The perfect representative 11

So at this moment, the day after Super Tuesday 2020, Joe Biden is the Democrats’ front runner for nomination as their presidential candidate.

He was never an intelligent man, and now he exhibits signs of being afflicted with senile dementia. He cannot remember where he is. He has said that he is running for election to the senate. He confuses his wife and his sister.  He cannot remember the wording of the Declaration of Independence when he wants to quote it. He forgets who it is he is talking to.

Could even Democrats really be so rash as to trust him with the nuclear button?

It’s very likely that the old Communist Bernie Sanders will overtake him.

So the Democrats’ choice will be between an old dunce who is corrupt and senile, and an old Communist who admires Stalin, Fidel Castro, the Nicaraguan regime of the Sandinistas and the vile men who brought Venezuela to ruin.

Happily, neither of them would be a threat to the re-election of President Trump with his record of unprecedented achievement, and whose popularity grows by the hour.

How pathetic, how worn out, how confused and asinine the Democratic Party has become. It’s well past its “sell-by” date. The oldest political party of modern times is itself senile, corrupt, and silly. Joe Biden is its perfect representative.

Posted under government, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

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Progress to extinction 1

The 100 year old international movement towards collectivism, world government, wealth redistribution, anti-individualism, elitist rule over equalized serf populations – in two words, Left Progressivism – is coming to an end.

In an age when ever more people everywhere are literate, have access to information, can communicate with others anywhere, communal subjugation becomes ever less possible.

Sure there are a few countries where populations still suffer under communist tyranny, notably North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela – and China. It is because China is so badly governed that coronavirus, a new killing disease, has emerged from it and is spreading through the world. The harm will last for decades, but Left Progressivism is slowly but surely, and at an accelerating pace, failing and dying, coming to an end.

It has gone about as far as it can go. Victor Davis Hanson writes about its reaching its peak in America; a point from which its only further advance can be to oblivion:

In 2020 we have finally hit peak progressivism

By that I mean the hard-left takeover of the Democratic Party and the accompanying progressive agenda now have reached an extreme—beyond which will only result in the steady erosion of radical ideology altogether. …

From 2009 through 2016, Barack Obama recalibrated the Democratic Party’s liberalism into progressive radicalism. He opened the border and all but dismantled existing immigration law. Sanctuary cities sprang up with impunity. Executive orders bypassed the Congress. The Iran Deal ignored the Senate’s treaty-making responsibilities. Obama sought to nationalize healthcare. The concept of “diversity” replaced affirmative action, by redefining racial oppression as distinct from historical grievance and economic disparity and instead lumping together 30 percent of the population as nonwhite, and thus antithetical to the new buzz construct of “white privilege”. Fast and Furious, the surveillance of the Associated Press reporters, Benghazi, the weaponization of the IRS, and the use of CIA, FBI, and DOJ to seed the spurious Steele dossier were all written off as proof of the “most scandal free” administration in memory.

But today Obamaism has been figuratively guillotined by the New Jacobins. It is found guilty of crimes of insufficient revolutionary zeal, as well as compromises with the U.S. Constitution and capitalism.

Once considered a crank socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) now leads in many Democratic primary polls. Arriving with him at this moment in our politics is peak progressivism.

First-term socialists—House representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her fellow “squad” members, inspired by Sanders—now set the new Democratic agenda. And it is one that is more radical than anything seen in modern American history and largely unsustainable: calls to level a wealth tax and new top income-tax rates of 70-90 percent, to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, all student debt, an enforceable southern border, the internal combustion engine, and most Second Amendment rights, and to enact multi-trillion dollar new entitlements as outlined in the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free college, free healthcare for illegal aliens, and reparations.

Identity politics so rules the rhetoric of the new progressive party that all of its—exclusively white—primary finalists vie to be most vocal in the ritual damning of their own country (that has ironically ensured their own influence, power, success and wealth) as inherently “racist”.

Outside of the political sphere, peak progressivism had reinvented the university, rejecting Martin Luther King, Jr’s vision of racial integration and assimilation, by demanding racially obsessed dorms, safe spaces, and applications.

There is hardly a First Amendment on campuses anymore. Speakers with unpopular views are shouted down with impunity by student activists. “Trigger warnings” seek to censor required texts. The mere accusation of sexual harassment on campus is synonymous with the suspension of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments. Skepticism over abortion, “climate change”, or identity politics can cancel out a faculty career.

It is hard to imagine where universities go after peak progressivism, since it would be the pure nihilism of abolishing grades, admissions standards, and student fees.

Peak progressivism calls for the abolition of the constitutionally mandated Electoral College. Radicals now fault past failed schemes to pack the federal and Supreme Court with left-wing justices only because they failed, and thus advance ways to make court-packing work in the present. The bolder among them wants to reconfigure the U.S. Senate into a proportionally representational house or abolish it altogether.

All that would be left after that would be the formal abolition of the U.S. Constitution itself.

Primary candidates compete with one another to water down voting laws, variously demanding that 16-year-olds, felons, and illegal aliens should be given the franchise.

The now far-Left Democrats fail to see that when their hopes for election lie, as they do, with criminals, lunatics, illegal aliens and the immature, there is something wrong with their policies.

Gay marriage, which Obama opposed in 2008 and later promoted after reelection, is now passé. The new civil rights cause celebre is transgenderism, an ancient syndrome known in the past under a variety of clinical definitions that affects less than half of one percent of the population. Who, after these peak progressive ideas, would be left as ineligible to vote—12-year-olds, those on death row, the rest of the earth’s population?

All moderate Democratic presidential candidates long ago dropped out. Those who have not, such as Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg, are in virtual reeducation camps, as they promise to progressive rivals and the media to renounce most of their past positions, effusively apologizing for prior incorrect thinking and failure to become sufficiently “woke”. …

The much-discussed “intersectionality” is a construct, a myth. The history of ideological extremism is instead a war of all factions against one another.

We see just that in the peak progressive primaries. Michael Bloomberg is deemed a racist and sexist. But then so is Joe Biden. Bernie Sanders supposedly hires racists and sexists and won’t honor minimum wage laws. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) thinks Bernie is condescending to women and minorities. Pete Buttigieg thinks he is the victim of Joe Biden’s subtle anti-gay political adds, and feels, but does not articulate, that the black community is inherently anti-homosexual. The race to tag others as victimizers and selves as victimized is endless.

Radicals also vie to make rivals look counter-revolutionary, as they advance ever more incoherent and unhinged schemes without a clue that they are losing not just moderate support but even liberal followers. The more Warren feels she must become the purest peak progressive on the debate stage and the most radical in the U.S. Senate, the more her former supporters feel she is either a conniving opportunist or nuts or both. …

Peak progressives cannot possibly live up to their rhetoric fantasies and so suffer from rank hypocrisies. Redistributionists like Warren and Sanders either fly on private jets or choose non-egalitarian first-class commercial. Hollywood stars who mouth crazy [socialist, egalitarian] Oscar and Grammy ceremony platitudes vie with each other to wear multi-thousand-dollar clothes, live in mansions, and own yachts—as they drive down ratings to historic lows.

Not long ago, progressive pundits on CNN and MSNBC declared the current indicted lawyer Michael Avenatti presidential material for his fabrications and lies that were used to smear Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Where does a network go after that?

It is not only “hard to imagine where universities go after peak progressivism”, or where the networks can “go after that”; it is impossible to see a destination for the Left itself, in America or anywhere else in the world.

Except to extinction.   

Loving prayers, hate speech, and disinformation 1

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives and official leader of the campaign to destroy President Trump by impeaching him, furiously denied to a reporter that she hates Donald Trump when he asked her if she did:

“I don’t hate anybody,” responded Pelosi. “I was raised in a Catholic house. We don’t hate anybody, not anybody in the world. Don’t accuse me of hate.”

Being accused of hatred was, in Pelosi’s mind, the same as accusing her of being a bad Catholic.

“As a Catholic, I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me,” she said. “I don’t hate anyone.”

Hatred was not part of her upbringing, she said. “I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love.”

On the contrary, she said, she always prays for the president. “I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time.”

How deeply reassuring for the president. (And the reporter – a rare one to provoke Speaker Pelosi! – must have felt warmly loved too.)

But in Reality, for the last four years, the Democrats, the Left everywhere, and the media have been spewing hatred of Donald Trump non-stop, night and day. They hate him.

It’s not that they merely don’t like what he stands for, what he does or how he does it. They certainly don’t, and they would be against anyone who stood for the same and did the same. But their intense hatred is plainly for the man himself.  

The hatred is totally irrational, and for those of us who much admire and like President Trump, impossible to understand. Is their hatred motivated by envy? Can they not bear it that Donald Trump is a successful businessman, a billionaire, a TV star, and on top of it all, president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world? And he has a very beautiful wife. And successful children. How dare he?

They – the politicians, the celebrities, the globalists, the socialists, the America-haters, the intersectionalists, the feminists, the environmentalists, the climate alarmists, the Antifa activists, the professors, the media hacks – hate him with a hatred that drives them to any length in their effort to destroy him. For days, weeks, months, years on end they rage against him in the House and the Senate. They make up absurd lies about him. There is no accusation, however farfetched, however unlikely, however ridiculous, however crazy, however impossible that they have not or will not level against him, over and over again.

Has there ever before been so much hate speech poured out against an elected American leader?  

No matter how much good he does for the country – and he has done a lot; no matter how competent he is – and he is highly competent; no matter how generous he is – and he is generous, even giving away his salary: they hate him, hate him, hate him. They want him thrown out of office; they want him humiliated; they want him tortured; they want him dead. 

To help them achieve his ruin, to help them advance the great cause of destroying Donald Trump, the media (most of them) lie about him. They spread misinformation, disinformation, scurrilous rumors, obscene tales, filthy smears.   

And at the same time they all – the politicians, the celebrities, the globalists, the socialists, the America-haters, the intersectionalists, the feminists, the environmentalists, the climate alarmists, the Antifa actvists, the professors, the media hacksceaselessly rail against “hate speech and disinformation”.

What they mean by “hate speech” is the expression of any opinion that differs from their own. And by “disinformation” they mean any contradiction, any disproof, any exposure of their lies.

They want “hate speech and disinformation” stopped. Pronto. It’s intolerable to them that people go on saying things they don’t like. It’s too provoking! People .. people … do it, go on and on doing it, in the “social media”. Freely. Saying whatever they like. No regulation. No punishment. Good grief, they behave as if the United States of America were Liberty Hall!

We quote parts of an article by Paul Bradford at American Greatness:

 Joe Biden wants to punish Facebook and Twitter so they will censor more.

Biden endorsed one of the most aggressive proposals against Big Tech last week in an interview with the New York Times. He wants to eliminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects tech platforms from publisher liabilities.

“Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one,” Biden said. “For [Mark] Zuckerberg [CEO of Facebook] and other platforms.”

“It should be revoked because [Facebook] is not merely an internet company,” Biden said. “It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false, and we should be setting standards not unlike the Europeans are doing relative to privacy. You guys still have editors. I’m sitting with them. Not a joke. There is no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None whatsoever. It’s irresponsible. It’s totally irresponsible.”

Biden also won’t rule out criminal penalties for Zuckerberg over alleged collusion with the Russian government.

Biden, it needs to be borne in mind, was vice president when Barack Obama was president and they were colluding with the Russians.

He implied the Facebook executive is selling out American democracy to foreign tyrants for cold hard cash.

Biden, it should also be borne in mind, and through him his brothers and his son and his sister and his son-in-law, corruptly raked in cold hard cash, much of it from foreign tyrants, by the million when he was vice-president. He sold his office.

Biden is particularly upset with the number of ads Trump runs on Facebook.

He sees a terrible risk that if Trump is allowed to do that, he could get himself re-elected! Why can’t Zuckerberg and the other tech giants see what danger they’re running America into?

Nearly every Democratic presidential candidate, both former and current, wants to punish tech companies for allowing “hate speech” and “disinformation” on their platforms.

Three candidates besides Biden want to target Section 230. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wants to look into Section 230 to make sure “right-wing groups don’t abuse regulation to advance their agenda” and that tech platforms censor hate speech. He doesn’t call for the outright elimination of Section 230 but his meaning is plain enough.

Similarly, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a forgotten presidential candidate, wants to revise Section 230 to hold Big Tech accountable for “misinformation and hate speech on their platforms”.

The other candidates also want to pressure Big Tech to censor more, but haven’t specifically mentioned Section 230. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to break up Facebook and other tech giants as punishment for “profiting off of hate speech and disinformation campaigns”.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg says his administration would investigate and call out platforms that “traffic in hate and encourage or fail to moderate abuse and hate”. Buttigieg wants more aggressive measures to suppress ads that liberals deem to be erroneous.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), another former presidential candidate, also wants Big Tech punished for alleged hate speech. “We will hold social media platforms responsible for the hate infiltrating their platforms, because they have a responsibility to help fight against this threat to our democracy,” she told the NAACP last year.

No matter who wins the Democratic nomination, that candidate will demand more online censorship. Every major candidate sees what they call “hate speech” as something that should not be protected by the First Amendment. Every single one of them wants to use state power to push Facebook, Twitter and other platforms into only allowing liberal discourse.

In fact, in Reality – the sphere where Leftists do not like to live – conservatives are constantly being censored, suspended, rebuked, and outright banned by the Powers that govern the internet. Every one of those Powers is Left-biased. But some conservative opinion does get published to the world, and how can the Left, and especially those in it who have been raised in a way that fills their hearts with love, be expected to tolerate such a state of affairs?

Vote Bernie Sanders for rope and chains 8

Not hope and change. Or if change, not for what we would call the better.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is, however, excited by the prospect of being able to inflict misery on persons so wicked as to have earned a lot of money, or to vote for Donald Trump; and violence on any who oppose Comrade Bernie for the Democrats’ presidential candidacy.

Breitbart reports:

An undercover video published by Project Veritas … shows a field organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign saying Soviet gulags were actually a positive phenomenon, suggesting that some similar program could re-educate Trump supporters and billionaires.

The video begins with a Project Veritas journalist asking an individual identified as Sanders organizer Kyle Jurek if “MAGA people” could be re-educated if Sanders wins the White House. “We gotta try,” Jurek replies. …

In another part of the video, Jurek is seen discussing Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin’s use of gulags, where he claims that the CIA was overly critical of them. “People were actually paid a living wage in the gulags. They have conjugal visits in gulags. Gulags were meant for re-education,” he says.

Jurek is then seen suggesting that the most effective way to re-educate the billionaire class is to order them to “break rocks for 12 hours a day”.

Jurek uses “the f word” a lot. We substitute stars:

“The greatest way to break a ******* billionaire of their privilege and their idea that they’re superior, go and break rocks for 12 hours a day. You’re now a working class person, and you’re going to ******* learn what that means, right?”

The video also shows Jurek warning that Milwaukee, host of this year’s Democratic National Convention, will “burn” if Sanders fails to win the party’s nomination. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, ******* Milwaukee will burn,” says Jurek. “It’ll start in Milwaukee and then when the police push back on that, other sites will ******* explode.”

The footage concludes with Jurek issuing the chilling prediction that Milwaukee could see riots akin to the 1968 convention in Chicago, where left-wing activists engaged in violent riots in the streets.

“Be ready to be in Milwaukee for the DNC convention. We’re going to make 1968 look like a *******girl’s scout ******* cookout,” warns the Sanders field organizer. “The cops are going to be the ones ******* beaten in Milwaukee.”

This cussing sadist Jurek will not have read, would not read, probably does not know of the existence of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: an Experiment in Literary Investigation. We suspect that even if he did read it, it would not make him change his mind about condemning people to gulags. But for those less unshakable in their admiration for Communism, less inspired by the Russian practice of it, here’s a small taste* of what the book has to teach readers and writers in the West:

How to describe the perturbation of a human soul placed in a cell filled to twenty times its capacity and with no latrine bucket? The texture of this life [in the Gulag] is bound to be quite unknown to Western writers; they wouldn’t conceive of the solution – to urinate in your canvas hood or your boot. Ah, with what psychological twists and turns Western writers could enrich their literature if they only knew about the scheme of things in that Minusinsk Prison: there was only one food bowl for every four slave prisoners; and one mug of drinking water per day. And it could happen that one of the four sharers contrived to use the vessel allotted to him and three others to relieve his internal pressure and then refuse to allow  his daily water ration to wash it out. What a conflict! What a clash of four personalities! What nuances! And I am not joking. That is when the rock bottom of a human being is revealed. Months in such a cell and a human being, though he may escape being shot under Yezhov and may even be rehabilitated under Khrushchev, will live in ruined health for the rest of his life. …

In Minusinsk prison in 194-, after the prisoners hadn’t been taken into the fresh air for a whole year, they had forgotten to walk, to breathe, to look at the light. And then they took then out, put them in formation, and herded them the fifteen miles to Abakan on foot. About a dozen of them died along the way. And no one is ever going to write a great novel about it, not even one chapter: if you live in a graveyard, you can’t weep for everyone.

Like the good communists who ran the gulags, this Jurek – and Bernie Sanders himself who honeymooned in the Communist paradise that Solzhenitsyn describes – would no doubt be happy to say to the billionaires and Trump voters they would condemn to imprisonment:

“In the prison camp, nothing belongs to you. Here in camp we have communism. Forward march!”

Upon which Solzhenitsyn comments:

And if it was “communism” then what was there to object to? Communism, after all, is what they had dedicated their lives to.

Solzhenitsyn himself did actually write a  great novel about life in a gulag prison. It is called One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. We advise billionaires who intend to vote for Bernie Sanders – yes, you lot in Silicon Valley – to read it so you can be prepared for what might be in store for you.

Here is a video showing photographs of life in the Soviet gulag prisons. Also watch the video that follows it, continuing with the same subject.

 

 

The founder of Project Veritas, James O’Keefe, has released the footage of the interview with Kyle Jurek on Tuesday January 14, 2020, and says that several more videos will follow “as part of the group’s ‘Expose2020’ campaign”.

 

*I have used the translation by Thomas P. Whitney (Collins and Harvill Press, London] as a basis for my own phrasing in part. The quotations come from pages 541-542 and page 584. The emphasis is in the original – ed.

Posted under communism, Soviet Union, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Nothing to make a president out of 8

What is most pleasing, amusing, and propitious about the Democratic candidates’ campaigns for the presidency, is that the candidates themselves are … well ….

And …

And is unofficially led by Congresswomen who hate Jews, which Sanders and Bloomberg – regretfully and apologetically? – are:

Which leaves them with Joe Biden who is rapidly lapsing into senile dementia:

 

 

Posted under cartoons by Jillian Becker on Sunday, December 15, 2019

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Sweden: a model for America? 1

Sweden, much admired by Bernie Sanders and others on the Left as a model “democratic socialist” country, is not socialist like Venezuela. It tried socialism, found it didn’t work, “turned sharply back toward capitalism” round the middle of the 1990s, and regained prosperity. It is still a highly taxed welfare state.

The Swedes were happy with that, and decided in Christian spirit to share their happiness with tens of thousands of aliens from the Third World. They came from the hot lands of Africa and Asia to the north of Europe, with its long cold winter nights.

Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone about what happened to Sweden when it welcomed a “large influx of people [read Muslims] who do not have the educational or language skills to work in the Swedish economy”.

The small Swedish city of Filipstad exemplifies a place where the influx of non-Western migrants, some of them illiterate, with little or no education, has meant that the unemployment rate in that group is at 80%: they depend for their livelihoods on the municipality’s social welfare program.

In 2015, during the European migration crisis, nearly 163,000 migrants arrived in Sweden seeking asylum – primarily from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq …  60,000 received a residence permit. In the group of people over the age of 15, made up of 40,019 people, only 4,574 get their livelihood from employment … 18,405 people from the cohort live on welfare handed out by municipalities and 9,970 people receive funds for studying.

Many municipalities … need to make budget cuts. In Ystad, in the south of Sweden, the municipality, as part of the services of the welfare state, [has been helping] the elderly with hot meals and cleaning services. Now, to save money, the municipality will no longer serve hot meals to the elderly and cleaning services will be limited to once every three weeks. The elderly will instead have to get ready-made meals from the supermarket. …

Motala municipality … announced that it would lower the heat in buildings managed by the city, including old age homes, to save money. “We will take care of the elderly; they will not be freezing, they can have blankets,” the message went.

The criticism of the proposed savings on care for the elderly in Motala, however, was so massive that the municipality had to back down. …

Meanwhile, in June, the Swedish parliament voted in favor of a law that is likely to increase immigration to Sweden based on family reunification.

 Alert capitalists will be buying shares in the blanket industry.

Posted under Islam, Sweden by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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Physicians or philanthropists? 6

There cannot be a “right” for one person that puts an obligation on another person.

There cannot be a “right” for everyone that puts an obligation on some people.

A “right” to health care imposes an obligation on medical practitioners.

Yet the Democratic candidates for the November 2020 presidential election believe that medical treatment is a “human right”.

That old Communist from way back, Bernie Sanders – elected to the Senate as an Independent but running for the presidency as a Democrat – explicitly insists that it is.

Dr. Kevin Pham writes at the Daily Signal:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was recently on comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show to discuss … his vision for health care in America.

He calls his plan “Medicare for All”.

In one interesting statement, Sanders described the rollout of his plan: “I want to expand Medicare to include dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses, and then what I want to do is lower the eligibility age the first year from 65 down to 55, then to 45, then to 35, then we cover everybody.”

Cover? Covered by insurance? No. “Free” health care for all would not be paid for through a system of insurance. It would be paid for through taxes. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, all health care workers would be employees of the government.

The plan, Dr. Pham points out, is more accurately called “Medicaid for All”.

[It] would cost over $30 trillion in the next 10 years in ideal conditions

So probably very much more …

… but still require physicians and providers to take a pay cut of up to 40% and continue working with the same productivity.

And of course a great many more of them would be needed.

Physicians are already heavily burdened with their workload. In the 2018 Physicians Foundation survey, up to 80% of physicians reported working at their maximum capacity or beyond.

In the same survey, about 15% of physicians reported limiting the number of Medicaid patients they see and an additional 16% did not see Medicaid patients at all.

Of these physicians who do not see Medicaid patients, or limit the number they see, over a third are in primary care, exactly the kind of physicians we need in greater numbers.

[But] … a combination of administrative burdens, delays in processing claims, and low reimbursement rates make it difficult to justify seeing many Medicaid patients.

As Medicaid and Medicare both drastically underpay relative to private health insurance, hospitals and providers have to charge private insurance more to make up the difference.

Under Bernie Sanders’s scheme (and Elizabeth Warren’s vague and colossally expensive plan), there would no private insurance and “the whole system would crumble”.

Providers who participate in Medicaid must accept the government-mandated prices for services and deal with oftentimes long delays in receiving reimbursement that is below the cost of practice. 

Study hard for years at great expense only to earn a pittance? (Oh, I nearly forgot – higher education will also be “free” in that it will be paid for by taxation. Your pathetic little income will be taxed at so high a rate that you’ll be left with nothing but a little pocket-money.)

You would have to be a fanatical philanthropist, or even a masochist, to enter the medical profession under such conditions.

And we haven’t even touched on all the miseries a tax-payer funded national health service inevitably brings to patients – the long waits, the rationing, the overcrowding, the death panels … 

Posted under Health, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 2, 2019

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Russia 1

An illuminating article. For us, lifelong students of Communism and the modern history of Russia, almost as full of surprises as of affirmations.

Angelo M. Codevilla writes at CRB:

What 21st-century Russia is in itself, to its neighbors, and to America flows from the fact it is no longer the Soviet Union. As the red flag came down from the Kremlin on Christmas Day 1991, Russian president Boris Yeltsin, when asked what he thought of Communism, nearly wept as he replied: “I wish it had been tried somewhere else.” Vladimir Putin, who famously said that the USSR’s collapse had been a tragedy, nevertheless shares the Russian people’s consensus that their country was Communism’s first and foremost victim, and that no one knows how long it may take to live down its dysfunctions. To its neighbors, this Russia is a rebudding tsarist empire. To Americans, it is a major adversary despite the lack of clashing geopolitical interests.

After Communism

The Revolution of 1917 was possible because socialists, in Russia and throughout the Western world, believed that “present-day society”, as Karl Marx put it, is a jumble of “contradictions”, which could be resolved only by tearing down the pillars of the house. Once that was done, history would end: man and woman, farmer and industrial worker, producer and consumer, intellectual and mechanic—heretofore at odds—would live harmoniously, freely, and prosperously ever after.

Because they really believed in this utopian dream, the socialists gave absolute power to Lenin and Stalin’s Communist Party to wreck and reorganize—to break eggs in order to make a delicious omelette. But Communism, while retaining some of Marxism’s antinomian features (e.g., war on the family and on religion), became in practice almost exclusively a justification for the party’s absolute rule. For example, the economic system adopted by the Soviet Union and by other Communist regimes owed precisely zero to Marx, but was a finely tuned instrument for keeping the party in control of wealth.

The Leninist party is gone forever in Russia because, decades after its leaders stopped believing in Marxism, and after Leonid Brezhnev had freed them from the Stalinist incubus that had kept them loyal to the center, they had learned to make the party into a racket. That, and the residual antinomian features, made Russia into a kakotopia. Russian men learned to intrigue and drink on the job rather than work. Shunning responsibility for women and children, they turned Russian society into a matriarchy, held together by grandmothers. In a thoroughly bureaucratized system, each holder of a bit of authority used it to inconvenience the others. Forcing people to tell each other things that both knew not to be true—recall that “politically correct” is a Communist expression—engendered cynicism and disrespect for truth. The endless anti-religion campaigns cut the people off from one moral system and failed to inculcate another. Alcohol drowned unhappiness, life expectancies declined, and fewer Russians were born.

Religious morality? Communism not a religious morality? Not the same religious morality in certain vital respects? All red capes waving at us bulls!  But for the sake of what’s to come, we’ll only stand and paw the ground – and give a snort or two.

The Russian people rejected Communism in the only ways that powerless people can—by passivity, by turning to anything foreign to authority, and by cynicism. Nothing being more foreign to Communism than Christianity, Russians started wearing crosses, knowing that the regime frowned on this feature of the Russia that had pre-existed Communism, and would survive it.

A louder snort. But on:

No sooner had the USSR died than Russia restored the name Saint Petersburg to Peter the Great’s “window on the West”. Even under Soviet rule, Russians had gone out of their way to outdo the West in Western cultural matters—“nekulturny” (uncultured!) was, and remains, a heavy insult in Russia. Moscow let countless priorities languish as it rebuilt in record time its massive Christ the Savior cathedral to original specifications. As the Russian Orthodox church resumed its place as a pillar of the Russia that had been Christianity’s bastion against the Mongol horde as well as against the Muslim Ottomans, golden domes soon shone throughout the land. Whatever anyone might think of the Russian Orthodox church, it anchors the country to its Christian roots.

Few Americans understood Vladimir Putin’s rise to power at the close of the 20th century as the reassertion of a bankrupt, humiliated, resentful people looking to make Russia great again. Since then, Putin has rebuilt the Russian state into a major European power with worldwide influence. Poverty and a resource-based economy notwithstanding, it is on a sounder financial basis than any Western country. Corruption is within historical limits. The leadership is appreciated by the vast majority, whose national pride and solidarity dwarf those of Western publics. Nearly all Russians approve strongly of its absorption of Crimea. Russia effectively controls Ukraine’s eastern end, and has exposed the West’s incapacity to interfere militarily in the former Soviet empire. In the Middle East, Russia is now the dominant force.

In sum, the Russian bear licks its deep wounds as it growls behind fearsome defenses.

The Neighborhood

Russia’s Westernism is neither imitation nor love of the West. It is the assertion that Russia is an indispensable part of it. The Russians saved Europe from Napoleon, and from Hitler, too. That they did the latter tyrannically, as Soviets, does not, in their minds, disqualify them from their rightful place in Europe, or justify Europeans, much less Americans, trying to limit Russia’s rightful stature. Today’s Russian rulers are not gentler or nicer than the emperor who shook off the Mongol yoke—who wasn’t known as Ivan the Nice Guy. Like their forebears they are calculating Russia’s stature in terms of the limits—primarily in Europe—set by their own present power as well as by that of their immediate neighbors.

Russian writing on international affairs focuses exclusively on the country’s role as a member of the European system. By the 2030s, if not sooner, the Russian government will have filled such territory, and established such influence, as befit its own people’s and its neighbors’ realities, and will be occupied with keeping it. More than most, Putin is painfully aware of Russia’s limits. Its declining population is less than half of America’s and a tenth of China’s. Despite efforts to boost natality, its demography is likely to recover only slowly. Nor is its culture friendly to the sort of entrepreneurship, trust, and cooperation that produces widespread wealth. What, then, are Putin’s—or any Russian leader’s—national and international objectives?

As always, Ukraine is of prime interest to Russia because it is the crux of internal and external affairs. With Ukraine, Russia is potentially a world power. Without it, it is less, at best. But Putin’s pressures, disruptions, and meddlings have shown him how limited Russia’s reach into Ukraine is, and is sure to remain. Hence, Russia’s conquest of Ukraine east of the Don River signifies much less the acquisition of a base for further conquest than the achievement of modern Russia’s natural territorial limit in Europe. The 20th century’s events forever severed Ukraine and the Baltic states from Russia; even Belarus has become less compatible with it. Modern Russia is recognizing its independence, even as the Soviet Union at the height of its power effectively recognized Finland’s. As the Russian Federation’s demographic weight shifts southeastward—and Islamism continues to gain favor there—the Russian government will have to consider whether to shift its efforts from keeping the Muslim regions within the federation to expelling and building fences against them.

As the decades pass, post-Soviet Russia will have to work harder and harder to cut the sort of figure in Europe that it did under the tsars. That figure’s size is the issue. The Russian empire’s size has varied over the centuries according to the ratios between its and its neighbors’ national vigor and power. In the past, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the Hanseatic powers, Germany, all have shrunken or swollen Russia. Borders and spheres of influence have varied. There is no reason why this should not be so in the future. Russia will neither invade Europe nor dominate it politically because its people lack the political will, and its state the capacity, to do either. During Soviet times, this will and this capacity were the product of the national and international Communist Party apparatus, now gone forever.

A glance back at this gargantuan human structure reminds us of how grateful we should be that it now belongs to history. The Communist faction that resulted from the 1918 split in the international socialist movement—like the rump socialist faction that ended up governing Europe after 1945, but unlike the fascist one—already intended to conquer the world. (Fascism, Mussolini’s invention, recalled some of ancient Rome’s peculiar institutions and symbols—the fasces was the bundle of punishing rods carried by the consuls’ lictors—and added governing Italy through business-labor-government councils. It was not for export.) Communists worldwide came under the firm control of the Soviet Party’s international division run by formidable persons like Andrei Zhdanov and Boris Ponomarev, disposing of virtually unlimited budgets and, after 1929, of the services of countless “front organizations.” These, the party’s hands and feet and its pride and joy, reached out to every imaginable category of persons: union members, lawyers, teachers, journalists, housewives, professional women, students, non-students. Each front organization had an ostensible purpose: peace, through opposition or support of any number of causes. But supporting the “Soviet line” was the proximate purpose of all. Through tens of thousands of “witting” Communists, these fronts marshaled millions of unwitting supporters, helping to reshape Western societies. Soviet political control of Europe was eminently possible, with or without an invasion, because the Soviet domestic apparatus had marshaled Soviet society, and because its international department and front organizations had convinced sectors of European societies to welcome the prospect.

The tools that today’s Russia wields vis-à-vis Europe are limited to commerce in natural gas, and to the opportunities for bribery that this creates—witness Russian Gazprom’s employment of former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Not only do European governments not fear being invaded by Russia, they refuse to diversify their sources of natural gas, and generally oppose American sanctions imposed on Russia because of its actions in Ukraine. The notion among European ruling parties that the voters who are in the process of rejecting them for various “populist” and nationalist options, are pining for Russian-style governance or tricked by Russian wiles is a baseless attempt to sidestep the ruling parties’ own failures.

The Lefty globalists think that? There’s a surprise! Whatever makes them think so? We see the populist movements as being unequivocally towards conservative nationalism, self-determination, personal liberty, not … neo-tsarism.

Europe’s rulers know that Russian military forces are not built to conquer the continent, because these forces lack the wherewithal for large-scale projection of power. Instead, they possess formidable capacity for what soldiers call “area denial”. This fits Russian leaders’ strategic goals, the people’s sentiments, and material constraints. The wars that today’s Russian military are built to fight are in areas that today’s Russian military sees most threatened by the U.S. and NATO, on its borders with Poland and Lithuania (where Russia crushed the Wehrmacht in 1944-45), and in Ukraine, north of Crimea. Russia’s military posture has ever been, and gives every sign of remaining, strategically defensive but operationally offensive. Now as before, when war seems imminent Russia’s operational doctrine calls for taking the initiative in a preemptive manner.

Although Russian strategy would be to surround and seal off foreign troops by air and ground, for the first time in Russia’s history, military manpower is scarce and precious. Economizing manpower is one reason why the country has fully integrated nuclear weapons in ordinary military operations, recalling nothing so much as President Dwight Eisenhower’s doctrine in the 1950s of “more bang for the buck”. To seal off the airspace, and to provide an umbrella for their ground forces, the Russians would use the S-400 air-missile defense system—the world’s best, which is now deployed around some 300 high-value locations. Strikes (or the threat thereof) by the unique Iskander short-range missile would preclude the foreign forces’ escape, as Russian troops moved in with Armata tanks, which carry the world’s best reactive armor.

Possession of perhaps the world’s best offensive and defensive strategic forces—comparable to America’s and far superior to China’s—is why Russia is confident that it can contain within limited areas the wars that it needs to fight. Because Russia has nothing to gain by military action against America or China, this arsenal is militarily useful only as insurance against anyone’s escalation of border disputes, and as the basis for Russia’s claim to be a major world player.

Priorities and Collusion

Russia loomed small in U.S. foreign policy from the time of the founding until the 1917 Bolshevik coup, because the interactions between America’s and Russia’s geopolitical and economic interests were few and mostly compatible. Given that these fundamentals have not changed, it would be best for both countries if their policies gradually returned to that long normal.

But for both countries, transcending the past century’s habits is not easy. The essential problem is that neither side’s desires, nor its calculus of ends and means, is clear to the other, or perhaps to itself. It seems that the main thing Putin or any other Russian leader might want from America is no interference as Russia tries to recreate the tsars’ empire. Thus Russia’s continuing relations with anti-U.S. regimes in Latin America can only be understood as Cold War inertia—the almost instinctive sense that what is bad for America must somehow be good for Russia. The U.S. government, for its part, while largely neglecting Russia’s involvement in the Western hemisphere, tries to limit its influence in Europe while at the same time reaching agreements concerning strategic weapons—a largely Cold War agenda. The soundness of these priorities on both sides is doubtful.

Both Russia and the U.S. fear China, and with good reason. The crushing size of contemporary China’s population and economy frightens the Russians. The fact that some Russian women marry Chinese men (disdaining Russian ones) embarrasses them and has made them more racially prejudiced than ever against the Chinese. Yet Russia aligns with China internationally and sells it advanced weapons, paid for with American money—money that China earns by trading its people’s cheap labor for America’s expensive technology. With these weapons as well as its own, China has established de facto sovereignty over the South China Sea and is pushing America out of the western Pacific. Nonetheless, the U.S. treats Russia as a major threat, including “to our democracy”. For Russia and America to work against one another to their common principal adversary’s advantage makes no geopolitical sense. But internal dynamics drive countries more than geopolitics.

Nowhere is this clearer than with the notion that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election—a charge which has roiled American public life for the past two years and counting. Interference in American life? That is what the Soviet Union was all about. By contrast, current concerns about Russia are a tempest, albeit a violent one, in a domestic American teapot.

In America, the Soviets worked less through the Communist Party than they did in Europe. Here [in America], they simply seduced and influenced people at the top of our society. Even in America prominent persons in the Democratic Party, academia, media, and intelligence services (or who would become prominent, e.g., future Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and CIA Director John Brennan), were Communists more or less openly. Far more important to the Soviets were persons convinced that Soviet and American interests were identical. Harry Hopkins, for example, who ran the U.S. government on President Franklin Roosevelt’s behalf, considered Stalin’s objectives to be so indistinguishable from America’s that the KGB considered him to be effectively Stalin’s agent. By contrast, Alger Hiss, an important State Department official, was one of many controlled Soviet agents within the U.S. government. But the compatibility between Hiss’s views and those of many in the U.S. ruling class was striking. For example, even after Soviet archives confirmed Hiss’s status as a Soviet agent, Robert McNamara, secretary of defense under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, like many of his class, angrily insisted on Hiss’s innocence.

The comradeship of American liberals and Soviet Communists lasted to the Soviet Union’s end. In May 1983, for example, in an incident widely reported at the time and confirmed by Soviet archives, former U.S. senator John Tunney visited Moscow and, on behalf of his friend and classmate—and prospective Democratic presidential candidate—Senator Edward Kennedy, proposed to KGB director Viktor Chebrikov that Kennedy work with Soviet dictator Yuri Andropov to “arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA” because “the only real potential threats to Reagan [in the 1984 election] are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations”. Kennedy promised “to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews”. Collusion, anyone? Today, with the Soviet Union gone, its moral-intellectual imprint on our ruling class remains.

The contemporary notion of Russian interference, however, owes nothing to Russia. It began when, in June 2016, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) tried to explain how a trove of e-mails showing its partiality for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders got into the public domain, alleging that they had been hacked from its server by Russian agents. To this day, there is zero evidence for this, the DNC not having allowed access to that server by any law enforcement agency or independent party.

Throughout the rest of the 2016 campaign, this narrative merged with one from CIA Director John Brennan and other leaders of U.S. intelligence, who were circulating a scurrilous dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign, that alleged Trump’s connections with Russia. The Obama Administration used the dossier as the basis for electronic and human surveillance of the Trump campaign. Together, these narratives prompted a two-year investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which found no basis for the dossier, or for a relationship between Russia and the Trump campaign. Nevertheless, the assertion of Trump’s indebtedness to Russia became the pretext for #TheResistance to the 2016 election’s result, led by the Democratic Party, most of the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and the media.

In Europe as well as in America, the establishment’s protagonists have pointed to Russia to allege that their rejection by the voters is somehow “undemocratic”. Larry Diamond in the Wall Street Journal, following Robert Kagan in the Washington Post, wrote that “in one country after another, elected leaders have gradually attacked the deep tissues of democracy—the independence [from sovereign voters] of the courts, the business community, the media, civil society, universities and sensitive state institutions like the civil service, the intelligence agencies and the police.” Voting against the establishnment, you see, is undemocratic!

What Are Our Interests?

Making impossible a rational public discussion of U.S. policy toward Russia is the very least of the damage this partisan war has wrought. American liberals believed the Soviet Union’s dissolution was impossible; conservatives flattered themselves that they caused it. Few paid attention to what happened and how. Once the Soviet Union was gone, the West in general and Americans in particular presumed to teach Russians how to live, while helping their oligarchs loot the country. Russians soon got the impression that they were being disrespected. At least as Soviets, they had been feared. The Clinton Administration was confident that Russia would become a liberal partner in the rules-based international order. At the same time Clinton tried to load onto Russia the hopes that the U.S. establishment had long entertained about global co-dominion with the Soviets. In the same moment they pushed NATO to Russia’s borders—a mess of appeasement, provocation, and insult. Long-suffering Russians, who had idolized the West during the Soviet era, came to dislike us.

As the George W. Bush Administration fumbled at the new reality, it tried to appease Russia by continuing to limit U.S. missile defenses in fact, while publicly disavowing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; it formally objected to Russia’s dismemberment of Georgia, while effectively condoning it. The incoming Barack Obama Administration tried to go further along the same self-contradictory line by withdrawing anti-missile support from eastern Europe, and quietly promising even more restraint. But when, in 2014, Putin seized Crimea, Obama imposed serious economic sanctions and agreed to place NATO and American troops in Poland and the Baltic States. Then, for the most tactical of domestic political considerations, the Obama Administration, and hence the U.S. establishment, decided to try explaining the course and results of the 2016 U.S. election campaign as “Russia’s attack on our democracy”.

What are the American people’s interests in Eurasia, and how big are these interests? Although today’s Russia poses none of the ideological threats that the Soviet Union did—and despite the absence of geopolitical or any other clashing interests—Russia is clearly a major adversary in Europe and the Middle East. Its technical contributions to China’s military, and its general geopolitical alignment with China, are most worrisome. What, other than Soviet inertia and wounded pride, motivates the Russians? The U.S. maintains economic sanctions on Russia. To achieve precisely what? From both sides’ perspective, it is difficult to see what good can come from this continued enmity.

Today’s triangular U.S.-Russia-China calculus is not comparable to the Soviet-Chinese military confrontation of the 1970s and ’80s, when both the U.S. and China feared Soviet missiles, and the U.S. best served its own interests by implicitly extending its nuclear umbrella over China. Today, the problems between Russia and China stem from basic disparities that U.S. policy obscures by treating Russia as, if anything, more of a threat than China. The best that the U.S. can do for itself is to say nothing, and do nothing, that obscures these disparities. Without backhanded U.S. support for close Russo-Chinese relations, the two countries would quickly become each other’s principal enemies.

Ongoing U.S. anxiety about negotiations with Russia over weaponry is nothing but a legacy of the Cold War and a refusal to pay attention to a century of experience, teaching that arms control agreements limit only those who wish to limit themselves. Russia violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing the Iskander missile; the U.S. was right to withdraw from the agreement, but mistaken in ever expecting another country not to arm itself as it thinks best. In that regard, Americans should not listen to, never mind accommodate in any way, Russia’s (or any other country’s) objections to U.S. missile defenses. These are in our clear and overriding interest. Defending America as best we can—against missiles that might come to us from anywhere, for any reason—is supremely our business.

What then are America’s legitimate, realizable demands on Russia?

Putin’s Russia, by its 2015-18 intervention in Syria and its management of Turkey, achieved the tsars’ historic desire for a warm water port. Although the former conquest is firm, keeping Turkey friendly to Russia must ever be troublesome. Absent a friendly Turkey, Russia’s renewed control of Crimea and even the Syrian bases will be of very limited worth for any but defensive purposes. Whatever else might be said of its role in the Middle East, Russia has brought more stable balance to local forces than ever in this young century. Only with difficulty will American statesmen regret that our old adversary now deals with some of the problems that bedeviled us for a half-century.

The U.S. would be more secure geopolitically were Russia merely one of several European powers. But it has always been an empire, whose size has varied with time. An independent Ukraine has always been the greatest practical limitation on Russia’s imperial ambitions. That is very much a U.S. interest, but is beyond our capacity to secure.

U.S. relations with Russia regarding Ukraine are analogous to U.S. relations with Europe 200 years ago. Our overriding interest then was to prevent the Europeans from holding any major part of the Western hemisphere. By stating America’s intention to guard its hemispheric interests while forswearing meddling in European affairs, the U.S. encouraged them to face that reality. Today’s Russia realizes it cannot control Ukraine except for its Russian part, nor the Baltics, never mind the Visegrád states. The U.S. could lead Russia to be comfortable with that reality by reassuring it that we will not use our normal relations with Ukraine or with any of Russia’s neighbors to try to define Russia’s limits in Europe. We should realize that our setting such limits is beyond America’s capacity, and that it undercuts the basis for fruitful relations.

The U.S. prefers the Baltic States, and especially Ukraine, to be independent. But we know, and should sincerely convey to Russia, that their independence depends on themselves, and that we regard it as counterproductive to make them into American pawns or even to give the impression that they could be. Ukraine’s independence—and hence Russia’s acceptance of it as inevitable—depends on Ukraine retrenching into its Western identity, rejecting the borders that Stalin and Khrushchev had fixed for it, and standing firmly on its own feet—as, for example, by asserting its Orthodox church’s independence from Russia’s.

Wise U.S. policy would remove sanctions that previous administrations placed on Russia on behalf of Ukraine. Fruitless strife has been these sanctions’ only result. For example, they emboldened Ukraine to suppose it had U.S. support for presuming it had the same right to navigation in the Sea of Azov, passing under a Russian bridge, as it does in the Atlantic Ocean.

But in accord with the Monroe Doctrine, we should be willing to wage economic war on Russia—outright and destructive—on America’s own behalf, were the Russians to continue supporting anti-U.S. regimes in the Western hemisphere. If you want economic peace with America, we would say, stop interfering in our backyard. We Americans, for our part, are perfectly willing to stop interfering in your backyard.

In sum, nothing should be geopolitically clearer than that the natural policy for both America and Russia is not to go looking for opportunities to get in each other’s way.

Pediarchy 7

Pediarchy – a society or culture dominated or ruled by children.

Nancy Pelosi, the figurehead of the Democratic Socialist Party, wants the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Of course she does. The likelihood that a 16-year-old will vote for free education, free housing, free health care, free contraception, free cell phones, free marijuana, is very high.

Also open borders, solar panels, and windmills.

The kids will be keen to strip the wealthy of their money and redistribute it among environmentalists. Why would they not? Its easy to be against private property when you don’t own anything. (Nancy owns a lot, but she will have immunity from expropriation because she is, for a little while longer at least, allowed to be the figurehead of her Party.)

These days, Americans by the age of 16 are thoroughly anti-American. They have been fully indoctrinated by their schools, since kindergarten, to despise America and capitalism and to love “diversity and inclusion” (aka racism).

The child vote will not be a novelty for the Democrats. They have long known that they can rely on the votes of the immature – as confidently as on the criminal, the insane, and the alien. The way they see it, the younger a voter is, the better. Okay, not toddlers. But fifth-graders even maybe. Because the very young, generally speaking, love extremes. They are natural iconoclasts. To them, destroying is fun, and there’s an awful lot needing to be destroyed – airplanes, cars, cattle, buildings, mines, factories, banks, the Constitution, white men – if the world itself is to be saved from destruction, which will otherwise happen for sure just 12 years from now, the young Democratic Socialists say.

Once sweet sixteens can vote, they can also be eligible to run for office. And why should any office, however high, be barred to them? Only an old white man addicted to his privilege would insist on an Attorney General having a qualification in Law. And nobody needs a qualification to legislate. Or to be governor. Or even president.

In fact, the Democratic Socialist Party already has a line-up of boys and girls eyeing the presidency.

One candidate for the highest office is a boy of 48, who likes to skateboard across the stage at Party rallies waving to his fans. He has videos made of his teeth being professionally cleaned, boasts of having a police record, and apologizes for being white. Then there are two old boys (both white), 76 and 77 respectively. And half a dozen girls …

Posted under education, Environmentalism, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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Parody 15

Have you yet picked a victim group with which you “identify”?

If you haven’t picked one at least, you’re doomed, comrade!

You’ve gotta be one of the oppressed in America now, or you’re nothing. No, of course you don’t have to actually be oppressed, you’ve just got to belong to a group that can say it’s oppressed because it’s not white and male.

Why should only those who have actually been oppressed have all the kudos? It’s enough that some women – or all women some time ago – were kept down. If you are a woman, that’s all you need to stake your claim. Same goes of course if you’re black, brown, homosexual, lunatic, or criminal. Others like you had it rough, so you are owed.

If you’re currently homeless, an illegal resident, an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a member of M-13 or al-Qaeda, you can pass jail and go straight to the community chest for your hand-out.

But our advice to you is choose a race complaint. The most solid claim, the claim recognized as being top priority right now, is a race claim. Then you have only to put a finger in the political breeze – the one blowing from the left – to learn which race is commonly agreed to be most “unsafe” while whites occupy the seats of power.

It will be better still if you also “belong” to a radical ideology. It’s an add-on, but could make all the difference to how much respect and promotion you have a right to demand. You could probably hit the jackpot this season if your chosen ideology is Islam or Communism. Being Muslim or Communist might even get you a pass for a while if you are still white and/or male.

But hurry. The wind changes often. More often than the weather changes (though it all tends, they say, towards heating the earth to destruction within 12 years). It could, for all you know, change before you can say “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness:

For progressives that revolutionary purity now is defined by race is an ironic return to the values of the Old South, which sought to calibrate privilege by skin color. The reprehensible Confederate idea of the whitest has now morphed into the least white being the most authentically grieved and thus deserving of the greatest reparatory privileges — the constant, of course, remains that superficial appearance based on race trumps all individual characteristics.

What started with affirmative action became “diversity’, which in turn during the Obama Administration was redefined not as minority groups with either historical grievances against the majority or accepted claims of ongoing racial victimization. Instead authentically diverse were all who claimed to be racially or linguistically distinguishable from the white majority.

Then diversity as a revolutionary moment was further expanded by including gays and woke women, which essentially took the initial African-American population whose plight was the aim of affirmative action and expanded it to in theory a majority of about 200 million Americans who were either non-white or women or both.

Now the revolution cannot figure out its own hierarchy of authentic grievance groups. So it has agreed on a loose “intersectionality”, in which over a dozen and often overlapping victim cadres agree that each degree of non-white-maleness adds authenticity and become a force multiplier of left-wing radicalism.

Among leftists, Kamala Harris, as black and female, trumps Cory Booker who is just black, who trumps Elizabeth Warren who is exposed as just female, who trumps Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders who are reverse threefers as white, male, and heterosexual. …

In such a revolutionary scramble to be the most diverse and hard left, the logical trajectory ends up with a race to transcend the physical limits of victimhood.

So now appears Jussie Smollett.

He is not just left-wing, but a rabid hater of Donald Trump. And he is not just black, but gay as well. And he is not just a victim, but a hyper-victim of white bullies. And not just bullies, but bullies with MAGA hats. And he is not just a victim of white red-hats, but a victim of ski-masked racists. And not just of their blows, but of (frozen?) bleach. And not just of bleach and blows, but of lynch rope as well. And they did not just hit, but smeared and slurred. And not just MAGA sloganeering, but anti-gay, anti-black—and perhaps, worst of all, in our performance society, they slandered his “Empire” TV show!

Progressives are like a worn rope being pulling apart at both ends. At one end, there is an effort to radicalize prior radicalization, and on the other end victimhood is heading toward parody.

And what is left is the emblematic Jussie Smollett—the logical result of the revolution, who alone has staked out the only authentic and ultimate revolutionary stance: nihilism—a state where no one can possibly rival Jussie’s revolutionary grievance credentials because they cannot exist in a reality based world.

Or put another way, when no one is revolutionary enough, the revolutionary auditors end up ridiculous in their zeal for power and celebrity — sort of like Orwell’s radical pigs finally prancing about on two legs and feasting on silver, sort of like Jussie Smollett leveraging the ultimate state of victimhood for a better deal on “Empire”.

Parody, yes.

Come to think of it, parody is the non-stop Performance Art of the American Left.

Parody of oppression. Parody of victimhood.

Of leadership. Of scholarship. Of justice. Of femininity and masculinity. Of diversity. Of inclusion. Of tolerance. Of equality. Of anti-racism. Of anti-fascism.

Of being revolutionaries. Of being liberal. Of being democrats.

Of being Americans.

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(Hat-tip to Cogito for the VDH article)

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