Category Archive 'The Left'
01 May 2019

The Left Believes It Has a Monopoly on Righteousness

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Karin McQuillan explains that that is why they have no limits whatsoever on their behavior or appetite for power.

Before Trump was a gleam in their eye, Democrats saw themselves as the only morally valid people in the country. They don’t want individual rights anymore, only group rights. They want Republicans and dissenting liberals to be silenced. Silencing is too good for us—they want us publicly shamed, if need be physically attacked, and any contrary ideas hounded out of the public and the private square.

Democrats hate our electoral system as unjust because it doesn’t deliver to them guaranteed victory. All their efforts towards 2020 will be focused on changing our election laws and norms. They don’t want the electoral college, which guards against domination of the country by politically narrow urban population centers.

They don’t want any safeguards against voter fraud. In fact, they want to legalize a broad highway to fraud, voter “harvesting.” Paid political operatives go door to door, picking up unused mail-in ballots (sent out without request if Democrats have their way), fill them in for the Democrat candidate, and voilà, the Democrats win. They just rolled out the beta test in Orange County, and it flipped long-time red districts blue.

To win in 2020, Democrats will commit every voter scam and fraud ever invented and they are in the process of inventing a whole lot of new ones. Intimidation and moral grandstanding are keys to success for them, hence, attacking Republicans who dare to wear a Trump hat, put up a yard sign, or put a bumper sticker on their car. They will stop the census from asking about citizenship, because illegal voters on the population rolls gives California alone six seats in Congress they would not otherwise have, robbing those seats from more rural, more Republican states.

Social justice, like all Marxist ideologies, believes the ends justify the means. Democrats have no shame that they lied for two years, pretending that a farrago of clumsy lies whipped up by Russian agents for Hillary Clinton was a valid reason to investigate a sitting president. They need hatred of Trump to unify their disparate voting blocks and whip up the frenzy necessary to cover over their unpopular, radical policies.

Naked political power is the driving force behind our culture wars, and behind the weird war on President Trump. It has little to do with his specific policies, let alone his tweets and his pugnacious personality, except that Trump’s counterpunching and toughness have allowed him to survive. John McCain and Mitt Romney didn’t drive them crazy because they caved without a fight. Trump drives Democrats crazy because he won, and because he won’t give in or give up.

RTWT

04 Apr 2019

The Left’s Attack Upon the Canon

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Alexander Zubatov, PR’97, describes, and explains, in a must-read article, the crazy Continental Left’s takeover of the Humanities.

Here… is another common sense truth, a proposition so obvious that it is bizarre that I should even need to set it forth: the race, gender, religion, sexuality or physical ability or disability of its creator is not a legitimate component of an art work’s quality. In fact, these are the very kinds of irrational social considerations that have sometimes regrettably distorted the picture of what has—and, more importantly, has not—been deemed canonical but which we, whenever we become cognizant of such errors, should try to discount.

But, in recent times, a strange inversion has taken hold of our thinking on the subject of canonicity. Instead of viewing such superficial aspects of the author’s identity as illegitimate variables the influence of which we should resist as far as possible, we have opened the floodgates in order to admit authors to the canon precisely on the basis of such considerations. Entire courses and majors have grown up around these superficial identitarian affiliations, and works of art—mistaken, perhaps, for democratic legislative bodies—have been lavished with praise because of their success in representing—in the sense of political rather than aesthetic representation­—the experience of this or that subgroup. Moreover, the same people who advocate for this identity genre literature also make a habit of assailing the canon for failures of representation, as though the quality of works could be gauged through a demographic survey. This form of philosophically unsound willful self-blinding to the hard truths of aesthetic superiority—which I would call aesthetic denialism—has become as pandemic in many segments of academia and the left as climate change denialism is on the right and has done great harm to the reputation and status of the humanities.

Lending an air of gravitas to this aesthetic denialism, there has been a proliferation of various branches of continental theory—largely post-structuralist and Marxist—that espouse a generally critical attitude towards existing hierarchies—aesthetic hierarchies included—seeing in these either the reification of indefensible and arbitrary distinctions (post-structuralism) or the pernicious reflections of power (Marxism). To adapt the argument advanced by John Guillory in his Pierre Bourdieu-inspired landmark work, Cultural Capital, during the decades between the downfall of the hereditary aristocracy and the emergence of our modern-day techno-financial elite, university education, particularly classical humanities education, came to serve as a dividing line between an educated aristocracy and common rubes and plebs. In the era of high modernism and prestigious print journalism, university departments conferring such knowledge and its attendant degrees enjoyed substantial cultural cachet and, to dispense such cachet, needed to agree upon a more or less unitary body of learning—the canon—as a boundary between education and inadequacy. But, as the old literary aristocracy gave way to a new moneyed elite, which elbowed its way into the ranks of the upper crust through highly compensated tech and finance industry jobs and needed to know how to read and write nothing more sophisticated than an office memo or PowerPoint presentation, the high school composition curriculum became more than adequate to its needs. Traditional high culture and university humanities were rendered supererogatory, becoming the devalued province of effete and useless intellectuals. Stripped of its most obvious practical function, the university’s role in what Marxist theorist Louis Althusser would have called the ideological state apparatus, serving to reproduce existing power relations—and the humanities professoriate drifted off unmoored into the great unknown. A unitary canon was no longer indispensable because the humanities themselves were no longer indispensable.

This led to two related developments. First, with the humanities no longer closely tethered to prevailing power structures, the stability and traditionalism that a close link to power demands fell away, and prominent humanities scholars with radically anti-establishment views were free to crawl out of the woodwork. Second, the new attitude of disrespect—and, increasingly, open scorn—that the techno-financial elite and much of the rest of society came to exhibit towards humanities academics led to a natural tit-for-tat. If you are disrespected, you are likely to seethe and lash out at your tormenters. You may, in fact, adopt your own posture of hauteur and disrespect, as if those people were hopelessly beneath you and will never understand you, since they are either too committed to the power relations in which they are embedded or else simpletons, blind to those power relations.

In this fertile ground for resentment, the attitude of critique took root, building on philosophical currents which first surfaced in the late nineteenth century and began to assume a simulacrum of their present-day form during the countercultural era of the 1960s. Bloom regularly fulminated against what he aptly termed these “schools of resentment,” which I discuss in more detail here. The approach of these peddlers of critique—sometimes known as the hermeneutics of suspicion—was to question all established norms and power structures, including the hegemonic structures that had allegedly informed the composition of the canon. Thus, instead of looking up toward the works they studied, these new anti-humanist humanitarians looked at them askance and endeavored to expose and unravel their inner tensions and contradictions and the hierarchies that had produced those works and entrenched them as objects of veneration. If the old humanities had once offered access to the upper echelons of society, what the new anti-humanities marketed was an attitude of superiority towards the society that had scorned them.

As new generations of students reared under the tutelage of these scholars entered the workforce and academia, the cultural capital enjoyed by the posture of critique predictably increased. Canonical lists were blown open, infiltrated by works that were aesthetically second-rate, but politically favored. A bevy of majors and departments in all sorts of identitarian oppression studies departments crystallized. Critique went corporate. Diversity became an industry: spawning seminars, consultants, initiatives and company retreats. At a time when our society had never been more tolerant, open and inclusive, media organizations, now staffed by graduates of these radicalized humanities departments, began to make a living trafficking in identitarian hysteria about racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia.

The numbers confirm this story. They show a pronounced leftward shift in humanities departments since 1990, around the same time when the tech sector, which contributed markedly to the marginalization of the humanities, began its economic takeover.

RTWT

HT: Katarina Apostilides.

15 Feb 2019

There May Be Something In All This

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Michael Walsh, author of the recent history of Leftist Modernism, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, ?facetiously? contends that today’s leftists have a great deal in common with the squelching, piscine-featured inhabitants of H.P. Lovecraft’s ancient, crumbling New England towns secretly carrying on the nefarious activities of the Starry Wisdom Cult.

It seems to be the only way to account for the frequently self-contadictory unspeakable madness characteristic of the most prominent Progressive democrats.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

RTWT

25 Oct 2018

Let’s All Wear Blackface for Halloween

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and piss off the SJWs.

Halloween is getting to be downright dangerous in this country. Back in 2015, the wife of Yale’s Silliman College Master Nicholas Christakis, and Associate Master, Erica Christakis, responded to an admonitory pre-Halloween email from the Intercultural Affairs Council — a group of administrators from the cultural centers, Chaplain’s Office and other campus organizations — sent to the undergraduate student body warning against wearing Halloween costumes which could be interpreted as belittling or offensive: no sombreros, no blackface, no turbans, defending freedom of expression and arguing against hypersensitive prohibition and censorship.

Well, Master Nicholas and a black dean were confronted by angry student mobs demanding his firing or resignation. There was a march on President Salovey’s house and a presentation of outrageous radical demands, most of which President Salovey promptly granted. The Yale Administration assured the Christakises that free speech would be upheld, it was solidly behind them, and then quietly got both of them out of Silliman College and out of town. (Professor Nicholas Christakis was paid off for keeping quiet with the award of a prestigious Sterling Professorship a couple years later.) Mrs. Christakis no longer teaches at Yale, and is giving lectures and doing free-lance writing. Boo!

And the PC Halloween Monster strikes again! This time it is NBC Today Host Megan Kelly riding the tumbril in the direction of the stake for, yes! you guessed it, questioning the blasphemous nature of Halloween blackface. Burn, witch, burn!

Roxanne Jones, “a founding editor of ESPN Magazine and former vice president at ESPN,” lays down the law at CNN:

Sometimes “I’m sorry” just doesn’t cut it — a hard lesson that NBC Today show host Megyn Kelly now understands. Reportedly, Kelly’s morning show “Megyn Kelly Today” may be cancelled, according to CNN sources and Variety reports.

Kelly, who never really seemed like a good fit for the NBC morning show, overplayed her popularity earlier this week when she passionately defended people who don blackface costumes for Halloween — a thing that most Americans understand is definitely not okay, unless their intention is to offend.

“But what is racist?” Kelly asked on her show. “Because you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as, like, a character.”

The backlash was swift. Kelly was roasted across social media and more importantly her colleagues and bosses were appalled by her comments. NBC executives forced Kelly to apologize first, internally to her colleagues, and then to the viewers.

But Halloween is tricky and the blackface flap didn’t die down.

Ironically, for me, the most revealing part of Kelly’s explosive comments was their illumination of her true face as an out-of-the-closet racist, in my opinion.

I didn’t buy Kelly’s innocent act of contrition. Maybe I’ve just become desensitized to these knee-jerk, teleprompter apologies for public misdeeds. Maybe we all have. Maybe we should.

But Kelly shouldn’t be surprised that her racist statements met resistance. And she shouldn’t be surprised that NBC, like so many other employers who have taken action against talent for incidents of racism, has apparently decided that her brand of bigotry is simply not worth the risk anymore. Even her NBC colleague Al Roker, who said Wednesday, “The fact is, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”

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Jenée Desmond Harris, at leftist Vox, explains to you ignorant bigots why defending blackface is a prosecutable thought and speech crime.

Put down the black and brown face paint. Step away from the bronzer 12 shades darker than your skin. That is, if you’re at all interested in not being a walking symbol of racism this Halloween.

Wait, what’s wrong with blackface? A lot of people, thankfully, don’t need this question answered. To many, it’s obvious that it’s a lazy, non-funny costume bad idea with a depressing history that is the opposite of celebratory. Each Halloween serves as a reminder that a giant gulf remains between people who understand that blackface is in bad taste, or are willing to defer to black people who tell them so, and people who are still asking “But why?” (You know, the ones who are thinking as they read this, “You say it’s racist but I can tell you right now I’m not racist, so it’s fine if I wear it! Come on, get over it! Stop with the political correctness! I don’t understand how this is offensive! It’s a joke!”)…

For the “why” crowd (and for anyone who feels moved to have a dialogue with one of its members), here’s an explanation of what, exactly, is wrong with wearing blackface, on Halloween or ever:

Blackface is much more than just dark makeup used to enhance a costume.

Its American origins can be traced to minstrel shows. In the mid to late nineteenth century, white actors would routinely use black grease paint on their faces when depicting plantation slaves and free blacks on stage.

To be clear, these weren’t flattering representations. At all. Taking place against the backdrop of a society that systematically mistreated and dehumanized black people, they were mocking portrayals that reinforced the idea that African-Americans were inferior in every way.

According to you, Jenée, but it’s really a lot more complicated, and far less negative than that.

Minstrel shows and blackface performances, it’s true, did include unflattering stereotypes of African Americans, but white performers were not merely donning blackface to mock and belittle colored people. They were commonly doing it in order to become black. White performers wanted to become black in order to perform music with African-American roots and in order to pay affectionate tribute to old-time Southern African-American humor and culture.

When I was a boy, for several years, I grudgingly sacrificed a hour of extra sleep in order to get up and catch Amos n’ Andy re-runs on early morning television. There were things very much other than mockery and condescension that motivated me. There was a fascination in the flavorful and witty colored dialect. There was enormous charm in the very human foibles of the principal characters. And I distinctly admired the absolute brilliance, the polytropic enterprise, and the thoroughgoing rascallity of the Kingfish. Heck, if I’d been able to find examples at my local haberdasher’s, I’d likely have started wearing string ties and a tail coat in emulation of that great man. I loved the Kingfish, and –just like most American– I respected and admired the straight arrow cab driver Amos Jones.

Pre-Politically-Correct America actually had lots of diversity, and Americans loved and enjoyed that diversity. Popular entertainment reveled in exploiting ethnic stereotypes for humor and as an expression of affection. Jewish Molly Goldberg‘s ethnic characteristics were funny, but they were also heart-warming. Brooklyn Irish Chester A. Riley was crude, vulgar, and unmannerly, but he was also tough, loyal, and a good guy underneath it all.

It was the same with the old minstrel shows and Amos n’ Andy, which was a kind of continuation of the former right into the television era. Americans watched them to laugh at the characters and they also loved those characters.

It’s the Left that hates and wants to harm people.

20 Oct 2018

Spoiled Liberals Expect to Win Every Time

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Peter Spiliakos marvels at the self-entitlement of our liberal friends.

The response of these white liberals is not to blame themselves. If they lost a presidential election, then it is the fault of the illegitimate Electoral College. If Kavanaugh is confirmed and Mitch McConnell remains majority leader, the Senate is illegitimate. If there is a fifth conservative justice, then the Supreme Court is illegitimate. Obama told liberals that “given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere.” Instead, liberals chose to compete in ever fewer places, and then cry twice as hard when they lost.

The experience of white liberals with corrupt and partisan authority influences how they deal with their disappointments and defeats. They are used to authority stepping in to change the rules in their favor. They don’t want constitutional change, because if they lost under new rules, those rules would then become just as illegitimate.

They want — they expect — a Jimmy Fallon or a George Bridges or a Jeffrey Goldberg to step in make everything better. Attendees of Trump rallies might chant “Lock her up.” Black Lives Matters protestors might chant “No justice, no peace.” But if you hear a protester issue a long, piercing screech, it is probably a college-educated white liberal. There is a reason for that. The theorists of intersectionality teach us that for the privileged, equality can feel like oppression.

In The Atlantic, Adam Cohen brilliantly captured the entitlement and power hunger of elite white liberalism. Cohen writes of how Brett Kavanaugh can “minimize” the damage his presence does on the Supreme Court by recusing himself from a large number of cases (and thereby giving the four liberal justices an effective veto over any rulings) and otherwise voting with liberals Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan.

RTWT

16 Oct 2018

Pre-Columbian America According to the Left

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01 Oct 2018

Unhinged Left Going After Kavanaugh

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Jonah Goldberg tries to figure out why Brett Kavanaugh has caused the Left to pull out all the stops.

I want to be open-minded. So I will concede that the allegation is not theoretically impossible, given the depths of depravity that humans in every generation and every civilization and at all strata of class and privilege are capable of.

But it would be highly unlikely, to say the least. I say this having some insight, however imperfect, into the social milieu from which Kavanaugh hails. I didn’t grow up in Washington, but I did technically go to a prep school.

(My school was not as prestigious as Georgetown Prep. There was always a raging debate about my alma mater: Was it the best school on the B-List or the worst school of the A-list? But it was a prep school.)

I knew kids at various schools like Kavanaugh’s. They could be, to borrow a term from social science, dicks. I’m not saying he was. But even if he was, that doesn’t mean he was a rapist. Though, to listen to various liberals, you’d think stereotypes about sex, race, and class are always true so long as you’re talking about white preppy Christians.

Still, I will confess I have my own biases. I never took high school too seriously, so I had a certain amount of resentment towards those who did. The kids who constantly worried about their permanent record; the kids who did everything they could to please teachers or gussy-up their college applications; the kids who seemingly without much effort checked boxes as both jocks and academic grinds; the kids who were always worried about getting in trouble for fear of having to go to a state school: These were kids that I didn’t gravitate towards precisely because I couldn’t be one of them. But I will grant them this: They seemed really unlikely to organize rape gangs if for no other reason than that such things look really bad on your application to Yale.

Again, I don’t mean to be unfair to Brett Kavanaugh. I have no doubt that a regular churchgoing kid had other reasons not to do the logistical heavy-lifting of drugging and raping teenage girls on a regular basis. I’m just assuming the worst while still employing Occam’s Razor. And I just have a hard time believing that the Rapey McRapeFace who Avenatti and his fans describe is the real Brett Kavanaugh.

RTWT

21 Sep 2018

Kavanaugh Accused of Connection With 1985 Yale Mock Panty Raid

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Panty Raid at Berkeley, May 18, 1956.

The same establishment elite that views Larry Flint as a free speech hero, that lectured us that we were guilty of censorship if we didn’t want tax money paying for Robert Maplethorpe’s anal horse whip art, that defends flamboyantly obscene gay pride parades down main street, and that wants sex education for third graders is shocked, shocked that members of the same fraternity that Brett Kavanaugh belonged to, back in 1985, took part in pledge hijinks alluding to the 1950s college panty raids.

Diane Herbst, at People magazine, basically quotes a hatchet job from a couple of little left-wing reptiles at the Yale Daily News:

In his first year at Yale, embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which had a culture “notorious for disrespecting women,” according to a new report from the Yale Daily News.

Julie Klein, who graduated in 1987 alongside Kavanaugh, described the frat as an “animal house,” while another classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Jennifer Lew, recalled on the YaleWomen Facebook page how frat brothers would “ransack” female students’ rooms while they attended classes and steal “undergarments,” reports the Yale Daily News.

On Thursday, the student newspaper published a January, 1985 photo of Kavanaugh’s DKE frat brothers holding a flag created with women’s underwear and bras as they marched across campus. Kavanaugh, reportedly a sophomore member of the frat at the time, does not appear in the image.

RTWT

Obviously what the DKE pledges were doing in 1985 was some sort of tongue-in-cheek parody of student behavior of the ancient past.

Wikipedia: Panty raid

A panty raid was an American 1950s college prank in which large groups of male students attempted to invade the living quarters of female students and steal their panties (undergarments) as the trophies of a successful raid. The term dates to February 1949.

Panty raids were the first college craze after World War II, following the 1930s crazes of goldfish swallowing or seeing how many students could fit in a phone booth. …

By the 1970s, mixed dorms and less inhibited attitudes to sexual intercourse on campus led to fading of panty raids.

But when lefties find an opportunity to smear an adversary like Judge Kavanaugh with accusations of guilt by association, the libertine left goes all Puritan on us.

25 Jul 2018

The Left Cries: Treason!

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And Ned Ryun thinks all the Treason talk is pretty rich, coming as it does from the party that has generally made treason into a fashion statement and a class identifier.

The past week of Russia hysteria has me longing for the good old days. Like 2009, when a Democratic president could pull missile defense systems out of Poland and the Czech Republic to appease Vladimir Putin without facing charges of treason. Or 2010, when a former Democratic president could take a cool half-million from a suspected Russian government-backed source to speak in Moscow and that wasn’t considered treasonous, either. Or 2012, when no one was screaming for impeachment when a Democratic president on a hot mic assured the Russian president that he’ll have “more flexibility” on missile defense systems once he’s re-elected. Or when the previous Democratic administration helped Putin toward his goal of controlling the worldwide supply chain of uranium and that was really all about “resetting” relationships.

Oh, how the times have changed!

RTWT

HT: Bird Dog.

17 Jul 2018

The Left Needs Therapy

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27 Jun 2018

Full Weimar

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Street fighting between communists and Nazis, 1933.

Dan Greenfield argues that what we’re seeing these days is the Left going Full Weimar.

A vocal rejection of civility is of course a call to violence. The slippery slope gets greased. And then it’s a small matter to go from harassment to assault. That’s what the left wants.

Some conservative commentators are saying that the left hasn’t thought this through. Sure they have. The grad student working on some bottom rung of the D.C. career ladder before getting bombed and joining some anarchist protest may not have thought it out, but the guys and girls pushing the buttons have.

What they want is to wreck America, go full Weimar, move to street violence, and then, by persuasion or force, impose their own system to deal with the emergency. What better way to trash most of the forms of government, the Constitution, checks and balances, than by burning everything down.

The excuses, border separation, police shootings, etc are just excuses for that endgame. They’re propaganda to achieve an end.

We got here because all the brakes came off the left’s train. It beat its liberal opponents. And now it’s going to scream endlessly that everyone on the right is a Nazi because that justifies its intended violence. And that violence is intended to further radicalize everyone to the left.

Civility? Please.

The whole purpose is an overthrow of the existing order in the name of a political emergency. It’s what every totalitarian system does. Set off violence, then seize power.

RTWT

The catch is: “People keep talking about a civil war. One side has 8 trillion bullets. The other side can’t figure out which bathroom to use.”

06 Jun 2018

Irredentism

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