One of the things always clear about oppressive and totalitarian ideologies is the rules only apply to the ruled. And the rulers see nothing wrong or hypocritical about that. Today’s liberalism is precisely like that and demonstrably so. For instance, as Victor Davis Hanson points out:
The rich supporter of affirmative action still uses, without apology, the old-boy network to pull privileged strings to get his own son admitted to the proper college. Al Gore flies on a carbon-spewing private jet, saving the planet by getting to conferences more quickly and enjoyably. High-tax proponent John Kerry docks his yacht where he can avoid taxes; how else to ensure downtime for furthering social justice?
A spread-the-wealth Obama, who warns others about making too much money and profiting at all the wrong times, nonetheless chooses the tony haunts of the moneyed and privileged — the Hawaiian resort coast, Martha’s Vineyard, Rancho Mirage — in preference to the old Chicago hood or even Camp David.
And then there are the Clintons who seem to believe that the laws of the land simply shouldn’t be something they have to follow. These are only a few of the hypocritical examples that highlight the left’s bankruptcy. The rules are for the little people, as is the facade these sorts of people erect to attract their votes.
The examples of the left’s hypocrisy abound and aren’t at all hard to find (btw, before anyone wonders, yes, there is hypocrisy on the right … see the GOP Congress, but this is about a pernicious ideology which usually devolves into a form of oppression). For instance, this beauty:
State Senator R.C. Soles (D – NC) Long time Anti-Gun Advocate State Senator R.C. Soles, 74, shot one of two intruders at his home … The Senator, who has made a career of being against gun ownership for the general public, didn’t hesitate to defend himself with his own gun when he believed he was in immediate danger and he was the victim.
And he has every right to defend himself. But he’s all for taking your right away and my guess is he felt no hypocrisy at all when he defended himself with a private firearm. Among the torch bearers of today’s progressives or liberals, there is a sense of entitlement that is astonishing. Camp David? My goodness, use a private and secure location built specifically for presidential vacations when one can use whatever funds needed to take dream vacations at the expense of others (especially in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in modern history)?! Heaven forbid! “I’m entitled!”
It is that attitude that is both infuriating and dangerous. Because it inures them to the reality that they’re attitudes and actions lead to oppression. Since they never believe their ideology necessarily pertains to them, it isn’t difficult then for them to impose it on us … for our own good, you see. It is a “do as I say, not as I do” ideology.
It is also an ideology that constantly gets tripped up when it’s ideas clash. More hipocrisy ensues:
Thousands of first- and second-generation Middle Eastern immigrants, at least some of them recent arrivals, went on a rampage in many German cities over the New Year’s holidays, pawing, manhandling, and sexually assaulting hundreds of German women — a classic foretaste of the coming collisions between the Morlock premodern and the Eloi postmodern worlds.
But, in essence, the progressive leaders of Europe have suppressed these events, playing all sorts of games through the media while, I’m sure, expecting you to believe they believe strongly in women’s rights. You certainly wouldn’t know it by their actions. Which brings me to something else Hanson said:
How does one adjudicate when various –isms and –ologies conflict with one another — radical feminism versus sexual emancipation, environmentalism versus the customs of indigenous peoples, free speech versus correct speech, integration and free expression versus safe spaces and trigger warnings? Does not even PC marijuana tar the lungs, give off second-hand smoke, and, in double-martini fashion, impair driving?
Yet in truth, liberal correctness trumps all lesser progressive agendas. The master ring of leftwing politics rules the lesser rings of race, class, gender, immigration, and environment. Ideology alone makes Barack Obama, prep-schooled in Honolulu, a more authentic representative of the Jim Crow South than Clarence Thomas, or Bill Richardson more Latino than Marco Rubio.
His point is dead on. “Liberal correctness” is the trump card they use when finally forced to choose between two competing portions of the ideology. In this case, the rights of women take second place to the PC staple of multiculturalism (a failure if ever there was one). One mustn’t presume to judge a culture based on our own because apparently good and evil are malleable concepts and we have no right to decide what is good or evil.
As for authenticity, they are the deciders of what is or isn’t authentic. Why? Because a) we’ve allowed them to introduce authenticity into all aspects of race, class, culture and gender to the point that now favored minorities are allowed to whine about “appropriation” of their culture.
It’s all a big mess – but at bottom it’s all about the imposition of “right thinking” and “right acting” according to them. But it doesn’t apply to them.
I’m more than a little bemused by the current self-inflicted problem Europe is experiencing and the US seems more the willing to allow to happen here, given that the current administration pretty much shares the ideals under which Europe is foundering. I certainly understand the wish to aid people displaced by wars. But since when did that mean committing to the mass immigration of a religious culture that has, demonstrably, refused to assimilate into the dominant culture of the countries into which they’re being imported (this isn’t a new phenomenon for Europe … it’s been going on for decades). How does Europe, which has existent large populations of unassimilated migrants of the same religious culture assume this will somehow be different?
Of course, we’re talking about Islam. Well, we’re talking about it. As Andrew McCarthy points out, those in favor of welcoming this mass importation are talking about “fantasy Islam”. This New Year’s Eve, reality slapped fantasy Islam and its adherents in the chops:
Nearly 200 women have filed criminal complaints in Cologne, the vast majority charging all manner of sexual assault. There have been few arrests, though, and nearly none involving sex crimes. The Muslim men used a tactic that has escaped the notice of fantasy Islam devotees but is well known to those of us who’ve followed the scant reports on the rape jihad as it has proceeded from Tahrir Square to Malmö to Rotherham: A group of men encircles the targeted woman or girl, trapping her while walling off police and other would-be rescuers. Knowing they are a protected class, the Muslim men have no fear of the cops — “You can’t do anything to me,” and “Mrs. Merkel invited me here,” are just some of the reported taunts. By the time “help” reaches one victim, the assailants have moved on to the next.
But, but … that’s not supposed to happen. Not in fantasy Islam which is all about peace and coexistence. In fact, those that believe that nonsense are all about naiveté and willful ignorance. And there is a building backlash to this absurd policy:
A poll published by the Sunday edition of the influential tabloid Bild showed 49% of Germans feared a repeat of the Cologne events in their hometowns. Similar New Year’s Eve assaults were reported on a smaller scale in the cities of Hamburg and Stuttgart.
Authorities, who have described the violence in Cologne as unprecedented in the country, have also said that most potential suspects had applied for asylum in Germany or were in the country illegally. Cologne’s police chief was forced out Friday amid criticism over the police’s failure to prevent the attacks and its apparent hesitation to acknowledge that the attackers may have been asylum applicants. The police chief, Wolfgang Albers, denied trying to cover up the backgrounds of suspected attackers.
The attacks have also provoked an emotional debate in Germany on how to deal with sexual violence. Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker drew heavy criticism after saying that women should keep an arm’s length distance from men in situations that could escalate. She later apologized, saying she didn’t mean to set a code of conduct for women and that the attackers were the ones responsible in cases of sexual violence.
Since the New Year’s eve attacks in numerous cities in Europe, the narrative that has been spun by the backers of this mass immigration has been reduced to tatters. There’s even evidence other incidents have been essentially covered up. In Sweden, for example, a major newspaper stands accused of no failing to report such problems, but essentially refusing to do so.
And the media in the US seems just as complicit in trying to deny what happened on NYE was anything to do with refugees or, by inference, Islam:
“It was not clear,” the New York Times opaquely explains, “that any of the men involved were among those who arrived in Germany over the past year from conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”
While the NYT tacitly agrees that the incidents happened, in this land of #allwomenshouldbebelieved, it apparently has difficulty believing the descriptions of the men those 200 assaulted women identified because of what that would mean in terms of identifying their religion. One thing that seems to be clear, however … it wasn’t a mob of German (or other) European males.
So the fellow travelers invested in fantasy Islam continue to refuse reality and are reduced to shouting “Islamaphobia” at anyone who disagrees.
The situation here isn’t much different. I understand Obama will have a Syrian refugee sitting in the balcony for his (thankfully) last State of the Union speech. It is obviously a symbolic presence meant to assure us that there’s nothing to fear by importing fighting age men from an Islamic country into this nation. Because, you know, government is on the job and has this rigorous vetting process before any refugees are allowed in the country. You have nothing to fear.
Two men born in Iraq who came to the U.S. as refugees had court dates in California and Texas Friday on terror-related charges, as investigators say one of the men wrote that he wanted to travel to Syria because he was “eager to see blood.”
How did that happen? One assumes those two were also a product of that “rigorous vetting process”. How many more like them are still at large?
As for those who might come here from Syria, guess who is handling their screening?
The recent terrorism-related arrests of two refugees from the Middle East again showed the national security risks associated with the present refugee screening process. A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies analyzes this refugee resettlement screening process and the large role played by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the entity entrusted with the entire pre-screening process for Syrian refugees being considered for resettlement in the United States.
The UNHCR screens refugees and then presents the U.S. with potential resettlement cases; 22,427 Syrian refugee cases have been submitted. The selecting, pre-screening, and referring refugees for resettlement, as well as the humanitarian care of the well over four million Syrian refugees, has been accomplished with what amounts to one staff member for 2, 862 refugees. The selection process uses the following guidelines: “The mere absence of information, or one’s inability to find information that supports an applicant’s claim, should not in itself justify a negative eligibility decision.” The only requirement for applicants’ statements is that they “must be coherent and plausible, and must not run counter to generally known facts.”
Yes, friends, that same entity whose “peacekeeping” troops are so well known for rape. I’m sure that gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, no?
So why is it that Europe’s leadership and media continue to invest themselves in fantasy Islam? Here’s one explanation. Remember when the Catholic church’s sex scandal broke? Remember how abysmally the church handled it? Remember how badly it all went for the Church?
Instead like the church for political, economic or cultural reasons the countries of Europe hung back and the communities became isolated and unassimilated. And when the cultural effect went beyond the results have been devastating, In Rotherham, in Birmingham, in Cologne, in Oslo in Paris and in literally thousands of other places the authorities have decided to go all in with a comfortable lie. They have chosen to pretend that millions of unassimilated muslims in the west are not a problem, they have chosen to ignore the no go zones, the violence, the murder of their citizen and even the rape of their women and children for the sake of proclaiming that none of these things have anything to do with Islam, its practice or its culture.
Like the church scandal the driving force here is fear and a desire to put off a confrontation that this big lie is making more a more likely. And like the church scandal the longer the west remains in denial the greater the cost of solving the problem
So again, the questions – reasonable questions – arise concerning these refugees. Why must they come here (why can’t they be resettled in cultures in the area they come from which are compatible with theirs?)? And if they come here, shouldn’t they assimilate instead of segregate and demand their own culture be both tolerated and implemented? How does one implement cultural demands that require their own brand of law be superior to ours? Or that women essentially be treated as chattel? How many stonings, rapes, honor killings and acid attacks would we be willing to endure in the name of tolerance?
Victor Davis Hanson gives us 4 points necessary for successful immigration, the model for the past in the US. They are a key to why, unlike Europe, America has been successful with its immigration over the centuries. While the left scoffs at the idea of a “melting pot” and even warns that using the term is a “micro aggression”, Europe’s “salad bowl” proves their alternative to be … another fantasy. Here’s Hanson:
One, immigrants came legally. Breaking the law was a lousy way to start American residency. How can an immigrant continue to respect and follow his adopted country’s legal system when his first act as an American resident is to mock federal law?
Two, immigration was blind and diverse. It did not favor one particular group over another. The more diverse the immigrant blocs, the less likely they were to form lasting separate communities. There were, of course, mass influxes of immigrants in the past, but they were quite diverse: gobs of Germans, hordes of Irish, masses of Italians and Sicilians, huge influxes of Poles and Jews, lots of Japanese and Chinese, large arrivals of Mexicans. But note how diverse and varied were the immigrants’ places of origin and how destined they were to bump into each other upon arrival. Each group was wary of the other trying to use immigration as a crass tool to boost their own political fortunes by bringing in more kin than their rivals.
Three, immigrants usually arrived in manageable numbers; mass arrivals were usually periodic and episodic, not continuous and institutionalized. Only that way could the melting pot absorb newcomers and avoid the tribalism and factionalism that had always plagued so many prior failed multi-ethnic national experiments abroad. To avoid the fate of Austria-Hungary or Yugoslavia, immigrants—geographically, politically, culturally—by needs were soon intermixed and intermingled.
Four, both hosts and immigrants insisted on rapid Americanization. Immigrants learned English, followed all the laws of their host, and assumed America was good without having to be perfect. Otherwise they would have stayed home.
Fantasy, willful ignorance and an abject refusal to confront evil lead to the mess Europe now finds itself facing. Reality, as usual, doesn’t deal nicely with those who refuse to recognize it. The threat to our country comes from those who believe in a culture and religion that, as they would have it implemented, is incompatible with Western ideals. They have no business here.
Hopefully we won’t duplicate the stupidity with which Europe has so naively committed itself. There is nothing wrong with slowing things down and ensuring we aren’t allowing those who don’t want to or won’t assimilate into our country. We don’t need or want those who are like the two just arrested in California and Texas. And, if that is “Islamaphobia”, then so be it. I’ll live with the tag.
The first podcast of 2016 is up on the Podcast page!
The Labor Department reports that 292,000 net new jobs were created in December, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0%. 277,000 people re-entered the labor force, sending the labor force participation rate up 0.1% to 62.6%. Average hourly earnings were unchanged, as was the average workweek, at 34.5 hours.
Wholesale inventories fell a sharp -0.3% in November, but an even steeper -1.0% drop in sales sent the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.32, compared to 1.23 a year ago.
Consumer credit rose by $14.0 billion in November, helped by a $5.7 billion increase in revolving credit.
Another thing I decided during my holiday hiatus was to make “Stray Voltage” a regular Friday feature. Why? Well, it covers a number of subjects/issues and gives everybody a lot to talk about over the weekend.
Question: Why is it the SJWs insist there is a “rape culture” on campus, but are mostly silent about the real rape culture that is rearing its ugly head in Europe among Muslim “refugees”?
Mr. Obama at his recent townhall meeting:
Obama didn’t hold back when asked by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper about the notion that the federal government — and Obama in particular — wants to seize all firearms as a precursor to imposing martial law. He blamed that notion on the NRA and like-minded groups that convince its members that “somebody’s going to come grab your guns.”
I have only one thing to say to that Mr. Obama: “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.”
Well here’s a surprise. Another late night release, and more evidence that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted:
The latest batch of emails released from Hillary Clinton’s personal account from her tenure as secretary of state includes 66 messages deemed classified at some level, the State Department said early Friday.
In one email, Clinton even seemed to coach a top adviser on how to send secure information outside secure channels.
All but one of the 66 messages have been labeled “confidential”, the lowest level of classification. The remaining email has been labeled as “secret.” The total number of classified emails found on Clinton’s personal server has risen to 1,340 with the latest release. Seven of those emails have been labeled “secret.”
Does the name Petraeus mean anything to you? And in comparison his security breaches were minor. Which makes you wonder what it is going to take to finally see Clinton prosecuted. I also wonder if the Obama administration may be interested in keeping his executive actions in place after he leaves … enough so they’re willing to make a deal with the Democratic front runner? I’m sure everyone would be shocked, shocked I tell you, if that was the case.
And while the president is crying and wailing about you folks owning too many guns, the beat goes on:
Two Palestinian men who were born in Iraq and came to the United States as refugees have been arrested in connection with terrorism investigations, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Imagine that. Both men of fighting age, both refugees, both engaged in terroristic activities, but I’m the xenophobe (or racist or, well, pick your favorite pejorative) if I say don’t import trouble in the form of refugee men from Islamic countries that support and foment terrorism?
Finally, Mr. Obama seems to think that if he repeats the same nonsense over and over again, it somehow becomes true. To wit:
“But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close. And as I’ve said before, somehow we’ve become numb to it and we start thinking that this is normal.” –President Obama, announcing his new executive orders on guns, January 7, 2016
This claim is simply not true.
This claim is simply not true. Between January 2009 and December 2015, there are 11 European countries with a higher frequency of these mass public shootings than the US, and 10 European countries with a higher rate of deaths from these attacks.
But hey, this is for the low information citizen who only reads headlines and listens to sound bites (read the whole thing). What’s that old saying? A lie can travel around the world before the truth gets its shoes on? Something like that. That is why propaganda is so powerful. And this, my friends, is nothing but propaganda … dutifully retransmitted by an willfully incurious media.
Have a great weekend.
Chain store sales—approximately 10% of all retail sales—reported rising rates of year on year sales growth today.
Challenger’s layoff count fell sharply in December, to 23,622, the lowest monthly level since June, 2000.
The Gallup Good Jobs Rate rose 0.4% to 45.3% in December.
Initial weekly jobless claims fell 10,000 to 277,000. The 4-week average fell 1,250 to 275,750. Continuing claims rose 25,000 to 2.230 million.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose 0.6 points to 44.2 in the latest week.
The Fed’s balance sheet rose $0.2 billion last week, with total assets of $4.487 trillion. Reserve bank credit fell $-7.5 billion.
The Fed reports that M2 money supply fell by $-10.8 billion in the latest week.
Finally, in other good news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen around 1,000 points, or -5.2% in the first four days of trading this year.
What is that, you may ask? Well, it’s the “new media” of sorts. In the old days, reporters reported. They came up through the ranks and they were fairly objective. They knew their territory and they knew their subject. Yes, I know about “yellow dog” journalism. But it wasn’t hidden then under the patina of “objectivity” we suffer through today. Today’s journalists, for the most part, are agenda journalists. They have an ideological agenda that has been introduced to them early and nurtured through years of schooling and grad school.
Given what we read and hear, most people would gather that the agenda they follow is that of the left. Why? Well, has anyone taken a good hard look at academia lately? Or is asking that a micro-aggression? Help, I need a safe space.
Here’s an example. If you saw a headline that said “Poll: 70 percent believe in climate change“, what would you infer from that? We all know that “climate change” is the left’s newest code phrase for man-made global warming. They had “global warming” pretty much shoved down their throats by multitudes of questions they couldn’t answer and conditions that didn’t meet their claims. So they decided on a squishy term: climate change.
Here’s the term in use:
“Americans know climate action is critical — they’re seeing its impacts with their own eyes. Climate change is a moral issue, a health issue, and a jobs issue — and that’s why the strong majority of Americans want the federal government to do something about it, and support the strong outcome in Paris.”
But the support is complicated. Pollsters found that only 27 percent of respondents agree with the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change.
“The data exposes the extent to which this has become a partisan political issue in the U.S. rather than a scientific issue,” Tony MacDonald, director of Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll results.
November factory orders slipped back into negative territory, falling -0.2%, with core capital goods down -0.3%.
The nation’s trade deficit narrowed to $-42.2 billion in November, as exports fell -0.9% and imports dropped -1.7%.
In December, the PMI Services index fell -1.8 points to 54.3, while the ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Index fell -0.7 points to 55.3.
ADP’s Employment Report is calling for an unusually sharp increase of 257,000 new private-sector jobs in December.
Gallup’s US Job Creation Index fell a point to 30 in December.
The MBA reports that mortgage applications plunged -27.0% last week, with purchases down -15% and refis down -37%. This is a volatile index during shortened holiday weeks.
Mr. Obama shed a tear yesterday as he told us why he was going to bypass Congress and enact gun control (at least a small part of it) by executive order. Speaking of “gun violence” instead of violence in general, he said:
“We do not have to accept this carnage as the price of freedom,” Obama said.
That’s simply poppycock. We don’t have to like it but freedom, as has been said any thousands of times, is not free. Nor is it pretty or neat. Nor are there those who don’t suffer because of it. It always has a cost – a price. But the alternative, what most Democrats seem to want, is the state deciding everything you can or cannot do, everything you can or cannot own. That alternative is unacceptable to those who value freedom and are willing to suffer the cost.
No one is in favor of “carnage”. But it isn’t the guns which cause the violence, sir. Figure it out please. When you tell me that abortion instruments are what kill about a million unborn human beings in the US each year, perhaps I’ll at least consider your thinking to be somewhat consistent. And of course, that means cars and pools and rope, well you name it, also need to be controlled even more because the “carnage” they cause rivals anything to do with that involving guns.
Gee, given the numbers, perhaps he ought to be going after Planned Parenthood instead of demonizing the NRA.
Oh, and this was rich:
“No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law, I know a little bit about this. I get it,” he said. “But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”
Apparently he thinks he knows the Constitution, but if true, he’d know it doesn’t allow aristocracy, and certainly it doesn’t allow kings. Laws are passed through Congress and if the President doesn’t have the heft or gravitas or whatever he needs to see it done, then it doesn’t get done. Obama doesn’t have any of that. And the people have been quite clear that they don’t consider guns or gun control to be much of an issue. In fact, it barely registers, no pun intended. So instead he does “work arounds” with executive orders. Tell us again about how you know the Constitution, please?
But let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what went on yesterday, shall we? It is about, get ready for it, ideology:
Despite professing an unflinching commitment to curbing gun violence, Obama and Biden have been thwarted by Congress and what Obama calls a lack of national will to change the way Americans think about guns.
Got it. It’s about changing the way you think about guns. Its about making them the equivalent of a cigarette. You remember when cigarettes were popular? And what happened? Well, think about it. It wasn’t about people making poor choices and suffering for them that was the “cause” of their diseases. It wasn’t about their refusal to heed the strident warnings about smoking. It became “the cigarette”. That was the “cause”. And it was the cigarette that was killing people, not the people’s choices. The object became the problem. People were excused for making poor decisions even though the information that cigarettes caused horrific health problems had been out for years … decades.
The same sort of argument is being made about guns and “the strategy of a tear” was just the latest emotional appeal to a people who’ve been pretty darn logical about guns so far and aren’t buying into the argument as readily as they did with cigarettes. In fact, they’re not buying into it at all and are, instead, buying more and more guns. If you can’t get them to swing your way, cry on national TV. That’ll show ’em how sincere you are. And, of course, it seems to have fooled a good number of people out there already.
But to the point – this is frustration for Obama because you and most Americans won’t think the way he wants you to. So? So screw you, he’ll stamp his feet, hold his breath and make you do it by taking unilateral action. But he knows the Constitution, by George.
This is just another in a long line of tantrums by this man. When he can’t get his way, he simply looks for a means to impose his will. He has no concept of what a President is or what one is supposed to do and he’s certainly no Constitutional scholar. This is just the latest example.
So why is the cigarette model not working for the left? For the most part it is because there really is no redeeming value to a cigarette. But there is tremendous positive value to a gun. You can’t defend yourself or your family with a cigarette. You can’t feel more secure in your person with a cigarette. You can’t protect your life or your property with a cigarette. So despite the demonization of the object the left has committed itself too, the positive aspects of gun ownership simply won’t be buried, even with a tear.
The bottom line however should be clear – the left will do whatever it thinks necessary to strip Americans of their right to own firearms. You will see every sort of argument tendered and numbers that, without context, seem horrific. Such as “30,000” gun deaths – 62% of which are suicides. Anyone who believes removing guns will prevent suicide just isn’t very serious about discussing suicide. Japan, which has strict gun control laws, has more suicides than the US. The problem isn’t the means. It is the mental state of the person. 35% are homicides, most gang related. No matter the laws passed, criminals are not going to obey them. This seems to be a point the left can’t comprehend. And finally accidents claim most of the remainder (about 606 in 2010). “Mass shootings”? A small minority of the final total. And, in fact, gun violence and gun homicides are and have been trending down for quite some time.
However, like “climate change”, the alarmist hysteria continues despite the fact that the data doesn’t support it.
So now, it is all about an emotion. A tear.
My freedom isn’t for sale for a tear, crocodile or otherwise, Mr. Obama.
December auto sales fell a sharp -5.0% to an annualized 17.3 million, hinting at a bad month for retail sales, overall.
December’s economic confidence index from Gallup averaged -11 in December, up from November’s -13.
Redbook reports that last week’s retail sales rose to 2.9% on a year-ago basis, from the previous week’s 2.5%. Still not great numbers.