Bookworm Beat 12/17/18 — the “world is fascinating” edition

After a manic weekend, I got the chance to put my all into this Bookworm Beat, which covers politics, homelessness, immigration, antisemitism, and more.

Oh, my gosh, but do I have a lot to share with you — and tonight I’ve got the time to do so. Go get a nice cup of tea or coffee, and maybe a few cookies or a little ice cream, find a comfortable chair, and let’s get going.

I should warn you before you begin that these snippets aren’t in any particular order. I’m writing them down in the order in which I first read them. It’s a little chaotic, but consider it a challenging brain teaser.

Trump is not a show-boater about his patriotism. Saturday was “Wreaths Across America” day, a day on which volunteers descended on military cemeteries all over America to decorate veterans’ graves with wreaths. Without fanfare, Trump showed up at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the fallen. I’ll leave you with a few photos of this present and a past president:

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By the way, I know that Obama sometimes carried his own umbrella and that gateways can be tough. Still, there was something about Obama and umbrellas….

The politics of persecution. Mike Flynn did not do anything wrong. The FBI had a transcript of a perfectly legal phone conversation and, instead of honestly asking Flynn about what he said in the conversation, hid from him the fact that they had the transcript and instead asked him a series of questions intended to elicit answers that might conflict with the transcript. Despite this chicanery, which resulted in Flynn mis-remembering some of what he said, the FBI agents conceded that Flynn did not intentionally lie. Nevertheless, they used a process crime unrelated to a real crime to destroy him.

And how did they destroy Flynn? They bankrupted him. While the FBI and the DOJ have virtually unlimited budgets, individuals persecuted by the government have to pay for their lawyers. (I’ve seen this in real time in my career, as I’ve represented businesses caught in regulatory hell with the government.) After losing his family home, and then learning that Mueller intended to go after his family, Flynn caved, pleading guilty to a procedural crime that, in the ordinary world, a court would dismiss as grotesque entrapment.

I mention all this because of Ryan Zinke’s decision to resign from his position as Secretary for the Department of the Interior:

I was going to say, “this is how a true democratic republic dies.” That statement, though, is not accurate. What’s accurate is to say “this is how totalitarians kill a true democratic republic.”

Borders are barriers to epidemic disease. Although Leftists dream of a government that does everything, the reality is that government has (and, I believe, should have) only a few core functions. National defense, dealings with foreign governments, border protection, stable monetary policy, facilitating trade and transportation . . . and preventing the spread of epidemic diseases. The open borders crowd wants to ignore this last function.

Indeed, Leftists have always wanted to ignore this last function. During the 1980s, when AIDS hit, it was apparent that the bath houses in San Francisco were major disease vectors. I worked briefly for in a San Francisco virology lab that was on the cutting edge of AIDS research, so I knew exactly what was going on in those bath houses. I won’t go into details, but I will say that, with the help of drugs, men were having up to 100 sexual encounters per night.

The City wanted to close the bath houses, something that was entirely consistent with government’s traditional responsibility for stopping the spread of infectious diseases. Gay activists sued to stop the closure and an activist judge agreed. So it was that, while AIDS made few inroads into the heterosexual population, it devastated San Francisco’s gay population — the same population the City tried to protect with its attempt to close the bath houses. There’s irony for you.

But back to today:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used to trace outbreaks to Patient Zero, the index case—the first patient to get, then transmit, a disease. Is this government agency doing due diligence in the cases of the polio-like paralysis infecting hundreds of America’s kids?

[snip]

By WND’s telling, “the diagnosis of the first cases of AFM, acute flaccid myelitis, in 2014,” coincided with the dispersal of thousands of Central American children among U.S. school children. More conspicuous at that time “was an outbreak of a deadly respiratory illness” that put hundreds of America’s children in intensive care. “Both types of symptoms can probably be caused by enterovirus D68, which happens to be endemic in Central America,” opines Dr. Jane Orient.

[snip]

Although the CDC has provided a perfunctory status-update of its AFM Investigation, the  agency’s mention of a possible genetic etiology for Poliomyelitis, a dreadful, highly infectious viral disease, is bizarre. It reads like a cop-out.

What next? Like the legendary Lancet has done, can we expect the CDC to diagnose “right-wing politics” with folly and fervency for daring to correlate “migration to infection”?

Political correctness and science are often mutually exclusive (just think of transgender madness).

Britain is a dead country walking. I just want to share with you a few things that have recently gone on in jolly old England:

British man who called migrant groomers “animals” is facing seven years in jail.

Mercy for the drunk Muslim girl gang who brutally attacked a woman, because judge learned that they weren’t used to drinking.

A judge spared a Muslim mother of five who encouraged ISIS terrorist attacks against England, telling her to raise her children.

The BBC reinvents Agatha Christie’s classic The ABC Murders “as a morality tale comparing Brexit to the rise of fascism.” (As an aside, Christie’s books make it clear she hated big government, and would certainly have loathed the EU.)

British schools are now required to teach eight-year-olds that boys can have periods too.

Britain is our parent country. It gave birth to us. And now our parent country has fatal Alzheimer’s. It’s tragically demented and slowly dying.

Good news on Jerusalem. Here are two bits of somewhat good news regarding Jerusalem. The first is thanks to Trump:

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that his government will recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

However, he said Australia’s embassy would not move from Tel Aviv, until a peace settlement was achieved.

He added Australia also recognised the aspirations of the Palestinians to a state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contested issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yes, it’s a hedged recognition, but it’s still a recognition, and we take our victories where we can.

The second bit of good news I actually attribute to, of all people, Obama. By giving power to the Shia Iranians, Obama frightened the Sunni gulf nations so much that they’ve realized Israel is not the most dastardly enemy in the region. Which is how we get this story, which follows on the Australian announcement:

As Palestinians and the Arab League on Saturday condemned Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the move was somewhat surprisingly defended by one Arab nation — Bahrain.

The Arab League in a statement said it “strongly condemns” Australia’s move which it called “irresponsible and biased” and “contrary to international law.” It warned that the decision would only “encourage the occupation to continue its aggression, arrogance, settlement and defiance of international resolutions” and added that the move could have serious ramifications for Arab-Australian relations.

But Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa took issue with the statement, saying in a tweet: “These are irresponsible statements. Australia’s position does not hamper the legitimate demands of the Palestinians and first and foremost East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. It also does not contradict the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Israel and Bahrain do not have diplomatic relations, but are said to have solid clandestine ties. Both countries see in Iran a strategic threat.

Thanks, Obama.

Oh, and here’s one headline that I found very surprising:

EU rejects Hamas appeal, maintaining Hamas is a terrorist organization.

Of course, as long as Europeans continue to treat Israel as a pariah nation, and continue to back every antisemitic initiative at the UN, I’m not too impressed with their anti-Hamas pose here.

Speaking of Hamas, the IDF sent it a birthday card:

I’m not surprised by the antisemitism in Strasbourg. In the mid-1980s, my travels took me to Strasbourg, France. At lunch, our darling little waitress was the most non-Jewish looking gal you’ve ever seen, yet she wore a large Star of David.

“Are you Jewish?” we asked.

“Well, yes, sort of. I wasn’t born Jewish, but my husband is Jewish and I converted.”

Well, from that start, we talked a little, and what we learned was that she’d made a brave and dangerous choice to wear that Star of David. Strasbourg, a city founded in Roman times, had fallen under French rule in 1681. However, in 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War, the city came under German rule, which lasted until 1918, when the Germans were defeated in WWI. The Germans occupied it again during WWII, and it became French again in 1944.

The waitress explained that a significant number of Strasbourgians had assimilated Nazi antisemitism, which therefore remained strong in the town. She was often taunted and had even been physically attacked. As I said, she was brave.

With that in mind, I was not at all surprised to learn what happened at a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg:

Several tombstones were defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti at a Jewish cemetery near the French city of Strasbourg.

The incident was discovered Tuesday in Herrlisheim, a northern suburb, the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities said in a statement. “CRIF = ZOG” and the digits 88 were written on the tombstones. ZOG stands for “Zionist occupation government,” and the number is code for Adolf Hitler.

It’s the fourth time in two months that graffiti featuring far-right anti-Semitic rhetoric has been discovered at sites linked to Jews in the eastern Alsace region. In two incidents, Jewish mayors were the targets.

The combination of French antisemitism (which has deep roots), Alsatian antisemitic (which has deep roots) and, now, Islamic antisemitism (those deep roots again), is pernicious and highly dangerous.

Germany is reverting to its old ways. Maybe you remember that, when Angela Merkel, originally of East Germany, first appeared on the German political scene, people wondered if she was a Stasi plant. I wonder that more than ever.

First of all, thanks to Merkel’s open borders initiative, this is modern Germany, a place Hitler would be proud to call home:

Second, Merkel was just heard demanding that nation states abandon sovereignty, a line taken by both Hitler and the Soviets back in the day:

Merkel: “Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty”

No this wasn’t something Adolf Hitler said many years ago, this is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel told attendants at an event by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin on Wednesday.

“In an orderly fashion of course,” Merkel went on to say. She even went so far as to condemn those in her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party who think Germany should withdraw from the controversial UN migration pact:

“There were [politicians]who believed that they could decide when these agreements are no longer valid because they are representing The People”.

“[But] the people are individuals who are living in a country, they are not a group who define themselves as the [German] people,” she stressed.

If Merkel was a communist sleeper, she’s awoken.

You don’t need to look to Strasbourg or Germany for antisemitism. It’s easy to pick on Strasbourg because it deserves it. We deserve it closer to home too:

The biggest problem is that aside from a handful of outraged Jewish students, nobody is talking about this. Not our administrations, not our school newspapers, not our campus minority groups; no one,” lamented Pomona College senior Hallie Goldstein.

A mural at Pomona College that reads “Antisemitism exists. Acknowledge it” in remembrance of the deadliest attack in American Jewish history has been defaced at least twice.

Just days after the shooting, which killed 11 people at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the word “Antisemitism” was erased.

Sometime later, the memorial was vandalized with the words “Palestine exists. Acknowledge it,” and a Palestinian flag was painted.

[snip]

Senior Hallie Goldstein thinks “the biggest problem is that aside from a handful of outraged Jewish students, nobody is talking about this. Not our administrations, not our school newspapers, not our campus minority groups; no one.

“What stings the most is that whenever any other minority group is targeted in some way, all five of our colleges are buzzing with conversation, with statements of condemnation, with student-written articles and with support resources,” she told JNS. “However, it is [always] a double standard whenever Jews are the subject of a hate crime or discriminatory act.”

And for serious subliminal antisemitism, there’s always the New York Times:

Over the weekend, the New York Times Book Review published a full-length interview with Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple. The very first question: “What books are on your nightstand?” Walker replied with four, the second of which was:

“And the Truth Shall Set You Free,” by David Icke. In Icke’s books there is the whole of existence, on this planet and several others, to think about. A curious person’s dream come true.

This passed without comment from the New York Times interviewer, and the publication passed it on to readers without qualification. This is rather remarkable because the book is an unhinged anti-Semitic conspiracy tract written by one of Britain’s most notorious anti-Semites.

A former soccer player turned professional hate peddler, Icke is one of the most influential conspiracy theorists in Europe, and certainly in Britain. Today, he has over 777,000 followers on Facebook, and speaks to audiences around the world. Like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that a secret conspiracy controls the world. And like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that this secret conspiracy happens to be Jewish. In And the Truth Shall Set You Free, the word “Jewish” appears 241 times, and the name “Rothschild” is mentioned 374 times. These references are not compliments. Indeed, the book was so obviously anti-Semitic that Icke’s publisher refused to publish it, and he had to print it himself.

In the book and elsewhere, Icke draws liberally upon the infamous anti-Semitic pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion—a Russian forgery about an alleged global Jewish cabal that is widely considered one of the most influential anti-Semitic works in history.

Read the rest here. It’s disgusting, horrifying, and ought to (but won’t) embarrass the NYT.

Regarding The Color Purple, I have only two comments. First, I loathed it, because it was the work of an obviously sick misandrist. Second, Alice Walker is a horrible human being.

Interestingly enough, people who are horrible in other areas of their lives are often antisemites, just as countries that are totatlitarian in nature are antisemitic. That is, antisemitism seems to live in the evil parts of people’s and countries’ psyches.

It’s time to get Elon Musk off the government teat. I’ve argued before that, while Elon Musk is probably a genius, he’s also a grifter. The Tesla is a brilliant car, but it works only because of almost half a billion in taxpayer funds, even though only rich people can afford the car. (Of course, one could argue that the same people who can afford the car pay most of the taxes, but that’s a whole other argument.) At American Thinker, Mona Salama writes that it’s time for Tesla to stand on its own two feet, without grifting taxpayers and banks. I couldn’t agree more.

Yes, it’s schadenfreude, but I love Warren’s fall. I’ve mentioned before that Elizabeth Warren was one of my least favorite law school professors. Although she was always perfectly friendly, I found her incoherent and she lied about what would be on exams. It was therefore no surprise to me that she would lie about her race to get a job at Harvard Law. Howie Carr has a great column about the lies catching up with Warren:

Where do I go to get my reputation back?

Do you know how many times I’ve been called a “racist” over the last six years for calling Elizabeth Warren exactly what she just called herself in Baltimore – “not a person of color.”

In other words, a fake Indian.

She finally admitted the obvious on a Friday afternoon, just before Christmas, in front of what she must have assumed would be a somewhat sympathetic audience at a black college.

Two months after offering what she claimed was definitive proof of her Native American ancestry, she is now acknowledging that she’s a honky.

The fake Indian has finally been scalped … by reality.

Here’s the next step for the woman who was white before she was Cherokee before she was white: release your employment applications to the law schools at Harvard and Penn. Since you now admit you’re a white woman, it shouldn’t be a problem to prove once and for all that you never did “check the box” to grab a racial preference you weren’t entitled to.

[snip]

I had a bit part in that video that she released in October in her final futile Ghost Dance-like attempt to claim Indian heritage. She included tape of me at a Trump rally in Bangor, Maine, in 2016, doing the Indian war whoop live on national TV. The Democrats with press passes were calling me a racist before I even stepped off the stage.

Later, on the plane back to New York, I showed candidate Trump the torrent of faux outrage against me on the internet.

“Whatever you do, don’t apologize,” he told me with a smile, “Jimmy the Greek was doing great until he said he was sorry, and then it was all over. Remember?”

I understood. To quote former Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, “Never complain, never explain.” Especially when you’re right.

Read the rest here.

UT has gone full lefty. I am proud to say that I was not a Harvard Law student. I used to be proud to say that I was a University of Texas Law Student (which is where I had a banking law class with Elizabeth Warren before she became a Native American). Back then, I was one of the rare Democrats in the law school. Indeed, I don’t think Democrats were that common anywhere on the campus. Sure, Guadalupe, or “the Drag,” had its “drag worms,” who were likened to the old hippies on Telegraph Avenue, but UT was a sane place. Because UT is no longer sane, I am no longer proud:

A free speech nonprofit sued the University of Texas system Thursday over policies restricting students from using “biased,” “rude,” “offensive,” and “uncivil” speech.

Speech First sued the UT system for its implementation of four policies banning speech that falls into these “subjective” categories, according to a press release obtained by Campus Reform. In particular, the nonprofit takes issue with UT’s campus climate response team, residence hall manual, “verbal harassment” ban, and acceptable use policy.

“By failing to define highly subjective terms such as ‘offensive,’ ‘biased,’ ‘uncivil,’ and ‘rude,’ the University of Texas has given itself broad discretion…”

“By failing to define highly subjective terms such as ‘offensive,’ ‘biased,’ ‘uncivil,’ and ‘rude,’ the University of Texas has given itself broad discretion to determine which speech – and whose speech – violates their policies,” Speech First President Nicole Neily said in the press release. “Unfortunately, this fails to pass Constitutional muster.”

Speech First claims that UT’s bias response team has investigated more than 100 “expressions of bias” since September 2017. Content designated bias incidents by UT includes “[d]erogatory comments made on a…course Facebook page” and “somebody…creat[ing] a hostile or offensive classroom,” according to the press release.

“Without a doubt, the University of Texas has failed to appropriately safeguard students’ First Amendment rights,” Neily said in the press release. “Students deserve to be able to express themselves and voice their opinions without fear of investigation or punishment – which is why these policies must be reformed.”

That is not the UT of my years. It makes me feel old and sad.

L.A. discovers that “if you build it, they will come.” In L.A.’s case, what it built was a wonderful infrastructure enticing to homeless people. Daniel Greenfield explains:

It wasn’t all that long ago that the nation watched transfixed in horror as fires tore apart California, destroying homes and claiming lives. In all the debates about global warming and forestry management, one singular cause of the fire was left unaddressed.

Global warming wasn’t starting the fires. People were.

[snip]

Brush fires are just one of the wages of the legalization and subsidization of the homeless. And while these fires are spectacular, they are not the most dangerous consequence.

Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Despite that its homeless population had only dropped to 39,826, a reduction of only 256 people. The only surprise in those statistics is that the population dropped at all. Homeless spending has the notorious effect of increasing homeless populations rather than diminishing them as vagrants swarm in and agencies inflate their numbers.

But while doubling its homeless budget didn’t significantly diminish the homeless population in Los Angeles, it did have another spectacular statistical effect on the wellbeing of city residents.

LAPD statistics showed that homeless crime actually increased by nearly 50%, jumping from 5,976 crime reports of homeless perpetrators in most of 2017 to 8,906 crime reports in most of 2018.

Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget and doubled the amount of homeless crime.

Read the rest here.

When I was growing up, we kids used to insult each other by saying, “You’re so crazy you belong in Napa,” a reference to one of the old-fashioned “insane asylums” that used to dot the American landscape. They were often terrible places, and civil rights activists managed to get all of them shut down.

The resulting problem with that shutdowns was that those with serious mental illnesses, whether organic or resulting from substance abuse, had nowhere to go but the streets. On the streets, their lives are every bit as bad as they were in those insane asylums, but now the mentally ill share that misery by terrorizing the sane (and semi-sane) population. Because they’re committing so many crimes, our prisons are being used as insane asylums, so that people with serious mental illnesses are sharing cells with stone cold predators. It’s horribly cruel to do this.

I have a proposal: How about if all the Lefties pouring money into illegal aliens take even a little bit of that money and invest it in well-managed institutions for the mentally ill. There, they can get humane care, while our cities can revert to being civilized places, free from fecal matter, violence, and fellow citizens living like feral animals because they are incapable of caring for themselves.

L.A. is bankrupting itself. L.A. isn’t just spending taxpayer money to lure violent homeless people to the city. It’s also paying pensions so big that the money is gushing out of taxpayer pockets:

Dozens of retired Los Angeles employees are collecting such generous retirement pay that they exceed pension fund limits set by the Internal Revenue Service, saddling taxpayers with additional costs, a Times data analysis has found.

Their lavish pensions forced the city to establish an “Excess Benefit Plan” to pay what the pension system cannot legally cover, using money that could otherwise be tapped to fix sidewalks, fight homelessness or hire more cops.

In all, the little-known fund has paid $14.6 million to 110 retired employees since 2010, The Times’ analysis showed.

The list of recipients is dominated by former cops and firefighters whose million-dollar payouts from a separate retirement program drove their incomes well over the $220,000 annual limit the IRS allows pension funds to pay.

The top recipient of excess benefits last year was former LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, whose $251,000 pension alone would have put him over the limit.

But an additional $1.3-million lump sum payment Paysinger got through the Deferred Retirement Option Plan when he retired in 2016 catapulted him way over the top, requiring the city to pay more than half of his pension from the Excess Benefit Plan.

It would be awfully nice if taxpayers would get more exercised about the way in which they’re being abused. If colonial taxpayers in the latter half of the 18th century were as passive and resigned as taxpayers are today, America would never have come into existence. They were lions; we are . . . not even sheep, which can be vicious; we’re worms.

And so it is that we lie supine as thousands of petty monarchs reign dictatorially over us:

The cruelty of the war on opiods. I get that opiate addiction is killing more Americans annually than either guns or cars. Having said that, the medical establishment is being incredibly cruel in the way it’s attacking this problem, because it’s leaving people who have legitimate, chronic pain without necessary pain relief:

It happened slowly. The pain caused by a 1980 back fracture, the result of a tractor-trailer crash, crippled more and more of Jay Lawrence’s body and spirit.

By 2006, the Tennessee native and Navy veteran’s arms and legs were going numb. The excruciating pain reduced him to tears. Multiple surgeries, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy didn’t work.

He finally found solace in prescription painkillers – 120 milligrams a day of morphine. A high dose, but it dulled the pain enough for him to take walks with his wife, shop for groceries, even take in a few movies.

But last February, the pain clinic doctor delivered jarring news: He was cutting Lawrence’s daily dosage, first to 90 milligrams then, in short stages, down to 30 milligrams. The doctor said the reduced dosage was in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prescribing guidelines released in 2016 as part of a national anti-opioid push, according to Lawrence’s wife, Meredith.

“The doctor said: ‘You know these guidelines are going to become a law eventually. So we’ve decided as a group that we’re going to take all of our patients down,’” she told Fox News in an interview.

Lawrence’s pain returned with a vengeance. He could barely move or sleep. He soiled his pants, unable to make the bathroom in time, Meredith said.

“It feels like every nerve in my body is on fire,” he told his wife.

Meredith said she and her husband went to their primary care physician and asked for a referral to another pain clinic. They were told it would take a minimum of six weeks.

That was too much for Lawrence. In March, on the day of his next medical appointment, when his painkiller dosage was to be reduced again, he instead went to a nearby park with his wife. And on the very spot where they renewed their wedding vows just two years earlier, they held hands.

He raised a gun to his chest and killed himself.

The media lies. One among the many lies the media tells about Trump is the newest theory that, as the L.A. Times puts it, “Trump [is] increasingly isolated as aides leave, friends flip and investigations advance.” I assume this new Trump meme is intended to deflect people’s attention from the fact that there is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, although there are mountains of evidence that Hillary and the DNC worked with Russians (although probably not Putin himself), to thwart the will of the voters by destroying Trump.

According to Brad Parscale, the new meme is a lie like all the other memes.

I’m inclined to believe Parscale because, even though he’s a political operative with an agenda, the agenda doesn’t mean he’s lying. Meanwhile, we know the MSM has lied consistently and relentlessly since Trump became President. Moreover, not all the media’s lies are affirmative misstatements. Sometimes they lie by hiding stories that reflect well on Trump:

God forbid Trump should be shown doing something to benefit America’s beleaguered African-American communities.

Perhaps the American people are catching on:

President Trump holds a 49% approval rating today after nearly two years into his first term despite a continued barrage of fake news and vicious media attacks.

This is 5 points higher than Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency.

This is despite national mainstream media reporting negatively on the highly successful President Trump 92% of the time.

Climate changers haven’t thought this whole thing through. After reading the following article, my comment on Twitter was that credulous misanthropes (because climate changistas hate the human race) run smack into reality:

If we want to stop climate change, we’ll have to stop pumping out carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In order to do that, we’ll need to replace all the sources of carbon pollution—like fossil fuel plants and combustion vehicles—with clean, renewable alternatives. But there’s a problem: According to a new study, we might not have enough materials to make that happen.

Plenty of high-tech electronic components, like solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and complex circuits, require specific rare metals. These can include magnetic neodymium, electronic indium, and silver, along with lesser-known metals like praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium. These metals are mined in large quantities in countries around the world, and they make their way into the supply chains of all sorts of electronics and renewables companies.

A group of researchers from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure determinedhow many of these important metals will be required by 2050 in order to make enough solar panels and wind turbines to effectively combat climate change. With plenty of countries, states, cities, and companies pledging to go 100 percent renewable by 2050, the number of both solar panels and wind turbines is expected to skyrocket.

According to the analysis, turbines and solar panels might be skyrocketing a bit too much. Demand for some metals like neodymium and indium could grow by more than a dozen times by 2050, and there simply might not be enough supply to power the green revolution.

To which I say, “heh.”

Can we say “Starbucks, I told you so”? After being accused of racism because one outlet refused to allow a non-customer (who just happened to be black) to use a “customers only” restroom, Starbucks did penance by announcing that anyone who wanted could use the restrooms. The inevitable happened:

Data suggests that the virtue signaling isn’t working out as well as hoped by the corporate leaders. New York Post team investigated several Manhattan bathrooms and found that there wasn’t an open stall.

…A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged “cleaning,” which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug-using, incontinent vagrants.

“Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in,” an employee at one branch fumed.

“Rest Room closed,” declared signs at 399 Seventh Ave. (entrance on West 32nd Street) and at a branch at Pearl Street and Maiden Lane. At 252 W. 31st St., the road to relief was blocked by garbage cans. Furniture and boxes formed a barrier at 61 W. 56th St.

A rope and traffic cones barred the way at 38 Park Row. When a desperate visitor asked if the loo would reopen any time soon, a barista directed him to a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby.

Why would the bathrooms need “prolonged cleaning”? Perhaps the experience of the Seattle shops provides an explanation:

Several Starbucks workers in Seattle say that they’re encountering hypodermic needles on the job nearly every day and that they’ve had to take antiviral medications to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis.

Three employees at the coffee giant in northern Seattle told the local news station KIRO 7 that visitors would dispose of the needles in store restrooms, often in tampon-disposal boxes, and that workers would then come in contact with them while cleaning and were sometimes accidentally poked.

KIRO 7 said the three employees provided hospital, pharmacy, and insurance receipts showing that they took antiviral medications to protect against HIV and hepatitis after being poked by needles at work.

You can read more about this predictable debacle here.

My chihuahua would have done the same.  A woman in Pennsylvania was almost killed when a bear attacked her. Salvation came in the form of her chihuahua, which mounted a counterattack. Although gravely wounded itself, the dog saved her life. Chihuahuas are little, but mighty.

Senator Hatch can be funny.

Barack and Michelle Obama think everyone is stupid. Just a couple of quotations. The first is a classic; the second is a new one from Michelle:

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” — Barack Obama, during the 2008 campaign.

“I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.” — Michelle Obama, 2018

(Obama recently said much the same thing at a speech, but for the life of me, I can’t track that quotation down.)

Not all royals are/were brainless twits. I didn’t know this about Prince Phillip’s mother:

A lovely Christmas song. It’s a very simple song, but sweet and beautiful. (I do love waltzes.)

10 WAYS TO BE A GOOD CITIZEN …AND FIGHT THE BAD ONES

10 Ways to Be a Good Citizen…and Fight Bad Ones

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While many watch the daily stock markets’ vagaries, or the volatility of bitcoin valuations, or the price of the dollar against the euro or the yen, they may not as readily be able to quantify the diminution in value of their coveted American citizenship.
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A citizen is defined as “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.”  Citizenship conveys rights and responsibilities that flow to and from citizen and government – rights and responsibilities purportedly not enjoyed by non- citizens.
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For decades, American public schools included a course on “civics” as an integral and fundamental part of their curriculum.  Civics teaches what it is to be a citizen; how government is structured, organized, and perpetuated; the history of the country and its admirable traits; the importance of elections; how to vote; and patriotism – love of and loyalty to America. Lamentably…(Read Full Article)
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COMMENT by Freedom Man, AmericanThinker.com, This Article

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: First they came for confederate generals, then black conservatives.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

“It’s the Democrat party who are the biggest racists around. It was the Democrats who started the Ku Klux Klan, it was the Democrats like William Fulbright and Al Gore’s father who voted against the civil rights act. Democrats were always for segregation throughout history and Republicans were for emancipation.” https://www.conservativedailynews.com/2017/08/lib-dems-project-racism-trump/

The KKK….

Political Correctness….

“…Political correctness exploits the suffering, the history and the bodies of African-Americans to suppress other African-Americans. While it divides the country along racial lines, it also divides racial groups internally, putting its activists in charge of forcing African-Americans into conformity with the Left. Black leftist activists are given power by white leftists in order to keep other African-Americans in line….” —Daniel Greenfield

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This Is The ARTICLE BY DANIEL GREENFIELD:

The Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine near the Detroit Medical Center has an ambitious program of preparing its mostly African-American students for careers in medicine.

Students from Ben Carson High recently toured a hospital and experienced what it’s like to be doctors.

The school’s name, in its own words, honors “Dr. Benjamin Carson whose journey from impoverished, inner-city Detroit youth to acclaimed neurosurgeon is remarkable and is a constant reminder to Benjamin Carson students that their career dreams are achievable.”

Or maybe not.

The Detroit school board voted to rename the school under guidelines that say a school can be renamed when it doesn’t reflect the student population or when “information newly discovered about the current name of the school is negative in nature.”

LaMar Lemmons, a Democrat, was the leading advocate for removing Ben Carson’s name from the school. Lemmons, who along with his wife, Georgia Lemmons, sits on the school board, has used his position to blame Michigan’s emergency managers for all of Detroit’s self-created problems.

Lemmons, a “Bernie-crat”, also got his completely unprepared sister-in-law elected to the State Senate.

“Quite frankly, it is a political thing,” he admitted. “We named a school after an individual who is in the Trump administration.”

The Democrat insisted that having a medical sciences school named after a brilliant African-American surgeon from Detroit was “synonymous with having Trump’s name on our school in blackface.”

“When you align yourself with Trump, that is a direct affront to the city of Detroit and the students of Detroit,” he insisted.

If the name change goes forward, it may be the first instance of a school being renamed because it was named after a Republican.

Lemmons is okay with a school being named after a white slaveholder, but not a black conservative.

“Lewis Cass was a slaveholder,” Lemmons said. “But I would never recommend changing the name of Cass.”

Also on the nomenclature chopping block, for unclear reasons, is the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men.

Ben Carson isn’t the only African-American conservative being targeted by the renaming squad.

Last month, a petition to change the name of Savannah College of Art and Design’s Clarence Thomas Center for Historic Preservation received favorable media coverage.

The petition was put forward by a former student named Sage Lucero. Clarence Thomas is the grandson of sharecroppers from rural Georgia. Lucero is a Brooklyn hipster and junior copywriter.

Lucero’s illiterate petition demanded that the Center be renamed after Anita Hill, “A woman who stood up for herself despite being denied of true justice.”

She ranted that Justice Thomas “wrongfully won against a woman’s word.”

The building was named after Thomas because he had served there as an altar boy.

Instead of filing the petition in the internet’s underwear drawer, the media hurriedly amplified the white leftist’s grievance against the highest ranking African-American judge in the country. One media outlet breathlessly reported that the petition had over 500 signatures. And then actually interviewed Sage.

The president of the Savannah College of Art and Design (or, as Sage put it, “one of the president’s”) actually contacted her about her ridiculously ignorant petition.

“I don’t want any other female who has hopes and dreams to have to walk through the doors of that building,” Lucero, who lives in New York, insisted.

She also claimed that “many of the students feel unsafe about the building” and that she wanted to start a conversation about “diversity” by taking a black man’s name off a building.

When Lamar Bowman wrote a counter-petition that received over 20,000 signatures, no one in the media interviewed him to learn why he thought that Thomas’ presence on campus spoke of its “dedication to the struggles and achievements of millions of African Americans.”

Or why he wrote that Thomas’ story “is one that I want my children to know and understand.”

Lamar’s story, like Thomas’ story and Carson’s story, is not the story that the media is interested in.

It took protests from Capitol Hill for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to include Clarence Thomas. But not before it had included Colin Kaepernick and Anita Hill.

When the renaming cultural revolution took off, it was under the guise of fighting racism. And now it’s come full circle to fighting against the legacy of conservative African-Americans.

Loretta Lynch and lynched black male. TruthRevolt.Org, Commons.Wikimedia.Org – JAF IMAGES

The parade of renamings has drifted into the realm of the ridiculous. In Portland, Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood and Lynch View elementary schools were renamed because they had the word, “Lynch” in them. The schools were named after Patrick Lynch, a berry farmer, who donated some land to build schools.

Renaming schools named after a berry farmer, who shares a last name with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and numerous other African-Americans, has nothing to do with fighting racism.

It’s political correctness.

Political correctness doesn’t actually fight racism. It only pretends to do so, exploiting outrage over racism to justify its power grabs. The point of renaming a school named Lynch isn’t to fight racism, but to wield the power to rename schools. Renaming educational institutions and buildings named after African-American conservatives however is the core purpose for which that power is truly wielded.

The renaming revolution was not about fighting dead Confederate generals. It was a convenient pretext for legitimizing a politically correct purge. Outrage over racism and slavery was used to build a movement whose ultimate targets were not dead 19th century rebels, but living conservatives.

Including the greatest threat of them all, African-American conservatives.

Political correctness doesn’t fight discrimination. It implements it. And its machine for suppressing intellectual diversity inevitably reaches the same African-Americans, women, gay people and others whom it claims to be protecting from discrimination when they dissent from political correctness.

The Left begins by fighting racism and then implements it.

African-Americans are the group most frequently abused as a pretext for political correctness, and so African-American conservatives pose the greatest threat to the power of political correctness.

The existence of a Clarence Thomas or a Ben Carson undermines the ideological infrastructure that has been used to silence hundreds of millions of Americans in the name of millions of African-Americans who never sought such a silencing. The renamings don’t just attack Carson or Thomas as individuals, they erase their existence. This political genocide removes people whom the Left thinks shouldn’t exist.

Political correctness exploits the suffering, the history and the bodies of African-Americans to suppress other African-Americans. While it divides the country along racial lines, it also divides racial groups internally, putting its activists in charge of forcing African-Americans into conformity with the Left.

Black leftist activists are given power by white leftists in order to keep other African-Americans in line

Erasing Thomas and Carson also erases the identities of countless African-American conservatives, the history of African-American conservatism, and the values of African-American conservatism.

It tells the students at Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine that….

READ REMAINDER OF ARTICLE HERE

The Bookworm Beat 11/4/17 — Day of Rage edition

As I’m still groggy from fighting migraines, Wolf Howling wrote this Bookworm Beat, a glorious potpourri showing that the good guys are mostly winning.

Today was supposed to be a big day, with Antifa raging in the streets and less-violently inclined Leftists screaming at the heavens. When I search for stories about either of these Day of Rage protests, though, I find nothing. I guess it’s hard to get up on a cold Fall morning when you live in your parents’ basement or partied hard the night before in your college dorm.

I’m a little inert today too for an entirely different reason: I’ve been adjusting my daily anti-migraine medication. The adjustment seems to be working, because I haven’t had a migraine since I made the change, but the downside is that the increased dosage makes me sleepy and dims my mental energy. Both those problems will pass with time, but for now, even though I’m paying attention to the news, I can’t seem to rouse myself to write about it.

Fortunately for the Bookworm’s reputation as a purveyor of interesting content, my friend Wolf Howling send me an email chock full of interesting information. For your enjoyment and edification, therefore, I present to you the Wolf Howling edition of today’s Bookworm Beat:

Teen Vogue is caput. Conde Nast announced today that Teen Vogue is getting the axe.

The New York-based publisher, which has instilled a hiring freeze, will slash about 80 jobs, equal to a decrease of about 2.5 percent of its 3,000-person workforce. Budgets across departments are also expected to get a haircut, with the worst-performing divisions and magazines getting cuts of up to 20 percent. As part of that mandate, Condé is reducing the frequencies of most of its titles and will shutter Teen Vogue in print.

(Bookworm here: Wolf Howling is not the only one who remembered my utter disdain for Teen Vogue — which I expressed here, here, here, and here. I got emails from several other people and am grateful to all of them for keeping that wonderful news right in front of me.)

A man who had been arrested asked for a “lawyer [,] dog” Depending upon how you read it, the man either called the police officer “dog” (which is definitely better than calling him “pig”) or asked for an actual “lawyer dog.”  The Louisiana court held it was the latter and, dogs with law degrees being in short supply, concluded that the police  had no obligation to the man to hunt up that particular type of lawyer before questioning  him.

David Brooks could also do with some grammar help, although there’s probably nothing that can be done about a man apparently stuck between two rooms at the motel of love without his Strunk and White:

In this room sex is a gold nugget, a pleasure, like any other pleasure, except maybe it’s better and the desire for it is stronger. If you’re straight, women are the people who can give you this pleasure. When you go to a college party or a club, you’re on the prowl for women who want to share this pleasure with you. Most pop songs are about this kind of conquest. Girl I want your body.

David: It’s “Girl [comma] I want your body.” Geez.

United States’ CO2 emissions continue to fall. I am amazed that anyone paying attention to fracking, the motivation of every business to be energy-efficient, and the fact that the Greenie schemes have far more to do with money and power than emissions, is in the least surprised. (Bookworm here: On my real-me Facebook page, the Greenies are beside themselves with glee that the Trump administration’s recent report on climate change did not deny an anthropogenic factor.  I’m not surprised, given that the people doing the report are the same morons who’ve been screaming about anthropogenic climate change for more than a decade. When the administrative state rot is so deep, it will take a long time before its pernicious effects end. The rotting effluvia will be floating up to the top for decades.)

This . . . is CNN?” “CNN business correspondent Richard Quest gave President Trump credit for the booming U.S. economy, and said anyone who denies Trump’s contributions is being “mealy-mouthed.”” That is the steamroller heading towards 2018 and 2020.

This . . . is ESPN? You know they are in trouble when they issue this bit of guidance to their few remaining employees. “Our engagement on social platforms … should be civil, responsible, and without overt political or other biases that would threaten our or your credibility with the public.” Hah!

This . . . is Donna Brazille? A good article by David French. Brazille turning on Hildabeast is the equivalent of a cool day in mid-March when Caesar visited the Theater of Pompey. I am not sure what her game plan is here. She is wedded to the Clintons in so many ways. Turning on Hillary is going to be applauded by the Sandernistas, but I am sure that they will treat Brazille the way the left is treating Megyn Kelly or the way the British treated Benedict Arnold . . . they will applaud Brazille’s actions but never accept her onto their side.

The gay mafia continues to attack any religious group that dare states that they do not support gay marriage. That is just “hate.” Your 2010 American Thinker article is evergreen.

I have always appreciated Charles Barkley, a man with no internal filters. “No one doesn’t like meat.” As a dedicated carnivore, I have to agree.

There was a series of horror movies centering around Freddie Kruger. You did not want to fall asleep when you were targeted by Freddie. Seems that movie theme has an analog among Hollywood actors.

Here’s one of the few things I think the pope has gotten right: He intends to open up the church to married priests. I think that will make a significant difference in the long run and I think it wholly justified by the fact that at least two of Jesus’s disciples were married. “Tradition” should never be cast aside without exceptional reason, but I think such exceptional reason exists in the current circumstance. (Bookworm here: I agree with Wolf Howling. I return however to my post about the Pope’s Liberation Theology to explain why I dislike just about everything he says or does.)

This girl isn’t going to grow up to be a big Lion King fan. Disney took a little dramatic license when they showed Simba surviving on grubs . . . instead of gazelles . . . or, preferably, little girls if available.

Being a cop is not an easy life, but the job does come with its humorous moments.

Dress up as Poccahottie for Halloween; pay the PC price.

And lastly, this is one that will permanently cross a man’s legs.

Peter Thiel’s excellent point about political correctness and indulgences

When Peter Thiel compared Political Correctness and the Catholic Church in 1517, he revealed how truly corrupt Political Correctness really is.

I had the pleasure last night of attending an event at which Peter Thiel was the main speaker. Before he started speaking I knew that he was one of PayPal’s founders and one of Facebook’s earliest investors, that he openly supported Trump’s candidacy, and that he destroyed Gawker for outing him.

After Thiel’s speech, I knew a bit more: He’s a committed conservative-libertarian, he’s a lawyer, he’s extraordinarily well-read, and he’s a truly creative, highly intelligent thinker. Also, there’s no obvious artifice about him. He may be a billionaire, but he doesn’t view his membership in that club as proof of his brilliance. Instead, he’s an iconoclast who thinks deeply about things and, through his conclusions, proves his brilliance.

Thiel began his talk* by examining whether our society’s technology is flat-lining. He challenges the conventional wisdom is that we’re still in an upward technological trend, but that the low-hanging fruit is gone, and the geniuses have dried up. He feels the opposite is true: We’re stagnating now, there’s a great deal more fruit than just the low-hanging variety, and there is untapped genius out there.

The big question, of course, is why there is untapped genius? The most obvious answer is funding. In the computer world, where innovation is still happening, guys (mostly guys) can do what’s been done since the 1970s: Come up with a great idea at their home computer and, through hard work, intelligence, and luck, leverage that idea into something people need or want, and that then makes its inventors very, very rich.

However, there’s trouble brewing in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) world. Contrary to popular wisdom, which is that all STEM college majors will result in better paying jobs than any liberal arts major could, the only two STEM majors with a serious job market are Computer Science and Petrochemical Engineering. In everything else, a large pool of people is competing for the same money.

More than that, those handing out the money want to invest in sure things. That means the only projects getting financed are the safe ones, the ones that don’t challenge the status quo, and that don’t come out with some major, counter-intuitive thinking that could change an existing paradigm.

The problem for science types is that, in the 21st century, while one can still come up with computer technology on the cheap, it’s impossible to do so in the sciences. While early scientists once needed a microscope, a Bunsen burner, a few Petri dishes, and a note pad, today’s scientists rely upon equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. They can function only with corporate, academic, or government funding. This turns every lab into a fiefdom, in which a large number of people are competing for a finite slice of research dollars and fame.

Which gets us to political correctness. Thiel sees political correctness as something akin to this famous video moment, with the blooming flowers emanating from a man’s head standing in for American energy and innovation, and the foot being political correctness:

In science labs, where there are ten employees and advancement only for one, political correctness can be used to cull the herd. The same is true across academia. Degrees are many and academic jobs are few. And the same is true in places such as Hollywood, where a very few men have the power to make or break people’s careers. As someone (and I cannot remember who) pointed out, unemployment in the movie industry is 90%. It’s easy to get that waitressing job. It’s much, much harder to get yourself in front of a camera.

Once in effect, political correctness utterly prevents people from breaking out of the box to come up with new ideas. We stagnate intellectually because the chance of innovating is far outweighed by the risk that one might be economically or socially destroyed. Lord knows, we’ve seen the Social Justice Warrior crowd savage people for wearing the wrong shirts, making the wrong jokes, or proposing new solutions to politically approved problems.

If political correctness is so destructive, why is it still so dominant in public discourse? Thiel believes that political correctness is an overt sign that the person showing that correctness is one of the chosen. In this way, political correctness mirrors two trends from 500 years ago. (The following discussion starts with Thiel’s core point about Indulgences and the Protestant Reformation, but I’m expanding upon it.)

Theil’s “500 years ago” analogy is a very precise one. It was exactly 500 years ago this past Tuesday that Martin Luther shook Christendom to its foundations when he nailed his 94 theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church. Luther wasn’t challenging Christianity. He was challenging what he saw as a corrupt Catholic Church that was perverting Jesus’s message and denying the faithful access to true salvation. Luther especially challenged the church’s infamous indulgences.

For those who were not European history majors, in their purest form, indulgences encouraged sinners to show true repentance and remorse for non-mortal sins. If they made the proper showing (and included a little donation to their local church), the priest could issue an indulgence that could lessen the sinner’s time in Hell or Purgatory, and result in an ultimate trip to Heaven. The expectation that the sinner truly repented carried with it the unspoken corollary that he would sin no more.

Seen in that light, it’s obvious that the indulgence was an incentive for people to repent and turn their lives around. After all, if they had no hope that Heaven awaited, those who had sinned had no reason to refrain from sinning.

Over the centuries, though, indulgences became a corrupt profit center for a church that was too often concerned with earthly wealth rather than Heavenly rewards.  Eventually, anyone with enough money, no matter the sin and no matter the absence of true remorse and repentance, could pay a local priest to have the slate wiped clean — or so the priest promised. Evil-doers could take as many sips from that well as their purse could afford. By paying regularly for indulgences, they were immune from the eternal fallout of their continuing wrongful acts.

Luther’s theses sparked a Protestant Reformation that, among other things, rejected priestly intervention to alleviate sin. (The Protestant Reformation also sparked a Catholic Counter-Reformation which saved the Catholic church, but that’s another subject altogether.)

One of the fall-outs from the Protestant Reformation was that Protestants needed some other way to encourage parishioners to avoid sin and walk in God’s footsteps, confident that they would end in Heaven, not Hell. So it was that many early Protestant sects believed that a person’s salvation (and godliness) could be determined by looking at his material success and properly sanctimonious conduct.

Under this theory, business success (whether in shipping or farming or something else) showed God’s blessing. That the person deserved the blessing could be seen from an overtly proper lifestyle, shown in modest clothes, blaspheme-free speech, and regular, overt church attendance. In that way, the good Protestant could look at his poorer neighbor, especially the one who sometimes missed church, and console himself with the thought that “I am indeed holier than thou.”

I should say here that the above is a very simplified version of the state of the Catholic church in 1517 and of the vast changes that the Protestant Reformation brought about. For my purposes, though, those simplified ideas are sufficient.

Thiel likened modern academia to the Church in 1517, with the professors and administrators functioning as priests preaching the gospel of political correctness. Those salvation-seekers who pay $200,000 in tuition — that is, who pay indulgence money — then receive this gospel and are saved. Good things will happen. Those who don’t buy their indulgences and prove through overt behavior that they are headed to Heaven are, instead, bound for bad places, such as blue-collar jobs — or, as John Kerry memorably explained:

You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.

Once out of the sacred halls of academia, a Protestant note creeps into the liberal’s sense that he is saved, while you are not, and that everyone knows he is saved. Without a priestly professorial class to grant indulgences, the good Leftist must use overt political correctness to prove his salvation. While the Puritan would pray regularly, give alms to the poor, and achieve material success, the good Leftist drives a Prius or Tesla, noisily donates to the NRA, and boasts “I’m with her.”

The big shock Progressives sustained in the last month was discovering that large numbers of aggressively Progressive men in the Hollywood and similar environs, when boasting “I’m with her,” were not simply advertising the political correctness behind their support for Hillary Clinton. They were, instead, sending a subliminal signal that the “her” with whom they found themselves was whatever woman happened to be available at the moment and subordinate to them in power. Moreover, once having found this women, they would spend time with her by pinching and fondling her, embarrassing her through crude speech or open masturbation, or even raping her.

[I have to take a slight detour here about the Hollywood sexual abuse scandal. One of the weirdest accusations against Weinstein and others is that they used the power imbalance to masturbate in front of women. Ace gets how bizarre this is:

Meanwhile, six women have come forward to accuse much-maligned piece-of-shit director Brett Ratner of sexual harassment, including, once again, masturbating in front of them.

I don’t get that. I have fantasies about having sex with women while masturbating. I do not have fantasies about masturbating in front of women. This is deeply weird. Talk about aiming low. You really have to be a stunted beta to view unsolicited wacking-off in the proximity of a woman as basically a home run.

Now back to my point — or, rather, my elaboration of Peter Thiel’s point.]

There’s a reason that these sex scandals are burning brightly the Left side of the political aisle, whether in Hollywood, the mainstream media, or even in Sacramento, which is the political heart of uber-Progressive California.

It’s not just that the Left destroyed standard morality, opening the way for people to act as they please when it comes to sex.

It’s also not just because feminists have insisted that they are just like men, right down to treating sex as a purely physical outlet without emotional content.

And it’s not even that rich and powerful men can always and have always preyed on women.

Instead, what’s going on here a direct byproduct of Political Correctness: As I said above, in the late Middle Ages the marauding lord,  by purchasing an indulgence from a priest who focused more on lucre than the Lord, could bypass restraint, guilt, and repentance entirely, and commit whatever venal and mortal sins he desired.

Today’s marauding “lords” behave in the same way because they too believe they’ve bought eternal redemption. Infusing their speech with political correctness, and spending lavish money to support gun grabbing, abortion, socialized medicine, feminism, and Hillary had them believing that they were home free no matter the sins they’d committed in the past or intended to keep committing in the future.

Ironically, the fact that these men, up until a few weeks ago, knew they could get away with sexually abusing woman comes about because of Hillary “I’m With Her” Clinton. Back in the 1990s, starting with Hillary, and then flowing down through the media and higher education, one message came through loud and clear: If you’re aiding the Progressive cause, you get a pass.

Did it matter that Bill Clinton was credibly accused of rape, sexual assault, and workplace sexual malfeasance? No. It mattered that he supported Planned Parenthood and would keep the Supreme Court safe from pro-Life jurists. As Nina Burleigh so memorably stated in 1998, at the height of Bill Clinton’s sexual scandals, she would have been “happy to give [Bill Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.”

Weinstein, Ratner, Affleck, and Spacey all behaved as they always had since 1998: They sent the right checks to the right groups and applied political correctness to their speech while policing it in other’s. By doing so, they were certain that they had purchased indulgences in the Catholic sense and proved their righteousness in the Protestant sense. As for the actual sins they committed — not only were their victims silenced, but they were expected to genuflect before these stalwart defenders of political correctness.

For those of us disgusted by political correctness and the sins that have been hiding behind it, it’s a wonderful thing to see Leftists turning on each other and erasing the political correctness “sin pass.” What a delicious shock it must have been to Weinstein, Ratner, Affleck, Spacey, and all the others who boasted about their feminist credentials to discover that the indulgences are over. Attacking the NRA, coming out gay, and supporting abortion aren’t good enough any more. It’s not enough just to look good (in the politically correct sense of the word); it turns out that, in Trump’s America, you actually have to be good.

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* I wasn’t taking notes, so I’m sure I’m not being entirely accurate about what Thiel said. I’m pretty sure, though, that I got the gist of it. And as I said, I’ve embroidered on his core point about the similarity between colleges and universities, on the one hand, and the Catholic Church in 1517, on the other hand.

Photo credit: Harvey Weinstein, Chairman, The Weinstein Company, by Thomas Hawk. Creative Commons license; some rights reserved.