Saturday 9th of December 2023

iPhoned, the bourgeois gentilhomme’s neo-idealistic children destroy their inheritance, before bedtime…

bedtime   Trump has become the symbol of a million years of sins. Our history is full of glorious shit and infamous crap that underpins the present moment. We know.


Remove the past and the kids end up like the “Children of Tomorrow” who — alone around a feeble camp-fire fuelled by the destroyed furniture and barrels of money, eating out of smashed tin-cans of beans and having no idea what a vinyl disc can do — talk funny about yesterday they don’t remember because they made sure to forget, but weirdly imagine.

And the kids are used by the Trump haters, who, at last count, were more numerous than souls on this planet. The Trump haters must be the smartest folks because they know now that John Bolton is the new god, after believing he was the devil incarnate for too long. 

Back in my days — please, let me indulge — our revolutions, that against the Reds under our beds and the Vietnam War, were more pedestrian. We had a solid target: the war was a useless act of butchery against a poor people that believed wrongly — our masters assured us — that communism was the future, when capitalism was the ONLY provider of good (and goods). Back then, the hypocritical hubris of the leaders was in the present tense. 

Now, as the external devious wars have mostly been arrested, the kids are digging up the graves of their history. Our own… These graves are full of skeletons in the cupboard… And they blame The Donald’s navel-gazing for it. Of course. Strangely, Trump, in his looniness of a twittering bourgeois gentilhomme, has become the symbol of “what’s wrong” with us… And they believe — or hope — that Biden is the saviour Jesus Christ to remove that historical blimp that Trump represents: the unfettered capitalism that gave them their iPhone and just killed another black man.

May be Trump is shouting too loud about “law and order”… May be he should shout “I hear you!!!!” … and we’re going to fix this together." But the liberal media are hand-pumping the alarm horns and discreetly feeding the line that the world is going to collapse because Trump does not want wars nor use our glorious US military any more, preferring the technocratic economic Damocles weapons. This really shits the liberal and progressive who for so many years have hypocritically claimed to seek peace when their own liberal-supported idiotic idols, slaving for the Pentagon, were creating more wars via deceitful means, such as feeding weapons to terrorists in other countries, or intervening directly by bombing something that moved. 

The Donald is the next idiot that by default has accomplished their ideal of peace they could not reach. He has to be removed. Imagine! He wants to be friendly with Russia — our natural enemy! Imagine! He’s telling us that our progressive exploitation of the Chinese slavish population was a bad idea! He’s trying to tell us that our god Biden was a bad egg in Ukraine! Impeach! Impeach!... Please, remove the statues of the colonial and confederate oppressors to show Trump how we despise him! It’s his fault if all cops are crooked and racist…

Woke up? Get a grip on yourself! go and watch some porn… That will get rid of your pimples…

Yes I know, you have become the slaves of googly, twittar and facefunk — and are the little grubs addicted to your spell-check, because you don’t know about grammar. Yep. Civilisation is the pits. Let’s burn the books and the bookshelves as the new religion has come: the unknowledge via the smartphone’s big brother chosen platforms. 

Your bad egg uncle.

symbols of napolenic harpic...

The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile (UK/ˌɑːrk də ˈtriːɒmf, - ˈtriːoʊmf/,[3][4] US/- triːˈoʊmf/,[5] French: [aʁk də tʁijɔ̃f də letwal] (About this soundlisten); lit. '"Triumphal Arch of the Star"') is one of the most famous monuments in ParisFrance, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l'Étoile—the étoile or "star" of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues. The location of the arc and the plaza is shared between three arrondissements16th (south and west), 17th (north) and 8th (east). The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

As the central cohesive element of the Axe historique (historic axis, a sequence of monuments and grand thoroughfares on a route running from the courtyard of the Louvre to the Grande Arche de la Défense), the Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806; its iconographic programme pits heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments with triumphant patriotic messages. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy, the Arc de Triomphe has an overall height of 50 metres (164 ft), width of 45 m (148 ft) and depth of 22 m (72 ft), while its large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The smaller transverse vaults are 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. Three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane under the arch's primary vault, with the event captured on newsreel.[6][7][8]

Paris's Arc de Triomphe was the tallest triumphal arch until the completion of the Monumento a la Revoluciónin Mexico City in 1938, which is 67 metres (220 ft) high. The Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang, completed in 1982, is modelled on the Arc de Triomphe and is slightly taller at 60 m (197 ft). La Grande Arche in La Defense near Paris is 110 metres high. Although it is not named an Arc de Triomphe, it has been designed on the same model and in the perspective of the Arc de Triomphe. It qualifies as the world's tallest arch.[9]


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the censors of views vote for biden...

by Micah Curtis
As we get closer to the US Presidential election, the pressure is ramping up for the left. But their allies in Big Tech are setting the board to help the candidates they want to win. And guess what – they’re not Republicans.

There’s been worry about big tech companies having a specific political bias for many years. The firing of James Damore brought major attention to it given how he was let go from his job, and there have been multiple hearings on Capitol Hill on this concern. 

Republican senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Joshua Hawley of Missouri especially have been keen to point out these issues of bias in those hearings. Independent journalist Tim Pool was featured on the Joe Rogan podcast bringing these issues up directly to the heads of Twitter as well, sadly to no avail. 

Despite previous concerns and even the possibility of legislation that could affect how these companies run their businesses, it seems there’s little care from the tech giants, who seem to believe they can act as they wish, with impunity.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, has stated that if a politician gets their video taken down for having – in YouTube’s opinion – indulged in “hate speech,” the mainstream media can reupload it because they provide “context.” I can’t be the only one who thinks that this is backwards. The original clip is the context. I don’t need Don Lemon to shed alligator tears over something for me to understand it. 

Beyond that, who is it that decides what is and isn’t hate speech? YouTube? In that case, the definition is whatever they want it to be at that exact moment. So if “hate speech”is talking about border security and law enforcement, you’re not going to see much from Conservatives without a spin from CNN or The Young Turks. 

Twitter also recently suspended the popular pro-Trump memester Carpe Donktum, whose memes have been retweeted by the President before. The ban is also permanent, with the tech giant citing copyright infringement in the decision. 

The problem is that the memes usually shared by Donktum are obviously transformed media, which would fall under fair use protection. Similar tactics have been used on YouTube to silence opinions as well by burying people in copyright claims so that their opinions can be bogged down in complaints rather than be seen by the public at large.

The game that Big Tech is playing is rather obvious to anyone with a set of eyes. There is a desire by these tech giants to shutter the opinions of people on the right that might sway opinion towards voting for Donald Trump. 

We live in a time where these big companies have managed to make the public forum into a monetized business, and there have been many positives that have come of it. However, the problem is that there is exactly zero respect for the First Amendment of our constitution. They’re happy to stifle speech they don’t agree with simply because of a different opinion or worldview. 

However, like the foolish tactics of Black Lives Matter, these sorts of things don’t go unnoticed. As time has gone on, it’s obvious that these folks don’t understand what the Streisand Effect is. The more they try and sweep these conservative ideas and memes under the rug, the more people are going to want to see them. When people do see these opinions and realize they aren’t “hate speech” or anything of the sort, how do you think they’re going to vote? Here’s a hint. They’re not going to pull the lever for Joe Biden in the fall, that’s for sure. 

What’s funny about all of this is that American novelist and Daily Wire podcaster Andrew Klavan’s satire of Google’s actions has become a reality. Maybe the heads of Big Tech companies should just wear Cobra Commander costumes and be done with it.



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Who knows... The big tech firms may be indulging in "reverse garbage psychology"?

in favour of different flavours...

A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

July 7, 2020

The below letter will be appearing in the Letters section of the magazine’s October issue. We welcome responses at

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

Elliot Ackerman
Saladin Ambar, Rutgers University
Martin Amis
Anne Applebaum
Marie Arana, author
Margaret Atwood
John Banville
Mia Bay, historian
Louis Begley, writer
Roger Berkowitz, Bard College
Paul Berman, writer
Sheri Berman, Barnard College
Reginald Dwayne Betts, poet
Neil Blair, agent
David W. Blight, Yale University
Jennifer Finney Boylan, author
David Bromwich
David Brooks, columnist
Ian Buruma, Bard College
Lea Carpenter
Noam Chomsky, MIT (emeritus)
Nicholas A. Christakis, Yale University
Roger Cohen, writer
Ambassador Frances D. Cook, ret.
Drucilla Cornell, Founder, uBuntu Project
Kamel Daoud
Meghan Daum, writer
Gerald Early, Washington University-St. Louis
Jeffrey Eugenides, writer
Dexter Filkins
Federico Finchelstein, The New School
Caitlin Flanagan
Richard T. Ford, Stanford Law School
Kmele Foster
David Frum, journalist
Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University
Atul Gawande, Harvard University
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
Kim Ghattas
Malcolm Gladwell
Michelle Goldberg, columnist
Rebecca Goldstein, writer
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University
David Greenberg, Rutgers University
Linda Greenhouse
Rinne B. Groff, playwright
Sarah Haider, activist
Jonathan Haidt, NYU-Stern
Roya Hakakian, writer
Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution
Jeet Heer, The Nation
Katie Herzog, podcast host
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
Adam Hochschild, author
Arlie Russell Hochschild, author
Eva Hoffman, writer
Coleman Hughes, writer/Manhattan Institute
Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute
Michael Ignatieff
Zaid Jilani, journalist
Bill T. Jones, New York Live Arts
Wendy Kaminer, writer
Matthew Karp, Princeton University
Garry Kasparov, Renew Democracy Initiative
Daniel Kehlmann, writer
Randall Kennedy
Khaled Khalifa, writer
Parag Khanna, author
Laura Kipnis, Northwestern University
Frances Kissling, Center for Health, Ethics, Social Policy
Enrique Krauze, historian
Anthony Kronman, Yale University
Joy Ladin, Yeshiva University
Nicholas Lemann, Columbia University
Mark Lilla, Columbia University
Susie Linfield, New York University
Damon Linker, writer

Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
Steven Lukes, New York University
John R. MacArthur, publisher, writer

Susan Madrak, writer
Phoebe Maltz Bovy, writer
Greil Marcus
Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Kati Marton, author
Debra Maschek, scholar
Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago
John McWhorter, Columbia University
Uday Mehta, City University of New York
Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University
Yascha Mounk, Persuasion
Samuel Moyn, Yale University
Meera Nanda, writer and teacher
Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Olivia Nuzzi, New York Magazine
Mark Oppenheimer, Yale University
Dael Orlandersmith, writer/performer
George Packer
Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University (emerita)
Greg Pardlo, Rutgers University – Camden
Orlando Patterson, Harvard University
Steven Pinker, Harvard University
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Katha Pollitt, writer
Claire Bond Potter, The New School
Taufiq Rahim, New America Foundation
Zia Haider Rahman, writer
Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen, University of Wisconsin
Jonathan Rauch, Brookings Institution/The Atlantic
Neil Roberts, political theorist
Melvin Rogers, Brown University
Kat Rosenfield, writer
Loretta J. Ross, Smith College
J.K. Rowling
Salman Rushdie, New York University
Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment
Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University
Diana Senechal, teacher and writer
Jennifer Senior, columnist
Judith Shulevitz, writer
Jesse Singal, journalist
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Andrew Solomon, writer
Deborah Solomon, critic and biographer
Allison Stanger, Middlebury College
Paul Starr, American Prospect/Princeton University
Wendell Steavenson, writer
Gloria Steinem, writer and activist
Nadine Strossen, New York Law School
Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Harvard Law School
Kian Tajbakhsh, Columbia University
Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University
Cynthia Tucker, University of South Alabama
Adaner Usmani, Harvard University
Chloe Valdary
Lucía Martínez Valdivia, Reed College
Helen Vendler, Harvard University
Judy B. Walzer
Michael Walzer
Eric K. Washington, historian
Caroline Weber, historian
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
Bari Weiss
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
Garry Wills
Thomas Chatterton Williams, writer
Robert F. Worth, journalist and author
Molly Worthen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Matthew Yglesias
Emily Yoffe, journalist
Cathy Young, journalist
Fareed Zakaria



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controversy about the flavouring...

An open letter from JK Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky and other writers bemoaning and “intolerance of opposing views” has stirred controversy and a debate about “cancel culture”.

Harry Potter author Rowling, who had already been under fire for recent comments on transgender people, has been slammed by critics as out of touch after joining a list of 150 high-profile public figures also including author Gloria Steinem, and Salman Rushdie.

The letter, published in Harpers Magazine this week, applauded the recent “powerful protests for racial and social justice,” but warned that “resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion” and denounced the “restrictions of debate”.

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter reads.

The letter has sparked heated debate over  “cancel culture”, the trend for people – usually on social media – to publicly shame or boycott those with controversial or hurtful views.

American Surgeon and scientist David Gorski tweeted: “I read the letter. It’s the same old whiny BS about ‘cancel culture’ from privileged people with large audiences complaining about facing criticism and consequences for their speech. I am unimpressed.”

American author and transgender activist Jennifer Finney signed the letter but recanted her support when she saw the full list of signatures.

“I did not know who else had signed that letter,” Boylan tweeted. “I thought I was endorsing a well-meaning, if vague, a message against Internet shaming. I did know Chomsky, Steinem and Atwood were in, and I thought good company. The consequences are mine to bear. I am so sorry.”

Historian Kerri Greenidge has also now backed away from the letter, telling her followers that she does “not endorse it” and has contacted Harpers about a retraction.

It comes after Rowling, best known for her Harry Potter series, was widely criticised for recent transphobic comments linking hormone replacement to gay conversion therapy.

In a 3600-word essay last month she defended her right to speak on trans issues, arguing that because she was in a violent marriage she has rights to speak about ‘single-sex spaces’.

Rowling railed against the harm she said was being done to society by activists from the ‘trans rights movement’.

“I was very proud to sign this letter in defence of a foundational principle of a liberal society: open debate and freedom of thought and speech,” Rowling wrote on Twitter.

Harry Potter film stars Emma Watson, Eddie Redmayne, and Daniel Radcliffe have all condemned the authors comments about transgender people, with the latter apologising to those who “feel their experience of the [Harry Potter] books has been tarnished” and said he was “deeply sorry for the pain”.



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Note: I posted the letter above, as is, to let people have their own views about what was said in it. For my liking, it is a bit self-serving and a weird way to expiate "sins" of the past, but it's a start for a robust discussion without becoming a fascist either way... 

By the way, as I mentioned before on this site, I am not a fan of Harry Potter... Possibly I'm too old and I've done more witchcraft than the young Harry could dream off...

glorious symbols of our past failures...

In the midst of America's racial reckoning, the question of how to deal with memorials to controversial leaders has risen again to the national stage - and has brought back criticisms of "cancel culture" with it. 

"Cancel culture", the term for when individuals or companies face swift public backlash and boycott over offensive statements or actions, has been an incendiary topic in the movements of recent years, whether relating to misogyny, race or homophobia.

To some, it's a new way to flag past wrongs. To others, it's an ineffective over-reaction in the court of public opinion. In the wake of the George Floyd protests, some see the dethroning of historical figures associated with racism as the latest iteration of cancel culture.

On Tuesday, a group of more than 100 famous writers such Salman Rushdie and JK Rowling published a letter in Harper's magazine in which they decried "this stifling atmosphere" as toxic to artistic expression and healthy debate.

Here's a look at what US leaders and cultural experts have had to say about it.

Trump: 'Far-left fascism'

US President Donald Trump appears to be making it a central part of his re-election campaign. He has deemed cancel culture "far-left fascism", saying it is "driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who the very definition of totalitarianism".

He has criticised calls for renaming sites and removing monuments as part of this "dangerous movement".

"This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly," Mr Trump told supporters during his Independence Day event on 3 July.

"We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation's children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life."

Obama: 'The world is messy'

Last October, former President Barack Obama challenged cancel culture and the idea of being "woke" - a term describing being alert to injustices and what's going on in the community - saying change was complex.

"I get a sense among certain young people on social media that the way of making change is to be as judgemental as possible about other people," Mr Obama said.

"The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."

Young people who disagree with Trump and Obama

Mr Trump's critics in particular have said his own remarks condemning and publicly shaming those he disagrees with - from news outlets to former staff to protesters - also play into cancel culture. 

But younger generations have pushed back against the notion that cancel culture equals unhelpful judgment.

Journalist Ernest Owens wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times: "As a millennial who has participated in using digital platforms to critique powerful people for promoting bigotry or harming others, I can assure you it wasn't because they had 'different opinions'. 

"It was because they were spreading the kinds of ideas that contribute to the marginalisation of people like me and those I care about."

Owens said Mr Obama's generation failed to understand that this was not bullying people with different opinions, but rather pushing back against influential people who had caused harm or could in the future.

Essayist Sarah Hagi, writing for Time Magazine, said those "whose privilege has historically shielded them from public scrutiny" turned to phrases like cancel culture to "delegitimise the criticism".

"I'm a black, Muslim woman, and because of social media, marginalised people like myself can express ourselves in a way that was not possible before," she said. "That means racist, sexist, and bigoted behaviour or remarks don't fly like they used to."

So what's the statue row about?

Opinions held by protesters range from tearing down Confederate statues to dethroning all monuments associated with colonisation or with ties to slavery and racism.

Activists calling for the removal of statues like Confederate general Robert E Lee and Italian explorer Christopher Columbus have said these monuments glorify in lieu of teaching people about history.

What began in America has caused statues of past leaders around the world - from Winston Churchill to Mahatma Gandhi - to come under scrutiny.

And what's Trump said about this?

The president has called US statues "sacred" and "treasured American legacies", while describing the push for their removal "a merciless campaign to wipe out our history" and "erase our values".

His address at Mount Rushmore - a controversial memorial on land sacred to Native Americans - focused on these notions of "angry mobs" attacking US culture.

"Before these figures were immortalised in stone, they were American giants in full flesh and blood, gallant men whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known," Mr Trump said.

The president has also defended the preservation of symbols of the Confederacy - the group of southern states that fought to keep slavery and sparked the Civil War.

What about Democrats?

Former Vice-President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has also defended keeping monuments to presidents past, but said those memorialising Confederate leaders should be taken down.

"The idea of comparing whether or not George Washington owned slaves or Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and somebody who was in rebellion committing treason trying to take down a union to keep slavery, I think there's a distinction there," Mr Biden said at a recent news conference.

He added that Confederate statues of people who "strongly supported secession and maintaining slavery" should go to museums. 

Mr Obama has also touched on the issues over Confederate memorials in the past, saying the Confederate flag belongs in a museum.

So where does the public stand?

Quinnipiac University poll on 17 June found that most Americans support removing Confederate statues, with four in 10 opposing.

The numbers are a stark change from when Quinnipiac posed the same question three years ago and found 50% of people were against removing the statues.

What about other views?

African American Studies Senior Lecturer Jason Nichols of the University of Maryland says deciding which monuments ought to go should depend on the reason the person is memorialised.

"Statues and monuments are supposed to show where we want to be - the people in the past who have shown us a path to a better and unified nation, the people who represent the ideals that the nation aspires to," Mr Nichols told the BBC. 

"We have to talk about the Confederacy, we just don't have to praise it in public."

He says that ideally, all statues belong in museums that can provide context and there is never a reason to bury history, adding: "I do think that some people do try to take this moral indignation a little too far and extend it beyond these Confederate monuments."

"The key difference is we praise Lincoln for what he did right, not what he did wrong," Mr Nichols says, noting that while people like Washington and Jefferson were slaveholders and did not outright condemn slavery, they still put forth important principles that were positive in the long-run. 

"That is the major nuance with Confederate statues - we're praising them for tearing our country apart."



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One can be certain (?) that there will be more failures to come — including the present awakening...

the summer of love...



Making Democrats Own Their “Summer Of Love”
Let blue cities and their feckless leaders reckon with the destruction of the violence and looting.


Remember all those “peaceful protestors,” later amended to “mostly peaceful protestors”?  You probably recall, also, the Main Stream Media’s determined effort to portray the people in the streets protesting the death of George Floyd as nothing but well-meaning reformers—until pictures and video made the spin wear thin.

Indeed, now even Democratic politicians are conceding that this wasn’t the “summer of love.”

With costly reality staring him in the face, Minnesota governor Tim Walz, on July 2, sent a letter to President Trump, formally requesting $15.6 million in federal disaster assistance for the damage done to Minneapolis and St. Paul during the protests/violence over the last two months. As Walz put it, “Nearly 1,500 businesses were damaged by vandalism, fire, or looting.”  He added, “These corridors provide lifeline services like food, pharmaceuticals, health care, housing, and transportation to thousands of Minnesotans.”

In fact, Walz estimated that the total cost of the damage could be upwards of $500 million; he described the events in his state’s two largest cities as “the second most destructive incident of civil unrest in United States history after the 1992 Los Angeles riots.”  Walz further observed, “The social and economic impacts of this incident will be felt for years, if not decades.”

So who, exactly, did all this damage?  Here, Walz had to walk a fine line.  Good progressive that he is, he couldn’t afford to be too critical of the protestors—because he might need their votes in his next election bid.  Indeed, back in May, he tried to argue that most of the violence was committed by non-Minnesotans.

This dubious assertion was quickly knocked down, and yet in his letter to Trump, Walz offered a different slant on the same outsiders-did-it argument, writing, “Individuals bent on destruction infiltrated otherwise peaceful protests and began to incite violence and vandalism.”  We might pause to note that Walz seems to be de-emphasizing, here, a word that he mentioned only once in the letter: looting.  Why?  Perhaps because looting is so singularly unattractive (to most people) that it’s best minimized when looking for bailout.

Yet in fact, the looting was so brazen that even The Minneapolis Star Tribune felt obligated to detail it on July 10; as the newspaper put it, “Near Hennepin Avenue and W. Lake Street, nearly 40 businesses were broken into or heavily looted, including large retailers like H&M, Timberland, an Apple store, Kitchen Window and Urban Outfitters.”

The Star Tribune further added that Walz’s $500 million estimate might be on the low side: “The full extent of damage to Twin Cities buildings—including residences, churches, non-profits and minority-owned businesses—could take weeks or months to calculate.”

Indeed, sometimes the damage done to a city in the wake of a riot unfolds over decades.  For instance, Detroit has never recovered from the riot of 1967; the population of Motown fell from 1.67 million in 1960 to 713,000 in 2010.

In the meantime, on July 11, the Star Tribunereported that the Trump administration has turned down Walz’s aid request.  The report included a quote from Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican representing exurban Minneapolis as well as rural areas; it seems that Emmer had written a letter of his own to Trump two days earlier, asking the administration to “undertake a thorough and concurrent review of my state’s response to the violence and provide recommendations so that every Governor, Mayor, and local official can learn from our experiences and ensure appropriate plans are in place to prevent something like this from ever happening again.”  In other words, Emmer was seeking, at minimum, to add strings to the aid.

As Emmer put it, the feds should analyze “the actions that were—or were not—taken by local and state officials to prevent one of the most destructive episodes of civil unrest in our nation’s history.”  And to drill the point even harder, he cited news media headlines supporting his supposition of state and local fecklessness: “‘They Have Lost Control’: Why Minneapolis Burned,” and “Gov. Tim Walz Laments ‘Abject Failure’ of Riot Response.”

Emmer, of course, is a conservative, not in tune with, for example, the Twin Cities’ most famous lawmaker, Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has embraced “defunding the police.”  By contrast, on July 11, Emmer tweeted a poll showing that 81 percent of  residents in the small city of St. Cloud, in Emmer’s district, believe that the police there “have an excellent relationship with the community.”

We might also note that Emmer is more than just a Republican lawmaker representing a conservative district.  He is also the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of the House Republicans.  Not surprisingly, the NRCC Twitter feed regularly zings House Democrats, and it’s a safe bet that Emmer and his rapid responders are now poised to target those who might take a progressive position on the national response, including financial aid, to recently afflicted cities.  We can see the NRCC tweet now: “Rep. ___ supports bailout for mayors that looked the other way while their cities were vandalized and looted.”

In fact, between Trump’s opposition and Republicans on watch, it’s likely that the Democrats will say little about rebuilding vandalized and looted cities—at least until after the election.

However, if Joe Biden wins this November—and the polls show him nearly 10 points ahead, which suggests Democrats everywhere will do well—then it’s likely that a Biden administration will look more kindly on Walz’s request.

Indeed, we could expect that the whole federal government, starting with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will seek to spend freely.  After all, Biden tweeted, just on July 5, “We won’t just rebuild this nation—we’ll transform it.”  And Sen. Bernie Sanders, fresh from his policy mind-meld with the Biden campaign, declares that Biden is shaping up to be the most progressive president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

So one wonders: In such a heady ideological moment, how far could the Democrats go?  Perhaps another “Great Society”?  Or maybe a “Marshall Plan” for the Other America?   And can the Green New Deal be focused on blue dot cities?

Yet even if Republicans are out of power next year, they won’t be without a voice.  For his part, Emmer raises pointed questions about urban aid, and so some Democrats—especially those many now representing suburbs—will have to think twice about voting for blank checks to mayors and their lefty constituents.  That is, if the city council in Minneapolis votes, as it did, unanimously, to defund the police, well, maybe most Americans will think that woke urbanites ought to be left to stew in their own crime juice.

Other Republicans, too, seem ready to pounce.  On the floor of the Senate on July 2, Mike Lee of Utah blasted “mob violence,” including “dimwitted, phony drama addicts.”  Lest he be misunderstood, Lee went on to rip “a privileged, self-absorbed crime syndicate with participation trophy graduate degrees, trying to find meaning in empty lives by destroying things that other Americans have spent honest, productive lives building.”

Then Lee got right down to the money issue: “The whole garbage fire that is the woke ideology depends on federal money. The mob that hates America on America’s dime.  It’s time to cut off their allowance!” So put Lee down as a loud “no” on any big bailout.

Then on July 12, Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, “Minnesota Dems willfully allowed Minneapolis to burn & then blamed the police whom they demonized.  Now, they want the fed govt to pay the bill.  I’m introducing legislation to make local govt liable to private property owners if officials deliberately withhold police protection.”

Cruz’s bill won’t pass this year, nor the next, and yet a line has been drawn.  If Cruz and Republicans can figure out how to hold a vote on that liability legislation—or on other bills of a similar nature—they will be putting Democrats in a tough spot.

Of course, the typical legislative response to a “poison pill” bill is not to vote on it.  Indeed, both parties have grown skilled at the parliamentary art of obscuring unpopular items with “omnibuses” and “continuing resolutions”; that is, the money gets spent, but with no specific fingerprints on any particular line item.

Yet in the long run, the voters will figure out who voted to bail out looter-friendly cities—and who didn’t.

Still, in the shorter term, Emmer, Lee, Cruz, & Co. will be dismissed as mere gadflies, especially if the Democrats win big this year.  Indeed, Biden is ahead in Texas, and credible pundits even speculate that he could win the biggest victory for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1964.

And if Democrats were to win big this year, they’d be high in the water, indeed, in the 117th Congress convening next year.  Why they might even seek to emulate the 89th Congress, which convened in 1965, and which did, indeed, dream big.

If so, then Republicans will have to rely on smart Congressional critics such as Emmer, Lee, and Cruz.  One’s crystal ball for the future is, of course, cloudy, and  yet the record of the past is clear enough, and so we can recall that in the mid 60s, when ebullient Democrats over-promised and under-delivered—on everything from urban renewal to Vietnam pacification— Republicans were ready with their counterstroke.  And the voters were ready with their backlash.

Thus just two years after their 1964 triumph, Democrats were drubbed in the 1966 midterm elections; one of the GOP winners that year, we might recall, was that underrated actor-turned-underrated politician, Ronald Reagan.

Then in 1968, just four years after they had been crushed in the national election, Republicans won the the presidency.

Thus a half-century ago, Democratic hubris met Republican nemesis.  Today, that’s something for Democrats to ponder as many plan, once again, to transform the nation.

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cancel culture frauds...

Journalist Glenn Greenwald has called the signatories of a letter opposing ‘cancel culture’ “frauds,” after it emerged they canceled him from signing it.

In the now-famous ‘Harper’s Letter,’ 150 prominent academics, journalists and public figures took a stand against what they called the creeping “ideological conformity” of the left. These figures are not right-wingers or conservatives, and there are no open supporters of President Donald Trump among them. However, there are some big names, including linguist Noam Chomsky, and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald is not a signatory to the letter. Although a leftist himself, Greenwald has railed against the tyrannical aspirations of modern liberalism for years. As it turns out, cultural critic Thomas Chatterton Williams, who drafted the letter, wanted Greenwald to sign, but was “outvoted on that” by his colleagues.


Greenwald’s views may have been “too far beyond the pale,” for some of the letter’s signatories, Rolling Stone’s Katie Halper suggested. Indeed, the letter is hardly a modern 95 Theses. It does not even mention the phenomenon of “canceling,” and opens with some boilerplate liberal criticism of Donald Trump and praise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Furthermore, some signatories pulled out when they saw their name appear alongside those of certain ‘undesirables,’ presumably JK Rowling, a former LGBT enthusiast now accused of “transphobia,” among them.

“It’s been obvious from the start that the letter was signed by frauds eager to protect their own status, not the principles,” Greenwald tweeted on Saturday. Many of the signatories have “been at the forefront of ‘canceling,’” he continued, “but are only petulantly objecting because they now hear criticisms.”


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in favour of different flavours...