Progress to extinction 104

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.   

Insurrection and the decline of the American press 117

In Washington DC yesterday (Sunday, August 12, 2018) the masked fascists that call themselves “Antifa” marched through the streets shouting:

No border! No wall! No USA at all!

They are encouraged to violent insurgency by the media, and the media are stepping up their campaign.

A conservative opinion on these dire developments comes from Blabber Buzz:

At what point do outlets like The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN cross the line from being far-left sites who irrationally despise President Donald Trump to potentially inciting indiscriminate violence with truly despicable and dangerous words?

With one of its latest attacks on the President, The Washington Post shamefully reinforced that the point has long since been reached.

In an outrageous screed going after Trump titled The Path to Autocracy is all too familiar, the liberal propaganda sheet for the “Resistance” attached a photo of Hitler Youth gleefully burning books.

Hitler Youth burning books.

As irresponsible and disgraceful as that photo was, it paled in comparison to the words in the piece.

Fully understanding that multi-billionaire Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos may himself be biased against Trump and may not grasp – or choose to ignore — the escalating danger of such potentially violence-inciting pieces, there are still some well-respected “adults in the room” at the paper who most certainly do understand that threat.

Where are their voices? Why are they silent? Who has the courage and decency at that paper to say that these reprehensible connections of the President of the United States to Hitler, the Holocaust, and genocide must stop?

Not only are they obscenely insulting to the millions of Jews and others put to death by Hitler and his collection of Nazi psychopaths, but they are purposeful lies seeking to facilitate a desired political outcome for reasons of ideology. …

The Washington Post’s much-mocked tag-line – even by liberals – states: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

What could be “darker” than an American news organization working in concert with elements of the far-left to delegitimize, destabilize, and potentially bring down a constitutionally elected President of the United States?

Where are the voices of the leaders in the Democratic Party? Where are the voices of academics and historians?

Every single one of them knows this is falsely dangerous partisan trash masquerading as “news” or “opinion” and yet they all remain silent. …

Most do, but not every single one. Two academics, Alan Dershowitz (who says he “voted proudly for Hillary”!), and Jonathan Turley, are liberals who criticize the lengths the Democratic Party and its allies are going to, and even doing so on the Fox News shows of pro-Trump hosts.

Do they truly want to incite violence? Do they truly want people to take to the streets against Trump? Do they want a real revolution?

Are they prepared to accept responsibility for the injuries, deaths, and destruction of property that may come about because of their wretched insinuations and outright lies?

Yes, they do. Because they do not understand and cannot imagine what it means.

The Western Journal reports:

A Boston newspaper wants every newspaper in America to attack President Donald Trump in response to his criticism of the news media.

The Boston Globe on Friday began reaching out to newspapers across the country to publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what it called a “dirty war against the free press”, according to a report in The Boston Globe itself.

“We are not the enemy of the people,” said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe.

As of Saturday, “We have more than 100 publications signed up, and I expect that number to grow in the coming days,” she said …

What did President Trump say that occasioned all this fake outrage?

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE,” he tweeted recently. “I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!”

Last weekend, at an Ohio rally where the crowd chanted “CNN sucks,” Trump delivered his critique of the media.

“Oftentimes I’m getting ready to do the fake news with CNN or MSNBC — MSNBC is so corrupt it’s so disgusting,” Trump said … “I would say they’re almost – they’re worst,” he said. “They’re really a fake news group of people.”

Those comments followed similar ones at an Aug. 2 rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

“What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting? They don’t report it. They only make up stories,” Trump said then.

Good questions. Thoroughly deserved accusations.

… Pritchard said the newspapers want Americans to see Trump’s comments as an attack on basic American rights.

“I hope it would educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable,” she said. “We are a free and independent press, it is one of the most sacred principles enshrined in the Constitution.”

As if theLeft doesn’t want the Constitution changed or even abolished. As if it doesn’t particularly want the First Amendment changed or abolished. As if  it really was for free speech, rather than for the exclusive right to express its own opinion and the forcible silencing of all others’ as the Nazis were.  

And as if the Left’s toadying media weren’t actively encouraging the street marchers who shout for the total abolition of the United States.  

Needless to say, President Trump has not and would not attack the First Amendment. He accuses the Leftist press of  extreme partisanship, false reporting, and sustained hostility towards him personally. And of all that it is guilty.

He is right that most of the media lie. In order to harm him and if possible destroy his presidency, they spin scandals out of unimportant incidents, and bury important news that would throw a good light on him for his numerous achievements.

Since they are not reporting truthfully, they have made their work pointless,  and themselves redundant.

Nor piety nor wit 193

To be a political conservative and also an atheist in America may be uncommon but it isn’t difficult.

Our conservative principles are: individual freedom, small government, strong defense, free market economics, rule of law. Belief in them doesn’t need belief in God as well.

We find it perfectly easy to agree with the political opinions of religious conservatives. We just don’t share their faith in the existence of the supernatural.

We don’t take offense when one of our fellow conservatives talks about his or her religion, though we may be embarrassed for them if they become mawkish. We are thinking of courageous, principled, competent Sarah Palin, witty Ann Coulter, vigorous defender of freedom Glenn Beck, and above all Brit Hume, whom we have long listened to on Fox News with respect and gratitude for his political knowledge, insight, and judicious wisdom.

Actually, so unmawkish is Brit Hume, so seldom does he say anything about himself, that we didn’t even know he was a devout Christian. Then, on Fox News Sunday, speaking about the disgrace of poly-adulterous Tiger Woods with kindness and sympathy, and intending only to suggest a source of comfort for the great golfer, he said:

The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.

To this, we hear, the ‘secular left’ took exception. Some of them absurdly spoke of a Constitutional requirement that ‘church and state’ be kept separate as a reason why it was wrong for someone to recommend his religion when appearing on television.

Conservatives leapt to Hume’s defense, and the defense of Christianity. –

Here’s Cal Thomas:

That is a message shared for 2,000 years by those who follow Jesus of Nazareth. It apparently continues to escape the secular left that Christians feel compelled to share their faith out of gratitude for what Jesus has done for them (dying in their place on a cross and offering a new life to those who repent and receive Him as savior). In a day when some extremists employ violence to advance their religion, it is curious that many would save their criticism for a truly peace-bringing message such as the one broadcast by Brit Hume.

And here’s Ann Coulter:

Hume’s words, being 100 percent factually correct, sent liberals into a tizzy of sputtering rage, once again illustrating liberals’ copious ignorance of Christianity.

On MSNBC, David Shuster invoked the “separation of church and television” (a phrase that also doesn’t appear in the Constitution), bitterly complaining that Hume had brought up Christianity “out-of-the-blue” on “a political talk show.”

Why on earth would Hume mention religion while discussing a public figure who had fallen from grace and was in need of redemption and forgiveness? Boy, talk about coming out of left field!

What religion — what topic — induces this sort of babbling idiocy? (If liberals really want to keep people from hearing about God, they should give Him his own show on MSNBC.)

Most perplexing was columnist Dan Savage’s indignant accusation that Hume was claiming that Christianity “offers the best deal — it gives you the get-out-of-adultery-free card that other religions just can’t.”

In fact, that’s exactly what Christianity does. It’s the best deal in the universe. (I know it seems strange that a self-described atheist and “radical sex advice columnist f*****” like Savage would miss the central point of Christianity, but there it is.)

God sent his only son to get the crap beaten out of him, die for our sins and rise from the dead. If you believe that, you’re in. Your sins are washed away from you — sins even worse than adultery! — because of the cross. …

With Christianity, your sins are forgiven, the slate is wiped clean and your eternal life is guaranteed through nothing you did yourself, even though you don’t deserve it. It’s the best deal in the universe.

We cannot understand how any intelligent person can believe in God. We are baffled that even unintelligent people can believe in the immaculate birth of Jesus, or that he came alive again after dying (what does ‘death’ mean if not the end of life, what does ‘life’ mean if not that which can die?), or that a certain Jew born in the time of Augustus Caesar was divine. We wonder at (inter alia) the way Christians can overlook inconvenient passages in their scripture, such as (Matt 10.34) ‘I come not to bring peace but to bring a sword’; ignore the fact that Christianity invented Hell (for whose eternal torment if Christ is forgiving and if his crucifixion saved mankind?); bluff themselves that you have only to believe that Christ died for you and your sins are ‘washed away’.

Whatever wrong you’ve done you’ve done, people: live with it, try to learn from it and try not to do it again. It can never be ‘washed away’ from you. Tough for Tiger, tough for all of us. But when you die you won’t go to hell, you’ll be dead.

As Omar Khayyam, an atheist apostate from Islam (or his translator Edward Fitzgerald) wrote, being, to use Ann Coulter’s words, 100 per cent correct:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

For once we dislike something Brit Hume has said, but we defend – if not quite to the death – his right to say it.

Obama’s grandiose equivocation 8

President Obama’s speech on what he is planning to do about the war in Afghanistan was the speech of a deeply committed radical with a mind soaked in the toxic ideology of the Left, challenged to explain to himself and his ideological comrades just why he was continuing to wage war in a Third World country in defiance of all their passionately held ideals.

Pity the man! What a task he was forced to set himself!

As president of the United States, addressing men serving in his country’s military, he had to present his decision to commit 30,000 more troops to the war as a move reflecting an unswerving appreciation of their willing sacrifice, a determination to win, and a passion for upholding the honor of the country he leads. In  none of this he believes, but he had to say he did. He had to come across as encouraging, dedicated to the cause, intent on achieving goals for which his audience were willing to give their lives. He had to sound sincere when he was not. As part of the act, but making his task even harder for himself, he chose to announce his new strategy for the war at the Military Academy at West Point, which Chris Matthews of MSNBC called, speaking for peaceniks of the left everywhere, the ‘enemy’s camp’.

At the same time he had to be true to his political faith, which is in absolute opposition to any war waged by the United States on or in a Third World country, especially against an Islamic movement. His speech had to signal to the pacifist faction of the American left, the whole of the international left, and to Muslims world-wide that he was in principle against the war, against all war, against America being militarily strong, against America being the mightiest power and the most successful capitalist country in the world.

No wonder it took him months to work out what to do and how to spin it. Did he succeed? Superficially, yes. The speech, amazingly, so well fulfills his contradictory needs that it could almost be called a masterpiece of equivocation. At least until it is scrutinized in detail. Then the irreconcilable bits show up all too plainly.

How did he do it?

Pick the speech apart and you can see how it was done. For instance, for the voters and the patriots, for the generals and the soldiers, for the fulfillment of the duties of his office – let’s put all of these into a category headed Patriots –  he says:

On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women and children …’

Then for the left revolutionaries, for the pacifists, for Islam, for America-haters, for the panel of Marxist advisers in his White House, for his dead communist father, his  hippy mother, his wife, his best friends, for his Marxist professors and mentors and benefactors, his pastors, his erstwhile Alinsky-team employers,  for his  terrorist associates, for ACORN and the SEIU, for his whole revolutionary base, and for Islam their ally – let’s put all these into a category headed the Left – he says:

‘… without regard to their faith or race or station.’

What could this mean?  What faiths or races or stations in life could have been regarded, taken into consideration, which would have qualified the evil of the act? We know the answers. If the only people to be hit had for certain been white, been captains of the ‘military-industrial complex’, been Christians and Jews, then the attack would have been more understandable, perhaps excusable, perhaps even justified. No, it isn’t said. But it is implied. What other meaning can be found in the words?

In paragraph after paragraph the pieces stand out as these for the Patriots, these  for the Left. (And there are a few that do for both, such as those strongly condemning al-Qaeda – safely enough since many Islamic states are fervently against it.)

First for the Patriots: He tells the soldiers that he has been very good to them; they really have nothing to complain about. He has ’signed a letter of condolence to the family of each American who gives their life in these wars’; he has read the letters sent to him by ‘the parents and spouses of those who deployed’; he visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed; and he ‘traveled to Dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans returning home to their final resting place’. And here are more sops to Patriots: ‘A testament to the character of our men and women in uniform’; ‘thanks to their courage, grit and perseverance’; ‘as cadets you volunteered for service during the time of danger’; ‘as your commander in chief I owe you a mission that is clearly defined and worthy of your service’; ‘I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan’; ‘we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban’s momentum’; ‘to abandon this area now would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al-Qaeda, and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies’; ‘the struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly’; ‘it will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world’; ‘where al-Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold – whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere – they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships’; ‘we have to improve our intelligence so that we stay one step ahead of shadowy networks’; ‘our country has borne a special burden in global affairs’; we have spilled American blood in many countries’; ’we have not always been thanked for these efforts’; ‘more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades’; ’unlike the great powers of old,  we have not sought world domination’; ‘we do not seek to occupy other nations’; ‘we are still heirs to a noble struggle for freedom’; ‘men and women in uniform are part of an unbroken line of sacrifice that has made government of the people, by the people and for the people a reality on this Earth’.

Most of the rest of the speech is primarily to placate the Left and Islam. It would be tediously long to quote, so here’s a summary and interpretaion:  Al Qaeda  has ‘distorted and defiled Islam’; it has even attacked Muslims, for instance in Amman and Bali; our use of force in Afghanistan was fully sanctioned by both Congress and the UN’s international approval;  then we were distracted from pursuing it properly by  the unjustifiable, illegal war that Bush (not named but fully blamed) waged on Iraq;  although I am going to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, after 18 months all our troops will begin to come home; after that we’ll keep a kindly eye on the progress the Afghans make in becoming a country that is not corrupt, holds elections without fraud, and grows something more desirable than opium;  we must exercise restraint in the use of military force; in any case we cannot afford to wage war because we have an economic crisis and what resources we have must be used to change America to you-know-what; I don’t really like bothering with foreign affairs at all very much, but since I  have to let me remind you that we’ve got other tasks to do in the world, for instance in ‘disorderly regions’ (such as, not needing to be named to those who know, the Middle East); we’d rather negotiate peace than fight for it, even with the Taliban; but if the Taliban has to be fought let Pakistan do the fighting, we’ll pay them to do it; I am pursuing the goal of a world without nuclear weapons; I’ve prohibited torture; I’ll close the prison at Guantanamo Bay; I’ll speak out for human rights everywhere in the world (okay, not in China, or Cuba, or Venezuela, or Saudi Arabia, or … No, he doesn’t imply this, it just happens to be the case.)

But he fears he might not have pleased both sides after all. He anticipates disagreement and rebukes it:

‘This vast and diverse citizenry will not always agree on every issue — nor should we. But I also know that we, as a country, cannot sustain our leadership nor navigate the momentous challenges of our time if we allow ourselves to be split asunder by the same rancor and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our national discourse.’

He ends with a series of grandiose but entirely empty rhetorical flourishes designed to elicit applause, which they did as a mater of courtesy and custom, though most of the speech was listened to without it. No wonder. It was a self-serving exercise, not improved by the flattery bestowed on the audience.

‘America, we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes. …’

Are the Patriots deceived? Is the Left placated and are Muslims appeased?  It remains  to be seen.

Jillian Becker  December 2, 2009

Obama derangement syndrome 83

‘Bush derangement syndrome’ was irrational, demonstrating  how the political left is the side of the emotions. Such ‘reasons’ as were given for it – and still are – do not stand up to scrutiny.

Now there are those who accuse rational critics of Obama as manifesting a similar sickness, calling it ‘Obama derangement syndrome’. Some of these are conservatives and Republicans! Even that doughty warrior for freedom, David Horowitz, has made this accusation in Front Page Magazine.   

Well, there is an ‘Obama derangement syndrome’, but it is not in the heads of those who oppose him. We are sure of this because we are among them. True, the degree to which we are outraged and appalled by Obama’s mind-set and policies and the threat he constitutes to America and the world cannot be exaggerated. But we continually explain the very sound reasons why we think of him as we do.

So what is ‘Obama derangement syndrome’? It is the irrational adoration of him.

The mainstream media display it constantly. The editor of Newsweek, Evan Thomas, went so far as to declare recently on MSNBC: ‘Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.’

 And Chris Matthews’s comment on MSNBC on February 13, 2008, will long be remembered: ‘I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people [!] get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.’

Okay then. If Obama is the Second Coming, prepare yourselves, ye worshipers, for the  Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.