Open Thread

I’ve been trying to think of a time when the Elite of any nation actually got it right. Now, to clarify, there have been times when a member of the Elite hit upon the right solution, but the Elite, as a class, has been consistently wrong in all ages as far as I can see. I think this stems from the fact that once safely ensconced in the Elite, you rapidly lose whatever touch you had with reality…you can’t see how what you do will effect flesh and blood people who aren’t Elite and thus can’t afford to pay the price for Elite mistakes. If anyone wants to call me wrong and pick out where the Elite went right while Joe Average went wrong, I’m all ears. But, remember, it has to be an all right/all wrong thing…no cheating by finding something where, just maybe, the Elite was slightly less stupid than the mob.

I don’t know how many of your know who Justice Willett is, but he’s the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, Trump’s nominee to fill a seat on the 5th Circuit…and one heck of a funny Twitter user. Once upon a time, during one of our interminable marriage debates, he Tweeted out that he could support a Constitutional right to marry bacon. Naturally, his Democrat critics took the joke seriously.

Roy Moore is not backing down. How will it come out? I was getting sure that he was going to lose next month, but Larry Sabato just switched the race to “Leans Dem”, so I figure Moore has it in the bag. It is a very confusing thing, in my view: there are lots of accusers, but plenty of holes in their stories…which shows the impossibility of really judging events decades in the past which weren’t brought forward at the time. I honestly don’t know what the best course is – I don’t want to allow the Democrats to win a turn, but I also don’t want someone who would do what Moore is accused of in office. On the other hand, it’s not like the Senate is some bastion of moral probity, to begin with. I’m just glad I don’t live in Alabama so I don’t have to make an actual choice.

Someone, aside from me, is calling the Student Loan Program what is is: a scam.

Do Trump’s Liberal Critics Seem Increasingly Unhinged? Yes. Next question?

Economists around the world are stunned that by some, strange magic, middle class people are doing better under Trump…they just can’t figure out why.

The Supreme Court will take up a case challenging a California law which requires anti-abortion health care providers to provide information on abortion options. It is a free speech case and I hope the Court rules correctly.

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49 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Cluster November 16, 2017 / 8:50 am

    From one of the linked articles, I loved this:

    Trump’s “ascendancy in American politics has made visible a culture of cruelty, a contempt for civic literacy, a corrupt mode of governance and a disdain for informed judgment that has been decades in the making.”

    Informed judgements?? I suppose the author is referring to the “informed judgements” of previous establishment Presidents that include driving the debt up to $20 trillion dollars exceeding our GDP; regulating the economy to the point that 1% growth was considered normal; bankrupting SS, Medicare and medicaid; signing agreements that have allowed NK to have nukes and Iran to be well on the way to obtaining them; disarming the Baltic states and allowing Putin to invade and control Crimea; leading from behind and deposing Libyan leader Ghadaffi and virtually turning that country into a terrorist haven; failing to protect our borders from illegal immigration; and passing legislation that has resulted in escalating healthcare costs for everyone which they conveniently excluded themselves from. And these are just a few of the “informed decisions” that I assume the author is so proud of.

    I was also struck by this excerpt:

    A recent Washington Post article touted 38 fixes for democracy including mandating three years of compulsory labor for young people in the military of AmeriCorps-like programs, outlawing private education, punitively punishing gun owners and vastly increasing redistribution to end racial inequities.

    That’s just straight communism.

    • Retired Spook November 16, 2017 / 9:24 am

      That’s just straight communism.

      But the “good people” will be in charge, so this time it will work.//sarc

      • Cluster November 16, 2017 / 9:29 am

        I thought we were the only “good people” ?? LOL But I guess if we were in charge it would be a “culture of cruelty with a contempt for civic literacy” unlike the well governed, always well mannered, and well educated population of progressively governed Chicago, or Baltimore, or St. Louis, or Los Angeles, or …… well I think I made my point.

      • Amazona November 16, 2017 / 10:41 am

        I’d say the WaPol article is a great example of “contempt for civic literacy”. So is the demand to get rid of the Electoral College.

    • Amazona November 16, 2017 / 10:25 am

      Without reading the article in question, your quote “Trump’s “ascendancy in American politics has made visible a culture of cruelty, a contempt for civic literacy, a corrupt mode of governance and a disdain for informed judgment that has been decades in the making.” sounds right to me.

      That is, that the Trump presidency HAS uncovered all of these things.

      Not created them, not been responsible for them, not contributed to them, but made them visible, brought them to the attention to Americans, pointed a finger at them, and refused to back down from condemning them.

      And it is this, I think, that has earned him the undying hatred of the Left, and what has them so upset.

    • Amazona November 16, 2017 / 10:39 am

      By “fixes for democracy” the Post clearly means “remedies and replacements for democracy”.

      As for “…increasing redistribution to end racial inequities..” this article, like every other rant about these alleged “racial inequities” simply refuses to acknowledge that in the last fifty years every single person of any race or ethnicity who has learned the rules and followed them —-gotten a good education, worked hard in his or her chosen field, been effective in his or her chosen field, met the most basic elements of fitting into society such as speaking decent English without excessive profanity, bathing and so on—has been successful.

      When the Left bleats about “racial inequities” they are always, all the time, talking about black people, as if black skin is the only racial indicator there is. Yet early in our history, at least in the West, Chinese workers were essentially slaves, and treated with much more brutality than nearly any black slave in our South, and we don’t have any concerns about Chinese racial inequities.

      Refusing to be part of a society is a personal decision, but then blaming that society for not sharing in its benefits is simply stupid. Any person of any race who chooses to be part of our society and work within this society will be accepted and can succeed. Because this is not true under Leftist governance, this is a constant reminder to people of the inherent superiority of our system when it is followed and the inherent defects of the alternative, which is why it is under constant attack from the Left.

  2. Retired Spook November 16, 2017 / 10:44 am

    If anyone wants to call me wrong and pick out where the Elite went right while Joe Average went wrong, I’m all ears.

    I could also be wrong, but it seems to me that the Left did actually get it right in cleaning up the water and air back in the 70’s and 80’s. I think most people who were alive back then remember the Cuyahoga River catching fire in 1969. The problem almost every time the Left attacks a problem like pollution, is that there are two virtually inevitable ramifications: (a) there are almost always unintended consequences that require additional legislation and/or regulations to fix, and (b) the Left doesn’t understand the concept of diminishing returns, so no fix is ever good enough, and each new fix costs exponentially more.

    • M. Noonan November 17, 2017 / 12:45 am

      Yeah, I can grant that – but, then again, they did it by lying about how bad it actually was with that Population Bomb and Silent Spring drivel.

    • Retired Spook November 16, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      You really do have to question the mental acuity of the majority of voters in Minnesota. This is the lead story on Drudge this morning along with a photo. The one thing the article fails to mention is that Franken is a Democrat. I’m shocked.

    • fieldingclaymore November 16, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      He should resign, and so should President Trump. Clinton should have resigned in disgrace..

      • Amazona November 16, 2017 / 9:43 pm

        Why? Because someone has made accusations against him? That level of criteria would empty all of Congress and every political office in the country within a year.

        I wonder if you are one of those who thinks President Trump admitted to grabbing a woman’s genitals. I see this repeated a lot, even in some allegedly conservative publications, but that is simply not what he said.

        We have all been saying something when someone else has interrupted, acknowledged the interruption, and then gone back to finish our thought. That is what happened in the Access Hollywood tape. Trump was talking about how some women threw themselves at him because he was a star, and as he started to go on to say that when they do……… Billy Bush butted in with some smirky little pandering yes-man silliness. Trump veered off a moment to acknowledge that, and then went back to finish his thought, which is that when these women do this you can grab them and they don’t care.

        If you want to argue that women who present themselves sexually to men because of their status (rock star, wealth, TV fame, sports star, whatever….) they then demand to be treated with respect, I am sure we would all be riveted by your argument. But to claim that Trump admitted to a sexual assault is simply a lie.

        The Moore story shows more and more holes as time goes by, including the pathetic and transparent efforts by legal whore Gloria Allred to drag the whole thing out long enough to influence the election.

        Would you like to address some of the observations I have read about the claim? Such as that year books don’t come out in December but at the end of the school year? That there was no parking lot behind the diner? That Moore not only ruled in the accuser’s divorce hearing—when she didn’t seem to find a problem with him—-but also ruled against her, giving her motive for revenge? That when a front car door is locked it will open if one pulls on the handle, and that electric door locks were not in use when she claimed he locked her door and she couldn’t get out? That the alleged signature was for a “DA” when at the time he was a DDA—Deputy District Attorney?

        Perhaps you feel that innocent till proven guilty should be a discarded concept, along with freedom of speech and freedom of worship. You know, simplify things, skip some of those petty in-between details.

      • Amazona November 16, 2017 / 9:48 pm

        It’s not as if there is a drowned girl in his car, and a list of lies told to law enforcement about what happened.

        It’s not as if there is a stained blue dress.

        It’s not as if the girl had to rush home with a split lip, after he suggested she just put some ice on it.

        It’s not as if he has been buggering underage male pages.

        It’s not as if he has been texting photos of his junk to women

        In fact, there is not, at this time, a scintilla of actual proven evidence against Moore—just some carefully timed salacious accusations, nearly half a century after the alleged incidents but right before the biggest election of his career, after that intervening period in public life when no one thought to say a thing.

        That seems to be good enough for you, “Fielding”.

      • M. Noonan November 17, 2017 / 12:43 am

        It all does seem pretty odd – there’s this guy Thomas Wictor on Twitter who appeared to have no dog in the Moore hunt and then did some research on the man once this blew up…He’s West Point, Vietnam, hard as nails, a boxer, poor background (apparently picked cotton to help pay his way through law school)…has routinely upset the Ruling Class in Alabama since the 1970’s. It is just plain and simple weird that something as salacious and career-destroying as this got missed in all of his intense, political battles for 40 years.

      • Amazona November 17, 2017 / 8:52 pm

        I’ve just seen too many teenaged girls coming on to older men to buy into the entire story here. It’s the old Lolita Syndrome. Even Monica Lewinski went to the White House to earn her knee pads, or so she told a friend. She signaled her interest to Clinton by pulling up her shirt to show him the straps on her thong underwear. Young girls in the South in the 70s may not have been so blatant, but I’ve seen too many teases to assume that no man who flirts with a young girl did so with no invitation from her to do so.

        I’ve seen too many men make fools of themselves, flirting with younger women, to get all upset when it happens. It’s an easy ego boost, usually meaningless.

        When and if an older man goes beyond flirtation, makes overt advances, indicates a serious interest in having some kind of relationship with a young girl, that crosses a line—but it is also a line that is very dependent on how the conversation is perceived by her. And him. And an onlooker. And her brother. And her father. And her pastor. And a political opponent. Every one of these perceptions is going to be different, and there is no way to know which is most accurate, especially after four decades.

        And some men are just plain idiots, who don’t mean anything malignant but don’t see how their words can be taken by someone else. To many men, “You look hot today” is just a compliment, while to the woman it can sound crude and have sexual overtones.

        I believe Moore when he says he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Does that mean I don’t think he ever offended anyone? No. But do I think he intended to have improper relations with teenaged girls? I haven’t seen anything like proof that he did, or indicated that he did.

        And where is the testimony about the intervening 40 years? We know that most pervs are pervs their whole lives, and this claim that this man had an interlude of a year or so when he was a disgusting creep trying to prey on young girls, that just kind of …….. ended……. doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  3. Retired Spook November 17, 2017 / 10:37 am

    You had to know this was just a matter of time.

    Elon Musk showed off Tesla Inc.’s highly anticipated Semi — a semi-autonomous electric big rig — Thursday night, promising revolutionary speed, reliability and cost efficiencies. And he saved a big surprise for the end.

    Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, got behind the wheel and drove one of the semi trucks onto a stage in Hawthorne, Calif., then hopped out to unveil its array of features to a crowd of Tesla workers and cheering fans. The trucks, on tap for production in 2019, will carry a maximum of 80,000 lbs, the maximum load for U.S. highways, and have a range of 500 miles per charge.

    The range is significant; Musk said 80% of truck deliveries are 250 miles or less.

    Musk gushed over the speed of the big rig, which he said could go from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds, three times faster than an average truck, and could maintain 60 mph up a 5% grade, 20 mph faster than today’s diesel trucks.

    • Cluster November 17, 2017 / 4:36 pm

      Elon Musk is an amazing man and is on the cutting edge of so many new innovations. I personally think AI will change this world soon………and not for the better.

      • Retired Spook November 17, 2017 / 11:50 pm

        I personally think AI will change this world soon

        That’s the underlying premise of Dan Brown’s latest novel, ORIGIN, which I just finished a couple days ago. The possibilities are kind of terrifying. OTOH, my son-in-law wrote his masters thesis on AI and has done quite of bit of subcontract work for DARPA and several other government agencies on AI, and he doesn’t seem to be all that worried.

    • Amazona November 17, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Musk tends to overpromise and underdeliver. His Tesla car has been very dependent on federal money, and I have been watching his Powerwall with some interest but don’t think he’s worked out all the bugs yet. The reviews are mixed, as are those for his solar roof tiles, another special interest of mine.

      The reviews on his Semi are also mixed—great idea, but prove that it will work, and by the way fix some of the glaring defects, such as where they can be recharged and how long it takes to fully recharge. In trucking, time is money and turnaround times are crucial. Having to recharge often, and take a long time to do it, not to mention the cost of recharging stations meaning most recharging will have to be done at the base, all mean the truck isn’t very practical. Having a fleet of quarter-million dollar trucks limited to 500 miles before lengthy recharging isn’t practical.

      As one reviewer pointed out, the driver of a big truck often has to reach out his door window to hand over documents, receive documents, etc. Putting the driver in the center of the cab looks pretty cool, but no driver is going to want to have to unfasten his seat belt and crawl over to the side window and kneel there to interact with various people. Also, it has been pointed out that most long-haul drivers drive in teams, and many are couples. Having the second driver sit behind the one at the wheel doesn’t seem well thought out.

      Musk is a visionary, but he might consider putting in a little more time and research and so on before coming out with his excited new projects, which so often turn out to be not quite ready. I’ve gotten excited about some of his ideas, but think he goes to market a little too early. One example was the lack of a regulator on the early Tesla cars, allowing them to theoretically fully discharge their batteries. The batteries couldn’t be recharged once they were fully discharged, leading to the description of them as “bricks”, and cost about ten grand to replace.

  4. Retired Spook November 17, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Excellent analysis of rich vs. poor by a conservative, black woman.

  5. Retired Spook November 17, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    What a sad commentary on our society that a church feels compelled to post something like this.

    • Amazona November 17, 2017 / 6:04 pm

      He was “mock groping” her, eh? That is, humiliating her and exposing her to ridicule and making her feel violated, whether or not he actually touched her. Or touched her with enough force to qualify as “real” groping. This is a real woman, an identified real person, subjected to this degrading behavior. Which is OK with MSNBC.

      On the other hand, Trump made a comment about a certain specific type of woman—to put it bluntly, a starf***er, a groupie type, but not a specific woman, much less one identified by name, and the comment was that when women like this offer themselves to men of stature they can be treated disrespectfully and don’t care. There was no woman named, no specific woman to be humiliated or to feel degraded. It was a general comment about the lack of self-respect in a general class of woman. And MSNBC is still hyperventilating about this, and the Left is still using it as a basis for impeachment.

      So they have to lie about what he really said, edit the exchange to leave out the essential first part, the lead-in to the comment. They know it’s there, and they still do what they do.

      Let me see if I get this right. If a man feels like a woman, he is a woman. If being bumped into by a 90-year-old palsied man in a wheelchair feels like sexual assault, it is sexual assault, If someone believes the term “empty barrel” is a racist term, then it is racist. If someone is terrified by a banana, then bananas are scary. And so on. That is, according to the Left.

      But a woman photographed while asleep, with a perv either groping her breasts or pretending to, for a camera, posing for a photograph to be published, who says she was violated and humiliated and that she was sexually assaulted is to be ignored.

      Only the Left can try to make sense out of this…….

      • Cluster November 18, 2017 / 8:50 am

        I heard Rush yesterday say that all Democrats know the media will cover for them, and so does everyone else. Isn’t that a profoundly sad statement? Because it’s so true.Everyone knows it and the media doesn’t even hide it anymore. There is no journalism anymore ….. only agendas.

      • Amazona November 18, 2017 / 1:05 pm

        I think the most important part of your comment, Cluster, is that the media DON’T even try to hide their bias any more, any more than racists try to hide theirs.

        Perhaps black racists have been secretly yearning to return to segregation for decades, and just not admitting to it. But now they are, which tells us that when they read the tea leaves what they see is a society so degraded that the principles upon which it was founded are now either missing or irrelevant.

        As the lovely, affluent black woman from the Reverend Wright’s church sneered back in 2008, black people have been hating white people all along, and it took the Obama campaign to bring it out into the open.

        Now black people are openly dismissing the dream of Dr. King and sounding more like George Wallace, who pledged to keep segregation intact, than the man whose name they revere while they scorn his message.

        And, as you point out, the very idea of journalism being about reporting the news instead of trying to shape the news is simply rejected out of hand. Openly rejected.

        The many fibers that hold a society together are fraying, if not already severed, and we are descending into chaos. Religion is denigrated and we have clergy openly advocating beliefs that are blatantly contradicting the dogma of their religions. Patriotism is seen as nearly a crime, with some apparently advocating that it is as bad as a crime and linking it with racism as if the two have anything in common. The family unit is no longer respected and is under fire, as the State tries to replace it as the real authority over children. Even such a basic biological fact as gender is now supposedly nonexistent, and accepting that science is called bigotry and hate.

        Politicians are seldom, if ever, elected based on their ideology and political philosophy about how the nation should be governed, as Identity Politics is the name of the game. Political tribalism has taken over thoughtful analysis of governance. Free speech is a concept openly derided, after decades of paying superficial lip service to it, now that this kind of radical tyranny is accepted, and the very idea of journalism being a conduit of actual events, with the journalist being a principled bystander and reporter and not part of the story shaping it to further an agenda is archaic and not relevant to today’s culture.

  6. Retired Spook November 18, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    In one of the many conversations we had with our Conservative friends in Florida last week, the husband mentioned a tactic he uses in debating with someone on the Left when all else fails (which is most of the time). He said one of his favorite retorts to Leftist claptrap is simply, “I reject your premise.” He said the usual response is, “what do you mean,” or “what about my premise do you reject?” Depending on the subject, he responds, “your premise is completely devoid of reason, logic, common sense or scientific fact.” He said most Liberals he tries this on are completely unequipped to argue from a basis of reason, logic. common sense or scientific fact. I don’t argue with Liberals much anymore, but it’s something I’m going to try the next time I do.

    • Amazona November 18, 2017 / 3:01 pm

      Your friend is right—-I have tried just saying “That’s not true” and it completely bumfuddles them. “What do you mean it isn’t true?” An example of a conversation about Trump, which ended up focused on his alleged crotch-grabbing.

      Me: Do you think he grabbed a woman’s crotch?
      She: Of course.
      Me: Why?
      She: (getting upset) BECAUSE I HEARD HIM SAY HE DID!
      Me: No you didn’t.
      She: YES I DID !!!
      Me: No, you heard part of a conversation which was carefully edited so it looked like he said that. What he really said was…….and I explained the conversation
      She: I never heard that
      Me: That’s because you have chosen to only listen to people who lie to you to make you believe things that aren’t true.
      She: I don’t think that is the case
      Me: Did you do any research at all to find out what he really said? It’s all there for anyone to hear, or read the full transcript.
      She: Oh
      Me: Why do you think your sources omitted the first part of that conversation?
      She: Silence

      • Amazona November 18, 2017 / 3:35 pm

        In other words, it is futile to try to talk about abstractions such as the best way to govern the nation, because a Lefty will do whatever s/he can to spin this into a diatribe against a generalized but completely evil Other, known as the Right, or Republicans, or Conservatives.

        But pinning a quick conversation down to a specific detail, such as this, creates a problem for the Lefty because it IS specific, it addresses only one thing, and that one thing can be objectively proved. There is no wiggle room. And the elephant in the room once the fact is uncovered is that the other person’s sources have lied, and she has believed a lie and repeated it and based a lot of her feelings on it. Uncomfortable………

        In the example above, the only rejoinder could be the crudity of his language, but as so many women on the Left then started to use the word often, in public, and even wear hats purported to represent the organ in question, proudly identifying them using the same word Trump used, that doesn’t have much traction.

        It’s what your friend does, simply stating “that is not true” and then tying truth into “reason, logic, common sense or scientific fact”.

      • M. Noonan November 19, 2017 / 11:47 pm

        The good news is that fewer and fewer people are listening to these MSM Narratives…at least, I suspect that to be the case. The results of the 2018 and 2020 elections will go far towards confirming or denying my theory.

        Right now, the MSM – likely on orders from the DNC – is trying to craft the Narrative that regular folks don’t like the President (that is, for instance, why they gave widespread coverage of that basketball player’s Dad mouthing off). And, sure enough, they’ve got their cracker-jack polling to show that the Narrative is correct…and all sorts of “man on the street” interviews can probably be whistled up at a moment’s notice, as well. They are trying to create what is called a “cascade preference” – a situation whereby an idea grabs hold of the popular imagination and there’s no stopping it…save, of course, by electing a Democrat in 2020. We’ll see if they can do it – I don’t think they can.

      • Cluster November 20, 2017 / 7:58 am

        When discussing issues with some known liberal colleagues of mine, I have mentioned a few times that we “don’t even share the same reality” – and that kind of sets them back but it’s true. And then I will list a few of their premises that I completely reject – global warming, rich don’t pay their fair share, America is racist, Islam is peaceful, and healthcare is a right.

  7. Cluster November 20, 2017 / 8:19 am

    A couple of observations this morning:

    – MSNBC Morning Joe is now the Roy Moore channel 24/7. That’s all they talk about. Mika just said that if Moore is elected, women in Alabama will never be believed and it will be open season for sexual assault.

    – Have you all heard the now often repeated media phrase – “women standing in the rain”? This is how they characterized the Democrats winning VA and NJ last month. Thousands of women “standing in the rain” to vote against Trump.

    And I love it when the left starts eating their own:

    A writer for Lena Dunham’s weekly feminist newsletter has accused the actress of ‘hipster racism’.Zinzi Clemmons, who writes for Lenny Letter – a newsletter Dunham runs with Jenni Konner – said in a post on Twitter on Sunday she could no longer work for the outlet because of Dunham’s alleged disrespect for women of color.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5098879/Lena-Dunham-accused-hipster-racism-writer.html#ixzz4yyOfDPc5

    • Amazona November 22, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Yeah, ‘cept Zinzi knew Dunham in college, hung out with her, heard her and her friends using words like the devastating and crippling “n-word” (before it was replaced by the equally damaging “empty barrel”) and still went to work for her.

      Some pious claims of outrage and entitlement to the Higher Moral Ground just sound hollow and self serving.

      And this whole new “women of color” thing is already very old.

  8. Cluster November 20, 2017 / 8:52 am

    Trump must be doing an outstanding job – how do I know that?

    The progressive media is only talking about Russia and Roy Moore. It’s all they got. But tomorrow, Mika is going to lay out all the lines of communication between the Trump campaign and Russia. The country that is a regional power Obama promised more flexibility with, and a country of which Hillary traveled to and promised to reset recharge relations. Evidently now though according to Democrats, no one should ever speak with them again.

  9. Retired Spook November 20, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Kurt Schlicter strikes again.

    And Senator Al Franken (D-Medellin) continued his unbroken dumbness streak by actually letting someone photograph him while he made a play for the only kind of woman who digs him, an unconscious one. That made it a bit hard to deny, though he did troop out seven women to assure us that he never harassed any of them. Of course, most of us could probably round up seven people we didn’t molest. Not Bill Clinton, but most of us.

    • Cluster November 20, 2017 / 1:53 pm

      LOL. I also read that Al will not resign, but will spend Thanksgiving weekend “reflecting” on his abhorrent behavior.

      I do that every weekend…..:-)

      • Amazona November 20, 2017 / 7:45 pm

        Of course he won’t resign. Look how hard it was to get him elected—–printing up all those “new” ballots at the last minute and getting them put in car trunks so they could be “found” was not easy. And now that this has received so much attention, they would have to find a new way to get a new guy elected, while now he is an incumbent.

  10. Amazona November 20, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Given the sudden interest of the Left in sexual misbehavior, and the pressure on the Right to apply the same standards to people on both sides of the aisle, a couple of thoughts have popped up.

    First, I abhor sexual harassment. Just because I haven’t gotten the vapors over it when it has happened to me (who has the time?) doesn’t mean I don’t despise it. and every single time a man has been boorish my respect for him has evaporated. Instantly and permanently. This is even true of men I have never met.

    Having said that, we have a very long history of tolerating a wide range of such boorishness from men in both parties (as well as in business—my CPA is an attractive woman and she and her husband have worked in high-profile firms, and when the Access Hollywood thing came out she said she and her husband routinely heard talk like that, from women as well as men, at the highest levels of industry) and I’m not quite sure how to deal with a situation of “OK, it didn’t bother us when you did it, but now it does, so now you’re out…”

    It’s not that easy. We need to start with candidates, people on the lower rungs of the political ladder, and make it clear to them that if they don’t have squeaky clean pasts they need to find another line of work. We need to vet all our newcomers, for stories of office party orgies, butt-patting of secretaries, infidelities, and so on, and we need to be clear in our own minds as well as what we communicate about our standards and our commitment to them. We need to decide what falls into “private life, none of your damned business” and what can affect the ability of a legislator to do a good and honorable job as a legislator.

    Personally, I think a guy can be a creep, up to a point, and still be a good and valuable public servant. I don’t think we are seeing a new and sudden commitment to purity, but a cowardly kowtowing to PC pressures and suddenly discovered/created concerns about morality, many of which have nothing to do with character and everything to do with finding, or creating, leverage to take down an opponent.

    For example, I am seeing the morphing of the claims that Moore flirted with young women/girls at a local mall to the much more advanced theme that he was soliciting them for sex. That is a big leap, but it is being accepted, even in places that should know better, such as National Review. No one has cited anything he allegedly said to support the new version of the Mall Creep meme, but it has taken on a life of its own—-and we have so-called conservatives making public pronouncements based on acceptance of this or of something close to it.

    I don’t think the conversation has to be as much about do we kick out someone based on wild extrapolations of unsupported gossip as it has to be about what constitutes character and are there different kinds of character and what matters to us.

    Then if we do accept a Newt Gingrich, who committed adultery but evidently with only one woman, whom he married and has evidently been true to for decades, we have to commit to defending that person and not allowing gossip to carve good people out of the party. I think even if a man thought it was OK to flirt with young girls forty years ago, if he never actually assaulted any of them, never even said anything overtly disgusting but just kind of creeped them out, and then went on to be a faithful husband who did not continue to engage in silly or tasteless behavior, we should not assume that he is still the jerk he (allegedly) was back then.

    Do I wish all our politicians were Mike Pences, Mitt Romneys, Ted Cruzes? You bet I do. But we are always going to get a lot of guys who think “pull my finger” is funny and will never stop doing it, who will make inappropriate statements or refuse to acknowledge that something they are saying or doing is just not acceptable. We’ll always have guys who were unfaithful, and maybe still are, and as long as we continue to get our politicians and leaders from the human gene pool, we are going to get a cross section of morality, probity, good sense and just plain crassness. I don’t think there should be the same penalty for crassness and bad taste and for outright disgusting and even criminal behavior.

    As this goes on, I am finding myself much more comfortable with a little bad taste and bad judgment than I am with the newly-minted puritans who have suddenly found a rigid sexual morality hiding behind the door (probably next to the pussy hats and dirty magazines) and decided to strut around like moral arbiters. I think in the long run crudity is less dangerous than mob rule, which is what I am seeing develop here.

    • Cluster November 21, 2017 / 8:21 am

      Well said ……

      I often wonder how these sensitive sexual puritans would react if they knew the full stories of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt.

      However maybe we should be encouraged that at least Democrats are now acknowledging the complaints from women, after the 1990’s and James Carville’s dismissive statement “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.”

      • Amazona November 21, 2017 / 3:17 pm

        I think even the adoring Left has heard enough about not just JFK but RFK and Teddy the Swimmer to realize what a passel of sexual criminals the Kennedy family has been. The rape trial of one of the nephews ripped away a lot of the secrecy that had cloaked their routine forays into decadence, and as time went on and Teddy’s goal of the presidency became permanently impossible the details of his abandonment of his girlfriend to die alone while he tried to come up with a story to explain it did start to come out. And he was still elected, time after time, he was still adored by the Left, he was still mourned as “the lion of the Senate”. No one on the Left cared. He was one of them.

        Jack and Bobby boffing the same mentally and emotionally unstable Hollywood actress? Meh. So what. Jack boffing the girlfriend of a Mafia don, while president? Who cares? Jack having the Secret Service stand guard at the White House swimming pool to warn him and his girlfriend, or girlfriends, of the moment when Jackie was coming back to the White House? Kind of exciting, wasn’t it? What a cool James Bondish president we had! LBJ? Everyone knew he was a pig, but he was a Democrat so who cared? The Roosevelts were so far back in history, they don’t matter. Given the Left’s antipathy to history and the quality of what is now called “education” I doubt that many even know who any of the Roosevelts were.

        Look at list of known sexual predators on the Left—-the Kennedys, Clinton, Epstein, Weinstein, Weiner, and so on. Everyone knew. No one cared. The casting couch was a well-known and accepted feature of Hollywood, and the Left kind of snickered at it, if they had any reaction at all. It was Pay to Play, and everyone knew it, and the payment was sexual favors for those in power.

        But it is worse. The Left has been actively promoting the idea of sexual promiscuity, from glamorizing illegitimate pregnancies to pushing schools to tell children as young as elementary school that any oral sex is OK because it’s “not real sex”, that sex is fine at any age with any person or persons, and that all that matters is not getting pregnant—but if pregnancy does occur, these children should never ever tell their parents, who would reject and hate them for it, but go their REAL friends, their teachers or counselors, who will make the baby go away as if it never existed. The Left was fine with having a member of Obama’s advisory team being a homosexual who had helped a young confused adolescent boy deal with his sexual identity issues by having an affair with an older man. How helpful, they thought. Just the kind of thoughtful non-judgmental problem-solver we need in our educational administration.

        No, we can’t let the Left get away with wide-eyed innocence as they claim they just never knew about any of this stuff. They knew, they supported it, they enabled it, and it has been part of the Left’s core identity for decades now. It’s been part of the agenda of undermining the family unit, it has been part of the war on religion, it has been the motivation behind scorning and ridiculing the very concept of morality.

        Many may not know the “full stories” but you know what? It wouldn’t matter. They wouldn’t care. And if such a story were to be presented to a person who still has a scintilla of moral qualms about these kinds of things, the response would be the same thing we hear every time a Lefty is presented with something s/he just doesn’t want to hear: “I don’t believe it”.

  11. Cluster November 21, 2017 / 10:53 am

    So I just read that this happened over the weekend ……

    Over the weekend, tragic news broke in Texas just miles from the U.S./Mexico border of an apparent attack that left one Border Patrol agent dead and another one seriously injured. According to reports as of Monday, it seemed to indicate that the agents may have been beaten with rocks by attackers in an ambush.

    Any comments from the open border crowd?

    • Amazona November 21, 2017 / 3:22 pm

      Sure. If we had open borders there wouldn’t have been border patrols in the first place. They were just asking for it, and we are responsible for their deaths because we put them in that place at that time in that job instead of just erasing the very concept of sovereignty and national borders and welcoming everyone.

      Doesn’t that about cover the Leftist attitude?

      • Amazona November 21, 2017 / 3:23 pm

        Though it really should call for a Congressional hearing on the dangers of assault rocks.

  12. Retired Spook November 21, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    One of my favorite political writers is Brandon Smith who writes for Personal Liberty Digest. For some reason his posts started coming as a stand alone a few months ago with no permalink. They follow a day later along with several other posts in the Personal Liberty newsletter, but are subscription firewalled. As a result I’ve re-printed several of Brandon’s posts. This week’s post expands on a number of previous topics, and I won’t re-print the whole thing, just this part about American Civility which I think is spot WRT where we currently are as a society.

    Here at home, divisions have become extremely pronounced in the past few years. There was a time, not long ago, when the primary intention of political ideologues was simply to “win elections” and gain influence over societal norms through legislation. Today, the goal of ideologues is to outright destroy their political opponents by any means necessary, including lies, violence and subterfuge. The political Left in particular has, in my opinion, reached a point of no return in this regard.

    The level of zealotry that has been achieved through “social justice” propaganda and cultural Marxism is staggering. There is no logic or reasoning with these people. They are essentially a cult. And while a large percentage of leftists claim they do not necessarily agree with the methodology of these cultists, they do nothing to stop them and often go along quietly with their objectives.

    This zealotry and insanity designed to snuff out conservative principles and wreak havoc on American heritage is dangerous. Not because it will be victorious, per se, but because it has the potential to drive conservatives to opposite extremes and into the arms of a totalitarian government response.

    When one side reaches a point of zero-tolerance for the ideals or even the existence of the other side, there is a potential for civil unrest. When both sides reach a point of zero tolerance for existence of the other, war is probably coming.

    Of course, there should not be “two sides,” but as many sides as there are individuals. And by merely observing the non-aggression principle and refusing to apply force to others except in self defense, much of these divisions could be defused. But presenting this solution is easy, making it a mainstay of our culture is another thing entirely.

  13. Retired Spook November 21, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Break out another case of popcorn. The feeding frenzy continues.

    Charlie Rose’s CBS News career came to an unceremonious end Tuesday when the network fired him over allegations of sexual harassment.

    • Amazona November 21, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      We might call this the “ricochet effect”. We could see it coming, but the hyper-hysterical mob of the Left, giddy with the smell of blood in the water as they suddenly discovered deep moral objections to at least some kinds of sexual activity, went so far the whole endeavor bounced back onto their own.

      Ouch. Didn’t see that coming. I have a feeling Mathews, Colbert etc are getting a little nervous. They were pretty happy with unsubstantiated and often ridiculous claims of sexual misconduct hurled at conservatives, and now they have to be realizing that the same thing can happen to them. A makeup girl just has to say that a hand drifted up from the arm of the makeup chair to her groin, and who can say it didn’t? She can say that when she leaned over and a breast brushed against a Lefty star’s shoulder he made a lewd comment about it, and who can say he didn’t? Several other low-paid people in similar positions can realize there is a possible payoff that is more than they can make in ten years and suddenly discover memories of similar horrible, traumatic and scarring episodes that have haunted them—–HAUNTED I TELL YOU !—-for years. Decades.

      Can’t prove a negative? Hmmmm. Roy Moore might know a thing or two about that. Or Scooter Libby.

      Maybe Mike Pence’s ridiculed policy of never dining alone with a woman is starting to make sense.

      And maybe the Left’s selective outrage, giving a pass to their idols, is starting to show itself for the hypocrisy it is and always has been.

      • Retired Spook November 21, 2017 / 3:18 pm

        When the headline of Charlie Rose being fired came up on one of the TV monitors in front of us, the guy riding the stationary bike next to me at the Y this morning commented that it appears as though moral relativism has finally come back to bite the Left in the a$$. Poetic justice.

  14. Retired Spook November 21, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    Alinsky’s 4th rule for radicals is “make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” The Left has used this rule relentlessly to hold Conservatives to their own moral code with the realization that Conservatives couldn’t use this tactic again a Left that has no moral code. Turns out, apparently, that the majority of Americans are finally tiring of this double standard for public figures.

    • Amazona November 21, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      I think one thing the Left did not expect was how strongly the phrase “Drain The Swamp” would resonate with so much of the American public, and the impact this would have on Dems. There has been this vague and unfocused awareness of various Dem misdeeds, from adultery to sexting to pedophilia to rape to thousands of dollars hidden in the freezer, but all of the media have done a good job of blurring the edges of each and every effort to make a big deal out of any of them, and they have eventually faded into the background. But now there is a framework and all that has to be done is plug the offense into the existing template and it becomes part of a larger whole and takes on substance.

      The funny thing is, the Left created the template, and now they are horrified to see so many of their own plugged into it.

      I don’t know if this would have happened, or picked up steam so quickly, if the Left had not created this whole framework of alleged wrongdoing. I really think it was sparked by the Access Hollywood non-scandal and the way it morphed into claims of actual bragging about actual assaults. Too many people saw the lies in this narrative, and started to say “..but what about so-and-so? If this was so bad, isn’t ‘that’ even worse?” The thing is, so much of what they claim has been either false or unproven, while there are reams of evidence against their own. And the evidence is coming from their own, who aren’t willing to take one for the team. It’s like a chain reaction and they provided the spark and most of the fuel.

      I’m running out of popcorn.

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