Posts Tagged ‘victimhood’

Identity Politics and The Liberal Crackup

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Interesting essay by Mark Lilla in The Wall Street Journal on how how identity politics has destroyed liberalism:

There is a mystery at the core of every suicide, and the story of how a once-successful liberal politics of solidarity became a failed liberal politics of “difference” is not a simple one. Perhaps the best place to begin it is with a slogan: The personal is the political.

This phrase was coined by feminists in the 1960s and captured perfectly the mind-set of the New Left at the time. Originally, it was interpreted to mean that everything that seems strictly private—sexuality, the family, the workplace—is in fact political and that there are no spheres of life exempt from the struggle for power. That is what made it so radical, electrifying sympathizers and disturbing everyone else.

Over time, the romantic view won out over the radical one, and the idea got rooted on the left that, to reverse the formula, the political is the personal. Liberals and progressives continued to fight for social justice out in the world. But now they also wanted there to be no space between what they felt inside and what they did in that world. They wanted their political engagements to mirror how they understood and defined themselves as individuals. And they wanted their self-definition to be recognized.

This was an innovation on the left. Socialism had no time for individual recognition. Rushing toward the revolution, it divided the world into exploiting capitalists and exploited workers of every background. New Deal liberals were just as indifferent to individual identity; they thought and spoke in terms of equal rights and equal social protections for all. Even the early movements of the 1950s and ’60s to secure the rights of African-Americans, women and gays appealed to our shared humanity and citizenship, not our differences. They drew people together rather than setting them against each other.

All that began to change when the New Left shattered in the 1970s, in no small part due to identity issues. Blacks complained that white movement leaders were racist, feminists complained that they were sexist, and lesbians complained that straight feminists were homophobic. The main enemies were no longer capitalism and the military-industrial complex; they were fellow movement members who were not, as we would say today, sufficiently “woke.”

It was then that less radical liberal and progressive activists also began redirecting their energies away from party politics and toward a wide range of single-issue social movements. The forces at work in healthy party politics are centripetal; they encourage factions and interests to come together to work out common goals and strategies. They oblige everyone to think, or at least to speak, about the common good.

In movement politics, the forces are all centrifugal, encouraging splits into smaller and smaller factions obsessed with single issues and practicing rituals of ideological one-upmanship. Symbols take on outsize significance, especially in identity-based movements.

The results of this shift are now plain to see. The classic Democratic goal of bringing people from different backgrounds together for a single common project has given way to a pseudo-politics of self-regard and increasingly narrow and exclusionary self-definition. And what keeps this approach to politics alive is that it is cultivated in the colleges and universities where liberal elites are formed. Here again, we must look to the history of the New Left to understand how this happened.

After Reagan’s election in 1980, conservative activists hit the road to spread the new individualist gospel of small government and free markets and poured their energies into winning out-of-the-way county, state and congressional elections. Also on the road, though taking a different exit on the interstate, were former New Left activists heading for college towns all over America.

Conservatives concentrated on attracting working people once attached to the Democratic Party—a populist, bottom-up strategy. The left concentrated on transforming the outlook of professional and party elites—a top-down strategy. Both groups were successful, and both left their mark on the country.

Up until the 1960s, those active in the Democratic Party were largely drawn from the working class or farm communities and were formed in local political clubs or on union-dominated shop floors. That world is gone. Today they are formed primarily in our colleges and universities, as are members of the overwhelmingly liberal-dominated professions of law, journalism and education.

Liberal political education, such as it is, now takes place on campuses that are far removed, socially and geographically, from the rest of the country—and particularly from the sorts of people who once were the foundation of the Democratic Party. And the political catechism that is taught is a historical artifact, reflecting more the idiosyncratic experience of the ’60s generation than the realities of power politics today.

Snip.

As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.

Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X… This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions.

Conservatives complain loudest about today’s campus follies, but it is really liberals who should be angry. The big story is not that leftist professors successfully turn millions of young people into dangerous political radicals every year. It is that they have gotten students so obsessed with their personal identities that, by the time they graduate, they have much less interest in, and even less engagement with, the wider political world outside their heads.

Read the whole thing.

LinkSwarm for February 24, 2017

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Welcome to another Friday LinkSwarm! Here in Texas, Spring has sprung, full stop.

  • The elites are revolting:

    It’s no coincidence that the most vocal outcry against President Trump’s measures have come from urban elites and the corporations that cater to them. It’s easy to spot the class divides in the scoffing at Andrew Puzder, CEO of the company behind Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, getting a cabinet position instead of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg who had been tipped for Treasury Secretary by Hillary.

    Carl’s Jr and its 4 Dollar Real Deal are a world away from Facebook’s Gehry designed Menlo Park headquarters. Or as a WWE tournament is from Conde Nast’s Manhattan skyscraper.

    It’s hard to imagine a clearer contrast between coastal elites and the heartland, and between the new economy and the old. On the one side are the glittering cities where workforces of minorities and immigrants do the dirty work behind the slick logos and buzzwords of the new economy. On the other are Rust Belt communities and Southern towns who actually used to make things.

    Facebook’s top tier geniuses enjoy the services of an executive chef, treadmill workstations and a bike repair shop walled off from East Palo Alto’s Latino population and the crime and gang violence. And who works in Facebook’s 11 restaurants or actually repairs the bikes in the back room? Or looks through the millions of pictures posted on timelines to screen out spam, pornography and racism?

    Behind the illusion of a shiny new future are Mexicans getting paid a few dollars an hour to decide if that Italian Renaissance painting you just shared violates Facebook’s content guidelines.

    If you live in the world of Facebook, Lyft, Netflix and Airbnb, crowding into airports shouting, “No Borders, No Nations, Stop The Deportations” makes sense. You don’t live in a country. You live in one of a number of interchangeable megacities or their bedroom communities. Patriotism is a foreign concept. You have no more attachment to America than you do to Friendster or MySpace. The nation state is an outdated system of social organization that is being replaced by more efficient systems of global governance. The only reason anyone would cling to nations or borders is racism.

    The demographic most opposed to President Trump is not a racial minority, but a cultural elite.

    This isn’t a revolution. The revolutions happened in June in the UK and in November in the US. Brexit and Trump were revolutions. The protests against them are a reaction.

  • In the midst of freaking out, Instapundit notes that our elites are displaying why they’re unfit to rule:

    Why all the anger over Trump?

    As I’ve pondered this, I’ve gone back to Tyler Cowen’s statement: “Occasionally the real force behind a political ideology is the subconsciously held desire that a certain group of people should not be allowed to rise in relative status.”

    I think that a lot of the elite hatred for Trump, and for his supporters, stems from just such a sentiment. For decades now, the educated meritocrats who ran America — the “Best and the Brightest,” in David Halberstam’s not-actually-complimentary term — have enjoyed tremendous status, regardless of election results.

    An election’s turn might see some moving to the private sector — say as K street lobbyists or high-priced lawyers or consultants — while a different batch of meritocrats take their positions in government. But even so, their status remained unchallenged: They were always the insiders, the elite, the winners, regardless of which team came out ahead in the elections.

    But as Nicholas Ebserstadt notes, that changed in November. To the privileged and well-educated Americans living in their “bicoastal bastions,” things seemed to be going quite well, even as the rest of the country fell farther and farther behind. But, writes Eberstadt: “It turns out that the year 2000 marks a grim historical milestone of sorts for our nation. For whatever reasons, the Great American Escalator, which had lifted successive generations of Americans to ever higher standards of living and levels of social well-being, broke down around then — and broke down very badly.

    “The warning lights have been flashing, and the klaxons sounding, for more than a decade and a half. But our pundits and prognosticators and professors and policymakers, ensconced as they generally are deep within the bubble, were for the most part too distant from the distress of the general population to see or hear it.”

    Well, now they’ve heard it, and they’ve also heard that a lot of Americans resent the meritocrats’ insulation from what’s happening elsewhere, especially as America’s unfortunate record over the past couple of decades, whether in economics, in politics, or in foreign policy, doesn’t suggest that the “meritocracy” is overflowing with, you know, actual merit.

    In the United States, the result has been Trump. In Britain, the result was Brexit. In both cases, the allegedly elite — who are supposed to be cool, considered, and above the vulgar passions of the masses — went more or less crazy. From conspiracy theories (it was the Russians!) to bizarre escape fantasies (A Brexit vote redo! A military coup to oust Trump!) the cognitive elite suddenly didn’t seem especially elite, or for that matter particularly cognitive.

    In fact, while America was losing wars abroad and jobs at home, elites seemed focused on things that were, well, faintly ridiculous. As Richard Fernandez tweeted: “The elites lost their mojo by becoming absurd. It happened on the road between cultural appropriation and transgender bathrooms.” It was fatal: “People believe from instinct. The Roman gods became ridiculous when the Roman emperors did. PC is the equivalent of Caligula’s horse.”

  • You have to read this Glenn Greenwald piece on what’s wrong with the Democratic Party. “The more alarmed one is by the Trump administration, the more one should focus on how to fix the systemic, fundamental sickness of the Democratic Party. That Hillary Clinton won the meaningless popular vote on her way to losing to Donald Trump, and that the singular charisma of Barack Obama kept him popular, have enabled many to ignore just how broken and failed the Democrats are as a national political force.” Never mind that Greenwald ignores one of the big elephants in the room (the Social Justice Warrior/victimhood identity politics brigade doing such a bang-up job alienating American voters). His description of the other elephant in the room, the party’s fundamentally corrupt and anti-Democratic nature, is fairly acute.
  • The number of Republicans passes the number of Democrats in Gallup’s Party ID tracking poll. This has happened a few times before, but the mere 25% for Democrats does appear to be the lowest rating ever.
  • All the Trump Derangement is masking the Democratic Party’s own civil war. “There is no Barack Obama among the ranks of current Democrats. He simply does not exist. That truth, and Hillary’s defeat, means the years ahead will be ones of rebuilding and rebranding. So far, it’s not going well.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Seven days in February. “Why were former Obama-administration appointees or careerist officials tapping the phone calls of an incoming Trump designate and then leaking the tapes to their pets in the press?” Also this: “The Democratic party has been absorbed by its left wing and is beginning to resemble the impotent British Labour party. Certainly it no longer is a national party.”
  • “The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number.”
  • “This is what Chuck Todd and others like him fail to accept or comprehend: The mainstream media have delegitimized themselves. Republicans and independents watched for eight long years as Todd and others of his ilk did their best to help and support the last administration; not only refusing to hold President Obama to account (the way they are imploring each other to do with Trump) but providing cover for him.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Turns out that patiently explaining to the deplorable redneck freaks of JesusLand why they’re ignorant rubes that need to be ruled for their own good doesn’t win votes.
  • MSNBC: Controlling what people thing is our job.
  • A look at the shell games played by the dark money left. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • With President Trump, America has an administration that is finally willing to name radical Islam as the enemy.
  • Women celebrate being liberated from the Islamic State. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • President Trump contemplates designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and the New York Times freaks out. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Texas preschool teacher fired for tweeting to “kill some Jews.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Marine Le Pen is winning over French women. In addition to refusing to wear a headscarf, “Le Pen again vowed to protect French women after the mass sexual assault by groups of men in Cologne, Germany, just over a year ago in an op-ed that tied together immigration and women rights.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Part of Geert Wilders’ security detail has been suspended for possibly leaking details of Wilders locations to Jihadest groups. “Secret Service chief Erik Akerboom said he could not confirm the man’s identity but confirmed media reports he has a ‘Moroccan background.'”
  • Fourth circuit court decides to just ignore Heller.
  • The AFL-CIO is is cutting staff “amid continuing declines in union membership.” Faster, please. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Paul Krugman, the Cleveland Browns of economists. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • If you’re looking for a pundit with a clear-eyed vision of where President Donald Trump is going, Ross Douthat is not your man.
  • NASA contemplates a bold leap forward to 1968.
  • Men who SWATed, sent heroin to Brian Krebs’ house sentenced.
  • Cahnman’s Musings has a roundup of what various school district Superintendents make. It’s an interesting list, though I personally would not have broken it up by Texas House committee chairman. I’m not surprised that they average a low six figures, or that the Superintendents of Houston and Dallas ISD make in excess of $300,000. Why I don’t understand is why the Superintendent for Galena Park ISD, a working class school district with 22,549 students and a single 4A high school, makes $270,531, or 90% of the what the HISD Superintendent makes…
  • Feminist derangement syndrome: “I was walking into a gas station for a bottle of water when the man behind me stepped up to open the door for me. With that act of kindness, something inside me snapped and I flew into a blind rage. I began screaming at him at the top of my lungs.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Trump Administration to Social Justice Warriors: No tranny bathrooms for you!
  • “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women” says ex-WNBA player Candice Wiggins, who says she was bullied and harassed for being straight. This is not exactly a surprise, thought that 98% number may be slightly high. I casually followed the WNBA back when the Houston Comets were dominating the league, but haven’t paid attention since they folded. Today half of the teams still lose money. But I’m sure their popularity will skyrocket any day now…

  • Vice President Mike Pence helps repair vandalism at a Jewish cemetery.
  • I have heard the bots reverting, each to each. I do not think that they will revert for me…
  • Are you smuggeling illegal butter, comrade?
  • More Orlando Gay Shooter Info

    Monday, June 13th, 2016

    More information about radical Muslim Omar Mateen’s gay nightclub murder spree continues to trickle out.

  • Mateen was quite religious and regularly attended Mosque.
  • “Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim.”
  • Zero Hedge has some background on Mateen and his employer:

    Omar Mateen – who as we reported earlier was licensed as a security guard and also holds a firearms license – was employed by the US subsidiary of G4S plc, a British multinational security services company, whose US-headquarters are located in Jupiter, Fla, and which also happens to be the world’s largest security company by revenue….

    But where it gets more disturbing is that as Judicial Watch reported several days ago, in a post titled, “DHS Quietly Moving, Releasing Vanloads Of Illegal Aliens Away From Border”, border patrol sources said that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was quietly transporting illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents. As a reminder, the government classifies them as Other Than Mexican (OTM) and this week around 35 were transferred 116 miles north from Tucson to a Phoenix bus station where they went their separate way. Judicial Watch was present when one of the white vans carrying a group of OTMs arrived at the Phoenix Greyhound station on Buckeye Road.

    And this is where the Mateen-G4S link emerges: as JW reported previously, a security company contracted by the U.S. government is driving the OTMs from the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector where they were in custody to Phoenix, sources said. The firm is the abovementioned G4S, the world’s leading security solutions group with operations in more than 100 countries and 610,000 employees. G4S has more than 50,000 employees in the U.S. and its domestic headquarters is in Jupiter, Florida.

  • Islamic State radio calls Mateen ‘a soldier of the caliphate.’
  • Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, hosted a “shoestring” talk show in which he regularly unleashed anti-U.S. tirades and once praised the Taliban.
  • The timeline of the shooting shows, at the very least, massive misjudgment on the part of the police. The shooting started at 2:02 AM, but police don’t call in the SWAT team until 3 AM? And it’s another two hours before they storm the club? And all this after the shooter had called 911 to pledge allegiance to the Islamic State?
  • Reddit’s main news group evidently decided to censor mentions of the shooting once it became known that the shooter was a radical Muslim. They even censored posts providing information on blood donations.
  • Schindler’s pissed:

    For years, too many Americans – including the lion’s share of our elite media and most of our politicians — have been content to deny the obvious, namely that quite a few Muslims espouse beliefs that are deeply at odds with what the vast majority of Americans believe. Some of those Muslims openly advocate violence and, if they are otherwise maladjusted, the odds they may murder in the name of Islam increase commensurately. We need to have a robust national debate on this important issue. Donald Trump has opened the door to that discussion, in his customary brusque, ham-handed way. More tact is required, but we cannot put off talking about radical Islam and jihadism any longer.

    After the Bataclan massacre last autumn, the French government in effect went to war with radical Islam, pledging a “merciless” response to terrorism. This wasn’t just talk. Mass arrests of suspected radicals followed, dealing a serious blow to ISIS networks in the country. Paris meant business, finally.

    In the aftermath of our own Bataclan, President Obama has offered his usual platitudes about “hate” and “guns.” This is escapism-as-counterterrorism-policy. Americans must demand better, including a reality-based assessment of our terrorism threat, from our next commander-in-chief. If we cannot name our enemy, we are already halfway to losing the war.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Milo Yiannopoulos weighs in: “The Christian Right may not be totally down with homos, and Trump may say things that hurt our delicate feelings, but they aren’t going to kill us or put us in camps. Only Islam would do that — the same Islam that, bizarrely, now stands at the top of the left’s hierarchy of victimhood.”
  • More quotes from the Koran and various hadiths condemning homosexuality and sodomy.
  • Arsonist Who Set Fire To Houston Mosque Was Muslim Who Attended the Same Mosque

    Thursday, December 31st, 2015

    Police have found out who set fire to a Houston Mosque on Christmas day. Guess who did it.

    Go ahead. Guess.

    Using surveillance video from other area businesses to identify the arsonist, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, was arrested and charged with starting the Christmas Day fire that devastated a Houston, Texas mosque. Moore is a devout Muslim who attended this same mosque for years, praying up to five times a day every day of the week.

    Funny how the majority of high profile “hate crimes” against Muslims or black activists seem to be committed by the supposed “victims”…

    Camille Paglia On Feminism (Again)

    Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

    The always outspoken and quotable Camille Paglia has another interview up on feminism, this one with Spiked. A few excerpts:

  • The problem with too much current feminism, in my opinion, is that even when it strikes progressive poses, it emanates from an entitled, upper-middle-class point of view. It demands the intrusion and protection of paternalistic authority figures to project a hypothetical utopia that will be magically free from offence and hurt. Its rampant policing of thought and speech is completely reactionary, a gross betrayal of the radical principles of 1960s counterculture, which was inaugurated in the US by the incendiary Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley.

    I am continually shocked and dismayed by the nearly Victorian notions promulgated by today’s feminists about the fragility of women and their naive helplessness in asserting control over their own dating lives. Female undergraduates incapable of negotiating the oafish pleasures and perils of campus fraternity parties are hardly prepared to win leadership positions in business or government in the future.

  • The anti-porn crusader Andrea Dworkin (who died a decade ago) was a rabid fanatic, a self-destructive woman so consumed by her hatred of men that she tottered on the edge of psychosis. Dworkin and her puritanical henchman Catharine MacKinnon (born into wealth and privilege) were extremely powerful in the US for a long time, culminating in the major media’s canonisation of MacKinnon in a 1991 New York Times Magazine cover story. When I burst on the scene after the release of my first book in 1990, I attacked Dworkin and MacKinnon with all guns blazing. I am very proud of the role I played in defending free speech and helping the pro-sex wing of feminism to go public and eventually win its great victory over both Dworkin-MacKinnon and the priggish feminist establishment typified by Steinem. Hence the unthinking backward turn of current feminism toward censorship is appalling and tragic. Young feminists seem to have little sense of the crucial battles that were waged and won a quarter century ago.

  • ‘Rape culture’ is a ridiculous term – mere gassy propaganda, too rankly bloated to critique. Anyone who sees sex so simplistically has very little sense of world history, anthropology or basic psychology. I feel very sorry for women who have been seduced by this hyper-politicised, victim-centered rhetoric, because in clinging to such superficial, inflammatory phrases, they have renounced their own power and agency.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)

  • LinkSwarm for March 27, 2015

    Friday, November 27th, 2015

    Here’s a Black Friday LinkSwarm you can while away your time with while waiting 5 hours in line to save 78¢ off a turkey baster:

  • Obama’s greatest legacy: downsizing the Democratic Party:

    In January, Republicans will occupy 32 of the nation’s governorships, 10 more than they did in 2009. Democratic losses in state legislatures under Mr. Obama rank among the worst in the last 115 years, with 816 Democratic lawmakers losing their jobs and Republican control of legislatures doubling since the president took office — more seats lost than under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    “Republicans have more chambers today than they have ever had in the history of the party,” said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “So they are in a dominant and historic position of strength in the states.”

  • Which of the GOP’s candidates beat Hillary? All of them.
  • Cruz is surging,
  • No, Ted Cruz did not support illegal alien amnesty (unlike Marco Rubio).
  • Ted Cruz’s plausible path to the Presidency.
  • More ObamaCare rate hikes coming down the pike. Houston has zero PPO plans through ObamaCare, and Dallas is suffering the largest rate hikes.
  • This month’s victims getting specially reamed by ObamaCare are (rolls dice)…graduate students, who by law can no longer be covered by university insurance programs. Oh, the irony…
  • Crimea power grid knocked offline.
  • Russia to seek economic revenge against Turkey over downed jet. Ukraine says “Cry me a river.”
  • The Antarctic has been cooling the last six years.
  • Black America’s addiction to conspiracy theories.
  • Spy Jonathan Pollard released. His supporters want Obama to rescind the conditions of his parole so he can move to Israel. It’s a tough case for Obama: He loves letting traitors off easy, but he hates Israel…
  • Hillary Clinton may be soft on terrorism, but she’s tough on the real threats to our nation: comedians making fun of her:

    In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.

    A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”

  • Crew member on radical feminist “campus rape epidemic” film The Hunting Ground alters Wikipedia to conform to film’s skewed view of events, in violation of Wikipedia policy.
  • Eric S. Raymond examines a recent police shooting a lot of people are talking about: “I would have said this was what cops call a ‘good shoot’ if it had stopped at the first two bullets. It didn’t. I don’t think this was murder one, but it was at least criminally negligent homicide and those who covered it up should be prosecuted along with Van Dyke.” Unlike, he points out, the fully justified Michael Brown shooting. Also this: “And that racial spin? Plain bullshit. Those cops were facing an angel-dusted thug brandishing a weapon; that was pretty much bound to end badly whether the thug was black, white, or purple polka-dotted.”
  • The “red mercury” scam is back. And the Islamic State is the latest patsy to fall for it. Plus some loony local embellishments:

    ‘‘Red mercury has a red color, and there is mercury that has the color of dark blood,’’ he said. ‘‘And there is green mercury, which is used for sexual enhancement, and silver mercury is used for medical purposes. The most expensive type is called Blood of the Slaves, which is the darkest type. Magicians use it to summon jinni.’’

  • Andre Glucksmann dies.
  • What War on Christmas?

  • Winners and Losers from Houston’s election (better late than never).
  • Refugio Mayor Joey Heard arrested on drug charges. Refugio is a town between Victoria and Corpus,
  • Texas Democratic State Ron Rep. Reynolds convicted of barratry.
  • Annals of criminal genius: Trying to assault someone while in the courtroom for your third attempted murder trial. “At some point in time, you’ve got to stop shooting people.”
  • The Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 kickstarter not only hit their goal, the just passed $3 million and are bringing on Felicia Day as the next mad scientist.
  • I laughed.
  • Syrian Refugees and Liberal Pretensions of Moral Superiority

    Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

    A few days after Syrian “refugees” helped killed 132 people (at last count) in Paris, and suddenly liberals are falling all over themselves to natter on about what a “moral duty” it is for the United States to take more of those same “refugees.”

    So where was all this “moral duty,” indignation and outrage when the Islamic State was slaughtering Christians, Kurds and Yezidis?

    This is just liberals engaging in a cheap form of moral preening, displaying their “tolerance” like a peacock displays its tail feathers. Muslims rank high on the Victimhood Identity Politics scale, so obviously liberals need to display “tolerance” by welcoming more of them here, never mind how many might be jihadists.

    Obama is for resettling “refugees” containing Islamist jihadists, and Republican governors oppose it, so suddenly it’s a High Moral Cause for liberals, another chance for liberals to display how they’re “morally superior” to those ignorant redneck freaks of JesusLand. Also known as “voters,” who want fewer immigrants, not more.

    “Now 129 people are dead in Paris because Europe decided to make a fetish of its tolerance for intolerance and allow the religious distempers of its Islamist communities to fester over many years. That’s what happens when you sanctify political tantrums, explain and appease them, refuse to name them, try to look away.”

    And if American civilians have to die at the hands of jihadists so liberals can rub their “tolerance” in your face, so be it…

    “The left is why they leave the left”

    Friday, September 18th, 2015

    When you start grabbing a third pull quote from a piece is when you realize that it needs a post of its own. Such is the case with this Nick Cohen piece on why Jeremy Corbyn’s election has finally forced him to leave the left. Though centered on UK politics, much of it applies to the social justice warrior/victimhood identity politics left in this country as well.

    The shift of left-wing thought towards movements it would once have denounced as racist, imperialist and fascistic has been building for years. I come from a left-wing family, marched against Margaret Thatcher and was one of the first journalists to denounce New Labour’s embrace of corporate capitalism — and I don’t regret any of it. But slowly, too slowly I am ashamed to say, I began to notice that left-wing politics had turned rancid.

    Snip.

    In 2007 I tried to make amends, and published What’s Left. If they were true to their professed principles, my book argued, modern leftists would search out secular forces in the Muslim world — Iranian and Arab feminists, say, Kurdish socialists or Muslim liberals struggling against reactionary clerics here in Britain — and embrace them as comrades. Instead, they preferred to excuse half the anti-western theocrats and dictators on the planet. As, in their quiet way, did many in the liberal mainstream. Throughout that period, I never heard the BBC demanding of ‘progressives’ how they could call themselves left-wing when they had not a word of comfort for the Iraqi and Afghan liberals al-Qaeda was slaughtering.

    The triumph of Jeremy Corbyn has led to What’s Left sales picking up, and readers acclaiming my alleged prescience. Grateful though I am, I cannot accept the compliment. I never imagined that left-wing politics would get as bad as they have become. I assumed that when the criminally irresponsible Blair flew off in his Learjet, the better angels of the left’s nature would re-assert themselves.

    What a fool I was.

    Snip.

    The fact remains that the Labour party has just endorsed an apologist for Putin’s imperial aggression; a man who did not just appear on the propaganda channel of Russia, which invades its neighbours and persecutes gays, but also of Iran, whose hangmen actually execute gays. Labour’s new leader sees a moral equivalence between 9/11 and the assassination of bin Laden, and associates with every variety of women-hating, queer-bashing, Jew-baiting jihadi, holocaust denier and 9/11 truther. His supporters know it, but they don’t care.

    Snip.

    The half-educated fanatics are in control now. I do not see how in conscience I can stay with their movement or vote for their party. I am not going to pretend the next time I meet Owen Jones or those Labour politicians who serve in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet that we are still members of the same happy family. There are differences that cannot and should not be smoothed over.

    I realise now what I should have known years ago. The causes I most care about — secularism, freedom of speech, universal human rights — are not their causes. Whatever they pretend, when the crunch comes, they will always put sectarian unity first, and find reasons to be elsewhere.

    Read the whole thing.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    LinkSwarm for August 31, 2015

    Monday, August 31st, 2015

    Welcome to the final week of traditional summer. Of course, it used to be that everything (school, football, the new TV year, etc.) started after Labor Day Weekend, but that’s not the case any more…

  • “it’s cute to pretend that Black Lives Matter is actually about making policing better when it’s really just another Democratic party constituency agitprop group.”
  • Texas mandates E-Verify for all state employees.
  • Ten questions about the Iran deal.
  • Indeed, the Iran deal stinks so badly that even Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to keep the stink of Eue De Failure off herself and the DNC. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Europe has begun to reform its welfare systems. (Hat tip Instpundit.)
  • Thanks to government efforts, heroin is now cheaper than cigarettes in New York City. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • McCarthy critic turns out to be a Soviet spy. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • UK Labour leader candidate Jeremy Corbyn: Apologist for oppressive dictatorships.
  • Oh, and he wants to give the Falkland Islands to Argentina. Why, it’s almost as if the hard left yearns for nothing so much as undoing every conservative foreign policy triumph out of spite…
  • And he also called Osama Bin Laden’s death “a tragedy.”
  • Criticizing Muslim antisemitism? That’s a $750 fine in Denmark.
  • Widespread street protests in Kuala Lumpur over corruption and embezzlement by Malaysia’s Goldman-Sachs-underwritten Prime Minister.
  • Still another reason not to use Ashley-Madison: “For every 7750 men, there were 3 women.” “Sausage Fest” doesn’t even begin to cover it…
  • Speaking of sausage, San Antonio woman steals $3000 worth of sausage.
  • Conservatives push back on victimhood identity politics guidelines from the College Board and win.
  • Austin Bag Ban backfires. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • A look back at 1945 plans for the invasion of Japan. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Ten years of Tam.
  • UT Admissions Scandal 10X Worse Than Previously Admitted

    Thursday, July 16th, 2015

    We’ve known, from the drips and dabs that slipped out, that the UT admissions scandal was worse than the Kroll report actually let on. But we didn’t know it was ten times worse:

    At least 764 applicants initially denied admission to the University of Texas were admitted thanks to a backdoor program for the wealthy and politically connected administered by former president Bill Powers.

    More than 200 of those applicants were admitted despite having their applications cancelled by the Admissions Office.

    The total is more than 10 times the 73 applicants widely reported from an investigation paid for by the university and conducted by Kroll Associates. Kroll withheld the full findings from its 107-page final report.

    More:

    The Kroll investigation confirmed what had been common knowledge in the wealthy Dallas-area community of Highland Park, which includes UT Regent Wallace Hall and House Education Committee chair Dan Branch: students were getting into UT at extraordinary rates, despite bad grades.

    UT admitted seven Highland Park students with grade point averages below 2.0 and SAT scores below 800.

    Also this:

    The very worst of the students UT admitted, the investigation showed, were clustered in the districts of Branch, House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), and Sen. Kirk Watson, (D-Austin).

    Straus has gone to even greater lengths than UT to cover up the abuses. He authorized a special committee operating behind the scenes in an effort to impeach Hall for asking too many questions about the admissions process.

    A very cynical part of me wonders if this is the root of Straus’ stranglehold on the Speaker’s office: his power as the go-to fixer for getting unqualified students into UT.

    If you hadn’t heard, Wallace Hall, who uncovered the scandal, is suing UT chancellor William McRaven for access to the documents Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has already said he’s entitled to.

    Indeed, UT’s dishonest coverup may be a big factor in the Supreme Court in agreeing to hear an appeal on Fisher vs. University of Texas, “a 2008 lawsuit brought by a white student claiming the university’s diversity-seeking admissions system had unfairly deprived her of admission.”

    The Dallas Observer‘s Jim Schutze (who, unlike myself, favors affirmative action) explains:

    The court did receive a blistering friend-of-the-court brief (see copy below) from the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank, in support of Fisher’s request to be heard again. The Cato brief called the court’s attention to an investigation of admissions at UT that grew out of the Hall disclosures. Cato told SCOTUS the investigation proved that UT’s “claimed diversity rationale is a sham.”

    That would be new evidence, maybe. But if it goes to the university’s core integrity – if the university has been lying to the courts about why it handles admissions the way it does – then maybe it’s not so new. Maybe it goes right to the heart of the existing case.

    We have talked here often before about revelations brought forward by Hall showing that the former president of the university and some of the regents were handing out undergraduate admissions to sons and daughters of influential state legislators the way favors of love are distributed in a bawdy house. But does that kind of corruption go to the affirmative action question?

    Nobody knows if the Cato amicus brief played any role at all in the high court’s eventual decision to rehear Fisher. But if it did, this would be why: When the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 to send Fisher back down to the 5th Circuit, the court said the lower court needed to take a tougher look at the university’s admissions policies. The Supreme Court told the lower court not to just take the university at its word but to examine the university’s admissions closely under a doctrine called “strict scrutiny.”

    The 5th Circuit basically said yeah, yeah, OK, we strict scrutinied them, and we still trust them. So the 5th Circuit upheld the university. Fisher appealed back to the Supreme Court saying the 5th Circuit hadn’t really done the strict scrutiny strictly enough.

    Then along comes the Wallace Hall evidence of an under-the-table secret admissions program the university forgot to tell the courts about. In fact, Hall’s investigation found evidence of lying, destruction of documents, coercion – enough story lines for an entire season of The Sopranos, all having to do with UT admissions.

    A Supreme Court case is likely to bring national attention to a scandal the local mainstream media has tried to downplay or bury. And if it turns out UT actually lied to the courts, well, that sort of thing tends to make federal judges a mite testy…

    (Hat tip: Push junction.)