Dinesh D’souza is a funny little man who is actually of normal height but looks so unthreatening, you can”t help but think what a cute kid he must have been. You”d be forgiven for assuming he was asexual until you meet his wife, who is a pulchritudinous Latina from Venezuela with a sassy attitude that includes seething vitriol when it comes to the subject of ChÃ¡vez. I met both of them in New York on Friday, and it was fun because I had just seen Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, which is quite possibly the greatest documentary of all time.
The film unequivocally lays out the case against Hillary, and it is killing it at the box office. With distribution in over 1,200 theaters and $5.2M in its first twelve days, it’s the No. 1-grossing political documentary in the country ($1.4M more than Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next) and No. 8 of all time. D’souza’s previous film, America: Imagine the World Without Her, was the highest-grossing documentary of 2014, and his other big hit, 2016: Obama’s America, is the second-highest-grossing political doc ever, right behind Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11.
Liberals see Moore as Goliath and D’souza as an irritating gnat buzzing around the truth, but the truth is, they are worthy adversaries. “I learned a lot from Moore,” D’souza explained while drinking water to preserve his voice on this whirlwind press tour. “He is great at mixing important information with entertainment.” This is the future of the right. The days of somber, boring hate facts are over (sorry, National Review). Trump has rebooted the party and it’s now about shameless Western chauvinism and the love of a good fight. D’souza is no stranger to confrontation. He came to fame taking on heavyweight atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris and quickly moved up to tackling the president himself. Obama’s America was a huge embarrassment to the administration. They called it “an insidious attempt to dishonestly smear the president” and threw D’souza in jail for eight months. The specific legal definition of the charge is the curiously Orwellian “Causing the government to file a false document,” and it’s a felony punishable with five years in prison. What really happened was he encouraged some friends to donate $10,000 to a politician when the limit is $5,000. This crime is almost always punished with a slap on the wrist, and it’s wildly hilarious when compared with any one of Hillary’s various crimes. In fact, the rapists and murderers he was housed with laughed their heads off when they found out what he was in for.
Obama likely high-fived Michelle after D’souza was sentenced, and assumed the pest from Mumbai was finally done for. What the president probably didn”t realize is that like de Tocqueville, D’souza is a student of his surroundings and treats every experience like it’s going to be on the final exam. “I learned a lot in jail,” he said, “and I came out a much more hardened and realistic conservative. I used to see the 2.2 million incarcerated as simply criminals who had broken the law, but after meeting these people I realized the gangs inside are very much like the gangs in the White House.” For example, in the film we see how D’souza learned that most major crimes follow the procedure of plan, pitch, take, and deny. You plan to fake out insurance companies. You create a fake corporation. You pitch people on signing up. Then you kill them, take the money, and deny everything. Hillary and the Democrats have done this again and again. Take Obamacare. You tell people you can get them cheap insurance without mentioning you”re going to force them to take it (“If you like your health care plan, you”ll be able to keep your health care plan”). Then you tell the insurance companies to drop their price a tiny bit in exchange for a tidal wave of new customers. You”ve now forced everyone to go to Costco, and the only person who loses is the consumer. Plus, the Democrats now control health care, which, as we learn in the movie, is one-sixth of the American economy. The Clintons are also masters of this. Their friend wants to mine uranium in Kazakhstan but the corrupt dictator there won”t allow it. Bill goes and delivers a speech that exonerates the dictator of all his crimes and pretends he’s a nice guy with a great human rights record. The dictator then allows the Clintons” friend to mine and everyone gets a cut. Hillary takes it a step further by getting involved with uranium so heavily, Russia wants a piece. Giving our enemies the ability to make nuclear weapons is something the secretary of state is meant to prevent, not facilitate.
The Week’s Most Pugnacious, Rapacious, and Ungracious Headlines
DNC IN PHILLY: WHITE PEOPLE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS
Last week in the city where Mumia Abu-Jamal became a global celebrity for killing a white cop, the Democratic Party officially nominated suspected lesbian Hillary Clinton as their 2016 presidential candidate.
The tenor and spirit and gist and thrust of the convention’s message could be summarized in three words: White people suck.
Even though party members insisted all week that their mission was to build bridges rather than walls, they made sure to build an eight-foot-tall, four-mile-long fence around the convention site.
Outside the walled-in convention, a fat black woman on a truck bed barked through a megaphone that white people needed to move to the back of their march:
I need all white people to move to the back”make space because this is a Black Resistance March. I need all white people to move to the back and make room for the black and brown brothers and sisters…You will appropriately take your place in the back of this march because it will be truly led by the black and brown community and that’s it…Make room for black media. White media get to the back. Black media come to the front.
Rosa Parks would be proud!
Inside the Wells Fargo Center, the stench of anti-white rhetoric was so thick that even the Trumpophobic geldings at National Review took notice, referring to the Dems’ “Lawless Anti-White Identity Politics”:
Hillary Clinton could be escorted onstage by an armed contingent of the Fruit of Islam with a just-released illegal-immigrant murderer leading the way and the media would find a way to show that it means that Trump=Hitler.
Startlingly, the National Review even cited stats by Heather Mac Donald and said that “on a per capita basis African Americans are more than 25 times more likely to have committed violence against whites than vice versa.”
But in a typically groveling attempt not to appear “racist” like their nemesis Trump, the NR felt the need to openly condemn former Alabama Governor George Wallace, even though he’s been dead for nearly two decades.
The convention’s festivities were a nonstop cavalcade of identity politics”provided, but of course, that the identity wasn’t white or male. Among the hundreds of speakers were advocates for women, Latinos, Native Americans, Muslims, Arabs, blacks, gays, trannies, Jews, the disabled, and the chronically height-deprived.
On the first night, the crowd roared as one illegal alien after the next spoke of living in fear that the US government might one day enforce the law against them. On the second night, a gaggle of black women whose sons died as a result of struggling with police or at the hands of black gang members took to the stage to blame everything except themselves and their exiled sperm donors.
Since DNC chair and world-class yenta Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign after leaked emails revealed she’d conspired to thwart the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, her sudden replacement was Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio, who once stated that there is “an unwritten rule that black lives hold no value; that you may kill black men in this country without consequences or repercussions.”
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor of Baltimore, gaveled in the convention and presided over the roll call of states. Amidst last year’s riots in Baltimore, Rawlings-Blake spoke of the importance of giving “space” to “those who wished to destroy.”
Noteworthy speakers included:
“¢ Former Attorney General Eric Holder, famous for calling Americans a “nation of cowards” about race and for insisting that whites were not a “protected class” under hate-crime laws.
“¢ US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, famous for making stupid comments such as her allegation that Neil Armstrong had planted a flag on Mars, that hurricane names were “too lily-white,” that slavery lasted 400 years in America, and that the US Constitution was 400 years old.
“¢ Possible homosexual the Reverend Jesse Jackson, well-known for lying about cradling a dying Martin Luther King in his arms and for referring to New York City as “Hymietown.”
“¢ Disgustingly entitled pig monster Lena Dunham, who falsely accuses men of rape while bragging of molesting her younger sister.
“¢ U.S. Representative Luis GutiÃ©rrez of Illinois, who told audience members at a La Raza conference that amnesty was needed in order to “punish” opponents of illegal immigration.
So if you’re looking for unabashed racial pandering and shameless bashing of “the other””and, really, who isn’t?”the media is lying to you. To the disappointment of many, the Republicans persist in their stubborn refusal to make things racial. The Democrats are, and have always been, the Party of Race.
A CRAIGSLIST FOR RACIAL REPARATIONS
Natasha Marin is a bushy-haired Woman of Color who describes herself as “poet and interdisciplinary artist.” She lives in the predominantly white Pacific Northwest, which presents her with countless obstacles and indignities and microaggressions and nanoaggressions and nonaggressions on a daily basis.
To remedy the suffering she endures for not having been born in Swaziland, Marin has launched a website called Reparations.me where the nation’s countless self-loathing, heel-grabbing Good Whites can “learn how to leverage and dismantle your white privilege” and expiate their “white guilt” by offering free goods and services to nonwhites. Barely a week old, the site has already fielded offers from Good Whites including massages, pet sitting, house cleaning, use of a car, graphic-design services, and even good old-fashioned emotional support.
We encourage nonwhite Americans to soak these ethno-masochistic nimrods for every penny they have.
Rosa Monckton is married to my old editor at The Spectator, Dominic Lawson, and they have two girls. Before I go on about them, Rosa was a close friend of Princess Di’s, and one who never spilled any beans about her. I once had a good laugh with Rosa over the stuff written about Diana and her Egyptian so-called boyfriend, who died with her in Paris. Rosa knew the truth and I think I did too, but let’s leave it at that. Those who will go to any lengths for self-promotion will always be with us. Diana was a gift from God for them, and everyone knows how the jackals feasted on the “last romance” for their own benefit. It is now close to twenty years, so no use naming them. They’re a miserable self-promoting lot without shame or principles—the less said, the better.
Rosa and Dominic’s older daughter, Domenica, suffers from Down’s syndrome and is now based in Brighton. I remember well when she was born and how her parents did their utmost to bring her up in a normal manner. Close to where I live in Gstaad is a school for children with disabilities, namely Down’s syndrome, and throughout the years the school has brought the small children around and I’ve come into contact with them. One thing one never reads about Down’s children is how absolutely sweet-natured they are. The reason for this is to prevent other disabled children from being seen as not as nice. Which is understandable, but doesn’t stop the fact that Down’s makes kids very, very sweet. Call it my theory, but there you have it. I always ask Rosa about Domenica when we meet.
Rosa has now begun a charity, the aim of which is to get people with learning disabilities into employment. But before I go on, a bit of background about Dominic Lawson and charities in general. Dominic was my third editor at The Spectator—Fraser Nelson is my seventh and saintliest of bosses, as I always refer to the editor I happen to be writing for at the moment—and upon being named editor following Charles Moore, the first call he received was from the Israeli ambassador, who congratulated him for being the first Speccie editor of the Jewish faith. He then recommended my immediate firing. Dominic thanked him but refused to fire Taki. He discreetly never told me the end of the story, but I assume the ambassador was not pleased. (He probably got over it once the settlers grabbed some more Palestinian land.)
As far as charities are concerned, we now have philanthropic overkill. Please don’t get me wrong. There is nothing finer than philanthropy, but the reason for my concern is that so many celebrities and self-promoters have embraced charities in order to project themselves. Charity, in fact, did more for rich peoples’ ascent in society during the 1980s than the benevolence of emperors and kings who distributed lands and titles during the late 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
What better way to stand up and be noticed than by paying 100,000 big ones to sit down at the big table at the Met Gala? Space prohibits me from naming the nouveaux riches who are now considered “society” and who rose in this manner, but again, it was all for a good cause. Except that most of the moola goes into the staging of the charitable event and the overpriced celebrity who entertains.
Rosa’s will, of course, be nothing like that. There will be a supported employment course that runs for one year, a training café, and an employment agency. It will launch in September in Brighton. There is only a link for the moment—the website comes later—and it is: www.teamdomenica.com. I cannot think of a better or more useful charity.
Last week was my last one in the Alps—I am heading for that EU-induced miracle, Greece, and I attended a dinner party given by Lizzie and Barry Humphries that I shall not soon forget. It was in honor of the star violinists of the Australian Chamber Orchestra—who surf in shark-infested waters in their spare time—Richard Tognetti and his Finnish wife, Satu Vanska. (Her sister was also cute.) They, their orchestra, and Barry are appearing July 29 at Cadogan Hall, and if you read this on time, don’t miss it. They were incredible here in Gstaad, playing only Bach, but all Bachs—nephews, sons, fathers, and so on. Both Richard and Satu (I am on a first-name basis, natch) are terrific artists, and they were carrying their Stradivariuses in their backpacks. (Can’t leave millions of dollars’ worth of instruments lying around, especially in Gstaad.) The other surprise guest was Victoria Tennant, a girl I once knew before she became a star opposite Robert Mitchum in The Winds of War. (Pugs Club is named after her romantic movie interest, Pug Henry.) Vicky is now married to Kirk Stambler, a movie producer, and had brought along one of her children, an intellectual child who will go to St. Andrews this autumn, and who looked at me in the manner of a scientist studying a test tube (that faraway, detached, but interested look). The Humphries chalet is all white inside, decorated with beautiful Austrian paintings. It was a perfect setting for a drink. And drink I did. See you among the migrants swimming the Aegean.
For reasons unnecessary to go into, I once found myself at a loose end for a few months on the island of Jersey in the English Channel. For something to do I went into the archives and researched a book about three murders that were committed in Jersey in the space of three months in the middle of the 19th century.
Murder was then very uncommon in Jersey, and it was hardly surprising that the inhabitants thought that there must be some fundamental, and very dangerous, change taking place in their society. Three deaths in the population of the island then was proportionate to about 6,000 deaths in Britain or France today, so the island public of the time might be forgiven for a somewhat panicky reaction.
In fact, though, murder declined in Jersey immediately afterward to its accustomed rate, about one every two or three years instead of three in three months. The sudden apparent increase in murder was a statistical anomaly rather than a social trend.
Even bearing this minatory story in mind, however, it is difficult not to think that there is an upward trend in the use of knives and machetes to commit dramatic murders of the kind that are certain to attract world attention. No doubt we have more technologically sophisticated means of killing each other at a distance than ever before; but we never fully escape our primitive origins. Murder by cutting throats is back in fashion.
The killing of 19 handicapped people by 26-year-old Japanese man Satoshi Uematsu at an institution not far from Tokyo was gruesome in the extreme. One is inclined carelessly to reprehend the crime all the more because the victims were particularly helpless and vulnerable, and therefore specially in need of protection, but of course murder is not a sporting contest in which the perpetrator and potential victim are supposed to be on a more or less equal footing, with the latter having at least a minimal chance to turn the tables on the former. When someone uses the expression “a cowardly murder,” therefore, we should remember that it is the taking of life, not the cowardice, that we ought to condemn. Many a victim of murder has been less than admirable as a human being, but he was not therefore any the less the victim of a murder.
It seems, however, that Satoshi Uematsu was motivated by ideas. He had worked in the home for handicapped people whose residents he returned to kill. He had evidently come to the conclusion during his employment there that the life of the handicapped was not worth living, neither from their own point of view nor from that of society. He wanted both to put them out of their misery and to save society useless trouble and expense: a new version of philanthropy and five percent.
He had announced his intention beforehand, while a psychiatric patient. But it would be wrong to conclude that his ideas were mad, at least in the sense of being so bizarre that they were shared by no other human being. It was, after all, a psychiatrist and a jurist who, soon after the end of the First World War, first coined the expression “life unworthy of life,” a notion according to which life is not a right but a privilege to be earned by some kind of usefulness. Those who were “useless eaters” could rightfully be done to death, provided there was no prospect of them ever becoming useful. To whom or to what they should be useful was left somewhat vague and could, of course, be adapted to taste: the nation, the race, the class, humanity as a whole. But it made of killing, in whosever name it was done, a philanthropic act.
One might have thought that after the First World War, killing would have had a rather bad name. But times were hard economically, and nonproductive people must have seemed not merely superfluous but positively harmful to the general good. As we know, the idea eventually led to the wholesale killing of the mentally handicapped, ill, and unstable in Germany, though those who did the killing could not have been quite sure of their moral ground, for they falsified the records and provided false explanations of the deaths of their erstwhile patients. It is worth remembering that the killing was not the idea of the brutish underclass, nor was it they who implemented it, but the idea and activity of a university-trained class of people in what was then the most highly educated society in the world.
I”m not the first to remark that the failed “coup” in Turkey is as useful to President Erdogan as the Reichstag fire was to Hitler, but it is worth looking at the two events in more detail, for the comparison between them is striking.
Erdogan has, of course, been in power for years and has been gradually”carefully”consolidating his regime, eliminating his opponents in the army and the judiciary, and restricting the freedom of the press and civil liberties in general. Hitler, in contrast, had been in office for only a few weeks before the Reichstag went up in flames on the evening of Feb. 27, 1933. But he was already tightening his grip on Germany, even though, as chancellor, he was the leader only of a coalition government. Goering, for instance, in his capacity as Prussian interior minister, had already started purging the Prussian police, and instructed officers to have “no qualms about using firearms.” Attacks on political opponents”the enemy within”and on the offices of opposition parties were already not only permitted but encouraged. Similar things were happening in Turkey long before the failed coup.
For years many believed that the Nazis themselves were responsible for the burning of the Reichstag, just as some people’s response to the Turkish “coup” was that Erdogan had organized it, or encouraged it, himself. It’s more likely the coup was a genuine, but botched, attempt to get rid of the increasingly dictatorial president. Likewise it’s now well established that the Reichstag fire took the Nazis by surprise. There was a brief panic, Goering telling Hitler that “this is the beginning of the Communist uprising.” One eyewitness, Rudolf Diels (later the head of the Gestapo), remembered that Hitler was in a state of extreme agitation, “completely out of control.” When Diels said he thought the man arrested at the scene of the crime”a young Dutchman called Marius van der Lubbe”was a lunatic, Hitler would have none of it. “This is a very carefully planned matter,” he said; this is just what Erdogan said of the failed Turkish coup.
Nevertheless Hitler, Goering, and propaganda minister Goebbels almost immediately realized that the fire could be used to their advantage. (The speed of this realization was one reason why so many believed the Nazis had staged it.) When Franz von Papen, the conservative leader and vice-chancellor, hurried to the Reichstag from the gentlemen’s club where he had been dining with President Hindenburg, Hitler greeted him with the words “This is a sign from God, Herr Vice-Chancellor. If this fire is, as I believe, the work of Communists, we will have to crush this deadly pestilence with an iron fist.” Hitler’s “sign from God” is not very different from Erdogan’s judgment that the failed coup was a “gift from God.” For Hitler and Erdogan alike, events had played into their hands.
The Nazi response was prompt and ruthless. Communist Party functionaries and almost all the party’s Reichstag deputies were immediately arrested and the party offices closed. Within a fortnight more than 10,000 political opponents had been taken into “protective custody” in Prussia alone. Goering announced that documents found in Karl Liebknecht House (the Communist Party headquarters) proved that the Communists intended to form “terrorist groups,” set fire to other public buildings, poison the food served in soup kitchens for the unemployed, and even take the wives and children of Nazi leaders hostage. This was black propaganda intended to inflame the public mood and make any repressive measures appear justified in such a national emergency.
Erdogan has seized the opportunity given him by the coup in the same way. He has declared a state of emergency. Some 60,000 have been detained, dismissed, or suspended from their jobs. A third of top-ranking military officers are in custody. Newspapers have been closed or taken over by the government, internet sites blocked. Turkey has suspended its adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights. Gangs of Erdogan’s thugs roam the streets intimidating and beating up anyone suspected of opposition or dissidence”just as the Stormtroopers of the SA did in Germany in the days and weeks after the Reichstag fire.
In Berlin, on Feb. 28″that is, within a few hours of the fire”the Nazis rushed out a “Decree for the Protection of the People and the State.” The first paragraph suspended “till further notice” such fundamental civil rights as personal liberty, freedom of speech and of the press, the right to assemble, the privacy of letters and telephone conversations, and the right to refuse entry to property without legal cause. A later paragraph authorized the national government “temporarily””again”to take over responsibilities reserved by the federal constitution to the states in order to “restore public security and order.” This gave the Nazis authority over state governments that they did not previously control.
This decree of Feb. 28 was to be, in the words of one German historian, “the emergency law upon which the National Socialist dictatorship based its rule until it itself collapsed” in 1945. Goering put it with characteristic bluntness. His measures of repression would not be moderated by any legal requirements: “In this regard I am not required to establish justice. In this regard, I am required to eradicate and eliminate, and nothing more.”
Erdogan has not put it so bluntly. He speaks of observing the rule of law and says that all repression will be effected by legal means. His actions contradict his words. People have been arrested and detained without charge. Others have been dismissed from their posts in schools, universities, the media, and the civil service by arbitrary decision, with no respect for contract. But if his language is more circumspect than Goering’s, the meaning is the same: He is not required to establish justice, only to eradicate and eliminate any suspected of opposition to the regime.
There is nothing better than a national emergency”or what can be presented as a national emergency”for an elected politician. It grants him an authority that he may not previously have enjoyed, and indeed has not earned. But for a politician who seeks to transform a democracy into a dictatorship, a national emergency is indeed “a gift from God.”
The accusation that Putin has a connection to Trump, so widely repeated now by the corporate media and the Democrats with whom they coordinate, is nothing new. It also came up in the primaries. Republican political operatives and the neoconservative intelligentsia, unable to understand the threat or accept the repudiation of their failed policies, claimed that Trump’s rise was somehow aided by Russia, and that his online supporters were “Kremlin-funded trolls.”
This last charge is repeated even now. And Hillary Clinton makes dark hints about “celebrations in the Kremlin” if Trump were to win. His prudence and restraint in wanting to avoid war with Russia are presented as “evidence” that he is “Putin’s agent” by the same reckless political and foreign-policy establishment that has brought one humiliation after another to the United States over the past three decades.
There’s more than just jingoistic hysteria behind the many accusations that Trump is “Putin’s agent.” In a poetic way, this is true. The international interests that financially wrecked Russia in the “90s are doing the same to the United States now. Putin stopped them in Russia and Trump is promising to stop them in America. They recognize Trump as the enemy and slander in the only style they know”the paranoid style.
Trump was once blamed for praising Putin’s performance. But he was right. Pensions, salaries, GDP, and the value of gold reserves in Russia have risen greatly since 1999″in some cases tenfold or more. This was while both inflation and the debt-to-GDP ratio declined by orders of magnitude. The rise in living standard under Putin is reflected in longer life expectancy: It had dropped to a third-world level during the 1990s, to around 55″57, and has now risen back up to 70 by most measures. Birthrates have normalized and recently overtaken the United States. Visit Moscow and you will see infrastructure, buildings, and development that are more impressive than those found in any American city”though the same could be said, of course, for many other countries now.
By contrast, Russians remember the liberal and globalist experiment of the “90s as a time of great suffering. The early death of literally millions of people from economic deprivation, the utter ruin of many of Russia’s formerly world-class industries: This is the legacy of economic liberalization in Russia. How did it happen?
In short, “entrepreneurs” would run fraudulently acquired businesses into the ground, fire-sale the assets internationally, and move abroad with the profits. This is globalism in its purest form, without the slogans and boosterism. American economists, academics, and businessmen played an important part in all of this. Marc Rich”a fugitive later pardoned by Bill Clinton”was, for example, “the largest trader of Russia’s oil and aluminum on a spot basis,” according to Steve Sailer, who has documented the “rape of Russia” in some detail. George Soros was a large investor in these ventures, which provided the international market with financial backing, and cover for the oligarchs” robbery of their own people. This was done especially under Boris Jordan’s CS First Boston bank and later Renaissance Capital, Moscow “investment banks” staffed by Soros associates.
Even more important was a group of Harvard and MIT economists who advised and assisted the Russian government in the reforms. These are men still involved in public life in the United States: current vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Stanley Fischer, Jeffrey Sachs, Jonathan Hay, Andrei Shleifer, and Larry Summers, who was later Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton. As late as 1998, months before Russia defaulted, Fischer claimed that the Yeltsin regime had to be praised for following the advice of this group. Using the rhetoric of liberalization and globalism, American academics and financiers played a key role in the pillaging of Russia.
In a normal election year, it would be big news: one of the largest and most influential newspapers in the U.S. fooled by a small cadre of internet trolls into publishing a completely false piece about a GOP presidential candidate. In a normal election year, a story like that would dominate the conservative news cycle for several days at least. Raging Glenn Beck types would demand that the editors explain the reason for the complete abandonment of journalistic ethics that led to the massive error, and there would probably be calls for the reporter responsible for the piece to be fired.
Hell, in a normal election year, a story like that might even seep into the mainstream news cycle, with “media critics” wailing like BjÃ¶rk over the decline of newsroom standards and practices.
But this isn”t a normal election year, as if anyone needs me to point that out.
Last week, as the Republican National Convention raged on in Cleveland, The Washington Post decided to run a damning hit piece against Donald Trump. What else is new, right? But the Post had an ace up its sleeve, a scoop, if you will. I”ll let the title speak for itself:
The people running Reddit’s largest Trump club also promote eugenics and call Muslims “animals”
It gets even scoopier:
As repugnant as Trump Twitter can get, Trump Reddit looks far worse. That’s according to an investigation we carried out here at Intersect [a WaPo blog] over the past few days, which found that the moderators of some of Trump’s Reddit fan clubs rub elbows with neo-Nazis and white supremacists, among others.
Oh, wow”an “investigation”! Woodward and Bernstein live again (they”re both dead, right? I”ll check my sources).
The largest Trump group on Reddit, with 276,000 subscribers, is r/DonaldTrump2016. One of the moderators of that group also oversees r/Quranimals, which self-identifies as an anti-Muslim “hate sub,” and r/Rapefugees, which is virulently anti-migration. Other mods of the group are involved with r/eugenics and r/betauprising (which advocates for a society in which women cannot “choose with whom they want to have sex.”)
Now, that’s some good scooping there, old-school! The article went on to expose a complex web of nastiness involving the moderators of DonaldTrump2016 and the other “racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic” Reddit groups they oversee. Let’s just say, the reporter really put in the hours on this one. Paycheck well earned.
Speaking of that, who is this intrepid sleuth wearing the fedora with an index card saying “press” neatly tucked into the fabric band? Why, it’s none other than ace millennial newshound Caitlin Dewey. Dewey is The Washington Post‘s “digital culture critic.” She earned her bones as a star reporter through years of hard work”tiring nights walking a beat, pursuing leads that often went cold, uncovering graft and corruption at the highest levels of society. Just kidding; she won an essay contest sponsored by The New York Times in which college students were asked to describe their last breakup.
Don”t laugh; Michelangelo only got the Sistine Chapel gig because he answered a matchbook ad asking, “Can you draw this pirate?”
Dewey (who refused my repeated requests for comment) has been on the conservative radar before. A year ago, Daniel Greenfield wrote, “The center of Social Justice Warrior memes on Facebook though is Caitlin Dewey’s blog, which gets high traffic for essentially taking some SJW meme and building a “Why that matters” or “Explained” headline around it. But the Caitlin Dewey problem is really about the Washington Post’s willingness to run any BuzzFeed style garbage in the hopes of getting traffic.” Greenfield added that although Dewey is listed by the Post as an “opinion writer,” in reality she’s one of several “former interns who run blogs trying to produce viral BuzzFeed, Salon, Upworthy material by scouring Reddit and other sites. There’s a large ecology of young journalism majors doing the same thing, but the Washington Post isn”t fooling anyone when it calls them opinion writers.”
Obviously, Greenfield was just jealous, and surely Dewey’s exposÃ© of the DonaldTrump2016 Reddit group proved to the world that she’s as much of a Murrow as Murrow ever was.
Well, except for the fact that the millennial moron got punked.
The DonaldTrump2016 Reddit page is a hoax perpetrated by trolls, one of whom is a friend of mine. In fact, I wrote about him in this very column last October. “EugeneNix” (say it fast) is my favorite internet troll”a true hero, in my estimation, because his targets are media leftists and smug “social justice warriors” (he was one of the Reddit trolls who helped usher Ellen “Safe Space” Pao out the door last year). Also, he despises millennials even though he is one, so he gets a pass in my book despite his youth.
The Post caught the error after Dewey’s piece was posted. The editors caught it because the moderators of the real “largest Donald Trump Reddit page” complained, vocally. The Post‘s response, however, was not to pull the piece, which would have been the ethical thing to do, but instead to subtly change the headline (“The people running Reddit’s largest Trump club also promote eugenics and call Muslims “animals”” became “The people running this Trump fan club also promote eugenics and call Muslims “animals””). A brief correction was also added. However, the correction merely stated that the Post had erred by calling DonaldTrump2016 “the largest Trump group on Reddit.” There was no mention of the fact that Dewey had been taken in by a fake Trump page run by hoaxers. To the reader, the mistake appeared innocent and benign”the Post simply got the size of the group wrong. A mere numbers error, a miscount, as opposed to a complete lack of diligence, integrity, ethics, and, frankly, intelligence on the part of the Post‘s digital culture critic.
I mean, Caitlin Dewey is an idiot. If that sounds rather harsh, I”ll point out that it’s what she wrote about herself in a tweet following the revelation of the hoax (“I”m an idiot”). And while she showed a tad more integrity than her editors by admitting her intellectual deficiencies and deleting (rather than rewriting) her tweet about the inaccurate piece, that still doesn”t change the fact that this lightweight doesn”t belong at any major newspaper, left, right, or center.
The moderators of the real “largest Trump group on Reddit” issued a statement, which can be read here.
EugeneNix explained to me how the mods were able to artificially make DonaldTrump2016 look bigger and more important than it was: “It’s a simple trick through CSS. CSS is basically how you design websites, including Reddit. Using Reddit’s CSS customization, our resident CSS guy, /u/ZeStumpinator, decided to be cute and add code with additional zeros after the subscriber and viewer counts, making it look as if the subreddit had 1000 times more traffic. I think anybody with a brain cell in their head would”ve figured it out as it’s fairly obvious to anybody who has ever used Reddit.”
In fact, the idea with DonaldTrump2016 was to make it look totally on-the-level, knowing that the moderators” histories would be a tantalizing draw for the “legit” press: “The subreddit is moderated seriously, but part of it being a troll is that people look at the moderators’ history pages, see we run offensive subreddits, then complain loudly about it as if we are the devil, which is what happened with this hilarious WaPo article.” The devil indeed. Nix’s trolling has even irritated those in the pro-Trump camp. On July 27th, Breitbart finally ran a piece about the Post’s error, and author Allum Bokhari blatantly withheld any mention of DonaldTrump2016 in the article’s text. By erasing Nix’s subreddit from the story, Bokhari essentially parrots the Post’s claim that the incident was a mere numbers mistake, rather than a case of a major newspaper falling for a hoax.
I asked “Nix” why his trolling attempts are always so successful:
There are a lot of piss-poor trolls that have no tact or persuasion skills. They think that by loudly yelling CUCK or NIGGER, they”re making profound statements and they”re philosophers of sorts. There is a time and a place to say nigger, cuck, and kike. And that time is not every time you want to say something. Good trolls can get things done and move people’s attention to where it needs to be. Donald Trump is himself a troll in this regard, and a damn good one. He’s done more to discredit the media than what should be humanly possible. It’s lovely. Not that I fully trust him, though. But I think his ego requires him to be a damn good president, after all, he’s made his last name his motto in life. We live in interesting times and many good trolls are helping reveal the left-wing biases of Silicon Valley, and the mainstream media. There is ALWAYS a role for good trolls. Outthinking our enemies and making them act or go crazy is ALWAYS going to be useful.
Well said, my friend. Stay on the side of the (fallen) angels.
At a ceremony for some of the various policemen recently shot by his fellow Black Lives Matter advocates, President Barack Obama described the postapocalyptic hellscape of gun violence that is America today:
We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book…
Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.
Pundits who, only days before, had been vociferously lamenting the gun crisis rushed to denounce Trump for fearmongering about crime.
After all, law and order is not supposed to be on the agenda for 2016. Hillary Clinton’s website says the priority should be to:
End the era of mass incarceration
Today in America, more than one out of every 100 adults is behind bars. This mass incarceration epidemic has an explicit racial bias, as one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
The Democratic nominee proclaimed on July 8, 2016:
Families are being torn apart by excessive incarceration. Young people are being threatened and humiliated by racial profiling.
Trump’s carefully documented Republican convention speech came as an unwelcome intrusion into this new elite consensus against law and order, which helps explain the agonized yelps in response to Trump’s “dystopian” picture.
But on Monday, the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association released homicide totals for the first half of 2016. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Overall, homicides jumped 15% in the 51 large cities that submitted crime data, compared with the same year-ago period.
That’s another big increase coming on top of last year’s sharp rise, especially in an era when homicides should be falling several percent per year due to improved emergency medical care (for example, 42 of the 47 people shot in Chicago last weekend survived) and the enormous proliferation of video cameras and other crime deterrents. This is an era when robbing people with a six-gun is not a profitable career choice.
A few percentage points of the 2016 spike are due to the Islamic terrorist attack on the gay nightclub in Orlando in June. But a bigger impact on the national statistics has been a classic case of the Ferguson Effect: the rise in homicides in Chicago from 211 in the first half of 2015 to 316 in the same period in 2016. This followed the Nov. 24, 2015, release of video of the lamentable police shooting of Laquan McDonald.
But you are supposed to worry about guns, not crime. Democratic economist Paul Krugman wondered:
Last year there were 352 murders in New York City. This was a bit higher than the number in 2014, but far below the 2245 murders that took place in 1990, the city’s worst year. In fact, as measured by the murder rate, New York is now basically as safe as it has ever been, going all the way back to the 19th century….
How, then, was it even possible for Donald Trump to give a speech accepting the Republican nomination whose central premise was that crime is running rampant, and that “I alone” can bring the chaos under control?
If history for you starts in 1990, it is indeed hard to figure out what’s worrisome about Hillary’s project.
Yet, it’s not as if the annals of crime in New York City before 1990 are an obscure topic that has never been explored in the social sciences or popular culture. Indeed, Krugman himself links to a graph showing the colossal increase in homicides during the liberal 1960s in New York.
The rise and fall of murders in New York City has been famously related to the ruling political ideology for the past 50-plus years.
During New York’s 1946″58 Yogi Berra Golden Age, the city never had a year with even one murder per day.
With the civil rights revolution, however, the number of homicides started to take off. In 1961, the New York death toll jumped to 483, then to 634 in 1965.
During the mayoral terms of the liberal Republican social justice warrior John Lindsay (1966″73), the body count soared to 986 in 1968. As the WASP mayor fought for the rights of blacks and Puerto Ricans against the largely Irish NYPD, the cops retreated to the doughnut shop.
It would be nice if policemen didn”t tend to be divas who sulk and slack off when political leaders demonize cops as racist murderers and encourage black rage, but that’s the way they are.
So, in 1972, 1,691 people were murdered in New York, 5.6 times the 304 killed in 1957, turning what had been the world’s greatest city into the set of Taxi Driver.
After that, the death totals mostly plateaued, hitting highs only when there were new drugs for dealers to fight over. During the powder cocaine turf wars, homicides inched up to a record of 1,826 in 1981, before falling to 1,384 in 1985.
New York City elected its only black mayor, Democrat David Dinkins, in 1989 at the height of the crack cocaine wars. During his first year in office, homicides peaked at 2,245, drifting down only slightly over the next three years.
On Feb. 14, 2016, in a lengthy speech at the David N. Dinkins Leadership Forum at Columbia University, Hillary announced:
It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration…. So yes, Mayor Dinkins. This is a time for wisdom. A time for honesty about race and justice in America.
But the voters of New York City didn”t much like Mayor Dinkins” disastrous term, tossing him out in the 1993 election, the first of five consecutive defeats for Democratic mayoral nominees in the nominally very liberal city. (Obama carried 81% of the vote in NYC in 2012.)
In the mid-1990s, the new pro-police team of Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani and his police chief William Bratton oversaw an impressive drop from 1,946 murders in Dinkins” last year to 1,177 in Giuliani’s second year.
Crime-fighting billionaire Michael Bloomberg came to office in 2002 and topped even Giuliani’s performance by imposing an aggressive stop-and-frisk policing routine on New York’s young males of color.
Waving off the clerics who had come to administer last rites, Voltaire said: “All my life I have ever made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies look ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”
The tale of the thieved emails at the Democratic National Committee is just too good to be true.
For a year, 74-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders has been saying that, under DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party has been undercutting his campaign and hauling water for Hillary Clinton.
From the 19,200 emails dumped the weekend before Clinton’s coronation, it appears the old boy is not barking mad. The deck was stacked; the referees were in the tank; the game was rigged.
For four decades, some of us have wondered what Jim McCord, security man at CREEP, and his four Cubans were looking for in DNC Chair Larry O’Brien’s office at the Watergate. Now it makes sense.
Among the lovely schemes the DNC leaders worked up to gut Sanders in Christian communities of West Virginia and Kentucky, was to tell these good folks that Sanders doesn’t even believe that there is a God. He’s not even an agnostic; he’s an atheist.
The idea was broached by DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall in an email to DNC chief executive officer Amy Dacey:
“Does [Bernie] believe in a God. He has skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and atheist.”
Dacey emailed back, “Amen.”
In 1960, John F. Kennedy went before the Houston ministers to assert the right of a Catholic to be president of the United States. Is the “Marshall Plan,” to quietly spread word Bernie Sanders is a godless atheist, now acceptable politics in the party of Barack Obama?
If Marshall and Dacey are still around at week’s end, we will know.
The WikiLeaks dump came Friday night. By Sunday, Clinton’s crowd had unleashed the mechanical rabbit, and the press hounds were dutifully chasing it. The new party line: The Russians did it!
Clinton campaign chief Robert Mook told ABC, “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke in to the DNC, took all these emails, and now they are leaking them out through the Web sites. … some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.”
Monday, Clinton chairman John Podesta said there is a “kind of bromance going on” between Trump and Vladimir Putin. Campaign flack Brian Fallon told CNN, “There is a consensus among experts that it is indeed Russia that is behind this hack of the DNC.”
Purpose: Change the subject. Redirect the media away from the DNC conspiracy to sabotage Sanders’ campaign.
Will the press cooperate?
In 1971, The New York Times published secret documents from the Kennedy-Johnson administration on how America got involved in Vietnam. Goal: Discredit the war the Times had once supported, and undercut the war effort, now that Richard Nixon was president.
The documents, many marked secret, had been illicitly taken from Defense Department files, copied, and published by the Times.
America’s newspaper of record defended its actions by invoking “the people’s right to know” the secrets of their government.
Well, do not the people have “a right to know” of sordid schemes of DNC operatives to sink a presidential campaign?
The difference between stereotypes and clichÃ©s is that stereotypes are mostly accurate, and clichÃ©s mostly aren”t.
Oscar Wilde turned platitudes inside out””It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame”; “Work is the curse of the drinking classes””and made them newly true. Since he returned often to the themes of Effort and Appearances, I”m surprised he never got around to smashing that rottenest of old chestnuts:
“The great ones make it look easy.”
Now, that compliment can be justifiably paid to a host of legendary performers. Frank Sinatra, obviously. Google reveals that almost every recently deceased athlete of any renown, including Muhammad Ali, reportedly “made it look easy.” One tribute to Gordie Howe at least bothered to dig up Mordecai Richler’s artisanal variation:
During his vintage years, you seldom noticed the flash of elbows, only the debris they left behind. He never seemed that fast, but somehow he got there first. He didn”t wind up to shoot, like so many of today’s golfers, but next time the goalie dared to peek, the puck was behind him.
But surely the name most synonymous with this particular plaudit is Fred Astaire’s.
Don”t panic”I”m not going to argue that Ginger Rogers was her partner’s superior, trotting out that adage of more recent vintage that goes: “She did everything Fred did, but backwards and in high heels.” An ingenious line”until you think about it for more than a few seconds. While she was abundantly talented, and a workhorse to boot, it wasn”t Ginger who methodically worked out the pair’s routines. Nor did she ever even attempt anything approaching Astaire’s “You”re All the World to Me“ (literal) turn in Royal Wedding.
Yet rewatching That’s Entertainment last week reinforced my choice of Astaire’s nearest rival for the title of Hollywood’s greatest hoofer: Gene Kelly. It’s not just that the stockier, handsomer Kelly looks more capable of handling a fight, a football, and a flat. Sure, viewers allergic to ham and corn will sneer at his occasional feints in the direction of Chaplinesque bathos. But seeing the climax of Kelly’s “La Cumparsita“ routine in Anchors Aweigh once more, followed immediately by that of “Pirate Ballet,” I heard myself say to my husband:
“All Fred Astaire does is go around and around. At least Gene Kelly goes somewhere.”
Puerile? Pedestrian? Guilty. I”m just not a romantic. “Love and work…” wrote Freud, “that’s all there is.” I simply find the former less engaging than the latter and, well, love that Kelly’s labors aren”t cloaked.
“A lot of work went into that,” I”ll say approvingly when a particularly intricate piece of folk art or furniture shows up on Antiques Roadshow. It may not be especially beautiful, even. What’s supremely satisfying is witnessing an outward, visible sign of inward, physical industry.
I often prefer the making-of bonus feature to the movie itself. (Surely Hearts of Darkness is a superior film to Apocalypse Now, and Burden of Dreams to Fitzcarraldo.) Frankly, I rather enjoy seeing how sausage gets made. And why isn”t there a Pit Crew Channel by now?
So I”m drawn to those “great ones” who make it look hard. Iggy Pop. Keith Moon”hell, every member of the Who, yet another reason they were better than that stupid band you like. Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, plus their mostly forgotten peers, the Treniers. (Show this and this to the next person who mouths the words “The “50s were so boring and uptight…” in your presence.) And since I just linked to Nick Tosches, then, yeah: Nick Tosches, too.