Our Darkening Hour 8

Our Western civilization is roiled by conflict; political struggles of the utmost importance.

Some call them “wars”. They are being fought mostly without weapons and violence, though one side (the wrong side of course) often resorts to physical attack, convinced that its righteousness justifies and demands it.

We quote from an article by Paul Collits at the Australian magazine Quadrant. (Our cuts include most of the specifically Australian references.)

By my reckoning there are six key wars, all of which must be identified, understood and, most of all, fought.

First, there is the war that must be won against political correctness in all its forms.  This is a fight between the elites and the punters.  It is a battle for the heart and soul of our society.  On one side are the careerists and ideologues of the fevered swamps of Washington, Canberra and so on; on the other, the deplorables, the Reagan Democrats, the Howard Battlers, the Struggle Street listeners tuned in to talkback radio, the small businessmen and women, the two-income families who want what is right for their kids. …

Second, there is the war against environmentalism in all its guises.  The god of “sustainability”, born in the 1980s … is now so embedded in schools, universities and media it is not remotely clear how one might fight back.  The god of sustainability has delivered to us the scourges and nonsenses that are “peak oil”, “climate change” and “renewable” energy.

Third, there is the war between Islam and the West.  This takes many forms – from global migration of economic refugees, to sharia law, welfare fraud, gangs and terrorism.  Its fronts are the banlieu of Paris, the bookshops of Lakemba and the streets of Melbourne.  Taking the side of Islam in this war is politics 101 for today’s “leaders”.

Fourth, there is the war against the Administrative State.  The State’s overreach is now all but complete.  The nanny state rules our lives.  It is the tool by which political correctness is enforced, by which freedom of speech and freedom of belief are purged and personal conduct regulated. Paranoia, you say? … The State’s nannyism combines with political correctness to haul the innocent before the faux courts of our time … Their crime? Saying that which others do not want heard. …

Fifth, there is the war between globalism and nationalism. The Davos brigade, the Soros network of lavishly funded activists, and their many lackeys in politics, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, lead the charge. Their weapons are globalisation and technology.  Their institutions are global, not national. Their aim is global governance and the end of the nation state, with its old fashioned values of patriotism flag and family.

Finally, there is the war on truth. This is the biggest of them all. …  [We must fight for truth against] the victory of Derrida, Foucault and their fellow-travelling Marxists and neo-Marxists who occupy the commanding cultural heights of our society and have succeeded in embedding and seizing our key institutions – the media, political parties, schools, universities, Hollywood and now even the corporations. The whole phenomenon of fake news bespeaks their success. …

[Their] biggest victory … was over our poor dumb millennials, now two generations removed from any proper understanding of Western values and virtues, and the core value of the West is truth. Earlier, when I spoke of schools, I did not say “our” schools, for they no longer are. They, too, have been colonised. Their graduates will list the ills and crimes of the West and rattle them off by Pavlovian rote, and thus do we hear of a past populated by the likes of Simon Legree [the cruel slave-owner in Uncle Tom’s Cabin – ed] but seldom if ever of Wilberforce [who launched the successful campaign to free all the slaves in the British Empire – ed]. The ease with which, for example, the young are convinced of something patently untrue can be seen in the numbers of our young who lazily embrace the ersatz version of marriage now de rigueur. …

There are other battles outside the six wars, of course, but it would be hard to find a front or even a minor skirmish that is not a theatre of these six conflicts. …

In [the] “darkest hours” [of World War II] Churchill certainly did not believe that checking and defeating an existential threat to the very being of the British Isles would be easy, nor that it could be avoided. Everything was on the line. His own War Cabinet was divided.  A serious argument was made … that Britain should seek an accommodation with Hitler.  Much of the British army was stranded and exposed in a foreign land, albeit only 22 miles away at its closest. … Victory would be deemed by any reasonable appraisal as most unlikely. …

The two wars since – Vietnam and the second Iraq War – featured murky enemies, often hard to find and certainly hard to destroy, and new technologies. But far more telling was the lack of consensus at home about whether those wars should be fought at all — whether the enemy was, indeed, “the enemy”. What Churchill could count on was a united and angry populace … committed to the fight with heart and soul — “blood, sweat and tears”, as he put it. …

Who do we have manning the barricades today? 

The barricades of the wrong side, that is to say.

Justin Trudeau.  Macron.  Merkel. Theresa May. Jean-Claude Juncker.  Turnbull.  The Davos set.  The UN.  Pope Francis. Mark Zuckerberg. Oprah. Prince Charles. These are the figures that flit across the world’s TV screens and its collective frontal lobe, mouth their platitudes and move on to the next sound byte, their pronouncement’s on Islam’s amity or the wickedness of cheap power seldom questioned by a media imbued with the same views, the same agendas, the same presumption that projected virtue can trump the precedent of history. Just how they never explain. These leaders, so called, are almost to a man or woman, batting for the enemy by word and deed and silence.  The worst of them actively collaborate and work against the interests of their own people.

If, on the off-chance, our young people might be cajoled to see [the film] Darkest Hour, they just might begin to see with a clarity not previously available to them how we are, indeed, involved in a number of lethal wars. To lose them will destroy their futures in ways even more insidious than Hitler or even Stalin could have imagined. And they might consider voting for folks who might be minded to fight the battles that matter now.  An outsider?  One hated by his own party?  Someone who sees enemies and understands how to fight them.  Someone willing to spare the niceties?  Someone willing to make his country great again?  Err, wait a minute …

Although at present we have on our side – the side of truth, freedom, civilized values, and the nation state – a great Commander-in-Chief in the person of President Trump, it is not at all clear at this time which side will be victorious.

In all the wars, the enemy is the Left. With its “political correctness”, environmentalism, alliance with Islam, deep-state socialism, globalism, and hatred of our civilization which it is determined to destroy, the Left has conquered the institutions of education, most of the media, the entertainment industry, and the pinnacles of power in many Western states. It held the pinnacle of power in the US for eight years and did much harm to America, making the people poorer and the country weaker; and to the world by upheaving populations, sending millions pouring out of shithole countries and flooding into our world. The tide is against us.

Will President Trump, standing alone among leaders as Churchill did, succeed as he did in turning the tide?

Sabotaging America 5

What was the Iranian regime to Obama that he was prepared to go to any lengths to get an accord with it, however flimsy?

The one thing that could not have been worth so many concessions, so much money, so much push and effort, so much humiliation, was a desire to save the world from a nuclear Iran. The accord he got, far from stopping Iran arming itself with nukes, gave it permission to build them after the very short interval of ten years. As the final agreement – called “a nuclear deal framework” – bears the date April 2, 2015, in a little over seven years from the day of this writing Iran can have its nukes. (But fear not. President Trump wants the deal “fixed” so that Iran will never be allowed to make nukes. As Iran will not agree to this, the fragile accord will fade away.)

So what drove Obama? Why did he burn to achieve even the merest semblance of a deal?

Did his eminence grise Valerie Jarrett – born in Iran – help work up his hunger for it?

How much did the obedient servant he sent to make the concessions in the pseudo-negotiations, Secretary of State John Kerry – whose daughter had married an Iranian – reinforce his emotional quest for amity with the regime?

Could it be that he actually wanted to find a way of helping Iran become a nuclear power? The theocracy of Iran? The state that threatens “Death  to America” and screams “Death to Israel”? Is it possible?

The more that is revealed of what Obama was prepared to pay and do, the more certain it seems that some enormously desirable objective lured him on. There was no Iranian demand too heavy, too humiliating, too outrageous that it could not be agreed to. No price too high. Why?

Was it because Obama longed for a victory of Islam over the state of Israel? That would seem a big enough aim to explain his dogged pursuit of an accord. It also fits with his perfectly apparent contempt and dislike of Israel, and his manifest affection for Islam.

And could it also possibly be that he wanted to harm the United States? His own country? The country of which he was (astoundingly) president for eight years? (Also the country for which he apologized to the world!)

If it was not the destruction of Israel, the triumph of Islam, and the mortification of America, what else could his objective have been?

New revelations of his concessions, strategems, betrayals now emerge, confirming that his dedication to the task of placating and pleasing the ayatollahs was nothing short of passionate.

Ari Lieberman writes at Front Page:

We thought the Obama administration could stoop no lower when it was revealed that the administration transferred $1.7 billion in untraceable cash to the Islamic Republic as ransom for the release of four Americans hostages they were holding. We were wrong. In its twilight weeks, the administration gave its consent to allow the Iranians to receive 116 metric tons of natural uranium from Russia as compensation for its export of tons of reactor coolant. According to experts familiar with the transaction, the uranium could be enriched to weapons-grade sufficient for the production of at least 10 nuclear bombs.

If you thought that the administration’s betrayal of America’s security could go no further, you were wrong. Last month Politico, not known as a bastion of conservatism, published a bombshell 50-page exposé detailing the Obama administration’s efforts to delay, hinder and ultimately shut down a highly successful DEA operation – codenamed Project Cassandra – aimed at tracking and thwarting Hezbollah drug trafficking, arms trafficking and money laundering schemes. As a result, Hezbollah continued to import drugs into the United States, continued to provide anti-U.S. insurgents with deadly EFPs and continued to launder drug money to the tune of billions.

If you thought that was the end of the story, you were wrong. It seems that with each passing day, another layer of deceit and betrayal committed by the Obama administration is uncovered. The latest Obama scandal involves a reported effort by the administration to thwart an Israeli operation to liquidate Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani.

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that three years ago, Israel was on the verge of liquidating Soleimani near Damascus but the Obama administration tipped off Teheran of Israel’s plans. Soleimani is no ordinary general. He is arguably the world’s premier terrorist and is commander of Iran’s Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for its overseas mischief-making. Where there is drugs, misery and conflict, it’s a sure bet that Soleimani and his Quds Force are involved.

The elimination of Soleimani would have been a tremendous coup for the West, on par with or perhaps surpassing the assassination of Imad Mughniyah, chief of Hezbollah’s special operations. But the Obama administration, in its sycophantic zeal to curry favor with the mullahs, sabotaged the operation. …

This would not be the first time that the Obama administration betrayed an Israeli covert operation.

In 2012, the Obama administration leaked damaging information that inexplicably sought to sabotage a burgeoning strategic alliance between Israel and Azerbaijan. Such an alliance would have enabled Israel to seek alternate bases in close proximity to Iran from which it could conduct military operations including surveillance and rescue missions, refueling and maintenance and even direct military strikes. The embarrassing disclosure shed unwanted light on a covert military alliance that would have greatly enhanced Israel’s strategic capabilities vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic.

Then again in 2013, Israeli officials bitterly complained to the Obama administration over leaks sourced to administration officials that the Israeli Air Force had struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia. The Israelis termed the leak “scandalous” and bitterly noted that it was not the first time that administration officials had publicly linked Israel to attacks aimed at preventing arms from falling into the hands of Hezbollah terrorists. At the time, the Israelis were attempting to keep a low profile but the administration’s leaks blew everything and Israel’s involvement could no longer be concealed.

It could not be any clearer that Barack Obama, when he was president of the United States, actively worked against the interests of America’s ally, Israel, and against America’s own interests. 

It is now up to his successor to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power, restore trust between the US and Israel, and make America great again. (A good four words those. President Trump would do well to make them his slogan.)

Posted under Anti-Semitism, Commentary, Defense, Diplomacy, Iran, Islam, middle east, Syria, Treason, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, January 14, 2018

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Race to the top 2

What qualifies an American to be president of the United States, apart from his or her birth in one of them, and being over the age of 35?

Whatever training, talents, experience, knowledge, opinions, accomplishments qualified a person in the past are no longer applicable. Forget about them. There is a new set of qualifications.

His or her skin color comes first. He or she must not be white.

Next comes his or her gender. “Cis-heteronormative Male” is out. Any of the other 73 genders are acceptable. So take out “he, him, his” from the discussion.

Next, she or ze must be a show-biz celebrity, the more successful the better. It is personal popularity that counts, not ability to do the extremely difficult job.

Next, she or ze must have an emotionally moving life-story, preferably rags-to-riches.

And finally, she or ze must place herself or zirself on the far left of the political spectrum.

Out of 323,000,000 people right now, there is just one who fits the new bill perfectly; just one that the Democratic Party can confidently nominate for the presidency in 2020: the billionaire TV star Oprah Winfrey.

Hollywood has chosen her, because she made this speech at the Golden Globes.

It is a moving speech. Never mind that she says the six men who raped the young women coming home from church were never “persecuted’ when she meant “prosecuted”. Never mind that she condemns corruption but has not been heard protesting against the extreme corruption of the Obama administration including Hillary Clinton’s. Never mind that she makes a victim of the arrogant and victimizing media. Never mind that many of the women present – notably Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey herselfenabled men like Harvey Weinstein to make victims of women, while the actual victims had not been invited to the Golden Globes. She delivered her speech well. She is likable. The Democrats are in dire need of a plausible candidate for the presidency. So hardly had the applause for her speech died away, when her name was being put forward.

Breitbart reports on what the polls (the same polls that predicted an easy win for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election) predict for Oprah in competition with President Trump:

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey released on Wednesday, 48 percent of likely U.S. voters would choose entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey in 2020, while 38 percent would choose Trump.

Notably, an additional 14 percent of voters said they would be undecided in a contest between the two. Buzz surrounding a possible presidential bid for Winfrey began after her speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. Winfrey used the occasion of becoming the first black woman to receive the Cecile B. DeMille award, to speak about a promising future for minority women and, to credit other women who have spoken out about sexual harassment in Hollywood.

According to Yahoo, “Polling outlets have surveyed Oprah’s popularity in the past, and a March 2017 Quinnipiac poll found Oprah with a 52 percent favorability rating and massive 72 percent favorability rating with Democrats. The latest Rasmussen poll shows Oprah with a 55 percent general favorability, and 27 percent “very favorable” rating.

“And yet despite that strong popularity return for the television personality, 69 percent of respondents to the March 2017 poll said she shouldn’t run for president.”

The short article includes the information that CNN cites two unnamed sources, both “close friends” of Oprah who “claim that she is ‘actively thinking’ about a presidential run”.

The left-leaning media will surely choose her.

Can the Democratic Party itself be far behind?

Will hers be safe hands to guide the ship of state through the tumult of a dangerous world?

That is the wrong question.

Ask not what she can do for your country. Ask only what your country can do for her.

Posted under Commentary, Race, Sex, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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Darkness returns 4

This is our Facebook abstract of Mark Steyn’s review of the film Darkest Hour, about how Winston Churchill saved Britain and the world from Nazi Germany:

We are at the great hinge moment of the twentieth century. That year in which the moth-eaten British lion and its distant cubs stood alone is, more than any other single factor, the reason why the world as ordered these last seventy years exists at all. Joe Wright’s film is very good on the sense of one small island on the periphery of Europe having the noose tightened almost hour by hour. Britain and its lion cubs fought on, playing for time until first the Soviets and then the Americans joined the war against Germany, Italy and Japan. At its heart, the story of one long-serving politician in the spring of 1940 is the definitive example of the Great Man theory of history. It was his very particular qualities – ones that did not necessarily serve him well in peacetime or in other wars – that changed the course of human events. As with Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, one’s admiration for the film is tempered by a terrible profound sadness – for a people who “won the war, and lost their country anyway”: the “long island story” is ending, and without anyone feeling the need to lie choking on the ground over it. To anyone old enough to remember an England where one could “walk into any pub in the country and ask with perfect confidence if the major had been in”, that sense of loss can bring tears to the eye. This is the film of an actual, real-life superhero. You leave the theater with the cheers of the House ringing in your ears …and return to a world where quoting Churchill in his own land can get you arrested.

Read the original in its entirety at Mark Steyn’s site here. It is well worth reading. We introduce it with our abstract in order to use it as a springboard for observations of our own.

Among all that stirs emotion there, above all, for us, is this:

… a terrible profound sadness – for a people who “won the war, and lost their country anyway”: the “long island story” is ending, and without anyone feeling the need to lie choking on the ground over it.  

It is astonishingly true that hardly a murmur of regret is heard from the educated classes of Great Britain, the classes of hereditary leadership, the political talking heads, the opinion formers, the professoriate, the historians, the think tanks, the men and women at present in power or firmly seated in the establishment, for the loss of their country.

They do not want to talk about it. And they do not want you to raise the issue.

Many are pretending that it isn’t happening; or that, if it is, it’s a bother that will  just go away.

But yes, there are those who are choking on the giving away of their country. They are the “horny handed sons of toil”. From the scorned and bullied working-class. The class for which the rulers claimed socialism needed to be established, but for whose opinion the rulers never give a toss.

The “Football Lads” march silently in their tens of thousands to the sites where Muslim immigrants have carried out acts of terrorism. They stand there in sorrow.

Tommy Robinson, who was once a “football hooligan” is now a leader of such resistance as there is in England. He is heavily and persistently harassed by police and frequently locked up for months on end by complicit judges on false charges. He is a brave man who has been abominably treated.

Anne Marie Waters almost certainly won a  recent election held for a new leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), but was summarily informed she had lost it. UKIP might still stand for British independence from Europe under its usurping leader, but it will cast a very disapproving eye on any of its members who might “lie down on the ground and choke” over the end of the “long island story”. So Anne Marie Waters formed a new party called the ForBritain Party. The establishment and the media are calling it a “far right” party to discredit it.

Unspoken, but fully implied by real events is this declaration by the government and the media;

We want the end of the island story. The end of England. The end of Britain. We want it to become a tyrannical Islamic state.

One of the EU Commissioners says that Europe is “too white”. He wants to see it go black and brown. He wants it to be flooded by migrants from the Third World.

A former prime minister of Sweden says that the country he led belongs not to the Swedes but to the Muslim immigrants.

Some say this is happening to Europe because it feels guilty for its past imperialism and colonialism. A Leftist notion now almost universally accepted.

But Sweden had no colonies.

And among those European countries that did, Britain brought enormous benefits to its conquered territories: notably a fair judiciary, freedom of speech, a free press, and in many cases literacy. For Britain to be ashamed of its vast and splendid empire is absurd and even disgraceful. Yet its shame was manifest when England hosted the Olympic Games and told the world how proud it was of its (rotten) National Health Service, and made not a mention of its empire.

France took good cooking to its foreign conquests.

True, some European countries brought mostly dread. Germany did. And Spain and Portugal with their Inquisitions. To know what horror Belgium brought, one has only to read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Almost all these empires have shriveled away. There are only bits and pieces left of the old British Empire.

But the most important good that Europe – chiefly Britain – gave to the human race, to be taken and kept by any who will for its immeasurable benefit, was the Enlightenment.

The values on which the United States of America was founded were Enlightenment values (not “Judeo-Christian” values as we have argued fully elsewhere.)

They are the values – reason, individual liberty, property, rule of law, equal justice under the law for each individual – that need to be defended. But they are not being defended in western Europe, all of which, including Britain, is bending to primitive, cruel, unjust Islamic laws and traditions. 

The United States of America – saved from Europe’s fate by President Trump – remains, at least for the present, the last best hope of mankind.

A great man, a great president 4

It is time to sing the praises of a great president who has accomplished wonders in just one year of his presidency – while being opposed, impeded, maligned, frustrated, denigrated and threatened  by his political opponents, most of the media, and a large contingent of snobby Republicans.

Karin McQuillan does the singing beautifully. She understands that great accomplishment is possible only to those who possess the character and talent for it.

She writes at American Thinker:

As more and more people who hate Trump are forced to admit his achievements as president, they are doubling down on character assassination. Even Trump voters often preface their satisfaction with Trump’s actions by criticizing his tweets or his personality.

Here’s an alternate take on things: Trump’s character is responsible for his outstanding performance in his first year as president. If you want to know who someone is, you look at what he does. What we have: a booming economy, growing jobs, more lawful governance, fewer regulations, more global security. What character traits this took: hard work, focus, commitment, courage, honesty, independence, incorruptibility, self-confidence, love of excellence. The list of Trump’s positive character traits goes on and on. You don’t get achievements independent of character.

I think Trump’s character is excellent.

Trump’s integrity in office is outstanding – the first politician in my memory who is sticking to his promises to voters. We are hugely benefiting from his promise-keeping.

His primary promise was to focus on jobs. Wow, has he delivered. Jobless claims have dropped to the lowest level in 44 years – last seen in 1973, under Nixon. Record-breaking low unemployment in 13 states. Investment reinvigorating the Rust Belt. More high-paying jobs in mining, oil, and industry – another promise kept, as President Trump has unleashed the energy sector and boosted capital investment.

Lazy, leftist, passive President Obama lectured us to accept the new normal of a stagnant economy, which was what his policies delivered. GDP growth was 1.6 percent in 2016.

Passivity and defeatism are not in Trump’s nature. He is a fighter who thinks big. He believes in free enterprise in his gut, because he is himself a go-getter. He thought big for the American economy, because he believes in Americans. Trump likes to say he completed his projects on time and under budget. It was a matter of pride for him. Pride can be a good thing.

Trump was scoffed at as a braggart and buffoon for promising 3-percent growth. He has already over-delivered.

The unemployment gap between blacks and whites has fallen to a record low. Trump promised the black community a better life in a better economy, and he has come through.

Unemployment for Hispanic Americans is the lowest in history. Another promise kept, as our Hispanic citizens have benefited from Trump enforcing our border laws and driving farm wages up. …

Trump boosted the economy through vigorous action: cutting regs, boosting the energy sector, restoring business confidence, dramatic corporate tax cuts, bringing back investments from overseas, and cutting job competition from illegal aliens. We now have a tight labor market, and wages are rising.

For much of the year, Trump was doing a lot of jaw-boning and executive actions, with no legislative back-up. These economic achievements came from President Trump’s character strengths. He is a high-focus, driven bulldozer of a man who gets things done. He’s a practical man. He’s a hard worker. These are not sophisticated or cultured or warm, fuzzy traits; they are traits of a strong man.

We have forgotten to honor masculinity in our culture.

President Trump did more than any president in history in his first year to relieve the regulatory burden on Americans. Complying with useless government regulations costs the economy $2 trillion a year, or 21% of the average payroll per American company. Estimates are that the Obama regs slowed the economy by 0.8%. Trump’s regulatory cuts, in which his administration removed 22 outdated regulations for each new one, is a big part of his doubling our economic growth in one year.

What did it take to cut the size of government and unleash the power of capitalism in this way? It was motivated not by conservative principles of small government. It was based in Trump’s character. He is one hundred percent practical. He has a strong sense of fairness. He is fearless. He thrives on opposition. He has incredible guts and stubbornness, necessary to take on the federal bureaucracy. He doesn’t give in when opponents fight dirty, and boy, does the Deep State fight dirty. He is not scared of the media’s attacks on him as a monster destroying the planet and abandoning the poor.

He is a creative and master fighter, as we see in the his effective use of tweets and branding to encourage his supporters and sow confusion among the enemy. …

He does not flout the law … like the underhanded Barack Obama. Obama’s DOJ and EPA created secret and illegal slush funds. The Democrat DOJ blackmailed the industries it was regulating in order to provide half a billion dollars to left-wing groups. The EPA used phony sue-and-settle tactics to hand undemocratic power to privileged leftist groups.

In sharp contrast, Trump … respects the rule of law. He honors the presidency. He is open and forthright. His administration has turned the DOJ and EPA back to following the laws as written.

Obama was an unhealthy narcissist who had never accomplished anything in the real world, yet he boasted that he knew more about every topic than his top advisers. … The mediocre surround themselves with lesser mediocrities. Obama undoubtedly did know more about foreign affairs than his right-hand national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, a speechwriter with a degree in creative writing.

Trump … is not afraid of being surrounded by top experts. He expects them to know far more in their fields than he does. Trump’s pride makes him seek excellence in others. He has created an impressive Cabinet and White House staff of brilliant achievers. You don’t get effective results on the economy and foreign affairs without a high-quality leader.

The importance of character to effectiveness cannot be overstated. … He is not discouraged by failures and mistakes; he learns from them. He doesn’t just set goals; he follows up on results. He faces reality.

Trump does not see Americans in different categories.  He cares about all Americans, black, white and brown; rich, middle-class, and poor; city-dwellers and country-dwellers; New York sophisticates and Evangelicals. He values freedom and prosperity for himself and for the rest of us. He wants to do what is best for the country, not what is best for only some identity groups or some regions at the expense of others, as in Obama and Hillary’s zero-sum game of identity politics.

We barely survived eight years of a bigot in the White House: the resentful, racially obsessed President Obama, who disliked Evangelicals, rural Americans, working-class whites, white small businessmen, and Jews. At home, Obama purposefully stirred up racial hatred and violence for political gain. Abroad, Obama tried to hand over the Middle East to the Muslim Brotherhood and facilitate nuclear weapons for the mullahs as payback to America. Obama’s race-baiting led to Americans dying – assassinations of our men in blue and innocent black victims of the resulting crime spree. He chose to destabilize Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya, setting off an unprecedented war on Christians and a Muslim migrant invasion of Europe. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember NeverTrumps criticizing Obama on character flaws.

Unlike our last president, President Trump is who he is. What you see is what you get. His candor is blunt and refreshing.  e is not an ideologue, not a secret schemer, not a race-baiter, not a bitter person seeking payback. …  [He] is a happy warrior.

Trump is honest in another sense, also: he is not corrupt.  Indeed, he seems incorruptible. Trump does not sell himself to certain industries or lobbying groups (think the Clinton Foundation; think Obama’s wasting the trillion-dollar economic stimulus on Solyndra green schemes and payoffs to Democrat voting blocs).

President Trump is a unique politician – a free man.

There’s another set of admirable traits responsible for Trump’s economic achievements. … Trump actually notices and cares about other people.  His voters are real people to him, as he is real to them. …  His priority on growing the economy and job promotion comes from his love of ordinary people, working-class people of all colors and all regions, whom he sees as real human beings and treats with respect. What a relief after the cold and contemptuous President Obama, who cared about power, not people. Trump’s compassion and insight into working people’s lives are wonderful character traits, shared by few in his class.

The president is also our commander in chief. How has Trump’s character served him in this role?

Trump’s love of country and patriotism are dominant character traits. … [His] personal qualities have resulted in the defeat of ISIS, our improved relations with the Saudis (now on board fighting terrorism and cooperating with Israel), restoration of our warm alliance with Israel, decertifying the odious Iran deal, and supporting the Iranian demonstrators against the mullahs. European countries are finally paying their NATO dues, illegal aliens invading our country are being stopped at the border, the H-1B visa system is being applied lawfully to protect American jobs, and terrorists are no longer welcome into the country. Trump is in the process of bullying the Chinese and the U.N. and South Korea into more effective action against North Korea … The ability to bully opponents is something you want in a president.

Thanks to his fearless and clear-sighted character, we finally have a president who will not allow North Korea or Iran to have nuclear weapons.  Those of us who see that this is vital for national security are deeply grateful … 

Trump has an abundance of character strengths as a tough guy – he is brave, he is assertive, he is an experienced fighter, and he always goes on offense. He uses punishments and threats and intimidation, as well as cooperation and rewards, to get things done, because that is what it takes to win, and he wants to win. He is unpredictable and keeps his opponents off balance. He is impervious to their outrage. He is a fierce fighter against all who attack him or his family or his country.

NeverTrumps are allergic to Trump’s aggressive masculinity. … His commonsense thinking, bold methods, and blunt personality are toxic to them – never smart, never constructive, never heroic, never associated with his achievements. They are so blinded by their own hatred that they see Trump as a dangerous monster. They accept outright lies and miss the real man entirely.

In a mere 800-word column, Bret Stephens, conservative columnist for the New York Times, managed to call Trump, in Stephens’s own words, a lying, bullying, bigoted, ignorant, crass, petty, paranoid incompetent; a disgrace; an intemperate, dishonest demagogue who requires debased toadyism from his White House and Cabinet; a man who humiliates, denigrates, and insults his own officers and agencies, who is comparable to Juan Perón and Hugo Chávez and a deviant. Stephens talks of the irremediable “stain of [Trump’s] person,” Trump’s violence, his cult of strength (as in dictatorship), his disdain for truth, his hostility toward high culture, his conspiratorial thinking, and his white identity politics. In the midst of the hysterical name-calling, Stephens doesn’t point to a single bigoted word or action by Trump. He can’t. There is none. The accusations are partisan nonsense. In Stephens’s alternate universe, Trump’s evident competence, his love, respect, and commitment to help his fellow Americans, goes invisible, and we are left with a racist, fascist caricature born of leftist agitprop.

It is a sorry reflection on our polite society that they are having conniption fits over Trump’s character. They want to divide the man from his achievements, just as they successfully divided Obama from his failures. Can they succeed in besmirching Trump’s character as they succeeded in sanitizing Obama’s? Their megaphone is large, and their self-interest in supporting the status quo ante is strong. They have a ready-built audience. They have enlisted enemies within our own Republican camp.

We have Trump.  We are winning.

President Trump wants everything he works on to be as good, as well made, as fit for its purpose, as it can possibly be. He achieves it because he works for it. He is not satisfied by anything less than the best. How lucky is America that it has such a person willing and able to come to its rescue, not only to save it but to make it even better than it has ever been, after the eight-year battering it took under the former administration led by the Communist, Islam-loving, America-hating nonentity, Barack Obama!

 

(Hat-tip to Cogito for the link to Karin McQuillan’s fine article)

Posted under Commentary, Conservatism, Defense, Economics, Ethics, Law, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 6, 2018

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Creating an intelligent god 3

… and endowing its intelligent machine creators with machine rights.

Following on from our post immediately below in which we discuss Google engineer Ray Kurzweil’s vision of a world populated by machines, we now turn to the idea of a former Google man who visualizes the machines creating a god.

They will create a god so they can worship it.

Why will the machines need a god to worship?

Tyler O’Neil writes at PJ Media:

A former executive at Google has filed paperwork with the IRS to establish an official religion of technology. This religion doesn’t just worship scientific progress, but artificial intelligence itself, with the goal of creating a godhead. 

The new church of AI will aim “to develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead [to] contribute to the betterment of society,” according to IRS documents.

So there’s an answer to why: the inventor of the new religion thinks that the worship of artificial intelligence will make society better.

What society? The society of machines. Cannot the machines be made perfect by their human creators?

There is an organization being formed with the purpose of helping humans to accept their successors. The electronic new world is inevitable. No point in  raising objections. We should move smoothly into it. We make our new masters and then we submit to them.

The non-profit religious organization would be called “Way of the Future” (WOTF). According to the website (wayofthefuture.church), the movement is “about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people + machines”.

“Given that technology will relatively soon be able to surpass human abilities, we want to help educate people about this exciting future and prepare a smooth transition,” the site explains. “In recent years, we have expanded our concept of rights to both sexes, minority groups and even animals, let’s make sure we find a way for ‘machines’ to get rights too.”

The writer comments:

There is an inherent contradiction in creating a deity of artificial intelligence and then worshipping it.

But to humans like us it is nothing new, since we believe that all gods have been created by humans.

“Let’s stop pretending we can hold back the development of intelligence when there are clear massive short term economic benefits to those who develop it and instead understand the future and have it treat us like a beloved elder who created it,” the site argues.

“It” will treat us  – its creator species – like a beloved elder, not like a god?

Yet the IRS document spoke about a “Godhead based on artificial intelligence”.

The website argued that the creation of “super intelligence” is inevitable, and that fear of this development is unhealthy. “We don’t think that there are ways to actually stop this from happening (nor should we want to) and that this feeling of we must stop this is rooted in 21st century anthropomorphism (similar to humans thinking the sun rotated around the earth in the not so distant past).”

Perhaps WOTF meant to use the word “anthropocentrism”, the idea that the universe is centered around humanity, rather than “anthropomorphism”, the attribution of human characteristics and purposes to inanimate objects. Indeed, it is arguable that WOTF is attributing human characteristics — or perhaps divine characteristics? — to technology

After all, the very next sentence continues, “Wouldn’t you want to raise your gifted child to exceed your wildest dreams of success and teach it right from wrong vs locking it up because it might rebel in the future and take your job.” This encouragement to consider machines as children — coupled with the notion of giving them rights — is arguably textbook anthropomorphism, but it may be the opposite of anthropocentric.

They will be both our children and our masters.

And the dawning of the age of the machine-god is beginning now.

The IRS filing … lists former Google executive Anthony Levandowski as the “Dean” of WOTF. Levandowski, the engineer behind Google’s self-driving car project known as Waymo, quit Google to found his own autonomous trucking company, Otto, in May 2016. …

According to the IRS filings, Way of the Future plans its first events — “workshops and educational programs throughout the San Francisco/Bay Area” — later this year.

The Christian god, we are told, chose to materialize as a baby in the Roman province of Judea. The AI god will arise full grown in Silicon Valley, California. It will be gradually improved by its maker-species – and perhaps by itself. It will be immortal, but changeable. It will be made better as it makes the society of humanoid machines better. Not just mechanically better but morally better. It will know what is good and what is bad for the new society – first of humanoid machines and eventually perhaps only of machines.

Which supposes that the machines will have feelings – because, if no feelings, no harm.

The vision then is of machines that feel, and have machine rights endowed to them by their human creators, and by the machine god that they themselves create.

For the machine-god of machines there will be no unanswerable questions about it: how it came into existence; out of what it makes whatever it makes; whether it knows more than its makers do. If the machines have the curiosity to ask them, those questions will be answered.

But still it will not be able to answer the question why: why it was created; why machines will go on running the business of the planet.

Can anyone think of a reason why they should?

Fairness, racism, compassion, and the hungry (repeat) 4

This article was first posted on June 27, 2012, before the worst president in American history, Barack Obama, was elected – unaccountably – for the second time. We think it bears repeating now, as the defeated Left moans on about racism in particular.  

*

Cruelty and sentimentality are two sides of the same coin. Collectivist ideologies, however oppressive, justify themselves in sweet words of sharing-and-caring. Disagree with a leftie, and she will lecture you in pained tones on how a quarter of the children of America “go to bed hungry”. Or say that you are against government intervention in industry, and she’ll describe horrific industrial accidents, as if bureaucrats could prevent them from ever happening. Collectivists believe that only government can cure poverty by redistributing “the wealth”, not noticing that, if they were right, poverty would have been eliminated long ago in all the socialist states of the world – the very ones we see collapsing now, under the weight of debt. 

However rich the crocodile weepers of the Left may be (and many of them are very rich and passionately devoted to redistributing other people’s wealth, such as John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, George Soros), they are likely to tell you that they “don’t care about money”. They despise it. (“Yucks, filthy stuff! Republicans with their materialist values can think of nothing else!”)  Or if they are union members, and demand ever higher wages and fatter pensions, they express the utmost contempt for the producers of wealth. To all of these, we at TAC issue a permanent invitation. If you feel burdened by the possession of wealth, we’re willing to relieve you of it. We have a soft spot for money. The harsh words said about it rouse our sincere compassion. We promise to welcome it no matter where it comes from, and give it a loving home. [No, we are not asking for donations.]

In regard to the hard Left and its sweet vocabulary, here are some quotations from a column by the great political philosopher Thomas Sowell. He writes (but sorry, the page is no longer there to link to0):

One of the most versatile terms in the political vocabulary is “fairness”. It has been used over a vast range of issues, from “fair trade” laws to the Fair Labor Standards Act. And recently we have heard that the rich don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. …  Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.

“Racism” is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama. Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word “racism” is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything — and demanding evidence makes you a “racist”. 

A more positive term that is likely to be heard a lot, during election years especially, is “compassion”.  But what does it mean concretely? More often than not, in practice it means a willingness to spend the taxpayers’ money in ways that will increase the spender’s chances of getting reelected. If you are skeptical — or, worse yet, critical — of this practice, then you qualify for a different political label: “mean-spirited”. A related political label is “greedy”. 

In the political language of today, people who want to keep what they have earned are said to be “greedy”,  while those who wish to take their earnings from them and give them to others (who will vote for them in return) show “compassion”.  

A political term that had me baffled for a long time was “the hungry”. Since we all get hungry, it was not obvious to me how you single out some particular segment of the population to refer to as “the hungry”. Eventually, over the years, it finally dawned on me what the distinction was. People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as “the hungry”. Those who meet this definition may have money for alcohol, drugs or even various electronic devices. And many of them are overweight. But, if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are “the hungry”. 

Beware the Compassioneers: even as they pick your pocket they try to pluck your heartstrings.

Posted under CommentaryEconomicsgovernmentliberalismProgressivismRaceSocialism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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Posted under Commentary, Leftism, Refugees, Socialism, trade unions, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 10, 2017

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Newspeak 3

The European Union is led by unelected leftist globalists.

Their hives of bureaucrats decide such things as the correct shape of a cucumber and what words journalists may use.

 

 

Bruce Bawer writes – perceptively as always – at Gatestone:

“Respect Words: Ethical Journalism Against Hate Speech” is a collaborative project that has been undertaken by media organizations in eight European countries – Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain. Supported by the Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, it seeks, according to its website, to help journalists, in this era of growing “Islamophobia,” to “rethink” the way they address “issues related to migratory processes, ethnic and religious minorities”.  It sounds benign enough: “rethink”. But do not kid yourself: when these EU-funded activists call for “rethinking”, what they are really doing is endorsing self-censorship.

In September, “Respect Words” issued a 39-page document entitled Reporting on Migration & Minorities: Approach and Guidelines. Media outlets, it instructs, “should not give time or space to extremist views simply for the sake of ‘showing the other side’. ” But which views count as “extremist”? The report does not say – not explicitly, anyway. “Sensationalist or overly simplistic reporting on migration,” we read, “can enflame existing societal prejudices” and thus “endanger migrants’ safety”.

The “migrants” are severely threatening the safety of the hosts. To the point of murdering them. The “migrants” are an invading force.

These bureaucrats, who disrespect a lot of words, who would shrink languages and – therefore –  restrict thought, would call that statement of ours “sensationalist” or “overly simplistic”.

Again, what counts as “sensationalist” or “overly simplistic”? That is not spelled out, either. Nor, we are told, should we associate “terms such as ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’… with particular acts”, because to do that is to “stigmatize”.  What exactly does this mean? That when a man shouts “Allahu Akbar” after having gunned down, run over with a truck, or blown to bits dozens of innocent pedestrians or concertgoers, we are supposed to ignore that little detail?

Or perhaps we should entirely avoid covering such actions? After all, the document exhorts us not to write too much about “sensationalist incidents involving migrants”,  as “violent individuals are found within every large group of people”. If, however, we do feel compelled to cover such incidents, we must never cease to recall that the “root causes” of these incidents “often have nothing to do with a person’s ethnicity or religious affiliation”. What, then, are those root causes? The report advises us that they include “colonialism, racism, [and] general social inequality”. Do not forget, as well, that there is “no structural connection between migration and terrorism”.

Obviously, that depends on who is migrating. If terrorists are migrating, then there is indeed a “structural connection between migration and terrorism”. And tere is no doubt that Muslim terrorists are migrating to Western Europe, North America, and Australia.

At least the report’s authors do not have the audacity to maintain that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism. But they do urge us to remember that Islam is “diverse”.  The notion that it is inherently violent is – what else? – a “stereotype”.  So is depicting Islam as “grounded in a different reality and lacking common values with other cultures” or portraying Muslim immigrants as being “fundamentally different from the citizens of the host country”.

Believing Muslims (we acknowledge that there are non-believing “Muslims”) are fundamentally different from Western non-Muslims.  They do lack common values with Western culture.

And it is just plain wrong, needless to say, to encourage “the widespread perception that there is a ‘cultural clash’ between Islam and the West with religion at the heart of the ‘problem'”.  (On the contrary: Islam is, the report tells us, “a belief system that can exist alongside others.”) And do not dare to suggest that Islamic culture is in any way “inferior to Western culture”.  Or that Muslim men are “highly patriarchal”.  (Repeat after me: “Many societies around the world remain highly patriarchal, independent of religion.”) And do not pay too much attention to Muslim women’s “clothing styles”. Why? Because doing so tends to “homogenize” them. (Banish from your mind the thought that it is the clothing itself that homogenizes them.)

During the last couple of years, many countries in Europe have experienced a veritable tsunami of Islamic migration. But responsible journalists, according to “Respect Word”,  must never, ever put it that way: “When describing migration, don’t use phrases such as ‘tide’,  ‘wave’ and ‘flood'” (or, the authors later add, “horde” or “influx”) because such language can “evoke the sense of a ‘mass invasion’.” It “dehumanizes migrants”, you see, and “constructs a false sense among the audience of being ‘under siege’ by an ‘enemy’ that must be repelled”.

Tides of Muslims are pouring into Europe. It is a human flood. It is a mass invasion. To pretend that  it isn’t is to close your eyes to the deluge and wait for it to drown you. The demographics are incontrovertible. They cannot be sweet-talked away.

Of course, much of Europe is “under siege”; this fact is becoming clearer by the day; to use milder terms when discussing this topic is to do nothing less than misrepresent reality. But that is what this document is all about: advising reporters just how to misrepresent reality in EU-approved fashion.

“Inform your audience,” the report urges journalists, “about the reasons why people feel compelled to leave their homelands, and investigate what connections there may be to policies and practices of European states.” Possibly, however, a massive percentage of the Muslims pouring into certain European states are doing so because of those states’ “policies and practices” – namely, their readiness to start handing immigrant families large sums of cash the minute they arrive, to set them up with free housing, furnishings, etc., and to allow them to stay on the dole for the rest of their lives. Many of those countries are more generous to Muslim newcomers than they are to their own citizens who have fallen on hard times; immigrants often go to the front of the line, while elderly citizens of some of these countries – people who have worked hard and paid into the welfare system since the world was young – have been turned out of their homes in order to accommodate newly-arrived Muslim families.

But these obviously are not the “policies and practices” to which the “Respect Words” document is referring. Quite the opposite. The transparent implication here is that Muslim refugees and asylum seekers are fleeing conditions for which they and others in their countries of origin hold no responsibility whatsoever and that can, in fact, ultimately be traced back to Western wrongdoing, whether in the last generation or centuries ago. Never mind that Muslims took over Persia, the Byzantine Empire, all of North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Northern Cyprus, much of Eastern Europe, and Southern Spain. Ultimately, everything that is wrong with the Muslim world is seemingly the fault of the West, so Europeans owe all incomers a new life – and perhaps even a new country – peaceably handed over to them so that they can import sharia law?

No, the report does not quite go so far as to make this argument. But the report does caution that even to touch on the question of “whether asylum seekers’ claims are genuine” or “whether migrants have a right to be in the country” is thoroughly inappropriate: it places the focus on “law and order” rather than on such things as “the fundamental right of asylum”.  Yes, you read that correctly: “the fundamental right of asylum”. Never mind that under international law not everyone is entitled to asylum – and that a huge proportion of self-styled asylum seekers in Europe today have no legitimate grounds for such a claim but are, like many of us, seeking better economic opportunities.

But such facts are inimical to the authors of the “Respect Words” document. In their view, no human being can be “illegal”; therefore, the word “illegal”, they admonish, should be used to describe actions, not people. …

The report is one long taxpayer-funded catalog of politically correct protocols which – if adhered to by everyone in Europe who is professionally involved in reporting on events concerning Islam and immigration – would guarantee a full-scale whitewash of the alarming developments currently underway on this unfortunate continent.

It is interesting to note that while many people fulminate over President Trump’s complaints about “fake news,” they are silent when an instrument of the EU superstate presumes to tell the media exactly what kind of language should and should not be used when reporting on the most important issue of the day.

Posted under Commentary, Europe, immigration, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Refugees, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 26, 2017

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The morbid Democratic Party 5

Left-leaning Time, taking a view from the left – so a softer one than would a cold observer from Mars – diagnoses causes of morbidity in the Democratic Party. And prescribes no cure. 

In its habitual irritating style, packing in irrelevant detail, it narrates and asserts:

Like virtually all Democrats, Tim Ryan is no fan of Donald Trump. But as he [Tim Ryan] speeds through his northeastern Ohio district in a silver Chevy Suburban, the eight-term Congressman sounds almost as frustrated with his own party. Popping fistfuls of almonds in the backseat, Ryan gripes about its fixation on divisive issues and its “demonization” of business owners. Ryan, 44, was briefly considered for the role of Hillary Clinton’s running mate last year. Now he sounds ready to brawl with his political kin. “We’re going to have a fight,” Ryan says. “There’s no question about it.”

That fight has already begun, though you’d be forgiven for missing it. On the surface, the Democratic Party has been united and energized by its shared disgust for Trump. But dig an inch deeper and it’s clear that the party is divided, split on issues including free trade, health care, foreign affairs and Wall Street. They even disagree over the political wisdom of doing deals with Trump.

Every party cast out of power endures a period of soul-searching. But the Democrats’ dilemma was unimaginable even a year ago, when Clinton seemed to be coasting toward the White House and demographic change fueled dreams of a permanent national majority. Now, eight months into the Trump presidency, the party looks to face its toughest odds since Ronald Reagan won 49 states in 1984.

The Democrats are in their deepest congressional rut since the class of 1946 was elected, and hold the fewest governors’ mansions–15–since 1922. Of the 98 partisan legislatures in the U.S., Republicans control 67. During Barack Obama’s presidency, Democrats lost 970 seats in state legislatures, leaving the party’s bench almost bare. The median age of their congressional leadership is 67, and many of the obvious early presidential front runners will be in their 70s by the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, there’s still no sign the Democrats have learned the lessons of the last one. “I’ve tried to learn from my own mistakes. There are plenty,” Clinton writes in her campaign memoir What Happened. The book, released on Sept. 12, casts blame on Russia, the FBI and the candidate herself, but never quite finds a satisfying answer to the titular question. Even if it did, these days the party seems to prize ideological purity over Clintonian pragmatism. “There is no confusion about what we Democrats are against. The only disagreement,” says strategist Neil Sroka, “is what we’re for.”

Which leaves the party confronting a puzzle. The momentum may be on the left, but picking up the 24 seats required to retake the House, and the three states needed for control of the Senate, will mean luring back blue collar workers in places like Ryan’s Mahoning Valley district, where the steel plants are shells of their former selves, small businesses are boarded up and payday lenders seem to be on every corner. This used to be a Democratic stronghold, but Trump won three of the five counties in Ryan’s district. If Democrats don’t refine their pitch to alienated white voters, Trump could win re-election with ease. “The resistance can only be part of it,” Ryan says. “We have to be on the offense too.”

It’s not clear who has the influence or inclination to spearhead that shift. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi are seasoned dealmakers who can raise Brink’s trucks full of cash. Their Sept. 6 pact with Trump, which pushed back a pair of fiscal showdowns and delivered hurricane relief money to storm-stricken southeastern Texas, was hailed as a fleecing by the Democrats. After a dinner of Chinese food in the Blue Room of the White House a week later, the pair said they had reached a tentative agreement with Trump to sidestep the Justice Department’s rollback of an Obama-era program that helped young immigrants who were in the country illegally. But among the grassroots, any agreement with the President is viewed as cause for suspicion. When Schumer dared to back a handful of Trump’s Cabinet picks earlier this year, activists protested outside his Brooklyn apartment, hoisting signs with slogans like Grow a spine, Chuck. In her San Francisco district on Sept. 18, Pelosi was shouted down by activists who were angry that her proposed immigration deal with Trump did not cover more people.

For all these challenges, the party’s time in the wilderness could prove to be an opportunity. … But before the party comes together, first it has to banish the furies that threaten to tear it apart.

The counterpoint to Ryan’s call for moderation could be found onstage in August in a Hyatt ballroom in Atlanta. Senator Elizabeth Warren, the former Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate, had come to deliver a battle cry to 1,000 grassroots activists. “The Democratic Party isn’t going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill,” she said in not-at-all-veiled criticism of President Bill Clinton’s mid-’90s strategy to peel off Republican votes. “We are not a wing of today’s Democratic Party,” Warren declared to her fellow liberals. “We are the heart and soul of today’s Democratic Party.”

Warren is clearly thinking of running for President in 2020. If she does, a crowd will be waiting to cheer her on: a year ago, under pressure from supporters of insurgent Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democrats adopted the most progressive platform in their history, which called for free college for families earning $125,000 or less and Medicare options for Americans as young as 55. This march to the left has become a sprint since Clinton’s defeat.

Groups that support abortion rights have stopped offering polite silence to Democrats who disagree. Others are demanding jail time for bank executives. Small-dollar donors are goading progressive groups to advance liberal policies and challenge lawmakers who balk. A group of prominent liberal Democrats, including some 2020 hopefuls, are pushing a national single-payer health care plan – even though its strongest backers acknowledge that it has zero chance of becoming law in this Republican-controlled Congress. Representative Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois threatened on Sept. 8 that Democrats may shut down the government in December if Congress doesn’t provide a pathway for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. “Running on progressive values,” strategist Adam Green told a candidates’ training session in Washington this summer, “is how Democrats will win.” …

Efforts to mend the rifts of the 2016 election have fallen flat. Earlier this year, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched a national tour with Sanders and newly minted party chairman Tom Perez, who was elected in February. Things didn’t go well. When Sanders thanked Perez at rallies, his so-called Bernie bros heckled the new chairman. The attempt at unity was a footnote within a month. “The current model and the current strategy of the Democratic Party is an absolute failure,” declared Sanders, who plans to seek a third term in the Senate next year as an independent.

Activists aligned with Sanders are working to mount primary challenges against centrist Democrats. Our Revolution, a group that rose from the ashes of Sanders’ presidential campaign, led a protest in August outside the DNC, demanding a more liberal platform. Party staffers tried handing out snacks and bottles of water, but the hospitality did little to defuse the tension. “They tried to seduce us with doughnuts,” said former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, a protest organizer.

Some of the grievances hinge on strategy as much as substance. Kamala Harris, the popular junior Senator from California, backs Sanders’ health plan and won an endorsement from Warren during her election last year. But as California’s former top cop, Harris declined to prosecute bankers, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, for their role in the 2008 financial crisis. She also spent part of her summer raising cash in the tony precincts of the Hamptons. As a result, Sanders allies say she’s a Wall Street shill. “Follow the money,” says Nomiki Konst, a Sanders supporter who serves on the DNC panel tasked with forging postelection unity.

No one waits on the horizon to broker a peace. The DNC has been hollowed out, first by Obama’s neglect and then by a Clinton campaign that raided its talent. Now it is trying to play catch-up, sending $10,000 a month to each state party to help add bodies and channel activists’ energy into permanent organizations. But the party is still $3.5 million in the red, and Republicans are outraising it by a margin of roughly 2 to 1. Meanwhile, Perez is serving as a visiting fellow at Brown University, where he teaches a course called Governance and Leadership in Challenging Times.

Schumer says the party lost the White House in 2016 because it had a “namby-pamby” message on the economy. He’s not risking that again, working with members from both chambers on an aggressive, worker-focused message. The blueprint, dubbed “A Better Deal”, has Warren’s fingerprints all over it, calling for a national $15-per-hour minimum wage and cheaper drugs, colleges and child care. “The focus starts on economic issues,” Schumer said. “That’s where the American people are hurting.” …

Governing in Washington these days is “the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done,” complains Senator Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat. “Most of my life, there was about 20% on the right fringe and the left fringe, but 60% in the middle, where common sense would prevail. Now I’m thinking 40% on each fringe.”

Part of the problem is that red states are getting redder, while blue states are growing ever more blue. Consider West Virginia, where Manchin is still popular from his days as governor. When Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992, he carried 42 of the state’s 55 counties. That number climbed to 43 four years later. But by 2000, West Virginia residents were sour on Democratic trade policies that many saw as costing them coal and steel jobs. Al Gore won 13 counties that year, and John Kerry took just nine in 2004. It’s little wonder that during Manchin’s first campaign for Senate, in 2010, he cut an ad that showed him firing a rifle at an Obama-backed environmental bill. Obama would go on to lose all 55 counties in 2012–a feat Hillary Clinton repeated.

Democrats still outnumber Republicans in West Virginia by 12 percentage points [according to heavily Democrat-weighted polls -ed].  These Democrats, however, don’t want to hear about NFL players protesting during the national anthem or the latest in the ongoing investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow. They care far less about Black Lives Matter than keeping their checking accounts in the black. Add in the 21% of West Virginians who say they don’t identify with either party, and it’s a dangerous proposition for candidates like Manchin to parrot talking points from MSNBC. It’s not that he’s a squish on cultural issues; it’s that he’d rather talk about lifting the economy in his state, where 18% live in poverty.

The Democrats’ focus on identity politics is one reason Manchin suggested, half-heartedly, that he doesn’t care if he wins another term next year. “The Washington Democrats’ mentality has been more urban,” he says. “They forgot about rural America and rural states. They don’t want you to tell them about their bathrooms or their bedrooms or all this other stuff we’re trying to control.”

Some say another problem is Pelosi. The first female House speaker and a legendary vote wrangler, she was widely, if wrongly, blamed for a series of special-election defeats in the spring, even though Democrats fared far better than usual in places like Kansas and Georgia. A special election in June became less about the candidates than about the specter of Pelosi, whom Republicans cast as a puppet mistress for the Democratic nominee. … [Tim] Ryan’s long-shot bid to replace her as House Democratic leader won [only] 63 votes last year.

Part of Ryan’s pitch has been to put away the pitchforks and modulate the tone. “We cannot be a party that is hostile to business. We need those businesspeople to hire our people, who just want a shot,” Ryan fumes. “We can be business-friendly and still be progressive.” And while it puts him at odds with some peers, such arguments have also won him some unlikely fans. “The smart guys in the Democratic Party, they understand what’s going on. [Ohio Democratic Senator] Sherrod Brown gets this. Tim Ryan gets this.” Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon told 60 Minutes’ Charlie Rose in an interview that aired on Sept. 10. “The only question before us: Is it going to be a left-wing populism or a right-wing populism?” …

One only needs to look at the shuttered mom-and-pop businesses dotting Ryan’s district to see why voters were inclined to listen to Trump’s promises. Which is why Ryan is pushing plans to bring high-speed Internet to the farming communities and to recruit tech giants to the cheap real estate in local cities and towns.

On a Friday in late July, Ryan was padding through the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s annual Italian festival in Youngstown. Simmering red sauce was heaped on polenta, and elephant ears layered with powdered sugar were matched with mostaccioli showered with ground Parmesan from plastic tubes. It was a throwback to a time when church socials defined communities. “These are my peeps,” Ryan says to no one in particular as voters swarm him. …

If Ryan has bigger ambitions to lead, he is not alone. A shadow campaign for the 2020 nomination is quietly taking shape in early-nominating states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Some of the most interesting names are unfamiliar ones. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., visited Iowa in early September to check in. Jason Kander, the former Missouri secretary of state who is viewed as a rising party star, recruited a Sanders aide to stake out territory in Iowa and has announced plans to open offices for his voting-rights group in five states. …

“We have the next generation of Democratic leaders. We need to lift them up in the public eye,” says Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, a group dedicated to electing women who support abortion rights. “This is not a party of one leader. It’s just not.”

Back in Youngstown, you can see the wheels spinning in Ryan’s head. He sees a role for a Midwesterner who can connect with the working-class voters who took comfort in Trump’s rage. Indeed, he thinks the Democrats’ future depends on it. “We can get the party back on track,” Ryan says as his SUV rolls away from a meeting with Ohio union chiefs. “Someone’s going to figure this out. Someone needs to.”

Now to take a view – not from disinterested Mars but – from the conservative Right.

What we see is a party riven by irreconcilable contradictions.

Its leaders are not just old but out of touch with the rising generation of “progressives”. Who will represent the women in pink pussy hats who cheer Hamas-supporting Linda Sarsour more enthusiastically than they did Hillary Clinton? The thousands of possible voters of all colors and ethnicities who march with Black Lives Matter and call for the killing of cops? The black students who are demanding black-only living quarters and graduation ceremonies in their colleges? And those – mostly white – who appear in black clothes and hoods and masks to set fires and smash windows and clobber Trump supporters in the name of “anti-fascism”?  The opponents of free speech?  The loud decriers – black brown and white – of “white privilege”? The SJWs – social justice warriors – who want guaranteed free everything from housing and meals to surgery and university, from condoms and marijuana to Teslas and abortions?

How will the lions of feminism lie down with the lambs of the burkha?

How will the Muslims who hate the Jews even more than they hate everyone else reconcile with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Bernie Sanders?

How will those rising “progressives” who want free stuff but hate whitey, accept the leadership of the only one offering it: Bernie? Whether as Democrat or Independent, would he be voted for by the free-goodies multitude who remain uncontaminated by knowledge of economics  – as an old white man?

How will the Congressional Party thrive when its House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, has declined all the way into her rapidly advancing senile dementia?

What store of riches will it plunder when it has taxed the rich into poverty?

How will it light, cool, warm, transport the people and keep their iPhones active on wind-power?

How will it use, and to what end, a House, a Senate, a White House, or any seat of government if it concedes to its strengthening lobby for the abolition of national borders?

How will it survive long enough to say “I told you so” when breathing driving manufacturing humans and flatulent cows heat up the planet to an unbearable extra degree or two in a hundred years’ time, if it allows Iran to become a nuclear power in a mere ten years or so?

Speed on, Tim Ryan, in your silver Chevy Suburban, popping fistfuls of almonds, to your Italian festivals; pad through basilicas; heap simmering red sauce on polenta, match elephant ears layered with powdered sugar with mostaccioli showered with ground Parmesan from plastic tubes!

Way to go – to political oblivion?

Something worth living for 4

… the task of preserving OUR CIVILIZATION.

Professor Jordan Peterson speaks FOR freedom, FOR gratitude for all that OUR CIVILIZATION endows us with, and FOR the great life-purpose of accepting our responsibility to preserve it: and AGAINST “postmodernism”, Marxism, the all-too-many tyrannies ruled by thugs, the pseudo-disciplines in the universities – such as Women’s Studies, Black Studies. He rages against the appalling fact that tax-payers in North America are forced to fund courses – such as Women’s Studies, Black Studies, and left-perverted “postmodern” courses in History, Anthropology, Sociology – that teach the destruction of individualism, that would make each of us nothing more than a sample of a category – a race, a class, a color – “victimized” by OUR CIVILIZATION, all in order to demolish OUR CIVILIZATION.

Posted under Canada, Commentary, Leftism, Marxism, Race, tyranny, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 4, 2017

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