How political correctness ate itself | UnHerd

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The consensus on political correctness was that it was a way of expressing things that everyone – or at least all the right people – took for granted. For progressives it was the same thing as good manners, an argument that was often presented in just those words…

Source: How political correctness ate itself – UnHerd

Worth a read.

It is said that revolutions always devour their own children. That does seem to be true, but understandably, their children resist being devoured, and the resultant thrashing about can cause a lot of mayhem, and often a lot of injury to innocent (or at least, not unduly culpable) bystanders.

The sooner political correctness thrashes itself into oblivion, the better, as far as I’m concerned! Then we can get on with simply being decent to each other, unless of course we have a good reason not to be. And in that case, we can be at enmity honestly, without the need to disguise it with PC cant, or to pretend that we are not, in fact, at enmity after all…

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A generation plans an exodus from California | Orange County Register

Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the “California model” national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas.

Source: A generation plans an exodus from California – Orange County Register

Some of us do not find it surprising that California is, as this article puts it, continuing to “hemorrhage” people at a high rate: “Since the recovery began in 2010, California’s net domestic out-migration… has almost tripled to 140,000 annually. Over that time, the state has lost half a million” of its residents to out-migration – people leaving the state.

More significant than mere numbers, though, is the demographic those numbers represent:

“The key issue for California, however, lies with the exodus of people around child-bearing years. The largest group leaving the state — some 28 percent — is 35 to 44, the prime ages for families. Another third come from those 26 to 34 and 45 to 54, also often the age of parents.”

Many, in other words – in fact most, almost two-thirds – of those leaving California are those of family-rearing age: that is to say, those who are most important for the future of the state.

There is no question that a lot of this is due to, as the article again points out, the high cost of living there, and particularly the high cost of housing:

“Over 90 percent of the difference in costs between California’s coastal metropolises and the country derives from housing. Coastal California is affordable for roughly 15 percent of residents, down from 30 percent in 2000, and 30 percent in the interior, [down] from nearly 60 percent in 2000. In the country as a whole, affordability hovers at roughly 60 percent.”

It’s hard enough to afford housing here in Maryland (also a coastal state, of course); the situation is much worse in California. But housing costs alone might not tell the whole story; indeed, this article itself hints – cautiously – at the likelihood that California has got its priorities screwed up, and many Californians (or former Californians, or soon-to-be-former Californians) know it.

The author – Joel Kotkin, R.C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University, and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism – notes that (in the quote with which I opened this),

“Today even some of the state’s determined progressives understand that taking the ‘California model’ national seems implausible when significant numbers of Californians are headed in large numbers to red Texas or purple Las Vegas,”

and continues,

“California’s media and political elites like to bask in the mirror and praise their political correctness. They focus on passing laws about banning straws, the makeup of corporate boards, prohibiting advertising for unenlightened fundamentalist preaching or staging a non-stop, largely ineffective climate change passion play. Yet what our state really needs are leaders interested in addressing more basic issues such as middle-class jobs and affordable single-family housing.”

So long as California’s leadership continues to value political correctness over improving the practical quality of life – indeed, the ability to live in the state at all – of ordinary folks, the more California seems likely to to continue hemorrhage people.

This should be a wake-up call for the “chattering classes” in other (currently) “blue” states. It should be. But will it? Or will they continue to be blinded by an ideological agenda that is at best irrelevant, and often off-putting, to the majority of ordinary people?

True believers will continue to be true believers, no matter what, of course. Ideologues are ideologues because it is their mentality to be so. But there have to be at least some adults in the crowd, don’t there? Don’t there…?

“Barack Obama’s return just reminds us how he fueled the distrust that led to Donald Trump” | James Bovard in USA Today

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Who cares if Obama belatedly cheers for transparency and accountability? He should admit that he made the government more dangerous at home and abroad.

Source: Barack Obama is back and showing us how he helped elect Donald Trump | USA Today Opinion – James Bovard

James Bovard’s short but detailed and meticulously-sourced essay should be a must-read in every high school and college political science class – and since that’s not going to happen, it deserves to be shared, forwarded, and otherwise spread as widely as possible. Doing my bit, here!

Bovard is no cheerleader for the current President, no rider of the “Trump Train” – he comments that “Americans should be alarmed at Trump’s power grabs” (in one of his few failures to cite-and-source, he gives no indication of what those are), and reminds us that “Obama is correct that Americans should be on guard against any ‘absolutism’ from the Trump administration.”

But he also reminds us that “Obama declared Friday that Americans are ‘supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them.’ But Trump won in 2016 in part because many Americans considered the federal government the biggest bully in the land.” And he cites example, after example, after example of how Obama either maintained or, in many cases, increased government power and intrusiveness, at the expense of transparency and freedom.

Here are a few of the examples that Bovard cites (sources linked in the op-ed itself, which I strongly encourage you to read):

  • the Transportation Security Administration became far more punitive and intrusive during Obama’s presidency
  • Obama expanded federal secrecy and prosecuted more journalists and whistleblowers than any previous administration
  • he campaigned in 2008 on a peace platform and then proceeded to bomb seven nations
  • he flip-flopped on illegal surveillance and unleashed the National Security Administration to target anyone “searching the web for suspicious stuff”
  • When Obama took office, the United States had the 20th-most-free press in the world; by 2016, it had fallen to 41st

And these are only some of the examples he cites – and, as I say, carefully sources. And after all this, Obama presumes to lecture us on Trump, or to present himself as some sort of moral leader? It’d be a joke, if it wasn’t so un-funny. The truth is, as Bovard accurately notes, “Nothing that Trump can do or say should be permitted to expunge Obama’s derelictions.”

I am in complete agreement! And as for Obama himself, he should do what nearly every former President has done, which is ride off into the sunset – or sit quietly on his porch, enjoying his substantial Presidential retirement income – and cease and desist his attempts to undermine a sitting President.

 


 

P.S. Needless to say, the Obamacrats in the public square were less enamored of Bovard’s conclusions. As he pointed out in a follow-up on his personal blog,

“I am chagrined that not everyone liked  yesterday’s USA Today oped, ‘Obama Fueled the Distrust that Led to Donald Trump.’ I expected the piece to spur thoughtful exchanges by folks with different perspectives.”

If so, I fear he was either hopelessly naive, or at least excessively optimistic. He continues,

“Alas, my hopes for a rebirth of civility have been mercilessly crushed. Here’s some responses generated via Twitter, email, and elsewhere online.”

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As I commented, both on his blog and on his Facebook page, I suspect that most of the above “respondents” (if one can even dignify them with such a title) failed to read past the headline. And if they did, they clearly failed to comprehend what they were reading – or, just as likely, flatly refused to do so, lest their preconceived notions be disturbed by facts.

[Bovard’s] op-ed piece is spot-on, and (as I mentioned above) should be required reading in every high school and college-level political science class in the nation.

If Democrats dislike Trump, they should reflect on the fact that they have only themselves to blame, by tolerating Obama and nominating Clinton.

But frankly, I doubt that most of today’s Democrats are capable of that level of reflection. Sad to say!

Viktor Orbán: “Say Goodbye to the Entire Elite of ’68”

Source: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp

Above is the complete video, with English subtitles, of Orbán’s speech in Transylvania, in which he highlighted his accomplishments and outlined a vision of a renewed Central Europe pursuing its own geopolitical interests, but also being a region based on national sovereignty, Christian values, and resistance to contemporary Left-wing “liberalism,” as well as the rejection of non-European immigration and the values of the “’68 generation.” The link is to the complete text of this speech, which is a bit long to follow along comfortably with the subtitles – at least it is, for me.

There is much in this speech that is worth “reading, marking, learning, and inwardly digesting,” but one item that leapt out at me were the five tenets he proposed for not Hungary alone, but Central Europe, in the years and decades ahead. They are these:

“I have formulated five tenets for the project of building up Central Europe. The first is that every European country has the right to defend its Christian culture, and the right to reject the ideology of multiculturalism.

“Our second tenet is that every country has the right to defend the traditional family model, and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father.

“The third Central European tenet is that every Central European country has the right to defend the nationally strategic economic sectors and markets which are of crucial importance to it.

“The fourth tenet is that every country has the right to defend its borders, and it has the right to reject immigration.

“And the fifth tenet is that every European country has the right to insist on the principle of one nation, one vote on the most important issues, and that this right must not be denied in the European Union.

“In other words, we Central Europeans claim that there is life beyond globalism, which is not the only path.”

With obvious adjustments based on region and political alignment (particularly for those of us who are – thankfully! – not part of the EU), it seems to me that these five tenets make a good deal of sense for all who value national sovereignty, identify, self-expression, history, heritage, and tradition over globalist suppression of these elements.

And then there is this, in which he has placed his finger squarely upon the crisis facing Europe itself:

I can tell you that if we take a look at Europe, we can see that it was once a great civilization. Europe was once a power center that shaped the world. This was so because it dared to think, it dared to act, it was brave, and it embarked upon great endeavors.

“If we look at one civilization or another from a spiritual perspective – and there is a branch of literature devoted to this – we can conclude that civilizations are comprised of four things. Civilizations are entities of a spiritual nature. They are formed from the spirit of religion, the spirit of creative arts, the spirit of research, and the spirit of business enterprise. These are the spirits that can form a civilization.

“If we look at our Europe now in terms of the spirit of religion, we see that it has rejected its Christian foundations. In terms of the spirit of creative arts, we see that there is censorship, and political correctness is forced upon us. In terms of the spirit of research, we can say that the US has overtaken our Europe, and soon China will also have done so. And as regards the spirit of business in Europe, we can say that instead of the spirit of business, today Brussels and economic regulations are ruled by the spirit of bureaucracy.”

He continues,

The gravity of the situation – the gravity of the situation of European civilization – has been revealed by the migrant crisis. Let me take a complex thought and simplify it: We must face up to the fact that Europe’s leaders are inadequate, and that they’ve been unable to defend Europe against immigration. The European elite has failed, and the European Commission is the symbol of that failure…

“Now we should ask ourselves why the European elite – which is today exclusively a liberal elite – has failed.

The answer to this question – or at least this is where I look for the answer – is that first of all it has rejected its roots, and instead of a Europe resting on Christian foundations, it is building a Europe of the ‘open society.’ In Christian Europe, there was honor in work, man had dignity, men and women were equal, the family was the basis of the nation, the nation was the basis of Europe, and states guaranteed security.

“In today’s open-society Europe, there are no borders; European people can be readily replaced with immigrants; the family has been transformed into an optional, fluid form of cohabitation; the nation, national identity, and national pride are seen as negative and obsolete notions; and the state no longer guarantees security in Europe. In fact, in liberal Europe, being European means nothing at all: It has no direction, and it is simply form devoid of content.”

This could, of course, be said about the West in general, at this point in our history! But the situation is even more poignant and critical in Europe itself, which is the homeland of its own indigenous people – Europeans – as well as acutely vulnerable (due to its location) to masses of migrants pouring in from elsewhere… and particularly from regions with alien cultures and ethnicities.

The potential result, if left unchecked, is the complete annihilation of Europe itself: a threat which should be of concern not only to anyone of European heritage, anywhere in the world, but of anyone, anywhere, who has any concern for legitimate multiculturalism, true global diversity, and cultural survival – not the ersatz version of “multiculturalism” spewed by the globalist Left.

Orbán continues,

If you think back over the past one hundred years or so of European democracy, you can detect a pattern in which matters in Europe have effectively been decided by competition between two camps: on one side, communities based on the continuing foundations of Christian tradition – let us call them Christian democratic parties; and, on the other side, the organizations of communities which question and reject tradition – let us call them Left-wing liberal parties…

Christian democratic politics means that the ways of life springing from Christian culture must be protected. Our duty [from a political perspective] is not to defend the articles of faith, but the forms of being that have grown from them.

“These include human dignity, the family, and the nation – because Christianity does not seek to attain universality through the abolition of nations, but through the preservation of nations. Other forms which must be protected and strengthened include our faith communities. This – and not the protection of religious articles of faith – is the duty of Christian democracy…

Let us confidently declare that Christian democracy is not liberal. Liberal democracy is liberal, while Christian democracy is, by definition, not liberal: it is, if you like, illiberal. And we can specifically say this in connection with a few important issues – say, three great issues.

“Liberal democracy is in favor of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture; this is an illiberal concept. Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration; this is again a genuinely illiberal concept. And liberal democracy sides with adaptable family models, while Christian democracy rests on the foundations of the Christian family model; once more, this is an illiberal concept.”

“Illiberal” is a word-concept that rings with some dissonance on the contemporary ear, especially here in the U.S., where there is still a memory of classical or traditional liberalism, with its connotations of broad-mindedness, generosity, and tolerance. The sad truth, however, is that what passes for political “liberalism” in today’s world has strayed very far from those concepts. Par exemple:

For our Founders, liberty involved freedom from excessive government interference; for today’s liberals, government enforcement of their preferred social norms is not only permissible, but expected, even demanded. For liberals of the past, freedom of speech and expression was a fundamental, core value; for the so-called “liberal” Left of today, freedom of speech may be, and they would argue in some cases should be, suppressed to prevent what they view as “offensive” speech. Such are the vagaries of linguistic development, in the sociopolitical sphere!

In such a context, to classify what Orbán calls “Christian democracy” as “illiberal” is not only comprehensible, but logical: liberalism having betrayed its own foundations, it must now be reigned in for the good of society, and for the future of humankind. As a first step in that direction, he cites the upcoming European Parliament elections, scheduled for next May:

Let us brace ourselves, let us launch ourselves into this intellectual debate, and so let us steel ourselves for the European Parliament elections. We are on the threshold of a great moment, and we’ll see whether or not it comes to fulfillment. The opportunity is here. Next May we can wave goodbye not only to liberal democracy and the liberal non-democratic system that has been built on its foundations, but also to the entire elite of ’68.

If the elite of ’68 leaves the field, there is only one question to be answered: who will arrive to replace them? And the modest answer we must give to this is that we are on our way. Calmly, and with restraint and composure, we must say that the generation of the ’90s is arriving to replace the generation of ’68. In European politics, it is the turn of the anti-Communist generation, which has Christian convictions and commitment to the nation.

Thirty years ago, we thought that Europe was our future. Today we believe that we are Europe’s future.

For someone such as myself, who is deeply concerned about the direction of the West, it is impossible not to read these words and be encouraged. Not that Orbán is perfect; there is One and only One perfect man, One and only One Saviour: Jesus Christ our Lord. As one commentator points out, many of us are

“always looking for a hero – Putin, Trump, Orbán, or whoever – and as we know this sometimes leads people to ignore their flaws and hero-worship them, all of whom in the end are, after all, nothing more than politicians, even if they do things that are in some ways beneficial for us.

“And there are certainly valid criticisms one can make of Orbán, especially for a Hungarian. But I still think that the positives far outweigh the negatives. There can be no question that Orbán has done great work on behalf of all in the West by standing up to Brussels over immigration.”

Indeed. I wish him, Hungary, and the Visegrád Four (as well as their allies in Austria and Italy) all the best, as they struggle to protect the sovereignty, self-identify, culture, history, and heritage of Europe – Christian Europe – against a rising tide of alien immigration from without, and atheistic nihilism from within.

Read the speech (or listen to it and read the subtitles). There is much more than I have recounted here, and though a lot of it is specific to Hungary and/or Central Europe, there is much that’s worth reading by the rest of us!

Dalai Lama says ‘Europe belongs to Europeans’ | Government & Economy – THE BUSINESS TIMES

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[STOCKHOLM] The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said Wednesday that “Europe belongs to the Europeans” and that refugees should return to their native countries to rebuild them.

Source: Dalai Lama says ‘Europe belongs to Europeans’ | Government & Economy – THE BUSINESS TIMES

The Dalai Lama knows, from bitter personal experience, what can happen when a country’s borders, sovereignty, and national and cultural integrity are not respected. I have always thought he had a good head on his shoulders!

And in this arena, I fear he surpasses the current Bishop of Rome, not to mention many another contemporary Western political and religious leader. Here are his further comments on the subject:

Speaking at a conference in Sweden’s third-largest city of Malmo, home to a large immigrant population, the Dalai Lama – who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 – said Europe was “morally responsible” for helping “a refugee really facing danger against their life.”

“Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country,” said the 83-year-old Tibetan who fled the capital Lhasa in fear of his life after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising.

[Bear in mind that this was an “uprising” of native Tibetans, against Chinese troops who had already invaded that country.]

“I think Europe belongs to the Europeans,” he said, adding they should make clear to refugees that “they ultimately should rebuild their own country.”

Indeed.

City of Vienna Refuses To Remember Jan III Sobieski | Defend Europa

A memorial statue for Polish king Jan III Sobieski was supposed to be unveiled on 12 September in Vienna. A surprising turn of events has caused confusion.

Source: City of Vienna Refuses To Remember Jan III Sobieski – Defend Europa

Unfortunately, not everyone understands and appreciates the significance of King Jan III Sobieski’s epic accomplishment in the Battle of Vienna:

“Plans to raise a monument for Jan III Sobieski, the Polish king who helped save Europe in the Battle of Vienna, have come to a surprise halt. The City of Vienna and its Social Democratic mayor Michael Ludwig, who has been elected in May, now refuse to finish the construction.

“The memorial for the Polish king was planned in 2013 and supposed to be unveiled to the public on September 12 2018, the 335th anniversary of the liberation of Vienna. As polskiradio reports, it is now ready to be delivered to the former Imperial Capital. There was no official statement from the city, however, ‘there were signals from, among others, the city council’ that the monument could be seen as an offence to Turkish residents.”

In other news, there are reports that the City Council of Minas Tirith has expressed its disapproval of plans to erect a statue of King Theoden of Rohan in the City, over concerns that it might be seen as offensive to Orcish residents…

Facebook, Prager U., and “toxic masculinity”

“When men embrace their masculinity in a way that is healthy and productive, they are leaders, warriors, and heroes. When they deny their masculinity, they run away from responsibilities, leaving destruction and despair in their wake.”

So, apparently Facebook decided to pull this video for being “hate speech.” Later, after an outcry, they restored it, claiming an “error.” A lot of Prager U. videos have been pulled and not restored, however.

True, they come from a conservative perspective. But anyone who considers this video, or ones like it, to be “hateful,” has a strange take on what constitutes “hate”! Seems more like Facebook is trying to stifle / suppress conservative opinions. Hmmmmm… anybody else but me remember when liberals were actually opposed to censorship, suppression, and thought control?

In any case, I can’t disagree with the content of this video! It’s square on.