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Category: Culture

The best that has been thought and written and why these ideals are difficult to meet.

July 6, 2018 | 29 Comments

Manufacturing Hate: Manipulating The Masses To Incite Revolution — Guest Post by Jim Fedako

Last Saturday I went on a quest to find the source of rising leftist hatred. I wanted to get behind the facades fronting websites and Facebook posts, as well as the provocative clickbait that covers the edges of browser pages. I needed to get inside the movement — the Petrograd Soviet, so to speak — to hear the Bolsheviki recite Marx, shout slogans, and call for worldwide revolution.

While I consider politics the genesis of coercion and compulsion, I am drawn to the machinations that make up the political process. Since I like to hear from all sources, I subscribe to emails from leftist organizations (and right ones as well), including ProgressOhio, whose website states it is the state’s leading progressive organization. A while back, they sent an email inviting subscribers to a We are Progress training summit hosted by Generation Progress, the youth outreach arm of the Center for American Progress (things get murky when you try to put all the organizations together). The summit included speakers from various other Ohio organizations (most small, flying well under the radar, so to speak). I decided to attend to find the source of hatred, expecting there would be calls for blood in the streets.

After I entered the meeting, sat down, and observed, I found the assumed agitators reserved and reasonable, with no revolution proposed. The hate was, for the most part, nonexistent. In fact, I empathized with many of the speakers. Sure their means were wrong, but their ends made some sense. Let me explain.

The summit was small, close to 50 attendees, with at least half being speakers or other members of the various organizations represented. Most were young and clean cut. A very ordinary crowd for an event held on a community college campus. During one session, local Ohio organizations were allowed 15 minutes to present their current agendas. The first organization to speak was Planned Parenthood, who subdued their vile inclinations and simply called for a national sexual education curriculum, never mentioning what their wicked curriculum would entail.

Next up was a speaker from the Ohio Environmental Council, seeking support for legislation to mandate that entities wanting to frack have sufficient funds for post-fracking cleanup. He also wanted legislation to force farms to reduce runoff to protect lakes and waterways. I did not find his ends to be offensive. Sure, while his means were off, his ends were reasonable (i.e. less pollution). Any disparity between means and ends could be easily rectified, assuming the leaders of the council were willing to read Rothbard’s, “Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution.”1

Then things got a little weird. The speaker for the People’s Justice Project noted that, five times a day, she “centered” herself on her commitment to “independent black power,” leading the audience in a chant of, “We have nothing to lose but our chains.” However, her passion was reducing mass incarceration. To that end, she wanted simple drug possession reduced to a misdemeanor from a felony. I agreed, not with the chant that channeled Assata Shakur and Karl Marx, but with any retreat from the so-called war on drugs.

Finally, the last speaker pleaded for donations to his organization that assists refugees relocating to Cleveland. He took a jab at the Trump administration, but it was only half-hearted. I found him to be a committed advocate for others. No revolutionary here, either.

This is the left of my youth, sincerely committed, yet misguided. It is the left that directed my steps when registering as a conscientious objector back in the 1980s. It is the left that desires change, but mistakenly sees more government as the solution. A left that rejects private property, but only because it doesn’t understand the moral and ethical principles underpinning private ownership, though it generally respects self-ownership (not including Planned Parenthood, of course). A left that challenges authority more than it desires collectivism. It is, to continue the analogy from above, the Russian workers in the soviets, soldiers on the lines or in the garrisons, and the peasants in the fields, seeking an end to the war, yet being driven toward revolution.

So what is inspiring the growing hate from the left?

As I allude to above, the speakers came from various small entities, all tied together by ProgressOhio and its nefarious, associated organizations. If you follow those organizations backwards, you find they are funded by, or associated with, other entities and individuals. As you go back farther and deeper, you begin to encounter the same names over and over again. It is as if a vanguard exists — an elite cadre akin to Lenin’s view of the role of the Bolshevik Party, agitating all toward revolution. A vanguard that guides disparate groups, such as those at the summit, into collective action.

Unlike the Russian soldiers, workers, and peasants, who were united to end the war, there is no obvious unifying theme among the grassroots organizations at the summit. Why does an environmentalist care about the struggles of recent refugees? So a theme must be created, which appears to be, from my observations, a combination of anti-Trumpism and pro LGBTQ slogans. Whatever it is, it seems to be working.

The speakers I heard were not fomenting revolution — individually. Yet, they are unknowingly being directed from above to foment revolution collectively. A powerful alliance is manufacturing hate and manipulating opinions. This cabal, which cares nothing about the environment, mass incarceration, refugees, or even the LGBTQ community, is seducing the sincere, but misguided, perverting their actions from holding rational discussions at summits to manning barricades in the street. It is an insidious force that generates hate through propaganda, converting the interesting and pleasant souls at the summit into vile spectres, seeking the blood of anyone who dares resist the planks of the manifesto. A force that desires power over all.

I did not find the true source of leftist hate — the scheming vanguard, though I found a hint of its trail. But I did learn something important: we either endeavor to spread the truth of liberty and property to all, or I end up plaintively pleading, at the sharp end of a bayonet, to the folks manning the pickets, “Don’t you remember me? I sat next to you at the summit.”

1. This is similar to the plethora of organizations on the right, such as those united in a genuine belief that marijuana is vile and remain illegal.

July 5, 2018 | 13 Comments

Sorry Never Trumpers. God Bless President Trump & God Bless the U.S.A.

On this slowest of slow days we have a pointer to an enjoyable essay on the death of Never Trumpism by Emerald Robinson.

The Never Trumpers have self-exiled. If not converted. Those in exile still pine for a return to the Old Ways, in which they were loyal opposition, feted and consulted as the important people they knew themselves to be.

Robinson asks, “What was your favorite blunder, or blown prediction, which marked their ignominious end?” Hers was “when Bill Kristol, longtime editor of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard, showed up in New Hampshire telling people he would run against President Trump in 2020.”

Mine was when National Review put out their “Never Trump” edition. That proved what we had long suspected. That there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives. The real divisions are between progressives and traditionalists, fantasists and realists, man worshipers and God worshipers.

The linked essay is by a NRO neocon who said “Many conservatives who oppose Trump have felt it morally imperative to declare that they will never vote for him, even if he wins the Republican nomination. They will vote instead for Hillary Clinton, or for a third-party candidate, or a write-in candidate, or no one at all.” This happened. But we recall that there is no difference between liberals and conservatives, and so it didn’t matter. Those of us on the other side of the Democratrepublican divide knew Michael Anton was right in his “The Flight 93 election,” which Robinson cites.

And now the “Never Trump intellectual crowd has no momentum and no popular following these days.” Robinson says, and we agree, though she still writes of a liberal-conservative divide, “it now seems self-evident that conservative pundits were preposterously out of touch.”

This myopia has several causes. The first is a kind of cultural “capture” that occurs when conservatives live in blue districts and big cities too long. They become, in other words, clueless (RINOS). The second reason is more obvious: many of these people are paid to be openly hostile to Trump’s agenda. The free trade absolutists at AEI and Cato are on salary to oppose any protectionist trade policies. Likewise, hawkish interventionists such as Max Boot knew they had no professional future once Trump’s isolationist instincts became policy.

Then comes her keenest observation:

The greatest disconnect is religious and cultural: the Republican Party is overwhelmingly Caucasian and Christian and traditional on social issues, while its pundits skew Jewish and agnostic and libertarian. Krauthammer wanted to have it both ways, which is not unlike the hedging that Brooks and Goldberg have displayed. George Will went so far as to say: “I’m an atheist. An agnostic is someone who is not sure. I’m pretty sure. I see no evidence of God.” Meanwhile, Gerson is a liberal Episcopalian who took to the pages of the Atlantic to attack evangelicals for supporting Trump. In sum, the conservative intellectuals didn’t understand the base’s concerns about religious liberty because they hardly cared for religion — which should have disqualified them long ago.

As Robinson rightly says of these people, they are “heretics who claim to be spokesmen for the Christian base.” Surprising, is it not, the number of Christians who put their trust and faith in those who did not believe Jesus Christ is Lord.

Not one of them every said that everybody ought to find God as soon as they can. Because the end draws near. Maybe not the end. But your end.

Comments to the article are worth scanning. People are not fond of Never Trumpers.

July 2, 2018 | 11 Comments

Another Example Proving Academia Is Worse Than You Thought

This is a slow week, so I do not now want to continue the discussion of what the best replacement of academia is. That is needs replacing I take as granted. But not all of you do—yet.

Here is a small item for the decreasing pile of doubters.

Here is a peer-reviewed paper—read and approved by peers, which means (1) peers exist, and (2) peers agreed. “Guilty of Loving You: A Multispecies Narrative“, in Qualitative Inquiry, published by Sage Journals, a firm some would say is reputable or respected. The work is in the category of “Research Article.”

The authors of this peer-reviewed paper are Susan Naomi Nordstrom, Amelie Nordstrom, Coonan Nordstrom. The listed affiliation is The University of Memphis. Which is a university, mind.

The corresponding author is Susan Naomi Nordstrom, a necessity, because the other authors are cats.

I say: the other authors are cats.

Don’t believe me. Believe the author biographies.

Susan Naomi Nordstrom, homo sapiens, is an assistant professor of educational research specializing in qualitative research methodology at the University of Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Her research agenda includes poststructural and posthumanist theories about human–nonhuman relations and qualitative research methodology.

Amelie Nordstrom (ca. 2001-2017), felis domestica, was a black cat specializing in making kin with humans and (sometimes) other nonhumans.

Coonan Nordstrom (ca. 2009-present day), felis domestica, is a tuxedo cat specializing in a Haraway-influenced becoming with other species.

So not only were two of the authors cats, but one of them was a dead cat.

That a deranged feminist (pardon the redundancy) cat lady wrote an article about her cats, which she was delusional enough to believe were co-authors, is not the point. We expect feminists to be cat ladies. Nor is the point the vast distances from reality achieved by Nordstrom, not per se. Distance from reality is another well known expectation of feminism.

The article is a diary of how Nordstrom picked up the not-yet-dead cat from the pound. “Her green eyes followed me back to my apartment. Her name was Nicky, but the name ‘Amelie’ (admittedly not properly spelled) created soft susurrus in my body as I thought of her that evening.” Et cetera, for seven pages. I admit to ignorance of what a “susurru” is, but I also not want to know.

Note how the deranged Nordstrom speaks of herself as if the cats were writing.

Over 15 years, Amelie and Susan developed an affective communication system through repetitions of living-with and dying-with each other. Over time, Susan learned that certain meows carried meanings such as “Hungry, I’m going to my food dish,” “You were away too long,” “Stop. Don’t touch me now.” We smell each other for changes in scent or as a way to check in with each other without vocalizations. Our physical proximity to each other creates affects of desired intimacy–sometimes wanted other times less so. Our sleep-dream practices meld into one such that we always know how to position our bodies. We gaze at each other, slowly blinking, wide-eyed, or a shared sideeye. We sense each other’s emotional states.

Lunatics are everywhere, and everywhere includes academia. So it is not the point that here is a prime specimen inside academia.

No. The real point is that passages like this were judged to be of academic quality. The real point is that Nordstrom is not adjudged off-her-rocker. The real point is that not only is her lunacy not recognized as lunacy, but that it is in no way unusual.

Drivel, and worse than drivel, is now accepted as prime “research”. Not just here, at the University of Memphis, but everywhere in the West.

Here’s another peer-reviewed paper from the same source: “What Is Peace? Being an Autoethnographic Account of Methodological Musings From the Beach” by Anandam Kavoori at the University of Georgia.

This autoethnographic essay is focused on methodological space of “problematization”—the wrenching intellectual and emotional process (and lived experience) that a scholar goes through before settling into a long-term writing project—in this case travel to different parts of the world, in an attempt to explore the idea and experience of “Peace” in each of those places.

Another: “On Not Being Able to Sleep: After the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election” by Ronald J. Pelias.

Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I find myself struggling, wanting to find a narrative that will let me sleep, but I am unable to find any comfort in the current political landscape. I call upon a fragmentary structure in this autoethnographic essay to display the troubling thoughts and incidents that have assailed me since the election, to point toward a frightening right wing agenda, and to demonstrate why I cannot sleep.

The journal goes on and on and on and on and on and on some more. It never stops. There is nobody inside academia with the guts to stop it.

Everything is summed up in the same’s issues Maria Lahman’s article “Who Cares?“, which, as far as I can tell, is empty. The classification is “research poetry.”

June 30, 2018 | 2 Comments

Insanity & Doom Update XLI

Item Great writers are found with an open mind

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The email cites the publisher’s ‘new company-wide goal’: for ‘both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.’ (Gotta love that shouty boldface.) ‘This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’

First, diversity always leads to mandatory quotas. Absolutely always. Second, diversity enforces and creates banality. We do not want books written by authors who “reflect the UK population”. We want books written by authors who soar far above it. Diversity is mind cancer.

Item Southern Baptists Call Off the Culture War

America’s largest Protestant group moves to cut ties with the Republican Party and reengage with mainstream culture…

“The generational shift happening in the SBC has thrust the group into the middle of an identity crisis,” says Barry Hankins, the chair of the department of history at Baylor University and co-author of Baptists in America: A History. “The younger generation thinks differently than the old-guard Christian right about culture and politics, and they are demanding change.”…

Greear has promised to lead the denomination down a different path, which, he has said, must include efforts both to repent of a “failure to listen to and honor women and racial minorities” and “to include them in proportionate measures in top leadership roles.” If the meeting in Dallas is any indication, his vision is resonating with a large number of the next wave of Baptist leaders.

Skip the nonsense that “Republicans” are creatures different than the enlightened. Note the call for diversity. Then study instead this bet. Ten bucks (bloggers are not rich) says the Southern Baptists embrace gmarriage within five years of this writing. Anybody want to bet against me?

Item A Society for the Prevention of Knowledge

I have recently read that the Diversity office at the University of Michigan employs 93 people, many of them at princely salaries. Nice digs if you can get them. The notice came in an article that logged the stunning growth of college administrative positions at the expense of tenured professors and, of course, the bank accounts of the parents who send their children to college, apparently not to be educated but to be diversified, like a mutual fund.

I wouldn’t like to disagree with Esolen, but I can’t believe it’s only 93. If we cobbled together all “FTEs” of people sworn to uphold Diversity, I’d guess we have at least double this figure. And that’s not counting students. I’m also guessing that 93 doesn’t include the secretaries and other support staff. Diversity is a vampire leach that will suck the organism dry if it is not burned off.

Item Judge blasts peaceful pro-lifers as ‘dangerous,’ jails them 45 days

A Michigan judge sentenced two pro-life advocates to 45 days in jail on Thursday.

Monica Migliorino Miller, executive director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, and Will Goodman were arrested June 1 outside the Women’s Center of Michigan, run by abortionist Jacob Kalo at 6765 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield county.

They were charged with breaching 48th District Court Judge Marc Barron’s probation order to not go within 500 feet of any abortion center in the United States.

Barron told the two Thursday they were “anarchists” who followed their own laws, and referred to Goodman, a full-time pro-life activist, as “a danger to society,” according to Lynn Mills of Pro-Life Michigan, who was at the hearing.

This item is only here to prove that the USA, and also other Western countries, have political prisoners. The Constitution somehow doesn’t stop this.