Starbucks closed thousands of US cafes yesterday and asked employees to talk about when they noticed their racial identity, discuss what unconscious bias is and watch videos in which people of colour describe feeling unwelcome in stores.
It was part of anti-bias training created after the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks six weeks ago. …
The training was personal, asking workers to break into groups of three to five people to talk about their experiences with race. According to training materials provided by the company, they were asked to pair up with a co-worker and list all the ways they “are different from each other”. A guidebook reminds people to “listen respectfully” and tells them to stop any conversations that get derailed. …
The training was not mandatory, but Starbucks said it expected almost all of its 175,000 employees to participate. It said they would be paid for the full four hours. …
In the Philadelphia incident, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were asked to leave after one was denied access to the bathroom. They were arrested by police minutes after they sat down to await a business meeting.
The arrest was recorded by mobile phone and triggered protests, boycott threats and debate over racial profiling, or what has been dubbed “retail racism”.
Mr Nelson and Mr Robinson settled with Starbucks for an undisclosed sum and an offer of a free college education. They also reached a deal with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $US1 ($1.33) each and a promise by officials to set up a $US200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko: Ukraine faked his murder, by the BBC. Yesterday we ran a short item on his apparent murder, as another of the 40 odd Russian journalists killed under Putin. Not this time.
Ukraine staged the murder of a Russian dissident journalist in Kiev on Tuesday in what it said was a sting operation to foil a Russian assassination plot.
Arkady Babchenko sent shock waves around the world when he arrived at a news conference on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after being reported dead.
Ukrainian security chief Vasyl Hrytsak said a sting had been set up to catch hitmen paid by Russian forces.
Russia described events in Kiev as an “anti-Russian provocation”. …
Babchenko said he had been informed a month ago about an alleged Russian plot to kill him. He said he had agreed to co-operate with a counter-operation and had been in constant contact with Ukrainian security services over the course of the past month.
The truth is often hard to find when Russia is involved.
Revolt of the Rich: Our financial elites are the new secessionists. By Mike Lofgren, from 2012.
It was 1993 … To this day, I remember something my colleague said: “The rich elites of this country have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens.”
That was only the beginning of the period when the realities of outsourced manufacturing, financialization of the economy, and growing income disparity started to seep into the public consciousness, so at the time it seemed like a striking and novel statement.
At the end of the Cold War many writers predicted the decline of the traditional nation-state. … There have been numerous books about globalization and how it would eliminate borders. But I am unaware of a well-developed theory from that time about how the super-rich and the corporations they run would secede from the nation state. …
Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension—and viable public transportation doesn’t even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call and a chartered plane to get to the Mayo Clinic, why worry about Medicare?
Being in the country but not of it is what gives the contemporary American super-rich their quality of being abstracted and clueless. Perhaps that explains why Mitt Romney’s regular-guy anecdotes always seem a bit strained. …
In both world wars, even a Harvard man or a New York socialite might know the weight of an army pack. Now the military is for suckers from the laboring classes whose subprime mortgages you just sliced into CDOs and sold to gullible investors in order to buy your second Bentley or rustle up the cash to get Rod Stewart to perform at your birthday party. The sentiment among the super-rich towards the rest of America is often one of contempt rather than noblesse. …
According to the Federal Reserve Board’s report of June 2012, the median net worth of families plummeted almost 40 percent between 2007 and 2010. …
The objective of the predatory super-rich and their political handmaidens is to discredit and destroy the traditional nation state and auction its resources to themselves.
Australians rally for Tommy Robinson and freedom of speech, by Christine Douglass-Williams.
Robinson’s previous incarceration included having his front teeth knocked out by jihadi thugs; he only ate canned tuna for valid fear of being poisoned, and deliberately caused trouble in order to land himself in solitary confinement, so as to avoid being stabbed.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Conservative media pioneer Matt Drudge slammed drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis on Wednesday for mocking Roseanne Barr’s suggestion that her racially charged remark about Obama White House aide Valerie Jarrett was induced by Ambien.
“The drug company mocking Roseanne for her mental illness while they drug a generation is a new low!” Drudge tweeted at the drugmaker’s Twitter handle, @SanofiUS, including three sources detailing the drug’s scary side effects.
The first report — published by Thought Catalog, titled “44 Ambien Stories That Will Creep You The Eff Out” — is a listicle of people recounting their bizarre experiences while on the drug.
One person says they had no recollection of purchases they made on Amazon.
I tried Ambien for a while. I would take it about 30 minutes before going to bed and browse around online, waiting for it to kick in. I started receiving packages from Amazon that I didn’t order. It was all good stuff that I liked, so I called around to family and friend trying to figure out who was so kind to send me stuff. When my credit card bill came, everything was on there, thankfully nothing I couldn’t afford. I checked my Amazon account, and apparently I ordered them myself and don’t recall it. Thanks Ambien. I stopped taking it for fear of what else I might do.
Another alleges they couldn’t recall sending text messages while on the drug.
Last week I took an Ambien. When I woke up I had changed my shirt and was naked from the waste down. An open but unused condom was on the bed next to me. At 4 in the morning I had texted one of my female friends: “Come to our wonderspace Barely come in Geab son quick teickests ourtaude bsx quick ticks t” …
Roseanne Barr blames Ambien:
Roseanne Barr set off a firestorm of criticism on Tuesday after describing Jarrett as the product of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes, a remark she has since apologized for, later claiming she “Ambien tweeting.”
“Guys I did something unforgiveable so do not defend me,” she said in a now-deleted tweet.
“It was 2 in the morning and I was Ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible. I made a mistake I wish I hadn’t but…don’t defend it please. ty.”
Roseanne uproar shows libs live in Hypocrisyland, by Tucker Carlson.
The upside to the Roseanne tweet controversy is the Left is now on the record opposing racism. Attacking people on the basis of their race is immoral, they’re telling us. For now, American liberals are still living in that strange, irony-free world where it’s possible to denounce racism even as you commit it.
The War on Tommy Robinson is also a War on Us, by Stefan Molyneux.
On May 25, 2018, while live-streaming his thoughts about the sentencing of alleged Muslim child rapists, Tommy very consciously stayed away from the court steps, constantly used the word “alleged,” and checked with the police to ensure that he was not breaking the law. …
Tommy yelled questions at the alleged criminals on their way into court — so what? How many times have you watched reporters shouting questions at people going in and out of courtrooms? You can find pictures of reporters pointing cameras and microphones at Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter, who were accused of similar crimes against children.
Tommy Robinson was arrested for “breaching the peace,” which is a civil proceeding that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Was imminent violence about to erupt from his reporting? How can Tommy Robinson have been “breaching the peace” while wandering around in the rain on a largely empty street sharing his thoughts on criminal proceedings? There were several police officers present during his broadcast, why did they allow him to break the law for so long?
Was Tommy wrong to broadcast the names of the alleged criminals? The mainstream media, including the state broadcaster, the BBC, had already named them. Why was he punished, but not them? …
Is the law being applied fairly? Tommy Robinson has received countless death threats over the years, and has reported many of them. Did the police leap into action to track down and prosecute anyone sending those threats? …
Is Tommy Robinson being treated fairly? If gangs of white men had spent decades raping and torturing little Muslim girls, and a justly outraged Muslim reporter was covering the legal proceedings, would he be arrested? …
The arrest of Tommy Robinson is a hammer-blow to the fragile base of people’s respect for British law. The reality that he could be grabbed off the street and thrown into a dangerous jail — in a matter of hours — is deeply shocking. …
British law strains – perhaps too hard – to prevent publication of information that might influence a jury, but Tommy’s incarceration was on the order of a judge. He will not get a jury trial for 13 months imprisonment. Since there is no jury to influence, why ban reports on his arrest and punishment?
Explain why white men accused of pedophilia are allowed to be photographed and questioned by reporters on court steps, while Pakistani Muslims are not.
Explain why a police force that took three decades to start dealing with Muslim rape gangs was able to arrest and incarcerate a journalist within a few scant hours.
Explain why a man can be arrested for breaching the peace when no violence has taken place.
All good questions. I think we know the real answer is that the PC establishment wants to shut him up, because he points to the greatest folly in British history — which the PC crowd running the UK still deny. Multiculturalism and mass migration from Pakistan has been a tremendous error, committed in the name of leftist PC politics and “diversity.”
hat-tip Stephen Neil
The Strange Failure of the Educated Elite, by David Brooks.
Once upon a time, white male Protestants ruled the roost. You got into a fancy school if your father had gone to the fancy school. You got a job at a white-shoe law firm or climbed the corporate ladder if you golfed at the right club.
Then we smashed all that. We replaced a system based on birth with a fairer system based on talent. We opened up the universities and the workplace to Jews, women and minorities. University attendance surged, creating the most educated generation in history. We created a new boomer ethos, which was egalitarian (bluejeans everywhere!), socially conscious (recycling!) and deeply committed to ending bigotry.
You’d think all this would have made the U.S. the best governed nation in history. Instead, inequality rose. Faith in institutions plummeted. Social trust declined. The federal government became dysfunctional and society bitterly divided.
Yeah, but the theory sounded good and their aims were noble, so they cannot be held responsible? Or can they?
A narrative is emerging. It is that the new meritocratic aristocracy has come to look like every other aristocracy. The members of the educated class use their intellectual, financial and social advantages to pass down privilege to their children, creating a hereditary elite that is ever more insulated from the rest of society. We need to build a meritocracy that is true to its values, truly open to all.
But the narrative is insufficient. The real problem with the modern meritocracy can be found in the ideology of meritocracy itself. Meritocracy is a system built on the maximization of individual talent, and that system unwittingly encourages several ruinous beliefs:
Exaggerated faith in intelligence. … Many of the great failures of the last 50 years, from Vietnam to Watergate to the financial crisis, were caused by extremely intelligent people who didn’t care about the civic consequences of their actions. …
Misplaced notion of the self. Instead of seeing the self as the seat of the soul, the meritocracy sees the self as a vessel of human capital, a series of talents to be cultivated and accomplishments to be celebrated. If you base a society on a conception of self that is about achievement, not character, you will wind up with a society that is demoralized …
Inability to think institutionally. Previous elites poured themselves into institutions and were pretty good at maintaining existing institutions, like the U.S. Congress, and building new ones, like the postwar global order. The current generation sees institutions as things they pass through on the way to individual success. Some institutions, like Congress and the political parties, have decayed to the point of uselessness, while others, like corporations, lose their generational consciousness and become obsessed with the short term.
Homo-tyranny is upon us, by Doug Mainwaring. Great term, but what he is he arguing?
Europe’s foremost expert on homosexuality, pedophilia, and gays within the Catholic priesthood said that gay ideology actually “hates marriage” and sees Humanae Vitae as its archenemy.
Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg recently told a distinguished group of pro-life leaders gathered in Rome from around the world that “Gay ideology proclaims that gay sexuality –– including its inherent polygamy –– is a natural instinct, that faithful non-contraceptive marriage is unnatural, and so is diametrically opposed to Humanae Vitae.”
While same-sex “marriage” has been sold to the western world as an extension of conservative––even Christian––values, in reality “it hates marriage, out of jealousy and rebellion.”
“Insofar as it has infiltrated the Church,” he continued, “it is out to eliminate its main obstacle, Humanae Vitae.”
“Don’t believe the propaganda for the noble, faithful, loving gay ‘marriage’ of devout Catholics,” warned van den Aardweg. It is nothing more than “a trick to sell acceptance of gay sex.” …
Tracing the origins of the movement toward normalizing gay sex to the late 19th century, Dr. van den Aardweg quickly moved to the mid-twentieth century and Dr. Alfred Kinsey whom he described as a “sex-enslaved homosexual” and “probably a pedophile homosexual,” as well.
Kinsey was “the mastermind behind the dehumanizing sexual education of today,” who was obsessed with abolishing society’s moral standards based on normal marriage and normalizing homosexuality, pedophilia, and incest.”
To Kinsey, “Faithful marriage was unnatural,” and “homosexuality and all sexual abnormalities are natural.” Kinsey also thought abortion should be legitimized, and “masturbation, contraceptive sex, adultery, and prostitution were healthy.”
“Kinsey posed as a great scientist,” said van den Aardweg, “but his intensively propagated books” were in reality nothing more than “gay propaganda based on fraudulent research.” …
The priest scandals have exposed that fact that there is a disproportionately high percentage of seminarians and priests who are homosexual. …
Dr. van den Aardweg then made the stunning declaration: “The rhetoric of compassion and melodrama has been fully developed in subsequent Church documents,” creating “an atmosphere where objection to homosexual practices begins to feel unchristian.”
What he’s saying is that progressives are trying to change the Roman Catholic traditional view on homosexuality, just as they are on Islam. An RC friend said he is a critical voice in battle at moment.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
What “austerity”? By Scot Summer.
Here are the ratios of government spending to GDP in some major economies:
Germany: 43.9% (2017)
Britain: 41.1% (2017)
Canada: 40.8% (2017)
Australia: 36.2% (2015)
Switzerland 34.0% (2015) …
It’s not obvious why a country devoting 41.1% of its GDP to government spending is not able to provide basic government services and a safety net for the poor. …
I have an alternative explanation. Progressivism leads to a virtually infinite number of “unmet needs” Patch one hole (say health care) and lots more will pop up, such child care, or free college education. Patch those holes, and still more unmet needs will pop up, such as housing and high speed rail. Combine that with the inefficiency of big government, as well as all the problems identified by public choice models (i.e. special interest groups), and you have a recipe for continual disappointment.
Each time I visit France my first reaction is; “Where the heck did all these homeless people come from?” Doesn’t the French government spend 57% of GDP? Yes they do, and yet somehow Paris has homeless people all over the place. Maybe they need to spend 67%. Or 77%.
Government can be viewed as a means by which people can spend other people’s money. Government takes money off everyone using the threat of violence, and then a few select people get to choose how to spend it. This is inefficient, as everyone now knows, but there is an even bigger problem.
Government creates inequality. Most big fortunes and the rich class on top are made by exploiting government rules, contacts and give-aways — ordinary workers don’t get a look in. Inefficient, and a cesspool of soft corruption.
It seems that the academic left in Australia, the same New Class left that captured the Australian Labor Party and the union movement during the years of Gough Whitlam’s leadership and have only cemented their power since, has emerged yet again to take a stand against the Ramsay Centre’s plan for a university degree on Western Civilisation.
The Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, took to the pages of the Australian newspaper last Friday to castigate the left-wing academic unionists at the ANU who rallied to “deny Australia’s history and culture, including freedom of speech that’s supposed be a facet of our universities.” Unfortunately, he showed an appalling lack of knowledge of the fundamental difference between culture, history and what Western civilisation actually meant. …
Australian universities, like their British counterparts, are captives of the twin methodologies of positivism and historicism. The former assumes that all moral choices are subjective and incapable of objective proof which contradicts the express purpose of Western Civilisation; the latter assumes that all moral values are relative to their time, an assumption which logically leads to nihilism and the complete repudiation of Western Civilisation.
The Western Civilisation course which the Ramsay Centre proposes was once known as a liberal education, an education in literacy and books which cultivated an open-mindedness, freeing a person from false opinions. In his 1959 lecture, What is Liberal Education, Professor Leo Strauss explained both the purpose and the meaning of a liberal education: that it consists in studying with the proper care the great books which the greatest minds have left behind. He explains that “Liberal education is the antidote to mass culture and to its corroding effects” which explains in part why it is so hated by the left. Anything which examines the premises of their lifestyle is a danger to their existence.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
“I am here because I am shocked and outraged. What happened in the United Kingdom last week is an absolute disgrace,” the Dutch parliamentarian said while standing outside the UK Embassy in the Hague. “Freedom of speech is being violated all over Europe, and also in Britain. The lights of freedom are going out. Islam critics are taken to court, jailed, or targeted with fatwas.”
Calling Robinson a “freedom fighter,” Wilders called on the UK – “once a bastion of freedom of speech” — to stop “behaving like North Korea and Saudi Arabia” and “gagging its people” while Muslims are “pampered, protected and defended.”
hat-tip Stephen Neil
British Prime Minister Theresa May has named Sajid Javid as Britain’s new Home Secretary after Amber Rudd resigned amid an immigration scandal. …
Mr Javid, whose parents came from Pakistan …
The new Home Secretary, who likely ordered Robinson’s arrest, is likely a member of the religion of peace. How trendy!
hat-tip Stephen Neil
What is America Fighting For? By Pat Buchanan.
Looking back, only one great power survived the last century as a world power. The German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires did not survive World War I. World War II brought to an end the British, French, Italian and Japanese empires.
The Soviet Union and the United States were the only great surviving powers of World War II, and the USSR itself collapsed between 1989 and 1991.
Then, in 1991, we Americans started down the well-traveled road of empire, smashing Iraq to rescue Kuwait. Heady with that martial triumph, we plunged into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
Though still embroiled, we are now talking war with North Korea or Iran, or even Russia or China, the former over its annexation of Crimea, the latter over its annexation of the South China Sea. …
Defeating Nazism and fascism was a cause. Defending the West against Communism was a cause. But what cause now unites Americans? …
Democracy crusading is out of style as the free elections we have demanded have produced Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq, and nationalists, populists and autocrats from Asia to the Middle East to Europe.
Perhaps our mission is to defend and protect what is vital to us, to stay out of foreign wars where our critical interests are not imperiled, and to reunite our divided and disputatious republic—if we are not too far beyond that.
hat-tip Stephen Neil
Culture Wars: Where Are We Now? By Rod Dreher commenting on an interview with sociologist James Davison Hunter, coiner of the term “culture wars.”
Hunter says that conservatives may have a culture war advantage in government, but have badly lost elsewhere. To use a Marxist term, liberals control the major means of cultural production (the news and entertainment industries, the academy, etc.).
Because liberals control “the credentialing institutions of our society,” he says, those who want to get to a middle or upper middle class life are going to have to kowtow to liberal culture — a culture that likes to think of itself as open, but which is as closed as any other. Hunter: “So the Harvard Law School prides itself on its diversity, but it’s a diversity in which basically everyone views the world the exact same way.”
Here’s the key insight: Hunter believes that the total dominance progressives have in the culture-making institutions of our society means that their vision is going to win in the long run. …
The victory of progressives in the culture war will not bring peace, because it cannot bring peace. Religious and moral conservatives may well be sidelined in defeat, but that only means that the culture war will rage on other fronts. As Hunter avers, there is no way to settle these issues absent a shared source of cultural authority. …
If orthodox Christian beliefs are a barrier to full participation in the middle and upper middle class, then a lot of people are going to cast them aside. … When being a Christian costs us something in terms of social access, professional success, and economic prosperity, then we are going to see far fewer Christians.
hat-tip Stephen Neil