Sunday, June 26, 2016

Elitism in Democratic Drag: Why liberals opposed BREXIT

I was out of town when the British thumbed their noses at the EU and much of their own government by voting to leave the European Union. I walked back to my hotel room from the convention I was at and turned on CNN, where commentator after commentator declared that BREXIT was the end of British civilization as we know it, and that, in general the sky was falling and we're all going to die.

The curious thing about all the hand-ringing is that it was accompanied by virtually no explanation as to why, exactly, BREXIT was bad for Britain or anyone else. I watched for a full two hours and didn't hear a single reason why this was such a disaster, other than that it was upsetting to liberals. There may very well be a downside, but you wouldn't have been able to actually detect it in any of the apocalyptic rhetoric coming from the media.

In fact, for some of us, large numbers of upset liberals is itself a good sign. 

Why did liberals oppose BREXIT? This question is of course related to the question of why liberals like the EU so much in the first place. 

The reason liberals opposed BREXIT (and like the EU) is that liberals are elitist. Despite all the rhetoric about democracy and egalitarianism, liberals are fundamentally and philosophically opposed to both.

What inclusion in the EU means for the common person is that he will have important decisions made for him by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels, the capital of the EU. 

It is a maxim of organizational political dynamics that the bigger the bureaucracy, the more liberal is its leadership. Exhibits A and B: the EU, the UN. Elite bureaucracies are always more liberal than the people.

In addition, having a governing system in which decisions are made by anonymous people in faraway places means never having to say you're sorry. And to be a liberal leader in a member country puts you in the position, when you are criticized for some absurd liberal policy imposed on you by the technocratic elites in Belgium's capital city, to be able to simply shrug your shoulders and say, "I'm sorry, but we have no choice but to comply because we're EU members."

Most liberal policies would never see the light of day if liberals had to depend upon the ordinary processes of an even vaguely democratic government. The only way most of them can ever succeed in being implemented is if they are forced on the public by institutions that are unaccountable to the people.

This is how here in the United States we got abortion-on-demand, same-sex marriage, and now transgender bathrooms. Only rarely are these kinds of policies the result of the democratic process. They are almost exclusively the product of some unelected and unaccountable bureaucratic or judicial elite. And that's how we get trade deals that enrich trans-national corporations and line the pockets of people like Hillary Clinton while putting middle class Americans out of work.

Like all elite institutions, the EU is peopled by "progressives," the Anointed Ones, who know better than the rest of us how we should live our lives. 

And that's the way liberals want to keep it. That's why they are in favor of the Supreme Court in the United States being able to rewrite the U. S. Constitution on a whim without going through the constitutionally appointed process of amending it. It's why they want the bureaucracy in Washington to be able to issue proclamations that have no grounding in any law passed by Congress. It's why they like the UN.

And it's why they opposed BREXIT. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Today's intellectually fragile college students could take a few lessons from the Middle Ages on how to deal with controversy

Bishop Robert Barron has something more to offer today's coddled and fragile college students than safe zones and trigger warnings:
Even great works of literature and philosophy—from Huckleberry Finn and Heart of Darkness to, believe it or not, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason—are now regularly accompanied by “trigger warnings” that alert prospective readers to the racism, sexism, homophobia, or classism contained therein. And popping up more and more at our colleges and universities are “safe spaces” where exquisitely sensitive students can retreat in the wake of jarring confrontations with points of view with which they don’t sympathize. My favorite example of this was at Brown University where school administrators provided retreat centers with play-doh, crayons, and videos of frolicking puppies to calm the nerves of their students even before a controversial debate commenced! 
It's kind of ironic that there was greater tolerance about what you could talk about in the Middle Ages than on a modern college campus:
If we consult Aquinas’s masterpiece, the Summa Theologiae, we find that he poses literally thousands of questions and that not even the most sacred issues are off the table, the best evidence of which is article three of question two of the first part of the Summa: “utrum Deus sit?” (whether there is a God). If a Dominican priest is permitted to ask even that question, everything is fair game; nothing is too dangerous to talk about.
St. Thomas not only listened to other people's arguments but when he responded to them, he gave them the best characterization he could so that he wouldn't be arguing against a straw man;
After stating the issue, Thomas then entertains a series of objections to the position that he will eventually take. In many cases, these represent a distillation of real counter-claims and queries that Aquinas would have heard during quaestiones disputatae. But for our purposes, the point to emphasize is that Thomas presents these objections in their most convincing form, often stating them better and more pithily than their advocates could.
It worked a lot better than today's adult version of day care. Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Why is Muhammad Ali honored and Kim Davis reviled for exercising the same right?

As Muhammad Ali is eulogized today, there will undoubtedly be (as there has been all week) accolades from liberals for exercising his right of religious conscience in refusing to be drafted into the military during the Vietnam War on freedom of religious conscience grounds.

So the question is this: Why is a Muslim's exercise of his right of conscience to refuse to serve in the military to be considered laudable while the Christian's exercise of the same right in refusing to participate in a same-sex marriage to be considered deplorable?

And by the way, saying that you agree with Ali and don't agree with, say, Kim Davis doesn't work. Rights aren't rights only when the reason for exercising them is one you agree with.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

UK cut extension and health jobs but saved PC positions, says advocacy group

Today's press release from The Family Foundation:

LEXINGTON, KY--The University of Kentucky is putting politics ahead of its mission to serve Kentuckians in its budget cuts, according to one advocacy group. "The University of Kentucky should cut the political correctness and leave the county extension program and the College of Medicine alone," said a spokesman for the group.
The Family Foundation criticized the university today for laying off as many as 75 employees while leaving the Office for Institutional Diversity, which gets almost $2.5 million a year, untouched. While touting "diversity," the mission of the Office for Institutional Diversity is to promote politically correct causes such as lesbian and gay issues and abortion on campus.
"You have to question the priorities of a university that is cutting important programs like the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and the College of Medicine while it is spending $2.5 million on one-sided political activism on campus in the name of diversity," said Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for the group.
"We wonder how many of the 75 jobs UK is eliminating could be saved by ditching the PC and concentrating instead on non-political programs that really matter."
Cothran also said that it was hard to tell exactly what UK's Office for Institutional Diversity has actually accomplished, since its goals were vague and ill-defined. "It's very hard to tell exactly what this $2.5 million is buying. Most of the money seems to be going to pay people to repeat the word 'diversity' over and over again in the hopes that people will think that they're actually doing something useful."
Cothran said the University could retain the $260,000 in funding for Minority Student Affairs, the MLK Cultural Center, and Student Support Services and still save over $2 million.
The group pointed to the university's budget, which indicates that almost $1 million of the $2.5 million of its diversity budget goes for administration. "It appears," said Cothran, "that UK can't even do left-wing politics very efficiently."

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Where's the Sauce for the Gander? Criticizing Gov. Bevin for what Beshear (and Obama) did with impunity

Judge Phillip Shepherd
For years now liberal governors and Obama himself have issued executive orders like they were going out of style. But now a Republican governor is issuing executive orders to get a few things done and all of a sudden it's problem.

Funny that works.

In a new case brought against Gov. Matt Bevin's recent executive orders by labor unions, Judge Phillip Shepherd said today, "It kind of boggles the mind what the potential would be for mischief if there is not some limiting principle." Hmmm. Wonder how this judge is going to rule.

I'd love to believe that Judge Shepherd's mind was boggled by similar actions by Gov. Beshear, but for some reason that seems unlikely.

The chief problem once again is that liberal judges within the justice system have so tarnished the reputation of the courts through political decisions that have little to do with the law and a lot to do with political agendas that, a), no one is going to be surprised when Judge Shepherd rules against Bevin for what Beshear did with impunity and, b), when he does it, very few people are going to believe it has much to do with the interpretation of law (whether it really does or not) and a whole lot of people are going to write it off as just another decision by a judge who sees it has his (or her) responsibility to enforce the "progressive"—usually Democratic) agenda and using the law as a cover.

This has been particularly true in Frankfort, a company town.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Anti-Establishment Establishment

One of the mantras of the anti-Establishment forces in the Republican Party has always been principle over politics. And the biggest criticism by it of the Establishment was that the Establishment was too willing to sell out their principles to win politically.

But ever since Trump became the Presumptive Nominee (let us capitalize this expression to underscore its official status--or at least its presumptive official status), the anti-Establishment has begun to do the very thing that they have always criticized the Establishment for doing.

Now we are told that we get over our principled objections to Trump because otherwise we will lose. 

Yo, Anti-Establishment, are you listening to yourself? Do realize you are championing precisely the position you have always criticized the Establishment for? Sean Hannity? Mr. Anti-Establishment? You there?

These people preached to us about how important it was not to sacrifice principle for politics and yet now you are  that it is imperative that we do just this.

Interesting how, when the pigs take over the barnyard, they begin acting just like the humans who they replaced.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

So WHO's politicizing the transgender issue?

The Atlantic posted an article today by Ron Fourier, a supporter of "transgender rights" about how much he laments the fact that the issue of transgender use of bathrooms has become politicized. And of course he talks as if the blame can be evenly distributed between the two sides.

Um, no. Sorry. Won't work.

He points the finger at North Carolina, saying that their law requiring people of a particular biological sex to use the bathroom appropriate for that sex politicizes the issue. Actually North Carolina passed the law in response to the politicization of the issue by the Gender Deniers.

Think about it. Why is this an issue at all? If someone is a man who identifies as a woman, why do we even have to know about it? They could go into the restroom of their choice right now and with a slight bit of discretion (and maybe not even that) no one would ever know about it. I've never seen someone who claims to be transgender with a sign saying he or she (or whatever) is transgender. 

But the movement pushing all of this doesn't want you to just acknowledge that someone you know is really a man is a woman. They want you to acknowledge that the person who now claims to be a woman was once a man and so is now, in addition to being a woman, a transgender woman.

Say it, fool: TRANS-GEN-DER. And speak up, so we can hear you (It's just no fun to be a cultural revolutionary if you can't bully other people into saying things they don't believe).

If all the so-called transgender rights movement really wanted was for transgender people to be able to use the bathroom that corresponded with whatever sex they decided to be, that's easy. Just do it. No more need be said.

But they don't just want to be left alone. And they just don't want to leave you alone. They want to force you to explicitly repudiate any moral or religious delusions you may have that interfere with legitimacy of their ideology. We are all supposed to consent to be herded into the public square to chant their slogans and participate in their Two-Minutes Hate against the evil people who believe in conventional morality, traditional religion, and, by the way, science.

Oh, and you'd better do it with a smile on your face or we'll pull your federal funding.

Instead of just going on peaceably with our lives and being polite and respectful, we all have to bow down before the cultural agenda of the LBGTQRSTUVWXYZ movement and be required to publicly pledge allegiance to their increasingly absurd view of sex and acknowledge every new gender identity they came up with last week. This is the way thoughtcrime must be dealt with.

We're not asked to live and let live: We're required to acquiesce to having our noses rubbed in it by having to offer a public confession of the bad traditional thoughts we once had about gender and to promise that we will voluntarily check in to the nearest Ministry of Love extension office so our minds can be cleansed of these impure thoughts.

You will learn to admit the gender equivalent truth that two plus two equals five. And you will learn to love it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Gender Deniers: Gender ideology and its quarrels with science

If you've ever wondered just how messed up this society is, just take a look at a video that has gone viral in which college students are asked if they think there is any difference between males and females. What the viewer is treated to is a collection of people who are incomprehensively confused about basic reality.

These are people who are in deep denial about some pretty self-evident things. In fact, I wish the interviewer had thought to ask these sadly misguided individuals if they were aware that (spoiler alert) women can give birth and men can't. Or that genitalia differs between men and women, or that women grow breasts and men don't. And then there is the basic fact, scandalous to the Gender Deniers, that men and women actually have different physical capabilities and even different emotional characteristics.

I learned about gender when I asked my mother when I was young how to tell the difference between a male hamster and a female one and she said, with wisdom born of woman, "You look between their legs." How could she have known this, my mother who only had a 10th grade education?

It seems to me a self-evident fact that if you don't know the difference between males and females, you simply don't belong in college. You need to go back to, oh, I don't know, 2nd grade and take that health unit again. In fact, a little more time in high biology wouldn't hurt.

Remember biology? I hear there are some people still practice it. Probably in secret. They taught it when I was in school. They told us (I am not making this up) that women were born with two X chromosomes and men with an X and a Y chromosomes. They said nothing about how anyone felt about the chromosomes they had. It didn't matter. And if you had maintained that it did, you be laughed out of class, and you would have deserved it.

But now, at a time when people claim to hold science in high esteem, they completely ignore it when it comes to gender. All the while, the self-styled skeptics, eager to jump on the least little deviation from scientific fact by religious people, stand on the sidelines and either say nothing or, in an amazing number of cases, cheer the nonsense on.

Monday, May 16, 2016

If gender identity is determined by your feelings, then ...

I had to pass this along for those who didn't see it. It is a comment by Hank Reynolds in the comments section of a previous post that points up how far down the rabbit hole the gender benders have gone:
If gender identity is determined by your feelings and not your chromosomal makeup, then “feeling like a woman” simply means you feel like someone who feels like a woman. If there is no objective meaning to being a woman, what can it possibly mean to feel like one?

Matt Bevin's response to the Obama Gender Dictate for schools

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's response to Obama's new dictate that the nation's schools must allow students to use the bathroom that they say corresponds with their "gender identity":

“It is difficult to imagine a more absurd federal overreach into a local issue.  Under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to interfere in local school districts' bathroom policies. The President is not promoting unity. In fact, he is doing quite the opposite. He is intentionally dividing America by threatening to sue or withhold funding from our cash-strapped public schools if they do not agree with his personal opinion on policies that remain squarely in their jurisdiction. They should not feel compelled to bow to such intimidation. My administration is researching the options available for ensuring that this local issue is decided by Kentuckians, not by bureaucrats in Washington."

Read more here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Will Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce, become Bruce again?

According to a new book, Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, is considering turning back into a man. That would make him Bruce Jenner, formerly Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner.

In case you were wondering.

According to a friend of Jenner's, says the author, "It hasn't been easy for Caitlyn. It's been very hard." Right. Just imagine what it would be like to be celebrated by the media, put on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, and given your own television show.

It's a hard life.

But just imagine what life must be like for those who celebrate Caitlyn, formerly Bruce, who, according to speculation may soon become Bruce, formerly Caitlyn, formerly Bruce. They will now have to undergo the same transformation they underwent when Bruce transformed into Caitlyn. They will have to suspend all critical judgment once again to ignore human nature and scientific reality and accept once again that a man can really become a woman (or potentially vice-versa) by the simple expedient of a few injections of hormones and breast implants along with a little determination.

On the other hand, this didn't seem to difficult even for so-called conservatives (like Megyn Kelly, who called Caitlyn "courageous") who readily accepted the idea that you can change your gender by simply announcing the fact that you feel like a sex other than the one you, in fact, are.

So get ready, just in case Caitlyn changes her (or what will then be his, formerly her, formerly his) mind, to nod obediently and approvingly like a good little postmodern person in sheepish acquiescence to the increasingly absurd vicissitudes of a clearly very confused person whose confusion is exceeded only by the confusion of his (or her, or his) cultural enablers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What is Political Correctness?

Camille Paglia, from The Smart Set:

What is political correctness? As I see it, it is a predictable feature of the life cycle of modern revolutions, beginning with the French Revolution of 1789, which was inspired by the American Revolution of the prior decade but turned far more violent. A first generation of daring rebels overthrows a fossilized establishment and leaves the landscape littered with ruins. In the post-revolutionary era, the rebels begin to fight among themselves, which may lead to persecutions and assassinations. The victorious survivor then rules like the tyrants who were toppled in the first place. This is the phase of political correctness — when the vitality of the founding revolution is gone and when revolutionary principles have become merely slogans, verbal formulas enforced by apparatchiks, that is, party functionaries or administrators who kill great ideas by institutionalizing them.
What I have just sketched is the political psychobiography of the past 45 years of American university life.
Read the rest here.