Category Archives: Virtue Signaling

Bookworm Beat 6/19/20 — the corporate pandering, Aunt Jemima edition

Can we still laugh at the leftist war on every American institution and value, including Aunt Jemima pancake mix? Read these memes and then you tell me.
























































Dear Corporations: Taking a knee won’t save you

When the George Floyd riots began, corporations began virtue signaling. As all appeasers discover, that will not appease the mob. Exhibit A: Estee Lauder.

I’ve written two posts in the past couple of days about corporate virtue signaling. In my latest, I tell how I’m fighting against the virtue signaling. The first was about the fact that, while corporations are taking a knee because of “institutional racism” the real problem lies within the black community and the black community needs to address it.

The genesis for my total irritation with corporate virtue signaling was an Estee Lauder poster that I saw when scanning the internet:

My very first thought was that all Estee Lauder fragrances smell like rat poison. (That’s always my first thought when it comes to Estee Lauder. I can’t stand their scents.) My second thought was, who the hell cares where Estee Lauder, a cosmetics company stands on George Floyd’s death and fake “institutional racism”? My third thought was, never take a knee; it just feeds the mob. American corporations, with their insistence on hiring college grads, have nursed a viper to their collective capitalist breasts.

That’s why I had a wonderful laugh when I read that Estee Lauder employees are going after the Chairman, William Lauder, demanding that he fire one of the founder’s sons, who is also his uncle:

Employees of the cosmetic giant Estee Lauder have written a letter to Chairman William Lauder demanding that he fire board member Ronald Lauder because of his contributions to Donald Trump and conservative causes. They are also demanding the $3 billion company show more support to black groups, including Black Lives Matter.

It’s entirely possible, of course, that William’s desperate for an excuse to get Uncle Ronald out. However, I suspect that the problem is that poster, above. The company put its head on the “woke chopping block” with that one.

Here’s the letter I suggest sending every corporation that’s bugging you with its virtue signaling:

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,

Postscript: Ronald Lauder, by the way, sounds like an excellent man. A Reagan Republican, Israel supporter, and a Trump supporter. He’s wealthy enough to manage without the company. I wonder how well the company will manage without him.

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

A transnational elite racing its way to a revolution

In America and around the world, a transnational elite postures for itself and despises the people it rules. This is a recipe for a bloody revolution.

The other day, I was listening to Heather MacDonald speaking about homelessness during an appearance on City Journal’s Ten Blocks podcast. She was describing a visit to San Francisco, and it all sounded so familiar.

Before I get to Heather’s riff on the homeless, I want to do a little riff of my own about the homeless and others in America’s underclass. As long-time readers know, I actually have a conduit to the homeless and the underclass. A very dear childhood friend of mine has made life choices that see her living amongst them. When I visit her, I meet her friends, all of whom have, or have had, some extreme form of drug addiction. They also count among their number the homeless, although I haven’t met those guys personally; I’ve just heard about them.

When Obamacare was an issue back in 2009/2010, I learned something very interesting from my friend. Because she came from a middle class background, she was delighted to know that she could finally have subsidized middle class insurance. Her friends, however, were less delighted. Why? Because contrary to the assumptions in Washington, D.C., these people don’t have middle class values that include constant health maintenance and monitoring and they don’t care about having a personal relationship with a physician and a hospital.

What this meant in 2010 is that, without exception, this cohort of chronic drug users and homeless people were unimpressed by the opportunity to get fully insured for $50 or so per month — that is, to get the type of insurance middle class people were paying hundreds for monthly or that steered middle class people  to jobs with benefits and kept them at those jobs even if they were unhappy. To my friend’s friends, this would be $50 wasted every month. After all, why pay even that much when you can go to the emergency room for free?

This insight was yet another reminder that top-down policies do not reflect people’s needs. Moreover, the Left’s top-down policies exist only to serve a very narrow echelon of the Blue upper class. What the governing class is doing is virtue signaling. It makes assumptions about ordinary Americans (85% of whom liked their insurance before Obamacare destroyed everything), but doesn’t want to go near these same Americans to learn what they value.

Another one of those virtue signaling policies without regard for the concerns of most Americans can be seen in the Dem presidential candidates’ insistence that all Americans should be on the line for the student loans that kids take out to get useless degrees. And when I say “useless,” I’m not exaggerating. It’s not unheard of for people to amass hundreds of thousands in debt for a gender studies or fine arts major. There are no jobs out there in those fields that will provide enough funds for anyone to pay back one of those loans before death.

Ordinary people work hard and try to stay out of debt. When they incur a debt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the bank usually gets a security interest to protect itself. But not student loans. They just hang out there with us, the taxpayers, on the line. We’re on the line because student debt is expensive for America as a whole (more debt, less wealth) and we’re on the line because Leftists keep threatening to make us pay for the kid who opted, not to go into dad’s plumbing business, but to learn advanced puppetry on our dimes.

Which gets me to Heather MacDonald and homelessness. Once again, our governing class makes assumptions. Sitting in ivory academic towers and political offices, our governing class assumes that people don’t want to be homeless. That’s certainly true for working and middle class people who are down on their luck, but these aren’t the people filling the streets in Blue cities, especially West Coast Blue cities with temperate climates.

What MacDonald pointed out in the podcast is that these people want one thing and one thing only: drugs. Blue city policies enable that. In the name of “humanity,” they give the homeless free food, they don’t arrest drug dealers, they do nothing to stop homeless drug use, and they no longer do even minimal policing against disturbing the peace, public nudity, or soiling city streets. All of this is ostensibly to decrease homelessness but the reality is that these policies make homelessness more appealing to those who want only food and drugs. In other words, these are virtue signaling policies.

These same policies are a disaster for the Normals living in the City: the people who go to work, buy homes, have children — and see their streets made filthy and dangerous by people high on every type of drug and, of course, now carrying medieval diseases on their person. And sure, there’s a mental illness component, but a lot of the mental illnesses involved are not the type that would ordinarily render people dysfunctional. There aren’t many schizophrenics out there. Instead, there are people who self-medicated ordinary depression or other dysfunctions and the medication got away from them.

The elite government policies aren’t for the homeless or for the taxpayers. They are financially beneficial for those in government (on the taxpayer dime) and those attached like parasites to government (sucking up the taxpayer dime). And as I said before, they’re emotionally beneficially for people who believe in virtue-signaling more than problem solving. The governing class, like warped fireflies, is sending out smug signals to others in the governing class: “We spent $12 million on the homeless and gave them free needles! We’re so very, very good.” And then they profess themselves bewildered as the homeless multiply on the streets like wire hangers in a closet.

The same disconnect between the governing class and our country’s needs shows itself with the military that Obama bequeathed to Trump. I covered most of that in this post: Under Obama, there came to be a cancer in the Pentagon. My point in that post is that Obama deliberately created an officer class more concerned with social justice and virtue signaling about things such as climate change than concerned with winning wars. It was this officer class (with some Clinton-era holdovers) that has professed itself shocked! Shocked that Trump would pull our troops out of theaters of war in which they shed their blood without benefit to America or that Trump would jettison social justice in favor of killing our enemies. (It’s a good post. If you haven’t read it, you might give it a look.)

During my podcast yesterday, I discussed that post — and I added a couple more points about the Obama military’s disconnect from ordinary Americans. Those points are relevant here, because they remind us that our governing class does not like us and does not share our goals or concerns. Even as Obama was firing officers who might well have been committed to more traditional military values, he was definitely encouraging officers to embrace his social justice, Leftist agenda.

That’s why, during the Obama years, this happened: In 2011, Obama did away with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in favor of open gay service. Frankly, I have no idea how this has turned out for military readiness. I just know that, in 2018, a proud, official Navy press release and a laudatory article in the Navy Times introduced us to Yeoman 3rd class Joshua Kelley, aka Harpy Daniels, a drag queen performing on Navy ships. I don’t mean to harsh on Kelley. He sounds like a perfectly nice young man whose father was in the Navy, so Kelley thought of the Navy as a good option when he was having a hard time making a living as a professional drag queen.

The press release and article tout Kelley’s “knack for life as a sailor,” something that sounds good. Except when you read down in the articles about Kelley’s life as a sailor, it sounds as if he’s sailing on the USS Social Justice, rather than a war ship. Thus, we’re told that Kelley was voted to be the president of Strike Fighter Squadron 115′s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions and that he became the public affairs officer for the carrier Reagan’s Gay, Lesbian and Supporting Sailors association. He even got a “blue jacket of the year” award, not for being the person who keeps Navy pilot’s planes safe or ships running well . . . but for his work on the Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions.

I don’t mean to slam Kelley. I’m just saying I find Kelley to be a surprising choice for the Navy to boast about. The Navy’s purpose, after all, the reason we taxpayers pay the big bucks for it, is to defend us in war against enemies, not to make drag queens feel good about themselves.

Obama also opened the military to transgender people (before Trump shut that down). Transgender people have a 40% or higher suicide rate, higher than any other population group. It’s trendy to point at discrimination as the culprit for these tragic numbers, but the fact is that other groups that have also been on receiving end of terrible discrimination (e.g., blacks) never had suicide rates anywhere comparable to that.

Moreover, transgender individuals, like other people in the cohort that Dave Chappell calls “alphabet people” have higher incidences of alcohol and drug dependency, risky sexual behaviors, suicide, depression, self-harm and spousal abuse. All of these are terrible things. I don’t wish them on anybody . . . but I also don’t wish them on our military!

Obama also opened combat to women., something that’s been a disaster in all standing militaries but for those, like the Kurds, that live on the front line. Even Israel, a front line country, backed away from women in combat when it was able to do so. Women’s presence was (a) dead weight because women are less physically able than men and (b) disastrous for unit moral, because of rivalries and the men’s inability to cope with the women being hurt or killed in battle.

And then there are those green, green climate change initiatives. In 2014, I had the tremendous pleasure of attending the commissioning ceremony for the USS America. It was a wonderful experience. But as I wrote at the time,

[S]ince this is a 21st century, here’s your assurance that the ship is as green as green can be. (I didn’t hear anyone assure me that a green ship is a safer ship or a better fighting ship, but I might have missed that part.)

USS America - Energy Warrior

I’m all for green ships if they save taxpayer money without impairing the military’s efficacy — or, even better, if they increase the military’s ability to fight wars. But that really wasn’t the issue there, was it?

Put simply, during his eight years in office, Obama revamped the American military so that it was dedicated to (a) social justice and (b) climate change. Interestingly, in 2017, not long after Obama left the White House – and before Trump could put his imprimatur on military — the Navy had a spate of terrible accidents:

A US Navy plane crashed into the ocean southeast of Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon, marking at least the sixth apparent accident involving a Navy asset in East Asian waters this year.

The C2-A Greyhound transport plane was carrying 11 crew and passengers to an aircraft carrier when it crashed into the Philippine Sea, the Navy said. As of Wednesday evening, eight people had been rescued, and three were missing.

Wednesday’s crash comes three weeks after a Navy and civilian panel recommended sweeping changes in a comprehensive review of the Japan-based US 7th Fleet, which covers East Asian waters.

The review found that two deadly accidents — the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain with commercial ships in June and August, respectively — were avoidable.

The review’s recommendations include new processes for scheduling ships; “ready for sea” assessments for all Japan-based ships; disseminating lessons learned form “near misses”; and ensuring that ships routinely transmit on their automatic identification systems to prevent collisions.

Of the six incidents, Wednesday’s is the only one directly involving a Navy aircraft. The others are collisions involving US warships.”

Maybe just bad luck – or maybe the military had changed its mission under Obama. After all, the fish rots from the head.

If you’re wondering why all these disparate anecdotes belong in a single post, here’s my answer: They remind us that America’s ruling elite has no concern about ordinary Americans. Hillary was speaking for an entire governing class when she said people who won’t hope on the Leftist train are a “basket of deplorables. *** They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic – you name it.”

We’re racist because we want to be color-blind, rather than engaging in endless victim wars and because we believe that a nation without borders is no nation at all. We’re sexist because we believe that women and men are different. We’re homophobic because we’re troubled by the pressure LGBTQ activists are placing on American institutions. We xenophobic because Hillary and her followers are proud of knowing a big word with Greek roots. We’re Islamophobic because we’ve noticed that 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims actively want to kill or enslave us and are supported by a much larger number than 10% — including, perhaps, the House’s own Ilhan Omar.

The anecdotes I told are concrete manifestations of this hatred. While ordinary people look to the military to protect us from foreign enemies, our self-styled elite class, which controls most of the levers of power in America, sees traditional military readiness as a tattered, irrelevant doctrine. For them, the military is a giant social justice experiment that pays homage to all the other Leftist shibboleths: only engaging in wars that are not for America’s benefit (because America bad), fighting climate change, and making marginalized people feel good about themselves. Once upon a time, marginalized people (i.e., the poor and/or minorities) felt good about themselves because they became highly competent parts of something much greater than each individual, creating indissoluble bonds and a sense of pride. Now they get awarded “blue jacket” because they advance alphabet people causes.

Likewise, homelessness is a problem, not to be wiped out, but to be magnified so as to showcase the enormous financial and spiritual generosity the elite class doles out to the homeless: using our money and making our cities dangerous at so many levels.

After thinking about homeless projects that magnify homelessness; military initiatives for victim classes, rather than America’s defense; high tax demands that will destroy a thriving economy; the insistence that grown men have access to little girl’s bathrooms; the fight to open our borders so that poor and working class people can lose jobs and housing to illegal immigrants; and all the other initiatives coming from the Leftist leadership in politics, in education, in entertainment, and in the news media, I have to ask: Just who do these people represent?

They certainly don’t represent the interests of the average American or the majority of Americans. We’ve come to the point at which we no longer have “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” Instead, we have a government class that despises the people.

Moreover, this is true all over the world, not just America. A friend sent me an email pointing out that there are revolutions in Chile, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Lebanon, England, Baghdad, France, Holland, and Iran. Some are bloody, or likely to be bloody, revolutions (Chile, Hong Kong, Iran); some are voter revolutions (the 2016 election here, Brexit in England); and some are tractor revolutions in Holland or yellow jacket revolutions in France.

In all cases, though, they represent the same thing: People fighting back against political and cultural leaders who have become an international class bound by ties, not to their own countries, but to other world leaders. The transnational elites posture for their fellow transnationals and enacts policies that enrich only themselves. The one thing they’re not doing is taking care of the people in their charge.

Back in 1992, when I was a Democrat, I remember that one of cheers that Bill Clinton liked to use at his rallies to get the audience revved up was, “It’s time for them to go” — with “them” referring to the Republicans who had held the White House for 16 years, to America’s tremendous social and economic benefit.

I don’t look back fondly on the Clinton years, and regret my votes at the time, but I like that theme. Across the world, as weary, beaten-down people look at a ruling class that sees them as despicable, dirty deplorables, these ordinary people, these normals, need to rise up and say, “It’s time for them to go.”

And here’s a word of warning to the ruling class: You managed to keep a lid on things for seven decades after WWII. The people’s discontent, though, is boiling. Bad things happen when the pressure from that boiling finally blows off that tightly pressed lid. I suggest that the Western world’s ruling class, as well as the ruling class in China and the Middle East, gracefully backs away from the levers of power before its members get their greedy, smug little hands blown off of those same levers.

Be assured that I’m not advocating a bullet-style revolution. I prefer my revolutions at the ballot box. But when a people become too discontent, the ballot box is suddenly no longer an option.

The post A transnational elite racing its way to a revolution appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Virtue signaling in Minnesota should stay local

St. Paul, Minnesota, excels in Leftist virtue signaling — which would be fine if they’d keep it in Minnesota and not try to force it on the rest of us.

A few days ago, I put up several photos showing the extreme virtue signaling that one finds in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the form of signs that people place in front of their houses. With perfect timing, two of my favorite sites put up posts today about Minnesota.

At American Thinker, there’s a post about the profound way in which Somalis have changed Minneapolis’s character. Considering that two of the photos at my site, showing yard signs in St. Paul (Minneapolis’s sister city) in which the home owners are either showing excessive tenderness for Muslim sensibilities or begging that their houses be spared future race/religion based attacks, that article is right on the money. Meanwhile, over at Powerline, there’s a post about Minneapolis’s decision to sponsor a program taking on America’s collective guilt because, 400 years ago, it took part in Africa’s tradition of slavery, something stretching back thousands of years.

Since Minnesota virtue signaling seems to be a theme, I have some more photographs to add to the show. The first photo is a typical yard sign, which I saw several times while driving around St. Paul:

In addition to the yard sign, the house had something rather sweet that I saw in front of several houses — a glass-fronted box filled with books. The principle is that passers-by can “take a book and leave a book.” In this particular “library box” the only book visible bore this title:

Regarding the next photo, I always laugh when I see someone boast that “science is real.” Science is not a “thing,” like a rock or a cabbage. It’s a process. And if you value the scientific process, you’re not going to say that men can magically become women (which is an idea I’m sure this homeowner would espouse). Moreover, if you say that men can magically become women through hormones and plastic surgery, so much so that they can compete in women’s athletics, you’ve completely negated women’s rights. With just those two notions in mind, the whole sign becomes rather silly.

The next photo needs a small preface. My older readers probably remember Paul Wellstone’s infamous funeral. Paul Wellstone was a Progressive Minnesota politician who died in a plane crash in 2002, something that was very tragic. However, for most Americans, Wellstone is remembered less for what he did in his life, than for the “pep rally” his funeral became:

The basketball arena at the University of Minnesota holds 20,000 people. Tonight it’s jam-packed. Not for the Gophers, whose Big 10 championship banners hang from the rafters, but for Paul Wellstone, the liberal senator who died Friday in a plane crash while campaigning for re-election. A pantheon of Democrats—Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry—has come to pay its respects.

[snip]

But the solemnity of death and the grace of Midwestern humor are overshadowed tonight by the angry piety of populism. Most of the event feels like a rally. The touching recollections are followed by sharply political speeches urging Wellstone’s supporters to channel their grief into electoral victory. The crowd repeatedly stands, stomps, and whoops. The roars escalate each time Walter Mondale, the former vice president who will replace Wellstone on the ballot, appears on the giant screens suspended above the stage. “Fritz! Fritz!” the assembly chants.

“Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning,” Wellstone declares in a videotaped speech shown on the overhead screens. “Politics is about improving people’s lives.” But as the evening’s speakers proceed, it becomes clear that to them, honoring Wellstone’s legacy is all about winning the election. Repeating the words of Wellstone’s son, the assembly shouts, “We will win! We will win!” Rick Kahn, a friend of Wellstone’s, urges everyone to “set aside the partisan bickering,” but in the next breath he challenges several Republican senators in attendance to “honor your friend” by helping to “win this election for Paul Wellstone.” What can he be thinking?

At least one person in St. Paul remembered Wellstone’s politics so fondly, s/he made a rather unintelligible 8 1/2 by 11 document, laminated it, and put it out on the sidewalk for everyone to study:

One yard, however, was my favorite. What first caught my eye was the virtue signaling “All are welcome here” sign. It was only a split second later than I noticed the Honeywell Security sign, which pretty much says, “You’re not welcome here at all.” I was still laughing halfway up the block.

Aside from the rampant virtue signaling, the reality is that St. Paul seems to be a charming city: It’s well-maintained, the streets are filled with beautiful houses from the Victorian era forward, the place is overrun with little colleges, many dating back a century or so, and people are friendly.

When I’m in St. Paul, or in Minnesota generally, I don’t mind that they’re all crazy Leftists because I’m a big believer in local politics. Local politics reflect local concerns and address local problems. People who like a locality’s politics can move to that area, while people who dislike the politics can leave. The same holds true for ill-managed Leftist cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

What I bitterly resent about the citizens of pretty St. Paul, as well as disastrous Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, is the compulsion the citizens in those cities have to force their voluntary policy choices onto the United States as a whole. What they’re doing negates the virtues of constitutional federalism (a federal government of limited powers and state governments of only slightly limited powers), destroying the beauty of “50 laboratories of democracy.” If your policies are that good, lead by example, not by coercion.

Of course, some Minnesota policies have national ramifications. The state’s coddling of Islamists, for example, makes Minnesota a too-perfect breeding ground for Islamist terrorism. The federal government should have a say in this national security matter. Likewise, when Leftist civic policies turn cities into breeding grounds for dangerous contagious diseases (L.A. now has both typhus and typhoid), that too may have national ramifications that call for federal action.

Otherwise, if Leftist cities, whether in Minnesota, California, Seattle, or elsewhere, want to experiment with Venezuela-style politics, I say “Let them.” If the policies work, more power to them; and if they don’t work, they become an object lesson in the dangers of Leftism.

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Hillary’s sheeple revel in their mindless ignorance

In 2008, when a Progressive friend expressed absolute horror that Sarah Palin was on the Republican ticket, I asked him to tell me why she was less qualified than Obama. After all, unlike Obama, Palin had experience governing. With his back against the wall, my friend uttered the worst indictment he could think of, and it had nothing to do with Palin’s abilities: “She’s not one of us.”

As someone who is by birth and upbringing “one of us,” I know exactly what he meant. The “us” people have all attended prestigious schools, whether public or private or large or small.

The “us” people always laugh at the cartoons in The New Yorker, and they often read the articles.

For news, the “us” people all go to the New York Times, where they read the front page and the style section. They feel smug about the fact that they’re entirely comfortable with the LGBTQI marriages now announced on the wedding page. In the car (and they all wish they could have a Tesla), they listen to NPR. In the evening, during or after dinner, they watch NBCCBSABCPBSCNN, but not Fox. If they’re edgy, they watch MSNBC.

The “us” people always make sure to see the movies that “everyone” is talking about. And when they say “everyone,” they don’t actually mean that. They mean the reviewers at The New York Times, NPR, and other select, sophisticated outlets. If those reviewers say a movie is important, the “us” people will rave about it too, no matter that the plot was unintelligible, the dialogue mumbled, and the message ugly. “It’s important, don’t you know.”

Rather peculiarly, given their snobbery (especially about education), the “us” people think that the opinions of Hollywood actors, many of whom are minimally educated and all of whom live peculiar, cloistered lives, surrounded by unimaginable wealth and unseemly yes-men, are valuable advocates for the “us” crowd.

The “us” people believe passionately in climate change (never mind that none of the predictions have borne fruit) and think it’s a brilliant thing to phase out fossil fuels as quickly as possible. (After all, they’re Tesla drivers.) The little people at home and abroad who depend on fossil fuels for food, protection against temperature extremes, and all other aspects of their basic livelihood will just have to adapt. Mother Gaia is more important.

The “us” people agree with Hillary that all white people are racists — except that each individual member of the “us” people knows in her heart-of-hearts, just as Hillary knows in the shriveled, blackened mass that once was her heart, that this indictment doesn’t apply personally to her.

The “us” people passionately support abortion. As Obama, the King of “Us” so beautifully expressed it when speaking of his young daughters in 2008, “if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

The “us” people travel extensively abroad and always come home talking about how much better “abroad” is than America. If it’s Europe, it’s more cultured and sophisticated; if it’s the Third World, it’s more genuine and less materialistic. If the “us” people are really lucky, they grew up in a cosmopolitan home with non-American parents, entitling them to look down upon American culture, despite having been born and raised in America.

Although the “us” people travel extensively abroad, they never go to the Midwest unless on business. After those trips, they always explain that the cities were unexpectedly nice (“and so clean”) but that the people are yokels (“but really nice”). Moreover, those “us” people who happen to have grown up or gone to school in the Midwest, make sure to say how grateful they are for having been able to escape the stifling confines of flyover country.

In the 1990s, the “us” people all watched The West Wing and congratulated themselves on being able to keep up with Aaron Sorkin’s coked-up, rapid-fire dialogue — and, more importantly, they revered the president and staff who tirelessly, week after week, in the vacuum of our TV sets, advanced perfect Progressive policy.

I needn’t bring up more examples. It’s enough to know that the “us” people are sophisticated, cultured, educated, and Progressive.  They are not Alaskan born and raised Sarah Palin with a degree from Arizona State. They are, instead, Barack Obama, with his edgy, multicultural background, his fancy Hawaiian private school, and above all his Ivy League credentials — never mind that his transcripts have had to be hidden lest they reveal either that he was a sub par student or that he leveraged himself into those schools by falsely claiming to be a foreign national. And like Obama, they aren’t troubled by facts; it’s enough to be “one of us.”

The “one of us” dynamic is obviously class-based, with the division being one of culture, rather than lineage. That’s why, even though Hillary and Bill emerged from the political swamp in Arkansas (definitely not a “one of us” state), they were still shiny sophisticates because Hillary went to Wellesley and Yale, and Bill went to Yale and got a Rhodes Scholarship (a very racist thing to do, in retrospect).

To read more, please go here.

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Kaepernick & Co.: The difference between civil disobedience and virtue signaling

Living in a free country means that Kaepernick and his imitators have the right to take a knee when they hear The Star Spangled Banner. Having a right, though, doesn’t mean that you are right.

When it comes to Kaepernick & Friends, those people who feel offended by their disrespectful gesture are right to feel that way: There’s nothing noble about virtue signaling, which is all that these highly paid athletes are doing. It’s a meaningless, painless activity that simply puffs up their profile in the drive-by media.

Things would be different, however, if they engaged in true acts of civil disobedience. Doing that might earn them respect even from those who disagree with them.

Back in the day, civil disobedience used to mean something very specific. Although long a recognized part of Anglo-Saxon and English culture (mostly through jury nullification), it was Henry David Thoreau, in the mid-19th Century, who best articulated the doctrine we now recognize. Thoreau objected to a poll tax because he felt the money was being improperly spent to support slavery and the war with Mexico. Rather than paying the tax, he took a principled stand, refused to pay the tax, and went to prison.

As it happened, Thoreau’s friends quickly bailed him out, so he did not have much time to glory in his martyrdom. Nevertheless, this single night in jail inspired Thoreau to write the definitive essay about a citizen’s obligation to strike out against unjust laws and practices — and to demonstrate the law’s invalidity through each citizen’s personal martyrdom. Significantly, Thoreau felt that such a principled stand gained weight from an attendant sacrifice, which is usually imprisonment:

Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. The proper place today, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less despondent spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race should find them; on that separate but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her–the only house in a slave State in which a free man can abide with honor.

Part of taking a principled stand means a willingness to pay the price. Martin Luther King was willing to pay the price, as was Mohandas Gandhi. Rosa Parks, who knew she risked imprisonment when she refused to move to the back of the bus, was willing to pay the price. Nelson Mandela surely paid the price and then showed tremendous grace when he had in his hands the power to get revenge . . . but didn’t.

How things have changed in America. If you’re a Leftist, you get to break the law or with community norms . . . and receive only loud applause. I first realized that true, sacrificial civil disobedience is a dead letter for Lefties in February 2004, when San Francisco’s then-mayor, Gavin Newsom, suddenly announced that he was going to ignore California’s laws against same-sex marriage, and have the City issue marriage licenses to all gay couples desiring them. The Press oooh’ed and aaah’ed about his bravery, and gave him a platform he used to leverage himself to California’s Lieutenant Governorship and, he hopes, one day sees him seated in the governor’s office itself (helped by his current campaign to destroy the Second Amendment).

To read more, please go here.