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Happy Veteran’s Day

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae, May 1915

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Some internet trolls upset a number of college administrators over Halloween by putting up on several college campuses stickers that proclaimed that, “It’s OK to be White.” Judging by the reaction of higher education bureaucrats, one might have thought that those responsible had put up burning crosses. According to the Washington Times,

The stunt was organized on 4chan’s “Politically Incorrect” board to show that “lefties & journalists hate white people.” Seeing “the media & lefties frothing at the mouth” in response to the signs would “nuke” their credibility, the author of the 4chan thread wrote, ensuring a “massive victory for the right in the culture war.”

The posters were reported at a number of college campuses including among others, Harvard, Princeton, Auburn, Berkeley and Tulane. Perhaps hanging the stickers was done in poor taste, but the overreaction on the part of academic administrators is the real story here. Marcia L. Sells, dean of students at Harvard Law School, called the posters “provocations intended to divide us from one another.” The Boston Globe reported that police were called to Harvard Square on November 1st to investigate more than a dozen of the stickers posted on poles around Cambridge.

Exactly what was the purpose of the police investigation? What was the nature of the offense? Did the presence of the stickers pose an imminent threat to anyone? Did the act of putting up the stickers constitute a crime? Is it a hate crime to utter or publish the words, “It’s OK t be white.” None of these questions were reported to have been addressed by Orwellian higher education bureaucrats.

The president of the University of Alberta, where stickers were placed, said the school was working with the University of Alberta Protective Services to “find the parties responsible.” An interesting question arises. Exactly what would happen to the students if they were caught? Mandatory attendance at a “sensitivity training” seminar? Indictment for a hate crime? Who can say.

For purposes of the protecting and preserving the ever-eroding principle of freedom of speech, which has been restricted to the point of being eradicated on most college campuses, is it permissible to put up posters that say “Black Lives Matter”, but be rebuked or possibly prosecuted (why else would the police be called?) for hanging stickers, even if done in jest, that say, “It’s OK to be white?”

College bureaucrats are too dimwitted to appreciate the irony or Orwellian connotations of their contention that the academic community should be welcoming to all and free from prejudice, yet in the same breath sanction, indeed approve, idiotic identity politics stunts such as “white people free day.”

Free speech advocates who oppose the disturbing prevalence of “speech codes” on American institutions of “higher” education, must find this story disheartening.

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Election 2016 Revisited

It’s been one year since Donald Trump made history with his stunning upset victory over Hillary Clinton. How did Trump, against all odds, make it to the White House? That is the question that Christopher Curran of the Cranston Herald attempts to answer in an insightful, and refreshingly objective article that is remarkably free from the partisan bias that has been so prevalent in post-election analysis and commentary.

Curran dismisses the knee-jerk reaction of some pundits who claim that the election was stolen from Hillary because of collusion between Trump and the Russians. While he addresses the reality of interference on social media, he correctly notes that Hillary was such a flawed candidate that any Russian attempts to assist Trump had a marginal impact — at best — on the outcome of the election:

The malevolent Russian government provably spread erroneous news about Clinton and other Democrats, but that factor had limited effect on the outcome of the election in my judgment. Readers who found credibility in Russian- generated posts on Instagram and Facebook would be too obtuse and gullible to cast a prudent vote on anything.

Curran also acknowledges, that while Clinton was more articulate than Trump, many voters found his unscripted, unadorned comments refreshing compared to the robotic and lawyerly mode of speech employed by Clinton. He notes that, “Hillary’s political tone deafness regarding her lawyerly delivery of tired regurgitated Democrat ideas were not at all exciting or believable. Whereas, even though most of what Trump’s said was diatribe and dribble, he was effective because of his eruptive style.”

The Clinton campaign was ecstatic when Trump became the Republican nominee because they believed Hillary would handily banish him and the Republican Party to the hinterland. Hillary vastly underestimated the level of animosity that would be created when Sanders supporters observed that the primary process was rigged from the start for Hillary. Some alienated Bernie Sanders’ supporters actually crossed over and voted for Trump as a means of expressing their displeasure with the DNC:

As a result, the backlash within the party faithful further promoted doubt about Clinton’s veracity, which was already tenuous. One could postulate that two normally Democrat leaning states, Florida and Pennsylvania, might have swung for Hillary. Since both states held a great many Sanders voters, Clinton could possibly be president now if she did not act so underhandedly and had won the nomination legitimately.

Indeed, with the publication of Donna Brazile’s new book, Hacks: The Insider Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, which chronicles her time with the Clinton campaign, we now know for certain that [click to continue…]

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McCain More Popular With Democrats Than Republicans

For anyone who has been paying close attention to the collapse of the establishment wing of the Republican Party, here is an interesting finding.

In a recent poll, McCain is viewed more favorably by Democrats than by voters in his own party. He is at 63% unfavorability with the GOP and 64% favorability with Democrats. This is quite an accomplishment for the Republican party’s 2008 nominee for the presidency. Perhaps, in hindsight, McCain should have gone with his heart and challenged Obama in the Democratic primaries.

Despite the importance the media gave to Jeff Flake’s retirement anti-Trump oration (almost giving it the same gravity and historical significance as Cromwell’s dissolution of the Long Parliament speech in the House of Commons), establishment Republicans like Flake and McCain were starting to resemble “Democrat Lite.” Voters in the GOP primaries were beginning to realize that on many substantive issues, such as immigration and free trade there was little difference between the position of the Old Guard in the GOP and the Democratic Party. Republican voters were well aware that if you give a voter a choice between a Democrat and a Democrat, they’ll pick the real Democrat every time.

McCain has relished being a thorn in the side of Trump, and he was positively gleeful over casting the lone vote that killed Obamacare repeal. McCain’s abandoning ship on repeal is one of many reasons so many Republicans loathe him. It also explains why his disapproval ratings far exceed those of Flake. It is clear that McCain will go to his grave making life as miserable as he can for Trump.

For years, McCain has been solicitous of the mainstream media, who he views as his natural constituency, rather than the voters of Arizona. He loves basking in the adulation showered upon him by the Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex whenever he pokes a stick in the eye of conservatives, or more recently, lambastes the president of his own party.

When Jeff Flake gave his retirement speech on the Senate floor with a stinging rebuke aimed at Trump, he was taking a page right out of Maverick’s playbook. Both McCain and Flake are establishment Republicans and Flake decided to resign rather than seek reelection in the party of Trump — an election he would have lost badly given his dismal approval ratings with voters in Arizona.

The only people who love establishment Republicans like Flake and McCain are the media and misguided Democratic strategists.

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An old and historic Episcopalian church in Virginia is the venue for the latest incident of identity politics run amok. After the post-Charlottesville mob demanded that all confederate statues be removed, there were those who cautioned against such intemperance, as the logic of the slippery slope would inevitably lead to purging the nation of monuments of its founder, George Washington. And indeed, now the self-appointed progressive vanguard of the nation’s conscience, have come for Washington, because they have unilaterally deemed his presence “offensive.”

Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, announced last week that it will remove a pair of memorial plaques honoring Washington and Robert E. Lee, who were parishioners at the historic Episcopal church. And the extraordinary circumstances that would warrant the removal of the plaques? According to church officials, the justification for removing the plaques, which were installed in 1870 and for the past 147 years haven’t caused much trouble, was to help make the sanctuary a “more welcoming space.”

Was the sanctuary somehow an unwelcoming place before the decision to remove the plaques? Did parishioners complain about the plaques? Did they find the plaques presence in the church intolerable? This incident demonstrates the monumental silliness of the politically correct underpinnings of progressivism.

The specious justification for the removal of historical icons is the embodiment of what can be characterized as the progressive some may find it “offensive” school of thought.

For purposes of enlightening those in the country who have difficulty understanding why a few unspecified individuals, a minority, should determine cultural outcomes for the majority, the church officials in Virginia in particular and progressive commissars of political correctness in general, ought to answer the following questions: is there anyone who might be offended by the plaques removal? If so, were their sensitivities and concerns taking into account? If not, why not? How many churchgoers complained about [click to continue…]

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In the Governor’s race in Virginia, initial underdog Ed Gillespie has closed a 13 point gap with his Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam. On reason the race has tightened is that Gillespie has brought front and center the Democrats suicidal policy on illegal immigration. The despicable attack ad run by the Latino Victory Fund shows a pickup truck with a confederate flag and a Gillespie bumper sticker attempting to run down minority children. The only thing missing from the ad was a shot of Gillespie supporters parading around town with their swastika armbands.

The ad provoked widespread criticism and the Victory Fund pulled the ad yesterday. How offensive was the ad? The editorial board of the Washington Post called it over the top,

“It behooves Mr. Northam, while he is offering criticism, to make clear that even though the anti-Gillespie spot was not a product of his campaign, his campaign wants no part of it.”

What’s remarkable is that Northam has defended the ad. The reason he didn’t distance himself from the ad is that it is a fairly accurate depiction of the Democratic Party’s real stance on immigration. If there was any doubt about where the party stands on immigration, the ad has starkly reveals that the Democratic Party firmly believes in open borders and sanctuary cities. Their position on securing the border and illegal immigration is simple to explain: they don’t have one.

This shows how tone-deaf the entire Democratic Party is. The anti-Gillespie ad clearly jumped the shark and demonstrates that the immigration issue continues to be political suicide for Democrats. Because Democrats have been so strident in accusing or stigmatizing those who are concerned about border security as racists, xenophobes, etc., the party has now painted itself into a box. Every time there is a discussion about limiting immigration or ending chain migration, the Democrats spring into action and attack those questioning the wisdom of open borders as racist, xenophobes, nationalists, white supremacists, etc, etc.

If the Latino Victory Fund thinks the ad will hurt Gillespie, they are sorely mistaken.

As Alexandra Desanctis reports in National Review,

Unfortunately for the Latino Victory Fund, its ad has almost certainly backfired. Not only has the group faced intense scrutiny in light of the Manhattan attack, but the ad may have in fact mobilized the Republican base in Virginia in a way the Gillespie campaign might not have been able to do on its own. A CNN journalist reported on Tuesday night that donations to Gillespie tripled over the last two days, after the ad aired. In one revealing anecdote, a PR strategist reported that a contractor working on his house was incensed by the ad, saying, “I drive a truck. I wear a hat. I’m voting for Gillespie. My foreman and whole crew are Hispanic. I know their kids. I buy them gifts. But wow, I know what the Democrats think of me now.”

It is too early to tell, but Ralph Northam may pay a steep political price for backing the ad.

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A Democratic Strategist Bemoans His Party’s Lurch Leftward

There is an interesting article in The Hill, written by Tyler Jones, a Democratic Party strategist from South Carolina. Jones bemoans the fact that his party has been losing recent elections because it has drifted too fat to the left. Jones uses the recent retirement speech of Jeff Flake, during which he harshly criticized the president of his own party as a sign that many Republicans have grown weary of Trump,

“Democrats have an opportunity to tap into the frustrations and disgust that independents and moderate Republicans currently feel toward the new Republican Party under Donald Trump. But if my party continues to shift left on every major issue, demonize centrist and conservative Democrats, or ignore rural America, we’ll never take advantage of this historic opportunity.”

Jones then offers a way out of the hinterland for his party,

Our party would be wise to take a step back and consider the opportunity that is being placed at its feet. We should firmly reject efforts to turn the Democratic Party into an entirely coastal and urban party dominated by the far-left wing, where we demand every candidate support single-payer health care, $15 minimum wage and free college for everyone.

For a self-described progressive, Jones sounds positively right wing here. However earnestly he feels that he is offering a winning formula for Democrats, in the end, he is wishing upon a star.

I don’t know if anybody has told Jones, but there are no centrist and/or conservative Democrats left in the party and there hasn’t been for years. The last time there were any number of “blue-dog” conservative or centrist Democrats was during the first term of the Obama Administration and most of them went down to defeat when they voted for his signature health care legislation. But, even if there were some centrist or conservative Democrats, it wouldn’t make any difference in terms of righting a party that has been listing to port because every single one of the top Democratic congressional leadership positions is filled with hard left liberals.

Take for example, minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. She is still around after a couple of failed coup attempts at forcing a changing of the guard in the Democratic Party. Pelosi is a San Francisco liberal — a poster child for liberalism run amok. Consider centrist Democrat John Osoff’s fate in Georgia’s sixth district, in which his opposed turned Pelosi [click to continue…]

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Jeff Flake, Useful Idiots and the death of Bush Republicanism

It is not hard to see why Flake was lionized by the Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex after his vitriolic speech aimed at the leader of his own party. The media positively gloated at internecine warfare in the Republican Party. That is why they have elevated John McCain for years as a profile in courage since he has made a habit of poking a stick in the eye of GOP conservatives who don’t toe the establishment line on immigration and free trade. Of course, as soon as McCain squared off against Obama, who was a demigod to the press corps, they vilified him mercilessly.

Flake’s performance was pulled right out of McCains’s playbook. No doubt Flake basked in the afterglow of all the media adulation he received after he excoriated the president of his own party, but the voters back home had a very different view. On the Senate floor, Flake lamented “flagrant disregard for truth and decency.” Later, asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he believed Trump was setting a “bad example for the nation’s children,” Flake replied, “Yes.”

Though he couched his reasons for retirement in lofty, high minded moral principles, exclaiming that, “More is now required of us than to put down our thoughts in writing,” the real reason Flake decided to retire, is because he stood no chance of being reelected, as reflected in his dismal 18% approval rating. Flake, no longer represented the interests of his constituents.

One of the reasons that Trump pummeled the Republican establishment candidates in the primaries is that GOP voters realized that pontificating and self-righteous gasbags like Flake were simply doing the Democrats bidding for them. Who needs an opposition party when members of your own team are only too happy to oblige.

Flake was part of the GOP establishment that was thoroughly repudiated last year. It is truly Trump’s party now.

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Hillary, the DNC and the Steele Dossier

After spending the better part of a year trying to find even the flimsiest piece of evidence with which to support their unfounded allegations that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election from Hillary, it now appears that it is Hillary and the Democrats that were involved with the Russians.

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that the Clinton campaign and the DNC, hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS (yes, the same outfit that paid goons to go cause trouble at Trump rallies last summer) to prepare a fake dossier on Trump prepared by ex British spy Richard Steele.

Hillary Clinton and aides who worked on her campaign were mum yesterday when asked to comment on the story.

After whining throughout her book tour that she lost the election due to collusion between Trump and the Russians, it appears that she has been hoisted on her own petard. The level of arrogance and hypocrisy on Clinton’s part here is simply astounding. Why would she blabber about the Russians for the past year when it was her campaign that fomented the entire story in an attempt to sabotage Trump’s presidential campaign?

As John Kass, of the Chicago Tribune noted,

“The Trump-Russia collusion theme has been a chorus of barking dogs everywhere you turn, in online news hyped to feed anti-Trump appetites, on cable, where the appetites are sated, and even in happy-talk banter of radio and TV news anchors.”

The driving force has been a partisan desire to excuse Hillary Clinton for losing her 2016 election to Trump. It’s been aggressive and passive and all Russia-Trump all the time.”

Hillary must truly believe that she can still use the Clinton damage control tools from the late 1990s. During a recent interview with the BBC to promote her new book, Hillary was asked about the sexual misconduct of Harvey Weinstein and then, since the topic was depravity, her husband Bill. Here is her pre-programmed response: “That has all been litigated. That was subject of a huge investigation in the late ’90s and there were conclusions drawn. That was clearly in the past.” In fact, any student of the Clinton presidency will realize the words she used during her interview are practically verbatim to the spin used continually when she was in the White House (“It’s old news”, etc., etc.).

Someone needs to tell Hillary that the Clinton media massaging tools of the 90’s are outdated. Since the media took the Steele dossier bait, hook, line and sinker, dangled by the Clinton campaign, it is going to be difficult to see how they will be able to cover for Hillary on this burgeoning scandal.

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The Shame of Hollywood’s Leading Liberal Men

The stories coming out of Weinsteinwood* are starting to unravel. What is now coming to the fore (as if the rest of the country is surprised) is that the sanctimonious progressive champions — yes, those same men who eagerly jumped on the First. Woman. President. bandwagon looked the other way while Harvey Weinstein, the corpulent, casting couch creep, was assaulting Hollywood women for decades.

All of the leading men and ladies of tinseltown swear adamantly that they weren’t aware of Weinstein’s depredations. Matt “Miramax” Damon, Ben Affleck, etc., they all didn’t know, of course. Damon’s initial, carefully worded statement that he didn’t see any instance of sexual abuse, is as ridiculous as it is disingenous. So, I guess that ends the the inquiry, Right? Of course Damon didn’t see any sexual harassment. Weinstein, I’m sure didn’t send Matt an invitation to watch him while young starlets gave him a “massage” in his hotel room.

The latest to plead this “I didn’t know this was going on” giddy nonsense is George Clooney. Here is what Clooney offers as his feeble defense to whether or not he had knowledge of the debauchery run rampant in the studios of Hollywood: “Whoever had that story and didn’t write it should be responsible,” Clooney said. “I want to know what kind of ad dollars were spent from the Weinstein Company and Miramax … I’m furious … I want to know who knew.”

Maureen Callahan, of the New York Post, puts the lie to this Clooney whooper,

 “Aside from the well-documented attempts by many media outlets to break this story over three decades, maybe Clooney need look no further than his friend Matt Damon. In 2004, apparently at Weinstein’s behest, Damon reportedly called a New York Times reporter to shut down an exposé about the mogul’s sexual predation. (Damon has denied knowing anything about the story’s content.)” In other words, the Matt Damon/ Ben Affleck duo, who got their start from Weinstein with Good Will Hunting, don’t come out of this tale of depravity with much of their integrity intact.

It is one thing to engage in blissful ignorance because of career concerns. It is entirely another matter, to ignore the moral turpitude that was pandemic and then talk down to the rest of the country with contempt and disdain all the while acting as if you were preaching from some lofty perch.

One thing is for certain, none of the Hollywood actors acquitted themselves well.

  • I didn’t coin the phrase. I read it courtesy of a Conrad Black article
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