NIMBY

Apparently the Trump Administration has been discussing sending sanctuary seeking oppressed persons of foreign citizenship who cross our borders irregularly to those cities in the United States which have declared they will defy Federal Law in order to provide succor to such unfortunates.

My question is, why didn’t the Sanctuary Cities demand this long ago?

Instead, they are complaining such action by the Feds would be “spreading pestilence,” and “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants…”

Wouldn’t it be most humane to send “The wretched refuse,” (quoting Emma Lazarus, as Democrats have lately done) to the place they would receive the warmest welcome?

Nobody is allowed good intentions but us

Here’s what compassion gets you from the rabid Left. (Link broken intentionally. You can fix it if you really want the reference.)

Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic

Because “colonialism.” Don’t you know all cultures are morally equivalent? Except Western Civilization, which is oppressive.

This sleight of mind is how our Leftists forgive female genital mutilation and support boycotting the only democracy in the Middle East; while refusing to express an opinion on, or even acknowledge, the debate among some Imams regarding the proper way to kill gays – throw them off tall buildings or collapse a wall on them.

That is a very partial list of the multi-cultural ‘diversity’ the Left embraces in order to facilitate condemnation of Western culture. (The answer to the Imam’s debate is obvious: How many walls can you afford to collapse?  You can use the same building many times.)

I’d also mention how the Islamic fundamentalist debate on the treatment of trans people is proceeding, but I’m not aware of it.  Perhaps it goes unmentioned in the Quran.  If so, that’s probably good for trans people in strict Islamic countries.

But. If Trump moves to extend some protection to gays in Islamic countries that makes him a racist.

Maybe for those ‘apolitical voters who vote based on feelings’ someone could could point out that the charge of “colonialism” is just one more tired talking point for the postmodernist/critical theorist/intersectionalist wing of the party calling themselves Democrats: They aren’t to be taken seriously from a moral standpoint.

My favorite example of the bankruptcy of cultural equivalence, AKA deeply held moral intuitions, is related by Mark Steyn: The Gelded Age

In a culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

‘You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.’

India today is better off without suttee. If you don’t agree with that, if you think that’s just dead-white-male Eurocentrism, fine. But I don’t think you really do believe that. Non-judgmental multiculturalism is an obvious fraud, and was subliminally accepted on that basis. After all, most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don’t want to live in anything but an advanced western society. Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched tribal dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It’s a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.

Progressive humbug has become a quintessential piece of Western culture.

No rational arguments please, we’re Republicans

Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments.

A friend recently shared that sentence (not his) in an email. It’s in regard to an article at The Daily Signal by Sebastian Gorka.

The idea of abandoning rational argument just keeps nagging at me. It’s a capitulation to the Know Nothings on the Right and on the Left.

The sentence appears in this longer comment by my friend’s correspondent:

The writer [Gorka] makes a vital point that most people who support capitalism miss: we will never win the argument about capitalism being superior to socialism because many voters are only interested in emotions, not arguments. Accordingly they feel that capitalists are mean and socialists are compassionate, concerned about people. The only way to be compassionate is to take from the capitalists and give to them since capitalists got rich by making them poor. Unless and until conservatives can make a compassion appeal they will lose politically more and more. Forget trying to reason with people for whom reason is never a part of their feelings. So far Democrats have won the compassion battle. Republicans have always been out-compassioned. A completely different approach is needed. I think it can be done. Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments. They don’t win with apolitical voters who vote based on feelings.

This is one possible reading of the article, and it is in accordance with warnings from Alexis de Tocqueville and Ben Franklin about populism. I suspect they’d see the proposed solution as just the same problem, merely from a different political starting point.

The Gorka article speaks extensively to the poor results from voting based on feelings as opposed to ideas. It is not about abandoning rational argument, however. It is about branding. Gorka is urging us to recast the conservative brand because voters are disinterested in ideas. He then makes the mistake of conflating Trump, “Donald Trump has opened a window for the conservative movement of the 21st century,” with conservative ideas; which is a good part of the problem.

Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments.

So. We should take the Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal as she suggests… “aspirational”; and respond with our own surreal proposals because we can’t win otherwise? What would that argument look like? Genetically re-engineering cows into carbon dioxide breathing unicorns; modifying humans to have fairy wings in order to eliminate airplanes?  If the emotional high ground has already been seized, as Gorka suggests, how would you get it back?  Mockery suggests itself.  Mockery of AOC’s ideas.  You can’t mock the emotions invoked by an appeal to universal human well being.  Showing the consequences of Utopia requires rational argument.

OK, unicorns and fairy wings are probably unfair to Mr. Gorka. But without concrete examples, what emotional threads do we pull to change these disinterested slugs into critical thinkers and not just a right-wingish, populist personality cult?  If liberty doesn’t stir their emotions, what will?  Whatever it is, if we’re to be successful, we need to connect it to liberty.

In contemplating the purpose of recasting a brand, a recent example might serve well. Gillette’s “Toxic Masculinity” ad was about emotion not razors.: “Men! Feel good about yourself when you act like radical feminists.”  Virtue signaling.

Virtue signaling is not how we save “conservatism” in the age of President “Brand is Everything.” Frankly, until the virtues we need to signal are once again widely considered virtues, chances of success are small.

Classical liberals have our own rational aspirational narrative, of which the Bill of Rights is a good example, and we should stick to it. Otherwise, when reality impinges on the Green New Deal we’ll be intellectually defenseless as well as destitute. Like in Venezuela, it’ll be the emotionally motivated women and children who suffer most. I aspire to avoid that.

There is compelling evidence that people vote based on emotion, so a charitable reading of Gorka’s piece would be, “The emotional commitment to classical liberal values has gone missing. We must reconnect it.” If so, we need to start with the educational system, not branding. There’s quite enough re-branding of classical liberal ideas coming from the White House already.

Republicans can start by stopping trying to win rational arguments.

The more I contemplate that, the more I think it captures the essence of my objections to Donald Trump, a man who can declare a national emergency and immediately comment, “I didn’t need to do this.” The emergency is aspirational, apparently. But it promotes his brand. And the Pentagon will pay for it.

This all reminded me of a TOC post: Intentionality, which I think speaks well to the importance of ideas and the bankruptcy of our educational system. It is well worth reading in conjunction with this post.

NFL – Who cares?

There has been speculation that the statue protests would expand from Robert E. Lee, Columbus, et. al., to include Jefferson and Washington. Worse, however, it’s escalated to treating the Stars and Stripes as equivalent to the Stars and Bars: Both are apparently racist to a certain subset of NFL players.

On the other side we have the President injecting comments in his inimitable, distempered fashion. Despite my distaste for President Trump’s gratuitous bullying, I would boycott NFL games. If I watched any in the first place. As the player protests against the National Anthem continue, I suspect my indifference is a better outcome than the NFL might expect from its fans.

A third party, NFL owners, is looking clueless. One is reminded of ESPN’s descent into political activism. Professional football is supposed to be entertaining. Not any more.

Multi-millionaire, has-been quarterbacks have a Constitutional right to publicly protest, but let us not pretend that they must be allowed to promote Black Lives Matter on someone else’s stage; acting as if they were marching from Selma to Montgomery. The league has control over the “take a knee” Kaepernicki (emphasis mine):
2017 NFL RULEBOOK

…RULE 5. PLAYERS, SUBSTITUTES, EQUIPMENT, GENERAL RULES…
ARTICLE 8. PERSONAL MESSAGES
Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office. Items to celebrate anniversaries or memorable events, or to honor or commemorate individuals, such as helmet decals, and arm bands and jersey patches on players’ uniforms, are prohibited unless approved in advance by the League office. All such items approved by the League office, if any, must relate to team or League events or personages. The League will not grant permission for any club or player to wear, display, or otherwise convey messages, through helmet decals, arm bands, jersey patches, or other items affixed to game uniforms or equipment, which relate to political activities or causes, other non-football events, causes or campaigns, or charitable causes or campaigns. Further, any such approved items must be modest in size, tasteful, non-commercial, and non-controversial; must not be worn for more than one football season; and if approved for use by a specific team, must not be worn by players on other teams in the League.

I conclude that player protests during the National Anthem are either expressly approved by the NFL, or the NFL is ignoring them.

The owners are making a statement here, and they’ve made some in the recent past which should cause you to wonder about their commitment to their entertainment product.

NFL rules out player’s patriotic cleats

Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson earlier in the week said he would wear specially-designed patriotic cleats when he lines up against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.The special red, white and blue cleats include stars, an American flag-inspired Nike logo and the words “Never Forget” printed on the heel, according to photographs posted on Williamson’s verified Twitter account.

But that would violate NFL rules, which stipulate each player’s shoes must be either black or white, with team colors serving as allowable dominant or secondary colors on the shoes.

The NFL rule book says unapproved shoes are allowable only if “the player tapes over the entire shoe to conform to his team’s selected dominant base color

This took place shortly after the league ignored Kaepernick’s decision to practice in socks depicting police officers as pigs.

In addition to the 220 words of Rule 5, Article 8, of the 2017 NFL Rulebook; the league has another 3,231 words proscribing how players may express themselves through how they appear, including a prohibition on being seen smoking and “facial makeup”. So, any appeal to free speech is governed by the rules of employment. How those rules are enforced is obviously a decision made by the league, and the owners are aligned with Kaepernick: A player they refuse to employ.

Further, while contractual language is subject to modification, here is language from a generic NFL contract:

4. PUBLICITY AND NFLPA GROUP LICENSING PROGRAM.
…Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, the fore- going grant does not confer, during or after the term of this Agreement, any right or authority to use Player’s Publicity Rights in a manner that constitutes any endorsement by Player of a third-party brand, product or service (“Endorsement”)…

So, yes, Mr. President, the NFL are a bunch of hypocrites who are damaging their brand with their core constituency. While your puerile provocations do lead them to ever more outrageous behavior, you’re damaging the brand of the Presidency.

They are making a mistake. Let them do it without your assistance. Just like John McCain should keep his prissy nose out of baseball and boxing, you should practice a touch of discretion.

Update 1:55PM
‘Sunday Night Football’ Ratings Down Again On Day Of Player Protests

Three Thoughts on The Donald

Read all three.

Andrew Klavan:
What’s a Conservative to Do?
Or a Libertarian, or even a Scoop Jackson Democrat?

If it’s Hillary versus Trump, a plague on both parties’ houses. American conservatism is the defender of constitutional law, restricted government and individual liberty. Those principles are what I’ll stand on, against any opponent on either side. And bloody well alone if I have to.

Thomas Sowell:
Last Chance for America?
Good question.

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump’s theatrical talents, including his bluster and bombast, may be enough to conceal his shallow understanding of very deep problems. But that will not cut it in the White House, where you cannot clown or con your way out of problems, and where the stakes are matters of life and death.

James Lileks:
Screed 2016
Picking the lesser of two evils doesn’t work this time.

Your previous calculations are useless in this situation, because a different sort of man has arise and grabbed the raw public molar with his rhetorical wrench. To participate in the usual calculations is to debase yourself. You may regard this as necessary for the triumph of certain ideas you hope Trump will deign to let live or allow to flourish, but you know that the vessel into which your pour these hopes is cracked and leaches lead, and that by supporting him for one thing you tacitly enable all the others. You hope this bargain shores up the timbers that keep the Republic standing…

To vote for Trump is to validate; to vote for Trump is to participate. He is a crass, gutter-tongued, vulgar man whose self-regard blinds his ability to understand his own ignorance. A man who casually encourages the worst, enables the mediocre, and wafts aloft cartoon concepts of American greatness with gusts of flatulent banalities.

On March 8, I’ll be voting for Cruz. Why Cruz over Rubio? It looks very much like Rubio will not win his home state.

YMMV, but #NeverTrump. And, sorry, but Kasich is just noise.

Trump: Obnoxious blowhards using the First Amendment just cause trouble

Donald Trump spoke with Neil Cavuto in May 2015, just after the Muslim terrorist attack on Pam Geller’s “Draw Mohammed” contest in Garland, Texas, and on the eve of a Charlie Hebdo Memorial ceremony.

Trump on Geller: “[T]he last thing we need is an obnoxious blowhard like Geller to go out and start trouble, when there’s no reason for it… This has nothing do with free speech. This is taunting. And all it does is cause trouble…

Cavuto asked how Trump felt about the memorial for Charlie Hebdo: “Now, I have had satirical magazines over the years go after me. And what they do is use satire in order to not to tell the truth. They make it satirical. And this way, they can say anything they want about you. So, they were taunting, and they really taunted, and guess where they are right now?,” Trump continued, taunting the Charlie Hebdo dead.

His mother was a self-satirizing hamster and his father smelt of elderberries.