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Affirmatively Disappointed

harvardA judge today ruled in favor of Harvard University in a high-profile case centered on Harvard’s consideration of race in admissions.  A group representing Asian students claimed the policy discriminated against Asian students, who have a markedly higher average score on entrance examinations.

 

Federal District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs said, “Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster” and that “ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions.”

 

Her phraseology is curious.  In 2015, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, aka the “Wise Latina,” offered a blistering 58-page dissent when the high court voted 6-2 to uphold an effort to end affirmative action at public universities in Michigan. While writing with all of the grace and decorum of a jilted 13-year old girl, Sotomayor also committed the mistake made by all people who are losing the argument. She tried to re-brand it. Instead of “affirmative action” Sotomayor said she preferred the term “race-sensitive admissions policies.”  Judge Burroughs clearly read Sotomayor’s screed.

 

The irony is that Affirmative Action, which seeks to fight racial discrimination, is a racist concept.  If you support affirmative action, then you support individuals, who would otherwise be considered less qualified, earning positions and favors over more qualified people due to nothing more than their ethnicity. This, by definition, is racism.  It may be well-intentioned and it MAY have even been necessary at some point—but don’t try and pretend it is not racist.

 

Never mind the untold number of students and workers who have used this concept to land spots for which they were ill-prepared—consider the other consequences. Affirmative Action has given rise to the notion of “tokens.” It has compelled people to look at others with suspicion—wondering if they earned their job, or their seat in the classroom—or if they were “placed” there by a well-meaning system that is inherently flawed.

 

Do you think this fosters a spirit of cooperation and goodwill? Or does it foster suspicion and resentment?

 

I’ll put it another way. In 1985, I graduated Dan River High School, bound for Virginia Tech. Think about where we were at this point in history in terms of the development of computers. I NEVER touched a computer in high school. I barely knew what one looked like. I was computer-illiterate. When I got to Tech, I quickly learned that those who graduated from high schools in more prosperous areas in Northern Virginia had LOTS of experience with computers and were quite savvy. Since we were competing for grades I was at a MAJOR competitive disadvantage.

 

If I followed the victimhood philosophy, I would have complained to the university about the inherent and institutionalized disadvantage I was under. I would have complained about not being able to compete with students who came from homes where the household income was ten times higher than my own. I would have pushed for quotas allowing a proportionate percentage of students from “disadvantaged” school districts to be allowed access to the advanced classes—despite our poorer performance in entry-level courses. Anyone who disagreed with me would be “anti-rural” or “anti-poor.” I would have spent most of my waking hours denigrating them for their stance while claiming moral superiority.

 

Or….. I could have done what I ended up doing. I busted my ass and studied hard. I learned about computers. I learned MORE about computers. I continued to learn about computers. I helped others who were having trouble with computers. By the time I got out of Tech, only the engineers possessed more computer knowledge than me. I think I made the right choice. Its served me pretty well in other areas as well.

 

It’s time to face the facts. Applying the same solutions that were needed in the Civil Rights movement in a modern-day context is ineffective. At what point have we separated ourselves sufficiently from our past to end the remedies? In other words, when can we take the band-aid off of the wound? Do we keep it there forever; as it yellows and ceases to have any legitimate function, other than to remind us of the original wound?

 

If we are going to be a truly color-blind society, we need to become…..(wait for it)…..color-blind.

 

 

 

Greta the Child Abuse victim

Once upon a time if you purposefully intensified an autistic child’s fears, then paraded them around in front of cameras to do exactly what you told them do, you would be accused of child abuse.  I guess that only applies now if we’re talking stage mothers at child beauty pageants in the south.

 

gretaGreta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish girl who has Asperger’s Syndrome appeared before the United Nations Monday.  She has become the face of the far-left extreme of the Climate Change movement.  She is convinced that the world is beyond saving and there’s no point in her attending school as the world will be uninhabitable by the time she’d be an adult.  Her speech yesterday to the governing body included about two-dozen “How Dare Yous!!”

 

These are the kids that Progressives have created. This is exactly what they want. Kids who are scared to death and thinking we’re all going to die soon…screaming at the adults to SAVE THEM!  This is the modern-day equivalent of “The boogeyman’s going to get you!”  Of course, parents who used that old trick to scare their children into compliance did not subsequently use the kid to go from coast-to-coast to scare OTHER kids.

 

It would be noteworthy if this were a new tactic, but it is not.  And it is not necessarily limited to those on the political left—although they seem to have perfected it.  Boomers grew up scared to death of imminent Nuclear attacks.  My generation had a dose of that, along with a lot of environmentalist-fueled anxiety about the coming Ice Age and uncontrollable population growth.  Those younger than we were hit at tender ages with fears about Acid Rain and holes in the Ozone Layer.  Those implanted fears and anxieties now mostly center around the Climate Change debate.

 

Pumping out worst-case scenarios and placing government as the only possible savior has been a tactic of Statists for centuries.  And there is no more reliable recipient and eager amplifier of these Doomsday messages than young children who have not yet developed the capacity to think, reason and judge.

 

I forced myself to watch Greta’s speech to the United Nations yesterday.  I have no evidence either way but I could not convince myself that these were entirely her words.  At times, it looked like a hostage video.  Yes, I think her fear is real.  That has been forcefully incorporated into every fiber of her being.  But I do NOT believe the words were hers.

 

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”

 

Those are not the words of a frightened 16-year old girl.  Those are the words of people who are USING a frightened 16-year old girl to deliver a message promoting a far-left economic and social agenda.  A viscerally frightened girl is not going to refer to Capitalism as a “fairy tale of eternal economic growth.”  Those are the words of Anti-Capitalist adults who are hiding behind the emotional avatar Thunberg presents.

 

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t use a child as a political prop, push her out on an international stage to give emotional testimony on why billions of people would have to make sacrifices—then act with righteous indignation when criticism comes. If people really cared that “she’s just a kid”, then she wouldn’t be on this world tour to begin with.  People saying “it’s abusive to use this child as a prop for a political agenda” are not cyber bullying.  Simple.

 

And to Greta, I would say this.  People who insist on eating beef and enjoying the comfort of air conditioning have not “taken away your childhood.”  That would be your parents—and the other enablers who have filled you with irrational fear, then pushed you out into the forefront of a global debate to be used simultaneously as an unassailable shield and a cudgel.   They thrust you into the front lines while cowardly standing behind you and decrying every defense of your opponents as an attack against a girl.  In short, you are being used like a Shake N Bake bag by very bad people, and it is heartbreaking to witness.

 

This is made doubly heartbreaking by the fact that I have a high-functioning 13-year old autistic son.   If I were to take Charlie out on a world tour to promote libertarian ideas and ideals you would (correctly) claim I was guilty of child abuse.  But I won’t do that.  I respect Charlie too much.  And I respect the debate process too much.  And I’m not a dick.

 

My experience with Charlie and some of his autistic peers has also taught me that they can be the perfect vehicles for unscrupulous people to use them to broadcast emotional appeals to the masses.  Autistic children are VERY narrow-minded and literal.  Once they are convinced of certain facts there is NOTHING that will change their minds.  One of the traits of autism is GREAT difficulty in processing new information that doesn’t agree with previously-established facts. The process produces anxiety and anti-social behavior, along with emotional shutdowns.  I couldn’t stop thinking of this while I watched this poor girl regurgitate the fears that have been drilled into her.

 

Yes, there are many out there attacking Thunberg personally, and that is wrong.  Period. But the vast majority of people being called out for “attacking a scared 16-year old girl” are saying nothing about her and focusing on her coerced message—along with those who are clearly pulling her emotional strings.  It is plenty bad enough that these people are arguing for large-scale economic and social overhauls in order to fight this imaginary dragon they have created.  But to use a 16-year old girl that you have been frightening into compliance as an unassailable avatar of your angst makes you a terrible person.
And I will not give an inch to people like you.

“Climate Strike” strikes all the wrong notes

mind if i smokeI don’t doubt the sincerity of the thousands (millions?) who are participating in the Climate Strike today. But I think many of you have been misled. At least I am *hoping* that is the case.
 
Robert Colvile is Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, a conservative British think tank. He pulls the mask off of the Global Climate Strike movement in this quick series.
 
I’m getting the same vibe that I did from the thousands of participants in the Women’s March a couple of years ago. Many did not know there were marching at the behest of a virulently anti-Semitic group.
 
These marches aren’t about saving the planet – it’s about ‘climate justice’. ‘reparations’. It’s about ending all fossil fuels. It about the outright rejection of more moderate proposals like Geoengineering, Carbon Capture and Storage, Biofuels and Smart agriculture. It is also the rejection of market forces, economics or technology to cut carbon emissions.
If you don’t believe that, simply go to the Global Climate Strike website and read their goals…and check out some of their “interesting” links.
 
Colville notes the Global Climate Strike movement’s goals are, “To facilitate and support non-market approaches to climate action”, support “environmentally sound, socially acceptable, gender responsive and equitable climate technologies.”
 
These are the ramblings of an SJW hopped up on Caramel Maccihatos…not seriously policy goals.
 
Colville correctly calls it, ‘utopian authoritarianism’ – the idea that the only way to save the planet is for people on the left to command others, in the developed and developing world, to live poorer, meaner lives.
 

Climate Change policy means you import the entire progressive agenda into the conversation about how to protect the environment, ensuring no conservatives are interested.  That way you can attack conservatives as “anti-science.” Cute strategy.  We’re not buying it.

We saw something similar happen with the seventies when hard leftists took over the environmental movement.  That forced your elderly neighbor who simply wanted clean fishing waters to break bread with neo-Marxists who wanted to essentially eliminate the very concept of Private Property.

I will repeat something I have said a thousand times.  I have no beef with Climate scientists who are simply offering up data from their research.  My issue is with those who interpret that data as an excuse to enact policies that would (in many cases) change the fundamental relationship between The Individual and The State.

So…fire up the McCullough!

 

 

Kavanaugh? Again? Really?

So on the one-year anniversary of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the American left is resurrecting their role in one of the most sickening episodes in modern history.

kav confirmed            Allow me to hold my nose and recap.  Kavanaugh was nominated last summer by President Trump to replace retiring justice Anthony Kennedy.  Replacing a moderate with a reliable conservative was more than the Left could stomach.  After the confirmation hearings which turned up nothing apart from a sterling record of jurisprudence, we learned of an alleged “smoking gun.”  Christine Blasey Ford claimed Kavanaugh and a friend drunkenly groped her in high school. Ford offered compelling testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it was missing a key element.  Contemporary corroborating evidence.  Everyone else whom she said was there denied anything happened.

After that came other allegations against Kavanaugh—each more unbelievable than the previous one.  They got so outlandish as to be comical.  Yet, the media solemnly treated each as though they were the gospel.  The New York Times and Washington Post’s pages were teeming with stories that had little do with the truth and everything about the alleged “culture” of DC-area Boy’s Prep schools in the early 1980’s.  It was the Duke Lacrosse Case all over again.  Everything rich, white and male was assumed to be evil.

The allegations were crafted as they were for a reason.  Proving a negative is impossible, especially 35 years after the fact.  As such, Kavanaugh was in a no-win situation. People were demanding he prove that he did NOT try to rape someone. 35 years ago. As a drunken teenager.

Fortunately enough Republicans in the Senate saw the shitshow for what it was and confirmed Kavanaugh.  Voters evidently remembered as well.  Two vulnerable Senate Democrats who were calling for Kavanaugh’s head on a pike were ousted a couple of months later in their re-election bids.  Elections have consequences.

In the year since, Kavanaugh has proven to NOT be a rubber-stamp for Conservative positions.  He has even earned praised from liberal judicial icon Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  But to the Left, he has remained the epitome of evil white privilege.

This weekend, the New York Times published an article based on a review of an upcoming book by two Times reporters.  You know, reporters.  The unbiased/unimpeachable/totally non-partisan arbiters of the truth. “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation” was written by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.

The article regurgitated Deborah Ramirez’s story that a drunken Kavanaugh flashed her at a party at Yale and put his private parts in her face.  Ramirez’s original testimony admitted she was very drunk at the time.  The Times article quotes another man who claimed he saw it.  But further scrutiny reveals he only heard someone talk about it.  That is quite different.  Someone who is a reporter should know that.

Molly Hemingway with the Federalist actually got a copy of the book.  She reports that the Times article left one a pretty crucial detail:

“The book notes, quietly, that the woman Max Stier named as having been supposedly victimized by Kavanaugh and friends denies any memory of the alleged event. Seems, I don’t know, significant.”

After about 36 hours of this horseshit marinating in the public consciousness, the Times FINALLY noted that what they printed was actually debunked by other reporting in the book that the piece was excerpted from.

In days of media accountability and honesty (yes, such days existed) an editor would get fired for allowing a columnist to omit such a crucial fact from their story.  The columnist would be fired and blacklisted.  And no, I don’t want to hear “well at least they ADMITTED their mistake and tried to fix it!”  That ship left port some time ago.  It is not a “mistake” when you continue to do it.  And when the “mistakes” all flow in one direction, they are not mistakes.

This weekend, the top two trends on Twitter were #ImpeachKavanaugh and #KavanaughLied.  Kamala Harris and other Democratic Presidential candidates called for impeachment hearings.  Perpetual Pandering ain’t easy.

So…why all of this?  Well clearly the Times is interested in helping their reporters sell books.  That they have to revisit one of their sorriest chapters and further defame a man whose only provable sin is disagreeing with them seems like a minor concern to the Times.  Or maybe even something MORE sinister is involved.

Ginsberg is not healthy. Having Trump able to nominate her replacement will give the court a strong conservative majority.  This same court is poised to take up cases soon on gun rights and other seminal issues that *should* be handled legislatively—but have far too often been remanded to the judicial system for resolution.

Could the continual slamming of Kavanaugh as “illegitimate” be paving the way to provide moral cover for states who don’t want to abide by certain SCOTUS rulings?  A 21st century form of “massive resistance?”  If the High Court rules that Trump can rescind DACA, will some states claim the ruling null and void because it came from three justices (Kavanaugh, Gorsuch and Thomas) that they despise as see as less-than-legitimate?  If the high court rules that a citizenship question CAN be added to the Census, will certain states revolt?

Jeez I hate this.  I look terrible in tinfoil.

As for this craptacular article, The New York Times will get away with this because the standard of proof to claim libel or slander against the media is high.  And I still think that is a good thing.  A free press should have reasonable protections in order to be “free.”  But in the court of public opinion, the verdict has long since been rendered.

Koch’s death brings out the far left’s “Inner Ghoul”

david-koch-2012I realize it’s a classic case of “not all leftists” who have behaved poorly in the wake of David Koch’s death. But there have been enough to give me pause.

The Koch brothers being cast as evil incarnate was mostly created through the efforts of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid…and amplified by many willing accomplices.  While cowardly using the immunity offered by speaking on the Senate Floor, the odious Reid blasted the Koch brothers, accusing them of trying to “buy the country”.   He called the Kochs “un-American” for their right-wing activities. From there, it was easy to cast them in the role of villain.  Remember, this was years before the American left had Donald Trump upon whom to train their sights.

It was textbook Saul Alinsky. Identify a target, and throw everything you’ve got against it.  And it stuck.  Before Trump burst on to the national political scene, the Koch Brothers held the mantle of “rich guys the left loves to hate.”

It’s not surprising for nameless, faceless posters surfing the fiery edges of 4-Chan and Reddit to say despicable things about someone who’s died.  That’s what they do.  But the number of verified leftists who gleefully cheered about David Koch’s demise, hoping that he suffered exquisitely before he passed, was enough to turn my stomach.

The mainstream media even got a few sidelong blows in.  In announcing Koch’s death on Friday, the New York Times described him as a funder of the “right-wing libertarian movement.”   That is, to put it charitably, a very clumsy description.  The L.A. Weekly called him an “infamous right-wing billionaire”.  OK.

Here’s the thing.  The Kochs were not even Conservative—at least not by the contemporary definition. David Koch was a supporter of gay rights, abortion rights, drug legalization, and much else that does not fall under the current “right wing” agenda. As a Libertarian Presidential candidate, Koch advocated for the abolition of Social Security, the FBI, the CIA, and public schools.  Later, he said government should consider defense spending cuts and tax increases to balance the budget.  That’s edging in to liberal/progressive ideals.  Koch industries has also been a conspicuous supporter of Justice Reform, specifically efforts to reduce sentences and lower incarceration rates.   Over the past couple of years, Koch Industries has been involved in the immigration debate, supporting immigration reform—-including legal paths to citizenship for DACA recipients and reforms to the existing visa lottery program.  This is at odds with President Trump.  That is usually a recipe to earn you LOTS of brownie points from the Left.

They were conspicuous philanthropists.  The Koch Foundations have kicked in an estimated $1.5 billion or so to an array of causes and institutions most liberals love.  Those include public television, medical research, higher education, environmental stewardship, criminal justice reform and the arts. The theater in which the New York City Ballet performs facility had become run down.  The Kochs put up $100 million for renovations and ongoing maintenance.  A more detailed list of their philanthropy would take all day to compile.

But that’s not good enough. The far left demands total ideological purity. And if you work against their holiest of holies, Climate Change and Universal Health Care, then you are eligible for the full range of their fury.  In these two areas David Koch was unambiguously libertarian.  And that was MORE than enough for hard-left Progressives to actively celebrate his death…and in some cases, wish the brothers a speedy reunion.

The demonization of the Koch Brothers is the perfect modern-day example of political and social scapegoating.  The facts of the life and times of David Koch suggest a complicated history of wealth, altruism and activism—a story that does not so nearly fit into the binary “Right vs. Left” paradigm.  But no…people were told to hate them.  So they hated them.  Even beyond the grave.

Seeing how the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has behaved in the aftermath of David Koch’s death further convinces me they should be in charge of nothing more substantial than a lemonade stand.

Throwing Granny under the bus to “own the Jews.”

So let’s recap, shall we?

tlaibIsrael this week denied a requested visit from two members of the US Congress.  Rashida Tlaib (pictured, left) and Ilhan Omar are vocal supporters of the BDS movement, which encourages governments and private business to divest themselves of economic cooperation with Israeli entities.

By Israeli law, any supporter of the BDS movement is NOT to be allowed into their nation.  As such they were denied entry.  Predictably, Omar and Tlaib shifted to their default “victim” setting.  They claimed the denial was over their religion and their magical “women of color” status.

Tlaib took to Facebook and pointed out that this would deny her what would likely be her final chance to see her 90-year old grandmother. The Israeli interior minister offered her a chance to apply for a Humanitarian visit instead.  As part of that, Tlaib would have to promise not to participate in any anti-Israeli activities during her visit.

Tlaib made the formal request and agreed to the terms.  The Ministry then granted her request.  This morning, Tlaib publically announced she would decline. She said,

“I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.”

Wait a minute, dunce.  You *agreed* to their terms in a letter requesting the visit.  Specifically, you promised to “respect any restrictions” and “not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”  And when they agreed, you suddenly decided their terms were “racist and oppressive.”

It’s obvious to anyone paying attention what your gambit was here.  If Israel had denied the request you would have deployed “Full Metal Victim” mode, claiming the apartheid state was preventing a “woman of color” from doing nothing more than visit her grandmother, despite your agreeing to the terms of the visit.  But even with their approval, you have still sickeningly deployed the victim card, claiming their terms were racist and oppressive.

As has been seen so often in the long Israeli-Arab feud, most of what we see is carefully-orchestrated psy-ops.  Presenting a narrative with staged evidence to buttress one’s stance.

Rep. Tlaib….you are a filthy snake.  You don’t give a flying f*ck about your “sity.”  At least no more than she can be used to push your anti-Israel narrative. You are willing to forego what might be your last opportunity to see your grandmother because what’s the point of even going if you can’t trash Israel?

In short, your hatred for Israel eclipses any love you may have for your grandmother.  But who are we kidding?  You don’t have “love” for anyone or anything.  Only unbridled and limitless hate.

“Virulent Innumeracy” and emotional blackmail

In their Sunday edition yesterday, the Washington Post devoted an entire page showing the name of EVERY victim of mass shootings in the United States over the past 50 years.  I’m sure it was meant to be a powerful and thought-provoking image.  But the thoughts it provoked in me were probably NOT the ones the Post’s Editorial Staff intended.

WaPo guns

Since 1966 there have been 165 mass shootings in the United States with 1196 victims.  Employing simple math (we’re still allowed to do that, right?) shows that 22 people a year are killed in mass shootings in a country of more than 300 million people.

This is what one of my PoliSci professors at Virginia Tech called, “virulent innumeracy.”  That is to say, trying to take something that is exceedingly rare and make it appear MUCH more common by presenting it in an emotionally-charged manner.  The goal, of course, being to use the emotional impetus from those presentations of facts to spur major policy changes.

How rare are fatal mass shooting victims?  Well, consider that 700,000 people have died in the US since the AIDS epidemic began.  That comes out to more than 25K annually.   Last year alone, 70-thousand people died of opioid abuse.  According to the National Weather Service, the number of fatal lightning strikes in the US each eclipsed 25 in all but two years over the past decade.

If you want a political spin, consider partial-birth abortions—the procedure that abortion supporters assure us is as rare as an oyster in the desert.  There are 10,000-12,000 such abortions every year.  That is 700% greater than the number of mass shooting victims.

It goes without saying that any senseless death is tragic and we should always endeavor to do better.  But that effort should also reflect the severity of the problem.  No one feels compelled to reduce the national speed limit to 20 MPH in order to cut into the number of highway automobile deaths.  There is a reason for that.

And when the proposed solutions to an issue begin inching into Constitutional territory, the “problem” we’re addressing had best be on the level of the Bubonic Plague.  If you are going to talk about taking away gun rights, at least acknowledge you are messing with a constitutional right on par with freedom of religion, voting, free speech, privacy. And then treat that with the gravity it deserves.

In a nation full of *thinkers,* this effort at emotional blackmail by the Washington Post would fall flat.  People would run the numbers and see that mass shootings are comparatively quite rare.  Sure, there would be concern over the recent upward trend, and a willingness to explore reasons why that is the case.  But people would also see that since these are such rare occurrences, chipping away at basic Constitutional rights as a response would be (pardon the pun) overkill.

Unfortunately, we are NOT a nation of thinkers.  We have been conditioned to be a nation of *feelers.*  As such, this effort will join many other emotional appeals being pushed by politicians and pop culture to make people more open to the idea that mass shootings are as common as bad traffic…and drastic action is needed…NOW.

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