Monday, 30 January 2017

Fear the Threat You Don't See

On a somewhat more serious note, I'm actually way, WAY more afraid of Trump's opponents than I am of Trump himself.  He seems preoccupied with grandiosity, and he tapped into a desire for this on part of a large part of the electorate.  This makes Trump an easy target in a lot of ways.  His lies, such as they are, are his own.  Not that Trump's lies are without consequence, but they do not escape scrutiny. 

Trump's opposition on the other hand, is a lie so vast - how do you unravel it?  Where do you even begin?  It goes way beyond the Clinton Foundation or any of that.  I mean, tens of millions of people were up in arms about the offensive statements of one presidential candidate that his main opponent all but escaped scrutiny, at least from mainstream sources.  How awful it was that Trump's racist statements didn't stop millions from voting for him, completely unasked was how it was that Clinton's hawkish, neo-con voting record and tenure as secretary of state didn't stop millions from voting for her.  In the long run, what has done greater harm: Trump's awful ban on Syrian refugees, or Obama/Clinton era intervention in Syria that contributed to the crisis that made refugees of the population in the first place?

Is the stop on refugees coming to America really so awful as all of that?  While I don't believe it's necessary or even desirable for Trump to raise the drawbridge completely and hunker down in some kind of "Fortress America," I'd also urge a look at what unvetted open door acceptance of refugees has done in Europe.  Should it surprise us that the process has been exploited by those with less than noble intentions, with less than noble outcomes?  That so many people out there know nothing of the European migrant rape crisis speaks volumes to the very thing I'm talking about here.  Seems to me as though accepting not even a single refugee is the lesser evil compared to what happened in Germany on the 2015/2016 New Year's Eve, and I would expect that those most preoccupied with sexual assaults upon women and "rape culture" would be the first and loudest to agree with that sentiment, not the first and loudest to attack it, as is indeed the case.  And again, it's not even necessary to close the boarders to nearly that extent, but is a tighter vetting process - the supposed reason for Trump's temporary "Muslim Ban" really so evil Hitler a thing?

Why is Trump's opposition so bloody preoccupied with identity politics and mawkish sentimentality and almost completely devoid of serious analysis of what are complex and nuanced issues?  It says a great deal, I think, that a Muslim girl wearing a US flag in a Hijab style became an emblem of a massive feminist protest against the supposed misogyny of Trump and his administration.  Because nothing says respect for women's rights like Shari'a law, yes?  It would seem so.  Where is the scrutiny of such issues in mainstream public discourse? 

Where is the scrutiny of this ridiculous "Muslim ban" that Trump's allegedly enacted - the one that managed to not apply to the vast majority of the Islamic world.  Pakistan and Indonesia get a free pass) and even the most egregious perpetrators of Islamic terrorism on US soil -13 of the 16 9/11 hijackers were Saudis - and yet the Saudis get a free pass, as always.   Funny how you never hear about the real reasons - stretching back to the early 1970s - for this.  To say nothing of non-Islamic terrorism on US soil, which has claimed more lives all told over the years.  If the intent here was to keep out Islamic terrorists, the gesture is well short of being a joke worth laughing at, let alone a serious gesture.  But Instead of serious scrutiny and hard questions such as these, it's just foaming at the mouth hysteria from a unified media bloc more interested in whipping loyal reader/viewership into frenzies of terror over the encroaching tyranny of evil Hitler Trump.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not shilling for Trump.  All of our elected leaders should be held to public scrutiny.  I'm no fan of the guy, though he has done some things I agree with, and killing the Trans Pacific Partnership may, by itself, redeem his presidency in the long term, whatever else may happen.  Thing is, the greater threats to democracy long-term are the ones you don't see, hear and feel. This scares me a hell of a lot more than Trump ever has or will.  A kind of auto-immune disorder of the body politic wherein the very mechanisms that are meant to safeguard liberty fall to the ills of partisanship.  Ideological entrenchment among the media and academic classes, for example.  

Sometimes this comes from the right - the pressure to support regressive policy during the Bush era for fear of being unpatriotic or insufficiently concerned with terrorism, for instance.  Sometimes this comes from the left - the tendency to brush aside legitimate criticism of Obama and the Clinton campaign as racism and misogyny, as examples.  In the early days of Obama's presidency, you had freaking out and "literally Hitler" hyperbole from the Tea Party types, now you're getting it from the Pantsuit Nation crowd.  While the right to protest and disagree with the government in good faith is inalienable, I think citizens of a democratic society have a civic duty to think a little more and react and freak out on cue from media signals - be they from Fox News OR CNN - a little less.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Left is Going to Lose so Much They May Even Get Tired of Losing

So tell me if you've heard this one before:

A former host on a business oriented reality T.V show is running for the leadership of the center-right political party of a 1st world country.  His campaign is being dogged by media allegations charging him with a "lack of empathy," suggesting that he is a "narcissist" and accusations of "denigrating women" stemming from comments made in the media about a former female colleague.   

Don't worry, America.  You're not going through all that crap again.  Your reality TV show host is now your supreme executive.

I'm referring, of course, to your neighbors north of the border.  The border you're not building a wall on.  But by the looks of things, we just might.

Kevin O'Leary is a former host of the reality TV show "Dragon's Den" - wherein aspiring entrepreneurs appeal to the "dragons" - five venture capitalists of which O'Leary was one and the former colleague spoken of above, Arlene Dickenson, was another - for venture capital to get their dreams and aspirations up and running.  O'Leary has since announced his candidacy for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, which under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was reduced from 159 to 99 seats in the October 19, 2015 general election.  This loss cost the "Tories" as we call them up here their first majority government since 1988, propelling Liberal leader Justin Trudeau - son of former Prime Minster Pierre Trudeau - into the prime minister's office.  Since then, Trudeau has been known for his politically correct, soft-left brand of neo-liberal leadership, causing Canada to buck the global trend towards more hard nosed, nationalistic populist leadership.

Until now.

Dickenson's allegations appear in a January 26 2017 article in Press Progress, among other places.

Apparently, we didn't get enough of this during Trump's presidential bid Stateside.  While a few left leaning publications have since mulled over the merits, or lack thereof, of doubling down on political correctness and identity politics, most are staying the course.  And by the looks of things, the Canadian press has not learned from the mistakes of their American counterparts.  They're going to harp on all the bad words O'Leary says about women, about gays, about natives, about immigrants, and O'Leary will use the spotlight this gives him to attack deeply unpopular cap-and-trade carbon taxes.  

Then they'll wonder why O'Leary wins a 170 to 190 seat majority come 2019 or whenever the next federal election is.  The NDP, who managed to lose half their seats in the last election, will lose more.  The Liberal Party, emboldened by the Democrats playing the race and gender card again and again during Hillary's campaign, and subsequently losing to Trump, will adopt the same strategy vis-a-vis O'Leary.  As for the NDP, they'll adopt the flaky L.E.A.P Manifesto and double down on the cap-and-trade, because the NDP never gets tired of losing.  Just to be on the safe side, they'll pander to Black Lives Matter Toronto when they crash the NDP convention like they did Bernie Sanders and Pride Toronto, because the left always caves in.  They always capitulate.  They always lose.

The left lost Brexit.  They lost the US to Trump.  They're in the early stages of losing Canada to O'Leary and they're well down the path to losing France to Le Pen.  If they really put their minds to it, they could well lose Australia to Pauline Hanson and maybe even lose Germany to Frauke Petry.  If it looks like they might not lose, they'll accept half of ISIS as "refugees" and smugly and sarcastically ridicule as racist anyone who protests over it.  Because they're not losing enough.  Once any of them stop losing, even for a moment, they'll turn on each other for being transphobic, transmisogynist, misogynoir and for being privileged.  They just can't not lose.

A left leaning media establishment, stuffed to the gills with professional academics obsessed with cultural politics, are going to make damn good and sure their parties lose.  The left always loses.  They lose at everything.  They lose everywhere.

They lose on immigration.  Electorates get fed up with mass immigration and refugees who get away with raping their daughters, as in Sweden, Germany and Great Britain.  But that's not enough losing for the left.  They need to then attack these electorates for being racist.  Europe's daughters are not losing enough.  As for the rape, they'll blame it on patriarchy and rape culture, and encourage these same daughters to hate and reject their sons, because Europe's sons are not losing enough either.  To shore up the declining birth rates, they'll bring in still more Muslim immigrants.  They lose at everything. 

They lose on the economy.  Progressives oppose outsourcing and free trade - until they're in office.  Then it's time for the workers - whom progressives always claim to represent, lose.  They lose their jobs to foreign sweat labor and to the immigrants they bring in to work for lower wages.  Worker's wages remain stagnant, and the social democratic parties lose.  They then condemn the working class they claim to represent for "voting against their interests" and deride them as racists.  The European and North American left wonder why they can't stop losing.  They're going to lose BIGLY!

But then, a Bernie Sanders or someone like him appears.  Who actually hears the working classes when they say, "that's enough losing!  We're bored with losing!  We're tired of free trade and political correctness.  We want to win for a change."  The working class never wins. 

But no!  A Clinton or a Trudeau or a Corbyn will say, "No!  That's not enough losing!  You are not losing enough!  We are not losing enough!  You are all a racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic basket of deplorables!  You deserve to lose more!  You basement dwelling Bernie Bro's have not yet lost enough!  You need to lose your union wages.  You need to lose your jobs.  You need to lose your religion and your traditions and your identities!  You need to lose the love and respect of your women.  We won't even let you keep your video games.  You're going to lose those too, along with your favorite comic book and film franchises.  They're all racist, they're all sexist, they're all homophobic and we always need to point it out to everyone all the time.  Because we need to keep losing.

The left in the first world are going to lose so much, they may even get tired of losing ...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Are You Tired of Winning Yet?

So Many Executive Orders, So Little Time

The Story so far:

·         Withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership.
·         An order to “ease” the “regulatory burdens” of Obamacare.  Agencies must “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of Obamacare that would place a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, health care providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of health care services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
·         Freeze on federal government hiring, except for the military.
·         A stop on federal funding for international organizations that perform abortions.
·         A communication ban on the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Human Health Services
·         A freeze on the implementation of all federal regulations currently waiting approval until okayed by Trump’s administration
·         Renewed go-ahead on the contentious North Dakota Access pipeline, which the Obama administration put the kibosh on following a long and contentious standoff with native protesters.
·         Overturned Obama’s nixing of the Keystone Pipeline that would transport shale from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
·         Begin construction on the Mexican border wall  and a beefing up of both border and internal immigration security.
·         A suspension of intake of Syrian refugees and immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and, Yemen.
·         Suspension of federal grants to “sanctuary cities.”
·         A “major investigation” into mass voter fraud.

Let me know if I missed any.  More are coming, I'm sure.

Is America great again yet?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Dissent in the Trump Era

Before we get into the anti-Trump movements, the first thing to come out of the White House now that the former Apprentice host is in the hot seat is an announcement that the US would be pulling out of the awful Trans-Pacific Partnership.

8 a.m.  Day one.  The worst free trade deal yet - and that's really saying something given how porky GATT, the IMF, the World Bank, NAFTA and the EU have been - sinks like a stone.  A transnational monstrosity of a trade deal universally reviled by organized labor but supported by "progressives" like Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau torpedoed by the antichrist of the North American left.  Go figure.  Anyway, good for you, Donald.  Glad to see a Republican do something to actually benefit the common man for once.  Mark your calendars, folks.  It will be a day to remember.

He also imposed a federal hiring freeze, and ended federal funding for NGOs that provide abortion services.  Make of that what you will.

Which brings us to our main topic, and that's the shape that dissent against the Trump administration is beginning to take.  Two initiatives bear paying attention to: the Guiding Vision and Principles behind the Woman's March on Washington, and what looks to be a Young Turks supported initiative called Justice Democrats.  

Bold stuff, this.

As I've previously pointed out, the Women's March came across as a leftist tea party, watching it in action.  I can't say I'm surprised, therefore, to see a hefty does of identity politics in their platforms.  Now, don't get me wrong, there's good ideas here too, and a few things I personally feel are vital to a restoration of the American - and by extent the western left.  But no small amount of the same old same old we've been getting from the women's studies department for quite some time now.   


Now look, I don't disagree with any of this per-se.   It's good stuff.  I wonder about the abuse and rape statistics - do they factor in race, religion perhaps?  Immigrant status?  To say nothing of how precisely rape and domestic violence are defined in feminist theory.  But okay, it's bad stuff and shouldn't be happening at all.  Perpetrators should be held accountable regardless of their race, nation of origin, gender, religion or citizenship status. Provided, of course, the accused are also afforded due process. The deeper point, however: why do we have to explicitly limit what's being offered here to just women?  Wouldn't we all be better off if these measures were adopted for everybody?  Wouldn't we have twice the strength with which to implement these measures if they were by and for both sexes?  (yes, I did say both sexes.  If that triggers you, too bad)

But I can just hear the responses of the Jezebel crowd now were any of these questions put to them.  So no sense in that.  They can fight with half the strength available to them.  Good luck with that.

Some of the values and principles are simply unforgivable in their all-too-typical feminist cringe and self absorption.  Consider:

Okay, I'm all for ending the militarization of law enforcement.  Good idea.  

Believe me when I tell you this: women's groups wanting to end gender inequality in the justice system had better think long and hard.  Be careful what you wish for, ladies ...  I'm all for it, of course.  But do these women's marchers understand, really grasp, what it would entail if gender disparities were removed from criminal justice procedure and sentencing.  Like,do they really understand this?  Because sometimes, it warrants (no pun intended) taking a look.  Sentencing disparities do favor whites over people of color for similar convictions, and this is a legitimate grievance of groups like Black Lives Matter.  Not that it justifies their blanket anti-white, anti-police sympathies, but I can see why they're not happy about it.  But if feminists, of all people, wanted to crusade for gender equity in criminal proceedings and sentencing, I would really caution them ... oh hell, who am I kidding?  I'm completely in favor of it.  Bring it on!

And then the Women's March on Washington surprised a brocialist like me and came out with some genuinely decent and good ideas, such as:

Reduce discrimination against men and fathers, where it is shown to occur (cough cough education cough cough) and count me in.  Good stuff.  Like it.

But the creme-de-la-creme of the Women's March Guiding Principles, and even better than any one thing on the long list of good ideas I'm about to get into in a few moments, is this absolute gem.  I'm talking hope diamond of a gem:

I haven't swooned like this in a long, long time.  Where have you been all my life?!  The right to unionize and strike has existed on paper only in the US since George H.W Bush make it legal to permanently scab out workers going on strike for higher pay, which has contributed significantly to the demise of organized labor and hence, the demise of the political and economic clout of the working and middle classes in America.  It must be restored forthwith, and for this reason and this reason alone, this movement, despite its overabundance of SJW fluff and typical feminist claptrap, merits support.

The Women's March - good, bad and indifferent - was merely a call to arm the muskets.  The Justice Democrats, despite their corny name, have a substantial platform for reform that US politics has not seen since the original progressive era and the New Deal.  Clement Attlee would be hard pressed to top this.  Okay, maybe not Attlee.  But just about anyone else couldn't touch this. Believe me, folks, this is that good! 

Here it is.  In all its glory:

·         Pass a constitutional amendment to put an end to Washington corruption and bring about election reform. Super PACs should be banned, private donations to politicians and campaigns should be banned, and a clean public financing system should be implemented to end the takeover of our government by corporations and billionaires.
·         Re-regulate Wall Street and hold white-collar criminals accountable. Despite engaging in systemic fraud and causing a subprime mortgage meltdown and the great recession, you can count the people from Wall Street who are in prison for their crimes on one hand. It’s time to prosecute the criminals, bring back Glass-Steagall, and re-regulate Wall Street to prevent another crash. Prison is not just for the poor and the middle class anymore. We will have cops on Wall Street, not just Main Street.
·         End billionaire and corporate tax dodging, fix the system to benefit middle-class and poor people. Corporations dodge $450 billion a year in taxes by using offshore tax havens. We should end this injustice, as well as chain the capital gains tax to the income tax, increase the estate tax, and implement the Buffet rule so that no millionaire CEO pays less in taxes than his or her secretary.
·         Make the minimum wage a living wage and tie it to inflation. This is about justice and basic human decency. If you work hard and you work full time you shouldn’t live in poverty.
·         Ensure universal healthcare as a right. The United States should catch up to every other modern nation and implement a single-payer, medicare-for-all system.
·         Ensure universal education as a right. Educating the citizenry of a nation pays dividends in the long run, with the economy getting back much more than is initially put in. Crushing student debt for higher education would no longer burden young men and women trying to improve their lives through hard work.
·         End unnecessary wars and nation building.
·         End the failed war on drugs. The goal is legalization, taxation, and regulation. Prohibition only makes drug cartels more powerful, increases crime, and makes drugs more dangerous due to lack of enforced safety standards.
·         Create the renewable energy revolution.
·         Block the TPP and all outsourcing deals that will further damage the middle-class.
·         End Constitutional overreaches. Ban the NSA from bulk data-collection and warrantless spying. Shut down Guantanamo Bay and all extrajudicial prisons. Prosecute torturers and those who violated the Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg Tribunal, International law and US law. Return habeas corpus and due process.
·         Ban arming human rights violators.
·         Enact common-sense gun regulation.
·         Abolish the death penalty.

Okay, personally I think some dirtbags out there really should be executed.  But other than that ... what the hell are you waiting for?  Get out there and support this!

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Tea Party

The Tea Party

Watch this video on Samizdat Broadcasts.

So, a mass of protesters have very recently descended on Washington, protesting the recent election of a president whom they feel - rightly or wrongly - is a threat to their constitutional freedoms.  Expressions of this worry have gone as far as comparisons to Hitler and fear that fascism has truly come to America.  There were protest signs - some of them hilarious in their misconstruing of the intent of the POTUS, many of them very bright and colorful, along with costumes, music and performing artists. 

I'm referring, of course, to the Taxpayer's March on Washington, that took place back in 2009, following the election of Barack Obama.

Had you fooled, didn't I?

Can't say I didn't feel a whole lot of deja vu when I watched footage of the Women's March on Washington yesterday.  Their ideologies differ wildly, of course, but I can't help but think that the two protest movements are cut from similar cloth, when you get right down to it.  One wonders how much influence a mixture of envy and admiration towards the Tea Party influenced the emergent "SJW" movement online, and now as a reflection of an anti-Trump protest movement made, not necessarily consciously, in the image of the anti-Obama mania eight years ago. 

I personally have a low opinion of both movements, but I suggest this not so much as a personal judgement as much as it is a deeper question regarding politics more generally.  Do we ultimately fashion ourselves in the image of our enemies?

Consider the similarities.

  • The constant allusions to fascism and Hitler vis-à-vis the respective presidents.  Obama was Hitler because of broadening the scope of government, to cover things like health care – a sign of fascism to the Tea Party libertarians.  Trump threatens abortion rights and is about the reassertion of patriarchal power over women’s reproductive freedom – a sign of fascism to the SJWs behind the women’s march. 
  • Related to this, a preoccupation with encroaching dystopia and repression.  The flakier elements of the Tea Party were fearful of Obama coming to take their guns way, FEMA camps, government surveillance of the population, outlaw of Christianity and economic decline.  The Women’s March is fearful of Trump cracking down on the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, Muslims and the LGBTQ community.  
  • Mass demonstrations, complete with colorful signs and, in some cases, garish costumes.
  • A tendency to demonize their political opponents, to see the President they’re protesting as being the devil incarnate, quite literally in the case of some Tea-vangelical types vis-à-vis Obama.  The Women’s March hasn’t gone quite that far, of course they’re a much more recent thing, but I have seen comparisons to Voldemort from the Harry Potter series – the next best thing, I suppose.
  • Because their opponents are seen in the most starkly evil of terms, both causes tended to avoid the give-and-take of political engagement with their foes and instead present demands upon which there can be no compromise.  The obstructionist behavior of the Tea Party supporters in congress is well known, as is the obstructionist behavior of leftists on college campuses.  Whether the women’s march supporters can create something comparable in congress remains to be seen, but come the 2018 midterms that’s a possibility worth watching for. 

Hell, there’s even rumors that the organizers of the Women’s March used Tea Party tactics and organizational guides to pull the march together, and to sustain it as a movement that can make its presence felt in congress.  Plus, to a lot of leftists bitter at how dogmatic and obstructionist the Tea Party was vis-à-vis Obama’s legislative agenda, now it’s payback time, and this Women’s March movement seems like the perfect vehicle to do it.

The  big question, of course, is whether the momentum can last.  This is a disparate coalition, and the ideology of intersectional feminism lends itself to infighting between marginalized groups over who has it worse: white feminists vs people of color, Black Lives Matter vs. Pride, like recently happened at the Pride Parade in Toronto, Canada.  Already some white women allegedly didn’t attend the march due to a strong focus on minority identity interests.  The Tea Party gradually lost popular support due to their ideological rigidity and obstructionism, especially after the debt ceiling fiasco.  Intersectional feminism is no less rigid and obstructionist, and the militant rhetoric and tactics of groups like Black Lives Matter have polarized the nation in a similar way.  They have a lot of support, but they have a lot of criticism too. 

The Women’s March and the movement it will spawn is likely to be the decisive toss of the dice for identity politics on the US left, and by extent, the left in the western world.  This march, galvanizing the numbers and the support that it has, has renewed the lease that Identity Politics has as the leading style of dissent on the US left, just as paleo-conservativism did for the US right back in 2009 due to the Tea Party.

But something else happened in 2010 as well – the launching of the alternative right – much more statist, nationalist and racist than the Tea Party, which has since become a significant power in the Republican party as the Tea Party has faded into memory.  The comparable event of 2016 on the other end of the spectrum was the birth – for all intents and purposes – of the alternative left – much more socialist and laborite than the identity focused intersectional feminists behind the Women’s March.  If the pattern keeps up, which it may well if this revived women’s movement and the Trump administration fight each other to ineffective standstill in a way similar to Obama vs. the Tea Party, I think the alt-left can look to 2024 to be its year.  

Keep it Regressive - January 16 - 21 2017

Welcome to keeping it regressive for January 16 to 21 inclusive.  The big news this week, of course, is Donald Trump's inauguration.  Which is, in of itself, regressivism incarnate, albeit right rather than left wing regressivism.  Which certainly doesn't make it better.  But regressive leftism is what I do here.  There's plenty of exposes of regressive rightism out there if you're of the mind to look.

First off, plenty of stupid this week, and I hate to say this, but Sargon's not completely innocent of it.  I've got land in Florida to sell you - drained swamp land at that - if you really believe that Donald Trump is going to really give the country "back to the people."  I'm fairly sure we can all reasonably expect that from a cabinet full of billionaires and Goldman Sachs executives.   I love you Sargon.  Really, I do.  But come on, man.  Trump's win - though good in its defeat of the SJWs, was no win for real genuine people power.  And great meltdown about 39 minutes in, Sargon.  Keep it up and you're going to die of a heart attack well before your time.  And that would be too bad because I really do like you.

That all said, good job lighting limousines on fire, smashing Starbucks windows (the irony!) knocking trash cans over and punching alt-right luminary Richard Spencer in the head (a case could be made that he has it coming, but still ...)  Now, it turns out that over two hundred of these jackasses are facing felony rioting charges, following their ridiculous antics, carrying up to ten years in prison.  And I hope they serve every second of it for making the worker's movement look like a bunch of sociopathic teenagers.  Assholes.   And not for the first time either.  Black Bloc douches have been fucking up leftist protest movements as far back as the anti WTO protests in the late 1990s.  I'm fairly sure the top Wall Street traders and the Fortune 500 are trembling in fear of the massed power of the proletariat that was demonstrated in the riots following Trump's inauguration.  Were I them, I'd launch product lines of merchandise marketed towards dumb antifa types.  You know, Che Guevara on t-shirts and such.  Maybe even make a whole fashion line out of it.  Regressive Armani!  Don't be seen at any protest without it!

The Women's March on Washington that occurred on the 21st of January was much more reasonable, in comparison.  In fact, according to this Voxplanation of the principles of the march, many (though not all) of its principles are actually worthwhile.  "The right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage" for all workers ... "  Here here!  I suppose that includes the predominantly white male street cleaners who cleaned up after the protest too, I hope.  I understand it was quite a mess.

Never the less, it doesn't seem to have been without its problems.  The exclusion of a pro life women's group being one.  The inclusion of a high level organizer with ties to Islamist groups that endorse Shari'a law being another.   Remember folks, when it comes to being anti-abortion and against women's reproductive liberties, cross bad, crescent good.  Repeat that to yourself.  Over and over again.  You'll have the mantra of regressivism down in no time.

While I'm sure that there were many well intended women (and maybe even a brave male soul or two) at these marches (they took place all over the world), it had no shortage of grandstanding and celebrity narcissism too.  The thing that keeps coming to my mind when I read the news and watch footage of this march is just how much it reminds me of the Tea Party's response to the election of President Obama.  Replace the tricorn hats with knitted pink "pussy" hats and I'd be hard pressed to tell distance pictures of one from the other.  A lot of the same kind of ratched up rhetoric - the current president is literally Hitler, coming to take our freedoms away, the sky is falling, and so on.

Australian feminist columnist Clementine Ford never fails to keep it regressive.  Writing in The Age, an especially astonishingly self absorbed and oblivious passage in her Open Letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton reads as follows:
Oh sure, we've heard a lot about the rust belt and the poor white working class folk whose discontent with the system had been underestimated. 
You know what? F--- those people. 
The white men who gravitated towards Trump's brazen ego, puffed up on the permission he gave them to drag their racism and sexism out of the basement and polish it up for display in the front hallway once again. 
The white boys (both rich and poor) who revel in Trump's boorishness, rolling around in packs now and yelling giddily about "grabbing 'em by the pussy!" because Trump's win restores in them the faith that women's bodies belong to them. 
The white women who voted for Trump, pledging their allegiance to the ultimate symbol of patriarchy because it made them feel safe, valued and good humoured to let men see them laughing along at the gigantic joke that women are thought to be, especially we they stand up for ourselves. Those women will never be accepted into the boys' club, no matter how hard they work to ingratiate themselves. I'm embarrassed to be associated with them and angry that they respond so well to the directive to hate everyone their male masters tell them to hate, including themselves.
I think hating yourself is a good idea, Clementine.  You should do that.  In your case, it's warranted.  Drivel like this deserves no less.  I'd also suggest taking up a position in Donald Trump's press corp.  He couldn't ask for better coverage than this.  A sure fire way to drive white Americans away from the already floundering Democratic party is to double down on militant, us vs. them identity politics and political correctness that doesn't help anyone in the real world.

Good job, Clementine.  Regressive as always.

This is deeply troubling. "Protest outside of a Milo Yiannopoulos event this past Friday at the University of Washington in Seattle turned violent;after a scuffle erupted between anti-Trump protesters and prospective event attendees in the Red Square area of the campus. The protest ended in gunfire."

Whatever our differences, people, they aren't worth dying over and not worth killing for. We aren't there in America. Not yet. Your democracy is broken, but it isn't that broken. Protest all you want, but leave the guns at home, okay?

Until next week, keep it regressive y'all!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Keeping it Regressive - January 10 - 15, 2017

The week in regressive idiocy, at home and around the world.

First off, plenty of Stupid to keep Sargon of Akkad's blood pressure good and high, as always.  Including the hysteria over fake news - that failing pile of garbage, Buzzfeed, especially, and alleged Trump-Putin connections and collaboration.  Anti-Russian conspiracy theories worthy of peak cold war hysteria a-la General Ripper abound.

Elsewhere, the regressives are on the march, as always.

Transgender Uber Alles?  The fun a creative animator or visual artist can have with that one.  I sure hope this guy (or girl or whatever) doesn't try to use this reductionist power plus prejudice line of crap in a court of law.  Because when you're "marginalized", you never have to be responsible for your actions.

Suppose you had a chick who was so damaged and broken, for whatever reason, that her natural response to being called pretty by a male was disgust and to consider the remark offensive?  Psychiatric help would be the rational response.  Just as the rational response to flattery from a suitor you have no interest in might be something like, "thanks, but not interested mate," and everybody just getting on with their day.  

Count on to come through with the regressive thing to do, and give the chick entry into the countdown of their year's best essays. Best?  Yikes, I'd hate to see their worst.  Be warned, it's a cancerous, cringe inducing foray into love, regressive left style.
I totally understand that it’s difficult to know when it is an appropriate time to give women sexual attention. The modern woman is baffling.
This is surprisingly untrue.  Women who are not insane or sold on ego-stroking feminism are not at all baffling.  Most will respond in either a "No thanks, not interested" or "your place or mine?" to an "innocuous" gesture like being called beautiful, depending on whether the trust level is there and the attraction is mutual and reciprocated. If buddy doesn't back off after being politely dismissed, than by all means, lay into him. Most of them will not feel "exposed, trapped, degraded and simultaneously invisible and on display" unless they had either been sexually traumatized somehow, or bought into an ideology, you know, one you might run into frequently on college campuses or social media, equating male heterosexuality with objectifying and hating women.  In which case, regressive left newsblogs like Salon will then also publish them, because degradation and misogyny is what men thinking women are pretty is all about, after all.

College chick does admit that "Telling a woman that you think she is beautiful can seem very innocuous; sometimes it is. Sometimes, it will make her day" but then goes on to also add that "All this depends on context and I cannot explain when it is and is not OK."  Stop and think about that.  Chicky herself doesn't know when it is and isn't okay, but she has no problem writing a Dworkinite screed on how very awful "dudes" are for not knowing themselves, and figures that this is so good and positive attitude towards heterosexual relationships that they ought to publish it.  Presumably between some other progressive stories attacking the religious right's ostensibly prudish attitudes towards premarital sex, and a stories about how women have more sex drive than men and how very awful it is that their fellas can't, or have no interest in, satisfying them.  Gee, I wonder why?  Frankly, I can't say I blame them.

College chick does make some concessions, and admits that she struggles with "How am I supposed to reconcile wanting men to be attracted to me with not wanting to be objectified?"

The answer to that is actually pretty clear.  It's called not being a regressive left feminist.  But that would also mean chicky giving up her Victorian era sense of moral superiority over the bestial male of the species.  I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

Keep it regressive, Salon.

It did not matter to Michael Jackson if you're black or white, but the same can not be said of fans of the T.V show "Urban Myths" including Michael Jackson's own daughter, Paris, when it comes to the portrayal of the late musician on that show.  That's because Sky Arts, that produces the show, hired a white actor - Joseph Fiennes - to portray Michael.  In as saccharine a display of pretentious faux anger as you'd ever find on Twitter - and given what a wretched hive of contrived offense that cesspool is, that's really saying something, Paris tweets, that she was "so incredibly sickened" by it and that "honestly, it makes me want to vomit." 

Are you sure you were not also literally shaking, Paris?  Literally, literally shaking?  In another tweet, she claimed that "it was obviously intentional for them to be this insulting" not just to Paris, but to her grandmother as well.

Michael Jackson, at least in his later years, was scarcely recognizable as black.  Paris herself certainly isn't.  The only race neutrality left these days would apparently be vain social media virtue signalling.

Grow up, Paris.  

And what of her father's legacy?  Was it insulting to him as well?  "See, it's not about races, just places - Faces - where your blood comes from, is were your space is, I've seen the bright get duller, I'm not going to spend my life being a color," is just so 1991, I take it?  

To CNN, to Twitter, to Paris Jackson and numerous fans of Urban Myths, that would seem to be so.

Good job keeping it regressive, everyone.

An age old technique for keeping attention away from your own misdeeds is to attack the misdeeds of others.   "A CIA analyst has lashed out at Hillary Clinton for deliberately distracting the public with claims that Russia hacked the election, claiming that she is covering up her own mistake of stealing the Democratic nomination away from Bernie Sanders."

"Former CIA analyst John Kiraikou says that Hillary Clinton’s election loss is solely down to the fact that she committed election fraud against Sanders and has absolutely nothing to do with Russia."

"Speaking on the potential threat to American democracy ensuing from perceived Russian hacking, Kiriakou said that such estimates do not hold up, adding that it would be only the case if “Russia or any other country had actually hacked… into voting machines or hacked into the Federal Election Commission.”

When in doubt, blame the Ruskies.  Is this the John Birch society of the 1950s here?  Or is it keeping things regressive by aping the far right yet again?

The Women's march on Washington planned to protest Donald Trump's inauguration is running into more criticism for its regressive tendencies.   Nothing says concern for women's rights quite like making common cause with traditionalist religious groups that require of women to "“loose-fitting, non-revealing clothing, known as hijab, or khimar” 

"According to CAIR’s guide for educators, Muslim boys and girls may not take same-sex communal after-sport showers, and that Muslim students should not be forced to participate in coed swimming classes. CAIR also insists that Muslims may not want to shake hands with teachers and administrators of the opposite sex – but as a “sign of personal modesty”. How does CAIR know what each Muslim is thinking when he or she refuses to shake a person’s hand? It could very well be out of condescension towards women – which is prescribed in the Quran."

"While the list of inconsistencies between feminists and Muslims can go on and on, the point of this post is to highlight the fact that the Women’s March’s cooperation with Islamic groups must be one-sided, as it is impossible that they both strive for equality between males and females. Feminist groups must learn about gender inequality in Islam before either immediately kowtowing to their demands out of liberal guilt, or before assuming that American-Muslim groups strive for Western values."

Bad as he is, does whatever menace Donald Trump poses warrant co-operation against something exponentially worse on all possible indices of progressive thought?  Since he's a white male, I suppose so.  The one thing about wearing hijab, though, is that those damnable white males won't call women "pretty" if they do.  That a woman being called pretty is a terrible thing worth declaring Jihad upon is something that, by the looks of things, Islamism and Feminism might actually agree on.  Perhaps it's not so unusual an alliance after all.

Until next week, keep it regressive everyone!

Monday, 9 January 2017

New Feature: Keeping it Regressive

Nine days into 2017 and it's off to a regressive start.  As in, "we've learned nothing from Donald Trump's victory" regressive.  So I intend to keep a running tab of regressive B.S I hear about from various sources, and post them in periodic blog or even video articles.  Kind of like Sargon of Akkad's "This Week in Stupid," only more socialistic.  Democratic, alt-left socialist, of course.  Every week or so.

So here goes.

Apparently millennials are more comfortable with censoring speech offensive to minorities than older generations are.  The figures are higher among women, among minorities themselves and among Democrats.  Surprise surprise.  Worse news still is that the number is higher outside of America.

The vast majority of social media commentary on a Golden Globe nominated actor's speech thanking and praising his wife for her support was positive.  Not so with one feminist, who felt that it was sexist.  So the rational thing to do in response to this mature and thoughtful sentiment is obviously for the media to get out there - double time - and make sure she gets a column with which to express her proregressive and enlightened sentiments.  Don't you feel more educated and enlightened already?

Many thousands of women are expected to converge on the nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington the day after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. Jennifer Willis no longer plans to be one of them. 
Ms. Willis, a 50-year-old wedding minister from South Carolina, had looked forward to taking her daughters to the march. Then she read a post on the Facebook page for the march that made her feel unwelcome because she is white. 
The post, written by a black activist from Brooklyn who is a march volunteer, advised “white allies” to listen more and talk less. It also chided those who, it said, were only now waking up to racism because of the election. 
“You don’t just get to join because now you’re scared, too,” read the post. “I was born scared.” 
Stung by the tone, Ms. Willis canceled her trip.
And good on Ms. Willis.  Can't say I blame her.  White women simply are not medal contestants in the Oppression Olympics.   Only the absolute MOST OPPRESSED get to protest against and oppose the power of the US State Department and corporate America.  Anyone less oppressed than a disabled transgenderqueer latinx womyn of color needs to just STFU and check their privilege.  Because that's how you build the kind of solidarity that overcomes differences, finds common ground and challenges the roots of corporate and state power.  Competitive identity politics, fostering resentment and militancy among minorities NOT towards the commanding heights of power, but towards those that have a bit more privilege than they do.  Because that always works out so well.

Idiots.  I'll bet Team Trump and the Cult of Kek don't know whether to laugh or cry.  And I can't say I blame them, because I don't know either.

Have any articles, stories or videos about regressive idiocy?  There's just so much, I can't keep track of it all myself.  Let me know in the comments section, and I'll try to fit it in a later installment.

Keep it phony, "leftist" America.  Keep it pretentious.  Keep it about your smug little ego.

Keep it regressive.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Socrates talks Class and Identity

A contributor in one of the Alt-Left Facebook groups posed this question:
I only ask that this post be used for actual Socratic self analysis and discussion of issues of patriarchy, institutional racism, ableism and all the isms and oppressed groups, from addicts to poor rural whites to militant urban African Americans. Why should you? Because do you want to be known as the leftists on the wrong side of history? No of course not. Which is why we must constantly critique ourselves, understand our biases, our ignorance (aren't we all pretending to be more educated about leftism even though many here have probably never read a single book by Marx & Crew?), and privileges and ultimately fight for left solidarity and the awakening of the intersectional proletariat. Because even the dogmatically anti-SJW must acknowledge that there is a very real split in the left about this now...and at a time when the far left is growing at an unprecedented pace thanks to Bernie, as well as needed more than ever because of Trump, can we afford to not talk about these issues and instead just create groups that are echo chambers for our beliefs? Shouldn't we attempt to find common ground with the angry radical SJW? For the movements sake we must exit our echo chambers and contribute to the public sphere of leftism.
Truth be told, I don't think that class and identity are so easily separated from one another. If one is to stratify a society, than one needs legitimizing rationalizations for why some people should own and administer the wealth and capital while others should be stuck doing the leg-work required to produce it.  This brings to mind the old Platonic notion of the "noble lie" - the notion of myths used by societies to legitimize their social structures, outlined in Plato's Republic.  Since the above post does specifically request Socratic analysis, perhaps I'll allow Socrates himself to explain:
Citizens, we shall say to them in our tale, you are brothers, yet God has framed you differently. Some of you have the power of command, and in the composition of these he has mingled gold, wherefore also they have the greatest honor; others he has made of silver, to be auxiliaries; others again who are to be husbandmen and craftsmen he has composed of brass and iron; and the species will generally be preserved in the children. 
God has created some people to be superior to others.  The superiors have blue blood, or are God's chosen people, or enjoy the divine right of kings, or God removed man's rib and made from that a subservient help-mate.  As time went on, God didn't wash any more and so "science" took his place.  Some races of people evolved to be superior to others, or the like.  Then these fell out of favor in favor of "meritocracy" - some people just work harder or are naturally more gifted than others.  That explains the difference between billionaires and famine victims in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lies like this echo down through history.  Typically, the only thing noble about them is the strata of society the tellers of the lies come from.  This is the real importance of identity in a class hierarchy.  It is important to deconstruct the lie in order to legitimize a more just and equitable social order. To remake the social order without taking apart the lie that upholds it may distribute power and wealth more equitably, but remain unjust in that it allows old prejudices based on the lie to linger unchallenged and undermine the very egalitarian aims that drove the reformation of the social order in the first place.

The problem with identity politics, though, is that divorced from class analysis, it essentially mistakes the lie for the social structure the lie was told to legitimize.  An unjust social order left intact, the deconstruction of the old noble lie merely becomes a new noble lie all its own.  You could thus end up with a Republic wherein the silver people cast down the gold with the aid of the people of brass and iron, only for the silver people to become what the gold once were.  Or maybe the gold people are left enthroned but the silver, brass and iron people periodically trade places, and are more inclined to quarrel among themselves over who is more privileged and who is more marginalized than they are to actually try to change anything.

That seems to be the problem of the present era.

I just don't think common ground with the angry, radical SJWs is possible right now. The problem is the fanaticism and the "true believer" mindset.  This is also a problem with hard-line vulgar Marxist class reductionists, but they haven't really been the problem in the last generation. The IdPol SJWs have. Back in the days of the old left, the opposite was true.

So there's a lot of frustration with the SJWs now. I don't think this frustration always stems from a mere desire to retain privilege or out of bigotry and hatred towards anybody, though it no doubt does in some cases. But this is impossible to explain to most SJWs without them turning into bitter, caustic assholes. And this is the real problem with them. Their thinking is very closed and very circular. You can't discuss anything with them because their "marginalized identities" make them infallible. Any kind of relationship with them is impossible because they're completely incapable of seeing any kind of heterosexual or mixed race relationship in anything other than ideological terms. And they're not interested in discussing. They're interested in dictating. They're not interested in equality and solidarity. They're interested in supremacy and separation. Their levels of militancy and self righteousness - glorified in the culture of radical leftism, approach Jihadist levels. What common ground can be found with this?

SJWs ask of us how we're supposed to gain the solidarity of marginalized peoples without addressing their issues, but this question can also be put to them. How do you expect cishet white males to ally with marginalized groups who think that their status as victims makes it okay to shit all over, scapegoat and shame their allies all the time? If, after a decade of tumblr and buzzfeed, after a decade of shrill screaming over "white fragility" and "mansplaining" even white male progressives (let alone moderates and conservatives) are giving feminism and BLM the middle finger, well I can't say I blame them. The constant use of the term "entitlement" by the SJWs starts looking more and more like projection all the time to me.  

Which is not to say that white cishet male progressives are without sin vis-a-vis their more marginalized counterparts.  I would counsel no one to be blind in their self righteousness.  At times I really do think my race and my gender doth protest too much.  Would it really kill us to actually give IdPol theorists a fair hearing and consider what they say, from time to time?  And can we honestly call ourselves progressives if we don't?

I'm all for common ground, but this preoccupation with being the specialist snowflake in the drift and scoring gold in the oppression olympics since this apparently implies some kind of moral superiority sure the hell isn't going to succeed where class reductionism and overlooking racial and gender oppression has allegedly failed. Hell, SJWs turn on "white feminists," declare that black cishet males are "the white people of black people" and expel white cis gay males from LGBTQ caucuses for not being marginalized enough. And they talk to me of solidarity? Please. The self righteous and completely self absorbed obsessions with ideological and identity purity on the IdPol left is what drove many of us to think left wing politics needed a reboot in the first place.

Common ground can be had, but everybody has to do their part to make it happen. And honestly, I think class politics IS the middle ground. Class solidarity is a harsh taskmaster where identity is concerned - it leaves no room for racism or supremacist views. Solidarity will fail otherwise, as has happened to tragic results multiple times throughout history. I harbor no illusions that I'm going to have to band together with people of all kinds of racial, sexual or other backgrounds if I'm to have a chance against the powers that be.  There can be no first among equals if it is to truly work. There's a place for obstinate white cishet males to play the victim themselves, and that place is on the alt-right. And if you haven't noticed, we don't like them and they don't like us either.

Class based politics promise no panacea, but offer material improvements for all based on how far down the societal ladder they are. If the lower rungs have higher concentrations of women, minorities etc., then they will be the ones to disproportionately benefit. And maybe that's the best we're going to do for now. Where I see resistance to class based politics from IdPol radical leftists, I see a lot more concern with ego and being recognized as the specialist snowflake of them all than I see interest in actually overcoming anything, and that perhaps class isn't an issue to them because that's a form of privilege they have (having attended colleges and all) and aren't willing to themselves self reflect on.

In short, SJW narratives, no less than vulgar Marxist narratives, become not-so-noble lies all their own.

Egolitarianism - the Core Disease of the Left

But we did, Nathan. And that's precisely the problem. In the unlikely event that Nathan J. Robinson of Current Affairs magazine and...