Category Archives: Culture

Culture for the cultured and uncultured alike.

Animal’s Daily Woke Madness News

Before we start, check out the latest of the Allamakee County Chronicles over at Glibertarians!

That said:  National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson has some thoughts on the “woke” madness that’s infesting our institutions.  Excerpt:

Whether in the corporate boardroom or in Hollywood casting meetings or in the campus president’s office, race-based obsessions mostly reflect intramural wars between elites for the lucrative spoils of the one-percent’s news anchorships, roles in TV shows and commercials, diversity deanships, and admissions quotas to the Ivy League.

As a result, class considerations have vanished. They are replaced by absurd racial reductionism. For example, CNN mediocrity Don Lemon, by virtue of his race-mongering, can pose as a multimillionaire victim. The anonymous white deplorables at Walmart, caricatured as smelly in the Lisa Page-Peter Strozk text trove, are his proverbial anonymous oppressors.

Apparently, we can only prevent the tragedy of thousands of young black males killing each other and hundreds of innocent bystanders each year in our major cities—if Oprah, at her $90 million estate, conducts a series of TV interviews with Meghan Markle (denizen of a $15 million mansion) about the psychodramatic slights she feels she received from the Royal Family, or if Black Lives Matter founder and Marxist Patrisse Marie Khan-Cullors Brignac gets her $35,000 new fence around her new Topanga Canyon home, in an era when “walls don’t work.”

The elite Woke are now obsessed about race because of leftist failures in the past to galvanize a permanent class of victims of the grasping rich—given the upward mobility and expanding economy of the United States.

Race, in contrast, is deemed immutable. The Left sees it as permanent proof, a stamp of victimization and thus deserving of reparatory government action. LeBron James may be worth $1 billion, but he will always be a needy voice of the helpless given his race. Or so the woke would have us believe.

Another national treasure, Dr. Thomas Sowell, once pointed out that “white privilege” is the idea that a white coal miner in Appalachia somehow enjoys societal benefits and privileges that are denied to an Ive League-educated black attorney in Manhattan.  Dr. Sowell is not only more eloquent than I but more polite, as I simply would describe the theory as “bullshit.”

Seriously, watching a billionaire like Oprah Winfrey whine about how she feels oppressed is just giggle-inducing.  This woman in particular is a good object lesson; she literally made her billions absorbing sob stories from middle-aged women, and now she positions herself as the victim of some nebulously defined “racism.”  Ditto for the fabulously-wealthy yet not very bright LeBron James.  I could name many more, but you get the idea.

“Victimhood” has become a fashion accessory for wealthy liberals.  That’s plain enough.  Their whining is, as Shakespeare pointed out, “…a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Whores and Ale and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

Now then:  I rarely read the comments sections on the news stories I talk about here.  There’s generally nothing to be gained from doing so.  (I do read all comments that are posted on this site, and I have to say you True Believers are several cuts above average.)

But if one does choose to comment on a news story, and I sometimes do, I have a few tips for would-be commenters to help avoid being dismissed out of hand.

Bear in mind that, on the intarwebz, the only thing we have to judge you by is your presentation of the written word.  Some really dedicated critic might look at your posting profile if the site uses something like Disqus (which we use here) to get a better grip on your positions, but that rarely happens.  The words you post are what people judge you by.  So pay attention to a few simple things.

Punctuation.  It matters.  Not only should you use it where appropriate – and remember, a question should be noted by use of a question mark (?) but don’t abuse it.  Don’t put a space between the last word in a sentence and the punctuation.  Don’t indicate a pause by a string of periods – or commas, which I find very baffling.  You were all taught this stuff in grade school, folks.  And when you use an exclamation point, use only one.

Capitalization.  The first word in a sentence and proper nouns.  That’s all.  (And no, “black” as applied to people is not a proper noun, and I will not capitalize it, and you shouldn’t either; I don’t give an ounce of rat’s pee what the Washington Post says.)  Proper capitalization is important.  It’s the difference between helping your uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.  And ALL CAPS should never, ever be used.  If you want to emphasize, italicize.

Spelling.  You’re writing your comment with the world’s largest dictionary at your fingertips.  Use it.  If you aren’t sure how to spell something, it takes literally seconds to look it up.  Also, learn the difference between you’re and your, between it’s and its, and so on.

I’m fond of pointing out that stupid people should be conspicuous.  But some of this is just plain carelessness, and some are bad habits that need to be unlearned.  But it’s simple enough to not look like a dope on the internet.  Unless, of course, the quality of your argument does so – but I can’t help you with that.

Animal’s Daily Neurotic America News

Before we start, check out the latest in the Mystical Child series over at Glibertarians.  Once that’s done:  Here’s a good bit on the “masks today, masks forever” crowd.  Excerpt:

To see just how deep this nation has plunged into a rancid broth of fear, take a look at this STAT-Harris poll taken after last fall’s election. It found that 75% of the public supported the idea of Joe Biden mandating mask-wearing, while two-thirds of Americans thought he “should ban gatherings involving more than 10 people.”

A March poll by the Morning Consult determined that “57% of voters said they would continue to fully adhere to precautions like mask-wearing and social distancing even if state requirements were lifted.” A poll taken earlier this week, with infections and deaths falling, and vaccinations rising, found that 42% still believe everyone in their “area should continue to wear masks outdoors regardless” of the Centers for Disease Controls new recommendations that say the fully vaccinated don’t have to mask-up outside unless in large crowds; 39% said Americans should follow the guidelines.

One would think that, given their popularity, masks would have been an effective prophylactic against the Chinese virus. But that’s not clear at all. We take readers back to a couple of passages with relevant links from an editorial we published earlier this month:

While we acknowledge that covering our faces might slow the spread of the coronavirus under some conditions, the Democrats continue to insist that masks should be worn even among the immunized. … This chart, using federal and New York Times data, shows just how useless state mask mandates – as well as lockdowns – have been.

It’s no outlier. Rational Ground, an organization that was set up to “answer to the flood of chaotic COVID-19 misinformation,” “found that states where people are told to wear masks actually have a greater spread of COVID-19.”

If this isn’t an example of what my kids call a “first-world problem,” I sure don’t know what is.

Science!

A good portion of the population has become risk-averse to the point of outright paranoia.  Even the CDC is admitting that it’s time for things to go back at least towards normal, if not actually to normal, and several major retail chains, like Walmart, agree and have lifted mask requirements for customers who are immunized – and they aren’t asking for any proof of immunization.

But the teacher’s unions are still holding our kids hostage, and you still have to wear a face diaper on an airliner, regardless of your personal antibody status.

Still, here’s the part of this story that really chaps my ass:

To see just how deep this nation has plunged into a rancid broth of fear, take a look at this STAT-Harris poll taken after last fall’s election. It found that 75% of the public supported the idea of Joe Biden mandating mask-wearing, while two-thirds of Americans thought he “should ban gatherings involving more than 10 people.”

He can’t do any such thing.  He has no Constitutional authority to do any of that.  And 67% of the American public, including registered voters, are too stupid to realize that.

It’s getting harder and harder to remain optimistic.

Rule Five Maybe Things Aren’t So Bad Friday

This is a couple of weeks old, but I stumbled across it the other day and took a few days to digest it:  The Great American Freak-Out And How To Address It.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

Shortly before the 1928 presidential election between Herbert Hoover and New York Governor Al Smith, a well-known Baptist minister named Mordecai Ham wrote, “[I]f Smith is elected…it can be interpreted no other way except a fulfillment of prophecy of the latter-day perilous times.”

A sense of the apocalyptic a century ago was not limited to religious and populist agitators. Harvard humanist Irving Babbitt wrote in 1924 that self-indulgent materialism in America had likely surpassed that of ancient Rome, which “portends the end of our constitutional liberties and the rise of a decadent imperialism.”

This type of commentary abounded in the 1920s, and it echoes a century later. Now, as then, concerns about cultural decline often morph into a kind of apocalypticism.

No argument here.  However, the article, as you’ll see, goes on to engage in a little “as it was, so shall it be,” but I think they are missing a few key things.

The problem with the apocalyptic style—or even its slightly less adrenalized cousin, the paranoid style—of politics is twofold. First, it corrupts public life by reducing the non-political complexity of life to political warfare. According to a 2018 survey by More in Common, the most ideologically extreme people on the right and the left are about twice as likely as the average American to list politics as a hobby. National surveys by the American Enterprise Institute have found that people whose only civic outlet is politics are lonelier than others and have a dimmer view of institutions of civil society outside of politics. Seeing life’s major challenges through the narrow lens of political power produces an anxious class of people with too much hope in what politics can achieve and too little hope in anything else.

This is certainly happening in the United States today, with the overwhelming influence of social media and the politicization of, well, everything.  Not everyone has fallen into this trap, of course; one of my most valued friendships has only survived between me, a staunch minarchist libertarian and my friend, a deep-blue East Coast urban progressive, because we both feel there is much more to life and personalities than political opinions.  But, yes, life has become increasingly politicized of late.

Second, the apocalyptic style blinds its adherents to all the things that are actually going well in the world, an understanding of which is necessary for progress. If your fears are extreme, you have a harder time seeing the world as it actually is. Most of our lives are not lived in the extreme. We live in the everyday, where the building blocks of forward progress are actually all around. Every generation needs to be engaged in an effort of recovery—of first principles, enduring practices and institutions, and the good things that we take for granted at our peril.

And, yes, things in general, at least in the Western nations, are overall going very well.  No society in the history of mankind has produced the standard of living enjoyed by even the “poor” in the United States today.  In most of the Western nations, we have eliminated – not reduced, eliminated abject poverty; only relative poverty exists now.

So what are the good things hiding in plain sight on which to build?

For starters, the value of a two-parent, married family is more widely recognized as the best environment for children than it was a generation ago. The divorce rate is down, having fallen by more than 30 percent since peaking around 1980, and the long upward trend of out-of-wedlock births has now begun to dip as well. Since 2014, the share of kids in intact families has thus begun to climb. This does not mean that declining marriage rates among young adults is not a cause of concern, but it does mean that a strong focus on healthy, intact families resonates with millions of Americans in ways recoverists can build on.

Good.

Next, Americans are patriots and localists at least as much, if not more, than they are ideological partisans. When asked in a large national AEI survey about where they derive a sense of community, a greater share of Americans named their American identity and local neighborhood than their political or ethnic identities. For instance, nearly a third (32 percent) of Americans say they get a “strong sense of community” from their American identity, compared to only 17 percent who feel the same about their race or ethnicity. Even amidst a slight drop in intense patriotism in 2020 amidst a pandemic and racial unrest, YouGov poll results showed robust levels of patriotism among a majority of Americans and even a slight uptick among young adults, Democrats, and Black Americans. You wouldn’t know this from the prevailing media narrative.

Also good.  But look at the conclusion:

There is a lot more going well in America, from the balance of judges in our courts to an openness to more family-centric work environments and policies to drops in crime over the past 25 years that have made our streets safer to breakthroughs in medical technology that will diminish pain and suffering in ways formerly unknown.  

It is important for recoverists within American political life to find each other and coalesce around common projects so that alarmism has less of an effect on policymakers. For recoverists hoping to make the future better by building on the past, it is worth pulling a page from the century-old playbook to find new ways to defend the first principles, practices, and institutions on which all of these good things depend. Neither the Mont Pelerin Society nor the Great Books nor C.S. Lewis was inventing entirely new ideas. All of them were recovering anew those things without which a healthy and flourishing society is not possible.

The problem is that these things aren’t happening.

We aren’t finding new ways to defend old principles.  But more than that, the other side – the political Left – isn’t playing by the old rules.  While Franklin Roosevelt proposed packing the Supreme Court, he failed to do so, but now Democrats are openly advocating that again – and failing that, proposing to add new states and imposing unconstitutional Imperial election rules to cement one-party rule.  They did so successfully in California; now they want to take the show on the road.

Conditions have changed, as well.  Folks in the time periods mentioned in this article weren’t drinking from the information fire hose represented by Derpbook, Twatter and so on.  The 24/7 inundation of information, much of it political or cast in a political light, is unprecedented.  Add to that the fact that the major providers are unabashedly biased; they aren’t putting their thumbs on the scale, they are piling cinder blocks on it.

Read the whole article.  It strikes an optimistic tone, and I do try to strive towards optimism myself.  But these days, it’s getting hard to maintain.  Read it yourselves, though, and make up your own minds; the point that things aren’t all bad is a good one.  Life can be pretty damn good these days, if you can just ignore politics and politicians for a while.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links!

Now then; we’ve had occasion to wonder if America is headed for a second civil war.  France has had civil wars in the past, and may be a little farther down that path than we are, with the possibility of a military coup thrown in for good measure.  Excerpt:

In France this week, 20 retired military generals, 80 officers, and 1,000 lower-ranking soldiers signed an open letter expressing concern over “mortal dangers” they say face the Republic. President Macron’s government has instructed the army chief of staff to discipline the signatories for inciting insurrection.

The letter bears close attention on several grounds. Although the signatories warn they wish to act only after the outbreak of civil conflict, Macron’s response shows the government understands the situation has already deteriorated to a point where a true coup or uprising—an event quite unlike the shambolic ordeal in Washington on January 6th—might erupt at the slightest provocation. This fearsome possibility is made all the more apparent by Harris Interactive polling that shows 58% of the French people support the letters’ signatories. Despite strenuous elite attempts to delegitimize even thinking such thoughts, 84% of those polled can see that violence in the country is increasing daily. A full 73% agree France is in decline.

The article reproduces the referenced letter in full, and I’ll do so here as well, because it’s damnably important:

Mister President,
Members of the Cabinet,
Members of Parliament,

The hour is late, France is in peril, threatened by several mortal dangers. Though retired, we remain soldiers of France, and cannot, under the present circumstances, remain indifferent to the fate of our beautiful country.

Our tricolor flags are not simply a piece of fabric; they are a symbol of tradition—the tradition of those who, throughout the ages, whatever the color of their skin or their religion, served France and gave their lives for her. On these flags, in golden letters, is inscribed the motto, “Honor and Fatherland.” Today, our honor rests on denouncing the crumbling-apart of our fatherland.

Crumbling-apart through a certain kind of anti-racism, which has an explicit goal: to sow malaise on our soil, up to and including hate between communities. Today, some speak of racialism, of indigenism, and of anti-colonial theories, but with these words, those hateful and fanatical partisans seek to foment a racial war. They despise our country, her traditions, her culture, and want to watch her dissolve by tearing her away from her past and her history. Thus, by attacking statues and analyzing words from several centuries ago, their true goal is to undermine our ancient civil and military glories.

Crumbling-apart through Islamism and the hordes from the Banlieues. Several patches of our nation have been detached and turned into territories put under submission to dogmas contrary to our Constitution. Every Frenchman, regardless of belief or non-belief, must be everywhere at home in France; there cannot and must not exist any city, any neighborhood, where the laws of the Republic do not have writ.

Crumbling-apart, when hate replaces fraternity during protests, when the regime uses police as jackboots and scapegoats, against yellow-vest-wearing compatriots who seek only to express their hopelessness. This even though ski-mask-wearing individuals infiltrate those protests, destroy businesses, and threaten the police. And yet, the police only follow the sometimes-contradictory policies set out by you, holders of political office.

The peril rises, violence increases every day. Who could have predicted, ten years ago, that a teacher could one day have his head cut off as he left his middle school? As servants of the Nation, who have always been ready to pay the ultimate price for our service, we cannot remain passive spectators of such actions.

Therefore, the leaders of our country must absolutely find the courage required to eradicate those dangers. To do so, it is often necessary only to apply existing laws without weakness. Do not forget that, like us, a great majority of our fellow citizens is incensed by your cowardice and your guilty silences.

As Cardinal Mercier, Primate of Belgium, once said: “When prudence is everywhere, courage is nowhere.” Ladies and Gentlemen, stop equivocating—the hour is late, the work ahead is immense. Do not lose time, and know that we are ready to support political leaders who would undertake the rescue of the Nation.

However, if nothing is done, heedlessness will continue to spread its poison throughout society, inexorably. In the end, there will be an explosion, and our comrades in active military service will be forced to step in and undertake the perilous mission of protecting our civilizational values and the lives of our fellow citizens.

It is easy to see that the time for hesitation is over. Otherwise, tomorrow, civil war will put an end to this growing chaos, and there will be thousands of deaths, of which you will bear responsibility.

Emphasis added by me.  And yes, it’s true; members of France’s military are threatening a military coup, to protect the rights and safety of the French people, rights that are being ignored by the French government.

I gotta say, this bears watching.  The French government will be cracking down on the generals that wrote this letter, to be sure, and what that crackdown will consist of remains to be seen.  But they can’t crack down on the French people, a majority of whom apparently agree with the sentiments expressed in this letter.

So, what does that mean for us?

Well, one could argue that during the Obama years, the upper echelons of the military were purged, if you’ll allow the word, of wrong-thinkers.  Peacetime generals have always been more politician than soldier, never more so than now, as witness the current round of SJW nonsense being foisted on the line troops.

It would be frankly shocking to see a display of testicular fortitude as shown in the letter reproduced above coming from our PC generals.  And that’s the state of things, True Believers; our top-ranking military has been outdone in ballsiness – by the French.

Rule Five Failure Of The Law Friday

I found this an interesting read; from the Law & Liberty blog, here is Law On the RangeIt’s an interesting theme, and one that speaks to current events; what do we do when the law fails us?  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

The western is a deeply American genre, full of themes intimately bound up with American history and Americans’ images of ourselves. It has fallen on hard times in recent years, partly because westerns often center around narratives that are now thought of as politically incorrect. This makes it all the more exciting that the Library of America has published a single-volume collection of four classic westerns: Walter Van Tillburg Clark’s The Ox-Bow Incident (1940), Jack Schaefer’s Shane (1949), Alan Le May’s The Searchers (1954), and Oakley Hall’s Warlock (1958). All were made into films (also terrific), but the novels are more complex and nuanced. They are also a pleasure to read, although the historically accurate renderings of the language of the frontier may soon render them vulnerable to cancellation.

The novels are at least loosely based on real events, although all portray the West as far more violent and less ‘lawful’ than it was. An invaluable source on the history of the West is Terry L. Anderson and P.J. Hill’s The Not So, Wild, Wild West (Stanford 2004). The novels’ focus on atypical events helps provoke us to think about the role of law in a free society. Their settings share the absence of the formal rule of law, and the struggle of communities’ and individuals’ to establish law to protect their lives, families, and property.

It’s important to note that these novels are set in a time when civilization was expanding into a wilderness, and the rule of law had not yet been fully established, requiring the people to take matters into their own hands.  How is this relevant today?  Because arguably, in several of our major cities in particular, the rule of law is collapsing and eventually, if there is to be any order, the citizens may again have to take matters into their own hands.

The law fails in Warlock, Shane, and The Searchers; only in Ox-Bow can we see alternative paths by which the law could have been successfully invoked and only in that book are the representatives of the law portrayed as anything less than failures. In Warlock, the chief authority is the literally insane General Peach, who lives in his own reality obsessed the perhaps mythical Mexican bandit. The country sheriff is a day’s ride away but refuses to do more than appoint a helpless deputy for Warlock, explicitly telling the citizens that the town is too far away for him to concern himself with. The voice of the law is a disreputable “judge,” who has no official status, who is never depicted without his whiskey bottle, and who is sleeping off a bender when the fateful decision to send for Blaisedell is taken and therefore unable to even attempt to stop the Citizens Committee (of which he is a member). In Shane, the homesteaders at first want to wait out the attacks on them by the cattlemen, in hopes that their growing numbers will lead to the establishment of a local sheriff, who will be responsive to the more numerous homesteader-voters rather than to the cattlemen. In The Searchers, the Rangers show no interest in Debbie’s fate or the men Amos and Mart kill when the two are ambushed. They only become involved once the searchers’ activities threaten to stir up trouble with the Comanches.

So, a common theme is that the official representatives of the law are either absent or disinterested.  Sound familiar?  In many of our cities (I’m looking at you, Portland) while the street-level law enforcement is present, they have been hobbled by their political leadership to the point of helplessness.  So, what will happen?

The failure of the rule of law is most dramatic in Warlock. When the army finally comes to Warlock, albeit for the illegitimate purpose of chasing the striking miners out of town to help  the mine owner crush the strike, Blaisedell takes a stand in front of the boarding house (ironically named for the General), protecting some sick miners within. At first, he appears successful in persuading the soldiers surrounding the building to go away. Then the General suddenly assaults Blaisedell, beating him furiously with a stick, marking his face with welts and knocking him to the ground, roaring “I am! I am!” The troops enter the hotel and seize the wanted men. Just as the mine owner’s victory appears complete, the General suddenly receives word that the quasi-mythical Mexican bandit has been sighted. The army charges off, allowing the miners to be escape. The General dies while leading the pursuit, in ambiguous circumstances. The rule of law collapses as a result of his unhinged and unfinished quest.

One could argue that the rule of law is collapsing now, not in small towns still in the process of being carved out of the wilderness, but in American cities, some of which were formerly some of the greatest cities in the world but are now quagmires of crime and corruption.  But it’s not just the collapse of the rule of law; it is also the corruption of the rule of law by those ostensibly charged with maintaining it.

The article concludes:

These four novels serve that purpose well by enabling us to think through how we would act when the formal legal system is absent or fails, as it does in each of these stories. There are dangers in acting too hastily (Ox-Bow) or for the wrong motive (Searchers). Using force to solve a problem risks both the enforcer we turn to (Shane) and the soul of the community (Warlock). None of these books offer easy answers, which is why they are still worth reading more than half a century after they were written. All of them will provoke the reader to think, which is why we should be glad the Library of America has combined them into this excellent edition.

But here’s the bit that’s missing from the analysis:  The cultural values of the people themselves.  A large portion of the trouble in our inner cities have derived from a combination of things:  The failure of the education system to teach people how (not what) to think, a toxic, malignant ‘thug’ culture that has captured too many young people, and an increasing tendency to disregard the established political process in favor of riots and looting.

So what do the regular folks do?

It’s important to note that an organized police force is not necessary to maintain public order.  Here, in the locale of our rural Alaska home, there is no local police force, no sheriff’s office; the nearest badged law enforcement establishment is the Alaska State Police barracks in Wasilla, some thirty-odd miles away.  But robberies and home invasions are unknown here, because of an aspect of the frontier culture that is still Alaska:  One of the best ways I can think of to get shot, probably by an accomplished marksman, is to kick in someone’s door in the middle of the night.  Alaskans are accustomed to looking after themselves, and in general do a pretty fair job of it.

The four novels described all, to some extent or another, describe the failure of the rule of law and the necessity of the citizenry handling injustice, unrest and disorder themselves.

Now, think on that for a moment.  Why does the rule of law exist?  To protect the liberty and property of the citizens.

Is it doing so now?

Rule Five Taking The High Ground Friday

I’m of mixed thoughts about this: The Claremont Institute’s Counterrevolution to Save America.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow.

Claremont Institute president Ryan Williams says that American civic education faces an acute crisis. In his estimation, essentially every institution – the vast complex of media, Big Tech, Hollywood, Fortune 500 companies, and education and government bureaucracies – teaches “vicious lies about America’s Founders” and our nation’s “heritage, heroes, accomplishments, and people.”

No shit, Sherlock.  But they have a worthy cause, and are going about their task methodically:

Williams argues that what passes for civic education today advances “the goal of wholesale revolution and the institution of a monstrous and unnatural tyranny.”

In light of these daunting circumstances, however, he counsels hope: “We at Claremont are happy warriors, and there’s no work we’d rather be doing with friends and fellow citizens.”

Williams describes The Claremont Institute, founded in 1979, as a think tank fomenting a “counterrevolution” to recover civic education through teaching, writing, and litigation. Its mission, he continues, is to restore the natural law and natural rights principles of the Declaration of Independence, the “ingenious political science of the Constitution,” and the “popular constitutionalism and reverence necessary for the maintenance of free government” to “their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.”

Williams notes that Claremont’s fellowship programs offer “those who will go on to positions of leadership in media, politics, policy, law, speechwriting, and academia” the chance to learn the “true principles of government and their application to today’s policies.” Guided by distinguished scholars, fellows study American political thought, examine Abraham Lincoln’s statesmanship, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of present-day liberalism and conservatism.

That’s great.  It’s a laudable goal, and a clear statement of principle.

It’s also probably too little, too late.  More on that here in a bit.

Claremont’s Center for the American Way of Life, a D.C.-based think-tank led by Arthur Milikh, works to preserve a nation “characterized by republican self-government and the habits of mind and character necessary to sustain it.” Through a creative, bold, and tough-minded approach, the Center and its affiliated scholars such as Joshua Mitchell and Scott Yenor confront woke “institutional centers of power” by publishing articles and essays and holding public discussions.

Founded by vice president of education Matthew Peterson, “The American Mind” is an online journal that engages in the “battle of ideas in a lively and intelligent way,” as Williams puts it. TAM features shorter pieces (memos), longer reflections (salvos), and symposia (features) that look to forge a political realignment based on restoring the sovereignty and self-respect of the American people. American Mindset, TAM’s Substack, (it will soon be subscriber-only) offers exclusive pieces and the daily “Tell Me What You Really Think” podcast, which features conversations between associate editor Spencer Klavan and TAM staff on a wide range of political and cultural topics.

And:

Claremont offers several additional podcasts that can help spur thought and action. Hosted by Williams, “The Roundtable” delivers incisive political commentary from a regular panel of contributors; “The Close Read” podcast features Klavan discussing essays from latest issue of the CRB with their authors; and on “The American Story” podcast, senior fellow Chris Flannery highlights American heroes in short, compelling segments.

By reasserting Americans’ control over their political institutions, Claremont seeks to help recover republican government.

These are dedicated, thoughtful, committed folks.  They know the task before them is a daunting one and seek to address America’s ills with education, with persuasion, with reason – and that is probably futile.

Take a look around at our major cities today.  Take a look at Minneapolis, Portland, and San Francisco.  Take a look at the Imperial City, and the armed camp that our Capitol has become.  Take a look at the rioters and looters that swarm every time a court verdict doesn’t go as they would prefer, or every time some punk pulls a gun on a cop and gets blown away, or every time they feel like it.

Do you think these people are going to be persuaded?

More and more I think that there is going to have to be some sort of catharsis in this country before we see any resolution.  Our major cities may just very well destroy themselves, as the people causing the trouble – criminals, vandals, leftist drones and various other assholes – have no intention of altering their present course, no matter what sops are thrown to them by elected/appointed officials.  They will have to be forced to stop, most likely by the inevitable consequences of their own actions.

And that’s the end of the United States in any recognizable form.

The folks at Claremont are great folks – incredibly well-read, stainless principles, civilized, intelligent, dedicated, patriotic.

But I just don’t think they are going to sway enough people to make a difference at this point.  We’ve gone too far down a dark, dark path.

Rule Five Pw0ning the Woke Friday

This is about a week old, but I just stumbled across it; this is a pretty good piece from the New York Post‘s Glenn H. Reynolds.  How to beat the woke: Never apologize!  Excerpt:

Americans hate woke culture, as I noted in these pages not too long ago. Black, white, Republican and Democrat, a large majority of Americans oppose it. Even people like former President Barack Obama, Bill Maher and ultra-liberal comedienne Sarah Silverman hate it (Maher calls it “Stalinist”).

But it keeps going. Why is that? And what can you do about it — especially if you or someone you are close to comes under attack? In short, it keeps going because it’s easy and fun — and you have to make it less so.

Lesson one: Don’t panic — and don’t give in. Ian Prior, of Loudoun County, Va., publishes The Daily Malarkey, an Internet humor site that goes after what he calls the “Chardonnay Antifa.” As he recently recounted to Fox News, after he published an op-ed attacking political correctness, he found himself on the sharp end of woke attacks led by a group of teachers, administrators and woke citizens.  

According to news reports, the Loudoun Stalinists put together a list of people opposing their policies and planned to “hack” them, “expose” them and “infiltrate” them. Did Prior chicken out?  

No. He called them out, he mocked them, and he made sure the whole thing got as much attention as possible. Now there’s a criminal investigation into the group. The publicity not only generated blowback against the people who targeted him, it also brought in lots of new subscribers to The Daily Malarkey. Win-win.

Here’s the onion:

University and corporate bosses give into the woke because it’s painless and easier than fighting them. Make it painful and difficult instead, and they’ll change their ways. Take this to heart. The sane can win.

There are three lessons in beating the “woke,” and they are all worth taking to heart.  To summarize them:

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Stick together.
  3. Make it hard for people to go along with “woke” horseshit.

I’d add another rule, one that is more important than these three, one that is in fact in the title of this piece:

NEVER APOLOGIZE.

Apologizing to these assholes is a tacit admission of guilt.  Never do it.  I remember some years back, a city council member somewhere (I don’t remember the details and frankly can’t be arsed to look it up) was forced to apologize for using the word “niggardly” in a meeting, as someone with apparently poor knowledge of English took it as a racial slur.  Hint:  It isn’t.  “Niggardly” is a perfectly good word, deriving from the Middle English “nigard,” meaning one who is stingy or miserly.  That word in turn probably derives from the Old Norse word hnǫggr.  It is in no way related to the infamous “N-word” which derives from the Spanish word for black, which is “negro.”

No one should apologize for someone else’s ignorance.  No one should apologize for someone else’s intolerance.  No one should apologize for voicing their own opinion.  Never apologize to the “woke” assholes for voicing an honest opinion honestly arrived at.  Never.  Apologize.

This is a culture war.  If we’re going to win it, there are going to be times to set our polite impulses aside.

Rule Five Woke Herd Immunity Friday

National treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson brings us this gem –   Hitting Woke Herd Immunity?  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

There are tens of millions of Americans who either have been stung, or turned off, by McCarthyite wokeness (and thus have anti-wokeness antibodies). More have been vaccinated from its latest virulent strains by their own values of judging people as individuals, not as racial or gender collectives. So lots of Americans have developed peremptory defenses against it. The result is that daily there are ever-fewer who are susceptible to the woke pandemic. And it will thus begin to fade out—even as the virus desperately seeks to mutate and go after more institutions.

Peak wokeness is nearing also because if it continued in its present incarnation, then the United States as we know would cease to exist—in the sense that 1692-93 Salem or 1793-94 Paris could not have continued apace without destroying society. Woke leftism exists to destroy and tear down, not to unite and build. It is not designed to play down and heal racial differences, but to accentuate and capitalize on them.

Dr. Hanson, who I admire a great deal, is a little too optimistic here.  He is spot-on about woke leftism; it is manifestly a force of disunity, not unity.  But I wonder about the fade-out; the people pushing woke leftism want disunity, and won’t be easily dissuaded.  In fact, I don’t think they can be dissuaded at all; they will, instead, have to be defeated.  We can hope that can still be done at the ballot box, but there are other methods.  It would be great, of course, if we could hang them from their own woke petards.  However:

The operating assumption is that the uncovered sins of the progressive are aberrations and not windows into their dark souls. Or perhaps woke leftism works on the same principle as carbon credits: the more you act progressively, the more pluses you have when minuses are summed up.

Most who have claims of being non-white are likely to find partial vaccination from the woke mob. Those who are independently wealthy or successfully self-employed likewise have some immunity. Then there are the defiant, the proverbial “Don’t Tread on Me” folks, who will fight, and thus encourage the zombie walkers to detour around them. 

The only consistent pattern of woke punishment is the shared logic of the lions and water buffalos at the ford—devour the sacrificial, single, and vulnerable while avoiding the robust herd with retaliatory horns.  

Dr. Hanson, you misspelled “guns.”

The first paragraph in this excerpt, though, is key.  There are no principles involved in woke leftism; it’s all about The Side.  If the recent allegations about New York Governor Andrew Dice Cuomo had instead come to light about Florida Governor Ron De Santis, there would have been hell to pay – but the foot-dragging over the Cuomo story from the legacy media has been obvious and pathetic.

Of course, if you read the rhetoric coming from the woke left, it’s common to see them wishing ruin and death on those who oppose them, which is hardly a new thing among leftists from Stalin to Pol Pot.  But here, at least for now, the non-woke who would presumably be the targets of the woke left have one big advantage that victims of previous dictators did not.

Predicating wokism on race is a tricky business, even if one could define and identify race, quantify its role in determining class status, and convince millions that it is moral to judge people by how they look. 

Like the Salem witch trials and the McCarthyite hysteria, when wokism fades, we are likely to see its real catalysts revealed. And they will not be found to be misplaced idealism, nor heartfelt desire for a more ecumenical society, but mostly the age-old, narcissistic destructive road to career enhancement, fueled by customary ancient fears, envies, and hatreds.

We can hope, of course, that all of that comes to light.  But unless I miss my guess, things are going to get worse before they get better.

Read the entire article, by all means.  I find that Dr. Hanson’s work is always worth the time, always worth the consideration, always worth a bit of reflection, even on those (rare) occasions when I disagree with him.

Animal’s Daily Return of Jim Crow News

Before we start, I have the start of a new fiction series, Mystical Child, over at Glibertarians.  Check it out!

In other news:  As has been brewing for some time, segregation is returning to our schools.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

The US Department of Education suspended a decision that found racial “affinity groups” discriminated against students and staff, The Post has learned.

The goal of the programs — used by the New York City public school system and other school districts — is to separate students and staff by racial groups in order to help address discrimination and “white privilege.”

But the practice of separating schools into racial groups is discriminatory, a determination obtained by the Post found.

No shit, Sherlock.  Let’s ignore the “white privilege” horseshit for now – as Thomas Sowell points out, the very idea is suspect, as it posits that white coal miners in Appalachia enjoy privileges denied to black Harvard-educated lawyers in Manhattan.  But what the hell are racial “affinity groups?”  How in any sane world is the very notion not racist?

The DOE findings said the Evanston- Skokie School District violated civil rights law by:

— Separating administrators in a professional development training program in August, 2019 into two groups based on race — white and non-white.

— Offering various “racially exclusive affinity groups” that separated students, parents and community members by race.

— Implementing a disciplinary policy that included “explicit direction” to staffers to consider a student’s race when meting out discipline.

— Carried out a “Colorism Privilege Walk” that separated seventh and eight grade students into different groups based on race.

“If you are white take 2 steps forward. If you’re a person of color with dark skin, take 2 steps back. If you’re black, take 2 steps back,” the privilege walk exercise said..

The goal was for white students students to “learn more about white privilege, internalized dominance, microaggressions and how to act as an ally for students of color,” the lesson plan said.

Again, horseshit.  Segregation is segregation, no matter who initiates it.  And how in the living hell is this going to “bring people together?”  The only conclusion one can draw from this insanity is that disunity, not unity, is in fact the real, unstated goal.

But Ashely of the DOE concluded the school district “engaged in intentional race discrimination by coordinating and conducting racially exclusive affinity groups, which resulted in the separation of participants in district programs based on race in violation of the Title 6 regulation.”

She said “deliberately” segregating students and employees by race reduced them “to a set of racial stereotype.”

“These materials would have led students to be treated differently based on their race, depriving them of a class free from racial recrimination and hostility. Such treatment has no place in federally-funded programs or activities, nor is it protected by the First Amendment,” Ashley said.

She continued, “The District’s policy to impose racial discrimination in discipline has no part in federally funded education programs or activities,” Ashley said.

We do have segregated dorms on some college campuses.  Hell, why not go for lunch counters, sections on public buses and drinking fountains, while we’re at it?  But wait!  There’s more!  This story talks about “racially exclusive affinity groups,” which – let’s say this very softly – sounds an awful lot like the Ku Klux Klan to me.

But here’s the onion:

The teacher-complainant, who wished to remain anonymous, said she received a call from Ashley on January 6, who told her she issued a letter of finding that the Evanston-Skokie school district racial racial affinity group programs violated federal civil rights law.

But she was told she could not get a copy of the letter until the DOE reached a final compliance resolution with the school district within 90 days.

But on January 22 the teacher received a courtesy phone call from Ashley again, informing her that her case was being suspended due to President Biden’s new executive orders on equity to aid racial minorities and LGBT citizens. Biden has taken office just two days before.

So President Biden(‘s handlers) are perfectly OK with segregation, with “racial affinity groups” and, let’s just come right out and say it, blatantly and overtly racist practices in the public schools.

There’s no other conclusion a sane person can draw.