The Week’s Most Velocious, Ferocious, and Braggadocious Headlines
PRAISE RHESUS FOR A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST!
Not every country is lucky enough to be situated next door to Mexico. Indeed, illegal immigration would be far less of a problem in the U.S. if not for the marriage made in heaven of an agriculturally fertile nation with stuff that needs to be picked and an impoverished nation filled with exceptionally skilled pickers. Mexico may not have produced many Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, or disease-curing scientists, but hot damn when it comes to yanking a thing off another thing, Mexicans are undeniably the best.
Unfortunately for the people of Thailand, Mexicans would have to get their backs very wet to travel there for fieldwork. And sure, India lies right across the Bay of Bengal, but those laborers are only good for fertilization.
Speaking of which, India is one of the largest importers of coconuts in the world. Indians consume more than 12 million tons of coconuts a year. Considering that coconuts act as a laxative, one might question the wisdom of such mass consumption in a nation with no toilets. On the supply side, Thailand is the world’s No. 2 exporter of Gilligan fruit, second only to Indonesia (Thailand exports over 70,000 tons of coconuts a year). As a nation with a pedophile-based economy, it’s important for Thailand to stay competitive in the coconut game, especially with Jeffrey Epstein no longer pumping cash into the treasury.
Deprived of Mexicans, the Thais have been using monkeys to do the coconut picking. This has been going on for decades, but most Americans only became aware of the practice last week, when, following an exposé by PETA, shopping giants Wegmans, Costco, Food Lion, Stop & Shop, and Target agreed to stop carrying coconut products made by the Thai company Chaokoh—a leader in the field of monkey pickers.
The process of creating monkey farmhands is fascinating if not necessarily humane. Captive monkeys are trained from infancy to recognize a ripe coconut from an unripe one. Then they’re forced for days on end to learn how to “spin” a coconut (lacking the hand size to pluck one, monkeys need to spin it to twist it off at the stem). They’re then put through ground-level obstacle courses to time their ability to detach ripe coconuts hanging from ropes. The monkeys that graduate with honors not only become pros, but find themselves possessing more useful skills than the average University of California grad.
The lucky monkeys are then shackled to long chains and sent up into trees to do the work for real.
Chaokoh had previously pledged to abandon simian slavery, but an undercover PETA investigation revealed that whenever international monkey rights auditors showed up, the company would dress the furry little laborers in bonnets and dresses, stick them in prams, and pass them off as very ugly children.
PETA’s call for a boycott is getting pushback from Thai coconut growers, who point out that monkeys have no fear of heights, so using them in the tall trees reduces the risk of human injury (Thai men are very mindful of their own health and well-being, as evidenced by the nation’s insanely high cigarette consumption rate). Thai coconut growers claim that they treat the monkeys as family, which, grading on a curve, is a somewhat benign conceit in a nation with so much child buggering.
PETA, comprised as it is of leftists who want to flood the U.S. with illegal human pickers who can be abused and exploited in the worst possible conditions for the least possible pay, has pledged to pursue a ban on all Thai coconut products that come to your table straight from a monkey’s paw.
As for the monkeys, no word on whether they plan to unionize. While monkey trade unions don’t have a great success record, at the very least the meetings consist of far less poo-flinging than those held by SAG/AFTRA.
Hollywood loves interracial adoption. More often than not, the stories that make it to the big or small screen tell the tale of a loving white family that gets really, really lucky with their adopted black child, who, bolstered by the kind of support one only finds outside da ghetto, becomes a football star, a music icon, or a malformed catchphrase generator hooked to a dialysis machine.
There’ve been transracial adoption films that reverse the races, but those parents are rarely as fortunate (“Do all white boys age backwards, or just ours?”).
Still, the movie messaging on transracial adoption is uniformly positive.
The real-life messaging, not so much.
Remember Jennifer and Sarah Hart? They were the white lesbians who decided that being lesbian just wasn’t woke enough (these days, lesbianism is about as shocking as a nose ring). So they adopted six black kids (two sets of three siblings), because that’s the way to get Facebook likes! And indeed, the Harts practically lived on social media, with the proud moms posting daily about how brave and anti-racist they were to be raising the children of crackheads and felons.
Online, the Hart family was perfect. In real life, “my two mommies” were beating, starving, and torturing the children for fun. When neighbors reported the parents to CPS in March 2018 (and not for the first time), Jenn and Sarah piled the kids into the ol’ SUV and drove everyone off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean.
It was the Brady Bunch series finale if directed by David Cronenberg.
Last week, America saw the rebooted “Hart Bunch” with an urban twist. Sassy black mama Ariel Robinson took home the grand prize in last year’s season of the Food Network show Worst Cooks in America. Turns out being a terrible cook is the best thing that can be said about this water buffalo, who (also last year) adopted three white kids (two boys and a girl) to supplement the two biological children she and her husband already had.
Like the Harts, Robinson lived on social media, posting endlessly about how her “white children” have “white privilege,” and how she was the great racial equalizer in her family, making sure that her ofay devil kids learned to be “equal” to her black ones.
The similarities to the Hart case are striking, especially the fixation on hair (the Harts constantly posted about messing with their black kids’ hair, and Robinson obsessively posted about blackifying her white daughter’s hair). And the parallels don’t end there. Last week, Robinson and her husband were arrested for beating their little white girl to death. She was only 3 years old.
If there’s a lesson here, it might be that anybody, black or white, who sees a transracial adopted child as a trophy, as a means to flaunt wokeness and win social media influencer points, should never be allowed to adopt. Frankly, it’s probably a sound idea to mandate that if transracial adoptions are to happen at all, the parents should be banned from posting about it. A policy like that, which would quickly weed out the unbalanced, ideologically driven, attention-seeking homicidal lunatics, might just be the one social media ban that all good people could get behind.
THE EMPRESS JONES
If that last story was slightly depressing, this one should lighten the mood. Indeed, this is almost certainly the feel-good story of the month.
Kristen Gray has the kind of face you see in TV commercials when some hack producer is trying to convey “black pride.” Young woman, mocha skin, wildly natural nappy-ass hair, and a resting look of “I’m a proud black woman, behold my pride” permanently stamped across her smug kisser. Gray is lesbian, too, which means she’s exactly the kind of person who’d be featured in one of those “social justice” commercials for a product that has no need for it…the young, semi-attractive black lesbian buying a box of Cheez-It because dammit if Cheez-It stands for anything it’s social justice.
Gray blogs about her travels around the world, and her favorite thing to do is brag about how “countries of color” are so much better, so much more tolerant, than racist AmeriKKKa.
On Jan. 16, Gray posted a series of tweets about her yearlong stay in Bali. The crux of her tweetstorm was, Bali is a paradise for black Americans who want to live like the kings and queens they were before the white man stole them from Wakanda. Gray boasted of her lavish lifestyle, attainable only because of Bali’s Third World economy, which allows an average American to live quite comfortably. She invited other black Americans to join her, with the promise that “black Bali” was fast becoming the nation’s moneyed elite. She even gave instructions on how to skirt Indonesia’s Covid travel restrictions.
Gray went so far as to offer an e-book ($30) that touted the joys of “being Black in Bali,” emphasizing the “safety, low cost of living, luxury lifestyle, and queer friendly” environment (for $50 she gave personal consultations on how to make the move to Wakanda’s new Asian colony).
Sadly, Gray forgot one rather important lesson: That “I’m untouchable because I’m a proud black lesbian with a natural ’fro” routine doesn’t mean shit to Indonesians.
Her tweets spread like wildfire among Bali natives, who accused her of being a “gentrifier” and a “colonizer” and, best of all, privileged! Yes, Ms. Oppressed Black American was now being hit with every charge she’d previously lobbed at whites.
Gray, displaying the lack of introspection and self-awareness that is damn-near inborn in American blacks these days, responded to the criticism by (can you guess?) calling the Balinese “racists!” And the Balinese government responded by hauling her and her equally nappy girlfriend into detention, slapping Covid masks on ’em, and putting their proud black asses on the next flight back to the U.S.
Before departing Bali, Gray released a statement claiming that she was the victim of antigay prejudice, and that she was only being deported because of her race and sexual orientation. Because God forbid a black American should gain perspective about how the concept of “privilege” is subjective and transitory, and how notions of “colonizer,” “exploiter,” and “gentrifier” are not bound by the definitions of The New York Times.
Following her forced departure, Balinese Twitterers and Instagrammers ridiculed Gray for her unsuccessful attempt to use the “race card” and “LGBT card” to prevent her deportation.
And now poor Kristen Gray is back in Los Angeles, no longer living like a queen in a lush tropical jungle, exiled from paradise by the savages and peons who should’ve worshiped her skin color and sexual predilection. Roaming the streets like an average schmo, she’s forced to return to her previous life of picking apart everything straight white males do as “racist” and “homophobic,” ruing her fate as a captive in Nazi America, living better than 90% of the world but acting as though she’s Jean Valjean trapped between the walls of le Bagne de Toulon.
It’s a tragic ending, both for Gray and the millions of Americans who don’t mind the idea of sticking disgruntled blacks on a Third World island and abandoning them to rule the jungle like designer-clothed Tarzans.
Bali’s out, but perhaps Madagascar might be persuaded to pick up the slack.
THE NITTY GRITTY DIRT BANNED
In ancient times—like, twenty years ago—“racist” words were fairly easy to identify. Because they were racist words. And, being easily identified, they were successfully banned from the public square, which left black activists and “woke” whites looking for new targets.
If your blogging career at Mic or Ebony or Salon depends on hounding whites who say “nigger,” you’re just not gonna fill your daily quota of expository vomit (especially if Quentin Tarantino is off-limits for criticism).
Soon enough, leftist word cops were forced to go after words that sound like racist words. Niggardly fell quickly, as did the poor overeducated bastards foolish enough to use the word in daily life. Next to go was the Mandarin “stammer word” (as in the English “uh, um, er”) nèi ge, which, when pronounced properly, sounds like “nee-ga.” A USC professor lost his classroom over that one. Chink in the armor, spick-and-span, spook, nip, and coon soon followed.
Before long, illiterate Huffington Post hacks ran out of those kinds of words, too. So it was time to go after words that, while neither racist nor racist-sounding, have racist origins! From Cracked to BuzzFeed, from Upworthy to CNN, it was all-out war on words like cakewalk, master bedroom, blacklist, freeholder, hysterical (misogynist!), grandfathered, blackballed, gypped, and phrases like hip hip hooray (anti-Semitic!), sold down the river, no can do, and long time no see.
Sure, the woke literati couldn’t agree on the supposedly racist origins of those phrases (Upworthy claimed that “peanut gallery” is racist because “the nickname ‘peanut’ was given due to the fact that peanuts were introduced to America at the same time as the slave trade. Because of this, there was a connection drawn between black people and peanuts,” while CNN claimed that it’s racist because “the term dates back to the vaudeville era of the late 19th century and referred to the sections of the theater where Black people typically sat”), but who cares about accuracy when white people are using words!
But even the worst diarrhea eventually peters out, and in time, once every leftist site on the ’net had done its “racist word origins” piece, it looked like there might be no more mountains to ban.
Oh ye of little faith! The newest craze is to ban words that are falsely rumored to have racist origins. Last year, The Today show told its viewers to stop referring to chocolate sprinkles as “jimmies,” because the primarily East Coast term for little brown sprinkles comes from “Jim Crow.” That this is a patently false claim matters not. Even imaginary racism must be extirpated! Two months ago, the University of Michigan banned the word “picnic” because the word was originally used for the outdoor lunches that would accompany lynchings. “Pick a nigger” (to lynch) simply got shortened to “picnic” over time.
Even leftist sources like Snopes, PolitiFact, and Reuters agree that this is a 100% fake origin story (the word derives from the French piquer and nique), but it’s not like U Michigan has any responsibility to teach facts or anything.
And last summer, the BBC ordered its on-air talent to stop saying “nitty-gritty” because the term “is thought to refer to the detritus found in the bottom of transatlantic slave ships.”
Except no, it doesn’t. Someone at the BBC just made that shit up. And last week, after BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg was slammed for using the term during a Brexit podcast, new BBC Director-General Tim Davie did the unthinkable—actual research—and, after determining that the “racist origin” story was pure bollocks, he revoked the ban.
One small victory across the Atlantic. Heaven help Salon and Vox if such sanity spreads here.
MAYOR OF SIMPLETON
Portland mayor Ted Wheeler represents a new kind of American Democrat—the kind nobody likes (and that includes Democrats), but who keeps winning because voters fear what might replace him. L.A. mayor Garcetti is like that. No one has anything good to say about the man except that at least he’s not a George Soros-backed “black power” lunatic who advocates the complete dissolution of the police department (Garcetti merely advocates budget cuts, which is center-right on the current Democrat curve).
In November, Wheeler became the first Portland mayor in two decades to win a second term. Not because anyone cares for him—the city’s Antifa thugs consider him too “right-wing” because he doesn’t let them murder at will, and the city’s decent working folks view him as a weakling who allowed downtown to be turned into a permanent riot zone. But Wheeler’s opponent last November, Sarah Iannarone, was a literal murderous communist. This is a woman who’s proud of the fact that in 2016 she cast a ballot that was comprised of the following write-in candidates: Ho Chi Minh, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and Vladimir Lenin. Iannarone launched her 2020 campaign by declaring “I am ANTIFA!” while wearing a skirt featuring the faces of Stalin, Guevara, and Mao.
Faced with the choice between an ineffectual weakling and a violence-endorsing would-be genocidal maniac, Portlanders stuck with Wheeler. And Wheeler is stuck with Portland, a city that basically only chose him because the alternative was Betty Beria.
Antifa and BLM terrorists have resumed their nightly riots, smashing the Oregon Democratic Party headquarters, an ICE facility, and other buildings in Portland’s downtown. First responders were attacked, and residents who’d hoped that a Biden win would mean they could venture outside again at night realized that besiegement is to be their “new normal” for the foreseeable future.
Ordinary Portlanders who are pissed off about Covid restrictions on local businesses are equally unhappy with Mr. Lesser Evil. Last week, as Wheeler was dining maskless, a local attorney decided to record yet another example of a Democrat Covid lockdowner violating his own regulations. As the mayor was leaving McMenamins Pub, the lawyer—Cary Cadonau—approached and heckled Wheeler for eating indoors with no mask. The mayor responded by invoking that odd bit of lockdowner logic that because he’d been eating in a structure that had been built outside the restaurant, it qualifies as “outdoor dining” because a building isn’t a building if it was built around outdoor seating.
Like Wonder Woman’s plane, yes there are walls but you’re not supposed to see them. In architecture, this is called a “Harvey Rabbit” structure.
When the disgruntled Cadonau refused to back off, and when the mayor judged that the man was closer than six feet away, he pepper sprayed his constituent, because in Portland that “six feet of distance” thing applies only to mayors, not store owners and residents who deal with nightly violations of their personal space.
Needless to say, Antifa drubbed Wheeler for using pepper spray, calling him a fascist who demands protection for himself while leaving poor, defenseless rioters at the mercy of cops who don’t let them enter private residences to murder people. And the right (or what passes for it in Portland) condemned Wheeler for his hypocrisy in demanding his own “safe space” while depriving downtown residents of the right to have theirs.
Funny enough, Cadonau has since apologized to Wheeler, most likely due to the realization that in a town as hopeless as Portland, with a mayor who’s only mayor because the alternative is literal death by Stasi, residents might as well let the poor bastard have a night out at the invisible pub, where he can try to forget, if only for a few hours, just how fucked he actually is.
GSTAAD—Martha Gellhorn was a long-legged blond American writer and journalist who became Papa Hemingway’s third and penultimate wife. She got her start when H.G. Wells, then 70 years old, fell for her rather badly, advised her on her writing, and paid her a small retainer to keep him up to date on American trends. She was 27 at the time. Wells had met Martha at the White House during the Franklin Roosevelt years before the war, Eleanor having been friends with Martha’s mother, who was known around St. Louis for having a mad crush on the First Lady.
Yes, dear readers, sex existed even back then, but people didn’t tweet each other about it, they just did it. I never met Martha Gellhorn, although she lived a few doors down from me in Cadogan Square, and the times I spotted her—a very old lady carrying some plastic bags—I was not about to interrupt her routine with questions about my hero Papa, and why she disliked him so. Back in her youth Martha was staying in Wells’ beautiful house in Regent’s Park and the great man, potbellied, red-faced, and short, had amorous fantasies about her, but luck was on her side. Wells had Moura Budberg, Maxim Gorky’s ex-mistress, as “la régulière,” so H.G.’s amorous wishes remained just that.
Guess what happened next? The old lecher ordered Martha to be more disciplined—up early for breakfast, regular hours behind the typewriter—drills most youths regard as useless. The old boy insisted, so in order to get back at him the young woman went into the garden and banged away on her machine for a while, and before lunch she had produced what Wells thought a masterpiece. Her London agent sold it right away—to The Spectator, where else, but here comes the bad news. The masterpiece was called “Justice at Night,” and it was an account of a lynching of a 17-year-old black sharecropper in Mississippi, near the Louisiana border.
Martha and a French man-friend were witnesses to the horror. She used a neutral voice and kept her emotions out of the piece, thus doubling the abomination as far as the reader was concerned. The Speccie paid fifty dollars for the article, fifty prewar dollars, which might give ideas to the young whippersnappers contributing today to the best and oldest magazine in the world. I say furrgettaboutit. Martha wrote how the victim “made a terrible sound, like a dog whimpering…” and described the terrible smell of kerosene the poor youngster was doused in. The Spectator piece had everyone who counts up in arms. Reader’s Digest bought the rights and many magazines reprinted the piece. Martha Gellhorn was famous overnight. She was blond, tall, and smart, had great legs, was a friend to great men and presidents, and could write better than most men. There was only one problem: Martha Gellhorn had driven through the South once on her way to California, but had never been to Mississippi, had never witnessed a lynching, and had never heard a victim making terrible sounds like a whimpering dog. The closest she’d ever got to the horror she had artfully described was when she got a lift from a truck driver who bragged about having been to a “necktie” party a few years before.
I read somewhere that Martha did not return The Spectator’s check, in fact used it to travel to Paris in order to research a novel. So what else is new? Left-wing journalists are infamous for their lies, and Martha was no exception. What’s one made-up lynching when Walter Duranty of The New York Times lied about 5 million Ukrainian deaths through starvation ordered by Stalin? As Lionel Shriver wrote a couple of weeks ago, The New York Times is not to be trusted. I say it’s far worse than that; the paper has replaced Pravda in manufactured news, as in the 1619 Project, which even Baron Munchausen would have not dared invent.
Martha’s problems with Papa Hemingway were, I think, that she was jealous of his talent, whereas her gift for fiction was limited to the Mississippi lynching and the Czech novel A Stricken Field. She constantly put him down when the great man would brag or bully people, which was a good thing, but she did it for revenge, not because it was the wrong thing for Papa to do. Mind you, she was physically very brave, was active until the end, and covered wars with the best of them, including Robert Capa, who took the greatest combat picture ever, of a Spanish volunteer at the precise moment he’s hit by a fascist bullet; for that also turned out to be a lie, as the picture was posed by the charming lefty Capa and his buddies.
Although Martha’s name became a byword for courage on the battlefield—something that must have rubbed Papa the very wrong way—like many women on the left she was drawn to strong and very rich men, General James Gavin and Laurance Rockefeller, among many others. She committed suicide in 1998 because of failing health, a brave thing to do. Although this is pure supposition, were she alive today she’d be pro-E.U., the profoundly antidemocratic institution that has mismanaged everything except the salaries of the elites it employs; she would be anti-Brexit and anti-Boris, although she would have tried to seduce him when he was mayor. She would have championed BLM and Biden, and written Der Stürmer-like editorials against Trump.
There is an ugly pox plaguing the travel industry, and it is not COVID-19. For over a year, up to 90 percent of the “calls for submission” on travel sites like Matador solicited writers from the “LGBT Community,” and “Writers of Color,” or sought contributors for LGBT/BIPOC travel guides. Last May, they stopped soliciting submissions due to COVID travel restrictions, but their editorial preferences are, or were, clear.
Not unlike COVID-19, which attacked senior populations with compromised immune systems and preexisting conditions, this disease attacks ungrounded young adults with compromised value systems.
A new template for travel writing promoted by activist travel workshops and “travel universities” targets millennials and their Gen-Z successors: Begin with an attention-grabbing lead from a “foreign” location, then segue to a sordid confession (the more cringeworthy the better). Qualify the self-mortification with a snarky attack on anyone who refuses to support the showcased affliction, and finish with a summary acknowledging the “startling” lead.
Take, for example, the self-described online “travel hub,” Australia-based Global Hobo. In one alum’s “yarn” (“F—ing My Oppressors”), a self-described “badass Asian chick” who claims to have spent “years educating people on their white privilege” cannot “overcome the hurdles” of her sexual attraction to white men.
The majority of “tales” or “yarns” are along the lines of: “Yakuza, Spoiled Carpets and Big Cash—the World of a Gaijin Hostess in Tokyo,” “The A–Z of Bali F—boys,” or “I Got High With My Parents in Kenya (And They Didn’t Know).”
Apologists might claim that the template is merely a “woke” progression of the classic reminiscence of a travel writer “dining out on one’s own faux pas” as it were: Introduce an exotic locale, segue to a humorous anecdote that is meant to entertain, inform, and teach, and then close with actionable advice. They would be wrong.
The messaging promoted by these millennial “yarns” exceeds the immediate gag-a-maggot images of washing out a menstrual cup while “suffering” the squeals of slaughtered pigs from the nearby abattoir; or “foolishly” opting for alcohol instead of cocaine, getting blind drunk, raped, and waking up on a bench in a bus stop. Or getting stoned on edible hashish and getting your wallet stolen.
To insinuate that such puerile and irresponsible activities reflect acceptable behaviors for young travelers abroad is morally reprehensible.
A casual web search reveals: Gay Travel Magazine, Black Travel Magazine, Pink Pangea, and Women on the Road (She Explores). There is even worse travel advice out there, but the names project the messaging—grievance collecting and victimhood. The sites pretend to serve communities of undervalued souls unable to rise above “cooked-in oppression” without the “solidarity” of like-minded sufferers. The virus of identity politics is promoted as a substitute for life lessons.
These would-be progressive opinion molders and “thought-leaders” aren’t interested in sharing travel experiences, moments of discovery, or even teaching opportunities. They exist to accuse historical “oppressors,” to create a following burdened with insecurities that border on psychosis. They rage at the cruel unfairness of being born female or beg for forgiveness for being born male. They heap calumnies against heaven for being born “white” or “black” or “brown” or for being born at all. They assign shame for having been raised “hetero” or “American” or “____” (fill in the blank with the toxic “poor me” identity of choice).
Their naive acolytes are then inflicted “in the name of empowerment and equality” on foreign cultures as militants on a mission. Young women are encouraged to travel solo, ignore local dress codes, publicly exhibit their sexual independence, and confront patriarchal repression and misogyny. Editors wink at border infractions, gloss over drug abuse, and promote low-level drug smuggling, while downplaying the severity of third-world prison systems. They promote “beg packing”— traveling backpacker-style, begging for handouts to support a carefree vagabond existence. They minimize the very real risks and dangers inherent in “couch surfing” (using apps to hook up with strangers for a “free” night’s stay) and endorse stealing food from communal refrigerators as a legitimate, clever, and vaguely humorous means of supplementing limited funds.
Young travelers lucky enough to return unharmed to write about their experiences are touted as role models for successive classes of “world savvy dirtbags.” Young travelers who fell prey to robbery, rape, or worse are clucked over and canonized as martyrs.
Wrongheaded promotion of risky behavior abroad is unconscionable.
Traveling “solo” is not safe, and never has been. Intoxication to the point of losing control, even “when among ‘new friends,’” is irresponsible and stupid. Stealing food from fellow travelers only marginally better off than the thief is inexcusable. Feigning poverty in third-world countries whose only gleam of hope may be a burgeoning tourist industry, to eke out a “carefree” vagabond lifestyle, is predatory and selfish to the point of villainy. Flaunting local laws to demonstrate liberation from male chauvinism, or to engage in illicit sexual congress, or to indulge in illegal intoxicants, can result in jail, and if American prisons are horrible places to spend one’s youth, many foreign lockups are absolutely hellish.
Any of the above behaviors, including violating a visitor’s visa by trying to work or beg to fund further travel, can invite violence, jail, and/or expulsion—true “victimhood.”
Travel is a gift and a privilege, not a right. When the world opens back up, we can all think more carefully about why we travel and adjust our behaviors accordingly. Do not take travel for granted. Travel with an open mind, within your means, and be careful not to catch or spread harmful viruses—biological or philosophical.
Thanks to my pessimism, I am generally quite cheerful (it is optimists who, because of their illusions, are most prey to misery). I do not expect that all the difficulties of life will suddenly be resolved, and am not even sure that, if they were, life would not become intolerable. Man, after all, is a problem-creating animal, possibly to keep his natural boredom at bay. I suspect that the conception of the perfect life that many people have is of a perpetual Caribbean cruise aboard one of those vast white ships that dwarfs everywhere it docks, which serves five meals a day to the already overnourished and which allows passengers two or three hours to be exploited by the trinket salesmen wherever it has put into port. A few weeks of such “perfection” would be more than enough for almost anyone; much longer, and squabbles would break out, factions form, and even murders committed. As it is, I wonder what the divorce rate is after such cruises; certainly it rises after the Christmas holidays, as a mortgage broker friend of mine tells me. January is his best month for business.
But cheerful as I generally am, I cannot escape a feeling of general gloom at the moment. I cannot claim to have suffered personally: I have not been ill myself, none of my friends and acquaintances have died in the epidemic, I have not (so far) experienced any economic difficulties, and my way of life, always having been somewhat retiring, has continued much as before. My social life was never much of a whirl, I dislike parties anyway, and I long ago learned that once you have been to one orgy, you have been to them all. Compared with a good book, orgies are terribly boring. I miss restaurants and exhibitions and small dinner parties of no more than six, but not so much that I feel that life without them loses its meaning. Yet even I cannot help but partake of the general morosity that has overtaken the Western world.
I was holed up recently in my very isolated house. The snow came, froze, melted, and froze again. This meant that my wife and I could not leave, for the track from the house to the road to the nearest shop six miles away is steep and full of hairpin bends, and our car is of the kind that 80-year-old ladies use to do a spot of shopping in town once every two weeks. A friend of mine once said that he was thinking of buying such a car for his wife so that she could go round the garden in it.
We soon began to run out of fresh food and had to ration ourselves. It became a challenge to produce good meals from very few ingredients. It required forethought, imagination, and self-control. Far from detracting from my life, however, the need to exercise them added something to it. It gave me a sense of achievement, sometimes almost of triumph, when I concocted something that was more than merely edible. (Many years ago, when my wife and I were very busy in full-time employment and had not had the time to shop, I had to scour the house for something to eat and came up with an unexpectedly delicious dish from the only ingredients I found: smoked oysters on crumpets. I told my wife, who is French, that this was an old traditional English dish. Another time I was stuck in a Moscow airport in a blizzard. My fellow passenger was Dr. Norman Sartorius, then head of the psychiatric division of the World Health Organization, a most brilliant and amusing man. We had nothing to eat and I went in search of something. In those days, it was not easy to find food impromptu in Moscow, but eventually, after scouring the airport, I managed to obtain some sardines and cashew nuts. I returned to Dr. Sartorius and we began to eat with surprising relish. He told me that during the war (he was a Yugoslav) the Partisans had a saying: What you’ve eaten, they can’t take away from you. In the morning, having shared a hotel room with him, Dr. Sartorius and I were put on a flight to Helsinki because the direct flight to London had been canceled. “Hence the expression to vanish into Finnair,” said Dr. Sartorius, uttering perhaps the most brilliant pun I have ever heard, all the more impressive because English was his nth language.)
It occurred to me during my enforced confinement to my house that perhaps abundance is not quite as desirable as we usually suppose that it is, for it encourages us to take everything for granted and therefore lessen the appreciation of what we have. I do not advocate real penury, of course, such that one goes hungry or cold; but when I look back, I remember a time when people still mended clothes and many fewer things were disposable than now, when fruits were available only in season, and when many comestibles that are now everyday items were considered luxuries, and I am far from certain that this comparative poverty was impoverishment in any real sense. A child might then have derived more pleasure from a single present than a child derives from twenty presents now. There is, after all, a law of diminishing returns in the pleasures afforded by consumption or possession—except, perhaps, among real collectors and connoisseurs.
The strange thing is, however, that—except for very few among us who are sufficiently self-disciplined—as soon as abundance is offered us, even if we know that most of it is actually superabundance and of no real value to us whatever, we grasp it with both hands and think, “This is the life!” We think we are living richly because we can choose among fifteen different mustards or seventeen different vinegars.
Alas, I am no model of frugality. For example, I love passion fruit and never resist it when I see it, though it has to be brought from Colombia or Vietnam (an astonishing feat of organization, when you come to think of it, which you rarely do). However, I tell myself that I am assisting the passion fruit growers of those countries, who would languish in poverty without the custom of the self-indulgent such as I, and that therefore to deny myself would be to cause suffering. Yes, eating passion fruit is an act of charity.
Theodore Dalrymple’s latest book is Around the World in the Cinemas of Paris, Mirabeau Press.
As soon as the Senate received the lone article of impeachment accusing President Donald Trump of “incitement of insurrection” in the Jan. 6 mob assault on the Capitol, Rand Paul rose to object.
The Senate, he said, has no right to try a private citizen, which Trump now is. Thus, what we are about to do is flatly unconstitutional.
Forty-five of 50 Republican members agreed with Paul’s motion.
“This vote indicates it’s over. The trial is all over,” said Paul. “If you voted that (the Senate trial is) … unconstitutional, how in the world would you ever vote to convict somebody for this?”
Consistency says you would not.
Susan Collins of Maine, one of five Republicans who voted against Paul’s motion, agreed that the vote portends the final vote on conviction.
“Do the math,” Collins said. “It’s extraordinarily unlikely the president will be convicted.”
Rand Paul may have just derailed the second impeachment of Donald Trump.
Chief Justice John Roberts, the constitutional officer designated to preside over Senate impeachment trials, has said he will not preside over this latest trial of the ex-president. With Roberts seeing no constitutional duty, and declining the honor, his replacement as the presiding officer will be Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the longest-serving Democrat and the president pro tempore of the Senate.
But Leahy is viscerally hostile to Trump and one of a Democratic bloc that voted twice last January to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors. How will it look to the world if this partisan is installed as both judge and juror at the trial of his political enemy?
Welcome to Zimbabwe.
Does the liberal establishment, now back in power and controlling the House, Senate and presidency, not see how this is all going to look in the history books, generations hence?
Blinded by hatred of Trump, enraged by the mob that stormed the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi’s House, in a rush to judgment, without hearing a single Trump witness and without letting his lawyer offer a defense, impeached, i.e., indicted, Donald Trump for “incitement of insurrection.”
But how could Trump have incited the riot and the attack on the Capitol when the mob swept up the stairs before Trump finished speaking a mile away? And he would end his rally remarks by urging the crowd to march to the Hill “peacefully and patriotically.”
We have subsequently learned that plans and plots were being hatched days before the assault on the Capitol began.
Was the Trump White House, or Trump, privy to those plots?
In August 1974, it was a near certainty that the House would vote to impeach Richard Nixon. But after the president resigned, the House did not impeach, and Ford pardoned Nixon so the country could move on.
The rage of the establishment at being deprived of its revenge against Nixon who had turned the Silent Majority against it, not unlike today, knew no bounds. And, though history has vindicated Ford, his pardon of Nixon precipitated a plunge in his poll numbers.
Half a century on, however, history says Ford did the right thing.
Why then are the Democrats continuing with this exercise in vengeance?
They want Trump convicted so that he will be prohibited from ever again holding public office. The establishment fears that Trump could make a comeback, win the Republican primaries in 2024, become the nominee, and return in triumph as president.
They are determined to abort that possibility. Many openly admit it.
What does that say about the liberal establishment’s love of democracy when they would disqualify, in advance, the largest vote-getter their opposition party ever had, out of fear he might come back to win the presidency as he did in 2016?
“Trust the people!” was a campaign slogan made famous by George Wallace. Our national establishment prattles endlessly on about its devotion to democracy, but it does not trust the people.
But the establishment is going to pay a price for trying to squeeze the last ounces of juice out of this rotting fruit. President Joe Biden’s call to unity are being drowned out by Democratic howls for a trial, conviction and banishment.
This effort to convict and disqualify Trump from running again tells us more about the people behind it than it does about Trump.
For the odds are slim at best that Trump would or could, at 78, win the nomination and the presidency a second time, as Grover Cleveland did in 1892.
Yet, a fearful establishment does not want to take the chance.
For all the babbling about “democracy” we have heard in recent days, the establishment wants to eliminate the possibility that the people could rise up, and, horror of horrors, elect Trump once more.
You can smell the fear.
Having run out of international con women to promote or innocent biological weapons researchers to accuse, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof is banging on about a spectacularly guilty quadruple murderer who — according to Kristof — “is very likely innocent.”
In this belief, he is opposed by more than a dozen courts, including the California Supreme Court, the infamous 9th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Joining Kristof’s crusade are Kim Kardashian and the usual pro-criminal misfits. (At least Ivanka is no longer making criminal justice decisions for the White House!)
On June 4, 1983, a Chino Hills, California, couple and two children were hacked to death by a perpetrator using a hatchet, an ice pick and a hunting knife. Doug and Peggy Ryen, both 41 years old, had been chopped, slashed and stabbed 37 and 33 times, respectively. Their 10-year-old daughter, Jessica, had 46 wounds, and a visiting neighbor, 11-year-old Christopher Hughes, had 25. Some of the victim’s body parts had been fully amputated. The Ryens’ 8-year-old son, Josh, miraculously survived, despite a slit throat and hatchet blows to his head.
Christopher’s father discovered the nightmarish scene the next morning, when he came to pick up his son for church.
In 1985, a unanimous jury convicted Kevin Cooper, a violent rapist, career criminal and escaped mental patient, of the murders and sentenced him to death. His story illustrates why more prisoners on death row die of natural causes than execution.
One year before the Chino Hills slaughter, Cooper was released from a Pennsylvania prison, where he’d been serving time for a string of burglaries. In short order, Cooper violently kidnapped and raped an underage girl who’d interrupted him in the middle of yet another burglary, stabbing her in the eye with a screwdriver.
He was sent to a state psychiatric hospital, escaped and fled to Los Angeles, where he was soon convicted of two more burglaries and incarcerated in a men’s prison in Chino. Unaware of his criminal and psychiatric history, prison authorities mistakenly housed Cooper in a low-security wing. He escaped on June 2, 1983, and made his way to a furnished, unoccupied house just 50 yards from the Ryens’ home. There, he spent two days hiding out, watching the news about his escape, and calling friends, asking for money to get out of Chino.
On June 4, the night of the murders, Cooper fled to Mexico, checking into a hotel in Tijuana, about 130 miles south of Chino Hills, at 4:30 p.m. the next day. A few days after the murders, the Ryens’ stolen station wagon was found in a church parking lot in Long Beach, California. Cigarette butts in the car were identified as prison-issued Role-Rite tobacco and rolling papers, unique to the Chino prison. The butts also matched those found in Cooper’s hideaway house.
In Mexico, Cooper introduced himself to an American couple as “Angel Jackson,” and became a deckhand on their sailboat for a trip up the California coast. At a stop in Pelican Cove, near Santa Barbara, the three of them joined another couple for dinner on their sloop. Later that night, “Angel” returned to their hosts’ boat and raped the wife at knifepoint.
The rape victim and her husband called the police, and “Angel” was arrested. (He said the sex was consensual.) While at the sheriff’s office to give her statement, the wife noticed a “Wanted for Murder” poster with a picture of her rapist. “Angel Jackson” was identified as Kevin Cooper and sent back to San Bernardino to face charges for the Chino Hills massacre six weeks earlier.
Among the hundreds of pieces of evidence used to convict Cooper for the Ryen murders were:
— Shoe prints on a sheet in the Ryens’ master bedroom and on a spa cover outside the house. The prints, in Cooper’s shoe size, were made by a Pro-Ked Dude shoe — the shoes issued to Chino prison inmates and not available to the general public. They matched footprints in the unoccupied house where Cooper had been squatting for two days before the murders.
— A bloody hatchet found near the Ryens’ home that was identified by two of the absentee homeowners as having come from their house. The sheath to the hatchet was still in the bedroom where Cooper had slept for two nights.
— A drop of blood in the Ryens’ hallway that was consistent with Cooper’s rare blood type, establishing that the murderer was an African American.
— Luminol tests revealing a large quantity of blood in a shower where Cooper had been hiding.
Cooper’s groupies ignore all this evidence — and more! — and invent fanciful alternative theories of the crime. As always, they demand endless DNA testing.
Why not? DNA’s use for identification purposes wasn’t discovered until 1984. The first time DNA evidence was ever admitted in an American courtroom was in 1987. Consequently, if a single piece of evidence that was merely “consistent” with the defendant’s profile in the 1980s turns out not to match the defendant under more rigorous testing 40 years later, it’s a cheap Get Out of Jail Free card. And if the DNA matches? No harm, no foul.
So, in addition to nonstop frivolous appeals, Cooper’s advocates took up the cry for DNA testing, insisting that the DNA would prove him an innocent man, “framed” for murders he did not commit! Asked by CBS News if he would stop fighting and submit to his execution if the DNA was his, Cooper said, “That’s right. Because see, I say this with all the confidence in the world: I, Kevin Cooper, was never inside the home that I now know is the Ryen home.”
Guess whose DNA it was?
The California Department of Justice DNA Laboratory at Berkeley definitively established that Cooper’s DNA was in:
— a bloodstain inside the Ryen home;
— the cigarette butts found inside the Ryens’ stolen station wagon;
— a bloody T-shirt found near the Ryen home, which also contained Doug Ryen’s DNA.
And guess who hasn’t given up demanding more tests, more appeals and more investigations of their preposterous theories of the crime? Well, yes, obviously Kevin Cooper, the mass murderer himself, but also, Nick Kristof, the most easily fooled man in America.
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mr. Knightley, Dr. Lydgate, Edward Casaubon, Will Ladislaw, and Daniel Deronda are excellent examples of well-rounded and believable male literary inventions with a variety of qualities of character. Portia, Beatrice, Miranda, and Viola are excellent examples of brave, intelligent, and virtuous women, while Lady Macbeth, Regan, and Goneril are equally good examples of wicked women with the added factor, in the case of Lady Macbeth, that she is even regarded with a degree of human sympathy in her wickedness. Shakespeare also wrote a poem treating the story of the rape of Lucretia, the wife of a Roman aristocrat, by the King’s son. Rembrandt, an artist famous for his paintings of marital intimacy, especially with his own wives, produced two paintings of the victim. Seldom (especially in the second version, painted in 1666) have the anguish and shame of a rape victim been more tenderly evoked or better understood. The remarkable thing about these very well-known creations is that they were all created by writers, a playwright, and an artist of the opposite gender to themselves. To take it further, Deronda and Shylock are created by writers who were not Jewish, and Othello is created by a writer who was neither black nor a convert to Christianity from Islam.
Modern orthodoxies might, however, insist that they shouldn’t exist. In Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race, the thesis is that it is futile to speak to white people about what it is like to be black in Western democracies because the simple fact of not being black disqualifies one from the possibility of understanding black experience and, therefore, from having a worthwhile opinion. A similar logic is often applied to the proposition of men being able to understand or hold opinions about female experience.
This being the case, how did Rembrandt, Jane Austen, George Eliot, and William Shakespeare, along with a host of other successful writers, manage to pull off the trick of evoking or inventing such believable characters, thus giving the lie to such thinking? Surely it is a combination of two things. Firstly, the intense familiarity with the opposite sex that being social and sexual animals affords us. For example, most women have one or many of the following—a father, a brother, a male sexual partner, a son, a male friend. Secondly, we have the human aptitude for imagination afforded by the unique quality of self-awareness. This means that, although not all humans do it, it is relatively easy for us to think ourselves into the skins of those with a different skin color, religion, status, or sex. Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but space travel is hugely advanced and regular shuttles have been running for a long time. It is impossible to conceive (pun intended) us without our being constantly in each other’s orbit and being the very opposite to estranged aliens or alienated strangers.
I’m all in favor of the celebratory French dictum “Vive la différence!” For the heterosexual majority the ever-renewed joy of sexual relation resides in the mystery of the otherness of their partners and mates and the fact that the two sexes complement each other to make the complete human wholeness.
However, this can be taken too far. Men and women are from the same sexually reproducing species, and therefore, in sexual relations with each other biological imperatives often encourage lifelong pair-bonds. As a result, sexual relation is the extant bedrock of most of our society. All of this, in fact, leads to an astonishing intimacy. Our other-gendered partners could not be less alien to us as, in a sense, they are us, being part of our wholeness. One can play here with the various meanings of the verb to know. If a couple know each other in the supremely intimate biblical sense, it is pretty likely that they will also know what makes each other tick. That being the case, how could we not have a very close acquaintance with each other? By definition of what sex is, what in the world do we study, whether we like it or not, more than our sexual partners? We may say different things but, for the most part, we speak the same human languages.
Given such intense and inevitable familiarity, a small effort of imaginative sympathy is bound to give intelligent and sensitive people a very good understanding of what motivates the opposite sex. To return to race or religion, that same imaginative sympathy can be applied in exactly the same way. Before we are black or white we are human; hopefully a statement that is the very opposite of racist. When Shakespeare created Othello or wrote Shylock’s “If you prick us do we not bleed” speech, he accessed a black man’s and a Jew’s consciousness by means of a humanity he held in common with them and perfectly understood their plight. Imagination triumphed and our human sameness, rather than demographic characteristics and differences, was insisted and focused on.
You could argue that such imaginative versatility is one of the very sophisticated qualities that distinguish our civilization, one of the jewels in its crown that lead to our ability to embrace considerable diversity within its aegis. So why is it that that very excellent quality is so under attack? What is to be gained from insisting so vehemently and so angrily that there are impassable obstacles in the way at the borders leading to the foreign lands of the other sex or of other races and religions, or that common humanity is trumped by demographic differences?
Who profits and what is driving those who prefer to propagate the myths of antagonism and alienation over the obvious truths of familiarity and commonality? The attempt to drive a wedge between the sexes, on whose happy relations we literally depend for our lives, might seem like an assassination attempt on the human race.
There is a clue in the very particular way chosen to describe human history here:
“The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.” —‘The Communist Manifesto,’ Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Some people, then and now, profit from sowing discord and division (then it was class; now it is class, gender, race, and religion) because such false accounts of reality, configured entirely in terms of antagonism, exploitation, grievance, and alienation, afford opportunities and excuses to live out angry dramas and gain power based on the unjustified assumption that they are true. So habituated are we now to preferring to see things in terms of such antagonisms that we are almost dependent on the hits of outrage endorphins they give us and find it difficult to imagine weaning ourselves off them and seeing things in any other way. To see if this is true you have only to watch news programs where virtually every item is routinely and unthinkingly configured in terms of who has been aggrieved by whom and who owes apology and compensation to whom. Division triumphs, and this is why we are no longer allowed to know each other and be friends.
Tuesday isn’t just for tacos anymore. Yesterday was Joe Biden’s Equity Tuesday when he highlighted his administration’s extensive plans for upping racial “equity” by undermining the 14th Amendment’s promise of “equal protection of the laws.”
“Equity” has become the dog-whistle term used to alert the Woke that you intend to deliver to them the equality of outcome they desire rather than the equality of opportunity they deserve. Politicians who laud “equity” are, in effect, inevitably promising racial quotas at the expense of the careers of competent white men and their families.
Granted, America has already been doing exactly that for the 52 years of the Affirmative Action Era. But the Biden administration promises to do it harder, much harder.
For some years now, the buzzword “equity” has been oozing out of the lowbrow fever swamps of the Schools of Education, where it had emerged as the politically correct replacement for the time-honored but therefore now-problematic term “equality.”
To the Woke, the only acceptable meaning for “equality” is that they should be handed wealth equal to what you and yours have earned.
But many Americans believe in equality of opportunity rather than in equality of outcome. This makes arguing about equality a more or less fair fight, which is not what the Woke want. They hate it when you tell them you favor equality of opportunity rather than of outcome.
Also, “equality” sounds rather mathematical, and math is racist. “Equity,” in contrast, is moralistic. The Woke aren’t too good at math, but they are unrivaled at moralizing about why they deserve your money.
So they’ve junked their once sacred virtue of egalite in favor of “equity,” which they’ve predefined as meaning that they are good and must get more cash and that you are bad and must ante up.
Thus, the word equality is falling out of fashion. For example, Harvard economist Raj Chetty has recently changed the name of his formerly au courant Equality of Opportunity Project to Opportunity Insights.
Hence, the rise in popularity of the word “equity,” a confusing but pleasing term that has connotations of fairness, justice, law, investments, and homeownership. “Equity” has traditionally had so many different technical definitions—a branch of law that was once distinct from the common law; the common stock of a corporation; or the value of a property above the amount of its mortgage—that it makes the person using the word sound smart, while disarming the confidence of listeners. (“She must be using ‘equity’ in one of those weird ways that educated people use. I’d better just nod along and not ask any questions so nobody will notice I don’t understand.”)
A cartoon popular with nice white lady schoolteachers illustrates the current distinction between the bad old concept of equality and the good new ideal of equity. It shows three freeloaders undocumented ticket-holders trying to watch a Major League Baseball game by sneaking peeks over the outfield fence by each standing on a box. But, under Equality, the balding father is too moronic to notice that his smallest son still can’t see.
Under Equity, however, the more childlike races are given extra booster boxes to raise them up. This notion of lifting up the racially immature thrills nice white lady schoolteachers no end.
Curiously, if taken literally, the cartoon would seem to imply that the fathers ought to be responsible for forgoing their own convenience to help their deprived sons. But instead, everybody knows that what the cartoon really proves is The White Man Must Pay.
Although “equity” jargon started out in pink-collar seminars, it has spread to the commanding heights of the power structure.
The day before the election, for example, Kamala Harris tweeted herself narrating in her grating voice a humiliatingly awful animation about mountain-climbing equity. After all, everybody knows that the only thing holding back blacks from winning all the mountain-climbing championships (climbers do have championships, right?) is white racism.
Yet, the artists, and perhaps the vice president as well, appear to have never gotten more than ten feet off the ground without the aid of an escalator.
You owe it to yourself to watch this video:
If you want, you can mute the vice president’s thin, braying voice-over and less painfully read her words here:
“So there’s a big difference between equality and equity. Equality suggests, ‘Oh, everyone should get the same amount.’ The problem with that—not everybody’s starting out from the same place. So, if we’re all getting the same amount but you started out back there and I started out over here…you’re still going to be that far back behind me…. It’s about giving everyone the resources and the support they need, so that everyone can be on equal footing and then compete on equal footing.”
But do watch the video: It’s wonderfully lame.
Kamala’s cartoon depicts a black mountain climber as being too stupid to follow the trail to the cliff chosen by his smarter white partner. Thus, the discriminated-against black man can’t reach the magic rope that somehow pulls the privileged white mountaineer up as if he’s riding a ski-resort towrope. (In reality, climbers use ropes for safety, not to be effortlessly winched up the incline by an invisible mechanism.) The racist rope makes the black guy sad, so he sulks.
But then, apparently, a vast Biden-Harris Administration equity initiative elevates the entire crust of the earth. Now the black climber is finally at the starting place he should have been at if only he’d imitated the white guy. In the happy ending, the black climber joins his white friend on the summit, where, side by side, they stare into the big gay sunset.
Republicans have been trained to denounce this as “Marxism,” but it’s actually Kendiism, the ideology of the enterprising capitalist/antiwhite racist Ibram X. Kendi, who has made a fortune lecturing that any racial inequality in performance is proof of inequity.
But it’s safer for whites to sputter against Marxism than to deny Kendiism. Who dares tell Professor Kendi that the main reason in 2021 that blacks tend to perform poorly on many measures is not white racism?
Therefore, Kamala sums up that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”
And yet…Kamala and Joe didn’t end up at the same place as everybody else. It’s almost as if “equity” applies to you and yours but not to the Bidens, Harrises, and Kendis.
There are two courses of action that MAGAs can take in the wake of the debacle that was 1/6: learn from one of the worst strategic disasters in American political history, or, conversely, don’t learn a damn thing. Because what’s a mistake if not something to deny and repeat?
That’s the choice: be less tarded, or tard harder.
We knew—we all knew—what the left wanted to happen. At no point did leftists try to hide their endgame. For the past few years, they ceaselessly sowed anxiety about “What if Trump doesn’t respect the election results?” and “What if Trump refuses to leave office?” and “What if MAGAs riot should Trump lose?” It was crystal clear that this was exactly what the left was hoping for; those “what-ifs” were anticipatory.
And the QAnon MAGAs, who fancy themselves expert sleuths who can detect what they call “predictive programming” (“The Simpsons primed us for 9/11!” “Captain America primed us for Covid!”), completely missed a real-life example. The left was banking on not just a November win but a Trump/MAGA refusal to accept it, and the QAnon MAGAs walked right into the trap.
They literally told you what they wanted you to do, and you did it. And you did it on a level that went beyond their wildest expectations.
Okay, damage done. Can’t turn back time (Cher tried it once, and look at the state of her now). All that matters is what happens from this point on.
From my days as David Stein the mainstream GOP politico to my years penning this column, I’ve cautioned again and again about the right’s susceptibility to wacky fairy tales about false flags and sooper-secret plots and plotters. And my friends would say to me, “What harm does it do? Okay, maybe rightists are prone to nonsensical flights of conspiratorial fancy, but it ain’t harmin’ nothin’.”
Anyone still believe that? An intricate web of lunatic bullshit from Lin Wood, Sydney Powell, QAnon, rightist “influencers,” and Trump himself prompted a bunch of idiots to storm the Capitol and sully the America First brand for years to come.
My advice about the danger of nutty conspiracy theories having been validated, I’m gonna dispense some more. Here are Dave’s five tips for being a less tarded MAGA.
Tip No. 1: Be discerning. The alternative press is no more reliable than the mainstream press. Thirty years ago, when I was part of the Willis Carto/Spotlight circle, I’d marvel at how Carto’s crew would just make shit up to fill pages and garner subscriptions and donations. I saw it firsthand. Don’t trust CNN, NBC, or The New York Times. But also don’t trust www.PatriotFreeMAGAPress.biz or www.TruthFreedomNews.us.
None are more easily gulled than those who believe they’ve found the singular source of truth. Rightists get repeatedly played because many of them have a childish faith in anything that comes from nonmainstream sources (“the hidden truth!”). The real truth? Everyone’s lying to you to some degree, everyone’s playing you for something. Be skeptical all around. That goes for CNN, that goes for Breitbart, that goes for 8kun.
Tip No. 2: Don’t seek refuge in comforting illusions. A bunch of lies brought MAGA to where it is now. The lie of a vast international vote-stealing octopus, the lie that Mike Pence would or could flip the election, the lie that 1/6 could’ve possibly resulted in Trump being declared the victor. Some of you will be tempted to import new lies to soothe the burn from the old ones. For example, the lie that 1/6 was the work of Antifa or BLM. Yes, an apparently anti-Trump black dude named John Sullivan was arrested for taking part in the Capitol incursion. This has birthed a popular myth that Sullivan “led” the incursion in the company of a CNN reporter. That’s simply false. There was no “CNN reporter”; Sullivan was accompanied by a leftist “Native American Jewish” freelance journalist named Jade Sacker. But more to the point, the criminal complaint against Sullivan makes it clear that he wasn’t “leading” jack shit. He followed the MAGAs and certainly seemed pumped about what they were doing. But he was just a guy on his own, him and Sacajewea.
At most, Sullivan is the leftist version of Patrick Howley, the right-wing fake-news purveyor (formerly of the Daily Caller, American Spectator, and Big League Politics) who infiltrated the Occupy Wall Street loons in 2011 and led the charge to storm the National Air and Space Museum while disguised as a lefty (he ended up being the only one to actually breach security and infiltrate the museum, chiding the leftists for not having the balls to follow his lead).
That one rightist infiltrated a left-wing protest in order to move it toward violence doesn’t make the protest itself “rightist.” And Sullivan wasn’t nearly as proactive as Howley, who actually did direct the course of an event.
So don’t hide behind Sullivan. The responsibility for the storming lies with the thousands who made it happen, not the one or two outsiders who tagged along.
That’s if Sullivan was even an outsider. Back in November, Seattle Antifa put out a warning about him as a MAGA infiltrator. Indeed, Sullivan’s brother is a proud MAGA who’s garnered much publicity in the past few weeks. There’s a decent chance that both Sullivans are trolls who are playing everyone for lulz.
Tip No. 3 applies to those on the flip side of “It wuz Antifa.” These are the MAGAs who proudly embrace the Capitol storming because “they dun stoled the election, they dun erased our votes, so what was left for us but to become revolooshunarees?”
So say the people who helped purposely depress the Georgia runoff GOP turnout. Nobody “stoled” that vote; you blew that one yourselves by listening to Lin Wood.
If you sincerely believe that Nov. 3 was stolen, if you sincerely believe that 2020 was a repeat of 1960, well then, there’s your primer on how to handle a stolen election properly, in a way that makes your side look good and noble.
Nixon made a comeback. Trump will not. Case closed.
And for the record, any response to the “steal” would have been better than the one-two punch of losing the Senate and storming the Capitol.
Tip No. 4: “Whataboutism” isn’t gonna save you on this one. Yes, the left riots too. Yes, BLM and Antifa caused way more destruction throughout 2020 than MAGA did on 1/6. But there’s a difference, one that some of you shoulda considered before going on your big D.C. adventure. Race riots have been a fixture in the U.S. forever. As with sports championship riots, the public has become slightly desensitized to them.
Storming the U.S. Capitol with the intent of overturning an election had no precedent. MAGAs want to act like motive doesn’t matter in terms of the “double standard” (“Hey—why are we getting judged harsher than them?”). Well, motive does matter, and an unsuccessful aktion can sometimes have even worse repercussions than a successful one.
You guys do realize that Guy Fawkes and his coconspirators failed, right? You know that they didn’t actually do the thing they were planning to do. But the British government made a shitload of hay from a failed attempt to force regime change. I’m not comparing the Gunpowder Plot to the Capitol incursion. I’m pointing out that “but we failed” is never insurance against your stupid-ass plot being immortalized by your foes.
Yes, 1/6 is being judged more harshly than BLM riots, because the motive was extraordinary. Americans are used to ghetto thugs banging pots and screaming, “We wants juztiss ’n’ shit.” Americans have seen Seattle 1999 and Occupy 2011 and it’s understood that every decade a new group of idiot kids will try to dare another Kent State. But MAGAs stormed the Capitol with the declared intent of overturning an election and possibly executing the fucking VP. That’s unique.
That they failed, that they never had a chance of succeeding, that many of the stormers are pathetic man-children, is beside the point. It’s the “play stupid games” meme. An extraordinary plot inevitably brings extraordinary repercussions. Don’t pout when the opposition takes your stated intentions seriously…expect it. I’m not defending the double standard; I’m saying that it’s the inevitable outcome. The stormers’ own rhetoric gave the left an angle, and the left is running with it.
Funny enough, the only way the MAGAs can defend Trump during his upcoming impeachment trial is to admit that the Capitol attack was preplanned and not the result of spur-of-the-moment incitement of a hyped-up crowd. That gets Trump off the hook (in terms of the impeachment charge), but it also hammers home why the incursion was psychologically rattling to many Americans. The “preplanned” aspect makes it far more Guy Fawksian than if it had simply been a bunch of rowdies gettin’ their blood up and making an impulsive decision.
Tip No. 5? Retain perspective. Quit acting like you’ve lost the Messiah. As I’ve previously written, a Trump win would’ve validated Kushner’s mismanagement, so term 2 would’ve seen a triumphant Jared wielding his influence to an even greater degree, further burying the 2016 agenda.
“Trumpism without Trump” won’t work if you don’t let go of the man, and letting go of the man will be easier if you’re honest with yourself about the man.
Let’s revisit Patrick Howley, our faux Occupy vandal. To his credit, Howley doesn’t put the Capitol storming on Antifa. Being a faker himself, he knows it when he sees it, and he knows that the 1/6 rioters were bona fide MAGAs. And he’s proud of that. I doubt there’s a more vocal defender of the Capitol storming on Twitter; he’s as rabid a pro-Trump insurrectionist as you’ll find.
In a Jan. 14 tweet, Howley explained why it’s so important to him to keep fighting for his god-king. He posted a photo of the man, with the caption “Remember what they took from us.”
Never forget what we lost because of the “steal.” This is why the fight must go on, by any means necessary!
The photo Howley chose as the defining “what they took from us” pic?
Trump standing in front of tables of fast food.
Not Trump standing in front of a completed border wall. Not Trump signing foundational changes to our immigration system into law. Not Trump supervising the ICE buses for “deportations day one.”
It couldn’t have been pics of those things, because those things didn’t happen.
Nope. It’s a photo of smirking Trump and a room full of McDonald’s.
This is what they took from you. This is what justified an asinine act of political violence. Yes, Trump was a fun little troll…who swiftly abandoned his agenda once he saw that people like Howley were sated by the trolling in the absence of accomplishments.
Get over the man and get over yourselves.
Or at the very least, if you want to keep digging that hole, dig far away from the rest of us.
Donald Trump got himself into terrible trouble for referring to some African countries as “s—holes.” The fact is, most people who live in those countries would probably agree with him, but the truth matters little these days. The Biden administration will probably revert to type, forgive all the debts, cozy up to the despots, and start throwing more money at the problem, most of which will be stolen by the ruling elites and the woes will continue.
The fact is, Africa’s problems are about little else other than poor to atrocious governance and the existence of massive bureaucracies that do little other than steal and stifle growth in the private sector. A good start to addressing this deficit would be to hold African governments accountable, and that would involve criticizing the incumbents, but no Western leader will do this for fear of being labeled a “neocolonialist” or, worse still, a “racist.”
Unfortunately, this moral malaise has left the continent wide open to the real neocolonialists, the Chinese, who are working assiduously to entrench themselves by luring one country after another into a debt trap while flooding the place with their nationals, many of whom have a military background. Unlike the IMF and Western lenders, the Chinese are unscrupulous; they are in Africa for themselves and they want value for money.
While the Chinese approach to African hegemony is subtle and mainly peaceful, the Islamic one is aggressive, militant, and often hideously violent. Islamic State associate groups, having established strong toeholds virtually throughout the Sahel, are now moving swiftly south and meeting little meaningful resistance. Their recent arrival in northern Mozambique has taken the region by surprise.
Here Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah, which is an ISIS (Islamic State) offshoot, is seeking to establish nothing less than a full-blown caliphate in the province of Cabo Delgado and fracture the country. Colonel Eeben Barlow, head of the private security company Executive Outcomes, which has operated all over Africa, does not mince his words: “This is spreading like wildfire and meeting little resistance. My immediate concern is that the strategically vital Cahora Bassa Dam may soon fall under the control of the insurgents, which will be a game changer; not only for Mozambique, but also for South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the sub-continent. I am very worried about how this will impact my own country, and our government must react soon and react decisively or we may be on track toward a disaster.”
Against this backdrop there is growing concern being voiced by Africans at virtually every level about the deteriorating economic and security situation, but which is seldom heard or reported, possibly because it does not resonate with the politicians, academics, and the media that peddles a strong anti-“white supremacy” line premised on the Europeans’ historic links to slavery and colonialism.
With all this in mind, I was in touch recently with several men, all senior, hardened combat veterans of the armies raised with strong Chinese and Soviet backing, to end white rule in Rhodesia. We swapped stories because there was a time when I tried to kill them, and they tried to kill me, but their message was astonishing.
They are one voice, in lamenting the course of events since “liberation” by Robert Mugabe in 1980. They state quite bluntly that the departure of the whites from their homeland was a tragedy and similar events in other former colonies are the fundamental cause of the continent’s socioeconomic collapse. They are scathing in their criticism of African politicians throughout the continent who do little more than abuse their power for self-enrichment. They acknowledge a huge governance deficit and the fact their country was far better run by the whites they sought to dislodge. While Europeans everywhere are being vilified for their historic links to slavery, they point out slavery remains alive and well in Africa, but nobody is doing anything to stop it. They are scathing about their erstwhile allies the Chinese who they see as avaricious racists plundering the continent’s resources for their own enrichment while, unlike the white colonists, they contribute little or nothing to the welfare of Africans in general. They are gravely concerned about the spread of militant Islamic groups south and the fact there is no effective opposition to stem this tide. We are Christians, they say, but where are the Christian soldiers to fight these people?
I ask, “So what is to be done?” And they say we need the white people back on the ground here; we need the Americans with their military and economic power; we need the British, the French, the Germans, the Portuguese. We want them to invest, but we also need their expertise in the private and public sectors; we are rudderless and badly led, they say. If the Europeans come back, they assure me, we will all prosper together.
Irritation and a measure of anger follow when I point out these people are not coming back; not because they do not want to—these countries are brimful of the people and resources they so desperately seek—but because they are cowed by guilt relating to their imperial pasts and connection to slavery.
And herein lies the ongoing tragedy of Africa. A powerful media peddling a false narrative bolstered by a propaganda campaign in schools and universities have destroyed the confidence of hitherto great nations and people who hold the key to making Africa and the world a better place.
To my former foes I say, there is little I can do; I’m a white African in a white-hating world, and “illiberal” to boot, so few listen. But you men of war have the skin color and hard-won credentials to make people in high places listen, and I’ll do all I can to help pass your message on.