COLLEGE PROGRAMS TEACH MEN TO BE LESS MANLY
We live in a world where men, especially white men, feel as if they are entitled to just walk into any McDonald’s or Burger King and start violently raping every woman he sees. Not only is this horrifying and terrifying, it is completely problematic and entirely unacceptable.
Thankfully, women across the world are starting to scream “RAPE! RAPE! RAPE!” whenever there are men around, which studies have confirmed will lessen the chances that men will actually rape them.
On college campuses, all women and a select group of men who realize there’s something wrong with being men are reaching out to lecture, scold, shame, horrify, terrify, threaten, and tsk-tsk men into being less manly.
Brown University—which has rules for dating and consent that are so elaborately detailed, they could likely wilt the ragin’est boner in the universe—currently features a “Masculinity 101” program boasting a curriculum called “Pedagogy Against Patriarchy” in which men tell other men to lay off their toxic maleness at the risk of severe disapproval and vigorous tut-tutting. According to Garrett Robinson, who as a running back for the college football team is sufficiently masculine but also sufficiently woke to realize that masculinity is bad:
Football is a very masculine sport, so to hear things that I accepted as normal being challenged, like players insulting each other by saying they ‘play like a girl,’ made me want to get involved.
Be that as it may, we strongly suspect that if Robinson were to play like a girl, he would lose his position as running back to a manlier male. Regardless, Robinson busies himself with teaching men to stop acting like men by counseling males in groups such as Ultimate Frisbee and Men’s A Capella to start putting a softer touch on everything lest they slip up and start raping again.
Neil Irvin is another man who is concerned up to his little brown gills with the Man Question. He leads a group called Men Can Stop Rape, which isn’t exactly true if the man is being raped and his rapist is physically stronger than he is. According to Irvin, men not only need to stop rapin’, they need to stop all the manly things they do that lead up to rape, which is the ultimate expression of maleness:
For some men, they think if they’re not raping anyone, that’s enough. But we’ve seen that it’s not. We need to train men on healthy masculinity at a young age.
At the University of Wisconsin, a group called Men Against Sexual Assault is led by a woman named Colleen Whitley, who opines:
It’s really important to have both men and women lead training. Men need to hear different perspectives. All women have experienced toxic masculinity, whether assault or microaggressions. We look at how toxic masculinity contributes to sexual assault. We also look at the continuum of harm, like pornography, which is often violent toward women, or just whistling at a woman on the street.
That broad sounds like dragsville, cats, like a king-sized drag.
The “Toxic Masculinity” virus has even infected Southern California’s famously conservative Christian private school Biola University, where students were recently given a verbal tongue-lashing about the dangers of maleness and responded by writing down on cards the lessons that they’d learned from the aggressive shaming session. Among those lessons were:
There is no reason for a woman to be less of a person.
I learned that the idea of “being a man” is made up.
Apparently they don’t realize that toxic masculinity is the only thing that will save us from lethal femininity.
FRENCH VEGANS GO BONKERS
Vegans across the world are fundamentally insane carnivores with meat-cutting teeth who suffer from the delusion that if given the chance, animals would reciprocate and save them, too.
They also believe that “speciesism” exists and is an unfair and unnatural hierarchy which places humans above other animals, probably based on the observation that humans possess the intelligence to build weapons that allow them to kill or enslave animals. They claim that the age-old profession of butchery amounts to “genocide” and “persecution” of animals, even though there will always be plenty of animals to butcher and eat and despite the fact that animals are always eating human beings with zero qualms of conscience whenever they get the chance.
In France, where everything is more annoying, radical vegans are on a violent campaign to terrorize the country’s butcher shops into shutting down. This year alone, an estimated 17 butcher shops in France have had their windows smashed by groups of mentally ill meatophobes who are likely driven insane by a lack of Vitamin B-12.
The only sane solution for vegan terrorism is to feed all vegans to lions.
GIANT MOSQUE OPENS IN GERMAN CITY WHERE NEW YEAR’S MUSLIM RAPEFEST HAPPENED
In the German city of Cologne a few years ago on New Year’s Eve, mobs of Muslim men estimated in the hundreds raped and harassed screaming German women while the powers that be tried to sweep it all under the flying carpet.
Now, almost as if he was rubbing Germans’ noses in diversity, comes word that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming to Cologne to give his blessing to the giant, bulb-shaped Cologne Central Mosque that opened last year and can hold 1,000 inbred goat-diddlers at any given time to worship their intensely insecure and vengeful God.
The European Union needs to issue a law stating that Allah is not welcome on their continent until he completes a state-certified anger-management program.
PIPPI LONGSTOCKING TRANSITIONS INTO A SOCIAL JUSTICE GYPSY
The mischievous freckled ginger girl known as Pippi Longstocking is Sweden’s most successful literary export. Now, against the objections of Pippi’s creator Astrid Lindgren’s surviving family members, Pippi has gone transracial and is a “homeless Roma migrant living in [a] Stockholm ghetto” who makes her home in a car that had been abandoned in a car wreck. She is now a “warrior against injustice” and if statistics are any indication, the remodeled Pippi is likely to start raping blonde-haired Swedish women at any moment.
The only “injustice” here is what’s happening to Sweden.
FRENCH RAP VIDEO: “KILL WHITE BABIES”
A French rapper with the decidedly non-French and non-rapper name of Nick Conrad is en eau chaude after the recent release of a video for a little ditty he recorded called “Pendez les Blancs (Hang the Whites.” Sample lyrics:
I go to nurseries and kill white babies. Catch them quickly and hang their parents, tear them up to entertain black kids of all ages big and small. Whip them hard, frankly, it stinks of death as blood is gushing.
The song’s video depicts Conrad and a black accomplice beating the poo-stuffin’s out of a white character.
Conrad hails from the suburbs of Paris, where a recent study found that Mohamed is the most popular baby name for boys. The study also found that of the top 20 most popular boy names in the Parisian suburbs, a full dozen of them are “of apparent Middle Eastern origin.”
Remember the famous photo of the “weeping Frenchman” who was brought to tears at the sight of the Nazis marching up the Champs-Élysées? Do you think he’d cry harder at the sight of what France has now become?
SUSPECTED “BASEBALL BAT KILLER” HAD BEEN DEPORTED SIX TIMES
Police in Santa Monica, CA have arrested a 47-year-old illegal alien from El Salvador named Ramon Escobar and suspect him of beating three or more people to death with a baseball bat in the LA area. They seized a wooden baseball bat and bolt cutters they believe are linked to at least six attacks on homeless men in LA. Escobar is also a person of interest in the disappearance of his aunt and uncle in Houston late this past summer.
He had first been ordered out of the USA in 1988, but it took nine years to finally deport him. After that, he had been deported an additional five times between 1997 and 2011. He had been arrested for assault as recently as November 2017.
And yet due to an overwhelming fear of appearing racist, he was allowed to continue eating American-made tacos and allegedly cracking heads with baseball bats rather than being permanently deported as sane societies would do—or shot dead in the streets, which is usually the way things go in his country of origin.
It’s obviously time we ban the private ownership of baseball bats.
STUDY: BOYS ARE PRIMARY VICTIMS OF TEEN DATING VIOLENCE
When people hear the term “domestic violence,” they automatically think “men hitting women,” despite the fact that the most comprehensive study of family violence ever conducted found that about half of such situations involve mutual combat and a quarter involve women exclusively hitting men, whereas only a quarter of the time the situation fits the stereotype.
A recent study published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence examined three British Columbia Adolescent Health Surveys covering 35,900 students in grades 7 through 12. It found that 5.8% of boys reported being hit by a member of the opposite sex they were dating compared to 4.2% of girls.
Some will be shocked at these results and others will see it as some sick sort of karmic justice.
It’s hell out there for boys. We’ve been saying that for years.
Every Monday, Jim Goad reads the previous day’s “Week That Perished” on his podcast.
I don’t much care for Mr. Donald Trump as a person. He strikes me as vain, vulgar, blustering, boastful, shameless, and fundamentally uninteresting except as a specimen of one of the extremes of human character. I doubt that I would want to spend more than thirty minutes in his company. His attachment to truth seems loose, and from what I have heard (though I could not testify to anything in court from personal knowledge), his business dealings have sometimes varied between the incompetent and the unsavory.
A man’s public persona may be different from his private character, of course: Former president Hollande of France, who seemed as dull as ditchwater whenever he appeared in public, is said to be a very amusing man in private. I don’t find it easy to believe that Mr. Trump is very different in private from how he is in public, but all things are possible.
More important, however, his policies, whether they are right or whether they are wrong, are all capable of rational defense. I am not party to how they are decided, or to what extent they are actually his, but they are not the product of a diseased brain. President Trump may seem unpredictable, but in a world in which not everyone is your friend, unpredictability may be more rational than predictability, and by no means the product of mental instability.
When I read in my morning newspaper that the General Assembly of the United Nations had greeted Mr. Trump’s speech with derisive laughter, my esteem for him rose somewhat. I decided to watch the recording of the speech for myself.
I discovered that my morning newspaper, of the party of the bien-pensants, had misled me. True it was that one of Mr. Trump’s boasts—that his administration had achieved more in two years than almost any other in American history—was greeted with laughter; and for myself, I found some of his boasts foolishly hubristic, for example that the stock market was at its highest point ever. This is no doubt true, but if history is any guide (and here it is our only possible guide), it can go down as well as up. Will Mr. Trump then be boasting of the largest correction, as economists call a slump in share prices, in history? As it used to say on the sides of buses in Nigeria—perhaps it still does—“No condition is permanent.” Some of his policies may yet end very badly, but that is true of anyone’s policies.
Actually, the laughter in the General Assembly gave rise to Mr. Trump’s finest moment. He took the laughter in good part, admitted that he had not expected it, and said it was perfectly all right. But the moment of laughter revealed something about world opposition to Mr. Trump: that it is bogus or not deeply felt, and is pro forma as it were. Would the General Assembly have laughed disrespectfully at Mr. Putin or Mr. Xi Jinping, and would either of them have reacted in the same good-natured way if it had? Did anyone laugh at Mr. Obama’s fatuously grandiose claim that his election marked the beginning of health care in the United States and the healing of the planet, at least the equal in absurdity of anything said by Mr. Trump? Is Mr. Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” any shallower than Mr. Obama’s “Yes We Can”? The fact is that Mr. Trump is held to a different standard; but if anyone truly believed that he was an incipient totalitarian dictator, as is sometimes claimed by his opponents, he would not have laughed.
What my newspaper did not tell me was that, apart from this moment of hilarity, Mr. Trump’s speech was listened to with decent respect and drew applause at its end. How far this applause was purely polite, and how far a sign of agreement, I cannot say; but to have reported the speech as if it had been greeted only with derision was false and misleading.
What is more, his speech offered a more generous view of the world than that of most of his opponents. He called on the people of all countries to be patriotic, acknowledging that people of all countries had something to be patriotic about. His was a vision of the world that was far more genuinely multicultural and multipolar than those who believe in or call for a kind of European Union on a global scale, in which all cultures are ground into a food mixer from which a health-giving culture juice of universal rights (to health care, social security, etc.) will emerge.
By no stretch of the imagination did Mr. Trump’s view of patriotism entail the hatred of or disdain for, let alone enmity toward, other countries. Whether his generous appreciation of the cultures of other countries truly reflected the innermost state of his feelings, I cannot say; I can only go, however, by what he said. And what he said in essence was that he wanted a world of live and let live.
Of course, his speech simplified matters. His outlook presupposed a stable and unchanging comity of nations, whereas there are places in the world where the proper boundaries of national sovereignty are still in dispute. Nor is irredentism an entirely spent force in the world. It is difficult to have patriotic feelings toward a country to which you do not feel that you rightfully belong. But at least Mr. Trump appeared to understand that a world government without borders would necessarily be a monstrous bureaucratic tyranny with no possible legitimacy.
In a short speech he simplified other problems, too, as all politicians do. He spoke of the disadvantages to American workers of cheap Chinese imports without mentioning their concomitant advantages to American consumers, or of the role of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency in the creation of and continuation of the situation. But political speeches are not soliloquies by Hamlet wondering whether to put an end to it all, and to look to them for subtle elucidation of knotty problems is like looking to tabloid newspapers for metaphysical insight.
My newspaper’s headline to its article on Trump’s address to the General Assembly was ‘The world’s derision halts Trump UN speech.’ For the newspaper, the delegates to the General Assembly were the world, thus bearing out Trump’s animadversions on the dangers of world government. Much has been written on the pathology of Mr. Trump, from some of which I do not demur; but there is pathology in the response to him, too.
The grandest view of Gstaad and the surrounding Saanen valley bar none—and that includes the vista from my high-up-on-the-hill farm—belongs to an imposing house that was originally a sanatorium but is now a home for the blind. It’s ironic to be located where only eagles dare, yet unable to view the sights, but such are the jokes fate plays on mankind. I had just finished a very hard training and was looking up the mountain at the blind people’s home that looks like a very luxurious hotel from the outside, and my heart went out for those poor people inside, blind to the magnificent valleys and streams and mountains surrounding them. I feel there would be nothing worse than losing one’s sight, although Helen Keller might have had something to say about this. For some of you young whippersnappers, I too may be blind, insulated from the internet-dominated world, which I happily am, having decided that I will never learn to text, tweet, or use Facebook, although I do know how to file my copy and send and receive emails. Yippee!
I acknowledge that being a Luddite is a form of blindness to the modern world, but I hate modern technologies and the immediate pleasure they afford. Apparently, smartphones set off the production of dopamine, the same stuff that addiction comes from, but as I’m already addicted to stuff like booze and beautiful women, the last thing I need is a hard-on for a device next to my ear. I know, I know, it makes one a nonperson, but although anonymity may be a mortal sin nowadays, it’s still a luxury for some.
I recently read somewhere about Socrates and Wittgenstein both having an obsession for “knowing one’s self,” and found myself rather surprised at having something in common with those two chappies. Soc, Witt, and Taki, all three looking to be honest about themselves. Socrates and Wittgenstein both believed that philosophy was as much an exercise in self-honesty as it was an intellectual endeavor. Taki agrees. I know that I’m lazy as hell, and I admit it. I know that I go weak in the knees when I see a beautiful young woman, and I admit it. I know that a good wine or an old Scotch whiskey is irresistible, and I admit it, just as I know I can’t refuse a gamble if challenged, or a fight if told I’m too old and weak to rumble, and I admit it. Which makes me an equal to Socrates and Wittgenstein, and if anyone disputes this they can go to hell. “Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving one’s self,” wrote Wittgenstein in 1938. “Nothing is easier than not deceiving one’s self,” wrote Taki in 2018. I leave it to Takimag readers to decide who among the two of us is the greater philosopher. Old Socrates, of course, remains No. 1.
And now let’s get down to more serious business, like how to stay cheerful as the days dwindle down. September, October…it used to be a downer for me—the tennis was finished, the summer crowd of the Riviera had gone back to the cities, and rumbles would arrive from home about what I was going to do with my life. Head for South Africa or Argentina was the answer, keep the summer going at all costs, and that’s how I began playing polo, incidentally. But at least I never felt pain, stress, or terrible sadness, as is the case for 154,000 people in 145 countries around the world who have been surveyed for at least a decade about their emotional lives. Taki the philosopher advises these depressed ones to either charter a large yacht and sail down to Argentina, or go to Cape Town and pay for a photo safari with my Rhodesian friend Hannes Wessels. It is as easy as pie, or fake news, for that matter.
And speaking of the latter, did you know about the three blind mice whose names begin with M—Maureen, Michelle, and Maggie (the three stooges, actually, better yet three old hags)—who write for the N.Y. Times and who present their opinions as news reports? If that’s news that’s fit to print, I am also an M: Monica Lewinski. All three stooges naturally hate Trump, and Maureen thinks that Trump has also ruined Australia by being friendly with the new prime minister, Scott Morrison. (“He dooms children to detention centers,” she bleats.) The other two Ms are going nuts, but really nuts, that The Donald is still in the White House and trying to place a rapist on the Supreme Court.
As everyone who has not overindulged in dumb pills knows, the left now acts as if under the spell of evil space aliens. They’ve discovered a lefty academic whose “recovered memory” suddenly can keep a Trump appointee off the Supreme Court, and is trying to pull this bullshit with a straight face. Who was the Frog who said something about 1,000 guilty people going free is better than one innocent going down? What truly bothers me is that these very same people, like Dianne Feinstein of California, don’t lift a single finger to help women and children being slaughtered with American weapons in Yemen, because the Saudis have got to them in the old-fashioned way. So they sit in judgment with the smug superiority of a proctologist inspecting a patient, while an innocent man goes down.
Before the sexual revolution, there were certain mores that the sexes were expected to follow in regard to sex and romance. Of these, not having sex before marriage and children out of wedlock were by far the most important. Although not everyone ever followed it, the loss of this bourgeois script has seen collective organic wisdom superseded by personal autonomy. Having unleashed rampant chaos in the culture, that change now shows its worst effects in the debased family and in the weird puritanism that has emerged in response to the anything-goes attitude toward sex. Such puritanism seems quite ironic, to be sure, and yet it merely signifies the need for more social order and moral cohesion amid unfettered eros.
With this context in mind, we can better understand the ongoing Brett Kavanaugh controversy. On Sunday, The New Yorker published an article by Jane Meyer and Ronan Farrow that led the farce to take on more ridiculous proportions. Perhaps the most influential journalist in the #MeToo movement, Farrow is an ambitious man and hardly strikes one as an unbiased reporter. He is the son of actress Mia Farrow and director Woody Allen (from whom he is estranged), and the gay man is perhaps motivated in part by his own rather unhappy family romance, to borrow an apt term from Sigmund Freud.
Say the reporters:
The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is 53, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. ‘The New Yorker’ contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with ‘The New Yorker,’ she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.
What Meyer and Farrow don’t tell us is that before The New Yorker spoke with Ramirez, The New York Times had already heard her story, but since they couldn’t find anyone to substantiate it, despite doing dozens of interviews, the paper chose not to “give a voice to her silence,” as cant peddlers would put it.
“Without her consent” is a significant and revealing phrase. For today we are supposed to believe that any heterosexual activity that is not preceded by a woman’s verbal consent is wrong by definition. But as I showed in my last column, this mad simplification is contrary to the essential ambiguity of sex and romance. Besides, by this standard most men in history must be deemed sexual assaulters.
Like Christine Ford, Deborah Ramirez has a background in social science, a field that breeds pathology and resentment. One is reminded of Karl Kraus’ quip about psychoanalysis: that it is itself the illness which it purports to cure.
Ramirez also “spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.” It’s a safe bet that the woman is to the left of Brett Kavanaugh and the president who nominated him to the Supreme Court.
It’s also a safe bet that, like Ford, Ramirez is either a liar or deluded regarding the events that Kavanaugh and several others present have contested. By her own account, Ramirez spent some time asking friends and classmates whether they remembered the incident. None did. Had she told anyone about it? Apparently not.
Still, “after six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney,” Ramirez has a different story. To be sure, like the perception that it reflects, human memory is notoriously biased and unreliable. When it comes to the mind, nothing is more common than believing things because they suit one’s interests, selectively interpreting both the past and the present to that egoistic end.
Then too, how often does it happen that a woman, accurately believing she was used by a man, uses the understandable resentment thus aroused to transform the memory of what happened into a sexual assault. Here women’s greater conformity, greater neuroticism, and characteristic hysteria are quite baleful. In many cases, all a woman has to do is learn of other women’s “stories”—or speak to her girlfriends, or mother, or sister, or the invariably feminist university bureaucrat—and suddenly she believes that she too was raped or sexually harassed.
This state of mind is typically accompanied by a will to punish, whose application is not sure to be accurate. Indeed, people tend to care more about making someone—anyone—suffer than they do about actual justice. Accordingly, we have seen precisely this blind will to punish in Senators Feinstein, Gillibrand, Harris, and Hirono, and in countless women journalists.
The most telling sign that Ramirez is not credible is the phrase “consulting with her attorney.” It was this that made Ramirez confident in her recollections. What might motivate an attorney to inspire the woman’s confidence? To start, how about $800 or more an hour, while knowing, with an eye to Christine Ford’s GoFundMe account, that the huge legal fees would probably be funded by the contributions of a great many vengeful pseudo-puritans?
What might motivate women like Ford and Ramirez to “come forward”? How about the power that comes with the incalculable moral capital one obtains from doing so? How about sympathy, attention, fame, speaking gigs on television and elsewhere, book deals, and more? Notice that, as if on cue, Anita Hill has emerged to offer her two cents on “How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right.”
Speaking of vast ambition, on Sunday night Michael Avenatti tweeted some more bad news for Brett Kavanaugh:
I represent a woman with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge. We will be demanding the opportunity to present testimony to the committee and will likewise be demanding that Judge and others be subpoenaed to testify. The nomination must be withdrawn.
This news of a third accuser came just a few minutes before the New Yorker article was published, and for all we know the timing was a coordinated effort.
Michael Avenatti learned his devious craft in his student days, when he worked at The Research Group, Rahm Emanuel’s political opposition research and media firm. No wonder he’d make playful high school yearbook entries sound like justifications for “rape culture.”
A committed anti-Trumper, who may run for president in 2020, Avenatti is Stormy Daniels’ attorney. In July he used a video shot by a former client to stir up outrage and paranoia concerning the Trump administration’s efforts to enforce the southern border. In short, Avenatti is no less prejudiced than Christine Ford’s attorney Debra Katz, whose many conflicts of interest I noted in my last column.
Rather brazenly, as if he didn’t care whether anyone divines his underlying motive, Avenatti declares that “the nomination must be withdrawn.” Well, at least you don’t have to pretend to be impartial, counselor! It can be so tiresome, legal ethics.
Technology has become a uniquely effective tool of manipulation, and Mike Davis, chief counsel of nominations at the Senate Judiciary Committee, jumped at Avenatti’s bait. “Please advise of this information immediately,” said Davis to Avenatti, “so that Senate investigators may promptly begin an inquiry.”
In an email Avenatti replied:
We are aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the early 1980s, during which Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and others would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs to allow a “train” of men to subsequently gang rape them.
Notice the predictable academese here, the rotted language of victimology. The women were “targeted,” just as voter ID laws supposedly “target” blacks since, as it happens, a disproportionate number of them don’t have IDs. Needless to say, men are forever trying to get women drunk in order to make them amenable (or more amenable) to the prospect of sex. But such seduction is a very different thing from Avenatti’s cynical portrait: Kavanaugh and his big bad frat buddies getting the poor young innocent women high and drunk so as to “subsequently gang rape them”!
On Wednesday, Avenatti revealed the identity of the third accuser, his client Julie Swetnick. She basically repeated what her attorney had said on Sunday, although—crucially—she has no “evidence” for her claims. As if this were a Lifetime movie, Swetnick tells us that Kavanaugh used to drink excessively and was a “mean drunk.” Have some more fudge brownies, little sister! My ex was a jerk too!
Avenatti knows that, in a criminal case, none of this would fly. He also knows that, in the current climate, such cheap and shameless hysteria may well keep Brett Kavanaugh from being confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Ramirez “would be willing to testify” about her accusation. Meanwhile, Ford claims that four people—her husband and three friends, who else?—can “corroborate” her story. Yet their testifying that Ford told them such and such would be nothing but hearsay: It may or may not be true and, in any event, would leave unshown and unsubstantiated what actually happened. Of course, that may not matter since this mess is being played out in a kangaroo court.
In that respect, Brett Kavanaugh, whether he is guilty or innocent, is like any number of other men being punished by a culture that, in the absence of traditional mores and constraints, no longer knows how to navigate the inherently difficult, ambiguous, and unpredictable sexual domain. The journalism on the man’s fraternity days has been appalling in its mendacity and hypocrisy. Can no one be young, wild, and foolish anymore? Do Kavanaugh’s critics hold themselves and their friends to the impossible standard to which they have subjected him, a man, never so rare, who says he was a virgin until well after high school?
Nobody believes—or at least lives as if—he is defined by a single act, least of all one from the distant past. Nevertheless, people don’t hesitate to hold others to the same impossible standard from which they exempt themselves. The reason, as I show in my essay “The Nature of Hypocrisy,” is that people in general are hypocrites, and their morality is shallow and badly understood: so much weakness, in the main; so much blind following of their group.
And the only thing that’s always reliable in morality is the will to punish. It’s undoubtedly this, at least in part, that leads all these women to “come forward” decades after the fact. The many women who are now grandstanding about being “survivors” are, I think, motivated by their own resentments and issues, and could not be more indifferent to Ford and the rest. But mankind has to tolerate one another, so everyone takes care to appear good to his fellow fraud.
According to those who have known him well, Brett Kavanaugh has lived an exemplary life. He is surely a better man than most of us. And yet, consider his trials and tribulations. It is enough to make one question what it is really worth to live a good life in this world.
NEW YORK—The problem with the Supreme Court is not any of the things being talked about today during the millions of monologues, speeches, network stand-ups, interviews, accusations, political analyses, lies, statistical analyses, character defenses, and third-party narratives involving Brett Kavanaugh and the schoolboy behavior that may or may not have resulted in drunkenness, gang rapes, dropping of trou, and other orgiastic frat-boy traditions at Georgetown Prep and Yale University.
The problem is Georgetown Prep and Yale University.
Let’s start with the makeup of our current Supreme Court, focusing on how well they represent all the various legal and educational traditions of our diverse nation:
Chief Justice Roberts: Harvard Law by way of Harvard undergrad.
Justice Thomas: Harvard Law by way of Holy Cross.
Justice Ginsburg: Columbia Law by way of both Harvard and Cornell.
Justice Breyer: Harvard Law by way of Stanford and Oxford, with a stint as a teacher at…Harvard Law.
Justice Alito: Yale Law by way of Princeton.
Justice Sotomayor: Yale Law by way of Princeton.
Justice Kagan: Harvard Law by way of Princeton, Worcester, and Oxford.
Justice Gorsuch: Harvard Law by way of Columbia (and, going back further, by way of Georgetown Prep—Donald Trump has a soft spot in his heart for his fellow Eastern prep-school men of the people).
So the score so far would be:
Ivy League 16, all other American schools 3.
American schools on the East Coast 18, all other regions 1.
In all our conversations about diversity, does anyone ever point out that our Supreme Court is the most privileged class-based institution that we’ve managed to create over the past 220 years, an Old Boys Network so entrenched that they’ve figured out ways to let women and minorities join in while remaining an Old Boys Network?
If you are a law student enrolling today at, say, the University of North Dakota, you have to know that at no time in your lifetime will you become eligible to serve on the Supreme Court, no matter how hard you study, no matter how deeply you comprehend the law, no matter how good you are in the courtroom, no matter how many lives you save or disputes you resolve with your reasoned, literate appellate briefs. But we really don’t have to go to that extreme example. You’ve got no chance even if you’re attending the law schools of Duke, Northwestern, the University of Texas, or UCLA, to pick just four examples of superb schools that are considered out of the loop. If you’re like Abraham Lincoln, and you’re a virtually self-taught lawyer who passes the bar on your own initiative, you’ve got about as much chance of putting on any kind of judicial robe as Stormy Daniels.
Result: You have the most privileged, elitist, sheltered people in America passing judgment on the least privileged and the most vulnerable, essentially telling them how to behave.
Of course, it’s not framed that way. In the old days it was framed as the best legal minds being trained by the best law schools and rewarded with a Supreme Court appointment after a lifetime of fair and impartial rulings. (How did we know they were fair and impartial? One metric was the number of times they were reversed by a higher court. Another was their reputation among attorneys who had lost cases argued in their courtrooms.) These judges were always hard to pigeonhole as “liberal” or “conservative” because their decisions were rooted in a deep evolving understanding of a living Constitution and in the sacred principle of stare decisis, which means that similar cases in the past are the best guidance as to what to do today.
Today we don’t even get the best candidate from the Ivy League, much less the best candidate from all the law schools and courts of the rest of the country. What we get is a judge vetted for “legal philosophy,” either leftist or rightist.
So. People. Can we start with this simple premise?
There should be no such thing as a liberal or conservative judge.
The concept shouldn’t exist. If you find such a person, by all means exclude him from the court, because he’s trying to be a legislator, not a jurist.
But then you also have to look at what people mean by “legal philosophy.” And increasingly what they mean, especially among Republicans, is intense textual analysis of all our various laws, statutes, ordinances, and regulations. They use various terms for it—textualism, originalism, original intent, original meaning—but what they mean is that they want to go back to what was in the mind of a “reasonable person” living at the time of the law’s adoption. In the case of the Constitution, this means they want to resurrect the mind of a person living in the year 1787.
Needless to say, this hypothetical mind that understands the complete meaning of the Constitution wouldn’t include any blacks or women, since there weren’t any blacks or women contributing to the writing of the Constitution. (And if you did go into the minds of 1787 blacks or women, reflecting on the laws about to be enacted, you might be confronted with terrified minds.)
So the concept of originalism is “What The Founders Intended,” under the theory that, if it’s never been amended, then it ought to be understood exactly as they understood it down at the Virginia crossroads tavern or the Charleston drawing room back in the powdered-wig days. (One way we could get rid of originalism is to require anyone endorsing it to wear the shoes and especially the pants favored by gentlemen of the day. Nothing like high stockings, breeches that buckle at the knee, a tight waistcoat, and a tricorn hat to focus the mind on the priorities of 1787.)
In other words, we’re turning out lawyers who are trained to study the documents of the Founding Fathers with the same reverence that the Sanhedrin of ancient Jerusalem reserved for the Torah. If one of the scribes made an error on a manuscript, he had to be executed so that every “jot and tittle” would be exactly as God handed down the Word.
But I’ve got news for the “originalists” like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Some of the jots and tittles ought to be ignored. Our particular secular Torah was devised by flawed politicians working in a sweaty room in Philadelphia. It has mistakes in it. It has weaknesses. It has all the lame ambiguities that are unavoidable in even the best writing. For most of our history we’ve been able to keep it alive by allowing it to expand and grow as the culture changed. But then, in the ’80s, we suddenly developed these concepts of a liberal Supreme Court and a conservative Supreme Court, and we stopped caring about who had the best legal mind.
The reason we now nominate the dregs of the Ivy League, and the reason a brilliant jurist in, say, New Mexico has no place in our system, is that we allowed people with axes to grind—people on the left and people on the right—to start nominating and supporting judges so anemic in their understanding of what a great jurist does that it was easy to predict how they would vote. And since it’s hard to get a person that weak confirmed by Congress, the activists went again and again to Harvard, Yale, and Columbia because they needed credentials for their nekkid emperor. One of the most difficult cases ever considered by the court—Roe v. Wade—was used as a litmus test: When the Supremes of the 1970s were asked to answer the question “When does life begin?” were they right or wrong? Never at any time in the history of the world have so many people claimed to know precisely when life begins. The only man who knew it for sure was Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and we know how that turned out.
So we should not be surprised by anything in Brett Kavanaugh’s background. He’s like everyone else in America right now. He’s the guy who knows what he thinks before he’s heard the evidence. Since we’re talking about a court on which the senior justice is Clarence Thomas (27 years), where every appointment since Thomas has been an attempt to tilt the court in one direction or another, Brett Kavanaugh is just the latest version of organized jury-tampering. Nobody cares about him. He simply performs the function of holding such shallow opinions that he doesn’t know how to be fair or impartial. He’s the latest Ivy League stooge in America’s last smoke-filled room. Just as you no longer have to be a boy to be in the Old Boys Network, you no longer have to smoke to manipulate history in the smoke-filled room. Brett Kavanaugh is both expendable and indispensable. Fortunately there are several hundred C-minus students coming out of the Ivy League law schools every year, so we don’t need to worry. The supply is endless.
“They know the optics of 11 white men questioning Dr. Ford … will be so harmful and so damaging to the GOP.” — Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst
“They understand that you have all of these white men who would be questioning this woman … the optics of it would look terrible.” — Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst
“Women across this nation should be outraged at what these white men senators are doing to this woman.” — Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.
“There has been some discussion of the GOP senators who happened to all be … white men.” — Jim Sciutto, CNN correspondent
“What troubles me is now there are … they’re all white men.” — Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, on CNN
“You’re seeing on display a metaphor for what this party is, which is basically ignorant white men.” — “Morning Joe” contributor Donny Deutsch
“All these white men … stumbling all over themselves asking her, you know, aggressive and obnoxious questions.” — Asha Rangappa, CNN analyst
“What are those — that collection of old white men going to do?” — Cynthia Alksne, MSNBC contributor
“If she testifies in front of the Judiciary Committee, where 11 members are white men …” — Susan Del Percio, Republican political strategist, on MSNBC
“Once again, it will be all white men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee.” — CNN anchor Poppy Harlow
“The optics for Republicans are going to be really tricky … You’ve got all white men on the Republican side here …” — Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press, on CNN
“The Republicans, it happens to be 11 white men still on that side.” — CNN host John Berman
“The Republicans, it is 11 white men, talk to me about how you think the tone inside this hearing on Monday will be perceived?” — Berman, a few minutes later
“On the Republican side, all 11 are white men.” — Berman, again, same show, several minutes later
“What hasn’t changed is the number of white men questioning, certainly, on the Republican side.” — Dana Bash, CNN chief political correspondent
“The Republican side on the Senate Judiciary Committee is all white men …” — Irin Carmon, senior correspondent for New York Magazine, on MSNBC
“Only this crowd of clueless old white guys …” — The Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin on Twitter
Let me begin by saying these commentators are making a brilliant and totally ORIGINAL point, the plain truth of which is outshone only by, as I’ve said, its sheer no-one-has-ever-made-that-observation-before-ness.
As the Supreme Court confirmation hearing resumes this week for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, it’s clear that the Republicans are simply too white to get the job done. I suggest the Republicans sign up some outside help, the way baseball teams make late-season acquisitions of pitchers and designated hitters for the playoffs.
Some suggestions (note: not all of the following individuals are Republicans, but none has any partisan profile that I am aware of):
1. The Rev. Al Sharpton (Tawana Brawley affair demonstrates that he believes women).
2. Bill Cosby (extensive, up-close experience with victims of sexual assault, albeit from a rapist’s, rather than a “rapee’s” perspective).
3. Keith Ellison (likely good rapport with committee Democrats; has own transportation to Capitol Building).
4. Matias Reyes (would undoubtedly throw himself into committee’s work as pleasant change of pace from prison).
5. Sorry, I don’t remember the gentleman’s name, but that guy who kidnapped and raped the Columbia student, poured bleach on her and Krazy-Glued her lips shut. (This one is sort of a “wild card,” I admit; he could be absolutely great, or, judging by his history of poor impulse control, he could be too emotionally unstable to handle the committee’s important work; definitely a Person of Color, though; that I’m sure about.)
6. Alton Maddox, attorney for black youth hired by Jewish landlord to slash a model’s face because she refused to date him. Maddox pioneered novel “she’s a manipulative slut who had it coming” defense. (Close relationship with the Rev. Sharpton a definite plus.)
7. Lakireddy Bali Reddy, entrepreneurial Indian immigrant with strong experience with underage rape victims, having brought little girls to the U.S. purchased from their poverty-stricken parents in India as his private sex slaves. (His presence may bring Asha Rangappa on board.)
Seriously, if feminists want to make the point that only female senators have any business conducting these hearings, they have a logical point, albeit an idiotic one.
Of course, the last time feminists bet big on women being certain allies in the fight against misogyny, they were the women of the O.J. jury.
Still, I get the logic of demanding women interlocutors.
But what is the thinking behind snickering at “white men” judging an accusation of sexual assault? Chuck Grassley is a big rapist?
You can be for rape or against it — I happen to be against it — but the idea that alleged sexual assault survivors need the loving care of black, Indian or Hispanic men to judge their stories flies in the face of crime statistics from around the globe.
In the history of the world, there has never been a more pacific, less rapey creature than the white male of Western European descent.
I realize it gives The New York Times’ editorial board (recent acquisition: Sarah Jeong) warm feelings every time someone throws in the word “white” as an intensifier, denoting extra hatefulness, but really, guys, it’s getting old.
Can we please, for the love of God, drop the painfully trite, mind-numbing cliche about “white men,” as if somehow their whiteness makes evil even eviler?
In her new book The Diversity Delusion, Heather Mac Donald takes on identity politics far more forthrightly than Francis Fukuyama dared to in his new book Identity, which I reviewed last week.
Just compare their subtitles: Mac Donald chose How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture, while Fukuyama went with The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, even though “dignity” is hardly the first word suggested by identity politics. As I foresaw:
Nor do I expect the upcoming Supreme Court nomination hearing/teen sex comedy to be a high point in the history of American dignity.
Interestingly, both Fukuyama and Mac Donald studied literary theory at Yale under deconstructionist Paul de Man, a remarkable con man who successfully sailed with whatever tide was flowing, whether the Nazi occupation in his native Belgium or French high theory in America. But eventually both Fukuyama and Mac Donald realized French postmodernism is pernicious nonsense.
Nonetheless, I think Michel Foucault was onto something with his constant harping on how power infiltrates language. Granted, Foucault’s obsession with power was an offshoot of his gay sadomasochism, which led to him dying of AIDS in 1984. Still, his notion that elites would naturally try to socially construct how people think in order to preserve their privileges is hardly implausible.
Yet that ought to lead to the question: Who, precisely, are “the powerful” in 2018?
We are constantly lectured about how the increasingly distant past has apparently permanently marginalized various identity groups, so they must be handed ever more power in the present. But aren’t those who are being paid to do this lecturing part of the powerful?
Mac Donald shines her spotlight on institutional power in the universities, especially California colleges such as UCLA.
UCLA is interesting for this purpose because it had a not-unimpressive record of black achievement going back to its founding the 1920s.
Many today might assume that inclusion is a recent development of just the past few slightly more enlightened years. Personally, though, I worked in summer jobs in 1981–82 for a black UCLA vice-chancellor. Through him I met the mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley (1973–93), who had been a UCLA student in the 1930s and was nearly elected governor of California in 1982. My boss’ office was in UCLA’s Bunche Hall, which was named after the African-American diplomat Ralph Bunche, valedictorian of his UCLA class in the 1920s, who won the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for mediating an armistice to halt the first Israeli-Arab war. Bunche Hall is not far from UCLA’s Jackie Robinson Stadium, named after the UCLA four-sport letterman of 1939–41.
But none of this positive history seems to have helped UCLA in the present. When Heather spoke at UCLA in 2017, protesters screamed at her for ten minutes. But at least that wasn’t as bad as the next night at the Claremont Colleges, when she had to be rescued by the police from a goon squad from pricey Pomona College (tuition: $52,412).
Amusingly, Heather strikes back by quoting verbatim these affirmative-action students’ word salad:
We, few of the Black students here at Pomona College and the Claremont Colleges… Though this institution as well as many others including this entire country, have been founded upon the oppression and degradation of marginalized bodies, it has a liability to protect the students that it serves…. The notion of discourse, when it comes to discussions about experiences and identities, deters the ‘Columbusing’ of established realities and truths [coded as ‘intellectual inquiry’] that the institution promotes….
These anti-free-speech gangs aren’t lonely rebels; they are empowered by sizable campus bureaucracies. Indeed, many of these incidents can be seen as tryouts in which leftist students ritually denounce the “campus climate” to audition for jobs as diversicrats so that they won’t ever have to leave the campus. (A general rule: The more exquisite the physical climate, such as at the UC schools, the more activists and administrators obsess over whether microaggressions are menacing their “campus climate comfort.”)
For example, Berkeley budgets $20 million per year for 150 full-time staffers in its diversity nook, the Division of Equity and Inclusion. At UCLA, Jerry Kang, the Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and a leading advocate of the pseudoscience of implicit bias, was paid $444,234 in 2016.
Mac Donald notes the career arc of the new president of San Diego State, Adela de la Torre, who had previously built a power base at UC Davis consisting of 28 nonacademic departments such as:
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Resource Center; the Center for African Diaspora Student Success; the Center for Chicanx and Latinx Student Success; the Native American Academic Studies Student Success Center; the Middle Eastern/South Asian Student Affairs Office; the Women’s Resources and Research Center; the Undocumented Student Center; Retention Initiative; the Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services; and the Center for First-Generation Student Scholars.
Are colleges paying for this efflorescence of bureaucracy because students are obsessed with identity politics? Or are students obsessed with identity politics because colleges are funding all these diversicrats? Perhaps they are symbiotically related?
Or are the most strident student activists and the most smug salaried bureaucrats more or less the same small number of individuals, just at different stages in their careers?
I started wondering about this in early 2017 when a Berkeley Latinx/Chicanx Studies major and protest leader named Pablo Gomez, who demands to be known by the pronoun “they,” ran amok and was arrested for the murder of a local schoolteacher. They was driven around on his rampage by a colleague and/or rival in the campus protest business. (Law enforcement has treated the driver as another victim of them rather than as their accomplice.)
As I looked into the cutthroat competition in the student demonstration business at Berkeley, I could grasp the despair and rage of a stabby loser like they as superbly groomed tiger daughters increasingly take over the social justice jihadi racket.
The most immediately relevant part of The Diversity Delusion this week is Mac Donald’s insights into the growth of “Neo-Victorianism” on campus.
If you were to believe the Obama administration’s hysteria over the “campus rape crisis,” you might imagine that young women would be fleeing college. Yet:
None of this crisis response occurs, of course. To the contrary, every year the stampede of girls trying to get into the most selective colleges grows more frenzied…. Girls now constitute a large majority of students on college campuses…. Yet, we are to believe that these ambitious mothers are deliberately packing off their daughters to a hellhole of sexual predation.
Mac Donald points out that in 2014 when colleges were first required to report the number of unfounded criminal charges involving their students:
The only unfounded crimes that Harvard reported were rapes—six of them. By contrast, none of the 492 property crimes reported to law enforcement in 2014 were found to be baseless. And those six unfounded rapes represented all of the rapes reported to the Harvard police in 2014—not one survived law-enforcement investigation….
Nonetheless, there is much evidence that the college experience itself often inflicts depression on freshmen. It’s almost a cliché that girls go off to a prestigious college, find the academics daunting, put on fifteen pounds eating cafeteria food, drink heavily to work up an excuse to lose their virginity, and then get heartbroken when the boy doesn’t call. (The late Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons walks through each step.)
Yet, our vast research universities never seemed to get around to researching this seemingly common pattern. Fortunately, UCLA recently started a study of freshman depression.
One possibility that we’re unlikely to hear about from prestigious universities is that our culture’s obsession with students automatically going away to college at 17 or 18 needs to be rethought. Here in Los Angeles, Armenians (who are more or less white people but without the naivete) prefer their daughters to stay at home to attend junior college, and then transfer to a UC college. They may have a point. Upper-middle-class parents don’t raise their children to grow up fast these days, so perhaps they should keep them at home a couple of years longer before they go off to a dorm.
Mac Donald suggests that colleges are slowly heading back to the doctrine of in loco parentis that they dumped during the 1960s sexual revolution. In a timely bit of The Diversity Delusion, she writes:
Sexual liberation is having a nervous breakdown on college campuses. Campus feminists are reimporting selective portions of a traditional sexual code that they have long scorned, in the name of ending the purported epidemic of campus rape. They are once again making males the guardians of female safety and are portraying females as fainting, helpless victims of the untrammeled male libido…. How long will it be before feminists demand the return of chaperones?
Even in the guise of feminist legalisms, she writes, Neo-Victorianism might not be such a bad thing:
Should college fornication become a rare event preceded by contract signing and notarization, maybe students would do some studying instead. At present, many students drink through the entire weekend without worrying about any academic repercussions.
Mac Donald ends The Diversity Delusion on a small note of hope: Despite the manifold failings of institutional academia in instructing the young, the Teaching Company’s Great Courses DVDs, such as Robert Greenberg’s lectures on classical music and Alan Kors’ on philosophy, can always provide a solid liberal-arts education to sober adults.
It’s been a good month for Mark Weber. Mark is the director of the California-based Institute for Historical Review (IHR), a publishing house that dares to sell books that express points of view that some people consider bad. The nerve! I try to stick up for the IHR any chance I get. Mark’s been a close friend of mine for nearly three decades (plus, he’s the finest historian I know), and the IHR was my very first publisher, in 1991 (you remember 1991, right? That’s back when Supreme Court confirmation hearings weren’t hijacked by leftist female academics with unprovable allegations and…oh, wait).
But the main reason I stick up for the IHR is the same reason I’d stick up for a black-power bookstore (like the one that blacks themselves burned to the ground during the L.A. riots. Those wacky blacks!). I’m kind of a fanatic on that First Amendment thing, and nothing screams First Amendment like the right to publish. Yes, the IHR sells certain books that showcase opinions with which I disagree, and that’s rather the point of my defense. You defend the speech you don’t like. You don’t have to defend the content, but if you don’t defend the basic right of that content to compete in the marketplace of ideas, you can’t call yourself pro–free speech (anyone who has ever started a sentence with “I believe in free speech but…” does not actually believe in free speech).
Weber and I recently had a bit of fun with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). That’s the subway and light rail system connecting San Francisco to Oakland and other nearby areas. Now, the problem with running a service in which the core customer base comprises homeless people searching for new sidewalks on which to shit and Oakland thugs looking to do hit-and-run muggings in better parts of town is that you get a lot of fare evasions. So, BART has been trying to find new ways to generate revenue, especially as Governor Brown has redirected so much public transportation money to his beloved pet project of mass dirigible service (zero carbon footprint, clean-burning hydrogen, and only 20% passenger immolation).
Recently, BART started imposing fines on fare evaders. Big mistake. Sure, BART loses around $20 million a year due to unticketed riders, and perhaps when BART launched its “show your ticket” campaign in March 2018, administrators expected that the majority of evaders would be blond-haired Swedes jumping turnstiles while shouting, “Hurdy gurdy bordy furdy, ya can’t catch me!” Unfortunately, as of now, the number of Muppet chefs caught riding ticketless stands at zero. The number of black folks? Forty percent of tickets issued for fare evasion have gone to, how should I put it, “future Swedes” (i.e., people of color).
Well, there’s no way the San Francisco media, and the Democrats who control the city’s poo-caked sidewalks, could stand for that. BART was slammed again and again for its racist “show your ticket” policy…a policy so oppressive, it requires people who board a train for which purchasing a ticket is mandatory to show the ticket that the law demands they purchase (could Himmler himself have thought of anything more diabolical?). When BART conducted an extensive study that conclusively demonstrated that ticket inspectors were asking everyone boarding the trains to show their tickets regardless of race, leftists responded by saying, “It doesn’t matter that the policy is color-blind and enforced without bias. Blacks suffer merely for being asked to show their tickets…because slavery! Have we forgotten about the vast Marin County cotton fields and the slaves who died harvesting them? And what about that time Dirty Harry killed those blacks in that coffee shop? ‘Show your ticket’ inflicts severe psychological harm on oppressed Bay Area blacks!” According to local TV news station KRON, BART’s data showing color-blind enforcement hides the terror that black riders feel when asked to show their tickets. KRON quoted a black BART rider who said of the anti-evasion policy, “I am not okay with it. I am not comfortable with it.” But, he added, “I am coping with it.”
Damn, give that guy a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Has anyone ever had to endure worse racism than having to show the subway ticket they were required by law to purchase? This hero makes the four little girls killed in the 16th Street Church bombing in 1963 look like whiny, privileged brats.
With its fare evasion policy under attack, BART has been seeking revenue elsewhere. And one of those elsewheres involves video advertisements in BART stations. High-tech, flashy electronic billboards, where companies can purchase ads that run all day on a loop. And that paid-ad policy was working just fine, bombarding riders with promos for Black Panther, Cardi B’s greatest hits, and the new Slappy White biography.
Until Mark Weber decided to get in on the fun.
BART is a public agency; it cannot exercise partisan political or ideological viewpoint discrimination. So why not submit an ad? Which Mark did…and it was promptly rejected. Why? All the ad said was “History Matters.” Under those words were the IHR’s logo and URL. But, even though an agency like BART cannot engage in viewpoint discrimination, it can have other policies that regulate the content of ads. In this case, BART told Weber that his ad violated BART’s policy against “material that demeans or disparages an individual or group of individuals” and “material that ridicules or mocks, is abusive or hostile to, or debases the dignity or stature of, an individual or group of individuals.”
BART is allowed such a policy, as long as it’s enforced in a color-blind manner, much like the “show your ticket” thing. The IHR’s attorney asked BART to point out the part of the ad that violated the “four Ds” (thou shalt not demean, disparage, and debase dignity). BART responded that the ad itself was fine, but a particular book on the IHR’s website was totally evil. Mark told BART that if it identified the offending book, he would take it off the site for the duration of the ad’s run, to be (cue Steve Buscemi voice) “in full compliance.” And that’s when BART decided to get cute. BART’s assistant general manager told the IHR’s attorney that “It is beyond the District’s purview to dictate which items can or cannot be sold at ihr.org or on any other third-party website. Therefore, the District is unable to satisfy your request.”
Get it? So clever! “Our policy prevents your ad from running because of one book on your website, but our policy also prevents us from telling you which book is the one we object to.” I’m sure the BART assistant manager gave herself a round of feminist jazz-hands for cooking up that one.
Mark consulted with me, his unofficial consigliere (or I suppose kikesigliere in my case). We decided to call BART’s bluff. We removed the URL from the ad. With no link to the site, the evil book became irrelevant (and even without the URL, curious riders need only Google the IHR to reach the site).
BART had to give in. And it did. The ad ran, and the inevitable media storm followed, led by a piece in The Guardian by San Francisco-based reporter Sam Levin (another Swede, I’m assuming). In the piece, Levin puts scare quotes around the right to “free speech” (dude, you don’t use scare quotes when something is an undisputed fact. This right exists), and he turns much of the article over to the SPLC, which he stresses is a nonprofit organization, while ignoring the fact that the IHR is one too. Levin also quotes a BART spokesbeing who whines that they didn’t want to run the ad, but because of that damn pesky Constitution, they had to.
And that’s the downside to this one small victory for free speech. We could outmaneuver BART because it’s bound by the First Amendment. But public agencies are no longer center stage in the free-speech struggle. It’s all about private entities now—content-delivery networks, web hosts, and, of course, social media. These companies aren’t bound by First Amendment law the way a government agency is. For example, last week Vice triumphantly reported that, due to its intrepid “journalism” (that’s where the scare quotes go, Mr. Levin), Facebook is reevaluating its policy of not banning white nationalism and separatism. Previously, Facebook had told Vice that “banning all nationalist or separatists movements could negatively impact people around the world—pointing to black separatist groups and the Basque movement.” But now, thanks to Vice, Facebook is considering dispensing with that “fairness” jive and banning only white nationalism and separatism, while still allowing identical views from people who aren’t cursed with that ofay devil alabaster skin.
A government agency couldn’t do that. It would be a clear case of racial discrimination.
A year ago in this column I asked a legal scholar with the Electronic Frontier Foundation if an antidiscrimination lawsuit could be launched against online entities that ban white extremism but not black or Muslim extremism. “I think that would be an interesting case to try,” he replied. But who has the guts to try it? Any lawyer or law firm initiating such a case would be harassed on social media and probably attacked by Antifa goons in real life.
Just a few days ago, the ACLU lodged a legal complaint against Facebook because companies can target paid Facebook ads to one particular gender (an ad can’t say “men only,” but in choosing an audience, one can stipulate which gender sees the ad). The ACLU certainly seems willing to move ahead on a leftist version of the idea I floated last year, because the ACLU knows it won’t be pummeled figuratively in the press and literally by Antifa. The ACLU has declared that it’s discriminatory to boost an ad based on gender. But do you think for a moment that these fine guardians of our liberties (hey—they defended the right of Nazis to march in Skokie in 1977…Christ, I haven’t seen anyone get so much mileage out of a one-hit wonder since Bobby Pickett) will agree that banning Facebook content based on race is also discriminatory?
Of course they won’t. The left creams over the fact that the most essential forums for speech these days are not chained to that dumb ol’ Constitution (and to think…leftists used to despise privatization. C’mon, libertarians; here’s your entryway to a whole new audience!). And until a legal advocacy group that actually cares about free speech (ACLU, that counts you out) decides to take online speech discrimination seriously, things are only going to get worse.
In the meantime, it’s nice to bask in the small victories. The IHR’s BART ad runs until the end of this month. And while it may not change the landscape, it’s certainly raised the blood pressure of social justice leftists.
To quote the great philosopher Martin Gore, “Thank the Lord for small mercies.”
Thursday is shaping up to be the Trump presidency’s “Gunfight at O.K. Corral.”
That day, the fates of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and much else, may be decided.
The New York Times report that Rosenstein, sarcastically or seriously in May 2017, talked of wearing a wire into the Oval Office to entrap the president, suggests that his survival into the new year is improbable.
Whether Thursday is the day President Donald Trump drops the hammer is unknown.
But if he does, the recapture by Trump of a Justice Department he believes he lost as his term began may be at hand. Comparisons to President Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre may not be overdone.
The Times report that Rosenstein also talked of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump suggests that Sen. Lindsey Graham had more than a small point on “Fox News Sunday”: “There’s a bureaucratic coup going on at the Department of Justice and the FBI, and somebody needs to look at it.”
Indeed, they do. And it is inexplicable that a special prosecutor has not been named. For while the matter assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller, to investigate any Trump collusion with Russia in hacking the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC, is serious, a far graver matter has gotten far less attention.
To wit, did an anti-Trump cabal inside the Department of Justice and the FBI conspire to block Trump’s election, and having failed, plot to bring down his presidency in a “deep state” coup d’etat?
Rosenstein’s discussion of wearing a wire into the Oval Office lends credence to that charge, but there is much more to it.
The story begins with the hiring by the Clinton campaign, though its law firm cutout, in June 2016, of the dirt-divers of Fusion GPS.
Fusion swiftly hired retired British spy and Trump hater Christopher Steele, who contacted his old sources in the Russian intel community for dirt to help sink a U.S. presidential candidate.
What his Russian friends provided was passed on by Steele to his paymaster at GPS, his contact in the Justice Department, No. 3 man Bruce Ohr, and to the FBI, which was also paying the British spy.
The FBI then used the dirt Steele unearthed, much of it false, to persuade a FISA court to issue a warrant to wiretap Trump aide Carter Page. The warrant was renewed three times, the last with the approval of Trump’s own deputy attorney general, Rosenstein.
Regrettably, Trump, at the request of two allies — the Brits almost surely one of them — has put a hold on his recent decision to declassify all relevant documents inside the Justice Department and FBI.
Yet, as The Wall Street Journal wrote Monday, “As for the allies, sometimes U.S. democratic accountability has to take precedence over the potential embarrassment of British intelligence.”
Thursday’s meeting between Trump and Rosenstein will coincide with the Judiciary Committee’s hearing into the charge by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that, as a 15-year-old, she was sexually assaulted by 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
This weekend brought fresh charges, from a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh, Deborah Ramirez, that at a drunken party in their freshman year, Kavanaugh exposed himself.
Kavanaugh has fired off a letter to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, calling the accusations “smears, pure and simple.”
Kavanaugh continued: “I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”
What is at stake in Thursday’s appearance by Kavanaugh and Ford is huge. A successful defense of his good name could mean Kavanaugh’s swift elevation to the high court, a historic victory for the GOP’s judicial philosophy, and the culmination of a decades-long campaign dating back to the Earl Warren era of the Supreme Court.
As for the judge himself, the issue is not just his behavior as a teenager and university student, but his credibility and honor as a man.
He has asked friends and allies to trust and believe him when he says that he is a victim of a character assassination that is rooted in ideology and lies.
Thus far, no credible individual has come forward to corroborate the charges against him when he was at Georgetown Prep or at Yale. And almost all who knew him testify to his character.
We are often told that the moment we are in has historic significance and will be long remembered. Yet, how many can still recall what the “resister” in the Trump White House or Cabinet wrote in his or her anonymous op-ed in The New York Times?
How Kavanaugh conducts himself Thursday, however, and whether he is elevated to the court, could decide the fate of constitutional conservatism and the Republican Congress in 2018.
Claiming that homosexuality and Christianity are incompatible, Rev. Paul Kalchik—a Catholic priest from Chicago’s North Side with blazing blue eyes, eager lips, and a warm, winning smile—recently burned an LGBTQ rainbow flag in the schoolyard next to his church. Along with seven or so followers, he did it in defiance of orders from higher-ups and claimed the act was a ritual “exorcism” of believers who tolerate the “gay lifestyle.”
After Kalchik was ordained as pastor of Resurrection Catholic Church in 2007, he claims he found all sorts of remnants that betokened a fruitier former era of fag-fetishist priests—there were rainbow-colored priestly vestments and rainbow-colored candles, all of which he quickly condemned to the great landfill in Hades with an almost simian level of pure masculine rage. But it was only recently that he found the gay church banner in storage. It featured a cross superimposed over a rainbow and had flown over the church’s altar in 1991. Kalchik now says he regrets the initial oversight: “It was just by accident that this banner that was made to celebrate all things gay…did not get destroyed when I first got here.”
Kalchik had announced in a church bulletin on September 2 that he planned to torch the flag on September 29. After local news outlets caught wind of the story, the archdiocese allegedly threatened him with “canonical penalties” if he proceeded to burn the flag. So instead of making a grand public display of it on the Feast of Saint Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Kalchik and some followers quietly burned the flag on September 14 right outside the church.
After the gay flag turned to ashes that were dumped in a compost heap, the Archdiocese of Chicago issued the following statement:
Archdiocese leadership previously contacted the pastor to notify him he could not move forward with that planned activity. We are following up on the situation. As Catholics, we affirm the dignity of all persons.
All persons? Even those filthy, germ-plagued sodomites? Really? Are you aware the Lord Jehovah affirms that they are an abomination?
Kalchik was allegedly instructed personally by Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich—who is reportedly very fag-friendly—not to burn the fag flag. According to Chris Pett, president of Dignity USA, an organization which encourages Catholics to embrace sodomites, Kalchik was “hijacking the parish and trampling on core Catholic values.” He called him an “renegade priest pursuing an extreme agenda.”
The fag-fighting priest told his critics to kick rocks:
I can’t sit well with people like Cardinal Cupich, who minimizes all of this. Excuse me, but almost all of the [abuse] cases are, with respect to priests, bishops and whatnot, taking and using other young men sexually. It’s definitely a gay thing….That banner and what it stood for doesn’t belong to the Archdiocese or Cardinal Cupich. It belongs to the people of this parish who paid for it. What have we done wrong other than destroy a piece of propaganda that was used to put out a message other than what the church is about?
Kalchik claims that he is a two-time victim of sexual abuse: first by a neighbor during childhood, then when he was 19 by a Catholic priest. He says that when he assumed leadership of his church, he had been preceded by a trio of “bad priests” who were “big in promoting the gay lifestyle.”
And then he splat the thick, gooey money shot all over the simpering pink faces of those who think it’s possible to simultaneously be gay and a Christian:
…scripture is crystal-clear. It’s against God’s law.
DING-DING-DING-DING! I’ve been saying this for decades. Anyone who thinks it’s possible to be a gay Christian might know something about being gay, but they know not a whit about Christianity.
Here’s what the Holy Book says:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. —Leviticus 20:13
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. —Leviticus 18:22
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. —1 Corinthians 6:9-11
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. —Romans 1:26-27
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine… —1 Timothy 1:8-10
So exactly what part of “Men who lie with men as they would with women should be put to death, and after death it gets even worse, because they will never go to heaven and instead will be punished eternally” didn’t you grasp there? How many more times do you have to hear it before it penetrates that granite skull of yours?
There are other biblical verses that say much the same thing but aren’t quite as down-your-throat-and-up-your-ass as those I cited. In 2 Kings 23:7, the Lord destroys “the houses of the male cult prostitutes.” Deuteronomy 22:5 forbids cross-dressing among either sex—this is, mind you, before the concept of “transgender” even existed. I think that one was invented about 11 years ago, if memory serves. And the passage about Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 doesn’t specify deviant sex acts, but it’s thought that the men of Sodom kept bugging Lot to deliver two male angels to them for the purposes of butt sex.
Apologists and revisionists and denialists will quibble over translations, as is their right. The fact is that until very recently, in nearly all sects of Christianity since its inception, faggin’ off was verboten. And since God decided to use the word “abomination” twice, it’s fair to believe that man-on-man action sickens him right down to the very depth of his divine guts.
So the flag-burning, fag-bashing priest is right: You can’t be a gay Christian. Pick one. Or neither. But you can’t pick both.