The Left Hates You

…even though they REALLY don’t know you

On Wednesday, April 5, Alex Pareene saddled up his high horse, Lefty, and excreted the steaming pile that is “The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World’s Face”. That stercoraceous metaphor is particularly apt given Pareene’s penchant for peppering his monologue with scatological references in a desperate quest to be oh-so-edgy; that he comes off as a ten-year-old among adults is unfortunate for him, since that likely isn’t the look he wanted.

Pareene’s instrument for venting his spleen is Fusion, part of the new-media conglomeration that includes deceptively innocuous sites like lifehacker and Gizmodo, along with brazenly-leftist sites such as Jezebel and Deadspin, at the last of which may be found the scholarly “Look At This F**king A**hole” (NSFW, if you couldn’t tell), totally not a piece of ridiculous clickbait. Deadspin is also the site that got pwned not so long ago by Senator Ted Cruz in a Twitter dustup.

Ted Cruz shows sense of humor, owns Deadspin in Twitter war

The central theme of Pareene’s piece — if a theme can be detected in such a rambling tirade — is probably that the American Right has lied to and incited its base (all those stupid, angry old white guys) for so long that a clueless, reactionary president was the unavoidable eventual result. Pareene’s obvious implication is that it’s only the Right that riles up its base; no member of the virtuous Left would even contemplate such irresponsible behavior.

The irony in Pareene’s utter lack of self-awareness is mind-blowing. His own piece, the one decrying rightist sensationalism and outrage is, itself, an exercise in pure incitement. It contains no persuasion; he isn’t trying to win hearts or minds. It has no supporting arguments (much less facts); he isn’t attempting to prevail in a debate. No, his intended audience is the already-converted, readers who will unquestioningly accept a goes-without-saying narrative that wastes no time with trying to be convincing. And how is his piece meant to affect such devoted leftists? Shock! Outrage! #Resist! Fire in a crowded theater! Gratuitously signal your virtue!

Such a dearth of mirror-looking is only to be expected when your political values spring from equal parts smug condescension and intellectual laziness; the mote in the evil other side’s collective eye is ever so much more interesting and troubling than the beams in your own side’s peeper. If Pareene ever actually takes a step back from his self-deluded sanctimony, his world will come crashing down.

Chief among the mistakes in Pareene’s piece is the way he attempts to lump everyone and everything on the right into a single, strongly-bound entity. There’s more to this than Pareene’s provincialist “Them dang furiners all look alike!” xenophobia. The American Right prizes and encourages individuality; this is often a major disadvantage when it comes to marshaling political will in order to accomplish real-world results. In contrast, the Left enforces strict homogeneity, firing quick warning shots across the bow whenever anyone strays slightly from leftist orthodoxy, and publicly burning apostates at the stake as gory examples of what you’d better not even think about doing. Remain true to the cause, don’t make enemies of the wrong people, and you’ll be defended — often beatified — long after you’re dead. Anything less might harm the cause itself.

The Right is nowhere near so cohesive. There are exceptions, but no amount of loyalty to party or cause is likely to save you if you have real issues with your character, ethics, or honesty (with an obvious waiver for the breaking of campaign promises; folks on the right are suckers for a good campaign promise, the unlikelier the better).

It’s uncertain whether Pareene’s misconception stems from an inadvertent disregard of the admonition to “know thine enemy,” or from willful ignorance for the purpose of painting the Right the way his readership already sees it, a mirror complement of the Left’s pieties of groupthink and realpolitik. Understanding is time-consuming and difficult; projection is quick and easy.

Pareene:

“The rubes listened to talk radio, read right-wing blogs, watched Fox News. They were fed apocalyptic paranoia about threats to their liberty, racial hysteria about the generalized menace posed by various groups of brown people, and hysterical lies about the criminal misdeeds of various Democratic politicians.”

How difficult is it to write this kind of thing about any given group of people? Turns out it’s easy:

“The rubes listened to NPR, read Fusion, Jezebel, Deadspin, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Mother Jones, etc. ad nauseam, watched MSNBC. They were fed apocalyptic paranoia about threats to their government entitlements, racial hysteria about the intrinsic majesty of diversity and multiculturalism, and hysterical lies about the criminal misdeeds of various Republican politicians.”

Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. No sweat was broken, and enough leftist silliness was held in reserve that we could go on for a good, long while without any fear of repetition.

Pareene again:

“They put their faith in a fairly traditional conservative orthodoxy: That you can use the levers of power to quietly enrich your friends and their firms, while pleasing the masses with some combination of tax cuts, loud proclamations of religiosity, and a modest, popular war or two.”

Has this guy seriously never heard of Barack “Mr. Cronyism” Obama? Is empowering and enriching unions and union bosses somehow more virtuous than enriching private-sector friends? More than that, cronyism has no place in true “conservative orthodoxy,” since a free market of voluntary, private transactions is the conservative ideal. Before we get close to the neighborhood of actual cronyism, conservatism abhors the concept of government picking winners and losers, even when it’s only the equivalent of the lightest of fingers on the scale.

The last part of the quote immediately above can, once again, be easily rewritten to illustrate the asininity of Pareene’s mischaracterization of the Right: “…while pleasing the masses with some combination of raising taxes on the rich, loud proclamations of support for a woman’s right to choose abortion, and a modest, popular class or race war or two.”

From the number of times Pareene used some form of the word “conservatism,” it’s obvious he thinks he knows what it means, but it’s equally obvious he is wrong. Words have meaning, and he doesn’t get to redefine terms at will to suit his personal worldview. Pareene should stick to his strong suit, cross-species anal-retentiveness.

NEW: Trump Signs Energy Independence EO

Rolling back the draconian Obama climate agenda

President Trump signed an Energy Independence Executive Order on Tuesday, largely undoing the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, which had yet to be implemented after being blocked by the Supreme Court in February 2016 until multiple legal challenges could be decided. In so doing, Trump was delivering on campaign promises that helped sway several coal-producing states his way in the general election.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt foreshadowed today’s EO on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday:

“For too long, over the last several years, we have accepted a narrative that if you’re pro-growth, pro-jobs, you’re anti-environment; if you’re pro-environment, you’re anti-jobs or anti-growth. We can be both pro-jobs and pro-environment. And the executive order will address the past administration’s efforts to kill jobs across this country through the Clean Power Plan.”

Before he was appointed to the EPA, Pruitt was attorney general of Oklahoma, one of some two dozen states suing to do away with Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Tuesday’s EO also ended a coal leasing moratorium that had been in place for a year, strict regulations on methane emissions and fracking, and requirements to incorporate climate impact considerations into federal projects.

Silly Excuses

Covering for Trump

A short while ago, Judge Jeanine Pirro took to the cablewaves, in part to offer a vehement defense of President Donald Trump with regard to his part in the failure and withdrawal of the American Health Care Act, variously known as “Trumpcare,” “Ryancare,” “Swampcare,” and a number of other monikers.

Trump, himself, drummed up anticipation of the show with a tweet earlier in the day:

So what did the former judge give as an excuse of Trump’s part in the AHCA failure? No criminal defendant could hope for a more impassioned defense from his attorney:

“Folks, I want to be clear: this is not on President Trump! No one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins-and-outs, of Warshington[sic] and its legislative process.”

In a way, Judge Jeanine is correct: Trump’s detractors on the right said again and again that he had no experience in governance, and didn’t know how things work in “Warshington.” But the insistent refrain from his cultish devotees was, “That isn’t a bug, that’s a feature! That’s why it has to be Trump!”

However, once you make that kind of claim, you can’t turn around later and say, “Well, we all knew Trump had this bug, so we can’t blame him!” Actually, you obviously can say exactly that but you lose all credibility if you do. Of course, that might not be such a loss if your credibility’s already shot.

The American Right supposedly demands accountability. There’s blame aplenty to go around for the AHCA, and not just for its failure. The bill should never have been offered in the first place; when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. When you renege on years of election-winning promises, you should expect blowback. President Trump shouldn’t have gone all-in backing a bill with such fatal flaws. He isn’t solely responsible for the AHCA or what happened to it, but he would do well to exercise more prudence in choosing what he and the White House are going to back, especially back to the hilt.

It can be hoped that the AHCA episode will be a learning experience for President Trump and members of GOP leadership; experience, however, would suggest that any such hope is vain.

Wonder Woman’s Mortal Sin

Angering leftist snowflakes is the pits

Unless you’ve been completely incommunicado for a week or more, you’ve probably noticed the latest pop-culture kerfuffle, this one involving none other than a character most people would consider an icon of female empowerment: DC Comics’ Wonder Woman, specifically in her near-future (June) iteration with Gal Gadot in the title role. What is the Amazonian warrior’s sin against feminism? No, it isn’t casting someone with the given name of “Gal” (though you’d be forgiven for suspecting that). It’s having the nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated gall to depict this pillar of strong womanhood as bowing to the demands of the patriarchy and keeping her armpits smooth and hair-free.

Timeline of a teapot tempest

This exercise in silliness began with just three tweets, notably from accounts with ostensible male owners:

https://twitter.com/ganjaghost420/status/840813317165858816

https://twitter.com/mattsontomlin/status/840824184552939520

All subsequent pieces used those three tweets as their basis. First to pick up on them was Shannon Carlin at REFINERY29, who asked Is Wonder Woman Allowed To Have Armpit Hair? Susannah Breslin at Forbes didn’t beat around the bush: Wonder Woman Doesn’t Have Armpit Hair Because Women’s Bodies Freak Men Out. There’s been plenty of backlash, too.

A little perspective

What really makes this whole episode laughable is the complete lack of perspective. Everyone’s cool with suspending disbelief sufficiently to swallow a manless nation of women perpetuated by Zeus’s direct intervention (he “brings each one to life”; now there’s some patriarchy for ya!), but it’s out of the question for said women to have any interest in—much less time for—axillary grooming and hygiene.

Come to think of it, we don’t even know if Amazons grow armpit hair! Maybe Zeus doesn’t dig hirsute pits, so he leaves that option off at the Amazon factory (it could even be an available trim package… hairless armpits, arms, and legs, the sleek and sporty Amazon NH… or the even sleeker and sportier Amazon BRZ). If you seriously have a problem with Wonder Woman having silky smooth pits, here are a few suggestions:

  • Get a life
  • Look for something worthwhile to do with your time
  • Seriously, get a life
  • Take it up with Zeus

Exclusive Inclusivity

The University of Arizona and aggressive diversity

If a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comment, the hurt student can say “ouch.” In acknowledgement, the student who made the hurtful comment says “oops.”

The academe of today is a sad wasteland in comparison with its former self. Rot often starts with a university administration, then seeps down through deans and department chairs, and eventually pervades the entire institution through the natural process of which professors are hired, promoted, and given tenure. Many instructors indoctrinate rather than educate. “Safe spaces,” sheltering students from disagreeable ideas, abound. Homogeneity of thought, particularly political thought, is celebrated and even enforced, often through the self-policing of instructors and students alike.

Once, the very purpose of a “university” was to gather together the sum of human knowledge (Latin universus, “all, everything”) and expose students to it, thereby broadening students’ minds and preparing them for lives of significance and meaningful contribution. Since some of the concepts and ideas would directly contradict others, critical thinking was taught and intellectual rigor developed in the pursuit of truth. Students were instructed in how to think, not in what to think.

Now we have BYOI: bring your own identity. Students are allowed and even encouraged to remain in their parochial cocoons. If a student does not have a cocoon at matriculation, one will be quickly, efficiently, and happily created: “Check the boxes of the intersectional identities that define you; check as many as you possibly can, since these identities will be used to categorize you for the entirety of your college career, and will determine when you are allowed to speak and what you are permitted to say. Check this box if you are a WSCM (white, straight, cisgendered male), then take your undeserved privilege and go away.” Careful segregation, surrounding the student with the similarly-oppressed and -aggrieved, advances the imperviousness of the cocoon. Coddling keeps any nasty, opposing views or ideas from even getting close to penetrating the cocoon before it has fully matured.

A perfect example of a source of this type of twisted campus culture is “Diversity and Inclusiveness in the Classroom,” a “classroom dialogue guide” published recently by the Office for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence (yes, that’s a thing) of the University of Arizona, written by the head of the office, the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence (again, a thing).

Following are some highlights from the guide. The guide wastes no time before establishing its risible theme. The second sentence sets the tone for everything that comes after:

“In addition, many campus constituents have social identities that historically have been underrepresented (e.g. Black/African Americans, Latinx/Chicanx/Hispanic, Asian American/Pacific Islanders, Natives Americans, LGBTQIA+ folks, international students and employees, people with diverse religious affiliations, veterans, non-traditional students, women, first-generation college students, and people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds).”

That sentence begs to be parsed:

  • Your sex, (chosen) gender, race, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, sexual preference, and a host of other parameters dictate your “social identity”, and determine your intersectional victimhood quotient (IVQ™)
  • “e.g.” should have been “i.e.”, unless any constituencies were neglected (bonus points for identifying which, if any, were left out)
  • “LGBTQIA+” is presumably shorthand for “LGBTQIASEYBWGLUGIWUNXCWADJLTHOWLONGCANTHISGOONYWIYMT”
  • If the listed constituencies have been underrepresented, some other constituency must have historically been overrepresented. Any guesses as to which constituency that might have been?

Somewhat later, a metaphor is offered as a way to promote “intergroup” understanding:

“Someone might provide the following metaphor: ‘Race relations in America remind me of the relationship between the earth and the sky. The earth represents ethnic/racial minorities, which sends water (e.g., diverse cultures, perspectives, opinions) to the clouds through the process of evaporation, making the sky look beautiful. For their part, clouds (which remind me of Whites) return the water back to the earth and enrich it. Both the earth and the clouds are equally important and need each other in order to live and make life interesting.’”

Then there’s art for understanding:

Collages/Art Work: Collages and other forms of art tap into students’ creative and visual side. Here students might be asked to create a collage depicting intergroup relations or intergroup concepts and ideas. After completing their project, students might be asked to present and explain their art pieces.”

The imagination runs wild: “Today, before digging into organic chemistry, we’re going to create some lovely collages depicting intergroup relations so that we can better understand each other and be excellently inclusive.”

So much “intergroup”:

Fish bowl discussions: Fishbowl discussions entail placing all members of one group (e.g., African American students) in a circle in the center of the room surrounded by students without that identity (e.g. students who are not African American). The facilitator leads a discussion with the center group for a specified amount of time (e.g. 20 minutes), while everyone else listens. Then, the groups switch places and those originally in the outer circle are led in their own facilitated discussion while the those originally in the inner circle listen. Finally, both groups come together and as a whole discuss any issues that emerged from the fishbowl discussions. This is a great strategy as it creates a space for greater understanding of other students’ perspectives and experiences.
For many participants, this is their first opportunity to ”listen in“ on a discussion involving groups that they normally don’t get to hear.”

Healing through discussion of oppression, etc.:

“Explain why conversations about diversity are important. It is all of our responsibilities to be engaged in dialogue about oppression, bias, power, and other topics related to living in a multicultural world. These conversations are a part of a healing process between members of our community. Hopefully, we leave each discussion with deeper understanding and a renewed hope for the future.”

It’s all about teh feelz:

“Discourage the devaluation of emotions and feelings. We may laugh and cry together, share pain, joy, fear and anger.”

There’s more than a page just about “Dialogue vs. Debate”, which boils down to, “We’re here to hash things over, not to try to find what is actually best, true and correct. All ideas, perspectives, feelings, and cultures—among other things—are equally legitimate and beneficial to society. Shaddup with your ‘objective truth’ nonsense!”

Lest anyone think we could make it through this entire guide and escape any mention of “microaggressions”, six pages are devoted them, with repeated definitions (including microaggressions’ equally hateful cousins, “microinsults” and “microinvalidations”—yes, these are things, too) and plentiful examples, followed by a lengthy discussion of how faculty members may avoid or “interrupt” microaggressions.

The final three pages are taken up with a discussion about “Validating Students of Color”, who apparently need validation.

The most dangerous guideline of all is buried, seemingly innocuous, on page 7:

Oops/ouch: If a student feels hurt or offended by another student’s comment, the hurt student can say “ouch.” In acknowledgement, the student who made the hurtful comment says “oops.” If necessary, there can be further dialogue about this exchange.”

How many “ouches” are required before an average college student will simply sit down and shut up, especially if the instructor is disinclined to support free speech? What would happen if an offender refused to say “Oops”? What about if the offender continued being offensive? This guideline is intended to silence unacceptable speech through classical conditioning: instead of salivating, Pavlov’s dogs are supposed to be quiet and defer to others with less privilege and greater intersectional victimhood.

The academic playbook of the American Left is a microcosm of its methodology for American society at large:

  • Divide the populace/student body into groups along lines of intersectional identity
  • Maximize perceived differences between groups
  • Promote each group’s grievance and victimhood
  • Make it seem like only a higher authority (e.g. government, university administration) can fix inequities and right wrongs
  • Put groups in competition—even conflict—with each other for the higher authority’s largesse
  • Gradually increase the groups’ (and the groups’ members’) dependence on the higher authority

Where students once attended university to learn, grow, and become independent adults, universities now churn out perpetual dependents, saddled with debilitating student-loan debt and steeped in leftist doctrine. This epidemic will not even begin to abate until our institutions of higher learning stop doing their students such grave disservice in the name of leftist orthodoxy. Current indications are that that won’t happen soon; indeed, it’s going to get worse before it has any chance of getting better.