Category Archives: Media

Ignore the media; America is still in good shape

The media are lying to us: Outside of the media’s Democrat-run communities, Americans are getting along fine and are well aware of what’s really going on.

Believe it or not, things in America are better than you think. In a way, America is the equivalent of a fundamentally healthy plant under attack from hard-left aphids. If we can rid ourselves of that parasite, we will be fine. This post needs three personal anecdotes to explain what I mean.

Anecdote One: I lived in San Francisco in 1989 when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. It was a severe earthquake that killed 63 people, most of whom died when a freeway in the East Bay collapsed. I missed it entirely because I was on vacation in Hawaii.

Thirty-one years ago, there was no internet, and the phone lines into the City were down. The only way to know what was happening was to watch television news. Because my family was still in the City, I was glued to the TV set. Every outlet showed images of fires and collapsed buildings.

It was only when my initial panic subsided that I realized that the media was focusing on just three or four locations in San Francisco. The neighborhoods in which my family members and I lived never made it to the television screen because nothing had happened there. My parents lost a TV that fell off its stand, and a picture in my apartment was crooked. While the media focused on the bad things, for most people, once they got their power back, life was normal.

Anecdote Two: My friend and I went to a local gun range a couple of weeks ago. We were the first people waiting in line. A few minutes later, a young black man joined the line behind us. I greeted him, he returned my greeting, and we started chatting. Within a few minutes, he looked at us – two middle-aged white people – and said, “What happened downtown, that’s not who we are here. Those people, they just want to make trouble, burning a car, and making a mess. Here, we’re all in it together. We’re good people.”

I found it utterly endearing that this young man wanted us to feel safe and comfortable. I also believed him. In my very mixed-race, suburban community, outside of the Democrat-run urban center, things are peaceful, and people treat each other with kindness and respect.

Anecdote Three: I was in Madison, Wisconsin, recently. A few days before I arrived, rioters hit the city center, where the state capital is, with a vengeance. I spoke with a woman who’s lived in Madison all her life. She was furious at the state and city government for allowing these riots to happen. I suspect she’ll still be angry in November.

At the Madison airport, I blatantly eavesdropped as three white men sitting near me, all in their 30s or 40s, talked to each other. They were obviously strangers who had bonded as travelers do, over a shared belief system. They believe that black lives matter and that police lives matter. They think that the rioters are dangerous people who are putting white and police lives at risk and that they need to be stopped. None of the three men struck me as a news junkie, but all were well-informed and worried about what was happening. If they haven’t voted before, I think they’ll vote now.

Getting to the point: The point of my first anecdote is that the mainstream media outlets are headquartered in and focus on the big cities. Rather than looking outside of their narrow focus, they extrapolate from it. If New York and other Democrat-run cities are in shambles racism, then all of America must be racist.

My second and third anecdotes hint that the media are wrong. (Two anecdotes don’t make data, but they’re a start.) When you get outside of America’s big cities (and I’ve traveled extensively in America over the past couple of years, so I’ve seen a fair bit of our country), most people transcend race or at least rub along well enough for communities to avoid racial friction. They have the shared bonds of neighborhood, jobs, hobbies, children, and, although leftists may find this hard to believe, love for their country and its values.

Naturally, the media aren’t selling this narrative merely because they’re insular. They’re selling it to make people believe that America is a disaster and that Trump is the cause. As William A. Jacobson explains in a must-read post, this is what the media does every time a Republican president runs for re-election. They spin the news to demoralize Americans away from voting for the Democrat. This year, they’re spinning harder and faster than ever, aided by Democrat-approved mobs tearing up the streets.

Remember, though, what you’re seeing is Democrat America. It’s in Democrat America that unemployment is high; that people are trapped in their homes, dying from untreated diseases, loneliness, and economic despair; that mobs are ransacking cities and destroying cultural institutions; that police have been bullied off the street, leaving the cities’ predators to go on murderous rampages; and that cultural institutions (such as museums and once-revered colleges and universities) are immolating themselves. The rest of us are doing just fine, thank you!

The fact that the media are selling a narrative that only goes to a minute segment of the American experience doesn’t mean that it cannot do untold harm. Neither Hitler nor Lenin got a majority of votes in elections. As with China’s Xi, Russia’s Putin, and Turkey’s Erdogan, all that mattered was that they got close enough to power to seize it. It’s still up to ordinary Americans to stop the takeover. My point is simply that the media are lying and that many ordinary instinctively understand the truth.

Rudyard Kipling, who long ago became a literary persona non grata thanks to his highly imperialist views, wrote a poem called If. I’ve never been a fan of his poetry, but I think the first verse of If is worth remembering:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise….

If you can do that (and a few other unrelated things), Kipling promises that “you’ll be a Man, my son!” Nowadays, it would end, “you’ll be an American, my friend!”

Let’s not lose our heads this summer as the media works to amplify Democrat self-destruction to demoralize the rest of us. Keep your head, separate the truth from lies, don’t give in to hate against your fellow man, and vote a straight Republican ticket in November. Trump deserves your vote; Biden does not.

As for the many Republican quislings seeking election and re-election, patriotic conservatives need to do better in the primaries. Once they’re officially on the ticket, we risk everything if we let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t lose sight of the fact that, no matter how weak they are, they’re still better than a Democrat-run Congress.

Image: Collapsed Building in the Marina following the Loma Prieta earthquake (cropped)

Bookworm Beat 5/14/20: Pent up posting about the current scene

I am exploding with pent-up posts going back two weeks, so I thought a Bookworm Beat might be the best way to do a mental download onto the blog.

A good Obamagate overview. During their Russagate heyday, the leftist media had it easy because they could roll with a single message: “Russia! Russia! Russia!” And failing that, “Climate! Climate! Climate!”

Obamagate is harder because it is, in fact, an actual conspiracy. The nature of conspiracies is that they hide away in the dark, and involve serpentine steps to achieve nefarious goals. When brought to light, the malfeasors scurry away like cockroaches surprised by light. Then, investigators laboriously gather up the Raid and your roach motels to unravel the conspiracy and bring the conspirators before the law.

What I just wrote is a helpful analogy, but the actual facts of Obamagate are a bit harder to explain. That’s why I appreciated John Daniel Davidson’s masterful overview of Obamagate. He carefully avoids getting caught in the weeds of endless dates, actors, and lies, and focuses instead on the broad-brush outlines to reveal “the biggest political scandal of our time.” I actually disagree with that statement. I think that, as far as American politics go, it’s the biggest political scandal ever.

Anyway, if you’re struggling to get a handle on the two different narratives (FISA and Flynn) and the way they dovetail into a single concerted attack on the Trump campaign and then the Trump presidency, Davidson’s article is an excellent way to start.

Matt Taibbi continues his lonely journey as an honest progressive journalist. One of the things I didn’t get to blog about while my site was down was an article two law professors – one from Harvard and one from the University Arizona — wrote for The Atlantic about censorship. If you’re expecting to hear that they wrote a rousing defense of free speech, you’d be wrong. Instead, the professors advocated for abandoning constitutional free speech in favor of Chinese-style censorship, complete with tech giants giving the government the help it needs.

Taibbi does not agree, either with the professors or with other so-called “liberals” advocating for wiping out both the First and Fourth Amendments. While Taibbi doesn’t go back as far as Tom Friedman and his love affair with Chinese-style control, he does round up a few recent examples of how the Wuhan virus has been an opening for “liberals” to let out their inner fascist.

(By the way, I never use the word “liberal” to describe Democrats, progressives, or leftists. It is an obscene misnomer, and I won’t countenance it.)

Taibbi using that leftist drive for censorship as an opening to discuss covers the leftist love for “expertise,” its relentlessly scolding tone (think: Karen), and the severe limitations that hamper even good journalists. It’s a tour de force and deserves a read. Indeed, anyone, especially a progressive, who writes this deserves to be acknowledged, and that’s true even if Taibbi’s leftism still blinds him so that he meekly accepts as accurate the canard that Trump told people to inject over-the-counter disinfectants:

We have a lot of dumb people in this country. But the difference between the stupidities cherished by the Idiocracy set ingesting fish cleaner, and the ones pushed in places like the Atlantic, is that the jackasses among the “expert” class compound their wrongness by being so sure of themselves that they force others to go along. In other words, to combat “ignorance,” the scolders create a new and more virulent species of it: exclusive ignorance, forced ignorance, ignorance with staying power.

The people who want to add a censorship regime to a health crisis are more dangerous and more stupid by leaps and bounds than a president who tells people to inject disinfectant. It’s astonishing that they don’t see this.

Bastiat and the problem with the leftists’ apocalyptic world view. Years ago, I read, and fell in love with, Frédéric Bastiat’s famous economic essay, “What is seen and what is unseen.” In it, he examines the fallacy of those who say that even a broken window is a good thing, for it brings work to the glazier. Bastiat, however, points out that fixing something broken is a dead end. The window’s owner might have spent the same money on something more useful and necessary for him. This lost buying power is the “unseen” part for those who can see only a broken window and a glazier. Or, as Bastiat wrote, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

Leftists have this limited “unseen” thinking about gun violence (they see only those 30,000 who die, not the hundreds of thousands or even millions whose lives guns save). They also have it with abortion, where the focus is on women (who can be seen), rather than on the millions of babies who never got the chance to grow up to be women (or men).

For an example of a “seen” woman’s suffering, think of Michelle Obama, who was very explicit about what a terrible choice it was for her to have children:

“My relationship with Barack was all about our equal partnership,” Obama recalled. “If I was going to have a unique voice with this very opinionated man, I had to get myself up and set myself off to a place where I was going to be his equal.”

[snip]

“The thing that really changed it was the birth of our children. I wasn’t really ready for that. That really made it harder,” the first lady explained. “Something had to give and it was my aspirations and dreams.”

“I made that concession not because he said ‘you have to quit your job,’ but it felt like ‘I can’t do all of this so I have to tone down my aspirations, I have to dial it back,’” she added.

I didn’t particularly want children, but I knew it was a necessary thing to do to further my development as a mature human being. I realized that I’d miss the selfish life (and I did miss it), but that life also frightened me because I saw that it was preventing me from fully growing up. Now that my children are themselves grown, the pay-off for having had them is huge because they are delights to have around. For me, despite the lost sleep, boredom, and frustration, it was a win-win.

But back to Bastiat, progressives, and the Wuhan virus. Actually, I won’t spell out the argument in this post because you can read it here.

San Franciscans are paying the price for subsidizing vice. For a very long time, San Francisco has been subsidizing vice. First, it decriminalized crime. Drug taking, public drunkenness, public excretory functions, stealing (as long as the thief took goods worth less than $950) . . . they’re all allowed in San Francisco. For people who like engaging in those crimes, especially stealing, San Francisco is the place to be.

San Francisco has also been subsidizing substance abuse for quite a long time. Under the banner of decency, it’s made clean needles available to IV drug users and provided them with food, shelter, and other benefits. San Francisco’s progressives say that this is right and proper because drug users are victims too.

It’s true that many homeless people are mentally ill. Of course, it’s a chicken and egg question whether they had pre-existing issues and self-medicated, making themselves worse, or whether the substance abuse itself created the mental health issues. It’s also true that tossing junkies and mentally ill people in jail is not a solution.

These are real problems and require thoughtful approaches. However, you’d also think that someone in San Francisco might have realized that it’s a bad idea to create what is effectively a Utopian environment for disruptive, dangerous, dirty, disease-ridden druggies and other people with anti-social behavior.

Tax-paying, working San Francisco residents have been complaining about the homeless problem for a while now. Still, it’s hard to take their complaints seriously when they elect Chesa Boudin as the town’s DA, the man who promised to decriminalize everything. They also elected London Breed, another hard leftist, to be their mayor.

This is what happens when genuine lifestyle issues (such as being able to walk the streets safely or run a business) crash into virtue signaling. Virtue signaling always wins.

Anyway, the Wuhan virus (or, if you like, the New York virus) has put the whole San Francisco problem on steroids. Daniel Greenfield has a hard-hitting look at what’s happening on the streets of San Francisco:

“People are coming from all over the place, Sacramento, Lake County, Bakersfield,” Jeanine Nicholson, the first lesbian head of the San Francisco Fire Department, grumbled. “People are getting released from jail in other counties and being told to go to San Francisco, where you will get a tent and then you will get housing.”

The people coming to the City by the Bay weren’t wearing flowers in their hair, they were homeless junkies who had heard that they were going to get free hotel rooms, along with pot and booze.

And it was all true. Every word of it.

San Francisco was spending $200 a night to house the homeless, or as the current politically correct euphemism insisted that they be called, the ‘unhoused’, in hotel rooms at a cost of over $100 million.

You have to read his article to believe it and, even after reading it, you might not believe it.

San Francisco always had a wacky edge, but it was an aesthetically beautiful and still functional city. Those days are over. Large parts of San Francisco are sewers with homeless people camped on the streets and affluent citizens hiding in their homes. My old neighborhood, once a working- and middle-class bastion, is the brothel center of San Francisco. The City that Herb Caen always boasted “knew how” is dying.

Go to college; get therapy. Three years ago, I wrote a post about Macalester College, a small and expensive liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota, and its proud boast about having multiple therapy dogs. I was revolted.

If you look at the photo for that post, which is simply the cover of Macalester’s magazine for parents, you’ll see that it shows girls crowding around the therapy dog. That was a familiar sight for me. When I was on a small liberal arts college campus several years ago, one that had a therapy dog, I noticed incoming freshman crowding around the dog, not in a “What a cute dog” way, but in an “I desperately need help way.” I also noticed how highly feminized the boys were, whether they were gay or straight.

Heather MacDonald, who’s a smarter, more knowledgeable, and a better writer than I am, has just written a lengthy article about the therapeutic culture at Yale and other American colleges, something that fuses feminism with mental illness. She describes how students are never told to buck up and embrace their experience. Instead, they are encouraged to revert to toddler-esque panic and equally immature means of relieving that panic. This instruction in helplessness is paired with the bizarre feminization of the therapeutic college culture:

For the last 40 years, men have been an underrepresented minority in higher education, reports American Enterprise Institute scholar Mark Perry. Since 1982, females earned nearly 14 million more college degrees than men. Colleges began a “desperate” search for women faculty in the 1970s that eroded the “intellectual rigor of elite higher education in the U.S.,” says Camille Paglia, the feminist professor and author. “Due to that sudden influx, academe’s entire internal culture changed,” she says. As the female presence has grown, so have claims of a crisis of collegiate mental health.

Nationally, about two-thirds of the students who sought treatment for mental-health disorders in the 2018–19 academic year were female, according to the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. At Yale, therapy use is heavily female and LGBTQ, according to students. “There are few straight men using therapy,” one self-identified “queer” girl in the GLC said. “It’s stigmatized for straight CIS men. Almost all my friends who go to therapy identify as gay or trans.”

I sent my college-attending children links to MacDonald’s article. I think they’ll recognize their classmates, especially their unstable, highly neurotic, angry, and dangerous female classmates, in the article.

You have to read this. Dov Fischer, a lawyer and rabbi, has written an extraordinary article entitled A Time to Hate. He explains how he, like other conservatives during the Obama years, hated Obama’s policies and corruption, while still accepting that Obama was the duly elected president. That is, conservatives understood that Republicans ran lousy candidates and paid the price. It was up to conservatives to step up their game at election time if they wanted something different than the Obama presidency.

Now, however, after three years of unmitigated hysteria, corruption, lies, coups, and other attacks on the core of the Trump presidency (that is, three years of attacks on our constitutional notion of the executive office) Fischer has changed his mind. He has learned to hate.

As I said, the article is extraordinary, and I highly encourage your looking it over.

That’s enough for one day. By the way, as you can see, I’ve changed my “woman writing” picture for a new one that better suits my blog’s format. When you see that image at the head of a post, you’ll know that the post is one that jumbles together a whole lot of things that interest me.

[VIDEO] Why America loves Donald Trump and why he should win in 2020

The AC/DC soundtrack only makes more powerful this great video contrasting the media’s blind Trump-hatred versus Trump’s virtues and pro-Americanism.

Trump Thunderstruck from Mr Smith on Vimeo.

(Hat tip: Ace of Spades — and you should go to this Ace of Spades link because today’s content is that good, including creative solutions for overhauling a broken legal system.)

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Bookworm Beat 9/4/19 — my political Festivus edition

When it comes to Leftist lunacy, I feel like Frank Costanza on Festivus: “I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!”

Festivus time for airing of grievancesYes, it’s a little early in the year for a Festivus celebration, but the news is irritating me so greatly that I simply have to speak out. Here are a few of my specific peevish grievances (that is, these aren’t large, existentially ideological grievances, but are small, peevish ones instead) with the Left:

1. “This is the worst [weather event] in history!” You see it in all the headlines: “Hottest day in history!” “Worst hurricane in history!” “Coldest winter in history!” These headlines make me crazy and it’s not just because they’re being used to shill anthropogenic climate change fears nor is it because a lot of them are false. (For example, since 1924, there have been thirty-five Category Five hurricanes in our part of the Atlantic, most in September. Dorian was just the latest, not the most exceptional.)

No, what really irks me is that phrase “in history” or its companion phrase “ever” (“Worst heat wave ever!”) What the dopes in the media miss, or perhaps willfully ignore, is the fact that we have barely any weather history. Instead, we’ve only been measuring weather data since the second half of the 19th century. I learned this when I read Simon Winchester’s delightful Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883. In it, he notes that the volcano’s explosion was the loudest sound ever recorded — and that it was recorded only because the Victorians had an obsession with record keeping.

Before the Victorians came along, there were always people who kept records, but once the Victorians came along it became a “thing.” For the first time in human history, people had (a) instruments that could measure things with a fair degree of accuracy and that were affordable, and (b) the literacy and leisure time to note and record these things.

Thus, in the late 19th century, owning a reliable thermometer, checking the weather daily, and taking the time to write it down was something entirely new. Before that, there were no reliable thermometers and only the richest could afford such unreliable tools as existed for measuring temperatures. The fact that people were no longer living at subsistence level and were literature enabled them to find the time and have the skills to record data.

That’s why we know how loud Krakatoa: All over the world, as the sound waves reverberated around the earth, over and over, busy Victorians were looking at their reliable time-pieces (the first affordable, mass-produced watches were driven by railway needs and came onto the market in the late 19th century) and noting down the time at which they heard that strange loud noise.

All of which means that our reliable weather data isn’t about “history” or “ever,” but is, instead, about 150 years old, at most. Everything else is guess work, based upon random reminiscences and best guesses using things such as Arctic core samples or tree rings.

Even before President Trump during his mere two years, and despite dropping CO2 emissions from the US, managed to destroy the environment (or so the Left claims), bad weather events happened. As it happens, just today, Trump tweeted out his own debunking of the Left’s climate claims.

One example of bad weather, really, really bad weather, happened in 1713, in Charleston, South Carolina, when the storm was so severe that the Ashley and Cooper Rivers both rose and inundated the entire city. Indeed, the 18th century was a miserable one for deadly Atlantic storms. Moreover, in those days before satellite weather forecasts, people routinely died at sea during storms, something that almost never happens now. In other words, not only are there fewer storms now, but modern science better protects people from those that happen. Note too, that when it comes to protecting people from the weather’s fury, whether it’s the satellites in space, the newsrooms that disseminate weather data, the better built houses and boats, or the roads that evacuate people and bring in supplies, fossil fuel makes all that survival possible.

For another example of a hellish weather phenomenon, don’t forget the 1900 Galveston, Hurricane, which is estimated to have killed 10,000 people. The only reason Katrina killed so many in the modern era, despite all the modern I described in the preceding paragraphs, is because Democrat-government graft meant that the levies were not properly maintained. It was their breakage, not the storm itself, that killed.

The reality is that we have no idea what the worst weather events are in history, because our knowledge of history, when it comes to weather is so minute as to be useless for purposes of ranking weather events. So it really gets my goat to see media outlets try to terrify people with historically illiterate claism.

2. “Making news out of nothing at all.” I loved the old Air Supply song Making Love Out of Nothing at All. (I was in my very early 20s when it came out, so what do you expect?) What I hate is the way our modern era, a combination of social media and a professional media that has nothing to do but stir up trouble, makes news out of nothing at all.

For example, the fact that some harried barista in Philadelphia heard a Muslim-looking guy (who was in fact Muslim) say my name is “Aziz” and then wrote down “Isis” is not news. It’s not news if the barista was illiterate as many are; it’s not news if the barista was rushed and careless; and it’s not even news if that random barista was not being nice. It’s not news if one person somewhere sustains a minor insult. The media should be assiduously ignoring this story, not relentlessly promoting it.

And remember, we’re not just talking a local media outlet promoting it, something like a neighborhood Patch website. This link about the Aziz/Isis story goes to the WaPo, for goodness sake! In it, you’ll learn that the guy to whom it happened, instead of laughing it off as another example of wacky barista spellings or saying to himself “what an a-hole” and then letting it go, had an emotional breakdown: “I was shocked and angry. I felt it was discrimination.”

Get over yourself, dude. In fact, everyone who magnifies every slight into a deep personal attack needs to get over himself, herself, xirself, or whatever else self that person is.

Here’s the overarching message we should be sending: None of you are that important and your feelings are not news.

Now, if Starbucks, a hard Left chain at which employees still occasionally manage to do things that offend Leftists, had as its official policy that “Irish need not apply,” or “Negros need to place their orders at the back door,” or “Jews need to report to the local concentration camp” — well, that would be newsworthy. Errant, low-paid, low-level employees who do stupid things need to be ignored (although a word to management is often helpful).

The media’s obsession with individual feelings or failings, though, is not newsworthy. It’s sick and it destroys societal cohesion.

3. Making teenage medical records private. I know someone whose son has a very serious medical problem. He’s currently scheduled for a surgery that might help control the problem.

After the surgery was scheduled, the mom went to the hospital website to make sure all the data was in order: date, time, medical allergies, description of surgery, identity of surgeon, etc. To her surprise, she was blocked from logging on. A phone call to the hospital revealed the problem: Because her son had turned 12 after they scheduled the surgery, she was now barred from seeing any of his medical records. She went ballistic.

There’s an easy enough fix for the Mom, of course, which is to log in as your child. I did that for years, with my children’s hearty approval, because they were totally uninterested in monitoring their appointments, vaccinations, prescriptions, etc. If your child doesn’t approve, though, even though you are legally responsible for your child’s well-being (and both loving and even un-loving parents feel morally responsible), you are shut out.

But let’s think for a moment about why a 12-year-old should have medical privacy. What could a 12-year-old be doing that would cause problems if Mom and Dad found out? Only one thing, of course: Sex.

The 12-year-old gets privacy rule is so that girls can get on the Pill and get abortions, and so that both girls and boys can get treated for sexually transmitted diseases. Privacy helps ensure teen sex, the younger the better. I’ve got a problem with that.

Lefties, of course, will point out that parents can be cruel if they discover their youngster is having sex. This is true. A small minority of parents will be cruel, perhaps dangerously so, but it’s easy to imagine that those parents are already dangerously cruel.

A larger minority will be angry at their child if they learn the child is engaged in sexual activity at age 12. But here’s the deal: The government does not exist — and should not exist — to protect teens from angry parents when the teens engage in illegal, unsafe, or immoral behavior. As the saying goes, that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

The reality is that most American parents love and care for their children. For the government to deny parents access to their children’s healthcare is a step to breaking that bond, destroying the nuclear family and, through that mechanism, increasing the power of the state.

This 12-year-old thing happened under the radar. Perhaps we should put it back on the radar and get the government out of parent/child relationships.

4. President Trump’s tweets. The preceding bolded language is a bit of a head fake. I actually love President Trump’s tweets. I almost always find them amusing or informative and they always have a point. The point may be to circumvent a hate-filled media, to taunt unfriendly countries, to position himself in campaigns, or to make traditional presidential statements, but they’re never random happenstance, no matter how much the Left likes to pretend otherwise.

However, Derek Hunter, in a podcast the other day, had his own point and I thought it was a good one: President Trump needs to make some serious statements about his policies. I instantly thought of Roosevelt’s fireside chats. We know from Trump’s performances at State of the Unions and other official occasions that he and his speechwriters can craft spectacular speeches that drive home powerful principles in compelling language.

It would be an excellent thing if Trump would make 10-15 minute videos in which he explains in simple, but serious, language the rationales behind his policies. He needs to explain why he won’t jump on board the anthropogenic climate change band wagon; why he believes illegal immigration is bad for America and for Latin America; why Israel is our ally; why socialism is bad; why the Second Amendment matters; why 3rd trimester abortions are wrong; etc.

Trump does reference all or most of those issues at his rallies. However, even though the rallies are lots of fun, the really important policy ideas or factual statements tend to get lost. Sometimes they’re awkwardly phrased, which diminishes their power; or they’re buried in a mountain of issues so no one notices them; or they’re broken up, so that the whole picture only shows if you listen to every rally speech he’s given. That’s not good enough.

Thinking about it, I would love it if whoever does the PragerU videos would go to the White House and give President Trump’s staff a primer in doing similar videos to those PragerU produces: short, honest, incredibly clear, pointed, and informative. It would be hugely helpful to political discourse in this country if serious Americans had a little more to hang on to than tweets and disjointed campaign speeches. I know we have a short attention span in modern America, but surely we can handle an intelligent 5-10 minute video from our president explaining important matters of public policy.

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#DearFellowJews: a hashtag to help a #Jexodus (or #Jexit)

Jexodus (or Jexit) asks Jews to leave an increasingly anti-Semitic Democrat Party, something I’m trying to facilitate with tweets to my #DearFellowJews.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news of late, you can’t have missed stories about anti-Semitism. For example, for many years now, France has periodically been roiled by grotesque anti-Semitic murders, including one that happened in connection with the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, in January 2015.

I mention that massacre specifically, because it was an event that lifted for Leftists American Jews, even if ever so slightly, the veil hiding the anti-Semitic rot at the heart of the Democrat Party. As you may recall, in January 2015, Islamists committed a mass murder at the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo because it had dared to mock the eminently mockable Mohamed. Two days later, a member of the same radical Islamist community entered a kosher market in Paris, took hostages, killed four people, and injured nine.

The massacre did not occur because anyone in the Hypercacher market had mocked Mohamed. No one had, of course. The only reason the Hypercacher massacre happened was because Islamist murderers always use the opportunity of a massacre to include a few Jews. Thus, when Islamists committed the exceptionally bloody Mumbai massacre, they wasted resources deviating from their central massacre just so that they could torture to death a rabbi and his wife who had a small Chabad House in Mumbai.

In a way, this Muslim massacre technique (a big massacre that includes, as a sideline, brutally killing a few Jews) is comparable to Hitler’s Holocaust: For Hitler and Germany, the primary goal was world conquest. However, just as was the case with the Islamists, Hitler’s anti-Semitism was so all-encompassing that he willingly diverted resources from the main goal to accomplish a secondary goal that was neither ancillary to nor necessary for world conquest. Indeed, it lessened the chances for world conquest, but Hitler couldn’t stop himself.

But I digress. This is not a post about rising anti-Semitism around the world. It’s just a prelude to a post about rising anti-Semitism in America and, more specifically, about the anti-Semitic rot at the heart of the Democrat Party . . . which brings me back to the purposefully anti-Semitic attack on Jews in the Hypercacher market in Paris.

Obama, by then well into his second term as President, had something to say about that event: He casually remarked that the Hypercacher victims were “a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris” whom terrorists “randomly” shot. It was bit of cavalier word-play manifestly intended to hide the fact that the dead and wounded were not just a “bunch of folks in a deli” nor was their shooting random: It was a deliberate, targeted anti-Semitic attack.

Those of us paying attention to Obama in 2008 were not surprised by this cavalier attempt to cover up manifest anti-Semitism within Islam. We knew about the Los Angeles Times hiding “a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat….” We knew that Obama ran with a hard Left crowd that celebrated the “Palestinians,” who are carpetbaggers who came to the Holy Land in the mid-19th century and considered the Jews, whose ties to the Holy Land extend back in an unbreakable march of over 5,000 years, to be interlopers.

These examples, though, informed only those few Jews paying attention. This stalwart 22% of American Jews refused to vote for Obama in the 2008 election in significant part because they knew that Obama came in with a slimy trail of anti-Semitism in his wake.

When we tried to raise this anti-Semitism with the 78% of Jews who were unbelievably excited about Obama, they dismissed us as paranoid. The Khalidi bash was mere rumor because no sensible newspaper would ever sit on something as newsworthy as that. As for the anti-Semites with whom Obama traveled, well, hadn’t every president made kissy faces with Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson and Al “Diamond Merchants” Sharpton?

We were also told that Presidents can’t always choose their followers so we shouldn’t take it too seriously when they have some extremists backing them — a bit of wisdom that vanished when a minute speck of white supremacists threw their backing to Trump who had never attended secret racist meetings but had, instead, won awards for his work benefiting the African-American community.

Almost immediately, Obama’s nascent presidency exposed a few more problems our president had with Jews. In his first major overseas appearance, Obama went to Egypt subtly implied that Israel came into being, not because of her 5,000 plus years in that land, but because of the Holocaust — a grotesque canard that Muslims advance to support their claim that they are victims of the Nazis too: That is, were it not for Europe’s guilt about the Holocaust (which Muslims claim never happened), the Western imperialists would never have dumped white Jewish Zionist supremacists onto the beleaguered, victimized Muslims.

Obama’s slimy anti-Semitic associations also followed him right into the White House. Immediately after his first inauguration, Obama’s beloved Reverend Wright, who hated America, made it patently clear that he didn’t like Jews either. But again, the 78% of Jews who voted for Obama told us we were hypersensitive, paranoid, unfair, and unrealistic about how the world works.

As Obama’s years in the White House began to add up, those of us Jews who were suspicious never had anything to allay those suspicions. Instead, we saw him treat Benjamin Netanyahu like trash (and we saw Veep Joe Biden do the same. Moreover, we didn’t like it when Clinton treated her opposite number in Israel like a whipped child. And those Jews paying attention got really worried when Obama went out of his way to court Iran, which has as a central part of its government platform the genocidal destruction of Israel. It didn’t get better when Obama shipped pallets full of cash to Iran and lifted sanctions in exchange for . . . nothing. But . . . “world peace!” we were told.

People noticed things and, by 2012, the 22% of Jews who distrusted Obama in 2008 expanded to 31% — but that wasn’t enough to stop him then and still hasn’t been enough to stop the Democrats now.

Funnily enough, though, for all those Jews who were cavalier about Obama’s actions towards Israel and his sleazy acquaintances, Obama’s remark about some random folks in a deli hit close to home. I think that’s because every Jew I know has stories of relatives who died in or survived the death camps. These relatives weren’t some random folks who happened to be caught in a Nazi dragnet. They were people whom the Nazis killed solely because they were Jews. And for Obama to say that the people in the Hypercacher market died randomly, unrelated to their Jewishness . . . well, that bugged a whole lot of Jews who had forgiven Obama much more serious acts of active or passive anti-Semitism. Of course, by then, Obama was on his way out of the White House, so it didn’t matter anymore.

But still, it was an opening; it was the thin edge of the wedge. It raised in people’s minds the concern that the American Left really might have an anti-Semitism problem. And even while too many Jews joined the rest of the Leftists in donning pink hats and marching down the streets with obscene signs, Jews across America have noticed — have been forced to notice — that the Women’s March has been taking over entirely by people who are open in their loathing, not just for Trump, but for Jews. And by people who venerate Farrakhan who likened Jews to termites and called them Satanic. (And don’t forget Bill Clinton’s willingness to stand side-by-side by Farrakhan at Aretha’s funeral.)

And then there’s Ilhan Omar. She’s pretty and she’s very articulate in intersectionality victim-speak. But people, especially Jewish people, started noticing that Omar obsessively kept making rancidly open anti-Semitic statements. In a way, she is as compulsive as the Charlie Hebdo murderers who couldn’t stay away from Hypercacher, as the Mumbai killers who couldn’t leave the rabbi and his wife untouched, or as Hitler who compulsively undermined his own war effort just to kill the Jews.

People also noticed all of Omar’s “sorry, not sorry” fake apologies. And they’ve been noticing that the Leftist media, including the New York Times, has been spinning like a top to cover for Omar’s remarks: If only the Jews wouldn’t give her a reason to be anti-Semitic, if only AIPAC weren’t all about the Benjamins, if only people would understand her intersectional suffering, if only this and if only that.

And Jews have noticed, oh, boy! have they noticed, that the Democrats in Congress have been incapable of doing to Omar what the Republicans did to Rep. Stevens the moment he awkwardly said something even vaguely supportive of white supremacy — they slammed him against the wall, stripped him of committee assignments, and made it clear that the disavowed everything he said, might have said, might not have said but sounded as if he said, etc. But not the Dems. They stand with Ilhan. She’s still on a prestigious committee that can see her doing massive damage. Moreover, they’re compulsively watering down the language of their “we stand against anti-Semitism” statement so much that it’s a statement against nothing at all, except that Congressional Dems really disapprove of Islamophobia, especially when it intersects with people being castigated for anti-Semitism, or something….

So I’ve been tracking all those things today on Twitter, first by saying “Dear Fellow Jews,” and then by actually creating a #DearFellowJews hashtags. Here are my tweets:

One of my Twitter friends even got into the act:

I wish others would follow Yosef Cornfeld’s example.

Here’s the thing: As I’ve often said before, people will go along believing in a certain worldview until something very personal breaks through for them. I turned conservative in large part because (a) public radio kept lying about Israel and (b) it was obvious that welfare incentivized illegitimate babies. Once those two things created overwhelming cognitive dissonance, I turned away from my old Democrat Party allegiance.

For my Mom, her “turn away” moment was the media’s lie that Michelle Obama was a the new Jackie Kennedy. For Brandon Straka, who created the “Walk Away” movement, it was seeing video proving that Trump had not mocked a handicapped reporter. Once he saw one Leftist media lie, he knew there were more. For increasing numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics, it’s seeing that Trump’s policies, by keeping out competition from illegal aliens and letting businesses keep money to grow jobs, are benefiting not hurting them.

Once something breaks through the cognitive dissonance in which the Left seeks to confuse and then bury people, it’s over . . . for the Left.

In the title to this post, I used the phrase #Jexodus. That’s not mine. I stole it from SultanKnish:

A high pressure media campaign has rolled out across major papers, the New York Times, the Washington Post, not to mention the usual digital media smear sites, normalizing and defending Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic comments.

The Progressive Caucus is standing by her. As is the Congressional Black Caucus, which has met with Farrakhan, and has its own issues with anti-Semitism. Look for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and some of her cohort, which have defended Omar’s anti-Semitism, to start claiming the heads of some of her Jewish critics, like Rep. Engel, as the Corbynization of the Democrats get underway.

The Corbynization of the Democrats will leave Jews with few options as the party turns not only anti-Israel, but overly anti-Semitic, as Corbyn’s Labour has. And it’s important to note that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her DSA mothership are Corbyn allies.

When the process is properly underway, only the most radical leftists of Jewish origin, who are willing to work non-stop to defend anti-Semites, will be able to remain in the party.

Meanwhile the Jexodus momentum is slowly building. The process is partly generational. It will decisively split millennials between Jewish and leftist allegiances. There will be plenty of leftists with Jewish last names vocally defending the DNC’s anti-Semitism, but they will not consider themselves Jewish, except where briefly politically convenient, whose those who identify as Jewish will leave.

This will be a slow and ugly process. Jexodus would make it quicker. It’s the difference between leaving Egypt and having to be expelled.

If you’re on social media, please help the Jexodus (or Jexit, if you prefer). Using hashtags, write #DearFellowJews posts and explain to them the beauty of #Jexodus and #Jexit. It’s time, because if Jews wait too long, every day will be Hypercacher day somewhere in America.

(Regarding the photo for this post, you can read here)”>here the story about this amazing moment in Jewish freedom.)

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North Korea negotiations reveal media’s ignorance

The pause in North Korea negotiations reveals that the media is locked in a dangerous imaginary world where negotiations play out like bad old-time movies.

To date, the stupid Leftists in the media have been trained like Pavlov’s dog to expect “a win” whenever there’s a summit with a foreign leader. Past presidents have always emerged from the meetings with “a deal,” even if that deal was either illusory or, worse, gave away the store.

Media hacks therefore have no template within which to fit an actual negotiation, such as the one Trump is conducting with North Korea. That’s why we end up with these headlines (to which I will not hyperlink):

Trump-Kim Summit’s Collapse Exposes the Risks of One-to-One Diplomacy (New York Times)

Trump Kim talks: What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse? (BBC News)

Trump Cuts North Korea Summit Short After Talks Collapse (iHeart News)

Will nothing go right on this trip? Officials have to manually push stairway from Air Force One after they broke down in Vietnam – just like Trump’s disastrous summit with Kim Jong Un (Daily Mail)

Hanoi summit collapse could be ‘big blow’ to North Korean leader’s pride, experts say (ABC News)

Summit Collapse: How Trump’s Hanoi Talks With Kim Unraveled (Bloomberg)

Aside from the Borg-like repetition of the word “collapse” (those “journalists” must all drink coffee around the same cooler), the collective media is displaying its inability to see beyond a Hollywood moment. You know what Hollywood moment I mean.

To the media, every negotiation is one of those old black-and-white films in which the leaders of two nations on the brink of war are sitting around a conference table, exhausted, their ties loose, their shirt sleeves rolled up, five o’clock shadow on their faces, ash trays stacked with cigarette stubs. If they walk away, the negotiation is over and the world explodes into war. Then, suddenly, our hero rushes in with a brilliant idea or a piece of breaking news. Instantly, the stalemate is broken, the joyous negotiators dance around the room, and the hero and his girl fall into each other’s arms, the world once again saved.

That’s certainly the stereotype past presidents played into with their announcements about “successful” summits — even if it meant spelling success “caving in to foul dictators.” You’d think we would have learned back in 1938, after the Munich (“Peace in our time”) Agreement between Hitler and Chamberlain that this is not how the real world works. But, egged on by an ever credulous media, we’ve learned nothing.

Thankfully, Donald Trump does not live in a Hollywood movie nor is he moved by the brigade of media stupid Leftists. Instead, Trump lives in the real world of real deals — and one of the absolute necessities of pounding out real deals that benefit all parties (especially yourself) is a willingness to walk away from the table. As he explained in a press conference, “Sometimes you have to walk.”

Kim tried to offer Trump this deal: North Korea promises to de-nuclearize in return for the U.S. actually getting money into the broken North Korean economy. This is, of course, the same deal every past president has made with North Korea, and the outcome has always been the same: North Korea broke its promises even as the Americans fulfilled theirs to enrich North Korea’s coffers. Incidentally, it is also the same deal that Obama made with Iran, with exactly the same result. It’s a fool’s deal, intended to keep the media happy. It’s also the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.

Indeed, in the CBS story about the pause in negotiations, the reporter makes this telling admission: “The summit was truncated, to the surprise of the press, with the elimination of a lunch and a signing ceremony previously on the schedule.” (Emphasis mine.) I’ll bet the press was surprised. That’s not part of the usual Hollywood script.

Thomas Lifson, not only one of the best political thinkers out there, but also a former Harvard Business School professor back in the day when that still meant something, explains what Trump was really doing:

President Trump wisely sent North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, back to Pyongyang from Hanoi, where he can tell the generals and security police commanders, on whose support he depends, that they are not going to get sanctions relief without giving up their nuclear arsenal.

There is every sign that this outcome in Hanoi is a predictable stage in the process of obtaining consensus among the North Korean ruling class that they must give up on the strategy of confrontation and isolation, with their survival guaranteed solely by nukes, and instead open up to the outside world and the prosperity market economies can generate.

[snip]

President Trump abundantly signaled that he is not in a hurry for a deal — any deal — at the expense of getting a suboptimal result. He set the expectation that, while optimistic about eventually getting to his goal of denuclearization, it might be a longer process than the short attention span media would prefer.

Aside from the practical realities behind Trump’s willingness to pace the deal to get what he wants, Lifson hones in on the idiocy of the word “collapse,” which implies that the negotiating parties parted ways with recriminations and threats in the wake of complete failure. To the contrary:

It is clear from Kim’s language that the talks didn’t “collapse” into bitterness and a refusal to proceed. Both leaders remained cordial and continue to affirm their mutual goal of getting to a deal. So far as I have been able to discover, this was the first time a North Korean leader has ever faced a press conference with Western media asking questions. That in itself is a significant factor in opening up North Korea to the process of getting toward acting as a normal country does. It is a long process, to be sure, but this is a step in the right direction.

Lifson explains as well that, while Kim has the appearance of a total dictator, that’s not true. Even the worst dictator in the world needs a cadre of people loyal to him who will be his attack dogs to protect their own turf. Before he can do anything, he needs to assure his loyalists that they will benefit from the deal. Otherwise, the sword of Damocles that hangs over every dictator’s head (“Sic semper tyrannis“) has a habit of falling, even if only to make way for the next generation’s brutal tyrant.

Trump has patiently been prepping for this moment for a long time. He knows what he wants — North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons in fact, not just in theory. He also knows what he can offer in return — North Korea’s return to the community of nations, along with Trump’s willingness to hold off on using his even bigger nuclear arsenal.

Returning to the community of nations is a huge carrot for an isolated, impoverished country in which even the supreme dictator lives in chronic fear. Holding the talks in Hanoi was a brilliant idea because it is the living embodiment of a way station on the road to true prosperity. Two years ago, I blogged about the thrumming economy in Vietnam and that’s nation of shopkeepers idea is going to seem more accessible to the North Koreans than suddenly promising they’ll be Switzerland. Kim knows Switzerland, for he went to school there, but he’s not a fool and knows that his country needs a slower trajectory.

Having laid the groundwork, Trump, the most experienced practical negotiator ever to sit in the Oval Office, is going to be patient and do it right: Kind words for his negotiating partner, strong positions on core issues with flexibility on ancillary issues and, always, the manifest willingness to walk away from a bad deal.

Some people, including NeverTrumpers have launched a different attack on Trump. They are saying that it’s an absolute disgrace for Trump to treat Kim respectfully because Kim has so much blood on his hands. Yes, it’s absolutely true Kim has blood on his hands, but he’s also got functional nuclear weapons in his arsenal. Given that latter reality, we have two choices: negotiations or war. At this stage, negotiations are still a lot better than war.

If we agree that negotiations are the way to go, we again have two choices: a good outcome for the U.S. or a bad outcome. Trump wants a good outcome and he’s smart enough to know that he will get this, not by insulting and demeaning Kim, but by appealing to Kim’s ego. It’s not clear if stupid Leftists, in or out of the media, or NeverTrumpers understand this, but people who live in the real world do understand that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you’ve ever read Dale Carnegie’s brilliant How to Win Friends & Influence People, which was originally published in the mid-1930s, you may remember that he opened the book by talking about “Two Gun” Crowley, a murderous gangster who was captured in New York in 1931 after a two-hour shootout with police. Crowley was an incredibly dangerous man who thought nothing of killing people, especially police.

Carnegie, however, added an interesting coda to the story of Two Gun’s capture:

But how did “Two Gun” Crowley regard himself? We know, because while the police were firing into his apartment, he wrote a letter addressed “To whom it may concern.” And, as he wrote, the blood flowing from his wounds left a crimson trail on the paper. In his letter Crowley said: “Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one—one that would do nobody any harm.” (Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends and Influence People, p. 4. Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.)

Two Gun wrote those words just hours after gunning down a police officer in cold blood. Even as he was being led to the electric chair, Two Gun denied being a murderer and insisted that he was acting in self-defense. Carnegie points out that Al Capone saw himself in the same light — not as a cold-blooded murderer and bootlegger, but as someone just doing good for his fellow man. The infamous Dutch Schultz also explained in an interview that he was doing good.

According to Carnegie, a letter he received from Lewis Lawes, who had been Sing Sing’s warden, these famous criminals were just like their criminal brethren:

[Lawes] declared that “few of the criminals in Sing Sing regard themselves as bad men. They are just as human as you and I. so they rationalize, they explain. They can tell you why they had to crack a safe or be quick on the trigger finger. Most of them attempt by a form of reasoning, fallacious or logical, to justify their antisocial acts even to themselves, consequently stoutly maintaining that they should never have been imprisoned at all.” (How To Win Friends and Influence People, pp. 4-5.)

That is human nature and Carnegie fully understood that, human nature being what it is, you get nothing by interfering with people’s best view of themselves:

If Al Capone, “Two Gun” Crowley, Dutch Schultz, and the desperate men and women behind prison walls don’t blame themselves for anything—what about the people with whom you and I come in contact?

John Wanamaker, founder of the stores that bear his name, once confessed: “I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

Wanamaker learned this lesson early, but I personally had to blunder through this old world for a third of a century before it even began to dawn upon me that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.  (How To Win Friends and Influence People, pp. 5-6.)

I would not be at all surprised to learn that, just as Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (the substance of which Trump heard every Sunday while sitting in the pews at Peale’s church) strongly influenced Trump’s thinking, so too did Dale Carnegie’s seminal book. You can use verbal abuse to try to force people to bend to your will but, if you want people voluntarily to give you something, you have to be nice. And that’s what Trump is doing with Kim — he’s being nice, not just to pander to Kim’s tyrannical ego, but to allow Kim to save face, and be the big man, even as he gives up his only ace in the hole.

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The New York Times has a perfect Fox Butterfield fallacy

For those unfamiliar with the term, “Fox Butterfield fallacy” is named after a New York Times rejoicing under the euphonious name “Fox Butterfield.” Butterfield wrote an article in 1994 that dealt with what to him was a mystifying conundrum: How could there be more criminals in prison if crime rates were going down?

IT has become a comforting story: for five straight years, crime has been falling, led by a drop in murder.

So why is the number of inmates in prisons and jails around the nation still going up? Last year, it reached almost 1.7 million, up about seven percent a year since 1990.

The beauty of the latest example of a Fox Butterfield fallacy in a New York Times article that voices the exact same paradox that so befuddled Fox Butterfield! Yes, the Times did it again.

This latest entry occurs in an article examining different imprisonment trends in different regions. The Times makes it clear from the article’s title that something very mysterious is going on in small town (i.e., white) America: This small Indiana county sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, N.C., combined. Why?

Why, indeed?

The Times’ confusion is made manifest a mere seven paragraphs into the lengthy article. After explaining that America’s urban centers are busy reducing incarceration, the article turns its attention to America’s Bible-toting, gun-clutching flyover regions, where incarceration is increasing (emphasis mine):

Read more here.

Cruz Supporters “I Hate Palin for Endorsing Trump” but were Fine When she was McCain’s Girl

green envyMaybe they are just caught up in the moment. But I have seen comments from a number of Cruz supporters who claim they have lost all respect for or hate Sarah Palin for endorsing Donald Trump. Is this genuine? Or the green eyed monster of jealousy?

Yet they were big Palin fans when she was McCain’s VP. The guy who supports amnesty, and pretty much everything Obama wants.

Would they prefer McCain to Trump? Seriously?

You guys need to suck it up. Palin believes, like millions of Americans, that Trump will not take any crap from the Republicans, Democrats or Media and is not indebted to Wall Street. He will be able to get things done.

 


Article written by: Tom White