of this new law. Even the Indiana Pacers felt it necessary to have a press release on the new law. And now companies are getting involved. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been very adamant over his condemnation, and has started calls for boycotting Indiana over this new law. Leadership in other companies including Apple, and Yelp are also putting in their two cents. condemning the law as discriminatory.
So what’s the problem with all of these people coming out against this new law? Well, hypocrisy of course.
First off, I would be willing to bet quite a bit of money that none of the people I mentioned above have actually read the new law. You can read the entire law here. The part that people appear to be having a problem with is this text:
Government may burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person —
(1) furthers a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
Oops. I’m sorry. That is part of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law back in 1993. Here’s the text from the Indiana law:
A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
Seems almost identical. In fact, the Indiana law is largely based on the Federal law. Yet many people are being vocal about the Indiana law, but mum about the Federal Law. I ask – why?
Do you remember the aforementioned esteemed Senator Schumer from New York who does not like the Indiana law? It turns out that he was actually the main sponsor of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act back in 1993, which passed both houses with almost unanimous majorities. And Hillary Clinton? Her husband, President Bill Clinton at the time, signed the bill into law and was very supportive of it (you can see a lovely picture of him signing it, with Senator Schumer looking over his shoulder at the link).
What this law basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that we can never, we can never be too vigilant in this work.
It was signed specifically to protect Religious Freedom from Government intervention. Which is exactly why the Indiana law was passed. But Hillary didn’t just support her Husband and this 1993 law (which she does in her book, “It Takes a Village”). In 2005 as Senator Clinton, she supported the “Workplace Religious Freedom Act.” which was co-sponsored by amazingly unlikely allies John Kerry, and Rick Santorum. It was designed to protect the religious freedoms of employees from employers, but has yet to be passed into law. So why is she against the Indiana Law again?
Legally there is virtually no difference between the Federal Law and Indiana’s law except that it applies specifically to that State and its government instead of the /Federal Government. And Indiana isn’t alone in this type of law. 19 other states already have RFRA laws on the books, all based on the Federal law. Why is nobody calling for boycotts on those other states?
So why shouldn’t CEO’s of companies like Salesforce, and Apple condemn the Indiana law, and call for boycotts? They do billions of dollars of business in China. China, which is not only a religious freedom nightmare, but it is also a place where there are no laws protecting against homosexual discrimination, that does not recognize gay marriage, civil unions or anything close to it, and where it is illegal for homosexual couples to adopt.
Whether or not you support the law, I guess all I’m saying is that these people and organizations need to think before they open their mouths.
Judith Shulevitz has a great article up at the NYT about how our colleges and universities have gone to absurd lengths to coddle students’ delicate psyches.
KATHERINE BYRON, a senior at Brown University and a member of its Sexual Assault Task Force, considers it her duty to make Brown a safe place for rape victims, free from anything that might prompt memories of trauma.
So when she heard last fall that a student group had organized a debate about campus sexual assault between Jessica Valenti, the founder of feministing.com, and Wendy McElroy, a libertarian, and that Ms. McElroy was likely to criticize the term “rape culture,” Ms. Byron was alarmed. “Bringing in a speaker like that could serve to invalidate people’s experiences,” she told me. It could be “damaging.”
Ms. Byron and some fellow task force members secured a meeting with administrators. Not long after, Brown’s president, Christina H. Paxson, announced that the university would hold a simultaneous, competing talk to provide “research and facts” about “the role of culture in sexual assault.” Meanwhile, student volunteers put up posters advertising that a “safe space” would be available for anyone who found the debate too upsetting.
The “safe space” was basically a toddler room:
The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.
You really should really the whole thing. It gets into the increasing culture of creating “safe spaces” where students can be sheltered from ideas that might challenge their beliefs or offend them. Only some ideas, of course. If a Muslim student complained that miniskirts made him uncomfortable or a Christian complained that gays “triggered” him, I doubt they would get much sympathy.
As an academic, I want to make one point: most students aren’t like this. Most of the students I deal with are hard-working rational people who don’t really care about political correctness. The problem is that the whiners — the product of increasing helicopter parenting and schools obsessed with promoting “self-esteem” — have the floor. Moreover, the government is aggressively using Title VIII and IX to push schools into compliance with politically correct agendas. And it’s affecting how our schools operate.
I’m old enough to remember a time when college students objected to providing a platform to certain speakers because they were deemed politically unacceptable. Now students worry whether acts of speech or pieces of writing may put them in emotional peril. Two weeks ago, students at Northwestern University marched to protest an article by Laura Kipnis, a professor in the university’s School of Communication. Professor Kipnis had criticized — O.K., ridiculed — what she called the sexual paranoia pervading campus life
Last fall, the president of Smith College, Kathleen McCartney, apologized for causing students and faculty to be “hurt” when she failed to object to a racial epithet uttered by a fellow panel member at an alumnae event in New York. The offender was the free-speech advocate Wendy Kaminer, who had been arguing against the use of the euphemism “the n-word” when teaching American history or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” In the uproar that followed, the Student Government Association wrote a letter declaring that “if Smith is unsafe for one student, it is unsafe for all students.”
“It’s amazing to me that they can’t distinguish between racist speech and speech about racist speech, between racism and discussions of racism,” Ms. Kaminer said in an email.
Professors are guiding their course work away from anything controversial as well. For example, law professors are shying away from discussing rape law, lest they trigger someone. Entire hordes of administrators are hired to make sure everyone is being sensitive and caring (and then student wonder why college costs so much).
So how can we stop this rising Cult of the Victim? Pushback on the campuses themselves is a big part. But another big help would be for the federal government to affirm its supposed commitment to free expression. A complaint that a university is “unsafe” can trigger a potentially damaging federal investigation. In the past, the government has respected free speech but that commitment has weakened in recent years as universities and the government embrace the Left-wing notion that some speech isn’t really speech, but hostile action.
The recent SAE incident was a perfect opportunity for this. The Department of Education could have made it clear that, as students at a public university, the students had free speech rights. But they let that opportunity pass by. And I don’t see this Administration ever standing up the campus politeness police.
I’ve written in this space many times about the cult of political correctness and the rise of speech codes. There are many idiotic aspects of the push to create “safe spaces” in our society where people will never ever be offended (as long as they’re not Christian or something) and only hear approved (liberal) speech. But one aspect I’ve rarely written about is this:
It will never work.
It will never work because there is no possible way to construct a speech code so that no one will be offended. The push toward speech codes, free speech zones, “safe spaces” and an end to “microaggressions” will founder because the politically correct are creating a rhetorical minefield that can never be safely navigated.
For all of 15 minutes last weekend, Patricia Arquette was a progressive hero. Arquette, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar Sunday evening for her role in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, used the final few seconds of her acceptance speech to deliver a stirring plea for female equality. “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights—it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” Arquette declared, to enthusiastic cries of approval and passionate finger-pointing from fellow celebrities Jennifer Lopez and Meryl Streep.
We’ll put aside whether the pay gap is a myth or not and the received wisdom that pay equality should be mandated by government. We will note, however, that the very liberal entertainment industry is one of the worst in terms of pay equality.
But in the time it took for Arquette to move from the Academy stage to answer questions from the press, she went from a liberal champion who used her two minutes of fame to speak passionately on behalf of a cause that she believed in to the latest target of the left’s ritualistic Two Minutes of Hate. Her offense: “It’s time,” she said, “for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”
“Twitter got into a rage over Patricia Arquette’s Comments in the Oscar Press Room,” is how Buzzfeed described the ensuing online outcry. “It is definitely not time for ‘all the gay people’ and ‘all the people of color’ to set aside their own battle for equality in order to fight for straight, white women now,” thundered Amanda Marcotte in a piece for Slate titled, “Patricia Arquette’s Feminism: Only for White Women.” A blogger for Fusion.net accused the actress of “feminist whitesplaining.” Arquette stepped in it. By seemingly prioritizing the struggles of one historically disadvantaged group (women) over those of others (blacks, Latinos, gays, etc.), Arquette ran afoul of the rules of the identity-politics game foisted upon our political discourse by the self-appointed, Twitter-enabled arbiters of the “national conversation.”
It’s been a week and I’m still trying to figure out what was so offensive about Arquette’s later remarks. It seems to have something to do “intersectionality” — the egghead idea that we all live in various forms of oppression. White women are oppressed but not as much as black women, who are not as oppressed as black lesbians unless they are wealthy black lesbians unless they are Republican wealthy black lesbians with a slight limp. Arquette’s “crime” was forgetting where she was in that matrix of oh-woe-is-meism and therefore falling into the gears of the left wing’s perpetual grievance engine.
(As an aside, I’ve never known a conversation that was ever improved by discussion of “privilege” or “intersectionality”. Yes, sexism and racism exist. Bravo for realizing that. But people’s lives are their own. Our lives are influenced by our race, gender, sexuality or whatever but they are not defined by those things. Yes, it’s sometimes hard for men to understand what women deal with or for whites to understand what blacks deal with. But the idea that you never understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes is an old one. And, as a general rule applied to everyone, it is better path to insight than pointy-headed academic-speak about “intersectionality”.)
This is one of many reasons why the far Left will never be taken seriously in this country. While they hate white male cisgender oppression or whatever, they don’t hate it nearly as much as they hate each other for insufficient ideological purity. Feminism, in particular, has been prone to this in recent years, jumping all over a feminist who dared to question the misandry that occasionally manifests itself or making an enemies list that is topped by two prominent feminists deemed to be insufficiently militant.
But this also illustrates why speech codes and hate speech laws could never work because there is nothing you can say that won’t end up offending somebody. There is no way to navigate this “intersectionality” nonsense without stomping on someone’s real or perceived grievances. That would go double if you expanded “being offended” to groups the Left wing tries to pretend can never be offended — conservatives, men, whites, Christians or that Apotheosis of Oppression, Sean Hannity.
Look, you should try to not to offend people if you can avoid it. You should try to understand where other people are coming from. But that’s not some new-fangled progressive idea; that’s just good manners. And we can’t and shouldn’t try to police people’s speech in a vain effort to spare a protected groups’ feelz. Because, as the reaction to Arquette’s tiny non faux pas illustrates, it is literally impossible to do so.
Knowing full well what the repercussions at the polls will be once Americans figure out how fucked they are by Obamacare and the taxes hidden as fines and penalties that are part and parcel of this government takeover of the healthcare system, democrats likely impacted during the next election cycle are asking for rule breaks. It looks like the law that had to be passed so people could find out what was in it, has a few seriously frightening hiccups in it that worry these collectivists that passed it:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The official sign-up season for President Barack Obama’s health care law may be over, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance.
Three senior House members told The Associated Press that they plan to strongly urge the administration to grant a special sign-up opportunity for uninsured taxpayers who will be facing fines under the law for the first time this year.
The three are Michigan’s Sander Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, and Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas. All worked to help steer Obama’s law through rancorous congressional debates from 2009-2010.
The lawmakers say they are concerned that many of their constituents will find out about the penalties after it’s already too late for them to sign up for coverage, since open enrollment ended Sunday.
That means they could wind up uninsured for another year, only to owe substantially higher fines in 2016. The fines are collected through the income tax system.
Mind you, that I am quite sure that only an idiot should believe these scoundrels are concerned about the impact this government sponsored Leviathan has on the serfs. This faux concern is fueled solely by their self-preservation instincts. If they really were worried about how Obamacare was going to squeeze people, they would never have passed that steaming pile of shit in the first place. People are going to freak out when they realize how hard this law will screw them over come tax time. Of course, most of them will deserve the painful discovery that they are now slammed with new taxes, hiding as fees and penalties, since they were stupid enough to think other people would be paying for this “free shit”. The taxman cometh!
This year is the first time ordinary Americans will experience the complicated interactions between the health care law and taxes. Based on congressional analysis, tax preparation giant H&R Block says roughly 4 million uninsured people will pay penalties.
The IRS has warned that health-care related issues will make its job harder this filing season and taxpayers should be prepared for long call-center hold times, particularly since the GOP-led Congress has been loath to approve more money for the agency.
If we ever needed another reason to scrap the current tax system and institute a flat tax, this crap from the politically motivated IRS should make due.
Obamacare: the gift that keeps on giving.
The desperate leftards at WaPo have written an idiotic article which seems to basically be impugning Scott Walker’s credentials to be POTUS because he of all things dropped out of college. As Donald Trump points out, this reeks of desperation when these fucking idiots have tried to make a mountain out of this molehill when they have basically conveniently ignored far more for the asshole in the WH.
You have to wonder if these people simply lack common sense, a moral compass, or intelligence. Me, I think it is all of the above. Credentialed twerps that got their indoctrination and marching orders from the marxism infested academic swamps they now want to pretend one needs a seal of approval from to qualify for success doing a desperate projection, is all we have here. Maybe these morons would love for everyone to forget that getting credentialed by the Ivy league hasn’t really served us well, while successfully kick the living shit of marxist cock suckers in a seriously blue state.
BTW, George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan, all successful presidents that accomplished great things, also had no college degrees, while the fucking douchebag Manchurian candidate now in the WH is credited with all sorts of useless academic bullshit. The left is desperate, and I am loving the tears!
We have had discussions here about the fact that the Obama administration has presided over an unprecedented growth of deficit spending and US debt. Most of us have pointed out things are not good and heading in the wrong direction. Some have argued otherwise. This administration looks like it wanted to settle the argument once and for all:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government ran a bigger deficit in January, pushing the imbalance so far this budget year up 6.2 percent from the same period a year ago.
The Treasury Department said Wednesday the deficit for January stood at $17.5 billion compared to $10.3 billion a year ago. For the first four months of the budget year that began in October, the deficit widened to $194.2 billion from $182.8 billion during the same period last year.
The budget deficit has gradually narrowed since 2012, which was the fourth straight year in which it topped the $1 trillion mark. The improvement reflects the country’s economic recovery from recession. The government is seeing higher tax revenues as people go back to work and smaller payments for safety-net programs such as unemployment assistance. It also represents efforts by Congress to control deficits through higher taxes and across-the-board spending cuts.
First off, the AP political hacks are full of shit when they pretend there has been an economic recovery of any kind. These assholes have been playing fast and loose with the numbers for 6 years now to convince people that the idiotic tax and spend, big government nanny-state, central planned practices favored by the collectivists in charge, actually work. But the facts are that the only people doing well are the super-rich and the freeloaders. And of course the political class has really raked in the dough and drastically expanded their ability to lord it over us serfs. The middle class however, is getting hammered. The number of employed people in this country is at an all-time low, and the trending shows that it will go lower despite all the efforts to pretend otherwise. The number of freeloaders has also hit a new record, and the trending shows that it will continue to go up. The really rich, the people the left loves to pretend to hate, are raking in the cash. The country is being invaded, by design, and with help from the nanny-state entities in our government that want to fundamentally change the balance of power by making the freeloader class undefeatable at the polls. That’s “social justice” and the signs of an economic recovery for the left I guess.
Recovery my fucking ass. And the government is raking in a ton of cash in taxes despite their actions and efforts, mostly by fucking over businesses and the upper middle class. The point that should never be lost is that the left will never lower spending. These excuse makers responsible for this propaganda piece masquerading as news all but admit that they are cool with the insane jump in spending, because the tax revenue is up! The label “Tax and spend” is absolutely accurate. I bet they saw a projected 3% jump in revenue, so they did a 6.2% jump in spending. That’s what leviathan does.
We need to get rid of the collectivists and dismantle the “vote for a living” state they have created before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.
When I was in college, “divestment” was a big thing. The idea was that colleges, which generally have nine or more figure endowments, should use their investments to bring political pressure on social issues, pulling their money away from “bad” companies and putting it into good ones.
As a rule, colleges and universities are reluctant to do this because the purpose of the endowment is to fund the school, not play politics. And once you start playing that game, you get lost in a morass of conflicting political squabbles trying to figure out which companies aren’t going to annoy some segment of the student population. But that didn’t stop student organizations from constantly agitating to divest from … well, whatever they were mad about that week. In my senior year, they were pressuring my college to divest from the Mall of America. Not because it was a shitty investment but because they had a Hooters there, if you can imagine such a thing. Because I’m sure the one thing that would persuade the Mall of America to boot out a profitable business was a for a small liberal arts college to pull their investment.
It turns out that, in the last twenty years, student organizations have only gotten stupider:
We have covered anti-Israel student government divestment votes the past couple of years.
Groups, typically led by Students for Justice in Palestine assisted by Jewish Voice for Peace, try to get student governments to vote to divest from specified companies doing business in Israel, such as Caterpillar and HP. Sometimes they succeed, mostly they fail. In the end, it’s purely symbolic, since student governments have no such power.
Symbolism matters, though, because the campus movement is part of a larger goal of demonizing and dehumanizing Jewish Israelis. Even when they lose a vote, the BDS crowd claims victory because they forced people to talk about their issue.
Last academic year there were a series of divestment initiatives that failed, but recently in the U. California system, several have passed. The anti-Israel groups are very strategic, taking the time to elect their supporters to student councils, and that long-term strategy has paid off in places like UCLA, which rejected divestment last spring, only to see it pass this fall after a change of board membership.
One thing that slowly is coming to light, however, is that the anti-Israel movement is not the grassroots, student-led movement it purports to be. In fact, it has a highly coordinated, well-funded action plan assisted and coordinated by outside groups.
Over $42 million has been designated for this kind of agitation, including money from the Students for Justice for Palestine, who featured a terrorist at their 2012 conference. Those of you old enough to remember the Cold War may remember that the Communists did the same thing: funding “grass roots” organizations to advance their agenda.
That’s not even the worst part:
The anti-Israel movement had another success today, at the University of California system-wide Student Council, where two divestment motions passed, 9-1-6.
The first Resolution was the usual divestment from Israel, and the Israel motion was the focus of heated protest.
Inside, the anti-Israel students also voted to support a boycott of the U.S., among other countries, through a second Resolution calling for divestment from American, Mexican, Russian, Turkish, Indonesian, Brazilian, Sri Lankan, and Egyptian government bonds.
Yes. The U Cal student government has called on the university to divest from America. As Jacobson points out, if you’re going to define Israel’s actions as worthy of divestment, you’re going to have to divest from basically the entire world.
There’s no crazy like student crazy.
Update: Speaking of divestment idiots.
Fortifying the old adage that misery loves company, I am always amused at fellow progressive states trying (and many times succeeding) in out California-ing California, taking progressive-ism to a whole new level, like that could even be construed as a good thing. That wannabe state of Connecticut (sorry, but we on the west coast sport higher individual state income taxes, so you are still pikers in that comparison) isn’t satisfied with just the concept of religious freedom, no, they want to bring back the old testament as well, including animal sacrifice;
According to the NY Daily News, one of the holidays that the Waterbury school district has decided to ‘honor’ is Eid al-Adha:
The board voted to recognize Eid Al-Fitr, marking the end of the month of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, an annual feast day, by giving observant students the day off to celebrate with their families. It also voted to instruct educators not to schedule any field trips, major tests or class events on the two holidays, according to the FoxCT channel.
Walid Shoebat points out that Eid al-Adha isn’t just a day of prayer and family, but it also includes the sacrificing of an animal at the end of the day:
The separation of church and state? Only when it comes to Christianity, Muslims are special, short fused, and prone to violence, hell yes we must make special accommodations for them.
Sure, the kids are thrilled, more holidays where there is no school, and the teachers are for it as well, those hard working civil servants never say no more days off.
Of course if the school district is really serious about immersing the kids in the Islamic culture and promoting tolerance for other religions, classes should be taught in the proper away to sacrifice animals, including mandatory participation. And like sex ed, no need to get the parents of dhimmies involved, the schools know what’s best for promoting harmony in a multicultural society.
It should not surprise anybody, the length and breadth at which school districts bend over backwards to accommodate the squeaky wheel, and if Muslims are known for anything it is how much they squeak in the face of any blowback to their demands.
About as often as Hal and I go round and round over budgetary issues, the Old Testament and it’s relevance towards modern day Christians, is also debated (and for the life of me I still do not get the confusion). But here is the fundamental difference, yes, in the OT days, the Jews conducted animal sacrifices, stoned adulterers, treated women like property, adopted strict guidelines in dress and food preparation, even outlawing having sex with a woman who is menstruating, but they don’t do that stuff anymore. And Christians never did because they are not bound by the “Old Covenant”. Today every other religion acts like adults, except the Muslims, no, they still get their Sharia and all the barbaric practices that go with that.
Even our goofy President loves his talking points, namely that 99 percent of all Muslims are peaceful and willing to live in a modern world, even though this flies right in the face of all the polling in those predominantly Muslim nations, the polls that identify large (not the majority, certainly, but higher than what is rational) numbers that sympathize with terrorists, want Sharia and would welcome the Caliphate, regardless of the death involved in achieving it.
I would expect this sort of nonsense in England, they gave up their national identity years ago, but here?