Category Archives: racism

Guns and police, and still more guns

I spent a large part of the day talking about guns, thinking about police and guns, and handling guns. That’s what this post is about.

Today was a gun day. It began when a friend who strongly supports the Second Amendment nevertheless wondered why police shoot people who end up proving to be unarmed. Why can’t they stop doing that, she asked.

I explained to my friend that police have milliseconds in which to determine whether a person is a threat to them. The fact that the person who was aiming something at them is later shown to have been pointing a pen or cell phone gets discussed a lot in Monday morning quarterbacking. In the real world, though, police can’t stand there debating what the guy (it’s usually a guy) is holding in his hands. All they can do is to act, and act fast. Sometimes they act wrong. Here are a few shoot/don’t shoot videos in practice settings:

When people who wish blacks well tell them to be compliant in the face of police actions, that’s not because they are telling blacks to demean themselves or be slaves to white people’s orders. It’s because the human brain cannot determine in two seconds whether someone is a predator coming at them or just a fool moving around. Lacking that analytical ability, unless a cop is suicidal, his brain is going to say “predator” and he will shoot.

What happened in Atlanta the other day is classic. If you watch the Rayshard Brooks videos, you see that he got into a violent altercation with the police and grabbed for their weapons. He succeeded in grabbing something that later proved to be a taser, then ran away, only to stop and aim the taser at them:

All that the police lizard brains knew, though, was that Brooks was violent, that he had something in his hand (a weapon), and that he was planning on discharging it at them. At that moment, Officer Garrett Rolf’s survival instincts kicked — for him, it was kill or be killed, not black or white. Now, he’s probably going to be charged with murder.

Police all around America are watching this. Each officer knows that s/he may end up in situations with people who are non-compliant or stupid. The officer will then have to make a millisecond judgment call that could save him or her from a killer or see his or her life destroyed in a hostile legal system. If the presumption is always going to be that a black man, if shot, was innocent and the police officer was guilty, police will make two sensible choices: They will quit the department immediately or continue to collect the paycheck while failing to do any meaningful policing. That does not bode well for America. Vigilante justice will step in and vigilantes don’t have police training. They’ll always shoot first.

This does not mean that I am hostile to better police training. First, there’s always room for improvement. Second, training, coupled with making it easier to fire bad policemen, should help weed out people who shouldn’t be on the force. Third, the one thing that the protesters have right is that we need better systems for handling the mentally ill. Police are not, and should not be, mental health therapists.

My friend also asked me why police don’t do what Biden suggested and aim for the legs. That was an easy one. I had a friend in law school who was a former police officer. I asked him the same question (not challenging him but genuinely curious) and he gave me a very simple answer: Police are not sharpshooters and, in moments of stress, it’s almost impossible to aim. For that reason, once you’ve determined that there’s a threat, you must aim for body mass because it’s the only certain way to end the threat.

Moreover, when the threatening people are large, crazy, or hopped up on adrenalin or drugs, there’s a substantial likelihood that they will continue to be a threat even after several shots. Having crossed the Rubicon and fired the first shot, anyone who is facing a threat must keep firing until there’s no doubt that the threat is neutralized.

So, whether you’re black or white, young or old, if police are talking to you, immediately comply with their requests. Keep them informed about what you’re doing. Let them see your hands at all times. And try to be nice. If you do those things, unless it’s a rogue cop in a corrupt police force, there’s a good likelihood you’ll walk away alive no matter what color you are.

The above is the “police and guns” part of this post.

Now for the “more guns” part of this post: I went to a gun store today to look into buying a pistol both for recreational shooting and home security. Once there, I was reminded, as I always home, that gun stores are really nice places. People who work at the stores are happy to help, especially if you’re honest about your ignorance, and the other customers are usually happy people. These stores are the living embodiment of an armed society being a polite society.

The one thing that made me sad was that I may inadvertently have left a black family thinking I’m racist, though, even though what I really am is kind of Aspergery. I was talking with the salesman about the fact that I needed a gun that works for my small hands. With many guns, I find the distance from the grip to the trigger too long for my fingers. That throws off my aim.

One of the men was buying for his wife (who was not with him) and asked if I could handle a gun he was thinking about to see if it would fit my hand. I was happy to help. However, when I turned my back to tell my salesman that I’d be back in a minute, the group shifted and I ended up talking to an entirely different man.

Because the whole group was black, I think that they may have thought to themselves, “Typical white woman. All blacks look the same to her.”

That’s not true.

What’s true is that, until I get to know people, all faces look the same to me. I have a very hard time distinguishing new faces, so I look at externals: Skin color, height, body habitus (skinny, fat, etc.), and hair. All of these guys were black, yes, but what made them indistinguishable to me was that they all had long dreads, they all had burly body types, and they were all tall. The masks didn’t help. I would have done exactly the same thing with a trio of white guys, Hispanic guys, or Asian guys who had similar externalities.

Still, the guys were sweet, so from my point of view it was a no harm, no foul, and I hope it was from theirs too. By the way, this is not white guilt speaking. This is Bookworm guilt. I hate hurting people’s feelings or making them feel uncomfortable.

And what did I buy? Nothing, yet. The range was too crowded for me to test anything, so I’ll go back in a day or two to try again.

Here’s something that did please me, though: It’s been at least three years since I handled a pistol and, before then, I’d done it infrequently, at best. However, once I picked up the guns the salesman was showing me, my muscle memory kicked in. Not only did I know what to do, I remembered to keep my finger away from the trigger. That last made me incredibly happy.

So, police, guns, and more guns. I wrote what I promised.

The Fawlty Towers kerfuffle should be a Biden disaster

BBC’s attempt to cancel Fawlty Towers’ funniest episode may have been the worst “cancel culture” decision ever because it could (and should) hurt Joe Biden.

The big non-Wuhan Virus, non-protest kerfuffle over the past few days was the decision that UKTV, a BBC-owned television network, make to delete the funniest Fawlty  Towers episode ever, the one called “The Germans.” For those unfamiliar with either the show or the episode, here’s the briefest rundown possible.

Fawlty Towers ran on the BBC in 1975 and 1979. John Cleese played Basil Fawlty who, with his wife Prunella, ran a hotel on Britain’s southwest coast. Basil is a combination of incompetence, pomposity, ignorance, condescension, and inferiority, all of which are powered by his endless rage.

The hotel also employed Polly, a sensible housekeeper, and Manuel, a sweet, hapless dogsbody from Spain who never mastered English. There were a few permanent guests, one of whom was Major Gowen, a doddering, senile, racist remnant of Britain’s lost empire.

In the episode “The Germans,” filmed in 1975, thirty years after WWII ended, Basil is overwhelmed by the fact that German guests will be coming to his hotel. He’s desperate to ensure that no one makes them feel uncomfortable, so his oft-repeated warning is “Don’t mention the war.” That all changes when a moose head falls on Basil. Rather than staying in the hospital, Basil staggers back to the hotel’s restaurant, where he relentlessly and hysterically keeps mentioning the war to the Germans. It is one of the funniest moments ever put on television:

The above scene, though, was not what triggered the censors at the BBC. Instead, what got the censors going was when Major Gowen, a dotty old relic, made racist comments:

When John Cleese heard about UKTV’s move, he immediately pointed out the central problem with the BBC’s censorship (emphasis mine):

“The Major was an old fossil left over from decades before. We were not supporting his views, we were making fun of them,” said Cleese, who knew nothing of UKTV’s move until this masthead contacted him. “If they can’t see that, if people are too stupid to see that, what can one say?

The BBC/UKTV responded to public outrage by reinstating the censored episode. The important lesson here is that the normals can push back against cancel culture.

Still, while the kerfuffle was hanging out there, it occurred to me that the BBC and UKTV did a terrible thing to Joe Biden when they pushed Major Gowen to the forefront of everyone’s mind just months before the November election. Think about Major Gowen. Look at his racist comments in the above clip. Then compare them to America’s real-life Major Gowen (and the Democrat party candidate):

It’s not just the racism, though. It’s also the . . . is dodderingness a world? If not, it should be. Here you can see Major Gowen stutter and dodder his way through the show:

Those moments too should remind you of someone:

The reality is that Biden and the Major are one and the same. If you’re a fan of really bad puns, you could say that, while Biden has always been a dimwit, in old age he has morphed into a Major dimwit. The BBC and UKTV were doing racial virtue signaling when they pulled the best Fawlty Towers episode ever, but what they really did was remind me (and, I hope, others) that Joe Biden is the living incarnation of one of the most stupid, senile, racist characters ever immortalized on film. And while he’s funny in an old TV show, the thought of Major Gowen as President of the United States should put the fear of God in everyone.

Enough with the corporate virtue signaling filling my inbox!

I’m fighting back against corporate emails expressing solidarity with Black Lives Matter, by sending replies telling them I don’t care what they think.

I got another email today from a company with which I do business telling me that it’s against racism and believes in social justice. I finally snapped and wrote back to let the corporation I was not interested in its politics. I suggest we all start doing the same. Enough is enough.

Here’s a proposed form letter:

Dear _____________________,

I have no interest in your or your employees’ views on political and social issues. I do business with you because you provide a good product at a good price. Please stay in your lane. If you continue to flood my email box with your opinions on matters unrelated to your product, be assured that I will take my business elsewhere.

Sincerely,

I think what pushed me over the edge was reading yesterday about Sashi McEntee, who is the mayor of Mill Valley. She’s also a “person of color,” whatever that means. She’s not black. I think that, while she’s American-born, her family roots are in India.

I’ve known Sashi for years through Republican circles. She’s a smart, nice woman who’s mostly a fiscal Republican. She’s mayor only because the Mill Valley town council assigns that position on a rotating basis. I assume she got onto the council in the first place because she promised some fiscal sanity. And of course, it’s entirely possible that she’s a NeverTrumper who’s become a Democrat. I neither know nor, frankly, do I care.

When the whole George Floyd* matter arose, Sashi decided to stay in her lane. The leftists who are the (vast) majority in Mill Valley and Marin as a whole were not going to allow that.

During a teleconference public meeting for Mill Valley’s town council, a white leftist was incensed that the town removed a sign posted on public property saying, “White Silence is Violence.” When this virtue-signaler demanded that Mill Valley “show that black lives matter,” Sashi responded, “It is our council policy that we do not take action on issues that are not of immediate local importance.”

Two days later, Sashi, having learned that she would be made to care, issued her ritual apology:

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Sashi made this obeisance because the nuts in Mill Valley know where she lives. As a fiscal conservative, Sashi knows that the best way to help black lives matter is to create an environment in which they can achieve economic success: good schools, a safe and reliable infrastructure, and a moral community that complies with anti-racism laws that have been on the books for decades. It would help if blacks followed the rules for success: Get educated, get married, have children, stay married. Oh, and don’t commit crimes.

Of course, Sashi’s apology wasn’t enough. The mob still went after her on the streets as they insisted that she bow down and kneel with and before them.

The article about the face-to-face attacks again Sashi includes quotations from black people giving their testimonials about the hell that is their life in uber-Democrat Marin County. All I can say is that it’s becoming increasingly clear that majority-Democrat communities are hotbeds of racism. No sane minority should ever live in a Democrat community or vote Democrat.

Incidentally, where I live in the South, I’ve never in my life seen more mixed-race couples and biracial children. What would probably shock Mill Valley’s lily-white activists is that these couples and their children are just like everyone else. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I digress. The point is that, as Sashi shows, in leftist-land, you will be made to care. Well, I’m not going to be made to care. My form letter starts going out today to all those companies that won’t just sell their damn products. I want them to start caring about me too.

____________________________

*George Floyd is the ex-con who used a gun to rob a woman in her home and committed multiple other crimes, whose system was filled with illegal drugs at the time of his death, and who’s now been turned into a plaster saint because cops in an entirely Democrat-run institution killed him.

Corporate virtue-signaling about institutional racism hides the real problem in black America

America doesn’t have institutional racism. It has a black community that undercuts itself and enablers who allow blacks to blame others for their failings.

I know this sounds petty given the outrages on American streets, but one of the things that irritates me most is the corporate virtue signaling that’s going on. Whether on their home pages or social media, various corporations are in a race to abase themselves. It’s difficult to determine whether they’re doing this because they think it’s good business, or because their management is now made up almost entirely of leftist-indoctrinated white college grads, or because they’re trying to deter the looters from attacking them. (If that last is their goal, they’re failing miserably, as I’ll discuss more below.)

The most ridiculous thing about corporate America’s pushing the “we stand against systemic racism” narrative is that there is no systemic racism in America. Legally it is not allowed. Practically, there are two real problems, and they’re both buried within the black community. The first problem is that blacks commit crimes in numbers disproportionate to their representation in the population; the second is that there is a damaged black subculture that aims relentlessly downwards, not upwards.

First, the virtue-signaling: At the top of this post you can see a collage. It’s a collection of 13 virtue-signaling moments from American companies just to give you a sense of how desperately they’re embracing the “systemic racism” notion in America. If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you can see the complete images.

None of these corporations engage in discriminatory hiring. Even if they wanted to, it would be illegal. All of these corporations are staffed by university grads who are assiduously non-racist, so the likelihood that they would want to discriminate against anyone other than white males in hiring is slim to nil.

As I noted in the opening paragraph, the corporations are abasing themselves for one of three reasons: A marketing scheme, a plethora of management employees who graduated from American colleges in the last 25 years or so, or a payment to the Black Lives Matter movement along the lines of a protection racket.

If the last, it’s not working. As President Trump tweeted, Macy’s had all of the ground-level windows on its flagship New York store smashed:

A Mercedes-Benz store in Beverly Hills was looted:

A Bank of America in San Bernardino was looted:

A Wells Fargo in Minneapolis was looted:

Amazon trucks were looted in Santa Monica:

A FedEx in Melrose Park was looted:

A Footlocker in Austin was looted:

A Nordstrom in Seattle (Nordstrom’s home town) was burned down:

And of course Target, one of America’s premier virtue signalers, was at the epicenter of looting in its hometown of Minneapolis:

Corporate America has a lot of problems, including cowardice, greed, and way too many leftist management employees, but systemic racism is not one of the problems.

The black community’s problems lie with the black community. It’s true that a disproportionate number of blacks are victims of police violence relative to black presentation in the American population.

Do not forget the statement about lies, damn lies, and statistics. The implications flowing from that statistic are a damn lie. The police are not systematically slaughtering blacks.

The statistic hides the fact that blacks are disproportionately responsible for crime in America:

Today blacks are about 13 percent of the population and continue to be responsible for an inordinate amount of crime. Between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the United States. The black arrest rate for most offenses — including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes — is still typically two to three times their representation in the population. Blacks as a group are also overrepresented among persons arrested for so-called white-collar crimes such as counterfeiting, fraud and embezzlement. And blaming this decades-long, well-documented trend on racist cops, prosecutors, judges, sentencing guidelines and drug laws doesn’t cut it as a plausible explanation.

In other words, the likelihood that blacks will have contact with the police is vastly greater than the likelihood that other racial groups will. Each contact with the police in a crime situation increases the possibility that someone will get hurt.

Moreover, despite primarily preying on each other, blacks are also disproportionately responsible for crimes against whites:

Far from destroying the black body, whites are the overwhelming target of interracial violence. Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations (excluding interracial homicide, which is also disproportionately black-on-white). That works out to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimization, or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population.

And what about the famous “driving while black” problem? That’s a myth too:

According to the study commissioned by the New Jersey attorney general and leaked first to the New York Times and then to the Web, blacks make up 16 percent of the drivers on the turnpike, and 25 percent of the speeders in the 65-mile-per-hour zones, where profiling complaints are most common. (The study counted only those going more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit as speeders.) Black drivers speed twice as much as white drivers, and speed at reckless levels even more. Blacks are actually stopped less than their speeding behavior would predict—they are 23 percent of those stopped.

Does this data mean that blacks are less capable of being law-abiding then whites? Of course not.

What it means is that both the black community and its white enablers are giving blacks a pass. The crime problem within the black community is the equivalent of alcoholism.

Early on, the alcoholic denies that there’s any problem at all. Sure, he has a few memory lapses and makes a fool of himself at parties, but it’s not a big deal. When the consequences increase, the alcoholic in denial starts the blame game: My boss is a jerk; my wife is a nag; the cop who pulled me over was an anti-black / anti-Hispanic / anti-white / anti-man / anti-Mercedes driver; that stupid woman cut in front of my car; the judge was a hard-ass….

We all know that the only way the alcoholic is going to end this destructive behavior – destructive to himself, his family, his colleagues, and his community – is for him to acknowledge that he has a problem and that he is the problem.

Slavery ended in 1865. The Jim Crow era ended in 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, almost 60 years ago. Over 85% of the population today was under ten years old the last time institutionalized racism existed. Today’s whites were not the problem with slavery and Jim Crow and today’s blacks were not the victims.

There are racists today. Pick any race, and you’ll find people within it who hate other races. As a Jew, I certainly know about that. After all, next to American Muslims, who hate Jews with a burning fervor, the most anti-Semitic cohort in America is blacks. (The link is a little old, but believe me, since then, the problem has gotten worse, not better.)

These racists are icky people, but they are not what’s standing in the way of blacks. What’s standing in the way is saying the kids who do well in school are “acting white” – and then beating them up. What’s standing in the way is feeling that, because of slavery, you’re entitled to commit crime. What’s standing in the way is fatherless homes because the welfare system makes men expensive. After all, welfare is worth more than a low-salary. What’s standing in the way is a bad attitude, which sees blacks assume that everyone hates them.

This is a Jewish joke. It could be a black one:

Man 1 sees Man 2 walking down the street, obviously upset. Man 1 asks Man 2 what happened.

Man 2 explains, “I-I-I ap-ap-applied for a j-j-j-job as a D-D-D-J and-and-and they t-t-t-turned me d-d-down. D-d-d-amned anti-S-s-semites.

No, it’s not always anti-Semites and racism. Sometimes it’s you. When that small cohort of blacks that treats itself like garbage starts cleaning up its act – less crime, less antipathy to education, more marriage, a smaller chip on its collective shoulder, a greater willingness to bring energy and intelligence to work – then I’ll believe it when blacks and white liberals say we live in a world of systemic, institutionalized racism.

I blame middle-class blacks, too, even though they don’t show any of those behaviors. Somehow they managed to escape racism, but when they’re faced with that percentage of blacks that fails at everything but crime, suddenly these middle-class blacks blame racism and only racism.

Going back to my alcoholism analogy, these middle-classers are enablers. And by the way, a lot of people like being enablers. They complain about the person they’re enabling, but they enjoy the feeling of superiority.

Despite 4,000 years of consistent genocidal mania, which ended with 6,000,000 slaughtered in four years, Jews have done all right. Their collective success is not because of some evil cabal. It comes about because the Bible tells them to live justly, and the majority of Jews do.

I am certain that every black in America is at least as good as, as smart as, as honest as, and as capable as every Jew in America. Or, for that matter, the equal of Asians, Whites, Hispanics, and all other races in America. I believe we’re all God’s children or Nature’s children or whatever’s children, but that we are fundamentally equal. Sure, there’s always going to be a bell curve, with some people more athlete, more beautiful, more mathematically-gifted, or more verbal, but that’s a HUMAN bell curve, not a racial bell curve. What I almost sure of is that those people who strive, who aspire, and who abide by basic legal principles (including driving at the speed limit) will – on average – do better. Not all will. Yes, some will run afoul of jerks, racists, and even evil cops. But on average, in America, the recipe for success is always the same: Work hard in school, work hard at work, abide by the law, get married, have children, stay married.

(I know that black kids are trapped in stinky schools. Blame virtue-signaling white leftists and black race hustlers for that because they oppose vouchers that increase competition and, therefore, quality. But blame the black community for not emphasizing education and allowing their children to run with the idea that getting educated is a form of race betrayal.)

So, now I role back to where I started, which is those virtue-signaling corporations. These craven enterprises are simply more enablers who perpetuate the race-aholism that perpetually afflicts America’s black community.

Random postscript: Considering that blacks are the primary victims of black crime, I think all law-abiding black citizens should be armed. Since the problem of black crime begins at home (meaning the neighborhood), that should be the best way to control the problem. Unfortunately, those white liberal enablers and their black race-hustler cronies have decided to disarm those law-abiding blacks suffering in urban black communities.

CORPORATE VIRTUE SIGNALING GALLERY

Every black progressive should watch PBS’s Clarence Thomas bio

Dear @cthagod, now that you’ve interviewed Joe Biden, I suggest that you learn about Clarence Thomas to clarify your thinking about blacks and Democrats.

In the past two days, two things collided in my brain. The first was the interview that Charlamagne tha God did with Joe Biden, from which emerged Joe’s epic gaffe telling blacks that they’re black only if they vote for him. The second was Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, which I believe is still available for viewing for another week.

You’ve all heard about Biden’s utterly tone-deaf statement, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” There’s no doubt in my mind that Joe thought he was funny. He did not intend to be either offensive or racist. Biden either thought he was making a “no true Scotsman” joke, or he believed that his lifetime of race-based politics makes him some sort of honorary African-American. If he thinks the latter, he also probably thinks he can use the “n” word too, which is a scary thought, especially since incipient dementia has a way of leeching away a person’s social controls.

That Joe was stupid and offensive was the least interesting thing to me about the interview. Charlamagne is a decent interviewer. He was polite, but he called Biden out on the things that concerned Charlamagne and his audience. He then sat back and just let Biden talk. The only problem is that I don’t believe Charlamagne knew quite how many lies or – let’s be kind – distortions Joe included in his wandering narrative.

He distorted his record on the coronavirus response. He would have people believe that he handled things better than Trump did. His January 27 article, though, did not have any useful concrete statements. Instead, he ultimately insisted that America needs to work with (and, of course, fund) the international community. Biden also conflated two different things: A runaway virus in the only country in the world that is as globally connected, if not more globally connected, than America, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a scary disease in a thankfully small and quarantinable corner of West Africa.

On January 31, when Trump ignored the WHO’s continued attempts to downplay the Wuhan virus and closed our borders to China, Joe promptly lambasted Trump as hysterical and xenophobic. Biden then did nothing concrete until mid-March, when he finally released his plan.

Aside from echoing much that Trump had already done, the plan was the equivalent of Anne Elk’s theory about dinosaurs, for what Biden basically promised was to create an infrastructure that would create a plan.

Having lied, er, distorted his record, Biden tripped lightly over to systemic racism. He noted (accurately) that blacks are harder hit by the Wuhan virus. Doing so ignored the fact that blacks are concentrated in Democrat-run urban areas, which have been hit harder than most places anyway.

This is especially true for New York, where both de Blasio and Cuomo continued to let packed subway trains run. While more affluent whites were working from or sheltering at home, less affluent blacks were packed into underground moving Petri dishes. That’s not on Trump.

Blacks also have more risk factors for dying from the Wuhan virus, such as obesity and the diseases of obesity – Type II diabetes and heart disease. What no one will admit is that, just as the Japanese as a culture eat that super-healthy diet that has them routinely living into their 90s, blacks in America eat traditional Southern food, much of it a fusion of African and American cuisine.

Although Southern food is some of the most delicious food on planet earth, it’s also some of the least healthy. I have heartburn for days after eating a Southern meal. Sure, you can blame poverty, but culture and food choices matter too.

And then there’s Vitamin D. More and more studies are showing that Vitamin D is critical to people’s immune function. Elderly people and blacks are chronically low on Vitamin D.

Blacks also metabolize Vitamin D differently, because they can draw from it a subset of the vitamin that helps build strong bones. This does not mean, however, that this same vitamin subset helps black people’s immune systems.

Indeed, if they are other deficient in Vitamin D, that may also help explain the problems of obesity, Type II diabetes, and heart disease. Skin pigmentation meant to filter out the African sun beating down on people who lived outdoors for tens of thousands of years may not serve people well in northern climates or living life indoors.

Still, as far as Biden is concerned, the black mortality rate is all Trump’s fault because . . . systemic racism.

And that’s where I want to jump from talking about Biden and get to Charlamagne tha God and Clarence Thomas.

Charlamagne tha God didn’t start life out as a hip talk show host. Instead, he was born Lenard Larry McKelvey in 1978, just outside of Charleston (i.e., coastal-ish South Carolina). Clarence Thomas was born in 1948, in truly coastal Pin Point, Georgia, before moving as a child to Savannah. The two men, therefore, were separated by thirty years and about 120 miles. Those 120 miles don’t make a big difference, but the thirty years sure do.

In the 1990s, when I was in my thirties and a Democrat, Thomas was the black sellout who did mean things to Anita Hill. Today, I’m in my 50s and a conservative. Until this afternoon, all I knew about Clarence Thomas was that he is a strict constructionist and originalist on the Supreme Court whose writing and thinking I deeply admire. He is, I believe, the unsung intellectual genius on the court.

What changed this afternoon was that I watched that PBS special about Thomas. Everything in it was new to me because I had not read My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir, Thomas’s autobiography. Watching the show was a revelation. Thomas has lived an extraordinary life.

Clarence Thomas was born into rural poverty in the Jim Crow south. His first language was Gullah, a dialect unique to coastal South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Shortly after Thomas was born, his father left, so his mother was raising three children on her own. She eventually relocated with her two younger children (Thomas and his younger brother) to Savannah. They lived in segregated squalor that modern Americans cannot even imagine.

Eventually, Thomas’s grandparents stepped in, taking him and his brother into their clean, shiny, new home. His grandfather was a semi-literate, incredibly hard-working, God-fearing martinet. During the school year, the boys attended a primarily black parochial school where the Irish nuns made it clear that the black children under their care were all children of God. During the summer, their grandfather had the boys working on an old-fashioned family farm, one without any modern farm implements. Thomas’s grandfather infused his life with meaning, discipline, and faith.

At sixteen, Thomas decided he had a calling and entered a local seminary. His grandfather told him that, having made this choice, Thomas must stick it out. If Thomas didn’t become a priest, said his grandfather, he would be on his own, without his family’s support.

After two years there, Thomas heard a fellow seminarian celebrate Martin Luther King’s assassination. Disgusted, Thomas turned his back on becoming a priest and on God. His grandfather, terribly disappointed, kicked him out, telling Thomas that, having made a man’s decision, he was now responsible for himself.

The only lifeline Thomas had was that he had been admitted to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Because Thomas had grown up in segregation and lived through the traumas of MLK’s death, Robert Kennedy’s death, and the hideously ugly fights about school segregation, he was deeply disenchanted with America. He became a hardcore leftist and instantly fell in with the school’s black student movement, which was a leftist, indeed, communist movement. So involved was Thomas that he helped found the Black Students Union there.

What changed Thomas was the night he went to Boston to participate in protests. He was so appalled by the unbridled violence of the night (and, he suggests, by what he did), that he prayed for the first time in two years. He renounced violence and hatred, and put his life on a new track.

Thomas had always been interested in the law, which he understood controlled the world and controlled blacks. As I argued in an older post, the problem in the South was the law as laid down by the government:

Civil rights mean small government, with the government limited primarily (although not entirely) to protecting citizens from itself.

Martin Luther King understood this.  The Civil Rights movement was a stand against overt government encroachment on the rights of black people.  The Southern States, ignoring the Declaration’s acknowledgment that all meninherently possessed civil rights, used the government as a weapon against the black people within its borders.  The real problem blacks faced wasn’t that their fellow white citizens behaved hostilely, and even murderously, towards them.  Had the government fulfilled its policing responsibilities and stepped forward to protect those citizens, Jim Crow would have been a short-lived phenomenon.  The real problem was that Southern government itself encroached on citizens’ freedom.

It was Southern government that legislatively segregated schools, segregated housing, segregated business establishments, segregated marriages and enacted barriers between blacks and ballots.  It was Southern government that was a “Form of Government [that had become] destructive of these ends [life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for black people],” making it the civil  “Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

I figured the above out through aging and brute intellectual work. Thomas figured it out because he lived it. He realized that some people are good and some are jerks, but that it’s the government, acting through the laws it enacts, that forced upon blacks the rules that made their lives miserable. With this belief, and with good grades, Thomas chose to go to Yale Law School.

I’ll skip over the middle parts, which you know: After Yale, Thomas finally got a job when a Republican politician, John Danforth, hired him to work in Missouri. He ended up in Reagan’s EEOC, became a respected judge, and got nominated for the Supreme Court. (The documentary covers all this; I’m the one skipping it.)

The documentary covers quite well that disgraceful episode in America’s political life. As I said, back then, I was too stupid to understand. I got all my news from NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The New Republic. I was pro-abortion and thought it was splendid that the Democrats were making abortion a litmus test for the Supreme Court and that Anita Hill conveniently emerged to take out a pro-Life black man.

I am only grateful that I have lived long enough and become wise enough to understand the terrible thing that the Democrats – led by Joe Biden and Teddy “Kopechne killer” Kennedy – did to a conservative black man. (Thomas’s only comment about Biden was that then, as now, Biden made no sense.) I’m also, as I said, wise enough to know that Thomas will go down in history as one of America’s greatest legal minds.

So let’s go back to where I started, to Charlamagne tha God and Clarence Thomas. The younger man grew up geographically near to Thomas, but in a world that wasn’t just thirty years away, it was a universe away. I don’t doubt that Charlamagne’s experiences as a black man in modern America were troubled. He hints that he had run-ins with the law before he found his way.

Having said that, Charlamagne did not, could not, experience the degradation that was visited upon Clarence Thomas, a black man raised in a grotesquely racist, segregated community; a black man who was brilliant and graduated from America’s top law school, only to find himself unemployed; and a black man whom Democrats attacked by pinning on him one of the oldest racist tropes, which is that black men were unable to control their animal sexuality.

So here’s my question for Charlamagne: Is it possible that Clarence Thomas’s belief in the wisdom of the Founders — imperfect men who nevertheless had a brilliant vision — is of more worth than your ingrained support for the Democrat Party and progressive politics? And is it possible that Clarence Thomas’s belief in the individual rather than in divisive labels and powerful government entities is at least worth your consideration?

I urge you to watch the PBS show (with “you” being Charlamagne and everyone else who reads this) and to think long and hard about how Thomas, slowly and very painfully, reached his conclusions about conservativism. You might find that you view differently how the Democrat party uses and abuses American blacks, so much so that Biden thinks it’s funny to tell blacks who they are for political purposes.

Bookworm Beat 9/22/19: the anthro-moronic climate change illustrated edition

I admit that I got carried away in this illustrated edition — 69 pictures! — but between climate change cultism and general Leftism, I couldn’t resist.

Climate Change





































































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The 1619 Project: Reframing History & Redefining Racism

“White Supremacy” is a progressive canard to keep the race card viable in the absence of actual racism. It paints all whites as inherently racist and promotes the worst of tribalism as a progressive political tool.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project seeks to “reframe” American history to mark the year 1619 as the “true founding.”  The first purpose of the 1619 Project is to cement slavery as America’s original sin.  The “reframing” comes about, first, in the telling of a narrative so distorted as to be false, then, second, in redefining “racism” to attach the slander to a whole host of things that either are not caused by racism or are not racist by definition.  Mirable dictu, America is suddenly a nation full of virulent racists / white supremacists.

It is helpful before continuing deeper into this morass to take a balanced look at the actual history of slavery in this country, not as an original sin that still stains us today and that can only be explicated by destroying the country, but rather as an extremely difficult issue that was set on the road to being righted by our Founders and their progeny. In a recent AEI article, author Mark Perry quotes extensively from black economist (and one-time card carrying communist) Thomas Sowell:

Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century. People of every race and color were enslaved – and enslaved others. White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed.

[snip]

Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century – and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of the 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there. But who is singled out for scathing criticism today? American leaders of the 18th century.

Deciding that slavery was wrong was much easier than deciding what to do with millions of people from another continent, of another race, and without any historical preparation for living as free citizens in a society like that of the United States, where they were 20 percent of the population.

It is clear from the private correspondence of Washington, Jefferson, and many others that their moral rejection of slavery was unambiguous, but the practical question of what to do now had them baffled. That would remain so for more than half a century.

In 1862, a ship carrying slaves from Africa to Cuba, in violation of a ban on the international slave trade, was captured on the high seas by the U.S. Navy. The crew was imprisoned and the captain was hanged in the United States – despite the fact that slavery itself was still legal at the time in Africa, Cuba, and in the United States. What does this tell us? That enslaving people was considered an abomination. But what to do with millions of people who were already enslaved was not equally clear.

That question was finally answered by a war in which one life was lost [620,000 Civil War casualties] for every six people freed [3.9 million]. Maybe that was the only answer. But don’t pretend today that it was an easy answer – or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the 18th century were some special villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery.

While Sowell notes the reality, the NYT actually does posit an “easy answer” to the slavery issue. The Times “reframes history” in the 1619 Project to tell it in Howard Zinn fashion, erasing or minimizing the First Great Awakening and the abolition movement, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement.  And with that, the Times then claims that America is still a country full of virulent racism — at least if you support Trump or are not a progressive.  Of course, the lack of racism in mainstream America is a problem, so progressives have redefined “racism” into “white supremacy,” something that implies virulent, evil racism but means, in actuality, nothing.

To put it another way, a strict, classic definition of “racism” means “a belief that race is the primary detriment of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” The decline of actual racist acts in America’s mainstream, though, has become a real problem for progressives who have bet their entire political future on keeping minorities believing that they are under siege and that their only protection is to voting proggie.  There is a reason, not that many years ago, that then Vice President Biden told an audience of black Americans at an NAACP meeting that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.”  And there is a reason President Obama, author of all that racial healing in his administration, told Latinos that Republicans were their “enemies.”

So what is “white supremacy?”  Well, at least when the Left talks about it, it’s not the old KKK crap anymore. Instead, we can use the “Pyramid of White Supremacy” (pictured at the top of this post) as our guide to see just how outrageous it is and just how disconnected it is from people actually engaging in racist acts predicated on the belief in the inferiority of minorities — i.e., actual racism.

A college professor put together and uses the “Pyramid of White Supremacy” for a mandatory course she teaches for elementary education majors at Salisbury University in Maryland.  I was reminded of it the other day when I saw it at the Ace of Spades blog. The pyramid names nothing as “racist” that has not already made it into the mainstream media over the past several years.  The list goes from ludicrous, to insane, to evil, literally making of everyone not a proggie a white supremacist.


Racism Pyramid of White Supremacy

Tier One — Genocide 

At the top of the “white supremacy” pyramid are those who call for genocide of blacks or other minorities. No one in the mainstream for the entire history of this nation has ever called for that — but one would not know that today.  According to the NYT, the President is a “white supremacist” who, according to MSNBC, wants to exterminate Latinos. Moreover, according to CNN, Trump is already responsible for more deaths than Mao (40,000,000-75,000,000), Stalin (20,000,000) and Hitler (11,000,000) put together.  And by extension, if you are a Trump supporter. . . .

Tier II –  Violence

a)  Unjust Police Shootings & Police Brutality — This is the BLM obscenity that blacks have more to worry about in the inner cities from police than they do from black on black violence.  Until, of course, one actually looks at the numbers, then at the facts of just about every case — yet you still have virtually all progressives, including Kamala Harris and Fauxcohauntus, pushing this canard, at whatever expense to police such race hustling might bring.

b)  Lynching — The extra-judicial killing of a person as an act of mob justice and with any substantial basis in racism declined precipitously as the Civil Rights movement took hold in the 1950’s.  The last — but perhaps most horrendous — race-based lynching was that of fourteen year old Emmett Till in 1955 Mississippi.  So here we are almost seventy years removed from that event.  The vile racism that gave rise to that event is dead in this country.  But proggies are still trying to paint a link between the racists who murdered Till and all not-progressives today.

For instance, two years ago, Vann Newkirk, writing in The Atlantic in an article entitled How the Blood of Emmett Till Still Stains America Today, proclaimed the lynching of Till an act of “white supremacy.”  So, while the racism that motivated Till’s lynching may be, in all relevant respects, banished from the mainstream of society, it still lives on under the newly minted charge of “white supremacy.”  Non-progressive whites, virtually all of whom are neither committing or tolerating racism, still not only own all the guilt for slavery, but for the lynching of Emmett Till as well.

[Bookworm here: I’d like to suggest that race-based lynching still has a bit of a hold in America, at least as recently as the early 1990s. In 1992, for example, was beaten almost to death because he was a white man in the wrong place. And a year before that, Al Sharpton instigated the Crown Heights riots that saw black men kill random Jewish men after a Jewish motorcade accidentally killed one black child and injured another.]

c)  Hate Crimes — The whole concept of “hate crimes” is one that needs to be banished from American jurisprudence.  That said, it is the perfect metaphor for what is happening in this nation today.  The majority of “hate crimes” — i.e., crimes with a racial component — occurring in this country are progressive hoaxes to drive a racial narrative, with Jussie Smollett being simply the most notable and recent.

Tier III — Calls For Violence:

a)  Neo-Nazi’s, KKK, Burning Crosses — These are the people in this nation who in fact can be called racist and are associated with movements having a history of violence.  These groups are not conservative groups nor are they tolerated in mainstream society.  Today, the total number of people in these organizations nationwide, in a nation of over three hundred million people, is probably at or under 100,000.  I would not be surprised to find about the same number or higher if you add up ANTIFA, anarchists, and black nationalist groups.

b)  The N-Word — The professor lists using the “N” word as a call to violence.  I agree.  I only point out that I look forward to the day when the right understands that being falsely labeled racist is also a call to violence.

c)  Confederate Flag — I am not going to argue this one.  I think Bookworm’s take on the flag and Confederate statutes (see item 11 in the linked post) is the right one, and this is one case where the subjective feelings the flag and paeans to Confederate generals might engender is sufficient justification to move them into museums.

Tier IV — Actual Discrimination

 a)  [Systemic] Mass Incarceration — This has long been a stalking horse for progressives.  For progressives, enforcing the law against blacks is ipso facto proof of racism. The statistics do not show disparate treatment against blacks for sentencing, only that blacks’ rate of criminal conduct is out of proportion to their numbers in society.  Regardless, Trump has in fact been the only President to push through prison reform with an eye towards giving blacks caught up in the prison system a second chance.  That must be “sneaky” white supremacy.

b)  [Systemic] School to Prison Pipeline — Again, another stalking horse, calling this discrimination.  The fact that there might be fundamental problems in the dysfunctional culture of lower socio-economic blacks is never the cause — and by calling the pipeline discrimination, that makes it racist to even discuss and solve the problem of young black men leaving school and heading straight into the prison system.

c)  [Systemic] Racial Profiling and Stop and Frisk — Stopping a person to question or search simply because of that person’s race is a 4th Amendment violation and would be racist.  No one argues that.  But stopping and searching someone is neither a 4th Amendment violent nor racist if, because of surrounding circumstances, the police have a reasonable suspicion that the person might be involved in a crime.  This goes back to NYC’s policy of “stop and frisk” that the NYPD used successfully to bring down crime by and against minorities circa 2000.

d)  [Systemic] Redlining —  Redlining has been illegal since the 1970’s.  It was a practice by financial institutions to refuse loans to people regardless of qualification if they lived in particular areas, most often in inner city areas.  Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act to end it, but then Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd used the CRA to destroy all color-blind lending standards as racist.  This social engineering under the guise of correcting for racism led to the Sub-Prime Crisis and the Great Recession of 2008.

e)  Housing Discrimination and Employment Discrimination — These have been unlawful since the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Rare cases of actual racism still occur on the fringes of society and are dealt with through the courts.  That said, the majority of Housing and Employment discrimination cases of today rely on the “disparate impact” theory, which holds that one does not even need to show an intent to discriminate if a policy is shown to affect minorities disproportionately for whatever reason, including, as mentioned above, colorblind reasons.  As Thomas Sowell has opined, much of what the left falsely claims today is racism in society is based on their manipulations using the “disparate impact racket.”

f)  Anti-Immigration Policies — This is pure post-modernism, where the subjective feelings of the progressive author are embraced as objective fact.  There are countless reasons to enforce the border and require that our federal government control immigration.  Indeed, that is an express right and duty of the federal government in Article I Sec. 8 of the Constitution.  And yet, for the progressive left, any attempt to stop illegal immigration, and any attempt to deport illegal immigrants is deemed “racist” and is part and parcel of “white supremacy.”

g)  Funding Schools Locally — We’ve been funding schools locally in this country for as long as there have been schools.  It is a state and local function.  It is not an Art. 1, Sec. 8 enumerated power of the federal government, the Department of Education notwithstanding.  As Thomas Sowell points out, the problem with minority educational achievement or lack thereof is not school funding.  But apparently, you are a white supremacist if you do not support a federal takeover of funding for schools.

Tier V — Veiled Racism

a)  Victim Blaming — If you believe that people should address the problems of their community and that they are responsible for their own actions, you are a white supremacist.

b)  Paternalism — If you offer suggestions for minorities to solve the problems of their community, you are a white supremacist.

c)  English Only Initiatives — The ability of a nation’s people to communicate using a common language is near a foundational element of societal success and a keystone for individuals to succeed in society.  That seems like a valid, non-racist basis to require that everyone learn the English language in this country.

d)  Euro-centric Curriculum —  This is nothing more than reverse racism.  Unless one can articulate how substituting X for Y acts as an improvement to our society, then this is nothing more than intentionally destroying the common culture of a nation founded in Western civilization because of identity politics.

e)  Claiming reverse racism — To point out that the progressives are attacking whites on the basis of their skin color alone — which is all the white supremacy movement is — is itself an act of white supremacy.  Apparently, though, while the professor does not make this point, it appears that the progressive left defends itself against charges of racism by claiming minority status.  Somehow, being a minority in proggie land means that obscene racism is not truly racist.  This is all part of the redefinition of “racism” into a purely white, original sin.

f)  Tone Policing —  So telling a minority to tone down if that person is emoting so that you can have an exchange of ideas is racist because . . . minorities can’t control their emotions?

g)  Cultural Appropriation — To borrow from another culture because one appreciates something is about as far from racism as one could act.  How that becomes an act of “white supremacy” is beyond my ken.

h)  Tokenism — So having minority friends is now “white supremacy?”

Tier VI — Minimization

a)  Denying you are a white supremacist — This may seem completely insane, but to be white and deny your white supremacy is proof that you are a white supremacist.  No less than the NYT has proclaimed that in “The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial.”

b)  Colorblindness — Treating a minority the same as everyone else — the very antithesis of racism — is proof that you are a white supremacist.

c)  Not believing the experiences of people of color —  If you question a person’s narrative or point out that the person’s subjective feelings are not the same as objective facts . . . you are a white supremacist.

d)  Post-Racial Society — I’m not quite sure what the professor means by that, but I am assuming that she means that to posit a post-racial society as the goal for America, as Martin Luther King did, is “white supremacy.”  The goal of progressives is an identity centric society where a critical mass of the identities vote proggie.

Tier VII — Indifference

a)  Remaining Apolitical — This is binary.  You either join the progressives and buy into their obscene canards or you are a white supremacist, even if you could care less about race.


“White Supremacy” is an obscene dark fantasy.  But Project 1619 and the MSM at large are all engaged in pushing this canard.  There is not a single major outlet outside of Fox not running with it.  It is an effort to balkanize and turn our nation from a melting pot into a state based on tribalism permanantly ruled by progressives.  With this latest foray into “white supremacy,” progressives will either keep this obscene dark fantasy of racism in America alive, or progressives will lose any hope of regaining political power.  It will be the ruin of our nation if they succeed.

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No. 10 Bookworm Podcast — Tlaib, Omar, Israel, and the Times takes on slavery

The advent of the internet means that ordinary people like me can loudly criticize Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and the Times‘ ridiculous 1619 project.

(If you prefer listening to reading, the companion podcast is embedded below, or you can listen to it at Libsyn or at Apple podcasts. I’m trying to make a go of my podcast so, if you like it, please share it with your friends and on social media. Giving it good ratings helps too.)

An internet world lets ordinary people praise Israel. It’s very hard to cast ones mind back to a pre-internet era when traditional news outlets were the only game in town and news was on a day-to-day cycle. In today’s world, the fact that two junior Congresswomen were denied admission to Israel has received 24/7 coverage in the old-line news media (television and what we still call “print,” even though it’s really internet). In addition, politicians — especially Leftists — have spoken about it steadily, flooding Twitter with their opinions.

Here are the basic outlines: Rashida Tlaib (D-Palestine) and Ilhan Omar (D-Somalia) have consistently and openly demonized both Israel and Jews. Among other things, both have actively pushed the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, which seeks to destroy Israel economically. Of course, those who argue that this is an appropriate activity because of Israel’s alleged human rights abuses have not pushed a BDS movement against any other country that has provably violated human rights. The same people behind BDS are horrified that Trump would use economic sanctions against China, never mind that China’s human rights abuses against its own people are legion and that its economic abuses are terribly damaging to Americans here at home.

Anyhoo, Tlaib and Omar planned to travel on the taxpayers’ dime to visit Israel. Oh, wait! I misspoke. They planned to travel on the taxpayers’ dime to visit a place called Palestine:

Omar Tlaib itinerary Palestine Israel

Israel mulled letting the women into the country but eventually decided against it. In so doing, it relied on an existing law holding that Israel has the right to bar from entry people who support the BDS movement. One could add that it’s quite reasonable to prohibit entry to people who call for your country’s destruction and openly embrace activists who use violence to advance that destruction.

Democrats went nuts. How dare Israel enforce its borders! How dare Israel insult the U.S. Congress! How dare Israel insult American citizens! How dare Israel listen to Trump’s advice about the women!

Tlaib then upped the ante by announcing that Israel’s decision was barring her from seeing her beloved 95-year-old grandmother. She promised, in writing, that if Israel agreed, she would not engage in any anti-Israel provocation:

Israel yielded to this humanitarian request, only to have Tlaib immediately throw it back in Israel’s face:

In other words, the whole thing was a stunt to keep the news cycle going a bit longer. Which gets me back to my point about the non-stop news cycle. Would this kind of non-news also have been a story in the old days? I think it would have been. I distinctly remember when the media turned on Jimmy Carter (hoping, I’m sure, that Ted Kennedy would become the Democrat candidate for 1980). The traditional media was suddenly flooded with endless iterations about killer rabbits, lusting after the Polish people, and defecting from America.

The virtue of the internet era, despite the best efforts of Google, Facebook, and other Leftist outlets exerting out-sized control over the internet, is that people other than the mainstream media still have a say in the matter. That means that I — and you and every other sane person — can tweet or blog or podcast about the fact that, if Tlaib and Omar can boycott Israel, Israel can boycott them.

And I can point out that it’s really irrelevant that Israel is barring those two women from entering Israel, since their plan is to go to some other country altogether. That other country would be Palestine, a place found only on UNRWA maps and on the map that Tlaib put in her office when she was elected as a U.S. Congresswoman. (UNRWA, for those who don’t know, stands for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It is the only UN agency devoted entirely to a single group of refugees, a group, moreover, that gained its refugee status 52 years ago. All other refugee groups in the world have either been repatriated or absorbed into their new locales.)

One other opinion I’ve seen floating around is that Israel should let Tlaib and Omar in and have them see places unique to Israel, in the hopes of changing their minds. Daniel Pipes, one of the most profound thinkers about anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment believes this:

For starters, the possibility exists that the congresswomen would have learned something during their travels to diminish their hostility to Israel. It has happened before. Jesse Helms, the longtime Republican senator from North Carolina, who died in 2008, was renowned for his hostility to Israel, for example calling in 1982 for a “shut down” of U.S.-Israel relations. But he was strongly affected by a 1985 trip to the Holy Land and became Israel’s staunch supporter. In a more recent case, former Islamist Maajid Nawaz recalled on Twitter Thursday that a “trip to Israel & engagement with Israeli humans changed me profoundly.”

This is one of the few times I find myself at odds with Pipes. First, Israel can’t force the women to do anything, and visiting “pro-Israel” sites was not on their itinerary. Second, these woman have a political, public, and media investment in hating Israel. There’s no benefit to them in changing their minds. Third, serious haters are surrounded by a mental force field. This is especially true when it comes to calls (not Pipes’ call, by the way) that it would have helped Israel to take Tlaib and Omar to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum. I can’t think of a more terrible idea.

I can assure you that seeing Yad Vashem will not move these two open anti-Semites to see the error of their ways. Instead, whether they gloat openly or inwardly, a visit to Yad Vashem will represent something they devoutly wish — the bloody and complete destruction of the Jewish people. Keep in mind that their pals in Hamas have as part of their charter calls for the obliteration of the Jewish people and the complete Muslim takeover of their land. In other words, what Hitler started, they wish to finish. Yad Vashem is not a place of horror for them, but a reminder of work yet to be done.

So, I’m fine with the fact that Tlaib and Omar don’t get to go to Israel, that they don’t see Yad Vashem, and that the internet world, while every bit as Leftistly vicious and repetitive as the old, pre-internet mainstream media world, for the first time gives the rest of us a voice.

One more thing: I’ve seen a bunch of headlines for the past two days about the fact that that Tlaib’s grandmother called for “God to ruin Trump.” She didn’t. If you listen, you hear that she called for “Allah” to ruin Donald Trump.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never considered Allah to be the same creator as the Judeo-Christian God. Monothesist, yes. God, no. Just sayin’.

The risible Times’ take on slavery and America. Byron York has garnered deserved praise for his article describing the latest New York Times project, which isn’t just to say that Trump is racist (its planned narrative for the next 15 months), but to say that all of America is racist:

In the Times‘ view (which it hopes to make the view of millions of Americans), the country was actually founded in 1619, when the first Africans were brought to North America, to Virginia, to be sold as slaves.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of that event, and the Times has created something called the 1619 Project. This is what the paper hopes the project will accomplish: “It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

[snip]

The basic thrust of the 1619 Project is that everything in American history is explained by slavery and race. The message is woven throughout the first publication of the project, an entire edition of the Times magazine. It begins with an overview of race in America — “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.” — written by Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, who on Twitter uses the identity Ida Bae Wells, from the crusading late 19th-early 20th century African American journalist Ida B. Wells.

The essays go on to cover the economy (“If you want to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation.”), the food we eat (“The sugar that saturates the American diet has a barbaric history as the ‘white gold’ that fueled slavery.”), the nation’s physical health (“Why doesn’t the United States have universal healthcare? The answer begins with policies enacted after the Civil War.”), politics (“America holds onto an undemocratic assumption from its founding: that some people deserve more power than others.”), daily life (“What does a traffic jam in Atlanta have to do with segregation? Quite a lot.”), and much more.

[snip]

A major goal of the 1619 Project is to take the reframing message to schools. The Times has joined an organization called the Pulitzer Center (which, it should be noted, is not the organization that hands out the Pulitzer Prize) to create a 1619 Project curriculum. “Here you will find reading guides, activities, and other resources to bring The 1619 Project into your classroom,” the center says in a message to teachers.

The paper also wants to reach into schools itself. “We will be sending some of our writers on multi-city tours to talk to students,” Hannah-Jones said recently, “and we will be sending copies of the magazine to high schools and colleges. Because to us, this project really takes wing when young people are able to read this and understand the way that slavery has shaped their country’s history.”

I have a few points I want to make, in no particular order.

To a hammer, everything is a nail. To the extent the Left is monomaniacal about America and racism, this truly is the prism through which it views this country. Nothing will change that.

The goal here is obvious: To make it clear that America is rotten to its very core. There can be no salvation. It must be destroyed root and branch, for the sin of African slavery is so deeply woven into the fabric of America’s soul that it cannot be expiated. There is no level of remorse or redemption that will wipe out this canker. The more than 600,000 American men whose bodies littered American soil are meaningless. The Civil Rights Movement is meaningless. The first black(ish) president . . . meaningless. The corruption is so interwoven with America that the country needs to be ended.

I’m reminded somehow of my aunt. She, along with her siblings (one of whom was my father) and her mother managed to escape Nazi Germany before the war. After the war, she found her way to Israel. Israel was socialist, which ought to have satisfied her, but it wasn’t socialist enough. She wanted communism, so she abandoned her husband and child and returned to Berlin. When people asked her how she could return to the land of the Nazis, she assured them that this was not a problem: “They’ve been purified by communism.” Looking at how East Germans suffered compared to their Western compatriots over the next 73 years, I have to say she was right. That’s the kind of purification the new American Left wants for us.

The Left ignores or misunderstands the history of slavery. Slavery is not uniquely American. Slavery is a part of the world and its history. I don’t believe that there has been a time or place in the world during which slavery has not existed. In the early years of European activity in North America, it was the Europeans — the Spaniards, French, and English — who brought slavery to these shores. At the same time, throughout the Muslim world, there was a huge traffic in European slaves, with millions of Europeans vanishing into Africa and the Middle East.

Moreover, slavery in America wasn’t initially driven by race. The British made a serious effort to use the Irish as slaves — in the form of indentured servants for debts or penal servitude for crimes — but the Irish, stubbornly, kept up and dying. It was black resistance to malaria, rather than their skin color, that initially made them the preferred unpaid servant race.

Put another way, for all of America’s pre-revolutionary history, slavery in every part of the world wasn’t the exception, it was the norm. Moreover, the fact that slaves ended up being black wasn’t a racial decision, it was a pragmatic decision based upon survivability.

The only places in which slavery ceased being the norm were those places that embraced capitalism. Slavery is an inefficient system, since those who labor without recompense produce at the most minimal level possible. It’s when people’s labor is tied to profit that they put energy into their work. Moreover, although the slave owner isn’t getting good work from slaves, he still has to maintain them. They must be fed, housed, and clothed. Moreover, a slave owner with the even most limited conscience also had to care for them at some level after their work years ended. After all, at this point they were unsaleable and, even in the cruelest of times during the Roman empire, slaughtering them like old horses wasn’t the done thing.

Beginning immediately after the Civil War, the northern states took off like gangbusters, creating the amazing American economic engine that exploded onto the world in the second half of the 19th century. Meanwhile, for more than 100 years after the War, the former slave states — the ones that immediately embraced Jim Crow — were economic backwaters. To the extent that they had a slavery legacy, it screwed them economically. It wasn’t until they turned their collective backs entirely on their racist pasts that the Southern states finally caught up with the northern states economically.

But again, to a hammer, everything is a nail. America is evil and modern Americans must be made to suffer until, as my aunt said, they are purified in the fires of communism.

The post No. 10 Bookworm Podcast — Tlaib, Omar, Israel, and the Times takes on slavery appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

No. 8 Bookworm Room Podcast: Leftists and NeverTrumpers are caught in a political riptide

A political riptide is carrying Leftists and NeverTrumpers further from reality on myriad important issues — and Trump is holding the only life preserver.

(If you prefer listening to reading, you can find the podcast at the bottom of this post, at LibSyn, or at Apple Podcasts. And if you like the podcast or the post, please share.)

How much do you know about riptides? For those who don’t know anything about them, they’re currents that run in narrow channels perpendicularly away from the shoreline. There you are, just swimming along happily in the ocean when you realize that you’ve been pushed dangerously far from the shore. If you panic, you start pushing back against the riptide, exhausting yourself.

The way to save yourself — assuming that’s still possible — is to swim perpendicularly to the riptide. That is, instead of swimming towards the shore, which is an impossibility if the riptide is strong, you have to swim parallel to the shore, breaking out of the rip tide. Only then, if you have strength left, can you head back to the land. But as I said, the real danger is the fact that riptides can be subtle things that gently, relentlessly, and imperceptibly leave you in tremendous danger.

The Democrats and NeverTrumpers in my world are finding themselves caught in the riptide of Leftist politics. I need a little personal history here to explain.

I grew up in a completely Democrat world. My family, most of their friends, my educational institutions, the communities in which I lived as a lawyer and a parent — all Democrat. I ought to have drifted along in those waters endlessly, without ever realizing that they were getting dangerously polluted.

What saved me was that I knew Israel. I knew Israel because my parents lived there during the British mandate period, during the Israeli War of Independence (in which they participated), and after Israel gained her independence. I knew it because I’d visited Israel. And I knew it because I knew lots and lots of Sabras  — that is, native Israelis, whether blood relatives or friends. Moreover, growing up in a less heated time, I also knew lots of Arabs, both Christian and Muslim, all of whom were lovely people and good friends. Add to that the fact that I’m a history major and had a very solid foundation in both Western and Middle Eastern history, going back to the Biblical era, and it was the one subject about which you could not lie to me.

What this knowledge meant was that I realized fairly early on, back in the 1990s, that the American Democrat party was embracing one of Marxism’s core principles — anti-Semitism. I was too ignorant in then to know that anti-Semitism has its roots in Marxism, but I sure understood that it was slowly oozing out of all the “best,” most intellectual media that informed my world back in the day: NPR, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times, etc. Significantly, these were the main news sources for all the Yuppies, both Jewish and non-Jewish, who made up my world. Sadly, these outlets (maybe not The New Republic), are still what these old friends consume.

Back in the day, those media outlets could tell me anything they wanted about the Clintons, the Gores, the Bushes, Clarence Thomas, the banks, the federal reserve, foreign policy, etc., and I’d believe it. Well, almost anything. Having lived in England during the early 1980s and seen the miserable quality of medical care people received under the National Health Service, Hillary’s attempt at socializing American medicine didn’t impress me. Still, I was young and would live forever, so I simply didn’t care that much that the Clintons wanted to nationalize American healthcare.

The one thing, though, that the “high-end, intellectual” media had to be truthful about if it wanted to keep me was Israel — and increasingly, it was not being truthful. The anti-Israel animus permeating my media outlets was becoming too much to bear. One day, I realized that I was caught in a riptide of lies and was floating further and further from facts — not Bidenesque-truthiness unrelated to facts — but actual facts.

At that moment, I stopped dead, sighted the shore, and started swimming parallel to it — and perpendicular to that lying riptide. This meant discovering alternative outlets such as *gasp* Fox News and National Review, as well as conservative blogs. Even more than that, it meant using YouTube and other outlets (when they were still honest) to find original content without having it first run through any media, Left or Right.

When I figured out what was going on — that the modern Democrat party was completely unrelated to the Kennedy-style Democrat Party in which I was raised and was becoming a harder Left party with a decidedly anti-Semitic edge — I tried to sound the warning to friends and family. “Riptide!” I hollered. They laughed at me or found me paranoid and irritating. “The water’s fine. Times change. You have to change with them. There’s no danger here.”

But there was danger, of course. There was the danger that honoring different races and cultures in America, a laudable thing, would be used to fuel an identity politics that turns Americans against each other and invites everyone to join the race to the bottom of victimhood.

There was the danger that acknowledging same sex relationships, which are private and should be none of my business, would be used as a wedge to destroy the nuclear family, begin an attack on the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of worship, and eventually deny biological reality altogether.

There was the danger that the Democrats’ long-standing love affair with Europe’s alleged “sophistication” and disdain for America’s small town naivete would be used to attack American sovereignty in favor of UN guidance for American policies.

And there was the danger that America’s borders, which are what most fundamentally define a country, would eventually be seen as a hindrance to getting a very specific kind of voter: That is, voters who (sadly) have long been accustomed to Marxist-style socialism and corruption and will vote for it provided that the politicians promise them something for nothing. This is not a racist comment, it’s a comment about culture and, more specifically, the culture in Latin America. We could say the same about the European culture, but they’re not yet streaming over our border. With this newly imported citizenry, freedom becomes less and less of an option.

And all along there was that riptide. It was so subtle. For those people who wanted to be “good,” as defined in the media I once listened to and read, standing against gay marriage wasn’t showing concern for traditional institutions or for religious liberty, but was “hate.” Believing in American sovereignty through strong borders and functioning immigration laws wasn’t a common sense way to maintain a nation’s integrity but was racism. Being suspicious of countries that exported murderous terrorists wasn’t a matter of national security, it was “Islamophobia.”

And then, as people got further from the shore of common sense, the riptide grew stronger. Suddenly, it’s hate to believe that there a sex differences. It’s racism to believe in any borders, let alone strong ones, because children will cry — or at least, Latin American children will cry. And it’s Islamophobia to point out that two Muslim congresswomen routinely malign America and seem more concerned with countries overseas than with the one they purportedly represent. The riptide keeps pushing people further and further away from any ability at all to swim back to shore.

Some of the saddest people caught in the riptide are the NeverTrumpers. They’re the ones whose hatred for Trump’s personal style (a style I’ve learned to enjoy tremendously) has not only seen them pushed seaward by the riptide, but has actually seen them embrace the tide and swim away from the shore as hard and fast as they can. They’d rather drown than acknowledge that, right now, the only one holding a life preserver is Donald Trump.

I see this, of course, in well known NeverTrumpers such as Jennifer Rubin, Max Boot, or David French. I also see it closer to home with people on my Facebook page. One man whom I’ve known for thirty years morphed from a conservative born-again Christian to a flagrant Leftist based solely upon his Trump hatred.

Today, he’s incensed that, when the Trump family travels, it likes to stay at Trump properties — which means that the Secret Service stays at Trump properties too. The horror! The corruption! Some small percentage of the money paid for those hotel stays goes into Trump’s bank account. As an example, the Politico article my friend cites says that in August 2017, of the $16,600 the Secret Service spent on a trip, $5,700 went to a Trump hotel. That’s not $5,700 to Trump — that’s to the hotel, which was charging for rooms and service. Trump was therefore probably enriched to the tune of $100 or $200. I’m shocked!

My friend also accepts uncritically any headline that savages Trump or his administration. The latest outrage is the claim that Ken Cuccinelli, an immigration official, is rewriting the verses on the Statue of Liberty to say that they mean that America will only welcome white European immigrants. Were my friend less in thrall to TDS, and a more discriminating consumer of information, he would actually read what happened. For example, Matt Walsh, of the Daily Wire, has a good article explaining the media’s gross and grotesque dishonesty.

It began when the Trump administration made the logical announcement that Americans shouldn’t be paying for welfare for new immigrants. When my parents came to this country in the 1950s, they had to promise and prove that they wouldn’t become a “public charge,” a concept going back to 1882 — and they never did. Recent administrations have ignored this law, but Trump seeks to give it meaning again.

So what does the media do? NPR asks Cuccinelli how he can betray the promise on the Statue of Liberty?

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Were I Cuccinelli, I would have pointed out that this is poetry on a giant sculpture, not legislation, and it therefore has no affect whatsoever on public policy. He, however, said that you can be “tired” and “poor,” and still not be a public charge. The media immediately came out with the headlines that horrified my friend. Walsh quotes a few:

“Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to make case for limiting immigration”

“Trump immigration official offers rewrite for Statue of Liberty poem

“The Trump Team rewrites the Statue of Liberty”

As Walsh explains:

These are all absurd lies. Cuccinelli never rewrote, or suggested that we rewrite, or even said anything about rewriting the poem on the Statue of Liberty. He also isn’t the one who brought up the poem. He was asked a question about whether the policy is consistent with the poem — which, again, doesn’t matter anyway — and he provided an answer. But this is a trick that the media loves to pull. They ask you a weird and irrelevant question, you answer it, and they report your answer as if you were the one who brought up the subject. A petty and disingenuous little ploy. And they weren’t done with Cuccinelli just yet.

How true that the media was not done with Cuccinelli. The next strike occurred when he tried to explain that the language “wretched refuse” was a reference to Europe’s class system, which treated its lower class like . . . well, refuse. Back to Walsh:

[H]e was giving necessary context to the poem in an effort to explain who the “wretched refuse” were, and why that language was used. His point, obviously, was that accepting “wretched refuse” doesn’t mean accepting non-contributors who only want to exploit America’s welfare system. Rather, it means accepting contributing and self-sufficient people from lower classes in society. But, again, Cuccinelli isn’t the one harping on the damn poem. It is the media that has decided to focus this entire conversation around the words on a plaque affixed to the Statue of Liberty.

To rational people free of the riptide, Cuccinelli’s point was obvious. But to the media, which is neither rational nor honest, Cuccinelli proved that the entire Trump administration is permeated with white supremacist thinking. Once again, Walsh collects some headlines:

Statue of Liberty poem was only supposed to welcome white immigrants ‘from Europe,’ Cuccinelli says

“Immigration official Ken Cuccinelli: Statue of Liberty poem refers to immigrants from Europe”

“Ken Cuccinelli: Statue Of Liberty Poem About ‘People Coming From Europe’”

The lack of logic behind the first and second batch of headlines is striking. In the first round, Cuccinelli is lambasted for rejecting the Statute of Liberty’s promise. In the second round, he’s lambasted for imposing a white supremacist worldview on the Statute of Liberty. How he can simultaneously reject it entirely and then embrace it as a white supremacist doctrine is never explained.

In a sane world, we’d see Leftists and NeverTrumpers look at the receding shore and thinking, “Wow, we might be in deeper waters than we realize.” In a heated partisan world driven by an increasingly dishonest (and possibly) insane media, these same Leftists and NeverTrumpers are either drifting along mindlessly or worse, swimming ever harder away from the shore.

This is a very dangerous time in American politics. My hope is that, as elections near and ordinary people start paying attention, they look at these crazed political die-hards and think “Whoa! Those people are drowning. I’m not going to let them take me down too.”

With that last thought in mind, I’ll end this on a happy note. I follow on Facebook a Jewish man who is, as I once was, a lifelong Democrat. He is also, as I always have been, a strong Israel supporter. I’ve been watching him struggle for months with the fact that one of the defining characteristics of the new Democrat party is its hostility to Israel. Just today, he put up a post about the fact that Tulsi Gabbard is now co-sponsoring Ilhan Omar’s pro-BDS bill. The comment he included? “And you’re out!” I suspect that he’s figuring out that he’s caught in a riptide and that, if you love Israel, the only free, pluralist democracy in the Middle East, there is no room for you any more in today’s Democrat party.

My hope is that, with every passing day, as the political crazies swim and float closer to the drowning point, other people grab for the life preservers.

Photo credit: Travel Photography from PhotoEverywhere

The post No. 8 Bookworm Room Podcast: Leftists and NeverTrumpers are caught in a political riptide appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.