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Sunday, 21 December 2014
Not Guilty. But Responsible...
Topic: Liberal Fascism

As a progressive of the faculty lounge elitist variety Barack Obama is impervious to the notion that careless rhetoric can have serious consequences. So of course it never occurred to him and his minion Eric Holder that people in high public positions should watch what they say at times of stress and crisis. No surprise there. When has our Community Organizer-in-Chief ever passed on an opportunity to deliver a supercilious lecture?


The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson,  Missouri and the accidental killing of Eric Garner in New York City presented Obama with just such an opportunity—in this case to berate racist cops and white America generally. Never mind the facts of those cases. Never mind the facts in general. The two incidents represented one of those “teachable moments” of which progressives are so fond—moments when the rest of us are expected to sit quietly with folded hands while being tutored in the fine points of institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, blah, blah, blah. And Obama was having a high old time—until yesterday, when two New York City police officers were assassinated in New York City, shot while sitting in their vehicle by a lowlife dirtbag who’d promised on Facebook that he was going to “put wings on pigs.”

No, I’m not saying that Obama’s loose talk makes him complicit in the murder of those two cops—one Asian and one Hispanic, for those of you who care about such trivia. What I am saying is that the whole leftie pack of them—Obama, Holder, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the repulsive Al Sharpton, all that miserable crowd—bear a large share of the moral responsibility for the climate of rage and hate that resulted in this crime. They had plenty to say about Brown and Garner. But where were they when rioting hoodlums burned down a big chunk of Ferguson? Where were they when demonstrators marched through the streets of New   York chanting “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now”? They were silent and nowhere to be seen.

When Mayor de Blasio arrived for a press conference following the shooting, the NYPD officers present turned their backs on him in a silent but eloquent gesture of contempt. Since the moment he assumed office, de Blasio has been bashing and demonizing the New York Police Department. Yesterday he had the unmitigated gall to demand that the murder of two NYPD officers not be politicized—meaning that the occasion should not be used to condemn his own gross and glaring failure of leadership. This was received with the incredulity and scorn it deserved. The same should be reserved for Obama’s call for “patient dialogue” and all similar bleats from the leftie fever swamps.


Posted by tmg110 at 2:46 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 21 December 2014 2:53 PM EST
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Friday, 12 December 2014
Break Time
Topic: Scratchpad

I'll be away from the blog—and, I fervently hope, shielded from the meteor shower-like bombardment of current events—for the next week or so. I have no doubt, though, that on my return there will be plenty of outrages to blog about. See you then… 


Posted by tmg110 at 2:02 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 12 December 2014 2:09 PM EST
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Tuesday, 9 December 2014
The Morning After
Topic: Liberal Fascism

Everyone agrees that Rolling Stone magazine beclowned itself with the publication of a story about a horrendous campus gang rape that almost certainly did not happen. In recent days many heads have been shaken, many hands have been wrung, over the mag’s gross and glaring irresponsibility. (Why RS was ever taken seriously as a purveyor of respectable journalism, though a good question, is beside today’s point.)

But all this clucking disapproval has been accompanied by pious reminders that while RS may have stepped all over it, campus rape is nevertheless a huge problem. After all, is it not true that twenty of every one hundred women in college falls victim to rape? When that statistic is rolled out heads nod in agreement—automatically, as if in response to some Pavlovian stimulus. Consider this gem from the editorial board of the UV student newspaper, the Cavalier:

Though the facts of Jackie’s story are uncertain at this point, there are several facts about the larger issue which we have long known are true. Twenty five percent of college women are sexual assault survivors. Fewer than 5 percent of college women who are raped report to law enforcement. Fraternity men are three times as likely to commit rape as non-fraternity men. All these statistics have not changed—with the release of the Rolling Stone article or the retraction of it. And all of these statistics still must change.

In other words—pay no attention to the lever puller behind the curtain!

The ease with which people accept that one-fifth of women in college fall victim to rape is remarkable when you consider how incredible it is on its face. The number of rapes actually reported to the proper authorities, i.e. the police, is much, much lower. Even allowing for the claim, no doubt true, that many rapes go unreported, it’s hard to fathom where that twenty-in-one-hundred factoid comes from. Unless, that is, you’re familiar with the ideological and social conditions on the typical university campus: part Ingsoc, part Bacchanalia.

Let’s take the social dimension first. The Sexual Revolution, that glory of the Sixties, has not worked out quite as the Woodstock Generation hoped. Stripping away the social conventions and taboos that used to surround the sex act has not resulted in free-spirited bliss. It has, rather, reduced sex to a commodity. Romance has been replaced by the hook-up culture—a highly convenient arrangement for young men if not necessarily for young women. Having a girlfriend or boyfriend is so fifteen minutes ago: Friends with benefits are much easier to acquire. And discard. So casual sex is in and commitment is out. There’s a problem, though. Young women have a difficult time adopting a casual attitude toward sex. Add to this scenario copious amounts of alcohol and drugs and you have a highly combustible compound.

The ideological climate only makes things worse. To an extent that many people find difficult to fathom, radical feminism is the dominant force on the contemporary American university campus. Its dogmas reign unquestioned—indeed, they’re unquestionable on pain of persecution, purge and exile. And like the doctrines of George Orwell’s Ingsoc, the doctrines of radical feminism are riddled with contradictions.

First, it is argued that “gender”—one’s sexual identity—is not an innate trait but a social construct. From this it follows that there is actually no difference between men and women. In practice, this doctrine leads young women on campus to adopt the casual male attitude toward sex—to sign up for the hook-up culture. Sex without commitment! Sex without guilt! Empowerment! Liberation! So far, seemingly so good. But unfortunately there’s more. Because, second, radical feminism preaches that all men are potential rapists—that sex itself is problematical because it’s a form of domination and submission with women in the latter role—perhaps even that all sex is rape.

And that is the root from which sprang the amazing claim that one-fifth of all women on campus fall victim to rape. It isn’t rape as normal people understand it but “rape” as ideologically constructed by radical feminists. If you’re a young woman who drinks to excess at a frat party, hooks up with some equally wasted guy, has sex with him and wakes up the next morning feeling remorseful and used—don’t blame yourself for a bad decision. You were raped! And there are plenty of organizations on campus that will actively encourage you in that belief and pressure you into bringing charges against your alleged rapist. Those charges might not stand up in a court of law but the university administration, terrified of offending feminist orthodoxy, will actively participate in the persecution of the young man you met at that party, who is guilty of nothing more than the same bad judgment you displayed.

There aren’t many people in public life who are willing to point out these unsavory facts, but Fox News pundit Britt Hume is one of them. Last night on Special Report he noted that according to the FBI’s national crime statistics, the incidence of sexual assault in America over the past decade has declined by a whopping 58%—two sexual assaults per 1,000 women annually. It’s true, of course, that an unknowable number of rapes go unreported. But to believe in the campus rape epidemic you’d have to believe (1) that higher education is for some reason bucking the national trend and (2) that even as the number of reported rapes dramatically declines, the number of unreported rapes, on campus and elsewhere, is soaring. That, to put it as politely as possible, is a dubious proposition.

Anyhow, it turns out that the famous one-fifth factoid is based on an on-line poll of women at two universities only, with a definition of sexual assault that included unwanted touching, uninvited kisses, etc. In other words, sexual assault was defined way, way down so as to produce the desired result.

Given all this, why should anyone accept the claim that there’s a campus rape epidemic? Well, they shouldn’t—or least they should treat it with due skepticism. And it really should not be all right to destroy a young male college student’s life with a charge of rape for which no evidence exists. It happens all the time, though, on the excuse that women never lie about such things. But sometimes they do lie. The heroine of Rolling Stone’s hit piece lied and the magazine was all too happy to serve as her enabler. And the same, alas, is true of the entire University of Virginia establishment.


Posted by tmg110 at 8:42 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:48 AM EST
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Saturday, 6 December 2014
Culture of Mendacity
Topic: Liberal Fascism

That there exists on America’s university campuses something called “rape culture” is a feminist doctrine that only a bold man would question. Because it’s not simply doctrine—it’s a principle of Ingsoc, a never-to-be-questioned dogma that to doubt or criticize exposes the skeptic to charges of oldthink, if not crimethink.

Well, that was the situation until yesterday, when Rolling Stone’s shocking expose of gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity blew upin that ridiculous magazine’s editorial face.

But why the surprise? We’ve been here before, after all. Any time campus feminists and their media enablers have a shot at a group of privileged young white men who happen to be white, they take it. Just ask certain former members of the Duke University lacrosse team. So now, in the face of Rolling Stone’s well-deserved humiliation, we’re bombarded with pious reminders that, er, well, maybe this story isn’t true—but so many others are! Quite frankly, this is a claim that strains credulity.

The uproar over campus rape is largely based on a leftie con game: defining sexual assault down. Here’s a typical scenario. A female student gets blitzed at a party and has sex with an equally blitzed male student whom she just met. Next morning she wakes up feeling remorseful and used—which she was—and decides, with the hearty backing of the campus feminist establishment, that she was raped! Usually no charges are leveled against the young man concerned—but the young woman has made herself a statistic, very serviceable to male-bashing radical feminists. This is how the claim that one in five women on campus have been sexually assaulted. It’s as bogus as a 2008 Obama campaign speech.

I can’t help but wonder what young women who actually have been raped on campus—it happens, of course—feel about these frivolous charges, and about such fairy tales as the one retailed by Rolling Stone. You’d think that they’d be pretty damned upset…


Posted by tmg110 at 4:45 PM EST
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Culture of Mendacity
Topic: Liberal Fascism

That there exists on America’s university campuses something called “rape culture” is a feminist doctrine that only a bold man would question. Because it’s not simply doctrine—it’s a principle of Ingsoc, a never-to-be-questioned dogma that to doubt or criticize exposes the skeptic to charges of oldthink, if not crimethink.

Well, that was the situation until yesterday, when Rolling Stone’s shocking expose of gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity blew up in that ridiculous magazine’s editorial face.

But why the surprise? We’ve been here before, after all. Any time campus feminists and their media enablers have a shot at a group of privileged young white men who happen to be white, they take it. Just ask certain former members of the Duke University lacrosse team. So now, in the face of Rolling Stone’s well-deserved humiliation, we’re bombarded with pious reminders that, er, well, maybe this story isn’t true—but so many others are! Quite frankly, this is a claim that strains credulity.

The uproar over campus rape is largely based on a leftie con game: defining sexual assault down. Here’s a typical scenario. A female student gets blitzed at a party and has sex with an equally blitzed male student whom she just met. Next morning she wakes up feeling remorseful and used—which she was—and decides, with the hearty backing of the campus feminist establishment, that she was raped! Usually no charges are leveled against the young man concerned—but the young woman has made herself a statistic, very serviceable to male-bashing radical feminists. This is how the claim that one in five women on campus have been sexually assaulted. It’s as bogus as a 2008 Obama campaign speech.

I can’t help but wonder what young women who actually have been raped on campus—it happens, of course—feel about these frivolous charges, and about such fairy tales as the one retailed by Rolling Stone. You’d think that they’d be pretty damned upset…


Posted by tmg110 at 4:45 PM EST
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Monday, 1 December 2014
No Longer Listening
Topic: Decline of the West

Back in August there was talk that the shooting of a young black man by a white police officer in the city of Ferguson, Missouri would be a defining moment in the annals of civil rights. There was much bloviating about institutional racism, militarized police, the devaluation of African-American lives, etc. etc. Obviously—inevitably!—this crying injustice would rouse the conscience of the nation.

Well, here we are on the first day of December and what is obvious is that the Ferguson affair and its untidy aftermath have done nothing but deepen the divide between white and black Americans. And in retrospect that was the inevitability of Ferguson. Decades of grievance-mongering have rendered the vast majority of white Americans deaf to the message of the civil rights industry—for industry it has become, a corporation whose most important product is outrage. But the average white American, say some working stiff who lost a $50,000 job in 2009 and finally landed a $35,000 job in 2012, has problems of his own and isn’t particularly sympathetic to cries of woe from other quarters, even when they’re justified in whole or in part.

Where did America go wrong on race? Back in the Sixties the civil rights movement was a noble endeavor that did arouse the conscience of the nation and did bring about a profound, positive change in race relations. Perhaps that’s hard to remember now, when the movement is personified by grifters and charlatans like the Rev. Al Sharpton. And perhaps too, the turn from nobility came early, in reaction to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Even before his death, King had been reviled by those to the left of him in the movement, people for whom revolutionary change, not reform, was the ideal. He was scorned for his willingness to work within the system and excoriated for his rejection of violence in pursuit of justice. All this is mostly forgotten now that King has evolved into a secular saint. But I believe that the movement with which his name is indelibly associated had strayed onto the downward path even before he was gunned down.

The real problems and genuine grievances of black America are easy for white Americans to ignore nowadays, crowded out as they are by the hucksterism of the civil-rights industry. That white working-class stiff may not be politically sophisticated but he’s quite acute enough to spot the hypocrisy of activists who scream about police shootings of young black males while turning a blind eye to the epidemic of homicide in black urban centers. Since the incident in Ferguson there have been 855 shootings in Chicago alone, 130 of them fatal, and the vast majority of both shooters and victims were black. In progressive quarters such statistics are virtually unmentionable and to cite them is to court charges of racism. The facts cannot be suppressed, however. White Americans view black outrage over police shootings in the light of those facts and judge it hypocritical.

On the other hand, blacks view all shootings by white police officers of unarmed, black young men as unjustified, racially motivated and criminal. The calls for “justice” that arise from the black community on such occasions are demands for summary justice: the immediate and speedy conviction of the police officer concerned, regardless of the evidence, with threats of disorder and violence should the desired outcome not materialize. What happened in Ferguson was a textbook demonstration of this syndrome.

Now of course the feelings of the black community in Ferguson are understandable, as is their skepticism that the system will produce a just result. But these feelings are greatly magnified and grotesquely distorted by the civil-rights industry, with its promiscuous charges of racism and threats of violence. In Ferguson, as is usual in such cases, these charges and threats smothered the evidence. That Darren Wilson was a racist cop who for no particular reason shot a black youth in the back and killed him, and that Michael Brown was an innocent gentle giant who had done nothing wrong, became unquestioned dogma. And, of course, if you exclude the progressive elites there wasn’t a single white person in America who believes any of it.

As it happens, the evidence is strong that Brown assaulted Wilson and then, when the latter attempted to arrest him, refused to comply with the officer’s commands and charged him. Wilson thereupon shot Brown to death. This was the conclusion of the grand jury and the reason that no indictment of Wilson was issued. But if the facts had been otherwise—if the evidence showed that Wilson has executed Brown—the respective attitudes of blacks and whites would have remained substantially the same. That is, blacks would still have sided with the victim, whites with the cop.

In short, among white Americans the civil-rights industry has lost all credibility. And since the civil-rights industry is the public voice of American blacks, that dismissal extends to black America. And it extends most specifically to Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, whose pronouncements on Ferguson— and on issues of race generally—make no impression on white America. One can easily imagine what Dr. Martin Luther King would make of this sorry situation. But today’s black leaders, well, they seem to be just fine with it.


Posted by tmg110 at 12:35 PM EST
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Saturday, 29 November 2014
Why I Write
Topic: Verse

First, the blank page is a reproach to me.

Second, I’ll not suffer to be silenced.

Third, composition is my only voice—

Small voice, halting, and smothered soon enough,

I know, not long remembered, for we go,

Every one, down into the dark. Yet still,

Why not give voice? Why not set down the words,

Trusting that my daughters and their children

Will in those words set down remember me?

So that some echo of my soul shall sound I write,

Setting my face against the fall of night.


Posted by tmg110 at 12:00 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 29 November 2014 12:01 AM EST
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Friday, 28 November 2014
Dems to Barry: Thanks for Nothing!
Topic: Politics & Elections

A recent Gallup poll shows just how bad things have gotten for the Democratic Party in the Obama era. The President’s approval ratings among college educated white Americans has dipped to 41%. But get this: Among non-college-educated white Americans, i.e. the white working class, Obama’s approval has plummeted to 27%.

No doubt plenty of progressive who will look at that 27% approval rating and cry racism: The bitter clingers hate Barry because he’s an uppity black man! Hogwash, I say to that. The truth is that working-class Americans have not progressed or prospered in the Obama years. No matter how you crunch the numbers, they’ve lost ground. The President and his party have failed them and they know it. It’s a failure all the more egregious when you recall the high hopes and expansive promises of 2008-09. And it’s a failure that can’t be retrieved in the remaining two years of this presidency. Aside from the time factor there’s the sad fact that Obama, like the Bourbons, has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. His recent executive amnesty order, a slap in the face to working-class Americans, was a stunning display of blind arrogance.

Democrats realize all this, and they’re worried. It would be natural for voters in 2016 to regard a victory for the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, as Obama’s third term. But alas for her, the President won’t be going out on a high note. The dying days of his presidency, like the dying hour of Goodman Brown, will be gloom. And the frustrations and failures of Obama’s eight years will stick to Hillary like gum on the sole of her shoe. If I were her, I’d be deeply worried about my 2016 prospects.

Congressional Democrats know the score, as is evidenced by the growing disarray in their caucus. Who would have thought, three months ago, that Senator Chuck Schumer of all people would come out and admit that the passage of Obamacare was a mistake? Obviously he has had a look that the numbers cited above, or numbers like them, and concluded the Democrats’ failure to concentrate on bread-and-butter economic issues was a profound political error that has badly damaged the party. People who figured that the Dems hit bottom in the 2014 midterms are starting to wonder whether things could be even worse in 2016.

That could indeed be the case. Obama’s failed presidency is turning into a full-scale train wreck, with an increasingly unhinged president lashing out with harsh rhetoric and executive actions against all who oppose his imperial will. Things could change, I suppose, but right now the 2016 GOP presidential nomination is an honor that looks to be well worth chasing.


Posted by tmg110 at 2:09 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 November 2014 2:12 PM EST
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Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Race Today, Race Tomorrow, Race Forever!
Topic: Liberal Fascism

The Left’s evident desire to stick the head of Officer Darren Wilson on a pike is evident in this screed by Rebecca Traister in the New Republic. Read the whole thing for a splendid example of leftie agitprop. Here I would like to quote just a few sentences by way of showing how the mind of a race-obsessed progressive works:

As a white, armed police officer, Wilson had institutional, racial, and weaponized power over Brown, an unarmed black teenager. The system that processed the events included a predominantly white police force, a white prosecutor, and a predominantly white grand jury. Wilson was not made to even stand trial for taking Brown’s life. 

But pay attention to the ways in which these imbalances got manipulated and seemingly reversed as the story unfolded. In Wilson’s testimony, it was the far less powerful Brown who was the physical threat, and Wilson who was the vulnerable party. Never mind the fact that Wilson was roughly the same height as Brown and that he had a gun and police authority and Brown had neither.

The idiocy of this piqued my curiosity: Just who is Rebecca Traister? Well, she’s a senior writer for Salon whose scribbles cover women in politics (from a feminist perspective), the media, and entertainment. Naturally she has also written for Elle, the Nation, the New York Observer, Vogue and the New York Times, etc. In short, Traister is a typical specimen of contemporary progressivism for whom the shooting of a young black man by a white police officer is, ipso facto, a case of racism.

The manner in which she develops her analysis of the Brown-Wilson case is very revealing of the progressive mind-set. The prosecutor and the grand jury examined the evidence to determine the facts; Traister tortures the evidence into a form that fits her ideological template: “As a white, armed police officer, Wilson had institutional, racial, and weaponized power over Brown, an unarmed black teenager.” Left unmentioned is the fact, well established by the evidence and testimony weighed by the grand jury, that Brown assaulted Wilson. He did this despite all the “institutional, racial, and weaponized power” that Officer Wilson was supposed to be wielding in the course of their brief encounter. In short, he was a criminal who made a series of bad decisions that ultimately cost him his life. On the other hand, that same evidence and testimony revealed that Officer Wilson was just trying to do his job—apprehend a suspect—and that he was legally justified in his use of deadly force.

Traister does not dispute—indeed makes no mention of—that evidence and testimony. The starting and ending point of her analysis is the color of Brown’s skin, and of Wilson’s. Having established to her own satisfaction that racism was the cause of Brown’s death, she then theorizes that the announcement of the grand jury’s decision was deliberately timed by the authorities to incite violence before finally trailing off into irrelevant musings on campus rape and Bill Cosby.

An analysis of the role of race in the Ferguson crisis would certainly not be illegitimate. The background of the deadly encounter between Officer Daren Wilson and Michael Brown is a bleak urban landscape, the product of decades of good intentions gone wrong, indifference and neglect. Perhaps what happened in Ferguson will shine the spotlight of truth on this crying injustice—for injustice it is. But Rebecca Traister’s grad-school malarkey illuminates nothing but the laziness, the shallowness, the fatuousness of progressive thought.


Posted by tmg110 at 8:26 AM EST
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Profiles in Flattery
Topic: Politics & Elections

Sometimes you really have to wonder what all those bright young things in the White House are thinking.

Much as I dislike Barack Obama, I felt embarrassed on his behalf last night. It was painful to see him reacting to the Ferguson grand jury decision, calling for peace and calm on a split screen—the other half of which showed the growing disorder and violence on said streets. Why did the President have to rush in front of the cameras like that? What purpose was served by his entirely predicable remarks? Could not he have waited until the day after? As it was, he looked irrelevant and ineffectual at the podium, droning through his talking points while Ferguson burned.

Obama’s not stupid. Surely he didn’t think that his words would make a difference to the mob on that troubled city’s streets. Maybe I’m giving the man too much credit, though. Perhaps he really did believe that the nation was crying out at that moment for his wise guidance. And if so, was there no adult in the room with the common sense to suggest otherwise? But what am I thinking? We have in Barack Obama a chief executive highly intolerant of opposition or even constructive criticism—just ask soon-to-be-former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. With people like that, the most cherished advisers are the flatterers who echo and reecho the great one’s thoughts. And that's the very definition of dysfunction.


Posted by tmg110 at 1:01 PM EST
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