The Swedish Board of Education has backed down from a plan to erase teaching of the country’s ancient history and replace it with “postmodernism” classes after a huge backlash. Abolish teaching of your own history? Sounds like suicidal self-abasement. They say that if you don’t have borders you don’t have a country. Sweden is showing how it’s done.
Is America Entering a Dark Age? By Victor Davis Hanson.
Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages [1100 – 800 BC]. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks.
Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forbearers’ monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.
We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.
Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?
Californians tried to build a high-speed rail line. But after more than a decade of government incompetence, lawsuits, cost overruns and constant bureaucratic squabbling, they have all but given up. The result is a half-built overpass over the skyline of Fresno — and not yet a foot of track laid.
Who were those giants of the 1960s responsible for building our interstate highway system? California’s roads now are mostly the same as we inherited them, although the state population has tripled. We have added little to our freeway network, either because we forgot how to build good roads or would prefer to spend the money on redistributive entitlements. …
America went to the moon in 1969 with supposedly primitive computers and backward engineering. Does anyone believe we could launch a similar moonshot today? No American has set foot on the moon in the last 47 years, and it may not happen in the next 50 years. …
Hollywood once gave us blockbuster epics, brilliant Westerns, great film noirs, and classic comedies. Now it endlessly turns out comic-book superhero films or pathetic remakes of prior classics. …
We have been fighting in Afghanistan without result for 18 years. Our forefathers helped to win World War II and defeat the Axis Powers in four years. …
In the 1940s, young people read William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck and John Steinbeck. Are our current novelists turning out anything comparable? Could today’s high-school graduate even finish “The Good Earth” or “The Grapes of Wrath”? …
Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.
As we walk amid the refuse, needles and excrement of the sidewalks of our fetid cities; as we sit motionless on our jammed ancient freeways; and as we pout on Twitter and electronically whine in the porticos of our Ivy League campuses, will we ask: “Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?”
In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.
The ‘Golden Quarter Century’ of stunning progress ended in 1971. Weirdly, that’s when the regulatory explosion took off. And it’s when economic inequality started to get worse…
It’s also around the same time that identity politics fever began to slowly capture the left, giving them plenty of excuses for not even reading Fitzgerald and Steinbeck, let alone producing something of comparable worth.
Is America dumbing down?
Conversely, there is a fair bit of evidence that the miracle of the enlightenment and the industrial revolution that lifted humanity out of poverty occurred after centuries of the European population getting smarter. Victorian Englanders were on average a fair bit smarter (about one standard deviation) than today’s Englanders, according to reaction time data. The implications are stark and obvious.
Progressive Achievements: Integrated toilets and segregated swimming-pools, by Daniella White.
Canberra Olympic Pool has begun a trial of women’s and men’s only sessions in response to demand from migrant communities.
During October, there will be a female-only session between 5.30pm to 7pm every Saturday and a male only session between 5.30pm to 7pm every Sunday.
Canberra Muslim Community president Mainul Haque welcomed the trial, saying women in migrant communities were often reserved and the privacy of women-only sessions would encourage more to attend the pool. …
Might be easier if those particular Muslims made more of an attempt to assimilate. We have to adopt their ways? Sounds more like conquest …
But some have criticised the scheme, saying they had no idea it was happening, or why, until they were turned away at the door. …
A Canberra mother said in a letter to the editor:
“My daughter, in tears, couldn’t understand why it was ‘boys only’. Like many Canberra parents, my husband and I are trying to raise our child to believe that her gender is not a barrier to anything and to not be self-conscious about her body.
“How can we do this when public institutions blatantly turn her away because she is a girl?”
No, Islam trumps feminism this time. You never know with lefties.
Still, unisex bathrooms to accommodate the trans people, eh? Imagine your 14 year old daughter sharing the change rooms with adults with penises. Progress!
Remember when boys and girls went swimming together and wee’d separately?
Thanks to The Left we now toilet together but swim along gender lines.
Welcome to Woke World.
Racism Blossoming in Victoria, by Neil Brown.
Victoria is well on the way to providing for treaties between Aboriginals and the whole of the Victorian community and a whole range of treaty-making bodies. …
Candidates have nominated and enrolment is now open for electing a body called The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, which will make the treaties. I cannot see any fair way of describing this body other than some sort of parliament for an alternative government. Its very title says that it is an assembly, it has candidates, electoral districts, members, electoral officers who must be Aboriginal (and who curiously will be paid ‘above award wages’), an executive government and a franchise to determine who is entitled to vote. …
Its job will be to negotiate treaties with the Aboriginals …
And what are these treaties to be all about? Well, they build on the foundation of what this whole movement is about – that the Aboriginals ‘never ceded sovereignty’ over Victoria, that it is still Aboriginal land and unfinished business to be set to rights by treaties. Now I do not want hares running about dispossessing land owners from their land. But if that is not going to happen, why do these proposals make so much of sovereignty and the claim that it has never been ceded?
To revert to the federal proposal, its advocates are at pains to say ‘It is only advisory’, so we will think it has no real power and go along with it. The advocates for the Victorian assembly are not so coy. They concede it will be ‘powerful’ and no Victorians, other than Aboriginals, will have any say on what its treaties will do or say. …
And what is the foundation of the whole exercise? Race, both to decide who can stand for election, who can vote and who can count the votes (with above -award wages). Already, the candidates have qualified on the basis of their racist entitlement, for there is no other. Now we decide who can vote, but that again is a racist test.
Our system of government used to be one-person, one-vote, and was color blind. Not any more.
British University Bans White Students From Attending Anti-Racism Meeting. Monty Python not involved, these people are serious. More anti-white racism masquerading as tolerance, diversity, and anti-racism.
Sweden: One in Four Women are Afraid to Leave Their Homes, by Paul Joseph Watson.
According to a new survey, almost a quarter of Swedish women are afraid to leave their homes over fears they will be attacked or sexually assaulted.
“15.3 percent of people aged 16 or older stated that they did not want to go out in the evening out of concern about being assaulted or threatened. Among women, the proportion was almost 25 percent,” reports Statistics Sweden.
As we reported back in August, sales of pepper spray in some areas of Sweden have surged as much as 90 per cent amidst concerns over the country’s rape problem.
After a string of four sexual assaults and rapes in the span of five nights, Swedish police in numerous cities advised women to not walk alone at night and to go home early.
Figures released last year found that 58 per cent of convicted rapists and 85 per cent of all convicted assault rapists in Sweden were born outside of Europe.
But Sweden, the humanitarian superpower, is more vibrant and diverse!
A society that cannot protect its young women from being molested is not long for this world.
Extinction rebellion is coercive and anti-democratic to the core, by Henry Ergas.
“Extinction rebellion” is not a protest against governments — it is a protest against the voters who elected them. And its message to those voters is as simple as it is manifestly undemocratic: adopt our policies or we will make your life impossible.
It is true the protesters have not resorted to violence, at least so far, but their methods are inherently coercive, punishing fellow citizens by depriving them of the right to peacefully go about their business. …
They cloak themselves behind the mantle of civil disobedience against unjust laws, such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. But that’s a different situation. Those protests were against manifestly unjust laws. Climate activists just lose elections.
But a law was never unjust merely because one disagreed with it. Rather, the defining feature of an unjust law was that it was “inflicted upon a minority” that lacked “the unhampered right to vote” and that therefore “had no part in enacting or creating it”. It was then and only then that one could disobey the law in good conscience.
Writing in the wake of the civil rights movement John Rawls, perhaps the pre-eminent political philosopher of the latter part of the 20th century, underscored King’s point. “If we break laws whenever we deem them unsatisfactory,” he argued, “the mutual trust and confidence on which our institutions depend will dissipate.” …
All that, of course, cuts no ice with the protesters. Scornful of the rule-governed activity that allows a pluralistic society to exist and to persist over time, they see only absolutes, not trade-offs, and believe that those who don’t share their convictions are ignorant, duplicitous or corrupt.
Nowhere is the fanaticism more apparent than in Greta Thunberg’s calls for fundamental moral reconstruction.
Her demand is not simply for a change of policies, it is for “a whole new way of thinking” in which competition “must come to an end” and be replaced by an age of frictionless co-operation.
It’s more “our way or unpleasantness follows” from the indoctrinated left. (Say, maybe we should abandon the
indoctrination education system, and try again?)
Chinese Political Correctness Rules in the USA. By Michael Every.
The NBA and South Park (and Tiffany and Marriot and Delta, etc., etc.) issue over US freedom of speech vs. Chinese sensibilities has now escalated to the extent that a bipartisan group of US members of Congress have penned an open letter to the NBA president stating “It is outrageous that the Communist Party of China is using its economic power to suppress the speech of Americans inside the United States,” criticizing the NBA for failing to put “fundamental democratic rights ahead of profit” and for being ill-equipped to deal with the foreseeable “challenges of doing business in a country run by a repressive single party government.”…
In short, not only are US-China trade talks going badly — so badly they are going to end early — but the political mood is now moving towards a broad-spectrum confrontation over economic power and the political values it can then dictate –- again not a surprise to us given our long-standing argument that this was never about trade per se.
Meanwhile Apple and Google are doing the bidding of the Communist Chinese Government by removing apps that the HK demonstrators used to tell where the brutal police were striking.
It’s as if the Communists were telling the US how to behave.
Why Liberal Media Hate ‘The Joker’, by John Davidson.
What does woke media have against “Joker”?
When it premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month, Time magazine’s Stephanie Zacharek slammed the film for a supposedly sympathetic portrayal of its protagonist, who could “easily be adopted as the patron saint of incels.” A flood of similar comments followed from critics who worried its morally ambiguous depiction of a psychotic mass murderer would incite real-world violence—that lonely and alienated young men would, like the riotous mobs in the film’s closing scene, see the Joker as a hero. …
The film, as most everyone knows by now, is about Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill clown who lives with his mentally ill mother and dreams of becoming a standup comic. Played by a rail-thin (and very disconcerting) Joaquin Phoenix, Fleck has serious problems and is very much in need of real help, which he doesn’t get. Instead, he suffers a series of setbacks and humiliations and gradually slips into a violent psychosis.
By the film’s end, amid a violent city-wide riot, he has become a folk hero to the disgruntled rabble of Gotham. Amid random mob violence and societal breakdown, the Joker is born. …
Why the left hate it:
What critics have objected to above all is that Fleck is not portrayed as pure evil. He has actual reasons behind his violence. Simply put, he’s taking revenge on an unjust world that showed him too little kindness and no love at all. …
To the extent there’s a political analogy at work, it’s an indictment of the coarseness of civic life. There’s even a subtle anti-Antifa feeling to the masked Gothamites holding up signs that read “Wayne = Facist” and “Kill the Rich.” …
Consciously or not, the film makes some implicit arguments, including an argument for compassion and community and against moral relativism and indifference. Here we have a profile of a disturbed man sliding into psychosis who gets no help from anyone — not least the government social worker who’s supposed to be helping him. It’s set in a city simmering with hatred and violence, where basic government services like trash collection have broken down. …
“Joker” is really an opportunity for a … dialogue about the role of families, about what people need most in life, about what makes for civic comity and solidarity. What it suggests, however unintentionally, is that maybe the best way to fend off the kind alienation and frustration that beset Arthur Fleck is with an intact family, a loving mother and a father.
Maybe the thing people need most in life is friendship and love and community. Maybe we need to rethink the way we’ve torn down the institutions and traditions that used to support these things. Maybe the radical atomization and isolation and autonomy of modern life doesn’t foster prosperity and happiness. …
If we do, that will mean rethinking a half-century of progressive thought, and questioning whether it has all been a pack of lies.
So big government failed, but a family would be best. That message is politically incorrect, too much for the left to handle.
Elizabeth Warren to remake capitalism, by Grep Ip. The next leader of the free world?
For the past generation, Democratic presidential candidates have mostly talked of redistributing the rewards of American capitalism while leaving its basic structure intact.
Elizabeth Warren promises to break that mould. The Massachusetts senator, who has moved to the front ranks of the field, talks of remaking capitalism from the ground up. As president, she would drastically cut back the size and influence of big business, push private companies from parts of the economy altogether, and shift power to government and to labour. …
No frontrunner has issued so comprehensive an indictment as Ms Warren, who has blamed business for, among other things stagnant wages, high student debt, global warming, gun violence, the prison population, high medical bills, and the shortage of affordable housing and child care.
And no frontrunner has proposed such sweeping changes to how businesses operate. A President Warren would seek to regulate big tech companies as utilities, break up big banks and split them from securities dealers, ban fracking of oil and gas, phase-out carbon emission from buildings, cars and power plants in eight to 15 years, require big companies to appoint worker representatives to at least 40% of board seats, ban private health insurance and, effectively, for-profit college, and negotiate down drug prices. …
Big government fans are cheering her on:
Ms Warren would impose a 2 per cent to 3 per cent tax on wealth above $US50 million, repeal President Trump’s tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, impose a new 7 per cent tax on big company profits and a 14.8 per cent tax on incomes above $US250,000 to finance expanded social security benefits.
Maybe Hillary will re-enter the race. Biden is too old and corrupt, Bernie’s had a heart attack, Warren is too left, and the rest are too small or too left.
* Affirmative action hire, because she said she was Native American.
Civil War Inside Extinction Rebellion: Reds vs Greenies, by Lucas Rosas.
The split came out into the open during a “drown in” protest held by the group late last month in the inner city Melbourne suburb of Northcote when a speech was made by Tamil Refugee Council spokesperson Aran Mylvaganam.
Aran was an electoral candidate for the “Victorian Socialists” party as well as being a well-known associate of the Revolutionary Trotskyist group Socialist Alternative. In his speech Aran went a little bit further than the passionate environmentalists that make up the core of the Extinction Rebellion network were comfortable with, essentially calling for the abolition of borders, the closing of detention centres and a Marxist overthrow of the government and the confiscation of private property. …
Leading figures amonsgt the more greenie Extinction Rebellion organisers brought their concerns up with their Socialist Alternative comrades, politely suggesting that in future speakers be vetted so that the overall message of climate change wasn’t lost in a call to recreate the October Revolution of 1917. The response from Socialist Alternative was to freak out and denounce everyone. …
Presumably these [Extinction Rebellion] leaders didn’t feel they could get behind a man publicly calling for Australia to become a new version of the early Soviet Union. …
The Extinction Rebellion organisers in Mackay and the Whitsundays outright refused to co-operate with the Marxists and shunned them completely after they simply refused to shut up about how “so-called Australia”, the police and Capitalism were evil.
On Monday at the Extinction Rebellion “Spring Rebellion” event in Brisbane the Socialist Alternative contingent led by prominent UQ Marxist Priya De (most famous for declaring “Fuck Australia”) gathered together with red flags in a formation they describe as their “Red Bloc” and started chants in favour of open borders and against the evil racist police.
An open letter to journalist, writer, and climate activist Chloe Adams, whose article “I’m an Extinction Rebellion protester and I’ll be disrupting your work commute. Here’s why” was published by ABC on Tuesday. …
You say XR (what an edgy abbreviation) is composed of “ordinary” people, something you repeatedly stress in this piece. I assume you mean those adults who glue themselves to the road, chain themselves to rail tracks, buzz about in giant bee costumes, ponce about in public, do a nude parade, sob hysterically, or dress up like they’ve just been transported from JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth. When I saw those flamboyant “Red Rebels”, which I mistook for an Oxford Street version of Emperor Palpatine’s Imperial Guards, I thought “Wow, these are ordinary people like me.” …
For example, in your article there is an accompanying photo of activists with the banner “Socialist Rebellion — Burn Borders Not Coal”. One of XR’s demands is that Australia “Dismantle colonial systems of oppression: decolonise and replace oppressive government structures with systems of self-management & true participatory democracy.”
Stuart Basden, one of XR’s co-founders, freely admits that “XR isn’t about the climate”. He denounces concepts such as “heteronormativity”, “class hierarchy” and “patriarchy”. He also calls for white people to pay reparations to black Americans descended from slaves. “It’s a call to the XR community to never say we’re a climate movement,” he writes. “Because we’re not. We’re a Rebellion.”
Or this from Gail Bradbrook, another of XR’s co-founders: “For me this is part of reweaving the human family back together again, it’s part of dealing with systemic racism, white supremacy and the wounds of patriarchy that want to separate us, make us feel powerless …” It sounds like XR is more concerned with my rehabilitation than it is the earth’s.
And yet you wear a “Tell the Truth” badge and maintain “it is this ordinariness that is perhaps the most compelling aspect of Extinction Rebellion.” This movement is about as ordinary and mainstream as a verdant Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
The dog-poop yogurt story: a warming to politicans on climate, by James Delingpole. This is from 2011, when Mitt Romney was on his way to becoming the unsuccessful Republican standard-bearer in the US Presidential election of 2012. But nothing’s changed, really.
Mitt Romney didn’t understand this. He was under the unfortunate impression that [“climate change”] is one of those safe, bi-partisan issues where you can demonstrate how reasonable and electable you are by adopting an accommodating centrist position. And this is why, as Rush has correctly noted, his presidential aspirations are toast. …
OK, so imagine there are two types of people in the world. There are kind like me — and you, I would hope — who like to eat their yogurt plain or with bits of fruit in it. But there is also out there, another kind of person. Lets call them the Greens because that is who I mean. They want to change the world; they want to shake the status quo to its very foundations. They believe that if we carry on as we did before, cleaving to our decadent traditions and selfish, pleasure-seeking lifestyles, then the world will end. And that’s why, as part of the radical, hair-shirt lifestyle shifts we need to adopt if we are to save the planet, they believe the time has come to end our bourgeois, running-dog lackey addiction to unsustainable fruit-flavoured or plain yogurt. What we need to do instead is flavour our yogurt with something more bracing, more radical, more alternative, more organic; something besides which has the virtue of being as cheap and abundant as the wind and the sun: dog poop.
“But hang on”, say all we fruit- and plain-yogurt lovers. “There’s a reason why we eat our yogurt either plain or with fruit. And the reason is, it tastes nice. Whereas if you put dog poop in it, it will taste like ****.”
“Typical,” say the Greens. “We hear this from your side all the time. You’re too selfish to change your ways. You’re addicted to fruit. You want to stick your heads in the sand and ignore all the evidence that fruit and plain yogurt are unsustainable.”
“Well for a start look at the supermarkets. Every day they sell tubs and tubs of the stuff, feeding the public’s insatiable greed, encouraging reckless consumption of dairy produce which comes from cows which not only take up precious land which could otherwise be set aside for biofuels but which also produce methane — an even more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Whereas, we have strong evidence to suggest that if yogurt were flavoured with dog poop instead, consumption might fall dramatically, leading people to enjoy much more healthy lifestyles and reduce their addiction to dairy products.”
“Doesn’t sound very enjoyable to me.”
“Well it’s not about your enjoyment. It’s about the children.”
“I don’t think my kids want dog poop yogurt either.”
“Generations unborn then. And the polar bears. And the California Delta Smelt. You’re going to be telling me next you don’t care about the California Delta Smelt.”
“Well now you mention it…”
The lesson for politicians:
Which brings us to Mitt Romney. And all those other RINO type quasi-ecotards of his ilk who imagine, somehow, that by positioning themselves in the middle they’re going to achieve the kind of consensus that will keep everyone happy.
“Suppose,” Romney is saying, “We just put a tiny bit of dog poop in the yogurt and mix it up with the fruit and the plain. That would work, wouldn’t it?”
No it wouldn’t. And even if half our political class don’t yet understand why it wouldn’t, an increasing number of the people who vote for them very much can.
The public understand that if there is no remotely convincing, proven link between Anthropogenic CO2 emissions and catastrophic climate change then there is absolutely no point in politicians formulating major, economy-destroying, landscape-blighting, liberty-crushing, tax-raising policy decisions on the basis that there is. Period. …
[Climate] has become the liberal-left’s great proxy issue. Under the cloak of ecological righteousness, the liberal-left is seeking to advance its controlling agenda of income redistribution, property theft, taxation, regulation, government by democratically unaccountable activists and bureaucrats, state rationing and economic destruction, only couched in such a way as to make it seem caring and sensible and good.
Oddly enough, I couldn’t find a suitable picture to illustrate the analogy. Imagination required.
A brilliant analogy akin to the horse that is designed by a committee giving us a camel. Or the fact that you can’t be a little bit pregnant. Your either are or you aren’t. The having-a-bet-both-ways, squishy ‘conservatives’ in many ways are worse than the hair shirt lefties (who in reality probably wouldn’t be seen dead in a hair shirt). At least with the unhinged left you know what you are getting.
hat-tip Stephen Harper