Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Watch this interview Anderson Cooper did on CNN and see if it doesn’t make you cringe.
Pam Bondi is Florida’s Attorney General and is busy fulfilling her duties in the aftermath of the most gruesome crime in her state's history. CNN's Cooper, however, spends zero time during the interview asking about concrete actions being taken, but chooses instead to raise that immature and whiny cudgel raised by others in the LGBT community since the Orlando attack--namely: But you, [insert name], oppose certain LGBT legislation, so how can you show sympathy for the Orlando victims? Isn’t that hypocritical?
Yes, Cooper has crawled right down to this level. On a par with the worst of campus PC posing.
It really disgusts me that I even need to clarify something so obvious, but apparently there are people in America no longer capable of making simple distinctions, so here goes: A person might oppose same-sex marriage, or oppose certain legal offshoots of the trans movement, while still caring for LGBT people.
There. Get it? Wow, huh?
Or: A person might disagree with LGBT activists on this or that, but still be able to recognize the Orlando massacre as a horrible crime, and still feel deep sympathy for the many victims.
Cooper doesn’t seem to get this. Perhaps he has mentally reverted to Kindergarten? He uses his time here with Bondi to do noting but submit her to ideological bullying--five minutes straight!--absurdly implying she can have no sympathy for gay murder victims and their loved ones unless she subscribes to the whole gay agenda. This is not journalism, it’s PC grandstanding and ranting of the cheapest kind, and it demonstrates zero understanding of what makes America work: that we as a people recognize the rights of individual Americans to hold to different value systems.
The worst of it by far comes when Cooper reveals that he has scoured Bondi’s tweets over the past year and castigates her for not having tweeted enough rainbow-themed pro-LGBT tweets.
What the fuck? Bondi is guilty of insufficient pro-gay tweeting? Do our public officials now have to wear rainbow pins on their lapels and demonstrate that they have raised at least one trans child to keep their jobs?
Cooper’s daring to mention Bondi’s tweet history this way shows the LGBT activist mindset in a nutshell. They are not content to live and let live. No, they have now gotten to the point that if you don’t actively wave rainbow flags and come out in praise of their movement, they will define you as the enemy. And they will do what they can to ruin your career. It has happened before; it is happening as I type. Consider the case of Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, summarily fired merely because he published a book defending Christian ideas of marriage. There are many more such cases. Ruining a person's career because of his or her religion is utterly un-American. That doesn't matter to our new LGBT commissars.
The only moment where Cooper approaches anything like pertinence is when he points out that if Florida’s previous constitutional ban on same-sex marriage had stood, then some gay partners of hospitalized victims would not have automatic visitation rights. But even this is not all that pertinent, if only for the fact that, given the low “marriage” rates among gay men and given the young age of the partiers in that club, there may not be more than a few instances where the legal status married would even come into play. Bondi correctly responded that she was working on clearing the path for victims’ “loved ones” to get visitation, which is what is more needed in this case.
All in all, however, Bondi didn’t handle Cooper’s bullying well. In fact, I’d say she more or less caved, even lowering herself to mentioning a new rainbow-themed tweet she’d put up. She should have been brave enough to say simply: “Listen, Anderson, I don’t have to agree with everything put forward by the LGBT movement to recognize gays and lesbians as Florida citizens and fellow human beings. I’m working here to help real people after a horrendous crime, one likely committed by a sadly mixed up gay man, and I’m a bit busy now to worry about how some people might find this or that irony in my political or tweeting background.”
And Cooper didn’t just speak of irony, no, but of “sick irony”.
In my own reading, the sick one here, suffering serious PC-induced delusions, is Anderson Cooper. Or perhaps the sick one is the whole of American society.
Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. at Amazon.com and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Not even a day had passed since the horrific ISIS-inspired massacre in Orlando, and already our LGBT cadres were doing their best to place the blame on Christians.
Transgender ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio couldn’t resist the opportunity the attacks offered and tweeted as follows:
The message is clear. In trying to prevent further atrocities of this sort, we shouldn’t focus on the murderous Islamist movements that inspire them, but rather on American Christians and their attempts to protect themselves from the ever-more-authoritarian demands of the LGBT movement. Viz.: “I don’t care about your faith. You will do the flowers for our wedding, or you will go out of business.” “I don’t care if you don’t want to refer to me as ze rather than he. If you don’t, you are a bigot and will be fined.” “I don’t care if your daughters don't want to shower with biological males. These biological males are actually girls because they say they are, you bigot.”
And on and on, with new legal sanctions to ensure everyone is toeing the LGBT line.
One of Strangio’s colleagues at the ACLU, who has since apparently deleted her Twitter account, tweeted her disgust at Republican Christians who dared express sympathy with the victims in Orlando, then worried over whether the Orlando massacre would lead to an increase in Islamophobia.
Oh, yes, we mustn’t let our hatred of Christians get derailed by any untoward discussions of Islam’s role in this massacre.
If you are Christian, unless you agree with every new doctrine put out by LGBT activists, it was you who carried that assault rifle. Go on, admit it.
Then over at Salon we have Amanda Marcotte’s deeply dishonest rhetorical attempt to demonize Christians. Her thrust: All orthodox religious people are The Same Thing™.
The common thread here, again and again, is religious fundamentalism, whether your call it “Christian” or “Muslim.” LGBT people have been the favorite punching bag of the Christian right in this country for years. Whenever the Christian right needs to rally the troops, they start running around, hair on fire, screaming about how the queers are out to get your children.
According to Marcotte, it’s not radical Islam that motivated Omar Mateen. No, it’s the evil called “patriarchy”. She even manages to link the Orlando shooting to the Stanford rape case:
It’s the root cause of those anti-gay hate crimes, of that disgusting Stanford rapist’s entitlement (and of rape generally), of the thousands of women who lose their lives to domestic violence, of all manner of oppression, from child marriage to abortion bans to anti-sodomy laws.
Sorry, Amanda, I think you’ve lost the thread here. The shooter specifically pledged allegiance to ISIS, and it is specifically radical Islam that preaches mass murder of American "infidels". Go ahead, Amanda, try to find American Christians arguing that non-Christians should be sold into sex slavery or gay men should be executed by throwing them from the tops of buildings. In fact the US has tens of millions of well-nigh fundamentalist Christians. Show me one instance where a Christian has massacred a night club full of people in the name of faith. No. The very existence of that gay bar and many other gay bars across the country is proof that your attempt at moral equivalency here is utterly hollow. Aside from being despicable.
The Obama administration isn’t helping matters either. In his statement around a dozen hours after the attack, our president didn’t mention radical Islam once. Rather, he ascribed the murders to that amorphous favorite catchall word of the politically correct, that flexible and abstract thing called “hate”. John Podhoretz writes:
Omar Mateen called the cops to pledge his fealty to ISIS as he was carrying out his mass murder in Orlando early Sunday. Twelve hours later, the president of the United States declared that “we have no definitive assessment on the motivation” of Omar Mateen but that “we know he was a person filled with hate.”
So I guess the president thinks Mateen didn’t mean it?
Here again, and horribly, we have an unmistakable indication that Obama finds it astonishingly easy to divorce himself from a reality he doesn’t like — the reality of the Islamist terror war against the United States and how it is moving to our shores in the form of lone-wolf attacks.
So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. That’s just disgusting. There’s no other word for it.
America’s national attitude toward LGBT people didn’t shoot up the Pulse nightclub. This country’s national attitude has undergone a sea change in the past 20 years, by the way, in case the president hasn’t noticed.
An Islamist terrorist waging war against the United States killed and injured 103 people on our soil. We Americans do not bear collective responsibility for this attack. Quite the opposite.
The attack on the Pulse nightclub was an attack on us all, no less than the World Trade Center attack.
To suggest we must look inward to explain this is not only unseemly but practically an act of conscious misdirection on the president's part to direct out attention away from Omar Mateen’s phone call.
Our fake American “left”, with Obama as its Faker in Chief, would like to forge a narrative according to which Omar Mateen imbibed his hateful ideology from conservative Americans and the surrounding Christian culture. Never mind that Mateen is a Muslim and pledged allegiance to ISIS, an extremist Islamic movement now committing systematic genocide against Christians in the Middle East. Never mind that Mateen, a US citizen, was a registered Democrat.
The American left is exploiting this massacre as fodder in their ongoing campaign to ensure ever more laws are passed requiring obeisance to LGBT demands. And excuse me, but where in our Constitution does it say that I have to subscribe to a particular fundamentalist ideology? Because indeed, the LGBT crowd and their supporters have created a new socio-sexual fundamentalism. The Obama administration, with little else that is concretely left-wing about it, is forging legal mechanisms to ensure this new fundamentalism is followed lock-step. What used to be a movement for basic LGBT rights has morphed into a state-sponsored witch hunt against orthodox Christians, systematically thwarting their rights. Firings, lawsuits, ruined careers are piling up across the country.
The duplicity of many in the LGBT community and of our liberal elites on the very first day after the attack is nearly mind-boggling.
An American Christian myself, I prayed for the victims and the families and friends of the victims. The LGBT community seems to be saying that unless I’m on board with transgender locker-room politics, my prayers aren’t welcome. That in fact I’m even partly to blame for the massacre. Truth is, I’m well aware that that Orlando club was full of people who’d likely disagree with me on many points. But I’m an American. I recognize their right to think and live their lives as they see fit. Most importantly, I recognize their basic right to life as sacred. Radical Islamists do not. And Omar Mateen did not.
In short, dear liberals, there’s a huge difference here. And you are grossly overstepping in turning this ISIS-linked massacre into a tirade against Christians.
Update: Today Rod Dreher, who is always sharp on these issues, writes on further instances of this scapegoating and how the left's attempt to use the massacre to demonize Christians is only helping Trump. One bit:
Another reader sends this outrageous column by CBC senior correspondent Neil Macdonald, in which he implicates all conservative religious believers in the Orlando mass murder.
You expect to see writers for Salon, Slate, Vox and other left-wing sites making that argument. But a US Congressman [cited earlier] saying that if you oppose transgenders in girls’ locker rooms, you’re complicit with mass murder? It’s beyond disgusting.
Update 2: And now, not surprisingly, as more information comes out, it seems that the shooter was actually a gay Muslim man. I predict that the "left" will now start lecturing us about how it was American Christians who made this man hate himself so much that he ended up massacring fifty people in the name of ISIS. Wait for it.
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Check out my book IDIOCY, LTD. at Amazon.com and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Monday, May 2, 2016
In my Junk mail today I get two letters marked “personal,” one from a woman named Joy West with the subject tag “Deep @nal invitation,” the other from Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Joy says she's eager to try some "$exy experiments" and that I should respond quickly because she “doesn’t invite strangers twice.” Debbie says they’re just “10 memberships away” from their goal and asks if I will “dig deep” and make a donation.
Personal? Neither letter is personal. But worse: both are merely versions of One Single Letter. The only difference: Joy writes her letter about getting fucked in a passive register; Debbie writes her letter about getting fucked in an active register. With Debbie Wasserman Schultz it's me and the American citizenry getting fucked.
Joy--well, she's most likely a guy named Renaldo waiting to get my credit card digits. As for Debbie, I'm still sore from Obama and don't plan on bending over for "mainstream Democrats" again.
Check out my book IDIOCY, LTD. at Amazon.com and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
“Grab me my nose-clips, would you? . . . No, not those, the stronger ones. With the locking springs. Yeah, those. Thanks.”
“What are you writing?”
“About the Clinton campaign.”
“Well, if you’re gonna write about her why not keep your nose clips by your computer?”
“Hm. Good idea.”
So after George and Amal Clooney hosted two fund-raising dinners for Hillary Clinton, one with seats going for $353,400 apiece to sit at a table with the candidate, George went and lamented to NBC’s Chuck Todd that it was “an obscene amount of money” they’d raised ($15,000,000) and that “it’s ridiculous we should have this kind of money in politics.”
The interview will be airing this morning.
“The Sanders campaign, when they talk about it, is absolutely right,” Clooney said. “I think that, you know, we had some protesters last night when we pulled up in San Francisco, and they’re right to protest. They’re absolutely right. It is an obscene amount of money.”
It’s like hosting a Cocaine is Life dinner where everyone gets a little mountain of coke to snort and then going on TV the next day to complain about how drugs ruin society.
Really, the level of hypocrisy tolerated in our mainstream Dem circles is becoming stratospheric. Honestly I don’t think the GOP has much on this crowd when it comes to sheer doubletalking bullshit.
Meanwhile Bernie Sanders was at the Vatican underlining, in a very well-crafted speech, how his thinking on economic policy dovetails with Catholic Social Doctrine Teaching and the priority Pope Francis has given to fighting the evils inherent in unfettered capitalism.
When it comes to Sanders vs. Clinton on economics we could perhaps talk about the difference between Catholic Social Doctrine Teaching and the Hollywood/Goldman Sachs Social Doctrine Teaching.
C'mon, New York. Do the right thing Tuesday. Use this primary to show the world you understand which of these candidates is a Democrat and which is a “Democrat”.
Check out my book Idiocy, Ltd. at Amazon.com and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Martin Scorsese's fans are eagerly awaiting release this year of Silence, a film the director has dreamed of making for decades. At Bookish Asia: The East Asia Book Review, I've a review up of the extraordinary Japanese novel of religious persecution behind Scorsese's project. Considered by many the masterpiece of novelist Shusaku Endo, the book wrestles with the plight of Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan after the ban of Christianity.
Monday, April 4, 2016
For many years now I’ve thought the world would be a much better place if people were forced to take the slogans on their teeshirts seriously. Here in Asia, where English slogans on shirts and caps are often illogical or wildly inappropriate, this belief often entails added effort on my part. Some time I’ll tell you the story about the neighbor woman who sported a pink teeshirt reading “EAGER RESIDENT BEAVER”.
Yes, the challenges for teeshirt literalists like myself are many and varied. These local college boys, for instance, in their lame Adidas shirts with “IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING”--I’ve been compelled to coax them up to the roof of my building, 14th floor, to push them toward the edge and say: “OK then. See that 10th-floor roof across the street? Go.”
Sometimes they get around me and run back to the elevator. One kid I wouldn’t let leave until he either 1) proved that “impossible was nothing” by making the leap, or 2) gave me his shirt for proper disposal.
I moved to Taipei in 1996, where I work as a teacher. Back then I wasn’t yet a teeshirt literalist. Which is probably a good thing. In 1998 I remember teaching English to an 11-year-old girl who showed up to my class wearing a teeshirt that read “I play safe. Do you?”
It gets worse. The shirt was part of a promotion campaign for a new condom brand, and pasted onto the fabric next to the slogan, visible through a clear plastic panel, was an actual condom in its wrapper.
The girl’s mother brought her to class in this shirt at least three times. Did the woman not know what a condom was? And really: Who would produce shirts like this in a size small enough to fit a grade-school girl?
Luckily, as I say, that happened before I discovered my new calling: To compel people to live up to the slogans on their shirts. Had I been a committed literalist back in 1998, I’d have been faced with a serious moral dilemma. In the end I know I’d have betrayed my calling. There are some boundaries even a committed literalist can’t cross.
But even now, 2016, I’ve plenty on my plate that’s causing me headaches. What about the feeble old Chinese man I see down my lane every week inching along on his walker? He wears a black Malcolm X baseball cap. Do Chinese octogenarians really have anything to offer American blacks? I’m not sure, but we’re going to find out.
And then there’s Angela, the rosy-cheeked 19-year-old student of mine who is a starry-eyed fan of K-pop but sometimes wears a jean jacket with Che Guevara stenciled on the back. If I’m to stick to principles, Angela will have to be bundled onto a small truck and taken to the mountains of central Taiwan, where she’ll spend a few months learning to smoke cigars and organizing the indigenous tribes to rise up against the evils of capitalism. Central among such evils being, of course, K-pop.
I plan to deal with Angela later. I’m still making out the list of young people I know who wear Che shirts or carry Che-logo accessories. Today I’ve got a more pressing project. Because here in the subway car next to me is a tall woman with lovely long legs shouldering a parti-colored backpack that reads “LOVE NEVER GIVES UP”. I’ve seen her before, though without the new backpack.
If I remember right, this particular subway-rider usually gets off three stops before mine. Today I’ll exit with her, find out where she lives, set up a rough stalking schedule. Taipei women are quite friendly, so getting a Facebook link isn’t difficult, though it’s true this one is on the knockout side, and they tend to be more defensive. But a Facebook link will help me figure out her usual haunts, and then I’m set to go. Facebook really is a godsend for stalkers. It saves you so much time.
Yes, love never gives up. I will show her what that looks like.
In fact we all need to take language more seriously. Not just here in Asia either--this is even truer in the States. Were we to take language seriously, the benefits would rain down like manna. For one, if we forced slogans and ads to mean what they say, if we really pushed the issue and didn’t give in, capitalism itself would crumble before the decade was out. And a lousy decade it’s been if you ask me. And the next one looks to be even worse.
Write more later. Gotta go. It’s our stop.
Check out my Idiocy, Ltd. at Amazon.com, and begin the long, hard reckoning.
Saturday, April 2, 2016
I know you are a Trump supporter, and I know in our conversations that I’ve pointed out aspects of Trump’s approach that I like. I’m writing now to say that I’ve pretty much vetted Trump to my satisfaction, and have come to the conclusion: He should not be in the White House.
The final straw was my review of his foreign policy positions. They don't make sense. They'd sound alright if US foreign policy were a direct business transaction, but it is not.
The benefits the US has gotten from its political and military clout in Asia and the West are immense. Trump's plan, abandoning long-held policies, would create power vacuums in key regions. He talks as if these power vacuums would not be taken advantage of by our enemies. They would. That's the point about power vacuums: the enemy moves in immediately and begins reaping advantages where previously you did.
From a US foreign policy perspective, the main enemies are three: radical Islam, China, Russia.
We cannot afford to let whole regions fall further under the sway of these serious strategic competitors.
The problem with Trump's thinking is that it is based on his life as a businessman. In a large-scale real estate project, you fight for the best prices, bribe the right people, strong-arm the local authorities to bend zoning ordinances, build and promote the building--AND THEN, TAKING YOUR PROFIT, YOU LEAVE.
Trump talks as if American foreign policy is a kind of real estate project. The blindness in this is clear. With foreign policy, you can never do that last part of the deal: LEAVE.
In other words, Trump's whole perspective is not suited to the long game that is statesmanship. Once things get messed up on one part of the picture (as has often happened with Trump's individual business ventures) he cannot just move on to the next big project. No--the world is the whole world; there’s no next project to move on to.
I imagine Trump in the Oval Office fuming that he cannot just let some particular project go bust so he can get up and running on the next: Trump University; Trump Steaks, etc. But he will not be able to. In the White House, when one project goes bust, it just keeps going bust, and you can't really extricate yourself. Because you are in charge of managing America's relations in all of these regions, and unlike casinos, or steak brands, regions can’t be sold off.
If you combine this short-term real estate developer's approach with Trump's erratic flip-flopping, and his nearly pathological narcissism, you will see what I see. A formula for disaster.
And it's no small disaster either. You need to keep in mind, when you think of supporting Trump, that this guy will personally be in charge of the system that keeps your finances in order. In short: When Trump fails on foreign or trade policy, which are closely interlinked, America's economic well-being will take the hit. The market will drop, companies will lay people off, home values will suffer, etc.
You have to try to imagine this guy not as what he's been so far, the loudspeaker in which you hear your justified grievances against the system, but as the one in charge of keeping our whole egg cart from tipping over.
Trump's approach so far is not one to inspire confidence in his skill as a careful egg cart driver.
I don't completely support any of the candidates on offer, as I've said, but I'm hoping the GOP ends up with someone else. You personally don't like Kasich, his demeanor, but he's the most stable of the three who are left. And he has a lot of experience in government.
We'll see what happens. I'm also furious at all the corruption, both cultural and political, in America. But Trump is not the answer. Yes, he has done the country a service by underlining some of the worst aspects of the problem. But we need a calmer, cooler head, with a better sense of political complexities, to actually fix the problems.
We've discussed Trump several times, and I wanted to send you my current thinking. Hope you’ll reconsider supporting Trump in the Wisconsin primary.
My new book Idiocy, Ltd. is now available through Amazon.