The Anti-Capitalist Capitalist

Do you like coffee but hate capitalism? If so then The Anarchist Cafe in Toronto might be just the place for you. I read about it in the Washington Free Beacon.

The Anarchist is a “proudly anti-capitalist” coffee shop and “radical community space on stolen land” that recently opened in Canada, a minor nation best known for its proximity to the United States. Touted as the ideal gathering spot for people who enjoy their coffee “served with a side of revolution,” the cafe also sells a variety of anti-capitalist merchandise for profit.

They sell stuff? That seems awfully capitalist to me. Why don’t they give their coffee and merchandise away?

For example, the cafe sells “People Over Profit” T-shirts for $31.40 ($40 CAD). The same item sells on Etsy for $26.81 ($34.15 CAD). The shop recently started selling “People Over Profit” sweatshirts for $39.19 ($50 CAD), according to the cafe’s Instagram account. When one Instagram user asked about “the proceeds” from selling the anti-capitalist merchandise, the cafe responded defensively: “It’s not a charity, it’s a business.”

So the owner isn’t against capitalism for himself, just other people.

The Anarchist sells a wide variety of merchandise, including tote bags emblazoned with epic mantras such as “Abolish the Police,” “Queer Anarchy Now,” and “Eat Vegetables, Ride Bikes, Be Nice, Hail Satan.” Customers who really hate the Washington Post can purchase a “Fuck Bezos” sticker for $5.10 ($6.5 CAD). The same item is available on Etsy for $4.55 ($5.80 CAD) and includes free shipping. While enjoying their Marx & Engles [sic], a “single espresso and piccolo, made with the same beans,” patrons can peruse the cafe’s collection of other stickers bearing radical slogans such as “Destroy Capitalism,” “Abolish Prisons,” and “Be Gay Do Crimes.”

The cafe’s founder looks exactly like you’d expect him to look. Gabriel Sims-Fewer set up shop in Toronto “after leaving Vancouver due to its unwelcoming sense of classism.”

He envisions his for-profit enterprise as one that is impervious to “the inherently oppressive parts that small businesses absorb from their capitalist surroundings.” The bathroom code, 1312, is a numerical rendering of the acronym ACAB, meaning “All Cops Are Bastards.”

So I’m wondering, is Mr. Sims-Fewer going to object if I were to enter the Anarchist Cafe and just start taking stuff. On what basis could he object since he is supposedly against capitalism. What if I identify as a Black, transgender lesbian who is also a First Nations person? (that’s Canadian for Indian.) Wouldn’t my shoplifting be a form of reparations? Would he call the police? Being an anarchist, shouldn’t he be against any form of government coercion, including the police, which he describes as bastards anyway.

I’d really like to see this guy put his money where his mouth is so to speak. If he believes in anarchism and is against capitalism, why is he acting like his capitalist neighbors? Why doesn’t he set up some sort of co-op where everyone shares their goods? Why not try to create an anarchist community somewhere? Instead, he is working to make a profit, like everyone else.

It seems to me that Gabriel Sims-Fewer is just a poseur. He talks the talk about revolution and anarchy but won’t walk the walk. I feel somehow disappointed.

Roe Hysteria

If the leaked draft of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion is any indication, the Supreme Court may soon be overturning Roe v. Wade. Naturally, the Democrats are throwing a fit. They are getting out their Handmaid’s Tale costumes

 

Women’s fashion after Roe is overturned

and predicting that overturning Roe v. Wade will result in back-alley abortions all over the country, a ban on contraceptives and interracial marriages, the segregation of LGBTYQEIEIO children in classrooms, dogs, and cats living together, and other signs of mass hysteria.’

 

They should calm down. The only thing that overturning Roe v. Wade will do is return the issue of abortion to the state legislatures, where it rightfully belongs. It is likely that the more conservative states, like Utah or Alabama, will either ban or place severe constraints on abortion, but more liberal states, like California or Massachusetts, will continue to permit abortion right up to the moment of birth. Those states in the middle will place varying restrictions on what point in pregnancy abortions are allowed, as the people of each state see fit. 

It is usually best to resolve contentious social issues like abortion through the democratic process of compromise, give and take, and consensus-building rather than have solutions imposed by judicial fiat. Solutions that develop that way may not be to everyone’s satisfaction; the best compromises leave everyone equally unhappy, but everyone feels as if they have had some input into policymaking rather than having policies imposed upon them. Given that a consensus on any controversial issue is impossible in a continent-spanning nation of more than three hundred million people, controversial issues like abortion ought to be resolved at the state level rather than trying to impose a one-size-fits-all solution for the entire United States. Diverse nations need diverse policies. I thought that the progressives support diversity, but perhaps that is the wrong kind of diversity.

If the Supreme Court had not legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade, some general consensus would have evolved over time. The consensus would have changed as public opinions about abortion changed. It is most likely that abortion would have been legalized in most states during the 1970s. Then, in the more conservative 1980s, many states might have imposed more restrictions on abortion, perhaps limiting abortion to the first trimester. If public opinion on abortion changed, the laws concerning abortion would change. That would be the democratic and diverse way to address contentious social issues. I thought the left was in favor of democracy and diversity. Perhaps that is the wrong kind of diversity, while they are only really in favor of ‘our democracy’ as opposed to real democracy in which people govern themselves.

The Democrats are fond of calling pro-life positions extreme. If this is the case, they have nothing to worry about. If the Republicans adopt extreme positions on abortion or any other social issue, they will be punished at the ballot box. Perhaps the Democrats realize that it is their own position, permitting abortion right up to the moment of birth for any conceivable reason, is, in fact, the extreme position.

Americans are deeply ambivalent about abortion. Few Americans want to see abortion banned altogether, yet more and more Americans are coming around to the idea that abortion is morally wrong. A majority of Americans may believe that women have a right to choose whether to get an abortion, yet many feel that this is a choice women ought not to make. Even most pro-choice Americans do not believe that late-term abortion should be permitted. If there is any consensus at all on this most contentious issue, it is that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare, not that women should shout their abortions.

By imposing a solution by fiat and cutting short the necessary debate necessary in a democracy, Roe v. Wade played a not inconsiderable role in making American politics more divisive and polarized. In the end, overturning Roe v. Wade might be one of the best ways to purge some of the poison from American politics and restore some degree of civility. Unless the Democrats decide the resolve the issue the way they tried to resolve the last major issue they were on the wrong side of.

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

So, Elon Musk has bought Twitter for $44 billion. Musk’s decision to acquire Twitter seems to be due to his concerns about Twitter’s policy of censoring political opinions in particular  Twitter’s suspension of the Babylon Bee for the hateful conduct of identifying Dr. Rachel Levine as a man, even though he is, in fact, a man.

                                                   The New Boss

Mr. Musk promises to make Twitter a free speech platform once again in his words:

Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated

and

I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.

Frankly, I wish he had spent that $44 billion on his spaceship to Mars or improving the Tesla. I am sure Mr. Musk means well, but I don’t think there is any way to save Twitter. The problem with Twitter isn’t just the arbitrary and one-sided censorship that the current management of Twitter is employing. The problem runs deeper than any particular policy that Elon Musk or anyone else could change. The problem with Twitter lies in the nature of the platform.

I have said in the past that if the Devil wanted to devise a social media platform to turn people against one another and make the earth more like Hell, he would design something very much like Twitter. The 280-character limit does nothing to encourage careful, nuanced discussion or even discretion. Instead, Twitter rewards the quick zing, the snarky comeback with the rush and excitement of seeing your tweets retweeted and commented upon. If Elon Musk really wants to help everyone, the best thing he could do would be to shut down Twitter altogether.

Still, it has been both fun and instructive to observe how leftists have come out against freedom of expression. They were never really in favor of the concept of free speech, or really, of freedom in general, but after the events of the last few years, they have taken the masks off, figuratively speaking, that is. They still insist on masking up against COVID. Ever since the announcement that Elon Musk was buying Twitter and intended to make it a free speech platform, we have been warned repeatedly of the dangers that free speech poses to “our democracy.” Robert Reich warns us that:

Musk says he wants to “free” the internet. But what he really aims to do is make it even less accountable than it is now, when it’s often impossible to discover who is making the decisions about how algorithms are designed, who is filling social media with lies, who’s poisoning our minds with pseudo-science and propaganda, and who’s deciding which versions of events go viral and which stay under wraps.

Make no mistake: this is not about freedom. It’s about power.

In Musk’s vision of Twitter and the internet, he’d be the wizard behind the curtain – projecting on the world’s screen a fake image of a brave new world empowering everyone.

In reality, that world would be dominated by the richest and most powerful people in the world, who wouldn’t be accountable to anyone for facts, truth, science or the common good.

That’s Musk’s dream. And Trump’s. And Putin’s. And the dream of every dictator, strongman, demagogue and modern-day robber baron on Earth. For the rest of us, it would be a brave new nightmare.

You may have noticed how dictators like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the rest have all been staunch defenders of the freedom of the people they have ruled to say whatever they wanted. Reich, and many other leftists, are saying that someone rich and powerful like Musk or Trump may use Twitter or any other social media platform to spread lies and misinformation, therefore social media companies and perhaps the government should be able to control what is said. In other words, to protect “our democracy” from would-be dictators, it is necessary to act like a dictator and control what can be said, shutting down purveyors of misinformation. This doesn’t make much sense, but little of what the left believes these days makes much sense.

I wish Mr. Musk well in his efforts, but I don’t think I will be reopening that Twitter account that I never even used. I think that we would be better off if we all started to talk to each other instead of tweeting at each other

What Would JFK Do?

Brent Budowsky has some advice for the Democrats in his column at the Hill.

While Democrats face uphill challenges in the midterm elections, and Republicans face risks greater than discussed by mainstream media, here is a strategy for Democrats to win the midterms that might well be suggested by President Kennedy if he were with us today.

Liberal and moderate Democrats, who are 98 percent to 99 percent united on the issues addressed here, might consider that JFK’s political greatness was that he was both a starry-eyed idealist and a cold-blooded realist.

With Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) the obstacle to these noble purposes, a temptation for many Democrats might be to suggest Academy Award slapper Will Smith meet with Manchin and work his charms. JFK would tell us there is a better way.

Here it is.

The 98 percent to 99 percent of Democrats in Congress who back critical provisions originally proposed in the pending and delayed reconciliation bill should launch a powerful and aggressive JFK-style public campaign to voters across West Virginia in support of the major ideas waiting to be passed.

The most important goal for Democrats today is to enact proposals that help voters in real ways, which every voter clearly understands, and which inspire approval and support from those voters — who would appreciate and support the Democratic president and Congress who fought for them.

As of today, Democrats will enact a bill to dramatically lower the price of prescription drugs, which will be widely popular with large numbers of voters. They will enact a significant increase in support for alternative energy that protects the earth and makes the world less dependent on Russia. They will enact a significant tax increase for those who can well afford it, some of which will reduce the deficit, which all 50 Senate Democrats support, leaving money to finance efforts to directly help middle-income and poor Americans who are hard-hit by inflation.

Through the JFK-like public campaign beginning with West Virginia voters, Democrats can advance proposals to lower the cost of child care, improve education, improve life for women and workers, help rural America or other goals. JFK, the realist, would warn us: We cannot achieve everything now. We must choose which plans to champion today, and get the rest tomorrow. JFK, the idealist, would inspire us: We can achieve significant new, widely understood and highly popular plans in the coming ten weeks.

This JFK-like plan would involve massive and saturation ads on West Virginia television, radio, newspapers and social media. These ads would clearly describe how the selected plans would make life better for West Virginia voters, and would only mention Manchin at the end, suggesting voters urge both West Virginia senators to back them.

This would help Manchin fulfill his commitment to help West Virginians whose lives are lifted by these plans. It would send a powerful message throughout America that it is Democrats who battle for a land of realized hopes, better lives, and shared dreams for all Americans.

If I were in a position to advise the Democrats, I would tell them not to waste their money. Mr. Budowsky seems to be under the impression that the problem the Democrats are having with the voters is that those stupid rubes in flyover country don’t see how wonderful the Democrats are and how their policies are going to help everyone. The rubes don’t know what the Democrats really stand for. The real problem is that the rubes know all too well what the Democrats stand for, and they don’t like what they see.

For millions of Americans, the Democrats stand for defunding the police and letting criminals go free. The Democrats stand for “mostly peaceful protests” that turn our cities into warzones. The Democrats stand for lockdowns and restrictive COVID mandates. The Democrats stand for teachers who teach their students racist, anti-American ideology when they are not grooming them into aberrant sexuality. The Democrats stand for limiting our domestic energy, making America dependent on terrorist-supporting autocrats. The Democrats stand for open borders, cancel culture, high prices, and humiliation abroad. Worst of all the Democrats stand for an arrogant, out-of-touch elite that regards the ordinary Americans that made their country great as Deplorables and Bitter Clingers.

The problem with Mr. Budowsky’s nostrum is that today’s Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of Kennedy’s day. John F. Kennedy, for all his personal flaws, was a patriotic American. Kennedy’s colleagues in the Democratic Party were patriotic Americans. Kennedy believed in and upheld American values and institutions. Kennedy challenged his fellow Americans to live up to American ideals, the noblest in the world. JFK would have no place in today’s Democratic Party. Neither would FDR or JBJ for that matter.

The Democratic Party is no longer the party of Jefferson and Jackson. The extremists have taken over and the Democratic Party is now the party of Marx and Lenin when it isn’t the party of perverts and groomers. If Brent Budowsky wants to save his party from the looming catastrophe this November, he would be advised to organize the sane and moderate Democrats, if any still exist, to take back control of the party and propose policies that Americans really want.

Theodore G Bilbo

Theodore G. Bilbo. It sounds like the name of a character in a fantasy story, doesn’t it? Perhaps the name of an amiable, good-natured, little fellow who goes on exciting adventures with elves, dwarves, and wizards. Well, Theodore G. Bilbo was an actual person, and although at five feet two inches was small enough to be a hobbit, he did not go on any adventures, as far as I know, and he was far from being good-natured and amiable. Theodore G. Bilbo was, in fact, one of the most racist people ever to serve in the United States Senate.

Not a Hobbit

Theodore Gilmore Bilbo was born in Juniper Grove, Mississippi, on October 13, 1877. Bilbo obtained a scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University Law School, but he failed to graduate perhaps from financial difficulties, although there were accusations of academic misconduct. Nevertheless, Bilbo was admitted to the bar in 1906 and began practicing law in Mississippi.

Bilbo was ambitious, however, and soon entered politics, serving in the Mississippi State Senate from 1908 to 1912. In 1910, Bilbo was accused of accepting a bribe to back a candidate for the United States Senate. Bilbo admitted to accepting the bribe but asserted that he was investigating political corruption. His fellow state senators did not buy the story, and he escaped being expelled from the Senate by one vote short of the three-fourths majority required for expulsion. This scandal did not seem to harm Bilbo’s political career. He was elected Lieutenant Governor, serving from 1912 to 1916. He then served two nonconsecutive terms as Governor of Mississippi, from 1916 to 1920 and again from 1928 to 1932, as Mississippi’s constitution did not permit governors to secede themselves.

Theodore G. Bilbo was a good governor. He became well known as a progressive populist who enacted policies to help the poorest residents of Mississippi, as long as they were White. He improved the state finances of Mississippi, implemented a state highway system, introduced compulsory school attendance, built charity hospitals for the poor, and ended public hanging. In his second term, Bilbo introduced the first state sales tax in the United States. Governor Bilbo had less sympathy for the Black residents of Mississippi, however. Among other things, he refused to prevent the lynching of Black Mississippians. Bilbo’s terms as governor were not without controversy, however, and a feud between the governor and the state legislature prevented the passage of a budget in the final year of his second term.

After his second term as Governor ended, Theodore G. Bilbo moved on to the Senate, serving from 1935 until the end of his life in 1947. In the Senate, Bilbo once again established a reputation as a progressive, fervently supporting Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Bilbo feuded with his fellow Mississippi Senator, Pat Harrison, who was seen as representing the wealthier classes of Mississippi. Bilbo made use of the Senate floor to promote his populist opinions, haranguing against:

 “farmer murderers,” “poor-folks haters,” “shooters of widows and orphans,” “international well-poisoners,” “charity hospital destroyers,” “spitters on our heroic veterans,” “rich enemies of our public schools,” “private bankers ‘who ought to come out in the open and let folks see what they’re doing’,” “European debt-cancelers,” “unemployment makers,” pacifists, Communists, munitions manufacturers, and “skunks who steal Gideon Bibles from hotel rooms.”

Many of Senator Bilbo’s speeches were extremely racist, even by the standards of his time. As a result, the Democrat-controlled Senate would only assign him to relatively unimportant committees. When the Republicans gained control of the Senate after the 1946 elections, they along with the Northern Democrats, refused to permit Bilbo to take his seat because they believed his racist speeches had incited violence against Blacks in the South. Bilbo’s supporters among the Southern Democrats threatened a filibuster unless he was seated. The matter was resolved when Bilbo proved unable to serve his last term because he had developed oral cancer. Bilbo returned to Mississippi for treatment, and he died in New Orleans on August 21, 1947.

By describing Bilbo as racist, I do not mean that he only shared in the prejudices of his time and place. If that were the case, his racist views would be hardly worth writing about. He lived, after all, in the heyday of progressive, scientific racism in which all of the smart people believed that human beings could be graded like eggs from superior to inferior. No, Theodore G. Bilbo’s racism went further than the usual bigotry.
At some point, Bilbo joined the Ku Klux Klan, and he remained a proud member of the Klan his entire life, even after the Klan had dissolved as a formal organization. As a governor and senator, Bilbo upheld and advanced the Klan’s cause of White supremacy.

At the end of his life, Bilbo wrote a book titled Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongrelization, which served as a summation of his views on race. Although in the prologue he professed to have no feelings of hostility against persons of any race but only opposed the mixing of races, a cause he believed the Black man should support as much as the White man, the book’s contents tell a different story. Throughout his book, Bilbo made it clear that he believed that Blacks were intellectually and morally inferior to Whites, describing Blacks in the most uncomplimentary terms possible.

In his view, Whites founded every great civilization; Rome, Greece, Egypt, or Babylon. When the Whites began to mix with other races, these civilizations declined and vanished. Whites founded our American civilization, and only the heroic efforts of Southern Whites have prevented the race mixing that destroyed so many past empires. Unfortunately, the efforts of Northern Liberals to achieve political and social equality for the Blacks threatened to undo everything. Bilbo’s solution was to encourage the voluntary emigration of American Blacks back to Africa, the ultimate separate but equal endeavor.

I am writing about Theodore G. Bilbo partly because I enjoy writing about historical trivia, but mostly because I want to make an important point. It has become conventional wisdom in this country that America is a country based on white supremacy, shot through with systemic racism. As is often the case, conventional wisdom is wrong. America has been racist in the past; there is no denying that fact. Given that White people founded the United States of America, it is inevitable that our society would be based on White supremacy. just as a country founded by Blacks would be based on Black supremacy or a country founded by Asians would be based on Asian Supremacy. Every society in the world has been founded on the idea that its people are superior to the people living in other societies. It is only very recently, that in a few places, like the United States, the idea has taken hold that everyone should be treated equally.

I have said that Theodore G. Bilbo’s racist ideas were extreme even for his times, but his views were not too extreme for the people of Mississippi to elect him as governor and then senator. A large number of people throughout the South shared his racist ideas. That is not the case today. A candidate who expressed the sort of racist ideas that Theodore G. Bilbo expressed would be lucky to get just two percent of the vote. We are no longer the country that would elect a Theodore G. Bilbo to high office.
America has changed, vastly for the better, by embracing its founding ideals. Anyone who asserts that America is a systemically racist country in the twenty-first century is either a fool, ignorant of our history or a malicious liar.

Say Gay

In case you thought I was being unfair when I compared the opponents of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education act to pedophiles. I don’t think I was. This legislation which only prohibits discussion about sexual matters before the third grade and limits discussion above the third grade to age-appropriate language while keeping parents informed, ought to be completely non-controversial. Yet, somehow it is controversial. Consider the reactions of some of the people who believe themselves impacted by the new law.

Here is one example, courtesy of Legal Insurrection:

These people have not read the Parental Rights in Education bill. It says you cannot teach kids about sexual identity or gender whatever. It certainly doesn’t ban teachers from talking about what they did on the weekend whether they’re straight or gay.

The bill also doesn’t have the word gay in it. I’m so sick of these people.

Florida kindergarten teacher Cory Bernaert whined because he is worried the bill will prevent him from discussing his weekend plans with his partner with his students:

“Absolutely. You are 100 percent correct. That’s what we do as educators, we build relationships with our kids. And in order to build relationships you talk about your home life, you talk about what you do on the weekends, that’s building community. It scares me that I am not going to be able to have these conversations with my children because they’re going to ask me what I did on the weekend. I don’t have to hide that my partner and I went paddle boarding this weekend. Because then they ask, what does partner mean, Mr. Bernaert? And I am worried can I tell them what it means. I’m also worried for my kids. I have a little girl from this year who has two moms and the kids are curious about her two moms. They want to know about her two moms. If they go to her and ask her about her two moms and she doesn’t know what to say, they’re going to come to me and ask me. And then, you know, so what do I do? It just — it opens up for patients to really take some legal action against the school and teachers.”

This new law does not prevent  Mr. Bernaert from discussing his weekend with his students (not his kids, did you catch that?) although one might think his time might be better spent actually teaching. He doesn’t have to give any details about the precise nature of his relationship with his partner to kindergarteners. As for the girl with two “moms”, it is really up to the parents to talk about why their classmate has a different sort of family. Mr. Bernaert needs to stick to the subjects he is paid to teach and not usurp the role of the parent. 

Here is another one from Megan Fox at PJMedia:

Libs of Tik Tok on Twitter is at the forefront of exposing all the teachers who are carrying on like stuck pigs because they can’t indoctrinate children anymore (at least in Florida). Not only did the bill outlaw discussions of sex and gender with students from kindergarten to third grade, but it also outlawed hiding information from K-12 parents about their children’s gender identity or any other information that would be important for them to know. There is a disturbing trend of public schools actively keeping secrets from parents, which has led to suicide attempts and harm to children. In Florida, that’s no longer allowed.

But at least one teacher, Amber Mercier who works at The Academy, says she’ll keep lying to parents about their kids, and she’s willing to lose her job over it.

Mercier is gay, and she believes keeping secrets about sexuality from her students’ families — if the student wants her to — is worth losing her job over. “I just want to go ahead and state that I would rather lose my job than out one of my students to their families. Being a safe person and a safe place for kids who don’t have that at home is one of the best parts of being a teacher, so, yeah, I’m not doing it. Fire me, sue me, take me to jail — I’m not doing it.”

Mercier’s statement that she will break the law of Florida to keep secrets from Florida parents is a problem. The law states that it is illegal to “[prohibit] a parent from accessing certain records” and also sets statute “prohibiting a school district from adopting procedures or student support forms that require school district personnel to withhold from a parent specified information or that encourage or have the effect of encouraging a student to withhold from a parent such information” and “prohibiting school district personnel from discouraging or prohibiting parental notification and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being.”

PJ Media reached out to Governor DeSantis’s office to verify that the new law applies to Mercier and was told by Press Secretary Christina Pushaw that the law applies to K-12 when it comes to secret-keeping.

“That provision of the law applies to all students in grades K-12 in Florida public schools,” she said. “The new law, effective July 1, requires school districts to adopt procedures for notifying parents if there is a change in services from the school regarding a child’s mental, emotional or physical health or well-being.”

Again, a teacher is usurping the role that properly belongs to the parents. I could understand if an older teenager who might be homosexual might be reluctant to come out to his or her parents, but I have to wonder to what extent Ms. Mercier is encouraging her students to identify as LGBTQWERTY. Is she encouraging her students to discuss their sexual feelings with her? Does she consider it appropriate to discuss her sex life with minors, and to tell her students to keep such discussions from their parents, who have every right to know anything which might affect the health and well-being of their children?

What is wrong with these people? Why are they so eager to talk about their sex lives with children who do not have the least conception of sex and romance. This isn’t a gay issue. This is an issue of common decency. Adults do not talk about their private lives with children who are still young enough to believe the opposite sex has cooties, particularly not when they are in a position of authority over the children. I do not believe that either of the teachers I have cited is a pedophile or has had any inappropriate contact with their students, but I do wonder how they do not understand that bringing up controversial sexual matters in the classroom might be seen by parents as being weird and creepy. Surely they must understand that parents do not want their children subjected to indoctrination in political and social values contrary to the value the parents are seeking in instill in their children. 

This is the real problem here. The objections to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill are not about saying gay in the classroom or about perverted teachers who enjoy talking about sex to their seven-year-old students. This controversy is ultimately about who has control over what children are taught in the public schools, the parents, or the state. The goal of the activists who are shouting “gay, gay” isn’t about turning kids gay or trans, however much it may appear to be, but to turn every child into a ward of the state and relegating parents into mere observers in the upbringing and education of their children. This is the goal of tyrants to destroy family bonds and turn children against their parents. We ought not to let that happen here in the formerly free United States of America.

 

A Badge of Honor

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is looking better and better.

From Breitbart.com

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) made it clear on Monday that he does not care what leftists in Hollywood think of his governing – prioritizing  parental rights – deeming their opposition as a “badge of honor.”

DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education act on Monday, which the left has repeatedly lied about, dubbing it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, even though it does not ban a word, phrase, or single out sexual orientation. Rather, it simply bars age-inappropriate classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade, or five, six, seven, and eight-year-olds.

“We will continue to recognize in the state of Florida, parents have a fundamental role in the education, healthcare, and well-being of their children. We will not move from that,” DeSantis declared.

“I don’t care what corporate media outlets say. I don’t care what Hollywood says. I don’t care what big corporations say. Here I stand. I’m not backing down,” the governor said to applause.

The governor also spoke directly about people in Hollywood who are opposed to providing protections for parents, making it clear that their opinion is irrelevant.

“If the people who held up degenerates like Harvey Weinstein up as exemplars and as heroes and as all that, if those are the types of people that are opposing us on parents’ rights, I wear that like a badge of honor,” he said to applause.

I would add that the industry that gave us Stepin Fetchit is in no position to lecture the rest of us about our bigotry. I would also say that the representatives of a profession that has become notorious for sexually abusing women and children ought not to be questioning the rights of parents to know what their young children are being taught in schools and whether depraved teachers are indoctrinating their children in values quite contrary to their own or grooming them for their own purposes. There is a word for adults who like to talk to children about sexual matters and then insist that these conversations should remain “our little secret” that Mommy and Daddy don’t need to know. If Hollywood wants to be pro-pedophile, so much the worse for them.
I also think these vapid, empty-headed celebrities should stop pontificating on subjects they know little about and are not their concern and concentrate on doing their jobs, entertaining the rest of us. Maybe then they would produce movies that are actually worth watching.

Race Race

I try not to pay too much attention to what entertainers say about politics and current events because what entertainers generally have to say about politics and current events is often very silly. Sometimes I can’t help but notice some particularly silly comment made by an entertainer. Recently the very silly named Whoopi Goldberg said something about the Holocaust that was not merely silly but more than a little pernicious.

The last time I heard anything stupid and obnoxious from Ms. Goldberg was some years ago when she commented on the View that Roman Polanski’s actions, while deplorable, were not exactly rape-rape. Of course, forcing sexual intercourse with an intoxicated, thirteen-year-old girl is considered rape-rape in almost every jurisdiction in the civilized world, and Whoopi ought to have known better than to say something so profoundly stupid.

You wouldn’t think Ms. Goldberg could ever top the rape-rape comment, but she managed it again on The View, by saying that the Holocaust was not about race.

Whoopi Goldberg argued on ABC’s The View Monday the Holocaust was “not about race,” prompting pushback from co-hosts on the show.

“If you’re going to do this, then let’s be truthful about it,” Goldberg said. “Because the Holocaust isn’t about race. No, it’s not about race.”

Co-host Joy Behar asked Goldberg: “Then what was it about?”

“It’s about man’s inhumanity to man,” Goldberg responded. “That’s what it’s about.”

Ana Navarro, another co-host on the show, interjected, saying, “Well, it’s about white supremacy. That’s what it’s about. It’s about going after Jews and gypsies.”

“But these are two groups of white people,” Goldberg cut in. “But you’re missing the point. The minute you turn it into race, it goes down this alley. Let’s talk about it for what it is. It’s how people treat each other. It’s a problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re Black or white, because Black, white, Jews … everybody eats each other.”

So, according to Whoopi Goldberg, the Holocaust was not about race because both the perpetrators and the victims of the atrocities were White. This conclusion would be surprising to the Nazis who planned and carried out the Holocaust. According to Nazi ideology, Germans, Jews, and Slavs were distinct and ultimately incompatible races, despite all being the same color. If one follows Ms. Goldberg’s logic, such atrocities as the massacre of the Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994 or the Japanese atrocities against the Chinese during the Second World War were not about race either, although in each case, those responsible for the mass murders clearly did not believe the victims were the same race as themselves, despite having roughly the same skin color. It would seem that race is not just a black and white matter if you’ll pardon the expression, but something more complicated.

That brings us to the question of just what race is anyway. According to the free dictionary;

1. group of people identified as distinct from other groups because of supposed physical or genetic traits shared by the group. Most biologists and anthropologists do not recognize race as a biologically valid classification, in part because there is more genetic variation within groups than between them.
2. group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution: the Celtic race.
3. genealogical line; a lineage.

A bit overly politically correct, but it will do. In America, we believe that skin color is the most important physical trait to distinguish between groups of people or races. Elsewhere, where populations have similar skin colors, other characteristics are more important. These characteristics are just as important to people in Europe, Asia, and Africa as skin color is to North Americans. A person from Europe or North America might find it hard to tell the difference between a Hutu and a Tutsi or a Japanese and a Chinese, but a person from Africa or East Asia would probably have no difficulty making such distinctions. A person from Africa or East Asia might not be able to tell the difference between a German, a Jew, or a Slav but making such determinations in Central Europe in the middle twentieth century was a matter of life and death even though everyone was what Americans would consider White.
Just because two people happen to have the same skin color, it does not follow that they will view each other as belonging to the same group or race. If I were to travel to my ancestral homeland in Germany, no one in Germany would mistake me for being German or even European, despite my light skin. I suspect that if Whoopi Goldberg went to Africa, few Africans would see her as a fellow African, despite her dark skin. They would see her as a Black American. Her language, mannerisms, and cultural assumptions would show her as foreign to most Africans.
The curious thing about racial distinctions is how trivial they appear when looking objectively from the outside. Physical or even cultural differences that seem so consequential on the inside, as it were, are utterly meaningless to anyone not familiar with the local circumstances, culture, or history. Even so obvious a distinction as Black and White, which any human might consider significant, might be meaningless to an extraterrestrial visiting Earth for the first time. An alien would wonder why we are so concerned with racial differences since we are obviously all of the same species. The differences between any two groups of human beings would be minuscule compared to the difference between the alien and ourselves. From an extraterrestrial point of view, there is only one race that matters on Earth, the human race.
In a way, Whoopi Goldberg is right, though not at all in the way she might have intended. When viewed properly, The Holocaust and every other instance of man’s inhumanity to man is not about race at all since we are all members of the same human race. Maybe if we could get used to thinking about ourselves as the same race and learn to ignore the trivial differences between us, there would be a good deal less of that inhumanity.

Missing Context

I don’t have a Twitter account for many reasons, not least of which is I feel that tweeting is something birds or the birdbrained do, not intelligent human beings. The only disadvantage that I can see to not having a Twitter account is that I miss out on many of the idiotic things that leftists tweet. Fortunately, many people on the right provide a valuable service by drawing attention to such tweets for the benefit of sane people.

I caught this particular tweet by Ida B Wells, courtesy of Gunfreezone.net.

I wonder if the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum has an exhibit about the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Is there any mention of the Rape of Nanjing or the activities of Unit 731 in this museum? One might suppose from the shame-ridden Ida B. Wells’s tweet that the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima for no particular reason; perhaps out of anti-Japanese racism. What is missing here is the context in which the decision to use the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was made. Let’s provide that context.

The United States was fighting a war against an enemy that had attacked it without warning or provocation. This enemy, the Empire of Japan, was an evil regime, as bad as, if not worse than Nazi Germany, as the links, I provided above might indicate. The Asian Holocaust perpetrated by the militarist government of Japan was even more horrifying than the more familiar Nazi holocaust against the Jews and other Untermenschen. Japanese atrocities get far less attention than the Nazi horrors, perhaps because most victims were Chinese. I would not go so far as to say that the civilians of the two nuked cities in any way deserved what happened to them, but the government they served had to be defeated.

Worse than the Nazis

The cost of defeating that evil regime would have been enormous had the use of the atomic bomb not ended the war. American military analysts estimated that American casualties suffered from an invasion of the Japanese home islands would number in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even as many as a million dead or wounded. Japanese casualties, assuming the Japanese government was able to mobilize the civilian population to resist the invaders, would certainly have reached into the tens of millions.

Obviously, American military planners would have sought to reduce American casualties by inflicting as much damage as possible on Japan before any landings on the home islands. There would have been wave after wave of bombers targeting every military and industrial facility they could locate. Incendiary bombs would have been dropped on residential areas to break the will of the Japanese population. Maybe chemical weapons might have been deployed if the invasion bogged down into a stalemate. If Japanese civilians began attacking American servicemen in the occupied areas, the soldiers might have resorted to a policy of shooting anyone who approached them. Japanese deaths might have reached genocidal levels, and people like Ida B. Wells might be tweeting their shame at the American massacre of the peaceful Japanese.

Of course, dropping the atomic bomb might have been an atrocity if Japan were on the verge of surrendering, as some assert. I do not think that is a historically accurate view. The Japanese seemed determined to fight to the death even as they were losing the war. The Japanese did not surrender as the Americans closed in on Japan. They did not surrender when we recaptured the Philippines, or when we captured Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Even the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima did not induce the Japanese to end the war. It took the bombing of Nagasaki and the nearly unprecedented intervention of the Emperor to compel the Japanese military government to sue for peace.

This policy was not as insane or fanatical as one might assume. By August 1945, the Japanese situation was dire but not entirely hopeless. No one had ever successfully invaded the Japanese islands, and the Japanese military leaders had no reason to believe that the Americans would be any more successful than the Mongols. Indeed, the leaders of Japan had every reason to believe that if they managed to inflict sufficient casualties on the first waves of American servicemen to land on the coasts of Japan, a war-weary American population would urge a negotiated end to the war, leaving the Japanese military leaders in power. They might have been correct, although I think it more likely that the United States would have attempted to conquer Japan using the tactics I described above.

The simple fact is that the decision to use the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved millions of lives by ending the war sooner than it would otherwise have ended. The use of the atomic bomb quite probably saved millions of lives after the war. Nuclear weapons have made war between the major powers all but inconceivable by making the costs of such a war far greater than any possible gains. Consider a world in which the atomic bomb has never been developed. It is likely, perhaps inevitable, that the Cold War would become a hot war if the possession of nuclear bombs by both the United States and the Soviet Union did not deter both sides from committing acts of aggression directly against one another. We might have had a World War III or IV, with a cost of hundreds of millions of lives. We might right now be in the middle of World War V.

The Correct Decision

There is no reason for any American to feel shame over the use of the atomic bomb against Japan. That decision saved millions of lives by ending the most devastating war in history. There is little reason for any American to feel any shame about their history at all. The United States of America is not a perfect country, no nation in this fallen world is or can be perfect, but when American history is considered in proper context, America stands forth as a good and noble nation, for the most part. Americans have made mistakes and committed terrible injustices, but America has been a force for good in the world. Only the ignorant or those pushing a political agenda to degrade and delegitimize America would say otherwise.

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. The story of Thanksgiving that we remember, with the turkey meal, etc is based on the Thanksgiving celebration held by the settlers of the Plymouth colony in 1621. They had a lot to be thankful for. These Pilgrims had decided to immigrate to the New World so that they could practice their religion freely. They had intended to settle at the mouth of the Hudson River but their departure from England on the Mayflower had been delayed and the trip across the Atlantic had been rough. They reached America farther north than they had intended, at Provincetown Harbor in November 1620. While they did not really have a legal right to create a colony in what is now Massachusetts, no one really wanted to spend the winter at sea so, on December 21, 1620, the Pilgrims began to build the settlement at Plymouth.

Model of a 17th century English merchantman sh...
Would you spend any more time in a leaky ship like this than you had to? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first winter at the new colony was very hard. About half of the colonists had died by spring. By what must have seemed incredible luck or divine providence, the colonists were able to make contact with two Natives who could speak English. One of these was named Samoset and he had learned some English from English trappers and fishermen. He introduced the Pilgrims to the other man, Squanto, who had a truly remarkable life. Captured by Englishmen, he was taken to England and instructed in the English language in the hope that he could serve as an interpreter. When he was brought back to New England, he was captured again, this time by members of John Smith’s expedition who planned to sell captured Indians as slaves in Spain. In Spain, some friars learned of this plan and had the Indians freed and instructed in the Catholic religion. Squanto was able to make his way back to England and then across the Atlantic. There, he discovered that his whole tribe had been destroyed by the diseases, probably smallpox, that the Europeans had brought to the New World.

Squanto was willing to help the Pilgrims and taught what they needed to know to survive in New England. The harvest in the summer of 1621 was good enough that the Pilgrims did not need to fear starvation that winter. They had a feast that Autumn to celebrate their good fortune and to give thanks to God. This celebration was not considered to be very remarkable. Thanksgiving celebrations were fairly common at the time, especially among people who had successfully made the difficult and dangerous voyage across the ocean. It was not really the first Thanksgiving.

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...
The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930).

There were proclamations of thanksgiving at various times in American history, especially during the Revolutionary War, but the holiday we know of as Thanksgiving really began in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that a national day of Thanksgiving was to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November. It might not seem that there was all that much to be thankful for in the middle of the Civil War but the tide was turning in the North’s favor after the victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg that July and the country was continuing to grow in strength and prosperity despite the horrors of the war. Lincoln’s proclamation set the date for the national holiday that has been celebrated ever since. Franklin Roosevelt set the date a week earlier in 1939 in the hope that an earlier date would mean a longer shopping season for Christmas, thus helping the economy still mired in the Great Depression. This was not without controversy and in October 1941 Congress officially set the date of Thanksgiving on the fourth, and almost always the last, Thursday in November.

So, enjoy your turkey but remember to be thankful to God. If you happen to be an American you really are one of the luckiest people on Earth.

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