Cries from a moral swamp 6

Of course we acknowledge that there is sometimes a good reason why a human pregnancy should be terminated even though it means the ending of a child’s life.

But we cannot lightly accept that more than 58,000,000 human lives have been legally ended in their earliest stage, in the United States, between January 22, 1973 – the date when the  Roe v. Wade decision of the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all fifty states at any stage of a pregnancy and for any reason throughout pregnancy – and July 2015. In this year, 2015, there have already been over 637,000 in the US, and one is added every few seconds. See the running clocks here.

It takes a sociological mind, a collectivist mind, to be at ease with mass murder. Individualists, such as ourselves, ask: How much enrichment of the nation have we lost? How many inventors, scientists, physicians, mathematicians, musicians, writers, athletes, wits, visionaries, explorers, discoverers …  have we lost among the 58,000,000? And among the children they might have had? (And sure there would also have been criminals and fools and lunatics.)

The collectivists – which is to say the Left – do not like the human race. In their Environmentalist expression, they demand reduction of the world’s population. Some “Greens”, and accusers of Man as a Polluter and Heater of the earth, even demand the total elimination of humanity so as to have a nice clean planet. To them human life has no value. They do not understand that in a universe without human beings, nothing has value.

In support of our own opinion, we quote the whole of an article by George Will at the Washington Post – where it is in opposition to editorial opinion: 

Executives of Planned Parenthood’s federally subsidized meat markets — your tax dollars at work — lack the courage of their convictions. They should drop the pretense of conducting a complex moral calculus about the organs they harvest from the babies they kill.

First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above” whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested. Then the president of a Planned Parenthood chapter explained the happy side of harvesting: “For a lot of the women participating in the fetal tissue donation program, they’re having a procedure that may be a very difficult decision for them and this is a way for them to feel that something positive is coming from . . . a very difficult time.” “Having a procedure” — stopping the beating of a human heart — can indeed be a difficult decision for the woman involved. But it never is difficult for Planned Parenthood’s abortionists administering the “procedure.”

The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.

In 1973, the Supreme Court, simultaneously frivolous and arrogant, discovered constitutional significance in the fact that the number nine is divisible by three. It decreed that the status of pre-born human life changes with pregnancy’s trimesters. (What would abortion law be if the number of months of gestation were a prime number — seven or 11?) The court followed this preposterous assertion with faux humility, insisting it could not say when life begins. Then, swerving back to breathtaking vanity, it declared when “meaningful” life begins — “viability,” when the fetus is “potentially able” to survive outside the womb.

When life begins is a scientific, not a philosophic or theological, question: Life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with those of the ovum, forming a distinctive DNA complex that controls the new organism’s growth. This growth process continues unless a natural accident interrupts it or it is ended by the sort of deliberate violence Planned Parenthood sells.

Another video shows the craftsmanship of Planned Parenthood’s abortionists — tiny limbs and hands from dismembered babies. To the craftsmen, however, these fragments are considered mere organic stuff. People who proclaim themselves both pro-choice and appalled by the videos are flinching from the logic of their extremism.

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, apologizes for the “tone” of her operatives’ chatter about crushing babies. But the tone flows from Planned Parenthood’s premise: Why be solemn about meat?

Even partial-birth abortion is — must be — a sacrament in the Church of “Choice”. This sect knows that its entire edifice depends on not yielding an inch on its insistence that what an abortion kills never possesses a scintilla of moral significance.

In partial-birth abortion, a near-term baby is pulled by the legs almost out of the birth canal, until the base of the skull is exposed so the abortionist can suck out its contents. During Senate debates on this procedure, three Democrats were asked: Suppose a baby’s head slips out of the birth canal — the baby is born — before the abortionist can kill it. Does the baby then have a right to live? Two of the Democrats refused to answer. The third said the baby acquires a right to life when it leaves the hospital.

The nonnegotiable tenet in today’s Democratic Party catechism is not opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline or support for a $15 minimum wage. These are evanescent fevers. As the decades roll by, the single unshakable commitment is opposition to any restriction on the right to inflict violence on pre-born babies. So today there is a limitless right to kill, and distribute fragments of, babies that intrauterine medicine can increasingly treat as patients.

We are wallowing in this moral swamp because the Supreme Court accelerated the desensitization of the nation by using words and categories about abortion the way infants use knives and forks — with gusto, but sloppily. Because Planned Parenthood’s snout is deep in the federal trough, decent taxpayers find themselves complicit in the organization’s vileness.

What kind of a government disdains the deepest convictions of citizens by forcing them to finance what they see in videos — Planned Parenthood operatives chattering about bloody human fragments? “Taxes,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., “are what we pay for civilized society.” Today they finance barbarism.

Posted under Environmentalism, Leftism, liberalism, Progressivism, Race, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 1, 2015

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No more rule of law 6

There can only be liberty under the rule of law.

When government is unconstrained by law, everyone is a potential victim of confiscation of property, imprisonment, or any other arbitrary action of the dictators.

We quote from an article at Townhall, by Kurt Schlichter.

Trigger warning: sarcasm coming up.

We conservatives have spent far too long playing by the old rules when liberals have completely changed the game. There was a time when laws meant what they said, when individual rights were important, when the government did not make it its business to oppress the executive’s ideological opponents, and when principles mattered. But that time has passed.

There’s a new set of rules, and while we don’t have control in Washington right now, we do have control most everywhere else – and someday a conservative will be president again. So there is no reason not to get going right now playing by the same rules the liberals do!

Of course, first we need to understand the basis of the new rules – it’s about having the moral courage to obtain and keep power. Until now, we conservatives have been guided by “principles” and “values” that only serve to distract us from what’s really important. Under the new rules, we will no longer let arbitrary ideas about how America should work get in the way of maximizing our ability to exercise our authority over others. After all, our supremacy is a moral imperative.

We will step beyond obsolete notions about process and embrace the primacy of results. We will stop treating “means” and “ends” like they are distinct and different – as 1984 (Read it – lots of great tactics, techniques and procedures!) teaches, “Power is not a means; it is an end.” Means and ends will flow together seamlessly, and we will stop getting hung-up on how we do things and focus on the real goal under the new rules – consolidating our power for the greater good.

Take the law. Under the old rules, judges were constrained by the plain meaning of the text, but that is far too restrictive. Words must mean what we need them to mean, no more and no less. We have to appoint judges who won’t prattle on about “judicial restraint” and “not legislating from the bench,” and who will reliably rule exactly how we need them to rule on each and every case. Let’s appoint judges, who understand that their purpose is to rationalize rulings that support our policy priorities, not seek some “legally correct” decision that might not. The law of the land is whatever we want it to be!

We should celebrate Judge Roberts’s recent Obamacare decision – it was liberating! He made it clear that when we want a different result, we don’t have to be deterred by the fact that the law means exactly the opposite. He affirmed that judges should interpret statutes – and the Constitution too – based upon a subjective desire for a particular outcome. Think of the possibilities for conservative progress if we aren’t hamstrung by some inconvenient text in a statute or the literal meaning of the words on some ancient parchment!

Where we have control of law enforcement, we have another great opportunity to play by the new rules. There are all sorts of liberal organizations out there shamelessly advocating policies and ideas we disapprove of. As we have learned, we can turn the power of the government upon them to root out this wrongdoing. We do not need to bother with accusing them of any kind of specific crime – why should we restrict our investigations to clear violations of laws? Instead, we can launch fishing expeditions to see what we can dig up – and even if there’s nothing, well, remember that the process is the punishment. Regardless, it’s important to establish that our political opponents will pay a price for presuming to oppose us.

And, naturally, when our allies are accused of breaking the law, we just ignore it. There needs to be two sets of laws – one for us, and one for everyone else. Otherwise, we might be constrained from doing what we please.

And there are other opportunities a huge government can provide us. Beyond audits and blocking vital certifications, the IRS has plenty of juicy information on every American – we can selectively release it to intimidate those who do not support us. And when we get a hold of everyone’s medical records under Obamacare – wow! What an opportunity!

Of course, there will not be any Obamacare. Oh, technically it might be hard to repeal (though getting rid of the filibuster entirely will make it much easier!), but who needs to repeal it when we can just choose not to enforce it? Our next president simply has to instruct the rest of the executive branch that they will not be taking any action with regard to implementing Obamacare, not collecting any of its taxes (they are taxes this week, right?) and not enforcing any of its mandates. Understand that we won’ be refusing to carry out the law – we’ll just be focusing on different executive priorities!

Perhaps the mainstream media will speak up, at least at first. But, you know, the New York Times, NBC and the rest really seem to have way too much power over our national conversation. It just isn’t fair how these big companies drown out the voices of regular people. Heck, these corporate entities are not even people and certainly should not have rights like people do to speak freely and so forth. They are more of a public utility, and frankly, they have not been serving the public good. That’s why we will use the FCC to take charge and oversee the shamefully deregulated mainstream media. …

A 40% surcharge on all Hollywood and Silicon Valley windfall profits would go a long way towards making things fairer – and this has nothing to do with the fact that most Hollywood and Silicon Valley political money goes to our opponents. But don’t worry about our conservative allies in those two fields – if they don’t pay we just won’t prosecute them! But if you’re liberal, watch out! …

This is only the beginning – the new rules liberate us from the constraints that for so long kept us from truly making conservative progress. All those “principles” and “ideals” about right and wrong and all that only served to take our eyes off of the real prize – our power, which we would only use for the common good.

Sure, we were all sad to see the old rules go, but gone they are. Our liberal friends made sure of that. So let’s make the best of it!

Posted under Law, Leftism, Progressivism, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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How best to insult progressives 1

Among the many pleasures available to the free and the sane, is the joy of laughing at the Others.

In his latest video, Pat Condell provides exciting ways to insult “progressives”:

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, immigration, Islam, Israel, jihad, Leftism, Muslims, Palestinians, Progressivism, Race, Terrorism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 11, 2015

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Spreading the poverty around 3

Working feverishly on his socialist leveling plan, Obama intends to move people of low income or total state dependency into affluent neighborhoods.

Will the impecunious be able to afford the colossally high property taxes normally imposed on such neighborhoods (more to punish the rich than to provide excellent services)?

The answer must be no, they won’t be able to. So what will be done?

Will the poor get special subsidies, or special reductions?

If so, those benefits would constitute a sound incentive for the poor people to stay poor. A rise of income could put them into the higher property tax bracket.

We wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what will happen. Keeping the poor poor is the major preoccupation of the “progressive” Controllers – matched only by their passion to make the rich poor too. Except themselves, of course.

What else is wrong with the idea? Lots.

This is from an editorial at Investor’s Business Daily:

President Obama’s new suburban integration plan won’t just harm the middle class by reducing safety and property values. It won’t even provide the economic benefits it promises to relocated minorities.

We know this because HUD already tried a similar experiment under President Clinton of resettling urban poor in the suburbs. It failed, as a HUD study reveals.

From 1994 to 2008, HUD moved thousands of mostly African-American families from government projects to higher-quality homes in safer and less racially segregated neighborhoods. The 15-year experiment, dubbed “Moving to Opportunity Initiative”, or MTO, was based on the well-intentioned notion that relocating inner-city minorities to better neighborhoods would boost their employment and education prospects.

But adults for the most part did not get better jobs or get off welfare. In fact, more went on food stamps. And their children did not do better in their new schools.

The 287-page study sponsored by HUD found that adults who relocated outside the inner city using Section 8 housing vouchers did not avail themselves of better job opportunities in their new neighborhoods …

“Moving to lower-poverty neighborhoods does not appear to improve education outcomes, employment or earnings,” the study concluded.

Even then-senior HUD official Raphael Bostic, a black Obama appointee, admitted in a foreword to the 2011 study that families enrolled in the program had “no better educational, employment and income outcomes”.

Worse, crime simply followed them to their safer neighborhoods. “Males … were arrested more often than those in the control group, primarily for property crimes”, the study found.

And changed the once safer neighborhoods into  unsafe neighborhoods for rich and poor alike.

The same progressive prognostications we’re hearing now from Obama officials — that moving inner-city blacks closer to good jobs and schools will close “racial disparities” in employment and education — were made by Clinton social engineers back then.

Of course, even when reality mugs leftists, they never scrap their social theories. They just double down. Bostic insisted the problem was merely a matter of scale. “A more comprehensive approach is needed,” he said.

But the study’s authors doubted any better results from a larger or more aggressive relocation program that placed urban poor in even more affluent areas.

“The range of neighborhood variation induced by MTO is about as large as what we could possibly imagine any feasible housing policy achieving,” they argued.

Indeed, the ambitious social experiment involved more than 4,600 families from several major cities. No matter. The Obama regime wants to nationalize the experiment by relocating millions of people in more than 1,250 cities and towns until social engineers “eliminate racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty”. 

“We’re giving every person an equal chance to access quality housing near good schools, transportation and jobs no matter who they are or what they look like,” HUD chief Julian Castro said, unveiling sweeping new rules forcing cities to diversify suburbs by re-zoning.

Expect the same failed results, but on a national scale.

Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton 12

Now, despite all her lies, Hillary Clinton should be believed at last. Why? Because she is proposing radical leftist policies, and she has been a radical leftist since her schooldays.

She became then, and continues to be, an ardent follower of the Marxist revolutionary, Saul Alinsky.

Barack Obama also was, and continues to be, an Alinskyite.

A Hillary Clinton presidency would be tantamount to a third Obama term.

Stanley Kurtz exposes and explains all this in the video we took from Front Page:

The puritan Church of Sustainability 5

In  higher education today, sustainability is an ideology — not a proposition to be discussed, but a baseline assumption to be taken on authority. Dissent is harshly suppressed. Scientists who question climate change, for example, are branded 21st-century heretics. In the classroom, this doctrinaire approach undermines open inquiry and rational debate — the heart of liberal education’s mission.

We quote from an important article by Katherine Kersten at the Center of American Experiment. (We found it via PowerLine, where it is reproduced in full by Scott Johnson.)

Campus Sustainability: Going Green is Just Part of the Plot

It’s the new religion, and it’s the new home of the entire liberal agenda.

Sustainability now permeates campuses from the classroom to the dorm, dining hall, faculty lounge, physical plant and alumni office. …

Sustainability, it turns out, is the new battle cry in an old war. It’s a wraparound concept that links the old, familiar liberal causes of environmental activism, animosity toward free markets, and a progressive take on “social justice”.

But it repackages them and lends them urgency by maintaining that embrace of its ideological agenda is imperative to avoid a looming ecological and social catastrophe.

The campus sustainability movement’s mission is to transform our fundamental social, economic and political institutions, and to do so by manipulating, cajoling and browbeating a generation of college students into accepting the movement’s worldview and cultural norms. …

Sustainability is not an academic discipline but an ideological “lens” through which to view all of life, as the report makes clear. Today, 475 colleges in 65 states or Canadian provinces offer a total of 1,436 degree or certificate programs in sustainability, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. In addition, there are countless elective classes. Cornell University offers more than 400, ranging from “The Ethics of Eating” (“defend” or change your eating habits) to “Magnifying Small Spaces Studio,” where students learn to make do living in tiny spaces.

Beyond the classroom, students are pressured — often by paid student “eco-reps” — to conform the smallest details of their daily lives to the movement’s norms. This can mean tray-less cafeteria dining; shorter showers; “Meatless Mondays”; lectures on fossil fuel divestment; and films like “Food, Inc.” or “The Story of Bottled Water”, which depict the American economy as a tool of greedy, ruthless capitalists.

How is the sustainability movement playing out on Minnesota campuses? St. John’s University in Collegeville offers an example. SJU is committed to “incorporating the goals of sustainability into every aspect of life” and focusing students’ attention on the “triple bottom line: equity, economy and the environment.”

The university — which boasts of becoming “carbon-neutral” by 2035 by conserving, changing energy sources, and investing in alternative energy and carbon offsets — offers courses like “Food, Gender and Environment”; has two “eco-houses” for student living; distributes the “SJU Green Guide,” and employs 10 full-time equivalents for diversity and equity coordination.

SJU’s sustainability push begins at freshman orientation, where students use “corn utensils and recyclable plates” during meals. All freshmen and seniors take a Sustainability Literacy Assessment, so the school can measure how effectively its saturation campaign is changing students’ beliefs and attitudes.

The University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus also bombards students with preachy exhortations on the gospel of sustainability. These include politically correct invocations about biking, transit, recycling and composting, and a “Welcome Week” during which every student has “the chance to engage with … hands-on learning activities and … to win prizes all while learning about sustainability.”

The U earns special “points” from a national sustainability rating organization because it provides “gender neutral housing” for “transgender and transitioning students” … as well as single-race housing for black men, Hmong students and other minorities.

The university’s Sustainability Studies office emphasizes the “heavy intersection” between “the issues of race relations and sustainability”. During last year’s riots in Ferguson, Mo., the office posted online resources demonstrating how “white folk can show support against police brutality,” and encouraged students to donate to “The Organization for Black Struggle” — fighting “the racist police state in Ferguson” — to help protesters with “basic needs, including food, water, gas masks and school supplies.” …

“Sustainability” is a doctrine – apodictic, unquestionable, like the doctrines of all religions:

In teaching and scientific research, it “shuts out certain questions and locks in certain answers”, as the NAS puts it. In decisionmaking about energy use and physical plant, it discourages honest analysis of costs and benefits.

In at least one university, devotees have to swear allegiance to the church and its teaching:

The movement’s “salute-and-shut-up” mind-set is reflected in the sustainability oath that students and employees at the University of Virginia are asked to take on matriculation and at graduation:

“I pledge to consider the social, economic and environmental impacts of my habits and to explore ways to foster a sustainable environment during my time here at U.Va. and beyond.”

The authoritarian impulse is also evident in the movement’s public-policy agenda. Its leaders call for vastly increasing state control over people and resources, and conferring power on government planners to distribute wealth and opportunity on the basis of skin color and socioeconomic status.

This sacrifice of individual economic, political and intellectual liberty is regarded as “the price that must be paid now to ensure the welfare of future generations”, as the NAS [National Association of Scholars] observes.

Why are students attracted to the sustainability movement?

Answer: Romanticism: the fear of reality that sustains religious faith and all utopian dreams of transforming the world nearer to the dreamer’s desire:

Its appeal springs, in large measure, from its quasi-religious nature and message. In our increasingly secular age, a focus on transcendent meaning has largely vanished from campus. Sustainability can fill the resulting vacuum by offering young people a sense of purpose and meaning.

“Like its predecessor movements that excited student passions,” sustainability “invokes moralistic duties to repair and restructure the Earth”,  explains the NAS. It “rewards its followers with a sense of belonging to a community of the enlightened few, and endows the smallest actions with meaning and significance”. Recycling a plastic cup, for example, becomes “a noble sacrifice rewarded with laurels” that “contributes inexorably” toward saving the planet.

The Church of Sustainability derives many of its major themes from Judeo-Christianity. It teaches that the Earth — once a pristine Eden — is now fallen and polluted because of human sinfulness, and that an apocalyptic Judgment Day looms unless mankind repents. Absolution and salvation are possible if humans heed the enlightened saints and prophets who warn us of impending doom.

It is a fast growing religion:

As sustainability spreads beyond the campus, we increasingly see it touted in coffee shops, celebrated by major corporations and embraced by urban planners. For example, it’s the ideology driving “Thrive MSP 2040″, the Metropolitan Council’s new 30-year plan for development in the Twin Cities region, with its pervasive themes of top-down planning and rule by “experts”.

“Experts” are the new priesthood.

It’s ironic that college campuses are home base for the sustainability movement. For higher education is among the least sustainable of our contemporary institutions. Colleges and universities are caught in a death spiral of rising costs and declining benefits. Nevertheless, they obsess about recyclable napkins, solar panels and fossil-fuel divestment, and pour $3.2 billion annually — frequently without assessing effectiveness — into achieving their dreams of sustainability, according to the NAS.

Today, colleges and universities are charging students huge, unsustainable sums — often upward of $50,000 a year — for the privilege of (among other things) living out an elite, politically correct fad. Many emerge with a crushing load of debt, at a time when, as the NAS points out, more than 50 percent of recent graduates are either unemployed or underemployed.

For these young people, there’s no better guarantee of an unsustainable future.

The Left against science (1) 1

Rogue scientists going along with the Anthropogenic Global Warming hoax have brought science itself into disrepute. However, good science persists – however much the Left fears it and tries to hamper it with laws snd regulations.

Here’s an article from Townhall, by John Stossel – a libertarian we often but not always agree with. We agree with this:

This year is the 10th anniversary of a book called The Republican War on Science. I could just as easily write a book called The Democratic War on Science.

The conflict conservatives have with science is mostly caused by religion. Some religious conservatives reject evolution, and some oppose stem cell research.

But neither belief has a big impact on our day-to-day lives. Species continue to evolve regardless of what [religious] conservatives believe, and if [they] ban government funding of stem cell research, private investors will continue the work.

By contrast, the left’s bad ideas about science do more harm.

Many on the left – including a few of my fellow libertarians – are paranoid about genetically modified organisms. These are crops that have DNA altered to make them grow faster or be more pest-resistant. The left calls that “playing with nature” and worries that eating GMO food will cause infertility, premature aging and a host of other problems.

The fear makes little scientific sense. There is no reason to think that precise changes in a plant’s genes are more dangerous than, say, the cross-breeding of corn done by American Indians centuries ago or a new type of tomato arising in someone’s organic garden. Nature makes wilder and more unpredictable changes in plant DNA all the time.

Yet the left’s fear of GMOs led activists to destroy fields of experimental crops in Europe and, most tragically, bans on GMO foods that might help prevent hunger and malnutrition in African and Asian nations.

Leftists often claim to be defenders of progress, but they sound more like religious conservatives when they oppose “tampering with nature”. 

The new movie Jurassic World, in which scientists tamper with DNA to create a super-dinosaur that gets out of control, doesn’t just recycle ideas from the original Jurassic Park. It recycles the same fears that inspired the novel Frankenstein 200 years ago – the idea that if humans alter nature’s perfect design, we’ll pay a terrible price.

But it’s nature that is terrible. We should alter it. “Living with nature” means fighting for food, freezing in the cold and dying young.

The left’s anti-science fears also prevent us from building new nuclear reactors …

Humans thrive by improving technology, not abandoning it.

Lately, some people think they’re “erring on the safe side” by avoiding vaccinations. The result is outbreaks of diseases like mumps and measles that we thought were all but eliminated. …

The left also objects to science that contradicts their egalitarian beliefs. A few years ago, I interviewed scientists who had discovered ways in which male and female brains differ from birth. The scientists told me that they wanted to continue such research, but political pressure against it was too intense. Men and women clearly have different aptitudes, but today leftists demand that government punish any company that treats genders differently.

Few scientists today would even study relative IQs of different ethnic groups. They know they’d be de-funded if they discovered the “wrong” facts.

I say, follow the truth wherever science leads.

So do we.

The Left is the side of the emotions. But science is the child of reason. The two are as antithetical as science and religion.

In fact, Leftism is a religion. 

Urgent: defeat and destroy the SJW 9

The Social Justice Warriors – now apparently so established as to be commonly alluded to as the SJW – are an enemy army. The enemy of justice. They are a worse threat to our civilization than Islam (with which they are tacitly allied).

The feminists are the worst of the army’s regiments.

The SJW – aka the Left, or “progressives” – must be constantly engaged in battle until totally defeated.

Some rational thinkers have been fighting them for years. May they be heard above the weeping and gnashing of teeth of the self-pitying enemy!

The academies are major battlefields. There the young, quiveringly sensitive warriors are falling spitefully on their “progressive” elders who launched the war in their own student days.

In a splendidly stinging article atFront Page, Bruce Thornton fights the good fight. He does not name the SJW, but his attack hits the warriors – especially the feminists – hard. Here is most of it:

Recently several progressive professors have publicly complained that their students are hounding them for failing to consider their tender sensibilities by straying beyond the p.c. orthodoxy on sexual assault, sex identity, linguistic correctness, and a whole host of other progressive shibboleths. Northwestern “feminist” professor Laura Kipnis found herself in a Title IX star chamber for an article she wrote decrying the immaturity of her legally adult students. … Another progressive confessed (anonymously, reminding us that academics are an invertebrate species) he was so “scared” and “terrified” of his “liberal” students that he self-censors his comments in class and has changed his reading list.

These incidents follow the complaints of other progressives like Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Chait that the intolerant ideology at the heart of progressivism is now getting out of hand – something that many of us have been writing about for nearly 3 decades. That these progressives should now be shocked at such intolerance and persecution after decades of speech codes, disruptions of conservative speakers, campus inquisitions which ignore Constitutional rights, cancellations of commencement speakers, and ideological litmus tests imposed on new hires and curricula, bespeaks not principle, but rather indignation that now they are on the receiving end of the bullying and harassment long inflicted on conservatives …

Indeed, the campus intolerance progressives are now whining about is the child of the progressive ideology many of the complainers still embrace. Modern progressivism is at heart grievance politics, the core of which is not universal principle, but identity predicated on being a victim of historical crimes like sexism and racism, and on suffering from wounding slights defined as such by the subjective criteria of the now privileged victim who is beyond judgment or criticism. Once acknowledged by the state, victim status can then be leveraged into greater political, institutional, and social power. The mechanism of this leverage is the state and federal laws that empower students whose feelings have been hurt by their teachers’ challenging or provocative questions and ideas.

Sexual harassment law, for example, with its “intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment” language, guarantees that subjective, irrational, or even lunatic standards of what constitutes an “offense” will be used to justify limits on academic freedom and expression, and to punish transgressors. The overbroad and elastic language of Title IX, the law used to haul Kipnis before a campus tribunal, likewise has invited subjective and fuzzy charges from anybody who feels that “on the basis of sex” she has been “excluded from participation in” or “denied the benefits of” or “subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance”.  Finally, the Department of Education’s 2011 “dear colleague” letter, which instructed schools investigating sexual assault complaints to use the “more likely than not” or “preponderance of the evidence” standard of evidence rather than the “clear and convincing” one, ensures that any complaint no matter how preposterous or irrational will have to be investigated, and the “guilty” punished.

Yet the obsession with the victim and his suffering, and the need for everybody else to cater to his sensitivity, reflects wider cultural trends. … In this therapeutic vision, the cultural ideal now is Sensitive Man, who revels in his superiority to others based on his sensitivity to suffering, and his public displays of what Alan Bloom called “conspicuous compassion” for state-anointed victims.

Consequently, as Charles Sykes writes in A Nation of Victims – which in 1992 detailed the cultural shifts that have led to today’s hyper-sensitive and litigious students: “One must be attuned to the feelings of others and adapt oneself to the kaleidoscopic shades of grievance, injury, and ego that make up the subjective sensibilities of the ‘victim’. Everyone must now accommodate themselves to the sensitivity of the self, whose power is based not on force or even shared ideology but on changeable and perhaps arbitrary and exaggerated ‘feelings’.”

In my 1999 book Plagues of the Mind, I drew out the implications for higher education of this cult of sensitivity, which has made “infants of people, particularly college students, who are led to believe that the world should be a place where they will never feel bad or suffer disappointment, where they will be coddled and indulged and mothered, and where their already overinflated estimation of themselves will be continually reinforced . . . No one seems concerned about what will happen to these adults when they have to enter the real world and discover that it can be a cold, uncaring place where their anxieties and psychic fears are not the prime order of business”.  Sixteen years later Kipnis made a similar point in her article when she observed, “The myths and fantasies about power perpetuated in these new codes [of sexual behavior] are leaving our students disabled when it comes to the ordinary interpersonal tangles and erotic confusions that pretty much everyone has to deal with at some point in life.”

As Kipnis’s troubles show, today this obsession with the feelings of students and their demands that they be protected from anything unpleasant or “hurtful” has manifested itself in the hysteria over an alleged epidemic of sexual assault of female college students. (Professor Kipnis got into trouble for calling this phenomenon “sexual paranoia”.) Yet this is nothing new either. In the late 90s commentators were warning of the “New Puritanism”, and the “New Victorianism” – the title of Rene Denfeld’s 1995 analysis of this corruption of feminism.

In our view, feminism is a rotten ideology to start with. It can only go from bad to worse.

… The proliferation of “codes” governing courtship and sexual encounters in order to protect fragile women, the ever expanding list of prohibited words that might traumatize the “oppressed”,  the establishment of tribunals judging the accused without the benefit of Constitutional protections, and the noisy protests, shaming, and invective like those aimed at Professor Kipnis, are all in order to enforce orthodoxy through fear and self-censorship a la the poltroonish professor mentioned earlier.

Worst of all, the spread of this intolerance throughout universities makes impossible the very purpose of higher education: to broaden students’ minds by allowing what Matthew Arnold called “the free play of the mind on all subjects” and by familiarizing them with the “best which has been thought and said in the world”.  That ideal has now become scarce on our campuses. As Sykes wrote over 20 years ago, “Once feelings are established as the barometer of acceptable behavior, speech (and, by extension, thought) becomes only as free as the most sensitive group will permit.” This is precisely the state of affairs in American universities today, where the old notions that truth is a liberating force and that suffering teaches, and the great classics that embodied these and other verities of the human condition, have been sacrificed on the altar of victim politics and its aggrandizement of institutional power. So our universities now produce “snowflakes”, as some have called them, students with fragile psyches and empty minds. …

Now the progressives’ children are devouring their creators, the inevitable outcome of revolutionary passions and utopian goals that lack coherent principle and intellectual rigor. That’s why progressives suffering the wages of their ideology deserve no sympathy.

What needs to be known about the Clintons’ charities 3

The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation is nominally a charitable institution.

We listed some of the “charities” it supports or has supported in our post The great good works and wonky dilemmas of William J. Clinton (April 18, 2015). The list includes a grant to China for its electricity grid, and a few to Ulrainian politicians to “modernize Ukraine”.

Apparently 15% of the hundreds of million that pour into the Foundation are dispersed to such good causes.

According to Wikipedia (see the entry on the Clinton Foundation):

Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised more than $500 million dollars according to its IRS filings. 15% of that, or $75 million, was spent on charitable activities. More than $25 million was spent on travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits.

Investigative reporting on who sends in the money and in return for what favors has been begun, astonishingly, by Left-biased media, The  New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters.

Now a report is needed on what is done with that money.

We don’t have the resources to find out. But even the sort of superficial research that’s within our capability turns up information that cries out for deeper, wider, professional exploration.

The very easily accessed Wikipedia entry on the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative is a window-display of curiosities.

We select a few of them.:

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)  is a non-partisan organization that convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Each year, CGI hosts an Annual Meeting in September, scheduled to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly.

At the Annual Meeting, CGI members discuss major global issues, share ideas and knowledge about effective solutions, and form partnerships that enable them to enhance their work.

Each CGI member develops a Commitment to Action – a plan to take specific action to make the world a better place.

What work?

Commitments generally fit within one of CGI’s nine tracks:

The Built Environment

Education & Workforce Development

Energy

Solar and wind?

Environmental Stewardship

Girls & Women

Global Health

By “Global Health” is meant what? The health of the globe, or the health of all the people on the globe?

Market-Based Approaches

A “commitment” to “approaches”?

Response & Resilience

Response to what? Whose resilience?

Technology

Commitments must be new, specific, and measurable, but beyond those three criteria, members have wide latitude to determine which actions to take. CGI then monitors the progress and success of these commitments throughout the year.

So there should be lots of reports on the progress and success of the “commitments”.

Funding pledged through commitments does not come through CGI, and is not donated to CGI. Rather, organizations commit to raise and distribute money on their own.

Since 2005, CGI members have made more than 2,300 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries.

Throughout the year, CGI helps its members – primarily corporations, NGOs, and government leaders – maximize their efforts to create positive change. CGI is not a grant-making organization. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. As of 2013, CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

So the CGI makes no grants. It does not itself disperse funds. It is for influence peddling. What it does is get powerful and/or celebrated people together once a year to “make commitments”. At the same time they make themselves more powerful and/or more celebrated. For which they reward Bill Clinton by making lavish donations to his Foundation?

In addition,it “helps” those people, “throughout the year”, to “maximize their efforts to create positive change”. When funded and implemented by others – not the Clinton Global Initiative – these “commitments” will be valued at $73.5 billion. Indeed, 2,300 such commitments have already “improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries”.

Who are the 400 million people? How have their lives been improved? How do the improvements stem from the “commitments” made at the annual convention organized by the Clinton Global Initiative? .

On June 13 and 14 of 2013, President Clinton hosted the third meeting of CGI America in Chicago, an annual event focused on finding solutions that promote economic recovery in the United States. This working meeting purportedly brought together leaders from the business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to develop solutions to increase employment, advance access to education and skills development, strengthen energy security, and promote an environment for business growth and innovation.

Were the effects noticed by the people of the United States? Were they noticeable at all?

Responding to increasing interest among business and governments around the world, President Clinton launched CGI International to supplement the Annual Meeting in New York with additional meetings in various regions of the globe.

In December 2008, President Clinton convened the first CGI International meeting in Hong Kong to address local, regional, and global challenges. The focus of the CGI meeting in Asia was on three main areas: education, energy and climate change, and public health. The two-day meeting attracted over 3,000 accredited delegates, a record number for a nongovernmental organization gathering in Asia.

One thing is certain. Bill Clinton is having a whale of a time being important at vast gatherings in many places round the world.

Prominent participants included … thought leaders such as … Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN.

We await the Little Red Book of the Thoughts of Ban Ki-moon.

Remember, all this costs the Clintons, the Clinton Foundation, and its Global Initiative nothing. How much the meetings gather in for the Clintons it would be interesting to know.

The CGI does give awards. To whom do they go? For what?

The Clinton Global Citizen Awards are a set of awards which have been given by the Clinton Global Initiative every year since 2007. The awards are given to individuals who, in the opinion of the Clinton Foundation, are “outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership“.  

Past recipients of the award include Mexican business magnate and philanthropist Carlos Slim …

.. who is said to be the richest man in the world …

 Moroccan entrepreneur Mohammad Abbad Andaloussi, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Afghan women’s rights activist Suraya Pakzad, and Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández.[35]

What did they do? Of what did the award consist? If money, how much? And does that money come from CGI itself, or from whom?

As you might expect, struggling against an alleged threat of “climate change” is central to this enormous, planet-wide, big-power enterprise presided over by Bill Clinton, the most important person in the world.

Building on his long term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006, with the mission of applying the Foundation’s business-oriented approach to fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways.”

Recognizing the opportunity to fight climate change in the world’s cities, CCI is working with 40 of the world’s largest cities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of large-scale programs, a purchasing alliance, and measurement tools to track progress and share best practices.

What best practices? We are told that part of this scheme to “help some large cities cut greenhouse gas emissions” is being carried out by “facilitating retrofitting of existing buildings”.

Insulating them against heat loss? Putting solar panels on their roofs? Who is paying?

Five large banks committed $1 billion each to help cities and building owners make energy-saving improvements aimed at lowering energy use and energy costs.

And what was the quid pro quo for the banks? We’d very much like to know.

And to be one of those lucky building owners – do you have to be a friend of the Clintons? Are you obliged to give a large donation to their Foundation?

At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign to accelerate bold federal policy on global warming. The 1Sky campaign supports at least an 80% reduction in climate pollution levels by 2050.

The CGI is going to “accelerate federal policy”? How? Is it perhaps relying on Hillary Clinton being president in 2017 for that?

On May 19, 2009, CCI announced the global Climate Positive Development Program where it will work with the U.S. Green Building Council to promote “climate positive” city growth.

Ah, the Clintons have their fingers in many pies and cookie jars. And they stir many pots.

Now we come to what may be an actual “good cause”, for which yet another initiative – the  Clinton Development Initiative (CDI) - has been launched …

… to target the root causes of poverty in Africa and promote sustainable economic growth.

The initiative will invest $100 million over the next 10 years in projects that will improve food security, clean water and sanitation, and quality health care. Right now, these programs are focused in Rwanda and Malawi, but can potentially be expanded to other countries in the future.

What is the Clinton role in this?

Together with the governments of these two countries, CDI has had such successes as helping farmers access fertilizer, disease-resistant seeds, irrigation systems, advanced planting techniques and micro-credit. This assistance has led to a record harvest in eastern Rwanda. CDI has also helped Partners in Health build new health care facilities in Neno, Malawi. In 2007 and 2008, CHDI assisted in the training of thousands of farmers on advanced planting techniques, helped to strengthen the organization, operations and sales of Rwandan coffee manufacturers and Malawian cotton farmers and partnered with local governments in large-scale developments including irrigation, hospital and school projects.

Excellent work. But as far as we can make out, not a cent of Clinton money has been spent on it.

There are many more Initiatives. There are conferences, strategies, the convening of “national thought leaders” to “discuss ways in which individuals, communities, and corporations can contribute to the health of others“. Aims include, f0r instance, getting American children to consume fewer calories; “increasing  the access of unbanked populations to starter bank accounts”; establishing a bus system in Rio de Janeiro whereby “four express corridors for articulated buses will connect the whole city”.

Who supplies the buses? Is the company that gets the contract duly grateful? Does it send a check to the Clinton Foundation to prove its gratitude? Or rather, of course, to suppport some good cause?

Still not a cent of Clinton money is said to have been given. We are assured, however, that 15% of $500 million has been spent on “charitable activities”.

If only someone would tell us how much on which.

What the Clintons want us to understand is that without them there are commitments that would not be made, advice that would not be given, thoughts that would not be thought, promotions that would not be promoted, strategies that would not be devised, buses that would not connect parts of cities, farmers that would not use advanced planting techniques. 

All that must surely make us feel how small and petty are our efforts to expose the Clintons’ corruption and malfeasance – as petty and pointless as shooting peas at a monument. The Clintons are too big to fail.

For pity’s sake, stop fooling about and elect Hillary Clinton to the presidency so that the Clintons, re-installed in the White House with the furniture and china they stole from it when they had to leave it for a while, can get even richer, be as powerful as anyone could possible get, and do even more good to mankind.

A guide to the dark side 2

Pat Condell instructs new “progressives” how to behave and what to say to be politically correct:

Posted under Commentary, Progressivism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 11, 2015

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