The left’s grip on reality has never exactly been vise-like. But it seems to me that leftists are losing it”more than usual”over Trump. And I”m no Trump fan, to be sure. Last week I was amused to see myself involuntarily added to the Wikipedia page of “prominent individuals” who”ve endorsed Trump. There I am, sandwiched alphabetically between Conrad Black and Ann Coulter, apparently due to a previous Taki’s piece in which I called Trump “a wealthy, high-profile loudmouth with no plan to govern and no principles to guide him.”
The definition of “endorsement” appears to have changed a bit from back in my day.
But my own views on The Donald aside, there’s no question that leftists have gone plumb loco over his candidacy. After decades of calling every Republican under the sun “Hitler,” leftists have now started to believe their own slur. As Daniel Greenfield points out, every GOP presidential candidate over the past fifty years has been Hitler according to the left. And as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger was Hitler when he first ran for governor of California. Many people have forgotten that the night before the recall election, soon-to-be senator Al Franken announced on The Tonight Show that, if elected, Schwarzenegger would emulate Hitler (that’s the same Tonight Show hosted by Jay Leno, who, ten years earlier, had called Rush Limbaugh Hitler). When Romney was running for president, Mormons were Hitler. Last week, when Mormon voters demonstrated their intense dislike for Trump, all of a sudden they were Hitler no more.
John McCain is no longer Hitler, but he was back in 2008, when an episode of Family Guy labeled both McCain and Palin as Hitler(s). About a year after that episode aired, I was at a birthday bash for John Romano, the former Breitbart “Big Hollywood” author who chucked the right-wing blogosphere to open one of the Internet’s largest Parisian tour operating companies (an irony, as his views on Muslims and immigrants might actually make him a “hate criminal” in the very country he now depends on for his livelihood). A lone leftist at Romano’s party was John Viener, a producer and writer for Family Guy. I asked Viener about the McCain/Palin Hitler smear, which had been inserted into the episode not so much as a gag but as a political statement.
“Yeah, we have this one writer on staff,” Viener explained, “who really, really hates Republicans. So he lobbied for that cheap shot. It wasn”t worth it to fight him. I mean, don”t get me wrong”everyone on the show hated McCain and Palin, but we didn”t actually think they”re Nazis.” And that’s how I always took the last fifty years” worth of Hitler accusations. I never thought most leftists really believed them. It’s just part of the kata, an expected countermove. Dude says “I”m a Republican,” you reply “Well, then, you”re Hitler.” It’s just theater.
But with Trump, leftists are acting like they really do believe he’s der FÃ¼hrer reincarnated. I think what we”re witnessing is a new twist on the Boy Who Cried Wolf, in which the boy doesn”t end up encountering a real wolf, but rather, he comes to believe his own lie. He now actually sees the nonexistent wolf he invented, thus becoming an even bigger menace to the townspeople, having transitioned from liar to zealot, from prankster to paranoid schizo.
I have a leftist friend, supersmart in all other areas of life, who has really been buying into the whole “Trump is Hitler” thing. Recently, by accident, she found herself in a thread with some of my Facebook “alt right” friends. Some of these online acquaintances have”how shall I put it delicately”a relaxed attitude toward fascism. My friend was so disturbed by having been in a thread with “neo-Nazis,” she took to her own page to lament the fact that people with such “historically discredited” beliefs still exist.
I sent her a message: “Congratulations! Now you know how it feels to be a conservative.”
My point was, conservatives living in today’s world are surrounded, pretty much in all corners of mainstream society, by leftists who celebrate communism and deny or ignore its murderous history. On college campuses, in the media, in the arts, in “community activism,” it’s just something a guy like me has had to get used to”idiots wearing Che T-shirts, extolling Marx, Mao, Lenin, and Castro, whitewashing the history of those who supported Stalin, and outright evangelizing for the most destructive ideology of the 20th century, an ideology that cost over 100 million lives.
I grew up being told by celebrated literary figures like Dr. Seuss that the differences between the communist bloc and the free world were as trivial as how one butters bread. Last week, when President Obama essentially repeated the Dr. Seuss “buttered bread” dogma during his trip to Argentina, it barely merited a shrug on my part. For 47 years I”ve had to live surrounded by people who adhere to, defend, or treat lightly an ideology with a death toll that puts National Socialism’s to shame, and I”ve managed to keep my sanity. So I have no sympathy for leftists who totally lose it when they see “fascism” and “Nazism” in the cracks and crevices of social media.
Of course, leftists simply don”t “get” Nazism/communism equivalence. Leftists have managed to blind themselves to the reality of the human cost of communism. They mentally separate communist mass murder from something like the Holocaust by convincing themselves that communist killings were all individually politically motivated. Stalin and Mao didn”t “round people up” en masse based on their identity. No, they just killed people who threatened them politically. Leftists genuinely believe that. As “history buff” and “most viewed writer” Scott Stolz wrote on the by-dummies-for-dummies Q&A site Quora, Hitler committed “organized” murders to “eliminate entire groups,” whereas Stalin and Mao merely “targeted people for political reasons, killing opponents and dissidents.”
During Stalin’s Great Terror, the lowball figure for executions was 1,000 a day. Averaging that out and accounting for time spent sleeping, Stalin would have had to be threatened politically at least once per minute during his waking hours if those 1,000 executions a day were all due to individual political clashes and disputes. Once per minute, from the time he woke up in the morning until he put his weary head on the pillow at night, poor Uncle Joe would have had to suffer someone insulting him, threatening him, or otherwise getting on his bad side. The smug leftist atheist “IFL Science” crowd, the people who love to lecture conservatives about rationalism, honestly believe that Stalin offed 20 million people because of 20 million individual slights. One per minute, at a minimum. This is what our “intellectuals” truly believe.
And it’s not just political leftists who”ve spread that nonsense. Holocaust “exceptionalism” has a lot to do with it as well. No serious Holocaust historian denies the fact that communism boasts a larger overall death toll than National Socialism. However, a rule of Holocaust history is that the Holocaust must be “unique,” and since it doesn”t have a uniquely high victim tally, historians must therefore claim uniqueness in how the victims were selected. They were rounded up “simply because of who they were,” as opposed to being rounded up individually for specific political transgressions. As the aforementioned historical dummy Scott Stolz pointed out, killing political opponents “is obviously a bad thing,” but rounding people up based on their identity “is considered worse.”
Yet every serious historian (and “history buff”) understands that the staggering body count racked up by the Soviets and Red Chinese was of course the result of “rounding people up” due to their “identity.” The Nazis sought to liquidate races and ethnicities; the communists sought to liquidate classes. This is actually quite common knowledge, and the fact that leftists keep themselves ignorant of it is a testament to the human mind’s ability to block what it doesn”t want to see and hear. Stalin ordered the “liquidation of the kulaks” in 1929 (kulaks were peasants who owned farmland, machinery, or livestock, and who employed laborers). Kulaks were executed or sent to the gulags because of “who they were.” The entire class was liquidated en masse, not because of individual transgressions. A kulak child under Stalin had no more way out than a Jewish child in Nazi-occupied Poland. Along with the kulaks, Stalin killed Ukrainians simply for being Ukrainian. Ethnic minorities and Christians were also killed for “who they were.”
Conservatives have a nasty habit of being sympathetic to corporations, viewing them as a bulwark against government overreach. The reality is far different. If you”re a religious traditionalist in 21st-century America, big business hates your guts. The goings-on in Georgia are yet another sign that the heads of major U.S. companies have thrown their chips in with elite liberals.
Two-term Republican governor Nathan Deal just vetoed a bill that would have protected the rights of religious practitioners to live out their faith in public. The law, according to Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, would have ensured that clergy not be forced into officiating same-sex weddings and preserved the right of religious organizations to not hire an applicant who disagrees with their teachings. In other words, it would have upheld the basic American freedom to associate with whomever you wish.
But big business took the side of the rainbow thugs and threatened to boycott the state if the bill became law. Disney, Marvel Studios, Viacom, AMC Networks, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, and many more claimed they were locked, loaded, and ready to pull business from Georgia in the event the law went into effect. And it was all because the bill’s supporters wanted to make sure that believers”particularly Christians”could live out their faith in public rather than behind closed doors.
In 2014, American Christians received a wake-up call when the country’s largest businesses, including Walmart and Apple, denounced a religious-freedom bill introduced in Indiana. The proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act was supposed to supplement the federal version, which passed in 1993 and was signed by President Bill Clinton. The bill would have ensured that the government provide compelling interest before outlawing a religious practice.
The LGBT army predictably issued their high-pitched cri de coeur. Then the plot twist happened: Big business came knocking, and Hoosier Republicans turned tail and gave up. After signing the RFRA into law, Governor Mike Pence approved an amendment that essentially voided the free association protections in the original bill.
Business got its victory. Butt pirates got their booty. And religious traditionalists got to eat shit.
For God-fearing conservatives, the debacle was a punch in the gut. Business was never supposed to wade into the choppy waters of the culture wars. Not so long ago, American companies saw picking a side in social affairs as unprofitable. The prime motivator of business is profit generation. Taking a firm stand on divisive cultural issues was bound to alienate some parts of the customer base.
The business-led outrage against religious freedom in Indiana and Georgia reflects a change in broader American culture. As University of Notre Dame professor Patrick Deneen points out, the corporate revolt against religious freedom was not done “because it was the politically courageous thing to do; it was made because it was the profitable thing to do. The establishment could express support for a fashionable social norm while exerting very little effort, incurring no actual cost, and making no sacrifice to secure the goal.”
Large, entrenched business is on the side of the secular moral relativists. America is no longer the largely Anglo-Protestant nation it once was. The conservative surrender on expressing faith in the public square has led to the privatization of belief, and the rise of the “none” generation.
Due to the vagaries of the lunar calendar, the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin is either just past us or coming up in late April.
In either case, today is a convenient occasion for trying to put Irish history into some sort of long-term perspective. The 1916 attempted nationalist putsch (while the British were otherwise occupied on the Western Front) eventually led to the 26 southern counties of Ireland finally achieving independence after about 750 years of getting shoved around by England.
To talk about Ireland inevitably leads to the domineering subject of England. It’s admittedly unfair to Ireland, but understanding Irish history requires grasping something of what made England uniquely influential in molding the modern world. As English philosopher John Stuart Mill observed in 1866:
Ireland is not an exceptional country; but England is. Irish circumstances and Irish ideas as to social and agricultural economy are the general ideas of the human race; it is English circumstances and English ideas that are peculiar. Ireland is in the main stream of human existence and human feeling and opinion; it is England that is in one of the lateral channels.
Being Ireland next door to dynamic England was a little bit like being Steve Jobs” adopted little sister, Patty Jobs. It’s well-known that the Apple founder didn”t meet his biological sister, the gifted novelist Mona Simpson, until they were adults. The two talented achievers then got along splendidly.
What’s less often noticed is that the adoptive siblings, Steve and Patty Jobs, did not get along as adults. Patty didn”t much air her grievances in public, but it’s not hard to imagine what sibling rivalry was like for a normal girl growing up down the hall from the world’s greatest salesman.
For example, when Steve was in the middle of seventh grade, through force of personality he made his parents suddenly move to a more upscale school district. Whether little Patty wanted to leave her school friends behind doesn”t come up in the biographies. What mattered was that Steve convinced their parents that moving would be best for Steve. And, as usual, Steve got what Steve wanted.
England was the Steve Jobs of nation-states, innovative and piratical, while Ireland was a Patty Jobs kind of place.
Ireland served as England’s safety valve, allowing the English to enjoy a remarkably settled distribution of property over so many centuries, along with the political comity that comes with a lack of controversy over who owns what.
As we see in the Holy Land today, nothing causes more long-term resentment than expropriating real estate. As Machiavelli advised in The Prince, “Men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.”
When politicians fought civil wars in Britain, the winners largely left the property of the English public sacrosanct, which contributed to the famously mild tenor of domestic English politics. Instead, the winning armies in both 17th-century civil conflicts were paid off by being sent over to Ireland to put down Irish rebels and then help themselves to their lands.
The existence of Ireland as England’s receptacle for its darker impulses thus did wonders for the rule of law within England. But it’s hardly surprising that many Irish grew tired of this relationship.
Why did England hold the whip hand over Ireland rather than vice versa?
One reason was sheer size: England (which comprises most of the more desirable lowlands of the island of Great Britain) is a little over 50 percent larger than the entire Emerald Isle.
Moreover, the Irish countryside, while certainly verdant, is too stony or boggy to generate quite as much wealth per square mile as the sleek English countryside. Ireland’s ubiquitous stone walls exist largely as an excuse for piling up all the rocks that made plowing the average Irish field harder than plowing the average English field.
Ireland’s population peaked in the United Kingdom’s 1841 census just before the potato famine at 8.2 million, compared with 13.7 million in England. The population of the island, north and south, has yet to recover from the 1840s, being just 6.4 million today.
Moreover, the English practiced later marriage than the Irish and thus tended to be wealthier per capita and further from their Malthusian ceiling. The Irish laborer’s typical diet in 1841 was milk and 10 to 20 pounds of boiled potatoes per day.
Another reason for the poverty of the Irish relative to the English was that while English lords were pioneering scientific agriculture from the early 1700s onward, Ireland tended to be plagued by absentee landlords who extracted rents from Ireland to be spent in more-fashionable England, leaving the management of Irish farms in the unenlightened hands of hired overseers.
But England possessed political as well as geographical and cultural advantages over Ireland: in particular, nationalism.
It’s not a priori obvious what scale is best for humans to organize themselves politically. The ancient world, for example, experimented with both compact city-states and vast empires. Today the idea of globalism is in fashion, although no one offers any plausible plan for accountable rule on the world scale, which implies that its proponents are, in practice, simply new age buccaneers profiting from lawlessness.
The modern world, however, is organized on the now old-fashioned idea of nationalism pioneered by England over the past eleven centuries. Nationalism has actually worked fairly well, especially as interstate war has declined.
They won”t have Rob Ford to stub their toes on anymore.
Last week, the ex”Toronto mayor, struck by a rare form of cancer, was checked into palliative care, the “couples counseling” of medical science.
Being the only conservative they know, a friend was tapped to write Ford’s obit for a liberal local (but I repeat myself) website. Sympathetic yet frank, it’s a finely tuned portrait of the crack-smoking populist dynamo who divided the city and briefly became its unsanctioned international mascot”a sort of “World’s Largest Ball of String” but fashioned from arterial plaque, polyester, and sweat.
I”m confident that many Torontonians who cringed whenever their out-of-town friends asked about “that Rob Ford guy” would (secretly) agree that
the “Crazy Town” era of Toronto politics was a necessary and even secretly thrilling antidote to the city’s reputation as a place of merely competent governance and historically certified dullness.
So they can be calm and thoughtful after all. Where was this tone when the guy was alive? Ah, but now that Rob Ford is safely dead, these journalists figure the “danger” has passed. They did their duty and can”nay, should”be magnanimous in victory, no?
Yet still so clueless, too. Note this 18-minute award-bait video the National Post created to accessorize their Rob-Ford-is-dead coverage, except that in the interest of, you know, accuracy, “Remembering Rob Ford” really should have been titled “Reporters Remember Laughing Off the Very Idea That Rob Ford Could Get Elected Mayor of Toronto.”
A common theme in all this verbiage is their ill-concealed astonishment that “ordinary Torontonians” stayed loyal to Rob Ford for so long.
But not a single postmortem cites one of the reasons for that loyalty, because that would reflect badly on the Canadian media itself:
Having failed to accurately gauge his popularity or prevent his election, said media began running story after anonymously sourced “gotcha” story about the new mayor. In tones once reserved for Watergate-level exposÃ©s, the public was somberly informed, literally every single hour of every single day, that, say, Rob Ford’s brother might have sold weed in high school 20 years ago. Then there was the nationally televised, taxpayer-funded harassment and the borderline libel.
So when that “crack smoking” video finally emerged after months of journalistic teasing and taunting, was it really that baffling when “Ford Nation,” as the mayor’s fans called themselves, mused that it might be fake too?
This attitude, in turn, confirmed the elites” stereotype of Ford Nation as bumpkins of the first order, who clearly had to be rescued from the clutches of this homophobic racist who was “ruining Toronto’s reputation” as a tolerant, law-abiding, multicultural paradise.
Except that the “multicultural” voters who constituted Ford’s base”the Jamaicans and Chinese and Hindus”quietly agreed with him that the city’s annual Gay Pride celebrations, having metastasized from a Day to a Week to a Month without their approval, were kind of gross. And they fumed in sympathy when their champion was bullied into apologizing for stating the unimpeachable obvious: “If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn”t get AIDS probably.”
Elite evidence of Ford’s “racism,” meanwhile, apparently includes his description of the black youth he coached in football as “minorities.” That word is an “obscene slur,” according to “Canadian journalist Jordan Michael Smith,” whoever he is, writing for the BBC, but in fact it is, believe it or not, statistically accurate. Actual Canadian journalist David Menzies, on the other hand, who covered Ford on the ground back when Ford was still a city councillor, recalls the time he “donated $40,000 of his own money to resurrect [one high school’s] dormant football program, wanting to give the students, many fatherless, something to aspire to. A few moms told me their sons would either be in jail or dead if not for Rob.”
(Ezra Levant called Ford “Toronto’s first black mayor,” in part to tweak the city’s pallid ruling class and their zombielike flunkies, who deeply resent “the ethnics”” profound affection for Ford”whose annual free picnics were the only organically diverse grassroots events I”ve ever attended during my almost 30 years living in the storied 416 “mosaic.”)
I am “not isolationist, but I am ‘America First,’” Donald Trump told The New York Times last weekend. “I like the expression.”
Of NATO, where the U.S. underwrites three-fourths of the cost of defending Europe, Trump calls this arrangement “unfair, economically, to us,” and adds, “We will not be ripped off anymore.”
Beltway media may be transfixed with Twitter wars over wives and alleged infidelities. But the ideas Trump aired should ignite a national debate over U.S. overseas commitments—especially NATO.
For the Donald’s ideas are not lacking for authoritative support.
The first NATO supreme commander, Gen. Eisenhower, said in February 1951 of the alliance: “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.”
As JFK biographer Richard Reeves relates, President Eisenhower, a decade later, admonished the president-elect on NATO.
“Eisenhower told his successor it was time to start bringing the troops home from Europe. ‘America is carrying far more than her share of free world defense,’ he said. It was time for other nations of NATO to take on more of the costs of their own defense.”
No Cold War president followed Ike’s counsel.
But when the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 nations, a new debate erupted.
The conservative coalition that had united in the Cold War fractured. Some of us argued that when the Russian troops went home from Europe, the American troops should come home from Europe.
Time for a populous prosperous Europe to start defending itself.
Instead, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush began handing out NATO memberships, i.e., war guarantees, to all ex-Warsaw Pact nations and even Baltic republics that had been part of the Soviet Union.
In a historically provocative act, the U.S. moved its “red line” for war with Russia from the Elbe River in Germany to the Estonian-Russian border, a few miles from St. Petersburg.
We declared to the world that should Russia seek to restore its hegemony over any part of its old empire in Europe, she would be at war with the United States.
No Cold War president ever considered issuing a war guarantee of this magnitude, putting our homeland at risk of nuclear war, to defend Latvia and Estonia.
Recall. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. Lyndon Johnson did not lift a hand to save the Czechs, when Warsaw Pact armies crushed “Prague Spring” in 1968. Reagan refused to intervene when Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, on Moscow’s orders, smashed Solidarity in 1981.
These presidents put America first. All would have rejoiced in the liberation of Eastern Europe. But none would have committed us to war with a nuclear-armed nation like Russia to guarantee it.
Yet, here was George W. Bush declaring that any Russian move against Latvia or Estonia meant war with the United States. John McCain wanted to extend U.S. war guarantees to Georgia and Ukraine.
This was madness born of hubris. And among those who warned against moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch was America’s greatest geostrategist, the author of containment, George Kennan:
“Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post-Cold War era. Such a decision may be expected to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”
It wasn’t quite the Kent State Massacre, but you wouldn’t know it from the students’ anguished wails.
Last Monday morning, students at Emory University here in Atlanta were emotionally triggered by messages scrawled in chalk throughout the campus. The messages were so horrifying and terrifying that by the afternoon a gaggle of 40 or so students stormed the Administration Building and began desperately chanting:
You are not listening! Come speak to us, we are in pain!…We have nothing to lose but our chains.
What exactly had sent them into such blind, flailing, fearful fury? Well, it wasn’t exactly Kristallnacht, but let’s call it “The Chalkening”: A vandal had scrawled “TRUMP 2016” on signs and stairs and walkways throughout this tony campus where parents waste a quarter-million dollars to send their progeny for a four-year course in how to be a soft-boiled ovum or a walking mangina.
A blogger for snopes.com claimed that numerous reports of students’ hysterical reactions to The Chalkening were “MOSTLY FALSE,” but I’ll provide some direct quotes from the quivering pupils themselves and let you decide:
“This wasn”t ordinary campaigning. It was deliberate intimidation. Some of us were expecting shootings. We feared walking alone….To us, the administration’s silence sanctioned the fact that this Nazi reincarnate [Trump] is threatening to deport our parents”to put us in concentration camps and kill us.”
“Sophomore Jonathan Peraza, pictured here leading easily aggrieved students in a round of collective self-pity
“I”m supposed to feel comfortable and safe [here]. But this man [Trump] is being supported by students on our campus and our administration shows that they, by their silence, support it as well….I don”t deserve to feel afraid at my school.”
“Unnamed student quoted in school paper the Emory Wheel
”[Faculty] are supporting this rhetoric by not ending it…people of color are struggling academically because they are so focused on trying to have a safe community and focus on these issues [related to having safe spaces on campus].”
“Another unnamed student quoted in the Emory Wheel who appears to not have ever considered that certain groups of color’s low mean IQ might be a contributing factor in their academic struggles
“My reaction to the chalking was one of fear….People still don”t understand that the protest yesterday served not only as an expression against one interpretation of the chalking, but also as a collective manifestation against the fear that a bigot leader can create.
“Freshman Amanda Obando
“I legitimately feared for my life. I thought we were having a KKK rally on campus.”
“Freshman Paula Camila Alarcon, quoted in the Daily Beast
“I think it was an act of violence. It was an active threat, intentionally meant to create opposition on campus and to segregate groups on campus that are already segregated.”
“Junior Lolade Oshin, also quoted in the Daily Beast
Behold the sad, glum faces of these easily triggered ambulatory fetuses, fearing they’ll be shipped back to truly “safe spaces” such as Mexico or the Middle East. Each one of them appears to be a flaming pain in the ass”an “Emorrhoid,” if you will.
Such mass eruptions of colicky college students are nothing new, although The Chalkening may mark a new level of absurdity. Last year University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe stepped down after black students threw a collective fit when a fecal swastika was spotted on campus and the black Student Body President falsely reported that the KKK was prowling the campus.
During the Mizzou nonsense, a black grad student went on a hunger strike to protest the oppression he allegedly suffered at the school merely for being black, even though in 2014 his daddy had raked in a cool $8.4 million in earnings.
I would kill to be so oppressed. And although Butler reportedly began stuffing his face mere minutes after the university president resigned, I believe I have the patience and fortitude to sit and calmly watch a hunger striker starve to death.
Also last year, a Japanese student at Oberlin wrote a scathing article about how the school cafeteria’s sushi was “appropriative.” At California’s Claremont McKenna College, the Dean of Students resigned after penning an apparently sincere email to a Latina student offering to help those who “don’t fit our…mold.” And a Yale lecturer who’d sent an email urging students to quit freaking the hell out over allegedly “offensive” Halloween costumes resigned amid the belching outrage that ensued, which included a shrieking She-gro publicly bitching out the lecturer’s hubby.
The Week’s Most Inscrutable, Unsuitable, and Irrefutable Headlines
THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS ISLAMOPHOBIA
The deadliest terrorist attacks in Belgian history occurred last Tuesday morning in Brussels”the home of the European Parliament and a city that is fully one-quarter Muslim”as two nail bombs exploded at the city’s airport and one at a major train station. At last count, the explosions killed thirty-four people and injured 330 others.
Three days later, the aggressively white-hating white people at Salon.com were warning the world that the “cancerous racism” known as “Islamophobia” is “even more dangerous than you think,” even though, to be honest, we didn’t think that Islam was a race and neither did we think Islamophobia was nearly as dangerous as Islam.
Salon’s blaming-the-victims narrative echoes the insane, parallel-universe rhetoric of US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who in the direct wake of a jihadist mass shooting in San Bernardino that killed 14 Americans, saw fit to warn the nation that she would actively prosecute those who engaged in “anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
For their part, Belgian authorities are monitoring the sudden rise in membership of the Belgian nationalist group Voorpost, described by the Daily Mail as a “White Power” group and a “right-wing extremist” group and a “skinhead” group rather than a group of Belgians with a healthy survival instinct who realize that not only don’t their representatives represent them, they represent their extinction.
According to Voorpost leader Bart Vanpachtenbeke:
People are waking up as there are more attacks. People are starting to feel that Muslims are winning the war in Europe and it is a risky situation….We tried to protest in Brussels but we were banned. Any criticism of the Belgian government is smashed down, and that is just making people angrier.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorist “March Against Fear” that had been scheduled for today in Brussels has been canceled “because of security fears.”
BOOGER-EATING EVANGELICAL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ACCUSED OF PHILANDERING
From the National Enquirer“a tabloid that ran stories which successfully destroyed the presidential aspirations of John Edwards and Gary Hart”comes shocking allegations that four women other than Ted Cruz’s wife were willing to have sex with the oily Grandpa Munster lookalike. (An unnamed fifth woman was allegedly paid to have sex with him, which is at least comprehensible.)
Cruz”the only known presidential candidate in American history who ate his own booger during a live televised debate”is accused by the Enquirer of having bedded a “FOXY POLITICAL CONSULTANT,” a “PRETTY LAWYER,” a “HOT BABE,” a “SEXY AUSTIN SCHOOLTEACHER,” and a “$1,000 A NIGHT CALL GIRL” all while married to his wife Heidi, a former member of both the Council of Foreign Relations and former employee of Goldman Sachs, facts which tend to undercut Cruz’s claims of being an anti-establishment outsider.
The allegations, if true, would also severely undermine Cruz’s carefully sculpted public persona of being a rabid evangelical who has done everything short of publicly handling serpents to prove his intensely abiding faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Earlier last week Cruz called Donald Trump a “sniveling coward” and accused him of being scared of strong women after Trump threatened to “spill the beans” about Heidi Cruz. Trump has yet to spill said beans, and it’s unclear whether he was referring to Heidi’s aforementioned insider connections or an incident where Heidi ran out of their house and was found by police on a roadside in a near-fetal position and thought to be suicidal.
After the Enquirer story broke, Cruz blamed the Trump campaign for planting it and inexplicably claimed that he had no desire to copulate with Donald Trump.
The Enquirer denied Cruz’s allegations as it updated the number of his alleged mistresses from five to eight. And the Daily Beast ran a story suggesting that it was allies of the now-defunct Marco Rubio campaign who’d been shopping around rumors of Cruz’s indiscretions for months but were unable to find any takers, including Breitbart.com, which until very recently was edited by the wormy, diminutive Ben Shapiro, an avid Cruz supporter and rabid Trump-hater.
But the fact is that the Enquirer wasn’t the first to go public with these allegations. On March 11, website The Political Insider ran a story claiming that a “Ted Cruz SEX SCANDAL Appears To Be Looming.” On March 15, a YouTube video purporting to be produced by representatives of “hacktivist” group Anonymous demanded that Cruz immediately suspend his campaign or they would release details about his alleged dalliances with prostitutes:
Have you heard of the expression “candy wrappers”? Do you recall visiting prostitutes? Mr. Cruz, we are now demanding you exit this race immediately or Anonymous will release all of the information that we have found…Your so-called underground acts that you think were done in the dark, will be brought out for all the public to see. It will be sent to every media outlet to publicize your disgusting behavior. We assure you it will go viral on every social media platforms in a matter of minutes.
Although the Enquirer story did not name any of Cruz’s alleged mistresses, three women have been publicly identified. One is former Cruz spokeswoman Amanda Carter, who allegedly has been videotaped leaving restaurants and hotels with Cruz, has denied the allegation. Another is former Cruz consultant and current Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, who also denied being sexually involved with the self-proclaimed political outsider and Man of God. The third woman, Sarah Isgur Flores, is the former campaign manager for Carly Fiorina, whose Super-PAC received $500,000 from a Cruz Super-PAC in what some are suggesting was hush money. And the alleged prostitute embroiled in the scandal reportedly told a police detective that Cruz would alternately ask her to dress like a Catholic schoolgirl and a judge during their sexual roleplaying.
If the scandal worsens, we may have witnessed Ted Cruz eating his last booger on the national stage.
I flew to Paris the day Brussels was bombed. It was a fine day”weather-wise”and as I looked down with a clear view on that vast and wealthy city, its millions of citizens going about their business as if nothing had happened, I thought how stupid it was of a handful of miserable ferret-faced terrorists, the living incarnation of Lombroso’s theories, to imagine that they could bring about the downfall of such an imposing edifice by their putrid, self-important acts. And yet…only the other day I was reading, in a book by Professor Henri Pirenne (a Belgian, by the way), that the barbarians made up only 5% of the population of the Roman Empire at the moment of its supposed collapse.
Historical analogies are not exact, of course (otherwise they wouldn”t be analogies), and I don”t think we”re anywhere near collapse”more like decomposition, really. I see the epidemic of tattooing and other forms of self-mutilation in that light, a population desperate to make its mark but capable only of marking itself.
Naturally, I read a lot of articles about the bombings in Brussels, even though I knew they would be about as illuminating as the economic commentary of the Financial Times, and only slightly more interesting. It’s an addiction, reading newspaper commentary, and I don”t really know why I do it except that I”ve always done it and probably always will”if, that is, newspapers outlive me. Here, for example, is a quotation from an article in Le Monde two days after the events:
Our priorities are to make manifest our unwavering support of Belgium and to remain lucid in this long term fight. Our weapon? To change our mental posture at last in the anti-terrorist struggle, and to think differently…
So now you know. I bet they”re terrified down in Molenbeek: Henceforth the infidels are going to think differently. From now on they”re going to be lucid. If we don”t look out, they”ll withdraw our citizenship from us after we”ve blown ourselves up”like they almost did in France before the parliamentary opposition to the bill.
Quite a lot of the commentary made me feel slightly sick, so saccharine was it. There was a lot of talk of Brussels being the beating heart of Europe, symbol of our values, etc. Actually, I have a sneaking regard for Brussels: its down-at-heelness, its comfortable air of concentrated mediocrity, its excellence only in beer and food”the kind of place I could easily and happily fit into. But all this stuff about our values, I think we could and should be spared it. As far as I can see, the value that most prevails in Brussels, thanks to the European parliament, the European Commission, and other so-called institutions, is that of the free lunch. I have met European politicians there who clearly haven”t paid for so much as a single course of a meal for forty years or more, and who develop as a consequence that gray, slablike or tombstone countenance that members of the Soviet Politburo used to have. I have nothing against free lunches myself”indeed I have enjoyed many”but I have never made them the acme of my ambition, nor did it ever occur to me that, in seeking and eating them, I was defending, furthering, or expressing “our values.” When I read the following on the front page of Le Monde I almost laughed, though with the laughter of gallows humor:
This time it’s Brussels, the heart of Europe, that has been hit by the Islamist terrorists. They have targeted this free city, where humour, disrespect, the Belgian way of not taking themselves seriously, is the opposite of what these barbarians have in mind: the shoddy certainties, the hatred of the other, the violence of the “pure.” The murderous gibberish which these jihadists from Europe spread is the opposite of what Brussels the cosmopolitan, the capital of a European project, represents.
On November 17, 1813, the bravest of the brave, Marshal Ney, had been the last to march out of Smolensk amid harrowing scenes. The hospital wards, the corridors, and the stairs were full of the dead and dying. Napoleon had gone into Russia the year before with 500,000 men and was now leaving with less than 40,000. Ney had only 6,000 under his command but was determined not to fall into Russian hands. The Russian commander Miloradovich had already failed to capture Prince Eugene, Napo’s son-in-law, and the great Davout, so he set his heart on capturing the 43-year-old son of a barrel maker from Lorraine.
Ney did what he knew best. He charged. The first frontal attack failed at the last moment as the French ranks were raked with canister shot. Ney, leading the group, reassembled and charged again. “Whole ranks fell, only to be replaced by the next ones coming up to die in the same place,” wrote a Russian officer. When General Miloradovich saw how the French were charging, he exclaimed, “Bravo, bravo, Monsieurs les Français, you have attacked with astonishing vigour, an entire corps with a handful of men. It is impossible to be braver!” He then ordered his gunners to cut them down, which they did.
As at Waterloo two years later, where Ney had four horses shot down from under him, the Marshal survived the Smolensk battle and the ensuing trap to capture him by swimming for it. The Russians were, how should I put it, magnificent in their cruelty in slowly strangling Napoleon’s men, watching them freeze to death, relieving them of their furs and booty, with the fat, lazy Kutuzov letting Mother Nature take care of the invaders. The latter had been at first surprised at the stubbornness of the Russian defenders, as well as by the almost spiritual manner in which the soldiers readied themselves for battle. (The French were rallied by a picture of the King of Rome, the Russkies by the miraculous icon of the Virgin of Smolensk.) The Cossacks, whose cruelty had even the bravest of their adversaries trembling in case they were captured alive, harried the retreating French, never engaging, just inflicting pin pricks, a sort of slow torture never experienced before or since. Kutusov’s tactics of never engaging Napoleon drove Tsar Alexander nuts, but the old boy knew what he was doing. He feared a cornered Napoleon because he knew the Corsican was a better general than him, and once desperate, anything could happen.
I’ve just reread Adam Zamoyski’s magnificent Moscow 1812, which I read when it first appeared ten years ago. I can never get enough of it. The courage, the glory, the suffering, it’s all too much. Germans and Poles, Frenchmen and Russians, Italians, all covered themselves with glory. The only disgrace, as far as I’m concerned, took place one year later at the Congress of Vienna, where Princess Katya Bagration, widow of the hero of Borodino, fell into bed with Metternich. Bagration bled to death at Borodino because he refused to get off his mount in full view of his men. His widow should have honored him and refused the handsome Austrian. But such are the follies of beautiful women.
Mind you, Napo never won anything important again. Mother Russia had defeated him as it defeated Hitler 130 years later. Which brings me to the present. Unlike the clowns of the EU and the bungling Americans, Uncle Vlad did a Kutusov, went into Syria, avoided the risks of getting bogged down, and, having lost only one aircraft that was shot down by a NATO power supposedly on his side, departed the quagmire with maximum results.
Yet that fool of a foreign secretary, Hammond—never have I seen a man who looks more like a boring accountant—warns us not to cheer because it would be like praising a man who stopped beating his wife. Well, I don’t beat women in general or my wife in particular, so I wouldn’t know. What I do know is that Putin is authentic and authoritarian, the type who wins wars, a spontaneous and courageous leader who has shown up the West as a paper tiger. Let’s face it. When was the last time a world leader did something really bold? And he didn’t declare mission accomplished, either, a declaration that has proved fatal in the case of Iraq and Libya. This is the man the clowns in Brussels tried to bluff with Circe-like songs to Ukraine, so he took back Crimea as a bonus. His standing by Assad has shown up Uncle Sam yet again as an unreliable ally when the going gets tough.
No matter how hard the Americans and Europeans have tried to show Russia as a busted flush, the joke’s on them. And by leaving the playing field, Vlad has shot across the Assad bow, warning him to negotiate or else. Just compare Putin’s stance in Syria with that of Uncle Sam in Yemen. The latter is a humanitarian disaster that rivals that of Syria. The Saudi, Qatari, and UAR air forces have bombarded unarmed people and blown up hospitals in a futile effort to beat back the Houthis, Shiite-backed rebels who have run rings around them. Saudi pilots under American radar guidance are so scared of antiaircraft fire that they fly much too high and are unable to hit legitimate targets. Saudi keeps buying expensive weapons but cannot produce men like those who fought back in 1812. Perhaps they should read Zamoyski and forget high tech.
On Monday, agents from L.A. County’s Department of Children and Family Services removed 6-year-old Lexi from her family of four years because she’s 1.6% American Indian. Foster-care parents the Pages were told of the decision on Friday night and before they could contest it, authorities ripped the child from her home and gave her to a family in Utah. The video footage of this is hard to watch. Her siblings Maddie, Zoey, and Caleb are hysterical and so is Lexi. I can”t look at it without bawling like an infant. I was reminded of a similar tearjerker in Ann Coulter’s book Guilty where she describes adopted 3-year-old Danny crying, “Please, Mommy, I”ll be good. Don”t make me leave. I”ll be good,” to his adoptive mother as the state drags the boy back to his biological mother (a single mom who had changed her mind). Lexi had similar pleas.
I find the crying siblings in the Page video the hardest to take because they personify what a loving family she is coming from. I have three kids and even if my daughter broke her leg, I”m not sure it would register with my sons. Siblings are cruel and it takes a lot before they”re so sympathetic they”re bawling their eyes out. Being a parent also means I realize how different a 2-year-old is from a 6-year-old. Lexi was just a silly little person when she was taken in by the Pages, but a 6-year-old has a distinct personality with clear likes and dislikes. They”re basically a tiny woman.
I spoke to the Page’s attorney Lori Alvino McGill, who told me the Pages had already won two appeals against the Utah family. It’s all very complicated with the appeals court ruling for the Pages each time and the family court ruling against them. When Lexi arrived at the Pages” she had a black eye. She came from a Hispanic single mother with no Indian heritage and her father has been in and out of jail for a long time. The various foster-care families she had just come from weren”t much better (it’s there she got the injury). When she arrived at the Pages everything went smoothly, and when the “biological” family in Utah tried to take her, the court told them to get lost, twice. The Pages assumed they were in the clear and were living happily ever after when their world collapsed.
As far as the court is concerned Lexi is part Choctaw, and the Indian Child Welfare Act says we need to put Indian kids with Indian families. The family in Utah isn”t remotely Indian, but they”re raising Lexi’s half sister, so technically they”re more Indian than the Pages. The law was created in 1978 to make up for the horrible atrocities we committed several generations ago. We all agree that the fracturing of Indian families was a very dark period in our history, but this law is a Band-Aid on a faded scar. It looks good on paper, but it’s a little too little a little too late, as the culture they are striving to preserve is pretty much gone. Sure, there are still powwows and an Indian funeral often means doing peyote and sitting in a teepee for several days, but these events are sporadic. Today even the most Indian homes are watching TV in the living room under military photos of male relatives in uniform. The only thing notably different from their situation is the food, which often includes high-sugar and high-fat menu items such as whipped cream and fry bread. It’s a delicious indulgence but nothing worth tearing a family apart over.
Not only is the law itself ridiculous, the reasons for invoking it in this case are completely insane. She’s 1.6% Choctaw. This means, as her uncle Matt pointed out, “1 of Lexi’s 64 Great Great Great Great Grandparents was Choctaw. 63 of them were not.” Remember how outraged we were when Elizabeth Warren used her alleged 1/32nd Native American status to take advantage of affirmative-action laws? She’s about twice as Indian as Lexi. Warren was pretending to be Cherokee and they”re very liberal with tribe membership because they don”t have any money. My wife’s tribe, the Ho-Chunks, owns a casino and has rights to a land claim settlement, so being a member means regular paychecks. With stakes this high, they cut off membership at anything under 25% and I”ve come to believe that’s a reasonable number. Few would agree 1.6% is also relevant.
The Choctaw tribe is on the defense, issuing a statement that insisted, “The purpose of foster care is to provide temporary care for children while families get services and support to reunite with their children.” Okay, but when a child has been with a loving family from 2 to 6 years of age, all bets are off. The state claims that the foster family knew this was coming, but all they knew was that someone else wanted to take their daughter away. The Pages allowed for visits and Skype calls from the other family, but they were required to do so by law. Twice the court decided the pros of moving Lexi to someone fractionally more Indian don”t even come close to the cons of tearing a little girl from her family.
Even if she was returned tomorrow, we just taught her that you can be stolen from your family at any time. This is a wound that will likely never heal. It’s always been every adoptive parent’s worst nightmare, but now it’s every adopted kid’s. I spoke to a mother of five who has children at Lexi’s school and she said the entire town is spooked by what happened, especially the kids. Children don”t understand the nuance of law and now include government abduction among their various fears.